November 13th, 2012

house of leaves

"Unaware, I'm tearing you asunder."

Just read this on Twitter. William Gibson "retweeted" it, but I have no idea who the original author might be, which is a shame. It's brilliant:

The things people search for when no one is looking are the things great literature is about.


When I was a child, most poor people lived in the country, while the more well to do lived in town. This is, of course, a gross oversimplification, but there's truth in it. I've spent almost all my adult life in cities and large towns, but I miss the country.


Rainy here in Providence today, and only 52˚ Fahrenheit. My office window is speckled with beads of rain. The sky is grey blue. I've taken my morning meds, and Spooky just brought me coffee. No alarms, no surprises, please.

Last night, it occurred to me that if I had a daughter I would name her Alma. Make of that what e'er you will.

Yesterday, I finally finished making less of a mess of Chapter Two of Fay Grimmer. Now, I make some smallish fixes to Chapter One (continuity and a stinky opening), then, I suppose, I'll write chapters Six, Seven, and Eight. Unless there is no Chapter Eight. Which would suit me just fine. Another fifteen thousand words or so, either way. What I should do, having just done what I've just done to Chapter Two, is read through chapters Three, Four, and Five, and fix any and all continuity errors NOW, and make about a thousand other revisions. But I won't do that. That could easily require an extra week, and I'm out of time. No extra week to spare, even if it would make this book less wretched. Instead, I push onwards towards THE END, and try to fix all the blemishes in post. The whole book is a blemish.

After the work on Fay Grimmer, I wrote 1,209 words on "The Interrupted Bone Sharp." Yes, I haven't given up on it. For twenty years, I've dodged a slew of questions concerning my time in paleontology and the reasons for my eventual departure from it, and now I want, finally, to answer them. Still, desire does not make a thing any easier. But I will answer them now. I am. Quoting Colette, Look for a long time at what pleases you and longer still at what pains you. And yesterday I looked at my triumph over the creationist dogma of my childhood, my continued struggle against creationists in the 1980s, and, finally, still in the first half of the 1980s, my part in Explorer Post 272 and as one of the three cofounders of the Birmingham Paleontological Society* (The latter does not now acknowledge my role in its creation. I honestly have no explanation for this omission, and I have not inquired into the reasons behind it. Likely, I never will.** Perhaps, I am simply consider an...embarrassment.). Both were based at the now-defuct Red Mountain Museum, where I worked as a high-school volunteer, and then as an associate paleontologist (via undergrad work-study) from 1978-1986. Good memories and terrible memories. Very good things I did, and very great failures on my part (and the part of others). Only two or three events in my life "pains me" more to look at than my many years associated with the RMM. As I continue with this chapbook, it will only become more difficult to write, "to look at for a long time," as the 1980s are truly the worst of it.

Spooky and I have been getting by in solitude. I haven't seen anyone since readingthedark's last visit, and that was weeks ago. I don't count the cute, talkative girl who works at the liquor store and reminds us of Luna Lovegood. Though she does amuse. Some of us write in solitude. I expect most writers could never do that. Or maybe I don't know shit about what most writers can and cannot do. I've never had much interest in hanging out with other writers. I find I have little in common with them. But, then, why would I, aside from the fact that we share the same profession. People assume that means much more than it does, I think. Anyway, this last week, we've mostly been watching Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracey movies and playing The Secret World*** and doing little else, or so it seems.

Tomorrow night, we switch back to Rift for a time, as the Storm Legion expansion goes live today. Oh, and this weekend there's a one-time, three-day event in GW2, which "will change Tyria forever." Will no one save me from this virtual existence?

Now, back to the Mordorian Death March.

* Now known as the Alabama Paleontological Society, I believe.
** Though I have extensive documents demonstrating my part in the society's conception and birth. It's not that I'm a liar, just that I don't lie all the time.
*** Mostly killing endless waves of zombinos (m) and zombilenos (f), which is Pig Spanish, which I invented.