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Howard Hughes and the Fiery Urea

I'm running about a half hour to an hour late today, and I have a lot of work to do. So, this will be short. It was rather hottish yesterday. We reached the low nineties. Same thing today, and I see we have a heat advisory for the afternoon. Mostly sunny.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,036 words on a new section of Black Helicopters and finished that bit. It is incredibly strange, but oddly comforting, returning to a text I wrote five years ago and adding to it. This new section is titled "Now[here] Man Saves/Damns the World (Albany, 12/20/12)."


Systems that move towards ever greater complexity become increasingly unstable, until massive and catastrophic failures are inevitable, on a degree impossible with simpler systems. The human genome, for example. The internet for another. We should cherish and foster and act to preserve simplicity whenever and however we are able. We should reject the cascading complexity forced upon us by corporations and high-tech gurus. Simple, mechanical machines work best, and they are easy to repair when the fail. We have trapped ourselves, like sheep, like cattle, like white rats, inside a labyrinth of exponentially increasing complexity, this internet of things, the data-mining snare, this constant nightmare of updates and more advanced devices. And a catastrophic failure is inevitable, soon. The 2016 election taught us that, if it taught is nothing else. DO NOT UPDATE. DO NOT UPGRADE.

"Certain things, they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one those big glass cases and just leave them alone." ~ J.D. Salinger


I haven't left the house in days.

Aunt Beast

6:41 p.m.
Sunny and hottish today. Currently, it's 83˚F. Frankly, I have trouble calling anything under 90˚F full-on hot, but Spooky disagrees.

You may have seen the Tor.com announcement regarding Black Helicopters* and a new novella set in the world of Agents of Dreamland and Black Helicopters. No? Well go read it. I'll still be here when you're done. That's what I've been working on the past three days (though Tor made the offer at the beginning of May, while I was still in Alabama). I'm adding three scenes to Black Helicopters. The version Tor releases next year will be the "Corrected, Expanded Definitive Text." As for the new novella, I know it involves a half-ghoul double agent of Albany turned serial killer, will be set after the 2016 elections, and will be titled (probably) The Tindalos Asset. So, there you go. The news.

The last two days, I've written only 863 words on one of the new sections for Black Helicopters. Trying to recapture the voice, the mood, the essence of a story I wrote in December 2012, it ain't easy.

Today, I hit 4,600 followers on Facebook.

Speaking of half ghouls, I returned to Second Life two nights ago, desperate for distraction and an anchor amid the chaos. Maybe SL can do it. I've spent to last two night creating a new avatar, Nell Snow (Elsbeth Idonnea Snow, see image below), the half-ghoul granddaughter of Isobel and Isaac Snow. My thanks to setsuled for all the help and patience. I'm not quite finished with her. The third nipple is missing, and the tail, and public hair. But I'm getting there.

Aunt Beast

10:54 p.m.

* This means I am not forced to release Black Helicopters as an ebook/PoD via Amazon.com. But yes, I will still be doing that with The Dry Salvages, I suppose. Eventually. Maybe. I really fucking hate the idea of going that route.

Howard Hughes in a Waiting Pattern

Sun today, but maybe rain later. This has been the rainiest damn summer since I came to Providence nine years ago. For now, it's 80˚F.

I am working. And I can talk about it as soon as Tor.com makes the announcement they're going to make sometime this week. The ghost story was shelved. It wasn't working, and there was just too much else to be written.

The next dental session is July 26th.

Yesterday, I returned to Second Life. We will see if that works out. Later, more David Lynch and then RP with setsuled.

Aunt Beast

12:36 a.m.
Sunny for the time being, currently 79˚F. We have some hope of going to the shore this evening, if the weather holds. It'll be the first time this summer.

A female 13th Doctor. It makes me glad.

Aunt Beast

4:46 p.m.
I have a headache this morning, but I slept better last night, and the sun came back yesterday afternoon. So, headache or not, this is a vast improvement over yesterday. Currently, it's 82˚F. Summer has come back.

There's work, just nothing I feel like discussing right now.

Aunt Beast

1:31 p.m.

Howard Hughes and the Same Day as Yesterday

Ugh, continued. This morning looked pretty much the same as yesterday, and currently it's only 71˚F, with the humidity at 81˚F. Still, the high yesterday on reached the mid sixties. We are promised sun by late afternoon. I hope they've gotten it right today. This is dismal.

I have photographic evidence, and, beyond that, I'm going to let yesterday wait until tomorrow.

Aunt Beast

11:28 p.m.


"...and unfurl this aching jib."

Ugh. Here we have March in the middle of July. For the past hour and forty-five minutes, since I got out of bed, the temperature has stubbornly stayed at 62˚F. But I might finally be getting warm. It's rainy, and the humidity is at 96%.

Toady, I have to see if I can save "Always Crashing in the Same Car." I can't give it many more days. I need to get to the next novella for Tor.com. And try to get the novel moving again. And work on the ms. for the Centipede Press 20th anniversary edition of Silk. And there's a list that I'm supposed to pull together, people to be invited to the reception at the Hay on the 16th of August. And, very soon, it will be time to write something for Sirenia Digest No. 138.


Aunt Beast (stranded in a century not her own)

10:33 a.m.

White Horses, Red Hills

A rainy day here in Providence. Currently, it's only 64˚F, and the humidity is 93%.

Back from the first of many dental visits. One tooth has been saved. And I feel pretty awful, so I'll say that I wrote 1,041 words yesterday on "Always Crashing in the Same Cars" and leave it at that. We'll see how I feel tomorrow.

Aunt Beast

3:30 p.m.

"And if I only could..."

Rainy, mostly cloudy today. Currently, the temperature is at 78˚F, the humidity at 85%.

And I'm not awake, because I slept, at most, only three hours. I don't know why. My insomnia has been mostly absent the last few months. But something set it off last night.

Yesterday, we disassembled the big iron canopy bed that I've slept in for twenty years now. For nine years it has been crammed into a room that's too small for it, and Spooky and I finally decided we'd rather have the space than the fancy bed. So, the bed will be stored in the basement until such time as we move away from here. Most of the afternoon was spent taking the bed apart, moving things around. But today I need to try and get back to the story, back to "Always Crashing in the Same Car," even though I'll just be interrupted again tomorrow. Because I have the dentist at 1 p.m.

I confess that I'm getting a little frustrated with Amazon customers who clearly do not understand that novellas are not novels, and that there's an art to the novella, that they are their own thing. I'm flattered that someone would want more, but it's wrongheaded to think it's a strike against a novella that there's not more. And, also, the people who seem to think that Agents of Dreamland is (as one reader wrote) "a prelude to a larger work." It isn't. There will be other novellas set in that world, and characters may recur, but that's a different matter. Agents of Dreamland is a self-contained story, whole and entire. On purpose.

Last night, we watched Wild at Heart (1990), which was, for a long time, one of my favorite films. When I lived alone, a million years ago, I had the movie poster on my bedroom wall. I had a pan-and-scan VHS copy I watched over and over. But Spooky and I had never seen it together, which means I'd not seen it in at least fifteen years. It's not the best of Lynch's films, but I still adore it. I do think it might be his gentlest film – excluding The Straight Story (1999) – despite all its violence. Later, I watched Mark Robson's The Harder They Fall (1956), a boxing film that also happened to be Humphrey Bogart's last movie.

I have far the fuck too many T-shirts, and I'm gonna raise a little money towards these dental bills by unloading about half of them on eBay. All sorts of T-shirts, some going back to the 1980s. Details TBA. I'll sign them if folks wish. Stay tuned.

Aunt Beast

2:17 p.m.
Cloudy. We had sun earlier. Earlier than that, we had torrential rain and a flood warning. Currently, it's 76˚F.

No writing yesterday, partly because I'm fighting with this story and partly because I just wasn't up to it. Today, I have to take apart a bed. Tomorrow, I'll write again. Also, tomorrow I finally get my fucking Vicodin. All the world will be a better place for that one thing alone.

Yesterday was pure wretched, wall to wall. I tried to spend part of it in 1946, but was only moderately successful.

Since my last trip to the dentist, on June 23rd, I've lost five pounds. That means I'm currently at 179. Hopefully, after Thursday's appointment, my mouth will be stable enough again that I can eat solid food and pack on some pounds before I have to deal with the actual extractions. The last time my weight dipped this low was the spring of 2008.

Last night, I watched Sam Peckinpah's Ride the High Country (1962).

I leave you with daisy fleabane, one of my favorite flowers.

Later Taters,
Aunt Beast

10:42 a.m.

Entry No. 5,045

Partly cloudy and 82˚F here in Providence.

There was no writing yesterday. The day went tits up without warning, and I lost the whole thing. The only thing about yesterday that wasn't shit was the new episode of Twin Peaks and the roleplay I got afterwards.

Gordon Cole is my spirit animal.

Aunt Beast

6:03 p.m.
Sunny today and cooler. Currently, it's only 78˚F, and our high today should be 85˚F. Yesterday, with the heat index, we made it past 90˚F. Of course, I didn't leave the house, so all I know of it is secondhand reports and what you can see through a window.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,224 words on what I'm, at least for now, calling "Always Crashing In the Same Car," which I hope will be the ghost story that I've been looking for since April.

Last night, we watched Blue Velvet (1986) for the first time in years. It is so near to being a perfect film, each shot seemingly composed with such exquisite care.

Aunt Beast

12:46 a.m.
Cloudy-ish and warmer today, after yesterday's torrential rains. Currently, it's 80˚F in Providence.

Yesterday, we drove back out to the Plainfield Pike causeway over the Scituate Reservoir, because this will be the setting for the ghost story. It was raining so hard we couldn't stop anyway. A heavy fog lay across much of the reservoir, and the water was the color of slate. We also drove a little farther south and across the Kent Dam (aka the Gainer Dam). You will recall I used the reservoir and its drowned villages for a story I wrote in April and May, "In the Flat Field."

Last night, I watched Lost Highway (1997) for the first time in many years. I still contend it may be Lynch's finest film.

Aunt Beast

1:51 p.m.
Somehow, though I was in bed just after 2:30 a.m., I hardly managed to sleep. It's such a grey day here in Providence that it may as well be night. Currently, it's rainy and 69˚F. There's a flash flood watch for this evening, but fuck it, we're on a hill.

Yesterday, I assembled Sirenia Digest No. 137, and it went out to subscribers in the afternoon.

Today, I need to begin the ghost story.

Later Taters,
Aunt Beast

7:56 p.m.
Cooler today, but sunny. Currently, it's only 74˚F, with the humidity at only 64%.

Yesterday, because of one thing and another, I did not make it to Yale. Maybe this weekend. Maybe next week. Mostly, I could not bear the though of the long interstate beneath that wide carnivorous sky. Or being out among people. It's my loss.

Today, I need to pull Sirenia Digest No. 137 together.

Spooky's having lunch with her sister and nephew.

She's been wanting to see David Lynch's Fire Walk With Me (1993) again, so that's what we did last night. I think Lil the Dancer is one of the most inexplicable things in the whole universe. Later, there was good RP with setsuled. And then Spooky and I started reading Mark Frost's The Secret History of Twin Peaks.

From yesterday's Facebook:

Basically, I want to wake up tomorrow and there be no internet. I want to wake up and discover that human beings have come to their senses and stepped back from this brink. I want, in ten years, for people to look back on social media as an ugly chapter of history and as a bullet we were all lucky enough to dodge. "Sure, there was Trump, but then we woke up." I want the return of stamps and postmarks and telephones without screens and texting. I won't get my wish, but that's my wish, regardless.

~ and ~

And yes, I am now fully embracing the title "Neo-Luddite." That is very much what I am.

Aunt Beast

11:13 p.m.

"Were they telling me to run?"

Sunny and blue today, currently 80˚F.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,250 words and finished "Fairy Tale of Wood Street." The total word count comes to 7,589 words. I'm fairly certain this is the best short story I've written in a long while. Maybe in years. It will be featured in Sirenia Digest No. 137, which will go out to subscribers later this week.

I think we're driving to New Haven today, to the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale. I need some time with the dinosaurs. I need some time in world, while it still exists. I need to be away from pixels and surrounded by the actual.

I think I've reached the point where I'm going to dump all social media (except my blog) and both my email accounts. If people want to contact me, they can call me or my agents or send a goddamn letter. The internet is quite literally on the verge of destroying the world (unless North Korea gets there first), and I no longer wish to be a part of it.*

Later Taters,
Aunt Beast

6:34 p.m.

*And don't give me any nonsense about how "the good outweighs the bad." It absolutely does not. "Or "it can also be a force for good." No, not really. Not at all. It can never hope to redeem itself for the evil that has been worked through it.
A sunny summer day. Currently, it's 81˚F.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,461 words on "Fairy Tale of Wood Street." I need to finish the story today. Then I have a ghost story to write.

If you want to understand how chaotic life has been around here since back before the trip to Alabama in April, you only need to know that yesterday both Kathryn and I forgot that July 3rd was our anniversary, that this July 3rd was our fifteenth anniversary. I only remembered late last night because an old blog entry reminded me. And that's the way things have been around here.

Happy birthday to my grandfather, Gordon Jasper Monroe Ramey. He'd have been one hundred and six today.


A sonnet for this 4th of July, the only 4th in my life – whether our president has been Democrat or Republican – that I have refused out of sorrow and protest not to celebrate. "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, the text laid in 1903 at the feet of the Statue of Liberty:

"Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

If we as Americans have decided this can no longer be true of our nation, that we wish to close the doors on refugees and immigrants, may we at least do so with respect and compassion and not as gutless, heartless, fearful bullies.


Last night we finished The OA. It's rare that I waffle on whether I really liked something or hated it. But this series has had that effect on me.By the next to last episode, I was so puking sick of it's New Age bullshit that I just wanted to whole thing to be over, but then most of the final episode won me over again. Still, no consensus on how I feel about the series. This morning, I finished reading Anansi Boys.

Aunt Beast

2:02 a.m.

Entry No. 5,038

Mostly sunny and sorta hot today, pretty much like yesterday. We should reach 90˚F.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,168 words on "Fairy Tale of Wood Street." This will actually be my second hulder story (skogsrå, ulda, etc.). I think one of the vignettes in one of the alphabets was a hulder story.

This morning was my last dose of antibiotic. Now, I have to hope everything in my mouth behaves itself until the first dentist appointment on the 13th.

Last night, we watched several more episodes of The OA. It's well done, and I like Brit Marling. She'd make a good Elenore Vance, I think. But, on the other hand, the touchy-feely, fuzzy-wuzzy New Age subject matter (and frequently tone) often rubs me the wrong way. My universe isn't one where benevolent angel goddesses send you back to get things right, because, after all, you're an angel. Of one sort or another. But I'm being patient was watching where the series goes.

I went out onto the front stoop for a few minutes yesterday. It was the first time I'd been outside since Thursday.

Aunt Beast

7:55 p.m.

Howard Hughes and the Hairy Tomato

Sunny and clear and 84˚F, with the heat index at 85˚F.

Yesterday, I did 1,180 words on "Fairy Tale of Wood Street." I hope to be able to finish it by Tuesday afternoon. And Spooky and I have to get to work on the ms. for the twentieth anniversary edition of Silk.

The mailman brought my contributor's copy of The Best of Subterranean, a massive volume with a Dave McKean cover, which includes my World Fantasy Award-winning story, "The Prayer of Ninety Cats."

Last night, we saw Bong Joon-ho's new film, Okja, which was brilliant and sad and horrible and joyful, all at once. The hippopotapig is my new favorite animal. And then we watched the first episode of The Mist TV series, which was wretched in just about every way anything on television can be wretched, and while I'll never get that forty-seven minutes back, at least the episode was free. And after that we started watching The OA, which I think has the potential to be very good. And then I RPed with stsisyphus and setsuled until a little after two a.m. And that was yesterday.

Later Taters,
Aunt Beast

5:47 p.m.


Which is really hard to believe, but here it is, July. Currently, it's 80˚F and the sky is mostly clear.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,411 words on "Fairy Tale of Wood Street."

During the afternoon, I finished a Star Wars movie poster jigsaw puzzle, and last night we watched Trainspotting 2, which I was afraid I wouldn't love, but which I loved quite a lot. I see people bellyaching about it not being as punk and subversive and edgy as the first film, and now I know they're full of shit. I suspected they were full of shit to begin with, but now I know. Also, people who use words like "subversive" and "edgy" with a straight face tend, on principle, to be full of shit.

"Choose life." "Choose life" was a well meaning slogan from a 1980's anti-drug campaign and we used to add things to it, so I might say for example, choose... designer lingerie, in the vain hope of kicking some life back into a dead relationship. Choose handbags, choose high-heeled shoes, cashmere, and silk, to make yourself feel what passes for happy. Choose an iPhone made in China by a woman who jumped out of a window and stick it in the pocket of your jacket fresh from a South-Asian firetrap. Choose Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and a thousand others ways to spew your bile across people you've never met. Choose updating your profile, tell the world what you had for breakfast and hope that someone, somewhere cares. Choose looking up old flames, desperate to believe that you don't look as bad as they do. Choose live-blogging, from your first wank 'til your last breath; human interaction reduced to nothing more than data. Choose ten things you never knew about celebrities who've had surgery. Choose screaming about abortion. Choose rape jokes, slut-shaming, revenge porn, and an endless tide of depressing misogyny. Choose 9/11 never happened, and if it did, it was the Jews. Choose a zero-hour contract and a two-hour journey to work. And choose the same for your kids, only worse, and maybe tell yourself that it's better that they never happened. And then sit back and smother the pain with an unknown dose of an unknown drug made in somebody's fucking kitchen. Choose unfulfilled promise and wishing you'd done it all differently. Choose never learning from your own mistakes. Choose watching history repeat itself. Choose the slow reconciliation towards what you can get, rather than what you always hoped for. Settle for less and keep a brave face on it. Choose disappointment and choose losing the ones you love, then as they fall from view, a piece of you dies with them until you can see that one day in the future, piece by piece, they will all be gone and there'll be nothing left of you to call alive or dead. Choose your future, Veronika. Choose life.

~ Mark "Rentboy" Renton

11:53 a.m.


Mostly cloudy and currently 77˚F.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,136 words on something I'm calling "Fairy Tale on Wood Street," which will replace "Three Monsters Walk Into a Bar" in Sirenia Digest No. 137. It's off to a good start. And then I did some corrections on my introduction to the Centipede Press edition of The Haunting Hill House and sent it away to Jerad Walters. At 4 p.m., I had a meeting at the Hay with Christopher Geisler, to start planning the CRK Papers exhibit. It looks as if the reception will probably be held the evening of August 16th at the Hay, just before Necronomicon starts. So, it was a good work day. I haven't had a lot of those lately.

Last night, we watched the first four episodes of Z: The Beginning of Everything, the Zelda Fitzgerald biopic thing, and it's better than I expected.

I have a photograph of a magnolia outside the Hay. There are so few magnolias up here. There one of the things I miss the most.

Aunt Beast

4:40 p.m.


4:23 p.m.


10:54 p.m.

"Saying, 'everything is broken.'"

Mostly cloudy here, and currently it's 68˚F.

I think I have decided I have to set aside "Three Monsters Walk Into a Bar" and try to come back to it at the end of July. The tooth drama, being sick from the antibiotics, other stuff have have conspired to throw me off, and I need to get some distance between it and myself. I need to get something finished for Sirenia Digest No. 137. Though I may also include what has been written on the story thus far in that same issue.

God, I want my old motivation and energy back, the sort of motivation and energy I had back as recently (and as long ago) as 2010 and the first half of 2011, before the chaos and disappointments and bullshit of Dark Horse and Quinn and the movie deal and the screenplay for The Red Tree and the Gabapentin and all the rest of it happened to me. And now these rotten goddamn teeth. Before all that, I had the work ethic of a goddamn Puritan. Before all that, I could write two goddamn novels in a year.* Well, I did that just the once, but still.

Yesterday, I received a very nice letter from the John Hay Library, and with it my copy of the deed of gift for my papers. The letter describes them as "Twenty-Three Linear Feet of Manuscript Materials, Including Correspondence Journals, Manuscripts, and Publications, Circa 1970-2015**, In Print, Electronic, and Web-Based Formats." Really, twenty-three feet? Damn.

Last night, I finally saw the season finale of RuPaul's Drag Race, and I was very pleased that Sasha Velour won. It was such a lackluster season, but there at the end, Sasha really shone. I've got this weird thing with the show. My favorite has won every year since Season Three. If only I had that sort of luck with presidential candidates.

Later Taters,
Aunt Beast

11:22 a.m.

* That would be The Drowning Girl: A Memoir and Blood Oranges.
** That should read 1970-2017.
A partly cloudy day. Currently, it's 75˚F.

I find myself looking at the ten pages that are all that currently exists of "Three Monsters Walk Into a Bar," thinking, How did I get so far behind again? Why have I not already finished this? And I actually have to remind myself that it might have been the agonizing pain in my face and the sleepless nights and the dentist and...so forth. But the fact remains that I've lost a lot of days, and I have to get back into the swing of it, which currently I am not in. I'm going to lose a lot more days in July, once the tooth extractions and tooth reconstructions and such begin. That said, the antibiotics seem to be working. I'm mostly out of pain now.

Yesterday, we went to the storage unit in Pawtucket, and I retrieved my ancient (which is to say, circa 2011) gaming laptop, Zoe. I put her away in December, on the 12th of December, to be precise, thinking I was likely done with her. But I think I'm going to have a go at Secret World Legends, reviving some of my old characters, like Nell Snow and India Onnalee Shore.

Last night's episode of Twin Peaks was absolutely and utterly fucking brilliant. Imagine if James Whale had made 2001: A Space Odyssey as a 1950s "big bug" alien invasion SF film from a script by David Lynch, and...it was sort of like that. Some of the most gorgeous cinematography of Lynch's career, I think. And, I believe, we were just handed a sort of Rosetta Stone for the entire story. We may watch the episode again tonight.

Aunt Beast

3:33 p.m.

"Up to the platform of surrender..."

Sunny today, which it turned out to be most of yesterday. Currently, it's 79˚F, and we're supposed to go to 86˚F. Because Ernest Hemingway said to write about the weather.

All of yesterday's work was spent trying to find the story within the story, with "Three Monsters Walk Into a Bar," and I didn't find it.

I tend to prefer to accompany posts with only one photo, but today I have two. I can do that, you know. It's not like someone's keeping score.

Later Taters,
Aunt Beast

6:39 p.m.

6:37 p.m.

Entry No. 5,029

Rainy today. The temperature is supposed to reach 89˚F, but it's rainy, as I just said, and at 10:39 a.m. it's still only 72˚F. So, perhaps you will understand my skepticism.

Happy birthday, Spooky!

I feel much, much better today. The amoxicillin is doing its job, and it helps that I passed out at 2 a.m. and got six and a half solid hours of sleep. The bad molar it still a little sensitive, but it's already better. The plan is to make it through the ten days of antibiotics, then have the two rotten upper premolars dealt with (right side), then deal with the upper left wisdom tooth that has to come out. Maybe, I'll be done with all of this by mid July. My grateful thanks to everyone who has extended a helping hand.

Today, I have to get back to work on "Three Monsters Walk Into a Bar."

Last night, we watched most of the first season of a new Netflix series, GLOW. This morning, I began reading Anansi Boys, which I actually never have read.

Aunt Beast

9:40 a.m.

Howard Hughes Rots

I might have slept two hours, all told. There was just too much pain in my face. I got Spooky up at 9 a.m., and we made an emergency dental appointment for me. And all the hours later half my face is numb, and I know that the roots of one of my wisdom teeth (yes, I have all four, at age 53) is pretty much inside one of my sinus cavities. I've been put on amoxicillin, and when the infection is better, and the agony abates some, I have to go to an oral surgeon to have to tooth cut out. Oh, and there are other rotten teeth, but most of the pain right now is coming from the molar. Also, it seems to be the cause of my tinnitus on that side. The appointment was $300; I have no idea how I'll pay for the rest of it. But that's how my Friday began. I'm going to rest today and hope I can work tomorrow, hope that I can sleep tonight.

I dreamt, in one of those brief sleeps, of standing on the plains out west, tall brown grass, and I had a seizure. And then I was looking at sepia photographs of a Tyrannosaurus rex collected in the early 20th century by the South Dakota School of Mines. I was last in South Dakota in 1985.

Last night, we finished watching American Gods – for the second time.

It's sunny today. Currently, it's 84˚F.

Aunt Beast

6:40 p.m.
Sunny and a blue sky today, 77˚F at the moment. We should reach 82˚F. And here is the first day of summer.

Yesterday, I didn't actually write much of anything. I'm trying to find the story inside the story, inside "Three Monsters Walk Into a Bar," because it's that sort of a story. A story about someone telling a story, a story the Signalman is telling. I may have found it. I hope I have.

I went with Spooky over to the East Side when she went out to do errands. I needed to go by Blick on Wickenden Street to get a new Moleskinne notebook, because I finally filled up the one I'd been using since 2013. We went to Whole Foods, then back home.

This morning I finished my re-read of American Gods.

I have this, which I posted yesterday to Facebook:

Okay, so I have been told I can tell *this,* a third of the secrets: In August, the John Hay Library at Brown University will be presenting a small exhibit showcasing the Caitlín R. KIernan Papers. There will be a reception/presentation at the library, and I think it's going to be during Necronomicon (but I'm waiting for specifics). I'll post more details when I have them. I'm meeting next week with Hay's librarian for American and British Literary and Popular Culture Collections, to work out details.

As the Brits say, I am chuffed. But it's very weird, too, you know?

Aunt Beast

6:54 p.m.
Sunny and warm today, the longest day of the year, Summer Solstice 2017, an inherently pagan observance with a date from a Christian calendar. This is my best day, always, the longest day of the year. The day that is least mine, that's the winter soltice, the shortest day of the year. Currently, it's 81˚F here in Providence. Midsummer and the first day of summer. A particle and a wave.

It would save us so much trouble if we just admitted that the line drawn between that we call pagan (or heathen) and that which we call Christian is an artificial dichotomy. Christianity is only another iteration of the Corn King, the dying-and-reviving god, just like Osiris, Adonis, Attis, Tammuz, Dionysus, et al. – John Barleycorn made divine. I mean, yeah, it's not like this is a secret, some grand revelation. Frazer shouted it in twelve volumes. But the continuing dichotomy annoys me.

I've been babying my sinuses, and I feel much better than yesterday. I slept well last night. But yesterday's discomfort allowed me to write only 530 words (and some rewriting) on "Three Monsters Walk Into a Bar." And I signed the aforementioned Everville signature sheets. And I rested a lot. Late, Spooky and I went to Olneyville, to La Lupita for tacos and burritos, soft food. Near sunset, we had a long walk at Dexter Training Ground. That was pretty much yesterday.

Well, that was the stuff I can talk about. As I posted to Facebook last night, I'm suddenly sitting on three big pieces of news, and it could be weeks before I can talk about any of it. And I hate that.

Later Taters,
Aunt Beast

6:55 p.m.

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