Lake of Earth is a fiction collection from Caketrain Press. It was chosen by Michael Kimball as the runner-up in their annual chapbook competition. You can purchase it from Caketrain, Barnes and Noble, Powell’s or Amazon.
The book contains seven stories. Four of them (“Treatment,” “Five Cities,” “This Is How We Move Through Homes,” and “Characteristics of Aberrational Cultic Movements“) have been published before. “Wife of Elijah,” “Lake of Earth,” and “The Lake, The Other Lake, And All The Blood Gone Out Of Him,” have not, although a small section of “Lake of Earth” did appear at elimae. Many thanks to the editors who first accepted these stories.
Jac Jemc aptly described the book: “People shift between consciousness and un-, spaces appear and disappear, object transubstantiate, and all the while people are trying to share and reconcile and concern all the realities with each other. The tensions comes in determining how long the tether can hold between connection and confusion, recognition and division.” Brandon Hobson said, “I think it’s a terrific and daring book,” and it’s “full of intense, stark prose.” Robert Kloss called me “relentless” in my “depiction of the strange,” and Michael Kimball said, “it’s easy to get lost in these bright fictions.” Kim Gek Lin Short called the book, “writing with muscle memory, a seance of stark, and narrative so seamlessly soldered it maintains body temperature bloodlessly.”
The title story is about the Goddess Diana, James Frazer’s The Golden Bough, despots, gender-based violence, the moon, royal succession, and why you don’t fuck with old gods. In its infancy it was a choose-your-own-adventure type of thing, which was a terrible idea.
When I started writing the story “Lake of Earth,” I was listening to the Blackout Beach album Skin of Evil, and it became a major influence on the piece. By the time I was finishing it, their album Fuck Death was released, and that had its own impact. Other musical points of reference: Loscil, Endless Falls; Tim Hecker, Ravedeath, 1972; Simon Scott, Below Sea Level; Lawrence English, The Peregrine; Destroyer, Trouble in Dream; Benoit Pioulard, Lasted; Jonny Greenwood, There Will Be Blood OST. You can read more about the musical influences of the piece at Largehearted Boy.
The bulk of the writing was done in Denver, although the first draft of “This Is How We Move Through Homes” was written in the back of a car outside of Sacramento. Some edits were done in Paonia, Colorado.
Here are some statistics on the collection.
Thanks to Caketrain editors Amanda Raczkowski and Joseph Reed for their careful edits and meticulous design of the book, as well as Michael Kimball for selecting the manuscript. I am humbled by all of this.