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I think I'm simply going to stop trying to sleep. I'll avoid the nightmares, and won't have to complain about insomnia.

All of yesterday was spent proofing and editing "The Belated Burial" and "The Thousand-and-Third Tale of Scheherazade" for Sirenia Digest #38, and laying out the issue. And I might have even gotten it out to subscribers last night, except I discovered that a file I needed for the issue was in our storage unit in Pawtucket, so we had to stop everything and make the drive to Pawtucket to retrieve the file. Finally, at seven p.m. last night, I admitted it would be today before #38 was released.

We still have a lot of snow on the ground. And a lot of slush and ice. A whole month of snow. But there were some beautiful sights on the drive yesterday. Old North Burial Ground in Providence was splendid in all that white, the gravestones and monuments standing out in sharp relief. In Pawtucket, we stopped on Roosevelt Avenue and walked back to the Main Street Bridge (circa 1858) to get photographs of Slater's Mill and the Blackstone River in all the snow. Slater's Mill (which gets a brief mention in The Red Tree) is often cited as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in America. Built in 1793, it was the the first commercially viable cotton-spinning mill in the US. The sidewalks along Main and Roosevelt were icy and flanked by three-foot mounds of muddy, sandy slush, but the day was warmer than our days have been, and I couldn't resist stopping for a better look. There are photos below, behind the cut.

We've found someone here in Providence to convert the Death's Little Sister tracks (I only have them on cassette) to mp3s. And I'm choosing pieces to read for the podcasts. Someone yesterday suggested "vlogging," rather than simple audio recording. I'd never even heard of "vlogging." I'm going to stick to audio, I think. I can't imagine how perfectly, dreadfully dull it would be to watch me reading text off my iMac. I worry enough about how I sound, without also having to worry about how I look.

Remember when writers just, you know, wrote?

Sylvanus Brown House (1758). View to the southeast.

Slater's Mill (at the left) and the Blackstone River. View to the northeast.

Snow and rust. Old lock-and-dam machinery visible at the east end of the Main Street Bridge.

The spillway beneath the Main Street Bridge.

Slater's Mill (at left) and the Blackstone River. View to the northeast.

Photographs Copyright © 2009 by Caitlín R. Kiernan and Kathryn A. Pollnac


( 14 comments — Have your say! )
Jan. 31st, 2009 05:01 pm (UTC)
those are beautiful pictures, thank you

i'm very much looking forward to the new sirenia digest - i've loved poe's writing since i was about 6 and i found mom's copy of some of his short stories in grandma's attic

and getting to hear you read some of your stories will be excellent as well
Jan. 31st, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
Beautiful! My one visit to Pawtucket was summertime, and it wasn't nearly so pretty. The mill + river shot is especially nice.

Remember when writers just, you know, wrote?

I just finished reading an SF novel written by an author who has neither Web presence nor online interviews, so far as I can tell. There's precious little biographical data, no non-fiction pieces by him, etc. The book was better than average, but the author just isn't talking much if he's online. It took some poking around before I learned that the one I'd read was actually his second novel. His third novel was released this year and I never heard a word about it. All that to say, he's apparently focusing on the writing itself, which is impressive, but I wonder what effect his silence has had on his sales, and if he cares.
Jan. 31st, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
My one visit to Pawtucket was summertime, and it wasn't nearly so pretty.

That was my impression, as well, after having seen it in the Summer. It wears snow well, I think.
Jan. 31st, 2009 05:51 pm (UTC)
Jan. 31st, 2009 06:26 pm (UTC)
Re: Unrelated:
You beat me to it. Well played. (I first saw it here. I figured "steampunk trilobite" was also a good name.)
Jan. 31st, 2009 08:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Unrelated:
Great minds, etc. ;-) What do you look for at io9? The last few times I've popped by, they've been doing a "best SF movies EVAR"-type thing, but listing only movies made since 2004, or something idiotic like that. I have liked the VanderMeers' art column...
Jan. 31st, 2009 10:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Unrelated:
I haven't looked at it much, so any answer by me would be an uninteresting one. (Unless I made up a reason. "The girls in the Sci-Fi Suicide Girls section of io9 are HAWT, I tell ya. Antennae are SO Teh Sexay.")

(I apologize to greygirlbeast for my gratuitous and grating misspelling-speak. I did try using it for comedic purposes.)
Jan. 31st, 2009 06:06 pm (UTC)
"Sylvanus Brown" is a terrific name. Those are lovely, wintry photographs.
Jan. 31st, 2009 06:09 pm (UTC)

"Sylvanus Brown" is a terrific name.

Yep. I might have to use it somewhere.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 31st, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)

I see that Shah left The Flaming Fist. Did the guild go bad?

The guild never went good. I finally tired of the lolchat.
Jan. 31st, 2009 06:30 pm (UTC)
Caitlin, these photos are gorgeous.
Jan. 31st, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)

Caitlin, these photos are gorgeous.

Thank you.
Jan. 31st, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC)
I think I'm simply going to stop trying to sleep.

I think you might have a possible solution, here. One of the (many) times I suffered with insomnia, a psychairtrist advised this very thing: "Stop trying to sleep & just accept that for whatever reason you can't sleep. Think about it as something you don't need to do anymore and act as though you have 24 waking-hours every day." I did this, and within 48 hours of non-stop activity I feel asleep for a few hours, and a week later was managing 6 or 7 hours per night.
Feb. 1st, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC)
Just flipping through the program guide, looking for something to watch on a lazy Sunday morning, and I see that Ghost Hunters is one at 10am and they're investigating Slater's Mill. Now I remember why the images in these beautiful pictures of yours look so familiar.
( 14 comments — Have your say! )


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