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Letters From the Labyrinth 346
A Very Short Missive
Good morning. My name is Brian Keene and this is the 346th issue of Letters From the Labyrinth — a weekly newsletter for fans, friends, and family.
This will be a short one. The past week was spent working on the script for GWENDY’S BUTTON BOX and a story for the Obituaries anthology series. Playing in Castle Rock has been a dream come true for me, and I'm forever grateful, but real talk -- I've had the worst case of Imposter Syndrome while working on this thing. Yes, even "Brian F**king Keene" gets Imposter Syndrome. So know that it is okay if you do, too.
Engrossed in these two projects as I was, everything else fell by the wayside, so there’s not much to report. The cats are all fine. The garden is completely out of control, as is my inbox and unread text messages. I gave a quick interview to the Horror Makes Us Happy podcast. The only time I left the house all week was for the Daily Walks (which I am very much enjoying doing, and which those of you who subscribe to them are seeming to enjoy, as well). Otherwise, I was butt in chair and fingers on keyboard all week long. Thanks to my wife, my sons, and my extended family for giving me time to do that. (I also got a case of mild food poisoning Tuesday through Thursday morning — not the worst case I’ve ever had, but enough that I wanted to stay close to a bathroom).
So, yeah. No lengthy essay this week. Sorry. My headspace is occupied with those two projects mentioned above, and I simply haven’t had time to think about anything else, or time to write about anything else. Well… not entirely. I’ve got an essay in my head about how Kid Rock completely failed the people he claims to represent, and how Yelawolf triumphs in that regard, and the glory that is the Sometimes Y album by Yelawolf and Shooter Jennings, but I’ll save that for next week.
I do, regretfully, have some bad news. Due to some ongoing family medical procedures and concerns, Mary and I have to cancel our appearance and signing at Dark Delicacies inb Burbank which was scheduled for later this month. I’ve let Del and Sue know that we are happy to sign books for their customers via the mail — I’ll pay the shipping costs. So if you live in Los Angeles, check in with them about doing that. We’re both sad to do this, but unfortunately, we need to stay close to home for the month of September, should we be needed.
Moving on to happier news, the Table of Contents for The Perfectly Fine Neighborhood anthology, which contains my brand-new short story “Where The Heart Is”, was announced earlier this week.
Apex asked me to write an essay about other media that inspired THE LOST LEVEL series. you can read that essay for free here. Although I’ll warn you in advance — I sent them the first draft by mistake, rather than the final draft, so there are a plethora of typos.
October Screams is a new anthology featuring a new story by myself and Richard Chizmar called “Masks”. You can preorder the hardcover or paperback here.
Swords In The Shadows is a new anthology which features my new story “The Shadow In The Swamp”. You can preorder the paperback here.
Currently Playing: Nothing
Currently Watching: Nothing
Currently Listening: Sometimes Y by Yelawolf and Shooter Jennings
Currently Reading: The Vile Thing We Created by Robert P. Ottone
A few weeks ago while I was in Texas, I was out to dinner with C. Robert Cargill and his wife Jessica, and we were talking about CONvergence — a wonderful convention in the midwest that we all used to attend every year when we were younger. We’re going to make a concerted effort to get back there next year. So a shout-out to our CONvergence friends. #PlayhousePosse4Ever (even if the hotel got rid of it — including my throne — and even if the con is no longer at that hotel. Coincidence?) Really hope mary and I can get out there and see you all next year.
This picture was taken in 2011. I suspect none of us — except maybe Mary, Jessica, Erin, or Amanda — are limber enough to still fit inside one of these things. I know that I sure couldn’t. I’ll turn 56 later this month. I’ve had an adventurous life, and there is much of it that I would absolutely do all over again, but there is a price to pay for that sort of lifestyle, and the price is that if you make it past 50, you feel it every waking moment of every single day. You no longer need to jump your BMX Mongoose over a barbed wire fence, or get in a fight, or crash your car at speeds exceeding 95 miles per hour, or fall through the ice of a frozen pond, or jump off a cliff in Cuba, or get shot at, or stabbed, or accidentally catch on fire while cleaning up flood damage in your ex-wife’s backyard to feel it the next day, because the pain is already there waiting for you when you wake up, and it says, “Hey, remember when you did those things? Now it will hurt just to sit up and put your feet on the floor.” And then you grit your teeth and tell the pain to go jump in the river. You’ll be fine after some coffee. And then the pain chuckles — a deep, throaty laughter — and asks how many hours do you intend to sit in the chair and type today?
I’ve got an idea for a novel about chronic pain, but not yet. Too many other things to finish first. And the clock is ticking.
(Okay, I guess you did get sort of a mini essay after all).
And that does it for this week. Again, my apologies for the rather spartan issue. By next Sunday I’ll have both those projects in the rearview mirror and we’ll be back to full content. Have a great weekend, and know that I appreciate you. I’ll see you back here next Sunday.
— Brian Keene