Don’t Let Go

Tuesday morning. I am not as tired or sleepy this morning as I usually am on Tuesday mornings; I suspect my body is, at long last, adapting to my new work schedule. It’s only taken, what? Three months? And I am about to have another break. Next week I only work Monday and Tuesday, and then I am on vacation until Ash Wednesday.

So I’ll probably have to get used to my schedule all over again. Huzzah.

But I revised another chapter of the book last night, which was absolutely lovely. I am getting closer and closer to being finished, and this fills me with absolute delight. I also realized that there are parades this weekend, so getting a chapter done per day is not only wise but necessary; chances are I’ll be too tired and worn out this weekend from parade-going to get caught up if I fall behind…so I can’t fall behind; I need to keep revising at least a chapter a day in order to be finished by next Wednesday.

Huzzah! I think.

I also have decided, after further thinking on the subject, that my short story “The Blues Before Dawn” would actually work better as a novel rather than a short, so I am putting it on my list of novels to work on. It’s a period piece, probably will be set in the late 1950’s, and will require a lot of research about gay life in New Orleans during the Eisenhower years. Looking some things up in the index of Richard Campanella’s book Bourbon Street was what finally convinced me that it was a novel rather than a short story; I had originally intended for the story to be set in Storyville during the time the United States entered World War I. (I do think there’s some stories and/or novels, perhaps even a non-fiction research book to be written during that time period; as I continue to read up on New Orleans history, and once I start actually doing the research, I feel certain the floodgates will open and I’ll have all sorts of ideas for stories and things…and I need stories for Monsters of New Orleans.)

I watched another episode of Versailles last night, and yes, they’ve completely tossed any semblance of historical fact away for this final season. I’m no longer sure of what year it’s supposed to be; it’s somewhere after the Affair of the Poisons yet sometime before the War of the Grand Alliance. The dying out of the Hapsburg line in Spain is part of the story this season; which only confuses matters more. Louis XIV’s wife, Marie-Therese, was a Spanish Hapsburg, and the older half-sister of the last Hapsburg king of Spain, Carlos II. In last night’s episode much was made of the fact that not only was Carlos ill, but how close Marie-Therese was to him and so it was not out of the question that she’d want to return to Madrid one last time to see him before he dies.

This is a-historical. At the time Marie-Therese married Louis XIV, her father had only two children, she and a sister who married the Holy Roman Emperor.  Because Philip IV had no sons at the time, it was possible his daughters might be his heirs; so it was written into the marriage contract that Marie-Therese renounced all claims to Spain for her and her heirs; her sister, since she was marrying a Hapsburg, did not have to do so; this way Spain would remain a Hapsburg possession. Carlos II wasn’t born until Marie-Therese was already queen of France; she could not be, therefore, close to someone she’d never met. She also died in 1683, so this has to be set in the time period before 1683.


Incidentally, when Carlos II did finally die, he’d been persuaded to leave his possessions and his throne to his French relatives rather than the Austrians. This resulted in the War of the Spanish Succession.

I will keep watching, though, because I do love the period, the production design is spectacular, and they are also tackling the mystery of the man in the iron mask, one of my favorite mysteries of French history.

And now back to the spice mines.


Do You Hear What I Hear


There’s not any college football today, so I have literally no excuse not to get anything accomplished today. NOT LIKE THAT HAS EVER STOPPED ME FROM DOING NOTHING BEFORE.

I do have to run uptown to get the mail; I ordered a backpack and it was delivered yesterday, and I simply must make groceries. The Saturday before Christmas is perhaps not the best time to be running errands, but on the other hand, they’re always hellish so why should today be any different?

Yesterday, despite the positive attitude with which I began the day, disintegrated rather rapidly into something awful; one of those horribly frustrating days where everything goes wrong through absolutely no fault of your own. You know those days–the kind where you think to yourself I shouldn’t have left the house today, but I did, so the only thing to do is endure it until you’re safely home again.

And endure it I did, until I finally walked through my front door, groceries in hand and backpack draped over one shoulder, relieved and never more happy to get back to the Lost Apartment in quite some time.

I did spend the rest of the day doing that most relaxing–to me–of endeavors; cleaning the house. A lot of laundry and dishes had piled up during the course of the week, and I got that taken care of, and then relaxed in front of the television for the rest of the evening, pretty much emotionally and physically spent. I should probably have written some last night; but as I said earlier, there’s no college football today and therefore the day yawns and stretches before me with a plethora of possibility. There are only nine days left in this year and decade (I did see somewhere yesterday someone claim that the new decade technically doesn’t begin until 2021; fuck that, we celebrated the turn of the century in 2000 so we can celebrate a new decade when the number for the decade in the year changes, trash). It will be a very strange couple of weeks at work–the weeks of the holidays are always kind of weird, particularly when they fall on week days and break up the work week; I always feel off-kilter and not properly balanced, for some insane reason that makes sense only to me.

I am now up to the outbreak of World War II in  Richard Campanella’ Bourbon Street, and yet here again is an interesting period of New Orleans history that could make for an interesting crime/espionage novel. New Orleans had a small Japanese community at the time;  even bigger German and Italian ones. The Quarter itself, and the city, were way-stations for the war; we also had a shipbuilding industry, and of course, the Higgins boats that made the Normandy invasion were thought up and built here–the street the WW2 Museum sits on is named for Mr. Higgins, whose first name is escaping me at the moment–and so, yes, New Orleans during the second World War would make for an interesting novel or series of short stories or both, quite frankly.

I also want to carve some time out this morning for Laura Benedict’s The Stranger Inside, which should not be taking me this long to read, quite frankly. It is not the book’s fault; it’s entirely mine, for either being too tired at night to read, or for having a gazillion other things to get done so I can’t take the time to read it.

It’s raining this morning; apparently it rained all night but I slept through it all–yes, after one bad night of insomnia I’ve been sleeping the sleep of the dead ever since that dreadful night that derailed me for a few days from writing. But I intend to write today–after running the errands–and I am also going to try to make it to the gym either this afternoon or tomorrow morning. I need to start exercising my body again; I am feeling entirely too stiff and physically frail and weak these days, and the only way around that is to actually put my muscle through their paces. I have also been saying that for years–am very well aware, thank you–but just the stretching and cardio alone will make me feel better about myself, will give me the endorphins I miss so much, as well as the physical exhaustion that makes sleeping that much easier.

Yet another 2019 goal I allowed to go down the toilet.

And on that note, I am going to head back into the spice mines for the day. Have a lovely Saturday, Constant Reader.