greygirlbeast: (walkenVNV)
[personal profile] greygirlbeast
0. Not gonna write about SW:toR today. There's too much else. I'll come back to it tomorrow. But, in short, it's the best MMORPG I've ever played, though I will temper that estimation with some minor caveats.

1. I haven't had to mark any days L for a long time (thank you, meds), but yesterday was a lost day. There was very little in me but anger. I managed only a flury of email before having Spooky drive me to the Athenaeum. It was peaceful downstairs in the reading room. The comforting, soothing smell of old, old books. Ghosts beyond counting. I am only sorry I committed a blasphemy by using my iPad amid those shelves (I'm not being sarcastic). I proofed the pencils for Alabaster #1, pages 17 through 25, but they were almost perfect, so it wasn't much work.

2. Today is the third anniversary of the day I first saw wintry precipitation in New England. Today, though, it's 52˚F, sunny and windy.

3.* Gonna talk shop. The business of publishing that is. Frequently, people ask me for writing advice, and, almost without fail, I refuse to offer it. But here's something. If a magazine, especially a fairly prominent online science-fiction zine, isn't willing to pay more than 0.003¢/word for a reprint in return for (and I quote from the contract) "digital media rights," which said contract defines as "...all non-physical forms including but not limited to html, Kindle, iTune apps, Mobi, ePub, and others" (id est, everything imaginable) then you need to stay far, far away from these sorts of publishers. They have nothing to offer you. No, not even "visibility." But, though I ought to know better, I just signed such a contract, because I have mountains of stories available for reprint, and when I agreed to the arrangement – several months ago – I had no idea what comprehensive electronic rights were expected in return for the paltry $25 I'd agreed to as an advance. I only saw the contract on November 21st (this is for their December issue), though the reprint request was made by them two months earlier. In between, I had to stop them from rewriting portions of the story. Anyway, point being, I don't care what the online publication is, you and your "digital media rights" are worth more than 0.003¢/word. Last I checked, pro rates were still hovering between 3-5¢/word. And, by the way, this emphatically was not Subterranean Magazine or Clarkesworld, both of whom have always paid me very well for online rights. I feel like, more and more, we're working – all of us, not just authors – in an environment that aggressively discourages dissent, then punishes dissenters, those who aren't so happy to get any work that they'll work under any conditions and for any price.

4. Today, I will do my very best to finish Alabaster. That's just five pages of script.

5. Please don't forget Question @ Hand #5!

6. I lay awake night before last, in the arms of Monsieur Insomnia, and watched George P. Cosmatos' Leviathan (1989) for the third or fourth time. What sort of film do you get when you splice Ridley Scott's Alien to John Carpenter's The Thing, then set it at the bottom of the sea? Well, you get Leviathan, a film which shamelessly steals from both those other films in almost every way possible. When I first saw it in theatres, I was furious. Later, on video, it just sort of bored me. But Monday night, watching it, I thought, Well, if I give Alien and The Thing each an A+ for Astounding, then I ought to give Leviathan a C for Could Have Been Worse, or Competent, or maybe for Cause I'm Only Half Awake. As the film has aged, it's easier to forgive the blatant plagiarism. Leviathan has taken on a questionable charm all its own. Peter Weller is truly fun to watch as he swaggers and scowls and uses the performance to bemoan the state of his career as it swirls round and round the drain. I actually love Peter Weller, and here he seems to be giving Cosmatos a well-deserved middle finger. And, too, Meg Foster autopilots her way through the role of the Tri-Oceanic Ice Queen rep giving the crew the shaft. It's those blue-white eyes of hers. But the rest of the cast is boring as dusty zwieback, though the monster/s is/are pretty cool. The whole thing with the sunken Russian ship and the blurry photos from its infirmary, that's nice, too. The tech is amusingly quaint (but not a tenth as convincing as the "used futures" seen in Alien and Blade Runner). As for the ending, it's clear neither the director nor the screenwriters were even trying to make sense. Still. Watch it if you can't sleep.

7. Tomorrow, I'll post the final cover for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. (It's not the one up at Amazon).

8. Here are photos from a spectacular sunset on Monday:







Photographs Copyright © 2011 by Caitlín R. Kiernan and Kathryn A. Pollnac



Counting Fractions of Fractions of Pennies,
Aunt Beast

* Postscript (4:47 p.m.): The editor of the unnamed magazine has contacted me and withdrawn his offer to reprint the story for 0.003¢/word. This is really the best outcome. I would have withdrawn it myself, but didn't want them left in a lurch (though they'd hardly treated me with similar considerateness), what with the December issue looming. Now, I only wonder who told them about my post, as I'm pretty damn sure he doesn't read my blog. And I wonder how far the news of my evil treachery will flow through the grapevine, and if I'll be blacklisted by others of this caliber. We take responsibility for the outcome of our actions, if we choose to act.

Date: 2011-11-30 06:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lemonlies.livejournal.com
Monday's sunset was beautiful in Boston as well. The amazing sunsets are the one thing that truly I miss about living in Florida.

Date: 2011-11-30 06:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

We get many more of them here than I ever saw in Atlanta, Athens, or Birmingham.

Date: 2011-11-30 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] marisa sandlin (from livejournal.com)
One of the great pleasures about reading Two Worlds and In Between is coming across stories that I'd heard about for years but was never able to read. The Dry Salvages are just such a story and wow, what an amazing piece of work. I finished it this morning and before bed last night I was watching The Waters of Mars and realized that it had something in common. The persistent human belief that whatever lies out there in the cosmos must surely mean us good, right? I mean nothing viral and alien in a substance so innocous as water could ever mean us harm. This sounds idiotic but I think that story (yours, not RTD's) finally got through my little head what you've been saying all along, in some fashion or another: the other is magic but the other will likely kill you.

Date: 2011-11-30 06:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

the other is magic but the other will likely kill you.

Yes, and not necessarily even out or malice, or even amusement.

I'm very glad you liked the story.

Date: 2011-11-30 07:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] marisa sandlin (from livejournal.com)
I can't stop thinking about it.

Date: 2011-11-30 08:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Best thing you could have said.

Date: 2011-11-30 07:23 pm (UTC)
sovay: (PJ Harvey: crow)
From: [personal profile] sovay
Here are photos from a spectacular sunset on Monday

That's breathtaking. There was something similar here, but I caught only the rags of it.

Date: 2011-11-30 07:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

That's breathtaking.

I was working, and Spooky called me to see the sky burning.

Date: 2011-11-30 07:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] martianmooncrab.livejournal.com
Peter Weller is truly fun to watch

he has been in some truly good and bad movies, and worth watching in most anything. He and Meg Foster can have the dueling blue eye thing going.

Date: 2011-11-30 07:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

he has been in some truly good and bad movies, and worth watching in most anything. He and Meg Foster can have the dueling blue eye thing going.

Yerp.

Date: 2011-11-30 07:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] seph-ski.livejournal.com
Given your concerns about your iPad being inappropriately used in sacred book space, I thought taking a little time to read this delightful account might go a ways in balancing out your karma:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2011/11/29/142910393/the-library-phantom-returns

Date: 2011-11-30 08:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Can't decide if this is very awesome, or if I'm mostly horrified at the mutilation of the books....

Date: 2011-11-30 08:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] seph-ski.livejournal.com
I have a small stack of books I've picked up at thrift stores for a dollar or less with the intention of cutting them up for art projects. I have yet to actually work up the nerve to dissect the poor things though. If I knew I could do something this marvelous with them, I suspect starting would be a little easier.

Date: 2011-11-30 08:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I have a small stack of books I've picked up at thrift stores for a dollar or less with the intention of cutting them up for art projects. I have yet to actually work up the nerve to dissect the poor things though. If I knew I could do something this marvelous with them, I suspect starting would be a little easier.

I've simply never been able to harm a book. I think it's because books were so rare as a child, rare for me, and their value was deeply impressed upon me.

Date: 2011-11-30 08:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] seph-ski.livejournal.com
I totally respect that. When that whole "altered book" craft became popular several years ago, I found it mostly mortifying. All the tempera paints caked over innocent pages and then covered with cliché decoupage and gothy angst scribbled in eye-liner. *shudder* And then I came across Brian Dettmer, who seemed to honor the book in his work. When it's done that well, it does make me swoon.

http://centripetalnotion.com/2007/09/13/13:26:26/

Date: 2011-11-30 09:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

When that whole "altered book" craft became popular several years ago, I found it mostly mortifying.

My gods, yes.

Panthalassa protect us from crafters.
Edited Date: 2011-11-30 09:28 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-11-30 09:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rysmiel.livejournal.com
I've simply never been able to harm a book. I think it's because books were so rare as a child, rare for me, and their value was deeply impressed upon me.

I am short of words for how vehemently I agree with this sentiment.

Date: 2011-11-30 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I am short of words for how vehemently I agree with this sentiment.

Thank you.

Date: 2011-11-30 08:41 pm (UTC)
blackestdarkness: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blackestdarkness
photos from a spectacular sunset on Monday

Spectacular says it all.

Date: 2011-11-30 08:43 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-11-30 08:46 pm (UTC)
ext_4772: (Alt!Scotty)
From: [identity profile] chris-walsh.livejournal.com
Jerry Goldsmith's own assessment of Leviathan: "I did this movie back when it was good, when it was called Alien." It's the film that prompted him to get a better agent, though he also did Leviathan because he was friends with Cosmatos. (It's why Goldsmith almost scored Tombstone, too, but he had a conflict and recommended Bruce Broughton, who did a spectacular job.)

Date: 2011-11-30 08:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Thank you. This restores a little of my faith in Goldsmith.

Date: 2011-11-30 08:58 pm (UTC)
ext_4772: (I listen)
From: [identity profile] chris-walsh.livejournal.com
Yeah, the 80s were an iffy time for him: yes good stuff like Gremlins and his other Joe Dante films, but on the other hand: Rent-A-Cop?! Though a lot of times he apparently liked working on bad films, because the directors gave me more free rein to do interesting music. (cf. 1978's The Swarm, where the score's actually fantastic and far outstrips the film.) He got choosier later in life, probably for the best...

Date: 2011-11-30 09:01 pm (UTC)
ext_4772: (Clay. Bill...Clay.)
From: [identity profile] chris-walsh.livejournal.com
And by "gave me more free rein" I mean "gave him more free rein." I don't have his talent. Or his being-dead. (At least I didn't spell it "reign" or "rain"...)

Date: 2011-11-30 09:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

cf. 1978's The Swarm, where the score's actually fantastic and far outstrips the film

It couldn't have been worse than the movie.

Date: 2011-11-30 09:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] everville340.livejournal.com
Here are photos from a spectacular sunset on Monday.

One of the things that I miss back east is the distinctive architecture of "neighborhoods". The molten sky seething o'er the rooftops is beautiful.

Date: 2011-11-30 09:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

The molten sky seething o'er the rooftops is beautiful.

Awe.

Date: 2011-11-30 10:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] everville340.livejournal.com
Gonna talk shop. The business of publishing that is.

I know how Aunt Beast feels about the various non-physical forms of books mentioned - wow, it even feels wrong attempting to associate the words "non-physical" and "book" in a sentence - although I'm a bit curious if this also extends to what apparently is called motion comics. I recently stumbled onto Torchwood: Web of Lies, and while I know it's Torchwood the motion-comic concept for me is sort of like driving past an accident: I want to watch but it's somehow difficult to take in.

Date: 2011-11-30 10:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

what apparently is called motion comics.

I don't even know what these are.

Date: 2011-11-30 10:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Oh. Now I see. But all that is amounts to an animated film with a very comic-book style.

Date: 2011-11-30 10:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] everville340.livejournal.com
I agree. It seems almost a bastardization to try and label them as comics.

Date: 2011-11-30 11:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I just don't understand why anyone would try.

Date: 2011-11-30 10:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] everville340.livejournal.com
It is difficult for me to describe, as I only just stumbled onto this myself: in a way it's almost like watching an animation created by the flipping of pages, but instead of the thought/voice bubbles as in comics the characters are actually voiced like an audio soundtrack.

http://www.doctorwhonews.net/2011/07/dwn070711195116-torchwood-web-of-lies.html

Almost Less Than Zero Word Rates

Date: 2011-12-01 12:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jessamyg.livejournal.com
That was such a pitiful, pitiful offer. 0.003c a word; even the hacks in the age of all the pulp magazines would have laughed in their faces. Myself, I would have felt like taking every fragment of a cent and inserting them into whatever bodily orifice they made available. The sheer greed of some publishers is almost beyond belief. Notice I said almost

Re: Almost Less Than Zero Word Rates

Date: 2011-12-01 12:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

It was galling...and actually more galling and convoluted than what I posted. I was being faintly discrete.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

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