words are our weapons

I was thinking about the functions of narrative and all of these things, and what purpose does it have? There are many different theories, I won’t go the laundry list here, but all I’ll say is that these feel lacking to me. They feel like they remove the actual need for narrative, act like it’s a toy for the mind. Exploring ideas, concepts, escape, confrontation of difficult matter, all of those, all of these, they are like puzzles. But of what worth are they? True worth?

They are describing not the purpose of narrative, but instead individual purposes for individual narrative concepts. As a larger question, a bigger question, it lacks.

But for me this answer is simple. The purpose of narrative, the function of all narratives, is empathy. It is empathy in the eyes of others, for ourselves, for everything. Narrative is a weapon against loneliness. It is pure empathy because it communicates to us through the abstract symbols of the mind.

I’m using the generic turn narrative on purpose here. Poems, novels, short stories, songs, movies, plays, etc. All things trying to talk about the human experience through movement, through sound, through visions, through words, through all of it- it is narrative. It is the strive for empty, the fight against the lonely universe that surrounds us.

Loneliness- this has been a cause of anxiety throughout the rise of humanity. The way we have to deal with this giant expansive existence, and the walls between us, the walls around us, all of it, all of it. It is the fear of night, it is the fear of fire, it is the fear of lightning. All of it. It is loneliness. That is our enemy. And here, narrative, here. This weapon made of symbols, striking out.

So no narrative should be off limits. What we talk about shouldn’t be, since it is a key to the fight, to the understanding of each other, to what is creating and causing loneliness.

In my eyes? Only two kinds of narratives- those that successfully move against this common enemy and those that fall short, that leave you more empty and alone afterwards.

I need to think on this more.

That thing with stuff.

It’s been awhile since I updated? I was hiding out. Getting infusions, all that fun stuff. Anyway. Mostly I was gone writing a novel. That happens.

And now I feel worn down and empty. But it’s a good kind of empty. It’s all my words are used up and I need to replenish them. Maybe I should eat a dictionary? Or devour scrabble pieces? Crossword puzzles, get in my brainbox!

Or maybe just read. Probably that last thing. Also: walk with a cane now. Hopefully that’s just a temporary thing once I get on my MS meds and I’m in remission again (haven’t been in remission for months). But you can never tell, this disease is a motherfucker. Some of the problems I get stick around, others run away.


Also: plan on redesigning things around here. This theme bores me now.

nano nano where do you nano now

Well, this recent multiple sclerosis relapse I just got slammed with a little before the weekend has been brutal and no fun. I’ve also had quite a few doc appts this week, and quite a few more to go this week. So I’m starting to realize that I’m not going to complete nanowrimo this year, and that’s okay. I’ve “won” lots of years in the past, so it’s no big. I mean, winning/losing it is kinda pointless, it’s the experience anyway.

Now to figure out what to do with this information. I will be starting back up the 360 Days of Images that was put on hold for nanowrimory stuff.



cover for Her Blood The Apples, Her Bones The Trees

I was planning on doing more updates here, maybe even podcast my nano adventures on a daily thing. But my body is saying otherwise. The writingwriting in the novel is taking more out of me then it should. But I will try and plan on this. Doing maybe a podcast a week? Maybe moreso? Dunno.

It’s the same as it always with me re:writing. Lots of self doubt. Lots of fun. I know I’m going to have to get rid of the second chapter when I’m done. Completely unnecessary. But the rest is good. I think I have the tone down pretty well. Took me awhile to get the title, but here it is. I’ve also attached a mock cover to this blog post. Because I can. Why not, right? I wanted the mock cover to look like a Criterion Film bluray. Mostly because the feel of this book will be like, art film, occult horror, gothic, and other stuff. A very filmic feeling.

The title comes from a description of a ghost who protects/haunts an orchard. It so far has a very trance film feel in some sections. Others have reality kind of burning itself alive. It’s fun, at least. Fun.


Doing Nano this year because I can. One idea that’s sticking with me is this concept of the rustbelt gothic, an idea I toyed with before (but called post-industrial fantasy over at Behind the Wainscot). It was interesting seeing these posts on rustbelt gothic poetry. And it seems like they’re putting into words the same thoughts I was toying with- the idea of ruins of industrial complexes, ideas about haunted abandoned homes,  Woods obscuring everything, towns existing like they are nestled between autumn trees.

And in the distance a train howls. A world that already experienced an apocalypse.  I read somewhere that they wanted to film part of The Road around Erie, PA because it had the right “end of the world” look, and I can see that. It’s visible in every face.

Of course, I’ve explored this sort of thing before in lots of shortstories. Most of Glass Coffin Girls could be considered rustbelt gothic.  It’s interesting because we’re not talking about horror per se. It’s not. It may contain some supernatural, maybe. But it’s about a tone. It’s about how haunted the rust belt feels these days.

Musically it’s like the Swans are the soundtrack to this haunted landscape.

There is also maybe a mystery here. Or maybe something mysterious. I know I want to evoke powerful symbols. I want to draw on myths and folklore and push it inside. I want it to feel like a modern day gothic. The tone will be autumn and black dresses. The tone will be a man on fire in a burnt out shell. The tone will be whispers into mirrors. The tone will be the floating ghosts in the lake, calling you towards them.

I’m also thinking about my childhood here. I’m back in some small town and I remember going to the library every day and reading the Man, Myth & Magick series. I remember being pulled to those books. The symbols speaking to me. The concepts burning holes in my memories the shapes of these images.

I also remember watching Hammer Horror films on tv, and watching Folk Horror stuff, and I remember all of this on television.  Maybe Big Chuck and Little John?Or maybe it was Ghoulardi? I don’t know. I just remember these movies holding me in rapt attention and then later in life hunting them down, trying to find them.

And somehow this is all going to fit together. In  a book of all things.

I’m also probably going to post here nanothings daily or so, and maybe litpunch it all over the place. Something like that.

Dusk #360DaysofSymbols

Day 30of 360 Days of Symbols. Today’s symbol? Dawn.

We woke to the sound of night, the masks still attached in the purple light. Everything was still becoming something else. It wasn’t a time of shadows yet, and the hours of sun had passed. The moon was waking still, and the stars were faint memories in the sky, waiting to be remembered. This was the liminal moment of every day.

The center slides his mask off and we wait until the slow drum beat to raise the canes and start to dance. He will not turn into a crow this time. We made precautions. Magical insurance of a sort. Binding to earth, binding to sky, binding to fire.

Start singing now. It is time now. The dusk is swimming away: hurry, hurry. We must finish before the world becomes night and the hours have changed away.