Roy Batty
Miserably cold here in Providence today. Not bitter, just miserable. Yesterday it was merely chilly, with the temperature rising into the fifties Fahrenheit. It might have been decent, except for a brisk wind that cut straight to the bone. My thoughts are in warm places and decades that are decades past. Today's stale Hell:

Saturday afternoon, 2:00 p.m.Collapse )

One day, perhaps, the temperature will finally rise above 70˚F, and I can finally stop posting these photos. I apologize for the unsightly red house on the right. Such things ought not be.

Anyway, after we got Sirenia Digest #97 out to subscribers, Kathryn and I left the House and head east. From Providence, we took I-195 to 114, aka Wampanoag Trail, south across the narrow peninsulas that jut into Narragansett Bay. Past Hundred-Acre Cove, to the town of Barrington, and then we continued on to Warren, just past the confluence of the Barrington and Palmer rivers (rivers in a loose sense). I'd had it in mind to go as far as Bristol, then up and over the Mt. Hope Bridge to the northern end of Aquidneck Island before turning back. But the day was cold, as I've said, not as warm as the weathermen would have you believe. Clouds were moving in from the west, and I found the little towns grim. They seemed like something unwholesome pressed squirming beneath the sky's icy thumb. We passed ancient houses and houses that were merely very old, houses from the 1700s and 1800s. We stopped for a few minutes in Warren, at the waterfront across from Burrs Hill Park, Water Street. There was a tiny, squalid beach beside a children's playground, complete with a "No Lifeguard On Duty" sign. I asked Kathryn if anyone would actually dare swim in that water, which smelled of salt and dead fish and mud. Discouraged by the cold, we turned back home.

I took a few photos, behind the cut. The one of me is truly wretched:

15 March 2014Collapse )

I almost love that little house with the red roof, which was just north of the tiny, squalid beach. Were it somewhere warm, I could live in a little house like that. I would see it painted and divested of its present sordid state. I feel a lot like that little house looks.

I have no idea what happens today, past the next shiver.

Away, Away,
Aunt Beast

"A silver vision come molest my soul."

Roy Batty
Sirenia Digest #97 just went out to subscribers; it includes a new story, "Chewing on Shadows" – with an illustration by Vince Locke – and the prologue to The Five of Cups.

And here's yesterday's stale Hell, which looks deceptively warm and inviting:

Friday afternoon, 5:35 p.m.Collapse )

The snowy scabs are hardly visible. Today, the temperature is warmish again, but very windy, currently 50˚F, but it feels like 43˚F. Tomorrow, more cold, so we'll likely leave the House today, just go anywhere at all.

Yesterday was spent putting the digest together, editing and and layout. Assembly Day, as I once a called it, when the digest was still a young undertaking.I spoke with Jared at Centipede Press about deckled edges. The secret to the loss of civilization lies in such mean things, such as deckled edges. I read all the way through "Chewing on Shadows" one last time before the issue went out, sniffing out errors and bits that needed tweaking. Mostly, I think this story is a love letter to Joseph Conrad. I read McCullers, the Morgan biography of Burroughs (which may have grown tiresomely long), and two paleontological papers: "Oligocene pancheloniid sea turtles from the vicinity of Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.A." and "Unique feeding morphology in a new prognathous extinct porpoise from the Pliocene of California." We almost watched Rob Zombie's Lords of Salem, but the DVD's menu screen was so annoying we popped it right back out again. Instead we began Season Three of Treme, which I adore. For Pi Day, we had both pizza and blueberry pie.

Oh, and the mail brought be – very early, I might add – a comp copy of the Alabaster: Grimmer Tales hardback.

GrimmerCollapse )

My appearance grows more grotesque by the hour. But I did force a grimace.

And that was yesterday.

I Dream,
Aunt Beast

"I fear our blood won't rise again.."

Roy Batty
Yesterday was a terrible day. It's as simple to state as that. Since coming off Lamictal early in January, I've had two seizures. The first was March 4th, while we were at the Athenaeum. It was minor, not much more than a blip. The second was last night, and it was serious, and it left me feeling as if I'd been run over by a car. But I will not go back on Lamictal. Yes, well. In a lot of ways, the past few months have been the worst period of my life since the winter of 1991-1992. I honestly never imagined anything would ever again get as bad as that time was (I write about it in the introduction to To Worlds and In Between). If this winter would end, maybe I could begin to put whatever is left of myself back together.

I would like to leave this sordid, squalid, shiny Now, this shitstorm future Modernist apocalypse. I'll take 1924, 1949, 1955. Keep your computers, your internet, your affluence, your endless time displacement and exhaustive entertainments, your supposed freedom.

Yesterday's stale Hell:

Thursday, 10:53 a.m.Collapse )

Yesterday, I had to proofread "-30-", a story I wrote for Sirenia Digest in late December 2010. It's being reprinted in Paula Guran's Magic City. I was surprised at how well it holds up. Next to The Red Tree and The Drowning Girl, "-30-" is my most autobiographical piece of fiction. I also finished the 500 signature sheets for A Mountain Walked. Now, I mail them to Ligotti.

SigningCollapse )

Vince's illustration for "Chewing on Shadows" arrived, and today I'll be putting together Sirenia Digest #97. Unless I go back to bed, which I would be well within my rights to do.

I recall being pleasantly surprised by Thor (2011), but, after all, it was directed by Kenneth Brannagh and Joss Whedon. Last night, Kathryn and I watched Alan Taylor's Thor: The Dark World (2013). It was one of the dullest things I've managed to set all the way through it quite a long while. The script was so bad the film would have been better off without a script. It was pretty, and a lot of stuff happened. I think that's the best I can say for it. The only bright spot was Tom Hiddleston, and even he mostly just looked bored.

I read "Dental and tarsal anatomy of ‘Miacis’ latouri and a phylogenetic analysis of the earliest carnivoraforms (Mammalia, Carnivoramorpha)" and "A diminutive new tyrannosaur from the top of the world." I read more of Carson McCullers.

And here we are again.

Somewhere It's Warm,
Aunt Beast
Roy Batty
And, on the thirteenth of March, I awake to snow and a wind-chill of -2˚F. I am utterly exhausted by this goddamn winter. It was 17˚F when I got out of bed about 10:30 a.m. Now it's 18˚F, and the windchill has risen to -3˚F.

Better there never had been a warm day.

Then I spent five minutes trying to decipher what some fucknut on Facebook meant by the acronym "ikr."

Anyway...yesterday's stale Hell, which is looking pretty damn good right about now:

Wednesday, NoonCollapse )

No writing yesterday. Instead, I put together the sixth draft for a table of contents to the second "best of" volume, which meant reading through several stories from 2009 and 2010 that I haven't read since they were written. The book still has no title. There was email, because always is there email. I also spoke with a representative from the second university to request my papers for their archives. It's more than a little strange, such interest, but it's also comforting. There's much I wouldn't want to see lost. Around five p.m., I began signing signature sheets for Centipede Press' forthcoming A Mountain Walked anthology, edited by S.T. Joshi, which includes my story "John Four," as well as fiction by H.P. Lovecraft, Ramsey Campbell, Gemma Files, T.E.D. Klein, Thomas Ligotti, Wilum Pugmire, and quite a few others. I've never before signed signature sheets that Lovecraft "signed" before me. I made it through about half of the five hundred pages. Anyway, yesterday was a long and very tedious day. Today will likely be more so.

Think of every town you've lived in,
Every room you lay your head.
And what is it that you remember?
Do you carry every sadness with you?
Every hour your heart was broken?
Every night the fear and darkness
Lay down with you?
~ Hem

Last night, we finished Season Two of House of Cards. I cannot praise this series highly enough. Certainly, it's the best television since the untimely demise of Deadwood in in August 2006. Frank Underwood is one of the most unqualifiedly brilliant characters TV ever has spawned. As I watched the two series, it felt less and less life Capitol Hill politico-drama and more like Rome as scripted by a collaboration of Shakespeare and Camus. David Fincher has crafted a marvel, and Kevin Spacey has turned in what may be the performance of his career (which is saying quite a lot). Highly recommended.

I have more pictures from Mackerel Cove on Tuesday, and I'm only putting them up because I've gone to the trouble to sort, resize, and upload them. Just now, the warmth of Tuesday feels like a sick goddamn joke. These include the second, third, and fourth underwater photos by Nemo. The first was taken, you will recall, at Beavertail on February 22nd. That one was taken in a calm (freezing) tidal pool, these three in sandy surf.

More Mackerel Cove, More TuesdayCollapse )

A man is walking on the highway.
A woman stares out at the sea.
And light is only now just breaking.
~ Hem

And I should consider trying to get to work. There's proofreading and correction on two short stories to be done today.

Lazy Eyed,
Aunt Beast

"And I follow him, in the trees."

Roy Batty
Today is the 25th Anniversary of the World Wide Web. Which sort of makes it the 25th birthday for one stage of the apocalypse.

Somehow, I got up an hour early, and now I'm running an hour late. Don't fucking ask me. Today, I have to decide whether or not to shelve/scrap "The Living and Their Stillborn," while doing half a dozen other things, all of which ought to have been done two weeks to two months ago. The story simply seems to have no reason for existing, beyond "I owe an editor a story about cyborgs." Which is as shitty a reason as it would be possible for me to devise. I cannot find the heart of the thing. It's sick, stunted, dull. It has nothing to say, and it's saying it hard.

One thought that kept going through my head yesterday, as I beachcombed out on Conanicut Island: "I have to kill the Myth of Me before it kills me." Still, if there's such a thing as a nice day in March in Rhode Island, yesterday was it. A damned decent day. Which I'll come to shortly. Today, however, the clouds are back, the weather's turning chilly again (currently 51˚F, but it feels like 46˚F), and we're supposed to get a little snow tonight. A coating to an inch. One flake would be one flake too much. Tomorrow's high is only supposed to be 26˚F. What the fuck, seriously. I begin to feel a little less like slitting my throat, and here it comes again.

And now, the stale Hell of yesterday.

Tuesday afternoon, 2:28 p.m.Collapse )

I actually used that nauseating sight to explain loess to Kathryn, loess and glaciers as a source of sedimentation.

I've begun reading Carson McCullers' The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1940) for the first time since, I guess, college.

Anyway, as yesterday was warmish and sunny, I said fuck the work, and we headed out to Conanicut Island. We stopped at the bank on the way (gagh), then at the North Kingstown Library, where I donated seven boxes of books. Many of these I'd had since high school. But they're gone now, and those seven boxes represented the last of the Great Book Purge of 2013-2014. It is done. It is over. Hundreds and hundreds of books, no longer my problem. I was actually sad to see those go yesterday. Sadder still today.

We'd meant to go all the way to Beavertail, but as we were passing Mackerel Cove, we both spotted something just beneath the water. I though it might be a carcass, maybe a big shark. We turned around and headed back. The whatever it was never surfaced, and we began to suspect it was only a rock. Likely, that's all it was, just below the advancing tide. Normally, we bypass Mackerel Cove. In the summer it's crowded with tourons. Worse yet, the water is usually foul with seaweeds and smells so bad we have to keep the windows rolled up as we drive by. And yet, yes, people swim and sunbathe there. Go figure.

But yesterday the air was clean, and the broad, shallow inlet didn't stink (cold water keeping organic decay to a minimum, etc.). There were great heaps of shells, and I sat down and began picking through them. We brought home a boxful, most of which will likely be discarded, once I've identified them. Surf clams (Spisula solida) and slipper shells (Crepidula fornicata) probably accounted for 75% of the mollusks. But there was also a variety of others pelecypods (bivalves), including razor clams (also called "jackknife clams," Ensis directs), jingle shells (Anomia simplex), blue mussels, and bay scallops (Argopecten irradiates, formerly Aequipecten irradiates). There was a wide variety of snails, including periwinkles, dog whelks, oyster drills, dogwinkles, augers, and the battered remains on some very large knobbed and channeled whelks. Kathyn found a beautiful little purple urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus). We found some interesting bird and mammal bones. I spotted a noisy flock of house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus, i.e. Carpodacus mexicanus) and Spooky photographed them.

It was good being out. I'd taken a Vicodin, and I almost just laid down in the shell hash and dozed off the the sound of the waves. I took three more underwater shots with Nemo (I'll post those tomorrow), and got my tennis shoes soaked in the process. We arrived at the cove about 4 p.m. and stayed until about 5:45 p.m., when the sun began to slip below clouds, bringing back the cold. Then we drove back to Providence, and swung by Brown to visit Mama Kim's for Korean comfort food. There was a beautiful sunset. And there are eighteen photographs behind the cut.

11 March 2014Collapse )

Now, an hour late, work.

Closing the Curtains,
Aunt Beast

"...and the grey damp filthiness of ages."

Roy Batty
We can pretend it's warm today.

This morning, I dreamt of Maine and of swimming in a deep, dark sea. It was dark, always, as if perceptually night, and there were old and whispering forests. It was very Sidney Sime. But it was in no way a nightmare. It's the sort of long, long dream I wish I could recall more of, but it drifts somewhere just out of reach, no more now than a hazy handful of snapshots and half recollections, redolent of deep time and bitter, unseen beings.

Stale Hell, lest I be remiss:

Monday afternoon, 1:50 p.m.Collapse )

The snow has mostly melted from the northern side of these street. Much of the southern side is always in shadow. There will be snow over there into April.

Yesterday, email conversations and a sorry 305 words on "The Living and Their Stillborn."

I'm very much enjoying what The Walking Dead has been doing, the last several episodes. Last week's, "Still," which centered exclusively on Daryl and Beth, an exquisite little short story, pure Southern Gothic. I actually wish the zombies hadn't been a part of it. The nature of the apocalypse should have been left unstated. We saw the next episode, "Alone," last night. And I read more of the Burroughs biography. And fucked around on Second Life, rebuilding my av with Mesh. I read "Paleohistology and histovariability of the Permian stereospondyl Rhinesuchus."

I'm smoking too much weed. But it helps.

Gotta go.

Aunt Beast
Roy Batty
I still have yesterday's headache.

The sky is grey. It's 37˚F, but only feels like 33˚F. Snow is forecast for Thursday, but I deny it. It will not be. I intend never again to see fresh snow in Rhode Island.

Yesterday, I hung myself up on a paragraph and wrote only 120 words on "The Living and Their Stillborn."

I almost forgot the stale Hell of yesterday. That would never do:

Sunday afternoon, 5:57 p.m.Collapse )

Yes, I was sitting in the road.

When I began the stale Hell photos on February 11th, I resolved that there would be a photo a day until the temperature here broke 70˚F. But, the way things are going, I doubt we'll see that sort of warmth until, if we're lucky, late April. That's a sickening thought.

Last night, we finished Season 5 of Nurse Jackie and watched more of the brilliant House of Cards. I read "The first enantiornithine bird from the Upper Cretaceous of China." One day, some day, I might read a novel again. I mean, one I've not read before. For now, I'm happy with biographies and scientific journals and second, third, and fourth readings of the Tried & True.

For now, that'll do.

Aunt Beast

"I'm in the black; can't see or be seen."

Roy Batty
I awoke with a headache, but I did sleep well. I suppose that's a fair trade. Breaking even and all, I suppose. Here in Providence, it's cold, but I have a feeling I'm supposed to be grateful that – on March 9th – it's 40 whole degrees Fahrenheit, and grateful, too, that it didn't actually snow last night. That said, the meteorologists promise the weather is about to turn foul, and there are more chances for snow coming up. The low tonight, 23˚F. Snow expected. "A bit of snow" says Accuweather, jocularly. Ah, well. I'm fucked, but at least the world is back on the same time as me. I love you, Daylight Savings Time*. Ah, and we are currently under a wide carnivorous sky warning.

Stale Hell coming right up, kittens:

Saturday afternoon, 5:21 p.m.Collapse )

After seeing that photo, I just want to go back to bed and dream myself to warm places, warm night. Balmy nights that smell like growing things and cooling asphalt and sweaty sheets.

Yesterday, I wrote a paltry 1,015 words on "The Living and Their Stillborn."

Sonya was coming to visit tomorrow, but I had to put her off again, thanks to a combination of my difficulty working and having so many long-ago-missed deadlines I'm trying to catch up to...or something.

Last night, I wandered back into SL, looking for all the wrong sorts of nostalgia. I was in a delirium of melancholy. I don't fucking know. I'm told the General IQ dropped still farther in my long absence. Comprehension of the fundamentals of RP have, apparently, become even harder to comprehend. It was all very bittersweet. I spent hours – literally hours – walking what's left of Insilico. I spoke with a few old virtual acquaintances. Four, to be precise. It was good to "hear" their "voices." I hadn't been that social since August.

This isn't going well, is it?

Baby, baby, baby,
Aunt Beast

* I've never understood why people bitch about DST. And now roughly two-thirds of the year is on DST. For most of America, it's the norm.

"I'm ready for the laughing gas."

Roy Batty
Currently in Providence, the temperature is 51˚F, and supposedly feels like 55˚F. However, tonight we have low twenties Fahrenheit and snow coming. Just flurries, but it's the thought that counts, right? Right. My office window is open. Hubero's sitting in it. Maybe I can dampen the House's isopropyl atmosphere just a little.

Stale Hell, behind the goddammn cut:

Friday evening, 8:35 p.m.Collapse )

Gods, the air coming in the window is chilly. Hubero left.

Nothing was written yesterday. Honestly, the end of my rope was weeks ago. This is free fall.

Right now, the only thing that matters is finishing "The Living and Their Stillborn" and Cherry Bomb. Well, actually, all that genuinely matters is finishing the novel. Geoffrey's visit last week may have helped, in that he may have helped me figure out how to make it stop. This isn't a book to which I find the ending, but one I have to make stop. It just has to be over. I began it the first week of August. It should have been finished, at the latest, in November. After the novel's done, I can step back and try to find firmer ground again.

If you haven't seen it already, I have a new Dancy story up at Subterranean Online. Well, it's not actually a new story. It's actually the prose piece I wrote for Dark Horse, way back in April 2011 that was then adapted into the script for Alabaster: Wolves #1.

Last night we saw Ridley Scott's The Counselor (2013), written by Cormac McCarthy. I'm sort of not surprised that critics panned it. It's a relentlessly brutal film, but it's brilliant, stem to stern. I'm with Danny Leigh (BBC), who wrote, "The real star is the script. What this film really is a Cormac McCarthy audiobook with visuals by Ridley Scott. It's black as night, engrossing and masterful." McCarthy employs the poetry of Antonio Machado to set forth the film's thesis statement and summation: “You are the world you have created. And when you cease to exist, that world you have created will also cease to exist.”

I read from the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, "One of the oldest seals (Carnivora, Phocidae) from the Old World," "Paleoecological implications of new megafaunal 14C ages from the McKittrick tar seeps, California," and "Redescription of Cearadactylus atrox (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea) from the Early Cretaceous Romualdo Formation (Santana Group) of the Araripe Basin, Brazil."

Fuck, that air's cold.

And Now,
Aunt Beast

Entry # 4,031

Roy Batty
"There is no solace above or below. Only us - small, solitary, striving, battling one another. I pray to myself, for myself." ~ Frank Underwood

Maybe five hours sleep last night.

We are told the temperature will reach 40˚F today. Currently, though, it's only 31˚F and mostly cloudy, so you will forgive my skepticism. Meanwhile, thanks to the stale Hell photos, I exceeded my monthly bandwidth allotment at Earthlink, where I upload images. So, I will now be charged 2¢/MB until the billing period ends on Tuesday. We're having to backtrack and put images behind cuts, which, obviously, saves a lot of bandwidth. I just haven't given enough of a shit to bother. Also, please do not tell me how wonderful your web hosting service, etc. is, and how I ought to switch right this moment. Thank you. Behind the cut is today's stale Hell, from yesterday (of course):

Thursday afternoon, 1:56 p.m.Collapse )

Yesterday, I wrote 1,014 words on "The Living and Their Stillborn." Less pot, more words. I suspect it's going well, this story, but in order to write it, I'm having to go down to a place I definitely should not be visiting just now.

It is damaging.

Aunt Beast

"...for a lead role in a cage."

Roy Batty
I'd like my walk-on part back now, please.

I have spent years now in fancy prison with very liberal privileges (though I rarely avail myself of them).

I am fairly certain that this in the coldest March morning I have ever known, out of forty-nine years and nine months worth of March mornings (unless that was actually yesterday morning). My office windows are frosted over. The lying sun is out and bright in a wide carnivorous sky. Currently, it's 24˚F out there, but feels like 17˚F. Last night's low was 18˚F, and tonight's low will be 14˚F. Supposedly, some sort of miserly warming is about to begin. We shall see. I sit here in stale Hell:

Wednesday evening, 6:56 p.m.Collapse )

Yesterday, I began the cyborg story. Just barely. Currently, it wears the Daxian title "The Living and Their Stillborn." I only wrote 357 words, probably because of the very, very potent weed I was smoking to take the edge off my anxiety. Anyway, here's yesterday's work, in full:

I usually bring Jessamine down to Little Beirut, to the Backwash Anticline stringers of dyke subsequents and neonical bioluddite lounges. The resident cops’ cady is an ex-friend of mine, and therefore not as prone to tagging a slŭf all night, so Jessamine and I can mainly be out with-out suffering the attention of the froggers. Like most left behinds, she’s a right hypochondriac, but wouldn’t I be, too? Fuck yeah, I would. If I’d been born locked up with an inviolable biochemistry, I’d be five-fold paranoid as Jessamine. I seriously doubt I’d be trusting my continued persistence to a Made-in-Tianjin rebreather, gloves, and a handful of skittles. I’d be one of the bubble babies, for sure. So, it makes me proud of her, whenever Jessamine agrees to leave her tiny sharefare apartment in Red Hook and accompany me anywhere at all.

We sit together in the cat-leather booth all the way at the back of Canaan, so we don’t have to watch the daily-events giallo they flash over the bar. Jessamine is talking about her new painting when a certain lady we both know spots us and waves and makes her way through the press to our booth, her own reject in tow.

Now, that term –
reject – it might not be deemed any longer corrección política in some more refined circles. But those are circles to which neither myself nor Jessamine belong. Also, I’d hasten to add: circles whose constituents are as gun shy of the Little B saloons and brothels as the bubble babies are of opening a window on a smoggy August afternoon. Jessamine, she names herself reject. And the sole time I objected, and even went so far as to raise the hoary specter of self-hatred, autoloathe, she told me to wear my heart on the inside, where it belongs. She even said please.

Anyway, the certain lady in question is known usually as the Natrolite Viper, and she’s a stone fan of Jessamine’s work. She seems to buy every other canvas, at least.

Otherwise, yesterday we finished Season Three of Games of Thrones. Superb. Also, Naked Lunch, downloading for this weekend's Wildstar beta, Vicodin, leftover chicken and a very nice avocado, "A Review of 'Morphology and Evolution of Turtles: Proceedings of the Gaffney Turtle Symposium (2009) in Honor of Eugene S. Gaffney,'" "New specimens of Protocetidae (Mammalia, Cetacea) from New Jersey and South Carolina," "A new record of ringed seal (Pusa hispida) from the late Pleistocene Champlain Sea and comments on its age and paleoenvironment," Yacht Club soda, and electronic mousetraps. Oh, and my comp copy of S.T. Joshi's Black Wings III: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror came, and I read a little from it. Beautiful cover. The book includes my story "One Tree Hill (The World As Cataclysm)."

Now, it's that time, so it is.

Aunt Beast

Except from "The Living and Their Stillborn" Copyright © 2014 by Caitlín R. Kiernan, All Rights Reserved.

"And Heaven will smell like the airport."

Roy Batty
Here's the punchline: I'm running late.

In place of an actual entry today, how about a sort of photo essay? I'll give you images, and you can use them to make a story of my yesterday. And I guarantee you it'll be a hundred times better than was my actual day.

First, stale Hell (return to form):

Tuesday evening, 6:47 p.m.Collapse )

The rest are behind the cut. Remember: No biting.

Get To It,
Aunt Beast

4 March 2014Collapse )
Roy Batty
The sun was out when I woke, and I opened the curtains in my office. Now, clouds are coming in. It's 23˚F, on the fourth day of March. There's not even the meanest hint of spring out there. Anyway, this is yesterday's stale Hell. I tried something different because I'm bored as fuck with this. It seemed like a good idea when I thought the Hellish cold would end after a couple of weeks. When I said, "I'm going to do this until we have a day warmer than 70˚F," an important part of my brain apparently thought I was living in a temperate zone. Anyway, yesterday:

Monday afternoon, 5:32 p.m.Collapse )

Apparently the camera settings were off, which is why the photo looks as if I was shooting through a blue gel. However, it does communicate something about the cold. Anyway, failed experiment. From here on, you get dull-ass street shots. After all, monotony was the point.

Yesterday was mostly spent trying to come up with a story for the cyborg anthology. I might have one. But today and tomorrow I'm going to be at the Athenaeum proofreading the galleys for the Centipede Press edition of The Drowning Girl, which I should have done months ago.

None of This is Real,
Aunt Beast
Roy Batty
I'd bitch about the cold and the ugly grey sky and the utter absence of green in the world, but seeing as how we dodged this bullet, this latest (and please, Fuck, last) storm of winter, I'd drop some stale Hell and leave it at that:

Sunday afternoon, 2:07 p.m.Collapse )

I was just reading about a 104-care pile-up in Denver.

Work yesterday consisted in the main of proofreading "Chewing on Shadows." I like it. Like I said, it's dense. Meaty. Vince needs until the 8th to get the illustration done, so expect Sirenia Digest #97 (Feb. 2014) sometime around the 9th of this month.

And that's all for now. I have to find some way to wake up.

Kill All Groundhogs
Aunt Beast

"You heard my story. You know how I feel."

Roy Batty
There are few things I find more irritating and presumptuous than being told what I should do about my insomnia. When one has had insomnia all her life, and she's nearing fifty, it should be assumed that pretty much everything has been tried. And tried again. That said...

I've spent weeks in a blind rage, all anger and very little else, because Seroquel is just about the only thing that almost never fails to put me to sleep. It also has the curious side effect – curious because it's an anti-psychotic – of making me psychotic. Yesterday, the anger had burned me down to raw stub, and so last night I didn't take the Seroquel. I slept about five hours, but they were hours of tossing and turning and vivid dreams. I awoke with the worse case of dreamsickness I've had in a long time, and I still haven't quite shaken off memories of that alternate universe. But worse, now that the anger's gone – and it is blessedly gone – the depression it was masking is back like a steam engine. The sort of depression that makes it hard to move.

We also do not tell Caitlín how to treat her depression.

Look's like we got lucky with this winter storm. We might get an inch. Two days ago, they were calling for 5"-10", and I was getting out the razor blades. Moreover, Rhode Island is out of salt for the roads, and none will arrive until Thursday. Right now, the sun is nowhere in evidence, and the sky is the color of the mold you find on the two week old macaroni and cheese at the back for the refrigerator. And it's cold. But it's going to be much, much colder in the coming days. We shall celebrate the Vernal Equinox with polar bears. Here is yesterday's stale Hell:

Saturday afternoon, 2:12 p.m.Collapse )

Though it was only in the low thirties, it almost felt warm when I took that photo yesterday. Later, the sun went away.

Yesterday was a good writing day. I wrote 1,344 words on "Chewing on Darkness," and I found THE END of the story. It came to 4,281 words, total. It's a strange, dense piece. Compact. All the apocalypse in a summer afternoon. Four horsemen in a Appalachian pool and an old hunting cabin. I'll read through it today and do line edits. I may also get Sirenia Digest #97 ready to go out. But Geoffrey's coming over tonight, and I may not have that much time. I need a shower. I need to try and make myself presentable.

Also, my comp copies of the unabridged CD version of the Blood Oranges audiobook, read by Amber Benson, arrived yesterday. It's nice to see a hardcopy of one of the audiobooks, something substantial to hold in my hand. And it's a pretty good deal. Seven discs for only $14.99, or, if you order from Amazon, $11.38. And I very much approve of the packaging. Here's blurry proof:

No, I'm not winking. My blind eye has been acting up.Collapse )

Next, I have my story for Neil Clarke's Upgraded: A Cyborg's Cyborg Anthology to write. Hopefully, that won't take me more than ten days. And with the sort of luck it takes to dodge blizzards in Rhode Island, I will have Cherry Bomb written by the end of March. And I will be free, as they are wont to say.

Last night, we watched more of House of Cards. Frank Underwood has, I believe, become my newest hero. We watched the first episode of Season Two of Hannibal night before last, and it was very good, but having to endure commercials stole a lot of its thunder.

One Foot on the Platform,
Aunt Beast

"I will show another me ."

Roy Batty
Third month, first goddamned and freezing day. And Putin's invaded the Ukraine, because apparently the Olympics gave him a hard-on for Soviet-style expansionism. Now, see...this is how a cold war works, ye who are too young to remember. Russia gets to keep what it's taken, for as long as they want it, until it bores them, because they have lots and lots of bombs. With the turn of a key, the push of a few buttons, they can kill the whole world, a bunch of times over. Just like us. The President has given Putin a stern talking to, and will give him many more. Because Russia isn't, say, Iraq and Afghanistan. Russia can bite back. It'll be up to the black-ops superheroes to wage "war" on the Crimean peninsula.

Whee. Anyway....

Somehow, I slept eight hours, and overslept, so this is going to be very short, kittens. I strongly suspect the wordl will continue spinning smoothly in its greasy old tracks. I strongly suspect the brevity will hardly even be noticed.

Here's yesterday's stale Hell, taken several seconds before The Event. Whatever The Event was. There was a great deal of interesting speculation yesterday. A cold-induced panic attack and "a minor coronary artery blockage that passed through" are my two favorites. Oh, here's the photograph:

Friday morning, 12:16 a.m.Collapse )

Yeah, it's a pretty crappy photo. But I recall thinking, "This will be a pretty crappy photo, but if anyone wants a better one, they can fucking take it themselves."

The month is over. I left the House 22 out of 28 days, and every day from the 11th onward. This month, I leave the house every singe day.

I had the best writing day in ages.* I wrote 1,012 words on "Chewing on Shadows." Later, we watched more of House of Cards and Game of Thrones (two titles that look good side to side).

There's more snow coming...

Ann, With Her Father,
A(u)nt Be(a)st

*Postscript (2:45 p.m.): I see that is most assuredly a forgetful mistruth. On February 20th I wrote 1,672 words on Chapter 5 of Cherry Bomb.
Roy Batty
And here we are on the last day of the second month of the year, and I haven't finished the novel, and Sirenia Digest #97 isn't ready, and I've had to ask for a month long extension on a short story deadline. I think Elizabeth Bear (matociquala) said it very well yesterday: "...I am Out Of Clever." People who have not spent two decades making their living as an author might find it hard to understand how I have reached this point. Me, I mostly wonder why it didn't happen ten years ago. And on top of the emptiness, and on top of the exhaustion, there's this winter, which has absolutely no intent of letting up any time soon. And yes, this will be my last New England winter. Of that I have no doubt. Yesterday, out of a sunny sky, we got another half inch or so of snow. I am told these were "snow squalls." I dashed outside in my stocking feet and immortalized another bullshit weather moment for today's stale Hell:

Thursday afternoon, 2:05 p.m.Collapse )

If I'd have waited another ten minutes, the street would be white in the photo. Within an hour, all the snow had turned to ice, or so it seemed. Spooky went out to a corner store on foot and ran into near white-out conditions. There was a six-car pileup on College Hill. The fun never fucking ends.

Then, last night after midnight, or this morning after "midnight," I went out to get the last day of February stale Hell photo, and I'm still trying the explain what happened. The temperature was hovering just above zero, and the windchill was well below, and I was, admittedly, woefully underdressed. Jeans and a tank top, and I pulled on a button up cardigan and my Docs. It's not that I didn't know I should put on warmer clothes; it's just that I didn't give a shit. It was cold in the foyer, and I thought of airlocks, as I often do before opening the front door in winter. Or summer. Because it's admittedly hard to tell the difference up here. I stepped outside, minding the very icy steps and sidewalk. I stood in the center of the road and snapped two pictures. I'd been outside, at that point, maybe 45 seconds. Certainly less than a minute. I was cold, but it wasn't a remarkable cold. Then I lowered the camera and turned to go back inside. I recall noticing that the neighbors' drive was a solid sheet of ice that looked black and liquid beneath the streetlights.

And then I was hit by what felt like a very small gust of air. And my chest constricted, and I couldn't breathe. I thought, at once, that I was having a heart attack. My entire upper body hurt. But in an odd way. It was as if that gust of cold air had passed directly through the core of my torso. I began to shiver violently. However, these physical symptoms weren't the disturbing part. There was a wave of panic, fear, disorientation, and confusion. And, most of all, dread. That was the scary part. Then I was seized by the certainty that I was about to vomit. I didn't. After several seconds, no more than, I got moving again. By the time I was back in the house it was difficult to talk, I was shivering so badly. I'm not sure if it was from the cold or from the panic. Kathryn shoved me in front of the fireplace and berated me for going outside underdressed. After four or five minutes, I was fine. Just shaken. I'm still sort of shaken. I'd not been outside much longer than a minute and a half.

In my life, I've twice had hypothermia. Somehow, last night was worse. The hypothermia came on slow, and there was no pain until I began to warm up again. And there was nothing like the panic and dread I felt last night. Of course, I was also in my teens and twenties.

There. That's my fucked up little adventure tale. You don't get the photo until tomorrow. Them's the rules, chickens.


Yesterday I wrote nothing on "Chewing on Shadows." I spoke with my agents, and with my Spanish publisher (Valdemar/Insomnia, Madrid), and with my French translator, Benoît Domis. Benoît, whose translating The Drowning Girl, was struggling with "Bray Road of road of yellowcake and the Trail of the Coeur d'Alene's" from "7." I wasn't much help. "What does this mean?" doesn't apply to a lot of "7," not in any direct, conventional sense. And speaking of foreign edition, yesterday Santiago Caruso's cover of the Spanish edition of The Drowning Girl was revealed. And I was stunned. I was fucking stunned.



We're making our way through Season Three of Game of Thrones, and it's just wonderful. Daenerys and Tyrion remain my favorite characters, with Brienne in third. Gwendoline Christie and I are the same height, as it happens.

And now I have to go fuck up another day. Ta.

I Don't Want To Be Here,
Aunt Beast

"...soft talk began to harden."

I don't have much for you today. Then again, why should I? What is this sense of obligation, and where did it come from? From a bullshit time when we thought blogs would "boost our sales"? Likely, yes. That's where I picked up the habit, deadly as any I've ever carried. Regardless, I don't have much for you today. Here in Providence, it's 28˚F, but the windchill is at 16˚F. And there's the stale Hell of yesterday:

Wednesday afternoon, 5:29 p.m.Collapse )

I feel an awful lot like that manhole cover. Hammered flat and smooth, almost indistinguishable from the cracked road all around me. Here it is the next to last day of February, and there has not even a single sign of spring.

Yesterday, in the silent maelstrom of of my raging, disordered mind, I managed to find 568 more words to tack onto "Chewing on Shadows." I did that, and I answered a lot of email, and I called it work. It's taken me three days to do a single day's worth of writing.

Last night I got bored enough to wander into Second Life and stay there for a couple of hours. Hard to believe its been almost seven years since I discovered SL. Jesus, what a fucking wasteland. A million virtual strip malls, where everyone walks around with their hands perpetually open. Morons who've chosen moron names for themselves. It could have been something wondrous, and it has nothing but itself to blame for becoming what it is. Second Life is, indeed, a perfect barometer of the idiocy of humanity.

Cold sunlight is about as useful to me as a dead whore.

Happy birthday, Mr. Steinbeck.

Yes, And,
Aunt Beast
Yesterday's stale Hell:

Tuesday night, 8:52 p.m. (Collapse )

Evening, because it was easier to be out under the stars than the blue sky. The brutal cold is back. And I want to be anywhere that hasn't been ravaged by this fucking winter.

Here's another phrase I'm seeing a lot that I absolutely loathe: "First world problems." Which seems to be used to dismiss any complaint short of imminent fucking death.

I was back on the Seroquel last night. Not taking means shitty sleep or hardly any sleep or both. And my concentration was no better yesterday, despite the speed at which Seroquel is flushed from the body. I don't know why I'm not more willing to blame the winter for my difficulty writing, even though, in this moment of honesty, I will acknowledge that it's almost certainly the culprit. Because there's no pill to make it go away? Probably.

The year is almost two months over, and I've had not one truly good day.

Yesterday I wrote a paltry 664 words. "Chewing on Shadows" is progressing so slowly I can't tell whether it's coming out okay, beyond my ability to judge sentence-level quality. And if that sentence didn't make a whole hell of a lot of sense, what the fuck ever. I know what I mean. Were I ever to teach a writing class, I would instill in my students the value of "I know what I mean."

Deep In Loathing,
Aunt Beast
I'm trying – again – to cut off, get off, ditch the Seroquel, because it's turning my brain to mush. I slept maybe five fitful hours last night, and yet I feel more awake than if I'd slept seven on the Seroquel.

Here in Providence, it's currently a scorching 24˚F, but "feels" like sweltering 29˚F. You will pardon me is that is no consolation whatsoever. Yesterday's stale Hell seems especially so:

Monday evening, 6:32 p.m.Collapse )

As of yesterday, I have left the House every day for fourteen days. It might not sound like much, but it is. I may not have left the House on that many consecutive days in....well...years.


Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, but most especially the "Beanie" Platypus + lettered edition of Tales from the Woeful Platypus (2007, long OOP). This is letter O. We met the reserve yesterday, but I'm going to continue pushing because the proceeds of to fix my (still) broken premolar. Thank you.


Yesterday I just barely managed to write 652 words on "Chewing on Shadows." Too much haze in my head, and I was having to read articles on Level A hazmat suits, the Genesis probe, ethane-methane rivers on Titan, a "blacker than black" material developed from multi-walled carbon nanotubes, buckshot, North Carolina newspapers, the Huygens atmospheric entry probe, and the possibility of methanogenic organisms in cryogenic hydrocarbon lakes. And my brain, unable to shake off the effects of weeks of 2-(2-(4-dibenzo[b,f][1,4]thiazepine- 11-yl- 1-piperazinyl)ethoxy)ethanol absolutely was not up to the task of fact juggling while writing good prose. Though time is short, I decided to do an SF piece for Sirenia Digest #97 – the aforementioned "Chewing on Shadows" – to prepare me for the cyborg story I need to write immediately afterwards.

Hopefully, despite not having gotten a great deal of sleep, today will go better.


The thirteenth and final chapter of Alabaster: Boxcar Tales* can be found in the pages of Dark Horse Presents #32.

I got mine; you get yours!Collapse )

And to answer the inevitable questions, without spoilers: Yes, she is. No, really.

Speaking of comics, I just got around to reading Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows Neonomicon, because I've heard the kerfuffle (from some quarters) surrounding it. My objection has nothing to do with sexism and "rape culture." I just find the book fucking wretched in all respects. Dull, glib, badly written, poorly drawn and colored. I couldn't even finish it. Mr. Alan Moore, please stay away from Lovecraft? Please? Meanwhile, I loved the Hellboy: Beasts of Burden one-shot (2010; Dorkin, Thompson, and Mignola).


Last night I saw what is surely one of the best 49 minutes of television ever filmed, "Chapter Two" of David Fincher's House of Cards. Wow. Kevin Spacey is brilliant and then some.

Now, I must try again to write the words.

Aunt Beast

* To be collected as Alabaster: Grimmer Tales.
Chiana 6
Today's view of yesterday's stale Hell is vertical, for a change of pace (that's what they call irony):

Sunday afternoon, 1:54 p.m.Collapse )

Today, we have sun and blue sky and cold air. It's 36˚F, but it feels like 32˚F. Our lovely polar vortex, ou tourbillon polaire, der Polarwirbel, and so on, and so forth, is spinning its way back to us. No spring this year, kiddies. Go the fuck home.

Yesterday I found a title – "Chewing on Shadows" – for a new story for Sirenia Digest #97. I even found an epigraph. I even found a head full of provocative images. But the narrative thread, and, most importantly, the point of views eluded me. Better luck today, lady.

Both The Ape's Wife and Other Stories and Alabaster: Wolves have been nominated for the Bram Stoker Award. The final ballot was released yesterday. Also, I'll never ceased being amused and baffled (simultaneously) by nincompoops who whine about Dancy Flammarion beings a "ridiculous" name. I've been seeing that since 2001. Good thing they never had to deal with Salmagundi Desvernine.

I sorted books, to be sure that none of the books that are about to go away to the library in North Kingston had uncashed checks or love letters or declarations of war hidden inside them. Today, I have to load them into the van. I dusted my office. I played a little GW2 last night, and then had some good RP in The Secret World. Spooky and I began watching Kevin Spacey in House of Cards, and it's pretty excellent. Which is almost as impossible as being very unique. Or a little unique. Or slightly pregnant.

And that was, give or take, yesterday.

Onward, Email,
Aunt Beast
Here in Providence, it's 48˚F, but they claim it "feels" like 59˚F (I don't buy it). And here's the stale Hell of yesterday:

Saturday afternoon, 2:20 p.m.Collapse )


Yesterday, no writing. Yesterday, under the wide carnivorous sky, we left Providence and drove south and across the West Passage of Narragansett Bay and out to Conanicut Island and Beavertail. We'd not been to Beavertail since June 26th; we both knew it had been a very long time, but not that long. We used to go every week or two. It's farther evidence of how withdrawn I've become. Anyway...

It was really much too cold (forties Fahrenheit, plus a vicious wind), but I wanted away from the House and away from the City and, mostly, away from the Room. I told Spooky yesterday, in a spurt of prognostication, that my biography will likely be titled Room. There were a goodly number of people out, including a large number of birders. On the western side of the point, we climbed down to out swimming cove, where the freezing water was the color of a Coke bottle and the sun blasted everything. The waves were high and wild and smashed crystals against the Cambrian strata. I took my first ever underwater photograph, posted last night. Then we headed past the lighthouse to the eastern shore, facing Newport, where we watched gulls and cormorants and King Eiders (Somateria spectabilis) in the sky and bobbing on the sea. Neither of us had seen King Eiders before; there was a decently sized flock. I watched a tug towing a small barge towards Newport, against the heavy swells. As we were leaving, we saw four crows, all arranged most propitiously (yes, she meant propitiously) in a cedar tree. At least, it looked like a cedar.

We also swung by Fort Wetherill and West Cove, because Spooky wanted to, but I stayed in the car. The chill had gotten to me, and, in the car, the sun was warm. I slept all the way back to Providence, deep and dreamless sleep, some of the best I've had in months.

We were back home before dark.

There are photos, behind the cut:

22 February 2014Collapse )

Part of me believes that I would have a better chance of making peace wit New England were I not trapped in this dirty town. The Island did not see intent on suffocating me. The island was not inside the Room in the House on the Street in the City.


Back home, after dinner, I sat in front of my computer for two hours, doing nothing notable. Then, in a fit of boredom, Spooky and I watched Peter Berg's Battleship (2012), which is, yes, a movie based on a board game. This movie could only have been worse if Roland Emmerich had directed it, instead of someone pretending to *be* Roland Emmerich. Berg also made Hancock (2008), which I actually liked quite a lot. However, after what we witnessed last night, I am relieved he lost his bid to make Dune. We also watched the Season One finalé of The Americans. Bravo and brava. The series redeemed its use of a Phil Collins song in the pilot by using a Peter Gabriel song ("Games Without Frontiers") at the end of the finalé. More, please.

Across the day, I read about William S. Burroughs, black holes, the relationship between Native North Americans and the horses that were reintroduced by Europeans, and about the elasmosaurid Aristonectes quiriquinensis.

That was yesterday. Oh, and eBay auctions (!!!), which I really need to fucking push.

Red rain is coming down,
Aunt Beast


Today at Beavertail on Conanicut Island I took my first ever underwater photograph, in a tide pool in which the water was just above freezing (ice was floating about), using the Nikon Coolpix AW110 (Nemo). The photo was taken at our swimming cove, coordinates 41°27'8.99"N, 71°24'0.99"W at 3:33 p.m. CaST. The camera was resting on the bottom, about 4" below the surface. I had to submerge my hands. Which is why I only took one underwater photo today. Air temperature was in the low forties Fahrenheit, with a strong wind. Narragansett Bay's surface temperatures were in the low forties Fahrenheit. The photograph behind the cut. The only signs of life in the pools were Irish moss (plus some green algae) and blue mussels.

The photo is begin the cut:

Jacques-Yves Cousteau, eat your heart out!Collapse )

I was horrified to discover this was our first trip to Beavertail since June 26th.

"Show for me."

Today the sky is wide and carnivorous, and the air is pretending to be "warm," like an angler fish's lure. Currently, here in Providence it's 46˚F, but feels like 41˚F.

Yesterday was lost to internet service trouble and repair. The guy from Cox arrived about one-thirty or two, and I was summarily chased from my office. I cleaned the kitchen a bit while he worked. Then we had to go to Staples to get a new router. The router wasn't actually the original problem. But the old one mysteriously died while while the Cox guy was figuring out what was causing the trouble (constant outages, latency, etc.).

I managed to answer a little of the backed-up email, that was all. I tend to become reluctant to answer email when the writing is difficult. I have no idea why. It pisses me off, the email. I miss the days of envelopes in mailboxes and telephones – actual telephones.

Here is yesterday's stale Hell:

Friday afternoon, 4:50 p.m.Collapse )

So, not much of anything to right about. I went with Spooky on the trip across town to Staples. I couldn't have worked anyway, not after the disruption of having a strange person in the House. It was foggy out, and the day grew foggier as it drew to a close. It was a profoundly ugly day. A shame streets have to look like car dealerships. Photos behind the cut:

21 February 2014Collapse )

A true friend is the person to whom you can say, "You know, you're actually sort of a cunt," without them refusing ever to speak to you again.

Your Guess Is As Good As Mine,
Aunt Beast
fight dinosaurs
Melting all day yesterday, but there's still so much snow. So much slush, ankle deep in the street. And the street is coming apart, thank you freeze-thaw cycle. Driving around here is becoming more perilous than usual, as the potholes are opening up, and you can't see them for the black water filling them up. I kept my window open for most of yesterday, so great was my need for fresh air. I expect I'll do the same again today, trying the make the atmosphere of this House a tiny bit less foul. Currently, 37˚F in Providence, feels like 40˚. feels like shit, truth be fucking told. Thunderstorms are on their way.

Outside, the Hell just keeps on getting staler. To wit:

Thursday afternoon, 4:45 p.m.Collapse )


Yesterday, somehow I managed to write 1,672 words, my best writing day in a long, long, long time. I finished Chapter 5 of Cherry Bomb. Which leaves me with two chapters and ~18,544 words until THE END. And now I have to set it aside and get Sirenia Digest written and out to subscribers. And write a science-fiction story for Neil Clarke, who kindly extended my deadline by a month. But this is just as well, as I'm buried under plot that I only halfway understand.

The icon with this entry, it says a lot about my feelings towards plotting. "And then they fight dinosaurs!" Exactly. Because something has to happen. When a novel is going well, I never have to worry about plot. I don't give a shit about plot, and, when a novel is goings well, it tends to take care of itself. I follow the thoughts and actions of my characters, which, if I've done my job, are natural. Plot is a byproduct of characterization, when things are going well. When things are going well, I don't concoct bullshit stories and then push my characters around inside them, rolling them to and fro like toy cars. This is what hacks do. And when I am being a hack, this is what I do. Things are not currently going well, and all that matters at the moment – for the sake of my mind and my career – is that I finish this book. So, I have a mountain of bullshit story that makes no sense to me whatsoever, because it's not even remotely organic. It didn't grow. It was built. It's inside out, backwards, wrong side in, cart before the horse. This isn't what happened because the characters are who they are. This is what happened because I needed to push the characters around like little toy cars. This is what I swear I will endeavor to never do again. I vow.

Of course, all junkies are liars.

When the writing was done, I was almost too tired to move. Spooky brought me a take-out salad. I ate it. Then I took a hot shower. Then I made a half-assed attempt at RP in The Secret World. We watched more of The Americans, which really is wonderful.

Oh, before I forget. New eBay auctions! Please go forth and bid. I sign and personalize.

Here. have some Selwyn, behind the cut:

HimselfCollapse )

Oh gods. It's 82˚F in Miami, Florida. Why am I here?

Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah,
Aunt Beast
Mars in space.
All the world is slush. We're supposed to have temperatures in the low 50s˚F for a couple of days, but I seriously doubt they'll make much of a dent in this shit. Then, next week, the snow is set to return. Currently, it's 45˚F, but feels like 51˚F.

Fuck knows, I should be Outside. But then who would be writing this book? I have never been so ground down by a winter as I have this year, and every winter is hard on me. But this one is an overachiever. It means to see me fucking dead. The air in the House is so dry it's something like rubbing alcohol at this point.

Yesterday's stale Hell:

Wednesday night, 9:40 p.m.Collapse )


Yesterday, I wrote only 1,087 words on Chapter Five of Cherry Bomb. I'd have done more, but the internet went down, and it's been more than a decade since I've been able to write without access to the fucking internet.*

Nothing happens here; absolute zero.

Aunt Beast

* I've been working on the novel since August. It was only supposed to take me ~45 days to write.

Damn you, capital letter.

The world here remains white. We got, I think, at least twice as much snow yesterday as was forecast. It would have been beautiful, were I not so sick of the stuff. Currently, the temperature is 36˚F, but feels like 31˚F. I don't see much in the way of melting happening today. Just enough to fuck the roads up worse tonight when everything refreezes. And I have yesterday's stale Hell:

Tuesday afternoon, 3:35 p.m.

And now there's talk of a cold summer, thanks to ~90% of the Great Lakes having frozen over this winter.


There was a breakthrough yesterday with Cherry Bomb. Fuck inspiration; I'll take anger over inspiration every goddamn time. I wrote 1,404 words, the most I've written (fiction-wise) in a single day in a long, long time.

Last night, after watching the most recent episode of Archer for the fourth time, we began watching The Americans, which is actually quite good. Set in 1981, the dawn of the eighties is nicely rendered. The pilot makes great use of Fleetwood mac's "Tusk." My flashbacks were many and intense, those days when Reagan ruled the "free world" and we all waited for the fire to fall.

Thirty-Three Years Farther On,
Aunt Beast

"And all that time you thought I was sad..."

fight dinosaurs
It's snowing again. The temperature is 31˚F, with a windchill at 21˚F. Our road has become impassible. Our drive, even worse. Whatever's less navigable than a road that's impassible. You lot figure it out. But. We are promised warmer temperatures later this week, in the high forties and low fifties, "heat" the likes of which we've not seen in a long time. With luck, all this shit will begin to melt. Then the state can begin to worry about flooding. And here's yesterday's stale Hell:

Monday afternoon, 4:53 p.m.Collapse )

I didn't write yesterday. I sat here, trying to find the solution to an insoluble plot. I do not even care, any longer, how this book ends. Only that it does end. Only that I can walk away from this latest mistake and not look back. Today, maybe I'll write. I've had to ask an editor for a month extension on a short story deadline, and I'm about to have to set Cherry Bomb aside again in order to put together Sirenia Digest #97. What have I learned from writing the Quinn books? That I'm a failure as a wedding photographer. These things stopped being cost effective at least a year ago, when I decided to shelve Fay Grimmer and write Red Delicious to replace it.

I had email yesterday from Shirley Jackson's daughter Sadie Damascus, and from my editor at Dark Horse, and from Michael Zulli.


"What did I write? Bone. I wrote 'bone' in your hand. You were talking so much that day it sounded like a crying of bones. I was sad. Our bodies must have been unquiet." ~ Diane Arbus (1971)


I slept well. Or so I thought. I slept quite a lot. But I feel as if I've not slept at all. And my head hurts.

Move Along,
Aunt Beast

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