greygirlbeast: (walter3)
Awake until four ayem, and then I slept until noon. Which means enough sleep, more than usual, but I hate waking up this late. At least, though, we are past the part of the year when, even with CaST to help out, the darkness comes so insanely early.

I am choosing not to speak on the subject of Osama bin Laden's death. My thoughts on the matter are complex, and I see no need to burden the internet with them, or to spend an hour writing it all out.

Sunny out there today, sunny and the new leaves glowing brightly under the blue sky.

---

Yesterday, I wrote a very respectable 2,259 words on "The Carnival is Dead and Gone," and thought I'd found THE END. Then, late last night, it occurred to me that I may have sounded entirely the wrong note there at the last. So, the first thing I do today is go back and do a bit of tweaking to the last two or three paragraphs. Also, yesterday, I proofed "The Crimson Alphabet," which will come as a free chapbook with copies of the limited edition of Two Worlds and In Between. I exchanged emails with [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy about the book trailer for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Oh, and there was email from [livejournal.com profile] blackholly, which was a bright spot in the day.

For our Beltane dinner I made a lamb stew, which came out very, very well (I do say so myself), which we had with chicory stout, a freshly baked loaf of pain de campagne, and honey. Afterward, I did a little ritual work at the altar. Nothing fancy. It was a good Beltane, even without a roaring bonfire and what have you.

Later, we watched the latest episode of Fringe, then the second disc of the latest season of Weeds. Never has a series so literally lost direction and gone off wandering nowhere in particular. Truthfully, Weeds should have ended at the end of Season Three. The end of Season Three would have made very good ending. A very important part of telling stories is knowing when you've reached THE END, and not continuing in just because you're being paid to do so. Any story may be stretched out indefinitely; none should.* Anyway, later there was a tiny bit of Rift, and we read more of Under the Poppy.

---

Please have look at the current eBay auctions! Thanks.

---

And here's the second set of photos from Saturday's trip to the Blackstone River Gorge in Massachusetts:

30 April 2011, Part 2 )


* In large part, this is why The Dreaming was such an awful idea from the get go. The Sandman said almost everything worth saying, and, after that, it was mostly footnotes. I love reading footnotes, and writing them. Few other people do.
greygirlbeast: (Starbuck 3)
Rainy and cold in Providence. Each spring, this actually-late-winter stage seems to last longer and longer. Like a sort of time dilation. I need it to fuck away elsewhere, but Nature does as Nature does. Except, of course, when we break it. Though, even then, it does as it does given a new set of rules, as it always would have done. Regardless, fuck you day of drizzle and clouds. If I don't go out today, I'll not have left the house, for more than three or four minutes on one occasion, in the past twelve days.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,755 words on "Random Notes Before a Fatal Crash," and found THE END. It is a very peculiar story. No surprise there. I'm tempted to spend two days adding footnotes, because they'd certainly fit right in. Then again, it's usually better to leave the reader to puzzle out whatever may not be clear (only too many readers hate to think; they just want "a good read" or "a quick read" or "an easy read"). It's a fine story and I'm pleased with it. Well, it's not so much a story, as journal entries from the final days of a man's life. And the word "random," it should come as no surprise that the use of that word here is a boondoggle. Anyway, when I was done with the story yesterday I realized a very important thing. The sort of very important thing I should have realized long ago. Gobsmacked by the obvious. I've spent at least three years mining my gradual and inexorable mental (and, to a lesser degree, physical) deterioration. And now it's time to stop writing novels like that. Imp and The Drowning Girl, that's the last time I do it. Probably forever. I've sold the most private confessions far too cheaply. Likely, I can't keep these elements out of my short stories, but it'll not find its way into my attempt to write YA. Blue Canary is going to be a creepy, whimsical, adventurous, fun sort of quasi-detective story. If anyone's insane, they'll be safe caricatures. I see people whine about how Kathe Koja gave up the ghost after Kink, how she "lost it" when she started writing YA, to which I can only say – fuck off. I've had enough of this. Howard Hughes is tired of telling the truth.

I forgot, a couple of days back, to mention that I'd been sent copies of Graham Joyce's The Silent Land (courtesy the publisher, Doubleday) and Carrie Ryman's The Forest of Hands and Teeth (courtesy Cassandra Brewtser). They have been added to the Mountain of That Which Must Be Read. Avalanche warnings have been posted.
greygirlbeast: (goat girl)
Argh. Careful plans were made yesterday how we'd be up and functional by two p.m. Now, I'm hoping for three. And I blame Suzanne Collins, but I'll come back to that later. I woke from dreams of Japan and bizarre aliens beasts to discover it was the ass crack of noon.

---

Yesterday, we finished the read through on The Drowning Girl: A Memoir (while I also worked on my next painting). There are the line edits to make, and two or three short bits I'd like insert, but otherwise, it's finished. And I believe, as best I ever may, that it's the best novel I've ever written. There are other things I might say, but it would all be speculation. I can't know how the book will be received. And it will soon be my job to try very hard not to care. Today, Kathryn and Sonya will attend to it's line edits, moving it a big step nearer sending it off to my editor next week.

Me, I'll be tackling the monstrous task of the Two Worlds and In Between line edits.

With what remains of the day, and, no doubt, well into the night.

---

Sometime last year I came across the icon I'm using for today's entry. I came upon it entirely devoid of context. I snagged it because I found it invoked a certain mood. Plus, it's sexy. I cannot deny my goat girl fetish. Anyway, I had no idea where it came from, who the artist was who painted it or when the painting was done. Then I used it with an entry Thursday night, and [livejournal.com profile] blackholly asked about its provenance, and [livejournal.com profile] eluneth kindly informed us that it was a patinting by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904). Looking about on Google, I discovered the title of the piece is La Bacchante:



So, mystery solved.

Also, I made this very cool list, 8 Lesbian and Bisexual Authors You Should Know, which made me smile.

---

A reminder, as we crest the middle of the month, that this month's selection in Aunt Beast's Book Club is Grace Krilanovich's The Orange Eats Creeps (2010):



You don't have to read it, no. But if you don't, it's your loss. See, that's why I'd suck as a grade-school teacher. I would instruct students that they were free to do their assignments or not, so long as they understood the consequences, and wouldn't pressure them one way or another.

---

The main reason Spooky and I were so late getting to sleep last night was that we were determined to finish Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire. Which we did. About 4:30 ayem. (Oh, and welcome back to CaST). And no, it's not half as good a novel as is The Hunger Games. It has some brilliant moments, and some fine characterization. Here and there, it shines. But, all in all, it is shoddily constructed and poorly paced. It slogs along at the beginning and then barrels haphazardly towards a poorly executed last page. Which isn't THE END, but only the cliffhanger connecting it to the next book. I've nothing against series, but each book needs to be a complete novel unto itself, no matter how well connected it is to the others. Catching Fire isn't a bad novel, it's just a huge disappointment after the power of its predecessor. Yes, we'll be beginning Mockingjay immediately, and I do hope Collins recovers from the fumble. I want to love these books, as I certainly love many of the characters, and I care about their world (but pulling off those two difficult tricks still doesn't mean you've written a good book). Also, selling a bazillion copies and getting a Major Motion Picture, that's also irrelevant to the book's merits.

I promise that if my first YA novel is a success, I'll not make a sloppy mess of my second.

---

Okay. Doughnuts!
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Of course, the bottom of page 451 wasn't truly THE END. I sat down yesterday to contemplate the possibility of an epilogue to The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. On the one hand, the last few sentences were pitch perfect. On the other hand, it didn't feel like the place where Imp would stop. So, I stared at the screen and pondered a way to add, without taking away. And I wound up writing an additional 1,991 words, under the heading "Back Pages." These pages are a little more like a series of footnotes or journal entries than they are like any conventional sort of epilogue, but they do shed light on a few of the novel's murkier places. The ms. now stands at 103,493 words. And now, I think, I genuinely have reached THE END.

And here, in this place called the end, I think I'm happy. I think I've walked the tightrope. Last night, [livejournal.com profile] sovay read the book. She's the first person besides Spooky to have done so. She pronounced it "beautiful," "magnificent," and, importantly, nothing like The Red Tree.

Also, I exchanged emails with my editor, to whom I will send the book next week. We're looking into including one or two sketches in the book, which would be very cool.

I also wrote a letter to R.E.M.'s management, to obtain permission to reprint two lines from "Follow the River." An actual letter on actual paper, that will go into an actual envelope, and have an actual stamp placed on it, then an actual postmark, and be delivered to the actual post office in Athens where I used to have my p.o. box. Still waiting to hear back from Radiohead's management regarding permission to reprint two lines from "There, There (The Bony King of Nowhere)."

Spooky proofed "Houses Under the Sea" for Two Worlds and In Between

I coughed.

After dinner, she helped me with making the final selections of which pieces of art will be included in the bonus section of the limited edition of Two Worlds and In Between. I have artists to email today, though I still have a few decisions left to make.

It was a goddamn busy day. Which is how things are going to be around here for at least another week and a half. Or for the rest of March. I don't fucking know any longer. But I do have fantasies of taking two or three days off, sometime in March. I really haven't had any time off in many months.

Also, if you're reading this and I've promised to send you a copy of the ms. of The Drowning Girl, those will go out the fist half of next week, once I've had time to polish the prose just a bit.

---

Last night, I ventured back into WoW for the first time in days. You know that quest that I deemed one of the worst three in Azeroth, the one in Shadowmoon Valley called "I was a lot of things..."? Well, last night, in a fit of pique, I went back in determined to best it. I did, and it unlocked the rest of the quests I needed for the "Shadow of the Betrayer" achievement. Now, all that stands between me and Loremaster are nine quests in the infamously difficult to conclude Nagrand region of Outland, which is littered with broken quests and suchlike.

Also, played Rift for a couple of hours or three, and made it about halfway through Level 19. And then we read more of Catching Fire. We're halfway to the end.

Time to make the doughnuts.
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
Back in September, thereabouts, there was a day when I finally sat down with Kathryn, and we talked, and I made the decision that I would never write a another novel. We worked out a remotely feasible way to bring in enough money with me only doing short fiction, novellas, and Sirenia Digest. It was a for-sure thing. There was a profound sense of relief, and it lasted maybe a month. I can only imagine it was like fighting in a war for fifteen years, and suddenly finding out there had been a truce. Not victory, but at least a truce.

Then, on November 1st, I sat down and began writing The Drowning Girl. On November 2nd, I wrote in the blog, "Yesterday, I wrote an impressive 1,664 words on Chapter One of The Drowning Girl. This is the first time I've had the nerve to go back to work on the novel since August 4th. I scrapped everything I wrote this summer and started over again. But, I think I have finally found the voice of this novel."

And, then, yesterday, after only a little more than four months, I finished the book, the one that originally occurred to me way back in August 2009, on a hot, sunny day at the Peace Dale Public Library, and that tried very, very hard not ever to be written. There might still be a weird sort of an epilogue to do, and there might not. But the book is essentially written. Imp has told her ghost story, which is both a mermaid story and a werewolf story, but really is neither of those things. I cried twice yesterday, when it was done.

I'll do a quick polish and send it to my editor sometime between now and Monday, and it should be out next spring. And yes, this will be my last "adult" novel for a while. What I do, the way I write, regardless of how popular or unpopular what I write may be, it messes me up to do it. As I told Neil a week ago, I want to just spend a few years telling stories. A little less public self evisceration. Well, except for the digest, which will stay the same. The digest won't change. And the stuff I write for anthologies, that won't change, either. Mostly, the novels.

And it truly is the best novel I've ever written, by a long shot.

Huzzah.

---

A quick recap of the rest of yesterday: It was a muteday, which made everything extra strange, finishing the novel and still remaining silent. I received permission to use one set of song lyrics, wrote Radiohead's management about another set, and will be writing R.E.M. today. I signed a mountain of eBay books, which Spooky then took to the post office. I answered a bunch of email. Oh, and I finished a novel. I only wrote 765 words, because I didn't need to write any more than that to reach THE END. The entire ms. for The Drowning Girl presently stands at 101,493 words. After all is said and done, it might go to 103,500.

Later, I went with Spooky to Staples, and PetCo, and Eastside Market, because we were out of lots of stuff. I'd not left the house since February 26th, when we made the snowy trek to the Blackstone Gorge. So, it had been...nine days. The day was bright, and the late afternoon light on College Hill was beautiful. But it was bitterly cold out there.

Back home, after dinner, Spooky proofed "The Dead and the Moonstruck" for Two Worlds and In Between. I was too exhausted to do anything but play about half an hour of Rift before I got disconnected from the server and gave up. We watched Richard Laxton's An Englishman in New York (2009), which is such a fine and brilliant film, and John Hurt is amazing as Quentin Crisp. Then Spooky played Rift, and her Kelari cleric made Level 18, and then I played again, and my Kelari mage reached Level 19. It's weird, not being able to play together, and soloing is a bitch, worse than in WoW. And after the gaming, we read more of Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire

And that was yesterday.

There's still a terrifying mountain of work to get done in the next week or so, but I think we have some emergency relief on the way. Comments would be very welcome today.

Oh, photos from yesterday. It seems somehow proper to photograph my mutedays:

7 March 2011 )

THE END

Mar. 7th, 2011 04:31 pm
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
Aside from a possible epilogue, I have just finished The Drowning Girl: A Memoir.

Fucking gods....
greygirlbeast: (white)
The cold hangs onto Providence with a death grip. At least the snow is gone, and there's sun.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,223 words on The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. And realized that I'm much nearer THE END than I'd guessed. It could be finished today and tomorrow. Maybe three days at the most. And the realization is disorienting, to say the least. Also, it occurred to me this morning that one important thing that sets this book apart from my previous novels is that place has never been so unimportant. There is a sense of place, of Providence (and mostly the Armory district), of the RISD Museum on Benefit Street, and the Athenaeum, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, and, most especially, of the Blackstone Gorge and Rolling Dam at Millville, Massachusetts. The book also weaves in Boston, Manhattan, and LA, and other places. But almost all of it takes place in Imp's apartment in the Armory. The Drowning Girl: A Memoir could almost be adapted as a stage play with two, maybe three, sets: Imp's apartment, the RISD Gallery, a seashore. Curiously, I didn't include the Blackstone River, the novel's most important locale, outside Imp's home, on that list of potential sets.

I'll write on it today, and tomorrow, and maybe on Monday...and then I'll probably have found THE END.

Also, yesterday we proofed "Hydraguros," which is being reprinted in Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 2. I wrote this story a year ago, and I'm still in love with it. It's my best sf since I wrote "In View of Nothing" and "A Season of Broken Dolls" in early 2007. And after the proofreading, I printed out exactly 25 copies of "Atlantis," the poem I wrote in August for everyone who donated to Spooky's birthday fund. Each copy is printed in Garamond on Crane's Crest Executive paper, 100% cotton, premium weight (28 lb.). Each is signed and numbered. There will be no more. These will go in the mail on Monday.

I printed and signed a new set of contracts for Two Worlds and In Between. Because one of Bill's cats barfed on the originals. Sorry, Bill, but I had to tell that story. It's just too funny (and I, too, live in constant fear of the wages of cat barf).

I got Vince's illustration for Sirenia Digest #63, and, honstly, it's one of the best he's ever done. It'll appear as the cover. Today, I'll assemble the issue, and subscribers should have it tonight or tomorrow.

So, that was yesterday.

---

After dinner last night, we began reading Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire, the next book after The Hunger Games. Though it was no small feat, Shaharrazad found the last few quests needed to complete the "Into the Nether" achievement. Seriously, I needed almost an hour to find the last four quests I needed. They were hiding in "Area 52," with this Consortium ethereal fuck who looked like he only had dailies (big blue question mark floating above his head), even with low-level quests turned on. In truth, he has a whole string of quests! Thank you, Spooky and WoWhead. I never would have found those on my own. So, now I go back to Shadowmoon Valley and Nagrand, try to finish up Outland, and get the Loremaster title.

I played a couple of hours of Rift. I'm sure everyone's getting tired of me gushing over the game. I'll just say I got Selwyn to Level 17. Oh, and I'll say this, too. It's hard to ignore that in advertising for the game Trion is relying almost exclusively on the "human" Ethian and Mathosian races. In ads, in the quick-start guide, on the cover of the box, almost everywhere...we see Ethians and/or Mathosian (physically, they're pretty much interchangeable). And I call this a pernicious sort of speciesism/racism. There are six player races in Telara, and many of us are not Ethian and Mathosian. Never mind that I see more people playing Bahmi and Kelari than anything else (I have no idea how things look on the Guardian side). And I just heard that the two RP/PVP shards must be filling up fast, as Trion opened a third today, Estrael.

Oh, while I gamed, Spooky streamed The Secret of Kells and the Mythbusters episode about duct tape (I'm sort of sorry I missed the latter).

---

Whatever I'm forgetting can wait until later.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Just as the last of the snow was melting, it snowed again last night. Not much here in Providence, but more up north.

Yesterday, I wrote another 1,068 words on the last chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. I think I'm terrified. The book is a house of cards, and I'm stacking more on top, and pulling cards out from the bottom, and somehow I have to keep the whole from toppling over. And there's to be a lot of sexual energy at the end, and it has to absolutely not become pornographic (not because I have anything against porn, but because that's not what this is meant to be).

Thanks to the awesome Richard A. Kirk, who sent me a copy of his illustrated novella, The Lost Machine. It's beautiful. You should order a copy. I say so. Also, there's a forward by Mike Mignola! In case you're unaware, I've worked with Rick on...let me see...five books, five books since 2000. Most recently, he did the amazing cover for The Ammonite Violin and Others.

Today, I think there's going to be a very small adventure, and then work, and a little work after that. I think.

---

Selwyn made Level 13 last night, and Shaharrazad is only five quests (out of 86) away from having the Blade's Edge Mountains achievement (and so one achievement nearer Loremaster). Too much gaming. And, mostly, I'm having some weird worldshock, jumping back and forth between Telara and Azeroth. The latter being bright and cartoonish and silly, the former being so rich and urgent and possessed of depth. Oh, and there was about an hour of rp with a friend in Telara last night. She's another mage, named Enthlye. We sat on the docks at Kelari Refuge and had a conversation. It was very good, and I can see Rift lending itself to good rp, once you learn the lore. Well, actually, Enthlye talked and Selwyn scribbled on the planks with a stub of charcoal. When she made the jump from the future to the past, something went wrong, and she has no tongue. I've also discovered that Selwyn prefers to work magic with a sword, instead of a staff.

And, also, I really wish that people on SL and in MMORPGs would understand that roleplaying isn't writing. It's acting. And no, it's not collaborative writing. That's what actual writers who write together do. RP is theater, improvisational theater, and if you understand this one simple fact, you can make it good and rewarding. But to call it acting is like calling the act of writing a novel acting, which it isn't, no matter how deeply I immerse myself in a character. Now, you can write stories based on or inspired by rp (I've done that), but that happens after the actual rp, and it's writing, not rping.

Honestly, it feels like there are these people who want to be writers, but either they have no talent or they won't sign off a damned game or social dohicky or whatever long enough to endure the intense solitude of writing, so they're trying to change the definition of writing to include what they're doing.*

---

I'm loving The Hunger Games more and more and more.

Okay, must take meds and finish coffee.

*Postscript (4:45 p.m.): To quote my post of January 28th, "1) Do not assume that because I express my views that I'm obligated to defend those views to you or engage in a dialogue, or even listen to your views. And I will exchange the favour."
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
Bleah. Doctor's appointment. I'm being good. No, I'm trying to be good, and not wear latex gloves and a breath mask. I did that last winter, and it freaked people out. This is a new doctor, and I probably shouldn't freak her out until later.

Yesterday, I wrote precisely 1,500 words on the beginning of the ninth chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. There are few things as terrifying as beginning the ending of a novel. Here is where it stops. Here, I have to get it all exactly right, and I have to do it the first time, because I know I won't rewrite. And it's going to be harrowing, sorrowful, merciful, vicious, joyful, and hallucinatory. And then there will be an epilogue, and the novel really will be over.

After the writing, Spooky and I proofed "Waycross" for Two Worlds and In Between.

That was work yesterday.

Today, I doubt I'll get a single word read, or anything edited.

Last night, we finished reading [livejournal.com profile] blackholly's White Cat, and began Suzanne Collin's The Hunger Games. My agent has been trying to get me to read it, and Neil also said I ought to, and now I see why. It's bloody fucking brilliant. Beautiful worldbuilding. Plus, it had Spooky in tears by the second chapter, and that's always a good sign that the writer is doing her job.

Spooky let me on her laptop long enough to level my Kelari mage to 8. I'm intending to take the leveling really slow. I want to see this world. I want leveling to be a journey. Rift has yet to disappoint. Also, I've mostly seen only appropriate names. I was heartened to see, in chat, that players are reporting inappropriate names. And that players are putting thought into how the names of each race should sound. We're really not in Azeroth anymore.

Okay. I have to go get dressed so I can be humiliated, poked, prodded, and charged too much for the experience. If we were talking about a dominatrix, instead of a medical doctor, I'd have no problem with this.

No, I have no health insurance. I'm a writer. An American writer. I'm pretty sure healthcare is unpatriotic.

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greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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