July 31st, 2013


"There's nothing I'd like better than to fall. But I fear..."

Wind, in time, rapes the flower trembling on the vine. ~ Sarah McLachlan

Comments, please. It's going to be a long day.**

I slept too much last night. Possibly almost eight hours, but I'm not certain. It culminated in a long dream about working with Dame Darcy on a song based on "7/7/7." We were working out of ramshackle shotgun shacks in the middle of an abandoned strip mine, and there were enormous spoil heaps left from stripping out all the coal. Dame Darcy had written this unbelievably beautiful song, and I can not recall a single note of it. She played it on the banjo, and just hearing it made me want to cry. I became obsessed with the way her mind worked, and with the way it had produced that one song, and then she began writing other songs based on "7/7/7" until we had enough for a sort of musical. We'd walk into town with Spooky. Town was the sort of Appalachian nightmare you'd find, say, in West Virginia circa 1935. But everything was shades of grey and black, almost like watching an old film. Tall whitewashed store fronts. Cafes. Deserted streets. And then, somehow, David Bowie recording the songs, and the whole thing becoming a film, and a night when the town was completely devoured in fire. The places that were "the film" and reality became increasingly blurred until, in the end, there was only the night on fire, filled with werewolves and angry men and weeping women. And that is what I dreamt immediately before waking.

Gods, I slept to late.

I've begun writing out a Ghûl lexicon, just a vocabulary of maybe a hundred words and phrases, getting ready for Cherry Bomb, which, as it happens, is about ghouls.* Qqi e'iá ylön*** ("The Fifty curse mercy.") It would be nice if I had a linguist on hand. Then again, putting all this work in on a Siobhan book seems a bit absurd. I'll probably include the lexicon in the back, with a pronunciation guide.

I've been told to take a week before turning in "Ballad on an Echo Whisperer," to read over it several times at my leisure, to see what I really think and where it may still need work. This is, too me, a method inimical to writing. Almost without exception, my stories come out as they will be published. There's not, usually, rewriting and fiddling about and fussing. Whatever happens with this story, I just want it gone.

Most of yesterday was a disaster. Or a waste. Or a disastrous waste. We went to Moonstone Beach, only to find, upon arriving, that there were four and five foot swells, a steady wind that was anything but warm, and the sea that had been warm a week ago icy cold. Since coming to Rhode Island, I've swum in some cold fucking water. But yesterday was too much. I made it about twenty or thirty feet out, maybe, and already the waves were lifting me off my feet. I left the water immediately. And, of course, that wind only made it colder. I'm guessing deeper, colder water was being churned up. I lay on the sand a while, cursing what passes for summer in Rhode Island, cursing the wind off the sound. Then we left and came home.

And I have made a decision. I can't stay here. In Rhode Island. In New England. It's been five years, I can no longer take the cold, and I have fuck all to show for my time here. I'm going south again, though I have no idea how or precisely where or how long it will be before I am able. I will probably have to make it through another winter. I wanted to make this work. Desperately, did I want to make this work. Oh, and please do not suggest places I "should" go. I had enough of that yesterday on Facebook (with bizarre invites ranging from Cincinnati to Huston).

Thank you, Mr. Bowie, for making mine and Darcy's dream movie:

Sleep Hungover,
Aunt Beast

* No connection/tie-in with ghouls in my other novels. The Quinn books are trapped in their own little universe.
** Quite a bit longer than I thought.
*** Qqi e'iá ylön. (KEE eye-læ wöh; the last "h" is a heavy aspirate) Qqi is always stressed above all other words. No exceptions. In almost all instances, doubled consonants are "click consonants," as in Khoisan languages. It is very difficult for a human tongue and palate to manage Ghûl.