greygirlbeast: (walter3)
Oh my bloody fucking fuck. I am so fucking over this aging thing. I did something stupid to my hip...my FREAKING fucking hip...yesterday. Probably when I was trying to clean and reorganize part of my office, rearranging bookshelves in the vain attempt to turn that House on Ash Tree Lane trick and create larger spaces within smaller spaces. It didn't work, but I feel like, during my sleep, someone took a sledgehammer to my left hip. Wanna wake up really goddamn fast? Forget fucking coffee. Trying motherfucking hip pain. Tiger balm and two Doan's tablets—yes, motherfucking Doan's tablets—have dulled the pain enough that I'll be able to sit up and write. But FUCK THIS SHIT (to quote Frank Black). This winter, I'm joining a gym and getting this meatbag into some semblance of working order. Last night (not suspecting the hip pain was headed my way), Spooky and I were discussing how we both need to lose some weight. Using Hubero as a standard of weight measurement, it was decided I need to lose 1 Hubero. That's one whole FAT cat I'm carrying around, all day and every day. Again (second verse, same as the first), FUCK THAT SHIT.

Oh, and please. No commiseration, or I feel your pain, or whatever. No stories that go something like: "Well, when I was only fifteen years old I was riding my bicycle and a pit bull grabbed my ankle and dragged me and the bike—by the ankle, mind you—twelve blocks, up hill both ways, before it was shot in the head by a kindly spaceman who called an ambulance that hitched my ankle to its back fender and dragged me twelve miles, up hill both ways, over a dirt road that was mostly potholes, all the way to the hospital—which was closed! Now, you wanna talk hip pain? That's hip pain!" None of those stories. In fact, I want a T-shirt that reads, simply, "Do Not Commiserate."

But at least the Hip Agony does help me not feel so bad that I'm spending the Last Warmest Day of 2011 in Rhode Island (going up to about 85˚F) trying to fix the timeline, instead of "chillaxing" (hold on while I choke myself for using that odious "word," even sarcastically) at the beach, swimming, losing a cat.

Anyway...

Yesterday was mostly me discovering that things were worse than I suspected. That failed time-travel experiment? Well, feel free to blame me for the Eighties. That's right. Blame me for the entire decade. But...Frank the Goat's on it, and there may yet be hope. You may wake up tomorrow and have no idea whatsoever that the Eighties ever occurred, because they won't have. Unless we fail, me and Frank (that's me and Frank the Goat, not me and Frank Black—and I mean Frank Black from Blue Velvet, not Frank Black, née Black Francis, from the Pixies, or the ultra-cool-and-spooky Frank Black from Millennium, and certainly not Frank the Interdimensional Demon Bunny), and that's always a possibility. One must never underestimate the likelihood of failure. John DeLorean, he underestimated his ability to fail...and look how that turned out. And of course I'm right. I'm me.

Next week's shoot for the book trailer for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir races towards us (five days to go), and...frankly (black), I'm terrified. Will we be ready? I'm gonna roll a 1d4 and hold my breath.

Um...and...what?

Last night, Spooky and I saw last week's episode of Fringe, "One October Night," and..wow. Olivia and Fauxlivia. That was pretty much a slash episode (albeit, without the hot Fauxlivia-on-Olivia sex). And we watched another episode from Season Four of Mad Men. Oh, and something that I can't (or, rather, won't) show you until tomorrow.

And then I looked through the marvelous Dark Horse hardback collection of Bernie Wrightson stuff from the pages of Creepy and Eerie (thank you, Steven Lubold!), then read another story from the Halloween anthology, "Three Doors" by Norman Partridge. The story itself is so-so, but it's narrative technique has moments of sheer brilliance. To whit:

"Doesn't matter to me how you explain it.
I'm not here to draw you a diagram.
I'm just here to tell you a story."

The voice of the narrator (ergo, the author), is a grand "fuck you" to all the morons who want their hands held during story time. In fact, those lines echo rather remarkably Quinn's attitude towards her imagined readers in Blood Oranges: "You can believe this or not. Whatever"

But now, now I must go fix the timeline, so you who are old enough can stop remembering "designer stubble", Guns N' Roses, and the return of shoulder pads.

Accidentally Retro,
Aunt Beast (in pain we trust)
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 1)
See, it's not insomnia when you just stay up too late reading. No. It's not. That's called stupid. And so now I'm not awake, and I'm having to augment my sugar-free Red Bull by listening to Hubero going on about Sméagol freaking him out with carrot cards and a squeegee board. Funny cats are no fit substitute for sleep.

Currently, I'm being horrified by a new "texting" acronym: LMBO. Which is apparently what the Jesus has instructed good Xtians, fans of the Jonas Brothers, and devotees of Stephenie Meyer to use instead of LMAO. Because it's more wholesome to say "butt" than to say "ass." Really, people. What the fuck was wrong with "haha"? It's just as easy to "text" as LMAO. Four letters. Actually, it's easier to type than LMAO, because of the QWERTY keyboard layout. Also, it's logical. "Haha" isn't an acronym. It's an example of onomatopoeic language. Do not badly reinvent the wheel, people. That's why we have the Microsoft Corporation.

Yesterday was a symphony of...well, not dull. Actually, anything but dull. Exhausting, though, and vexing. I am now working on so many different projects at once, switching gears throws out my back about once a day. Or throws out my brain. Or whatever. Yesterday, after the blog entry, and after I brushed my teeth, and answered email, after all that, I had to send electronic files of the Authors Note and Author's Biography from The Drowning Girl: A Memoir to Penguin, because...let's not go there. I think people are forgetting how to retype. It all began with James Watt in 1779, unless it began with Johannes Gutenberg's printing press in 1436, unless it actually began with Bi Sheng in China in 1040, ol' Bi Sheng and his porcelain movable type. Wow. There's nine hundred and seventy-one years of laziness. And a huge digression.

I was saying, yesterday, after the files were sent to my editor at Penguin, I got back to my work on XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (guys, the TRUTH is out there, and it will be revealed in late November or early December, I am told, and we all have to sit tight until then). After that I was greeted by a mammoth email from my editor at Penguin, who needed clarification of several illegible comments I'd written on the CEM for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, illegible because the Lamictal (which I take for the seizures) makes my hands shake so badly. And that meant comparing my photostat (back to xeros + graphus) with her notes and...it took awhile, and a lot of patience on the part of the vocally reluctant (but ever helpful) Spooky. Then we had spaghetti. Then we proofread "John Four" for the first time since September 24, 2010 (I finished writing it on September 22, 2010), which is being reprinted in S. T. Joshi's A Mountain Walked: Great Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, to be released in limited and trade editions in 2012 by Centipede Press (and maybe I wasn't suppose to announce that yet, but there you go). That was work yesterday, leaving out a few victuals and bits of flayed skin.

"John Four" is one of my best and strangest Lovecraftian stories, and I'm pleased to see it will be reprinted in such a good home.

Oh, and my comp copies of Stephen Jones The Book of Horror arrived, which reprints my story, "Charcloth, Firesteel, and Flint."

Last night, some very good RP in Insilico, and two episodes of Mad Men, and then, even though I was in bed by two-thirty ayem, I was awake until three forty-five, reading this, that, and the other. Included were two more stories from the Halloween anthology, Sarah Langan's "The Great Pumpkin Arrives at Last" and "The Sticks" by Charlee Jacob. The former is, at best, so-so. It relies too heavily on a somewhat unconvincing "twist ending." The latter, though, was quite effective, a story reminiscent of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery," though only in its most basic premise. I will admit, I'm uncomfortable talking about other authors' stories here, but there's a long tradition of authors commentating on authors, and if I'm going to read the damned things, I can at least be honest.

Spooky's no-longer-premature Hallowe'en Sale (!!!) in her Etsy shop, Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries—20% off on everything—continues. Only one necklace and a bracelet left (plus paintings and other cool stuff), and who knows when she'll have time to make more. When making a purchase, IF YOU WANT THE SALE PRICE, you need to, at checkout, use the sale code SPOOK.

By the way, this is the one year anniversary of our return to Providence from Portland, Oregon. One year ago last night, we spent the whole night awake in the almost entirely deserted Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport. Then...well, hell ensued. Anyway, here is a token from that night, which I may auction someday on eBay. It's companion, the shortest novel I ever wrote on a napkin, was auctioned last autumn.

The Napkin of Caribou )
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 2)
(No one's going to read all this...)

Last night, I dreamt of playing the accordion.

---

Really, beyond seeing Lee Moyer's almost finished cover for Two Worlds and In Between, it was a pretty shitty day. That was the only bright spot. Wait, there was one other. Anyway, for some reason, I recorded the whole crappy day in photos, nineteen of them, below and behind the cut.

I've not spoken for thirty-three hours now, and I'm going for forty-eight, and then, then we'll see.

Much (but by no means all) of what went so wrong about yesterday was thinking I might be ready to finish the final chapter of The Drowning Girl, then discovering another scene that needed to be fitted it. I wrote the new scene, then struggled to insert it without disrupting the chapter's established flow. This is one of those things I can't understand about writers who write shit out of order. I write, I establish flow, and it's pretty much unidirectional. Try to go back and stick in new stuff, it all goes to shit (plus, you're swimming upstream the whole time). But, I wrote the new scene, like I said, then proceeded to the last scene (I only wrote 691 words yesterday). Then decided I needed to hear all of the final chapter, and an earlier part of the book, before wrapping it up. So, I asked Spooky to read it to me.

But I dozed off while she was reading to me, so we have to finish today. After I write the journal entry. Then I have to write another extra scene, once I figure out if it belongs in the ninth or tenth chapter. Maybe Monday and Tuesday I can write the last two scenes. Of course, I also have the deadline for Two Worlds and In Between a mere nine days from now, and there's still so much work left to do on that it boggles the noggin. And there's the work for SuicideGirls that I took on last week.

A nice piece of mail (the real sort, on paper with stamps) from Leeanne O'Sullivan in Lancashire, England. Thank you, Leeanne. You were that other bright spot.

---

After dinner, I had a hot bath. And a meltdown. A silent meltdown.

Later, when I'd been scooped into a Caitlín-shaped bowl, we watched Abel Ferrara's New Rose Hotel, a pretty faithful 1998 film adaptation of William Gibson's short story of the same name. If nothing else, the movie nails the mood of Gibson's story. Christopher Walken is wonderful. Willem Dafoe is a little on autopilot. And Asia Argento is...um....hot. But you already knew that. Yoshitaka Amano (yes, that Yoshitaka Amano) plays the mark, a geneticist named Hiroshi, and there are cool cameos, such as Ryuichi Sakamoto. Definitely recommended, and you can stream it from Netflix.

Laterer, played Rift. Selwyn didn't make Level 19, because I tried to rp instead. And it wasn't bad, but after two attempts at rp in Rift I see that one has to know the canon, and that all the players have to be on the same page in interpreting the canon. Most rpers won't even realize this, of course, but then most rpers suck. Which is why you must rp in tiny groups (4-5 at most).

Latererer, Spooky read me chapters Four and Five of Catching Fire, and I'm relieved to say it gets much better. I think the first three chapters might have been condensed into a paragraph. But I also think, when we're done, I'll be of the opinion it should all have been written as a single book, not a trilogy. We are chained to trilogies. Fuck you, Trilogy Tyrant. Fuck you, Despot of Series. Fuck you.

---

My thanks to people who commented on the problem of gay protagonists in YA novels. I'm not going to get into all the details, because they are many and some of this is private stuff between me and others. And because there's the ugly issue of money. But, I will say, my first YA protagonist will be a lesbian. The worst that can happen is that I can fail, and I've sort of done that already (if we're talking about financial success and mass appeal, and I am).

Comments on #63? Bueller? Bueller?

Now...the photos:

5 February 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Um. Yeah. Slept until the ass crack of noon, which means I got eight full hours of sleep for the first time in ages. I've been sleeping better in general, which I tend to do when I'm writing a lot. Plus, we were out yesterday and I soaked up a lot of sun, and the Vitamin D never hurts. Those gummy things are good, but they can't match getting it straight from the source.

My grateful thanks to everyone who donated a little or a lot yesterday. You guys really are wonderful. I've paid my SVP dues, dues for my twenty-eighth year in the Society, and I have a small sum left over to put towards the unexpected doctor's appointment on Friday.

Yesterday, I realized the next scene in the ninth chapter couldn't be written unless I visited a cemetery out on Aquidneck Island. I mean, sure, I could have faked it. But I fucking hate doing that. I can never write a real-world place well unless I've actually been there. So, about 2 p.m., Spooky and I left the house, and left Providence, crossing the Jamestown Bridge and then the Newport Bridge to Aquidneck. The sun was bold and brilliant (as Colin Meloy might say), and the bay shimmered like chrome. Still a lot of snow, and Green End Pond, along 138, was frozen almost solid. The graveyard in question— Four Corners Cemetery —is located in Middletown, a little north of Newport proper. It's not one of the state's most photogenic cemeteries, not by a long shot, but it plays a pivotal role in the The Drowning Girl. There was a huge crow perched on a headstone when we entered, and Spooky tried to get his photo, but he wouldn't be still. We didn't stay long, as there was a funeral service beginning, a military funeral with a bugler and uniforms and everything, and it would have been poor form to hang about doing ghoulish writing stuff.

After Middletown, we drove down to Spooky's parents' place, though her mom was out running errands and her dad's in Ecuador. We still got to visit Spider Cat and the chickens. There are photos behind the cut:

22 February 2011 )


Back home, we proofed "Andromeda Among the Stones" (for Two Worlds and In Between), which I wrote in 2002, nine years ago, but it's still a personal favorite. Last night, well...there was leftover meatloaf, and then there was a WoW marathon, during which I had Shaharrazad finish off the quests in Un'Goro Crater and then moved along and did all of Dustwallow Marsh, and got Loremaster of Kalimdor. Of course, now I have to do all of Outland to get the Loremaster title (I already have Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms, Cataclysm, and Northrend). Nerd, nerd, geek. Later, we read more of White Cat (which we've almost finished).

Congratulations to [livejournal.com profile] blackholly and to Uncle Harlan on the occasion of their Nebula Award nominations!

"Comment!" says Herr Platypus!
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Yesterday was just shy of a total loss. I was hit hard by the chronic stomach ailment I've had most of my life. I tried to write anyway. I wrote 344 words for of my piece for The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, before I was too sick to think straight enough to write anymore. Then I went back to bed. Later, I made it through dinner and two bottles of Gatorade and almost felt like I wasn't dead. It was a joyous day. And then, when I was trying to go to sleep, there was a small seizure (the first in three weeks), which left me jittery and awake until five ayem.

I strongly dislike writing about health problems in a public forum. I find the act distasteful. But it all has a direct bearing on the abysmal word counts of late. So, I figure it's part of the story. It's not whining, or a cry for pity. It's just exposition.

At least I have David Bowie. And coffee.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. We're hoping to have a little bit of spending money when we go to Oregon for the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon at the end of the month. Thanks.

We've watched two movies over the last week. Between reading, Second Life, and WoW, I've not been watching many movies lately. Anyway, it gives me something to write about this ayem (which is actually early afternoon).

First, we saw Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo's After.Life (2009) on Thursday night. It wasn't a particularly good film, which was frustrating, because it could have been something just shy of great. Instead, it was weighed down by plot, and story, and subplot, and superfluous characters. The film has flashes of brilliance. Liam Neeson is surprisingly creepy as a mortician turned serial killer, and Christina Ricci was a perfect choice for a girl who is slowly being convinced that she is, in fact, a corpse. And that's the story, right there, all the story the movie needed. More than enough to deal with. But no, it kept dragging itself down into horror and slasher flick clichés, and made what might have been a powerful tale of psychological terror a lumpy, uneven mess. I can't even blame the director for fucking up someone else's screenplay, because it was her screenplay. I just wish someone could have told her to turn down the volume, lose the extra baggage, and tighten the focus. The film never should have left the one room in the mortuary.

Last night, we finally watched Louis Leterrier's remake of Clash of the Titans (2010). I saw the original in high school (1981, directed by Desmond Davis), and even at seventeen, I found the film tiresome and hokey. Even though I was a huge fan of Ray Harryhausen. So, what can I say about the remake? Well, it's still dumb as dirt. I'm still annoyed than the sea monster that comes for Andromeda is, inexplicably "the Kraken" (Norse), instead of Cetus. But, all in all, Leterrier's remake is less painful and not so dull. It has its moments (which the original entirely lacked, save moments of unintentional camp and irony). The whole thing was worth sitting through just for Perseus' battle against the gorgon Medusa (played by Natalia Vodianova, and never, ever has Medusa been so hot). The climactic showdown with "the Kraken" was at least a grand spectacle. So what if the monster design was pretty much lifted from Cloverfield. The 1981 Kraken just made me laugh. At least this one was a presence. The cast was unremarkable (more Liam Neeson, because Zeus = Aslan). I always enjoy watching Sam Worthington, though I'm not sure why. Ralph Fiennes made a fine enough Hades, because I could just pretend he was Voldemort. Alexa Davalos made for an entirely yawn-worthy Andromeda. I'm pretty sure Andromeda should inspire something more than a yawn. Who can blame Perseus for choosing Io?

Okay. Now, I see if this body is going to let me work today. Oh, wait. I have five cute photos of Sméagol:

11 September 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (Neytiri)
Here it is 1:21 p.m., and I'm only just now sitting down to make a blog entry, which means I'm running about two hours behind what I might laughingly refer to as my "routine."

Last night, we realized that one of Smégaol's paws has developed a pad infection...again. More complications from his plasma-cell pododermatitis. So, he goes back to the vet today.

As for yesterday. I got a package from London, from Steve Jones, containing two books. One is the Russian edition of The Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories by Women. So I can now say that "So Runs the World Away" has been translated into Russian, and I've always loved to stare at my words in Cyrillic, even though I have only the faintest idea what any of it means. There ought to be a word for that: being unable to read something you yourself have written because it has been altered in such a form that, while it retains its essential meaning, it is no longer recognizable by its author. The same package contained the Polish edition of an anthology that doesn't actually contain anything written by me, so that one will remain a mystery.

Sonya arrived on the 2:20 train from Boston. We picked her up, then swung back by the House before heading south to Beavertail. The day was overcast and, once we reached the sea, a little chilly. We climbed down onto the rocks about .16 miles northeast of the lighthouse. There were the usual gulls and cormorants, and some small species of Calidris (possibly a plover or stint) that we weren't able to identify. The surf was rough, and there was a mist rolling in, with a storm not far offshore. My ankle's still giving me trouble, and I was frustratingly clumsy, so we didn't do much clambering about. We located a bit of 19th-Century graffiti we first spotted on June 23, 2008. The sun came out, and we sat a while, just watching the birds and the sea.

Later, we headed over to West Cove at Fort Wetherill. It's our favorite spot for gathering sea glass, and we found some spectacular pieces yesterday. We also saw three specimens of Bonaparte's Gull (Larus philadelphia), a species neither Spooky nor I had spotted before. We headed back to Providence about 7 p.m. We stopped at Fellini's for a pizza. Back home, Sonya and I watched Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes (my third time to see it) and James Cameron's Avatar (also my third time time to see it), because Sonya hadn't seen either. I was up far too late, and didn't get to sleep until about four thirty. We talked about everything from mass extinction events to the novellas of Ursula K. LeGuin. Spooky took Sonya back to the station today for a noonish train back to Boston, before I was really even awake. It was a good visit, but far too short.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Unexpected expenses seem to be raining from the sky, lately. You might also find something you like at Spooky's Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries shop at Etsy. Thanks.

Here are some photos from yesterday:

16 August 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
An oddly long and full day yesterday. Which is good. Generally, I like my days to seem long, and I prefer them full.

I wrote 1,560 words on "The Yellow Alphabet" (for Sirenia Digest #56), making my way from F through H. Today, there's I through K to contend with. They are not the worst of the lot. That's usually Q. And X. But they are among the worst. Alphabetical thugs, if you will.

I wrote until sometime after five p.m., at which point Spooky ordered me to get dressed, and informed me that we were going to the shore. The summer's been weird, what with one thing and another, and I know it's not been going quite right when there's not sand upon the bedroom floor or in the bed. So, we drove down to South County. After leaving the highway, we followed Succotash Road, past the vast salt marshes bordering Point Judith Pond, down to East Matunuck Beach. The area's more touristy than we usually go for, but it was nearing sunset when we arrived and most of the tourists had left the beach for dinner. And it is a fine beach. You don't get many long sandy beaches in Rhode Island. I watched the waves and gulls, listened to the inhalation and exhalations of the rising tide, felt the chilly wind all about. Spooky waded in the surf, and then sat on the sand and made an effigy of Great Sandthulu. We watched the Block Island Ferry depart from Galilee, headed south, bound for the island. We stayed almost until dark, about 8 p.m. I wanted to stay longer, but the wind was growing cold enough our ears were beginning to ache. There are photos below, behind the cut.

We grabbed a quick dinner from the Subway on Westminster.

Back home, I did something I've not done since April 14th. I went into Second Life and roleplayed in Insilico. My thanks to Hibiki for encouraging me to come back, and my thanks to Fifth, Molly, Aemeth, and Dr. Faith (and Jake) for some very excellent rp last night. It looks like the Xiangs (or at least 1.5) may be back for a spell. It was something I've been needing.

And here are the photos from yesterday. I should wrap this up. The mothmen are getting antsy:

28 July 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Spooky's getting ready to take Sméagol back to the vet, because the abscess on his foot has turned into cellulitis. He's spry and eating, no fever and seems to be in no pain, but obviously we're worried (and never mind the damned vet bills). Oh, now Spooky's gone. Well, there you go.

The last couple of days I haven't been in that blogging frame of mind, whatever that blogging frame of mind might be. I think there was a post con crash, which happens sometimes. I'm on for three days, then suddenly I'm off. I'm surrounded by people for three days, then suddenly I'm my old reclusive self again. It didn't help that the last panel I had for Readercon 21, the "Gender and Sexuality in F/SF" late on Sunday, left such a bad taste in my mouth. I keep thinking of things I wish I'd said to the idiot who accused us of being "selfish" for not taking the feelings of readers into account when writing taboo subjects (lesbianism, it seems, is a taboo subject). I wish that I'd said, "Look, asshole. I will never make enough money to own a house. My teeth are shot. I can barely pay my bills. I have no health insurance, and I'll never be able to retire, ever. Writing almost every day for eighteen years has left me with a wrecked body and shot nerves. I need new glasses and can't afford them. The stress of this life led to seizures that have led to the need for medications I can't afford, but have to have, regardless. So, shut the hell up, you tight-assed little twerp, and let me write whatever it is I need to write. It's the only solace I have in this shitty job. I spent four hundred dollars I haven't got to attend this convention, and I'm not paying for the privilege of being called selfish by fools like you." Or something like that.

And I'm not going to start in on the two or three people (all female) who thought books need "warning labels," like "the ingredients list on food," so they wouldn't come upon a scene that offended their precious, fragile sensibilities. And why the fuck am I on about this again?

---

A good writing day yesterday. I did 1,644 words on the Next New Novel, beginning it for the third time. I'll say more about this situation in a few days, when I feel a little more self confident.

Later, we stopped by the farmer's market at the Dexter Training Grounds for fresh corn, and I finally got a new office/writing chair. The one I've had since 2003 or 2004 was, literally, falling apart, and doing horrible things to my back. And by the way, I'm going to make an effort not to talk so much about health and money problems here. It's something I personally find gauche, and would prefer not to ever do. There's just been so damn much of it lately.

Spooky has begun a new round of eBay auctions, which are important, as we have to cover the cost of Readercon and Sméagol's vet bills. So, please have a look. Bid if you are able. In particular, there's the Salammbô T-shirt (art by the astounding Richard A. Kirk), one of the last from the batch of 500 that were printed in 2000 to promote the original release of Tales of Pain and Wonder. We only have four left. We began this auction a couple of weeks ago, then ended it, because I didn't really have time to promote the item. If you're interested in rare stuff related to my work, this is one of the rarest you're going to come across, ever.

---

The last few days, besides writing and house cleaning and cat doctoring, we've been watching Season Two of 24 and Season One of Nip/Tuck. I've been reading Angela Carter's exquisite Wise Children (1991; Kathe Koja's Under the Poppy is next). We've played a little WoW, still trying to get Shah and Suraa through Icecrown. I've been making my way through the latest Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, and read "Tetrapod fauna of the lowermost Usili Formation (Songea Group, Ruhuhu Basin) of southern Tanzania, with a new burnetiid record" and "A new and unusual procolophonid parareptile from the Lower Permian of Texas." I've mostly been sleeping well.

Yesterday, there was cautious relief at the news that BP's latest cap tests have temporarily staunched the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. But I get the impression a lot of people think this means the oil isn't going to start flowing again (though even BP has stressed that it will). And, of course, even if no new oil were to enter the Gulf after today, there's presently almost 200 million gallons of oil befouling the area affected by the petrocalamity.

---

On Tuesday, we took in a matinée of Nimród Antal's Predators, which Spooky and I both enjoyed very much. My complaints are few. I would have liked it to be maybe half an hour longer, as it seemed a little rushed. But the creatures SFX were very good, and I can't get enough of Adrien Brody. John Debney's soundtrack was quite effective. Definitely a film that needs to be seen on a big screen. It's great fun, and I was in need of a Big Monster Movie that's great fun.

We also finally saw the Doctor Who "The End of Time" episodes. I thought the first half was a bit silly, but loved the second half. Has a doctor ever before refused so vehemently to go quietly into that gentle night? I'm going to miss David Tenant something fierce.

Okay...far too long an entry. The platypus says no one's going to read all this. I replied that I will, one year from now.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
The heat is coming back to Providence.

Yesterday marked the 75th day of the BP petrocalamity.

Whatever plans we'd had for our eighth anniversary, Spooky and I had to put on hold when she realized that Sméagol had an abscessed pad on his right hind foot. It was badly swollen and not draining. So she took him to a local vet, where the injury was drained. He was given a dose of antibiotics and sent home. We suspect he sustained the wound during one of the epic kaiju battles in which he and Hubero regularly indulge. But...yeah...on our eighth anniversary, we tended the Sméagol's paw. And the vet bill.

Today, I do the very last read through on "The Maltese Unicorn" before it goes back to the anthology's editor for the very last time tomorrow.

If you've not already, please have a look at the eBay auctions, and, in particular, have a look at the Salammbô T-shirt. Thanks.

A good mail day yesterday. I got a package from Peter Straub, containing A Special Place: The Heart of a Dark Matter (Pegasus Books). Also, there was an extraordinarily generous package from Steven Lubold, which included a copy of the 1966 Arkham House anthology, The Dark Brotherhood and Other Pieces. So, big thank yous to both Peter and Steven.

---

Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] derekcfpegritz wrote:

Suggestion: "How the Moon Got Its Whiskers" has to involve the cats that helped Randolph Carter get back from the Moon in "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath." I've always wondered about what stake the cats had in his adventures. I mean, we're talking cats here. Cats do not help people "just because." There was definitely something in it for them, and I wonder if it was the get back at the Moon-beasts somehow. Or, hell, maybe they just owed Pickman a favour.

Not a bad idea. This might even tie into my unfinished story, "The Alchemist's Daughter," which was set in Lovecraft's dreamlands, and featured Ulthar and its cats.

---

Today is July 4th, the birthday of my Grandfather, Gordy M. Ramey. He was born in July 1911, and died in January 1977. Which means this is his 99th birthday. Weird.
greygirlbeast: (white)
About an hour behind today, as we didn't get back from Boston last night until a little after 2 a.m. Today is cloudy, drizzly, cooler, and likely to remain this way until Wednesday.

Though I very almost did not make it out of the house yesterday evening (thank you, Howard Hughes), stubborn determination and the power of pharmaceuticals prevailed, and we made it to Boston for the Faith and the Muse show at T.T. the Bears on Brookline Avenue in Cambridge. And I am so glad that we did. The show was glorious. Truly, simply glorious. My thanks to Monica and William for putting us on the guest list, because that was probably what actually got my leaden ass out the door (oh, and thanks to Chris Ewen for calling to be sure we were coming). Really, I've seen Faith and the Muse three times now since 2001, and even though I've seen them play better venues, last night's performance was by far the best I've seen from them. Brilliant, beautiful, thunderously sublime. I think they played all of the new album, : ankoku butoh :, as well as a few older songs. My squealing fangirl moment of the night came when William dedicated "Cernunnos" to me. And oh the drummers; I think I actually had drumgasms. Also, I was unaware that Paul Mercer was touring with them (and plays on the new album), and it was great getting a chance to talk with him again. I've known Paul since 1996, when I was in Death's Little Sister and he was in the Changelings. And I have to give special mention to the dancers, Aradia Sunseri and Lucretia*Renee (who, together, are Serpentine)...just, wow. So, yeah...if the current US/European tour is coming anywhere near you, I fucking implore you to see it. And get the new CD. The opening band last night was Providence's own Spindle Shanks, though we came in late, near the end of their set. But what we heard was great. Spindle Shanks did the music for the as-yet-unreleased (but I hope to soon remedy that) trailer for The Red Tree. The infamous Scary Lady Sarah is djing for the American leg of the tour (I'd not see her since I was Mistress of Ceremonies for Convergence 5 in New Orleans, back in 1999).

And I think that's almost all for now. I have to get the second piece written for this month's Sirenia Digest. I'm doing it that backwards way, where Vince Locke sends me a drawing, and I write a story to it, reversing our usual dynamic. I'll post his illustration here sometime in the next few days, before #53 comes out, just to whet your appetites. And Spooky took about a zillion photos of the show last night, but she still has to sort through and edit them before I have anything to post, so, until then, I leave you with cute photos of Sméagol and Hubero:

Kittehs )
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
1. Yesterday, I wrote a very decent 1,466 words on "Hydrarguros," for Sirenia Digest #50. This isn't going to be a vignette. This is going to be my first full-length science-fiction story since I wrote "Galápagos" for Eclipse Three, back in June or July. Er...no. Wait. Shit. I wrote a full-length sf tale, "The Jetsam of Disremembered Mechanics," for the forthcoming Robert Silverberg tribute anthology (Subterranean Press). And that was only December. Gods, it all bleeds together. Anyway, yeah, this story is growing beyond my original concept, and if you're a subscriber to the digest, you'll get to read it. Soon. It's feeling quite a lot like "In View of Nothing" and "A Season of Broken Dolls," and I think Jason Statham is quickly morphing into someone else.

2. Another night of not-quite-enough sleep, thanks to the wonderful rp in Insilico. I meant to get to bed earlier, but the story just kept coming, and I apparently lack the ability to walk away from story. I am a narrative junkie.

3. Yesterday was a day of wonderful gifts arriving by mail. First, a package from Jada in Arkansas, containing a bottle of Crystal Head vodka. I had no idea Dan Ackroyd was pimping vodka in these marvelous bottles. So, the boozery continues to grow. And then, while Kathryn had gone down to the local deli to get sandwiches for dinner, FedEx arrived with a second package (and there's a story here, that I'll come to in Item 4). This one contained a slab of grey stone from the Marecchia River Formation in Italy, bearing the complete skeleton of a 20+ centimeter specimen of Syngnathus acus, an extinct species of pipefish from the Lower Pliocene (about 3-5 million years old). This came from Christa ([livejournal.com profile] faustfatale) in faraway LA. It will now take up residence in my own Wunderkammer.

4. When I went to answer the door, when the FexEx dude knocked, I thought I'd shut the front parlour door behind me. The door leading out into the front hallway. I'd not. When I got back upstairs, it was standing wide fucking open. Sméagol was just outside our door, looking thoroughly freaked. He saw me and dashed back inside. However, Hubero was nowhere to be seen. So, I commenced searching. Our building, circa 1875, has these incredibly narrow, steep spiraling wooden stairwells. They make me think of being inside a lighthouse. I went upstairs and finally located Hubero, who never, ever squirms or wiggles when I puck him up. Except for last night. As I was coming back downstairs with him, he wriggled rather violently, dug in his claws, and one or another of my feet slipped. I missed the next step down, pulled my left Achilles tendon rather painfully, and almost went tumbling to the second floor. For a moment, I clearly saw Spooky coming home to find me crumpled in the hallway, a Siamese cat smooshed flat beneath my broken body. But somehow I caught myself, and doomsday was narrowly averted. Shit like this is one reason Spooky is usually the one who answers the door.

5. Last night, we started watching Season Three of Deadliest Catch. I find this strange show absurdly addictive, and I was partway through Season Three in '08 when we made the move from Atlanta to Providence. We watched the first two episodes, and then I wandered off to rp. Oh, I also read another paper in the December Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology yesterday, "Dyrosaurid remains from the Intertrappean Beds of India and the Late Cretaceous distribution of the Dyrosauridae."

6. The platypus says shut up and get to work....
greygirlbeast: (white2)
One year ago today, Sméagol came to live with us. He was called Linus then, but we soon corrected that.

If anyone's interested in gifting Spooky and me with the distractions that help to make this existence bearable, in the form of Solstice gifts, we have both updated our Amazon wish lists. You can find mine here, and you may find hers here. Thank you. This past month has taken a toll on finances, from car troubles to doctor bills, and there's less money than usual for these niceties. CDs, DVDs, books. And we are both perfectly happy with used copies. Thank you kindly.

---

Yesterday, I followed a link Neil Clarke (of Clarkesworld Magazine) posted to Twitter, and found a fine little essay/blog entry on writing, in the blog of Damien G. Walter: "Show Me the Writers Taking Risks." It speaks very much to my "writing process" (though I do loathe that phrase), and opens with this quote from Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles (borrowed from Frederico Fellini): "Don’t tell me what I’m doing, I don’t want to know." It moves along to another Bradbury quote: "First you jump off the cliff, then you build the wings." Which is about the best advice I could ever give any would-be writer. Stop plotting. Stop outlining. Stop writing character profiles and fretting over arcs. Kill the spreadsheets. Forget the workshops. This isn't science, and tedium won't save you. Writing is art, which means it's pretty much magic. Peer over the edge, size up the drop, then just fucking jump off the cliff and get to work, because the ground is rushing towards you, or you're rushing towards the ground (it hardly matters which). Just write the damned story. In this short essay, Walter writes:

So many writers seem set on not just building wings, but complete impact survival systems before they even venture to the cliff edge (while others are hurling themselves into the void without even a sense that the ground exists).

Anyway, yes...I suggest you have a look.

---

Yesterday, we drove down to Saundertown, to Spooky's parents' place. It was good to get out of the House. It helped to alleviate that feeling that I might, at any moment, shatter. We saw fields blanketed with a thin crust of snow, and we saw stark trees, and a deer at the side of the road. We got a dozen fresh eggs from the farm. We saw a leafless tree burdened with frozen apples. There are photos below, behind the cut.

Last night sort of turned into Revisit TV Shows We Hated the First Time Night. It also became an evening of These Shows Have Improved Somewhat Revelation. First we watched a couple of the most recent episodes of Fringe. Yes, it's improved. We tried to watch the series back when it first began and found it painful and impossible. But things seemed a little tighter last night (absurd science aside). If nothing else, John Noble is entertaining as Dr. Walter Bishop, and I'm seeing depth to the character that was missing early on. And Phillip Broyles isn't bad, but the rest of the cast feels extruded, mass produced, interchangeable. The series has a long way to go to stop being an inferior X-Files knockoff.

We also watched the latest episode of Dollhouse. And, you know, the only thing really keeping the episode from being quite decent was Eliza Dushku, who still can't act her way out of a paper bag. Summer Glau was creepy, and that's a good thing. I know the series has been canceled. And I hate like hell to see Joss Whedon keep hitting the wall like this, but he should have known better than to pin his star to Fox (again) and the talentless Miss Dushku. She can't even convincingly act like a blank doll. Rather, she acts like someone trying and failing to act like a blank doll. But I will watch the next episode, regardless.

So, yes...photos (there's even one of me, and those are growing increasingly rare):

6 December 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (starbuck2)
So...yesterday was another "lost day." That's four consecutive days to have earned an "L" in my day planner when I could not afford even one. I cannot recall the last time this happened. It's not the same as days during which I try to work, and nothing comes. Those are just dry work days. I mean days when I do not even try. Today, I have to get moving again. My stillness builds momentum, and that's terrifying.

Here in Providence, the weather has gone from summer to autumn in the space of a few days. I wasn't ready for it. As miserable as we were during our two weeks of summer, I was not ready for autumn.

Autumn is always the season of dying, just as winter is the season of death before the rebirth of spring.

Nothing much worth mentioning yesterday.

Late in the day, around five p.m. or so, we drove down to Spooky's parents' place in Saunderstown. It was a beautiful drive once we left the interstate, and it was the first time I'd left the House since Wednesday. We only visited a short while. But the air smelled wonderful, and it was good to be Outside, despite the evening chill. We came away with yellow tomatoes, blueberry preserves her dad made, eggs, and basil. There's a photo of Spooky playing with Spider (whom we are now calling Luciano, for reasons that should be obvious):



Anyway, I will go now and see if I can make something less than wasted from this day.
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
Raining here in Providence. I think we might have had three consecutive days without rain. But this is a steady, gentle sort of rain, and I don't much mind. It would hardly matter if I did, of course.

The anthology's editors loved "The Sea Troll's Daughter," which was a huge relief. I'll give the book's title and release date as soon as I can. One of them emailed to say, "I felt I'd read 'Beowulf: The Truth Behind the Myth,'" which was sort of the cherry on top of the sale. So, yes, two long weeks after I began writing the story, I can say that went well.

I have my final schedule for ReaderCon 20. Here it is (with panel descriptions):

Friday 4:00 PM, VT: Group Reading

Lovecraft Unbound Group Reading (60 min.) Ellen Datlow (host) with
Laird Barron, Michael Cisco, Caitlín R. Kiernan

Readings from the anthology of Lovecraft-related or inspired fiction
edited by Datlow and forthcoming in October from Dark Horse.

Friday 5:00 PM, RI: Talk (30 min.)

How I Wrote A is for Alien. Caitlín R. Kiernan

Breaking with Readercon tradition, Kiernan talks about writing the stories
that make up her first sf collection.

Friday 6:00 PM, Salon E: Panel

Reality and Dream in Fiction. Jedediah Berry, Michael Cisco (L), Caitlin
R. Kiernan, Yves Meynard, Patrick O'Leary, Gene Wolfe

[Greatest Hit from Readercon 9.] "It seems almost like a dream that has
slowly faded." "Not to me," said Frodo. "To me it seems more like
falling asleep again." Some books create a world so engaging and
convincing it seems more real than reality. Others (e.g., Gene Wolfe's
There are Doors) seem like dreams from which we awaken. What elements in
fiction create these disparate effects? Are they mutually exclusive?

Friday 7:00 PM, RI: Talk / Discussion (60 min.)

You Never Can Tell What Goes on Down Below: Reading Dr. Seuss as Weird
Fiction. Caitlín R. Kiernan

Few would consider Dr. Seuss a master of weird fiction, but most of us
knew about the strange denizens of McElligot's Pool long before we were
introduced to those of Innsmouth. We met the Lorax before Great Cthulhu,
and shuddered at the Joggoons long before we ever met up with our first
shoggoth. Join us for a review of the strange worlds of Seuss (and other
"children's authors") and a discussion of how the surprisingly
sophisticated oddities we meet as kids shape us as aficionados of fantasy
and science fiction.

Saturday 12:00 Noon, Salon F: Autographing

Saturday 2:00 PM, Salon E: Panel

Is Fiction Inherently Evil (and If So, What's My Job)? Michael Bishop,
Caitlín R. Kiernan, James Morrow (L), Peter Straub, Gene Wolfe

[Greatest Hit from Readercon 8.] Simone Weil (in "Morality and
Literature") argued that fiction is inherently immoral because it reverses
the truth about good and evil: in reality, good is "beautiful and
wonderful" and evil is "dreary, monotonous," but in fiction, it is evil
that is "varied and intriguing, attractive, profound ..." while good is
"boring and flat." Certainly we can all think of counter-examples (To
Kill a Mockingbird
gets it right), but this is a problem as old as Milton.
Does a writer have an obligation to try to make goodness interesting, and
to show the banality of evil? How does doing so affect the fiction?

Saturday 3:00 PM, Salon E: Panel

Is Darwinism Too Good For SF? Jeff Hecht (L), Caitlin R. Kiernan, Anil
Menon, James Morrow, Steven Popkes, Robert J. Sawyer

This year marks the sesquicentennial of the publication of The Origin of
Species and the bicentennial of Charles Darwin's birth. Considering the
importance of the scientific idea, there has been surprisingly little
great sf inspired by it. We wonder whether, in fact, if the theory has
been too good, too unassailable and too full of explanatory power, to
leave the wiggle room where speculative minds can play in. After all,
physics not only has FTL and time travel, but mechanisms like wormholes
that might conceivably make them possible. What are their equivalents in
evolutionary theory, if any?

Sunday 2:00 PM, NH / MA: Reading (60 min.)

Reading from The Red Tree.

Also, note that I was originally scheduled to be a participant in the "How Acting Techniques Can Enhance your Writing" workshop, Friday at 1 p.m., but I asked to be dropped from it, as I'm not feeling physically up to anything that asks you to wear "comfortable clothing." Also, I won't be arriving at the con until Day 2, Friday, contra my original plans.

---

Yesterday evening, we had to drive down to Saunderstown, because Spooky's mum and dad are in Montana, and we're looking after the farm in their absence. It was, as usual, nice to get out of the city. Spooky collected eggs from the hen house. I tested to electric fence that keeps the deer at bay, to be sure it hadn't shorted out or anything. We fed the koi. We let Spider Cat out for a while and played with him. The blueberries aren't quite ripe yet, but soon will be, which means we'll be picking them before her parents get back. On the way back to the car, we spotted a Fowler's Toad (Bufo woodhousii fowleri). There are photos behind the cut:

June 6, 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (white2)
I last left the house, was last Outside, on Monday, which was the last day we saw the sun. There are thunderstorms moving towards us now. The temperature is currently 70F, so that's something of a minor improvement. The insomnia was bad last night, and then the nightmares this morning, and you may think none of this is relevant. But everything plays a factor in the shape of the stories. Everything.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,207 words on "The Alchemist's Daughter," which now stands at 6,279 words. It will likely go to at least 9,000, though I sincerely hope to have it finished by Sunday evening, at the very latest, as there is another short story I have to write this month.

Do please have a look at the current eBay auctions. All proceeds go towards the expense of attending ReaderCon 20, which is likely the only convention I'll be doing this year. The cost of cons has simply become too exorbitant to justify (or maybe it's the cost of everything else). I will also probably be doing a very small number of signings/readings for The Red Tree, in Providence, Boston, and possibly Manhattan. But I don't presently foresee doing any other public appearances this year. I have enough trouble just making it out the door, most days.

How about something not so glum? We haven't been able to get any work done on the trailer for The Red Tree because of this vile weather (it's almost all exterior shots), but Spooky has been filming the cats. To wit, "The Waking of Sméagol."

Waking the Smeagol from Kathryn Pollnac on Vimeo.



Okay. Coffee now.
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
Yesterday, I did 1,125 words and, after almost three years, found THE END of "Fish Wife." It will be appearing in Sirenia Digest #42. I've sent it off to Vince to be illustrated.

By my reckoning, "Fish Wife" is the 60th story I've written specifically for Sirenia Digest since December 2005.

I generally stay out of internet spats, especially those involving writing and publishing, and especially when writers and publishers are the ones generating the spats. For example, the recent kerfuffle over whether or not internet publishing, especially sites that offer short fiction for free on the internet, pose a threat to the few remaining hard-copy speculative fiction magazines out there. I've seen good points made by both sides, but one thing has been gnawing at me. Repeatedly, I've seen advocates of internet publishing using the derogatory phrase "dead-tree magazines." As opposed to those that are only available online. That is, print publications. Do people really think that electronic media does less harm to the environment than print media? I mean, in theory, no paper is used for the posted version of the "ezine," but what about the energy required to run all those computers and websites? And the oil used to make all the plastic for those computers? And the hard-copy paperwork generated producing, manufacturing, and selling the computers and software? And so on and so forth? And never mind the fact that an awful lot of people are just going to print out the stories, anyway. I hate trying to read on a monitor. My guess is that, at best, online publishing is no harder on the environment, when all is said and done, than is print publishing. But I'm very skeptical of the claim that it's more ecologically sound. Though, if anyone has facts and figures to back up the claim, point me in that direction.

Yesterday evening, after the writing, we had a long walk down Benefit Street. There's still a slight chill in the air, and it's windy up on College Hill. But the trees are marvelously green. We visited the Athenaeum, and, on the discard shelf, I found a copy of the University of California's Pennyroyal edition of Frankenstein on sale for only a dollar. We walked as far north as the Horace B. Knowles Funeral Home, at 187 Benefit Street, where Lovecraft's funeral services were held in 1937. There are photographs behind the cut:

May 13, 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
I am very painfully not awake. No sleep until after 5 a.m. this morning.

And I have to ask, are people getting stupider, or am I just noticing it more frequently? If they are getting stupider, I blame Twitter. And Oprah. And the pharmaceutical companies. And the fact that Britney Spears was allowed to breed.

Yesterday, I managed to write another 1,196 words on "At the Gate of Deeper Slumber," which will be appearing in Sirenia Digest #41 later this month. While we were reading yesterday's pages, Hubero snuggled with me, and Spooky got this photo, much to his eventual chagrin (behind the cut):

20 April 2009 )


I looked out the window yesterday. Hardly a substitute for leaving the house, but it was the best I could manage. I looked out the window, and saw that the trees are now, finally, awash in a spray of new green. I think this dreadful winter might actually be behind us.

Last night, I suffered a three hour (!!!!!) dungeon crawl through Maraudon. When it was over, Shaharrazad socked Suraa in the nose and adjourned to the comforts of Orgrimmar, where she intends to get a room in the Drag, and hold up with booze and orc whores for at least a week.

Last night, I found the resolve to leave Second Life. For good. Forever. It's been almost two years since I began trying to use it for roleplay, as a means of generating what would be, essentially, interactive novels. And I now reluctantly admit defeat and pronounce the experiment a protracted, costly, embarrassing failure. Let someone else cast pearls before the swine. Anyway, I'll write more on this some other time, sometime when I'm less sleepy and can summon the requisite disgust. Anyway, don't look for me, because I'm not there. I will say that, disappointment aside, there is great relief that the whole mess is at long last behind me.

Okay. Where's the IV drip with the coffee/Red Bull blend?
greygirlbeast: (meezer)
I have been commanded by Hubero (the Siamese bastard) to report that his three favorite flavors of soda are (in order of favoriteness):

1. Squid
2. Beef
3. Sarsaparilla

Remember, I'm only the messenger.
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
We're heading back to Newport again today, more research for "As Red as Red." Unfortunately, the cold temps have returned today, after a warmish weekend. Anyway, I just wanted to get something down here before we head for Aquidneck Island.

Saturday was spent trying to find the story that goes with the title "As Red as Red." I wrote maybe 500 words over maybe four hours. This is the epitome of a lousy writing day. Hopefully, the trip today will help achieve liftoff for this vampire story that's really a werewolf story.

Yesterday, we had to go down to Saurnderstown. Spooky's parents are in New Mexico, at an anthropology conference, so we're looking after the farm while they're gone. The high was near 60F yesterday, and it was wonderful being away from the city. The late winter is so much less vile out in the Rhode Island countryside. Everywhere there's a pond or stream, there are verdant fringes, mostly moss. And the green briers are already waking up. We looked in on the chickens, fed the koi, walked the perimeter of the deer fence to make sure there were no breaks in it anywhere (it keeps the deer out of the garden, where the spinach is just starting to sprout). We also unloaded the "steamsquid" discovered at Moonstone Beach back in February, as we'd decided it was best off down at the farm. The trees were full of singing birds, which was heartening, as we're not hearing a lot of songbirds here in Providence. We turned over a couple of rotten logs, hoping to spot salamanders, but found none. There are buds on the apple trees and blueberry bushes. We hung out with Spider Cat, who has really gained far, far too much weight. He's over 18 pounds now, but has been placed on a diet. I wanted to spend the night on the farm, but we had to head back to the city.

Oh, on the way down we stopped at Newbury Comics in Warwick and got a copy of Låt den rätte komma in on DVD. By the way, I am not generally opposed American remakes of foreign films, not on principle, but I am cringing at the thought of an American remake of Låt den rätte komma in. It's already been done with near perfection, and I fear a US remake will inevitably veer the story away from the subtle atmospherics of Tomas Alfredson's adaptation. Sure, I could be wrong. But it just seems so utterly unnecessary, this remake.

Here are three photos from yesterday's trip down to Saunderstown (behind the cut):

15 March 2009 )


And, before I wrap this up, THE COOLEST VIDEO EVER— "I Am Murloc":

greygirlbeast: (white)
And then there's that other sort of unproductive writing day. The sort when you do actually write, only to discover, often on the very same day, that what you've written is not suitable to your present needs. That was yesterday. I spent a couple of hours producing more than three hundred words. They were even good words. Just not the words I needed for the story I'm trying to find my way into. So, I discarded them. I'd written:

There are stories that have no proper beginning. Stories for which no convenient, familiar “Once upon a time…” praeambulum exists. They may, for instance, be contained within larger stories, interwoven with the finest of gradations, and so setting them apart is a necessarily arbitrary undertaking. Let us say, then, that this story is of that species. Where it truly began is not where we will start its telling, for to attempt such a thing would require a patience and the requisite time for infinite regression. I may say that the sea had a daughter, though she has spent every day of her life on dry land. At once, the tumult of a hundred questions about how such a thing ever came to be will spring into the reader’s mind. What is the nature of the sea’s womb? With what or whom did she or he have congress to find himself or herself with child? What of the midwife? What is the gestation time of all the oceans of the world, or its sperm count, when considered as a single being? And, while we’re at it, which being, and from which pantheon, do I mean when I say “the sea”? Am I speaking of the incestuous union of Oceanus and his sister Tethys? Do I mean to say Poseidon, or Neptune, Ægir and Rán, or Susanoo of the Shinto, or Arnapkapfaaluk of the Inuit?

I mean only to say the sea.

The sea had a daughter, but she was orphaned. She grew up in a city of men, a city at the mouths of two rivers that flowed down into a wide bay, fed by other rivers and dotted by more than thirty rocky, weathered islands. Here she was a child, and then a young woman. Here, she thought, she would grow to be an old woman. She’d never desired to travel, and had never ventured very far inland. She had seen photographs of mountain ranges, and read descriptions of the world’s great deserts, and that was sufficient.


And I do quite like that. I expect, someday, when the digest is not running so very late, I'll come back to it. It is the beginning of a story I haven't presently got the time to write. So, like I said, I discarded it. I have a "vignette morgue" file into which such things are consigned. It's an orphanage for sentences. And then I wrote an additional six hundred words or so on a piece I'm calling "The Bone's Prayer," and it has a good beginning, and a nice epigraph, so I'm hoping it's going to prove, today, to be what I need it to be.

I've got to get to work. By some damnable miracle, I slept until 11 a.m. this morning. I desperately needed the sleep, almost eight hours, but not at the expense of time that should be spent working. Oh, and Spooky has posted photographs of Sméagol, doing Sméagol stuff (or something).

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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