Kage Baker loved weather like today. Especially this evening, wherein I am happily writing because it was too damned hot to actually turn my brain on during the day.
It was hot, hot, hot today in Los Angeles; with the middle air clear and yet storm-wrack way high up – scattered clouds, dark and puffy, hinting at rain but never getting numerous enough to do more than tease. Thunderheads have been crawling up over the Verdugoes all day, and promptly evaporating away in the hot air; palaces of djinni, rising up into salt-white anvils and then whirling away into heated transparency.
The air smells of incense and blacksmiths’ forges.
The sun is gone at last, so I can finally venture outdoors without fear. The light in the sky is deep and rich and looks like it will never end – but twilight will eventually creep out from the roots of the mountains and flood the streets below. All the long warm arches under the cedar and camphor and and jacaranda and crepe myrtle trees will fill up with perfume and soft heat – at noon you couldn’t walk out there, your feet would fry in your shoes; if you went barefoot (like me, aging ninny that I am, forgetting I am no longer 14) your feet would blister unless you could leap from shady spot to shady spot to the thick-painted lines of street work. Those painted lines are always just cool enough to walk on …
The clouds overhead have been stretched so thin and long on the sky, they look like the ripples under shallow waves. They are ghost beaches up there, phantom coastlines. The Observatory, silhoetted in ivory and bronze, rimmed with lanterns, has always suggested to me that it might be the coast of Numenor up there, drowned deep under the dreaming sea while Gondar keeps watch on the black hills. Or maybe it’s Lyonesse. Or Ys, of whom Mount St. Michael is a lost memory. Or, the heck with ancient tales, maybe it’s a bastion of the Lost City of the Lizard Men.
It’s the hour of the day when you just don’t know which universe the twilight will tip you into …
I’ve been going through the proofreader’s edit of In the Company of Thieves, and my brain burned out its bearings some hours ago. Proofreaders are nice people, and utterly invaluable to writers: but sometimes I think they suspend their critical faculties so far to achieve objectivity that they lose track of some common aspects of life. They don’t extend that friendly willingness to be fooled that characterizes the pleasant reader; they want one’s immortal prose to make sense! Can you imagine?
Well, sometimes I can’t imagine anymore, nor recall just why I wrote that sentence that is so confusing. As immortal Browning once admitted to someone querying the underlying point of one of his poems: “When I wrote that, only God and Robert Browning knew what it means – now, only God knows.” Man, there was a guy who spoke truth.
Well, I went through all the proofing, and sent my work off into the aether; the sweet twilight is creeping in through the open doors and windows just like music, or fog, or perfume … it’s lovely. Time for a mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwich and a tall iced coffee. Large parts of California are on fire from dry lightning; darkness is almost complete, and yet it’s 80 degrees out there.
But I’ve done some work today, so I don’t feel like a total waste; even though I don’t have enough working neurons left offer you more than a stream of semi-consciousness. Have a lovely summer evening, Dear Readers.