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

Selva Oscura – Absolution is Not an Option…




Hey there friends! Shall we take the sweet with the bitter? I’m rather a fan of the savoury myself…

First up, new, sweet business — we have a brand spanking new giveaway going on over at Goodreads! We’re giving away four print copies of our latest dark fantasy offering, Saurimonde III. All you have to do is follow the link below for your chance to win!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Saurimonde III by Melissa St. Hilaire

Saurimonde III

by Melissa St. Hilaire

Giveaway ends May 06, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

And now onto old, sort of bitter business — I found this journal entry quite by accident earlier after clicking on the wrong icon. I think it was from the end of summer 2012? When I’d started on the first Saurimonde novel — a different time and a different place, but it is evocative, and took me quite by surprise.

2012, Montsegur, France – Summer:

Selva Oscura,

There is a character, a succubus, crafting herself out of darkness and chaos, and I have a feeling she’s going to reek havoc on my new story. I don’t whether I’m birthing her into existence, or whether she is being rebirthed. Sometimes it feels like she’s using me as a conduit and has been waiting for the opportune moment to do so. 
Partial character study — the words are from a fragment of a dream.
“I’ll never forgive you and there’s a part of me that will always hate you. The feeling is irrational and rears its ugly head at a moment’s notice. I have to keep remembering — this is not my fault — I did not cause this situation — you did. Absolution is not an option. It may hurt me more, but I’ll never be there in my soul, not even if I mouth the words of your proverbial redemption. Time should heal these things and I no longer dwell on them like I once did — you no longer haunt my waking thoughts. When reminded of the past it’s more like the sudden pain of being touched with the lit end of a cigarette. I lash out at the world — of course, that’s putting it mildly, when what I really want is to rip down the fabric of creation itself. The irrational rises inside like a darkened whirlwind, an abyss without stars, like utter blackness — and it builds like the pregnant sky before a southern storm. I cannot control this — there are no reins, no brakes, no known forms of control, as it spills forth. Do you hear my voice howling in the winds? Don’t you not recognize what shimmers in the shadows? There is power there. You hang your head, cowering in shame, but if you only stood still, and raised a hand to the west, you would realize this is a gift. Go, dive deeper into the water. Hold your breath longer than you ever thought possible. Far past the murkiness and into the deep, deep, depths. Why do you deny yourself these things? She is always there waiting for you, shining in her cloak of immaculate darkness. No more celebrated now than the distant memory of a dull glint on a rusted blade.”

And that’s where it stops…

It’s scary. It’s violent. I’m well aware of where my head was at the time. I know the circumstances — but it is raw and honest. I love these fragments of dreams, and I love having forgotten them only to stumble across them at a later date. Besides the first Saurimonde novel there’s the germ on Sisters of the Wasteland in there as well. I miss the ancient spirits of the olde country and maybe they miss me too. But the time to return is not yet, although it will be soon. I bide my time as I rebuild an empire.

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

Nefarious, Beautiful & Vicious — SAURIMONDE III is gonna be a blast!

What a fabulously strange year it has been so far…
In the beginning of August, both Melissa and I instantly knew it was time to start on the next SAURIMONDE book. Almost the day after we made this decision, a friend of ours offered us her gorgeous, serene house for a couple of weeks and we jumped on the opportunity. 
For the first time since we began the SAURIMONDE journey we actually sat down together and embarked upon a treatment while in the same room.

During the other two books, I was living halfway across the world in France while Melissa was in California, and we’d tossed ideas back and forth on Skype. 

To be honest we only had the vaguest idea for an outline of the first book. The same for the second, although the writing went much faster on that one. This time we were prepared and now we are gearing up for the most raucous story yet!  

It was amazing how easy it all came together. I’m used to treatments being a hair-pulling nightmare, but this one was a joy. We spent most of the afternoon lounging in the walled front garden tossing back and forth ideas until we got stuck. Then, we’d take a break or resume the next day.

There might have been some wine drinking involved and a lot of, “Are we really going to do something that horrible to the characters? Oh yes, we are…” (Insert girlish cackling here.)

We are astounded the way the SAURIMONDE world has grown and the ways in which the story is opening up. What started as a vague idea a few years ago in a casual conversation has taken on a life of its own and become its own mythology. 

Like throwing a stone in a pond, we had no idea the way it was going to ripple and take so many weird twists and turns, but it’s been an amazing adventure and continues to be so. We cannot wait to get started writing and, if all goes according to plan, we’ll have the next book out in the fall.

And in further news…

BETWEEN THE SHEETS Episode 5 is live! “All about Orgasms, A Windows 10 warning, and A Squirrel Stalker”.

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

Our fifth episode explodes with an orgasm: We start off by celebrating National Orgasm Day then move onto a PSA for Windows 10 and end with the squirrels are not what they seem…

Much love from where the worlds touch,

S – xx

Sisters of the Wasteland

I’ve been keeping my head down and focusing on the work in the hopes the wrongs in my life will somehow right themselves. It’s never that easy, though. Just finished an intensive re-write on ‘The Colour Out of Space‘, and it looks as if the script is possibly going out to cast, although I don’t know if I should say anything or not. No one told me not to. Fingers crossed for this beast as I’m rather proud of the modernized adaptation we managed to fasten together.

Before I get started on the next script I’ve put a little elbow grease in the graphic novel I’ve been dreaming up in my head. This project is set to slow burn and yet I just can’t put it down. It’s the story I know the least about and still I keep tinkering with it despite that fact. It’s like an object which you aren’t quite certain what it’s used for, you only know you like the way it looks, and you want it just cause. So I’m going to post some of it here and play around with the text a bit. It’s nothing like it’s going to look, but maybe it will help clarify my vision. It’s still very rough and I won’t post the beginning having done so twice already.

photo by Marnie Shelton Klein

Believers of the Unpure

Once upon a time the dark Mother was endless. She was the vast Immaculate Darkness. Mistress on the sea of Infinity. Benevolent. Malevolent. These terms mean nothing and are concepts of cattle. In the center of her swirling chaos a cunning affliction unknowingly came to be. Imperfection in perfection. Creation was conjured without consent. How could perfection recognize Imperfection? And so She fell. Matter took shape and became finite. It became trapped. Days became numbers. Binding concepts. The error in the system. The Demiurge; mad, blind, and insane. But being born of a deficit it never knew it was so. And so it never knew any different. Like us it fights craftily not to cease to exist. But our light reflects its light. Our light reflects our maker.

“May the curse, cunning, and blessing be.”
“Wake up!”
This world has blinded the minds of the Unbelievers.
Nyx, Nul and Nil: Sisters of the Wasteland
Nyx is the earth, the core on which the water’s lie.
Nul is the power of the ever-changing tides.
Nil is the breath of wind which guides and navigates.
Together they make up the vessel which traverses the sacred waters.
Positioned equidistantly around the table they ask a question, “who is speaking to us now?”
“I am the one who cast my fire upon this world and will watch it blaze down to the very last ember.”
“And what do we seek?”
“When you can make three into one, and when you can make the inner like the outer, then you will find the keys to the kingdom of high and low… Fire, sword, war… Do you know where you really are?”
“Show us the way, Father.”
The festering breath envelopes them. “Open your eyes Sisters of the Wasteland. Here you find the reality of your garden of delight.”
The scorched earth ripples in a heat haze in front of them, A world of ash and fire, scrub and rock. A world burned clean where nothing can grow. The mountains rise with jagged peaks around them, casting unnatural shadows as they huddle together for protection and warmth. Ravens turn in the skies, the only other inhabitants of this place. Winged messengers of the coming storm.
Nil: “This cannot be.”
Nul: “This world is a carcass, picked clean by the blind.”
Nyx: “Prepare sisters, prepare. For the trouble we expect will come.”
We are dreaming again. And from this dream we cannot awaken.
The three at the table: “Who holds the keys of knowledge?”
Outside of time: “They were lost by those who would not pass themselves, and they have made it so no one else can pass.”
The three at the table: “Does Pamphile know where?”
Outside of time: “Sleep. For you should have found a better answer…”
Seeking shelter the sisters have gone to the cave to weather the storm, hiding frozen in one finite point amongst the chaos.
Clotho – spinner
Lachesis – alloter
Atropos – unturnable
As sly as snakes and as quiet as doves, sisters, see yourselves, and spin us a new tale.
A voice whispers in the Darkness. The remnants of broken threads envelop them. Then, the spark of first light. Luminescence. A refraction of quartz which has never used its reflective skin before. One solitary chamber in the belly of the beast. Airless. Deathless Grace. So cool to the touch. How long have they been there now? Like roots they have grown into the earth, percolating in their shroud.
Three days. Three Ages. Three aeons.
Time to wake up!
And at that base was a stone from the sky, one which wept blood. From this aerolite, mixed with tears, fear, and fire, they forged new blades. The daggers from heaven, born of exile. Blow by blow they hardened them until they were strong enough to rip the fabric of creation itself.
Born of fire we are forged stronger now. A warm breeze catches the spark. The dross of matter burns brightly, bringing with it the breath of intention. We will turn the wine back to water. Hand in hand and heart to heart we conjure you.
Sisters of the Wasteland together in the cave: “We call on you Mother, Mistress, First and Always.”
She comes robed in silver and night and walks in dreams and darkness amongst the lovely, baleful stars.
She: “Can you answer this? When does One become Two. Two become Three, and out of the Third comes One as the Fourth?”
Nil: “First the circle.”
Nul: “Than the square.”
Nyx: “Than the triangle.”
Body, Soul, and Spirit. Realized together they exceed the limits of Nature. The spirit is free of its fetters. The light that shines in the darkness is the fourth.
Nil: “I wish to see the sunrise.”
Nul: “I wish to feel the warmth on my skin.”
Nyx: “I wish to taste the wind.”
Let us leave this place by the secret sign told to us at our reckoning. We know the answer now. Conjunction.
Rock scraping across rock. Stone turns to liquid as if the lower vibrations of nature are working in reverse. The cave mouth opens as they slowly stumble outside. An all encompassing bombardment. New eyes, new senses, new colors. The sun burns low in the sky as the first star gleams in the twilight. The desert is awash in in oranges and reds under the cover of deepening blue. The warm wind brings a fine sand which stings like a sunburn. The wasteland remains, yet they have become a part of it now, hardened like stone sentinels. The trial is not over, the veil persists. They will not see the dawn.
A manic laugh spreads around them, rippling like a heat haze. “Do you not see with new eyes? Your wish has been granted. Nihil Extraneum.”

In that word is a heartbeat. Wake again. In that word is expansion. Psychic stretching. Incubating. Collating. It is a Solution. There is Nothing from outside.
The voice is silenced.

Reading back through it now it strikes me it might be time to stop playing Godspeed You! Black Emperor in such heavy rotation. Maybe not as it’s so evocative and such a joy to write to. It’s coming on midnight and I’m going to out to stare at the stars for a while and contemplate just where this is all going. As hard as I try there is no linear process to my creativity. It’s all cobbled together from different pieces I pick up, discard, and then pick up again later. It’s a madhouse.

Much love from where the worlds touch,

S-xx