By now, if you've been following Alabaster: Wolves and have finished the final issue, you'll know that the series will continue, for the time being, as a monthly feature in Dark Horse Presents. Given my present schedule, there simply wasn't time to commit to a full-length monthly title.* Presumably, you will be pleased to know that Steve Leiber and Rachelle Rosenberg will both be along for the forthcoming DHP incarnation. So, yes. More Dancy. She is, after all, "critically acclaimed."
Last night, we attended a marvelous open air show by Brown Bird at RISD. The sound system was fantastic (also, nice not being in some goofy hipster club). I'm genuinely annoyed that we didn't take the camera along (the batteries were dead). Walking back along Benefit Street to the van, Kathryn and I could just glimpse a few stars, and a satellite, far above us.
I want to say thank you to (almost) all of the people who took the time to comment to my first entry on Tuesday. I unscreened almost everything, and almost everyone was civil. I only had to ban one person, which sort of amazed me. Then again, only three or four people showed up to grouse about what I'd said. Here's an excerpt from the comment by Liz Williams (mevennen), anyone who may not have seen it. She wrote:
With regard to triggering, I think it's a blogosphere thing - most people whom you talk to in the UK wouldn't recognise it. My own views are very similar to your own - life's just not a safe place, and it's a sign of the comparative security of our own lives that there's even that expectation. When my dad was 18, he was packed off to the Front and ended up at Monte Cassino: he's only spoken about it once but he said that it was just carnage, men and horses blown apart as far as the eye could see. Half his battalion were killed. He'll be 90 in September but he still has nightmares - I don't think he's familiar with the term PTSD and I'm not sure he'd be happy using it. There was no provision for counselling after the war and people were just expected to get on with it, which in the main, they did. He's been an excellent parent.
Thank you, Liz. You left a little mark in me with that. And that what we are, slates for scars.
I need to make this short, but...
Yesterday, I found a song stuck in my head I'd not heard in decades – "Ode to Billie Joe" by Bobbie Gentry (1967)*. If you don't know the song, I don't have time to explain it. Find a clip on YouTube. Pretty much classic Southern Gothic. What matters is that a mystery lies at the heart of the ballad, a mystery that is never resolved. Which is one of the things that makes the song so powerful and effectively disturbing. Then I found a quote by Gentry regarding that unresolved mystery she'd set up in the song, to the effect that she actually didn't know the answers. And that, in fact, the answers weren't the point. And it was impossible not to think about The Red Tree. So, it's not just me.
Wednesday night, we saw Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011). There are very few films I find brilliant that I'm unable to watch more than once, no matter how unnerving. In fact, the list is probably shorter than ten, me being an obnoxiously resilient person and all. But We Need to Talk About Kevin goes on the list. In fact, next time someone asks me why I don't consider myself a "horror" writer, I'll point them to this film and say, "Because I can't do that. And, if I could, I wouldn't."
Needs More Iced Coffee,
* Truthfully, that's a lie. Dark Horse inexplicably decided that, despite all the critical success and good sales, not to make the book a monthly. (8/17/19)
** Gentry played no part in devising the storyline of the unfortunate film adaptation (1976).