greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
It isn't bad enough that the few corners of the internet that I love are withering and/or drawing in upon themselves like a startled sea anemone, but the tempo as a whole – that is, the tempo of the internet – is accelerating. And the rate of acceleration appears exponential. So, that which is faster grows increasingly rapid. Attention spans decrease accordingly. Twitter and Facebook replace blogging. News stories become ever less informative. The sound byte (sound bite) is victorious. Analysis shrivels. Thought is compressed. Or, to me, so it seems. But I have a slow, slow and extremely analytical brain. My mind picks and sorts and rehashes and researches and is, above all, patient. I may require months to read a novel, but when I have read it, I can almost recite it. This requires patience. And patience is suffering a mass extinction on the internet.

One hundred and forty characters. Buzz words. Jargon. Texting. The entrenchment of l33t so that it no long signifies elite, and no one using it even recalls how or why it began. Speed. An expectation, beyond the internet, that instant gratification is good and normal and anything less is a failure. I want my ebook and I want it NOW. I want now. Now. Why is my order taking so long? What do you mean "I have to wait"? Waiting is a negative, by definition. Fast food. Overnight delivery. Thirty minutes or you get it free. First in line. Speed and cut me off on the interstate so that, ultimately, your drive is forty-five seconds shorter.

Why so goddamn, fucking fast? You think you'll buy more life, squeeze in a few more moments? Has civilization driven you to the fastest rat race ever? Is it that you believe doing it quicker actually is better than doing it right? Do you think you have no choice in the matter? You can't see the lie? The only thing you're running towards is death.

Slow down, you move to fast.

We used to wait...

And what is the utility of these words? Because the internet is fucking fickle, and, for whatever reasons, even for those few who do still blog, or at least read blogs, LiveJournal has ceased to be the hip place to be seen.

---

All unexpected anger this morning. The anger rarely comes these day, rarely comes with this intensity. Admittedly, I don't think this is irrational anger, for which I have my meds, but its hit me with that same force and with that same glee in its own existence.

---

Yesterday, I sat and stared at the iMac's screen, and after about five hours of that a story occurred to me. It's an ugly story and a beautiful story. It's kind and cruel. Gentle and violent. It needs to be written in a language that is just shy of cut up. As I wrote 7 in The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. The language I learned from Joyce, Faulkner, et al. And it needs to be written in two days, as I've got Alabaster #4 due on the 15th, and I have to get Sirenia Digest #73 out before then.

Wishing for the Salvation of Summer,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
0. Epic entry time. Comment, kittens. Let's have tomorrow all over again, and...

1. ...know you have my grateful thanks to everyone who commented yesterday. That's what I like to see. I do apologize for not responding to all of you. So, now...

2. ...I'm sitting here trying to remember what I was doing yesterday before everything sort of went to hell. Oh, but wait. I'm getting ahead of myself. Night before last, I slept less than four hours, and as the day wore on it became evident that my body had reached the end of its ability to take abuse. The last few days – all the work, the stress, dehydration, and exhaustion – finally took their toll. I managed the journal entry and a lot of email before I realized I was just too fried to do much else. I emailed my editor at Dark Horse to warn her that Alabaster #3 was probably going to be late by a couple of days (the deadline was November 30th). She was very cool about it, so thank you cool comic-book lady. This means that all I have left to do this "month" is:

a) Write Alabaster #3.
b) Go over the pencils for Alabaster #1 as soon as they come in.
c) Write something new for Sirenia Digest #72.

And I have nine days in which to do it. Well, given that the digest comes out on the fifth of each month now, that means I technically have fourteen days (hence the shutter quotes around month). Everything would be going more or less fine had I not wasted three days on an introduction I eventually scrapped. But yeah, fourteen days, two weeks. I can do that blindfolded, with one hand tied behind my back, standing on one foot, whistling "Dixie." Of course, then I'll have to immediately write Alabaster #4 and get to Sirenia Digest #73. Oh, and be sure the "teaser" trailer for The Drowning Girl is ready to go up (AT A THEATRE NEAR YOU!) at the beginning of January. And, somewhere in all that, the galleys for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart will likely rear their ugly head, but...

3. ...come hell or high water, mine and Spooky's genuine vacation begins December 15th and runs until January 3rd. Nineteen days free of work. Well, except for the inevitable, unforseen, this-can't-wait-until-later-because-you're-a-writer emergencies. Anyway...

4. ...as it became clear yesterday that I'd pushed myself just a little too far (about three p.m., I think), I said "Fuck it," and started downloading the software for this coming weekend's Beta of Star Wars: The Old Republic onto the Asus; this despite my comments of November 15th. I always forget how bloody long this shit takes. I think, total, the download took somewhere in the neighborhood of ten hours. And there will still be patches every day, all for a game I have a feeling I'm going to hate. But yeah, that, and...

5. ...I had a hot bath, as the exhaustion was beginning to clamp down hard on my muscles (this is about the time I stopped replying to comments in the blog). I fell asleep in the tub. Spooky woke me. I dressed and crawled away to the chaise in the middle parlor, in front of the fireplace, but couldn't get back to sleep. For dinner there was leftover chili. Spooky and I decided to watch Cloverfield for the tenth time or so. By then, I was beginning to think maybe it was more than exhaustion, that I might actually have caught something. We were watching the movie, and suddenly, as the monster ripped Manhattan apart, strange booming began outside. I mean, loud booming noises. They sounded remarkably like the booming noises in the film. After some moments of creeped-out confusion, we went downstairs, and, standing in the middle of the street, we could see fireworks going off to the east, near downtown or the the northernmost end of Narragansett Bay. Turns out, yesterday was the 375th anniversary of the City of Providence....and neither of us knew. So, boom, boom, boom. We went back in and finished watching the movie, and I felt worse...and worse...and worse. Now, and a smart...

6. ...person would have packed it in and tried to go to sleep. Instead, I asked Spooky to read to me from House of Leaves. And after that, I dragged myself back into the office to see that the Asus was still downloading the main assest for SWTOR. So, I paused it and we played some Rift. Turns out, [livejournal.com profile] opalblack was on, so there was guild chatter. Where are you, [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus! And don't tell me CoX. We need more players to get the RP going again. At any rate, Spooky and I were in the middle of our Iron Pine dailies, when suddenly I felt like a mac truck hit me. I managed the quest from Exile's Den, and really did crawl away to bed. Moaning and slightly feverish. I was, by this time, 95% sure I was dying (yeah, drama queen). I lay in the snarl of comforters, reading a biography of Barnum Brown, titled Barnum Brown: The Man Who Discovered Tyrannosaurus rex. Finally, I gave up, as the pages weren't making much sense. I set the iPad to stream Andrew Marton's Crack in the World (1965), and finally, mercifully, found sleep, and didn't awaken until 11:30 this ayem, after almost eight hours of sleep. Oh, I almost forgot to...

7. ...mention that Trion has finally succumbed to the holidays. I thought we were safe. Unlike WoW, which senselessly includes pretty much every Western holiday, hardly even thinly disguised, Rift has been blessedly free of such bullshit. But no. Last night we were hit with "Fae Yule." As kids these days are won't to say, >.>, right? Right. Now, I'm pretty sure the baby Jesus never made it to Telara, but here was all this Xmas bullshit, only faintly made to seem like a response to the invasion of the dragon of air, Crucia. Oh, and never mind how angry it makes me that these games keep stealing the names of pagan celebrations to mask Xtian celebrations. After all, that's been going on forever in the "real" world. Anyway, yeah, do the holiday quests, get enough "special snowflakes" to buy a fucking Corgi dog with fucking antlers and a red fucking Rudolph nose. I shit you not, kiddos. Trion, you have let me down. Fuck you.

Epilogue: Don't mean to be picking on anyone, but ereaders do not contain books. They contain nothing more than computer code, just artless zeroes and ones.

PS: My niece rocks.

I've Felt Better,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Starbuck 3)
I didn't forget this morning's dreams. And more's the pity. I dreamed that the Eastern Seaboard had been destroyed in a nuclear war by the Japanese (????), and I was a child in Jacksonville, Fla. and all was soot and ruin, and I watched a television broadcast of a firestorm raging across Texas. A million little details in my head.

This is why I generally hope to forget my dreams. Also, just now, right this very fucking minute, I'm having to refrain from one of those "You kids these days! Get off my lawn!" tirades, this time about how much I hate the way that the abbreviations of the states were dumbed down (i.e., simplified) back in the 1980s or when the hell ever. Florida is not FL; Florida is Fla. Massachusetts is not MA, it's Mass. Michigan is not MI, but Mich. West Virginia isn't WV, it's W. Va. Yeah, okay. I'll stop now. But I haven't lost all the battles. For example, the Girl Scouts of America, at least in the state of Colorado, are now trans friendly. I still marvel at the emerging phenomenon of transgendered children being permitted to express and explore their gender identities as children. Sure, it's still not even close to being included in this society's "normative state," but its become ever more common in the US. Kids these days...

Yesterday, we made it through chapters Five and Six of Blood Oranges. Assuming the MiBs leave me alone today, we'll get through Seven and Eight, and all that will be left to be done to the manuscript is actually making the marked corrections (there are a bazillion, so it'll take at least one long day). And since tomorrow will definitely belong to the spooks, It'll likely be Sunday before those corrections can be made.

And here we come to a note regarding Sirenia Digest. I am very, very sorry, but #71 is going to be late, and by late I mean maybe as late as the 10th of November (whereas it's "due" out on the 5th). October was a monster, and here I am with four days of it left, and I've not had a moment to put towards the digest. But it will come as soon as I can pull it together, and I apologize profusely. I'll do my best to never be this late again.

Last night, Spooky made astoundingly yummy turkey legs (toss in mushrooms, apples, onions, garlic, etc.) with mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts (a cultivar of the wild cabbage, Brassica oleracea). I had a hot bath. Oh, wait. The bath was right after I made my blog entry, which means I had to wake up twice, because warmth makes me sleepy. Anyway, after dinner, Rift, and after Rift I finished reading Steinbeck's "About Ed Ricketts" to Spooky. So much is quotable, but I'll settle for one. On religion and Ricketts, Steinbeck writes:

He has no religion in the sense of creed or dogma. In fact he distrusted all formal religions, suspecting them of having been fouled with economics and power and politics. He did not believe in any God as recognized by any group or cult. Probably his God could have been expressed by the mathematical symbol for an expanding universe. Surely he did not believe in an after life in any sense other than chemical. He was suspicious of promises of an after life, believing them to be sops to our fear or hope artificially supplied.

I love those words. And now, four more stills (by [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy) from the October 15th shoot at Rolling Dam (Blackstone, MA) and Thundermist Falls (Woonsocket, RI):

Beast on Location )
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
Here in Providence, it's 75F and sunny.

Yesterday was a monument to tedium, as assembly days inevitably are. However, today promises to put it entirely to shame, by doubling the tedium and adding a thick stratum of frustration. Yesterday, I wrote the prolegomenon for #66, and edited "Untitled 35" and "Figurehead," and saw to the issue's layout, and all the things that have to be done on assembly day. And then I went back to work on the galley pages for Two Worlds and In Between. I need desperately to try and finish with that today, which won't be easy, considering I have a doctor's appointment at 6 p.m., and I also need to proof "Fish Bride," because I didn't yesterday, and I need to get some notes to Steve Jones for another short story, one that I forgot about and am now twelve days late on.

Goes-tiddley-pom.

Sirenia Digest #66 went out late yesterday afternoon to subscribers. Ergo, if you're a subscriber (a word which sounds an awful lot like survivor, and maybe there's a reason for that, but it's a thought for another time) you ought to have it by now.

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In case you didn't see this yesterday (and care):

This month's selection for Aunt Beast's Book of the Month Club is Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants:



You may have seen the movie, which I liked a lot and is a fairly faithful adaptation. But it's no substitute for the novel, which you ought to read. Also, Spooky says the Audible.com adaptation is pretty good. It's unabridged, so you might go that route. Either way, book or audiobook. But, with the actual book-type-book, you get cool vintage circus photos.

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Oddly, I got an odd email yesterday reminding me of an odd little anthology that will be reprinting one of my odder stories. Jeff and Anne VanderMeer's Odd?, is what I'm speaking off, of course. Sorry, I phrased that oddy. Anyway, the anthology now has a theme song, which is, I suppose, a wee bit odd. For an anthology, I mean. For an anthology to have a theme song.

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Last night, we watched Takashi Miike's absolutely fucking brilliant Sukiyaki Western Django (2007). Bottomless weird framed in the surreal and in genuinely beautiful cinematography, art direction, and costume design. Mix the Genpei War and the Wars of the Roses together and set it in a Nevada that has never existed. Toss in a nameless stranger and Sergio Leone homages played on a didgeridoo. We may have to watch it again before we return it to Acme Video, and live with the one dollar late fee.

Also, I gave Mass Effect 2 a try. Love the character customization feature. I created a Shepherd who looks an awful lot like Claudia Black.

My favorite new word: hypercorrection.

And now, alas, more tedium.

Still tedious (and odd),
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Well, we did get a dab of snow, but it all quickly melted. So, no harm done.

1. Yesterday was another day of editing. I thought I was done with the manuscript for Two Worlds and In Between, but then I realized there was, inexplicably, no story for 1998. So...I asked Bill if I could add one, and he kindly consented (all this was in yesterday's entry, I know). So I chose "Salmagundi (New York City, 1981)." Which needed a lot of revision (it was last revised in 2007). And that's what I spent the day doing. Truthfully, it's more complicated than that, but I'll let that stand as my synoptic history, my necessary fiction. Regardless, yesterday was another editing day. But, after dinner, the "final final" ms. went away to subpress, and now it's out of my hands. Cue huge sound of relief.

2. Thanks to the people who donated to the Kickstarter project yesterday! You guys are amazing. One last request regarding "The Tale of Two Ravens" and the birth of Goat Girl Press. We're a mere $35 dollars away from being 200% funded. Anyone want to pony up that last $35? You'd put a big ol' smile on Spooky's face.

3. The Green Man review of "The Steam Dancer (1898)" has been bouncing around in my head. And while it was a very positive review, and I'm grateful for that, something about it began gnawing at me. The reviewer wrote "...I must stress that this tale is depressing..." Only, it's not. Yes, it's set in a world that, I contend, is far more honest and believable than most of those conjured for steampunk. It's a world where the consequences of a reliance on steam power is plainly evident. It's also set in a rough frontier town in the American West. But the story itself, the story of the life of Missouri Banks, is one of triumph and joy. She is raised from squalor and sickness by a man who loves her, who literally puts her back together, and she celebrates her reconstruction in dance. It's not a depressing story. I suspect the more realistic setting - which lacks the deluded shine of so much steampunk - obstructed the reviewers view of the story, though it shouldn't have. Anyway, no...it's emphatically not a depressing story. It's a story (I don't believe I'm about to write this) of the triumph of the human spirit over terrible adversity.

4. Today, I have to find a story for Sirenia Digest #64. I've not had time to think about the digest, between finishing and editing The Drowning Girl: A Memoir and editing Two Worlds and In Between. By the way, everyone who keeps congratulating me on finishing the aforementioned books and saying that now I have breathing room...no. There is no breathing room. There's only writing, if the bills are to be paid and the deadlines are not to be missed. I wish there was breathing room. The air is getting awfully close in here.

5. My great thanks for all the YA suggestions. But I should be clear that, from here on, I've only got time, just now, to read books set in the 20th Century, and, preferably, the first half of the 20th Century. Maybe I can get to the others later.

6. Yesterday morning we read more of Margo Lanagan's superb and brutal Tender Morsels, and last night we read more of Markus Zusak's very wonderful The Book Thief.

And now, kittens, I go forth to whip the word troll into submission...

In Perplexity,
Aunt Beast

Postscript (4:20 p.m.): I don't usually do this. But. If anyone has an idea, or anything remotely approaching an idea, for a vignette for Sirenia Digest #64, feel free to post it. Think of this as me taking requests. Well, at least considering requests.
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 2)
(No one's going to read all this...)

Last night, I dreamt of playing the accordion.

---

Really, beyond seeing Lee Moyer's almost finished cover for Two Worlds and In Between, it was a pretty shitty day. That was the only bright spot. Wait, there was one other. Anyway, for some reason, I recorded the whole crappy day in photos, nineteen of them, below and behind the cut.

I've not spoken for thirty-three hours now, and I'm going for forty-eight, and then, then we'll see.

Much (but by no means all) of what went so wrong about yesterday was thinking I might be ready to finish the final chapter of The Drowning Girl, then discovering another scene that needed to be fitted it. I wrote the new scene, then struggled to insert it without disrupting the chapter's established flow. This is one of those things I can't understand about writers who write shit out of order. I write, I establish flow, and it's pretty much unidirectional. Try to go back and stick in new stuff, it all goes to shit (plus, you're swimming upstream the whole time). But, I wrote the new scene, like I said, then proceeded to the last scene (I only wrote 691 words yesterday). Then decided I needed to hear all of the final chapter, and an earlier part of the book, before wrapping it up. So, I asked Spooky to read it to me.

But I dozed off while she was reading to me, so we have to finish today. After I write the journal entry. Then I have to write another extra scene, once I figure out if it belongs in the ninth or tenth chapter. Maybe Monday and Tuesday I can write the last two scenes. Of course, I also have the deadline for Two Worlds and In Between a mere nine days from now, and there's still so much work left to do on that it boggles the noggin. And there's the work for SuicideGirls that I took on last week.

A nice piece of mail (the real sort, on paper with stamps) from Leeanne O'Sullivan in Lancashire, England. Thank you, Leeanne. You were that other bright spot.

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After dinner, I had a hot bath. And a meltdown. A silent meltdown.

Later, when I'd been scooped into a Caitlín-shaped bowl, we watched Abel Ferrara's New Rose Hotel, a pretty faithful 1998 film adaptation of William Gibson's short story of the same name. If nothing else, the movie nails the mood of Gibson's story. Christopher Walken is wonderful. Willem Dafoe is a little on autopilot. And Asia Argento is...um....hot. But you already knew that. Yoshitaka Amano (yes, that Yoshitaka Amano) plays the mark, a geneticist named Hiroshi, and there are cool cameos, such as Ryuichi Sakamoto. Definitely recommended, and you can stream it from Netflix.

Laterer, played Rift. Selwyn didn't make Level 19, because I tried to rp instead. And it wasn't bad, but after two attempts at rp in Rift I see that one has to know the canon, and that all the players have to be on the same page in interpreting the canon. Most rpers won't even realize this, of course, but then most rpers suck. Which is why you must rp in tiny groups (4-5 at most).

Latererer, Spooky read me chapters Four and Five of Catching Fire, and I'm relieved to say it gets much better. I think the first three chapters might have been condensed into a paragraph. But I also think, when we're done, I'll be of the opinion it should all have been written as a single book, not a trilogy. We are chained to trilogies. Fuck you, Trilogy Tyrant. Fuck you, Despot of Series. Fuck you.

---

My thanks to people who commented on the problem of gay protagonists in YA novels. I'm not going to get into all the details, because they are many and some of this is private stuff between me and others. And because there's the ugly issue of money. But, I will say, my first YA protagonist will be a lesbian. The worst that can happen is that I can fail, and I've sort of done that already (if we're talking about financial success and mass appeal, and I am).

Comments on #63? Bueller? Bueller?

Now...the photos:

5 February 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Utter chaos and panic today. Three looming deadlines. Fear I'll break the novel. Fear of word limits. Fear I won't have the collection edited in time. Fear of other looming deadlines, editors, agents, readers. Insomnia. Exhaustion. Fear. Panic. Rage. Money fear. Isolation.

If anyone wants this shitty job, I'm selling cheap.

But still, I have been silent.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
A vile morning here in Providence, after a vile, wild night. Hard rain and wind last night, with waves out at Beavertail as high as ten feet. Spooky says there were surfers out there after dark, which boggles my mind. About 2:30 a.m. last night (1:30 a.m. EST), the rain turned to fairly heavy snow, and the wind grew even worse. But everything was wet, and the snow didn't stick. This morning, the wind is a banshee, and the rain's still with us. I hear Maine took a beating.

Hemingway said to write about the weather.

I am now once again on Caitlín Standard Time, as I refuse to "fall back." Which makes me one hour early for everything.

Hardly any sleep again last night, and it must be a testament to the power of my insomnia that I make reference to an August Derleth story in the subject line of this entry. After sleeping only five hours night before last, last night I managed only four. I'm getting sickly again, from the work and the stress and, most especially, from the insomnia, so I suppose it's time to talk to my doctor, tweak the meds, take Vitamin D. Rumor has it today is a day off, though I doubt I'll notice.

But, there's good news. Yesterday, I wrote an astounding (for me) 2,769 words and found the place where Chapter One of The Drowning Girl ends. That wasn't quite my personal best for a single day (2,800+, I'd have to look it up), but it's damned close. And it was a relief, after only managing 259 words on Saturday. Unfortunately, now I have to set the novel aside and write a short story that has a December 1st deadline, and then do Sirenia Digest #60. But, if I'm correct about my various deadlines, I'll be able to spend almost all of December and January on the book. I'm guessing this novel will come in between 80,000 and 100,000 words, at about 10,000 words a chapter...pretty much the same as The Red Tree. So, I hope that by the end of January I'll have the first five or six chapters written.

I've not left the House now since the 30th, which makes...what? Today will be Day #9 of the Captivity. And it's far too nasty to go out today. Time feels weirder and weirder. Not sleeping, not going out, playing too much WoW and CoX, reading and reading and working and working. Not sleeping. Pills and eyestrain and dehydration and cold feet. It's all deranged, as Mr. Bowie said.

No, this is not a Happy Post.

Saturday night I began the next painting, Black Ships Ate the Sky, which is presently a furious, livid thing. This is the first largish canvas I've done in forever, 18"x24".

Spooky had to go out yesterday for more Napthol Crimson.

I think the wind means to flay the paint off the House.
greygirlbeast: (The Red Tree)
Cold and clear in Providence. The tree Outside my office window has shed its leaves. Some asshole vandalized both our jack-o'-lanterns. They cut the word "fuck" into one. I wonder if she or he feels that was some grand show of rebellion. Carving "fuck" on a jack-o'-lantern. If so, I'd like to find him or her and offer a lesson, out of pity. Anyway, I fear there will be no pumpkin drop this year. The pumpkin is defaced, and I'm too busy to make the trip to the Saugatucket River.

Sleep was better, thanks to the Sonata I took at 3:30, which allowed me to get to sleep about 5 a.m.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,877 words on The Drowning Girl. Two days down, twenty-eight to go. Since I'm making the 1,500-word-a-day push, I'm going to word bank, like I did the last time I set such a desperate, idiotic goal for myself. How does one word bank? Well, each day I have to write 1,500 words. Whatever I write beyond that goal counts as surplus. Surplus accumulates. For example, the Word Bank has accumulated a surplus of 501 words over the past two days. This surplus protects against the inevitable day when I can't get anything written. A surplus of 1,500 words is a lost day I don't have to worry about quite so much. By the way, while I do approve of writers making themselves write something almost everyday, I do not approve of the sort of thing I'm doing here, and have only resorted to it out of desperation.

A shame, though, that I can't spend the whole month of November on The Drowning Girl. I can only work on it until the 6th. On the 7th, I have to begin work on a longish short story for an sf/f anthology. That's going to take at least two weeks, and then I have to write the contents of Sirenia Digest #60 and get the issue out by the 30th.

My thanks to [livejournal.com profile] kaz_mahoney for pointing me towards Colleen Mondor's review of "As Red As Red," which I might have missed otherwise.

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I'm trying not to think about the elections. The losses, the wins. I'm so weary of fickle, short-sighted Americans. Because President Obama could not solve all their ills and fix the world in two short years, they're changing course, jumping ship, pretty much insuring the President will be even less effective. Things are still bad two years in; jump ship. The next set of politicians are the ones who will hand you that quick fix. Anyway, here in Rhode Island, we've elected the state's first independent governor. No, not some shit-for-brains teabagger. Lincoln D. Chafee is a former Republican, who broke ranks with the party to endorse Obama, and Obama endorsed his run for governor. So, yeah. Rhode Island remains the contrary state, and it could have been worse. Democrats won all other statewide races in Rhode Island.

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We have entered the final day of the auction for Study #2 for Yellow. And there are other auctions, and, as always, money's tight. So please have a look. Thanks.

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I've been reading about Harry Clarke. And sure, Beardsley was an enormous influence on Clarke, but I think Clarke was actually the more talented illustrator. Of course, his true passion was designing stained-glass windows, though he's most often remembered as an illustrator of Edgar Allan Poe. Also, still making my way through the latest Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (30:5), including "A Miocene ziphiid (Cetacea: Odontoceti) from Calvert Cliffs, Maryland, USA," "The dentary of Suuwassea emilieae (Sauropoda: Diplodocoidea)," and "The postcranial skeleton of the aquatic parareptile Mesosaurus tenuidens from the Gondwanian Permian."

And now, time to stock the word bank.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
The weather has finally turned genuinely cold here in Providence.

I suppose I can write the entry I meant to write yesterday, given I have not yet today been jabbed in the eye with the pointy stick of a homophobic "review." Maybe that happens later, late this afternoon, or tonight.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, which include Study #2 for Yellow. [This entry was just interrupted by the discovery of a mouse in Spooky's workroom...time for humane traps, as the mice are bold and apparently the cats can't be bothered].

Two good nights sleep in a row, so I suppose only getting four hours last night was to be expected.

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. It's a new voice, another first-person narrative, but quite distinct from Sarah Crowe (though India Phelps is another goddamn lesbian, so buyer beware). Anyway, here's hoping the third or fourth time's the charm, because I've gotten the third extension of this novel's deadline, and I need to have something coherent for my publisher come March. I have set a goal of writing at least 1,500 words a day, every day, at least for the next month, a thing I've not attempted since early 2007, and which I swore I'd never inflict upon myself again.

Sirenia Digest #59 went out to subscribers last night. Two new stories, which I hope readers will enjoy.



---

A fine Halloween this year. I worked on the digest, but afterwards I read the first volume of Kirkman and Moore's The Walking Dead ("Days Gone Bye"). I followed that with Thomas Ligotti's "The Medusa." As we'd declared Sunday night a Kid Night, we had hot dogs and candy (too much candy) and watched "scary" movies (I use the quotations because I rarely find "scary" movies scary, which is okay, because I enjoy them on many other levels). In fact, we made is a quadruple feature! We began with Jon Harris' The Descent: Part 2 (2009), which wasn't as good as the first film (not as atmospheric, and we see the monsters far too clearly this time), but was still a decent sequel. There are some interesting parallels between The Descent/The Descent: Part 2 and Alien/Aliens. Next up, we watched Jim Mickle's Mulberry Street (2006), a surprisingly effective low-budget affair which did a much better job of portraying NYC than most big budget films set in NYC manage. We followed that with Mark A. Lewis' The Thaw (2009), which was better than it should have been, given how much it borrows from Carpenter's The Thing and a particular episode of The X-Files ("Ice," Season 1, Episode 8). Finally, we finished up with the astoundingly ridiculous Vampires: Los Muertos, directed by Tommy Lee Wallace (2002). John Bon Jovi is a freelance vampire hunter with a surf board; the only thing this film really had going for it was Arly Jover's performance as a blue-eyed, sexy vampire (Jover also played a vampire in 1998's Blade). So, yeah. A pretty damn good Halloween.

---

Last night, we saw the first episode of AMC's The Walking Dead, adapted from the aforementioned graphic novel of the same name. I was impressed. Not only was the first episode extremely faithful to the source material, it brought a new depth to the story. And it's pretty cool seeing a post-apocalyptic Atlanta. However, I will say that I'm dangerously near total burnout on zombie films, good or bad or otherwise. I think we've reach that point with zombies that we reached with vampires in the early '90s. I fear it's time to step away from the zombies for a while (though, of course, the cultural fascination at work here is rife with potential insight).

---

After The Walking Dead, I played CoX, and got Erzsébetta from Level 29 to Level 38. Plus, there was some good rp.

Okay. Time to write.
greygirlbeast: (cullom)
And here it is, seventeen years to the day that I began writing Silk. I was living alone in an apartment on Sixteenth Avenue South in Birmingham, Alabama. I only recall that it was a sunny, cold autumn day. I think what amazes me even more than all the time that has passed since that day is the fact that the book has now been in print for more than twelve years (it took five years to write Silk and then find a publisher). Anyway, since no one suggested a contest, I'll be giving away a signed and doodled in copy of the 4th edition mass-market paperback of the novel to someone who comments to the LJ today. I'll draw one of the names at random (and there's your incentive to comment).

Seventeen years ago, I'd hardly even been born.

---

Yesterday was an annoying sort of day. All thinking about writing, but no actual writing. I need to finish four or five stories by December 1st. One for an anthology and the rest for Sirenia Digest #s 59 and 60. So, I'm casting about for ideas. I think the first one, the one I mean to get to work on today, is called "There Are Kisses For Us All," which I actually began trying to write in December 2008, but set aside. I think maybe now I can actually write it.

I've not left the House since last Tuesday (October 5th), the day we returned from Portland. What is that, seven days? Six? I spoke with my psychiatrist about my reclusiveness, expecting her to be horrified. Instead, she only asked if it bothered me. I said no, that it didn't, and then she asked me that, in that case, why was I letting it worry me, that I shouldn't. That was an odd sort of relief, hearing her say that.

---

I will be doing a reading/signing at the Brown University Bookstore here in Providence on the evening of October 30th. I believe it's even going to be a costumed event. I'll probably read from The Ammonite Violin & Others. So, I hope some local people can make it out.

If you've not yet had a look at the "napovel," you may want to, along with the other eBay auctions. Also, Spooky's got Halloween stuff up in her Dreaming Squid Etsy shop, stuff she'll be taking down after Halloween. So please have a look. Thanks.

---

Last Monday night and Tuesday morning, after our flight was canceled and we were waiting sleeplessly for a 6:40 a.m. flight, we wandered the concourses and corridors of the sprawling Minneapolis/St. Paul airport, which was surprisingly interesting. One of the wonderful things we found was a display of bronze sculptures by an artist named Gareth Andrews. Most of them involved whaling: sperm whales, humpbacks, blue whales, bowheads, along with seals and sea lions. There was one fantastically surreal piece, Nine Muses in Boreas' Wood. It is almost impossible to describe, and was harder still for us to photograph. An amalgamation of totem poles and whale and raven and skeleton and men and beavers and deadfall...somehow the whole put me in mind of a Giger design for a wrecked starship, à la Alien. Gorgeous stuff. To quote the artist, "Great whales have always caused us to check our shadows." Spooky and I took photos, but they fail to do the work justice:

H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, Part 5, Gareth Andrews )
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
My head is filled with random bits of Saturday night that I've not written down, or written down nowhere but my Moleskinne notebook. The "rickshaws" along Massachusetts Avenue, for example. Or leaving Boston after the show, and Mass Ave being littered with scattered pods of drunken idiots trying to hail cabs. Passing MIT in the night. On our way back down I-95 to Providence, and the moon shining through a thin cloud cover, reflected on the glassy black water of Manchester Pond just before we crossed the state line into Rhode Island. Impressions, most of them already lost or remembered only by my unconscious mind.

On Sunday, I proofed the galley pages for "As Red as Red" (written about this time last year), which will be appearing later this year in Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas' Haunted Legends anthology (Tor Books). I still like the story much more than I expected. A year is usually long enough for me to begin disliking what I've written. But, anyway, nothing new was written on Sunday.

Nothing new was written yesterday, either. Though I sat here all damn day, staring at the screen, staring at Vince's illustration (which this next vignette will be based upon), reading things that ought to inspire, looking at art that ought to inspire. I have to have better luck today. Even so, subscribers should play it safe and expect Sirenia Digest #53 to be a day or two late this month. I'm hoping it will go out on May 2nd. Still, we could get astoundingly lucky and get it out on the night of April 30th. I'm just not going to count on that happening.

A wonderful package arrived yesterday, from Steven Lubold of Laughing Ogre Comics in Fairfax, Virginia. Literary care packages are always much appreciated. This one contained the second issue of The Guild comic, along with Patti Smith's Just Kids, Mark Miller and John Romita, Jr.'s Kick-Ass, and Patagonian Mesozoic Reptiles. So, many thanks, Mr. Lubold. You rock. We began reading Just Kids last night, because, currently, my superpower seems to be reading too many books all at once. Currently, I'm also trying to finish Greer Gilman's Cloud and Ashes, Gregory Maguire's A Lion Among Men, Matthew Goodman's book on the 1835 moon hoax, and the third volume of E. C. Segar's collected Popeye strips. That's at least three books too many.

Yesterday, the mail also brought a book looking for a blurb. At the moment, I have two of those waiting for me to get to them. Even after all these years, I am still unaccustomed to editors asking me for promotional blurbs.

Sunday night, we watched Richard Curtis' Pirate Radio. An oddly adorable movie that proves, yet again, that Philip Seymour Hoffman can do no wrong.

And here are thirteen photos from the Faith and the Muse show on Saturday night, as promised. It wasn't easy choosing thirteen from fifty-eight (well, except for those showing only the backs of anonymous heads):

Faith and the Muse, 24 April 2010, Boston )
greygirlbeast: (Bjorkdroid)
Just something quick for Sirenia Digest subscribers.

#50 is going to be going out late, and it may possibly be as late as February 3rd or 4th. I'd so wanted this issue to be on time (it's frakkin' #50, after all). But then I got sick after the reading in Brooklyn, and then Spooky got sick, and then Spooky got called for jury duty (starting Monday), and then the new story, "Hydrarguros," decided to give me fits trying to find its conclusion. I refuse to ever rush a story to meet a deadline, because I'd only break it in the process. The story, not the deadline. No one wants a broken story. Well, no one who reads Sirenia Digest, I'm guessing.

So, my apologies, but this genuinely could not be helped.

Yesterday, I wrote only 827 words on "Hydrarguros," and on Thursday I wrote only 950 words. Slow going...
greygirlbeast: (Kraken)
Cold in Providence this morning, but also sunny, and it's much colder elsewhere.

Yesterday, I realized that a week of December had passed and I'd accomplished "nothing" but the editing, design, and layout of the "Sanderlings" chapbook. I still have to get the Next Novel started, produce Sirenia Digest #49, and write a story for a Subterranean Press anthology, all of this ideally before December 31st. These are the sorts of realizations that lead to panic.

Anyway, I began a new piece yesterday, a sort of zombie love story (played straight, not for comedy), which was inspired in equal parts by Robert Browning's "Love Among the Ruins" (1855) and Edward Burne-Jones' painting of the same name (1893-1894; also inspired by the Browning poem). I am presently calling it "(Dead) Love Among the Ruins," unless I decide that's too obvious or corny or whatever. This is only the second time I've tried to do "zombies," sensu Romero et al., for the digest, and we'll see how it goes. I managed only 470 words yesterday.

I'm beginning to think that the Next Novel will be titled The Wolf Who Cried Girl (though I've written a short story of the same name; the novel and short story would have nothing much in common).

My great thanks to Karen Mahoney for very kindly sending me a copy of Greer Gilman's ([livejournal.com profile] nineweaving) Cloud and Ashes (Small Beer Press; 2009). I started reading it late last night. I heard Greer read from it at ReaderCon this past July, and it is brilliant, truly. The sort of brilliant I may aspire to, but know that I will never achieve.

I do have some good news for everyone who's ever asked about the availability of my books in an audio format. Audible.com is buying audio rights to Threshold, Low Red Moon, Murder of Angels, Daughter of Hounds, and The Red Tree. I do not yet have release dates, but I assume it will be sometime in 2010.

That was the best of yesterday, really.

Last night, I had a minor seizure while in the tub, the first that's ever happened while bathing. And then there was insomnia, which kept me awake until sometime after 4 a.m.

Anyway...now I'm going to go play with dead things, and maybe hang some pictures.
greygirlbeast: (starbuck2)
Yesterday, I finally gave up and shelved "The Wolves, The Witch, and the Weald," which is the short story that I've been trying to write since the end of October. I never even made it through the first paragraph. I have managed to write nothing of consequence since I finished "The Dissevered Heart" on October 23rd. That's 23 days, not counting today. Yes, I did write a proposal for the next novel, but synopses, proposals, and outlines do not count as actual writing. And I have no idea what's going on. I'm not even particularly exhausted. I've been productive when I was far more weary than I've been this month. But it has to end now. I spent all day yesterday, as I have spent most days this month, staring at the blank "page" in MS Word, trying to get started. There are deadlines, and there are editors, and there are publishers, and there are bills to be paid, and none of these things are interested in excuses, no matter how valid they may be.

I finally let myself step away from the iMac about 4 p.m., and read William Browning Spencer's "The Ocean and All It's Devices." I'd not encountered this short story since its original publication in Borderlands 4, way back in 1994. It's still one of my favorite "Lovecraftian" stories (not to be confused with "Mythos" tales), and was pleased to see it reprinted in the Subterranean Press collection of the same title.

Last night, after dinner, Spooky and I watched the second episode of the remake of V, which was, if anything, even duller and possessed of less promise than the premiere. I've been told that only three episodes have been filmed, which I suspect means that only three will be filmed. We also watched Caprica, which I liked, though I'd sort of expected not to (though I'm not sure why). The series begins January 22nd, and it will be interesting to see if it is as strong as the pilot.

It's been strangely warm here in Providence. Mid sixties yesterday.

Saturday night, [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark dropped by, and we were up until after four a.m. talking about...well, lots of things. I feel as though I have been eerily social of late, but I think it's something I'm going to need, if I'm to make it through the coming winter.

Spooky has begun a series of Cthulhu-themed Cephalopodmas ornaments, and the first three went up yesterday on her Etsy shop, Dreaming Squid Dollworks. One has already sold.

Also, we have a single copy of the trade edition of The Dry Salvages, long sold out and out of print, now up on eBay.

Spooky and I are making our way through House of Leaves again (sixth time?), and late last night I noted this bit, from a Truant footnote on pg. 31 of the "Remastered Full-Color Edition":

The way I figure it, if there's something you find irksome—go ahead and skip it. I couldn't care less how you read any of this. His wandering passages are staying, along with all his oddly canted phrases and even some warped bits in the plot. There's just too much at stake. It may be the wrong decision, but fuck it, it's mine.

Now, I think I may have a short walk before I try, again, to write.

Seven Years

Jul. 3rd, 2009 12:43 pm
greygirlbeast: (chi 5)
Running a bit late today, but that's my fault. Anyway, I should try to make this short. It'll probably come out long, anyway.

Today is mine and Spooky's seventh anniversary. Though we actually met in New Orleans in '99, it was a longish courtship, and we didn't get around to the commitment until 2002. But, yeah, seven years. Kind of boggles the noodle.

Not a lot to say about the first part of yesterday. I'm having a perfectly awful time trying to find THE END of "The Sea Troll's Daughter." As [livejournal.com profile] sovay has pointed out to me, this is the sort of story that is told, not read, and I think that's part of what's hanging me up. This really is new territory for me, both stylistically and (though not so much) thematically. So, I should have expected the snag. But, more than anything, at this point, it's simply a problem of what happens next, the dreadful artifice of plotting, Atwood's "a what and a what and a what" not revealing itself to me. The deadline looms like Great Cthulhu rising above the sea.

Later, we got out of the house, and drove down to Spooky's parents' farm in South County. It was a wonderful sort of New England summer evening. Cloudy, but warm. Clouds that threatened rain, but no rain. As we drove south, a mist settled over everything, and it was all we could do not to drive all the way to Moonstone or Narragansett. But it was a good visit with her folks. We saw Spider Cat and visited with the Steamsquid. Spooky retrieved a small fraction of her truly vast vinyl collection. Her dad gave us greens from the garden. At her mom's koi pond, we surprised a gorgeous little Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis). The blueberries and apples are getting ripe. We stayed almost until dark. It was so quite and green, after the noise of Federal Hill, I don't think either of us wanted to come back to the city.

And there are photographs:

2 July 2009 )


Okay. The platypus says I must, must, must go now.

But! I also have a video clip that I'll try to upload to YouTube later today. Oh, and watch for micro-excerpt #12 from The Red Tree at greygirlbeast.
greygirlbeast: (starbuck2)
Yesterday...I wrote. I don't know how many words. Less than a thousand, and that took all day. The good news is that my editor for "As Red as Red" has kindly consented to extend my deadline by a few more days, so perhaps I will actually be able to finish this story. The bad news is that this means "As Red as Red" is going to start eating into time that needs to be spent working on Sirenia Digest #40, and my next day off lies somewhere in early April. I'm trying hard not to look at the big picture. I'm trying to get from one day to the next, and that's about all. Baby steps. No grand plans. No foresight. It just locks me up these days.

Our latest round of eBay auctions will be ending this evening. I'd be grateful if you'd have a look, and bid if you are so inclined and able. There are copies of two subpress chapbooks, The Little Damned Book of Days and Mercury, a copy of the mass-market paperback of Daughter of Hounds, and a PC (author's) copy of the numbered hardback edition of The Five of Cups. I don't have a lot of these left, and I can pretty much guarantee that this is a book that will never see print again. Please have a look, and thanks.

The weather here remains very cold, 31F at the moment, but the wind chill has it feeling like 20F. It's sunny, but, somehow, that only makes it worse. Most of my life, March has been the month when the world goes green again. I'm having to learn to think of it as the end of winter, not the beginning of spring.

Last night, we watched the last three episodes of Battlestar Galactica. I'm going to withhold any detailed commentary until sometime later, after I'm certain that everyone's had a chance to see the finale. I will say that I was very pleased with the conclusion. I still feel like the series was at least a season too long (season three, I'm thinking). But the ending pleased me. Sure, I have scientific quibbles, but this is space opera, not hard sf. If I fixated too much on the bad science, I'd never have been able to make it through the series premiere, much less all the way to the story's conclusion. The story being told and the characterization outweighed the bad science, which is what good space opera does. It's not about the nuts and bolts, or how well the writers can handle physics, astronomy, engineering, biology, and what have you. It's about telling a good story with the trappings of sf. I would say that's what Battlestar Galactica managed to do. I was especially pleased with the first hour of "Daybreak," which I suspect I'll watch again and again, but the second half also managed to hit a lot of good buttons. I was even pleased with the way the writers handled the "god" problem. A shame that the "SyFy" channel is apparently embarrassed by the likes of Battlestar Galactica. Or rather, embarrassed by the viewers it attracts.

Time to make the doughuts. So say we all.
greygirlbeast: (Illyria)
Two nights in a row I've gotten a decent amount of sleep.

I managed a respectable 1,343 words on "As Red as Red" yesterday, and the story is finally beginning to take shape, after a week or so of going nowhere in particular. But my deadline in the 23rd. So, I'm a little panicked about actually getting this one done on time.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Also, you can pre-order the new trade paperback of Alabaster, due out in April. Or, for more immediate gratification, there's Daughter of Hounds, now in a convenient and cheaper mass-market paperback format. Thank you.

I enjoyed a very good evening of SL rp last night, in the Alpha Institute's library in NoR. It was one of those nights when everything just seemed to click, and the story rolled. My thanks to Joah, Beaumont, Choi, Kryss, Faye'Li, Bellatrix, Melusine, Utayo, and Sev. We're off to a good start. And I have discovered that eight people is about the maximum number of players that any scene can accommodate without spinning out of control, which mostly serves to confirm my earlier suspicions, that the stability of any scene decreases as the number of players increases. I believe I shall call this Nareth's First Rule of Roleplay. After the rp, Spooky and I watched two more episodes for Season Three of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.

The platypus says shake a leg, so....
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 2)
I overslept an hour somehow, so....I'd say I'm going to make this short, but I know better.

And, too, I'll say again, that it's a crying shame that Second Life is so burdened with being an online dating/social network and a haven for shitwits (of many, many species) that it will never realize even half its potential as an innovative medium for storytelling. I keep hoping that some new sim service emerges, one which provides the degree of potential creative freedom that now exists on SL, but which also exists solely to permit creators to create, and which doesn't tout itself as a fancy chat room, a solution for those without a RL social life, or sex life...or a life, period. One that has some way of sorting out the chaff, as it were. I keep hoping, and it keeps not happening. This comes up because, over the last week, on a couple of occasions, I've slipped back into SL, into New Babbage briefly, and a couple of people have been trying to get me back into the rp there. But every time I enter SL, without fail, within half an hour or less, I'm confronted by the inanities that drove me to leave two months ago.

Blah, blah, blah.

Nothing much in the way of a writing day yesterday. I read back over what I'd written on Monday, and discovered that the story had, in fact, derailed. But I couldn't really see how to set it right again, and began to suspect that it's simply the wrong story for me to be writing at the moment. Truthfully, I'm bloody exhausted and any story's the wrong story for me to be writing at the moment. But I have a deadline at the end of the month, for this piece and for Sirenia Digest #36. I spent maybe an hour talking it over with Spooky, the problems I'm having with the new story, and, finally, she told me to get up and get dressed, that she'd drive me down to Beavertail. I was too tired and too frustrated to say no.

Winter is coming on fast, and Conanicut Island has changed a lot since the last time we were there, a month or so ago. The trees are mostly bare, revealing marshy places and fieldstone walls. The wind was freezing. We climbed down on the rocks below the lighthouse, but my feet have gotten bad again, what with all the exercise I've not been getting, what with all the writing and the not leaving the house. I was clumsy on the rocks. The tide was in, so we couldn't really get to the pebbly beaches that give up beach glass. I only found a few pieces, and picked through shells and crab and lobster claws. But the sea was good, as She always is. The sun was setting by the time we arrived, and I don't think we stayed more than half an hour. There were a few unhappy looking gulls, but I saw no cormorants. On the way out of Beavertail, we spotted a small hawk perched in a tree, staring out to sea. I slept the entire way back to Providence.

For dinner, Spooky warmed up last night's chili. We read Chapter Three of The Red Tree, so I'd not feel like a total slacker. We watched three more eps of Firefly. I made another post to [livejournal.com profile] crk_blog_vault. Later, we played maybe an hour of WoW. The service was offline most of yesterday and last night, scheduled maintenance that turned into some sort of clusterfuck. But, that was probably for the best, anyway. It is too easy a distraction. We went to bed about 2:30 a.m., and Spooky read me Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are (more comfort food). The dreams were bad, but not bad enough to leave me dreamsick.

And I really do apologize for making such an utterly cranky post.

Here are some photos from Conancut Island. Let me see if I can save today....

Wednesday, November 11, 2008 )
greygirlbeast: (mirror2)
Yesterday, I wrote 1,065 words on "Ode to Edvard Munch" and found THE END. Spooky and I are both pleased with it. Hopefully, Sirenia Digest readers will be likewise pleased. The total word count came to 3,201 words. I finished the piece at 4:12 p.m.

Now, I have to write the second vignette for #6. I have every hope that the digest will be out on the 28th. I'm sorry about the lateness. Daughter of Hounds and the Editing Monster, you know. Your collective patience is greatly appreciated. I hate being late. It matters not if the deadlines are of my own devising or if they have been imposed upon me from without. I hate missing deadlines.

Subterranean Press has put up an Alabaster wallpaper. Free. Just click here and download. It's at the very top of the page.

Not much to yesterday beyond the writing. I hardly left the house. I read "A complete trematosaurid amphibian from the Middle Triassic of Germany" (Rainer R. Schoch) in the latest Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Another marvel that too few people will see. We watched The Sopranos and two more eps of Dead Like Me (Season Two). And that was yesterday, unless I'm forgetting something, which seems very unlikely.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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