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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:

12-13 December 2014Collapse )

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. 15th, 2014 02:16 am (UTC)
Still here; still reading.
Dec. 15th, 2014 02:36 am (UTC)
"...the bones of the world holding up the sky." Beautifully put. I grew up just north of there and the cliffs atop the hills were full of trilobite fossils from the tropical Devonian sea. My childhood home, on the banks of the ancient Susquehanna, would have been in a deep trench and when I visit, before I go to sleep, I imagine myself a mermaid in that ocean.
Dec. 15th, 2014 03:11 am (UTC)
I read always, but never comment. Hello. I wish you well in finding a solution to your crisis that doesn't require scrapping everything that's been written because that would suck like whoa.

I love the cat pic. Thanks.
Dec. 15th, 2014 03:41 am (UTC)

Still reading - I try and check in daily, but sometimes that isn't possible. Alia reminded me about the sequential date, and we wanted to catch the clock just after 3:16 (military time), but missed it by a bit. Lovely photos, and the wide-ranging conversations sounded very enjoyable. I hope the story solution presents itself forthwith...

Dec. 15th, 2014 03:57 am (UTC)
After 11 years on LJ, I just added you to my friends list a few months ago, and always like reading your posts.
Dec. 15th, 2014 02:32 pm (UTC)
I love your journal - I was so glad when you started it up again. I have discovered some great film recommendations from it. Its cool to see the photos you take as well.
Dec. 15th, 2014 03:55 pm (UTC)
Constant reader.
I have to take the weekends off, but other wise. The state is filth with lakes, steams, and bogs. There is a lot of floating islands too, if you know where to look. If you live in the area, you get used to the view. To bad you didn't come in the summer, there caves (touristy still cool.), caverns, and waterfalls galore. Actually, there is this waterfall in a cave. It's not much more than a small steam waterfall, but it's a eighty foot drop. People think it's a magic waterfall. I want to go stand in that waterfall, but whatever. Boring fact: The Champlain valley is in the rain shadow of Catskills, so it gets about as much rain at the Mojave desert, but due to lower temps., it has a lake at it's bottom. Think: you're in the country of sleepy hallow, Rip Van Winkle. You regret asking people to write after reading this, ha!
Dec. 15th, 2014 08:09 pm (UTC)
Beautiful lake photos. I wish I was somewhere so serene.
Dec. 15th, 2014 08:14 pm (UTC)
Also still reading. Not knowing you guys, I'm not exactly drowning in pertinent comment, though. ;)
Greets from the other side of the Pond. Where it's raining, as usual.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 16th, 2014 12:17 am (UTC)

Don't be pedantic. Seriously.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 15th, 2014 11:21 pm (UTC)
Still here, still reading. Haven't missed an entry.
Dec. 16th, 2014 04:27 am (UTC)
Still here, still reading every morning. I always look forward to it.
Felix Lizarraga
Dec. 16th, 2014 08:48 pm (UTC)
"Is anyone still reading this blog? "
Yep, still reading it. You gripe beautifully.

It's like the dark side of the moon: the migraines, the insomnia and the insecurity behind those splendid books of yours.
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( 30 comments — Have your say! )