Today was a thoroughly wretched day, and I did not leave the house, and I did not write, and I did not accomplish much of anything whatsoever. Still, I take pride in the fact that I kept my voice steady and didn't throw anything.

It was mostly sunny, but a lot of rain is on the way. Currently, it's 61˚F.

I did start reading End of the Megafauna: The Fate of the World's Hugest, Fiercest, and Strangest Animals by paleomammalogist Ross D.E. MacPhee, a work on the Quaternary/Holocene terrestrial mass megafaunal extinctions, and I made it through the first two chapters. It's a wonderful book, but I think the subtitle is misleading. Certainly the largest (and I would say also fiercest and maybe strangest, but that gets subjective) of all animals, various reptiles and non-avian dinosaurs of the Mesozoic, were already extinct a good 65-66 million years before we lost things like glyptodonts and woolly mammoths to whatever we lost them to.

The Magicians contues to entertain. We began Season Two tonight.

Anyway, I leave you with this photograph of my new favorite T-shirt.

Aunt Beast

4:20 p.m.

Stuff, Stuff, Stuff, Stuff

Yeah, actually, not so much stuff today.

Sunny again, and it's currently 42˚F. And this evening, after eight days inside, I went outside.

But I didn't write. I took care of a little email, and I have this list of prospective readers for the audiobook of Two Worlds and In Between that I need to go over, and there was a long, long conversation with Spooky about writing, but no actual writing.

We're watching Season One of The Magicians, which I like a lot better than I'd expected. And I think I'm almost not sick anymore.

Aunt Beast

9:58 a.m.
Cordon C3

On This Day In History

Sunny again. Currently, it's 40˚F.

Today, I wrote "B is for Bog Mummy." But I did not thereafter proceed to C and D.

I still feel kinda cruddy, but at least I feel better than I did this time last night. No thanks to those three episodes of V Wars, though. Wow, what a dull, tiresome mess. What is it with Canadians making really, really dull TV? Also, the US does not have a Department of National Security. And...never mind. Now I'm going to get hate mail from Canadians.

Today made seven days since I've left the house. I don't think I've gone that long since we left Providence way back in June 2018. But that's okay. Spooky brings me back photos of grotesque freaks of botany so that I can share them with you.

Aunt Beast

1:04 p.m.

A is for...

Sunny again today. Currently, it's 58˚F.

Today, I began writing The Cerulean Alphabet, which will appear in two parts in Sirenia Digest nos. 168 and 169. I made it all the way through "A is for Abyss," all 476 words. Tomorrow I need to manage B, C, and, hopefully, D.

Did I mentioned how truly, unpardonably fucking awful and yet vaguely entertaining I found the new BBC Dracula thingy? I did? Well, it needed saying again.

And we're still not well. Actually, I felt a lot better day before yesterday than I do right now. Like the damn bug is looping back upon itself.

Later Taters,
Aunt Beast

6:27 p.m.
Roy Batty

Howard Hughes and a Cat Named Effington

I have yet to leave the house this year.

Another sunny day today. Currently, it's 48˚F. And yes, the cold is better.

Today, I calculated that I have, as of Issue No. 167, written 178 pieces of fiction specifically for Sirenia Digest between December 2005 and December 2019. Which is one reason you ought to be a subscriber. Another is that rent and groceries don't grow on trees, not even for "the reigning queen of dark fantasy" (*cough cough*).

Oh, we also took down the Christmas tree today. Well, Spooky did.

Tonight, after Chinese takeout, Spooky and I watched Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat's BBC Dracula thingy that's streaming on Netflix. What a train wreck. A surprisingly watchable and occasionally amusing train wreck, but a train wreck all the same. Imagine if Roger Corman set out to remake Francis Ford Coppla's Dracula, with a distinctly Hammer Horror feel and a campy Dark Shadows look, all the while stealing from pretty much everything, including not only every adaptation of Dracula ever made, but also The Company of Wolves and The Hunger and...well, other stuff. Only, wait. That's just the first two-thirds of the train wreck. Because then it jumps from 1896 (or 1897?) to 2019 and suddenly it's this unspeakable marriage of Torchwood and Riverdale, but with Dracula, and just when you're sorta getting used to this bizarre new direction, it switches gears and goes from campy low burlesque to high melodrama. It wants desperately to be clever, but it almost never is. Truly, this thing is so fucked up, and yet watchable, that it needs to be seen. But it's a train wreck if ever a train were wrecked.

Later Taters,
Aunt Beast

11:19 p.m.

Entry No. 5,885

The sun came back this morning. There were still clouds and fog when I got up at 7 a.m., but at 9:08 a.m. the sun broke through. Currently, it's 42˚F, with the windchill at 35˚F.

I'm feeling much better, and so is Spooky.

I actually managed a little work today, though mostly it was email. To Jonathan Strahan and Sonya Taaffe and my agents at Writers House, for example. But it was good to be doing something. One reason I'm so bad at being sick is that it's so very goddamn boring.

Tonight, we watched Joachim Rønning's Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019). No, it wasn't as good as 2014's Maleficient, but it was still a lot of fun and very pretty.

Aunt Beast

9:09 a.m.

Entry No. 5,883

Rain all day. Rain and fog and chill. It was so dark all day that the streetlight out front never went out. Currently, it's 65˚F.

Today, I was sick. And, really, that's about it. I was sick with this cold, and I watched PBS again. All day. Well, it felt like it. Documentaries on the Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacán, the 21st Dynasty pharaoh Psusennes I, and the "lost" diary of David Livingstone. But at least I had enough appetite to eat dinner tonight, black-eyed peas and greens and corn bread, with salt pork and smoked jowl, and I have to say, this year Spooky made the finest pot of collards she has ever made. Too bad we got sick.

Okay. I'm gonna be pedantic. The last day of the second decade of the 21st century will be December 31st, 2020. It was not December 31st, 2019. That second decade still has a whole year to go, minus yesterday. Decades work the same as millennia and so forth. Now, you can cite the "cardinal" method of reckoning decades (rather than the "ordinal" method), but it only works if the first decade of A.D./C.E. was, bizarrely, a mere nine years long.

I'm gonna go try to sleep now.

Oh, wait. I forgot this last night, but I remembered tonight. Last night we watched Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts, and it was absolutely delightful. There, now I can go to bed.


11:45 p.m.
Cordon C3

Day One

So, it was mostly sunny today. But we have a lot of rain on the way, with a flood watch from midnight tonight until 6 p.m. on Saturday. Currently, it's 50˚F.

I didn't see enough movies this year, really, to make a meaningful "Best Of" list, so I'll follow my example for 2018 and post a list of what I read, instead (excluding most the nonfiction). But I'm gonna put it behind a cut:

Collapse )

And...I don't think I actually had the energy for that. It has been a lousy New Year's Day. Spooky spent all day cooking, though she was too sick to be doing, and then I felt to bad to eat much of anything. I spent the afternoon dozing and watching documentaries on PBS (Cleopatra, cannabalism in the Jamestown Colony, and the Large Hadron Collider).

So, I'm gonna go lie back down.


5:17 p.m.

"Kelso's a rat bastard"

Cooler again today. Currently, it's 42˚F.

Kathryn has a cold, and I seem to be catching it.

Today was Charlemagne Records' last day. I mentioned the imminent demise of Charlemagne back on December 4th, when Kathryn told me, the 42-year-old Five Points South record shop I first visited in 1978, when I was still in high school. This afternoon, Kathryn and I stopped by, because I'd have regretted not going. She got an old Burl Ives record. I got a poster that was tacked to the counter beneath the cash register. As I was leaving the shop, the Rufus Wainwright cover of "Hallelujah" started playing, and I am not ashamed to say that I cried.

Piece by piece....

Tonight...well, actually, everything sorta went to shit after Charlemagne (how often have historians said that?), starting with Publix not having a pecan pie. Oh, but Fresh Market had one of the worst pecan pies I've ever tried to eat! What the fuck is wrong with the world when you can't find a goddamn pecan pie in Alabama? Anyway, I came home and watched a documentary about the demise of Egypt's Old Kingdom and another about Hannibal's route through the Alps.

You know, I'm gonna leave out the crappy stuff. Who cares.

Tonight, we watched Wes Andersen's The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), which Spooky and I usually watch at Christmas. The Tenenbaums came late this year.

It wasn't such a bad year, 2019. I've sure as hell had far worse recently. If nothing else, it was probably my most productive year, as an author, in a while. I wrote eleven new short stories for Sirenia Digest, plus three very long Dancy Flammarion stories for Subterranean Press, and I wrote most of The Tindalos Asset, which I'd been working on since late 2017.

I'll say more about 2019 tomorrow, unless I feel too bad to sit at the computer, in which case I won't. And Sirenia Digest subscribers should have the new issue by now.

See You Next Year,

1:42 p.m., Charlemagne Records (1977-2019)