August 30th, 2012


"And do you notice when you're sad?"

Sunny here in Providence today.

Here's a thing. Empowerment of readers. Want another Alabaster miniseries? Really and truly, cross your heart and hope to die? Well, the power is in your hands, kittens. Call your local comics shop – or whatever – and PREORDER at least one copy of the hardback collection of Alabaster: Wolves. Though, fuck, you can order three copies. It's not as if you actually have to buy the things. Just place the order. All that will matter to the all-powerful bean counters at Dark Horse are the preorder numbers on the collection. All those unbelievably glowing, this-is-the-fucking-best-new-comic-of-the-year reviews from places like MTV Geek and Comic Book Resources and whatnot? I have been told by TPTB that those are irrelevant. This is publishing. Whether or not a thing is good doesn't matter. Whether or not it sells, that matters. So, like I said, want more (beyond the Dark Horse Presents stuff I've agreed to do), YOU HAVE TO PREORDER. Waiting and picking up a copy when it comes out in January, that's not going to help. No, truly, it won't. PREORDER, if you want more. That's all that matters.


Yesterday was sort of bipolar, a Siamese twin kind of day. The first half, I awoke angry, exhausted from not having slept, wanting only to jam a fondue fork into the eye of the world and twist it hard. And then punch the world in the ear. I toyed with the idea of ending the semi-vacation. I wrote my editor at Penguin to ask why the CEM for Blood Oranges hadn't arrived last week, as expected, and she said they had delivery confirmation claiming it was delivered on Tuesday. Even though it wasn't. So, Penguin's having to send a photostat, which will be a pain in the butt, as all the CE's marks will be in black, instead of red. I did get through some email, but after that...nothing. All I wanted was the sea. Or oblivion.

So, about 4 p.m., Spooky and I began packing up for Conanicut Island. We'd never been to Fort Getty, because it costs $20 to park. But it's a gorgeous place, with lots of good coves (or so I'd concluded from Google Earth). We left home at 4:22 p.m., and listened to Stars all the way down. When we reached Fort Getty (about 5:15 p.m.), the guy at the gate let us in without paying, since we told him we'd not come to camp, only to swim until about sunset. Thank you, cool dude. It's a beautiful place, and I can't believe I've lived in Rhode Island four years without seeing the park. But mostly, it's a haven for the summer people, who spend May-August squatting there in enormous, gas-guzzling RVs. Thankfully, the place was quiet yesterday. Just to the east, there's the expanse of the Fox Hill salt marsh (owned by the Audubon Society), where we spotted ravens and all manner of egrets and herons. Flocks of cormorants sailed above the sea.

We crossed a wide green meadow to reach the sea cliffs. We found a beautiful little cove (which we have dubbed Starfish Cove, 41°29'22.37"N, 71°24'1.18"W), located 2.54 miles north of our usual cove at Beavertail (41°27'9.63"N, 71°24'0.63"W). The rocks here are the interstratified Cambro-Ordovician Fort Burnside Formation, highly metamorphosed slates, crosscut with beautiful veins of calcite. Wonderful geology, but treacherous climbing (especially with Spooky's injured foot). But we made it down, maybe thirty feet to the water. Which was very fucking cold at first, but our bodies soon adjusted.

And such a marvelous cove! It put our one at Beavertail to shame. The bottom was littered with juvenile starfish (Asteria forbseii), prowling in amongst the gardens of seaweed (many, many species), along with several sorts of crabs. I spotted a large rock crab (Cancer irroratus), which quickly scuttled away to the shelter of an overhang. The mundane dead becomes amazing alive and submerged. There were schools of small fish. I explored a more treacherous cove, just to the south, and got a nasty bruise on my right leg for my troubles. Spooky and I swam about 30 yards north and back. I went out alone maybe 20 yards. We arrived an hour and a half before high tide, and left at the turning, when the water began getting rough. Not as easy getting out of the bay as getting in. The sun was setting, and I'd gotten truly cold. We sat on the rocks briefly, shivering and enjoying the sunset. Then we hiked back across the meadow (there were bunnies!) to the van. The moon, almost full, was rising when we left the park at 7:40 p.m., and made it back to Providence at ~8:30 p.m.. I put Sigur Rós on the iPod, and slept almost all the way home.

Fuck, I need a decent underwater camera.

My foul mood was vanquished by the sea, as is usually the case (FUCK YOU, PUBLISHING INDUSTRY!), and last night, for the first time in four nights, I slept very well, more than eight hours. There are many photos behind the cut. Oh! Before the trip, Spooky went to the post office to send overdue Etsy packages, along with a copy of The Yellow Book to Wilum Pugmire in Seattle, a postcard to a reader in Russia, and a copy of the 2007 edition of Tales of Pain and Wonder to my only niece, Sonoye Murphy.

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Feeling Better,
Aunt Beast