I don’t know about you, but I have never been a fan of Stephen King. His books scared the bujeezus out of me. I read the short story, The Mangler, while living in the add on garage bedroom right off the kitchen in my grandmother’s home one summer. This would be the summer that her huge brown (yes brown) fridge died. But prior to it actually dying it made a lot of noise. Only at night. While I was in bed. Trying to sleep after watching Dynasty with my grandmother and dreaming of having hair like Krystle Carrington. Can we talk at some point about that spelling too? With a K and a Y? Really?
This fridge was ginormous. It was dark brown. It was loud. I was convinced that it was possessed and that is when I started reading Stephen King. I began with his short story collection and in particular, The Mangler. If you are not familiar with the story here is a short summary: Women work in this horrific, reminiscent of The Jungle, laundry. There is a machine that maims and kills the female workers in all sorts of grotesque ways. End of story.
Needless to say, I became terrified of that fridge. I was convinced that somehow it would kill me just as the mangler did to so many innocent young women. I wasn’t really sure how. Maybe it would squash me as I poured my orange juice or let off some poisonous gas that would kill me in my sleep.
I decided that I was done with Stephen King. There was already so much to be scared of. I mean I had seen Night of the Living Dead a few years prior and that still completely haunts me. Remember it? How could anyone forget!?! Who needed anything else to be afraid of? Not me.
In later years (recently, as in, over the last six months) I decided that my desire to write (WRITE!) was becoming something a bit harder to squelch. So, on a lark, I bought King’s book On Writing.
People, this is worth reading.
Love his tone.
Love his attitude.
Love his candor.
If you are struggling with your writing. If you need a shot in the arm. Or if you would like to say you have read Stephen King’s work without scaring yourself too badly, please read this book.