Saturday, 11 April 2015

The Tao of Lunacy

People have their own funny ways. Sometimes we call those people 'mental'. Like it's something separate, even a disparate branch of evolution. Depression becomes a simple depiction of a vast black pit, schizophrenia a kind of fragmented psyche, like fractals on a screensaver, bi-polar disorder some simple waviform, two-dimensional graph on a piece of paper.

Maybe it's not like that at all, and for the sane and the insane to meet somewhere in the middle, a different concept is needed. Like how insanity isn't two-dimensional at all...it's not a coin - sanity and insanity. They're not opposite sides of a ha'penny piece.

The mental aberrations of some might be nothing more than a compulsion to check a front door lock, to entirely imagined but real-enough persons maneuvering a man through some horrific conspiracy.

But they're not simple. The mind isn't a graph. It's geographic. Cosmic, even. A vast thing beyond our cleverness. Not a wave, up and down, but three or four dimensional. Feelings and thoughts and beliefs that travel around a distant sun, changed by seasons and weather and the movement of the tides and all the celestial bodies which revolve around us while we, in turn, turn and turn around them.

It's not simple. It shouldn't be, either. A mind is a remarkable, wonderful thing, not to be taken lightly or glossed over or demoted to a picture drawn in graphite.

The mind is a universal concept, and one far beyond our ken. It's chaotic. It's supposed to be. What else would you like it to be? A calculator on a desk would be far duller by comparison, and never manage to dance or make poetry or love or art or horror.

There's something beautiful in the chaotic and the ridiculous that maths or science or religion all in their order can never better.

Night. x


A partial image of the Large Magellanic Cloud. 
There you go. 

Friday, 20 March 2015

Is BATTLESHIP the greatest movie ever made?

No. No it isn't. But that's not how this blog works, is it?

I'm watching it with Mrs. S. My second time, her first. The film, obviously. Not all the other stuff. I'm enjoying it and she's asleep. For the film. Not all the other stuff. But that, too, is largely irrelevant.

This, I think, is a post about the nature of art. Of course, everything I say is to be taken with a pinch of salt. But now, whether it's a piece of music, or a film, or a novel, consumers seem to have come to expect some shining kind of perfection. We live in a world of square food, with all the fat cut off, the bones taken out. It looks pretty. We've become squeamish and spoiled. If our graphics aren't crisp, we complain. If there's a typo, or a grammatical error, or an editor misses a trick in a book, we rejoice in complaining. A continuity error or two in a movie is a topic for a YouTube video.

Fuck off.

We're not supposed to be perfect. We're not machines. Humans aren't made of dub and bass, we're not CGI, and neither is art. It shouldn't be, either. Imperfection are what makes something touch us, because that's where it comes from. Sure, complaining is great. But if there's a discordant note in a song, it doesn't necessarily make it wrong, does it? I'm not saying it makes it great, either. But it does make it honest, and there's something about art that requires it to be honest, to have heart, and something inherently human about it. A machine can't make art. We can.

Amazon takes down a book because a bot doesn't recognise an author's style, or the difference between and en-dash or an em-dash. Music becomes saccharin, made by a machine. Dead pig gets rammed into a square can.

It's not art, is it? Hieronymus Bosch didn't create 'The Garden of Earthly Delights' in photoshop. Hemingway didn't run 'The Old Man and the Sea' through an editing program.

We're not supposed to be perfect. It's not supposed to be tidy. And Battleship is a CGI cheese fest. Fun for some, a pile of warmed-up shite for others. Maybe it's low-brow, for highfalutin types. Who cares? Fun's great and fine by me. Mass produced is essential in a world with seven billion people. Entertainment keeps us from becoming overwhelmed...but it's still no more than cereal for the brain, or batch bread.

Anyway, that's all I've got to say about that. Buy a book, eh? Just spent £2.49 on Amazon for a cheesy flick...got to make my money back somehow. ;)

Love you!

Monday, 16 March 2015

100th release by DarkFuse: Flesh and Coin.


Also available on Amazon where you are, or direct from darkfuse.com

Release announcement here:

It's been a year, now, since my first release through DarkFuse. It was the biggest moment of my life in writing when I signed for three books with DarkFuse. With Shane Staley at the helm, Dave Thomas on editing point, and Zach McCain's fantastic cover art, they publish some names in horror I've been desperately chasing since I began writing the fantastic and horrific. 

DarkFuse have, over the years, published some of my favourite authors: Willaim Meikle, Tim Curran, Gary McMahon, Keith Deininger, Brian Hodge, C.S. Kane, Ronald Malfi, Greg F. Gifune. Some are authors I'm happy to call friends, Colin F. Barnes, Luke Walker, Eric Shapiro, even though we've never met, and many more besides.

It's proven to be the best move and stroke of luck for me. I don't doubt there's an element of luck in getting published, and I'm still chasing all of the authors I mentioned around the playground. But it's nice to know your publisher is there to give you a boost with nice touches like this.

Flesh and Coin is a Mulrones' story. There will be more, featuring or touching on that universe, and I finished two others in the last month, winging their way to DarkFuse now: Death by a Mother's Hand, and Highwayman. 

Anyway, that all probably effusive enough, for me. I need to go lay down. ;)

Thank you for reading my work. Thanks for supporting all of us with DarkFuse, too. Long may it continue. 

Thanks. 

Oh, R.I.P. Highwayman. 

Here's the back copy for Flesh and Coin:

For some, dying is easy. For others, dying is their only hope.

Charlie Dawes lies in the Old Oak Hospice haunted by the looming specter of death, plagued by dark memories, stalked by a mysterious, faceless creature he knows only as the Shadowman, who won’t let him die…yet.

Cathy Redman, his only friend and a caretaker in the ward, spends her time reading to Charlie and comforting his pain. She thinks she knows him.

But when an inquisitive detective, a spiteful nurse, and a dangerous old Gypsy’s lives intertwine, Charlie’s true fate is revealed, and it has been sealed by…flesh and coin.

And, oh, love you ;)