So did getting out of this broiling house. But first there was a brainstorming session, promotional stuff for The Red Tree, and now it's looking like there will be vinyl stickers and T-shirts. Also, weird developments with the book trailer. It's starting to seem more like an extremely short film (maybe five minutes) and less like a trailer, and, also, it may not be released until after the book's street date on August 4th. I am determined it will be a piece of art in its own right, even if it means this delay. To quote readingthedark, "Finally, having spent too much time in the book biz, I firmly believe that having the best possible trailer on August 20th is five times better than having one out before the book is in stores but that isn't memorable or worth linking to."
Finally, I've decided upon a pre-release contest. Send me snapshots (analog or digital cameras, phone shots, scans of old polaroids, whatever) to greygirlbeast(at)gmail(dot)com, jpg (or jpeg), png, and gif formats preferred. From these I will choose, on August 5th (or thereabouts), the photo I like best. The winner will receive a signed copy of The Red Tree. Now, I do ask that you send me a photo that you took yourself, or one taken by a friend or family member or suchlike that doesn't mind you sending it to me, because they will all be used for a photo-collage on the website, and issues of copyright apply. The deadline is midnight on August 4th. Any and all sorts of trees, living and dead, are welcome.
I think Spooky left the caffeine out of my iced coffee.
So, finally, when I was too sweaty to talk about the book any longer, too hot for planning and scheming, we left the house around 2 p.m., and drove south. Just south. No particular destination in mind. It was so much cooler Outside. We wound up traveling roads with names like Indian Corner Road, Slocum Road, Exeter Road. We stopped to get photos of two especially fine trees, one of which could almost be a dead ringer for that wicked tree off Barbs Hill Road. We also stopped in on Spooky's parents, who've just returned from her brother's wedding in Bozeman, Montana. But her dad wasn't feeling well, and we didn't stay long. They brought us each a Tyrannosaurus T-shirt from the Museum of the Rockies. After we left the farm, we headed on towards Peace Dale. We stopped and walked a while in the little wilderness within Tri-Pond Park, a marvelous stretch of woodland between Asa Pond (to the north), California Jim's Pond (to the southwest), and Rocky Brook Reservoir (to the south). Beneath the trees, it was cool and green and primeval. We also walked along the eastern edge of the resevoir. It's a marvelous pool that must figure in some future story, and, retroactively (who needs linear timestreams?), I think it is one of my models for Ram's Wool Pond in The Red Tree. Lily pads and cattails everywhere, a hundred species of water plant. Canadian geese (Branta canadensis), and Spooky saw a young (first year) Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedorum). I found a turtle nest that some mammal or another had raided, a shallow hole with leathery egg shells all around it.
We continued on south to Wakefield, and spent some time on the little footbridge over the Saugatucket River. There we saw a beautiful Great Egret (Adrea alba), and a snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) coming up for air. We wanted to continue on to the sea, but knew the tourists would be thick as flies on roadkill, so, instead, we reluctantly headed back to Providence.
Last night, after a cold dinner, we watched a very good film, Koldo Serra's Bosque de sombras (2006), or The Backwoods, with Gary Oldman. Set in 1978, it was surprisingly tense, with the unflinching ending it needed. The faintest hints of Angela Carter, and grand use of Leonard Cohen. It can be streamed from Netflix, so you ought to give it a try.
Okay, the day's slipping past, and I have to finish "Vicaria Draconis" today. Please do have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks. Oh, and here are some photos from yesterday. I almost forgot them:
Two magnificent trees at the edge of a turf farm. View to the east.
The larger of the two, with wind chimes.
Looking out across the cattails at Rocky Brook Reservoir. View to the west.
Rocky Brook Reservoir. View to the west.
An empty caterpillar nest Spooky spotted, Very alien, I think.
Canadian geese on Rocky Brook Reservoir.
Spooky was taken with this mossy rock on the trail in the TRi-Pond woods.
A walkway out across a marshy place, complete with swamp cabbages and pitcher plants.