greygirlbeast: (Default)
And I begin this...here.

No. Here.

Happy birthday, David Lynch! And Federico Fellini!

The snow finally came last night, and more will come tomorrow. We're about to go forth and do what errands must be done. But first, I'll write this journal entry. Because I wish to remember yesterday, for one thing.

We left Providence a little after one thirty (CaST) and made it to New Haven (CT) by three-thirty (also CaST). There were snow flurries along the highway, from a sky that was as sunny as it was cloudy. But they were the sorts of cloud that drop snow. I read from Lightspeed: Year One while Spooky drove and kept me informed about the flurries and birds and dead racoons. We parked off Whitney, on Sachem Street (saw a bumper sticker at the labs: "Honk If You Understand Punctuated Equilibrium"), and I got about two hours with the dinosaurs at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. Mostly, I sat on the wooden benches and stared up at the creatures Marsh named, the legacy of Richard Swan Lull, and George Ostrom, and Rudolph Zallinger's famous The Age of Reptiles mural (1943-1947) bringing it all to life (no matter how inaccurate we may now know it to be; many of our own imaginings will be disproven in due course – and I am not surprised LJ doesn't know how to spell the past participle of disprove; of course, I maybe misusing the past participle, but that doesn't absolve LJ of its ignorance).

And sure, these are the old circa 1930s-40s "tail-dragging" dinosaur mounts. But those are the images of dinosaurs that I grew up with. Back before the Renaissance of the 1970s, before it was understood that most dinosaurs were active, endothermic creatures, not sluggish reptiles. Before it acknowledged that, not only did birds evolve directly from dinosaurs, but that "birds" are surviving theropod dinosaurs, and many Mesozoic theropods had feathers. And so forth. I am comforted by these old visions of blundering, ectothermic monsters.

At some point, I opened my iPad just to see if I could actually get reception in there. It felt a like horrible sacrilege, but I signed into the Yale server as a guest and posted to Facebook: "Writing from inside the dinosaur gallery at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. This is MY church." A testament to the cosmic circle. No beginning. No end. Life, being a transient state of matter, and so here is my church.

Spooky was off looking at taxidermied crows and archaeological doodads, but when she returned, we went upstairs together to see live snakes in the children's "Discovery Room." One thing that makes the Yale Peabody so precious to me is that, while acknowledging science education for children, it hasn't turned itself into a theme park, as have so many American museums. Those that have allowed budgetary panic to morph them into nightmares of "edutainment" (Oh, fuck. LJ doesn't know disproven, but it knows the vile portmanteau edutainment. Fuck.). The Peabody is still a place where I can sit in peace with the past. Where there is still a stately air of respect for science and its endeavors. Truth is, the Great Hall at the Peabody calms me more than any of my meds, or any story I will ever write, or any painting I will ever paint.

Here are some photos:

19 January 2012 )


We left about 5:30 CaST, and made it back to Providence around 8 p.m. The snow came in earnest about nine or ten. The sky was creamsicle. I love creamsicle night skies.

Since my last LJ entry, I have – in stray moments – been reading short fiction, all from the aforementioned Lightspeed: Year One. Tananarive Due's "Patient Zero" (2008), Kristine Kathryn Rusch's "The Observer" (2008), David Tallerman's Jenny's Sick (2010), Anne McCaffrey's "Velvet Fields" (1973), and Eric Gregory's "The Harrowers" (2011). I liked Gregory and Tallerman the best; most of the stories would have benefited by being a bit longer, especially "Velvet Fields," which felt like a synopsis. The McCaffrey piece is little more than an outline, really. The Gregory piece felt short, but mostly that's just because it left me wanting more, which is a good trick for an author to turn and suggests no obligation to actually provide more.

Also, here's a rather good entry by [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna on the fluidity of names, on those of us who cast off our birth names before we become artists. And sexism.

I do mean to write about my feelings on internet piracy and SOPA/PIPA, but there's no time now. Spooky and I have to run errands before ice and more snow arrives, and I have email.

Like dinosaurs, the snow is helping.

Somewhat calmer,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Okay, let's get this over and done with, and then we may proceed to your regularly scheduled blog entry. I expect it will be less painful that way. Well, less painful for me at least, and I know I'll be loads less distracted:

Booya! )


That said...or shown, or both, whatever...you know the lousy thing about incredible shit happening yesterday? The lousy thing about incredible shit having happened yesterday is that it's not happening today. Nonetheless, today I can lift up the blackness enough to peer out (though I do squint something fierce).

But, still, comment, kittens. And thank you for yesterday's comments.

Yesterday, we read chapters One and Two of Blood Oranges, and I can say, with great relief, that I still like this book a lot. It's about as far from The Red Tree and The Drowning Girl: A Memoir as you can get, but that's not a bad thing. I think I'd reached a point where I had to write something just for fucking fun. And Blood Oranges is fun. And it's even funny. I never fucking knew I had all this fucking funny in me. It's like discovering a strange boil behind your ear, and someone lances it, and out comes humor. I mean "ha ha" humor, not aqueous humour – though lancing a boil behind your ear and getting aqueous humour would be interesting. Anyway, with luck, the manuscript will be proofread and corrected and in Manhattan on Monday morning. I've dragged my feet on getting it to my publisher and editor. Well, no, I haven't. I've been too busy with my work for No Such Agency, and with Sirenia Digest, and with the trailer/still-photo project for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir that Blood Oranges just...sort of got lost in the shuffle. But now it's unlost. Today, we do chapters Three and Four, which will put us halfway through the novel.

I think I've decided to keep Kermit the iPad. He proved himself very useful editing yesterday. And so I'm rethinking this whole thing. But thank you, Cliff Miller. Thank you all the same.

Also, I saw a rough cut of the teaser for the trailer for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir yesterday, and it's all I can do not to link to it here. Imagine the lovechild of Terrance Malick and David Lynch, and you're in the neighborhood. Thank you, Brian and Kyle. This is going to be so fucking wonderful. I also spoke with [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy and [livejournal.com profile] kambriel yesterday about shooting additional footage this winter in Philadelphia, and it seems like it'll happen. We'll be holding eBay auctions, props and such (a large moonstone signed by the whole cast & crew, etc.) from the first shoot, to fund that, and I'll keep you posted. Thing is, to quote Imp:

“I’m going to write a ghost story now,” she typed.
“A ghost story with a mermaid and a wolf,” she also typed.
I also typed.


Well, we have tons of mermaid/water footage, the Saltonstall stuff, but the wolf part has been sorely neglected, and for that we need winter, and snow, and a big wolf-like dog for the Perrault stuff, and we can make these things happen this winter in Philadelphia. So, yeah. Another shoot lies ahead. Which fills me not in the least with dread. It pleases me.

Last night, we proved that one meatloaf can be stretched out over four dinners and one midnight sandwich. Spooky has some mean Loaf Fu. We played some Rift. I'm obsessed with getting Selwynn glorified with the Icewatch in Iron Pine Peak, so...lots of dailies. Or, in my case, nightlies. Later, I read aloud to Spooky from John Steinbeck's The Log From the Sea of Cortez. Despite my love for Steinbeck and his Cannery Row books, I've never read this book, but found an old copy at Spooky's parents and borrowed it on Sunday (a copy that sold new in trade paperback for $1.45 in 1962). It begins with Steinbeck's "About Ed Ricketts" essay/eulogy, and, so far, I've managed not to cry. In another life, I might have been someone as good and useful to the world as Ed Ricketts. I like to think that.

It occurs to me, apropos of nothing in particular, that there's no point whatsoever in having a cake if you can't eat it, too.

Wanting Cake, Black Forest,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Bjorkdroid)
Let's say David Lynch filmed The Great Gatsby (as someone said to me), but as a Japanese film noir.



Sexy.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
So far, Spooky has rendered this morning a scene from an unmade David Lynch film. Bobby Vinton and fussing about how I clean out the coffee maker were involved. She checked for fish. After all, there are tins of sardines in the pantry. Oh, and it doesn't help that, last night, someone pointed out to me how much Thom Yorke and Tilda Swinton look alike. It's true.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,428 words on the final chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. A pivotal, culminative scene I could not have written (well) had I not gone to the Blackstone River in the snow on Sunday. But I did go, and so I did write the scene to the best of my ability. And I find that, as I expected, this is essentially a novel without climax. There are revelations strewn here and there, but nothing actually ever coalesces into a climax. It's a novel that begins here and stops there, when Imp believes she's done the best job she'll ever do of telling her "ghost story."

As it stands, the manuscript is 96,158 words long. My contract specifies a novel 100,000 words long. Setting aside for the moment that no one should ever tell an author how long or short a novel has to be, I emailed my editor a week back and told her it might go to 120,000. She asked if I could please keep it to 110,000-115,0000. I did some math, juggled scenes, and replied that I might be able to keep it to 110,000, which made her very happy. So, assuming I can do that, I have about 13,842 words left to go until the more or less arbitrary THE END. I've been writing, on average, 1,200-1,500 words a day, which means I'll likely finish sometime between Friday the 11th and Sunday the 13th. Hardly any time left to go, on a novel that I've been working on. in one way or another, since August 2009.

Also, we proofed "Postcards from the King of Tides" for Two Worlds and In Between. It's a story that still works for me, despite having been written in 1997. I don't think that I'd ever seen how much influence "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" had on the story until yesterday.

For dinner, there was spicy beef shawarma and baba ghannoush.

---

Last night, we finished Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games. Gods, this is a brilliant book. I mean fucking brilliant. Horrifying and sorrowful and poignant and beautiful and strong. Katniss is one of my new favorite literary figures. I'm not going to gush on and on, or risk spoilers, but I will say I was especially impressed at how Collins deftly managed to put us in the mind of someone living in a totalitarian world. There are so many times Katniss Everdeen might have stopped and given the gamemakers or the Capital the middle finger. But she doesn't, even though that's what they do in Big Hollywood movies, because she understands the dire consequences it would have for her and, more importantly, for her family and District 12. She only knows, at this stage, how corrupt and loathsome the world is, and that it may destroy everything it touches. This is how evil men stay in power. And it's impossible not to read this novel and see the Capitol of Panem as the US, and each of the twelve districts (thirteen was obliterated in the late civil war) as all those countries where people live in squalor so that Americans may enjoy an obscenely high standard of living.

---

Gaming consumed far too much of my night. First, Spooky let me use her laptop long enough the level Selwyn to 16. I love the world of Rift so, so much. I love that it awes me, and takes my breath, and frightens me, and that I walk through Meridian and so many people are in character, roleplaying, and so few have inappropriate names (for now, the name police thing is working).

Meanwhile, in that other game, the candy-colored one, Shaharrazad is still grinding away at Loremaster. I've now done 105 out of the 120 Netherstorm quests.

---

Okay, I slept far too late, and now it's time to make the doughnuts. Go to bed at 5 ayem, get up at noon thirty, you must make concessions.
greygirlbeast: (newest chi)
Slept halfway decently last night, but, still, I'm not awake this early, early afternoon (it's only just eight past noon for those of us on CaST). And the bitter cold lingers, 30F (feels like 21F), and likely will...maybe until spring, which comes in late June. I'm wearing too many clothes, which is never pleasant.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,875 words on Chapter Three of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. It was all ravens, Scottish witches, and pretend sea monsters. [livejournal.com profile] michael_b_lee commented to yesterday's post, as regards the interauthor, first person as artifact, and The Drowning Girl: A Memoir:

In this particular case, I think trying to explain how the artifact came to the attention of the reader would actually work at cross-purposes to what you're trying to achieve. Nothing should be explicated. The reader should at no times be certain of her footing.

And I agree, which is why, in this instance, the reader won't learn how it's possible they've gained access to the artifact.

Comments have fallen off again. I assume this has more to do with "the holidays" than it does with the ever-dwindling pool of LJ devotées.

But, yes, the cold weather. I mentioned that part already. After the writing, we had the last sad dregs of the "Five Legged Stew," and watched the first episode of Twin Peaks (1990). That is, the first one after the pilot. It is a strange fact that I have somehow never seen the series, but I'm remedying that now. Fish coffee and the log lady. And lots of bad 80s hair. There was WoW. Oddly, Spooky and I have not yet begun leveling our main toons, Shaharrazad and Suraa, to 85. On the one hand, we've been distracted by new races and new lower-level quests and whatnot. On the other, we've both been working towards the title "Seeker," which comes with having completed 3,000 quests. Spooky got it a couple of nights back, and I likely will tonight. There wasn't any IS rp last night, because I just wasn't up to it emotionally. Playing a pregnant fugitive AI in a flesh-and-bone body ain't as easy as it sounds, you know. Especially not when her human girlfriend has just gone back to work for the Benignly Evil Megacorp and the pregnant AI is beginning to suspect she has developed gestational diabetes. So, Twin Peaks, WoW, and then more Angela Carter before bed. Also more Susanna Clarke yesterday, but no China Miéville. Gotta catch up on him today.

It's that time of year when everyone decides I don't actually need to be paid until sometime after the New Year, bills or no bills. Which I suppose is the true meaning of Xmas.

There are contracts (short-story reprints) that I need to get into the mail today.

Just thinking, truly a shame that jealousy, sorrow, regret, and the need for vengeance do not necessarily have expiration dates. But, then again, if they did what would possibly serve as adequate motivation to keep me writing? I blame Elvis Costello for my having said that last part aloud.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
All my best lives are lived in dreams.

Yesterday, being a day off, was, in the main, unremarkable, which is about the best I seem able to hope of my days off. (This is my journal and I may sound glum if I wish, and bugger off if you think any otherwise.)

There was torrential rain, and ferocious wind. The weather always becomes more interesting with the judicious application of adjectives.

I wore my pajamas all day, and we finished listening Madelaine L'Engle read A Wrinkle in Time. I may fundamentally disagree with L'Engle's cosmogony, which is distinctly Xtian, but I love this book, all the same. There was ramen for breakfast. There were brownies later on, and there was Chinese takeout for dinner. Late, there were those little Mystic frozen pizzas. There was a lot of WoW, because the weather was too crappy to venture out. Eyes of Sylvanas is beginning to feel a little like an actual guild, and there's talk of some coordinated play. We currently have 29 toons signed up. I finally got back to China Miéville's The Kraken, which I rather inexplicably set aside after the chaos of the Portland trip at the start of October. I took a nap in front of the fireplace. Spooky and I watched David Lynch's Blue Velvet (1986) again. Not sure which of us has seen it the most times, we've both seen in so many times. Just before sleep, Spooky read to me from Angela Carter.

Spooky has played a Worgen through the starting area, from Gilneas to Teldrassil. And, I quote, "That was so bad I wanted to die." So, I stand by my earlier assessment. Yes, Gilneas is beautifully designed. But the Worgen are a huge disappointment. Not scary. Not fun to play. Ridiculous to look at. And why do the females stand upright, while the males lurch and slump? The XX chromosomes must somehow protect the spine and pelvis of female werewolves. For that matter, the same is true of the trolls, now that I think of it. And if the Forsaken can be cannibals and scavenge their human kills, who don't the Worgan? Are furries too squeamish? Or is it because the Worgan are Alliance? Yet, I will say that it would be nice if Blizzard would gift the faux Brit accents of the Worgan and the people of Gilneas to the humans of Stormwind...who either sound like rednecks or Ned Flanders.

Today, I'm going to begin listening to the unabridged audiobook of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

And begin Chapter Three of The Drowning Girl. In which Imp may attempt to tell one version of the truth.

Last night, a curious thing occurred to me. These days, most of my favorite musicians are men, and most of my favorite authors are women. It wasn't always this way. In the 90s, most of the musicians I listened to were women, and when I was a teenager, my favorite authors were male. So, not sure what to make of this. A statistical burp, and probably nothing more.

Profile

greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

S M T W T F S
    1 234
56 7 891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
26272829   

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated May. 23rd, 2017 05:12 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios