Tag Archives: BRIMSTONE RHINE

On Death and A Certain Kind of Bravery

aqua-notes-homeI have several friends who have their best story ideas in the shower. I’m not of these. Usually in the showers, I sing. Or recite poetry. Shorter poems are perfect for timing how long to leave conditioner in my hair.

Arp. That’s weird, isn’t it? IT DIDN’T SEEM WEIRD TILL I WROTE IT DOWN! Yes! YES, I RECITE “LITTLE SALLY AND THE BULL FIDDLE GOD” whilst PERFORMING ABLUTIONS! I CONFESS! MEA CULPA!

The shower gods hear all and forgive. They know that if I don’t remember to recite every now and again, I forget ALL MY BEST RHYMES. Tragic.

Walks, on the other hand?

GREAT for story-generating, or for fixing story problems. (Walks are just great in general.)

…Except I don’t usually take my phone or a notebook and pen with me on walks, so sometimes things are lost unless I repeat them over and over to myself for safekeeping.

But that’s not really what I wanted to talk about. What I MEANT to write is that I had this thought in the shower just now. Or, right after actually, as I combed out my recalcitrant hair. (Tangles, thy name is Legion.)

It was all about when people die and what is said about them after. How bizarre it sometimes gets, in a Facebook culture, wherein a bunch of people who may or may not have a glancing acquaintance with you feel they must weigh in on your death, have an opinion, spare a few seconds to acknowledge it–at least give it equal importance to a Sesame Street Meme. Sort of the way near-strangers suddenly remember you on your birthday? An obligatory ritual chiming in. I’m not saying it’s BAD. Just… bizarre.

I mean, the Victorians were bizarre too. And then there was that whole thing with the Russ, and cutting up dogs and horses and throwing them in the tent with the deceased, so maybe death rites were always dire…

I wondered, idly, as I combed my wet hair, what might be said about me. How it would be the people who knew me least who would feel the most compelled to say something. How these would all be surface observations, or obvious inferences about my personality derived from my own compulsive daily Facebook updates–which are, as anyone who knows me can tell you, only a very specific slice of my personality. Not insincere, but benign and accessible. How, if you created my obituary solely out of what might be inferred from my updates, this would read as benign and sincere and accessible, and perhaps vapid. You know? Who can say?

Who would step up, I wonder, and tell people that they loved me, that they were mad I was dead, but that in life, goddamn it, I was sometimes a monster?

That I had a monster’s sense of humor. That I was too detached and too dreamy and too privileged to fight for radical change. That I was particular and finicky about things like styrofoam and slimy spinach. That I clenched my hands when I made my way through crowds, and grew petulant at the thought of going to parties (even if I LOVED the people throwing them), and that sometimes I drank milk that was a little off, and laughed about it and called myself “PUNK ROCK” which is funny because it is SO NOT TRUE.

How my clothes were mostly safety pins and yards of glittery fabric for most of my teens. How in my thirties they were mostly gifts or procured cheaply from thrift stores. How writing sometimes felt like carving cement with my teeth, and how sad and angry and small NOT WRITING FAST ENOUGH constantly made me feel, and how I comforted myself with delusions of grandeur and spoke in invented accents until my friends looked at my with a hard mix of irritation and alarm and how I was vain and confused and not as smart as I wanted to be, how greedy I always was for more, how I tried to prepare for my death by thinking about it all the time, like that Gaston Leroux line, “Talking of Death, I must sing his requiem…”

I bet Patty Templeton would step up. Or Stephanie Shaw. They would step up, tell the truth about me, and say: “For all she was a monster, she was my monster, and it sucks that she’s dead.”

Laphams-Quarterly-Death-IssueAnd some of my other wholly dear and deep friends would feel my death just as keenly, but be beyond all words about it.

But mostly, it’d be hundreds of one-liner consolations straight out of a Hallmark bereavement card.

And that’s as it should be. This weird, wonderful world.

OH!

But off the topic of honest obituaries (sort of), there is a GREAT issue of Lapham’s Quarterly I’ve been reading on DEATH, and it is FALL 2013, Volume VI, Number 4, and totally worth your time.

And that’s about as far as I got. My hair was combed and braided and I had managed to put on some clothes. Then it was time to write.

I think I want to write my brother a song about hydroponic poison gardens. And update the Indiegogo stuff. I recorded an EP this weekend, did I tell you? No? Well. Next entry then.

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The Latest from Brimstone Rhine

Hallo, all!

Some good news! And a few alterations to my best-laid schemes. Perhaps making them even BETTER LAID. (I am omitting the first bad joke that sprang to mind just now.)

1. By the end of tomorrow, I should have ALL EIGHT SONGS (mixed and all!) of the EP Alecto! Alecto!

2. Then I have to REALLY QUICKLY send a link to all my backers of that level with their DELICIOUS DIGITAL REWARD so you get that FIRST OF ANYONE!

3. Then–if there is time–SUPER EVEN MORE QUICKLY make a Bandcamp thingy (how does one DO THAT???) so that I can have the songs up and ready for download next weekend at READERCON, where I will be doing a WEE CONCERT!!!

4. I had a thought… I’d like to release not only the songs as they are, but a whole set of the songs Music-Minus-One (without my voice singing, ie karaoke-style tracks) on Bandcamp. Kind of like a bonus? Do you think folks would like that?

5. I have to figure out Amazon and iTunes too, but I’m not in AS much of a hurry to do that.

 

6. Re: The Headless Bride (some changes to plan)
My collaborator Glenn Kendzia is (unlike Brimstone Rhine) a for-real-and-true rockstar, and he’s got some recording and touring of his own to do with his awesome band Wild Sun coming up. Life is white-hot for him right now, and we both thought it best if I snag another collaborator for the next EP. To THAT END…

7. MY AWESOME BROTHER JEREMY COONEY has already gotten scratch melodies down for most of The Headless Bride, and I should be receiving those this weekend too. I’ll fly him out to the East Coast in a month or so to help me record. I have collaborated with him before (if you all remember the little video of Mockingbird and Kestrel girl I posted earlier in the campaign), and he’s splendid to work with. Really good, really fast.

8. Re: REWARDS
I know I’ve been a bit slower than I wanted to be about these. I still have several songs to write for folks, and I’m figuring out the most efficient way to get the album cover art to the people who backed at that level. I think I’ll wait till we have the hard copy of the CD as well, so I can send it all together in one SWELL FOOP of postage.

9. If any of you backed at the Ebooks level and have NOT received those rewards, please drop me a line! Everyone should have gotten those by now!

10. THANK YOU KINDLY FOR YOUR PATIENCE!!! Still figuring out how to do all of this for the first time. I have so much help and such a great community, but I still must endure my own learning curve!

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Brimstone and Bone Swans!

1. COVER ART FOR 2 DIGITAL EPs and 1 CD is a THING!!!

ALECTO! ALECTO!  (Digital EP Art)

ALECTO! ALECTO!
(Digital EP Art)

The Headless Bride (Digital EP art)

The Headless Bride
(Digital EP art)

BRIMSTONE RHINE (CD JEWELCASE ART 2 EPs Combined!)

BRIMSTONE RHINE
(CD JEWELCASE ART
2 EPs Combined!)

1a. GRANT JEFFERY IS AMAZING!!!

1b. AREN’T THEY PRETTY! I DIIIIIEEEE!!!

1c. AAAAAAUUUGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

1d. RECORDING IS GOING REALLY WELL. All eight songs from ALECTO! ALECTO! should be finished by the end of June! Then we start work on the HEADLESS BRIDE!!!

1e. And VERY SOON, I’m gonna try to set me up some BANDCAMP!!!

2. MY BOOK BONE SWANS IS COMING OUT NEXT MONTH!!! AT READERCON!!!

Bone_Swans_mockup_ALT-1

2a. AND PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY GAVE IT A STARRED REVIEW!!!

“Cooney’s brilliantly executed collection of five stories is a delicious stew of science fiction, horror, and fantasy, marked by unforgettable characters who plumb the depths of pathos and triumph. In ‘Life on the Sun,’ sacrifice and rebirth are explored in a fantastical desert where future tech and wizardry mingle, as a mystical pharaoh-like figure forces a young rebel fighter to stoically embrace her fate. Children bravely battle to survive an adult-free, post-apocalyptic Earth in ‘The Big Ba-Ha,’ even though they know their demise—hungrily anticipated by the ghoulish creatures that now share their world—is inevitable. In the title story, a macabre fairy tale told by a wisecracking lovesick rat, the Pied Piper exacts revenge on an ogre-enthralled village that’s guilty of the grisly extermination of shape-shifting swans. Cooney’s magical prose elicits laughter even as gruesome scenes induce shudders, and her expert pacing breathlessly buoys the reader to each story’s conclusion. All of these stories could easily serve as the foundation for novels while also working beautifully at their current length. These well-crafted narratives defiantly refuse to fade from memory long after the last word has been read.”

2b. AND LOCUS MAGAZINE LIKED IT TOO!

“Writing without ostentation and featuring characters who may be flippant, terse, or even tongue-tied, Cooney produces memorable prose propelled by extraordinary ideas…Faced with such twisted genius, I’ll say no more!”

2c. The book launch is at READERCON! I asked for a reading! I hope to see you there.

(But if you’re not, I’ll try to have an AWESOME BOOK RELEASE PARTY LATER IN JULY SOMEWHERE IN THE VICINITY OF MY HABITATION!)

THAT’S ALL FOR NOW!

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