You’ll See

And somehow, here we are at Thursday again. It is kind of annoying and irritating how quickly time is slipping through my fingers; but then this was a short work week because I was off on Monday. I’ve felt a bit out of sorts and off-balance this week, which I think is because of the Malice come-down plus knowing that I have to go to Alabama this weekend. It’s hard for me to focus and get settled with that journey ahead of me, and while I am not necessarily dreading it, I also know it’s going to be emotionally draining and exhausting so there’s some trepidation, to be sure. It’s also Mother’s Day the next weekend, so that’s going to probably be a bit rough (note to self: text your sister). Yay?

But in cool news, the anthology This Fresh Hell now has a release date of June and can be ordered here:

(Apologies, for some reason I can’t substitute text for links anymore. Fucking updates.)

Anyway, this anthology has my story “Solace in a Dying Hour” in it, and this is a story I am really proud of. It’s one where I went to rural Louisiana/bayou country yet again, which also meant navigating stereotypes, tropes, and clichés. I had originally intended to write a story about the grunch (a mythical creature sighted occasionally out in old New Orleans East, but I think his old stomping grounds now are neighborhoods) but in looking up information about that particular Louisiana legend I stumbled over a bunch more that I’d never heard of, and one in particular–le feu follet–really struck my fancy. These are fairy lights seen out in the swamp or along a bayou, kind of like a will-o’-the-wisp. Usually no larger than a candle flame, these lights have been said to be many things, but the definition I went with–the souls of the unshriven dead, come to claim other souls–worked for what I was trying to do, and the more I thought about it, the more the story began to come together in my mind. I think it’s a lovely piece of writing, frankly, and it really must be if I am going to say it publicly. It turned out exactly the way I wanted it to, and I had some expert editorial help from Katya de Becerra and Narrelle M. Harris (who worked with me on my Sherlock story; I really love working with Narrelle) that made it even better than I thought it could be while still remaining what I wanted the story to be; their input was invaluable. Good editors, y’all, are worth their weight in gold. As you can imagine, I am very excited about the story and the anthology.

I slept decently last night; I was again very tired when I got home. It took me an hour because of traffic–I stopped at the Rouses’s in the CBD on the way home, but was only there for fifteen minutes. I left the office at straight-up four thirty and got home after five thirty. It was the worst I’ve seen traffic in the CBD since before the pandemic. Not sure what there was about yesterday that brought horrendous pre-pandemic traffic back to New Orleans, but here we are, right? Heavy sigh. Tonight I am going to swing uptown on my way home to get the mail, so hopefully Claiborne traffic won’t be hellish tonight. And tomorrow is my work-at-homeday, before getting up Saturday and driving north. It was odd; yesterday morning on the way to work the traffic was also heavy. It’s been a hot minute, but I always used to drive here before the pandemic at off times so I never had to deal with traffic very much. I am beginning to think my working in the evenings is a thing of the past I may never see again, doomed to a life of getting up at six a.m. Monday thru Thursday for the rest of my working life. That sounds incredibly tiresome, doesn’t it? But I imagine I’ll be tired all of next week, too, and won’t get caught up on rest until the following weekend. Not loving this, for sure.

But in other weird developments, I discovered that Tuscaloosa–where I will be turning north to head to the home country–has WHATABURGER. It is almost sad how excited finding that out made me; I am definitely scheduling my trip to stop there for lunch on my way up. How cool is that? Usually when I drive north I tend to stop at Hardee’s, since we don’t have them in New Orleans and they’re basically Carl’s Jr, which I loved when I lived in California (and yes, I know the family that owns them is homophobic right-wing trash) so I always see that as a bit of a ‘treat’ for me when I go on long drives. I do love fast food hamburgers, although the old classics (McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendy’s) all are kind of disgusting to me now. Give me Whataburger, Five Guys, or Sonic. (I am starting to not like Hardee’s; the last few times it was just kind of meh)

Fascinating stuff, am I right?

What can I say? I’m a little bleary this morning, so maybe it’s best to head into the spice mines and be done with it. Talk to you tomorrow, Constant Reader!

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