a treat, and some thoughts

Here’s a chapter of Rascal that I shared on Patreon yesterday (a public post, for members and non-members).

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AVARITIA

(greed)

You desire, you indulge yourself, you relish good things, tasty things, rich things, colors and textures and scents—in this world.

Of course, it happens in this world.

This “fallen” world, according to some.

It’s not fallen. It’s the world, the real world, our only world.

A world of fire and water, of terrible storms and soft mornings, of loss and grief and joy and pleasure. A world of horrors and wonders.

What hurts us is terrible; what feels good is wonderful. This is natural.

It’s up to us to make this natural world as wonderful as it can be.

This won’t happen as long as we believe in the existence of an intangible, supernatural, otherworldly afterlife where nothing will ever harm us. An inhuman, unnatural world.

If you want to sell the story of invisible realms where everything is “perfect,” you need unhappy people. In this scenario, nothing is more problematic than a person who enjoys life and its pleasures. Even simple pleasures are troublesome.

Being happy and grateful in this world is to disdain the worthier, imaginary, divine panaceas.

Some people believe pleasure in this life is a sign of divine favor and a preview of the truly mind-boggling splendors awaiting humanity in the other world, the phantom dimension. Peddlers of cosmic mansions piously take the money supplied by countless people who hope they’ll start off with an opulent earthly mansion of their own as well.

The majority of religious systems don’t operate like this, though. They say, “Don’t worry too much if your life sucks. The next one will be better… as long as you do and believe what we tell you, that is.” They don’t want people to be utterly miserable, but they don’t want them too at home and content here on earth either.

Pick up your cross. Your begging bowl. Your mental hair shirt.

If you’re oppressed or abused, if you’re being treated abominably, rejoice. It’s a privilege, really, an opportunity, a blessing. Blood and suffering pleases the almighty; it’s his idea of a pleasant aroma. Tortured, stir-fried saints are held up as the most admirable of people, the most worthy of imitation.

If you’ve been abused, if you just barely manage to hold your traumatized mind together, if you’ve been told a million times that you’re worthless, a lot of crazy shit can make sense. A pie in the sky helps you survive and hang on a little longer.

Just remember: don’t be greedy. All the fat is the lord’s. Set your mind on the things above, not on earthly things.

Oh yeah?

Fuck the things that are above.

There are no such things.

Flush that mystical crap down the toilet.

Emancipate yourself. Believe in yourself. Avenge yourself.

Happiness in this world is a combination of luck and doing what you can so you and at least some of your fellow humans live as happy a life as possible. Happiness often requires a great deal of effrontery. You’re in pain, you’re going to die, things don’t go the way you want them to, but you dance all night anyway.

It’s tough. By fuck, life, being alive can be tough. Sometimes it seems like we’re always teetering on the edge of disaster, and we know the end is a breath away.

My philosophy is, have a glass of whiskey, smirk at the camera like a badass smart mouth decked out devil, and when the time comes to go over the edge, to take that final breath, think, well, it wasn’t all bad, was it? This ain’t so bad.

At least I lived. I had a moment.

I’m greedy for that moment. I want what the moment has to offer, all that my moment’s got.

This crucial greed means I figured out what I want, what I want my moment to be all about.

I want all that I’ve got, to be the star I am.

The greed I speak of involves risk. It involves the unknown. No one can decide what your life means for you. You have to decide. You have to choose.

You’re not being swept by a common wave. You’re not afraid of being alone. There’s no universal, one-size-fits-all solution. If you go where everyone else is going, you won’t experience your moment.

You’re drafting your map. Use what you have, change what you can, and create your best life.

Do whatever you can to enrich your life, to exult in yourself.

Each of us is our own ultimate earthly thing.

For too long, it was difficult for me to think this, let alone celebrate it. My mind was in a cage; my heart was bleeding from too many cuts.

It’s never too late to dare to turn your back on all the shit that brought you down.

To reclaim yourself: this is excellent greed.

Regardless of what any abuser tried to drum into you, you belong to yourself.

You’re not anyone’s possession.

You’re the captain of your existence.

Whatever you’ve been through, however much psychological conditioning you’ve endured, if you reach this liberating threshold, you can be sure self-ownership has always been there inside of you. You’ve always been a rascal.

They couldn’t quench your flame entirely. They couldn’t starve it forever.

The day I bust out of the mental jail of self-forgetfulness—of self-neglect and self-hate—the person I am began to shine forth into the world.

An outrageous, confident, inquisitive, playful, genderfluid, flamboyant, girl/boy tomboy.

A person who slowly but surely began to say “no” whenever it was needed. A person who said “yes” when she wanted to say it. My decisions were now in line with self-respect and true wisdom: human wisdom.

I stopped treating myself like a second thought.

No more torture, no more tears. No more damaging attempts to love everyone except myself. I stopped wondering if I was pleasing to a twisted, silent invisible it that required proof of my love by means of cruel, nebulous, and absurd tests. I loved those who deserved my love.

I adorned myself with gold necklaces and was a human being, flesh and bones, blood and water, at home on earth, my real home.

I am of the earth, and I love earthly things. I love myself.

The next few days are going to be impossibly frigid here, ugh. Mr P and I will be comfortably hidden from the elements tomorrow and Monday however, so there’s that.

I enjoy sharing photos on Instagram and I’d say it’s a new form of Livejournal (sort of) for me because a number of the people I knew on Livejournal are on Instagram, but the latter throttles its feed with algorithms or whatever, and of course the textual aspect of Instagram is minute, so… And it’s highly smart phone oriented. I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would want to be glued to those things all the time.

In related news, I’ll definitely be renewing my subscription to The Idler this year.

I started sharing things on Ello again, because it’s one of the few remaining platforms that celebrates the arts, unique, original thinking and creative freedom, and isn’t terrified of flesh.

But, as I’ve mentioned repeatedly, Patreon is my online focus these days. I greatly enjoy using that platform, and I enjoy the exchanges I have with fabulous members there. The enthusiasm and support of members invigorates me, it feels wonderful, and there’s no doubt in my mind that Masterful will be my best book yet. I am discussing Professor Snape in that book, but it’s not exhaustive character analysis by any means; it’s more of a personal memoir.

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the scent of 2019 is in the air

There are a number of things on my 2019 list. Priorities, projects.

The first project: a daily writing journal. I’ve already been writing a page a day in my “daily activities” agenda (next year will be the fifth year I’ve been doing this), so the daily writing journal will be natural and smooth, a non-stressful, non-draining, steady way of working on various writing projects.

I got this journal yesterday at the local dollar store.

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I’ll be sharing much of what this journal will contain with my Patreon members. Which brings me to the 2019 list: Patreon will be one of my main priorities. I update this website blog around once or twice a month, but I write Patreon posts much more often. In 2019, Patreon topics will include my books (obviously), living with PTSD, genderqueerness, creativity, introversion and solitude, the 70s, self-care and self-respect, toys, music, Mozart, violin playing, the art of indulging oneself, living one’s best life… just to name a few.

Apart from cannabis (see “living with PTSD” above), Patreon is one of the top things that have had a beneficial impact on my existence this year. The material/emotional support I get from members who believe in my work and enjoy it, their enthusiasm, contributions, participation, and encouragement—it’s all absolutely priceless to me on many levels.

I have a limited amount of time and energy. Patreon members will enjoy the bulk of my creative efforts and endeavors. A number of my upcoming books (such as Reveries of an Improper Solitudinarian) will only be available to members.

I’ll continue using Twitter to share links to website updates, Patreon posts, and the very occasional tweet and RT. I’m more present on Instagram (although it’s now, alas, owned by the loathsome FB, Instagram was wisely left alone—so far, anyway—which is one of the reasons I still use IG).

Facebunk: my opinion of it remains the same. Dreadful platform. I want nothing to do with it. I won’t bow to it. I’m proud to live my life without it. Oh, and apparently said platform, which is terribly shocked by naughty bits, now also targets “vague suggestive statements” and the mere hint of sexy talk as against its policies or whatever.

“First Tumblr bans NSFW imagery, now Facebook bans NSFW *words*!!” tweeted one user on Wednesday.

Imagine if something like this had happened on Livejournal during its heydays. The furor! Won’t somebody think of the fanfic?? I remember people leaving LJ in protest against less blatant puritan pearl-clutching and “investor-friendly” sanitization/normalization. Now, FB devotees simply swallow the pill and comply.

The “normal” Sunday School nanny Internet: what smashing fun it is. But at least you can keep up with distant relatives you haven’t seen in thirty years, and that kid from Elmsdale Elementary (what’s his name again?), and the intelligence-challenged prom queen who harassed you back at good ol’ Suckballs High. And advertisers know everything about you: convenient! Thank you, O Almighty Facebunk. Peuple, à genoux, attends ta délivraaaaance

Seriously, I have lost touch with friends because I’m not on FB, and more people might know about my work if I were there… but I’m willing to pay the price not to be on that platform. Because I think FB is terrible.

Anyhow.

Rascal: A Manifesto is the foundation of all my upcoming books. No other work of mine means more to me than that one. I’m grateful to everyone who has acquired a copy, read it, shared their impressions of it, recommended it.

Rascal with a new, rapscallion like-minded friend:

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Speaking of naughty things and fabulous books, here’s a lovely tome devilish types will want to add to their library immediately:

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Fred is one of the most delightful fellows you could meet. Buy his book here: Homo Satanis

In other news, tomorrow will be five months since I had the monthly crud. Yep, the whole fertility garbage I never had any use for is well on the way out.

I’m still enjoying my 70s Holiday Extravaganza in a fierce, fierce way. I got a Barbie Townhouse (damn you, Barbie!). It’s wrapped and under the tree: a glorious sight if there ever was one. I will be playing with it.

ETA: well, apparently something might actually be taking place after all these months re: reproductive crud. No wonder I’ve been feeling so lousy and drained these past couple of weeks (it wasn’t only because I had to have my damn right ear irrigated at the clinic again). We’ll see tomorrow but even if there is something, if it’s anything like last time it won’t be much…

And on that charming note, I think it’s time to call it a night a get some rest.

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Underworld Amusements and other news

Welcome to the fondue party, fellow mavericks.

I’m working on a number of writing projects (as usual), and there will be new portraits soon.

It’s with a tremendous amount of joy and pride that I make the following announcement: Rascal: A Manifesto is now available on the website of the excellent small press Underworld Amusements.

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Underworld Amusements publisher Kevin I. Slaughter is a fantastic individual and I can’t thank him enough for adding my book to the unique selection of devious titles on his website. While you grab a copy of Rascal, do add a few more books to your cart! You won’t regret it.

I haven’t been using the new platform MeWe as much as I thought I would, because for some reason it’s messing up my browser and slowing down my computer. So… I’m here, on Patreon (become a member for twelve dollars a year—buy me a couple of drinks—and have access to an increasing number of exclusive goodies, such as an upcoming blog post about the joy of using real dictionaries), Twitter, and Instagram.

In other news, I’m looking forward to contributing to upcoming Reprobate publications. Have you gotten your copy of Satan Superstar yet?

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My next book, as I’ve previously mentioned, will be my ode to solitude and how I revel in indulging my solitary disposition:

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And this summer, my focus will be this book, and it’s going to be a deliciously nasty project. I drew inspiration for the cover from one of my favorite films, The Neon Demon.

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Masterful will be like a decadent perfume celebrating the vital self. A rejection of herd thinking, an affirmation of the self-sufficient outsider. I’ll write about why Severus Snape is distrusted by many (and why there is no reason for him to give a rat’s ass about this), about the nature of his distinctive power, a power that made him an unparalleled pivotal figure in Rowling’s universe. Oh, and he wasn’t Dumbledore’s.

My Patreon members will be getting a special edition of this book, with extra content.

After Masterful comes out, I’ll be retiring the first two books of essays I wrote about him.

Say cheese.

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new lair

Welcome to the fondue party, everyone.

Well, after weeks of planning, shopping expeditions, and work, I now have a brand-new lair and I couldn’t be happier.

I’m all set for a grand year of writing and creating.

After the tumult and mayhem and exhaustion of the past year and a half, this feels like a blissful breath of fresh air.

Mr P and I are now utilizing the bedroom half of the house to its full advantage. We’re ecstatic about the improvements we’ve made; we just spent three days celebrating with delicious food, cake, and wine, and a lot of recuperation and basking in what we’ve done in our home.

I shared photos of my new space on my Patreon first, and now I’m going to share a few of those photographs with you.

I’d drawn rough plans of what the room would look like with the furniture in it and so on, but I underestimated just how spacious it would be once everything was arranged and set up in here.

I couldn’t be more pleased with the results.

My work area is no longer a cramped corner. I can move freely about the room. It’s amazing.

I’ve been very selective about what I wanted to put on the walls as far as pictures go. I chose some of my very favorite images, some of my most cherished mementos. I put a few of my frames in the hallway, but about 90% of what was on the walls in my old lair will end up in albums, or be given away.

Because one of the walls is taken up by windows, and another by closets in the new lair, when it came to wall space I gave priority to toys, vintage images and items, and a few photographic treasures. There’s one picture of me dressed as Professor Snape, another as Charlie Chaplin, and a third as Pee-wee Herman. I’ll probably end up putting a fourth costume portrait somewhere—when I do Mozart.

Yesterday, I ordered a small vintage Holly Hobbie plate for the new lair… It delights me for reasons that will, I imagine, be self-explanatory:

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There are also some vintage Ziggy collectibles on the way. Such as this small porcelain box:

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As I said, I’m giving precedence to things that give me joy, and 70s collectibles are high up the list.

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The 70s rule.

Without further ado, scenes from my new lair.

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As you can see, much more space. I can’t begin to tell you how much I love it.

I also love sitting next to a window like that. A smorgasbord of writing and treats in store for my Patreon patrons this year. Books, special editions, macramé wall-hangings, cosplay photos, self-portraits, newsletters, doodles…

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Third tier patrons will get all the books, newsletters, original photographs, macramé, reproductions of artwork, original artwork. Second tier patrons will get newsletters, original photographs, access to all the special editions, reproductions of artwork. First tier patrons will have access to all my Patreon blog posts (as do the second and third tier patrons), and access to all the special editions.

I want to write more volumes like The Corner Store Epiphany, which will only be available to patrons.

Speaking of books, here are more positive words about my pride and joy, Rascal: A Manifesto.

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And a review by The Free Thought Prophet:

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So, all in all, it’s an excellent damn start to the spring over here.

I’m writing, I’m drawing again, I’m relaxing, I’m giving total precedence to what is most important and vital to me: creating, loved ones, quiet times, solitude, familiar places, my home and well-being.

Say cheese.

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reveries

Welcome to the fondue party, everyone.

Well, I’ve been sick for the past two weeks, and dealing with other issues (such as experiencing acute peri-menopause symptoms, which have been seriously interfering with my sleep), and although I only have two Krav Maga classes left, I won’t be able to finish the course; as stubborn as I can be, I simply haven’t been well enough this month. At least nowadays I have too much self-respect to completely drive myself into the ground.

I plan to take more classes this spring, after a reclusive, solitary winter.

This has been an exceedingly challenging year for me. There have been incredible changes; this has been excellent in many ways, but a number of these changes involved phenomenal amounts of stress.

I took this photo yesterday. I had a haircut that morning, the most social I’d been in a while.

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Many thanks to all who have been acquiring, reading, and reviewing my latest book, Rascal: A Manifesto. It would make a great gift for as many like-minded people on your Saturnalia list as possible, by the way.

Here are some exciting news: I will be contributing an article to Satan Superstar, a special issue of top-notch, outré British magazine The Reprobate.

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I’m not sure is this is going to be the final cover, but:

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To pre-order Satan Superstar, go here: https://reprobatemagazine.uk/satan-superstar/ It’s coming out at the beginning of 2018.

If you’d like to get copies of the first two issues of The Reprobate, please visit https://reprobatemagazine.uk/buy-the-reprobate/

These are fantastic, high-quality publications. Certainly not your run-of-the-mill and dull mainstream crap.

I’ll be writing about some of my weird religious experiences, among other things. So if you love my work, do pre-order a copy of Satan Superstar, which will be chock-full of exquisitely subversive and curious material by a slew of unique individuals.

I continue adding devilish books to my library. These arrived yesterday.

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Like I said, it’s going to be a very quiet winter for me, and I’ll have plenty of intriguing titles to read during the grey, snowy months, with Baroque music playing in the background.

And I’ll be watching favorite movies like the surrealistic, eerie Vampyr…

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This is my state of mind these days:

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Which brings me to my next short writing project, in which I’ll sing the praises of self-indulgent seclusion and discuss living the truly good life.

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This winter, I’ll turn my attention to my last Snape-centered book. I’ll share the new cover and title with you soon. I won’t be fucking around in that one, I can tell you. For one, I’ll discuss why Severus Snape is such a polarizing figure: why people endlessly argue about his motives, whose side he’s really on, etc. And the reason isn’t what most think it is. The problem isn’t that he joined the Death Eaters. The odds that I’ll be sharing my personal opinion of The Marauders (a bunch of pricks) is also very high.

So, on that charming note, I hope you’re enjoying November as much as I am.

Oh, one more thing: you can now find me on Mastodon.

Say cheese.

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