July 29th, 2008


"Enduring notions, new found promise, that the end will never come."

I have an email this morning from director Frank Woodward, maker of Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown. Frank writes. "Just wanted you to know that Lovecraft won Best Documentary Film at Comic-Con. Your section on Deep Time continues to mesmerize. People consistently mention it to me after they see the film." So, that's cool. Very cool. May it win many more awards.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,015 words on "Derma Sutra (1891)," for Sirenia Digest #32. This piece is genuinely "weird erotica." No. Ditch the silly, pc "erotica" tag. This is "weird pornography." If Lovecraft had ever decided to write porno, well, I think, honestly, it would have looked a lot like "Derma Sutra (1891)." Even though there's not a single tentacle or a squamous batrachian fish-person in sight.

I haven't been wanting to write here about my dratted health. The last month I've been struggling with pain from that upper left molar I cracked in the grand mal seizure back in October. My dentist in Birmingham was skeptical of her chances of saving it. And now I'm thinking that she didn't. She sent me off to Providence with a penicillin script and another for Lortab, should the tooth go hot before I find a dentist. I have not yet found a dentist. And I've only taken one of the Lortab, as ibuprofen is controlling the pain, mostly, even though it does a number on my stomach (and me and pain meds have an ugly history I do not want to see replayed). So, if I have seemed out of step or extra curmudgeonly or whatever, it's mostly the pain and worry about the pain and the uncertainty and so forth. The pain wakes me in the mornings. It's become that very first thing of the day, this sensation like someone's socked me in the jaw right proper. But I absolutely can't stop work on The Red Tree and the digest to have a tooth pulled or root canaled or whatever. I cannot risk being sidetracked, not at this point (yes, this is part of the "romantic" life of a freelance writer).

Spooky's added a PC copy of the leather-bound edition of Frog Toes and Tentacles to the new round of eBay auctions, along with another copy of Alabaster Please have a look, and bid, should you be so disposed. Thanks. And I'll remind you that subpress is now taking preorders on A is for Alien.

After the writing yesterday, we escaped the house and headed for Moonstone Beach. I was hoping that the storms on Sunday would have cast up some interesting things. And, in fact, when we reached Moonstone, we discovered wonderful lag deposits of pebbles, which are not normally present there, not in such great numbers. So, as the sun set and Asian families fished for blue crabs in Trustom Pond (using chicken legs on string), we crawled about on the sand and stone, looking for bits of beach glass. Spooky found the best pieces. My eyes are just too lousy these days. We picked up a bag full of plastic garbage. At some point, I just lay down on the wet pebbles and sand, just lay there listening to the surf and the birds. And it occurred to me, This is what I have, and this is why I do the writing, and put up with the pain. This is why I'm hanging on, because I can lie on the beach, with the sea lapping at my feet, and know that this one thing, at least, is real. It's not much, but, then again, it's everything, the seashore, that liminal space where earth and ocean meet. It's what I desire, and what I have earned. Ah, and I found a very nice carapace of a spider crab (Libinia emarginata) and brought it home with me. We left as it was getting dark, and the Asian families were still snagging crabs with chicken legs.

Set me aflame and cast me free.
Away, you wretched world of tethers...

After dinner at Iggy's in Narragansett, we stopped by Spooky parents' on the way back, to get cucumbers and yellow crooked-neck squash and eggs and just visit. The sky is so marvelous over their farm, the stars so brilliant. Heading back into town last night, I think my mind was still lying on the beach. Entering Providence, I had some weird flashback to Southland Tales, and it seemed to me —— and the sensation lingers this afternoon —— Here is the Future, as much as there is ever a "future," and it is bizarre and deadly, ugly and wondrous, and I have no place here. It's an unsettling sort of realization, and yet I can't find any fault with it. I think it was about 10:30 pm when we finally got home again.

Oh, there was a question from a reader, who asks, "I was reading some of your old posts today and it reminded me you sometimes referred to your 'favorite Thai place' in Atlanta. Could you share the name with me or in the blog?" And yes, now that I am here in Providence and no longer have to worry about dinner being interrupted by a well-meaning fan, I can (it actually happened at that restaurant a couple of times, which is why I never named it). Thai Bowl in Decatur, though the old, now-deceased location off Highland was better. Thai Bowl is one of the few things I miss about Atlanta.

And one last thing in this long entry. Yes, to create an avatar in Second Life that looks good, that moves well, etc., you will have to go beyond the default freebie av. And roleplay is far better with good avs and decent animation overrides and so forth. But, here's the thing —— compared to the charges incurred by popular MMORPGs, (which SL is not, not an MMORPG, I mean), such as WoW and The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, creation of a good av is really incredibly cheap. For $10 (US; and that's a nice pile of Lindens), or $20 (if you want to get really fancy), you can create a wonderful, unique character, and it's not like there are monthly charges on free accounts, or like the rp sims charge you to play there. Just saying....

Below are four photos from yesterday evening:

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