greygirlbeast: (Bjork)
On this day in 1965, the stars were right, and the Old Ones dropped some especially gnarly acid and, in the throes of their LSD-induced mischief, delivered unto Iceland the sparkly, polymorphous girl-thing duly named Björk Guðmundsdóttir. So don't tell me we don't have proof of alien civilizations. Hamingjusamur Björk Day!

Today is going to be weird. I feel it coming, like a great black tsunami.

As for yesterday, well...let's put it this way: Fuck me dead. After spending three days I could ill afford to lose trying to write "Sexing the Weird" I realized (about 6 p.m. last night) that I was writing shit and, at least, had the good sense to stop. Eighteen pages of shit. And if I'd kept going, I'd have wasted another day or two, and have thirty-two pages of shit. So, I've just emailed Bill Schafer to tell him there will be no introduction to Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart, or if there will be, it will be very short. Something like, "This is my weird sex book about weird sex." Only I'll have it translated into Icelandic first. Or Finnish. Or maybe Basque. Basque is suitably weird. But yeah, washout. And throwing away words is among the most distasteful things I have to do as a writer, which is one reason I do not write in drafts. But better to know when you've made a horrid mess of things than to be such a moron that you just keep on keeping on.

Last night, I took a hot bath and tried to drown my horror at all those lost words in innumerable hours of Rift. Iron Pine Peaks was hit by the Endless Air Invasion®. No, really. I think one of the programmers spilled his Cheetos and Mountain Dew in a server. The baddies just kept fucking respawning, and there were no air rifts to close to stop the attacks, so an impromptu alliance of Guardians and Defiants were forced to band together to protect the imbued wardstone outside the Chancel of Labors against the merciless forces of Crucia's Storm Legion. This insanity continued about an hour and forty-five minutes before we realized the game had burped, and the "boss" was never comin' round to end the event. But, hey...stuff blew up. Thank you, Mountain Dew.

Just this second got word from Subterranean Press that preorders on Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart "will start soon, likely in a few weeks." So, there you go. Ba da pa pa. Oh, and signature pages are on their way to me. Whee!

Er...I guess that's it for now. But you should join us in Rift for RP and party favors, ice cream and yetis. Defiant side, Faeblight shard. Watchers of the Unseen. Our guild especially needs warriors. Bahmi make good warriors. But, yeah. Come. Play. You'll wonder how you ever lived without it. I shit you not, kittens.

Meanwhile, I have an obsidian tsunami to face.

Virðingarfyllst,
Föður–Eða Móðursystir Óþokki
greygirlbeast: (Bjorkdroid)
I'm almost awake.

Today, 121 years ago, August 20, 1890, 9:00 a.m., Howard Philips Lovecraft was born in his family home at 194 Angell Street here in Providence.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,206 words on Chapter Seven of Blood Oranges. It is remotely possible that I could finish the chapter today, if I can push to 2,500 or 3,000 words. Or unless there's a lot less remaining of the chapter than I think (this seems unlikely). But if I could do this, I would have written a chapter in a mere four days.

Someone commented, a couple of days back, that they thought Blood Oranges might be a "game changer" for me (I think it was [livejournal.com profile] opalblack ; if I'm wrong, please correct me). And I have to say no. No. It's a momentary diversion, something mostly fun to write, and a little bit of insurance. Truthfully, it's The Drowning Girl: A Memoir that we're all counting on to be the game changer. It's the novel that matters. Blood Oranges is just a bit of whimsy sparkling at the side of the road. Metaphors have been mixed here, I'm quite certain.

Email from Michael Zulli yesterday, which I need to answer before I begin writing today.

Last night was a bit saner than the night before, in terms of post-writing recreational activities. We played a couple of hours of Rift (mostly in the Droughtlands and Stillmoor), then watched Vincent Ward's adaptation of What Dreams May Come (1998; from the 1978 novel by Richard Matheson). For all its schmaltz and smarm, I gotta admit I have a very soft spot for the film, which I'd only seen once before, during its theatrical run. On the one hand there are the astounding visuals, and...on the other...well, sometimes, we don't have to explain ourselves. We just love a thing for what it is. Period. "It's a beautiful dream. But it's only a dream" Even as a pagan atheist, it gets me, on the level that any good fantasy hits me. Also, there's the Werner Herzog cameo. After the movie, we read more of The Stand, and I think I got to sleep about 4 ayem.

I'm going to go ahead and announce next month's book early (and I'm still trying to live down that business with Carrie Ryan; many hours of self-flagellation with a dead cat have been involved). Next month will be Shirley Jackson's The Sundial (1958), which I hope won't be too hard to find. But I wanted something I know is brilliantly written, and that a lot of readers here might be unfamiliar with.

And now...I should go. Many words to write before Insilico and Telara and Captain Trips.

Have a kindly thought for the Old Gent today. Tip your hat to a night gaunt.

Squamously,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Here in Providence, we've leapfrogged from April, way back on Wednesday, to June. And, actually, four days ago, I had to run the space heater in my office. So! Everything normal here in New England. Last night, at three ayem, the humidity was 100%.

As birthdays go, or, rather, as my birthdays go, yesterday was probably ahead of the curve. I have a Magical Birthday Curse of Doom. Last year, for example, we were supposed to be in Boston, but the car died, it was 90 million degrees (and we still haven't invented AC in Rhode Island, probably never will), and I was a sick as a dog from one of my meds. Sure, last year's birthday began with Garrison Kiellor profiling me on NPR. And that was cool, in the most surreal of ways. If not for Garrison Kiellor, last year's birthday would have scored about 5% on the Birthday-o-Meter®. I give yesterday a 50%. So, yeah. Better.

Truthfully, any birthday that includes watching a school of mermaids drag a pirate ship into the briny deep can't be all bad.

Which is to say, Spooky's birthday present to me was a matinée showing of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. In 2-D, thank you. It was fun, and the mermaids were spectacular. [livejournal.com profile] sovay would approve. And Ian McShane was awesome, but it was obvious he was on a short leash. Ian McShane is a goddamn force of Nature, but he must be free to say cocksucker as many times as is necessary. On Stranger Tides could have used about fifty uses of cocksucker. Jack Sparrow is definitely a cocksucker. Anyway, yeah. Fun and pretty movie. Great cast. But this needs to be the last of the series. Time to move on.

As for the rest of the day, well...there was floor cake. Floor cake sort of sums up everything not good about yesterday. But, we had pizza from Fellini's, just like last year. I sat on College Hill, watching the fog roll in from the bay. We played Rift (more on that in a moment). I did not write. There were some marvelous gifts, and my gargantuan thanks to everyone who went to that much trouble and expense. Truly. On Facebook, far more than 200 people wished me a happy birthday (only 32 on LJ, and only 8 on Twitter, and I find this all significant; oh, but [livejournal.com profile] rozk wrote me a wonderful birthday poem she posted to LJ). Late, I lay on the floor and watched two episodes of Firefly ("Trash" and "War Stories"), because Firefly on your birthday helps, like washing down a bitter pill with something sweet. This paragraph is horrid, but there you go. Spooky read me If I Ran the Zoo, before the insomnia struck (despite my Good-Worker-Bee Pill), and I couldn't get to sleep until after dawn

---

I have spent so much time singing the praises of Rift, that I almost (almost) feel obligated to write about its shortcomings. Which is sort of silly, as Rift at its worst still makes WoW look like the sad mess it is. But. Even so. If you visit Telara, and happen to find yourself in the region known as the Droughtlands, and it feels oddly familiar...well, if you've ever been on Azeroth, in Desolace, that explains the déjà vu. Truly, Trion photocopied Desolace, rendered it a thousand times better, and changed the name to the Droughtlands. You even get the fucking centaurs. Also, Trion does so much right, couldn't they have devised names for regions that weren't all two-word combinations: Freemarch, Moonshade, Iron Pine, Scarwood, Shimmersand, and Silverwood, and etc.? Come on, guys. This is airy-fairy billshit, possessed of all the imagination of a dead mouse. And the yetis? I know, Iron Pine Peak is cold and snowy...but yetis? That's the best you could come up with? As kids these days would say, "falcepalm."

You're awfully fine, Rift, but you could be so much more.

And now...fuck it. Sweat and write.
greygirlbeast: (white)
Most people don't think of this as a birthday song. I guess the video makes it that way for me.

greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 2)
On this day, in 1964, in a deep-sea hydrothermal vent, almost ten thousand feet down along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, I squiggled forth from beds of giant tube worms and albino crustaceans. I drew my first watery breath, sucking in superheated brine, belched forth by black smokers and loaded with nutritious sulfides and acetyl thioesters, and then wailing with the abyssal cries of newborn whales, I rose.

Since then, though, I must admit it's been a bit anticlimactic. No cometary impact (Jupiter doesn't count). Still no return of the Great Old Ones. And my damned gills won't grow back. But, hey...I get cake.

And wonderful people send me wonderful things. Tomorrow, I'll try to make as full an accounting of that as possible.

---

Yesterday, I wrote a very respectable 2,149 words, and found the conclusion of Chapter Two of Blood Oranges. As it stands, I'm on page 83, and have written the first 18,292 words of what I intend to be a 75,000-word novel (at most). Two chapters in eleven days. Booya.

I must tell you – again – that Spooky is having a CRK's Birthday Sale on the jewelry at her Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy shop, and shipping is FREE, and everything's selling fast, so have a look. You really need to see her new Alice's Adventures in Wonderland glass-vial pendants. There's a coupon code you'll need to use at checkout: CRKBIRTHDAY

Last night, we watched Peter Weir's The Last Wave (1977). It came up during conversation with Joshi on Tuesday night. I count it as one of a tiny handful of films that gets Lovecraftian right. Now, here I mean films that express the cosmicism of HPL, as distinct from his "Cthulhu Mythos" tales. Truly, there are only a few. John Carpenter's The Thing (1982), Ridley Scott's Alien (1979), and two or three more. But nothing by Stuart Gordon. One day I'll provide an actual list.

Also, yesterday I saw the cover for the Crimson Alphabet chapbook, and it's gorgeous (comes FREE with the limited edition of Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan (Volume One)).

After the movie, we played Rift, and my necromancer, Selwyn, made Level 42. And, because good pushers always provide FREE samples, there are some Selwyn screencaps behind the cut though, reduced to this size, they don't even begin to do the visuals justice. And I shall remind you, WE HAVE A GUILD, and there's a FREE 7-day trial now available! Fun for boys and girls and everything in between!

Um...I better go now. Spooky's making that face.

Selwyn of the Spire )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Spent much of the day listening to Dylan, who was one of my first poets, and one of my important formative influences (artistically and socially). Happy 70th, you wonderful old dude. My first stadium concert ever was on December 3rd, 1978, during Dylan's Street Legal tour. I was fourteen. I just tracked down the set list online.

greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they'd made.
And the sign flashed out it's warning,
In the words that it was forming...


---

I am so very not awake. Still, it would be a decent enough day to entertain comments, so please feel free. To comment. I'll be here all day. Anyway, I took all the proper pills, but was still awake until almost five ayem. Sometimes, the old neurochemistry insists on having it's way, pills or no. Which is actually oddly comforting. The triumph of Nature over Pharmacy, even if it's annoying Nature. Then again, if I lived a more natural life, in a more natural world, I might not be suckling at the teat of the Pharmacy.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,790 words on Chapter Two of Blood Oranges. Yesterday, someone asked me of the novel, "Is there any tongue-in-cheek left?" Thinking on that question, and having talked it over with Spooky, I think the answer is yes. But it's not really a spoof or a satire. It's simplest to point to Tarantino's films. Is Kill Bill a spoof or a satire? No, not really. It's keenly aware of the layers of homage within it, and it often pokes fun at itself and the source material. But it also has an undeniable reverence for and fascination with that source material. Ergo, more homage, less satire. This goes back to the danger of setting out to do...well, anything. I really do hate ParaRom (which, by the way, I'm told by reliable sources is quickly waning in sales and popularity). But I also really do love the sources it draws upon. Also, I can only manage comedy for short bursts. I could never write a book that's funny page-to-page. Blood Oranges is keenly aware of the layers of homage within it, and it often pokes fun at itself and the source material. It frequently rolls its eyes. I've never written anything so forthrightly concerned with pop culture (in this case, what pop culture would have us believe about monsters).

Sometimes, we set out to make fun of a thing, then discover it's not really worth making fun of...well, not at tiresome length. Comedy can quickly become dull. Instead, we discover this other thing that's a lot more interesting. The "werepire" novel began as a joke; any joke that tries to go on for a hundred thousand words is doomed from the start.

---

We have a new round of eBay auctions. And here were are, my 47th birthday imminent. I have a wishlist at Amazon, and yeah, it's a little late, but ain't nothin' wrong with late gifts, right?

Yesterday, I read "A partial skeleton of the Late Cretaceous lamniform shark, Archaeolamna kopingensis, the Pierre Shale of western Kansas, U.S.A," in the January JVP.

Last night, we watched David Slade's adaptation of 30 Days of Night again. And it's actually a much better film than I remembered it being. There are big problems (pacing, for example), but it still delivers, and few films in recent memory have had such memorable vampires. Alien, gleefully vicious, sexy despite their repulsiveness...all the things vampires ought to be.

And then we played Rift. And then we read Kathe Koja. Then...well, back where this entry began.

And that's my cue to get to work.

Blearily,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Illyria)
No, really. And I blame you, Holly Black.

Speaking of whom, a great quote from her short story, "Virgin," for all the New Age airy-fairy twits who somehow have it in their head that fairies are all about the "positive healing energy":

"Let me tell you something about unicorns— They're fairies and fairies aren't to be trusted. Read your storybooks. But maybe you can't get past the rainbows and pastel crap. That's your problem."

---

And here's something nifty. "Your Age on Other Worlds." Not sure which I take more comfort from, that on Mars I'm 24.7 years old or that on Jupiter I'm 41,479.3 years old.

---

Yesterday, I wrote 2,035 words on The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. And made it through a scene I'd been dreading. With luck, I'll finish Chapter Three this afternoon. This is such a very different book for me, vastly different from everything before The Red Tree, but different, also, from The Red Tree. It might almost be YA. It's the nearest I've ever come to my Shirley Jackson roots, and quite a bit distant from the influence of Lovecraft.

As for the rest of yesterday, there was more Miéville and Susanna Clarke, and at bedtime, we read two stories by [livejournal.com profile] blackholly, "Virgin" (quoted above) and "In Vodka Veritas." Both delightful.

---

I'm sleeping somewhat better, now that I'm taking the Lamictal at noon instead of midnight. Not great, but better.

--

Because my terrifying nerdiness knows no decent bounds, last night Shaharrazad (my blood-elf warlock), earned the title, "the Seeker" in WoW. Which means I've done 3,000 quests. Which took a total of (in game play) 49 days, 19 hours.

---

After dinner last night, I had a grim talk with Spooky about the current state of my career, and my life, in general. Sometimes, we must have grim talks, if only to keep us honest.

It's time to make the doughnuts.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Another sunny day in Providence, but the temperature's only 73F. It'll be cooler than yesterday. The window's open, and I can smell a hint of the sea.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,140 words on "The Maltese Unicorn." I'm very nervous about this one, because, in numerous ways, it's something I haven't done before. Spooky says it's coming along nicely, and she's usually right. I think my main concern right now is length. I realized yesterday that I'd plotted something that could very easily be a novella, and that I'm going to have to work to stay within my word limit. Which is sort of like editing a film, deciding what winds up on the "cutting-room floor" and what goes into that final cut that people get to see. Yesterday, I kept having to snip out pieces of dialogue, not because they were bad. They were, in fact, rather good (if I do say so myself, and I did). Dialogue may end up being one of the best things about this story.

This would be a very, very good day to preorder your copy of The Ammonite Violin & Others. So far, it's gotten nothing but rave reviews, which is a huge relief.

I'd very much like to go to the sea today— to the sound of the waves, the gulls, the wind, the peace —but it's Memorial day, and the beaches will be crawling with noisy, drunken tourists celebrating nothing in particular except a day off and legal alcohol. So...maybe later in the week.

---

A quick, but important, note to readers, and I do wish it were not necessary to write this. I understand that by keeping this journal, and being on Facebook and Twitter, I am "putting myself out there." In this age, many artists are more accessible than at any other time in history, yes. However, that doesn't mean there are not still boundaries, or that the boundaries don't vary between one artist and another, or that you've been given full access to their lives. In this case, my life. I love getting email from readers, and comments to the journal, and responses on Facebook and Twitter, and I often reply. However, some people do not seem to grasp the necessity of boundaries, or the rights to privacy that I still claim. I'm speaking to a very small minority here. As in, if you've sent me a dozen emails in the past month, please don't write me a thirteenth sounding all hangdog because I've only answered one or two. Do not expect me to hold your hand as you read my books and stories. Do not think that my having "friended" you on Facebook or LJ means we're, you know, actual real-life friends. Do not expect me to follow you on Twitter. I should think these things would be common sense, but a few rather vocal people don't seem to get it. So, please, think before asking more of me than I freely give. And sure, it might only take me a second or two to reply to any given question or request, but those seconds add up. And, more importantly, I simply may not feel like replying, and there's nothing wrong with my feeling that way.

---

Last night I was too tired from all the writing to read. Well, except for a paper in the latest Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, "A new baenid turtle from the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) Hell Creek Formation of North Dakota and preliminary taxonomic review of the Cretaceous Baenidae." The new taxon is named Gamerabaena, and the authors note, under etymology, "'Gamera refers to the fictional, firebreathing turtle from the 1965 movie Gamera, in allusion to his fire-breathing capabilities and the Hell Creek Formation..."

Spooky's birthday present, a PS3— made possible by donations from incredibly, marvelously generous readers —arrived early. We ordered it early, to be sure it arrived on time, and it arrived much sooner than expected. So, we've been downloading demos, and I've been playing Heavenly Sword (2007). I gotta say, Heavenly Sword is, hands down, the most beautiful videogame I've ever seen. I think it actually manages to beat Shadow of the Colossus (2005). And it doesn't hurt in the least that you get Andy Serkis and Anna Torv. Later in the evening, we went on something of a WoW binge, which I've not done in a while. We got Gnomnclature and Klausgnomi to Level 19. Soon now, they'll not have to run everywhere they go.

Anyway...time to make the words.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Here in Providence, the heat wave has broken. The misery of yesterday is ended, and it's a cool 67F Outside at the moment. In the House, it's only 76F. Yesterday, at the height of the heat, the temperature reached 96F (never mind the heat index).

Not sure I can write a coherent account of the past two days. And there's probably not much point in trying. The birthday trip to Boston that we were supposed to make yesterday had to be shelved after the car's transmission blew on Sunday. We didn't get it into the shop until Monday. I'm hoping to make it to Boston next week.

As birthdays go, the first three quarters of yesterday were a disaster of such epic and unlikely proportions that it verged on comedy. Because the car was in the shop, and we were waiting on the call to pick it up, we were trapped here in the sweltering House. Not that we could have walked to any place cool. I'm on three meds right now that increase my sensitivity to heat. I spent a chunk of yesterday lying on the floor of the middle parlour, ever so slightly delirious. Muñoz was blowing full tilt right behind me, but the air refused to get any cooler. Finally, the call from the garage came sometime after 3:30 p.m., and Spooky walked the four blocks beneath the shade of her Badtz Maru umbrella. We left the house...and well, I don't know. More stupid crap happened. Recounting yesterday is just a senseless waste of time. But we finally got pizza from Fellini's and headed home. And it was a good pizza, though I think we were both a bit too woozy to eat.

My thanks to everyone who wished me well yesterday. It seems as though there were a couple hundred of you, mostly via Facebook. Also, special thanks to Steven Lubold, whose truly (truly) awesome birthday package reached me yesterday (perfect timing). And now that day is over, and here I go again.

A quick review of everything I've watched the last couple of days. Too much watching, I think. On Tuesday, we watched the series finale of Lost. Um...so, admittedly, all I'd seen is part of the first episode, way back when the series started. I hated the show instantly, and never tuned back in. But what with all the hullabaloo, curiosity got the better of me, and I watched the finale. And I understood it just fine, so I'm not sure of the source of all this grousing about it not "making sense." I even checked afterwards with some online articles to be sure I'd understood. That said, it was just as bad, and in all the same ways, that I recall the first episode being bad, and I can't begin to fathom the show's popularity. There was no chemistry between the actors. The script was lousy. As in the hokey sort of lousy. The SFX were lackluster. My take on the last episode was Gilligan's Island meets Land of the Lost. Later on we watched J.J. Abrams' Star Trek for the fourth time, as an antidote to the lingering aftertaste of Lost.

The night before that— Monday night —we watched Mira Nair's Amelia (2009). I liked it a great deal. Hilary Swank was spot on. Then, jumping ahead to last night, we started off with the latest episode of Glee, the Gaga/Kiss episode, and I have to say that it's truly my favorite so far. The show just keeps getting better. But we followed it with Chris Fisher's S. Darko (2009). It's not a bad movie, though nowhere near as eloquent as Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko (2001). Yeah, I see what the studio was hoping for. A franchise. But all movies are not fodder for franchises. Donnie Darko certainly wasn't. In the end, S. Darko does nothing at all that wasn't done far better by its predecessor. And again, though it's not a bad film (on its own merits), it's an utterly unnecessary film, and I have to feel that it somehow cheapens Donnie Darko. Anyway, afterwards, we watched the new episode of Glee again, because it was that good.

So yeah. Heat. Thwarted birthday plans. Car trouble And lots of watching.

And all the stuff I'm forgetting.
greygirlbeast: (Lucy)
Er...yeah. Wednesday. Crap. Where is this week going? Well, yesterday it went to fighting with our wireless connection, and then revising my Publisher's Weekly review (as per my editor's request), and then a whole bunch of stuff that needed doing to finish up Sirenia Digest and get it ready to go out today. There was more to that than I expected, and, reluctantly, I must announce that the "artist profiles" I'd hope to begin in #31 (June '08) will actually begin with #32. It's not Geoffrey Goodwin's fault; I want to make that clear. Sometimes, things just don't go as planned. Anyway, subscribers will be getting #31 sometime this afternoon, and it includes two stories by me —— "Unter den Augen des Mondes" and "The Melusine (1898)." The latter includes a really grand illustration by Vince.

My thanks to [livejournal.com profile] tjcrowley, without whom I would not know that today is Ambrose Bierce's birthday. Also, this is the 30th anniversary of the creation of the Gay Pride Flag. So, I'll try to be (as Shirley Manson said) the queerest of the queer today.

After all the work, I gave the rest of the day over to Spooky's birthday. She wanted to go to Newbury Comics, and as I owed her presents, we went. Sadly, it's in the Providence Place Mall (we should've gone to Warwick), which was full of really obnoxious teenagers. I have decided, as of yesterday, it's not "kids these days," it's "kids period." Anyway, she scored Tom Waits' Orphans (2006) and a really cool-looking card/20-sided die game called Unspeakable Words, sort of Lovecraftian Scrabble. It even comes with little green Cthulhu idols. Oh, and the draddest Kermit the Frog pin EVER. We fled the mall and headed south to get Spooky's birthday dinner from Iggy's in Narragansett. On the way down, there were great cumulus clouds in the sky, and I got some photos (maybe tomorrow), towering and threatening more thunderstorms. We had Manhattan-style chowder and doughboys and root beer, sitting near the lighthouse at Point Judith. Two very cute dykes were cuddling in the grass nearby, snapping photos of themselves. The tide was coming in. We headed home just before dark, and listened to the Beatles all the way back to Providence.

A really strange and unnerving night of rp in Second Life last night. I have no idea how to synopsize those bizarre events. Suffice to say that Nareth has fallen to Shadows, hard and far, and is now in a very, very dark place, the darkest in Toxia. It was always only a matter if time. If she's not dead, she's something far worse, and has been lost to the Omega Institute (thank you Lorne, Pontifex, Omega, Ardere, Kytara, et al.). I think it was the first time that an SL roleplay session actually frightened me.

And, as promised, the photos of the abandoned amusement park we visited on Sunday (behind the cut):

The Not-So Enchanted Forest, Hope Valley, RI )


And, from Poe's Haunted (2000)

And here by the ocean, the sky's full of leaves.
And what they can tell you depends on what you believe.
The ash is a tree, and the voices were three,
And all that is gone is here sweeping through me.
It's amazing.
It's a maze.


And, while we're at it, in the words of astronaut David Bowman, "My God, it's full of stars."
greygirlbeast: (chi2)
So, I awoke at 11 ayem this morning —— an hour or two later than I'd intended —— to connectivity issues with the wireless, and as we have no landline, we were stuck in a holding pattern while Spooky spoke with the landlord, and the landlord spoke back, and the landlord spoke with Cox and our downstairs neighbor. And finally I picked up the modem, asked it nicely, sweetly, firmly, if it wished me to break it. Then I, once again, disconnected the damned thing, reconnected it, and it started working. You just have to know how to talk to these bloody silicon beasts. Still, I'm running two or three hours late, and looking at a day that's going to be, by and large, a write-off. I cannot afford write-offs at this point.

I'd meant to have the photographs of the abandoned amusement park ready for today, but I forgot to edit them last night so...maybe this evening. Or tomorrow.

As for yesterday, well, I'd begun to wonder if I would ever have a "blah day" here in Providence, after three weeks of days that were either wonderful or bad or just sort of okay. No longer do I need to worry. Yesterday was a genuine blah day. Huzzah. We drove down to Moosup Valley, as planned, but it started raining (it's raining again as I type this), and it was raining so hard that the only thing I could really accomplish was getting a good look at the Tyler Free Library. We drove down Barb's Hill road, and it was beautiful and green and wet, rather primeval. Surrendering to the downpour, we headed back to Providence, my having resigned myself to the fact that I must begin the next chapter of The Red Tree without a great deal more research. Right about the time we arrived home, I began to recognize that the "blah factor" had come into play.

What else about yesterday? We started hanging pictures. I finished Chapter 2 of Fraser's book on the Triassic, "A Brief Phylogeny of Triassic Fishes and Tetrapods." I also read a story in the new National Geographic concerning the Jurassic dinosaurs that are coming to light from the Junggar Basin of northwestern China (Guanlong, "Gongusaurus," Yinlong, etc.). I skipped the story on the murder of mountain gorillas; I already hate humanity just fine, thank you. Dinner was the third and final night of the chicken stew, this time with rice and salad, for which Spooky had made a very nice mint, cucumber, and yogurt dressing.

Later, we watched Peter Hyams' 2010 (1984), because Spooky had never seen it, and I'd only seen it once, during the original release. It's not really a bad movie, but it suffers so enormously in comparison to 2001: A Space Odyssey, and how the hell does one watch it and not expect it to live up to that standard? Roy Scheider's voice-over bits are awful. The SFX are hit and miss, and, all in all, it lacks the epic grace and sense of awe present in Kurbrick's film. Too many questions are answered. The best bits are likely Hal and Bob Balaban's performance as Dr. R. Chandra, and watching Jupiter converted to a new star by the millions of monoliths. The ending is cloyingly, naively upbeat, though I suppose that needs to be viewed in light of the period of history during which the film was made. Maybe. Its view of 2010, from the perspective of 2008, is often laughably dated (and I don't know that you can blame the film for this, as the same could be said for many great sf films). I think the worst "prediction" was the proposition that Omni would still be in print. Anyway, it was an okayish way to pass two hours. Later still, there was some Second Life, but I did make it to bed by 3 ayem.

Anyway. There's work I need to try to do, loose-ends to tie off, and so forth. I doubt anything will actually get written today. Too much energy was wasted threatening the wireless. Oh, and it also happens to be Spooky's birthday.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Yesterday I wrote 1,303 words on a piece that, for now, is known simply as "Untitled 27." I started with a sentence about the passage of time, uncertain where it was headed, but now it's looking a bit like "Untitled 23" — the piece about the wayward faerie girl and the Queen of Decay (Sirenia Digest #10) — filtered through certain Smashing Pumpkins and NIN songs ("Right Where You Belong" from With Teeth springs to mind). And with "male" characters instead of "female" characters. And as Bowie's Baby Grace Blue says, "I think something is going to be horrid." I'm liking it.

And here I am, Day Three of the Mordorian Death March, though there will be no actual marching again today. Tomorrow, though, I'll head out across Nurn, bound for the River Guthrant, beyond which I should be able to locate Thaurband and the Thaur Road. I will be merciless.

There were thunderstorms again yesterday evening. I love evening thunderstorms. After dinner, after the rain, Spooky and I walked. And then we watched My Fair Lady (1964) on TCM, and then I had a bath, and then we just talked for a couple of hours. Trying to figure out how to get from Atlanta to New England for good, once and for all. If I could do it without selling all this goddamn furniture. We're still thinking about Salem, which would be wonderful, and about Providence, maybe some place like Wakefield or Peacedale. If I had my druthers, we would be moving to Cambridge, but the rents are sky high anywhere that near Boston. Most of my life has been lived in the South, and I do fear the new England winters, but there's nothing here for me, nothing but inertia. Nothing but the weather, and that hardly seems a good reason to keep Spooky in exile. And I know we talked about other things, but they escape me just now. Spooky fell asleep about two thirty, but I was up until 4 a.m. or so reading Parini's Steinbeck biography.

Spooky just this second added a new bird to our "yard list": a Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus). Cool.

I guess that's it for now. My grateful thanks to the folks who have sent me birthday gifts, as we near the 26th and the Big -03. This year I have told Spooky I would like a German-chocolate cake. There hasn't been a cake the last couple of years; at least, I don't think there has been. But this feels like a cake birthday. Anyway, yeah, the wish list is here, should you like to contribute to the Great Distraction of 2007. The platypus says that I have to go write now. I am slave to a monotreme...
greygirlbeast: (mirror2)
Oh gods, the sun is bright. Wait. There's a merciful bit of cloud...

Yesterday, we met Byron at the Hollywood 24 googleplex for my birthday movie, which was, sadly, X-Men: The Last Stand (see "review" below). Afterwards, the three of us met Jim and Hannah back at the house. Dinner at the Vortex at L5P. I ate a very large salad and had a black and tan. We got Mexican hot chocolate ice cream from Xocolatl, which was astoundingly delicious stuff (I'm not usually very excited by chocolate), then headed back to the house, meaning to watch Dr. Who. Except, for some reason, the Skiffy Channel didn't show Dr. Who last night, so we just sat around talking for several hours, instead. And that was birthday -2. Good frelling riddance, and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Today, I have to get all the last bits of work done on Sirenia Digest #6, so it can be sent out tomorrow. This will be a day spent tying up loose ends. Oh, and I also have to send "So Runs the World Away" to an editor who'll be reprinting it in a new anthology. I'd be more specific, but the particulars elude me at this moment. That's why I have Spooky and why I make so many lists.

And I guess that gets us to the part of the entry where I talk about X-Men: The Last Stand. It's behind the cut, for spoilers and those what really don't care:

click me )

Okay. Time to pimp the platypus. Sheheit's not gonna pimp herheit's self.

-2

May. 26th, 2006 11:23 am
greygirlbeast: (mirror2)
I woke at 9 frelling a.m., got up and sat at the desk a few minutes, then said screw it, it's my gorram birthday and went back to bed. And woke at 11 with Sophie's blood sugar too high because she was supposed to get her breakfast and insulin at 10:30, and Spooky's a little freaked out, and this is what I get for sleeping in (and letting her do likewise). *sigh* Anyway, here it is. -2. Last night, I was thinking, wow, I was technically alive when John F. Kennedy was president. I was born about six months after his assassination. Which world is this again?

Time is a heavy damn rock.

My thanks to everyone who has sent well-wishes and/or gifts (and thanks to those who have yet to do so). Special thanks to Gordon ([livejournal.com profile] thingunderthest), Jada and Katharine ([livejournal.com profile] jadakath), Franklin ([livejournal.com profile] grandmofhelsing), Larne ([livejournal.com profile] brokensymmetry), David ([livejournal.com profile] corucia), Christa ([livejournal.com profile] faustfatale), William, Adelaida, Charlie, Amy, Sonya ([livejournal.com profile] sovay), and Jackie. Biggest thanks to Spooky. You guys make me feel not so alone as the days rush by.

Yesterday was spent proofreading and editing "Ode to Edvard Munch" and "The Black Alphabet" for Sirenia Digest #6. And, again, I must say, I'm really happy about the latter. So is Spooky. Now, I just hope others feel the same way. It's like a box of chocolate cordials, and some are very sweet, and others are only strangely spicy inside, and others, well, you'll see. If you've subscribed. Also, late last night, I got Vince's rough sketch for the "Ode to Edvard Munch" illustration, and it's gorgeous.

I also cleaned my office. Sort of. Which is to say I could not be bothered to dust nor to sweep. It's still a vast improvement.

I'm still trying to decide what's to become of my MySpace account and my silly Amazon.com "plog." I just can seem to bring myself to give publication rights for my journal entries to those asshole corporations for frelling free. Especially with MySpace being owned by Rupert Murdoch. I suspect they shall both simply sit there, gathering dust until I've forgotten about them.

Last night, another favourite ep of Farscape ("A Constellation of Doubt"), followed by the final three eps of Dead Like Me. On the one hand, I'm quite sad that there will be no more George and no more Rube and no more Mason and so on. But on the other, I thought the last ep ("Haunted") wrapped things up rather artfully. I don't know if that was intentional or not, if the creators knew the cancellation was coming. But that last ep works well as an ending. Which makes it not quite so bad. I just cannot abide unfinished stories.

At 2:30, I was in bed (isn't this where we came in), reading a redescription of the theropods Ornitholestes and Coelurus, my eyes crossing with exhaustion. Zoe Keating on the little Hello Kitty stereo thingy we keep in the bedroom. A thunderstorm approaching. It wasn't such a bad way to begin one's -2 birthday.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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