Okay, so I'm writing a new story. I had told myself that my work this year was not going to be Lovecraftian. So, above is a photo of my buddy S. T. playing his violin for a public performance of Handel's Messiah. I've got to write a story based on this. (I miss'd ye performance, alas.) And--bloody hell!--all of my inspiration have Lovecraftian sources. It seems I cannot think, as a writer, outside ye Lovecraft box. First off, it's bleedin' S. T. Joshi--the world's leading Lovecraft scholar/editor. Then, I am reminded that Lovecraft porform'd on ye violin in public (S. T. has a way of doing things that Lovecraft did in his lifetime--the list of similarities wou'd be astonishing; just his byline alone is evidence of H. P. Lovecraft's influence, as it has influenced my own byline.) As HPL writes of his musical experience:
"My rhythmic tendencies led me into a love of melody, and I was forever whistling & humming in defiance of convention & good breeding. I was so exact in time & tune, & showed such a semi-professional precision & flourish in my crude attempts, that my plea for a violin was granted when I was seven years of age, & I was placed under the instruction of the best violin teacher for children in the city--Mrs. Wilhelm Nauck. For two years I made such progress that Mrs. Nauck was enthusiastic, & declared that I should adopt music as a career--BUT, all this time the tedium of practising had been wearing shockingly on my always sensitive nervous system. My 'career' extended until 1899, its summit being a public recital at which I played a solo from Mozart before an audience of considerable size." (Selected Letter I, pgs 29-30)
So there is my stories first "Lovecraft connection". Because of S. T.'s race, I also immediately thought of another musical incident, from when E'ch-Pi-El was living in Brroklyn, musical in an alien way.
"...once a Syrian had the room next to mine, and played eldritch and whining monotones on a strange bagpipe which made me dream ghoulish and indescribable things of crypts under Bagdad and limitless corridors of Eblis beneath the moon-cursed ruins of Istakhar. I never saw this man, and my privilege to imagine him in any shape I chose lent glamour to his weird pneumatic cacophonies. In my vision he always wore a turban and long robe of pale figured silk, and had a right eye plucked out...because it had looked upon something in a tomb which no eye may look upon and live."
I've played with the idea of my narrator meeting this man who is his neighbor in a seedy hotel, but that is too close to Lovecraft's actual experience. I plan on setting the story in Gershom, my mythical city of exiles, and so I am thinking of having the two gents meet in an abandoned abbey or cathedral, where the strange dark chappie goes to play his weird music in the moonlight that slips into the edifice from those places where the roof has caved in. But this, too, would be distinctly Lovecraftian. I cannot escape the fellow's taint.
Whatever I do, I must not describe ye fellow's violin playing as "eldritch"!!!
So I just need to work more diligently in not evoking Lovecraft's influence in the stories I am about to write--yet acknowledge that Grandpa's heavy influence will weigh always on whatever I compose.