April 26th, 2008


Every broken bone, reminds of this second time...

As predicted, no writing yesterday, but plenty else. And, best of all, Spooky's mom (whose name is Carol) emailed her to report of her field trip, on my behalf, to the Moosup Valley area of western Rhode Island. Here's a quote from the email:

Actually, I've been working on the "journey" all day--gathering old plat maps, topos, putting photos in contact sheet format, etc.

The trip itself was fine. It's very rural and wooded out there. About the only outstanding features along Moosup Valley road were in Moosup Valley, which consisted of a large graveyard, library, church and grange. All of which I photographed. The whole area is an historic preservation district, so there are old places around. Just not too many out by the road. I did photograph the Mount Vernon Tavern ca 1760 along Rte 14, and then all the buildings in "town." There was a house opposite the end of Barbs Hill Road, which I photographed. It was probably 1800's. No date visible. Barbs hill road itself is a narrow gravel road which I decided not to go down. Heavily wooded on both sides and I know that some people out there are really touchy about people using their private roads as a "cut through". I'm a coward.

If you go to Terraserver (put in Moosup Valley road as the location) and look at ariel photos of the area you will see that the whole area is heavily forested, so you don't see a whole lot from the road. The photos were taken when the leaves were off of the trees so it's possible to see the distribution of white pines among the predominantly oak trees. There are also hickory and red maple and cherry. The latter two are probably more prevalent in the swampy areas. There are alot of swampy areas at the bases of the large hills. I am going to send you some topo maps that show the size of the hills. Just like what you encounter out along 102 as you go west past 95 and into CT. The hills are totally boulder strewn down their sides with the trees growing up amongst them. The higher places, along the tops of the ridges, or hills, have more soil and seem to be good farmland. Every low spot seems to have a swamp filled with skunk cabbage.

So, I'll write one more piece for the May issue of Sirenia Digest (#30), then get the last bit of work done on the A is for Alien ms., and then it's back to work on The Red Tree. Maybe in as little as a week. Of course, the pace of packing is picking up, and sooner, rather than later, that's gonna start seriously messing with my ability to writing (and never mind the thousand other moving-related things that have to be done by the end of May). Ah, and Spooky's dad (Richard) has returned from Thailand.

Yesterday, we read all the way through the new piece, the one for Sirenia Digest (#30). It works much, much better than I thought. And Spooky likes it a lot. But it is brutal, even by the standards of the digest. I sent it to sovay, and she helpfully read it and wrote back (and I hope she doesn't mind this quote), "I don't know all the reasons it worries you, but if one of them is because the piece might not work as a story, that at least is unjustified. It's probably the most brutal of any of the pieces I've read for Sirenia and it works very well: 'We need not note the screams.' I actually really like it...If you are more comfortable locking it away in a drawer, I cannot argue with that. But as a piece of story, it is certainly worth the reading." In response to my trying to second guess my readership, the digest's readership, and my fears that the piece is too dark, Sonya replied, "However the audience reacts is its own responsibility. Yours is to the story." Which is a) true, and b) not especially comforting. It still needs a title.

Also, I packed four more boxes, mostly old issues of National Geographic, because I never throw anything away.

After the work, there was dinner at the Vortex (@ L5P) with Byron, and, then, back home, we watched the (for us) new episode of Doctor Who. And I just gotta say, of the companions we could presently have — Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, Sally Sparrow, and Astrid Peth — we get, instead, Donna Noble. Who just annoys me. Hopefully, she will annoy me less, as time goes by. Byron left, and we watched the new Battlestar Galactica, which was good, but somehow felt like it should have been better. I think commercials simply ruin the flow of this show. I finished reading "New bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) from the late Eocene and early Oligocene, Fayum Depression, Egypt" in the new JVP, and we read more of House of Leaves, Navidson's attempt to rescue Holloway's doomed expedition. Later, there was some work on the Palaeozoic Museum in New Babbage (Second Life). My interest in the Museum project has been reawakened, now that some of the sculpty software (namely, Archipelis) has caught up with my needs, as regards creating /recreating SL facsimiles of Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins' Crystal Palace/Palaeozoic Museum dinosaurs. There was a brief "absence" seizure last night.

Coffee. Red Bull. Speed. Cocaine. Whatever you got, platypus, throw it my way.