greygirlbeast (greygirlbeast) wrote,

"Could I have been a better person, if I could only do it all again?"

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:

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
Tags: "chewing on shadows", anger, cold, elizabeth bear, empty, foreign editions, game of thrones, out of clever, santiago caruso, sick, snow, stale hell, the drowning girl, tired

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