Hurricanes, cabin fever, and unproductivity

Celiac disease makes anything eating-related a couple steps more complicated, particularly if you’re scatterbrained, disorganized, and given to procrastination like yours truly; the world’s gluten-free blogs seem to be run by admirable individuals who make and freeze their own stock, clean out their fridges regularly, and never accidentally order soup that has orzo in it.  Not so here.  It makes everyday life a tad bumpier, to be sure, but even further it makes storm preparation significantly more complicated.  You’re already cut down in options by what things you can cook, what things are available frozen, and what things you can order — now you’re stuck considering what you have, what you can cook, what you have frozen, and what you’d have if you were out of power.  Suffice to say I currently have a stockpile of Pirate’s Booty and cashews.  On the bright side, my cat’s life is basically unaffected.

Anyway, I’m waiting out Sandy in Queens over here.  I’m on pretty high ground, out of harm’s way from storm surges according to all the maps (just barely, as the ground starts sloping down at the end of my block!), so really I’m just sitting around hoping that nothing falls on my car Nemo, that the power doesn’t go, and that the storm abates tomorrow before I start hating Pirate’s Booty.

You would think being stuck inside all day with virtually nothing to do would be excellent for writing productivity.  In truth I’ve mostly been napping; I’m not much of a napper, either, but something about the weather is making me conk out.  Oh!  I did see Cloud Atlas on Friday night, before I heard about the hurricane, and I’ve since sold a review of it to Strange Horizons; I’m not sure when it’s running, but I’ll be sure to throw up a link once it is.  The movie had its highlights, but overall I was not very happy with it, as my review will explain.  I’m pretty honored to review for SH: it’s an awesome publication overall, and I’m not just saying that because I work for Fiction!  Abigail Nussbaum curates a fairly excellent collection of reviews that don’t suffer from overmuch review inflation (tendency of book bloggers to give overly kind reviews, at least as I see it).

SH also ran a reprint of a M.R. James story, Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad, which was curiously timed as I picked up his work from Gutenberg about last-week-ish.  I’m surprised I never read it before.  It’s exactly up my alley: good old-school horror that’s, well, actually creepy — don’t get me wrong, good ol’ HPL had a fairly unrivaled imagination when it came to horror-themed fantasy and science fiction, but that’s, well, basically what he wrote.  Horror-themed fantasy and science fiction.  I cannot honestly think of anyone who is consistently creeped out by Lovecraft’s work, except perhaps by his sociopolitical views.  Probably he has some fans who claim he wrote some genuinely scary pieces — “The Rats in the Walls,” “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” whatever — but I think they are either lying or thinking very wishfully.

James, on the other hand, is scary.  Very scary.  If “Whistle” doesn’t do it for you, I will link to A School Story, which, when I read it on the subway going home on Saturday, certainly did it for me.

None of this at all addresses my lack of productivity today.  I’ll set some time aside, I really will!  Time is one thing I’ve got enough of at the moment, aside from Pirate’s Booty.

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About Gabriel Murray

I am agog, I am aghast!
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