February 23rd, 2011


"Come attrition, come the reek of bones, come attrition, come hell."

Um. Yeah. Slept until the ass crack of noon, which means I got eight full hours of sleep for the first time in ages. I've been sleeping better in general, which I tend to do when I'm writing a lot. Plus, we were out yesterday and I soaked up a lot of sun, and the Vitamin D never hurts. Those gummy things are good, but they can't match getting it straight from the source.

My grateful thanks to everyone who donated a little or a lot yesterday. You guys really are wonderful. I've paid my SVP dues, dues for my twenty-eighth year in the Society, and I have a small sum left over to put towards the unexpected doctor's appointment on Friday.

Yesterday, I realized the next scene in the ninth chapter couldn't be written unless I visited a cemetery out on Aquidneck Island. I mean, sure, I could have faked it. But I fucking hate doing that. I can never write a real-world place well unless I've actually been there. So, about 2 p.m., Spooky and I left the house, and left Providence, crossing the Jamestown Bridge and then the Newport Bridge to Aquidneck. The sun was bold and brilliant (as Colin Meloy might say), and the bay shimmered like chrome. Still a lot of snow, and Green End Pond, along 138, was frozen almost solid. The graveyard in question— Four Corners Cemetery —is located in Middletown, a little north of Newport proper. It's not one of the state's most photogenic cemeteries, not by a long shot, but it plays a pivotal role in the The Drowning Girl. There was a huge crow perched on a headstone when we entered, and Spooky tried to get his photo, but he wouldn't be still. We didn't stay long, as there was a funeral service beginning, a military funeral with a bugler and uniforms and everything, and it would have been poor form to hang about doing ghoulish writing stuff.

After Middletown, we drove down to Spooky's parents' place, though her mom was out running errands and her dad's in Ecuador. We still got to visit Spider Cat and the chickens. There are photos behind the cut:

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Back home, we proofed "Andromeda Among the Stones" (for Two Worlds and In Between), which I wrote in 2002, nine years ago, but it's still a personal favorite. Last night, well...there was leftover meatloaf, and then there was a WoW marathon, during which I had Shaharrazad finish off the quests in Un'Goro Crater and then moved along and did all of Dustwallow Marsh, and got Loremaster of Kalimdor. Of course, now I have to do all of Outland to get the Loremaster title (I already have Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms, Cataclysm, and Northrend). Nerd, nerd, geek. Later, we read more of White Cat (which we've almost finished).

Congratulations to blackholly and to Uncle Harlan on the occasion of their Nebula Award nominations!

"Comment!" says Herr Platypus!

"We're not in Azeroth anymore."

Tomorrow at 1 p.m. EST (10 a.m. PST) the Rift Headstart will begin, for those who have pre-ordered the game. That's a six-day head start before the official release date. Thanks to one of our kindly benefactors, we'll be taking part in the Headstart. Well, Spooky will, as I won't have a PC for a while yet. It looks like we'll both be rolling characters on the Shadefallen server, which, from talk on the forums, looks like it will be the unofficial "no drama" RP server. Please feel free to join us. We'll both be playing Kelari and Bahmi of the Defiant side. It looks like we have an actual chance at RP here. People are serious about it. Spooky and I will be looking for a good RP guild; they're already forming.

And having played a character to Level Eight during the last beta event, I can attest to the fact that the gameplay graphics are almost as amazing as the following trailer:

I'll be on WoW for another few weeks, but then I'm canceling my account (after three years and five months). I don't hope this is the end of WoW. I hope this is a wake-up call that will tell Blizzard it's time to get their shit together.

PLUS! Awesome restrictions on player names, the sort of thing I've been wishing WoW would institute for ages. I quote from Trion's ToS:

"A. Rules Related to Usernames and Guild Designations

Each user will either select a character name or allow the Service to automatically select a character name at random. Additionally, users may form "guilds" and such guilds will be required to choose a name for the guild. When you choose a character name, create a guild, or otherwise create a label that can be seen by other players using the Game or the Service, you must abide by the following guidelines as well as the rules of common decency. If Trion finds such a label to be offensive or improper, it may, in its sole and absolute discretion, change the name, remove the label, and/or suspend or terminate your use of the Service. In particular, you may not use any name:

1. Belonging to another person with the intent to impersonate that person, including without limitation a "Game Master" or any other employee or agent of Trion;
2. That incorporates vulgar language or which are otherwise offensive, defamatory, obscene, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable;
3. Subject to the rights of any other person or entity without written authorization from that person or entity;
4. That belongs to a popular culture figure, celebrity, or media personality;
5. That is, contains, or is substantially similar to a trademark or service mark, whether registered or not;
6. Belonging to any religious figure or deity;
7. Taken from Trion's Game(s);
8. Related to drugs, sex, alcohol, or criminal activity;
9. Comprised of partial or complete sentence (e.g., "Getpwned", "Luvtodance", etc);
10. Comprised of gibberish (e.g., "Qwerty", "Asdfasdf", "Xyzpdq");
11. Referring to pop culture icons or personas (e.g. "McLovin", "Kyle Broflovski", "Catwoman");
12. That utilizes "Leet" or "Dudespeak" (e.g., "Roflmao", "Roxxurboxx", "Lolzumad"); or
13. That incorporates titles. For purposes of this subsection, "titles" shall include without limitation 'rank' titles (e.g., "General Chow," or “Captain Kangaroo”), monarchist or fantasy titles (e.g., "KingLoko", "LordPauleyC"), and religious titles (e.g., "ThePope," or "Reverend Run").

You may not use a misspelling or an alternative spelling to circumvent the name restrictions listed above, nor can you have a "first" and "last" name that, when combined, violate the above name restrictions. Utilizing any name option to harass or disrupt another individual, group or guild will result in disciplinary action taken with respect to the offending account(s) and may result in character deletion. Accounts which have characters deleted due to a violation of this policy are not eligible for reimbursement privileges."