This is going to be a long and taxing week (no pun intended, really). I'll likely reveal more of the reasons why as it progresses. Presently, I'm not at liberty to go into the worst of it. The trip to Birmingham may be postponed until late this week or early next, which, truthfully, is just fine by me. I wouldn't mind the rest of my life passing me by without another trip to frelling Birmingham. Today I have to try to pull Sirenia Digest #5 together, and I have to talk to the subpress design person about where the illustrations in Alabaster will be placed within the book. It's all coming together.
The brown thrasher's back.
Oh, on our walk yesterday, we saw a pair house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus), which must be quite common hereabouts (they were introduced to this part of North America in the forties). The male seemed something quite exotic with his crimson plumage, even if he isn't. Oscar Wilde might have said this is the secret to surviving life, appearing marvelous even when one is only a lowly house finch.
Last night, we watched a documentary on the Discovery Channel about the Great San Francisco earthquake. Tuesday is the 100th anniversary. It wasn't a bad documentary, though I saw one years ago on PBS — an episode of The American Experience, I believe — that was much better and only used photographs and film shot in the days following the quake. Last night I was particularly taken with a line from the journals or memoirs of a nurse who lived through the disaster, Lucy Fisher, who wrote:
Old things had passed away, and all things had become new and terrible.
I had to find a pen and paper and scribble it down. I almost think she might have written a eulogy for the 19th Century, or perhaps an epilogue to Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach." They would be the same thing, more or less.
I should probably wrap this up. I need to e-mail my agent, who's now vacationing in Florida and only has sporadic internet access. You kids play nice.
Postscript: I'm very pleased that Portland won the bid for Convergence XIII. I hope that I will be there.