Horror or Something Else?

I find myself returning to horror in my writing…not the blood and guts type of story that has personified horror recently but the psychological-Shirley-Jackson horror. The I-didn’t-see-that-coming-damn! type of horror.

I hesitate to call it paranormal because that term seems to go with “paranormal romance”. It’s not urban fantasy, because sometimes the stories are not urban. It’s not supernatural because supernatural things don’t always occur.

Sometimes there’s a mystery. Sometimes there’s humor. But most of the time something horrific happens….even if it’s only horrific in the mind of one character.

Right now I’m writing about Pearl. Pearl has a four-month old little girl and she’s pushing the baby carriage down a dusty road to make a condolence call on a neighbor. In the 1950s this is what a rural housewife would have done. Pearl will not meet up with zombies or aliens or even a murderer. On this dusty road, while pushing a baby carriage, she will meet up with the truth of her life. And sometimes that’s about as horrific as it can get.

Pearl’s story will eventually appear in a collection tentatively called “Fat Girls”. Jenny’s story, entitled “Butch”, will be in the collection. “A Cold Dish” will be about Pam. And there may be one or two more, depending on what occurs to me….as I walk down the dusty road of writing.


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