As a teen, I loved science fiction and horror, especially H.P. Lovecraft. After reading one of my favorite books of all time – William Hope Hodgson’s The House on the Borderland – I took a stab at writing short stories. I imagine they were terrible and I didn’t persist long in the effort. But, I retained a hankering that, one day, I would craft an awesome story that was at least tolerably written.
About 10 years ago, I tried again. The family was returning to Nags Head for a restful week of ocean and sand. And, since I have little fondness for sitting on a beach for hours in the baking sun, I told everyone that mine would be a working vacation. I wrote five short stories during the week, at the end of which I still harbored at least a whisper of a dream that I possessed a modicum of talent.
I only shared the stories with one other person, who let me down very kindly, and I have restricted myself to nonfiction and homiletics ever since. Sermon writing suits my skill set far greater and also employs my oratorical abilities. But, that little scribe in the back of my head still wishes that I could find an unimaginative but able crafter of language with whom I could collaborate to create the next great pantheon of outre fiction.
I just watched an absolutely delightful documentary on the life of my literary hero, Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown, who was famous for ghost writing/editing for many published authors. How I wish he were still alive that I could correspond with him today! I’m not sure H.P. would have ever considered owning, let alone writing on a computer. But, I have a direction I would love to explore that would suit his talents immeasurably, and for that even I would gladly write longhand.
I have in recent years been exploring what I call mystical humanism through the experience of affect in worship services (building on Thandeka’s work on Affect Theology). Combined with Jungian notions of synchronicity, I have hypothesized a cosmos of infinitely connected threads constantly bombarding our lives with synaptic stimuli from which we can discern meaning and ultimately wisdom.
So, I have imagined an epic collection of tales about an intrepid minister (gee, ya think this might be just a little autobiographical?) exploring this web of existence, encountering colossal beauty, cyclopean terror, and unfathomable truths across vast and endless planes and universes. Of course, every time the portal opens, it exposes our fragile little world to more of these enormous forces and influences.
All I need now is someone with the output capacity of Stephen King to produce the 49 books (or whatever our kindle-kind call them nowadays) needed to encompass this tome. Then, I need the reincarnation of Rod Serling to produce a revisited Twilight Zone for the video generation. Video games, soundtracks, 3-D movies, virtual reality sensatoriums – I could become the next Gene Roddenberry.
Sigh…what a wondrous vision!