greygirlbeast: (Default)
0. Epic entry time. Comment, kittens. Let's have tomorrow all over again, and...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PS: My niece rocks.

I've Felt Better,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (redeye)
Sunny out, and we're hoping for a windy 53˚F for a high. Yesterday, walking about Boston, clumps of snow hiding here and there, it was hard to imagine spring's anywhere nearby. I look at the weather forecast for Atlanta, and see the highs are up around 80˚F, and I think shit, I want to be there, but then I remember...

Yesterday was really very, very wonderful. Spooky and I took forever to get out of the house. It was pretty much noon by the time we were on the road, so it was a little before two when we reached the Harvard Museum of Natural History (née Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology). Spooky waited downstairs for [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy and company. I sat upstairs in the Romer gallery, with all the fossil dinosaurs, fish, and reptiles, trying to stay calm. As soon as the photographers arrived, which wasn't long, we went to the Great Mammal Hall and got to work. It went very well. Kyle was great, and I very quickly loosened up. I think he took about five hundred photos. No, really. Anyway, I'll post a few once Kyle sends them my way. I'm dreading the task of choosing the photograph from all those. [livejournal.com profile] sovay arrived at the Museum while we were shooting, and [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark would have, but there was apparently catastrophic car trouble. But yes, the day was a great success, and I'm very grateful to Kyle, Anna, and David for all their hard work yesterday. All I had to do was wear a top hat and make funny faces. In between clicky photo barrages, I tried to entertain the photographers with impromptu mini-lectures on this or that aspect of Natural History.

I think the most amusing part was watching and listening to all the people in the Museum (it was unusually crowded) trying to figure out who I was. The general consensus seemed to be that I was some manner of rock star. Which just keeps being funny.

I'll post a few shots here tomorrow.

Oh, and Spooky photographed a raven and other beasties as reference for Tale of the Ravens.

We made it back home by seven p.m., and I was utterly, utterly, exhausted. Oh! I forgot to mention that I hardly slept night before last, so I headed off to Boston on nothing like enough sleep. Okay, well, yeah. That happened, which is why I was so tired by the time we got back to Providence again. I wasn't up to anything more strenuous than lying in bed and watching television. There wasn't a new episode of Fringe, so we watched random episodes of The X-Files, then switched over to re-watching Season One of Californication (which is sort of like switching from Coca-Cola to tequila).

---

I'm beginning to wonder if I'm the last living Martian.

---

Sirenia Digest #64 should be out by the fifth of the month, which is Tuesday. I'm waiting on Vince's illustration for "Random Notes Before a Fatal Crash," and I still need to write the prolegomenon. I like this new story a lot, if it is a story, in the strictest sense (it's so much easier to write sensu stricto...). It came to almost 10,000 words in length, so subscribers are getting a big issue this month (and why aren't you a subscriber?). #64 will also reprint – for the first time, anywhere – "Rat's Star," a novella fragment which has previously appeared only in the limited edition of From Weird and Distant Shores.

In some ways, "Random Notes Before a Fatal Crash" is a story that I set out to write a couple of years ago, which I stopped and started several times. No, that's not entirely true. "Random Notes Before a Fatal Crash" is actually what happened instead of that story, after the theft of that story's title by another author (sounds snarky, but, still, it's true).

Okay. Days not getting any younger, and neither am I. Platypus says jump.
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: (Default)
Sunny today. Sunny and cold and hardly a sign of spring. There's a tiny tree in a pot outside the front door, and it has fuzzy green shoots. And I want to tell it to be careful. I think the tree is overly optimistic.

I get angry about things and the anger won't drain away. It just keeps building. In this instance, idiotic comments (not reviews; I'll not dignify them) on Amazon about The Book Thief. The longer I live and read and write the more certain I become that there exists a linear inverse relationship between how good a book is and how many shitty, ignorant things people will publicly say about it. By "good," I do not mean popular or bestselling. I mean good. Powerful. True. Brilliant. And so forth.

Yesterday, I wrote a very decent 1,911 words on "Random Thoughts Before a Fatal Crash."

Last night – very, very late last night, just before bed – I had the worst seizure I've had in at least six months, and maybe more. The meds have been working so well, for so long now, I'd become complacent, and...it'll sound stupid if I say it caught me by surprise. But it's true that I used to expect them, and now I don't. Anyway, I should have seen it coming after this past month. The race to THE END of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, editing Two Worlds and In Between, and about a dozen other things, all piled on top of one another. It was almost inevitable. Though I really don't think like that anymore. I want to get to a place where I can be overworked and these storms in my head aren't ever inevitable. Because I'm never going to get to a place where I'm not overworked. Want in one hand, spit in the other....

Here's a very wonderful project on Kickstarter I want to mention: I Have Your Heart, an animated short film collaboration between Molly Crabapple, Kim Boekbinder, and Jim Batt. You really ought to think about tossing some dough their way, if you can. I'd put the promotional video up, but the embed code doesn't seem to work for LJ, so follow the link above.

I fucking hate Sundays. But...gotta write anyway.
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
Sunny today, and the temperature's heading towards 47F.

As for yesterday, it was a mad blur of line editing, the sort that makes me scream and curse and wish I'd chosen just about any other career than fiction writing. I shifted to working on The Drowning Girl, and Sonya and Kathryn took over Two Worlds and In Between. I'm not entirely sure who drew the short straw there, but I suspect it was Kathryn and Sonya. We worked for about seven hours. I didn't stop until sometime after ten p.m. I managed the "last" edits on the novel, the last before it goes to my editor. Which I intend it to do tomorrow, after I make a few more little tucks and tweaks.

Sonya and Spooky picked their way through "Andromeda Among the Stones," "From Cabinet 34, Drawer 6," "Night Story 1973," "Les Fleurs Empoisonnées,” "Onion,” "The Road of Pins," and "Spindleshanks (New Orleans, 1956)." Which leaves about eight stories to go, and, I'm sorry to say they're some of the most heavily edited, as they're the oldest. Also, I think I may pull "By Turns," and replace it with "Giants in the Earth." The latter really needs the reader to be familiar with Micheal Moorcock's The Dancers at the End of Time sequence. But it's vastly better written than "By Turns," which suffers from...well, lots of things. But mostly "By Turns" suffers from me committing the heinous crime of writing about a romanticized South that never existed, which I've rarely ever done. You do not romanticize, not ever. It's the first thing a "Southern writer" learns.

Regardless, Sonya very, very kindly agreed to stay over one more night, and we're about to make a huge push to get through the rest of Two Worlds and In Between. Well, except for The Dy Salvages, and that's another thirty-thousand+ words Spooky and I have to get to later this week. But we're exhausted, sleep deprived, and nerves are on edge. This shit takes its toll.

I cannot imagine what it would be like to be an author who simply writes a short story, and never, ever goes back and revises it. Many of the stories in Two Worlds and In Between have been revised four and five times since their initial publication, revised to varying degrees before each and every publication. All at least once or twice. And I don't mean rewritten. I mean heavily revised. But I intend this to be the very last fucking time. Ever.

---

About midnight last night, after I'd had a hot bath and we were all trying to wind down and get sleepy, I showed Sonya Alex Proyas' Dark City (1998), and I'm just going to quote her post from earlier this morning, because it was very cogent, and I need to wrap this up. So, from [livejournal.com profile] sovay:

"At the very beginning of tonight's movie, I said to Caitlín, 'I'm glad to see this director likes German Expressionism.' Near the very end, I said, 'That is the best film I have ever seen about the process of apotheosis.' Both of these statements are true; neither is going to convey how much I liked Dark City (1998), which begins like a solid little film noir and ends like Gnosticism. And of course it recalls Metropolis (1927) and M (1930) and Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari (1920) and even some films that aren't in German, chiefly Jeunet and Caro's Delicatessen (1991) and La Cité des enfants perdus (1995), but I am not sure I had ever before seen a street scene simultaneously evoke Franz Kafka and Edward Hopper and you know, they're a natural fit. I can't imagine how the theatrical cut was supposed to work. I've had it explained to me, but I still can't imagine it; I don't know what it is about thoughtful science fiction that makes studios want to tack on idiotic voiceovers, but I hope it's not some kind of actual, contractually-obliged law. And even if one could make a convincing case that the central mystery of Dark City is less compelling than the characters' actions once they figure it out, I still can't figure out why any of the deleted scenes were, because one of the neatest things about the film as it stands is its three-dimensionality, the sense that any of its characters, John, Emma, Bumstead, Schreber, even Mr. Hand, might be the protagonist: and so, by turns, they all are. Take out certain lines, conversations, even reaction shots, that depth of field is lost. God, I bet this is how you jinx a movie, taking Fritz Lang as your model. At least Alex Proyas didn't have to wait eighty-plus years for the restoration.

...It's mostly the hair, and a little of the cheekbones, and the eyes, but I kept looking at Rufus Sewell as John Murdoch and being reminded of Michael Cisco. This comparison may haunt me for years. Then again, any film that contained multiple shout-outs to Daniel Paul Schreber's Memoirs of My Nervous Illness (1903) would probably remind me of Michael Cisco all by itself. I still wonder if this explains anything about the world."

---

Okay, kittens. Back to the special hell of words.

In Perpetual Exhaustion,
Aunt Beast

(And remember, I AM NOT A HORROR WRITER!)
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Utter chaos and panic today. Three looming deadlines. Fear I'll break the novel. Fear of word limits. Fear I won't have the collection edited in time. Fear of other looming deadlines, editors, agents, readers. Insomnia. Exhaustion. Fear. Panic. Rage. Money fear. Isolation.

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

But still, I have been silent.
greygirlbeast: (white)
No less snow than yesterday, not that I can tell.

I've been sitting here doing some mildly grim math. I'm also trying to decide if "mildly grim" is anything like being "a little pregnant." Anyway, looking back over the month of January, I see that the last time I had a successful day off was on Tuesday, January 4th. I tried to have another the 17th, a Monday, but I hardly got out of doors before the anxiety kicked in, and that day earned an L. So, I have essentially been without a day off since the 4th, the day we saw True Grit. Over those twenty-four days, I've written a total of 26,929 words on The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. And those aren't rough-draft pages. There will be a polish before it goes to my editor, but those are pretty much final-draft pages. That's an average of 1,122 words a day. However, I didn't actually write on every single one of those days: there was the failed day off, plus three days when I had non-writing writing work to attend to. That means 26,929 words written over nineteen days, and an average of 1,417 words per day. Take into account that about halfway through this my meds stopped working and I had to have the levels adjusted...and it's no damned wonder I feel like ass. Still, I've got to finish Chapter 5 and get Sirenia Digest #62 out before I can have a couple of days off, so I likely have at least three or four more days of this ahead of me.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,518 words on Chapter 5. It wasn't at all the scene I'd meant to write, but a scene I hadn't even suspected existed. This sort of thing is one reason I can't do meaningful synopses before I write a book: the story unfolds as I write it. Also, after yesterday, I've decided there will be a note at the beginning or the end of the novel that says something to the effect of This is the most personal novel I've ever written. That doesn't mean I expect you to like it. That only means it's the closest I've ever come to telling the truth. A small and unobtrusive note.

What I wrote yesterday made Kathryn cry, and I always take that as the highest compliment.

---

Last night, we watched Anton Corbijn's The American (2010; based on Martin Booth's novel, A Very Private Man). This is definitely one of the best films of 2010. It's the sort of quiet, brooding thriller that was common to the seventies, but which we rarely see these days. The cinematography and score are astounding. Clooney is at his very best. The film creates smothering paranoia, in part from its use of space, of perfectly composed wide-angle shots, vistas, landscapes. Corbijn is fast becoming one of my favorite living filmmakers. See this film, and also Control (2007), if you've not already.

Later, there were a couple of hours of WoW. We've finally shaken off the long nightmare of Uldum. I still can't believe that something like two thirds of the non-dungeon quests in that beautiful region were wasted on a bad Raiders of the Lost Ark spoof. It's almost unforgivable. Anyway, we moved along to the setup for the Twilight Highlands, which, at least for now, promises to take itself a lot more seriously than the mess in Uldum. Also, Greely the Goblin is one of my favorite WoW characters ever, and there better be an action figure. I never thought I'd have a goblin crush.

Spooky read me The Lorax before I fell asleep.

As I said on Facebook, I spent a good bit of yesterday in a detestably melancholic, nostalgic mood, mostly missing 1994 and Athens, Georgia...people, places. Lots of things I can't go back and visit, because they aren't there anymore.

And now, the platypus says no more dilly-dallying.
greygirlbeast: (new newest chi)
Cold here. Very, very cold. Cold and sunny.

Yesterday, I wrote 2,280 words and found THE END of Chapter Three of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. The words spill from me in an almost alarming torrent. Since November 18th, I've written ~31,060 words of fiction, amounting to "The Prayer of Ninety Cats" and chapters Two and Three of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Those two chapters, whose combined word count totals 19,218 words, have been written since December 5th. I know writers who write more than this. However, most of them write in drafts. I expect myself to produce a polished "final draft" the first time through (and, generally, I do). Regardless, I usually write a lot, but not this much.

And I'm exhausted.

No wonder, then, that my reclusiveness is likely worse that it's ever been. The last time I left the House was December 7th, but it was only for a couple of hours to run errands with Spooky. As of today, I've not been Outside for ten days. Before the 7th, I'd not be Out since November 24th, another trip to the market. Thirteen days before the 7th of December, and then ten afterward. Which means I've only been Outside about two hours in the last twenty-four days.

I'm not even sure what to make of this, except I have no wish to be this way. Today, I'm leaving the House, though I have no idea where I'll go. It can't be near the Xmas insanity.

---

Good news yesterday from Dark Horse, which I'll share as soon as I am able.

---

Spooky is watching a video online about white deer, albino deer...

Last night, Shaharrazad and Suraa made Level 81. Weird to be leveling again, even if it won't last long.

I think that's enough for now. Spooky's going to trim my hair, and I'm going to spend some time squinting at the sun.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Still overcast, but warmer today. Oh, wait. I see a glimmer of sunlight.

Yesterday, I wrote 847 words and found THE END of "At the Reef." I don't know why I've been referring to it as "On the Reef," because that's not the title.

Last night, we were planning to go to AS220 to see Brown Bird play (with three other bands), but after the writing, and a bath, and dinner, I discovered I was too tired to get dressed, much less leave the House. It pissed me off. But I can't be surprised. I just wrote two short stories (or vignettes, I'm not sure) in seven days. Not to mention the usual background writerly work. So, anyway, I wound up in bed, too exhausted to do anything but read and moan about being so old and tired. Oh, and then I slept like crap last night.

At least we can still see Brown Bird in November, when they open for Raspuntina's upcoming Providence show. Maybe I won't be exhausted that night. I am truly in love with Brown Bird. I want to marry this band and have their children.

---

What did I read? Three more stories from [livejournal.com profile] ellen_datlow and [livejournal.com profile] nihilistic_kid's Haunted Legends: Carrie Laben's "Face Like a Monkey," Gary A. Braunbeck's "Return to Mariabronn," and John Mantooth's "Shoebox Train Wreck." There is a truly sublime line from the latter. "The dead really don't haunt the living. The living haunt the dead." One of those lines I wish I'd written. But I didn't. I can only admire the skill of the author who did.

This anthology's getting some weird reviews, people complaining because, they say, it purports to be a book of ghost stories, but some of the stories aren't ghost stories. Now, to begin with, Haunted Legends doesn't claim to be exclusively a collection of ghost stories (sensu stricto). The theme of the book is actually urban legends. At the very top of the cover is printed "Local legends and ghost stories..." Note that "local legends" comes first. That said, many of the stories actually are ghost stories, more than I would have expected from an anthology for which the authors were asked to write stories based on urban legends, and not specifically ghost stories. Book reviewers who can't bother to read the books they review need to stop reviewing books.

---

Today I wish I could stay in bed. But I need to address the copyeditors queries for "The Collier's Venus (1893)," which will soon appear in [livejournal.com profile] ellen_datlow's Naked City anthology. And answer email. And read over and correct "And the Cloud That Took the Form" and "At the Reef." So, yeah. Work. The platypus is a harsh mistress.

Congratulations to William Lindblad of Plano, Texas, who won both my items in the KGB readings benefit auction.

As I write this, the podcast poll stands at 97.3% in favor (143 votes) and 2.7% (4 votes) against. The four who voted against did an admirable job of explaining why they voted against my doing podcasts. Most likely, I'll do one at some point in the next few weeks and see how it goes. And then figure out if I'll make a habit of podcasts.

---

Harlan Ellison is selling his first typewriter, a beautiful old Remington. As I said on Facebook yesterday, Harlan has done me many kindnesses and was a tremendous influence on my own work. I consider this typewriter invaluable, but would happily pay five times the $5,000 it has been insured for, if only I had that sort of money. If only I were a wealthy woman. I can only hope it goes to a museum or collector who appreciates its value and will care for it.

---

Last night Spooky pontificated on the relative merits of various brands of pumpkin ale. Me, I don't drink the stuff, but she loves it. She decalres Dogfish Head the best, and Wolaver's the second best, but isn't impressed with Smuttynose (despite the cute seal on the bottle). I think she's indifferent towards Saranac. She says, "It's weak."

A quote now from yesterday's entry: Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, as nothing has changed since yesterday. That is, the IRS hasn't decided we don't have to pay taxes, after all. That is, they haven't sent back the check Spooky wrote. Speaking of Spooky, I reiterate, all those cool Halloween thingumies in her Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy shop will be taken down come November 1st.

Last of all (until the next entry), though I love WoW, I'm sickened by the kids (at least, I hope they're kids) who spew "faggot" and "queer" and "gay" and "homo" over the various chat channels, employing these words as though they are the worst imaginable insults. They swamp the chat channels with this shit. It's almost enough the make me quit the game. I've disabled almost all the chat channels, and I mute the individuals. But still. Are gamers today, as a group, really this homophobic?
greygirlbeast: (Kraken)
Yesterday, I wrote 667 words on "Untitled 37," a story that I can see more or less in its entirety, stem to stern. So it seems very strange that I also decided, yesterday— after a conversation with Spooky about exhaustion and reasonable expectation —to shelve the story. I'll write it next month for Sirenia Digest #53. Right now, I have to get #52 together and out to subscribers, and get my mind on The Wolf Who Cried Girl.

I feel like I should try to make a longer entry, but I didn't sleep particularly well, and I fear it's just not presently in me to do so.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Honestly not a whole lot to say, and I'd probably be better off not even making this entry. But I'm trying to maintain some semblance of order in what seems an increasingly disordered life.

We may have snow incoming.

The depression, the crazy, all that shit, it doesn't usually keep me from working. Usually, it's the fuel. But I've lost the last four days, and I'll lose today. I can only hope tomorrow will be better. Yesterday, I sat here for two or three hours, trying to throw a spark. I managed to find a title for "Untitled 35." I'm going to call it "The Eighth Veil" (thank you, Patti Smith). That was my grand moment of creativity yesterday, that title. Oh, and deciding that if I ever do another collection of science-fiction stories it will be called HOPE is a Four-Letter Word. After that, I lay in bed and Spooky read to me from Peter Straub and Stephen King's The Talisman, which I've been wanting to reread (and which Spooky has never read).

If I owe you an email, I'll try to get to it soon. But not today.

At night, there's been roleplay in Insilico, which has been an odd sort of comfort. For solace, I retreat into the shadows of fictions that are not entirely (or even mostly) my own. It's one thing to be the sole voice weaving a story. It's another thing to be only a single voice in a multitude, and to watch the "novel" write itself around you. Xiang 1.5 is being kept safe by her owner, Omika, who's determined not to lose another Xiang. Xiang 2.0a builds it's lunatic universe inside a briefcase. And Molly Longshadow has released the Nareth clone into the city, in an attempt to track down a particularly nasty serial killer. But, in this case, the cure may be worse than the disease. There was an especially wonderful rp last night between Molly and Nareth, just before the clone was discharged from the Gemini Corporation's medical facility, that was so good I might try to get the transcript up. There are three screencaps behind the cut. Today...Spooky's making me risk Outside, as I've not gone out since Thursday.

Insilico Personae )
greygirlbeast: (The Red Tree)
Several things I want to touch on in this entry (like why there was no entry yesterday), but before I start in on those things, let me mention that we'll be starting a new round of eBay auctions in the next couple of days to help cover the fucking taxes, which Spooky paid yesterday. Your patronage will be much appreciated. Another way you can help out is by picking up something cool from Spooky's Etsy shop, Dreaming Squid Dollworks. Be advised, by the way, that all the Hallowe'en figurines she has up are only available through Hallowe'en. They'll be coming down on November 1st, until next October. Thanks.

---

I have this problem. I can't say no to work. Pretty much never do I say no to work. I blame the poverty of my childhood, coupled with the absurd cost of not being willing to live on the street in a cardboard box. A direct result of this is that I frequently become over-extended. And usually, that only results in exhaustion. And exhaustion and writing go hand in hand, at least as far as I'm concerned. I'm always exhausted. That's just the way it is. But...occasionally I push things a bit far, even for me. Which gets back to our subject line, and there being no entry yesterday.

Over the last year and a half, several wonderful editors asked me to contribute to several wonderful books, and I said yes to every single one of them. Never mind Sirenia Digest (usually two stories a month) or the novels, or anything like realistic considerations of the allocation of my time. I said yes. So, I've been working harder than usual, getting these stories written, on top of everything else, including promoting The Red Tree.

The Mars YA short story, "Romeo and Juliet Go to Mars," has become a casualty of my desire to say "yes" to every project I'm offered. But...somehow, I'm not telling this right.

This month started off hectic, but I thought I had everything under control (I usually think that, whether it's true of not). But I'd seriously miscalculated the number of days I'd need to spend copyediting The Ammonite Violin & Others. And I felt things began to slip. And I began to have far more serious headaches than usual, the sort that land me in bed. And, finally, Sunday night I had a very bad seizure. Almost always, the bad ones come when I'm pushing myself too hard. Still, I got up on Monday, near panic, and tried to continue work on the Mars story. But by late afternoon, early evening, we'd finally gone to Code Orange. I was locking up and freaking out. And Spooky told me I needed to set the Mars story aside, that it was just too much, especially given that I still have two public appearances and Sirenia Digest #47 to get through in October, and I still haven't put together the long-overdue proposal for the next novel for Penguin (though I've been paid part of the advance for it). Plus there are interviews. So...with extreme reluctance I emailed the editor for the Mars story on Monday afternoon and bowed out of the book as gracefully as I could (first time I'd pulled out of an anthology in years). And then I went to bed, where I spent most of yesterday.

I may resurrect "Romeo and Juliet Go to Mars" sometime next year, but for now, it's going to have to lay fallow. And I may be bowing out of another anthology before the end of the year.

So, no Mars for me, not right now, and should you happen to see me at the Manhattan reading on the 27th, or at the Brown University reading on the 24th, and wonder why I look a bit more haggard than usual, there you go.

---

Monday night and all of yesterday are a blur of resting and reading and streaming stuff on Spooky's laptop and watching DVDs. I've been working my way through Lovecraft Unbound. Yesterday, I read "The Crevasse" by Dale Bailey and Nathan Ballingrud, Anna Tambour's "Sincerely, Petrified," "Sight Unseen" by Joel Lane, and "In the Black Mill" by Micheal Chabon. My favorite of the lot was "The Crevasse," which is really superb. I would have liked it to have been longer, but I'm not sure that's a valid criticism. And we watched the rest of Season Three of Weeds, and a documentary about David Lynch.

Yesterday, Spooky made me go Outside for a little while. We walked around Dexter Training Grounds for bit. The air was chilly, almost cold. The trees are rapidly getting their autumn colours. There are some photos below. As for today, I am under orders to get get more rest before I have to begin work on the digest, and mostly, I just have this fucking knot of regret over the Mars story. I think the knot is lodged somewhere in my belly. Regret truly is one of the most loathsome of emotions.

13 October 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (Illyria)
I'm pretty sure I'm not up to making this entry. I got to bed at 2:30 a.m., but didn't get to sleep until after 4 a.m. So I will try to keep this short, for my own sake.

All of yesterday was spent putting the finishing touches on the ms. for The Ammonite Violin & Others, but there are still finishing touches that need doing. Just a few.

That's what I'll do today.

It's a rainy day, here in Providence.

Also, yesterday, I received my comp copies of Ellen Datlow's new anthology, Lovecraft Unbound (Darkhorse). It's a gorgeous book, and includes a reprint of my story "Houses Under the Sea," which is still one of my favorite stories by me (sort of amazing, considering I wrote it in 2004), as well as lots and lots of stories by other fine writers. Please pick up a copy.

I'm sitting here contemplating my day planner. I'd hoped things would lighten up after August. Then I hoped that after September things would be easier. Nope. This month, I have to get a book proposal to my agent (for the next novel), which is quite overdue. I have to write the YA Mars story. I have two public appearances and two interviews. I have to produce Sirenia Digest #47. November is free of interviews and public appearances, but I have to write a short story for the chapbook that will accompany The Ammonite Violin & Others, and produce Sirenia Digest #48, and actually get the new novel started (assuming I don't start it this month). December will be Sirenia Digest #49, plus a short story for a Robert Silverberg tribute anthology, and work on the next novel. If I'm lucky, things might lighten up just a little in January.

One should never, ever complain about having too much work to do.

Here's the link for the Escape Pod podcast of "Ode to Katan Amano" again. I gather a lot of Escape Pod's regular listenership was rather put off. Fuck 'em. Which, not inappropriately, is almost the same as saying "Fuck me," except there's no apostrophe, and the "m" and the "e" are transposed.

Last night, more Weeds, and a good deal of World of Warcraft.
greygirlbeast: (Eli2)
So...by now, all subscribers should have Sirenia Digest #40. It went out about 11:30 p.m. last night (EDT). If you are a subscriber and haven't yet received #40, and you've looked to see that it's not in the spam trap, please email Spooky at crkbooks(at)gmail(dot)com, and she'll fix you up.

And now, I'm taking the next week off. Three weeks in March were supposed to have been vacation-time (which is really recharge so I can write more time), but, instead, I wrote "As Red as Red," helped Spooky with the CEM of The Red Tree, and wrote "A Canvas for Incoherent Arts." This morning, I'm sending an email to my editor and agent asking not to be disturbed for the next seven days, unless my entire career depends upon it. So, entries here might be sparse for a few days.

I have reached a level of physical and mental exhaustion that...well, I am amazed that I was able to write anything in March. It's not a bottomless well, the story pool. I often treat it that way, and then I start wondering why I'm having to work three times as hard to get half as much story from it. And I'm looking at everything that must be done in the spring and early summer: Sirenia Digest, new short stories for three different anthologies, and I have to begin the Next Novel. Which means that first, finally, I have to pause and allow the pool to start filling up again. And I'll torture that extended metaphor no longer.

Yesterday, Anne (my editor) sent me sample pages from a sort of test galley for The Red Tree, so that I could get some sense of how the design folks at Penguin are approaching the multiple typefaces, etc. that the novel calls for. And it's looking very good. Also, the CEM went back into the mail, and should reach NYC tomorrow.

As I type this, there are three hours and forty-one minutes remaining on the long-lost Monster Doodle sculpture auction. So, you might want to take a look. Googledy eyes and all.

And now...it's not time to make the doughtnuts. So, take it easy, platypus. Chill out, dodo. You can both have another go at me next Wednesday. I bleed better when I'm rested.
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
Well, first the good news. Peter Straub has selected "The Long Hall on the Top Floor" for Fantastic Tales: American Stories of Terror and the Uncanny, which he's editing for the Library of America. The volume is due out in October 2009. I count this, with the reprint of "In the Water Works (1889)" in S. T. Joshi's American Supernatural Tales (Penguin Classics, 2007), as among my most notable accomplishments thus far. "The Long Hall on the Top Floor" first appeared in an issue of the now-defunct Carpe Noctem magazine, in 1999, and was thereafter collected in Tales of Pain and Wonder.

But, the bad news is that it looks like my plans for a March "vacation" are going to have to be scrapped, as I owe [livejournal.com profile] ellen_datlow a story, and somehow the deadline, and, indeed, the whole book, had slipped my mind, until she emailed me about it last night. So...I have until March 23rd to get that done, and when you figure in Sirenia Digest #40, the month is pretty much shot. I might be able to squeeze in a week between the story and the digest, maybe.

I spent all this morning figuring out fair-use and public-domain questions concerning three quotes used in The Red Tree. Specifically, a quote from Seneca the Younger's Epistulae morales ad Lucilium, one from Hesiod's Theogony, and another from The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe. All these were, of course, translations, and what is at question is when the copyright on the translations I used expired, or if they have not yet expired. Turns out, we're clear on Hesiod (Evelyn-White translation) and Goethe (Saunders translation), but not on Seneca (Gummere translation). Fortunately, [livejournal.com profile] sovay is very kindly providing me with a new translation of the Seneca passage in question, so I won't have to cut it from the book. That was my extra-tedious morning.

Here in Providence, the day is cold, and the sun blindingly bright off all the snow that isn't melting. Right now, it 29F, but 19F with wind chill factored in.

I'm still looking back over comments I've made regarding sf, and my science fiction, in particular, and there's this interesting bit from March 5th, 2006:

[livejournal.com profile] matociquala (Elizabeth Bear) and [livejournal.com profile] cpolk (Chelsea Polk) have coined a literary neologism for a certain sort of sf, a term which I'm finding extremely useful: eco-gothic*. I quote: "We look around at the world and we're fucking scared. There's this underlying idea of the implacability of the universe and the smallness of humanity. We know that there is no guiding, caring force. That life is amazing in its tenacity and persistence, but that ultimately, it's completely pitiless. And if you take it too far, if you unbalance it enough, it will crush you. This idea of the tenacity of life in a pitiless universe. And nobody else seems to fucking GET IT. Because life is tenacious, but humanity is disposable. It's not a tragedy that the passenger pigeon perished. And it won't be a tragedy when we go either...God doesn't care if we persist. We're not special. We're not essential. The universe doesn't love us bestest of all. Because you know, there's this critique that a Black Novel is not Relevant because it's about Blackness, not Humanity. Which upon I call bullshit. Because a human novel isn't relevant. Because it's about humanity. Six point five billion ugly bags of mostly water on a second-class planet in an arm of a barred spiral galaxy. Pretending like Hell that we signify." Click here for the transcript from which this quote was cobbled together.

Certainly, all of my sf would fall into this category of "eco-gothic." The Dry Salvages, "Riding the White Bull," "Faces in Revolving Souls," "The Pearl Diver," "Persephone," "Hoar Isis," "Between the Flatirons and the Deep Green Sea"...all of it. And I think one thing I found particularly intriguing was the suggestion that writers of "eco-gothic" sf may, perhaps, do so because "we were the second-class geeks who took life sciences instead of physics with the hard-line geeks." That's one of my dirty little secrets. Sure, I took chemistry and physics and mathematics in college, but I had no real aptitude for it. It was in the life and earth sciences that I excelled, particularly in paleontology, which is often disparagingly labeled by the math and physics types as a "soft science." Anyway, it's just something I wanted to note, because of the things I said about sf on Friday, and because it's something I want to think about. I have no problem with a neologism or a literary category so long as it is useful and needed and I suspect this one may be both. It is, of course, inherently Lovecraftian, and minor caveats and questions do arise. Perhaps I will come back to those later. Not only does this remind me why I shall never appeal to those sf readers who dislike "dystopian" sf, but also why I shall likely always find myself in a rather minuscule fraction of Wiccans. The gods do not care because, after all, they're only hopeful metaphors for needful humans. Anyway, thank you Bear and Chelsea.


So, it's not surprising that Elizabeth Bear ended up writing an afterword for A is for Alien, an afterword which, in part, explores the idea of the eco-gothic.

Also, it has been one year to the day that I announced in the journal that Spooky and I would be moving from Atlanta to Providence. What an eventful year it has been.

Yes, the Immaculate Order of the Falling Sky has duly noted the Earth's recent near-miss by a Tunguska-sized asteroid. Hope springs eternal.

Last night, I stumbled across some bloody frakking idiot, somewhere on the web, who'd referred to Echo (from The Dreaming) as a "Mary Sue" character, and I'm still laughing...

* [livejournal.com profile] matociquala later found a use of "eco-gothic" dating back to 1996, in a description of Stephen Palmer's novel, Memory Seed.
greygirlbeast: (white)
Due to a formatting error discovered at the last minute, and requiring production of a second PDF, Sirenia Digest #39 only just went out to subscribers, about five minutes ago (though, by the time I finish this entry, it'll be more like 45 minutes ago). Again, my apologies on the lateness of this issue, and I thank everyone for their patience. Fortunately, this month I have no novel to edit, so the March issue should actually reach subscribers before March is over.

The "vacation" was going to begin today, but here it is 1:22 p.m. (CaST), and I've been working all morning, so I guess I'll aim for tomorrow, instead. I'll have worked eleven days without a day off, and will have had only two days off in the last eighteen. I think I've found a new level of exhaustion.

All of yesterday was spent on proofing and formatting #39, and that sort of work is almost as interesting to read about, or, for that matter, write about, as, say, oatmeal. So, instead of prattling over missing commas and smart quotes and the like, here are some thoughts I posted way back on this day in 2006. These thoughts, on readers who put the cart before the horse, and on the necessity of unresolved questions in sf, seem worth restating now that A is for Alien is out there:

On top of this, I've got some screed hammering about inside my crowded skull about readers who want writers to hold their hands through a story, readers who cannot tolerate mystery and wonder, but prefer exposition and "satisfaction." What the hell is all this satisfaction crap, anyway? "I did not find this story satisfying." So the hell what? It's not my job as an author to satisfy anyone but myself. That's why art and masturbation have so much in common. I know this is a sore spot with a lot of readers these days (thank you again, reader-response theory), and a lot of writers trip all over themselves trying to keep readers happy. I just can't do it. Even if I believed it was advisable or Right, I wouldn't know where to begin. Here's a good example:

Consider "Bradbury Weather," which I personally take to be my best sf story thus far. In it, Mars is populated by women and only a very small number of sterile men. The story is told in first person (a voice I've only recently become acquainted with). Now, I see someone complaining that they weren't "satisfied" by the story, and one reason is that the reader never learns precisely
why there are no men on Mars. Now, thing is, odd though it may strike you that Mars doesn't need women after all, it's fairly irrelevant to the story. It's history, and not history that directly pertains to the story. Since I've chosen a first-person narrative for "Bradbury Weather," I've also chosen to create an epistolary narrative, sensu lato. I do understand that there are readers and writers who don't quite grasp that this is what all fpn's amount to, and therein, I think, lies part of our problem. A woman named Dorry has chosen, for reasons which we do not know, to write down an account of her search for her lover, who has become part of an alien cult. That there are no men on Mars (except the sterile few in the cult) is not something that pertains to the story she's telling. Therefore, it would be unnatural, intrusive, and entirely artificial for me to force her to cough up this bit of data for the satisfaction of my readers. I believe (and this seems obvious to me) that when one chooses to write a fpn one has chosen to give the whole story over to characterization. "Bradbury Weather" is the monologue of the central character, and to her, the absence of men is a day-to-day reality, as is parthenogenic human reproduction and a thousand other things which no doubt seem damn peculiar to the reader. But she's telling her story, the story about her search for Sailor Li, her story about the Fenrir cult, and the absence of men is not a part of the story. So, I can't tell it, and I can't make her tell it, because she wouldn't frelling do that. I don't do infodumps.

Isn't the general provenance of science fiction to elicit wonder and cause the readers to think and question? Aren't these things more important and desirable than tying up all the loose ends for imagination-challenged readers who have no apparent interest in coming away from a story with a sense of mystery and problems their minds can freely work at for some time to come?

I wish I could discuss these things without getting angry. No, that's a lie. I wish I didn't have to discuss these things at all.


I can't say I feel any differently three years later. If anything, these convictions have only strengthened.

Last night, we watched Robert De Niro's The Good Shepherd (2006), which I somehow missed in theaters. I found it quite good. Also, I have some photos from a walk in the snow yesterday, behind the cut:

March 2, 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (wrath)
A rather remarkable 1,885 words yesterday on "The Bone's Prayer," for Sirenia Digest #39. Though, I will admit, a bit of that was me discovering that the "sea's daughter" fragment I posted here a couple of days back fit into a dream sequence. I'll finish the story today. Also, I have to reformat The Red Tree ms.——something about the copyeditor——and send the newly formatted ms. to my editor tomorrow.

We have snow again here in Providence.

I am letting it be known that I'm taking most of March off. I'm overworked, and I've hardly slept the last two or three weeks. There were two severe seizures in February, one on the third and another on the eighteenth, and I know that, in part, this is due to my work habits. I've not taken a day off in the last eight, and won't be able to stop until the digest goes out. In March, I'll attend to Sirenia Digest and whatever I can't avoid regarding The Red Tree. But that's all. I have to try to rest, get better, clear my head, and spend as much time Outside as possible, and see people. Real, actual people, not the virtual sort. I have to try to reassemble myself. If I could afford more than one month, I'd be taking it, but that's all the breathing room I have, and I don't really have that. I'm just taking it. If I reach a point where the exhaustion makes work impossible, I've defeated the purpose of working. So, I might be scarce in March. Or, I might make lots of posts with photos of interesting places. We'll see.

Some decent Hulu last night (I can't really say "television"). First, the new episode (new for me, anyway) of Battlestar Galactica. "Deadlock" wasn't nearly as good as "No Exit," but still, not bad. The new episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles was actually quiet good. One of the best. Smarter than the show is usually willing to allow itself to be, in terms of narrative structure. We didn't suffer another episode of Dollhouse, though. It's just too disheartening. If, at some future date, someone can show me that the series somehow overcame the dullness that marks the first two episodes, I'll give it another try. Knowing that Joss Whedon is capable of storytelling on the order of Firefly, I cannot bear to watch the dull morass of Dollhouse.

Time to make the doughnuts.
greygirlbeast: (chi3)
Yesterday, despite the fact that I spent all day at the keyboard, I managed only a paltry 675 words on "The Collier's Venus (1893)." The story continues to confound me. A locked box to which I seem to have never received the key. Or, I have the key, but can't quite figure out how it works. I sent the first three sections to Sonya last night, and she likes it. Spooky likes it. But I am entirely uncertain. It will be finished, because there is not now time to begin a new story. I see this story so clearly in my mind's eye, and yet the words escape me. I think the last time I had this sort of frustration was with "The Ape's Wife." And, I should admit, that turned out quite well, in the end. Or, in THE END. There are precious few mornings when I sit down in this chair and actually look forward to writing. But, usually, at least I do not sit down with an utter dread of the story I'm trying to write. That's the present situation. But I am the sole creatrix of that world, that fictive reality, and, in time, I'll unlock the box. There's just so little time.

Yesterday, I came to a sort of resolution. In large part, it stems from the trouble I'm having with "The Collier's Venus (1893)." In large part, it's just common sense. I'm going to set December and January aside for a "semi-vacation." That is, I'm scaling back work for those two months, limiting myself to Sirenia Digest and the editing of The Red Tree. This means I'll be pulling out of a couple of anthologies I've agreed to write stories for. But it simply cannot be helped. I am too tired. No, I am bloody exhausted. There's been no break since...the move, and that was hardly a break. I didn't even take any sort of decent breather after finishing The Red Tree*, and I simply cannot keep this up. I will be sick again, if I do.

So...I just have to survive writing "The Collier's Venus (1893)," all of Sirenia Digest #36, and the trip to Manhattan next week, and then maybe I'll be fine.

Ah, but there is a little good news. Stephen Jones has selected "Emptiness Spoke Eloquent" for a special Twentieth Anniversary "very best of" The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror. This story and I have a long, long history. It was originally written in November 1993, my third story ever intended for publication. It's probably one of the more interesting pieces of my "naïve period" (let's say '93-'95). Originally, the story placed with a small press zine called Eldritch Tales (long deceased). However, four years later, it still had not been published. Then, at the May 1997 World Horror Convention in Niagara Falls, Steve Jones asked me to write a Dracula-themed story for the '97 World Fantasy Convention souvenir book, Secret City: Strange Tales of London. So, I sent a letter (we still wrote actual letters back then, on paper, with ink) to the editor of the obviously moribund Eldritch Tales, withdrawing the story. I wrote a second draft, adding 1,100 words, and sent it to Steve, who loved it. Later, it was selected for The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror (Vol. 9, 1998), and then was reprinted in my second collection, From Weird and Distant Shores (2002). And now, it will be reprinted again, sixteen years after I began it. The book will be released by Earthling Publications as a signed, limited edition, and will include one story from each volume of The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror. More details TBA.

Last night, after Chinese leftovers, we ventured out into the wuthering evening, because I couldn't stand to be shut up in the house with all that wind pressing in at the walls. And I needed more Yacht Club ginger ale. Yacht Club is my new beverage addiction (they also make excellent root beer). Anyway, last night our cashier at Eastside Market just happened to be the girlfriend of the son of the owner of Yacht Club Bottling Works (located in Centredale, RI), which was sort of weird and cool. Back home, there was WoW. Shaharrazad and Suraa slew kobolds, dromaeosaurid theropods, giant spiders, ogres, (at Boulderfist Hall) and laid waist to countless humans at a Syndicate encampment (at Northfold Manor), all in the Arathi Highlands. I posted another entry to [livejournal.com profile] crk_blog_vault. Later, we watched the first episode of Deadwood for the zillionth time. And it's still brilliant, and still makes me sad that the idiots at HBO saw fit to cancel what is possibly the best written series in television history. I think we got to bed just before 3:30 a.m.

* I was just looking back over old journal entries, and it appears the last time I took an actual vacation was the first week of June 2007.
greygirlbeast: (white2)
I should have my journal entry almost finished by now, and here I am just beginning it. And I cannot even blame running late on having slept until 10:30 ayem (half an hour past when I meant to get up). Last night, I began having dim recollections of a short story I'd either written or begun writing about a film based on the paintings of my recurring fictional artist, Albert Perrault. I couldn't decide whether or not I'd actually written the story. Maybe, I pondered, I only thought about starting it, but never did. After all, had I actually written it, it would have been in a recent issue of the digest. My mind went on to other things. This morning, I mentioned it to Spooky, and she remembered having read it. So, I sort of freaked out. I searched back through the blog and found mention of "Some Notes on an Unfinished Film" in the entry for September 3rd. I wrote:

Yesterday, I wrote 822 words on "Some Notes on an Unfinished Film," which is becoming quite interesting. But now I have to set it aside and go back to work on The Red Tree. The story will still be there later this month. I might have time to finish it for Sirenia Digest #34, maybe. If not, it will likely show up in the October issue.

A cursory search of files on my iMac failed to turn up a copy of the story, and I started to panic. I rifled through the stacks of paper by my desk, and discovered a file with a print out of at least two versions of the story. A second and third search on the iMac turned up the file (with several pages that were never printed out), in a place it shouldn't have been. The whole thing has me a little unnerved. I wrote 2,540 words on this story, then set it aside at the beginning of September and simply forgot it existed —— until last night. But, if nothing else, this is the perfect case-in-point reply to the possibly well meaning, but entirely infuriating and wrongheaded comment from someone at MySpace (whom I shall not here name), who this morning declared, "You can never write too much. Stop setting Fucking limits on what you can do." Er...right. When I can no longer even keep track of all that I am writing, I am writing too much. Never mind the exhaustion. Anyway, probably I will finish this piece for Sirenia Digest #35.

Yesterday, I wrote 2,083 words on The Red Tree. I am very near the end, and I think there's a grand irony in the fact that I set out to write a YA novel (Joey Lafaye), which I shelved to write the darkest, most "unrelentingly grim" novel I have yet written. It is wearing me down, reaching the end of this book, putting myself and my protagonist through these events. But, now, it is almost "done." Two or three more days, at most.

I have received word that the interview I gave to Locus will appear in the December '08 issue. Which has me all sorts of nervous.

Last night, after Chinese takeaway, we watched Neil Jordan's The Company of Wolves (1984) for the first time in ages. It still delights, but I fear it's a film that is not aging gracefully, and I wish that Jordan, or another director, would undertake a remake. Oh, to have the opportunity to write a screenplay based on Angela Carter stories. My favourite part of the film is still the short bit with the priest and Danielle Dax's wolfgirl, which I think comes the closest to capturing the flavour of Carter's fiction.

Later, there was WoW. Voimakas, my Draenei hunter, reached Lvl 20, and finished her 100th quest. Frankly, I think the new "achievement" feature they've added to the game is rather silly. I keep waiting to receive an achievement for having done X number of achievements. Anything that makes WoW feel more like a game and less like a simulation is unwelcome, so far as I am concerned. But I do not like games, so your mileage may very. That is, I do not like games that feel like games, or go out of their way to remind you that they are games. While playing WoW, I want to rediscover the childhood capacity for "playing pretend," not constantly be reminded —— by silly, arbitrary benchmarks —— that it's all just a game. Anyway, after WoW, we read more of Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket.

Once again, I did not leave the house yesterday.

Okay. The platypus is getting out the bullhorn and paddle....
greygirlbeast: (chidown)
Holy fuck, but I'm tired.

After the marathon "leveling crunch" last night (Spooky and I both made it back up to Lvl 10, and it only took seven consecutive hours), I managed a long writing day and finished Chapter Six of The Red Tree this afternoon. But now I am far, far too tired and my head too murksome to make a decent journal entry. But I'll get to it in the morning, promise, complete with photographs from yesterday's trip to Fort Weatherill on Conanicut Island. I edited and uploaded the images this morning.

Spooky promises comfort food for dinner, and then...well...I hope to get to Lvl. 15 tonight. Hello, my name is Caitlín. I'm a godsdamned dork.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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