Low Winter sun

Castlerigg Plaque

As 2014ce edges towards a close, it seems a good time to do a bit of an update on various writings and projects:

New Zealand based fantasy writer Lynne Jamneck is editing a collection of Lovecraftian stories written by women, to be published as Dreams From The Witch House by Dark Regions Press in 2015, with a clear emphasis on diversity as regards sexual orientation and ethnicity of the authors. This is the kind of thing I really want to be involved in, so I sent her The Man Who Builds The Ruins – probably the closest to ‘Lovecraftian’ writing I’ve done. This weekend I heard that the story passed the first reading round. Still a long way to go, I know, and a couple/few months of awaiting news, but I’m much cheered by this, and reading a bit about Jamneck, who has a huge interest in science and magick/the occult, has made me even more keen to be involved. Writing is solitary – which is partly why it suits me so much – but the isolation, the sense of operating in a complete vacuum, can become overwhelming at times. One shouldn’t write/create to please others, and I don’t, but if someone else is sympathetic or gets what I’m doing, it’s a huge bonus.

The running order for my short story collection in Storylandia #15 has now been set. Coincidentally (or not), the order I put them in turned out to be alphabetical, and also the same as editor Ginger Mayerson had listed them. At her request, I sent her some photographs I took many years ago, and it is quite possible that one of them will be used for the journal’s cover. If so, it’ll be the first photography I’ve had published since some shots (from Highgate Cemetery and a Swiss forest) appeared in Night Mail art fanzine in the early 1990s.

More stories are on the way: In Holes And Corners needs some more adjustments, more in the way of place names than anything else. The story is set in Camborne but I may invent a town name, one that’s a little more lyrical. Pig Iron has now been (very sketchily) sketched out and is progressing well and I have notes on two more stories to work on next year, which don’t have working titles yet, but both ideas are promising. Completion, a story began earlier this year, is on the back burner for now, until the way forward with it becomes more apparent. Ironically, it may never be completed!

Meanwhile, I look forward to the Montol celebration in Penzance on the Winter Solstice. As one of the masked participants gleefully said last year, “All the oddballs come out for this one.” I need to connect, even at a distance, with the more strange elements of the area. It’s reassuring.

2 thoughts on “Low Winter sun

  1. The blog looks great! Did you change the theme? Gorgeous photo. Exciting about your upcoming publishing prospects – I’m especially interested in the Lovecraftian project for women, such a cool idea. And, great that your photography may play a part as well. Your diligence and discipline are always inspiring; I find it so easy to procrastinate or postpone – especially when under stresses of one kind or another. But when I look at writers like you, I’m reassured that it’s possible to keep many fires burning, so to speak, and they will sustain you. I feel very keenly the tension between being solitary and introverted, and the desire to connect with others; blogging certainly helps straddle both. Happy Solstice!

    • And a belated Happy Solstice to you! As far as the blog goes, all I’ve done is play around with a few of the colours; I’m glad it’s had such an effect. The new photo is of Ullswater in the Lake District from my trip in September, a truly inspiring week or so. The blog/website is as good as I get in terms of self-promotion, mainly it’s a matter of me being easy to find if anyone’s interested and yes, to connect with like-minded others has become more important to me in the last few years.

      I’ve checked back on Lynne Jamneck’s website, and she states that ‘Dreams From The Witch House’ will be “published in a deluxe lettered hardcover edition, a signed and numbered hardcover edition and trade paperback. It will be a thing of beauty.” Sounds good! More importantly – while there are far more women being published in the sf/slipstream/horror genres these days, it’s still a harder road for us and we need our spaces, I think. And to actively seek diversity is essential. I just hope – whether I’m involved or not – that the anthology is not overlooked.

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