greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Sorry for the awful picture quality in the first.




greygirlbeast: (Default)
If I don't leave the house today – and I know that I won't – it will have been ten days since last I left the house. Doesn't help that it's cold as an Xtian's tit out there, currently 27˚F.

Yesterday, I wrote pages 11-15 (manuscript pages 19-26, 1,433 words) of Alabaster #4. Not leaving the house is great for productivity. Just fuck all for everything else. With luck, I can finish the issue today, but by tomorrow evening for certain.

If you haven't already, please preorder The Drowning Girl: A Memoir and Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. Thank you.

Meanwhile, the auction for an ARC of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir continues. Two days, eight hours remaining. Also, Amazon.com claims to have 17 copies of Two Worlds And In Between in stock, even though it's supposedly sold out, and, previously, Amazon cancelled peoples' orders because they couldn't get the book, etc. No, I have no idea how this happened, but it makes me angry.

Last night, after dinner, I washed my hair. Yes, well. we take our excitement where we can get it.

I suppose I can mention SW:toR and making level 29 and getting my first Legacy level (though I've not yet unlocked Legacy by reaching #30, so it doesn't really make sense). Or that there was stupendously good RP. But I know that's lame nerd shit. Not like saying, hey, last night David Bowie and Cormac McCarthy came over and we dropped acid and played dominoes in the nude. Yeah, I might be a goddamn nerd, but I have perspective, okay?

I watched half a new documentary about pterosaurs. It was National Geographic, but I was disappointed to see that, these days, National Geographic documentaries are only somewhat better than those on the Discovery Channel. The CGI was, at best, so-so. You know, back in 1999 television did this brilliant, beautiful Walking With Dinosaurs thing, bringing Mesozoic beasties back to life with CGI. And it's all been downhill from there. More CGI, lower production values, lousier visuals. Sloppier science. Facts ever more dumbed down. Thirteen years, and we're still moving backwards.

I read "New information on the protosaurian reptile Macrocnemus fyuanensis Li et. al., from the Middle/Upper Triassic of Yunnan, China." I also read "Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man's Back" by Joe R. Lansdale (1986), sublime nuclear apocalypse.

And that was yesterday. Comment, if you dare.

Inside,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
A wild, wild wind* in Providence, the sky trying to blow down the world. The sun-buffeted clouds rushing by as if played fast forward. It makes me anxious, that much wind. That much wind battering the roofs.

In high school, I used to drive a particular English teacher to distraction by asking questions like, "If the plural of hoof is hooves, then why isn't rooves the plural of roof?" For a few months, she tried to pacify me with diachronic linguistics and etymology, but there came a point she'd had enough, and after that the only answer I ever got was "Because that's the way it is. If you're going to learn the English language, you must accept that a lot of it simply doesn't make sense. It's inconsistent. It's contradictory." Which felt like a victory.

These days, the meds do a pretty good job of keeping Monsieur Insomnia and the nightmares and dreamsickness at bay. But not this morning. It was five a.m. before I managed to get to sleep, and then...well...when I finally woke at a quarter past noon, to the roar of this wind, I wished I'd never fallen asleep.

Yesterday, I wrote the first four pages of Alabaster #4, the first eight manuscript pages, 1,480 words. Today I need to do at least another four pages. And there was a lot of other stuff. I should be posting additional upcoming appearances soon. It's beginning to look as if I'm going to spend more time in March and April out in the world schlepping my books than I am accustomed to doing. Pry me free of the house, and send me out into the snowless winter and the wind. See if I care.

Last night, after writing, I was so tired I had a half hour nap while Spooky made meatloaf, and then drifted about in a daze all night long. More asleep than awake. Though, in truth, I never felt awake yesterday, it just grew worse in the evening. I wasn't up to anything but lying in bed, so we watched seven episodes of Law and Order: Criminal Intent. Jeff Goldblum has shown up, and he's truly quite excellent. I'm not yet awake enough to be sure if the weariness is still with me, but the weather would have me think so.

Scoured,
Aunt Beast

* Presently (1:49 p.m.) 26mph gusting to 48mph.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Okay. I am awake. No, really. Just ask the platypus inserting bamboo splinters beneath my toenails.

First, stuff from Friday:

I wrote 1,308 words of Chapter Six of Blood Oranges, in which a new troll – Otis – makes an appearance. I really do not know what to make of this strange, strange book. It is what it is.

Also on Friday, there was a Telephone Conversation of Great Importance, which I am not free to discuss (and let me tell you, these things I can't talk about are driving me fucking nuts).

I received a package from Stephen Lubold containing, among many other wonderful things, two Penguin Classics collections – Algernon Blackwood's Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories (and LJ can't spell the plural of sorcery) and Lord Dunsany's In the Land of Time and Other Fantasy Tales (both edited by S. T. Joshi) – and Denise Gess and William Lutz' Firestorm at Peshtigo: A Town, It's People, and the Deadliest Fire in American Hitsory (2002). I immediately began reading the latter, as the Peshtigo Firestorm (and associated fires on the night of October 8, 1871) have long been an obsession of mine, but I haven't read this book. So, thank you again, Stephen!

The package also included a copy of Huan Vu's (German, 2010) film Die Farbe, which I now know is the most faithful adaptation of HPL's "The Colour Out of Space" that anyone has made thus far. I did not even know of this film's existence. It moves the events of the story from New England to pre-WWII Germany – which works far better than it has a right to work – and the climax to WWII itself (which really doesn't work). That is, the narrator's story is cut in two, and framed by an American searching for his lost father. As strange as all this sounds, and despite what must have been an almost nonexistent budget, most of it works very well. The move to film in black and white was smart (I've always said I'd do "Colour" in b&w), with a very judicious use of a color effect, that was smart. The acting is decent, the casting good, the cinematography so-so, the SFX uneven, but sometimes very impressive. The sound was awful. I don't know if it was a bad transfer to the DVD, or trouble with sound editing. But...if you're a fan of HPL or the story, it should be seen. It is at least a one-hundred percent improvement over the two previous attempts at filming the story – the laughable Die, Monster, Die (1965) and the unspeakably laughable The Curse (1987).

Oh, I'm also adding a photograph of the "pregnant plesiosaur" to yesterday's entry, for posterity (because it's an amazing fossil, and sometimes links go poof). And thank you, [livejournal.com profile] corucia for sending me the full paper from Science.

---

And now...yesterday.

Whoa, David Bowie flashback. No, I'm better now.

More hookey. Inexcusable, I know. No, it truly is. But, and still, Spooky and I went to Moonstone, because how many more days of summer are left? Not many, that's how many. And it rained all June, and we didn't have a car in July, and...anyway, we went to Moonstone. The air temperature was around 80˚F and the water somewhere in the 60sF. I swam. A lot. I've regained so much strength so quickly that I'm sort of astounded. I floated and dove in deep green water. The sky above me was blue with the white brush stokes of cirrus clouds and contrails and with gulls. There is utter peace, only fifty yards offshore. There were virtually no swells, the water was so calm (except when some asshole in a motorboat roared past). The only slightly spooky moment was when I found myself in a riptide that moved me twenty or thirty feet south in just a few seconds. But I stayed calm, swam to the east, and was immediately out of the current. Back on shore, we saw another osprey fishing. Likely the same one we saw back on July 30th.

I so need an underwater camera.

As we were leaving, I spotted the blackened and sun-shriveled remains of a very young dolphin or porpoise – possibly a newborn calf. The dorsal fin had an orange plastic tag that had been attached by researchers from the Mystic Aquarium, and, oddly, what remained of the carcass was tied to a tiny raft made of driftwood. The aquarium's tag noted it had been dead when tagged...which could have been weeks ago, based on the degree of decomposition. The skull, flippers, and tail fluke were missing (not surprising, as these tend to be taken quickly by scavengers). I wanted to take the whole thing away with me for what was left of the skeleton (in excellent shape), but I took only a single anterior thoracic rib. Anyway, there are photographs from yesterday behind the cut:

13 August 2011 )


Also, some decent RP in Insilico last night, as Grendel enters the yakuza.
greygirlbeast: (tilda)
Sometimes, there is no need for words, but and still...

"I would rather be handsome, as he is, for an hour than pretty for a week.”
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
After today's horrific events in Arizona, I almost decided to forgo this posts. But fuck it. Happy birthday, Mr. Bowie.



greygirlbeast: (Default)
Today is David Bowie's Birthday. Why the hell isn't this a national holiday. I guarantee you it's an intergalactic holiday. Also, also, also it's Spooky's mom's birthday!

We're having a shit year for snow here in Providence. Even the blizzard hardly touched us. Everyone around us gets hit hard, we get a dusting. Happened again this morning. Spooky says this is normal, that we had much more snow than usual the last two winters, but I say fuck that shit.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,336 words on Chapter Four of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir.

Also, as my office is becoming a hazardous place to work, I boxed up half a filing cabinet's worth of old story files. I've always kept at least one manila folder for each and every short story and vignette I write, all the way back to 1992. Having now written more than 200 stories...well, you get the picture. The cabinet was full, and files have been piling up almost as fast as the books for which I have no remaining shelf space. So, half of the files are going away to our storage unit, where I'll likely never set eyes on them again. Which is a weird thing to know. But, really, what need will I ever again have to look at the file I kept while writing "Tears Seven Times Salt" in 1994? Also, all my pen-and-paper correspondence from 1993 onwards was transferred to a sturdy container. It's all been crammed into an overstuffed old shoebox since forever.

I will see this office organized.

And I also left the house for the fourth consecutive day. Just the bank and the market, but still. Go me.

Last night, I finished reading David L. Meyer and Richard Arnold Davis' A Sea Without Fish: Life in the Ordovician Sea of the Cincinnati Region (2009). And there was more rp in Insilico. Very, very good rp (thank you Blair and Tracy!). I've been hurting for cyberpunk roleplay recently, having gone a while without. Last night, Molly and Grendel acquired a shiny new droid of their very own. Grendel's up to something, though I'm not yet sure exactly what. Hey, [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark, you should come out and play tonight...

And that's it for now. Coffee's getting cold.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Yesterday was just shy of a total loss. I was hit hard by the chronic stomach ailment I've had most of my life. I tried to write anyway. I wrote 344 words for of my piece for The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, before I was too sick to think straight enough to write anymore. Then I went back to bed. Later, I made it through dinner and two bottles of Gatorade and almost felt like I wasn't dead. It was a joyous day. And then, when I was trying to go to sleep, there was a small seizure (the first in three weeks), which left me jittery and awake until five ayem.

I strongly dislike writing about health problems in a public forum. I find the act distasteful. But it all has a direct bearing on the abysmal word counts of late. So, I figure it's part of the story. It's not whining, or a cry for pity. It's just exposition.

At least I have David Bowie. And coffee.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. We're hoping to have a little bit of spending money when we go to Oregon for the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon at the end of the month. Thanks.

We've watched two movies over the last week. Between reading, Second Life, and WoW, I've not been watching many movies lately. Anyway, it gives me something to write about this ayem (which is actually early afternoon).

First, we saw Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo's After.Life (2009) on Thursday night. It wasn't a particularly good film, which was frustrating, because it could have been something just shy of great. Instead, it was weighed down by plot, and story, and subplot, and superfluous characters. The film has flashes of brilliance. Liam Neeson is surprisingly creepy as a mortician turned serial killer, and Christina Ricci was a perfect choice for a girl who is slowly being convinced that she is, in fact, a corpse. And that's the story, right there, all the story the movie needed. More than enough to deal with. But no, it kept dragging itself down into horror and slasher flick clichés, and made what might have been a powerful tale of psychological terror a lumpy, uneven mess. I can't even blame the director for fucking up someone else's screenplay, because it was her screenplay. I just wish someone could have told her to turn down the volume, lose the extra baggage, and tighten the focus. The film never should have left the one room in the mortuary.

Last night, we finally watched Louis Leterrier's remake of Clash of the Titans (2010). I saw the original in high school (1981, directed by Desmond Davis), and even at seventeen, I found the film tiresome and hokey. Even though I was a huge fan of Ray Harryhausen. So, what can I say about the remake? Well, it's still dumb as dirt. I'm still annoyed than the sea monster that comes for Andromeda is, inexplicably "the Kraken" (Norse), instead of Cetus. But, all in all, Leterrier's remake is less painful and not so dull. It has its moments (which the original entirely lacked, save moments of unintentional camp and irony). The whole thing was worth sitting through just for Perseus' battle against the gorgon Medusa (played by Natalia Vodianova, and never, ever has Medusa been so hot). The climactic showdown with "the Kraken" was at least a grand spectacle. So what if the monster design was pretty much lifted from Cloverfield. The 1981 Kraken just made me laugh. At least this one was a presence. The cast was unremarkable (more Liam Neeson, because Zeus = Aslan). I always enjoy watching Sam Worthington, though I'm not sure why. Ralph Fiennes made a fine enough Hades, because I could just pretend he was Voldemort. Alexa Davalos made for an entirely yawn-worthy Andromeda. I'm pretty sure Andromeda should inspire something more than a yawn. Who can blame Perseus for choosing Io?

Okay. Now, I see if this body is going to let me work today. Oh, wait. I have five cute photos of Sméagol:

11 September 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (Barker)
1. Yesterday, I did 1,107 words on the piece I'm still calling "Untitled 35," but which I hope to find an actual title for (though, on the other hand, I'm rather fond of "untitling" pieces, as I've always felt titles were such strange literary artifices). It's going very well. I may finish it today. I think I've managed to construct a future syntax that's mostly believable and also comprehensible to the present-day reader without resorting to a glossary. It's involved everything from revived 1920s jargon to technobabble neologisms to pidgin French to riffs on Cockney rhyming slang.

2. I am doing my best not to think about how The Wolf Who Cried Girl is currently not getting written. Other things are getting written, instead, and it all has to be written; in the end, it'll all balance out.

3. The mystery of the provenance of the "Bowie" quote— "It's a dream-kill-dream world in here..." —has been solved. My thanks to [livejournal.com profile] musey_q for digging back though older blog entries, and the comments to blog entries, and discovering that the quote dates back to January 6th and January 7th, 2008. However, turns out, neither Bowie nor I are the author. The line was coined by [livejournal.com profile] jacobluest. This was during a bout of recurring dreams that I was trying to deal with— the orange man on the space zeppelin, that bout —and [livejournal.com profile] jacobluest commented (on January 6th):

I have to admit, I envy you your dreams. I'm one of the lucky ones I suppose, whose dreams are balanced between distractingly epic and restively mundane. As a side note, you showed up a few nights ago in a gunfight of programmable matter. No hard feelings right? It's a dream-kill-dream world in here...

So..mystery solved. Regardless, it's a beautiful line, and I regret I am so damn forgetful and didn't credit its author in the chapbook. I'll try to remedy that at some point in the future. What's weird, [missing text]

4. It seems we have some serious snow on the way. Spooky will be heading out soon to lay in supplies for a couple of days.

5. The wonderful rp in Insilico continues. Honestly, every time I think it can't get cooler, it gets cooler. A couple of days back, [livejournal.com profile] papersteven asked: "Does Xiang keep a journal like Professor Nishi did? I truly enjoyed reading that. Or would you grace us with a transcript, if one exists? Thank you either way." Professor Nishi was, of course, my character from my first SL rp, way back in '07. But to answer the question, so far, no. Two reasons for this: 1) I discovered that allowing a character to journal leads to metagaming (in this instance, people trying to rp with information that they've picked up from the journal and could not actually have access to in character), and 2) it's a lot of work, and takes up time that could be spent, you know, actually roleplaying. That said, I am actually considering a more limited sort of journal for Xiang. More like footnotes and bits of transcript. In the meantime, I'll leave you with another screencap, from last night:

Xiang and Fifth )
greygirlbeast: (Walter1)
1. I began yesterday's entry with the following line: It's a dream-kill-dream world in here..., which I attributed to David Bowie. Then someone asked which song, in particular, I was quoting, that they'd googled the quote and come up with nothing. I had it in my head the line was from "Get Real," which was originally meant to be part of Outside (1995), but didn't make the cut. Turns out, I was wrong. Indeed, I cannot presently trace the quote to anything Bowie has written— or anything anyone else has written, for that matter —and it's all gotten alarmingly odd. It's used as an epigraph in my chapbook B is for Beginnings (2009), where I thought I'd attributed the quote to Bowie. Only, I didn't. I did not attribute it to anyone. So, now I have no idea where it might have originated. Did I write it? Did I find it online somewhere, on a page that has since vanished? At this point, I can't say. But if anyone should happen to solve this mystery, I would be grateful.

2. Yesterday, I began a new vignette, presently called "Untitled 35." I wrote only 624 words, for a number of reasons. Mostly, I got started very late in the day, around 3 p.m. (CaST). However, another problem goes back to what I have often said about science fiction (yes, "Untitled 35" is sf), the problem of linguistic evolution. Very few authors have ever managed to deal with this convincingly when writing about future societies. In my eyes, even Anthony Burgess' excellent A Clockwork Orange (1962) falls short in this regard, and Burgess was a trained linguist. Anyway, point being, in this new piece, a first-person narration, I am struggling to create a somewhat plausible "future language" for a late 21st Century Boston.

Of course, it needs to remain comprehensible to readers in 2010, which hobbles me considerably. But I am always galled by futuristic sf (even the stuff I like) that doesn't at least make some effort to deal with linguistic drift and evolution. Stories set two or three hundred years in the future, in which everyone speaks perfectly understandable English, and so forth; I consider this a far worse offense than "getting the science wrong" (though, technically, this is a matter of anthropology). Ideally, films and stories set that far ahead would need subtitles and glossaries. Think of it this way: Imagine you're living in 1820, in England, and somehow happen across a copy of William Gibson's Burning Chrome. Just how much sense would it make to you?

3. The final cover design for The Ammonite Violin & Others is now up at Subterranean Press, though I've neglected to post it here. Another great piece by Richard Kirk:



4. And now, another day begins. I apparently have no say in this, which seems odd.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Scary stuff for a Thursday morning. "An unprecedented extreme in the northern hemisphere atmospheric circulation has driven a strong direct connecting current between the Gulf Stream and the West Greenland current."

---

This is me writing about not writing. Four days after I "typed" the title page for The Wolf Who Cried Girl, I've still not found my way into the beginning. I cannot even figure out if there should be a prologue or not. I suspect not, though omitting one, in this instance, creates a cascade of structural problems within the novel.

Still a great deal of ice and snow here in Providence.

I'm not sleeping well, though I am, at least, sleeping.

I'm back to that place where I'd rather be anyone but me. Withdrawal into alternate lifelines and avatars. Not into easier lives, or personalities, mind you; a withdrawal into those not so choked by this particular monotony.

The Audible.com contracts were located at the offices of the Audible.com editors. I think that's what I have to show for good news for this week thus far. And I cling to splinters these days.

Swings through the tunnels,
And claws his way.
Is small life so manic?
Are these really the days?
(David Bowie, "A Small Plot of Land")
greygirlbeast: (The Red Tree)
This isn't going to be much of a blog entry. I'm on hour 41+ of a headache, and my coherency level is not very high. Also, it's 84F in the house, and poor Dr. Muñoz, parked in my office, can hardly make a dint in the heat. Oh, a favor please. No headache advice. Or AC advice, either. When I finish this, I'll take a cool bath, and try to clear my head. My dreams culminated in fire.

There was no writing yesterday, no work. A lost day. "L" in the day planner.

I have a doctor's appointment in two days, and I dread it more than I can say. It's one of those socially acceptable bodily violations, the casual, careless, expensive ministrations of a physician.

"Is small life so manic?
Are these really the days?
Poor dunce..."

I'm mostly very pleased with how The Red Tree is doing, and with the reviews I've seen thus far. Sure, it could be selling better, but that's almost always the case. I have mixed feelings over its being received as a horror novel. People tell me how much it frightened them, and clearly they mean this as a compliment, and it would be rude of me, I know, to take it any other way. I am grateful for the compliments. But they also leave me confused. I didn't set out to write a horror novel. I'm still not sure that I see the book as a horror novel. Which is not to say that it does not contain elements of the horrific, for it surely does. It may be that "horror" has taken on too many negative connotations for me. It may also be that this is what I have inside me, horror and awe, terror and the uncanny, and that I have little else in me to send out into the world. And it's just a matter of my learning to accept this.

Okay. The headache is intent that I will say no more for now.
greygirlbeast: (blood)
Set me aflame and cast me free,
Away, you wretched world of tethers...


Yesterday, I wrote 915 words on "The Collector of Bones" and finished the story. It's an odd piece, one of the sort I used to call "bad shopping-cart stories," because I want them to go one way, yet they are determined to go another. In the end, "The Collector of Bones" seems to hark back to Tales of Pain and Wonder — thematically and in mood, more than in its style. The ending is quiet and somewhat sweet (or bittersweet) and not nearly as grim as I'd expected. I'm not yet quite sure how I feel about the piece, what with it having turned out so differently than I'd originally envisioned. But, as I have said, writing, storytelling, is a wild magick, and we usually err when we push too hard one way or another.

I'm not sleeping enough. No matter what, I seem unable to get to sleep before 4:30 a.m. or so, Ambien or no, and I'm waking by 11 a.m. And the bloody fucking dream is not helping. It came back to me last night. Back on the "space balloon," and mostly only things I'd seen and done in earlier incarnations of the dream. There was a long portion, which I only just recall, with me lying in the upper berth of my sleeping compartment, smoking and listening to the orange man talk. I have no recollection of what he was saying, and it seems that even in the dream I was only half paying attention. I'm not sure if that was before or after he gets shot. Spooky has stopped blaming David Bowie for this one, and has begun blaming This Mortal Coil.

I shake, for the reeking flesh
Is as romantic as hell.
The need to have seen it all,
The voyeur of utter destruction as beauty,
I shake.


Last night, we watched Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell's 2006 documentary, Deep Water, which follows Donald Crowhurst's disasterous bid to win the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race (1968-1969). A moving and truly brilliant film, and, unexpectedly, I was reminded repeatedly of both House of Leaves and Bowie's "Space Oddity." What begins as a tale of conquest and human achievement becomes, instead, a tale of human frailty when pitted against unimaginable loneliness and one's own deteriorating psyche. Towards the end, there was so much more of horror than I'd expected, with both Crowhurst and his far more skilled French competitor, Bernard Moitessier. Strongly recommended.

Unfortunately, the same day I decide to begin writing about my Second Life characters, I have one of the few truly awful nights of SL I've ever had (and certainly the worst in the last few months). So, that will have to wait.

At least there's Kid Night tonight.
greygirlbeast: (grey)
Six hours sleep. Yeah, sure, I can keep going on six hours sleep. I've done worse.

I woke up feel like someone had hit me in the chest, and, an hour and a half later, the sensation has not passed. It's not so much a physical feeling, but then I don't know what it would be instead, if not physical.

Yesterday, I did 1,332 words on a new piece for Sirenia Digest which I am calling "The Bone Collector." So, not a bad writing day, really.

I did not have the New Recurring Dream yesterday morning, and so I thought maybe it was done with me. Wrong. It was back this morning. Not another visit to the "space balloon," but I was very clearly that same version of me and stuck in that same world. For one thing, there was the huge fur coat, and Spooky says this is all because David Bowie turned 62 yesterday. Who am I to argue? Anyway, yeah, what I remember of the dream was chasing someone along an endless series of wet streets, like some looped bit of film noir. There were dogs barking everywhere, and all the windows I passed seemed lit from within by neon. There was the distant cacophony of what I think must have been artillery fire. I slipped on the wet pavement a couple of times and fell. I never even caught a glimpse of who or what I was chasing. I wound up warming my hands over a fire burning inside an old oil drum (or something of the sort), listening to a crazy woman talk about all the years she'd spent trying to find a building that was high enough that she could see where the sky ended. She was also warming her hands by the fire. Later, I was breaking beer bottles against a wall, and it seemed like the artillery sounds were coming nearer.

Not much to work with.

Oh, and yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] cliff52 had this to say about the dreams, about my doctoring the orange man's bullet wound: Were you dressing the wound, or was there something inside him that you had to have? And upon reading that, my first reaction was something like, "Great. Thanks. Just what I didn't need." To be forced to consider that possibility, I mean.

Explosion falls upon deaf ears,
While we're swimming in a sea of sham.
Living in the shadow of vanity,
A complex fashion for a simple man.


David Bowie, "The Motel"

I took Spooky out for sushi last night. She was feeling blue, and sometimes sushi helps. It has been very warm here, and there was a thunderstorm before I went to bed.

We still have auctions going, and you might also have a look at Spooky's latest doll, whose name is Clarra.

Also, a new study by by the Commonwealth Fund found "the United States dead last, in providing timely and effective healthcare to its citizens, according to a survey...of preventable deaths in 19 industrialized countries." Didn't we know that already, and, also, if it's called "Yahoo news," does that mean it's news for yahoos?
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I wrote 1,532 words yesterday, making good progress on a new piece for Sirenia Digest 14 (January '07), a story which I'm calling "Metamorphosis B." I've decided to go ahead and get everything written for 14 now, so I won't have to do it next month. Time is the only thing I can't spare. And I seem to be in the Sirenia headspace right now. So, go with it, nixar. All around me, the world celebrates this bizarre holiday, a mostly secularized/commercialized version of various pagan traditions all smushed up together and usurped by the Xtians, and I sit in my shadowy little room writing weird sex and paraphilic fantasies of corporeal transcendence. It could be worse.

Spooky and I exchanged our modest Cephalopodmas gifts late last night. I gave her a new pair of headphones and an Amy Brown fairie mug. She gave me an Elizabeth Swann action figure and this awesome Galapagos tortoise (Geochelone elephantopus) puzzle thing that came in a yellow plastic egg.

Earlier, Byron dropped by for the two-part season finale of Dr. Who. Though David Tennant has sort of grown on me, I did especially miss Christopher Eccleston last night. The bottomless rage that incarnation of the Doctor expressed at the Daleks...it was sorely needed last night. The stuff with Rose's "death" was handled very well, I thought. And the whole Cybermen vs. Daleks thing had to be the ultimate fanboy throwdown. Who'd have thought Daleks would be so adept at talking smack? Anyway, after Dr. Who and a little Final Fantasy XII, Spooky read me more from The Hobbit, "Riddles in the Dark," while I put my tortoise together. You probably have no idea how big an influence "Riddles in the Dark" was on my writing. Sure, everyone can see Lovecraft and Blackwood, but that first encounter with Gollum...very important. I remember sitting up late at night...I was in fifth grade, I think...reading that chapter again and again. I used a line from it as an epigraph for "Paedomorphosis."

Good mail yesterday. A postcard from Berlin, from [livejournal.com profile] mercury_girl, who actually lives in Norway, but she was in Berlin for a Crüxshadows show and kindly sent me a postcard from the Hanover/Langenhagen International Airport before she headed home again. Also, Adriana and David of The Endless sent me their annual holiday sampler CD, and this this year it's two David Bowie covers — "Magic Dance" and "As the World Falls Down." I've been on such a Bowie kick lately, this was perfect.

Postcards are really marvelous things, you know. I mean, I hold this and know that someone took the time to write it out, in ink, and place a stamp upon it, and then it traveled across the sea, and I can hold it, this 4"x6" piece of paper, in my paws. There are too few postcards in my life. And too few letters written upon paper. And too many e-mails.

An APD detective called yesterday to speak with Spooky about her stolen iBook. The detective was very pleased that Spooky actually knew the iBook's serial number, as apparently it's unusual for the former owners of stolen computers to know such things. The detective seemed somewhat optimistic that it might yet be recovered. We shall see.

At some point yesterday, I became quite entirely annoyed with the "experiment" that lay in back of Global Orgasm Day. I mean, it could be used as a textbook example of a badly designed experiment. Where was the control? What were the parameters? Etc. and etc. If nothing else, to conduct this experiment, one would first need to know what percentage of the entirety of humanity has an orgasm in any given 24-hr. period, and I'm pretty sure that data is still wanting. Then there's this thing about it being a "synchronized global orgasm." Only it isn't, as the G.O.D. website plainly instructs participants to do the deed "at the time of your choosing" on Dec. 22nd. Hence, the degree of synchronreity was extremely low. I'm wondering if the people behind this will be announcing whatever "changes in randomness" were recorded by their network of "Random Event Generators (REGs)." At any rate, last I checked, we do not have any more world peace today than yesterday, so either the experiment was a flop or not enough people whacked off or we have evidence that G.O.D. cannot affect world events (which I took as a given). Still, yeah, not a bad idea for a holiday.

A very un-me dream this morning, which has mostly faded. It was sort of like a Hitchcock film scripted by William Gibson. I was some sort of double agent trying assassinate a foreign dignitary of some ilk or stripe. I believe I was trying to poison him. I had two accomplices and was being pursued and knew I would die in the attempt, but was determined to see it through. The whole thing took place on a train somewhere in Europe. There was this breathless desperation to it. I think I might have been Russian. I made a pretty cold-hearted assassin, I am happy to report.

I got a very nice e-mail this ayem from Jeremy Lassen, who'd just read Daughter of Hounds (my editor had given him a copy). Jeremy writes (slightly edited for spoilers):

I just wanted to drop you a note, and tell you how much I loved Daughter of Hounds. This book fired on all cylinders, and kept me at the edge of my seat. The characters... the settings... All beautiful and disturbing at the same time -- the epitome of convulsive beauty. The loving and sly Lovecraft references were nice... they were a recognizable melody that formed a grounding for your symphony, rather then pigeon-holing the novel as a piece of mythos fiction, or a simple pastiche. I could go on and on. Instead I just want to say thanks. It's been a while since I've read a book as rewarding as Daughter of Hounds.

All The Best,
Jeremy Lassen


I love that line, "the epitome of convulsive beauty." Thank you, Jeremy. Actually, this is the third or fourth e-mail of this sort I've received so far, and the book has not even be released yet. Which is cool, and which I take as a good sign. By the way, the platypus says it's almost as good to pre-order Daughter of Hounds the day after Cephalopodmas...

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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