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Watch Hill

I learned last night (thank you sovay) that I'm a World Fantasy Award finalist, twice over. To Charles Fort, With Love has been nominated for Best Collection, and "La Peau Verte" has been nominated for Best Short Story. In both categories, I am in august company (Kelly Link, Joe Hill, Peter S. Beagle, Holly Phillips, Bruce Holland Rogers, George Saunders, and — ahem — Peter S. Beagle), and I am extremely pleased with these nominations, as I was with the earlier IHG nominations. On the heels of the recent Troubles, it's most heartening, and this is the first time during my eleven years in publishing that I've received WFA nods. I hope it's an indication that my work is beginning to be perceived more as fantasy, in a broader sense, and less as "horror," sensu genre. Oh, I almost forgot. I was also very, very happy to see that Weird Shadows Over Innsmouth (ed. by Steve Jones), which included my story "From Cabinet 34, Drawer 6," was nominated in the Best Anthology category.

Today's another day indoors, and I aim to get two entries done, the one for August 2nd I'd meant to do on Friday and another one for yesterday.

Early on Wednesday, I finally learned what had happened with the two remaindered trade paperbacks, Low Red Moon and Murder of Angels. I did not yet know that the books would still be released next year as mass-market paperbacks, but just knowing something, removing even that small bit of uncertainty, allowed my black mood to lift an inch or so. The cottage was hot as hell, and we left, dimly hoping to find cooler air somewhere else. At first, there was an odd bit of circling about (I think we were both a little addled from the heat) and we ended up heading north on Highway 2 towards Warwick. Not being especially fond of Warwick, I asked Spooky if we could please avoid it. She was grumpy, and the whole thing was sort of like Susan Sarandon trying to reach Mexico without going through Texas in Thelma and Lousie. We exited Hwy. 2 and took Middle Road west into East Greenwich, passing Ike Shippee Corner and Tarbox Corners, then turning north on Carr's Pond Road, then west again into West Greenwich and onto I-95, turning south through Exeter. A whole lot of aimless wandering about in the sun, seeing nothing much of interest.

Finally, it was determined that we should head southwest to Watch Hill, all the way down at the Connecticut border (as we're both fond of Watch Hill, and we hoped there might be cooler air thereabouts). Amazingly, there was cooler air in Watch Hill! We parked on Bay Street, near Book and Tackle, a shop with such an intriguing name we were drawn at once inside. I saw no tackle, but there were aisles and aisles of old books and postcards. The floor was wooden, and there were minute dunes at the base of a lot of the shelves, sand tracked in on shoes and bare feet and not swept away. But the bookshop was sweltering, and we soon found ourselves back outside in cool ocean breeze. There were great clouds building in the western sky, above Stonington and Little Narragansett Bay, mercifully shutting out the sun. We walked up Bay Street to the Flying Horse Merry-Go-Round. To quote a somewhat illiterate tourism website:

Oldest in America, made in 1867. The 20 horses are not attached to the floor but instead are suspended from a center frame, swinging out or flying when in motion. About each horse is hand carved from of wood and is embellished with real tails and manes, leather saddles and agate eyes. The only flying horse carousel surviving in the country. It was brought to Watch Hill in 1883 permenently in 1883 or 1884. Children only. Lovingly maintained and preserved by The Watch Hill Memorial Library and Improvement Society.

We sat with an old man on a stone bench and watched the horses swinging round and round beneath the exposed support beams of the roof. A little later, we walked down to Fort Road and Watch Hill Cove, where we sat on the sea wall and watched the sun begin to set. It must have been about seven p.m. by then. The heat was much lessened by the clouds and a steady breeze off the water. The cove was dotted with bobbing boats of all sorts. I was especially taken with a sleek yacht appropriately named Aphrodite. The tide was going out, and I climbed over the wall onto the wet brown sand. There was a tiny jellyfish stranded there. Spooky found a desiccated minnow lying on the wall and we speculated on the circumstances of its demise. There were gulls and cormorants and sparrows and one haughty swan. The sun was beautiful on the water. And the tourists were far and away less vile than the sort we'd encountered earlier down in Galilee, Narragansett, and Jerusalem. I cannot abide most of the beach-goers, sweaty sunburned drunks of both sexes, barely clothed, loud and garish and ugly, flip-flops and thongs and great hairy bellies...but I'm getting off track.

Five years back, I began a story, "The House at Watch Hill Point," but only got 350 words in before it stalled out on me. Walking about Watch Hill on Wednesday, I thought perhaps I should finish it. Well, in truth, it's hardly been properly begun.

We drove up to Wakefield for dinner at Italian Village, a marvelous little restaurant Spooky introduced me to in July 2004. Then, back in Greenhill, where things had cooled off quite a bit, we watched Project Runway (still pretty dull compared to the first two seasons, though I've taken an inexplicable liking to Bradley). I made my first LJ/Blog entry in seven days. I didn't get to sleep until about four a.m.

Here are some photos (behind the cut):




The name says it all (well, actually it doesn't).

The Flying Horse Merry-Go-Round. This photo doesn't do it justice.

Bay Street, looking north, with the cove on the left. Too many frelling cars.

Spooky sneers at tourists!

If there had only been one more, we'd had a pair of earrings.

Boats on Watch Hill Cove.

The Aphrodite. Spooky in foreground.


Okay. More later. There's e-mail I should be dealing with.

Comments

( 20 comments — Have your say! )
stardustgirl
Aug. 6th, 2006 05:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the photos. I love the carousel (as I love most carousels), and I'm wondering if Spooky's sneer had any effect on the offending drunk, burnt and hirsute tourists? We've an infestation of them this weekend (NASCAR, anyone?) and if sneering would help, I'll put on some Billy Idol and try to practice a good sneer.

That's the only part of the country I've not been to. I need to go.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 6th, 2006 07:59 pm (UTC)
(NASCAR, anyone?)

Gods, how horrid. I lived too much of my life too near frelling Talladega.
mistressmousey
Aug. 6th, 2006 05:35 pm (UTC)
I cannot abide most of the beach-goers, sweaty sunburned drunks of both sexes, barely clothed, loud and garish and ugly, flip-flops and thongs and great hairy bellies...

Put them on unicycles or bikes (often without even the thongs) and you've got reason numero uno I don't ever leave camp when I go to Burning Man.

Yay for WFA nominations!
greygirlbeast
Aug. 6th, 2006 08:00 pm (UTC)

Put them on unicycles or bikes (often without even the thongs) and you've got reason numero uno I don't ever leave camp when I go to Burning Man.


Urgh. I so want to attend a Burning Man, but I can imagine that the potential for such nastiness must be very high.
setsuled
Aug. 6th, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC)
I'm a World Fantasy Award finalist, twice over.

Cool, congratulations. And these entries about your vacation have been really lovely, by the way.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 6th, 2006 08:01 pm (UTC)
And these entries about your vacation have been really lovely, by the way.


I'm glad to hear that, as I've feared they might be dull.
hewet_ka_ptah
Aug. 6th, 2006 05:46 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on the nominations!

kambriel
Aug. 6th, 2006 06:14 pm (UTC)
I've not been on lj much recently, and nearly missed you being in this neck of the woods... It is a bit late notice, but there's a great event in Cambridge tonight if the two of you are looking for something to do.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 6th, 2006 08:05 pm (UTC)
I've not been on lj much recently, and nearly missed you being in this neck of the woods...

Yeah, I thought about saying something, but I know that you and Curse have had your own Troubles recently and figured you were likely not up to playing host.

It is a bit late notice, but there's a great event in Cambridge tonight if the two of you are looking for something to do.

Thanks for mentioning it, and it's certainly a good cause, but we're still a bit wiped out from yesterday and will be sticking near "home" this evening.
kambriel
Aug. 9th, 2006 10:45 pm (UTC)
How much longer will you be in the area?
chris_walsh
Aug. 6th, 2006 06:21 pm (UTC)
Here's to the more-better-ing of your circumstances. (Hey, I'm still waking up. Yes, it's 11 a.m. Pacific time.) It's great to hear of your nominations; more people are getting exposed to you, as it should be. I've been enjoying the photos; I cracked up at the minnow one. And thanks for the sneering Spooky!
bosstweed
Aug. 6th, 2006 06:31 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on the nominations!

Five years back, I began a story, "The House at Watch Hill Point," but only got 350 words in before it stalled out on me. Walking about Watch Hill on Wednesday, I thought perhaps I should finish it. Well, in truth, it's hardly been begun.

Does this happen to you often? Abandoning stories and then coming back to them? If so, do you take off from the same point, or do you take the old concept and start afresh?
greygirlbeast
Aug. 6th, 2006 08:06 pm (UTC)

Does this happen to you often? Abandoning stories and then coming back to them? If so, do you take off from the same point, or do you take the old concept and start afresh?


It's not unusual for a story to stall out on me. It is unusual for me to ever come back to them. They just sit about like orphans, incomplete.
cause_catyljan
Aug. 6th, 2006 06:55 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on the nominations
corucia
Aug. 6th, 2006 07:06 pm (UTC)
Congrats on the two nominations! This story and book seem to be really making their mark; if I remember correctly, they were also nominated for awards by the International Horror Guild.

z0mb1e
Aug. 6th, 2006 09:36 pm (UTC)
I have a couple of Sirenia Digest questions. Where should I direct the email?
greygirlbeast
Aug. 6th, 2006 10:56 pm (UTC)
Where should I direct the email?

To zquid_zoup@yahoo.com, which is one of Spooky's accounts. She'll fix you up.
lesser_celery
Aug. 7th, 2006 12:40 am (UTC)
Congratulations on being a twice-finalist.

Before we got married, Anke and I used to hang out a lot in Westerly (RI), where her parents lived. We spent one summer restoring a small graveyard there, just the two of us. So it's good to see pictures of Watch Hill, which is right close to our old haunts.
sfmarty
Aug. 7th, 2006 03:16 am (UTC)
Congratulations on the nominations!

And, I love trip reports and photos.

The oldgreypoet calls the summer vacationers "grackels". Seems to fit very well. He lives in England (Sommerset) where his husband has a job at a bar. On weekends the grackles invade and hell insues. He does a daily blog.
oneirophrenia
Aug. 7th, 2006 05:01 am (UTC)
Big Phat Congrats on all the award nominations! About damn time they start recognizing good writers of weird fiction....

BTW: Looks like there's gonna be a song on the forthcoming Nyarlathotep album called "Le Peau Verte." Wonder where the inspiration for THAT came from? (The obvious, and a few nights with a bottle of Montmartre.) And yeah, the story is not particularly Lovecraftian in any way, but so what? We're the Crawling Chaos--we can do anything we want. :)
( 20 comments — Have your say! )