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.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


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.