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"Why must there always be pandemonium!?"

Not a bad day yesterday. more sun than I'd expected and the temperature going almost as high as 60˚F. Today, overcast, though there was a little sun earlier, and it won't be much cooler. Currently, it's 53˚F.

Most of work yesterday came down to email and decisions, and then there was a doctor's appointment late. Though, before the doctor we made it down to Reed Books and browsed the shelves for an hour or so.

Returning to the matter of those two days without entries: As I've said, the power went out early Sunday morning. It didn't come back on until 3 p.m. on Monday, something like thirty-eight hours later. The apartment was an icebox, but not cold enough that we didn't lose everything in the freezer and fridge. And when the electricity finally came on again, we discovered the storm had also caused an internet outage. That continued well into Tuesday afternoon. So, from about 1 a.m. on Sunday morning until Tuesday afternoon, chaos and boredom and disruption. In all our ten years on Oak Street in Providence, through hurricanes and blizzards, we only lost power once, for a couple of hours. But there were no trees, to speak of, and we were on the same line as a fire station, which worked to our advantage.

Some good mail the last couple of days, including a package from Jason Thompson and a beautiful print from Mark Witton, a pelagornithid bird.

Sunday night, at my mom's, we finished our second viewing of all five seasons of Boardwalk Empire (56 episodes, 2010-2014). It is, without a doubt, on of the most brilliant things ever made for TV, and if you've not seen it, do yourself a favor.

Today, I need to do a last check of the page proofs for The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan (Tachyon, 2019), and then we have to go to the bank.


11:56 a.m.


I didn't actually mean to skip the past two days. The combined and disagreeable forces of Nature, my internet provider, and Alabama Power are responsible for that. Anyway, I'll make an actual entry tomorrow morning. Meanwhile....


11:13 a.m. (yesterday)

Rain Day

So, last night was a wild night on Red Mountain. At one point, the wind was blowing steady at 24mph and gusting to almost 40mph. And at 1 a.m., just as we were going to bed, the power went out. I heard a transformer blow. And the power is still out. I woke around 7 a.m. to the cold and the dark this morning (because these clouds seem determined to go nowhere soon) and headed out to Leeds to wait at Mom's for Alabama Power to get the lights on again.

Restless, tired from lack of sleep, bored, anxious about work that's not getting done, Kathryn and I went for a long drive after breakfast (from Jack's), from Leeds to Moody, past Branchville, all the way to Odenville. Nearer Leeds, we drove by a house where my paternal grandparents lived in the '70s, beside my Aunt Maybelle Aderholt's old house, and through the trailer park where my Uncle Walter "Cotton" Aderholt lived for a while (also in the '70s). Ghosts, everywhere.

Anyway, hopefully we'll be home again tonight.


9:47 a.m.
Another day of miserable weather. Heavy rain. The temperature is currently 44˚F, with the windchill at 41˚F.

I spent yesterday looking for a story I'll hopefully begin today, something for Sirenia Digest 155. I'm pretty sure I've never been so far behind on my writing as I am at the moment. I've got two Dancy stories that need to be written (~20k words!), SD 155, edits on The Red Tree for the long-promised Centipede Press edition, and...other things. I've hardly written a word for the past two months, not since early October. And this wretched weather is not helping.

But I'm taking inspiration from pornography, as has often been the case.

Last night, we watched all ten of the new episodes of The Ranch. It's an odd sort of affair, those ten episodes, an extended reaction to the sacking of Danny Masterson. God, I miss Rooster, and I still hope he will return to the series somewhere farther along. Trying to deal with the character's abrupt departure, and with the derailment of whatever the story was to have been before Masterson was forced out, the series has turned angry and dark and sad. And off balance, struggling to find its footing.*

Spooky's about to head out to the market for groceries. She's braver than I.

At the risk of losing a couple dozen followers, I have to admit it's heartening to see the backlash against attempts to ban "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Maybe there's hope yet.

“The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof, shit detector.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

I leave you with a photograph of P.O. Box 590133, mentioned in yesterday's entry.

Later Taters,

12:58 p.m. (Thursday)

* I've just learned that the series has been renewed for a fourth season, so at least there's that.
Cold and rainy today. Currently, it's overcast and 42˚F, with the windchill at 39˚F. It's going to miserable all the way through Sunday, apparently, with no sun again until Monday. I have, over the last decade, become an oddly solar-powered beast. It's hard to believe that, many years ago, I loved rainy days; now they almost do me in.

An peculiar sort of day yesterday, but not a bad sort of day. After some work early in the day (mostly backed-up email, to be honest), we drove over to Homewood and Southside. There are places I haven't seen in many years I'm slowly tracking down. Yesterday, we began with the Homewood Post Office, where I had my first p.o. box (590133) for the purposes of writing business. I'd not been there since April 1994, just before I moved to Athens, Georgia. Then an apartment in Homewood (on 29th Ct. So.) that I helped the late Liz Downey move into sometime in 1989; any number of restaurants and clubs, only a tiny handful of which have survived the brutal decades; an old house at the foot of Red Mountain (corner of 16th Ave. So. and 12th St. So.) that me and Jada and Elizabeth almost rented in 1990; Cobb Lane; and so on. We drove down 280 to Whole Foods, and Spooky made chili for dinner. We finished Season Two of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisle, which was at least as brilliant as Season One, and possibly more so. We got to bed about 2 a.m., I think. Tonight, we get new episodes of The Ranch.

Seeing those places yesterday, it was bittersweet, as expected, regrets and memories and lost moments and ghosts.

I've gotten off the Gabapentin again. Already, my head is so much clearer.

Spooky's making a beanie platypus, the first she's made in a long, long, long time, and it will be auctioned soon with a copy of Tales of the Woeful Platypus (2007).


11:55 a.m. (yesterday)
When we got up this morning, just before 8:30 a.m., it was only 27˚F outside. There was frost everywhere. The temperature has since risen to 41˚F, thanks to the warm Alabama sun.

So, here we have a morning entry – my first since way back in August. I'm hoping to get my daily routine back. It's been sorely disrupted by events of the autumn, and my writing habits have gone to shit.

There was an appointment with a neurologist yesterday, and partway through she asked the dreaded question: "What do you do for a living?" And I said, "I'm a writer." And that always, almost always, earns me a look like I've just said that I'm a professional hobo or some other manner of layabout. I have to resist adding something idiotic like, "No, really. I have a Wikipedia article and everything."

Last night, the UPS person delivered a box containing copies of The Chartreuse Alphabet, which I'd not yet seen. It's a handsome little yellow-green hardback chapbook.

We spent night before last in Leeds, at my mom's, because Alabama Power was supposed to be doing line work in our area and the electricity was supposed to be off most of the day. Only that didn't happen. And it didn't happen today either.

The reason you should not say "literally" when you *mean* "figuratively" is because "figuratively" is a very nice word and will get its feelings hurt. Figuratively speaking.

Last night, new episodes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, very probably the funniest thing of television these days. And grand eye candy, to boot. Currently, I'm reading Larry McMurtry's Sin Killer (2002).

“I had nothing else to do. Writing gave me something to do every day.” ~ William S. Burroughs


8:28 a.m. (this morning)

Entry No. 5,548

I woke to a glorious Indian Summer day, though I'm accustomed to such days coming earlier than the beginning of December. We made it all the way to 75˚F this afternoon. Currently, it's 50˚F.

We left Mom's late in the morning and headed home, and a little before two we went to the botanical gardens for a long walk. It seemed half the city had the same idea, but there are enough trails we were able to avoid most everyone else. It was a good day.

“Reading is the finest teacher of how to write.” ~ Annie Proulx


2:05 p.m.

"And how would a rabbit start a fire?"

A rainy day, but the sun began to show late in the afternoon. Clouds like smoke skating along the tops of the mountains. And the chilly day grew warmer. Tonight is almost eerily warm, and a little steamy. Currently, it's 68˚F.

We came out to Leeds for football at my mom's.

Back in the eighties and early nineties, I never imagined that I would be saddened at the news of the death of President George H.W. Bush, but the ascension of Trump and the alt-right has given me all sorts of perspective and made me appreciate things I wish I'd been adult enough to appreciate when I was younger and the world and I were both less broken. RIP, President Bush.


1:13 p.m.
Cloudy today, but warmer.

Spooky found that something (mouse? bird?) built a nest in the truck. We finished the black-eyed peas tonight. Tiddly pom.


11:29 a.m.


A better day today, though it was another very cold day. Still, so long as there is the sun, the cold isn't so bad. Currently, it's 40˚F.

Today, I pulled together Sirenia Digest No. 154, and I did some paleo' work, and answered email. For dinner, Spooky made black-eyed peas with salt pork, plus okra, corn, and tomatoes, and cornbread. We played WoW, and Shaharrazad. my blood elf warlock, who I rolled way back in September 2008, finally reached Level 100. We're working our way through the "Warlords of Draenor" expansion (yeah, we're three expansions behind).


11:51 a.m.
The weather's turned colder again. Bitter cold last night, for Birmingham. Cold again, tonight. Currently, it's 31˚F, with the windchill at 24˚F. At least it is dry.

I've done little of anything the past few days. I have to get back to work. Tomorrow, I have to find the courage to get off my ass and go back to being who I am.


5:19 p.m.
We saw more sun today than I'd expected. Currently, it's 56˚F. Tomorrow's high is only supposed to be 48˚F.


11:49 a.m.


Not too cold here. The sun came out this afternoon. Currently, it's 44˚F.

Today was both the 158th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's great book and the 17th anniversary of my blog.

Football at my mom's in Leeds today. And then we headed home.

Last night, we finished our re-watch of The Wire, all five seasons. It took us less than three weeks. And I am even more impressed the second time at the brilliance of the show.

On Monday, we're driving to Selma. I need to do some research for a Dancy story.

Later Taters,

6:56 p.m.

“Darkness is impossible to remember.”

A cloudy day has become a rainy night. Currently, it's 50˚F.

I woke to the headache, but it's better this evening.

Today, I sent a bunch of stories over to Bill Schafer at Subterranean Press, and Spooky and I hauled to big boxes of signature sheets to the P.O. – one set for Centipede Press' forthcoming edition of The Haunting of Hill House and the other for the reprint of Alabaster.

Later Taters,

9:59 p.m.
I woke to clouds, after only about six hours sleep, clouds and the Return of the Headache. The clouds kindly left early in the afternoon. The headache was not so obliging.

Currently, it's 44˚F.

We were supposed to go to my mother's today for Thanksgiving, but I would have been no fit company for anyone. Instead, I rested and Spooky went out and got us turkey pot pies and Stove Top Stuffing from Winn Dixie.

Tonight, we watched Chuck Workman's 2014 Orson Wells documentary, Magician.

Truthfully, I've had much worse Thanksgiving Days.


6:14 p.m.
Sunny and cool days here in Birmingham. Cold nights. Currently, it's 37˚F. Of course, the cold we're getting is summertime compared to the weather in the Northeast.

Today is the tenth anniversary of my Facebook account. Tonight's the 13th anniversary of Sirenia Digest. Issue 0 went out 13 years ago tonight. We are now on No. 154. That's one hundred and sixty-nine vignettes and short stories written specifically for the digest in thirteen years.

I've been trying to write, despite headaches and everything else. Yesterday, I did about 600 words on "Untitled Psychiatrist No. 4."

On Monday, we saw David Yates' Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, and I enjoyed it, but it very much has the feel of a middle. Tonight, we saw Lisa Brühlmann's Blue My Mind (2017), a German-language film about a girl figuring out she's a mermaid, and it's a nice, understated bit of body horror. There are too few good mermaid films.


9:13 a.m.

3:21 p.m.
Another warm November day, sunny and bright. And not even a hint of the headache, which is the first genuinely pain-free day I've had in...I'm not sure. I wish I could say that means I got back to work on "Untitled Psychiatrist No. 4," but it doesn't. We did make it back to the botanical gardens, though, and just walked in the light and the smell of roses and all green things. Better that than sitting here trying to write and not writing.


1:23 p.m.

"I can't seem to say what I'm doing here."

The headache aside, and the not getting any work done side, today was pretty decent. A warm day in November, after the unseasonable chill of last week, after all those sunless days, after fucking snow. I did a little paleo' this morning, after it was clear I wouldn't get any writing done, and then Spooky and I went to the botanical gardens for a long walk. There were turtles and Metasequoia and hawks. That was the best of the day. Later, groceries from Winn-Dixie, dinner, and we played some World of Warcraft.

Last night, we saw the Coen Bros. superb new film, streaming on Netflix, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, which is likely their best film in years (and I say that as someone who has loved all their recent films).

The Vicodin is helping with headache, but I need it to stop. For at least a few damn days.


12:38 p.m. (yesterday)

Entry No. 5,535

I woke this morning to snow. just a light dusting, but snow, all the same. I swear, it followed me south. It was a very cold day today, and it's going to be a very cold night. The freeze warning that began yesterday continues through tonight. Currently, it's 29˚F, with the windchill at 24˚F. But tomorrow it's supposed to reach 56˚F. We saw a hint of blue sky late in the day, and tomorrow should be clear.

Weather, you know. As per Hemingway.

Toady, I wrote 1,104 words on "Untitled Psychaitrist No. 4," which will be appearing in Sirenia Digest No. 154. And this morning I got most of the way caught up on my email (Ann VanderMeer, Matthew Jaffe, Bill Schafer, Ted Naifeh, Lev Butts, and Paul Sammon).

And I spent the day with the latest migraine. But at least tonight there was gumbo and peach pie. Oh, and we reactivated our World of Warcraft accounts, which have lain dormant since May 2015.

Until Tomorrow,

9:19 a.m.

Sylvanas is My Copilot

Another cold, rainy, sunless day. The bellies of the clouds smothering the tops of the mountains.

There was a cool piece of art from Ted Naifeh when I woke this morning, an illustration for the new and forthcoming second collection of Dancy Flammarion stories, and then Spooky and I went to the Summit for a matinée of Julius Avery's Overlord. But something was wrong with...whatever it is they use these days instead of reels of actual film...and all showings of the film had been canceled for the rest of the day. So, no movie. But I did have 3+ hours at my doctor's office later on. Whee. Next month, I have a neurologist appointment. More whee. At least I have insurance now.

I very much need to see some sunlight.


4:27 p.m.

Postcards from Hamsterdam

Another rainy, cold day. No sign of the sun. But I got news from Bill Schafer at Subterranean Press that the trade edition of The Dinosaur Tourist has sold out at the publisher. It is now available only via Amazon, for however long their copies last. SubPress still has a few of the limited edition. Also, my copies arrived tonight, via UPS, and it's a handsome book. I'm very happy with this one. Oh, and I got an email from Matthew Jaffe, who did the Albert Perrault paintings for the Centipede Press edition of The Drowning Girl. Matthew's done a beautiful painting inspired by "Love is Forbidden, We Croak and Howl." It made me smile, and that ain't been happening too often, lately.


2:23 p.m.

"The Bunk don't swim."

Well, here I am. But there's nothing to be said for today, except that it rained and it rained and it rained, just like in Chapter 9 of Winnie-the-Pooh. You know, in which Piglet is entirely surrounded by water. Cold, drenching rain. November.

And I feel like shit again tonight. The headache's back. Pain and rain. There's a little poem, so don't say I didn't write anything today.


3:37 p.m.

"They raise a paw."

And then I missed three days. I was visited by another multi-day migraine that only started to let up this morning. And I just haven't felt like this blog. There is precious little to say. I haven't been writing, mostly because of the headache, and we haven't really been doing much of anything else.

The weather's turned cold.

Anyway I'm gonna get this journal back on track, make some substantive entries, blah, blah, blah.

Later (I promise),

9:59 a.m.

Strawberries and Key Lime

So, I missed a couple of days there. Not even entirely sure why. Sure, the election shit was stressful, though not the nightmare of 2016, and we sorta kinda got out of it better than we went in. But it was still stressful. Anyway, you didn't really miss anything. Well, not much. There was a drive out to Trussville, yesterday afternoon, to what used to be Hewitt-Trussville High, where I did my last two years of high school, 1980-1982. And the election, but I mentioned that, already. And we watched all ten episodes of Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg's Homecoming, which was really very, very good. But that's about all. Still, that's not bad for a couple of days, I don't suppose.


12:18 p.m.

Sign on the Line

Not so good a day as yesterday, but they can't all be winners. And it wasn't actually a bad day. Just a day. We came home from Leeds. I signed a million more Alabaster signature sheets. We had spaghetti for dinner. Lydia was cute. Just a day.


11:54 a.m. (yesterday)

Aloha, indeed!

Not an awful day. Early this afternoon, I signed the first half of the stack of signature sheets for the forthcoming Subterranean Press reissue of Alabaster. Then Spooky and I spent about an hour at the extraordinary Jim Reed Books downtown. If you're in the city and you've never seen this place, you gotta. Anyway, we also stopped by the Barnes and Noble at the Summit (where, in 1999, I received my B and N Maiden Voyage Award for Silk) before heading out to Leeds to watch Alabama beat the pants off LSU. Which they did. Oh, and there was bbq from Rusty's. So, yeah. Not an awful day at all.


3:04 p.m.

Cocking the Fuck With Me Gun

Today I learned that there's pretty much nowhere left in Birmingham to buy new CDs. Or so it seems, after driving around for the better part of two hours.


4:02 p.m.

Entry No. 5,526

We woke this morning to a rainy, blustery autumn day, and to a tornado watch. While Spooky was making breakfast, I was sitting at my desk and a terrific wind suddenly blew over the mountain. I thought for just a moment that it actually was an approaching tornado. There was a sound, almost like that sound. And then there was another sound, a loud, rolling crack, and the top half of a tree across the street came crashing down, blocking the entire road. The wind died away almost immediately.

It was half an hour or so before the city got chainsaws in the clear it.

Really, that was the only part of today worth remembering.


4:48 p.m.

Warm Orange

Happy Halloween. Here in Birmingham, there's almost another hour of it to go. After a cool weekend, the weather turned warm again, warmer than I'm used to for October 31, after living in New England for ten years. Still, all in all, it was a good Halloween. Spooky and I visited the Brass Bear again, and then we went out to Leeds for Halloween chili with my mother and sister. We lit the pumpkin again that we made on Saturday, and the trick-or-treaters were just starting to appear when we headed back to Birmingham.


5:08 p.m.

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