Creative Contact

When David proposed the idea of doing a podcast I really didn’t think it would pan out. We’re both busy guys. He travels all the time. I’ve been slowly developing an indie-writing career in addition to my main job.

But the seed was planted and things eventually took root.

I listen to a lot of podcasts. In the beginning, to learn from other indie writers about the self-publishing industry, now more for pleasure. So, I was familiar with the medium. When I asked David what would be our subject matter he immediately answered: horror and science fiction… subjects we have been more than comfortable with for a very long time.

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Monster Therapy

I am convinced that writers may be the pedigreed mutts of America’s Artistic Kennel Club.

Stephen King was at one time a janitor. Kurt Vonnegut was a car salesman and managed America’s first SAAB dealership. William Burroughs was an exterminator. T.S. Eliot composed The Waste Land while working as a clerk at a bank in London. Margret Atwood worked as a cashier in a coffee shop. Charles Dickens worked in a factory, and Richard Wright, William Faulkner, and Charles Bukowski were all disgruntled postal workers. Langston Hughes was a busboy, Harper Lee sold tickets for Eastern Airlines, and Zane Grey was a dentist.

So many authors boast an entire menagerie of collected odd jobs. Douglas Adams worked as a hospital porter, barn builder, chicken shed-cleaner, hotel security guard, and a bodyguard. Jack Kerouac was a gas station attendant, cotton picker, night guard, railroad brakeman, dishwasher, construction worker and deckhand. Harlan Ellison claims to have been a tuna fisherman, crop picker, hired gun, nitroglycerin truck driver, short-order cook, cab driver, lithographer, and a door-to-door salesman. The list goes on… and I encourage any of you to spend an hour surfing the subject on the net as it is not only entertaining but will work wonders for your self-esteem.

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Politics and the Artist

I wasn’t going to write this post, but I have been wrestling with its subject for two days now and cannot stop thinking about it. If you’re a writer, you know as well as me, that when you reach this point it’s time to purge.

Like any person out there I have political beliefs that I am passionate about. However, I learned long ago (from Facebook in particular, but also from my parents), that it is often best to keep those beliefs to yourself and maybe a close-knit group of friends.

I am not being pious. I’m as guilty as the next person for having posted political ideologies in the past… especially into the vast void that is Facebook. But I dropped that habit almost ten years ago when I saw the expanding political cesspool that social media was becoming and decided to turn my energy toward more positive things like art… reading and writing in particular.

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Channel Zero

I recently subscribed to SHUDDER because… well, that’s what guys like me do. While browsing their respectable catalog, I came across a show I had never heard of called Channel Zero. I was quickly obsessed.

I was also surprised to discover that the show originally aired on SYFY.  I have never been a fan of the SYFY channel. Most of their shows seemed like filler, low-budget crap to me, with the exception of the rare Battlestar Galactica.

The show was created by Nick Antosca and filmed in Canada, with a mostly unfamiliar cast… a different story told in each 6-episode season, all based on popular Creepypasta tales.

I was skeptical at first, wondering what new SYFY disappointment this would be… but intrigued by the unfamiliar landscapes and cast.

I can’t say too much, not for fear of spoiling, but because this show is so unique and original that to describe it might lead to (cue maniacal laughter)… madness.

The best comparison I come up with—and this applies to pretty much all four seasons–is a similarity to the surreal, beautiful, and disturbing realms of Clive Barker. You know, where you’re in your own world but you turn a corner and suddenly things are askew, not quite right… unsettling.

And like Clive Barker, Antcosca’s vision does not necessarily explain everything down to the final detail. But the level of ambiguity, to me at least, was acceptable given the power of the other elements… the visuals, the cast, and the overall story.

Yes… when others do this it can be annoying. Very annoying. Everyone wants answers.

But Antcosca’s worlds are not too different from dreaming, real yet unreal… and rarely do I seek explanations for the bizarre details of my own slumberland.

Instead of synopsizing the four seasons, I will just give you a title and a picture and let you decide if you’re captivated enough to invest…  

CANDLE COVE

NEAR-END HOUSE

BUTCHER’S BLOCK

THE DREAM DOOR

The show was canceled after four short seasons on SYFY. I am hoping that someone will pick it up, perhaps SHUDDER, as the first three seasons are airing there now. Whether that happens or not, I can guarantee I will be looking for Nick Antcosca’s name on future projects. He is a visionary… and his visions are original.

And we all know… originality is hard to come by in the world of entertainment.

If you are not a SHUDDER subscriber, all four seasons of Channel Zero are also available on the SYFY app.

–Tim

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