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"Have a cookie, you're delirious!"

We were promised sun today, but it never arrived. A colder day than yesterday and overcast. Currently, it's 46˚F, the windchill at 44˚F.

This afternoon, I wrote 1,136 words on The Tindalos Asset.

After the writing, Spooky and I took eBay and Etsy packages to the p.o., then stopped by Oak Street Garden Shop in Mountain Brook. I needed a plant for the office, and I found something small for the space on the radiator cover. Just a dash of green. Then groceries from Da Oink, and also Girl Scout cookies. Spooky made chili for dinner and we watched the finale of the latest RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars. I was a little baffled at their being two winners, but of the remaining contestants, they were my two favorites...so.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thank you.


9:14 p.m.
A cloudy day, once more. Currently, it's 62˚F.

Today, I got back to work on The Tindalos Asset and wrote 1,065 words.

We spent the afternoon out at my mom's in Leeds, washing clothes and playing GW2.

And I have this review of The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan, from the Seattle Review of Books:

A collection rather than an anthology, The Very Best of Caitlín R Kiernan (Tachyon) hews to one style, uttering its fabulations in one piercingly delicious voice. My personal favorite, “The Maltese Unicorn,” dishes up a Dashiell Hammett-esque crime narrative in a setting filled with bisexual demons and enchanted dildos. Often decay appears as a near-sentient character in the fictional worlds Kiernan constructs; often wickedness and ineffability and fate acquire a palpable, practically tactile presence in prose both teasing and pleasing. The author flirts with literary pretentions at times, and many of her overtures have been answered (as a glance at her long list of publication credits reveals) by hard-to-locate publications. Let us be grateful that Tachyon’s Jacob Weisman and Jill Roberts have made appreciation much easier by curating this magnificent selection of Kiernan’s eerily beautiful oeuvre.

A very fine review, and I'm grateful for it. But please do not say "curating" when you mean "editing." Editors edit. Curators curate. People who compile collections of short fiction are editors, not curators. As for flirting with "literary pretentions," I honestly didn't know that I was only flirting.

Also, please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Me, I gotta go curate my sock drawer.


8:28 p.m.


After February 14th, 1989, I've been of the opinion that any Valentine's Day that does include me going to jail is a pretty good Valentine's Day. Yeah, today was the thirtieth anniversary of that fiasco. Anyway, what I'm saying is, even though I didn't sleep but three hours last night and even though the internet was out all evening and even though it was cold and cloudy, it really wasn't such a dreadful excuse for a Valentine's Day. I didn't go to jail.


Today, I read an hilarious article in the latest Weird Fiction Review – Dave Roberts' "Hello Sharkness My Old Friend," a look at all four Jaws films.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thank you.


10:37 a.m.
I didn't mean to skip two days. Lately, these things just happen. A consequence of depression and unproductive days. But at least the sun came back this morning. Currently, it's 56˚F.

I've been trying to write for days, it feels like.

I'm in my own way.

Last night, we saw Sam Elliott in Robert D. Krzykowski's The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot (2018). A very, surprisingly sweet film, and it captures a peculiar dreamlikeness. That's not a word, but it ought to be.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. They include a copy of The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan, and this is the only one of these I'll be selling anytime soon, probably. Thanks.

Anyway...after the office floor rocks, behind the cut, two shots of the notebook I was using in Athens, Georgia when I wrote "Anamorphosis," back in May 1994. I was still trying to make notes for short stories back then, a practice I gave up probably by '95 or '96.

Later Taters,

1:07 p.m.

1994Collapse )
Another mostly sleepless night, and then I woke to clouds, after a mostly cloudy day, yesterday. Currently, it's 45˚F, with the windchill at 42˚F.

I spent most of yesterday reading back over most of Agents of Dreamland and Black Helicopters, trying to get my head back into the space it needs to be to finish The Tindalos Asset. It's heartening to look back at those two novellas and still like what I did.

My contributor's copies of both The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan and The Weird Fiction Review (Fall 2018) arrived yesterday.

I think I'm going out to look for a jade plant today. This grey room needs something green and alive.


12:01 p.m. (today)

"The sun is gone, but I have a light."

A cold night, after a cold day yesterday. We had a possibility of a "wintry mix" this morning, but that didn't happen. The sun's supposed to come out and give us milder temperatures today. Currently, it's 43˚F, with the windchill at 39˚F.

Yesterday, Spooky posted a photo of Selwyn and Lydia to Facebook, and Julie dubbed them "Moose and Chubs," respectively. Oh, that's the "Moose of Siam." Which reminds me, have a look at Spooky's Etsy shop.

A strange day yesterday, and not very productive, thanks to my not having slept. And then I didn't sleep much last night, either. But I'm going to try to get more more done today than yesterday. On Friday, I managed to get "Anamorphosis" to the editor who's reprinting it, and to pick out a story for another reprint request, and to answer some other email. But I have to get back to making new prose. February will slip away before I know it.

I've been trying to think of more to say about the writing of "Anamorphosis." It was an important period, right there at the beginning of my career as a professional fiction writer. Of all the stories that would eventually became Tales of Pain and Wonder (2000, reprints in 2002, 2008, and 2016), "Anamorphosis" was the first written (which is why it appears first in the collection). The story wasn't originally written for Ellen Datlow, though she was the first editor to buy and publish it. It was originally written for Dean Wesley Smith, who was still publishing Pulphouse Magazine back then. Smith was planning an anthology titled Spatterfairies – which you may correctly assume was to consist of splatterpunk stories about fairies. I submitted "Anamorphosis" to him on June 1, 1994, and he liked it, but the anthology never came together, so I had to find another home for the tale. Maybe I'll dig out the relevant notebook – I haven't yet given those to Brown – and see if there's anything else interesting to relate.

Okay. The platypus says get to work. So, all that stuff about wandering around the corpse of Western supermarket in Mountain Brook, looking for 30% off scraps, I'll leave that to your imaginations.


9:02 a.m.

Entry No. 5,606

At best, I slept four hours last night.

Twenty degrees Fahrenheit cooler than this time yesterday; currently, it's 42˚F, with the windchill at 35˚F. But the sun is warm, and the clouds are only taking up about half the sky.

And Albert Finney has died.

Slowly, trying to get back to the place where I write, or at least work, most days.

Today, I have to send "Anamorphosis" away for a reprint. I'm resisting the urge to revise it, which isn't easy. The story was written in May 1994, which makes it the very first story I wrote after moving from Birmingham to Athens, Georgia. And my sixth short story (if one begins counting with "Between the Flatirons and the Deep Green Sea") and the first Deacon Silvey story. That was pretty much a million years ago, at least two lifetimes ago. I sat in a coffeehouse on West Washington Street (the original Jittery Joe's) and read a book on psychic criminology and made notes for the story in a spiral-bound notebook. I was living in the pre-Civil War carriage house on the property of the Camak House on Meigs Street. A long, long time ago. "Anamorphosis" sold to Ellen Datlow for Lethal Kisses: 19 Stories of Sex, Horror, and Revenge, which was published in 1996. Which made it my first story sold to Ellen Datlow. That's a tally of three firsts, right there. Anyway, the only way I can resist the urge to significantly revise the story now is to refuse to actually read it before I send it away. So, I won't read it. "Anamorphosis" has already been through two or three significant revisions since it's original publication, mostly recently in 2007 for the Subterranean Press edition of Tales of Pain and Wonder (2008). Oh, and the story was written to NIN's The Downward Spiral and Tori Amos' Under the Pink.

So, there's that.

And I'm going to give The Tindalos Asset one last try, which will consume most of whatever remains of February.


11:01 a.m. (this morning)

Howard Hughes and a Cat Named Loo

A very warm day here. We made it to at least 76˚F, with the heat index at 78˚F. But rain tonight, I think, and thirty degrees cooler tomorrow.

I want to do a real entry, but it's going to have to wait until in the morning. I need to get back into the habit of morning entries, anyway. But there was a couple of ridiculous days, yesterday and Tuesday. Today was better than that. More tomorrow.

Later Craw Taters,

12:18 p.m. (today)

Fold Along the Dotted Line

3:00 p.m.

Howard Hughes and the Year of da Oink

A warm day of both clouds and sun. Currently, it's 63˚F.

There was the beginnings of a headache when I went to bed, and I woke to very bad headache that dogged me all day. But I managed to get Sirenia Digest 156 pulled together and sent off to Gordon to be PDF'd. Spooky is sending it out to subscribers even as we speak. It includes a new story (finally!), "The Lady and the Tiger Redux." And I answered emails to Tom Monteleone and Ellen Datlow.

I wanted to write more about Athens, but I'm just too woozy tonight. Spooky went out and got Chinese while I lay on the living-room floor watching some idiotic baking show.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks.

Later Taters,

1:04 p.m.
Here in Birmingham, lots of sun today, and the temperature made it all the way to 71˚F.

Home again.

We left Birmingham about 12:30 yesterday afternoon and drove to Athens. We spent the evening with Julie and Kurt, but I had a rough night, so we headed back about noon today. It was a long way there and back for such a short visit, though it was a pleasant visit. When Spooky and I were young, those long drives didn't bother us. Anyway, it was my first time back in Athens since April 22, 2007, almost twelve years ago. As I said to Jules last night, in Athens, it's like everything has changed and stayed exactly the same. I'm likely too tired to write about this tonight, and I have a headache. So, maybe I'll say more tomorrow. Well, I will go ahead and say we passed a fair chunk of the visit watching old movies on TCM – first Richard Fleischer's Fantastic Voyage (1966) and Doctor Dolittle (1967). I imagine lots of folks don't know the same man directed both.

On the way out of town this afternoon, heading home, I realized I hadn't taken any pictures for the LJ. So, despite the fact it had started to rain, I had Spooky stop and let me take a photo outside Wuxtry. Thank fuck some things remain the same.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks.

Later Craw Taters,

10:51 a.m.
A sunny, warm day today. I had the windows open most of the afternoon. Currently, it's 50˚F.

It was sort of a long and oddly exhausting day, so this is going to be an itemized entry, beginning with:

1. With enormous relief, I can say that I finished "Untitled 43" today and retitled it "The Lady and the Tiger Redux." I did the last 1,003 words, then took a break, and came back and edited it late in the day. Go me. The story will appear in Sirenia Digest 156, which should go out to subscribers on Monday or Tuesday. It would be out sooner, but I think we're heading to Athens tomorrow to visit with friends.

2. I got a note from Elizabeth Story at Tachyon, letting me know that The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan is back from the printer. Oh, she sent me a link to a photo on Instagram, here. I shared the photo on Facebook. Also, Elizabeth's note led me to a review from Booklist, from January 1st, that I'd overlooked somehow. Here it is:

Kiernan is among the most critically acclaimed authors of dark fantasy and horror alive today, but precisely because her work has always pushed at the boundaries of genre fiction, presenting weird, dark, and unsettling tales that are non-linear, grotesque, and disorienting, mainstream success has eluded her. This collection, the newest of many that have tried to compile the best short fiction from over 250 of Kiernan stories, focuses on the harder to find short works, those that were only published in long sold out, limited editions.* The result is a volume that presents a mere snapshot of her genius, showcasing how she plays with gender, creates tension that progresses to the level of nightmare, and crafts a story where beginnings and endings don’t matter, rather it is about the characters, their struggle, and really humanity itself. Yet despite the darkness at each story’s core, there is also beauty in these lyrical compelling, and intriguing tales that are nearly impossible to stop reading. Fans may have read some of these stories before, but many readers who have more recently been introduced to works of writers with more mainstream attention like Carmen Maria Machado, Jeff VanderMeer, or China Mieville, will be glad to find this volume on your shelves so that they can discover a writer who inspired them all.

And it reminded me of an article from long, long ago (well, 2006), which I wrote about here. Short version: someone referred to me and Jeff VanderMeer as cult figures. I guess Jeff has graduated to the mainstream. I'm fairly sure I never will. But, to be fair, I've hardly ever tried, and when I have tried, only misery has ensued.

3. After I'd finished "The Lady and the Tiger Redux," but before the line edits and such, Spooky and I went out for a walk at the botanical gardens. The weather was just too good to be trapped inside all damn day. There were birds everywhere (cedar waxwings, robins, sparrows, mockingbirds, towhees, & etc.), and the cherry blossoms have begun to show. Afterwards, we stopped at Western Supermarket in Mountain Brook and discovered that they're in the midst of going out of business. Indeed, the whole chain is going down, after seventy years. I grew up with Western (when I was a kid, it was one of three grocery stores in Leeds). Anyway, I don't really give a shit about the one in Mountain Brook, but the Western at Southside on Highland, near Five Points ("Disco Western"), that one will be gone, too, and that one...well, it's hard to imagine the landscape without it. My history with that place goes back at least to 1979, and...well...I'll write more about this later. But Spooky and I headed over there when I was done working, because I had this fear I might not get to see it again.

4. Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thank you.

5. Locus magazine has released their recommended reading list for 2018, and I made it three times, in three categories: The Dinosaur Collector (collection); Black Helicopters (novella); and "M is for Mars" (novelette).

6. And here's the ToC for The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan. I'm not sure why I haven't posted it before:

-- Andromeda Among the Stones
-- La Peau Verte
-- Houses Under the Sea
-- Bradbury Weather
-- A Child's Guide to the Hollow Hills
-- The Ammonite Violin (Murder Ballad No. 4)
-- A Season of Broken Dolls
-- In View of Nothing
-- The Ape's Wife
-- The Steam Dancer (1896)
-- Galápagos
-- Fish Bride (1970)
-- The Mermaid of the Concrete Ocean
-- Hydrarguros
-- The Maltese Unicorn
-- Tidal Forces
-- The Prayer of Ninety Cats
-- One Tree Hill (The World as Cataclysm)
-- Interstate Long Song (Murder Ballad No. 8)
-- Fairy Tale of Wood Street

As I said on Facebook, my one great regret about this book is that I doesn't include "Onion." Hopefully, I can remedy in a second edition, if such a thing comes to pass.

I think that's all for now. It's enough.

Later Taters,

2:51 p.m.

* I don't know where this rumor got started, but it isn't true.
Sunny and much warmer today. We made it into the mid fifties Fahrenheit. Currently, it's 45˚F.

I wrote another 1,029 words on "Untitled 43."

And I read another volume of the old handwritten journal (Vol. 4, 1991, February-August). And also "Transmeditations," the column that I wrote for the Alabama Forum between January 1993 and February 1994, essays on gender issues and transsexuality, riot grrls and queer theory, drag and so on and so forth. I'm thinking I may collect them all for an future (maybe near future) SubPress chapbook.

So, lots and lots of ghosts again today. Oh, and I went out to the post office with Spooky. There was a contract to mail, for a German edition of The Drowning Girl. And then we stopped by Da Oink. So, at least I got outside, and the sun was warm.

Spooky and I are watching The Sorpranos again. We've just begun Season Two. James Gandolfini was such a wonder.

I haven't rolepayed since August, and I miss it like an amputated limb.


8:26 p.m.

"Through this world I've stumbled..."

Still very cold here, but nothing like the icy hell that's been visited upon the Midwest and the Northeast. Currently, it's 31˚F. But warmer, more seasonable weather is on the way.

Today, I wrote 875 words on "Untitled 43." Not great, but much better than nothing.

And I spent more hours today reading an old handwritten journal (Vol. 3, Winter '90-'91).

Later Taters,

8:57 p.m.

Snow Job

Despite the governor declaring a state of emergency, the only snow me and Spooky saw last night was Ned Stark's bastard (who, of course, wasn't really Ned Stark's bastard, but...). We do, however, have cold air. Currently, it's 28˚F, with the windchill at 22˚F.

I tried very hard to write again today. I barely managed 300 words.

We did finish Game of Thrones last night, and it was good seeing the whole thing like that. Well, the whole thing minus what is left to come. But I'll write about it when I'm in a better mood.


9:33 p.m. (last night)

Waiting for White

A mostly sunny day here, and we made it into the low sixties Fahrenheit. However, we now have a winter storm warning and we're looking at as much as 3" of snow before 9 a.m. tomorrow, after the temperature drops below freezing tonight. Currently, it's 56˚F.

Today, I wrote the first 1,060 words of something I'm called "Untitled 43."

And I began reading John Kennedy Toole's The Confederacy of Dunces for the first time since 1996.

After the writing, we went to the post office, where a modest check from Writer's House awaited me (mostly royalties on Threshold), as well as (finally) an ARC of The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan. Then we visited Irondale Pickers, a marvelous place. On the way home, we stopped at Winn-Dixie, where everyone was buying bread and milk and beer. Spooky made spaghetti.

Lydia wants to be a gargoyle when she grows up.

Later Taters,

5:29 p.m.

The Bear's Bohemian Garden

Coldish and cloudy some today, sunny some today, especially now, as the sun drops below the horizon. Currently, it's 53˚F.

I don't think I can actual make any sort of succinct statement about all the stuff going through my head, regarding yesterday's visit to the old apartment on 16th Avenue South (No. 5 1619 16th Ave. So., ca. 1923). There's just too much of it. It's a storm of memory and regret and nostalgia and...well, it's a storm. Kathryn and I actually visited the building back in 2014, on August 28th, during a trip down from Providence to see my mom. But this time I climbed the hill and went all the way around to the back of the building, a place I'd not stood since I left that place for Athens, Georgia on April 24th, 1994. And it was overwhelming. All the terrible things that happened in that apartment. Terrible things. Violent things. Things a lot of people do not survive. No, it wasn't all terrible, but there was so much terrible that it colors the whole time, from January 1990 until that aforementioned day in April, that terrible seems the predominant sentiment. There was good, too. Some very private good I'll keep to myself. Many friends, some of whom I've not seen since all that long ago. It was the place where, in a very real sense, Caitlín R. Kiernan was born. I lived there when I had my name legally changed in April 1990 and when I came out that same month. I lived there when I did drag. I lived there while I wrote The Five of Cups. I wrote my first few short stories there and was living there when I made my first pro sale in the summer of 1993. The last eight months, leading up to the move to Athens, I lived there alone, the only time in my life I have ever lived alone.

I expect a hundred people have lived there since I left.

Standing there yesterday with Kathryn, a cold breeze rushing over the side of Red Mountain, I was, I think, more than anything else, amazed that I survived those years to see everything that happened afterwards.

I could go on about this for fifty-thousand words. Maybe someday I will.

I tried to begin a story today, after a trip to Whole Foods with Kathryn


12:40 p.m. (yesterday; view to the northeast)


Another sunny day. Currently, it's 41˚F

Also, another day that's left me feeling very odd. It began with a trip to the apartment building on 16th Avenue where I lived from December 1989 until April 1994. And...actually, I think I'm gonna save that part for tomorrow's entry. I need to wind down. So, later.

Another day spent reading my own stories – this time "Albatross (1994)" and "Untitled Psychiatrist No. 2" (written in October and February-March of 2017, respectively) – and reading an old handwritten journal (summer and early autumn 1990). So, weirdness on weirdness on weirdness. And then add to that going through a bunch of old photographs and...

I went with Spooky to Alabama Art Supply, where I'd not been since at least 2002.

We had Milo's for dinner.

And watched RuPaul.

And I haven't mentioned that we've been working our way through the whole of Game of Thrones again, in preparation for Season Eight. Somehow, we've made it to Season Seven in only about two weeks. We power binge. It's kinda scary.

I leave you with a bunch of childhood dinosaur books and the blue felt plesiosaur/Nessie that my mom gave me for Christmas.


2:08 p.m.
A cold but mostly sunny day. I think our high was about 45˚F. Currently, it's 37˚F.

A strange day, though. I spent it trying to find my way back into the writing, back into the work, in part by reading three of the stories in The Dinosaur Tourist – "Untitled Psychiatrist No. 3" (May 2017), "Ballad of an Echo Whisperer" (June-August 2013), and "Elegy for a Suicide" (July 2013). I rarely ever read my own work after it's published, unless it's to revise for reprints, and it always puts me in an odd mood. And I also read portions of one of my handwritten journals from 2007, and a good bit of the blog entries for that same year, which added to the oddness.

And there was a trip to Target for pajama pants and blue cheese. I'm sure that didn't help.

It's almost inexplicable, my skill at feeling intense nostalgia for places I absolutely loathed when I actually lived there. In this case, the house on Mansfield Avenue in Atlanta (December 2004–May 2008). At the time, I thought I was miserable.

Last night, Spooky made an apple pie (well, it was a frozen pie from Da Oink, but she cooked it).


10:24 p.m. (last night)
A cold but sunny day, after waking to the finest dusting of snow. Currently, it's 44˚F, with the windchill at 40˚F. The sun warms my office nicely.

A managed a little work today, which is a vast improvement over yesterday (and a lot of other recent days). A phone conversation with my lit agent. A couple of emails (Tachyon, Centipede Press). It is appalling how long it has been since I've actually written anything.

I leave you with a photograph of Lydia in a box.


1:50 p.m.

The Drowned Can't Burn

After a fierce wind last night, it started raining, and it's still raining. Currently, it's 59˚F.

This is one of those days when the depression has ground me down so flat and smooth I cannot imagine how it ever got this bad or that it could ever get any worse.


2:33 p.m.

"The Mesopotamish sun is beating down..."

6:24 p.m. (yesterday)


Howard Hughes and the Abbreviated Entry

Cold today, and very, very cold last night, at least for Birmingham. There were actually icicles on the outcrop of Hartselle Sandstone out back. The low last night was only 22˚F, with the windchill at 14˚F. Spooky and I slept in the living room, where it was warmer. It was sunny today, and just a little warmer. Currently, it's 38˚F, with the windchill at 34˚F.

What I said last night about the eBay auctions, it still stands. Thanks.

Also, happy birthday, David Lynch.


2:45 p.m.
So, because it turns out that you don't actually get paid very much for being the "reigning queen of dark fantasy," please have a look at our current eBay auctions. Thank you.

5:22 p.m. (yesterday)
We saw a tiny bit of weak sun yesterday, and it was a welcome thing in this cold season of rain and gloom. Currently, it's raining and a fairly warm 62˚F; we have a wind advisory and much chillier temperatures on the way.

Publishers' Weekly has given The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan (Tachyon) a starred review:

This stellar collection of 20 reprints, drawn solely from Kiernan’s limited-edition publications, showcases her talent for blurring boundaries and creating distinctive sensory experiences. The Lovecraftian “Andromeda Among the Stones” is set against a writhing, vast seascape, where a young woman inherits a profound and terrifying family legacy. A journalist reflects on his time with a beautiful suicide cult leader who came dangerously close to calling forth something truly monstrous in the prickly, creeping “Houses Under the Sea.” The pitch-perfect noir gem “The Maltese Unicorn” is a kinky, twisted take on Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon. “The Ape’s Wife,” a genre-defying standout, features King Kong’s object of affection, Ann Darrow, who, lost in a strange space called All-at-Once Time, is confronted with the many paths she might have taken. In “A Season of Broken Dolls,” a woman confronts her lover’s fascination with “stitchwork,” an art movement that takes body modification to terrifying new levels, and a young violinist discovers a terrible truth about her sister’s disappearance in “The Ammonite Violin.” With lush prose, Kiernan finds strange beauty in terrible tableaus, never failing to unsettle and inspire awe in equal measure. This versatile retrospective offers something for nearly every fan of the strange and macabre, and cements Kiernan’s legacy as the reigning queen of dark fantasy.

I should note that the stories in the collection were not "drawn solely from...limited-edition publications." Neither "The Maltese Unicorn" or "The Ape's Wife," for example, originally appeared in limited-edition collections. I very much appreciate the review, but please do your homework, people. Also, thank you for not calling me "the reigning queen of horror."

I left the house very briefly yesterday.

For breakfast, there was fried eggs and leftover Chinese food. Never say I don't share unsavory tidbits of my private life.


2:03 p.m. (yesterday)

Swans Reflecting Elephants

12:07 p.m. (today)

Not Yesterday

The grey skies are back, after that one-day reprieve. Currently, it's 46˚F, with the windchill at 41˚F.

I cannot imagine many more things more asinine and arrogant than telling someone that they're "on the wrong side of history."

I left the house yesterday just long enough to go to the market with Spooky.


2:01 p.m. (yesterday)
It has occurred to me that Philip Pullman is the Ayn Rand of young-adult fantasy.

Just so we're clear, coming from me, that is the exact opposite of the compliment. Though, if you want to behold the most unintentionally funny movie of all time, watch King Vidor's 1949 adaptation of The Fountainhead. Patricia Neal's performance is pure comedy gold.*

The sun finally came back this morning. Sun was promised us two days ago, but it refused to honor the assurances of meteorologists. Today is cold, but bright. Currently, it's 45˚F, with the windchill at 41˚F.

Yesterday, Spooky and I once again found ourselves rendered electricity refugees by Alabama Power. Some sort of local line work they were supposed to do in December, but didn't do until yesterday. The power went off a little after 10 a.m., and so we headed to my mom's. I watched a couple hours' worth of the confirmation hearings for William Barr. It was a strangely comforting experience. A commentator on CNN summed up my thoughts, when he said something to the effect of, "The way things have been going, it could be a lot worse." Do I agree with everything Barr believes? No, but he's an intelligent, articulate, experienced man with proven respect for the rule of law. Oh, and me and Spooky played WoW. And I stared at the gloom hanging above Leeds. Spooky and I got home about 7 p.m., I think. It's all sort of a smudge.

I've thought about running a mock 2020 presidential campaign (though there's gonna be plenty to mock in the real-life candidates). But then I thought, even though I wouldn't really be running, "Well, the liberals will hate me, and the conservatives will hate me, and the feminists will hate me, and the evangelicals will hate me, and..." In the end, my life is annoying enough without joke overkill. But...my campaign slogan would have been, "Don't Vote For Me!"

Today, you get a photo of yesterday. I'll give you today's sunshine tomorrow.


5:07 p.m. (yesterday)

* For the record, I actually adore Patricia Neal. Also, you can see more of my thoughts on King Vidor's The Fountainhead here.

"Mysterious Whisper"

Though we were promised sun today, the drizzle and gloom and cold lingers. Currently, it's 40˚F, windchill at 34˚F, misty, foggy, shitty.

No writing yesterday.

I did manage to finish Philip Pullman's The Amber Spyglass. And that was a herculean effort, sheer fucking force of will, stubborn determination, slogging through that wretched novel. I sorta, kinda liked The Golden Compass (née Northern Lights), even though Pullman's simplistic, evangelical atheism is plainly apparent by the novel's end. But after the first novel, the trilogy is a dismal affair, the sort of atheism that makes me ashamed of being an atheist. By the third book, the story has taken a backseat to Pullman's unceasing proselytizing. I hear people talking about how a book made them want to throw it across the room, and mostly I take that sort of talk as hyperbole. But, truly, The Amber Spyglass made me want to, literally, throw it across the room. To quote Dorothy Parker, "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force."* And that's enough said about that.

This morning, I did manage to attend to three weeks of back-up email, including Subterranean Press, S.T, Joshi, my publicity person at Tachyon, and one of my agents at Writers House. Small victories.

Last night, we saw the first two episodes of Season Three of True Detective, and I loved it.

Not much else to report just now. Did I mention how I'm sick of rain?

I leave you with moss dripping from a sandstone outcrop, a photographed by Spooky.


1:11 p.m. (yesterday)

* An alleged quote of uncertain provenance.

"What's That Blue Thing Doing Here?"

Rainy and a tiny bit warmer today. I think we made it to about 54˚F. Currently, it's 49˚F, with the windchill at 46˚F.

We have some eBay auctions ending tonight. Please have a look.

I've been trying not to write about this dry spell. About not writing. Because it's terrifying, even acknowledging that it's happening. I've not written anything substantial since mid-October. So, this is now a dry spell like the one in the autumn of 2015 and the long, long one in the spring and summer of 2016. With those two, I understood the causes, more or less. This time, I'm a lot less clear about how it began. But I have to find my way out.

“You have no right to assume that you’ll be able to write because you could write yesterday.” ~ Hilary Mantel

Toady, there was a trip out 280 to the fabulous Brass Bear, mine and Spooky's favorite antique store. I mostly go to drool over typewriters, while Spooky searches for ceramic Siamese cats.

Night before last, we finished our fourth-annual watching of all two hundred (200!) episodes of That 70s Show, and so closes Kitty Fest IV.

From last night's Facebook: My first car was a used 1972 Chevy Impala, sorta olive green with one white door. And it had an 8-track tape deck. And the speedometer went to 120mph.


1:32 p.m.

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