February 5th, 2015

The Red Tree

"So soon, so soon. And the crows, they swoon at the two red holes..."

In 2000, I suddenly developed an allergy to poison oak (Toxicodendron pubescens) and poison ivy (T. radicans), though I'd spent my life until then – some thirty-six years – coming into exposure with both without any reaction. Anyway, I learned to stay away from the stuff, to spot it from a mile off, and I haven't had to deal with a reaction since the autumn of of 2001. Until last night. Last night there was a sudden flare up of contact dermatitis on the undersides of both my forearms. And it took us a while to figure it out, but: On Tuesday night I took a bath and used a loofah, and I distinctly recall scrubbing at my forearms. Which, in retrospect, was sort of odd, but I did it. Then, last night, I'm handling firewood. And all I can figure is that I handled wood that once had poison ivy growing on it. Either that or I irritated the skin and reacted to an allergen that doesn't usually result in my developing contact dermatitis (cats, dust, oxygen, fuck only knows) . But, regardless, it itches like fuck, and it's fucking ugly. I'm taking Benadryl and using a Benadryl cream, and hopefully it'll be gone in a few days.

Yesterday, I finished the story that isn't titled "Stabbing at the Face of Winter." The last 1,245 words were the hardest. Today, after a brief excursion Outside, I proofread it, make corrections, find the actual title, and then put together Sirenia Digest #108.

Tomorrow, or the day after, I get back to work on the screenplay.

But, here a thing for you: Though Subterranean Press will not be making the official announcement for another week or two, you may now pre-order Beneath an Oil-Dark Sea: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan (Volume Two), both the limited edition (600 copies) or the hardcover trade. Just follow the link. Also, you can get a peak at Lee Moyer's cover, though the entire cover isn't visible in the image that's posted.

We have more snow on the way.

Yesterday, I read "Northernmost global record for Multituberculata from the Eocene of Ellesmere Island, Arctic Canada."

And here are a few photos from Monday, Tuesday, and yesterday:

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Spooky says she's going to leave me if I don't stop singing "Freebird."

And Beads