June 11th, 2008


After the Fire

It would seem no mass sacrifice of anti-Obama meteorologists will be required, after all. Huzzah! We awoke to cooler air this morning, the thermostat presently at a far more acceptable 82F, and we're looking at cooler weather all week long. At last, maybe we can get started on serious unpacking.

Yesterday, I did 709 words on "The Melusine (1898)," which normally wouldn't impress me, except the writing was done in a 93F sauna. Well, in all fairness, we had the portable coolerator rolled into my office, but still. My brains were a tad heat-addled. It's a miracle there was no micro-thunderstorm spawned in the collision of the air from my office with that in the adjacent kitchen. Oh, I have a name for the coolerator droid — Dr. Muñoz, after the afflicted, ice-craving professor from HPL's "Cool Air." Right now, Dr. Muñoz is cooling the front rooms enough for Spooky to work in there today. My office window is open, and the breeze is marvelous.

Sirenia Digest now has an arts correspondent — Mr. Geoffrey H. Goodwin (readingthedark) — and now we will feature, each month, a new article/interview with a different visual artist (painters, sculptors, filmmakers, photographers, make-up artists, etc.). I am very excited about this new addition to the Digest. Speaking of which, the June '08 issue (#31) will include two new pieces by me ("Unter den Augen des Mondes" and "The Melusine (1898)" — caged werewolves and steampunk sideshows, respectively), Geoffrey's article (subject to be announced), and a new illustration by Vince Locke, for "The Melusine (1898)." Which means this is a very, very good time to subsribe. Just click here. Easy as pie. Expect #31 on or near June 25th.

It was so hot that yesterday I got very little unpacking done. Mostly, I sorted though books that were up for discard. I so hate getting rid of books, but this office is so small, and, truthfully, well...it all comes down to an old paperback of Jane Eyre. Not a nice hardback. A paperback. Now, this is 2008 and Jane Eyre is online. Any time I need it, I can go to the full text online. So, it went into the box of books we're donating to the Kingston Free Library for their upcoming book sale (donations accepted through June 21st). So far, I have three big boxes of well-loved books for them.

Quickly, some interesting writing/publishing related links: First, this, on the problem of preserving quality when driven by publishers to produce a novel a year. I love Patricia Cornwell's comment, "It's no problem, as long as you don't have a life." Myself, I still haven't figured out how to do a novel a year and am loathe to try. Also, the American manga craze may be a bust, if the recent actions of Tokyo Pop are any indication. And, finally, a new interview with William Gibson, "William Gibson Talks to io9 About Canada, Draft Dodging, and Godzilla" (thanks, Cliff).

To escape the heat yesterday, about 6:30 pm, we headed south again, this time to Moonstone Beach, at the southeastern corner of Trustom Pond (with Cards Pond just a little farther east). It's an utterly beautiful spot, just below the Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge. The beach itself, named for the "moonstones" (a plagioclase feldspar) commonly found washed up on on the sand, is a protected nesting area for the Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus). We weren't there for serious birding, though I couldn't help but notice a number of Eastern Kingbirds (Tyrannus tyrannus). We walked about on the cool sand as the sun set, picking up a few moonstones, a fish vertebra, a shell or two. Finally, I lay down and stared up at the waxing moon, trying to clear my mind of everything but the sounds of the sea, thinking only of Panthalassa. And the thoughts that came, again and again, were that I was hearing the world (Ur) breathing, there in the advance and retreat of the waves. And that I know so little, and have come to this whole affair much too late in life — witchcraft, I mean. That last part is surely true, but I have to not allow it to lead me to despair. Humility, but not despair. I do what I can do. Anyway, it was a beautiful evening. Perfect. We got our feet wet in the icy waters of Block Island Sound. Near dark, as we were heading back to the car, I spotted a Fowler's toad (Bufo fowleri), and soon we'd spotted five or six of them, all adults. A little farther down the road, we heard the call of a Northern green frog (Rana clamitans melanota) from the salt marshes. We sat in the car a few minutes, just listening to the frogs and birds. There are photos behind the cut, by the way.

On the way home, we stopped for dinner at Iggys, then drove through Wickford on the way back to Providence. Back home, we watched Anthony Hopkins' rather Lynchian Slipstream (2007), with Hopkins, Christian Slater, John Turturro, Lana Antonova, and many, many others. A rather fine film, and the only way I can hope to try to describe it is to ask you to imagine Lost Highway crossed with Dark City crossed with The Sixth Sense. And then there was bed, and sweat, but that's okay, because we awoke to this cooler weather.

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And before I forget (again), Spooky's birthday is coming up fast (24th of June), and here's the button thingy for her Amazon wish list, should anyone be so inclined.

My Amazon.com Wish List