greygirlbeast: (Default)
Fuck, I feel like doing something depraved. Something truly, truly unregenerate. With pony girls and glass dildos. Instead, I'll spend the day writing.

Fuck.

Um...where was I?

Yesterday, I did a LOT of work, but I can't tell you on what, or the men in black Cadillacs and black suits will come and take me away. But it was a lot of work, and it will continue today...and for quite some time. Someday, I will be able to end this silence.

Any comments on Sirenia Digest #69? All will be entertained. Most will be answered. Pipe up, kittens.

Also, we have only 70 hours remaining the Kickstarter for mine and [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy's The Drowning Girl: Stills From a Movie That Never Existed. We're well-funded at this point, but it seems to a shame to miss the $3,000 mark by a mere $107. So...here's the deal. This is off the official rewards books, but anyone who donates $50 over the next 70 hours will receive a signed page, hand-corrected, from the actual "first draft" of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir manuscript. No fooling. Have at it, please. Just email me your names and addresses (greygirlbeast[at]gmail[dot]com) and you will be rewarded. This would be in addition to the 8x12 or 4x6 prints you'd receive anyway, and yes, if you've already donated $50, you'll also get this reward.

Last night, Spooky went to Target and got me wicked cool Día de los Muertos pajama pants, black with brightly colored sugar skulls, and they are pleasing me no end. I think I may not take them off for days. And yet...Target did not have the Hallowe'en candy out, thwarting my sweet tooth and in all defiance of the laws of unreasonably early holiday marketing strategies. BUT! They did have the Hallowe'en pet costumes out. Damn you, Target, you frakking perverts!

We almost finished reading The Stand last night. Also, I read another story from The Book of Cthulhu. It's a very mixed bag, this book. Some classics that deserve to be classics, some wonderful surprises, and a few stories I would gladly be fucked up the ass with a red-hot poker before reading (Brian Lumley, anyone?). Anyway, last night I read a piece called "Jeroboam Henley's Debt" by Charles R. Saunders, which at first seemed to have promise. For one, it's extremely rare to encounter a "mythos"/Lovecraftian story involving primarily African American characters. Moreover, Saunders is a black man, who has written essays on why blacks don't (but should) read science fiction. And the writing was passable, so I had some hope. But, about three quarters of the way through, the tale lapsed into clichéd voodoo histrionics and plot twists that almost broke my neck. So, yeah. It had potential, but fizzled. The story was originally published in 1982.

And now, now I must get back to my work on phased arrays of 7-hertz infrasonic weapons for the Department of...um, I mean, um, get back to work on that. That thing. Yeah. I will say that this work – thought I love it – is stressful enough I started smoking again yesterday (American Spirit, perique blend). Hopefully, that won't last long.

In Hiding,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (death&themaiden)
No, The Red Tree didn't win the World Fantasy Award, but that in no way diminishes my pride and my joy at having been nominated. And my congratulations to all the winners. And my thanks to Peter, who would have accepted for me, had I won.

Here is it, Día de los Muertos*, and me without calaveras de azucar. Truthfully, I've never had a sugar skull, but would love to someday.

Sirenia Digest #59 should be going out the subscribers this evening. There were a few problems with the first PDF that are being corrected, and we'll get it out to you as soon as everything is just so. Yesterday was spent on the issue's layout. Today, I have to go back to actually writing, and, truthfully, it's a sort of relief.

---

I really dislike getting angry first thing in the goddamn morning. Or, well, early afternoon. For that reason, I try to avoid reader comments about my books on Amazon.com. This morning, I slipped up, and found this, posted anonymously two days ago by "R.M.B." (I've not bothered correcting R.M.B.'s misspellings):

I was very intrigued with the reviews of this book. It sounded great and I couldn't wait to read it. I was very dissappointed and quit after about five chapters. As is mentioned by other reviewers, the main character is very foul-mouthed and difficult to like. Also, and forgive me if this is a spoiler, in all the reviews and the synopsis I saw on this book nowhere is it mentioned that there is a very heavy gay/lesbian story-line. It's certainly not the first (nor I'm sure the last) book I've read that contains this element, but as that is not my taste and certainly not what I thougt I was getting here, I felt like that little detail was hidden. Frankly I feel a little mislead and wish I could get my money back. I can overlook some of these issues in some books, but this one was'nt one of them.

So, yeah, here's some angrifying shit (thank you for that word, Kristin Hersh). And suddenly I'm having flashbacks to that last (and horrible) Readercon 21 panel this past July, during which I had to listen to people complain that books ought to come with warning labels. Is it wrong for writers to respond to critics? No, not in the least, and I don't know who thought up that tiresome old chestnut. Regardless, I want to be clear that what I am responding to here is not the fact that the reader disliked the novel, as a novel, but to the reader's homophobia and sense of entitlement.

To start with, had she or he actually read "reviews of this book," he or she would have known that Sarah and Constance were lesbians. Few reviews fail to mention Sarah's sexuality, or the fact that she becomes involved with Constance. Ergo, the "reviewer" is either lying and didn't read reviews, or means cover blurbs when he or she says "reviews." Secondly, it is no one's responsibility— not mine and not my editor's and not my publisher's and not Amazon.com's —to inform anyone "that there is a very heavy gay/lesbian story-line." Does R.M.B. think books should notify their readers when there are very heavy straight plots? Of course not, because, remember, heterosexuality is normal and to be expected. It's a given that straight characters will suit the "tastes" of most readers, so this sort of warning would be silly. Obviously. So, never mind the disgust that betrays this reader's homophobia, there's the entitlement issue, that she or he has a right to be informed of queer characters, so such characters can be safely avoided. Same old shit, different goddamn day.

Is this worth me getting upset over? Yes. Maybe it wouldn't be, if gay men and women were accorded the same legal rights as straight men and women. But we are not. We are targeted as deviant. We are shat upon. We are relegated. We are shunned. We are threatened and murdered for loving those we love, and, ironically, told we cannot die in war. We are told we are sick and need to be cured. Even were all this not true, I would find the expectation that a book about us ought to come with a warning utterly abhorrent. So, yes. Sarah Crowe is a lesbian, and she's also "foul-mouthed," and if that gripes your ass, don't read my goddamned novel. If your sensibilities are so easily assaulted, do some research before you buy a book. Don't publicly whine after the fact, because the world can't be bothered to hold your little hand and cover your little eyes and keep you safe from all you find distasteful. And if you are going to publicly speak your opinion about a book, criticize the actual book, instead of using it as a platform for your loathing of queers. Want to review a book? Then review the fucking book, asshole.

There were other things I was going to write about in this entry, but I'm too angry. The whole goddamn world is falling into ruin, and people have time to be offended at queers. This shit has to stop somewhere. To quote Malcolm Reynolds, my favorite space cowboy, "So here is us, on the raggedy edge. Don't push me, and I won't push you."

* My mistake. Día de los Muertos is November 2nd. Surely, I knew that.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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