Update: August 25, 2019, Gillett, Arkansas

April 15, 2017

Unfortunately, it has been some time since I last made a personal update. Since then, I have had little time for new posts. I have moved from Aztec, New Mexico, to near Gillett, Arkansas, for a new job, which is a promotion. I have been through Arkansas before, but this is the first time I have lived here.

Arkansas is the complete opposite of the Four Corners in terms of climate. I am also having to acclimatize myself again to chiggers, mosquitoes, and hot, humid weather, which I had left behind me many years ago. I am also living literally on the edge of a woods, where, each night, I can hear the buzzing of insects and the chirrup of frogs and toads. I grew up with these in Kentucky and I have missed them.  It is good to hear them again.  I also occasionally see opossums and armadillos in my yard. Sometimes, I see deer in the woods, but they haven’t approached my house yet.

The nearest towns of any size are Dumas, sixteen miles west, and Dewitt, nineteen miles east. Gillett is about five miles from here.

The Arkansas River is a short distance through the woods from my house. Alligators are common in the area, but few crop up in the immediate vicinity of my place. I have a reasonable respect for them, though I do not fear them.  I lived in south Texas for fourteen years, where they are common, I saw them frequently there and I used to photograph them often when I was trying to establish myself as a wildlife photographer.

Where I live is remote. I have one neighbor, a co-worker, who lives less than fifty yards from my house. At night, for the last week, he has been on vacation and I have been the only person for probably a couple of miles from the nearest neighbor. Past that, the nearest person is probably another mile off and from there to the next is a few miles more. I don’t watch TV. I watch mostly YouTube videos on horror and dark subjects and occasionally horror movies on Netflix. So, midnight here can be eerie.  Today, as I unpack (my household goods were delivered on the 23rd), I am listening to an excellent audio-book recording of Lovecraft’s “Shadow over Innsmouth” that was published on YouTube by Intellectual Exercise.

Though the trip was only two days in length, I did manage to get some “reading” done via audio-books. I purchased The Gunslinger, Volume I of Stephen Kings Dark Tower series before I left and listened to it for most of the trip. I was disappointed in it. The writing wasn’t up to King’s usual standards. I have reviewed it on Goodreads, if you are interested.

My last night on the road was spent at a La Quinta in downtown Little Rock. Before I left the next day, I checked out the River Market area. It’s a neat area. I found a nice little coffee shop/bookstore, where I purchased audio versions of four stories of Edith Wharton’s and seven of Kipling’s Just So Stories (read by Boris Karloff in the 50’s). Both are very good. I will have to read a lot more of Edith Wharton’s. They are just terrific stories with outstanding writing.

I am developing a list of audio books on YouTube for listening to later on. At the top of my list currently is Kate Chopin‘s The AwakeningI listened to a few minutes of it on audio book the other day, but then had to get on with my tasks. I decided to save it for a later time when I can lie down and focus on it.  Her writing is excellent. Then after I read the Wikipedia article on it, I decided that I really need to listen to it to expand my knowledge of important American writers.

I took a break from unpacking yesterday and listened to Frank Belknap Long’s “The Hounds of Tindalos”. It was entertaining, somewhat, but not outstanding writing. Too much is told vs. shown.

I have been writing, mostly writing up ideas for Shadows and Stars Lying Down in my notebook. If there is a benefit to living here, it is that I have few distractions to keep me from writing. I am encountering the same problem I had when I lived in Chaco Canyon. It is so quiet here of a night, that I need to play something from YouTube to provide some background noise, so that I do not feel that I have dropped off the face of the Earth. Unfortunately, if I play anything interesting, I get caught up in that, then the writing progresses slowly.  In Aztec, I could often go to a coffee shop in Farmington, where I had people nearby. That is not the case here. If nothing else, I could go to Denny’s at any time, but I don’t have that luxury now.

I grew up in the hills and woods of Kentucky, but not until I moved here did the myths of Cernunnos and the Green Man of Celtic and British mythology hit home. I can see how those myths developed now.

More to come…