November 6th, 2006


"My dear Zampanò, who did you lose?"

No walk this morning. Insomnia is back. I made a valiant effort to get to sleep early last night, and was, in fact, in bed by 12:30 a.m. (CaST) But Spooky was taking a late, hot bath and something in our dark bedroom gave me the creeps, so I got up and sat with her until she was done bathing. Still, I was back in bed by 12:50, doped up on my usual meds plus a kava. And I proceeded to toss and turn until two, when I took the last Ambien. I almost fell asleep shortly thereafter, but a truck out on the street revved its motor and woke me. And so I tossed and turned until almost four.

In my case, insomnia is integral to understanding the Writing Process.

The better part of yesterday afternoon was spent searching for the story that Sonya (sovay) and I will be writing for Sirenia Digest 12 (November). We exchanged e-mails. We'd already decided it would be another bit of what has become the "Jacova Angevine Cycle." We're thinking it will be epistolary, told in letters, written in the 1940s or thereabouts, exchanged between a relative of Jacova's and someone else. Mostly, I sat here in this room and stared at the iBook, trying to will the story from Nothingness into mere Being. I also read a great deal of Norse mythology (primarily Norse Mythology by John Lindow, also Tacitus' Germania, etc.), particularly bits related to worship of the goddess Nerthus (i.e., Hertha). I got distracted (which was easy to do, wrestling the third day of a mirgraine) and corrected some Wikipedia articles on Nerthus and the vanir. The whole thing with Nerthus may or may not have relevance to what Sonya and I will write. We may stick with Mother Hydra, Dagon, etc., more familiar ground. We shall see. I wrote the opening epigraph for The Dinosaurs of Mars, a story which continues to unfold in my head like some crazed origami. The other piece for SD 12 is probably going to be an erotic vignette inspired by "The Pied Piper of Hamlin."

Spooky went out and got me a heating pad, and we put it on the floor under my desk, so at least my feet won't freeze.

I worked until 7 p.m., and after dinner, Spooky read to me from House of Leaves until almost midnight. I also imported a bunch of Dead Can Dance onto the iBook. Then I watched the last few minutes of the first disc of The Two Towers, because I figured that was much preferable than going down to the Sleep Monster with the House on Ash Tree Lane in my head. So, there was a little bit of the emptying of Edoras before the flight to Helm's Deep, Frodo and Sam and the oliphaunts, Faramir. But I still got the willies when I tried to go to bed. I was awake by 9:30 this morning and wrote in my pen-and-paper journal a bit until Spooky woke. Before breakfast, I read some of Nathaniel Philbrick's In the Heart of the Sea, a book about the sinking of the whaleship Essex by an 85-foot sperm whale in 1820 (which inspired Moby Dick). Then there was noodles. And now I am here, typing.

There's rain on the way.

We have this plan of moving my office to the back of the house, where it's warmer, and turning what is now my office into a dining room, because we're tired on eating our meals in the dreary kitchen. Spooky's been moving stuff about for a couple of weeks, getting ready, but I look at the shelves and shelves of books that will have to be relocated and the motivation deserts me. We hope to make the switch later this week, hopefully with the help of Byron and whoever else we can con into lending a hand.

Okay. Well, time to write. If you've not pre-ordered Daughter of Hounds, I ask that you please do. Also, my thanks to Jason Erik Lundberg (jlundberg) for posting kind words about Alabaster, and to Gordon (thingunderthest) and an anonymous benefactor for giving me 18 more months of 113 LJ icons.