greygirlbeast: (Default)
Not as much sunny Outside today as cloudy. And 46˚F.

Yesterday, two more interviews. Oh, and this. Which wasn't precisely an interview. But there was no work. No writing that wasn't answering questions. Four interviews (and this) in two days, and we're on the seventh day of a short month – longer by one day, thanks to leap year – and today I have to get back to work, and work means writing, not answering interview questions. Actually, my answering interview questions is probably now a legitimate part of my "job," but it's not writing. Today, I'm going to write. Or something like it. Tonight, after dinner, I'll deal with the next interview.

News from Subterranean Press is that Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart will be out sometime in May.

I have arrived at a curious, but, I believe, useful, new monetary standard to be employed by freelance authors. Forget the dollar. The basic unit of currency is the pizza. For example, someone pays me three-hundred dollars for a reprint, that's ~15P (based on an average large pizza price, with three toppings, of $20). Say your book deal drops twenty-thousand dollars into your lap (minus your agent's 15%); that's ~850P. This new standard will serve us far better. Sell nothing, ever, for less than at least 1P.

Since last summer I've been struggling to explain the relationship between Blood Oranges and its impending sequels (they do impend) and genuine ParaRom. No, do not use the label "Urban Fantasy." Once upon a time, Urban Fantasy had dignity. ParaRom stole the term (I don't know if it was the writers, editors, publishers, or an elaborate conspiracy of the lot). ParaRom, or PR. Anyway, the correct word I belatedly found yesterday is subvert. That is, Blood Oranges et al. is meant to subvert ParaRom. That's asking a lot of any poor book/s, but someone has to throw herself on the grenade.

Last night, Spooky and I played Rift for the first time since, near as I can tell from my notes, December 19th. That's, what, forty-nine days ago? The game remains beautiful, and it was good to be back. A good break from SW:toR. See, I didn't leave Rift because I was bored. I left because trying to run an RP guild – which meant writing more after I was done writing for the day, plus trying to get people to show up for RP – had sort of soured me on the whole thing. And then SW:toR arrived, all fresh and shiny and unsullied. Last night, I realized how much I'd missed Rift. BUT, because of the "free-to-play" Rift-Lite, our server has been overrun by idiots who cannot comprehend that it's an RP server, and there was a serious (and reasonable) fucking case of Gnerd Rage going down in general chat last night. I ignored it (I ignored everyone), and Indus (my Level 43 Eth warrior) and Dancy (Spooky's Level 43 Kelari cleric) quested and closed rifts in the Droughtlands and Shimmersand. What I didn't see was any evidence that there's been an exodus of players. There were high-level players everywhere. Many more than when I left, so the news of the game's recent troubles may have been...exaggerated. Anyway, for now, I think Spooky and I will be jumping back and forth between the two games – since we have no actual social life.

The no-sleep demons found me last night. Monsier Insomnia kept me awake until after five ayem (though I was in bed by 2:15 ayem). I didn't wake until after noon (or afternoon, if you prefer).

And one last thing. I'm missing the South fiercely. Part of it's this shitty Providence winter. Part of it is...well...complicated. I do not miss the people or the culture. I miss the land. And I'm sick of missing the South, because there is no dividing the people from the land. In the main (though not universally), the people are not worthy of even the smallest fraction of my longing. They showed me hatred, with rare bits of tolerance. By comparison, in New England I have found a mix of acceptance and people who simply know how to mind their own business. In the South, very few people know how to mind their own business. Indeed, throughout most of America, this is the case. Anyway, last night I got to thinking on the silly phrase "Southern hospitality" (which always baffled Spooky). It's not that "Southern hospitality" doesn't exist; it's that it's a highly conditional phenomenon. Conform, and we'll be relatively hospitable. Fail to conform, and we'll bedevil you. At last I left, and I am better off for it. But I cannot shake this longing for the land.

I've written far too much, says the platypus. I've written nothing at all. Gotta try to work.

Here, There, and the Other Place,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (chi 5)
My thoughts are well and truly scattered this morning. No, excuse me. This afternoon, as it is now 12:58 p.m. CaST (though only 11:58 ayem EST, hence still morning). I don't feel like resorting to numbers and bullet points today, either, so bear with me, or don't bear with me.

Bear with me. One of those interesting turns of phrase that I have to wonder if many people ever pause to consider the older, more genuine meanings. Bear. With. Me.

We were planning to be at the VNV Nation show in Boston tonight, and the fabulous Chris Ewen even saw to it that we were on the guest list. Then, yesterday, fearing the possibility of contracting some illness from the crowd, and fearing my deadlines, we pulled out. And our two places on the guest list were raffled last night by Chris, while he DJed at Heroes (DJed as in disc jokey, not as in a pillar-like ancient Egyptian symbol representing stability, id est, djed). So, two happy people will be taking our places tonight, and congratulations to them, but doing good rarely serves as much in the way of consolation if you are me. And I am. Me, I mean.

And I can’t fall asleep without a little help.
It takes a while to settle down,
My shivered bones,
Until the panic‘s out.
~ The National, "Terrible Love"

Yesterday, I discovered that (as is so rarely actually ever the case) the third time was the charm with "Sexing the Weird," and I finished a new 1,525-word version of "Sexing the Weird," which will serve as the introduction to Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. And I like it. Also, this morning (it truly was still ayem CaST) I received Sonya's afterword, "But She Also Lies Broken and Transformed." So, aside from Kathryn and I making about a bazillion corrections to the main text, then getting that text back to Bill Schafer, the book is done. Still no firm release date or date when pre-orders will begin. Later. It's safe to say it will be later, in both cases.

And today, I begin the aforementioned short story about the two women who become cities, for Sirenia Digest #72. And that reminds me to, again, remind you that responses to "Question @ Hand #5" are due by midnight (CaST) on the 7th. Also a caveat: best to avoid humor. I suppose I should have been clear about this from the beginning, but I didn't actually see this as a humorous undertaking (though humor and horror are always loping about, unsightly, hand in hand, I know); I am in an earnest state of mind.

Il est un amour terrible et je suis à marcher avec araignées.
Il est un amour terrible et je suis à marcher avec araignées.
Il est un amour terrible et je suis à marcher dans la compagnie calme.
Et je pouvais ne tomber pas dormir sans un peu aidé;
Il prendre beaucoup à se calmer mon os de frissonnement
Tant que la panique est dehors.
~ The National, "Amour terrible"

Black-eyed peas and collards for dinner last night. I'm undeniably homesick for Georgia and Alabama. Which is the height of peculiarity, given how neither place was ever a home to me, despite the fact that I lived there almost all my life. My relationship with the South could probably serve as a case study in Das Unheimliche.

Later, we watched the next-to-latest episode of American Horror Story, and, gods – Zachary Quinto in latex. Later still, for want of physical, non-virtual company or any other "real-world" diversion, we played Rift. This morning, Spooky was telling me about the offensive comments coming in over level twenty-something to level thirty-something chat – and I didn't ask for specifics, but I assume it was the usual homophobic, racist, sexist ramblings. I keep everything but guild and RP chat off, so I always miss this shit in Rift. I got enough of it in WoW. But it's not ever encountered in actual gameplay – and last night was a good example – people are consistently polite and often helpful (unlike the situation in WoW). It leads me to suspect that an awful lot of people log in merely to "socialize," and likely they're fairly young, or actual kids, and talking hate shit is the false bravado of their generation, as it has been of all generations. Which, of course, makes it no less disheartening, and reminds me why I stay out of Meridian ("New Orgrimmar") as much as possible and always keep general chat switched off. Gaming is, for me (RP aside), a fundamentally solitary exercise, and forget the "massively multiplayer" part. I rarely game with anyone but Spooky. We duo. Anything to avoid the chimps on crack who cram into so much of gamespace.

Ah, and here's a thing I thought I'd post. Behind the cut. Twenty fantasy books that exerted an especial influence on me as an adolescent, in no particular order (behind the cut):

Twenty+ )

And yeah, I cheated and that is many more than twenty books, but I still feel as if many important things have been left out. Ah, well. For another time, yes. But if you have not read all these books at least once, shame on thee.

Nostalgic,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
Caitlín R. Kiernan, you will write a short blog entry! Yes, you will. Probably, no one's reading this thing today, anyway. Much less will they comment, so make it short. [I didn't.]

1) THIS IS IMPORTANT! Read it twice. Steam is offering Rift for a mere $14.99!!! That's 50% off! Plus, you play FREE for a month. Now, the offer will never get better than this, and we had a great RP session last night (thanks, guys). You can join us almost, if not quite, for free.

And really, say that you're here reading this and you don't want to take part in an interactive fantasy story written in part by me? You know you do. So, scoot over to Steam and toss them some pennies, download, sign in, create a Defiant character on the Faeblight shard, start grinding those first few marvelous levels, and join us on Telara. No, NOW. Go. I'll still be here when you get back.

2) Yesterday, I wrote three more pages of Alabaster #3 (though I still felt blegh). I should explain, that when I say I wrote three pages, that's three pages of the comic, which usually comes to about three manuscript pages, sometimes four.

3) I'm feeling much better, but it appears a lot of my exhaustion was a bug of the contagious sort, and now Spooky's caught it (as of yesterday). So, I got to say, "I told you I felt awful." But that's the only upside. She's miserable.

4) I'm not a hypocrite. I just like turkey. We eat it a lot (usually legs). But, yeah, yesterday Spooky made an awesome turkey breast (with cranberries, walnuts, apples, garlic, and onions), and we had mashed potatoes (POH_TAE_TOES?), English peas, homemade cranberry sauce (forget that jellied crap in the can), and apple pie. Days of leftovers. And unholy words were spoken to unspeakable gods while Ozzy Osbourne played in the background, so...none of this counts. Move along. Nothing to see here. Thank you. Drive around.

5) I mentioned this, right? Okay. Just checking.

6) This entry was going to be short, wasn't it?

7) I saw this yesterday, and I (no shit) almost cried: "Alabama’s Wealth of Fossil Dinosaur Feathers." Just read the article (after you've downloaded Rift). Suffice to say, I worked with the paleontologist who first noted feathers in the Eutaw Formation, after I'd spent many years urging collectors to focus on the Eutaw Formation (Late Santonian-Early Campanian) if they wanted to find a Cretaceous terrestrial fauna in Alabama. This is more than I ever dared hoped for.

8) The signature sheets for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart (Subterranean Press, 2012) will reach me soon, and the signing will commence.

9) As I mentioned, great RP last night, the second scene in our rebooted storyline. The cleric Nilleshna called two more Ascendants to the Watchers of the Unseen and the Faceless Man's cause, a Kelari cleric named Emris and a Kelari rogue named Harlakai. And an old member was reunited with the guild, the Eth warrior Anaxakharis. They were all gathered together in a high alpine meadow on the border between Stonefield and Freemarch. Near the end of the scene, one of the guild's more infamous characters, Celinn (Kelari rogue) appeared from the trees and great and terrible weirdness ensued. The game's afoot...again!

10) We're running a Sirenia Digest special. Subscribe now, and you'll get #71 free with issue #72. In fact, if you subscribed any time in November you get #71. This is to be sure people reading the alternate first chapters of Silk will have access to the entire manuscript. So, take advantage of one of my rare acts of kindness. But we can't afford to run it beyond #72, so you only have until the 5th of December to get this deal.

And now...the mothmen summon me.

Astounded at Her Pre[science],
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
About to try to get some sleep, but it's still bloody fucking hot. 79-degrees Fahrenheit Outside, but still 84 in the middle parlour - the coolest room - and I'm guessing that means it's about 89 or 90 in the kitchen and my office. The front parlour, which we shut off days ago, probably well over 90. So, too hot to sleep, but I really don't know what else we can do. There are six fans running, plus Dr. M., which is helping just a little.

Don't know if I have much more to say just now.

I grew up in Alabama, where summer days often hit 100+F, but I lived in houses built to ventilate in the summer, and, sometimes, we had AC (but often not). But this...a house that can actually get warmer at night, a house that is built to hold heat in, it's a new beast to me.

Tomorrow, we will flee to a dark theatre and then to the sea. Until then, we'll try to sleep, and try to stay cool.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Please do comment; I'll be here all damn day.

It seems that all my family and friends in Birmingham are safe. I know a few people in Tuscaloosa, mostly at the University, and I've heard nothing from that end. But the devastation from yesterday's tornadoes is horrific, and I've had to make myself stop looking at the photographs of familiar places reduced to unfamiliar places. Tornadoes are a part of living in the South that I do not miss.

---

Dream images from last night are mostly lost, and those that remain are faint and almost indistinguishable from the background clutter of my mind. There was a beautiful mastodon skeleton weathering from a river bank. There was frozen Stalingrad during World War II.

All summer they drove us back through the Ukraine.
Smolyensk and Viyasma soon fell.
By autumn, we stood with our backs to the town of Orel.


No, the mastodon skeleton wasn't in Stalingrad.

---

Work was an odd and scatterbrained affair yesterday. Lots of loose ends and such, and today I have to begin a new piece for Sirenia Digest, because I am woefully fucking late getting to it. Oh, by the way, the snazzy new Sirenia Digest website will go live this weekend or early next week.

I mentioned that the ARCs for Two Worlds and In Between arrived on Tuesday. They include Lee Moyer's cover art, but brightness and contrast are way off, rendering the cover muddy and dark. And it's not the actual layout we're going with, so if you happen to see one of the ARCs, this is not what the final book will actually look like. I spent part of yesterday making corrections to the text, because no matter how many times you proofread a thing, or how many people len their eyes to the proofreading, it will still be filled with fucking errors. The manuscript is 210,209 words long, which breaks down to 965,432 individual characters, all of which have to be checked again and again. Also, it seems that the release date on the book has been moved from January 2012 to September 30, 2011. I had no idea.

I spent a goodly portion of yesterday on the cover for "The Crimson Alphabet," the chapbook that will accompany Two Worlds and In Between. I'd already done a cover, but decided I hated it and started over. The end result is very, very simple.

---

[livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy has announced the casting call for two projects related to The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. You can see his announcement here, but I'll also post his entry here in its entirety later. A book trailer and a still photography project. It's all fairly fucking awesome.

---

Last night, I left the house with Spooky, and we drove to College Hill. Spring is now in full bloom, and the temperatures have been warm enough that I am hereby declaring Cold Spring to have ended and Spring Proper to have begun. We stopped by Acme Video (complimentary Atomic Fireballs!), then Eastside Market, then got cheese burgers from Five Guys in Seekonk, Mass. I'm not used to driving out of state for burgers. That's going to take some time (and it's not something we'll make a habit of doing, either).

Back home, we watched Gaspar Noé's Enter the Void (2009). And I honestly wasn't impressed. If nothing else, the film needs at least 45 minutes trimmed away (running time, a whopping 161 minutes). This film manages to belabor pretty much everything it touches upon. In the hands of a skillful editor, it's possible that something worthwhile could be salvaged. If Lars von Trier and David Lynch had never heard of editing, they might make movies like Enter the Void. Also, it doesn't help that Nathaniel Brown, who plays the protagonist, has all the acting ability of a stalk of broccoli. There are plenty of arresting visuals, and some brutal, beautiful scenes, but even I can only watch psychedelic Tokyo sex scenes, shot from an overhead boom and lit with seizure-inducing, flickering shades of red, for just so long before the yawning begins. I hoped I would feel better about the film this morning, but, in fact, I find that I sort of loathe it; I suppose that's something.

---

I have about a hundred other things in my head, wanting to be spoken of in this blog today. Maybe later.

Disoriented,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Another cloudy day here in Providence. If we're lucky, the temperature will reach 72F.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,486 words and found THE END of "The Maltese Unicorn," which, ironically, meant finding my way back to the beginning. I think I like what I've done. Today we're going to read it start to finish for the first time. This is the longest story I've written since...I'm not sure. It might be the longest short story I've written since coming to Rhode Island, which is a bit weird. I blame all the damn plot. And it seemed to take forever. I began writing it on May 27th, and fifteen days were spent on the actual writing. I won't be doing that again anytime soon. Sadly, I simply have too much to write— if I want to keep up with deadlines and keep bills paid —to spend that much time on any one short story.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, and thanks.

After the writing, while Spooky went out to the market and to return DVDs and to pick up burgers from Stanley's, I watched an episode of American Experience about the Civilian Conservation Corps. My maternal grandfather, Gordon M. Ramey, was in the CCC, but I'm not sure when or for how long. He was born in 1911 (died in 1977), so would have been about twenty-two when Roosevelt formed the CCC in 1933. I know that part of his time in the CCC was spent working in Cleburne County, Alabama. There were 49 CCC camps in the state. Anyway, I'm thinking about submitting a request for his CCC service records.

I read two articles in the May 2010 Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, "Allodaposuchus Nopsca, 1928 (Crocodylia, Eusuchia), from the Late Cretaceous of southern France and its relationships to the Alligatoroidea" and "Pachycephalosauridae from the San Carlos and Aguja Formations (Upper Cretaceous) of West Texas, and observations of the frontoparietal dome."

Later, we played a bit of WoW, to get our gnomes up to Level 27. But I was so exhausted, I kept getting the giggles. Finally, Spooky...um...I mean Klausgnomi...got into it with Marshal Haggard at the Eastvale Logging Camp. When Klaus said, "Watch it, Marshal. I'll poke your other eye out," I started laughing and was in tears before I could stop. I took that as a sign I was too wasted to even play WoW. So we retreated to the bedroom and watched two more episodes from Season Five of Deadliest Catch. And that was yesterday, for the most part.

Tomorrow, I go to Boston to do the things I was going to do on my birthday. And here's a photo from Wednesday, me with two of Spooky's paintings, the two she just sold, and I think this is the first photo of me in my pajamas since 2004:

9 May 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Turns out, after driving to Birmingham, I had to forgo the dental appointment. We were home by noon yesterday. I'm no closer to knowing what the pain in my face is all about, and we're making an appointment with a local dentist. Screw this driving to Alabama nonsense. As for my doctor, she wants to put me on medication that will interfere with my ability to write, which makes sense, as she suspects I'm writing too much and the writing-related exhaustion is a major factor in my present health problems. I did point out that if I miss deadlines, I cannot pay medical bills. Hell, if I make deadlines, I still can't pay medical bills. Anyway, after we got home, we spent the better part of yesterday extracting shards of Budweiser bottles and knobby sweet potatoes from my buttocks. Which is to say, in an ideal universe, Robert Frost might have come across as a less-naive poet. Which is to say, this bit from "The Death of a Hired Man":

"Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in."

"I should have called it
Something you somehow haven't to deserve."


...well, it's bollocks. I mean, yeah, I wish, and I still love Robert Frost, if only for the sound of his words, but bollocks.

Yesterday, I received the cover flaps for the new mass-market edition of Murder of Angels, which goes on sale April 1st, 2008. Overall, I'm very happy with the cover. Penguin used the same model for Niki that they used for the mmp Silk cover. Anyway, much more to say on both these books (and the mass-market paperbacks, in general) tomorrow. Today, I find myself not in the mood to write about writing.

So, here are some links, instead:

From the Natural Resources Defense Council, a much-needed petition asking the US government to extend protection to polar bears under the Endangered Species Act.

Also, Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno has declared creationism to be a form of paganism. Well, duh. Still, this is a weird one for me, as I cheer all jabs at creationism and "intelligent design," but cannot help but be annoyed at Consolmagno's comment that what's so troublesome about creationism is "it's turning God into a nature god." For my part, the only gods worth a damn are nature gods, but since my concept of gods views them as metaphorical, or as focal points for consciousness, I suppose I can shrug this off and just be glad that even the Catholics still want nothing to do with creationists (the Vatican has a long history of denouncing "scientific" creationism). I also love Consolmagno's description of the concept of Papal infallibility as a "PR disaster," and this statement regarding the Pope: "It's not like he has a magic power, that God whispers the truth in his ear."

And lest I leave you with the thought that I have a soft spot for the Church, here's this bit about the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights (cough), denouncing the film adaptation as a platform for atheism aimed at children. Meanwhile, of course, the British Secular Society is pissed that the anti-Church aspects of the novels were watered down for the film. Me, I just want to see the bears...

Sleepless

Dec. 5th, 2007 12:59 am
greygirlbeast: (grey)
I think I'm car lagged. It's not so very different from being jet lagged, just somewhat milder in its effects. Existing as I do in my own time zone (EST +1hr), that means that the shift to Central Time has left me two hours off. It's 1:02 ayem here, but my body knows that it's "really" 3:02 ayem.

I am at my mother's, fifteen minutes or so east of Birmingham. The house is asleep. The world outside is almost maliciously silent. The sort of silence that seems profound and malign, a silence so weighty that I imagine it to be possessed of sound. I can hear the heater running, and a few miles to the north, cars on I-20, and my fingers on this keyboard, but nothing else.

The good news, my mother finally got a shiny new iMac. So, visits here (infrequent though they are), do not necessitate my having to try to fathom the counterintuitive mysteries of a Windows box.

I did not grow up in this house. It is huge and yellow and backed by pine trees. As a child, we tended to live in small rented houses and apartment complexes. Most of the houses I lived in here in this town are still standing. As far as I know, they all are. This house is very different from them. And I've never lived here. Yet strewn throughout, peppered here and there, are little bits of my childhood, as though my adolescence has somehow leaked into this huge yellow house. For example, in the guest room, where Spooky is presently asleep, is a small wooden box with sea shells inside that my mother and I collected off Neptune Beach in the early '70s when we lived in Jacksonville, Florida. Weird little echoes of me.

Before leaving Atlanta, we had to drop Hubero off at Pets-Are-People-Too in Ansley Park, for boarding, because he cannot be trusted to spend a night alone. I'm wearing his collar around my left wrist, like a bracelet, as I always do when we have to board him.

I should try to sleep. But the silence all around me is like an amplifier for thoughts I do not wish to think. So, likely I'll putter about the place a while longer. Car lagged. Waiting for sleep to find me.
greygirlbeast: (chi3)
Yeah, so, today I have to go to Alabama. The only bright side upon which to look is that at least I'm not going to Mississippi. And that's not much consolation at all. I haven't left the Perimeter and my little blue island of Atlanta since that ill-advised trip to Athens back in...was that April? I think so. But I have to go to the doctor, and in 2002, my doctor talked me into not finding a doctor in Atlanta (in all fairness, she's been my doctor since 1990), and my dentist is the only one I've ever been able to stand, so I am, today, going west to Birmingham. Pain or no pain, sleep or no sleep, I am inches from calling off this whole escapade. Because even if we're lucky and survive the gauntlet of Jesus billboards and "God Hates Fags" bumperstickers, and navigate the Great NASCAR Blackhole that has consumed Talladega, and even if we manage to slip undetected past the cannibal hillbillies who run all the convenience stores...even then, we'll still be in Birmingham. It's like surviving any number of deadly deeds for the pleasure of being ass raped with a shattered Budweiser bottle. But, yes, I exaggerate. It's really only like surviving to be ass raped with a particularly bumpy sweet potato.

Yesterday was the worst sort of day off. I was too exhausted to do much but lie in bed and doze while Spooky tried to read me several more chapters of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. I don't think I actually managed to wake up until sometime around dusk, when Byron showed up to clean the tower of Spooky's PC (a sentence that would have made only a little sense in 1980). Sometime after he left, we watched Chris Noonan's Miss Potter (2006), even though, as a rule, I don't care for Renée Zellweger. That film was the only good part of yesterday. Forever, I shall only remember December 3rd, 2007 as the day I saw Miss Potter, if I remember it at all. Wait, there was one other good thing. I also read the article on dinosaurs that John Updike wrote for the new National Geographic, which touches upon a number of fabulous ornithischian and saurischian taxa, including Amargasaurus, Carnotaurus, Parasaurolophus, Masiakasaurus, Spinosaurus, Tuojiangosaurus, Deinocheirus, Nigersaurus, Dracorex, Epidendrosaurus,and Styracosaurus. I love this quote from palaeontologist Hans-Dieter Sues: In evolution nothing is really bizarre.

But, Tails of Tales of Pain and Wonder is finished. There was a last big push on Sunday, an ugly, great mound of editing, and then it was sent away to subpress, and you will get a copy FREE, should you happen to order the 3rd edition of Tales of Pain and Wonder.

I suppose I should wind this up. Maybe a cup of coffee will steel my nerves against the horrors of this journey. But I doubt it.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I'll lead off with the good news. Sonya Taaffe's ([livejournal.com profile] sovay) "The Depth Oracle," which I'm proud to say originally appeared in Sirenia Digest #8, has been chosen for Best New Romantic Fantasy. Also, my own story, "Pony," originally published in Sirenia Digest #2, has been selected for Horror: The Best of the Year. So, in its first full year of publication, Sirenia Digest has scored two "year's best" selections. I was just on the phone with Herr Platypus (who wisely stayed behind in Atlanta), and sheheit says that's a damned good reason to subscribe today. A sage beast, Herr Platypus.

Meanwhile, I find myself somewhat stranded here in Alabama as the entire state is wracked by severe thunderstorms and the likelihood of tornadoes. We hope to conclude our business here tomorrow afternoon and be home sometime tomorrow evening. These unanticipated storms, which Spooky quite reasonably does not wish to drive in, have us housebound today. Ah, well. We will read Mitch Cullin. I find myself wishing I'd brought more books along.

Regarding my comments yesterday about Alabamians (and Georgians, for that matter), I can say only that I come by these opinions honestly and by hard-won experience. Though I was not born in Alabama, I have spent almost my entire life here, a total of more than twenty-five years. These are not comments borne of casual or distant or second-hand contact. And while one might fairly say that Alabama is not "all bad" (as you'll note I did yesterday; remember the turtles), I would say that it's Bad Enough. Bad enough that, having at last found a place (a tiny oasis) I can live without any of the constant and free-floating hostility towards queers and transfolk (and many other things that I hold dear) that I endured for so many years here in Birmingham, I have no wish to again subject myself to this place if I can avoid it. Here in Alabama, there are places and people that I love, but unfortunately they exist in a climate of culturally sanctioned intolerance and xenophobia. Which means they must, for the most part, exist apart from me. And if it is true, as some claim, that Alabama is a case of a few bad apples spoiling the whole barrel, than I can only say, from my perspective, if this is the case, the barrel isn't working hard enough.

Last night, we watched Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu's Babel on the iBook. I was impressed. It's a powerful, important film, and I'm glad it's received the recognition it deserves.

Okay. Back to twiddling my thumbs...
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I'm pretty sure that I do not actually hate Alabama. It terms of physical geography and wilderness, it's a beautiful place. Fabulous geology and paleontology. For an area its size, Alabama has the greatest diversity of turtle species found anywhere on Earth. I think what I hate is all the goddamn Alabamians (the ones who aren't turtles). And Alabama culture, which, of course, is merely the primary and highly toxic waste product manufactured by all the goddamn Alabamians. Georgia's not much better. It's just that most of Atlanta exists in a weird dimension somewhat out-of-phase with Georgia proper. You can live here and pretend you're somewhere else. Some of us pretend we're in LA, and others of us pretend we're in San Francisco or Boston or Chicago. Being pretty much devoid of any identity of its own, Atlanta is ideal for this sort of thing. I think a few people have even managed to convince themselves Atlanta is Miami. Me, I just pretend it's not in Georgia. But, sadly, Alabama has no Atlanta equivalent. Anyway, regardless, I have to go to Alabama today. The trip has been delayed as long as I can possibly delay it. I have not been back there since April 2006. I'd hoped to go a full year this time between visits. Alas, that is not to be. It has become a Necessary Expedition. We may be back tonight. We may not be back until Friday evening. I cannot yet say.

[livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus has written some very cogent observations on "A Season of Broken Dolls," one of the two stories from this month's Sirenia Digest, which you may read at [livejournal.com profile] species_of_one (the cogent observations, not the story itself). It's quite useful when, as happens only very occasionally, a reader or reviewer writes something about one of my stories that teaches me something about what I've written. I have a feeling that's the way it's supposed to work, but hardly ever does.

Not much to yesterday worth writing down here. The end result of the Forced and New Consolidated marches was sent off to my editor at HarperCollins. Kathryn and I had a decent enough walk. Last night, we watched E. Elias Merhige's Shadow of the Vampire for the first time since we saw it together way back on February 2, 2001. It's still a wonderful film, an utter delight for the eyes. And I started reading Bones of Contention: Controversies in the Search for Human Origins by Roger Lewin (1987). Not much else worth reporting.

Two of the current eBay auctions will be ending tomorrow, including the copy of Candles for Elizabeth and "On the Road to Jefferson." It will likely be a while before I can offer either of these again.

Okay. I have to go help Spooky pack and get Hubero ready for cat gaol. And ram a fork in my left eye.

Home.

Apr. 26th, 2006 11:28 pm
greygirlbeast: (chi6)
And not a moment too frelling soon, I might add. There's no point in going into all the gory details, all the 923 ways that a trip to Birmingham can suck, even when it's barely more than 24-hours long. But between my mother trying to turn me on to Jesus and the free-floating hostility that permeates the very aether in Birmingham, I am very, very, very glad to be back in Atlanta. Maybe this isn't where I want to be, in that oft-dreamt of ideal world, but it's better than where I was.

We drove back through a torrential downpour, and it was ten p.m. or so before we retrieved Sophie from Pets-Are-People-Too. We dropped her by home, fed her, listened patiently while she told us all about losing her catnip bat in a game of poker with a chihuahua named Lopez, and then Spooky and I grabbed a late dinner at The Vortex at L5P. The Ani DiFranco show at the Variety had just let out, and the place was marvelously awash in dykes. After all the Jesus nonsense, such wanton public displays of sin and sexual perversion are nothing if not sublime. Anyway, yes, I'm home.

And no sooner do I admit to my divine revelations and the founding of the Immacutale Order of the Falling Sky, than Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann-3 comes barreling around again. Sure, I was hoping for an asteroid, but a fragmented comet would certainly get the show started. And, yeah, it presently looks as though its closest to Earth will be 7.3 million miles on the morning of May 12th, but this is the twelfth closest approach of a comet to Earth in recorded history (I assume we're not counting Tunguska). What a windfall! Now we only need to martial the requisite psychokinetic energy to nudge those 40 or so fragments a little more earthward. And, even if we fail this time, as all faithful members of the Immaculate Order will tell you (if you ask), a near miss is the next best thing to doomsday. Just keep watching the skies, kiddos, and keep your fingers crossed...

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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