heartfelt thanks

  • To several staff of the ER at Memorial Hospital of Pawtucket who made a game effort at making thirty-six hours on suicide watch less bleak and scary.
  • To Dr G.M. Surti and all the staff of the Kent Unit at Butler Hospital in Providence, for much more than their compassion, good sense, and humor—although all of that was a big help as well.
  • To gentle publisher Steve Berman, at whom I was furious for twenty-four hours—now not so much—and the astonishingly generous secret cabal he rounded up.
  • To my friend Michael Thomas Ford, whose excellent, affecting, and really goddamn funny novel Suicide Notes I should have reread two weeks ago instead of day before yesterday. (I should have called him for the promised Tarot reading as well. But I hate the phone and am only recently half rational. I will collect on that promise soon, Mikey.)
  • To my family, who shouldn’t have needed to prove they love me but I was (am?) an oblivious, self-involved galoot. Especially to big sister Una, for flying across the continent to feed the cats in my absence—and me when I got back—but never made it seem the appalling imposition it was.
  • To Misses Charlotte Brontë and Jane Austen, waiting for me when I came home.

 


a bleak road through a black waste

I suffered a breakdown, something like a breakdown. Not on account of the traumatic event some people know about (the contrary, doubtless, in some ways), although that was no bloody help whatsoever—some weeks earlier, and then prolonged for nearly three months. Brain chemistry is a tricky thing whether or not mediated by those secretive rulers […]


epigraphs

One wonders how many times the great but very different Anglo-Irish writers Lord Dunsany and Elizabeth Bowen have been quoted on the same page. They were contemporaries (Dunsany twenty years Bowen’s senior): one wonders what they thought of each other and each other’s works. Or if they ever did. This idle speculation being preface to […]


voices in my head

I will confess—nay, glory in—the fact that I nearly always read my own work aloud at some point. It’s the surest method I know to discover clumsy sentences and faulty rhythms, especially after one has stared at the black marks on the screen so long they’ve begun to make sense. However, I am entirely unable […]


Liam end note

Well, I didn’t want to write it. I feel Liam might be better pleased if I hadn’t written it, if I’d left him all hopeful and happy at the end of chapter seven. But it nagged and nagged and demanded to be written so it was: an eighth and definitively final chapter of the novel […]


Liam progress note

Gentle Publisher has forbidden the title I chose for the Compleat Liam, oh, four years ago. It’s boring and unevocative, he says, won’t attract readers. At the moment he issued the ultimatum I told him this had never happened to me before, in the nearly forty years since I sold my first story: but on […]


multiple finalist

Weallll. This is a startle. Just got off the phone (how I hate the phone!) with Gentle Publisher, who informs me I am a double finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards, longlists shortlists (oh god I’m tired) announced this morning. 1. In the category of LGBT Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror: Deprivation; or, Benedetto Furioso: an oneiromancy. 2. […]


the pornographer

…turns out to be more a porn star—or porn performer, most accurately—in “Liam and the Pornographer,” drafted over three days of chain-smoking and chain-coffee-drinking, not enough food or sleep, and two snowstorms. (The break from social media and the wild internet at large was, I’ll admit, refreshing.) There’s a justification for granting said person the […]


Liam five: electric boogalive

So soon after “Liam and the Changelings,” I honestly did not intend the next project I worked on, leave alone completed, to be the fifth tale of Liam Shea. I had something else in mind, a story from the very early history of the Kandadal’s world. But my lizard brain has its own priorities, apparently. […]


’nother February story

Out of the blue! (I just found about it this afternoon.) I’m pleased to report that my novelette “Seb and Duncan and the Sirens” will appear in Glitterwolf, a handsome and handsomely named new(ish) British journal published thrice a year in print and electronic editions. The issue in question, #5, will be out before the […]