At least here.
The novel writing has been slow but I am working on reworking the story. I have plenty of other ideas lined up – both novel-length and short pieces that I hope to start working on. Though the majority of the writing (which seems to be book reviews here!) has been on my other blog, the food one. There, I’ve shared recipes and interviews and working on increasing my readership to what it was a few years ago when I was getting about 30,000 views a month. However, fiction is still my love.
And it appears that absence makes the heart grow fonder. With the writing, I was in a slump and a sort of writer’s block. That also caused me to stop reading. To write, you need to read. To try and fire the ‘juices’ and the muses back up, I just read without worrying about the writing part and it seemed to work. Now, it’s trying to get a routine back in play like I day a couple of years back.
To help get me reading and writing again, I did a search on the must-read ghost and horror stories. Of course, there is always the M.R. James recommendations along with Le Fanu and Blackwood. It’s the lesser-known stories and authors I don’t always think of that I want to read. I have a fairly good collection of short stories to pick and choose from, but I wanted guidance.
A great motivator for not writing is the great time suck of Facebook. Through all of the shared recipes (sorry, I’m a part of that), political rants and videos there are great resources that can be found in the group’s section. One of my favorite groups – and one of the few reasons that I even keep Facebook – is The Classic Ghost Story Tradition group that focuses on the classic ghost stories and their authors. The conversations are excellent. There is no drama between the members and best of all: I’ve learned about and discovered so many authors and stories from the past that I can’t keep up buying the books. The group has been an amazing resource for me.
One of the great contributors to that group is the author, Mark Fuller Dillon. He has three books currently available on Smashwords and Apple iBooks and they are all free for you to download. He also has a blog. While doing my searching for short stories to read, Dillon’s website came up in my search. He had an article titled: My Favorite Horror Stories – A Few, At Any Rate. In the article, he lists 54 short stories worth reading. Now, as he states, these are not to be confused as the ‘best horror stories of all-time’, but simply some of his favorites at the time he wrote the list.
The list inspired me.
I copy and pasted the list, printed it, and searched through my book collections and found that I own the majority of the short stories – and I had already read a few of them. As I read them, I posted a picture on Instagram as to what I was reading. However, I thought that I would share more about the stories that I was reading here on my website as perhaps a way to inspire you with your reading and maybe writing.
I won’t put Dillon’s list here. That wouldn’t be right since it’s his list. I’ll share the stories as I go along and read them in different posts. But I do encourage you to visit his website, and the article, by following this link: http://markfullerdillon.blogspot.com/2017/10/my-favourite-horror-stories-few-at-any.html. He also has links to his books that are worth looking into – I’ve enjoyed all of the stories that I have read of his.
Also, one last thing, if you are on Facebook and not a part of The Classic Ghost Story Tradition, look it up. If you love the classic ghost stories as much as I do, you’ll gain a lot of resources from this group. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/248553892011999. You’ll find me there hiding in the back reading the posts and ‘liking’ what’s shared.
What are your favorite ghost or horror stories? Did your favorites make Mark Fuller Dillon’s list? What short stories do you recommend? Do you read more to break from the writer’s block? Let us know in the comment section below.
Until next time.