greygirlbeast: (twilek1)
Skimp on one journal entry, everything piles up. Outside it's very cold. Well, very cold if you're me. 43˚F, and the low tonight will be 22˚F (-5.5 C). This might come out all higgledy piggledy (double dactyl!), but at least it will be a higgledy-piggledy list.

[One-hour pause to install iTunes 10.5.1, which should have been easy, but wasn't.]

1. Yesterday we saw Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Marvelous. If Ritchie's making Holmes purists uncomfortable, more power to him. A Game of Shadows was at least as smart, and funny, and as fine a box of eye candy as Sherlock Holmes (2009). Oh, and lots of deftly inserted (cough, cough) gay innuendo, so booya. Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law, I love you. Great chess, too. Eight tentacles up.

2. Last night, late, I finished with Stephen Jones' A Book of Horrors. All I had left to go was Robert Shearman's very good Machenesque "A Child's Problem," Dennis Etchinson's pleasantly odd and wistful piece "Tell Me I'll See You Again," and Richard Christian Mathenson's somewhat delightfully sadistic "Last Words." The latter might have served as a fitting bit for Sirenia Digest. I don't read much contemporary horror, but A Book of Horrors is a solid volume (plus, you get my piece, "Charcloth, Firesteel and Flint").

3. Thursday evening was cold, windy, and the sky spat rain. That would have been the first day of the vacation, yes? This day is the third. But I sort of did some work during the day, unless I misremember...which is always a possibility. Later, we visited the RISD Art Gallery (and got our nephew, Miles, a very bow-tie book for Solstice), then went out to get supplies (for both Spooky and me) at Jerry's Artarama*, then stopped near Brown and got delicious food from Mama Kim's Korean BBQ for dinner. It was worth huddling under my umbrella for.

4. Yesterday, UPS brought my copy of Star Wars: The Old Republic, and I recreated my Twi'lek Sith inquisitor Herazade and began leveling again. Made it to nine. I really am loving this game. Utterly bow tie, despite my initial predictions and impressions. However, a caveat: Why can game designers not rid us of the ubiquitous MMORPG silly hop? Have they never noted how humanoids jump? Generally, pushing off and up with the ball/toe of one foot, then landing with their opposite/s. Simple anatomy. Hopping up and down with bowed legs looks idiotic, and it's everywhere, except in console games, where a better knowledge of functional anatomy seems to prevail. The standing jump, of course, would be an exception, but, in most situations, standing jumps are rare, and may not serve here as an explanation or excuse.

5. Tonight, we see Brown Bird play at the Met in Pawtucket, and our Honourary Gentleman Caller, [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark, will be joining us for the musical shenanigans. Gonna rock.

6. Since we'd let our Audible.com credits back up, I downloaded three books the other day: first, Harlan reading his own Edgeworks Volume 1 – which is a delight – William Gibson's Neuromancer; and Paolo Bacigalupi The Wind-Up Girl. The last is the only I've not read, but I have great hopes. Of course, I'm not reading here, but listening, which is a distinctly different experience. Since I was a very, very small child I have savoured having stories and novels read to me. Unlike ebooks, audiobooks are bow tie.

7. Right now, plans are that the "teaser" trailer for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir will go live at 12 ayem EST (1 ayem CaST) on January 1st, New Year's Day. It will appear at that moment on my LiveJournal, as well as YouTube, Vimeo, etc. I will ask people to repost and embed it and link to it and spread it far and wide. I need the front page of my website redesigned for this book, but presently have no options. If anyone is willing to offer their web-fu for a FREE signed and inscribed copy of the book, email me at greygirlbeast(at)gmail(dot)com and we'll work something out.

And that is all! No more words! Vakayshun!

Leisurely,
Aunt Beast

* In The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, Imp works at Jerry's.
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 2)
Er...even though I hardly slept and rose too early (around eleven ayem.), I'm running late. So this will be a short entry. I'm pretty sure few will be annoyed by that, as LJ is dying, and even I, the lowly rat, is readying to leave this sinking ship. How do I know LJ is dying? All I have had to do is watch the decline in my Friends' List (they've deserted LJ en masse this past year), and the decline in comments. LJ is now mostly for slash fic and 'shipper communities. Oh, I have to keep going here until February 13th, so that I'll have blogged here one full year without missing a day. But I've already moved most of my LJ to Dreamwidth (along with comments). I tried TypePad, but found it unfathomably complex and counter-intuitive. If I can't solve a problem on my own, without recourse to "tutorials," I have no interest in it; always have I been this way, since I taught myself to read before kindergarten. Anyway, fuck you in both ears and twice on Sunday Facebook, and fuck you Twitter, you shallow, instant-gratification, no-effort-required motherfucker.

Now I've gotten that out, an exciting bit of news regarding The Drowning Girl, which is Thing #2 that I was waiting for the go-ahead from my agent yesterday before announcing; I only got the go-ahead about ten minutes ago. It was an uncommonly complex process, getting permission to release this news. But! The Drowning Girl audiobook (I don't hate audiobooks the way I hate ebooks, you may recall), will be released as part of the Neil Gaiman Presents (!!!!) series, which is likely to give the book a huge boost in sales and readership (or listenership). It also gives me veto/approval of readers, and they are open to my suggestions for readers, and receptive to the idea that I want a reading not a dramatization. I've known this for at least a month, but finalizing and all takes forever. So, woot, and thank you, all involved.

Yesterday, I wrote another 1,178 words on "Another Tale of Two Cities." Spooky says "It's like Dr. Seuss, only very dark and for grownups." Me, I have no idea what she's talking about, except I did do an entire panel at Readercon 21 on Dr. Seuss as weird fiction. And "Another Tale of Two Cities" (to appear in Sirenia Digest #72) is definitely weird fiction.

This is your LAST and FINAL notice about Question @ Hand #5, because I'm weary of nagging. A number of people who promised responses haven't yet delivered, which is a shame. I have four; I need at least seven. So, I'm extending the deadline until Friday (but that's not an excuse to drag your feet), since I'm probably not going to get the digest out until Saturday (the 10th, as announced earlier), anyway. I'd really love to see more replies. This isn't rocket science. It's only mad science.

Last night, after pizza and Rift, I finished the biography of Barnum Brown. Wonderful book, wonderful man. I finally fell asleep about about five ayem to Hud (1963), an old favourite. Spooky just told me Harry Morgan has died at age 96. I admire greatly that he never once appeared on a talk show.

Mourning That Which Is Passing Away, Into The West, Like The Elves
Aunt Beast
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 2,179 words on The Drowning Girl and reached the end of Chapter Two. In the past five days, I've written 9,154 words on the book, when I generally only average about 1,100 words a day. But today I'm going to stop and read back over both One and Two (or 1 and 2, as Imp would have it).

Cold here in Providence.

My thanks to those who've commented on "The Prayer of Ninety Cats," either here, on Facebook, or by email.

Yesterday was the sort of day that needs a lot of hot tea. I began with an Earl Grey made with white tea, then moved along to blend of black tea, orange, cinnamon, and cloves. We watched Micheal Winterbottom's Butterfly Kiss (1995). We seem to be on a Winterbottom kick. Next up, Jude (1996), with Christopher Eccleston and Kate Winslet.

I was thinking about ragging on the Worgen a little more, but I think I'll do that some other time.

I think my next audiobook may be the unabridged Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, even though it's thirty-two hours long...
greygirlbeast: (white2)
Another rough night last night. Is this becoming the insomnia journal? It has been before, so shall it be again. Spooky's calling my doctor in a bit to see if we can double the Prazosin tonight. Tiddley pom. Dreams I won't get into. I lay in bed until sometime after three, then took an Ambien (insuring I'd be a zombie this ayem), got up, and listened to the Audible.com version of Daughter of Hounds until almost four.

Yesterday (which followed a good night's sleep) was unproductive. I have a story due in at the beginning of July that must be both supernatural and noir. Which should be easy as pie for me. I've certainly done it before. But I'm having trouble finding the subject matter of this particular story, trying to avoid lame, done-to-death plots, like hard-boiled, world-weary male detective falls in love with femme fatale who, it turns out, really is a femme fatale (i.e., vampire, siren, succubus, werewolf, etc.). I am looking for the artful solution to this problem, one that won't make me yawn. Because I love the marriage of noir and dark fantasy, when it's done well. Last night, trying to sleep, thinking about potential stories, the title "The Maltese Unicorn" popped into my head. Gagh. No, I will not be writing a story called "The Maltese Unicorn." I wanted to punch myself in the face just for thinking of it.

My thanks to everyone who bid in the lastest round of eBay auctions. Another round will begin soon. Meanwhile, have a look at Spooky's sea-glass jewelery at Dreaming Squid Dollworks.

Last night we watched Olatunde Osunsanmi's The Fourth Kind, a film so stupid that not even Milla Jovovich could redeem it. And that's saying something. I actually enjoyed the most recent Resident Evil film, almost entirely because of the presence of Milla Jovovich. Don't get me wrong, I (obviously) love the "faked documentary" approach, when it's done well. Here, it's not. Never is it even halfway convincing. And don't get me started on the Sumerian ancient astronaut nonsense. Not a good movie, at all.

Anyway, enough for one morning. Comment if you dare. Lately, the number of those who dare has fallen off rather dramatically.
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
I slept more than eight hours last night, which was a great relief, as I was stupid and useless and somewhat ill all day yesterday, due to the two nights before. And I did it without Ambien. Whenever I happen to note that I'm not sleeping well, I'm often met with advice which I understand to be well meaning. But sometimes it can be unintentionally funny. For example, chamomile tea is frequently suggested. Which, if we're talking about run of the mill sleeplessness, the occasional night when it's a little hard to get to sleep, fine. But my insomnia is like unto the Godzilla of insomnia. When even the Ambien's not working, it's a safe bet chamomile tea won't, either. Or hot baths. Or warm milk. Another commonly suggested remedy is the hormone melatonin. And I know melatonin can be a useful sleep aid. Problem is, melatonin use may worsen depression (which I am being treated for) and cause vivid dreams and nightmares (which I am being treated for). It also has the potential to interact with certain drugs I've been prescribed. So, not an option.

Yesterday was, not unexpectedly, and as predicted, a lost cause. Maybe this falls under the heading of self-fulfilling prophecy, but given I was having serious trouble walking in a straight line, I rather tend to doubt it. I spent the first part of the day listening to the audiobook of The Red Tree from Aubile.com. I finished it (first ever audiobook I've listened to start to finish, by the way). Overall, I'm very pleased. The voice of Sarah is not the voice I heard in my head as I wrote it, but it works very well, regardless. After The Red Tree, I downloaded Daughter of Hounds and made it through the prologue and the first two chapters. And then I got dressed and we headed to the Athenaeum.

I had it in my head that I'd get some research done for a short story I need to start, but soon discovered I was too sleep deprived to focus on much of anything. I wound up just sort of groggily prowling the stacks, randomly reading bits of this or that. Books on fish of the Atlantic, the great white shark, sea monsters, the Farallon Islands, Steinbeck's The Log of the Sea of Cortez...well, okay, that doesn't sound nearly so disconnected as it seemed at the time. Though I can't really fit the Tsavo lions in there. At some point, I pulled from a shelf The Story of the Sun by Sir Robert S. Bell (D. Appleton and Company, NYC), published in 1893. I could see from a spidery bit of handwriting on the endpapers that the book had been entered into the Athenaeum's catalog on January 29th, 1894, some one hundred and sixteen years ago. And I imagined all the people who have opened this book in that time, and taken it out, and read it. How many in all that time? It occurred to me that the book was there in the Athenaeum for all of Lovecraft's life, and given his love of astronomy, that he very probably at least thumbed through it at some point in his forty-seven years. It's almost like time travel, moments like those (especially when you've not slept). We left the Athenaeum just before closing (at seven p.m.), stopped by the market, then headed home.

After dinner, we watched three episodes of Glee (the new one, plus two older ones Spooky had seen, but I had not). I love "Britana." And we learned last night that the episode which airs in two weeks has been written by Joss Whedon. Later, I went into WoW for the first time in two or three weeks and did a very satisfying battlefield, just Alterac Vally but it went on for almost an hour and felt more like an actual battle than WoW battlefields usually do. After WoW, we read more of Patti Smith's Just Kids, and then I managed to fall asleep watching a comfort movie, Jack Arnold's Revenge of the Creature (1955). Whatever I dreamt, it's mostly forgotten now.

The latest round of eBay auctions will be ending this afternoon (between 3:07 and 3:31 p.m. EST). My thanks to everyone who has bid, or who might yet. Also, Spooky has added a few new pieces of beach-glass jewelery to her Dreaming Squid Dollworks Etsy shop.

Anyway, time to make the doughnuts. I took one photo yesterday morning, from the front parlor, just before six a.m. Yesterday was the first time I'd ever watched the sun rise over Providence:

5 May 2010 )

Beltane '10

May. 1st, 2010 11:37 am
greygirlbeast: (Pagan1)
A happy and fine Beltane to all who wish to be wished a happy and fine Beltane.

Yesterday, I wrote a more than respectable 1,487 words and found THE END of "Workprint." I'll spend today assembling Sirenia Digest #53, and, with any luck, subscribers should be getting it this evening. It will contain two new pieces, "Workprint" and "Three Months, Three Scenes, With Snow."

A couple of reminders from yesterday:

Audible.com is now offering audio versions of five of my novels: Threshold, Low Red Moon, Murder of Angels, Daughter of Hounds, and The Red Tree. Right now, I'm listening to The Red Tree. I've made it to the end of Chapter Two, and I'm quite pleased with what I'm hearing. I very much hope people will pick up copies of the audiobooks. By the way, you may listen to samples of the audiobooks at Audible.com.

Note, too, that the audiobooks are available via iTunes (pretty much worldwide, I think), so it's not necessary to have an Audible.com account to get them.

We've begun a new round of eBay auctions to help defray the cost of my newest (and insanely expensive) anti-seizure medication. At the moment, there are copies of The Dry Salvages, Tales from the Woeful Platypus, and Alabaster. Please have a look. Bid if you are able. The good news is that the new meds appear to be working. Oh, and Spooky has new pendants up at her Etsy Dreaming Squid Dollworks shop, which is another way to help out.

---

There a nice new review of The Red Tree up at Tor.com

There wasn't much to yesterday beyond the writing. I was at it until almost six p.m. After dinner, we watched the latest episode of Fringe, "Brown Betty," which was pretty much a pure delight. We read more of Just Kids. The story Patti Smith tells about her and Robert Mapplethorpe searching the ruins of a hospital on Roosevelt Island (in 1968) for a pickled human fetus, and actually finding one, and then...well, wow.
greygirlbeast: (The Red Tree)
I'm trying very, very hard to make sure that Sirenia Digest #53 goes out to subscribers by midnight tomorrow night. But I have at least a day's work left to get done on the second piece for the issue, "Workprint." Yesterday, I wrote 1,004 words on the story. On Wednesday, I wrote 1,196 words on it. Today, I mean to find THE END.

Audible.com is now offering audio versions of five of my novels: Threshold, Low Red Moon, Murder of Angels, Daughter of Hounds, and The Red Tree. Right now, I'm listening to The Red Tree. I've made it to the end of Chapter Two, and I'm quite pleased with what I'm hearing. I very much hope people will pick up copies of the audiobooks. By the way, you may listen to samples of the audiobooks at Audible.com.

We've begun a new round of eBay auctions to help defray the cost of my newest (and insanely expensive) anti-seizure medication. At the moment, there are copies of The Dry Salvages, Tales from the Woeful Platypus, and Alabaster. Please have a look. Bid if you are able. The good news is that the new meds appear to be working. Oh, and Spooky has new pendants up at her Etsy Dreaming Squid Dollworks shop, which is another way to help out.

Let's see. What else, quickly? Night before last, we saw Grant Heslov's The Men Who Stare at Goats, which I liked a lot. Late in the evening, we've been reading Patti Smith's autobiography, Just Kids. Also, though I've seen most of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse and found it barely watchable, on Wednesday and Thursday nights we watched "Epitaph One" and "Epitaph Two," respectively. And they were very good, especially "Epitaph One." They were a glimpse of the series that might have been, instead of the sad mess that was. Had the series begun with "Epitaph One," it might have been brilliant television. Those two episodes made me care about characters the rest of the series could not. Hell, in one scene Eliza Dushku came dangerously close to acting. So, it was delightful seeing them, but disheartening, too.

And now...work. Onwards, platypus!
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
1. Yesterday, I began the second piece for Sirenia Digest #51, and wrote 1,011 words. I think I'm liking it. It was inspired by something I saw at Beavertail on Sunday. Also, Vince is working on an illustration for "The Eighth Veil," so the issue is coming together, and should be out before the end of February.

2. A couple of days back, the check arrived for the Audible.com editions of Threshold, Low Red Moon, Murder of Angels, Daughter of Hounds, and The Red Tree. The arrival of money is never a bad thing. Anyway, the tentative release date for the audio editions of all five novels is April 27th, 2010, and I'm looking forward to it.

3. Jeff VanderMeer has just posted the Table of Contents for Steampunk Reloaded, and it's a great lineup. The book reprints "The Steam Dancer (1896)." This marks the first time I've been in an anthology that also includes work by William Gibson, and I'm kind of excited about that. Also, I'm pleased that John Coulthart is responsible for the book's interior design.

4. Another rhetorical question: If I have a parting of the ways with a world that's only a simulacrum, do I only have to pretend to mourn?

5. If I ever sink so low as to write a paranormal romance novel titled Succubi Like It Hot, someone please gut me slowly with a dull grapefruit spoon. Thank you.

6. As promised, more photographs from Sunday at Beavertail (warning: I was sort of fixated on seaweed that day). All these were taken on the eastern side of the point. I'm already wishing I could have another day there, and not be cooped up at the desk and keyboard. That's a good sign, Howard Hughes wanting to get out and about in the world. As soon as Sirenia Digest #51 is out, I think Spooky and I will be spending a day in Boston. Anyway, yes, more photographs, and there will be still more tomorrow, and more the day after that, and...you get the picture (so to speak):

21 February 2010, Part 2 )


Give a dog a bone,
He'll eat for the day.
But teach him how to kill...then...
(Editors)
greygirlbeast: (goat girl)
1. Gods, I'm not awake. And to blame we have the Ambien I took at 4:45 a.m., although what we really have to blame is (drum roll, please) THE. BEST. ROLEPLAY. EVER. Which I got in Insilico last night. My thanks to Omika, Abiki, Fifth, Pinbacker...and others. Really, it's like being lodged in the forebrain/motherboard of an early William Gibson novel, this rp. Smart, immersive, simulationist, literate, and exquisitely hard. And to think I spent almost two and half years trying to find a sim that has its shit together, and players on the same wavelength as me, and that I suffered so much lousy rp and silly-ass ooc drama.* Anyway, wow, but I am so painfully not awake. Oh, I'm playing Xiang, a very confused little toaster.

2. Yesterday, I wrote 1,269 words on "Hydrarguros," for Sirenia Digest #50. The story really seemed to find itself yesterday afternoon. And then Jason Statham showed up. On Facebook, I wrote "Gods, I've just realized Jason Statham is narrating my new sf story. That is, the narrator's voice, as I hear it in my head as I write is that of Jason Statham." Sort of Jason Statham as he was in Snatch. Later, also on Facebook, I added, "You have to imagine Jason Statham starring in a film version of David Bowie's Outside, playing Nathan Adler, only it's not a movie about art crimes, but a movie about drugs from Mars." Which isn't precisely right, but somewhere in the neighborhood.

3. Okay, so...I've keep putting off talking about Peter Straub's very wonderful new novel, A Dark Matter (due out February 9th). Mostly, that's because I know enough to know I'm no good at reviewing books (would that more readers knew this of themselves), and I'm not going to do the book justice. I can heap praise upon it, which it deserves, but which is also insufficient. I could, in theory, reduce it to some book-reportish synopsis, but that would be criminal. So, I won't do either. You're just going to have to trust me on this. I've been reading Peter since 1981, and this is one of his very best. There are such moments of surreal, transcendent weird. Worlds bleed together. It is, in a sense, about the price of expanding one's consciousness. In another sense, it's about the charlatans who promise expanded consciousness, and, specifically, about the sorts who peddled those wares in the sixties. More than anything, this is a novel about consequence. In brilliantly inverts many of the readers expectations, turning its plot back upon itself, as we watch its characters struggle to come to terms with an unspeakably bizarre event from their pasts, in order to heal their present lives. You want to read this novel. Spooky read the whole thing aloud to me while I was sick, before she got sick. We expect to read it a second time in a few months. Thank you, Peter. You just shine, man.

4. Last night, we watched Anthony Bourdain in the Philippines (our fondness for this man seems to know no bounds), and then watched Rob Zombies' remake of Halloween 2. I'm still parsing my thoughts on the film. It was, in many ways, a much more ambitious film than his Halloween remake, and it had some fine moments, but, in the end, I don't think it was as good as the first film (and certainly not as good as The Devil's Rejects). Mostly, I think Mr. Zombie needs to a) stop casting the atrocious Sheri Moon Zombie in his films, even if she is his wife, because the woman simply cannot act, and she's holding him back; and 2) I think it's time for him to try something new. We now know he can make very, very good slasher films in the spirit of the '70s and '80s classics. Now, I'd like to see him do something different, because I think he has it in him, and it's time to grow artistically.

5. Email this morning from the woman who'll be reading both Low Red Moon and Threshold for the Audible.com adaptations. They start recording tomorrow, and need correct pronunciations for trilobite names. So, I think all the audiobooks are now in production, which is just amazing.

6. I'm now going to go drink what's left of my coffee and try to wake the fuck up. Excuse me.

*Within a few weeks, Insilico proved itself almost as bad, or worse, than the rest of Second Life, and I had to start eating my words.
greygirlbeast: (Barker)
Yesterday is a blur, a squall of images in my mind. And I have to try to sort it into a coherent entry. No, I do not have to, but I choose to try.

1. The work part of yesterday was spent going over the production notes from Audible.com for The Red Tree. A number of minor edits and rewrites had to be made, things that worked in print but not being read aloud, and there were some corrections. I am told that the target release date for all the Audible.com adaptations of my novels (except Silk, which they won't be doing, at least not for now), is April 27th. After I was finished talking to my contact at Audible, I spoke with my editor at Penguin, to see if the corrections could be incorporated into the mass-market paperback of The Red Tree, due out later this year. She talked with the production manager, who said yes. Also, I was told the corrections would likely be made in a second printing of the trade paperback, if there is a second printing. Just the mention of the possibility made me hopeful, as it means the book must be selling halfway decently, or my editor wouldn't have bothered even to mention a second printing. Anyway, if you want the original text, you'll need to pick up the first printing of the trade, the one on sale now.

2. A goodly portion of yesterday was spent following the news coming out of Haiti, what little news is coming out of Haiti. The scope of the disaster is staggering, and horrific. Officials are now reporting that the death toll in Haiti may be somewhere between 100,000-500,000 lives lost thus far. This in a nation with a population of only about ten million. So, in a single earthquake, between one and five percent of the population may have perished. Let's assume the more conservative number and say 100,000. Even the worst natural disaster in American history doesn't come close. The death toll for the "Great" San Francisco earthquake of 1906 was about 3,000. The Chicago Heat Wave of 1995, only 739. The Tri-State Tornado of 1925, only 925 fatalities. In 1871, the Peshtigo Fire in Wisconsin (same date as the Chicago fire) killed 1,200 to 1,500 people. The 1900 Galveston hurricane killed about 8,000 people, and Katrina resulted in 1,836 confirmed deaths. The 1811-1812 series of three stupendous earthquakes along the New Madrid Fault (halfway between St. Louis and Memphis, beneath the Mississippi River), which shook the entire United States, killed only a few thousand people (thanks to low population density at the time). In terms of actual deaths directly attributable to any single event, nothing in America even comes close to what is happening in Haiti. Understand, I do not intend to make light of any of these events and their consequences. I'm just trying to put all this in perspective for myself.

3. Yesterday, on the way to the market, we stopped just off Point Street so I could get more photos of the ongoing demolition of the old I-195 overpass. After viewing the devastation in Haiti, it felt very...odd. This time, I photographed the overpass from the western side (my first set of photos were taken from the eastern side). The photos are below, behind the cut. It was bitter cold, and the sky looked like a slab of polished slate (darker than it appears in the photos). As we were pulling into the parking lot, it began to snow very lightly. Spooky made chili for dinner. We watched four more episodes of Fringe, finishing up Season One.

4. There was a little Second Life rp last night. And something has occurred to me, one reason that I dislike the "urban fantasy" sims in SL. In worlds where demons, angels, werewolves, "nekos," vampires, fairies, and pretty much any other mythical being you can think of all walk the street and rub shoulders, the effect is that the marvelous and terrifying quickly becomes mundane. It's possible, in this scenario, that by inversion the ordinary could be elevated to the level of marvelous and terrifying, except that's not what happens. The ordinary becomes extra-mundane. And in a world of monsters, you have hundreds of players who seem not even half aware of the possibility of wonder or awe. It's all cartoon sex, street gangs, and cynical indifference to the Weird. Which is something worse than sad. Fantasy in the wrong hands...

5. Let me remind you that, tomorrow night, I will be reading from "Houses Under the Sea," at the Lovecraft Unbound reading being hosted by the Montauk Club in Brooklyn, NY (in the historic 120 year-old Ballroom at the Montauk Club, 25 Eighth Avenue, Park Slope, adjacent to Grand Army Plaza). Admission is $5 for non-members, and the reading begins at 8 p.m. EST, with a social hour and tour of the building afterwards. Seating is limited. As I have said, this will likely be my last public appearance until Readercon this summer. I will sign any books you feel like bringing along.

And here are the overpass photos:

13 December 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 1)
1. I've been reading the reports coming out of Haiti. In a nation where so many buildings are not built to withstand strong earthquakes, a magnitude 7.0 is very bad. The earth moves, in some places more than in others.

2. I see that the Vatican does not approve of Avatar, and I'm wondering why this is even news. Did anyone think they would approve? More importantly, why the hell should I care? I don't, of course. But I am annoyed that the media is treating this as relevant.

3. Yesterday, no work of any sort was done, not really, because I had to brave Outside, to reach the wretched fucking Providence Place Mall. The time to buy a few shreds of clothing had come. I loathe shopping. And I especially loathe shopping for clothes. Few things have the power to make me feel worse about myself than trying to find new clothes (which is why I only shop for them maybe once or twice a year). Finding clothes that will fit, clothes that will fit that I like, clothes that will fit that I like and can afford...I could go my entire life without ever having to shop for clothes again, and I'd be a happier woman. But, that said, there were sales, and enough useful items were found that the trip into that howling maelstrom of consumerism could be justified. So, I won't be forced to do the Lovecraft Unbound reading at the Montauk Club in the nude, which is a good thing, given the weather.

4. On the way back home, we stopped on Wickenden Street so I could get some photographs of the old I-195 overpass that's being torn down this week. I'm not sure why, but somehow it's an important Providence landmark for me. I remember it from my first trip up here, back in 2000. There are photos below, behind the cut. The support structure of iron girders that you'll see, those were added as the bridge became structurally unsafe sometime back. I'm going to try to get more photos later in the week, as the demolition progresses. I hope to get better shots of the murals and graffiti on the walls of the overpass before it's all reduced to so much rubble.

5. I have been very fortunate with The Red Tree, in terms of Amazon "reviews." From August 4th until this morning, it stayed at five stars, which is the longest any of my novels have managed that. However, when the book was included on Amazon's "Top 10 Books: Science Fiction & Fantasy" list and then the holiday sales spike, I predicted more negative reviews would begin to be posted. And I was right. Two or three are the sort that I struggle not to complain about publicly: readers who can't relate to and don't like reading about lesbians*, readers who don't like reading about flawed or unpleasant characters, readers who take issue with the book's extensive use of older texts by other authors, and so on, and so forth. However, I am more experienced, and very slightly wiser, and I understand that those reviews will likely have no impact whatsoever on sales. Sure, the stupidity and small-mindedness and what I suspect to be homophobia eats at me...but I need to look the other way. And also thank everyone who loved the book and has already posted a positive review.

6. Last night, we went to the Avon on Thayer Street and saw Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Gods, what a brilliant film. I see I was entirely justified in including it high on my list of the best fantasy and speculative films of 2009. I'm wondering, though, if it ought to be tied for the number one slot with The Road, with Avatar staying at #2. Yeah, I loved it that much. It flawlessly speaks the language of dreams, never wavering from dream logic, never succumbing to the "needs" of narrative or exposition, and it allows our eyes to roam among indescribable marvels. I was pleased that it was grimmer than I'd expected. Tom Waits is delightful. Really, there's nothing here to complain about. Nothing at all. I won't say for sure that it's Gilliam's best film, but it's certainly now one of my favorite Gilliam films. It was a perfect end to a pretty decent day (despite the fact that we almost froze on the way home).

7. Just something I scribbled in my Moleskine last night, a stray thought I want to remember: "Here is the future, and the future is ugly, and poisonous, and filled with wonder."

8. While we were in the wretched fucking Providence Place Mall yesterday, I heard The Sundays' "Here's Where the Story Ends." Back in the early 90s, the Sundays were one of my favorite bands. They were also one of Elizabeth's favorite bands. Something we shared. After her suicide, I could no longer bear to listen to the Sundays. But hearing the song yesterday, I began thinking I would like to try to "reclaim" the Sundays. I've managed to do it already with The Cure's Disintegration (but not with the Cowboy Junkies). So..we shall see. Few things are as poignant, for me, as music.

9. Today I have to go over production notes on The Red Tree for Audible.com, as a number of things that worked great on the page need revising for the forthcoming audiobook. They are small problems. I'll post more about this tomorrow.

10. I did promise photos, didn't I? Well, here they are (not great photos, but they get the point across, sort of):

12 December 2009 )


* If you are one of that sort, be warned: The central characters in my next novel, The Wolf Who Cried Girl are lesbian and (maybe) transgendered.
greygirlbeast: (fisting)
1. There were terrible dreams this morning; I'm trying to let them all go, forget them. The only good thing about today thus far is that I'm having coffee with chicory for the first time in many years. I've been craving it for some time, and Spooky came back from the market on Thursday with a can of French Market. So, yeah, that one thing, at least, is good. Of course, I've only been up for about an hour, so the day may yet improve.

2. There was snow yesterday, but nothing heavy. I sat here at my desk and wrote the scene that I hope will open The Wolf Who Cried Girl, and I watched the snow spiraling down outside. Here in Providence, the ground has been white all year. Anyway, yeah, I did another 1,173 words yesterday. Today, I'll finish the prologue, and try to figure out if it really is how the book begins.

3. Okay, so here's the cool news about the forthcoming Audible.com adaptation of The Red Tree. I was informed on Thursday that it will be a multi-voice production, with different readers for Sharon Halperin (Sarah's editor), Sarah Crowe, and Charles Harvey. Which pleases me enormously, as this is how I want people to hear the novel. No word yet when it will be released. At this point, I'm working with Audible.com on a few very minor changes to the text, things that worked in print that obviously won't work for audio. The footnotes, for example.

4. I promised, back at the end of December, to post the cover art for The Ammonite Violin & Others, and then it slipped my mind. But, better late than never. Richard Kirk has, of course, done something brilliant. I'm placing it behind a cut, as the jpg is rather large:

The Ammonite Violin )


5. I'm very pleased to announce that "The Steam Dancer (1896)" will be reprinted in Ann and Jeff VanderMeer's forthcoming anthology, Steampunk Reloaded.

6. I'm surprised that there haven't been more responses to last night's "If I were a summonable monster" poll, given that there have been about fifty replies to the "If you had me alone, locked up in your house, for twenty-four hours..." poll. I actually thought last night's question was far more fun. Anyway, I'll keep reading for both right up until time to begin production on Sirenia Digest #50, so there's still plenty of time.

7. My great thanks to Steven Lubold of Phoenix Comics in Fairfax, Virginia, who sent Spooky and me a number of very fine books from our Amazon wishlists. The distractions are very much appreciated!
greygirlbeast: (white)
We awoke to a dusting of new snow.

Yesterday, I managed to write what might be the first 1,255 words on the prologue of The Wolf Who Cried Girl. I won't really know if I'm on the right track until I read it again today, but I do have some faint hope of finishing the prologue this afternoon. Unless I have to throw these words out and start anew; I am having a great deal of difficulty finding the tone of this novel, finding its voice.

But yeah, a much better day, as far as writing is concerned.

Also, well...there is some really cool news regarding the Audible.com adaptation of The Red Tree, but I haven't yet asked permission to share it, so that will have to wait. But...it's cool.

---

Also, yesterday I started reading "A reevaluation of the manus structure in Triceratops (Ceratopsia; Ceratopsidae)," and finished Alan Weisman's brilliant The World Without Man (Thomas Dunne Books, 2007). It's not an easy book to read, even when you already have a pretty good idea how much human beings have loused up this planet. And yet, despite the catalog of extinctions and poisons (including dioxins which will still be here when the sun finally novas, billions of years after humans have finally become extinct), it is a book laced through and through with hope. Because it calmly and with good science assures us that life on Earth will continue long after Homo sapiens is gone, even if Homo sapiens will have forever altered the course of evolution. As marine biologist Eric Sala put it (quoted by Weisman), "If the planet can recover from the Permian, it can recover from the human." And that is a comforting thought, indeed. I strongly urge you to find and read this book, and again I thank David Szydloski for kindly sending me a copy.

There is a passage I would like to quote, if only because it tackles a problem that virtually no one is even willing to discuss, even as we see ecosystems collapse and the climate change accelerate, that of voluntary human population control:

"Yet the biggest elephant of all is a figurative one in the planet-sized room that is ever harder to ignore, although we keep trying. Worldwide, every four days human population rises by 1 million...

The intelligent solution would require the courage and the wisdom to put our knowledge to the test. It would be poignant and distressing in ways, but not fatal. It would henceforth limit every human female on Earth capable of bearing children to one.

The numbers resulting from such a draconian measure, fairly applied, are tricky to predict with precision: Fewer births, for example, would lower infant mortality, because resources would be devoted to protecting each precious member of the latest generation. Using the United Nation's medium scenario for life expectancy though 2050 as a benchmark, Dr. Sergei Scherbov, who is the research group leader at the Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and an analyst for the World Population Program, calculated what would happen to human population if, from now on, all fertile women have only one child (in 2004, the rate was 2.6 births per female; in the medium scenario that would lower to about two children by 2050).

If this somehow began tomorrow, our current 6.5 billion human population would drop by 1 billion by the middle of the century. (If we continue as projected, it will reach 9 billion.) At that point, keeping to one-child-per-mother, life on Earth for all species would change dramatically. Because of natural attrition, today's bloated human population bubble would not be reinflated at anything near the former pace. By 2075, we would have reduced our presence by almost half, down to 3.43 billion, and our impact by much more., because so much of what we do is magnified by chain reactions set off through the ecosystem.

By 2100, less than a century from now, we would be at 1.6 billion: back to levels last seen in the 19th century, just before quantum advances in energy, medicine, and food production doubled our numbers and then doubled us again. At the time, those discoveries seemed like miracles. Today, like too much of any good thing, we indulge in more only at our peril.

At such far-more-manageable numbers, however, we would have the benefit of all our progress plus the wisdom to keep our presence under control. That wisdom would come partly from losses and extinctions too late to reverse, but also from the growing joy of watching the world daily become more wonderful. The evidence wouldn't hide in statistics. It would be outside every human's window, where refreshed air would fill each season with more birdsong."

Of course, I do not believe this is remotely possible. Weisman is essentially correct, in theory, but I think he vastly underestimates humanity's hardwired need to reproduce, and reproduce, and reproduce, even if reproduction, ironically, means its own present misery and premature extinction (and that of so many other species). He ignores selfishness and short-sightedness. He ignores greed. He ignores all those countless differences in religion and ideology that keep humanity divided and always at one another's throats. Ultimately, it is a solution humans are neither smart enough nor humane enough to choose. But it is a grand thought, that human beings would willingly step back from the precipice and start putting things back together again.
greygirlbeast: (Shah1)
The last two days have been a sort of...I'm not sure. Not so much a blur, as that implies they passed quickly, and they didn't. More like a smear. The past two days, I would say, are an utter smear.

I've begun a story called "The Jetsam of Disremembered Mechanics." I wrote 1,048 words on Friday, and only 685 words yesterday. I hope to do better today, as I presently have far too much to write to write this slowly. It doesn't help that I want to get started on The Wolf Who Cried Girl, but first I have to get through at least one short story. That leads me to have fears that I may not be giving the short story my full attention, or that I may rush it, and I am determined to do neither. Also, the Audible.com contracts were signed and sent back on Friday.

We've been reading Greer Gilman's splendid Cloud and Ashes. Last night, we finished the first section and began the second. I can't recommend this book strongly enough, even though I'm nowhere near finishing it. In fact, I've hardly begun. But the language and imagery are that amazing.

---

Back to the bit about the smear of the past two days. I think most of it can be blamed on World of Warcraft. Which is what I've been doing, mostly, when not writing. Our copies of the "Wrath of the Lich King" expansion arrived very late on Friday (thanks to an anonymous benefactor), just before dark. After the 3+ hour installation, we both rolled Death Knight characters, Morskalíi (me) and Morsophelia (Spooky) based on our Draenei alts (Kalíi and Ofelija, respectively). And I have to say this first...wow. Yes, the Death Knight "starting area" is beautiful, and suddenly, after more than a year on WoW, we found ourselves caught up in a game that was not only addictive, but intriguing and well-designed. Ebon Hold, Death's Breach, the attack on the Scarlet Crusade, Havenshire, and New Avalon, the climactic battle at Light's Hope Chapel, all of it was, for the most part, splendidly handled. We played far into the night (well, morning) on Friday (actually Saturday), until after 4 a.m. Then, last night, went back in and played the last part, ending up with the trip to Stormwind to beg for acceptance into the Alliance (and get pelted with rotten bananas). So, yeah. Cool.

However, I must also say that I was extremely disappointed that the whole thing only lasted about three levels (55-57). I was just getting the feel for it, when Darion Mograine turns on the Lich King and tosses the cleansed Ashbringer to Tirion Fordring (who do they pay to come up with these awful names?). Here I've created a character, devoted to the Lich King, and the whole thing is over after about six hours of gameplay. Sure, we still have a new character class, and now there's all of Northrend to play...but that's not the same. I actually spent much of the evening last night just tracking down and slaughtering the Scarlet Crusade, as Morskalíi, because, in my mind, she'd refused the betrayal of Arthas and was still devoted to the original cause of the Death Knights.

But, for me at least, there's a much bigger problem here. When I announced on Friday evening, via Facebook, that we'd received "Wrath of the Lich King," someone commented that by Monday we'd have Level 70 Death Knights. And I thought, well, probably not, but we'll see. Now, though, after playing 55-59, I can't imagine bothering to level Morskalíi any higher. Sure, she's probably the coolest looking character I've ever made, and the spells and weaponry of the Death Knights are great. But the leveling largely involves grinding through quests I've already played, and, more importantly, I simply do not have the free time* to devote that much of my life to WoW. I can't imagine anyone does (though, obviously, millions do). I'd rather go back to Shaharrazad (who, I suppose, is my "main") to finish up in Outland, then head for Northrend with her and Suraa (Spooky's "main"). It seems to me that WoW depends far too much on players who are willing to sacrifice gigantic swaths of their lives to repetition. I'm not in a situation to do that, even if I wanted to...and I don't. So, yeah, I wish the actual Death Knight portion of the game could have gone on at least ten levels. It was grand, watching people shriek and cower and run about in terror at the very sight of you. For once (after more than a year) the battle actually felt like a battle, and the "evil" actually felt like "Evil." Sadly, the end result is nothing much more than a weird paladin/warlock hybrid alt that I haven't time to level. I would even go so far as to say the defeat felt hollow— Mograine's epiphany and all us falling into step behind him —and running off to Stormwind begging for sanctuary...bah. Though I may never play her again, Morskalíi will continue her private war against the Scarlet Crusade, the Forsaken, and humanity in general, as she seeks reunion with her true Master, the Lich King. My alts will make their own moral decisions, thank you very much.

So, no Level 70 (or 80) Draenei Death Knight for me. And Blizzard gets points for the wonderful job they did with those three levels, but I'm taking half those points back for not stretching it out a bit more and finding a more satisfactory way to divorce the Death Knights from the Lich King, if, indeed, that had to happen.

---

Okay. Enough of this nonsense. Time to work.

* As it stands, time played with Shaharrazad equals 30 days, 20 hours, 5 minutes, and 50 seconds (over the course of about 14 months). So, more than a month. For Morskalíi, I played a total of 7 hours, 43 minutes, and 45 seconds (over the course of two days). I cannot help but wonder at all the ways this chunk of my life might have been better spent.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
At some point this morning, I dreamed of finding a very small plesiosaur vertebra, no larger than a quarter. It was jet black, and I could tell that the vertebra was from a very young plesiosaur, as the articular facets of the bone were so poorly ossified. Later, I dreamed of a concrete pond filled with baby sea turtles, and I held one in my left hand.

Yesterday was mostly a reading day, a day when there seems to be little else but reading. We finished Robert Silverberg's Nightwings (1968), in preparation for this next story I have to write (I'm shelving the zombie story, "(Dead) Love Among the Ruins" until later in the month). I signed the contracts for the Audible.com editions of five of my novels (those go back in the mail to NYC today). I finished the crossword puzzle in the November '09 National Geographic, and then began the one in the October issue. For dinner, Spooky made pizza with basil and sausage and soft white lumps of fresh mozzarella cheese. Late last night, I read to Spooky from Greer Gilman's ([livejournal.com profile] nineweaving) Cloud and Ashes. Those were, I think, the best parts of yesterday.

And today, I have to write. I'm thinking I need to do a minimum of 1,200 words a day almost every day for the remainder of the month. Then I will only be behind.

Please consider pre-ordering The Ammonite Violin & Others if you have not already done so. And don't forget that the numbered edition (limited to 300 copies) comes with the chapbook "Sanderlings."

Time to make the doughnuts....
greygirlbeast: (Kraken)
Cold in Providence this morning, but also sunny, and it's much colder elsewhere.

Yesterday, I realized that a week of December had passed and I'd accomplished "nothing" but the editing, design, and layout of the "Sanderlings" chapbook. I still have to get the Next Novel started, produce Sirenia Digest #49, and write a story for a Subterranean Press anthology, all of this ideally before December 31st. These are the sorts of realizations that lead to panic.

Anyway, I began a new piece yesterday, a sort of zombie love story (played straight, not for comedy), which was inspired in equal parts by Robert Browning's "Love Among the Ruins" (1855) and Edward Burne-Jones' painting of the same name (1893-1894; also inspired by the Browning poem). I am presently calling it "(Dead) Love Among the Ruins," unless I decide that's too obvious or corny or whatever. This is only the second time I've tried to do "zombies," sensu Romero et al., for the digest, and we'll see how it goes. I managed only 470 words yesterday.

I'm beginning to think that the Next Novel will be titled The Wolf Who Cried Girl (though I've written a short story of the same name; the novel and short story would have nothing much in common).

My great thanks to Karen Mahoney for very kindly sending me a copy of Greer Gilman's ([livejournal.com profile] nineweaving) Cloud and Ashes (Small Beer Press; 2009). I started reading it late last night. I heard Greer read from it at ReaderCon this past July, and it is brilliant, truly. The sort of brilliant I may aspire to, but know that I will never achieve.

I do have some good news for everyone who's ever asked about the availability of my books in an audio format. Audible.com is buying audio rights to Threshold, Low Red Moon, Murder of Angels, Daughter of Hounds, and The Red Tree. I do not yet have release dates, but I assume it will be sometime in 2010.

That was the best of yesterday, really.

Last night, I had a minor seizure while in the tub, the first that's ever happened while bathing. And then there was insomnia, which kept me awake until sometime after 4 a.m.

Anyway...now I'm going to go play with dead things, and maybe hang some pictures.
greygirlbeast: (chi3)
So, this is what happens when a) you use Benadryl to wean yourself off Ambien and b) wind up addicted to Benadryl, instead. Then c) we run out of Benadryl, and d) Spooky forgets to get more Benadryl. I might have gotten five hours of very fitful, nightmare-stained sleep, beginning sometime after five a.m. Blegh. I'm about to drink all the coffee on earth to see if that will at least pry my eyelids open (yes, I'm typing with my frelling eyes shut). Fortunately, I decided yesterday to take today off, so at least I don't have to lament the writing that I won't get done in the next twelve hours.

See. Spooky just looked at Sophie and said, "The kettle says 'toot,'" and I said, "The cow says 'moo'?" That's how delirious I am.

Anyway, yesterday I finished "Untitled 13," the alien whorehouse vignette. It only took an additional 610 words (for a total of 1,839), and I'm relieved to say that I'm quite happy with what has turned out to be a very different bit of writing for me. I read it to Spooky yesterday afternoon, then to Jim and Hannah last night, and the response has been entirely favourable. I'm pretty sure that someday this piece will become a longer story. I felt the same way about some of the Frog Toes and Tentacles pieces. "Ode to Katan Amano," for example. One thing that people who subscribe to Sirenia Digest are going to be privy to is some of my more experimental work. I probably never would have tried "Untitled 13" if I'd been writing it for a print editor, and it's a shame that the strictures of market lead us, sometimes, to avoid certain approaches or material. Now, all that remains to be written for SD #1 is a prologue sort of thing. Then it's back to work on Secret Project B (again, again, again) and Alabaster.

By the way, Hannah isn't really Hannah's name, but she'll understand why I'm using Hannah. Confusion must be avoided.

Anything else about yesterday? Friends over for dinner (see above) and we did the Vortex. I was briefly so annoyed with our anorexic oh-so-edgy gothabilly waitress that I wanted to gouge her eyes out — but the urge passed. Spooky and I watched the 144 minute "making of" documentary on The Devil's Rejects DVD. Oh, the mail brought me a very wonderful piece of artwork by the late Frank Kelly Freas, courtesy David Kirkpatrick. It's now residing on the mantle in my office.

How about some frelling e-mail? I think I'm awake enough to handle an e-mail.

Dear Caitlin-

I was just curious as to whether or not you had ever considered releasing your books in audio format?  I have recently discovered the joy of spoken word novels and would be utterly thrilled to find a copy of one of your fantastic books for sale in audio form as I can only imagine the strange and amazing dreams that might be provoked by listening to your words as though a twisted fairy tale were being read at my bedside. Please let me know if you have any plans, now or in the future, so that I might be on the lookout for what I would consider an amazing gift.

Thank you Sincerely, J.P.

P.S. — I am a huge fan and own every copy of your novels and short story collections that I can get my greedy hands on (paperback and hardcover limited editions)!


Presently, I have no plans to release anything to audio. As far as my novels are concerned, Penguin always buys the exclusive audio rights. They've just never seen fit to actually publish audio editions. But I could still, in theory, release audio editions of my short fiction and novellas. When The Crüxshadows came through town last month, Rogue was asking me this very same question and offering to hook me up with some good recording people. But I'm not entirely comfortable with my reading voice. He suggested that someone else read the stories (this suggestion has been made before, when I said I didn't like my voice), and who knows. Maybe in the future. It's one of those things that's bound to happen sooner or later. I'm actually kind of glad that there haven't been audio editions of the novels, as I don't want to think about anyone getting abridged versions. Aren't most audiobooks abridged? I don't listen to them myself, but that's the impression I have.

Spooky wanted me to remind everyone that the old mailing address — P.O. Box 5290 — is no longer valid. Now it's P.O. Box 5381. Same post office. Same city, state, and zip. Caitlín R. Kiernan, P.O. Box 5381, Atlanta, GA 31107. I haven't yet been able to change it on Blogger because something's frelled with their ability to republish large blogs and the old address is in the template. So, once again: P.O. Box 5381, not P.O. Box 5290.

I've added a copy of Aberrations #27 (my first fiction publication) and Candles for Elizabeth (out of print, my first chapbook) to the current eBay auctions. Yesterday was the first time that I've actually looked at CfE in, I don't know, a long, long time. It very much encapsulates where I was and what was going on with me in the mid '90s. Have a look. Bid. Thanks!

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greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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