Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Visit from Ye Lovecraft Scholar


S. T. Joshi, along with Sunni and Jason Brock, will be visiting me tomorrow.  I shall endeavor to get them before my webcam and have Jason interview S. T.  Sunand wants to bring me one of his new books, DISECCTING CTHULHU, a collection of essays concerning ye Cthulhu Mythos that he has edited and has just been publish'd by Miskatonic River Press.  As an author of Lovecraftian weird fiction, I often find such essays extremely edifying and inspirational--they help me to see aspects of Lovecraft's fiction of which I wou'd otherwise be clueless, and sometimes they contain hints that set my imagination on fire and thus inspire new tales.  I also want Jason to get S. T. to talk about the newest issue (#2) of WEIRD FICTION REVIEW, as I don't think the journal has had much press.   

Things here have been crazy.  We have been having at least two therapists or visiting nurses come each day to examine mother and check out how we're doing.  Yesterday we got mom a hospital bed, and it's so wonderful I want one for myself!  Starting tomorrow we have caregivers coming four nights a week to help put mom to bed (since Ghostboy will be gone to work on those nights).  My friend Greg is bringing over a used desktop computer and will install it down here for Ghostboy's exclusive use, and we will move this laptop upstairs to the dining room, which is where I wrote my last book, ENCOUNTERS WITH ENOCH COFFIN.  I need not to have to climb the stairs up and down to the basement and back, it weakens me profoundly, so we are moving my writing back upstairs and perhaps this will, in time, help me to return to full-time writing, although I think I'm still a long way from that.  This last illness robbed me of much strength, and things still aren't "right"-- I think I'm suffering still from dehydration, however much water I drink.

So look for a new S. T. JOSHI video tomorrow on my MrWilum channel over at YouTube.  I cannot tell you how cool it is, still, to have the world's leading Lovecraft scholar living in my home town.  Even though we are now close friends, there is still a bit of magick in the air when S. T. is here, because of my hero-worship.  I like that he can inspire that fanboy enthusiasm in me.  I plan to have Jason and S. T. talk about their new projects, and there will be many to speak of, because both gents are extremely creative and always working on new things.  I'll be posting the video on my Facebook profile as well.  Enjoy!



Sunday, December 25, 2011

New Hardcover Collection

I went to Amazon and wrote a wee review of my new book, GATHERED DUST AND OTHERS, typing up the Contents and all; only to get a message from Amazon that my review could not be published "as is."  They have done this too many times at Amazon.  There is absolutely no reason for my review to be rejected or censored.  So, a pox on them.  I doubt I'll be bothering to write any more reviews there.  Still, it's a great place to have your book available at.
Of course, as soon as I have a new book published I have to re-read the entire thing in book form because I KNOW there are gonna be typos that I've missed.  No matter how carefully a book is proofed, the misprints sneak in.  I can read the proof copy one-hundred times and never find some--and then I read the published book and find them instantly!  Jeffrey Thomas and I proofed the book together, and he found most of the mistakes.  I did find a few.  On one page I meant to type "especial," but it appears as "especially."  Bah.  

I wanted GATHERED DUST  to include some things that have never appeared in hardcover, and I wanted to include most of my "dead boyfriend" tales that were inspired by the death of my old junky boyfriend, who died in my arms after having choked on bile, after he snorted some filthy street smack.  I have a new wee thing, a tale of Gershom that is tied to the story "The Tangled Muse," and so I had "The Tangled Muse" included in the book even though it will also appear in my forthcoming book from Hippocampus Press.  

Most of the new stuff is Lovecraftian.  One of the new original pieces is "These Deities of Rarest Air."  I know I wrote the thing when I was in a state of deep depression -- but I have no memory of this new prose-poem sequence being so confused and lacking of any kind of logic.  It is, for the most part, like one continuous wail of self-pity, and I am rather embarrassed by it now.  I guess it shews a portion of my mentality that may be of some interest to psychologists, but self-pity rarely profits expressions of personal art.  It inspired horror as I read it--the horror of "Oh my gawd, why did I allow this to be published!!!???"  But I like the connected couple of bits at the end that tell a kind of story, so what the hell.

This is my first book with Dark Regions Press, and I am absolutely exhilarated with their production of it.  The handsome hardcover has a sewn-in gold book ribbon and the jacket is sturdy.  I love Wayne Miller's superb painting for the jacket.  It shews a scene from the title story, which is a sequel to J. Vernon Shea's "The Haunter of the Graveyard" that appeared in Derleth's original edition of TALES OF THE CTHULHU MYTHOS.  The story as it appears in this book is actually its second version.  The original version was written in segments for a 10,000 word extension of my prose-poem/vignette sequence, "Uncommon Places," as it will appear next year in my second collection from Hippocampus Press.  Each segment in "Uncommon Places" is inspired by some entry or entries in H. P. Lovecraft's Commonplace Book.  It came to me that I could make this 10,000 word final extension mostly a connected short story inspired by Shea's tale, something I have wanted to write for a long time.  So the plot of the story was inspired by such entries from the Commonplace Book as:
[entry 176] "Man blindfolded and taken in closed cab or car to some very ancient or secret place."  So I have a scene where the main character is blindfolded in a cab.
[165] "Terrible trip to an ancient and forgotten tomb" inspired the expansion on something that Vernon mentioned in his original story but never expanded on, of the tomb of Obediah Carter.
[112] "Man lives near graveyard--how does he live?  Eats no food."  This inspired a major component in the tale and is illustrated in the jacket painting by Wayne Miller.  Here's how I briefly describe it in ye tale:

"My uncles experiments with filming seemed to incorporate some kind of trick photography near the end, for on the last spool of film he is shown in close up, dangling from the vines of the tree, vines that resembled cloudy veins through which a dark substance flowed in the direction of my uncle's upraised arms, into which the vines had penetrated.  Uncle Silas did not regard the camera as he muttered, 'More, more--my arms are hungry.'"

When I began working on this first book for Dark Regions Press, I decided to completely rewrite those separate segments from "Uncommon Places" and turn them into one smooth narrative, a novelette that I could then dedicate to Vernon, my dear chum.  I expanded some portions of the story and deleted some of the prose-poem segments that will appear in UNCOMMON PLACES when it is published next Spring by Hippocampus Press.  

GATHERED DUST AND OTHERS, then, is a good gathering of divergent pieces, a showcase of all aspects of my writing.  I have my "dead boyfriend" takes, a new tale set in Gershom, my city of exiles ("Let Us Wash This Thing"), and some few things that have never appeared in hardcover.  The book will also be released as trade pb and will be my first ebook, for ye with Kindle.

Next year my second book for Dark Regions Press will be publish'd:  ENCOUNTERS WITH ENOCH COFFIN, written in collaboration with Jeffrey Thomas.  It contains a series of connected tales and novelettes concerning a sinister New England artist, Enoch Coffin, who is lured into intensely Lovecraftian adventures through his love of arcane things and his connection with antient New England sorcery.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Wee Up-date, Just

Gwabryel's illustration for "Some Distant Baying Sound," which will appear in UNCOMMON PLACES next Spring from Hippocampus Press
Just a wee note.  I am not much online these days because I'm still rather weak and the stairs leading down to the basement, where I have my laptop and Internet access, proves difficult at times.  Going down the stairs is usually okay, but climbing them to get back to the main floor and my bedroom sometimes so exhausts me and gives me such a pain in my chest that I need to take one of my nitroglycerine pills.  I am trying to come down once or twice a week to check email and all of that.  I sometimes think I am feeling better, but then I try to behave in a normal fashion and the result is wretched.  Today I decided to drive to Southcenter Mall to pay my Nordstrom bill, as I am too late to mail it in.  I try to mail it in so that I don't wander to the cosmetic section and become entranced with some new lipstick or eyeshadow.  Honey, I'm a sucker for makeup.  So I parked my car and got out and walked to the store, and I nearly fainted.  The air was so bleedin' cold and I could not breathe.  I had to find a chair to sit in before I paid my bill.  I was gonna pay in the underwear section, but the lure proved too fatal, so I staggered to cosmetics, where at the MAC section Lady Gaga was crooning "Born This Way."  I went to the NARS section -- and O MY GREAT YUGGOTH, what did I see?


The new Arabian Nights shadow trio.  Girlfriend, did I get it?  You bet I did!  Now I need to get healthy so I have the energy to do a FABULOUS drag for some new YouTube frolick.

I stay in bed almost all day, trying to read but usually sleeping or gasping for air.  Just very weak.  We are making big chances and hiring more full-time at-home care for Mother, so that I don't have to lift her any longer.  I think the heavy lifting of taking care of mom may have triggered, in part, this new heart trauma.

I want to return to writing, but I simply have no strength.  If I am bent over this keyboard for more than half an hour I get dizzy and have difficulty breathing.  So I won't be online too often, and there will be long gaps of silence here and at YouTube & Facebook, and I shall get hideously behind in answering email.  I love y'all for your patience.  I have asked a friend, one of the finest fantasy and horror writers of all time, to help me write my next book--I simply cannot do it on my own, and she has agreed.  Whether I can actually work on weird fiction is a question that remains unanswerable.  But one has to try or die.

Kisses, my sweets.
trying to lure Joe Pulver into Pugmire drag, but he was too sane to venture into so unwholesome a realm.
Willy

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Queen Lives--Just Barely






It's ironic that two bleedin' days after my patrons scold me into making a doctor's appointment and getting back on my meds that I end up in the hospital.  I drove myself to Swedish/Providence around midnight on Thanksgiving, another stupidity for which I got gobs of scolding.  I knew that what I was experiencing was similar to when I had my heart attack in 2003.  My second night in hospital one doktor who was looking over test results came in and said something like, "Your heart condition has gone from so-&-so to severe."  I didn't know what he meant, but I began to prepare for my death, as a proper Drama Queen should.  When my niece Brandee phoned, I told her to bring the copy of the Tampa University Press single edition of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward that I had just started reading and was on my bedside table to the hospital--if I was gonna die in hospital, I wou'd die with that book on my breast, above my wither'd heart.

ye trade pb edition of S. T.s wonderful annotated THE CASE OF CHARLES DEXTER WARD

Well, I didn't die with the book on me breast, and then S. T. shew'd up with his girlfriend Mary (bringing some wonderful lilies, those flowers of Death), so I had him sign ye book.  My room that moment was packed with S. T., Jessica Salmonson, Eileen Gunn, and others--and then two Mormon gents entered as well to give me a blessing with holy consecrated oil.  Everyone left the room quickly as the Mormons came in except S. T., and I thought he was gonna stay witness ye Mormon hoodoo--but then he left as well.

My beloved companion, Ghostboy, took over taking care of my mother, and he did and is doing an excellent job.  I think the heavy lifting that is required for taking care of mom added to the strain on my heart.  We have decided to put mother into a rest home, and thus my future is indeed a mystery.

I have been weak and listless all day.  I can come down here to the basement to do Internet things for half an hour, and then I need to return to bed.  I have no energy and breathing is at times difficult.  I was on oxygen at hospital and miss it now.  I have no idea how long it will take me to completely recover, but I remain Retired from Writing until that time.  I hope, some years from now, to totally return to writing weird Lovecraftian fiction--life would not be worthwhile if I cannot.

Many thanks to all for your wondrous support and well-wishes.
Love,
Willy

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

--finis???---


Above is me in the Dutch churchyard in Brooklyn that inspir'd Lovecraft to write "The Hound."  While roaming the site, HPL chipped off a bit off tombstone from one of ye markers, and fantasized about how the dweller interred beneath the stone would haunt Grandpa for this desecration.  My being there was part of a three-week tour during which my patrons took me to New England and New York, ending our tour at WFC in Saratoga, during which Joe Pulver took us too visit the tomb of Robert W. Chamber.  It was amazing, that tour.  During our four days in Providence, S. T. Joshi, who was doing work on the Collected Poetry of Clark Ashton Smith at John Hay Library, took us on an exhaustive tour of Lovecraftian sites.  I was carrying all three of S. T.'s Penguin Classics editions of Lovecraft's tale, and my battered old pb edition of Fungi from Yuggoth.  The greatest, moft overwhelming experience of my life as a Lovecraft came when I went up and touched 10 Barnes Street, where Grandpa penned so many of his classics.



I know it's a fantastic thing to say, but I did sense Lovecraft's spirit there, and my soul connection with him.  It was the moment when I felt so amazingly thankful to be a Lovecraftian writer, the thing that has blessed me with keenest joy.

I have been extremely ill for over a month, and it doesn't seem like I'm gonna get better any time soon.  Tonight has been one of the worst nights.  I think my ailments are a combination of heart disease and lingering bronchitis.  One of my ailments is coranary arterial spasms, which happens usually when I recline in bed and try to sleep--they jerk my body and produce a little yelp, making sleep impossible so that I am a zombie moft of ye time.  I've not seen my heart doctor at Swedish or taken my meds for almoft half a year, stupid, I know.  I shall correct that.  The bronchitis has been severe.  Speaking and breathing is, at times, almoft impossible.  (I spell "most" as "moft" cos HPL did so in his correspondence--he is utterly under me skin...)  Writing is impossible, and because I'm a Drama Queen, honey, I am convic'd that I shall never get better, that this illness is my final trial.  The wretched health is combined with my task as my mother's live-in caregiver.  She has sunk into rich senility and almoft never stops yelling, screaming, howling.  I need silence in order to write.  But also, being down here in the basement, bent over the keyboard, completely wears me out after half an hour.   Thus I spend almoft all of my time in my deathbed--I mean my sickbed, where I have gather'd pens and pads.  I thought maybe I could spend day after day jotting down notes, inspir'd by ye books I read, recording little germs or titles for potential future tales, perhaps even plot outlines or rough drafts in longhand.  Ain't happening.

So. I herewith announce my Retirement from Writing.  Maybe after three or four years of trying to rest, I shall recover and be able to work.  Maybe I need only wait until Spring's warmer weather to nourish my body with a semblance of restored health.  Maybe not.  This is a real ripoff, a cruel cosmic jest, because I am at ye height of my abilities as an author.  Girlfriends, I have so many ideas for future books whirling within my wither'd brain, books I ache to write.

If this is the end of my career, that's cool.  I've accomplished far more than I ever thought I would.  I still have four books forthcoming!  My thanks to all of you who have supported me as an author.  I wrote those books for you.  I love you.
I'll still come here to chat about weird literature and promote books by my chums and new cds from Boy George and Barbra Streisand.  And I'm staying on Facebook, where I usually post the vlogs I record at YouTube.

Be well, kind hearts.  Thank you for following my blog.  I hope to keep it worthwhile.



Sunday, November 13, 2011

Slowing Down


Things have really slowed down in life, due to declining health and an inability to concentrate on new work because I live in a madhouse.  The writing life is such a delight and it one of two things that really make life worth living.  So now, being unable to write because of weakness and distraction, I feel like one of ye walking dead.  Happily, I still have much to look forward to as an author, and so perhaps it's a good thing for me to stop and rest for a few years; I mean, I have so many books still coming out that people will burn out on my work.  There are several anthology appearances yet to happen, but the one I am most excited about is THE DEVIL'S COATTAILS, for which Maryanne K. Snyder and I have written an extremely unusual story set in London in the last 1870's, in the year that Oscar Wilde, having graduated from university, moved to London and set up house with the artist Frank Miles.  This is the same period in which the children of Sesqua Valley were awakened by settlers moving into the valley.  So I thought it would be fun to write a story in which the first-born beast of Sesqua Valley, Simon Gregory Williams, journeys to Victorian London and has a wee encounter with Oscar Wilde.  It was great fun, writing that story with Maryanne.  She was here last night signing the signature sheets of the book with me.  It is going to be an awesome book, edited by Jason V Brock and William F. Nolan.

Maryanne and I at ye Lovecraft Plaque at Brown University

Although it may be some time before I work on completely new books--and if I don't get my health back that time may never come--I have been daydreaming and planning one last huge omnibus aka The Tangled Muse, that would contain the best of my fiction that I have written since that gorgeous Centipede Press book was publish'd.  Included would be the new stories from forthcoming books, tales such as "Gathered Dust" and "The Strange Dark One."  I also want the entire Some Unknown Gulf of Night included and have the entire of Lovecraft's Fungi from Yuggoth in the book as well, as prologue to Gulf.  If my strength and ability to write returns, then I'll compose a few substantial new stories for the book as well.  I plan on calling this new omnibus Unhallowed Places, and wou'd like to see it published around 2016.  So, although I absolutely cannot work on new fiction now and may not be able to for some time, I shall not be idle.  At the moment I am carefully going over the entire Some Unknown Gulf of Night, polishing and revising.  I have entirely rewritten segment XIII. 

I am thankful to my editors and publishers, and especially to my readers.  I love you for your support.  This Friday I will be visited by Larry Roberts and S. T. Joshi, and I hope to get them before my webcam to discuss the new line of Mythos books that S. T. is edited for Arcane Wisdom Press.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hanging Out with Grandpa


This is me and HPL at ye Sesqua Depot around 1933.  I have a vague recollection of the day.  My friend, Andrea, took the photograph with the camera that was left behind by Richard Upton Pickman, who vanished in Sesqua Valley after a visit with Simon Gregory Williams (you can read about that in my story, "Depths of Dreamks and Madness," to be published next month in my new book from Dark Regions Press, Gathered Dust and Others). 

Jeffrey Thomas has been working his ass off editing and proofing our book, Encounters with Enoch Coffin, whut will be publish'd next year by Dark Regions Press.  I have to say that I am extremely excited about this book!  Last year at this time I entered a state of intense creativity, utterly hypnotized by my Ever-Muse, H. P. Lovecraft, and wrote Some Unknown Gulf of Night in six weeks.  (The book just came out in paperback and there are so copies for sale at Amazon.com.)  It happened again this year, as I was writing my stories for the Enoch Coffin book -- I became utterly beguiled by our character, Enoch, and his exploits.  Jeff kept sending me his tales for the book, and they are amazing!  I love our book because it is so audaciously Lovecraftian.  Writing it with Jeff has been one of the best experiences in my life.  I think the story I wrote, set in Kingsport, may be my very finest piece of fiction.  Ye Contents of the book is:

"Ye Unkempt Thing"
"Matter of Truth and Death"
"Beneath Arkham"
"Spectral Evidence"
"They Smell of Thunder"
"Mystic Articulation"
"Every Exquisite Thing"
"Impossible Color"
"Ecstasy in Aberration"
"Shadow Puppets"
"Fearless Symmetry"
"Unto the Child of Woman"

Jeff focused on writing stories set in real New England, while I set my tales in Lovecraft Country.  I did, however, write one tale set in Providence, and then I decided to pen one final tale of Enoch Coffin visiting Sesqua Valley.  The book will have a jacket by the magnificent SANTIAGO CARUSO!!

There are a number of anthologies still to come out this year in which I have tales.  Let's see if I can remember all of them:
NEW CTHULHU: TALES OF THE RECENT WEIRD
THE DEVIL'S COATTAILS
HORROR FOR THE HOLIDAYS
MONSTERS AND MORMONS

Hmm, I may be forgetting one other.  NEW CTHULHU will be reprinting "The Fungal Stain," and the book's contents looks just wonderful, I'm very excited about that book.  Maryanne K. Snyder and I wrote a story for THE DEVIL'S COATTAILS in which newly-born Simon Gregory Williams of Sesqua Valley journeys to London in 1879 and taunts Oscar Wilde.  My story for HORROR FOR THE HOLIDAYS, "The Tomb of Oscar Wilde," is a tale of Rosh Chodesh.  And MONSTERS AND MORMONS will reprint "Recompense of Sorrow" for its first American publication, and I have tweaked ye tale a bit for this new publication.  Oh, I've just completed a new piece for the December issue of the Lovecraft eZine, a wee poetic trilogy for ye Holy Days called "Elder Instincts."

I think I am, at last, in the mood to write.  To begin work on the next book, a book of very queer Sesqua Valley tales to be publish'd by Arcane Wisdom Press.  I like writing for Larry Roberts.  I mean, he brought Gulf out so quickly in that gorgeous hardcover edition, and now the trade pb edition is out.  I order'd a copy of ye pb from Amazon cos they got copies before Larry did.  All of the copies that Amazon had sold out (there were probably only five), but some individual sellers are selling it there as well.  Prices at Amazon can be so fucked-up.  One guy was selling this just-published paperback for $104!!!  He has since lower'd ye price to a mere $59.  And someone is selling a used copy for $41.33 -- but I wonder if that is a used paperback edition or of ye hardcover?  Hmmm.

It's fun to be a writer.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

CAS illos for "The Lurking Fear"


I don't think I have posted these illustrations that Clark Ashton Smith composed for the Home Brew appearance of H. P. Lovecraft's "The Lurking Fear."  These are some nasty (i.e. sexual) looking trees.  Their trunks seem to me quite like some of the line work of Aubrey Beardsley.  I find them rather wonderful.

Some have claimed that Lovecraft was not a "sexual" writer, as opposed to Smith (who was so sexual that editors demanded toning down of many of his tales, some of which were later published by Necronomicon Press in their The Unexpurgated Clark Ashton Smith series of chapbooks).  There are, of course, extremely blatant sexual touches in Lovecraft's fiction, wherein mortal souls cross ye rim and copulate with the Outside.  These sexual situations in Lovecraft seem tied to his abhorrent racism, but they make for potent horror.

Can we assess Lovecraft's sexuality from his fiction?  I don't think so.  Some have suggested that HPL's tales reveal his latent homosexuality, for we find close male bonding, one man describing another's masculine beauty, and (in "The Lurking Fear") husky dudes sharing the same bed.  Lovecraft was homophobic, detesting queens such as myself, effeminate men, while admiring male beauty if he found it noble, intellectual, and masculine.   I don't know.  What do Shakespeare's sonnets tell us of the poet's sexuality, if anything?  The very erotic portions of the sonnets are clearly heterosexual.  I don't think, if one didn't know I was queer, that one could guess my sexuality from my last book, Some Unknown Gulf of Night, because its most explicit eroticism is mostly heterosexual. 

I was really back to reading CAS when I thought I was going to write a book inspired by his work.  But then I realised that I didn't have what it takes, as an artist, to write such a book--not yet, anyway, so I set Smith aside and worked on other things.  Now I have a hankering to return to Smith and relish his eroticism.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Writing Lovecraftian Weird Fiction


October is usually my favorite month, but this one has been gawd-awful.  The few good bits were visits from friends.  I haven't been able to write, and I have felt what seemed almost a hostility to the idea of writing--something new and really sick, but I think I'm over it.  I don't know if it's burn-out or what.  I've been writing my brains out and still have gobs of books coming out, two more this year and four next year.  When I feel, as an author, like a lost soul, I often return to Lovecraft, and there I find myself anew.  It has happened this week, at last, from my reading of the remarkable book shewn above.  Ken Faig has been doing some brilliant research on Lovecraft for a very long time, and much of his finest work is in this book from Hippocampus Press.  Last night I reread Ken's essay "Lovecraft's 'He'," and in one part of this remarkable essay he quotes a passage from a Lovecraft letter that relates a dream, and I felt that familiar, beloved ache to use this dream as the basis for a new wee tale, combining it with similar things culled from ye Commonplace Book.  
This is how it works for me as a Lovecraftian writer--I can find inspiration in all of Lovecraft, or in books about Lovecraft.  It all remains a fount of never-ending inspiration and aesthetic nourishment.  It has become utterly addictive to me, and I am happiest when I am writing new Lovecraftian weird fiction.  I love the hunt through HPL's Works for inspiration, and I love sitting back and letting my writer's mind weave all of the influences into some new work.  It's intoxicating.  So, I hope to end this month by beginning and maybe completing a new wee thing, that I want to submit to S. T. for BLACK WINGS III.  I want to write a kind of dreamy tale, probably less than 3,000 words, inspired by "The Ancient Track," something akin to what I wrote in Some Unknown Gulf of Night.  I have an idea, but there have been too many distractions today to begin work on the piece.  Perhaps tonight.  

It's one of my perverse little goals in life to be identified as an artist with H. P. Lovecraft--totally.  I want to be a part of his shadow in the realm of weird fiction.  When the happy day of my death arrives, and those still living pick up one of my books, I want those readers to be haunted by two ghost, spectral twins.  I want my work, always, to conjure forth the shade of H. P. Lovecraft.  This passion is, I think, part of what makes my work unique and my own.  

Ah--mother calls from ye upper regions.  I must flee.



Monday, October 10, 2011

Rad Friends & Good Times


This delightful Cthulhu face mask (perfect for holding up banks in Arkham) was one of many splendid gifts from Charles Schneider, a magnificent fellow.  This has been one of ye gnarliest week-ends of my life, the people I live with have behaved so badly, shockingly so, and I ached for that time when I lived alone in my own wee apartment.  But the week-end was saved by short and pleasant visits from other Lovecraftians.  It was great fun to sing, along with such serious weird scholars as Scott Connors and S. T. Joshi, "Happy Birthday" to Larry Roberts of Arcane Wisdom Press.  And to be able to share that experience online, at YouTube, is simply joyous.  Larry Roberts has inform'd me that ye trade paperback edition of Some Unknown Gulf of Night will be releas'd on October 31st.

I never intended to go online.  I had no interest in email or YouTube, and I knew nothing about forums except for Thomas Ligotti Online, whut I discovered while using a computer at the public library.  It was S. T. who insisted that I go online.  My first book for which he was editor, The Fungal Stain and other Dreams (Hippocampus Press) is a book I typed entirely on me electric typewriter.  I then made xerox copies of the entire book and sent all of that to S. T., who then had to scan the entire book.  "We're not doing this again, Wilum," S. T. told me sternly; & when Jerad Walters said he wanted to publish an omnibus of my work through Centipede Press, I had my friend Greg Lowney help me hook up.  It hath changed my life.  Being able to write using a keyboard panel hooked to my laptop feels like I'm still at ye typewriter, something I need psychologically.  But I am writing far more quickly these days, since I do my roughs on the laptop and then print yem out and polish.  Indeed, S. T. and I were recently discussing that it is now impossible to pen rough drafts in longhand, as was our usual practice.

So I am very thankful for the Internet.  It has expanded my life enormously.  It has made it so much easier for my readers, all around the world, to buy my books.  And it makes the writing of those books far easier too.  I've not been able to write much of late, because of my bewildering, depressing and exhausting homelife.  Happily, my elder sister, Linda, arrived to Seattle this morning, to spend a week.  Tomorrow is our mom's birthday and the birthday of Linda's daughter, Brandee, and so we are having a big celebration here.  But I now get a  very needed break from having to care for our mother, which has so exhausted me of late that writing has been impossible, because sleep has been impossible.  I have spent most of today sleeping.  Tomorrow, I plan on returning to writing!!!  Hooray!!!  I have a nice wee autumnal piece in mind for ye Lovecraft eZine.

Many thanks, my darlings, for reading my blog and watching my vlogs.  You enrich my life.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

SPAWN OF YE GREEN ABYSS


S. T. Joshi's planned reprint anthology of his favorite Mythos tales, Spawn of the Green Abyss, will now be published by Centipede Press, probably in the summer or fall of 2012.  Centipede Press will publish both a trade edition and a signed limited edition.  Actually, although most of ye stories are reprints, the anthology will include some new tales that will see their first publication in this book.  Ye Nameless Contents Be:
"Spawn of the Green Abyss," by C. Hall Thompson
"The Deep Ones," by James Wade
"The Franklyn Papers," by Ramsey Campbell
"Where Yidhra Walks," by Walter C. DeBll, Jr.
"Black Man with a Horn," by T. E. D. Klein
"Nethescurial," by Thomas Ligotti
"Black Brat of Dunwich," by Stanley C. Sargent
"The Phantom of Beguilement," by ye Queen of Eldritch Horror
"...Hungry...Rats," by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. (original to this edition)
"Virgin's Island," by Donald Tyson (original to this edition)
"In the Shadow of Swords," by Cody Goodfellow (original to this edition)

And, next year will see S. T.'s anthology of all-new original Lovecraftian tales, Black Wings II.

It will be interesting to see if this new trend of Mythos anthologies, all of which seem to have the name "Cthulhu" somewhere in their titles, will continue.  Next month we have New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird from Prime Books, a reprint anthology with a very solid Contents.  I hope these books continue to come forth, especially the reprint volumes--then I can be in new books but still be lazy and not write new yarns.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

New Penguin Edition of HPL


Penguin Classics has just publish'd a new Deluxe edition of their first volume of H. P. Lovecraft's fiction.  The three editions of Lovecraft's weird tales from Penguin are my absolute favorite editions of Lovecraft's work.  Edited, and fully annotated, by S. T. Joshi, they give us a fuller understanding of Lovecraft's genius as an artist.  This new Deluxe edition reprints the older edition exactly, but with a new cover illustration and three other art pieces by Travis Louie.  The cover stock is quite beautiful, and the title of the book and Lovecraft's name are slightly emboss'd.  I have two copies of the earlier edition in my library, but I love getting newer editions of HPL's Tales because I am forever returning to them for inspiration, and it's nice to have different editions.

Following a succinct 14-page Introduction, the stories in the book (arranged chronologically) are:
Dagon
The Statement of Randolph Carter
Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family
Celephais
Nyarlathotep
The Picture in the House
The Outsider
Herbert West--Reanimator
The Hound
The Rats in the Walls
The Festival
He
Cool Air
The Call of Cthulhu
The Colour Out of Space
The Whisperer in Darkness
The Shadow Over Innsmouth
The Haunter of the Dark

I love annotated editions, and S. T.'s Notes are fascinating and informative.  They begin with basic information, and then tell aspects of the story and how HPL came to write it, &c.  Here is the opening paragraph to ye Note for "Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family":

"This story first appeared in the amateur journal, the Wolverine (edited by Horace L. Lawson), for March and June 1921; this was the only time until recent corrected editions that the full title of the story was printed.  When it appeared in Weird Tales for April 1924 the editor, Edwin Baird, gave it the title 'The White Ape,' much to Lovecraft's disgust; in the Weird Tales reprint of May 1935 it was titled simply 'Arthur Jermyn.'"

This is followed by a full page of introductory matter, and then we have one and one-third pages of annotations.

with S. T. and ye Gang in front of 598 Angell Street, Providence, where HPL wrote "The Outsider."
I am hoping that Penguin will reprint the other two volumes of Lovecraft in this Deluxe format.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

SOME UNKNOWN GULF OF NIGHT trade pb next month!


I love having a book come out in October, my favourite month--yet I wasn't too disappointed when Tom Lynch shyly inform'd me on ye phone that Miskatonic River Press wouldn't be able to bring out THE STRANGE DARK ONE next month as we had planned.  He still has two more books to bring forth this year--both of which will be fantastic, S. T. Joshi's anthology of essays on the Cthulhu Mythos called DISSECTING CTHULHU and the weird fiction anthology HORROR FOR THE HOLIDAYS (in which I have a new wee yarn called "The Tomb of Oscar Wilde").

However -- the hardcover edition of SOME UNKNOWN GULF OF NIGHT is now out of print--which explains why the chap who is selling it for $75 on Amazon suddenly inflated ye price to $90!  And so Larry Roberts and Arcane Wisdom Press will be bringing out GULF in its trade paperback edition -- next month!! Whoo-hoo!  So I gets me a book out for All Hallow's after all.  Sweet.  I like to have my books in affordable editions for those who are as poor as I am and cannot afford expensive hardcovers.

So October is going to be a lovely month.  My sister, Linda, is coming to town for October 11th, which is her daughter's birthday as well as our Mother's birthday--and she will stay until the 18th so that I can go on ye 17th to this gig that Penguin Books has set up for S. T. Joshi at the University Bookstore, where he will promote his Penguin Classics edition of Arthur Machen.

I hope you are all well.  Ah--how I adore Autumn!

Monday, September 12, 2011

THE STRANGE DARK ONE DELAY'D


Above is ye original Jeffrey Thomas cover for THE STRANGE DARK ONE.  We've added some additional drag to the cover and 'tis much more colourful nigh.  The book was scheduled to be publish'd next month, my one paperback book in a year of three hardcover books.  Just had a wee chat with Tom Lynch, and he wants to bring the book out early next year--which is quite fine, really, as three new books a year is fine.  Of course, this means that I will have FIVE BOOKS out next year--oy; three new titles and two reprints.  So, GATHERED DUST AND OTHERS will be publish'd in hardcover this year, perhaps this month.  Then next year's publications will go something like this:

THE STRANGE DARK ONE--TALES OF NYARLATHOTEP
(Miskatonic River Press, illustrated by Jeffrey Thomas)
UNCOMMON PLACES
(Hippocampus Press, illustrated by Gwabryel)
SOME UNKNOWN GULF OF NIGHT, trade paperback reprint edition
(Arcane Wisdom Press, illustrated by Matthew Jaffe)
GATHERED DUST AND OTHER, trade pb reprint edition and ebook edition
(Dark Regions Press, jacket by Wayne Miller & hopefully some interior art by Jeffrey Thomas)
ENCOUNTERS WITH ENOCH COFFIN, with Jeffrey Thomas
(limited edition hardcover, with jacket by Santiago Caruso)

I have yet to begin work on MIDNIGHT DIN AND OTHER WEIRD STORIES, my second book for Arcane Wisdom Press.  Ain't in that zone yet that makes writing possible; but I don't want the book publish'd until 2013 (five books out next year is mo' than enuf, methinks), so there's no rush in writing it.  I will delay the writing of my second book for Miskatonic River Press, MONSTROUS AFTERMATH, by one year.  I think next year's big new project will be the writing of a large collection of tales set in my city of exiles, Gershom, a book I plan on writing with Maryanne K. Snyder, and probably call DWELLERS IN EXILE.  Lots of lots of writing yet to do.  Perhaps after a few years I will finally find the courage to try and write the collection of poetry and poems inspir'd by ye works of Clark Ashton Smith, an idea that haunts and won't let go.





Wednesday, September 7, 2011

VIVA SANTIAGO

Ever first seeing Santiago Caruso's magnificent illustrations for a Spanish edition of "The Dunwich Horror," I have been obsess'd with ye idea of him illustrating one of my books.  I am happy to announce that Santiago will be creating the jacket illustration for the Dark Regions Press book that Jeffrey Thomas and I have just completed writing, Encounters with Enoch Coffin.  I cannot praise highly enough the enormous effect that Santiago's art has had on my -- I bought the hardcover Spanish edition of THE DUNWICH HORROR and return to it often, just to look at those amazing atmospheric illustrations that so evoke the perverse potency of Lovecraft's powerful tale.  


So this has made Jeff and I ecstatic!  I chose Jeff to write this book with me because he is a talented artist as well as a fine writer, and I wanted a collaborator who understood the techniques of art, the experience of being an artist, aspects of which are of vital importance to our portrayal of this sinister New England artist of our invention, Enoch Coffin.  With our combined twelve tales, the book is 77,000 words, and I firmly feel that the stories we have written for this book are among the finest, most original and certainly most Lovecraftian work that Jeff and I have composed.  Jeff's stories are so brilliant, and we have played off of each other's portrayal of our hypnotic and dangerous artist, thus creating what we both feel is a character of intense energy and originality.  Encounters with Enoch Coffin will be published initially in hardcover some time next year.

S. T. Joshi and the gang will be bringing mother and me some rocking Thai food this Saturday, ye 10th, and I will drag Sunand before my webcam and do another wee video interview with him.  He has so many projects forthcoming, including a new edition of Arthur Machen from Penguin Classics for which film-maker Guillermo del Toro has written a Foreward.  And check out the awesome cover illustration!


S. T. will also have his first book published by The Library of America, an edition of Ambrose Bierce!  So, we have much to talk about.  Gawd, it is so incredibly cool, to have the world's leading Lovecraft scholar living here in Seattle.  I have enter'd a wonderful phase of life (despite the sad situation of my home life) in which I feel such aesthetic fulfillment, as I sit here in my wonderful seclusion and write book after book.  Because of the magickal support of my beloved patrons, I have been able to write full-time, & this has enabled me to grow exponentially as an artist, learned how to write more and more stories of length, to write rapidly, to find more and more the value of H. P. LOVECRAFT as Mine Eternal Muse.  This is simply the best time of my life, the best time of my existence as an obsess'd Lovecraftian freak.  I love it to death.

And now my buddy, that remarkable writer Jeffrey Thomas, has written an excellent book with me, & now this MAGNIFICENT artist, SANTIAGO CARUSO, will be drawing the jacket illustration.  Great Yuggoth -- what an eldrtich joy!

 

Friday, September 2, 2011

WAITING FOR YE BUS TO INNSMOUTH

My Facebook buddy, David Anderson, Photoshopped this still of me on ye bench in front of the Hollywood Theatre, where the annual Lovecraft Film Festival is held.  S. T. Joshi stopped by to give me a ride to Portland, and before we left I wanted to film a wee video interview with him.  Some rather "serious" people objected to the way I was dressed in my first video with S. T., so--being a punk wanker--I wanted to look totally ridiculous for the second one, and this was ye result.  Alas, I can no longer attend the HPLFF or MythosCon or World Fantasy Con  because I need to stay home and tend to my invalid mother.  I'm really depressed about missing World Horror Con in Salt Lake City, next year I think, as the other WHC held there was so wonderful and, being a Mormon, the city holds a special place in me wither'd heart.  (And this time the World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City has a LOVECRAFTIAN THEME!!!  Wah!!!!)

But, being house-bound means that I can write lots and lots of books, so that's groovy.  I thought that I was completely finish'd with my portion of stories for the book I am writing with Jeffrey Thomas, Encounters with Enoch Coffin.  For this book (to be publish'd in hardcover next year by Dark Regions Press), I was setting my tales in HPL's mythical towns of Arkham, Kingsport, &c, and Jeff was concentrating on real New England cities.  But his newest tale that he sent me, "Fearless Symmetry," was so magnificent that I needed to write one more story for the book, a wee sequel to Jeff's new tale.  And although we were going to have all the stories set in Lovecraft's New England, I decided to set my final tale in Sesqua Valley.  So that is the story I am working on this week-end. 

ENCOUNTERS WITH ENOCH COFFIN is going to be one hell of a good collection.  Jeff has written some of his finest things for it, and I feel that my long story set in Innsmouth and my novelette set in Kingsport are among the best things I have yet penned.  H. P. Lovecraft served as our magnificent Muse for this book, and it is Lovecraftian to the core!  One reason the book came about was because of S. T. Joshi's rather brutal comments on Jeff's Mythos fiction in S. T.'s The Rise and Fall of the Cthulhu Mythos.  S. T. can, at times, be rather severe (as I have scolded him), and in this case Jeff was really distraught about S. T.'s comments and vowed never to writer another Lovecraftian tale.  To which I said, "No Way."  Because our main character, Enoch Coffin, is a sinister New England artist, I wanted to co-write the book with a writer who was also gifted as an illustrator, and Jeff immediately came to mind.  I am happy that my little plot has worked so well, with Jeff not only returning to Lovecraftian weird fiction, but returning to it with such brilliant work.

Okay, I need to return to writing my final tale of Enoch Coffin for the book, "Unto the Child of Woman."

Shalom.

at ye bench with mine beloved collaborator, Maryanne K. Snyder--we've just had a story accepted by S. T. for WEIRD FICTION REVIEW!


Friday, August 26, 2011

The Real New Book!

The CAS-inspir'd book is -- a future project.  I have found it extremely difficult to begin work on.  I knew that it wou'd be difficult, but it is more so than I thought, & I may simply not have what it takes to write such a book. But not to fear, my darlinks!
Larry Roberts, who just publish'd Some Unknown Gulf of Night, seems anxious to have another book from me!  Now, my last few books have been so serious that I feel a wee ache to do something rather camp, yet still Lovecraftian and creepy.  I've also been wanting to do something with an exotic setting, as can be found in the weird fiction of Henry S. Whitehead.  Don't know if that is viable.  Maybe I could invent a haunted island or something.  Anyway, writing for Larry Roberts gives me the freedom to be wild and eccentric and as kinky as I wanna be -- he is, after all, the publisher of Edward Lee.  

So I have the idea for this new collection.  Imagine a book co-written by H. P. Lovecraft, Henry S. Whitehead, and Ronald Firbank !  With just a pinch of Poe and Saki.  Now some of ye may never have heard of Ronald Firbank.  I have been trying to get the biography written by Jonathan Fryer (see above) for some time.  I thought the book was already publish'd but it ain't available anywhere.  One of my favourite books these past few decades has been Prancing Novelist: In Praise of Ronald Firbank, by Brigid Brophy, whut I discover'd during my initial discovery of Oscar Wilde.

It's a classic examination of this remarkable writer.  His prose style is what one might call High Camp.  Some of his sentences fairly shriek.  I thought that would be a sublime prose style to emulate in my new book for Arcane Wisdom Press, Midnight Din and other Weird Stories.  I've just completed my share of working on my collaborative book with Jeffrey Thomas, Encounters with Enoch Coffin, and I've really enjoy'd writing stories with a recurring character.  So for this new book I thought I would have a recurring Queen called Reginald Din.  It will be a wonderful challenge, to write tales that are campy and irreverent & yet absolutely Lovecraftian-creepy as well.  We shall see if I am the woman who can pull it off.

Another challenge:  I wrote Some Unknown Gulf of Night last November/December, in a matter of six weeks.  I plan to write this entire new book before this year is over, whut gives me about four months.  I love that idea and I think, if I can find the concentration, to accomplish this.

My thoughts and prayers are with ye who are in the path of this huge storm, Hurricane Irene.  I hope that you have fled, however harsh an ordeal that may be.  I have had fantasies of what I would take with me if such a storm was headed my way, & I know that I would have to rent one of those U-Haul gigs that was large enough to hold all my books and Barbra Streisand cds.  Our big worry here on the Northwest is The Big One, a nine-point earthquake.  Be safe, my darlings!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Conjuring A New Book

S. T. shews us ye CAS papers at John Hay Library
One of the really exciting moments of our visit to Providence in October of 2007 was being shewn the boxes of Clark Ashton Smith papers at Brown University.  By coincidence, S. T. Joshi was in Providence at the same time we were, working on the volumes of Smith's poetry that would eventually be publish'd by Hippocampus Press.  Many of the ruled sheets were scrawled over in Smith's handwriting in very faint pencil and looked extremely delicate.  When Derrick brought those three thick, beautiful volumes of verse into print, it was a time of celebration.


Perhaps it is a common occurrence, that many of us come to CAS by way of H. P. Lovecraft.  I probably first read Clark Ashton Smith's weird tales when, in either Ireland or Las Vegas, I bought a second-hand pb set of Derleth's Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos.  When I finally return'd to Seattle in 1973, I discover'd Arkham House and quickly bought every in-print title, and I remember there was at least one volume of Smith's fiction in print as well as his Selected Poems.  Reading the three volumes of HPL's Selected Letters then available, one gain'd a sense of Grandpa's admiration for Smith's poetry and prose.  I then found the lovely wee Panther Horror pb reprintings of the early Arkham House Smith hardcovers, and his fiction had a real influence on my own attempts at writing dark phantasy.  The CAS influence has been remarked on over the years by friends and fans who have read my books.  I've paid little tributes to Smith in some of my weird tales, often mentioning him by name, and naming one character in "Your Metamorphic Moan" Klarkson Ash.

A couple of years ago I felt the ache to write an entire book of poetry and prose that wou'd be directly influenc'd by CAS.  Although the idea intrigued me, it was also intimidating.  I have no confidence in my ability as a poet, and I have moftly confined myself to writing in my favourite form of the sonnet.  That was when I thought of Maryanne K. Snyder, my collaborator with whom I wrote a story that sold to Weird Tales and has since been reprinted in The Tangled Muse.  When I first met Maryanne and her charming husband Greg, at a Seattle Gay Pride march, she was writing lots and lots of really excellent poetry.  Gobs and gobs.  She has the soul of a poet, as can be detected when one reads her personal letters or listens to her talk.  And she is a huge CAS fan.  It was the obvious choice, to ask her to write this CASian book with me.  Over the years, her writing time has becoming limited as she pursues an existence as a business woman--another thing at which she is brilliant.  Thus working with her on projects is a sometime-thing, & thus it has been an easy & regrettable habit to keep putting off this CAS-flavor'd collection while I wrote my many other books.

But the time hath come for the CAS book to become reality, and I suddenly feel an amazing energy for conjuring its reality.  That will probably be my main focus once this book I am writing with Jeffrey Thomas, a book perhaps to be called Encounters with Enoch Coffin and to be publish'd next year by Dark Regions Press, is completed, & that will be soon.  Thus I am slowly devouring the wondrous three volumes of Smith's poetry from Hippocampus Press and the magnificent five volumes of The Collected Fantasies of Clark Ashton Smith edited by Scott Connors and Ron Hilger forNight Shade Books.  & it is indeed a compelling, enchanted realm, the world of Clark Ashton Smith.  I look forward to when I can delve into that realm non-stop, every day, day after day, as I work non-stop on a book that pays this Master of the Weird Tale homage.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Writing Begins to Flow --- :-}

The leatherbound-with-slipcase edition of Gathered Dust and Others has sold out in pre-order, and the regular $40 hardcover editions seem to be selling quickly.  My thanks to all who have order'd it!  Ooo, how I love that cover painting by Wayne Miller.  It captures the atmosphere of the book's title story exactly.

I completed, at 8,256 words, what I consider my definitive tale of Lovecraft's Dunwich, "They Smell of Thunder."  I have finally taught myself how to write in this new environment of being upstairs in the dining room, where I need to be to keep a closer watch on me mum.  This new tale is for another book I am writing for Dark Regions Press, a collaborative book with the amazing Jeffrey Thomas.  (Oh, wow, I just figur'd out how to do colour'd text....)  The book consists of stories concerning a sinister New England artist, Enoch Coffin, and his encounters with ye supernatural, with which he communes so as to aid his art.  I have now penned two tales and have started work on the next, set in Kingsport and tentatively entitled "Mystic Articulation."  Jeff has written a number of excellent stories, and this is gonna be one rad book.  His tales are set in the real New England while mine are set in Lovecraft's invented mythic cities.

I have also been trying to work on an interplanetary tale in the tradition of Clark Ashton Smith, for a collection of CAS-inspired stories that I am writing with Maryanne K. Snyder.  Thus far this new idea has not worked out, and I am probably going to abandon it and find something more to my liking.  I am, perhaps, not capable of finding the interest needed for the writing of tales set on other worlds.    I do have an idea for another tale, inspir'd by my reading of Clark's translations of Baudelaire and his story, "The Tale of Satampra Zeiros."  My initial concern with writing this book with Maryanne was that the works not be in any way Lovecraftian but rather try to evoke the spirit (although not the language) of Clark Ashton Smith.  But now I'm just gonna go ahead and write whatever comes our way.  Our influences are legion.

Still have no word on the release of Some Unknown Gulf of Night..  I hope that the book will be in our hot hands soon.  It's weird:  I'll have that book released this month, the Dark Regions book next month, and the Miskatonic River Press book the following month.  How utterly insane, to have one book each for ye next three months.  Who can afford to buy yem all?  My books must needs compete with each other.  Utter lunacy.  I vow never to have more than two books out per year from now on.  Preferably one book a year, but I keep writing them so quickly that, well............

That's me in the Davy Crockett get-up with the Jimmy Durante glasses, next to my older sister, Linda.  Must have been 1956 or 1957.  How strange to have grown so antient.  Hmmmmm, it looks like my sis is holding a copy of ye Necronomicon!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

S. T. JOSHI

The first time I met S. T. was at a very early Norwescon here in Seattle.  I don't think he had yet edited the Corrected Text Editions of Lovecraft for Arkham House, but he had already secured his reputation as a Lovecraftian scholar of note.  I had read his letters and essays in zines such as Nyctalops and was quite impress'd.  But it was his editing of the four volumes of HPL's Tales for Arkham House, and then the wonderful edition of Miscellaneous Writings that made me an obsess'd Joshi fan.  To have Lovecraft's fiction in texts that were as close as possible to how Lovecraft wished them to be preserv'd was just amazing and magical. 


One of the really sensational experiences of my life was when my chums Maryanne and Greg took me on a three-week tour of New England and New York in October of 2007.  It just happened that S. T. was in Providence during our four-day stay there, doing work on Clark Ashton Smith at ye John Hay Library.  Above you can see S. T, shewing us the boxes fill'd with Smith's personal papers, with poems scrawled in faded pencil -- and Maryanne is freaking out at the rarity of it all.  Those four days were the moft magical of my life, especially the after-noon during which S. T. took us on an exhausting walking tour of Lovecraftian sites on College Hill and I stood next to S. T. before 10 Barnes Street, holding in me moist palms all three of S. T.'s edited/annotated Penguin Classics HPL editions.  That was the finest moment of my life as a Lovecraftian, and it fill'd me with renew'd determination to write book after book in homage to Lovecraft's genius.


There have been many Lovecraftian miracles in my weary life, but the finest was when S. T. marry'd a Seattle lass and moved to our city.  I was at this time return'd in activity to The Esoteric Order of Dagon Amateur Press Association, for which S. T. was the acting O. E.  Having him living in the city gave boring Seattle a mystical sheen, and seem'd a sign from Yuggoth that my life as an obsess'd Lovecraftian weird artist was the right choice and one to be pursued with increas'd alacrity.  Still, I was much too shy and anti-social to actually try and visit S. T. at his Seattle home, and the few times I was him was when he did various book signings at University Book Store.


Finally a new miracle arriv'd and Hippocampus Press agreed to publish a collection of my weird fiction, and thus I worked with S. T. as my editor.  It was such an overwhelming experience.  Up until then I didn't have much interference from my publishers with the contents of my work.  I loved being audaciously eccentric, and this is especially evident in Sesqua Valley and Other Haunts, where I got away with much bad writing, weird and archaic spelling influenc'd by Lovecraft's Letters, &c &c.  Knowing that I'd be working with S. T. as my editor instill'd within me an ache to do my finest writing for the book that became The Fungal Stain and Other Dreams.  S. T. was the one and only critic whose opinion meant anything to me; because he was so intimate with Lovecraft's fiction, I felt that he alone cou'd fully understand my work, my author's obsession with remaining an artist of Lovecraftian horror.  The result was that that first book for Hippocampus Press contain'd my best writing up to that time, showcasing a maturity and consistency of style, most of which was the result of working diligently so as to delivery to S. T. an excellent wee book of Lovecraftian tales.


S. T. has worked as my editor on three books, and was inspirational on my delving into the prose-poem form in writing an experimental volume as my second book for Hippocampus Press, Uncommon Places.  I knew that S. T. was a huge fan of the prose-poem form, and that gave me the confidence to approach him and Derrick with the idea of a book that was fill'd with prose-poems and prose-poem/vignette sequences.  I am especially pleased with that book and ache to see it in print.  The fabulous artist, Gwabryel, has been commissioned to illustrate it, and his work has me so excited.  Below is the pen & ink version of his illustration for my vignette, "Cathedral of Death" -- ye final version will be a full-colour rendition.

I am still in awe of S. T. Joshi, but he has now become a close and very dear friend.  It has been so rad to be able to share that cherish'd friendship with the world via YouTube, when S. T. comes to sit before my webcam.  He has promis'd to come visit around ye holiday season, when we will record our singing of Holiday songs.  It shall be an eldritch clamor!


Monday, July 18, 2011

"The Tomb of Oscar Wilde"


I had been trying to write a new weird tale for Horror for the Holidays, an anthology being edited by Scott David Aniolowski for Miskatonic River Press.  But writing has been next to impossible since moving my laptop upstairs, to the dining room, so that I can keep a closer look on me mum, who is becoming more and more challenging to watch over.  And so I gave up on writing the new Sesqua Valley story I was working on, a tale of Rosh Chodesh in which Shub-Niggurath is worshiped as part of the Shekinah.  Sadly, I inform'd Scott that I simply couldn't write.  He then ask'd if I cou'd perhaps write a wee sonnet sequence concerning Jewish holidays for the book, & I've had the ache to return to poetry of late, so I said I'd try that.  I wanted one of the sonnets to concern the minor holiday, Rosh Chodesh, the festival of the New Moon.  Dwelling on ye moon always makes me think of Oscar Wilde, because the moon is so often invoked in Wilde's poetry, in Salome and others -- and there is that wonderfully irreverent illustration by Aubrey Beardsley, "The Woman in the Moon."  Thinking of Wilde led me to scan his poetry for mentions of Luna, and this led me to YouTube, so as to listen to readings of Wilde's poetry.  Among the Wilde videos were some shewing visitors to Wilde's tomb ---

and, girlfriend, I was APPALLED!!!  I had no idea that Wilde's tomb had been so marred by graffiti and lipstick kisses.  I did a Google on Wilde's tomb to see if this issue had been address'd and discover'd that ye animal fats in lipstick seep into the monument's stone and does irreparable damage. I knew that I had to address this in a poem or weird tale, and thus I work'd on a new story, bringing in Rosh Chodesh and Shub-Niggurath.

It is always nice when a new story kind of creeps up on one as a surprise of inspiration, especially during a period of writer's block when nothing seems to be working.  I wrote a first draft and worked on it a bit, then sent a first polish to Scott; and then this morning I did a final revision/polish, adding some dialogue that came to me in the night as dream.  I wrote a new sonnet for the tale, which I read last night on MrWilum.  It feels wonderful to have finish'd something new, even though 'tis but a wee thing of merely 1,600 words.  What I really love is now I have a story of that title, so that, in some future epoch, I can assemble a new omnibus of my work and call it The Tomb of Oscar Wilde and OthersYes!

 Nu, I have a new tale in which I evoke poetry and my Jewishness, and in which I pay homage to dear Oscar, the poet whose work I so adore.  Those of you who have The Tangled Muse will have read my prose-poem tribute to Wilde therein -- & it will be reprinted in my forthcoming collection from Hippocampus Press, Uncommon Places, to be publish'd next year.  Maryanne K. Snyder and I have also written a tale of young Wilde and his encounter, in London, with newly-spawn'd Simon Gregory Williams of Sesqua Valley.  The delightful Jason V Brock has accepted that story for a forthcoming hardcover anthology.

Wilde will continue to haunt me as Magnificent Muse.  I've always had a hankering to write my own wee novel inspir'd by The Picture of Dorian Gray.  I may yet do so.

Shalom.