greygirlbeast: (Martha Jones)
Er...yeah. I just wasted half an hour searching for a Martha Jones icon. It's what I do. Well, it's the sort of thing I do. Sometimes. Like this morning.

Yesterday, was a bit like the day before yesterday, only less so. Still mostly the busyness of writing, and too much email, but not as much too much email, and with the added burden of waiting. Few things in the world are as evil as waiting. I'm pretty sure that there's a whole level of Dante's Unabridged Inferno (to be published in 2019) where the damned suffer an eternity of...waiting. Nothing else. Just waiting. Yesterday, the waiting mostly involved Alabaster, and deadlines, and the impending vacation. Oh, and I went through the thirty-second "teaser" trailer for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, literally frame by frame, then sent a few notes to Brian Siano. He's doing the final editing this weekend. It's almost perfect.

Then, just after dark, Harlan called to thank me for sending him a copy Two Worlds and In Between (he'd called and asked for one), and he went on and on about how much he loved Lee's cover. Which is cool, because I was inspired to go in that direction by several of Harlan's covers which incorporate him as an element of a fantastic scene (see The Essential Ellison, for example). And then he read me the first part of "Rats Live On No Evil Star," and...well, these are the moments writers live for, aren't they? When our literary progenitors, those without whom we would not be, speak our own words back to us, words they helped, without intention, to fashion? Yes, I think these are those moments. Anyway, Harlan was generous and sweet and funny, as always.

---

Demons run when a good man goes to war.
Night will fall and drown the sun,
When a good man goes to war.

Friendship dies and true love lies,
Night will fall and the dark will rise,
When a good man goes to war.

Demons run, but count the cost:
The battle's won, but the child is lost.
~ River Song

Which is to say we watched two more episodes of Doctor Who last night, two more from Series Six: "A Good Man Goes to War" and "Let's Kill Hitler." And I will just say that, wow, "A Good Man Goes to War" redeems Series Six and back again. Damn, that was some good Who. And, as [livejournal.com profile] ashlyme predicted yesterday, I truly am enamored with Madam Vastra and Jenny. But some actual Victorian lesbian lizard-on-human action, please. Unmistakable innuendo is nice and all, but full on...um...I'm losing my train of thought. It is an excellent, excellent episode, as is "Let's Kill Hitler." There might yet be hope for Matt Smith (but not for Rory, who is only Xander recycled).

Also, more Rift last night (as per usual), leveling (Indus to 37) in the Moonshade Highlands. Later, I read a very, very good story, Angela Slatter's The Coffin-Maker's Daughter. I'd never read Slatter, but the story was very good, and was, indeed, about a coffin-maker's daughter, Hepsibah, who was herself a maker of coffins, and also a lesbian. What's not to like? Oh, plus Slatter was inspired by two Florence + the Machine songs, "My Boy Builds Coffins" and "Girl With One Eye." Then I read a new Stephen King story, "The Little Green God of Agony." As I've said, I don't care much for King, but I liked the title. And the story has a certain strength, and wasn't bad, if only the ending hadn't veered off into such clichéd creep-show horrors. If your stories fall apart when the monster appears on stage, stop writing about monsters. I drifted off to sleep sometime after four ayem, watching Frank Borzage's 1932 adaptation of A Farewell to Arms, which really is better than Charles Vidor's 1957 version, and not just because Gary Cooper is cooler than Rock Hudson.

Also, because I was admonished in yesterday's comments by [livejournal.com profile] mizliz13 for using the recently overused and perverted adjective awesome, and admonished rightly so, from here on I shall use "bow tie" in its stead.

---

Today is an assembly day. I must pull Sirenia Digest #72 together, and try to get it out before midnight (CaST). By the way, "Question @ Hand #5" will be the last "Question @ Hand." Indeed, I've half a mind not to run it, but that would be a sleight to the few people who did write pieces (and the one who wrote two!). I think that the decline in replies (#1 had over 30, about a year and a half ago; #5 had 10 responses) is further evidence of the dramatic changes here on LJ.

And now, the platypus.

Don't Get Cocky, Kid,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Neytiri)
A cold, cold morning here in Providence. Okay, maybe not that cold.

Today, I allow myself a few more sentences than in my entry before last.

Yesterday was the writerly equivalent of having to spend a day running errands all over town. There were email conversations (which I'm never, ever going to get used to, though they do allow me to avoid phone calls) with my agent and her assistant; with Brian Siano regarding the thirty-second "teaser" trailer for The Drowning Girl to be released in January (a two-minute trailer will be released in March); my editor at Dark Horse; Bill Schafer at Subterranean Press; my publicist at Penguin; David Shaw at Readercon; and even Geoffrey ([livejournal.com profile] readingthedark) and Sonya ([livejournal.com profile] sovay).

And then I remembered I'd not made corrections to "Another Tale of Two Cities," so I did that. I much prefer days when I actually have to write.

Have you ever paused to marvel at the eloquence and beauty of the humble question mark? See, there it is. Humble and beautiful and profoundly useful. But, and also, not always requiring an answer, and, sometimes when an answer is required, not always requiring that answer be spoken aloud. Other times, there is and cannot be an answer. That there are no rules to tell you when a question mark is meant to function in one of those roles only makes it that much more sublime, as it does what a question should do: it inspires introspection and critical thought. Silence or hushed consideration or heated debate. Too many questions meant to remain unanswered, excepting in the mind of the reader, are answered aloud, and, likewise, too many that are asked to elicit external investigation and active response go ignored (or even unrecognized). But, still, there is that eloquence in all question marks, which requires so much care on the part of both the user and the reader.

After work yesterday, after a nap, and after chili, we watched last week's episode of American Horror Story (I love that they got in Elizabeth Short), then two episodes of Doctor Who (and aside from Neil's episode, I reluctantly say I am not loving this season), and then very fine guild RP in Rift (thank you all who participated!), and then I read a very good long short story (novelette?) by the awesome Elizabeth Hand, "Near Zennor." I fell asleep watching Charles Vidor's adaptation of A Farewell to Arms (1957). And that, kittens, was yesterday.

Today will likely be as hectic, with no writing, just the busyness of writing. Blegh. Spooky and I have to do the final read-through on Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart in the next few days, before my vacation begins on the 15th. And if you haven't yet ordered your copy, best you do so now. Because you know how it goes. And ORDER DIRECTLY FROM SUBTERRANEAN PRESS, because Amazon might well fuck you over, as many can attest.

Off To See The Lizard,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (fry1)
Not sure why I'm using my Carolyn Fry icon today, from that marvelous scene as the Hunter Gratzner crashes. It just felt right. Maybe it says something about the health of Frank the Goat this morning and early afternoon, as LJ suffered another DDoS attack.

1) A late start to the day. But I've already signed 600+ signature sheets for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart (coming from Subterranean Press in 2012) and proofed inked pages for the Alabaster comic. I wish I could show you more of the art; the first issue is going to kick ass, and a lot of that credit will go to Steve Lieber (artist and letterer), our colorist Rachelle Rosenberg, and cover artist Greg Ruth.

2) I'm still hoping to be able to begin the new short story, for Sirenia Digest #72, started this afternoon. A tale about two women who become cities. And yeah, sorry, the digest will be woefully late this month. November was a right proper cunt, was she. So, blame her. But, still, I hope to have it out by the 10th of December at the latest.

3) And speaking of Sirenia Digest #72, come on, kittens. Get in those responses to the fifth Question @ Hand. Don't be shy. You get complete anonymity, and you DO NOT have to worry about the feasibility of the science in your replies. Oh, and I'll be especially pleased by entries that make no mention of my being a writer. But don't tarry too long. If these are going to make it into #72, I need all replies in by midnight CaST (EST +1 hour) Wednesday, December 7th.

4) Good RP in Rift last night. Thank you, all who took part. You were splendid. I'm hoping to double our numbers by the end of December, and then worry a lot less about recruiting for a bit. I'm beginning to wonder if a surprisingly (to me) small number of my readers are gamers. My calls for players go mostly unheeded, and, truly, not only is Rift an awesome game (as in, it fills me with awe), it's a great entertainment value. For the price of a large pizza, for less than a single movie for two, you get a month of unlimited play. Can't do much better than that. Dump that crappy cable TV, and come and play with us!

5) We've been working our way through Disc One of the most recent season of Doctor Who, and last night we finally saw the episode written by Neil, "The Doctor's Wife." Frankly, I was completely unimpressed by the four episodes (or was it three?) that preceded it, but then "The Doctor's Wife" blew me away. It is no lie to say that I very almost cried at the end. It shows that Matt Smith can be a good doctor, if given good scripts (though I still miss David Tenant, and I miss Christopher Eccleston – my doctor – even more). However, no author can redeem Rory Williams (BORING), and I want him gone.

6) Whoever is responsible for the portmanteau "advertorials" (derogatory shutter quotes!) needs to die, along with whoever invented the concept. And Jesus fuck, LJ knows how to spell the goddamned "word"!

Anyway, I think that's all for now. Carry on.

Eating A Cupcake,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (twilek1)
1. Sometimes, I'm wrong. And then there are these times when I'm wrong on a cataclysmic scale. The trick is admitting one's mistakes, and I'm pretty good at that. So, without further ado, I have to admit that Star Wars: The Old Republic is one of the best games I've ever played. No one's more amazed than me. As you'll recall from earlier posts, I was impressed with neither the cut scenes or gameplay videos I was seeing online. Then, yesterday, my time in the beta finally came around. I did my work (I'll come to that later), and then started playing around four p.m. And...except for a half hour dinner break, I played SWtoR until four a.m. (!!!). And it was an utter delight. I solo leveled a blue Twi'lek slave girl until she was a Level 10 Sith Apprentice to Lord Vash. For a beta, the gameplay was amazingly smooth. The voice acting and writing are very well done, and I wasn't the least bit annoyed by the things that seem to be annoying other players (frequent cut scenes, lots of time spent running, etc.). So, because life is stranger than fiction, I unreservedly suggest others may also love this game. I'll certainly be buying a copy when it's released on December 20th.

Here's what baffles me. We know what lousy movies are made from video games. I mean, it's almost impossible to make a halfway decent movie from a video game. So...how is it that Star Wars episodes 1-3 were so unrelentingly awful, and this game is so good? It's the inversion of a truism. In another entry I'll come back to why I think this inversion was possible. But, for now, I'll just say the game I played last night...and this morning...that's the fix I've been waiting for since the summer I saw The Empire Strikes Back twenty times in theatres (1980).

2. Yesterday I wrote pages Twelve, Thirteen, and Fourteen on Alabaster. Only eight pages left to go, and, like I said, I'm thinking I won't be missing that deadline after all, which is sort of amazing, considering the chaos of late (and the damn fool gaming binge).

3. TONIGHT, kittens, I will be posting the Question @ Hand for Sirenia Digest #72. I want gritty, disturbing replies. The ten I like best will be "printed" anonymously in the digest. If you've been a part of this before, you already know that the answers will be screened, and that no one but me will be able to read your answers (unless it's printed, and then, as I said, anonymity). I have all my polyps crossed that there will be some amazingly unnerving answers.

Oh, and to repeat what I said a couple of days back, we're running a Sirenia Digest special. Subscribe now, and you'll get #71 free with issue #72. In fact, if you subscribed any time in November you get #71. This is to be sure people reading the alternate first chapters of Silk will have access to the entire manuscript. But we can't afford to run it beyond #72, so you only have until the 5th of December to get this deal.

4. If anyone ever says, "You can be a Time Lord or you can be a writer," for Dog's sake, tell them you want to be a Time Lord.

I'm coming platypus....

There Is Only Passion,
Aunty Beast
greygirlbeast: (dr10-1)
After the nightmare that was today, I so need this:



greygirlbeast: (Pagan1)
A blessed Samhain, and a Happy Hallowe'en.

Comments! Please.

This morning, I fully understand what it means to "wake up on the wrong side of the bed." Not my usual state of affairs. In some ways, this is worse than the dreamsickness. I woke about 10:30 ayem, after getting to sleep about 4:30 ayem. My throat was so dry I couldn't swallow and could hardly breathe, so I went to the kitchen to swallow something wet and rehydrate the raisin that slumber had made of my esophagus. And there in the fridge was a baking dish covered in aluminum foil (I always want to type "tin foil"). I stood there, trying to figure out what was hiding under the foil – without actually having to look. And then I realized it was the remaining two turkey drumsticks (id est, tibiotarsi) from the four Spooky baked on Wednesday evening. In the chaos of the weekend and the freak nor'easter, they'd been forgotten. At least one (and maybe two) turkey's had sacrificed their legs, and we couldn't even be bothered to have the decency not to waste them. I stared a moment, went back to bed, laid there a short while, unable to stop thinking about the wasted turkey legs, hungry people, murdered turkeys, and got up again. See, thing is, we don't waste food. Anyway, that seems to have set the tone for the day.

I was thinking a thought, but now I can't recall what it might have been. Thank you, meds. Really, I could stop taking this toxic shit. But then Spooky would murder me. Thank you, dear sweet filthy world.

---

And, I REPEAT: Okay, here's some news, so perk up those ears. I've been sitting on a secret for many, many months, and many of you know this. On November 2nd, there will be some manner of revelation, and on November 9th, all will be revealed. That's Wednesday, and then the next Wednesday. The NSA has agreed to declassify the files, and the MiBs will go public. The gag order will be rescinded. Some of you will not hear the news here first. Machineries are in motion that are far greater than am I. But...I believe there will be a lot of happy campers among you, and I think the wait will have been worth it. It's worn me ragged, keeping this secret. Feel free, today, to speculate!

---

Yesterday, I wrote 1,288 words on "Latitude 41°21'45.89"N, Longitude 71°29'0.62"W." I thought I'd finish it yesterday, but there's more to come. Also, sadly, I'm no nearer to a seeing a human body with lines of latitude and longitude. But...there went my train of thought again. Choo choo. Um. Oh, yeah. Sirenia Digest subscribers will be getting something very strange and special this month. Well, unless you hated Silk, in which case you'll just be getting something...very strange.

By the way, I would so totally fuck Tom Waits. True fact.

Meanwhile, it's not too early to preorder The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. On the other hand, it might very soon be too late order a copy of Two Worlds and In Between. Snoozers are frequently losers. Or they pay too much on eBay. Or settle for crappy Kindle editions.

A great line from The Log of the Sea of Cortez: "An ocean without its unnamed monsters would be like a completely dreamless sleep." Oh, to ever write a single sentence that sublime.

Also, if you cross the path of Rose Tyler today, do not fucking mistake her for Britney Spears or Christine Aguilera, or lasers will shoot forth from my bloodshot eyes, and those lasers will find you, no matter where you might be hiding. Respect the Companions, or die.

And Heineken? Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!

Oh, and here are photos from early, early, early on Sunday, as the nor'easter struck our street (struck, street – cute), and one from the next day (for some reason):

30 October 2011 )


Irascible,
Aunt fucking Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
1. This morning will require numerals. This morning, I need to itemize. So, thing the first, it's chilly here in Providence, and cloudy, and windy. The sort of day that depresses Hubero and me both. However, I have had three consecutive nights of relatively good sleep.

2. Vince needs more time on the illustration for "The Prayer of Ninety Cats," so subscribers should expect Sirenia Digest #60 to arrive in their inboxes either late on Thursday or sometime on Friday. Sorry for the delay. Such are the wages of Turkey Murder Day. And if you aren't a subscriber, all you have to do is follow the link above.

3. Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Also, the Dancy box is officially finished, and will go up on eBay sometime today.

4. I'm simultaneously working on too many things at once. It's starting to look like the "best of" volume won't have a cover by Zdzisław Beksiński. I'm having difficulty communincating with the museum in Częstochowa that holds the copyrights to all his work. It may be the fact that their English is not so great, and my Polish is nonexistent. Regardless, they seem to be of the opinion that the painting in question does not exist, though, if it did, they wouldn't have a high-resolution scan. Or something like that. Anyway, on to Plan B (TBA).

5. Speaking of covers, how can I not make fun of this? With very few exceptions, it's the same crappy art over and over and over. I didn't even know there was a best tramp-stamp award. It's rather telling that there's an award for "Most Unique" (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] criada for pointing that out). The good news, the cover for The Red Tree wasn't nominated. I can only hope that by 2015, this "UF/PR" plague will have burnt itself to a torrid cinder.

6. Finished the first Matt Smith season of Doctor Who last night. I wasn't terribly happy with the first half of the season, but the last few episodes rallied and won me over. The last two were very good, and after another season, I might stop missing David Tenant. Also, saw the season finalé of The Walking Dead, which was also very good.

7. As for reading, it's been more Armitage stories by Joan Aiken and more of Shirley Jackson's The Bird's Nest (even though I meant to be reading The Sun Dial).

And now, though there's more, it'll have to wait until later. A long day ahead...
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Yesterday, I wrote 1,731 words, and I found THE END of "The Prayer of Ninety Cats." The story is presently 9,918 words long, but I suspect it'll be well over 10k after the polish I'll be giving it tomorrow. Structurally, it's something I've not done before, in that it's second person and partly written as a screenplay. I think it's a story I've been trying to write for a very long time. I'm sort of amazed that I finally did it. The effort has left me a bit off balance. As soon as I'm done tweaking it, and Sirenia Digest has gone out to subscribers, I'll be getting back to work on The Drowning Girl.

There's been too much news lately. Too much news pollution. North Korea. A projected date for the extinction of tigers in the wild— 2020 (which pretty much is the same thing as a projected date for the extinction of tigers). The American police state and the TSA*. Fantastic strides in medicine that will only ever be available to the wealthy. Black Friday.

I mostly try to avoid the news. Mostly.

After the writing yesterday, and after dinner, we watched three more episodes of Doctor Who, up through "Vincent and the Doctor." I thought I would hate the latter, and it turned out to be one of my favorite episodes ever.

We also watched an episode of American Masters, "LennoNYC," which was very, very good.

Sleep wouldn't come, and finally I broke down and took a pill, and read this Aleister Crowley biography I've been reading. I dozed off sometime after four-thirty ayem, and slept fitfully until eleven this morning. Something like six and a half hours.

Turns out the Julie Taymor adaptation of The Tempest is only being released in Minneapolis and LA on December 10th. Whether or not it will ever see wider distribution is anyone's guess.

I have a list of the people who've asked for a PDF of the blog, November 2001/April 2004, and I'll see those go out next week.

Today, I'm changing my Twitter username from @greygirlbeast to @auntbeast. Yes, I still hate Twitter.

And today I'll be working on the layout for Sirenia Digest #60. I need a little space between me and "The Prayer of Ninety Cats," so I'm going to wait until tomorrow to get back to it.

Time to make the doughnuts,

More or Less Yours,
Aunt Beast

*Until such time as the TSA backs the fuck off, I'll not be traveling anywhere I cannot reach by train, automobile, bus, or boat.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I'm not going to talk about the insomnia this morning.

Yesterday, I wrote 2,024 words on "The Prayer of Ninety Cats" and still didn't find The End. But this happens sometimes. I sit down to write a vignette, and it insists on becoming a short story...sometimes a long short story. This one may reach 9,000 words, which means Sirenia Digest subscribers are, quite literally, getting more this month than they bargained for. I do like the story, and I'm glad things went this way, though I suspect it will require a day of vigorous polishing.

My great thanks to [livejournal.com profile] kaz_mahoney, who, by her own initiative, compiled all my blog entries between November 21st, 2001 and April 16th, 2004, all the time from the blog's beginning until I began mirroring it at LiveJournal. This actually comes as a great relief, as I worry constantly about all those entries over at Blogger (I stopped posting the journal to Blogger in late 2006). Anyway, the portion compiled by [livejournal.com profile] kaz_mahoney, as a PDF, comes to 920 pages, about 320,000 words. Which leads me to suspect that I've written quite a bit more than a million words of blog since I began in 2001. All my novels combined likely come to half that. Anyway, thanks again, and if anyone wants to do that with the LJ half, I wouldn't complain. Also, I will freely supply copies of the 2001-2004 PDF to anyone who wants one.

Cold and grey Outside. Chilly and cat-bedeviled inside the House.

Three more episodes of Doctor Who last night, so we're now at "The Hungry Earth." I begin to detect a theme (and that was a damned sexy reptile woman).
greygirlbeast: (new newest chi)
Cold and windy here in Providence. Gusts up to 42 mph.

Today is the ninth anniversary of the inception of my online journal (whether we call it a blog, LJ, whatever). That's nine years, which sort of makes my head spin. It began at Blogger (where the first three years are still archived), then moved to LJ sometime in 2004. Nine years. That means if you're twenty (and I have trouble believing anyone's that young), you were only eleven when I made the first entry. I've probably made entries for 90% of the days in the last nine years. Off the top of my head, the only blogging author who's been at this longer than me is Neil. If I say that my writing career began in 1992— which is usually where I start, with the writing of The Five of Cups —my career records the second of that eighteen years.

---

I've not been well the last few days, and I think most of it can be attributed to the insomnia, which is about as bad as it's ever been. I'm lucky to get six hours a night. And yet, on Sunday I wrote 1,040 words on "The Prayer on Ninety Cats," and on Monday I did another 1,224 words on the story. Yesterday, I took the day off, because I was feeling very bad and hadn't gone Outside since November 17th. I may be able to find The End today, or it may be tomorrow. Either way, it's an odd and ambitious and I hope very effective story. It's part loose biography (Elizabeth Bathory), part paean to old movie theatres, part screenplay, part dreamquest. And it's sort of written in second person, as per [livejournal.com profile] sovay's request. It will either be a feather in my cap or an impressive failure. The story will be appearing in Sirenia Digest #60.

---

Yesterday, we took in a matinée of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One. And what do I think? Having slept on it, I'd say that it's the pretty decent first half of what will probably be a pretty decent movie made from an utterly wretched novel (I say that as a Harry Potter fan). I think the filmmakers should have tried just a little harder to make the first half more like a complete film. It suffers the same way that The Matrix Reloaded suffered. Unlike a lot of geeks, I'm a geek who actually likes the last two installments of The Matrix, but only when they are watched back to back, because each one is half of the same film. Anyway, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One is beautifully filmed, well acted, and as scary and sad as it ought to be. I was mostly relieved that, unlike the book, Hermione doesn't spend the whole time sobbing.

---

I haven't done much reading the last couple of days, but I did finish the second Farscape graphic novel, Scorpius: Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, and "The Structure and Evolution of the Sauropod Tooth Battery," which is mostly concerned with Nigersaurus taqueti, one of the oddest-known sauropod dinosaurs (and one of my favorites).

I have been catching up on "television." Do we still call it that? Mostly, Spooky and I watch "television" on her laptop, on DVDs or streaming from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and PBS. Anyway, the BBC Sherlock Holmes is fucking brilliant, and big props to Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, and the team of Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat. Awesome. And a very sexy Holmes.

The latest episode of Frank Darabont's The Walking Dead was an improvement over the third episode, which was just a little too "soap opera" for my taste. The episode's climactic zombie attack was nicely handled.

We're working our way through the latest season of Doctor Who. The transitions to new doctors are always hard on me, but I'm liking Matt Smith quite a lot. To me, Doctor Nine (Christopher Eccelston, and still my favorite), was the Angry Doctor. David Tenant was the Ecstatic Doctor. And now I'm thinking of Matt Smith as the Befuddled Doctor. Also, very much liking Amelia Pond (Karen Gillan).

---

Hammer Horror "scream queen" Ingrid Pitt is dead at age 73. She wrote the introduction to The Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories by Women (2001), which included my story, "So Runs the World Away."

---

And now, on the subject of the Cataclysm WoW expansion. The big 4.0.3 patch went live last night, which means we are now in the age after the sundering of the world by the dragon Deathwing (yeah, they really could have found a better name, like maybe "Deathwing" in Latin, at least). But, mostly, I think what we've seen of the expansion so far is pretty damn awesome. The rebuilt Orgimmar is a vast improvement, and the destruction wrought upon the world is impressive. They've even made the goblins look better, so I will definitely be rolling "Punkmuffin" as soon as I may.

I do have a couple of complaints. First, Blizzard should have specified how much time has passed since the cataclysm. Looking at the reconstruction of Orgrimmar alone (and there are many other factors I could cite), a minimum of ten years has to have passed, and maybe as long as twenty years. I know most WoW players do not think in terms of story, because most WoW players are not roleplayers. Most WoW players think rp is silly and beneath them. But I am a roleplayer, and this is important to me. Also, because so many quests were dumped and so many added, I've gone from being about seventy quests from getting Loremaster of Kalimdor to being many hundreds of quests from getting Loremaster of Kalimdor. That means the equivalent of maybe 200 hours of game play simply...lost. This could have been handled much, much better. But, these things aside, so far, this is a very fine expansion, far more impressive than Wrath of the Lich King.

Also, Eyes of Sylvanas (my Horde guild on the Cenarion Circle server) is still seeking members. And if you don't play WoW— and want to invite a giant time suck into your life —now's a great time to start. You can get the first two games for $5 each, and Lich King for another $10.

---

Okay, time to make the doughnuts. Comments welcome, just so I am reminded people are still reading (after nine years)...
greygirlbeast: (Starbuck 3)
You know your insomnia has wrought unspeakable ill upon your person, when your girlfriend forbids you to look in mirrors. I got to sleep sometime between 2:30 and 3:00 ayem, then woke at 8:45. After hardly sleeping the night before. And I was a lot more awake at 8:45 than I am right now.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,005 words on what I hope to fuck all is the beginning of "As Red as Red." I'm running out of month. And I still have Sirenia Digest #40 to get out, when this short story is finished.

---

My disdain for the Sci Fi Channel is no secret. After the cancellation of Farscape, I refused to watch for a year or two, then only went back for Battlestar Galactica and Doctor Who (the latter is not actually a SciFi produced series, of course). The former SFC vice-president, Bonnie Hammer, went so far out of her way to alienate the channel's core market, and launched such insulting attacks on the people tuning in...well, I wasn't sure it could get much worse. Wrong. Which is to say, "Sci Fi Channel Aims to Shed Geeky Image With New Name." Yes, the SciFi Channel will now be the SyFy channel. And you know why? In the words of Dave Howe, president of the Sci Fi Channel:

When we tested this new name, the thing that we got back from our 18-to-34 techno-savvy crowd, which is quite a lot of our audience, is actually this is how you’d text it. It made us feel much cooler, much more cutting-edge, much more hip, which was kind of bang-on what we wanted to achieve communication-wise.

So, there you have it, kiddos. Ys are quantitatively cooler than Is. I suppose this means that it's time to change my name to Caytlyn R. Kyernan, so I can be so much cooler and more cutting edge and txty and all that shit. Anyway, you should read this article. It'll make your brain cramp. I think David Howe actually makes me miss Bonnie Hammer.

---

Speaking of things that make your brain cramp, let's say you were to join a Second Life roleplay group with the following charter:

"We are seekers into the mystery, dedicated to the discovery, rediscovery, and preservation of ancient and occult knowledge. We serve no master or mistress but this one purpose. In all matters concerning the world beyond the AI, we maintain a stance of inviolable and absolute neutrality. We do not take sides. We do not offer aid or shelter. We do not interfere. We are one and many. We seek the Truth, and shall hold no creed nor take any action contrary to our mission."

Now, having joined, having read that charter for such an esoteric and clearly self-centered order, would you then dare feel somehow justified at expressing righteous indignation upon learning that the group doesn't take sides, or offer aid or shelter? That it doesn't help blind old ladies cross streets, or sell cookies to send kids with special needs to summer camp, or run a kennel for stray dogs, or give good homes to fucking orphans? Oh, and do keep in mind that the order's founder is a vampire hailing from the Tzmisce sect, and, in earlier times, she was known as Countess Báthory Erzsébet, and La bête du Gévaudan, and Jack the Ripper? Never mind that she might also have been responsible for the Tunguska explosion in 1908 (and yeah, those last two sentences are surely geektastic enough to send David Howe of the SyFy Channel running for cover, lest he be stricken with unhip, unsalable paroxysms of mortal fucking agony). I'm just asking, you know? Because my tolerance for stupid is scraping bottom this morning.

Is it just me, or are people far less ashamed of looking foolish than they once were? I think it's becoming a badge of honour.

---

Please have a look at the new ebay auctions. We have a copy of The Five of Cups up, and keep in mind, this is one of the last of these I have to sell. Thanks.

Tomorrow I am banning all Is from this blog. Because, you know, then I'll be, like, way cooler. And make more money. And stuff.

Oh...I have some more photos from our trip to the Common Burying Ground in Newport on Monday:

16 March 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (blood)
I absolutely refuse to believe that the Forsaken undead of Undercity celebrate Xmas. The Halloween thing, while annoying as hell, at least sort of made some cockeyed sense. But I draw the line at Xmas. I can only imagine what Silvermoon City must look like right now. Maybe I can force myself to avoid WoW until after the "holidays."

So...the tooth is not being pulled today. My cough, which I've had since early November, has become a complication. What if I cough during the extraction? What if I cough out the blood clot? Etc. The dentist prefers to postpone. So, I'm having to wait and hope the cough clears up before the pain does me in, or the pills for the pain. And I have to get back to work, because this weekend was an utter loss. Sorry to dump health shit into the blog. Right now, it's hard to get around it.

Yeah, anyway. Nothing to say about writing, because I haven't been working.

I did want to mention that, this weekend, we saw Peter Berg's Hancock. The previews caught my eye, but it came and went in theatres with little fanfare, and I forgot the film. Then it wound up on our Netflix cue, and so we saw it. And wow. What starts out as a comedy with the potential to very quickly lose its momentum manages, instead, to go unexpected and delightful places. Indeed, I would even say this is one of my favourite films of the year. It's not perfect, but it's a damn interesting take on "superheroes" (and "gods") and delivers much more than what the trailers promise. Will Smith and Charlize Theron both give great performances. It's not the film I thought it would be, and that's a good thing. I'm also intrigued that Berg is directing a remake of Dune, scheduled for 2010. Maybe someone will finally do it right.

Last night, we watched the last four episodes of Series Four of Doctor Who. Again, wow. "Midnight" joins "Blink" as one of my all-time favorite stand-alone episodes. Marvelously chilling and unresolved. And what a geekfest of a series conclusion. I won't say much more, because I expect a lot of people out there who want to see the episodes haven't yet. "Turn Left" was great. But, as for my Donna Noble/Catherine Tate problem, what I will say is that the conclusion manages to transform her into someone I could care about, but, unfortunately (for the character, not the story), those alterations are revoked, and, in the end, she's that same shrill, annoying person she starts out as. I'm pleased with how the character was employed, but I'll also be glad to see her go.

It's warmer here in Providence, but more cold is on the way.

Today, I'll try to get through my edits on "The Colliers' Venus (1893)", and begin looking towards Sirenia Digest #37. I hope to write two new vignettes for this issue. Also, I need to talk to my agent. So, there's my day, the day I will have instead of the dentist and the removal of this blasted, rotten tooth. Right now, though, I need to go write a "thank you" note that the Iraqi reporter who threw his shoes at President Asshole, and ask why he didn't throw stones, instead.

Also, "World's oldest spider web found." Well, the oldest until an older one is found, which is inevitable.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
This blasted tooth. I should be going to the dentist today to have it pulled, but likely it will be Monday. This is the tooth damaged in the big October '07 seizure that two dentists have tried, all year, to save. I can tell that it has finally abscessed. I do despise having teeth pulled. There is the most peculiar sense of violation.

I'm hardly awake now, and dreamsick. I woke from a dream of drowned meadows, of Spooky and I walking in a meadow or an orchard soon after a flood. A storm, near as I can recall. Sitting in my office, waiting for the dream to release me, I thought of flooded fairie meadows, "the Green Meadows of Enchantment" off Gresholm Island, near Wales, and "The Voyage of Bran Mac Febal":

Bran deems it a marvellous beauty
In his coracle across the clear sea:
While to me in my chariot from afar
It is a flowery plain on which he rides about.

What is a clear sea
For the prowed skiff in which Bran is,
That is a happy plain with profusion of flowers
To me from the chariot of two wheels.


The first thing that I noticed, walking in the wet grass, was that there were very large shrimps on the ground, tucked in between green blades. They were dead. Looking about us, I realized that the standing water was filled with dead sea life, and I recall seeing large crabs, sea cucumbers, lobsters, and anemones. I looked overhead, and crabs hung from the branches of a sodden tree. I pushed aside some of the grass and discovered several stranded jellyfish. My fingers brushed the whitish, translucent bell of one of them, and Spooky cautioned me about the stinging tentacles. I can't recall much more than this. The colours were so brilliant. The trees and grass so very green, and the colours of the sea creatures were very bright. And the light from the sky was muted, as though there were still clouds.

---

Bettie Page is gone. Which is...strange.

---

Yesterday, I finished with my revision of "Emptiness Spoke Eloquent" for The Very Best of the Mammoth Book of Best New Horror. I won't say that I rewrote the story. Everything happens that happened before, and the events have all the same significance. But I did significantly reword it. In trying to explain why I felt compelled to make such revisions, I wondered what, precisely, motivated Kate Bush to record new vocals for "Wuthering Heights" before the release of The Whole Story in November 1986. The original version of the song was recorded in 1977, when she was 18. Nine years later, she re-recorded the vocal track, though not the instrumentals. I haven't looked about to see why she did this. It's probably in an interview somewhere. But I would imagine that, to her ear, the vocals had come to sound dated, and she knew she could do better. And, in my opinion, she did (I know many disagree). I much prefer the new vocals to the old, though I liked the old vocals quite a lot. In some ways, she created two very different songs. Anyway, all this was going through my head yesterday while I was working on the story.

Afterwards, I sent it to Sonya ([livejournal.com profile] sovay), who'd kindly offered to read for typos. And then I signed the signature sheets for A is for Alien. And I made sure we had a bio from Vince for the book, as yesterday was absolutely the last day to get that sort of thing to subpress before the book goes to the printer. "Emptiness Spoke Eloquent" got one last proofing and was emailed to Steve Jones.

And that was yesterday.

Last night, two more episodes of Doctor Who, "Silence in the Library" and "Forest of the Dead." Together, they're the best of the series since "Blink." Steven Moffat wrote all three, of course, and I do wish he were writing all the series. "Forest of the Dead" actually managed (like "Blink") to transcend the inherent campiness of the show. There's some fine writing in that script. And later, Shaharrazad and Suraa waded about the Dustwallow Marsh and managed to reach Level 40. The strangest thing about the evening was that we dueled one another. Neither of us had ever dueled before. Suraa won once, and Shah won once. We seem to be pretty evenly matched, paladin and warlock, all the advantages and disadvantages balancing out. But I'm not sure I see the point of dueling. Anyway, yeah, Lvl 40. Guess I'm not a "noob" any longer.

I should repost this: I've not said much at all about the forthcoming trade paperback edition of Alabaster. The oversight hasn't been intentional. I think I have too many books to keep up with these days. Anyway, yes, there will be a trade paperback edition of Alabaster released in April 2009, which includes all the original Ted Naifeh illustrations. This will be my first tpb with subpress, so I am hoping that it does well for them. You may now pre-order.
greygirlbeast: (Blood elf)
Back to winter today. A good twenty degrees cooler right now than it was this time yesterday. 38F, to be precise, with a wind chill of 31F. At least there's cloud cover. While the weather is always relevant, it is especially relevant as regards yesterday. I could not consider that unexpectedly warm day, and then stay indoors. It's too unlikely that we'll have another 60+F day anytime soon. And, with so much warmth out there, I just could not bring myself to face "Emptiness Spoke Eloquent" for a second consecutive day. Okay, I could have brought myself to do it. But, I didn't.

Unfortunately, it was also raining, and raining rather hard, and so instead of going to Beavertail or Newport or Harbor of Refuge, we went to the movies (which, I suppose, sort of defeated the purpose of getting out). There was some brief talk of going all the way to Mystic, to the aquarium there, but I don't think either one of us was up to the drive. So, we saw Marc Forster's Quantum of Solace. I liked it quite a lot. Maybe not as much as Martin Campbell's Casino Royale (2006), but still quite a lot. Daniel Craig may be, in my opinion, the best Bond ever. Before the movie, we just sort of bummed around Newbury Comics in Warwick, listening to the new Coldplay CD (didn't they used to be a somewhat better band, less like a dumbed-down Radiohead?). And I was weak, and in my weakness, I got the new Draenei WoW action figure, based on the NPC Tamuura. Yeah, I know. Consign me to the dorkest corner of Purgatory.

So, today it's back to work.

Yesterday, David Kirkpatrick ([livejournal.com profile] corucia) noted that while I've been heavily pimping A is for Alien, I've not said much at all about the forthcoming trade paperback edition of Alabaster. The oversight hasn't been intentional. I think I have too many books to keep up with these days. Anyway, yes, there will be a trade paperback edition of Alabaster released in April 2009, which includes all the original Ted Naifeh illustrations. This will be my first tpb with subpress, so I am hoping that it does well for them. You may now pre-order.

Last night, Spooky made something with lots of guacamole and habanero and mushrooms and red peppers for dinner, and after that, we watched two more episodes of Series Four of Doctor Who. I thought "The Doctor's Daughter" could have been a lot better. But "The Unicorn and the Wasp" was goofy fun. I'm seven episodes into the series, and Donna Noble still isn't growing on me. Oh, and her appearances before Series Four, I have to count those, as well. Anyway, later still, it was pretty much all World of Warcrack. The game seems to have become unexpectedly more interesting again. It may be the higher levels, or it may be concentrating on only two of my characters, instead of trying to concentrate on five. It may be playing only Horde. Or it may only be resignation. Last night, Shaharrazad and Surraa had an assassination gig in the Alterac Mountains, then finally said goodbye to Tarren Mills and the Arathi Highlands, and headed back to Undercity. They took a zeppelin to Orgrimmar, then rode south to the Dustwallow Marshes, where I think they'll be for a bit. The spiders are tastier there. Oh, and I fear that Shaharrazad —— my warlock, whom you may recall is a necrophile —— has developed a monstrous crush on the Banshee Queen, the Dark Lady Sylvanas Windrunner, Queen of the Forsaken. It's good to have motivation. Shah now has someone to kill for. And, yeah, it's probably healthier to lust after a corpse that is not one's own. And the Banshee Queen is just...hot. Dead and hot. Okay, well, dead and probably a little clammy, but..still. There is a screencap behind the cut, Shaharrazad on her knees before her Dark Lady (a position she does not assume lightly). Um...we also made Level 39. And Suraa spat over the side of the zepplin as we were docking on Orgrimmar. She's like that.

The Banshee Queen )
greygirlbeast: (chi3)
I did manage to determine yesterday that a) I spend far too much time on the journal (1.5-2.5 hrs. per day, on entry composition alone, so say 45-75 hrs. per month), but b) it has become indispensable as a means of self promotion. Without it, the books would get little support, and without it, Sirena Digest, which has become my "bread and butter," the thing that pays the rent, would likely not exist. This re-evaluation of the time I spend on the journal was prompted by word of a new study regarding the amount of time that Americans spend "working" vs. "playing," which shows a substantial drop in leisure time since 1973. I largely blame excessive connectivity.

Yesterday, I sort of went back to work. It was time for the "vacation" part of the semi-vacation to end, and I was in such a foul mood, and it was so cold out, I figured that I might as well work. First, I tried to make sense of all the anthologies I've been asked the write for. I see I have stories due in May, June, and July, and that's going to be a crunch, what with Joey Lafaye coming up. Afterwards, Spooky and I started reading over "Emptiness Spoke Eloquent," which is being reprinted in The Very Best of the Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, as the story representing Volume Nine (1998). Now, this is a short story that I wrote in November 1993, fifteen years ago. Well, actually, it's more complicated than that. The first half was written in November '93, and then the second half was written in the summer of '97. It hasn't been reprinted since it appeared in my collection From Weird and Distant Shores in 2002. Which means I've not looked at, much less read, the piece in about six years. And, being me, I couldn't just send it off to Steve without going over it. And here's the me of Now reading the me of Then, and I'm not awfully happy with what I see. So, yesterday was spent reworking much of the language in the first part of the story. I still have the second half to go. It feels like utter madness, when I'm so tired, and there's so much else to be done, and I could have just sent in the story as is. But "Emptiness Spoke Eloquent" was only the third short story I wrote for publication (we're not counting the genuine juvenilia and college crap), and it bears very little resemblance to the writer I have become. It's an artifact (all the stories are, but this is an old artifact), and I can't help but "fix" certain things before I see it reprinted again (this will be it's fourth appearance in print, since Autumn 1997).

Of course, this is not an isolated case. I virtually never allow a story to be reprinted without making at least minor edits. Usually, they are more than minor.

Unexpectedly warm today. Warm and very windy. It's 60F as I write this.

Elsewise, yesterday was that black mood (which is only very little improved today). I did get some reading done. Chinese for dinner, fried rice and wonton soup. We watched two more eps of Doctor Who (Series 4), the two-part Sontaran invasion story. And then we watched the latest episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which I thought was quite a bit better than usual (maybe it was the absence of Thomas Dekker). Then we played enough WoW that Shaharrazad and Suraa both made Lvl 38. Booya. My black mood was well matched to slaughtering ogres in the Alterac Mountains and humans in that little Syndicate hovel along the shores of Lordaeron Lake. The humans make better sport.

Okay. Enough of this for now. I've been at this since 11:28 ayem, and now it's after noon.
greygirlbeast: (dr10-1)
Definitely the sort of day for which Jethro Tull Season was created. 34F out there, and a sky so blue I am quite certain of its predatory nature.

Not a bad day yesterday. An unremarkable day, tainted only by this nagging, dry cough I've had since the beginning of November. We are old friends, this cough and I. It first came to me in the late '80s, and usually returns once or twice a year. No diagnosis or medication has ever made much sense of it. Peppermint helps, but nothing else ever seems to. It rattles my eyeballs, and I half suspect it's some brand of psychosomatic. It was unusually bad yesterday. Oh, and there's this damn tooth, the one that had a temporary fix in September to buy me the time to finish The Red Tree. It's going hot, and I'd planned to have it extracted on Monday, but I think I may be able to last a little longer. But, these things aside, still a decent enough day.

We did housework. I puttered about on the computer. The day was peppered with writing-related odds and ends. To wit:

A is for Alien has received an excellent review from Booklist (reviewed by Regina Schroeder):

The grace and subtlety with which Kiernan inverts the roles of us and them, of those who seek to belong
and those who watch from the sidelines, makes for unnerving but extraordinary storytelling. When the
usual humans are the other, there’s a lot of rather dystopian ground available. Whether the focus is on alien
possession, as in “Riding the White Bull,” or on humans choosing to make themselves into other creatures,
as in “Faces in Revolving Souls,” Kiernan deals with transformations real and imagined, forced and
voluntary. She works on the self-centered strangeness of humanity with the way she approaches aliens as
indifferent, strange, and usually difficult to deal with. Kiernan’s style relies on clarity in prose, the
extraordinary related as if it were everyday, and a subtlety that belies her disturbing imagery. The eight
stories in this slim volume are, in short, exquisite containers for the strange paths of her imagined futures.
In reading these pieces, you become other, and the better for it.


Also, my comp copy of the sold-out limited edition of Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy was delivered yesterday. It includes my sf story, "The Steam Dancer (1896)." I think all that's left are copies of the lettered edition.

Also also, Vince is almost finished with the interior illustrations for A is for Alien, which include some of the best work he's ever done for my fiction. There will be a black-and-white illustration for each story. The platypus and the dodo both agree this is an excellenet day to preorder the collection, if you've not already.

Last night we re-watched two more episodes of Series 4 of Doctor Who, "The Fires of Pompei" and "Planet of the Ood." Spooky made chili for dinner. Late, she read to me from The Fellowship of the Ring. Hubero listened, too. He insists that Sméagol is a Byronic Hero, and I've learned not to argue with Siamese cats.
greygirlbeast: (Middle Triassic)
Yeah, so...despite what people might think, whatever preconceived ideas might have been nurtured by the sort of erotica I write, it is only very rarely that I have sex dreams. That is, dreams with sexual content, much less dreams wherein I actually get any. This morning, however, I had what can only be described as a Buffy slash fic dream. Me and Willow (Alyson Hannigan). Only she was older, and was dressed very like Stevie Nicks (some might say this is a Wiccan's worst nightmare). And I was a werewolf. And just as things were getting interesting, Spooky (who'd been there all along, watching from the sidelines), told us we should both put our clothes back on. And we did. And then the dream headed off elsewhere. Spooky claims that I cannot hold her responsible for things she did in my dreams. I mean, to her credit, in her defence, it was my dream. But...I'm suspicious.

Yesterday? Exquisite. We left Providence sometime between 12:30 and 1 p.m. (CaST), and took 95 south and then west out of Rhode Island and into Connecticut. It was cold, but there were clouds to hide the sky. I'd brought Lovecraft along, just in case I needed something to read, to keep my eyes off the blue sky. But the clouds were there to keep it at bay. We reached New Haven about 2:30 p.m. (CaST). Upon reaching the Yale campus, our first destination was the Grove Street Cemetery (organized in 1796, incorporated October 1797). We parked on Hillhouse Avenue, then walked west to Prospect, then turned west again on Grove Street. Anyway, the Grove Street Cememtery is one of the most beautiful cemeteries I have ever seen, with lots of Egyptian Revival architecture. There were exceptionally fat, fuzzy grey squirrels everywhere, and great hordes of pigeons. Well, flocks, I suppose, not hordes. We soon located the gravestone of Othniel Charles Marsh (October 29, 1831 – March 18, 1899), one half of the "Great Bone War." I'm sort of ashamed that I managed to visit Marsh's grave before Edward Drinker Cope's, seeing as how I always had a much greater admiration for Cope (and someday I'll tell you the story of my incredibly tiny role in the history of the Cope/Marsh feud). I laid a dime on the pink granite monument, despite my misgivings about Marsh. Buried next to him is another Yale paleontologist, Charles Schuchert (July 3, 1858-November 20 1942), who coined the term paleobiology in 1904. Anyway, regardless of his pomposity and dirty dealings, Marsh named such dinosaurs as Torosaurus, Apatosaurus, and Allosaurus, as well as the Cretaceous toothed birds, Hesperornis and Ichthyornis.

Oh, there was a stop before Grove Street. We ducked into a computer science building on Prospect to find a restroom. It was enormous and deserted, and quickly searching the empty hallways for a toilet, I felt a little like Sarah Connor. Yeah. I'm a nerd. And has anyone else ever been amused by the fact that the psychology department at Yale is located on Hillhouse Avenue? Anyway, after the cemetery (where I will be returning to steal names), and after I stopped to tie my shoe on the steps of Woolsey Hall, we headed back to the van, and then on to the Peabody Museum of Natural History (estab. 1917, though the original building was destroyed and the museum moved to its current location in 1925). I will spare you all the gory details. I'd not been to the Peabody since June or July of 2000. Eight years. We spent a good deal of time with the dinosaurs, but also took time to see the rest of the museum (which I'd never done before). By about 5:30 (CaST), my senses were on overload. All the paleontology, anthropology, archaeology, botany, evolutionary biology, ornithology, and so on and on and on. I spent a long time squinting at Rudolph Zallinger's mural, The Age of Reptiles (1947). I bought a small dodo bird in the gift shop, and the cashier remarked how sad it was that there is not even so much as a single photograph of a dodo. Now the dodo has taken its place on my desk, next to the platypus. If I have "totem animals," I suppose they are the platypus and dodo. Anyway...we left Yale just after dark. I slept all the way back to Providence. A grand day, indeed. There are photos below, behind the cut.

After Chinese food, we ate Turkish Delight and watched Doctor Who: The Infinite Quest (2007), and it was great getting more Martha Jones. The look of the animation was beautiful, and the script was good, even if the character animation was stiff. After that, we watched (for the second time) "Partners in Crime," wherein the good doctor gets stuck with a bland, annoying woman as his companion. No, I cannot seem to warm to Catherine Tate. We've only seen the first four eps of Season 4, so we're getting them from Netflix now. Afterwards, we drank pomegranate martinis and played WoW. My disenchantment grows. And please, please, please...I know you mean well, but I need people to stop suggesting that I might enjoy text-based rp. I did. In 1995. Now, I need a visual interface. Otherwise, the rp is just writing, which is...work. I'm sorry. I'm just like that. We got to bed very, very late.

And, as I said, there are photos behind the cut:

Thursday, December 4, 2008 )
greygirlbeast: (Blood elf)
So, I need to make this short, as today we're haded out to Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet, on Cape Cod. Last year, the remains of a 19th-Century ship washed ashore there, and I need to see them, and the day is going to be warm (57F) and sunny. There will be photos.

Good news from an editor this morning, regarding "The Colliers' Venus (1893)," so, you know, "Booya!" and all.

If you have not received Sirenia Digest #36, and are, in fact, a subscriber, then you need to email Spooky at crk_books(at)yahoo(dot)com, and she'll figure out why not and see you get your copy. But, by now, everyone should have the issue.

I have decided to print out all the issues of Sirenia Digest and have them bound. It's weird that I have none of them printed. But I do it all on the iMac, and printing them has always seemed a waste of paper. But I'd like, now, to be able to hold them and put them on the shelf.

Yesterday, not much of anything. I tried to just rest. And I suck at just resting. So, instead, mostly I listened to Joy Division and the Editors and wandered back into WoW. I'd not played in several days. I leveled my blood-elf paladin, Hanifah, from 15 to 17, all in Tranquillian, in the Ghostlands south of Silvermoon City. Spooky helped a little, with her Tauren shaman, Usiku (Swahili for night). But I continue to lose interest in WoW. I think, given that it is only a game and not useful for rp that I can only judge it as a videogame (and no, hanging out in a tavern and chatting in lolspeak and Renfairese while teen elf sluts, who, in RL, are mostly all boys, dance semi-clad on tabletops doesn't count as rp). And it's just not a terribly good videogame. It's pretty. A lot of hard work has gone into the world building. I see all that. But it kind of bugs me that, when all is said and done, the game is probably the most popular computer game in history because anyone and everyone can play it. And play it equally well. Assuming that you can afford to buy the game and pay the monthly charge (and that you have a computer that's compatible, and aren't blind), WoW is about as level as any playing field will ever get. I stare at the screen and use keystrokes and click my mouse. The only way that I'll not make it as far in the game as it's possible to make it is if I cease to play. There is simply no skill, of any sort, involved in playing. So, after a while, it becomes pretty damned repetitive. It's making me miss Tomb Raider, where, you know, there are puzzles, and hand-eye coordination is actually a factor. We'll see.

Yesterday. Well, I took a long, hot bath. I downloaded the most recent iTunes update. I did a tiny bit of housecleaning. Spooky made a wonderful dinner, that included asparagus, so yay. We watched last year's Xmas episode of Doctor Who again ("Voyage of the Damned"), and I'm still ticked that Astrid didn't become the new companion, or Sally Sparrow, or anyone but Donna. Then we watched two more eps of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I was especially impressed with the non-linear, fractured narration of ""Mr. Ferguson is Ill Today." Lena Headey is growing on me.

Okay. Gotta go. The platypus is chomping at the bit.
greygirlbeast: (dr10-1)
Oh, if only I had magical coffee, the coffee that bestows instant and perfect wakefulness, and eternal youth. That coffee. No, I just have this milky brown water.

Er...yeah.

Yesterday morning, Spooky took the following two photos (behind the cut) of me while I was trying to wake up. They should give you some idea of the disassembly of the hole where I hide...I mean, the office. Fold it all up. Stick it a box. Send it a thousand miles northeast. And hope this is the last big move, ever.

Waking in an Empty Office )


Yesterday, I wrote 1,138 words on Chapter One of The Red Tree. Good pages. I think I'm finally beginning to find my way into Sarah Crowe. And after the writing, there was, of course, packing. Sorting through a mountain of papers and such atop my file cabinet (visible in the first photo, packed or discarded now) and on a shelf. But the good news is that Byron showed up about 6:15 pm, and we went to the Vortex for dinner. Moose was our waiter, which is always good. Afterwards, back home, we watched the final episode of the 9th Doctor's run, "A Parting of the Ways," because I found myself needing Christopher Eccleston. And then there was Martha Jones in the new episode of the current series, and then a particularly good episode of Battlestar Galactica. Good enough that even the commercials didn't ruin it for me. Afterwards, I spent a little quiet time in New Babbage (Second Life), mostly just sitting in the Great Hall of the Palaeozoic Museum, listening to a recorded thunderstorm (on Radio 3, Bratislava), unwinding, contemplating future exhibits. Later, Miss Paine (Spooky) showed up, and we walked down to her pie shop in the Canal District, on Bow Street. There's a room upstairs I rather love.

And after that little bit of Second Life, Spooky read to me from House of Leaves. That most frustrating chapter, at least for me. XVI. The examination of the wall samples, following the "Evacuation" of the house on Ash Tree Lane. But most of the data recovered by Mel O'Geery's Princeton lab, the knowledge of the age and geological composition of those walls, has been lost, replaced with XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, because Johnny placed a leaky fucking jar of ink on that stack of pages. And pages went missing at the publisher. And, on the one hand, every time I read the book, this section drives me mad, and on the other, this is Danielewski doing it exactly right. He taunts with hints of answers, then pulls back, lest the mystery be dissolved in mere fact. When Spooky got sleepy, I read some of Chapter 7 ("Osborn, Nature, and Evolution") of the Henry Fairfield Osborn biography. At 2 ayem, I turned off the lights and drifted down to the dreams.

Spooky's taking Hubero to the vet at 2 pm, to have him checked out before the move, and to get him a bottle of kitty Valium.

Oh, and I should post this again, because the sale price of $12.99 is good until Monday:

Reynolds/Washburne 2008


And, also, 350.org.
greygirlbeast: (chi (intimate distance))
Yesterday, by some miracle (I don't actually believe in "miracles," sensu loaves and fishes, etc., so what I actually mean is by some statistically improbable, but not impossible, turn of events), I wrote a measly 869 words, and finished the preface for The Red Tree. The preface is written by the fictional editor who has come into the possession of Sarah Crowe's manuscript. The editor is strangely fond of footnotes, some of which are rather pedantic. Today, no writing, but, instead, Spooky and I will read back over what I've written of Chapter One to be sure it jibes with the preface. Already, I've caught one inconsistency. In Chapter One, the "red tree" grows on "the Old Jenks place," but in the preface, it grows on the "Battey Farm." I'll be going with the latter.

My thanks for the many comments and emails yesterday, though, of course, that's not why I said the things I said. I wasn't fishing for pep talks. And all the attention and well wishes in the world cannot change what I know to be true. I cannot go any easier on myself. Indeed, I am not going hard enough on myself. It's a goddamn hardscrabble life, pimping the playtpus, selling my dreams, growing corn on bare stone, making all these blasted words. It's not likely to ever get any easier. There is no retirement plan. There are only the words, from here until The End. One reason I am so reluctant to describe these times when it goes from bad to worse is simply because I have this inherent fear of being seen as weak, or whiny, or whatever. But I also loathe not telling the truth. Anyway, yes, thank you for the sentiments, because it's good to know someone cares, but nothing changes. Not unless the big space rock comes tomorrow, or Panthalassa rises up to stomp us all flat with tsunami paws.

I re-read Salman Rushdie's introduction to Angela Carter's Burning Your Boats yesterday, and he writes:
"...but the best of her, I think, is in her stories. Sometimes, at novel length, the distinctive Carter voice, those smoky, opium-eater's cadences interrupted by harsh or comic discords, that moonstone-and-rhinestone mix of opulence and flim-flam, can be exhausting. In her stories, she can dazzle and swoop, and quit while she's ahead."

And I think I know exactly what he means, for so often have I wished that I could make a living writing only short fiction. I do it ever so much better than novels, with their absurdly drawn-out plots and contrived twists and turns. I have never written a novel even half as good as my best short story, but, in the end, this is about the pay check. Of course, I should also note, to be fair, that Rushdie adores Carter's novels, and bemoans the werewolf novel she never wrote. It's just, as an author, I think the short story is the better form, and poetry better still. Distillation, as it were. Less usually is more.

What else to yesterday? I re-read "A new aigialosaur (Squamata; Anguimorpha) with soft tissue remains from the Upper Cretaceous of Nuevo León, Mexico" in the March 2008 JVP. We live in age of riches, when it comes to the discovery of basal mosasauroid lizards — Dallasurus, Hassiophis, Tethysaurus, Haasisaurus, Judeasaurus, et al., and now Vallecillosaurus. Anyway, I packed many boxes of books. My office is looking bare. Spooky has been craving Tom Baker, so we watched the four-part old-school Doctor Who, "The Hand of Fear" (1976). Mostly, Baker's Who is just too hokey for my tastes, and I find Sarah Jane unbearable. But I like that steampunky old TARDIS, and Eldrad was a pretty cool alien. Christopher Eccleston will always be my Doctor, and David Tenant's not so bad, either. After four eps of Doctor Who, I wandered into SL for a rather nice rp with Omega and Pontifex. I was in bed by 2:30 ayem, I think. Seven hours sleep. That was yesterday, pretty much. Oh, very fine thunderstorm last night, late. I sat here at my desk, the window open, trying to hear the thunder over the Xtians who were wailing and hooting (at 11:30 p.m.!) like they were trying to summon Great Cthulhu. Beautiful lightning. I feel asleep to the rain.

Ah, and a screencap from SL, another one that may put some readers in mind of "Flotsam." These days, Nareth sleeps beneath that old tanker:

Nareth in the sea )

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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