Here It Comes

I think it’s because everything that can be done is done. There’s only so much cleaning that can be done because there’s still an open hole in the ceiling and an enormous construction project to happen before cleaning isn’t actually futile.

But I am fucked up today.

I’m convinced my bedroom ceiling is gong to cave in. Like today. I keep thinking I hear the nails popping out–which would be totally unlike what happened in here, and rationally I know that, but I’m about hysterical over it. And I’ve become more and more terrified throughout the morning about the prospect of getting everything fixed. I don’t want them to start fixing the living room until the rest of the house is secure, because I don’t want them to knock the rest of the ceilings loose.

But what if even screwing drywall screws into it is enough to bring it down? What if some dude gets killed trying to fix my mess?

I just want to throw up every five seconds.

And I know–I know–it’s just my brain letting off steam, trying to find some way to deal with this. The way out is through and all that jazz, but damn. It seems like the trick with anything, especially the older you get, is just not letting your fucking brain make you miserable while you’re trying to cope.

I’m not doing that very well today.

But I am waiting on someone to come over and give me an estimate. So, that’s something.


One of Nashville’s greatest charms, which is hard to explain without sounding corny and probably not that unusual, even though it has been in my life, is just how much people are willing to chip in and help.

I am overwhelmed at the people who have contacted me and offered to bring stuff or clean stuff or supply fresh beans to the workers or just come and hold open a bag.

These aren’t people I go to church with–since, obviously, I don’t go to church. They’re not people who owe me money or favors. They’re not people who think I’m so powerful that currying favor with me is going to get them something. And they’re not related to me.

They aren’t, in essence, people who feel obligated to help or think they’re going to get something out of helping.

And yet, here they come.

What kind of place is this where so many people are so very generous?

I’m feeling a little emotional about it, frankly.

The Plan

I’m going to go get what I need to get started right…now. The Butcher has a shop vac and is getting one of those bag dumpster things. I’ll be at the house today and tomorrow if you’d like to stop by and help or keep me company or distract me.

I think our big push is going to be on Saturday. We need to get the debris out of the living room and then, obviously, we need to get the stuff that isn’t broken–whatever that might be–also out of the living room so that the drywall can go up.

We’re going to pay to have the drywall put up. Many people have said “Oh, I know how to do that” but the thing is that we need someone who can also secure the rest of the ceilings and it seems like it’d just be easier to say “Please handle the whole house.”

Also, as much as I love you guys, my ceiling tried to kill me. If it falls again, I want it to be the fault of a professional, not because regular people put my ceiling up.

If you’d like to help, and perhaps you have supplies left over from the flood, we’re going to need masks and gloves and rags for cleaning. I’m not sure what else. But that’s where I’m starting.

If you have any of that stuff and can drop it off, that’d be great. If you have any of that stuff and I can come get it, like I said, I’ll be around today and tomorrow, just let me know.

Steve Gill Should Keep in Mind that Chronos Ate His Children, Too

There’s so much about Jeff Woods’ story that’s just jaw-dropping. It goes back a little bit to what we’ve been talking about with the Tea Partiers really seeming to have an expectation that their enemies will suffer and not being able to handle the fact that their enemies just lost and are really sad and disappointed.

But it’s more the blatant “We will eat our own now that we’re done eating our enemies” mindset I find amazing. Here are a bunch of people who either clearly don’t understand the American project or have given up on it but still want to be elected into office in order to spread their obviously unconstitutional chaos.

And Steve Gill can knock Frank Cagle all he wants, but Cagle is right:

“My main thesis is that they’ve kind of made an industry out of being indignant, and they’ve got followers and contributors and a radio audience,” Cagle says. “Now that they’re in charge, what are they going to do? You still need money and ratings and you need to keep everybody ginned up. So what do you do? Well, you just get even more radical.”

And not just because I’ve been pointing this out in their efforts to make abortion and gay marriage double super secret illegal. They are motivated by outrage and a desire for suffering. And the fact that the people they want to see suffer are not outrages them.

The truth is that you can forget Democrats here for a second. Conservatives deserve better than this. But if they don’t find a way to wrestle their party back from the people who have no interest in the American project, they’re not going to get it.

It is ironic, though, isn’t it? The very people who claim to love America more than anyone hate how we’ve decided to govern ourselves.

Wild Women are the Only Kind That Really Get By

Insurance is not going to cover the ceiling collapse. I’d been warned that adjusters tend to be jerks. My adjuster was very nice and about as upset as I was that there was no way to finesse things so that it would be covered. I think the thing is that, seeing it in person, it’s hard not to feel like something terrible and inexplicable that deserves some kind of response happened. But he and I both looked through his book and there’s no loophole. Nothing that makes this the kind of collapse coverable.

I cried. After he left. Just sat in the other room and had a fucking pity party.

He said a few things that I’m trying to keep in mind.

1. It could have easily killed us. The system they used on the ceiling is incredibly heavy–a thin layer of drywall, concrete, and then a layer of drywall over that, all held by nails, smooth nails–all held together with weird wires. He estimated that every square foot weighed about 30 lbs. which would have been like having a bowling ball dropped on your head from eight feet up. So, you know, thank the gods that we were not under it.

2. We should wear masks when the insulation is stirred up.

3. We could do the drywall ourselves, but we need to get someone who knows what they’re doing in to check the ceilings in the rest of the house. He thinks going through and attaching the ceiling to the beams with drywall screws will fix the problem.

So, that’s that. I’m not sure how we’re going to do this. I’ve spent as much time this morning helping the Butcher and my mom process their feelings as I have having my own feelings, so, you can imagine how unfun that’s been. But I told the Butcher that we’re going to come up with a plan this evening. We’re going to figure out what we need, what kind of help we need, and then we’re going to ask for it–advice, help, recommendations, etc. And we’ll just keep doing it, whatever it is we can do, until its done. We’ll just make a list and work on down it.

So, that is the plan. I may need some stuff from some of y’all as this goes on. I don’t know what yet, but I promise I will keep everyone in the loop as I can. I will also be a slobbering mess, because that is my way. But I will be a slobbering mess who is determined to be able to cry on her couch by Sunday. One week is all I am going couchless.

Does that qualify me as a wild woman? Probably not. But god damn it, I am going to get by or die trying.

What is Our Business

As y’all know, I am trying hard to break the habit of reading Pith comments, a task which is greatly aided by them being almost irrelevant to what I’ve written. But this morning I saw two things–that folks are going after negative reviewers on Good Reads and that folks are targeting negative reviewers of the new Batman movie on Rotten Tomatoes (though I lost that link)–and it got me thinking that it’s kind of funny that, though the terrible blog commenter is universally disliked, it has become the dominant mode of discourse.

Like the Puritans of old all leaving their windows open so they could listen in on each other and move to punish when people did things that did not affect them that they thought were wrong, we, too, love to punish when people do things we think are wrong even when those things do not affect us.

It reminds me of the conservatives all pissed at Haslam because… what? He’s not punishing a woman for having the audacity to be Muslim or some of his staffers for being gay? Things that, even if people think they’re wrong, do not affect them. And yet, they’re furious that those people aren’t being punished.

We live in a world where we have a lot of access to information about people we didn’t used to have–we know what a mom in Utah puts on her dog today; we know what people in a city we don’t live in, writing for a newspaper we don’t read, think of a movie we haven’t seen; we know that a guy who lives a twenty-hour drive from us doesn’t like our writing. And we seem to have decided that this gives us such an intimate connection to them that it is our job not just to disagree, but to punish.

It’s like we looked at the blog comments at any local paper, saw they were bad, and decided to emulate them.


The truth is that, more than anything, I’m shook. Is it bad luck that my ceiling tried to kill my family? Or is it good luck that we all got out of the room before it came down? It seems exceptionally lucky, almost unbelievably so, that the dog was not injured or worse. And the generous offers of help I’ve gotten make me feel very, very lucky indeed.

I still flinched this morning when I was in the left lane and a truck entered the interstate from the on-ramp into the right lane next to me. I don’t know how to read it, I guess. Is it a bad thing that happened with many lucky things around the edges or a portent of bad things to come?

I have been very fortunate in my life, more than I deserve. I am terrified that that’s going to run out.

I can see why people become atheist–just so they aren’t flummoxed when their superstitions fail them.

I’m so tired. It’s just psychological–the stress of this whole thing is being dealt with by making me want to go to bed.

Is this supposed to be character-building? Some great lesson?

No, I guess I still don’t think there is any such thing as “supposed to be”. Will I let it build my character? Ha ha ha. No, probably not. But I think that’s how this shit works. There are no lessons, not pre-determined ones that guide you down some path to your correct destiny.

It’s just you and this mess and what you make of it.

And luck. A great deal of luck.

But here’s the thing–and again, I apologize for this being so woo-woo. I’m tired and stressed.–but on Saturday, Sizemore spoke a great deal about the necessity of being talented, persistent, and lucky. I feel pretty okay with my talent. I think I’ve got it. It can be honed and made better, but it’s there. I’m not very good at being persistent. It’s something I need to work on. But I have been cultivating good luck. That’s been my whole project as an adult.

So, is the fact that none of us are dead an indication that I am lucky and should be more daring in my persistence?

Or an indication that I am not yet lucky enough and therefore should work on that?

I need a fortune teller.

Governor Baby: Radical Leftist?

I think the thing is that the Tea Party really did expect their enemies to be smote. And the fact that Governor Baby can be a petulant baby conservative who just can’t help but oppress gay people–so sorry!–and he still gets this shit?

I’m sorry, but that is hilarious and kind of sad at the same time. I mean, even if you wanted your enemies kicked in the face before we’re run out of the state, who thought Haslam was the guy who was going to do it?

Well, No One Died

So, we were sitting in the living room last night and there was this big “pop” and the Butcher shouted “Look at that crack!” because there was now a big crack in the ceiling. And my mom said, “We need to get out of this room right now.”

And for some reason, even though we usually don’t, we listened to her. All except Mrs. Wigglebottom who stood there in the middle of the room.

Then the whole ceiling came down in a huge cloud of insulation. And I stood there like “What the fuck?” And then the cloud cleared and there was Mrs. Wigglebottom staring at me like “What the fuck?”

I have no idea how she wasn’t killed.

I have no idea why the ceiling collapsed.

But I did learn these fun facts.

–If the insurance adjuster can’t find a reason, they won’t cover it.

–The insurance adjuster will contact us in the next 24 to 48 hours.

–Which means we have to live with my ceiling in my living room for at least that long.

I kind of want to cry and I kind of also can’t wrap my brain around it. If insurance won’t cover it, we have no money to fix it. So, that’s not good. But again, I kind of know that in the front of my brain, but it hasn’t really sunk in yet.

Here’s what it looks like.

Everyone is fine. Somehow. So, that’s what counts.

Random Thoughts from a Fried Brain

1. 3:30 is early. Even if you go to bed at 8:30, it’s still very early.

2. It does kind of start to get light all at once. Like one second, it’s dark and then–bam–part of the sky is a little lighter.

3. Until reading this book Bridgett recommended, Indian Traders of the blah blah blah, I have failed to appreciate a very important, fundamental fact–fur trading was an ENORMOUSLY important source of income for the Indians of the old Southwest. I guess I’d kind of had this wrong idea that the fur traders were all “Oh, if you’re not using those scraps left over after you hunt for dinner,”we’ll gladly take those.” This is an important realization because it means that, when people are like “Oh, there weren’t Indians living in Middle Tennessee when we got here, so what’s the big deal about us settling here?” it’s because we did the equivalent of settling in the middle of the Saturn plant and tossing things out and moving production lines around and generally making it impossible for people to work there and then acting like “What? It’s not like you live here.”

4. Early morning mist is weird. It’s like the creeks get up and wander around the low-lying ground. It’s kind of creepy.

5. Lexington is amazingly cute.

6. If you are remotely interested in publishing in Sci-Fi, Fantasy, or Horror and you get a chance to hear Jason Sizemore talk, you should. Even if it means you get up at 3:30 in the morning to get there.

7. He said really, really nice things about “Frank.” In front of everybody!

8. But holy shit, I am both in awe and proud that “Frank” made it into Apex. They have so very many submissions. Had I known, I might not have had the guts to send it in. I’m glad Elizabeth McClellan made me.

9. Sizemore said a lot of good things, some of which I might talk more coherently about later, but my take away is going to be that it takes talent, persistence, patience, and luck.

10. The only people at McDonald’s at six in the morning are truckers, the Amish, and old men. The old men were gossiping about zucchini pie. What is this? Is it gossip worthy? They were actually razzing another guy about having never tried it.

11. And then at McDonald’s for lunch, I sat by people who were–honest to god–talking about seeing ghosts and one of their sons having a demon. It was like the Universe winking at me.

12. Yes, I ate at McDonald’s for both meals. I’ll tell you why, people–consistency. It might be uniformly terrible, but you know what you’re going to get at McDonald’s no matter where you are. Also, I don’t think their hotcakes are uniformly terrible. They are yummy. Especially if you get them with sugar, not syrup.

13. Because syrup is kind of yucky, let’s be honest.

So Many Fleas, So Very Many Fleas

I gave the dog a bath today and it was… horrible. She is beyond flea-riddled. It would be more accurate to say that the fleas in my house have a pet dog. I shampooed her twice and there were still fleas on the towel when I dried her.

I went up to Tractor Supply to get some Advantage, because I’m convinced that Frontline, while it keeps her fleas from being this bad, still doesn’t keep her flea-free. But they didn’t have any. And the vet is closed. But there’s a generic Frontline now, so we’re going to try that as soon as I’m done complaining about her fleas on the internet.

Never, never have I seen anything like this. She’s had fleas before, sure. We live out in a semi-rural area and she spends a lot of time outside.

But this is like a horror movie.

But, hey, there’s nothing like seeing a hundred fleas in your bathtub to motivate you to clean it right that very second, so all I have left to do this afternoon is the dishes. And be grossed out.

So, you know, big plans here.


I’m fretting because I have a lot to do today before my parents get here. I’m fretting because I have to get up and be on the road by 4:30 tomorrow. I’m fretting because the person reads all my stuff is studying for the bar, so I don’t have her to read my Whitman-loving demon story which causes me anxiety. I’m fretting over whether it’s as good as I think it is. I’m fretting over why the Frontline on the dog has stopped working. I’m just a fretting fool.

I have to go get some shit done.

Here’s to hoping I’m up to most interesting stuff later.

The Things that You Lose in the Revisions

I’m working on this story right now that I was regaling folks with details of at dinner last night, because I am so tickled by a demon that quotes Walt Whitman. You want to know what is fucking spooky? A murderous supernatural being reciting “Song of Myself” under his breath. You don’t think so, but go back and read it, imagining a homicidal maniac speaking it.


Now you want to put Whitman on the shelf next to Poe and King. Me, too!

Anyway, the think that spurred me to write the story was that I had this idea of an exchange between a very socially conservative guy and the more moderate investigator of demons and the conservative dude is upset because he caught the demon doing something sexual to some dude who appeared to be into it and the conservative dude is upset because it’s gay. And the investigator is like “so if a horse licked your asshole and it turned you on, you’d have less of a problem with that if it turned out to be a mare?”

That was the nugget around which the whole story formed. But I guess my story has a hollow center, because, upon rereading it, I realized, that’s exactly the biggest chunk that just sucks and has to be cast aside. It doesn’t fit thematically with where the story ended up. It makes a minor character’s homophobia too important for the size of the story or the prominence of the character.

I think I end up doing that a lot in my writing. The thing I think is going to be the kernel of the story–like with “Frank” I thought that was going to be a Valkyrie sent by Frank’s wife to rescue him, until I realized, no, it’s a story about Frank’s wife hoping and trying to rescue him–ends up in the end being just an empty husk that I have no need for.

The Goddess Array

I think I lead a pretty pedestrian life, but I swear to the gods, “bring her flowers; dim the lights; relax her; hug her; cuddle her; take her slow dancing” is “things to do because they’re pleasurable for everyone” not “The Goddess Array.” Seriously? Are our ideas of female holiness so fucking pathetic that “hug her” is a trick of the gods?

If somebody is going to use any “Goddess Array” on me, it better leave me nothing but a quivering, grinning mess in the middle of the bed/floor/dining room table/Montana/etc. Leave the lights on. Open the windows. Let the cops who respond to the noise complaint stand out on my lawn shifting uncomfortably as they realize what’s going on. Make the paramedics blush. Leave me and the seven other people involved with a permanent limp. Make it something college kids whisper about and pass down like a ghost story in the dorms at night. Whatever a Goddess Array is, after we do it, by god, the Tennessee State Legislature better be talking about how to outlaw it to prevent it from happening again.

“Hug her.” Please, Naomi Wolf. Please.

In related news, I could read this book review over and over all day. I do feel like my vagina is slacking a little because it’s not really a mystical experience for me when someone dims the lights, but in my vagina’s defense, neither it nor I had any idea that it should be.

Do Unto Others

Rachel has a good take on the whole Tosh thing. And I read the account of what happened and it seems like the woman genuinely did not know who Tosh was or what his schtick is.

But I’d be surprised if he lead off with the rape “joke.” Which means she sat through some minutes of his stereotypes about black men and Asians and gay guys and on and on. If you’ve seen his show, you can imagine how his stage act goes. He built up to his rape “jokes,” I’m guessing.

And yes, I get why people are disturbed that people in the audience laughed and didn’t also leave when Tosh was all, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…”

But why doesn’t anyone get up and leave when he says the first racist thing?

I’m not trying to turn this into the Oppression Olympics. In fact, I’m kind of trying to ask the inverse of that–if you want to live in a world where people don’t say bullshit evil things about you as a “joke,” why would you sit there through the parts where he’s saying bullshit evil things about other people as a joke? Why isn’t it worth leaving at the first sign of bullshit?

We need to be better about this kind of stuff. This woman, fine, she didn’t know who he was. (It’s hilarious that she thought he was some kind of terrible amateur). But if you do, just think about how fucked up it is to sit around saying “Oh, I can listen to his racist jokes or his homophobic jokes, because they don’t really affect me and I find some of them funny, you know, in a hipster, ironic way” and then be all “My god! He’s making rape jokes. He must be stopped!”

Rachel has a call to action over at her place. Here’s my call to action. When you are watching something or listening to something or reading something and you kind of think “hey, this is a little fucked up,” don’t just ignore that feeling or think you’re making too much out of nothing. Consider it carefully. Decide if it really is fucked up. And if it is, go ahead and let it be ruined for you. Let it be ruined for you long before someone is standing on stage speculating about how hilarious it’d be if that girl got raped. Let it be ruined for you at the first signs of bullshit.

You don’t have to go through life at the default of “everyone deserves to be punched in the face.” But you can stop giving repeat offenders the benefit of the doubt. When they tell you who they are, believe it.

All Dark Places

Since the director, Nick Reiner, recommended it, I spent the evening first finding All Dark Places in the bowels of Comcast’s On Demand menu and then watching it.

Let me answer the questions I know are on your mind.

1. Is it going to make your unabashed enjoyment of the Captain Morgan commercials a little more abashed? Yes. There are some things in this movie that you can’t unsee. It’s not the weird stuff or the creepy stuff. It’s that Josh Burrow’s character, Christian, is the kind of small douche you will recognize from college. He probably married your friend. Hopefully, by now, they are divorced. Perhaps you are related to him, in which case, I hope you don’t have to see him often. However you know him, you will recognize him. You will say, oh my god, how can this fucking Sigma Chi douche from Barrington have such a cool ancestor as Captain Morgan? Note: They never say Christian is a Sigma Chi douche from Barrington, but he’s obviously got some kind of similar backstory. He’s the kind of guy who has season tickets to the Cubs, so he thinks he’s not lying when he tells people he’s from Chicago. And he’s so angry because he never made it as a rock star, even though he has a lovely wife and an adorable kid and a good life and fine-ass shoulders.

2. Is it scary? Yes, but I would put it more in the category of a slow creep. It’s scary but you keep hoping that the bad guy will just start the inevitable because the suspense is killing you.

3. How’s the kid? I know you’re ashamed to even ask this question, but it’s cool. An independent film with a small cast and a kid who’s got to carry a lot of narrative weight? It could be terrible. But I thought the kid was really good. He had a natural rapport with the adults and he’s sufficiently creepy and sweet. And he seems like an actual kid.

I liked it. It looks a little low-budget, but, oddly, the world inside the movie didn’t feel low budget. The movie’s world seemed large and real. I don’t know. I can’t really explain it. But you know how some movies, like The Hamiltons (which I adore), start to feel like the characters aren’t out in their world as much as they should be, because the filmmakers couldn’t afford to put the actors out in our world? All Dark Places does not suffer from that.

And there are some really, really nice things. There’s great use of shadows–a couple of really nice shots from the exterior of the house where we see a hint of action that I thought was nicely scary. There are a lot of scenes where Christian’s pants are noticeably too big and he’s not wearing a belt, which really serves to subtly reinforce that he’s not very mature without making a big deal about it. And there’s this moment where Christian is in the van and Burrow’s face goes through this transformation that is the most purely terrifying moment in the film.

Lastly, I think I can say, without giving too much away that the clown both does the tradition of creepy fucking terrifying clowns good AND clowns the world over would probably rather you think of this guy than the clown from It.

Oh, and the therapist is awesome. But never, ever take acid like that without having a good supply of orange juice. He should have warned them about that.

The Pitch, Part 2

I think I have a better rough draft of the pitch. It’s still a little clunky, but at least it makes it sound like Sue is central to the book. The working title is still Remind Me of the Dreaming Dead.

At the end of the 19th century, the most coveted invitation in town was to 125 South Spruce Street for one of Sue Allen’s twice-weekly seances. Nashville’s most-well-to-do all wanted to see and be seen holding hands around her stately dining room table while Sue Allen reached into the spirit world and brought back messages from the dead.

Sue Allen came from a long line of strange people. One of her great-grandmothers trapped the Devil under the family Bible. Her mother could smell a lie on your breath. Her dead brother liked to take an evening cigarette on the front porch. Her sister, Sarah, could read omens. And Sue was, and perhaps still is, the most powerful medium Nashville has ever seen.

But Sue has a secret–only she knows why her mentor, Lee Overton, disappeared. Only she knows where he went. And, when he returns, only she sees the true horror in what he’s figured out how to do. Sue must stop her old friend from recreating Confederate Nashville, even though she, too, would like someone to wait on her hand and foot. Can Sue Allen learn the importance of getting her own damn tea before it’s too late?

Edited to add: Spoiler alert: no.

Governor Baby Talks Higher Ed

I’m dying to read the stories on Governor Baby’s Higher Ed summit because, from Twitter, it doesn’t look like he had anyone actually involved in higher ed at the summit. But what I’m really curious about, but can’t quite figure out how to find, is how much, in actual dollars we have spend per year for, say, the last decade, on higher ed in this state.

I have found a bunch of stories about cuts after cuts after cuts. I’d just like to see in actual numbers what that looks like.

But I do take a kind of perverse pleasure in watching a political party so uncomfortable with people learning things struggling with the realization that an uneducated populace isn’t going to be prepared to take all the jobs the politicians desperately want to attract.

I don’t know. Maybe it will end up that the bigwigs at all the state institutions were there, but man, Haslam never wants to go out and talk to the regular folks who might have insight, does he?

We Turned Back

Mrs. W. and I set out on our walk, but we turned back in the AT&T yard when it started to thunder.

Typed there, it looks like a metaphor, but I guess it’s not.

We got a good rain here last night again, but the ground is still hard and the spot under the Butcher’s car was dry when we came home.

The Pitch

I’ve been trying to figure out how to describe the Sue Allen story in that succinct, pithy way that gets other people to want to read it. I’m really struggling. Janet Reid has a simple set of things over at her blog:

If you’re having trouble with this part of the query letter, step back a moment. Write this sentence down: My book is about (write down what book is about) 

Then write: My main character’s name is:

Then write:  s/he must: (followed by a verb) 

Then write: My antagonist is: name.  S/he wants to thwart (main character’s name) goal by: verb.

My book is about Nashville’s greatest unsung medium and her strange family and a Thing and the Civil War and history in general and a cave and time-travel.

My main character’s name is Sue Allen.

She must first, thwart the guy who wants to marry her, and then protect herself and her family from his vengeance.

My antagonist’s name is Lee Overton.

He wants to thwart Sue’s goal by either marrying her or destroying her.

See, the story at the center of my book–boy meets girl, boy kills wife to be with girl, boy talks girl’s step-dad into marrying her off to him, girl takes drastic measures to ensure that doesn’t happen and then drastic steps to thwart his revenge–is the skeleton of the book. And the Spiritualism and The Thing and the Civil War and the history in general and the cave and the time-travel are all the heart of the book. I’m kind of struggling with how to marry those things in a succinct way.

I think the short, elevator pitch is something like “two occultists fight over the future of a post-Civil War Nashville.” I think that’s good.

I wonder if I could go something like

In the aftermath of the Civil War, Lee Overton is sending letters to his wife’s cousin, the widow Sue Perkins Hayes, instructing her in the ways of communicating with and controlling ghosts. When she succeeds beyond his wildest dreams and conjures up a demonic Thing, he realizes that with her, he would be the most powerful Spiritualist in Nashville. The only problem? Mrs. Hayes has no intention of replacing the conveniently recently-deceased Mrs. Overton.

Sue manages to banish Lee one-hundred and fifty years in the future–where he becomes Middle Tennessee’s best Civil War reenactor–but like a bad penny, he’s just turned back up looking to get even.

Ugh, that’s not quite right. But something. I guess my question is whether that sounds good.

I Suck at Old French People Blogging

Holy shit, WordPress just totally ate my post on Old French People blogging, as if it never existed. Can’t even find it in drafts. Never had that happen before.

But my main point was that I went up to see Blue Spring Creek, where Joseph Duraque died and I was delighted to see that there are all manner of Binkley roads out there–Red Binkley road, Elizabeth Binkley road, etc. Joseph’s grand daughter, Martha (Tim’s daughter) married Asa Binkley. And the name lives on.