Archive for the Black Hymeneal Category

Update 05/22/2020: World Goth Day

Posted in Black Hymeneal, Casting the Runes, Love Song of the Lugubrious Gondolier, M.R. James, Mr Humphreys and His Inheritance, Playhouse (ITV), Scott J. Couturier, Updates, Zachary Strupp with tags , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2020 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Happy, or should I say dreary, World Goth Day to you all! I didn’t realize this was a thing until I logged into Facebook this morning! Apparently it’s official and even has a Wikipedia page: Had I known what day it was, I would have dressed for the occasion. Well, at least I have mt Edgar Allan Poe socks on.

Edgar Allan Poe socks that I got for my birthday a few years back as a gift from my cousins.

Maybe I’ll do something Gothy tonight, like light candles, pop the bottle of absinthe I’ve been putting off for a special occasion and listen to Bach organ music. Yesterday started off well with some pleasant messages from friends, but quickly went south with some frustrating calls which made my very anxious and agitated. I tried to get an early break but that did not happen so a little while before my lunch break I opted instead to just go home. When I have an episode like that, it just effects my whole system. I get physically ill and my mind becomes cloudy and I cannot focus. The worst part is that I get really snippy and start to swear a lot and I keep having to catch myself when on call, so I don’t say anything that the clients will see and be upset by.

Anyway, on my way home I stopped at Zia Records and picked up a birthday gift for my buddy Zach, whom I shall be visiting this weekend (safety precautions in place). While there, I also found something that I did not expect. I saw a used DVD of a program I only just read about on Facebook just a few days ago, and never realized existed. It is a 1979 ITV Playhouse adaptation of Casting the Runes, by M.R. James. It was updated and some things were either cut (like Karswell’s creepy children’s show) or changed like the manner in which the runes are returned to him. The acting was good and I liked some of the ideas they had for the updates, but the scares weren’t very thrilling and the demon which was only seen briefly in the beginning with the death of Harrington wasn’t very impressive, nor was the spider in the bed of Dunning, who in this version was a female journalist named Prudence. I’m glad to have seen it, but it was not worthy of the source material. Also on the disc was an interesting documentary on the James, as well as a very peculiar short film adaptation of Mr. Humphreys and His Inheritance.

Cover art for the Acorn DVD of the ITV Playhouse adaptation of Casting the Runes by M. R. James.

I have been working on a few different things lately, specifically some rewrites of older poems. Currently I am trying rewrites of Black Hymeneal, and Love Song of the Lugubrious Gondolier. I also have sent my latest prose piece, Dream of a Dead Poet, to fellow weird poet Scott J. Couturier for review. He is an editor for an independent publisher, so I thought he might have some insight into whether there are any glaring issues which I may not have seen in the work, before I submit it anywhere. I just gave a read to his as yet unpublished weird thriller You Came, which was brilliant. I thought it was going one way and it did a very well executed switcheroo in the 3rd act which payed off in a very unique way. He is currently working on an anthology of his poetry which I am very anxious to see on my bookshelves once it becomes available.


Update 04/11/2019: The Grimoire of the Dark Young, Satanic Sonata, The Fell Fete, etc.

Posted in Averoigne, Black Hymeneal, Clark Ashton Smith, Corporate Cthulhu: Lovecraftian Tales of Bureaucratic Nightmare, Denisse Montoya, Edward Stasheff, Eyvind Kang, HWA (Horror Writer's Association), Mac Randall, Old Burying Ground, Pickman's Press, Prose Poetry, S.T. Joshi, Satanic Sonata, Spectral Realms, The Dark Young, The Fell Fête, The Grimoire of the Dark Young with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2019 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Well, I have had lots of stuff going on lately that I haven’t gotten around to mentioning till now. For starters, I asked my old Dark Young brother Mac Randall to write up a little something for the Grimoire of the Dark Young collection and he wrote a lovely tribute. I cannot wait to include it in the chapbook. Now I have to work on putting it together. By the way, in case any of you still care, I am closer to putting out my Black Hymeneal collection. I’m just waiting on my friend Denisse to make a few minor adjustments to accommodate a new afterword I just gave her, then she has to do the cover art, then we should be good to go.

Next up, I have recently completed a rewrite of my old prose poem Satanic Sonata which I wrote back in the 90s when I lived in Seattle, WA. Inspired by the avant-garde violin piece Universal by Eyvind Kang, I wrote it in 3 “movements”; the first, a prelude incorporating a real life scene I’d witnessed of preschool children running amuck in an Old Burying Ground in Cambridge, MA; the second and third parts describing a fantastic scene featuring devils and doomed souls. I am rather fond of the original, but it just wasn’t up to par with publishing standards, so I rewrote it. I think it is a lot more refined now. I shall be sending it soon to Mr. Joshi over at Spectral Realms for consideration.

Last, but certainly not least, I got a couple of messages this week from editor Edward Stasheff of Pickman’s Press. Apparently, they are putting together a collection of stories set in the imaginary province of Averoigne, for a Clark Ashton Smith tribute. Somehow, they came upon my story The Fell Fete, and they want to include it in the anthology. I asked around on Facebook and I did some research on line and they appear to be legit and I even got an endorsement in regards to their professionalism from one of the authors on their roster. I have agreed, tentatively, to allow them to use it, but I need to review the contract they sent me before I sign over any rights to anything. Their collection Corporate Cthulhu: Lovecraftian Tales of Bureaucratic Nightmare has decent reviews on Amazon.

I am excited, because their payment offer would be the most I have gotten thus far for one of my pieces and it would qualify me for affiliate status in the HWA (Horror Writer’s Association). I am currently only an honorary member.

Update 01/16/2019: Black Hymeneal and Galad’s new book

Posted in Black Hymeneal, Cyäegha (publication), Denisse Montoya, Galad Elflandsson, Michele Bledsoe, robert w chambers, Tales of Carcosa with tags , , , , , , on January 16, 2019 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Yesterday I had a few pleasant surprises when I went online at the library. For starters, I got an email from my friend Denisse in which she sent me a draft of the layout for Black Hymeneal. I didn’t even think she was still working on it, but what she sent me looked very nice and the font was gorgeous! I still would like to make some edits in the text since some of the information in the old introductions are outdated. I may also put a gallery in the back of the back featuring the illustrations and cover art my friend Michele Bledsoe did for the original conception of the book.

I also got a message from my friend, author Galad Elflandsson, informing me that his long awaited collection of Yellow Sign tales from Cyäegha is finally coming out and even sent me a scan of the cover art. It is to be called Tales of Carcosa and he said he might be able to procure me a signed copy, and I told him if he could then I would promise not only to read it, but review it on here as well.

Goodbye 2018

Posted in 2018, Black Hymeneal, Dick Kelly, Donald Sidney-Fryer, Greetings from Krampus, Manny's Book of Shadows, MiscellManny, S.T. Joshi, The Dark Poetry Couple, The Grimoire of the Dark Young, Weird Poets Society, Year End Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2018 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Most of 2018 was spent in a funk trying to figure out what my next move was going to be. I was holding on to people and situations which were not helpful or healthy and I was stagnating, mired in depression. Eventually, I sat down and asked myself what was most important for me to accomplish at that point in time. I decided that the most important thing to me, moving forward, was to get my writing published. Since Black Hymeneal seemed to be in limbo, I decided it was time I got over my fear of rejection and sent out submissions to the genre journals again. First however, I had to see what publications were accepting so I got on the Internet Speculative Fiction Database and Amazon and started looking at what was out there and who was being published. I have told this story elsewhere on here, but the end result was that I befriended weird poetry practitioner / advocates K.A. Opperman and Ashley Dioses, a/k/a the Dark Poetry Couple. They have both been very supportive and through my association with them I have met several other poets with whom I may commiserate and talk shop with, as well as editors who have helped me finally start the process of getting my writing into print. As I write, my poem Thalía is available in Spectral Realms #9; both Gargoyle and Morbidezza are slated to be featured in Spectral Realms #10, and My Bantam Black Fay is to be included in the collection from the members of Weird Poets Society.  Additionally, I have a handful of other pieces of poetry and prose in limbo, pending acceptation.

I feel privileged to have interacted with the likes of renowned editor S.T. Joshi and to have my writing appear in the same publication alongside esteemed poet / editor Donald Sydney-Fryer. The door has been opened and I need to work hard going forward to keep it that way. The next 6 months I believe will be critical in getting myself established within the world of weird poetry and prose. Fortunately, it looks as if I may finally be getting a new (used) laptop from my young cousin Justin and once that happens I’ll be able to do uninterrupted work on my writing as well as the manuscript for my long overdue collection.

Speaking of, I have decided that rather than do several smaller books I am going to do an all inclusive collection in two slim volumes. I plan to call the whole collection Manny’s Book of Shadows, and the first volume will consist of the first two poetry collections  I had in mind to publish: The Grimoire of the Dark Young, and Black Hymeneal. The second volume will consist of my remaining work that is fit to print. Both volumes will be limited edition to keep from creating any publication conflicts with my journal and book appearances. I of course plan to include any relevant illustrations or images I can find.

My friend Dick Kelly has been diligently working on my Krampus chapbook which is looking amazing. It will be called Greetings from Krampus and I am hopeful that it will be ready in time for Christmas. He calls or sends me weekly updates through Facebook, some of which I post on here. We plan on getting together soon for a chapbook assembling party. I will post more on that as things develop.

A slightly blurry snapshot of the rough draft of the handcrafted limited edition of Greetings from Krampus.

On a personal level I am pretty much where I was last year this time. I am still at my same job although I have been applying for other positions within the company. I finally have befriended a coworker though, my friend Thérèse, who did an awesome illustration for my story Nativity in Black, which shall be included in the second volume of the Manny’s Book of Shadows collection, which shall bear the subtitle of MiscellManny. I have begun talking again and making amends with my friend Hydroxia, although I think it’ll be a while before our friendship is completely restored to anything like it was in the best of times.

My roommate and I have renewed our lease for an extra 6 months, as I couldn’t afford a move and she hadn’t yet secured another place by the time our  lease was up, and as a consequence we had to allow them to do some renovations, which were a bit intrusive, but my roomie and I got through it. Now it should be relatively smooth sailing till Spring.




Update 11/12/2018

Posted in Black Hymeneal, Manny's Book of Shadows, The Grimoire of the Dark Young, The Manuel Arenas Poetic Omnibus, Updates with tags , , , , , , on November 12, 2018 by Manuel Paul Arenas

I am beginning to rethink my poetry collection…again! I think I may call it The Manuel Arenas Poetic Omnibus and just have a section with my poems not included in the other two booklets, which I shall call MiscellManny. Currently I am dealing with renovations in my apartment, so I have been a bit remiss in keeping up on that. Once the holidays pass I will get on it and try to have something publishable ready by the end of January. It will be limited edition though as I do not want to have any conflict of interest with the various publications which have been gracious enough to accept some of the poems featured therein.

On second thought, an omnibus collection would imply the chapbooks had been printed previously. Maybe it should be Manny’s Book of Shadows! Like my blog. We’ll see…

Update 10/03/2018

Posted in Black Hymeneal, The Grimoire of the Dark Young, Updates on October 4, 2018 by Manuel Paul Arenas

After some deliberation, I have decided that I have wasted too much time on my chapbook projects trying to work with others on making them fancy. I’m going to buckle down just do it myself. I have also decided that I will save some cost and do both of my planned books as a single collection. So instead of individual copies of Black Hymeneal and The Grimoire of the Dark Young, I plan to issue them as one collection under the umbrella of MiscellManny. I may do future releases of my amateur writings under this title.

Update 09/27/2018

Posted in Black Hymeneal, Chapbooks, Dick Kelly, Krampus, Morbidezza, Thalía, Thérèse Lavery, The Grimoire of the Dark Young, Updates with tags , , , , , , , on September 27, 2018 by Manuel Paul Arenas

This past weekend I helped celebrate my cousin Jason’s birthday by giving him a little chapbook I created at Kinkos featuring Thalía and Morbidezza, since he is a big vampire aficionado. I was surprised at how easy it was to make and, although not exactly cheap, it wasn’t that expensive either. I think I might use their services to make chapbooks for both The Grimoire of the Dark Young and Black Hymeneal. It’s not quite the look I wanted, but to just get them out into the world as well as fulfill my promise to the people who donated to my cause back in 2014, I think it will work. If those come out okay I may make one for Nativity in Black since my friend, artist Thérèse Lavery, did a lovely illustration for it over the summer.

I am still working with my buddy artist Dick Kelly on a chapbook of my Krampus poem. He has been working diligently on the illustrations and sending me photos of his progress and giving me art samples whenever we meet up. I hope to have it in time for the 2018 holiday season.