February 18th, 2005

Shaw

Consume in Five-Day Increments for Better Health!

Of course, I should have noted yesterday, when posting the lyrics to the Burl Ives' song, that in the Great State of Georgia, and elsewhere across the US o' A, marriage between two insects is illegal. Might not seem fair, I know, but we must protect our Christian Family Values, and everyone knows bugs are godless pagan idolators.

Except for grasshoppers, who lean, almost without exception, towards Unitarianism.

Yesterday, I allowed myself to be the willing tralk of one of the greatest of the Nine — Distraction. I was distracted for hours, when I should have been working on Chapter Three. Distraction is so alluring, so dangerous, because it understands that many writers, especially those of us pressed into literature in an effort to earn our keep, are constantly seeking Distraction. Almost anything will do. I can spend two hours just counting and recounting paper clips. An hour can pass quickly and entirely wordlessly when doodling in my engagement calendar. The frivilous ways of Distraction are a terrible wonder to behold, boys and girls and gender-free human things! Of course, all was not lost. Late in the day, I gathered my resolve and wrote the first 700 or so words on the first of the ten vignettes. No peeking.

As for Daughter of Hounds, though, I managed no more than proofing the first three thousand words (roughly) of Chapter Three. So far, so good, though there seems to be a book within a book — Sadie Jasper's role within the whole — and worse yet, a book within a book within a book — the history of odd goings-on in Massachusetts that Sadie is writing. This is the sort of thing I must strive to keep under control, or I'll have a 900-page doorstop on my hands, something I won't finish until Xmas 2008 or so. Frell that. You'll find another of the Seven Deadly Sins of Writing (of which there are nine) in there, in the writing of doorstops.

Spooky and I are reading Kathe Koja's Skin, as it's the book I've been asked to write about for Steve Jones' Horror: Another 100 Best Books. We've reached page 73. It seems unbelievable that this book has been allowed to go out of print. That is, of course, the fate of almost all novels, but it galls me, nonetheless.

The guiche is healing very nicely, thank you.

Okay. My mind is turning to darker things, so I should end this here. Keep it light, Kiernan. Let the sun shine in. Smile, you whore of words.
  • Current Music
    VNV Nation, "Chosen"
blindchi

hounds

Lyrics to a song by Harry Chapin, "Dogtown," which I only just found yesterday and which happen to touch on much of the same ground as Daughter of Hounds (and Low Red Moon, for that matter). Read aloud, it reminds me a little bit of Poe's "The Bells" and "Annabelle Lee." Nice...

Up in Massachusetts, there's a little spit of land.
The men who make the maps, yes, they call the place Cape Ann.
The men who do the fishing call it Gloucester Harbor Sound,
But the women left behind, they call the place Dogtown.

The men go out for whaling, past the breakers and the fogs.
The women stay home waiting, they're protected by the dogs.
A tough old whaler woman who had seen three husbands drown,
Polled the population, and she named the place Dogtown.

There's all these grey-faced women in their black widow's gowns,
Living in this graveyard granite town.
Yeah, you soon learn there's many more than one way to drown;
That's while going to the dogs here in Dogtown.

And she speaks: My father was a merchant all in the Boston fief.
When my husband came and asked him for my hand.
But little did I know then that a Gloucester whaler's wife
Marries but the sea salt and the sand.

He took me up to Dogtown the day I was a bride.
We had ten days together before he left my side.
He's the first mate of a whaling ship,
The keeper of the log.
He said, "Farewell, my darling, I'm going to leave you with my dog."

And I have seen the splintered timbers of a hundred shattered hulls,
Known the silence of the granite and the screeching of the gulls,
I've heard that crazy widow Cather walk the harbor as she raves
At the endless rolling whisper of the waves.

Sitting by the fireside, the embers slowly die.
Is it a sign of weakness when a woman wants to cry?
The dog is closely watching, the fire glints in his eye.
No use to go to sleep this early, no use to even try.

My blood beats like a woman's,
I've got a woman's breast and thighs.
But where am I to offer them?
To the ocean or the skies?

Living with this silent dog
All the moments of my life,
He has been my only husband;
Am I a widow, or his wife?

Yes, it's a Dogtown, and it's a fog town,
And there's nothing around 'cept the sea-pounding granite ground
And this black midnight horror of a hound.

I'm standing on this craggy cliff,
My eyes fixed on the sea.
Six months past, when his ship was due,
I'm a widow to be.
For liking this half living with the lonely and the fog,
You need the bastard of the mating of a woman and a dog.

And I have seen the splintered timbers of a hundred shattered hulls,
Known the silence of the granite and the screeching of the gulls,
I've heard that crazy widow Cather walk the harbor as she raves
At the endless rolling whisper of the waves.
At the endless rolling whisper of the waves.
At the endless rolling whisper of the waves.
  • Current Music
    REM, "Can't Get There From Here"