Each Arm

Feb. 21st, 2016 04:08 pm
tinhuvielartanis: (cadmus pariah)

On occasion, I have been asked how I get anything done, because it seems I’m doing everything all at once.  Well, I am doing everything all at once, but it’s really all about what a person gets used to.  It’s also about how a person’s mind works.


My mind has always been way too busy for its own good.  Many of my teachers in school allowed me to doodle as I took notes, because the only way I could fully focus on the work at hand was to allow my mind to drift in other matters.  I know that seems counterintuitive, but it worked for me, and I soaked knowledge up like a sponge.  The same concept applied to reading for me.  I have to be reading more than one book at a time, and I have to read each page at least twice, because the first time is a kind of overall imprint, and the second review is more of an in-depth absorption.  I read by paragraph, not by sentence.  


I think faster than I can write, even with typing, so I often skip words, which can be frustrating.


When I began working in Quality Assurance at BMG, we were all allowed to do as we pleased whilst auditioning new releases, just as long as we could remain focused on identifying sound and technical issues with the recordings.  I got into the habit of writing and working on art while I listened.  It took the pressure of having to listen to shite.  When we began testing video games and upgraded to computers, my focus had to change.  I could audition new releases while testing new games.  I was also tasked to teach myself the computer, then give instruction to my boss and coworkers, so I would often find myself listening to an album, playing a game, and learning the PC by trial and error, all at the same time.  It was never an issue for me.  I adored it.


After BMG decided it no longer cared about the quality of its products and I ended up in the Pit (Special Orders Services/Point of Purchase promotions), my need to multi-task came in extremely handy, garnering me a lot of praise from a lot of labels, and some really nice raises.  There were days I would be working on a dozen different promotions projects, and still be writing on my own stuff.  When we got plugged into the Internet at work, I was introduced to LJ and created the Cliffs of Insanity to help me deal with the madness of working in the music business.  Even though the coping mechanism only partially worked, as is evidenced in my obvious madness even today, it further developed my multi-tasking skills, allowing me to be able to listen to music, talk on the phone, communicate via email, process orders, organise promotions, bitch in my journal, and write on my fiction simultaneously.  The more I did, the more I could do, and the more I needed to do.


I never had any capacity for patience, though, and what little patience I had, began to deteriorate.  I am now pretty much devoid of any patience, but the mind is still on overdrive, and I often find myself incapable of doing just one thing.  I feel incomplete and lazy.  I feel disconnected, not only from the world as I perceive it, but also from myself.  I also need some distraction in order to keep Cadmus in his Tulpa form at bay.  If it weren’t for multi-tasking, Cadmus would have driven me the rest of the way mad as a hatter long ago.


I know a lot of people find multi-tasking to be a pain in the arse but, for me, it is a blessing for a mind that will sleep when it’s dead.

The End

Dec. 31st, 2015 08:44 pm
tinhuvielartanis: (Darth Geek)

And so we have arrived at the threshold of yet another year, four cycles after the long hoped for Alpaca Lips.  In some ways, it has been an eventful year and, in others, things have barely changed.  I figured I'd touch on the highlights of 2015, then throw some hopes (gasp, hope?  Tin?  NOOOOOO!) out for 2016.  So, let's begin.

no title

The first major thing that happened in 2015 came in February, when I was allowed unprecedented liberties to continue and expand my campaign to disseminate All Things Shriekback.  I was elated, for I had watched for too long their greatness be swallowed up by the ever-expanding Internet, without the proper tools in my box of toys to make enough digital noise to be noticed.  That changed prior to the release of one of their best albums to date, Without Real String or Fish.  To my immense joy, this was only one of many releases by the band that I got to relentlessly plug throughout the year.  It's been an honour to do what I could for the guys, and I will continue to do what I do until they tell me to stop!


In April, another wonderful thing occurred:  I got to go up to Los Angeles to attend Jeff Lynne's Hollywood Walk of Fame star ceremony.  Even though I didn't get to meet him - again! - I was still thrilled to be in the general vicinity of my spiritual and musical godfather, and listen to him talk a little about his career and how honoured he felt to be getting the praise and attention that has long been due the man.  He's a genius, and I am overjoyed that people are finally catching on to this fact.  It also heartens me that so many Millennials, particularly in the music world, are embracing Mr. Lynne and his music.  That means that his legacy will live on through the generations, as long as humanity plagues this world.  It almost makes me glad we're all still around.  Anyway, also in attendance to the star ceremony, making speeches of their own about how groovy Jeff Lynne is, were Tom Petty and Joe Walsh.  I caught this epic photo before the brouhaha began.   


And it got even better later in the year, in November, when Jeff Lynne released Alone in the Universe, the first official ELO album since the release of Zoom in 2001.  I'm currently listening to it for the first time but, hey! better late than never, right?  2015 was the year both Shriekback and the Electric Light Orchestra gave the world new music.  If for no other reason, this year should be marked as a complete success because of this.


Shortly before I moved out to San Diego, my TV died.  For a while, I was pretty miserable, until I got used to watching streaming formats online, like Netflix.  It cut down on my viewing habits considerably, and I found myself focusing on just the movies and shows I personally found important and worthy enough to spend my time watching.  Beginning in late 2014, though, my number one go-to place for instant entertainment gratification became You Tube.  I discovered Alonzo LeroneGarret John, and a host of other talents, visionaries, and creatives.  In June of 2015, though, I stumbled upon a short film that completely blew my mind. It's what made me realise how grateful I am to no longer have a television. I probably would have never discovered such brilliance had I still been enslaved to the mediocrity that spews out of the boob tube.

When I first saw The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon, I had a reaction eerily similar to what I had upon seeing The Joker Blogs' Therapy Begins.  I couldn't get enough!  Impressed didn't even begin to cover it.  The more I watched it and the related films on Richard Gale's You Tube channel, the more I laughed.  As anyone who has known me since losing Aunt Tudi in 2011 knows, laughter is something I treasure above all other things.  I credit anything that could cut through the grief and trigger laughter as holding a seed of the miraculous within its heart.  The Impractical Jokers were the first to make what I thought was impossible happen.  The Horrible Slow Murderer carried on that life-saving tradition.  

I was so impressed with the undeniable talent in this short film and others on the channel, like the wholly unfunny and horrifying Criticized, I was compelled to learn more about the film maker and his posse.  Employing the web search skills I learned in the Pit oh so very long ago, it didn't take me long to learn a good bit about the director and actors Paul Clemens and Brian Rohan.  

Well, one thing led to another, and I ended up helping them with their Kickstarter campaign, after having the pleasure of discussing a few promo ideas with Richard one Sunday a few months ago.  During this time, I've come to see that not only are these guys uber-talented, but they are also genuine, groovy, insightful, kind individuals.  How could anyone not want to help people like this in any way they can?


While all this was happening, I was going to the doctor about my back pain, which seemed to be getting worse despite all attempts to reverse the issues causing it.  The doc finally suggested that I look into getting an panniculectomy.  Now, in South Carolina, no insurance, private or public, would cover anything considered cosmetic.  When I got the gastric bypass surgery, I went into it with no pipe dreams of getting any excess skin removed.  It was never an option, so I never entertained the idea.

When the doctor brought up the panniculectomy, I silently scoffed, but decided "what the hell?  It doesn't hurt to ask."  So, a couple of days later, I called Aetna and asked them if such a surgery were covered.  They informed me that, if it were considered medically necessary, they would cover it, and all I would have to pay would be $264.00.  I called the doctor, who referred me to Dr. Jason Hess.  He took pictures, informed me that he'd gotten approval for surgeries with less severe pannus issues, and said he'd be asking approval for not just a panniculectomy, but also an abdominoplasty which, combined, are basically the human equivalent to being cleaned like a fish.

In two weeks time, Aetna gave the go ahead, and I had a tummy tuck and panniculectomy in September.  I'm still recovering from it, but my back does feel better after no longer having to deal with 17 pounds of dead weight constantly pulling on my lower lumbar region.  Also, for the first time in my life, I actually have a figure.  I'm still not used to the new body.  It's like living in an alien biological construct.

So, 2015 saw me become a bit of a California stereotype in that I got plastic surgery and began "hobnobbing" with Hollywood directors and actors.  Folks, don't expect that, if you're thinking of planning on moving to California.  Bear in mind that I live in the Twilight Zone and have no idea how shit like this happens to me.


One more cool thing that happened this year actually happened this month.  After over a year of struggling with it, I finally had a breakthrough in my arduous Wacom education.  I still have a very long way to go before I consider anything I do with the tablet worthy of pride, but at least I'm finally seeing results from what I have so far learned.  This is the result - the best representation of how I see Cadmus Pariah in my mind's eye.  I plan on making this a full body picture, not just a floating head of death, but I thought I should make note that my obvious learning disability when it comes to digital art has at long last had a wee chink taken out of its seemingly impenetrable wall.

There have been some unhappy things to happen this year - conflicts with Matt, friends falling prey to illness, seriously fucked up news on the family front, among other things - but I am choosing not to focus on that in this year-end post.  There is nothing I could write here that would change any of these things, and I frankly don't want to give the bad areas of 2015 any more power than they already have.  I would prefer to give energy to more positive outcomes in those categories in the coming year. 

That being said, here are some things I'm hoping to see happen and/or make happen in 2016.

  • Friends and family beat the odds and kick all manner of ass with some insane Health Fu.
  • The Presidential election does not turn out to be a disaster of mega-Fascist proportions.
  • People collectively reject the status quo and embrace a higher vibrational state of being.
  • There is full disclosure on extraterrestrial life and activities, as well as extra-dimensional life and activities.
  • Jeff Lynne plays a concert in San Diego and I get to attend.
  • I can eventually feel as comfortable riding the buses in San Diego as I was riding the ones in Los Angeles. LA makes a lot more sense as far as layout is concerned.  Or maybe that's just me.
  • Yoga becomes a part of my everyday life.
  • Barry Andrews has more delightful written and musical works of art in store for the world.
  • I complete my latest book and maybe even publish it.
  • The filming of Ginosaji goes smoothly and is a low-stress joy for all involved.
  • I get to go to the desert to gaze at the Milky Way at least once in 2016.
  • I and those I love are surrounded by non-toxic individuals and that we can continue to expand the influence of beauty, creativity, common sense, and divine madness.
  • The Alpaca Lips finally happens.

Here's hoping everyone has a fantastic new year.  May it be visionary in every way.

tinhuvielartanis: (Nathor)

Around 2 AM this morning, I was watching and looking for more of Marina Abramović's performance art, when I happened to come across a picture of her bottle-feeding a baby tiger. My mind was instantly transported to the Wiccan Charge of the Goddess. For those who may not know what the Charge of the Goddess is, it is a poem written by Doreen Valiente, for use in Esbats and Sabbats, and most usually spoken by the High Priestess presiding over the ritual after having drawing down the Moon. The version I'm using here is Starhawk's adaptation of the Charge, because her version was the first I ever read.

Listen to the words of the Great Mother, Who of old was called Artemis, Astarte, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Diana, Arionrhod, Brigid, and by many other names:

Whenever you have need of anything, once a month, and better it be when the moon is full, you shall assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of Me Who is Queen of all the Wise.

You shall be free from slavery, and as a sign that you be free you shall be naked in your rites.

Sing, feast, dance, make music and love, all in My Presence, for Mine is the ecstasy of the spirit and Mine also is joy on earth.

For My law is love is unto all beings. Mine is the secret that opens the door of youth, and Mine is the cup of wine of life that is the cauldron of Cerridwen, that is the holy grail of immortality.

I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal, and beyond death I give peace and freedom and reunion with those that have gone before.

Nor do I demand aught of sacrifice, for behold, I am the Mother of all things and My love is poured out upon the earth.

Hear the words of the Star Goddess, the dust of Whose feet are the hosts of Heaven, whose body encircles the universe:

I Who am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon among the stars and the mysteries of the waters,

I call upon your soul to arise and come unto me.

For I am the soul of nature that gives life to the universe.

From Me all things proceed and unto Me they must return.

Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.

Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.

And you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.

For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am That which is attained at the end of desire.

I'm not sure why I've latched on to Ms. Abramović, connecting her with the Divine Feminine, but I can say this is the closest I've felt to the Great Goddess since 2011.  It could just be that I resonate with the archetype Marina's carriage emanates.

I'm nowhere near acknowledging the existence of any sort to any deity, but I have to admit to myself that I'm not an atheist.  By the same token, the revelations and theories that seem to have exploded in the science communities over the past few years give rise to a kind of wonderment of existence, of being a part of living, sentient organism.  It is believed that information is never lost.  It can be transformed into something we can't see, but it is not gone.  In some form, everything is still cradled within the cosmos.


Combined with that theory, the line in the Charge, From Me all things proceed and unto Me they must return, has given me a level of comfort I thought I would never feel again.  Not since 2011.  How long will this last?  I do not know.  Could it magnify and allow me to return to the Craft?  I do not know.  Is it simply a fleeting subconscious attempt to cling to the memories of a time when I felt much more in control of my life than I am now?  Perhaps.  Still, I do not know. Will I ever know?

I do not know.

Spirituality, however, is not something you know.  At least it shouldn't be.  Unwavering certainty is the pathway to religious extremism, which is about as far from spirituality as a person can get, in my opinion.  A person has to believe enough to engage in spiritual practice of any sort, and I know deep in my bones that I am not there yet, and may never again be.  Some may suggest I cast or find a Circle and see where it takes me, but I can't do that.  I always took my responsibilities as a High Priestess very seriously and I feel being involved in a ritual of any sort would be hypocrital of me.  I tried to explain this - unsuccessfully - to the Mother Unit and Matt, when they tried to get me to attend a full moon drum circle.  Since rhythm and song were intrinsic in my own rituals and the ones I led in Hecate Triskele, and this drum circle is held on every Esbat, my conscience won't allow me to get involved.  I would feel like a phony and a liar to myself and everyone with whom I've practiced since embracing Witchcraft, and everything I'd ever believed or done within that context would be worthless, devoid of any sincerity.  That's something I cannot and will not do.

That said, I think it would be wise of me to avoid Marina Abramović for a while.

Edit:  The background image I used for the Marina Charge is an artist rendering of what scientists believe the universe looks like.


Jul. 9th, 2015 06:29 pm
tinhuvielartanis: (Spork)

A friend on Facebook shared this story with me a few months ago - thank you FB Friend! I can't remember who twigged me on to this, so please speak your peace, if you see this. It's one of those stories that kind of sticks with you and may be in your final thoughts before you die. I'm copying the very short narrative here on the Cliffs, but all credit goes to MeanPete, and I'm linking back to his original post. Click this breathtaking painting by Polish artist, Zdzisław Beksiński to be taken to Hell's origins.  Scroll down to read.


There was no pearly gate.
The only reason I knew I was in a cave was because I had just passed the entrance. The rock wall rose behind me with no ceiling in sight.
I knew this was it, this was what religion talked about, what man feared .. I had just entered the gate to hell.
I felt the presence of the cave as if it was a living, breathing creature. The stench of rotten flesh overwhelmed me.
Then there was the voice, it came from inside and all around.
"Who are you?", I asked, trying to keep my composure.
"You know", the thing answered.
I did know.
"You are the devil", I stuttered, quickly losing my composure. "Why me? I've lived as good as I could".
The silence took over the space as my words died out. It seemed like an hour went by before the response came.
"What did you expect?"
The voice was penetrating but patient.
"I don't know .. I never believed any of this", I uttered "Is that why I am here?"
I continued: "They say the greatest trick you ever pulled was convincing the world you don't exist"
"No, the greatest trick I ever pulled was convincing the world that there is an alternative"
"There is no God?" I shivered.
The cave trembled with the words: "I am God"

tinhuvielartanis: (Nemesis)

Barry Andrews has made a new blog post to the Shriekback Tumblr. If you like the bit I'm posting here, just click the picture to be taken to the full post. It's pretty damned fascinating, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

I find it interesting that these two art moments documenting a terrible existential awakening both happen at the seaside and that it was the Victorians who invented the old school English seaside holiday (with all it’s hearty stoicism insisting on fun in the face of the elements ('brrr -nice out of the wind though'). This, alongside grim philosophical introspection. How does that work? What I unfailingly get from my own marine meditations is a sense of perspective ('too much fucking perspective' as the Spinal Tap boys say). The primal, merciless sea right up against humanity at it’s most lovable, ridiculous and vulnerable (those goosepimpled bodies in summer; off-season, the garish lights and fragile, tinny music from the pier timorously jutting out into the sombre ocean). Who are we kidding that we’re important or serious?

Barry has also uploaded a version of the song on his Soundcloud account. Click the cormorant to access the song, and click Barry if you want to go to his Soundcloud bungalow.

tinhuvielartanis: (Cadmus Ink)

Yesterday, Barry Andrews uploaded a new blog entry on the Shriekback Tumblr. It's a great read, obviously, but I saw a lot of what he wrote could also apply to other musicians, artists, writers, dancers - basically anyone who produces creative content. Over the years, I've come across artists who work in all creative mediums who say they were influenced and/or inspired by Shriek music. I was especially pleased to read two particular statements in the narrative.

Barry wrote:

Shriekback has long enjoyed a cordial, if intermittent, rapport with the film business. The reason is not hard to discern: we do seem to be good at creating ‘atmosphere’. Evoking feelings; establishing a mood. I’ve no idea why this comes so easily but it does. Music can sidestep the conscious, critical mind and make emotions happen in a way that visual media have to work a lot harder to do.

Later on in the blog entry, he wrote:

It’s always a nice moment when you get an email asking to use a piece of Shriekback music in a film: firstly it means you get paid without doing anything (though you always seem to have to chase the money- doubtless for some film biz related reason). And also there’s an implied compliment in that someone saw something in your work which they felt would enhance their own.

Of course, I had to share the entry to my Vampire Relics Facebook page, adding my own opinion about the nature of creative expression.  Here was my take as the writer of The Vampire Relics:

So what do you think? Do you think Shriekback's treatise on the nature film-making and its relationship with music is a valid perspective? Do you believe how what he says could apply to any creative effort? If you have opinions and/or insights regarding this, please share them. Also, if you have drawn, written, painted, filmed, photographed, recorded, built, or made something that came into existence because of Shriekback's influence on your imagination, I'd love to see it. If you do share something with me, be sure to let me know if I can pass it on to Barry because, as quoted above, he considers such activity to be "an implied compliment in that someone saw something in your work which they felt would enhance their own."

tinhuvielartanis: (Augury)
Here's the biog, which can also be seen on my Amazon page. <--- click for that link magick to happen. No html fuckery was allowed for this, so things that should be in bold or italics are not. Sorry about that.

Tracy Angelina Evans was born on 10 September, 1967, in Asheville, North Carolina, into a small family that had more in common with the Addams Family than the Waltons. Her father was a slightly off-center Jack of all artistic trades (radio DJ, photographer, writer, journalist, singer/songwriter, comic, and Japanese commercial actor - go figure), so it was convenient that his nickname was Jack. Her mother is a first generation Hippie, who adores artistic/crafty endeavours, reading, watching horror movies, and anything to having to do with nature and the animal kingdom. Her grandparents were Big Band Jazz musicians and singers (maternal grandparental units), painters and storytellers (paternal grandmother unit), and CIA operatives (paternal grandfather unit) in what was then West Germany. She was raised by her eccentric aunt, Tudi, and paternal grandmother unit in Asheville and, later, in Duncan, SC. She began artistic pursuits at the age of 4, when her grandmother told her to go draw flies. Too young to get the joke, her first pictures were of flies. The spiders came later to eat the overpopulation of flies. Webs were really fun to draw. She began writing animals stories around the age of 7, but switched to human-centered sci-fi stories at 13, when she heard the Electric Light Orchestra's album, Time.

Language and mythology became an important part of Tracy's education at an early age, and she was fascinated with religion. Early on, she wanted to be a preacher, but was told only men could do that. Then she wanted to be a nun, going around with a towel held to her head with a plastic mixing bowl to signify her cornette, but was told only Catholics could do that. Her mother was Jewish and her father was a non-practicing Southern Baptist, so the natural progression from these lofty origins, along with the dashing of original spiritual aspirations because of denomination and gender, is for the offspring to embrace Pagan and Pantheist philosophies, which became intertwined with her sci-fi sensibilities, the music prevalent in her life, and what little she could grasp of actual science, particularly physics and psychology.

In her junior year of high school, she chose to do a research paper on anti-Utopian societies, or Dystopian worlds, using A Brave New World and 1984 as the frame work for her paper. This turned her into a conspiracy theorist and affected the general tone of her writing from then on. During this time, too, she began building a personal myth around an ancient alien race that came to Earth before the rise of humanity. Part of the process of this creation was the invention of a new language, based loosely on the Indo-European family of languages with a hint of Finno-Ugric. (How, really, did two countries so far apart from one another end up sharing a root language, anyway? Finland? Hungary? What say you?)

At the age of 19, Tracy's genuine love of music, combined with her knowledge of a wide variety of musical genres, gave her the opportunity to work in the music industry starting in 1987. She left Wofford College to pursue this career. For almost a decade, she literally (using the correct definition of the word) got paid to sit and listen to music, during which she was allowed to read, write, draw, or anything else that did not deter from her job in the quality assurance department of what was then BMG/RCA Music Service. Another nine years with the company saw her going into music promotions, which drove her clinically mad.

Her Tarmian mythology got a metaphysical shot in the arm when Tracy began studying ancient Pagan religions and dabbling in the then still fresh New Age philosophies in 1990 and going forward.

Also in 1990, she discovered what would become her favourite music band, Shriekback. They would end up having a profound effect on every aspect of her own artistic endeavours. Thanks to her entering the virtual world of the Internet in 1998, she got to eventually meet some members of the band, and help to promote them and their music since 2000. They were kind enough to allow her to use lyrics from their songs as chapter lead-ins for her books.

After the death of her aunt in 2011, Tracy moved to San Diego to be closer to her mother, taking with her, her non-human friends Smidgen (a giant cat with a partially erect furry penis for a tail) and Toby (an obnoxious deer Chihuahua who had been abandoned at the veterinary hospital for which she briefly worked as a Vet Assistant), her music, book, and DVD collections, a few clothes, and her computer.

She is quite active online, maintaining a 12-year-old blog on Live Journal, called The Cliffs of Insanity, and sharing amusing and/or infuriating bits of info and images on her Facebook page. Besides writing and devouring copious amounts of music, she enjoys drawing badly, and is trying to learn how to use an art tablet. She also loves to read, watch movies (any genre but romance), make videos for You Tube (some vids for Shriekback, some vids to share songs that might not otherwise be available, like the more obscure Celtic folk tunes of Dougie MacLean and Talitha MacKenzie, and some funny bits and bobs, like The Tim Roth Tutorials), going to drum circles on the weekend to work out her djembe and get a contact high, and enthusiastically waiting for the End of the World. Over the past few years, comedy has also become of great import to her mental health. There's a reason why we have the cliché "laughter is the best medicine."

Tracy has a strong affinity for non-human Earthlings (camelids, reptiles, birds, and mantids, in particular) and was involved in cat rescue for some time in Duncan, SC. At one point, she was seeking homes for about thirty cats she had tamed and nursed back to health, earning her the title of Crazy Cat Lady in her neighbourhood. (All the cats were re-homed.) She has worked to rehabilitate many species, including a hypoglycaemic hummingbird, a family of opossums to whom she gave epic Nordic names for no reason whatsoever, and a variety of lizards. She is in love with a planet she sees aching under the yoke of human oppression, and would do anything to see that change. She claims to be a professional misanthrope, which is most often channelled into Cadmus Pariah, but she likes you. To the best of her knowledge, her lineage includes Welsh, Scottish, English, Jewish, Dutch, Hungarian, African, and Cherokee genes, making her a class A mongrel.

After years of change and countless reassessments of her belief system, Tracy is now more comfortable with the concept of Jungian archetypes and how they are recurring themes throughout human history. As it stands at the time of this writing, she's working on a fourth Vampire book, she's still a diehard Star Wars/Star Trek sci-fi/fantasy nerd, an apostle of JRR Tolkien's and Robert Anton Wilson's, an opinionated grouch, and a constant victim of synchronicity, which tends to spread the wealth of weirdness with anyone in close proximity. She has a short list of heroes that include Jeff Lynne, Carl Jung, Barry Andrews, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Starhawk. She is also one of the 14 remaining people on Earth who dislikes Joss Whedon and that for which he stands, and has actually lost friends because of her opinion. If she had her druthers, Tracy would move to Avebury, Wiltshire, and groove on the ley lines' vibrations for the rest of her life.

She's absolutely certain that she is uncertain about everything, and that is most certainly a statement loaded with uncertainty.

At Buckingham Palace in 2006.
tinhuvielartanis: (Can't Stop Writing)

Each tune had to reinvent rock music, every gig had to redefine live performance. New technologies (particularly the nascent internet) were embraced and forcibly mated with ancient sounds, tunings and atavistic objects like the Harming Tree (a tree root festooned with tiny speakers emitting significant Rat Morse).

rare early picture of the Harming Tree (who went on to a meteoric solo career -we had served our purpose)

CLICK to read the full post.

tinhuvielartanis: (Augury)

Activities in this post will have already happened by the time I get to upload it to the Cliffs of Insanity, just so anyone who reads this knows.

I'm currently on a Frontier Airline airplane, headed for Denver. [livejournal.com profile] debrafortune contacted me about a month ago, wanting to know if I would come out to Boulder for the Halloween weekend. I have no idea why she wanted to fly me out to visit, but I think it's incredibly kind of her.

I met Debra in 2002, when I joined Live Journal. She was the first Shriekback fan I met. I can't believe we've actually known one another for 12 years. What is the time/space continuum coming to?

A couple of days ago, I added her phone number to my phone - or thought I did - so I could call her when I landed. Unfortunately, the phone didn't take the contact information. This is the second time that's happened with this phone. On top of that, the wall outlet charger stopped working overnight, when I was trying to charge the phone. This phone is my alarm clock, so it's a miracle that the phone had enough juice to cue my electronic rooster this morning. I found my USB charger, and am currently charging the phone. I put a call in to the Mother Unit, asking her to go into my Facebook account to retrieve Debra's number, and I messaged Debra on FB to let her know my contact dilemma, and tell her I was wearing my Grumpy Cat tee-shirt, so she'd know what to look for. Also, I asked her to text me with her number.

Some days, it just seems that nothing goes exactly to plan...

Anyway, I'm going to be landing in the Denver airport, at which time Debra and I are going to tour the bizarre art work and architectural oddness it boasts. There is a conspiracy theory that the design of the airport indicates that it is a secret headquarters for the Illuminati and/or Reptilians. There's also supposed to be Masonic symbology worked into the sight to so "Those in the Know" will will know they're in the right place, and direct them to the underground base where all the Eyes Wide Shut crowd can have their masques and rituals, Colorado style.

After we eyeball the airport, Debra's taking me to the sauna. We've never met in person, but the second thing we're gonna do when I get there is get naked, because that's what you do with friends. It's only logical. You can say a lot of things about my friends, but you can't deny their free-spiritedness and overall groovy attitudes.

I'm not sure what else we'll be doing, but I'm sure it'll be fun, strange, and super-mega-awesome, because that's just how we Shriekers roll, dig?

I'll be flying back to San Diego on Monday, at which time Smidgen will probably have a total emotional meltdown to see I have returned after probably assuming I've abandoned her in my room with minimal contact with anyone other than Obnoxious Chihuahua Extraordinaire, Toby, to keep her "company". Toby will be fine without me. He's bonded with Matt, who would be an Obnoxious Chihuahua Extraordinaire, if he were a dog. The two of them grok, especially on the manic level.

There's a bit of a scheduling thing I need to do on Halloween. I'll be announcing the official release of The Augury of Gideon, even though it's technically already available for purchase on Amazon. I'm hoping to coordinate with Kristen on this, so we can bomb all the appropriate social media sites at the same time. The key to getting attention in the ever-growing virtual world of Teh Intarwebz is attempting an information Big Bang, then following up with a ridiculous amount of repetition. That said, I would deeply appreciate it, if any of would reblog the announcement and relevant sites you hang out on.

At this moment, I am listening to my Vampire playlist, and attempting to write more on The Harming Tree. I'm contemplating bringing back Rebekah and Mephistopheles, because I've always been quite fond of that ghastly couple, their obvious love for one another entwined with their unbridled lust of blood and death.

Speaking of all these Vampires, I finally got to finish a picture of Cadmus I started four years ago. I'd scanned what I had then, and attempted to enhance it in Photoshop with absolute crap results. But using the Wacom tablet, I was given the luxury to fix the flaws that were already in the original drawing, then complete the rest of it. I'm a little (no... I'm a lot) self-conscious about posting it, but I may break down and make it a Friends Only post.

So there you have it. One part business as usual, one part adventure. I'll post more about my visit with Debra and her family, when I have the opportunity.

tinhuvielartanis: (Kelat and Dmitri)

As previously mentioned, Matt and the Mother Unit gave me a Wacom Intuos art tablet for my birthday. For the past month, I've been trying to get acclimated to my new reality of digital art. The hand/eye coordination I learned from a very young age is out the window, as I have to relearn the effects of "pen" to "paper", since neither thing exists in the traditional sense of the words. It's very strange to not look at where I am applying my pen, or stylus, as it's called but, instead, keep my eyes on the computer screen. I imagine artists throughout time, on up to the 1980s or 90s, would look at the Intuos and intone dramatically, "What sorcery is this?" I know I've certainly asked that question more than a few dozen times since 9/10.

I am of a mind that I will be in student mode, probably for the rest of my life. That being said, I have created a few pieces that are really nothing more than doodles, of which I'm kind of proud, considering the first few attempts of drawing on the Intuos resulted in what looked like stick figures having strokes.

So, I am posting the drawings that don't suck like a porn star on overtime. I've arranged them in order of when I drew them, to show my progress (and I use that term very loosely) in hand placement and graphics manipulation. They are all behind the cut after the pic I just finished of Richard Ayoade.

Click for more grade school hilarity )

And that brings us to today's graphic treat, Mr. Richard Ayoade. I have to say, I am really proud of this picture, even though I know I have a long way to go before I'll think I'm worthy of this glorious art tablet. If RA ever sees the picture, I hope he likes it.

tinhuvielartanis: (Cadmus Wrath)
There was a period of time, after Cadmus killed his tutor and abuser Nissius, that he remained in Rome under the strict tutelage of the Apostate. His dragon surrogate had long been dead, after slowly being drained of her life by Cadmus. Despite his disdain for all living things, Cadmus secretly harboured a sense of loss for the only mother he had ever known. Using the magicks taught to him by the Apostate, he would conjur living images of the dragon in an attempt to manifest his memories.

This is an extremely rough sketch of young Cadmus Pariah, probably around the age of 20 or so.

cut for size )
tinhuvielartanis: (Cadmus Art)
[livejournal.com profile] acook finished the cover for the third and final installment of The Vampire Relics. I am astounded by it, and in awe of her talent. I'm cutting it because the file is rather large.

Click to behold the wonder! )
tinhuvielartanis: (Cadmus)
For the past few days, Cadmus has really been imposing his presence on me. So much so, in fact, I've picked up the pencil again and have been attempting to draw him. This is what has come of it, in all its crappy art glory.

This is one of Cadmus when he was very young, still living in the underground temples with the Apostate. It's after he was initiated, but before he went out into the world to hunt. During this time, the Apostate demanded that he not alter any part of his appearance, because he wanted to capture the essence of Cadmus' Tarmian nature for a piece of art.

More behind the cut )
tinhuvielartanis: (Faust)
I'm trying to get my ducks in a row, gathering up various pictures [livejournal.com profile] acook will need for reference, as well as writing up what I envision for the cover of The Augury of Gideon. Then I'm going to tackle some other publishing mountains before me. That aside, though, I found this picture, and it perfectly represents the innocence that defines Faust/Kallum. Scottles is the other half of the Faust/Kallum character, but the picture that best defines that is not published and I'm not gonna be responsible for doing that now. Anyways, here's the James McAvoy picture.


Gotta get this, the Scottles picture, and the picture of B that best represents Cadmus in the third book (I have the perfect one), along with a picture of the actual Augury, and a written description of what I'm seeing, and we'll be good to go. ::crosses fingers::
tinhuvielartanis: (Cadmus Ink)
I haven't abandoned this project. It's just taking me longer than expected, basically because I haven't been doing anything important lately, for obvious reasons. Anyway, here's the latest development. I only have to pencil in the skin tone and the Basin of Blue Flame, and the piece will be finished, unless I decide to do some sort of background for it. I doubt I will, though. It's been so long since I've done any serious art, I'm afraid I'll screw this up if I go too far. Anyway, here's what I have so far.

tinhuvielartanis: (Flint)
Whilst doing a search for an obscure Tim Roth performance on a British show called 'The South Bank Show,' I came across a five-part doco about Clive Barker from the same show. Funny, that, considering Barker and Roth could have been separated at birth. But that got me to thinking about how much Clive Barker has infiltrated my life.

In the 80s, of course, along with a host of others from my generation, I went to see the horror movie Hellraiser, and was utterly transformed into this soul who could no longer see the world in exactly the same way. Clive Barker had shown me that, for lack of a better phrase I'm going to steal from Shriekback's 'Exquisite,' "beauty can be terrifying, and there is nothing straightforward about pleasure." I had always been a diehard Stephen King acolyte, but that was no longer enough for me. It was heartening to hear Stephen King give his blessing to Barker, as it seemed to give me permission to wholly love this man.

But it was years before I actually read any of Barker's work. The reason for this was, his books were not available in our local libraries (that has since changed), and I could not afford to buy any of them. That changed when I began working and I soon began buying as many Barker books as I could find in the bookshop. The first book I read by Clive Barker, The Damnation Game, I read in 1990, at almost exactly the same time I began voraciously listening to Shriekback. The following books were all read to an almost exclusive Shriekback soundtrack:

  • The Damnation Game

  • The Hellbound Heart

  • Weaveworld

  • Cabal

  • Imajica

A decade later, that connection was made quite apparent when the group that helped bring to life the Shriekback Digital Conspiracy decided we needed a collective name by which Shriekback fans who came across the site could call us. We wanted a more obscure name for the word 'group,' and we wanted something that would align us with reptiles. It fell to me to create the title and, drawing from Clive Barker and our collective sense of conspiracies and how they connected to Shriekback, I suggested the name of Cabal Iguana. The others dug it and Derk, who was my partner in crime in all this, us being the two founding members, well...he adored it. So it stuck.

Imagine my sense of hilarity being twisted almost to breaking point when [livejournal.com profile] booraven22 and [livejournal.com profile] morriganwind dubbed our writers' group The Writers' Cabal, of which we three comprised the Vampire Division. I still have our tee-shirt, which I often wear with pride. The fact that my place in the Cabal was assured simply because of my stories, which found themselves insanely driven by Shriekback's music, made me cackle with a sense of absurdity. And one of Barry's friends, who is a writer in his own right, is a member of our Writers' Cabal on Facebook. My, how things do cycle 'round in an endless sort of madness. At least in my little world.

Then, there's the Illuminati's music, which I'm trying to finally bring to the world almost 24 years after it was all recorded. One song, "Gods in Exile," brought visions of Clive's worlds to my mind. So I began a search for his artwork online and began to collect pictures. This was the result.

The picture that's shown when Adrienne Loehry screams out 'GODS IN EXILE!' is Clive Barker's own vision of Pinhead, who was never called Pinhead in The Hellbound Heart and was actually envisioned to be more female than male when first written by Clive. Of course, once his childhood friend Doug Bradley took on the role in Hellraiser, everything was changed forever, but most satisfyingly so, IMHO.

I just find that particular Illuminati video to be a marker of sorts in the continuing cycle that links Shriekback, and particularly Barry Andrews, to Clive Barker and his work. It all melded so perfectly, especially for anyone who may have read Imajica and knows the myths about the Dominions and how the fifth one was banished in a way from the other four, and how the gods were all scattered by Hapexamendios.

And, ooooh, I could go on and on about Imajica, but I won't here.

Anyway, I sent Clive the link to the video, so he would know how his art had been used. If he was not okay with it, I wanted to know so I could redo the video with something other than his work. He made no indication of being displeased, so the video remains. Woo hoo! Oh, and I don't know Clive Barker personally. It was sent via Twitter, the medium by which he communicates with his Darklings (that is what he calls his friends and family, which he includes those of us on Twitter as being). I wrote to him several years ago about his usage of Darkling, because I'd never seen it used anywhere ever except in relation to my Vampires. So that was deeply strange and familiar to me. Another moment of WTF in my life.

Another bizarre connection between Shriekback and Clive Barker is this:
When I read Cabal, I did so whilst listening to Shriekback's Go Bang!, probably their only reviled album. But there were some gems on this album, like (most wondrously) "Dust and a Shadow," and "Nighttown." "Nighttown" became a kind of theme song for Cabal, which was made into a movie called Nightbreed. Now, this movie was, and is, deeply loved by [livejournal.com profile] falkenna, whom I had met through association with The Darth Maul Estrogen Brigade. Besides our abiding love for Maul, we discovered that we also loved this movie. Years later, after becoming very close friends, I would spend more than a week at her house in Brighton, where I would meet Barry Andrews, who had written "Nighttown." These are the moments that demand my disbelief in coincidence. These are the moments that haunt my mind and call out for stories to be told.

And, if Clive Barker doesn't beat me to them, telling the stories better than I ever could, then I will someday commit them all to paper, and can then die, knowing that my mission has been accomplished.

In the meantime, I continue to read Clive Barker, and I continue to listen to Shriekback/Barry Andrews.

Oh, and I never did find that blasted footage of Tim Roth from 'The South Bank Show.' Dammit.
tinhuvielartanis: (Cadmus)
Very briefly, the story behind this is, since Cadmus was essentially the Apostate's only child, but also the child of Tarmi, the Apostate wished to pass on to him the Mysteries of the Colleges of Khemeth. He didn't need to do this at all, considering Cadmus was more than well-equipped to serve the purpose of his creation; to kill Vampires. The Dark Chylde of Night was also taught Roman Mysteries by his cruel master, Nissius, so he was already well-versed in many Magicks.

But they were not the Egyptian Mysteries, the secrets of the chambers far beneath the pyramids. So the Apostate laid his hands upon and within the vivisected Cadmus and passed all that he was into his alchemical son. And it drove Cadmus to brink of madness, and perhaps a little bit beyond.

After he healed and and wandered the subterranean chambers underneath the Holy See, Cadmus grew into his Egyptian heritage, both through the Khemethian Tarmi and the alchemies of one of the greatest Magi of Khemeth, the man who would become the Apostate.

So... What Maria/Eve saw when she was pulled into the waking dreams of Cadmus in The Chalice was the cellular and Magickal roots of the Abomination.

The picture, which will eventually be coloured and very-lightly shadowed, is meant to be the earliest-known artistic representation of Cadmus Pariah, done in the tradition of the hieroglyphs and renderings found within the pyramids. The work was ordered to be created in fresco style on the ceiling of one of the more dreadful ritual chambers maintained below the Vatican by the Apostate. It shows Cadmus as he was when he came to the Apostate after his long tribulation at the hands of Nissius. He still very much had the Mark of the Elven upon him, and had never cut his hair. The Apostate decked him in traditional Tarmian garb and bade him hold the Basin of Blue Flame for the fresco to be created.

As you can see, Cadmus' hair was black, as were always his eyes. The eyes are intentionally light-free, since Cadmus absorbed the light around him, rather than reflecting it outward to exhibit his soul. Only after he becomes a true Vampire does he begin to have light shine in his eyes. The nails are also black. This harks back to that same story of Maria, where she notices that both his finger and toe nails are painted black. This is something Cadmus has always done. There's really no reason for it, except I just think it's dangerously decadent and deviant. Ha!

The Cadmus Egyptian Fresco )
tinhuvielartanis: (Vampire Relics)
Not just art either. Writing, tchatchkes, fandom, treasures, and a tweet from guess who, caught on film!

tinhuvielartanis: (Cadmus Priest)
Editions 1 and 2 of The Chalice: [livejournal.com profile] m0usegrrl and Khanada Taylor
The Blood Crown: Amanda Cook
The Augury of Gideon: TBA

If you know of anyone who may be able to do a cover illustration for The Augury of Gideon, please let me know. I have an idea of what I want for The Blood Crown, but I'm still unclear on The Augury of Gideon. Perhaps I might keep it simple and have a jewel drawn for the cover. I just don't know yet. It's too far off into the future to make a concrete decision.
tinhuvielartanis: (Cadmus Art)
This came to me in the middle of the night as I lay half-awake in the dark: Corruption and blasphemy undulated from his being with every beat of his withered heart. I may use that with the prompt from a few days ago. If I keep going like this, I'll have a drabble comprised of nothing but prompts. That would be a first.

In other news, I'll be delving deeper into the the third draft manuscript of The Blood Crown and making changes where needed as suggested by The Mother Unit. I need to get this done so I can pass it on to [livejournal.com profile] gunslingaaahhh as I want to get the finished product to Sophie ASAP. Khanada is wanting to draw Cadmus and asked me if I had any suggestions for the picture. I mentioned that a crown of thorns in the background would be superb. If all turns out well, her picture will be the cover of The Blood Crown as she's already given me permission to use the picture however I want. Of course, I'll need to get written permission for Fey Publishing's records, but I don't foresee that being a problem. Things seem to be magickally coming together.


tinhuvielartanis: (Default)
The Cliffs of Insanity

October 2016

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