Tales of the Lost and Lamented

A couple of new releases since my last post: Trickster’s Treats #4 is out now through Things in the Well, featuring my short story “Tender Age in Bloom”, and you can find that here; Tales of the Lost Volume 2 from Plaid Dragon/Things in the Well features my tale “Our Tragic Heroine” directly after Neil freaking Gaiman in the table of contents, and you can buy that here.

Some good feedback on my published work: here is a review of If Only Tonight We Could Sleep from The Creative Shed, and here is an interview with Shadowy Natures editor Rebecca Rowland with Rue Morgue Magazine, who have selected my story “Walking on Knives” as one of the book’s highlights — somewhat typical of the anthology’s many reviews so far, I’m glad to report!

My friend Raven Baylock passed away a few months back, and after his memorial, I wrote a story inspired by and in tribute to him. With the final exhibition of his work coming up, I thought it would be really cool to do something with the piece, so I decided to print it up as a limited booklet to give away at the event. I ran the idea past Meg (the Red Wallflower) to see if she’d be interested in contributing and she was immediately on board. It didn’t turn out quite the way we’d envisioned — Meg then came down with pneumonia, so we couldn’t set up any new shoots — but the constraints pushed us in a different direction. I found an image she had shot on a previous expedition, one I’d always really liked, and it started worming its way into the story, becoming a part of it. I laboured over the edits until the last minute, wanting this tale to be just right — not only did this tale have to be worthy of Raven’s memory, but pretty much everyone who would read it would know him and his friends better than me, plus I was handling a set of characters even more diverse than usual and aware that people who identified as such would be the prime audience. No pressure, then! I think I got it right, but we’ll have to see what the feedback is like. All copies of “The Haunted Heart of Ebon Eidolon” were taken on the night and the idea behind it was generally met with enthusiasm; I just continue to hope that I’ve done my friend (and his friends) justice.

Raven’s exhibition took place on Halloween, due to the hard work and organisation of his friends, and I’d like to share a few images here — just a small taste of the man and his work, and also the work of those who loved and miss him.

Painting by Elena Maslarova (who once played guitar in icecocoon and later painted the cover art for one of our albums)
The exhibition was held at the Dungeon, which Raven helped to decorate… and it’s a real sex dungeon, too, hence some of the fittings
Wonderful tribute piece in rhinestone by Michael Thompson
Death mask of Raven Baylock, artist unknown
Floor piece by Emerson Ward
Raven’s nieces as the Blood Brides, modelling the last pieces he finished before his death. The dress on the left was stained with real blood, both Raven’s and some that was donated to him for the project
A distinctive Raven piece – however, he worked in a great many styles and fields
Raven’s pieces often involved real skulls; the tubes here are from his inhalers; the plastic tub on top is one of many “lolly jars” he created and sometimes gave away to friends

I’m proud to note that I was allowed to select a work to take home with me, and though I already own one little thing that Raven made for my 30th birthday, now I have a more substantial piece in a place of honour in my Red Room.

On that note, let’s cue the lists and be on our way.

Mxxx

Reading: Hope Island, Tim Major — See What You Made Me Do: Power, Control and Domestic Abuse, Jess Hill — Survivor Song, Paul Tremblay — The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America, Jim Acosta — Tender is the Flesh, Agustina Bazterrica

Listening: The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo, Mr. Bungle — Self-Surgery, Mrs. Piss — Ohms, Deftones — Andro, Tommy Lee — The Sound of The Smiths, The Smiths

Watching: Jay & Silent Bob Reboot — The Dirt — Clerks II

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