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Cold this morning. Cold, but sunny, 37˚F. Very, very windy.

Yesterday, I began a second pseudo-vignette for Sirenia Digest, and right now I'm calling this one "Apostate," though I'd like to come up with a better title. "Apostate" is appropriate, I just don't like it. One-word titles can get irksome, and I just finished "Camuffare." Anyway, I did 1,302 words yesterday afternoon, and I'll likely finish the piece today.

By the way, after the writing yesterday, I did some math. "Apostate" will be the 105th piece of short fiction I've written for the digest since December 2005 (vignettes, short stories, novelettes, novellas, what-the-fuck-have-you). That includes the three parts of The Alphabetos Triptych, each considered as a single work. To date, about a dozen of the pieces have been reprinted elsewhere. Twenty were collected in The Ammonite Violin & Others (2010), and another twenty-five will appear in Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. Oh, and four appeared in Tales from the Woeful Platypus (2007). That's only forty-nine. Which means a mere 46.6% of the stories from the digest have been collected to date. Even assuming that Subterranean Press continues to publish collections of them, given that I keep adding more each month, it's going to be quite some time before everything from the digest is in print. It would require the digest be discontinued, and I don't see that happening any time soon. I found the numbers sobering. One-hundred and five stories. If you like my short fiction, and you're not a subscriber, this certainly ought to be an incentive.

Also yesterday, [ profile] kylecassidy, [ profile] briansiano, and the intrepid Sara Murphy convened in the wilds of Pennsylvania to shoot more video and stills. More scenes from The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. I should have been there, but the continuing headaches (yes) and my deadlines made the long trip impractical (to say the least). But, here's the thing. Excepting the top-tier donors (3 people), the shots from this session is not available to those who donated to the Kickstarter project. And given we went a bit over budget, we're hoping to cover more of the overage by offering some of Kyle's prints for sale. I'll post the information here as soon as he's set up for the sale. Which should be very soon. The photos are gorgeous. [ profile] kambriel* made the gorgeous "Le Petit Chaperon Rouge" dress that Sara wears. And, while I'm at it, the novel's release date is now only thirty six (!) days away.

Last night, on the recommendation of [ profile] andrian6, Spooky and I watched Joel Anderson's Lake Mungo (2008). Except for Cloverfield, I'm fairly certain Lake Mungo is the best "mockumentary" (I fucking loathe that "word") since Myrick and Sánchez' superb The Blair Witch Project in (1999). Lake Mungo is quiet, eerie in all the right ways, and deeply disconcerting. In the end, it's what all "ghost" stories should be – it's sad. Set in Australia, it's sort of like Peter Weir did a ghost story back in the 1970s. You should see it.

And, with that...time to make the doughnuts.

Wishing She Were On the Way Home from Pennsylvania,
Aunt Beast

* If you want to see many of her beautiful designs on her retail website, just go here. Kambriel has made several custom pieces for me over the years.

Addendum (2:29 p.m.): Just heard from my agent that my Publishers Weekly interview is now out, in the January 30, 2012 issue of the magazine. Apparently, no one in Rhode Island sells the magazine, so if you can get me a copy, I'll show my gratitude in some very nice way. Thank you.

Date: 2012-01-30 07:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'd make a distinction between Blair Witch, Cloverfield and Lake Mungo, particularly in terms of narrative structure: Aside from events it covers being fiction, Lake Mungo is posed as a straight-up documentary. The people making the documentary never appear in it, they're never part of the story, but the narrative "voice" is theirs, completely; they're picking and choosing what gets in, when it gets revealed, how it gets revealed. And creepily, they appear to be the only people involved in the story who end up "getting" the one-two punch at the end. I kept thinking: Man, if her family came to the screening, I would've loved to have seen their reaction.

(I also love the time-distortion or dimension loop element of it--potentially present in Blair Witch, too, but utterly Peter Weir, and thus completely emblematic of Aussie horror in my mind. Yours too, though.)

Blair Witch starts with a bit of documentary narrative structure, but that's all Heather's--it's probably what was "cut" inside her camera--and thus when events catch up with her, she, Josh and Mike are at the heart of the narrative, at its mercy. The Lake Mungo team stand outside it, which is why they can notice things the family is too close to see. And Cloverfield has no documentary structure at all, aside from the front and end title-cards. It's two home movies that turn toxic, with utterly minimal editing.

What I'm saying is, there probably needs to be another category. "Found-footage" has been used--Paranormal Activity certainly falls under this. The question, however, is always how did someone get hold of this footage, were they involved in making it, and who edited it?

Date: 2012-01-30 07:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

I'd make a distinction between Blair Witch, Cloverfield and Lake Mungo, particularly in terms of narrative structure:

Agreed. In that we get the "straight-up" documentary, instead of the found-footage documentary. But I'd still call it part of the same phenomenon.

I also love the time-distortion or dimension loop element of it

Yes. Because, for me, if there's any non-psychological element to actual hauntings, it has nothing to do with restless "spirits," but "weak spots" in time.

The question, however, is always how did someone get hold of this footage, were they involved in making it, and who edited it?

Which, in a way, gets back to the "Why are you telling this and to whom?" problem I have with first-person narratives that don't explain that question.

Date: 2012-01-30 10:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Let's not forget Troll Hunter under found footage. One of my favorites.

Date: 2012-01-30 10:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Yes! Love that film.


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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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