greygirlbeast: (Starbuck 3)
It's bright out there. Cold, but bright. And there's another storm on the way, as I'm sure at least half the country is aware. The snow should reach us by morning. I'm thinking of all those six-foot heaps made by the snowplows, and wondering how they'll look as seven- and eight-foot heaps. We have to get out of here this evening, before the weather starts deteriorating. I have a 7 p.m. (CaST) doctor's appointment, and we'll need to make it to the market.

---

Something happened yesterday that's never happened before. It's remarkable, I suppose, that it's never happened before, given I've been writing pretty much full-time now for nineteen years. I'm hesitant to even speak of it here. But given how this journal is meant to be an honest record of my experiences as a writer and author, I would feel dishonest leaving it out. Yesterday, first time ever, I found myself crying because of what I was writing. It came on very suddenly, and I had to stop and step away for awhile before finishing the scene. I know I was crying for Imp. There are other reasons, too, which I'm not going to spell out. But, later, I found myself thinking that this has to be the last novel of this sort I write, at least for the foreseeable future. It's too terrible and too personal. I find myself not wanting to let anyone see this one, ever. I felt that way a little with Daughter of Hounds, then even more so with The Red Tree. But it's never been this strong, the urge to lock the book away and not subject it to editors and reviewers and Amazon reader comments and people mouthing off on their blogs. It's just too personal, and I suppose I have no one to blame but myself. No one forces me to write these particular stories, to keep picking at these particular scabs. But, yeah. Last time. And then I'm going off to write YA, and tell wondrous stories, and they'll be dark, sure. They'll be true. But they sure as fuck won't be this. It sounds melodramatic, I know, but the truth is I'm making myself sicker, writing this novel, and it's not worth the toll it's taking.

It's okay if that didn't make much sense. Like Imp's story, it's mostly just for me.

At best, I'm halfway through the novel.

Yesterday, I wrote 2,106 words on Chapter 5, and finally reached the end of the longest chapter I've ever written.

--

Not much else to say about yesterday. We watched the new episode of Fringe, which, of course, was very good. Then we watched the first two episodes of Season Two of Spartacus. Gods, I'd forgotten how much I love this show. Sheer and utter fucking debauchery and depravity, unabashed, unapologetic. All fucking id, top to bottom. It's nowhere near as well written as was Deadwood, but I think it has much the same appeal for me. Later, we played a little WoW. I think I got to bed about 3:45 a.m. (CaST).

Gonna go now. Comments would be especially welcome today.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Elizabeth would have been forty today. I can hardly even begin to wrap my head around the weirdness of that fact.

1) Bear with me. I'm more awake that yesterday, and not in half as much pain, but this is still gonna be a bumpy ride.

2) Yesterday, I wrote 1,533 words on "—30—", which I'm liking, and which I think Spooky is liking more than I do. It will appear in Sirenia Digest #61. A reminder to subscribers (if you were one, I could be reminding you, as well) that the digest now goes out on the fifth day of the month. So, expect #61 on January 5th.

3) Some time back— like a year or two or something, I don't know exactly —I began making a concerted effort not to reply to the idiotic things that idiots are apt to say online during or after reading one of my books. And, mostly, I've made good on that. Not because I think it's wrong or unseemly for an author to reply to her critics, but just because it gets fucking tiresome, for me and for the people reading this blog (I don't know who convinced so many writers they shouldn't ever reply to their critics, but it's a bit of conventional wisdom that baffles me, and I suspect a reviewer is to blame). Just two days ago I complained about Mr./Mrs./Miss Threw In An Ending over on Amazon. Which ought to be my quota for the month.

But no. From Goodreads, via Twitter, another gem was brought to my attention this morning. Someone who's reading Daughter of Hounds. I won't give her name, but I will note she is a she. It's relevant:

Not liking the angry woman in the story; angry women are not cool.

I shit you not. How does one even reply to anything so utterly, perniciously...wrongheaded? Seriously, I have no idea what to say in response. Everything I think of seems too obvious. Some statements are so perfectly, sublimely stupid— and prima facie so —that they successfully resist any articulate rebuttal.

4) Last night was meatloaf (Spooky does amazing things with meatloaf), and we watched the end of Season Six of Deadliest Catch, and played WoW, and I had a hot bath, and we started Holly Black's Ironside.

5) One year ago today, I asked the readers of this blog a question: If you had me alone, locked up in your house, for twenty-four hours and I had to do whatever you wanted me to, what would you have me/you/us do? The answers were screened, to encourage explicit, honest, imaginative responses, and I promised I'd include the answers I liked best in an upcoming issue of the digest. And there were some very good replies, but, for some reason, I didn't keep my promise. I think it's time that I did so, and the best of the lot will be appearing in #61.

Yours in Anger,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Yesterday, I wrote 1,840 words on Chapter Two of The Drowning Girl. I think I am amazed at how this narrative is unfolding. Amazed and unnerved. It's a calculated tumult. And, too, the prose in my novels continues to grow airier, looser, more open, more conversational. That began with Daughter of Hounds. It's occurred to me that readers who liked the denser prose of my earlier novels might not be so enthused by the "new" direction, but it's not like I'm going to purposefully stall what seems to be a natural progression.

Very cold here in Providence (32F, 20F with the windchill). Cold and sunny.

Sirenia Digest #60 went out to subscribers late last night. I'd love to hear feedback on "The Prayer of Ninety Cats."

Today is Goblin Day in WoW. Well, if you're a Horde player. Which is to say the Cataclysm expansion goes live today. We've got a team of five lined up to play goblins, leveling more or less together, which is something I've never done before, playing with so many other people.

Not much to Monday except the writing. We listened to more of Madeline L'Engle reading A Wrinkle in Time. Spooky made a trip to the post office. I've lost track of how long it's been since I last left the House.* I read about Devonian tetrapods, and had a short nap in front of the fireplace. There was chili for dinner. We leveled our orcs to 40, which was my target level before switching to goblins, but I hadn't thought I'd make it. I read another of [livejournal.com profile] blackholly's stories to Spooky, "The Coat of Stars." It a wonderful, wonderful story. That was yesterday, pretty much.

I took photos all day long, for another "Day in the Life" sort of thing. Only, this time I restricted myself to macro shots. Here are the results:

6 December 2010 )


* Just checked. Last went Outside on November 23rd, which makes thirteen days. I've almost broken my record of fourteen days without even realizing it.
greygirlbeast: (white2)
Another rough night last night. Is this becoming the insomnia journal? It has been before, so shall it be again. Spooky's calling my doctor in a bit to see if we can double the Prazosin tonight. Tiddley pom. Dreams I won't get into. I lay in bed until sometime after three, then took an Ambien (insuring I'd be a zombie this ayem), got up, and listened to the Audible.com version of Daughter of Hounds until almost four.

Yesterday (which followed a good night's sleep) was unproductive. I have a story due in at the beginning of July that must be both supernatural and noir. Which should be easy as pie for me. I've certainly done it before. But I'm having trouble finding the subject matter of this particular story, trying to avoid lame, done-to-death plots, like hard-boiled, world-weary male detective falls in love with femme fatale who, it turns out, really is a femme fatale (i.e., vampire, siren, succubus, werewolf, etc.). I am looking for the artful solution to this problem, one that won't make me yawn. Because I love the marriage of noir and dark fantasy, when it's done well. Last night, trying to sleep, thinking about potential stories, the title "The Maltese Unicorn" popped into my head. Gagh. No, I will not be writing a story called "The Maltese Unicorn." I wanted to punch myself in the face just for thinking of it.

My thanks to everyone who bid in the lastest round of eBay auctions. Another round will begin soon. Meanwhile, have a look at Spooky's sea-glass jewelery at Dreaming Squid Dollworks.

Last night we watched Olatunde Osunsanmi's The Fourth Kind, a film so stupid that not even Milla Jovovich could redeem it. And that's saying something. I actually enjoyed the most recent Resident Evil film, almost entirely because of the presence of Milla Jovovich. Don't get me wrong, I (obviously) love the "faked documentary" approach, when it's done well. Here, it's not. Never is it even halfway convincing. And don't get me started on the Sumerian ancient astronaut nonsense. Not a good movie, at all.

Anyway, enough for one morning. Comment if you dare. Lately, the number of those who dare has fallen off rather dramatically.
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
I slept more than eight hours last night, which was a great relief, as I was stupid and useless and somewhat ill all day yesterday, due to the two nights before. And I did it without Ambien. Whenever I happen to note that I'm not sleeping well, I'm often met with advice which I understand to be well meaning. But sometimes it can be unintentionally funny. For example, chamomile tea is frequently suggested. Which, if we're talking about run of the mill sleeplessness, the occasional night when it's a little hard to get to sleep, fine. But my insomnia is like unto the Godzilla of insomnia. When even the Ambien's not working, it's a safe bet chamomile tea won't, either. Or hot baths. Or warm milk. Another commonly suggested remedy is the hormone melatonin. And I know melatonin can be a useful sleep aid. Problem is, melatonin use may worsen depression (which I am being treated for) and cause vivid dreams and nightmares (which I am being treated for). It also has the potential to interact with certain drugs I've been prescribed. So, not an option.

Yesterday was, not unexpectedly, and as predicted, a lost cause. Maybe this falls under the heading of self-fulfilling prophecy, but given I was having serious trouble walking in a straight line, I rather tend to doubt it. I spent the first part of the day listening to the audiobook of The Red Tree from Aubile.com. I finished it (first ever audiobook I've listened to start to finish, by the way). Overall, I'm very pleased. The voice of Sarah is not the voice I heard in my head as I wrote it, but it works very well, regardless. After The Red Tree, I downloaded Daughter of Hounds and made it through the prologue and the first two chapters. And then I got dressed and we headed to the Athenaeum.

I had it in my head that I'd get some research done for a short story I need to start, but soon discovered I was too sleep deprived to focus on much of anything. I wound up just sort of groggily prowling the stacks, randomly reading bits of this or that. Books on fish of the Atlantic, the great white shark, sea monsters, the Farallon Islands, Steinbeck's The Log of the Sea of Cortez...well, okay, that doesn't sound nearly so disconnected as it seemed at the time. Though I can't really fit the Tsavo lions in there. At some point, I pulled from a shelf The Story of the Sun by Sir Robert S. Bell (D. Appleton and Company, NYC), published in 1893. I could see from a spidery bit of handwriting on the endpapers that the book had been entered into the Athenaeum's catalog on January 29th, 1894, some one hundred and sixteen years ago. And I imagined all the people who have opened this book in that time, and taken it out, and read it. How many in all that time? It occurred to me that the book was there in the Athenaeum for all of Lovecraft's life, and given his love of astronomy, that he very probably at least thumbed through it at some point in his forty-seven years. It's almost like time travel, moments like those (especially when you've not slept). We left the Athenaeum just before closing (at seven p.m.), stopped by the market, then headed home.

After dinner, we watched three episodes of Glee (the new one, plus two older ones Spooky had seen, but I had not). I love "Britana." And we learned last night that the episode which airs in two weeks has been written by Joss Whedon. Later, I went into WoW for the first time in two or three weeks and did a very satisfying battlefield, just Alterac Vally but it went on for almost an hour and felt more like an actual battle than WoW battlefields usually do. After WoW, we read more of Patti Smith's Just Kids, and then I managed to fall asleep watching a comfort movie, Jack Arnold's Revenge of the Creature (1955). Whatever I dreamt, it's mostly forgotten now.

The latest round of eBay auctions will be ending this afternoon (between 3:07 and 3:31 p.m. EST). My thanks to everyone who has bid, or who might yet. Also, Spooky has added a few new pieces of beach-glass jewelery to her Dreaming Squid Dollworks Etsy shop.

Anyway, time to make the doughnuts. I took one photo yesterday morning, from the front parlor, just before six a.m. Yesterday was the first time I'd ever watched the sun rise over Providence:

5 May 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (The Red Tree)
I'm trying very, very hard to make sure that Sirenia Digest #53 goes out to subscribers by midnight tomorrow night. But I have at least a day's work left to get done on the second piece for the issue, "Workprint." Yesterday, I wrote 1,004 words on the story. On Wednesday, I wrote 1,196 words on it. Today, I mean to find THE END.

Audible.com is now offering audio versions of five of my novels: Threshold, Low Red Moon, Murder of Angels, Daughter of Hounds, and The Red Tree. Right now, I'm listening to The Red Tree. I've made it to the end of Chapter Two, and I'm quite pleased with what I'm hearing. I very much hope people will pick up copies of the audiobooks. By the way, you may listen to samples of the audiobooks at Audible.com.

We've begun a new round of eBay auctions to help defray the cost of my newest (and insanely expensive) anti-seizure medication. At the moment, there are copies of The Dry Salvages, Tales from the Woeful Platypus, and Alabaster. Please have a look. Bid if you are able. The good news is that the new meds appear to be working. Oh, and Spooky has new pendants up at her Etsy Dreaming Squid Dollworks shop, which is another way to help out.

Let's see. What else, quickly? Night before last, we saw Grant Heslov's The Men Who Stare at Goats, which I liked a lot. Late in the evening, we've been reading Patti Smith's autobiography, Just Kids. Also, though I've seen most of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse and found it barely watchable, on Wednesday and Thursday nights we watched "Epitaph One" and "Epitaph Two," respectively. And they were very good, especially "Epitaph One." They were a glimpse of the series that might have been, instead of the sad mess that was. Had the series begun with "Epitaph One," it might have been brilliant television. Those two episodes made me care about characters the rest of the series could not. Hell, in one scene Eliza Dushku came dangerously close to acting. So, it was delightful seeing them, but disheartening, too.

And now...work. Onwards, platypus!
greygirlbeast: (Blood elf 2)
1. Most of yesterday was spent looking for a new short story. I haven't yet found it. I sat here at the keyboard, allowing my mind to wander wherever it seemed to need to wander. At some point, I ended up reading S.T. Joshi's The Rise and Fall of the Cthulhu Mythos (2008, Mythos Books). Around 5 p.m. (CaST) my agent called, and we talked a while, mostly about my health and how I'm not making progress on The Wolf Who Cried Girl. She was both understanding and encouraging. "You'll get it written when you get it written," she said, which is a truism, sure, but one of the comforting sort to hear from one's agent.

I believe, at this point, finding my way into the book may be a matter of taking a rather complex plot— which I worked out back in December and January —and tearing most of it away until only the most central and essential elements remain. I want a novel less like, say, Daughter of Hounds or Threshold, and more like The Red Tree. The fewest characters possible. The most personal and claustrophobic narrative I may manage. A story driven more by characterization, mood, and theme, and less by plot. It's in there somewhere, the story that I need to tell. I need only tease it free of my annoying preconceptions of this novel.

2. The postman brought me a review copy of Thomas Ligotti's forthcoming The Conspiracy Against the Human Race (Hippocampus Press)— his first work of nonfiction —which, at least from a cursory glance, seems like something I meant to write ten years farther along. Ah, well. Now Ligotti can take the heat for speaking the nihilism and for this "unsparing dissection of the sophisms spun by life's apologists," and all I have to do is sit back and nod my head from the shadows.

3. Last night, we played more WoW than I've had at a sitting in...well, a couple of months. It's a game I have to go away from and come back to every now and then, if it is to retain my interest. Shaharrazad and Suraa quested in the Grizzly Hills, and Suraa (Spooky) made Level 77. Shah is almost to 77. I hope that the great reboot of Cataclysm brings the design of the rest of Azeroth more in line with Northrend, as these environments are so much better realized than anything in either Kalimdor or the Eastern Kingdoms.

4. The sleeplessness was back last night. I read from John Steele Gordon's A Thread Across the Ocean: The Heroic Story of the Transatlantic Cable (2002), until I finally got sleepy, sometime after four ayem.

5. And here at four photos I snapped at Harbor of Refuge on Wednesday. They're not terribly good. It was freezing, sleeting, and the wind was so strong it actually kept threatening to push me over. The photos failed to capture the actual color of the sea, but they do capture something of the bleakness of the day:

3 March 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
No, there's been no writing. And what the fuck point is there in making an entry about how there's been no writing since I finished "The Eighth Veil," way back on the ninth? Not a whole lot. At least I have moved beyond lying in bed, and have actually spent the last two days at the keyboard not writing. Somehow, that entails slightly less guilt than not writing from bed. Less guilt, more frustration. My masochistic "soul" probably figures the pain incurred staring at the blank MS Word "page" earns me less guilt. It's not writing, but at least it's another sort of suffering, so I'm cut some slack.

I will try again today. Today, I will try harder than I tried yesterday.

The snow hasn't all melted away, but it's going fast.

I admit I have paused in my not writing to gaze in horror at the internet kerfuffle surrounding Evelyn Evelyn. I know people are stupid, but sometimes I forget just how stupid people can be, especially on the goddamn internet. I've really had enough of the good soldiers of the web, fighting their ignorant, petty wars for truth, light, and squeamish political correctness. Spooky came into the office, night before last, to try and tell me about the people flaming Amanda over the Evelyn Evelyn backstory. And it's not often I'm rendered speechless, but speechless was I rendered. Finally, I was able to sputter something like, "These fuckwits know Ziggy Stardust was really David Bowie, right?" Yeah, it's that stupid. There are people who live to be offended, to disapprove. And no, I'm not linking to the stupid. If you want to see, use Google.

Life's to goddamn short for this nonsense. To quote Jeffrey Goines, "Fuck the bozos!"

Well, at least I do have these photographs, the railroad bridge photos I promised day before yesterday. I will refer you to Daughter of Hounds. If you have the trade paperback, you may turn to page 238. If you have the paperback, it's page 205. If you have the trade paperback and the paperback, I love you.

15 February 2010, Pt. 2 )
greygirlbeast: (goat girl)
This morning, I awoke to the world gone white again. On the one hand, it ruins plans I had for tonight. On the other, the snow has smoothed off all the sharp edges of winter and decently hidden the wide carnivorous sky from view.

No work yesterday, but I knew there wouldn't be. I am going to try today.

Spooky and I spent the afternoon exploring a small bit of Providence, between the Providence and Seekonk rivers. I saw places I'd not seen before, or at least never seen up close. We started at India Point, south of Wickenden Street. But the wind was too bitter to stay out very long. We found shelter in the lee of the Hurricane Barrier, where the Providence River empties into Narrgansett Bay. The massive steel and concrete barrier was built in 1966, after two hurricanes flooded the city, and guards against storm surge. Later, we headed east, back towards the Seekonk. I was feeling a little intrepid, so we explored the old drawbridge and railroad across the river. These are locations from Daughter of Hounds. When Emmie goes out in the snowstorm, and ends up at the abandoned tunnel, this is the way she walked. We briefly debated looking for the tunnel entrance, but decided we weren't feeling quite that intrepid. I took lots of photos. Spooky also took a few. I'll post the best of them today and tomorrow (the photos relevant to Daughter of Hounds will go up tomorrow).

Before heading home, we stopped by Whole Foods. For dinner, Spooky made a meatloaf with gorgonzola, sun-dried tomatoes, and wild mushrooms. We read more of The Talisman. I dozed. And I'm getting these things out of order, out of the order in which they occurred, but it hardly matters.

Photos behind the cut:

15 February 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (Bjorkdroid)
1. A few flurries Outside as I type. This is the north edge of the monster storm that walloped D.C. and Philadelphia yesterday. But we're not even expecting the tiniest bit of accumulation. Go figure.

2. The platypus says this is the best possible day on which to order The Ammonite Violin & Others, and being merely a lowly minion of the platypus, I am forced to relay hisherits every message. Remember, the limited edition comes with a FREE chapbook, "Sanderlings," the short-story set in Green Hill, RI, which I wrote back in November. Oh, and I did the cover for "Sanderlings." So, yeah. Do like the platypus says.

3. A question from James Maier, via email: Basically, my question is this: Which books are “grouped” together and in what order? i.e. the same characters, sequels, etc. Though I’m sure the novels all stand alone just fine, I kind of want to read along with the characters’ chronology and I’d like to avoid any more spoilers from reading Amazon’s descriptions.

Okay, it works something like this. Silk and Murder of Angels pretty much form a duology, the latter being a fairly straightforward sequel to the former. Same with Threshold and Low Red Moon, though you also get Daughter of Hounds, which sort of makes a trilogy of the whole affair. But it's a very loose sort of trilogy. And, of course, all five of these novels are interconnected here and there. There's also Alabaster, which very much ties into that "trilogy." Finally, yes, there's The Red Tree, which has echoes of many of the novels before it, but is definitely set apart. That said, if anyone wants my opinion, read The Red Tree first, then Daughter of Hounds, and after that...read them in what ever order pleases you.

4. Yesterday I butched up and risked that carnivorous sky all over again. That is I went Outside, second day in a row. I wanted to get photographs of the continuing demolition of the Bridge Street Bridge that crosses Wickenden Street (you will recall the photos from the early stages of the demolition that were included in my January 13th and January 14th entries). The bridge is mostly down, and you can now stand and look up at the sky where, for the better part of a century, the sky was hidden. There are photos below, behind the cut. The day was cold, numbing my fingers as I tried to get the shots. Afterwards, we headed to Eastside Marketplace and Whole Foods, then spent a little time picking over the bones of a Blockbuster Video that's going out of business any day now. I assume they all are, but I don't know that for sure. Oddly, we came away without buying any of the super-cheap DVDs (everything we wanted was scratched to hell and back), but I did get two books, very cheap, and I didn't even know Blockbuster had started selling books. The Smithsonian Book of Mars by Joseph M. Boyce (2002) and Postcards from Mars: The First Photographer on the Red Planet by Jim Bell (2006), because I can never have too many reference books on Mars. Oh, and we dropped by the post office in Olneyville, so I could send in the contracts on "The Steam Dancer (1896)" (to be reprinted in Steampunk Reloaded) and a copy of Peter's A Dark Matter to my mother.

5. We watched the new episode of Fringe last night, possibly one of the best so far, and refreshing after the disappointing "monster of the week" episodes of the previous three weeks.

6. I have a plan. I will spend the remainder of February writing the vignettes that will comprise Sirenia Digest 51 and 52, so that I can set aside all of March and April for the writing of The Wolf Who Cried Girl. I'd hoped to get the novel written this winter, but what I want and what happens are too often not the same.

7. I stayed up far too late last night, roleplaying in Insilico, because I just don't know how to walk away from story when it's coming at me. Xiang was hired as bartender at the Blue Ant (now that she's registered and legal), and has proven that androids can make perfectly fine White Russians. Later, after "work," there was intrigue and adventure and dizzying heights. I fucking adore this place.

5 February 2010 )


By the way...I just spent about an hour and a half on this LJ entry....
greygirlbeast: (tentacles)
A few minutes ago, Spooky said, "I think if the Crawling Chaos offered me an apple, I'd have to run the other way." Which makes quite a bit more sense if you've seen my "Miskatonic Valley Yuletide Faire" T-shirt (thank you, Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs), and I know you probably haven't.

Merry Cephalopodmas, one and all.

Yesterday, I read "The Jetsam of Disremembered Mechanics" to Spooky, and then tended to an awful lot of line edits. I think it's as good a story as it's ever going to be, so today I'll be sending it to subpress. By the way, this story will appear in an anthology of short stories inspired by the works of Robert Silverberg, edited by Gardner Doizois and Bill Schafer. Not sure of the publication date, but I'll post it when I know. My piece is a sort of "prequel" to Silveberg's Nightwings (1968, 1969). Also, yesterday I received the finished cover art for The Ammonite Violin & Others from Richard Kirk, and I'll post it here sometime in the next few days. It is truly, truly gorgeous. This is going to be a marvelous volume.

When work was done yesterday, Spooky and I bundled up and ventured out into the snowy world. Mountains of snow everywhere. We made it as far as the house at 599/597 Angell Street that was Deacon and Emmie's house in Daughter of Hounds. I'd not visited it since we moved here last summer, and, indeed, not since June 28th, 2004, when Spooky and I first happened upon it while I was researching the novel. It sits directly across the street from 598 Angell Street, where Lovecraft lived from 1904-1924. And after I took a few photos (below, behind the cut), we stopped by the market, then headed back home as the sun was setting.

Last night, we snacked on strawberry hamantashen and fresh Mandarin oranges and a huge tin of chocolate cookies, and watched a couple more episodes of Fringe. I rather enjoyed "August," no matter how blatantly the "observers" are ripped off from Dark City. And after that, there was WoW. We're fifty quests into the Borean Tundra (out of one hundred and fifty), and I really, really hate the region. After questing at Vengeance Landing and Dragonblight, it's just too disjointed and garish and noisy and hokey, too much like Outland, and I just want to be finished with it and get back to Dragonblight, which actually feels like a place. We both made Level 73. Shaharrazad has let her hair grow longer, what with the cold and all.

Sadly, there was very little in the way of Soltice ritual. I'm afraid that the whole "solitary practioner" thing just isn't working for me (I've been at it for five years now), and in the coming year I am going to make an earnest effort to either find or found a coven. I may even resort to WitchVox. There has to be at least one good GLBT-friendly coven in the area, one that isn't all fluffy bunnies and white-light nonsense.

Anyway, here are the photos from yesterday:

21 December 2009 )
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: (talks to wolves)
On Thursday, I sent the proposal for Blood Oranges (working title, and almost certainly not the book's final title) to my agent. And now I'm waiting to hear back from her. I was hoping I'd get her thoughts before the weekend, but, alas, no. So...I wait. If she likes it as is, it will be sent along to my editor at Penguin. If Merrilee says the proposals needs work, I'll revise it, then send it back to her again.

As of yesterday, it's been four years since I finished Daughter of Hounds, which I began writing in the autumn of 2004. This time last year, I'd just finished The Red Tree, late in October, and was working on a short story, "The Collier's Venus." And now, here I am trying to find my way into the Next Novel, which I probably "should" have begun writing back in June. But my novels come slowly. I seem to be good for about one every two years. Well, that depends what you count and what you don't. If we say I've written seven novels— which is what I'd say —they have been written over a period of seventeen years. Which is, what? A novel, on average, every 2.4 years. Which seems entirely reasonable to me, especially given that, since 1993, I've also written and sold something 175 short stories, novellas, comic scripts, and vignettes.

Anyway...

Yesterday, I didn't write. Yesterday was cold and windy grey, the clouds low and threatful. And we went to an afternoon matinée of Roland Emmerich's 2012. A stupid, stupid, stupid movie. But, it is enjoyable on a certain level, that level wherein I derive a perverse glee from seeing all human civilization reduced to ruin and rubble, while almost seven billion people die screaming in convulsions of fire and water. It was stupid, but it was pretty. Stupid and pretty. I found it painful watching John Cusack and Chiwetel Ejiofor trapped in the thing. At least John Cusack was allowed to be a bit lighthearted. Poor Ejiofor had to play the whole silly mess with a straight (and grim) face. I will say that Woody Harrelson was hilarious, and if only the film had given him a larger part, it would have been quite a bit more worthwhile. Has anyone else noticed that Emmerich keeps making the same film over and over and over, and that these films essentially adhere to a formula begun almost forty years ago, with Airport (1970) and The Poseidon Adventure (1972)? The last forty minutes or so of 2012 (the film was probably an hour too long, by the way) might almost be viewed as a cynical, hamfisted remake of George Pal's When World's Collide (1951). And did I mention this is a stupid film? No? I mean, it's like Emmerich hired a team of astrophysicists, planetologists, geologists, and engineers as consultants, then did exactly the opposite of whatever they advised. I was amused with Ebert giving the film 3.5 stars (out of 4), reasoning that "2012 delivers what it promises, and since no sentient being will buy a ticket expecting anything else, it will be, for its audiences, one of the most satisfactory films of the year." Yes, it's big, dumb fun. Just check your brain at the box office, or it won't be.

Last night, there was a fire in the house next door. Spooky and I heard an odd pop, and ten minutes or so later, the block was surrounded by fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances, and smoke was pouring from our neighbor's roof. We went downstairs. The night was cold and wet, and we watched the firemen and the chaos. It appears the fire was started by a faulty lamp short-circuiting, something like that. No one was hurt. All the pets were evacuated. Today, there's a truck pumping water out of the basement. My impression is that the damage from the fire was minimal, but the smoke and water damage must have been quite substantial. There are a few photos behind the cut:

13 November 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (The Red Tree)
Dreamsick and disoriented. And not even sure if I can write an entry this morning, or if anyone is still reading LJ, or if anything happened yesterday worth writing about.

Regarding the signing at Pandemonium Books and Games in Boston (well, in Cambridge, actually), I have a time slot now. The event will be from 7-8 p.m. on Thursday, August 6th. If you're in the Providence/Boston area and want to hear me read from The Red Tree, you should try to attend, as this is the only reading/signing I have scheduled, and another looks unlikely at this point in time.

Here's a thing. Well, two things, actually. I'm pretty sure I've talked about both of them before, but...some stuff bears repeating. There are two things that you never, ever tell an author. One of them is that you can't find hisherits books. Now, on the one hand, for the most part, these days the claim that you can't find books is malarkey, thanks to the internet. Every book I've ever written, even the sold-out and long out-of-print titles, can be found at Amazon.com, etc. However, I still get email from people telling me that Bookstore X, Y, or Z. doesn't carry my books. Thing is, learning this is terribly depressing, and there's absolutely nothing in the world I can do about it. I have no say whatsoever in distribution. The other thing you should never tell an author is, of course, that you've found a typographical error in a printed book, and pretty much for the same to reasons I've just listed —— nothing we can do about it, and it's depressing —— but we'll come back to that another time.

Please, please do preorder The Red Tree if you can. Preorders are enormously important in the eyes of the sales and marketing people. Preorders and the sales that magical first six weeks after release. I have no idea why. That's just the way it is. Sales have actually been pretty decent for The Red Tree since Readercon, two weeks back, then they suddenly dipped yesterday. So, naturally, now all I can do is obsesses about how to get them up again. I awoke obsessing about it, even through the afterimages of my nightmares.

Also, the Very Special Auction continues.

Yesterday, thinking about werewolves and "fakelore," working on promotional stuff for The Red Tree, I may have come a bit closer to understanding what the next novel is about. I need to begin it in September. I should have begun it in June, but asked for extra time, in order to give this novel the push it needs.

The sun's back, thank fuck. We just had two more March days, here in Providence, but it looks like early summer may have returned. I doubt we'll ever see late summer.

Okay. Gotta go. But, yes, reading in Boston on the 6th, and please do preorder. Thanks!

Postscript: Spooky just found this at BarnesandNoble.com. Kirkus loved The Red Tree! Here's their review: "Dark-fantasy specialist Kiernan (Daughter of Hounds, 2007, etc.) delivers a creepy and engaging tale. Portrayed as the posthumously published memoir of a suicide, the narrative is introduced and commented upon by a fictional editor. In the story proper, that suicide, novelist Sarah Crowe, tells of moving into a rural Rhode Island house. There she finds a rather spooky manuscript, written by the house's former tenant, a professor who was driven mad by his obsession with a 130-foot-tall red oak on the property. The tree is apparently full of dark magic and is somehow connected to various deaths throughout the town's history. Before long, Sarah becomes preoccupied with the red oak herself. Horror fans will recognize the familiar Lovecraftian gothic-horror elements-indeed, Lovecraft, Poe and other writers are explicitly referenced in the text-but Kiernan's prose is thoroughly modern, even colloquial, with none of the gothic genre's tendency toward archaic phrasings. She ably keeps the proceedings from devolving into formula, and her portrayals of Sarah's growing obsession, and the violence surrounding the tree, are evocative and chilling. A multileveled novel that will appeal to fans of classic and modern horror." Booya.
greygirlbeast: (chi 5)
Gagh, I can't wake up today. I think there was just too much work yesterday, too many different sorts of work. We had actually talked about getting out of bed and making the 11:45 a.m. matinée of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but, well, that didn't happen. We're aiming for tomorrow, instead. And this needs to be short, because the day ahead of me is long and baffling and has many twists and turns, and doesn't even involve actual, you know, writing. The writing will likely resume tomorrow. It pretty much has to, or I'm going to find myself disastrously behind.

Quick recap of yesterday. Well, there was a piece I had to write for my editor, about the writing of The Red Tree, something for the Penguin website. That actually turned out rather well. She was pleased with it. And after that, I had an interview, which also went well, I think. The older I get, the odder interviews seem to me. The questions all begin to bleed together, and I find myself wanting to talk about quasars or stag beetles or plate tectonics or just about anything at all except my books and writing. No, I have no idea why, really. And there was a lot of email yesterday, more than usual, and it looks as though today will be much the same. Actually, I must have written at least 3,000 words yesterday, just none of it fiction. Did I say "Gagh"? Spooky and I both put in a good bit of time getting things ready for the re-relaunch of the website.

Speaking of which, here is a small but, I think, valuable piece of advice to the readers of this blog. If you don't approve of how I've done something —— the website, for example —— there is a couth and appropriate recourse which will allow you to express your opinion. Email me. It's not at all hard to find my email address, but, just in case I'm somehow mistaken on that count, I'll post it here again: greygirlbeast(at)gmail(dot)com. Email me and tell me your thoughts, if you feel the need to do so. I'll read the email. I might even write back. Hell, I might even agree. However, if, instead, you blurt out something in the comments here on the LJ, you will discover that I am far less receptive to your advice. In fact, odds are, I will delete the comment, and if you've been rude enough, I will ban you from commenting in the future. This very scenario actually occurred on Friday morning, as I was trying to get out the door for Readercon, which is why I closed down comments to one particular entry. If the most tactful way you are capable of expressing yourself is to tell me something "sucks," and to tell me publicly, yes, you will be banned.

Now, this sort of thing has only happened a very few times. My ban list on LJ is extremely short. Maybe six or seven people, at most, over five years. I like comments. I like comments a lot, but I don't like rude and unsolicited criticism. Thank you.

A brief aside, for whatever it's worth, a shout out to [livejournal.com profile] ericmvan. You've done a marvelous job with Readercon, and I, for one, completely understand and sympathize with what you're saying about not being able to keep up this pace, needing to scale back for a year while a team is trained to do the job.

Also, I'm reposting the following, as it only made it into yesterday's entry as a postcript: Thanks to Franklin Harris ([livejournal.com profile] grandmofhelsing) for bringing this Readercon write up to my attention ("Some important things/people that I saw/met/learned/heard about at Readercon" at Time.com). I quote: "I didn't talk to Caitlín Kiernan, but I watched her swanning around in a tentacled mask and grey lipstick, and I felt awe. It is so important that cons have freakish people at them." I'm going to take this as a compliment. Did I "swan" around? There is an Old English meaning of the word, "to wander about without purpose, but with an air of superiority." So maybe I did swan around. Bjork and I, we swan. Also, the lipstick was green. Regardless, good to be mentioned, and yes, I am a freak, and I'm pleased the author included the fada in my name.

Which reminds me of something funny that came up at Readercon. Years and years ago, someone actually referred to me as "the Oscar Wilde of fantasy." Yep, they really did. As [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark said this past weekend, now I only have to be considered "the William Gibson of science fiction, or the Stephen King of horror."

And how come I never saw the page devoted to my writing that's up at fantasyliterature.net? It includes one of the best reviews I've ever read of Daughter of Hounds. I haven't yet had time to read their review of Silk. Actually, Spooky read me the review of Daughter of Hounds late last night, after she stumbled upon the page.

And, finally, we're trying to raise just a little cash to help out with the book trailer by beginning another round of eBay auctions. Have a look, and bid if you are able and so disposed. And yes, I'm covering all the expenses of the video production myself. I can't recall if I've said that already or not.

Anyway...off to milk the platypus.
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
Okay. Back to work today.

The last couple of days were nice. Sonya ([livejournal.com profile] sovay) came down from Boston on Tuesday evening. Spooky and I met her at the train station, then the three of us had dinner at an Indian place on Wickenden Street. Later, back home, we made a double feature of "Once More, With Feeling" (from Season Five of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Repo! The Genetic Opera. And Sonya and I sat up late, talking about books and writing, mostly.

Yesterday, the three of us saw the matinée performance of Laura Schellhardt's play Shapeshifter, at the Trinity Repertory Company in the Dowling Theater on Washington Street. It was wonderful, an Orkney village confronted with a swan, a selkie, and a dragon, and the consequences of allowing (or forcing) them to live among humans, as humans. After the play, we went to Benefit Street, to the Providence Athenaeum, and I met Geoffrey Goodwin ([livejournal.com profile] readingthedark), so that he could finish up his interview with me (place and date of publication TBA). It's wonderful, sitting downstairs at the Athenaeum, surrounded by the scent of old books and old wood, with the ghosts of Poe and Lovecraft. It went very well, and, afterwards, we swung back by the house to get Sonya's things. Her train back to Boston left Providence about 7:20 p.m.

So, yes. A very good, if somewhat exhausting, two days. Last night, Spooky and I had leftover Chinese, watched three episodes of The X-Files, and she read me another chapter from The Voyage of the Narwhal, but I had trouble staying awake.

A quick thank you for gifts, to Melissa, Geoffrey, Sonya, Jada, and whoever sent me the copy of Serenity: Better Days. Thank you all. Also, my thanks to everyone who wished me a happy -05th birthday (mostly on Facebook). Someone asked what "-05" means. Simply, a sum of years I wish not to name, plus five.

If you've not already, please consider picking up a copy of the new-trade paperback edition of Alabaster and/or a copy of the the mass-market paperback of Daughter of Hounds.

Here in Providence, it's been grey and chilly since Tuesday. I say it feels more like March, than latest May, but I'm new to these parts and still making the adjustment.

Oh, and my thanks to Derek, for sending this exquisite link.

Finally, could someone please send me a Dreamwidth invitation?
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: (white)
Which is to say, have a blessed feast of St. Patrick. As I've said before, this is about as close as I come to celebrating anything like an Xtian holiday, and for me (like most, I think), it's really more an Irish Pride thing. I hung the flag out last night. I'll fix a huge meal this evening, corned beef and cabbage, boiled potatoes, soda bread, and so forth, that we'll likely be eating for days. And here, one of my favorite St. Patrick's Day links: "Why Ireland Has No Snakes" (courtesy the Smithsonian Institution). Suffice to say, the explanation has nothing whatsoever to do with Christian interlopers converting Celtic Pagans.

Yesterday, we left Providence about 12:45 p.m. (we did try to get away earlier), and drove south and east. We crossed the West Passage of Narragansett Bay to Conanicut Island, past Jamestown and Beavertail, and continued on, crossing the East Passage to Aquidneck Island and Newport. Before going to the library, we stopped at the Common Burying Ground, a cemetery we'd not visited since the summer of 2004. Though founded about 1640, the oldest grave we located yesterday was from 1678. I am accustomed to Deep Time. I can think on a scale of hundreds of millions, or even billions of years, and not bat an eye. But, standing in the presence of monuments marking the coming and going of so much historical time, it makes me a bit dizzy. The sun was still out, and there was a little warmth in the air, despite the wind. I copied inscriptions and names. Cemeteries are the best places to find character names, and I have, over the years, rather shamelessly mined them to that end. Spooky took lots of photos (some are behind the cut). Newport's Common Burying Ground may well be my favourite cemetery in Rhode Island. Spooky's favourite grave here is one which holds the bodies of two children and their mother's amputated arm, though we were unable to find it yesterday.

Afterwards, we continued into town (steering clear of the waterfront and the tourists), to the Redwood Library and Athenaeum near Washington Square. An astoundingly beautiful library. And it still uses an extensive card catalog. The books still have those cards in the back where the due-back date gets stamped. In fact, I located only one computer in the library (though, I'm sure there are others, but not within easy sight). I sat in the Rovensky Reading Room until about 4 p.m., making notes. Both the library and the cemetery will figure prominently in "As Red as Red." And then we headed back to Providence. There was a trip to the market, and it was sometime after six before we were home again.

A quick reminder. If you haven't already, please pick up a copy of Daughter of Hounds, or A is for Alien (copies of the trade hardback are still available), or the forthcoming trade paperback of Alabaster. Thanks! Oh, and Spooky had started a new round of eBay auctions.

We're working our way through Season Three of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer again. Season Three is hard for me. On the one hand, I feel like the series is just starting to find itself. On the other, there's the silly evil-mayor story arc that I can hardly abide.

The new "Land of Nor"/Alpha Institute rp in Second Life is starting to pick up steam, and is looking very promising. We're settling into the old library and laboratory by the sea, at the northwest corner of Ethereal. Story is happening. The plot already has subplots. I thought I'd repost the information I posted a few days ago, for any Howard's End or "Sirenia Players" folks who might want to join us. To wit:

I am now running a roleplay faction in the SL NoR sims. No, it's not as ambitious as what I'd planned for Howard's End, but, in terms of theme, it's still in the ballpark. Contemporary urban dark fantasy rp. Vampires, angels, demons, werewolves, ghosts, and just about anything else you can imagine. Unlike HE, there's combat (though, technically, we're a non-combat faction), and a gaming meter/HUD (WARPS). I've founded a group called the Alpha Institute, an occult research organization that very roughly parallels my plans for the Roanoke Society in the stillborn HE sim. Throw in a bit of the Talamasca, a bit of Angel Investigations/Wolfram and Hart, etc. We're off to a very good start. And there's not a mountain of background reading, as there was with HE, and I don't need complex character profiles. Plus, since we're already playing, there's no annoying waiting period. So, if you're interested, just say so, or email me (greygirlbeast (at) gmail (dot) com), or IM me in SL (Nareth Nishi), and I'll send you an invitation. Be sure to provide me with your SL user name.

Okay. Time to make the doughnuts. But first, photos (we took so many, I think I have enough for the next two days, as well):

16 March 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (Eli6)
Yesterday was the sort of day I spend looking for the story, but not actually writing the story. I finally sat down and re-read a couple of chapters of Michael E. Bell's Food for the Dead: On the Trail of New England's Vampires (Carroll and Graf Publishers, 2001), specifically chapters 11 ("Relicks of Many Old Customs") and 12 ("A Ghoul in Every Deserted Fireplace"). It helped get my head where my head needs to be. I'd wanted to head back to Newport, back to the old library, but the weather was shit, bitter cold, and besides, this is the weekend of the big-ass Newport St. Patrick's Day fiasco. So. This weekend I try to get the story started. If it hasn't happened by Monday, we go back to Newport. Oh, I did find a title, "As Red as Red." I think one thing that I'm having trouble with here is shaping a story that's equal parts werewolf and vampire tale (and no, not in the quasi-moronic Underworld sense).

So, yeah, yesterday was mostly spent sitting in the big chair in the front parlour, in a marvelous pool of afternoon sunlight, pretending it's not still winter out there, reading.

An unexpected, but very welcome, royalty check arrived from my German publisher. It seems the German translation of Threshold is selling well. So, maybe I still have a shot at Werner Herzog.

I washed my hair. I didn't leave the house.

Last night, after dinner, we watched Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later (2002), which we'd not seen since its theatrical release. I still find it a marvelous, impressively paced, and splendidly tense film. I do wish people wouldn't think of it as a zombie film, as it clearly isn't. The "infected" are not "running zombies," as they're not dead. The most interesting thing last night was watching the various "alternative" endings. The first is, I believe, clearly the original theatrical ending (it was labeled "alternative theatrical"), the one that test audiences likely found "too grim" or some such malarky. After escaping Major Henry West's (Christopher Eccleston) compound, Selena (Naomie Harris) and Hannah (Megan Burns) manage to get the gut-shot Jim (Cillian Murphy) to an abandoned hospital, but despite Selena's efforts, fail to save his life. However, he has managed to tell them about the plane he saw before rescuing them, and the film ends with Selena and Hannah setting off into an uncertain, but possibly not hopeless future. It's just a better ending, and it fits better than the theatrical-release ending. It closes a circle. Jim awakes in a hospital to the end of England, and the film closes after he's died in another hospital. There was also another "radical alternative" ending that was never filmed, but which Danny Boyle and Alex Garland present, via storyboards, a completely different possibility for the final third of the film, one where the soldiers are not introduced. It was interesting, but as Boyle and Garland admit, never would have worked. After the movie, we read more of Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci's Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd. I neglected to mention, yesterday, that this book is actually making me miss Dragon*Con, and I thought that was impossible.

There are books I really should be spending more time and energy promoting. I mean, that is the primary reason this journal exists. So, remember that next month Subterranean Press will be releasing the trade paperback edition of Alabaster, which collects all the Dancy Flammarion stories (except for "Highway 97"), complete with all Ted Naifeh's artwork. Also, if you haven't read yet read Daughter of Hounds, well, what are you waiting for? No, it's not necessary to read the earlier books first. Daughter of Hounds is a fine place to begin.

And now, the word mines.
greygirlbeast: (Eli4)
I haven't much felt like making entries the last few days, and as I was on "vacation," I didn't.

But today it's back to work, and a small mountain of tedium awaits me. I only have to make a molehill of it all by the end of the day.

The time has come that I have to get very serious about beginning the next novel. I'd decided that it would be Joey LaFaye, and I thought, back in December, that it was a hard and fast decision. But now I'm thinking I'm still not ready. I think maybe I know, now, what Neil meant about not writing The Graveyard Book for so long, because he didn't feel as though he was yet a good enough writer to do it justice. I believe that's what has happened to me with Joey LaFaye. I want to write it. I've been attempting to write it for something like three years now. But I'm just not ready. Instead, I will write something else. I do not yet know precisely what, but it might involve the "yellow house" in Providence (see "So Runs the World Away," "The Dead and the Moonstruck," Low Red Moon, Daughter of Hounds, etc.), something concerning the New England vampire hysteria of the 19th Century. But I'm not yet certain. Mother and I are still collating.

Seven days off, and I might actually feel more exhausted than I did beforehand.

The most interesting thing I've done in the last seven days was Sunday's trip to Newport. I have it in my head that the story I need to begin tomorrow will be set there, and, also, I wanted to see the waterfront, which is always too clogged with sweaty, ill-dressed tourists in the summer to bother with. It was warmish and sunny when we left Providence, but by the time we crossed the bridge to Aquidneck Island and reached Newport, clouds had moved in and the day had turned chillier. We parked off Washington Street, then walked south along America's Cup Avenue and Thames Street. I was sorely disappointed, though I should have expected it. I recall having said before how much I want to see a fishing town that is still a fishing town, and not a self-parody, living off tourism. Gloucester is the closest I've gotten. Newport, though, feels like fucking Disney World. Everything is too bright, too stark, too friendly, too not-quite-real. And even in that nasty weather, there were tourists from Connecticut and New York (just not so many you couldn't walk along the sidewalks). But the harbour was nice, and the boats, and we found a wholesale lobster place that didn't mind us strolling about inside amongst the holding tanks and equipment. I think the lobster place was the only thing that actually almost felt real. When we'd finally had enough of tacky gift shops., we drove east to the Redwood Library and Athenaeum (ca. 1747), which is gorgeous. We may be heading back there tomorrow. It's the oldest lending library in America, and the oldest library building in continuous use anywhere in the US. Anyway, there are some photos behind the cut:

March 8, 2009 )

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

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