As I mentioned last week, I’ve been invited appear in an anthology of southern horror stories, Somewhere South of Hell.Â What I didn’t tell you was the trouble accepting said invite caused my fragile, fragile psyche.Â Sure, that’s overreacting and more than a little bullshit, but it’s my way of getting to a pretty good point.
I live in the best city in the world.
Sure, it’s debatable.Â I’m willing to bet anybody living in New York, Chicago, Miami, or San Francisco could shoot my theory all to hell.Â For me, however, there’s just no place better than Austin, Texas.
See, when Ronald Kelly asked me to be a part of the antho, I knew right away that I’d be writing an Austin story.Â I even told him as much.Â “I’m itching to write an Austin story or at least use an Austin protagonist.”Â He didn’t boot me out at that point, so I have to assume that’s cool.
That’s when I ran into problems.Â I sat down and started thinking about Austin and the story I wanted to tell.Â I figured I’d throw in a dash ofÂ my cityÂ here, a dash there.Â Surely I could narrow downÂ the town’s better aspects into something fun, chaotic, and more than a little terrifying.
Right, but how do I narrow down Hut’s Hamburgers, Torchy’s Tacos, Casino El Camino, Beerland, Emo’s, Triple Crown Tattoo, Book People, South by Southwest, Leslie Cochran, Waterloo Records, Trudy’s, Dan’s Hamburgers, Top Notch, Austin Books, Pete’s Piano Bar, The Alamo Drafthouse, Uchi, The Belmont, The Driskell, Fantastic Fest, Satan’s Cheerleaders, Cruiserweight, The Asylum Street Spankers, Carousel Cabaret, The Flametrick Subs, Schatzi, Threadgill’s, The Clay Pit, STAPLE!, The Drag, La Zona Rosa, Austin City Limits, Taqueria don Chuy, Austin’s Pizza, The Saxon Pub, Zilker Park,Â and all the other things that make AustinÂ amazing andÂ still make it a story I want to tell?
They do say writing is about making choices, folks.
So I made a few false starts.Â I have about eight first pages sitting on my hard drive.Â Each one of them is an Austin story itching to be told.Â I think I know which one I’m going to tell first, but keep your fingers crossed.Â There might be too much awesome to contain.