So I realize I have been somewhat remiss in my blogging duties of late. Two months without a proper post? Wasn't he going to post something new every two weeks? Well, yes, that *was* the plan. Now I can but shake my head in self-reproach and offer this post in explanation.
In March my wife and I relocated from Burlington to Southern Vermont to work as innkeepers. Since then, the innkeeping life has kept us very, very busy, though I am happy to report that this new job suits us perfectly as does the surrounding landscape. The Connecticut River Valley is lovely, strikingly so, a patchwork of woodland, orchards, and old stone walls, all dominated by looming ridge-lines, the “low, domed hills” that inspired Lovecraft to write “The Whisperer in Darkness.”
Not incidentally, this selfsame landscape appears in my own short story “Whisperers” (recently published in Aklonomicon, Aklo Press, 2012) which was itself inspired by elements of HPL’s biography. Southern Vermont also provides the setting for my forthcoming novelette “Dust from a Dark Flower,” which will see publication this fall in Fungi (Innsmouth Free Press, 2012), edited by the estimable Orrin Grey and Silvia Moreno-Garcia. The old Rockingham Meetinghouse—located all of five minutes down the road from our current abode—even makes an appearance, of sorts, in the tale, doubling as the Falmouth Meetinghouse and Burying Ground, where the majority of the story’s events play out.
Thinking about it now, “Dust” seems to me to be the quintessential “Daniel Mills story” (if such a thing can be said to exist), combining, as it does, so many of the themes and motifs my fiction has explored elsewhere: New England history, religious hypocrisy, Calvinist despair, and a vision of all-encompassing emptiness ala Thomas Ligotti’s “The Shadow at the Bottom of the World.”
Similarly, Calvinist theology figures prominently in my poem “The Minister’s Last Sermon,” which will soon appear in Sacrum Regnum I (ed. Daniel Corrick & Mark Samuels) from newcomer Hieroglyphic Press. It will appear in Issue I alongside my poem “The Lady” and poetry and fiction by Mark Valentine, Colin Insole, Brendan Connell, and others.
In other writing-related news, I am pleased to announce that Dadaoism: An Anthology (ed. Quentin S. Crisp & Justin Isis, Chomu Press, 2012) is now available for purchase through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the Book Depository, and other online retailers. My short story “Testing Spark” appears alongside short fiction and poetry by such luminaries as Michael Cisco, Reggie Oliver, Jeremy Reed, and many, many other fine writers. Not to be missed.
Finally, I am thrilled to announce that my short story “The Hollow” will appear in Issue #4 of Gorgon Press’ Phantasmagorium journal, edited by Joe Pulver, author of The Orphan Palace and Portraits of Ruin and a master of the Weird in his own right.
At less than 3,000 words, “The Hollow” will be the shortest of my stories to see print thus far but is nonetheless something of a personal favorite. The tale finds its setting amidst the forests and logging camps of the late 19th Century—a landscape inspired in equal parts by Opal Whiteley’s diary and the now-vanished communities of Glastenbury and Somerset, Vermont—once thriving logging towns that were unincorporated in the 1930s following an extended period of decline.
[A note for the curious: a steam engine much like the one described in “The Hollow” can be found in the woods around Ricker Basin, an abandoned village (complete with a dozen or more old cellar holes and two family cemeteries) located above the Waterbury Dam in the Little River State Park]
And I believe that brings us more or less up to date. Looking ahead to the summer, this recent move places us within 2 hours of greater Boston, meaning that I will be definitely be making the drive down for Readercon this year. Alas, it is likely that I will have to make a day-trip of it (probably Saturday) but please do give me a holler (or, indeed, a holla) if you happen to find yourself there as well.