April 30th, 2008


Not enough days...

So, yes, Sirenia Digest #29 (April) will be going out to subscribers this evening. That said, there has been a last minute change to the line up this issue. It will actually be comprised of two pieces by me this month, instead of one — "Flotsam" and "Concerning Attrition and Severance." The latter is the especially "brutal" piece I was fretting over so much a few days back. It was originally intended for Sirenia Digest #30 (May). However, Sonya (sovay) needed more time on her new piece, and I absolutely cannot stand to rush another author. So, next month, #30 will include the new vignette by Sonya and my "Rappaccini's Dragon" (which I hope to finish writing tomorrow). Also, there will be no illustration from Vince this month, due to a death in his family. However, he'll be back next month. I hope that was something like coherent, because I am nothing like awake.

I received a very nice email yesterday from Mr. Robert Feldman of Manhattan, the sort that keeps me from taking a claw hammer to my skull:

Ms. Kiernan,

I write to you from the dank, dark, and foreboding depths of the New York Public Library (yes, we do have ghosts and they do wear roller-skates!) where I am currently cataloging the new edition of your
Tales of Pain and Wonder. I've read Alabaster and your contributions to Wrong Things and am very much enjoying the stories in Tales.... The Salmagundi and Salammbo stories are truly blowing me away because I attended the Storm King School (1971-74) and am very familiar with that part of the Hudson Valley. Your Pollepel Island is obviously your take on Bannerman's Island with it's spooky ruined castle right near Storm King Mountain. I climbed that mountain many, many times, and slept out overnight there; it is very creepy around there and a perfect setting for your stories. The Hudson Valley has many many places like this, certainly Sleepy Hollow inspired Washington Irving to write his tale of the headless horseman. A bit further north there is an island off the town of Staatsburg where wicked old Uncle Aleister Crowley spent the summer of 1918, supposedly writing "Do what thou wilt"....etc...in red paint on the rocks for passing ships to see. Then there is the town of Tivoli, much gentrified now but an extremely haunting place in the '70's when I attended Bard College just down the road from there. Thanks for reminding me of these places; they have an atmosphere that's very misty and otherworldly and I have many memories of them. I am enjoying your work very much and am looking forward to reading more. I've cataloged at the Library for twenty years now but this is the first time I've contacted an author. This is a good day job for an old Punk Rock/Goth guitar player and the perks are I get to discover writers like you and Poppy Brite while I'm working. Best wishes and I'll be looking forward to reading more of your work.

It makes everything just a little bit easier to take, knowing there's a copy of Tales of Pain and Wonder at the central branch of the NYC Public Library, where once I climbed a stone lion. Thank you, Robert.

I did 1,189 words yesterday on the new story, the aforementioned "Rappaccini's Dragon." I'd really hoped to finish it this month, but the mess that was Monday made that impossible. Then I packed four very heavy boxes of books, and Spooky washed more dinosaurs (photos here in her LJ; humglum), including my set from the Royal Ontario Museum and the Boston Museum of Science. Just now, she was making a joke regarding "Bathosaurus," and I checked, because I figured there was surely a "Bathysaurus," and there is, though it's not a reptile, but the Deepsea Lizardfish, Bathysaurus ferox. Anyway, after the packing, we read over "Flotsam" and "Concerning Attrition and Severance" for the sake of line edits. I think we finished that up at 7 pm, then had leftover chili for dinner. I looked over the new National Geographic, which is largely devoted to China and the ecological catastrophe that is China (fully 50% of the Yellow River [Huang He] — the sixth longest in the world — has been declared "biologically dead").

More Millenium last night, episode #9 from Season 1, "Loin Like a Hunting Flame." And then the new episode of Deadliest Catch on the Discovery Channel. And why the hell do I write all this crap down? Some odd compulsion to record.

Tomorrow is Beltane. Already.

I really am loving the new Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds disc. After last years Grinderman solo project, I had a feeling they'd be headed back this direction after the low point of Nocturama (2003). Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! feels a lot more like Let Love In with smatterings of the earlier albums.

Prolix, indeed.

One of the songs I'm really loving from Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds' Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!, behind the cut:

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*"It was the battering of drums I heard
It was hunger, it was the hungry that cried
And the waves, the waves were soldiers moving
Marching and marching in a tragic time
Below me, on the asphalt, under the trees."

Wallace Stevens, "Dry Loaf" (1938)

Also, I adore this quote from an interview Nick Cave recently gave to the Sydney Herald Sun:

"My muse was such a bitch, I sacked her years ago. And now I just...I go into the...I mean she's so totally unreliable. You know, one day she'd be there, and two weeks later she might turn up again, and so on, and so forth. So, basically, I got rid of the whole concept of the muse and just went to work everyday. And it has absolutely nothing to do with whether I feel inspired or not. I just get up, go to my office, and start work. Sometimes things come, you know, sometimes things don't, but it's...I just feel that, at least if I turn up and I'm sitting there, and I've got a pen in my hand, whatever's going to come can come, and I'll be ready and prepared to write then."
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    Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, "Hold On to Yourself"
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