This morning on Good Morning America, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco said, "The National Guard has been dropping sandbags into it, but it's like dropping it into a black hole." She has ordered the city completely evacuated, and Mayor Ray Nagin has said (also on Good Morning America), "We are looking at 12 to 16 weeks before people can come in." With tens of thousands of people remaining in the city, it's hard to imagine exactly how this evacuation is going to proceed. The numbers I've seen claim that 80% of the city's population left before the storm, but that seems like an excessively optimistic figure, with 20,000 still trapped in the Superdome alone. There are plans to house 40,000 refugees in the Houston Astrodome, people who will be evacuated to Texas by a bus convoy. It's a nightmare, a disaster of proportions I've not seen hit the US in my lifetime, I don't think. And in the flood of information from the internet, newspapers, and television, some of which is contradictory, it's very difficult to figure out exactly what's going on.
I just heard that it's presently 97F in New Orleans.
Once again, I urge you to please donate whatever you can to the American Red Cross (financial contributions to the Red Cross are tax deductible), which is already housing and feeding tens of thousands of people across the Gulf Coast. This things going to get a whole lot worse before it starts getting better.
Also, you may wish to donate to the Humane Society's Disaster Relief Fund. Protecting and controlling the countless numbers of animals, both wild and domestic, displaced and orphaned by Katrina is important not only for the sake of the animals, but is also important as a means of controlling disease in the wake of the storm.
An effort is underway, headed by Amber Van Dyk, to raise money for docbrite (Poppy Z. Brite), who was forced to leave many pets behind when she left New Orleans on Sunday afternoon. It goes without saying that she has been devastated by this storm. The fate of her pets and her home is unknown and will likely remain unknown for many weeks to come Like me, like most writers, she's not a wealthy person, and I can't imagine how she's going to recover from this. You can find out more by following this link. Poppy is extremely dear to me, and if you can help, I ask that you please do. Donations will be made directly to her PayPal account, as I understand it.
How do I even talk about the writing after all that? I guess I just do, that's how.
I did another 1,337 words on Chapter Eight of Daughter of Hounds yesterday. The first six hundred or so were among the hardest I've done yet for this novel, but then, an especially difficult scene bested, things got much easier. I spent another hour and a half last night working on a cover for the Little Damned Book of Days chapbook, but came up with nothing usable, so that still has to be done. I read Spooky the first half of Nancy Kress' excellent short story, "Shiva in Shadow," from The Year's Best Science Fiction, Twenty-Second Annual Collection. Then she read to me from a number of NOLA blogs, including some chilling accounts from people who escaped before the storm hit. I fell asleep to The Return of the King. Jackson's LotR trilogy has become my new comfort film.
Okay. That's enough for now. I gotta write.