Tuesday, November 26, 2013

WEIRD TALES ONLINE interview

photo art by WILLIAM HART
Weird Tales Online has just to-day pofted a wee interview with moi, and may be found at www.weirdtalesmagazine.com.  As a Lovecraftian author, I have a special fondness for Weird Tales, the magazine wherein Lovecraft found his primary professional success when he lived.  To be connected to or with the magazine feels like a living link with E'ch-Pi-El, and those psychic links give the Lovecraftian writer a kind of emotional joy and solace that is difficult to explain or rationalize.  So to have this interview up on the magazine's website feels extraordinarily wonderful.  I've sold to ye magazine but once, when they publish'd a story I co-wrote with Maryanne K. Snyder as ye lead story to issue #348 (January 2009).  That rocked my world!



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

wee update


David and I finish'd our short novel, "The Revenant of Rebecca Pascal," and thus our book of stories is completed, and we will be sending it to our publisher, Dark Renaissance Books, at ye end of December.   I wasn't planning on having a new book out next year, but this one kinda crept up on me.  I thought I'd have to write another six or seven new things to fill it out, and I am simply not in a writing mood; but then I found things from anthologies and the Lovecraft eZine that cou'd serve as my other stories for the book, and I have one unpublish'd item that I also added.  We are calling the book SPECTRES OF LOVECRAFTIAN HORROR.  It will probably first be publish'd as limited and deluxe hardcover editions, and then in paperback and Kindle.

I've completely lost interest in writing for now.  I've written too many books in too short a time, and I'm exhausted and bored with it.  I could force myself to work on things, but I don't want to write just for the sake of writing--I want to write because some idea compels me to give it fictive life.  My idea of writing a book of tales set in Providence has completed faded away, from lack of interest & inspiration. So I have a feeling that the writing I do for the next few years will be strictly for anthologies.  I have an idea that I want to write for S. T. and submit to Black Wings V, and I have promis'd stories to Mike Davis and Lois Gresh for anthologies they are editing.

Over the past couple of years I have written gobs of stories for anthologies, the title to moft of which I have now forgotten.  It's funny cos I'll suddenly hear that a book is out with a wee thing of mine that I have completely forgotten writing.  Anthologies that I do remember are moftly those edited by S. T. Joshi.  My friend Jessica and I have a story set in Arkham that will appear in Black Wings III--a story that is decadent to ye core & will hopefully shock and appall many readers and lead reviewers to dismiss the story's authors as "sick degenerates."  I also have a new Sesqua Valley story in S. T.'s forthcoming anthology, Searchers After Horror.

Then, for Black Wings IV, S. T. has accepted a story inspir'd by ye bottle I hold in ye photo above.  This is one of ye bottles crafted by Joe Broers, that he was selling at NecronomiCon--the bottles containing souls that were featured in E'ch-Pi-El's "The Terrible Old Man."  Joe presented me with ye bottle above at the convention, & is feels so weird and wonderful to hold it and gaze at ye swinging pendulum therein.  I find this creation so magical that I simply had to write a story about it, set in Kingsport.

So that's life at ye moment.  After Thanksgiving, whut I am spending with family, I begin ye task of looking for an actual job.  I miss, very much, employment, having a job and a steady paycheck, being part of a work team, and all of that.  I had to give up working my job at ye pizza joint cos the work became too strenuous for my health--I suffer from congestive heart failure.  Luckily, my church has an employment assistance centre, and there they find work for unemploy'd Mormons, even jobs with on-ye-job training.  So hopefully I'll have something before ye end of the year.

Shalom, my darlings.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Oh to be a fly upon ye wall......

To-day in England begins a conference on The Weird at ye Institute of English Studies, Senate House, University of London.

Keynote speaker One is S. T. Joshi, who delivers a speech entitled "Two Revolutionaries: Poe and Lovecraft."  Keynote speaker two is Roger Luckhurst, who speaks on "Where the Weird is: At the End of the Passage."

Luckhurst is ye editor of THE CLASSIC HORROR STORIES, the edition of H. P. Lovecraft's tales that was publish'd by Oxford University Press.  'Tis a book I refuse to have in my library because its editor has used the pulp texts that were the first publication of most of the stories in the book.  His reason for doing this was because he felt these texts contain'd a "pulp energy" that Lovecraft's Works apparently lack otherwise.  In his review of the book, S. T. has this to say about such a decision:
"How does Luckhurst defend this return to
corrupt texts?  Well, in reality he doesn't. . . .
Luckhurst tries to justify his use of Astounding texts by declaring that he wants to 'retain 
some of the pulp energy that Astounding Stories wanted to inject into Lovecraft's tales'
This is, I humbly submit, blithering idiocy."
S. T. ends his review, "I guess the lesson one has to draw from this book is: Don't entrust an amateur to do a professional's job."

How I wou'd love to listen in onto any discussion these two gents may have at this conference concerning ye editing of Lovecraft's texts!!!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Peace of Mind

"Whatever is realised is right."
                            --Oscar Wilde

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).

I will, in time, begin work on a new book, In Dark of Providence, in which most of the stories will be set in Providence.  I want the book completed in time for NecronomiCon 2015, shou'd such an event actually transpire.  Hippocampus Press will publish ye book, and I will be working with S. T. Joshi as my editor.  But moftly I see a future of retirement from writing.  I am utterly addicted to being lazy and doing little more than reading and dreaming.  Eventually I will need to find employment (at ye moment I am living off ye money inherited from my mother's estate), and that will be excellent.  I have always enjoy'd having a job, being part of a work team, having ye security of a regular pay cheque.  Much as I love writing my books, they never sell well enough to bring me any real money.  Indeed, I usually spend half or more of my royalties buying copies of my books to send to friends.

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

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Discarded Prelude to an Uncompleted Tale


The uncouth creature loped toward the pale willow tree and knelt to the place where grass did not grow.  How curious, that such a canine countenance could look so sly, so cunning.  It raised its green eyes to the full moon and uttered a sound of low baying, and those who heard the sound while sleeping found themselves plunged into depths of strange nightmare that is unique to Arkham.  Now, in modern time, people have mostly forgotten the unique relationship that moonlight has with Arkham; but it was recalled on this night, in this haunted place, by the beast that wrapped its talons around pallid willow vines.  The blasphemous thing breathed heavily, and clouds of vapor issued from its large mouth.  As it blinked jade-green eyes to dead moonlight it chortled to think, with what remained of its once-human brain, of its relationship with the lifeless globe of dust in the sky.  It scanned the silt on which it hunkered, unwinding once monstrous paw from the willow vines so as to etch a sigil in the earth.  Its hand formed into a fist, with which it pounded the ground; and from shadowed places in the graveyard there came the echo of other fists that beat the earth, fists that belonged to fiends pent in darkness.

Something stirred beneath the earth in response to ghoulish pounding, and residents of Arkham moaned as their dreams grew heavy and liquescent--an ethereal bile.  The creature bent to kiss the earth, and when it lifted its head there was a faint coating of yellow debris on its mouth.  Pursing impossible lips, it exhaled so that the chalky particles sailed before its face; and then the pallid cloud drifted down to conjoin with other residue that, sifting upward through the earth, formed as filthy phantom.  Weirdly, the willow vines writhed in greeting of the revenant. The specte raised what might have been a hand so as to make motions to the moon, the moon that darkened and took on a crimson tint as it washed Arkham with a blood-hued pall that seeped into the dreaming of poetic souls.  The old witch-town was haunted by those who screamed in sleep.

The hunkering ghoul drank in the screams of dreaming mortals as its jade orbs shimmered in ruddy darkness.  Others of its kindred crept to join it beneath the willow, forming a semi-circle of shadowed things that watched the chalky apparition. Some few, glancing on the scene, may have been reminded of a painting by Richard Upton Pickman, in which the diabolic artist had created the portent portrait of a hag hanging from a gallows.  Beneath the swaying corpse were gathered an assembly of fiends who paid homage to the murdered witch with moon-washed eyes.  Such eyes watched now, as the pallid shape seemed to try and solidify, to assemble as something more than spectral.  It was not to be, and thus the ghost split into particles of dust that drifted again unto the graveyard ground.

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

There are a number of things about that explain why I have discarded this particular tale.  Mainly, it is too similar to what I have already written.  How many times can I write of moonlit graveyards and their ghouls?  How often can I evoke Lovecraft's sinister artist?  It all feels too familiar, like I am stuck into some ghastly mode from which I need to escape.  So I share it with ye here.  The writing does not go well.  Mostly, I am bored with the things I try to work on.  Too, I am depress'd about my inability to find a full-time job.  However much I love writing my books, those books bring in so little money and do not help to pay ye bills.  Perhaps that is the root of my depression--I have to grow-up and live in the "real" world.  Bleh....