April 18th, 2008


Each feather, it fell from skin.

I'm predicting a short journal entry. Let's see if I know of what I speak...

Yesterday, I began and finished the second section of Chapter One of The Red Tree. A total of 1,346 words, so a very good writing day. At least, as regards the number of words written. Already, I am struggling with doubts. Somehow, the text does not seem as solid, as dense, as detailed, as authentic as it needs to feel. This may all be in my mind, I do not know. I see now that this chapter will likely have four sections. I'll begin the third this afternoon.

And yesterday I had two readers tell me that they find endnotes more distracting than footnotes. So, there you go. I've had readers, in the past, extoll* the horrors of footnotes, that they are distracting, destroy the flow of text, and (gasp) feel pretentious (it's all pretentious, kiddos, as it's all pretend, it's all pretense). So, now I'm not sure what I'll do. I guess I'll figure it out when I reach the end of Chapter One. Also, I have considered inserting the Caitlín R. Kiernan construct as "the editor" of Sarah Crowe's journal, which means that I would be writing the prologue, afterword, and foot/endnotes as "me."

I sat out in the sun a bit yesterday, when all the writing was done, just loving the warmth, dozing, soaking up a little Vitamin D. The sun so rarely touches my skin.

Some reader questions now. First eldritch00 writes, "Question about the new Penguin paperback reissues: were all of those novels revised? I remember that Threshold was." Here's how it works: Silk was extensively revised for the mass-market paperback Threshold was revised, but not as much as was Silk. Both Low Red Moon and Murder of Angels received minor edits (more in the former than the latter). Daughter of Hounds will receive almost no revision at all (in part, this is because it doesn't need it, and, in part, because I don't have time).

eldritch00 also asked about the Table of Contents for A is for Alien, and I reply it will probably look something like this (the order of the stories is likely to change):

“Riding the White Bull”
“Zero Summer”
“A Season of Broken Dolls”
“Faces in Revolving Souls”
“The Pearl Diver”
“In View of Nothing”
“Ode to Katan Amano”
“Bradbury Weather”

And, remember, a FREE e-edition of The Dry Salvages will be released by Subterranean Press to coincide with the release of A is for Alien. Also, this from MySpace reader Kate La Trobe:

I always read your blog with interest - have done for years, from London, Holland, the States...wherever I am... and your books of course. You're an incredible inspiration. My favourite is Low Red Moon which I read over many coffees in Amsterdam...am now reading and very much enjoying my recently-acquired Murder of Angels. In Montana! Isn't it great that your work is everywhere?! I always find your books, wherever I am. Usually in shops, and if not, I ask them about your titles and get them to order it in. And there's always Amazon if the worst comes to the worst. Thanks for being fabulously talented. You're enjoyed worldwide.

See? This is what does not make the "Baby Jesus" cry. Yes! I can find your books.

More Millennium last night. Episodes Three and Four. Many more pages of House of Leaves And that was yesterday. Tonight, we get Byron and new Doctor Who and another new Battlestar Galactica. And no, this wasn't a short entry...

* extoll may, indeed, be spelled with two L's, and, to me, extol looks like the name of a neotenic tiger salamander or Aztec god.

Meet the beastie.

I forgot to mention that yesterday I finished reading "New information on the skull of Keichousaurus hui (Reptilia; Sauropterygia) with comments on sauropterygian interrelationships" by Robert Holmes, Yen-Nien Cheng, and Xiao-Chen Wu (JVP 28:1, pp. 76-84). Keichousaurus is a neat little beast, first recognized from the Triassic of China back in 1958, but poorly understood until recently. It now appears that Keichousaurus is probably a basal member of the Sauropterygia, the group of semi-aquatic and aquatic reptiles that included nothosaurs and plesiosaurs. It also occurred to me that I never show off any of my own thousands of fossil specimens in the journal, and it just so happens that I have in my collection a young specimen of Keichousaurus hui. I bought it in Manhattan back in the summer of 1997 at Maxilla and Mandible on Columbus Avenue. This tiny skeleton (behind the cut) measures about 17 mm., but is missing the tail. I did most of the preparation on it myself, exposing more of the pectoral girdle and fore- and hindlimbs than were visible when I purchased it. It likely came from Xingyi area of China's Guizhou Province, from beds of late Middle Triassic age (the Zhuganpo Member of the Falang Formation), dating from about 237 ± 2 Ma — 228 ± 2 Ma (million years ago), back when the dinosaurs were just getting their start on land. The basal dinosaurs Staurikosaurus, Guaibasaurus, Saturnalia, and Unaysaurus all date from roughly this stage of the Triassic, I believe. Anyway, yes, images behind the cut (photos by Spooky):

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