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1) Cold and grey today. Outside as in.

My mother woke this morning with a racing pulse and chest pain, and is in a hospital in Birmingham. I just spoke with her, and she seems to be fine.

Yesterday was swallowed, again, in work that isn't work. Work that isn't writing. And I didn't even get another interview done (though, since my last post, the number of interviews waiting to be done has grown). Yesterday was such a mess, I'm having trouble even recalling it. I saw a few inked pages for Alabaster #2, found a couple of typos that needed fixing. I answered a metric shit-ton of email. Oh, I did refuse an interview with "Paranormal Haven," because the last thing in the world The Drowning Girl: A Memoir needs is people associating it with ParaRom. I don't believe that there's no such thing as bad publicity. Or, rather, I believe there are harmful associations that color perceptions. Predispose us to see Thing A as such and such, even if it's obviously and most emphatically not. Like that fuck-awful cover for The Red Tree. But wait! The Drowning Girl is, in some respects – possibly – concerned with the paranormal, and there are romantic relationships between people (Imp and Eva, Imp and Abalyn). So...isn't it ParaRom?

No.

Anyway...I also discovered I need to find time to write a new steampunk story in the next few weeks (or now), and I started re-reading (with Spooky's aid) At the Mountains of Madness (1931), because I need to write a story inspired by it for another anthology, and I've not read AtMoM in at least...a year? Ha ha fucking ha. But I did not write. I made notes for that latter story. I can't recall much else, which [leaves] hours unaccounted for, which is, as always, disquieting. as is the fact I haven't been Outside the house since last Wednesday.

2) It occurred to me last night, in passing...or not in passing...that I've felt bad about how long it took me to write The Drowning Girl and The Red Tree. Then, I started thinking about Silk and Threshold. I began writing Silk in October 1993 and finished in January 1996. I began writing Threshold in August 1998 and finished in May 2000. Roughly three years per book. Between April 2008 and March 2012, I wrote The Red Tree and The Drowning Girl (each vastly superior to either Silk or Threshold, and never mind the dozens and dozens and dozens of short stories I wrote during the same time, far more than when I was writing my first two novels). Which is to say, a book gets written in the time it takes to write a book, and the last two were actually written very quickly, relative to my early novels, and I should stop beating myself up. At least, I should stop beating myself up about that.

3) Thoughts, too, last night about the end of the day-to-day aspect of this blog. After this day, only five more remaining and I'll have made at least one entry per day for a year. Often, this means 1-2 hours per day spent writing those entries. Never mind. I've done the math before. What I was thinking last night is that – beyond giving me a record of my life for my own personal edification – the return of the time investment is meager. I can find no evidence that the blog has ever increased my book sales. Facebook is, actually, proving more useful for promotion these days, as is Twitter. Comments here have become few and far between (most times, seven or eight a day is a good day), and there's very little discussion of what I'm writing. No dialogue, and invisible blog readers are...invisible. This is not to say the LJ is useless. It's not. It's given me Sirenia Digest, and I'm very grateful for that. When I was sick in 2007, it led to an enormous amount of financial assistance that may have saved my life. And there have been other pluses. I think some people are shocked to learn that, in November 2001, I began writing the LJ as a promotional tool, but it's true, and that's mostly how I've always seen it. Anyway, these are just thoughts.

Last night, I finished reading The Fossil Hunter: Dinosaurs, Evolution, and the Woman Whose Discoveries Changed the World, Shelley Emling's 2009 biography of Mary Anning. It's a bit thin, and I very much wish someone had proofed Emling's manuscript specifically for paleontological errors. For example, "Iguanadon" [sic] appears repeatedly, and apparently no one ever bothered to tell her that a pliosaur is a sort of plesiosaur. But...you could do worse.

Speaking of paleo', the new JVP arrived yesterday, and I'm only about a third of the way through December's issue (never mind December included a huge memoir).

Behind and Inside,
Aunt Beast
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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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