A dream from this morning. I have not been writing about my dreams, not here, not lately. It used to be a staple of this journal. I'm not sure when or why I shifted away from that. Perhaps I felt I was showing the world things that were best kept private. I don't recall making a conscious decision to stop recording my dreams here. Anyway...I was alone in an abandoned house. At least, I think I was the only person there. The house itself, I came to realize, was conscious, and also I realized that it and I were somehow fused. I flowed through the house, and the house flowed through me. The house was ancient and crumbling, sitting alone at the top of a street in a city that seemed deserted. I could see the streets whenever I passed windows. It was intensely cold, though I was naked, or nearly so. I can't recall saying a single word. But the thoughts of the house flowed through my mind, and my thoughts flowed through it. I saw all the decades of the house's existence, times when it had been inhabited, when the city around it had been alive and bustling. The house was lonely. I recall that sense of loneliness most distinctly. I would crouch in a corner and stare at the moldering wallpaper coming off in strips, and my skin would take on the same colors and patterns as the wallpaper. I would pause on the stairs and my hand resting on the banister would have the same wood grain. Likewise, I would glance at a wall and see it covered in skin. I would find a place the plaster wall had rotted to show my bones. Somehow, the house and I were becoming indistinguishable. And I understood that the longer I remained in it, the more inseparable we would become. But I wasn't afraid. I felt the house's loneliness, and I felt a terrible sadness, but there was no fear, and I had no desire to leave the house alone.
I think, probably, it's fairly obvious where this is coming from.
I suppose I should say something about what I accomplished, writing-wise, in 2009. There was no novel this year. I mean, I did not write a novel. I'm not the sort of author who is always working on at least one novel (though I sort of wish I were). In January, Subterranean Press released A is for Alien, which was not as well received as we'd expected; indeed, it hardly seemed to be noticed (though it sold decently). The Red Tree was released on August 4th, and is doing better than anticipated. I did begin planning The Wolf Who Cried Girl, which I should have begun writing in June or July, but will, instead, begin this coming week. They come when they come. Mostly, I wrote short fiction. Here is a more or less complete list for the year:
For Sirenia Digest:
1. "The Thousand-and-Third Tale of Scheherazade"
2. "The Belated Burial"
3. "The Bone's Prayer"
4. "A Canvas for Incoherent Arts"
5. "The Peril of Liberated Objects, or the Voyeur's Seduction"
6. "At the Gate of Deeper Slumber"
7. "Fish Bride"
8. "The Mermaid of the Concrete Ocean"
9. "The Alchemist's Daughter (a fragment)"
10. "Vicaria Draconis"
11. "January 28, 1926"
12. "Werewolf Smile"
13. "Paleozoic Annunciation"
14. "Charcloth, Firesteel, and Flint"
15. "Shipwrecks Above"
16. "The Dissevered Heart"
18. "Untitled 34"
For a Subterranean Press chapbook:
For various anthologies:
1. "As Red As Red"
2. "The Sea Troll's Daughter"
4. "The Jetsam of Disremembered Mechanics"
So, that's twenty-three new stories for 2009. There were also some reprints of which I am especially proud (and a few reprint sales I cannot yet announce), including "The Long Hall on the Top Floor" to Peter Straub's American Fantastic Tales and "Houses Under the Sea" to Ellen Datlow's Lovecraft Unbound.
Yesterday was sort of a washout. No work. Mostly boredom bordering on self-loathing fury, and me wandering about the house wishing I were anywhere else. I made black-eyed peas for dinner, and Spooky made collards and corn bread. We watched J.J. Abrams Star Trek again, because I wanted to watch something off my "best of 2009" list, and we saw another episode of Fringe.
Today, I have to pull Sirenia Digest #49 together (though I'm still waiting on Vince's illustration for "Untitled 34").
Still taking submissions for what is shaping up to be a very interesting article for #50. Just answer this question: If you had me alone, locked up in your house, for twenty-four hours and I had to do whatever you wanted me to, what would you have me/you/us do? Leave your answer here (all are screened, so no one but me sees them).