Wassail, traveler, and welcome to The Gable Grey -- a place of retreat, of renewal, and of resistance: a tree-shaded refuge in Dark Times. Now pass the threshold, and rest from journeys! For a cold wind is blowing; and here, if you wish, you may hear tidings of the world without...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Leaving for another business meeting in Tuscaloosa today, and will return tomorrow. I suppose I do not mind as much this time around, knowing what is in store -- namely, free meals and free Guinness. Whatever else his shortcomings may be, our company owner/CEO knows how to entertain the troops.

My great-aunt died last week, my grandmother's older sister. She was 92. What a vibrant, strong, forceful woman she was! I had not seen her in almost 20 years, I think, and I did not go to the funeral. Two funerals in six months was enough.

It is an odd feeling now, looking ahead to a springtime minus an aunt, a grandmother, and a great-aunt. There is a strong feeling, mostly unspoken, among my family that there has been a slow generational shift, a turning of a wheel, a turning of a page in our family book somewhere. It is not a bad feeling, just odd. Now it is our parents -- mine and Adrienne's -- who are patriarchs and matriarchs, and it is to us that guidance is looked for more and more.

But the sycamores and cypresses and maples are planted. Soon my Naith will be green with life again, and Belle and I can watch it transform together. Meanwhile, the RT's -- the red-tailed hawks -- have disappeared: nesting. The mews needs building. This may be the year that, at long last, I yield myself up to the hawk.

Whatever else may happen, all is right in the world.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Here It Comes

At last... Issue #2 of Other Minds online magazine is available for download! It's quite large, so get ready to use an ink cartridge or two. The focus is on Numenor, which for me is less than desirable but still leaves it a valuable resource.

The daffodils Belle and I set out last November have come up... nearly all of them! When I showed her, and the memory came back, she kind of stared at them in awe and softly said, "Wow." My little gardener and lover of dirt pies!

So: Halls of the Elven-king arrived this week. Great background info. on the Sindar and Nandor, especially doomed Oropher and the reasons for the various relocations of the center of elven power in the Greenwood over the years. There is too little about Thranduil and his Queen in the primary sources (JRRT's writings). Well worth having for those whose focus is, like mine, on Wilderland. Well, focus for the moment -- that may change to the Morgai or Sturlusta Khand tomorrow.

Saw a red-tailed hawk late yesterday afternoon. Been thinking about the whole hawking thing again. I reread the chapter on squirrel hawking in McGranaghan's The Red-tailed Hawk last night. Sounds like a blast. May need to get Buteos and Bushytails to whet my appetite on the subject for a while, or at least until I get off my ass and get the mews built.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Adrienne miscarried two days ago.
Funny, how people react when you tell them. They feel like they must say something, but after all, what can one say? I don't know what I myself would say, or have said. The most religious nod their heads vigorously, almost reassuringly to themselves, and say, "It just wasn't meant to be. There's a reason for everything."
That actually makes it harder. The juvenile splinter of Christianity still worrying my psyche grasps at that, wants to believe it, needs to believe it; but that leads to other questions. I know that the only reasons for something like this have nothing to do with a cruel, callous myth lurking about the corners of the universe. The reasons are rational, material, biological (emphasis on the -logical, mind you). That is a bit more comforting. This miscarriage is not part of some greater plot by a Jewish tribal sky-god with nothing better to do. It just happened. Happens all the time, and for no spiritual or cosmological reasons; and only that allows me to sleep peacefully at night in the face of much of life's random, mindless disappointments.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


I am going to be a father again!

We are very excited, nervous, anxious, all that. Already there is a name list. Most everyone knows by now. Some are happy, some are elated, some are cool. I am by turns happy, elated, and cool, myself.

But two will be enough, I think. Belle is already more than a handful. Do I want a son, or another daughter? With three girls in the house, I'd be very well taken care of! But a son... hmm. Whole new set of challenges, there. We shall see in about three or four months exactly what direction the Carlisle family will take.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Things are getting back to normal around here, which is what I like. I've planted two new bald cypress trees in the back corner of our property, in a low area near several others I planted last year. Cypresses -- bald cypress, mind you, not those upstart "Leland" things -- are among my favorite trees. They seem to symbolize the wild Southland for me. I also planted a dwarf Japanese red maple, probably my favorite ornamental tree. I may be done with tree-planting for the year, unless I can find another sycamore to go with the two I put in the back yard last winter. Adrienne will file papers if I come home with any more saplings hanging out the bed of my pickup. But I do love my trees.

Roon is still waiting on our copy of Far Harad to arrive from Britain, though I have virtually no hope that it will come. After the 8th, if it has not arrived, I will contact the seller about a refund or some other solution. I did get my copies of Dol Guldur and Teeth of Mordor, and they were all I hoped they would be, and more. Dol Guldur has a wealth of information on lesser Elven-rings that Sauron took from Ost-in-Edhil and bestowed on various underlings, and a cool story cycle about Gandalf's sojourns into the Hill of Sorcery. Imagine Gandalf utilizing a Fell Beast to escape from Khamul the Easterling, Second of the Nine! Fun, wonderfully imaginative stuff, to be sure. It also has -- thank the Valar! -- an encounter table for southern Mirkwood, which (I might add) the actual various Mirkwood modules do not.

Am I writing? A little, touch-ups to the children's story, but nothing more. I did have a great conversation with the Laurel writer Cleveland Payne, who actually was kind enough to give me a signed copy of his latest book, The Silver Pendant. Cleveland is a true gentleman, and is very encouraging and willing to share his experiences with the publication industry and whatnot. It's inspiring to see a fellow author from Laurel making good.

Whiles carried o'er the iron road,
We hurry by some fair abode;
The garden bright amidst the hay,
The yellow wain upon the way,
The dining men, the wind that sweeps
Light locks from off the sun-sweet heaps --
The gable grey, the hoary roof,
Here now -- and now so far aloof.
How sorely then we long to stay
And midst its sweetness wear the day,
And 'neath its changing shadows sit,
And feel ourselves a part of it.
Such rest, such stay, I strove to win
With these same leaves that lie herein.

-- William Morris, from
"The Roots of the Mountains"