greygirlbeast: (white)
I think I have decided. Yes, I think I have. I shall not miss making an entry – at least one (1) LJ entry per day – between February 13, 2011 and February 13, 2012. Hell, that's only five and a half months.


A couple of quick links. First, in case you've not heard, the Lambda Literary Awards have gone fascist bullshit on us. Me, I've always been suspect of Lambda. I mean, come on. I've only been nominated once in almost twenty years! Anyway, no, seriously. Here's Rose Fox's response ([ profile] rosefox) , which is very good, and I'll try to add my own comments on this situation later. I will say that until/unless this is rectified, if by some freak chance I were to be to be nominated, I would decline the nomination, and would urge all other authors to do likewise.

Greer Gilman ([ profile] nineweaving) has insightful and interesting things to say on ebooks and ebook readers. I've yet to progress beyond audiobooks, though many of my books are available in various ebook formats (including illegal p2p files, but hey, we writers roll in the dough, don't we?). Still, I found Greer's comments enlightening and amusing. Maybe, when I get an iPad (it's become inevitable), I'll give iBooks a try.


Oh, I should note that [ profile] stsisyphus is a frakking genius, and has cracked the problem of the identity of X project. Alas, I should have known the secret could not stay secret forever. Last night he asked "Is the X-project related to the SGSC news...[?]" Wow. Dude. You figured it out. Yes, I am now working for the SGSC, better known as the Swine Genome Sequencing Consortium.


Yesterday, I spent many hours on X, which isn't a very satisfying report I know. I will say, it required that I write 1,690 words. That doesn't really make it any more interesting does it?

I also spoke with Subterranean Press some about Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. The story that was originally "Untitled 31" will appear in the collection as "Subterraneus," and the story originally titled "Untitled 33" will appear as “Fecunditatum.” Yeah, I was in a Latin sort of mood. However, "Untitled Grostesquerie" will appeared as "Untitled Grostesquerie." Also, I'm told that Two Worlds and In Between is at the printer, and should be out sometime next month.

Today, I begin work on a new Mars story for Sirenia Digest #69.

Oh, and I have discovered I am the oldest emo teenager on earth. Go me! Meanwhile, there was some very good Insilico RP last night, but, turns out, Grendel's more fucked over than she ever had been before. Also, though I love Joseph Campbell, do NOT follow your bliss, not if it leads you to attempt something you suck at; follow your actual abilities, and fuck your bliss, if it leads you to create dreck. And, with that, I must away. And remember, don't make me have to get all honey badger on your ass.

Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Walter1)
There's a glacier in the driveway.

Yesterday, I did 1,517 words on Chapter 5. As I said a few days ago on Twitter, I'm at least half serious about an author's note at the beginning, something like, Warning: This books contains lesbians and transsexuals, and they have teh sex— with each other —and they're treated like real people, not freaks, and there are no straight characters, just so the homophobic and transphobic whiners out there might be dissuaded from buying it and so whine a little less.

Spooky and I have decided to delay announcement of the secret project until tomorrow. There are still a few details to which she needs to attend. Which is fine, as more people read the blog on Mondays than on Sundays.

Last night, we got new Fringe, an excellent episode with Christopher Lloyd. And then we watched Po-Chih Leong's The Wisdom of Crocodiles (1998; also, unfortunately, known as Immortality). How I managed to overlook this film for thirteen years is beyond me. It only came to my attention a couple of days ago, thanks to a recommendation from [ profile] tsarina. I liked it quite a lot. Jude Law in a fairly artful and understated British vampire film. Also, it includes the phrase "a species of one," so now I can't claim to be the first to have used it.

On WoW last night, I saw a Draenei girl in a guild named "Awesome Lolly Muffin Men." Very likely the most peculiar guild name I've ever seen. I thought it must be a reference to something pop cultural, but, if so, Google isn't being helpful.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks.

And now, I'll leave you with a photo from last night, me and Hubero snuggling to stay warm (foreshortening renders my arm oddly stout):

22 January 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (The Red Tree)
The warmish weather went away last night, and today Providence is grey and cold again. Yesterday, I was able to leave the office window open until well after dark.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,181 words on the as-yet-untitled "Little Red Riding Hood" retelling (for Sirenia Digest #47). I had hoped to finish it, but that should be easy to do today.

And if you're local, remember that I will be reading from The Red Tree tomorrow evening at 7 p.m., at the Brown University Bookstore (244 Thayer Street, Providence, RI. 02912 - Phone: 401-863-3168 - Toll Free: 800-695-2050). This will likely be my last public reading from the novel.

The eBay auctions continue. Please have a look, and do bid if you are able and inclined. Thanks.


As longtime readers know, I'm not big on giving advice regarding writing and publishing. It's just not something that I generally feel comfortable doing. This is not a "how to" blog. Indeed, I've turned down stints as a writer in a couple of the more popular "how to" blogs, because I don't like proffering advice. Anyway, that said, I will say something painfully fucking obvious. I don't care how much you want to be a writer, or how avid a reader you may be. I don't care how much you network. If you are too lazy to be bothered to use (or learn) proper grammar and spelling, you're screwed. Give it up now, and save some poor schmuck a headache, one of the poor schmucks whose job it is to read slush piles and try to decipher submissions from "authors" who cannot be bothered with punctuation, capitalization, correct spelling, etc. Maybe the world is doomed to devolve into a den of textspeak and l33t and People Who Simply Can't Be Bothered, but it has not happened yet. And sure, if you want to bend the English language and experiment, if there is a method to your unconventional syntax, that's fine. After you actually learn the way the language works, then you can play Joyce and Faulkner. Sorry; I hate breaking my own rules. But I'm tired of seeing the blogs and Facebook messages of self-described writers and reviewers who are either illiterate or lazy, and who seem to think it's okay.


It occurred to me late last night, after discovering that Barney Frank is just another hysterical "transphobic" butt plug, that I'm sick of the whole -phobic/-phobia suffix thing. Because this isn't fear we're dealing with here. It's hatred, and I will no longer let people who hate me off the hook by playing along with the niceties of political correctness and pretending that they're, instead, afraid of me. We are not faced with "transphobia," or "homophobia." We are faced with hatred, and it's time to cut the crap and say so. Therefore, a new term is needed. Last night, I came up with "transmisia." "Transsexualmisia" would be more correct, but then, "homophobia" should be "homosexualphobia" (if my Latin is way, way off, someone please correct me). Sure. People often come to fear the things they hate, but it's hate at the forefront here, and it's hate that should be recognized and confronted. Yeah, lots of people will insist I have this backwards, that fear breeds hatred. I politely insist that they're mistaken.


Late yesterday afternoon, I took a break from the story and accompanied Spooky to the farmer's market at the Dexter Training Grounds. It was good to get out of the house for a bit, and enjoy the warm day. It was a fine, crisp autumn day. We got apple cider, a jar of habanero relish, and a jalapeño for the chili Spooky made for dinner. All from local farmers. I took some photos, which are behind the cut. Later, we watched the first two episodes of Season Two of Pushing Daisies. And that was yesterday, give or take.

22 October 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
Well, I have to say I am in somewhat better sorts this ayem, which isn't hard, given how utterly out of sorts I was this time yesterday. My thanks for all the comments yesterday. In retrospect, I let a certain homophobic and misogynist twidiot (thanks to [ profile] niamh_sage for that fine neologism) get much farther under my skin than I ever should have. Yeah, sure, he's a jackass, but I've been through so much worse, and usually I just roll with the punches. In the end, if I defeat the trolls, it will be through poise and grace, not the gnashing of teeth and the brandishing of various incarnations of my anger. I know that. But I'd had a really bad Friday, after having a bad Thursday, and I slipped. And to anyone who disapproved of the way I dressed at Readercon, I say to them, in the words of Oscar Wilde, "One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art." Both, I'd say. All the same, your words helped.

So did getting out of this broiling house. But first there was a brainstorming session, promotional stuff for The Red Tree, and now it's looking like there will be vinyl stickers and T-shirts. Also, weird developments with the book trailer. It's starting to seem more like an extremely short film (maybe five minutes) and less like a trailer, and, also, it may not be released until after the book's street date on August 4th. I am determined it will be a piece of art in its own right, even if it means this delay. To quote [ profile] readingthedark, "Finally, having spent too much time in the book biz, I firmly believe that having the best possible trailer on August 20th is five times better than having one out before the book is in stores but that isn't memorable or worth linking to."

Finally, I've decided upon a pre-release contest. Send me snapshots (analog or digital cameras, phone shots, scans of old polaroids, whatever) to greygirlbeast(at)gmail(dot)com, jpg (or jpeg), png, and gif formats preferred. From these I will choose, on August 5th (or thereabouts), the photo I like best. The winner will receive a signed copy of The Red Tree. Now, I do ask that you send me a photo that you took yourself, or one taken by a friend or family member or suchlike that doesn't mind you sending it to me, because they will all be used for a photo-collage on the website, and issues of copyright apply. The deadline is midnight on August 4th. Any and all sorts of trees, living and dead, are welcome.

I think Spooky left the caffeine out of my iced coffee.

So, finally, when I was too sweaty to talk about the book any longer, too hot for planning and scheming, we left the house around 2 p.m., and drove south. Just south. No particular destination in mind. It was so much cooler Outside. We wound up traveling roads with names like Indian Corner Road, Slocum Road, Exeter Road. We stopped to get photos of two especially fine trees, one of which could almost be a dead ringer for that wicked tree off Barbs Hill Road. We also stopped in on Spooky's parents, who've just returned from her brother's wedding in Bozeman, Montana. But her dad wasn't feeling well, and we didn't stay long. They brought us each a Tyrannosaurus T-shirt from the Museum of the Rockies. After we left the farm, we headed on towards Peace Dale. We stopped and walked a while in the little wilderness within Tri-Pond Park, a marvelous stretch of woodland between Asa Pond (to the north), California Jim's Pond (to the southwest), and Rocky Brook Reservoir (to the south). Beneath the trees, it was cool and green and primeval. We also walked along the eastern edge of the resevoir. It's a marvelous pool that must figure in some future story, and, retroactively (who needs linear timestreams?), I think it is one of my models for Ram's Wool Pond in The Red Tree. Lily pads and cattails everywhere, a hundred species of water plant. Canadian geese (Branta canadensis), and Spooky saw a young (first year) Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedorum). I found a turtle nest that some mammal or another had raided, a shallow hole with leathery egg shells all around it.

We continued on south to Wakefield, and spent some time on the little footbridge over the Saugatucket River. There we saw a beautiful Great Egret (Adrea alba), and a snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) coming up for air. We wanted to continue on to the sea, but knew the tourists would be thick as flies on roadkill, so, instead, we reluctantly headed back to Providence.

Last night, after a cold dinner, we watched a very good film, Koldo Serra's Bosque de sombras (2006), or The Backwoods, with Gary Oldman. Set in 1978, it was surprisingly tense, with the unflinching ending it needed. The faintest hints of Angela Carter, and grand use of Leonard Cohen. It can be streamed from Netflix, so you ought to give it a try.

Okay, the day's slipping past, and I have to finish "Vicaria Draconis" today. Please do have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks. Oh, and here are some photos from yesterday. I almost forgot them:

18 July 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (The Red Tree)
Yesterday, I killed a loaf of bread. Such was my anger, and such was the nature of the day. A shitty, shitty day, but the loaf of bread had done nothing. It was a little stale, sure, but aren't we all? Spooky's buried all evidence in the trash.

Turns out, on July 10th, some cisgendered, homophobic snot at Readercon was twatting rude little missives about my person (that's only one thing that led to yesterday being a shitty day). Hashtag #readercon. You can probably find him, if you try. He consistently misspelled my name as "Kaitlin." I'm still debating whether or not to unleash the flying monkeys upon his sorry ass. Whether or not to call him out. A loaf of bread has already died for his sins. Oh, and he also complained about Chip Delany reading "raunchy gay PORN." Ignorance and hatred and fear are the roots of all evil, if there actually is evil in the world. Blessed are the narrow-minded shit weasels.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,086 words on a new vignette. An erotic vignette that begins with a discourse on 4th-dimensional geometry, tesseracts, orthogonality, three-dimensional shadows, and so forth. Truly, I write smut for nerds. Right now, the piece is called "Vicaria Draconis" (thank you, [ profile] sovay). And I could finish it today, I suspect, only it's so bloody hot in the house, and I'm still a bit too angry to make the doughnuts.

We hit a fairly serious last-minute snag yesterday, as regards the book trailer, and right now, we're scrambling to sort it all out.

Also, I'm pulling out whatever stops I can pull for promotion. We're going to have Red Tree fliers up on the website soon (they were out at Readercon), that can be printed from your computer and distributed wherever seems appropriate. We're talking posse, street team, etc. I've also begun a contest. Send me tree photos, any tree, anywhere, and my favorite gets a free, signed copy of the novel. Email photos to greygirlbeast(at)gmail(dot)com, naturally. Now, I would much prefer you take these photos yourself, and not snurch them off the interwebs, please. They may be posted on the website, and I'd prefer not to violate someone else's copyright. We're also talking stickers, because any good posse needs to be able to deface public property and restroom stalls and so forth.

And there's the ongoing auctions.

I don't think I can sit here, baking in the heat all day. It's ten degrees (F) cooler outside than inside.

I want to say, "Read the Tree," but Danielewski beat me to that one. This posse needs it own slogan. "Feed the Tree"? Yeah, I know it's from a Belly song, but so was Low Red Moon
greygirlbeast: (white2)
Here in Providence, summer is getting off to a cool start. A high of only 72F forecast for today (61F at the moment), and the warmest we expect to see over the next ten days is 77F, with lots of days only in the 60s. Of course, summer doesn't officially arrive for another two weeks.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,018 words on "The Alchemist's Daughter" (another, better title has yet to occur to me). It's a strange story. And maintaining its voice is a daunting endeavor. But, as I've said before, one of the purposes of Sirenia Digest is to allow me to experiment, and this certainly is an experiment. I was writing until sometime after 6 p.m. yesterday. Every single sentence of this one is requiring me to take so much care.

Pursuant to these thoughts on the difficulties I'm having writing "The Alchemist's Daughter," on this day in 2007 I wrote (the thing about virtual Nebari boobs, that's a reference to my old SL dancing gig):

"One thing I have resisted, as an author, is (as they say in publishing) being 'branded.' There are authors upon whom you may rely to always deliver the sort of story you expect from them, presented the way you expect them to present stories, in voices that have become familiar. And this is what I will never be, I suspect. Just as I must continue to find the meaning and purpose in the stories I am to write (if I am to write them), I must also continue to push myself. I cannot ever become comfortable, because that's when art ceases to be art and becomes something else. Back to what I said yesterday about having written through so much anger and sorrow in Tales of Pain and Wonder and in the early novels (The Five of Cups through Low Red Moon, and The Dreaming) — I do not manufacture emotions, but project them from within myself. This is the only way I know to make them genuine. And if they are other than genuine, well, I'm better off being a virtual stripper in a virtual strip club, showing my virtual Nebari boobs for virtual tips. But you are correct in these observations. Murder of Angels was a bridge. I know I made a conscious effort to move away from what I had been doing, and I began looking to other sorts of fantasy and sf as my canvas and my paints. Some stories will feel rawer than others. I'm a stranger here myself."

I'm encouraged when I look back through the years and see that maybe I'm actually making some sort of progress, and that I'm holding true to the course I plotted for myself (though detours are inevitable).

Anyway, please have a look at the current eBay auctions, to help offset the expense of attending ReaderCon this year. I'll also point you in the direction of Spooky's Dreaming Squid Dollworks shop on Etsy. She says a new beastie will be appearing there within the hour.

As Michael Rowe reports in The Huffington Post, the KRXQ "shock jocks" who recently berated transgender children as "freaks" and advocated violence against them, are being called to task for their hateful tirade. Most importantly, their actions have cost the station a number of high-profile sponsors. I quote: "As of this writing, at least ten national companies have withdrawn, cancelled, or decided not to renew their advertising contracts with KRXQ. They include Chipotle restaurants, the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, SONIC, Verizon, the Carl's Jr. restaurant chain, Wells Fargo, Nissan, AT&T, and McDonalds. Citing the depravity of the content, spokespeople for the various companies were united in their disgust with KRXQ and Rob, Arnie, & Dawn in the Morning." You can read the rest of Micheal's update here, in which we learn that two of the DJs in question have a long history of hateful and obscene speech towards children and women. For my part, I have no interest in hearing apologies from these people, nor from their employer. This isn't the sort of thing you can readily apologize for.

And now, it's time to make the doughnuts....
greygirlbeast: (chi3)
The only thing keeping me in this chair, at this desk, today is knowledge that clouds and rain are heading towards Providence from the west, and will be here shortly. Otherwise, Spooky and I would be on our way to Beavertail.

But there will be clouds, and there will be rain, and so I'll sit here and wrestle with the dreamsickness.

No actual writing yesterday. Lots and lots of reading on alchemy and dragons, looking for the way into "The Alchemist's Daughter" (a title I'm growing increasingly unhappy with). Today, I need the words to come.

And, by the way, as of night before last, we've been in Providence for a whole year now. Which just seems impossible. But a good sort of impossible.

Probably the best thing about yesterday was the arrival of a 1941 Royal typewriter we found on Etsy. It's the same make and model as the one that Sarah Crowe discovers in the basement of the old house on Barbs Hill Road, the one Charles Harvey was writing on, the one that Sarah uses to write The Red Tree. It's one of the few props we needed to acquire to shoot the promotional "trailer" this summer, and Spooky was lucky enough to find someone over on the east side of Providence with one for sale cheap, even though it's in fantastic condition. This is, by the way, the same make and model of typewriter that I grew up writing on, and that I was still using as recently as 1985. It weighs a marvelous 30+ pounds. Here are a couple of photos:

By the way, I'm trying to think of a contest wherein the prize would be one of the ARCs of The Red Tree. So far, the best idea has been a contest to create banner ads, and that's certainly something I need, but I'm still thinking. I might come up with something even better. The book will be released on August 4th, in case you're wondering.

Last night, Spooky read to me from Andrea Barrett's The Voyage of the Narwhal, and we watched Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy II: The Golden Army again. Gods, I adore this film, and not only for its beautiful and terrifying vision of Faerie (though that would be sufficient). And then we played some WoW. I'm almost halfway to Lvl 70, which is as high as I'll go for a while. We're planning on playing through the rest of "The Burning Crusade" expansion, and going back and doing a lot of the dungeons on Azeroth we were unable to do when we should have, before moving along to "Wrath of the Lich King." Northrend and the death knights can wait. I got to bed at 2:30 a.m., a vast improvement over the last few nights.

This is the last thing I read before bed last night, news of a Sacramento, CA morning talk-radio show's attack against transgender children that went so far as to advocate physical violence against them. It's unspeakably sick, the things these people were allowed to broadcast, and that their listeners are receptive, but then it's the same sick, hateful shit I've had to live through. The more I see...well...never mind. I've seen much too much in forty-five years, and it's left me with absolutely no tolerance for this sort of ignorant, inexcusable intolerance. GLAAD is watching these assholes now, and I'll be following the story.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
It's cold here, below freezing last night. So, the house is a bloody icebox.

And here I sit, dreamsick and hoping that writing down a small part of one of the dreams might help me get moving, help me stop thinking about it, and so make the waking world seem a little more solid and worthy of my attention. But even this one small part is shattered, and I do not entirely trust my ability to reconstruct it. But...this is what I can recall. Spooky and I at a séance in a Victorian drawing room, sitting at a round table, holding hands with other people. Edwardian costume. The smell of oranges and candle wax. The room was dark, and my eyes were not closed. Above the center of the table, maybe a foot or so above the top of the table, drifted the perfect likeness of a spiral galaxy. I couldn't stop looking at it, entranced at the beauty and perfection of the thing. I wanted to know how it was being done, how the medium was creating an image like this when it would be many decades before astronomers would capture such clear images. No one seemed to mind that I was talking. A man directly across the table from me, sitting behind the image of the spiral galaxy, replied that it was all fakery and that he'd almost figured out how it was being done. I realized the man was Harry Houdini, or, rather, it was Tony Curtis playing Harry Houdini. Which, of course, made perfect sense. I also realized about this time that the tabletop was covered with Tarot cards, all lying face-up. But the only card I can remember recognizing was the Wheel of Fortune. Then all the cards fluttered, in a very insectile sort of way, like wings, and the spiral galaxy vanished.

And then I was at a window. I think I was still in the same room and the séance had ended, but I'm not sure about this. Behind me, in the darkened room, people were arguing. Outside, there was a forest, and I was looking down on it (so I must have been in a building higher than the treetops). The forest seemed to run on for quite a way. I could see no end to it, and for some reason it frightened me. On the window ledge was a large stag beetle, and it kept flipping over on its back, legs kicking in the air, so that I kept having to flip it over right again. I could hear a mockingbird. And then there was a low rumbling, and a wind came up, wind that smelled like the ocean, and far away, beyond the farthest trees, there was an enormous shadow, rising high into the sky, blotting out the stars. "That's the wave," Spooky said, and I hadn't noticed she was standing behind me. Maybe she hadn't been. Not before that moment. I pushed the beetle off the windowsill, and it flew away. It sounded like a helicopter, and I watched it vanish into the branches of one of the trees, but I could still hear the helicopter. "This isn't my dream," I told Spooky, and she told me I was being silly. So I explained that this was a dream Bram Stoker had when he was a very small child in Ireland. I told her how he dreamed of a giant moving across the land, but she insisted this wasn't a giant, it was a wave. And then someone was calling us to dinner, and we walked down a very long wooden staircase, past glass-fronted cabinets filled with taxidermied birds. And that's all I can recall of this portion. No doubt, Deacon Silvey would call it "brain garbage."


Yesterday was a bit of a disaster. I'd intended to read through "Metamorphosis A" and "The Lovesong of Lady Ratteanrufer" with Spooky, then make any corrections that needed making. We read through both. I made the corrections to "Metamorphosis A," but then, partway through the corrections to "The Lovesong of Lady Ratteanrufer," everything just sort of sputtered out on me. I could no longer be sure if I was fixing things because they needed fixing or only changing things, and the things I was genuinely certain needed fixing, I couldn't seem to trust my corrections. Spooky came in and tried to help, but I became increasingly agitated, and when I found the phrase "For a moment" repeated on three successive ms. pages (18, 19, and 20), I kind of lost it. I think that was about 5:30 p.m. (CaST).

One thing I need to do today is a photograph that will be appearing as an illustration for "The Lovesong of Lady Ratteanrufer" (Sirenia Digest 12).

Last night, I read from Thomas Pynchon's Mason & Dixon. I played a couple more hours of Final Fantasy XII. I tried to get to sleep early, and I took Kava and Spooky read me Robert McCluskey's One Morning In Maine, but it was still after 3 a.m. (CaST) before I got to sleep.

Oh. I almost forgot. I spilled a full glass of Crystal Light pink lemonade on my office floor last night. It was very spectacular, actually. My office floor is always a maze of books and files and papers. Yet, luckily, very little damage was done. A fat manila Sirenia Digest folder got the worst of it. The books were somehow spared. John Lindow's Norse Mythology (Oxford University Press, 2001) just barely missed getting soaked, as did my old copy of Edith Hamilton's Mythology (Little, Brown, and Co., 1942). Everything's dry now, but there are still open files lying all over the place.

And that was yesterday. And last night.

Sadly, Peter Jackson has announced that he will not be directing either the The Hobbit or an adaptation of The Silmarillion, as the ongoing dispute with New Line over the amount he was underpaid for The Fellowship of the Ring has led the studio to seek a new director/s for these projects. I think this may have ruined my whole damn day. Maybe the rest of the week (though Thanksgiving would have done that, anyway). I shudder to think what will become of the projects. Oh, and while I'm on about the news, here's a wonderful little bit of outrage, xenophobia, and paranoia: Six imams ejected from US flight. They were ordered to disembark after a passenger reported their evening prayers as "suspicious activity."

And now I have to do something about "For a moment" x 3.


greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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