"...a child of two worlds." (240)

A sunny day. Our high was 75F.

This morning I wrote 1,502 words. A couple more days, and I'll tell you what this is. Oh, and I signed a HUGE stack of books today for our Dreaming Squid Sundries customers.

I finished reading David Wallace-Wells' The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, and honestly, no shit, this is a book that I wish every adult and teenager alive today could read. It is by far the best book I ever have read on climate change. It is one thing to fear for the fate of Western Civilization, or our institutions of high education, or American democracy, and it is another thing entirely to have things put so solidly in persepctive that I am forced to acknowledge that none of those things may matter in only a few more decades. Another degree or two Celsius of global warming, and it's not going to matter the pronouns we use or whether kids are reading Shakespeare. See, it's frustratingly difficult me to even write about this sort of thing and not sound trite. I am well aware of that. So please, read Wallace-Wells' book.

I still need that break, much more than ever, so I'm reading Quentin Tarantino's Cinema Speculation. I'm two chapters in, and so far it's delightful.

This afternoon's film was J.J. Abrams' Star Trek (2009).

Please visit the Dreaming Squid Sundries. Thanks.

Later Tater Beans,
Aunt Beast

4:27 a.m.

The Future is a Hammer (239)

Warm today. Sunny, and our high was 81F.

I made up for the last two or three nights by sleeping hard for seven hours straight. That almost never happens. Anyway, I finally woke at 5 a.m., had a very small cup of coffee, and got to work about 6. I got back to the ms. I've been working on and did another 1,640 words. It's looking good. Oh, and there was another thunderstorm raging when I fell asleep.

So, all in all, it wasn't a bad day.

And I've been writing such long blog entries, I think I'm going to keep this short.

Please have a look at the Big Cartel shop. Buy a book. Buy some tie dye. Thank you.

Later Tater Beans,
Aunt Beast

10:08 a.m.


I might have slept three hours last night. Lydia woke me about 3, I think, and I never really got back to sleep. I was up at 3:30, and I was working by 4. Actally, I spent a lot of the predawn hours sitting here at my desk watching a fasntastic electrical storm passing just to the south, just beyond Shades Mountain, possibly over Leeds. Brilliant flashes of lightning. Muted thunder. After dawn, the sky cleared and the sun came out. Our high was 77F.

But I did finish (mostly) with the Bradbury Weather edits...mostly.

Yesterday's mail brought the new Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. I may have mentioned that yesterday. It looks to be a good issue, with papers on everything from the antiquity of Asian chameleons to a new ornthopod dinosaur (Transylvannosaurus platycephalus) to new specimens of the giant ground sloth Glossotherium.

There's an excellent little essay by Douglas Murray on Emily Dickenson, on the value of her writing, "Things Worth Remembering: Emily Dickinson’s Bowl of Gemstones." His "Things Worth Remembering" series is great, and much of it deals with literature no longer smiled upon by the Social Justice Theory that is shredding higher education and consigning so many of our greatest author's to politically incorrect limbos.

Outside, the world is getting very green.

Please have a look at the Dreaming Squid Sundries shop. Danke.

Later Tater Beans,
Aunt Beast

7:08 a.m.

The Weshouldhaveseenocene (237)

Christ, I'm depressed. But at least the sun is shining, and the high today was a comfortable (to me) 82F. You may have seen on the news the beating that Mississippi and Alabama took last night from tornadoes. At least twenty-six dead, mostly in Mississippi. The Birmingham area was mercifully spared. Well, no. There is no mercy. There Birmingham area was spared, and it's all a matter of meteorology and luck. I lay awake late last night, say 2:30 a.m. until 3:30 a.m., listening to the wind and thunder, watching the flashes of lightning framed by the windows and reflected off rhe walls.

Ah, but there's some good new music. New Lana Del Rey and Depeche Mode, so there's that at at least. All these tiny consolations.

I'm seeing my work, especially The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, getting recommendations on Twitter because this is "Trans Awareness Month." My feelings about this are complicated and likely not what a lot of (especially younger) people would expect. I do not now, nor have I ever, considered myself a transauthor. Whatever that is. And I am definitely not an activist author. I am an author with a particular gender identity that falls outside what we now (often pejoratively) call "cisgender." But I have almost never written transsexual, or to use today's preferred argot, transgender* characters. Out of all those many hundreds of published stories, you can likely count the trans characters, certainly those who are central to a story, on the fingers of a single hand. In The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, it was Abalyn Armitage. But just as I have no literary agenda involving transgender identity, neither did that book. Not really. I have always felt that I should write marginalized characters the way I would write anyone else, as just people. As much as I am motivated by any agenda beyond wishing to tell a good story (and make a living doing it), I would say my agenda is to humanize marginalized people, outsiders, by showing how they are like everyone else, not (and this is extremely important) by the fact that the are different. So, in that novel I'm not trying to portray Abalyn as anything but a person dealing with her own shit, and her own shit happens to include beings trans. That's it. And what this means is that I feel a litte weird winding up on these Trans Awareness Month reading lists, because...well, I think I said it already. And if one or another of my exceedinginly rare trans characters has helped you deal with your shit, I do not disapprove. That's good. It was just never really my intent.

Today I finished Donald A. Prothero's After the Dinosaurs: The Age of Mammals. And while I'd planned to read another more political books afterwards, frankly, I'm sick of the petty squabbles and name calling and the mutually assured destruction being practiced by the Far Left and the Far Right. So, I'm reading David Wallace-Wells' The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, because, frankly, I've spent several months mourning Western Civilization, and I need to mourn the natual world for a while. Dr. Prothero reminded me that I care far more what happens to the biosphere as a whole than I do to this one profoundly self-destructive species. Wallace-Wells begins his book with this unforgettable line:

"It is worse, much worse, than you think."


Please visit to Dreaming Squid Sudries shop. Thanks.

Later Tater Beans,
Aunt Beast

4:24 p.m.

* I could write a whole essay on this confusing, ill-defined, excessively picked-over term.

"...stranger than my own worst dreams." (236)

A mostly sunny day today with a high of 80F.

Spring is back.

I have to find a photograph to send the piblisher of the new French-langauge edition of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, and, at this point, that means that at best I will likely be sending them a twelve-year old picture from Kyle Cassidy's photosthoot at the Harvard Museum of Natural History in April of 2011. I was only 46. There simply are no good, more current photos. And on the one hand, who gives a shit. On the other hand, it seems oddly dishonest. I'm hardly that person with that face anymore. It's also hard to imagine ever letting another photographer doing a new photoshoot with me. I'm just too vain.

The mail brought the new JVP today, plus a cool coelacanth pin (see photo below; it would make a great tattoo). I just wish I'd gone outside. Oh, I read Prothero's chapter on the Pliocene.


I want to share some links to articles rebutting the ideas being peddled by Robin DiAngelo's, ideas that have and will continue to do such great harm. They need to be read. This matter needs to be approached critically by thinking people:

1. "The Flaws in White Fragility Theory: A Primer" by Helen Pluckrose and Johnathan Church (New Discourses, 6/8/20)

2. "The Intellectual Fraud of of Robin DiAngelo's White Fragility" (The Logical Liberal, 6/13/20)

3. "The Dehumanizing Condescension of White Fragility" (The Atlantic, 7/15/20)

4. "The Theory of White Fragiality: Scholarship or Proselytization?" by Gabriel Scorgie (Aereo, 1/25/19)

A thing is not true because we desite it to be, nor because we somehow need it to be, and certainly not because someone is looking for someone else to blame.


Please have a look at the Dreaming Squid Sundries shop. Thanks.

Later Tater Beans,
Aunt Beast

3:45 p.m.

"How long, Baby, have I been away?" (235)

The weather was still better today. Sunny, and our high was 83F.

I was up at 5 a.m., and I tried to finish the Bradbury Weather corrections. I cannot even begin to explain how this is taking so long. Except I'd hardlt slept or eaten for the past two days.

Stress. Endless fucking stress.

And at the risk of still more hate mail, I'm fairly certain Robin DiAngelo is not merely a lunatic. I think she may actually be evil, evil peddling a hateful, devisive lunacy, one more force driving us all farther and farther apart. Society has had a nervous breakdown, and Robin DiAngelo is fanning the flames (and making a LOT of money off book deals).

Please have a look at the Dreaming Squid Sundries shop. Thanks.

Later Tater Beans,
Aunt Beast

10:19 a.m.

"Harder To Tell The Good From Bad, Villains From Heroes These Days." (234)

An utterly weird day. Not in any way good weird. Pejoratively weird. But at least it was sunny. Our high was 77F.

I worked on finishing the Bradbury Weather stuff, but did not get as far as I'd hoped. The going should not be this slow. More work on it in the morning.

The afternoon's film was Cary Joji Fukunaga's No Time to Die (2021). I read Prothero's chapter on the Miocene. The book is admittedly out of date, but it's still a good survey of the Cenozoic.

I've hardly slept two nights running. Hoping for better tonight.

Please visit the Dreaming Squid Sundries shop. Thanks.

Later Tater Beans,
Aunt Beast

10:14 p.m.

"Oh, to hell with dignity. I'll leave when the job's done." (233)

We are on the mend from the cold snap. Sunny, and the high today was 62F.

I started a novel today that I was asked, back in August, to blurb. I virtually never blurb anything. I haven't in years. So, my agent was not surprised when I passed on this one. But then, a few weeks ago, the publisher sent me a copy of the published book anyway. Which I found presumptuous. I tossed it at the "make this stuff go away" pile, and forgot about it. Then today, struggling with a headache, I picked it up and found the premise interesting enough that I began reading it. No, not gonna say what it is or who wrote it until I'm done. And if I don't like it, I won't say another word. With few exceptions, I avoid badmouthing other authors' work. But if I do like it, sure, I'll say so.

I discovered that the galleys for Bradbury Weather were sitting unfinished someplace in my office where I'd been able to forget about them, so...tomorrow I need to try and finish those.

We're watching The Sopranos again. We're already on Season Two. Today's film was Sam Mendes' Skyfall (2012). And I made it through Prothero's chapter on the Oligocene.

“There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches.” ~ Ray Bradbury

Please have a look at the Dreaming Squid Sundries shop. Thanks.

Later Tater Beans,
Aunt Beast

4:01 p.m.
Roy Batty

"Oddly enough, my character's feelings mirror my own." (232)

Bitter cold last night. Our low was 24F, with a windchill of 19F. No, this is not normal. So, first day of Spring in Birmingham, Alabama this year saw a high of only 53F. But we're supposed to see a high on Thursday of 82F.

“It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Today's film was Martin Campbell's Casino Royale (2006). This film was the first I saw Eva Green, and I have loved her ever since. And I finished up the reread of Thomas Ligotti's Grimscribe with "Miss Plarr" and "The Shadow at the Bottom of the World." I consider the latter to be among the very best of weird tales. And after Ligotti I read the very long chapter on the Eocene Period in Donald Prothero's book on the Cenozoic.

“Censorship is to art as lynching is to justice.” ~ Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Another short talk with Mike P., a little anxiety over not yet having heard from the editors and reviewers of the mosasaur paper (MP whatever I was calling it).

Please visit the Dreaming Squid Sundries shop. Books and tie dye. Every little bit helps. Thanks.

Later Tater Beans,
Aunt Beast

2:16 p.m.


Cold. That's the most that can be said for today. It should be warm, but it's cold. Our low last night was 28F. Our high today was 42F, but at least sunny.

I was up part of the night...again...and did not get any significant writing done today. I have to sleep tonight.

Two documentaries this afternon, both episodes of Nova, one on space espionage in the 1960s and another on NASA's OSIRIS REx program to collect samples from the near-earth asteroid Bennu.

I spoke to Mike P. very breifly about a lost mosasaur, the late Herdon Dowling's missing Platecarpus.

There's this shop. Thanks.

Later Tater Beans,
Aunt Beast

4:09 p.m.