Lana is improving steadily but my stepfather is still in the hospital and is struggling. Please continue to send him good thoughts. Our steak dinner with Josh and his girlfriend Heidi went off very well, though, and we had a great day.
I ended up cutting the preface for the anthology down by about 50 words and I think it’s a lot better. I also rearranged the story order in the book a bit because by putting the six Thal Kyrin stories in chronological order I would have had a relatively weaker story up first. I know you don’t want that in an anthology. I’m on the final read through now.
I just finished reading The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King. Often, I find King’s endings relatively weak and the rest of his stories pretty compelling. This was the reverse. The ending was quite strong but the path to get there was slow, slow, slow. This was one of King’s shorter books, only 254 pages in paperback, but I felt he really had ideas for a novella at most. I think cutting out a hundred pages toward the front and middle would have made this one sing. I haven’t much enjoyed the last couple of books I’ve read by King, but I so loved works like Misery, The Mist, and The Cell that I keep giving him chances. I know he can do it. That’s the thing.
I also finished Voices from the Dark by Gary William Crawford. This is a poetry collection. Most of the poetry is pretty dark, but I’m not sure I’d call this a “genre” collection. The cover certainly suggests that, but isn’t totally accurate. Crawford’s work really crosses all genres and ventures well into the mainstream. The book is subtitled “Selected Poems: 1979-2009” and is kind of a “best of.” I’ve read a fair number of the poems from the collection before, and have reviewed other collections by Crawford here on the blog; his works are regularly nominated for the Stoker Awards. Gary’s poetry is the kind that demands rereading anyway, though, so I didn’t mind revisiting some old favorites. There’s a lot going on in these pieces. If you haven’t tried any Crawford before, this would be a great introduction to his work. Highly recommended.