So, yes. It has been ten years since my first short story appeared in print, my first published piece of fiction, "Persephone" in Aberrations #27 (March 1995). I had three other stories published that same year: "The Comedy of St. Jehanne d'Arc," "Hoar Isis," and ""Between the Flatirons and the Deep Green Sea." These days, I probably couldn't read any of those stories without cringing a bit here and there, but towards the end of '95, a very black time for me, I was immensely pleased with this small accomplishment, and it gave me the only scrap of hope I was able to muster in those days. Here was this one small thing that I could do. And I spent the next decade doing precious little else. And it has been a remarkable decade. Even with the occassional setbacks and drama and The Dreaming and so and and so forth, it has truly been a remarkable decade. It seems almost impossible that it has only been ten years and makes me marvel at what the next ten might hold (I shudder to think what I might have to say about it all in 2015). Sure, I'm still not a household name (and I've kind of accepted that's never going to happen), and I've never had a bestseller, and I'm still waiting to be interviewed for NPR, and to get that first international book tour (financed by a publisher, mind you) and the first six-figure movie deal....blah, blah, blah...but seeing as how I "only" set out to become a writer, not a celebrity, I think that I've done pretty goddamn well, if I do say so myself. I have gone much farther than I ever imagined would be possible (thanks, in part, to the generosity and good graces of folks like Poppy, Neil, Peter, Harlan, Melanie, and really too many others to mention). And sure, I have days when I wish I'd never set foot on this path, but I'm told most people feel that way about whatever it is they do. All in all, writing has been pretty good to me. I haven't yet died of heroin addiction, starvation, or syphalis in some cold Bostonian back alley or on the floor of some skanky Dublin pub. And sure, when this life sucks, it sucks hard and it sucks deeply, and it sucks far more often than I'd presently like to think about, but the choice was mine. I could have gone another way. Ten years. Wow. That's perfectly, amazingly weird.
I spent hours yesterday trying to find the ending for "Untitled 13," the alien whorehouse vignette, and so far it has eluded me. I'm not sure how much I actually managed to write in those hours. A paltry few hundred words. Hopefully, I'll have much better luck today. I desperately need to put this one to bed (as it were).
Last night, Spooky and I had planned to rent Mr. and Mrs. Smith, as we were in the mood for a pleasantly dumb movie in which Brad Bitt and Angelina Jolie try to kill each other (talk about writing slash). After two Blockbusters, Movies Worth Seeing, and Videodrome, we were forced to accept the obvious, that every copy in this corner of Atlanta had already been rented. So, we rented The Devil's Rejects, instead. I'd sworn again and again that I wouldn't waste my time on another Rob Zombie film. It's no secret that I thought House of 1,000 Corpses was one of worst, most infantile, most pointlessly repugnant pieces of crap ever committed to celluoid. But we rented the sequel anyway. And you can colour me impressed. I find it difficult to believe that these two films were even made by the same man. Clearly, the venerable Mr. Zombie is someone who can learn from his failures and learn fast. The Devil's Rejects gets everything right that House of 1,000 Corpses couldn't even be bothered with. It is, in fact, one of the best horror films I've ever seen. So there. Never let it be said that I'm unwilling to give an aging psychobilly rocker who wants to be a fimmaker a second chance at wowing me. I want more.
And the first person who sends me two "Captain Spaulding for President" T-shirts (one large, one XL) gets a free one-year subscription to Sirenia Digest. No fooling.
I think I've listened to Jethro Tull's "Heavy Horses" about a hundred times in the past two days. It is currently the song that's making everything a little easier. Oh, and here's something very cute — Cthulego.
Please have a look at the new eBay auctions. Silk for only $9.99. Lots of other goodies. In fact, I think I'm going to list a copy of Aberrations #27 sometime today or tomorrow, just to commemorate that first decade. Maybe also a copy of Candles for Elizabeth.