Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Ghosts, Old and New

Ghost, a cautionary tale of why one should never fall in love with an incubus, especially if one is an angel, came out yesterday.  It's been one of my favorite "in progress" stories for the last five years, so seeing it out there and finished is bittersweet.  I'm glad to finally share Ghost and John with readers, but at the same time I feel I'm losing a little of them myself.  I'll never sit down again with these two, never again slip into their heads and live through them.  It's that moment of depression at the end of writing a book that I always wonder if other writers experience.

Ghost also marks a pause - it's the last "big" story that was backed up in my creative pipeline for New Berlin.  The third and final volume of The Hunting will be released this summer (exclusively on Smashwords), and after that there will probably be a lull in New Berlin for a bit while I sort through ideas and partials and figure out where my demons want to take me next.  Some old ghosts have been slipping through my cracks, reminding me of characters and plots that predate New Berlin and are still hungry for physical form.  So I may pursue them a while and let the city breathe new life into itself.

Assurances that I do intend to return to New Berlin, whether it's tomorrow or in a few months.  There's one character's story in particular, the most important character really, whose existence inspired the entire idea of New Berlin.  You haven't seen him yet except in glimpses.  His name is Sericus Vane.  He owns a nightclub on the East Side where he employs demonic performers for bizarre stage acts.  He's gathering fallen angels to his club, partly in preparation for the war to come. And partly because he is looking for one angel in particular, an angel from his past, on whom he intends to exact ruinous revenge.

But the details of this revenge are murky.  So I am scrying in my crystal ball, seeking them out, and grasping for the heartstrings of the story.

Meantime, I hope you enjoy Ghost.  My favorite incubus and my favorite angel thus far.  May they herald in a beautiful, green Ostara.


Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Color Therapy

Winter has been hard the last few years.  In NYC, seasons never really impressed me.  My windows let in only the weakest sunlight, so there was no hope of growing flowers.  In bad weather, I still took the subway to work - worst case, mass transit shut down and nobody went into the office.

Moving to a rural area changed that.  Now I drive a good forty minutes to work, and my way home involves crazy highway traffic as well as a long metal grid bridge and twisty-turny hills.  All of which become extra treacherous in bad weather.  Have I mentioned I drive a twenty-year-old sedan that keeps crying uncle?

But somehow more depressing is the fact that when the outdoors is frozen over in a sheet of white, my garden freezes with it.  My fragrant thyme plant becomes a spidery stick; the tulip bulbs are buried and forgotten; even the persistent green of yarrow foliage browns and crumbles.  I dream of spring, of crocuses bursting from snow and bleeding hearts dripping from the stem.  Chocolate mint releasing its fragrance beside sweet red roses and tomatoes growing swollen on the vine.  Snapdragons and dianthus and sweet pea and morning glories and moonflowers and clematis.  I am a witch firmly rooted in the earth, and while she sleeps, I become Demeter cold and alone.

So I lock myself in a room.  Surround myself with all the color I can gather, and pray my cyclamen blooms until the sun returns.

I baby succulents in fabulous planters, and spray too much perfume into the shadows of my home.

I dye my hair the color of fire and warmth, and my parrot, ahem, I mean my dog, as well.

And I lose myself at my writing desk, in worlds where sunlight drips over golden skin and the promise of eternal day seems almost within grasp.  A world where only the monsters slink in darkness and cold, and even they are seeking the light.

This is how I survive the winter.