Kage Baker was a salamander. She was djinn, conjured from smokeless fire on the conjoined edges of sand dunes and a hot sea, where the exhalation of the desert and the wind from southern isles mingled like lovers’ breath. She was a fire elemental; and among the roses and tulips of her garden there were always succulents like small strange reptiles, and a Crown of Thorns bush gnawing slowly at the porch rail.
In hot damp air like today (Los Angeles is currently enjoying the trailing edges of a tropical storm out of Mexico), Kage’s hair would curl madly. The weight of her braid dragged most of it flat, but all around her head it would rise like a thunderhead, copper and gold and burgundy and ruby red strands floating like the prophet’s warning mane out of Coleridge. Sparks and parrots played in it.
Me, I’m more of an aged cha siu bao – pale, sweating, spongy.
We’ve got the lights off and the fans on, holding off on the A/C as long as we can. The major appliances are waiting for tonight, the dish washer and washing machine loaded but in hibernation until there’s less drain on the power grid. The cats and the Corgi are doing their world-famous tippet imitations in the draft paths, and only the parrot is at all awake. Harry is singing the theme to The Wrong Box and looking appalling; he’s bathed in his water cup and all his feathers are wet and flattened, showing off the alien contours of his weird little body. There’s a velociraptor under all that fluff.
It’s too freaking hot to do anything. And I am expecting the power to go down sometime today anyway. But until it does … there’s ice cream in the freezer and a Dr. Who marathon on telly. Oddly enough, my boiling brain is somehow throwing up story ideas – must be the convection currents, you know, like the ones that bring carrots to the top of the soup pan. Time to type as long as I can manage. I may end up writing in long hand by candle light, but it wouldn’t be the first time. It’s kind of inspiring, as long as you don’t set your notes on fire.
So I am going to leave you, Dear Readers, to your own survival devices and go spend what time I have left writing fiction. And watching Dr. Who. And eating a Magnum Bar, the kind with caramel under the Belgian chocolate.
I cordially recommend the same to all of you.