1. Hetroclite
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    Hetroclite Member

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    Portrait of a Lovecraftian

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Hetroclite, Dec 16, 2008.

    It was in 1983, in Santa Cruz, California, I walked into a used bookstore, looking for something new. I had been a reader of sci-fi/fantasy; already having read the works of JRR Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, Dante Alligheiri, Frank Herbert, Stephen R Donaldson, and Ursula LeGuin. So I was seeking out new authors’ works to sample. An anthology would be a sampler of various authors. I picked up A Treasury of Modern Fantasy. The first story was Rats in the Walls by HP Lovecraft. Instantly I was hooked on Lovecraft and the horror genre. Within a year, I had collected most of Lovecraft’s works and contacted Arkham House for more. I got into the works of many others’ since (such as Ramsey Campbell, Ambrose Bierce, Lisa Tuttle, Anthony Boucher, Henry Kuttner, Robert E Howard, F Paul Wilson, Karl Edward Wagner, Thomas Ligotti, ….).
    The world of horror became a comfortable medium for my bitterness. My loathing for life bred a fascination for death. Lovecraft had created an elaborate universe, in which these feeling could flourish into legible imagery. My father was from Brooklyn, where he watched people survive the Great Depression by pushing one another out of the way. My mother is from Japan, where she witnesses her nation and gods defeated in WWII. These two unhappy people found a release in their frustrations in me – small, weak, and couldn’t hit back. All I remember of childhood is agony, fear, frustration, helplessness, and loneliness. I don’t have any fond memories of childhood like everyone else. I observed boys beating up smaller kids and laughing as they cried and bled. They killed mice and baby birds with such great joy. And they persecuted me for being the “dirty Jap” or the “ching-chong Chinaman”. I learned from a very early age that the human being is basically an evil creature and life a miserable condition. By the age of 13, my hatred turned inward, from being called stupid and useless on a daily basis, and I became suicidal. At 33, I actually tried suicide. But like everything else in this existence, I failed at that too.
    It was at the age of 12 when I had decided to become a writer. Since all my oral expressions were suppressed, my writing skills excelled. Throughout my childhood, whenever I said anything, I was slapped, reproved, ridiculed, or simply ignored. By the time I was 10, I figured that if I don’t say anything no one will hurt me. And written expressions could be hidden away so I would be safe from punishment. My ambitions for a writing career got no encouragement from my family, who kept telling me I’m too stupid for anything but mopping floors the rest of my life. It was my high school English teachers who commended my “command of the language.” But I didn’t know the first thing about writing, so all my attempts to write “that great novel” went nowhere. In college, I took creative writing and literature courses and learned the mechanics of fiction writing. However, most of my adult life has been preoccupied with the struggle to survive, leaving me little time for writing and contacting publishers.
    Now at 57, I see in my existence, nothing accomplished, nothing enjoyed, and no purpose for being born. In person I’m naturally unlikable to people and too damn ugly to attract women. I’ve always felt out of place among human beings. Now, my dreams of being a great writer has withered and died. I no longer have any delusions that my writings will be read by anyone. But this tortured soul demands a release. In high school, I began writing poetry. A few had been published in small and forgotten literary magazines. After my suicide attempt, I could never write another poem. In the early 1980s, I became a fan of the British TV series Doctor Who. This put me in touch with other sci-fi fans through pen pal networks. And I took on other correspondents just for some human contact; “a cultural exchange” as I would tell them. There was a time when I had up to 42 regular pen pals at once. But lately that has fizzled out to just a handful and it’s really not as regular as it use to be. After moving to Seattle in 1986, I found writers’ groups, such as Writers Pending and Writers Union, and maintained contact with them. Through most of the run of the TV series Charmed, I wrote fan fiction and published them on many fan sites under the title The Scorpion Chronicles. Very few sites posted all of them and since the series ended, most fan sites have been shutting down. Lately, I discovered MSN Groups, with more internet contacts with other writers, and Meet-ups, where I can meet a few in person.
    So far, no publisher sees any of my short stories worth their time. I have several ideas for novels but I don’t have the genius to pull that off. Now I’m working on five short stories that I doubt I’ll ever finish. But I just can’t stop writing. It’s all I’ve got.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Hello Hetroclite, Welcome to the Writing Forums.

    Posting your own work should not be among the very first things you do here. It is worth taking the time to see what other people have done to improve their writing, and see if some of it applies to your writing as well. That is part of why we require members to review other members' work before posting their own for review. On the other hand, there are no restrictions, other than content and copyright rules, on showcasing your work in your member blog.

    If you haven't explored the site yet, you should probably do so soon. Newcomers often gravitate to the Lounge, the Word Games, or the Review Room, but there is much more to be discovered if you poke in the corners. Remember to check out our FAQ as well, and be sure to read through the forum rules, too, to avoid any misunderstandings or hurt feelings. Respect for one another is our principal mandate.

    As for the Review Room, new joiners often wonder why we do things a bit differently on this site than on other writing sites. We emphasize reviewing as a critical writing skill. Training your eye by reviewing other people's work helps you improve your own writing even before you present it for others to see. Therefore, we ask members to review other people's writing before posting work of their own. The Review Room forums on this site, therefore, are true workshops, not just a bulletin board for displaying your work (and on that note, please only post each item for review in one Review Room forum). See this post, Why Write Reviews Before Posting My Work? for more information.

    And while you're looking around, don't forget to check out our Weekly Short Story Contest and Weekly Poetry Contest. They actually run more than one week apiece, but any member may enter, and all members are urged to vote for their favorites.

    Enjoy your stay here, and have fun!
     
  3. Kit
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    Kit Contributing Member Contributor

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    Welcome to the forums :)
     

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