Yesterday, the postman brought my contributor's copy of the new Penguin Classics volume, American Supernatural Tales, edited by S.T. Joshi, which reprints "In the Water Works (Birmingham, Alabama 1888)." Since then, I've been trying to decipher my feelings about being chosen for this book. It goes without saying that I am immensely pleased and flattered to have this story included alongside the likes of Lovecraft's "The Call of Cthulhu," T.E.D. Klein's "The Events at Poroth Farm," Ray Bradbury's "The Foghorn," Fritz Leiber's "The Girl With Hungry Eyes," and Shirley Jackson's "A Visit" — authors and stories who/that have had an enormous influence upon my own writing. But there is something more here, something I cannot quite wrap my brain around. This is a Penguin Classics volume, and in his introduction, Joshi grants me "tentative canonization," and, I don't know. I think it's just sort of cool, and I want to be glad for myself, because I've been banging away at this writing and publishing thing for the last fifteen years (I'm not counting all the crap I wrote in college and high school). It certainly hasn't made me wealthy — or even financially secure — and it's not hyperbole to say that it's taken a toll on my health and my nerves. But...I do have this, the inclusion of one of my stories with all these authors who helped to get me here, in a Penguin Classics volume that will likely remain in print for a decent span of time. And so I think I am actually proud of me, which is not the sort of thing I have often been heard to say. By the way, "In the Water Works (Birmingham, Alabama 1888)" was first printed in Tales of Pain and Wonder (2000), then reprinted in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror: Volume Twelve (2001) and Trilobite: The Writing of Threshold (2003); it was also the inspiration for my second novel, Threshold (2001).
As for yesterday, I sent "The Bed of Appetite" away to Vince Locke to be illustrated for Sirenia Digest #23. I exchanged several emails with my mother in one afternoon, which is a very unusual thing. I read Chapter Four of Carole G. Silver's Strange and Secret Peoples: Fairies and Victorian Consciousness, "Little Goblin Men: On Dwarfs and Pygmies, Racial Myths and Mythic Races." I had a bath. I redecorated the altar for Samhain. I got an idea for a new piece for Sirenia Digest #24, something about a lycanthropy, only turned back upon itself. There was rain much of the day, drizzle and clouds, but the sun came out late. No walk, because I just couldn't seem to get interested in Outside. And that was yesterday.
I'm trying to decide whether or not to be excited about Frank Darabont's adaptation of Stephen King's novella, "The Mist." It has long been one of my favourite King stories, and it could be very good. Darabont is one of the few directors capable of getting King right (see The Shawshank Redemption). But, always, I am cautious.