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"Who shook the Valley of the Shadow..."

I awake to a wind that sets my nerves on edge. I awake to 53% humidity, and it feels more like early autumn out there than summer. And I hate it. And I want to be shed of New England. Forever. Yesterday was sort of hot, and sort of hazy, and sort of actually fucking summer. I said on Facebook, at 9 p.m. last night:

The house has been sweltering today, which made me ill. 84˚F in the middle parlour. Near sunset, after I had a cool bath, we headed across the river to the market for watermelon, grapes, blue cheese, cottage cheese, biscotti, a spice cake, vanilla ice cream, half and half, ginger ale, and San Pellegrino blood orange soda. Spooky's mom and dad brought us lettuce and fresh eggs this morning. So, we're set. Now, the temperature in the middle parlour is down to 83˚F. Tomorrow, it's going to be much warmer, and we're not going to sit around here roasting. Our only AC is a cranky window unit we've haven't yet lugged into the pantry window. But yes, I still prefer this to the chill.

I managed to work yesterday, though it was a scattered mess of odds and ends. I wrote ad copy (though that is not my job, and I do not get paid for it) for Dark Horse Comics, for the forthcoming Alabaster: The Good, the Bad, and the Bird. Not that the series has been written, and it won't be written until September and October, but whatever. Cart before the horse, that's standard procedure. I made three "last" corrections to the ms. of Cherry Bomb, before it goes to the copyeditor. I got Sirenia Digest #100 out to subscribers. I received S. T. Joshi's introduction for Beneath an Oil-Dark Sea. I swapped emails with my agent regards a project I'll say more about very soon. It was that sort of "busyness" of writing day. I sweated, and I worked. I rather like sweating while I work. It feels natural and clean.

This morning I'm all anger, and very little else. I didn't see that coming, I wish all I had to blame was the goddamn wind and the sewage stink off Narragansett Bay.

Last night we saw Jean-Marc Vallée's Dallas Buyer's Club, and it is a truly wonderful film.

On the sixteenth, I wrote about the monotony of being an author. My thanks to David Kirkpatrick for sending me this Agatha Christie quote:

“Oh, Mrs. Oliver, it must be marvellous to write.”

Mrs. Oliver rubbed her forehead with a carbonny finger and said:

“Oh,” said Rhoda, a little taken aback. “Because it must. It must be wonderful just to sit down and write off a whole book.”

“It doesn’t happen exactly like that,” said Mrs. Oliver. “One actually has to think, you know. And thinking is always a bore. And you have to plan things. And then one gets stuck every now and then, and you feel you’ll never get out of the mess—but you do! Writing’s not particularly enjoyable. It’s hard work like everything else.”
“It doesn’t seem like work,” said Rhoda.
“Not to you,” said Mrs. Oliver, “because you don’t have to do it! It feels very like work to me. Some days I can only keep going by repeating over and over to myself the amount of money I might get for my next serial rights. That spurs you on, you know. So does your bankbook when you see how much overdrawn you are.”

…It must be so wonderful to be able to think of things,” said Rhoda.

“I can always think of things,” said Mrs. Oliver happily. “What is so tiring is writing them down. I always think I’ve finished, and then when I count up I find I’ve only written thirty thousand words instead of sixty thousand, and so then I have to throw in another murder and get the heroine kidnapped again. It’s all very boring.”

That's hitting the nail on the head.

Now, I have to go try to put out a few fires to which I awoke.

What Fresh Hell,
Aunt Beast


( 5 comments — Have your say! )
Jun. 18th, 2014 05:33 pm (UTC)
Good luck with the ebook mess.
Jun. 18th, 2014 05:44 pm (UTC)
I hope those pesky fires are rapidly extinguished. I also hope THE DINOSAURS OF MARS is soon in your writing future. Sorry to hear about the anxieties of Mrs. Oliver.
Jun. 18th, 2014 06:09 pm (UTC)

fuckin a

Jun. 18th, 2014 06:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing the Agatha Christie quote. As for Cherry Bomb and Narragansett, I recently found some Narragansett Beer in my local liquor store (in Orlando!) It made me smile because I remember Quinn always drinking it. I really wanted to try it but didn't buy any because I live with people who bring enough alcohol into the house as it is.
Jun. 18th, 2014 07:29 pm (UTC)
I got Sirenia Digest #100 out to subscribers.

"INTERSTATE LOVE SONG" was really great. Appropriate for a 100th issue because of the narrator's reflections on an entire relationship in a single moment stretched over the entire story. A really lovely example of the entire universe in someone's mind created by sensitivity to and particular empathy with external people and forces. The small sensory details, like the descriptions of the cassette tapes, all add up beautifully.
( 5 comments — Have your say! )