Madame Death

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Gutter-Snipes & Fisticuffs

Glorious September 2023

The Book
Working on this book has been one of the hardest but also the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. Drawing will always be my first love, but historical research and writing narrative nonfiction is a whole other experience.

Someone said that once you really start getting deep into the bones and soul of the book, the book starts to write itself. I swear to god it feels like I am working on a ouija board because stuff just keeps showing up and it is like finding a stray jigsaw puzzle piece and then to find out, it fits perfectly.

An example would be lining everything up in hardcore chronological order. When you take primary sources for each different topic that is happening all at the same time, once they are lined up in order, a whole different story starts to emerge, and in that timeline I found a small opening between two dates. And then here...

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The Sacred and the Profane

Five Columbia River rocks engraved with the words:
Shirley Jackson Social Club MEMBER: 1948.
They feel good in the hand and have a nice heft.
I keep them near my writing desk for inspiration.

The Book
Medieval streets of Paris, the smell of Sakkârah, the sound of the River Seine, Solifuegae, Pennsylvania Avenue, New Orleans, the Five Points, the Tombs, the Bowery, Tattoos, Phrenology, Sailor’s Charms, Chatham Square, Georgetown, Julia Ward Howe, Egyptian Temples, Witness Trees, Manhattan, Blood …

I finally did a word count. Oh lord. Anyway.

Everything is good, actually better than I thought it would be. But I am still cutting, rewriting and double-checking my information. I did much of my research years ago, back when Google actually was a search engine and people still had websites.

There was so much incredible information, but now most of these websites have all but...

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