greygirlbeast (greygirlbeast) wrote,
greygirlbeast
greygirlbeast

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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.
Tags: "la peau verte", rhode island, tcfwl, travel, watch hill, wfa
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