It's raining here in Providence. It will rain for two days more, say the weathermen. Then, supposedly, spring will return. I've not left the House since March 23rd, which makes six days. Not good, but nowhere near my worst. Work and the weather and fear of human contact conspire to make a recluse of me. But, Spooky has sworn I have to leave the house this evening.
Subway bombings in Moscow. Thoughts of the feel-good travesty that is "Earth Hour." The sinking of a South Korean vessel by a North Korean mine. The fact that, as of yesterday, the US war in Afghanistan has lasted longer than Vietnam, and takes its place as the longest "active" US war ever. These thoughts, all this news pollution that I cannot effect nor dismiss, beat about my eyes and ears and slow me down. They would shut me down, were I only a little more sane.
Yesterday, I had every intention of getting Sirenia Digest #52 laid out, including writing the prolegomena. But I only managed to proofread "Houndwife" and deal with the line edits to the story. Spooky had gone down to Saunderstown to her parents place, because her sister, Steph, was up from Brooklyn with our two-year-old-nephew, Miles. I stayed behind and tried to work. But after the proofreading...everything just sort of came apart. I puttered. I dithered. I read a small bit. I did nothing in particular, except think about how I ought to be working. Spooky made it back sometime after 5:30 p.m. I have a photo of Miles (Copyright © 2010 by Kathryn A. Pollnac):
So after having that marvelously unproductive day, we didn't get to bed until after 3 a.m., because we are bad kids who do not know when they've had enough WoW. Then, to make the day perfect, my insomnia kicked in (though I'd been all but nodding off at the iMac) and I had to take an Ambien. I think I didn't get to sleep until almost five. And that was my yesterday.
Oh, I did propose, via Twitter (*shudder*) that "steampunk" might be salvaged from an inevitable and imminent demise (thanks to hipness and assimilation by the masses) if we take to calling it "coalpunk." Someone kindly pointed out this title disregards wood-powered engines and suggested "smogpunk." And, actually, it was a rather fine suggestion. Come to think of it, I have never written steampunk. I have, however, written a bit of smogpunk. "Smogpunk" can help us divest steampunk of its peculiarly romantic overtones, that idealizing and redemption of the Industrial Revolution, that short-circuiting of what ought to be dystopian, by drawing attention to the true byproduct and consequence of all that steam...namely smog. It's not about the steam, clean and billowing, but the pall of smog in which any steampunk world would be shrouded.
No one will notice this nomenclatural coup, but there you go.
Have you preordered The Ammonite Violin & Others? Well, then, please do so. Thank you.
Okay. Must awaken. Must work....