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To Benefit and Beyond

It's going to be unpleasantly warm here in Providence today. Fortunately, I'll be spending it at the library. But first I need to get this entry up. The thermostat is already reading 81F inside, in the central parlour where Dr. Muñoz is currently parked. It must be close to 90F in my office. Ugh. It's not unlike sitting inside someone's mouth, sitting here in this chair.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,218 words on Chapter Two of The Red Tree, and found the chapter's conclusion. I'll begin Chapter Three tomorrow, I hope. The doubts remain, but one does not ever get a novel written by repeatedly attending to every doubt and insecurity. One must, instead, step off into thin air, and hope that gravity is in the mood to make an exception. At this point, the manuscript stands at 25,236 words, which I hope is one third of the novel. There's no need for the book to be longer than 75,000 words, not from my present perspective, and it's unsightly and wasteful to pad.

The sun is so bright outside. So bright. I know that it would be heaven at Beavertail. But. I am here, in Providence, at this keyboard.

Before I forget (again), happy birthday to scarletboi.

Oh, news. I'll be doing a reading in Manhattan, at the KGB Bar, on November 16th. This is the second time that Ellen Datlow (ellen_datlow) has invited me to read at KGB. The last time I read there was way back on May 16th, 2001, and it was a wonderful experience. So, I hope those who can make it out will. November's a long way off, so there's lots of time to save the date. Between this reading and Readercon, I'm almost feeling like a social person. Which is an interesting change of pace. Oh, also have a look at the KGB Online Raffle, which includes many very marvelous items. How'd you like one of Neil's keyboards? It's there. I'll be donating something, as well, but we're still trying to decide just what. Anyway, yes, please have a look.

After the writing yesterday, I finished Chapter Five ("No Midlife Crisis") of Fraser's book on the Triassic, and Spooky and I played a number of rounds of Unspeakable Words. Then she made a very fine stir fry for dinner (snap peas, red bell pepper, ground chicken, fresh basil, over jasmine rice), and afterwards, we were both feeling antsy and shut-in, so we decided it was a good evening to take a walk along Benefit Street, which we've visited only once, briefly, since arriving in Providence.

We drove over to College Hill, as the sun was setting, and parked near the south end of Benefit, across from Darwin Liquors. It is a testament to how much better my lousy rotten feet have gotten, that we were able to walk all the way to the intersection with Bowen Street (past "The Shunned House") before turning back. It was a marvelous summer evening. On the way back, we lingered a bit beneath the old trees in the park adjacent to the John Brown House. There is such a sense of time, of history passed, on College Hill, that it almost blinds me. Afterwards, we swung by Eastside Marketplace for macaroons and other nutritious essentials, then stopped briefly at the mouth of the Providence River, to get a closer look at the hurricane barricade and the power plant across the water. The power plant is truly an architectural marvel, an industrial cathedral, and at night, it glows amber through all those towering, vaulted windows. I think we made it home about ten. I spent a few hours rping in Second Life (thank you Cerdwin, Brit, Artemisia, and Zaaz) and drank some of the Hanami Ale (Smuttynose Brewing Co., Portsmouth, NH) that Spooky had brought home earlier in the day, a light ale with a hint of cherries. I think I got to bed about 3 ayem. Anyway, there are photographs from Benefit Street, behind the cut. And I'm glad so many people liked the Sigur Rós video I posted last night:

Darwin Liquors! How cool is that?

You know it's time to visit a salon when my natural Nebari grey is showing so badly that it almost causes an overexposure. Anyway, this is the fountain outside the Providence Athenaeum.


Jul. 8th, 2008 04:51 pm (UTC)
The red house with the round porch is amazing...you don't see houses like that here in the South. PA had them, though. There was one very similar across from where I grew up. A friend lived there, and I was in love with it as a kid. It had a secret stairwell, in the back of a closet, that led to a tiny office you couldn't find otherwise.
Jul. 8th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
...a secret stairwell, in the back of a closet, that led to a tiny office you couldn't find otherwise...

For years, I've had dreams about a house with exactly that arrangement, with the addition of a little secret bedroom. To know that it actually exists somewhere, is slightly unsettling.

Wonderful pictures as always, Caitlín.
Jul. 8th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)
I lived across the street from a huge Victorian house in Peekskill, NY which had been converted from a house to an apartment building and back again (at least as near as I can figure it) and it had a million little staircases-in-closets and hidden rooms and spare kitchens and things.

The reason I know this is because the woman who lived there died and the crew hired to clean it out let my friends and me ransack it (with utmost respect, of course) before they continued to throw things away.

It was a strange day.
Jul. 8th, 2008 11:43 pm (UTC)

It was a strange day.

I can well imagine.