January 14th, 2010

Barker

"The courage of the coward— greater than all others."

Yesterday is a blur, a squall of images in my mind. And I have to try to sort it into a coherent entry. No, I do not have to, but I choose to try.

1. The work part of yesterday was spent going over the production notes from Audible.com for The Red Tree. A number of minor edits and rewrites had to be made, things that worked in print but not being read aloud, and there were some corrections. I am told that the target release date for all the Audible.com adaptations of my novels (except Silk, which they won't be doing, at least not for now), is April 27th. After I was finished talking to my contact at Audible, I spoke with my editor at Penguin, to see if the corrections could be incorporated into the mass-market paperback of The Red Tree, due out later this year. She talked with the production manager, who said yes. Also, I was told the corrections would likely be made in a second printing of the trade paperback, if there is a second printing. Just the mention of the possibility made me hopeful, as it means the book must be selling halfway decently, or my editor wouldn't have bothered even to mention a second printing. Anyway, if you want the original text, you'll need to pick up the first printing of the trade, the one on sale now.

2. A goodly portion of yesterday was spent following the news coming out of Haiti, what little news is coming out of Haiti. The scope of the disaster is staggering, and horrific. Officials are now reporting that the death toll in Haiti may be somewhere between 100,000-500,000 lives lost thus far. This in a nation with a population of only about ten million. So, in a single earthquake, between one and five percent of the population may have perished. Let's assume the more conservative number and say 100,000. Even the worst natural disaster in American history doesn't come close. The death toll for the "Great" San Francisco earthquake of 1906 was about 3,000. The Chicago Heat Wave of 1995, only 739. The Tri-State Tornado of 1925, only 925 fatalities. In 1871, the Peshtigo Fire in Wisconsin (same date as the Chicago fire) killed 1,200 to 1,500 people. The 1900 Galveston hurricane killed about 8,000 people, and Katrina resulted in 1,836 confirmed deaths. The 1811-1812 series of three stupendous earthquakes along the New Madrid Fault (halfway between St. Louis and Memphis, beneath the Mississippi River), which shook the entire United States, killed only a few thousand people (thanks to low population density at the time). In terms of actual deaths directly attributable to any single event, nothing in America even comes close to what is happening in Haiti. Understand, I do not intend to make light of any of these events and their consequences. I'm just trying to put all this in perspective for myself.

3. Yesterday, on the way to the market, we stopped just off Point Street so I could get more photos of the ongoing demolition of the old I-195 overpass. After viewing the devastation in Haiti, it felt very...odd. This time, I photographed the overpass from the western side (my first set of photos were taken from the eastern side). The photos are below, behind the cut. It was bitter cold, and the sky looked like a slab of polished slate (darker than it appears in the photos). As we were pulling into the parking lot, it began to snow very lightly. Spooky made chili for dinner. We watched four more episodes of Fringe, finishing up Season One.

4. There was a little Second Life rp last night. And something has occurred to me, one reason that I dislike the "urban fantasy" sims in SL. In worlds where demons, angels, werewolves, "nekos," vampires, fairies, and pretty much any other mythical being you can think of all walk the street and rub shoulders, the effect is that the marvelous and terrifying quickly becomes mundane. It's possible, in this scenario, that by inversion the ordinary could be elevated to the level of marvelous and terrifying, except that's not what happens. The ordinary becomes extra-mundane. And in a world of monsters, you have hundreds of players who seem not even half aware of the possibility of wonder or awe. It's all cartoon sex, street gangs, and cynical indifference to the Weird. Which is something worse than sad. Fantasy in the wrong hands...

5. Let me remind you that, tomorrow night, I will be reading from "Houses Under the Sea," at the Lovecraft Unbound reading being hosted by the Montauk Club in Brooklyn, NY (in the historic 120 year-old Ballroom at the Montauk Club, 25 Eighth Avenue, Park Slope, adjacent to Grand Army Plaza). Admission is $5 for non-members, and the reading begins at 8 p.m. EST, with a social hour and tour of the building afterwards. Seating is limited. As I have said, this will likely be my last public appearance until Readercon this summer. I will sign any books you feel like bringing along.

And here are the overpass photos:

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Illyria

Bad news from the Crüxshadows

Just caught this, thought it's dated the 11th:

Major Setbacks...

I am sure that some of you have noticed the "radio silence" emanating from all things Crüxshadows (the website, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter etc) the past few days. There is unfortunately, a good reason for it. This past Wednesday the band flew back into the United States into JFK airport in New York City. Up until that point things had moved much smoother than we had anticipated, and after a very long tour in Europe spanning three months, we were happy to be back in the US.

I'm not sure the US was so happy to see us.

Shortly after leaving the airport we stopped to get some food. We parked more or less in front of the restaurant entrance, on a busy intersection in Brooklyn to grab some sushi. We locked the doors and everyone hurried inside. In the ten to fifteen minutes that we were gone, we found that the locks to our doors were removed leaving behind large empty holes. Everything of value, more or less, was taken. My computer, Jessica's computer, Jen's computer, Zack's computer, Cassie's computer, Justin's computer, & the stage computer were all taken; six macs and one IBM laptop PC. They stole our earnings from the tour, some of our audio equipment, our back up drives, Jessica's jewelry (including her silver Crüxshadows trifix), much of our data including contact information and personal information, countless iPods, and just about anything else we had. A few of us lost complete bags with so many things of value inside I don't know where to begin. We spent the next few hours dealing with the police. The speed and expertise involved lead them to believe it was not a coincidental theft, but rather an act in which we were targeted. The persons responsible for this knew precisely what they were doing.

The impact that this has is currently incalculable, but given the difficult economic times we are all facing, we are not sure exactly how we will recover from all this. But we will.

Like the theme of so many of our songs, we refuse to go down without a fight. So now we are focusing our efforts on getting through this situation and rebuilding, and preventing this from ever happening again. This may however, put some serious dampers on our plans for 2010 and quickly completing our new album. But truly I have conceded nothing on that front either. It will just be harder to do.

Aside from that, I think it bares stating that although we have been in very low spirits, we are in all likelihood very fortunate. We are all of us alive and safe, an outcome less certain given a number of other scenarios that might have occurred. Keep us in your thoughts. We have some serious difficulties looming ahead. And if you live in the New York City area and hear anything about a bunch of Macbooks and Macbook-pros turning up under suspicious circumstances, well feel free to let us know.

I will post again soon, but we have a lot of work to do to keep ourselves afloat. I guess we are underdogs... again:-)

Live Love Be Believe

Rogue

ADDENDUM: It has come to my attention that there are a number of individuals trying to raise money to help the Crüxshadows after the recent theft of our stuff. Mostly we have seen websites linked to Paypal, soliciting donations. The truth is that while we could really use some help, we cannot in good conscience allow our fans to donate to any of these sites without warning them. None of these individuals collecting money have coordinated any of their efforts with us, and there is no guarantee that any of this money is coming to Crüxshadows. I know that most of the people who are doing this are honest and well meaning, but it just creates a situation where the odd opportunist could take advantage of not only the band and our misfortune, but also our fans. We may do some kind of a fund-raiser of our own soon maybe even sell some kind of a limited edition item. I don't know right now, but I am certain we can come up with something that makes sense. Until then, we ask that our supporters refrain from collecting money on our behalf. Please don't give money to any group that claims to be collecting money for us at this time.

Thank you all for your support. I just don't want anyone getting taken advantage of because of us.


Shit like this makes me wish I had more faith in a certain sort of magick....or that I at least had a few underworld connections...or a lot more money to help friends.
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