Un rêve dans un rêve…

Nicola Samori, School of Pan, 2011

Often when I wake out of dreams the first thing I do is write down the fragments floating around in my head. The problem is if I don’t do so sometimes the dream scenarios become trapped and refuse to make way for what I need to be thinking about and working on. There’s about twenty or so ragged and dog-eared notebooks full of these which I revisit from time to time. I thought maybe I would start sharing some of them here because sometimes these scenarios blossom into bigger things. There’s stacks of them in the third Saurimonde book where I took written pieces of my actual nightmares, rearranged the elements of six or seven separate instances into one semi-cohesive supernatural nightmare sequence, then I added in the mythology and remixed them again (sort of a mild version of the cut-up technique). I think maybe that’s why when they work, they have resonance.

So here’s the fragment from this morning. I find the idea being trapped or lost within the cycles of incarnation is a theme which often permeates my subconscious.
“The room was lit by the muted television set and a haze of bluish smoke hovered in the air from the cigarette they shared between them. She didn’t think she had ever stared into someones eyes and seen herself so clearly before. The feeling frightened her because it spoke of other times and places where they had known each other. Stroking the plane from his eyebrow to cheekbone with her fingertips, she chose her words with care. “I know you.”
“So you are beginning to remember…?”

Burying her her head into the nape of his neck, she whispered against his skin, “You are not the only accidental guest on this darkened planet — I was never meant to be here either.

Will it go into the next book? Maybe. Speaking of the next book, I’ve got the outline down and it will center around the enigmatic north porch of Notre Dame de Paris, the Belle Epoch alchemists, signs, portents, and chance encounters — some of my favorite pet obsessions. Most likely it will be a supernatural thriller which I am kind of excited about writing. I feel the need to re-root myself back into the twenty-first century for a while, and put the puzzle pieces together in a different configuration. It might not work. One never knows. I loved the outline and the ideas behind Demon Priest, and it had a cracking opening, but three chapters in I realized I had made a fatal error — I’m not a strong enough writer to narrate a whole book from a male perspective. At least not that kind of book. But that is how you learn, and possibly I’ll use that first chapter for something else one day, or figure how to come at that story from another point of view when the time is right.

Here’s the prologue from Demon Priest: (another snippet of a dream).

“There was that noise again. The throbbing of drums echoed across the valley punctuated by faraway screams. Stirring, she opened her eyes to see the bright spots of firelight glowing like fireflies in the distance. Smiling to herself, she shifted on the ground near the mouth of the shallow cave. Let them celebrate me, she mused. Let them have this night to shout and dance and to make love under the stars. Soon they would be no more, like the others who came before them. She was tired now — so very tired. The time was near when she would retreat into the cool earth where she would slumber and dream in endless darkness. No one would find her there. She knew these lands like no other and indeed, she had been here before the mountains had been formed, when there was only a vast, endless ocean. Then, the tectonic plates crashed together and what was molten soon cooled as slow moving glaciers formed the first valleys. Like herself, the terrain changed and was born anew, only to become old again. The humans called out to her, shouting her name while waving their cups in the air. A giant effigy burned sending sparks flying out into the night sky as the smaller bonfires were extinguished. I will return, she promised as the weariness took hold of her again. I always do. These humans mean little more to me than insects now. Sighing one last time against the dirt, she murmured, But first, please grant me oblivion…”

There’s not a huge amount of news to be had. Currently, I’m finishing up a project I should have completed ages ago. It’s tricky and complicated and doesn’t want to follow any known set of screenwriting rules — but it is a challenge — and I do love a challenge. I only have a certain amount of time out here to get it completed so it’s been occupying most of my waking attention.

The sun is rising, the desert is stretching its sun-kissed skin, there’s coffee brewing in the kitchen, and I need to get down to writing for the day…

Much love from where the worlds touch,

S – xx

Casu, Consensus, Studiis Magicis….

I keep pondering the so-called real world with one eyebrow raised and the ghost of a smile passing my lips. Spent the last few weeks hunkered down in the desert, finishing up the fourth rewrite of Desired Pyrotechnics ( it’s done). In everything I design, in all the the characters I construct, there are bits and pieces of friends, lovers, and those who catch my eye, and I’m always mentally squirreling away other people’s idiosyncrasies. Anyhow, the day after I finished the rewrite three very strange things occurred all within the space of about four hours. The first was a video interview on social media with a friend of mine whom I based a minor character on and he said something which he says in the book, even though its nothing we’ve ever discussed in real life, and I made that dialogue up. The second incident was from a random moment in the book when the lead character digs through a closet in the guest room and comes up with a pink robe, remarking, ‘ pretty, but not on me’. While drinking my morning coffee on the patio, enjoying the sunshine, a friend of mine staying in the guest room came out in a pink robe, explaining she bought it compulsively the night before, but she wasn’t certain about it. Her exact words were ‘it’s very pretty, but not on me’.  I laughed. A couple of hours later while was driving around with another friend who happened to be in town he repeated something I gave another minor character that I loosely based off of him. He said it sarcastically — exactly the way I had written it, even though I don’t recall him ever using the phrase before — and it was something I tossed in at the last minute. It’s weird. Then there’s the whole praying mantis thing… but I’m not getting into that because it’s too fucking weird – like somehow fiction bleeds into reality and vice versa kind of weird. Sometimes I wonder about these things. Can you conjure situations by an act of creative will? Lucky for me, this rather brutal story actually has a happy ending because a lot of scripts and stories I’ve written before don’t. In fact, I don’t think any of them do. So maybe it’s sympathetic magic in action. It’s a possibility. I don’t believe it to be coincidence — that’s why I say one eyebrow raised and the ghost of a smile passing my lips.

So onto news…

We’ve finally gotten the brand spanking new Saurimonde III merchandise at the Eden Darkly store — t-shirts, stickers, coffee mugs (want one!), tote bags, and a bunch of other things. Follow the link to find out more!!!

Saurimonde Super Store

And in other news…

I finally got my ass back into LA and made it into the BTS studio for our seventeenth gonzo podcast. These crazy fucking things are never scripted, but they are so much fun to do — and are proving to be surprisingly popular. Who knew?

Our seventeenth episode takes a turn for the dark side fast with: a pecker puffer, an Easter special with Lucifer’s testicles, a new book from our fave author Mandy De Sandra, and Victorian doctors who thought reading made women insane and depraved.

Finale

The next month is going to be a game-changer. Keep watching this space because some very radical developments are in the works. After pulling magic rabbits successfully out of paper bags for the last many years, I’m about to get very dangerous, and I am so ready to step up…

Much love from where the worlds touch,

S-xx

SAURIMONDE III — C’est Fini!

What a month it’s been so far! I’m sitting here in Los Angeles, basking in the hot February sunshine. It’s such a blessing after so many winters in the freezing cold of the Pyrenees, and as much as I may miss my home, I will never miss the cold.

So first —  the very good news — Saurimonde III is finished! It’s currently available on Amazon Kindle (the physical copy will be out next week) and it’s the first book launched on our newly formed Lux in Tenebris Publishing label. There will be lots more about that development in the near future — so keep an eye on this space!

Saurimonde III:

 Safety is but an illusion…
In the search for a young woman who may already be dead, the tragically lovely Saurimonde, along with her handsome consort, Sordel, travel deep within the mysterious zone where she comes under the spell of the powerful cult leader, Na Dag’ma, who, after initating her into their strange faith, sends her on a quest to find a dangerous ancient relic.

Amid a quagmire of lies, dulplicity, and collusion the veil between worlds becomes threadbare – one existence bleeding into another – as Saurimonde and Sordel wander further into a supernatural web. Upon finding what they seek, will they be able to break free? Or be forced to become the ultimate sacrifice?
It’s available here: Saurimonde III Amazon Kindle

*************
Even though it’s been an age (not really, it only feels that way) since I’ve been sequestered in the back beyond, Melissa and I managed to record a new podcast at the BTS studios as soon as I hit the ground yesterday.

In our sixteenth episode we try to get back into the swing of things after our month long break with: a show dedicated to wine lovers, like how red wine is great for sex, as well as another book by Mandy De Sandra, Fox News Fuckfest, for all your bizzaro political erotica needs! (And, yes, we forgot to turn off the A/C at the BTS studios again, damn it!).

*************

Tomorrow, we’ll be filming for our brand new super secret project that I am so excited about! Maybe I’m finally starting to travel out of the crossroads. I say this with cautious optimism because I’ve thought the same thing a couple of times over this last rather surreal and harsh year only to be knocked back to square one and told to wait. Still, all I can do is follow the signs wherever they may lead…

Much love from where the worlds touch,

S – xx

Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler…

Between the Sheets Episode Three is Live! 

Between the Sheets with Melissa and Scarlett is a podcast about weird news, entertainment, pop culture, writing, sex, and more.

Our third episode starts out weird and gets weirder: We tried to change it up with aliens and bigfoot but ended up with “Darth Vibrator” and anal beads! We may need to start marketing ‘mind bleach‘ at this rate…

& Sex.

More good news…! The first draft of my new book DESIRED PYROTECHNICS is finished! 80,000 words plus! There’s a still a million miles to go, but at least there’s a million more behind me now.

Here’s the dedication: “To the beaten down, the misfits, the outcasts, the dreamers, the fabulous beasts, and the saintly sinners, to those who have been knocked to the ground, gotten back up, and raised a middle finger.”

On the surface it’s a brutal tale about sex, drugs and love gone totally mad, but underneath there’s another thread about being forced to endure the long, dark night of the soul — and the people who are there to help along the way. That wasn’t the story I set out to write, but it’s the story that wanted to be told.

And in more good news…! Melissa St. Hilaire and myself are starting on the third SAURIMONDE book asap. We started batting around new ideas by the pool yesterday and there’s definitely going to be some evil cult action. We’re going to resurrect Pan, and Bazak is already making his presence known, lurking around in the shadows. I don’t know if I’m ready as a writer to take him on again as a character — he steals every scene he’s such a fictional bastard. Saurimonde is going to be a litte more bad ass this tale, having finally come into her personal power in the last one, and we’re doing our best to conjure all kinds of new daemonic trickery for our beloved heroine.

What?! You haven’t read the first two SAURIMONDE books yet? What are you waiting for?! You can find them here – Amazon

Hope your summer is going well… Mine has been more productive and more fun than I had ever imagined. The sunshine of LA, and the company of good friends, like minds and creative comrades has given me the time, space and inspiration I so sorely needed.

Will be painting on the multi-media art project SISTERS OF THE WASTELAND for the next few days. Cannot wait to share some of the images we’ve been collaborating on!

Much love from where the worlds touch,

S – xx

Saurimonde II – The First Chapter

Despite the tragedy and heartbreak over the last few weeks I am so thrilled to be working on this story again and I know Melissa is as well. The pieces are starting to fall into place and I’m dreaming of the characters once more (and c’mon, who doesn’t want a man like Sordel in their dreams!). It’s going to be a wild ride, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Hope you enjoy it!

Saurimonde II

Saurimonde II – The First Chapter

          Saurimonde placed the journal down as the words swam in front of her eyes, while she tried to wrap herself around the shock of what she read. She already felt intrusive enough reading someone else’s diary. She reached forward touching the hem of her damp powder blue dress hanging over the edge of the fire. There wasn’t much left of it, only wisps of cotton and lace still tacked together. It wouldn’t last through another wearing. Shivering, she wrapped the blanket a little tighter around herself against the bite of the morning air. She wasn’t exactly cold, but the night’s events had chilled her to the bone. She was sore from head to toe and her muscles protested every little move she made. She was most definitely back in her body again, but she didn’t feel quite whole. It was like dancing a waltz and always being a couple of beats behind the rhythm as memories and emotions collided awkwardly with each other. The light was starting to spill cold blue from the windows. The panes of glass were smudged with soot and threw shadows across the floor. She could almost discern a pattern. It looked like beetles crawling, coming ever closer. A tiny insect army ready to attack and take her down.
         Elazki’s cottage had a certain charm in daylight. Bundles of drying herbs hung from the ceiling mixed with talismans and other things she didn’t want to look at too closely. A stuffed fox on top of a sort of shrine bristled from the center of the room. It was obviously well loved to have such a place of importance. She glanced at it a couple times out of the corner of her eye, half-convinced it was watching her. It was hard to believe she’d never been inside this place before, although she really had never given it’s owner, Elazki, the time of day, and now she owed her life to the woman. Now she knew more about the wise woman’s life than she’d have ever thought possible. In her mind’s eye she saw the raven-haired woman staring at her as ferociously as a blood moon. The events of last night seemed like a million years ago. She’d been trying to put the pieces together, but every time she got the sequence wrong. There were too many gaps in her memory.
          Her husband Gilles and Elazki had been together many years ago and he’d used and abused her affections. But soon after there had been a child which was not named in the diary, but if she did the math then… Stop it, Saurimonde thought as she pursed her lips and furrowed her brow, trying in vain to organize her thoughts and quell the rising panic inside of her. It couldn’t be true. It just couldn’t be! And how could she tell Sordel? She needed time to figure out whether it could be possible or not. She… She never finished that thought as the sound of a man clearing his throat from the shadowy recesses of the bedroom doorway startled her.
          “Sorry. Didn’t mean to scare you.”
          The timbre of his voice sent a shiver down her spine. It was rough and smooth at the same time, like a fine piece of driftwood, inviting you to run your hand over its surface. Greenish gold jungle eyes stared out of the gloom and she could see the vague outlines of a very lithe, well muscled chest. Feeling her breath catch in her throat, she didn’t dare let her eyes drop any lower.
          “No… I…” her voice tailed off. How could she explain?
          “Did you get any sleep?”
          Had she slept? She wasn’t sure. “I think so,” she answered tentatively
          Sordel moved across the room, stoked the fire with a few quick jabs and put the kettle on. He settled himself into the chair across from her. They stared at each other for a minute as she reflexively tightened the old blanket around her.
          “I don’t know how I can ever thank you.”
          “It’s not necessary.”
          There was another uncomfortable pause, longer this time. His eyes flickered to the journal lying on the table. There were a thousand questions he wanted to ask, but wasn’t certain he was ready to hear the answers. The water started to boil and Sordel got up moving the kettle to the counter. He added a handful of herbs, stirring them slowly as the smell of mint and Valerian filled the cottage. He sneaked a quick peek at Saurimonde. She was more fragile looking in the daylight. Her large dark eyes had a wounded quality and the bluish circles underneath them only added to the effect. The morning light turned her hair into molten gold as it tumbled riotously down her shoulders and back. She was still lovely, though. Maybe even more so than before. He stifled the urge to gather her in his arms and tell her everything was going to be all right. That would be a lie. Everything was definitely not going to be all right. Elazki…
          Sordel dropped the metal stirrer with a clatter. Grumbling under his breath he pushed it out of the way and grabbed a couple of mugs.
          As if reading his mind she quietly asked, “What are we going to do?”
          Dark waves of hair fell across his handsome face. Irritatedly he pulled it back and tied it in a knot at the nape of his neck. He glanced at the steaming mugs remembering when he bought them for his aunt. He must have been about twelve and was so excited by the look of genuine surprise on her face.
          “I have to find her. No matter what it takes,” he answered.
          “You don’t know what you’re against.” Her eyes widen and a world of confusion seemed to swim within them.
          It broke his heart to see, but not his resolve. “No. But that won’t stop me. She’s my aunt. My only family, and the person nearest and dearest to me.”
Saurimonde smiled at him sadly. “You’re a hero. It’s commendable. But even a hero may not save the day in this situation.
          He shook his head. “I’m not a hero.”
          “You are. At least to me, but we have to be rational here. If you go storming off to the river there’s a chance you won’t find her. And even if you do, there’s no telling what she might do to you. She’s not the woman you know any more.”
          “That’s bullshit. She would never hurt me.”
          “Listen to me. She would and it wouldn’t be her fault. I know better than anyone. You wouldn’t believe the things I’ve done…” A tear slipped down her cheek. She moved to brush it away and then stopped, her hand frozen in mid-air. She had promised herself she would never cry again. She wasn’t the same victim as before and, if there was one thing the experience of being possessed had taught her, it was she was going to have to be a whole lot tougher to survive it. Tensing her muscles and taking a deep breath, she wiped the tear away, pushing all her emotions down deep inside farther than she could follow. Her face frozen and mask-like as she managed to do so. It was the only way to keep her sanity.
          “There’s nothing else to say. I have to save her.”
She stared at him. “Yes, I know. But to have any kind of chance to do so we’re going to have to put the pieces together and that could take some time.” She sighed, “you can run to her rescue and there’s nothing I would do to stop you. Nor would I blame you for doing so, but I wish you would listen to what I’m saying first.”
          He took a deep breath as her words settled over him. She might be right, but it went against his nature to do nothing. None of it made sense. He’d watched in slow motion as Elazki stabbed Saurimonde clean through with his sword. She should have been dead. And when she started breathing again apparently unharmed, he’d forgotten everything else around him. Then he’d heard Elazki humming to herself a distance away. She had the strangest look on her face as she stared at him and then, crazily enough, she dove into the river. He’d scanned the water again and again, but she never surfaced. He should have dove in after her, but something inside of him warned him to get Saurimonde and himself out of there as quickly as possible. He wanted to protect her from the sight of Gilles’ mutilated body lying by the shore. There was no way he was miraculously coming back to life again. He felt a chill as he remembered Saurimonde’s black eyes flashing as she demoniacally gorged the flesh from her husband’s body. Sordel closed his eyes not wanting to remember more. He rubbed his temples against the dull thud of a coming headache while saying, “There’s a lot we have to talk about, but this isn’t the time or the place.”
          She answered him softly, “I know, it’s all too fresh. I wouldn’t even know where to begin.”
He handed her a steaming mug and she took it gratefully, setting it down on the small wooden table in front of her. She bit her lip trying to decide whether or not it was wise to tell him what she’d discovered. Sordel settled back into the chair and she did her best not to stare open-mouthed at his chest.
          The steam from the tea chased away the last vestiges of sleep as he calmly asked, “What are you going to do?”
          “Go back,” she answered a little more harshly than she would have wished.
          “Go back where?” He frowned, raising his eyebrows in disbelief.
          “To the manor house.”
          “Why? You can stay here with me.”
          The last thing she wants to do is make him angry, but she has to be practical, otherwise she will be doomed. She may have already been doomed for all she knew, but she would survive this. “I know,” she said, “but I have to make an appearance and make things look as normal as possible. Besides, sooner or later someone would know I was here and there would be more trouble. And I’m going to have to explain why Gilles and that girl are suddenly missing.”
          “Her name was Mariel. She was your niece. Gilles said she ran off.”
          “She…” Her lip began to quiver, but she knew this was one of the things she must face.
          “She’s gone wherever Gilles has gone.”
          “So she’s dead.” He nodded grimly at this. “And Elazki?”
          “I think I know where she’s gone, but it isn’t somewhere we can go. At least not now.”
          “Then she’s not dead.”
          “No, I would know if she were dead. But soon she’ll wish she was.” Saurimonde’s voice faltered. “There’s something else I need to tell you about your aunt.”
          Sordel’s stomach dropped. Intuitively he knew this was going to be ugly.
          She took a sip of the hot tea. It scalded her mouth, but it gave her the courage to say what needed to be said. “I read part of her diary after you gave it to me last night. I know you promised her never to read it, but…” She paused, then the words came in a rush. “She had an affair with someone who treated her very badly a long time ago. There was a child.”
          “Elazki never had a child.”
          “It says in her diary she did. She had a son about 24 years ago.”
         Sordel’s face started to pale at this revelation. He was 24-years-old and he had very little memory of his mother, Elazki’s sister. She had died when he was two. Elazki had never said anything to him before about having a child.
          Saurimonde continued on knowing if she stopped now, she’d never be able to tell him. “It sounds like she had a very bad experience so she sent the child away and…” He stared at her in disbelief while she said, “Gilles’ name is mentioned.”
          The words hung in the air. There was no way to take them back now. It was too horrible a notion to comprehend. Sordel’s mind glitched, and then it hit him. Holy fuck, Gilles might have been his father. He clutched the table feeling faint for a moment, knocking over the tea. Saurimonde jumped out of the chair, backing away. He stared right through her as a rush of connections in his mind suddenly made a sort of sick sense. His stomach lurched.
          “Sordel…” Saurimonde said as gently as possible.
          He finally focused in on her, but his eyes were wild and a vein throbbed on his forehead. Without a word he turned and strode out the door, slamming it so hard the windows rattled.
          “Wait! I could be wrong…” she called after him. But it was too late. He was gone.
          “Damn it all to hell!” she shouted in exasperation, throwing down the blanket. The mouldering fox in the middle of the room stared at her and she could have sworn she saw it smile. Suddenly feeling naked, she grabbed her damp dress and covered herself as best as possible. Could it really get any worse…?

If you haven’t read the first book yet follow the link to order your copy – http://www.saurimonde.com/p/where-to-buy.html

Much love from where the worlds touch,
S- xx