Friday, February 10, 2017

hooray!

"Dreams in the Witch House" is a fascinating story, although many modern scholars dismiss it as one of Lovecraft's "failures"; and, for me, part of the tale's fascination comes from HPL's treatment of occult stereotypes: the witch hag, the Black Man of ye Sabboath, the familiar, &c &c. I remember how shocked I was, when I first read ye tale as a young lad, by the extreme violence and gore of its conclusion. I loved Lovecraft's fiction for its mood and dreamy atmosphere, having no taste for blood-&-guts horror (as perhaps my own fiction shews). I've been enchanted with the idea of beihng a witch since early childhood, and my elder sister and I identified as witches when we were young children. I used to stage "voodoo" rituals in my bedroom for neighborhood boys when I was a kid, dancing evocatively around my bedroom as I played Yma Sumac 45's on ye phonograph. My grandparents had bought me a knife when they visited Germany, ye handle of witch was a goat hoof, and that seemed a perfect ritual tool. 

I've depicted a number of witches in my weird fiction, and thus it delighted me when my charming collaborator David Barker wrote en entire novel concerning witches in H. P. Lovecraft's dreamlands. The novel was originally to be publish'd by Dark Regions Press, who publish'd my other collaborations with David; but they recently passed on the new novel, and so I offer'd it to Derrick Hussey at Hippocampus Press. S. T. Joshi, who assists Derrick in selection of projects, ad read and praised the novel, and went out of his way to copy edit the entire text. They have many other books to bring forth before they can get to WITCHES, so the book may have to9 wait until next year to see publication.

Below is a photo of me at work at the Jones Fantastic Museum in the 1960's. Mine was a rather unimaginative "traditional" approach to ye witch image.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

as weird as weird can be...

Age changes your personality, I find. In ye olde days, I almoft never left home without wearing a shoggoth-load of makeup. I cannot, this morning, recall ye last time I wore makeup. I've simply lost interest in taking time to put all that stuff on me mug. Part of this results from no longer using publick transportation. It was such a trudge, taking the bus just to do grocery shopping. If I had to make all that effort going out, I wou'd make it amusing and look punk-queer. Part of ye exhibitionist thrill of punk, for me, was the variety of ways people reacted. It allow'd me to interact with people who wou'd otherwise never speak to me. Usually the people who stopped to speak were as kind as they were curious. It was only the blockheads who shouted insults from a safe distance. Another reason for no longer feeling ye need to dress up is, I think, a secure identity. In younger years I cultivated a variety of identities with which I proclaim'd myself in publick: queer, punk, transvestite, freak, ghoul, whutever. Now I have one solid identity: Lovecraftian author. 

One of ye great pleasures of writing and being publish'd, I find, is having my work illustrated. I cannot draw, and I admire those who have that wonderful talent. When they use that talent to bring to visual life a moment from one of my weird tales, oh honey, it thrills me. Check it out:



This is ye newest illustration by Tom Brown for my forthcoming Centipede Press book, An Ecstasy of Fear and Others. It is one ye strangest things my eyes have ever feasted on--eerie and hypnotic. I love his shading--and then, those two bright pinpoints that are daemonic eyes! Ia!! This illustrates a segment from my prose-poem sequence, "Some Unknown Gulf of Night," I believe. 

I find that I really have ye ache to write new stories. I'm just having a wee bit of difficulty getting started. Out of practice, so I am.