December 5th, 2006


fault mine or fate the final division

I am at this moment exceedingly groggy, though I've been awake now for more than an hour. I did get about seven and a half hours sleep last night, which is much better than my average.

If all my days were like yesterday I surely would give up this writing thing and become a bartender. I wrote 2,264 words (3,324 if you count the blog entry), which is about the best I can ever expect from any single day. I also had to deal with last minute corrections to the galleys of Tales from the Woeful Platypus and the cover copy for Low Red Moon. I'm sure there were other things as well, but I'm too groggy to recall them all. I was still working at 12:12 a.m. (CaST), when I finally decided enough's enough and called it a day.

Sissy (scarletboi) and Spooky (humglum) have been working on the new website design. There's a temp front page up right now. You should have a look. I like what they're doing with the place. By the way, the Whitman's Salmagundi tin in the photograph was a gift from Poppy (docbrite) in 1996 (?autumn). To quote from an old interview I did sometime in 2000:

Poppy Z. Brite sent me one of the original [1920s] tins, which she'd come across in a Magazine Street antique store [in New Orleans]. She bought it for me, even though she had no idea whatsoever that I'd used Salmagundi as a character or that the box had any significance to me. It sort of freaked us both out just a little, I think. Anyway, I guess that's not so much who Salmagundi Desvernine is, as the inspiration behind her, isn't it? Doug Winter has called her my 'avatar,' which is partly true. Like Jimmy DeSade (another recurring character and Salmagundi's consort), she's a focal point for certain ideas. But she's also a character I care about a great deal, that I think of first as a person. To me, Salmagundi is something beautiful and strong that the world has lost or given up, like faith and hope, something that we're not likely to see again.

By the way, anyone who subscribes to Sirenia Digest today, any time before midnight (PST), will receive a free signed copy of the trade paperback edition of Silk. All you gotta do is click here, read the somewhat out of date FAQ (the stories are longer; it comes on or about the 21st of each month, not the 14th), then subscribe.

I continue to try to take Wicca apart and rebuild it, reconstruct it, making of it something more suited to my needs (at least until something better comes along). Part of this is the systematic expurgation of those many elements in Wicca which Gerald Gardner borrowed from Judeo-Xtian mysticism, specifically from the Ordo Templi Orientis, Rosicrucianism, and Freemasonry. All this stuff would be fine, if I wanted to study ceremonial magick or the Golden Dawn. But I do not believe it has any place in paganism. For example, for the time being I'm still using the "black-handled knife" of Gardner's Wicca, but I'm choosing never to refer to it as an athame, a term which can be traced back to The Key of Solomon, where the black-handled knife is referred to variously as arthanus, artamus, and (most tellingly) arthame, depending on the ms. copy in question. Instead, I'm using the Sindarin word sigil (= dagger or knife; pronounced "see-geel"), as Tolkien's mythos resonates with me much more strongly than does Judeo-Xtian mythology (despite Tolkien's own Xtianity). Indeed, ultimately, I may use Sindarin as my ritual language. All this may seem like "mere" semantics, but words are magick, after all, in that words carry powerful conscious and unconscious connotations. If magick is truly the "art of changing consciousness at will," then I would argue that the precise words involved, and all their connotations, are of the utmost importance. And as all mythologies are equally fictional (and therefore equally "true"), it hardly matters if I draw upon terms gleaned from Hebrew mysticism, ancient Greece, the Elder Edda, or The Silmarillion, excepting in that these different mythologies have very different subjective meanings to me.

As with most of the country, the weather here has turned bitter cold. I did not even leave the house yesterday. I think the low last night was 26F, and the forecast is calling for even colder temperatures tonight.

Okay. That's it for now. The platypus is looking askance, and that's never good.