greygirlbeast: (fry1)
Not sure why I'm using my Carolyn Fry icon today, from that marvelous scene as the Hunter Gratzner crashes. It just felt right. Maybe it says something about the health of Frank the Goat this morning and early afternoon, as LJ suffered another DDoS attack.

1) A late start to the day. But I've already signed 600+ signature sheets for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart (coming from Subterranean Press in 2012) and proofed inked pages for the Alabaster comic. I wish I could show you more of the art; the first issue is going to kick ass, and a lot of that credit will go to Steve Lieber (artist and letterer), our colorist Rachelle Rosenberg, and cover artist Greg Ruth.

2) I'm still hoping to be able to begin the new short story, for Sirenia Digest #72, started this afternoon. A tale about two women who become cities. And yeah, sorry, the digest will be woefully late this month. November was a right proper cunt, was she. So, blame her. But, still, I hope to have it out by the 10th of December at the latest.

3) And speaking of Sirenia Digest #72, come on, kittens. Get in those responses to the fifth Question @ Hand. Don't be shy. You get complete anonymity, and you DO NOT have to worry about the feasibility of the science in your replies. Oh, and I'll be especially pleased by entries that make no mention of my being a writer. But don't tarry too long. If these are going to make it into #72, I need all replies in by midnight CaST (EST +1 hour) Wednesday, December 7th.

4) Good RP in Rift last night. Thank you, all who took part. You were splendid. I'm hoping to double our numbers by the end of December, and then worry a lot less about recruiting for a bit. I'm beginning to wonder if a surprisingly (to me) small number of my readers are gamers. My calls for players go mostly unheeded, and, truly, not only is Rift an awesome game (as in, it fills me with awe), it's a great entertainment value. For the price of a large pizza, for less than a single movie for two, you get a month of unlimited play. Can't do much better than that. Dump that crappy cable TV, and come and play with us!

5) We've been working our way through Disc One of the most recent season of Doctor Who, and last night we finally saw the episode written by Neil, "The Doctor's Wife." Frankly, I was completely unimpressed by the four episodes (or was it three?) that preceded it, but then "The Doctor's Wife" blew me away. It is no lie to say that I very almost cried at the end. It shows that Matt Smith can be a good doctor, if given good scripts (though I still miss David Tenant, and I miss Christopher Eccleston – my doctor – even more). However, no author can redeem Rory Williams (BORING), and I want him gone.

6) Whoever is responsible for the portmanteau "advertorials" (derogatory shutter quotes!) needs to die, along with whoever invented the concept. And Jesus fuck, LJ knows how to spell the goddamned "word"!

Anyway, I think that's all for now. Carry on.

Eating A Cupcake,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (dr10-1)
Oh, if only I had magical coffee, the coffee that bestows instant and perfect wakefulness, and eternal youth. That coffee. No, I just have this milky brown water.

Er...yeah.

Yesterday morning, Spooky took the following two photos (behind the cut) of me while I was trying to wake up. They should give you some idea of the disassembly of the hole where I hide...I mean, the office. Fold it all up. Stick it a box. Send it a thousand miles northeast. And hope this is the last big move, ever.

Waking in an Empty Office )


Yesterday, I wrote 1,138 words on Chapter One of The Red Tree. Good pages. I think I'm finally beginning to find my way into Sarah Crowe. And after the writing, there was, of course, packing. Sorting through a mountain of papers and such atop my file cabinet (visible in the first photo, packed or discarded now) and on a shelf. But the good news is that Byron showed up about 6:15 pm, and we went to the Vortex for dinner. Moose was our waiter, which is always good. Afterwards, back home, we watched the final episode of the 9th Doctor's run, "A Parting of the Ways," because I found myself needing Christopher Eccleston. And then there was Martha Jones in the new episode of the current series, and then a particularly good episode of Battlestar Galactica. Good enough that even the commercials didn't ruin it for me. Afterwards, I spent a little quiet time in New Babbage (Second Life), mostly just sitting in the Great Hall of the Palaeozoic Museum, listening to a recorded thunderstorm (on Radio 3, Bratislava), unwinding, contemplating future exhibits. Later, Miss Paine (Spooky) showed up, and we walked down to her pie shop in the Canal District, on Bow Street. There's a room upstairs I rather love.

And after that little bit of Second Life, Spooky read to me from House of Leaves. That most frustrating chapter, at least for me. XVI. The examination of the wall samples, following the "Evacuation" of the house on Ash Tree Lane. But most of the data recovered by Mel O'Geery's Princeton lab, the knowledge of the age and geological composition of those walls, has been lost, replaced with XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, because Johnny placed a leaky fucking jar of ink on that stack of pages. And pages went missing at the publisher. And, on the one hand, every time I read the book, this section drives me mad, and on the other, this is Danielewski doing it exactly right. He taunts with hints of answers, then pulls back, lest the mystery be dissolved in mere fact. When Spooky got sleepy, I read some of Chapter 7 ("Osborn, Nature, and Evolution") of the Henry Fairfield Osborn biography. At 2 ayem, I turned off the lights and drifted down to the dreams.

Spooky's taking Hubero to the vet at 2 pm, to have him checked out before the move, and to get him a bottle of kitty Valium.

Oh, and I should post this again, because the sale price of $12.99 is good until Monday:

Reynolds/Washburne 2008


And, also, 350.org.
greygirlbeast: (chi (intimate distance))
Yesterday, by some miracle (I don't actually believe in "miracles," sensu loaves and fishes, etc., so what I actually mean is by some statistically improbable, but not impossible, turn of events), I wrote a measly 869 words, and finished the preface for The Red Tree. The preface is written by the fictional editor who has come into the possession of Sarah Crowe's manuscript. The editor is strangely fond of footnotes, some of which are rather pedantic. Today, no writing, but, instead, Spooky and I will read back over what I've written of Chapter One to be sure it jibes with the preface. Already, I've caught one inconsistency. In Chapter One, the "red tree" grows on "the Old Jenks place," but in the preface, it grows on the "Battey Farm." I'll be going with the latter.

My thanks for the many comments and emails yesterday, though, of course, that's not why I said the things I said. I wasn't fishing for pep talks. And all the attention and well wishes in the world cannot change what I know to be true. I cannot go any easier on myself. Indeed, I am not going hard enough on myself. It's a goddamn hardscrabble life, pimping the playtpus, selling my dreams, growing corn on bare stone, making all these blasted words. It's not likely to ever get any easier. There is no retirement plan. There are only the words, from here until The End. One reason I am so reluctant to describe these times when it goes from bad to worse is simply because I have this inherent fear of being seen as weak, or whiny, or whatever. But I also loathe not telling the truth. Anyway, yes, thank you for the sentiments, because it's good to know someone cares, but nothing changes. Not unless the big space rock comes tomorrow, or Panthalassa rises up to stomp us all flat with tsunami paws.

I re-read Salman Rushdie's introduction to Angela Carter's Burning Your Boats yesterday, and he writes:
"...but the best of her, I think, is in her stories. Sometimes, at novel length, the distinctive Carter voice, those smoky, opium-eater's cadences interrupted by harsh or comic discords, that moonstone-and-rhinestone mix of opulence and flim-flam, can be exhausting. In her stories, she can dazzle and swoop, and quit while she's ahead."

And I think I know exactly what he means, for so often have I wished that I could make a living writing only short fiction. I do it ever so much better than novels, with their absurdly drawn-out plots and contrived twists and turns. I have never written a novel even half as good as my best short story, but, in the end, this is about the pay check. Of course, I should also note, to be fair, that Rushdie adores Carter's novels, and bemoans the werewolf novel she never wrote. It's just, as an author, I think the short story is the better form, and poetry better still. Distillation, as it were. Less usually is more.

What else to yesterday? I re-read "A new aigialosaur (Squamata; Anguimorpha) with soft tissue remains from the Upper Cretaceous of Nuevo León, Mexico" in the March 2008 JVP. We live in age of riches, when it comes to the discovery of basal mosasauroid lizards — Dallasurus, Hassiophis, Tethysaurus, Haasisaurus, Judeasaurus, et al., and now Vallecillosaurus. Anyway, I packed many boxes of books. My office is looking bare. Spooky has been craving Tom Baker, so we watched the four-part old-school Doctor Who, "The Hand of Fear" (1976). Mostly, Baker's Who is just too hokey for my tastes, and I find Sarah Jane unbearable. But I like that steampunky old TARDIS, and Eldrad was a pretty cool alien. Christopher Eccleston will always be my Doctor, and David Tenant's not so bad, either. After four eps of Doctor Who, I wandered into SL for a rather nice rp with Omega and Pontifex. I was in bed by 2:30 ayem, I think. Seven hours sleep. That was yesterday, pretty much. Oh, very fine thunderstorm last night, late. I sat here at my desk, the window open, trying to hear the thunder over the Xtians who were wailing and hooting (at 11:30 p.m.!) like they were trying to summon Great Cthulhu. Beautiful lightning. I feel asleep to the rain.

Ah, and a screencap from SL, another one that may put some readers in mind of "Flotsam." These days, Nareth sleeps beneath that old tanker:

Nareth in the sea )
greygirlbeast: (Bowie5)
So, yesterday we walk out the back door and down the back-porch steps, only meaning to have a short walk, maybe over to Inman Park. But we were immediately greeted by an unfamiliar orange girl cat, and we stopped in the driveway to pet her and say hi, as she was very friendly and vocal. Then, suddenly, she turned and pounced something in the grass. Moments later, she had a small snake in her mouth. When she dropped it, we shooed her away. It was a young DeKay's brown snake (Storeria dekayi). Worried that the cat had seriously injured it (the snake had flipped over into the "playing dead" position as soon as she dropped it), I scooped it up and brought it inside the house. It seemed fine and very active. DeKay's are the only common snake in our neighborhood; indeed, the only other squamate I've ever seen hereabouts was an Eastern ringnecked snake back in '05. Anyway, we've been talking about keeping one as a pet this year, as they are reported to be extremely low-maintenance herps. So, instead of our walk, we put the snake somewhere safe from Hubero and drove over to Pet Smart on Ponce to get a small tank and a heating pad (where some dork tried to convince us we were in imminent peril, handling a wild snake, and I didn't have the heart to tell him I've worked as a herpetologist; he seemed the sort who lives vicariously through a World of Warcraft character, poor soul). So, for now, we have pet #3, a young Storeria, which shall either be named Edward Drinker Cope (Drinker, for short) or Severus Snake. We haven't yet decided. We're waiting to see if it's going to feed as readily as Dekay's usually eat in captivity (snails, slugs, worms, etc.). If not, we will release it and hope that the cats and crows don't make a meal of the wee beastie. Here are photos, behind the cut (all photos by Spooky):

Drinker or Severus )


Because of all the ophidian distraction, it was after 3 p.m. (CaST) before I finally sat down to write, and then there were constant interruptions relating to the busyness of writing. Some very good back and forth with my lit agent, but it didn't help the word count. I did only 893 words on "In View of Nothing," which was the entirety of the section labeled "06. The Train." Also, the bit to be written yesterday required research into guns and maglev and metallurgy, as well as Greek and Turkish geography, all of which slowed me down. I hope to do 1,500 words today. I really need to finish this piece by Monday (the 12th), and I'm losing tomorrow, as we've promised to have a movie day with Byron.

As for last night, Spooky and I set out to have the nerdiest evening possible, playing two games of Scrabble while simultaneously watching four Sherlock Holmes films on TCM: Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1943), The Woman in Green (1945), Terror by Night (1946), and Dressed to Kill (1946). The last of the four is my favourite of the bunch — mostly because Patricia Morison makes such a delightful femme fatale — though none of them are in the same class as Rathbone and Bruce's first two Holmes/Watson outings, The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939) and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939). It also occurred to me that Basil Rathbone has a certain resemblance to Christopher Eccleston, and I got to thinking how wonderful it would be to see Eccleston play Holmes.

Okay, If I am to get a walk in today, I must sign off. Is that a gorgeous little snake or what?

LJ Postscript (1:41 p.m.) — Robert Thompson of "Fantasy Book Critic" has posted a very positive new review of Daughter of Hounds over at [livejournal.com profile] species_of_one. Have a look.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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