One of the recurring themes in my life has been a search for peace of mind. The world has always made me feel a bit frantic. I suffer, often, from scolding voices in my head who berate me for not writing new fiction during those periods when I have a lot of time on my hands. But now, at age 62, I have been able to stop those voices almost entirely. Part of this is from growing old and feeling that I have attain'd my artistic goal--to be known in the world as an author of Lovecraftian weird fiction. I felt the need of that identity intensely--to prove to "the world" that one could be a Lovecraftian writer and still create work that was original and poetic. This year, with the death of my mother, my mental and emotional approach to life has altered. I have asked myself, what is it that I want in life? And the thing I most desire is silence and solitude. I have this wonderful living room, and I love to sit in my recliner and read. At the moment I am rereading my many books about Shakespeare and all of my editions of Dante.
I am working on a book, a collaborative collection with my friend David Barker. David has a number of cool stories for the book, many of which have been published elsewhere, and together he and I are writing a novella set in Arkham that has now reached almoft 30,000. I am letting David write the final chapters of the thing, and I have just started retyping the entire novella so as to polish it and give it a smooth narrative flow. I have also selected ten very short items for inclusion in the book, most of which have been publish'd only in the Lovecraft eZine. They are:
1.) "Through Sunset's Gate" (1,830 words, to the best of my knowledge unpublish'd);
2.) "Midnight Mushrumps" (2,460 words,from ye 2012 anthology, Fungi);
3.) "An Eidolon of Filth" (3,090 words, Lovecraft eZine #21);
4.) "A Thousand Smokes" (1,060 words, Lovecraft eZine #19);
5.) "Elder Instincts" (1,530 words, Lovecraft eZine #9);
6.) "O, Lad of Memory and Shadow" (960 words, Lovecraft eZine #4);
7.) "Descent into Shadow and Light" (1,300 words; Lovecraft eZine #3);
8.) "Within One Ruined Realm" (1,685 words, from ye anthology Shadow's Edge);
9.) "A Presence of the Past" (11,400 words, from ye journal Fungi #21);
10.) "An Unearthly Awakening" (1,130 words, Lovecraft eZine #5).
It's nice, to feel that one has enter'd a new phase of life, one in which anxious ambition has quieted. At the moment I relish doing nothing but sitting in my armchair and reading great books. I have enjoy'd living my wild party-girl life, being a mad punk rock drag queen and screaming my way through ye days of being. What a remarkably varied life I have lived! But how delightful, now, to focus on a retiring existence for the moment, removing myself from society (and social forums and Internet sites), and existing in a world of words and ideas and poetry. Ahhhh....
|art by Jeffrey Thomas|