I am far more haunted, as an artist, by H. P. Lovecraft, this year, than ever before. I sense a need to do so much more with Lovecraftian weird fiction, and to improve the way I write it. I strive for excellence, although I doubt I can ever truly achieve it. Still, one has to try. I've just finish'd proofing my next book for Hippocampus Press, MONSTROUS AFTERMATH, having printed out ye entire pdf file so that I could read the book as hard copy. My final piece in ye book is my revised/extended version of "Some Unknown Gulf of Night. When the piece was first publish'd in book form by Arcane Wisdom Press, I consider'd it the finest thing I have ever written. Reading it anew, these past several days, has left me a wee bit disappointed with it. I could have done so much more. I was obsess'd with having a repetition of motif. of character and language; but this new reading points of that there is too much repetition, especially if the piece is read entirely in one quick sweep. Another odd thing is that, in comparing some segments with the Lovecraft sonnets that inspir'd them, I can no longer comprehend how a particular sonnet inspired my prose response--there seems no clear correspondence at all.
This feeling of "I could have done so much more with this" came to me some time ago when I was rereading my other prose-poem sequence, "Uncommon Places". Indeed, I return'd to some of the segments in that work and, thinking they wou'd be so much better as actual short stories rather that prose-poems or vignettes, rewrote a number of them as regular short stories; & some few of those rewrites will be included among ye tales in MONSTROUS AFTERMATH. As I read over "Some Unknown Gulf of Night" to-day, and compared my prose-poem segment with the actual sonnet by H. P. Lovecraft that inspir'd it, I found myself thinking, "This could have been so much better. There is no connection between HPL's original sonnet and whut ye have written here. You could put the inspiration received from this sonnet to such better use." I felt this keen, some few hours ago, when I compared segment XXXI of "Gulf" to Lovecraft's "The Dweller" sonnet; and I experienced a wee ache to "try again," to write a full weird tale inspir'd by "The Dweller" that actual had real solid connections to Lovecraft's poem. I have a feeling I will be studying the sonnets anew later on this year, and use them as inspiration for a horde of new stories in ye Lovecraft tradition. I'll have, come summer, some new editions of Lovecraft's poems with which to cull inspiration: for PS Publishing will be bringing out a wee illustrated edition of Lovecraft's poems that were publish'd in Weird Tales, a number of which were ye Fungi; & Hippocampus Press will be bringing forth David Schultz's The Annotated Fungi from Yuggoth, complete with about 40 new illustrations created for that particular edition.
I need to improve, in order to excel. That will come about only with ye writing of many, many, many more Mythos stories. Happily, I have a feeling that there are going to be more Mythos anthologies forthcoming in ye next few years--I've just been invited to write for two new ones.