April 30th, 2006


Manatees are very ethical writers.

We made it through two chapters of Daughter of Hounds yesterday, as planned, chapters Two ("Soldier") and Three (as yet untitled). Today, we're gonna try to do two once more, though the chapters are beginning to get long. I need every spare moment I can get, as I have only 16 days (counting today) remaining until the ms. is supposed to be delivered to my editor. And reading back over it again, I love this novel so very much. I want to do right by it, and I want it treated right by the people responsible for getting it to readers. I haven't seen the cover yet. Anyway, here's today's Zokutou Page Meter thingy:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
222 / 691

My thanks to everyone who took the time to vote in yesterday's poll and/or post a comment re: e-editions of The Dry Salvages. I've read all of them, your comments. Some of them, I will admit, set me to considering factors I'd not previously considered. I think I'll probably tell subpress that I'd like to go ahead with the e-version of the novella now instead of waiting. It's a small risk, but I haven't taken nearly enough risks lately. I'll post updates here as they are available. And yes, it would be available in more formats that PDF. I was just using (sloppily) PDF as a short-hand meaning all e-versions.

Jeff VanderMeer has very nice things to say about To Charles Fort, With Love and Alabaster in his blog and has also posted a short and peculiar interview sort of thing we did. Just click here. It's all true, I'm afraid, but at least now I can stop worrying about amphibious hybrids off the coast of Massachusetts.

Tomorrow is Beltane, and I have to admit that Spooky and I have been so swamped, what with the trip to Birmingham and getting the novel proofed and a dozen other things, that we've not had much time to prepare. After we read today, we'll finalize our plans. This is sort of where I was going when I mentioned the bit about the difficulties of being a more or less solitary practitioner of Wicca. Spooky and I are entirely responsible for all our rituals and ceremonies and celebrations. Any details that must be attended to, we must attend. And that means that time must be set aside to prepare all that which needs to be prepared. And we have to make sure that, during that set aside time, we're in the right state of mind and not too exhausted and so forth. Right now, I sort of wish there were some wonderful big Beltane celebration going on somewhere near Atlanta that we could take part in. But there doesn't seem to be. It's strange, having recognized the need for ritual in my life, and now being hard pressed to insure that the time is there when I need it to be there and that I'm not too tired to devote the energy to it that's required.

Now I should have breakfast and coffee and get my head into the Daughter of Hounds space. I need to be much more awake...

Addendum: The last moments of Poetry Appreciation Month

Just thought I'd get in a couple of shorts as the month ticks away:

"The Two Trees"

Beloved, gaze in thine own heart,
The holy tree is growing there;
From joy the holy branches start,
And all the trembling flowers they bear.
The changing colours of its fruit
Have dowered the stars with merry light;
The surety of its hidden root
Has planted quiet in the night;
The shaking of its leafy head
Has given the waves their melody,
And made my lips and music wed,
Murmuring a wizard song for thee.
There the Loves a circle go,
The flaming circle of our days,
Gyring, spiring to and fro
In those great ignorant leafy ways;
Remembering all that shaken hair
And how the wingèd sandals dart,
Thine eyes grow full of tender care:
Beloved, gaze in thine own heart.

Gaze no more in the bitter glass
The demons, with their subtle guile.
Lift up before us when they pass,
Or only gaze a little while;
For there a fatal image grows
That the stormy night receives,
Roots half hidden under snows,
Broken boughs and blackened leaves.
For all things turn to barrenness
In the dim glass the demons hold,
The glass of outer weariness,
Made when God slept in times of old.
There, through the broken branches, go
The ravens of unresting thought;
Flying, crying, to and fro,
Cruel claw and hungry throat,
Or else they stand and sniff the wind,
And shake their ragged wings; alas!
Thy tender eyes grow all unkind:
Gaze no more in the bitter glass.

— William Butler Yeats

"Mad Song"

The wild winds weep,
And the night is a-cold;
Come hither, Sleep,
And my griefs infold:

But lo! the morning peeps
Over the eastern steeps,
And rustling birds of dawn
The earth do scorn.

Lo! to the vault
of paved heaven,
With sorrow fraught
My notes are driven:
They strike the ear of night,
Make weep the eyes of day;
They make mad the roaring winds,
And with tempests play.

Like a fiend in a cloud
With howling woe,
After night I do croud,
And with night will go;
I turn my back to the east,
From whence comforts have increas'd;
For light doth seize my brain
With frantic pain.

— William Blake
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