greygirlbeast: (Default)
Yes, a new name for the blog. Names come and names go. They can have no more permanence than may faces. Yesterday, I was seized by the need for a change, so thank you, Elvis Costello. Also, I think I won't much longer feel like "greygirlbeast." I think, in my older years, I may simply become "Aunt Beast" (thank you, Madeleine L'Engle and also Joah). If the shoe fits...but sadly, I don't think I can ever change the name of this account.*

There's a rather marvelous review at Zone-SF.com, one of the best I've read of The Red Tree. I have only one quibble, and it's that the reviewer veers off course near the end by assuming knowledge of authorial intent. I do not see The Red Tree as a book meant to go "raising those hairs on the back of the neck." If it does that for you, fine. But do not expect that effect. I'm not the one who labels me "horror" (or whatever). And yeah, this does matter. If a reader perceives a text as existing within a given genre, then they burden it with the expectations of that genre, shoeboxing it and expecting it to deliver X or Y or Z, when it's very likely the author was going for Q or G. Any book may only fail or succeed on its own merits, not relative to any other book, or based on how well it works when perceived as any given genre.

Still, a really good review. And I hope I don't sound ungrateful, because I don't mean to. But the Constant Reader will recall what a sore spot this is for me.

---

Now, the Mars story. It would seem that I was asking one too many stories of myself this autumn. And the story wasn't coming...again. Even after I reshelved "Romeo and Juliet Go to Mars" and began "On a Lee Shore." I lost a week staring at the screen, and staring, and not writing. Fortunately, the anthology's editor (both TBA) has accepted "Tidal Forces" in lieu of a Mars story. So, all's well that ends well (even though I did lose that week). Now, I just have to get Sirenia Digest written, and get back to work on The Drowning Girl. Oh, and pull together the ms. for Two Worlds and In Between for subpress. That's not so much...

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Bid if you are able and so inclined. Still recovering from the joys of income taxes. Thanks.

---

So...Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The highlights. Well, on Friday, I tried to write a Mars story, but I've covered that already. I also got a really big box of Mike Mignola books from Rachel Edidin at Dark Horse Comics, who it seems may soon be my editor. I've already devoured the first two "library editions" of Hellboy. "Pancakes" is sheer brilliance. The books were the best bit of Friday. Reading the comics, I'd swear Mignola wrote the character with Ron Perlman in mind.

On Saturday, it became obvious to me the Mars story wasn't happening any time soon, and I contacted the aforementioned editor. Also, we watched the latest episode of Fringe, which was especially good.

Yesterday, we left the House. I'd not been out since the 9th, and the weather was good (today, it's not). We just wandered about town, east of the river. There were antique shops on Wickenden Street, and another trip to What Cheer at Wayland Square. There was an exquisitely embellished old car. There was an Indian grocery on Hope Street. We saw a sad clown driving a car. There were late splashes of autumn. There were two wonderful toy shops. We were good kids, and bought nothing. So, a good day, despite my agoraphobia, despite my ouranophobia. I kept my eyes on the ground, and all was well. Okay, not the entire time. I had to look up the three times Spooky spotted sundogs. But sundogs do not inspire dread or unease. It was a good day.

Back home, there were deli sandwiches, and I spent most of the evening with City of Heroes and Villains (while Spooky played LOTR Online; it's weird, us playing two different MMORPGs). My thanks to [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus for giving me a lot of help last night actually learning how to play the game. Verily, he has the patience of a glacier. And thanks to "Sekhmet" and "Enth'lye" for very good rp later on. Lizbeth, who is Erzébetta from the future, is regaining her glamour, even as she realizes she's not from the same timeline as this Erzébetta. Mistakes were made, which is why you should never try this at home, that whole fiddling with time thing. You never know which of the multiverses you'll land in...or create. Oh, very good rp on Saturday night, which was mostly Erzébetta and Sekhmet reliving the horror (yes, here the word applies) of a long ago night at Castle Csejte (near Trencín, Hungary), what really happened.

I will not thank Monsieur Insomnia, who kept me awake until after 5 ayem (CaST).

Sincerely Yours, By Any Other Name,
Aunt Beast

...I am a goat girl.
Thinking goatish thoughts, dreaming goatish dreams,
Digging up tin cans, and chewing on your sleeve.
—— Tanya Donelly

14 November 2010 )


* I see that "auntbeast" is taken, but "aunt_beast" is not.
greygirlbeast: (white)
Yeah, I've missed a couple of days.

1. On Sunday, I wrote 1,069 words, and finished the prologue to The Wolf Who Cried Girl. Or, at least I hoped that I had. I had a hot bath, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. We were having Sonya ([livejournal.com profile] sovay) and Geoffrey ([livejournal.com profile] readingthedark) over, and Sonya's train arrived at 7:20 p.m. (CaST). I didn't want to go out in the cold, especially considering I'd left the House only the day before to go down to Warwick (office supplies, etc.). But Spooky more or less ordered me to go along. So, I bundled up and braved the glacier slicking our driveway.

Not too long after we got back, Geoffrey arrived. And since we're on the second floor and our doorbell is broken, he announced his arrival by hurling a snowball at the window. Which worked. We got takeout from Fellini's on Wikenden. And then I read everyone the prologue (Spooky had not yet heard the end of it). It was met with approval, and I was tremendously relieved. Now, I only have to find my way into Chapter One. Afterwards, there was much good conversations, topics ranging from Readercon, sea chanteys, vile "salads" involving Jell-O and mayonnaise, Baudelaire and Nabokov, Lovecraft and how much the "holiday" season sucks, Crowley and how Cormac McCarthy was arrested in the seventies for having public sex with a watermelon and...I don't know. Lots and lots of things. But, then I had a moderate seizure, sometime after midnight. The worst of it was that I bit my tongue. Still, we watched Luc Besson's The Fifth Element (1997), which Sonya had never seen. Despite the way the seizure had left me feeling— foggy and wiped out —I didn't get to bed until about 5 a.m. (CaST).

2. On Monday, there was more conversation. Sonya had to catch a train back to Boston at 2:30ish. This time, I was not forced out into the cold. Geoffrey stayed, and we talked until dusk, when he headed back to Framingham. It was a good visit (my fit notwithstanding), and I wish I'd have people over more often. Of course, then less would get written. Last night, Spooky and I watched four more episodes of Fringe. I want a T-shirt that says, "Unless your IQ is higher than mine, I don't care."*

3. I want to remind everyone in the Brooklyn/Manhattan area, I'll be part of a Lovecraft Unbound reading this coming Friday night (January 15th) at the Montauk Club in Brooklyn. Naturally, I'll be reading from "Houses Under the Sea." And this will be my last public appearance until ReaderCon in July.

4. If you've not already, the platypus urges you to preorder The Ammonite Violin & Others.

5. The last week or so, I have allowed myself to wander back into Second Life. I thought I was out for good, but that aforementioned desperation for the lives that can only be lived through avatars and free-form roleplay with a visual interface drove me back in. It hasn't gone well, and I may now be in the process of seeking an exit strategy, or at least searching for a sim where morons make up somewhat less than 95% of the virtual population. Which is probably utterly futile. But it's so hard for me to give up on something I waited for all my life. It ought to be brilliant, and, instead, SL is a haven for the worst of the worst of the internet. I loathe SL, passionately, and yet it keeps drawing me back in.

6. Lastly, I'm getting some truly grand responses to the two polls— "If I were a monster you could summon...." and "If you had me alone, locked up in your house, for twenty-four hours and I had to do whatever you wanted me to" —those polls. There was something genuinely amazing last night from [livejournal.com profile] jacobluest. Anyway, I'll be reading your responses for at least another week and a half, maybe two. Thanks to everyone who has answered.

* 147-149, depending whether I refer to the test of '81 or the test of '90, respectively. Both were administered by licensed psychologists.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Scary stuff for a Thursday morning. "An unprecedented extreme in the northern hemisphere atmospheric circulation has driven a strong direct connecting current between the Gulf Stream and the West Greenland current."

---

This is me writing about not writing. Four days after I "typed" the title page for The Wolf Who Cried Girl, I've still not found my way into the beginning. I cannot even figure out if there should be a prologue or not. I suspect not, though omitting one, in this instance, creates a cascade of structural problems within the novel.

Still a great deal of ice and snow here in Providence.

I'm not sleeping well, though I am, at least, sleeping.

I'm back to that place where I'd rather be anyone but me. Withdrawal into alternate lifelines and avatars. Not into easier lives, or personalities, mind you; a withdrawal into those not so choked by this particular monotony.

The Audible.com contracts were located at the offices of the Audible.com editors. I think that's what I have to show for good news for this week thus far. And I cling to splinters these days.

Swings through the tunnels,
And claws his way.
Is small life so manic?
Are these really the days?
(David Bowie, "A Small Plot of Land")
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Running a little late today. But let's see. I did 1,653 words yesterday. But here's the thing — in order to survive January, I have to do a minimum of 1,500 words per day, which is about 500 more than my average. And there can be no missed days, no lost days, no sick days, no days off. Otherwise, I'm frelled. And here I am, three days down, twenty eight to go.

Also, I finished up with the short interview for [livejournal.com profile] curt_holman at Creative Loafing yesterday. An abbreviated version of the interview will appear in print, with a longer version online. I'll link to the online version whenever it goes live. And my thanks to Curt for being so very accommodating, because I really don't do face-to-face interviews anymore, not if there's any way I can weasel out of it, and he was a very good sport about conducting the interview via e-mail.

Note that the title of this journal has changed. As I have already explained to Sonya ([livejournal.com profile] sovay), a memorandum came down from the Executive Board of the Ministry of Alter-Egos last night about 2 a.m. (CaST), and hence we are now Mericale, Scheheraz-Odd & Touchshriek, Inc. I had very little say in the matter. I suspect certain parties had begun to feel that the whole "Species of One" card had been played to its fullest. I know old Touchshriek has this hard-on for artists reinventing themselves on a regular basis, so this may be only the beginning of some greater metamorphosis. Don't blame me. At best, I'm only one of four, and they don't even put "my" name on the masthead.

I was very pleased to see that one of the Amazon.com "reviews" of Daughter of Hounds picked up on the humour I tried to work into the novel. Personally, I think there's some damned funny bits in there, but I never know what other people will and won't find funny. Odd Willie cracks me up. And when Soldier drops the...well, you'll see.

Last night, we watched Steven Zaillian's adaptation of Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men. I've always been a great admirer of both the novel and the 1949 fim version by Robert Rossen. I found Zaillian's treatment in all ways wonderful. It's quite a bit truer to the novel than the earlier adaptation, and Sean Penn deserves an Oscar nod for his portrayal of Willie Stark (Huey Long). Indeed, the cast was excellent throughout, though I was especially taken with Patricia Clarkson in the role of Sadie Burke. It was a little weird watching James Gandolfini try to manage whichever Louisiana accent he was trying to manage, but he worked in the role of Tiny, nonetheless. It's always good to find a film where Anthony Hopkins is not on autopilot, and I thought he really made quite a lot of a small part in this film. But mostly, I continue to adore Jude Law, who, in my sight, can do almost no wrong. This is one of those 2006 films I'd missed, and I suspect it would have been in my top ten list had I seen it in theatres. I do not know why it did not do better at the box office.

Whoops. Platypus says time's up. And I just do what the platypus says...

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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