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"I am weak and therefore fold."

It's a good damn thing The Hunger Games came along, so all the internet assholes who hadn't actually seen John Carter but were having so much fun tearing it apart now have a shiny new toy to break. They won't see The Hunger Games, either, of course, but that's the point.*


On Wednesday, Spooky and I went to Moonstone Beach. It was the first time we'd been there since footage for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir trailer was being filmed in mid October. It was good to be at Moonstone. In Providence, the day was warm, in the high seventies. At Moonstone, the wind off the Sound was cold enough to turn the ends of your fingers red and make your ears ache. But that was good, too. When we arrived the day was sunny, bright and clear. I could easily make out the grey-blue silhouette of Block Island ten miles to the south.

One of the first sights that greeted us was the trunk of a large tree, bleached white and marked with the borings of shipworms. We'd never seen anything like it at Moonstone. Before we left, and on the banks of Card Pond, one much larger. One that must have been an enormous and ancient tree when it fell. All were the same silvery white, a little like an oyster. Also, the beach has pushed farther back towards the ponds than I'd ever seen it, and the opening from Card Pond to the sea was blocked by sand. If some coastal cataclysm occurred, we missed it.

I speculated that perhaps the tides had been unusually high, or there had been a storm that we'd forgotten. I speculated that such a storm had fetched up the carcasses of trees felled by the "Long Island Express" of 1938. Recall what Constance said in The Red Tree, that the hurricane brought down billions of trees across coastal New England. Billions. Many of them are still out there, some buried just offshore, ghosts waiting to be briefly washed ashore before they're dragged into the sea again. I think these were of those trees, torn down and drowned seventy-four years ago.

Birds were oddly scarce. We saw only two or three seagulls, including two Great Black-backed gulls (Larus marinus) on Card Pond, both in their first winter, along with a lone swan (Cygnus sp.). Lone swans are a melancholy sight. There was a pair of Piping plovers (Charadrius melodus) and a single Least tern (Sternula antillarum). I saw a single Great cormorant (Phalacrocorax cargo) diving about in the waves. There were a few crows.

We walked farther east than we ever had before, almost past the eastern shore of Card Pond, before turning back. By then, the sun had vanished behind a rapidly advancing wall of pea-soup fog. The temperature plunged, and the air grew so damp my hair felt wet. The sea turned choppy and low breakers slammed against the sand and cobbles. The walk back to the car was bitter cold, though the sight of the fog lying over Trustom Pond was beautiful. Afterwards, we had dinner at Iggy's in Narragansett (first time this year), then stopped to see Spooky's parents on the way home. There are photographs, behind the cut:

The first of the great logs we encountered. My sweater is the same one Imp (Nicola Astles) wears in the book trailer.

It could be the corpse of an albino sea beast, normally found only in the abyss.

Detail of above.

Another of the logs, where Card Pond usually flows out to Block Island Sound.

The claw of a spider crab (Libinia sp.).

A tiny and unidentified amphipod.

As the fog rolls in, view eastwards towards Narragansett.

Walking westwards through the fog.

The fog over Trustom Pond.

All photographs Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn A. Pollnac and Caitlín R. Kiernan


An article that needs to be read, especially by anyone who thinks I'll be apologizing at ReaderCon 23 for anything I have or ever will say: From the NYTimes, "Please Stop Apologizing."

Aunt Beast

* No, I didn't see the Twilight films, but I did try to read the first book, so I did have a point of reference from which to begin. Also, I saw the trailers for all the films. Also, Stephanie Meyer is a douchebag, and I'm a hypocrite, so fuck off.


( 21 comments — Have your say! )
Mar. 24th, 2012 06:38 pm (UTC)
Unrelated to the main topic, but I love the macro pic of the round pebbles with the ocean behind—very strange feeling of scale. (32112-9 especially, but also 32112-8)
Mar. 24th, 2012 06:40 pm (UTC)

Caitlin does lovely "crab's eye view" photos.
Mar. 24th, 2012 06:40 pm (UTC)

I love placing the camera on the sand, not looking through the viewfinder, and just shooting.
Mar. 24th, 2012 06:41 pm (UTC)
I'm half-imagining the rocks standing up on crab-like legs, and wandering back into ocean when nobody's watching. :)
Mar. 24th, 2012 06:54 pm (UTC)

Mar. 24th, 2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
Did you read the Hunger Games? They're actually rather enjoyable.
Mar. 24th, 2012 06:54 pm (UTC)

I loved the first book, thought the second was flappy and unnecessary, but felt the third was decent enough.
Mar. 24th, 2012 07:27 pm (UTC)
The second book had weak bits and a few bits I really liked, but I appreciated how it got to where it ended. If that makes any sense at all.

Are you planning on seeing the film? I thought it was actually quite good. They streamlined things that needed to be done and there's only one thing I was actually kind of sad that was left out (the faces on the dogs near the end of the first book, I hope that's vague enough for people who haven't read them). Other than that I was pleasantly surprised!
Mar. 24th, 2012 07:49 pm (UTC)

Are you planning on seeing the film?

Of course.

(the faces on the dogs near the end of the first book,

That is a VERY big spoiler, and I wish you hadn't posted it. We try to avoid spoilers here. Whether or not it spoils the book for those who have not read it, it spoils a bit of the film (which I've not yet seen) for me.


Edited at 2012-03-24 07:54 pm (UTC)
Mar. 24th, 2012 07:11 pm (UTC)
I don't have an almanack but it could be close to Neep tide (highest tide of Spring.) Oh and I read a news article today that a fishing boat from the Japanese tsunami has been sighted off the coast of British Columbia and it is expected to make landfall in 50 days. Boats adrift probably travel a little slower than some debris so it could be the tree trunks are Japanese in origin. It really emphasises the one world, all connected, theme when something washes up from afar.
Mar. 24th, 2012 07:54 pm (UTC)

To reach Rhode Island, debris from Japan would have to either travel through the Panama Canal; east around Cape Horn; or west around Malaysia, across the Indian Ocean, and around the Cape of Good Hope; or somehow cross the Arctic Ocean. None of these scenarios seem especially likely.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 24th, 2012 08:23 pm (UTC)

Do you enjoy being out in the fog when it comes in at the beach?

I do, despite the discomfort.
Mar. 24th, 2012 08:11 pm (UTC)
the driftwood logs are so beautiful...all of the pix really...
Mar. 24th, 2012 08:24 pm (UTC)

Thank you. Though, Spooky took most of them.
Mar. 24th, 2012 08:38 pm (UTC)
Although I'm a New Yorker now, I grew up in New England. I've been to Mexico and the Caribbean a bunch of times and I adore the warm beaches down there with their bleached sand and impossible-to-believe-if-you-haven't-seen-it clear turquoise waters. However, a BIG part of my heart still belongs to the stark, grey, harsh New England beaches. Looking at the photos, I could almost smell the briny salt air!

I followed the link to Maher's article and I do agree that the "PC culture" shouldn't be allowed to co-opt free speech and that endless discussion and offense over terminology takes much-needed time away from things to which we should be paying a LOT more attention. However, words have power. They ARE power. I think that people need to be held accountable for the way they use words and that saying we just "shouldn't listen" or "shouldn't be offended" at the words other people use is dangerously close to saying that it's okay to use all kinds of racial/gender/sexual/etc. slurs and offer "don't listen if you don't like it" as a defense. Take the recent debacle with Limbaugh. I don't like him and I don't listen to his radio show because I don't want to listen to the inflammatory language he uses (like Bill Maher). However, his recent comments about the young woman who testified regarding birth control were impossible to avoid. Moreover, they represent a very real and very dangerous ideology in this country right now. Sexism is NOT dead and there are plenty of people out there who would like to brand women with names like "slut" and "prostitute" and thus turn back the clock to the days of complete social and legal male domination. By ignoring Limbaugh's words or choosing not to be offended by them, we're also ignoring a very real problem with this country and a serious threat. I don't think he should be *censored* (I am rabidly anti-censorship) but I do think that he should be held responsible for what he said.

*climbing off my soapbox now*
Mar. 24th, 2012 09:09 pm (UTC)
Those photos are beautiful. The both of you are so talented with a camera, and I always love your beach photos.

I would buy prints of about half of these, and stick them on my wall.
Mar. 24th, 2012 10:03 pm (UTC)
It could be the corpse of an albino sea beast, normally found only in the abyss.

That is beautiful, beautiful driftwood. (Ghost trees of '38.) I like the amphipod as well.
Mar. 25th, 2012 05:11 pm (UTC)
Those photos are stunning. The one of fog over Trustom Pond looks like a painting.
Mar. 25th, 2012 09:23 pm (UTC)
My word, those are such wonderful beach finds. I grew up by the sea and never found anything so beautiful. The wonderful pictures help no end.

Regarding The Hunger Games, the film really works and I am very pleased that it does. The book has numerous advantages; but the film greatly benefits from an often slow, deliberate pacing and some great performances. I've been smitten with Jennifer Lawrence for a while; but I also loved Josh Hutcherson (Peeta), Woody Harrelson (Haymitch), and Wes Bentely (Seneca). Bentley is an intersting actor and posses incredible beauty despite having really crooked teeth (I'm English, have crooked teeth myself due to a lack of cosmetic dentistry plus a poor upbringing, and so I notice these things). Also Toby Jones and Stanley Tucci have class to spare.

It is true that the film could have been better if they had abandoned the desire for a lower certificate. But it would have been perverse and somewhat cruel to make a film that many or most of the fans of the novels were too young to see. I loved that the film was about the totalitarian and authoritarian need to control and very much less about reality TV.

Edited at 2012-03-25 09:53 pm (UTC)
Mar. 26th, 2012 08:11 pm (UTC)
Hunger Games was fab. i enjoyed it, and seeing the trailer for Prometheus on the big screen was a bonus.
Mar. 27th, 2012 10:07 am (UTC)
I would say that having given the first Twilight book a chance, you aren't a hypocrite. Most of the people that i have seen bashing The Hunger Games (without having seen it or read the book) are doing so after having seen the movie Battle Royale. When asked if they've read the book Battle Royale, they have no response. I think that by giving something godsawful a chance, you are saved from the title of hypocrite - not that I think you'd let such a thing worry you.

All the beautiful pictures have made me oceansick, though I'll admit for a different ocean. Damned Arizona.
( 21 comments — Have your say! )

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