greygirlbeast (greygirlbeast) wrote,

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"You know, the part about life is just a waking dream."

I think I have about a hundred mosquito bites. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. And I should take time with this entry, as I'm not likely to have time to write anything else (to speak of) until Friday, at best.

Right now, the Amazon sales rank for The Red Tree is looking good. I just have to hope it stays that way for at least a couple of weeks. For anyone interested in such things (and for my own reference) the Amazon sales rankings for the last 24 hours (or so) are posted behind the cut (most recent numbers first):

Rank Time Stamp
3,216 Aug 05, 2009 - 12:00PM
3,279 Aug 05, 2009 - 11:00AM
3,573 Aug 05, 2009 - 10:00AM
3,980 Aug 05, 2009 - 09:00AM
3,846 Aug 05, 2009 - 08:00AM
3,735 Aug 05, 2009 - 07:00AM
3,643 Aug 05, 2009 - 06:00AM
3,536 Aug 05, 2009 - 05:00AM
3,911 Aug 05, 2009 - 04:00AM
3,744 Aug 05, 2009 - 03:00AM
4,064 Aug 05, 2009 - 02:00AM
3,711 Aug 05, 2009 - 01:00AM
4,646 Aug 05, 2009 - 12:00AM
4,646 Aug 04, 2009 - 11:00PM
4,090 Aug 04, 2009 - 10:00PM
3,569 Aug 04, 2009 - 09:00PM
3,589 Aug 04, 2009 - 08:00PM
3,592 Aug 04, 2009 - 07:00PM
3,550 Aug 04, 2009 - 06:00PM
3,999 Aug 04, 2009 - 05:00PM
3,961 Aug 04, 2009 - 04:00PM
3,287 Aug 04, 2009 - 03:00PM
3,808 Aug 04, 2009 - 02:00PM
3,803 Aug 04, 2009 - 01:00PM
3,129 Aug 04, 2009 - 12:00PM
4,028 Aug 04, 2009 - 11:00AM
4,028 Aug 04, 2009 - 10:00AM
5,844 Aug 04, 2009 - 09:00AM
5,623 Aug 04, 2009 - 08:00AM
5,478 Aug 04, 2009 - 07:00AM
6,787 Aug 04, 2009 - 06:00AM
6,601 Aug 04, 2009 - 05:00AM
6,361 Aug 04, 2009 - 04:00AM
6,107 Aug 04, 2009 - 03:00AM
5,714 Aug 04, 2009 - 02:00AM
5,253 Aug 04, 2009 - 01:00AM
5,567 Aug 04, 2009 - 12:00AM

Now, just what those numbers mean, in terms of numbers of copies sold, that's a mystery that Amazon will not even reveal to my publisher, much less me. It could be tens of copies or hundreds or thousands. I won't know until my first-quarter sales statement from Penguin arrives in about three months. I still say it's idiotic that Amazon includes this data on public pages, as it is, essentially, useless, especially once a book falls below the top few thousand bestsellers.


Yesterday, we left Providence about 4 p.m. And I'd love to be able to write a blow-by-blow account of our marvelous romp across the Arboretum in Boston. But I'd likely only mangle it. It went well. The six of us met at the Center Street entrance, then headed into that 234-acre wilderness nestled at the edge of the city. It was actually a great deal of fun, even with the heat and astounding swarms of mosquitoes. It's been a very wet summer in New England, and the mosquitoes are out in droves. And not a one of us thought to bring bug repellent of any sort, though, I'd wager these mosquitoes would only have laughed at such defenses. We headed down the "oak trail," and located lots of specimens of Northern red oak (Quercus rubra). But none were just exactly right, or in just the right spot, or complimented by just the right lighting. That's the problem with a thing like this. You get an image in your head, and nothing in nature can really match it. It wasn't long until the whole affair was devolving into a sort of Skull Island meets Fitzcaroldo affair. Though, we never could agree which of us was Klaus Kinski, and at least we managed to avoid the tyrannosaurs lurking just out of sight. Oh, and an adorable little garter snake. The heat and humidity did nothing to help, but our Constance/"Amanda"/Bettina was a trooper in a black wig that looked, to me, like a short walk to heatstroke. Spooky did almost all the actual filming. I did just a little. It's hard to focus and fend off blood-sucking pterosaurs at the same time. Sonya (sovay) located an enormous beech of some sort or another. It was rather like a being inside a tree cathedral, being below those branches, and so we used it as well as one of the red oaks.

The sun was setting by the time we managed to, wrap...the shoot. My great thanks to Spooky, Amanda Lee (yes, our "Amanda" is actually named Amanda), Geoffrey Goodwin, Sonya Taaffe, and Chris Ewen. Truly, I wish I'd made a "making of" tape, because the whole thing was marvelous. I had a second camera for just that purpose, but never used it. I didn't even get a photo of the six of us together. But, as I said on Facebook last night, I never, ever remember my book-release days. I cannot recall a single one of them. But I will never forget yesterday. There is no way it could have been a more perfect release day. There was no more appropriate place to be. Even the mosquitoes and discomfort, the heat and sweat, it was all appropriate. We could have been on the Wight farm, trying to find our way to the "red tree," or our way back to the old farmhouse. Afterwards, we drove up to Cambridge to take Chris home, then to Arlington Heights to drop Sonya off. There was road construction pretty much all the way back to the Rhode Island state line, and it was a little before eleven p.m. before we managed to get home again.

We'd been too wasted to stop for supper, but Spooky foraged in the fridge and whipped up a yummy omelet with blue cheese and mushrooms, topped with a chipotle salsa, and French fries on the side.

There are only three still photos, of the ruins of some building we happened across deep in the woods. They hardly do the day the slightest bit of justice:

Photographs Copyright © 2009 by Kathryn A. Pollnac


Late last night...well, actually early this ayem...we watched the last three episodes of Season Two of Dexter. I think I might actually have liked Season Two better than the first. I am told it deviates completely from the novels, and that this is a Good Thing. I want to quote the last bit of Dexter Morgan's narration from the last episode, because I find it exquisite, and it resonates deeply with my own thoughts the last couple of years:

My father might not approve, but I'm no longer his disciple. I'm a master now, an idea transcended into life. And so this is my new path, which is a lot like the old one, only mine. To stay on that path I need to work harder, explore new rituals, evolve. Am I evil? Am I good? I'm done asking those questions. I don't have the answers. Does anyone?


And with that, I must go. There's a lot to do before the reading tomorrow night at Pandemonium Books in Boston (4 Pleasant Street, just off Mass Ave.). And if you haven't yet picked up The Red Tree, online or from a bookshop, please, please do. Thank you.
Tags: herzog, massachusetts, mosquitoes, promotion, skull island, summer, television, the red tree

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