July 17th, 2016

The Red Tree

Not even a chair.

I think it's high time that I let this journal become a journal again. I've allowed it to sink to the level of Tumblr, and I fucking hate Tumblr. And Instagram. And all that shit.

The heat here is bad. For here, I mean. In Atlanta or Athens or Birmingham, I'd hardly have batted an eye at this heat. Here, with no real AC in the house, it's shutting us down. When I finally went to sleep (after soaking the shirt I was sleeping in and putting a wet cloth around my throat), it was 81˚F in the bedroom. When I woke it was 82˚F. I haven't been sleeping much the last couple of weeks. I haven't been writing much, either, not since finishing "Whisper Road" on July 3rd.

I'm going to have to set aside The Starkeeper, and I'm doing it with great reluctance. But I need to write a new piece for Sirenia Digest #126, and I owe Ellen Datlow a story. And, truthfully, frankly, I'm stuck in Chapter One of the novel. I'm mired in issues of character and voice and metafictional concerns regarding my use of first-person narratives (two, one for Jude and one for Judith).

Yesterday was, officially, the midway point of my summer, day #46 of 92.

World Emoji Day? Seriously?

Last night, after a short drive around the neighborhood to try and cool off, we watched the last five episodes of the Duffer Bros. Stranger Things. This series (I'm unclear if it was a mini-series or if there will be a second season) was really a great deal of fun. Though some people seem to being seeing it as a straight up homage to the Speilberg films of the eighties, it's self consciously at least as devoted to the Stephen King novels of the same decade, along with pretty much every sci-fi/horror film of the decade. From Poltergeist (1982) to E.T.: The Extraterrestrial (1982) to The Goonies (1985), from Firestarter (1980/1984) to Stand By Me ("The Body," 1982/1986) to It (1986), with tips of the hat to John Carpenter (The Thing, 1982 and Starman, 1984), Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead, 1981) and Joe Dante (pretty much his entire ouvre). And the whole thing is filtered through Dungeons and Dragons. Really, it's a delight. Funny and scary, sweet and sad. Indeed, I'd hazard to say it's far better than any actual Stephen King film made during the eighties. Winona Ryder frequently overacts, but I very much enjoyed David Harbour. And Millie Brown, who plays the telekinetic Eleven, was wonderful, stealing the show; I hope to see this kid again. The creature effects weren't half bad. And the Duffer Bros. hit almost all the right musical notes, so to speak. I was done with high school in 1982; Stranger Things is set in 1983. And as someone who was there, I can tell you, yes, that's what it was like.

Aunt Beast