I've decided to extend the offer of a FREE signed copy of the trade paperback of Silk to new Sirenia Digest subscribers. The offer is now good until midnight on January 31st, as it seems to be attracting new subscribers, and new subscribers are always welcome. Also, new subscribers need to e-mail Spooky (crk_books(at) yahoo(dot) com) their snail mail addresses. Otherwise, we cannot send the FREE book.
A decent enough Kid Night last night. We rented Terry Jones' mostly marvelous Erik the Viking (1989) from Movies Worth Seeing (where it seemed I'd not been in ages). I'd seen the film two or three times, but Spooky hadn't, and I have a soft space for it in my heart. Sadly, Sony canceled the DVD release last year, so we had to go with VHS (pan and scan, urgh) and chase the spiders out of the VCR. Very quaint. Anyway, I'd not realised until last night that Jim Broadbent has a cameo/bit part at the very beginning, when Erik is "raping" Helga. It's a very funny movie, except when it isn't, and that's about the best I can ask of anything these days. Then I played a couple hours worth of Final Fantasy XII, at last managing to escape the Draklor Laboratory in Archades and defeat Cid and his four little robot thingies. Afterwards, we went to bed, and I read Sonya's new story for Sirenia Digest #14 — "A Voice in Caves" — which has turned out to be a very nice counterpoint to my own "The Sphinx's Kiss." For those of you who've been wanting to see more gay male fiction in the digest, this issue's for you. Later still, Spooky made me cocoa. It was after three a.m. (CaST) before I found sleep.
Oh, and yes, as implied above, I did leave the house yesterday, for a full hour or so. I have become quite intrepid.
I see there will be a new VNV Nation disc — Judgment — out on March 7th. Good news I needed.
Honestly, I'm seeing very little in the way of negative criticism regarding Daughter of Hounds. Though I have noticed a few complaints about there being too much dialog (???) and too many "dream sequences." The latter complaint, which I should add my agent has also voiced, follows in part, I think, from a misunderstanding of the nature of "reality" in much of what I write. There are a few genuine dream sequences in Daughter of Hounds, but a lot of what I think some people are reading as dreams were intended as something else. They may appear dreamlike, but only because certain consensus assumptions are held so dear about "waking reality." At any rate, I find both these criticisms rather specious and am paying them little heed.
I have spent almost my whole life living inbetween. It's what I do, mostly, existing in transitional zones and connecting hallways. But lately (meaning since sometime in 2002), I have been struggling with a new sort of inbetween, which has placed me in an especially deep conflict with myself. A tug-of-war between the old rational me and an unexpected me bent upon seeking out and understanding magick (here defined as "the willful invocation of awe," though other definitions may be pending), even when it threatens my comfortably mechanistic worldview. It feels at times as though I am being torn in two, and I know how that feels, having been divided more than once already. Mostly, though, the division does not occur. And neither side gains any ground. So I live uneasily inbetween, like some Matthew Arnold cosmology. Too mystical for the scientists, too skeptical for the witches and magickians. At this point, I would prefer to either move forward or go back. In or out. Shit or get off the pot, as Byron would say. Sometimes, I seem to be waiting on something, something which often seems very near, and other times I seem merely indecisive. Except...decision and resolve are both useless here, or nearly so. I cannot will myself into belief or faith. As Anne Sexton said, "Need is not quite belief." Oh, I have need aplenty, but, for me, belief comes only from experience. And, thus far, my experiences leave me neither here nor there. They leave me undecided and still asking questions.
It's like a season that breeds neither snow nor green grass, neither rain nor drought, but only despair. I know that simple despair is no longer fashionable, but then neither am I.
I did have this thought two nights ago, and it seemed important: One must not be skeptical merely for the sake of skepticism. It is not an end unto itself. Critical thought should have the intent of bringing one nearer truth (even if Truth is ultimately unobtainable). It is not the goal of critical thought to tear down, but to build up, to let in the light, to sweep aside ignorance and superstition and fear.
These thoughts are ill-formed and poorly expressed, and I apologise for my inability to articulate.
The platypus says enough's enough. Them words ain't gonna write themselves.