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The End? (Blog Post)

Photo on 05-10-2017 at 18.34My part in the Next Great Horror Writer contest came to an end last week after it was announced, in the most recent podcast, that I finished in 5th place. Only the semi-finalists, Naching T. Kassa, Daphne Strasert, and Jonathan Fortin, will have their horror novels pitched to Crystal Lake Publishing, and only one of them will emerge victor (following a nail-biting wait, I’m sure), with a nice shining book contract to show for it. I wish them all the best, and say so with no bitterness at all. Honest.

When I first sent my bio, entry form, and micro-fiction to HorrorAddicts, I had only just begun to take my writing seriously. I did not expect to be among the selected few; I entered purely on a kind of ‘why not?’ basis. I received news of my place in the contest just before heading to the pub, and blame HorrorAddicts entirely for how drunk I ended up that night.

Upon seeing the talent I was to face, I did not anticipate finishing anywhere near the top 3. To end up 5th feels like a great achievement; though undeniably something of a disappointment too.

In the final podcast, I received cheek-reddening comments from the resident judges, H.E Roulo and Emerian Rich, as a kind of sending off. They gave me plenty to think about. This contest has showed me that I shouldn’t concentrate on horror as my primary output. Aside from the fortnightly challenges assigned to me, I have been crafting fiction that is often surreal, occasionally grim, and sometimes creepy, but you’d be hard pushed to call it horror. I’m still in the process of finding my voice, and it’s becoming clearer that I shouldn’t limit myself to any specific genre.

It’s been an awesome experience, and through it I’ve discovered plenty of horror writers keeping the genre alive whose careers I will follow with great interest. The folks over at HorrorAddicts have done their utmost to make me feel welcome, and I can’t thank them enough for that.

So what’s next? Well, fuck knows. I didn’t expect this whole thing to happen, but here we are. I’ll be in my room, writing, and playing music too. Where that leads me–if indeed it leads me anywhere–is anyone’s guess. I can say, however, that I hope to be doing some more non-fiction in the future. I’m also currently working on a new album after neglecting music creation in favour of my writing pursuits. And of course I will continue to pen unsavoury stories and poems for whoever will read them.

Thank you, as always, for being here.

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For John Clare

I am a wiser, better man for reading you;

For words that showed me all the beauty brought

In summer’s light and autumn’s quiet gloom;

For meaning, I’ve so often wrongly sought

In fancy things that flicker out

And leave me grasping, holding on to nought.

 

Your loneliness is shared through time

And passed through words I’ve soaked into my pores

And through your pain, you’ve softened mine;

My self-consuming woes and aching sores,

Eased by rhymes and soothed by stanzas sweet,

From those you wrote to others incomplete.

 

I hope you passed in gentle thoughts and prayers;

I hope you rest below the vaulted sky in death;

I hope your skin can feel the summer air

And nose can smell the meadow’s sighing breath.

And though you’re gone, I do not feel deprived;

You’re on my shelves and still alive.

 

By Harry Husbands

John-Clare

Eating Payslips (A Poem)

In years that slipped with passing change,

I would have ploughed the field to eat;

I would have kneeled to dirt and scraped my life with mucky hands.

The empty greens, I pass them all;

With not a sign to what they hold;

Of what the rain or sun would mean against a gut that growled.

 

I harvest paper full of nothing;

I keep supplies of coloured clips,

To please a faceless name in numbing, dulling email chains

That say to keep on typing swift

And leave distracting dreams at home,

So families can be fed their warming soup on shining spoons.

 

I keep my payslips close to hand;

They’re all I have to live on now.

I haven’t seeds to sow,

Or sun-soaked brow,

Or crops to grow,

Or fields to plough.

 

By Harry Husbands

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‘A Movie’ (Movie Review)

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It was first announced that A Movie would be made some years ago and fans of A Book have been eagerly anticipating its arrival ever since.

You may have heard of A Movie before. You may have seen a trailer for A Movie. You may have even typed furiously on A Movie’s online message boards, arguing futilely the casting choices made without your consultation. Well let me tell you, it’s finally here, and it’s A Movie.

The film begins as most others do: with its opening scene. The main characters, central conflict and theme of A Movie were all soon introduced; not only audibly but, in a surprising twist, visually as well.

There was disconcerting talk regarding the dialogue in A Movie, but I can say with certainty that the script was written and most likely edited. There were spells of improvisation from actors who earned more money from A Movie than I’ll ever see in my life. The way the dialogue was typed beforehand and subsequently delivered in front of a camera is nothing short of remarkable.

Another discussion point for many was the acting, or lack thereof. However, having sat through A Movie, I can assure you that the actors were pretending to be the characters they portrayed and did it with their whole bodies as well as their voices and minds.

A Movie was based on A Book and controversy soon reared its head surrounding the depiction of a tale that remains loved by many. The producer of A Movie was unavailable for comment due to an injury sustained after slipping on the tears of disappointed thirty-somethings.

Thanks to many years of movie-going experience, I was correct in my prediction that A Movie would end and was shortly followed by a black screen over which white text went ever upwards, revealing names of those presumably responsible for A Movie’s production.

I found A Movie to be a use of my time and would be satisfied in discussing it in pubs to fill the void of an uncomfortable silence.

By Harry Husbands

How Much? (A Poem)

“How much for lazy Sundays, sleeping late;

For dinners whiffed upon the breeze?

How much to choke on well told jokes

And kiss the lips that shake my knees?

 

How much for pages loaded with thought;

For painting drunken wine-soaked lines?

How much for singing loud without regard

And forgetting about the time?

 

How much for squeezing friends you’ve sorely missed,

Or finding what you’d thought was lost?

How much the sky and sparrows up high?

Just how much will all of this cost?

 

How much for feeling small amongst it all;

The endless stars and reachable moon?

How much for rolling oceans that never cease?

What price does that bring us to?”

 

“Those products aren’t cheap; they cost a lot,”

The man said, clearly appalled.

“Just keep working hard and rise to the top,

Then some day you might have it all!”

 

By Harry Husbands

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Halfway Through (Blog Post)

Photo on 20-06-2017 at 18.47So somehow we’ve already arrived at the approximate halfway mark (by my rough estimations) of the Next Great Horror Writer contest that I’ve been fortunate enough to take part in. It’s been an interesting experience so far.

I was successful in one of the challenges where we were tasked with writing a non-fiction blog post on anything horror related. I chose the subject of virtual-reality and how the immersion it offers is providing scares where contemporary films are lacking.

As a prize for this, my ‘blog post’ was read out and discussed on Cemetery Confessions (a podcast on Belfry Network) that you can listen to RIGHT FUCKING HERE. Though I will admit that I found the discussion (in terms of the content of my work) somewhat loose, it felt pretty damn cool to hear something I’d wrote be read by the Count who dwells all the way on the other side of the Atlantic.

There’s been disappointment, excitement, and confusion as I’ve listened to the podcasts that are produced most fortnights by HorrorAddicts.net. The contest is not only helping with the practical side of my writing, but it’s teaching me how to deal with rejection (which I confess to considering myself fairly well versed in already) and that not everyone is going to like what I do.

I hold little hope of winning the contest based on how it’s gone so far but regardless, things are happening, and that is awesome.

Election Day (A Poem)

Arriving late, the winds push us inside

And guards observe us groping for a pen.

With lies and half-truths circling our minds,

In secret booths, we make our choice again.

The news has gone and leaves a silent bliss;

The online buzz is calm and quiet too.

The peace it leaves will soon be sorely missed,

When talk gets warm and feuds are back in bloom.

We buy some lollies (once the deed is done)

And suck on pensive words about our future.

Then back at home, we roll in careless fun;

Our part is done; the wounds are theirs to suture.

Whether red beats blue or blue beats red,

We’re laughing, fighting, living, dead.

 

By Harry Husbands

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