greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 2)
[personal profile] greygirlbeast
Rainy and overcast again today.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,749 words on Chapter Six of Blood Oranges, and either finished the chapter, or very nearly did.

After five years, almost the entire premise (not plot, just premise) of Dinosaurs of Mars has finally come together in my head, and I've told subpress I hope to be able to write it next autumn (2012). Yes, sometimes it happens this way. I will also likely be writing an SF novelette for subpress, to be released as a hardback – as with The Dry Salvages – later this year, time permitting, details TBA.

A lot of email yesterday and this morning, much of it pertaining to the Drowning Girl Kickstarter project. The last few months, the amount of email I have to make it through has sort of skyrocketed. Which is good, and bad. Good, because it means lots of work. Bad, because it means...lots of work.

By the way, if you're reading this, and you're the sort who likes to interview writers, please note that I do not do telephone interviews, and make no exceptions. Your noting this now saves me having to turn you down later. It is my job to be witty and articulate. I can be neither of these things on the phone.

---

Okay, so. Romance in fiction. "Romance" as genre publishing and low-brow culture defines it. I'm opposed. In my own books, there are relationships, in a very rough and tainted form. In that there are people who do have relationships (or who have had relationships). Sometimes, there are exceptions (Soldier comes to mind). Regardless, the relationships rarely end well.* Much of this stems from my fundamental disdain/lack of interest in romantic entanglements as a fictional theme. Hell, my favorite literary romance is probably Wuthering Heights. Or Lolita. Or maybe Hannibal. You see where I'm going with this. Just look at Sirenia Digest. Love songs for monsters** (Do not steal that fucking title or I will disembowel you).

So, we're reading The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. I even made it this month's selection of the book club thingy. And it started out well enough, at first (even though we really, at this point, need more imaginative end of the world scenarios than The Zombie Apocalypse). But it has, after a few chapters, nose-dived into some fairly excruciating romance. And the language used to describe...well...here's an example:

He nods. He understands. And then he takes my hand and presses his lips against my palm. It feels like fire entering my bloodstream and laying siege to my body. He kisses my wrist, and I am an inferno. He starts to move up my arm, his breath tantalizing, and I almost give in as he pulls me to him.

Okay. Enough. I don't care who blurbs this, or likes it, or buys it, or publishes it. This is overwrought dreck. Or smarm. Or both. It's pedestrian porn for bromidic teenagers. If this is the best Ryan has to offer, it's a pretty sad state of affairs. If it gets you wet, fine. I'd mourn for your libido, but I'm not that altruistic. I expect we'll finish the novel, but only because it's hard for me to leave books unfinished, even lousy ones.

There's some good stuff at the start of The Forest of Hands and Teeth! People who don't remember that the Earth has an ocean. That's good. Go with that. Besides, Ryan is trained as a lawyer. She has this other fucking way of making lots of money. She could keep her bad prose to herself, and no one would starve.

And in the future, I will try to do a better job of picking books. Spooky says we have to read at least fifty pages first. Good advice. What have I learned, kittens? Sometimes, I fuck up. But I knew that already.

Oh! Also good RP in Insilico last night. Thank you Joah, Sayer, and Fifth. Also, slowly wading back into Rift. I had to take a break, to avoid burn out.

Enough for now. The words, which I promise will not be dreck, await.

Dreckless,
Aunt Beast

* Note: I am in a very satisfactory, long-term relationship.
** Copyright © 2011 by Caitlín R. Kiernan

Date: 2011-08-16 06:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] papersteven.livejournal.com
After five years, almost the entire premise (not plot, just premise) of Dinosaurs of Mars has finally come together in my head

This is really great news! I've been looking forward to this story for a long time, and am very happy to hear of any progress. Congratulations on the revelation.

Date: 2011-08-16 06:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I've been looking forward to this story for a long time, and am very happy to hear of any progress. Congratulations on the revelation.'

Suddenly, it just all came together.

Date: 2011-08-16 06:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eluneth.livejournal.com
As a possible antidote to the inferno-in-my-blood dribble, and also thinking of "The Maltese Unicorn:"
http://26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l6qrle6htg1qzw3gpo1_500.jpg (NSFW)

I've been wanting to read The Forest of Hands & Teeth for a while anyway, so I'm keeping it on the list - but the smarm-warning is duly noted, and appreciated.

Date: 2011-08-16 06:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

As a possible antidote to the inferno-in-my-blood dribble, and also thinking of "The Maltese Unicorn:"

And I will be a satisfied customer!

I've been wanting to read The Forest of Hands & Teeth for a while anyway

I'm so glad I'm not the only literary sadomasochist.

Date: 2011-08-16 06:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] egologic.livejournal.com
Suddenly I can't control myself. I wrap one my slender waif-like tentacles around his waist and pull him close. His expression is a combination of lust and fear. He starts to scream but I thrust another one of my tentacles into his mouth and down his throat. He makes another attempt at screaming but can only manage to gag on my writhing sushi-like limb. I press his face close to mine. Clearly he's hoping I will kiss him. Surprise! I start chewing on his nose with my parrot-like beak. I can smell him start to climax.

Date: 2011-08-16 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Well, not good prose. But your heart's in the right place!

Date: 2011-08-16 06:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashlyme.livejournal.com
That passage from Ryan is pretty damn schmaltzy - best to give it a miss, then? I find it very easy to dump books I can't stand. You have patience than me.

You've often mentioned The Dinosaurs of Mars, but I know very little of it. SF? (Sorry, I know you talked about the horrors of genre-typing last night.) Whatever, good to know that it's coming together.

Date: 2011-08-16 06:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

best to give it a miss, then?

Yes.


You've often mentioned The Dinosaurs of Mars, but I know very little of it. SF?


In that it is set in the future, involves space travel, the exploration of Mars, the presence of dinosaurs on Mars, a vanished alien civilization, and AI - yes.

Date: 2011-08-16 07:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashlyme.livejournal.com
D'oh! That DOES sound good though. Bring it on!

Date: 2011-08-16 07:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

D'oh! That DOES sound good though. Bring it on!

Will do! My readers have been waiting for this book since 2007! I've even had a contract since then.

Date: 2011-08-16 07:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pwtucker.livejournal.com
I had a similar experience with Ryan. So enthusiastic were the reviews that I picked it up, enticed by the title and the premise--and then after about fifty pages couldn't force myself to continue. Exactly as you said: great premise, interesting ideas, strong beginning, and then all the horror was sublimated into the protag's desire for kissy kissy. It felt like sitting down to watch Aliens only to have it turn inexplicably into Twilight.

As such, I was surprised when you nominated it for book of the month, and reassured by today's post.

Date: 2011-08-16 07:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Exactly as you said: great premise, interesting ideas, strong beginning, and then all the horror was sublimated into the protag's desire for kissy kissy. It felt like sitting down to watch Aliens only to have it turn inexplicably into Twilight.

Exactly.

As such, I was surprised when you nominated it for book of the month, and reassured by today's post.

Sometimes, I do fuck up. But I'll be better next month.

Date: 2011-08-16 07:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] seph-ski.livejournal.com
I finished it because, like you, I am compelled. "Leave no book unfinished!" That's Confucius, yes?

It started with promise, but it's pretty much a downhill slide from first page to last. I was irritated to find out that it's the first of a trilogy too, which I didn't realize until the end. Another bloody trilogy. Sometimes it's as hard for me to call it quits without making it through a series as it is to quit a book without finishing, but I felt no guilt or curiosity this time.

Date: 2011-08-16 08:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

That's Confucius, yes?

No idea.

I was irritated to find out that it's the first of a trilogy too, which I didn't realize until the end.

Same here. The publishing industry all but commands the creation of trilogies. I fear Blood Oranges may be the first of such a creature.

Regardless, we won't be going any farther with these books than the first.

Date: 2011-08-16 07:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stsisyphus.livejournal.com
After five years, almost the entire premise (not plot, just premise) of Dinosaurs of Mars has finally come together in my head...

Well that's a remarkable surprise. I thought this one had been permanently shelved. How does the 2012 scheduling fit in with your other commitments?

Also good RP in Insilico last night

Looks like I just missed you two in Rift then, although I was in a terrible mood last night. Still, killifying things remains an attractive distraction for tonight if you're up to it.

Date: 2011-08-16 07:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

How does the 2012 scheduling fit in with your other commitments?

That remains to be seen.


Looks like I just missed you two in Rift then, although I was in a terrible mood last night.


We did a couple of hours, early, out in the Droughtlands. I'm just being a completeist and grinding for rep. We had to go to Stillmoor at some point, and I got my first of those dragon mote things.

A good dungeon, whatever comes after the mines would be nice. Though I imagine Spooky and I are the only ones who haven't done said dungeon. Don't yet know if I'll have a scene in Insilico tonight.

Date: 2011-08-16 10:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stsisyphus.livejournal.com
We did a couple of hours, early, out in the Droughtlands.

I could use some backup for those damned quests with the Cyclopes way out at the far south. Hopefully they would be much less painful now we're at 50.

I got my first of those dragon mote things.

Seems to be that once you get one, there's not a whole lot of reason to keep doing them. Of course, Spooky might want to since they do drop event-specific artifacts.

A good dungeon, whatever comes after the mines would be nice.

Foul Cascade is next, I believe. It's not the very grindy one I thought was next (Kings Breach), but its not a cakewalk either. A good tank will probably be necessary, or some exceptional healing. I'd like to bring Celinn since she needs to finish it. I believe there's a trio of bosses up front which may be troublesome.

On the other hand, the final boss lays eggs in your body.

Date: 2011-08-17 12:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] humglum.livejournal.com
Seems to be that once you get one, there's not a whole lot of reason to keep doing them. Of course, Spooky might want to since they do drop event-specific artifacts.

My guardian (the new one, Aiven) has been grinding the dragon motes. Mostly because it's really easy in Silverwood. Have some of the artifacts, and have sold some for decent coin in the AH. Actually, everything I've put up guardian side has sold... Better economy?

Date: 2011-08-16 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] humglum.livejournal.com

Yeah, nobody was on when we were on Defiant side, and then I played my Guardian mage for a while and had company for a little bit. Also, some very casual RP with a stranger while on a common quest, which was nice. No reason to not converse IC when asking if someone wants to pair up for a quest, I say.

I have a doozy of a migraine right now, which I am hoping will go away and let my do some killinating later on. Right now, the computer screen kind of hurts...

Date: 2011-08-16 10:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stsisyphus.livejournal.com
There was a Meet & Gret for one of the RP channels on Sunday. I was late getting to it, but had a nice bit of RP with two people and suggested one of them (the one who didn't already have a guild) to check in with us if she wanted to join up. So, random RP works.

I would have mentioned the M&G to ya'll earlier, but I had no idea whether it would be seriously IC or just an OOC event. I had a feeling that an OOC guild recruiting fair would have strained the patience of our group. As it was, it was tavern RP and thusly not overly serious. And there was a ton of text scroll going on.

Date: 2011-08-16 10:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

There was a Meet & Gret for one of the RP channels on Sunday. I was late getting to it, but had a nice bit of RP with two people and suggested one of them (the one who didn't already have a guild) to check in with us if she wanted to join up. So, random RP works.

Yep. Spooky went for a bit, and she seemed to enjoy it. I can't deal with crowds. Even virtual crowds. The organizers seemed to do a good job of keeping the noise down and keeping people ic. Oh, she was Defiant side.

Date: 2011-08-16 10:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] humglum.livejournal.com

Yep. There was a zone invasion about 20 minutes in, so it got broken up by that a bit, but it seemed there was a ton of low key RP going on. Even about 1/2 hour before the official start, when I popped over there, people were RPing casually in the tavern. I wish I had known about the Guardian gathering on Saturday, just to compare notes and such. It does seem there is constant RP (of varying quality) going on over at the magic school.

Date: 2011-08-16 11:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stsisyphus.livejournal.com
Damn, I wish I'd know you were going. We could have coordinated. Ah well.

Date: 2011-08-17 12:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stsisyphus.livejournal.com
And now it appears I might be occupied during the early part of this evening. Erg.

Date: 2011-08-16 07:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mizliz13.livejournal.com
I manage the teen area where I work. Some of my coworkers get together to read/analyze YA fiction. When The Forest of Hands and Teeth was discussed, no one liked it. Didn't want to say anything before, but now that you've come to a similar conclusion ... well, there you go.

Date: 2011-08-16 07:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Didn't want to say anything before, but now that you've come to a similar conclusion ... well, there you go.

I wish someone had told me I was being an idiot.

Date: 2011-08-17 01:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mizliz13.livejournal.com
I have permission to tell the Beast she's an idiot? Egads! Fear not, I shall use this power wisely. (And probably infrequently, as I believe in people discovering things on their own.)

Date: 2011-08-16 07:51 pm (UTC)
ext_4772: (Cartoon Chris)
From: [identity profile] chris-walsh.livejournal.com
Hell, my favorite literary romance is probably Wuthering Heights. Or Lolita. Or maybe Hannibal.

I salute you. *salutes* And I remain glad that you and Spooky got together.

Date: 2011-08-16 08:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I salute you. *salutes* And I remain glad that you and Spooky got together.

It was a match made in...well, someplace.

Date: 2011-08-16 09:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] humglum.livejournal.com

Someplace oogie and dark, no doubt.

Date: 2011-08-16 08:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cucumberseed.livejournal.com
I am very glad to hear about Dinosaurs of Mars. I am waiting on some things of that nature as well.

I really like the premise of Forest of Eyes and Teeth, but yeech. I think I may stay away, so I can continue to like the premise.

Date: 2011-08-16 08:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I think I may stay away, so I can continue to like the premise.

Wish I had.

Date: 2011-08-16 11:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] captaincurt81.livejournal.com
I've noticed the great start/quick slump syndrome in books I knew or suspected were acquired as a partial manuscript. Some of the initial chapters are great. Sometimes the later ones could have used much more polishing and improving.

Date: 2011-08-17 04:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

This one went plop after about thirty pages, at most. No one buys a book from an unknown author (which Ryan was at that time) based on about thirty pages.

Date: 2011-08-16 11:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] captaincurt81.livejournal.com
...and THE DINOSAURS OF MARS sounds like something I'd enjoy immensely.

Date: 2011-08-17 12:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] teacup-carousel.livejournal.com
Oh thank god. I mean, I know I shouldn't take such delight in that little faux pas, but when I saw that you picked Ryan for the monthly book I thought you'd gone off the deep end. Glad to have you back!

Date: 2011-08-17 04:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

The shame, it burns.

Date: 2011-08-17 12:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] highway-west.livejournal.com
I love the title of the Forest of Hands and Teeth and some of the details.

The romance bit left me sour. But the imagery of the ocean was pure magic.

Date: 2011-08-17 04:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

But the imagery of the ocean was pure magic.

I'll never make it that far.

But yeah. The title sucks me in.

Date: 2011-08-17 01:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] opalblack.livejournal.com
I seriously thought I just heard the TARDIS down in the orange grove. Turned out to be a ride-on lawnmower. SO irrationally disappointed.

Oh yes, for the foreseeable future I'm on a farm with an orange grove. There's also a horse, three huskies, some kind of sausage dog, five cats (including my two), three alpacas, two baby goats who are trained to heel, a jersey cow, a border collie cross who has the most astounding blue eyes, a flock of guinea fowl, and an assortment of captive lizards.

Yesterday was a good writing day for me too. I'm glad to hear Dinosaurs of Mars is back on track. I finished a very short story that had been sitting for AGES because I mistakenly thought it should be longer. So I polished it up and sent it off. I also did a bit of work on Grimly, and a fair bit on Dracula Vs The Robot Sluts From Mars, because for some reason the stupid shit I write is more popular than the serious. I also proofed the unexpected cyberpunk thing and realised that it is in dire need of a finer brush.

Date: 2011-08-17 04:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

It's always good when the words come...unless, of course, you happen to be someone who isn't saddled with making words come.

Date: 2011-08-17 01:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] opalblack.livejournal.com
Oh yes, the farm also appears to have a dire frost gazebo.

Date: 2011-08-17 04:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

dire frost gazebo.

This sounds like some manner of antelope.

Date: 2011-08-17 10:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alumiere.livejournal.com
Overwrought romance turns me off very quickly from books. If it's something I really want to read, I tend to skim through until that scene is done, and if it resumes too often the book never gets finished. That whole paranormal romance/urban fantasy sub-genre seems often full of it, and I find I rarely pick up books in that vein because of it.

Date: 2011-08-19 02:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tanthe.livejournal.com
When The Forest of Hands and Teeth first came out, I admit that I was intrigued by the awesome title and interesting premise. Then a friend read it and had a "meh" response to it, which I admit saddened me, if only for the fact that this great title had now gone to waste. I let it fade from memory at that point, I have too many other books left to read that I know are good, or that come so highly recommended.

Said friend, however, didn't mention that it went downhill due to an awkward romance though. I think I will have to blame Twilight for that.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

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