Make it a pome. Real pomes rhyme.

I have rhymes in my head this morning; a little bit of Poe, a little bit of lyrics from the Traveling Wilburys[1], the perpetual stressed-silver-and-dust chime of Bob Dylan’s “Shelter from the Storm”.

I didn’t get as much done as I’d like to have gotten done over the last few days, but on the flipside, it was actually really relaxing. The weekend felt like it was a weekend, not just a recovery period.

Possibly related to this: the light of my life has set up his controller in my office, and I got to play video games again for the first time in a while. There is a bit of a learning curve with the new controls, but it’s definitely a workable solution. At least for Fallout: New Vegas, which is what I have especially been craving lately.

(Also, I cleaned off everything which had slowly accumulated on my desk. Currently my desk is much neater, and I hope to finish sorting the accumulata by the end of the week.)

[1] I am constantly astounded that I never heard of them until this year. First, I am really fond of at least two of their songs, and second, their lineup is the kind of thing I would expect to have heard of.

So many words.

It’s been a long week; heavy on the editing, light on the writing, with Thursday being a sick day.

I’ve started reading The Thousand Names, by Django Wexler. I’ve also started putting more of a dent in my magazine backlog, which is kind of huge. And it’s going to get bigger in the next five days, when September’s issues come in. And I have a copy of Fran Wilde’s Updraft on pre-order.

(…and I look at all this and I think oh, goodness.)

My morning glory has continued growing enthusiastically despite the fact that its stem has been broken clear through. It’s put out six flowers in the last week, and grown at least a foot of vines. I’m somewhat bewildered by this, but really, it can’t keep doing this for much longer, can it?

The flowers are getting smaller, at any rate. And paler. But the stem below the break is putting out new leaves, and I’m hoping that I’ll get some new climbing vines before it stops growing. It’s odd to think that it’s nearly September, and October’s just around the corner. I need to start looking up what to do to take care of the garden plants over the winter. (The foxgloves haven’t flowered this year, but I’m hopeful for 2016.)

I am thinking I might need to add a gardening tag, if I keep struggling with the plants.

Trisennight, short

(Yes, nearly three weeks since I’ve posted. That said, I find sennight to be a rather lovely word.)

A quick roundup, definitely not in order;

  • I finished edits on one of my accepted stories, and it’s currently with the copy-editor.
  • I developed double tennis elbow, which has slowed my typing down quite a lot. It is currently being alleviated by a little nailgun-like object that, instead of nails, fires pulses of pure sound. (Cue another chorus of “I love living in the future.”)
  • The light of my life got me two bottles of wine of a kind I have been trying to get for the better part of a month, and (even better!) a print of the Sockdolager cover in which my story appeared! (The entire magazine is free to read online, but the first link is to the store where you can see the print cover which you may buy. The second link is to my story, and you can find all the rest of the issue there.) I am plotting which wall to put it on. There are many options.
  • I got a small birdcage for my Venus Flytrap at the dollar store. (The cats have a great interest in Venus Flytraps. It’s how the last one died. I am hoping that the birdcage will serve as a protective enclosure for Seymour 2. (It is a spooky birdcage, all in black with “bars” that mimic a spiderweb. (The dollar store is a great proponent of Hallowe’en goods.)))
  • I decided that I am not going to the convention I had earlier planned to attend. I am a little sad, although a lot of that has to do with not getting to go on a trip. Have made plans to attend a different con, though.
  • I watched the Hugo Awards. I do wish I could have made it to WorldCon for many reasons (postapocalyptic smoke being among them), but I am glad for everyone there who had a good time.
  • I have been mildly astounded by the resiliency of the morning glory plant on the balcony. It was wilting and dying, and its stem was broken in half sometime last week, for which I blame a squirrel. Since then, with no connection to its roots and with leaves that resemble peels of green paint, it has put out six blossoms.
  • I got a full centiBrad’s worth of rejections, and submitted the same number of stories.
  • I have turned my sleep schedule into something resembling Swiss cheese.
  • I got close enough to both a young bluejay and a downy woodpecker that I think I could have taken decent pictures of them if I’d had a camera handy (and, you know, all the chops to use it). The bluejay in particular was fun to watch; he was making strident and typical bluejay sounds, and rather confused sounds, and some very brave attempts at raucous noise that trailed off into a hesitant stutter.

So those are all things.

Prompter attempts to update will be forthcoming. The Swiss cheese issue needs addressing first, though.


The yellow sign.
Probably familiar. Probably.

I have (probably not very surprising) a kind of abiding fascination with the King in Yellow. An imaginary play created by Robert W. Chambers in 1895, it’s one of the go-to examples of the motif of harmful sensation; the sound or sight or text so horrible that it damages the one who experiences it.

(Incidentally, yellow appears as a colour associated with horror rather more often than I’d expect. Red and black are easy and obvious associations, and you can get a lot of mileage out of an eerie green light[1], but yellow… there’s the King in Yellow, Gilman’s famous yellow wallpaper, the sickening yellow haze in King’s room 1408, and another one just at the tip of my memory. It is a very unwell colour, I suppose.)

I am not the only one. (I own two anthologies devoted specifically to King in Yellow stories, and another one is coming out late this year.) There are stories which frame the King in Yellow as a play (Brian Keene’s “The King, in Yellow” is the only one I can think of off the top of my head, and several which frame it as a text, but several (including two of my favourites[3]) frame it as a movie. I can’t think of any other mediums of expression; I’ve never read a story about a King in Yellow video game, or dance performance. I can’t call to mind treatments of it as a story, either (that is, a work of prose fiction, rather than a script or a performance produced from a script).

That said, I do know that John Horner Jacobs’ Southern Gods features a detective looking for the recording artist Ramblin’ John Hastur. I have my suspicions about that, but I haven’t actually been able to lay hands on a physical copy of the book. (It’s on my to-do list.) It’d be interesting if there are King in Yellow references in there, particularly as Ramblin’ John is a blues musician; it’s an art form much more strongly associated with improvisation than scripted plays, and I’d be curious to see how the interpretation differs as a result.

[1] Or a regular light and a green skirt.[2]
[2] Kind of curious to see if I have tied this post into obscure knots, or if that reference actually makes sense.
[3] Those would by Orrin Grey’s “The Seventh Picture” and Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s “Flash Frame”. “The Seventh Picture” is in Candle in the Attic Window and Never Bet the Devil and Other Warnings, and “Flash Frame” is in Cthulhurotica, The Book of Cthulhu, and This Strange Way of Dying, and is in audio at Tales To Terrify No 9 David Thomas Lord. For the record.

Travel planning

I’ve got a couple of trips planned before the end of the year, and I’m feeling that usual slight giddiness that comes with the prospect of going somewhere far enough away that there will actually be packing.

(I wanted to include a picture from Diana Nock and Ryan Estrada’s excellent Poorcraft: Wish You Were Here, but I couldn’t find anything about permission to do that, so I decided not to. Penny and Nickel packing are adorable, though.)

Weirdly, I think it is far enough away and not for long enough. I realize that needing to e.g. stay at over at someone’s house or in a local hotel if my street was evacuated or some family event was happening might also necessitate packing, but that does not spark the same gleeful anticipation.

That said, it might also be a factor of free time as well as a factor of distance. A trip generally connotes arranging things so that you have no or fewer pre-existing commitments during the time period; for an emergency evacuation, you haven’t had a chance to free up your schedule, and for a scheduled family event you’ve probably substituted new commitments for existing ones.

That said, I do look forward to scheduled family events in other cities. Perhaps it’s because I’m not likely to go to another city just for the family event, and so scheduled events in another city tend to bring free time along with them?

(Ramble over.)

I like packing. (I suspect this is in some way related to the fact that I like sending and receiving physical mail.) I find that if I haven’t travelled in a while, I tend to overpack, but I’m still expecting to be able to comfortably restrict myself to carry-on for a week’s trip.

I am also going to a convention. It is a small convention, for a weekend. It will be trivial to restrict myself to a carry-on bag for the trip out. It might be a little harder to make sure I do not come home with an uncomfortable amount more than I set out with. However, I am sure I will manage.