The Rising Lights of Winter [Part I]

The beast was made of clockwork. Its feet made a clicking sound on the cobblestone steps as it approached the man who stood alone beneath a streetlamp, a note clutched in his gloved hand. His blond hair was tied at the nape of his neck in a simple knot, and his eyes kept going to the watch he wore. He tapped his foot, his eyes scanning for a person.

“Oh.” Julian looked from the note to the creature, when he felt it nudge his leg. “I see.” The clockwork dog—he supposed it was meant to look like a dog, though it looked more like a jackal to him—was made of sleek black metal, but Julian could see that its eyes were red. He couldn’t tell if the eyes were precious jewels, or if the beast was lit with an inner fire. He tucked the note into the pocket of his jacket. “You’re her messenger.” He adjusted his top hat, and squared his shoulders. “Lead the way, then.” As they walked through the streets, he thought that this must look like an odd sight, a man walking alone with an omen of doom trotting along at his side.

Read the rest of the story HERE [link] on my Patreon! Patrons get this post, and all others like it, three days before the rest of the world does, as well as access to exclusive writings.

Testing

Trying to see if this
even works? *clicks
save* Now I can take my
time in publishing, rather than hope
I get it right, and don’t piss off whatever
neutrons within the wires, between the stars,
grind my typing to a halt.

This is both a poem expressing frustration at WordPress for not letting me save things easily, and testing that it lets me add things like tags now. Odd that dropping my plan down to WordPress.com, instead of my own domain and hosting, fixed the issue.

That…might actually be what the cause of it was?

Oops.

Site Update 12/4/2020

I *thought* I had all my issues solved?

I did not.

It turns out that WordPress wasn’t letting me publish my posts easily. I kept getting notifications of “you are not allowed to publish these terms” when I even tried to *save* a document.

So for now I’ve dropped my writing site back to wordpress.com rather than just being a .com site. Maybe that will fix this issue?

At least I got to keep my theme this time.

First Snowfall

Forgotten.
I travel
roads that are
snow covered.
Towards
something that
never really was;
otherwise who
would
face within
a silence so
luminous and
light?

This poem was originally posted on Monday to my Patreon [link]. Patrons get all posts three days before the rest of the world, as well as access to exclusive posts!

Writing During a Pandemic

Stephen’s latest post from Fractured Faith [link] reminded me that I’ve been meaning to write about how COVID has affected my writing style, what I write about, and my writing schedule. It certainly hasn’t been the free time I thought a lockdown would bring me. I do, oddly enough, feel like being disabled has helped me though this in some ways.

I go back and forth between genres I write, and the length of stories I write. Despite my three short stories I’ve sent to publishers all being somewhere within the horror genre, I also have a romance novel in the works. It’s a paranormal/fantasy romance–as I put it on my Twitter [link,] my plan is to write a world “where everyone is queer, there’s no underlying corruption, and I’m going to drag you [my Twitter followers] all along for the ride with me.”

So far Satin Stars has been a lot of fun. It’s been a blast to make a character who’s truly not human, and have Istvan flip who I thought he was going to be. When I began writing, I expected Istvan to be a snobby rich guy sort of character. Instead he’s turned out to be a complete sweetheart who keeps his fiance’s disability [she’s hard of hearing] in mind. Istvan also reads as autistic, so I’m just going all in and writing him that way.

Which brings me to worldbuilding. That’s something that’s really changed during this time. The worlds I write used to be more dark fantasy sort? But these days I find myself writing what would maybe be considered “too cheerful” for some fantasy writers. Especially the Satin Stars universe (for example, everyone knows sign language. Everyone.)

I do write stories that are much more focused on the personal, even when big world-shaking events and characters are involved. I write about gods and supernatural entities falling in love with both humans, and each other. I write about New Years festivals on other planets. I write ghost stories where the lead character’s disability is a strength.

In writing, I’ve gotten much kinder to myself with how much I write. I try and write at least 300 words a day, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. When I think that I need to be writing All The Time, I remind myself that I’m not a Writing Machine, and that it’s okay to just meet my base goal.

So those are my thoughts on writing, and how it’s changed during the pandemic that’s going on.

The Worm and His Kings, by Hailey Piper [Review]

The Worm and His Kings by Hailey Piper [link] is not only one of the queerest horror novels I’ve ever read, it might be one of the best horror novels of the year. I stayed up way too late reading it the night I started it, then way too late again last night to finish it. There were moments where I’d stop and re-read a sentence, just to take in the sheer beauty of the language in this book.

“Subway buskers, used to fighting train horns and railway clatter for listening ears, would’ve drowned out the choir, no trouble. They understood music. It’s purpose was to fill the soul, with no purity in the Worm’s name, and instead littered with the taint of mortal desires. The choir’s pure reverence left Monique’s soul empty.”

That’s just one example of the subtle beauty in the writing in this book. That moment I quoted above comes at about mid-way through the book. Monique’s musing on music are fascinating considering her circumstances. The scenes involving the Worm’s choir are chilling, yet strangely beautiful.

(There are spoilers after this point. Proceed with caution.)

Continue reading

Waiting For A Voice, by Ashton Nyte [Review]

I’ve been an Ashton Nyte fan since I discovered his work with The Awakening [link] way back in 2011. I was new to the goth scene at the time, and what an introduction those albums were. Even after nearly 10 years, his work (both solo and with his band) remains some of my favorite.

Ashton Nyte’s latest album, Waiting for a Voice [link], is the album I’ve been listening to on repeat as I write. I normally don’t listen to albums on repeat like this. But I’ve found that once “Icicles” ends, I hit the play button on “Waiting for a Voice” again.

“Dark Star” might be one of my favorite songs on the album. I adore the violins that appear on the breaks in the track. This is also one of the catchiest songs, it’s often stuck in my head long after I stop listening to the album.

The stripped down acoustic arrangements really allow Ashton Nyte’s voice to shine. It also fits the melancholic lyrics of songs like “This Isolation,” and “I Asked For Nothing.” I’ve started learning how to play “This Isolation” on guitar, and I have to say his guitar work is amazing in it’s simple beauty.

“Soon It Will Be Morning” is the song that hits me the hardest. Not only does the stripped down, near a Capella beginning put Ashton Nyte’s voice front and center; the lyrics are so hopeful. A song like this is just what I need right now.

This album is amazing, both as music to write to, and simply as something to listen to. This might become one of my favorite albums of the year. I regularly listen to a wide variety of music; that I keep going back to this album on repeat says a lot about how much I’m enjoying it.