It's good. It's damn good, actually. It's filled with short stories that hang with you for a long time after; leaves an itchy spot in your thoughts, like a mosquito bite on your brain. But I don't have one of those lists like Coop does. Nor do I ever want one. Oh, don't get me wrong - there are times when I've read shorts - some in Bel's collection being them - that I've read the way the author handles description or a certain passage, and thought "Fuuuuuuuck, that's good. That's fucking amazing." But never have I thought why bother trying. Because it just pisses me off and makes me want to try harder.
Brian Keene shot me an email this week with an old blog posting of his that talked about his first attendance at a Stoker Awards, and the events at the World Horror Con that led up to it (including what I consider a great piece of history where he and Coop got Richard Laymon's daughter to eat earthworms on stage during a gross out contest - how fucking cool is that?).
He knows where I want to go, and after all the shit he's dealt with and the work he's put in to get to where he's at, I'm sure he feels somewhat like a friend trying to talk another friend from jumping into the deep end of the pool when they don't know how to swim. But he's never said anything to try to discourage me from it. If anything, he's been encouraging me, without actually encouraging me, if that makes sense.
Wouldn't do any good if he tried to talk me out of it anyway. it's in my nature.
Ever read the fable about the Scorpion and the Frog? Google it.