greygirlbeast: (Doc10-2)
Cold here in Providence. All day yesterday, the mercury hovered in the twenties Fahrenheit. Today, I am told, we will suffer a balmy 43˚. Only, with wind.

Here I am, still on vacation. Still...vacating?

Not much to be said for yesterday. Oh, I did want to say that the past two nights I've slept 8.5 hours each, for a total of 17 hours. There are entire weeks when I don't sleep 17 hours! To wit, I propose it is writing that gives me insomnia.

But, yesterday. I actually did have to email my agent, regarding the Two Worlds and In Between audiobook that might one day exist, and I sent another email to my editor at Dark Horse (there were replies, and my replies to their replies, this ayem). But yesterday I mostly gamed. Unless I'm forgetting something. I played a LOT of SW:toR, leveling my Sith Inquisitor to 11, and my bounty hunter to 7. I discovered that playing a bounty hunter is a lot of fun. The storyline is very, very good. Actually, I have almost nothing to complain about as regards SW:toR, except a) the silly hop and b) the stagnant technology bullshit. I don't think many people have a proper enough concept of deep time (even on an historical scale) to grasp what 3,500 years means in terms of the evolution of a civilization. All the hand waving and absurd explanations aside, it's lazy design and fear of fan backlash. But yes, otherwise, a grand game.

Ah, hello. My comp copies of New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird (Prime Books) have just arrived. This is the second time an anthology has reprinted my story, "Pickman's Other Model (1929)." In fact, it's the first story in the volume. The story first appeared (outside Sirenia Digest #28, March 2008) in Joshi's Black Wings: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror (2010; PS Publishing). So, grab a copy. And subscribe to Sirenia Digest. And listen to Brown Bird. All those things, though not necessarily in that order.

Last night, we saw an excellent episode of Doctor Who, "The Girl Who Waited," possibly one of the best episodes I've ever seen. When I finally went to bed, I read from Christopher McGowan's The Dragon Seekers: How an Extraordinary Circle of Fossilists Discovered the Dinosaurs and Paved the Way for Darwin (2001).

Tonight, we go to the Cable Car to see Lars von Trier's Melancholia.
---

And the last U.S. troops have left Iraq, and an illegal act of aggression draws to a close. After nine years and the deaths of almost 4,500 Americans, a number of casualties that pales when compared to the number Iraqi fatalities, a number which is very hard to pin down, but which may be as high as 109,032 deaths, including 66,081 civilian deaths, and a cost to US taxpayers of ~1.9 trillion dollars, and the further sundering of an ancient nation and its antiquities. We call this waste, kittens, the American and Iraqi deaths, and waste is the only true evil in the world. All evil can be reduced to wasteful fucking acts. But our troops are out, even if we're not sure exactly what that means. And isn't this another promise the President has kept? It is. And yes, Kim Jong-il is dead, and so now the world faces the uncertainty of Kim Jong-un, possibly an even greater danger than his father.

Regardless, this is no day of victory, as our soldiers come home. This is not a day of peace, because there is not yet peace in the world. This is a day of shame and disgrace, and a day George W. Bush, Jr. and his cronies should be remembered as war criminals (since we cannot try them as such), and a day we should mourn all those lost, on all sides of this abominably wasteful conflict, which was never about terrorism or democracy, but about profit margins and oil. Let's not even talk about the American vets whom we cannot care for, medically or psychologically, even if "we" wanted to do so. This is a war that has existed, in the main, beyond American consciousness.

Now...Afghanistan.*

Counting,
Aunt Beast

* And if you want to argue with someone over any of this, do it somewhere else.
greygirlbeast: (sol)
Pretty much every single entry I've made to this journal over the past four summers has been made from my office (here in Providence). But today, I've taken the laptop and retreated to the sanctuary of the middle parlor, where Dr. Muñoz is valiantly struggling to hold the temperature at a vaguely comfortable 82 Fahrenheit. I'm sitting on the chaise, working on my laptop, and I know the rest of the world has this whole mobile, toil anytime and everywhere shit down like the heart of a clockwork peacock...but not me. I'm supposed to be doing this at my desk...where it's probably 90 Fahrenheit by now.

Yesterday...

Yesterday, it was hot.

Yesterday, I thought we'd completed proofreading the manuscript copy of Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. But I needed to add one more story. I'd intended that to be "Pickman's Other Model (1929)," but then I remembered that Joshi will be reprinting it in Black Wings II next year***, so I really ought not put it in this collection. As in, that would have been inconsiderate and unprofessional. So...now I need another story, which will likely be "Untitled Grotesque, which we'll need to read today. After I print it out, because, unlike that mobile-ebook-loving world Outside my window, I can't proofread text off a computer screen (or read for enjoyment). Anyway, yesterday we proofed "The Peril of Liberated Objects, or the Voyeur's Seduction," "At the Gate of Deeper Slumber," and "Fish Bride." In the cool, dark bedroom. And I wrote something I needed to write for a magazine - marginalia, essentially. And I saw to it that Sirenia Digest #67 went out to subscribers (thank you, Gordon!). I hope you have it; I hope you love it. There's some iffy formatting on the last page, and the cover's a bit blurry, so I may actually have that fixed and do a second mailing in the next day or two. But last night it seemed more important that I just get it out. Anyway, comments welcome.

Today, I have to look at "Untitled Grostesque," and if it works for the book, I proofread it, and then Spooky and I check over the PDF of Two Worlds and In Between to be sure that all the corrections have been made, before it goes away to the printer. Last chance to catch errors before it's set in stone (so to speak). So, more tedium! Maybe I will write again, some day soon.

---

After the work, I napped yesterday. It was too hot to do much else. I drifted off on the bed, and Spooky woke me about twenty minutes later for a cold dinner of tuna salad. Oh, before the nap, I read Lucius Shepard's story in Supernatural Noir, "Ditch Witch," which is my favorite from the collection thus far. After dinner, I rolled a new Bahmi warrior on the Faeblight shard, to replace Shaharrazad over on the Shadefallen shard (this is Riftspeak, sorry). Her name is Bataarmaa, which, is a Mongol name. Bataar, masc. "hero" with the fem. suffix maa, so Bataarma. Her big scary cat's name is Sukh, which is Mongol for "axe."

Last night, we watched Byung-chun Min's Natural City (2003). Which is pretty much a South Korean remake of Blade Runner, spiced with dashes of Aliens and The Matrix. Only, it's about forty minutes too long, the action sequences are usually poorly choreographed, and the story is muddy (partly, this is the obviously bad translation for the subtitles). But still, it is a visually stunning film, so when you have no idea what's going on, you can sort of just sit back and admire the cyberpunk eye candy. That said, there are some good moments, and the ending was appropriately poignant.

I got to sleep sometime after four. The sky was growing light.

Okay. Come here, you sweaty platypus.

Unwillingly Mobile,
Aunt Beast

*** Evidence of how heat and med-addled my mind is at the moment. A reader wrote to remind me that "Pickman's Other Model (1929)" was in Black Wings. Actually, "Houndwife" will be in Black Wings II. To quote Mr. Bowie, "It's all deranged."
greygirlbeast: (Default)
1. A blustery day after a rainy night, just like A.A. Milne might have ordered. But there's more rain on the way. At the moment, it's 55F and the wind's 19mph, gusting to 30 mph. There is a wind advisory in effect.

2. Please note that a number of the current eBay auctions will be ending this afternoon (one or two probably before I post this entry). Most notably, the "napovel" auction ends in 3 hours and 25 minutes. Thanks to everyone who has bid and might yet.

3. I spent yesterday working on "There Will Be Kisses For Us All." I wrote a measly 151 words, over several hours, and finally, again, admitted defeat and shelved the story. This makes twice for this particular story. Last time, two years ago, I couldn't quite find the story in the story. This time, I found the story, but was overwhelmed by everything that needed to go into the story to make it authentic, a hundred details I've been sorting through. And, as Spooky noted, it was threatening to become a full-blown short story, when I only have time to write two vignettes for Sirenia Digest #59. So, with much regret, I put this story away again, and will come back to it at some future date (I promise).

There was a suggestion from a reader yesterday, regarding the possible identity of the Englishman in "Dracula's Guest," who is usually assumed to be Johnathan Harker. [livejournal.com profile] papersteven writes: Am I mistaken that, in the novel, Renfield, before his stay in the sanatorium, had traveled to Castle Dracula? I may be thinking only of the back-story provided in Herzog's remake of Nosferatu, but I always thought it plausible that the Englishman in "Dracula's Guest" was Renfield.

Doesn't work. Renfield as an estate agent was an element introduced in various stage and screen adaptations of the stories. Tod Browning (1931) has Renfield go to Transylvania instead of Harker, for example, and Francis Ford Coppola (1992) presents Renfield as the agent who went to Castle Dracula prior to Harker, and returned insane. But in the novel, Renfield is a patient in Seward's sanitarium, first mentioned in a May 25th diary entry, and not an estate agent.

4. Also, [livejournal.com profile] kaz_mahoney asked of "Pickman's Other Model": Was that in an older Digest? I'm assuming so, as it has a VL illustraion. I keep thinking about that story... When you first wrote it, was it ever a potential novel-length project? I can see that, somehow.

Yes. "Pickman's Other Model" first appeared in Sirenia Digest #28 (March 2008). Can I see it as a novel? Yes, I could. Easily. Will I ever write that longer story it could be? Maybe, who knows. The problem is, of course, that I have very many short stories that could be novels (and vignettes that could be short stories, for that matter).

5. Yesterday, my new keyboard arrived. It was a gift from Jada, so thank you, Jada! Since April 2007, I've been writing on the keyboard that came with my iMac. But it was a bad design, always had sticky keys (that had become very, very sticky), and, because of the design (set into a clear plastic tray) it easily became filthy and was hard as hell to clean. The new keyboard, also an Apple keyboard, is a sleek brushed aluminum affair, and the keys require the application of only the lightest touch. The old keyboard, with which I wrote many, many stories, as well as The Red Tree (and Beowulf, too, but I'm trying to forget that ever happened), will be packed away now.

6. [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark arrived about 7:15 last night, and we got sandwiches from Fellini's, and spent the evening in conversation, about this and that and everything else. I can't begin to remember it all. I read him my introduction for Two Worlds and In Between, about which I was becoming very skittish, and he assured me it's fine (as Spooky had done). At some point, Kathryn called us to her laptop, to see a Second Life Innsmouth sim. There's not much good left that one can say about Second Life. It has become a stagnant backwater. But this sim is a beautiful, beautiful build. You can pose in the arms of a deep one out on Devil's Reef. I recommend you see it before it goes away (all good things on SL go away fairly quickly). The sim is named Innsmouth, so it's easy to find. She'd also downloaded the free Lord of the Rings Online trial (née Middle Earth Online), and we were all rather disgusted with it. Lousy graphics. I mean, sure, it would have looked good in 2002 or 2003. Now...it hardly looks as good as Morrowind looked. All in all, it feels like a WoW knockoff, but with graphics far inferior to WoW. I was very disappointed (though I never would have played anyway, since there's never going to be a Mac version). This is frakkin' Tolkien, people, and you get it right or you leave it the hell alone. Anyway, Geoffrey left a little after 2 a.m., and headed back to Massachusetts and Framingham.

7. And here's another set of photographs from the Portland/HPLFF trip. I hope no one's growing weary of this visual travelogue. I just want to get a goodly portion of it down in the journal, to look back upon in years to come. These are photos taken on our last day in Portland (Monday, October 4th), and in the air, and at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport before we learned the flight to Providence had been canceled:

H.P. Lovecraft, Part 8 )

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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