greygirlbeast: (white)
Rain again today, washing away yesterday's snow and the snow beneath it. Spring lurches towards New England, a slushy, ugly beast.

In yesterday's entry, I alluded to a small adventure I'd be undertaking. It turned out to be not quite as small as I'd thought it would be, but still, there were no obvious lost tombs or trolls or feats of daring do. The snow, being light, and so much of the old heavy snow having been washed away, finally gave me the chance to visit Rolling Dam in the Blackstone Gorge. Which, of course, is very near the most important locale in The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, but which I'd only seen in autumn and summer. Spooky wasn't happy about making the drive over all the gaping potholes that used to be roads, but I had Hubero hold Charlie Monkey hostage, so she went along with the plan.

We drove through Woonsocket, and stopped at the huge dam at Thundermist Falls. The easternmost spillway was closed for repairs of some sort, which made the view slightly less magnificent, but only slightly less so. They got more snow in Woonsocket, about three or four inches. The sky above was the palest velvety blue-grey, like another shade of snow, and the water coming over the dam and slamming loudly against the granite was an ocher green. All across Woonsocket, the old mills were frosted, and I could almost imagine the city before the decay of its industry.

We continued on to Massachusetts and Millville and to the spot by Rolling Dam where we always park. The snow here was maybe five or six inches (still, nothing at all for this winter). A man was shouldering a heavy backpack to make the hike to the gorge proper. We settled for Rolling Dam. This winter, it's a beauty I didn't grow up with, and it startles, disarms, and delights me. I've always found the still, deep water above the dam ominous, but it was more so than ever yesterday. Just north of the dam, the river was frozen over, back where it gets a bit swampy. I made notes, and we took photos. There were crows everywhere, and Spooky spotted a raptorial bird of some sort perched in the trees across the river.

By the time we made it back to Providence, it was late afternoon, maybe four-thirty p.m., maybe five. I got back to work. We proofed "Rats Live On No Evil Star" for Two Worlds and In Between. It's one of the few stories I wrote in the nineties (it was written in '97) that I still love.

Here are photos from the drive (behind the cut):

27 February 2011 )


---

Today will be Assembly Day for Sirenia Digest #63. My great thanks to everyone who took part in the Question @ Hand challenge.

Here's a rather wonderful piece on The Red Tree, written by Lynda E. Rucker. One of the best I've seen written, actually, as it's no mere review, and doesn't waste words regurgitating the plot: "An Appreciation of Caitlin R. Kiernan's The Red Tree"

As for the Oscars, I was mostly pleased. I was very pleased that awards went to Shaun Tan and to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and to Natalie Portman. I wasn't so happy with Best Director (should have gone to Aronofsky), Actor (should have gone to Jeff Bridges), and Picture (should have gone to Black Swan or True Grit), but everything before that was pretty good. I hear some guy named James Franco made an ass of himself.

Gods, lots more...but it's gonna have to wait until another entry. Time to make the doughnuts.
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
1) Here in Providence, the temperature's supposed to soar to 52˚F today, the warmest day since...maybe November. The snow is very slowly melting, and it might be gone by the end of March, barring new storms. I ought to work today, but Spooky and I absolutely cannot spend a quasi-warm day cooped up in the house with the wonderful (relative to recent) weather. Instead, we are going to West Cove to birdwatch and gather sea glass.

2) Yesterday, we made it through the third and fourth chapters of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Well, actually, Spooky read it all aloud to me, while I made notes. So, she read pages 88-193 aloud to me yesterday. We're making a lot of continuity fixes, mostly because Imp started out thirty years old, then turned twenty-four. Though, she's telling a story about something that happened to her when she was twenty-two (instead of twenty-eight). So...it gets confusing. And we're fixing misspellings, grammatical errors, adding and taking away a word here and there. About as close as I ever come to rewriting. Tomorrow, we'll make it through the fifth, sixth, and seventh chapters. Eight is still unfinished, and I'll pick up there on Saturday. Near as I can tell, the book will have ten chapters. Oh, and there was a metric shit-ton of email yesterday.

3) This month, Sirenia Digest #63 will continue the sneak preview of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, with the second chapter. But after that, you're going to have to wait until the book is released a year from now. Also, the issue will include my favorite responses to the latest Question @ Hand (and there have been some wonderful ones so far; the question will remain open for about another week) and "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Ghoul," which seems to fit nicely with the aforementioned question. Vince will be doing the cover, another illustration for the novel. I promise that #64 will return to our usual format. The demands of writing the new novel and editing Two Worlds and In Between have made things really fucking crazy around here.

4) Speaking of Two Worlds and In Between, tomorrow you get in-progress images of the wonderful Lee Moyer's cover painting. A good bit of yesterday's email was me and [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy working out the photoshoot he's going to do with me at the beginning of April (for the collection's dust jacket). I think we'll either be shooting at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology or the Boston Arboretum. At some point yesterday, our conversation deteriorated into a discourse on the perils of being a werewolf trying to get through airport security...

5) Last night, in WoW, I continued my race towards Loremaster. I made it through all 55 Felwood quests, then did half the ones for Winterspring (about 20). Spooky played the beautiful, beautiful, oh I am so fucking jealous Rift beta. She's been reading me bits of Rift chat. I wrote this one down: "WoW is a pretty good game, if you turn off chat and never talk to the player base."

6) And look! Ebay auctions!

7) I took a somewhat random series of photographs yesterday while Spooky was reading:

16 February 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (blackswan)
On this day, two years ago, I wrote:

Screw this candy-assed Valentine's Day shit. The Romans got it right with Lupercalia. Now, if you want to sacrifice a couple of goats and a dog to Lupa, then run around town naked, save for a bloody thong of goatskin —— that's a goddamn reason to get out of bed. This sugar-coated hearts and flowers crap? Not even a weak echo of a genuine fertility rite. Do it up good and proper, or leave me the hell alone.

The sentiment remains the same, to the letter.

Yesterday was a day off. After not leaving the house for thirteen days, I managed to leave the house. Fuck you, Mistresses Agoraphobia and Social Anxiety. I'm not going to live like that. I'm not going to hide in this room, in my words, while the world goes by. Anyway, yesterday we went out into the filthy winter-bound city. Humans make such a nasty, sad mess of the snow. It was too ugly to stare at very long, so we headed for Conanicut Island. I played Arcade Fire on the iPod and read David Petersen's marvelous Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 while Spooky drove. As soon as we were clear of Providence, the ugly black trash-littered snow was replaced with white snow laying on all the forests and fields, so white and undisturbed it might well have fallen only yesterday. We crossed the Jamestown Bridge, and below us the sea was choppy and the waves whitecapped and precisely the color of slate. The sky was overcast, a blue-lavender hiding the sky (which helps).

We stopped briefly at Zeke's Creek Bait and Tackle and Seafood (which is closed for the season), to survey the frozen saltmarsh.

We continued to Beavertail, where the wind was so fierce it was hard to stand. The temperature was somewhere in the '30s, but I can only imagine what the windchill must have been. On the eastern, windward side of the point, we could only stand to be out of the car for a few minutes at a time. It wouldn't have taken long to get frostbite. It was a little better on the lee shore, and we watched huge crows that might have been ravens, and flocks of seabirds bobbing on the rough water. Then we headed over to West Cove, the beach where we hunt sea glass. It was a bit more sheltered (also a lee shore). Spooky found a few pieces of glass. I found the premaxilla of a cormorant. It was a freezing, bleak day, but the air was clean, and there was a grandeur in the bleakness. That is my world, out there, not in this dreadful room, trapped at the dreadful fucking keyboard. We headed back home about five p.m.

This would be a good day for comments.

There are photos, behind the cut:

13 February 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
I've just been told that Twitter has taken credit for the Russian Revolution.

Today is Darwin Day.

Here in Providence, the smallest fraction of snow has melted. The cold hangs in the air, thick as soup. In the the house, the house I do not leave, I suspect the humidity is in the single digits. The air is crisp, and it crackles when I walk through a room. A migraine came to visit yesterday, and I'm better this morning, but it's still very close.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,281 words on the eighth chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, despite the headache. Later, perhaps because of the headache, the final fifth of the novel occurred to me with almost perfect clarity, pieces falling into place, blindsided by revelation. Solutions to problems, problems I was not even sure existed. And this is why I detest proposals and outlines. This is how I discover a story, by writing it. I never could have imagined the end of the novel, because to learn that end I had to blindly travel the road of the book.

After the writing, we proofed "Night Story 1973," for Two Worlds and In Between. I wrote the story with [livejournal.com profile] docbrite back in 2000.

Answers to the current Question @ Hand— If you were to make of me— of my actual, physical body —a work of art, what would it be? —have almost all involved my death, a procession of postmortem art crimes. And that's entirely cool. But I'm beginning to wonder if I left readers with the impression that my death was a necessary part of their answers. It's not. You may actually work with the living flesh. Go ahead. I won't bite...

Last night, we watched Antti-Jussi Annila's Sauna (2008), and oh my fucking dog what a brilliant fucking film. I has been a long time since I've been genuinely disturbed by a film on the level that Sauna unnerved me. It's an exploration of the Wrong Thing, of the limits of human comprehension when faced with the unknowable. That which hides behind the back of God, to paraphrase the film. The cinematography is exquisite. There are five-second shots that communicate more dread and awe than most "horror" films manage in their entirety. Every frame of film is invested with quiet tension. Seriously, see this. If I made movies, it's the sort of film I'd be trying to make.

We also read the first six chapters of [livejournal.com profile] blackholly's White Cat. Actually, some time back, Spooky listened to the audiobook, read by Jessie Eisenberg, so she's already "read" it, but it's new to me. Very good so far.

A much appreciated package from Steven Lubold yesterday, which included a biography of Mary Anning, the most recent Mouse Guard hardback, and the new Decemberists album, The King is Dead. I already have a favorite track— "Don't Carry It All" –though I expect that by tomorrow I'll have a new favorite track off the disc. A box can brighten a day. Thank you, Steven.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I've not left the house in eight days. Presently, it's sunny and 23˚F, though it feels like 10˚F with windchill. Things I only know because of the internet. The last few days, the sun and rain have made a small dent in the mountain of snow. The streets of Providence have begun their annual disintegration, as potholes open up all over. Not that it matters to someone who seems never to leave the house.

I'm feeling much, much better. This has been an odd cold, for Spooky and I both. I've dubbed it the "Long Island Express." Fast and hard. It was sort of like a week and a half of sick, all in three days. Still, I'd rather it be that way, than lower-grade misery for ten days.

I suppose yesterday was a half a day off. I didn't actively write, but I did work. Email, and looked over copy editor's marks on "Tidal Forces" (soon to appear in Johnathan Strahan's Eclipse Four). I lay in bed while Spooky read back over all of the seventh chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir and made line edits. I see now that the seventh chapter is done, and I'll begin 8 today. And I see that this novel may only have nine chapters, so...the ending is nearing sooner than expected. Which feels very, very strange, considering I actually only was finally able to begin it in earnest in November (after, I think, three false starts over the preceding eight months).

---

Thanks for all the potential "if I were" questions posted yesterday as comments. There were some excellent ones, and all have been cut an pasted into a file I keep for such things. But, as it happens, I thought of a very good question last night, which I'll probably post tomorrow. I think it's just the right balance of disturbing and erotic.

---

The thing I was going to get into yesterday and didn't, another highly questionable Amazon.com "review" and the issue of Sarah Crowe's sexuality. I quote:

Over all, I liked the book. I did get a bit irritated with the author constantly telling the reader that Sarah is a lesbian.

Now, I should note up front that the reader did, indeed, like the book, and she gave it four out of five stars. And, originally, I wasn't going to carp about this. But it's been eating at me. I will try to be succinct, because it's actually a very simple problem. To begin with, "the author" wasn't "constantly telling the reader that Sarah is a lesbian." It was Sarah who did the talking. The interauthor whose journal makes up most of The Red Tree. There are plenty who would say that's an absurd distinction, but I disagree. However, that's not the meat of the problem here.

To put it as simply as possible, most gays and lesbians spend a lot more time thinking of themselves as gays and lesbians than most heterosexual men and women spend thinking about the fact of their heterosexuality. This is simply true, and it follows from the repression and discrimination and hatred visited upon queers. When you aren't "the norm," when, all your life, the validity of your desires and loves has been condemned and questioned and, at times, attempts have been made to beat it out of you, it changes how you see yourself. It's unfortunate, but it's true. Maybe someday a time will come when this isn't true, and no one will give a second thought to being a lesbian. But, for now, we live in a society that rarely misses an opportunity to remind us how we deviate from a heterocentric expectation. We spend a lot more time thinking of our sexual identity (which is not the same as thinking about sex) than do straight men and women, because it has become a label. A tag with which to distinguish us from everyone who isn't a lesbian. And if you're straight, and you still don't get this after hearing an explanation, I'm sorry, but you're just not trying. Sarah grew up in the Deep South, one of those parts of the country where it's very hard to be queer, and has, no doubt, spent much of her life taking crap, and yes, she'd quite frequently think of herself as a lesbian. Ergo, she'd write about it. The Red Tree is her book, her voice, her story.

I grow weary of the "I have nothing against lesbians, but why do I have to read about them?" crowd. It's hard not to see this as closeted or thinly-veiled homophobia. Hets are not entitled to live in ignorance of lesbianism, any more than lesbians are entitled to live in ignorance of heterosexuality. This is the world you made, now butch up and live with it.

---

The rest of yesterday. Dinner was the third day of quadrupedal chicken stew. Because I was too bored to stay in bed, and too sick to do much of anything else, there was a lot of WoW. We're finishing up the Twilight Highlands with Shah and Suraa, which means finishing up the meat of the Cataclysm expansion. The Twilight Highlands has been, by far, the best of the expansion. The scene where Alexstrasza attempts to destroy Deathwing was very nicely done. Most of the Twilight Highlands quest chains are good. While Uldum is pretty to look at, it shoots itself in the foot with all the "Harrison Jones" silliness. At least the Twilight Highlands quests mostly take themselves seriously.

Mostly. But...I would be lying if I tried to pretend that my love affair with WoW isn't coming to an end. Blizzard continues to dumb down the game (and it wasn't exactly a bright child to begin with). And they continue to inexplicably whittle away at warlock abilities (and, I assume, abilities for other classes). Yesterday's big patch took away the "drain mana" spell, which I rely on quite a bit in PvE. It's beginning to look like I'll be able to get a laptop this spring, exclusively for gaming, and I suspect that when I do I'll be dropping WoW for LoTRO and Rift (Spooky's doing the Rift Beta, and it's an amazing game). I need a lot less funny and far more coherent, consistent storylines. I need a world that isn't afraid to take itself seriously, and game designers who are a little more considerate of players. Blizzard, you've lost me.

And now...I make the doughtnuts. Comments!
greygirlbeast: (Illyria)
Thunderstorms last night. Lightning reflecting off the snow. This morning, the sun's out, it's 41˚F, and the melting seems to have begun in earnest. I feel like we've been locked in a hard freeze for a solid month or longer. Of course, now there's the ugliness of the melt, because humans and snow are a bad mix, and there's the threat of flooding.

Spooky's been down with some sort of crud much of the past week, and yesterday it finally grabbed hold of me. Right now, I feel pretty crappy. But there's work, and I have to try to keep moving.

All of yesterday was spent pulling Sirenia Digest #62 together. It went out to subscribers last night, and hopefully everyone has it who should have it. I'd very much like to hear feedback on the first chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Also, if you're not a subscriber and would like a sneak preview of the novel in progress, subscribe and you'll get #62.

For some damn reason, I get sick and my head fills with random thoughts. Usually, with random, unpleasant thoughts. It's as if a troll with a bucket of nails has been turned loose in my head. Nails and snot.

For example, never, ever, ever call me "hon." I get this on Second Life constantly, and on WoW, and other places, and it makes me want to wretch. Or, here's another moderately random thing: Yesterday, I read that the average American household includes thirty "always on" appliances. Stuff that never gets shut off. Thirty. Spooky and I sat and counted up our "always on" crap, and we could only come up with eight things*. So, how the hell do people manage thirty "always on" electronic (non-battery operated) appliances? Beats the hell out of me.

When I was done with the digest yesterday, once it had been sent away to be PDFed, I spent some time on Two Worlds and In Between. Mostly, I tried not to think about getting sick, or how it might affect my ability to get all this work done. Later, there was rp in Insilico...which was very good...and comic books, and cookies, and more Krilanovich, the thunderstorm and snuggling with Hubero. And here's a question, while I'm being all random and shit: Why do so many comic-book readers get annoyed at "funny books" when "comic books" means pretty much exactly the same damn thing? I grew up reading funny books, and I usually still think of them as funny books— even after having worked for DC/Vertigo all those years —and I just don't get it.

Ugh.

The platypus says stop here, and I think maybe that's not such a bad idea. Comments welcome, because Sundays suck even when I'm well.

In Phlegm,
Aunt Beast

* fridge, stove, microwave, an alarm clock, coffeemaker, water heater, modem, and router.
greygirlbeast: (starbuck4)
The snow and ice are here to stay. What little melting takes places during the day freezes solid as soon as the sun sets. I'm not kidding about glaciers. I may have to do a driveway glacier photo essay. The low last night was something like 9˚F.

Today, your comments would be most appreciated. Fridays are always slow.

I tried, yesterday, to take a day off, and failed. At this point, there's not been a day without work since Monday the 17th, and there have been seventeen days of work since. Today will make eighteen. Starting to feel thin, but the work is piled on top of the other work. I've got to get through chapters 7 and 8 of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir this month, and finish up the editing and layout (and other stuff) for Two Worlds and In Between, and get Sirenia Digest #62 out to subscribers (the latter should happen tomorrow).

Yesterday, I tried very, very hard not to work. We made it through chapters 33-35 of Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, which seemed a good way to begin a day off. Only, then there was some sort of anxiety storm, that ended with me working on the layout and editing for Two Worlds and In Between, and realizing I hate the introduction I wrote, and that I have to write a new one today. And answering email. Oh, and the page proofs for "Hydrarguros" arrived in the mail yesterday. The story's being reprinted in Subterranean 2: Tales of Dark Fantasy.

Day before yesterday was spent trying to talk myself over the wall that has suddenly appeared between chapters 6 and 7 of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Like magick. As soon as I realized the novel would take a different shape, and that Chapter 5 was actually chapters 5 and 6...boom...the first real wall I've encountered since the novel started gathering momentum back in November. I have to find my way over the wall by Sunday morning, at the latest. Anyway, yeah, work is presently a higgledy-piggledy twilight sort of place, too many things happening all at once and no time to stop and take a breath without worrying I'll drown. The weather isn't helping.

I was pleased to see that The Ammonite Violin & Others made the 2010 Locus Recommended Reading List.

--

Last night, we finished reading Kit Whitfield's In Great Waters, which was quite good, and I recommend it to anyone who's ever wondered at the direction European history might have taken if all the kings and queens (except in Switzerland) had been half-mermaid. There's a passage I want to quote from pp. 321-322, a "deepsman's" thoughts on Jesus, the Second Coming, and death, just because I love it:

A man might come back after three days hiding; it was not impossible. But the landsmen seemed to think he'd come back again, some day when the world ended— a thought that, in itself, was inconceivable. Creatures died; the world was what creatures died in. A broken back or a gouged throat created not a shiver of notice in the world, in anything except the dying creature. The world was what happened before you were born and kept happening after you died; there was no need for some dead landsman to come back and have everything living die at the same time and tear up the world while he was at it. Everyone would die anyway if they waited. It seemed to Henry that the landsmen were confused, that they hadn't seen enough dead things to know how easily the water kept flowing after a death, that however much you dreaded the end nothing stopped the tides. And no landsman could destroy the world, anyway, however clever he was at dodging in and out of seeming dead.

Also, we began Grace Krilanovich's The Orange Eats Creeps last night, and I'm already amazed. Also also, it has one of the few truly good and artful book trailers I've ever seen.

---

Two good movies over the last couple of nights. Wednesday night, we finally got to see Gareth Edwards' Monsters. And wow. I'm fairly certain that, after Inception, this is the second best science-fiction film of 2010. I'm appalled it got such a limited release. For an alien-invasion film, Monsters is superbly soft spoken, a symphony of whispers rising, at last, to a distant rumble of thunder. The climactic encounter between the protagonists and two of the aliens invokes not terror, but awe, arriving at that moment of transcendence when eyes are opened and "monsters" become something else entirely. Highly recommended. This is a must see, now that it's finally on DVD and the vagaries of film distribution are no longer holding this masterpiece hostage.

Last night, we watched Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders' How to Train Your Dragon (based on Cressida Cowell's book), and I was pleasantly surprised. I'd not been particularly enthusiastic about seeing it, perhaps because of all the 3D nonsense. But it's sort of marvelous. Sweet without going saccharine. Beautiful animation. And it all ends with a song by Jónsi. Very, very nice.

---

At this point, the Tale of the Ravens project is 160% funded (!!!), but it'll be open to donations, however large or small, for another 49 days. Please have a look. Spooky and I are both excited about this, our first collaboration and the beginning of Goat Girl Press. Please have a look. Oh, wait. I said that already.

And speaking of big black birds, here's the cover (behind the cut) for Ellen Datlow's forthcoming Supernatural Noir (due out from Dark Horse on June 22nd), which includes my story, "The Maltese Unicorn":

Supernatural Noir )
greygirlbeast: (starbuck4)
So, today is Imbolc. And here we are, halfway to the vernal equinox. Which really can't come soon enough. The threat of more snow has dissolved into drizzle and a skim of slush atop the mountains of snow. We'll have a fresh glaciation when the sun goes down. I haven't seen the sea since, I think, October. Today, there's a parking ban in effect in Providence (no street parking).

Our thanks to everyone who dropped by Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries yesterday. And since someone bought the mermaid necklace, I have to point you towards my other most favorite, her Someday antique key necklace. FREE shipping until Valentine's Day. Please do have a look. The platypus says so, that's why.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,760 words and finished the sixth chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Given I only just finished the fifth chapter on Sunday, that might sound sort of strange. So, I should explain that Chapter 5 was very, very, very long, and I decided to split it. So, the second half of 5 is now 6 (plus what was written yesterday).

Anyway, yesterday I passed the 300th manuscript page, and the total word count stands at 67,537. Last night, I sent the entire manuscript to [livejournal.com profile] sovay, because I'm losing all perspective. She says I'm still on track. I expressed concerned about some of the structural similarities between The Red Tree and The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. To which she replied, "I think any questions of repetition should be mitigated by the fact that the narrative also includes a five-act play; it's by its own acknowledgment, like any memory or storytelling, a collage." Which helped allay my worries, though nothing's gonna make them actually go away.

There's a nice write-up at io9 on Jeff and Ann VanderMeer's forthcoming The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, being a most sublime and unusual collection to which I contributed "A Key to the Castleblakeney Key." The book will be out June 21st.

Also, Dark Horse is talking up Ellen Datlow's Supernatural Noir, the collection that includes "The Maltese Unicorn," the only short story I've ever written about a Depression-Era lesbian private eye in the employ of the madam of a demon brothel trying to recover an ancient and magical dildo carved from unicorn horn. I'm very pleased to see that Supernatural Noir got a really beautiful cover. I pretty much don't expect those anymore. The collection will be released June 22nd.

The good word count and kind words from Sonya aside, yesterday was sort of crappy. And included disquieting computer shenanigans and a fall in the bathtub that could have been a lot worse than it was (I got off with a bruised arm). Still, last night wasn't so bad. We watched two episodes of American MastersThe Greely Expedition and Into the Deep: America, Whaling, and the World. Later still, I briefly left the house and wandered Outside, into the snowbound street.

And here's a photo of an icy window, dendrites and ice and filigree, taken early yesterday from one of my office windows:

Looking Out Through Frost )
greygirlbeast: (starbuck1)
The snow is here again. Not that it ever went anywhere. The new snow is here, adding another stratum atop the last. Though, at least it may not be as bad as the Weather Channel was predicting last night (early this ayem). Still, I don't think Providence will be free of this blanket until sometime in late March. I woke this morning about seven o'clock and stood in the parlor a moment, in the perfect grey quiet, watching the slow white rain.

Note that between now and Valentine's Day, Spooky's offering free shipping on any jewelery purchase from her Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy Shop. Please have a look. Right now, my favorite piece is the mermaid's garden skeleton key necklace. I tried to get her not to sell it, but I usually lose those arguments. So, buy it for someone and make him, her, or it very happy, with my blessings.

Yesterday was...I'm not sure I have an adjective for what yesterday was. In my Moleskine I wrote, "Scaling back ambition." And also, "This is the day when I realized that I'll not be writing the book I thought I'd be writing, but, instead, the book that I can write." Spooky and I spent hours talking through what's left to be done, how much has been written thus far, deadlines, the story as I understand it, and my somewhat precarious mental state. I have two months until I have to deliver the novel, and if I'm only halfway through, I'd need until the end of May. Which I don't have and can't get. Also, the manuscript would be, at a conservative estimate, 150,000 words long (my contract stipulates 100k). And, sure, it's nice to take the high road and declare that the book will be as long as the book needs to be. But, sometimes, the high road is inaccessible to even the best climbers, and another route has to be found. Yesterday, I began finding that alternate path through The Drowning Girl, seeking another way to tell exactly the same story without rewriting anything I've done so far. It's going to require at least a few days to sort out, but I'm starting to see how it can be done.

Probably, yesterday was the most utterly terrified I've been of and about this novel, and also the day when I suddenly felt very relieved. Someday, when it's finished, I can talk particulars.

And my thanks for all the kind words that people offered in the comments yesterday. As much as words can help, they helped. I read them all, even if I didn't reply to them all. I finally admitted, publicly to something I've known for a long time. In response to [livejournal.com profile] whiskeychick, I wrote:

"...the truth is that, in one way or another, I've been writing exactly the same book, trying to achieve exactly the same catharsis, since Silk. It will never be written out, and I have to accept that. Haunted people do not get unhaunted, and closure is essentially a lie."

It is my intention never to write this book again after The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. I won't have written it out, or found "closure," or have healed, or any of that nonsense. It'll still be right here locked up in my chest, where it's always been. But what's going to make this novel different from all the others will be Imp coming to understand that haunted is forever. There are no exorcists, no psychiatric miracles, no magic words, no salted earth, no cleansing fire, nothing with the power to dispel our ghosts. Not really. And you live, or you die. Either way, you move on.

Anyway....

Not much else to yesterday. I was very late at the doctor, until about 8:30, and then there was the market, and dinner, and a few hours of intense rp in Insilico. The latest incarnation of the Xiang AI may not be the strangest yet, but she may be the most lost. Oh, she named Nemo. Then, I was unable to get to sleep until almost five ayem, and didn't sleep long enough to escape the effects of the Seroquel, so I'm kind of oogy just now. And here's the view from our front parlor window this morning:

1 February 2011 )


On this day in 1926, eighty and five years ago, "The Call of Cthulhu" first appeared in print.
greygirlbeast: (Starbuck 3)
It's bright out there. Cold, but bright. And there's another storm on the way, as I'm sure at least half the country is aware. The snow should reach us by morning. I'm thinking of all those six-foot heaps made by the snowplows, and wondering how they'll look as seven- and eight-foot heaps. We have to get out of here this evening, before the weather starts deteriorating. I have a 7 p.m. (CaST) doctor's appointment, and we'll need to make it to the market.

---

Something happened yesterday that's never happened before. It's remarkable, I suppose, that it's never happened before, given I've been writing pretty much full-time now for nineteen years. I'm hesitant to even speak of it here. But given how this journal is meant to be an honest record of my experiences as a writer and author, I would feel dishonest leaving it out. Yesterday, first time ever, I found myself crying because of what I was writing. It came on very suddenly, and I had to stop and step away for awhile before finishing the scene. I know I was crying for Imp. There are other reasons, too, which I'm not going to spell out. But, later, I found myself thinking that this has to be the last novel of this sort I write, at least for the foreseeable future. It's too terrible and too personal. I find myself not wanting to let anyone see this one, ever. I felt that way a little with Daughter of Hounds, then even more so with The Red Tree. But it's never been this strong, the urge to lock the book away and not subject it to editors and reviewers and Amazon reader comments and people mouthing off on their blogs. It's just too personal, and I suppose I have no one to blame but myself. No one forces me to write these particular stories, to keep picking at these particular scabs. But, yeah. Last time. And then I'm going off to write YA, and tell wondrous stories, and they'll be dark, sure. They'll be true. But they sure as fuck won't be this. It sounds melodramatic, I know, but the truth is I'm making myself sicker, writing this novel, and it's not worth the toll it's taking.

It's okay if that didn't make much sense. Like Imp's story, it's mostly just for me.

At best, I'm halfway through the novel.

Yesterday, I wrote 2,106 words on Chapter 5, and finally reached the end of the longest chapter I've ever written.

--

Not much else to say about yesterday. We watched the new episode of Fringe, which, of course, was very good. Then we watched the first two episodes of Season Two of Spartacus. Gods, I'd forgotten how much I love this show. Sheer and utter fucking debauchery and depravity, unabashed, unapologetic. All fucking id, top to bottom. It's nowhere near as well written as was Deadwood, but I think it has much the same appeal for me. Later, we played a little WoW. I think I got to bed about 3:45 a.m. (CaST).

Gonna go now. Comments would be especially welcome today.
greygirlbeast: (Bjorkdroid)
Yesterday, I wrote another 2,292 words of Chapter 5 of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. I begin to suspect this is the bottomless chapter. This book, its become a fever, and the pages are a fevered blur. Part of me says, slow down, slow down, I'm going to break it, but this other part of me is insisting, no, no, the speed of the telling is integral, its a confession and there's no way she'd write it slowly, so neither can I. Maybe I'll try to explain, someday, how I'm a "method writer."

Today I have to try to write the "hardest scene," or only the second hardest. Hard on Imp, and hard on me.

The nightmares are worse than they've been in a long time. A tumult of calamity and past events that never actually occurred.

The new issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology came yesterday, December 2010. It was late, in part because it was shipped with a huge memoir describing a pugnacious little terrestrial croc named Simosuchus. There's also the description of a new genus and species of bothremydid turtle, Chupacabrachelys complexus. The name's etymology deserves a moment of explanation. To quote the paper's authors, "The chupacabra (Spanish for 'goat sucker') is a mythical creature in contemporary Mexican-American legend said to feed on livestock in the border region of Texas and Mexico. The skull of Chupacabrachelys resembles that of a mangy coyote believed to be responsible for chupacabra sightings in South Texas during 2008." Also, for the species, "In recognition of 'the Complex Tour' performance of the Blue Man Group, which provided the authors with many hours of entertainment during collection and preparation of the type and referred specimens."

I left the house late yesterday and went to the market and an art supply store with Spooky. I was amazed at how much the snow hasn't melted. Everything is still blanketed. There are banks of snow five and six feet high where snowplows and shovels have heaped it. The Providence River below the Point Street Bridge is frozen over.

Good roleplay in Insilico last night (thank you, Tracy). It's been just a little more than a year since I discovered Insilico. And while it didn't live up to the embarrassingly optimistic hype I ladled over it, I've found that the sim does, nonetheless, provide a fine backdrop for private cyberpunk rp. Spooky and I played WoW, and I'm still liking the Twilight Highlands. Last night, for the first time since I started playing in October 2008, I found myself holding more than 20,000 gold. No, I haven't ever done raids, and most of the money I make in WoW comes from auctions and quests.

And now, there will be doughnuts.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Today needs a list. Or, rather, today my disordered mind requires a list:

1. I think this will be one of the coldest days I've ever lived through. In the Great White Outside, the temperature's currently 8˚F, with a windchill of -6˚F. The forecast high is 13˚F. There's a windchill advisory, which makes me wonder when or if they'd ever bother with an actual windchill warning. And yeah, it's much colder other places. Like Antarctica. But I'm not there, am I?

2. Yesterday, I wrote 1,200 words on Chapter 5, and reached manuscript page 250. But I wasn't terribly pleased with the results, so a good bit of today may be spent reworking what I did Sunday. I feel as if I've hit another speed bump, or a wall, or something equally unhelpful. It may only be the dread and misgiving that usually accompanies pivotal scenes.

3. Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. As I mentioned on Saturday, we've listed a copy of the original On the Road to Jefferson chapbook (2002), my very first chapbook with Subterranean Press. It's also the first time I did the cover art for one of my own chapbooks. We have only five or so remaining, and haven't offered a copy in years.

4. Free fiction. "The Melusine (1898)," which first appeared in Sirenia Digst #31, has been reprinted in the Winter '11 issue of Subterranean Magazine.

5. Spooky and I are going to be holding off at least a couple more days on the announcement I alluded to on Saturday. I apologize. There were many more loose threads remaining than I thought. I mentioned the project prematurely. Ah, well. Let the suspense build.

6. Last night, we watched Mike Newell's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010). I never go into movies based on video games expecting much, so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself enjoying Prince of Persia. Generally, it seems more interested in being a film with it's own story to tell than trying to recreate the experience of the game, and, at the very least, it's great eye candy. There's something pleasantly old-style Hollywood about it.

7. I fucking swear, every time I begin to think WoW's done something really wonderful, it shoots itself in the foot. Case in point: Uldum. Possibly the most beautiful environment the game has ever created. And the quest chains were going very well, but last night the whole affair devolved into a spoof of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Really, really fucking dumb. Nazis in Azeroth. Out of nowhere. As Spooky asked on Facebook last night, "Uldum was so great, until it got stupid...what is with this expansion taking a joke and wearing it out and then dragging it limping along until you want to scream?" For me, this might be the final straw. As soon as (or if ever) I can get my hands on a decent PC laptop, I'm thinking I'll make the switch to LoTR Online. At least it's capable of taking itself seriously. WoW builds mood only to subvert it with mood-shattering jokes and an increasing number of tedious mini-games. It grows ever less immersive, and so ever less interesting.

Of course LJ doesn't know how to spell immersive.

8. I left the house about twilight last night, because I hadn't been out since Thursday evening. But it was just a trip to the market. I got pears and an avocado. Still, I'm holding to my New Year's resolution to stop being such a shut-in.

Anyway, there's email to me answered and doughnuts to be made. The day promises to be long and fractious. Your comments can only help.
greygirlbeast: (hatter2)
Ah, the weather. I should be taking photographs. I seem to post many fewer photos than I used to. I think it's because loading OS 10.6.3 meant losing Photoshop 7, and now Spooky has to edit all my photos, because Gimp is a piece of shit. Anyway, the high today will only be 23˚F, with a low tonight of 8˚F. Of course, if you look at tomorrow night's forecast low of -5˚F (with a -20˚F windchill), that doesn't look so bad. Everywhere out there is white, and the sun is so bright I keep the curtains pulled shut.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,896 words on Chapter 5 of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, but still didn't find the end of a long conversation. Hopefully, I will today.

I had a very, very encouraging conversation with my agent yesterday. Which was sorely needed, the way things have been the last few weeks, or months, or whatever. Perhaps things are looking up. I think I was most pleased to hear her say "Silk was way ahead of its time." At some point, I'll get this time travel thing right, and my books will appear in the optimum years.

I'm thinking that Sirenia Digest #62 will consist of an advance (very advance) look at The Drowning Girl: A Memoir— all of Chapter 1 —along with a couple of extras. There will be an illustration by Vince for the chapter. Does that work for everyone? I was going to hold off and include the excerpt in #63, but my schedule will suffer less disruption if I move it forward to the January issue. The novel's eating time like mad. In the last month, I've had to bow out of three anthologies, and turn down a number of others. Turning down paychecks, even small ones, drives me nuts. Oh, and if you're not a subscriber you can get an idea (for free) of what subscribers get each month by reading "The Melusine (1898)," which first appeared in Sirenia Digst #31 and is now reprinted in the Winter '11 issue of Subterranean Magazine.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. We've listed a copy of the original On the Road to Jefferson chapbook (2002), my very first chapbook with Subterranean Press. It's also the first time I did the cover art for one of my own chapbooks. We have only five or so remaining, and haven't offered a copy in years. Speaking of eBay, during the last round, a bidder in Tasmania won a copy of Tales of Pain and Wonder. This will be one of the farthest south book shipments we've ever made (rivaled only by a shipment to the south island of New Zealand).

Also, tomorrow I'll be announcing a collaborative project between Spooky and I that's been so very secret this is the first you're hearing of it, even though its been in the works for about two or three months. You'll see.

Last night, lots and lots of WoW. Shah and Suraa finished Deepholm and moved along to Uldum. Which, by the way, is one of my favorite Azeroth regions ever. And we read. And, eventually, we slept.

Now. Doughnuts.

Yours in Providence, Bitterly Cold,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (blackswan)
More snow, falling since a few hours before sunrise. All the world out there looks soft and fluffy and oddly inviting, though, in truth, it's a few inches of fresh snow covering sheets of ice and enormous banks and mounds of old snow frozen solid as basalt. No safe place out there to put your feet. Currently, 28˚F, but the windchill means it feels like 17˚F.

Days that begin with film-rights nibbles are inevitably weird (no, I can't tell you anything, sorry). Those days unfurl like a ringing in the ears.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,446 words on The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. The manuscript is currently at 50,816 words, which means I'm probably a little less than halfway finished. As I told my agent yesterday, this novel is as different from The Red Tree, in tone and structure, as The Red Tree is from all the novels that came before it. I'm behind, but I'm still trying to finish Chapter 5 by the 24th. Lots of email yesterday. Another phone conversation with Lee Moyer about the cover for Two Worlds and In Between.

Despite the cold and the inclement weather, Spooky and I left the house for Gallery Night at the RISD Museum. Mostly, I needed to do a little more research for the novel, but hardly anyone came out last night, so the museum was quiet and peaceful. We also had to stop at two art supply places looking for violet gels. We finally settled for sheets of red and blue acetate (I'll maybe explain all this later). Anyway, then we stopped by Eastside Market for dinner and enough supplies that we wouldn't have to risk the ice for a couple of days. At the p.o. box, a copy of Emma Bull and Kyle Cassidy's wonderful The Strange Case of the Dead Bird on the Nightstand was waiting for us.

Crossing the Providence River on the way back, the water was black and still as ink.

We saw Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud's Despicable Me (2010) last night, and loved it. Really, a hilarious and almost painfully charming film. Steve Carell was perfect. I laughed untiil I hurt, and we've been quoting the movie all morning. I fear this is one we may have to own. Later, there was WoW, Shah and Suraa working through Level 84 towards 85, picking their way through Deepholm. And while I do think it's a beautifully designed region, I have to say that Therazane it one of the most poorly designed creatures in the history of the game. Before sleep, we read more Kit Whitfield, and I read a great article in the new issue of National Geographic about the evolution of feathers in dinosaurs. There's a wonderful opening paragraph I want to quote:

Most of us will never get to see nature's greatest marvels in person. We won't get to glimpse a colossal squid's eye, as big as a basketball. The closest we'll get to a narwhal's unicornlike tusk is a photograph. But there is one natural wonder that just about all of us can see, simply by stepping outside: dinosaurs using their feathers to fly. (Carl Zimmer)

Okay. Gotta wrap this up. But keep the comments coming in, if you would, please. Time to make the doughnuts.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Snowy, slushy, cold here in Providence. Presently, 30˚F, with an expected low tonight of 21˚F, so yeah, we're sort of having a heatwave. More snow on the way tonight.

Day before yesterday, we spoke with my doctor. Dosages have been increased. There is hope the storm inside my skull may soon subside, and I can go back to looking the other way.

Tuesday I wrote 1,152 words on Chapter 5 of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Yesterday, I wrote not a single word. The whole day was spent, instead, talking about what I wasn't writing. I've been lucky. Yesterday was the first significant wall the book's hit since I began it in earnest back in November.

Lee Moyer's cover for Two Worlds and In Between is coming along very well. He's at the mock-up stage, but I'm loving it. Right now, it's been the bright spot amid all the sticky black clouds.

The current eBay auctions continue (and are going well).

I didn't leave the house yesterday. Or the day before that. But I'm going out this evening, weather permitting.

I feel bad for not having mentioned the 202nd anniversary of Edgar Allan's Poe's birth, but I didn't make an entry yesterday. So, there you go.

---

Books and movies. Night before last, we streamed two of the latter, fashioning an inexplicable sort of double feature. First, I wanted to see Mike Figgis' Leaving Las Vegas (1995) again, and Spooky had never seen it. Nicolas Cage films tend to fall into one of two categories. Those in which he acts, and those in which he can't be bothered to act. Happily, Leaving Las Vegas is one of the good ones. More on one of the not-so-good ones in a second. We followed Leaving Las Vegas with Michael Dougherty's Trick 'r Treat (2007), which would have be a wonderful pairing with, oh, say Fright Night. Plus, Anna Paquin as a hot werewolf. It was actually very enjoyable, which surprised me, as I tend to hate "anthology" films (Creepshow [1982], Twilight Zone: The Movie [1983], Cat's Eye [1985], and so on and so forth). Then, last night, we watched Jon Turteltaub's The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010), a big, steaming mess of stupid. This movie is so bad that even though it's not one of the movie's in which Nicolas Cage can be bothered to act, everyone else— except Alice Krige —is so bad, it seems like he's acting. In fact, Nicolas Cage's not-acting was about the only thing that made the movie bearable. The leather duster he was wearing also gave a nice performance. And Alice Krige is cool no matter what manner of mouse-eared shit she's stuck in. I'm sure she was paid well, which is really more than I can claim for my own forays into prostitution. I think the best thing I can say about The Sorcerer's Apprentice is this: If you're sick in bed, and there's nothing to do except watch this movie, it probably won't make you feel any worse than you already do.

And I read [livejournal.com profile] blackholly and Ted Naifeh's Kin, Kith, and Kind. Very good. I was especially pleased with the ending. And we're still reading Kit Whitfield's In Great Waters.

---

Anyway, wrapping this up. I need to call Lee, and email my agent, and get back to the novel. Comments especially welcome today. It's going to be a long one.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
1. I slept almost eight hours. Sure, I had to take half a Seroquel (which would be 12.5 mg) to get to sleep, but then at least I did sleep. I hate how I've become dependent on sleep aids again. And pills like Seroquel that aren't actually sleep aids, but allow me to sleep. I'm still very tired, but at least I know my body rested.

2. Very cold today. Presently 17˚F, with the windchill at 6˚. The still white world. Which is to say the world that is both white and still.

3. Yesterday, I made that big push to find the bottom of Chapter 4 of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. I wrote 2,515 words, and I did indeed reach it. But by the time I did, I felt as if I'd kicked my own teeth out. The manuscript is presently 218 pages long, which amounts to 48,218 words. I got a bit angry yesterday, I will admit, that it took me two years to work this novel out in my head, and now I'm having to rush to get it written in only a few months. Clearly, I'm putting the cart before the horse (that would be sarcasm). When I was done writing yesterday, Spooky read all of 4 to me aloud. And it works. But it's not what people will expect.

It's not what many people expect from me, and, sadly, it's not something most people will expect from a novel. And the prose is very simple, direct, not quite (but almost) stripped down. Surely, I have long since demonstrated my ability to write lush, lyrical prose to any reasonable person's satisfaction. And now I'm trying to do something else.

4. Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, because this whole "shit costs money" thing isn't going away any time soon.

5. I very almost apologized, just now, for sounding so glum and pissy. Which is funny, and which should serve as evidence of changes wrought by the meds since April.

6. Last night, after so much work, I was too tired to sit up straight, so naturally we played WoW. The instruments of time displacement may destroy me yet. We descended into the Maelstrom, literally. And I gotta say, Deepholm is beautifully designed and, so far, I love the quests. It's quickly making up for the sad mess that was Vashj'ir.

7. Just this second, I came very near to sitting on Hubero's head and killing him. No, by accident. So, I'm going to take that as a sign it's time to wrap this up.

Yours in Simmering Disbelief,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (newest chi)
Fucking cold out there. Right now, the mercury's at 21F, and we're only supposed to reach 27F today, with more snow tonight. But I am in New England, and it is January. Which brings me to this, courtesy JaNell Golden, an image which greatly amuses me:



I actually "laughed out loud."

Anyway...

---

No writing yesterday. Just writing-related work. A long and delightful phone conversatin with Lee Moyer regarding the cover design for Two Worlds and In Bewteen. This cover is going to be very, very cool, but I'm keeping it all under wraps for now. The rest of the day was spent on email and talking through the remainder of Part One of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir with Spooky. I might make a few notes, and that's about as close as I ever come to outlines. Notes on index cards. It looks now like Part One ("The Drowning Girl") will be five chapters long, while Part Two ("The Wolf Who Cried Girl") will be six chapters long. With luck, I'll reach the end of Chapter Five (and so the end of Part One) before it's time to start work on Sirenia Digest #62. There was also some research yesterday on the subject of cumulative songs, which are about to become prominent in the novel.

On this day in 1947, the mutilated body of Elizabeth Short, better known as the "Black Dahlia," was found in a vacant lot in Leimert Park, Los Angeles. She was twenty-three years old. The second half of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir is, in part, concerned with Short's murder.

---

If you haven't had a look at the current eBay auctions, please take a peek.

The new iPod, which has been named Inara, arrived late yesterday, so a big, big thank you to Steven Lubold for such a generous and useful gift. Having been bereft of an iPod since the trip to Portland, back at the beginning of October, it's nice to be counted among those blessed with portable music once again.

Today was going to be a day off, snowy graveyards, etc., but it's so cold out. I do much better with mid thirties than with mid twenties. So, I don't know. Maybe I'll have an indoors day off. I've done very good this year about getting Outside. Looking back at the first 14 days of the year, I've left the house on 10 of them. Compare that to only having gone out 2 hours in 24 days during a stretch of December and November. My agoraphobia and social anxiety and general laziness can all go fuck themselves; this is a better way to live.

Okay, so I'm going to have a day off. Or work. Or whatever. I do have to go Outside and help Spooky get all the snow and ice off the van, which hasn't been moved since the heavy snow back on Wednesday, so she can go to the market. That seems like a very fucking ambitious plan.

Yours in Inclement Weather,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (newest chi)
Everything Outside the house is white, except the sky, which is the shade of grey just before white.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,692 words on Chapter 4 of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, bringing me to manuscript page 169.

Thanks to everyone who left comments yesterday. They were much appreciated. It helps. It actually fucking does.

After the writing, we had dinner and waited on the coming storm. I read. We played WoW.

Shaharrazad and Suraa are mired in the interminable morass of Vashj'ir. If you'd have told me that Blizzards would release an expansion that includes questing on a sunken continent and that I'd hate it, I'd have called you a liar. After all, how can you fuck up a sunken continent? How can you make anything so cool so uncool, or anything so inherently exciting dull? Well, I'm not sure, myself, but clearly Blizzard found a way. I've done 128 quests of the 150 in Vashj'ir, and its been one long, unimaginative, unrelenting blur of tasks that really don't seem to have much at all to do with Deathwing or the Cataclysm. There was a funny cut scene last night, involving getting an elder-god octopus thing stuck on your head and the chaos that ensues, but that's been about it. I liked the Mount Hygal stuff, but Vashj'ir blows, and, at this point, we're just trying to grind through it as quickly as we can.

I was finally able to try Mexican Coke last night. That is, Coca-Cola bottled in Mexico. Like that bottled in Canada, it's free of high-fructose corn syrup. Here in the US, where the government's corn subsidies help to insure that everything is sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, Coke stopped tasting like Coke a long, long time ago. HFCS was first used in Coke in 1980, and became the sole sweetener in 1984. Last night, finally, I tasted Coke as it tasted when I was a kid. And I was not incorrect in my recollection that it used to taste much better. We don't drink it often, but now that we have access the the stuff bottled in Mexico, we'll drink it more often (even though that does enlarge my personal carbon footprint a bit).

Last night, we also watched Dario Piana's Lost Boys: The Thirst (2010). Ignore that other piece of crap, the one released in 2008, purporting to be a Lost Boys sequel. The Thirst succeeds everywhere the first attempt at a sequel fails. It's fun, hilarious, sexy, smart, has a reverence for the spirit of the first film, and doesn't make the mistake of trying to upstage Kiefer Sutherland. Plus, it parodies paranormal romance by inserting the archetypal PR author into the mix. Right down to her tramp-stamp tattoo. Naturally, fittingly, she dies horribly. Corey Feldman is a delight, and Casey B. Dolan is utterly adorable. See this film.

The snow began in earnest about one ayem or so. I went out in it for a bit around 3:30. The night sky was glowing orange-white, the soft filter of streetlights and the blizzard, and there were no sharp edges left anywhere in the world, so far as I could see. Everything was all muted to a gentle, swirling haze. Weather like heroin, both needle sharp and gentle in a single breath. Beautiful. I admit I wanted to lie down and let it cover me, and sleep. There are a few photos behind the cut:

12 January 2011, Part One )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I'm looking at the news, seeing that the South has been walloped with snow and ice. People are saying it's the worst snow in Alabama and Georgia since the winter storm of '93. I was living alone in Birmingham then, on the side of Red Mountain, and I was pretty much snowed in for a week, most of it without power. Long time ago. I was twenty-nine. It was the year before I moved to Athens, Georgia, and it was also the year I made my first short-story sale. Anyway, it appears the same storm front that hit the southeast will reach us sometime on Tuesday.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,753 words on Chapter 4 of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. And, as I mentioned yesterday, I'll be including the first chapter in Sirenia Digest #63 (February 2011).

I didn't leave the house.

Not much else to yesterday. I've started reading Shackelton's Forgotten Men: The Untold Tragedy of the Endurance Epic by Lennard Bickel (2001). We read more of Kit Whitfield's In Great Waters (2009). We watched, of all things, Guillermo del Toro's Blade II (2002), which I think made my third time (one in the theatre, now twice at home). I really wasn't in the mood for a big, stupid vampire movie, but I was too tired for anything else. On the one hand, the visual and make-up FX have aged much better than I expected. And Ron Perlman is still cool (and always will be). On the other hand, this film can stand as proof that you really do need a screenplay and actors to make a film. Explosions and martial arts and mutant vampires, that's all well and good, but dialogue helps, too.

There was some rp in Insilico, mostly a long conversation between Molly and Grendel wherein they tried valiantly to talk about "good things," but kept going back around to all the bad things. But it was good rp. It was, I daresay, sweet. I'm going to step away from IS for two or three days. There's just too much work, and it's just too taxing. Also, I leveled my blood-elf death knight to 64. She's named Shahharazad, which, of course, looks an awful lot like Shaharrazad, my Level 82 blood-elf warlock. I call one Double H and the other I call Double R.

And now, the doughnuts.
greygirlbeast: (newest chi)
Yesterday I didn't leave the house. The weather was crappy, and I was writing, and then the weather got worse. Maybe this evening. Right now, there's snow on the ground, but the roads are clear. I need the snow. As I've said, it smooths the ugly sharp edges from the bleak urban winter landscape.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,670 words on The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. My goal is to write chapters 4, 5, and 6 this month. Yesterday, I reached ms. page 150. Or 32,206 words. This novel will be only as long as it needs to be. I might be a third of the way through it, or half, or only an eighth. We shall see.

I will be including Chapter 1 in Sirenia Digest #63 (February 2011).

I took a nap in the middle parlour before dinner. Then, this morning I slept more than seven and a half hours. The Seroquel conquers the insomnia, but it's nothing I want to take long term.

Last night, I read the first story in Jacques Tardi's The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (Les aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec, 1976), "Pterror Over Paris." Utterly delightful. And it set me to wondering why the hell Luc Besson's adaptation of the comic hasn't yet been released in the US. It premiered in France on April 14th, 2010, and has shown in oodles of countries, but not the US. Anyway, I also watched Herbert G. Ponting's 90° South, a film documenting Scott's second Antarctic expedition (1911). The film has a long and complex history, having begun as a series of silent shorts that eventually became a narrated feature in 1933. Later this year, I'm supposed to write a prequel to Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness," and I've begun the research.

And there was rp in Insilico last night, and will be again tonight.

That's all for now.

Yours in January,
Aunt Beast

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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