Tags: "untitled 46"


"Beauty in the Beakdown"

Sunny and hot today. Our high was 93˚F, and the heat index must have pushed 100˚F.

I managed to get through the line edits on "Untitled 46" today. Tomorrow I hope to get an issue of Sirenia Digest out to subscribers. There's suddenly so much work, I can't go falling behind.

Today, sorta halfheartedly straightening the living room, I discovered at really attractive book – two copies actually – called Lovecraft Mythos: New and Classic Collection (Flame Tree Publishing, 2020; UK). And between pp. 172 and 182 my story "Black Ships Seen South of Heaven" in reprinted in the book. And I sorta, vaguely remember this sale. My guess is these contributor's copies came in the autumn and winter, when we were deep in lockdown and we were putting all our mail in quarantine for a week or so, and they were simply forgotten.

I find myself not much in the mood for blogging. Mostly, I'm tired and it's late, and well, it wasn't really a day to write home about. Sure, I've had worst Sundays.

Re-watching The X-Files and The Big Bang Theory continues. Last night, the former was "Ghost in the Machine" (S1:E7), a more than a little silly thing about a killer AI. Basically, thirty years later, AI's way fucking scarier than Chris Carter dared imagine. If only our nightmares could be allayed by a diskette with a hastily written virus. And with TBBT we're into Season 6. Again. But Berni is the cutest Smurfette ever there was.

I leave you with chicken nuggets stamped into the shape of...dinosaurs. Oh, the irony.

Aunt Beast

9:02 p.m.

Science Is My Copilot

Not a bad day. The sun came back, and it got very warm. We had a high of 91˚F. At one point I checked the heat index, and it was 98˚F.

I only slept about four hours.

Spooky went to Record Store Day and stood in the broiling line with the other music nerds. Dogfish Head was handing out free beer.

This morning, I did 1,067 words and finished "Untitled 46." And, by the way, here's how the digest is gonna work this summer, because I have to a) write a novel and b) work of three different paleo' papers. There are still two unaccounted for issues from last year, because of the many months I spent unable to write. "Untitled 46" will be used for the missing Sirenia Digest 173 (June 2020). Which, by the way, will leave only May 2020 left to fill the gap. This summer's three issues will consist of excerpts from the novel in progress. It's being written for Subterranean Press, and Bill Schafer was kind enough to permit me to do this.Yes, in case you have not heard, my next two novels will be released by SubPress; I ma done with NYC publishing for the foreseeable future. But, anyway, I hope you enjoy to excerpts, little appértifs, tastes of what is to come, because there is only so much of me to go around.

Something I posted to Twitter this afternoon: Tyrannical, despotic Putin praises Trump, and, in a sane world, that would be that. All she wrote. The literal kiss of Death. We wouldn't see another Republican president for at *least* another decade. But remember, this is Bizarro World. This is the Upside Down.

Last night's episode of The X-Files was the underwhelming "Shadows," and night before last was the equally underwhelming "The Jersey Devil." I will be glad when we are free of Season One (though it still has a few gems in store).

Did I mention Spooky's upcoming birthday? Are her Amazon wishlist?

Later X-Taters,
Aunt Beast

8:57 a.m.
house of leaves

VA vs. TVA

And no, that's not Virginia vs. the Tennessee Valley Authority. We'll get back to what it actually is.

Today, rain and clouds and a high of 78˚F.

Today was not as productive as yesterday, but neither was it a total loss. This morning, I did 772 words on "Untitled 46." I wrote Vince Locke about illustrations for Vile Affections. I did other stuff. Stuff was done. But the big thing that was supposed to get done today was me going through all the line edits for Vile Affections that the production manager at Subterranean Press wanted me to look at (she's usually right, catching my mistakes). The box has been sitting here for about two weeks, waiting for me to get to it. But when I finally did, when Kathryn and I sat down to get to work on the thing, we realize that they were the production notes for The Variegated Alphabet, not for Vile Affections. It's actually not hard to see how this happened: The Variegated Alphabet (TVA) and Vile Affections (VA). And, anyway, what the fuck were the odds I'd do two books whose titles can be abbreviated as TA in the very same year? I'd guess somewhere to the right of the decimal point. Anyway, I wrote SubPress, and the correct sheets are being sent (I have to work from hard copies, and I can't print spreadsheets). But it did throw yesterday into sort of a tailspin.

Most of it is actually sort of a smudge.

Oh, I did hear the most recent VNV Nation album (Noire, 2018) for the first time today. I stopped following them for many years (sometime after 2009's Of Faith, Power, and Glory) and started again just recently. Noire is possibly Ronan Harris' most impressive accomplish yet, in part because it's less weighed down by the old trademark VNV naïf, in part because the lyrics are – mostly – less clumsy and blunt, and in part because he does melodic better than ever before, especially on "Nocturne No. 7." I will quote Annika Autzen from Synthpop Magazine: "Ronan Harris’ melancholic and calm voice leads the listener through very dark places, where opposing forces such as light and darkness, peace and war, life and death, love and hate are intertwined in an eternal conflict. The religious implications in the lyrics add to this somber atmosphere and make listening to the 13 songs an almost transcendental experience." That's fair.

In all things, the willingness and ability to compromise is the key to success. I want to go back to 1980 and teach that to my obstinate 16-year-old self. ~ Me

Last night, Kathryn and I got pizza from a new place in Mountain Brook, Post Office Pies, and it's the best pizza we've had since leaving Providence. And then we watched Czech filmmaker Karel Zeman's Cesta do pravěku (1955). This film has been something of a holy grail for me since I was a teenager, and I'd only ever seen stills from it in Donald F. Glut's The Dinosaur Scrapbook (1980). To quote Wikipedia, "The story involves four teenage friends who take a rowboat along a 'river of time' that flows into a mysterious cave and emerges on the other side onto a strange, primeval landscape." It's a surreal, beautiful film, presented much like a 1950's wildlife documentary. We see a dizzying variety of extant and prehistoric beasts, some of which had never appeared in film before Cesta do pravěku, including Uintatherium, woolly rhinos, and Phorusrhacos. Many of the creatures designs were based directly on the work of Czech paleoartist Zdeněk Burian (1905-1981). There's a marvelous sequence in a Carboniferous-age coal swamp. Anyway, Criterion picked it up, remastered it, and we immediately ordered their edition, packaged with two other Zeman films in a gorgeous box set that includes a pop-up woolly mammoth. In America, Cesta do pravěku was retitled Journey to the Beginning of Time (1966), with a weird dream sequence tacked onto the beginning and the ending (including some very odd religious crap), and the film was saddled with ponderous dubbing by child actors who sound like the cast of Leave It To Beaver. But you can currently see Cesta do pravěku in it original glory on the Criterion Channel, and I recommend it.

That was last night.

Remember, just 12 more days until Spooky's birthday. There's still time to hit her wishlist at Amazon!

Later Taters,
Aunt Beast

11:22 p.m.

Busy Beaver

The rain seems like it's going to be with us until Sunday. Much of today, we remained under a flash-flood watch. The high was a paltry 82˚F.

A shockingly productive day.

This morning, I did 1,022 words on "Untitled 46," which I began last Wednesday, then sat aside.I should be finished with it by Saturday afternoon, I reckon. There was a flurry of paleo'-related communication, scheduling a Zoom call for the 28th between myself, a paleontologist at the American Museum, and one in Dallas. This will be my second Zoom call ever. I had a look at the Vile Affections galleys, though I didn't really get started on them. I finally got back to Vince Locke, which I need to do again tomorrow. I talked with Rebecca Eskildsen at Writers House about someone in the UK who wants to reprint “Galapagos” in a book about Irish genre fiction (I agreed to the terms). I wrote Jun Ebersole at the McWane Center (I go back to work there early in July, at long last). I did a cursory examination of the latest Pleistocene sample; there's a lot of a large armadillo in it. Basically, if I could have a day like this everyday for the next two months, I might catch up.

It was a good day.

I did allow myself to vent a little on Twitter. To wit:

Was a time in America when, more often than not, we pulled together & did what was right. It's how we beat polio, how we helped defeat the Nazis. It's how Nixon was removed from office. We were a functional collective, not a nation of whining idiots declaring "you can't make me."

~ and ~

Pretty much every time I say something like, "Hey, dumb ass. Yeah, you. Please stop buying this bullshit, whackadoo, anti-vaxer conspiracy-theory nonsense and get your damn COVID vaccination," about 10 people "unfriend" me w/in an hr. I wear these losses like a badge of honor.

The 24th is Spooky's birthday, she who greases the axis on which my world dost spin. Please have a look at her Amazon wishlist. Thank you.

Aunt Beast

11:10 a.m.

"I'm pinned down by the dark."

Mostly cloudy today. I think there was some rain before I got up at 7 a.m. I think I remember the streets being wet. Our high was 84˚F, and it's currently 82˚F, with the heat index at 83˚F.

I started a new story this morning, currently labeled "Untitled 46." That might change, but it might not. I did 1,016 words.

Later, after reading for a couple of hours, I did some work on Winifred.

The afternoon movie was (what seems to have become my monthly viewing of) George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road (2015). After dinner, I worked on some of the cave matrix. And now...here we are. A very productive and pleasantly unremarkable day.

The publication of Dr. Anthony Fauci's emails has mostly proven, once again, that the Trumpers and Far Right QAnon nuts can see the face of Jesus in any old grilled cheese sandwich.

As I said yesterday, and the day before yesterday, Spooky has eBay going again. Want one of my out-of-print, hard-to-find special editions, direct from me, signed by me to you, and want all the money to go directly into my pocket (well, minus eBay's cut and the IRS)? Yeah? Follow this link. Yeah, sorry. The link will have to do. The white rabbits are all busy with QAnon crap.

Later Taters,
Aunt Beast

7:57 a.m.