William, my son and partner in crime on these reviews, will soon be returning to grad school after the longest spring break ever. We hope to continue our reviews, but they may be more intermittent.
I am not too proud to acknowledge that I have written what I consider to be a fine piece of schlock, called “Eye of the Beholder,” and therefore I am honored that it has just been accepted by Schlock!, a horror webzine out of the UK, where it will appear in May.
Trigger Warning: The following contains references to eating disorders, dieting, exercise, obsession with one’s looks, and incest. No details, and certainly no promotion of any of the above. But if these are topics you’d prefer to steer clear of, look away now.
The story is about a young woman who embarks on a quest for beauty with the help of her sister. Suffice to say, it does not end well.
I had trouble placing the story, mainly, I think, because it has a surreal, hallucinatory section that was overly fantastic. But I have adjusted it to ground it better in reality over the course of my submissions to various places, and I think it is now improved to the point where I will be proud to see it in public. I also think the story is a good example of why it is important for women to write horror, because anxiety over weight, dieting, exercise, and obsession with physical beauty generally affects women more than men.
Before submitting to Schlock!, I took a look at its publications. Not only do I want to get a notion of whether my piece is the kind of thing the editors are looking for; I also might come upon something I don’t want to be associated with. I have had several bad experiences in this regard, unfortunately all after acceptance, when it was really too late to do anything about it, other than removing the journal from my bios. In the worst case, I encountered a terrible story that basically promoted incest. Luckily, while I did not do a thorough job of researching Schlock!‘s content, what I did see seemed fun and unobjectionable, though not for the squeamish. I look forward to reading more.