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Ellen Ripley 1
A blustery, chilly day here in Providence. It's only 50˚F out there, though at least we have the sun.

A question yesterday, via email. A reader writes:

Quick silly question for you in regards to "Tears Seven Times Salt"....Is it just "Tears Seven Times Salt" or is it supposed to have a comma like this: "Tears Seven, Times Salt."

No comma. The title comes from Hamlet (Act 4, Scene 5):

Laertes: O heat, dry up my brains! tears seven times salt,
Burn out the sense and virtue of mine eye!

---

Yesterday was spent in a mad flurry of research, getting myself ready to write "The Maltese Unicorn," which I have some hope of beginning today. Though, it's still not clear to me whether the story takes place in the early thirties or the mid forties, and, obviously, which makes a big difference to how this thing will feel. Is America nearing the end of WWII or the end of Prohibition? And other story elements are very much in flux. Nathaniel Adler became Natalie Beaumont yesterday. And I have to settle the question of whether or not the "demon brothels" are brothels run by demons or brothels featuring demons that have been summoned and forced to act as whores for humankind. Offhand, the latter has more dramatic tension. As yet, I have no clear supporting cast. Sets are ill-defined. It is very odd, publicly revealing these acts of story-building. It seems indecent.

Late yesterday, we got the news that a young humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) was found floating in Harbor of Refuge. Some awful irony there. No word yet what killed it. The corpse has been taken to Mystic Aquarium for dissection/autopsy:



The news cast a bit of a pall over the evening. We had Chinese takeaway for dinner, and watched the Coen Bros. Miller's Crossing (1990), Otto Preminger's Laura (1944), and then, for some reason, H. Bruce Humberstone's exceedingly silly I Wake Up Screaming (1941; pretty sure the title was pulled from a hat).

And that was yesterday.

Comments

( 12 comments — Have your say! )
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
May. 9th, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)

Very odd for you but very interesting for me.

There's always the fear that, by going into these details, I'm boring anyone who bothers reading this blog.
nykolus
May. 9th, 2010 06:37 pm (UTC)
hardly bored. very much interested. thanks for sharing.
martianmooncrab
May. 9th, 2010 06:52 pm (UTC)
its sad to see a dead whale.

Unicorn

well, if it was during Prohibition, you could have the horn turn water into booze, or perhaps light cigarettes... Demon brothels sounds like some interesting interconnected stories... just beware of the piano player.
greygirlbeast
May. 9th, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC)

its sad to see a dead whale.

Yes, it is.

you could have the horn turn water into booze,

Only, unicorn horn was purported to do just the opposite, purifying toxic substances.
martianmooncrab
May. 9th, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC)
thats just what we are told... who knows what really goes on in a Unicorn's horn? They are to be powerful talismans and ingrediants, so, I would think the will of the Unicorn would be something special indeed. War Unicorns for instance, they would be larger, and their horns stronger.
greygirlbeast
May. 9th, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC)

War Unicorns for instance, they would be larger, and their horns stronger.

War unicorns? No, no, no. For the unicorn part of the story, I'll be sticking fairly close to actual Medieval lore regarding unicorns.
martianmooncrab
May. 9th, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC)
*very cool*
sovay
May. 10th, 2010 01:54 am (UTC)
And I have to settle the question of whether or not the "demon brothels" are brothels run by demons or brothels featuring demons that have been summoned and forced to act as whores for humankind.

One of each? Hence animosity?
slothman
May. 10th, 2010 04:22 am (UTC)
If it’s during Prohibition, the brothels might serve an all-too-literal “demon rum”.
tinkbell
May. 10th, 2010 01:38 pm (UTC)
I like the idea of competing brothels, demon or not, and what kinds of tension might brew there, within and between the two. Were they connected once and split, and how active or malicious or understandable is their rivalry? Do they brew special perfume and have trade secrets? Are they like gangs, with particular outfits? (Unfortunately me knowledge of gangs comes from "The Warriors"). Any idea that raises so many questions is very compelling, and probably a challenge, since I assume that you have to not only frame the problems but find solutions.
nullmode
May. 10th, 2010 05:14 pm (UTC)
Ugh..poor whale. I don't mind you sharing this sort of thing at all, please keep doing so. On of the things that i find really refreshing is your concern for things like this and the fact that it never sounds like a sound bite. You really 'do' care and it shows.

On a better note, Niel has listed 'The Red Tree' as a favorite on Audible. I'm working my way through everything of yours there. I have been an Audible customer from nearly the beginning and waited paitiently for your work to make it on there. I have to ask though..Where is Silk? I'm assuming there is some sort of contractual issue holding it up, but will there ever be an audio version?
alvyarin
May. 10th, 2010 06:56 pm (UTC)
Forget the unicorn, I'm really excited to hear more about these demon brothels. ;)

( 12 comments — Have your say! )