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"Are you the one who found the ear?"

Last night was another night with hardly enough sleep to bother mentioning, so I missed another day at McWane.

There were storms near sunset.

I finished David Lynch and Kristene McKenna's Room to Dream this afternoon, so tonight we watched Blue Velvet for the first time in a couple of years.

Spooky made tuna sandwiches and fries for dinner.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks.


10:47 p.m.

Zombies and Zomdon'ts

Sunny and hot today. The cicadas are singing tonight. Currently, it's 78˚F, with the heat index at 81˚F.

I slept a solid six and a half hours last night. It was wonderful.

Today, we saw Jim Jarmusch's The Dead Don't Die (my birthday present to Spooky), and, truthfully, I was very worried we weren't going to enjoy it. There's been so much naysaying and kvetching and disdain, I was afraid maybe this wouldn't be one of the good Jarmusch films. But I knew before the film's first scene was over this was not the case. We both loved it and found it very, very funny, but if you're not into Jarmusch's ultra-deadpan brand of comedy or a zombie film this unrelentingly wacky or into metafictional elements or...whatever...it might not be your cup of tea. But as far as I'm concerned, Tilda Swinton's performance alone is worth the price of admission.

Tomorrow, I have a long day at McWane, and I need to spend the rest of the week of the glyptosaur paper, and then it's back to fiction on Monday.

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


2:45 p.m.
Very, very tired, because last night was Night Number Whatever Without Sleep. My head hurts, and even the cicadas aren't much of a comfort. Currently, it's 81˚F, with the heat index at 83˚F.

I went into the lab this morning, but only got in about three hours of prep time, because I was just too sleepy to be at my best or trust my judgment. Spooky came and picked me up a little after 1 p.m., though I'd hoped to stay until closer to 5. Blah, blah, blah. I came home and couldn't actually nap, but couldn't do much of anything else, either. Anyway, I get another shot on Wednesday.

No, you can't die of insomnia.

Maybe I already died.

Anyway...today was Spooky's birthday, and she got cupcakes and worked on her puppets, and there were marvelous gifts from wonderful people, and we got Chinese takeout and watched Industrial Accident: The Untold Story of Wax Trax! Records (2018).

Oh, and I have a headache. Wait, I said that already.

Anyway, please have a look at our current eBay auctions, most especially that copy of Tales from the Woeful Platypus (2006). Gonna be a long time before you see another one of those from us.

Probably I'm forgetting something, but it can wait.


1:02 p.m.

A June of Sleepless Nights

Sunny today, mostly. Tonight, the cicadas are loud, and it's one of the best sounds I know. Currently, it's 84˚F, with the heat index at 89˚F.

Another sleepless night last night. Maybe three hours, when all was said and done, but three broken up hours. At least, though, the black mood lost its grip on me somewhere in there. So, it was a better day, even without sleep.

Still, I spent the morning and early afternoon trying to make some progress on the glyptosaur paper. I wanted to have a first draft by June 30, because I go back to fiction on July 1. Now, I'm not sure I'll be able to get the paper done that soon, thanks to the sleeplessness.

Regardless, tomorrow is a McWane day, sleep or no sleep. I need to get back to the tylosaur. Tomorrow, is, of course, also Spooky's birthday.

There are three mostly grown kittens living with their mother in a cave in the little cliff behind the house.

And that was today, more or less. Oh, except that I had a really good baloney sandwich for dinner, and then signed a whole mess of eBay books for people.

Speaking of which, Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. They include a copy of Tales from the Woeful Platypus (2006), truly one of my harder to find books.

Later Taters,

2:00 p.m.

Mandatory Title

The day started out bright and sunny and hot, and then the storms came. It would be poetic to say that they brought this black mood, that it has returned, with them. But they didn't. I woke with it. And I lost the day to it, and I desperately hope it will be gone tomorrow.

Selwyn hates thunder.

And there was a lot of thunder.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks.


11:46 a.m.

"Plant one and watch something die."

A hot, hot day. I'm not sure what the actual high was, but I know the heat index made 102˚F at one point. Currently, it's 85˚F, with the heat index at 91˚F.

Today, I worked on the glyptosaurine paper, mostly studying the six osteoderms we have and reading or re-reading relevant papers, such as Chris Beard's 2008 "The oldest North American primate and mammalian biogeography during the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum" and Robert Sullivan's 1979 revision of Glyptosaurus. And I played GW2, which I started playing again a couple of days ago, after a three-week break. And I watched Mythbusters and a documentary about the exploration of Mars.

Tuna sandwiches and fries for dinner.

Tonight, we watched Mad Max: Fury Road for the fourth time (counting the two times in the theater). Last night, we watched a documentary about Alexander McQueen.

Spooky's making the creepiest puppet....

Oh, but first, please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Good stuff, which I will sign and personalize. And it's still not too late to have a look at Spooky's birthday wishlist. Just click the link. Thank ye.

My Amazon.com Wish List

Later Gators,

5:13 p.m.

"A double-fisted queen of terror."

It's a beautiful evening here in Birmingham, sunset turning the tops of the clouds pink and violet. Currently, it's 86˚F, with the heat index at 89˚F.

Today was supposed to be a McWane day. I had ambitions of finishing with the coronoid and the splenial both today, finishing the mechanical prep work and the acid bath and so forth. But then I didn't sleep last night. At best, I slept two and a half hours, and those were broken up and piecemeal. And the last thing I was gonna try to do on two and a half hours of sleep was handle incredibly delicate 85 million year old bones (and dental tools and dangerous chemicals). So, I finally got up about, I don't know, 8 a.m., and I called the lab and let Jun know that I would not be coming in, thank you Monsieur Insomnia, you motherfucker. I'll give it another try on Monday.

By the way, no, I'm not being paid for my work at McWane. Someone asked. This is science for the sake of and love of science. My sole source of income remains my fiction writing.

The day was a blur, a far less than awake blur. We went to an Asian market out on Valley Road, which actually was called Super Oriental Market, and there were all sorts marvelously weird noodles and candy and porcelain maneki-neko figurines. Spooky got some green tea flavored Kit Kat bars, but that was all. They're actually green. Then we had to stop at the market for peanut butter and mouthwash and Gatorade and whatnot. It's a goddamn glamorous life, I tell you what.

Oh, yesterday, I helped Spooky move the last few boxes from our small storage unit into our large storage unit (long story), so that we can save about $60/month. There a lot of economizing going in around here.

A special thank you to the very, very generous Bill Schafer, who time and again has come along to pull my butt from out the fire.

“I used to be somebody, now I’m somebody else” ~ Bad Blake, Crazy Heart (I ought to have this tattooed on my other arm.)

Today, I went back to David Lynch's autobiography, Room to Dream, which I'd set aside while I finished "Requiem."

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Good stuff, which I will sign and personalize. Also, it's still not too late to have a look at Spooky's birthday wishlist. One day, I will not be fucking broke on her birthday and I'll get her that goddamn Meezer ranch she's been wanting:

My Amazon.com Wish List

Later Kittens,

9:01 a.m.

Savannah to Birmingham

Rain this morning, then a little sun, then rain again this evening. Currently, it's 74˚F.

Today, I spent four hours proofreading the new new Dancy story, then dealing with a hundred or so line edits. Now, it's done. And the title is now simply "Requiem." Both stories have been sent to Subterranean Press, and I'll post more information here about the new Dancy collection as soon as I am able.

And then I worked on the glyptosaur paper a little, outlining sections on the three localities that produced the specimens being described – Little Stave Creek in Clarke County, Alabama, Hatchetigbee Bluff in Washington County, Alabama, and the Red Hot Truck Stop site in Lauderdale County, Mississippi.

Tonight, after tuna casserole, we watched Lynne Ramsay's extraordinary You Were Never Really Here (2017), and if you haven't, you should.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions (because shit ain't free), and there's also Spooky's birthday on the 24th, so here's her wishlist at Amazon:

My Amazon.com Wish List

Later Taters,

11:29 p.m.

Howard Hughes and the Cretaceous Taco

I hear thunder. The day was hot and sunny, but not unpleasantly so. Currently, it's 83˚F, with the heat index at 86˚F.

I spent most of the day a McWane, prepping the Tylosaurus splenial, which came free of the block with more ease than I'd feared it would. But it was tedious, painstaking work on a very fragile bone, and I was only good for about four hours of preparation. I won't get another day at McWane until Thursday.

Back home, I read "Paleoecology and Biostratigraphy of Marginal Marine Gulf Coast Eocene Vertebrate Localities" by Jim Westgate (2001). And napped. And then watched a couple of episodes of Mythbusters. And then we got sweet tea and bananas from Da Oink and dinner from Milo's.

Tonight, we watched John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China (1986), which neither Kathryn nor I had seen since the 80s. I contend it's one of four truly good Carpenter films. They are, in order of release:

1. Escape from New York (1981)
2. The Thing (1982)
3. Starman (1984)
4. Big Trouble in Little China (1986).

Last night, we saw Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven (1992), even though we saw it not long ago, and then Rupert Wyatt's understated Captive State., which I now see no one seems to have enjoyed but me.

And as I said last night, please have a look at the current eBay auctions, and there's also Spooky's birthday on the 24th, so here's her wishlist at Amazon:

My Amazon.com Wish List

I doubt the universe will reward you for these small acts of kindness, but it can't hurt, right? Until next time, I leave you with RMM 070, the "Greene County Mosasaur" that once graced Red Mountain Museum, which was being reconstructed and mounted when I began doing volunteer work there in 1978. We go back a long, long way, this lizard and I.


2:05 p.m.
Sunny today, mostly, and we made it back above 90˚F. Currently, it's 89˚F.

Today, I wrote 1,643 words and finished my second long Dancy Flammarion story in less than a month*, and this despite sleeping less than five hours last night. This second story weighs in at 10,450 words and the first, "Dreams of a Poor Wayfaring Stranger," at 10,421 words (so a combined total of 20,871 words). I think the new title for the second story is, by the way, "Requiem for a Scapegoat." At least that's what is it this afternoon. I grew to hate "The Lady in the House of Crowning Glory," and I've been trying to find the new title for a week or so. And this really is a requiem. Both stories are for the forthcoming second volume of Dancy stories from Subterranean Press (though the trade edition will only include one of them), which also does not yet have a title, and I have no idea when it will be released.

Oh, and I spent an hour later in the day, after a half-assed nap, working on the glyptosaur paper.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, and there's also Spooky's birthday on the 24th, so here's her wishlist at Amazon:

My Amazon.com Wish List

I'm supposed to be back at the McWane Center tomorrow, if I can get some sleep tonight, then spend Tuesday editing the new new Dancy story.


9:12 a.m.

* By Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy criteria, these count as "novelettes." But I do not use that odious word.
I slept more than seven hours last night. I've been lucky to get five most nights.

Sunny and warmer today, but the thunderstorms are coming. Spooky saw lightning bugs and says she heard a cicada, but I haven't done either.

Today, I did a remarkable (for me, I'm saying) 2,141 words on the new new Dancy story (new title TBA tomorrow night). I'll easily finish the story tomorrow. And I started writing the glyptosaur paper, which I think is going to be called "Eocene glyptosaur (Reptilia: Anguidae) osteoderms from Alabama and Mississippi, USA."

A very good day at McWane yesterday. I came close to finishing with the left coronoid of "Alfred" the giant tylosaur, but it still needs a mild acid bath (a 5% CH3COOH/95% H2O solution, which is pretty much white vinegar) and then a good coat of polyvinyl butyral resin ("Butvar B-98") as a preservative. I've spent about nine hours on the coronoid so far, and even though it isn't quite done, I moved on ahead to the left splenial, which is gonna make that coronoid look like a walk in the park.

Tonight, we watched Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck's Captain Marvel (2019), and I really loved it. Last night, we saw Kieran Darcy-Smith's The Duel (2016).

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, plus there's Spooky's upcoming birthday, so there's her Amazon wishlist.

My Amazon.com Wish List


9:55 p.m.
Today was a very, very good day. Even the weather was nice. I think we might have gone to the mid eighties, but it may have been cooler, and currently it's 65˚F. Warmer weather is on it's way back.

The day started with an email from Bill Schafer informing me that the forthcoming Subterranean Press edition of Houses Under the Sea: Mythos Tales has received a starred review in Publisher's Weekly*, which reads as follows:

Houses Under the Sea Subterranean, $45 (488p) ISBN 978-1-59606-920-6

"The thirty stories in this superior collection are remarkable for showing how harmoniously Kiernan’s own visionary weird fiction resonates with the best cosmic horror tales of H.P. Lovecraft. Some selections, such as “Pickman’s Other Model (1929),” are ingenious extensions of well-known Lovecraft works. Others, including “From Cabinet 34, Drawer 6” and “The Drowned Geologist (1898),” riff on the cosmic conspiracies rampant in Lovecraft’s mythos fiction. In a clutch of tales that includes “So Runs the World Away” and “Love Is Forbidden, We Croak & Howl,” Kiernan goes full gothic, elaborating a dark fantasy world populated by ghouls, vampires, and other eldritch beings. No matter how strange or outré the phenomena, Kiernan meticulously builds details into her stories that ground them in a believable reality, such as the paleontological data that evokes vast expanses of time in “A Mountain Walked” and the scientifically credible rendering of an extraterrestrial colony in the book’s one new story, “M Is for Mars.” This is a must-have for fans of Kiernan’s work or the Cthulhu Mythos." Agent: Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House. (Oct.)


I got to the McWane Center about 9:45 a.m. and spent the next five hours preparing the back half of the left lower jaw of an enormous specimen of the giant mosasaur Tylosaurus proriger. The entire skull would have been about five feet long, and the section of the jaw I worked on today was about two and a half feet of that. This mosasaur was originally discovered by Red Mountain Museum and Explorer Post 272 in March 1981, then excavated (I think) in the summer of 1983. The one section of jaw is the only part that has yet to be prepared. I figure I'll take me a couple of weeks to finish.I'll write more about working on his specimen very soon, with photos and everything. I'm just too tired tonight. More McWane tomorrow.

The third good thing was Spooky finding my grandmother's revolver, which we feared had somehow been lost in the move last year. No. It was hiding in the top of a closet.

Anyway, back home, there was Chinese takeout of dinner, and then we watched the new episode of Archer and then Sam Raimi's underrated The Quick and the Dead (1995). I would so love to see this film remade with Charlize Theron in the Sharon Stone role, by the way.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. We've got some good stuff up and more good stuff on the way. Thanks.

Also, Spooky's birthday still has not been moved from June 24th, despite appeals to the Homeland Office of Birth Date Relocation, and you can find her Amazon wish list by following the button below.

My Amazon.com Wish List

And finally, the ghost of Woody Woodpecker's ten thousand times great grandfather says, "Relax."**

Later Taters,

3:47 p.m.

* Publisher's Weekly didn't review the Centipede Press edition.
** First person who tells me how pterosaurs ain't birds gets a sock in the mush.

Caold Snap

As in, we're having one. Well, okay, not cold. But I don't think we even made it to 80˚F toady, or if we did, not much past. Currently, it's 75˚F, and we're going down to 61˚F. Tomorrow, night, the low is supposed to be 58˚F.

Today, I did 1,324 words on the second new Dancy story (title in flux). I don't think I have much more than two days work to go on it, and that will finish up the stories for the forthcoming second Dancy Flammarion collection (title and release date TBA, so don't ask). And I emailed Bill and Yanni at SubPress. And I spent some time sorting through some of my personal fossil collection, much of which I'm donating to McWane, mostly stuff I collected between 1998 and 2002. Oh, and Spooky braved traffic on 280 to get me a new external HD, which I need for paleo'/museum stuff.

All in all, Spooky had a really crappy day, but that's not for me to elaborate upon.

Tonight, new episodes of Pose and Deadliest Catch.

And before I forget (again), Spooky's birthday is coming up fast (24th of June), and here's the button thingy for her Amazon wish list, should anyone be so inclined. Thank you. Oh, and here's the eBay link, too.

My Amazon.com Wish List

And tomorrow is a McWane day.


1:02 a.m.

"You just don't remember it yet."

No rain today, and only a few clouds, but the weather stayed cool. Currently, it's only 68˚F.

A much better day today, despite sleeping less than five hours. I wrote 1,430 words on this new story, and for the first time on this one I felt like I pulled away from mediocrity. It may turn out well, after all. This story is, by the way, a very odd sort of "sequel" to "Les Fleurs Empoisonnées," set in Birmingham in 2018, twenty years after the events of that story (Dancy would be about thirty-five). There was email with Bill Schafer and Jun Ebersole.

Meanwhile, Spooky spent the morning transferring the contents of our storage unit to a larger unit in the same building, just across the aisle.

And the black mood stayed at bay. It helps that Thursday is a McWane day. Anyway, after the writing, I did some paleo' work and watched documentaries on volcanoes and earthquakes.

Tonight, we watched the Miley Cyrus episode of Black Mirror, "Rachel, Jack, and Ashley, Too," which I must admit was pretty damn delightful, and then we watched Bertrand Tavernier's In the Electric Mists (2009), based on James Lee Burke's In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead (1993).

Please have a look at the current eBay links. Thank ye.

Later Taters,

10:52 a.m.

Somewhat Slightly Less Wretched

I think the rain is done with us again for a while. Currently, it's 76˚F.

Today I did another 1,141 words on "The Lady in the House of Crowning Glory." Only I'm beginning to think I may change the title to "Requiem for a Dragon Slayer, Requiem for a Cannibal." Or shit, I don't know. Anyway, once again the words came only with great effort and haltingly and likely amount only to more mediocrity. I fear this one just doesn't have anything better in it, no matter how hard I beat the darkness. It certainly won't be for lack of effort. I hope to finish the story by Sunday evening.

The black mood lifted about 11:30 p.m. last night, after I'd gone to bed, and then I was awake until after 2 a.m. It was still gone when I woke, and we got breakfast at Jack's (which we haven't done in months), and when I set down to write, the black mood swept down again. Or rose up. Or what the fuck ever it is that black moods do. Oozed from out my eye sockets. When the writing was done, about two this afternoon, I tried to do a little more work on other things that need my attention, but I ended up laying down and sleeping an hour or so. After the nap, my mood had lightened a little again.

Late this afternoon, early this evening, three documentaries – one on the collision of galaxies and two on asteroid/meteor/cometary impacts. After dinner, we watched Vincent D'Onofrio's very good The Kid (2018). Lately, about all I want to watch are westerns. And war movies. But mostly westerns. Make of that what e'er you will.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Even when I feel like shit, shit still ain't free. Go fucking figure.

6:09 p.m.

The Worse Day of 2019 (Thus Far)

Blue skies and clouds most of the day, but a thunderstorm this evening. Currently, it's 73˚F.

Today, I did another 1,347 words on "The Lady in the House of Crowning Glory." But today's pages seem every bit as much mediocrity as yesterday's.

A wicked, black shitstorm inside my head today. The three hours I spent writing was the only calm. I don't know how much longer this is going to keep up. I had a couple day's respite from the anger and frustration, but then it came roaring back.

Today, documentaries on the Parker Solar Probe and free climbing El Capitan.

I just fucking want to fast forward a week or two...


12:11 a.m.
Another day with both rain and sunshine and much more humid, cooler weather. Currently, it's 73˚F.

Today I began the second Dancy Flammarion story, "The Lady in the House of Crowning Glory," which may also get the parenthetical subtitle "(2018)." It's a far more ambitious story that "Dreams of a Poor Wayfaring Stranger." And because of that, even though I wrote 1,425 words on the story today, I'm pretty sure that I had a mediocre writing day or worse. I won't know until at least tomorrow when I look at the pages again. And I don't have time or inclination to start over. Once upon a time, I was pretty good about those false starts and about starting over. Those days are past, and I don't think we will ever see them again.

This afternoon, I watched documentaries on the space shuttles and pike fishing. Tonight, we watched Scott Cooper's superb Hostiles (2018).


12:35 a.m.
So, yeah, today was a pretty good day, after the trials and moods of last week. We had some rain, the mostly blue skies until the evening, when the rain came back. Currently, it's 77˚F.

I made it to the museum today by 12:45 p.m., and I was there until after 4 p.m. Mostly, it was a wonderfully long and rambling discussion (or a succession of intricately nested discussions) with Jun Ebersole about the glyptosaur paper we're working on, mosasaur biostratigraphy and systematics and ontogeny, upcoming fieldwork, electronic publishing (as it relates to scientific papers), the long-gone days of the now-defunct Red Mountain Museum, evidence of the K-T/K-P extinction event in Alabama, and...on and on and on. I'll be going back in late next week. It is a tonic for my battered spirit, my days among the rocks and bones.

But first, I have this second Dancy Flammarion story to get started on tomorrow.

Later Taters,

4:04 p.m.

"It usually ends badly."

Muggy tonight, but cool. We finally got rain today, especially in the morning. I woke to rain. Currently, it's 75˚F.

The black mood relaxed its hold slightly this afternoon, but I can feel it close. I went out to Target with Spooky, just to get out of the house.

If you've not happened to see John from Cincinnati (2007), you should. It's the series that David Milch worked on immediately after the cancellation of Deadwood. Of course, John from Cincinnati was cancelled after only one short season, but there's enough here to see it would have been something brilliant. Like, Deadwood meets David Lynch, with surfers. Also, there's a lot of the Deadwood cast, including Garret Dillahunt, Jim Beaver, Dayton Callie, Paula Malcomson, Stephen Tobolowsky, and Keone Young.

And speaking of David Lynch, I began reading his autobiography (written with Kristine McKenna), Room to Dream, a couple of days back, after I finished Absolom, Absolom! on Sunday. It was a birthday gift from setsuled. Tonight, Spooky made chili, and then we watched the new episode of Archer and then Jacques Audiard's really excellent western, The Sisters Brothers.

Tomorrow is a day at the McWane Science Center, so there's that to look forward to, at least.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks.

Oh, and I have this, from Spooky's dad (who's about to go away to Ecuador to do something anthropological):

Oh, true believers and non-believers in the tooth bear. (possibly including Miles)....

There have been sightings all over Rhode Island, and one bear in Camp Varnum even tried to open the door on a car where a non-believer took refuge... cell phone videos all over the news and articles in the newspapers & on the local news.

Well, you all know how our acreage changes as spring comes and the leaves start to make bare branches into new shapes. The other day (last Friday) in the morning when the sun was behind the bushes, trees, big boulders, and stumps in the east pasture, making them appear quite dark, I saw a shape near the deer fence about 150 ft. away and tried to resolve it in my vision to identify it, AND IT MOVED, IT LUMBERED! I perceived the Tooth Bear!!! Fred was beside me & he perceived it as well. But, a non-believer, the anti-Tooth Bear Midwestern farmer girl Carol said, "it's a tom turkey with its tail fanned out." The tooth bear felt the negative vibes pouring from our kitchen into the pasture and began to rapidly shape-shift into a tom turkey displaying for the hen it sensed under our bird feeders.

Now we know, it is not only a Tooth Bear, but a shape-shifting Tooth Bear. Beware........ The Tooth Bear saga continues.

Love you all (even the non-believers)....... Dad

Make of that what e're you will.


10:52 p.m.

Klonopin and Anger

Overcast all day, but no rain. Currently, it's 75˚F.

I woke to find the black mood was still with me, and by early afternoon it had reached a fever pitch. I tried to drown it out with music, but music only goes so far.

I lay on the air mattress and watched documentaries about giant Tasmanian crayfish and the Gemini space program and the bombing of Hiroshima. Spooky got pizza for dinner. On and on and on.


From Facebook today ~

Think of New England as a Skinner box. Think of me as a white rat. Or maybe Pavlov would work better in this instance. But after a decade of frigid, wet summers, I have been rendered entirely unable to comfortably, calmly endure even a single rainy day, even when I am in Birmingham, Alabama and we haven't seen rain in weeks. Cloudy, rainy days, which I used to enjoy, are now a smothering wet towel across my face, all claustrophobia and anxiety.

~ and ~

I am not by nature or passion any sort of an artist. I'm a scientist who was finally left with no other path but art if I were to avoid starvation and homelessness. Writing allowed me to trade utter destitution for mere perpetual poverty. (No, I won't fucking elaborate.)


I'm going the fuck to bed, but you need to look at the current eBay auctions. Please. Thank you.

Oh, and don't say I didn't work. I was perfectly civil in a whole bunch of email. Here, have some goddamn octopuses.


6:24 p.m.

Bad Movies and Bad TV

Yeah, so...there's rain coming. Currently, it's 80˚F, with the heat index at 81˚F.

I'm supposed to be having a few days off. The Constant Reader will recall how bad I am at those, and the shitstain that was today stands as additional evidence to bolster that fact, as does to black mood that hit me day before yesterday and will not fuck off.

Today, it was made considerably worse by going to a matinée of Michael Dougherty's Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Now, in all the decades I have been a moviegoer, I have only walked out of a movie, I don't know...three or four times, at the most. It's just not something I do. If I've paid for it, I figure I should have to sit through, not matter how wretched a movie might be. The time last time, it was Paul Feig unwatchable attempt at a Ghostbusters reboot in 2016. These days, Kathryn and I see very few films in the theater, because we can't afford it, and I can't deal with all the bullshit that theaters have become. Chicken and waffles at the concessions stand? Really? Anyway...fortunately we only paid $5 each to see Godzilla: King of the Monsters, because we walked out about halfway through. It's even worse than Gareth Edwards' 2014 film. Hell, it's even worse than Roland Emmerich's legendarily awful 1998 go at the thing. At least Emmerich's film was hilariously bad. Godzilla: King of the Monsters is bad in a way that is not way even vaguely entertaining, and after about an hour I'd had enough. If we'd seen it only 39% on Rotten Tomatoes, we might have stayed away.

So, yeah. Didn't help the mood.

And tonight we choked down the first episode of the new AMC series, NOS4A2, also a piece of shit. No, really. But at least we didn't pay five dollars apiece for that, or suffer what they've made of AMC Summit (formerly Carmike), or sit through a trailer for (I shit you not) a new Rambo film.

Yeah, that was today, may it writhe in eternal fucking agony.


2:21 p.m.

Postscript: Here's the eBay link, because Spooky will be annoyed if I don't stick it in here somewhere. Buy something.


No rain today. Currently, it's 80˚F, with the heat index at 82˚F.

Today, I finished reading Absolom, Absolom!. And it was Lydia's second birthday. Spooky spotted two male five-lined skinks (Plestiodon fasciatus) dashing about the tree outside her studio window and took photos. I went with Spooky to Publix, and we got stuff for spaghetti. I've had worse days off.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks.

Later Taters,

1:50 p.m.
We do not yet officially have a drought. We're only "abnormally dry." It needs to rain. But at least the heat isn't too bad. Currently, it's 74˚F.

Today, I proofread "Dreams of a Poor Wayfaring Stranger," and then I attended to about a million line edits. I'll come back to the story again in a month or so. Meanwhile, I'm going to give myself a few days away from fiction, then come back and do the second Dancy story. I'm not yet sure what it's going to be. I'm working hard to avoid the "Dancy walks down the road and fights a monster" formula.

Last night, of course, was the long, long, long awaited Deadwood film. And I wanted to love it. And I'm very happy that it's getting such a good reception from the critics. But I didn't love it. I didn't hate it, either, and there were parts I very much enjoyed. But my feelings on it are complicated, and there's a lot wrong, mostly, I fear, arising from the fact that David Milch couldn't direct (much less micromanage every aspect of production, as he did with the original series). Anyway, I'm not gonna run it down. I'm glad it happened. We watched it twice last night, because, after one viewing, I needed to see it a little less weighed down by my expectations.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Money's very tight these days. Thanks.


6:36 p.m.

Four in One

Another hottish day, some clouds but again no rain. The ground is getting very dry. Currently, it's 77˚F, with a heat index of 79˚F.

Today, I wrote 835 words and found THE END of "Dreams of a Poor Wayfaring Stranger," and the "final" word count presently stands at 10,421). So, in May I wrote three short stories – "The Last Thing You Should Do," "The Tameness of Wolves," and ""Dreams of a Poor Wayfaring Stranger." Not to mention finishing up with The Tindalos Asset. It was a good month.

That was my first Dancy story since "Tupelo (1998)" (Sirenia Digest #132, January 2017).

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks.


9:17 p.m.

Shallow Focus

Sunny and dry, low nineties, low humidity. We need a little rain. Currently, it's 81˚F, with the hat index at 83˚F.

Today, I wrote 1,607 words on "Dreams of a Poor Wayfaring Stranger." I'll finish the story tomorrow.

Tonight, a new season of Archer! In Space!

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Find something you like, and I'll sign it.

Later Taters (and 'Nana Puddin'),

12:19 p.m.

Looking for Mars

I think it wasn't as hot today, low nineties and very low humidity, only 37% the one time I looked. Currently, it's 78˚F, with a heat index of 80˚F.

I wrote 1,386 words on "Dreams of a Poor Wayfaring Stranger."

At best, I slept four hours last night.

Tonight, Spooky had leftover Chinese and I had a can of ravioli. And we watched Deadliest Catch and the final episode of Fosse/Verdon.

There's that eBay thing...


(sometime shortly after noon, yesterday)

The Day After Two Days Before Tomorrow

Hot today, but not intolerably so. The high was, I believe, only about 92˚F, with low humidity. Currently, it's 82˚F.

I wrote 1,610 words on "Dreams of a Poor Wayfaring Stranger." And I proofread the forthcoming fossil turtle paper I'm a coauthor on.

My thanks to the folks who were kind enough to send me birthday gifts this year: Setsuled, Dr. David Kirkpatrick, and Gordon Duke. Thank you. Distractions are always welcome and appreciated.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks.


5:08 p.m.

Insert "social buttons"? Really?


Hot again today, but the humidity was much lower, and I doubt the heat index was a terrible as it was yesterday.

I did 1,371 words on "Dreams of a Poor Wayfaring Stranger." I hope to finish the story by the end of the month, as I have another Dancy story to write.

Tonight, birthday leftovers and good TV. I slept better last night than I have been sleeping, but Spooky didn't. Tonight's LJ features the puppet that she's been working on, below. It is putting me in mind of Iggy and Sweet William.

On my birthday in 2017, I wrote the following in this journal: Here on my 53rd birthday, I am profoundly grateful to have been born when I was, in 1964, and to have had the good fortune of a childhood free of computers and the internet and video games and social media, grateful not to be a "digital native," not to have grown up "plugged in." God, I miss that world. Call it nostalgia if you wish, but it's something far deeper.

Today, my Grandmother Ramey would have been 105, and Harlan would have been 85.

The eBay auctions continue, because shit still ain't free. Especially rent. And food. And printer paper. And cat food. And doctor's visits. And...you get the point.

Later Taters,

1:44 p.m.

"And now I'm even older..."

Not a bad birthday, all in all. I mean, if I had to fucking have one.

A very hot day. 96˚F, with the heat index at 100˚F. There were some clouds, but not a hint a rain, and it's getting dry around here.

Today, I spent another three hours on a ~300 word overview of the biostratigraphy, lithostratigraphy, and chronostratigraphy of the Demopolis Chalk. Consider that I usually need only about an hour to write ~1,000 words of solid finished prose, and that'll tell you how, for me, writing fiction differs from working on a scientific paper. Anyway, tomorrow I go back to fiction. I think.

Spooky made me a delightful birthday dinner of potatoes and mushrooms and chicken, all slow-cooked in Dreamland sauce, plus a cake and ice cream. So, no complaints from me. Except the whole being fifty-five part. Tonight, we watched the "making of Game of Thrones" documentary on HBO.

I stop and consider that I was alive, if still in utero, when JFK died. I've been having these moments all day long.

Later Taters,

10:05 p.m.


So, no post last night, because LJ went down and I was unable to post.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,288 words on "Dreams of a Poor Wayfaring Stranger." Today, I worked on the aforementioned bit about the Demopolis Chalk.

Tomorrow, I turn 55. Tiddlely pom.

Currently, it's 78˚F, with a heat index of 80˚F.

Please do have a look at the current eBay auctions. Spooky and I appreciate it.

Tonight's photo was taken yesterday, because...see Paragraph 1.

Later (and now I'm even older),

12:58 p.m.

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