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How much drain would a woodchuck clog....?

A cool, sunny day here in Birmingham, autumnal air, though the trees are still green. Our high was 67˚F. Currently, it's 67˚F.

When I got home from McWane, I opened my windows and aired-out the office.

And speaking of McWane, it was a good, if hectic prep day with Winifred the Tylosaur. Mostly, I worked on cervical ribs, fragments of cervical vertebrae, portions of a pterygoid bone (including associated teeth), isolated teeth, and thoracic ribs. I was on power-prep mode today. And there was 2% formic acid baths. And I found a tiny phyrangeal tooth from a pycnodontid fish, Hadrodus sp., in some of the matrix clinging to a pterygoid fragment. All sorts of little critters get buried with a big animals like Tylosaurus proriger. And that's all the McWane I get until next Wednesday.

Not enough sleep last night, because my damn rotten feet were keeping me awake, and I am exhausted. I have to be bright and shiny tomorrow, to proofread and begin editing "Refugees."

Spooky is trying to persuade me to write a children's book about Toby the Tylosaur, a cautionary tale against fossils that get hoarded in garages insstead of deposited in collections, and she's just about persuaded me. I'm gonna talk with my agent about it. It would be sorta ages 5-10, something like that.

Last night, after more hot dogs (yes, Jules, more hot dogs), we finished Season Three of Peaky Blinders, then began Season Four. This afternoon after the museum, I watched the Nova episode on the discovery of Patagotitan, "Raising the Dinosaur Giant," but I was in the mood to see it again.

Later Tylotaters,

3:18 p.m.
The sun came back today, and cooler temperatures. Currently, it's 61˚F.

Toady was McWane, but it was a short MCWane day. Tomorrow, I get a full McWane day. Then of Friday I have to proofread and edit "Refugees" (this will likely spill over into Sunday), and Saturday will be a OFF day. I didn't have much time for prep at the museum today. I had to go over some stuff about localities and collecting and Winifred's checkered past, and that ate up a lot of time. I'm hoping that one day next week Spooky and I cane actually get in some time in the field, out under the Black Belt sky. Today I glued my left index finger to a cervical rib, but that's why I keep the acetone handy.

Toady, Spooky mailed a thousand signature sheets for the German edition of The Drowning Girl back to Germany.

Oh, and Bill at Subterranean Press informed me this ayem that he's down to only 17 copies of the SubPress edition of Houses Under the Sea: Mythos Tales. He might still have a couple, if you hurry.

Yesterday, I watched an episode of Nature was was, essentially, on the futility of trying to eradicate Burmese pythons from southern Florida. And there were hot dogs for dinner, and then we watched the newest episode of The Deuce, then finished Season Two of Peaky Blinders and started Season Three.


Pleased to see that Nick Cave and I share the same low opinion of Antifa and "woke" culture and for the same reasons"

Antifa and the Far Right, for example, with their routine street fights, role-playing and dress-ups are participants in a weirdly erotic, violent and mutually self-sustaining marriage, propped up entirely by the blind, inflexible convictions of each other’s belief systems. ~ Nick Cave

Later Tater Tots,

4:04 p.m.
Another overcast rainy day, the fourth in a row. There was, early this morning, very briefly a shaft of sunlight, and for a few seconds it helped my mood. But then it was gone again. Currently, it's 69˚F.

Today, I wrote 1,903 words on "Refugees," and afterwards I typed THE END and added a dedication. But I felt like I was stumbling over the finish line. We're going to read through the whole story on Friday (the first chance I'll have), and I fear I may have to pull that last scene completely apart, the stuff I wrote today, and do an actual rewrite. Right now, the story stands at 10,843 words. The contract called for it to be at least 10k. By the way, this is the story for the free chapbook accompanying Comes a Pale Rider, the new Dancy collection forthcoming from Subterranean Press in 2020. Someday, I hope, there will finally be a single definitive text that includes every single Dancy Flammarion story, with no orphans stranded in chapbooks.

I still need to email Jonathan Strahan.

Yesterday, an episode of Nature on feline evolution, "The Story of Cats: Asia to Africa" (it really wasn't very good). After dinner from Greenwise, we finished Season Two of Peaky Blinders and began Season Three.

Spooky says she's made the last of this year's Halloween ornaments, so what's in the Etsy shop right now is all there's gonna be until September 2020. And she'll be taking down whatever doesn't sell after October 31st, so consider yourselves forewarned.

This afternoon, I left the house for the first time since I got home from McWane last Wednesday, but just long enough to get this really dismal photograph. Knock yourselves out.


1:15 p.m.
Another overcast day, mostly, only a little sun shining through now and then, and there's rain on the way for tonight. Currently, it's 66˚F.

Today, I wrote 1,301 words on "Refugees." I'll finish the story tomorrow.

The signature sheets for A Little Yellow Book of Fever Dreams have gone away to Pennsylvania via UPS, and I am glad to be rid of the things.

Yesterday afternoon, an episode of Nature about crocodiles, and then there was more of the Peaky Blinders rewatch after dinner. We're almost done with Season Two. Oh, and there was another "amber alert" alarm to scare the shit out of us, this one on Spooky's phone as we were watching TV. So, now notifications have been turned off on both phones.

Spooky says she's made the last of this year's Halloween ornaments, so what's in the Etsy shop right now is all there's gonna be until September 2020. And she'll be taking down whatever doesn't sell after October 31st, so consider yourselves forewarned.


11:56 a.m.
Overcast and shitty today. Not actually raining, just that ugly blue-grey smear. Currently, it's 67˚F. We are told the sun will come back tomorrow.

Today, I did 1,321 words on "Refugees." And then I signed my name 600 times and got through the signature sheets for A Little Yellow Book of Days. Tomorrow, the signatures sheets, which came to me from Benson, Maryland get sent away to Landisville, Pennsylvania.

Last night, as I was trying to get to sleep (Kathryn was already asleep), there was an earsplitting siren of some sort that scared the holy fucking shit out of me. Turns out, it was an "amber alert" on the goddamn iPhone. Today, we shut off the notification feature, so at least that won't ever happen again. I might have slept five hours.

We were supposed to go out to my mother's in Leeds this afternoon, but I'm too tired and too angry and it's just going to have to wait. Fuck the laundry.

Yesterday afternoon, after the writing, we watched another episode of Nature, "Attenborough and the Sea Dragon." Last night, we splurged and had burgers from Five Guys, then finished the rewatch of Season One of Peaky Blinders.

Spooky says she's made the last of this year's Halloween ornaments, so what's in the Etsy shop right now is all there's gonna be until September 2020. And she'll be taking down whatever doesn't sell after October 31st, so consider yourselves forewarned.


12:25 p.m.
Overcast today. Currently, it's only 61˚F.

This morning, I wrote another 1,727 words on "Refugees." It is now realistic to think I'll finish the story on "Monday." And I'm sitting here waiting on the postman to bring the replacement signature sheets for A Little Yellow Book of Fever Dreams.

I have also seen a mock-up for the cover of The Tindalos Asset.

Yesterday afternoon, after I'd written and done some paleo' work, Spooky and I watched an episode of Nova ("The Day the Dinosaurs Died") and an episode of Nature ("Octopus: Making Contact"). After a dinner of leftover chicken and taters, we watched Vince Gilligan's El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, and it really, truly was very, very good. Sadly, we followed it with Brad Anderson's Fractured, an ass-backwards, somewhat inverted retread of Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934, 1956). Sometimes, you just gotta know when to stop.

And Robert Forster has died. He had a part in El Camino, but I will remember him for many other roles.

Spooky says she's made the last of this year's Halloween ornaments, so what's in the Etsy shop right now is all there's gonna be until September 2020. And she'll be taking down whatever doesn't sell after October 31st, so consider yourselves forewarned.


12:16 p.m.

"It's a Man Ray kind of sky."

Sunny today. Currently, it's 81˚F.

This morning, I wrote a whopping 1,747 words on "Refugees." I'm daring to hope I can finish this story on Tuesday. But I didn't sign the signature sheets for A Little Yellow Book of Fever Dreams yesterday, because when I opened the box I discovered my name was misspelled – Caitlyn. I have always considered this just about the most odious corruption of Caitlín. Well, no. Kaitlyn is even worse. Anyway, Borderlands has had to scramble to get new pages printed and in the mail to me so that we can, hopefully, not miss the pub date. With luck, I'll have the sheets tomorrow and then ship them back via UPS on Monday (despite Columbus Day). Argh.

Otherwise, I watched two episodes of Nova, one on the Cassini spacecraft and another on wildfires, and there was Dreamland chicken, and then more Peaky Blinders until bed.


11:20 p.m. (last night)

Ogres on Lauderdale Street

Mostly cloudy today. Currently, it's 77˚F, with the heat index at 79˚F.

This morning, I wrote 1,510 words on "Refugees," which will probably comes as a relief to Bill Schafer. I know it comes as a relief to me. Now, I have a stack of signature sheets to attend to, for my Borderland Press collection, A Little Yellow Book of Fever Dreams, which I believe I was told has already sold out. It's supposed to be published on October 21st (and the signature sheets still aren't signed).

Last night, after spaghetti, Spooky and I watched the new episode of The Connors (with Dan Ackroyd!) and then Luc Besson's ANИA (2019), which I loved and think is definitely his best film since Lucy (2014). Even if it is pretty much a lighter-weight Atomic Blonde, with a whole lot of La Femme Nikita tossed in. Afterwards, we started Peaky Blinders over at the first episode of Season One, because we were both having trouble following the new season and needed a refresher.

Spooky is fighting the tax monster, and that's never a pretty sight. But she's also got Dreamland chicken and taters in the crock pot, and that's a pretty sight, indeed.

Later Taters,

10:14 a.m. (day before yesterday)

A Toby No More

Another mild, sunny day in Birmingham. We only went to 84˚F; currently it's only 78˚F.

It was a McWane day, mostly spent working on Toby's basioccipital and ribs and vertebrae...well, actually no. Not Toby, because it turns out "Toby" is actually a mosasaur that I discovered in March 1983, a tylosaurine which we nicknamed Winifred. Yeah, we did that back in day, nicknaming critters. Paleontologists often do. Anyway, when we first discovered Winifred only a few limbs bones, part of the shoulder girdle, and a couple of vertebrae were exposed on the surface. During the summer of that year, a group from the Red Mountain Museum did an exploratory bit of excavation, exposing most of Winifred's cervical series (neck) and some ribs, and there was a strong suspicion that a good skull waited at the end of that neck. But many other things were vying for the museum's attention and resources that summer, so Winifred was reburied. The plan was to go back soon and finish the job, but by the time anyone from the RMM finally did go back (apparently in 1990, shortly before the museum shutdown), it wasn't anyone who'd worked on the original Winifred excavation and somehow they never connected the complete skull they found with the material we'd collected in 1983, seven years earlier. I think the skull was finally jacketed out in 1992. So...I spent the first part of the day comparing the cataloged portions of Winifred to "Toby," and examining field numbers, studying site logs, and looking at topographic maps, and the conclusion is inescapable: "Toby" is Winifred, confirming a suspicion that has been growing in my mind for weeks. And so here I am in 2019, at last preparing a mosasaur that I discovered on an Explorer Post 272 trip in 1983, thirty-six years ago. I was 19. Now I'm 55. It's an eerie feeling, but also profoundly satisfying. Now, I gotta go out and find a new mosasaur to nickname Toby.

I actually have some photos from the day I found Winifred. Maybe I'll get Spooky to scan them, then I'll post them here.

But I won't get into other highlights of the day, like a pair of pterygoids in a concretion or a Prognathodon from Tennessee, because that's quite enough nerdy stuff for now.

Tomorrow, yeah, I gotta get back to Dancy and there are signature sheets waiting.

Last night, we began Season 5 of Peaky Blinders, which I was not even aware was up and streaming.

There's nothing on eBay at the moment, but there are still Halloween goodies in Spooky's Etsy shop. You know you want 'em.

Later Cretataters,

3:15 p.m.
Cooler weather. There was more rain this morning, and our high was only 82.

Spooky and I made a 12:20 p.m. matinee of Todd Phillips' Joker at Summit. I cannot overstate my awe at and admiration for this terrible, brilliant film, as timely as it is horrific. Joaquin Phoenix is perfect. The cinematography and score give us a new sorta of Gotham Noir, and it's breathtaking. Bravo.

Lydia had the vet this morning for her rabies vaccination, and vet confirmed what we've long suspected, that she's having pain from problems with her spine or hips. So, we're looking at how to treat that.

Today was the 148th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire and the Peshtigo Fire.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions and at Spooky's Etsy shop. Thanks.


2:53 p.m.

End of Summer, At Last

This morning, it's mostly cloudy and only 73˚F. No heat index. After last night's thundershowers, I feel as if the whole world is relieved.

Today, I must write.

Last night, we watched the concluding six episodes of Trust. In an age of excellent television, Trust is especially excellent. Brenden Fraser deserves special recognition.

The signature sheets for A Little Yellow Book of Fever Dreams arrived yesterday, but I don't expect to get to them until tomorrow.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions and at Spooky's Etsy shop.


2:19 p.m. (yesterday)

Mr. Selwyn says relax.

We made it to about 95˚F, but in the past two hours, the temperature has dropped to 80˚F, with the heat index at 82˚F.

An awful day yesterday, and then last night I was ill and hardly slept more than three hours. This morning, we got up and drove to Carrolton, Georgia, because I had a need. And then we came home. We made it back about 3:30 p.m. On the way back, there was rain, and then it rained here while we were having tuna fish sandwiches for dinner.


My office windows are open, and the air smells like rain, a smell I have missed.

You know how you can buy signed books from me on eBay so I don't have to sell the cats for medical experiments, right? Also, Spooky has her Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy shop. Save a pussy.

Lots of dead armadillos on the drive today, and Hog Liver Road. Some fools with a "Trump 2020" stand set up by the highway. Remember these things.

Later Taters,

12:08 p.m.

"Dusk is dawn is day."

I didn't go outside yesterday, and what I know of the heat comes from the National Weather Service. Our high was 101˚F, with a heat index of 103˚F. We're only supposed to reach 98˚F today. Currently, it's 87˚F, with the heat index at 89˚F.

No writing yesterday. But the phone with my agent went about as well as I could have expected.

Workmen came and cut down the huge old hickory tree behind the building. It was rotten and threat to everyone who walked under or parked beneath it, as it was constantly shedding limbs. Still, I hate the sound of chainsaws, which went on for hours, scrubbed my nerves raw, and now there's a tree-shaped hole in the world that I will need months to stop seeing. Likely, that tree was already huge when I was born.

Last night, we watched the first episode of Trust, directed by Danny Boyle, and the first episode of Season Three of Goliath. Both were very good.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions and Spooky's Etsy shop. Thanks.

I leave you with a photograph of the carapace of the protostegid sea turtle Calcarichelys gemma, a specimen discovered in Greene County, Alabama in March 1981 during an Explorer Post 272 dig (I was a member for as long as the post existed, 1980-1984). The turtle was actually found by Mr. Charlie Smith, the father of David Smith, a friend of mine at the time. It was excavated the summer of that same year.


2:42 p.m. (Wednesday)

"These clothes don't fit us right."

We are nearing the end of this unseasonable heat, but it's going out with a bang, not a whimper, is the Summer of 2019. Yesterday's forecast was nigh unto apocalyptic, 100˚F with a possible heat index of 106˚F. We made it to 98˚F, with a heat index of 100˚F. Last night at 11:17, as I was going to bed, I noted that it was still 82˚F, with the heat index at 84˚F. Today, the high is forecast for 101˚F.

Yesterday was a McWane day, and it was mostly spent prepping the basioccipital of Toby the Tylosaur. I came upon the bone rather unexpectedly, hiding in a cement-hard chunk of marly, glauconitic chalk, mistaking it at first for merely the neural arch of a broken cervical vertebra, so it was a happy discovery. The bone is only slightly smaller than my fist.

Today, I have a phone conversation with my agent about the possibility of a Dancy TV series, and then I'm gonna try to write.

We've finished seasons 1-3 of Snowfall. It wobbles a little in Season Two, but Season Three is really some exquisite television. The new season of The Connors is very good, also.

Also also, we can all rest easy, because the horror clown says that he's a "very stable genius."

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions and at Spooky's Etsy shop. Money's tight.


2:41 p.m.

"...to you now, baby"

The heat goes on. Currently, it's 94˚F, with the heat index at 95˚F.

Yesterday, I wrote 500+ words on "Refugee." Today, I did 622 words and finished the first section.

Lydia won't shut up.

You know the drill. Please have a look at the current eBay auctions and/or Spooky's Etsy shop. Thanks.

Later Taters,

10:07 a.m.

"Forty-thousand stars in the evening..."

Definitely not enough sleep last night.

The unseasonable heat continues. Currently, it's 87˚F, with the heat index at 89˚F. But it's early yet. We have a forecast high of 97˚F.

I gotta try to work.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Bid if you are able. And there's Spooky's Etsy shop. The taxes loom, and two or three checks are predictably overdue.


6:17 p.m. (yesterday)

Howard Hughes and the Bloody Big Lizard

Sunny today. We actually got a little rain late yesterday, but the heat continues as we enter autumn. Currently, it's only 86˚F, with the heat index at 88˚F.

Yesterday was a McWane day. I worked on Toby the Tylosaur, mostly on the sixth cervical vertebra and one of the pelvic bones (which has a bad case of "pyrite disease" I'm having to address). There's a photo below. The field jacket in the photo is about three feet long, which is a pretty good measurement for the length of the skull, which makes Toby's skull about two feet shorter than Alfred's. The snout is buried in the end of the jacket in the foreground, and the skull is largely articulated. Oh, and can you spot the adorable alligator snapping turtle skull at Drew's work station?

Today, I have to pull together Sirenia Digest #164 and send it away to Gordon to be PDF'd. It'll go out to subscribers ASAP. This month's issue feature's a new short story, "Wisteria." That was the last story I wrote before this dry spell began early in August.

Tomorrow, I absolutely have to get back to work on "Refugees."

The shittiest thing about my shitty depression is that it convinces me, on a regular basis, that I deserve to sit on my ass and do nothing at all, and I hate it for that, if for nothing else.

Last night we finished Ken Burns' Country Music, and it's one of his best documentary series, I think. Oh, and the new (and final) season of The Deuce, we saw the third episode last night. Season Three is at least as good as its two predecessors.

I'm reading Larry McMurty and Diana Ossana's Zeke and Ned (1997).

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions and at Spooky Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy shop. The taxman cometh and all that.


1:42 p.m.

"It's these expressions I never give..."

Currently, blindingly sunny and 88˚F, with the heat index at 89˚F.

I slept, at most, three and a half hours last night. I was supposed to be at McWane today, or writing, or something fucking productive. The best I have managed is two emails.

The first was to let Bill Schafer at Subterranean Press know that "Refugees," the third new Dancy story, due September 30, will be late.

The second concerned a couple of notes from the translator handling the Brazilian (Portuguese) edition of Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan Volume 1. If the translator had been correct, they'd have identified a twenty-three-year-old error in "Emptiness Spoke Eloquent," a short story that's been reprinted at least half a dozen times. Fortunately, I was a stickler for historical research back then and they were not right. Fixing the problem would not have been easy.

That was work today. I'll be doing good to finish this entry.

We did manage to see James Gray's Ad Astra yesterday, at the $5 Tuesday matinee. Afterwards, on Facebook, I wrote, "Ad Astra is a beautiful, brilliant, quietly masculine film, and the best SF film in years. It's also pretty much The Heart of Darkness in space." Which just about covers it.

There was a meeting with my NY agent on Monday about trying to sell a Dancy TV series, and if anything ever comes of this, I'll let you know.

And for fuck's sake, Sid Haig died.

Please have a look at Spooky's Etsy shop. At the moment, she's the one working her ass off.


8:52 a.m.

At the Very Least

If you can't do anything else, you can at least post three-day old photographs of cats.

And links to our eBay auctions and Spooky's Etsy shop.

Yeah, I can at least manage that much.


9:04 (Friday)

Pachyderms and Soap

Feeling a little better, though today was the third day of the headache. It's better this evening.

Tomorrow, I'm going to try and get back to work on "Refugees," as it's supposed to be finished by the end of the month.

Today, Spooky and I went to Leeds to watch football with Mom and do laundry. Mom made chili.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions and Spooky's Etsy shop. Every little bit sorta helps.


2:10 p.m.
Yeah, so...the heat wave here has broken, but the dryness hangs on. But it's a beautiful latest summer evening out there. Currently, it's 86˚F.

There are so many ways that I find myself struggling right now, I see no point in going into the particulars. Too many things that have been wrong for too many years. Too many disappointments and dead ends, and yeah, that's just the way the world works, and all our hard work is rarely rewarded, and all that. Sure. But it's worn me down to the raw bone. Add to that the weight off my particular fifty-five years. Tiddely pom.

Today, I once again signed my name five hundred times in two hours (so, that's a total of 1,000 signatures in four hours, Tuesday and Friday). And all the signature sheets for Das ertrinkende Mädchen, the forthcoming German-language edition of The Drowning Girl, are finished and now they go back across the sea from whence they came.

We've made it through the first four episodes of Ken Burns' country music documentary. On Wednesday night, we watched Simon Kinberg's Dark Phoenix, and the best thing about it was Jessica Chastain eerie portrayal of the alien Vuk. We've seen the first two episodes of Snowfall (an FX series we're watching via Hulu, because I get Hulu free with Spotify), and I'm really loving it. I think it may wind up being one of my favorites things on TV.

I got a headache last night that pretty much shut me down today. It also kept me from getting more than four hours sleep last night.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, and there's also Spooky's Etsy shop. Thank you.

Wednesday was a good day at McWane. I got started on Toby the Tylosaur, and from what I can see, most of the skull is there. I estimate I'll need roughly a year to prep the specimen.

Later Taters,

10:26 a.m.
First, Eddie Money, now Ric Ocasek. I was actually a big fan of Ric Ocasek's, back in the eighties, and had an awful crush on him at one point.

Another scorcher. Currently, it's 96˚F, 29% humidity, with the heat index at 95˚F. The forecast high for today and tomorrow is 99˚F. But then we're suppose to finally cool off a bit.

The air is soup. We've had shitty air alerts for days.

I've missed a couple of days, so I'm gonna use numbers for this remainder entry, so I don't forget anything (maybe):

1. This morning, Spooky and I picked up my two boxes of contributor's copies of Houses Under the Sea: Mythos Tales and took all but four copies directly to the storage unit. By the way, Bill at SubPress has given me permission to put one of these up on eBay now, months and months and months, years really, before my contract says I can. So, watch this space and all that.

2. Yesterday evening, the signature pages for Das ertrinkende Mädchen, the forthcoming German-language edition of The Drowning Girl. There are a thousand of them, so when I got back from the storage unit, I spent two hours signing the first 500. I fear I am only good for 500 signatures a day, at this point. I'll finish them on Friday.

3. Why won't I finish them on Wednesday? Because tomorrow is a MacWane day, and all I'm doing tomorrow is working on Toby the Tylosaur. Well then what about Thursday? you might ask. Thursday is a secret.

4. On Friday, I also have a meeting with my lit agent about writing a film pitch. No, I can't give details. And I have to get back to the last Dancy story for Comes a Pale Rider, and I have to finish the signature pages (like I said above).

5. Spooky's got some new ghosts and pumpkins up in her Etsy shop, so please have a look. The goblins are working overtime, despite the heat.

6. Lots of good television right now. First, we devoured the first half of Season Four of The Ranch in only two nights, and now we have to wait until...who knows when...for the second half, which will also be the end of the series. As much as I have loved the show, this is probably for the best. Without Danny Masterson, a lot of the shiny is gone. Also, we have a new Ken Burns series, Country Music, and we're force ourselves to watch only one episode a night, so it'll last a while. And then there's the third (and final) season of The Deuce; we watched the first two episodes over the last couple of nights. We also saw the first two episodes of something on Netflix called The I-Land, which isn't very good, but it's sorta watchable. Think Lost meets The Matrix, and bingo.

And I actually think that might be all for now.


11:11 p.m. (last night)
Cloudy today, for the most part, so a little break from the sun. Currently, it's only 78˚F, with the heat index at 80˚F.

Eddie Money is dead. I probably haven't listened to an Eddie Money song since the 1980s, but he was part of the cultural soundscape of my youth (let's say 1977-1986), which is melting away as quickly as the icecaps.

What do you say about a day that you have to spend fifteen minutes trying to think of anything at all worthwhile to say about? I'm having far too many of those.

Have a look at Spooky's Etsy shop. The goblins in her workshop are busy making Halloween thingamabobs.


4:23 p.m. (yesterday)

"See how deep the bullet lies."

Gonna be a scorcher today. Currently, it's 85˚F, with a heat index of 90˚F. Yesterday, we maxed out with a heat index of 101˚F.

Yesterday and Wednesday were both McWane days, and McWane days are always good, but I spent all of Wednesday and the very first part of yesterday trying to cut down the last Alfred the Tylosaur plaster field jacket for storage. Which, mountains of plaster dust aside, wouldn't have been a big deal, except for a hard-as-fuck cedar branch set into one side of the jacket (used to brace it and avoid flexing), cedar that had cured for 36 years (!). It defeated the Dremel. It defeated a couple of other power tools. Finally, yesterday morning Drew cut through it with a hacksaw, because the lowest tech solutions are usually the best. And he still has upper body strength. So, finally, after four months of prep work, I'm done with the back half of the left mandible of Alfred the Tylosaur, discovered in 1981 and excavated in 1983. Which means I get to move along to another tylosaur skull, this one collected about 1994 from very near the same spot where Alfred was found. I've christened this one Toby the Tylosaur. Much of yesterday was spent on a single posterior cervical vertebra, just getting a feel for the matrix and the bone. Alfred has a skull that was about 5' long. Toby is a smaller, younger mosasaur, and I'm suspecting the skull will "only" be about 3.5' long.

Today, I gotta be a writer again, which means helping Spooky with eBay books and dealing with business related to two forthcoming short story collections, Borderlands Press' A Little Yellow Book of Fever Dreams (a selection of my "fairy tales") and Subterranean Press' re-release of Alabaster. And speaking of Subterranean Press, their edition of Houses Under the Sea: Mythos Tales is back from the printers and shipping any day (or already), and it's also 90% sold out. So, act fast. I have no plans for a third edition.

Oh, and here's a link to what is likely the very best review of The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan that I've seen. It made me happy, day before yesterday when I first saw it.

John Wick 3: Parabellum is an utter fucking joy, probably more of a joy than it has a right to be. And tonight, the fourth and final season of The Ranch begins.

Spooky's still putting up cool Halloween stuff in her Etsy shop. Have a look.

The RP in Second Life is still going well. And I never thought I'd say that again.

I leave you with a rather random museum photograph. Spooky says it can be the cover photo for my next album.

Later Tylotaters,

2:40 p.m. (yesterday)

Tomatoes from Mexico

Daniel Johnston (1961-2019) died today. So, there's the day's measure of fresh sadness.

Another mostly hot and sunny day. We did get some clouds, and some parts of the city got rain. Downtown got rain, but not much. But the heat index only reached 97˚F today. Currently, it's 82˚F, with the heat index at 85˚F.

A long, long, long day today, and I'm really too tired to be making this entry. I was awake a six a.m. and up at seven. There was breakfast from Jack's, a trip to the bank, trips to the pharmacy and Target. I had to be at McWane at one p.m., and...you know, I'll come back to MacWane on Friday, because I have another day there tomorrow, and I'm almost too tired and sore to make sense. Oh, and Friday I have ton go back to being a writer again.

Yesterday, we saw It Chapter Two, and...I wish I could say I wasn't disappointed, because I loved the first film so much, but the farther I get from having seen the second film, the less I like it. And mostly, it comes down to this: it was unnecessary. The first film was damn near perfect, and it had a good ending, and that should have been that. Sure, all of King's bloated novel wasn't there, but all the good parts were. I should say again that It (1986) was the novel when I finally began losing interest in King (The Tommyknockers came along and finished what It began). So I was amazed when I loved the first film, and I had hoped to love the second, but I just don't think the director could have pulled it off. The cards were stacked against him. And yet, the cast was uniformly good, and Bill Skarsgård was still excellent, and the creature effects were mostly still amazing, and they tossed out most of King's absurd cosmogony. But the just went on and on and on and on and on, meandering and circling back and losing track of itself until it descended into a trite, sentimental parody of the first film. So, that's what I think. You may not agree. Make up your own minds, as always. But in summation: It's not a bad film. I wouldn't walk out or want my money back. It was just unnecessary.

We're watching Bosch, because we needed a show and there are five seasons and I love Titus Welliver. And no, Bosch isn't terribly good TV, but it is very watchable. And Titus Welliver.

Please, check out the eBay auctions and Spooky's Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries shop. Thank you.

And as for the day's measure of lingering sadness, it seems almost impossible that 18 years have passed since 9/11/01, the most terrifying day I have ever lived through, a day that changed America forever. I have not forgotten any of it. I never will.

But hey. Tomatoes from Mexico. Because Alabama tomatoes just ain't good enough. Or maybe they all go to Mexico. Anyway, I got John Wick 3 – Parabellum waiting for me, so...


4:37 p.m. (Hadrodus hewletti, RMM 1950; see Bell, G.L. 1986)
Another wide carnivorous sky. Currently, it's 87˚F, with the heat index at 89˚F. The heat index reached 103˚F yesterday. Tuscaloosa had a heat index of 108˚F.

Yesterday was truly probably the worst day since the move from Providence.

I can only fight the good fight to make today any different.

Last night, we finished Season Four of Better Call Saul, so now we're all caught up. That last episode of Season Four, fucking brilliant and beautiful and brittle with sadness. Also, we watched the first episode of Amazon's Carnival Row, and yeah, it's pretty (mostly), and the world building is cool (mostly), but god, what an awful mess. Too many characters, too much plot. And those silly floppy, rubber fairie wings; please, no. I'm not sure whether we'll even bother with more, though I've heard Alice Krige is good.


Look, proof that I can, on rare occasions be funny. Written this day ten years ago:

"...Deep Juan's, a Lovecraftian pizza joint, with mythos-themed pies. For example, here are a few that made the cut (ha, ha...):

1. At the Mozzarella of Madness (featuring the Sauce Out of Thyme)
2. Cthulhu's Revenge (one of the few I've worked out the ingredients for, including fried calamari and clam strips, a jalapeño pesto sauce, and muenster cheese).
3. The Baconomicon
4. Goat Cheese With a Thousand Young
5. Herbert West-Regurgitater Special
6. The Unnameable
7. The Polyperoni (obviously, lots and lots of pepperoni and pearl onions)
8. The Sausagoggoth
9. Pickman's Pineapple
10. Anchovies Over Innsmouth
11. Extra Fungi from Yuggoth

Sides include Elder Wings and Fish Sticks. And, of course, Deep Juan's "Thing on the Doorstep" delivery insures that each pizza will be delivered precisely a Shadow Out of Time, or you get to keep your soul. Still designing the boxes, which, naturally, will be cardboard tesseracts, to hold each non-Euclidean slice.

There was supposed to be a T-shirt, but it never happened."

Copyright © 2009 by Caitlín R. Kiernan


You know this part: "But the disease of life and all its demands roll on, so there are the eBay auctions and Spooky's Etsy shop."

Later Cthulhutaters,

3:43 p.m. (yesterday)

"Now you look right through me."

Hot and sunny and the sky the wrong and hungry blue. Currently, it's 92˚F, with the heat index at 100˚F.

I was actually pretty sure today couldn't be worse than yesterday, and yet here it is much worse.

I would just go to sleep, if that were an option.

Do you really have to ask?

But the disease of life and all its demands roll on, so there are the eBay auctions and Spooky's Etsy shop.


11:17 a.m. (yesterday)
Sunny and the sky is as wide and carnivorous as it gets. Currently, it's 83˚F, with the heat index at 83˚F.

No writing again or still or whatever. Bad day after bad day after bad day.

Yesterday gets extra points for effort, though.

It occurred to me, this morning, and not for anything like the first time, that there was this period back about 2008-2012, four years or so, when I was reading all sorts of fantasy and SF that I had no actual interest in reading. But these were the cool books, so maybe if I read them I could pass for relevant and intellectual and a real writer and on and on. All those lies. I mean, I actually suffered all the way through Susanna Clarke's Mr. Norrell and Jonathan Strange, a book so dull and overblown is deserves a place in the goddamn Tedium Hall of Fame. But there were dozens of these books, the books I read because isn't that what I was supposed to do? Isn't there something wrong with me if I'm not reading and enjoying those books? Yeah, well, anyway, I'm better now. I'm about to purge most of that stuff. Pack it up. Get rid of it.

Spooky and I took boxes of The Dinosaur Tourist and Dear Sweet Filthy word to storage this morning. It got me out of the house for half an hour.

There are the eBay auctions and Spooky's Etsy shop. Have look, and thanks.


11:27 a.m. (day before yesterday)

Fill in the Blanks

Another sunny day, kinda hot. Currently, it's 93˚F, with the heat index at 96˚F. Looks like the Horror Clown was wrong about Dorian.

Never think, "This is my worst day," because the universe exists to prove you wrong, kiddos.

The only remarkable thing about yesterday...never mind. Yesterday was a profoundly unremarkable day.

They all blur together.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions and Spooky's Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy shop. Thank you.


8:55 a.m.

"...on this and the other side."

Losing day after day after day...

I feel like I hardly slept last night, and I'm not well today.

It's a painfully clear sky hanging over us today, not even to whisper of a cloud. Currently, it's 90˚F, with the heat index at 92˚F.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions – especially that copy of The Five of Cups (2003) – and Spooky's Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy shop. Thanks.

Later, Maybe,

11:26 a.m.

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