greygirlbeast: (Chiana 6)
Note that I will make a post just after midnight (CaST), probably just a few words, and then this journal will "go black" as a protest against SOPA/PIPA. The blackout will end at midnight (CaST) on the 19th. No, I don't think it will change a thing. The whole internet going black won't change a thing. That's not the point. Sometimes we tilt at windmills because it's the right thing to do. We have also been assured that President Obama will block the legislation, and there's word Congress is already preparing to shelve it. By the way, my book sales are being seriously harmed by internet piracy, and I still oppose SOPA/PIPA. You do not burn down a fucking house to kill a termite.

And, more good news. Believed lost for some 165 years, hundreds of paleobotanical thin sections, once owned by Charles Darwin, have been rediscovered in the archives of the British Geological Survey.

If I do not leave the house today, it will have been eleven days since last I left the house. This is becoming serious. Again. And I have to face it and get out of here.

When we went to bed about 3:30 a.m., there was a very light dusting of snow on the ground, already beginning to melt.

I had a dream, this morning, that one of my molars fell out. This isn't unusual. I frequently have dreams of breaking and shattering teeth. I have bad teeth, and, moreover, many psychoanalysts believe this a sign that someone – whichever dreamer in question - feels they have lost, or are losing control of...well, whatever. In this case, I point to Alabaster #4. As I near the end of the next to last issue of the first series, I am terrified I am making missteps, that I was never cut out to write comics. And I cannot fail in this. Every single word matters, and, in many ways, this is a far, far more difficult undertaking than writing a novel. Yesterday, I wrote three more pages, 16-18 (manuscript pages 27-29, 951 words), which is probably more than I should have written yesterday. Likely, I will finish the three remaining pages today.

Please be reminded of the auction of ARC of the The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. By the way, if you haven't seen Publishers Weekly's STARRED review of the novel, you ought. Sure, too much time is wasted on synopsis, but too many reviewers these days don't know the difference between a review and book report.

Oh, and here's a photograph Spooky took day before yesterday, when I was washing my hair. All my life, I've known I had a birthmark on the back of my neck, just at and under the hairline. This is the first time I've ever seen it (behind the cut).

Birthmark )


After the writing, I curled up on the chaise in the middle parlor, in front of the fire place (it only sounds a tenth as cozy as it actually is), with the iPad and finished watching the National Geographic pterosaur documentary. It only got worse. Aside from Kevin Padian and David Unwin, actual experts on pterosaur paleontology were generally ignored (where was Peter Wellnhofer, for example, or Chris Bennett, or Dave Martill?). The science went from slipshod to fanciful. In short, whoever wrote this thing just started making shit up. Assemblages of animals were shown coexisting in the same environment, even though we know they belonged to different faunas separated by tens of millions of years. At least a third (and maybe half) of the documentary was wasted on an attempt to build a mechanical scale model of a pterosaur that would fly as a pterosaur flew. But it didn't work, even though the designers cheated right and left on the design (adding an elaborate "rudder" to an anhanguerine, for example, a group that all but lacked a tail, and certainly didn't use them for stabilization during flight). No, no, no. Bad science. This is National Geographic? My advice, stay away from this one.

Later, before sleep, I read Bruce Sterling's "Maneki Neko" (1998), a somewhat dull bit of cyberpunk. Near as I could tell, it was hellbent on showing that just as there's truth to the "ugly American" stereotype, there's also the "ugly Japanese." No shock there. The story's most interesting aspect is it's view of what the internet would become, but, in the ensuing fourteen years, has failed to do so.

And it's getting late. And I should scoot.

Scooting,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Barker)
That subject line, I was having breakfast and thinking about cyberpunk, about sf and trends and how cyberpunk has been deemed passé, irrelevant, out of fashion by the gatekeepers of science fiction. And that phrase popped into my mind. Maybe there's an sf short story that belongs to it. Maybe. Or it might be the title of my second collection of sf, which will happen someday.* Cyberpunk remains the sort of sf I most enjoy writing, fashion be fucked and damned.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Spooky's put up a PC copy of the lettered, boxed edition of From Weird and Distant Shores (2002). It goes without saying this book is very, very rare. The lettered includes "Rat's Star: A Fragment," a piece not published in the trade edition of the collection (or ever reprinted anywhere else). If we ever offer another of these, it'll be a long while to come.

Yesterday, I began the eighth chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir and wrote 1,802 words. The chapter begins with a series of excerpts from a telephone answering machine, which says something telling about the structure of the novel, I think. After writing, we proofed "Spindleshanks (New Orleans, 1956)" for Two Worlds and In Between, because I'm behind of the proofreading for that project and racing to catch up.

Unless I leave the house today, it will have been nine days since I was last Outside,

Apparently, when I say, "Blizzard, you've lost me," it means I have to go forthwith and roll a new character and then spend five hours playing her. Last night, we did a little with Shah and Suraa, completeing the Twilight Highlands. And then...I created a Forsaken mage named Erszébetta and Spooky created a Forsaken priest named Tzilla, and the next five hours were a blur of silliness. One of my few favorite things about WoW are those first ten levels. Not sure why, but they're always the most fun. And it's just sad how much easier the starter levels are now compared to when I beagn playing in October 2008. I almost reached Level 11; we went to bed about 4:30 ayem, because there was no one here to tell us we were bad kids and shoo us away to bed. I deleted my dwarf paladin, Dís, to make room on Cenarion Circle for Erszébetta. Sorry, Dís. My heart belongs to Sylvanas.

This evening, after the writing is done, I'll be posting the new "what if I..." question. As before, answers will be screened, which means I'm the only person who will be able to see them. The ones that get reprinted in the digested will be printed anonymously. Which is meant to lower those nasty inhibitions you might be harboring.

*You steal this title, I publicly embarrass you, then kill you. The End.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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