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"Motel sprees, and I'm singing."

The perpetual daylight hangs on, but after the weeks of UV hell, it's a relief. A good long rain last night. A solid week of that and our drought would be lessened. Currently, it's 67˚F in Providence.

Yesterday was another day spent mostly pulling together the last bits of Beneath an Oil-Dark Sea. I chose the pages from Alabaster that will appear in the limited edition, and Kathryn got high-resolution scans from Steve Lieber. So, I have pretty much all the artwork on hand. My absolute deadline for everything that will appear in the book is the 15th, so it's gotten a little hairy here at the end. We still have to get the author's photo taken.

In the evening, Josh Boone called and we spent an hour or so talking about the screenplay for The Red Tree (and a small bit about The Drowning Girl). As I said last night on Facebook, during the conversation I distilled The Red Tree into one sentence: "A haunted woman learns the secret history of a haunted place." In a nutshell. I've pretty much tossed out everything I've done on the screenplay so far, and I'm starting from scratch. This is pretty much terra incognita.

It looks as if we'll be heading back to Woodstock for two weeks, the second half of October. Hopefully, I'll have the first draft of the screenplay finished by then. Oh, yeah. This is something I have to write in drafts. Another first for me.

Last night we watched Solaris (2002) and Jacob's Ladder (1990). I'm revisiting some of my favorite films. Tonight, I think I'll go with Miller's Crossing (1990) and Blue Velvet (1986).

“There is no such thing as ‘was’ - only ‘is.’ If ‘was’ existed, there would be no grief or sorrow.” ~ William Faulkner

Aunt Beast

"I live like a worm."

Cloudy and cooler today. The last couple of days have been brutal. Yesterday, the temperature in the middle parlour reached 86˚F. And the temperature in Providence on Tuesday climbed to 97˚F, with a heat index well over 100˚F. There was a little rain last night, but the drought continues.

I've sorta been working. Yesterday, I typed up a bunch of the corrections to the ARC of Beneath an Oil-Dark Sea, but stopped when the heat in my office made me woozy. A wonderful word, "woozy." And there's been email. And talking through screenplay stuff. And this afternoon I'm talking with Josh Boone before I make the big push to immerse myself in The Red Tree again. I just emailed my agent to tell her that we need to talk very soon about Interstate Love Song, because, as I said to her, I'm getting very anxious that it's been more than three years now since I've released a novel under my own name.

Night before last, swamped by a sudden fit of nostalgia, I logged into World of Warcraft for the first time since May 5, 2014. A rolled a new character, a blood elf warlock named Nillishna, and so far I've played her to level seventeen. There's nine hours I'm never getting back. And so it goes.

From Facebook:

I just heard the news that National Geographic has been sold to Rupert fucking Murdoch. I've been a subscriber since 1996. I'll not be renewing my subscriber. What the fucking fuck? (September 9)

~ and ~

Dear Blizzard (World of Warcraft): Please note that "Enable Twitter functionality" and "Enable Twitter" mean EXACTLY THE SAME GODDAMN THING...and the latter avoids an utterly odious "word." (September 9)

~ and ~

I can't help but feel that, in a very real sense, prose fiction is dead, that the 20th Century was its glorious last hurrah. And now we're all writing eulogies and footnotes. (September 9)

~ and ~

So far, the most difficult part of adapting The Red Tree as a screenplay might be my longstanding, strong disdain for reading my own work. Over and over. And over. And over.

~ and ~

“I never reread what I've written. I'm far too afraid to feel ashamed of what I've done.” ~ Jorge Luis Borges (September 9)

~ and ~

Honestly, I don't know if I can possibly survive another trip through horrid The Red Tree audiobook. I truly hate it. Sarah sounds like Pam Swynford de Beaufort and Constance is vapid and chipper. THIS is why audiobooks should be read, not dramatized. (September 7)

And then...

Aunt Beast

"...because rust never sleeps..."

The heat is back. Currently, it's 92˚F in Providence, with a heat index of 102˚F. The humidly is at 43˚F.

I'm trying to punch my way back into the screenplay for The Red Tree, which means, it turns out, tossing out some of what I've already done. Belatedly, I realize that the proper way of doing this may be setting the novel aside. The film cannot be the novel. The film will be a reimagining, as they say, and while it will very closely follow the narrative of the novel, it has to be allowed to become it's own thing. For example, most of the dialogue in the novel won't, I think, work onscreen. And there actually isn't that much dialogue in the book. So, one of the tricks here is to go coax new conversations from Sarah and Constance.

We're trying to decide if we're going to tough out the heat in the house today, or it we're going to head for the John Hay Library. I wouldn't be able to write there. I'd have to settle for proofreading Houses Under the Sea: Mythos Tales. If we are going, I need to spend an hour of so beforehand making the final decision about which Vince Locke illustrations that will be appearing in the limited edition of Beneath an Oil-Dark Sea. There will be ten, along with two by Rick Kirk and a few pages by Steve Lieber (from Alabaster).

It's kinda warm in my office. I need to go splash water on my head.

Aunt Beast

Howard Hughes and the Big Nothing

Probably the worst pain day I've had in quite a while. The Vicodin* supply is low, so I'm settling for Tylenol. I hardly slept. I have to try to wake up and clear my muddled head. Right now, the pain is a sheet of wet cheesecloth covering my face. I think it's wet with gasoline.

I've not been working. I've been dithering, fretting, worrying, wasting. Wasting time and everything else. It has to stop, and it has to stop today. There's a mountain of work in front of me. The screenplay has to be written. There's all manner of editing to be done. There's no time for this.

The days have smeared together.

I have a few notes from Facebook:

And suddenly I am very much wishing to visit Dublin again. I haven't been since April 1996, when Billy and I spoke at Trinity College. I'd spend a week eating, drinking, and buying sweaters.

~ and ~

There are few things more frustrating than having a great title and no story that fits it. This happens fairly often.

~ and ~

Far too much of my work the last three years seems to come down to stunt writing. Jumping through hoops. Pulling rabbits out of hats. Gimmickry. Et cetera. This is what has to end. Well, one thing that has to end. (And FB doesn't know how to spell "et cetera.")

~ and ~

Honestly, "Interstate Love Song," written last July (or June?)** is the last thing I wrote that was worth a damn.

I loathe Facebook. I genuinely do. I loathe the way I've begun to transplants the brief comments I make there to here, often in place of attempting a more thoughtful entry consisting of, you know, paragraphs. It's lazy.

And speaking of FB, here is the most perfect example of one sort of Scary Fan, posted to Nic Pizzolatto's page:

Hello Mr. Nic Pizzolatto, I would love to share my idea with you about a possible season 3 of True Detective. I'm a huge fan and I think some fan suggestions could help you with the creative process. It won't be a long message just a suggestion on a possible location. I don't want any credit if you like the idea or anything like that. I would love to help in anyway I can so you and your crew can put a compelling show together once again.

You can't make this shit up. Well, you can, but why bother when it already exists.

Also, I'm fairly certain I want to title my next short story collection Nothing I Have Is What I Want.

Aunt Beast

* Please don't advise me on medication. Thank you.
** It was, in fact, written in June of 2014.
I'm fighting the worst headache I've had in a long times. So, perhaps this will be coherent, and perhaps it will not. It's rare that a headache keeps me awake and then wakes me. I blame the sudden temperature change.

Trees in the park are beginning to turn.

The last few days, there's been no work to speak of, not beyond little bits and details, emails, snippets of proofreading, and so forth. That has to change today, headache or no headache. There's no time to be lost, and yet I'm losing time. I "finished" editing Agents of Dreamland on Monday, and apparently I thought that entitled me to some sort of goddamn vacation. I mean, in a fair world it certainly would have, but there is nothing fair about this world.

There's is so little about the last four days worth mentioning that I'm having trouble even recalling them, dividing one from the other. On Tuesday we drove down to South County, which was exactly the wrong thing to do. The crushingly low sky, the stunted trees, the smell of brackish water, the flatness of the land – all of it came together as a perfect engine for anxiety and vertigo. A claustrophobia borne not of tight spaces, but of exposure. A fear of falling up. We made it almost as far as Narragansett before turning back for Providence. Spooky has no patience with me when I get like that. I don't blame her.

On this date a year ago, we were spending our last day in Leeds before boarding the train back to Providence. God, but I'm homesick.

A few notes from Facebook:

If you haven't yet seen Fear the Walking Dead, you very much need to change that. It's marvelous. Frank Dillane is great. (August 31)

~ and ~

And so ends Hannibal, with the single most artful hour of network television ever. Fucking brilliant. Quentin Tarantino must have cum when he saw that. I believe I almost did. Blood-soaked and passionate. I always knew it was a love story. (August 31)

~ and ~

I just saw someone on GoodsReads refer to "Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad No. 8)" as "immoral." And it probably pleased me more than it should have. (September 1)

~ and ~

I do not write gay and trans characters (or, for that matter, straight and cis characters) from a need to appease someone else's political agenda. My characters are who they are because I am who I am. I create the characters I need to tell any given story. Period. (September 2)

~ and ~

Every day it seems a little more certain that I'll be stuck in Rhode Island for yet another winter, and I'm starting to panic. Which makes it harder to work. And my work schedule is the main reason that I'll likely be stuck in RI for another winter, because I don't have the month or two needed to arrange (and recover from) the move. Which means I'll likely be stuck here another winter. The thought of which makes it harder to work. Around and around and around. (September 2)

~ and, finally ~

I want a home with a small, small sky. (September 2)

Now, I need to at least try to be productive.

Aunt Beast

Howard Hughes and the Nice Men in White Coats

It's going to be hot in here today. Currently, it's sunny and 85˚F outside. In the middle parlour, it's already 81˚F. We should probably head for the library or somewhere else that's cool, but work may make that impossible.

You wouldn't believe that someone could proofread a six-hundred page collection and then forget they'd done it, but I did. I actually proofed Beneath an Oil-Dark Sea way back in December, while I was in Woodstock (the first time). On January 23rd, I sent all the corrected pages to subpress*. And then I forgot that I'd done it. On the one hand, well, that's a huge relief. On the other hand, what the fuck?

Yesterday I pretty much finished proofreading Agents of Dreamland. Which isn't the same as genuinely being finished, but it's close.

From Facebook: No one yet knows for sure if the end of the third season of Defiance was the end of the series, but if it was, it's a beautiful, sad, sweet, perfect ending.

~ and ~

What makes proofreading such a nightmare for me is that when I say proofreading what I actually mean is a sort of tedious sentence-level micro-revision. I consumes vast amounts of time, and it can't be done by anyone but me.

Aunt Beast

* At a cost of $42.

Howard Hughes vs. the Big Blue

Today is still autumn. They say tomorrow will be summer again. Currently, it's 77˚F and sunny, with the humidity at 44%.

And Alice B. Sheldon (aka James Tiptree, Jr.) was born on this day, 100 years ago.

Yesterday was spent at the John Hay Library, proofreading "Agents of Dreamland." But I only made it through 48 out of 76 pages. I'll need to finish the remainder today. I also have to work on choosing the artwork for the limited edition of Beneath an Oil-Dark Sea. I've discovered that I have a very, very short time to get through the proofreading on that collection (the ARC comes to 603 pp.). I'm not precisely sure how I'm going to manage that, but it's plain now that I made the right decision when I chose not to attend Necronomicon. I have to get through all this and go back to work on the screenplay, which is (and has to be) my first priority until it's finished.

My favorite barbecue place on earth just happens to be named Dreamland (Tuscalooa, Birmingham).

And that's it for today.

Aunt Beast
Yesterday was autumn. I think today will be, too. Tomorrow, summer may make a special encore appearance. There's never anyway of knowing, not here. I do not know the erratic, perfidious rhythms that the seasons dance to in New England. I half suspect no one does.

Sirenia Digest #115 went out yesterday, with a preview of Agents of Dreamland. At least one person likes it. On his Facebook, Johnathan Strahan writes:

Just read a chunk of Caitlín Rebekah Kiernan's novella 'Agents of Dreamland', which comes on like some parched, hypnotic, sage-soaked amalgam of Lovecraft, Tom Robbins and every X-Files nightmare you ever had. Practically poetry. And certainly a fine sight. Can't wait to see what happens next in Winslow.

~ and ~

I read the whole thing aloud, and it's like that moment where you hear Jack Palance on Roger Waters 'The Pros and Cons of Hitchiking' talk about 'the body on the plain', but it goes on for pages....

You want to get on my good side? Compare me to Roger Waters. Anyway, I'm going to be proofreading the whole thing today, and maybe these words will make the process a little less painful. Maybe it will make me go a little less harshly with my mean red pen.

Yesterday I also answered the sorts of questions that writers occasionally have to answer, some for John Joseph Adams and some for Ellen Datlow. The former, I was being asked about "Rats Live On No Evil Star," which I wrote in 1997. Or maybe 1998. And I'm being asked what inspired it, what I was thinking at the time, etc. And fuck if I know. That was eighteen years ago, and I've written almost two hundred short stories and ten novels since then. I do good to remember my own birthday. There might have been a time that I enjoyed talking about my own work, but that was long, long ago. This is why I no longer give interviews.

Yesterday, the ARCs for Beneath an Oil-Dark Sea: The Best of Me (Volume Two) arrived. And it's a strange thing to hold in my hands. Now I have that to proofread, as well. And I'm scrambling to get the artwork together for the limited edition. Very behind schedule. Very.

I know that my life has reached some fucked-up low point when I can enjoy two straight hours of Naked and Afraid, which has to be approaching the nadir of reality TV, at least in terms of the pleasure we can derive from watching others suffer. For fuck's sake, Kiernan.

Aunt Beast

Howard Hughes dreams of Florida

Fuck, I need a vacation. I should be putting photos in this entry, but I'm not, and I think that I'll blame my need of a vacation for my not bothering to do it. There's some talk that we may take the bus down to Manhattan for a couple of nights. That might be mildly vacation like, if we do.

It was very hot in the house yesterday, and day before yesterday, but I wrote, regardless. yesterday, I managed 1,500 words and came, unexpectedly, to THE END of Agents of Dreamland, two days before I'd expected. This is a huge relief. It still has to be proofread, and line edits have to be made, but it's done. This means that Mythos Tales (I may actually drop Houses Under the Sea and make the subtitle the full title) is now a complete manuscript. I began the novella on July 12th. It ate most of the summer.

And it means I can take a very short respite, and then turn my full attention back to The Screenplay for The Red Tree.

Tomorrow, I'll be putting together Sirenia Digest #115, and it will feature a 5,400 word sneak preview of Agents of Dreamland.

On Monday night we watched the pilot episode of Fear the Walking Dead, and I for one loved it. Fuck the naysayers (again). I always love Kim Dickens and Cliff Curtis, so I've been looking forward to having them both in a new series, but Frank Dillane comes as a wonderful surprise. I was especially impressed with the pacing and by Atticus Ross' superb score, which built tension from a low throb and holding us seconds from climax for over an hour. And the bleak Los Angeles landscape – which needs no zombies to rate post-apocalyptic – loomed as effectively as ever it has loomed. Two thumbs up.

I'm taking today off. Mostly.

Aunt Beast
I have a vicious sinus headache that's been with me since I woke up yesterday, and last night I accidentally left the refrigerator open, and pretty much everything has to go. So, pain and annoyance. And wasted food.

It's sunny today, and the temperature is currently 82˚F. Someone on Twitter was wondering why I'm so "obsessed" with the weather. Why wouldn't I be? I do not exist independently of the weather. My head is jacked directly into it. My moods swing in almost perfect synchronization with the weather.

Yesterday, despite the headache, I actually managed to write 2,084 words on Agents of Dreamland. I'm now a mere 3,331 words from THE END. In theory, I could finish by tomorrow evening, if I could have another day like yesterday. However, I don't expect to. I expect the end to be difficult. But I shouldn't have any trouble finishing by Thursday evening.

I'm relieved, perhaps a little prematurely.

Yesterday, one year ago, we arrived in Birmingham. It's hard to believe it's been a year since I was in Leeds. I'm so very homesick. And to compound that we're talking about possibly remaining in Providence another year. Another year means another winter, and I simply don't know how I'll manage that.

Both comments and overall traffic to this journal are at an all-time low.

Time to work.

Aunt Beast

Howard Hughes thinks sleep is overrrated.

I got maybe five hours sleep last night, and was awake until about 7 p.m. My goddamn rotten feet. Then Spooky let me sleep until noon. And here I am. With a headache.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,106 words on Agents of Dreamland. Today, the plan was to do 2,000 words. Despite having not slept, I mean to do it, anyway. I want this thing out of my life.

And really, I'm about half awake. So, that's just going to have to pass as a journal entry. Oh, wait. While I was sleeping this morning, the option check arrived. I'm actually not broke. It's been a while. I'm kind of disoriented. I was first approached by Josh Boone on November 12, 2014. More than nine months later, booya. Thank you, Josh.

Aunt Beast
The heat has broken for now, but the humidity is murder. And I only slept about four and a half hours last night; I'm having trouble focusing my eyes. Currently, it's it's 76˚F and cloudy.

On Friday, I only managed 573 words on Agents of Dreamland, but yesterday I did 1,106. I'm still hoping to finish by Thursday evening. I just want this damn thing finished.

From my Facebook yesterday: Sometimes, the worst sort of pressure in the world is the weight of all the people who are convinced that you can do something, just because you've done it before.

And from day before yesterday: And then I hit that place, two thirds of the way to THE END, when I simply have no idea what the fuck happens next.

I should be in Alabama right now. We were supposed to have moved by now. And speaking of the move, Writers House has cut the check for the option and FedExed it to me. I don't have it yet. Probably Monday. The downside, of course, is that one third of it's going straight to the 2014 taxes. As I said when I first announced that the two books had been optioned, I seriously hope no one mistakenly believes that I'm suddenly free of financial worries. It was a generous advance, and much higher than the average. But people seem to think that optioning your book equates to riches. It doesn't.

Where I am right now, optimism is the worst irritant. Where I am, words of encouragement strike me as gibes.

I think it was very fortunate that I didn't go to Necronomicon this weekend. There's no way on earth I could have been pleasant to be around. Likely, I'd have spent the whole weekend hiding in my hotel room. But I am sorry I missed Joshi. And I am sorry I missed Ramsey.

Last night we finished Season One of The Leftovers. It's a strange, strange show. It has a lot of trouble pulling free of the formulaic devices of what I call Old Television. A couple of episodes focus only on a single character, and that's when The Leftovers truly shines. Other times, it can become seriously lost in the huge number of characters it's juggling. But it's intriguing. And the creators wisely choose to preserve mystery, offering no solution to the events of October 14th. For now, the inexplicable remains unexplained. And yeah, I find myself looking forward to Season Two. This isn't great television, but it's worth my while.

Aunt Beast
Currently, it's 81˚F and partly cloudy here in Providence, but the humidity is high, 73%, and the whole house feels sticky to the touch. Tacky, like drying paint.

Yesterday, I wrote 763 words on Agents of Dreamland. If I can just manage 1,100 words a day, I'll be done by Thursday evening. By the way, if you're a Sirenia Digest subscriber, you'll be getting a sneak preview of the novella in #115.

I've now owned an iPhone (my first "smartphone") since July 28, almost a month, and I've spoken to no one on it. I've called no one, and no one's called me. Which is probably while it took me so long to retire the old phone (circa 2004). I just don't use the phone. Most of my business communication is done via email, as I'm far more articulate when I write, and because I loathe my voice. And as for non-business phone calls, well, those just don't seem to happen. I once was a social beast, but that was long, long ago. I have noted that the iPhone's design does not seem to take into account the shape of the human hand or face. It makes a 1957 Bakelite rotary telephone look positively ergonomic. Give me a handset, please. I'm not impressed. Fortunately, it only cost me $1 (well, and a more expensive plan with Sprint).

From Facebook:

Truism: Assuming anyone to be racist because of their race is, as it happens, racist.

~ and ~

HD did nothing good whatsoever for Spock's ears.

~ and ~

"Dope will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no dope."—Freewheelin' Franklin Freek

Last night, we watched the first three episodes of Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta's The Leftovers. I was hesitant because I absolutely hated Lost and also because the whole "Rapture" thing was one of the most terrifying (and absurd) bugaboos of my childhood. Who needs monsters when you have the eschatology of evangelical Christianity? Anyway, the first two episodes left me on the fence, but the third was very good, so I'll be sticking with it for a bit. It helps, of course, that there's absolutely no reason for the characters to believe that the event of October 14th was Jesus whisking the best folks off the Heaven, if only because a lot of perfectly rotten people were taken and a lot of innocents were untouched. "They're not our dogs anymore." What a great piece of dialogue.

I should get to it. I'm burning daylight here.

Aunt Beast
Yesterday I informed the organizers of Necronomicon that I won't be attending. There's just too much work, and I lost three days to the heat. My apologies to anyone who might have wanted to speak with me or have a book signed or – whatever. Apologies. The deadlines have backed me into a corner.

And today is the 125th birthday of Lovecraft's birth. I'd go to the grave this evening, but there will likely be a crowd.

Yesterday was mostly wasted walking around the Providence Place Mall, because there was AC there. I fucking hate malls. I also hate seeing how anything that enjoys a little popularity gets merchandised to death. It's the silver lining to Alabaster having failed to become the huge hit that Dark Horse thought it would. I don't have to step in Newbury Comics and see Dancy shot glasses and thongs. I don't have to watch the characters and stories drained of all authenticity.

Today, the weather's a little cooler (but humid as hell), and I'm writing. I mean to finish Agents of Dreamland on Thursday evening, at the latest.

Aunt Beast

And then....

No writing again yesterday. At about 2:30 p.m., the temperature hit 94˚F in the front parlor, and so we headed for the Hay. Where I managed to get nothing done. I did get an early look at the new exhibit, "The Influence of Anxiety: Lovecraft, Bloch, Barlow, et al." It runs through January, and while small, it's well worth a look.

Currently, it's 83˚F in Providence, and they say we're going to 88˚F.

We stayed at the Hay until they closed, then headed over to the Cable Car on South Main Street to see Stevan Riley's Listen to Me Marlon (2015), a really excellent Marlon Brando documentary.

Last night we finished Season One of The Knick. Were it not for the two seasons of True Detective, I'd say The Knick is the best television since Deadwood.

Aunt Beast

Howard Hughes sweats.

No writing yesterday. I went to the mall to buy clothes for a convention I genuinely do not have time to attend. I'm considering only going Saturday and Sunday, instead of Thursday through Sunday. I simply don't have the time. As it stands, I have 9,031 words left to write on Agents of Dreamland. That means eight good writing days, maybe only seven. And with all the deadlines, every single day matters. And this heat is threatening to force us to the Hay today, which means I'd lose toady and make losing four days to Necronomicon even more untenable. I honestly wish I were the sort of writer who could afford the luxury of losing a writing day so that I can do a forty-five minute reading for an audience of thirty people. But I'm not.

After the shopping, we headed down to South County, where is was cooler. We spent an hour or so at Moonstone, sitting on the sand watching least terns (Sternula antillarum) flitting above the waters and diving for fish. We've only been to Moonstone twice this summer. Indeed, we've only been to the shore twice this summer. Anyway, there are a few photos (the first photos I've posted since July 12th):

17 August 2015Collapse )

Did I mention how much I love Steven Soderbergh's The Knick? The fact that Cliff Martinez is responsible for the score only makes it that much more wonderful.

Aunt Beast

Howard Hughes should have stayed in bed.

It's already too hot in the house, and we're leaving shortly. I need to shop for a few new articles of clothing for Necronomicon, anyway, and the mall will be blessedly air conditioned. Afterwards, I think we're heading down to South County and the shore. Currently, it's 83˚F in the middle parlor, problem near 90˚F in the front of the house. Outside it's 89˚F, with a heat index of 96˚F.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,341 words on Agents of Dreamland.

The last two nights, we've taken very pleasant evening walks in the park. It's a questionable thing to do in this sketchy neighborhood, but I'm sick of being inside. Trees on a summer night. Streetlights. Night birds. If only there were still lightning bugs. I wish we'd started this in June.

Last night we watched the first two episodes of David Simon's excellent Show Me a Hero. And then we saw the first two episodes of Steven Soderbuergh's The Knick, which is absolutely wonderful. The show's on Cinemax, but HBO has all of Season One up through early October.

Aunt Beast (Madame Hughes)

Entry #4,409

A bit hot here. By that, I mean hot here if you live in this house. Currently, it's 83˚F in Providence, with the heat index at 94˚F.

These entries are becoming increasingly monotonous. The most interesting news I have to report each day is the previous day's word count. For example, yesterday I wrote 1,140 words on Agents of Dreamland. Whee. The good news, though is that I only have 10,411 words to go. Have I mentioned that this is my "last" mythos story? That is, my last story explicitly using elements from HPL's mythos. It's something I've done far too often, and it's past time I end the habit.

Aunt Beast
This is, I think, summer's last hurrah. And I have pretty much missed the whole thing. I waited from October to May, and then I let it slip away.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,132 words on Agents of Dreamland

Over the last three days I've read through "Osteology of Rebbachisaurus garasbae Lavocat, 1954, a diplodocoid (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) from the early Late Cretaceous–aged Kem Kem beds of southeastern Morocco."

And that's all I have for now.

Aunt Beast
We're looking at a few warm days ahead, low nineties. The end of summer, I expect. Presently, though, it's only 82˚F, Sunny, and the sky too blue. Never in my life have I so longed for a summer, and never in my life has a summer passed so quickly. And never before have I so allowed a summer to be wasted.

Yesterday was possibly the best writing day, in terms of word count, I've had this year. It's terrifying that this might actually be true. I did 1,582 words and wrote the entirety of the sixth section of Agents of Dreamland. If I could write that much every day, I could be done with this thing in a little more than eight days. I will not be able to write that much every day. And, too, I have the enormous interruption of Necronomicon barreling towards me like an inebriated shuggoth. I shouldn't be going, because I can't spare the time, but Josh Boone and Judy Cairo are making the trip out, so it's going to be a work weekend.

I wish I had more to say in this entry. I don't.

Aunt Beast
Any action, repeated enough times, becomes robbed of its vitality. Setting down the first line of an entry in this journal, for example. Noting the weather, for example. But I will, because I don't know how else to begin. It's not like the days are especially distinguishable, one from the next. Not here. I can go a week without leaving the house and not even realize that I've done it.

Currently, 79˚F, and the sky is that shade of blue.

Yesterday, I wrote a measly 524 words on Agents of Dreamland. A snail's pace. I have 14,283 words to go.

Aunt Beast
The pain woke me this morning before dawn, glass in every joint, hands to feet. At 10:30 a.m., I finally stopped trying to sleep and got out of bed. Only to discover the sky is not much kinder today than my body. There may be a storm this evening. Currently, it's 79˚F, with the humidity at 61%.

Yesterday, it rained. We had to go to the bank, because I have this habit of allowing checks to pile up. Because I hate the fucking bank. And then I had to meet with Christopher Geissler at the Hay, to retrieve some files, more material for the Subterranean Press juvenilia volume. Few things have ever felt as strange as that did, sitting down in an Ivy League library and having my old crap brought out to me like it's something precious. We talked with Christopher about Necronomicon and the upcoming Hay exhibit of HPL's papers.

Day before yesterday, I wrote 1,048 words, the first half of the fifth section of Agents of Dreamland. Yesterday, I wrote nothing.

I've been enjoying a lot of noir, including such gems as Robert Parrish's Cry Danger (1951) and André De Toth's Pitfall (1948). These are, to me, comfort films.

Yesterday, I read "Complete description of the skull and mandible of the giant mustelid Eomellivora piveteaui Ozansoy, 1965 (Mammalia, Carnivora, Mustelidae), from Batallones (MN10), late Miocene (Madrid, Spain)."

Aunt Beast
Neko Case and Lana Del Rey have the most amazing voices. Actual songs aside, I could just listen to their voices, forever.

The sky's hungry today.

It's only 77˚F, with the humidity at a mere 55%. It's that low humidity that stokes the sky's appetite.

I managed only 712 words yesterday, but I did finish the fourth section of the story. As it stands, the ms. is 9,165 words long. I have 15,835 to go.

I truly, truly loved the last episode of Season Two of True Detective, and the last few scenes – especially Frank alone in the playa – very nearly brought me to tears. I have no idea what's up with the amount of animosity this season has received, but I suspect it mostly comes down to a) people whining because they didn't get more of Season One and/or b) people who can't keep up with good noir.

Later Taters,
Aunt Beast

Entry #4,403

I'm pretty sure Green Autumn is upon us. We might get a little more warm weather, but I think that extended stretch of high eighties, about two week's worth, was Summer 2015. Currently, it's 71˚F, 75% humidity, and overcast. I had to ask Spooky to close the window at breakfast, the air coming in was so cold and damp.

On Friday, I wrote 1,210 words on Agents of Dreamland and finished the third section. Yesterday, I only managed 683 words, but I did find my way into the fourth section, which isn't at all what I'd expected the fourth section to be.

And, really, that's it.

Aunt Beast
Cooler weather. Currently it's only 77˚F and partly cloudy. We begin to approach green autumn.

Yesterday I wrote 1,017 words on Agents of Dreamland.

And I'm feeling bad about how often these entries are so very, very short, how my LJ entries of late don't bear much resemblance to the more meaty entries of years past. But the truth is that readership here bottomed out a long time ago, and it's hard to motivate myself to write on LJ at length. I'll likely keep the journal going, out of habit, and because I think there are interesting days ahead. Maybe another year, maybe a little more.

I'm not quite awake. Seven hours and all the drugs, they leave me groggy and turned about.

Aunt Beast

"So ready for us, the creature fear."

This will be quick. I'm still trying to wake up.

Yesterday was a good work day. I got Sirenia Digest #114 together and out to subscribers. And I read through all that has been written so far on Agents of Dreamland and did some line edits. Today, I begin the third section of the novella. Oh, and yesterday I looked at several of Piotr Jabłoński's rough designs for the cover of Centipede Press' Houses Under the Sea: Mythos Tales.

That's all, until there's more.

Aunt Beast

Aug. 5th, 2015

This is the best time of a summer day. 2:13 AM. Still still almost three hours until sunrise. About as cool as it's going to get. I don't want to go to bed....just sit.

Sitting in the dark,
Aunt Beast


I grew up in a land of monstrous thunderstorms. Here in Rhode Island, they're rare. But one hit this morning about 6:30 a.m. The thunder woke us, rolling over the city. I'd had a rough night, hardly sleeping, and I was too groggy to register it was anything more than a thunderstorm. I lay there listening. The rain hit hard, and Kathryn closed the bedroom window. There was sheet lightning and wind that gusted up to 67 mph. Trees are down all over the state. Kathryn says she got up and the sky was green. I know that sky. In the South, that's the sky that means the tornadoes have come.

Oh, and it's Selwyn's Gotcha Day. Three years ago, on August 4, 2012, the little bastard came to live with us. He weighed a couple of pounds. Now he weighs seventeen.

Today, I'll assemble Sirenia Digest #114, which includes "Dry Bones" and the new illustration Vince Locke did for the piece. The plan had been to immediately write a second vignette, one for Sirenia Digest #115, but – as I mentioned in my August 2nd post, an idea was not forthcoming. And as of today there's no more time to sit here waiting on one. I have to get back to work on Agents of Dreamland. Maybe I'll think of something in the next two weeks.

We have a copy of Black Helicopters up on eBay. Please have a look. Thanks.

Fuck, I needed more sleep, to sleep off the fucking shit I take to sleep.

Saturday night, we watched the surprisingly excellent It Follows (2014), directed by David Robert Mitchell. I'd not expected to enjoy it, suspecting it wouldn't be much more than a stylish slasher film. It is, however, something a bit more, and it manages to transcend the long and tiresome tradition of imperiled-teenager horror films. Filmed beautifully against the backdrop of Detroit ruin and decay, the story exists in a timeless, dream-logic place, in an age more akin to the late seventies or early eighties than now, with only a single, very sly nod to the present. Dostoyevsky hovers like a ghost. As for the "It" of the title, well, I found myself thinking of Peter Straub's manitou, and, obviously, of various urban legends, and also of chain letters. A superb and genuinely eerie film.

On Sunday, we escaped the swelter of the house and went to an afternoon matinee of Mr. Holmes, Bill Condon's adaptation of Mitch Cullin's wonderful novel A Slight Trick of the Mind. I was very pleased to see that Condon has in every way done the novel justice. Ian McKellen was great as the nonagenarian Sherlock Holmes struggling with senility, but there's no surprise there. A beautiful film, worthy of its source.

And, finally, on Sunday night we saw – very much belatedly, John Hillcoat's Lawless (2012), screenplay by Nick Cave, music by Cave and Warren Ellis. How we waited so long to see this, I have no idea. While not as grim as The Road (2009) or The Proposition (2005), it's a gritty enough look at moonshinners in Prohibition-Era Virginia, following the exploits of the real-life Bondurant brothers. I loved it, but I see the critics were not so kind. Fuck the critics.

Those are three words to live by, kiddos: "Fuck the critics."

Gotta go.

Aunt Beast

Because Today Marks Twenty Years

Still in Providence

I'd hoped to quickly write two pieces, one for Sirenia Digest #114 and another for #115. And it started well. In only four days I wrote "Dry Bones." And then...nothing. No second idea. I begin to think I'm reaching a point where I have simply told too many stories. The well isn't bottomless. People think it is, and they want me to think that it is, but it isn't.

So, sitting here for two days, trying to think of anything, anything at all, at least marginally worth writing, the black wave caught up to me again. And today I just have to get out of this fucking house, even though it means going outside when the sky is that threatful shade of cloudless, carnivorous blue. I don't know where we can go. You don't go to the shore on a Sunday, and thank you for that, tourons. And there are not many options in Providence.

But at least I will not be here.

This is the month we were supposed to be leaving Rhode Island. Now, I'm hoping maybe in October. Autumn is a nightmare barreling towards me.

And tomorrow is the day that tomorrow is, and yeah, that's part of this. Not all, but part.

From Facebook:

For many years I was afraid I was missing out on something, not having a smartphone. I wasn't. It's just another annoying gadget in a life already clogged with annoying gadgets.

Aunt Beast

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