I rarely do this, but I wanted to email you and express how much I admire your work. Discovering your short stories was a revelation for me: I love the way that they flitter back and forth between the sublime, the horrific and mundane. Your novels equally thrill me. How you so easily and successfully weave the disparate elements of genres as diverse as crime fiction and Lovecraftian weird tales will forever escape me; I must satisfy myself instead with the knowledge that some things are both beautiful and unknowable. Such is your fiction.
Thank you, Mr. Stagg. That sounds rather grimly sexy doesn't it? Thank you, Mr. Stagg.
Now. On to yesterday. As you know, we fled this sweat-box, and ended up at the Peace Dale Library in South County (which is actually in Washington County, for them what do not know). I sat in the wonderful air conditioning, not baking for the first time since Friday night, and oil portraits and marble busts of Mr. Rowland Hazard (1855-1890) beamed approvingly down upon me. But...after ten or fifteen minutes, I grew antsy, restless, worried about Hubero, whom we'd left back in the heat (with a bowl of ice water), worried about my writing deadlines, and so forth. But. The library had a copy of To Charles Fort, With Love, which pleased me inordinately. But it depressed me that they had all of the Brian Herbert/Kevin J. Anderson Dune books, but none of Frank Herbert's originals. I tried to do some actual work, reading from books on the history of Rhode Island architecture, the great New England hurricane of 1938, and local sea life. Spooky found Clive Barker's Mister B. Gone (2007), which is a gorgeous, gorgeous book. Honestly, I lost interest in Clive's work somewhere around Galilee (1998), so I'd not seen it. I've not read the Abarat books, either. But I might give Mister B. Gone a try, as it sounds quite good. Anyway, my restlessness increased, and we ventured back out into the heat for lunch. Lunch and tourists. We drove from Peace Dale through Wakefield to Narragansett, and then, after we ate, back to the library. Oh, Spooky took me to a pet store she used to frequent as a child, and they had a gorgeous California kingsnake (Lampropeltis getulus californiae) and also a cornsnake (Pantherophis guttata guttata) that I never got a good look at. I reread the first few chapters of Moby Dick. I always forget how much I adore Melville when it's been a while. Spooky read the first half of Kathe Koja's Stray Dog (2002).
About six pm, we headed over to Spooky's parents' place, because her mother had unexpectedly and kindly acquired for us a portable air-conditioning unit. A Sony CB-10NH, actually, which looks a bit like a shiny black Star Wars droid. We visited briefly, and I hugged Spider the Giant Cat (photo below), then headed back to Providence. Turns out, yesterday set a record high for that date in this city, 98F. It was 8:30 pm when we got home, and the thermostat was reading 93F in the house! Hubero looked utterly pathetic. We hastily set up the portable air conditioner (it needs a name), in the central room. At first, the temp dropped rather rapidly, down to 90F in about fifteen minutes, but then it refused to budge any farther. We sat in front of the AC and ate a late dinner of cold pastrami and Swiss, and sulked and sweated and grumped. Afterwards, I retreated to the swelter of my office, and tried to get into a bit of Second Life rp. Thank you, Gloriana, Pontifex, and Merma/Ardere.
Honestly, I am rethinking Second Life a lot these days. I think all the time away from it moving gave me some perspective, and I see that I abused it the last year, because I was so miserable in Atlanta and just wanted to be anywhere else but there (well, no, not anywhere, but New Babbage, Arrakis, and Toxia were all a step up). No, I'm not about to give it up or anything. But. I can't sink so much time into it. I'd already cut way, way back before the move. It's a tool, a wonderful tool that has helped me write several very good stories, but there's so much else to be done, in this First Life. One reason I make a shitty transhumanist. I fall for the real sand and sky and sex almost every goddamn time. I will say that I am deeply frustrated at the inability to construct stable rp in SL with more than three or four people, and at the plethora of illiterate, immature, ill-mannered, attention-deficit morons clogging up the works. Yeah, well, anyway. Just thinkin' aloud again.
When I went to bed at about 2:25 am, the thermostat was still hovering stubbornly in the high 80s. This sort of heat can drive you to murder your beloved. Or cut off another toe. Or alphabetize all your CDs in reverse order, Z-A. I lay in bed, mine and Spooky's sweat commingling, and watched the first part of Alien while I waited for the Ambien to take effect. Space looked so wonderfully, wonderfully cold. The corridors of the Nostromo never looked so inviting. They say this is the last day of the heatwave. But they were wrong yesterday, and I say meteorologists are going to have to bleed and suffer and die, in vast numbers, to appease Helios. We'll take the meteorologists who don't plan to vote Obama first.
Oh, I think I've found the new "art correspondent" for Sirenia Digest. Thank you all.
Oh, yeah. Photos. A bunch of photos, some of yesterday, and some that are just shots of the new place, because I'm not the only crown-molding whore out there (behind the cut):
Gratuitous self portrait in traffic, heading south.
The Peace Dale Library ("Hazard Memorial").
Me and the Spider Cat. He's huge. 18 pounds. Hubero is a mere 11. And I used this even though you can plainly see the grey in my hair (who has time for the salon?), and never mind the grungy clothes, because we haven't unpacked clothing yet. Just look at the vast pussy.
Like I said, crown molding. Original. Ca 1875.
Original ceiling medallions, too.
Our front parlor, the night we arrived in Providence.
Hubero in the window, demonstrating his prehensile tail and trying to decide if he approves.
Okay. This is our place before the movers came, and...
This is the scorching, boxed chaos that still reigned as of yesterday. And still holds sway today, for that matter. I want to go back to last Thursday, empty and cold. Like space.