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.