Yesterday, I wrote 1,007 words on something called "Notes on an Unfinished Film." I found myself in a weird place, work-wise yesterday. I was waiting on everything I need to put Sirenia Digest #33 together — the interview and Vince's illustration for "The Z Word" —— and rather than start Chapter Five of The Red Tree and then have to stop today, I thought I'd try to get ahead on next month's digest. I tried to start a simple vignette, going back to my recurring artist of the grotesque, Albert Perrault, with the thought that he was briefly involved with a film project in the mid to late eighties, one that was scrapped three weeks after shooting by skittish financiers, but the test footage has become a holy grail of "lost film" buffs. The film would have been a sort of pornographic impressionist re-imagining of various fairy tales. And I think I was likely inspired by all the things Giger has written about his trials and tribulations working on Alien. Sadly, it looks like it wants to be a short story, not a vignette, and so I presently have no time to write it. We shall see, though, once the I put this issue of the digest to bed.
I've realized that I currently have a sort of triple-tiered responsibility thingy. First, there's The Red Tree and Sirenia Digest —— because that's what keeps the bills paid (and I just love doing the digest). Secondly, there are the books I do for subpress, which are, artistically, probably my most important work. This second tier also includes commitments I have made to write for "high-profile" anthologies that pay well (because money is necessary, and visibility is a good thing). I would also squeeze the work on the Howards End sim into this second tier. The third tier is a murky place, occupied by requests for stories from small-press magazines, mostly, stuff that I know I'm never going to have time to get around to. As it is, I'm looking at having to pull out of a number of those second-tier anthos in order to be sure I have time for other things. Right now, I'm tired and, honestly, wish there were nothing but Tier One bidding for my time.
Yesterday, I read "The oldest African crocodylian: phylogeny, paleobiogeography, and differential survivorship through the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary" from the new JVP. The paper not only describes a new gavialoid, Ocepesuchus eoafricanus, the aforementioned oldest-known African crocodylian, from the Latest Cretaceous Moroccan phosphates. But it also looks at how marine reptiles (mosasaurs and plesiosaurs) fared across the K/T boundary, vs. the survivorship of marine crocs across the boundary, and the possible reasons why crocs were pretty much unscathed, while non-croc species went extinct.
Reconstruction of the skull of Ocepesuchus eoafricanus.
I'm getting into the habit again of not leaving the house for days at a stretch, and that has to stop. Mostly, being around people has begun to make me anxious again, and the only thing for it is to force myself to be around people. Even trips to the market have become difficult again.
More EVE last night, and a little work on the Howards End sim. We're about to lay the street grid. The acquisition of the new next-gen "megaprims" is going to make that much easier. Also, I would say to the roleplayers, the single most important book for you to have read is Daughter of Hounds, if you have time for only one. That book will give you an idea of the world we will be running this story in, of the groups involved, the tensions, etc. You'll see what I mean by "vampire" and "ghûl" (or "ghoul") and "changeling," which is likely not what you expect.
Okay. There has to be more coffee before the work, and I think the platypus is still asleep.