I’m running a new series of guest posts throughout 2015: Fetish Friday. Don’t get all sweaty in the pants—I’m going back to an older definition of the word, and asking artists to show us something that helps them with the ritual of creation, some part of their surroundings—physical or mental—that eases the path into the creative state, whether it be a location, a piece of music, person, picture, a doohickey, whatnot, curio or ornament without which the creative process would be a whole lot more difficult.

This week, we welcome our first international friend, international man of mystery and all-round bon vivant, Nick Mamatas:

As someone who is known, to the extent that I am known at all, for dark fiction and incendiary blogs and essays, perhaps I should be less forward in my fetish for buttercream, but here it is. To go “out there” I prefer initial fortification via creature comforts–a nice piece of cake, for example. I spent quite a few years in the beginning of my career living hand-to-mouth, learning to “starve better” as my how-to book puts it, and small treats work best to keep me motivated and awake when I am writing. I don’t drink much (and never at home) or like coffee, and don’t have a dedicated office or a nice couch to stretch out on, so snacks do it. They’re inexpensive and provide a cheap sugary high; as I am a night-writer, most productive between 9pm and 4am, I need to stay alert.

I suspect that some Friday Fetish entries will involve an item or object that recalls either writerly success or an instance of horror. I’m not inspired by success stories (clearly!) and, frankly, the horrors of the world  are never far off from the front of my mind. A little piece of cake with buttercream frosting reminds me that small rewards are more likely than large ones, and that there are small pleasures to be had…like, say reading a short story. Without it, I’d probably commit the sin of writing for catharsis–when the writer achieves such a purge, the reader never will. Cake is a reminder of good things, and a link to the ordinary world–a requirement for horror and the fantastic.

Nick Mamatas is the author of several novels, including Love is the Law, The Last Weekend, and the forthcoming I Am Providence. He’s published over one hundred pieces of short fiction in venues as diverse as Best American Mystery Stories, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and New Haven Review. His short Lovecraftian fiction was recently collected in The Nickronomicon, published by Innsmouth Free Press, and his how-to guide to being a failed writer, Starve Better, is still available. Follow him on Twitter at @nmamatas

Are you a creative artist? Fancy joining in and letting us know about that special item, object, location or cosmic state of being at the heart of your creative process? There’s always room for another lunatic in the asylum: email me and make your most excited Horshack noise. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s