greygirlbeast: (Default)
A wonderful hard rain yesterday, wonderful even though I had to go Out into it. Much of the snow has been melted and washed away.

Comments would be good today. I know it's Saturday, but it feels like Sunday, and Sundays suck.

Well, the medical appointment yesterday wasn't nearly as bad as expected. I have a new doctor, and it's an infinitely better match than the last. So, no more Evil Nasty Clinic filled with rude homophobic assholes who get freaked out by pentagrams. Also, new doctor has an aquarium built into the waiting room wall, which scores all sorts of points with me.

After we got home yesterday, Spooky saw a raven perched on the house across the street. They don't usually range this far south, but this winter they're turning up in Rhode Island. Normally, we only get crows and fish crows. Sadly, I didn't see it. We're both getting somewhat serious about birding, and I take that as a sign of our advancing years. Then again, bird watching ain't nothing but dinosaur watching misspelled.

I got a copy of [livejournal.com profile] kaz_mahoney's (Karen Mahoney) first novel, The Iron Witch, in the mail. Thank you, Kaz! And congratulations.

Late in the day, we proofed "By Turns" for To Worlds and In Between, so some work was done.

I loaded a lot of Dead Can Dance onto the iPod yesterday.

I've made an interesting decision as regards The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. It occurred to me, yesterday, that I read novels about heterosexual characters, and the word heterosexual, or even straight, never appears, unless it's used to set the characters apart from queers. So. I'm removing every instance of the word lesbian from The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Sure, there's lesbian relationships, lesbo sex, a hot tranny dyke, a sapphic siren/wolf girl, and so forth. But nowhere in the book will I actually use the word lesbian. Because I wouldn't use het, probably not even once, were Imp straight. And I figure, not only is it the right thing to do, but it will somehow annoy the bigots even more.

---

How frakkin' good is Rift? So damn good that Spooky and I are currently trading her laptop back and forth so that we can both play, that's how good. So far, no disappointments. Quite exactly the opposite. Telara grows more amazing the more I see. Right now, I'm in love with the creature design. Yesterday, Selwyn, my Kelari mage, made Level 12. Her minion is a human skeleton named Jude. Spooky's Kelari cleric, Miisya, made Level 10. She'll catch up today. Oh, and players cooperate, and come to the rescue of others, and stuff like that. Who'd have thought it? Yes, there are a few jerks. But infinitely (well, not literally) less than in WoW, and they're easy to ignore, especially if, like me, you keep general chat off.

In WoW, I'm still grinding away in Outland, trying to get Loremaster with Shaharrazad before I exit stage left. But it's starting to look as if that may never happen. Loremaster, I mean. There are just too many broken, forgotten quests out there. And I'll need every one of them to make the title. On the upside, WoW is a hell of a lot more fun playing in regions where there are absolutely no other players. By the way, third worst WoW quest ever is to be found in Shadowmoon Valley: "I was a lot of things..."

---

Vince is currently working on the illustration for Sirenia Digest #63, and it'll go out to subscribers ASAP. What? You're not a subscriber??? Fix that now! The platypus compels you with his venomous spurs.
greygirlbeast: (white)
We're keeping a weather eye on Hurricane Earl. At least it's been downgraded to a Level 3. We're right at the edge of a "red zone" (high threat) and soundly in the yellow ("medium threat"). But we're on high ground, above the area that would have to be evacuated if worse came to worse. And the flood gates are strong. We should see the storm on Friday.

Meanwhile, the worst heat of the summer seems to have come yesterday, on the last day of summer (I have always considered August 31st the last day of summer). In the House, the temperature reached 91F. We left, though the heat index outside was something like 97F. We drove to Warwick, and then across the Western Passage and out to Conanicut Island and Beavertail Point. I'd hoped there would be enough of a breeze at Beavertail to offset the heat. But it was still early in the day when we arrived (maybe four p.m.), and there was hardly any breeze at all. The sun seemed to rob everything of color. It was like a hammer, that sun. And, somehow, my heart just wasn't in it, this visit to the sea. I can't recall that ever before having been the case.

We stopped for a little while on the western side of the island. We watched two herring gulls using strands of seaweed to "fish" for crabs. The sea looked wrong. The tide was going out, but the rip currents were strong enough to see. The bay seemed calm, almost flat, but seethed near the rocks in a way I have never seen it move before. It almost seemed to boil, and the whole scene (coupled with the heat and the light) felt somewhat surreal. The coves, where the water is usually crystal clear, were murky with silt and organic detritus. I'm assuming these are all early affects of the hurricane. I know the rip tides are.

We moved on to the lighthouse at the point. More weirdness. In my experience, the waves at the point rush in from the southwest, moving northwest. Yesterday, they were coming from the east, moving west. We sat near the base of the old lighthouse (destroyed by fire on July 22, 1753) for a time, watching the strange waves and getting too much sun. Then we retreated into the tiny "aquarium" inside the current lighthouse (built in 1856). It was much cooler inside, in the dark, lit mainly by the lights inside the tanks. We watched a pool of small shark, spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias). There were various other local fish, including Northern puffer fish (Sphoeroides maculatus), and couple of sea robins (Prionotus carolinus), along with various invertebrates— urchins, starfish, horseshoe crabs, et cetera. There was the carapace of huge rare "blue lobster" (not a different species, just a rare morph). Back outside, we sat for a while in the shade of the lighthouse, pretty much the only shade there was to be had.

About five, we gave up and headed back to Providence.

There are photos, behind the cut:

31 August 2010 )


---

Last night, we watched the second film in the Red Riding trilogy, In the Year of Our Lord 1980, this one directed by James Marsh. It wasn't as brilliant as the first film, but still very good. Later, there was WoW. We belatedly began the "Keepers of Time" quests. The "Old Hillsbrad" quest, saving the young Thrall from dragons trying to change the course of history, was really a lot of fun (despite having to be disguised as a human). I read the first few pages of Louis Chiappe's Glorified Dinosaurs: The Origin and Early Evolution of Birds, which came as part of a very wonderful literary care package from Steven Lubold (thank you!). I think I got to sleep a little after four ayem, and, amazingly, slept about eight hours, with the aid of no pills whatsoever.

And that was yesterday.

Today, I have to attend to some email, then get Sirenia Digest #57 laid out and PDF'd. I'll do my best to get it to subscribers by this evening (but it might be early tomorrow). Spooky and I are holed up in my office with Dr. Muñoz the Coolerator, and hopefully we won't melt. It's going to be another scorcher today.
greygirlbeast: (starbuck1)
Yesterday was actually a very good writing day, the sort of writing day I wish I had more often. The fourteenth and final section of "Bainbridge" came out easy as you please. I'd thought it would only be two or three hundred words long, but it had other ideas. So I did 1,358 words on the story yesterday and finished (which you already know from last night's addendum). I suppose it really is a novella (or novelette) now instead of a "mere" short story. The word count stands at 15,598, which comes out to a whopping 70 typescript pages. This morning, I need to send it out to a couple of my "first" readers and to Ted, so he can get started on the last of the Alabaster illustrations. But it's still a little rough 'round the edges, and when I come back from my two days off (which begin as soon as I deal with e-mail), I'll read through it and make whatever changes need making. They're very minor. I don't write true first drafts, not usually. Once the polish is done, it may be a hundred words longer or a hundred words shorter, but essentially the same. I very much like how this story has turned out — I think. The beginning of The Larger Story, which will fall at the end of the collection, which makes my inner anti-linear narrator jump for joy.

All of January I shall edit. "Bainbridge" and the rest of Alabaster. And Daughter of Hounds. Sigh.

There's still confusion over this business with Amazon.com offering Murder of Angels for $4.99. Despite what my editor was told yesterday by Amazon — that no one has been able to buy it for that price — [livejournal.com profile] the_final_woman reports that she did. This morning, the "Bargain" price page is showing no copies remaining for sale at $4.99, but if you search for MoA, a second page comes up, wherein the book is listed at its actual price ($11.20 after Amazon's discount). So, it's like this. Click here to go to the screwed up page that shouldn't exist, or click here to go to the genuine page. Someday, all this will make sense. And pigs will fly.

Instead of letting me collapse on my face last night and peacefully drown in my own drool, Spooky lured me into the living room by waving Season Two of Battlestar Galactica beneath my nose. Nothing brings me back to life like good space opera. And that's what Battlestar Galactica is, despite what the creators might say from fear of the wrath of Bonnie Hammer and the SFC suits. It's very, very good space opera. We made it through the first four episodes, and I was in no way disappointed (though there was that one short scene lifted almost shot for shot from the opening of Apocalypse Now, but we'll just call that homage). The series' willingness to get down and dirty, to let the blood flow and put the hurting on characters you've come to care about is commendable. Never in a zillion years would I have believed that the rebirth of Battlestar Galactica would be a good thing, which just goes to show me that I don't yet know everything. I do think, though, that there's a curious and fundamental difference between the new Battlestar Galactica and my dear, departed Farscape. I would argue that Farscape was character driven (and sometimes seemed a bit confused about story), while Battlestar Galactica is story driven. At least, this was the case with Season One. In the four episodes last night, I think the writers finally began to open the characters up a little more. For example (SPOILER), the scene where "Sharon" dies in the Chief's arms — wow. Beautifully, beautifully done. We shall watch the next four episodes tonight (along with Project Runway, of course).

Oh, and I just have to give you this link to a National Geographic article which recounts how the new Cretaceous Australian monotreme, Kryoryctes cadburyi, got its species name. It involves a cubic meter of chocolate.

Okay. Now I take care of e-mail. Then I go to the aquarium and spend the day at the bottom of the sea...

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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