greygirlbeast: (white)
He couldn't make a sentence stand up and be noticed if he put Viagra in the ink.

---

This the the sort of entry people do not like to comment on.

As this journal enters what I expect to be it's final three months as an entity that will be updated daily, my chief regret is that I have always held so much back. And that I have to continue to do so, probably, even now. From the beginning, I wanted this to be a blog where I talked about what it's like for me to be a writer, and, as much as I have been able, I've done that. But there have been many, many times when my hands have been tied by the politics of the industry. That is, I could say something true, true and useful to anyone with thoughts of trying to become a published author. But, as with all other arenas of human endeavor, publishing is ruled by politics, and telling the truth can be detrimental and even suicidal.

All writers lie about writing, and they do it for various reasons. But one reason that writers lie about what it's like to be a writer is their fear of repercussions that could end their career. Same with speaking openly and honestly about the work of other authors. To be able to do this would be immensely useful to anyone with aspirations in entering this shadowy realm. All those naïve wouldbes. But I've never been in a position to do this, to take those risks, and for that I apologize. Looking back, it's among those most valuable insights I could have imparted. I'll have to settle for old, familiar warnings such as Hic sunt dracones or, perhaps more appropriately, Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate.

---

As for my daily activities, writing and not writing and whatnot, the last couple of days that sort of thing has taken a backseat to getting the "teaser" trailer for The Drowning Girl out there. Let me see what I can now recall.

On Wednesday, I wrote 1,018 words on a piece for Sirenia Digest #73 called "Blast the Human Flower." Yeah, a lazy bit of titling, but not an inappropriate bit of titling. It may or may not stay on the finished vignette. I can recall nothing else of significance, or that's especially interesting, about Wednesday. Oh, we finished Season Six of Law and Order: Criminal Intent. How's that?

On Thursday, I awoke to the news that Penguin (Roc/NAL) had made on offer on Blood Oranges, and I spent part of the day discussing that with my agent. Nothing more was written on "Blast the Human Flower." I fucked off and left the house, and Spooky and I ended up at the Trinity Brew Pub, where I indulged in hot wings and beer. I don't often drink alcohol anymore (my meds), but I had a pint of their very excellent Belgian saison, made with a new variety of New Zealand hops. When I do drink beer, I want good beer. Later, Varla – my Sith Assassin – made Level 20.

Yesterday, we went to an early (1 p.m. CaST) matinée of David Fincher's adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and it's very, very good. Truly. And Trent Reznor deserves another Oscar for the soundtrack. The cover of Bryan Ferry's Is Your Love Strong Enough by How to Destroy Angels in exquisite, and, for that matter, the opening title sequence alone is almost worth the price of admission. No writing again yesterday. I don't think I've been slacking off; just too much anger and depression. Okay. Bullshit, no matter how I feel, I've been slacking off, and it ends today. Last night, I didn't get to sleep until after five a.m., sitting up late reading stories by Michael Shea and a very good piece by Kim Newman, "Another Fish Story." I don't usually care for Newman, but I did like this one.

And that, in a nutshell, is the past three days. Oh, except I've been watching documentaries on the Mars Polar Lander, cosmic collisions, and "ancient astronauts" (I'm ashamed to admit that last one, but sometimes we learn a great deal about good science by watching the crackpots who have no clue when it comes to methodology, reproducible results, outlandish claims, anecdotal evidence, and critical thought). There are some photos from Thursday, below, behind the cut. Oh, I did want to mention that in the next day or two, we'll begin a series of auctions on eBay which will include souvenirs from the shoot back in October and also a copy of The Drowning Girl. I'll announce those as soon as they go up.

Okay. Gotta go write.

Hands Tied,
Aunt Beast

5 January 2012 )
greygirlbeast: (Pagan1)
A blessed Samhain, and a Happy Hallowe'en.

Comments! Please.

This morning, I fully understand what it means to "wake up on the wrong side of the bed." Not my usual state of affairs. In some ways, this is worse than the dreamsickness. I woke about 10:30 ayem, after getting to sleep about 4:30 ayem. My throat was so dry I couldn't swallow and could hardly breathe, so I went to the kitchen to swallow something wet and rehydrate the raisin that slumber had made of my esophagus. And there in the fridge was a baking dish covered in aluminum foil (I always want to type "tin foil"). I stood there, trying to figure out what was hiding under the foil – without actually having to look. And then I realized it was the remaining two turkey drumsticks (id est, tibiotarsi) from the four Spooky baked on Wednesday evening. In the chaos of the weekend and the freak nor'easter, they'd been forgotten. At least one (and maybe two) turkey's had sacrificed their legs, and we couldn't even be bothered to have the decency not to waste them. I stared a moment, went back to bed, laid there a short while, unable to stop thinking about the wasted turkey legs, hungry people, murdered turkeys, and got up again. See, thing is, we don't waste food. Anyway, that seems to have set the tone for the day.

I was thinking a thought, but now I can't recall what it might have been. Thank you, meds. Really, I could stop taking this toxic shit. But then Spooky would murder me. Thank you, dear sweet filthy world.

---

And, I REPEAT: Okay, here's some news, so perk up those ears. I've been sitting on a secret for many, many months, and many of you know this. On November 2nd, there will be some manner of revelation, and on November 9th, all will be revealed. That's Wednesday, and then the next Wednesday. The NSA has agreed to declassify the files, and the MiBs will go public. The gag order will be rescinded. Some of you will not hear the news here first. Machineries are in motion that are far greater than am I. But...I believe there will be a lot of happy campers among you, and I think the wait will have been worth it. It's worn me ragged, keeping this secret. Feel free, today, to speculate!

---

Yesterday, I wrote 1,288 words on "Latitude 41°21'45.89"N, Longitude 71°29'0.62"W." I thought I'd finish it yesterday, but there's more to come. Also, sadly, I'm no nearer to a seeing a human body with lines of latitude and longitude. But...there went my train of thought again. Choo choo. Um. Oh, yeah. Sirenia Digest subscribers will be getting something very strange and special this month. Well, unless you hated Silk, in which case you'll just be getting something...very strange.

By the way, I would so totally fuck Tom Waits. True fact.

Meanwhile, it's not too early to preorder The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. On the other hand, it might very soon be too late order a copy of Two Worlds and In Between. Snoozers are frequently losers. Or they pay too much on eBay. Or settle for crappy Kindle editions.

A great line from The Log of the Sea of Cortez: "An ocean without its unnamed monsters would be like a completely dreamless sleep." Oh, to ever write a single sentence that sublime.

Also, if you cross the path of Rose Tyler today, do not fucking mistake her for Britney Spears or Christine Aguilera, or lasers will shoot forth from my bloodshot eyes, and those lasers will find you, no matter where you might be hiding. Respect the Companions, or die.

And Heineken? Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!

Oh, and here are photos from early, early, early on Sunday, as the nor'easter struck our street (struck, street – cute), and one from the next day (for some reason):

30 October 2011 )


Irascible,
Aunt fucking Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Of all my nightmares, there is one that is the worst. Even my nightmares of nuclear apocalypse pale by comparison. It came to me this morning, that worst of all my dreams. And now I'm trying to put it away.

Yesterday, I wrote 973 words on "The Prayer of Ninety Cats." It was a day of very, very slow and meticulous writing. This is probably a more ambitious short story than I needed to take on just now. Maybe it's my way of coping with not having gotten the Mars story written.

I got the news yesterday that A is for Alien has sold out at the publisher. Which pleases me, and means, among other things, that we will now be offering it on eBay soon.

The weather has turned cold, and I'm supposing the first real snow's not too far off.

Last night, I tried Dogfish Head's Chicory Stout, and was truly, truly impressed. And I'm a stout snob.

Oh, and before anyone mentions it, I am very skeptical about Catherine Hardwicke's forthcoming Red Riding Hood, despite the involvement of Leonardo Dicaprio and Gary Oldman. For one, Hardwicke directed the first Twilight film, and for another, there's a lot of crap in the trailer that looks tailored to the paranormal romance/shifter crowd. Oh, and there's Billy Burke's absurdly anachronistic haircut. That haircut causes me pain. It hurts. I'm also annoyed at the articles calling this a "bold new take on 'Little Red Riding Hood,'" because it certainly isn't a new take. So, yeah, we shall see.

And do, please, not forget that today is the Twelfth Annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Some portion of yesterday's sour mood (let's say 24.8%) followed from my having thought I'd lost a tiny silver ankh ring that I've worn on the pinkie finger of my left hand since it was given to me by Jada in 1990. That's twenty years or so that this ring has hardly ever been off my hand. And night before last, I realized it was gone, and figured it was gone for good. But Spooky found it at the foot of the bed yesterday, not long after I posted the entry. I rarely find the things I lose, so it was a huge relief.

Today I have to write. My grand plan of doing 1,500 words a day, every day of the month, is a grand failure. The whole thing was thrown off by my inability to write the Mars story, and the glumness that followed. But here it is the 18th, and the writing has to resume. I've got to write "The Prayer of Ninety Cats" for Sirenia Digest #61, then get back to work on The Drowning Girl. I still have 13 days left in the month. That's a lot of words, if only I stop fucking off.

Yesterday, the weather was warmish and blustery, a very beautiful day, and we crossed the river to College Hill. Somehow, we'd both managed never to visit St. John's Churchyard (formerly King's Cemetery, prior to the Revolutionary War). It's a very small graveyard, located between Benefit Street and North Main. Poe visited it on occasion, and Lovecraft mentions it in "The Shunned House":

I have reared a marble urn to his memory in St. John's churchyard— the place that Poe loved —the hidden grove of giant willows on the hill, where tombs and head stones huddle quietly between the hoary bulk of the church and the houses and bank walls of Benefit Street.

HPL also wrote a poem (an acrostic sonnet), "In a Sequester'd Churchyard Where Poe Once Walk'd." There are graves there dating back long before the Revolution, all sheltered by a gigantic poplar tree, which was still filled with yellow leaves yesterday. There were bright red maple leaves blowing down from a yard above the cemetery. We copied inscriptions and picked up bits of pottery. We found a penny from 1969. An old ivory button. It's a solemn, comforting place, largely hidden from view. The wind was chilly, and the sky was filled with great puffs of cloud, grey-purple below and brilliant white on top. Anyway, there are photos behind the cut, below. It was a good day, and getting out of the House, and going where we went, helped to clear my head.

Last night, with dinner, we had a bottle of Dogfish Head's Pangaea, which I bought back in March just because I couldn't pass up an ale named for the continent of Pangaea. Plus, it's brewed with Antarctic water. Anyway, the bottle got tucked into a cabinet in the pantry and mostly forgotten. But last night, it was finally consumed. Quite good, too.

And now, it's time to make the doughnuts. There are hungry bears in South County.

Gravely yours,
Aunt Beast

17 November 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Still overcast, but warmer today. Oh, wait. I see a glimmer of sunlight.

Yesterday, I wrote 847 words and found THE END of "At the Reef." I don't know why I've been referring to it as "On the Reef," because that's not the title.

Last night, we were planning to go to AS220 to see Brown Bird play (with three other bands), but after the writing, and a bath, and dinner, I discovered I was too tired to get dressed, much less leave the House. It pissed me off. But I can't be surprised. I just wrote two short stories (or vignettes, I'm not sure) in seven days. Not to mention the usual background writerly work. So, anyway, I wound up in bed, too exhausted to do anything but read and moan about being so old and tired. Oh, and then I slept like crap last night.

At least we can still see Brown Bird in November, when they open for Raspuntina's upcoming Providence show. Maybe I won't be exhausted that night. I am truly in love with Brown Bird. I want to marry this band and have their children.

---

What did I read? Three more stories from [livejournal.com profile] ellen_datlow and [livejournal.com profile] nihilistic_kid's Haunted Legends: Carrie Laben's "Face Like a Monkey," Gary A. Braunbeck's "Return to Mariabronn," and John Mantooth's "Shoebox Train Wreck." There is a truly sublime line from the latter. "The dead really don't haunt the living. The living haunt the dead." One of those lines I wish I'd written. But I didn't. I can only admire the skill of the author who did.

This anthology's getting some weird reviews, people complaining because, they say, it purports to be a book of ghost stories, but some of the stories aren't ghost stories. Now, to begin with, Haunted Legends doesn't claim to be exclusively a collection of ghost stories (sensu stricto). The theme of the book is actually urban legends. At the very top of the cover is printed "Local legends and ghost stories..." Note that "local legends" comes first. That said, many of the stories actually are ghost stories, more than I would have expected from an anthology for which the authors were asked to write stories based on urban legends, and not specifically ghost stories. Book reviewers who can't bother to read the books they review need to stop reviewing books.

---

Today I wish I could stay in bed. But I need to address the copyeditors queries for "The Collier's Venus (1893)," which will soon appear in [livejournal.com profile] ellen_datlow's Naked City anthology. And answer email. And read over and correct "And the Cloud That Took the Form" and "At the Reef." So, yeah. Work. The platypus is a harsh mistress.

Congratulations to William Lindblad of Plano, Texas, who won both my items in the KGB readings benefit auction.

As I write this, the podcast poll stands at 97.3% in favor (143 votes) and 2.7% (4 votes) against. The four who voted against did an admirable job of explaining why they voted against my doing podcasts. Most likely, I'll do one at some point in the next few weeks and see how it goes. And then figure out if I'll make a habit of podcasts.

---

Harlan Ellison is selling his first typewriter, a beautiful old Remington. As I said on Facebook yesterday, Harlan has done me many kindnesses and was a tremendous influence on my own work. I consider this typewriter invaluable, but would happily pay five times the $5,000 it has been insured for, if only I had that sort of money. If only I were a wealthy woman. I can only hope it goes to a museum or collector who appreciates its value and will care for it.

---

Last night Spooky pontificated on the relative merits of various brands of pumpkin ale. Me, I don't drink the stuff, but she loves it. She decalres Dogfish Head the best, and Wolaver's the second best, but isn't impressed with Smuttynose (despite the cute seal on the bottle). I think she's indifferent towards Saranac. She says, "It's weak."

A quote now from yesterday's entry: Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, as nothing has changed since yesterday. That is, the IRS hasn't decided we don't have to pay taxes, after all. That is, they haven't sent back the check Spooky wrote. Speaking of Spooky, I reiterate, all those cool Halloween thingumies in her Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy shop will be taken down come November 1st.

Last of all (until the next entry), though I love WoW, I'm sickened by the kids (at least, I hope they're kids) who spew "faggot" and "queer" and "gay" and "homo" over the various chat channels, employing these words as though they are the worst imaginable insults. They swamp the chat channels with this shit. It's almost enough the make me quit the game. I've disabled almost all the chat channels, and I mute the individuals. But still. Are gamers today, as a group, really this homophobic?
greygirlbeast: (river2)
This morning, or afternoon, as it does appear to now be afternoon, I am not entirely sure how or why I wound up getting somewhat drunk on black and tans at The Vortex late last night when I'd only meant to have a cup of Starbuck's swill...er, I mean coffee. Blame Ms. Lee. Especially since she seems to hold her liquor better than I do. We were talking about chakras and insanity, ethneogens, drag queens and Dragon*Con, sex and magick, and all of a sudden I was too drunk to walk home. She had to call Jim and Spooky to come and get us. In all fairness, though, yesterday must stand forever as one of the most perplexing, trying, and utterly inane excuses for a day that I've yet to have to live through. And now my head hurts, and I recall doing some sort of Nebari battle cry on the front porch at ohmygodthirty in the a.m. and it's a wonder no one called the cops, so that must be why my throat hurts. Now I'm trying to write out the tangle in my head, so that, hopefully, I can write some actual prose later today, because I sure as hell didn't get jack shit written yesterday (thank you very much, She Whose Name Will Never Be Spoken Here Again, amen, amen).

Proceed to the end of the beginning of the New Age of Me. Do not pass go. Do not collect two hundred dollars.

I'm sober now, and I have this need to sort through a number of "truths," so that later on, when the next dark day comes (as it surely will), I can look at this and try a little harder not to lose my shit. For instance, on the one hand, I seem to be a very good judge of people, but on the other, I have an astounding talent for befriending and trusting wolves in sheeps' clothing, finks, liars, weasels, stealth psychopaths, and pond scum. You know who you are, and you know who you aren't. Or maybe you don't, but it's not my problem anymore.

Sometimes, as Thomas Covenant reminded us, infections have to be cut out. Or, as Oatsie Mangehand would say, "It's only the next thing, it's not the last thing. Let's get through this, fellow."

For example. Somehow, no matter how many times you find yourself frelled up the ass by carelessly accumulated falsehoods masquerading as longtime friendships, cynicism and isolationism are still cop outs.

I could go on and on and on and the maudlin display might never end. But my head is killing me. And I really do have to write today; Spooky has to deal with eBay, tend to the grouchy, diabetic cat, feed the hamster, clean the house, fix the toilet, ad infinitum, but I have to write. Grateful thanks to those who helped us through yesterday and will help us through today and tomorrow. Now...where's my pointy stick? Move along. There's nothing here to see.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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