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

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

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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!).

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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