greygirlbeast: (Chiana 6)
So far, here in Providence, it's been a shitty, snowless winter. Lots of rain, and days with wide carnivorous blue skies, but fuck all when it comes to snow. Did we piss off the Snow Miser or something?

If you've not seen it already, the ONE AND ONLY auction of an ARC of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir has begun, and it began last night. The ARC is only being auctioned because we went a little over budget on the trailer shoot (and still have another day or so of filming coming up at the end of this month). So, please bid if you are able. Own a collectible ARC filled with uncorrected sentences. Oh, and both of Vince's illustrations for the novel do appear in the ARC. Thank you.

I'm not sure there's much point in recounting yesterday. I didn't write, because there was a sort of endless barrage of writing-related emails and phone calls. There was a good conversation with my publicist at Penguin (regarding The Drowning Girl), and I was sent more inked pages from Alabaster #3 (which I need to proof as soon as I finish this entry), and there were the pencils for the fourth Alabaster cover (beautiful), and a whole bunch of stuff for Readercon. I'm not kidding, working on all these books at once has my head spinning. Two hours of work feels like eight. This is a new thing to me. At least I'm sleeping more; otherwise, I'd probably be dead by now.

Rainy, cold Thursdays in January are good days for comments.

I'm not even going to try and explain the Buffalo-chicken calzones we had for dinner, except to say they're as hot coming out as they are going in.

Oh, I have this peculiar meme-thing from [livejournal.com profile] matociquala: Pick up the nearest book to you. Turn to page 45. The first sentence describes your sex life in 2012. Okay. I'll play along. So..."The templars strode forward, drawing their swords and advancing on the dogmen, who stood to meet them." Make of that what you will.

Otherwise, yesterday...well, not much else. I read "The forelimb carriage in ceratopsid dinosaurs," and my Sith assassin made it to Tatooine and reached Level 26. Oh, and this morning we learned that Rift's next big patch is going to permit in-game "Ascendent weddings," which, I will admit, is just a few thousand miles beyond the pale for me. The lines between pretend and real begin to blur like that, and we're back to the Great Cesspool of Second Life.

Looking Askance,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (white)
First, here's a preview of Dark Horse Presents #9, which will include pages 1-8 of Alabaster #1. DHP #9 will be in stores on February 22nd. So, yes, Alabaster is coming! And Mike Mignola! Imagine that – me, in a comic with Hell Boy's dad!

---

Yesterday, there was no writing, no real writing. And yet there was a great deal of work. I finished the corrections to Alabaster #3 (with great and wondrous and much appreciated help from Spooky), then sent them away to my Dark Horse editor, the vivacious Rachel Edidin. And then I wrote the synopses and proposals for the two sequels to Blood OrangesFay Grimmer (you either get this joke or don't) and Puppy Love. I sent those to my agent, then called her and we talked about publishing options. She was very happy with the synopses. I'm looking at writing Fay Grimmer this summer, and then the third (and final) book in August 2013. Merrilee and I also talked a good bit about ebooks, audiobooks, and The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Then I did some design work on the rest of the website revamp.

Afterwards, I had a hot bath, before calling Rachel (at Dark Horse, remember?), and we talked about all things Dancy Flammarion. Only minutes after that conversation, she emailed me Greg Ruth's colored cover for Alabaster #3, which is unbelievably beautiful. And that was, essentially, work yesterday (if I've forgotten anything, screw it). Today I mean to actually fucking write, beginning Alabaster #4.

My horns came! Now I only have to get my goatish (horizontal pupil) contact lenses. By the way, the horns were one of my Cephalopodmas gifts from Spooky. They are amazing, and as soon as I have the headpiece made, I'll post photos here.

Geoffrey arrived about 8:15 p.m. (CaST), and we had Palestinian takeout for diner. We spent the evening talking about books, our favorite and not favorite authors, good writing and bad, the panel proposals I need to send to Readercon (they were actually due at the end of December), Star Wars: The Old Republic, the hideous folly of 3D films, that which I have been reading and that which I feel like I ought to be reading, Aleister Crowley, the Ruination of Boulder, iPads, addiction, and the trap of genre fiction. I think he decamped for Framingham about 2 a.m. (CaST).

---

Speaking of Geoffrey and Readercon, I hope he doesn't mind, but I've got to post this mock-panel description he sent me yesterday for what I think would be the penultimate "horror" fiction panel. It is the truth, plain and simple:

WHY ARE WE STILL DOING THIS?

The antihorror panel. If you look around, any full-timer who’s here from over ten years ago has survived by giving up, writing five books a year, or shifting into thrillers, paranormal romance, or other greener pastures. Even the people in the audience who are currently writing “4 the luv” and think they’ll eventually earn their way onto this panel will regret attending this convention within five years. Horror’s dead for good and we’re the ones who killed it. If it weren’t for tenure, movie rights, and food stamps, the only people in this room would be locals and hobbyists. Yet, time and again, you ask people about this stuff and instead of shame you get stories of tormented childhoods rescued by monsters, women’s breasts, and copious amounts of blood. What’s wrong with us and how can we turn our lives around?

---

Okay, regarding my thing about the word awesome. I think there are lots of people misinterpreting what I'm trying to say, which is not, actually, that the word ought to be banned from the English language (though the situation is so frustrating I might have said that a few times), but, rather, that the absurd level of saturation that has been visited upon us by the use of the word needs to end. I'm not a "grammar Nazi," but, for fuck's sake, there are many, many other adjectives (veritable oodles), both proper and slang, wonderful and useful synonyms, that mean what "awesome" is being used (almost to the exclusion of all these words) to mean. And never mind the grotesque permutations ("Awesomesauce"? No. No. No.) the word awesome is presently suffering.

Generally I loathe the Urban Dictionary, but even it understands, defining awesome as "1. Something Americans use to describe everything."

I am not now and have never been anti-slang. Slang is good and helpful. But all good things in moderation, for fuck's sake. How about cool, neat, groovy, nifty, keen, et al. And if you think any of these are too antiquated, does no one realize that this present usage of awesome actually entered our lexicon from Valley Girl speak in the late 1970s and early 1980s (except for Portland, OR, where it never exited and will will). It then exited, and was only resurrected to flood our sentences a few years back. So, toss in some other slang. Pretty please. With a goddamn cherry on top. That would be so bow tie.

And, for now, that's all. Oh, comment, kittens.

Chugging Red Bull, Because She Needs Wings,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Martha Jones)
Er...yeah. I just wasted half an hour searching for a Martha Jones icon. It's what I do. Well, it's the sort of thing I do. Sometimes. Like this morning.

Yesterday, was a bit like the day before yesterday, only less so. Still mostly the busyness of writing, and too much email, but not as much too much email, and with the added burden of waiting. Few things in the world are as evil as waiting. I'm pretty sure that there's a whole level of Dante's Unabridged Inferno (to be published in 2019) where the damned suffer an eternity of...waiting. Nothing else. Just waiting. Yesterday, the waiting mostly involved Alabaster, and deadlines, and the impending vacation. Oh, and I went through the thirty-second "teaser" trailer for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, literally frame by frame, then sent a few notes to Brian Siano. He's doing the final editing this weekend. It's almost perfect.

Then, just after dark, Harlan called to thank me for sending him a copy Two Worlds and In Between (he'd called and asked for one), and he went on and on about how much he loved Lee's cover. Which is cool, because I was inspired to go in that direction by several of Harlan's covers which incorporate him as an element of a fantastic scene (see The Essential Ellison, for example). And then he read me the first part of "Rats Live On No Evil Star," and...well, these are the moments writers live for, aren't they? When our literary progenitors, those without whom we would not be, speak our own words back to us, words they helped, without intention, to fashion? Yes, I think these are those moments. Anyway, Harlan was generous and sweet and funny, as always.

---

Demons run when a good man goes to war.
Night will fall and drown the sun,
When a good man goes to war.

Friendship dies and true love lies,
Night will fall and the dark will rise,
When a good man goes to war.

Demons run, but count the cost:
The battle's won, but the child is lost.
~ River Song

Which is to say we watched two more episodes of Doctor Who last night, two more from Series Six: "A Good Man Goes to War" and "Let's Kill Hitler." And I will just say that, wow, "A Good Man Goes to War" redeems Series Six and back again. Damn, that was some good Who. And, as [livejournal.com profile] ashlyme predicted yesterday, I truly am enamored with Madam Vastra and Jenny. But some actual Victorian lesbian lizard-on-human action, please. Unmistakable innuendo is nice and all, but full on...um...I'm losing my train of thought. It is an excellent, excellent episode, as is "Let's Kill Hitler." There might yet be hope for Matt Smith (but not for Rory, who is only Xander recycled).

Also, more Rift last night (as per usual), leveling (Indus to 37) in the Moonshade Highlands. Later, I read a very, very good story, Angela Slatter's The Coffin-Maker's Daughter. I'd never read Slatter, but the story was very good, and was, indeed, about a coffin-maker's daughter, Hepsibah, who was herself a maker of coffins, and also a lesbian. What's not to like? Oh, plus Slatter was inspired by two Florence + the Machine songs, "My Boy Builds Coffins" and "Girl With One Eye." Then I read a new Stephen King story, "The Little Green God of Agony." As I've said, I don't care much for King, but I liked the title. And the story has a certain strength, and wasn't bad, if only the ending hadn't veered off into such clichéd creep-show horrors. If your stories fall apart when the monster appears on stage, stop writing about monsters. I drifted off to sleep sometime after four ayem, watching Frank Borzage's 1932 adaptation of A Farewell to Arms, which really is better than Charles Vidor's 1957 version, and not just because Gary Cooper is cooler than Rock Hudson.

Also, because I was admonished in yesterday's comments by [livejournal.com profile] mizliz13 for using the recently overused and perverted adjective awesome, and admonished rightly so, from here on I shall use "bow tie" in its stead.

---

Today is an assembly day. I must pull Sirenia Digest #72 together, and try to get it out before midnight (CaST). By the way, "Question @ Hand #5" will be the last "Question @ Hand." Indeed, I've half a mind not to run it, but that would be a sleight to the few people who did write pieces (and the one who wrote two!). I think that the decline in replies (#1 had over 30, about a year and a half ago; #5 had 10 responses) is further evidence of the dramatic changes here on LJ.

And now, the platypus.

Don't Get Cocky, Kid,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Neytiri)
A cold, cold morning here in Providence. Okay, maybe not that cold.

Today, I allow myself a few more sentences than in my entry before last.

Yesterday was the writerly equivalent of having to spend a day running errands all over town. There were email conversations (which I'm never, ever going to get used to, though they do allow me to avoid phone calls) with my agent and her assistant; with Brian Siano regarding the thirty-second "teaser" trailer for The Drowning Girl to be released in January (a two-minute trailer will be released in March); my editor at Dark Horse; Bill Schafer at Subterranean Press; my publicist at Penguin; David Shaw at Readercon; and even Geoffrey ([livejournal.com profile] readingthedark) and Sonya ([livejournal.com profile] sovay).

And then I remembered I'd not made corrections to "Another Tale of Two Cities," so I did that. I much prefer days when I actually have to write.

Have you ever paused to marvel at the eloquence and beauty of the humble question mark? See, there it is. Humble and beautiful and profoundly useful. But, and also, not always requiring an answer, and, sometimes when an answer is required, not always requiring that answer be spoken aloud. Other times, there is and cannot be an answer. That there are no rules to tell you when a question mark is meant to function in one of those roles only makes it that much more sublime, as it does what a question should do: it inspires introspection and critical thought. Silence or hushed consideration or heated debate. Too many questions meant to remain unanswered, excepting in the mind of the reader, are answered aloud, and, likewise, too many that are asked to elicit external investigation and active response go ignored (or even unrecognized). But, still, there is that eloquence in all question marks, which requires so much care on the part of both the user and the reader.

After work yesterday, after a nap, and after chili, we watched last week's episode of American Horror Story (I love that they got in Elizabeth Short), then two episodes of Doctor Who (and aside from Neil's episode, I reluctantly say I am not loving this season), and then very fine guild RP in Rift (thank you all who participated!), and then I read a very good long short story (novelette?) by the awesome Elizabeth Hand, "Near Zennor." I fell asleep watching Charles Vidor's adaptation of A Farewell to Arms (1957). And that, kittens, was yesterday.

Today will likely be as hectic, with no writing, just the busyness of writing. Blegh. Spooky and I have to do the final read-through on Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart in the next few days, before my vacation begins on the 15th. And if you haven't yet ordered your copy, best you do so now. Because you know how it goes. And ORDER DIRECTLY FROM SUBTERRANEAN PRESS, because Amazon might well fuck you over, as many can attest.

Off To See The Lizard,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
This is the unusual, infrequent sort of day when I'd actually prefer to be writing, instead of all the busyness of writing that will consume the day. More and more, it's actually hard to find time to simply write, because there are so many different projects, at so many different stages of production. I imagine this time next year I will look back fondly on November 2011, and I'll think, Wow. I had so much time to just write back then.

---

Day before yesterday, we got the news that Spooky's maternal grandmother, Ann Hanon, suffered a stroke and heart attack. She's ninety-seven and a half, and a recovery is not expected. She's not regained consciousness. She gave instructions she was not to be placed on life support. So, now everyone's waiting. The air is tense with that waiting for news of an inevitability, and with sorrow people cannot help but feel, no matter if a loved one has lived a very, very long and full life. As I said of my own maternal grandmother who, at ninety (almost ninety-one), died in 2005, I can't stop thinking how this amazing person lived through so much time, so much time and so many worlds. So many incarnations of this world. If I live another fifty years...well, I'd prefer not to, but if I did...I cannot even begin to imagine the changes I would see. I think one of the hardest things for Kathryn and her immediate family is that none of them are with her grandmother in Wisconsin, as we have become this nation of latter-day nomads.

---

Yesterday, I began writing "Sexing the Weird," my introduction to Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. I have grown to strongly dislike writing nonfiction, and especially nonfiction about my own work. After twenty years as an author, I fear I've sunk far too deeply into the bogs of my own work to speak about them...and no, that's not what I meant to say, but my difficulty articulating my thoughts on this subject should serve as an illustration of what I'm trying to say. Nonetheless, I made a good beginning, I hope, and I hope to have the introduction finished by tomorrow evening.

This month, I also still have to get the galley pages for The Drowning Girl back to Penguin (by Monday), write Alabaster: Wolves #2 for Dark Horse, work on promotional material (my publicist just emailed) for The Drowning Girl, and get Sirenia Digest #72 written and out to subscribers. I think the only thing keeping me moving ahead right now, besides the stubborn momentum of life and the pills my psychiatrist prescribes for me, is the determination that I will take two weeks off in December, a sort of Solstice/Cephalopodmas vacation. I've not had a vacation of any sort since December 2008. But other people seem to do it, so why the fuck not me?

---

A very nice interview at SFF Chronicles with Elizabeth Bear ([livejournal.com profile] matociquala), in which she just happens to make a very kindly mention of The Drowning Girl.

---

And here's a particularly articulate bit of commentary on The Ammonite Violin & Others, which I very much appreciated seeing this morning. Towards the end, there's this paragraph I found especially apt:

A note of caution, though, the stories within this book are mostly excellent and there is no denying Kiernan’s ability and distinctive voice. However, if you read a number of these in quick succession, they do start to cloy and the depth and intricacy of the tales can become treacle thick and hinder the progress of the reader. This is something to enjoy in bite size morsels.

Yes. This is true. Well, I think it's true. I can no longer bear to read a great chunk of my own short fiction any more than I can eat more than a couple of pieces of Turkish Delight at one sitting. Or a few bites of baklava. But it's interesting, because of something someone asked in the comments to yesterday's entry, regarding the caveat lector that opens Harlan Ellison's Deathbird Stories. [livejournal.com profile] faffinz asked: "Did your copy of Deathbird Stories come with the warning note from Harlan that it should not be read all at once? If so, did you read it all at once?" It did, as that notice appeared at the beginning of all copies of the book (including the recent superb Subterranean Press edition). The caveat reads:

It is suggested that the reader not attempt to read this book at one sitting . The emotional content of these stories, taken without a break, may be extremely upsetting. This note is intended most sincerely, and not as hyperbole. ~ H. E.

To finish answering the question asked by [livejournal.com profile] faffinz, no, I didn't read the stories all at once. On the one hand, being possessed of only one functional eye, I have always been a rather slow reader. Also, I like to make good books last. But, also, I first encountered the book in 1981, and I didn't take the warning as a dare. I actually did find the stories too intense to be read without several breaks in between. In fact, I had to stop halfway through "Shattered Like a Glass Goblin" and come back to it later (by the way, it remains one of my favorite of Harlan's stories). But this was in an age before Saw and its seven sequels. Which may or may not be relevant. But I am always a little disappointed to hear that someone has read the entirety of one of my short-story collections or novels at one sitting.

Yesterday, I left the house for the first time in a week. Just a trip to the market, and a stop at Mama Kim's, a local Korean food truck, for dinner.

Questioning Relevance and Relativity,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (white)
There was a heavy dusting of snow last night. Nothing to speak of, not for Providence, but our first snow of the year. It's mostly melted away now. Cold out there, though.

Yesterday was spent checking copy-edits (I can get no consensus on whether it ought to be copy-edits or copyedits, and hence no consensus on whether I ought use copy-editor or copyeditor; personally, I tend to favor the hyphenated forms), which actually weren't nearly so bad as I'd thought they were. And I did another check over the ms. for the "Sanderlings" chapbook (and cover), and then Spooky looked over it, and then I sent it away to Subterranean Press. I rarely feel satisfaction at having finished a book or a story, and I rarely feel much of anything when I see my work in print, but there's always a distinct sense of relief when I can say "This is out of my hands now." And I can now say that "Sanderlings" is out of my hands.

No writing yesterday. Today, I feel like glass.

I may have a new title for the Next Novel, a title to replace Blood Oranges (which I warned you not to grow attached to), but I want to mull it over a bit more before I post it here.

Have a look at the current round of eBay auctions, and thanks for doing so. Also, only three of Spooky's Cthulhu-headstone Cephalopodmas ornaments remain unsold. So, if you want one, you'd probably better hurry. Each one is unique, handmade and hand-painted, and there are no more where these ten came from.

Last night, we watched Sally Potter's Rage (2009), which was really very good. Plus, you get Jude Law as a transgendered supermodel, which probably pleased me more than it should have.

And now, the last few pictures from our trip Outside back on Thursday:

3 December 2009, Part 3 )
greygirlbeast: (white)
I'm not well this morning, but I'm not going into the gory details. I just need to rest today, and hope I'm better tomorrow. There's no time now to get more behind than I already am.

Not going to be much to this entry, because I have email that has to be answered, and I can only remain vertical for just so long.

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

We have another cloudy, rainy, cold day here in Providence.

Yesterday was consumed by the busyness of writing, not by actual writing. However, I've seen Vince's sketch (from which he produces the final artwork) for Sirenia Digest #47, and it looks good.

Last night, when I was only just starting to feel lousy, we did a bit of WoW, leveling our troll characters in Durotar and the Barrens. Mine is a hunter named Jornda, and Spooky's troll is a priest named Manalani. Also, the insomnia seems to be back full force, and it was (again) almost five before I got to sleep.

Yeah, not much of an entry. But there are more photographs from Sunday, taken from two bridges over the Saugatucket River in Wakefield:

25 October 2009 )


Also, here are Spooky's sepia-toned photos of the ruined house on Old North Road. They're exquisite, and I think they capture the feel of the place better than the color shots I posted yesterday.
greygirlbeast: (white2)
Not feeling very subtle this morning. Not feeling indirect. More like, just buy my damn book. Maybe the Bastard Fairies are a bad influence....

Nah. That's crazy talk.

A rainy day here in Providence. I'd hoped to get down to Beavertail this evening, to hear the waves against the rocks, but looks like that won't happen.

The Red Tree got its first film nibble yesterday. And now I'm waiting on a call from my film-rights agent at UTA. Over the years, I have learned Not To Get Excited when Hollywood looks my way. Still, it's nice to be noticed now and again.

Yesterday was...well...very busy and extremely chaotic. A frenzied day of work, eleven or so hours, until 10:30 p.m., but no actual writing was done. It was almost all promotional stuff for The Red Tree. The best part was getting more "evidence" ready for the website. It should go up this evening. The video clip was swapped out last night (thank you, [livejournal.com profile] scarletboi). I'm thinking clip four will be somewhat less oblique. Though I do love oblique. Anyway, that's what yesterday was like.

I begin to wonder if I've spread myself to thin, in my efforts to be sure this books sells. In the last couple months or so, I've expanded from LJ to Facebook and Twitter, and I'm updating regularly everywhere. Hell, yesterday, I even managed to make a post over at Amazon.com, my first since July 15th, 2006. Every single thing I can think to do, I've been doing. But...I think I've reached the end of my networking tether. No more new networks, please. Fortunately, I left my page at MySpace drifting like a derelict, so at least I don't have that to worry about. All of this has only served to make me even more certain I was meant to be a writer in the 1940s and 1950s, not the end of the 20th Century and the beginning of the 21st. I watch other people seeming to revel in information overload, and I simply do not understand.

I did manage to read something from the June issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology yesterday, "A reassessment of the Pteraichnus ichnospecies from the Early Cretaceous of Soria Province, Spain." And I had a short nap before a dinner of cold chicken and avocado.

Last night, we watched Fernando Meirelles' Blindness (2008), with Julianne Moore. An sf thriller in which a Canadian city, and possibly the whole world, suddenly suffers a plague of blindness. The film stumbles a couple of times near the beginning, and there's an awful infodump at one point, but the film finds itself in the second hour or so, and, in the end, proves very effective. I liked it quite a lot. But Blindness is not really a film about a plague of blindness, of course, anymore than World War Z is, ultimately, a book about zombies. The blindness of the title is merely a catalyst, as it should be.

And I should go, before the phone rings. Do have a look at the website today, and I'll post something here when more artifacts are placed on display this evening. Feed the Tree.
greygirlbeast: (Manah 1)
No more going to the dark side with your flying-saucer eyes.
No more falling down a wormhole that I have to pull you out.
The wriggling, squiggling worm inside devours from the inside out.

—Thom Yorke, "Atoms for Peace"

This morning, or afternoon, whatever it may be, by now all subscribers should have Sirenia Digest 10. If you're a subscriber and haven't yet received the September digest, e-mail Spooky at crk_books(at)yahoo(dot)com and she will make things right. Personally, I'm very happy with this issue. It may be the best to date. Certainly, it's in the top three. I'd love to hear some feedback from readers, and I'm sure Sonya ([livejournal.com profile] sovay) would, as well.

Yesterday was almost all about the busyness of writing, though I did get out 561 words for the Sirenia Digest prologue-thingy. As promised, I took a long walk right after the journal entry yesterday, about a mile, and there was a marvelous autumn wind, and even though everything's still summer green, some leaves have begun to fall. We read all the way through The Collaboration again, Spooky and I, catching uncaught errors and typos, then I made last minute tweaks. Sonya and I exchanged a few more e-mails and she finally found our title. I'd considered a line from Eliot's "The Dry Salvages," but then she pointed out a bit from Dylan Thomas' "The Ballad of Long-Legged Bait," and so the story became "In the Praying Windows," which was just almost perfect. I spent most of the afternoon laying out and finishing up the digest and sent it to Gordon ([livejournal.com profile] thingunderthest) just before dinner.

I had a bath, and Spooky made stuffed porta bellas for dinner, and amazing things they were. Ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, fresh basil, onion and garlic and red bell pepper, with stir-fried asparagus. I resisted more work, though I shouldn't have, and instead played a couple of hours of Drakengard 2, then watched an old episode of The Dick Cavett Show on TCM, his 1972 interview with Alfred Hitchcock (who'd just made Frenzy), then watched the first half of Serenity for the ninth or tenth time before I was at last sleepy enough for bed.

Today, new words, once the e-mail is done.

I'm having much too much trouble finding Awake this morning (or afternoon), and so far the coffee hasn't really helped. We have a dinner date tonight, so I need to get to it. I'd rather take a blanket and a book and head for Freedom Park...

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greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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