Unstable In All Her Ways
|(Bela Lugosi as ye Christ)|
"A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."
I am discovering ye truth of that wise saying; but I wonder sometimes if being unstable isn't the actual reason for my mental and emotional instability. There is almoft an aesthetic charm to the idea for me--& when I read the biographies of writers who have "lost it," I sagely nod my noggin and whisper, "Yes, that is ye fate that awaits me," as if it was something not only inescapable but "right." Ah yes--being such a sensitive soul means that I must suffer for my art. Nowadays that idea doesn't seem romantic as once it did--it seems like a pathetic load of poop. It sounds boring.
This is, alas, the fate in which I find myself. I feel this deep desire, this overwhelming ache, to write--& yet everything I begin is a false start. One day I overflow with confidence that I am going to begin a new project and write my brains out; & then ye next morning I sit at my keyboard with not one ounce of inspiration and I tell myself, "It's over, I've lost it, I might as well give up." My brain is like some daft emotional yo yo trying to slide along a string that is hopelessly knotted. Bah.
I was feeling, now that Bohemians of Sesqua Valley has been publish'd & I no longer have any new books awaiting publication, that that wou'd stir the need in me to begin work on a new book. I love having a future book awaiting publication, it's become this kind of mental ritual that I've started depending on. Ah, the future isn't all dim, because I have such-and-such book awaiting its publish'd existence. But even that has proven false. I've now had seven books publish'd in three years' time. Too, too many. Maybe I'm just burned out. Maybe I shou'd just sit the rest of the year out and read, let ye creative juices in my brain simmer and fester, until--at last--they are ready to boil over as creative ichor. The problem with that scenario is that, now, writing is my entire life--it's all I have, it's all I do. When I am not engaged in ye creation of a new book, I feel but half-alive. I get bloody bored. And sometimes it gets so bad that, in desperation, I try to force myself to write. I try to enforce a daily writing schedule, as my buddy S. T. Joshi does, who has a set time for working and ruthlessly sticks to it. But I lack S. T.'s discipline, that is not the way I cou'd ever function. I am a slave to my emotional rhythms.
It's been a wonderful journey, growing as a writer, although my talent is all a matter of instinct rather than know-how. I make a lot of mistakes, overuse adverbs, split my infinitives, and all of that. But that's okay with me, since I am a writer of ye Underground and my fiction will always lack professional polish. I sometimes playfully call myself "a professional Mythos writer," but I just do that to annoy my tedious critics.
What I love about my life as a writer is that I have stay'd true to my vision of being intensely and audaciously Lovecraftian. From my first book, Tales of Sesqua Valley, publish'd in England in 1990, to my two newest books, Encounters with Enoch Coffin and Bohemians of Sesqua Valley, I have remain'd Lovecraftian up ye arse. To remain so has become a kind of artistic obsession for me; & I have this perverse ache to become more Lovecraftian as time flows forward. If I have any kind of reputation as an author after my happy day o' death, it will be, "Holy Yuggoth, that guy was really into Lovecraft, wasn't she?!" That sweet Lovecraftian fever is with me as never before, burning brighter than ever. I will never allow ye flames to diminish. But how cou'd they--Lovecraft's fiction is so cool, and I return to it again & again and drink its ingenious elixir. Oh--oh! I feel ye need for another deep and dreamy quaff of Lovecraftian horror. I shall feast with eyes upon "The Haunter of the Dark." It's such a hearty Gothic brew.