Another month has flown past on Tentaclii. A lush English springtime has been freshly unfurling below Tentaclii Towers, although it’s often been sunk in rain over the last few days. The migrating swifts arrived right on time, in terms of matching the timings of an old and authoritative local Natural Kalender from the 1850s, and the rest of nature has been swooping and chirping in delight under blue skies and generally ignoring the overheated doom-mongers. Of course I’m in inner-city Stoke-on-Trent, but you’d be surprised how rural it can get once you stray off the main roads and onto the canals, cycle-paths and all the ‘little ways through’ that weave through the urban grot-spots. Despite my occasional strolls through this alluring backdrop, 17,000 words were posted here during May 2019 for Tentaclii readers.
There have been some changes at Tentaclii, as you’ve likely noticed. As regular readers will know, I had made this blog wholly “Private”, for a few months. Then I was recently told that it would be better to switch the blog back to “Public”, but to make certain posts “Private” and seen only by my blog’s Followers/Viewers. That seemed a better all-round solution than a wholly “Private” blog, and a good halfway-house between “Public” and “Private”. Accordingly, I switched the blog back to “Public” a couple of weeks ago.
Sadly, it didn’t quite work as had been suggested. After a week back in the “Public” mode I found I had been a little mis-informed. After setting up some scheduled “Private” posts, I discovered these are only visible to a blog’s Admins and Editors. Not to my Followers/Viewers.
The fallback option was then to password-protect these posts, which a blogger is generously allowed to do in a free WordPress.com blog.
Thus, I’ve decided I’m keeping the blog generally “Public”, but each month some of my posts will now be password-protected and Patreon-only. I’ve contacted my Patreon Patrons accordingly, and they can get access to these special posts. (It should theoretically be a one-time entry of your password at Tentaclii, if you allow it to be stored locally in your Web browser). Tentaclii‘s general Followers/Viewers will see that there’s been a password-protected post — but won’t be able to access it without their password. Expect about eight to ten such posts per month. I’m not sure if the wider public and search-engines also get to see the headline for the password posts, but I suspect not.
This password option is not ideal, as it’s a bit clunky and may not always be seamless for my Patrons. But it’s better than placing the special posts over on Patreon, because that would break Tentaclii‘s searchability by keyword.
I’ll try to post a list of password-only posts, in my usual end-of-month round-up of Tentaclii activity. This month there were only a few Patreon-only posts…
(27th May) Neutaconkanut – site of Lovecraft’s last important summer walk. (new-found pictures).
(26th May) “Two pictures of places poignant to Lovecraft” (new-found photographs of Providence).
(23rd May) “Lincoln Woods explored” (700 words, map, many newly-found 1920s pictures of Lovecraft’s other favourite outdoor place in the city inc. his sitting-rock and the Druid stones as they were before the 1930s road works).
(20th May) “Inside the Providence Art Club” (a newly-found 1910s picture of the interior).
In terms of my other daily posts, the month of May has seen the usual Web links posted to art, music and audiobooks. A very pleasing small pen-and-ink portrait of Lovecraft was snagged from eBay, in an old fanzine. Several music-related posts were either substantial, or discovered artists currently doing serious work in Lovecraftian music. This has spurred me to re-install and update my old music software, so there may be more music-related posts over the summer and autumn. I’m pleased to find that it’s all a lot easier than it used to be, with VirtualMIDISynth for which I was very pleased to find a free soundfont emulator for my old Turtle Beach Montego II sound-card.
Picture-based tours relating to Lovecraft were taken to: the Salem Pioneer Village; Providence’s Italian Quarter; into Lovecraft’s boyhood railway worlds; and around the Providence of the sketch artist Whitman Bailey (1884-1954).
In keeping with the springtime mood, Providence’s parklands and verdant shorelines were surveyed and an extensive picture-based exploration of Lovecraft’s Seekonk was undertaken, building on my previous work on this. For my Patreon patrons this focus then ran on, being able to read new password-protected posts on the Lincoln Woods, Neutaconkanut and other leafy places Lovecraft knew, complete with many new photos recently found.
About a dozen relevant new and mostly scholarly books were noted, briefly evaluated where possible, and linked. My ‘Open Lovecraft’ page also saw a number of new additions of links to scholarly works.
Several possible new discoveries were made, including a possible picture of a 25 year-old Lovecraft in the Providence Public Library, and a new Lovecraft-era picture of the Providence Art Club interior. I also made the plausible surmise that “Dagon” partly originated in Lovecraft’s experience on the islands of the Seekonk, which expands and deepens the conclusion I had already reached on my earlier book essay (“In the hollows of memory : H.P. Lovecraft’s Seekonk and Cat Swamp”, in my Historical Context #4).
As a pop-cult bonus, I posted a long and annotated ‘view and skip’ viewing guide for ‘the Tennant years’ of the British TV show Doctor Who.
More daily posts, next month. Remember, a mere $1 a month as a Patreon supporter gives you access to the password-protected posts here!