Monday, March 05, 2007


March 5, 2007

A week ago, tyranist came to my work and took me to lunch (as the man does from time to time), where we talked about our leisure time activities. Despite his repeated attempts to destroy me, tyr remains my best mate, and it continually amazes me how much this guy reads. Despite a job, a commute, a family, and one swollen, ineffectual testicle, he manages to read at least one short story a day and a book a week.

Me, I have trouble reading a full comic book through without falling asleep. Ain't old age fun?

But knowing my interest in podcasts and Horror, he told me about this podcast called Pseudopod, which is basically a weekly reading of a professional-level horror story. They present one by a different author every episode, and they're usually quite good.

I immediately check it out. Listening, I've been entertained, and have gotten an internal push to write some short stories of my own. Any writing teacher worth his salt will tell you that to be a writer you must also be a reader, and hearing these short (usually about 30 minutes) stories has fueled my imagination to the point where I'm writing pretty much every day again.

Right now, I have a boring little desk job, where they pay me to sit at a computer, enter customer information, and think about killing myself. Listening to audiobooks and podcasts has really helped the hours go by, and I can't recommend more this Pseudopod story collection. Check it out:

Reading a short story a day shouldn't be impossible to do (I grabbed a story anthology yesterday and read three or four tales in it), and it's a helpful exercise. Beautiful, interesting, or even bad prose can inspire you to write some of your own. Even if you don't like a particular tale, it might spark something in your mind, give you the idea for another story that would go in a different direction, one based on a similar experience in your life, or a character that you liked that you might like to write about (whether specifically them or someone like them). A lot of times for me, though, it just reminds me of an idea for a story I had one time that I never wrote down or if I did, never went anywhere.

I don't really know why I'm writing this. If you like Horror and short fiction, give Pseudopod a try. It's not like it costs anything.

Except maybe a tiny slice of your soul.

Rish "The Professor" Outfield

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