August 2nd, 2004


Except You Go Through Shadow - Memories of a Wraith author - Plus more...Johnette, etc.

CD Intake of the Day:

Black Sabbath – Cross Purposes (quick reminder that almost everything seen from here on out (or heard) will be from an earlier period of my life. Some CDs (like this one) haven’t been heard in so long I couldn’t tell you what’s on them…

HEROES DEL SILENCIO – El Espiritu Del Vino – A hard rock CD I picked up while stationed in Rota, Spain. We saw these guys perform with a band named TIBURON in a small square in Rota, surrounded by ancient stone walls and echoing like some small corner of a fantasy novel. We were toasted, and it rocked. One of my most pleasant memories of Spain.

THE GIGANTIC RECORDING CORPORATION PROUDLY PRESENTS: Volume II – This is a compilation I don’t even remember owning. It has the following groups: The Cramps / The Pretty Things / Letters To Cleo / Big Head Todd and the Monsters / Certain Distant Suns / Aimee Mann / Thomas Dolby / Big Mountain and Foghat (odd mix, for sure).

Johnette Napolitano – Pretty & Twisted – (Those of you following this will note that very soon now we’ll begin running through a very close to complete run of Concrete Blonde, plus Johnette’s solo work. In fact, my novel written for White Wolf, “Except You Go Through Shadows,” which was part of the huge volume The Essential World of Darkness, representing WRAITH the Oblivion – contains a cult of people who believe prophecy must be snatched from the world around us, and who believe Johnette to be a prophet – particularly a prophet who guides the footsteps of our hero, one Love Constantine… After the CD roundup, I’ll append some quotes from the novel – just because I can (grin).

KATE BUSH – The Red Shoes – such a strange lady…

INCINERATOR – This is a compilation from Augmented Mammary Productions in Indianapolis back in the early 1990s. I guess, to coin a phrase, it is the Indianapolis sound? The groups are: Gravelbed / Acid Green / Young Lords, Blatherskite / Neurotic Box / Soulpaint / & Crankpin. Interesting, but not something you’ll find laying around most music stores…

Here are a couple of quotes. The first paragraph of Except You Go Through Shadow:

“The sky lit up like a fourth of July gone mad. Love Constantine smiled into the brilliance, contemplating eternity. Why sweat the small stuff when the promised land was just the other side of a fragmentation grenade?”

The second is a bit showing the bond between Love Constantine and Johnette:

“Love needed no one to back him. He was finished fighting against the veil of secrecy that denied him peace. He was ready to take things into his own hands, to rip the curtains aside and dive headlong through the window of fate.
"Remember the words of Johnette, a true Concrete Blonde, and a prophetess of the new age," Fontana had told them the night before. "Love is a beast. Love," and here Fontana's grin had widened as he turned to meet his most loyal follower's eyes, "you will be that beast. Own it. You will lead us through into the next world. You are first of my flock, most learned in the prophecies, most able to divine the meaning behind the meaningless, after me. You are Love, and you are the beast. Rip out the heart of the world."
Even those words had held hidden prophecy, Love knew. He and the others were the heart of the world. He would not so much rip it out as he would irritate the world into ripping it out for him.”

Despite its RPG roots, that novel stands as some of my favorite writing over the years. I had a lot of fun with it, put in a lot of things that transcended that form, I think. Maybe it’s just me, but its okay for me to THINK, yes?
Actually that novel was my favorite of all the novels I did for White Wolf. It was based on their game WRAITH, the premise of which is that if you die, but still have things to do here on earth, or unfinished emotion, you can be tied to this world and end up in a place they call The Shadowlands. Not everyone goes there, but some do – people who die in great trauma, pain, or with something left unfinished.
My novel was written not that long after David Koresh and his followers died in Waco. My “prophet” – Eliot Fonatana – was as phony as it gets. He died because he tried to hide through the great battle under the sink in the kitchen and got caught in the fire.
Love, on the other hand, took a grenade and jumped straight through the wall into heavy fire. Both of them ended up in The Shadowlands, and when they arrive, Love begins a quest to find the “prophet” he believes will lead himself, and the others he gathers together along the way, to the next level. Meanwhile, Fontana is trying to escape slavery, and keep his followers from finding out just what a loser he actually is.
It was fun, the first fantasy I wrote, really, at any length. I still think it holds up as entertaining reading. It was bought, paid for, cancelled, and then resurrected when they decided to do the great big five novel Essential World of Darkness with four other novels that covered the various words of their game.

On another note, I titled the story in progress “Patterns in White Static.” One reader said it reminded him of a cross between Thomas Ligotti and Robert Aickman, but that the ending was all Robert Bloch ??? I thought I was in there somewhere, but all of THOSE guys sell or sold better, so…anyway, it is turned in. If I get the good news on it I hope for, I’ll let you all know….or maybe I won’t, because the contents are secret (lol). I will tell you I sold it, anyway. It came in at 7300 words and I cut it back to 6700.
Until tomorrow,

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