Monday, December 30, 2013

Ye Black Winged Ones



I am preparing to write a Mythos story for AUTUMN CTHULHU, edited by Mike Davis.  It is now a common practice for editors to put "Cthulhu" in the title of their anthologies as a selling point--indeed, Titan Books, reprinting the BLACK WINGS series of anthologies editing by S. T. Joshi for PS Publishing, have insisted on changing the series' name to BLACK WINGS OF CTHULHU, much to ye chagrin of S. T.   I have decided, when writing a tale for an anthology that uses Cthulhu inits title, to make my own story a tale of Cthulhu, or to have ye tale linked in some way to Lovecraft's "The Call of Cthulhu."  Part of my preparation for the writing of my tale was to listen to the entire tale by Lovecraft on YouTube, and to study
what critics have written concerning Lovecraft's story in such books as H. P. Lovecraft: A Critical Study by Donald R. Burleson, H. P. Lovecraft by Peter Cannon, and I Am Providence by S. T. Joshi.  I love the entire story by E'ch-Pi-El; but I want to concentrate on the tale's second section, "The Tale of Inspector Legrasse," which contains some of the coolest suggestions of mythic queerness found in the works of Lovecraft.  The main narrative tone of "The Call of Cthulhu" is that of an event that is grounded in solid (if outrageous) reality.  There is no doubt that the events in the story are meant to have actually occurred, something that cannot be said for tales such as "The Outsider," "Dagon" or "The Music of Erich Zann," which might be a remembering of outre dreaming.  (Writing of "Zann" in a letter of 8 February 1922 to Frank Belknap Long, Lovecraft states, "It is not, as a whole, a dream, though I have dreamt of steep streets like the Rue d'Auseil"--which may imply that the story is perhaps a dream narrative or that it was partially inspir'd by one of its author's fantastic dreams).   Yet, realistic as the tone of the story is, the middle section of "The Call of Cthulhu" touches of myths and legends that are quite fantastic: of a hidden lake in some unknown wooded region, and of the antics of a "swamp cult" (primitive and non-Caucasian, of course), who beat tom-toms in ye black haunted woods.  "There were legends of a hidden lake unglimpsed by mortal sight, in which dwells a huge, formless white-polypous thing with luminous eyes' and squatters whispered that black-winged devils flew up out of caverns in inner earth to worship it at midnight."  I have long been haunted by this idea and image, and will, in my tale, bring such a hidden lake to Sesqua Valley, in which such a beast (shoggoth???) dwells and is worshiped by Black Winged Ones.  These inky fiends will not be night-gaunts, as I want to link them to the other things that drifted to the earth with Cthulhu, those cosmic freaks who built for their Master His city of R'lyeh.  I want one of ye major characters to be a beguiling mestizo woman named Aleta de Castro, who discovers the hidden lake and, through magick, evokes the Black Winged Ones to join with her in ritual to ye outre thing that haunts ye hidden lake.

We shall see if I can come up with a workable plot for all of this suggestive weirdness.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

SPECTRES OF LOVECRAFTIAN HORROR

David Barker, Esq.
Ye new book has been completed and turned in to our publisher, Dark Renaissance Books--and if they accept it, it shou'd be publish'd in time for World Horror Convention in Portland, Oregon.  The book came as a surprise, after David sent me a number of his Lovecraftian tales, all of which impress'd me.  I wasn't really in the mood to write a new book, feeling that I have had too many collections publish'd in too wee a time.  The big surprise, with this book, is the short novel that David and I collaborated on for it.  I had ye beginning for a story that I grew bored with and discarded.  David asked to look at it to see if he could finish it as a collaboration.  We began to work on it together, and it grew and grew beyond belief.  It was finally completed as a work of over 33,000 words, a tale of Lovecraftian horror set in Arkham.  I then realised that I had a number of things that had been publish'd in ye Lovecraft eZine but had never seen printed form, and so I gather'd those works together, added some tales from anthologies from the past few years--and presto, we had a book!  Ye Contents is:

1.  "Your Ivory Hollow" (3,000 words, Pugmire)
2  "The Camber Horror" (5,400 words, Barker)  (my italics keeps turning on for some weird reason, so I'm just gonna leave it on...)
3.  "A Thousand Smokes (1,060 words, Pugmire)
4.  "The Leering Surf" (2,900 words, Barker)
5.  "An Eidolon of Filth" (3.090 words, Pugmire)
6.  "Among the Ghouls" (2,800 words, Barker)
7.  "Through Sunset's Gate" (1,830 words, Pugmire)
8.  "The Temple of the Worm" (1,900 words, Barker)
9.  "An Unearthly Awakening" (1,130 words, Pugmire)
10. "The Urns" (2,700 words, Barker)
11.  "Within One Ruined Realm" (1,685 words, Pugmire)
12. "The Revenant of Rebecca Pascal" (33,455 words, Barker & Pugmire)
13. "O, Lad of Memory and Shadow" (960 words, Pugmire)
14. "The Recluse" (4,200 words, Barker)
15. "Midnight Mushrumps" (2,460 words, Pugmire)
16. :The Stone of Ubbo-Sathla" (1,300 words, Barker)
17. "Elder Instincts" (1,539 words, Pugmire)
18. "The Crickets" (3,600 words, Barker)
19. "Descent into Shadow and Light" (1,300 words, Pugmire)
20. "Yearbook" (2,200 words, Barker)
21. "The Quickening of Ursula Sphinx" (2,170 words, Pugmire)
22. "Mural" (3,800 words, Barker)
23. "A Presence of the Past" (11,400 words, Pugmire)

I consider this a strong and diverse collection, and am really excited to see it come about.  I have a feeling it may be my last book for many years, unless I find renew'd inspiration & energy.  Too, I am looking for full-time employment, and I find it difficult to write after coming home from a long work day.  I hope, now and then, to write some of my weird vignettes for the Lovecraft eZine; but I simply have no energy or interest, really, in working on a new book of short stories.  Time to take a long, long break, and then return to to refresh'd.

with Jason V Brock at NecronomiCon Providence


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thank ye LOVECRAFT eZINE!!

I have semi-retired from writing as I begin looking for full-time work.  Looking for work is so different from what it used to be, everything is done online.  I have a wonderful resource in the LDS EMPLOYMENT RESOURCE SERVICES provided by my church.  I have an appointment with a fellow there on the 11th, and then a full-day workshop on the 18th.  I feel a bit anxious about looking for work, because I am over sixty and have congestive heart failure.  Who will hire me?  But one must try or die.

My writing plans for the next few years will be to write for an occasional anthology if I have time & inspiration.  I want to spend the majority of my free time, in these latter years, reading books.  I have so many books that wait to be read.

But the writing has been a wonderful experience.  I am proud that I have accomplish'd my goal to establish myself as a Lovecraftian author.  It was wonderful to be interview'd on WEIRD TALE's online site.  As a Lovecraftian, I feel a very solid connection to Weird Tales, the magazine with which HPL is so intimately associated.  And now, to-day, the Lovecraft eZine will post their Pugmire tribute issue--a thing that blows my mind.  I so appreciate the attention given to my work.  My goal as an author has been to write stories that would delight Lovecraftians, and this issue of the eZine suggests that I have succeeded in this.  It's been a thrilling and joyous experience, to write my wee tales and be publish'd in book form.  My eternal thanx to all who made it possible--publishers, editors, artists, readers.  The Pugmire issue will be available for reading free or purchasing for your Kindle some time to-day at www.lovecraftzine.com.