Looking Ahead to NecronomiCon Providence

Now that we’re all recovering from last weekend’s CthulhuCon, it’s natural to begin thinking about upcoming conventions… the next time friends will be able to converge this way.

There’s a good chance I’ll attend ReaderCon in July, and I’m definitely going to NecronomiCon in Providence in August.

necronomicon2015

The current schedule for NecronomiCon is HERE, though it hasn’t yet been updated to reflect the fact that it appears I’ll be participating in at least one panel (a very interesting one, alongside some most excellent fellow panelists) and a reading. I’ll share details once things are a little more certain.

Mythos and Music Panel at CthulhuCon 2015

At the CthulhuCon just completed here in Portland, I moderated a panel called “Mythos and Music.” Panelists left to right included myself (Michael Griffin), Kelly Young, Mike Dalager, Edward Morris and Nathan Carson. It’s already been posted about and discussed at length on Facebook, but I wanted to create a centralized, permanent repository of photos and video, since things tend to become buried on social media after a short time passes.

MandM panel by Sam Cowan
(photo by Sam Cowan)

As may be apparent from this next photo, the panel’s atmosphere was substantially improved and enlivened by Kelly Young’s excellent decision to bring along a bottle of very good whiskey (The Glenlivet 15 Year, for those keeping score at home).

MandM panel Bawb Hale
(photo by Bawb Hale)

I brought along my laptop to play some MP3s and YouTube music clips provided by the most impressive Nathan Carson. Here’s another angle.

MandM panel Alicia Graves
(photo by Alicia Graves)

The consensus seems to be that the panel discussion was lively and engaging enough.

Here we have video evidence recorded by my wife, Lena Griffin. It’s presented in three parts. The audio level is a bit low, as it’s recorded on a digital camera from the middle of the audience, but if you work the volume controls a bit, you can hear everything.

PART 1

PART 2

PART 3

One of the main things people hope to get out of a panel like this, I think, is a list of new music to explore. We mentioned many examples, across a range of genres. I mostly mentioned ambient-related artists, and thought I might include some of those names here for future reference:

Lustmordhttp://www.lustmord.com
A huge influence of mine, and a very important name in dark ambient.

Endvrahttp://www.discogs.com/artist/73040-Endvra
Now inactive, but interesting and worth pursuing, especially Black Eden

Sleep Research Facilityhttp://www.resonance-net.com/
Quite spooky industrial-influenced drone ambient. One of my favorites.

During the panel I failed to mention Igneous Flame, a Lovecraft-influence ambient project of Pete Kelly. Also, check out Kati Astraeir’s very Lovecraftian cover art for the album Orcus! http://igneousflame.bandcamp.com/album/orcus

My thanks to all my fellow panelists, to the audience for their great questions, and to CthulhuCon’s organizers and volunteers for enabling it to happen.

Cover Reveal for Cthulhu Fhtagn!

Word Horde has just revealed the cover for the upcoming anthology CTHULHU FHTAGN! which includes my story “Delirium Sings at the Maelstrom Window.” It’s beautiful!

cthulhufhtagn

The announcement on Word Horde’s own site is HERE, and includes a pre-order link! My past experience with direct pre-ordering Word Horde books is that you’ll most often receive the ebook part of the package in advance of the release date. No promises, of course, but it’s probably the fastest way to get your hands on this book, which is scheduled to be released in August.

I’m excited to share a table of contents (below) with some fantastic authors, including many for the first time.

Table of Contents

Introduction: In His House at R’lyeh… – Ross E. Lockhart
The Lightning Splitter – Walter Greatshell
Dead Canyons – Ann K. Schwader
Delirium Sings at the Maelstrom Window – Michael Griffin
Into Ye Smoke-Wreath’d World of Dream – W. H. Pugmire
The Lurker In the Shadows – Nathan Carson
The Insectivore – Orrin Grey
The Body Shop – Richard Lee Byers
On a Kansas Plain – Michael J. Martinez
The Prince of Lyghes – Anya Martin
The Curious Death of Sir Arthur Turnbridge – G. D. Falksen
Aerkheim’s Horror – Christine Morgan
Return of the Prodigy – T.E. Grau
The Curse of the Old Ones – Molly Tanzer and Jesse Bullington
Love Will Save You – Cameron Pierce
Assemblage Point – Scott R. Jones
The Return of Sarnath – Gord Sellar
The Long Dark – Wendy N. Wagner
Green Revolution – Cody Goodfellow
Don’t Make Me Assume My Ultimate Form – Laird Barron

My thanks to Editor and Publisher Ross E. Lockhart for putting this together, and giving me an opportunity to be part of it.

Reading at CthulhuCon Today

CthulhuCon officially opened yesterday, though the first evening was mostly just registration, setup, and exploring the hotel.

We spent most of our time in the Crowne Plaza hotel bar, which seems to be how these things go. Arrive, sit in the bar for an hour, decide “We should see what else is going on,” then leave the bar and after wandering for a few minutes, rush back to the bar for its nurturing atmosphere and steady supply of alcohol and snacks.

This afternoon (2PM) I’ll be reading in an hour block with Wilum Pugmore and David Barker. I intend to read from my story “Delirium Sings at the Maelstrom Window” which will appear in Ross E. Lockhart’s upcoming anthology CTHULHU FHTAGN!

I won’t have time to read the whole story, so in the next few hours I have to decide whether to read from the beginning (and probably stop before things get really interesting) or summarize the setup and start reading from the middle.

Conventions are always a lot of fun – partly because of programmed events, and partly because it’s great to reconnect with a group of wonderful friends who haven’t seen one another in months. If you’ll be at CthulhuCon, we’ll see you there. If not, consider attending NecronomiCon in Providence in August, or the HP Lovecraft Film Fest in Portland in October!

CthulhuCon This Weekend

I’m looking forward to CthulhuCon this weekend, here in Portland. In previous years, CthulhuCon and the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival have been a combined event. This year, due to a schedule shift to accommodate the HPLFF’s anniversary in October, the organizers set up CthulhuCon as its own event in a new location to tide people over between April 2014 and October 2015 (the date of the next HPLFF).

cthulhuconframe_forsite_frame0217

I’ll be part of a reading on Saturday at 2PM with Wilum Pugmire and David Barker.

On Sunday at 1PM I’ll be moderating the Mythos and Music panel with Nathan Carson, Mike Dalager, K.L. Young, Dan Clore and Edward Morris.

The overall schedule is HERE.

Lena and I will be hosting a couple of out-of-town friends, so extra supplies have been brought in.

BEERS

2015 CthulhuCon Schedule

The schedule for next week’s CthulhuCon has just been posted HERE. The event is April 24-26, with most of the activity on the last 2 days.

I’ll have a reading on Saturday (1:30-2:30 PM) along with Wilum Pugmire and David Barker.

Also on Sunday (1-2PM) I’ll be moderating a panel on “Mythos and Music,” along with some great panelists.

More on both these events as we draw nearer. I’m looking forward to my first convention since last summer.

Sending Messages Back in Time

I sometimes blog about things I’ve learned along the way about writing and publishing. I don’t do this because I consider myself an authority. Further, I believe so many different ways exist of approaching these things that anyone presenting themselves as an authority, or their advice as definitive, is probably not to be trusted or believed.

I write about these things partly because it’s fun to look back at my own entries from years ago and see how much I’ve progressed. The biggest reason is that I remember how useful it was, when I was much less experienced myself, to find blogs in which more experienced people explained things they’d come to understand along the way.

In particular I remember blog entries by Paolo Bacigalupi, Jay Lake, Elizabeth Bear and Laird Barron, back in the last 2000s. Blogs about process, about gradual breakthroughs and continuing frustrations. I remember meeting Jay Lake and David Levine at a writers’ retreat and being surprised to hear they both still often received rejections (at the time, Lake was being published everywhere, and Levine had won a Hugo award) and still experienced their share of defeats.

On social media it sometimes seems people are posting everywhere all about their latest acceptances and upcoming publications. People don’t talk nearly so much about their rejections. I think in fragile moments, a writer may be tempted to believe they’re the only one still getting rejected among their peers and the writers they follow and admire.

Anybody can fall into the trap of thinking, “Now that I’ve begun to get some traction, and found some editors who like what I do, I’ll never fail again.” When you find this isn’t true, that it isn’t so easy, it can be painfully disruptive to a developing writer’s confidence.

The bottom line is that making any progress as a writer is much harder than anyone imagines in advance than it might be. Once you start publishing a little, building on early successes will take a longer time and more arduous toil than you might guess.

Even if you work harder than ever before, improve your skills, refine your voice, write better stories, and get your name out there in front of new editors and publishers, advancement will still probably be slow and halting.

If the improvement is real and your diligence doesn’t wear down, that hoped-for progress will be made. Just nowhere near as easily, as quickly or as smoothly as you might hope.

Keep going anyway. Work harder. Don’t stop.

Maybe I can’t send this message back to myself in 2011 or 2012, when I could’ve really used it. At least I can leave it here for someone who’s at the right stage in their progress to possibly find these observations of some use.

All the Upcoming Things

Today I updated the STORIES page on this blog to include my recent acceptances. I think this is the most stuff I’ve ever had pending all at once.

I also think many people never look at that page, so I’ll post the whole current list of forthcoming publications below as well.

“Jewels and False Memories: The Origins of a Lunatic” in Surreal Worlds, edited by Vincenzo Bilof
FORTHCOMING, SPRING-SUMMER 2015

“Miles and Kathrine at the Crimson” in Leaves of a Necronomicon, edited by Joseph S. Pulver Sr.
FORTHCOMING, AUGUST 2015

“Apprentice, Muse and Mancer” in A Mythos Grimmly, edited by Jeremy Hochhalter
FORTHCOMING, EARLY 2015

“The Tidal Pull of Salt and Sand” in Xnoybis #1, edited by Jordan Krall
FORTHCOMING, SPRING-SUMMER 2015

“Delirium Sings at the Maelstrom Window” in Cthulhu Fhtagn!, edited by Ross E. Lockhart
FORTHCOMING, AUGUST 2015

“The Smoke Lodge” in Autumn Cthulhu, edited by Mike Davis
FORTHCOMING, AUGUST 2015

Thanks for all the above editors and publishers for believing in my work. One thing I’ve always hoped for was to find a variety of outlets for my work. I hope to have at least one more item to add to the list before too long.

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Table of Contents

Editor and Publisher Ross E. Lockhart of Word Horde has published the full Table of Contents of his upcoming anthology CTHULHU FHTAGN! Also note, the exclamation point is part of the title, not just my excitement about this book.

Word Horde post HERE.

And if you just want to see the TOC, here’s that…

Cthulhu Fhtagn!
Table of Contents

Introduction: In His House at R’lyeh… – Ross E. Lockhart
The Lightning Splitter – Walter Greatshell
Dead Canyons – Ann K. Schwader
Delirium Sings at the Maelstrom Window – Michael Griffin
Into Ye Smoke-Wreath’d World of Dream – W. H. Pugmire
The Lurker In the Shadows – Nathan Carson
The Insectivore – Orrin Grey
The Body Shop – Richard Lee Byers
On a Kansas Plain – Michael J. Martinez
The Prince of Lyghes – Anya Martin
The Curious Death of Sir Arthur Turnbridge – G. D. Falksen
Aerkheim’s Horror – Christine Morgan
Return of the Prodigy – T.E. Grau
The Curse of the Old Ones – Molly Tanzer and Jesse Bullington
Love Will Save You – Cameron Pierce
Assemblage Point – Scott R. Jones
The Return of Sarnath – Gord Sellar
The Long Dark – Wendy N. Wagner
Green Revolution – Cody Goodfellow
Don’t Make Me Assume My Ultimate Form – Laird Barron

This promises to be a great one. I’m excited to be part of another Word Horde book, and also to share a Table of Contents with so many great writers — some for the first time, others for the second or third time.

I’ll Be in Cthulhu Fhtagn!

In 2014, I had a story in the 2nd Word Horde anthology, the Laird Barron tribute The Children of Old Leech. This made me very happy, as I’m a huge fan of Laird’s writing. My story “Firedancing” remains one of my own favorites, and was even called out in a number of reviews of the book.

I’m happy to report that I’ll have a story in the 4th Word Horde anthology, Cthulhu Fhtagn! edited by Ross E. Lockhart. My story is called “Delirium Sings at the Maelstrom Window” and is a sort of present-day sequel to “The Music of Erich Zann.” Despite this connection to Lovecraft’s story, it still very much has the feel of my work, and will probably annoy some Lovecraft fans.

The cover hasn’t been revealed yet, and I don’t know the full table of contents, but quite a few great writers announced their participation this week, including: Anya Martin, Orrin Grey, Ted E. Grau, Scott R. Jones, Nathan Carson, Wendy Wagner, Molly Tanzer & Jesse Bullington.

I’ll post more information as soon as I can. This should be an excellent project, and I’m very excited to have a part in it.