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August 29th, 2006

Today's Forgotten English

I don't have anybody's birthday listed today, but I just like today's Forgotten English. So here it is!

unroningness
Desolation.
--Herbert Coleridge's Dictionary of the Oldest Words in the English Language, 1863


St. Kilda Abandoned
On this date in 1930, the last remaining three dozen inhabitants of St. Kilda, an island 180 kilometers off the western coast of Scotland (well beyond most islands of the Outer Hebrides), were evacuated at their request. They had petitioned the government to remove them from their rocky homeland -- the most remote place in Britain -- after sensing for decades that their future was as bleak as the local weather. Ironically, after moving to the "mainland," many of the denizens of this treeless isle were given jobs in the forest service. The first steamboats to reach St. Kilda in the late 1800s shocked the inhabitants, as they assumed these vessels were on fire. The island's name was probably a corruption of the Norse term skildir, as no saint by the name of St. Kilda ever existed. This isolated place has long been home to the colorful puffin and numerous other seabirds, many of which nest in seaside cliffs.

-The Gneech

Stoopid Inspiration

Last night I went to bed and fell asleep for what I would guess was 10-15 minutes, then woke back up with a couple variations on the first page or so of the B&G novel composed in my head, and my creative processes chewing ferociously on the matter of which option would be a more compelling opening. Unfortunately, I was dead dog tired and very much wanted to sleeeeeep. The muse was poking me, urging me to rush downstairs, open up WordPerfect, and commit all of this stuff to paper (or electrons, as the case may be) while my leaky sieve of a brain still had it.

I knew very well that if I went downstairs, it would be after midnight before I came back up, so in the end I decided that sleep took priority. The muse threw something of a tantrum and said, "Fine! If you won't go write this stuff down, I won't let you sleep either! So NYAH!" but my body was more forceful on the subject, having only had a fitful and unsatisfying 6 hours of sleep (including the dreams I commented on yesterday) the night before.

The problem is, if you go to bed with an annoyed subconscious, you doom yourself to another night of fitful and unsatisfying sleep, which is exactly what I had, waking up with yet another headache. And today, when I tried to recall as much as I could from my somnambulent creative burst, all I got was the first line.

My muse can be a spoiled punk when it wants to.

-The Gneech

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