greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
Because, you see, Ceiling Cat doesn't actually live in the ceiling. "Ceiling" is merely a metaphor meant to impress upon us his constant nearness and watchfulness. Ceiling Cat actually lives in the upper troposphere, which is a bit lower than one usually finds, say, the Flying Spaghetti Monster noodling about (deities must segregate, elsewise – a word LJ can't spell – we get Kaiju Big Battel and shit like that. Airplanes get eaten. Bad cellphone reception. Blood falls from the sky.). Hubero told me to explain all of this to you, so blame his bald pink ass, not mine.

I think the problem here is that I got less than six hours of sleep this morning. Thank you, Monsieur Insomnia.

It's snowing. A lot. The whole world is white, which makes it all vastly easier on my winter-shy eyes and nerves. Smooth away the bleak, ugly, sharp edges.

Not entirely sure where all of yesterday went. There was work, though no writing. Mostly answering email, questions about proofreading and copy-edited manuscripts, and stuff like that. A burning desire to clean my office (which might be constructive, only there's no longer room to move in here). I'm pretty sure there was nothing exciting. Today, among other things, I need to proofread "Tidal Forces," which is about to be reprinted in...you know, that information is probably not fit for public consumption yet. I will say, whatever editors out there might think to the contrary, "The Maltese Unicorn" (from Ellen Datlow's Supernatural Noir) was lightyears (yes, LJ; lightyear is one word) better than anything else I wrote last year, or the year before that...and that it hasn't received more attention baffles me. I think it must be that dildos embarrass people. I don't get that at all.

Also, this diet sucks. Sugar-free, low-fat instant cocoa. Sugar-free Red Bull. Shoot me now. (Also, please, no dieting advice.)

As it happens, Alabaster #1 will be published with two covers. That is, the official cover is by Greg Ruth, and that's the one everybody has seen. But there's also an alternate cover that will be harder to find, painted by Michael Oeming. Here it is:



If you want this cover, you'll probably need to put an order in now with your Local Comic Shop. Or wait for eBay.

---

Okay, so...I had it in my head I was going to write some long and insightful, Pulitzer fucking Prize-winning essay explaining my take on the SOPA/PIPA mess and the problem of internet piracy. And then I decided, fuck that. I don't have time. I'm not so disposed. Whatever. So, instead, I'll put it plainly, and make it brief. It's not like other people haven't already said everything I'm about to say. And said it better.

No, you may not have my books for free. No, I do not believe – based on anecdotal evidence – that if I let you have five books for free, you'll buy the sixth. Bring me some very hard empirical evidence that can be reproduced, and I might think about the ramifications. Me, I want to see BitTorrent and the like die a quick, messy death. I do not appreciate being stolen from. And no, information "doesn't want to be free." That's cock-eyed bullshit. How about, my rent and healthcare and utilities want to be free? I say these things because, people need to know, whether you believe it or not, the mounting theft of ebooks is leading – on my end – to lower and lower advances from publishers. Another couple of years at this rate, it will no longer be feasible for me to continue writing novels. No, really. That's not hyperbole. Want a book for free? Go to the motherfucking library. Or download the ebook free from a library (yeah, you can do that). Stop being so goddamn lazy and unimaginative and divest yourself of that bullsit privileged, entitled I-deserve-to-get-it-free-RIGHT-NOW attitude. Who put that stuff in your heads? Well, learn this: There are options that do not ass-rape the authors. I did the work, and I deserve to be fairly paid, and not to have my copyright violated by douchebags.

But SOPA/PIPA are not the solution. As I said before, you do not burn down a house to kill a termite. You don't risk wrecking the entire internet to stop internet crime. You move slowly and with great care. You address the actual problems. You don't allow the megacorps to crush "fair use" and the like and pervert copyright law (the US was doing this well before the internet). You create the least inclusive legislation possible, not the most. Even having said what I said above, to paraphrase Elizabeth Bear, my books are being pirated on the net every single day, and that's endangering the future of my career, but I'm more comfortable with the devil I know than with SOPA/PIPA. I'm willing to wait for a better solution.

So there. I think that gets the point across.

Oh, hey! Heidi Klum and Seal are getting a divorce! Cool! Who's gonna get custody of the litter?

Cheap, But Not For Free,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (wookie)
And this, Day 11, will be the last day with the CEM. Not only because I'm quite late getting it back, but because I'm sick to death of it. Not the novel, but working on the CEM, doubting every comma and period. Losing perspective and anything like objectivity.

Time is moving so fast. It used to puzzle me, but now I think I understand it's a sort of psychological time dilation. When we're young, say when we're ten, then five years is 50% of our lives. When we're twenty, it drops off to 25%. When we're forty, five years has become a mere 12.5%, and so forth. The longer one lives, the briefer any given span of time is perceived as being. The mind actually makes the span of time seem shorter than it did at an early age. Or, it may be this is some actual property peculiar to the fabric of time, but, at the moment, my psychological hypothesis seems more parsimonious. And, realizing all this, that's often been my best argument against suicide (though I strongly believe suicide is everyone's right and a personal decision, and I say this having lost someone I loved to suicide). Time is moving fast, and it moves faster and faster the older we get. If you hate life, just hang on. It'll be over "soon."

Yesterday, I slogged through the more tiresome aspects of the process of getting the CEM for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir ready to go back to my editor. Which is to say, heading down the steep slopes of Mount Taediosus, reaching the talus, one encounters great thickets of greenbriers and kudzu vines. The descent is slowed. And so forth. And today, I am reduced to double checking, mostly proving the things I've quoted are in public domain, or that I have quoted short enough portions that my quotes constitute fair use. Sometimes, this turns into black comedy, such as, for example, where I quoted Dante's Divina Commedia, which was, of course, written in the early fourteenth century. Obviously, it's in the public domain. But not so fast! Because, I quote both the original Italian and an English translation. So, which English translation did I quote? Because translations are subject to copyright, which means translated lines of a fourteenth century poem may well be under copyright.

But when asked, "Which translation did you use?" My response is, "Fuck if I know." Turns out, I used the translation made by Allen Mandelbaum between 1980 and 1984. Very much still in copyright. This means I have to quote the English translation lines from a much older translation, likely Henry Francis Cary's, which was done between 1805-1814, and is long, long out of copyright (therefore, in "public domain"). And so on, and on, and on, and on.

Thankfully, [livejournal.com profile] sovay was kind enough to read through the ms. again with an eye to this very problem, plus my copyeditor caught many of them.

Also. After adding, over the last week, an additional ten thousand words or so to the "Back Pages" portion of the ms., I began to fear I'd broken the book in so doing. I emailed it to Peter Straub, and he read over it again for me yesterday. And, says he, yes, I broke it. Chop the new stuff out. Which I will do, because I respect his opinion as much as that of almost any living author. Besides, cutting the new text will make my editor happy. An author must never, ever be afraid to take scalpel to child.

Also, I signed the signature sheets to the Centipede Press Machen collection.

And that was my yesterday. Pretty much. Oh, we're getting into Season Two of Mad Men, and I still can't figure out why they made the jump from 1960 to 1962. But it was disorienting, and I didn't even catch on until the third episode or so. And we read. And we slept. But I did not sleep enough.

Descending,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Yesterday was, all in all, a strange day, possibly an almost good day. Certainly a productive day that was not without merit, and, also, which was shot through with threads of something better than the stressful mess of the last five or six days.

For one, I wrote 1,513 words on "Fake Plastic Trees," the new short story (details TBA). It's sf. But that's all I can say for now. Oh, and I'll be writing at least one more sf story later this year, which I'm currently calling "The Last Martian There Ever Was." Anyway, yes, the new story's off to a good start, though I think I only realized this morning why the protagonist has been encouraged to tell her story. Which is to say, I've only just this morning realized why the story's being written.

Also, some encouraging news from my editor at Penguin regarding the cover of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. I'm being told they've decided to take a different direction, away from the ParaRom thing, and I have hopes and my fingers are crossed. So, there's that.

I'm also making some headway getting permission to quote songs in the novel. Radiohead has given me permisison to quote "There, There (The Bony King of Nowhere)." I think I reported that earlier. Yesterday, I talked with Philip Ridley, and was very generously granted permission to quote a verse of a song he wrote for The Passion of Darkly Noon, "Who Will Love Me Now?" which PJ Harvey sings in the film. Yes, Philip Ridley rocks.

---

Meanwhile, Alfred Music Publishing has granted me permission to quote two lines from R.E.M.'s "Find the River":

The river to the ocean goes,
A fortune for the undertow.


...but they want a $380 licensing fee, that would only cover the first printing of the tpb of the book. That means, new fees would have to be paid for a second print of the tpb, and then again for the mmpb (and each printing of the mmpb), and again for the audiobook, and so on and so forth forever.

Now, if US Copyright Law were not printed on wet toilet paper, quoting two lines from a song would qualify as "fair use." But there have been successful lawsuits rendering "fair use" meaningless in many cases, making publishers gun shy. It all comes down to the lawyers and corporate greed, and has nothing to do with the musicians (who wouldn't see a penny of this licensing fee). In 1996, when I was working on my second story arc for The Dreaming, I wanted to quote one line from another R.E.M. song: It's a Man Ray kind of sky. (from "Feeling Gravity's Pull"). Gods, this is a dull story. Short version: Michael Stipe told me I could use the line, and then Warner Bros. stepped in and said no. At the time, Warner Bros. owned the lyrics, but, in 2005, Warner Bros. Publications was purchased by the aforementioned Alfred Music Publishing.

I can either try to pony up the licensing fee, and keep ponying it up every time some new printing or incarnation appears, or I can remove the quote and figure something else out. I'm loathe to get into the eternal loop of licensing fees (I never have before). If I were a bestselling author with six-figure advances and fat royalty statements, maybe. But not on what I make. I've considered trying to find something in public domain with which to replace the quote. Right now, though, I'm undecided. I have two months to make up my mind. I suppose one option would be to pay it once, let one edition of the book appear as I want it to, then remove the quote from all subsequent editions.

Maybe I'll give a nickel to someone who spots all the fucked up contradictions as regards copyright and licensing in this post. Only, that would require I know each and every one, and likely I don't.

---

What else about yesterday? Besides work, I mean. I'm tired of talking shop. Played Rift. Selwyn made Level 23. Did a good and peculiarly sweet rp scene with [livejournal.com profile] omika_pearl. Drank Pepsi Throwback. Oh, Spooky didn't have to walk in the cold rain to get the car, because it wasn't ready. It's supposed to be ready today; it's been in the garage since Sunday. I read another paper in the new JVP, "A new skeleton of the cryptoclidid plesiosaur Tatenectes laramiensis reveals a novel body shape in plesiosaurs." We read more of The Book Thief. That was yesterday.

---

A reminder: 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.

---

Okay. That's it for now. Just got an ominous call from the mechanic. Later, kittens.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
0. Comment. Please comment. I need the distraction.

0.1 I'm not replying to Facebook comments, unless they appear here on LJ. Sorry. I hate Facebook.

1. No, I'm not a "horror writer." I'm not sure who does and doesn't want to wear that label, and I don't care. We each make these decisions for ourselves, and that's how it ought to be. I don't much mind labels (as I've said before), if they are accurate labels. But calling me a "horror writer" ignores an enormous amount of my writing, and, worse, has the unfortunate effect of my being overlooked by fantasy and sf readers and editors who aren't into horror. I write dark and urban fantasy (the real stuff, not that PR crap), science fiction, weird fiction, erotica, and what the hell ever. Lots of times, it's horrifying. This does not make me a "horror writer" sensu stricto.

2. Okay, look. Either we, as a society, stop sexualizing the kids, or we, as a society, stop being paranoid and screaming kiddie porn at every innocent bathtub photo and every faint whiff of underage (and I include here reasonable teenage) sexuality. because, it's one way or the other. Not fucking both. I am speaking, specifically of Abercrombie & Fitch's "padded bikini 'push-up'" bra for very young girls. And, by the way, as I was writing this, Abercrombie & Fitch yanked the page selling the bra in question.

3. Yesterday, I wrote 1,489 words on "Some Random Notes Before a Fatal Crash." I might find the conclusion today. I need to, because I've got to pull Sirenia Digest #64 together. On Saturday, I'll be in Boston with [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy figuring out the author's photo for Two Worlds and In Between.

4. Very good news regarding The Drowning Girl. I've officially secured (mostly through the efforts of [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark) permission from Radiohead to reprint lines from "There, There (The Bony King of Nowhere)" in the novel, lines that are crucial to the book. Penguin legal has approved the whole thing, so its a go. I'm still working with R.E.M.'s management, to gain permission to quote "Find the River," and it looks like that's also going to work out.

5. My thanks to Steven Lubold, Cassandra Brewster, and Sonoye Murphy for the recent and highly appreciated care packages. You guys absolutely fucking rock.

Contemplating Hurt,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (white)
Cold out there. Cold and sunny. I think spring's decided to skip this year.

Here I sit, with my sour stomach and shakey hands and ringing ears, and the day ahead of me. And there's really not a lot to say about yesterday.

I spent the entire day looking for a story for Sirenia Digest #64, and I think I found something called "Random Thoughts Before a Fatal Crash." Today I have to begin making a story from the idea, stone and mortar and what have you.

It could be an awfully prophetic title. I didn't see that yesterday.

I think I might have drawn the cover for the Crimson Alphabet chapbook yesterday.

---

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. In 1998, I wrote about the fire in The Dreaming #28, "Dreams the Burning Dream." This afternoon, Spooky and I will be ringing a bell at 4:45 p.m. EST, the exact time the first alarm bells were sounded a century ago. I'm a little disheartened that there's no official observance being held in Rhode Island, despite its history of textile mills, etc.

But it's not as if the dead hear bells the living ring. It's not as if the dead hear anything at all.

---

Huge thanks to Geoffrey who seems to have secured permission for me to quote Radiohead's "There, There (The Bony King of Nowhere)" in The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. I'm still waiting to hear from R.E.M.'s management.*

---

Some unexpectedly good rp in SL last night. I really don't do SL anymore. And, for that matter, I think SL all but destroyed any desire I ever had to rp anywhere. You can only be fucked over so many times before you simply cease to care. Anyway, thank you Blair, because last night was awesome.

---

Thanks to all the people who donated to the the Kickstarter project yesterday. We have 12 hours to go, and the project is 207% funded. I'm amazed. I was worried we wouldn't meet our goal, much less meet it more than twice over.

Gonna go write now.

* Actually, I just did.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Of course, the bottom of page 451 wasn't truly THE END. I sat down yesterday to contemplate the possibility of an epilogue to The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. On the one hand, the last few sentences were pitch perfect. On the other hand, it didn't feel like the place where Imp would stop. So, I stared at the screen and pondered a way to add, without taking away. And I wound up writing an additional 1,991 words, under the heading "Back Pages." These pages are a little more like a series of footnotes or journal entries than they are like any conventional sort of epilogue, but they do shed light on a few of the novel's murkier places. The ms. now stands at 103,493 words. And now, I think, I genuinely have reached THE END.

And here, in this place called the end, I think I'm happy. I think I've walked the tightrope. Last night, [livejournal.com profile] sovay read the book. She's the first person besides Spooky to have done so. She pronounced it "beautiful," "magnificent," and, importantly, nothing like The Red Tree.

Also, I exchanged emails with my editor, to whom I will send the book next week. We're looking into including one or two sketches in the book, which would be very cool.

I also wrote a letter to R.E.M.'s management, to obtain permission to reprint two lines from "Follow the River." An actual letter on actual paper, that will go into an actual envelope, and have an actual stamp placed on it, then an actual postmark, and be delivered to the actual post office in Athens where I used to have my p.o. box. Still waiting to hear back from Radiohead's management regarding permission to reprint two lines from "There, There (The Bony King of Nowhere)."

Spooky proofed "Houses Under the Sea" for Two Worlds and In Between

I coughed.

After dinner, she helped me with making the final selections of which pieces of art will be included in the bonus section of the limited edition of Two Worlds and In Between. I have artists to email today, though I still have a few decisions left to make.

It was a goddamn busy day. Which is how things are going to be around here for at least another week and a half. Or for the rest of March. I don't fucking know any longer. But I do have fantasies of taking two or three days off, sometime in March. I really haven't had any time off in many months.

Also, if you're reading this and I've promised to send you a copy of the ms. of The Drowning Girl, those will go out the fist half of next week, once I've had time to polish the prose just a bit.

---

Last night, I ventured back into WoW for the first time in days. You know that quest that I deemed one of the worst three in Azeroth, the one in Shadowmoon Valley called "I was a lot of things..."? Well, last night, in a fit of pique, I went back in determined to best it. I did, and it unlocked the rest of the quests I needed for the "Shadow of the Betrayer" achievement. Now, all that stands between me and Loremaster are nine quests in the infamously difficult to conclude Nagrand region of Outland, which is littered with broken quests and suchlike.

Also, played Rift for a couple of hours or three, and made it about halfway through Level 19. And then we read more of Catching Fire. We're halfway to the end.

Time to make the doughnuts.
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
Back in September, thereabouts, there was a day when I finally sat down with Kathryn, and we talked, and I made the decision that I would never write a another novel. We worked out a remotely feasible way to bring in enough money with me only doing short fiction, novellas, and Sirenia Digest. It was a for-sure thing. There was a profound sense of relief, and it lasted maybe a month. I can only imagine it was like fighting in a war for fifteen years, and suddenly finding out there had been a truce. Not victory, but at least a truce.

Then, on November 1st, I sat down and began writing The Drowning Girl. On November 2nd, I wrote in the blog, "Yesterday, I wrote an impressive 1,664 words on Chapter One of The Drowning Girl. This is the first time I've had the nerve to go back to work on the novel since August 4th. I scrapped everything I wrote this summer and started over again. But, I think I have finally found the voice of this novel."

And, then, yesterday, after only a little more than four months, I finished the book, the one that originally occurred to me way back in August 2009, on a hot, sunny day at the Peace Dale Public Library, and that tried very, very hard not ever to be written. There might still be a weird sort of an epilogue to do, and there might not. But the book is essentially written. Imp has told her ghost story, which is both a mermaid story and a werewolf story, but really is neither of those things. I cried twice yesterday, when it was done.

I'll do a quick polish and send it to my editor sometime between now and Monday, and it should be out next spring. And yes, this will be my last "adult" novel for a while. What I do, the way I write, regardless of how popular or unpopular what I write may be, it messes me up to do it. As I told Neil a week ago, I want to just spend a few years telling stories. A little less public self evisceration. Well, except for the digest, which will stay the same. The digest won't change. And the stuff I write for anthologies, that won't change, either. Mostly, the novels.

And it truly is the best novel I've ever written, by a long shot.

Huzzah.

---

A quick recap of the rest of yesterday: It was a muteday, which made everything extra strange, finishing the novel and still remaining silent. I received permission to use one set of song lyrics, wrote Radiohead's management about another set, and will be writing R.E.M. today. I signed a mountain of eBay books, which Spooky then took to the post office. I answered a bunch of email. Oh, and I finished a novel. I only wrote 765 words, because I didn't need to write any more than that to reach THE END. The entire ms. for The Drowning Girl presently stands at 101,493 words. After all is said and done, it might go to 103,500.

Later, I went with Spooky to Staples, and PetCo, and Eastside Market, because we were out of lots of stuff. I'd not left the house since February 26th, when we made the snowy trek to the Blackstone Gorge. So, it had been...nine days. The day was bright, and the late afternoon light on College Hill was beautiful. But it was bitterly cold out there.

Back home, after dinner, Spooky proofed "The Dead and the Moonstruck" for Two Worlds and In Between. I was too exhausted to do anything but play about half an hour of Rift before I got disconnected from the server and gave up. We watched Richard Laxton's An Englishman in New York (2009), which is such a fine and brilliant film, and John Hurt is amazing as Quentin Crisp. Then Spooky played Rift, and her Kelari cleric made Level 18, and then I played again, and my Kelari mage reached Level 19. It's weird, not being able to play together, and soloing is a bitch, worse than in WoW. And after the gaming, we read more of Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire

And that was yesterday.

There's still a terrifying mountain of work to get done in the next week or so, but I think we have some emergency relief on the way. Comments would be very welcome today.

Oh, photos from yesterday. It seems somehow proper to photograph my mutedays:

7 March 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I just figured it out. I'm not an insomniac, after all. Instead, I'm clearly suffering from hypnophobia, which is also called somniphobia. An irrational fear of sleep. Why didn't anyone ever tell me? Hypnophobia sounds ever so much cooler than insomnia.

So, in the weird-shit-happens category, yesterday I complained about some doofus on Amazon.com who suspects I "just threw in an ending" when writing The Red Tree. Which led [livejournal.com profile] robyn_ma to make a funny joke about a magical store called Endings where writers buy, you know, endings. Which led to my wanting to write a story about that very store. So, yesterday I wrote 1,010 words on a new piece (for Sirenia Digest #61) titled "—30—". Don't worry...I asked her permission, and she granted it, so I'm not committing the very crime I was complaining about in yesterday's entry.

Speaking of which, [livejournal.com profile] teacup_carousel has informed me there's a cosmetics company, Archetype Cosmetics, which has evidently named a number of products for my work: So far I've counted Low Red Moon, Child of Hounds, Glass Coffin (which is perhaps not damning in its self but when you consider that the next one is -)Salmagundi, Salambo, Madam Terpsichore and The Gargoyle Trees.

Thing is, this is all perfectly legit. I'm even a tiny bit flattered. I just wish they'd told me, so I could have been a tiny bit flattered earlier on. Also, a word of caution, apparently Archetype Cosmetics has a history of taking a very, very, very long time to fill orders, so consider yourselves warned and don't count this mention as any sort of endorsement.

My grateful thanks to everyone who took a few moments yesterday to comment on The Red Tree over at Amazon.com. It helps. It genuinely does.

---

Last night, we finished reading [livejournal.com profile] blackholly's Valiant. Whereas I very much liked Tithe, I actually loved Valiant. Where the hell was this book when I was sixteen? Street kids, magical heroin, junkies strung out on pixie dust, intrigue in rat-infested New York subways, hot troll action, goth baby dykes, murderous fay women with hooves, and a glass sword. It's a YA novel that isn't afraid to let the monsters be monstrous, and that understands that monsters can be heroes as well as villains, and that has the nerve to cast a troll as the male love interest. Not a prettied-up troll, not the whole cop-out "Beauty and the Beast" shtick where the troll turns out to be an ensorceled prince charming, but an actual, factual troll. So, thank you, Holly. Team Ravus! You rock. Now, on to Ironside.

---

The hypnophobia has me feeling— pretty much literally —like I've been hit by a train (not that I've ever been hit by a train, but I think this is how it would feel), so I'm wrapping this up. I think I'm going to fill the bathtub with black coffee and aspirin and lie in it a while. There's broken glass and razor blades embedded beneath my flesh.

Yours in Pain,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 2)
No writing again yesterday. But I sat here in this chair, staring at this screen, looking for the words, until about 5 p.m. I did find ideas, which will hopefully lead to words today.

A good deal of yesterday was wasted on the Google Books fiasco. Today, I'll be contacting a lawyer in New York who's working with authors opposed to the "settlement" accepted by the Author's Guild and the Association of American Publishers. We'll see where that leads. It does appear, after all, that the option currently exists to remove your books from the list that Google intends to digitize, display, and sell. And really, that's all I'm asking for here, to be left out of this, to have the choice not to participate. None of my books have yet been displayed, so I'm not interested in recouping damages or lost income.

If anyone out there thinks that I'm being unreasonable about this, just stop and ask yourself how much work you're willing to do for less than minimum wage. Me, I often write for less than minimum wage. Most novelists and short-story writers do. Even a decent advance, when divided by the number of hours required to write, say, a one-hundred thousand word novel, often yields alarmingly low wages. And I'm not talking about the time required to type the ms. I'm talking about all the time required to write it. Mostly, I don't let myself think of it this way, because it only locks me up. Regardless, it's one thing to choose to work in a field where most everyone's underpaid.

It's another thing altogether to agree to the illegal rights grab that Google Books is attempting here. $60 a book, indeed. It took me something like twenty-seven months to write Silk (just as a "for instance"), and I'm actually expected to smile and hand over electronic display and sales rights to these assholes for $60? Not a chance. I'd much prefer to have nothing at all, even in this economy. What Google is attempting threatens to depreciate the value of what authors do, and I strongly urge others to opt out. I'll post more about exactly how you do that when I understand the in and outs a little more. No small part of yesterday was spent reading the absurdly convoluted legal documents associated with this case, and I've only processed about half of what I've read. Which is why I'm contacting said lawyer.

Anyway, enough bellyaching.

---

More WoW last night than is good for me. I didn't get to sleep until after four a.m. But Shaharrazad and Suraa both nailed the "Five Exalted Reputations" (or whatever it's called) achievement last night. This evening, I can easily become exalted with the Darkspear trolls and claim the title "Ambassador." Then, maybe I'll begin leveling again. And, yes, I really do need to get a life.

Time to make the doughnuts....
greygirlbeast: (Eli2)
I spent yesterday not writing, but searching for the next story to be written. So, I didn't really do much better than I did on Monday, despite the best of intentions.

---

Don't know how many of you have been following the Google Books fiasco. The Author's Guild and various publishers reached a settlement with Google back in October, under which Google is required to pay out $125 million dollars to the authors who have had (or soon will have) their copyrights infringed by the Google Books project. It's not much of a settlement. $60 per book, and if you don't claim your copyright and go along with the plan, Google will use your work, regardless. To quote Wikipedia, "In return, Google will be able to index the books and display snippets in search results, as well as up to 20% of each book in preview mode. Google will also be able to show ads on these pages and make available for sale digital versions of each book" (italics mine).

I mean, if this is the best the Author's Guild can manage, authors are well and truly screwed.

You can opt out, of course, and choose to file your own lawsuit against Google, but that's not much of an option. I haven't the money, the time, or the legal savvy. Anyway, there's now a website up that allows authors and publishers to "claim" copyright of their books that Google has already digitized. I've found sixteen of my own works listed on the website. Most are still in print. Oh, and I'm not counting those books of mine on the list that were done as "work for hire" (The Dreaming, Beowulf, etc.), as the publisher legally holds those copyrights.

I spoke with my agent on Monday regarding my options, and she replied I should accept the settlement, unless I plan to file my own lawsuit. So, Google Books has become a compulsory enterprise. I do not have the option I want, which is simply to deny Google the rights to display or sell anything I've written. And how this is possible is beyond me. This is my work, and I own the copyrights, and what Google is undertaking is blatantly illegal, and will seriously jeopardize my ability to make a living off my work, but I have no choice. In the end, I have to admit this mess baffles the hell out of me. To simply quote four lines of poetry in a novel, I have to jump through countless legal hoops. But no one is able to stop Google from forcing every living writer to be a part of this scheme. It makes me ill. It makes me want to never write another fucking word.

---

The last few months, I've had numerous people ask me why I'm not "twittering," or if I plan on "twittering," or will I please start "twittering." Back on February 3rd, I spoke my mind on Twitter, and nothing has changed. I started a blog in 2001 at the advice of my agent and other authors (most notably Neil), who thought it might help to promote my work. And it has. I began mirroring the blog at LiveJournal (originally, I was at Blogger) in April 2003, because, for whatever reason, people seemed to be flocking to LJ. I made a major concession to my lack of interest in the whole social-networking phenomenon a couple of years later by starting a MySpace account. Unlike the blog, whether or not MySpace has had any positive affect on the sales of my work is unclear. And then Facebook came along, and I reluctantly started an account, because, once again, I worried that if I didn't, I'd miss an opportunity to promote my writing. So...Blogger, LJ, MySpace, and Facebook.

And now I'm being told that I need to add Twitter to the list. After all, all the cool kids are doing it. It's the new wave of the future. But I find that I just don't care. Which is to say, no, I will not be joining the Twitter craze. I am already more "connected" than I wish to be, and I can think of nothing more insufferably dull than sending out trivial details of my life, trying to broadcast my every trivial thought (or reading the trivial acts and thoughts of others). I've already come dangerously close to doing this with the Facebook thing, and, for that matter, with the online journal. I have no more time for distraction. No more time for the latest internet fads. If anything, I'm more inclined to begin withdrawing somewhat.

I'm having one of those "Emperor's New Clothes" reactions to Twitter, and I think it's time to trust my instincts, which I too often ignore.

I do not do text. These days, I rarely even use the telephone. I will not "twitter."
greygirlbeast: (Eli5)
Yesterday, I pretty much made it through everything on my "to do" list. In my notebook, there are neat little Xs next to each item. Stories were sent to editors. Emails were answered. Revisions were made. I did another draft of the particularly tedious "fair-use" and "public-domain" letter for Penguin, regarding many quotations that appear The Red Tree, adding the relevant information on Hesiod, Seneca the Younger, and Goethe. Specifically, regarding the copyright status of the translations I used. Fun stuff (yes, I'm being sarcastic). I signed and personalized books (eBay sales). I tried to get my brain working on short story number next.

Last night, we saw the new episode of South Park. I don't know which was funnier, the lampooning of the Jonas Brothers and "purity rings," or hearing Mickey Mouse declare that "Christians are retarded." Later, we read a couple of pieces from an ARC of the forthcoming Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci (Little, Brown Young Readers; August 1, '09). We have the ARC because Spooky won it in an LJ contest for geekiest icon (her old Girl Scout computer science merit badge). Anyway, we're loving the anthology. The tale of Jedi/Klingon con love that opens the books is, well, fucking brilliant. Also, my thanks to Cliff Miller for the Flannery O'Connor biography, which arrived yesterday.

---

I have an announcement/invitation for all the people who joined the "Sirenia Players" and Howard's End Second Life groups last year. I am now running a roleplay faction in the SL NoR sims. No, it's not as ambitious as what I'd planned for Howard's End, but, in terms of theme, it's still in the ballpark. Contemporary urban dark fantasy rp. Vampires, angels, demons, werewolves, ghosts, and just about anything else you can imagine. Unlike HE, there's combat (though, technically, we're a non-combat faction), and a gaming meter/HUD (WARPS). I've founded a group called the Alpha Institute, an occult research organization that very roughly parallels my plans for the Roanoke Society in the stillborn HE sim. Throw in a bit of the Talamasca, a bit of Angel Investigations/Wolfram and Hart, etc. We're off to a very good start. And there's not a mountain of background reading, as there was with HE, and I don't need complex character profiles. Plus, since we're already playing, there's no annoying waiting period. So, if you're interested, just say so, or email me (greygirlbeast (at) gmail (dot) com), or IM me in SL (Nareth Nishi), and I'll send you an invitation.

And yes, I know what I said on February 24th about Second Life, and I meant it when I said it. But then this opportunity came along, and, frankly, I'm considering it my very last go at SL rp. If it works out (which it seems to be doing), then I'll stick around. If not, I'll leave SL, and I won't look back. I held off mentioning it here until I was certain this thing was going to happen. Now our build is finished. The story's begun. So, just let me know if you're still interested. The HUD is free. There are even free weapons. So, you don't have to cough up real-life money to play. NoR is comprised of 28 linked sims, and there's something for just about everyone, I should think. So far, we have 21 players in the Alpha Institute. The more the merrier.

---

Okay. Time to dust off the platypus, wake the dodo, and make the damn doughnuts. Oh, and yes, I will eventually run out of Eli icons.
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
Well, first the good news. Peter Straub has selected "The Long Hall on the Top Floor" for Fantastic Tales: American Stories of Terror and the Uncanny, which he's editing for the Library of America. The volume is due out in October 2009. I count this, with the reprint of "In the Water Works (1889)" in S. T. Joshi's American Supernatural Tales (Penguin Classics, 2007), as among my most notable accomplishments thus far. "The Long Hall on the Top Floor" first appeared in an issue of the now-defunct Carpe Noctem magazine, in 1999, and was thereafter collected in Tales of Pain and Wonder.

But, the bad news is that it looks like my plans for a March "vacation" are going to have to be scrapped, as I owe [livejournal.com profile] ellen_datlow a story, and somehow the deadline, and, indeed, the whole book, had slipped my mind, until she emailed me about it last night. So...I have until March 23rd to get that done, and when you figure in Sirenia Digest #40, the month is pretty much shot. I might be able to squeeze in a week between the story and the digest, maybe.

I spent all this morning figuring out fair-use and public-domain questions concerning three quotes used in The Red Tree. Specifically, a quote from Seneca the Younger's Epistulae morales ad Lucilium, one from Hesiod's Theogony, and another from The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe. All these were, of course, translations, and what is at question is when the copyright on the translations I used expired, or if they have not yet expired. Turns out, we're clear on Hesiod (Evelyn-White translation) and Goethe (Saunders translation), but not on Seneca (Gummere translation). Fortunately, [livejournal.com profile] sovay is very kindly providing me with a new translation of the Seneca passage in question, so I won't have to cut it from the book. That was my extra-tedious morning.

Here in Providence, the day is cold, and the sun blindingly bright off all the snow that isn't melting. Right now, it 29F, but 19F with wind chill factored in.

I'm still looking back over comments I've made regarding sf, and my science fiction, in particular, and there's this interesting bit from March 5th, 2006:

[livejournal.com profile] matociquala (Elizabeth Bear) and [livejournal.com profile] cpolk (Chelsea Polk) have coined a literary neologism for a certain sort of sf, a term which I'm finding extremely useful: eco-gothic*. I quote: "We look around at the world and we're fucking scared. There's this underlying idea of the implacability of the universe and the smallness of humanity. We know that there is no guiding, caring force. That life is amazing in its tenacity and persistence, but that ultimately, it's completely pitiless. And if you take it too far, if you unbalance it enough, it will crush you. This idea of the tenacity of life in a pitiless universe. And nobody else seems to fucking GET IT. Because life is tenacious, but humanity is disposable. It's not a tragedy that the passenger pigeon perished. And it won't be a tragedy when we go either...God doesn't care if we persist. We're not special. We're not essential. The universe doesn't love us bestest of all. Because you know, there's this critique that a Black Novel is not Relevant because it's about Blackness, not Humanity. Which upon I call bullshit. Because a human novel isn't relevant. Because it's about humanity. Six point five billion ugly bags of mostly water on a second-class planet in an arm of a barred spiral galaxy. Pretending like Hell that we signify." Click here for the transcript from which this quote was cobbled together.

Certainly, all of my sf would fall into this category of "eco-gothic." The Dry Salvages, "Riding the White Bull," "Faces in Revolving Souls," "The Pearl Diver," "Persephone," "Hoar Isis," "Between the Flatirons and the Deep Green Sea"...all of it. And I think one thing I found particularly intriguing was the suggestion that writers of "eco-gothic" sf may, perhaps, do so because "we were the second-class geeks who took life sciences instead of physics with the hard-line geeks." That's one of my dirty little secrets. Sure, I took chemistry and physics and mathematics in college, but I had no real aptitude for it. It was in the life and earth sciences that I excelled, particularly in paleontology, which is often disparagingly labeled by the math and physics types as a "soft science." Anyway, it's just something I wanted to note, because of the things I said about sf on Friday, and because it's something I want to think about. I have no problem with a neologism or a literary category so long as it is useful and needed and I suspect this one may be both. It is, of course, inherently Lovecraftian, and minor caveats and questions do arise. Perhaps I will come back to those later. Not only does this remind me why I shall never appeal to those sf readers who dislike "dystopian" sf, but also why I shall likely always find myself in a rather minuscule fraction of Wiccans. The gods do not care because, after all, they're only hopeful metaphors for needful humans. Anyway, thank you Bear and Chelsea.


So, it's not surprising that Elizabeth Bear ended up writing an afterword for A is for Alien, an afterword which, in part, explores the idea of the eco-gothic.

Also, it has been one year to the day that I announced in the journal that Spooky and I would be moving from Atlanta to Providence. What an eventful year it has been.

Yes, the Immaculate Order of the Falling Sky has duly noted the Earth's recent near-miss by a Tunguska-sized asteroid. Hope springs eternal.

Last night, I stumbled across some bloody frakking idiot, somewhere on the web, who'd referred to Echo (from The Dreaming) as a "Mary Sue" character, and I'm still laughing...

* [livejournal.com profile] matociquala later found a use of "eco-gothic" dating back to 1996, in a description of Stephen Palmer's novel, Memory Seed.
greygirlbeast: (sleeps with wolves)
Yesterday, I did 1,321 words on "The Bone's Prayer." It's shaping up nicely. I'm aiming for something very compact, here. It's not a vignette, as it occurs over four or five scenes, but it's not a short story, exactly. More like a series of vignettes, but I suppose a lot of my short stories are no more than a series of vignettes. Anyway, I'm liking where it's going, regardless. I hope to be able to have it finished tomorrow afternoon, and to get Sirenia Digest #39 out late on Monday (March 2).

We're still working out the "fair-use" issue regarding a few of the quotes in The Red Tree. In this instance, they're all quotations from authors long dead, but the issue of translation arises. Are the translations I've quoted under copyright? In this case, it's Hesiod, Seneca, and Goethe. We're clear on everything else. Though I'm fairly certain that the copyrights have expired on the translations I've quoted (I became manic about this sort of thing after the Dread Daughter of Hounds/Emily Dickinson fiasco of 2007). Worse-case scenario, I have my own translations done, but I really don't think that's going to be necessary.

Yesterday was almost warm. The temperature reached 50F, but we had a terrible wind (gusting to 34 mph). After the writing was done, Spooky cajoled me into taking a walk with her, as I'd not left the house in so long. So I went. We walked as far as the statue of Ebenezer Knight Dexter (ca. 1832), at the north end of the Dexter Training Grounds. It was good to be out in the sun, despite the blustery chill.

Later, after dinner, we did a bit of the Kid Night thing, and watched The Valley of Gwangi (1969), one of my favorite films featuring Ray Harryhausen's animation. I mean, dinosaurs vs. cowboys. It just doesn't get a whole lot cooler than that. I will forever be grateful to Harlan Ellison for introducing me to Harryhausen back in 1998. Anyway, I first saw The Valley of Gwangi with my mother, grandmother, and sister, almost forty years ago, not long after its release. It seems unthinkable that it's been that long. I was five years old. I was a little disappointed that the cut we saw last night was trimmed from the original 125 minutes, down to 96 minutes. It omitted the cheesy song that James Franciscus sings to Gila Golan. But the dinosaurs are still cool, and I got my cheese fix from the cowboys, and Spooky thought the Eohippus was cute.

Okay, time to make the doughnuts. The platypus is snarling.
greygirlbeast: (chidown)
How do I feel about Congressional attempts to phase out incandescent bulbs in favour of supposedly "greener" compact fluorescent bulbs? So far, I think [livejournal.com profile] stardustgirl has said it best already:

Fluorescent is not inviting. Fluorescent is Wal-Mart. It's the hospital waiting room at 3 a.m. It's the endless afternoon in school where you're stuck in a concrete box and can only stare outside at the real lighting. It's the foul-smelling bathroom in the bus depot. It's the scar on a poorly retro-fitted 1800s building that has had the cheapest contractor-pack modern conveniences forced onto its originally artistic and graceful face. It is cold.

You only have to read just about anything I've ever written to discover how I feel about the horrors of fluorescent lighting. For my part, if this really happens, once my stockpile of incandescent bulbs is exhausted, I bloody well will be using only oil lamps and candles. Our government couldn't give a shit about what's actually happening to the planet, and this is a boondoggle, but people will go along with it if they think...ah, fuck it. No Arctic Sea ice by 2012, and America is trying to fix this broken world with mercury-laden light bulbs. Fuck it.

Yesterday was a profoundly awful day, and no writing was done.

My thanks to all who bid in the eBay auctions. A new round will begin this evening, and it will include a true rarity: a copy of my 2005 Subterranean chapbook, The Merewife. I only have FIVE of these, and I am loathe to give one up, but medical bills must be paid. I will likely never auction another, at least not anytime soon. I'll post a link as soon as Spooky gets the auctions going again.

And returning to the subject of my comments regarding fanfic and copyright, here's a comment from [livejournal.com profile] jacobluest:

The problem with these people is that they're so caught up in re-appropriation they've started seeing stories as toolboxes, not unitary works that possess their own integrity. A little more respect is needed! And anyone that gets that bent out of shape about their own fanfiction needs to re-focus that energy on an original work. About the only thing fanfiction has on all other writing is the fact that you write it, and let it go.

One day left until Solstice. "Ena sn'ial," as the Nebari say. Truthfully, here in Atlanta, the winter has, once more, been freakishly mild so far.

I think the only thing keeping me alive is Asia Argento porn. Thank you, Tag. You rule.

Feh. That's enough rambling for now.
greygirlbeast: (chi2)
Just wanted to remind everyone that two of our current eBay auctions will be ending early this evening. This includes the letter X of Tales from the Woeful Platypus, which comes with a beanie platypus sewn by my own two hands. Also, the auction for a copy of the trade hardback edition of Frog Toes and Tentacles will be ending. So, please have a look, and if you are of such an inclination, please bid. Proceeds will mostly be going to cover recent and ongoing medical bills (no insurance for this freelancer), so thanks to those who do bid.

Last night, we watched Nicolas Cage in Lee Tamahori's Next (2007), which is very, very loosely based upon Philip K. Dick's short story, "The Golden Man" (1954). I'd say it was, at most, suggested by Dick's story. Anyway, it wasn't great cinema, but it was an enjoyable film, possessed of a certain lopsided charm, which is more than can be said for Cage's two other recent genre outings, Ghostrider and the lamentable remake of The Wicker Man.

Oh, and [livejournal.com profile] scarletboi had this to say regarding [livejournal.com profile] anextropian's comments that writers should not and do not own their creations, and I feel like quoting it:

I've run across this ludicrous sort of denial before, the idea that we should not expect any sort of protection or recompense for the ideas that we, if not generate, at the very least aggregate. It has its roots in the hacker/hippy culture that brought us a lot of wonderful advances and horribly out-of-touch demagogues like Richard Stallman. The democratization of ideas is all well and good, until you realize that the signal-to-noise ratio has reached overload. In theory, the good writers and artists and musicians will rise to the top, wheat and chaff and all that...

But if you take the tack that "information wants to be free" means that there should be no copyright, no trademark, and that all media should be free to anyone who wants to enjoy it, then you have to accept that the quality of media will largely disintegrate. If an artist cannot rely on compensation for their work, two things are sure to happen: that artist will have to get another job, and will either stop creating art, or at the very least, they will not have the output they surely would have had if they could work at their art full-time.


Just five days left until Cephalopodmas. If anyone is feeling gifty and generous, here are links to my Amazon wishlist, and another link to Spooky's. What we really want is a modest harem of nubile young Asian cyborgs (all three genders welcome) with tentacle implants in just the right places...but, alas, I couldn't find any of those on Amazon.
greygirlbeast: (white2)
First, here's the comment I was afraid I'd receive when I made that entry about fanfic and intellectual property rights. Only, I thought it would happen a lot sooner than it did. [livejournal.com profile] anextropian writes:

That the originator "owns" ideas in the first place...
Is inherently ridiculous. Whereas a work itself is the expression of the individual, the elements within it like characters and whatnot do not and should not belong to the author. The original work does belong to it, but not the characters and everything else within it. Characters etc. are merely thoughts, and people have not the right to have any monopoly of thoughts over others. In addition, sometimes, I would have no respect for the originators whatsoever. Fanfiction is not only a tribute to the original author, but also does other things, like spite the original author. If it were a tribute, then the original author could be respected, but it is not always a tribute.


So...I have a question for [livejournal.com profile] anextropian. If you were to someday have a vaguely original thought (about the best I've ever managed, so I'm cutting you some slack), and you wrote a fic with that thought, and then some asshole professional (like myself) came along and gutted it, using your characters and/or situation and/or universe to writer her own book, and — wait, it gets worse — then sold that book for an advance of $20k...that wouldn't piss you off, right? Cause, we cannot own ideas, yes? Remember now, I was actually defending fanfic as a legitimate artistic undertaking, but this is bollocks. When artists can no longer eke out even the meager living most of us manage from our work — well, you do the math. And to whom will you pay tribute or spite then?

Now, something much nicer courtesy a MySpace reader:

How about a reprinting of "The Black Alphabet" for lazy coelacanths such as myself who were not subscribed to Sirenia at the time? Do I ask too much? Do I get a scoff and a scorn? I have an old Carpe Noctem where you reviewed some album(s). Cannot recall which bands they were, but I remember buying the cd's because I, too, was enthralled with Silk and thought you were the bee's knees. Still do.

Man, I miss Carpe Noctem. That said, no scoffs or scorns, and I adore lazy coelacanths. But "The Black Alphabet" was already reprinted in its entirety as The Black Alphabet: A Primer, a chapbook (soft and hard cover) from Subterranean Press, which is now out of print. We will be offering a few on eBay. Or you could order the two back issues of Sirenia Digest that include parts one and two of "The Black Alphabet" (issues #6 and 7, respectively). Requests for back issues should be addressed to Spooky at crk_books(at)yahoo(dot)com. $10 each.

Oh, and here are the current eBay auctions.

Bedtime now.
greygirlbeast: (serafina)
After quite some time spent staring at — CHAPTER TWO — all alone by itself on ms. page 42 of Joey Lafaye, it becomes more or less obvious that the words just are not coming this afternoon. So, I'm sitting here, munching on a slab of vegan carrot bread from Sevananda (the local co-op), and I was looking at some entries on my LJ friend's list, and a few thoughts that have nothing much to do with Joey Lafaye occurred to me. I'm putting this behind a cut, because it is rather longish:

on fanfic )
greygirlbeast: (nomi)
First, the fact that there is Good News should be acknowledged. My lit agent (Merrilee) and I received this e-mail late yesterday from Liz, my editor at Penguin:

Good news for you - the print order just came through and we're printing a very respectable 7,000 copies of Daughter of Hounds. (Your pre-order campaign worked beautifully, Caitlín!)

Which is to say thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has pre-ordered the novel. See, you can make a difference. My "street team" is the draddest. And if you haven't already pre-ordered, this is to ask you to please consider doing so soon. The initial print order is an important battle won, but just a battle, not the war, which still yawns before me.

Anyway, good news aside, yesterday was a somewhat awful and excruciating day, having begun with an earlier e-mail from Liz, telling me that we couldn't use the four Emily Dickinson quotes in Daughter of Hounds because, even though Dickinson died in 1886, they're under copyright. She asked if I wanted to replace them with something else. No, I said. I want to use those quotes, which I was very, very certain were not actually under copyright. And this all gets quite muddled and complicated. Let me see if I can perchance explain (and any Emily Dickinson scholars reading this will be excused for skipping ahead):

Upon her death in 1886, Emily Dickinson had published very few of her poems. Something like ten. After she died, however, two friends — Mabel Loomis Todd and literary critic Thomas Wentworth Higginson — published three volumes of her poetry between 1890 and 1896. Then, early in the 20th Century, Dickinson's niece, Martha Dickinson Bianchi, produced further collections, reprinting much of the Todd-Higginson books, as well as previously unpublished material, in The Single Hound (1915), The Life and Letters of Emily Dickinson and The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson (1924), and Further Poems of Emily Dickinson (1929).

Now, here's the deal. Dickinson poems published prior to 1923 are in public domain and may be quoted without infringing upon anyone's valid copyright. And, in truth, most of her poems were published after her death, but well before 1923.

However, here's where things get confusing and sticky — in 1955, Thomas H. Johnson published The Poems of Emily Dickinson, which presented new transcriptions of the poems first published by Todd, Loomis, and Bianchi. Todd and Loomis had made changes in Dickinson's punctuation, standardizing it and sometimes misinterpreting it. Johnson corrected the texts, and his The Poems of Emily Dickinson has been adopted as the standard for Dickinson scholarship. A division of
Harvard licenses the Johnson copyright from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst (or maybe it's Amherst College, I'm not entirely sure which). And they have a reputation for suing anyone who reprints Johnson's versions of the poems without permission. I cannot claim to say exactly how this works, since Johnson merely reprinted Dickinson's work, and I cannot even begin to see how that makes it his own, but there you go. US copyright law says it's so, so it is so.

However, as I pointed out to Liz early yesterday, I'd not quoted from Johnson, but thrice from the Loomis and Todd texts and once from one of the Bianchi books. And since the Bianchi book was The Single Hound (1915), I was in the clear on copyright. But legal wanted proof, in the form of photocopies from those original editions demonstrating that my quotations had not drawn upon the Johnson text. So, this meant I had to go back to Emory University, back to the Woodruff Library, for the second time in as many days (having finally gone on Tuesday), and show my ID to the security guy, etc. & etc. Which I did, though it ate up the entirety of a day which should have been spent either writing or preparing to write. I'd chosen those four quotes carefully, and I wasn't going to give up on using them without a struggle. To my great fortune, the Woodruff Library has copies of both The Single Hound and the first of the Todd and Loomis volumes (1915, Poems). Between these two books, I had all four of the poems I'd quoted. The texts as they were printed pre-Johnson, pre-1955, pre-1923. Today, Spooky will photocopy the pages and send them to Penguin, and the four Dickinson quotes will appear in Daughter of Hounds as per my original intent. No copyrights, however dubious, will have been violated. Only a day lost. And I even took photos of the adventure, just so I could share the splendid tedium with my readers. They are not exciting photos. They are behind the cut:

A Day in the Library )


After Emory, we got some hot and spicy Thai for dinner, then headed home just as a wonderful thunderstorm stuck Atlanta. We've been needing the rain. There's not much to the rest of the evening — I played more Drakengard 2 (the world has ended, but the end was only the beginning), watched Project Runway (and I am sick and disgusted at this whole mess with Jeffery), and read and read and read. I have this habit of reading many books at once, mostly non-fiction because I mostly read nonfiction. Currently, I am reading, simultaneously, the following:

Only Revolutions by Mark Z. Danielewski
Visions of Mars by Olivier de Goursac
The Monuments of Mars: A City of the Edge of Forever by Richard C. Hoagland (the less said about this awful book, the better; research for The Dinosaurs of Mars)
Cauldron of Hell: Tunguska by Jack Stoneley
The Amber Forest by George Poinar, Jr. and Roberta Poinar
The Geology of Mars edited by a bunch of folks
Mars: A Tour of the Human Imagination by Eric S. Rabkin
Tyrannosaurus SUE by Steve Fiffer
Magnificent Mars by Ken Croswell
The Spiral Dance by Starhawk (20th anniv. ed.)

Danielewski, planetology, palaeontology, pop culture, and Wicca — all at once, and I can still walk a straight line.

Okay. Must go attend to busyness, e-mail, and maybe even some actual writing. Oh, wait. The platypus says sheheit will be looking for comments today (and perhaps answering them), because I'm boring herhimit sideways, so, yeah. Surely there's comment fodder here somewhere. Don't be shy.

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greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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