Thursday, January 31, 2013

Update


In October of 2007, my friends took me on a three-week tour of New England and New York.  We spent four days in Providence, and they were the happiest four days of my life.  For the Lovecraftian, Providence can be a magick city.  And I felt this ache of desire:  I had to move to Providence, to dwell there in my final years and become a Providence writer of Lovecraftian weird fiction.  The ache to dwell in dark of Providence is still there, and I will be overjoy'd to visit the city in August for NecronomiCon 2013 ~~ but I am finding Seattle a rather good town in which to dwell during my years of fading away.  The above photo explains why, partially:  the Northwest has its share of awesome writers.  Seated is Greg Bear, and standing next to me, with his hand on Greg's shoulder, is William F. Nolan--who is still actively writing!  On the one end is Sunni Brock, and she and her husband Jason V Brock have added to the pure pleasure of my existence, and they are both doing amazing things in the genre.  We recently had a visit from our genre's finest editor, Ellen Datlow, who is standing next to Sunni.  Next to Sunni is horror author Nancy Holder, four-time winner of ye Bram Stoker Award--she and Ellen were in town for a convention with which HWA was involved. 

And there, next to Bill Nolan, is the man who has made living in Seattle a rare Lovecraftian treat--the world's foremost Lovecraft scholar and editor, S. T. Joshi.  I nearly fainted, years ago, when I learned that S. T. had moved to Seattle.  How could such a thing be real?  He was one of the very few people whom I come close to worshiping because of his work on Lovecraft's texts, Lovecraft's biography, &c &c.  He was the one critic whose opinion means anything to me--because I feel that, as one who is as intimate with Lovecraft as I am, he is one of the very few people who can completely "get" my fiction, and thus if he thought my work had validity, I was validated indeed as an author.  But now he is one of my most intimate friends, always a delight; and he is an editor for whom I love to write.  Landing a new story in his forthcoming anthology from Fedogan & Bremer, Searchers After Horror, made me moist with deep delight.

So, I think I'm going to stay in Seattle, in this house that my father had built when I was five years old.  I've turned mother's bedroom into my writing room.  It killed me to have the room so vacant (we moved mom's hospital bed with her to the rest home).  So when my buddy Nick came and assembled my new desk, it really helped to make this room feel like a room in which I can write.

My companion, Ghostboy, and I visited mother today, and she was more alert than usual.  She knew who he was and called him by his correct name, and she was fairly talkative, although much of what she utters makes no sense.  It's going to be a rough month, February.


But it is also going to be an amazing month, because one of my finest books will be publish'd on February 19th by Dark Regions Press.  Encounters with Enoch Coffin, by Jeffrey Thomas and W. H. Pug-wug, will have a special deluxe edition of 40 copies, selling at $99 per book.  Then there will be a signed and numbered edition of 150 copies.  Extra care is going to grace the creation of the book, the theme of which is a depraved, daemonic New England artist, Enoch Coffin, who is our own version of H. P. Lovecraft's wicked Richard Upton Pickman.  The book will have interior artwork for each individual tale by Clint R. Leduc.  The wrap-around jacket will feature the art of Santiago Caruso~~above is the back jacket portrait of our artist.  Jeff and I are scheduled to do a live chat thing on the day of the book's release.   I cannot help but be really excited about this book, because it is so over-the-top Lovecraftian.  I feel that some few of the novelettes that I have written for it are among the finest things I have ever penned.  So, even though next month is going to be profoundly wretched and sad--it will also be one of aesthetic creative delight.

ENCOUNTERS WITH ENOCH COFFIN
by
Jeffrey Thomas & W. H. Pugmire
Jacket art by Santiago Caruso
Interior Art by Clint R. Leduc
Dark Regions Press, February 2013

Contents
Ye Unkempt Thing
Matter of Truth and Death
Beneath Arkham
Spectral Evidence
They Smell of Thunder
Mystic Articulation
Every Exquisite Thing
Impossible Color
Ecstasy in Aberration
Shadow Puppets
Fearless Symmetry
Unto the Child of Woman 
 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Poetry and Ye End of Life


If I'm not around for a while it's cos I'm doing the things that help me deal with the stress and sadness of life, and honey, ye Internet doesn't usually help with such things, being more a source of its own kind of chaos....

But I love how the Internet has enrich'd my life, letting me come here and share my life as an author with y'all, or making my strange clownish videos on YouTube.  As an author, having my books available at Amazon has utterly changed everything, making it easy for readers world-wide to buy my titles, and that is simply cool and a source of joy.

Gonna drown myself working on the new book, gonna dive deeply into the sea of creativity and stay there until the book is completed.  Writing is my finest therapy and solace.

My love to all, and thank you so much for your wondrous and appreciated support for my writing.  You are the reason I write--to please other Lovecraftians.  You are the reason I shall carry on.


The Road of Pain
by Clark Ashton Smith

A haggard scar across Life's verdant plain  
     Straight runs the Road of Pain,
The road of anguish, of despair and dread
     Whereon all feet must tread.

Prince, merchant, mendicant, must all essay
     That long and thorny way.
Through pitiless days each shall with gasping breath
     Implore surcease or death.

At last shall come the long withheld release,
     The Road shall lead to peace.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Monday, January 28, 2013

UNUTTERABLE


Had a fabulous time last night.  The ALA were in town over ye week-end for a convention, and the HWA played a large part in the proceedings.  Yesterday was "Horror Day," and many librarians worked their schedules so as to attend yesterdays panels and such.  So last night some horror people met for dinner at a fancy joint next to ye convention center downtown.  S. T. Joshi hates driving in downtown Seattle. and knowing that the lovely Sunni Brock was going to pick me up, S. T. drove to my pad so that Sunni could drive us both.  I took advantage of his being here to take ye above photo for my Facebook profile.  Unutterable Horror has been publish'd in two volumes by PS Publishing--www.pspublishing.co.uk/--and people seem to really like it thus far.  Of course it could not be complete in any way, as S. T. states, but it is a fascinating study.  Vol. 1 is "From Gilgamesh to the End of the Nineteenth Century," and Vol. 2 is "The Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries."

S. T. has so many projects.  He has edited a two-volume anthology of original fiction, The Madness of Cthulhu, for Titan Books, all-original fiction inspir'd in some way by H. P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of MadnessHe has another anthology of Mythos fiction, mostly reprints, forthcoming from Centipede Press, and is half-way finish'd assembling another anthology (of mostly non-Lovecraftian fiction, Searchers After Horror, for Fedogan & Bremer. 

Anyway, we had a lovely time last night.  I don't drink, and it is rather amusing watching people's tongues loosen as they drink more and more wine, and then their talk becomes scandal!!  Oh, my dears!--the stories I heard last night--none of which I can share....

 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Missing Mother


It is simply weird, how life turns out.  I moved in to take care of my mother five years ago, and for the last two years it has been intensely difficult.  She lost her ability to stand or walk unaided, and thus I had to lift her from bed to the wheelchair, take her to the bathroom, cook her meals and try to keep her occupied.  Her dementia became so acute that she was never silent, always making peculiar humming sounds, or shouting abuse, or calling for help.  It became impossible to concentrate on writing, because every time I vanished in order to do some work, mom would freak out and begin shouting for me, or yelling things.  She no longer knew that she was home, kept telling all of us, "I want to go home, take me home."  We decided that it was time to place mother into assisted living, and my niece discovered a wonderful place far away.  Part of me was so worn out with all of her noise and dementia, that I kept longing to be alone in the house, aching for silence and solitude.

Oscar Wilde said, "When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers."  We know we did the "right" thing, she is getting excellent 24-hour care and the home she is in is beautiful.  The staff is brilliant.  My niece lives ten minutes away and visits mom always.  But it seems that the moment we place mom into the facility, a part of her "gave up."  She is now amazingly weaker, rarely lifts her head up to acknowledge that any of us are there, speaks always in a whisper and most of what she says is quite confused.  Visiting her in this state is difficult and depressing, and yet we feel a keen need to be with her, hoping that some part of her realizes that we are still there for her, that we haven't abandoned her.

I now exist in the condition for which I ached--silence and solitude, that I wanted so very much.  I hate it.  The house is too quiet, too lonesome.  I don't know how to live, what to do with all of my time.  I miss my mother, and part of my brain still listens for her weird sounds, her calls to go to the bathroom, her weeping and wailing.  My brain has trained itself to never let me fall too solidly asleep, to always be listening for the calls from the room next to mine.  I'm no longer living on mom's monthly money, with which I bought groceries and paid bills, and it's becoming obvious that I probably need to set the writing of books aside (they don't pay the bills) and seek full-time employment.  Being an old queen, over sixty and with a bad heart, doesn't make me optimistic about employment opportunities.  I'm feeling lost.

I know I am extraordinarily lucky to be able to live in this house, the home my father had built when I was 5 and 1/2.  I bought a new desk and two huge bookcases, and my buddy Nick came over and assembled the desk, which I've put in mom's old bedroom.  Having that room empty was a source of depression, but having the desk up has transformed the room and given it function.

I hate that mother is so far away.  The gloom and sadness of missing her has me so down that writing is difficult, as much so as when she was here making her weird noises.  It will probably be the best thing for me, to find at least a part-time job, even if it means that I no longer have the time or energy to write books.  One of the reasons I've been writing like a madman these past three years, producing book after book, is because I sensed the time would come when I had to return to real employment and set the writing aside for a few years.  So, it's cool if I have to slow down or stop the book production, I've produced too much of late.

The American Library Association is having a big convention here in Seattle this week-end, so on Sunday I am meeting a bunch of HWA locals for din-din.  Ellen Datlow will be in town, and I'll get to meet local horror writers I am unacquainted with.  Coolness.  And I get to hang-out with Sunni and Jason Brock and S. T. Joshi and William F. Nolan.  That should perk me up a bit.

It's so quiet, and the ringing in my ears seems amplified.  I share with Barbra Streisand the affliction of something called chronic tinnitus, a constant, never-ending ringing in the ears.  Often it's dulled and barely noticeable, but at times--like to-night--it is extremely loud and high-pitched and drives you crazy.  It makes me mutter those lines from Poe ~~

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sesqua Valley's Mount Selta


Gwabryel just sent the above, one of his interior illustrations for Bohemians of Sesqua Valley.  It has left me rather breathless; many artists have depicted the white twin-peaked mountain of Sesqua Valley, but this drawing comes uncannily close to how I see the mountain in my imagination.  This drawing is for a story called "This Splendor of the Goat," a novelette that pays homage to Shub-Niggurath and ye Black Goat o' ye Woods with a Thousand Young.  The contents of the book (whut will be publish'd end of April by Arcane Wisdom Press and is now up for pre-order), is:
"In Memoriam: Robert Nelson," a prose-poem of 364 words, written in memory of a young suicidal poet who corresponded with H. P. Lovecraft.  This work appeared in ye Lovecraft eZine.
"One Card Unturned," a story of 9,000 word written in collaboration with Maryanne K Snyder and publish'd here for ye first time.  It concerns a tainted Sesqua Valley tarot deck.
"An Ecstasy of Fear," a novelette of 11,585 words.  It concerns a visitor to the valley, Sarah Paget-Lowe, who comes to ye valley to visit her gay poet chum, Akiva Loveman.  It sees its first publication herein.
"Unhallowed Places," a new prose-poem/vignette sequence of 9,500 words.
"This Splendor of the Goat," 10,535 words, original to this collection.
"A Quest of Dream," 5,000 words, a new tale concerning night-gaunts and ye place where Sesqua Valley's woodland touches the woods of Lovecraft's Dreamlands.
"The Strange Dark One," 14,000 words, reprinted from THE STRANGE DARK ONE--TALES OF NYARLATHOTEP, because I wanted the story to have a hardcover publication, and it fits perfectly with ye theme of this new collection.

I've kept the book wee because it is one of two limited edition hardcovers of my work to be publish'd this year, and I wanted to keep the price down.  I've had so many books publish'd these past two years, and who can afford to buy them all?  I really need to slow down, so I do.  The book to be published by Dark Regions Press at the end of this month, Encounters with Enoch Coffin, is a hefty 77,000 words of new original fiction.  I am nigh working on the next book, but I'm really taking my sweet time with it, in no rush to complete it and see it publish'd.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Boy George Happy



Although busy with Culture Club -- preparing for a new World Tour and recording a new Culture Club album -- my soul-sister Boy George has another project called A Boy Called George, his performance and recording name for, if I understand correctly, electro-techno noise.  This new release, recorded with DJ Yoda (with whom I am unfamiliar) is quite superb.  It may be purchased as MP3 download at Amazon, and it on DJ Yoda's new album, CHOP SUEY.  What is especially rad is that George, after years of misery and mischief, does indeed seem to have found an inner peace, coming to terms with his celebrity and celebrating life as an outstanding creative artist.  And, girlfriend, he looks FAB!!!!

Also, his musical TABOO has returned to London, with new songs and an expanded book.  Although I hated the American Broadway version, which corrupted the genius of the original production, I love that original London version, which I have on dvd.  Keep on keeping on, Sister George!  We love and support you absolutely & forever!

 

Monday, January 14, 2013

MICHAEL CISCO, Centipede Press

 

 

Penguin Classics CLARK ASHTON SMITH!!!

Scott Connors (pictured above standing next to S. T.) has been assisting S. T. Joshi with contents selection for the forthcoming Penguin Classics edition of the poetry & prose of Clark Ashton Smith.  Scott has just announced their story choices at www.eldritchdark.com -- and I reprint them here:

THE DARK EIDOLON AND OTHER FANTASIES
Clark Ashton Smith
(Penguin Modern Classics, tentatively scheduled for early 2014 release)
Sadastor
The Tale of Satampra Zeiros
The City of the Singing Flame
The Holiness of Azedarac
The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis
The Demon of the Flower
The Weird of AvoolsWuthoqquan
Ubbo-Sathla
The Double Shadow
The Disinterment of Venus
The Beast of Averoigne
The Maze of the Enchanter
Genius Loci
The Dark Eidolon
The Weaver in the Vault
The Death of Malygris
The Seven Geases
Xeethra
The Last Hieroglyoh
The Treader of the Dust
Phoenix

Scott adds:  "Along with most of the prose poems and a hefty sampling of poetry from all periods of his career (but not, alas, including 'The Hashish-Eater,' whose length would have meant eliminating too many other fine pieces) this book should ensure CAS' place in the canon."

Visit Ye Eldritch Dark forum to read the rest of Scott's post and the thoughtful comments it has elicited.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Wondrous New Beginning


This room, my mom's old bedroom, has been such a forlorn place ever since we took her to assisted living.  But this wonderful desk has ABSOLUTELY TRANSFORM'D the aura of the room, and it now feels, absolutely, like the place wherein I will write the remaining books that I am able to write during this lifetime.  The room has a new life, a new and marvelous function.  I can't thank Nick enough for assembling my desk, something utterly beyond my capabilities.  It is a source of personal shame that I am so bleeding helpless when it comes to the every-day things of life.  Now the responsibility of taking care of this house belongs to me and my companion--and that is rather terrifying!

I've been writing a number of Mythos Journal entries over at www.alt.horror.cthulhu -- a Google Group, and that link may not, probably won't, work.  The group has of late been assail'd by a pathetic anti-Joshi troll who insists that Joshi's Corrected Texts actual corrupt the authentic Lovecraft texts found in Derleth's Arkham House editions!!!  It has led to some heated discussions and childish name-calling (guilty....)  I am a Derleth fan big-time, and his book above, Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, was one of two books that convinced me I needed to become a Mythos writer; but those early AH texts of Lovecraft are a mess!!  Anyway, I'm trying to encourage more activity at alt.horror.cthulhu -- and RAMSEY CAMPBELL is a regular poster there!  Check it out.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Home

My mother is now in assisted living, in a wonderful place where she will get excellent care.  I have been aching to live alone, in a quiet atmosphere in which I could concentrate on writing new books--& that is exactly what I have now, and I hate it.  For the moment, anyway.  I miss my mama, even though she drove me crazy on account of her dementia and tantrums and all.  And I'm feeling so stupid and helpless and frustrated.  My wonderful niece got me a new laptop for Christmas, and I have no idea how to set up email or transfer my docs from the old computer into the new one.  I hate Windows 8 and will be installing Windows 7.  Then I ordered a new desk and two bookcases from OfficeDepot, but they came in sections that need to be assembled.  I may be able to figure out how to put together the bookcases, but the desk is so complicated and portions so heavy that there is no way I can do it, especially not alone.  Oy, ye angst!

To take my mind off things I've been doing mass house-cleaning and rearranging rooms.  I have the front and dining rooms to where I really like how they look and feel--not too different from the way that mom had it, she had a good eye for house design; but obviously now the realm of Wilum ye Writer.  I spent most of today rearranging my bedroom and the small room (it was my bedroom when I was six years old), and most of that consisted of moving milk crates in which I keep my books, and then moving some of the bedroom furniture.  I overdid it a bit and became extremely worn out, so I just had a good nap.

Thus I enter a new phase, and one of ye final phases, of my life.  Made me reflect about my strange, curious and fabulous history.  I present some of that to you now in photos.

My combined Jewish/Native American heritage was far more evident when I was a wee kid.  My mom's friends would joke that I was an adopted Eskimo child.
Oy, those Jewish Kafkaesque ears!
On my way to Ireland to serve two years as a Mormon missionary.  I got so home sick that I pretended to have breathing problems (I did have one weak lung), so after 16 months the church sent me to the Arizona/Las Vegas Mission to finish my two years in sunlight.

A young punk rocker, and a kitty cat.

Combined my queer lifestyle with my punk lifestyle, & became Seattle's notorious "Boy George guy."

From a newspaper article featuring Seattle horror writers.

Discovering the exhibitionist joy and delirium available from doing videos on YouTube.  Fun!

 Now, at age 61, all of my mad bohemian ways have dissolv'd into one keen resolve:  to spend ye remainder of my days writing Lovecraftian weird fiction.  That and that alone is my life from here on out.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ye Nameless Sesqua Tower

This is the sinister tower in Sesqua Valley where Simon Gregory Williams houses his arcane library.  This reproduction is made out of gingerbread and is on its way to me from Salt Lake City.  It's creator, Corey Howard, is spending this afternoon with me.  I am simply amazed at this creation!


Below is the actual water tower here in Seattle that inspired my creation of Simon's tower--but nothing compares to Corey's creation.  I have said again & again that part of the real pleasure of being a writer is to have creative friends who send me their work, their busts of HPL or of Cthulhu.  Corey's tower is one of the real highlights of such creations.  It will be difficult for me to eat it!


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

BOHEMIANS Up For Pre-Order


One of my two new hardcover collections to be publish'd this year has just gone up for pre-order at www.miskatonicbooks.com -- & we feel the book may sell quickly, as there are only 150 being publish'd in this hardcover edition.  Price is $49, & ye release date is Walpurgisnacht -- April 30.  I wrote ye book this past summer, enthrall'd & ecstatic at ye idea of NecronomiCon Providence 2013 -- www.necronomicon-providence.com.