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Goth House Press Posts

New Orleans Voodoo & Houma Rougarou Fest

Part of Rougarou Month here at Goth House Press! I’ve spent the last few days in New Orleans with friends. On Friday we went to the Voodoo Festival, got soaked by tropical storm Olga, and saw a fantastic set by Guns and Roses. It might seem strange that New Orleans has so many big outdoor music festivals, given how often they get rained on, and sometimes rained out, but somehow it always seems worth it. My boots are still muddy, though. Next time I’m wearing galoshes. After an incredibly soggy Friday, Sunday was sunny and kind of hot. We drove out…

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The Slaughtered Lamb

It’s Rougarou Month here at Goth House Press to celebrate the upcoming release of Stripping Down to Scars. Inspired (sort of) by this article about 1981 werewolf movies from the Los Angeles Review of Books, I wanted to talk about the movie An American Werewolf in London. In 1981 I was 15 and lived way the heck out there in suburbia with no fellow horror fans around, so I didn’t have any practical way to watch horror movies new in the theater. But I was a dedicated watcher of Siskel & Ebert, and sometimes they would review a movie that…

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Write-a-thon 2019: Final thoughts

Shown above: most excellent villains Hello everyone! It’s the last day of the Clarion West 2019 Write-a-thon, and there is still time to sponsor me, or sponsor someone else. We’re all great! And all the money goes to Clarion West! As I explained in the previous essay, my original goal for this year was to write rapid drafts of books 3-7 in the rougarou series, but after it took me three weeks to write the draft of book 3 I realized I would be lucky to finish the rapid draft of book 4 in the next three weeks. So, what…

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Write-a-thon 2019: the story of the story

Hello everyone! We’re already halfway through the Clarion West 2019 Write-a-thon and here I am, finally writing my first essay about it! (Sponsor me! Or sponsor someone else! We’re all great! And all the money goes to Clarion West!) (Note: at publication time we are 4/6 of the way through now, that’s what prepping for a birthday party will get you. Which reminds me: it’s my birthday. My birthday always falls during Clarion West, which means that I spent my birthday while I was at CW sewing a second head on a stuffed cat to be given to Ellen Datlow.…

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Overthinking song lyrics: Duran Duran: Girls on Film

Welcome back to our ongoing series, Overthinking Lyrics! Lindsey and Julie listen far too closely to another Duran Duran song. This time, it’s Girls on Film. Lindsey Witch: Girls on Film, one of their bigger early hits, was pretty controversial due to the video. Julie Witch: Even without the video I always assumed it was about porn. Or about how modeling might as well be porn. LW: Yeah, the song is a tad racy. The video flies past racy to weird with naked women. The full version has nudity, and even the one they could show on MTV has suggestive…

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This Is Not A Halloween Blog About Vampires

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It’s that time of year, I know: the spooky season.  Goth Christmas, if you will.

What kind of goth? That’s a silly question.  Now where was I?

Oh, yes, it’s the time of year when the world is full of ghosts and pumpkins, witches and spiders. When creepies are crawling everywhere, and vampires are moving among the mortals.

But this is not a blog post about vampires.

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Mayonnaise and ketchup and hamburgers on iceberg lettuce

Above, a picture I found of mayonnaise looking exactly why I don’t like it — flavorless, fatty, cloying. In my native cooking tradition — Industrialized Post-War Post-Apocalyptic Food Wasteland — “barbecue” meant “items cooked outside on a barbecue” and that was it. Those items were inevitably hot dogs or hamburgers, served on buns made of extra-squishy white bread, dressed with mustard and sweet pickle relish (hot dogs) or mayonnaise, ketchup, iceberg lettuce, and sweet pickle slices (hamburgers). Maaaaaaayyyyybe you could throw a a slice of curiously flavorless beefsteak tomato or Processed American Cheese on there, if you were feeling adventurous.…

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Hugo Squee Part II

We’re nearing the end of the voting period for this year’s Hugo Award’s.  Time to squee just one more time. Aynjel: Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time by K.M. Szpara (Uncanny, May/June 2017) https://uncannymagazine.com/article/small-changes-long-periods-time/ This novellette. Oh my ghod, this novelette. It’s a vampire story and there’s blood and sex; if none of that’s your thing, well, you might want to take three giant bunny steps back. If you like (or love, or lust) all of those things, then come on in, the water (blood?) is fine, and the story is so much more than a vampire story. The…

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Hey, it’s my birthday!

Pictured above: Me on the Brooklyn Bridge earlier this year It’s my birthday today so I took the day off work to 1. Drink, and 2. Smash Stuff. Although actually I’m going to smash stuff first, because I want to be sober when I’m wielding that sledgehammer. I woke up thinking about politics, like everyone does these days. Why do you think I want to drink and smash stuff? I woke up thinking about the way particular political events and ideas have shaped my life. I was born in 1966, so by the time I was aware of the Civil…

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Write-a-thon 2018 progress report: editing

(Pictured above: some of my notebooks from the 2006 Clarion West workshop) I know the world is on fire, but the Write-a-thon is happening for TWO MORE WEEKS! Sponsor me! Sponsor another writer! It’s not like I haven’t been writing, I just haven’t been writing essays and progress reports. This Write-a-thon I’ve actually been doing mostly editing, which is an absolutely necessary art of writing, but it’s hard to measure progress. Drafting is easy — it’s all about the wordcount, baby! But editing, especially final stage editing like I’m doing on Stripping Down to Scars, that’s harder. How do you…

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Theories of human evil: Neutrality

Almost a year ago, on my birthday, I was listening to one of my presents to myself (2010 live recording of Les Miserables) and drinking alone (like you do) and came out with some thoughts on the moral philosophy of Les Miz viewed through the Good-Evil Chaotic-Lawful axis of Dungeons & Dragons. (Twitter thread here) I was just ruminating on Twitter, but I came up with a theory of human morality that has been toying with my mind ever since: most people think they are lawful good, but are actually neutral neutral. What do I mean by that? The D&D…

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Hugo Squee Part I

It’s time for everyone in our little literary corner of the world to think about the Hugo Awards, and all the nominees for this year. The Word Witches weigh in on some items they like, an ongoing series: Aynjel: “Fandom for Robots” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad from Uncanny Magazine September/October 2017 https://uncannymagazine.com/article/fandom-for-robots/ If you’ve missed your daily dose of robot feels, “Fandom for Robots” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad is the story you need to remedy that problem.  This story’s got 50s-style boxy robots, a fictional anime series and the fandom that surrounds it, including a fan fiction website.  And you…

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