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Note: Yesterday, I wrote "On this day in 1989, twenty-seven years ago, at about 4:30 p.m. EST, I began HRT." Actually, I began HRT on the 31st of May, not the 30th.



Cloudy today, and the weather's a bit cooler. Bonnie isn't showing us much to write home about. There was some rain last night before I went to bed. Well, this morning. It was almost four.

Yesterday was a breakthrough. The conflict at the heart of The Starkeeper finally came to me, in a great flash, in the middle of a conversatiion with Kathryn. Boom. I could tell I'd actually found it by the expression on her face. Now, I only need to find the courage to actually start writing.

Beginnings are times of such peril. - Lady Jessica Atreides

On this day in 1989, twenty-seven years ago, at about 4:30 p.m. EST, I began HRT.





TTFN,
Aunt Beast
It's summer. Currently, 76˚F. We made it to 91˚F yesterday. We're waiting on Bonnie, who'll be here tomorrow, bringing rain from southern places.

One day later than planned, we spent yesterday driving about South County – Peacedale, Wakefield, Kingston – thinking about The Starkeeper, looking at houses, fixing place in my head. I'd not been down there since last autumn. At the public library in Peacedale, I made a couple of pages of notes. Reaching back to 1978, when the novel is set.

I think I found the name of my protagonist yesterday. I think his name is Jude. Unless her name is Jude. Unless their (singular) name is Jude and Judith, depending. Unless it's twins. Yeah, I'm at that all-is-flux stage.

“When you begin a novel you are in a state of unlimited freedom, and this is alarming.” ~ Iris Murdoch





Later,
Aunt Beast
As birthdays go, yesterday was damn decent. Thank you, Spooky. There was a really fine cake, and there were dinosaurs. We had salad for dinner, because now that summer has finally arrived, it's too hot in the house to cook. It reached 85˚F in the middle parlor yesterday. I'm not complaining, but noting life without AC. We played Guild Wars and watched crappy TV. It was calm and unremarkable and good. My thanks to all who wished me well on Facebook yesterday. There were about 500 of you. That sort of thing always blows me away. Oh, and I received 65 birthday postcards, including cards from England, Scotland, Italy, Belgium, and New Zealand. A special thank you to the postcard people.

And I had a major breakthrough with The Starkeeper yesterday, the sort that I hope will allow me to begin Chapter One on Monday. Well, so to speak. I may not actually use chapter divisions in this novel. Today, we're heading down to Peacedale, Wakefield, and North Kingston to do some Starkeeper-related research.

Three photos from yesterday:







My three birthday critters, left to right, the tyrannosaurid Tyrannosaurus rex, the the pterodactyloid pterosaur Tupuxuara, and the ceratopsian Nasutoceratops.



Later Taters,
Aunt Beast

18,994 days

How terribly strange to be fifty-two.



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One With Words

Only in the last two days has my writing gotten back on track and the peaks and troughs begun to assume a more manageable topography. The days warmed up, then got cold again, and I'm not yet in a place where I feel up to devoting much time to blog entries. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe a little farther along.



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"We'll fill our mouths with cinnamon."

I used to keep day planners, and I'd mark days when I didn't write with an L, for Lost. A Lost Day. If I still kept a day planner, half of April and almost all of May thus far would have earned an L.

Today will probably be another L. And tomorrow. Because the selling of this house, though we won't be moving, is causing chaos again.

But the sun came back yesterday afternoon. And the today is a little warmer, currently 64˚F. I'm not sure I've ever been as relieved to see the sun as I was yesterday. This should translate to me being more productive, but we woke to news of tomorrow's disruption, which means today is also disrupted.

One step forward, two steps back.

Yesterday, Kyle Cassidy suggested on Twitter that people list their ten favorite "kaiju" films. Here are mine, ranked in order of year of release:

1. King Kong (1933)
2. The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)
3. Gojira (1954)
4. Rodan (1956)
5. Reign of Fire (2002)
6. King Kong (2005)
7. The Host (2006)
8. Cloverfield (2008)
9. Monsters (2010)
10. Pacific Rim (2013)
Honorable Mention: The utterly preposterous, but endlessly charming, Reptilicus (1961)

Later,
Aunt Beast

"I say her skinny legs could use sun."

I finished "Pillbug" on April 10th, and since then, I've hardly written. I want to blame it all on the weather, but I know that's a lie. The weather is merely one of the thugs holding me still. There are quite a few of them, all bunched up together.

Today, it's supposed to be a little warmer. But currently it's a miserable 51˚F, windchill at 47˚F. In May. Day before yesterday we had an afternoon temperature of 45˚F, with a 28˚F windchill. In May. Fuck Cold Spring. This is more accurately described as Green Winter.

I began work on a piece for Sirenia Digest #123 way back on April 23rd, and I hardly have two pages of prose. It's currently called "When Even the Darkness is Something to See."

I sleepwalked through yesterday, and today the anger is trying to find me again.

I want to be warm. I want sun and a sky that makes sense to me. I want to be home, and for me home is Birmingham.

Last night, we saw a perfectly wretched science-fiction film, which sadly we actually rented. Something called The 5th Wave, directed by someone named J Blakeson (no period after the J, because...), starring an antiseptically dull Chloë Grace Moretz (who has a really bad case of Child Actor Syndrome). The writing is rubbish, the acting is worse, and it isn't even eye candy. Stay away. Or abandon all hope. Whichever suits your fancy.

TTFN,
Aunt Beast

Insert Futility

"Not today, Mordremoth, not today."

TTFN,
Aunt Beast


Late yesterday afternoon, the temperature dropped to 45˚F, with a 28˚F windchill. Currently, it's overcast and 56˚F, and there's no real break in this shit forecast until sometime around the third week of May.

I do not know for sure what today will be. Yesterday was an Up Day. I talked until my voice gave out. Not because I really had anything to say, but I couldn't stop saying it. The inability to sit still. The persistent thrumming. I become a swarm of mosquitoes, says Spooky. The clouds behind my eyes part, and that great big yellow phony manic sun comes pouring through, and after days of the red-black rage and the icy, diatomaceous seafloor ooze of depression, it's as good as Percocet, almost as good as heroin. Sure, I can't actually keep one train of thought long enough to be genuinely coherent. But I can try to clean the kitchen, take care of backed-up email, dust my bookshelves, wash dirty underwear, read fifty different news stories via Twitter, and reorganize the kitchen pantry – all at the same time. Or I think I can, until seven hours later, when it dawns on me that I've actually done nothing whatsoever.

I've not left the house since Monday, and I've only looked out the window once.

I've been wearing the same Ramones T-shirt for going on three days now, awake and sleeping.

The other night I dreamt of knives, continental-drift divide,
Mountains slide in a line. Leonard Bernstein,
Leonid Brezhnev, Lenny Bruce, and Lester Bangs.
Birthday party, cheesecake, jellybean, boom!
You symbiotic, patriotic, slam-book neck, right?


Pretty much.

TTFN,
Aunt Beast
Currently, it's 47˚F and cloudy here, after a cold rain all night. Suicide weather.

I'm on Lamictal for seizures and bipolar disorder. I have been since 2010 (before that, other scripts). And lately I've been sloppy about when I take my daily dose. 7:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m., 12:30 a.m., 1:30 a.m., etc. My pills sit here on my desk in one of those compartmentalized plastic boxes with the days of the week abbreviated on each compartment: SMTWTFS. Right in front of me, just to my right, and I am almost always sitting here in this chair. So, there's really no excuse. But it's been happening. And while the seizures have stayed at bay, the peaks and valleys, troughs and crests have come rushing back down on me. Mostly valleys and troughs. I never have gotten as much of the Up Time. And the crazy, it spills over onto everything. It makes Kathryn's life hell. I make an ass of myself on Facebook. I don't work. And so on. Screwing up my Lamictal and the return of winter, which began on April 1 with that last snowstorm of the year, put me into a tailspin. And I'm trying to pull out now, get my pills back on track, cut back on the bad habits that make my swings even worse. Slow down the crazy train, as it were.

Isolate the stress.

The stress in my life is a deadly pathogen. Worry about money. Worry about my health. Worry about Kathryn. Worry about the 2016 Presidential elections and politics and transgender rights. Worry about my writing. Worry about my public image. Worry about my mother and sister. Worry about whether or not we're going to have to find a new place to live, because the owners are selling this place, and everything's up in the air. Worry about the scaffold that's been outside my office window since the beginning of October. Worry about the tree (that I did, at least, worry to salvation). Worry about being stuck in Rhode Island forever. Worry about the car needing new tires. Worry about the fact that I never leave the house anymore, and I do not have callers, and, half the time, going outside scares the shit out of me. Worry about the color of the sky.

Worry, and blinding anger.

So, yes. That's what has been going on. And the cold makes it so much worse.

I didn't write yesterday. I sat and stared at the computer screen and played music very loudly and mostly didn't talk, because talking always makes it worse, on me and on Kathryn.

I don't like talking about this sort of thing publicly. And I don't want advice. Or speculations on the validity of my diagnosis, because your Great Uncle Waldo is bipolar and was prescribed blah blah blah, but actually needed blah blah blah. I mean that. I don't want to hear that shit.

Hopefully, the boat's gonna right itself. Hopefully, soon.

TTFN,
Aunt Beast

Entry #4,602

The sky is still grey. The rainy weather is still here. The temperature is currently 51˚F. Tomorrow is forecast to be even colder.

In Rhode Island, May is the bitter month that follows the bitterness of April.

Yesterday, Kathryn had errands to run, and I went with her, as staying here alone seemed unwise. I had a biscuit for breakfast, some Gatorade mixed from a powder, a Red Bull. I pulled on a tank top and jeans, a cardigan. Kathryn drove, because I haven't since 2003. I sat in the van and smoked and listened to Neko Case. At the post office, there was art from a roleplay acquaintance in Oklahoma. We stopped at Staples for file boxes. I pissed at Whole Foods and felt everyone watching, thinking about North Carolina. The sidewalks were crowded with people is coats, gloves, wool scarves and caps, actual fur-lined parkas. At Eastside Market, I sat in the car and shivered and stared at the ugly sky while Kathryn went in for milk and aluminum foil. We crossed back over the Point Street Bridge to the squalor of the west side. I had another cigarette. The dirty river was the color of spilled motor oil. Kathryn realized that, somewhere along the route she'd lost her sunglasses, which she'd had since 1999. Back home, I took three Vicodin, which did nothing whatsoever. I drank Gatorade and skipped dinner. I played Guild Wars, because what the fuck else was there to do. I fantasized about buying a train ticket to Birmingham or Jacksonville, about waking to a truly warm sun. There's no way I can afford train fare. Kathryn cooked something, and my stomach rolled at the smell. I closed all the blinds and drapes and turned the thermostat up to 75˚F, resolving not to look outside again and not to leave the house until the temperature reaches 70˚F. It was an unsightly day devoid of even the slimmest rind of hopefulness. Obviously, I didn't write. The sun set, which made things the tiniest bit easier by taking away the grey February light. I did my best not to talk, because talking only ever makes things worse. I talked anyway. I played more Guild Wars. I roleplayed. I played. I had another Vicodin and a half, watching the level in my bottle dwindle. I took my Lamictal. I paced. I had a can of Pepsi. A little before two a.m., I ate a bowl of ramen, took my handful of nighttime meds, then went to bed.

I had dreams I'd rather not talk about.

And here we go again.

Later,
Aunt Beast

A Week of Rain

Currently, on the third day of May, it's 49˚F, a mere 17˚F above freezing.

My moods have always been in large part a matter of responses to external stimuli. So without, so within.

The rain and cold will be with us at least until Monday.

TTFN,
Aunt Beast