greygirlbeast: (stab)
I haven't done a poll in a while. This one grew out of a Twitter exchange earlier today:

[Poll #1487720]
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 )
greygirlbeast: (white2)
Not sure I can make much of an entry today. My mind is too many places at once. But I shall do my best, which is usually what I try to do.

Good writing day yesterday. I had Spooky read back to me everything I'd written on "The Sea Troll's Daughter," and as she read, the ending finally occurred to me. So simple, I don't know how I took so long to see it. But that's how writing works. I wrote 1,373 words. Today, I will finish the story, one day ahead of my deadline.

Yesterday, well, more than anything, there was Palin's stunning resignation. Stunning or stupefying. I hear a lot of people telling me not to celebrate too soon, that this is too fishy, that "Real Americans" love their wolf-murdering, white-trash, Xtian beauty queen too much, that this has to be the start of something big, coming right before the 4th and all. Whatever. I'm sure we've not seen the last of the bitch. She will certainly foment much more atrocity before her dying breath (which cannot come too soon). However, I stand by my belief that a woman cannot resign the office of governor, just because, and expect to be rewarded with any higher office. Not even in America. The enemies of the GOP can spin, too, and no one will ever let that one go. When the heat got too much for her (in Alaska, mind you), she tucked her tail between her legs and ran...or strategically retreated...or what-the-hell ever. I say her days as a serious political contender are done, book deal or no book deal, GOP dominatrix fantasies or no. And that resignation speech, boy howdy. I wonder if she even knows what surreal means? To quote a twat from Adam Sessler, "Palin's resignation speech: It's like if e.e. cummings ran a pep rally...on the moon...which is like a balloon...."

And, please, let's not argue over Palin's political future. I'll just concede I know nothing about politics, and everyone knows it's foolish to debate politics with someone who knows nothing about politics. You'll be stuck with an empty, Pyrrhic victory.

Here in Rhode Island, almost all fireworks are illegal. Even sparklers require a permit. However, this did not stop a group of idiots from trying to blow up Federal Hill last night. It was rather awful, until the police showed up and shut them down. Problem is, people bring in fireworks from Massachusetts and Connecticut. And hey, I love fireworks, but not when they're being shot off beneath my office window. By idiots. Drunken idiots. Drunken idiots with small, flammable children.

Oh, I know something cool about yesterday. I had a Big Nerd Moment. The years have jaded me. I've met most of many of my literary heroes, and become friends with quite a few of them. So, it takes a lot these days to send me into fangirl mode. Something like William Gibson responding to me on Twitter last night. I actually giggled with shameless delight. Spooky found it charming.

A quiet anniversary. We made a big dinner. I did the salad, using the crazy mix of greens and onions we got from Spooky's dad on Thursday, and Spooky made baked portabellas stuffed with onions, garlic, red bell pepper, basil, a mix of parmesan, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese, and bread crumbs. Oh, and she made chicken sausages, made with spinach and feta. Yum. Then we played WoW (my Draenei paladin, Kalií, made Level 23) and read for a bit before bed.

Anyway...I should go. 'Cause the platypus says so, that's why.
greygirlbeast: (nomi)
In honor of Sarah Palin's resignation...



I'm no pundit, but I say a woman resigns her post as Governor of Alaska, just because she can't take the heat, her chances at the presidency or vp are shot forever.

Good riddance, you wart hog from Hell!
greygirlbeast: (Vulcans)
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
So, because I live in a hole in the ground (not unlike a hobbit, I suppose), and have developed numerous news avoidance tactics, I entirely missed the fact that, way back in October, Sarah Palin tried to keep the Cook Inlet beluga whales from receiving Federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. Now that the elections are over, maybe Alaska should consider offsetting all that revenue they're going to lose, by not allowing the destruction of beluga habitat, by declaring this Spring to be Sarah Palin Hunting Season. Works for me. Turn her loose in the woods, naked, and arm a few hundred hunters with rubber bullets. The lottery winner gets a live round.

Yeah, I'm in that sort of mood.

But, I did sleep more than eight hours last night. And the only thing I can recall about the dreams is some weird shit about discovering that the Atlantic Ocean had drained, and that it was a very short walk from Rhode Island to France (I have no idea what happened to the Iberian Peninsula). That's the most sleep I've gotten at a stretch in at least two or three weeks.

Sirenia Digest #38 went out last night, and all our subscribers should have it by now. If not, please email Spooky at x(dot)squid(dot)soup(dot)x(at)gmail(dot)com. Damn, that's a lot of dots. Also, there's a special FREEBIE that I want all the subscribers to receive. It's the reason we had to drive to Pawtucket and rummage through boxes of old files, day before yesterday. But the PDF came out rather large, more than 12M. So, I haven't sent it out yet. If you do not want to get it, please let Spooky know ASAP (email address above). If you want it, you don't have to say anything. Also, because we always get files bouncing from AOL and Hotmail, we encourage subscribers to open gmail accounts. They're free, and Sirenia Digest will not bounce when sent to gmail (despite one of the best spam filters I've ever seen). Spooky and I each have about 50 invitations we can send to people, so if you want a free gmail account, just say so here (and include your email address), and we'll send you an invitation. It's perfect for receiving the 12M+ PDF, the surprise. And no, I can't tell you what it is, because then, obviously, it would cease to be a surprise. I will say it is also Poe-themed.

I'm very pleased with #38. It's likely one of the most cohesive issues we've done. Comments are welcome.

Tomorrow is Imbolc, but I think we're keeping it very low key this year. I hate doing that. Sabbat guilt? I have resolved (and you can call it a belated New Year's resolution, if you wish), to vastly improve my Tarot skills in 2009. It can even be my pathetic attempt at having a fall-back career. Because, you know, I can always move to Salem and read Tarot on the street corners, if I reach a point where the writing is no longer viable. Also, I think I'm about to go on an Aleister Crowley binge. For starters, I need exposure to someone who was even more disdainful than am I.

If you've not yet ordered a copy of A is for Alien, due out this month from Subterranean Press, February 1st is a very fine day to do so.

When the work was finally done yesterday, there was a marathon of WoW. I haven't played that much in ages. But Shaharrazad is finally exalted with Undercity, and has traded her felsteed for one of the skeletal horses that the Forsaken ride. I fear Shah's gone a bit native, after meeting the Banshee Queen. She sleeps in a coffin. She uses some sort of perfume that smells like a mixture of embalming fluid and rot. I suspect she's even begun "cannibalizing" her human kills (though, technically, since she's not human, it's not cannibalism). She's an undead wannabe, poor thing. If they just hadn't sent her away from Silvermoon City after she met with the orcs and secured a place for the Sin'dorei within the Hoarde. Oh, and she reached Level 58, which means I can finally reach Shattrath and be decalred a "Master Skinner" (or whatnot). Also, I have learned that WoW is 75% less annoying if you keep all chat channels switched off all the time.

Anyway...today will be spent cleaning the house, as Sonya ([livejournal.com profile] sovay) arrives from Boston tomorrow afternoon. The platypus frowns on housecleaning.
greygirlbeast: (white)
Looking back at the inaugural speech, which I've read through a couple of times now, there are two little bits that I adore and just want to give a quick mention to before moving along to other things. First, President Obama's acknowledgment of atheists and agnostics as legitimate segments of a pluralistic society. That made me almost as happy as the inclusion of gays in his acceptance speech:

We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers.

And, also, his nod to the vital role that science, set aside by the Bush Administration as inconvenient and irreligious. must play:

We will restore science to its rightful place...

And, speaking of science's rightful place, it goes without saying that I was very happy about the repeated references to global warming.

---

Yesterday was pretty much consumed by the inauguration. I cannot even recall the last time that a national event kept me so captivated. 9/11? Hurricane Katrina? The invasion of Iraq? The crash of the space shuttle Columbia? But, this time, I was captivated not by horror and tragedy, but by unity and the possibility of a light at the end of the tunnel. Or at least the possibility that the tunnel may have an end. That has to count for something, so I don't feel too bad about allowing the words to languish yesterday.

Today, now that I've decided on the Edgar Allan Poe theme for Sirenia Digest #38, I need to figure out, quickly, exactly what that means as regards what I'll be writing. I suspect I'll be re-reading "The Premature Burial" and "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar," and a great deal of his poetry. I'd love to write a piece called "The Thousand-and-Third Tale of Scheherazade," but that that may a little ambitious, given the deadline and all. We'll just have to see. Anyway, it should be an interesting issue.

Last night, very late (three ayem to half past four), I watched Resident Alien (1990), Jonathan Nossiter's documentary on Quentin Crisp. It didn't help my insomnia, but it was quite entirely wonderful. Crisp remains one among my motley band of role models. Is it odd to be -4 (and almost -5) and still have role models? I should hope not, but I never know how people look at these things.

I was going to say something about Second Life, since I admitted, a few days ago, to falling back into it again. Here's the thing. Upon returning, I have found some genuinely marvelous roleplayers, people I knew from before, and also people who are new to me. And here when I say "rp" I am referring to improvisational theatre, or simulationism. Total immersion. And I do treasure these people. But there is no denying that the majority of SL, so far as I can see, not only has no interest in rp, or making any sort of use of SL for artistic ends, it's also dumb as a bag of hammers. Or a doorknob. Or what have you. Indeed, I am quite certain now that SL, either intentionally or unintentionally, selects for stupidity and illiteracy, the way that natural selection might favour tricuspid teeth or osteoderms. And here I'm not talking about a casual, easily overlooked stupidity, but one that is bone-jarringly deep and constantly, aggressively drawing attention to itself. A proud sort of stupid. So, in order to take part in SL, I am having to struggle to rp around the idiots, and there are days, like yesterday, when it almost gets the better of me again. I just don't do dumb as a rock. I think I might have tried it on one weekend in 1988, but found it wanting (and a bit snug about the bust). It should not surprise me, and I see that clearly now, that SL draws to itself the lowest common denominator, those with apparent (if not actual) low intelligence, almost nonexistent social skills, and a refusal to express themselves in complete sentences. But it does. Surprise me, I mean. It just seems very sad, and like a gigantic waste of both human potential and of electricity (and time, and the oil used to make plastic, and I could go on and on), just to turn a profit for Linden Labs and enshrine the Church of LOL and provide a playground for those who deem thoughtful characterization "too emo." Still, I'm not giving up again. At least not just yet. But I came very close last night, and I thank Joah for pulling me back.

And yes, I am carping. It's something I do very well.

And if you've still not ordered your copy of A is for Alien, due out next month from Subterranean Press, please take a moment to do so today. The platypus will smile upon you.
greygirlbeast: (sleeps with wolves)
It's over. And it's just begun. Then again, any sense of actual stopping and starting is likely only our need to divide a continuous world into discrete, discontinuous quanta. But, either way, Ex-President Asshole has flown away home to Texas, and President Obama is, if nothing else, a good damn reason to hope that there is hope. Today is the first time in sixteen years that I've watched a presidential inauguration, and I am genuinely glad that I did. Sure, there was that bastard Rick Warren, but it finally occurred to me that he was selected so that we would all have a chance to turn the sound off, a chance to leave the room, a chance to get up and take a piss. And the Reverend Joseph E. Lowery's benediction more than made up for whatever I didn't hear Warren say. I wish I had something to write here that I felt was truly the equal to what I have seen televised from Washington today, but I don't. I am amazed, and, beyond that, well, let's see how this thing plays out. For my part, I am not ashamed to say this man, President Obama, is presently a hero in my view.

About half an hour ago, I removed the green rubber 01/20/09 bracelet I've had on since sometime in June. I'll now put it away in a drawer or a box somewhere. It's history.

---

Yesterday, I finally sat down and composed a rather longish email in response to my editor's suggestions regarding revisions to The Red Tree. But, though wordy, it was not a very contentious email, as she and I largely seem to be in agreement regarding the manuscript. Or maybe it's just that I'm becoming more agreeable in my old age (Spooky says "No, it's not that.")

The snow has begun to melt. It's a white, slushy world out there.

Thanks to a suggestion by Sonya ([livejournal.com profile] sovay), I've decided that Sirenia Digest #37 will be an Edgar Allan Poe tribute issue. Which opens up all sorts of fascinating possibilities.

We watched Carlos Brooks' Quid Pro Quo (2008), which I went to with very little in the way of expectation and was quite impressed. I was especially impressed by Vera Farmiga. I'd strongly recommend this film (and ignore the description of it on Netflix, because it is much more than a little inaccurate).

If you've not yet ordered a copy of A is for Alien, hey, why not do it right now? That way, you can say, "This is the book I bought the day that America started picking up the pieces and working together to move on." Well, at least, that's what I'd say.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.
—— President Barack Hussein Obama, January 20, 2009
greygirlbeast: (Blood elf 2)
I just opened the blinds in my office for the first time in days. I can see no evidence of snow remaining out there. The sky is a gentle blue dabbed with swatches of white cloud, and the washed-out New England sun. It's easy on the eyes.

I know better than to look at the news, but I find myself looking, anyway. More and more often. No, I don't know why. Morbid curiosity? Anyway, I was oddly pleased to learn of a study demonstrating that teens who take those silly virginity pledges are no less likely to have sex than those who don't. And, what's more, it appears the virginity-for-Jesus crowd are more likely to have unsafe sex. Which makes sense, really, since their sexual activity is more apt to be spontaneous, and the repression of normal sexual desires will have also required the repression of knowledge about STDs and birth control. Kids, listen...just get laid. If there is some sort of great cosmic boogeyman out there, he has far bigger things on his hands than whether or not you're doing the nasty. If you want it, just do it. But, please, have the good sense and foresight to be safe about it. Anyway, back to news pollution, we have government-sponsored hatred in Tennessee, Canada has at least ruled that seals must be dead before skinning, and I'm not even going to get started on Israel and Hamas.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,112 words and finished the piece that is no longer called "Untitled 34," but is, instead, now known as "Lullaby of Partition and Reunion." It will appear in Sirenia Digest #37, along with a second vignette, which I will write over the next couple of days, based on an illustration by Vince Locke. The platypus says that the 29th of December is a truly excellent day to subscribe to the digest, by the way.

Anything else about yesterday? A last day of isolation before I am forced out into the world. It's been almost a week since I left the apartment. After the writing, there was a nap on the sofa in the front parlour while Spooky made a feast of leftovers from Saturday night's Chinese takeaway. I had a long hot bath and washed my hair. There was more WoW, Shah and Suraa still wandering the sandy desolation of Tanaris. They stumbled upon and into the Caverns of Time, which rather rocked my little ring-tailed lemur world. Later, I nibbled at Turkish delight while Spooky read to me. I got to sleep about three ayem, and didn't sleep enough.

It was a day.

This afternoon, I have the dreaded doctor's appointment.

Please do have a look at the current eBay auctions. Your bids are greatly appreciated.

And now...another day.
greygirlbeast: (grey)
I'm awake, but every muscle and every bone seems to ache.

I don't have to write about the sky this morning, because the blind is down. But there's snow coming. Tomorrow. Substantial snow, it would seem. I can sit here and watch it. For a while, it will take the sharp edges off winter, and I won't tear my eyes on the view from my windows.

No writing yesterday. I read Angela Carter aloud, because sometimes that helps to prime the pump, so to speak. "The Smile of Winter," "Overture and Incidental Music for A Midsummer Night's Dream," and "The Merchant of Shadows." There's this passage from the beginning of "The Smile of Winter" that says how I feel about the heaviness of the sky far better than I have ever managed:

"The coastal region is quite flat, so that an excess of sky bears down with an intolerable weight, pressing the essence out of everything beneath it for it imposes such a burden on us that we have all been forced inward on ourselves in an introspective sombreness intensified by the perpetual abrasive clamor of the sea."

I think I'll have all my teeth pulled, cutting to the chase, and replaced with titanium teeth that are tinted that shade of black just before green, or that shade of green that comes just before black. I'll have the prosthetic modeled on chimpanzee teeth, with fine large canines, sharp enough to pierce. We'll, I would, were I afflicted with that sort of money. If I were, I am quite certain I could find a dentist who would deign to perform the procedure.

I'm not sure how to describe my feelings about President-Elect Obama having chosen a bigoted bastard like evangelical pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at the inauguration. I don't think I'm surprised, just a little more sickened. I understand Obama's desire to create an environment of inclusiveness, but I don't quite grasp how one fosters inclusiveness by providing a platform for those who seek to exclude. In fact, one does not. But politics has never been overly concerned with fact. Rather, it is concerned with mollifying as many people as possible, an act which will always be at odds with fact.

Last night, we watched the latest episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and it was a decent enough episode. Though I am perplexed that the problem of the three dots, already solved, is still being solved. Did Cameron just not bother telling Sarah? Another episode without much Thomas Dekker, and that helped. I do hope that when the geeks with a hard-on for self-aware AI get around to teaching it morality, they don't start off by begging the question with the concept of a "god" (or goddess) as arbiter of right and wrong. But they probably will. One would think that intelligent, educated people could find a better basis for their beliefs than "Because God [fill in the blank]." If that's the best reason you can come up with to justify a belief in the sanctity of human life, the race is lost before it's run.

Likely, I will not write today, either. I should try to get Outside before the storm gets here.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, in the interest of helping me to offset the unforeseen deficit of December caused by my miscalculations. Thanks.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Keith Olbermann on the abomination that is California's Prop 8:

greygirlbeast: (Early Permian)
Much, much too late to be posting anything. But here I am. A couple of people on my friends list have linked to this Salon.com article, "An open apology to boomers everywhere," by Heather Havrilesky. And I wanted to post the link, as well.

"We ate Happy Meals while watching the space shuttle blow into tiny bits."

As someone born in 1964, at the very tail-end of the Baby Boom —— and as someone who then wound up spending most of her life with Gen Xers for friends (and who has, oddly, often been referred to as a Gen X author) —— this pleased me a bit. For years I have publicly lamented to so-called "Age of Irony," the knee-jerk cynicism, the default indifference, the automatic disdain, the eye-rolling, the inability to fathom earnestness. So, this is refreshing, even if I strongly suspect it'll take a whole lot more than the election of Barack Obama to wash away to stain. It's something I've never truly understood, but, then, I was almost an adult when Reagan was elected.

Meanwhile, I have learned that the greatest percentage of idiocy (loathsome chat, stupid names, etc.) in WoW seems to be associated with human cities. No idea why. Of course, I also have no idea why, in a game where you can play orcs, night elves, blood elves, trolls, Taurans (basically, minotaurs), gnomes, dwarves, undead, and Draenei (an alien race), anyone would choose to play a...human. Especially since Blizzard seems to have reserved the absolute worst voice-acting for the human NPCs. They all sound like Ned Flanders. And they're all built like quarterbacks. Even the women. Ah, well. it takes all sorts. Mithwen, my night elf, made Lvl 32 tonight. She now rides an enormous saber-toothed cat, which she has named Bounder. Mithwen has taken a few too many blows to the head, and, much to the chagrin of her sister, a Druid named Syllhar, is just a little simple. But she makes a hell of a tank. We've been slaughtering werewolves and zombies in Duskwood, south of Stormwind (hence my greater exposure to humans).

Okay, Caitlín, please go to bed.
greygirlbeast: (white)
One reason that I tend not to talk overly much about politics in this journal (and there are many reasons) is that, at this stage in my life, I just don't have the...energy...to deal with Those Who Are Offended. For example, when speaking of the presidential election, I said that I am ashamed of the South for not having taken this opportunity to step away from its history of bigotry and hatred. A number of people were offended, not because they are bigots, but because I made a generalization that they felt did not allow for the people in the South who are not hateful bigots. Yes, obviously those people do exist. Clearly. I never said that they do not. Until June, I was one of them. But I think the generalization holds water —— the Deep South is still one of the more prejudicial, hate-riddled parts of the country —— and I say this not as someone on the outside, but as someone who has spent most of her life there. Hate and racism, homophobia and sexism and Far-Right Xtianity are not confined to the South, by any means. But they do find especially fertile ground in places like Georgia and Alabama and Mississippi, and in the Deep South as a whole. And trying to claim otherwise is like trying to deny that Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, and New Jersey have more Mafioso than do, say, Arkansas and South Carolina.

You know, I call myself a pagan. But I most emphatically do not get offended when I meet someone who has the impression that pagans are, on the whole, superstitious "fluffy bunny" New Agers obsessed with crystals, magical thinking, astrology, fairies, unicorns, and dumbed-down, misappropriated shamanism. I don't get offended because I see perfectly well how non-pagans get this impression. Walk into almost any American "witchcraft" shop. It smacks you in the face. The generalization is, generally, true, even if it's not true of me. I do not take offense and get defensive at being mistakenly lumped in with the idiots. It's a risk I accept. Do you get the gist of this song now? Because I'm moving on....

Not much to say about the last couple of days. I spent most of it lying down. My body finally reached the exhaustion threshold and switches started flipping into the off position. Exhaustion and, apparently, severe dehydration. Yesterday, I actually slept until noon. And I'm feeling much better today. Which is good, because I have a lot of writing and editing to get done this month.

I ate Chinese food, read Clara Pinto-Correia's Return of the Crazy Bird: The Sad, Strange Tale of the Dodo (2003), and washed my hair. Last night, Spooky and I watched Ratatouille again, and I still think it is, by far, the best Pixar film. I napped, a lot. I missed my date with the Plateosaurus at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, because it was raining so hard yesterday, and I was really just too tired for Boston, anyway. In fact, I didn't leave the house Wednesday or Thursday (and fear I may not have left it since, crap, Hallowe'en night). But, I listened to the rain, which has really been marvelous. I played too much WoW, as usual (thank you, "Kalizsera," for the kitty), and even waded back into Second Life for an hour on Wednesday night —— sadly, just long enough to be pretty sure I was right to jump ship.

Anyway, the platypus is reminding me that I need to email my agent and my editor, and that I have a short story to write, and that the day is slipping away.

Oh, I think I'll be posting the cover art for The Red Tree tomorrow....

And I almost forgot. Yesterday, I stumbled across this review of the cover of To Charles Fort, With Love at Bookslut. Pretty cool.

Shoes

Nov. 6th, 2008 03:21 am
greygirlbeast: (cleav3)
I adore this photo, by photographer Callie Shell, which was taken here in Providence back in March (behind the cut):

Shoes )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I want to try to put down some coherent thoughts about last night, and about how I feel today. Only, I'm tired and sleepless and not feeling particularly coherent. Still, I know that I will be sorry if I don't try to say the things that I'm thinking.

President-Elect Barack Obama. Damn.

I didn't see Obama's acceptance speech until this morning. I watched McCain's concession last night. I was, I have to grudgingly admit, pleased with McCain's dignified exit from the race. Whatever else I might think about the man, he comported himself with dignity last night, and he said the things I think he should have said. I will note that a small group of his supporters there in Phoenix booed loudly, if briefly, when he first spoke Obama's name. I will note that no such booing occurred in Chicago when Obama spoke respectfully of McCain.

I will note my great disappointment that, on this day when I want so badly to believe, I must continue to be ashamed of my connection to the Deep South. To my eyes, the South missed another opportunity to take a step away from its history of hatred and bigotry, and I regret that, deeply.

And then there's Proposition 8 in California, which, right now, looks like it will pass. In California, by a narrow margin, people are apparently deciding to rewrite their state's constitution for the purpose of denying civil liberties to a substantial portion of its population. You expect this sort of shit from Kansas, but California? Even keeping in mind that the success of the proposition stemmed, largely, from an expensive campaign of hatred waged from Utah by the Mormons, it's the people of California who will have to answer to history for this atrocity.

I'm no good with politics. I've never claimed to be. Right now, I feel like an embittered, exhausted rebel who, after years of disgust and fury and withdrawal, is finally ready to concede that there might be cause for hope. But I will not take my eyes off Proposition 8, or the 56,017,369+ voters who, yesterday, showed their support for the Republicans and those things that Republicans have come to represent. There are just as many racists as there were this time yesterday. There are just as many gay bashers. There are just as many warmongers and religious fanatics. There are just as many people looking the other way while the rich simultaneously rape the poor and then send their children to die in Iraq and Afghanistan. The planet is just as poisoned. Look at California, and see how far we have left to go before we are all free.

Last week, I told Spooky that I'd come to feel that my "political view" could best be summed up by something Mal says to Simon at the beginning of Serenity —— "I look out for me and mine. That don't include you 'less I conjure it does...Don't push me, and I won't push you." Of course, the film ends with Mal risking his life and the lives of those he loves for the sake of the truth of things. So, maybe there's hope for me yet.

And maybe, just maybe, there's hope for America, and for this whole sorry world. I'm trying.
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 1)
A bit bloody wasted for an actual entry right now. Maybe later. Day off today, and tomorrow, too. No Boston today, but we should make it up tomorrow. Mostly, I need to just lie on the sofa and read and nap and rest and get ready for all I have to do in November. Yesterday, a very, very rough sort of non-writing work day, but it was mostly my fault that it was so rough. And I realized I'd not yet even sent the ms. for The Red Tree to my agent and editor, though I thought I had. Anyway...



* President-Elect Barack Obama
greygirlbeast: (chi4)
So, I refused to allow myself to post this until I knew we'd won.



Booyah!

Spooky says that we're getting drunk now, and staying up all night. I think half of Federal Hill is outside cheering.
greygirlbeast: (Doc10-2)
So, it's started.

Someone poke me when it's over....
greygirlbeast: (alabaster2)
I've been fairly quiet on the matter of the election —— aside from those Sarah Palin cartoons —— but, today, I am going to permit a degree of latitude to wax political. No, nothing especially insightful. Cheap shots, mostly, and all at the expense of the septuagenarian billionaire and the former beauty queen. Like this (thank you, Darren):



As for yesterday, the chapbook to accompany the limited edition of A is for Alien has finally been put to bed. Ironically, I have lavished more time and attention on the chapbook, B is for Beginnings, than on the actual collection. But most of the day was spent pulling Sirenia Digest #35 together, because there were about a thousand loose ends. Regardless, it went out late last night, and, by now, all subscribers should have a copy. I apologize for the fact that there is no artist interview this month. There was a last minute mix-up regarding our need for images, and they never arrived, so the interview has been bumped to #36, by which time we will hopefully have the images we need. Still, it's a very solid issue, I think. I especially hope that people enjoy seeing more of Joey Lafaye. Next month (which is actually later this month), expect more explicitly erotic material than this month. Two new vignettes is my plan. Oh, you'll also note that, at the last minute, as I was laying out the issue, I changed the title of the new story from "The Boon of Salmacis" to "I Am the Abyss and I Am the Light," after a favorite painting by Charles Sims.

Last night, after spaghetti and artichokes, there was WoW (of course). Shaharrazad can now summon a felsteed as her mount, complete with molten hooves and flaming nostrils, which is just too damn cool. I have my very own hell pony! Oh, and she made Lvl 31. I fear I am beginning to favour Shah over Voimakas and poor Mithwen. Anyway, she and Suraa slew humans at the Lordamere Interment Camp for a time, until certain magical artefacts were recovered. Then we headed east to the Arathi Highlands, where we took our orders from a Horde orc commander at the Hammerfall garrison, and so slew ogres and renegade trolls. Everything is easier on horseback. Suraa also has a pony, a warhorse, but he doesn't snort fire, or scald the earth when summoned. He likes carrots, though.

Tomorrow, the plan is to go to Boston, though I hear it's going to rain. So what. Rain beats this blue sky, any day.

Okay. The platypus says we gotta go vote now, then come home an obsess over the exit polls some more. Oh, don't worry. The anti-McCain/Palin jabs will only get nastier as the day wears on.
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 2)
Very, very not awake this morning, and stricken with dreamsickness. It's become an issue again. I wonder if Sarah Crowe is to blame. Of course, if she is, that means I'm to blame.

I suppose I'm over the hump as regards my self-imposed "catching-up" trick of doing at least 2k words per day for three consecutive days. Yesterday, I did 2,190 words on Chapter Eight. I'm thinking, at this point, I am no more than six thousand words from the end of the book. That's probably 4-5 days, which will just leave me enough time to get Sirenia Digest #35 done. Maybe in November I can take a very short breather. But, more likely, not until December. I have to get all the final corrections to A is for Alien off to Subterranean Press sometime in the next two or three days, because the book goes to the printer late in November. The time just melts around me.

---

Theres a problem; feathers, iron,
Bargain buildings, weights, and pulleys.
Feathers hit the ground before the weight can leave the air.
Buy the sky, and sell the sky, and tell the sky, and tell the sky.


---

I think I failed to make myself clear when I made the addendum entry yesterday regarding time displacement. For one thing, I wasn't saying that this is a new phenomenon. And, looking back at the bit I took from Wikipedia, I think that's fairly clear (though the wiki article only carries it back to television, really). I would say this is, obviously, a process that has been at work for millennia (Why the hell does LJ not know how to spell millennia?), so long as human beings have been devising ways to employ technology to fritter away "spare" time and alleviate boredom. Before the internet, television. Before television, telephones, movies and radio, before movies and radio, mass-printing books, and so forth. But, to me, it seems as though there has also been a process of acceleration at work, and that the problem is not so much one of kind as one of degree. The Culture of Distraction has been with us for ages. However, it is, I think, experiencing a sort of exponential growth now. The internet, I suspect, changed the rules a bit. And I was certainly not pointing any fingers yesterday, unless I was pointing one at me.

I do not wish to live my life in mass media, or on the web, taking social interaction via virtual contact. I wish to live it in the world. However, the world is very, very hard for me (and we need not go into all the whys), and here is this great seduction, making it so easy for me not to make the huge effort required to step out into the real, external world. And, for that matter, not to buy clothes that aren't rags, or get enough sleep. This is my journal, and here I am speaking most emphatically to me. I spend far too much time online, hiding from the world. I am striving to do better, because I would like to see myself consciously work against time displacement in my own life. I do not see it as an acceptable alternative. It is nothing I desire. For my part, I'll take beaches and city streets, libraries, forests, crowded bars, and comfortable parlors filled with genuine conversation between people I actually know. Those are the things I have to find my way back to, and those are the things that this computer so successfully serves to substitute. But, in my eyes, it is no fit substitute. It's a tool that needs to be treated as a tool, and as an occasional source of entertainment.

As for others, as regards time displacement, I am not here to either validate or invalidate how other people choose to live their lives. Maybe I should be, but I'm not.

And that's what I meant to say.

---

We have eBay auctions ending today. Please, please take a look. Thanks!

---

Postscript (1:40 p.m.): I was pleased, by the way, to learn of Colin Powell's strong support of Obama's bid for presidency. I was also pleased by this bit I just read in [livejournal.com profile] curt_holman's blog: Colin Powell seemed particularly angry about the accusation, stoked by some McCain supporters, that Obama is a Muslim--and not only because it's inaccurate: "The correct answer is 'He's not a Muslim. He's a Christian.' ... But the really right answer is, 'What if he is?' Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is 'no.' That's not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she can be president?" Booya!

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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