Yesterday evening, a little after five p.m., I began to smell smoke. The window in my office was open, and soon the smell getting in was strong enough to sting my nostrils. Then Spooky came in (she'd walked over to a neighborhood store) and told me the city was blanketed by a cloud of smoke. Turns out, it was smoke from wildfires in Quebec that had drifted across most of New England. I wanted to get a few photos, so we drove over to College Hill. The smoke and the near-total absence of traffic (I suppose everyone was in South County for Memorial Day) lent an oddly apocalyptic feel to the city. This morning, the smoke is gone, and the temperature is in the high seventies.
The view from College Hill, view to the west.
Same as above.
From College Hill, view to the west.
View from the western side of the Point Street Bridge, looking northwest along the Providence River towards downtown.
All photographs Copyright © 2010 by Caitlín R. Kiernan.
Yesterday, I only managed 536 words on "The Maltese Unicorn," which was something of a disappointment after Sunday's word count. But, as I've said, the writing of this story is so different for me, in a number of ways, compared with my usual process. Sure, I've written noir before, usually as science fiction (see "Riding the White Bull," "Bradbury Weather," and "Hydrarguros," for example). But "The Maltese Unicorn" is essentially an homage to Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, and film noir of the thirties and forties. And the tongue-in-cheek tone I'd expected it to have has pretty much fallen away. I'm mostly playing it straight (despite the lesbian characters). So, not only is it a constant struggle to get the period right, down to the smallest detail, and to do all the things I must do with any story, but there's the added difficulty of keeping the voice just so.
And here's another remainder about The Ammonite Violin & Others, to be released later this month by Subterranean Press. There are still copies of the trade hardback available for preorder.
Also, yesterday, I finished editing "The Bone's Prayer" (from Sirenia Digest #39) for reprint in The Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2010 (Prime Books). Odd thing is, I started work on this in early April, then apparently set it aside and forgot about it. The editor wrote a couple of days ago to ask for a .doc file of the story, and I discovered that I'd never finished the line edits. Anyway, it's done now.
More gaming last night. More amazement at what a beautiful game Heavenly Sword is (though I have some problems with the controls). And we leveled Gnomenclature and Klausgnomi to 20, so now they have mounts. I need to set the gaming aside and get back to reading, and there's also a painting I'd like to start. It's just so much easier, at the end of the day, to switch my brain off and let myself be passively entertained.