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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festive passion

Welcome to the fondue party, fellow mavericks.

Tomorrow is Halloween! And October has been a marvelous, sublimely quiet month. I sent my Patreon members all sorts of fun stuff, and I’ll be working on the October second and third tier Patreon membership envelopes this week; they’ll include Stay Home Vagabond #6.

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Drawing again has been absolutely wonderful, I must say. My Patreon members also received a Mini Poster Print (8.5X11 on 65 lbs stock), with second tier members being sent the “silver sunglasses” edition, and third tier members the “gold sunglasses” edition.

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I will be drawing many more Mini Poster Prints in the coming months, with themes centered around the joys of solitude, being a tomboy, a stay home vagabond…

At the beginning of October, I took some sultry self-portraits featuring my new Killstar inverted pentagram choker and dark purple lipstick.

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I recently ordered a long silver wig, so… More portraits in the near future.

Today, the wonderful Reverend Campbell (Speak of the Devil) read a review I wrote of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s surreal 1932 film Vampyr. Feel free to check it out.

In other news, my violin teacher is putting a show together in March and he’s asked me to dress up as Charlie and perform one of Chaplin’s musical pieces with him. That took my breath away! Hopefully, by then I’ll sound a little less like I’m tormenting a cat or something when I play. As I may have mentioned before, both my teacher and I are massive Chaplin admirers, and my Charlie photographs blew my teacher away. To dress as Charlie again in the context of performance is nerve-wracking and tremendously exciting.

Apart from my Patreon endeavors, November and December will be wholly dedicated to writing Masterful: Severus Snape, a Jar of Cockroaches, and Me (Patreon members will be treated to in progress excerpts, and when it’s completed, they’ll have access to it before anyone else, and their version will be a special edition). I’ll also finally be getting back to Wolfgang: A Fantasy (I’ve been needing to submerge myself in this story again so badly!). Speaking of Wolfgang, Nezumi has been in the completion stages of my costume, and here’s a hint…

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How glorious is this, I ask you?? I’m going to be overcome by bliss when I see it and put it on for the first time, without a single doubt.

In the spirit of Mozart, I’m phenomenally in the mood for the holiday season. It’s going to be a 70stastic holiday extravaganza for two months around here (Baroque is so 70s). I’m putting my trees up as soon as November begins.

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I’ve already ordered most of my bear William’s holiday wardrobe. I want red and green, gold and silver, festive cheer in my seasonal bubble of peace and tranquility…

I’ve never been happier in my life.

I continue to celebrate my life, and myself, as I never have before, and it’s a magnificent breath of fresh air. Take a look at the amazing pyrographic art that my friend R.M. Negroni created for me (do visit his Etsy shop, Funeral Pyre Designs). I commissioned this portrait from him to mark my joining the CoS this year. I placed it in my personal altar cabinet.

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As I said, life is good. I’m very happy that we’re about to enter November, one of my favorite months of the year. I love the stillness, the silence of November. I love the leafless trees, the grey skies, the deep, abiding tranquility of November. It’s extremely inspiring and suited to my temperament. It’s Lair Season.

Writing, burning deliciously scented candles… Yes.

Say cheese.

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Masterful: Severus and me

Welcome to the fondue party, fellow mavericks.

Summer’s been hot, but I can sense the faint beginning of autumn in the air, and oh yes, I’m more than ready.

I’ve plunged headfirst into my next writing project, which has been long in the making. This book is even more outrageous than Rascal. It’s a continuation of Rascal: A Manifesto, in a way.

This book will be published late this fall (I’m aiming for November). Apart from my Patreon activity, it’s the focus of my attention at the moment. I’ll also continue working (at a slower pace) on Wolfgang, Booklet Two in September.

Here’s what I recently wrote on Patreon about the author photograph I took for Masterful: Severus Snape, a Jar of Cockroaches, and Me.

I wanted this photograph to celebrate my humanity, freedom, vulnerability, and power. For many years, I was Orthodox when I cosplayed Snape, and the costume had monastic connotations to me. This is definitely no longer the case. So I wanted to demonstrate this in the portrait. One of the things I’m going to discuss in the book, which will be mostly about my life experiences in relation to Professor Snape, is how my understanding of him has evolved and helped me in my personal development and emancipation. His strength of character, his ability to stand tall, to stand alone, his abiding mystery… All of this is what’s most appealing to me about him.

Doing this shoot was exhilarating. I took quite a few shots, as usual, because I know that in most cases, minor variations will strike a photograph from the list; this or that isn’t right…

The photo I selected had all the elements I wanted the portrait to have. I wanted it to be fairly androgynous, ultimately I wanted a half coat, half flesh situation, with at least a portion of my Snape ink visible, and with, well, the kind of expression I have in the photo I chose.

I didn’t touch the original shots much. That one, I barely even had to crop, I’m trying to remember! I added a touch of contrast and made the green colors pop more. Because I’m so darn pale, the silver makeup on my eyes, and the glitter on my face and neck, chest, and upper left arm basically look like a shimmering glow in the photo. On the actual cover, I think that some of the glitter will be more visible. I’m happy I picked the silver background, because it looks great in the shot. Throughout the session, the light kept changing because I was using natural light.

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Are you ready for this ride? It’s going to be a wild ride, I tell you.

In other news, I have a Build A Bear named William and it makes me tremendously happy. Working in my 70s lair is a source of continual joy and pleasure to me.

Say cheese.

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saucy and snazzy

Welcome to the fondue party, fellow mavericks.

So I’ve had a lot going on.

Dealt with an ear problem (after weeks of misery, I made an appointment to see my doctor). The combination of narrow, twisted ear canals and eczema is no joke. But the situation is much better now.

I did celebrate my 49th birthday splendidly, though. And took self-portraits to mark the occasion. I wore the disco dress.

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Genderqueer, baby.

I’ve been very busy with my Patreon. Membership is steadily growing, which makes me intensely happy. Patreon has contributed to my life like nothing else since I began writing and independently publishing my work. I’m profoundly grateful to my Patreon members who make me feel like a million bucks and fill my creative tank to overflowing.

I’m creating zines and drawing again (messy drawings, which is new for me, but it feels good); if you’d like access to my zines, exclusive blog posts, and special editions of my books, become a member.

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(detail of the photograph included in issue #1 of my zine, Stay Home Vagabond, in which I magnify and revel in my humanity)

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I was also interviewed by the fabulous and lovely Lauren Hippenstiel; the interview is available on her blog, iamasatanistand.com. You can read it here, and while you’re at it, take a look at her fantastic review of Rascal: A Manifesto (buy your copy today and review it on amazon.com).

Right now, I’m working on Wolfgang Booklet Two, and Masterful: Severus Snape, a Jar of Cockroaches, and Me. I’ll be doing a photo session for the author portrait that’ll go on the back cover of the latter very soon. Watch out! It’s going to sizzle.

Masterful is a phenomenally cathartic book. Writing it is so satisfying.

Here’s a “speak your mind” tea cup and saucer crafted by Miss Havisham’s Curiosities that captures the spirit of said book:

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No, I don’t put up with crap anymore. It’s healthy; I recommend it.

A couple of months ago or so, I had fun taking more Mozart portraits. I got a red velvet coat and snapped away (at some point in the coming months, I’ll be doing this with the red 18h century style Mozart costume).

Note: my Wolfgang story is going to be so wild. And semi-autobiographical in a totally fantastic sense.

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Mozart upon waking, velvet coat in strategic disarray. I’m cheeky these days. I’m sure Wolfgang would appreciate. Leck mich im Arsch, rawr.

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Let me tell you, life is good right now. I’m so much happier than I’ve ever been. And I’m taking excellent care of myself.

I’m really enjoying my violin classes, by the way. I’m currently learning (or should I say re-learning) Bach’s Minuet No. 2.

More photos soon! Green polyester shirt, opened Snape coat, a mass of silver bling.

Say cheese.

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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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