greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
Ugh. Yeah, we're awake now, right? I've been chattering away like Robin fucking Williams for an hour, and I think Spooky's ready to murder me. But, then, she usually is. Ready to murder me.

Hey, let's get off on the right foot. Here's some depressing-ass shit: "Police Seek Escaped Exotic Animals in Ohio." And while we're at it, since when is it acceptable to only capitalize the first word of a headline and any proper nouns? Who decided that? It's fucking idiotic. I think I only noticed this about a month ago, but it seems to be a New Internet Rule. I'm sure some bunch of cocksuckers are responsible, like the authors of the The Associated Press Stylebook and The Chicago Manual of Style, who have to keep making up "new rules" so people have to keep buying new copies. Linguistic evolution by way of capitalism, yes! Anyway, the proper way to write a headline...oh, never mind. World, meet hell in a hand basket, and you kids get off my lawn.

Yesterday, I worked. Can't say how or on what. I am told the beans will be spilled in only a few more weeks, you will all be happy, and I can stop keeping this particular SECRET.

Also, [livejournal.com profile] sovay reports having received her copy of Two Worlds and In Between, so folks who wisely pre-ordered (even the trade hb edition is almost sold out now, less than fifty copies remaining) should be getting it this week and next.

---

I was going to talk about Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.'s prequel to John Carpenter's The Thing (1982). Yes, I was. I said that yesterday. First off, the pros. This is a good movie, and remember, I may have seen the Carpenter film more times than any living being (easily a hundred times, start to finish). It's a terrifying, fun, awe-inspiring tribute to the Carpenter film and, for the most part, it gets it right, because the filmmakers had the proper respect for the original and convinced the studio/producers to permit them to make a prequel instead of a remake. Though we do not need to know what happened before Carpenter's film, or what happens afterwards (this is part of the film's genius), the prequel doesn't provide some sort of infodump that ruins the original. Oh, and no SPOILER WARNING; if you don't want to read this, then avert thine eyes. However, rather than fawn over the good points (which are many), I'll point out those things I found annoying or disappointing. You know, like any good internet "reviewer." Overall, Heijningen gets the continuity with the first film right, and his scientific gaffs are minor (no one has ever found a prehistoric carnivore preserved in tundra, though we're shown Mary Elizabeth Winstead's paleontologist, Dr. Kate Lloyd, examining what appears to be a frozen Homotherium near the beginning of the film). I loved the microscope view of the alien cells consuming human cells and converting them, and the understanding that the alien was single-celled virus capable of acting as a multicellular organism. Wait, I'm saying good things. What kind of internet reviewer am I?!

Anyway, the delightful isolation of the first film is broken when we cut to Lloyd's lab at Columbia University, whereas maintaining that sense of claustrophobic isolation was crucial to the film's success. Bad filmmakers. Also, this film isn't nearly as quiet or as slowly paced as the 1982 film, but if it were, 2011 audiences would probably walk out, having been trained for constant, unrelenting action. One thing I love about the Carpenter film is the pacing, which took a cue from Alien (1978). Also, while the special effects and creature design were very good, I still prefer the analog effects in the original. Give me latex and methylcellulose over pixels any damn day of the week. I liked how we were shown the alien's ability to absorb and replicate via ingestion, but also it's ability to infect and slowly convert a human. I loved that we are shown so much of the inside of the alien ship, but was annoyed that the original means of its discovery wasn't preserved. The prequel does a pretty good job of being set in 1982 (thank fuck it wasn't updated), but I missed seeing 1982 computer technology. That would have been charming in the right way. There are too many characters, and except for Lloyd, they have a tendency to bleed together (no pun intended), one into the next. A wonderful thing about the first film was its carefully delineated characters.

The ending is handled well. I very much like the sense that we're given the impression that Lloyd, despite having survived, knows it's best if she sits there in that snowcat and freezes to death. Ultimately, we're left with the ambiguities and fatalism of the original, the sense of impending apocalypse, and you better stay for the credits, because that's where Carpenter's and Heijningen's fuse seamlessly together (no pun intended), with footage from the 1982 version. Again, DO NOT LEAVE WHEN THE CREDIT ROLL BEGINS, or you'll miss where 1982 meets 2011. Tentative final conclusion: I'll give it 8 out of 10; definitely worth seeing in the theaters.

---

We finished Shirley Jackson's The Sundial last night. It's a wonderful novel, with multiple interpretations and a marvelously inconclusive ending. I learned so much from Jackson. Is this a statement on the Catholic Church (the Halloran House) and Protestantism (the inhabitants; remember that Jackson was an atheist)? On human idiocy in general? The hysteria of crowds? Jackson's strong dislike for insular New Englanders (which she repeats again and again in other works)? We have to draw our own conclusions, or draw none at all. And now, I will announce (though I may have already beat myself to it) that the next Aunt Beast Book Club book is Collin Meloy and Carson Ellis' Wildwood. Note that this is a beautiful hardback, and if you purchase it as an ebook, you're shooting yourself in the foot and will miss at least half the pleasure. Also, last night I read Peter Crowther's "Memories." And played some Rift. I miss the house guests. I need more of them.

Speaking of whom, here are some crappy, blurry shots I took on Friday night at Spooky's parents' farm in Saunderstown, before we stepped out into the torrential fucking downpour to get the first round of nude shots of Eva, when Imp finds her at the side of the road. We were ordering pizza (thank you Spooky and Geoffrey) and playing with Spider cat, the feline basketball:

14 October 2011, Part 2 )
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
Comments!

The thing about waking up without a house full of photographers, actors, and "oh shit!" girls is that you soon realize you have to make your own coffee. Well, Spooky has to make our own coffee. She won't let me near the Amazing Hal 9000.5 Caffeinator. Or maybe I'm just afraid of that huge and glowing blue camera eye. Point is, we had to make our own coffee. Spooky came near to violence.***

Here are links to this weekend's entries, because I know most people missed them, and there's some grand "sneak peeks" at what we were doing and what will eventually be the book trailer for The Drowning Girl and [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy's Stills From a Movie That Never Existed. First, we have Friday. And then there's Saturday. And, at last, Sunday. Understand, these stills are only a hint at the incredible coolness of the weekend and what was accomplished, and you'll begin to understand.

I think my favorite moment of the weekend, though, was at Rolling Dam in Blackstone, Massachusetts. In our enthusiastic foolhardiness, Brian, Kyle, Sara, and I had crawled down the steep rocky bank to a "relatively" calm bit of water behind a fallen log, and Sara had emerged nude and reptilian from the freezing tanin-stained depths, and we'd packed up all the cameras, and were breathing a collective sigh of relief that no one was swept away by the wild river. And then Kyle, he triumphantly declares, "We rule the toads of these short forests and every newt in Idaho!" I think he was quoting someone or something else, but they were appropriately cryptic words, all the same. Yeah, our afternoon by the Blackstone River even beat out standing in a torrential rainstorm Friday night, trying to get a shot, looking and feeling like maybe we were stranded in the jungles of Manila in an outtake from Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991) while Typhoon Olga did her best to drown us. Though, the afternoon at Moonstone Beach was pretty goddamn special, too. Especially when the rainbow appeared over Imp and Eva's heads.

Oh, and the eBay auctions to come. Begin drooling now. Props! Signed!

Again, and again, and again, thank you everyone.

Last night, after [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark departed (the last to go), Spooky and I were too tired to breathe. I made a blog entry, we did a little halfhearted straightening up of the house. But we soon discovered we were too tired to move. So, we crawled off to the bedroom and streamed last week's episode of Fringe (fucking marvelous!!!), then the first episode of American Horror Story (there's potential here; we'll see), and then another episode from Season Four of Mad Men (we're trying to make Season Four last as long as possible, rationing after gorging on Seasons 1-3). Then we read, each to ourselves, until we fell asleep, sometime after three ayem.

And now that the grand troupe of people is gone, I have to begin to get my head back into work. Maybe take today to decompress and reorient myself. But, yeah. Work. A lot of work. Immediately. Well, if tomorrow counts as "immediately."

Laurie Anderson is playing in Providence on Saturday night, and we're debating whether or not we'll go. Spooky's seen her live twice, but I never have.

Oh, and thanks, Steven, for the new Brown Bird CD (and T-shirts!). And thank you, niece, for the care package. It reached me.

Also! Just got an email from Bill Schafer at Subterranean Press, who writes: "We *should* start shipping copies of Two Worlds and In Between late this week, if all goes well. You might want to let your readers know that we're now down to the last 50 copies of the trade hardcover." Listen up, kittens. These are the final hours!

And now..this day.

*** NOTE: I do not actually drink coffee anymore, having forsaken it for Red Bull; but Kathryn can't live without it.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Everyone's on her or his way home now (Boston, Philadelphia, Framingham, Washington D.C.). Three amazing days of work are behind us. Much more work lies ahead, and the first edit of the trailer (there will be several, and yes, a DVD at some point) won't be done until January. But, undoubtedly, many hours of footage was shot for, at most, a four minute film.

I am sore, and sleepless, and my head's swimming, and I went three days and hardly ate. And I haven't yet gotten to see last week's episode of Fringe (spoilers will get you dead). But I wouldn't have traded this experience for the world. I watched moments from the The Drowning Girl: A Memoir brought to life through the alchemy of effort, talent, patience, luck, and persistence. After all my years of publishing, I am not ashamed to say that I learned many things I wish I'd learned years ago. And new projects will happen because I have learned these lessons.

I'm too tired to say very much, I only want to lie down and shut my eyes. But...yesterday we made it to Rolling Dam (the location that inspired the novel), and watched Sara become the marvelously predatory Siren of Millville. Never mind the water was fucking freezing, and rough enough it's a wonder she wasn't swept away. In time, you will see the beauty of those moments, but later. We can't show all our cards at once.

I sat with Nicola at Thundermist Falls in Woonsocket as the sun set, and coached her on what Imp would be doing and thinking and how she would move. I watched Imp try to drown in a bathtub, and panicked Abalyn carry her down a narrow hallway. In time, you'll see. We shot in the Providence Athenaeum (thank you, Super Librarian Women!), and other locales around the city today.

We've thanked each other, and wished we didn't have to leave, that we could keep working on this thing. But that's not how art is meant to be, is it? No, it's not. A special thank you to our absent genius, Michael Zulli. And to everyone who donated even so much as a single dollar to the Kickstarter crowdsourcing drive that made this happen.

My brains are running out my ears. But before I go, here are a few more shots:

15-16 October 2011; SFW? You decide. )


I drank the blood of angels from the bottle,
Just to see if I could call the lightning down.
It hasn't struck me yet, and I would wage my soul to bet
That there ain't no one throwing lightning anyhow.
— Brown Bird, "Blood of Angels"
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Okay, setting aside for the moment that Kathryn managed to find a Bosco Milk Chocolate Bar (3.5 ounces of all natural pure fun, since 1928), we have had an amazing motherfucking day and night. Oh, yes. Let's not forget the night. But! No one drowned, which is bloody amazing, given we working on a trailer for The Drowning Girl and...well...you'll see.

Sure, it was a rainy fucking day here in Rhode Island. But, everyone arrived about noonish, and as we headed south towards Location #1, Moonstone Beach, we got a break. In the cloud cover that is. The drizzle ceased, and the filming at Moonstone went swimmingly (you gotta thank Geoffrey [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark for having committed that pun, as he was sitting here begging me not to use it, though he's the one that brought it up). Where was I? Oh, Moonstone Beach. Yes, it was one of the most beautiful days I've ever seen at Moonstone, and the novel's climactic scene was a marvel to translate into film. Oh, and there were beautiful mermaid's purses, and omen of a certain, some enormous (by the standards of selachian egg cases), perfectly hatched. Had a great close encounter with a loon (and I don't mean Geoffrey!). The mist was thick, and Block island was invisible in the distance, to the south, across the green, then blue gulf of Block Island Sound. Our actors—Sara (Eva) and Nicola (Imp)—were grand. Kyle played Mary Ellen Mark and shot a billion still photos. I played Werner Herzog, while Brian played Terrance Malick. Meanwhile, Kathryn, Geoffrey (there he is again), and Ryan saved our asses again and again and again. As the clouds parted, we were treated to a Maxfield Parrish sky, all in a trillion shades a blue and grey.

And then we took time to visit the jetty at Harbor of Refuge, which I walked, despite the fact I have no business playing mountain goat. And then, just before dark, we headed to the Point Judith Lighthouse. We watched men fishing in the rocky surf, and a couple of surfers (of questionable intellect) flinging themselves suicidally into the breakers. And the sun set and rain came down.

Hard.

We headed back to Kathryn's parent's farm, to shoot a pivotal scene, which calls for outdoor nudity. And it was shot in the rain. The pouring rain. The hard, cold, you can't hear yourself speak over it rain. Sara gets huge points from me for standing naked in the hard, cold, you can't hear yourself speak over it rain. For, I think, four takes. I only had to be soaking wet in my clothes. I think you could write a short novel about our filming that one scene, Sara and Nicola (who was at least dressed), and the cameras, and the umbrellas, and the automobile serving double duty as a lighting rig. And the rain. And the deer that almost ate Sara. And pizza. And umbrellas. And Spider the cat. And...stop me now.

More to come. Ah, but! There is a sneak peek! Here:

14 October 2011, NOT WORK SAFE, like I give a shit )
greygirlbeast: (fight dinosaurs)
Last weekend, beautiful fucking weather. Sunny and bright. Highs in the low eighties Fahrenheit. You almost could have imagined it was summer. Well, for Rhode Island, I mean. This weekend? Cold, rainy, foggy, and windy. That is to say, normal Rhode Island weather (unless it's snowing). But, apparently, We are possessed of some species of determination and purpose. and the show must wobble on.

Most everyone will be arriving via the train station about noon, and Spooky's headed that way very soon. Me, I'm sitting here in my pajamas, thinking about going back to bed. I was dreaming of Boulder. Of school in Boulder. I was dreaming of a calculus class in Boulder, and even that hurt less than this.

Yesterday, someone saw fit to vent their spleen in this blog. Apparently, they were moved to do this because I fucking hate ebooks, because I hate the very idea of ebooks, and because I said so (again). My hatred of ebooks has been a matter of public record since the fucking Kindle was only a gleam in some profiteering shitheel's eye. But yesterday it seems I hit a nerve. Good for me. See, I'm fighting a losing battle against ebooks (that's a given), so I can take my meaningless little victories free of guilt. Ebooks will soon rule publishing, at least until that post-peak oil crash, when plastic will be worth its weight in paper. However, it became one of those very rare instances when I was forced to delete posts (including two of my own), and yes, forced. By decorum. I'm going to repeat what I said in yesterday's second post, in a condensed and abbreviated form, regarding what I expect from those who kindly take time to comment here:

Over the many years that this LiveJournal has existed (since 2004), I have said repeatedly that I do not allow contentious comments. Comments, yes. You may even feel free to disagree, briefly, so long as it is evident (to me) you're not, clearly, aiming to start an argument. In short, we do not debate. Ever. This blog is NOT a public forum, regardless of my inviting comments. Think of it like visiting a friend. This LJ is my house. And I expect people to behave in a civil fashion while in my house. This is, I know, asking a lot, as we do not live in a civil age, but I'm asking it, anyway.

If I find a comment argumentative or offensive, as has always been the case, I will delete it. I don't often delete anything. And I almost never ban anyone (maybe five, ever). Furthermore, if it is obvious that I feel especially strongly on a subject, take that as a cue not to poke me with a pointy stick. It's common sense, guys. So, when I make angry, damning comments about ebooks, for example, that's my opinion. Disagree? You have the whole internet, except this blog, in which to express your dissatisfaction with my comments. That seems fair.


This is non-negotiable, and like everything else, not up for debate.

Oh, and yesterday—before the blog fiasco—we took a mountain of boxes to the storage unit and Spooky backed the van into a concrete wall at about twenty miles an hour. Very little damage was done. And there were publishing nuisances. And we cleaned house.

And I guess that's all for now. People will begin arriving at the Providence train station very soon, and they probably don't want to see me in my pajamas. So, dress I must. Looks like we'll be shooting at Moonstone Beach in a few hours. In the book, the scene's on a bright summer morning. So, a dreary, freezing autumn afternoon is a perfect stand-in.

Here's a question. In the Golden Age of the Ukulele Revival, why is Tiny Tim not more revered? The man was a fucking genius, and, seemingly, well ahead of his time..

Ta,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
The Book has landed. Late yesterday afternoon, early yesterday evening, on my backdoor steps. It's a beautiful book, and I'm very happy with it, and can say that, in terms of "booksmithing" alone, it's of the most beautiful editions I've ever produced with Subterranean Press. And yet, it's sort of terrifyingly daunting to be 47 years old and looking at Volume 1 of the "Best of" your life's work. So, this book makes me want to hug it, but it also makes me want to run screaming, both at the same time. The second reaction, however, is of no concern to anyone but me, and if you've not bought a copy, it's still not too late (well except for the limited edition, and fuck, the art section looks good). I assume your copies should be arriving (unless you didn't order, in which case they won't).

I hope that as the mass-media & publishing industries, along with various associated symbiotes and parasites and whores, continue to play circle jerk with ebooks and reader thingies and whatnot, and pat themselves on the back for embracing the cold, soulless, plastic Brave New (& Ever So Much More Practical) World of the Insubstantial, that it makes way for a "booksmithing" renaissance. The disease could be the cure. I'll suffer Kindles and Nooks and Schnooks and whatever, as long as real books (which are more than pixel words on a screen, in sixteen shades of grey) survive and thrive, even if only in a marginalized niche. I embrace marginalization. It's all I've ever really known, anyway. Also, fuck the world's bullshit desire for convenience. Art is not meant to be convenient, any more than it is meant to be easy to create or interpret.

Anyway, yes. I am happy with Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Me. In fact, I went to bed snuggling it, as you can see in this photo (Spooky says it looks like I'm eating it):


Photographs Copyright © 2011 by Kathryn A. Pollnac
Cover art Copyright © 2011 by Lee Moyer.


Work yesterday. But I can't tell you what. I cannot even hint. There was a long teleconference, but that's all I can say. Next.

In fact, all of yesterday pales in comparison to the arrival of The Book, so...there's not much else to say.

Tomorrow, noonish, Spooky and I will be picking up a gaggle of folks at the train station in Providence, and the next three days will be spent filming (and right after that, I'm supposed to be in Northampton, Massachusetts...Tuesday, maybe) and photographing and such, from one end of Rhode Island to the other, getting material for [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy's series of still photos based on The Drowning Girl and material for the book trailer, which is being shot by Brian Siano. There will be reports all weekend, in theory, behind the scenes nonsense, if I have the time. I know Kyle will be tweeting and whatnot, using all that newfangled gadgetry the kiddos are so proud of these days. It's going to be an intensely weird three days, and we'll be having thunderstorms on at least the first of those days...which sucks. But there you go.

Sucking As She Goes,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
No numbered lists today. I've not the patience for it, and I have too little to say, and, besides, NASA finally decided the odds of the elctro-whatsit generator we need to proceed "probably" won't create a vast artificial black hole.

Secrets make me weary.

Yesterday...well, I did do some stuff. Spooky went out and rented a second storage unit, because there's too many comp copies of books I've written or have stories in, and everything has to be reorganized, and my isn't that exciting? Tonight, we'll be lugging boxes of books to Pawtucket. Still awaiting the go-ahead from the National Aeronautics geeks, I tried to begin a new vignette...or short story. Not sure which yet, or either. Or if either? Something's wrong there. Anyway, [livejournal.com profile] sovay helped me with the Greek for the title: "Hē tēs thalássēs mártys (ἡ τῆς θαλάσσης μάρτυς)," and I even wrote 104 words on it before giving up. Not in disgust. In something else. Possibly in misgiving or in trepidation.

Sometime, thereafter, I had my first seizure in months. Spooky wasn't here, and I came to on the kitchen floor. The usual "I have no idea what happened immediately beforehand" amnesia and the back of my head hurt. But no damage done. Just when I think I'm never going to have another one of these things...Anyway, my suspicion is there's just been far too much stress the last couple of weeks, which is, obviously, a primary trigger for PNES seizures,

Yesterday, talking about Silk, someone in the comments mentioned how they enjoyed the interconnectedness of the books. And I replied that, truthfully, I regret the novels being interconnected — Silk through Daughter of Hounds — and that I've seriously considered rewriting "Bainbridge" to remove its connections to Silk and Murder of Angels (and, so, by extension, the other three novels). I have no idea how my readers would feel about my attitude towards having tied all this stuff together, but as the years go by it seems juvenile, and as though I did the wrong thing for all the wrong reasons. Hence, The Red Tree and The Drowning Girl: A Memoir are almost entirely devoid of any connection to my earlier books. The bizarre series that Blood Oranges may be the beginning of, this is not the way I will continue to write most novels in the future (and I do not think of Blood Oranges as one of my serious novels; it's just a peculiar lark, fun, something to wake me up after the long fever dream of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir).

The weather's turning to shit just in time for this weekend's shoot. I suppose we will muddle through. Perhaps literally.

Oh, I know what I was going to say. One reason I stopped writing "Hē tēs thalássēs mártys (ἡ τῆς θαλάσσης μάρτυς)" yesterday was this sudden fear that I'm writing far too many stories about the sea. Yes, I know I do it very well. But I'm beginning to feel like I'm...repeating myself. Well, I know what I mean.

In the end, yesterday was an all but wasted day...which makes four in a row...during a month when I couldn't afford even one. But this shit happens. At least, today, I can go back to work in earnest. After all the email. Spooky has to drive down to her parents' place to gather up some spare blankets and pillows and stuff for people who will be crashing here over the weekend. We're still waiting on final conformation about shooting scenes in the Athenaeum. There's an awful lot of chaos (not with the Atehnaeum, that wasn't what I meant to imply). But this whole thing begins day after tomorrow, and a lot of things are still up in the air. And the funny part? There's zero evidence that book trailers help sell books. But we have a three thousand dollar budget.

I should go now, before I hurt myself.

Oh, but first — and speaking of book trailers — there's this. The first volume of Odd?, a new biannual anthology from Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (presently only an ebook, but a hardcopy edition is on its way), reprints my story "A Child's Guide to the Hollow Hills." But I think the promotional video is far more entertaining than is my story:



Masochistic,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (cullom)
0. Comments would be very welcome today.

1. Chilly and sunny today. Our little Indian Summer has come and gone. All three days of it. I left the house only once, briefly, the entire time. I expect no more days in the eighties until June.

2. On this day, eighteen years ago, I began writing Silk. Weather-wise, it was a day much like today, though much farther south. Eighteen years, so that means babies born that day are, as of this day, old enough to vote. One of them picking up Silk today, would be like me, on the occasion of my eighteenth birthday, picking up a copy of a novel whose author began writing it in 1964. These are very strange thoughts. Silk is, lest anyone delude themselves into thinking otherwise, a snapshot of a time, culture, and place long vanished. I am not that person anymore. No, not really. There's a faint echo of her around here somewhere.

3. My mood is lower today than it's been in, I don't know. Months. These things happen, and we stay on our meds, and we speak of ourselves in the third person, and we ride them out.

4. Yesterday, you might have seen a news story with a sensational headline something like: "Giant 'Kraken' Lair Discovered: Cunning Sea Monster That Preyed On Ichthyosaurs.". People kept sending me links to it yesterday. And the best I can say about this affair is that if I were still teaching, I'd point to this as a sterling example of Really Bad Science. One does not find a peculiar pattern (in this case, the arrangement of ichthyosaur vertebrae) and invent an outlandish explanation with no evidence whatsoever. And call it something lurid and ridiculous like a "Giant Kraken." There's zero evidence for the existence of a giant Triassic teuthid (squid). Zero. No fossil evidence. So, to posit that one was moving ichthyosaur bones around is very akin to the Weekly World News having once blamed "Alien Big-Game Hunters" for the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs. In short, it's silly. I could write a long essay on this, but I won't. Even if Mark McMenamin could find fossil evidence for a giant squid of roughly the same age as Shonisaurus popularis, it would still be almost impossible to say it was responsible for moving those bones into that pattern.

5. Yesterday...I worked. Not as much as I should have, because...sometimes it's hurry up and wait. But I did work. Mostly, more planning for the book-trailer shoot this weekend. Only three days to go. And it looks like there will be rain on Friday, which is going to play merry havoc with our schedule.

6. Want to see the American Consumer at its least rational? Just look back over the recent fiasco with Netflix, and the damage its done to the company (a two-thirds stock drop since July, and still going down). Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has apologized for the proposed Netflix/Quickster division for rental/streaming services, which is absurd. That he apologized, I mean. People need to cut the entitlement bullshit. Better streaming services will cost more, and the industry is moving towards streaming. Period. I am far from being a financially stable person, but the original Netflix business model won't work forever, and it's wasteful, and is costing the USPS a fortune.

7. Frequently, people have asked me to blog my Second Life roleplay. Usually, I don't do this, because doing so leads to spending time writing that could be spent RPing. But I have begun keeping a journal of Ellen "Grendel" Ishmene's trials and tribulations in Insilico, the life of an illegal Level A clone/Class V AI. It's an excuse to keep myself limber with cyberpunk narratives. If you're interested, you can follow the journal here. Oh, and there are pictures. These days, about the only reason I can find to bother with SL is Insilico, and it's far from perfect. But the build is exquisite, and the RP is probably about the best ever in SL.

8. As for the non-work part of yesterday, I read two articles in the September 2011 issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology: "Variation in the skull of Anchiceratops (Dinosauria, Ceratopsidae) from the Horseshoe Canyon Formation (Upper Cretaceous) of Alberta" and "A sauropod dinosaur pes from the latest Cretaceous of North America, and the validity of Alamosaurus sanjuanensis (Sauropoda, Titanosauria)."* And we read two more chapters of Shirley Jackson's The Sundial (we're nearing the end of the book), and played some Rift, and I read a rather awful short story by F. Paul Wilson, "The November Game," an extremely unfortunate "sequel" to Ray Bradbury's classic "The October Game." If you're going to attempt a sequel to one of the best spooky stories of the 20th Century, at least have the respect and good sense to mind the mood and tone of the original. And that was yesterday.

Twiddling Her Thumbs,
Aunt Beast

* Looks as though there's only a single species of Anchiceratops, A. ornatus, and that Alamosaurus is a valid taxon.
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
COMMENT!

Well, our Indian Summer draws to a close. And I spent most of it sitting in this chair, and word from the front never came. As it were.

But, at least none of you have to remember President Humphrey K. Ludwig, or the mess that Irwin Allen made of Dr. Zhivago, or (and especially) about the science-fiction convention in Los Vegas (CONsino) during which a splinter cell of angry, disenfranchised furries detonated a twenty-kiloton nuclear device...all that, at least, has been set straight. The past is the past once more. Well...except that thing with Menudo, and the McRib. Sorry. Those, I couldn't fix.

Oh, and that thing with Frank Black yesterday? Of course I meant Frank Booth. But you never sacrifice a wonderful run-on, run-out, not-quite free-association tirade over anything so tiresome as fact. Frank Booth would never have gotten me to Frank Black (née Black Francis), or Frank Black (sensu Millennium), or even the guy in the creepy rabbit mask.

Honestly? I have no idea what I'm supposed to be writing about, that's why?

There's not much to report from yesterday, not that I can report. Kathryn and I continue trying to pull everything together for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir book-trailer shoot this coming weekend. Yesterday, I spoke with Nicola (our Imp) and Dani (our Abalyn), as well as with Brian (our cinematographer). And this past weekend would have been dead-on fucking perfect for the shoot, and next weekend is looking maybe a little doubtful. But there's no way we could have known, and we'll have to take what we can get. There's no time left for rain dates. This should have been shot in July, but work and scheduling conflicts and whatnot continually pushed the date back. And, so, this is it. We are fortunate in that New England is having a lousy autumn, in terms of the trees changing colors, so it still looks fairly summery up here.

Have you ordered Two Worlds and In Between? Have you clicked "like" on the absurdly early Amazon.com preorder page for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir? Have you subscribed to Sirenia Digest? Well, why the hell not? Wait. Don't tell me.

A good bit of RP (including a bizarrely Fringe-like moment...think Olivia/Fauxlivia) in Insilico RP last night with [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark. Last night also marked the first time I've ever RPed two characters in SL at once (on two machines, with two open viewers). It was weird, and while it wasn't easy, it wasn't as hard as I'd thought it would be. And we watched three more episodes of Mad Men (Season Four). And I read, from Halloween, a pretty good story by William F. Nolan, "The Halloween Man." And then I slept, and had unspeakable dreams. Unspeakable at least in the sense that they are now so fragmented that I could not reconstruct them well enough to speak of them. And that, kittens, was yesterday.

Today looks...indefinite. But I leave you with these. Back to that something Spooky and I did night before last that I only mentioned in passing yesterday. I think these two shots are work safe. All the others weren't. And there will be future sessions (after I've lost that Hubero) that will produce very not work-safe images. But these are pretty vanilla. Unless you work for, I don't know, Pat fucking Roberson (or did he die?). Spooky was in the mood to paint, and I was in the mood to be a canvas:

8 October 2011 )


Indefinite,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
Oh my bloody fucking fuck. I am so fucking over this aging thing. I did something stupid to my hip...my FREAKING fucking hip...yesterday. Probably when I was trying to clean and reorganize part of my office, rearranging bookshelves in the vain attempt to turn that House on Ash Tree Lane trick and create larger spaces within smaller spaces. It didn't work, but I feel like, during my sleep, someone took a sledgehammer to my left hip. Wanna wake up really goddamn fast? Forget fucking coffee. Trying motherfucking hip pain. Tiger balm and two Doan's tablets—yes, motherfucking Doan's tablets—have dulled the pain enough that I'll be able to sit up and write. But FUCK THIS SHIT (to quote Frank Black). This winter, I'm joining a gym and getting this meatbag into some semblance of working order. Last night (not suspecting the hip pain was headed my way), Spooky and I were discussing how we both need to lose some weight. Using Hubero as a standard of weight measurement, it was decided I need to lose 1 Hubero. That's one whole FAT cat I'm carrying around, all day and every day. Again (second verse, same as the first), FUCK THAT SHIT.

Oh, and please. No commiseration, or I feel your pain, or whatever. No stories that go something like: "Well, when I was only fifteen years old I was riding my bicycle and a pit bull grabbed my ankle and dragged me and the bike—by the ankle, mind you—twelve blocks, up hill both ways, before it was shot in the head by a kindly spaceman who called an ambulance that hitched my ankle to its back fender and dragged me twelve miles, up hill both ways, over a dirt road that was mostly potholes, all the way to the hospital—which was closed! Now, you wanna talk hip pain? That's hip pain!" None of those stories. In fact, I want a T-shirt that reads, simply, "Do Not Commiserate."

But at least the Hip Agony does help me not feel so bad that I'm spending the Last Warmest Day of 2011 in Rhode Island (going up to about 85˚F) trying to fix the timeline, instead of "chillaxing" (hold on while I choke myself for using that odious "word," even sarcastically) at the beach, swimming, losing a cat.

Anyway...

Yesterday was mostly me discovering that things were worse than I suspected. That failed time-travel experiment? Well, feel free to blame me for the Eighties. That's right. Blame me for the entire decade. But...Frank the Goat's on it, and there may yet be hope. You may wake up tomorrow and have no idea whatsoever that the Eighties ever occurred, because they won't have. Unless we fail, me and Frank (that's me and Frank the Goat, not me and Frank Black—and I mean Frank Black from Blue Velvet, not Frank Black, née Black Francis, from the Pixies, or the ultra-cool-and-spooky Frank Black from Millennium, and certainly not Frank the Interdimensional Demon Bunny), and that's always a possibility. One must never underestimate the likelihood of failure. John DeLorean, he underestimated his ability to fail...and look how that turned out. And of course I'm right. I'm me.

Next week's shoot for the book trailer for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir races towards us (five days to go), and...frankly (black), I'm terrified. Will we be ready? I'm gonna roll a 1d4 and hold my breath.

Um...and...what?

Last night, Spooky and I saw last week's episode of Fringe, "One October Night," and..wow. Olivia and Fauxlivia. That was pretty much a slash episode (albeit, without the hot Fauxlivia-on-Olivia sex). And we watched another episode from Season Four of Mad Men. Oh, and something that I can't (or, rather, won't) show you until tomorrow.

And then I looked through the marvelous Dark Horse hardback collection of Bernie Wrightson stuff from the pages of Creepy and Eerie (thank you, Steven Lubold!), then read another story from the Halloween anthology, "Three Doors" by Norman Partridge. The story itself is so-so, but it's narrative technique has moments of sheer brilliance. To whit:

"Doesn't matter to me how you explain it.
I'm not here to draw you a diagram.
I'm just here to tell you a story."

The voice of the narrator (ergo, the author), is a grand "fuck you" to all the morons who want their hands held during story time. In fact, those lines echo rather remarkably Quinn's attitude towards her imagined readers in Blood Oranges: "You can believe this or not. Whatever"

But now, now I must go fix the timeline, so you who are old enough can stop remembering "designer stubble", Guns N' Roses, and the return of shoulder pads.

Accidentally Retro,
Aunt Beast (in pain we trust)
greygirlbeast: (Al)
So, there's some asshole next door, guy has a lawn the size of a postage stamp. No, seriously. A postage stamp. And he's out there with a motherfucking leaf blower. Now, longtime readers will know that, as far as I'm concerned, no lawn is big enough to warrant the profound laziness, the unnecessary waste of energy derived from fossil fuels, the damage to the environment done by leaf blowers, or...and this is important, so please pay attention...the noise produced by the goddamn things. There is this marvelous invention, dating back, well, a long damn time. It requires a little sweat, sure. But that's why evolution gave us muscles and sweat glands and the ability to burn calories. This invention of which I speak is called a rake. And, in a sane world, I would go outside with a claw hammer, dismantle that leaf blower, gaily strew the shards across that cockwaffle's lawn, then offer him a rake with which to clean up the mess I've made. We do not live in a sane world, kittens.

Yeah, it's gonna be that sort of a day.

Doesn't help that it seems the DeLorean time machine didn't quite hit its target date (almost, but not quite...so now we have Bill Gates and Ann Coulter, neither of whom existed yesterday), and I'm going to spend the day chasing ripples through the matrix of space and time in order to make this the Present Day that the experiment was intended it make it into. Ripples.

Should a traveler appear earlier in the timeline of his own existence, he would be but as a pebble cast upon still water. But the ripples he creates would, over time, radiate upon far distant shores—geometrically altering events in their path.

Exactly.

I've gotten distracted.

Yesterday was a frustrating sort of day, waiting for that news from the past and all. But I worked on this and that related to the shooting of the book trailer for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, which will be happening next weekend if it's ever going to happen. The three million details. You know, scooping up all the itty-bitty bits of brain and shit. I did some of that, while I watched the chronometers. I watched dozens of movie trailers, thinking, thinking, thinking. I made notes, and sent them to our cinematographer, Brian Siano. Gods, there are some beautiful movie trailers, an art in their own right, and I especially admire the ones that make shitty movies look like gold. Now, mind you, I'm not admiring the intent of whatever studio exec had those trailers made, the marketing people, all those deceitful assholes trying to pass shit off as gold. I'm applauding the poor schmucks who were tasked with the editing jobs, and who will do the job well, unless they wanted to go looking for another line of work. They are among the all-but-unsung heroes in the shitstorm of ballyhoo and jackassery that is Hollywood. Though, I will say, the trailers are frequently my favorite part of going to the theatre. But...I've gotten distracted again.

Oh, also I received sample design pages from Penguin, for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir (of course). Overall, it's looking good, except for some hideous curlicue font used in the headers, a font I am assured will be replaced with something appropriate, something that doesn't make me want to gouge out my eyes.

Anyway, Spooky came home from the market with a cardboard shipping tube containing another nigh-unto-unspeakably beautiful piece of Philip George Saltonstall's artwork, created, of course, by the incomparable Michael Zulli, one which will appear in the book trailer. Seeing it was like being punched in the chest. And yeah, I've been punched in the chest, so I know what it feels like.

The evening's entertainment consisted of watching Serenity for the five-hundreth time (it's still a great and inspiring ride), and then playing my part in an Insilico RP that was almost very good...except—at some point it descended into "You're stealin' my man" soap-opera nonsense and utterly failed ooc communication—and, also also RPers online need to learn the difference between godmoding and how actions would realistically unfold in particular circumstances, cause and effect, and fuck the whiners. By the end of the scene, which went on for about three hours, I was just tired and wanted to go to bed. But it had it's moments.

Anyway, now I must go attend to those ripples.

Thinking wormholes,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Mars from Earth)
I've been sitting here for half an hour trying to wake up enough to write a blog entry. I had my breakfast of goat food and milk, and I'm still working on the morning Red Bull (coffee truly is for pussies). My body visited eight hours of sleep upon me last night, rather unexpectedly. I suppose it was needed. I am becoming hypnophobic, I think. That is, sleep frightens me. It took me a bit to puzzle out the why. Sleep has been intensely unpleasant for a long time – because of the dreams that are too vivid – but now I have pills that dim the dreams from three-color Technicolor to the older, kinder two-color process. But, I digress. Maybe. Anyway, no. It's not the dreams. It's the amount of time that sleep deducts from my conscious life, from what I have remaining of it. This is, of course, a Land of Unknown Variables. Life remaining to CRK might = N, let's say, and time deducted by sleep during N might = n, but...never mind. I'm too sleepy for algebra, I think you'll get the picture; time is always running out.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,829 words in the Mars story that is now known as "The House of Glass Coffins." It began as an idea for a vignette, and grew into a full-fledged short story, though...I think it wanted to be a novella. Today is assembly day for Sirenia Digest #69, which may, if we're all lucky, go out to subscribers before midnight EDT.

Oh, look. Now LJ's preview feature isn't working. Surprise! I've got to find some place to move this blog before the Russians, or whoever-they-ares, destroy LJ completely. I don't want to leave, but once the rats have all gone (and, mostly, they have), you gotta start making contingency plans. I'm considering both WordPress and TypePad. Equally stupid titles, but no worse, I suppose, than LiveJournal (though LJ is at least accurately descriptive). And before you suggest it, Dreamwidth is no longer an option, as I've learned much too much about the fascists who run it.

Where was I before I tried to preview this entry?

Oh, yes. This month's book of the month. After completely making an utter mess of things last month with Carrie Ryan's (so I quickly learned) laughably lousy The Forest of Hands and Teeth, this month I'm staying on firmer, more familiar ground. I kept meaning to create a graphic and post it, the cover of The Forest of Hands and Teeth with a red circle and slash around it. Anyway, this month's selection is Shirley Jackson's The Sundial (1958). It's one of Jackson's less well-known works, and I hope you'll join me in reading it. The novel has become hard to find, and if you can't find a copy to purchase (new or used), try the library (remember those?), or an ebook (I'm going to the Special Hell for that last suggestion, that anyone dare read a Shirley Jackson novel as *shudder* an ebook)*:



And that brings us to the Kickstarter for mine and [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy's The Drowning Girl: Stills From a Movie That Never Existed. The Kickstarter has only four days to go, and we're at $2,846 pledged (or 237% funded), which is rather impressive, considering we were only aiming for $1,200. However, wouldn't it be a shame if we came this close to $3,000 and missed that nice round number by a mere $154? And it's not like we won't put the money to good use. So, consider a donation, if you haven't already. I wish I had more signed copies of the book to offer as rewards. Wow. Now I know that, if necessary, I can sound like a televangelist begging for money in the name of Jay-zus.

And now, kittens, it's time for you to comment, and for me to make a virtual digest out of its constituent pixels. Come on, platypus.

Hypnophobically,
Aunt Beast

* I am relieved to see that The Sundial is not available on Kindle.
greygirlbeast: (Barker)
Yes, we did feel the earthquake yesterday. I was sitting in my chair, at my desk, and the entire house began to move, very subtly at first, and then hard enough that all the shit stacked on my bookshelves was threatening to topple over. The legs of my desk creaked, and there was an ominous popping sound from one corner. Spooky was cleaning in the bathroom, and I shouted to her. By the time she got to the office, it was over, but the chandelier was still swaying.* Whole thing, maybe twenty seconds, give or take. First quake I've felt since in lived in Colorado in the eighties. We puzzled over it for a while, trying to figure out what had caused the house to move so. And then I thought, thought I, Earthquake? No. Not a fucking earthquake. But I googled "earthquake," and there it was, 5.9 in Virginia, felt as far north as Toronto. It was somewhat unnerving. I got "out of office" replies when I emailed people in Manhattan. And now I hear there's a crack in the top of the Washington Monument. Me, I just keep thinking about dinosaurs mounted in the Smithsonian and American Museum.

So, yes. This is what fault zones do, kittens. This is how energy is propagated through the earth's crust. The baby steps of plate tectonics.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,910 words on Chapter 8 of Blood Oranges. It baffles me, trying to imagine how this novel will be received. Part of me honestly doesn't give a shit. That's always true, but maybe even more true with Blood Oranges. I'm trying to concoct an antidote to the sticky-sweet ParaRom fungus that's threatened to claim "urban fantasy" for its own. It's bound to piss some people off (I hope); others will have the exact opposite reaction (I hope). There is no "romance," not even one little jot (okay, maybe one little jot, but it's a micro-jot). No sex. But it has a lot of profanity, which I expect some poor traumatized souls find "triggery," but fuck them if they can't take exquisitely filthy words like "cocksucker" and "televangelist."** True Blood and Anita Blake, this is my middle finger, condensed into eight chapters.***

So, as if earthquakes were not enough, we have Hurricane Irene screaming towards us. Which, at the very least, complicates our plans for the weekend. And there's no way we could have arranged a "rain date." So, we're going to start shooting late Friday night and finish up Sunday morning, and make the best of what we have. There may be far more interior shots than previously planned. By Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m., the swells off Moonstone Beach (one of our locations) are projected to be 6-9 feet high, coming in at 15-second intervals. Obviously, we'll not be asking Sarah (who plays Eva) to be walking into that. Sunday will be worse.

Could be I was wrong about this being the Citizen Kane of book trailers. It's starting to feel more like the Apocalypse Now of book trailers.

Please note that the NEW Sirenia Digest web pages are now anchored at my site, and are 100% fully functional (I'll leave you to judge whether or not they are also anatomically correct). Thank you, Jacob ([livejournal.com profile] jacobluest)!

Last night, RP in Insilico, and we read more of The Stand (about halfway finished), and then I finished Denise Gess and William Lutz' Firestorm at Peshtigo: A Town, It's People, and the Deadliest Fire in American History. And that was yesterday.

Mussed,
Aunt Beast

* Also, the water level in toilet bowl dropped dramatically.
** By the way, those people who use aphorisms like, "Good writers don't need to use foul language," that bunch can merrily go fuck themselves. Go ahead. Have a blast. It's on me.
*** This is not to say it's going to be some sort of "splatterpunk" absurdity (such as, and for example, Skipp and Spector's The Light at the End). In fact, it's hardly gory at all.
greygirlbeast: (Bjorkdroid)
It's comment day, Mouseketeers‎! Um...I mean...kittens.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,558 words on Chapter Five of Blood Oranges. I'm doing my best to go over the 1,150 word minimum for each day – word banking – because I know I'm going to miss three days this month. Three days writing, I mean. One to an appointment with my doctor and a couple more for the Drowning Girl shoot in and around Boston with [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy and crew. Right now, the word bank stands at 655 words.

Yesterday, my agent and I also mapped out my workload between now and January...and it's pretty daunting. I may post it tomorrow. Well, then again, maybe not. Regardless, it's a heavy load, even for me. What is this Outside of which you speak? Social life?

Gonna be pretty warm again today.

---

[livejournal.com profile] joshrupp emailed to ask (edited for space):


Anyway, I had a question, time and temperament permitting. Why is the term “horror writer” a stigma?...The people we call “horror writers” are telling scary stories, and the people who write about actual horror are called “dark fantasists” or some ambiguous bullshit like that. It’s such a good word ["horror"], and in that sense I’ve always thought of you as a horror writer. How to parse this as a question slightly eludes me, but: If you aren’t a horror writer, what are you? You’ve been talking about triggerpunk, and I’ve never known a trigger to evoke happy-bunnies-sparkly-rainbow-fuzzies. Is the term “horror writer” something you’d ever reclaim, because it’s getting frustrating not knowing how to group people who write about dark things.

Quick and dirty answer.

I'm not a horror writer because I say that I'm not, and this whole art thing is about, among other things, the right to self-determination. That said, "horror" is pretty much the kiss of death in the publishing industry these days. Try to get a good agent while calling yourself a horror writer, and see what I mean. The heyday of genre horror was the seventies and eighties, and by the early nineties it was dying a much-deserved death. Much deserved because it had, as a "genre," as a whole, whored itself raw.

That said, I don't set out to write stories that are intended to scare people. Honestly, never even once do I think I've done that. I write the stories I want to write. And yeah, they're dark. Sometimes, they're so dark you'd be better off calling them jet or ebony or whatever. But darkness does not always equate to the emotion "horror." It may equate to many other emotions (terror, despair, ennui, sorrow, regret, etc.), and often it is from those emotions that the darkness in my stories arises. I'm just spitting up words here, as I write this entry. It's not an essay, and I'm, at best, half awake. So cut me some slack on the rambling.

To define someone's fiction by recourse to a single emotion engages in a sort of literary reductionism that I find grating and, to be blunt, offensive. My writing has worn more labels than I could ever keep up with. Usually, I only find the labeling sort of odd. Usually, it doesn't annoy me. Or rather, it doesn't annoy me so long as it doesn't restrict me. Labels lead to expectation. I want a readership virtually free of expectation – beyond the expectation of well-written prose. I don't want people coming to one of my stories or novels and saying "Well, that didn't scare me." I'm not a thrill ride, and good fiction never sets out to evoke a single emotion. The triggerpunk thing, that was a joke, taking a jab at both the readers who whine about fiction being "triggery" and at those who insist literature must be put into neat boxes. It wasn't a serious proposal. It was satire. But triggerpunk (ugh) is a more accurate description of my writing.

And no, I have no interest in reclaiming horror. It was pretty much never mine (I belonged to the HWA for two years, realized what a nepotistic wankfest it was, and quit in '96), and I don't want it. I see others clinging to it for dear fucking life, and I have no idea why.

It is far more truthful to look at my writing, to look at each piece individually and at the totality of it, and – if you must label it – call it dark fantasy. That's not "ambiguous bullshit." With few exceptions, my fiction is fantasy (excepting some of the harder sf), and, with almost no exceptions, it's dark. But only sometimes is it horrific. Ergo, I refer to myself as a dark fantasist. It's accurate. There's no false advertising. No one out there – no reader, writer, or editor – should feel insulted because I don't call myself a horror writer and ask others not to use that term to describe me. I mean, really. What difference does it make, as long as I write stories worth reading? Fuck the labels.

But thank you for the question, [livejournal.com profile] joshrupp. I only sound cranky because I'm not awake, and I've been asked, and have felt compelled to answer, this question about five hundred times.

Also, it seems that Grendel's back, albeit rebooted and recast.

And now it's time for my Red Bull.

Unboxed,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
As previously announced:

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy at Casting Call: Top Secret Project Revealed!
I'm very excited to announce that the new Top Secret Project, is a collaboration with Caitlin R. Freaking Kiernan (aka [info]greygirlbeast) whom you may know as the author of The Red Tree, The Ammonite Violin & Others, Silk, Murder of Angels, etc. etc. etc. -- she also wrote the comic book series The Dreaming (and did the novelization of Neil's Beowulf movie).

Caitlin has a new book out in May of 2012 which I think is the best thing she's written. It's called The Drowning Girl: A Memoir - it was so visually beautiful that when I read the advance reader copy I contacted her immediately and said I wanted to do something with it - please oh please oh please. So, after much conspiring back and forth, I'm really pleased to announce that I'm casting for a book trailer plus a still Top Sekret Photo Project which we'll shoot over the summer and both of which will be Very Cool, I promise.

Let me know if any of these is you. We'll either be shooting in the Philadelphia, Delaware, NJ area or in the Boston area, so people from either of those places can apply. Shooting will probably be one low stress weekend.

Imp - F, early-mid 20's, somewhat mousy, brown hair, medium height, simultaneously soft featured and intense. Anxious. By turns, quiet and stormy. Always a little disheveled, hair not really long or short. She might wear glasses.

Eva, F, late 20's, early 30's, blond hair, glamorous, slender, tall, seductive and feral but also unexpectedly vulnerable and refined. This part requires some nudity & is paid.

Abalyn is a MTF trans woman, 24-35 pretty, unmistakably feminine, slender 5'8"-6'4" with a grace that can turn gawky. Hair chin length or longer, black or black with blond roots. Her eyes are green. We'd really like to cast a transwoman in this role if possible, but will entertain other possibilities.


Many of these properties, (height, hair & eye color) are negotiable.

If you're interested or have questions drop me an email at kyle at kylecassidy.com, we'll take it from there. If you have a couple photos of yourself (myspace style iphone self portraits acceptable), you can toss those in or link to them. And please do forward this around to your friends who might be interested. This is going to be something wonderful.




Add me as a friend on LiveJournal, Add me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Raining now. Raining and likely fifty-something out there. I don't feel like checking the actual, factual temperature. Spring – real Spring – is coming on very slowly, but very certainly. All the little specifics don't matter. Only what they add up to, that's what matters.

Don't mind me. I'm just a crazy lazy sitting in a chair.

Today seems to be looking at me the way an Irish wolfhound eyes a dog biscuit, so comments wouldn't be unappreciated.

Two days here to recount:

1) Thursday: I wrote 1,584 words on "Fake Plastic Trees." We tended to the new piercings, which are doing well. I didn't leave the house, though the possibility was briefly discussed. I was groggy from the new meds. I almost engaged in rp, but didn't because of the aforementioned wooziness. I played a little Rift, but sucked, thanks to the wooziness in question. During the day, much email. We may have chosen the author's photo for Two Worlds and In Between. Not one I expected we'd choose. But it's not yet final. I sent the "final" version of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir to my editor at Penguin, and she says the release date is still March 2012. Which surprises me, as I've been so late delivering the thing. In the evening, Spooky and I watched Jean-Jacques Annaud's very under-appreciated Enemy at the Gates (2001). I'd seen it twice before, but she'd not seen it. In all ways this film is wonderful, except for James Horner's suffocating score. That was Thursday, give or take.

2) Friday: I exchanged what felt like about a hundred emails with [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy, mostly regarding the book trailer for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. I learned my lesson with the aborted trailer for The Red Tree. There are things I cannot do myself, and that's why there are other talented people in the world. I'll say more about it later, but the trailer's looking as if it'll be very cool. We're in the stage of casting about for models (Imp, Abalyn, and Eva), and finding locales, and all that fun stuff. I'll have more to say on this soon. I wrote very little yesterday on "Fake Plastic Trees," only about 400 words. I'm very near THE END, and I find myself shying away from the grimmest ending that may present itself. I wrote 400 words and had to step back, because it was a little too much to look at straight in the eye like that. Wicked little god you are, Aunt Beast, with all those universes clenched in your fists. Anyway, I'll probably finish the story today. I need to, as there's other work waiting. We left the house, and returned to Thayer Street, and I got the boots (thank you again, Jada). So, behind the cut, below, there's boot porn. They make me an inch taller, but what the fuck. I saw a very green willow. After dinner, we watched Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol. 2 again, since we watched Vol. 1 on Wednesday night. We played Rift, and Selwyn reached Level 30. She's becoming quite the bad-ass necromancer, out there doing the bidding of the Faceless Man. We read more of The Book Thief, and I decided what the book-club book will be next month (but don't ask; it's still a secret).

So, there. Two days, all squished up together. Condensed days.

There's talk of me being in Manhattan on the 17th of May. We'll see how that goes.

And I should decamp this blog for now, make an end to this entry, and face the woebegone day.

Boot Porn )


Implicitly,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
A chilly, cloudy day here in Providence. I suppose one would simply say, an autumn day. But the sort that is chilly and cloudy, instead of sunny and crisp and plagued by carnivorous blue skies. Again, as almost all of yesterday was spent in bed, there's not too much to write about. I am feeling quite a bit better today. Maybe by Monday I'll be as near to one hundred percent as I ever get these days.

And I wish I had grand insights into writing to put down here this afternoon. I'd feel less like a bum if I did. It would be something I could pretend was work. But I don't. I can say that I'm bored, and that's about it.

The South County Independent article/interview in now online, and it's also in the hard copy that came out yesterday. Mostly, I talk about The Red Tree and Rhode Island.

The tree outside my window is still green. Most on this street aren't. Many have already lost their leaves.

Vince has delivered the final version of his illustration for Sirenia Digest #47, and I like it very, very much. I'm hoping I can get the digest out tomorrow, but it might be as late as Monday, so I ask for your patience.

The eBay auctions continue. Please have a look.

Yesterday, the postman brought my comp copy of the new Italian translation of The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance (UK/American editions, 2008), which is titled L'ora Dei Vampiri. I still find the inclusion of two of my stories in the volume rather amusing. "Ode to Edvard Munch" and "Untitled 12" in a book of vamp-flavored paranormal romance. Or, two of these things are not like the others. I remain impressed that the editor asked to include them.

Late yesterday, Spooky convinced me to get up and go with her to the last day of this autumn's farmer's market at the Dexter Training Grounds by the Armory. I was glad that I did. The air did me good. I picked up chestnuts and admired baskets of peppers. There are photos behind the cut (below).

Last night, on beyond bored, I convinced Spooky that we should spend the evening binging on Hallowe'en-appropriate movies and whatnot. First, we watched David Moreau and Xavier Palud's Ils (2006; US title, Them). It was very, very good, and made especially effective use of sound. A wonderfully disturbing thriller which I recommend. I cannot say the same for Dario Argento's Jenifer, yet another installment in the lamentable "Masters of Horror" series. I'm not even convinced that Argento directed it. The film didn't look like Argento, or feel like Argento. It was utterly, stupidly awful, and dull, and vapid— the sort of thing that panders to the maladjusted fourteen-year-old boy in far too many adult horror fans. By the third obligatory sex scene (or the second obligatory and unconvincing disemboweling, I can't recall), I was nodding off. Anyway, we followed that with the Hallowe'en episode of Castle. It's the first I'd seen of the series. It wasn't bad, so long as it was only trying to be funny. But when it tried to play "detective series with a straight face," the whole thing fell apart. Still, any excuse to watch Nathan Fillion. And after that, we watched the last two episodes of Angel, "Power Play" and "Not Fade Away," which I love more with each new viewing.

Anyway, here are the photos from yesterday:

29 October 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (The Red Tree)
My thanks to everyone who braved the storm on Saturday night to attend the Brown reading. Special thanks to Barry Dejasu, Bob Geake, and the rest of bookstore's staff, for inviting me and organizing the event (and thanks to Barry for the wonderful Charles Fort omnibus edition!). I read portions of chapters Six and Seven of The Red Tree. There are two or three photos, below, behind the cut.

Also, my thanks to everyone who bid in the most recent round of eBay auctions.

Saturday night, after the reading, [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark treated me and Spooky to a very fine Indian dinner on Thayer Street. Outside, the rain was coming down in buckets. Walking to the car, my feet got soaked. Geoffrey accompanied us back to the house, and we stayed up until about 3:30 a.m., talking about anything and everything: Lovecraft, Crowley, music, witchcraft, the impending environmental collapse, misanthropy, writing and writers, chess, our misspent youths, the publishing industry, David Lynch, peculiar cats, and whether pigs have wings. It was a very fine evening, and it made me wish I had people over more often.

Yesterday was sunny and not-quite-cold, and Spooky and I were determined to get out and enjoy the autumn foliage, as it's falling fast. We made it down to her parent's place in Saunderstown, and got eggs, and picked apples for pies. I also picked up three ticks, but found them before the little bastards had a chance to bite. Spooky's mom gleefully incinerated them. Her dad's heading to Venezuela next month. But before stopping by the farm, we stopped in Wakefield, and admired the leaves, and a brilliant sun dog, from the bridge over over the Saugatucket River. The water was stained a dark black from tannin, and was very still and high. Indeed, it was so still, there was not a trace of current, and I suspect the dam's spillways might have been backed up.

Before Wakefield, we stopped at a deserted, decrepit house on Old North Road. The property is for sale, but the house itself, which must be at least a century old, is beyond saving. A man named Robert Mulholland lived there until a year or two ago, and apparently, all of his belongings were left in the house. Since then, the weather and vandals have not been kind to the place. We didn't risk the sagging roof and exposed nails to venture inside. We found a wonderful piece of pottery, and a china tea cup, and carried those away with us. That enormous slumping house, lost in a chest-high sea of brown ragweed, seemed to radiate (or at least focus) a sort of despair and desolation. Being there, and seeing the cast-off remnants of someone's life, abandoned like that and left to rot, the effect was ultimately more sad than creepy. That place, and all those decaying possessions, were once important to someone.

On the way back to Providence through Slocum, we saw the most spectacular sunset. It was almost a perfect day, and I get so few of those.

We took over a hundred photographs, and I'll be posting selections from them during the next few days.

---

I was pleased to get a very flattering mention in "Jonathan Maberry’s Big, Scary Blog," in his article "Still Scary After All These Years," which is a sort of compound interview with Del Howison, Joe Lansdale, Ramsey Campbell, Christopher Golden, Deborah LeBlanc, Scott Nicholson, Ellen Datlow, Ray Garton, David Wellington, and Joe Nassise. When asked, "Who is writing good horror today?." Joe replied:

Caitlín Kiernan – A phenomenal writer who doesn’t get the public recognition she deserves for her work, Kiernan is a deft hand at creating worlds in which the supernatural is alive and well and hungry. She’s the type of writer that can make me doubt myself and throw up my hands in despair at ever being so good. Her Darcy Flammarion stories, featuring an albino teenager who speaks to angels and slays monsters lurking in human guise, are crafted extremely well and her novel length works, particularly her latest, The Red Tree, are fabulous. She’s a writer who cares about every word that goes on the page, it seems.

To which I can only reply, how can a writer not care about every single word that goes on the page? Regardless, as I said, I'm flattered, even if I prefer not to be considered a "horror writer."

---

Here are the photos from the reading Saturday night:

24 October 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (Kraken)
The insomnia's back. No sleep until about 5 a.m. this morning, and Spooky woke me at 11:15 a.m. Gagh.

This will be short, as the reading at Brown is in about seven hours, and I have a lot to do. Like bathe and find clothes that don't stink and figure out which part of the book I'll be reading from. For those who need directions, the reading is at 7 p.m. at the Brown University Bookstore (244 Thayer Street, Providence, RI. 02912 - Phone: 401-863-3168 - Toll Free: 800-695-2050). No cell phones. None. Zero. Nada. Zilch. Turn those bitches off. Also, no loud chewing of gum until after I'm finished. Finally, if you are sick, STAY HOME.

And now, the bad news. I've had to pull out of Tuesday's reading/signing in Manhattan, the one for Ellen Datlow's Lovecraft Unbound. The taxes were more than I'd expected them to be, and I just can't afford to make the trip. Especially given I'll have medical bills early in November. But you, if you were planning to be there, you still need to plan to be there. I was only a quarter of the show; there are three other authors. So, go. If only to hear Michael Cisco. Also, please pick up a copy of the anthology. It's very good, I promise.

Yesterday, I finished the new piece for Sirenia Digest #47, which I like quite a lot. A dreamquest retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood," for adults, as inspired by a 12 Rounds song. I'm calling it "The Dissevered Heart," a title which I may have borrowed from two different works by Poe.

It's rainy here in Providence. I hate doing readings on rainy days. But it's warmer again.

Finally, the current auctions. Do please have a look and bid, to help me get the cats out of hock and appease the IRS goons. If nothing else, there's that beautiful little Japanese edition of the Beowulf novelization, and I shall be pissed if it sells for only $24, as I don't have many, and no way of getting more. And it's in Japanese. And stuff. I think I need to finish my coffee and start in on the Red Bull.
greygirlbeast: (The Red Tree)
The warmish weather went away last night, and today Providence is grey and cold again. Yesterday, I was able to leave the office window open until well after dark.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,181 words on the as-yet-untitled "Little Red Riding Hood" retelling (for Sirenia Digest #47). I had hoped to finish it, but that should be easy to do today.

And if you're local, remember that I will be reading from The Red Tree tomorrow evening at 7 p.m., at the Brown University Bookstore (244 Thayer Street, Providence, RI. 02912 - Phone: 401-863-3168 - Toll Free: 800-695-2050). This will likely be my last public reading from the novel.

The eBay auctions continue. Please have a look, and do bid if you are able and inclined. Thanks.

---

As longtime readers know, I'm not big on giving advice regarding writing and publishing. It's just not something that I generally feel comfortable doing. This is not a "how to" blog. Indeed, I've turned down stints as a writer in a couple of the more popular "how to" blogs, because I don't like proffering advice. Anyway, that said, I will say something painfully fucking obvious. I don't care how much you want to be a writer, or how avid a reader you may be. I don't care how much you network. If you are too lazy to be bothered to use (or learn) proper grammar and spelling, you're screwed. Give it up now, and save some poor schmuck a headache, one of the poor schmucks whose job it is to read slush piles and try to decipher submissions from "authors" who cannot be bothered with punctuation, capitalization, correct spelling, etc. Maybe the world is doomed to devolve into a den of textspeak and l33t and People Who Simply Can't Be Bothered, but it has not happened yet. And sure, if you want to bend the English language and experiment, if there is a method to your unconventional syntax, that's fine. After you actually learn the way the language works, then you can play Joyce and Faulkner. Sorry; I hate breaking my own rules. But I'm tired of seeing the blogs and Facebook messages of self-described writers and reviewers who are either illiterate or lazy, and who seem to think it's okay.

---

It occurred to me late last night, after discovering that Barney Frank is just another hysterical "transphobic" butt plug, that I'm sick of the whole -phobic/-phobia suffix thing. Because this isn't fear we're dealing with here. It's hatred, and I will no longer let people who hate me off the hook by playing along with the niceties of political correctness and pretending that they're, instead, afraid of me. We are not faced with "transphobia," or "homophobia." We are faced with hatred, and it's time to cut the crap and say so. Therefore, a new term is needed. Last night, I came up with "transmisia." "Transsexualmisia" would be more correct, but then, "homophobia" should be "homosexualphobia" (if my Latin is way, way off, someone please correct me). Sure. People often come to fear the things they hate, but it's hate at the forefront here, and it's hate that should be recognized and confronted. Yeah, lots of people will insist I have this backwards, that fear breeds hatred. I politely insist that they're mistaken.

---

Late yesterday afternoon, I took a break from the story and accompanied Spooky to the farmer's market at the Dexter Training Grounds. It was good to get out of the house for a bit, and enjoy the warm day. It was a fine, crisp autumn day. We got apple cider, a jar of habanero relish, and a jalapeño for the chili Spooky made for dinner. All from local farmers. I took some photos, which are behind the cut. Later, we watched the first two episodes of Season Two of Pushing Daisies. And that was yesterday, give or take.

22 October 2009 )

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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