greygirlbeast: (Default)
So, no Great Trailer & Photo Shoot for The Drowning Girl this weekend. Thank you, Hurricane Irene. Early last night, watching the grave weather forecasts, Kyle and I made the decision to postpone the whole affair. Which means postponing it until early October. Even if we could have reached Moonstone Beach (the area will likely be evacuated), I'd have never asked Sarah (who plays our Eva) to walk towards that surf, much less into it. So, there you go. But I do not argue with forces of Nature. They were here first, and will be here long afterwards. Forces of Nature have seniority.

But yeah, it's looking pretty bad here in Providence, and we'll spend part of the day laying in supplies for the impact. Fortunately, we have storm windows, and the walls of this old house were built with a crisscrossed lattice of steel to protect against this very thing (though it makes hanging pictures a bitch).

I got virtually nothing written yesterday. There was far too much commotion. Confusion. Calamity. All those good "c" words. Mostly, having to figure out, at the last fucking minute, what to do about the Great Trailer & Photo Shoot. Thus, I only managed to write a paltry 698 words on Chapter 8 of Blood Oranges. Nonetheless, I intend to have the book (plus epilogue) finished by the end of the day Tuesday (August 30).

I now have both of Vince Locke's illustrations for The Drowning Girl, and they're marvelous. Sirenia Digest subscribers have seen the first of the two, but no one (outside my publisher's offices) gets to see the second until the book is released next year.

Yesterday, my contributor's copy of The Book of Cthulhu arrived. As did the very beautiful edition of Shirley Jackson's The Sundial I'd ordered. Also, a care package from Madison Colvin in Savannah, Georgia, which included, among many other things, a copy of Angela Carter's Love (one of the few books by her I didn't own). So, thank you, Madison. Very, very sweet of you.

Last night, once the dust of difficult decisions had settled, there was some not exactly very good RP in Insilico, but it had a Season Five Dexter chaser, so everything worked out well. And I think the problem that caused the not exactly very good RP has been identified, so that it won't happen again. Then Spooky read The Stand, and I listened. We reached Chapter 38. And, for fuck's sake, I hate Harold Lauder. Sociopathic, maladjusted, plain ol' disgusting behavior aside, he makes me want to bathe. Oh, back to Dexter, Peter Weller is becoming William Burroughs. Has anyone else noticed that? Meanwhile, Deb Morgan is my latest profanity crush (I know most people don't get those, but I definitely have a profanity fetish; my last profanity crush was Al Swearengen). To wit:



And that was yesterday.

Battening Down the Hatches,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
Today is mine and Spooky's ninth anniversary as Us. We actually met in New Orleans in 1999, but there was much caution and testing of the waters and so forth before finalizing the arrangement. Time has proven that a wise move. It's going to be a fairly unremarkable day, though. A little work. I need my hair trimmed (Spooky does that these days), and I'll cook dinner. Our financial situation is currently too precarious to allow for "lavish" anniversary celebrations ("The check will always be late.").

Nine years. Kind of hard to wrap my brain around.

Yesterday, we made very good progress reading through the manuscript for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. It really is more of a read-through, and less of editing. I'm making line edits, here and there, but these stories are, for the most part, in very good shape. We read "The Melusine (1898)," "Untitled 33," "I Am the Abyss and I Am the Light," and "Dancing With the Eight of Swords." All fairly long stories. We'll make it through a few more today.

I've been trying to decide whether or not I'll write an introduction. I feel the need to justify these stories – they are profane, obscene, pornographic, and "bizarrely" so. But I also know that attempts at justification and defence would only subvert the stories, when the object of the stories themselves is to subvert normative, non-transformative sexuality. Of course, these stories are no more or less obscene than those in The Ammonite Violin & Others, and I didn't feel this urge to defend them. So, I'm not sure what's up, why I have become more skittish. But I'm reading Angela Carter's The Sadeian Woman: And the Ideology of Pornography, and pondering the matter. Carter writes:

Pornographers are the enemies of women only because our contemporary ideology of pornography does not encompass the possibility of change, as if we were slaves to history and not its makers, as if sexual relations were not necessarily an expression of social relations, as if sex itself were an external fact, as immutable as the weather, creating human practice but never a part of it.

She wrote this in 1977, but it seems as relevant now as it did thirty-four years ago. Perhaps we should consider that all fantasy (including sf) is obscene, as it subverts the normative, immutable view of reality and revels wantonly in the infinite alternatives. It certainly violates. You might even go so far as to say fantasy rapes reality in that act of transformation, as there certainly is no consent involved, between the writer and the "real" world as we know it. That most authors avoid including sexuality in the act of reshaping the world (or creating novel ones from bits and pieces of this one) is, more than anything, I believe, a reflection of our society's sexual hangups. There are exceptions, of course. Consider The Left Hand of Darkness, for example.

Then again, this may all be bullshit defence, where, as I said already, defence likely is both unnecessary and possibly detrimental.

Also, I've let the email back up again.

---

Back in the early nineties, I was a great fan of Law and Order. That was just before I stopped watching television for several years. I was especially fond of the seasons with Michael Moriarty as Executive Assistant District Attorney, but confess to being less enthusiastic about the show once Moriarty left and the cast began to shuffle about. Anyway... last week, bored, Spooky and I began streaming Law & Order: Criminal Intent from Netflix, mostly because I love Vincent D'Onofrio, and I loved the Holmes and Watson parallel. The show is pretty awesome. I'm not so crazy about Kathryn Erbe, but she's growing on me. Most of the cast is pretty flat, and many of the actors seem baffled by D'Onofrio's delightful antics. Courtney B. Vance has potential, but rarely opens up. We blew through the twenty-two episodes of Season One in only a handful of days, and are ready to begin Season Two.

Also, we may be moving our Rift guild, Eyes of the Faceless Man, to another shard after all. Spooky's been exploring rp on the Faeblight shard***, and it seems rp really is taken much more seriously there (and the move is free and fast). On our present shard, supposedly an rp shard, we mostly get idiots, and see very little rp beyond our own. I was skeptical that things would be better on Faeblight, but seems I might have been wrong. That happens, on rare occasions.

Now...I should go. I need a bath before work.

In All My Sadeian Glory,
Aunt Beast

*** Turns out, Faeblight has closed to transfers in the last few days. But I have an alternate plan. I'll contact all the guild members.
greygirlbeast: (Howard Hughes)
And so, this month's selection for Aunt Beast's Book of the Month Club is Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children:



And, while I'm posting images, yesterday the mail brought me my contributor's copies of Jeff and Ann VanderMeer's The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities:



My contribution to the latter is "The Key to the Castleblakeney Key," but I would also note that in a long section of the introduction devoted to Lambshead's life, there is a highly dubious treatment of my own extensive research into the mysterious "death" of his wife, Helen, as well as her involvement in occult societies, and Thackery and Helen's undeniable practice inserting coded messages into documents associated with the loan of objects from his infamous cabinet to various galleries and other institutions. But I shall not take the bait...

---

Spooky's dad, Richard, is currently doing research in Tubigon, which is in the Phillipines. He keeps sending her emails about outrigger canoes and Google Earth and how much he loves eating squid for breakfast.

Yesterday, we managed to proof "Rappaccini's Dragon (Murder Ballad No. 5)" and "Unter den Augen des Mondes," which will both appear in Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. Today, I need to try very hard to proof at least four more stories, as I have to get back to work on Blood Oranges in the next two or three days. Also, lots of email yesterday.

Behind the cut, you will find my schedule for Readercon 22 (July 14-17):

Readercon 22 )

Okay. That's enough of a blog entry for any Saturday (though, since I don't actually get weekends...). Also, a copy of Angela Carter's The Sadeian Woman: And the Ideology of Pornography (1978) arrived yesterday. My thanks to M. Kaligawa.

Obscenely,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (chi3)
A crazy, crazy morning. Too many emails and phone calls. But now I'm going to try to calm down and write a blog entry.

Yesterday, I didn't get a lot of work done. I only managed to copy edit two stories in The Five-Chambered Heart, "The Bed of Appetite" and "Untitled 31." The latter will have an actual title in the collection, though I don't yet know what it'll be. It's great to proofread the newer stuff I've written, because, mostly, I'm still in love with it, and I make virtually no changes to the text.

My thanks to "Moto" in San Francisco, whose sending me a first-edition hardcover of Angela Carter's The Sadeian Woman: And the Ideology of Pornography. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Remember when email was fast? When you wrote emails, and pretty much everyone responded to them quickly? And this was revolutionary? Lately, it's all iPhones and iPads. I know because it always says at the bottom from what sort of device the message was sent. Now, it seems people would rather speak by "texting." I'm sorry. I'm made the transition from "snail mail" to email in 1994. I'll not be doing it again (she says, knowing full well she will adapt, when it becomes an imperative).

A note to prospective and young writers: Be wary of editors a) offering 1¢/word who b) do not yet have a publisher for their anthology, c) want all sorts of electronic rights straight off, and d) despite the fact they have no publisher, already have a cover design and a marketing strategy involving selling the book as a PDF. Here, we have entered shady, sketchy territory.

Yesterday, as the heat inside mounted, we fled the house and (despite the questionable state of the car and the cost of gasoline) drove down to Moonstone Beach. Our first trip to the sea all summer! That's just...insane. As usual, Moonstone was pretty much free of tourons (you may know them as "tourists"), and we mostly had it to ourselves. I waded into the cold water up to my thighs, and it was wonderful. The sky was full of birds: cormorants (Phalacocorax spp.), both American and fish crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos and C. ossifragus, respectively), red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus), chimney swifts (Chaetura pelagica), piping plovers (Charadrius melodus), grey catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis), and all manner of gulls. We made tiny cairns from granite and slate cobbles, and found those others had made earlier in the day. We stayed until about 6:30 p.m., and headed over to Narragansett for dinner at Iggy's (as a marvelous fog rolled in). I think we were back home by 8:45. It was an evening out I much needed. On the way down, and the way back up, I read Book 1 of The Stuff of Legend (written by Mike Raicht and Brian Smith, drawn by Charles Paul Wilson III). Brilliant comic.

I tried to play Rift for a bit, but got into some combination of a snit and a funk about the state of the guild and the game and players. My apologies to [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus for yammering my dissatisfaction at him for an hour. But really. On the one hand, I love the potential of MMORPGs. But on the other hand, I often loathe what they actually are. In the hands of most players, an MMORPG is like watching someone shoot marbles* with a particle accelerator. That is the degree of potential being squandered. Anyway, I gave up about 11:30 and wandered away. I'm not saying this is something wrong with Rift (though, in fact, I have a short list of things that are wrong with Rift), but with the whole gamer mentality. Note: I am not a gamer. I am a roleplayer. The game aspect to me is, at very best, secondary. And, please note, I am on what is supposedly an rp shard. Ergo....

Yeah. Blah, blah, blah. Later, kittens.

Kicking Against the Pricks,
Aunt Beast

Wait. There are photos from yesterday:

28 June 2011 )


*I have no idea if kids still shoot marbles. Me, it was one of my favorite things as a child. It was a very important playground sport when I was in elementary school (1970-1975). Much of one's reputation was at stake.
greygirlbeast: (white2)
Lots and lots of people I know are currently at ALA. No, not Alabama. Me, I'm quite glad not to be at ALA. Not my scene, man.

I was considering an apology for the tone of my post yesterday morning. But, upon further reflection, I'm not so sure all the whining was unjustified. At any rate, my thanks to [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark for be willing to go to absurd lengths to try to get me to Boston today for the shoot with [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy and Our Eva Canning. I finally came to my senses and realized that there was no reason on Earth I actually needed to be there, and that I'd likely just get in the way.

So...

Hey! have a look at the current round the Big Damn eBay Auction. You need a book. By me. Signed. By Me. Thanks. Auctions expire TOMORROW, and we really need to sell these books.

I wrote about a thousand words yesterday on "Sexing the Weird," the introduction for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. Not sure any of it's useable, but I wrote it. I've decided that, before I proceed, I need to track down a copy of Angela's Carter's The Sadeian Woman: And the Ideology of Pornography (1978), which I'm pretty sure is out of print.* And, inexplicably, I don't have a copy. Oh, there was more work, with [livejournal.com profile] jacobluest on the new Sirenia Digest website yesterday.

A couple of links. First, from the CBLDF Case Files, a new atrocity, as a man attempting to enter Canada was searched by customs and is facing a minimum sentence of year in a Canadian prison and being forced to register as a sex offender. Just for having manga on his laptop. The customs officer considered it to be child pornography. The CBLDF has agreed to assist in the case by contributing funds towards the defense, which it has been estimated will cost $150,000 CDN. The CBLDF will also provide access to experts and assistance on legal strategy.

On a lighter note, here's something wonderful: a seven-year-old's paleoblog, Life Before the Dinosaurs, specializing in Precambrian and early Paleozoic life. His mom does his typing. Kid, you rock.

Here in Rhode Island, we are finally having a lovely May.

I don't know what's worse, that people ask me to read their unpublished fiction, or that they get pissy when I tell them I'd charge $20/page to read their unpublished fiction and make them sign a waiver indemnifying me from any accusations of plagiarism, ever. Even if, you know, I actually do steal their ideas. Anyway, as you can imagine, I don't do a booming business in reading other people's shit. Which is a good thing.

I slept a lot last night. I wandered through dreams of idealized cities and idealized rivers. The sorts of dreams that can only reduce waking to regret.

Now...I'm sure there's something I have to type. While I sit in this chair. At this desk.

Not a Nice Person,
Aunt Beast

* Actually, it's still in print. The subtitle was changed to An Exercise in Cultural History. Which, you know, won't offend the prudes, the very people Carter was...oh, never mind.
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
Cloudy. Drizzly. 50˚F.

The light getting in beneath my office curtain has been drained of any quality to illuminate. It's still light, but a light that drenches and soaks in, rather than reflecting.

A stapler from college. A coffee cup from the Yale Peabody Museum, filled with pens and pencils. Four rocks: Moonstone Beach (RI), Jamaica, Ireland, Oregon. A tin of Altoids. Etc. & etc.

Comments can't hurt.

Yesterday, I wrote almost six hundred words on "Fake Plastic Trees." I very much like this story, but it's bleak. And it's only going to get bleaker. Yesterday, I decided I wanted the editor to read the first half before I write the second half, so I emailed it away. And now I'm waiting for the verdict. Which leaves me wondering what to do in the interim, which might be only a few more hours, but might be another day or two. I suppose I'll turn my eyes towards Sirenia Digest #65. Still hoping to see a few more answers to the latest Question @ Hand, by the way, though the ones I've received, most are keepers. Some made me feel that electric sensation in my gut. One of the highs I chase, night and day.

Two or three people have objected that they can't answer it because it involves my being forced, and maybe I see their point, the point of their objection. But, this is fiction, and, also, I've given my explicit consent to be fictionally forced. So, the objection mystifies me just a little.

CARE package yesterday from SL, who sent me two of the Brown Bird cds I didn't have, Tautology and Such Unrest, which I just loaded onto my iPod. Also, Curt Stager's (a paleoclimatologist) Deep Future: The Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth. I read Spooky the prologue last night. And the package also contained Nicky Raven's retelling of Dracula as a children's story, beautifully illustrated by Anne Yvonne Gilbert. So, my gratitude.

Last night, in response to my Danielle Dax post, [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus posted the video clip from Jordan's A Company of Wolves (1984) for which I'd posted the screenplay excerpt. And here it is:

<


Thing is, as artists we are influenced by things. I've always been aboveboard about the degree to which Angela Carter has influenced my work. She sparks my mind. She sings to me. I sing back. But then, as artists, sometimes, we are influenced by things, and, sometimes, we write (or paint, or whatever), and the influence acts unconsciously upon us. To wit, I was entirely unaware that in writing a significant part of The Drowning Girl I was very much expressing my love of this scene from The Company of Wolves. Imp tells a story, "The Wolf Who Cried Girl," and it derives very much from this scene. But I was entirely unaware what I was doing until I read the screenplay yesterday, and then it smacked me in the face. I'm fascinated by the silent influences, especially when they're so fucking obvious. "These things happen."

"And then,
you shall open
this book, even if it is the book of nightmares." (Galway Kinnell)

---

Good session with my doctor yesterday. New drug today, and maybe things will improve again. Soon, I hope. By the way, as I say in the acknowledgments to The Drowning Girl, without my doctor the novel never would have been written. It almost wasn't written.

Today, I may actually pitch the ParaRom lesbian junkie wolfpire novel to my agent. I would write it after Blue Canary, the first YA book, while she's shopping Blue Canary.

This evening, I have an appointment at RockStar Piercing on Thayer Street, to begin the process of having my earlobes stretched, and to put my labret back in. I need the sort of pain I get from body mods. It centers me.

Last night, we watched Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds for the fourth time. It's is a genuinely brilliant film, and he's going to have to do a lot to ever top himself. We played Rift. I read "Enhydriodon dikikae, sp. nov. (Carnivora: Mammalia), a gigantic otter from the Pliocene of Dikika, Lower Awash, Ethiopia" in the latest JVP. You have to imagine a mostly terrestrial otter the size of a bear, which lived alongside Australopithecus.

And I should try to do some work, while I wait for a verdict on "Fake Plastic Trees."
greygirlbeast: (dax1)
Some stuff I forgot to say this morning, and some more Dax. Because, like bow ties, she's still cool.

My two favorite photos of Danielle Dax, behind the cut:

Blast the Human Flower and Onwards (With Screenplay Excerpt!) )


Meanwhile...

I meant to say there was very good rp with [livejournal.com profile] omika_pearl last night. And, Riftwise, Spooky and I did the Iron Tomb with [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus and friends. Later, while I was rping, he and she continued to quest together, and rob cairns, and dance with squirrels.

And thanks for all the comments, guys. It truly has been helping. Sometimes, it's good to know the last Martian has all this human company.

* Can't seem to make the superfluous go away.
greygirlbeast: (newest chi)
Slept halfway decently last night, but, still, I'm not awake this early, early afternoon (it's only just eight past noon for those of us on CaST). And the bitter cold lingers, 30F (feels like 21F), and likely will...maybe until spring, which comes in late June. I'm wearing too many clothes, which is never pleasant.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,875 words on Chapter Three of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. It was all ravens, Scottish witches, and pretend sea monsters. [livejournal.com profile] michael_b_lee commented to yesterday's post, as regards the interauthor, first person as artifact, and The Drowning Girl: A Memoir:

In this particular case, I think trying to explain how the artifact came to the attention of the reader would actually work at cross-purposes to what you're trying to achieve. Nothing should be explicated. The reader should at no times be certain of her footing.

And I agree, which is why, in this instance, the reader won't learn how it's possible they've gained access to the artifact.

Comments have fallen off again. I assume this has more to do with "the holidays" than it does with the ever-dwindling pool of LJ devotées.

But, yes, the cold weather. I mentioned that part already. After the writing, we had the last sad dregs of the "Five Legged Stew," and watched the first episode of Twin Peaks (1990). That is, the first one after the pilot. It is a strange fact that I have somehow never seen the series, but I'm remedying that now. Fish coffee and the log lady. And lots of bad 80s hair. There was WoW. Oddly, Spooky and I have not yet begun leveling our main toons, Shaharrazad and Suraa, to 85. On the one hand, we've been distracted by new races and new lower-level quests and whatnot. On the other, we've both been working towards the title "Seeker," which comes with having completed 3,000 quests. Spooky got it a couple of nights back, and I likely will tonight. There wasn't any IS rp last night, because I just wasn't up to it emotionally. Playing a pregnant fugitive AI in a flesh-and-bone body ain't as easy as it sounds, you know. Especially not when her human girlfriend has just gone back to work for the Benignly Evil Megacorp and the pregnant AI is beginning to suspect she has developed gestational diabetes. So, Twin Peaks, WoW, and then more Angela Carter before bed. Also more Susanna Clarke yesterday, but no China Miéville. Gotta catch up on him today.

It's that time of year when everyone decides I don't actually need to be paid until sometime after the New Year, bills or no bills. Which I suppose is the true meaning of Xmas.

There are contracts (short-story reprints) that I need to get into the mail today.

Just thinking, truly a shame that jealousy, sorrow, regret, and the need for vengeance do not necessarily have expiration dates. But, then again, if they did what would possibly serve as adequate motivation to keep me writing? I blame Elvis Costello for my having said that last part aloud.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Very, very cold here in Providence (25F, feels like 14F) with an overcast sky.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,858 words on Chapter Three (3) of The Drowning Girl. As it stands, I'm 20,970 words into the manuscript, which means I'm probably somewhere between one third and one quarter of my way to THE END, if upon this book's completion it's going to look like I think it will— which, of course, it might not.

And I got some work done for Two Worlds And In Between.

And then we had Spooky's "Five Legged Stew" for dinner, and watched Michael Winterbottom's Jude (1996). It's a breathtaking, devastating film. But, then, I've always had a thing for Thomas Hardy. And, of course, the casting of Christopher Eccleston in the title role doesn't hurt.

Yesterday morning, there was the beginning of Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, and just before dinner, more of China Miéville's The Kraken (a book I desperately wish I'd written, but, if I had, it would have had none of The Kraken's wonderful humour).

There was a little WoW. I meant to mention yesterday another thing about the Cataclysm expansion that has disappointed me. Silvermoon, the Eversong Woods, and Tranquillien seem to be stuck back at the Burning Crusade expansion. Near as I can tell, time's standing still there, and no one's even heard of all the late unpleasantness with Arthas, much less the sundering of the world by that pesky Neltharion. I suspect the same may be true of the Draenei starting area...and I think I even see why, but it seems a shame, when almost all the world has been revamped and updated, Silvermoon is still mired where it is.

I've slipped back into the Insilico rp the last couple of nights. Part of me needs it, but I'm not yet sure I have the requisite energy to sustain it, what with so much writing to be done. I don't think of rp as writing, not exactly. It's more what I've called improvisational theatre, but it requires much of the same talents and can make you weary pretty much the same way, if you're doing it right. SL isn't any better than it ever was, a technological marvel that will never realize one tenth its true potential. But as long as I interact with a very small number of people (right now, only two others), I can ignore the rabble. The white noise. The goofiness. Grendel's still pregnant (three months now). Molly's going back to work for the Big Bad. Et cetera. Our little cyberpunk soap opera.

Before sleep, Spooky read to me from Angela Carter. I'm sleeping a little better. No sleeping pills for three nights now.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
All my best lives are lived in dreams.

Yesterday, being a day off, was, in the main, unremarkable, which is about the best I seem able to hope of my days off. (This is my journal and I may sound glum if I wish, and bugger off if you think any otherwise.)

There was torrential rain, and ferocious wind. The weather always becomes more interesting with the judicious application of adjectives.

I wore my pajamas all day, and we finished listening Madelaine L'Engle read A Wrinkle in Time. I may fundamentally disagree with L'Engle's cosmogony, which is distinctly Xtian, but I love this book, all the same. There was ramen for breakfast. There were brownies later on, and there was Chinese takeout for dinner. Late, there were those little Mystic frozen pizzas. There was a lot of WoW, because the weather was too crappy to venture out. Eyes of Sylvanas is beginning to feel a little like an actual guild, and there's talk of some coordinated play. We currently have 29 toons signed up. I finally got back to China Miéville's The Kraken, which I rather inexplicably set aside after the chaos of the Portland trip at the start of October. I took a nap in front of the fireplace. Spooky and I watched David Lynch's Blue Velvet (1986) again. Not sure which of us has seen it the most times, we've both seen in so many times. Just before sleep, Spooky read to me from Angela Carter.

Spooky has played a Worgen through the starting area, from Gilneas to Teldrassil. And, I quote, "That was so bad I wanted to die." So, I stand by my earlier assessment. Yes, Gilneas is beautifully designed. But the Worgen are a huge disappointment. Not scary. Not fun to play. Ridiculous to look at. And why do the females stand upright, while the males lurch and slump? The XX chromosomes must somehow protect the spine and pelvis of female werewolves. For that matter, the same is true of the trolls, now that I think of it. And if the Forsaken can be cannibals and scavenge their human kills, who don't the Worgan? Are furries too squeamish? Or is it because the Worgan are Alliance? Yet, I will say that it would be nice if Blizzard would gift the faux Brit accents of the Worgan and the people of Gilneas to the humans of Stormwind...who either sound like rednecks or Ned Flanders.

Today, I'm going to begin listening to the unabridged audiobook of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

And begin Chapter Three of The Drowning Girl. In which Imp may attempt to tell one version of the truth.

Last night, a curious thing occurred to me. These days, most of my favorite musicians are men, and most of my favorite authors are women. It wasn't always this way. In the 90s, most of the musicians I listened to were women, and when I was a teenager, my favorite authors were male. So, not sure what to make of this. A statistical burp, and probably nothing more.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Yesterday, I wrote 1,012 words, and so began "The Prayer of Ninety Cats." I think this story will rather blatantly and unrepentantly owe something to Angela Carter's "John Ford's 'Tis A Pity She's a Whore." Slowly, I have come to realize this, and I may as well admit it upfront. The similarity doesn't stem from any commonality of subject matter, but from structure.

Please do not spin in your grave, Angela Carter. I love you too much to cause you such unease.

I really need to wash my hair.

Last night we finished Season Three of Californication, and that last episode was fucking devastating. The series remains one of the most brilliant things to be had from television, but I can't imagine how I can wait until the next DVD release, a year from now, to know what comes next. There are cliffhangers and there are these plunges into the abyss.

Also finished the first volume of the collected Farscape comic last night, The Beginning of the End of the Beginning. I approached it with mixed feelings, unsure how to react to to the whole thing. And, at first, the reading was very odd. In part, that's because the comic picks up immediately after the two-part The Peacekeeper Wars that was supposed the wrap everything up by cramming all of what would have been the 22-episode/22 hour Season Five into four hours. Mostly, the movie was a sad mess. About the only part that rang true was the last half hour or so, when John gives Scorpius what he's been asking for and we see what a wormhole weapon can do. Anyway, also I'm not utterly crazy about Tommy Patterson's artwork, so yeah. I had reservations. But about halfway through the collection, the book won me over. The writing gets the characters spot on (well, Jothee is still the same confusing muddle, D'argo Lite, but you can't really blame that on the comic). So, I'll keep reading, because people are kind enough to send me books.

Yesterday, I sat down to remember all the titles my online journal has had since it began in November 2001. Here's what I have:

1. Low Red Moon Journal (November '01-sometime in '04)
2. Low Red Annex (original LJ mirror title, from April '04-later that year)
3. Species of One: Confessions of a Lady Writer and Alien Malcontent (sometime '04-early '07)
4. Hughes, Mericale, Scheheraz'Odd & Touchshriek, Inc. (early in '07-Autumn '09)
5. Unfit for Mass Consumption (Autumn '09-November '10).
6. Dear Sweet Filthy World (November '10-)

Maybe I can get the dates better later on. I haven't felt like prowling through old entries to try and figure it out precisely.

And now, the platypus says it's time to make the doughnuts.

Mostly yours,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Spooky's getting ready to take Sméagol back to the vet, because the abscess on his foot has turned into cellulitis. He's spry and eating, no fever and seems to be in no pain, but obviously we're worried (and never mind the damned vet bills). Oh, now Spooky's gone. Well, there you go.

The last couple of days I haven't been in that blogging frame of mind, whatever that blogging frame of mind might be. I think there was a post con crash, which happens sometimes. I'm on for three days, then suddenly I'm off. I'm surrounded by people for three days, then suddenly I'm my old reclusive self again. It didn't help that the last panel I had for Readercon 21, the "Gender and Sexuality in F/SF" late on Sunday, left such a bad taste in my mouth. I keep thinking of things I wish I'd said to the idiot who accused us of being "selfish" for not taking the feelings of readers into account when writing taboo subjects (lesbianism, it seems, is a taboo subject). I wish that I'd said, "Look, asshole. I will never make enough money to own a house. My teeth are shot. I can barely pay my bills. I have no health insurance, and I'll never be able to retire, ever. Writing almost every day for eighteen years has left me with a wrecked body and shot nerves. I need new glasses and can't afford them. The stress of this life led to seizures that have led to the need for medications I can't afford, but have to have, regardless. So, shut the hell up, you tight-assed little twerp, and let me write whatever it is I need to write. It's the only solace I have in this shitty job. I spent four hundred dollars I haven't got to attend this convention, and I'm not paying for the privilege of being called selfish by fools like you." Or something like that.

And I'm not going to start in on the two or three people (all female) who thought books need "warning labels," like "the ingredients list on food," so they wouldn't come upon a scene that offended their precious, fragile sensibilities. And why the fuck am I on about this again?

---

A good writing day yesterday. I did 1,644 words on the Next New Novel, beginning it for the third time. I'll say more about this situation in a few days, when I feel a little more self confident.

Later, we stopped by the farmer's market at the Dexter Training Grounds for fresh corn, and I finally got a new office/writing chair. The one I've had since 2003 or 2004 was, literally, falling apart, and doing horrible things to my back. And by the way, I'm going to make an effort not to talk so much about health and money problems here. It's something I personally find gauche, and would prefer not to ever do. There's just been so damn much of it lately.

Spooky has begun a new round of eBay auctions, which are important, as we have to cover the cost of Readercon and Sméagol's vet bills. So, please have a look. Bid if you are able. In particular, there's the Salammbô T-shirt (art by the astounding Richard A. Kirk), one of the last from the batch of 500 that were printed in 2000 to promote the original release of Tales of Pain and Wonder. We only have four left. We began this auction a couple of weeks ago, then ended it, because I didn't really have time to promote the item. If you're interested in rare stuff related to my work, this is one of the rarest you're going to come across, ever.

---

The last few days, besides writing and house cleaning and cat doctoring, we've been watching Season Two of 24 and Season One of Nip/Tuck. I've been reading Angela Carter's exquisite Wise Children (1991; Kathe Koja's Under the Poppy is next). We've played a little WoW, still trying to get Shah and Suraa through Icecrown. I've been making my way through the latest Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, and read "Tetrapod fauna of the lowermost Usili Formation (Songea Group, Ruhuhu Basin) of southern Tanzania, with a new burnetiid record" and "A new and unusual procolophonid parareptile from the Lower Permian of Texas." I've mostly been sleeping well.

Yesterday, there was cautious relief at the news that BP's latest cap tests have temporarily staunched the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. But I get the impression a lot of people think this means the oil isn't going to start flowing again (though even BP has stressed that it will). And, of course, even if no new oil were to enter the Gulf after today, there's presently almost 200 million gallons of oil befouling the area affected by the petrocalamity.

---

On Tuesday, we took in a matinée of Nimród Antal's Predators, which Spooky and I both enjoyed very much. My complaints are few. I would have liked it to be maybe half an hour longer, as it seemed a little rushed. But the creatures SFX were very good, and I can't get enough of Adrien Brody. John Debney's soundtrack was quite effective. Definitely a film that needs to be seen on a big screen. It's great fun, and I was in need of a Big Monster Movie that's great fun.

We also finally saw the Doctor Who "The End of Time" episodes. I thought the first half was a bit silly, but loved the second half. Has a doctor ever before refused so vehemently to go quietly into that gentle night? I'm going to miss David Tenant something fierce.

Okay...far too long an entry. The platypus says no one's going to read all this. I replied that I will, one year from now.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Wow. Hot as hell in the House, and I am not awake, even though I slept until eleven frakking thirty. I think the temperature inside the apartment reached 86F yesterday. Or maybe that was day before yesterday. I'm too hot to remember. It may be worse today.

And yes, today is Spooky's 4x10 birthday. She said I can call it that. Yes, I asked permission. Everyone better be good to her today.

Yesterday, I wrote a rather staggering 1,744 words in only five hours, and found THE END of "Tidal Forces." The ending is odd, at least for me. For one of my stories. And this has to be the strangest tale about Azathoth ever told. And I realized, about halfway through this story, it's the third time I've gone at the same story I first tried to tell with "The Bone's Prayer" (Sirenia Digest #39, February 2009; reprinted in The Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2010; Prime Books; forthcoming), and then had another go at with "Sanderlings" (the chapbook that accompanies the limited edition of The Ammonite Violin). With "Sanderlings," it took me several months to realize I'd rewritten "The Bone's Prayer." This time, writing "Tidal Forces," I realized a couple of days in. I honestly have no idea why I've done this. I don't think the story's get progressively better. It must just be something I've been trying to get out of my system, like Angela Carter retelling "Little Red Riding Hood" over and over again.

Got the editorial letter for "The Maltese Unicorn" this morning, but I'm going to set that aside until after the Great Old Spooky One's birthday.

Speaking of which...in recognition of her 4x10 birthday, Spooky is having a sale on all the paintings in her Dreaming Squid Dollworks Etsy shop until midnight tonight (EDT). Take heed and tremble.

Have I mentioned I now command a battalion of mothmen? No? I suppose it slipped my mind. I figure a battalion of mothmen at my fingertips ought to give me some sort of damn advantage (though I've yet to figure out exactly what that might be).
greygirlbeast: (Eli2)
We are being made to suffer for the brief hint of spring we had last week. Okay, no. I do not engage in that sort of magical thinking (or any other sort, if I can help it), but it seems that way. As I wrote my blog entry yesterday, the temperature here in Providence was 34F, with a windchill at 24F, thanks to a 21 mph wind. As I write this one, it's once again 34F out there, though the windchill is only 27F. That is a sarcastic "only," in case you're wondering.

No actual writing yesterday. I sat here for hours, searching for a story, after discovering the story I'd thought I was going to write after "Houndwife" isn't yet ready to be written. I dusted two bookshelves in my office. That took half an hour. I stared at the screen some more. I reread portions of Michael E. Bell's Food for the Dead (2001), and might have found an idea, which is currently known only as "Untitled 37." I read about sauropods. I made notes. I stared out the window at a late March that looks like early February. I made more notes. I reread Angela Carter's "Peter and the Wolf" (1982). I gazed forlornly at the screen of the iMac. I did a little straightening up in the kitchen. I fretted about my lousy, rotten feet, and my bad teeth, and not having health insurance, and getting old, and all the grey hair. I drank pomegranate-flavored limeade. I drank lime-flavored ice tea. I made a late lunch of a can of Progresso soup and Saltines and Izze ginger ale. I shelved books that needed shelving. I closed the curtain in my office so I couldn't see the cold blue sky. It was that sort of writing day.

And, at some point, I thought, I ask absurd things of myself. Finish one story on Thursday, begin another on Friday.

Spooky, on the other hand, had a productive day. She's working on a March Hare and sort of cameo thing, both for her Dreaming Squid Dollworks Shop on Etsy.

Oh, a good day to preorder The Ammonite Violin & Others, if you've not already done so. Thanks. It's a simple enough equation: if these books don't sell, there likely will not be future books. It's the vicious maxim by which all working authors live.

Early last night, just after dinner (leftover meatloaf), I had the worst seizure I've had since at least January. It caught us both by surprise, as the seizures have become infrequent. It left me feeling empty and wasted, but no real harm done. Spooky was there to catch me. I lay on the bed for an hour or so, trying to watch the new episode of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, but my head was very full of a fog that only began to lift later in the evening.

I was unable to sleep until sometime after four ayem, and then only with the help of Ambien (first dose in eight nights).

Oh, there are gratuitous photographs of Hubero:

26 March 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 1)
Another grey day here in Providence, no sign of the sun, but it's not presently raining, either.

I lost almost all of yesterday to a headache. Fortunately, before it sent me back to bed, I was able to finish getting the manuscript for The Ammonite Violin & Others in order, and send it off Bill Schafer at Subterranean Press. As soon as I have a release date, I'll post it here. I'm just relieved the book is out of my hands, so that I can try to get started on the story for the Martian "young adult" anthology.

Not wishing yesterday to be a complete waste, I tried to get some reading done (Because, you know, headaches and reading go so well together). I started Kim Newman's "Coppola's Dracula," which I'd tried to read once before, way back in 1997 when in was new. I've never much cared for Newman's alternate history with vampire stuff, and I gave up on the story again after the first page. Instead, I re-read Angela Carter's "John Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore," and, from Lovecraft Unbound, William Browning Spencer's "Come Lurk With Me and Be My Love," which was intriguing. And after that, I just lay there a very long time, drifting in and out of sleep. Later, I had a hot bath and a Red Bull, and felt a little better.

---

Oh, I've also slowly been making my way through the new (September) issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, and have read, over the past few days, "A new ornithischian dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous Kuwajima Formation of Japan," "The anatomy and systematics of Colepiocephale lambei [Dinosauria: Pachychephalosauridae]," and "Rapid somatic expansion causes the brain to lag behind: the case of the brain and behavior of New Zealand's Haast's Eagle [Harpagornis moorei]." It would have been a wonder to have seen New Zealand in the Pleistocene, in those last days before the Maori laid waste to the megafauna. The last Mesozoic-style predator/prey pyramid, no large land mammals, the largest herbivores being 10 species of flightless moa, ranging in size from 20 to 250 kg, and the dominant predator being a giant eagle, Harpagornis, with a wingspan of 3 meters.

---

I learned yesterday that the 2008 volume of Sirenia Digest garnered six honorable mentions in Ellen Datlow's Best Horror of the Year, Vol. 1. Specifically, "Beatification," "Derma Sutra (1891)," "Pickman's Other Model (1929)," "The Steam Dancer (1896)" (reprinted in Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy), "The Z Word," and “Unter den Augens des Monde."

Also, I have been informed that Subterranean Press still has a few copies of the trade-edition hardback of A is for Alien, but they won't last forever, so I encourage you to pick one up. No, there are no plans to reprint the book is paperback.
greygirlbeast: (Illyria)
Yes, I've heard the news about David Carradine.

Another chilly, drizzly day here in Providence. Only 61F at the moment.

I think I wrote three sentences yesterday. This story, "The Alchemist's Daughter," is proving oddly resistant to my efforts to get it started. I know the story, pretty much. I see the characters. I think I've got the setting nailed down (HPL's Ulthar, probably, because I don't feel like writing about any waking world at the moment). But I can't find the voice. The words aren't coming. And I've no more time to waste. There's too much else to be done this month.

Yesterday, I had a talk with my agent, and told her I'm not going to be starting the next novel until September. There are just too many other obligations, and I'd like to actually be able to put some effort into promoting The Red Tree. We talked about it a while, and about book promotion, and the writing of short stories, and so forth. I think it was the longest phone conversation I've had with anyone in months.

Later in the day, I finally retreated from the keyboard. I needed familiar, comforting prose, so I read Angela Carter, "The Bloody Chamber" and "The Courtship of Mr. Lyon." Though "The Tiger's Bride" is my favorite of Carter's retellings of "Beauty and the Beast," I'm extremely fond of "The Bloody Chamber," and the way it weaves hints of that fairy tale together with "Bluebeard." I'd love to write a screenplay for "The Bloody Chamber."

This morning, I found the following, from an entry I made on this date in 2007:

"I have been worrying a lot lately about my writing. It started when I reread Silk and looked through Tales of Pain and Wonder for the first time in ages. Sure, I'm a much, much better writer now, but is what I'm writing inherently better than what I was writing then? More importantly, is it about something more than telling stories? Almost ten years after it's original publication, I see lots of flaws with Silk I couldn't see in 1996 or 1998, and parts of it make me groan, but it has something to say, something it says, and for that I will likely always love it. This is even more true of ToPaW. It's true of The Dreaming. But is the same true of Threshold? Low Red Moon? I think so. And I know it's true of Murder of Angels, but I'm not so sure about Daughter of Hounds, even though I also know it's my best-written novel to date. One may write well — one may write exquisitely, even — and have nothing at all to say. Writing 'The Ape's Wife' last month, this all seemed suddenly very important to me again. I fear that in the rush to meet deadlines and write enough to keep all the bills paid, somewhere along the way, I may have forgotten that it is not enough to tell a good story, or even to create characters who ring true. These are necessary accomplishments, but they are surely not sufficient. Art requires more than mere craft, more even than talent. It requires meaning. There's something I feel I might have drifted away from, and I want...no, I need to get back to it again."

And I think, at least, I've made some substantial progress in this respect over the last year, primarily by writing The Red Tree, but also in a number of the pieces I've done for Sirenia Digest since last June. This is one reason I'm taking longer to begin the next novel, because I need to find a novel-length story that I need to tell, not merely one that I'll be paid to write.

I would appreciate it if you'd pick up a copy of the trade paperback of Alabaster, only $14.95 from Subterranean Press. And now, it's time to write.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Ice and rain in the night, but only rain Outside now, in that slushy grey Purgatory of winter. Tiny icicles hanging from the power lines. Rain falling on week-old snow.

Spooky spoke with my dentist yesterday, and the Bad Tooth is coming out tomorrow at 1 p.m. (CaST). So, I'll likely be in bed a day or two afterwards. But the pain will be gone.

I've been trying to find a piece for Sirenia Digest located at the place where cannibalism and tooth pain intersect. A ritual cannibalism, but one in which the devoured is a willing participant. Indeed, in which he or she is venerated in the act of being devoured. But, I've already touched on this very subject in both "Beatification" (Sirenia Digest #27, February 2008) and "The Bed of Appetite" (Sirenia Digest #23, October 2007). Of course, I can list five or six stories wherein Angela Carter worked through the "Little Red Riding Hood" theme. Also, I'm considering the possibilities of "Hansel and Gretal," and it's relevance to cannibalism. I'm trying to distract myself from the pain in my mouth, and all the worries about work that isn't getting done, and from thoughts of the dentist, with thoughts of willing feasts and aching teeth.

Most of yesterday is not worth repeating.

I should be making corrections to The Red Tree and working on it's epilogue. I should be working. Instead, I'm losing time that I cannot afford to lose, to a tooth that should have been pulled a year ago. I should be doing reserach for Joey Lafaye. Anyway, we have a couple of auctions ending tomorrow, and if you've not had a look at them, please do. Thank you.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Overwhelmed by dream this morning. The insomnia finally broke, as the snow broke (causal connection or coincidence, I don't know), and I was assailed by dreams I won't repeat here. I slept almost nine hours. Now, I feel like my body is trying to recollect how to breathe. The sun is out, a white hole bored in a too-blue sky, a single white eye staring out, and it's blinding, shining off all that snow. The temperature is 18F (with the wind chill at 1F). Spooky says there won't be much melting today.

And yes, this is my 2,000th entry this LiveJournal since it was begun back on April 15th, 2004. I shudder to think how many millions of words, how many days worth of composition. And, of course, that's just LJ. This journal was begun to mirror my now moribund Blogger journal, which was begun in November 2001, and so there are surely another two thousand entries over there. Taken together, it's a damned peculiar document.

I feel like this is one of those entries where there's too much that needs to be said, and too little time to say it. I am reminded of Dark City, when Dr. Schreber is about to inject John Murdoch with the memories that will allow him to best the Strangers. Schreber says, "I'm sorry, but I have no time to do this the right way." But at least that statement can serve as a starting point.

I should have gotten this next bit up days ago, but what with the snow, the tooth pain, and the insomnia, I kept forgetting. Here's the deal: For a limited time (I'm not sure how limited), Locus is making a special offer to my readers. Simply put, you may order the issue with the interview I did for Locus (December 2008), postage free (save $3.00), or get it completely free with a one-year subscription. To receive this special offer, follow this link. Also, you may see the cover from the relevant issue behind this cut (and it's also a link):

LOCUS offer )


Day before yesterday, an idea for a new story came to me. Not a vignette, but an actual short story, one that would work quite well for Sirenia Digest. A Dracula story, as it happens. Something about the three brides who were left behind, and then killed later by Van Helsing. Then, yesterday, the crux of the story came to me. The thing that I suppose some people would call the "plot." I'm never clear on exactly what a "plot" is supposed to be. Anyway, this would be a story wherein we learn that the brides were the vampires who, in fact, infected Dracula, not the other way around. That they were the true source of power, and that when Dracula departs for London, he is fleeing, and he leaves them Harker, hoping to distract them just long enough to make his escape. The story would be set a hundred or so years later, and the narrative would be fragmented, representing the inability of these ancient creatures to perceive time the way that mortals do. All of that came to me yesterday morning in a bright flash (this sort of thing does not usually happen to me). I sat down to write, and all I could find, instead of the beginning, was the title, "There Are Kisses For Us All." Suddenly, I was afraid that so much of this story had occurred to me because I'd either already written it, or because someone else had already written it. I suspected Angela Carter, and took Burning Your Boats down off the shelf, thinking if this were the case, I knew exactly where to look.

I read both "The Scarlet House" and "The Lady of the House of Love" aloud to Spooky while she sorted a box of fabric scraps, and I was relieved to see I'd not lifted the story from Carter. Also, though, I was amazed at these two marvelous tales, and how they play one off the other, as the author has a first and then a second try at the same problem. "The Lady in the House of Love" was first published (in The Iowa Review) in 1975, while "The Scarlet House" was first published later, in 1977. I don't know which one was written first, but, clearly, in both examples, Carter was working through the same set of concerns. And, fortunately, those concerns share very little ground with what I hope to do with "There Are Kisses For Us All."

So, today I will try to make a beginning....

And, of course, today is Cephalopodmas, the final part of my November/December holiday triumvirate (Jethro Tull Season/Solstice/Cephalopodmas). I'd meant to write a new carol this year, but never got around to it. Hell, Spooky and I never even got around to procuring one another Cephalopodmas gifts. I suppose that means we'll have to...get creative...tonight. Anyway, yes, a very Merry Cephalopodmas, Cthulhu damn us everyone.

Last night, there was World of Warcrack, and Shaharrazad, my blood elf warlock, reached Level 43. Suraa, Spooky's blood elf paladin, is now at Level 44, because I haven't been playing quite as much, and so she's gotten a little ahead. Also, I'm very annoyed that I've gotten my skinning skills up to 300, which means I qualify for "Master Skinner" or whatever. Only to be awarded that title, I have to reach the Hellfire Peninsula in Outland (the remains of the orc homeworld), BUT, I need to be Level 58 or higher to pass through the Dork Portal...um..Dark Portal...to reach Outland. Blizzard excels at placing the cart before the horse. Anyway, we also read from The Historian last night.

The current eBay auctions continue. Please have a look.

And now, kiddos, it's time to make the doughnuts.
greygirlbeast: (grey)
I'm awake, but every muscle and every bone seems to ache.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, in the interest of helping me to offset the unforeseen deficit of December caused by my miscalculations. Thanks.
greygirlbeast: (white2)
I should have my journal entry almost finished by now, and here I am just beginning it. And I cannot even blame running late on having slept until 10:30 ayem (half an hour past when I meant to get up). Last night, I began having dim recollections of a short story I'd either written or begun writing about a film based on the paintings of my recurring fictional artist, Albert Perrault. I couldn't decide whether or not I'd actually written the story. Maybe, I pondered, I only thought about starting it, but never did. After all, had I actually written it, it would have been in a recent issue of the digest. My mind went on to other things. This morning, I mentioned it to Spooky, and she remembered having read it. So, I sort of freaked out. I searched back through the blog and found mention of "Some Notes on an Unfinished Film" in the entry for September 3rd. I wrote:

Yesterday, I wrote 822 words on "Some Notes on an Unfinished Film," which is becoming quite interesting. But now I have to set it aside and go back to work on The Red Tree. The story will still be there later this month. I might have time to finish it for Sirenia Digest #34, maybe. If not, it will likely show up in the October issue.

A cursory search of files on my iMac failed to turn up a copy of the story, and I started to panic. I rifled through the stacks of paper by my desk, and discovered a file with a print out of at least two versions of the story. A second and third search on the iMac turned up the file (with several pages that were never printed out), in a place it shouldn't have been. The whole thing has me a little unnerved. I wrote 2,540 words on this story, then set it aside at the beginning of September and simply forgot it existed —— until last night. But, if nothing else, this is the perfect case-in-point reply to the possibly well meaning, but entirely infuriating and wrongheaded comment from someone at MySpace (whom I shall not here name), who this morning declared, "You can never write too much. Stop setting Fucking limits on what you can do." Er...right. When I can no longer even keep track of all that I am writing, I am writing too much. Never mind the exhaustion. Anyway, probably I will finish this piece for Sirenia Digest #35.

Yesterday, I wrote 2,083 words on The Red Tree. I am very near the end, and I think there's a grand irony in the fact that I set out to write a YA novel (Joey Lafaye), which I shelved to write the darkest, most "unrelentingly grim" novel I have yet written. It is wearing me down, reaching the end of this book, putting myself and my protagonist through these events. But, now, it is almost "done." Two or three more days, at most.

I have received word that the interview I gave to Locus will appear in the December '08 issue. Which has me all sorts of nervous.

Last night, after Chinese takeaway, we watched Neil Jordan's The Company of Wolves (1984) for the first time in ages. It still delights, but I fear it's a film that is not aging gracefully, and I wish that Jordan, or another director, would undertake a remake. Oh, to have the opportunity to write a screenplay based on Angela Carter stories. My favourite part of the film is still the short bit with the priest and Danielle Dax's wolfgirl, which I think comes the closest to capturing the flavour of Carter's fiction.

Later, there was WoW. Voimakas, my Draenei hunter, reached Lvl 20, and finished her 100th quest. Frankly, I think the new "achievement" feature they've added to the game is rather silly. I keep waiting to receive an achievement for having done X number of achievements. Anything that makes WoW feel more like a game and less like a simulation is unwelcome, so far as I am concerned. But I do not like games, so your mileage may very. That is, I do not like games that feel like games, or go out of their way to remind you that they are games. While playing WoW, I want to rediscover the childhood capacity for "playing pretend," not constantly be reminded —— by silly, arbitrary benchmarks —— that it's all just a game. Anyway, after WoW, we read more of Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket.

Once again, I did not leave the house yesterday.

Okay. The platypus is getting out the bullhorn and paddle....

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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