November 1st, 2015

The Red Tree

"And it blinds you into fear and consuming and fight."

And here it is November. My fifty-first November. My eighth in New England. The day is chilly, and the sky is a muddy shade of lead. This is death cracking down, winter letting its intentions be known. Autumn is only a shoddy opening act. It's only 57˚F out there, and all the smart-money birds have gone south.

Freelance writers are probably the only people on earth for whom the penny is still a meaningful unit of measurement.

Yesterday, I begun a new story, maybe a novella. It's the first new piece of prose fiction I've begun since I started work on Agents of Dreamland way back in July. The story is titled "The End After the Beginning of the End," and it's my story for Dark Regions Press' I Am the Abyss. Here's the pitch for the book:

This anthology is based on the notion that reality expands far beyond human ego; that no predetermined metaphysical space awaits us when we die, but instead we are plunged into the inner workings of our own minds. Here you will find subconscious shadows of your dead loved ones. You will find manifestations of your deepest desires and darkest fears only experienced in your dreams and nightmares. It is the inversion of your consciousness from perceiving the shared observable reality into perceiving only the subconscious thoughts and memories that define you.

Given that I don't believe consciousness survives death, this is, for me, fantasy in its purest form, and, indeed, what I'm actually doing is not writing a story about the "afterlife," but about the perception of time in the final seconds of life, as the brain dies. I did 1,183 words.

I think I might be getting a headache.

2015 marks the eleventh year since I've refused to "fall back," remaining of Daylight Savings Time all year long. I simply cannot deal with darkness coming so early.

Last night, we carved jack-o'-lanterns, ate too much candy, and watched It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966) and Beetlejuice (1988). It wasn't such a bad Halloween. Better, I think, than last year.

Aunt Beast