Travelling without moving

St Michael's Mount

St Michael’s Mount

Anachron Press’ horror anthology Urban Occult is currently at the copy-editing stage, with publication now set for March. I’ve finished working on the proof of my story for it (Pieces) and it’s back with editor Colin Barnes for the final okay.

After a few quiet weeks I’m back working on From The Bones. I now have the rest of the story sketched out and while the tone feels light compared with most of what I write, I don’t know if it will be perceived by others that way. There’s certainly less of a sense of evil in this one – I’d call it a fantastic (or fantastique, which might be more accurate) modern fairy tale. I did do a small experiment with the story this week – I tried writing with the radio on in the background. I usually write with music playing or in complete silence (apart from the gulls screeching outside the window) and I wondered if any music would do. An hour’s work resulted in a couple of badly constructed paragraphs and a lot of frustration. In contrast, I put on Coil’s Astral Disaster (an expensive purchase, but, given the magickal nature of the recording [deep underground in London during Samhain 1998] and of the musick, well worth it) yesterday and the story just flooded out. Perhaps not hugely surprising results but it did confirm how certain music stretches the mind while others stunt it.

Astral Disaster is a strange album, though, even for Coil, and it received some mixed reviews on release (or its two releases: first on vinyl and then on cd). From first listening I had mental images of South America, a continent I’ve never visited, and I didn’t know why until I saw a documentary on a pre-Inca civilisation in Peru; it was clear to me that AD would have provided a perfect accompanyment to the ancient cliffside burial chambers, incredible feats of architecture and huge sacred sites on mountain plateaux.

JT, Penwith, 20 January 2013.