March 17th, 2009


Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig agat.

Which is to say, have a blessed feast of St. Patrick. As I've said before, this is about as close as I come to celebrating anything like an Xtian holiday, and for me (like most, I think), it's really more an Irish Pride thing. I hung the flag out last night. I'll fix a huge meal this evening, corned beef and cabbage, boiled potatoes, soda bread, and so forth, that we'll likely be eating for days. And here, one of my favorite St. Patrick's Day links: "Why Ireland Has No Snakes" (courtesy the Smithsonian Institution). Suffice to say, the explanation has nothing whatsoever to do with Christian interlopers converting Celtic Pagans.

Yesterday, we left Providence about 12:45 p.m. (we did try to get away earlier), and drove south and east. We crossed the West Passage of Narragansett Bay to Conanicut Island, past Jamestown and Beavertail, and continued on, crossing the East Passage to Aquidneck Island and Newport. Before going to the library, we stopped at the Common Burying Ground, a cemetery we'd not visited since the summer of 2004. Though founded about 1640, the oldest grave we located yesterday was from 1678. I am accustomed to Deep Time. I can think on a scale of hundreds of millions, or even billions of years, and not bat an eye. But, standing in the presence of monuments marking the coming and going of so much historical time, it makes me a bit dizzy. The sun was still out, and there was a little warmth in the air, despite the wind. I copied inscriptions and names. Cemeteries are the best places to find character names, and I have, over the years, rather shamelessly mined them to that end. Spooky took lots of photos (some are behind the cut). Newport's Common Burying Ground may well be my favourite cemetery in Rhode Island. Spooky's favourite grave here is one which holds the bodies of two children and their mother's amputated arm, though we were unable to find it yesterday.

Afterwards, we continued into town (steering clear of the waterfront and the tourists), to the Redwood Library and Athenaeum near Washington Square. An astoundingly beautiful library. And it still uses an extensive card catalog. The books still have those cards in the back where the due-back date gets stamped. In fact, I located only one computer in the library (though, I'm sure there are others, but not within easy sight). I sat in the Rovensky Reading Room until about 4 p.m., making notes. Both the library and the cemetery will figure prominently in "As Red as Red." And then we headed back to Providence. There was a trip to the market, and it was sometime after six before we were home again.

A quick reminder. If you haven't already, please pick up a copy of Daughter of Hounds, or A is for Alien (copies of the trade hardback are still available), or the forthcoming trade paperback of Alabaster. Thanks! Oh, and Spooky had started a new round of eBay auctions.

We're working our way through Season Three of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer again. Season Three is hard for me. On the one hand, I feel like the series is just starting to find itself. On the other, there's the silly evil-mayor story arc that I can hardly abide.

The new "Land of Nor"/Alpha Institute rp in Second Life is starting to pick up steam, and is looking very promising. We're settling into the old library and laboratory by the sea, at the northwest corner of Ethereal. Story is happening. The plot already has subplots. I thought I'd repost the information I posted a few days ago, for any Howard's End or "Sirenia Players" folks who might want to join us. To wit:

I am now running a roleplay faction in the SL NoR sims. No, it's not as ambitious as what I'd planned for Howard's End, but, in terms of theme, it's still in the ballpark. Contemporary urban dark fantasy rp. Vampires, angels, demons, werewolves, ghosts, and just about anything else you can imagine. Unlike HE, there's combat (though, technically, we're a non-combat faction), and a gaming meter/HUD (WARPS). I've founded a group called the Alpha Institute, an occult research organization that very roughly parallels my plans for the Roanoke Society in the stillborn HE sim. Throw in a bit of the Talamasca, a bit of Angel Investigations/Wolfram and Hart, etc. We're off to a very good start. And there's not a mountain of background reading, as there was with HE, and I don't need complex character profiles. Plus, since we're already playing, there's no annoying waiting period. So, if you're interested, just say so, or email me (greygirlbeast (at) gmail (dot) com), or IM me in SL (Nareth Nishi), and I'll send you an invitation. Be sure to provide me with your SL user name.

Okay. Time to make the doughnuts. But first, photos (we took so many, I think I have enough for the next two days, as well):

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