August 11th, 2005


lost letters to myself

Bear with me, nixars and gardas. I've been trying to give up Ambien, which I've been taking every night for about eight months, and I slept very poorly last night. I feel as though I hardly slept at all. I have no one to blame but myself. Well, on second thought, it didn't help that Spooky told me a very creepy story just before bed, something one of her exes told her about seventeen years ago. Alone on a dark road somewhere in Rhode Island. Something running along in a ditch, loping on all fours, then standing up and walking on two. I'm pretty sure there are no kangaroos in Rhode Island. A damned thing, most assuredly. Or a lie. Either way.

Last night I asked Spooky to read me the prologue to The Merewife, which I'd not read since I shelved it in 1993. I expected it wouldn't be very good. I was just getting my sea legs back then. But it is good. It's far and away better than The Five of Cups. It's so different from Silk (and most everything else I've written since) that comparison is difficult. I listened, pretending someone else had written this, loving the story and the words, the sum of the two. Something I wrote twelve years ago, something no one's read in twelve years, and it's just been waiting, unaltered, unfinished. When she was done reading, the first thing I said was, "Why the hell didn't I ever finish that?" Surely, if I had, my work would have gone in an entirely different direction. I probably wouldn't have this silly "horror writer" albatross strung about my neck now. Anyway, I'm beginning to think that I should finish the prologue before Subterranean Press publishes the chapbook; I shall ask Bill Schafer's opinion.

I had some grandiose screed in mind for this morning's entry, something angry and perplexed about selling used copies of books right alongside the new copies, how this hurts sales and drives down sales ranks, how I know that books are overpriced and I don't blame anyone for buying a used copy, but, still, Amazon really isn't helping matters for those of us trying to make our living off our writing, etc. and etc. and etc. But I'm too bleary. I'd just sound like a frelling crank. Some other time, then.

We read Chapter One of Daughter of Hounds yesterday. I'm pleased with it. I waded through email, too.

My thanks to David Kirkpatrick for trying his hand at a four-syllable word for "anteater." He posits "formicavore," which isn't bad, but which could fairly be used to describe any animal (or plant or fungus or bacterium or virus or whatever) that eats ants and/or wasps. Myrmecophagid, a taxonomic term referring specifically to the members of the family Myrmecophagidae — which includes all anteaters — would work if it didn't have five-syllables. I'm sorry. I told you I was asleep.

Spooky's dad sent us bits of a dark-grey granite from Little Diomede Island in Alaska, where he did field work this past winter. Yesterday, curious about the age of the rocks, I read "The Age and Origin of the Little Diomede Upland Surface" by Lyn Gualtieri and Julie Brigham-Grette. It would appear they are of Late Cretacous age, these rocks, derived from the Diomede pluton. Feldspar. Biotite. Hornblende. Okay, never mind. Anteaters were probably more interesting. Maybe this will make up for it, especially if you're waiting for Frog Toes and Tentacles (no, it's definitely not worksafe).

Alas, I fear I'm losing patience with Final Fantasy X-2. Last night, I reached the part where Yuna has to "satisfy" LeBlanc with a massage. On the one hand, it's another example of how this game is filled with mind-rendingly mundane side missions (so far, I've had to sell tickets, hand out balloons while dressed as Hello Kitty with bat wings, and wait in a line to register for an interview). I'm reminded of a Japanese game I saw on X-Play where you work in a noodle shop. That's it. You work in a noodle shop. And on the other hand, here's this softcore anime girl on anime girl pr0n scene, the message, and I know damned well that's exactly how the game designers intended it. They even used the word "grope." My brain hurts. Anyway, yeah. Darkwatch comes out in just a few days, and I think I shall be setting Final Fantasy X-2 aside for a while. It's for the best, I'm sure.

I can think of nothing else to ramble about this morning. I guess that'll have to do. Please have a look at our eBay auctions. Bid or "buy it now." Either way. The platypus will be grateful.
  • Current Music
    David Bowie, "China Girl"

Addendum 1: starfall

In case you haven't heard, tonight is the peak night of this year's Perseid meteor shower, as the Earth swings through the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle. Tiny bits of comet dust hit Earth's atmosphere traveling 132,000 mph. At that speed, even a tiny smidgen of dust makes a vivid streak of light—a meteor—when it disintegrates. Best viewing will be between 2 a.m. and dawn. Look to the east, and get out away from city lights (this is getting harder and harder, I know). Plus, we get a bonus. Look for Mars in the constellation Aries, very near to Perseus. It's very bright right now. Thanks to seph_ski for reminding me!
  • Current Music
    The Decemberists, "Red Right Ankle"

Addendum 2: correction and a link

Yesterday I said that people who ordered the limited edition of Frog Toes and Tentacles would receive both the False Starts chapbook and the Narcissa broadside. That's not true. I screwed up. Here's the deal:

Order the limited edition of FT&T and you get only the False Starts chapbook.

Order the limited hardback edition of Subterranean magazine #2 and you get both the Merewife chapbook and the Narcissa broadside. The broadside will accompany the magazine's limited edition, not that of FT&T. Apologies for any and all confusion.

Also, Gwenda Bond wrote to say that "Beatrice picked up on your post from the other day and publisher Richard Nash at Soft Skull Press puts some numbers (depressing numbers) to EW reviews in service of a larger point." Here's the link. Cheerful frelling stuff.
  • Current Music
    The Decemberists, "The Infanta"