The first 1073 words rolled out last night at midnight, putting me at something like 2% done. Whee!
And off to a good start - I've already saddled Jenny with a broken heart, insomnia, and an ominously cryptic card reading. The hooks are out.
Nonetheless, I'm considering, come the first of December, smuggling myself aboard a plane to Dubai, where I shall find Vishal and smite him thusly: THUSLY. He's already at twice my output, and probably twice my quality. I'm thinking of this, privately, as the Battle of the Big Coats.
Before midnight struck last night, I spent a lovely Hallows evening relaxing in the last hours of the Bright Season, smoking cloves and feeling all warm and pagan. Set out my first "dumb supper" to honor the dead: an empty chair, some water and whisky, a bit of bread and tobacco. The idea is to invite the departed spirits in and lay out the things you'd give a guest to make them feel at home, though in my case they'd've had to be content to hang out with me while I lay on the couch with my copy of GURPS Horror and watched the Courage the Cowardly Dog marathon. But the candles were lit nonetheless, and I hope anyone who showed up had a good time.
(And let me here send out my thoughts for all those now in the Western Lands: Uncle Tim and Aunt Joan, Marty Herson, Vishal's mom, Grandpa Layman, Grandma Mackes and Minerva and Ernest, Ben Morningstar, the victims of the Mad Sniper, the immortal, inimitable Richard Harris, and, not least by any stretch, dear sweet Skeeter. May you all find rest now, and all those I haven't named too. For you, at this season, I offer the words of Death himself, from Terry Pratchett's Reaper Man:
"Lord, we know there is no good order except that which we create. . . There is no hope but us. There is no mercy but us. There is no justice. There is just us. All things that are, are ours. But we must care. For if we do not care, we do not exist. If we do not exist, there is nothing but blind oblivion. . . . Lord, will you grant me just a little time? For the proper balance of things. To return what was given. For the sake of prisoners and the flight of birds.
"Lord, what can the harvest hope for, if not for the care of the reaper man?"
And so may it be.)
And at the last hour before midnight, I did my annual rereading of Thomas Ligotti's "The Dreaming in Nortown," a fine October tale for a fine cold night. And all was well.