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Grey Thursday

Thanks to the Ambien, I've been recalling fewer of my weird dreams lately. But the amnesia is not perfect. This morning I dreamt that Neil was inexplcably refilming The Lord of the Rings and, even more inexplicably, had hired me as a storyboard artist, apparently not knowing that I can't draw for dren. As I tried to fulfill the duties of my employment, it quickly devolved into one of those ultra-anxious naked-in-front-of-the-classroom kind of dreams. But there was a neat part where we had Gandalf the White's staff and a mock-up of the entrance to the mines of Moria and were trying to figure out something about how the head of the staff would match with the Elven runes (which were drawn on the mock-up in white chalk). Right.

Yesterday afternoon, my editor called to tell me he had read and was pleased with the prologue for Daughter of Hounds, which was a huge relief. We talked about editing, about Ipswich and the location of Innsmouth Harbour, about how this book relates to my earlier ones, and so forth. Generally, I've written my books and then handed them over to my editor, who would then make some comments regarding desired rewrites, which I would then summarily ignore. But I think I'm going to have a better working relationship with my new editor (he became my new editor during the production of Murder of Angels), which is more reassuring than I'd have thought.

But I didn't write yesterday. The weather was still too warm. So, I get another week in Purgatory, I suppose. My sins multiply like horny sea urchins in an ocean devoid of starfish. But there were other things to which I needed to attend. And I finally made it to Fernbank. Apparently, Tuesday's busted water main had been fixed. By the time we reached the museum, though, it was 4:15 p.m., and closing time is 5 p.m. We spent only a little time in the atrium with the huge Argentinosaurus and the Giganotosaurus, and, instead, visited with the humble Stegosaurus. I was in a stegosaurusy sort of mood, I guess. Afterwards, we just wandered about the place a little. The floors of Fernbank are tiled with beautiful brown, yellow-brown, and grey polished slabs of Solhhofen Limestone, the Jurassic-aged rock formation wherein the remains of the dinobird Archaeopteryx have been found. Anyway, the tiles are filled with cross-sections of invertebrate fossils, and Spooky is especially fond of seeing what we can spot on any given day. Yesterday, we saw lots of Hibolites hastatus (the internal skeleton of a squid-like cephalopod called a belemnite), some beautiful ammonites, and many sponges (Tremadictyon sp.). The Solnhofen was deposited in a system of lagoons in what is now southern Germany.

For dinner, I made a pot of chili, using liberal amounts of tequila, lime, and fresh jalapeno. Most of the evening was spent on my notes on Nebari history and magick, with a little Halo 2 very late.

But I did think about Daughter of Hounds quite a lot. I talked about it a lot. I was still talking about it when Spooky was trying to go to sleep at 2 a.m. I know so much of the story now, so much I didn't know as recently as last week. Of course, knowing it is one thing, writing it all down is another. I'll get back to that today. When last we left Emmie, she was on a train bound for Manhattan...

There's really far too much to be done just now (that's the refrain). I owe Marvel a synopsis, which they won't be getting until after the...what's that word? Oh, yeah. The holidays. The dratted, frelling holidays. I need to get some stuff out to the Nyarlathotep guys for the website they've done for the CD which will accompany the lettered edition of The Dry Salvages. I still need to rework the end of "Bradbury Weather." There's the Nar'eth winter manga script thingy. And so forth. I should keep myself parked at this computer for the next five or six days. I won't, but I should.

This seems like a reasonable place to end this rambling entry, so...


( 10 comments — Have your say! )
Dec. 23rd, 2004 04:45 pm (UTC)
I've had the most interesting 24 hours of holiday.

Last night, my wife and I swapped presents, since we'll be out and about tonight, and then out and about tomorrow and Saturday. Amazing time. It was rather strange, because I found out she has deep, philosophical issues about us acquiring an X-Box to supplement our PS2, and I found myself agreeing with her. I hit 1.000 on the good presents for her, and that was the most important thing, so I'm going into the last few days stress-free and happy, which is rare for me at this time. Usually, I'm mauled by the lack of sunlight, and I just want the holidays to end, but this year it's working for me.

(Oh, and one of my presents was Murder of Angels, which I will read as soon as I get through Low Red Moon, which I have to clear enough time for. I may spend a few weekends out of the apartment and find a solitary place to read these wonderful books.)

And then today, I played Santa for our office at my consulting gig. It was strange- I can walk around anywhere and be ignored, but when you're Santa, all eyes are on you. You can't be ignored. And while a few kids will hug you and give you wonderfully cute eyes, some kids will run for their mom's leg or shoulder wailing in fear. They don't train you for this; you just deal with it and move on.

I think we've maintained the Santa tradition because it carries so much power. Children looked at me in AWE. I tried to play the role with comedy, but soon you realize Santa is not a comedian. Santa is a God to children; he can give you any toy, any joy you want, but only if you're "good" (even though you really don't know what good means at that age, not really), and he can't give you food, or medicine, or clothing (not at an office party, anyway). There's a lot of contractual workerss here, and not so many employees; there's been a ton of layoffs, and the business is only now righting itself, so you see some nervous parents, and you know the stress some of these parents must face when they get home, and you always make sure to check with the parent first before you say the kid's getting what he asked for, and...and...

In that costume, I think I grasped a bit more of the concept of the Species of One. There is only One Santa, and people talk to you differently, and you have amazing hold over their attention, but in the end, it's you in that suit against the world, and all eyes are on you. It's a strange, wonderful, terrifying feeling. Is this what life is like for Nar'eth, in a way?

And when I was done, and I took the costume off, I slinked through the building. And no one recognized me. The suit is going to another employee tonight for a home party (I hope he doesn't mind the sweat!), but the experience stays with me.

Dec. 23rd, 2004 06:48 pm (UTC)
I think I grasped a bit more of the concept of the Species of One. There is only One Santa, and people talk to you differently, and you have amazing hold over their attention, but in the end, it's you in that suit against the world, and all eyes are on you. It's a strange, wonderful, terrifying feeling. Is this what life is like for Nar'eth, in a way?

Yes, that's the start of it, both for the Caitlín entity and the Nar'eth entity. There's a minefield of paradoxes — freedom with restriction, a strong sense of self coupled with intense alienation, etc.

Santa is a God to children;

Yep. I used to muse on the godlike qualities of Santa. He's somewhat omniscient. He has an almost omnipresent ability to visit billions of homes in the space of a single night. He makes demands that, if met, result in the granting of wishes. And so forth.
Dec. 23rd, 2004 07:10 pm (UTC)
The smartaleck in me now wants to see the Nar'eth Santa, but I think that would miss the point. I suspect an omniscient Nar'eth wouldn't be good for, well, anybody but Nar'eth. (then again, keep in mind I'm Farscape-deficient, and can't catch up until after the holiday due to some weird problem with my PC and video files)

Dec. 23rd, 2004 06:17 pm (UTC)
I have been working 10-12 hour days (proctoring the computer rooms at a law college) so I get to work in the dark. (and leave then too.) Anyway, the Asian Art Museum is across the street from the school. An artist has created a dinosaur (looks more like Godzilla tho) in shiny bright red. Stands about 8 feet tall. In a bright red cage. Ugly is a kind word for it.

Anyway, the other morning I was stopped at a traffic light and saw a man standing by the cage. Then he reached into the cage and skritched the dino under its chin. He then walked away.

I was charmed.
Dec. 23rd, 2004 06:38 pm (UTC)
Did I just read that it was too warm to write?

Too warm?

From where I sit, huddled and shivering in subzero cold with a foot of snow outside, there is no too warm. Wanna trade?

Fernbank looks lovely. I'll have to put it on my "visit" list next time I'm down that way.
Dec. 23rd, 2004 06:53 pm (UTC)
Did I just read that it was too warm to write?

Too warm?

What I meant to say is that, compared to the nasty cold weather we've been having (and shall have again this weekend), it was too warm (high 50s) to waste the days sitting in here trying to write. But now it's nasty again.

Fernbank looks lovely.

It's small and the overall exhibit plan is a little chaotic, but it's nice, all the same.
Dec. 23rd, 2004 07:20 pm (UTC)
it was too warm (high 50s) to waste the days sitting in here trying to write. But now it's nasty again.

Mmmmm....50s! Envyenvyenvy..... I think we had a 40 on Tuesday, and now get a string of negative numbers, which is usually what happens in January toward the end.

RE: Fernbank Small would be good. I can spend a whole day in the botanical gardens and still feel that I didn't do it justice. Small would be easier to feel like I'd seen it properly.

Maybe you were dreaming about Neil because he was trapped down your way yesterday. With you doing the storyboards, I'm picturing Monster Doodles coming to life somewhere in that version of LOTR.
Dec. 23rd, 2004 08:49 pm (UTC)
I love your dream. I can picture a staff with a head intertiwned like tree branches, but it would be a cipher. If it were turned a certain way in the moonlight, the shadow it cast would be a rune to open a door with, maybe.

Dec. 24th, 2004 03:46 am (UTC)
My copy of The Dry Salvages arrived today and I just finished it.

Wow. Just wow. It is horrible and beautiful the way sf should be, but so rarely is. I'm going to go cry now.

Thank you.
Dec. 24th, 2004 03:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

No, thank you. I'm very pleased that you liked it!
( 10 comments — Have your say! )

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