Archive for The Fell Fête

Update 03/13/2020: Moribond accepted for Spectral Realms #13

Posted in Chelsea Arrington, Clark Ashton Smith, Frank Coffman, Hell-Flower, My Bantam Black Fay, Pickman's Press, S.T. Joshi, Spectral Realms, The Averoigne Legacy, The Fell Fête, Weird Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2020 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Last night I received confirmation from S.T. Joshi that my poem Moribond has been accepted for inclusion in Spectral Realms #13, where it will join My Bantam Black Fay, and Hell-Flower, respectively. After so many prose poems, it’s nice to be able to offer some verse again. Admittedly, I would not have been able to accomplish this without the help and guidance from my colleagues Ms. Chelsea Arrington, and Frank Coffman, who both commented on my work in progress. Mr. Coffman in particular gave me useful advice on how I might improve on Moribond. I am grateful to them both.

Note: the character of Moribond also made an appearance in my tribute to Clark Ashton Smith, The Fell Fête, which can be found in the anthology The Averoigne Legacy from Pickman’s Press.

Update 01/15/2020: Contributor copy of The Averoigne Legacy

Posted in Ashley Dioses, Averoigne, Carmilla, Clark Ashton Smith, Dan Clore, Diary of a Sorceress (2017), Edward Stasheff, Hippocampus Press, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, The Averoigne Legacy, The Fell Fête, Updates with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2020 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Monday night I received my copy of the Averoigne Legacy, and it is very cool! It’s a lot heavier than I expected and there are a few contributors whom I didn’t realize were in here, like Dan Clore and the editor himself, Edward Stasheff. I immediately re-acquainted myself with the poem Sephora by Miss Ashley Dioses, which is based on the character from Smith’s The Enchantress of Sylaire. It first appeared Weirdbook #34 and is collected in her Diary of a Sorceress from Hippocampus Press. It is a great poem and true to the weird romanticism of Clark Ashton Smith. I haven’t read anything else although I have my eye on the Return of the Colossus by Brian McNaughton because I just re-read Smith’s The Colossus of Ylourgne.

There are a lot of great writers here and I am excited to delve in as soon as I finish reading J.S. Le Fanu‘s Carmilla, which I am re-reading (for the umpteenth time) for inspiration with a possible novella featuring my own vampiress, Morbidezza.

My story, The Fell Fête, is near the back, and is a sort of vampire/fairy/mythos mash up.

Here are some pictures my good friend Thérèse Lavery took some snapshots of the book in the breakroom at work.

Requisite author pic with the Averoigne Legacy.

Here’s my story, The Fell Fête.

Close up of the The Fell Fête.

Goodbye 2019

Posted in 2019, Clark Ashton Smith, Denisse Montoya, Diablerie, Morbidezza & Other Denizens of the Dark, Spectral Realms, The Averoigne Legacy, The Fell Fête, Year End Review with tags , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2019 by Manuel Paul Arenas

2019 has been a year of slow advancement. I have continued to get my work published, mainly in Spectral Realms, but I still get rejected fairly regularly elsewhere. I do however have a few stories in various anthologies. I was particularly thrilled to have my story The Fell Fête be sought out for a collection of stories in the style of Clark Ashton Smith. The ebook*, The Averoigne Legacy, is available on Amazon.

Averoigne Legacy (rear blurb).

My friend Denisse Montoya and I have been working diligently over the last several  months to prepare my chapbook Morbidezza & Other Denizens of the Dark for publication. As I write, we have only to finalize the cover art then take it to a printer to self publish. I hope it will be available sometime in January if I can round up the requisite funds. I have also been putting together a manuscript for my next chapbook, Diablerie, which I hope to also get published in 2020.

On a personal note, I moved into a new one bedroom apartment, just down the block from the coffee shop I frequent, and I am excited to say that it has a gas stove, which I have made much use of since moving in. I have been cooking more and trying to eat better this past year.  After being diagnosed with pre-diabetes, I have cut down a lot on my sugar intake and even lost 20 lbs.! I am still far from svelte though. Now, if only I could do something about these dark circles around my eyes…

I don’t have a roommate anymore, so I have no one to answer to either. This gives me more space for my things, as well as personal freedom, but it also magnifies my loneliness, which is already acute. I have decided that 2020 will be the year I fix that. I wonder what Morbidezza is doing these days… Do you think 10 months is long enough a wait to call upon a widow?

*(12/20/2019) As well as the trade paperback!

Update 10/28/2019: The Averoigne Legacy now available!

Posted in Averoigne, Clark Ashton Smith, Edward Stasheff, Pickman's Press, The Averoigne Legacy, The Fell Fête, tribute fiction with tags , , , , , , on October 29, 2019 by Manuel Paul Arenas

It dawned on me that The Averoigne Legacy should be available soon, so I looked it up on Amazon, and lo and behold, I found it! Well, the e-book at least. I’m not sure whether it will be a physical book or not, though it may end up being a print on demand item. Any way, there are blurbs on the Pickman’s Press site for the individual stories and here is the one for my tale, The Fell Fête:

“A Spanish student visiting Averoigne is convinced by an enchanting local girl to attend her village’s traditional ceremony—to Iog-Sotôt.”

The Averoigne Legacy: Edward Stasheff, ed. (Pickman’s Press 2019)

Update 11/1/2019:

Got a message from editor Edward Stasheff asking me to proof read the e-book version of my story. He says also the paperback version will be available in November.

Update 09/19/2019: Final Revisions for The Fell Fete

Posted in Averoigne, Clark Ashton Smith, Edward Stasheff, Grace Stillman, The Averoigne Archives, The Averoigne Legacy, The Fell Fête, Updates, Weird Tales with tags , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2019 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Just sent out the final draft for The Fell Fete. Hope I didn’t miss anything. Mr. Stasheff incorporated my initial revisions and just wanted me to do a quick read-through to ensure that everything looked good. Good thing he did, because there were a few very minor revisions that didn’t take from my last proof-read. I was making corrections on my blog in between calls, so I may not have saved some before I logged out.

I will keep you all apprised of any updates.

The Averoigne Archives (2019, Pickman’s Press).

PS: For anyone who is not familiar with Clark Ashton Smith‘s Averoigne story cycle, Pickman’s Press has published a companion book entitled The Averoigne Archives, containing all of the pertinent tales, which can be found on Amazon. The Spanish language version, Cuentos de Averoigne, even includes bonus translations of the poems The Woods of Averoigne (1934) by one-time Weird Tales contributor Grace Stillman, and To Clark Ashton Smith (1938) by Smith’s long-time pen-pal, H.P. Lovecraft.

Update 09/23/2019

Got my fee for the story, and it has been officially accepted. Now all there is to do is wait for updates on when the book will be available.

Update 09/06/2019: Morbidezza chapbook and revisions for Fell Fete

Posted in Averoigne, Denisse Montoya, Edward Stasheff, Pickman's Press, The Averoigne Legacy, The Fell Fête with tags , , , , , , on September 6, 2019 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Last night I sent out my revisions for The Fell Fete to Mr. Edward Stasheff of Pickman’s Press. Once they are approved and finalized I will receive payment and the story should appear in the Averoigne Legacy due out by the end of the month, if all goes according to plan.

I am also still working with my friend Denisse Montoya on my chapbook Morbidezza & Other Denizens of the Dark, which should be ready just in time for Halloween.

Algernon Blackwood’s “Ancient Sorceries”

Posted in Algernon Blackwood, Best Ghost Stories of Algernon Blackwood, Sidney Stanley, The Fell Fête with tags , , , on June 10, 2019 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Since settling in to my new apartment, I have been getting myself reacquainted with my book collection, which has been in storage for the last several months. One of the books that attracted my attention was the collection Best Ghost Stories of Algernon Blackwood (1973, Dover). Now, I have several books by Blackwood on my shelves, and yet I have only ever read a few tales. I decided that it was time I read some of his more celebrated tales, so I began with Ancient Sorceries (1908), which starts out the Dover collection. It is a tale of witchcraft featuring his reoccurring occult detective, John Silence. However, in the edit found in this collection at least, his presence is felt mainly as a bookend passive listener to a tale told by  a skittish little Englishman named Vezin. The story is that Vezin, who is generally a timid, unadventurous sort, decides on a whim to hop off a train to visit a sleepy French village. He feels drawn to the town for some reason, and at first finds peace in it’s quiet denizens, but soon starts to feel that he is being watched. Just as he begins to have second thoughts about his decision to stay on at the local inn, he meets the teenage daughter of the proprietress, who sweeps him off his feet with her enchanting charm and beauty. I don’t want to say too much more so as not to ruin it for anyone who has yet to read it. The story starts a little slowly, but once it begins to take off, it’s subtle horrors (shadowy beings, werecats, witchcraft, etc..) really make it hard to put down.

Illustration by Sidney Stanley for Ancient Sorceries from The Willows and Other Queer Tales (London: Collins Clear-Type Press, [February 1932]), by Algernon Blackwood.

What I found so interesting when I read it is that it has a very similar premise to my tale The Fell Fete: a traveler from England (Anacleto is technically Spanish, but he goes to school in Ramsey Campbell’s imaginary English town of Brichester in the Severn Valley, from which he departs on his journey) who is drawn to an ancient French town where he is baited by an enchantress to join a sinister supernatural cult. The seduction of Vezin by Ilse in particular brought to mind Ambrosine’s enthrallment of Anacleto in my story. I had never read the Blackwood tale till now, so it is intriguing to me that there are so many similarities. Only in mine, the protagonist meets a very different fate.

Best Ghost Stories of Algernon Blackwood (1973, Dover Publications)


Update 04/23/2019: Averoigne Legacy

Posted in Averoigne, Clark Ashton Smith, Edward Stasheff, Morbidezza, Pickman's Press, Rosaire, The Fell Fête with tags , , , on April 23, 2019 by Manuel Paul Arenas

I have signed and mailed out a contract to editor Edward Stasheff allowing my story The Fell Fête to be included in the anthology Averoigne Legacy by Pickman’s Press. I am very excited and am anxious to see what it will end up looking like. I had sent out the story a few years ago to an editor out of the UK, for another Clark Ashton Smith tribute, but they never got back to me about it so I assume either the book fell through or they were not interested. The version I am sending to Pickman’s Press, however, is slightly altered from that draft anyway. Honestly, I had tried showing it to other people and no one seemed interested. I even asked my good friend Galad to look at it and let me know his thoughts on it; he was kind in his assessment, but seemed unimpressed, so I dismissed it as a failure and never bothered to take it down with the rest of my poems and tales I had hopes of getting published. Presumably, that is how Pickman’s Press found it; O Fortuna…  I will of course keep you all posted on any updates.

I have also seen some of Savannah’s preliminary sketches for Morbidezza and Rosaire and so far so good!

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.


Posted in Bibliography, Gargoyle, Morbidezza, My Bantam Black Fay, Spectral Realms, Speculations: Poetry from the Weird Poets Society, terza rima, Thalía, The Baleful Beldam, Vampire Vigil with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2018 by Manuel Paul Arenas

A listing of my published works and appearances.


Thalía (poetry): Spectral Realms #9 [Hippocampus Press]


Morbidezza (prose poem): Spectral Realms #10 [Hippocampus Press]

Gargoyle (prose poem): Spectral Realms #10 [Hippocampus Press]

My Bantam Black Fay (poetry): Speculations: Poetry from the Weird Poets Society 2018

Vampire Vigil (prose poem): Spectral Realms #11 [Hippocampus Press]

The Baleful Beldam (poetry): Spectral Realms #11 [Hippocampus Press]

Night Hag (prose vignette): The Phantasmagorical Promenade [Planet X Publications]

The Fell Fête (tribute fiction): The Averoigne Legacy: Tribute Tales in the World of Clark Ashton Smith [Pickman’s Press]


Satanic Sonata (prose poem): Spectral Realms #12 [Hippocampus Press]

Kiss of Life (prose poem): Spectral Realms #12 [Hippocampus Press]