greygirlbeast: (blood)
My head is much better this morning, after being much worse last night, especially after midnight. This morning, though, I'm afraid to move for setting it off again. Today marks Day 9.

Yesterday was, for the most part, another loss. And these are days and days of losses I cannot afford. Yesterday, I signed contracts, answered email, made the last round of corrections to Alabaster #4, and – with Kathryn's help – managed to read the entirety of a truly gargantuan contract, which I then signed. They go back to Writers House today (I hope). There's no way yet to know what will happen today.

The weather is grey and tiresome. I slept until noon. Eight hours sleep, and I'm no less exhausted.

Last night, we made the mistake of watching Álex de la Iglesia's Balada triste de trompeta (2010). Not since House of 1000 Corpses (2003) has a film so made me want to erase all memory of having suffered through it. If there are words to describe the loathsomely, moronic awfulness...oh, never mind. Yeah, it's that bad.

There's a Brown Bird show (with other bands) at the Met tonight, but I'm pretty sure we're gonna set this one out. Which blows.

I'm going to play in the street now.

But every once in a while, it goes the other way too,*
Aunt Beast

* "Wait for the wheel." `~ John Crichton, Farscape
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Please comment, kittens. I just spent almost three hours on this bloody entry.

"Deny your pettiest of foes the satisfaction of defeat, or even of recognition, by consigning them to oblivion." – Old Sith Proverb (even though I just now made it up). Then again, as Brown Bird reminds us: "We file down our fangs on the bones of our foes." It's a damned conundrum, it is.

This is going to be a long entry, I think. Because, firstly, there's yesterday, and then, secondly, there's Ridley Scott's forthcoming Prometheus.

Yesterday, we finally left the house about two p.m. (CaST), and headed south and east to Conanicut Island and West Cove (~41°28'46.27"N, 71°21'40.50"W), nestled in amongst the ruins of Fort Wetherill. Longtime readers will recall this is one of our favorite destinations. It seemed a fitting place to spend Yuletide. Speaking of tides, as the new moon is Saturday, and we had a storm on Wednesday night, the last high tide had been very high, indeed. All the way back to the treeline. Therefore, all manner of interesting things had fetched up on the shore. When we visit West Cove, we're always most interested in mermaids' tears (beach glass) and the bones of gulls, cormorants, and other birds (and mammals, but mammalian bones are rare). I try to ignore the profuse plastic litter, mostly left behind by the summer people. I try to imagine the shoreline pristine, but it's hard when you know:

Around 100 million tonnes of plastic are produced each year of which about 10 percent ends up in the sea. About 20 percent of this is from ships and platforms, the rest from land.

- or -

Since the 1950s, one billion tons of plastic have been discarded and may persist for hundreds or even thousands of years.

Anyway, by my admittedly casual estimation, the tide must have stranded hundreds of rock crabs (Cancer irroratus), along with all manner of other Mollusca and Crustacea, many of which I've never before seen at West Cove. There were the remains of numerous genera of crabs and lobsters (including Limulus, Homarus, Libinia, and the aforementioned Cancer), pelecypods (including Mytilus, Ensis, Aequipecten, Mercenaria, Spisula, Crassostrea, and an as yet unidentified cockle), and gastropods, mostly slipper shells and periwinkles. I found a few interesting bird bones, and we collected some nice bits of glass. The sun was brilliant off the water, until banks of low clouds rolled in towards sunset. It was warmish, in the fifties Fahrenheit, except in the shadows. When the sun slipped behind the clouds, the temperature dropped into the low forties within minutes. I sat and listened to bell buoys and the slap of the surf, trying to calm myself for many days to come. As soon as we'd arrived, we climbed a large granite promontory and tossed a single sprig of yew into the dark waters of the cove as an offering to Panthalassa. We saw three ravens and a very large murder of crows, but, oddly, only a few seabirds, a few gulls that swept by overhead. Despiute the fact that I took a pretty hard fall in the rocks (and have the bruises and aches to show for it), it was a good (indeed, a bow tie) day at the sea. We headed home about 4:56 p.m., and I dozed all the way back to Providence. Winding up our celebration of Cephalopodmas, we watched the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society's excellent adaptation of The Call of Cthulhu (2005) and Robert Gordon's It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955).

At least the first day of winter has come and gone, and now the days will grow longer.

Yuletide 2011 )


---

Yesterday, I saw the first official "teaser" trailer for Ridley Scott's forthcoming Alien (1979) prequel, Prometheus, to be released in June 2012:



It must be understood that I've been waiting for this film for many years, even before Ridley Scott ever decided it would be made. Perhaps before he even considered it might ever exist. Few mythologies are more important to me than the Alien mythos (excepting those silly AvP tie-ins), so...well, it's gorgeous, this trailer, and the cast sounds brilliant, and I was pleased to hear that Giger was consulted and at least marginally involved with the production, and the news that Marc Streitenfeld has scored the film. That said, Scott's decision to shoot the film in 3D is abominable, and has left me deeply disappointed and a little sick about it all. Yes, he's following some of the processes used in Avatar, a spectacle that manages to be marvelous in 2D, and I can only fucking hope that the same will be true of Prometheus. It's not like I can boycott this film. But, like Scorcese's decision to do Hugo in 3D, I can only shake my head in disbelief and say that Ridley Scott knows better. Even watching the trailer, you can see those "coming at you," pandering-to-3D shots that so compromise good (and great) cinematography.

It is, at best, a wait-and-see situation. But it's one I await with regret and a heavy heart. When our greatest directors resort to gimmicks beneath them, what are lovers of film to do? Turn away from the future of cinema and be grateful for its glorious past? In this instance, and despite what Scott may be saying, the decision to go with 3D was almost certainly one based on heavy pressure from 20th Century Fox. We'll wait and we'll see.

Dreadful,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (starbuck4)
Took the "Break in Case of Emergency" pill this morning at five ayem, that tricksy gem in my prescription pharmacoepia, that I so very rarely touch. Because it hits within mere minutes, and it hits like a freight train (the passenger sort would only stun) and wears off about eighteen hours later. I slept more than 8.5 hours, a sleep which culminated with a dream of a post-apocalyptic (not one word, that adjective) plague that slowly, horribly transformed the infected into bat-like alien things. It isn't a dream I wish ever to go near ever again.

And I'm not awake. My left eyelid (blind eye), keeps closing of its own accord.

[livejournal.com profile] readingthedark arrived early in the evening, we had dinner from the hot bar at Whole Foods, then headed to the show at the Met. The first band sucked empty donkey ballsacks. Don't even recall the band's name. A bunch of fucking hipster poseurs from Brooklyn trying to audition for the Grand Ole Opry. But the second band, Joe Fletcher and the Wrong Reasons, were rather damn bow tie. Singer looked a lot like Michael Wincott (swoon), and the sound was sort of like a collision between Rockabilly and Bob Dylan and Nick Cave and a really skanky honky-tonk five miles outside Yazoo City, Mississippi.

Brown Bird (buy Salt for Salt TODAY), returning home after a long tour, looked a little haggard, but sounded better than I've ever heard them sound. A mountain of bow tie. It was even worth enduring the drunks and texting idiots. And here's a thing? Why do people pay to attend a show, then spend the whole goddamn show texting? Or even spend five minutes doing it? Are they truly so attached at the genitals to their cell phones and social fucking networks that they can't stop that shit fot a couple of hours and just listen? Anyway, fuck them, and Brown Bird remains the finest Appalachian-Roots-Yiddish-Doom-Folk band anywhere on Earth.

And that's all I'm writing today. I'm still stoned, and I'm on vacation, motherfuckers.
greygirlbeast: (twilek1)
Skimp on one journal entry, everything piles up. Outside it's very cold. Well, very cold if you're me. 43˚F, and the low tonight will be 22˚F (-5.5 C). This might come out all higgledy piggledy (double dactyl!), but at least it will be a higgledy-piggledy list.

[One-hour pause to install iTunes 10.5.1, which should have been easy, but wasn't.]

1. Yesterday we saw Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Marvelous. If Ritchie's making Holmes purists uncomfortable, more power to him. A Game of Shadows was at least as smart, and funny, and as fine a box of eye candy as Sherlock Holmes (2009). Oh, and lots of deftly inserted (cough, cough) gay innuendo, so booya. Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law, I love you. Great chess, too. Eight tentacles up.

2. Last night, late, I finished with Stephen Jones' A Book of Horrors. All I had left to go was Robert Shearman's very good Machenesque "A Child's Problem," Dennis Etchinson's pleasantly odd and wistful piece "Tell Me I'll See You Again," and Richard Christian Mathenson's somewhat delightfully sadistic "Last Words." The latter might have served as a fitting bit for Sirenia Digest. I don't read much contemporary horror, but A Book of Horrors is a solid volume (plus, you get my piece, "Charcloth, Firesteel and Flint").

3. Thursday evening was cold, windy, and the sky spat rain. That would have been the first day of the vacation, yes? This day is the third. But I sort of did some work during the day, unless I misremember...which is always a possibility. Later, we visited the RISD Art Gallery (and got our nephew, Miles, a very bow-tie book for Solstice), then went out to get supplies (for both Spooky and me) at Jerry's Artarama*, then stopped near Brown and got delicious food from Mama Kim's Korean BBQ for dinner. It was worth huddling under my umbrella for.

4. Yesterday, UPS brought my copy of Star Wars: The Old Republic, and I recreated my Twi'lek Sith inquisitor Herazade and began leveling again. Made it to nine. I really am loving this game. Utterly bow tie, despite my initial predictions and impressions. However, a caveat: Why can game designers not rid us of the ubiquitous MMORPG silly hop? Have they never noted how humanoids jump? Generally, pushing off and up with the ball/toe of one foot, then landing with their opposite/s. Simple anatomy. Hopping up and down with bowed legs looks idiotic, and it's everywhere, except in console games, where a better knowledge of functional anatomy seems to prevail. The standing jump, of course, would be an exception, but, in most situations, standing jumps are rare, and may not serve here as an explanation or excuse.

5. Tonight, we see Brown Bird play at the Met in Pawtucket, and our Honourary Gentleman Caller, [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark, will be joining us for the musical shenanigans. Gonna rock.

6. Since we'd let our Audible.com credits back up, I downloaded three books the other day: first, Harlan reading his own Edgeworks Volume 1 – which is a delight – William Gibson's Neuromancer; and Paolo Bacigalupi The Wind-Up Girl. The last is the only I've not read, but I have great hopes. Of course, I'm not reading here, but listening, which is a distinctly different experience. Since I was a very, very small child I have savoured having stories and novels read to me. Unlike ebooks, audiobooks are bow tie.

7. Right now, plans are that the "teaser" trailer for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir will go live at 12 ayem EST (1 ayem CaST) on January 1st, New Year's Day. It will appear at that moment on my LiveJournal, as well as YouTube, Vimeo, etc. I will ask people to repost and embed it and link to it and spread it far and wide. I need the front page of my website redesigned for this book, but presently have no options. If anyone is willing to offer their web-fu for a FREE signed and inscribed copy of the book, email me at greygirlbeast(at)gmail(dot)com and we'll work something out.

And that is all! No more words! Vakayshun!

Leisurely,
Aunt Beast

* In The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, Imp works at Jerry's.
greygirlbeast: (walkenVNV)
From the last Brown Bird how I attended. Superb!

Brown Bird - Cast No Shadow from CrashBoomBang Media on Vimeo.



This is one of the bands that have become the "soundtrack" to which I write Alabaster; remember that when you start reading it. Probably sounds weird, because people think I'm still all gothedy and shit, but Brown Bird is one of my five favorite bands right now. They are (in no particular order, and this may change by next week...but....):

1. The Decemberists
2. The Editors
3. Radiohead
4. Florence and the Machines
5. Brown Bird

Fuck. I left out R.E.M. But maybe R.E.M. is 5.1 or something.

And by the way, want bleak "Fuck-you-God-bring-on-the-Apocalypse" lyrics? Brown Bird.
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
The more I listen to Brown Bird, the more they amaze me.

Two Worlds and In Between, deluxe and trade editions, is now officially sold out.

And tomorrow is the day. But if you get your hopes up so much you think I've been crowned Grand Xena She-Ra, Wonder Woman, Queen of the Known Universe the First, you have only yourself to blame for the inevitable disappointment.

Today, I take...more. And we see if things get better. If I can remain functional. Because, apparently, it's one thing to have irrational fears of How Bad Things Are, and another thing entirely to have rational fears of How Bad Things Are. It's the same shit, either way. The meds just make me care a whole lot less. Well, and it's nice not having the seizures. Also, it's cool knowing that if someone were to try and drink my blood, they would die a horrible death.

"She came by her insanity honestly."

The first half of yesterday was a mad whirlwind of this, that, and the other, attending to various questions and details for various projects until, by, 3 p.m., I was exhausted and still hadn't written a single word. So, it being Samhain, and Hallowe'en, I took the afternoon off. Which was stupid, as I have too much work to be doing that. But I did. Spooky went to the market, and I wasted about a half hour of my life playing RIFT, and...well, that was a dumb idea. Not working, I mean. I took a hot bath before dinner. Spooky brought me a Black Forest cake (my favorite). We carved jack-o'lanterns. There were trick-or-treaters. We watched Its the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966), and the two new episodes of Beavis and Butthead.

The former was bittersweet and nostalgic, a gentle amusement from an age when lies were better at hiding the ugliness of the world from children (and parents tried a lot harder). The latter was funny as hell, and, as I said last night on Twitter, television has crawled so far up its own (porn, porn, porn, porn, porn) asshole that Beavis and Butthead (porn, porn, porn, porn, porn) actually come off as rather smart kids (porn, porn, porn, porn, porn). Beavis and Butthead on Jersey Shore and LMFAO's "Champagne Showers"? It's pretty incisive commentary on this dear sweet filthy world, kittens.

And we watched John Fawcett's Ginger Snaps (2000). It has aged very, very well. Sure, the final creature effects suffer from budget constraint (though the makeup up until then is brilliant), but it remains one of the very few genuinely good werewolf films. It's perfectly, morbidly, hilariously, grimly, gleefully horrific, and, in the end, an impressive examination of teenage alienation. Of finding oneself in that darkest of dark places, and at that moment you've spent a short life fearing above all others. If you've never seen this film, what the fuck's wrong with you? Oh, you were only ten when it was released....

Yes, if I had a daughter, I truly would name her Ampersand. Well, on the birth certificate it would be listed as & Rose Kiernan, but we'd call her Amp.

Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark. Thank you, The National. You guys rock.

Also, you might be a loony Xtian whackjob, but you go, Anne Rice (at least she wrote three good novels):

Lestat and Louie feel sorry for vampires that sparkle in the sun. They would never hurt immortals who choose to spend eternity going to high school over and over again in a small town — anymore than they would hurt the physically disabled or the mentally challenged. My vampires possess gravitas. They can afford to be merciful...The idea that if you are immortal you would go to high school instead of Katmandu or Paris or Venice, it’s the vampire dumbed down for kids. But it’s worked. It’s successful. It makes kids really happy. And here we are, back at Beavis and Butthead.

It's nice to see Anne Rice fucking grow a pair for an hour. And if you think I just made a sexist comment, grow a pair, please. After all, do you know I didn't mean ovaries? But, wait...wouldn't that also be sexist. Maybe I meant ears.

Oh, there are pumpkin photos from last night (mine was stolen, just like last year):

Jack! )
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
Comments!

The thing about waking up without a house full of photographers, actors, and "oh shit!" girls is that you soon realize you have to make your own coffee. Well, Spooky has to make our own coffee. She won't let me near the Amazing Hal 9000.5 Caffeinator. Or maybe I'm just afraid of that huge and glowing blue camera eye. Point is, we had to make our own coffee. Spooky came near to violence.***

Here are links to this weekend's entries, because I know most people missed them, and there's some grand "sneak peeks" at what we were doing and what will eventually be the book trailer for The Drowning Girl and [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy's Stills From a Movie That Never Existed. First, we have Friday. And then there's Saturday. And, at last, Sunday. Understand, these stills are only a hint at the incredible coolness of the weekend and what was accomplished, and you'll begin to understand.

I think my favorite moment of the weekend, though, was at Rolling Dam in Blackstone, Massachusetts. In our enthusiastic foolhardiness, Brian, Kyle, Sara, and I had crawled down the steep rocky bank to a "relatively" calm bit of water behind a fallen log, and Sara had emerged nude and reptilian from the freezing tanin-stained depths, and we'd packed up all the cameras, and were breathing a collective sigh of relief that no one was swept away by the wild river. And then Kyle, he triumphantly declares, "We rule the toads of these short forests and every newt in Idaho!" I think he was quoting someone or something else, but they were appropriately cryptic words, all the same. Yeah, our afternoon by the Blackstone River even beat out standing in a torrential rainstorm Friday night, trying to get a shot, looking and feeling like maybe we were stranded in the jungles of Manila in an outtake from Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991) while Typhoon Olga did her best to drown us. Though, the afternoon at Moonstone Beach was pretty goddamn special, too. Especially when the rainbow appeared over Imp and Eva's heads.

Oh, and the eBay auctions to come. Begin drooling now. Props! Signed!

Again, and again, and again, thank you everyone.

Last night, after [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark departed (the last to go), Spooky and I were too tired to breathe. I made a blog entry, we did a little halfhearted straightening up of the house. But we soon discovered we were too tired to move. So, we crawled off to the bedroom and streamed last week's episode of Fringe (fucking marvelous!!!), then the first episode of American Horror Story (there's potential here; we'll see), and then another episode from Season Four of Mad Men (we're trying to make Season Four last as long as possible, rationing after gorging on Seasons 1-3). Then we read, each to ourselves, until we fell asleep, sometime after three ayem.

And now that the grand troupe of people is gone, I have to begin to get my head back into work. Maybe take today to decompress and reorient myself. But, yeah. Work. A lot of work. Immediately. Well, if tomorrow counts as "immediately."

Laurie Anderson is playing in Providence on Saturday night, and we're debating whether or not we'll go. Spooky's seen her live twice, but I never have.

Oh, and thanks, Steven, for the new Brown Bird CD (and T-shirts!). And thank you, niece, for the care package. It reached me.

Also! Just got an email from Bill Schafer at Subterranean Press, who writes: "We *should* start shipping copies of Two Worlds and In Between late this week, if all goes well. You might want to let your readers know that we're now down to the last 50 copies of the trade hardcover." Listen up, kittens. These are the final hours!

And now..this day.

*** NOTE: I do not actually drink coffee anymore, having forsaken it for Red Bull; but Kathryn can't live without it.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Everyone's on her or his way home now (Boston, Philadelphia, Framingham, Washington D.C.). Three amazing days of work are behind us. Much more work lies ahead, and the first edit of the trailer (there will be several, and yes, a DVD at some point) won't be done until January. But, undoubtedly, many hours of footage was shot for, at most, a four minute film.

I am sore, and sleepless, and my head's swimming, and I went three days and hardly ate. And I haven't yet gotten to see last week's episode of Fringe (spoilers will get you dead). But I wouldn't have traded this experience for the world. I watched moments from the The Drowning Girl: A Memoir brought to life through the alchemy of effort, talent, patience, luck, and persistence. After all my years of publishing, I am not ashamed to say that I learned many things I wish I'd learned years ago. And new projects will happen because I have learned these lessons.

I'm too tired to say very much, I only want to lie down and shut my eyes. But...yesterday we made it to Rolling Dam (the location that inspired the novel), and watched Sara become the marvelously predatory Siren of Millville. Never mind the water was fucking freezing, and rough enough it's a wonder she wasn't swept away. In time, you will see the beauty of those moments, but later. We can't show all our cards at once.

I sat with Nicola at Thundermist Falls in Woonsocket as the sun set, and coached her on what Imp would be doing and thinking and how she would move. I watched Imp try to drown in a bathtub, and panicked Abalyn carry her down a narrow hallway. In time, you'll see. We shot in the Providence Athenaeum (thank you, Super Librarian Women!), and other locales around the city today.

We've thanked each other, and wished we didn't have to leave, that we could keep working on this thing. But that's not how art is meant to be, is it? No, it's not. A special thank you to our absent genius, Michael Zulli. And to everyone who donated even so much as a single dollar to the Kickstarter crowdsourcing drive that made this happen.

My brains are running out my ears. But before I go, here are a few more shots:

15-16 October 2011; SFW? You decide. )


I drank the blood of angels from the bottle,
Just to see if I could call the lightning down.
It hasn't struck me yet, and I would wage my soul to bet
That there ain't no one throwing lightning anyhow.
— Brown Bird, "Blood of Angels"
greygirlbeast: (Default)
And here it is the second of Hallowe'en, and on this day one year ago I was in Portland, Oregon, Guest of Honoring for the Lovecraft Film Festival. In fact, on this night a year ago I gave the speech that was recently published in the fifth issue of The Lovecraft Annual. I'm having one of those "How can a year have already come and gone?" days. Then again, since this day two years ago, I've written two novels and...well, a metric-asston of stuff has happened.

Yesterday, I pulled together everything for Sirenia Digest #70. Great cover this month. So, as soon as I have Vince Locke's illustration, it goes out to subscribers (if you are a subscriber). But, yeah, that was work yesterday.

And a there was an email from Gary K. Wolfe that actually managed to make me happy. Kind of scary when that happens. My moments of the happy, I mean. More on this very soon.

It's Sunday, and Sunday is a very good day to order your copy of Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Me (Volume One) (sorry, the super-snazzy limited sold out long ago, but there's still a few copies of the snazzy trade edition).

And before anyone asks (as if anyone need ask), yes, I support OccupyWallStreet one-hundred percent, and I only hope we see more protests of this magnitude in more cities across the country. "We are unions, students, teachers, veterans, first responders, families, the unemployed and underemployed. We are all races, sexes and creeds. We are the majority. We are the 99 percent. And we will no longer be silent." I wouldn't hasten to add, we are artists.

Last night, we drove up to a four-band show in Pawtucket, at the Met Cafe in the Hope Artiste Village. Well, mostly, we went to see Brown Bird (click for the HEARING OF THE MUSIC), who played second. We are Brown Bird addicts, because they rock. Yes, they do, so don't make that face, you sluggard! But the first band was a group from Chicago, Pillars and Tongues (their Band Camp site), and they, too, were truly amazing. Spooky described them as the lovechild of David Sylvian, Brenden Perry, and Sixteen Horsepower. And Mark Trecka plays the harmonium! Wonderful. Then Brown Bird came on, and I was very confused, until I figured out that strange woman wandering around on stage was, in fact, Morganeve, who's cut all her hair off. Others were also confused. We left after Brown Bird, even though we wanted to see Dark Dark Dark play. But the third band was...bad. And painful. As in, a trumpet (or coronet?) splitting our skulls apart. And the bad clothes. Like, a thousand hipsters dumped into a blender and out popped this bad. Oh, and banana shoes. Let us not forget the hallowed banana shoes. We did discover that by the time we'd left the building, and walked around front and across the street to the parking lot, by then they sounded okay. But, yes, Pillars and Tongues and Brown Bird. If they play near you, SEE THESE BANDS. There are three photos behind the cut:

1 October 2010 )


Back home...we watched Mad Men (in Season Three, now), and I read to Spooky from Halloween. Yeah, I'm having another go at reading through an anthology that's reprinted one of my stories, since it's been going fairly well, this odd new habit. Oh, and I've never before been in an anthology that also includes Sir Walter Scott. Anyway, I read her "Ulalume: A Ballad" (including the last stanza, which is usually missing) and Lovecraft's "Hallowe'en in a Suburb," which led to a rather amusing conversation about lemurs, Lemuria, Goethe, and the lemures of Roman mythology. Then she went to sleep, and I read, to myself, Joe Lansdale's extremely effective "On a Dark October."

And that, Kätzchen, was yesterday, give or take.

Car Lagged,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (The Hatter)
Every day is like a war between the will to go on,
And a wish the earth would spiral into the sun.
– Brown Bird

Woke at nine ayem this morning, wide awake, and I have no idea why. True, we've been getting to bed early. But we've been sitting up reading afterwards (presently, Junky). I probably went to sleep about 2:45 ayem. But, yeah. Wide awake. Sméagol was staring at me.

Yesterday, I worked on Sirenia Digest #67. I did the cover and wrote the prolegomenon. And responded to a lot of email. There was some cool stuff from [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy, who was out at Walden Pond, and in Boston. All this would be a secret, except I suck at secrets. And though I suck at secrets, I'm presently keeping no less than two rather stupendous ones.

I'm waiting for my agent's reaction to the first four chapters of Blood Oranges. I suck at waiting. I'm better at keeping secrets than waiting.

Last night, we watched Molly Parker in Lynne Stopkewich's Kissed (1996) which, by some odd quirk of fate, I'd never before seen. I think it may have been a film that I was afraid to see, fearing it would sensationalize. But it is, in fact, an amazingly, unexpectedly sweet film. It is an innocent film. The film's final lines, spoken as voice-over by Sandra, could stand as an epigraph to all of Sirenia Digest, and certainly to Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart:

Love is about craving for transformation. And all transformation, all movement, happens because life turns into death.

It might actually be June out there today. Well, late June in Rhode Island.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. I'm waiting on far too many checks just now, every little bit helps. This is one of the things it means to be a freelancer. The check is always late.

Oh, and Spooky says, "You can't leave the lemurs in charge of the zoo."

Lead the way, platypus.
greygirlbeast: (Pagan1)
Outside, it's 80F and feels like 81F. Inside, 80F. Balance, kiddos.

The last thing I recall saying before I fell asleep this morning is, "Only a dyke would have a crush on Charlie Brown." This is, in fact, a reference to Peppermint Patty. Let's just say I was very tired. Though, that's often when I speak the truth.

This morning, I dreamed I was in some weird sequel to Lovecraft's "The Colour Out of Space." Pretty much all detail is lost to me, but I can assure you it was not the least bit pleasant. The sense of uncleanliness, that it was unsafe to touch, drink, or eat anything, or even to breathe. It reminds me how "The Colour Out of Space" is a perfect parable for environmental degradation.

Yesterday was spent editing Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart and the first four chapters Blood Oranges, finding as many errors in the latter as possible and correcting them. This afternoon, it goes to my agent. Booya. I now know that I'll write an introduction for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart called "Sexing the Weird." I'm going to ask another author to write an afterword, and I hope to include a lot of illustrations by Vince Locke

Couldn't sleep last night. When I can't sleep, neither can Spooky. So our insomnias align. She read me the first three sections of William Burroughs' Junky (which I've not read since the summer of 1994). Then she turned off the light, about 4:30 ayem. The sky had grown very bright, there on that shortest darkness of the year. I sat at the kitchen table eating leftover pasta salad and watching the dawn. Finally, the pills kicked in, and I crawled away to bed and sleep.

Happy birthday, [livejournal.com profile] faustfatale!

Our thanks to Stephen Lubold for the latest care package: Brown Bird's EP "The Sound of Ghosts," and three books: Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and the first two volumes of Mike Raicht and Brian Smith's amazing The Stuff of Legend. As it happens, he also won yesterday's ARC auction.

Good Rifting and rping last night. Thanks to everyone! The guild grows.

And yes, it's Soltice, Midsummer, Lithia, Litha. It is a day that Kathryn and I observe. If you do likewise, I wish you a happy Litha. I won't say blessed. Not sure I believe much in blessings, and even if I did, I would be unable to bestow them. The wheel turns. The shortest night, tonight.

We'll go to this evening to observe the day. We've talked about staying at the shore all night, maybe watching the sunrise over Narragansett Bay. But first I have a lot of work to do.

Comments, kittens!

Traveling the Circumference,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
There's sunlight, and cold air, and my head hurts. This time last year, Providence was turning green. Damn you, snow.

There was no work yesterday. No writing, and very little of the busyness of writing. I suppose it was a day off. Maybe. It all blurs together. I begin to fear that the meds are failing me, losing that potency. No, not that. My body developing a tolerance. And oh won't that make life fun? But no, let's not go there.

Regardless, I'm back in that place where there's mostly just the low-grade humming in my skull, which I begin to think is the white noise of the universe.

---

Yesterday was the 33rd anniversary sale of Newbury Comics in Warwick (well, Newbury Comics everywhere, but we go to Warwick...usually...and it's pronounced "War-ick," NOT "War-wick"), and since the check from Suicide Girls had come, Spooky took me out of the house to be bad and spend money I can't afford to spend on things I can live without (but wicked cheap, 25% off everything). In fact, yesterday sort of took this weird nosedive into a day of getting neat stuff. It was like Xmas, if Xmas wasn't a steaming pile of shit. Um, anyway. At Newbury Comics I picked up:

Fever Ray (deluxe three-disc set)
Rasputina, Great American Gingerbread
Rammstein, Liebe Ist Für Alle Da
Rammstein, Sehnsucht
The Pogues, If I Should Fall From Grace With God*
Radiohead, Pablo Honey (two-disc collector's edition)
Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here*

* Only have on vinyl, which is in storage.

If I confess my crimes, I'll only go to the Hell where you're allowed to keep your pornography and drugs. Also, I don't know what to make of the fact that All but one of those albums begins either with P or R.*

Then, at the P.O. Box, there was a very generous CARE package, which added to the guilt load, since I'd just bought all those CDs (though, like I said, 25% off, and most were already used). Thank you, SL. Garona and the fifth volume of the collected Popeye comic strips were especially appreciated. And as if it couldn't get any more absurd, we arrived home to discover a box from Bill Schafer. Mostly, it contained copies of the lettered, boxed edition of In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers that he recently discovered buried in the depths of the Subterranean Press stockpile. But ALSO, a copy of the new expanded edition of Unca Harlan's Deathbird Stories, a book that influenced my own writing beyond any ability for me to elucidate, and it's a fucking beautiful edition. I haven't had a copy since the early nineties, when I loaned it to a friend, and he never returned it (I no longer loan books).

Later, dinner at Trinity Brew House (I just had a salad; no appetite lately), and then we went to the Brown Bird show down the street at the Speakeasy at Local 121. This awesome sweaty guy from Chicago opened for them, and then Tik Tok ("sounds like tin pans and chicken bones") played, and finally a very short set by Brown Bird (who are so cool they push the outside of the cool envelope). After the show, I got a copy of Brown Bird's The Devil Dancing, which made it a day of eight cds, but at least this last one didn't begin with P or R.

There were three frat boys in the back of the bar heckling, but you never have a blowtorch and needle-nose pliers when you fucking need them, right? Also, I'm pretty sure all the facial hair in Providence was in attendance last night. Which is cool; these days, too few men have beards.

All in all, it would have been a fantastic day, had it been twenty degrees warmer and had the white noise in my head have been turned down about two-hundred decibels.

---

Today, in theory, I begin the story for Dark Horse (TBA, so don't ask). I'd like to have it finished by Monday evening (if I live that long).

I don't know. I just don't know anymore.

Oh, there are photos from the show, behind the cut:

6 April 2011 )


Pitching and Yawing,
Aunt Beast

* To be fair, we haven't bought a CD, I don't think, since the new Legendary Pink Dots, back in October.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Still overcast, but warmer today. Oh, wait. I see a glimmer of sunlight.

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

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

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

---

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

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

---

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

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

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

---

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

---

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

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

Last of all (until the next entry), though I love WoW, I'm sickened by the kids (at least, I hope they're kids) who spew "faggot" and "queer" and "gay" and "homo" over the various chat channels, employing these words as though they are the worst imaginable insults. They swamp the chat channels with this shit. It's almost enough the make me quit the game. I've disabled almost all the chat channels, and I mute the individuals. But still. Are gamers today, as a group, really this homophobic?
greygirlbeast: (alabaster2)
Cloudy and cold in Providence. Not snowy, frosty cold. But not warm.

More often than not, to quote Elmore Leonard, "I think a plan is just a list of things that don't happen." Days and days ago, the plan was to finish "The Cloud That Took the Form..." and then have "At the Reef" finished by Wednesday. And here it is Sunday, and, if I'm lucky, I'll finish "At the Reef" today. The stories do as they will, and this one means to be longer than I envisioned. A long vignette, a very short short story. In this case, labels are meaningless. I might have finished yesterday, but I spent too much time researching the submarine USS O-10 and the Boston Navy Yard (circa 1928) and seafloor topography off Cape Ann, Massachusetts, and Iranian ceremonial masks and the Winward Islands of French Polynesia. Still, I wrote 1,233 words. Today, I find THE END.

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

I didn't leave the House yesterday. There was oatmeal with pomegranate and cranberries for breakfast, and apple-walnut pie for lunch, and spaghetti for dinner.

Still looking for more votes in the podcast poll. Take a moment to speak your piece.

Spooky and I are assembling a "Dancy box." That is, the box that Dancy Flammarion would have had with her on her long, long walk. When it's done, we'll be auctioning it, along with a lettered copy of Alabaster. Yesterday, Spooky went to a yard sale and found the perfect sunglasses and an old rosary. But we still need many more things.

And speaking of Dancy, and just in case you didn't follow the link yesterday: If ever there were a film version of some combination of the short stories in Alabaster (directed by the Coen Brothers, creature effects by Weta Studios, Dancy played by Elle Fanning, Sid Haig as the Bailiff), this is Brown Bird, the band I would want to do the soundtrack.

One of my "rules" about writing is never, ever for any reason write a story in second person. But all rules are made to be broken by those with the skills to break them. Walls only exist to inspire the breaking down of walls. Anyway, yesterday I read "Oaks Park" by M. K. Hobson, in Haunted Legends, which is written in second person, and which is brilliant, poignant, and which has left me with a lingering haunted mood. It is one of maybe...three, maybe...stories I've ever read written in second person that succeeds.

I've been making my way through the new issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (30:5), and so far have read "Osteology of a new giant bony-toothed bird from the Miocene of Chile, with a revision of the taxonomy of Neogene Pelagornithidae," "The evolution of extreme hypercarnivory in Metriorhynchidae (Mesoeucrocodylia: Thalattosuchia) based on evidence from microscopic dental morphology," "A new specimen of Eutretauranosuchus (Crocodyliformes: Goniopholididae) from Dry Mesa, Colorado," and "Naming dinosaur species: the performance of prolific authors." I'm trying to get back to China Miéville's The Kraken, which is very good, but which I set aside in the chaos after the trip to Portland. Just before bed last night, I paged through Nightmares of Decay: The Edgar Allan Poe Illustrations by Harry Clarke.

A welcome to everyone who's joined Eyes of Sylvanas, and I hope to see a few more of you. Just contact Spooky at crk_books(at)yahoo(dot)com if you're interested. Last night, we did far too many Alterac Valley battlefields, but I made enough honor points to get Shaharrazad more epic gear, in this case a necklace and cloak.

Okay. Time to work.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Argh. Up much too late last night. Not even insomnia, just too dumb to go to bed. Just too unwilling to sleep. I resent that we sleep half our lives away. Or a third. Or what the hell ever. I resent it. Add in the time we spend sitting on toilets...it's depressing as fuck. But, on the other hand, only one seizure in the past couple of months.

I also hate how having a psychiatrist appointment at 4:30 p.m. makes it impossible for me to get any work done beforehand. I did try to work on the interview, but only made it through one question (on magick). I may soon refuse to give interviews for a while. My answers are becoming too angry, too combative.

I fell asleep with a new painting in my head. Black Ships Ate the Sky. Yeah, inspired by the Current 93 album. And other things. I can see the painting clearly. And I know this one will be too personal to sell.

Just before sunset yesterday the light over Providence was amazing. I wish I'd had the camera with me. It was just...brilliant. The soft orange autumn light, the deep blue-gray clouds , the darkening sky showing in between, the brick buildings on College Hill glowing like hot embers. At Whole Foods, Spooky picked up a second pumpkin, because we're having two jack-o'-lanterns this year. Sea gulls were black silhouettes above the river.

I found a new favorite band yesterday, and they're right here in Rhode Island. Have a listen to Brown Bird. Actually, it was Spooky who found them, then pointed me towards them.

But I know that who I was is who I'm not and I will never be again.

Ebay auctions continue, because taxes were paid. There's also Spooky's Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy shop. Cool Halloween stuff that goes away on November 1st.

Angry this morning over parents who try to force their gay or transgendered children to be straight or cisgendered. Or, hell. Parents who force children who wear blue socks when they want to wear green socks. What the hell ever. Parents who hold their love hostage, who dangle it like a carrot on a stick. So, this is my message for the day, in case anything is listening: Love is not conditional. No, not ever. And what is conditional is not love.

Same rules apply to so-called "loving" gods.

Oh, a good thing from yesterday. A package arrived from Robin in Massachusetts. A fourth printing of the edition of Lovecraft's Dagon, and Other Macabre Tales (Arkham House, 1965), with the Lee Brown Coye cover I spoke of in my keynote speech at the Lovecraft Film Festival. Before this, I only had a much later Arkham House edition (1986, corrected text), but this is the edition that brought me to HPL, way back in 1981, so thank you.

Hello, Natasha.

Everyone who expressed an interest in joining Eyes of Sylvanas, Spooky and I will be doing the Alterac Valley battlefield tonight (and maybe tomorrow night, too), because it's Call to Arms this weekend, and Shaharrazad and Suraa need more epic gear. If you're level 80, feel free to join the team. And to all those who are not yet Level 80, we'll arrange some sort of meet up...somewhere. Just send one of us a pm inworld.

The platypus says shut the hell up. So, see you tomorrow. Today, I've got to finish "At the Reef."

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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