Printed Out

The October thing is printed out and ready for final revisions. The Sue Allen thing is printed out and ready for final revisions. I don’t know when those revisions are going to happen. But I am prepared.

I keep waiting for news I can share with you on “Sarah Clark,” because boy oh boy do I think that’s some of my best work. I have to find a way to bring it to you guys. Hopefully soon.

The thing about Lovecraft–sorry this post is so disjointed. I slept poorly last night and all of a sudden I’m so sleepy here on the couch–but the thing about Lovecraft is that everything has this science-fiction undertone, which I felt like I had to strip out and replace with a religious undertone. And maybe this is a fundamental difference between a haunted house in the northeast and a haunted house story in the South, but I just don’t feel like there’s the same ambiguous discomfort with the industrial era down here. Which I guess I hadn’t really thought about how science-fiction is a reckoning with the industrial era, but here we are. It kind of is. Will we rule our mechanisms or be ruled by them?

We don’t really have that same kind of haunting of mechanisms down here. If someone takes you to an abandoned mill here, you can rest assured they’re taking you to a place where grain was ground, not where small children’s hands were ground under huge machines making fabric.

Our concerns are still about whether we’ll rule the supernatural or be ruled by it (especially if you understand the supernatural to have a moral component). God that’s one of the things I loved about that Alex Bledsoe interview–that he really thinks about Southern literature, too.

Over at IO9, they have this great post about how Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is the perfect white-guilt movie.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Belts’ book about the roll of religion in motivating the Confederates. I keep thinking about the paradigm of the South as chosen people and the framing of Southern defeats as proof of soldiers’ immorality in the camps. Proof and punishment.

I have this theory that this is another one of those secret issues that we, as a society, try to work out without looking it square in the face, like coming to terms with the fact that slavery wasn’t just something white people did to black people, but something parents did to some of their children. You can talk family values all you want, but how can that kind of attitude not echo down through generations? Your grandfather’s grandfather lived in a world where a father could sell his son and everyone knew it.

But your grandfather’s grandfather was also born into a world where either God could love you best and therefore punish you worst or where the very religious beliefs that made up such a core part of your identity could be turned against you by your ministers in order to motivate you to willingly die.

That’s what fascinates me so much about the Reconstruction period. What do you do with the niggling suspicion that the thing you knew was moral was not?


Is There a Less Happy Version of Serendipity?

Oh, people, I was all excited because I am writing about Sumner County werewolves and I just read that there’s a country group called Angel Mary and the Tennessee Werewolves from Sumner County just about to release their first single!

I was all “I shall go to their website and learn about them! Perhaps make them the unofficial band of my story.” But their website! It’s not just that it’s kind of got a strange aesthetic. It’s that I can’t get the bio page to work in either IE or Firefox. I feel like we should form an angry pitchfork-wielding mob and chase their designer through the streets. There could be important info, but I can’t read it.

Plus, ugh, their single.

In the future, I pledge a dollar to every country music band/artist who invokes the Outlaw movement and who takes from it something other than a general “If the South Woulda Won, We’d Have Had It Made” vibe. I’m not saying that you can’t ever make reference to a “rebel yell” or that it makes you a bad person. But I’m done giving my money to people for whom appealing to racist jackasses is important.

You can have the racist jackass demographic, but then you can’t have my money.

Also, get off my lawn.

What Can Be Saved?

I’m not sure I have enough hose to reach all the things in my yard that so desperately need to be watered. The ground is like old concrete, firm under your feet, but prone to crumbling. The grass has all turned a yellowish green that suggests it still could spring back to life, but maybe not.

Every once in a while, you hear people talking about ways of combating hurricanes, like if they could just seed them with something or do something as they formed to dissipate them, and I think, well, then how will we get rain? It seems like a kind of trade-off we’d make, though. We want to spare this region this much damage and this much loss which takes place in really dramatic ways without a thought for what it could do to the neighboring region which will have that much damage and that much loss but slower, more gradually, so you can almost pretend you don’t notice it.

I think I’m going to focus on the trees and roses. Everything else can be redone in the spring. Assuming we have springs any more. I guess everything else could be replanted as cactus gardens if we’re determined to be a desert.