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The View from Cooper Lake

I'd like to make this brief. I don't know if I will. Kathryn and I planned to get out of the cabin today and see some of the surrounding countryside, which - between visiting film directors, inclement weather, and my work - we've hardly done. The weather today is still a bit inclement. More sun was promised, but I'm seeing precious little of it thus far.

Yesterday I wrote one script page for Alabaster: The Good, the Bad, and the Bird, then finally allowed myself to accept what had been obvious for perhaps two weeks, perhaps as far back as the day I completed #3: there's a crisis, and I have to find a solution, and it will have to be a rather radical solution. So I emailed my editor at Dark Horse, Daniel Chabon, and we're talking tomorrow (I'm having to learn to deal with Skype, as we have no phone reception out here, because Sprint sucks), and hopefully we can arrive at a fix that doesn't result in my scrapping everything that's been written so far and starting over again. That would mean I wouldn't, probably, finish the series until February, and it would throw my schedule into more disarray than it's in already, and I just want this to be over. Period.

Is anyone still reading this blog? Have I gone full circle to see this journal return to the sacrosanct privacy that was, for millennia, the function of the journal, the diary?

Yesterday was the last time that most humans now living will experience a sequential date: 12/13/14. No one ever gets more than twelve.

Late in the day yesterday, when I'd finally had enough and could no longer stare at this screen, we drove out to Cooper Lake. It was close to twilight and cold as fuck. I stood on the rocky shore strewn with what appear to be boulders of some hematitic sandstone, possibly Devonian in age, and I shivered and stared up at the snow-covered peaks to the north. I don't know their names, and I don't feel like looking them up at the moment. Lofty worn teeth of the Catskills. I stood there shivering as the lake lapped at the shore, and I thought about the ice sheets that covered those mountains during the Wisconsin glaciation, a mere 11,000 years ago. Then my thoughts wandered all the way back to the Devonian and the Acadian Orogeny, the mountain-building event birthed these mountains, beginning some 375 million years ago and last 50 million years. It is on beyond humbling, and comforting, gazing up into history, the bones of the world holding up the sky.

There are some photos from yesterday, and one from the day before:

Photo from the twelfth, a neighbors cat, Ms. Marco Polo, who showed up at the door and slept away the afternoon on one of the sofas in the cabin.

The place is lousy with deer. Deer and turkey. Photo blurry because it was shot through a window and a window screen.

And now, Cooper Lake and the view from the shore...

All photographs Copyright 2014 by Caitlin R. Kiernan and Kathryn A. Pollnac

Later, after dinner, we joined Neil and another house guest of his, Dr. Dan Johnson from Wisconsin, who once saved Neil from meningitis. Neil signed signature sheets for his forthcoming collection, Trigger Warning, while Dr. Johnson read over the galleys for the book. The fire in the hearth crackled and blazed, and we talked about the relationship between Hanna-Barbera cartoons and American sitcoms, about Sgt. Bilko, about Hollywood and John Belushi, about the Ilse of Sky - the Donalds and the MacCleods, Caisteal Uisdein (Hugh's Castle, circa 1530) and the tale of the fall of the giant Hugh MacDonald - about books (obviously), and conventions we've survived, and Spooky's migraine, sleep aids and my insomnia (I actually slept and amazing 7+ hours last night), the degradation of our respective signatures, and so on and so forth, and then Kathryn and I wandered back to the cabin and stared through the skylight in the bedroom, looking for Geminids (I saw two).

And now, I must get dressed and go out. There's still no sun, those lying meteorologists.

Aunt Beast


( 30 comments — Have your say! )
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Dec. 14th, 2014 06:35 pm (UTC)
Beautiful place! Makes me wish we had snow here.

I'm still on LJ daily, though I don't always comment.

Dec. 14th, 2014 07:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing the photos during your stay. The trees especially, outside the cabin and across the lake are mesmerizing. Love the perspective of your photo at the edge of land and water.
Dec. 14th, 2014 07:32 pm (UTC)
Is anyone still reading this blog?

I count, right? Very nice photos.

Ms. Marco Polo, who showed up at the door and slept away the afternoon on one of the sofas in the cabin.

Every vacation destination ought to come with sleeping cat service.
Dec. 14th, 2014 07:41 pm (UTC)
I'm reading! You may feel as though your words are spinning into the void, but there are listeners.
Dec. 14th, 2014 08:00 pm (UTC)
I read but I have been so frazzled this month I found a new rock under which to crawl.

Gorgeous lake.
Dec. 14th, 2014 08:04 pm (UTC)
I'm always reading, but often quiet. Beautiful but frigid looking pictures.

I think I hiked at that lake toward Indian Head when I was at summer camp - 7 days of hard slog, horrible food, and amazing scenery. This was back when you could fill your canteen in the streams there, but sleeping bags and thents were heavy as fuck, and the ~11 year old city kid was in way over her head.
Dec. 14th, 2014 08:21 pm (UTC)
Still reading, Aunt Beast. Beautiful photographs.
Dec. 14th, 2014 08:30 pm (UTC)
Amazing scenery. That third photo is a stunner. Sounds like you had a very agreeable evening with Neil and guest.
Hope you can sort out your Alabaster issues (no pun intended).
Dec. 14th, 2014 08:43 pm (UTC)
I miss being near water. Lovely photos. I do still read. I just don't always comment.
Dec. 14th, 2014 09:07 pm (UTC)
There's still no sun, those lying meteorologists.

"weather guessers"
Marc D. Goldfinger
Dec. 14th, 2014 09:41 pm (UTC)
The Ape's Wife and Other Stories
Congratulations on your book being honored at the 2014 World Fantasy Awards ceremony in Washington last month. You deserve all the recognition you get. Rock on. from Marc D. Goldfinger who met you at Pandemonium and a festival that I can't remember the name of but you were signing books next to Samuel Delany at that festival. You were also the honored speaker--I think it was a Shirley Jackson honor.
Dec. 14th, 2014 10:39 pm (UTC)
Wish I could have been there for the talk of Skye - I'm currently working on a novel set on another Hebridean island, and I already know the history of the MacDonalds and the Kings/Lordship of the Isles is going to be important in the next.
Dec. 14th, 2014 10:57 pm (UTC)
Another reader delurking to say that I stop by regularly. Thanks for your posts, and the photos.

I'm tickled to think that your cabin comes complete with cat. The epitome of comfort!
Dec. 15th, 2014 12:14 am (UTC)
I read your LJ everyday.
Dec. 15th, 2014 12:22 am (UTC)
And now, Cooper Lake and the view from the shore...

That's very beautiful. I am so glad you have mountains and water and trees. I am glad you have deep time, visible to you. And wandering neighbor cats.
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( 30 comments — Have your say! )