greygirlbeast: (walter3)
I'm sitting here composing, in my head, a Tom Waits song that Tom Waits will never compose, much less record. But it's about not sending "wish you were here" postcards to nightmares.

Someone said something. I won't say who or where the comment was made. The "You're a horror writer" thing. No, I'm not. But. If you insist, maybe it's simply that my definition of "horror" and yours are so vastly different that we possess incommensurable worldviews and can't actually communicate on the subject in any mutually intelligible way (by the way, if you grew up without phonetics/phonics, you're screwed; then again, I guess that's why we have "l33t," "texting," and online dictionaries).

Why no, I'm not in a good mood. Not at all. Not after those dream worlds. And given the fact that there's no way for me to conclusively demonstrate to myself that they're any less objectively "real" than this waking world wherein I'm typing this LJ entry (never mind the world wherein you're reading it; I'll not open that can of worms). Still, this mood has to be bent far enough in that direction that I can get "Sexing the Weird" finished today. I have to be productive. No option, even if there's a hypothetical option.

Problem is, I have this thing I thought would take me two days to write, and today will be day four...I think. I spent yesterday navigating my way through the original and expurgated texts of The Picture of Dorian Gray, and then it was Machen's "The Great God Pan," and finally that got me to the central focus of Part One of the introduction, which is simply that Lovecraft wrote a LOT about fucking. I began with "The Dunwich Horror," a lamentably silly, sprawling tale that I sincerely wish were not thought of as one of HPL's best. But, nonetheless, it is a tale of interspecies and interdimensional sex, and therefore serves my purposes. Today, onward. The thesis statement is remarkably simple: sex (and especially "deviant" sex) has often been at the heart of weird fiction, all the way back to the Gothics. Though...I only go as far back Le Fanu, and if anyone wants to go farther back, well...the path is marked. And yeah, I see the repetitive nature of two of those sentences. Let's pretend I did it on purpose.

---

Today is the 13th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. The whole thing is explained here, for those who need an explanation. I'd like to think that no one does need an explanation. Transgender people live with the constant threat of physical and psychological violence, and even death, every single hour of our lives. No matter who you become, that threat, and the fear it engenders, never goes away. Even when you might actually be genuinely safe. Because too many times you haven't been, and you know what might happen if you're not careful and can't figure out how to cheat all the immutable pink and blue rules of a cisgendered world (and you can't). Me, I have about a hundred tales. Someday, maybe I'll tell one of the closest calls I ever had, which concerns three drunken Athens, GA frat boys bearing down on me as I gripped a can of pepper spray. Playing chicken with hate, as it were. No one can count the dead, but we can remember a few who must serve, in these grim mathematics, as the symbols for an unknown (and unknowable) number.

---

Last night a new episode of Fringe, "And Those We Leave Behind," and it was so good I cannot imagine how this series is still on the air. It just keeps going to stranger places. We all do this at our own risk, going weird places, if we expect anyone to follow. And storytellers tend to have to wish for followers. Elsewise, we're only talking to ourselves. Not that there's anything wrong with talking to ourselves. Me to myself. You to yourself. Unless you need to make a living telling stories (an awful, awful situation). Anyway, a fine episode, and I think they finally made me care about Peter Bishop, who has almost always felt like a great slab of nothing interesting. I just hope that the series either a) wraps things up this season or b) doesn't lose it's following and is permitted another season. Were it me, I'd have taken this season to end the story, especially considering how this season almost didn't happen.

The platypus shakes the word basket, and I reach inside, hoping this isn't one of those days the platypus is being cute and has slipped in a few razorblades just for shits and giggles.

Remembering,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (white)
So, yeah. Yesterday evening, after the blog entry, I was alerted to the fact that Two Worlds and In Between and I were being spoken of reverently in the pages of The New York Times. To whit:

There’s also no shortfall of ghosts, revenants and otherness in Ms. Kiernan’s Two Worlds and In Between. What’s most satisfying, though, in this retrospective — more than 200,000 words covering 1993 to 2004 — is watching Ms. Kiernan progress from competence and promise to become one of our essential writers of dark fiction...Ms. Kiernan is a cartographer of lost worlds..."

(byline, Dana Jennings)

Follow this link to read the full review.

Yeah, it brightened my mood a tiny bit. I think this is the first time I've ever been mentioned in The New York Times. Sure, the whole world can see my name and my prose every day just by going online. But today, from Manhattan to Tokyo, from Munich to Bombay, people will read my name and prose in print. And, especially in this day and age, that makes me smile. Sure, tomorrow, those same papers will be used to wrap fish and line bird cages. But today...damn. I want to buy copies, cut out the review, and make sure it's read by every one of those assholes who swore I'd "never amount to anything." Alas, many of them are mercifully dead now. As my life unfurls and winds down, I understand it's not enough to outlive your detractors. You also have to do something worthwhile during that whole outliving them thing. Anyway, yes, I am allowed to slip out from beneath the black cowl, feel some vague sense of accomplishment, and gloat for a few hours. I'll duck back into the shadows afterwards, don't worry. Truthfully, it didn't feel real until this morning. Spooky's gone out to find copies of the paper (page C4). Seeing it printed with ink on actual paper will make it feel much more real, I'm sure.

The morale of our story? Simple: If you manage not to die long enough, someone will notice. Maybe.

And if you're looking to bring me down today, over this or anything else, take a number. The line starts over there. Don't call me, I'll call you.

Oh, and having reviewed Apple's return policies, I'm fairly certain the iPad will be returned. I just don't need the thing as badly as I need many other things. And I do need what it could take away. I might change my mind. The jelly-bean shiny may carry the day. Nobody's perfect. We'll see. I'm encountering this phenomenon referred to as "buyer's remorse."

Great new episode of Fringe last night ("Subject 9").

Ah, Spooky's back. Must go see. But first this comment [livejournal.com profile] opalblack made to last night's entry:

Do you know there are actually people out there who envy us that tearing, bottomless darkness? Mostly nooage middle-class-white types who run around campfires waving dead things on sticks and calling it shamanism. I would like to slap them. For a lot of things, really.

Oh, I know those people...and antidotes.

Look upon me! I'll show you the life of the mind! I'll show you the life of the mind! — Charlie Meadows, Barton Fink

Surprised,
Aunt beast
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
Comments!

The thing about waking up without a house full of photographers, actors, and "oh shit!" girls is that you soon realize you have to make your own coffee. Well, Spooky has to make our own coffee. She won't let me near the Amazing Hal 9000.5 Caffeinator. Or maybe I'm just afraid of that huge and glowing blue camera eye. Point is, we had to make our own coffee. Spooky came near to violence.***

Here are links to this weekend's entries, because I know most people missed them, and there's some grand "sneak peeks" at what we were doing and what will eventually be the book trailer for The Drowning Girl and [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy's Stills From a Movie That Never Existed. First, we have Friday. And then there's Saturday. And, at last, Sunday. Understand, these stills are only a hint at the incredible coolness of the weekend and what was accomplished, and you'll begin to understand.

I think my favorite moment of the weekend, though, was at Rolling Dam in Blackstone, Massachusetts. In our enthusiastic foolhardiness, Brian, Kyle, Sara, and I had crawled down the steep rocky bank to a "relatively" calm bit of water behind a fallen log, and Sara had emerged nude and reptilian from the freezing tanin-stained depths, and we'd packed up all the cameras, and were breathing a collective sigh of relief that no one was swept away by the wild river. And then Kyle, he triumphantly declares, "We rule the toads of these short forests and every newt in Idaho!" I think he was quoting someone or something else, but they were appropriately cryptic words, all the same. Yeah, our afternoon by the Blackstone River even beat out standing in a torrential rainstorm Friday night, trying to get a shot, looking and feeling like maybe we were stranded in the jungles of Manila in an outtake from Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991) while Typhoon Olga did her best to drown us. Though, the afternoon at Moonstone Beach was pretty goddamn special, too. Especially when the rainbow appeared over Imp and Eva's heads.

Oh, and the eBay auctions to come. Begin drooling now. Props! Signed!

Again, and again, and again, thank you everyone.

Last night, after [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark departed (the last to go), Spooky and I were too tired to breathe. I made a blog entry, we did a little halfhearted straightening up of the house. But we soon discovered we were too tired to move. So, we crawled off to the bedroom and streamed last week's episode of Fringe (fucking marvelous!!!), then the first episode of American Horror Story (there's potential here; we'll see), and then another episode from Season Four of Mad Men (we're trying to make Season Four last as long as possible, rationing after gorging on Seasons 1-3). Then we read, each to ourselves, until we fell asleep, sometime after three ayem.

And now that the grand troupe of people is gone, I have to begin to get my head back into work. Maybe take today to decompress and reorient myself. But, yeah. Work. A lot of work. Immediately. Well, if tomorrow counts as "immediately."

Laurie Anderson is playing in Providence on Saturday night, and we're debating whether or not we'll go. Spooky's seen her live twice, but I never have.

Oh, and thanks, Steven, for the new Brown Bird CD (and T-shirts!). And thank you, niece, for the care package. It reached me.

Also! Just got an email from Bill Schafer at Subterranean Press, who writes: "We *should* start shipping copies of Two Worlds and In Between late this week, if all goes well. You might want to let your readers know that we're now down to the last 50 copies of the trade hardcover." Listen up, kittens. These are the final hours!

And now..this day.

*** NOTE: I do not actually drink coffee anymore, having forsaken it for Red Bull; but Kathryn can't live without it.
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
Oh my bloody fucking fuck. I am so fucking over this aging thing. I did something stupid to my hip...my FREAKING fucking hip...yesterday. Probably when I was trying to clean and reorganize part of my office, rearranging bookshelves in the vain attempt to turn that House on Ash Tree Lane trick and create larger spaces within smaller spaces. It didn't work, but I feel like, during my sleep, someone took a sledgehammer to my left hip. Wanna wake up really goddamn fast? Forget fucking coffee. Trying motherfucking hip pain. Tiger balm and two Doan's tablets—yes, motherfucking Doan's tablets—have dulled the pain enough that I'll be able to sit up and write. But FUCK THIS SHIT (to quote Frank Black). This winter, I'm joining a gym and getting this meatbag into some semblance of working order. Last night (not suspecting the hip pain was headed my way), Spooky and I were discussing how we both need to lose some weight. Using Hubero as a standard of weight measurement, it was decided I need to lose 1 Hubero. That's one whole FAT cat I'm carrying around, all day and every day. Again (second verse, same as the first), FUCK THAT SHIT.

Oh, and please. No commiseration, or I feel your pain, or whatever. No stories that go something like: "Well, when I was only fifteen years old I was riding my bicycle and a pit bull grabbed my ankle and dragged me and the bike—by the ankle, mind you—twelve blocks, up hill both ways, before it was shot in the head by a kindly spaceman who called an ambulance that hitched my ankle to its back fender and dragged me twelve miles, up hill both ways, over a dirt road that was mostly potholes, all the way to the hospital—which was closed! Now, you wanna talk hip pain? That's hip pain!" None of those stories. In fact, I want a T-shirt that reads, simply, "Do Not Commiserate."

But at least the Hip Agony does help me not feel so bad that I'm spending the Last Warmest Day of 2011 in Rhode Island (going up to about 85˚F) trying to fix the timeline, instead of "chillaxing" (hold on while I choke myself for using that odious "word," even sarcastically) at the beach, swimming, losing a cat.

Anyway...

Yesterday was mostly me discovering that things were worse than I suspected. That failed time-travel experiment? Well, feel free to blame me for the Eighties. That's right. Blame me for the entire decade. But...Frank the Goat's on it, and there may yet be hope. You may wake up tomorrow and have no idea whatsoever that the Eighties ever occurred, because they won't have. Unless we fail, me and Frank (that's me and Frank the Goat, not me and Frank Black—and I mean Frank Black from Blue Velvet, not Frank Black, née Black Francis, from the Pixies, or the ultra-cool-and-spooky Frank Black from Millennium, and certainly not Frank the Interdimensional Demon Bunny), and that's always a possibility. One must never underestimate the likelihood of failure. John DeLorean, he underestimated his ability to fail...and look how that turned out. And of course I'm right. I'm me.

Next week's shoot for the book trailer for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir races towards us (five days to go), and...frankly (black), I'm terrified. Will we be ready? I'm gonna roll a 1d4 and hold my breath.

Um...and...what?

Last night, Spooky and I saw last week's episode of Fringe, "One October Night," and..wow. Olivia and Fauxlivia. That was pretty much a slash episode (albeit, without the hot Fauxlivia-on-Olivia sex). And we watched another episode from Season Four of Mad Men. Oh, and something that I can't (or, rather, won't) show you until tomorrow.

And then I looked through the marvelous Dark Horse hardback collection of Bernie Wrightson stuff from the pages of Creepy and Eerie (thank you, Steven Lubold!), then read another story from the Halloween anthology, "Three Doors" by Norman Partridge. The story itself is so-so, but it's narrative technique has moments of sheer brilliance. To whit:

"Doesn't matter to me how you explain it.
I'm not here to draw you a diagram.
I'm just here to tell you a story."

The voice of the narrator (ergo, the author), is a grand "fuck you" to all the morons who want their hands held during story time. In fact, those lines echo rather remarkably Quinn's attitude towards her imagined readers in Blood Oranges: "You can believe this or not. Whatever"

But now, now I must go fix the timeline, so you who are old enough can stop remembering "designer stubble", Guns N' Roses, and the return of shoulder pads.

Accidentally Retro,
Aunt Beast (in pain we trust)
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
Comment!

Spooky just quoted the Agricultural Commissioner of the state of Florida to me. "This snail is one bad dude," she said. Well, she said, he said. These are our mornings.

Yesterday, I didn't work. My body isn't exhausted. I've actually been getting more sleep than I did for a long time (finally having discovered the effective anti-insomnia cocktail...for me), but I've been working so much. For a long time, I was truly too ill to take on more than...this gets sort of funny. Even when I was very ill, I was working a lot. I'm making a living as a freelance, and so there's no choice but to work. Health is not relevant, not really. Regardless, about a year and a half ago, I began getting better, and taking on more work, and conceiving new ideas, and, at this point, I go to sleep working out problems in my fiction and wake up doing the same thing. Okay, more the former than the latter. But it's catching up with me, and my mind and nerves are tired. All thus fucking work. So, I didn't work yesterday.

I suppose autumn is here. I haven't spent much time outside, but it must be here. I feel it. It isn't looking in. Why would it bother? But I feel its dry brown eyes upon me, if only because I'm in the way. Not that I believe the autumn is something that can literally have eyes. And speaking of the autumn, and Hallowe'en, Spooky is having a Hallowe'en Sale (!!!) in her Etsy shop, Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries. 20% off on everything! And if you don't buy something, she'll get sad, and when she gets sad.... Well, trust me. You don't want her sad. So, please...buy something. The necklaces are truly amazing.

Actually, I hate that word. Sad*, I mean. It's a child's word. There at least twenty synonyms in the English language that are far more suitable to mature vocabularies. Of course, if you are a child, by all means, good word. Use it till the wheels fall off.*

I'm having a great deal of frustration as regards futurism at the moment. I don't mean the artistic movement that arose in Italy about 1910 (including Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Gino Severini, Giacomo Balla, Antonio Sant'Elia, Tullio Crali and Luigi Russolo, plus the Russians Natalia Goncharova, Velimir Khlebnikov, and Vladimir Mayakovsky). I mean futurism in the many senses that it is employed by those who wish to analyze trends and then forecast. But I don't mean those looking for better futures (there are none), and I don't mean those who believe the future can be accurately forecast (that's almost impossible; not quite, but almost). What I have in mind is far simpler: communicating to people that the future will be alien, just as the past is alien. That is, alien to us, from the Here and Now. And convincing people they do not currently live in some incarnation or portion of the future (excepting that this came after that; well, that's bloody obvious, and now you're even older). I mean, the future will be different, and the farther you move into the future, the stranger (less like now) it becomes. That everything evolves, and not just technology, but culture. SF writers have an especial problem with evolving culture, economics, biology, medicine, politics, and especially with evolving language. But...I'm not actually concerned here with writers. Even the worst SF writer is ahead of the curve in this regard. I'm talking about...oh, never mind. You can lead a horse to a fine Bordeaux, but it's just gonna want the oogy, muddy, stinking water in the drinking through, where all the rodents poop. Some will know of what I speak; others will not.

Did I mention that Spooky is having a Hallowe'en Sale (!!!) in her Etsy shop, Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries. I did? Just checking.

Last night, we happened to see a rather good movie, Christian Alvart's Case 39 (2009), with Renée Zellweger, Ian McShane, and Jodelle Ferland. I went in not expecting much, and was pleasantly surprised. You could call this a "horror movie," and maybe it is. But I find it more interesting to think of as a film about terror and horror (and those aren't the same emotions, you know, regardless of how linked they may be). Also, while this film clearly comes from the demonic child/possession tradition, it immediately struck me as a story about a fairie changeling, and (though the word demon is tossed about a couple of times, and we see a crucifix and a Bible, the Xtianity thing is almost absent). So, it may be Alvart had something far less concrete than a "demon" (sensu Xtianity) in mind. It may only be that he understands the American mind, needing something familiar, would fix on "demon." Anyway, Case 39 is not a particularly original movie, so if you're that sort (and I hope you're not), don't waste your time with it. It plays old tropes, but it plays them well. It's not brilliant, but it is good, and it's stuck with me. There are elements it borrows from better films, but it borrows them well. And, even in an ending that might seem hopeful, step back, and you'll see the overwhelming bleakness and horror still in play. It's streaming free on Netflix.

Later, I read a truly awful story in the Halloween anthology, Lyllian Huntley Harris' "The Vow on Halloween." Never heard of Lyllian Huntley Harris? Well, neither had I, and with good reason. The anthology's editor (who freely admits this tale is "pure pulp and quaintly romantic") notes that the story was, in a 1985 anthology, mistakenly attributed to the Irish novelist Dorothy Macardle. Turns out, though, it was published in Weird Tales in 1924, by a Georgian woman (that is, Georgia, USA), and her name was Lyllian Huntley Harris, and she couldn't write for shit. Virtually nothing else is known about her. She died in 1939.

Oh, we saw the first episode of Season Four of Fringe, and...wow. More, please. I am impressed and pleased. There are points I could get picky about, but I'm not going to, because the show is just too much fun.

Also, here's an interesting bit of trivia. My first rejection slip ever came from the late, lamented Twlight Zone magazine in 1982 (at least, I think it was '82). The story was a stinker, and it deserved the rejection, believe me. Anyway, at the time, the editor was T. E. D. Klein, who wrote the excellent and surprisingly (to me) successful Machenesque novel The Ceremonies (1984) and the shorty-story collection Dark Gods (1985), and, sadly, very little else. But, yeah, my first rejection slip came from T. E. D. Klein, who, turns out, wrote the introduction of the forthcoming Hippocampus Press collection of Arthur Machen stories, which will feature the afterword I wrote in 2008 for a different collection of Machen stories. It's an odd little twist of fate.

Um...well...I have gone on haven't I?

Inveterate,
Aunt Beast

* Then again, there's really nothing wrong with the word sad. Not intrinsically. The problem is people who use it childishly, habitually, with marked naïveté. Usually, these are people with a stunted world view.
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
Today was going to be a day off. That was the plan yesterday. But it's not as warm as it was going to be, only the low 60s F, and it might rain. So, more work, instead. Also, I slept for shit, not finally succumbing until sometime after dawn. I think that part was my fault. Vicodin and Red Bull are not your sleepy-time combo. Felt awfully nice, though. Sort of like sex, without the grunting and secretions and funny faces. And it makes any MMORPG 47.3% more enjoyable.

Absolutely perfect Fringe season finale, which we didn't see until last night. I shall drop no spoilers, but allow me a hearty YES!. Thank fuck the show was renewed for another season.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,519 words on Blood Oranges. To understand where this book's headed, you also have to understand that the task I've set for myself is, if we speak in the Hollywood "high concept," what I think would happen if Joss Whedon and Quentin Tarantino set out to write a ParaRom novel together, one in which a demon slayer (who's also a heroin addict) is bitten by a werewolf, then turned by a vampire with a vendetta. Damn, there's a good title. Vampire with a Vendetta, directed by Robert Rodriquez. That would be the sleazier film adaptation. Anyway, yes. It's going well.

If you're a Sirenia Digest subscriber and would like to weigh in on whether or not I continue the "Question @ Hand" feature, I'll be watching the poll I started last night for at least a couple days more.

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

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

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

---

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

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

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

---

Please have look at the current eBay auctions! Thanks.

---

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

30 April 2011, Part 2 )


* In large part, this is why The Dreaming was such an awful idea from the get go. The Sandman said almost everything worth saying, and, after that, it was mostly footnotes. I love reading footnotes, and writing them. Few other people do.
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
I'm all awash in randomness. Which is only a bad thing if one has spent to much time suckling at the teat of the illusion of linear progression.

And still...one after the next, the days are turning genuinely warm. The trees are going green. There may yet be an end to this long Cold Spring. So, make of this whatever you will.

They heard me singing and they told me to stop.
Quit these pretentious things and just punch the clock.
These days my life, I feel it has no purpose.
But late at night the feelings swim to the surface.

-- Arcade Fire, "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)"

Last call for the latest Question @ Hand. Speak now or, well, you know. Speak now, or don't.

A very mild, very short seizure last night. First since the last, and the last was quite some time back. I was so sick from lack of sleep, it wasn't a surprise. But, I find it so strange, looking back, how these things ruled my life for about three years. How Spooky and I built our lives around their complete unpredictability, around our fears of possible outcomes. Planning for a thing you cannot possibly plan for. Planning anyway. And now it's been almost completely reined in by 250 mg. of a drug I'd never heard of until a year ago. Ah, more intimations of a linear universe.

It's hard – not impossible, but hard – to see beyond one's biopsychological predispositions and imperatives, when there are such selective advantages to viewing the universe a given way, and the difficulty to see otherwise has been selected for down all the aeons. The ability to see things not as we see things, but to comprehend an invisible possibility. Or imagination, if you prefer.

The anger has faded a bit for now. It's no longer rage, only righteous indignation. The wheel goes round and round. Everything's fine, just as long as the wheel moves. Which is not to say that anything anywhere is fine, because it's not. Or that motion is anything but relative.

Last night, we watched the latest Fringe, and this show's wonderfulness seems to know no bounds. Then we watched two episodes of the new season of No Reservations, more or less at random (see above re: randomness). The horrors of Liberia, and then the peace of post-Franco Madrid. Because I've not yet finished my coffee, I'm not going to think about people who can't find Liberia on a map, and who've no idea who Franco was. Anyway, then we played Rift (Level 32, motherfuckers), and then we read more of Markus Zusack's The Book Thief (almost finished), a brilliant, brilliant book.

Did I mention we have a guild in Rift? On the Shadefallen shard? Well, we do. Eyes of the Faceless Man. Have I mentioned we're looking for new members? It's a Defiant guild, obviously. And it helps if you have pointy ears, but that's not an actual requirement. We also accept Eth members. We're the guild the ESRB warned you about. Okay, maybe we're not that fun. But if you wanna come out and play, just say so.

We will do what we must to survive. Some people like to gloss that over with heroic words, but it is, in my mind, as simple as that. -- The Faceless Man

There are many cool things about the Faceless Man, including his understanding of commas. And on that note, I should open the window....
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
A rare alignment of cranial discomfort. Parallel lines of eye-bleeding hurt. I'm not sure Spooky and I have ever before had multi-day headaches at the same time. But we have now. And it sucks rancid weasel ass through a crazy straw, and it needs to fucking stop. My scalp feels like there's broken glass just beneath the skin.

This is a day on which there must be comments. I won't survive without them.

My thanks to Joah, who sent me a link to someone's list of "The Six Creepiest Abandoned Places." I'd argue the list isn't definitive, but it's still a pretty good list. I'm especially taken with Gunkanjima, Japan and Hellingly Asylum. The latter is genuinely exquisite. I would live there in a heartbeat:

On the sheets and pillow case,
In my bed for heaven's sake,
The devil's dancing until late in my head there.
But I could sleep with you there.
I could sleep with you there.


That's interesting. Firstly, that while thinking of Hellingly Asylum the lyrics to a Catharine Wheel song occurred to me. Secondly, that they apply so aptly to last night's insomnia (which was Nigh Unto Monumental, no sleep until after six ayem) and also apply to my emotional reaction to the photographs (follow the link from the article) of that place. Rabbit hole. Subconscious association. Pink Freud. 5 and 1/2 minute hallways. It's all the same thing in here. Anyway, I loved this bit from the article (about another asylum, one in New Jersey):

Listen, because this is important advice: If you ever start a sanatorium, you need to tear that shit down once you’re done with it. Not repurpose it or leave it empty or something; that is just begging – literally begging – for a group of stupid teenagers to sneak inside of it to have illicit sex, where they will inevitably get murdered by the ghosts of madmen. It’s like a Roach Motel for horny morons. You may as well put an “Idiots Fuck Here” sign out front and start up a mortuary next door; you’d make a killing.

See, I don't get to genuinely laugh – that sort of laughter that makes you hurt yourself – that often. That paragraph made me laugh. Oh, in particular, I was soothed by this photo from Hellingly. I'm not bullshitting you. I'm not being sarcastic. That's just...soothing. I think I look like that inside. If you cracked me open, you'd find that room.

---

On this day in 1900, Aleister Crowley broke into and took over the Golden Dawn temple in London, providing the catalyst for the demise of the original Golden Dawn.

---

Yesterday, despite the black mood and the headache, I wrote 1,072 words on "Fake Plastic Trees" while Spooky drew ravens. The story seems to be coming together. After reading yesterday's pages, Spooky said, "This makes me feel so bad. Really, really bad. The complete wrongness of it, of that whole world." I'm taking this as a compliment, because I know she meant it as one.

Intention isn't everything, kittens, but it carries a lot of weight with me.

After working on the story, I wrote an actual Wikipedia entry on Hauffiosaurus, because when I linked to it yesterday there was just a sad-ass, one-sentence stub. That took about another hour.

We saw the latest episode of Fringe last night. Jesus fuck, this show is brilliant. It's gone from a dull first season, all monster-of-the-week nonsense, to sheer fucking wonky universe-warping brilliance. Last night's episode, "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide," has to receive an Emmy nomination. If the Emmy's mean anything (and we already know they don't). This is the first series since Farscape that truly isn't afraid of being as weird as it needs to be, but which isn't just being weird for weird's sake. Pushing Daisies tried to be this brilliant, but was murdered long before it achieved this level of supremely masterful weirdness.

Spooky's doing the tax thing today. Taxes, taxes, we all fall down.

Gods, I just realized I've been wearing the same T-shirt for four days. "Reynolds/Washburne 2008: You Can't Stop the Signal." Dirty fucking nerd. Take a bath and change your damn clothes.

Oh, hello. How long have you been standing there?

You know, for kids,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
Sunny and cold. Same old same old.

S.T. Joshi loves The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, and that makes me smile:

"The Drowning Girl features all those elements of Caitlín R. Kiernan's writing that readers have come to expect – a prose style of wondrous luminosity, an atmosphere of languorous melancholy, and an inexplicable mixture of aching beauty and clutching terror. It is a ghost story, but also a book about the writing of ghost stories. It is about falling in love, falling out of love, and wondering whether madness is a gift or a curse. It is one of those very few novels that one wishes would never end."

Yesterday, I wrote 2,593 words. Quite respectable, indeed. Especially when you take into account I was pretty wiped out from the seizure the night before and the pills. I'm sort of loving "Random Thoughts Before a Fatal Crash," and sort of not wanting it to end.

If you haven't ordered yet, Herr Platypus reminds you that Mondays are a fine day for reserving your copy of Two Worlds and In Between. Subpress now has the full ms. and all the artwork. It's gone off to grow up into a book.

---

Lo mein and dumplings last night. Also, a great episode of Fringe, "Bloodline." Anna Torv continues to rock my socks, and she gave good Fauxlivia last night. And yes, I'm hugely relieved that the series was renewed for another season.

Extremely good rp last night. The last three or four nights have restored my faith in rp as a storytelling device, a means of creating improvisational theater that is cathartic, smart, sexy, and simply fun. I'd pretty much given up. I think I may have mentioned this in an earlier entry, that I'd been so battered by the idiocy of SL and etc. that, lately, I simply haven't been able to take joy in any sort of rp. I thought it might be a permanent state of disillusionment. But, I'm glad to say I was wrong. Thank you, B. More than ever, I believe the secret is to keep any rp small. Two or, at the most, three people. Oh, and I did have a major culling of my SL friend's list last night. I'm removing anyone who stirs even an inkling of bad association.

Later, Spooky read more of The Book Thief to me, and, eventually, there was sleep.
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
The postman just brought me two copies of Weird Tales #357, which includes [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark's (Geoffrey H. Goodwin) interview with me. And...wow, this is just sort of cool. In February 1928, "The Call of Cthulhu" appeared in Weird Tales— and, for me, the magazine will always be Lovecraft's —and now here's me, eighty-three years later. The interview looks great. The coolest thing about it, they used the alternate cover for The Red Tree created by [livejournal.com profile] scarletboi (Christopher Lee Simmons). So, that just ladled a fat dollop of extra cool on top of the already cool. Anyway, it's the Spring 2011 issue, and if it's not out now, it soon will be. Oh, and the cover is one of Lee Moyer's exquisite paintings. Oh oh, and there's a very nice little review of The Ammonite Violin & Others, too. I should always have something this cool before breakfast.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,824 words on the ninth chapter of The Drowning Girl. This morning, I was speaking with my editor, and she doesn't want the book running any longer than 115,000 words at the most, so I find myself very, very near THE END. I have maybe two weeks of writing left until THE END, and maybe less. Which leaves me with mixed feelings. This has been, by far, the most difficult novel I've ever written, and it will be a bittersweet relief to see it done. But, on the other hand, I have fallen so deeply in love with Imp that setting her behind me and moving on to other stories will be very strange.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, if you've not already. Also, I've a favor to ask. Lately, I feel like I'm constantly asking favors of my readers, and the favors are almost always favors involving money. This I find distasteful in the extreme. But. It's been a longtime between checks again, and I have a doctor's appointment on Friday that's sort of hit us out of nowhere. And I've not yet paid my dues to the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology for 2011. As of March 1, I'll be facing a steep late fee on top of the $130 annual dues. I was nominated into SVP in 1984 and have been a member for twenty-seven years. So, there's a PayPal button below, and if you can donate a few bucks, I will be extremely grateful.

After the writing, Spooky and I proofed "La Peau Verte" for Two Worlds and In Between. And them, last night, I had a long nap before dinner. Writing at this pace, and coughing, I find naps unavoidable. Then, after dinner, we watched the new episodes of Fringe and Spartacus, and both were excellent. And then I played WoW and finished all the Thousand Needles quests and started in on the Un'Goro Crater ones. I hate Un'Goro Crater. And then we read more of [livejournal.com profile] blackholly's The White Cat. And then, finally, I slept.

Spooky has just inspired me to write a song titled "Heroin Slug," about a huge banana slug who lives in Portland, Oregon with a bunch of junkies. It will be very William S. Burroughs. I wonder if Weird Tales would publish it? Or maybe I know a musician who might set it to music and record it....

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

---

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

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

At best, I'm halfway through the novel.

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

--

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

Gonna go now. Comments would be especially welcome today.
greygirlbeast: (Walter1)
There's a glacier in the driveway.

Yesterday, I did 1,517 words on Chapter 5. As I said a few days ago on Twitter, I'm at least half serious about an author's note at the beginning, something like, Warning: This books contains lesbians and transsexuals, and they have teh sex— with each other —and they're treated like real people, not freaks, and there are no straight characters, just so the homophobic and transphobic whiners out there might be dissuaded from buying it and so whine a little less.

Spooky and I have decided to delay announcement of the secret project until tomorrow. There are still a few details to which she needs to attend. Which is fine, as more people read the blog on Mondays than on Sundays.

Last night, we got new Fringe, an excellent episode with Christopher Lloyd. And then we watched Po-Chih Leong's The Wisdom of Crocodiles (1998; also, unfortunately, known as Immortality). How I managed to overlook this film for thirteen years is beyond me. It only came to my attention a couple of days ago, thanks to a recommendation from [livejournal.com profile] tsarina. I liked it quite a lot. Jude Law in a fairly artful and understated British vampire film. Also, it includes the phrase "a species of one," so now I can't claim to be the first to have used it.

On WoW last night, I saw a Draenei girl in a guild named "Awesome Lolly Muffin Men." Very likely the most peculiar guild name I've ever seen. I thought it must be a reference to something pop cultural, but, if so, Google isn't being helpful.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks.

And now, I'll leave you with a photo from last night, me and Hubero snuggling to stay warm (foreshortening renders my arm oddly stout):

22 January 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (Walter1)
Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] anaisembraced reminded me of a quote from one of Anaïs Nin's published diaries (1931-1934). It manages to say much more eloquently what I was trying to say yesterday about my need for a public persona:

"There were always in me, two women at least, one woman desperate and bewildered, who felt she was drowning and another who would leap into a scene, as upon a stage, conceal her true emotions because they were weaknesses, helplessness, despair, and present to the world only a smile, an eagerness, curiosity, enthusiasm, interest."

---

Yesterday was spent, work-wise, beginning the layout of Sirenia Digest #58. I have to set that aside today for the aforementioned Weird Tales interview, which I'm doing after all. Part of me is so done with giving interviews. Another part of me recognizes it's always going to be something I have to do.

If you want truly secure online passwords, create your own language. It works wonders.

The weather has turned warm again.

People have started asking me questions about the H. P. Lovcecraft Film Festival. What I will and won't be doing, my schedule, how many books will I sign, when's my reading, what will I be reading from, how long will I be in Oregon, am I going to Powell's, and so forth. I'm going to post my schedule for the festival and CthulhuCon here in the next day or so.

As for signing, I'm not going to have an actual signing session scheduled, I don't think, so you might want to plan on bringing stuff you want signed to my reading, or catching me before or after a panel, something like that. But not if I'm eating, or something like that. I'll sign as many books as you want signed. No limit. I'll personalize them. I won't write stupid shit like, "To my best friend" or "For a kindred spirit" or poetry or anything like that. I won't inscribe my books with passages from my books. I bring these things up because from time to time they've been an issue in my eBay sales. I'll sign books, and I'll sign books to you or to whomever you want them signed to, but that's about it. Sometimes, if the mood strikes me, I throw in a monster doodle, but the mood rarely strikes me.

Also, I am declaring this con "Be Nice to Spooky Weekend." Which means, well, be nice to Spooky, because if she weren't coming along, I wouldn't be able to be there. Please feel free to bring her doughnuts from Voodoo Donuts (I think she's especially interested in the bacon-maple bars, voodoo dolls, and apple fritters). Or a vial of Escential's "oak moss." These things will make her smile.

---

So far, I've completely avoided seeing clips and trailers from Matt Reeves Let Me In, which is a remake of Tomas Alfredson's superb and perfect Låt den rätte komma in (both based on John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel, Låt den rätte komma in). I hate the things that Reeves has said, with a straight face, about making the story more accessible for Americans. I hate that he's gutting the novel and original film's gender issues by simply making Eli a genetic female. How can that not come across as pandering to homophobic and transphobic filmgoers? And this is all confusing, because I very much loved Reeves' Cloverfield, and want to see more from him. I'm not especially fond of American remakes of foreign language films, but I also don't hate them on principle, as some seem to do. Usually, I'll give them a chance. But this time, I don't see how I can.

Oh, and I'm very pleased to see that [livejournal.com profile] docbrite is finally reading House of Leaves.

---

Some smart, moving, exquisite rp in Insilico last night. Lately, my rp has involved very few people, which I have found, through trail and error, to be the best approach. Two people is ideal. Four is usually my limit for a scene. More than that, there's too much chaos. This story began back in January and February, with a long hiatus from April into July. At this point, it's mostly the story of two people, one of whom happens to be an android. It's like the middle of a good sf novel, one for which I know I'll never get to read the beginning or ending (which makes it rather like a dream). It demonstrates the marvel that Second Life can be, but almost never manages to be. Anyway, my thanks to Fifth and Molly.

Earlier, Spooky and I watched the latest Project Runway (good riddance, Ivy) and the first episode of Season Three of Fringe, which I though was an especially strong episode.

And now, there's the interview (though internet porn sounds like more fun)....

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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