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[personal profile] greygirlbeast
The storms have passed, and it looks like we made the right call, not attempting the drive to Boston yesterday. The video I've seen of a sizable tornado dragging itself along the Connecticut River in Massachusetts yesterday, slinging it's debris field round and round, is beautiful and terrifying and filled me with awe. But, having watched tornadoes in the wild (let's say), face-to-face with those beasts (in Alabama), I'm glad to have been nowhere nearby. Here in Providence, we got a lot of weird skies, some wind, and about fifteen minutes of heavy rain and pebble-sized hail. That's all.

Yesterday was spent on the final-most editing of The Drowning Girl. I added a little text, and I took nothing away. And going back to the text, I realize now what an enormous emotional drain the writing of it was for me, and I know why I was so wrecked when it was finished. Both Spooky and my psychiatrist were of the opinion that my dark mood in April was caused by the book, and now I believe them. I think I scraped down all the way to the bottom of my being for this one, and never have I loved a character as much as I love Imp. I may never again. Once again, the novel will be released in March 2012, and will include three illustrations by Vince Locke.

Today, I send the manuscript back to my editor, and it'll be out of my hands until the arrival of the CEM (copy-edited manuscript).

It looks like Sirenia Digest #67 will most likely go out on the 5th, as soon as I have Vince's illustration. I think this is going to be a very good issue.

Spooky and I picked that fifteen minutes of rain and hail to leave the house to run errands. I took photos as we crossed the Point Street Bridge and drove up Wickenden Street (behind the cut, below). The hail pounded our umbrellas and bounced all around us.

---

There were a couple of comments to yesterday's entry that I'd like to repost. On the subject of the #FuckPlanB hashtag on Twitter, [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy writes:

I should probably write something about F#$k Plan B – I fear it's at best hyperbole and at worst dangerous. If your plan A is good enough, and broad enough like "be smart, work hard, learn to write" it will give you many options. But one need only look as far as 35 year old former pro-football players to see where a dogged grappling of a narrow plan A can leave you. I should add that I fear many people being encouraged to "F#@k plan B" don't have what's necessary to succeed at plan A. I admit as Exhibit A all the self-published 99-cent ebooks littering Amazon.

To which I wish to add, a lot of people truly do not want to believe in the necessity of talent required for many Plan As. You cannot learn talent. All the workshops and best efforts and schooling in the world cannot bestow talent. Too many learn that much too late.

- and [livejournal.com profile] opalblack wrote something which evoked such wonderful imagery, I just wanted to make sure everyone sees it:

I went to Venice during Carnival this year. It was like someone had taken a slice of my brain and turned it into a city that was having a party in drag. We went to Isola di San Michele, the cemetery island. We picked up little pieces of broken glass and pottery. Space on the island is at such a premium that the graves are regularly turned and re-let to new occupants. As we strolled through one such recently turned area, I spotted bones. Tiny human bones, a finger here, a fragment of skull there. I picked them up, as is my wont when I find bones – which like yourself is often. We returned to our room, drank absinthe, and smoked. Eventually we went back to Belfast, swearing to return to Venice soon and often. I carried our treasures in my cleavage.

---

Utterly fucking splendid rp last night in Rift – Selwyn, Enth'lye, and Ghaun – and my thanks to [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus and Tracy T. for that. It buoys my spirit, good rp. And we have a grand story beginning to unfold, working within the framework of Rift's lore. Join us!

And now, off to work.

Shiny,
Aunt Beast





Just before the bridge.



The hurricane barrier from the Point Street Bridge.



Girders.



View of downtown from the bridge.



Wickenden Street.



Wickenden Street.

Photos Copyright © 2011 by Caitlín R. Kiernan

Date: 2011-06-02 07:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unknownbinaries.livejournal.com
The whole 'Fuck Plan B' thing left me a little depressed at such specialisation, honestly. Do so many people only love doing one thing, and is that one thing so inflexible? I have Plans A, B, C and possibly even D if I can get my paws on the right tools or certification. Some are more financially secure than others, but, for example, I love dicking around with computers almost as much as I do drawing. I built the machine I make most of my art on.

Also, I know a lot of people up in the storms' paths, and glad to know everyone's okay.
Edited Date: 2011-06-02 08:04 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-06-02 08:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Do so many people only love doing one thing, and is that one thing so inflexible?

I don't know. My impression is that it's some sort of a foolish attempt at self-empowerment.

Date: 2011-06-02 08:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brienze.livejournal.com
Sitting here realizing that it's kind of fucked up that your driving-in-the-rain pictures seem exotic to me. I think the last time I drove in the rain was September last year...

According to the national weather service, Austin from October 2010 through May 2011 had thirteen days with .1" or more precipitation, and only 4 days with .5" or more. Usually I would just say, "it hasn't rained in ages", but you talk about the natural world with such specificity that I wanted to find the numbers to back up my grousing.

After the cold spring you had, you folks deserve some nice weather. So if any mad scientists with weather-controlling devices happen to be reading (and, really, if they're anywhere they ought to be reading you), please send the rain to Texas.

Date: 2011-06-02 08:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com


After the cold spring you had, you folks deserve some nice weather.


Absolutely agreed!

Date: 2011-06-02 08:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stsisyphus.livejournal.com
And we have a grand story beginning to unfold, working within the framework of Rift's lore...

I do wish I knew a bit more about Ghaun's backstory. All I have now is that he's got an older brother he both resents and sort of admires. And that he definitely doesn't have a girlfriend.

Date: 2011-06-02 08:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I do wish I knew a bit more about Ghaun's backstory.

So much of Selwyn's has come to me during rp. Just let it unfold.

And that he definitely doesn't have a girlfriend.

A good start.

Now, Sel needs some time with Celinn.

The Drowning Girl

Date: 2011-06-02 09:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oldfossil59.livejournal.com
I think I scraped down all the way to the bottom of my being for this one, and never have I loved a character as much as I love Imp.

I hope this book is as prosperous for you, as it was agonizing to write. I can't wait to read the entire novel, I so look forward to Imp's story.

Re: The Drowning Girl

Date: 2011-06-02 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I hope this book is as prosperous for you, as it was agonizing to write.

So, so do I. Imp deserves to be heard.

Date: 2011-06-02 10:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jdack.livejournal.com
The most reasonable "I never had a fall back plan" story I know of is Joey Comeau. Last I checked he was living off writing, but his "Plan B" was/is/always had been taking shitty retail jobs when necessary. He'd rather do that than have spent time learning to sit in a cubicle or something.

Naturally, it's worth noting that this sort of plan really only works for single, childless people who don't mind living very cheap in their effort to avoid a 'real job.'

Date: 2011-06-02 11:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com
Naturally, it's worth noting that this sort of plan really only works for single, childless people who don't mind living very cheap in their effort to avoid a 'real job.'

Good point.
Edited Date: 2011-06-02 11:36 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-06-02 11:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] miakodadreams.livejournal.com
Some friends and I were talking about "Plan A/B" things a few weeks ago. My approach was tagged the "Yes, and..?" In every day job I've had, I've always ended up becoming the resident jack-of-all-trades. It keeps me from being bored, and I can shift gears and learn how to do something else as the need arises. I look around at the other ladies in my current office who have been doing essentially the same job for 20 years, and I can't even wrap my head around the idea of being satisfied with just that job for even a year, much less 20.

I think it's the same thing for art or writing. If I quit my job to just do that, I'd go nuts. Never mind eating and paying bills, I think my brain would just break from too much focus.

Also, I saw this earlier and thought of you (don't know if anyone's mentioned it yet): Artist Michael Bukowski (http://yog-blogsoth.blogspot.com/) is drawing every creature ever described by HPL. Talk about an ambitious undertaking. It's been interesting, comparing the pictures in his head against the pictures in mine.

Date: 2011-06-03 05:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] opalblack.livejournal.com
I am thoroughly flattered. Thank you.

When I make landfall in November I'll be taking six to twelve months off to write (plan A), code (plan B), take up foreign exchange trading (plan C), establish a new fang business (plan D), practice piano (plan E), draw & paint (plan F), pick up some film & tv extra work (plan G) and if all else fails after that get a barista job (plan H) while I figure out the next thing. Note that I am single, childless, and willing to live cheap. It's only possible because I have a good friend to stay with who doesn't mind if I don't pay rent while I settle in and get less crazy, and I'll have a tidy lump sum from the rent refund and the vampire movie to keep me going. Hopefully I can set up a passive income stream and enough casual gigs to support my artistic habits in the longer term, but if I don't have a viable living out of at least one of the plans within 2 years I am just going to have to cave and try to get whatever steady job I can. I can't go on living hand to mouth forever.

I'm too sick to ever have had a cubefarm job, even if I wanted one more than anything in the world, and that leaves me at a grave disadvantage. On the one hand, I understand the wish to not lose sight of dreams, to take risks and not get tangled up in an inescapable misery of precaution and sensibleness where you wake up one day and scream WHAT AM I DOING IN A CUBICLE? I WANTED TO BE BATMAN! A life without passion is a life unlived.

On the other hand, the option to have a plan B is a privilege in and of itself, whether you have one and fuck it or not. When you have no family wealth, own no property nor assets, have no food/accommodation security, can't get or keep a regular job due to illness, and can't complete a degree due to illness and/or poverty, your plan A ends up being pretty much "stay alive". It fosters a spirit some may call entrepreneurial and others might call mercenary. Dreams and passions are valuable only for their potential to be gutted for profit. This week's rent was paid with the entrails of a dream of being an artist; this ramen was bought with the last bone of a dream of being a musician; the power bill was paid with the heart of a passion for dance. Telling someone in that position to "fuck plan B" and follow their dreams is just cruel.

That said, your reposting my little story has gently bolstered my confidence in the possibility of plan A working out just when I needed it. If I can charm my favourite writer's imagination when half asleep and stoned on seroquel, I can write. Thank you for that.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

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