Scary Clowns. Phidlestix. IT.

Our minds have this fantastic ability to make anything scary when we let it. Personally, I like the thought of something that's intended for laughs having the opposite effect.

So yeah, there are some scary clowns out there, and if I'm going to write a story with a clown in it, it's going to be one of those.

I wrote a short story Phidlestix back in 2001 while I was up at the Cornerstone Music Festival in Illinois. (Back when that was still a thing.) I remember writing it down on some lined paper. It was short, silly, and was almost entirely written so I could write about a clown being killed.

I revised the story in 2016 and released it, with the intent of writing a sequel for Halloween. Well, that didn't quite happen in time. I went ahead and finished that story. As I continued to work on my upcoming full-length novel, we came to a point where we decided that we were going to exhibit at Longview Library's Chautauqua Festival. I really needed something new to sell. Given the time constraints, I made the decision to go ahead and write the third clown story I'd planned out. Those three stories made a neat little trilogy.

I'm pretty happy with how Phidlestix/Phidlestixx/Phidlestixxx turned out. It's silly. It's scary. It's gory. It's fun.

Of course, when it comes to scary clowns, the one that I appreciate the most is Pennywise, from Stephen King's IT.

I remember walking in front of some large bookstore and seeing a large window display for this novel back in 1986. I was like 12 or 13 at the time, but that cover, with that green, clawed hand reaching up through the grate must be a good one, because the memory of that moment is still vivid.

IT is over 1,100 pages, so it's not something you can burn though in an evening. It is, however, an epic tale that is a master class in storytelling. If you're a writer, take notes.

The 1990 TV adaption is worth checking out. It's a product of its time, but it's decent for TV, and Tim Curry is very fun to watch.

And, of course, now they have this:

Super creepy, I know. I'm looking forward to checking it out. I believe that this movie adapts half of the novel, and if it's successful, they'll do the other half. (The way the novel is written, this can totally work.)

Anyway, now that I successfully distracted myself with scary clown stories for the past couple of months, I need to get back to the full-length sci-fi novel.

Because for many people, the future is much scarier than a clown will ever be...