A question yesterday, via email. A reader writes:
Quick silly question for you in regards to "Tears Seven Times Salt"....Is it just "Tears Seven Times Salt" or is it supposed to have a comma like this: "Tears Seven, Times Salt."
No comma. The title comes from Hamlet (Act 4, Scene 5):
Laertes: O heat, dry up my brains! tears seven times salt,
Burn out the sense and virtue of mine eye!
Yesterday was spent in a mad flurry of research, getting myself ready to write "The Maltese Unicorn," which I have some hope of beginning today. Though, it's still not clear to me whether the story takes place in the early thirties or the mid forties, and, obviously, which makes a big difference to how this thing will feel. Is America nearing the end of WWII or the end of Prohibition? And other story elements are very much in flux. Nathaniel Adler became Natalie Beaumont yesterday. And I have to settle the question of whether or not the "demon brothels" are brothels run by demons or brothels featuring demons that have been summoned and forced to act as whores for humankind. Offhand, the latter has more dramatic tension. As yet, I have no clear supporting cast. Sets are ill-defined. It is very odd, publicly revealing these acts of story-building. It seems indecent.
Late yesterday, we got the news that a young humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) was found floating in Harbor of Refuge. Some awful irony there. No word yet what killed it. The corpse has been taken to Mystic Aquarium for dissection/autopsy:
The news cast a bit of a pall over the evening. We had Chinese takeaway for dinner, and watched the Coen Bros. Miller's Crossing (1990), Otto Preminger's Laura (1944), and then, for some reason, H. Bruce Humberstone's exceedingly silly I Wake Up Screaming (1941; pretty sure the title was pulled from a hat).
And that was yesterday.