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Earth Day '08

There have been previous Earth Days when I've had a great enthusiasm for reporting just how awful the state of the planet is. Today, I just can't seem to muster the gumption (as they say back in Alafuckingbama). Sure, I could point out that as of 14:57 GMT (EST+5) today, the Earth's human population had reached 6,662,970,347 (with the US population accounting for 303,912,188 of those humans; that's one birth every 7 seconds in the US)*. I could get started about all those damned plastic water bottles, or the melting ice caps and rising sea level, or the fact that humans have triggered one of the most dramatic mass-extinction events in the planet's history, or the fact that populations of large shark species have declined more than 50% since the 1970s, with many coastal species, including the tiger, scalloped hammerhead, bull, and dusky shark having lost 95% of their worldwide populations in this thirty-eight year period. But. I think numbers and facts just make people act stupider, to tell you the truth. If you'd like, have a look at my Earth Day entries from 2004 and 2005, days on which I had more "gumption" than I have today. Oh, and this quote from my Earth Day entry last year:

"And today is Earth Day. And it seems to me that people are more concerned with finding 'green' solutions that will permit business as usual, and continuing technological escalation, rather than drastically scaling back this runaway civilization, which is the only truly 'green' solution. The only solution at all. I might as well be asking for world peace, and I know that. Humans hate. Human breed. Humans consume. Humans spoil. There are other things that humans do, and some of them are wonderful, but the global effects of these wonderful capabilities pale by comparison with all the hating, breeding, consumption, and spoilage. I do not hate humans, and I don't want to give that impression, but I see no point in denying that today, on this Earth Day, I'm rooting for the other team."

* courtesy the US Census Bureau's US and World Population clocks.
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No writing again yesterday. A lot of reading. Thinking. And dithering. And the dithering has to stop today. I have come, very reluctantly, to the conclusion that I may have to set The Red Tree aside, write all the pieces I need to write for the next four or five issues of Sirenia Digest (say May-September), and then go back to the novel once we're in Rhode Island, where I can do the research that needs doing for me to write the prologue, which needs to be written for me to finish Chapter One. It really doesn't matter, as all this stuff has to be written, either way, but I am loathe to set the novel aside without even Chapter One finished. Regardless, no more dithering. Oh, and I also have to get the introduction to A is for Alien written, and a couple of other things, as well.

Yesterday, we mostly read House of Leaves, though, about 4 p.m. or so we drove over to Decatur, to Books Again, where we still had more than $78 in credit from the more than $500 dollars in credit we got when we took in mountains of books after the move from Kirkwood in December 2004. I had this fear of forgetting about the credit and not remembering again until we were in Providence. Anyway, yesterday we picked up the following (because, you know, we need more books to move):

The Difference Engine: Charles Babbage and the Quest to Build the First Computer by Doron Swade (2000)
A Thread Across the Ocean: The Heroic Story of the Transatlantic Cable by John Steele Gordon (2002)
Three Men on the Beagle by Richard Lee Marks (1991)
Return of the Crazy Bird: The Sad, Strange Tale of the Dodo by Clara Pinto-Correia (2003)
Deadly Beautiful: The World's Most Beautiful and Poisonous Animals and Plants by Laurence Gad (1980)
Crossing Over: Where Art and Science Meet by Stephen Jay Gould and Rosamond Wolff Purcell (2000)
The Nature Companion's Rocks, Fossils, and Dinosaurs (2002)
Cabal by Clive Barker (1988; to replace my battered paperback of the same)

Books Again (and it's bookshop cat, Octavio) should be added to that very short list of things I will miss about the South. There's a photo (by Spooky) behind the cut:







The lease for the apartment in Providence arrived this ayem. Thank you, Deneise and Kurt. Also, my thanks to whoever answered my wish and purchased the copy of Soderburgh's Solaris for me yesterday, and to Steven Spector for a copy of Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian.

Last night we stopped by Videodrome after dinner, because I had an urge to see Robert Harmon's They (2002) again. It's not a Very Good movie, but it has its moments, and the creature design and SFX are quite effective. It all works much better with the alternate ending, by the way. And that was yesterday, and now there must be coffee. And, also now, all I need are five or six or seven or eight really good ideas for vignettes for the next few issue of Sirenia Digest.

Comments

( 11 comments — Have your say! )
unknownbinaries
Apr. 22nd, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC)
Before I forget:

Hole in the Wall Books has been kicked out of the space in the other store in Decatur, because they wanted more storage room or something. She's got a little studio-store in Buckhead, now, on Sheridan off of Peachtree. I forget the exact address.
greygirlbeast
Apr. 22nd, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC)

Hole in the Wall Books has been kicked out of the space in the other store in Decatur, because they wanted more storage room or something. She's got a little studio-store in Buckhead, now, on Sheridan off of Peachtree. I forget the exact address.

Well, I'm glad she has a new space, but that's a shame. I was especially impressed with her selection of vintage children's books.
unknownbinaries
Apr. 22nd, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
The new space is much better, IMO, but I'm biased, because not only did the other place fire me, she hired me to help paint and decorate it. ^_^
chris_walsh
Apr. 22nd, 2008 04:41 pm (UTC)
You think you're going to solicit again for Sirenia Digest ideas?

And on a similar subject: have you ever written a Sirenia vignette that you found to be especially funny? Because I like seeing your sense of humor come out in your writing, plus sex can be funny, so there's potential there...
greygirlbeast
Apr. 22nd, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC)

You think you're going to solicit again for Sirenia Digest ideas?

Always, always...

And on a similar subject: have you ever written a Sirenia vignette that you found to be especially funny? Because I like seeing your sense of humor come out in your writing, plus sex can be funny, so there's potential there...

Hmmmm. I never have, really, though there's a bit of humour here and there ("pas-en-arríere," for example).
chris_walsh
Apr. 24th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
Sirenia ideas, then
* "There are free-floating orgasms in the air..." (Explaining where the energy from orgasms goes. Could be poetic; could be weirdly scientific, like the idea that the energy from sex could forestall the inevitable heat-death of the universe or something. And hey! An excuse to go outside! You might run into one...)

* Question for your HPL-fan side to ponder: What's the closest Lovecraft ever seemed to come to describing one of his creations having sex? Imagine poor Howard Philip trying not to write this!

* Connecting via dreams for sex. Hey, if Freddy Kreuger could kill people in their dreams, people should be able to share sex during dreams. (Or has this been done?)

* "Temporal dissonance sex": Redo one of your previous Digest vignettes, by describing it backwards. Or imagine what happens to the flow of time during the sex your characters have. (Actually I don't know exactly what "temporal dissonance" would mean or be, but that phrasing just occurred to me and I realized: I like it.)

Ideas are yours to do with as you please (there, disclaimer done).

All the best,
Chris
stsisyphus
Apr. 22nd, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
...I may have to set The Red Tree aside, write all the pieces I need to write for the next four or five issues of Sirenia Digest (say May-September)...

I wince to mention this, but this sounds like the most seductive kind of dithering, the "productive dithering" where one finds "make work" in order to distract one from the "real" work one Ought To Be Doing. Might I possibly suggest a poll to see if subscribers wish to place the Digest on hiatus in order to allow you to concentrate on The Red Tree?

Of course, the mind brings up complications. Would all the subscribers sign back on once the Digest resumed? How dependent are your finances now dependent on Sirenia subscriptions, would your move to and installation in RI suffer for the reduction in income? Also, I have no idea what research needs to be made to complete TRT, maybe it is impossible to complete (or even begin) in GA - perhaps the time might be better spent clearing up loose threads, personal business in Atlanta, and outstanding contractual obligations (Sirenia included).

huh. So much for a helpful comment. :P
greygirlbeast
Apr. 22nd, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC)

How dependent are your finances now dependent on Sirenia subscriptions,

Very dependent. Though I truly appreciate the concern, placing Sirenia on hiatus is not an option, and getting the stories for the next few issues written is no more "make work" than is the writing of The Red Tree. It is all equally important, from both an artistic and financial standpoint.
stsisyphus
Apr. 22nd, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think I had pretty much talked myself out of the suggestion by the end of the comment, but maybe others had the same idea. *shrug*
loki1978de
Apr. 23rd, 2008 06:21 am (UTC)
The following books look as if i might want to read them too (oh yes, like i so much need ANOTHER book on my "too read"-stash)

The Difference Engine: Charles Babbage and the Quest to Build the First Computer by Doron Swade (2000)
Three Men on the Beagle by Richard Lee Marks (1991)
Return of the Crazy Bird: The Sad, Strange Tale of the Dodo by Clara Pinto-Correia (2003)
Deadly Beautiful: The World's Most Beautiful and Poisonous Animals and Plants by Laurence Gad (1980)
The Nature Companion's Rocks, Fossils, and Dinosaurs (2002)
Cabal by Clive Barker (1988)

I'd especially love to have your comment, if the difference engine book is worth buying
papersteven
Apr. 23rd, 2008 09:31 am (UTC)
The Historian
You're welcome! I'm glad it arrived safe :)

>and to Steven Spector for a copy of Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian.
( 11 comments — Have your say! )