It’s Too Darned Hot

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.

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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11 Responses to It’s Too Darned Hot

  1. Ah, but is it the new series or the classic?

    *has been bouncing between Sylvester McCoy, Jon Pertwee, and David Tennant a lot lately*

    Also yum on the Magnum bars, even if they have the worst name and labelling since the Reebok Incubus.

  2. Kate says:

    Atalanta – it’s the new series ,which starts up again tonight on BBC America. They are doing a run-up to inspire everyone watching with hysteria. Also, I suppose, to bring them all right up to date before the new episode. As I am a new convert – never watched it before Tennant – this is fine background noise for me.
    Magnum bars are also darned hard to find, at least in L.A. And the caramel ones are the most difficult of all to find. But worth it!

  3. Kate says:

    Here in L.A. I have had the best luck finding them in Gelson’s Markets (very upscale) and in 7-11s (so down scale they have effectively fallen off the end).

  4. Mary Lynn says:

    I left the midwest so I didn’t have to live in this kind of weather and the way I’m feeling now, I might not live. I’m sending Tom out for pastries, fried chicken and a new remote for the TV while I sit 3 feet in front of the window a/c. Hang in there, Kathleen and you are welcome to come down here and share the chicken and cool air. I might even be able to find you a beer.

  5. Jane says:

    Today I hosted a potluck picnic in the park – Santa Fe Dam (Ren Faire adjacent) for my birthday, inviting family from afar, and friends from all walks of life. And it has to be the hottest frickin’ day since forever in LA! 83 year old Dad bbq’ing – Mom trying to keep from running to the car to turn on the AC. yikes. Thankfully, the breeze off the lake and the shade under the giant Ash tree, kept it easily 20 degrees cooler if you stood just so. sigh. While I love being a Leo, why exactly do birthdays have to be in August?! All relatives and friends are safely back indoors in air conditioning, and all the lovely potato and macaroni salads are sadly consigned to the trash for safety sake. Hope you get the AC on soon Kate! Keep that story pipeline primed with anti freeze (shouldn’t that be anti-heat?)!

  6. Kate says:

    Hey, Happy Birthday, Jane!

  7. The cats have been in the bedroom most of the day (coincidentally the warmest room in the apartment) in spite of their fur coats. Coco is also in heat, just to compound the interest. I have spent most of the day in the living room where the laptop has been moved so, theoretically, I can use the “desk” as a “sewing table”.for some things I’ve promised to certain family members. It’s too hot to sew, so writing/editing has happened anyway. I have barely moved from this chair, and actually dread going to bed, which may explain why I have seen the new Dr Who twice and… oh dear, look at the time!

    Time stories make my brain hurt but I love them. Best not to examine them too closely, and never ever let someone explain them to you.

  8. Kate says:

    Cats get very weird in the heat. Or in heat, simply of itself. Both ours watched Harry bathe in his water cup today, and have been electively preferring to drink out of it all day – Harry was polite at first but finally got fed up. Crazy beasties.

    I loved Dr. Who tonight! I agree about time stories, though. Kage used to carefully answer people’s plot questions about her time travel stories, then smile and say, “But I’m probably lying.” Speaking of weird …

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