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"Can you chase this fire away?"

The heat has broken, outside, at least. When we went to bed, it was 85˚F in the house. When we woke, it was still 82˚F. Now, it's gone down to 81˚F, even though it's only 74˚F outside. Sadly, the heavy rain we were expecting has been taken out of the forecast.

I slept only about four hours, but it was sleep of a better quality than I've been getting.

I sat here in my office all day yesterday, too hot and too sick, but too stubborn to give up. I accomplished nothing. Not really.

I'm up to 1955 on The List.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thank you.

Last night, we watched the brilliant, but undeniably peculiar, The Lady from Shanghai. If Welles' original cut had survived (about an hour longer than the 87-minute theatrical cut), it would likely prove to be the greatest film noir.

TTFn,
Aunt Beast

The less said of yesterday, the better.

But I will say that Tim Kaine just charms the socks off me, and President Obama's address at the DNC last night brought tears to my eyes. As I said on Facebook immediately afterwards, "One of the greatest privileges of my life, one of the greatest honors, is to have been alive during the presidency of Barack Obama. Thank you, Mr. President." After the gavel out, we watched Rocket X-M, which is easily one of the strangest science-fiction films of the fifties.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thank you.

I've made it to 1950 on my "Favorite Movies" list.

Today, I'm gonna try and work again. The heat will break tonight, and I have to get my shit together.

TTFN,
Aunt Beast

Blah Blah Blah Blah

Yesterday was, in all ways, wretched.

I was awake at dawn, shutting windows and lowering blinds to try and keep out the coming heat. At nine, I gave up trying to sleep. I got up and work on my "Favorite Movies 1930-2000" list. I'm selecting between five and seven films for each year. The list is limited to American and British films, as my knowledge of foreign film is really rather spotty, I'm afraid. Same reason I'm not including films made before 1930. After 2000, that's a different project. So far, I'm up to 1943, and there are already 77 entries. I'll likely post it somewhere, whenever I'm done.

I'm so desperate for sleep that I'm almost willing to go back on gabapentin for a time.

No writing yesterday. We ran some errands (library, post office, Staples, the market). We mostly sat here in the heat, listening to box fans whir and our lives ticking away in discrete and interchangeable units of waste, boredom, and inactivity.

At least Lovecraft's exile to Brooklyn lasted only four years. I've now been stranded in Providence for more than eight.

TTFN,
Aunt Beast

Howard Hughes and the Gooey Kablooie

The heat goes on, unabated, here in southern New England. The house is an oven. Day before yesterday, the temperature in the front parlor reached ninety degrees. If I've said that in an entry already, I apologize. It's sort of remarkable. I'm hardly sleeping, from the heat and the RLS and the anxiety. I took a quarter of a Seroquel last night, though I have pretty much stopped taking that shit. Not only did it help only a very little, it has me an utter zombie this morning.

Ugh.

No writing yesterday. In the face of the DNC, my resolve to maintain the news blackout failed, and I spent the day and night watching the live feed from the convention center. Cory Booker's "We will rise" speech was electrifying. I would vote for that man in a heartbeat. I'd vote for that man for president. Elizabeth Warren was grand in her savaging of Trump, and she comported herself well when "Bernie or Bust" fanatics tried to drown her out by chanting "We trusted you." The First Lady reminded me, again, how much I'm going to miss the Obamas and how fortunate we've been to have them for eight years.

From my Facebook, yesterday and this morning:

It is clearer than ever today that the revolution being called for by the "Bernie or Bust"/"Never Hilary" people clearly includes a willingness to burn this country to the ground if they can't have their way. So, whatever else their movement might be grounded in, it clearly does not number among its cornerstones either sanity or compassion.

~ and ~

The people who somehow managed to build Senator Sanders not into a presidential candidate, but into a full-on Messianic figure, a benevolent grandfather figure who would lead an economic and social revolution and somehow save them from all the complex ills of the 21st Century, I'm realizing that we can't reach most of those people. They have become cultists, fanatics, zealots. They've bought into something so hard and so blindly, with such a religious fervor, that not even the Senator can get through to them now. But those people are most certainly the vast minority among Sanders' supporters, and I'm sure he understands that, and we will reach the majority, those who have not already recognized the path forward. We have one hundred and four days to do that.

---

The worst part isn't that in the past two months I haven't gotten even half the writing done that I need to have gotten done. The worst part is that so much of that time has been wasted sitting at this desk, not writing, when I could have been Outside, enjoying the fleeting summer.

Later,
Aunt Beast

"And in the sea that's painted black..."

Yesterday, I managed to write about a thousand words on a new vignette, but it doesn't yet have a title, and I'm not at all sure where it's headed. Still, I managed to write.

And I think I slept six hours last night, which is the best I ever seem to get these days. Spooky made pasta salad for dinner. I watched the Marx Bros. A Night at the Opera (1935). I'm pretty sure I'm not yet awake.

To be perfectly honest, I don't think I was even half as afraid during 9/11 as I am right now. Indeed, I may not have been this afraid for our country – and, by extension – the world since the 1980s and the final days of the Cold War. The 2016 presidential election has both the far left and the far right doing their damnedest to demolish, once and for all, American democracy as we know it. And I'm not going to watch anymore. The thing with the Russian hackers and Debbie Wasserman Schultz' resignation is, for me, the final straw. It should tell you something that both Trump and the "Berniecrats" seem equally delighted at this turn of events. When November comes, I'll cast my vote for Secretary of State Clinton. Until then, I'm going to do my best to keep my head down and stay away from the endless nightmare carnival that the news has become.

TTFN,
Aunt Beast

The heat finally drove us out of the house yesterday. It reached 90˚F in the front room. We fled. We went to Warwick and and saw the new Star Trek film.

Toady, I'll begin work on a piece for Sirenia Digest #126, a vignette. Hopefully, I can tough out the swelter. If not, I'll grab the iBook and try to get some work done at the Hay, which is open until 10 p.m.

A few days ago I discovered an Icelandic band I probably ought to have already known about, Of Monsters and Men. Some really amazing, beautiful music, excepting occasional forays into poppier stuff. And even though Ragnar Þórhallsson's voice annoys me whenever he eclipses Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir.

Star Trek Beyond (the thirteenth Star Trek feature film since 1979, by the way) is really much, much better than it had any right to be, given the director is Justin Fast and Furious Lin.* I think Simon Pegg's work on the screenplay may have been a major saving grace. Visually, it's truly stunning. Starbase Yorktown, the attack on the Enterprise, and the resurrection of the Franklin are sequences that stand among the most amazing sights Star Trek has ever shown us. And the film does a nice job of paralleling the events of The Search for Spock (1984). I adore Jaylah** (played by Sofia Boutella). Unfortunately, the film subscribes to the recent "Everything in the Foreground/Big Head" School of Cinematography, a trend that threatens to drive me once and for all from theaters. But yeah, I enjoyed it a great deal, regardless.

Last night, I watched The Maltese Falcon (1941), and I was going to follow it with The Big Sleep (1946), but I got sleepy and crawled off the bed to sleep a few miserable hours. Oh, and Kathryn and I are reading Gregory Maguire's Out of Oz (2011).

There was a marvelous electrical storm night before last, that I'd meant to mention yesterday.

TTFN,
Aunt Beast

* To be fair, he did do some good work on Season Two of True Detective.
** Pegg has revealed that the name, and some part of the character, was inspired by Jennifer Lawrence, particularly her performance in Winter's Bone. "J. Law", "Jaylah." Get it?

Entry #4,684

The irony is infuriating. I cannot bear the winter and the long cold spring, for various psychological reasons. And then summer finally comes, and I can't bear the heat, for various physiological reasons. And, as I hate autumn on general principle (and have most of my life), this pretty much means I get to be miserable all year long. We need to go buy a second AC window unit, but I'm resisting because a) it's expensive, b) it'll drive up out electric bill, and c) there's really no place in the cluttered house to put another window uni.

Currently, it's 83˚F in the house. Outside, it's 84˚F, heat index at 87˚F, humidity at 59%. The high today should reach 94˚F. If we had AC, these temperatures would make me very happy.

I tried to work yesterday. I read "The Maltese Unicorn" aloud to Spooky, getting that world and its characters back into my head. I tried to do some plotting on the new story, but by mid afternoon it was just too hot in here and I was getting sick. I'm going to have to write something for Sirenia Digest #126 while I'm working on the research and plotting of the new Natalie Beaumont story. It's my only hope of not getting even farther behind than I am already. I also talked with Yanni at SubPress about the cover for Dear Sweet Filthy World.

Still being on LiveJournal, I think I know what all those people who couldn't immigrate to the Outer Colonies must have felt. "No housing shortage around here. Plenty of room for everybody," as J.F. Sebastian said.

It's odd that I've said nothing about Gary Marshall's death. Few people had as great an effect on the pop-cultural landscape of my childhood and young adulthood, from Happy Days (1974-1984) to Mork and Mindy (1978-1982) and beyond. I mean, the guy was a writer on The Dick Van Dyke Show (from 1961-1966) and Gomer Pyle, USMC (in 1964). And, of course, he was Laverne's dad. And now he's gone. The icons of my youth grow fewer with each new day.

Last night, I lay in the swelter and tried to lose myself in Guys and Dolls (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1955) and Singing in the Rain (Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, 1952). I got to sleep sometime after four ayem.

TTFN,
Aunt Beast

"The bees had declared a war."

Warmer still today. We may reach 91˚F. Currently, we're at 83˚F. Windows closed, blinds drawn, no lights on that do not have to be. All the box fans running.

Yesterday was mostly spent dithering over the Wonderland story, once I'd decided to abandon the terrforming-Death-Valley thing. Finally, I consulted with my editor and decided that what I will attempt is a new Natalie Beaumont story. If you read "The Maltese Unicorn," you'll recall Miss Beaumont. For years, I've wanted to have another go at her (so to speak), but "The Maltese Unicorn" was so time and research intensive that I've always shied away from a sequel. But I'm going to do it. I think this will be set in 1942, so that the US will just have entered WWII, which means it's seven years after the events of "The Maltese Unicorn." Beaumont is no longer in the employ of Harpootlian, and she no longer owns Yellow Dragon Books in the Bowery. Other than that, I have only the vaguest of ideas. Today, I"m going to try to find a suitable plot.

Yesterday, I also sold Czech translation rights to "As Red as Red" and "Galápagos," and I accepted an invitation to speak at the Montauk Club in Brooklyn in October. I was part of a reading there in January 2010, for Ellen Datlow's Lovecraft Unbound.

I am so not awake.

Last night, we watched The Wizard of Oz (1939), which neither of us had seen in ages, and then Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (2010). I continue to maintain that the latter is really quite good, but I also concede that it's got a few serious narrative hiccups, and there's that whole inexplicable "futterwacken" sequence at the end. The battle with Christopher Lee's Jabberwocky still delights me.

TTFN,
Aunt Beast

Three kittens in a wine canoe.

I may have slept six hours last night, all told. In between being awakened by this or that. Six hours is about the best I ever hope to manage, in these post-Gabapentin days. Perhaps the little extra sleep will help me work despite the return of warmer weather. They're* calling for 89˚F today, with a heat index of 94˚F. The humidity's still low, so that's good.

And yet, despite the discomfort, I am terrified at the coming of autumn, less than half a summer away now.

I may be abandoning the story that, for three days, I've been trying to find my way into, the was-set-on-Mars-is-now-Death-Valley Wonderland story. It may not be something that will work for the anthology in question. I'm just not sure, and usually when I'm not sure it's best to assume the idea isn't right and move along to something else. Which, in this case, is sort of a shame, because I love the imagery, even if it has stubbornly refused to resolve into an actual story.

We went out for a late lunch, early dinner yesterday, to Trinity Brew Pub, downtown. The first time I've eaten a meal out since sometime in March. Anyway, as we were passing the central branch of the Providence Public Library, I spotted two thick books stacked in the middle of the road. Even from the van, I recognized them as library-bound periodicals. Spooky stopped and I retrieved them. Two volumes of The Nation, Vol. 123 (1926) and Vol. 155 (1946). It was a strange sight, indeed, and we carried them into the library, to the circulation desk. The librarian there sent us upstairs to the Reference Department, where we were informed that a lot of periodicals that had recently been put on microfiche (people still do that?) were being discarded. She checked, and those two volumes were among the discards. I thought it odd that no one seemed to find it the least bit peculiar that we'd found these two volumes stacked in the middle of the street. Anyway, we kept them. I can't just throw away ninety year old magazines; I don't know how anyone can. Now, I have to figure out what's to be done with them. I wish I'd taken a photo of them in the street, before I picked them up. I do have a theory about why they were in the street. The 1926 volume has a fresh imprint on one side that resembles nothing so much as the base of a car jack, and I suspect the books were used to help change a flat tire.

Dinner out consisted of a mildly serviceable, but overly sweet, pulled-pork sandwich. There really is no hope for decent BBQ in Rhode Island.

There was a huge red-orange moon, one night past full, hanging over Providence last night.

TTFN,
Aunt Beast

* They being the often-questionable repackaged meteorology-for-profit guys at Accuweather.

The cooler weather continues, but the heat is coming back full-tilt boogie this weekend. Currently, it's only 77˚F, with the humidity at a mere 33%.

Half an hour ago, I had something I wanted to say here, but I can't recall what the fuck it was. I hardly slept last night, perhaps only four hours, thanks to the RLS (which, really, is the goddamn weirdest thing my fucked-up physiology has ever visited upon me). Perhaps, then, it really wasn't all that important.

I'm struggling to find the Wonderland story. I might have a title, either "Beyond the Laughing Sky" or "Fainting in Coils." I have a setting, a scenario, a conceit. But I don't have a story. I don't have a plot. I don't know why my characters move through that setting. I even have names I want to use: Otha Pennyworth (my paternal grandfather's name was Otha) and Palmer Apostilides. But I have no characters to go with the names. I'm pretty sure my setting has shifted from Mars to Earth, to Death Valley, likely early 21st Century, but I don't know the why of any of this, because, as yet, there's no story. Of course, as I have always acknowledged (I recently noticed it's even in my Wikipedia entry), story has never been my strong suit.

I'm starting to think all those little Pokémon specters with which Niantic has seeded the very air I breathe have upset the natural ætheric vibrations or something, destabilizing my essential humors. I can feel the little shits watching me.

Later,
Aunt Beast

"I hardly recognize this face I wear."

A break in the heat today, so maybe I can get some writing done.

Yesterday, I spoke of doing another "noirish Mars tale." I only had the haziest concept in mind, and that changed a good deal over the course of the afternoon and evening. It still hasn't quite gelled, but I begin to get the gist of it. A way to do a thing fairly literally without committing to a literal approach, having my cake and eating it to, if you will. I don't yet have a title, but I should find one before I begin. I'm never comfortable working on a story without a title.

About two p.m., we made a trip to the downtown branch of the public library, then stopped by the market before heading back to the west side. Some homeless dude was messing around with the light switches in the stacks, flipping them on and off, and security had to be called. It's like the building was having a grand mal seizure. Clouds threatened storms, but we only got a few drops of rain. Last night, after dinner, I watched Blade Runner (The Final Cut, 2007) for the first time in a year or so.

I have interior design samples for Dear Sweet Filthy World and The Aubergine Alphabet that I need to approve. I have to get to that today.

TTFN,
Aunt Beast



I'm very much not awake (a positive negative), likely because I didn't sleep enough to sleep off the Seroquel, without which I wouldn't have slept at all. The heat in the apartment has, again, become a serious source of discomfort, and we're debating shelling out money for a second window unit AC, even though there's really no place to put the thing.

Yesterday became about planning two stories, the one for the digest and the one for Ellen Datlow. I made better progress with the latter, so it gets to be the first written. I haven't been to Mars in a very long while, so this is going to be one of my noirish Mars tales, I think, somehow concerned with the Mock Turtle. Right now, that's all I have.

A goodly portion of yesterday was spend marveling at the videos for a whole bunch of songs by Of Monsters and Men. I tried to find out who the director/filmmaker was, but only credit I can find is for the video production group WeWereMonkeys*. Which is somehow not nearly so satisfying as being able to tie those gorgeously little movies to an actual human being (or two). Though, were I a more wealthy beast – indeed, were I wealthy at all – I'd hire WeWereMonkeys to create a promotional trailer for Dear Sweet Filthy World.

There were really marvelous storms yesterday, and then there were rainbows.

TTFN,
Aunt Beast (the Sweaty)



* My thanks to Sony, who pointed out that WeWereMonkeys are, in fact, Mihai Wilson and Marcella Moser.

Not even a chair.

I think it's high time that I let this journal become a journal again. I've allowed it to sink to the level of Tumblr, and I fucking hate Tumblr. And Instagram. And all that shit.

The heat here is bad. For here, I mean. In Atlanta or Athens or Birmingham, I'd hardly have batted an eye at this heat. Here, with no real AC in the house, it's shutting us down. When I finally went to sleep (after soaking the shirt I was sleeping in and putting a wet cloth around my throat), it was 81˚F in the bedroom. When I woke it was 82˚F. I haven't been sleeping much the last couple of weeks. I haven't been writing much, either, not since finishing "Whisper Road" on July 3rd.

I'm going to have to set aside The Starkeeper, and I'm doing it with great reluctance. But I need to write a new piece for Sirenia Digest #126, and I owe Ellen Datlow a story. And, truthfully, frankly, I'm stuck in Chapter One of the novel. I'm mired in issues of character and voice and metafictional concerns regarding my use of first-person narratives (two, one for Jude and one for Judith).

Yesterday was, officially, the midway point of my summer, day #46 of 92.

World Emoji Day? Seriously?

Last night, after a short drive around the neighborhood to try and cool off, we watched the last five episodes of the Duffer Bros. Stranger Things. This series (I'm unclear if it was a mini-series or if there will be a second season) was really a great deal of fun. Though some people seem to being seeing it as a straight up homage to the Speilberg films of the eighties, it's self consciously at least as devoted to the Stephen King novels of the same decade, along with pretty much every sci-fi/horror film of the decade. From Poltergeist (1982) to E.T.: The Extraterrestrial (1982) to The Goonies (1985), from Firestarter (1980/1984) to Stand By Me ("The Body," 1982/1986) to It (1986), with tips of the hat to John Carpenter (The Thing, 1982 and Starman, 1984), Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead, 1981) and Joe Dante (pretty much his entire ouvre). And the whole thing is filtered through Dungeons and Dragons. Really, it's a delight. Funny and scary, sweet and sad. Indeed, I'd hazard to say it's far better than any actual Stephen King film made during the eighties. Winona Ryder frequently overacts, but I very much enjoyed David Harbour. And Millie Brown, who plays the telekinetic Eleven, was wonderful, stealing the show; I hope to see this kid again. The creature effects weren't half bad. And the Duffer Bros. hit almost all the right musical notes, so to speak. I was done with high school in 1982; Stranger Things is set in 1983. And as someone who was there, I can tell you, yes, that's what it was like.

TTFN,
Aunt Beast

I've come to a place where I begin to fear I'm going to have to set aside what I've written so far on Chapter One of The Starkeeper and begin anew from a slightly different angle. I don't want to do this, because I'm so very far behind. But if I'd not started over twice in 2010, you'd not have The Drowning Girl. If I'd not scrapped Joey Lafaye in 2008, you'd not have The Red Tree. It's an unpleasant part of the endeavor, beginning again. I still hope I can avoid it, but I am now open to the possibility.

Yesterday was a muteday, the first since March 7, 2011, the day I finished The Drowning Girl.

God, it's fucking hot in this house.

TTFN,
Aunt Beast



Fucking Wu.

Quietday

Tags:

Thanks to my bladder, I'm very not awake.

Trying to get The Starkeeper moving past the first twenty or so manuscript pages, I'm largely struggling with a problem of voice and pov, and, therefore, of character. My two narrators are both fifteen years old (twins), and it's 1978. And – other stuff I can't divulge. With Sarah Crowe, I was working from a pov that was all but straight-up autobiographical. Her voice is damn near my own. With Imp, while her voice was clearly distinct from that of the author, it was still speaking from a place with which I am very familiar; the autobiographical element remains. But Jude and Judith Rochambeau are an entirely different thing, and they are a problem I have not yet solved. In some ways, this is the most complex novel I've ever tried to write, despite the accessibility – to me as the author – of first-person narratives as a storytelling device.

I'm not awake enough to discuss this cogently. Maybe not even coherently.

Yesterday, there was peach Jell-O with mandarin orange slices.

TTFN,
Aunt Beast

Howard Hughes Cogitates

Yesterday was meant to be the day I got back to work on The Starkeeper. Instead, I spent it trying to "fix" a story called "Ex Libris." Written in November 2011, it was originally published as the first half of The Yellow Book (Subterranean Press, 2012). For whatever reason – I honestly can't say, because I honestly do not know – the text of "Ex Libris" made it into print riddled with problems. It's a long story, the original ms. weighing in at 10,555 words, and it's the worst mess I've ever allowed to be printed. The whole affair is inexplicable. Now, S.T. Joshi wants to reprint it, but first I have to fix it. And the work is frustrating and time consuming. I'm going to need at least another day on the story, but not today. Today I go back to the Starkeeper and Jude and Judith Rochambeau*, their mother and the decaying old house in South County. "Ex Libris" can wait.

Yesterday, I also sent "Interstate Love Song" to an editor in Warsaw, who will be having it translated into Polish, and I sent "The Maltese Unicorn" to an editor in Miami who will be translating it into Spanish for Cuban publication.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. We have some good stuff up. Thanks.

TTFN,
Aunt Beast

* née Posey

"The lights went out, the oil ran dry."

We're having a burst of March here in the middle of July, temperatures in the low sixties (night) and mid seventies (day), clouds and rain. One day was a nice relief from the heat. Three days is maddening. And also maddening is the abrupt replacement of our warm, comforting yellow incandescent streetlights with nightmarishly bright blue LEDs, with no thought to how this will affect people's ability to sleep or wildlife. Or my ability to look out the window at night. But, hey, it saves our lying, corrupt city and state governments $24 million dollars over the course of eleven years (they're replacing all 16,800 lights). And I guarantee you that, via graft and kickbacks, there are assholes making a tidy little fortune off this.

That is all.

TTFN,
Aunt Beast

"A classy goat is really just a penguin."

Tags:

Entry #4,669

At this time yesterday it was in the mid eighties Fahrenheit here in Providence. This morning, it's currently 66˚F. This is summer in Rhode Island. But, truthfully, we needed a break from the heat. I've lost two or three work days to the heat. Yesterday, we sought sanctuary in the Providence Public Library, where I thought I could at least do work-related reading. But I'd hardly slept the night before, because our apartment had become a sauna, and I couldn't concentrate enough to even read and make notes.

So, this is better.

TTFN,
Aunt Beast

Asleep Awake

We've reached summer days again when it's really too hot to be inside the house. Mid eighties inside, pushing ninety outside, and I need to be working. But I'm hardly sleeping. The RLS is at me again. I need to be working, but the heat and the poor sleep are conspiring. And here we are already a week through July.

Yesterday, we hid in the dark and air-conditioned sanctuary of a theatre in Warwick and saw The Free State of Jones, which I thought was quite excellent, so the haters can go hang. We stopped by Spooky's parents where we talked about milk snakes and gypsy moths. We drove on down to Moonstone Beach, but the sun was still too high. We watched gulls, cormorants, Piping Plovers, Least Terns, and an osprey. We headed home sometime around 6:30, but it was much too hot to be in the house. Wait. I sorta said that already....

TTFN,
Aunt Beast

An oddly cosmopolitan day yesterday, worldly if only by way of communication. Spain, Romania, Cuba, Australia, Poland, England. I spoke with them all, little bits of business, little communiques with far-flung places. And I read "Fossil crocodilians from the High Guajira Peninsula of Colombia: Neogene faunal change in northernmost South America" and "The extinct flightless mihirungs (Aves, Dromornithidae): cranial anatomy, a new species, and assessment of Oligo-Miocene lineage diversity." And after dinner we watched Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven (2005), but it wasn't the forty-five minute longer director's cut, so now I'll wait six months or so and watch it again, before I render an opinion. Night before last, we saw Scott's Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014), which is an oddly enjoyable calamity of a film, Bible Epic Cheese shot through with moments of beauty and awe and inspiration. Christian Bale gives one of the few flat performances of his career, making White Moses just that much more inexplicable. Sigourney Weaver wanders into frame every now and then, seemingly just to make us ponder why she's there. Joel Edgerton isn't half bad as Ramesses II, I think, and John Turturro is always fun to watch, but a white Australian and an Italian American are, at best, curious choices to play Egyptians. It's almost as if Scott was trying to piss people off. The whole thing began, in my head, to bleed together with the Coen's Hail, Ceaser!, and one didn't really have to look very closely to see the ghosts of DeMille and Heston taunting us from 1956.

TTFN
Aunt Beast



Four

Howard Hughes, Dragonslayer

Yesterday, I edited "Whisper Road," pulled together Sirenia Digest #125, sent the issue off the Gordon to be PDF'd, then Spooky mailed it out to subscribers. It was a full day. Today might be a day-offish. Not entirely sure yet. We're cooking a feast for the Fourth, for just the two of us: a BBQ chicken in the crock pot, deviled eggs, corn on the cob, and a stir-fried kale salad, plus the strawberry-rhubarb pie Spooky made night before last. Happy birthday, Grandpa Ramey. You'd have been 105 today.




TTFN,
Aunt Beast
Yesterday, I did 1,528 words and reached THE END of "Whisper Road." It will appear in Sirenia Digest #125, which should go out to subscribers on Monday or Tuesday. That's getting a story hot off the griddle.

Today, Kathryn and I are 14.

TTFN,
Aunt Beast



It seems bizarre to me that I used to spend an hour, sometimes two, writing entries for this journal. Every day. I honestly have no idea how I found that much to write about here, and that much to write about at such length – thousand-word LJ entries.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,001 words on "Whisper Road." And I discovered that it's Murder Ballad No. 9. I wrote the first of the murder ballad stories in 1995 ("Breakfast in the House of the Rising Sun"), and the second I wrote in 1999 ("Lafayette"). The last time I wrote a murder ballad story, that was 2014 ("Interstate Love Song"). I'm surprised no one's asked to collect those together yet. Anyway, I'm going to try and find THE END today. Oh, and, as it happens, yesterday I got an offer from a Polish F&SF magazine wanting to translate "Interstate Love Song."

TTFN,
Aunt Beast

One Down

I'm going to spend today trying not to think about the fact that it's the first day of June and how summer 2016 is one third over and done.

Yesterday, I did 1,029 words on "Whisper Road." I've also been working with Nicky Crowther and Micheal Smith at PS Publishing to get the new edition of Tales of Pain and Wonder to press (complete with Rick Kirk's illustrations). And continuing research for The Starkeeper while I write the short story. I think it actually is a short story, not a vignette, as I'd originally thought it would be.

There are quite a lot of books forthcoming, late in 2016, early in 2017: Dear Sweet Filthy World (Subterranean Press), Agents of Dreamland (Tor), Mythos Tales (Centipede Press), the hardback of Alabaster: The Good, the Bad, and the Bird (Dark Horse), and the new editon of Tales of Pain and Wonder (PS Publishing).

TTFN,
Aunt Beast

On Tuesday, I set aside work on The Starkeeper to write a piece for Sirenia Digest #125 (June). I did 1,006 words on Tuesday. I did another 1,036 yesterday. It's called "Whisper Road," and was inspired by a drive through South County last Saturday.

There was a fine rain yesterday, which we've sorely needed here. Afterwards, an enormous rainbow hung low above the Armory.

TTFN,
Aunt Beast



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