Sunday, October 24, 2010

SOME UNKNOWN GULF OF NIGHT


Will Hart has an amazing website, CthulhuWho1, where a number of wonderful offerings may be sampled.  Some wee time ago he downloaded his reading of the entire Fungi from Yuggoth sonnet cycle over at YouTube, one video for each sonnet, with each poem reproduced in text using the H. P. Lovecraft font available  from the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society -- so it looks as if each sonnet had been penned in HPL's handwriting.  Will's reading voice is magnificent, and this is, for me, the definitive recording of ye Fungi.  This sonnet cycle has long been one of my keen Lovecraftian obsessions, and when S. T. Joshi led a wee pack of us on a walking tour in Providence, I had my pb edition of Fungi from Yuggoth and Other Poems (a reprinting of the Arkham House Collected Poems that reproduced Utpatel's fabulous illustrations) in hand, and as I stood before 10 Barnes Street, where Lovecraft wrote ye Fungi, I recorded the incident in ye book.  I have long wanted to write some work that was absolutely inspir'd by Lovecraft's sonnets; & at first I thought this wou'd be a sonnet cycle of mine own.  I wrote my sonnets for Sesqua Valley and Other Haunts, but I've come to dislike moft of yem, I was too experimental with ye sonnet form, wrote the cycle too quickly, &c &c.  

My new love as an author is to compose my prose-poem/vignette sequences, the most ambitious of which is "Uncommon Places," which in its final form reached 25,000 words.  I have now started work on a new sequence that will be entirely based on Fungi from Yuggoth.  I've just completed the first one and it seems okay.  My initial plan was to try and make each of the thirty-six segments around 1,000 words, which wou'd bring ye total work to around 40,000 words, whut I cou'd then submit to someone as a potential small press chapbook.  But the first one came to only 800; & if any of the future segments need 2,000 words to tell their tale, cool.  Most of the segments will be wee prose poems, but I fancy that some of them will blossom into short-shorts of 2,000 or 3,000 words.  We shall  see.  My hope is to have moft of this thing written by the time we attend MythosCon in January -- and perhaps that is a lunatic hope, but I am sure gonna try.

By clicking on ye title on this blog ye will be taken to Will's fabulous site!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

YE TANGLED MUSE nigh available for pre-order!


 THE TANGLED MUSE will be delayed so that we may incorporate some wonderful original art by the Swiss artist, Gwabryel.  Great Yuggoth, he is such a fantastic artist!  He will be illustrating my prose poem sequences in memory of Oscar Wilde and Edgar Poe, and he has a strange illustration for "The Zanies of Sorrow," a story that I consider one of my most original.  So, it will be worth the wait!  Gwabryel has worked often with Jerad, and samples of his artwork may be seen on ye Centipede Press website.  He has some really eerie work in that fabulous H. P. Lovecraft art book that Jerad publish'd a couple years ago.  I am ecstatic about this fellow's artwork, it is so original, so unique, and it absolutely compliments the decadent "feel" of my book!  Hooray!



Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New Story Sale


I've been working with Maryanne K. Snyder on a book of collaborative work, and she has proved an absolute delight to work with.  I prefer to write alone, collaborating is a lot more work for me; but often writing with someone else can take you to places you would never otherwise discover writing on your own. 
Our first story together, "The House of Idiot Children," was publish'd in Weird Tales and will be reprinted in The Tangled Muse.  Perhaps our strangest tale, "With Softer Gleam," has just been accepted by Jason V Brock and William F. Nolan for their second volume of the anthology, The Bleeding Edge.  The first anthology was spectacular, and I am excited and very pleas'd to be in ye second.

"With Softer Gleam" is set in London in the late 1870's, at the time when Oscar Wilde began to live in London with the artist Frank Miles.  However, the 1870's was also the time when Simon Gregory Williams, the first-born spawn of Sesqua Valley's shadow-land, was awakened by they who began to settle in the valley.  In this tale, a newly mortal Simon ventures to London and encounters Wilde and Miles, and taints them with his sorcerer's debauchery.  It is a very strange tale indeed.

Maryanne and her husband Greg (he is the hero of this past week-end's H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival & CthulhuCon) took me on a three-week tour of New England and New York, and thus I was able to dwell in Lovecraft's Providence.  By nameless coincidence, S. T. Joshi was also in town, working at ye John Hay Library on some Clark Ashton Smith poetry.  It was a journey that still reverberates in my weird fiction.  One of the pieces I spoke at my reading at HPLFF was inspir'd by our stopping at Gloucester, Massachusetts, whut partially inspir'd Lovecraft's creation of Innsmouth.  The day was beautifully gray and atmospheric, and we stopped so as to walk upon a pier.  Being of adventurous blood, Maryanne removed her shoes and socks and walked out onto the sand and shallow water, toward deeper water and moving waves.  Being a loyal husband, Greggie join'd her, waving me to do so, but I declin'd.  I watched them go farther from where I stood on my safe bit of solid timber.  Suddenly, from the distant depths beyond Maryanne, two figures rose from out the waves.  These foreboding creatures were black, rubbery, faceless -- like wingless night-gaunts.  I realis'd, after my initial shock, that they were two swimmers in scuba-gear -- but,  Great Yuggoth!, what a superb Lovecraftian moment they inspir'd!  Ye prose poem that I penned inspir'd by this is part of my "Uncommon Places" sequence, which hath seen its first publication in The Tangled Muse, in a version of 15,000 words.  A revised version of 25,000 words will see it's first publication next year, in my new Hippocampus Press book, Uncommon Places.


Maryanne and I begin work immediately on our first, yet unnamed novel, a decadent supernatural thing that will be set in my city of exiles, Gershom.  My first-written tales of Gershom, "Some Buried Memory" and "The Tangled Muse," have just seen their first publication in my Centipede Press omnibus.


GREAT YUGGOTH WHUT A WONDERFUL WEEK-END !!!




I had such a great week-end at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival & CthulhuCon.  I rode down to Portland with S. T., after we had recorded a wee video on YouTube about some of his new & forthcoming books.  I shared a motel room with Jerad Walters, who owns and operates Centipede Books.  He was at the theatre setting up his table in ye dealer's room when we finally arriv'd, & so our room was empty as I walked in.  I immediately notic'd a book on my bedside table on which there was -- a yellow book!!!!!  My heart jolted as I approached the wondrous thing.  A yellow book with an Aubrey Beardsley illustration on it of an old fellow whose face resembled mine when I'm in drag. 

THE TANGLED MUSE!

I had told Jerad that I wanted the boards to be yellow, that I wanted the book to look as though it had been publish'd in Oscar Wilde's fin-de-siecle.  I took up the book and kept muttering, "Oh my gawd, oh Great Yuggoth, I can't believe, oh my freaking gawd..."  I had to go out and shew ye tome to others.  Not bothering to unpack or anything, I departed ye motel room and stagger'd outside.  I went first to Greg and Maryanne's motel room and knock'd on their door, wanting so to shew yem ye tome as it is dedicated to them & their charming son Victor.  Scott Connors and others were nearby, so I shew'd yem ye book & they thought it exquisitely design'd.  I left and almost waltz'd to ye theatre, where I found Greg, to whom Jerad had already shewn ye book.  Finding Jerad's table, I saw other copies of the book.  It is not the official edition but one of six unsign'd pre-publication editions, thus making them the rarest and probably most collectible edition of the book.    Jerad hoped to sell the other five copies for $75@ -- & did so promptly.  Jerad is still here visiting his friend who lives in Renton and has opened a wee cafe here in Seattle; he returns home to-morrow and will then update his website so that the official sign'd edition of The Tangled Muse may be order'd directly from Centipede Press for $125 per copy.  The print run is a mere 150 copies and there seems to be a buzz about ye book, so we are hoping it sells well.  I've shewn it on camera on some YouTube videos on my MrWilum channel, one of which I recorded with Jerad at my side.  The book is simply spectacular in design.

I can tell that age and ill-health hath really affected me.  It was difficult to walk to and from the theatre to ye motel, a mere three blocks.  I know my congestive heart failure has really affected things, but had no idea I was so unable to walk any distance without becoming instantly worn out.  I was so weary after each night that I did not once attend the after-hours gathering at Tony Starlight's and thus did not imbibe the absinthe cocktails as was my plot.  But I got to hang out with writers and others, got to meet and be on a panel with the remarkable Caitlin R. Kiernan.  My reading went very well, although I got rather choked up when reading from "Letters from an Old Gent," a sequence of prose poems in the form of letters perhaps written to his friends and loved ones.  I read the two address'd to his wife and papa, and it was while reading ye latter that tears began to well.  I have such an emotional link to Lovecraft.

One of the best days was Sunday, when I finally met my hardcore punk friend, Connie.  She was one of my readers when I was doing my Punk Lust fanzine in ye early 1980's.  We used to correspond, lost contact, and she recently found me on Facebook.  I had no idea she was now living in Portland.  She attended my Sunday panel and reading (and took ye photos above; & that's her sitting next to me outside ye theatre), and then we joined her charming husband Frank for a wonderful meal at Dot's.  I love hanging out with old school punx, & they were delightful in every way.  

We left early, me and S. T. and Jerad.  Jerad came to my pad and we did our video (he was really nervous about being on camera!), but Jerad has a sharp cat allergy and my three cats were getting to him, so I took him to his pal's cafe to hang out and we said our goodbyes.  He said that my book will be available for order at the end of this week and then should ship late this month or early November.

Although this was Andrew's last year as director of The H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival, there are others who are working to keep it alive and in Portland.  Thus, with luck, I'll see y'all again next year in Portland.  Now we concentrate on MythosCon, held in Phoenix in early January, and it is going to be a remarkable Lovecraftian gathering.  I hope to see many of you's there.