Ostara '10

Mar. 22nd, 2010 12:59 pm
greygirlbeast: (Pagan1)
[personal profile] greygirlbeast
The sun is hidden by clouds today, and it's cooler again. Not cold, but cooler. Though I find that the longer I live in New England, the more liberal I am with my definition of warm. When I left Atlanta, my comfort threshold was somewhere between 75-80F. These days, it's dropped to something more like 55-60F. Acclimation, I suppose. I think the cooler weather bothers me quite a bit less than the "delayed" return of green. Anyway, yes, the clouds and rain are back, and it's Ostara.

Yesterday was an exceptional writing day, in terms of word count. I did 1,718 words on "Houndwife." I'm thinking I'll be able to finish the story tomorrow or Wednesday. Yesterday's biggest surprise (if a story fails to surprise me, I see no reason to be telling it) was learning that not only is "Houndwife" a sort of sequel to HPL's "The Hound" (1922), but that it's also tied to my own "Les Fleurs Empoisonnées" (2001), one of the Dancy Flammarion stories. Turns out that during her childhood the narrator of "Houndwife" met one of the Ladies of the Stephens Ward Tea League and Society of Resurrectionists and...well...you'll see. If you're a subscriber to Sirenia Digest. Anyway, I didn't see this coming at all. I've not thought about Miss Ararmat's bunch since I wrote "Still Life" for Tales from the Woeful Platypus in October 2006.

I was reading back over old entries this morning, old entries for this date, and I was especially pleased with what I had to say on this day one year ago, regarding my feelings towards competitiveness. None of this has changed, except that it's become even more true than it was a year ago.

Last night, Spooky and I watched the new episodes of Spartacus: Blood and Sand and Caprica. I grow ever more impressed with the latter, and it occurs to me belatedly that I should be looking at the plot and characters with an eye towards parallels in Greek and Roman mythology.

Date: 2010-03-22 05:18 pm (UTC)
sovay: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sovay
Turns out that during her childhood the narrator of "Houndwife" met one of the Ladies of the Stephens Ward Tea League and Society of Resurrectionists and...well...you'll see.

I look forward.

Date: 2010-03-22 05:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I look forward.

Alas, I mostly look backwards.

Date: 2010-03-22 10:13 pm (UTC)
sovay: (I Claudius)
From: [personal profile] sovay
Alas, I mostly look backwards.

Well, at worst that makes you one of the faces of Janus.

Date: 2010-03-22 05:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] graypumpkin.livejournal.com
It always fascinating and even hearting to read about authors being surprised by their own stories, thanks for sharing.

I've been enjoying Caprica and better yet got me to start watching Battlestar which I had managed to let slip pass me somehow.

I need to catch up on Spartacus, which I enjoyed in a gonzo history on steroids kind of way, but from what I hear it improves as it goes on.

Date: 2010-03-22 05:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I need to catch up on Spartacus, which I enjoyed in a gonzo history on steroids kind of way, but from what I hear it improves as it goes on.

Well, the gonzo never goes away. I consider it good soft-core porn.

It always fascinating and even heartening to read about authors being surprised by their own stories, thanks for sharing.

I'm always surprised that more authors don't permit surprise.

Date: 2010-03-22 06:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alvyarin.livejournal.com
In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers is the first book (novella?) of yours I encountered, after it was reviewed in Realms of Fantasy. I am VERY excited for "Houndwife" and to see Miss Ararmat's group again.

Date: 2010-03-22 06:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I am VERY excited for "Houndwife" and to see Miss Ararmat's group again.

Well, to be fair, you only get to see one of them.

Date: 2010-03-22 07:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alvyarin.livejournal.com
That is good enough for me. They were a fun bunch! Is "fun" the right word...?

Date: 2010-03-22 07:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Is "fun" the right word...?

It'll do.

Date: 2010-03-22 07:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] martianmooncrab.livejournal.com
my definition of warm

When I was stationed in Wales, I remember when it hit 50 one day, and we all got into cutoffs and tshirts and played some American Touch Football because it was a veritable heatwave.

Date: 2010-03-22 07:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

When I was stationed in Wales, I remember when it hit 50 one day, and we all got into cutoffs and tshirts and played some American Touch Football because it was a veritable heatwave.

Yeah...the temp in Providence climbs into the high 50sF, and people start behaving as though it's summer.

Date: 2010-03-22 07:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tinkbell.livejournal.com
I'm interested in how Greek mythology changed when the Romans adopted it with their way of liberally and enthusiastically borrowing many things they found, and the way they took in Greek myths and thought along with Middle Eastern mystery religions, of Egyption art, and other cultural food, though watching the Christians eat some lions, or whatever, might have been more the taste of many of Romans (the latter might be a Fox TV theme. But I might look up this show.) Or why Christ won over Mithras.

Date: 2010-03-22 08:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

But I might look up this show.

You should.

Date: 2010-03-22 08:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alvyarin.livejournal.com
Speaking of Sirenia Digests, I just finished (realizing I am very behind) "Exuvium" (#48 I believe). I loved it. It reminded me a lot of "Onion", which is one of my favorite short stories of yours. I am still hoping a film will come out of the latter.

Vince's illustration where she is wrapping herself in the strips of paper is gorgeous.

Date: 2010-03-22 08:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Vince's illustration where she is wrapping herself in the strips of paper is gorgeous.

Yes. I love it.

Date: 2010-03-22 09:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thimbleofrain.livejournal.com
My high school years were far from joyful, but it sounds like they were better than yours. I mainly hung out with my own geeky group of friends, playing roleplaying games, etc. I certainly don’t have nightmares about that time in my life anymore—if that’s the benchmark for reflecting on how awful and damaging something was.

When I first went to college, I signed up to be a cheerleader. It was a small school, so there was no prestige to the role and no competition to get on the squad. (All you had to do was show up to practices and games.) We sucked, but it was kind of fun. Other than working at the science club snack bar, I’d never really “gotten involved” at school before. It put things into perspective. Not sure what more to say about it. People who know me laugh when I tell them I was a cheerleader; either that or they don’t believe me. Wonder what that says about their perception of me?

I’m good at competing, but I don’t seek out competition anymore. There was a time in my life when being good at something seemed like reason enough to do it. I no longer feel that way.

I’m a little nervous typing this. Seems like whenever I post something, you use it as an example of what to say if you’d like to be banned from your LJ page. It’s disconcerting. I don’t really “get offended,” not the way people describe it, and so I don’t understand sometimes how or why other people do. (Honestly, it seems like a useless emotion to me. I’m not sure where it comes from. I’ve fantasized that people are just making it up. Something annoys or upsets them, and they claim to be “offended.” It feels like a grand conspiracy to make me feel awkward. Like high school.) Rest assured that when I do offend, it’s not on purpose. (Not in your case at least.) I’m just trying (and failing, apparently) to be helpful, interesting, pleasing, whatever. And you don’t need to ban me: Just ask, and I won’t trouble you anymore. I’m vain, in my way. I’m used to being in demand.

A (more) random thing: I had a dream about Neil Gaiman last night, and when I woke up, I thought about you. In the dream, Neil and I were at a large comic book convention, and he was talking with a young woman who wanted to make a living as a writer. The conversation revolved around how a tiny number of people in certain fields make most of the money. My role seemed to be to add color commentary. I think Neil and I were meant to represent the two extremes. When the woman left, we, the “professionals,” were all supposed to go someplace to eat. On the way, I told Neil that I didn’t think there were going to be any more creators like him. “You may be the last of the comic book superstars,” I said. Then I remembered that I’d posted something similar to that in a comment to you one time, and that broke the dream’s spell.

Glad to hear you’re writing again. Looks like I worry about you even in my sleep.

Date: 2010-03-22 09:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com
I’m just trying (and failing, apparently) to be helpful, interesting, pleasing, whatever.

And here's the thing. And I know it's odd. Most days, I don't want anyone to try to "be helpful." At least, not in the way I think you mean it here. Most days, I write these entries because it has become a habit. Being who and what I am, though, I take offense (and this is a natural, valid reaction to me; I am easy to offend) if someone has to temerity to think hesheit can possibly help me by way of a comment to a blog entry. It seems arrogant and naive and presumptuous, and it seems somehow dismissive of whatever happens to be eating me at the moment.

It is important to understand that I have virtually no desire to try to help anyone. To me, it's an unnatural impulse (though I realize this is just one more way I'm not like most people).

This comment isn't the sort of thing I would ban you over (I have banned amazingly few people in six years, though one was earlier today). But I would say, consciously trying to "make me feel better" or whatever, will almost always only piss me off. Especially if you insist you have a right to do so. I'm not claiming that's fair. But it is true, and I expect people to recognize that.

On the way, I told Neil that I didn’t think there were going to be any more creators like him. “You may be the last of the comic book superstars,” I said.

I suspect you're right.
Edited Date: 2010-03-22 10:02 pm (UTC)

Trying to Help (from two days ago)

Date: 2010-03-24 10:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thimbleofrain.livejournal.com
I honestly don’t expect that what I have to say is going to help you, not in any clear and momentous way. Nevertheless, I do hope to be of use to you. We all have our shit.

I find it helpful, in most situations, to hear a few people’s opinions and suggestions about things. It helps bring me clarity. Still, like most people, I tend to do the thing I was going to do anyway.

It’s been helpful to me to converse with you. I find your humanity humbling and comforting, if a bit frightening. I buy (and read) your works, and I try to provide you with some decent content for your blog. When you ask me to shut up, I do. All of my relationships should be this good.

Sometimes people help me, and it creates a desire to reciprocate. Sometimes, the desire is less explicable. It seems odd to me to never have the desire to help anyone to whom you don’t feel obliged. Have you ever given to charity?

Something interesting (to me at least): I attended a talk last night given by a well-respected behavioral neurologist. He spoke about how a certain type of stress (the kind where you feel like nothing you do will have any effect on the things troubling you) and lack of sleep impact executive function, “fluid thinking,” perception, and the ability to learn. (As I’m sure you imagine, the effects are profoundly negative.) But what I found myself wondering was how those same things might impact creativity.

Date: 2010-03-23 04:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cmpriest.livejournal.com
Though I find that the longer I live in New England, the more liberal I am with my definition of warm.

Same thing's happened to me in Seattle. Sort of. I don't think I'll ever really be comfortable here, but my definition of "acceptable weather" has undergone a shift out of sheer desperation.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

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