greygirlbeast: (walter3)
Awake until four ayem, and then I slept until noon. Which means enough sleep, more than usual, but I hate waking up this late. At least, though, we are past the part of the year when, even with CaST to help out, the darkness comes so insanely early.

I am choosing not to speak on the subject of Osama bin Laden's death. My thoughts on the matter are complex, and I see no need to burden the internet with them, or to spend an hour writing it all out.

Sunny out there today, sunny and the new leaves glowing brightly under the blue sky.

---

Yesterday, I wrote a very respectable 2,259 words on "The Carnival is Dead and Gone," and thought I'd found THE END. Then, late last night, it occurred to me that I may have sounded entirely the wrong note there at the last. So, the first thing I do today is go back and do a bit of tweaking to the last two or three paragraphs. Also, yesterday, I proofed "The Crimson Alphabet," which will come as a free chapbook with copies of the limited edition of Two Worlds and In Between. I exchanged emails with [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy about the book trailer for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Oh, and there was email from [livejournal.com profile] blackholly, which was a bright spot in the day.

For our Beltane dinner I made a lamb stew, which came out very, very well (I do say so myself), which we had with chicory stout, a freshly baked loaf of pain de campagne, and honey. Afterward, I did a little ritual work at the altar. Nothing fancy. It was a good Beltane, even without a roaring bonfire and what have you.

Later, we watched the latest episode of Fringe, then the second disc of the latest season of Weeds. Never has a series so literally lost direction and gone off wandering nowhere in particular. Truthfully, Weeds should have ended at the end of Season Three. The end of Season Three would have made very good ending. A very important part of telling stories is knowing when you've reached THE END, and not continuing in just because you're being paid to do so. Any story may be stretched out indefinitely; none should.* Anyway, later there was a tiny bit of Rift, and we read more of Under the Poppy.

---

Please have look at the current eBay auctions! Thanks.

---

And here's the second set of photos from Saturday's trip to the Blackstone River Gorge in Massachusetts:

30 April 2011, Part 2 )


* In large part, this is why The Dreaming was such an awful idea from the get go. The Sandman said almost everything worth saying, and, after that, it was mostly footnotes. I love reading footnotes, and writing them. Few other people do.

Beltane '11

May. 1st, 2011 01:37 pm
greygirlbeast: (Pagan1)
A happy and fine Beltane to all who wish to be wished a happy and fine Beltane. Winter is behind us, and now for blazing fires and blazing days.

Five hours sleep last night. The latest drug regimen has been helping me sleep the last week or so, eight hours a night two or three nights in a row. So, last night it was a surprise. It was just after six ayem when I finally got to sleep. The sky was the lightest shades of daylight. I covered my head, and pretended it was still night, which helped.

Yesterday was a day off, and it was a good day off. We left the house about 2:30 p.m., and headed north, through Woonsocket to Millville to the Blackstone River Gorge. We lingered briefly at Rolling Dam (aka Roaring Dam). The safety line strung with red pontoons had broken free, and there was damage to a portion of the spillway. I'm guessing it happened when the ice broke up. When we visited in February, the river above the dam was frozen. Also, there was a maple in the water that must have only just gone down, as the branches were filled with reddish sprouts. Then we headed out to the Gorge itself, which lies downstream (to the southeast) of the dam. We've never done the hike, though there and back is only a little more than a mile (depending which trail you take). We climbed to the top and gazed down into that dark tannin-stained water thirty or forty feet below, listening to the rapids, stared into the tops of trees beginning to come back to life. When we left Providence, the sky was cloudy, overcast, but the sun came out about the time we reached the dam, and I was able to take off my sweater and scarf.

In a hollow between slabs of Devonian granite, we found a boggy place that proved to be the remains of a very old garbage dump. Late Nineteenth Century or older. Heaps of glass, brick, ceramics, ornate china shards, shattered jugs, lead nails, shreds of hobnailed boots...it would be a fascinating place to dig, but the park forbids it. Not far past the dump, we found a wide sandy place by the river. I spotted something in the water downstream, which I at first mistook for ducks. However, the disturbance turned out to be two otters (Lontra [?=Lutra] canadensis) frolicking in the shallow, slow-flowing river. I'd never before seen otters in the wild. Various other mustelids, yes (skunks, mink, weasels, etc.), but never otters. We sat and watched them for a about half an hour. They were maybe a hundred yards from us, at the most, and we did most of the watching through a 10x42 monocular. They breached and dove, rolled, and swam swiftly, sinuously, along just below the surface. The air was filled with birdsong. And were actually heard a Pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus). It was truly wonderful, and the cumulative effect of yesterday was to lead me to resolve that the stagnant age of sitting at this desk all the time, whether I'm working or not, is over. I'm missing the world, the world I used to live in, the wild.

Part of this, of course, is that, thanks to meds and exercise, my Lousy Rotten Feet have improved dramatically over the last year and a half. I don't even really need the stick anymore. I used it during yesterday's hike, because the ground was so uneven and heights were involved, but, usually, I leave it at home now. Anyway, there are a few photos from yesterday behind the cut, below, and I'll post more tomorrow.

---

And this month, the selection for Aunt Beast's Book of the Month Club is Under the Poppy by Kathe Koja (Small Beer Press, 2010). This is such a marvelous book. Koja has become such a very brilliantly polished author, and here she treads territories that have rarely been done justice. There's a faint whiff of Angela Carter. But yes, there's our novel for May.



---

We played far too fucking much Rift last night, mostly questing out of Perspice. The highpoint had to be escorting Kayfax, a talking cat, as it tracked trolls. Kayfax decided that Selwyn and Miisya would make very fine pets, and so we were referred to as "pet." Selwyn made Level 35, and Miisya made 36.

Ah, and by the way. Back at the beginning of March, I vowed to make at least one blog entry every day for four months. I didn't want to jink it by announcing it until I was well in. And now I've made it halfway.

And that's all for now. Have a fine first day of May, kittens.

Springy,
Aunt Beast

30 April 2011, Part 1 )

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.

Beltane '09

May. 1st, 2009 12:15 pm
greygirlbeast: (Pagan1)
A happy and fine Beltane to all who wish to be wished a happy and fine Beltane. I was just looking at my entry from this day one year ago, and there's something from that entry that I'd like to repost:

For a long time, I could not allow myself to involve choice in matters of belief, as I held belief back for objective science and material concerns. I did not see how one could ever choose to believe. Partly, the epiphany simply required a different perspective on things I've been saying for years. The Cosmos (=tripartite goddess/horned god/divine adrogyne/etc.) may, in my veneration of it, assume any form. It contains all forms within it that can be realized or conceived. It hardly matters if I "worship" Brighid or Mórrígan or Aphrodite or Kali. They are all merely attempts of a conscious being to sum up an incomprehensible and nonconscious universe. They may, perhaps, each function like characters in a novel, avatars that grant access to the story of existence. It does not matter if they are not factual in their existence, as their existence is true, if they are true in our minds. If they contain within them useful truths, as is the way with all myths. It is not their objective existence which makes them useful avatars, but their subjective truth, what these deities mean to each of us. For me, this is the heart of Neopaganism. Designing ritual and godforms to function as conduits between conscious organisms and the remainder of the Cosmos, which is generally a nonconscious entity.

This is still pretty much where my head is, though I've added Panthalassa ("all seas") as my primary "deity." Which is to say, I may look to and venerate the Mórrígan, and Hecate, and Demeter, and Cernunnos (and a small host of others), but the concept of Panthalassa acts as a sort of godhead, freed of any connotations of gender or consciousness, morality or anthropomorphic form. Panthalassa is, by definition, a vast, impersonal, and almost inconceivable force. Anyway, yeah, I'm still getting better about belief as choice. And, by the way, this is what works for me, I'm not the least bit evangelical in my paganism, excepting where the beliefs of others attempts to infringe upon my day-to-day life or my ability to practice witchcraft as I've chosen to practice it.

---

Yesterday was just about as tedious as expected. The image behind the cut, multiplied by a whole bunch, will give you some idea:

Yesterday )


We read back over "At the Gate of Deeper Slumber" and "The Peril of Liberated Objects, or the Voyeur's Seduction" (formerly "Untitled 34"), and I made lots of line edits to both. I wrote the prolegomena for Sirenia Digest #41. I did the layout on the issue, and realized that we really need to do an article on Virgil Finlay. When the issue was all nailed together, I sent the files off to Gordon ([livejournal.com profile] thingunderthest) to be PDF'ed. And then we read through Chapter 3 of The Red Tree, which got us to page 138 of the page proofs. And that was yesterday.

By now, all subscribers should have the new issue of the digest. Just let us know if you didn't get it. I'm pleased to have included Sonya Taaffe's ([livejournal.com profile] sovay) poem, "The Coast Guard," in this issue, along with the two new stories.

And now..well, it's Beltane. I'll do no more work than I have to do.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Just something quick before dinner. We spent the next to last day of the vacation up at Salem and Marblehead, and I'll say more about that tomorrow, most likely. Just wanted to repost the links for:

Emma the Beltane Bunneh

and

the current eBay auctions.

Spooky says that she'll be summoning Great Bunthulhu next. You've been warned.

Oh, and here's something...


greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
What happens when Spooky decides to make a bunny in the weeks immediately preceding Beltane? At last, that question has been answered. I present, Emma the Beltane Bunneh! Please note, Emma is most definitely not fluffy.

Also, Microsoft has confirmed my suspicions that the true purpose of the interwebs is to disseminate fraudulent advertisements...er, I mean, spam. To be precise, "...a full 97.3 percent of email traffic [sent during the second half of 2008] was unwanted spam (or malicious email like phishing attacks and outright viruses)." But the good news? That's actually down from "...98.4 percent of all email sent" in the first half of 2008. Progress!
greygirlbeast: (fry1)
By now, everyone who is a subscriber should have Sirenia Digest #29. It went out about 11:30 p.m. last night. It would have gone out earlier in the evening, but there was a slight hitch (Spooky forgot to attach the file, which is funnier today than it was last night). Comments are welcome, especially as regards "Concerning Attrition and Severance."

Today, I'll finish "Rappaccini's Dragon" for Sirenia Digest #30, and then, tomorrow I get a day off, the first in eighteen days, I think. And then I'll finish up the ms. for A is for Alien and get back to The Red Tree.

And now it is May again, and Beltane. Last night, there was something I wanted to write out about how I've come to view choice as regards belief and paganism, but now it's mostly slipped away from me. For a long time, I could not allow myself to involve choice in matters of belief, as I held belief back for objective science and material concerns. I did not see how one could ever choose to believe. Partly, the epiphany simply required a different perspective on things I've been saying for years. The Cosmos (=tripartite goddess/horned god/divine adrogyne/etc.) may, in my veneration of it, assume any form. It contains all forms within it that can be realized or conceived. It hardly matters if I "worship" Brighid or Mórrígan or Aphrodite or Kali. They are all merely attempts of a conscious being to sum up an incomprehensible and nonconscious universe. They may, perhaps, each function like characters in a novel, avatars that grant access to the story of existence. It does not matter if they are not factual in their existence, as their existence is true, if they are true in our minds. If they contain within them useful truths, as is the way with all myths. It is not their objective existence which makes them useful avatars, but their subjective truth, what these deities mean to each of us. For me, this is the heart of Neopaganism. Designing ritual and godforms to function as conduits between conscious organisms and the remainder of the Cosmos, which is generally a nonconscious entity. Anyway, it went something like that, and today is Beltane.

A beautiful first day of May. The sun and all the green. It's 75F outside. The holly bush below the kitchen window has a nest of fledgling robins.

I did not leave the house yesterday, which makes five days straight, I think. I wrote the prolegomena, did everything else that needed doing to pull the digest together. We finished the chili Spooky made on Monday. I got no packing done.

Some good roleplay last night. I am shifting away from trying to functon in large roleplay communities (such as Toxia or the late, imploded Dune sim), in favour of rp with a small group of individuals with an especial talent for it (and no, I haven't forgotten the "Sirenia Players": just let me get moved to Rhode Island, and I'll get that going). This way, I avoid the idiots and all the noise and strife that idiots bring. Last night, well, we were in 1920s New Orleans, a beautiful house with a grand piano. A street car rattling past outside. There was Paganini and a game involving truths and falsehoods, and blows from a walking stick, and blood drawn with obsidian sharp nails. A game, and a dance, and a cold tile floor. Sublime. Oh, and I also began planning the pterosaur exhibit for the new and expanded Palaeozoic Museum in New Babbage.

I was in bed by two ayem, so good for me, and asleep shortly after two-thirty, with is even better. Today, the moving guys are coming to look at all our furniture and junk and give us an estimate on the move. I'll slip out to Starbuck's or the park or someplace until they're done.

Another amusing Nick cave quote: "A man without a mustache is like a woman with one."

The platypus is grinding beans, so I guess that means I should wrap this up. The wheel of the year turns...
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Happy Beltane, if you are so inclined. I have lived to see another May. Another winter's gone.

Yesterday was all work, and today it's sort of a blur (thank you, dreamsickness). I signed the signature sheets for The Day It Rained Forever, and those should go back in the mail to England today. Then I did the Edward Gorey interview, which was easier than I expected. I have gone on record as saying that my two favourite Edward Gorey books are The Loathsome Couple (1977) and The Insect God (1963). I'll post a link when the article goes up.

I got back to work on "The Ape's Wife," and was very pleased to discover a way for the story to proceed that allows me to keep those pages I wrote back in April. The meeting with D went very, very well, and now it's time to actually start writing the screenplay for "Onion." Also, the final round of revision notes relevant to the Forced and New Consolidated marches arrived yesterday, so the dreaded rewrite is now imminent.

Last night, we watched Alan J. Pakula's The Parallax View (screenplay homework), which I'd somehow managed never to see. I liked it a great deal, and realised I like quite a few Warren Beatty films, even though Warren Beatty sort of makes me itch. I forgot to mention that Saturday night we watched Martin Campbell's remake of Casino Royale and loved it. This is the James Bond film I've been waiting for. I was already a fan of Daniel Craig's, and he moves through Casino Royale like the second coming of Steve McQueen.

After midnight, we attended to our modest Beltane ritual. It did not involve the stove or wooden spoons, I am happy to say.

We've begun reading The Children of Húrin, which looks likes it's going to be a delight. My grateful thanks to Rachel Keane for the early birthday present. Because it is May. And May is the month when -2 becomes -3 — May 26th, to be perfectly blunt — and surprises in the mail help to take the sting away.

If you haven't yet received Sirenia Digest #17, please e-mail Spooky at crk(underscore)books(at)yahoo(dot)com right away. I hope readers are pleased with this issue. "Night Games in the Crimson Court" is one of those stories that began life as one sort of idea, and turned out to be something almost entirely different. It was good to be with Scarborough and Saben again, even knowing how it all turns out for them farther along. And I was very pleased to be able to offer a new story by [livejournal.com profile] sovay, especially since it's steampunk, which I hope she will write more of in the future.

And now for an announcement: I have reached the point where I desperately need a web guru. Mostly, I need someone to handle the website and my MySpace page, and I need that someone yesterday. I can't pay, except in books (Roc, subpress, etc.) and a free Sirenia Digest subscription. This someone I need should be skilled in web design, Photoshop, etc. and have the time and enthusiasm necessary to get the initial job done and then handle the day-to-day upkeep. Anyone interested should e-mail me at greygirlbeast(at@)gmail(dot.)com as soon as possible. The more experience, the better.

Okay. It's 12:22 p.m. here in Atlanta, and the platypus says it's time to make the doughnuts.
greygirlbeast: (grey)
By now, Sirenia Digest subscribers ought to have #17, which Spooky sent out at about one a.m. this morning. However we had at least five bounces, so if you are a subscriber and you have not received #17, you should promptly e-mail Spooky at crk(unnderscore)books(at)yahoo(dot)com. I'm very pleased with how this issue came together. Comments encouraged, as always.

Yesterday was sort of a day off. But not really. Byron called about 11:30 and we joined him for "brunch" at Grandma Luke's. Yesterday was Byron's birthday. He has not yet reached the dreaded -0, so it was not a day of mourning for him. I had blueberry pancakes. Yum. Spooky had the banana bread French toast, which she says isn't nearly as heavy as it sounds. I am not accustomed to being out and about so early (or eating such huge breakfasts); the whole thing was sort of weird.

Otherwise, yesterday was spent finishing up #17 and getting it off to [livejournal.com profile] thingunderthest for PDFing. The part of the day I didn't spend resting and having half a day off. Last night, we finished re-reading Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five, which impresses me more with each reading. It's that sort of brilliant.

And here it is the day before Beltane. Perhaps I'm missing the spirit of the thing, the liberty of isolation, but I find being a "solitary practitioner" of Wicca incredibly annoying. But. And on the other hand. I have intentionally steered clear of covens, because I know I would only piss everyone off after they exchanged the favour (or whatever). Ah, but to be in Edinburgh tonight, where they do this sabbat up right. Spooky proposed we set the four burners on the stove to high and dance about it naked, waving wooden spoons. Likely we shall not.

My thanks to [livejournal.com profile] sovay for pointing me to a positive mention of Daughter of Hounds in STLtoday.com, which is the website for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. An article (or column, I'm not sure); "Genre Fiction" by Dorman T. Shindler. I was especially pleased that Mr. Schindler notes that Threshold and Low Red Moon are "not so much prequels as novels linked by characters and theme." Anyway, you can read the whole of the article here.

Today I have to do the Edward Gorey interview, and I have a meeting with D at 5 p.m., so I have to go over all my notes on the "Onion" screenplay again. And I need to get "The Ape's Wife" started. There are also the signature sheets for the PS Publishing edition of The Day It Rained Forever, which I need to sign. They arrived here on Saturday, and Bradbury has already signed them.

A peculiar dream this morning. Turned out, I'm not the alien. Rather, I'm one of the last surviving earthlings, and almost everyone else (including Spooky) are the aliens. But I'm not buying that for a second.
greygirlbeast: (earth)
Yesterday we did only a single chapter, Chapter Six. It has a title, but not one I like or intend to keep, so it's best considered presently untitled. Soldier and Odd Willie trapped in the warrens beneath Woonsocket, Soldier as a child being led up to the attic of the yellow house on Benefit Street. And now the Zokutou whatchamadoodle looks like this:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
404 / 691
(58.5%)


With luck, we'll make it through chapters seven and eight today. At this point, counting today and the day the ms. is supposed to be back in NYC, I have only fourteen days remaining before it's all pumpkins and mice again. And I shouldn't count the day it's due back, even though I am being allowed to e-mail the edited ms. back to Penguin. So, less than two weeks.

As we've been reading the novel this time, Spooky and I have been playing the "casting the movie" game. Here are our picks and blank spaces, our dream cast (so far) for a Daughter of Hounds film adaptation:

Emmie Silvey (eight years old) — uncast
Soldier (as adult) — Katee Sackhoff
Soldier (as child) — uncast
The Daughter of the Four of Pentacles — uncast
Deacon Silvey (now in his fifties) — Steve Buscemi
Sadie Jasper (now in her early thirties) — Clea Duvall
Odd Willie Lothrop — uncast
Saben White — uncast
The Bailiff — Jim Broadbent
Madam Terpsichore — Alice Krige
Sheldon Vale — uncast
George Ballou — Wilem Dafoe
Esmeribetheda — uncast

Hmmmm. I'd thought we had fewer blank spaces than that.

We had a very pleasant Beltane. We picked flowers late in the day. A huge feast for dinner and then the ritual around eleven p.m. During the ceremony we had blueberry cornbread and fresh, locally grown strawberries with lambic ale flavoured with black currants. I'll post the text of the ritual later, behind a cut, if anyone's interested. Still, I wished we could have been out on a field or a wood or on a beach somewhere, a bonfire and all. Ah, well. Someday. Someday, we'll see the Edinburgh Fire Festival, which is Beltane frelling done right. This afternoon, we'll take the last of the ale and bread and a few of the berries to the two oaks, the ones I posted a photo of earlier, the ones from my dream.

And now we have now reached that dread part of the year when May 26th looms vast and ugly on the horizon, and I'm beginning to fear that -2 will be an even traumatic birthday for this particular nixar than was -0, and, you know, gifts always seem to help to soften the blow. Should you be so inclined, there's this Amazon wish list thing.

Hold on, platypus. I'm coming....

Profile

greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

S M T W T F S
    1 234
56 7 891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
26272829   

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Apr. 30th, 2017 03:08 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios