greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
The Weather Channel says "It's a perfect day to call in sick. Did we say that out loud? But seriously, the Northeast will enjoy a beautiful spring-like day." But when I look at today's forecast I see that the predicted high is a paltry 48˚F (it's presently 43˚F), with a mostly cloudy sky. Which to me, to someone who grew up in the South, is about the same as saying today will be a "beautiful midwinter-like day." Tomorrow, the temperature is supposed to rise as high as 56˚F, which is at least approaching "spring-like." But it's going to rain. Fuck you, Mr. Weather Channel.

I'm never going to be who I'm never going to be.

But look who I've become.

Yesterday, I didn't finish the pseudo-vignette that's still titled "Apostate." Instead, I spent the day doing other writerly stuff. Email with my agent, Dark Horse editor, and suchlike. And other stuff. Honestly, I can't even remember much of it, so it truly must have been dull, indeed. My publicist wants to get the book trailer (the "teaser") up on the Penguin website for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir (right now, they don't even have the final cover up), and on the book's Amazon.com page. Which means I need to get him a DVD with "a compressed video file (preferably in .mov format and smaller than 100mb)," or use a legal file-sharing service, such as Dropbox.net. See? Exciting shit.

But! Here's something bow tie. You'll recall that on Sunday, there was the final shoot for book's full-length trailer, Kyle and Brian and Sara in the wilds of winter-stricken Pennsylvania, Sara in a beautiful dress made for the occasion by Kambriel. And here are two of the shots (behind the cut):

What India Found in the Forest )


And you may purchase prints of these and many of the other stills from the project right here. All proceeds will be used to offset our overages (yeah, we went over budget), and right now Kyle and I (and mostly Kyle) are covering that debt. This particular shot of Sara is on sale, for a short time,

Nothing interesting about the non-work part of yesterday. I had a hot bath. We had left over turkey chili (I am losing weight). We leveled our Twi'lek Jedi to 13. I read about Lyme Regis and 19th Century ichthyosaur discoveries. No more than that.

Today, more email, and I'm expecting the editorial notes of Alabaster #4, and I'll actually finish "Apostate."

Feeling Her Years,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
The insomnia continues, for Spooky and I both. Hers, though, is the opposite of mine. I find sleep only with the greatest difficulty, but then I sleep. She usually finds sleep easily enough, but then wakes and can't get back to sleep. We're sleep-deprived bookends. On my end, the pills that are supposed to keep the drone sleeping and buzzing along like a good drone simply aren't working. I am a bee that can develop a tolerance to almost any drug within a month, it has always seemed. I say drone, but I ought to say worker. But insomnia has a droning sound, yes? Yes. Still, I ought to say worker.

No drug advice, please. I'm a walking PDR. And no insomnia advice; I've heard it all. Also, please, no assurance that I'm not alone. Hearing that doesn't help. I maintain there is a world out there where people do still sleep, as I used to sleep. If I'm wrong, I need to cling to my delusion. There is a world out there where not every single fucking person suffers from an acronym concocted either by modernity or researchers taking kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies.

Oh, look! Here are my acronyms! My credentials! Aren't they pretty? May I now be pitied and medicated, and, thereby, gain some sense of purpose and self-worth? Am I not now a real, non-contributing, fully-consuming member of society, now that I am properly duped, disordered, and drugged?

Rainy and chill Outside.

No writing yesterday. Spooky and I filed. There was a mountain of unfiled files scattered about the office, mostly short stories written over the last five or six months. There are still more to be filed. At least one more leaning tower. I helped her clean and organize the pantry, which badly needed it.

Last night, we watched Elia Kazan's Splendor in the Grass (1961). Natalie Wood was an amazing being, a shining and radiant being.

And you want to ask yourself (or I do), "Exactly what's left in the darkness that humans are so afraid of, that we have to light parking lots long after shops have closed, that every roadside is lit, that we squander energy just to hide the stars and drive back the night?" I think the answer's simpler than many might suspect. You only need a mirror to see the answer. Or walk along a crowded street. When I was a child, I could see the Milky Way.



We have made this ugly world. An eyesore from space.
Photo credit for satellite composite NASA.


I should make an end to this entry.
greygirlbeast: (Barker)
Comment, kittens!

It's not just the innate creepiness of the "praying hands" and swirly lights aspect of the present LJ banner, it's the nigh unto vomitous pale orange/melon-colored scheme. And I have to see it while I compose a journal entry. Someone ought to have to hurt.

Gagh.

Meanwhile, another bout of "not enough sleep" last night, despite my being a good little drone to the Queen Bee of 21st Century Pharmaceutical & Invalidism Culture and having refilled my "sleep aid" script. I think I almost, maybe, slept six hours. And it all just fucking figures. I'm working my ass off, and I'm mostly sleeping well. Often eight hours a night. Then, I force myself to take time off which is, essentially, necessary, and – KERBLAM – no sleep. Write or die. Dance until your feet bleed, or die. Don't stop dancing.

Yesterday was a Very Bad Day, and I don't have those very often anymore. Because I'm a good drone and take my meds and spend the day making honey and all. But yesterday, slip, and there's a Very Bad Day of the sort we've not seen in...quite some time. More than a year. We did leave the house and drive aimlessly about Providence for a while. The weather was too unpredictable to make an attempt at reaching the shore. Sunny, but a chilly wind. It's so green out there, but still it doesn't feel like May. I make the honey, like a good bee, and still the warmth doesn't come, and if I ever dare to stop and catch my breath, then there's no sleep, and the rage returns, and the noise, and the wish for self-annihilation, and no, no, no, you don't know what I mean.

Also, I just accidentally took my morning and afternoon pills at the same time. Booya.

The good news? Spooky just found my riding crop. It vanished when we moved here from Atlanta three years ago, and I despaired of having another so fine, without ponying up (hahahahahahahaha) a tidy sum at a tack shop. But no. Spooky found it.

While we were out, we stopped by Acme Video, and in a desperate effort to quell ye olde inner dæmons, I went hog wild renting comfort movies. Five of them. Movies where the wold is soothingly black and white and grey. Last night we watched two of them, George Cukor's The Philadelphia Story (1940, one of the most perfect films ever made) and John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962). It helped, as long as the movies were playing. They ended, and the curtain came down again.

All I need is a reliable supply of opiates, enough for a couple of good doses a week. Paregoric would be perfect. Or laudanum. Or Vicodin. Anything.

In a couple of weeks, I turn 47. There are no words for how utterly fucking fucked up this is. Not just the "Woe is me, I'm getting old" part. That's obvious. No, it's the time dilation. The surreality of having lived from Then until Now, and through the shitstorm in between. It's a wicked sick excuse for a joke, and there's not even a god to blame it on. Only Chance and Probability and all those other rational, empirical anti-gods of Science.

I do have a wishlist at Amazon. You can look at it if you wish. I'm not adverse to gifts this time of year, even if they're of the non-opiate variety.

Oh, and you may now see the complete, final cover of Two Worlds and In Between, just by clicking here. Okay, it's not complete complete, as it still lacks the text of the flap copy. But it's mostly complete. Pay close attention to the book the painting me holds on the front cover. With a larger canvas, infinite regression could have been mimicked. Lee and Kyle are geniuses. They have wrapped my words in folds of zebra flesh and bergamot and vetiver and claret velvet.

Judge the book by its cover. Please.

Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus commented how Kathe Koja still has a thing for the "love is doom" motif we saw in Skin (1993) and Strange Angels (1995) and Kink (1996). Okay. He didn't name all those books. I filled in the gap. I don't know how Kathe feels about this (I may ask her), but, for my part, yeah...love is mostly doom. Exceptions are few and far between.

Listing to Starboard, Hardly Yar,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Please do comment; I'll be here all damn day.

It seems that all my family and friends in Birmingham are safe. I know a few people in Tuscaloosa, mostly at the University, and I've heard nothing from that end. But the devastation from yesterday's tornadoes is horrific, and I've had to make myself stop looking at the photographs of familiar places reduced to unfamiliar places. Tornadoes are a part of living in the South that I do not miss.

---

Dream images from last night are mostly lost, and those that remain are faint and almost indistinguishable from the background clutter of my mind. There was a beautiful mastodon skeleton weathering from a river bank. There was frozen Stalingrad during World War II.

All summer they drove us back through the Ukraine.
Smolyensk and Viyasma soon fell.
By autumn, we stood with our backs to the town of Orel.


No, the mastodon skeleton wasn't in Stalingrad.

---

Work was an odd and scatterbrained affair yesterday. Lots of loose ends and such, and today I have to begin a new piece for Sirenia Digest, because I am woefully fucking late getting to it. Oh, by the way, the snazzy new Sirenia Digest website will go live this weekend or early next week.

I mentioned that the ARCs for Two Worlds and In Between arrived on Tuesday. They include Lee Moyer's cover art, but brightness and contrast are way off, rendering the cover muddy and dark. And it's not the actual layout we're going with, so if you happen to see one of the ARCs, this is not what the final book will actually look like. I spent part of yesterday making corrections to the text, because no matter how many times you proofread a thing, or how many people len their eyes to the proofreading, it will still be filled with fucking errors. The manuscript is 210,209 words long, which breaks down to 965,432 individual characters, all of which have to be checked again and again. Also, it seems that the release date on the book has been moved from January 2012 to September 30, 2011. I had no idea.

I spent a goodly portion of yesterday on the cover for "The Crimson Alphabet," the chapbook that will accompany Two Worlds and In Between. I'd already done a cover, but decided I hated it and started over. The end result is very, very simple.

---

[livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy has announced the casting call for two projects related to The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. You can see his announcement here, but I'll also post his entry here in its entirety later. A book trailer and a still photography project. It's all fairly fucking awesome.

---

Last night, I left the house with Spooky, and we drove to College Hill. Spring is now in full bloom, and the temperatures have been warm enough that I am hereby declaring Cold Spring to have ended and Spring Proper to have begun. We stopped by Acme Video (complimentary Atomic Fireballs!), then Eastside Market, then got cheese burgers from Five Guys in Seekonk, Mass. I'm not used to driving out of state for burgers. That's going to take some time (and it's not something we'll make a habit of doing, either).

Back home, we watched Gaspar Noé's Enter the Void (2009). And I honestly wasn't impressed. If nothing else, the film needs at least 45 minutes trimmed away (running time, a whopping 161 minutes). This film manages to belabor pretty much everything it touches upon. In the hands of a skillful editor, it's possible that something worthwhile could be salvaged. If Lars von Trier and David Lynch had never heard of editing, they might make movies like Enter the Void. Also, it doesn't help that Nathaniel Brown, who plays the protagonist, has all the acting ability of a stalk of broccoli. There are plenty of arresting visuals, and some brutal, beautiful scenes, but even I can only watch psychedelic Tokyo sex scenes, shot from an overhead boom and lit with seizure-inducing, flickering shades of red, for just so long before the yawning begins. I hoped I would feel better about the film this morning, but, in fact, I find that I sort of loathe it; I suppose that's something.

---

I have about a hundred other things in my head, wanting to be spoken of in this blog today. Maybe later.

Disoriented,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
Monsieur Insomnie, va niquer ta mère. S'il vous plaît. Merci.

-- Tante Bête

It was full fucking daylight before I found sleep. Maybe 7 a.m. The specifics are a little hazy.

Yesterday, it was too warm to stay inside. It was too warm and I was too filled with anger, and so we left the house. We drove. The temperature was in the low seventies Fahrenheit, and the sun was bright. In Providence, the trees are bright with sprays of green and yellow and pink and white. The grass is going green. We drove about College Hill and the Eastside (not to be confused with East Providence, sensu stricto). And then we drove south. I think we meant, originally, to stop when we got to Wickford, but we kept going, all the way south to Narragansett and Point Judith. Driving through South County, the trees (native hardwoods) are still mostly barren. It still looks a lot like winter down there. Ugly and grey and bleak.

But we reached the sea. And maybe it was warm back in Providence, but at Point Judith, it was just shy of freezing. The surf was rough, and there were about half a dozen surfers making the best of it. We also visited Harbor of Refuge, where we fed cheese crackers to several species of seagulls. We saw other birds near the sea and the salt marshes: cormorants, swans, mallards, robins, Canadian geese, and what was probably a raven. The sea was loud and violent, rising and shattering itself against the granite jetty. And the roar and the violence were much appreciated. I dozed most of the way back to Providence, and when I woke, whatever bit of soothing the sea had accomplished was gone, and there was only the anger again.

Oh, we did have the cameras with us. But I aggressively resisted any urge to take pictures. There's too much sharing as it is.

Last night, I needed comfort movies, so we watched Fight Club (1999) and then Death Proof (2007). Marla Singer and Zoe Bell always help, even if only just a little bit. We played Rift. Selwyn reached Level 31. And then...I didn't sleep. Which brings us full circle, as we say.

I should go. There's work to do, and I'm 1/10th awake, so maybe I'll do some of it. Comment if you wish, and I'll probably reply. I'm going to sit here, finish my tepid coffee, listen to Brown Bird, and bask in the chilly air coming in my open office window.
greygirlbeast: (earth)
Not losing heart, but also not up to my usual Earth Day post.

Everyone either knows the score or is busy denying the score. Or is busy spinning the score so it means what he or she wishes it to mean. It's worse, and getting worse yet. But there's still beauty, and some of us see the beauty and the wonder and won't go quietly. The Anthropocene Epoch has arrived, whether I like or not, but I will always be a traitor to my species. 6.918 billion humans vie for extremely limited space and resources, pushing all else aside. It's not that humans can't be beautiful - they can. They can be beautiful, and noble, and brilliant. But they're not that brilliant. Like any animal, they eat, they fuck, they breed, they eat, they shit, they breed. Oh, I can love them. Now and then, I can love them. Now and then, they shine. In startling moments, in darkness and in light, in cacophony and profound silences, they can shine. One by one, or, more rarely, hand in hand.

Still, I'd trade a billion of them for a thousand Siberian tigers, or a thousand White rhinos (and yes, I'd take my place among the billion being traded). I'd trade three billion for...I said I wasn't up to this. And I'm not.

Balance is gone, and we've lost a world.

We live here, instead, in this diminished and rapidly diminishing place. And most, in their arrogance and ignorance, do not see what's been lost. And I can't show them, though I have been known to try.

But, in the eyes of Progress Man - Mr. and Mrs. and Miss H+, the thoughtless, heedless Multipliers, Profiteers, and Despoilers – I am a wicked beast, and I take my solace in the knowledge that even this Age of Man shall pass.

---

Sunny out there, but chilly, too. I would be at the shore today, even with the low temperatures, if I had that option.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Cold Spring continues. Colder tonight, but at least there's sun today. For now. The pollen's flying, but that's okay. Seagulls over Providence. The tree outside my office window has buds, but not yet any sign of green.

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

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

---

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

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

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

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

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

Yesterday.

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

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

She's such a fucking butch.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comments can't hurt.

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

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

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

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

<


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

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

---

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

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

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

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

And I should try to do some work, while I wait for a verdict on "Fake Plastic Trees."
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Chilly, cloudy, rain and wind on its way. I just happened across a photograph I took from the front parlour one year ago yesterday. All was in bloom and the trees were going green along the street. I think, this year, we're at least two weeks behind that. It still looks like February out there. Maybe I'm dead, and this is my hell, a world forever poised at the beginning of spring, a perpetually unfulfilled promise.

Okay, that's starting to sound like Bad Goth Poetry.

But still.

Yesterday was, in theory, better than Thursday. I did some of the last tweaking to The Drowning Girl: A Memoir that's going to be done before I send it back to Penguin on Monday. Then I wait for the editorial letter, etc. and etc. Gods, this routine's gotten old. Anyway, I also sort of tore apart the beginning of "Fake Plastic Trees" and rewrote it. Spooky says it's better now. I don't generally rewrite or write in drafts, and it's unnerving when I do. When all was said and done, though hours were required, I had a net gain of only 248 words.


Nothing else to yesterday worth mentioning. I napped on the sofa for five or ten minutes, the best sleep of the last twenty-four hours. I read "A re-examination of Hauffiosaurus zanoni, a pliosauroid from the Toarcian (Early Jurassic) of Germany" in the new JVP. I missed a phone call from Harlan. That was yesterday.

Probably, I should stop now. This isn't going to get any better.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
On Monday, I learned that "As Red As Red" has been nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award, as has the anthology in which it was published, Ellen Datlow's Haunted Legends (Tor).

---

No work yesterday, aside from email. No good excuse. The words were in my head, and the deadlines are pressing in about me. Still, I fucked off to nowhere in particular. Spooky got back from the mechanic (the bill was bad, but less than expected, and we're pretending that faulty crankshaft will last forever), and I realized that I'd not left the house since Sunday. So, I tagged along while Spooky ran assorted errands. For a while, the sun was warm on my face, and there were the first hints of green, and, here and there, blooming things. All traces of motivation and enthusiasm, enthusiasm for anything at all, faded from me. I dozed in the van. I looked through the windows at the shadows along Benefit Street. I ate a handful of jelly beans. On the way home, we stopped at Acme Video (but I'm coming to that).

---

Last night, we watched Let Me In, Matt Reeves' remake of Tomas Alfredson's Låt den rätte komma in, which, of course, was adapted from John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel of the same title. I avoided Reeves' film in the theater, which seemed like the best course of action. I couldn't see the point of it. Even if Reeves' film turned out good, he was still remaking a very new and very excellent film. An endeavor which would be, at best, pointless. And then I learned that the issue of Eli's gender was being removed from the script, which goes a long way towards gutting the story. Eli becomes Abby, and Abby's just a "girl," and all ambiguity is removed. To make things worse, I happened across an interview with Reeves (which I tried to find again, and have been unable to*) in which he was very open about his beliefs that these changes were necessary for the story to be appreciated by an American audience. So, no. I didn't go see it.

I also swore I wouldn't see the DVD.

Regardless, last night, we watched Matt Reeves' film. I tried very hard to judge this film only on its own merits, not relative to Alfredson's. And I failed. But then so does Matt Reeves. Spooky and I often happen upon interesting indie horror films that we'd never heard of, and which turn out to be quite good. Had it not been for the masterful Låt den rätte komma in, Reeves' film might have struck us that way. A pretty good little coming-of-age vampire story. I might even have applauded its grittiness and willingness to take child characters places lots of filmmakers wouldn't have. Instead, Let Me In came across as rushed and disjointed. Even dull. We both actually almost fell asleep.

There are places where the film is a shot-by-shot remake of Låt den rätte komma in, which, again, makes judging it on its own merits difficult. And what was all that business with "Owen's" mother being a religious maniac? I thought, oh...okay...she'll be the one "Abby" bites, the one who lives, then dies in the hospital-room conflagration, having learned she's become the thing she professes to hate, and hey, okay, that might be kind of interesting. But no. Nothing of the sort. Chloe Moretz, who entirely won me over in Kick Ass, radiated nothing of the quiet, innocent threat we saw from Lina Leandersson. And that kid who played "Owen" is about as interesting to watch as a bowl of Cream of Wheat. Is this actually the same actor who appeared in The Road? It's hard to fucking believe. Also, sure, there are more special effects in Reeves' film. Because that's what Americans do. So what?

Verdict: Let Me In is a very mediocre little horror film, if you've never seen Låt den rätte komma in, and if you can set aside the homophobic/transphobic politics that turned Eli into "Abby." But if you passionately love the Swedish film, as did I, and if you expect anything like its depth and Alfredson's marvelous study of mood and atmosphere and character, you're up shit creek. A very shallow shit creek. My advice would be to watch Låt den rätte komma in. It's actually a good film and worthy of your time and attention. To call Matt Reeves' remake unnecessary is a gross understatement.

I never go into a film with the intention of hating it. You know, watching (or reading) something just to earn the rights to kvetch. And I should have kept my promise and avoided this remake.

---

I've ended the keyboard auction. I realize now that I made the incredibly dumb mistake of putting it up just as taxes are due. Maybe I'll list it again in a month or two. My thanks to everyone who looked in, though, and everyone who spread the word.

---

Aside from the film, not much to last night but Rift. Selwyn made Level 26. I genuinely wish that MMORPGs would offer you the opportunity to tell whining, cowering townspeople to butch up and take care of their own problems or shut the fuck up. It could add a whole new set of stats. Another sort of reputation rating or something. I often have that reaction, and I was having it a lot last night, as the people of Granite Falls (Telara's answer to Deadwood, I think) asked me to do this and then that menial task. For example, the nurse who was too squeamish to take blood. Um...okay. The Ascendant are these super beings, essentially demigods, and we spend a significant amount of our time searching out lost lockets for mourning widows and putting meat in the tables of people apparently too lazy or incompetent to do it for themselves. Yeah, that makes sense.

---

And now...well...we'll see.

* I intend to continue looking for it, though.

Postscript: My thanks to [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark who appears to have found the interview I'm remembering: "Hammer Film's Simon Oakes Promises Scary, Accessible 'Let Me In'". But I may also have read this, which [livejournal.com profile] sovay tracked down: "Matt Reeves Interview LMI DVD,Talks About Abby's Gender." Both contain equally offensive and idiotic comments.
greygirlbeast: (white)
Somewhat hungover this ayem, and suffering the effects of insomnia (which don't mix well with the hangover, by the way). It's sort of like being twenty-five on the morning after a binge, except every time I move some portion of my skeleton creaks or pops.

I probably ought not even be making a blog entry. Surely, I have nothing good to say. Not really.

Um...yesterday. Well, yesterday was spent on email, and copyediting, and line edits, and lots of tedious stuff that writers have to do that isn't writing.

Well, there were at least two pieces of good news. The one I can't tell you until Friday, and then learning that my editor at Dark Horse very much likes the story I wrote for her (which I can't say more about until later). These are my bright spots.

---

Last night, we watched the restored director's cut of Wolfgang Petersen's Das Boot (1981), which is undoubtedly on my list of the 100 Best Movies Ever Made in Any Language. Rarely has anyone conveyed the ultimate futility of struggle more beautifully than Petersen does in this film.

---

We had about an hour of rp in Rift last night, after which I decided that, for now, our guild's going to concern itself much less with rp, at least for the time being. After creating fiction all day, or suffering the consequences of having created fiction, the last thing I want to do at night is...create fiction. Also, rping in Rift, like rping in any MMORPG or any world created by someone besides the rpers, presents a unique set of problems. Most importantly, it's almost impossible for everyone to be on the same page, especially given that the lore (which weighs us down; though, unlike WoW, it isn't absurd) is often very vague on very important points. With Rift, the worst of this concerns the nature of the Defiant Ascendents' fundamental psychology and metaphysics. Anyway, yes. The guild is there. We'll do stuff that guilds do. But, for now, no rp. Later, probably. Maybe, eventually, we can come up with some sort of canonical interpretation, even if we can't confirm it's what Trion has in mind (which is probably irrelevant).

---

So, a thing I have never before done. But in the interest of reducing clutter (and covering a bill for unexpected auto repairs), I'm auctioning the keyboard that came with the iMac I bought in April 2007 and used continuously until getting a new keyboard in October 2010. So, that's three and a half years I used that keyboard. And it's perfectly functional, if a little schmutzy. It's signed and dated (on the back). The Red Tree and issues #17 through #58 of Sirenia Digest were written on this keyboard.

Here's the link to the auction.

The platypus, he says this is a chance of a lifetime. Oh, and there's a photograph!



---

Cold and cloudy and rainy here in Providence. I have decided that in Rhode Island we have five seasons, not four. We have summer (late June-late August), Autumn (early September through late November), WINTER (late November-March), Cold Spring (late March though early May), and Spring (May and most of June). Someday, I'm going to acclimate. Understanding is the first step, and it's taken me three years to figure out the existence of Cold Spring.

---

I gave some of my dinosaurs a bath yesterday, trying to start to clear my office of a dreadful layer of dust. Maybe a third of my dinosaurs, if you don't count the ones in storage. And I took photos. Hey, it's whimsical, and lots more fun than email and waking up in the morning! Plus, no one likes a dirty dinosaur. Or plesiosaur. Or wooly mammoth.

Washing the Extinct! )


Lastly, for those who will never understand why I'm a socialist. "The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation's income every year. In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent. Their lot in life has improved considerably. Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 percent and 33 percent."
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
Yesterday, I wrote 1,289 words on the story for Dark Horse. So, a good writing day. I'll certainly finish the story by tomorrow evening, and possibly this evening. So, I'm ahead of schedule for a change. And there was lots of email. And, in the evening, I talked with Peter and Neil, on the actual telephone. I gotta be careful, or I'm going to blow this whole reclusive mystique.

Actually, that's one of the things Neil and I talked about, how I need to let go of my trepidation stroke indifference towards the Outside, now that the crisis that triggered the worst of it has passed.

Today is a good day for comments. It's going to be a long, long day.

I have another Question @ Hand, one for Sirenia Digst #65, and I'll post it this evening, with the comments screened for complete anonymity.

We did Kid Night last night. It's sort of slipped out of vogue, mine and Spooky's Kid Night tradition. Mostly, I blame MMORPGs. But we pulled it out last night and dusted it off. First there were hot dogs and fries, then we watched Seiji Chiba's Alien vs. Ninja (2010), an incredibly awful Japanese flick about, well, ninja's fighting aliens. Okay, not real ninjas, and the aliens were just guys in utterly unconvincing monster suits. But two or three of the ninjas were very sexy. Otherwise, not much good I can say about Alien vs. Ninja. Except that we streamed it free. It's like in Ghost World, when Enid says, "This is so bad, it's gone past good and back to bad again." That's Alien vs. Ninja. We almost followed it with something called Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl, but then we watched the trailer and thought better of it. And we ate cookies and jelly beans and drank Pepsi Throwback. So, yeah. Total Kid Night. Teeth were rotted. Brain cells died.

After the movie, we played Rift (which, in a sane world, would count as a kidly pastime). I was Nilleshna, my Kelari cleric (most of her points are in Cabalism), and Spooky played one of her clerics, a Kelari named Miisya (also a cabalist). I made Level 22. We're out in the rocky wastes of Stonefield, fighting trolls and troglodytes and giants and all that shit that comes pouring out of rifts (because Regulos obviously can't keep his legs together). So, you betcha. Magical elf chicks in chain mail. Later still, I read to Spooky from Harlan Ellison's Stalking the Nightmare (1982) and "Shattered Like A Glass Goblin," from Deathbird Stories (1975). A perfect evening for nerdy kids.

Chilly outside. Not cold, but not genuinely warm, either. It might go as high as sixty. I'd risk West Cove, if I didn't need to be writing.

Speaking of which, so far the Dark Horse story has been written entirely to Fever Ray's "If I Had a Heart." It's on repeat, and has played 52 times so far, as I hunt and peck my way through the tale. And here's the video, for those who have not been introduced to the brilliance of Fever Ray (Swedish brother and sister duo, Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer, who usually perform together as the Knife):

greygirlbeast: (Default)
Chilly. Sort of sunny. Sort of cloudy. We're being promised low sixties in the days to come, and I sit impatiently with fingers crossed. Toes. Fingers and toes crossed. All the toes that I can manage to cross. My toes used to be much more nimble.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,313 words on the story for Dark Horse. I'll give you the details as soon as I can. Meanwhile, revel in the mystique of cloak-and-dagger innuendo. But yeah, a good writing day, despite one of my very rare headaches, one so bad it kept me in bed most of the evening.

There was a lot of email yesterday. I've got a mountain of reprints forthcoming in various anthologies. I ought to post a list of them. But not today.

"I just like watching women with bows. It's sexy. No, the horsehair sort. Not the ones with arrows."

Sometimes, context only bogs us down.

I saw a great deal more photos yesterday from the Harvard shoot last Saturday. Amazing to see so many photos of me an like...no, love...more than half of them. Plus there are a couple of me and Spooky together that I'm going to ask [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy if I can post here. Through some odd trick of happenstance, there are virtually no photographs of Kathryn and I together, and certainly none this good.

We have a Rift guild now, finally. If you're interested in joining, we're on the Shadefallen shard, and the guilds is Eyes of the Faceless Man. Defiant, of course. Just send me a tell (try Selwyn, Nilleshna, or Indus), and I'll add you to the roster. We have no guild vault yet, because Rift guilds do not yet have vaults. Concerns over security that have yet to be ironed out. It's become apparent that the game is essentially in live beta. But it still rocks my socks, especially with the graphics set to ultra. Anyway, we're going to be a sort of rp guild (Shadefallen is an rp shard), with rp that concentrates more on the characters and their lives in Telara, than trying to work in the questing and rifts and stuff. That you do on your own.

From the bed last night, bored and in agony, I watched a panoply of weird eighties shit. First, Demi Moore in The Seventh Sign (1988), an awful, awful turd of a biblical horror movie. I'd actually thought we were watching The First Power (1990), but realized about halfway through there was no Lou Diamond Phillips anywhere to be found. Of course, The First Power is also awful, but in a more enjoyable sort of way, and, besides, I've always had a thing for Jeff Kober. Anyway, we followed the movie with the 1987 pilot for Beauty and the Beast. You know, the television series with Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton? I'm so pleased to have lived to see a future where technology allows us to torture ourselves like this. Anyway, I'd never seen Beauty and the Beast. But it's gods awful. The only saving grace is Ron Perlman's makeup. The rest, pure shit. Though, I think maybe I've found where at least some of this PR nonsense began.

Also, why are novels today generally and on average so very much longer than older novels? One word: computers. More is "written," because it's so much easier with a word-processing program than a typewriter.** Easier for writers, editors, publishers, everyone. And the reader gets the illusion of getting more for their money (id est, thicker books). This trend will only get worse with ebooks.

The March issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology arrived yesterday.

And I really have nothing else to say. I think I'm killing time. Which is silly, as it dies so well all on is own.

Awake and Regretting It,
Aunt Beast

**Harlan Ellison told me this, over breakfast, in 1995, but I was a moron and didn't believe him. I had to learn for myself, apparently.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
There's sunlight, and cold air, and my head hurts. This time last year, Providence was turning green. Damn you, snow.

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

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

---

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

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

* Only have on vinyl, which is in storage.

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

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

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

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

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

---

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

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

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

6 April 2011 )


Pitching and Yawing,
Aunt Beast

* To be fair, we haven't bought a CD, I don't think, since the new Legendary Pink Dots, back in October.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
The sun's shining in a too-blue sky, but it's chilly.

Sirenia Digest #64 went out to subscribers last night, and everyone should have it by now.

Apologies for not including a link for The Book Thief yesterday.

---

If there's any more abominable phrase than "online social networking," I'm unaware of it. It reduces the concepts of friendship and acquaintance to a software-enhanced array of dendritic fingers, desperately probing the void for connections, aggressively seeking to supplant (or act as surrogate to) actual, face-to-face contact between human beings.

Or maybe I'm the only one who sees it that way. Or at least, it may be I'm in the minority. To quote Anaïs Nin, "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.” (Thank you, E. Harrington.) Regardless, there's no place for me on either Facebook or Twitter, and I'm going to write that on a piece of paper in big black letters and tack it to the office wall. Because, apparently, I keep forgetting. I've no interest in "online social networking." I find it as strange and toxic as plastic soda bottles.

I began this journal to record the process of writing, what that process is like for me (which, of course, is not the way it will be for much of anyone else). And, obviously, to promote my work. Then MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter came along, and I allowed myself to be seduced into believing that these sites would be as useful to me as has been LiveJournal, and before that, Blogger. But they're not. I cut MySpace loose a long time ago. As for Twitter, it just seems...harmlessly ephemeral. Too much so to serve any actual purpose I need it to serve. And as for Facebook, I can't take the assholes who think I'm there to be engaged in what they mistake as witty reporté. Not since the Bad Old Days of Usenet have I had to contend with as much rudeness and idiocy on the net as I've had to contend with on Facebook. Yes, granted, the troublemakers are a small fraction of the people who follow me there. But it only takes one or two or three persistently asinine individuals.

Those people are not "my tribe." I had a tribe once, but that was long ago.

No one is entitled to anything, and we all suffer alone, and, if we are honest, we all suffer.

These are bad days and nights, and I'm not well enough to get the writing done that I have to get done, much less banter with people who actually seem to believe there's nobility of purpose in lolspeak.

I need to be writing, and I need to be Outside, and everything else is irrelevant. Or worse.

---

The greatest compliment I can ever pay a band or musician is to say, "This is my new suicide album." At the moment, my suicide album is Radiohead's The King of Limbs.

---

People say, "You're so unhappy," and they clearly mean it as an insult. Or they think my unhappiness is an affront to what they believe is their happiness.

Funny thing is, I actually hate coffee.

Adrift in the White Noise,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Rainy and cold here in Providence. The sky is the color of the way I feel.

Comments always welcomed, especially on Mondays.
---

To-do list for April (with three days already behind me):

1. Story for Dark Horse (TBA)
2. Story for sf anthology (TBA)
3. Sirenia Digest #65
4. All that other stuff.

---

Yesterday, I pulled the manuscript for The Drowning Girl out again and added a new page of text to the "epilogue." It's not actually a conventional epilogue; it's a section at the end called "Back Pages" which contains various oddments and loose threads, after which I(mp) typed THE END. Then I rewrote and expanded a portion of pages of 281 and 282. And then I read aloud to myself the section of the novel which I think of as 7, though I think the actual title of that section is:

7/7/7/7
7/7
7
seven
7
7/7
7/7/7/7


Then I read aloud to myself all of "Random Notes Before a Fatal Crash," and I made a great deal more line edits than I'd have expected would be necessary.

Today will be spent pulling together Sirenia Digest #64, in hopes that I can get it out to subscribers this evening. I have Vince's illustration, which I'm very pleased with.

---

A preview of the photos taken by [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy on Saturday. This is undoubtedly the best photograph anyone's taken of me since...2003, I think. The creature behind me is Kronosaurus queenslandicus, a gigantic short-necked plesiosaur from Australia.


Dr. Caitlín R. Kiernan, Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology & Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology*

Photograph Copyright © 2011 by Kyle Cassidy


---

The evening was spent with roast turkey, recreational Vicodin use, and more Californication re-watching, and then, late (or early), because I couldn't sleep, Rift on Spooky's laptop. I played my Eth warrior, Indus. I think I got to bed about 4:00 ayem. There were elaborate, apocalyptic nightmares I thankfully can't now recall. I think the only time I actually sleep restfully these days is when I doze off in the car or take very short naps directly after work. Oh, also last night, lots of listening to the new Radiohead, The King of Limbs, which is, as expected, brilliant. Thanks, Steven.

Now, time to edit and format, and also write a prolegomenon.

Probably the Last Martian,
Aunt Beast

* A little wishful thinking never hurt anyone.
greygirlbeast: (redeye)
Sunny out, and we're hoping for a windy 53˚F for a high. Yesterday, walking about Boston, clumps of snow hiding here and there, it was hard to imagine spring's anywhere nearby. I look at the weather forecast for Atlanta, and see the highs are up around 80˚F, and I think shit, I want to be there, but then I remember...

Yesterday was really very, very wonderful. Spooky and I took forever to get out of the house. It was pretty much noon by the time we were on the road, so it was a little before two when we reached the Harvard Museum of Natural History (née Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology). Spooky waited downstairs for [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy and company. I sat upstairs in the Romer gallery, with all the fossil dinosaurs, fish, and reptiles, trying to stay calm. As soon as the photographers arrived, which wasn't long, we went to the Great Mammal Hall and got to work. It went very well. Kyle was great, and I very quickly loosened up. I think he took about five hundred photos. No, really. Anyway, I'll post a few once Kyle sends them my way. I'm dreading the task of choosing the photograph from all those. [livejournal.com profile] sovay arrived at the Museum while we were shooting, and [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark would have, but there was apparently catastrophic car trouble. But yes, the day was a great success, and I'm very grateful to Kyle, Anna, and David for all their hard work yesterday. All I had to do was wear a top hat and make funny faces. In between clicky photo barrages, I tried to entertain the photographers with impromptu mini-lectures on this or that aspect of Natural History.

I think the most amusing part was watching and listening to all the people in the Museum (it was unusually crowded) trying to figure out who I was. The general consensus seemed to be that I was some manner of rock star. Which just keeps being funny.

I'll post a few shots here tomorrow.

Oh, and Spooky photographed a raven and other beasties as reference for Tale of the Ravens.

We made it back home by seven p.m., and I was utterly, utterly, exhausted. Oh! I forgot to mention that I hardly slept night before last, so I headed off to Boston on nothing like enough sleep. Okay, well, yeah. That happened, which is why I was so tired by the time we got back to Providence again. I wasn't up to anything more strenuous than lying in bed and watching television. There wasn't a new episode of Fringe, so we watched random episodes of The X-Files, then switched over to re-watching Season One of Californication (which is sort of like switching from Coca-Cola to tequila).

---

I'm beginning to wonder if I'm the last living Martian.

---

Sirenia Digest #64 should be out by the fifth of the month, which is Tuesday. I'm waiting on Vince's illustration for "Random Notes Before a Fatal Crash," and I still need to write the prolegomenon. I like this new story a lot, if it is a story, in the strictest sense (it's so much easier to write sensu stricto...). It came to almost 10,000 words in length, so subscribers are getting a big issue this month (and why aren't you a subscriber?). #64 will also reprint – for the first time, anywhere – "Rat's Star," a novella fragment which has previously appeared only in the limited edition of From Weird and Distant Shores.

In some ways, "Random Notes Before a Fatal Crash" is a story that I set out to write a couple of years ago, which I stopped and started several times. No, that's not entirely true. "Random Notes Before a Fatal Crash" is actually what happened instead of that story, after the theft of that story's title by another author (sounds snarky, but, still, it's true).

Okay. Days not getting any younger, and neither am I. Platypus says jump.
greygirlbeast: (blackswan)
1. The cat's out of the bag. Yes, the work that I've been doing for SuicideGirls.com consists of being part of a development team creating a steampunk sister site, UnsavoryTarts.com. Not sure about the launch date. But I think the new site goes live in a few months.

2. Also, finally I can announce that the Alabaster film is in preproduction. Getting David Fincher on board as Executive Producer was entirely cockblocking the production, but now that he's agreed, Lion's Gate's announced that the project's greenlit. Yes, I'm very happy. In fact, I could hardly be happier, considering they've managed to sign Elle Fanning for the part of Dancy Flammarion. Also, Sid Haig will play the Bailiff, and Anne Hathaway has been cast as Aramat Drawdes (which, yes, gives away the fact that In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers forms part of the film). Wayne Barlowe will oversee creature design...and...I wish I could say more (the director, for example), but I can't. Except, maybe a summer 2014 release date.

3. Yesterday, no actual writing. Tons of email, though. Really. I weighed it.

4. I managed to get out of the house. We braved the shitty weather to make a trip to the Athenaeum. Just as we parked, it began to rain. By the time we left, it was snowing. By the time we got back to the house, it was snowing heavily. Fortunately, the ground was too warm for accumulation, so fuck you, Mr. Snow. At any rate, a good and productive trip to the library. There are photos below, behind the cut. But the coolest part by far was Spooky coming across a copy of Dashiell Hammett's 1931 anthology of macabre and suspense stories, Creeps by Night (The John Day Company). The book includes Lovecraft's "The Music of Erich Zann," and was one of the very few times in HPL's life that his fiction appeared in print outside the pulps, and one of the best pay checks he ever earned. Lovecraft was paid $25 for reprint rights. In 2008 dollars (best I could come up with), that's equivalent to about $317. This was two years after the beginning of the Great Depression. Anyway, I sat holding the volume, knowing that Lovecraft almost certainly held the very same copy at least once. The book was accessioned by the Athenaeum on September 27, 1932. Also, read Galway Kinnell's The Book of Nightmares (1971), which is on beyond beautiful.

5. Back home, I ripped off my left thumbnail. No, not on purpose.

6. I got to thinking yesterday about how my novels always wind up with theme songs. That is, one song usually gets associated, in my mind, with any given novel. With The Drowning Girl, it was Death Cab For Cutie's "I Will Follow You Into the Dark." With The Red Tree, it was Poe's "Haunted." With Daughter of Hounds, it was R.E.M.'s "You Are the Everything" (I think).

7. After the library, we stopped by the p.o., and there were a couple of packages waiting for me. [livejournal.com profile] hollyblack sent me a copy of Red Glove, which is now next in the to-be-read queue, after The Book Thief and Tender Morsels. There was also a package from Paul Riddell, which held many things, including a copy of Chuck Jones' Chuck Amuck. Books in the mail are a good thing. Yes, Precious.

8. Lying in bed last night, listening to Kathryn read Markus Zusak's brilliant, heart-breaking The Book Thief, this thought came to me: I could very well write a novel that offended no one, that was correct from every imaginable social and political perspective, and that wasn't, in any way, "triggering." Yes. I could do that. And it would be as bland as a mouthful of unsalted crackers, and it would be shit, and it would be of no worth to anyone. But I could do it. I could set aside all that "art is a hammer" nonsense. I could be safe and sterile and no one would ever have to worry that what they read between the covers of my books would cause them any discomfort of any sort.

And I made Spooky promise she'll take away my crayons and paper if i ever fucking do this.

9. No, I do not approve of Shopping-Enabled Wikipedia on Amazon. No, not even if it sells more of my books. No, not even if it makes our lives more convenient. It's still loathsome.

And now, photos:

31 March 2011 )


All photographs Copyright © 2011 by Caitlín R. Kiernan and Kathryn A. Pollnac
greygirlbeast: (Starbuck 3)
Rainy and cold in Providence. Each spring, this actually-late-winter stage seems to last longer and longer. Like a sort of time dilation. I need it to fuck away elsewhere, but Nature does as Nature does. Except, of course, when we break it. Though, even then, it does as it does given a new set of rules, as it always would have done. Regardless, fuck you day of drizzle and clouds. If I don't go out today, I'll not have left the house, for more than three or four minutes on one occasion, in the past twelve days.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,755 words on "Random Notes Before a Fatal Crash," and found THE END. It is a very peculiar story. No surprise there. I'm tempted to spend two days adding footnotes, because they'd certainly fit right in. Then again, it's usually better to leave the reader to puzzle out whatever may not be clear (only too many readers hate to think; they just want "a good read" or "a quick read" or "an easy read"). It's a fine story and I'm pleased with it. Well, it's not so much a story, as journal entries from the final days of a man's life. And the word "random," it should come as no surprise that the use of that word here is a boondoggle. Anyway, when I was done with the story yesterday I realized a very important thing. The sort of very important thing I should have realized long ago. Gobsmacked by the obvious. I've spent at least three years mining my gradual and inexorable mental (and, to a lesser degree, physical) deterioration. And now it's time to stop writing novels like that. Imp and The Drowning Girl, that's the last time I do it. Probably forever. I've sold the most private confessions far too cheaply. Likely, I can't keep these elements out of my short stories, but it'll not find its way into my attempt to write YA. Blue Canary is going to be a creepy, whimsical, adventurous, fun sort of quasi-detective story. If anyone's insane, they'll be safe caricatures. I see people whine about how Kathe Koja gave up the ghost after Kink, how she "lost it" when she started writing YA, to which I can only say – fuck off. I've had enough of this. Howard Hughes is tired of telling the truth.

I forgot, a couple of days back, to mention that I'd been sent copies of Graham Joyce's The Silent Land (courtesy the publisher, Doubleday) and Carrie Ryman's The Forest of Hands and Teeth (courtesy Cassandra Brewtser). They have been added to the Mountain of That Which Must Be Read. Avalanche warnings have been posted.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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