September 27th, 2006


The day after yesterday.

Life will flash before my eyes,
So scattered and lost
I want to touch the other side...
(Muse, "Map of the Problematique")

A good writing day yesterday. I did 1,152 words on a new vignette, for which I resurrected the title, "The Garden of Living Flowers." I intend to finish it today. There's really a lot to do today, though. The writing, but also corrections to the untitled collaboration with Sonya (sovay) and trying to get Sirenia Digest 10 ready to go to Gordon (thingunderthest) for PDFing, and a mountain of e-mail, and really, it's probably better if I do not try to see the whole from this point in time. No overwhelm. Not today.

The weather here has turned cool and autumnal again.

I wrote until six o'clock yesterday evening, then took a very hot bath. Spooky had come home with Rogues Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, & Chanteys and after the bath I lay down on the sofa to listen to disc two. And immediately fell asleep. The early evening naps are inevitable when I'm writing this much. She woke me for dinner, and afterwards we read all the way through the collaboration (40 ms. pp.!). I'm so pleased with the way this has turned out. Hopefully, Sirenia Digest readers will be, as well. Certainly, this is going to be the longest issue I've put out so far. It was ten o'clock when we finally finished reading and editing, and we watched an ep of Miami Ink we'd missed. Kat Von D, if by some kindly calamity of fate you are reading this, I need you to prick my arms and back a few million times. Then I played two hours of Drakengard 2 and reached Chapter 5. And my thanks to Leh'agvoi (setsuled) for the Manah icons! I've reached the City of Rust and found the mysterious masked man who may hold the key to Nowe's future. Later still, we read another sixteen pages of Z's Only Revolutions. Sam (September 1, 1870-July 2, 1876) and Haily (November 25, 1963-December 27, 1963). A few very obvious things were noted. Sam cites animals; Hailey cites plants. Sam sees the games of boy children, and Hailey those of girls. We experimented with several alternate ways of reading the text. In my head, this book has assumed the form of a transparent polygon. Only, the number of sides to the polygon, which correspond to the novel's many systems of parallelism, are multiplying at an exponential rate. We were up until almost three, working those sixteen pages. And then I couldn't turn off my brain, couldn't sleep, which is what I get for reading that book just before bed. At 3:33, I gave in and took an Ambien, which granted me hardly five hours decent sleep, haunted with dreams which were especially bizarre.

Speaking of dreams, it seems that my prayer stalker has seen fit to lock all the entries regarding me so that I may not see them. She hasn't "unfriended" me, and I'm still listed as an interest. But I'll count this as a truce, of sorts. At least this way, I'll not have to see that she's praying for me whenever I give in to my baser instincts and ego-surf. But it's still creepy as hell. Or heaven. Either way.

And still speaking of dreams, I woke from a particularly strange and somehow terrible one, even for me, at about 8:45 this morning. Because I knew I would forget it later (the Ambien, remember), I scribbled down bits of it in my notebook before I fell asleep again. I may come back to this in a second post today. It was a remarkable thing.

In case you've not heard, Poppy is auctioning a doll she made. You can view the auction here. Check it out.

Also, new albums from both Rasputina and The Decemberists will be out soon.

Okay. Gotta run. Here come the words...

This Morning's Dream, Or What My Notes Say

I was an old woman, a very old woman. In my eighties, perhaps, and I had, at some point, inherited a squalid little flat in Boston that had been left to me by Quentin Crisp. I don't know how this had been accomplished, as Crisp died in 1999 and tended to live in squalid little flats and flop houses in Manhattan, not Boston. But there I was, and he had willed it to me, regardless. I had a very clear sense, not only from my advanced years, that this was happening decades in the future (2047ish?). The apartment was cold and dingy, but there was a fireplace (bricks glazed green) with a small fire, and I sat in a ratty armchair not far back from it. There was a party going on in the apartment, and there were very pretty boys in drag, and women with insect heads in elaborate latex and chrome dresses, and there were a few others, just people in Edwardian clothes, if Edwardian clothes were designed for a William Gibson novel.

My hands were so cold, and I sat before the fire, rubbing them together. Outside, it was snowing, and one of the boys kept shouting about the zombies, that the zombies were back again. Someone explained to me, very patiently, that the zombies were not zombies at all, but merely people who'd suffered severe brain damage during a long ago, brief fad of attempting to have one's mind uploaded to the internet or mainframe computers. I thought this very oddly funny, and when I laughed I had the unpleasant sensation that my dentures were loose.

There was Radiohead coming from an antique Victrola.

No one I now know was there, not even Spooky, and there was a terrible aloneness, despite the crowd in the flat. "This is what happens," I kept telling anyone who would listen. "You live this long, and this is what happens. It's just you."

At one point, I looked up, looked back over my shoulder, and Nar'eth was sitting on a chaise in one shadowy corner of the room, talking with one of the insect-headed women. She glanced at me, smiled, then went back to talking with the woman. This is the first time I've ever dreamt of Nar'eth when I was not actually Nar'eth. She'd not aged at all. I recall (it's in my notes) feeling two things upon seeing her: first, jealousy that she'd not aged and, secondly, relief that I was not entirely alone after all.

I was wearing velvet, and I think it was red velvet, but I'm not sure of any more than that, as regards my own clothing.

And then I was approached by one the cyberEdwardians, a man who looked just like a young Aleister Crowley, and he was carrying two hardback books. Both were quite old, and I asked him who read books anymore. There was a joke I can't recall, only that it was very funny, and the two of us laughed so loudly that other people stopped their conversations and stared at us. "Sign this one to Tesla," he said and handed me a copy of the black leather-bound edition of Frog Toes and Tentacles. So I signed it to Tesla. I didn't use a pen. Somehow, I wrote with my fingertip. My index finger. "Now," the man said, "sign this one to me," though I did not know his name. The book had a paper dust-jacket which was in bad shape and held together only with yellowed Scotch tape.

"Where did you find this old thing?" I asked (or I asked something very similar). I could hardly recall having written the book. The title on the cover was Post-Industrial Paganism (Spooky and I discussed just such a book a few nights ago). The man told me that he'd had it since it was published, and he told me how important it had been to him, that he was so glad I'd taken the time to write it. I opened the book and the copyright date was 2015, but it was copyrighted to Nar'eth ni'glecti Mericale, not to Caitlín R. Kiernan. I told him that she was here, at the party, and it would really be more appropriate if she signed it.

No, he insisted. You sign it. I want you to sign it, but I kept stalling and flipping through the pages while he talked.

I noticed a large green parrot sitting on the hearth, nibbling at a muffin.

"Isn't there the sense that American history has ended?" someone said. "What else could possibly happen?" I muttered something to myself about that being bullshit.

There was thunder and lightning and more talk of zombies, and the man who looked like Crowley told more jokes, and at some point someone brought me a neon-blue martini.

"The war can't go on forever," one of the insect-headed women said. "People won't stand for it." And I closed Post-Industrial Paganism and gave it back to the man, unsigned. And sometime right about here I woke up. My mouth was so dry I couldn't speak and had trouble swallowing. I found my notebook on the floor (Spooky had moved it from my side to a stack of books on her side, fearing I'd stumble over it in the night) and wrote down everything I could remember. This is only slightly more vivid and coherent than my dreams usually are. This evening, I've forgotten most of it, thanks to the Ambien (otherwise, I'd probably still be hazy and "dreamsick") and only have the notes to remind me. Make of it what you will. It's had me baffled all damned day.

Maybe my prayer stalker needs to pray a little harder...