October 16th, 2005


the year grinds on

Yesterday, we had to make the trip from Atlanta to Birmingham and back again. Along the way (both ways), we tried to help dampen the boredom that is that stretch of I-20 by noting the large number of hawks and carrion birds riding the thermals above the interstate. Mostly, they were just turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) and black vultures (Coragyps atratus), but at one point we spotted something enormous that I could have sworn was a Golden Eage (Aquila chrysaetos). And we saw two or three foxes dead along the side of the road; usually, it's only armadillos, bloated and looking like tiny nodosaurids.

I know that tomorrow will be consumed by the continual Writing That Is Not Writing, and I'm sitting here looking at the ms. of Daughter of Hounds and trying to imagine how I'm going to get everything done that I have to get done by December 1st. I have to finish DoH and I have a huge editing/revision job to do (more on this later), and, somehow I have to get back to work on those and continue to pursue Secret Projects A and B. I have unwisely allowed the latter to consume all my time for almost a month now. Otherwise, the first draft of Daughter of Hounds would be finished. The next six weeks are going to be difficult, indeed, as I have to continue with all the proposals and revisions of proposals and return to the Writing That Is Writing.

At least we have sunshine today, even if the sky is afflicted by that terrible, oppressive shade of bottomless blue that comes in the autumn.

Considering that it's a limited-edition hardback, To Charles Fort, With Love was doing fairly well on Amazon.com towards the end of the week, with sales ranks between 31,000 and 57,000. It might have been higher earlier in the week, but I was too busy to notice. I'm very pleased that the collection is selling so well, and that it has been so well received. Thanks to Cleve for pointing out that Amazon's listing for the book had omitted my middle initial, which was causing confusion with their search engine; I contacted them, and the problem has been corrected.

Poppy called Friday night, and we talked for half an hour or so about her imminent return to New Orleans, about pills and cats and books, about the kindness and generosity of our readers, and so on and suchlike. It was good to hear her voice, and I'm glad she called. The battery on my cell was running down, and we had to end the conversation long before I'd have liked to. I'd spoken to Neil earlier in the day, and he sounded somewhat more rested than when I spoke with him on Tuesday.

I have some vague ambition of making it to Emory this afternoon, because, these days, I'm finding it easier to work in the Matheson Reading Room than in my office, especially work on Secret Project B. But I may not make it. Likely as not, I'll take a bath, wash my hair, and sit at this desk all day.

Please have a look at our current eBay auctions. The extra income will be sorely needed this month, so if you've not get bought a copy of The Dry Salvages, for example, now would be a very good time to do so (we have copies of both the trade and limited editions listed). Thanks.

I think I may meme later...
  • Current Music
    Indigo Girls, "Kid Fears"

first meme in ages

Courtesy of robyn_ma, but doubt this improve anyone's image of me. We shall see:

1. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? If I were to tell you what that is, wouldn't I sort of negate this question?

2. If a new medicine were developed that would cure arthritis but cause a fatal reaction in 1 percent of those who took it, would you want it to be released to the public? And it would cure 99% of those who took it? Yes. Absolutely.

3. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the body or the mind of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want? Body, without a doubt.

4. If at birth you could select the profession your child would eventually pursue, would you do so? No. I'll leave horrendous violations of freewill to...never mind.

5. If you knew there would be a nuclear war in one week, what would do? (you can't stop it): Try to reach Antarctica, because, even though I'd still die, I could at least tell myself, at the end, that I'd seen Antarctica.

6. Would you accept twenty years of extraordinary happiness and fulfillment if it meant you had to die at the end of the period? Hmmmm. Possibly.

7. If the person you were engaged to marry had an accident and became a paraplegic, would you go through with the marriage or back out of it? I like to believe that I'd go through with it, but this is the sort of thing none of us knows until we actually find ourselves in such a situation.

8. Someone very close to you is in pain, paralyzed, and will die in a month. They beg you to give them poison so they that they can die. Would you? Without so much as a second thought..

9. Given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you want as your dinner guest? as a close friend? as a lover? Well, as for lovers, I'm doing pretty good. Dinner guest? I hate eating in front of people. No, really. It's almost a phobia. Close friend? Well, someone who isn't really just another asshole underneath all that skin.

10. What is the worst psychological torture you can imagine suffering? (it cannot involve any physical harm to you)? That looks like a really easy question, until you try to answer it.

11. You and a person you love deeply are placed in separate rooms with a button next to each of you. You know that you will both be killed unless one of you presses the button before 60 minutes pass; furthermore, the first to press the button will save the other person, but will immediately be killed. What do you think you would do? Press the frelling button.

12. Would you be willing to go to a slaughter house and kill a cow? I think "slaughterhouse" is one word, and if it's not, it ought to be. Anyway, I've killed my own meat many times.

13. For $20,000 would you go for 3 months without washing, brushing your teeth, and using deodorant? Assume you could not explain your reasons to anyone, and there would be no long-term effect on your career. (you are not choosing one, you would have to go without all three). Yep. The only hard part would be not brushing my teeth.

14. Which of these restrictions could you best tolerate: leaving the country permanently or never leaving the state in which you now live? Never leaving the state where I now live. That's the easiest of these questions so far.

15. If you could choose the sex and physical appearance of your soon-to-be-born child, would you do it? It's irrelvant, as I will never have a child.

16. Would you be willing to decrease your life expectancy by 5 years if you could become extremely attractive? Absolutely.

17. If your friends and acquaintances were willing to bluntly tell you what they really think of you, would you want them to? No.

18. Would it disturb you much if, upon your death, your body were simply thrown into the woods and left to rot? That would be one of my preferred means of post-mortem disposal, actually. The forest or the sea.

19. Would you like to know the precise date of your death? Yep. Then I could make plans.

20. Would you be willing to give up all television for the next 5 years if it would induce for someone to provide for 1,000 starving children in Indonesia? Um, I don't answer grammatically incorrect questions. Sheesh.
  • Current Music
    Peter Gabriel, "Solsbury Hill"