Ostara '10

Mar. 22nd, 2010 12:59 pm
greygirlbeast: (Pagan1)
The sun is hidden by clouds today, and it's cooler again. Not cold, but cooler. Though I find that the longer I live in New England, the more liberal I am with my definition of warm. When I left Atlanta, my comfort threshold was somewhere between 75-80F. These days, it's dropped to something more like 55-60F. Acclimation, I suppose. I think the cooler weather bothers me quite a bit less than the "delayed" return of green. Anyway, yes, the clouds and rain are back, and it's Ostara.

Yesterday was an exceptional writing day, in terms of word count. I did 1,718 words on "Houndwife." I'm thinking I'll be able to finish the story tomorrow or Wednesday. Yesterday's biggest surprise (if a story fails to surprise me, I see no reason to be telling it) was learning that not only is "Houndwife" a sort of sequel to HPL's "The Hound" (1922), but that it's also tied to my own "Les Fleurs Empoisonnées" (2001), one of the Dancy Flammarion stories. Turns out that during her childhood the narrator of "Houndwife" met one of the Ladies of the Stephens Ward Tea League and Society of Resurrectionists and...well...you'll see. If you're a subscriber to Sirenia Digest. Anyway, I didn't see this coming at all. I've not thought about Miss Ararmat's bunch since I wrote "Still Life" for Tales from the Woeful Platypus in October 2006.

I was reading back over old entries this morning, old entries for this date, and I was especially pleased with what I had to say on this day one year ago, regarding my feelings towards competitiveness. None of this has changed, except that it's become even more true than it was a year ago.

Last night, Spooky and I watched the new episodes of Spartacus: Blood and Sand and Caprica. I grow ever more impressed with the latter, and it occurs to me belatedly that I should be looking at the plot and characters with an eye towards parallels in Greek and Roman mythology.
greygirlbeast: (Starbuck 3)
1. Sirenia Digest #51 went out last night, so if you're a subscriber, you ought to have it by now. I've already gotten some nice comments on "The Eighth Veil."

2. All of yesterday was spent pulling #51 together, all the tedious stuff I always save for the last minute. So, not much to report, workwise. I could, of course, describe it in minute detail, but it would only amount to a pornography of banality.

3. Have I mentioned how much I'm enjoying Caprica? Well, I am. It's just exactly the sort of "prequel" I think BSG needed, the "How did it come to this?" thing, and not just another round of space opera. I think anyone who's spent far too much of his or her life in an MMORPG or, more especially, Second Life, will be especially appreciative of what the show's doing.

4. The insomnia continues. I was up until sometime after five, then pretty much awake by nine or nine thirty ayem. I lay in bed last night (which was really this morning), waiting for the Ambien to take effect, writing in my pencil-and-paper journal. There were dreams I know better than to try and recall. It's bad enough recalling how they felt, without remembering the specifics.

5. Here are the last few pictures I'm going to post from Monday's trip to Conanicut Island. These were all taken from Fort Wetherill and West Cove:

22 February 2010, Part 3 )
greygirlbeast: (starbuck2)
Yesterday...I wrote. I don't know how many words. Less than a thousand, and that took all day. The good news is that my editor for "As Red as Red" has kindly consented to extend my deadline by a few more days, so perhaps I will actually be able to finish this story. The bad news is that this means "As Red as Red" is going to start eating into time that needs to be spent working on Sirenia Digest #40, and my next day off lies somewhere in early April. I'm trying hard not to look at the big picture. I'm trying to get from one day to the next, and that's about all. Baby steps. No grand plans. No foresight. It just locks me up these days.

Our latest round of eBay auctions will be ending this evening. I'd be grateful if you'd have a look, and bid if you are so inclined and able. There are copies of two subpress chapbooks, The Little Damned Book of Days and Mercury, a copy of the mass-market paperback of Daughter of Hounds, and a PC (author's) copy of the numbered hardback edition of The Five of Cups. I don't have a lot of these left, and I can pretty much guarantee that this is a book that will never see print again. Please have a look, and thanks.

The weather here remains very cold, 31F at the moment, but the wind chill has it feeling like 20F. It's sunny, but, somehow, that only makes it worse. Most of my life, March has been the month when the world goes green again. I'm having to learn to think of it as the end of winter, not the beginning of spring.

Last night, we watched the last three episodes of Battlestar Galactica. I'm going to withhold any detailed commentary until sometime later, after I'm certain that everyone's had a chance to see the finale. I will say that I was very pleased with the conclusion. I still feel like the series was at least a season too long (season three, I'm thinking). But the ending pleased me. Sure, I have scientific quibbles, but this is space opera, not hard sf. If I fixated too much on the bad science, I'd never have been able to make it through the series premiere, much less all the way to the story's conclusion. The story being told and the characterization outweighed the bad science, which is what good space opera does. It's not about the nuts and bolts, or how well the writers can handle physics, astronomy, engineering, biology, and what have you. It's about telling a good story with the trappings of sf. I would say that's what Battlestar Galactica managed to do. I was especially pleased with the first hour of "Daybreak," which I suspect I'll watch again and again, but the second half also managed to hit a lot of good buttons. I was even pleased with the way the writers handled the "god" problem. A shame that the "SyFy" channel is apparently embarrassed by the likes of Battlestar Galactica. Or rather, embarrassed by the viewers it attracts.

Time to make the doughuts. So say we all.
greygirlbeast: (Starbuck 3)
You know your insomnia has wrought unspeakable ill upon your person, when your girlfriend forbids you to look in mirrors. I got to sleep sometime between 2:30 and 3:00 ayem, then woke at 8:45. After hardly sleeping the night before. And I was a lot more awake at 8:45 than I am right now.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,005 words on what I hope to fuck all is the beginning of "As Red as Red." I'm running out of month. And I still have Sirenia Digest #40 to get out, when this short story is finished.

---

My disdain for the Sci Fi Channel is no secret. After the cancellation of Farscape, I refused to watch for a year or two, then only went back for Battlestar Galactica and Doctor Who (the latter is not actually a SciFi produced series, of course). The former SFC vice-president, Bonnie Hammer, went so far out of her way to alienate the channel's core market, and launched such insulting attacks on the people tuning in...well, I wasn't sure it could get much worse. Wrong. Which is to say, "Sci Fi Channel Aims to Shed Geeky Image With New Name." Yes, the SciFi Channel will now be the SyFy channel. And you know why? In the words of Dave Howe, president of the Sci Fi Channel:

When we tested this new name, the thing that we got back from our 18-to-34 techno-savvy crowd, which is quite a lot of our audience, is actually this is how you’d text it. It made us feel much cooler, much more cutting-edge, much more hip, which was kind of bang-on what we wanted to achieve communication-wise.

So, there you have it, kiddos. Ys are quantitatively cooler than Is. I suppose this means that it's time to change my name to Caytlyn R. Kyernan, so I can be so much cooler and more cutting edge and txty and all that shit. Anyway, you should read this article. It'll make your brain cramp. I think David Howe actually makes me miss Bonnie Hammer.

---

Speaking of things that make your brain cramp, let's say you were to join a Second Life roleplay group with the following charter:

"We are seekers into the mystery, dedicated to the discovery, rediscovery, and preservation of ancient and occult knowledge. We serve no master or mistress but this one purpose. In all matters concerning the world beyond the AI, we maintain a stance of inviolable and absolute neutrality. We do not take sides. We do not offer aid or shelter. We do not interfere. We are one and many. We seek the Truth, and shall hold no creed nor take any action contrary to our mission."

Now, having joined, having read that charter for such an esoteric and clearly self-centered order, would you then dare feel somehow justified at expressing righteous indignation upon learning that the group doesn't take sides, or offer aid or shelter? That it doesn't help blind old ladies cross streets, or sell cookies to send kids with special needs to summer camp, or run a kennel for stray dogs, or give good homes to fucking orphans? Oh, and do keep in mind that the order's founder is a vampire hailing from the Tzmisce sect, and, in earlier times, she was known as Countess Báthory Erzsébet, and La bête du Gévaudan, and Jack the Ripper? Never mind that she might also have been responsible for the Tunguska explosion in 1908 (and yeah, those last two sentences are surely geektastic enough to send David Howe of the SyFy Channel running for cover, lest he be stricken with unhip, unsalable paroxysms of mortal fucking agony). I'm just asking, you know? Because my tolerance for stupid is scraping bottom this morning.

Is it just me, or are people far less ashamed of looking foolish than they once were? I think it's becoming a badge of honour.

---

Please have a look at the new ebay auctions. We have a copy of The Five of Cups up, and keep in mind, this is one of the last of these I have to sell. Thanks.

Tomorrow I am banning all Is from this blog. Because, you know, then I'll be, like, way cooler. And make more money. And stuff.

Oh...I have some more photos from our trip to the Common Burying Ground in Newport on Monday:

16 March 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (Eli3)
Too much sleep last night, and how often do I get to say that? I'm groggy, but from sleep, not insomnia.

Days off, I end up with all this random crap, instead of actual journal entries. Day like these, my journal entries must consist of the random crap that floats through my days, or they will consist of nothing at all. To wit:

Yesterday, I read back over "Ode to Edvard Munch," before sending it off to the editor of By Blood We Live, a vampire anthology from Night Shade Books that will be reprinting the story. Reading it again, I realized (again) that sometime between the writing of Low Red Moon and Frog Toes and Tentacles —— so between 2002 and 2005 —— I quite suddenly became a much better writer. I don't know how it happened. I didn't do it on purpose. I followed no conscious agenda of change. It just happened. My style was greatly pared down. My voice simplified. My descriptions became more precise. My dialog became sharper. I learned to do much more with much less. It seems to have just happened.

Also, yesterday, while reading through "Ode to Edvard Munch," Spooky found a royalty check for $300 tucked inside a comp copy of The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance. The check is dated August 18th, 2008. And this, kiddos, is why I have to have a keeper, and why I cannot manage my own finances. I wonder how many checks I've mislaid over the years. A very small fortune, probably.

---

Friday evening, I was listening to WBRU, the college-rock station out of Brown University. The music's pretty good, but the DJs are insufferable. Anyway, Friday evening I heard two of them —— one male, one female —— trying to figure out what the word cretin means. Finally, after much debate, they achieved consensus on a definition. Cretin: a small, horned demon, sort of like an imp. And no, they were not trying to be funny. That much was obvious. And I thought, This is fucking irony.

---

Lots of "television" last night (which is to say, shows streamed via Spooky's laptop). The latest episode of Battlestar Galactica, "Someone to Watch Over Me," was very, very good, though I wish it could have ended on the scene with Starbuck at the piano, just after she played the bit of "All Along the Watchtower." I can't believe it's almost over. Well, it's not, really. The feature film is slated for a 2011 release date. We also watched a decent episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. It was good to get back to Cameron, though I can do without that horrid kid that plays John.

And after that, we played WoW, killing alien bugs in Silithus for the druids of Cenarion Circle, which just feels all sorts of wrong to Shaharrazad. Working for night elves, I mean. I've been sitting at Level 62 for...I have no idea. Let me check. Since February 19th, as it happens. I haven't been playing much WoW. And when I have, I've mostly been mining. Indeed, after giving Shah a second profession, mining. I discovered that I was enjoying "the mining game" much more than all that questing and leveling nonsense. Last night, my blue bar moved for the first time since the 19th, I guess. Anyway, the bugs in Silithus were so obviously modeled after the bugs in Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers (1997), it got me to wanting to see that ridiculous film again. So we stopped playing WoW and streamed it from Netflix. Quite an odd film, odder even than I remembered, though the creature effects have aged well.

---

I have resolved that I will now cease to read reviews of my writing. And I mean not only "reviews" (that is, readers "reviews" on Amazon, "reviews" in blogs, and so forth), but, also, actual, professional, published reviews. They almost always annoy me, even the positive ones. I cannot hope to make everyone happy. Hell, most times, I can't make me happy. Reading those reviews never changes the way I do what I do even in the least, with the exception of the review in Locus of The Dry Salvages that almost made me stop writing sf forever. So, I'm going to spare myself a lot of grief and stop reading all reviews of my work, period. No exceptions. Not if I can help it. So, please do not send me links to them online, or point me towards them, or whatever. I am cultivating disinterest and detachment. I am trimming away stress.

And I think that's all for now. It's warmish Outside, and Spooky says I can't stay in all day.
greygirlbeast: (wrath)
A rather remarkable 1,885 words yesterday on "The Bone's Prayer," for Sirenia Digest #39. Though, I will admit, a bit of that was me discovering that the "sea's daughter" fragment I posted here a couple of days back fit into a dream sequence. I'll finish the story today. Also, I have to reformat The Red Tree ms.——something about the copyeditor——and send the newly formatted ms. to my editor tomorrow.

We have snow again here in Providence.

I am letting it be known that I'm taking most of March off. I'm overworked, and I've hardly slept the last two or three weeks. There were two severe seizures in February, one on the third and another on the eighteenth, and I know that, in part, this is due to my work habits. I've not taken a day off in the last eight, and won't be able to stop until the digest goes out. In March, I'll attend to Sirenia Digest and whatever I can't avoid regarding The Red Tree. But that's all. I have to try to rest, get better, clear my head, and spend as much time Outside as possible, and see people. Real, actual people, not the virtual sort. I have to try to reassemble myself. If I could afford more than one month, I'd be taking it, but that's all the breathing room I have, and I don't really have that. I'm just taking it. If I reach a point where the exhaustion makes work impossible, I've defeated the purpose of working. So, I might be scarce in March. Or, I might make lots of posts with photos of interesting places. We'll see.

Some decent Hulu last night (I can't really say "television"). First, the new episode (new for me, anyway) of Battlestar Galactica. "Deadlock" wasn't nearly as good as "No Exit," but still, not bad. The new episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles was actually quiet good. One of the best. Smarter than the show is usually willing to allow itself to be, in terms of narrative structure. We didn't suffer another episode of Dollhouse, though. It's just too disheartening. If, at some future date, someone can show me that the series somehow overcame the dullness that marks the first two episodes, I'll give it another try. Knowing that Joss Whedon is capable of storytelling on the order of Firefly, I cannot bear to watch the dull morass of Dollhouse.

Time to make the doughnuts.
greygirlbeast: (starbuck2)
A heavy snow again this morning. It began sometime in the night, or, rather, the pre-dawn hours after we went to bed (a little after three ayem). I am beginning to think there will be snow all winter.

Yesterday, after the journal entry, Spooky and I discussed what should be covered in the epilogue of The Red Tree and what should not, and how the presence of the epilogue will effect the novel, and, indeed, whether or not there should be an epilogue at all. I made notes. The epilogue is meant, along with the preface, to bookend Sarah Crowe's narrative, conveyed by the manuscript published after her death. The prologue is written by the book's fictional editor, who had been Sarah's editor. The epilogue would be written for a second edition release of the novel, by someone who has spent several years investigating the validity of the manuscript, its origin and authorship, the legend of "the Red Tree of Barbs Hill Road," and the possibility that the entire matter is a literary hoax.

We talked, and I stared out the office window, and I made notes. Finally, about 2:30 p.m. (CaST), it occurred to me that I needed to see Moosup Valley, where the story is set, in the snow, and it was a seemingly valid excuse to escape the house for a few hours. I'd not been out more than ten or fifteen minutes, all told, since the Great Extraction of January 10th. Spooky agreed, we quickly dressed for the bone-chilling cold, and left the house about three o'clock.

Here in Providence, the snow quickly becomes ugly, as it does in any city, I would suppose. But it's beautiful beyond the city's borders. There were clouds moving in from the south and west, and the sun was a dim blot that offered no heat whatsoever. We followed 6A to 102, passing through Chopmist and other towns whose names I can't ever recall. The Scituate Reservoir was frozen over, as were all the other lakes and ponds we passed. The woods were stark, brown and grey slashes against all the white. The town of Moosup Valley is located about twenty-six miles southwest of Providence, near the Connecticut state line. I'd not been there since the early summer. We stopped a while in town, and I took some photographs, mainly of the snow-covered cemetery. There were boys playing hockey on the small pond behind the cemetery. After Moosup Valley, we folowed Barbs Hill Road south towards Coventry before heading back home.

Last night, we watched the latest episode of Battlestar Galactica (thank you, Hulu), which I'd rank as one of the best in the series so far.

And now, I need to work, and try not to be distracted by the snow. If you've not yet ordered A is Alien, I do hope that you will please take a moment to do so. Thanks.

January 17, 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
Today, Ray Harryhausen is 88 years old. 1920 all the way to...here. To now.

Yesterday, I did 1,349 words on Chapter Two of The Red Tree, which made it quite a decent writing day. I think I'm coming to that point where the book begins to build the momentum that will carry me to THE END. And yes, all the fears and doubts are still here with me, but the story grows louder, so they become harder to hear, harder to feel. The critics and reviewers and "reviewers" will say what they will say. My agent and editor will react as they will react, and those reactions are beyond the realm of my control. The novel will sell better or worse than Daughter of Hounds, and there's almost nothing I can do to influence which it will be. I have only one part in this affair. I create the book, and send it out into the world.

I have ideas, I think, for the two vignettes for Sirenia Digest #32 (July). I suspect I will not get to them until late next month, which gives them a good long time to steep, to brew.

In all ways, yesterday was better than the day before. It was, by and large, unremarkable, as most good writing days tend to be. I did get my contributor copies of Realms: The First Year of Clarkesworld Magazine (Nick Mamatas and Sean Wallace, eds.). A truly beautiful book, which reprints (first time in actual print) my story "The Ape's Wife" (voted best short story published by Clarkesworld in 2007, by the way), along with pieces by Holly Phillips, Elizabeth Bear, Jeff VanderMeer, Cat Rambo, Catherynne Valente, Ian Watson, and many others. You should pick up a copy. After the writing, Spooky and I hung pictures until we were too hot and sweaty to hang pictures, and we stopped and played a couple of games of Unspeakable Words. I did an hour of rp in Second Life while Spooky fixed dinner (thank you, Larissa). After dinner, we watched the mid-season "finale" of Battlestar Galactica (via Spooky's laptop), "Revelations." Wow. That was worth the wait, and the episode's ending rather knocked the breath from me. Were I the creator, I would have been sorely tempted to allow that to stand as the ending for the entire series. Later, I carried a table down into the basement, and took some photos down there. Richard Upton Pickman would adore our basement. I'll post some of the photos tomorrow, maybe. Anyway, then I did some more rp in SL. It was a night of oddly sad rp. [livejournal.com profile] omegamorningsta caught onto the fact that the Nareth/Labyrinth thing is meant to parallel the Fred/Illyria dichotomy (from Angel, Season 5), and that pleased me. Though, Fred was a far, far better person than Nareth, of course. Hell, I'm not sure Nareth was ever a person of any sort, really, which changes the equation a bit. Anyway, that was yesterday.

It's hottish here in Providence. Presently 89F, though the projected high was only 87F. Without ceiling fans or air conditioning, 89F in the place feels like 95F. The theromstat says it's 80F here in the house, but it feels quite a bit warmer in my office. There should be rain this evening.

Anyway, time to make the doughnuts.
greygirlbeast: (dr10-1)
Oh, if only I had magical coffee, the coffee that bestows instant and perfect wakefulness, and eternal youth. That coffee. No, I just have this milky brown water.

Er...yeah.

Yesterday morning, Spooky took the following two photos (behind the cut) of me while I was trying to wake up. They should give you some idea of the disassembly of the hole where I hide...I mean, the office. Fold it all up. Stick it a box. Send it a thousand miles northeast. And hope this is the last big move, ever.

Waking in an Empty Office )


Yesterday, I wrote 1,138 words on Chapter One of The Red Tree. Good pages. I think I'm finally beginning to find my way into Sarah Crowe. And after the writing, there was, of course, packing. Sorting through a mountain of papers and such atop my file cabinet (visible in the first photo, packed or discarded now) and on a shelf. But the good news is that Byron showed up about 6:15 pm, and we went to the Vortex for dinner. Moose was our waiter, which is always good. Afterwards, back home, we watched the final episode of the 9th Doctor's run, "A Parting of the Ways," because I found myself needing Christopher Eccleston. And then there was Martha Jones in the new episode of the current series, and then a particularly good episode of Battlestar Galactica. Good enough that even the commercials didn't ruin it for me. Afterwards, I spent a little quiet time in New Babbage (Second Life), mostly just sitting in the Great Hall of the Palaeozoic Museum, listening to a recorded thunderstorm (on Radio 3, Bratislava), unwinding, contemplating future exhibits. Later, Miss Paine (Spooky) showed up, and we walked down to her pie shop in the Canal District, on Bow Street. There's a room upstairs I rather love.

And after that little bit of Second Life, Spooky read to me from House of Leaves. That most frustrating chapter, at least for me. XVI. The examination of the wall samples, following the "Evacuation" of the house on Ash Tree Lane. But most of the data recovered by Mel O'Geery's Princeton lab, the knowledge of the age and geological composition of those walls, has been lost, replaced with XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, because Johnny placed a leaky fucking jar of ink on that stack of pages. And pages went missing at the publisher. And, on the one hand, every time I read the book, this section drives me mad, and on the other, this is Danielewski doing it exactly right. He taunts with hints of answers, then pulls back, lest the mystery be dissolved in mere fact. When Spooky got sleepy, I read some of Chapter 7 ("Osborn, Nature, and Evolution") of the Henry Fairfield Osborn biography. At 2 ayem, I turned off the lights and drifted down to the dreams.

Spooky's taking Hubero to the vet at 2 pm, to have him checked out before the move, and to get him a bottle of kitty Valium.

Oh, and I should post this again, because the sale price of $12.99 is good until Monday:

Reynolds/Washburne 2008


And, also, 350.org.
greygirlbeast: (blood)
I do not want this journal to become a whining catalog of my physical infirmities. But when those infirmities have a direct bearing on my ability to think, to work, to sleep, to fucking write, the one concern overlaps the other. Things that I have always considered too personal to place in a public journal become central to my public endeavors. It has grown very confusing. What to say, what not to say. The worst seizure last night since October, probably, and it must have been about 3:30 or 4 ayem when it happened. Just hit like a jet plane landing inside my head, no warning, and then I was afraid to try to go to sleep. I was up until a little after six. The sound of the mockingbirds finally drove me to bed, and I slept through nightmares until about one, to wake feeling not the least bit rested. To wake feeling even more exhausted than when I fell asleep.

Seizure: "act of seizing," 1482, from seize (q.v.). Meaning "sudden attack of illness" is attested from 1779. Or, Epilepsy: 1578, from M.Fr. epilepsie, from L.L. epilepsia, from Gk. epilepsia "seizure," from epi- "upon" + lepsis "seizure," from leps-, future stem of lambanein "take hold of, grasp" (see analemma). Replaced the native name, falling sickness. Of course, my seizures are not exactly epilepsy, they're just pretty much indistinguishable from epileptic seizures.

More reading yesterday, more of the New England vampire book.

I do think, after looking over yesterday's comments, that I have resolved to make the protagonist of The Red Tree the same age as me, which will be -04 for most of the time I'll be writing the book. How far in the Pit has American publishing sunk when it's afraid of middle-aged and older characters? Afraid or simply disinterested. Whatever. I'll make the weird girl who lives in the attic of the house , the painter — who was going to me a man — a twenty-something. Maybe that'll make people happy. But I discovered, when I wrote "Salammbô Redux (2007)" last summer, that it was something I needed to do, writing older characters. So, there. Thank you for the comments yesterday. You tipped the scales.

Here's a cool little thing. Jeff VanderMeer writes about ghouls (and I get a mention, alongside HPL and Brian McNaughton), and there's a link to an article of the origin of HPL's ghouls (which are, more or less, my "Hounds of Cain"). Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] sovay, for bringing this to my attention.

Last night, a sort of half-hearted "Kid Night," we watched the last three episodes of the final season of Angel. Seasons Four and Five were really quite good. The series was just hitting its stride. Wesley's death and that final scene — marvelous, but it was a hard ending to take. And then we watched Battlestar Galactica, which was good, and gods, but I do adore Katie Sackoff. However, I think commercials really do this series grave harm. The suspense builds and is then deflated. I'll likely watch the whole series over on DVD when it's done. Later, some very frustrating Second Life, nothing to write home about.

I did not leave the house yesterday.

I'm going to go now and try to get some reading done.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Yesterday, I did a very decent 1,416 words on "The Wolf Who Cried Girl," but still did not find THE END. What I'd planned as a 3,000-word vignette, is now almost 5,000 words long and will likely go to 6,000 before I'm done. It was a case of the idea being bigger than I'd thought, hoped, intended. Pick one. But I refused to rush it, despite the frelling deadlines (technically, this is one of the frelling deadlines).

It's damp, cold, overcast here in Atlanta. Last night there was fog, and more rain this morning. Regardless, I hope to have a good walk this evening, as this whole not-exercising thing was, at best, ill-advised.

Last night, Spooky made a very delicious stew from the carcass of the turkey (adding tomatoes, celery, white onion, baby porta bellas, tons of garlic, bay, rosemary, sage, thyme, etc.). Then we popped into Miss Hyasynth Tiramisu's ice-skating social in Second Life, a mostly NeoVic and steampunk crowd skating to lots of synthpop, future pop, etc. I never learned to ice skate worth a damn in RL, but in SL, I've found it quite relaxing (and far less painful). Later, we watched Stanley Kramer's adaptation of Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee's Inherit the Wind (1960), one of those films that had a tremendous impact upon me as a preteen. Spooky had never seen it. Afterwards, we briefly returned to SL, as I needed to take care of some business at the Abney Park lab in New Babbage. That was yesterday, near as I can remember.

Commenting on yesterday's entry, Justine Musk ([livejournal.com profile] moschus) wrote, regarding those bizarre Quizno's "confimercials" that aired during Battlestar Galactica: Razor:

I am officially boycotting Quizno's for the rest of my life and encouraging all friends and family members to do the same because of those FUCKING. COMMERCIALS. Note to Quizno's and their ilk: people who watch a show like BG are not. fucking. idiots. Save that kind of shit for The Hills, okay? (I'm sorry. Do I sound bitter?)

Well, I can't boycott them, because I already never eat at Quizno's, but I was glad to see, poking about the interwebs this ayem, that lots and lots of other people were just as annoyed at those "Yes! It's true! Admiral Kane is a big ol' dyke! Now, go out and eat a large phallic sandwich!" spots as I was. Like I said, I wish I'd known the DVD would be out December 4th, then I could have avoided the obnoxious, homophobic Quizno's ads.

And getting back to Miss 박경범 in Korea's objections to the "malicious international cheat" that is my novelization of the Beowulf film, her allegations that I am "some rash story twister," I would just like to wonder if she is aware of the story's genesis? Which is to say, all we have of Beowulf is a Xtianized version of an obviously originally pagan story (likely concerning the clash between worshipers of Odin and the goddess Nerthus, a recollection of the defeat of the Vanir religion by Aesir-worshiping Danes). So, mind you, the story comes pre-twisted, courtesy some Xtian Anglo-Saxon monk, ca. 1,000 A.D. But, I lavish attention on an email that never warranted a reply to start with, so I shall now desist. It's just that this admittedly rather obvious question only just now occurred to me.

Have you preordered a copy of the Subterranean Press edition of Tales of Pain and Wonder? Well, it's still not too late. Also, the last Monday in November is a wonderful time to indulge in, say, a crisp new copy of Daughter of Hounds or Threshold or even Low Red Moon. Thank you.
greygirlbeast: (starbuck1)
Yesterday, I wrote 1,073 words on "The Wolf Who Cried Girl," and was relieved, as I only managed 333 words on Friday. I have also faced up to the fact that this piece intends to be a short story (albeit, a short one), and not a vignette. More on this in a moment. When I was done writing yesterday, after Spooky had read the story thus far, I emailed it to [livejournal.com profile] sovay, to get another opinion. She also likes it, so I guess it must be on the right track. However, because there are only so many days in a month, this vignette becoming a short story means that I'm having the change the line-up for Sirenia Digest #24 a bit. The "zombie love" vignette is getting bumped ahead to #25, and, instead, #24 will include "The Wolf Who Cried Girl" and the first reprinting of "The Pearl Diver" (which originally appeared in Lou Anders' Futureshocks in 2006).

I'm sitting here trying to recollect exactly when I gave myself permission to stop exercising. It must have been at least two months back, but it feels like six.

Yesterday, I received the following email from 박경범 in Korea (South, I assume). The subject line reads, "About the novel following the movie story!":

This is a very malicious international cheat. People at the country that teach Beowulf at educational courses can know that this is nothing but a twisted story and not the real beowulf. But at other countries, many people can know that the famous Beowulf is this twisted story. Beowulf is a masterpiece for all mankind, not can be ridiculed by some rash story twister. Please stop this international cheat. You should at least attach an adjective before the subject 'beowulf'. I am a writer in Korea. Wrote a novel about Beowulf.

So, I suppose that disclaimer I tacked onto the end of the novelization wasn't enough for some people. Or maybe it wasn't included in the Korean edition (though I'm betting it was). Either way, there you go.

Byron came over last night, and after we watched last week's ep of Torchwood, we watched Battlestar Galactica: Razor. Frankly, had I known the thing was coming out on DVD on December 4th, I'd have waited for the DVD and saved myself having to sit through all those Quizno's commercials. Anyway, that said, I thought it was quite good, better than most of the second and third seasons. I think I actually liked it enough to pick up the DVD, though I own none of the rest of the series. I can only hope the pacing and attention to character we saw in Razor is reflected in the series' forthcoming and final season (which begins here in the US in March).

If you have not yet pre-ordered a copy of the new 3rd edition of Tales of Pain and Wonder, I hope that you will do so soon.

All right, platypus. Looks like we have a story to finish.
greygirlbeast: (starbuck1)
We've gone straight from early spring to early summer down here. Days in the '80s. Spooky is not pleased.

Yesterday, because there was insomnia and Ambien the night before, was both slow and late getting started. I did eventually make it to the Woodruff Library at Emory — more research for The Dinosaurs of Mars (metallurgy, mostly, but also some other stuff, history and Native American archeology). On the way home, we stopped by Books Again in Decatur, having forgotten that they are closed on Sunday. Octavio was curled up in the windows, sunbathing, and all we could do was talk to her through the glass.

Last night, after a hurried dinner, we watched the first three episodes of Planet Earth on the Discovery Channel, "Pole to Pole," "Mountains," and "Deep Ocean" (this series aired in the UK in 2006, by the way). Superb. I was especially pleased with the way that images of humans and mention of humans was kept to a bare minimum (and then mostly as a cause of extinction or species/biodiveristy decline). We were given a view of the Earth in the late Cenozoic, free of those pesky hairless Fancy Apes, what Earth could be without humans. An Earth that at least seems unspoiled. Anyway, I do strongly recommend this series. There are still nine episodes to go, continuing with "Deserts" and "Ice Worlds" on April 1st. Then we watched The Dresden Files, and I was delighted to see Claudia Black, even if she was affecting some weird American accent. And then, of course, the season finale of Battlestar Galactica. I have to say that I think last night's ep ("Crossroads," Part 2) was one of the best of the whole series, and I actually cheered out loud at the last scene. Though I know that the SFC has greenlighted another thirteen eps, I would personally be satisfied had that been the series' conclusion. But you probably already know how I am about conclusions — less is always more. It makes me think that the series' creators knew they might not get a renewel and wanted to end the season in a way that would work as an ending for the series in a pinch, if it came to that. Seeing it last night, it made me wish the creators of Farscape could have done the same, and then that whole rushed, garbled wrapping-things-up mini-series (with which I have become increasingly annoyed) would never have been necessary. But yes, very, very good Battlestar Galactica, and now we have to wait until 2008 for more.

After all that television, we read more of Sweet Thursday, and I drew monsters, and Hubero pondered how one makes gold from lead...and why the sea is boiling hot...and whether pigs have wings.

Today, I will get Sirenia Digest #16 together, and it will go out to subscribers today or tomorrow. Vince sent the final version of his illustration for "In View of Nothing" yesterday, and it is eerie and gorgeous and perfect. I am very fortunate to have Vince along on this ride.

Also, I wanted to pass along this bit of news from Richard Kirk ([livejournal.com profile] richard_a_kirk), whom you will recall as the illustrator for Tales of Pain and Wonder, From Weird and Distant Shores, Wrong Things, and To Charles Fort, With Love:

Hi Everyone! Well after months of work, the images for my April show at the Strychnin Gallery in Berlin are now available for online preview. There are two places to do this, at the Gallery website under works for sale, or on my website, where I have posted larger format images. I'd love to hear your thoughts, comments and reactions.

The show opens in Berlin on April 13, 2007 and runs until May 9th. It is a two man show with artist Kris Kuksi. The opening reception will be on April 13th from 7pm to 11pm, if you happen to be in the area.


Okay. Yeah. I hear you, platypus. You don't have to raise your voice.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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