I think kava (Piper methysticum) is my new best friend.
This is going to be a rambly sort of entry. The last three days have been sort of rambly. They certainly have not proceeded in a straight line. Of course, few things ever do, but the minds of women and men and the other genders would often have you think that they do. Me, I like wavy lines, and curlicues, and the Golden Curve of an ammonite's shell.
Spooky just came back from the p. o. with a check from Candlewick Press for the sum of $738.14. This is yet another payment for "The Dead and the Moonstruck," which I wrote for their YA anthology Gothic: Ten Original Dark Tales, way back in July 2003. I've lost track of how many times I've been paid now for this story (this latest seems to be for the sale of a British bookclub edition), but I think I can safely say I've made more from this single short-story sale than I have from any other. If only every short-story sale were this lucrative, the poor platypus would not always be in such a foul mood. Or perhaps sheheit would. Perhaps platypus are foul-tempered beasts, no matter how much or how little they must get tarted up and walk the streets. You should pick up the anthology, by the way. It also includes stories by Neil Gaiman, Lemony Snicket, Gregory Maguire, and Joan Aiken (and, yes, many others), and there's a trade paperback edition now. Money from the sky, that's always a good thing.
My apologies for the October issue of Sirenia Digest still not having gone out. I'm waiting on Vince's finished illustration for "The Ammonite Violin (Murder Ballad No. 4)," which I hope to receive this afternoon. Your patience is much appreciated.
Ah...what else? Rushing through House of Leaves, so soon we'll be back on track with Only Revolutions (unless The Road gets me further sidetracked). Last night, I saw Grey Gardens, the 1975 documentary on Edith Bouvier Beale and her mother and their squalid 28-room mansion in East Hampton, New York. I cannot even begin to comprehend the sort of mentality that could turn such a horror story into a broadway musical, much less a feature film starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore.
I finally saw Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate (1980), which, I think, just goes to prove that the failures of some are more wonderful by ten than the successes of most. I found the film beautiful and brilliant throughout, and whatever rough spots there were are likely the product of Cimino having been forced by United Artists to reduce his original cut, which ran 5 hours and 25 minutes, to a 3 hour, 39 minute version (the cut I saw). I would dearly love to see the original full-length film.
We had dinner with Byron Friday night, which is always a good thing. Then Saturday, I received an unexpected invitation to an early Samhain gathering. Spooky decided she wanted to stay home and sleep because she was feeling a bit under the weather, so I went alone, returning home late yesterday afternoon. It was, overall, a generally positive experience and included my first skyclad group work. I spent half the night wandering peacefully alone through the woods, hearing owls and coyotes and other things, and watched the sunrise for the first time in ages. There was a wonderful conversation I can now only partly recall, concerning the "divinity" of non-conscious Nature and the goddess as abstraction and metaphor. My great thanks to my hosts. Spooky and I will be doing our own Samhain thing tomorrow night, of course, once the trick-or-treaters have been fed.
Okay. Time to make the stupid doughnuts. At least the headache I woke with has begun to fade.