I Love Three Things About Fall

I Love Three Things About Fall.
• The gold and orange of the trees.
• Arranging my tabletop haunted Halloween village.
• Reading ghost stories by the fire.
Actually I love reading (and writing) ghost stories all year. But fall is especially fitting because the darkness gathers earlier. The cool air stills to apprehension. The fog rises to cloak the world in mystery, again.
With my collections of ghost story books from assorted states and abroad, I have plenty of ghost stories to read. Yet, I’m always looking for more—fiction or non-fiction. Today I found a wonderful fiction tome in the public library:
THE WEIRD: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer and published by Tor.
Intrigued, I snatched it up and carried it home. It’s a collection of weird stories from the nineteenth, twentieth, and early twenty-first century, and it’s filled with the genre’s great authors—Bierce, du Maurier, Bradbury, Oates, and King.
In the ‘Foreweird’ Michael Moorcock explains that “There are no established rules for the weird tale, which is . . . the attraction, if the story an author wants to tell can’t readily be told in an established form.” In other words, there is no set definition for the weird genre. All the better to imagine . . . the strange and dark. . .
I’m familiar with a few of the stories in the book, but most are new to me. I’m looking forward to some good reading.
I’ll also be reading a favorite of mine this fall: THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO WRITING THE PARANORMAL NOVEL from publisher Dragon Moon. It’s for writers of weird fiction. I count it as a favorite not just because I contributed, but because there is useful information in it. I always learn something about the weird when I dive in to read this paranormal writing guide. I emerge inspired.
Stacking these books on the floor, I settle into my chair to savor reading about the eerie and unreal, to enjoy writing the weird and uncanny, from the safety of my fireside, and within sight of my haunted Halloween village.
So . . . Dear Readers join me in reading this fall and if you will, keep an eye open for my new weird tale: ‘The Spirited Chessboard’ soon available at Amazon and Smashwords.
Linda Madl
October 2012