Friday, June 26, 2015

Queer Love, Baby

I am delighted that gay marriage is now legal in all American cities. Hopefully, this triumph will lead to more victories in cases of employment and housing discrimination aim'd at my queer sisters & brothers. The timing of this decision by ye Supreme Court is delicious, as this is Gay Pride Week-end, and I suspect that Sunday's pride parade is going to be one big-ass party of celebration & self-esteem. I no longer attend pride celebrations because of my diseased heart condition and inability to walk for any great length of time; but I must confess that I feel a real urge to be at the march this Sunday, just to soak up the positive vibes of love and joy.

However, as a queer Mormon, I feel that my place Sunday will be at church, because the church is very very anti-gay marriage. I once went to church and found, on a table in ye foyer, wee leaflets that proclaimed "Protect traditional marriage". My constant mental response to this is: "Protect traditional marriage from what?" How cou'd my marriage, if it ever occur'd, effect any heterosexual marriage. If I got marry'd, how cou'd it have any effect on my buddy S. T. Joshi's marriage to his charming and lovely wife, Mary? This bizarre and sick idea that gay marriage will affect straight marriage needs to be quashed.So, I suspect to hear some anti-gay marriage sentiments when I attend church this Sunday, and that makes me feel, more than ever, that I need to be at church so that my brothers and sisters there can see an extremely joyous and proud gay Mormon who is indeed celebrating the fact that queer marriage is now the law of the land. I need to be there to counter the sad frowns of discouraged bigotry, to smile and exude pure joy.

Cristien and I have the gay pride flag flying over our front porch. We are happy to declare that this household is a queer household. I am one happy queen to-day!


Thursday, June 25, 2015

pre-order MONSTROUS AFTERMATH

My next book, Monstrous Aftermath, is now up for pre-order at Hippocampus Press. It is scheduled to be publish'd in August and will sell for $20. Cover art and interior illustrations are by ye magnificent Matthew Jaffe (to ye left is his rendering of my favourite Lovecraftian beastie, ye night-gaunt, one of several interior illos for my book). Here is ye back cover copy that S. T. wrote for ye book:

"For decades, W. H. Pugmire has been one of the foremost exponents of Lovecraftian fiction. In an array of works ranging from exquisitely crafted sonnets to delicately perfumed prose-poems to richly-textured novellas, Pugmire has channeled the work of H. P. Lovecraft with a sensitivity and penetration that few have equaled. This new collection displays Pugmire's many strengths as a writer. Here we have stories inspired not only by Lovecraft but by Oscar Wilde and Robert W. Chambers. Many of them are set in the Sesqua Valley, that magical realm in the Pacific Northwest that Pugmire has devised as a parallel to the constellation of New England towns--Arkham, Innsmouth, Dunwich, and others--that Lovecraft fashioned in his tales of the Cthulhu Mythos.

"The capstone to the collection is a substantially revised version of Pugmire's classic prose rendering of Lovecraft's Fungi from Yuggoth sonnet cycle. This work, Some Unknown Gulf of Night, exhibits the full range of Pugmire's imagination--an imagination triggered by literature and infused with the quintessence of his own aesthetic sensibility. As a bonus, Lovecraft's poem is included so that readers can appreciate Pugmire's wondrous transmutation of verse into prose that is scarcely less poetic than the original.

"W. H. Pugmire is a self-confessed 'Lovecraft fan-boy' whose books include The Fungal Stain (Hippocampus Press, 2006), The Tangled Muse (2011), Uncommon Places (Hippocampus Press, 2012) and Bohemians of Sesqua Valley (2013). He lives in Seattle with a house full of cats from Ulthar."

Contents:
"Within Your Unholy Pit of Shoggoths" (1,750 words)
"Your Weighing of My Heart (1,325 words)
"The Tomb of Oscar Wilde" (1,600 words)
"These Harpies of Carcosa" (1,380 words)
"An Ecstasy of Fear" (11,600 words)
"Darkness Dancing in Your Eyes" (1,681 words)
"Beyond the Wakeful Senses" (1,800 words)
"Ye Unkempt Thing" (4,130 words)
"Half Lost in Shadow" (2,670 words)
"Circular Bones" (363 words; sequence of three sonnets)
"Jester of Yellow Day" (1,130 words)
"This Splendor of the Goat" (10,900 words)
"An Element of Nightmare" (3,630 words)
"Some Unknown Gulf of Night" (40,000 words)
Fungi from Yuggoth, by H. P. Lovecraft, Esq.

www.hippocampuspress.com


Saturday, June 20, 2015

SCISSOR SISTERS - Let's Have A Kiki (Custom Videodrome Discothèque Video...

New Book Now Available



Ye new book is available for ordering from www.darkrenaissance.com. Ye deluxe edition has already sold out, but ye trade hardcover is quite handsome. The book includes stories written in collaboration with David and myself, and tales that we wrote individually. The title story is entirely set in Lovecraft's dreamlands and is a novella of 25,000 words. Another new collaboration, "The Stairway in the Crypt," is a lengthy novelette with overtures of Poe. "A Presence of the Past" is my 11,600 word "version" of H. P. Lovecraft's "The Lurking Fear," set in Sesqua Valley. 

CONTENTS
"The Stairway in the Crypt" (David & Wilum)
"Your Ivory Hollow" (Wilum)
"Among the Ghouls" (David)
"A Thousand Smokes" (Wilum)
"The Temple of the Worm" (David)
"An Eidolon of Filth" (Wilum)
"The Urns" (David)
"Through Sunset's Gate" (Wilum)
"The Recluse" (David)
"An Unearthly Awakening" (Wilum)
"The Stone of Ubbo-Sathla" (David)
"Within One Ruined Realm" (Wilum)
"In the Gulfs of Dream" (David & Wilum)
"A Dweller in Martian Darkness" (David)
"O Lad of Memory and Shadow" (Wilum)
"Mural" (David)
"Midnight Mushrumps" (Wilum)
"The Ghoul God's Bride" (David)
"Elder Instincts" (Wilum)
"The One Dark Thought of Nib-Z'gat" (David)
"Decent into Shadow and Light" (Wilum)
"The Dead City" (David)
"The Quickening of Ursula Sphinx" (Wilum)
"The Horror in the Library" (David)
"A Presence of the Past" (Wilum)
"The Grasses of Mahspe" (David)

Ye book is handsome indeed, as are all titles from Dark Renaissance Books, with solid binding, good paper and printing, and superb art by Erin Wells. 

Ye one damper is that I shall have yet another new book publish'd next month or in August, and I dislike having books publish'd too closely together. Ah well. The two books are quite different from each other, and ye next book, Monstrous Aftermath, to be publish'd by Hippocampus Press, is entirely my own writing and includes ye new revised & expanded 40,000 word version of "Some Unknown Gulf of Night". It has been illustrated by ye remarkable Matthew Jaffe, and here is a wee peek at ye front cover image. The next book's title is taken from H. P. Lovecraft's Fungi from Yuggoth, and as an added bonus, Lovecraft's entire sonnet sequence is included as a kind of appendix. "Some Unknown Gulf of Night," of course, is a series of prose poems and vignettes that are my personal prose responses to each and every sonnet in Lovecraft's sequence. As soon as Monstrous Aftermath is available to order or pre-order, I will add a wee comment saying so to this blog.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

We Will Remember Thee, Mr Lee



Mr. Christopher Lee died on ye 7th. I was able to meet him once, when he appear'd at a local downtown theatre to promote one of his films (I think it was a Three Musketeers flick), and he exuded intelligence and kindness. As a kid, I was a horror film fanatic, first with the universal horror films, and then Hammer Films. Mr Lee became an instant favourite. His Dracula remains my favourite in cinema, although the films gradually became rather silly. I admit that I love The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, and was delighted to see Lee's brilliant performances in those series. May He rest in peace.


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Tranny


I find myself caught up in ye Caitlyn Jenner story, because of my personal trans history. When I was five and we moved into this neighborhood, I played mostly with the girls. We used to have tea-parties in a treehouse, and I always insisted on wearing one of the party frocks and being "one of the girls". When my father caught me dressed thus, he took me in to see our family doctor, who began to ask me questions about why I played with girls instead of playing ball with the boys. He asked if I wanted to be a girl. My brain was on high alert, and I knew exactly what was going on, so my only answer was repeatedly "I don't know." I knew very well--I wanted to be a girl, and at so young an age.

School was a torment, because I couldn't pretend to be a straight boy. I played with dolls, and when my parents were away I would wear my mother's shoes and get into her lipstick. At school, especially in junior high and high school, I was constantly tormented for being a sissy, pushed into lockers and bullied by boneheads. I became extremely introverted and lived in my own world, which at that time was a world of monster movies and reading Famous Monsters of Filmland. In high school, I was deeply involved in drama, and my best buddy and I wrote a  play together, a musical called Sugarlips. Brian had also written a play in which there was an over-ye-top campy character named Lillian the maid. At parties that he would hold at his house for our drama club, I would dress up as Lillian and serve food. It wasn't "being gay" for me--I was playing a character. Finally, I went on my two-year mission for the Mormon church. I worked for 16 months in Ireland, and then, because if health issues, completed my mission in Arizona and Las Vegas. It was during a church talent show in Vegas that I did my first real drag--borrowing a sister's wig and moo-moo and lip-synching to a Barbra Streisand record. 
"Lillian ye Maid"--I'm in high school, age 17. 

I no longer felt that I wanted to be a girl, until I began my friendship with Jessica Salmonson, who was going through the early stages of her gender reassignment. Jessica was working at the Seattle Sexual Minority Center, and I began to hang out there, and being with Jessica (who didn't know I was gay) started me thinking about my own trans needs. One weekly group that met every Sunday at the SCS was a support group for transgenders. I began going every week. They were lovely people, but I didn't really feel like I was "one of them," because I had no firm desire to become a woman. I loved being a transvestite but in a punky kind of way, being an obvious man who wore women's clothing and makeup without trying to "pass". It wasn't until I saw The Naked Civil Servant on public telly that I realized exactly what I was--I was a man who wanted to look effeminate. I was an exhibitionist. Quentin Crisp became my one and only role model, and his book became my bible. It wasn't until Boy George came along that I found a second role model, a bloke who was exactly what I felt I needed to be.
It was then that I first came across the term "gender-fuck". Yep, that was me.

So to-day I watched the Bruce Jenner interview on telly, and it rang a lot of emotional bells and lifted many childhood memories. When I was a girly child, I was just being myself in a very innocent way. I didn't know it was wrong or sick until my parents, society, and school bullies informed me of ye fact. When I got into punk rock, my drag became a form of defiance, a fabulous "fuck you" to uptight society. But now, in my twilight years, it is merely an absolutely natural form of being myself, and of embracing that queer trans child that I once was, that innocent tormented soul who stayed determined to live her life on her own terms. 



Tuesday, June 2, 2015

"A Psalm for Didymus Whateley"


More and more, I receive invitations to write for Mythos anthologies. It is as much a source of frustration as it is a compliment, as it keeps me from working full-time on the books I need to write. To-day I am working on a story that links to "The Tree-House," an old Sesqua Valley story that Robert M. Price re-wrote and publish'd in his Chaosium anthology, The Dunwich Cycle. There are aspects in Bob's story that I no longer care for and won't incorporate into my own tales of Sesqua Valley; but he had a character in ye tale that intrigued me, one Didymus Whateley, and I've decided to write a story in which this youngster is recall'd from ye Audient Void and return'd to mortality by a modern member of ye Dunwich clan. The story will be in two parts--the first section set in Dunwich, ye second set in Sesqua. I'm hoping to make it 2,000-3,000 words.

Found an old picture of me at work as Jonesy the Clown, at the Jones' Fantastic Museum. I'm very young in this photo, probably in my early twenties. I didn't do ye clown makeup too often as it was far more fun being my vampire character, Count Pugsly. I'm holding my rubber chicken, with whom I had a curious relationship. It was certainly a very cool first job for a young monster movie freak, being paid to dress up as monsters and prowl the Seattle Center advertising the museum. It was a summer job that I began when I was around 14 years of age, and I worked it until I left for my mission to Ireland for the Moron church in September of 1971. After years of wearing my vampire cloak, it became like a part of my being, and I learned how to move it gracefully and with sinister effect. Ah, how I loved that job. I still have my vampire cloak, and wear it on windy days.

Makeup has long been an essential part of my identity, either from working at the museum, from acting in high school and college plays, or in my secret childhood escapes into drag. It is no wonder that the way I identify as a gay man is through wearing makeup.