greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
Okay. It's sort of a nasty one, and I want answers in the spirit of Sirenia Digest: that is to say they must be weird, erotic, and respecting no boundaries of "decency."

Question: You're a scientist, of any stripe. Geneticist works nicely. I'm the subject of an especially unpleasant (but fascinating, yet perhaps pointless) experiment. You, as a scientist, have no scruples whatsoever. The experiment is all that matters. Science! Mad scientist science! These things said, what would be done to me? Describe the steps and the end result. My reactions. Only rules, it can't prove fatal, and I must remain conscious through almost all of it, and no writing or tea brewing or foot massages can be involved. Other individuals (or parts thereof) may be employed.

Get your hands dirty! No minimum or maximum word limit; write as much or as little as you wish. The answers I like best will appear in Sirenia Digest #72.

Same rules apply as with the previous questions: All comments are screened.* That means, no one but me can read your replies. That's an extra incentive for you to leave the inhibitions behind. Only I will read these. The answers that are selected for the digest will appear without their authors' names attached, so there's complete anonymity from everyone but me. Be outlandish. Don't be afraid to step Outside.

* If you're reading this via Facebook, obviously I cannot screen your comments, unless you post them to LJ. However, I will be taking private messages through Facebook. Same with Twitter.
greygirlbeast: (chi 5)
So, yeah. I'm an asshole about going to the doctor. But so many – likely most – doctors, most of the medical establishment, is predicated on profit and a conveyer-belt mentality, you can sort of see where I'm coming from. The worst part is being commanded by some lesser med tech to do something and do it NOW (but I've gotten exquisitely good at telling them no in a tone that leaves them blinking). Anyway, point is, my doctor here in Providence – not my shrink, but my GP – is actually pretty cool (my shrink's pretty cool, too). And I shouldn't be giving her grief here. She's on the ball, considerate, reasonable, and I've done a whole lot worse. She seems to comprehend the concept of my right to self-determination, even unto death. But I was angry about losing a day of work yesterday, and going to the doctor always freaks me out. Just saying.

I had, last night, a wonderful master plan in my head for this entry. I didn't write it down. It's gone.

And I've just heard confirmation, via @WM3ORG (Twitter), that the "West Memphis Three" have been released. These are people at the courthouse. After eighteen years, Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley, Jr., and Jason Baldwin have been released from prison. Of course, they had to plead guilty (under a precedent that allows a guilty plea while maintaining innocence) to receive suspended sentences. Lots of confusion, since this is happening as I type. But. Still. This has been one of the most horrific and most tragic miscarriages of justice in American history, but, at least, now it's ended. Sort of (this is complicated, and the government of Arkansas has not been redeemed). Yet, how do you return eighteen stolen years to a man? How do you return his youth? But...now it's done.

And now I'm well and truly lost within this entry. Too much perspective and surprise all the fuck at once.

Yesterday, I wrote...nothing. I can rarely write on Doctor Visit Days (DVDs). But I did manage to make corrections to the pages I wrote on Wednesday. And I spoke with my agent (who's fled to Maine to escape the heat of NYC), and we agreed that I'm going to ask that Blood Oranges be published as "Caitlín R. Kiernan writing as K. R. Tierney." Why? Because. Even though it will be known that I wrote the book, and even though it's a fine and fun book, I want it set apart from The Red Tree and The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Apples and oranges, let's just say. And we come back to that issue of self-determination. Which is really all that needs to be said on that subject. Though, I will answer questions, if you have them.

And that BIG thing about which I cannot speak, which I first mentioned on July 1st, I worked on that too – that marvelous, unbelievable, dizzying thing – though I still can't talk about it. The news will be sent out into the world when the TPTB deem the time right. But you will be happy....

After the doctor, I needed to center myself. So, I went to Rock Star on Thayer Street and had the plugs in my ears swapped from 6 gauge to 4. Actual eyelets! Thank you, Billy. I'll go up to 2 this spring. And yes, there's a photo (Spooky took it this ayem):



Last night, after dinner, there was good RP in Insilico. Grendel (Class V AI), bodyguard to a yakuza boss, had to quietly, politely, calmly convince some Russian wannabe (predictably named Dmitri) that it wasn't a good night for him to die. Be nice, and maybe I'll tell you about her katana. Wink, wink. We read more of The Stand. We watched the last episode of Season Four of Law and Order: Criminal Intent and the first episode of Season Five. And, yes! More Nicole Wallace. Whenever she says "Bobby," I get that flutter in my belly, that good flutter. Oh, if only there were more of their Holmes and Moriarty dance. Anyway, I signed onto Rift just long enough to do the dailies. I read "Anatomy and affinities of large archosauromorphs from the lower Fremouw Formation (Early Triassic) of Antarctica" and "Boremys (Testudines, Baenidae) from the latest Cretaceous and early Paleocene of North Dakota: an 1.1-million-year range extension and an additional K/T survivor." Just before sleep, I read more of Firestorm at Peshtigo: A Town, It's People, and the Deadliest Fire in American History, and, fuck all...

How does anyone do that much shit in one fucking evening? No wonder I woke up exhausted.

Gotta go write. And listen to the news...

Up the road to Glenaveigh,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Cold Spring continues. Colder tonight, but at least there's sun today. For now. The pollen's flying, but that's okay. Seagulls over Providence. The tree outside my office window has buds, but not yet any sign of green.

Yesterday, I didn't get back to work on "Fake Plastic Trees." My agent called and we talked and talked and talked, and plans were made. I virtually never plan. I just let shit happen. Which is one reason I've had such a peculiar career so far. Planning always felt so...common. But yesterday we planned. I'm going to write a chapter and synopsis of the "werepire" novel and pitch it to my editor at Penguin, then start Blue Canary. I'll probably write all of Blue Canary before I get back to the "werepires," which would likely be in the autumn. Unless I realize this is all too entirely fucking insane, I may have two new novels written by the end of the 2011. I might call the "werepire" thingy Adapted Dark. I sort of want to see if I can write a decent book in, say, two months. Or if my head will go boom, instead.

Have I mentioned there will be at least one, and probably three, Vince Locke illustrations in The Drowning Girl?

---

My life is a constellation of prescriptions. That's a lousy fucking bit of phraseology, but there you go. A sky dotted with pills. And yesterday a new one was added to the sky maps, and it sort of unexpectedly knocked me for a loop. I went out to the market with Spooky, but by the time we got home, I could hardly sit up. So, I lay down on the chaise in the middle parlor, in front of the fire, and dozed for half an hour or so. Then she woke me, and it was a long groggy evening. We watched Kill Bill Vol. 1 again, mostly so I could moon over Uma's feet and Gogo...and because the climactic fight scene never gets old. I read a paper on the braincase anatomy of the theropod Carnotaurus. But I never really shook off the grogginess. I did some rp with [livejournal.com profile] omika_pearl, but I just wasn't there, and finally apologized and hit the pause button. However, when I went to bed at three, I was asleep as soon as the light went out, and didn't wake until eleven. I wasn't prescribed this drug as a sleep aid, only warned it might make me drowsy. So...damn. Tonight, I don't take it until bedtime.

Oh, and boot money fell, like a Fortean event, from the heavens. Thank you, Jada. You're the bestest.

People have asked for photos of the new piercings, so there are some ears behind the cut (just the ears, but I'll do the labret later):

Holes )
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
The subject line above sort of squiggled out of my brainmeats just now. It's something left unexpressed in my all night conversation with [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark, which ended only as the sun was rising. I do hate sunrise, which is odd, because I didn't used to hate sunrise. There was a time I loved the sight, and it meant nothing more than that the sun was rising. I think it's come to mean, instead, a failure to find the nocturnal sleep of Good Christian Folk. But yes, Geoffrey visited last night. We ate calzones and talked. Mostly, we talked. About books and writing and publishing, drugs and sex and movies, cults and magick and whether or not the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn would turn me away (that's not the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, of course, not 1888 to 1908, but the New and Improved Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn). Towards the end, it all became a blur, but I assume he has returned safely to Framingham.

Gloomy out there. Gloomy and wet. Same as yesterday.

Yesterday.

I think the only work I actually accomplished was of the email variety. I think. Yeah, I'm pretty sure of that. My piercing appointment was at 5 p.m., and before then I went with Spooky, out into the drizzle, to the pharmacy (to get my new meds) and then the vet (to get Sméagol's meds). As for the piercing, that part went very, very well. If you're in the Providence area, and I strongly recommend RockStar Body Piercing. It's very probably the most positive experience I've ever had with piercing. My labret had closed, and had to be repierced, and both my ears were pierced again, because the lowermost holes weren't centered quite right for stretching. I've begun with six-gauge glass plugs, and within a year or so I should be up to the 5/8th of an inch plugs I'm aiming for (about the width of a nickel). It's nice having the labret back. It's my original 1995 labret, not the one I wore for a while later on, beginning on March 5, 2006. As soon as Jef was done with my lip, he asked, "How does it feel?" And I replied, "Nostalgic."

Afterwards, Spooky got some new shoes, and I tried on a pair of boots that I love, but can't possibly presently afford. Spooky says of her new shoes, "I like my new shoes. And they have hot pink on them. Which is a masculine color."

She's such a fucking butch.

The editor for whom I'm writing "Fake Plastic Trees" loves the Story Thus Far, so I have to get back to work on that immediately. I need to speak with my agent this evening, because I seem to have a plan. Which is sort of new for me.

Cold Spring is reluctantly giving way to Spring. Many of the trees are showing a spray of green, and flowers are opening. I heave a twice hourly sigh of relief.

This morning, I slept seven hours, and it was some of the best sleep I've had in weeks. Not perfect. There were the nightmares, and they were bad. But, still, better sleep.

This entry's sort of a muddle, kittens. Yesterday was actually a pretty decent day, as my days go. You'd think I could have made a better entry of it. Alas.

Freshly Perforated,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
Cloudy. Drizzly. 50˚F.

The light getting in beneath my office curtain has been drained of any quality to illuminate. It's still light, but a light that drenches and soaks in, rather than reflecting.

A stapler from college. A coffee cup from the Yale Peabody Museum, filled with pens and pencils. Four rocks: Moonstone Beach (RI), Jamaica, Ireland, Oregon. A tin of Altoids. Etc. & etc.

Comments can't hurt.

Yesterday, I wrote almost six hundred words on "Fake Plastic Trees." I very much like this story, but it's bleak. And it's only going to get bleaker. Yesterday, I decided I wanted the editor to read the first half before I write the second half, so I emailed it away. And now I'm waiting for the verdict. Which leaves me wondering what to do in the interim, which might be only a few more hours, but might be another day or two. I suppose I'll turn my eyes towards Sirenia Digest #65. Still hoping to see a few more answers to the latest Question @ Hand, by the way, though the ones I've received, most are keepers. Some made me feel that electric sensation in my gut. One of the highs I chase, night and day.

Two or three people have objected that they can't answer it because it involves my being forced, and maybe I see their point, the point of their objection. But, this is fiction, and, also, I've given my explicit consent to be fictionally forced. So, the objection mystifies me just a little.

CARE package yesterday from SL, who sent me two of the Brown Bird cds I didn't have, Tautology and Such Unrest, which I just loaded onto my iPod. Also, Curt Stager's (a paleoclimatologist) Deep Future: The Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth. I read Spooky the prologue last night. And the package also contained Nicky Raven's retelling of Dracula as a children's story, beautifully illustrated by Anne Yvonne Gilbert. So, my gratitude.

Last night, in response to my Danielle Dax post, [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus posted the video clip from Jordan's A Company of Wolves (1984) for which I'd posted the screenplay excerpt. And here it is:

<


Thing is, as artists we are influenced by things. I've always been aboveboard about the degree to which Angela Carter has influenced my work. She sparks my mind. She sings to me. I sing back. But then, as artists, sometimes, we are influenced by things, and, sometimes, we write (or paint, or whatever), and the influence acts unconsciously upon us. To wit, I was entirely unaware that in writing a significant part of The Drowning Girl I was very much expressing my love of this scene from The Company of Wolves. Imp tells a story, "The Wolf Who Cried Girl," and it derives very much from this scene. But I was entirely unaware what I was doing until I read the screenplay yesterday, and then it smacked me in the face. I'm fascinated by the silent influences, especially when they're so fucking obvious. "These things happen."

"And then,
you shall open
this book, even if it is the book of nightmares." (Galway Kinnell)

---

Good session with my doctor yesterday. New drug today, and maybe things will improve again. Soon, I hope. By the way, as I say in the acknowledgments to The Drowning Girl, without my doctor the novel never would have been written. It almost wasn't written.

Today, I may actually pitch the ParaRom lesbian junkie wolfpire novel to my agent. I would write it after Blue Canary, the first YA book, while she's shopping Blue Canary.

This evening, I have an appointment at RockStar Piercing on Thayer Street, to begin the process of having my earlobes stretched, and to put my labret back in. I need the sort of pain I get from body mods. It centers me.

Last night, we watched Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds for the fourth time. It's is a genuinely brilliant film, and he's going to have to do a lot to ever top himself. We played Rift. I read "Enhydriodon dikikae, sp. nov. (Carnivora: Mammalia), a gigantic otter from the Pliocene of Dikika, Lower Awash, Ethiopia" in the latest JVP. You have to imagine a mostly terrestrial otter the size of a bear, which lived alongside Australopithecus.

And I should try to do some work, while I wait for a verdict on "Fake Plastic Trees."
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
The sun is still with us. The day is bright, and Rhode Island is slowly coming to terms with the flooding— which, technically, is not yet over, as rivers continue to crest. Amtrak is still not running through the state, but I-95 reopened late yesterday.

All subscribers to Sirenia Digest should have #52 in their inboxes. If you haven't gotten it, speak up. I'm very happy with #52. Among other things, we've finally transitioned to having something like a genuine cover, instead of merely a title page. I'd love to hear reactions to the issue here today.

Yesterday was not exactly a work day, but nor was it a day off. The galley pages for the mass-market paperback edition of The Red Tree arrived from NYC. They have to be proofed and back to Roc by the 15th. There are mistakes that made their way into the first edition that have to be corrected. But yesterday, I only opened the envelope and glanced at the pages. This edition will be out in September.

Other bits of yesterday: Hubero lay on my desk, basking in the sun and fresh air coming in through the open office window; Spooky and I shared a corned beef and coleslaw sandwich from the Hudson Street deli; we had a walk, that took us to Dexter Training Ground and the Armory, where there were dogs and children and budding trees, clover and green grass (photos tomorrow); I had a long hot bath; I read an article from the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology; I talked with Bill Schafer about the new Ray Bradbury volume they're about to release, A Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451 Stories, which comes complete with a beautiful cover by the incomparable Joseph Mugnaini (1912-1992); Spooky made Spanish rice with chicken and pintos for dinner; and so forth. It was a day. A not bad day. There are far too few of those.

I announced last night on Facebook that I'm planning to have my back, shoulders, and both arms tattooed, and I think, the date being April 1st, no one believed me. But the announcement wasn't a prank. I'm talking with Vince about designing the three pieces. The first, which I hope would be done this summer, will be an octopus that will cover my entire back, shoulders to upper buttocks. But the whole series of tattoos would be sea themed (extinct and extant creatures), and very colorful. My skin has been blank far too long. I'm racing towards forty-six-years-old, and I want this done. There will be trilobites and bladderack, eels and eurypterids. I have to find a local tattoo artist I'm comfortable with. I expect the whole tattoo will take a couple of years to complete, beginning, hopefully, this summer.

In the new Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, I've made my way through several articles over the last week: "Bistahieversor sealeyi, gen. et sp. nov., a new tyrannosauroid from New Mexico and the origin of deep snouts in Tyrannosauroidea"; "A reappraisal of the origin and basal radiation of the Osteichthyes"; and "Demythologizing Arctodus simus, the 'short-faced' long-legged predaceous bear that never was." The third article was especially interesting, as it turns out that A. simus (fossils date from about 800,000-12,500 years ago), while truly gigantic, may not have been the "super-predator" it has often been characterized as being (it has even been invoked as an agent for delaying the radiation of Homo sapiens in North America); indeed, it appears also not to have been particularly short faced or long legged, when compared to various extant bear species.

Late last night— well, early this morning — as I was drifting off to sleep, there was a bump somewhere in the house. I came awake with a start, which startled Spooky awake. And my head was suddenly filled with new ideas— an entirely new approach —for The Wolf Who Cried Girl Spooky switched on the light and I jotted everything down (this was about 3:16 a.m.), so I wouldn't forget any of it. I am newly excited about the long-delayed novel.

As promised, here are a few screencaps from the ongoing Insilico rp, the latest incarnation of the Xiang AI (played by me), inside her Faraday cage:

Rebuilding the Perfect Beast, or Fifth's Secret )
greygirlbeast: (mirror2)
So here is us, on the raggedy edge.

I've slept too late, had my breakfast ramen, slithered about the web, and now Tom Waits is crooning in my ears, and I can, sadly, think of no other reason to delay the onset of Another Day. So. Here we go. Hang on.

There's sunlight peeping into my office through a poorly secured bit of black cloth, reflecting off the spines of several books. It's cold again. That sunlight isn't telling the truth.

Spooky and I spent all of yesterday holed up in the office, dealing with the hundreds of Alabaster line edits. My office is one of the particularly cold rooms in the house, because we put bookshelves in front of almost all the windows and loaded them down with books before realizing that this place is draftier than a sieve in a hurricane. But we did not freeze quite to death, despite winds gusting 34 mph and a windchill of 27F. That was outside, of course. I don't know what it was in here. But we made it through "Waycross" and "The Well of Stars and Shadow" and "Alabaster." Which means we're done with the first round of edits, and the first round was 95% of the editing. I only rewrote a few sentences. I changed one line in "Waycross" in order to account for the events of "Alabaster." I added a lot of commas. I'm more of a comma traditionalist these days. I split some of my compounderations since they didn't seem to work anymore, and I had to wonder, again, if they'd ever worked. I also realized that the various discontinuities that exist between these stories aren't the only wrinkle in the thing. There's also the issue of repetition. Had I written these five stories knowing, ahead of time, that they were destined for a collection of Dancy stories, I wouldn't have repeated certain things in each story. Or maybe I would have. One never knows. When we were done with all the editing, about 6:30 p.m., I sketched my concept for the Alabaster cover, scanned it, then e-mailed a jpg to Ted. He liked it and is going to use it. He didn't even make fun of my stick-figure Dancy. And that was it for me and work yesterday.

Anita called from Barcelona. She'd finished "Bainbridge." I told her to e-mail me the afterword she's written for Alabaster, and she obliged, so I need to get that read today and see if it's going to work. She read me a poem in Spanish, but I understood hardly a third of it and can't recall the poet. She'll be stateside again in March, I think. She says moving to New England's the right thing to do, if I can handle the cold weather. We shall see.

Spooky made dinner. We watched a National Geographic thingy on taboos, which was mostly about body modification in different cultures. I am ever amazed at how Westerners are horrified by the practices of people in southeast Asia or Africa or Seattle, but give not a second thought to all the ways they condone and indulge in body modification themselves. Lets start with shaving. That's a good one. Dieting, too. Pierced ears. Plastic surgery, often far more extreme from a surgical standpoint than, say, my guiche or Spooky's tattoos or someone else's split tongue. Facelifts. Tummy tucks. And what about braces? Definitely. People dye their hair and practically never think of it as "body modification," but it is, of course. Nail polish. All cosmetics. And on and on and on and on. That which is, by definition, familiar can almost never be alien. That which is alien makes people wince and ask why would anyone ever do that to themselves. Doesn't it hurt? Don't they know it makes them look funny? Anyway, after that, we read several chapters of Harry Potter. There's so much in the fourth book that didn't make the film — Hermione's obsession with freeing house elves, all this stuff about Hagrid being half-giant, and so forth. Reading the book is almost like getting the extended version of the film on DVD. I know that's ass backwards, that impression, but there you go.

Okay. I got my pick axe and my carbide lantern and my lunch pail. It's off to the word mines for me...

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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