The Fear

L0040110 Experiments in physiology. Facial expressions; Fear
“You mean people might actually READ these things?!”

Let’s go back in time, to the halcyon days of March, 2012.

Aaron and I had worked our asses off on a collaborative collection of short fiction (That Weird City, still available, buy it now!), and the thing was as ready as it was going to get. We ripped through the writing, bashed our faces against the edits, agonized over the formatting. It was hard work, but it was good work.

The day finally came. Time to load that sumbitch into the warhead and fire it off to Amazon. I had the duty that day. I read over the instructions for uploading a hundred times. I was nervous, but it was good nervous. My finger hovered over the SUBMIT button for a long time.

I clicked it.

And The Fear hit me.

My hands went to my mouth, and I chanted over and over again, oh shit, oh shit, what did I do, oh shit. It was a stress reaction that was waaaayyy the fuck out of proportion with the actual event.

My GI tract did not agree. Suffice it to say that I made it to the men’s room.

The Fear.

I honest-to-Christ have no idea where it came from. It wasn’t that TWC was a bad book. Not in the least–even four years later I think it has heart. It’s rough around the edges, but that was the fun of it. Nobody could tell us we couldn’t do it, so we did it. I’ll always be proud of that.

But the trouser-soiling anxiety that came with sending it out into the wild was real. I wish I could have had a heart rate monitor–it would have had some interesting data. And it happens a lot. Oftentimes whenever there’s something I’m not one hundred percent confident with, like blogging (hi, everybody). My brain just vapor-locks, and my australopithicine hindbrain takes over, screeching and throwing rocks.

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Did somebody say “screeching australopithecine?” WOW, TOPICAL!

Why this trip down Memory Lane?

Me and Jacobs, we’ve done it again. Twelve new stories we cooked up, almost ready to be loaded into another Amazon-bound data capsule. And The Fear is hitting me, full force. I have to say, I kinda feel lousy. But I feel good about the stories! We’re shooting for a Samhain-adjacent launch window, and if I can make one of you feel a fraction of the fear while reading it that I’ve had in its incubation? I’ll count myself a fortunate man.

Stay tuned, Weirdlings!

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