50 Rocks: Telesterion's Debut Album Released!

50 Rocks: Telesterion's Debut Album Released!

This post involves moving somewhat ahead of the story with regards to my 50 Rocks series of articles. Still, it’s a rather sweet milestone for me: My band Telesterion released our self-titled debut album yesterday, and it’s getting a very nice response. Arising from a troupe producing a series of rock operas based upon Aleister Crowley’s Rites of Eleusis, our band has been together for roughly two years this month. We’d recorded the album this past summer, just before taking a four-month hiatus because three of our six members were staging productions of the Rite of Jupiter, which wrapped in Read more »

Crucibles, Not Comfort

Crucibles, Not Comfort

Magic is imagination’s song. Crafted by skillful hands, inspired by able minds, it leaps the gulf between what CAN’T BE and what IS. Cynics dismiss it. Fate undoes it. But with passion, hard work, and will, the future manifests from nothing. It’s not easy, but then, miracles never are… That tale is ours. We craft it every day we are alive. For every day is magical, even the bad ones. ESPECIALLY the bad ones, for they teach us to be strong. Why faerie tales? Because such tales inspire us. They remind us to see gold within straw, to recognize the Read more »

New Patreon Update: Powerchords Previews

New Patreon Update: Powerchords Previews

My Patreon page has a new update of sponsor-exclusive content – in this case, a few preview pages from my work-in-progress POWERCHORDS: MUSIC, MAGICK & URBAN FANTASY. Despite an all-too-lengthy gestation process, Powerchords is in the layout-proofing stage now, and should be going to press very soon, once Sherry Baker and I bash out all of the inevitable bugs. For folks who have not seen it yet, my Patreon page has featured exclusive previews, short stories, novel excerpts, never-before-seen episodes of my late, lamented webcomic Arpeggio, and even an MP3 from the soundtrack album of the forthcoming rock opera Rite Read more »

50 Rocks: Part Two – Take My Bass Away

50 Rocks: Part Two – Take My Bass Away

(For Part One in this series, go here.) To be blunt, I sucked. Sure, I had a bass. For a few short months around 1983, I had two of them. That did not, as I realized, confer an instant understanding of how to play the fucking thing. I could not afford lessons… and anyway, as I had learned at my expense years earlier, a music teacher would expect you to learn sheet music and chords I could not learn. I was, at the time, taking a massive class-load too, and so everything I learned about bass I learned by ear, Read more »

50 Rocks: Part One – Fire and Four Strings

50 Rocks: Part One – Fire and Four Strings

I’ve always wanted to be a rock star. Go figure. Like any red-blooded pre-teenage male in 1978, I used to air-guitar with my friend Mike Delahanty to the antics of KISS Alive II – complete with fireballs made from hairspray and lighters. [1] I envisioned myself shredding guitar like Eddie Van Halen by way of George Thorogood before a horde of shrieking fans [2], and memorized the contents of liner notes as if mere familiarity could imbue me with the power of rock gods. Unlike lots of kids, I actually tried to manifest those dreams through work. In addition to my devotion Read more »

Under an Enchanted Round Table

Under an Enchanted Round Table

What a beautiful evening it was. That brilliant sky-cathedral arced overhead like a gateway to eternity, sun sparkling across the waves, igniting them with Nature’s impossible passion for itself. Cascades of colors too rich for words to capture painted that sky and everything beneath it blazing. Some teenagers passed a Frisbee back and forth, their skins orange in the dusklight. A girl about my age did yoga in the sand. A pair of gray-haired dudes meandered like lovers, ankle-deep in surf. Far off, the buoys pitched and rolled, warning off the ships that slid through distant currents. Evening fog drifted Read more »

"Where Can I Find your Fiction?"

"Where Can I Find your Fiction?"

They strain: wolf and woman, struggling. Red cords burn across their skins, biting deep enough to bleed. Rich scents coil as they breathe, reaching in and drawing out again. The wolf thrashes in her grip. She dodges its teeth and wrestles it down. Locking eyes, they snarl. The sound becomes one with the ocean’s roar. It pulls her, draws her, taunts her, dares her. Furious, she dives… Thrashing, spinning, no air, no light. Cold weight, dragging. Darkness. Sand. Shedding bonds. Shedding leather. Bursting up through cold sharp stars. Up above, a chill moon glaring. Slivered. Rimmed with fog. Furious, she sputters. Gasps. Starts to Read more »

Not Sanskrit for "Doormat"

Not Sanskrit for "Doormat"

Recently – especially within the last week or so – I’ve had a number of folks tell me that they used to idolize me and my work for opening their minds, and yet they’re somehow surprised that I feel disgusted and enraged by sexism, racism, homophobia, and the willful ignorance that leads to such behavior. Anyone who feels that I should turn a blind eye to abusive behavior has missed the point of my work. Yes, I believe in having an open mind. I have also – in all of my work – stressed that actions and choices have consequences. Read more »

Green-Room Writing: The Scenes They Never See

Green-Room Writing: The Scenes They Never See

Not everything in a story happens on the page. When an author writes material that occurs “offstage,” that so-called “green-room writing” may inform the events that the audience sees. Giving foundations for the characters, their motivations, personalities and activities, green room writing may well feel like wasted effort. Trust me, though – it’s really not. I coined the term green-room writing when describing the many false starts I had with my short story “Ravenous.” An intense urban faerie tale inspired by my experiences in a heavy-metal group, “Ravenous” featured the implosion of the narrator’s band in mid-gig. The story’s first Read more »

Stigma, Disorders, and Shame

Stigma, Disorders, and Shame

“…Like many people with depression, Stacy bought into long-held public attitudes toward the condition. Her self-stigma delayed her treatment, increased her isolation, warped her self-image and lowered her self-esteem—a closed-circuit loop that only deepens depression…” Although I do not, thankfully, suffer, from chronic depression, many people I know and love do so. And yes, this article is dead-on. Beyond the subject of chronic depression, I DO have several sensory-processing disorders: dyslexia, dyscalculia, and perhaps a touch of Asperger Syndrome as well. (I seem to have overcome most of it, but my childhood was textbook Aspie.) And although those disorders are Read more »