Friday, March 2, 2012

Something Strange Yet Welcomed


There's me and mum with S. T., Mary, Maryanne K. Snyder and Leo our three-legged cat.  I love our living room, crammed as it is with mother's Asian collection.  She used to love dragging dad to second hand stores and local yard sales in search of Oriental junk.  The living room is cozy, especially at night when mom is in bed and I have the room to myself, reading Shakespeare or Lovecraft by lamplight as I sit in mother's armchair.  I'm doing that more and more, just sitting and reading and living as quiet a life as possible.  I still have my bad days when I am so weak that I can barely move, especially if for some reason I've had to go out into the cold weather.  I don't mind having to live the life of an invalid--I joke that I am far more of an eccentric recluse than Lovecraft ever was.

Mentally, I often confuse myself.  I seem so unstable, always flying from this emotion to that, plotting some new thing and then feeling instantly bored with the idea.  I lack mental and emotional foundation.  Perhaps that's just part of being an artist, I don't know.  I've spent the first two months of this year trying like hell to work on new books, determined to write and so depressed because the writing simply won't happen.  But this week something rather queer has happened.  My newest book has just been published by Hippocampus Press.  I have had book after book published these past fourteen months.  And all of a sudden I feel worn out by my activity.  I hate the feeling that my books have to compete with each other for readers, cos who can afford to buy them all?  Gathered Dust and Others is supposed to come out as trade pb and ebook this year, but that won't happen until all of the hardcovers are sold, and I have this feeling that sales for the book have died.  I have one more trade pb due out this year, The Strange Dark One from Miskatonic River Press.  Two books a year is more than enough, I think.  Because 13 is my favorite number, I really want a book out next year -- 2013 -- but I sure as hell don;t want to have to work my ass off writing a new book this year.  I wanna be lazy.  I want to spend a year sitting in bed, reading and listening to music and dreaming about cowboys. 

So I have begged my publisher to wait and bring out my next hardcover, Encounters with Enoch Coffin, early next year, and my co-author, Jeffrey Thomas, is cool with the idea.  That way I can have a 2013 book published that is already completely written.  And I can chill this year and not feel the need to produce a new book.  It's weird, I feel almost oppressed by how insanely active I have been as a writer.  Well, the reason for that activity was insane -- I was convinced that I would die last year from complications with congestive heart failure, as my friend Joyce died, who was half a year older than me.  Convinced that I was headed for quick extinction, I worked like crazy to get a bunch of new books written, compiled and off to publishers.  Now it seems likely that I'm gonna be around for a while, so I can relax and stop being a drama queen. 

I don't want to have to feel like I need to complete a new book for two or three years.  I want there to be a long break between Encounters with Enoch Coffin and whatever my next book will be.  I want to spend two years working on the book I am writing with Jessica Amanda Salmonson and make it a really special, rad book, grim and ghastly and decadent.  I am so thankful to everyone who has bought my newest books, especially those who paid for the expensive hardcovers.  I want, for a while, to give your wallets and credit cards a breather.

I have ideas for the next few books I want to write, the need to write, the desire to produce, is still keenly felt.  I just don't want to have to think about publication, deadlines or any of that stuff for a long long time.  Writing in this household is extremely difficult because of everything that makes creative concentration next to impossible; but if I just take my time and write now and then, when I feel rested, when this madhouse is quiet -- in a year or two I'll suddenly find myself with enough material for a new book.

I like this month, March.  It has some sadness attached to it, because it was on March 15th that my beloved boy, Todd, died in my arms after choking to death on bile produced by nasty street smack.  And it was on March 15th, too, that H. P. Lovecraft died, going to his death with the conviction that he had failed as a writer and would be forgotten.  But with the sadness of those deaths also comes the promise of Spring and warmer weather, which I now need due to ill health.  I want to be able to go for walks around the block, or drive to Seward Park and walk along the forest paths, without cold weather making such a thing impossible. 

Many thanks to all who have ordered the new book.  Friends on Facebook have already gotten their copies; I have yet to get any of mine.  That always kills me, the author should be the first one to get copies of their own book, right? 

Be well, my darlinks.

with my high school girlfriend, Valerie McBeth, with whom I loved doing scenes from Shakespeare

5 comments:

  1. Great Yuggoth, this is COSMIC!! Just after deciding I want to spend the rest of the year in bed -- the neighbors across the alley are getting anew bed and wanted to get rid of the one they've had for ten years. I've been sleeping on a bed in the Yellow Bedroom that is over 30 years old, the mattress is saggy and so uncomfortable, leading to backache and sick dreams. So mt neighbors gave me their old bed, and it is so comfortable I can't believe it! Oh, honey, I'm never getting outta bed again!!

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  2. ^Now why does that bring to mind the Wilkie Collins story, A Terribly Strange Bed? :p

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  3. I like your living room. Looks like something out of a weird story, just great.

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  4. Wilum, just live and be well. If you write a book I'll buy the finest edition available and place it on my library shelf with pride. You mean a lot to us and you deserve a rest.

    Think how much you still have to write for us Lovecraftians. Please take care of yourself first,so the rest of us can share some peace of mind about you! You worry me with these posts!

    Matt Carpenter

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    1. I'm seriously taking it easy, resting and listening to music (suddenly very obsessed with the musical THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and driving my housemates crazy with non-stop arias.....) and reading good books. I refuse to complete another new book for at least three years, but yes, I do feel that I still have MANY books to write.

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