Monday, May 30, 2011

Malware or whatever it's called

I'VE PICKED UP A BLOODY WORM (gotta stay off those queer cowboy wrestling sites........) -- and I cannot access my email.  When I come on the Internet this worm turns everything off and my screen goes black.  I've try'd System Restore and other things, but it's no go.  I have no email so the best way to contact me is at Facebook, I am still able to access the Web, if not for long.  Don't know how to fix it or what to do.  I may just stay offline for a long long time.  As long as I can access Microsoft Word and work on new books, that's all I need.  My great concern is not being able to hear from my publishers, who send contracts &c via email.  I thus return to ye primitive non-Internet realm -- where life is slow and dull but free of electric worms. 

Editors can phone me at (206) 725-8848 -- but if caller I. D. doesn't identify you I usually don't pick up unless you begin leaving a recorded message and I know who you are -- get gobs of yem lousy solicitors, so I do.

Or you can correspond:
Wilum Pugmire
5115 South Mead Street
Seattle, WA 98118
USA

Sorry for the inconvenience, darlings.
Shalom.

--willy

Friday, May 27, 2011

Yo Followers!

So I don't see my followers listed any longer.  Did I do something that deleted them?  Did I dream that they existed?  I'm confused.  Been real busy trying to write and all.  Hope to have a substantial new blog in a few days.

Later--never mind, there they are.


I am feeling so very old, having turned sixty this year.  I was reminded of how much I have changed from the skinny Jewish-looking kid with Kafkaesque ears above when, yesterday, two very lovely young friends came to visit me from Kansas.  We did a vlog on YouTube, and I watched myself in the background, and I thought, "When the hell did I become this grotesque bloated creature?  How have I grown so antient?"  Mentally I feel no different, I am still so young-in-heart and childish in my mind.  I feel extremely lucky to be living the life of a full-time writer.  At the moment I am having an extremely difficult time concentrating on this new book I am writing with Jeffrey Thomas.  He has already completed two stories and is nearly finish'd with a third -- & I am on page two of my first tale.  Life keeps interrupting work, and taking care of my invalid mother is becoming more demanding and thus I am more and more exhausted at this time of night, which I usually set aside for writing.  I miss getting utterly lost in the writing of a new thing, something I haven't really experienced since working on Some Unknown Gulf of Night.

I just did the final proofing of that book, and as soon as I get and sign the signature sheets and return them to Larry, the book goes to print.  Honeys, I am more excited about the publication of this book than any other I've worked on except for The Tangled Muse.  I like that one of my new books publish'd this year will be all-original work, no reprints.

As I grow older, I become more and more focused on doing the one thing that really brings me joy--writing Lovecraftian weird fiction.  That will be my focus this next decade.  If I have my way, by the time I reach 70 I am gonna have so many books written and publish'd you won't believe it.

Or I'll die trying!


Saturday, May 21, 2011

GATHERED DUST AND OTHERS


My dears, I am at that restless state, one that kinda drives me crazy.  I am so ready to have one of my next books publish'd, & it is frustrating to have to wait until mid-summer for that to happen.  I just got the proposed cover for my first book from Dark Regions Press, a magnificent and moody painting by Wayne Miller, which illustrates one of the book's new original tales, "Gathered Dust."  That story has a bit of a history.  I wrote the first version as an extension to my prose-poem/vignette sequence, "Uncommon Places," the first version of which was published in The Tangled Muse.  I decided to make Uncommon Places the title for my next book from Hippocampus Press, and so I wanted to add another 10,000 words to the title piece, all segments of which are inspir'd by entries in H. P. Lovecraft's Commonplace Book.  I found these evocative entries, among others:

entry 112--"Man lives near graveyard--how does he live? Eats no food"
entry 165--"Terrible trip to an ancient and forgotten tomb"
entry 176--"Man blindfolded and taken in closed cab or car to some very ancient and secret place"

These are other entries inspir'd me to write the thing as connected portions that form'd a sequel to J. Vernon Shea's "The Haunter of the Graveyard," whut is set in Arkham.  One of the graves mention'd in Vernon's tale belong to a Carter, and thus I brought in the legend of Randolph Carter and his book of short stories, The Attic Window and Others.  I told my connected tale in segments inspir'd by entries in HPL's book, and in-between the telling of that tale I added some surreal additional prose-poems, one of which begins thus:

"She climbed the winding wooden steps that led to the small door, pushed it open and coughed into the dry air that, issuing from the attic room, assailed her face.  Her candle's feeble flame threw shadows into the room among the litter of antiques, the wooden crates, the shrouded figures.  She was curious to see that their dark sartorial camouflage resembled her own, and she wondered if they, too, had hoped to conceal themselves from the world of men when roaming the streets at night.  Pressing her hand against the breast of one still thing, she felt its torso of twisted wire; and then she lifted her face to its sad mask, the expression of which filled her with such remorse that she drifted from the thing, to the attic window.  Bending before the small panes of glass, she gazed into their latticework at her peculiar wavering reflection, upon which shadows frolicked."

All of these additions brought another 10,000 words to the piece and I was happy.  Then I began work on what was going to be my first book for Miskatonic River Press, and I decided I wanted to call the book Gathered Dust and Others, and ye title story would be a complete revision & expansion of my sequel to "The Haunter of the Graveyard."  I rewrote the thing as single story, adding some few bits and leaving out the surreal prose-poem vignettes from the other version.  It came to over 12,000 words.
Then things happen'd and my first book for MRP is nigh to be The Strange Dark One--Tales of Nyarlathotep, to be publish'd this October.  Joe at Dark Regions Press express'd interest in publishing a book of my Lovecraftian tales, so I began to work on that and asked my MPR publisher, the sweet and adorable Tom Lynch, if I could steal "Gathered Dust" from them and use it in my DRP collection, which needed some new things to fill out wordage.  So I began writing the other new tales for that book, and we were going to call it Depths of Dreams and Madness -- but then I saw Wayne's fabulous jacket illustration for the book, depicting one of the weirdest scenes from "Gathered Dust," and I ached to call this new book Gathered Dust and Others, kinda a nice Arkham House-ish book title, me thought.  Joe agreed to ye title change, & thus that will be ye title of my first book from Dark Regions Press, publish'd sometime this year, I think.  I love the title, as it is symbolic of my tales, whut are the gather'd debris of my sick imagination.

At the moment I am revising a rather nice Mythos tale by my buddy, Jeffrey J Taylor.  He sent me the tale to critique, and I thought it good but needed just a bit work and elaboration, and asked him if I cou'd revise it.  We are calling the story "Ushered on the Wind" -- 'tis a tale of ye Wind-Walker -- and I think it is going to be a rather effective Mythos tale.  After we polish I plan on submitting it to Mike Davis for the Lovecraft eZine.

So much weird Lovecraftian fiction to write!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

OLD CHUMS & FUTURE SONNETS

One old pal that I have long hoped to reconnect with is Dave Billman, who began to illustrate my fanzines back when I was in high school.  I finally found him again at Facebook.  It was Dave who gave me the name of "Wilum," telling me he thought it sounded like the name of some backwoods Dunwich denizen; & it was from Dave that I got the dream-name of Mount Selta in my Sesqua tales -- Khroyd'hon -- as at the time Dave lived on Croydon Street.  The cover above is from my Lovecraft fanzine from the 1970's.  I have long wanted Dave to illustrate one of my books, and he has recently express'd interest in doing so when I pitched ye idea to him; so one future book idea is going to be a collection called Visions of Khroyd'hon, Sesqua Valley tales and novelettes illustrated by David Billman.

Life has been rather chaotic of late, which is okay except that I haven't been able to concentrate on new writing.  I've spent this morning reading a book I just got in ye post, Contested Will, by James Shapiro; & I've been rereading the superb Jonathan Bate book, Soul of an Age.  Reading about Shakespeare always instills within me an ache to work on a new sonnet sequence.  Thus I got out an excellent book, The Making of a Sonnet, edited by Edward Hirsch and Eavan Boland (W. W. Norton and Company, 2008), and am nigh preparing to begin slow and steady work on a new sonnet sequence that I want to call Sonnets of Loneliness and Light

It was simply amazing to be able to watch a DVD of the new film from The H. P., Lovecraft Historical Society, their amazing production of The Whisperer in Darkness.  It is, quite simply, the finest film based on a Lovecraft story ever produced, a work of talent and genius.  I may never be able to view the film on a big screen, as I am house-bound as my mother's live-in caregiver and cannot leave her alone; but I am anxious to own the DVD myself and thus watch the film with my headphones on so as to drink the stereophonic score to ye full.  If you have a chance to view this magnificent film, do not fail to do so.

Friday, May 6, 2011

DEAD BUT DREAMING 2


When I was a kid in high school I was obsess'd with horror films, & I finally did a really fine film fanzine, calling it Fantasia and getting all of the big-name film fandom writers to contribute to it.  I decided to have a section of tributes to Forry Ackerman, and somehow I got Robert Bloch's address and asked if he would write a wee tribute to 4sj.  (I also asked Bob for Ray Bradbury's address, which he supply'd, and Bradbury also wrote a few lines of tribute to ye Ackermonster).  When I was shipped to Northern Ireland to work as a missionary for the Mormon Church, I wasn't allow'd to go see horror films (I had fantasies of spending every off-day in some cinema watching Hammer Films...), so I began to buy books by Bloch, with whom I was still in correspondence.  It was in Ireland that I bought my first editions of H. P. Lovecraft, mostly because in the title story of one, The Haunter of the Dark (Panther Horror), I saw that the title story was dedicated to my buddy, Bob Bloch.  I began to buy anthologies in which Bloch was one of many writers, and thus I became a reader of weird fiction.  Influenced by Bloch's letters and his wonderful stories, I began to write my own weird fiction while serving in Omagh, and soon placed a story with Space & Time.  Returning to ye States, I discovered Arkham House and became a Cthulhu nut.  I was determined to become a famous Mythos writer. 

One of Bloch's stories that really thrilled me was "The Skull of the Marquis de Sade," and I loved the Amicus film that it inspir'd as well.  Early on in my "career" as a horror writer, I was determined to write a sequel to Bob's story.  He pretended to be enthused when I wrote to tell him so.  The idea never evolv'd into an actual tale, and as I grew older & older, I fancied that it was but one of those youthful enthusiasms that wou'd never really take form in reality.  But I couldn't let go of the ache of desire to write that story, and over the decades I kept trying.  & I amaz'd myself, one week, by actually writing ye damn'd thing!!!  I decided to play with narrative voice and wrote it in a kind of colloquial style, such as HPL had done with "Pickman's Model."  I am happy to see that the story will soon be in print, in Dead but Dreaming 2.  I think this book will be a fantastic treat for all Mythos fans.  It is nigh available for pre-order at Miskatonic River Press, and all of ye who pre-order will received a fancy book mark sign'd by -- the Queen of Eldritch Horror!  So put that bitch to work, y'all, and let us see many copies pre-ordered!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Delicious Antique Whore

 That's me & my favourite drag queen, Jackie Hell.  She is wild, honey!  Check out her extremely depraved videos on YouTube.  She and my darling chum Kook Teflon came over to help me celebrate my (gawd I can't believe it) 60th birthday, what happens to-morrow.  I never thought to exist for such a length of mortal time.  I creak, I groan -- I've taught myself not to smile too widely & thus expose my teeth, or lack thereof.  I'm like Wilde now, whose teeth were so wretchedly grotesque that he had a habit of covering his mouth with a finger when he spoke. 

It's been a wild year of frantic writing production -- I echo Henry James, whose constant scolding chant in his Notebooks was "Produce!  Produce!"  I live to write, & I become so lost in that void, that world where only the writing exists, that time itself stops and I live absolutely within my fever'd imagination.  Gawd, I love it!

I am now preparing to work on the book I am writing with Jeffrey Thomas, of tales concerning ye sinister New England artist, Enoch Coffin.  I tell myself that I will work slow, I need not rush, I have no writer's deadline to heed (although Joe at Dead Regions Press is already hot to publish the book) -- but I cannot help myself and sink into that frenzied world of writing writing writing.  I am determined to leave a goodly supply of books before I kick off and cross ye Audient Void!

Okay, I am off to read some new books and listen to RuPaul and then I am going to read "The Shadow out of Time" so as to do a video commentary of it tomorrow on me YouTube channel.

If I survive and slink into my sixty-first year..............................................................

shalom,
Willy Pugnacious