June 19th, 2007


Waxing with a candlelight, and burning just for you.

After almost three months of casting about for a suitable name for the iMac, yesterday I finally settled on Arwen. It's first thing that just felt right. My first Mac, a Color Classic I got in July 1993, was Pandora. The iBook, which I got in October 2001, was first named Victoria Regina, then Hindrance. And now there's Arwen, circa March 2007, nameless no more As the silver-eyed woman tells Deacon at the end of Low Red Moon, "It's not safe for a child, being adrift in the wide, wide world without a name."

Yeterday is a hazy blur of STET and corrections and the sugary residue at the bottom of absinthe glasses. But it is done. Producer D called about 5 p.m., but we only spoke a moment or two, because I was still up to my nipples in the CEM, and I apologised and we spoke of the pelican around my neck, the dire pelican of those three long marches, and how it would so very soon be cut loose forever. He's going to call back on Wednesday to talk about "Onion." Producer D has proven himself extremely patient and understanding. I think it was the bleary, near hysterical tone in my voice. Anyway, sometime later, the last corrections were finally made (to the Anglo-Saxon/Icelandic/Norse/Old English glossary) and I emailed the whole thing away to my editor at HarperCollins, all 85,657 words of it. And today, again, I am free to get back to The Dinosaurs of Mars. Which is really all I want to be doing right now, writing-wise. I'm not sure if I'll get any actual writing done today, because I am slow to change gears, but I will at the very least be reading a bunch of the speleological stuff I brought back from Emory on Friday.

Last night's chat at The Lost and Damned went quite, well, I thought. I couldn't type fast enough, of course, and by the time it was over, about 10:30 p.m. EST, my "typing finger" (right index) was numb and rendered pretty much useless for about half an hour. The questions were much better than I expected, and most of my answers were articulate enough. But there at the end, I must confess that I started rambling on about being an alien and the Immaculate Order of the Falling Sky and humans being very, very good at being human (but good at nothing else), and I'm sure one day it will all be used as damning evidence in an insanity trial against me. Monica said the transcript would be posted this morning, but it doesn't seem to be up just yet. Here's the link. I'll post it again later.

The Second Life of Dr. Nareth Nishi ("1 of 7"), Lady Paleontologist and Writer, is coming along quite well in the steampunk burg of New Babbage. The flat I rented from Sir Arthur has mostly been furnished. The east end is a parlour, with a desk and typewriter against the north wall, near the balcony doors. The west end of the flat is given over to paleontological workspace. I'm just starting to unpack the fossils and tools and such. Oh, I built a work table yesterday, and I think I shall soon be a proficient Second Life builder. The skeleton of the Cretaceous alvarezsaurid theropod Mononykus olecranus from the wastes of Outer Mongolia has been assembled, and there are a couple of trilobites and ammonites unpacked, along with an exceptionally large example of the extant cephalopod Nautilus pompilius, shipped to Babbge from somewhere off the coast of Van Diemen's Land. There's even a very huge cat, usually asleep beneath my work table, whom I have named Rosencrantz. All that's really missing is the steam-powered Victrola, and that's on its way. As I said, visitors welcome. I'll even show you my planetary gravitator (ultimate nerd disco ball), if you ask nicely. Just IM first. Last night, blu_muse and kiaduran came by, and we sat and talked for a while. As of today, I have been inworld for 20 days, and it just keeps getting more frelling amazing. We have to get another machine in here that's up to handling Second Life, so that Spooky's avatar, Miss Artemisia Paine, can be inworld at the same time as Dr. Nishi.

Okay. I should go. Mars awaits!