Ellen Datlow recently gave my story "Lightning Rod" an honorable mention in her The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, 21st Annual Collection, 2008. I've collected Ellen's TYBF&H series for several years now, always looking forward to reading the stories in these hefty volumes, and scanning her short list of honorable mentions to see what I missed during the previous year. I can't describe how thrilled I am to find my name on this year's list. Ellen Datlow is one of the most respected editors working in the field, and it means a lot to me that "Lightning Rod" got a "thumbs-up."
But what a long road the story has traveled: it was written in the dead of Winter, January 2004, as a remembrance of my dog Windy, who was hit by a car a few months before; accepted for All Hallows September 2005; and finally appeared in issue #43 in the Fall of 2007.
Finally, "Lightning Rod" is being reprinted in another "best of" collection, this one being
Horror: The Best of the Year, 2008, edited by the incomparable Stefan Dziemianowicz and published by Prime Books. Although the book has been delayed, I'm still looking forward to seeing Windy live again in its pages. As you can see by the photos, she occupied a special place in my home.
And still she occupies a special place in my heart.
"There's a difference between writing for a living and writing for life. If you write for a living, you make enormous compromises, and you might not even be able to uncompromise yourself. If you write for life, you'll work hard; you'll do what is honest, not what pays."