Eric Shay Howard

Bad blogger. Complicated. Gay.

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The Birth-Mark, The Thing In The Forrest, and A Wall of Fire Rising

This is the first weekend that I don’t have a crap ton of papers due, or any major assignments other than reading The Savage Detectives, a novel by Roberto Belaño. I should be done with it by now, but I’m still kind of recovering from not-Ebola. I read “A Wall of Fire Rising”, by Edwidge Danticat in The Norton Introduction to Literature. We discussed it in class briefly. It was a depressing story about a father who lived with his family somewhere in Haiti.

I had a professor once that went to Haiti. She said it was, “Neat!” She always said it with such old-lady-like-satisfaction, a little pucker and a shake every time. When I didn’t know anything about Haiti, I thought it was cute. Now I question if she even understood the significance of going to help in Haiti. The people of Haiti fought for their freedom from slavery, only instead of paying for it in blood, they’re paying for it in a long drawn out process called starving to death. The people of Haiti seem to have frequent famine warnings about as often as we have tornado and thunderstorm warnings in the Untied States. I check sometimes, not because I can really do much about the famine from here other than send money that I can’t spend or send food that I don’t have, but just because it’s there and I can, from the safety of my own home, check the famine warnings in Haiti.

The other two stories that were assigned, “The Thing in the Forrest” by A. S. Byatt, and “The Birth-Mark” by Nathaniel Hawthorn, the professor never brought up in class at all. We were behind in the syllabus due to a canceled class, so I can only assume the professor decided in the end that we didn’t need to read them. Well, I read them. Speed read them. Kind of read them. Skimmed. I’ve also always liked the phrase, “read quickly”. I read them, quickly.

“The Thing in the Forrest” by A.S. Byatt was one of the most interesting stories I’ve ever read. It reminded me of The Chronicles of Narnia, with two little girls evacuated from England before World War II, only there was no lion, no witch, and no wardrobe. It’s about two little girls who see a scary thing in the forrest. Okay, so maybe it’s not like The Chronicles of Narnia at all.

Also, Aylmer, from “The Birth-Mark” by Nathaniel Hawthorn,  was an asshole.




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Bluegrass Writers Studio MFA Summer Residency, 2022. Photo by Ben Keeling.

I’m Eric Shay Howard and I’m a bad blogger. I’m also an author. I live in Louisville, Kentucky and work at a law firm.

I’m currently a graduate student in a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. Lately, I’ve been blogging about that. I also have a Master of Business Administration and have completed a few certificate programs in Human Resource related studies. Occasionally I blog about business and other MBA-related things. Blogging about my day, bad dates, or package delivery issues are also not out of the question.

I wrote a fiction collection called Crushes and self-published it because sometimes I just like to push buttons and see what happens. I think this book is pretty alright, I suppose. Buying a copy helps me out. Feel free to leave a review on Amazon as well.

crushes by eric shay howard fiction collection book cover

I’m an Amazon Affiliate and occasionally post affiliate links to products in my blog posts and throughout my website. I always disclose these links, just so there’s no confusion. There’s more information about this on my page about my privacy policies and disclosures.

If there’s ever any confusion about this feel free to drop me a comment below the post in question, or you can email me or reach out to me through my social media. Other contact methods are here.

Eric’s bookshelf: currently-reading

The Silkworm
tagged: currently-reading
Words of Radiance
tagged: currently-reading
The Cloven Viscount
tagged: currently-reading
Dark Rise
tagged: currently-reading
The Gunslinger
tagged: currently-reading
tagged: currently-reading
Mistborn: The Final Empire
tagged: currently-reading

Blogs and People I Like

Here are some other blogs and people that I like to read or keep up with. The order is arbitrary because I started out going for alphabetical order but then got busy with classes or something so now sometimes I just rearrange them for no reason.

Equipment Test! Podcast Artwork

I made a really bad podcast over the summer called Equipment Test! because I bought a microphone. But if you like really bad podcasts, you can listen to it here, or find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other places.

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