July 8th, 2004


home again, home again

Back in Atlanta.

And my body believes that it's still moving, I think.

We departed Providence at 10:27 yesterday morning, and the trip played itself out in reverse. Mystic, New Haven, New York City, Trenton, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, and then back in the South, kudzu instead of wild grapes, Charlottesville, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Charoltte, Gainesville, and then, about 9:45 a.m., home. Byron was waiting for us at the station, and it was good to see a familiar face.

This trip was very, very marvelous, but it's wonderful to be home, with my walls about me. I'll make a longer post later today or this evening. I need to unpack and decompress and catch up on some e-mail. Then I'll finish the "travelogue" and try to get a few photos up.
  • Current Music
    VNV Nation, "Forsaken" (vox)

loose ends

Addendum: There seem to be all these little bits and pieces of the trip that have slipped through the cracks. Like what we did on Tuesday, which I'll get to in a moment. It's no wonder, though, the slipping through cracks. We drove over 1,500 miles in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire, between June 24th and July 6th. 1,500 miles of shorelines and cemeteries, old houses and harbours. 1,500 miles of research for Daughter of Hounds. Of course, if you add in the train to and from Kingston, that's a total of something like 3,500 miles total. Frell. But there's no way I ever could have written this book without that time on the road. Even now, it seems like an overwhelming task before me.

Today is Sissy's birthday (that's scarletboi to you LJ folks). I want to get that in before I forget. I am in a Forgetful Mood this evening. I think the left hemisphere of my brain is still on the train. Anyway, Happy frelling Birthday. As for gifts, well, I won't tell Kat if you won't tell Spooky.

But, I was saying, Tuesday. Our last full day in Rhode Island. Spooky and I were both pretty damn close to utterly exhausted. Her, especially, since she'd done all of that 1,500 miles worth of driving (I don't drive). But we made it up to Providence late in the day, regardless. I got some more work done at the Athenaeum, mostly researching cases of vampirism in Rhode Island, and Spooky visited the Museum of Art at RISD. Afterwards, about 6 p.m., we went to the house at 65 Prospect Street, the last house in which HPL lived. Originally, the house was located on College Street, near the John Hay Library, but was moved to its present location in 1959 (so that Brown could inflict a hideous, concrete chunk of Modernist architecture on the city). In this house, built in 1823, Lovecraft's life ended in terrible poverty. It seemed appropriate to make it my last destination on the trip.

Afterwards, we drove to the depot and picked up our tickets, to save a little time on Wednesday morning.

As for the train, I'm pretty sure it's the best way to travel overland, if one has the time. You actually see places, instead of the homogenous landscape visible from interstates. It beats the hell out of cramped, stinking planes. I won't even dignify travel-by-bus with a comparison. The only dubious portion of the trip home was dinner in the dining car. On the way up, we'd taken meals in our sleeper car, but decided to be more social on the return journey. Dumb idea. Too late, we discovered that the dining car bounced and bobbed and swayed like a roller coaster, probably because it weighs considerably less than the sleeper car (lacking all those dividing walls and bunks and such). As our food was served, we met with a terrific thunderstorm somewhere near Baltimore. I had what passed for a Delmonico steak, and Spooky had the Cornish hen. Actually, despite the aforementioned camel, train food seems a definite small step up from plane food. We ate quickly and returned to our car before motion-sickness could set in.

I slept fitfully, and I think Spooky slept even worse. I think we were too tired to sleep.

The new issue of The Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology was waiting for me at home. It includes a paper entitled "On the cranial anatomy of the polycotylid plesiosaurs, including new material of Polycotylus latipinnis, Cope, from Alabama." The new material in question is, in part, a specimen I helped to excavate way back in the summer of 1981, when I was still in high school. The specimen was originally discovered by the Field Museum (Chicago) in 1949, but not completely excavated. It's not at all unusual that paleontological material, even important finds, might sit around for 55 years before someone comes up with the resources and time to describe it. Also, the author of this paper references my 2002 study of mosasaur biostratigraphy in Alabama, which is cool, even though he didn't quite get the title right. I'm droning on. Sorry.

Tomorrow, I get back to work. Or I at least try to go back to work. Truthfully, I may need a few more days to rest. But the amount of work I have to do in July and August is daunting: an sf short story by the end of this month, another sf story next month, a piece for the Fiddler's Green souvenir book by the 23rd of this month (though I've asked for an extension), the first part of Daughter of Hounds, plus assorted proofreading (Including the galleys of The Dry Salvages). My head spins...

As promised, here are a few photos from Ipswich and "Innsmouth" (7/5/04):

Heavy rain on I-95 in Massachusetts; it rained on and off all day.

Ipswich, Ma.

Some of the tombs in the Old Burying Ground, which will appear in Daughter of Hounds.

Looking northeast from Crane Beach, a view of Plum Island. We are at Innsmouth!

In the dunes at Crane Beach, looking south towards the place where Narcissa Snow's childhood house would have stood. This spot is just as I'd imagined it.

Me on the beach, just east of the "site" of the Snow house, just northeast of where I believe Lovecraft intended Innsmouth to lie.

I'm not really pleased with this assortment, so I'll try to post more from this day tomorrow. Also, these photos fail to do justice to the mood of the locations; it was much darker that day than it seems.

P.S. -- Beginning with this entry, the journal will be composed at LiveJournal and cross-posted to Blogger, instead of the other way round; it's just easier.
  • Current Music
    VNV Nation, "Frika"