Thursday, April 28, 2011

More Fun with ye New Scanner!

Looking for things to scan and thus share with y'all, I found an old issue of Queer Madness (a zine I did for ye E.O.D apa) from 1980.  It's a fun issue to read because it's almoft like a wee journal of things I was doing then -- it amuses me that I was then so intent on writing my first novel, a thing I have yet to accomplish.   I had some remarkably good artwork in that issue -- including these two items (above and below) that were originally drawn for my chapbook tribute to Carl Jacobi.  The artwork above, illustrating the remarkably effective tale "The Face in the Wind," is by David Vosburgh -- an artist I wish I was still in contact with, as it would be wonderful to have him illustrate one of my new books.  The piece below, illustrating "Revelations in Black," is by Canadian artist Maurice Squidd, another rad artist with whom I have lost contact.  The illustrated tales are among the finest in the weird tale genre, and both may be found in the Arkham House collection Revelations in Black (1947), which has had many reprintings in pb format (sometimes as two individual volumes).  The Arkham House edition is well worth buying at o.p. prices -- it is a remarkable collection.

Reading the stories in such a book often wets my appetite to write my own, to really work at finding atmospheric ideas that I can weave into a finish'd tale.  My weird fiction has been influenced more by the books publish'd by August Derleth and Arkham House than by any other element in literature.  It used to be my huge dream, to have a collection of mine own publish'd by AH -- it is still a dream that, coming true, would thrill me beyond measure.

The new book, Depths of Dreams and Madness, is completed.  The new tale I was trying to write for it began to really bore me, so I said screw it ain't gonna write it, and instead I chose two elder yarns with which to fill up ye contents.  & then my editor and buddy, Jeffrey Thomas, sent me his amazing and so amusing Introduction.  I think the book will be one that will please my readers, despite the number of reprints.  Ye contents be:
Introduction by Jeffrey Thomas (3,669 words)
"Gathered Dust" (12,200 words), new novelette set in Arkham; this is a direct sequel to J. Vernon Shea's "The Haunter of the Graveyard," a tale that Vernon wrote for Derleth's original edition of Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos (when Jim Turner re-edited the book he removed Vernon's tale).  I originally wrote this as a series of connected vignettes inspir'd by HPL's Commonplace Book, & that version will be included in next year's book from Hippocampus Press, Uncommon Places.  I then rewrote it as a single story, and that is the version in this book.  I think it's one of the eeriest tales I have yet penned.
"Your Kiss of Corruption" (1,255 words, reprint)
"Yon Baleful God" (1,063 words, reprint)
"Time of Twilight" (739 words, reprint)
"These Deities of Rarest Air" (10,000 words, new prose-poem sequence)
"The Boy with the Bloodstained Mouth (253 words, reprint)
"The Woven Offspring" (1,747 words; reprint, but with another revised ending)
"The Tangled Muse" (6,093 words, reprint)
"Let Us Wash This Thing" (2,250 words, new tale set in Gershom)
"Bloom of Sacrifice" (1,670 words, reprint)
"He Who Made Me Dream" (880 words, reprint)
"Cool Mist" (992 words, reprint)
"Descent into Shadow and Light" (1,312 words; reprinted from the Lovecraft eZine, for which I am writing monthly Lovecraftian vignettes)
"Serenade of Starlight" (3,233 words, reprint)
"Graffito Flow" (2,134 words, reprint)
"Depths of Dreams and Madness" (9,500 words; almost a novelette!  This is a new Sesqua Valley tale in which I bring as character's H. P. Lovecaft's sinister artist, Richard Upton Pickman, and Robert E. Howard's mad poet, Justin Geoffrey.  Ye tale is set in 1926.)
"Host of Haunted Air" (4,041 words, reprint)
"A Vestige of Mirth" (1,810 words, reprint)

Because my editor, Jeff, has illustrated many of these for various small press zines, I am hoping to have those old illos used as interior art.  His illustration for "The Woven Offspring" is simply magnificent.  The book may be publish'd as early as this summer!  It will be my first ebook, for those of ye who are into Kindle.  There will also be a trade pb edition and a Deluxe 13 edition.  The Deluxe 13 editions are limited to thirteen copies only, leather-bound and in slipcase, with satin book ribbon and sign'd and so gorgeous you can't believe it.  It will be my third hardcover publish'd this year (following The Tangled Muse and Some Unknown Gulf of Night) -- kinda amazing to me!



Sunday, April 24, 2011

New book almoft finish'd

Got a new printer, and it has a scanner -- my first scanner!  So I've been having fun scanning some of the old photos.  Above it me on ye cover of a Penguin Classics edition of the magnificent novel that inspir'd ye title of my Centipede Press omnibus. 

I live with my mother, in the house that my father had built when I was five.  It has always felt like home, and during the past few decades when I have lived elsewhere, I always felt an ache of homesickness whenever I would visit my folks.  I wanted to go back home and live in that house.  Now I do, as my mother can no longer live alone.  It's one of the reasons that I've been able to write such a slew of books these past two years.  I shall inherit this house, so it will be my home for my remains of day.  The difficulty comes, as a writer, when Mother has her bad days, when she becomes confused or lonely.  I worked on the last story for my new book last week and wasn't able to  finish one bloody paragraph because of craziness here at home.  But now the story seems to be flowing, and I shall probably have it completed before my 60th birthday, on May 3.  May 3 is also the day that RuPaul's new album is released!  I am gonna do me a video celebration in big drag on my YouTube channel!

I like how this final story for my new book is coming along.  It is another tale that touches on the legend of Nyarlathotep.  I can't stop writing dem t'ings.  It is set in Gershom, my city of exiles.  I created this new fictive locality as a way of writing weird fiction in an urban setting.  I had been reading some of that New Weird stuff and told myself, "Hey, you can invent a cool city and with that new setting you can write cutting edge tales that aren't Lovecraftian!"  Right.  The first tale set in Gershom was "Some Distant Memory," a tale that saw its first publication in The Tangled Muse (I submitted it to Weird Tales, but it were rejected, poor thing...).  It is influenced by Lovecraft's "Pickman's Model" -- so much for this new setting inspiring non-Lovecraftian fiction!  The story will be reprinted in a Cthulhu anthology forthcoming from Night Shade Books.  The second tale set in Gershom was "The Tangled Muse."  I finally wrote a third tale, "Let Us Wash This Thing," and it will see its first publication in this new book from Dark Regions Press.  And now I'm writing my 4th tale set in Gershom, a tale of Nyarlathotep entitled "A Shadow of Your Own Design."

But even though this new book will soon be completed -- there be no rest for ye Wicked Ol' Queen.  I begin immediately working on a book I am writing with Jeffrey Thomas, a series of tales concerning a sinister New England artist, Enoch Coffin.  And I finally begin serious and concentrated work on my book with Maryanne K. Snyder, of tales and poetry all of which is inspir'd by the Works of Clark Ashton Smith.

So on this Easter Sunday (hey, isn't the new Lady Gaga song, "Judas," releas'd today??!!) my prayer to Jesus is, Please give me a few more years in which to write so many new books that when I then celebrate my Happy Extinction from this Mortal Coil I will leave behind me one big-ass body of work in ye weird fiction genre. 

Can I get an "amen"?


Thursday, April 21, 2011

DEPTHS OF DREAMS AND MADNESS


One of the Cthulhu Mythos weird tales with which I am obsess'd is Robert E. Howard's "The Black Stone" (illustrated above on ye jacket of ye Arkham House anthology there pictur'd).  I love that Stone so much that I had a replica of it rais'd in Sesqua Valley, in my book The Fungal Stain and Other Dreams (Hippocampus Press, 2006):


"Following Ash's directions, she drove along a narrow road through dark woodland, coming at last to an incline in the roadway that led to a wide expanse of meadow.  Parking, Aubrey leapt out and bent to pick up a couple of good-sized stones, then ran through the high grass, toward the Black Stone.  Panting, her companion caught up with her.

"'Wow, it must be ancient!' she exclaimed, admiring the tall monolith.

"'Not at all.  It was raised in the late 1920s, by some of the children of the valley.  It's a replica of another stone--and one that is indeed ancient--in the town of Stregoicavar.  Simon encountered the original on one of his journeys, and was so taken with it that he ordered this replica to be raised here in this meadow.'"

Now, when I wrote that it was clear in my mind that Justin Geoffrey, Robert E. Howard's mad poet who had encountered the Black Stone in the original story, had died five years previously, raving in an asylum.  But no . . . !  This morning I put the final polish on my newest tale, "Depths of Dreams and Madness" -- & in this story I not only have HPL's Richard Upton Pickman journey to Sesqua Valley so as to paint ye portrait of ye valley's first-born Beast . . . . I have REH's Justin Geoffrey visiting the valley as well, after his mysterious escape from the asylum, where the record of his death is one big lie.  Because this new story is the title piece for my first book from Dark Regions Press, I was hoping to make it a substantial novelette of 15,000 words; but it came to its conclusion at 9,500 words -- and thus it is still a tale of substance.  I have set the story in 1926, the year of Pickman's mysterious disappearance (as it is recorded in Lovecraft's "History of the Necronomicon") and also the year in which Justin Geoffrey  is said to have died raving mad in an asylum in Illinois. 

Now I have one more tale to pen for this new collection, and I am hoping to write a perverse wee thing set in Gershom, my city of exiles, concerning a purple-skinned hermaphrodite actress who portrays the Christ in some play of passion and poetry, a play written by Sebastian Melmoth, of whom some of ye may have read in ye title tale of my omnibus from Centipede Press, The Tangled Muse.

So, after a couple months of non-activity & angst, things are back on track.


Monday, April 11, 2011

A New Lovecraftian Collection this Summer from Dark Regions Press

At ye churchyard in Brooklyn that inspir'd "The Hound"

One of the experiences that continues to charm my memory is the three week tour of New England and New York that was a gift from my patrons, Greg and Maryanne.  I knew that I would love New England, but I was prepared to be bored to death with New York.  I loved it.  Above is me on our first night there, in the Dutch churchyard that inspired H. P. Lovecraft to write "The Hound" (HPL had chipped off a wee bit of tombstone during his visit to the site).  That's me, above, during a moment of writer's inspiration, jotting down some notes in either my commonplace book or my travel journal, both of which I constantly carried with me.  That was a great night.  Derrick Hussey, of Hippocampus Press, took us on a walking tour of Lovecraftian sites, including Sonia's apartment into which Lovecraft moved after their marriage.  I'm hoping to write a wee segment based on visiting the churchyard above for the new prose-poem sequence I am now writing for a collection that may be happening.  Jeffrey Thomas and I are working on a collaborative book of Lovecraftian tale concerning a sinister New England artist, and have found a publisher who is interested in the book.  The publisher also suggested he'd be interested in bringing out a solo collection of my own work, which would have to be mostly reprints.  I find it next to impossible to say no to publishers who shew such keen in working with me, so I quickly assembled what at first I thought would be a reprint collection of most of my urban horror stuff, my tales of my dead lovers &c.  I thought to call the book Dead Boyfriends & Other Freaks -- but then I thought the title was perhaps not quite right.  One of the new tales in my collection from Terradan Works, "Into the Depths of Dreams and Madness," really fails to please my and I've been wanting a chance to completely rewrite it as a 15,000 word novelette.  It concerns Lovecraft's character, the artist Richard Upton Pickman, visiting Sesqua Valley so as to paint ye portrait of Simon Gregory Williams.  The story as it now stands is a ludicrous failure because my portrayal of Pickman is simply inept.  My need to write a story with HPL's artist as a character is an obsession I cannot relinquish -- despite the fact that I may not have what it takes to write such a tale -- & thus I am gonna completely rewrite this stupid story and try to turn it into a brilliant novelette, that I will then entitle "Depths of Dreams and Madness," which would then be the title of this new book.  Here's the book as I have proposed it to this publisher:

Introduction by Jeffrey Thomas
"Your Kiss of Corruption" (newest version, 1,255 words)
"Yon Baleful God" (1,063 words)
"Time of Twilight" (739 words)
"These Deities of Rarest Air" (new prose-poem sequence, of which 5,000 words is now written; hoping to make it around 15,000 words total; very Lovecraftian)
"The Woven Offspring" (1,747 words; I revised this tale for its inclusion in The Tangled Muse, but was still unhappy with the ending, so I have revised the ending yet again and now feel I have it down exactly as I want it -- maybe...........................)
"The Book that Told the Hidden Way" (yet to be written new Mythos tale)
"Bloom of Sacrifice" (1,670 words)
"The Tangled Muse" (6,093 words)
"He Who Made Me Dream" (880 words)
"Cool Mist" (newest version, 992 words)
"Descent into Shadow and Light" (1,312 words)
"Serenade of Starlight" (3,233 words, slight revision from ye version in The Children of Cthulhu)
"Graffito Flow" (2,134 words, newest version)
"Depths of Dreams and Madness" (yet unwritten but hopefully 15,000 words or there about)

The collection offers newer versions as they appeared in The Tangled Muse, for which I revised all of the old stories, in some cases completely rewriting them, plus some items that have never been collected in any of my books.  Seems a pretty solid collection, and I have gobs of energy for the writing of the new stuff and will have it all completed within a couple of months, so that it could be published end of this year.

Okay, darlings, back to work with me.  All of this frantic writing is keeping me occupied, so it may be a while before I feel the desire or have time to record new vlogs on YouTube.  (Ha!  Spoke too soon -- just got the new E.O.D. mailing from S. T. and I'm gonna open it before me webcam.................................)  (oh great YUGGOTH!!!  it's not a new apa mailing -- it's S. T. Joshi's manuscript for his just-completed novel concerning young Howard Phillips Lovecraft -- whut I am to read & critique ------ oh my gawd!!!!!!!!!!)

Joe of DARK REGIONS PRESS has just confirm'd his desire to publish this new book this summer, as limited edition hardcover, trade pd and ebook!

Twisted tree at entrance to Dutch churchyard in Brooklyn

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Arcane Wisdom Press book is Sold Out!

Some Unknown Gulf of Night, my 37,000 word prose-poem sequence to be publish'd this Summer by Arcane Wisdom Press, is now sold out in its limited edition hardcover.  I be amazed, and I thank all of you who pre-ordered it.

I have mention'd that I was planning on writing a book next year with Jeffrey Thomas, of connected stories about a sinister New England artist ("Pickman's Model" is never far from my haunted mind....)  Happily, Joe Morey of Dark Regions Press has shewn keen interest in publishing ye book, and he is a publisher I have been interested in working with -- so bollocks to waiting until next year, I want Jeff and I to write the entire book this year!  I've just asked him some technical info about razors that are used by artists, as for this first story I have a wee scene in mind when a woman is trying to seduce our artist in her boudoir, but he doesn't seem interested in her ponderous breasts, so she says something like, "Aren't you interested in women?"  To which he replies, "I am wed to darkness."  But then he studies the flat white surface of her torso, and is inspir'd, so he takes a razor, from his satchel perhaps, and proceeds to etch her portrait in her flesh.  To make it really kinky I was thinking he might use one of those feminine razors with which women shave their pubic hair -- but I think an artist's razor wou'd be appropriate.  A few days ago I watched the sweet Roger Cormon film, Pit and the Pendulum, on telly, and it gave me an ache to make this first story, set in Arkham, kinda Poe-Gothic in the Roger Corman/Vincent Price tradition.  But maybe that would be too camp -- even for me.................................................


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Writing Flows At Last


That's me from David Belisle's Mormon Fag photo exhibit.  David is a rad local photographer, we used to work together at Cyclops Cafe and Pony.  He and Michael Stipe worked together on a book about R. E. M. (David used to tour with the band).  We did this photo project when I first returned to Mormonism.  We had these larger than life photos of me in drag, in vivid color -- and then we had one of me looking very LDS in black and white.  I miss David and working at the Pony, one of our most notorious local queer bars.

But being home-bound as my mother's live-in caregiver gives me the wonderful opportunity to write full-time, since I don't pay rent.  It's great now, because the writing has really returned and new work is flowing from me fingers to me keyboard.  Been writing a number of prose-poems and vignettes.  One of what I feel is the best of my prose-poems has just been published in this month's issue of the Lovecraft eZine, and it has also been read by MorganScorpion on her YouTube channel.  I've been working on a number of wee things that, when completed, will form a 20,000 word sequence of prose-poems, all of which will be inspir'd by Lovecraft's weird fiction and the entries in his commonplace book.  The completed work will be entitled "Unhallowed Places" and form the nucleus of ye revised/expanded edition of Dreams of Lovecraftian Horror to be published by Mythos Books.

And I have just completed an opening proem for The Strange Dark One -- Tales of Nyarlathotep, to be publish'd this Oktobyr by Miskatonic River Press.  My editor there, Scott, wanted opening and closing poems for the book.  This opening proem is in the style of HPL's "The Ancient Track," and the closing poem will be a new sonnet that I thought I was gonna write tonight but I'm feeling too lazy and distracted.

Yesterday was a great day for art.  Got one of the new illustrations from Jeffrey Thomas for my Nyarlathotep book, and it is amazing.  Then Larry Roberts sent me the two interior art pieces by Matthew Jaffe for Some Unknown Gulf of Night, and they are magnificent.

& before ye week hath expir'd I hope to have a good amount of work done on ye rough of my first fictive collaboration with Jeffrey Thomas -- we are writing a book of connected tales featuring a sinister New England artist, whom I think I want to name Enoch Blake.  I initially suggested the idea to Stanley Sargent, as a book for him to write on his own, of an artist fascinated by ye supernatural and who investigates aspects of it as a way of inspiring new paintings.  I thought such a series should be written by an author who also has artistic abilities, and Stan has painted some amazing works.  Since Stan lives in San Francisco, I thought that city would prove an excellent backdrop for such a series of tales.  But gloom-&-doom Stan thought the idea sucked, and that pissed me off so I mumbled to myself, "Man, if I knew anything about artwork I'd write such a book myself."  Then I thought, "Honey, just get a co-author who is also an artist!"  And then I knew I'd want to set such a series of tales in mine beloved New England, whut I was able to finally visit in 2007.  And then I thought of Jeffrey Thomas, who lives in New England and has written cool Lovecraftian fiction and is an artist.  So I propos'd ye project to him and he said "hell yes."

So, I'm lost in a sea of endless projects.  That makes me one happy old queen.