greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
Caitlín R. Kiernan, you will write a short blog entry! Yes, you will. Probably, no one's reading this thing today, anyway. Much less will they comment, so make it short. [I didn't.]

1) THIS IS IMPORTANT! Read it twice. Steam is offering Rift for a mere $14.99!!! That's 50% off! Plus, you play FREE for a month. Now, the offer will never get better than this, and we had a great RP session last night (thanks, guys). You can join us almost, if not quite, for free.

And really, say that you're here reading this and you don't want to take part in an interactive fantasy story written in part by me? You know you do. So, scoot over to Steam and toss them some pennies, download, sign in, create a Defiant character on the Faeblight shard, start grinding those first few marvelous levels, and join us on Telara. No, NOW. Go. I'll still be here when you get back.

2) Yesterday, I wrote three more pages of Alabaster #3 (though I still felt blegh). I should explain, that when I say I wrote three pages, that's three pages of the comic, which usually comes to about three manuscript pages, sometimes four.

3) I'm feeling much better, but it appears a lot of my exhaustion was a bug of the contagious sort, and now Spooky's caught it (as of yesterday). So, I got to say, "I told you I felt awful." But that's the only upside. She's miserable.

4) I'm not a hypocrite. I just like turkey. We eat it a lot (usually legs). But, yeah, yesterday Spooky made an awesome turkey breast (with cranberries, walnuts, apples, garlic, and onions), and we had mashed potatoes (POH_TAE_TOES?), English peas, homemade cranberry sauce (forget that jellied crap in the can), and apple pie. Days of leftovers. And unholy words were spoken to unspeakable gods while Ozzy Osbourne played in the background, so...none of this counts. Move along. Nothing to see here. Thank you. Drive around.

5) I mentioned this, right? Okay. Just checking.

6) This entry was going to be short, wasn't it?

7) I saw this yesterday, and I (no shit) almost cried: "Alabama’s Wealth of Fossil Dinosaur Feathers." Just read the article (after you've downloaded Rift). Suffice to say, I worked with the paleontologist who first noted feathers in the Eutaw Formation, after I'd spent many years urging collectors to focus on the Eutaw Formation (Late Santonian-Early Campanian) if they wanted to find a Cretaceous terrestrial fauna in Alabama. This is more than I ever dared hoped for.

8) The signature sheets for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart (Subterranean Press, 2012) will reach me soon, and the signing will commence.

9) As I mentioned, great RP last night, the second scene in our rebooted storyline. The cleric Nilleshna called two more Ascendants to the Watchers of the Unseen and the Faceless Man's cause, a Kelari cleric named Emris and a Kelari rogue named Harlakai. And an old member was reunited with the guild, the Eth warrior Anaxakharis. They were all gathered together in a high alpine meadow on the border between Stonefield and Freemarch. Near the end of the scene, one of the guild's more infamous characters, Celinn (Kelari rogue) appeared from the trees and great and terrible weirdness ensued. The game's afoot...again!

10) We're running a Sirenia Digest special. Subscribe now, and you'll get #71 free with issue #72. In fact, if you subscribed any time in November you get #71. This is to be sure people reading the alternate first chapters of Silk will have access to the entire manuscript. So, take advantage of one of my rare acts of kindness. But we can't afford to run it beyond #72, so you only have until the 5th of December to get this deal.

And now...the mothmen summon me.

Astounded at Her Pre[science],
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
So, first off, yes, The Ammonite Violin & Others has been nominated for a World Fantasy Award in the category of Best Collection. And yes, I am surprised and very pleased. Richard A. Kirk (who did the cover and endpapers for The Ammonite Violin & Others) is also nominated for a WFA this year, in the category of Best Artist. And! He's the Artist Guest of Honor at the 2012 World Fantasy Convention in Toronto. So, don't we fucking rock? My thanks to everyone who sent congratulations yesterday, including the 200+ who did so via Facebook. Soon, we will be listing copies of the sold-out collection on eBay to commemorate the nomination.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,749 words on Chapter Five of Blood Oranges, and the wolfulous aspects of Siobahn Quinn's nature made their first appearance. May I write as well today.

We had dinner from the farmer's market. Spooky brought back a huge tomato, four ears of corn, peaches, and a length of kielbasa (from pigs born, raised, and slaughtered out on Connanicut Island). A locavore's feast, it was.

And now, from the Ministry of the Truly Fucking Embarrassing, the van finally came back from the shop on Tuesday, as you know, and yesterday afternoon Spooky discovered a cache of unmailed eBay packages in back, mostly hidden by a beach towel. And our eBay customers must be bloody saints, because no one has said, "Hey, my book's a month late!" Thank you for that. Anyway, amongst said packages were the signed signature sheets for Two Worlds & In Between. Now, I signed all 600 of the damned things way back on May 19th (and if you look at this entry, you'll see a photo of me doing it). And then...well...shit happens. I lost track. I'd feel worse about this if anyone at Subterranean Press had noticed the pages hadn't arrived. They'll go into the mail today, along with the tardy eBay packages, and all the more recent eBay packages.

Here's a new and very brief interview with me, on the occasion of the reprinting of "Charcloth, Firesteel, and Flint" in the forthcoming A Book of Horrors (even though I am not a horror writer), edited by Stephen Jones. Yeah, I go for the danishes every time. Especially if they're cherry and cream cheese.

I should also mention another anthology, Halloween (Prime Books, edited by Paula Guran), which will be reprinting "On the Reef."

Okay...that's a lot of announcements. Enough for one day. The platypus is looking askance, the lowly fucker. But I will say Rift RP is going very well. We had a great scene last night, and my thanks to everyone in our guild, Watchers of the Unseen, who took part. Despite a sort of rocky beginning, the scene quickly became what was probably the best large-scale group RP (as opposed to one-on-one) I've done since my days in the late, lamented Dune sim on Second Life (ca. February 2008). Sure, last night was all mages and warriors, but what the hell. Oh, and one very troublesome rogue.

Yeah, platypus. Keep your panties on. Comment, kittens!

Undefeated,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Running very, very late today. First, insomnia last night, and then I "overslept" (that is, fell asleep at five, awakened by a honking car at ten thirty, awake again at eleven thirty, so maybe six hours of sleep), and woke to email of the stress-me-out-first-thing-in-the-day variety. So, yeah. Quick entry.

Yesterday, I took half the day off. Having finished Chapter Three of Blood Oranges on Monday, I figured I deserved it. So, Spooky and I went to a 1:40 matinée of J.J. Abrams' Super 8. And I say, without reservation, this is the best movie I've seen this year. It's a rollicking fusion of The Goonies (1985) and Cloverfield (2008), and it's unreservedly marvelous. Abrams nails 1979 with a deft, but not precious, accuracy. I love when I have no complaints about a film, when all I can do is say, "I fucking loved this," and all I can say is "I fucking loved Super 8."

Back home, the half of the day that was a day off ended, and work resumed. We read through the first three chapters of Blood Oranges (127 pages, 28,035 words) – for typos and continuity and anything else that might be off. It works, I say with great relief. The voice (the hardest I've ever had to sustain) is the same throughout. Anyway, the book is somewhere between 42,000 and 48,000 words from THE END, and I'm right on schedule. We finished up about nine p.m. Today, I begin Chapter Four (of a projected eight chapters).

Also, we splurged and had Kentucky Fried Chicken (no, not fuckin' KFC) for dinner, which was as disgustingly delicious as I remembered. First time we've had any sort of fried chicken since coming to Rhode Island.

Round 2 of the Big Damn eBay Sale has begun. Please have a look. You also must see this, as you will see nothing more beautiful today.

Okay...if I'm forgetting anything it can wait until later. Hold on! Is that sunshine?!
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Finally, finally April is here. At the end of May. Temperatures in the high and mid '70s F. The windows are open. The birds are tweeting. The squirrels are fucking. This makes everything better.

Okay, kittens. I haven't actually seen any squirrels fucking. That's an inference, I admit.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,392 words on Blood Oranges. I have never before written anything so funny that Spooky couldn't read it aloud, or that had me laughing so hard I was in tears. So that was strange. Oh, and if you buy into that old adage that it's bad to be the sort of person who laughs at her own jokes, you're a moron. Or at least deluded. If it doesn't make me laugh, how can I expect it to make anyone else laugh? I have about 3,500 words to go to finish Chapter Two, which is maybe two days worth of hard writing, a big push. Then, Sirenia Digest #67! Whoosh!

Just learned that we'll be seeing Brendan Perry and Robyn Guthrie in Boston next week! Woosh!

I must tell you, also, that Spooky is having a CRK's Birthday Sale on her jewelry and one doll (Cassandra) at her Dreaming Squid and Sundries Etsy shop, and shipping is FREE, and everything selling fast, so have a look. You really need to see her new Alice's Adventures in Wonderland glass-vial pendants. There's a coupon code you'll need to use at checkout: CRKBIRTHDAY

Last night's dinner (at India on Hope Street) went very, very well. Joshi and his girlfriend, Mary, along with Johnathan Thomas, and Brian Evenson. Oh, and me and Spooky, of course. Much delicious food was eaten, and there was marvelous conversation while a Bollywood film played in the background. I think I'll have a photo to post eventually. Mary took it, so I have to wait for her and S. T. to get back to Seattle.

And then there's tomorrow. The 47th birthday. The day on which I am to be 47 years and 9 months old (I always force myself to include those 9 months, and no, that doesn't change my pro-choice stance). As Jada said to me recently, "Who'd have ever thought we'd make it this long?" Which is pretty much my sentiment. It wasn't supposed to go this way, but this way it has gone.

I really am beginning to think I might have broken my left big toe while we were in Manhattan. A sane, not impoverished, well-insured person would go to the doctor for X-rays and whatnot and incur a thousand dollar bill to learn nothing can really be done. Not I, said the Little Red Hen*. Me, I just take Tylenol and marvel at how much a toe can hurt.

Last night, after we got home, we Rifted (new verb) and Selwyn and Miisya, with the help of [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus's rogue, Celinn, quested in the beautiful wilds of Ironpine Peak. The most amazingly realized region I've seen in Rift (or any other game). Miisya reached Level 42. I took some screencaps I'll post in a day or two. Also, hey, WE HAVE A GUILD and YOU COULD BE PLAYING WITH US. No fooling. I don't believe for a New-York minute that there are not many gamers among my readers. And if you're not sure Rift is your thing, there is now a FREE trial. Oh, last night at dinner I learned that Brian Evenson is also an MMORPG geek, so I felt not so alone and nerdy.

Okay. Gotta make the doughnuts.

Laconically,
Aunt Beast

* Yeah, yeah. Poetic license.
greygirlbeast: (white)
New version of Firefox, you suck. Just so you know.

And yesterday was a very weird day. But here I am, on the other side of it.

Yesterday, I wrote the journal entry and answered email. I edited the FAQ for the soon-to-go-live new Sirenia Digest website. And I did a little more work on "Fake Plastic Trees," adding about 200 words to clarify something the editors had requested I clarify. It was a point I admitted was a little vague, and now the editors are happier with the story, and so am I. Afterwards, I wrote 1,540 words on the first chapter of Blood Oranges, which is the thing that was conceived as a spoof of ParaRom, but seems to have grown into an actual novel. Its still a "werepire" novel, and it looks askance at and skewers everything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Twilight, from True Blood to Anne Rice. It's a strange beast, about strange beasts. And I'm not going to say anything more about it until I write another 1,500 words, because it's just too strange.

I have set a goal for myself: I will write two more novels (Blood Oranges and Blue Canary), two new short stories, and produce nine more issues of Sirenia Digest by the end of January 2012. And not die in the process. Then, in 2012 I'd write Dark Adapted, the sequel to Blood Oranges, along with the sequel to Blue Canary.

So, yes. A lot of work yesterday. And the same today. And tomorrow. And that's what my summer looks like. Mostly. I get a few days off for good behavior.

There are days I could just sit and listen to R.E.M. all day long.

Yesterday, a very young humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) was found beached at Little Compton.

I made a really terribly good salsa fresca (half the juice of one lime, two tomatoes, about a fifth of a red onion, half a large jalapeño, one serrano, a handful of fresh cilantro, a clove of garlic, and a dash of salt) for Cinco de Mayo, which we had with the pork quesadillas Spooky made. I wanted tequila and Sol beer, but the meds say no.

Then I took a short nap.

Then a house down the street erupted into flame. This makes the third serious fire on our street since November 2009. The second was in May 2010. And now this. When I first made it down to the street, and within maybe a hundred feet of the house, I thought they were going to lose the thing, and the wind was so bad I began to fear for surrounding houses. But at least five fire trucks responded (it was listed as a two alarm). Everyone got out. But now another beautiful old Victorian house on the street is scarred. All this would be very suspicious, and it's obviously statistically improbable. But the first fire was started by a faulty lamp cord, and the second by a cat knocking over a candle. Nothing suspicious there. Last night's fire was fucking terrifying. The cause remains undetermined. Spooky took three photos, which are behind the cut:

Fire Three, May 5 2011 )


Note to potential stalkers: I've said enough over the years that anyone who really means to can find my house, but you show up on my doorstep or lurking about, annoying me and mine, getting in my shit, and I will fucking kill you. End of story. So think twice, and then think again.

Later, when things had finally calmed down, we played a small bit of Rift. We watched the last four episodes of Season Six of Weeds. I must admit, the season recovers towards the end, and the last episode is very good. Later, we read more of Under the Poppy. That was yesterday, kittens.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Checks are coming in very slowly, and every little bit helps. Thanks. Also, Spooky's added a new necklace to her Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries shop. She made a beautiful one for me (finally), which I'll post photos of soon, then made one more. It's awesome. Buy it.

And now I go to write about a werewolf attack.

Beastly Yours,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Please do comment; I'll be here all damn day.

It seems that all my family and friends in Birmingham are safe. I know a few people in Tuscaloosa, mostly at the University, and I've heard nothing from that end. But the devastation from yesterday's tornadoes is horrific, and I've had to make myself stop looking at the photographs of familiar places reduced to unfamiliar places. Tornadoes are a part of living in the South that I do not miss.

---

Dream images from last night are mostly lost, and those that remain are faint and almost indistinguishable from the background clutter of my mind. There was a beautiful mastodon skeleton weathering from a river bank. There was frozen Stalingrad during World War II.

All summer they drove us back through the Ukraine.
Smolyensk and Viyasma soon fell.
By autumn, we stood with our backs to the town of Orel.


No, the mastodon skeleton wasn't in Stalingrad.

---

Work was an odd and scatterbrained affair yesterday. Lots of loose ends and such, and today I have to begin a new piece for Sirenia Digest, because I am woefully fucking late getting to it. Oh, by the way, the snazzy new Sirenia Digest website will go live this weekend or early next week.

I mentioned that the ARCs for Two Worlds and In Between arrived on Tuesday. They include Lee Moyer's cover art, but brightness and contrast are way off, rendering the cover muddy and dark. And it's not the actual layout we're going with, so if you happen to see one of the ARCs, this is not what the final book will actually look like. I spent part of yesterday making corrections to the text, because no matter how many times you proofread a thing, or how many people len their eyes to the proofreading, it will still be filled with fucking errors. The manuscript is 210,209 words long, which breaks down to 965,432 individual characters, all of which have to be checked again and again. Also, it seems that the release date on the book has been moved from January 2012 to September 30, 2011. I had no idea.

I spent a goodly portion of yesterday on the cover for "The Crimson Alphabet," the chapbook that will accompany Two Worlds and In Between. I'd already done a cover, but decided I hated it and started over. The end result is very, very simple.

---

[livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy has announced the casting call for two projects related to The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. You can see his announcement here, but I'll also post his entry here in its entirety later. A book trailer and a still photography project. It's all fairly fucking awesome.

---

Last night, I left the house with Spooky, and we drove to College Hill. Spring is now in full bloom, and the temperatures have been warm enough that I am hereby declaring Cold Spring to have ended and Spring Proper to have begun. We stopped by Acme Video (complimentary Atomic Fireballs!), then Eastside Market, then got cheese burgers from Five Guys in Seekonk, Mass. I'm not used to driving out of state for burgers. That's going to take some time (and it's not something we'll make a habit of doing, either).

Back home, we watched Gaspar Noé's Enter the Void (2009). And I honestly wasn't impressed. If nothing else, the film needs at least 45 minutes trimmed away (running time, a whopping 161 minutes). This film manages to belabor pretty much everything it touches upon. In the hands of a skillful editor, it's possible that something worthwhile could be salvaged. If Lars von Trier and David Lynch had never heard of editing, they might make movies like Enter the Void. Also, it doesn't help that Nathaniel Brown, who plays the protagonist, has all the acting ability of a stalk of broccoli. There are plenty of arresting visuals, and some brutal, beautiful scenes, but even I can only watch psychedelic Tokyo sex scenes, shot from an overhead boom and lit with seizure-inducing, flickering shades of red, for just so long before the yawning begins. I hoped I would feel better about the film this morning, but, in fact, I find that I sort of loathe it; I suppose that's something.

---

I have about a hundred other things in my head, wanting to be spoken of in this blog today. Maybe later.

Disoriented,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
Already St. Patrick's Day again. I hung the flag last night, and tonight I cook corned beef, cabbage, and cál ceannann, and we have Guinness and soda bread. So, we're set, and there will probably be enough food to last us three days. And here's my favorite St. Patrick's Day article: "Why Ireland Has No Snakes" (No Xtian magick is invoked.).

It's bright out there, and the weather is warmer.

Yesterday, Sonya and I finished editing The Dry Salvages, after she typed in all the edits on "Giants in the Earth." I think we were done by 3 p.m. or so, and since her train wasn't until 5:30, we went ahead and edited "The Worm in My Mind's Eye" (a chapbook that accompanied The Dry Salvages, and which will appear in Two Worlds and In Between as a footnote to the short novel). Then she and Kathryn typed in those edits. So, yeah, [livejournal.com profile] sovay came and saved me from editing hell...and yeah, it still sucked, but at least I've survived.

Today, I'll be sending The Drowning Girl: A Memoir to my editor at Penguin, and I hope I'll be sending the ms. for Two Worlds and In Between to Bill Schafer at subpress. And then, tomorrow, I begin a three day vacation. After today, I'll have worked twenty-eight days without a single day off, and I mean to have a rest. I'll be setting my email to the auto-response vacation settings, and mostly unplugging.

Last night, I think I was literally too tired to see straight. After dinner, I lay down in front of the fireplace and dozed off for half an hour. When I woke, it was still far too early for bed, so I had a cup of coffee, which I really didn't feel at all. I played about three hours of Rift, though I wasn't actually, technically, awake. I leveled my Kelari cleric, Nilleshna, to 11. Spooky camped out in front of the TV, watched a Nova episode, "Dogs Decoded," then played Bayonetta on the PS3. Then we went to bed and read Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay until almost 4 ayem. I'm pretty sure Mockingjay is the book I wanted Catching Fire to be. Katniss has come into her own, at last. The book actually had me cheering (blearily) last night. So, yeah, saggy middle, but the third book is great so far. And yep, I've heard that Jennifer Lawrence has been cast as Katniss. I have no idea who Jennifer Lawrence is...but that's okay.

And that was yesterday. And there are photos from the past two days:

15-16 March 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (white)
Yesterday, I wrote only 810 words on "The Prayer of Ninety Cats," but I spent hours and hours picking though words from the Great Nothing. The story is, at this point, 6,145 words long, so I'm guessing it'll go to 7,000+ words. This month, Sirenia Digest subscribers, you get no mere vignette, but a full-fledged short story.

Great talk with my editor at Dark Horse yesterday. Details as soon as I may.

No Thanksgiving here today, and if you want to know why I do not observe Thanksgiving, well I wrote this last year, on November 23rd:

This whole Thanksgiving thing came up yesterday. That is, the fact that I do not observe this whole Thanksgiving thing. And various people (including my mother) were like, oh come on, you have a lot of things to be thankful for. To which I can only reply that, in this instance, thankfulness implies that there is someone or something out there to thank. I would say that yes, sure, I am appreciative of many things in my life— Spooky, my mom, Spooky's mom and dad, Rhode Island, being able to mostly pay my bills, the sea, and so forth. But being appreciative does not entail being thankful, in the sense that is generally meant when people speak of Thanksgiving. I am not thankful, not in the Thanksgiving sense, which implies gratitude towards some "higher power," even when you've completely stripped the holiday of its Christian roots and made it just "Turkey Day." I can appreciate turkey any day. I don't need a special day to eat turkey, or cranberries, or that disgusting stuff made of sweet potatoes with melted marshmallows on top. And there's no one for me to "give thanks," other than myself, and Spooky, and my readers, and maybe half a dozen other people. So, I'm not trying to be a wet blanket. I just don't do Thanksgiving. I try to make sure the people in my life to whom I am grateful for this or that know that I am grateful for their kindness and concern. I don't need to set aside a special day for it. To some, it may seem like I'm worrying over semantics and only mincing words. But that's what I do. All day, almost every day. I mince words, in an effort to get to what I genuinely mean. Usually, I choose my words with obsessive care.

That said, as I was too busy and tired to properly observe either Mabon or Samhain, we'll be having a huge autumnal meal to retroactively celebrate both. I am told there will be Brussels sprouts.
greygirlbeast: (white2)
Cool and cloudy here in Providence, with storms headed our way. A much needed respite; the forecast high for today is a mere 79F.

Yesterday, Spooky and I read back over everything that's been written so far on Chapter One of the Next New Novel, about 5,000 words, and then I spent two or three hours tweaking the text, fixing continuity faux pas, and so forth. Today, the chapter moves forward. I also did some more work on the "Best of" ToC, which gets more daunting whenever I look at it. Right now, I've chosen twenty-five stories, but only about seven of them are in for sure. The others are varying degrees of maybe. And even if all twenty-five were included, that would only be half of the book, at most.

About four p.m., I had to stop working, to get ready for dinner Out. Spooky and I drove downtown (well, she drove; I rode) and met Joshi and his wife, Leslie, and another Providence author, Jonathan Thomas, in the lobby of the Biltmore Hotel. We had dinner at McCormick and Schmick's, which was very excellent. We talked of books, misadventures in philately, local history and geography, tortoises in diapers, cats, ball lightning, small presses, trains, and, of course, weird fiction and Lovecraft. At some point, I looked out towards the street and realized the sun had set, and that we'd been talking (and eating) for close to three hours. I do not often get such huge doses of social interaction. I gave Jonathan and Joshi each a copy of The Ammonite Violin & Others. We gave Jonathan a ride home. I think we got back to the House about 9:30 p.m.

Oh, and my thanks to Karen Mahoney in faraway London, for sending me a copy of Mark Salisbury's beautiful Alice in Wonderland: A Visual Companion, which is filled with pre-production and behind-the-scenes goodies from Burton's adaptation.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Bid if you are able. Thanks.

And now I ought to wrap this up. I'm still groggy, and have to attend to email, and wake up, and all that rot. I am sleeping so much lately.
greygirlbeast: (The Hatter)
Just something short. Yesterday was a right proper conflagration of a day. The heat was miserable. At some point, it was actually hotter Inside than Outside. But today is much, much better. It's only 82F in the house at the moment, and it feels heavenly. I think the worst part of all this is that I'm currently on no less than three medications that make me heat sensitive. And so it goes.

The mothmen had droopy, sweat-soaked wings all day yesterday.

And yet, we still managed a marvelous birthday for Spooky. Which was really all I was concerned about getting right yesterday. There was no writing. There was no trying to write. There was no not-writing. There was not even the goddamn busyness of writing.

Her gift from me was a copy of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. Yesterday afternoon, we holed up in the bedroom, made it as dark as we could, and watched the movie. I'd somehow managed to forget just how amazingly wonderful it is (despite having seen it twice in theatres). Later, there was chocolate cream pie and Rainier cherries. Oh, we also dropped by the farmer's market at the Dexter Training Grounds and got strawberries, asparagus, and snap peas. We're going as "locavore" as we can this summer (I'll write a lot more about this later).

I think there will be watermelon today.

My thanks to Chris Walsh for sending the new Gorillaz CD, Plastic Beach (Snoop Dog and Lou Reed on one disc) and also the self-titled Broken Bell's CD. About the latter, I now have a new favorite band. I think this is my first new favorite band since the Editors (but I might be forgetting someone). I truly adore everything about Broken Bells, and I'm amazed I'd not heard them already (I had heard of them). The lyrics, the vocals, the sound, everything. So, thank you, Chris.

Okay. Now I go to discuss writerly matters with the platypus, the dodo, and the newly incorporated mothmen.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Yesterday, I wrote a very respectable 1,414 words on the Frazetta-inspired "Tempest Witch," and found THE END. I have some concern that the story may be a bit rough about the edges, but, all in all, I'm pleased with it. Today will be a day off, and then, tomorrow I'll be getting back to work on "The Maltese Unicorn." Likely, there will be several days of reading and research before I can begin the actual writing part of writing the story.

If you've not yet pre-ordered The Ammonite Violin & Others, there are still copies of the trade hardback edition left (though the limited edition is sold out).

The 2010 Nebula award winners have been announced, and while I do not usually take note of who does and doesn't win the Nebulas, I was pleased to see Catherynne M. Valente ([livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna) received the Andre Norton Award for The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. Congratulations, Cat.

Aside from the writing, there was noting especially remarkable about yesterday. When I'd finished the story, and read it all back to Spooky, I was too tired to do much of anything. Spooky had discovered an odd concoction at Eastside Market's deli, baked macaroni and cheese with pulled pork, and that's what we had for dinner, along with Brussels sprouts and baked beans. And now I know that macaroni and cheese with pulled pork BBQ cooked into it is actually absurdly delicious. After dinner, there was WoW, and Gnomenclature is now most of the way through Level 10, and Shaharrazad is not a happy camper. Later, I read a chunk of Charles Burns' Black Hole (a gift from [livejournal.com profile] corucia) before bed. Oh, I also made it through two articles in the new Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology yesterday, "Generic reassignment of an ichthyosaur from the Queen Elizabeth Islands, Northwest Territories, Canada" and "A remarkable case of a shark-bitten elasmosaurid plesiosaur." The reading makes me feel a little less guilty about squandering so much time leveling a gnome.
greygirlbeast: (white)
1. At least seven and half hours sleep last night, which is a definite improvement, even if it was necessary to take a larger dose of Ambien (which I'm trying not to take) to achieve those results. I feel more rested than I have in days, which is not to say I feel precisely rested. Just better.

2. Yesterday, I managed to get through backed-up email. And I signed the signature sheets for the limited edition of The Ammonite Violin & Others. I had a hot bath. About 4:30 p.m., despite the foul weather (slate skies spitting snow and sleet and rain), we headed down to Narragansett for opening day at Iggy's, our favorite clam shack. Fish and chips, clam cakes, Manhattan-style clam chowder, and doughboys. Oh, and root beer. Afterwards, we drove on down to Point Judith and Harbor of Refuge. The wind was gusting to something like 40mph, I think, and the windchill was vicious. I only got out of the car for a few minutes. The wind and rain lashed a peridot sea, and the only sign of life we spotted was a lone eider duck bobbing in the surf well away from shore. I took a few photos, that I'll post tomorrow.

3. I am pleased to announce that "Hydrarguros" has sold to Subterranean Press, and will appear either in Subterranean magazine or a forthcoming anthology.

4. I've had a longstanding policy regarding the reading of unpublished, unsolicited fiction. That is, manuscripts sent to me by readers. It's a simple rule. I don't do it. I never have, which makes it a fairly longstanding policy, indeed. Lately, though, I've been getting a veritable flood of unsolicited manuscripts from people I do not know. These will not be read, and, for the most part, I won't respond. I also will not be held accountable if something in them should show up in a story or novel of mine in the future. But the potential for accusations of plagiarism is only one of the reasons I've made a rule of not reading unpublished mss. Anyway, I'm going to alter the longstanding rule, somewhat. From now on, I will read unsolicited mss.. However, all authors must first sign a waiver absolving me of any future allegations of copyright infringement that may appear to arise from my having seen unpublished works. I will charge (a very reasonable) $50/page, for which authors will receive copyedits and a generalized critique. My name and quotations from the critique may not be used to "blurb" or otherwise attempt to sell the manuscript. Payment must be made in advance of my reading the work, and is non-refundable— no exceptions. I will respond to authors within 90 days of receipt of their manuscripts. By these rules, and only under these rules, will I disregard my longstanding policy regarding the reading of unpublished, unsolicited fiction. Yes, I'm very serious. If you are actually interested in this service, you should contact me by email, greygirlbeast(at)gmail(dot)com, prior to submission. If you think all of this somehow does not apply to you, I would wager you are wrong.

5. Last night, Spooky and I saw Lars von Trier's Antichrist (2009). I found it brilliant, in all possible ways a film may be brilliant. Both Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg gave superb performances. I'll say a lot more about this film after I've had a while to think on it. Actually, I'm still in that place where I'm only allowing myself to have emotional reactions to it, and trying to save any intellectual reactions for later. But, yes, brilliant, beautiful, and certainly the most terrifying film I've seen in a long time.

6. Yesterday I promised to post some of my photos from the RISD Museum of Art, so here they are:

2 March 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (Kraken)
No writing yesterday. And I don't much feel like writing about that just now. More and more, I do not feel like writing about writing. I'm even less inclined to write about not writing. Except, yesterday I learned from my agent that the signed Audible.com contracts that were mailed back to NYC on December 11th never made it to NYC. So...I'm waiting to see what I'm supposed to do now.

Yesterday, we did the same thing we did last January 4th. Maybe this is the beginning of an annual pilgrimage. Maybe it's only a coincidence (yes, I do believe in those). We drove from Providence to Conanicut Island, to Beavertail State Park. Like last year, there was snow. Actually, quite a bit more snow this year than last. And colder, I think. And I wasn't dressed as well for the weather. All that ice and snow made it too treacherous to attempt to make it down onto the rocks. But we watched gulls and murres, cormorants and crows.

Last night, in a moment of weakness, I bought asparagus from Peru. That's fucking insane. Asparagus from Peru. How much fucking fuel was burned, how much C02 released into the atmosphere, to get that asparagus some 3,500 to 4,000 miles from Peru to Rhode Island? We have perfectly good asparagus grown right here in the state, a few miles from our house. But it's not asparagus season in Rhode Island, and I had a moment of weakness. This civilization (and much of the present biosphere) will fall at the mercy of a trillion trillion moments of seemingly insignificant luxury. Seemingly insignificant, that is, when each is considered alone. It's not so much the big things that kill worlds; it's all the little fucking things that come before the big, inevitable things.

There are photographs from yesterday:

4 January 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 1)
There are certain sorts of book reviews I like better than others. For example, I loathe the "book report" style of review. And one of the sorts I most enjoy reading is the book review wherein the reviewer spends more time talking about the effect the book has had on her or him than about the book itself. Which is exactly the sort that Catherynne M. Valente ([livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna) has written about The Red Tree. You can read her review here. It made me very, very happy. I particularly liked this line —— "I thought it would be like House of Leaves, but it was nothing, really, nothing like that book..." I think it's a fair mistake a lot of readers will make going into the novel, in part because of the way I've chosen to present it.

Started the day off talking with my film agent at UTA, describing to him the sort of film I think should be made from The Red Tree, which is a very peculiar way to begin a day. More on this as it develops.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,092 words on a new sf story, "A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea," that I've been trying to get started since early June. Yesterday, I finally found the way in. It may throw off my plans to get both Sirenia Digest #s 45 and 46 written this month. But what the hell. This is a story I want to write, and one that's been in my head for more than two months, that has refused me entry until yesterday. Oh, a question. In it, I present a new subspecies of Homo sapeins genetically engineered for life in the sea, H. sapiens natator. And I'm calling them "amphibs." But I don't really like that term, because they're not actually amphibious, but completely marine. Any suggestions for an alternate term?

Also, I had a new sort of soda yesterday. It's called Zevia, and it's sweetened not with cane sugar, but with an herb called stevia (Stevia rebaudiana). The lemon-lime flavor is quite good, with only a faint aftertaste. The root beer wasn't very good, but I have hope for both the orange and ginger ale. Anyway, Zevia is sugar free, caffeine free, has zero calories, and no net carbohydrates.

Anyway, I'm running a little late, and there's email to answer, so I should probably wind this up.
greygirlbeast: (Manah 1)
No more going to the dark side with your flying-saucer eyes.
No more falling down a wormhole that I have to pull you out.
The wriggling, squiggling worm inside devours from the inside out.

—Thom Yorke, "Atoms for Peace"

This morning, or afternoon, whatever it may be, by now all subscribers should have Sirenia Digest 10. If you're a subscriber and haven't yet received the September digest, e-mail Spooky at crk_books(at)yahoo(dot)com and she will make things right. Personally, I'm very happy with this issue. It may be the best to date. Certainly, it's in the top three. I'd love to hear some feedback from readers, and I'm sure Sonya ([livejournal.com profile] sovay) would, as well.

Yesterday was almost all about the busyness of writing, though I did get out 561 words for the Sirenia Digest prologue-thingy. As promised, I took a long walk right after the journal entry yesterday, about a mile, and there was a marvelous autumn wind, and even though everything's still summer green, some leaves have begun to fall. We read all the way through The Collaboration again, Spooky and I, catching uncaught errors and typos, then I made last minute tweaks. Sonya and I exchanged a few more e-mails and she finally found our title. I'd considered a line from Eliot's "The Dry Salvages," but then she pointed out a bit from Dylan Thomas' "The Ballad of Long-Legged Bait," and so the story became "In the Praying Windows," which was just almost perfect. I spent most of the afternoon laying out and finishing up the digest and sent it to Gordon ([livejournal.com profile] thingunderthest) just before dinner.

I had a bath, and Spooky made stuffed porta bellas for dinner, and amazing things they were. Ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, fresh basil, onion and garlic and red bell pepper, with stir-fried asparagus. I resisted more work, though I shouldn't have, and instead played a couple of hours of Drakengard 2, then watched an old episode of The Dick Cavett Show on TCM, his 1972 interview with Alfred Hitchcock (who'd just made Frenzy), then watched the first half of Serenity for the ninth or tenth time before I was at last sleepy enough for bed.

Today, new words, once the e-mail is done.

I'm having much too much trouble finding Awake this morning (or afternoon), and so far the coffee hasn't really helped. We have a dinner date tonight, so I need to get to it. I'd rather take a blanket and a book and head for Freedom Park...
greygirlbeast: (chi6)
Yeah, so, I am insomnia's bitch. There's no point denying it any longer. Last night, I was asleep by 1:30 a.m., very early (for me) and awake on and off from about 7 a.m. on. At 8:30, I gave up and crawled from bed to my office and the computer and went to work on a new Wikipedia article (Plioplatecarpinae). These are my mornings. There's not enough coffee and Red Bull in whole wide frelling world right now.

Yesterday...yesterday...yesterday. I know it's here somewhere. Ah. Yes. Here it is. Yesterday, we proofed "Bainbridge" (pp. 117-159), which I'd begun to have second thoughts about, but which I have come to think works after all. On the one hand, I want to talk about what a fantastically weird story it is, and on the other, I absolutely don't want to give anything away. When the book arrives, you are all, every last one of you, forbidden to read "Bainbridge" first, and never mind that I included that alternative Table of Contents. Anyway, after "Bainbridge," I proofed the introduction, and today Spooky will type up all the corrections, and then I'll e-mail them away to Subterranean Press (which is currently experiencing some sort of server problem; the website's been down since yesterday).

My editor at Penguin wanted the "final" draft of Daughter of Hounds back in NYC by May 5th, but I asked for more time and now have until May 15th. But not one day later, and this means I'll likely only have a week with the CEM (copyedited ms.). That last bit's not too daunting, as I've gotten pretty damn fast at writing "stet" in the margins of CEMs. Anyway, I do appreciate the extra time and thank my editor for that. I had a talk about the book with Merrilee, my lit agent, on Monday. She says my children read like children, which must be my greatest achievement since I managed to write a pregnant protagonist in Low Red Moon. Well, at least I have been a child, even if it was way back there in the Age of Trilobites, so maybe it's not quite as great an achievement as was pulling off Chance's pregnancy. Anyway, between the talk with Merrilee and my editor's notes, and all the editing I didn't get done before I sent the ms. away in March, I've an enormous amount of editing to do in the next six weeks or so. Monday or Tuesday I have to go to Birmingham, but as soon as we return I'll be getting back to work on DoH. And somewhere in all this I still have to write the chapbook to accompany the limited (sold out) of Alabaster, and also the two vignettes for Sirenia Digest #6. Clearly, April and the first half of May are shot. I'm going to need some major stress release to get through all this without breaking things I probably shouldn't break. Perhaps if someone were kind and generous enough to send me the new Tomb Raider (PS2)*...

After all the proofreading yesterday, Spooky and I took blankets and suchlike and went to Freedom Park. We sat beneath the greening oaks and I read to her from Drawing Down the Moon while she worked at sanding the oak wand she's been finishing. It was nice. Later, she fixed a truly magnificent stir fry for dinner: porta bella and shitake mushrooms, cucumber, roma tomato, red onion, garlic, red bell pepper, thai chilis, cashews, lemongrass, and sesame in a sauce of red curry paste, rice vinegar, Tamari soy sauce, and fresh lime. Over jasmine rice. With spring rolls. We both ate too much, I'm sure.

Oh, this morning Vince e-mailed me his initial sketch for the illustration to accompany "For One Who Has Lost Herself," and it's headed in exactly the right direction. We may yet get this issue out on time.

Okay. That's it for now. With Alabaster almost out of the way, I think I get a little bit of downtime today. But tomorrow I'll likely begin the aforementioned chapbook. If not tomorrow, then on Friday. Anyway, I hear the mournful call of the platypus...


*Conveniently, it's on my wishlist.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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