September 16th, 2004



We have wind and rain from Ivan, no more so far. But it's a peculiar wind and rain, not at all the sort one normally gets in Atlanta in mid-September. It's a gentle herald, and if I could rise up above these outlying clouds, I could look south and west and see what remains of the hurricane as it drags its dying cloudbody across Alabama. I spoke with my mother this morning. She's in Leeds, near Birmingham, and the eye will pass directly over her (or whatever's left where the eye would have been; the center, let's say.) I told her I'd come if she wanted me to, and she said no, they were fine, wait, maybe come afterwards. She has a good, strong house, a generator, lots of camping equipment, things that are needed to weather a dying hurricane. We are preparing to be without power again. Since I'm not writing, Ivan won't be such an interruption. Other distractions have stolen her thunder, so to speak. And yes, all hurricanes are feminine, regardless of their names.

The apartment that I'd really hoped would be The New Apartment won't be, so the hunt continues.

I did manage a little work yesterday. No writing, but "work," nonetheless. I looked over the layout for the cover of The Dry Salvages, found a typo, and made some suggestions for changes. I read my Dreaming essay, revised it slightly, and sent it off to the people at Fiddler's Green. There were e-mails and phone calls. I talked with Bill Scahfer about an illustration to accompany the publication of "Bradbury Weather." I'm pleased to see that Murder of Angels is still selling moderately well nine days after its release; if I can keep this up, if the book can keep this up for a month or so, things will be okay.

I want to start reading Nick Cave's And the Ass Saw the Angel, but I'm holding off for fear of the degree to which his prose will inevitably colour my own, should I read it now, on the eve of beginning a new book. I'm very bad about this, picking up other writer's voices, and it's one reason I read so little. I think that only in the last few years have I really begun to find my voice, and it's largely because I've essentially stopped reading. It's a sort of artistic "contamination." I seem incapable of avoiding the osmotic aquisistion of another's style, some portion or facet of her or his style, if I read an author with a strong voice, and where's the point in reading an author with a weak voice? Gods, I used to love to read.

I still need to get up some Dragon*Con pictures. I still need to get up the new Nar'eth manga pages.

It's easy for the doomed to be gallant.

I love that line. Myrna Loy says it in Test Pilot (1938), which also stars Clark Gable and Spencer Tracey, as well as Lionel Barrymore. I needed old movies last night, so I turned on TMC and lay on the living-room floor for a few hours, lost in black and white. I watched Manhattan Melodrama (1934) before Test Pilot. It also stars Gable and Loy. Mostly, aside from enjoying these films on their own merits, I needed to briefly pretend the world could work the way it did in old movies. Some think they've outgrown such celluloid fairy tales and the need for them and consider such things passé and comedic. But that's only because they're empty, hollow people lost in an empty age. In old movies, there is justice, and bravery, and duty, and selflessness, regardless of the evil that men might do, or the corruption in "the real world."

And it's easy for the doomed to be gallant.
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