I love hypnosis. Like really love it. It’s about the only way I have to relax without being fast asleep. I mean ok I do occasionally fall asleep under hypnosis, but I only snore a little. Honest.
When I was younger the idea of being hypnotised horrified me, it seemed like giving away control, but then I started to think about divorce. I decided to seek a therapist before ending my brief marriage in case my husband wasn’t why I was miserable. It turned out he was btw, but I am pretty sure I am why he was miserable too. Anyway, I ended up going to see the Wizard. He is brilliant, a real believer in meditation and hypnosis as well other forms of therapy.
Sorry, long story short I went with hypnotherapy. I am shockingly easy to hypnotise and I go deep. I know I am there when my wrists feel as though they are on backwards and I don’t care because everything feels slightly detached anyway. Oh that feels good by the way, the detachment from the old meat suit. I never did stick to script, but I can feel bark under my feet, and water between my toes, and smell the water.
Whatever the journey he guides me on the smells and sensations are incredibly real, not always the visual, but I was never so good at the visual, that’s ok. It comes and goes. It’s like lucid dreaming for me. It’s like a spa day in 20 minutes in terms of relaxation. I have no sense of time when I am under and it’s really where I started to investigate my dream.
Ordinarily, even when I can tell I am dreaming I have no control, I am just along for the ride. Under hypnosis I have some say, I choose where I want to go and who I want to see and the dreams talk back, communicate with me instead of just being left over mush from the day. Or the Wizard guides me to where I have asked. I have learned, over the many many sessions that got me through divorce, how to self hypnotise. Sometimes silence and darkness are good. Sometimes I prefer drumming music to help me push everything else out. It’s still easier with the Wizards guidance, but I can do it on my own and it’s fantastic.
I do not find nearly enough time in my days to do it. I should. It’s peaceful, it’s revitalising. It’s sometimes energising and I can’t wait to go and create, and sometimes takes everything out of me and makes me accept my body and mind are just tired and I need to rest.
If you have never been hypnotised and someone is going to help you then I just have to say, you have to be able to let go, so trust is huge. Find someone to guide you through it you feel safe and relaxed with, and then let go. It can take a while to get vivid and longer to get lucid, and you know, maybe it’s not for everyone. I really struggle with relaxation, with letting go and just existing, two things allow me that, being live on air, because the moment is the only place I can be, and in a hypnotic state because time and space become irrelevant.
Over on the Fox Spirit Books blog I get to kick off Women of Horror month with a piece on The Haunting of Hill House, one of the finest novels ever written. Go read it (my piece and the novel).
I have a piece ‘The Three Rs’ over at 3AM Magazine. I had written for another thing that fell apart but it suited as a kind of encomium for Mark E. Smith. More to come doubtless as there are many things floating around in my head.
Chapter 4 of Madonna of the Wasps is out: chapter 5 at the end of the month. If you want to have a print copy, I have good news coming soon.
UPDATE: I am always forgetting to share my History Witch posts: most recently Sounding Out the Water Elf (another bit in my thinking about the sound of charms which I’ll be talking about at the Harvard conference in April).
NEXT WEEK: The SpeakEasy dames and I will be guest hosts at Ione’s Annual Dream Festival next week. If you’re on Facebook, join us talking and thinking about dreams and how they affect our waking lives. Some of the posts will be here as well. Starts on Monday!
‘Twice Reviled: Medieval Fact & Fantasy.’ Out of the Cloister: Lone Medievalists Making the Middle Ages Matter: forthcoming piece on what it’s like to be the lone medievalist in a department as well as a fiction writing-lit prof (hint: even people in academia like you to stick to one category or the other).
“The Unlikely Milliner & The Magician of Threadneedle-Street.” Mythlore: A Journal of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and Mythopoeic Literature: forthcoming essay on the use of tarot in Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell — yes, yet another piece on that book so I suspect I may well end up writing a book about it.
Travel: after a break of [cough] years, I’ll be heading to Kalamazoo for the annual Medieval Congress. Looking forward to my first paper on Rauf Coilyear, one of my new obsessions. I feel a little sad because I think the last time I was at the ‘Zoo was when I got to hang out with Kathryn Fernquist Hinds, who died suddenly this week. Her husband Arthur has asked those honouring her memory to make donations in her name to Planned Parenthood or the ACLU. You might also want to read her books.
I hope to go to MAMO as well: this year it will be in Rome. We shall see. Finances always questionable — and of course, I need to get accepted! But a scheme afoot to catch up with Alexandra Bava naturally and Dan Curley who I think might be there as well in November.
[Fill in the elventy thousand things I have forgotten to mention or haven’t finished]
Oh, and I have more Edinburgh pictures to share: must remember to do so!
Here’s my year-end wrap-up, mostly so I don’t skate over accomplishments: it’s easy to feel like you haven’t done much when you don’t keep track. Of course there are things not on this list because they haven’t come out yet (Hire Idiots, Mangled, My Wandering Uterus) or because they don’t have tangible results (e.g. application for full professor, submissions to various things). But there is more than I thought:
Respectable Horror Fox Spirit Books, 2017.
“Madonna of the Wasps: Ch 3 – Swan.” The Blood Red Experiment vol 3, 31 Dec 2017.
“Do Anything You Wanna Do.” Spelk: 29 Dec 2017.
“Madonna of the Wasps: Ch 2 – Frost.” The Blood Red Experiment vol 2, 30 Nov 2017.
“Madonna of the Wasps: Ch 1 – Love.” The Blood Red Experiment vol 1, 31 Oct 2017.
“Spirits in the Night.” Short story. Spelk Fiction, 2 Jun 2017.
“Copped It.” A Twist of Noir. 27 Mar 2017.
“Repetition.” Short story. Spelk Fiction, 20 Feb 2017.
“These Toys are for Tough Boys.” Featured short story. Alibi-Fest.com, 5 Feb 2017.
“Chaucer and the Art of the Grift.” Empty Mirror 24 Nov 2017.
“Midwesterner in Exile.” Mystery Readers Journal 33.1 (Spring 2017): 51-2.
History Witch for Witches & Pagans:
What’s ahead in 2018? More of everything! I have many plans, of course. Not all of them are writing either. One cool thing I should mention: The SpeakEasy dames are happy to announce we’ll be curators for one week [Monday, February 6 – Sunday, February 11] of Ione’s Annual Dream Festival (23rd Annual). Go like their page to get in on the exploration of imagination.
Dream big! Chase that muse wherever it leads you —
I’m among the quoted writers in this piece at the Times Union (or is that TimesUnion as it appears to be on the website?). Are you NaNoWriMo-ing? Buddy me if you are. I am mostly doing this intense month of writing to make sure I finally get the draft done of my next Fox Spirit novel. Deadlines are always motivating.
I’m revising last year’s NaNoWriMo project and getting ready to send it out to gauge potential interest. Meanwhile I have ten thousand other things I ought to be doing, too. It’s always a juggling act.
Get ready to stay up late! Respectable Horror is out in the wilds and ready to be lured to your home. Ms Poppy LaMorte (our cover model designed by S. L. Johnson) will lead the way to a spectral crew of authors who are just dying to give you spine-tingling chills. This new collection offers names both familiar and new, writers who believe that it’s possible to terrify without more than a few drops of blood. The wind in the trees, the creak in the floor board, an innocent knock on the door: they’ll all take on a more sinister cast as you turn the pages of this book.
Introduction by K. A. Laity
The Estate of Edward Moorehouse by Ian Burdon
The Feet on the Roof by Anjana Basu
Spooky Girl by Maura McHugh
Recovery by H. V. Chao
The Holy Hour by C. A. Yates
Malefactor by Alan C. Moore
A Splash of Crimson by Catherine Lundoff
In These Rooms by Jonathan Oliver
A Framework by Richard Farren Barber
Running a Few Errands by Su Haddrell
Miss Metcalfe by Ivan Kershner
The Little Beast by Octavia Cade
The Well Wisher by Matthew Pegg
Where Daemons Don’t Tread by Suzanne J. Willis
Full Tote Gods by D. C. White
Those Who Can’t by Rosalind Mosis
The Astartic Arcanum by Carol Borden
Do serial killers, glistening viscera, oceans of gore and sadistic twists make you yawn behind a polite hand? Are you looking for something a little more interesting than a body count? These are tales that astonish and horrify, bring shivers and leave you breathless. You may be too terrified to find out what happens next – but you won’t be able to resist turning the page. We’ll make you keep the lights on. For a very long time.
BUY AMAZON IN (coming soon)
Fox Spirit Books items this week:
A terrific review for DRAG NOIR over at British Fantasy. It’s taking a while, but people are discovering this book that brings a unique twist on the noir genre:
What I like about the anthology is that K.A. Laity has taken the time out to make sure she has made her idea live up to the expectations of many noir and drag readers. She has literally had the authors featured here go into the minds of their characters to bring them to life with all their problems, shattered dreams, bad love lives.
Well done to all the writers in this collection: you stepped up to a challenge and brought stories that were fresh ans surprising.
I’ve also got a piece on the Fox Spirit blog today about the necessity of promoting your books. Drag Noir is a good case in point. It’s been a long term commitment, continuing to get the word out to people who don’t know about it but who will appreciate it when they do. People can’t read a book they don’t know about. Let your excitement be known.
And always check whether You Left Your Biscuit Behind.