greygirlbeast: (Default)
Not as much sunny Outside today as cloudy. And 46˚F.

Yesterday, two more interviews. Oh, and this. Which wasn't precisely an interview. But there was no work. No writing that wasn't answering questions. Four interviews (and this) in two days, and we're on the seventh day of a short month – longer by one day, thanks to leap year – and today I have to get back to work, and work means writing, not answering interview questions. Actually, my answering interview questions is probably now a legitimate part of my "job," but it's not writing. Today, I'm going to write. Or something like it. Tonight, after dinner, I'll deal with the next interview.

News from Subterranean Press is that Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart will be out sometime in May.

I have arrived at a curious, but, I believe, useful, new monetary standard to be employed by freelance authors. Forget the dollar. The basic unit of currency is the pizza. For example, someone pays me three-hundred dollars for a reprint, that's ~15P (based on an average large pizza price, with three toppings, of $20). Say your book deal drops twenty-thousand dollars into your lap (minus your agent's 15%); that's ~850P. This new standard will serve us far better. Sell nothing, ever, for less than at least 1P.

Since last summer I've been struggling to explain the relationship between Blood Oranges and its impending sequels (they do impend) and genuine ParaRom. No, do not use the label "Urban Fantasy." Once upon a time, Urban Fantasy had dignity. ParaRom stole the term (I don't know if it was the writers, editors, publishers, or an elaborate conspiracy of the lot). ParaRom, or PR. Anyway, the correct word I belatedly found yesterday is subvert. That is, Blood Oranges et al. is meant to subvert ParaRom. That's asking a lot of any poor book/s, but someone has to throw herself on the grenade.

Last night, Spooky and I played Rift for the first time since, near as I can tell from my notes, December 19th. That's, what, forty-nine days ago? The game remains beautiful, and it was good to be back. A good break from SW:toR. See, I didn't leave Rift because I was bored. I left because trying to run an RP guild – which meant writing more after I was done writing for the day, plus trying to get people to show up for RP – had sort of soured me on the whole thing. And then SW:toR arrived, all fresh and shiny and unsullied. Last night, I realized how much I'd missed Rift. BUT, because of the "free-to-play" Rift-Lite, our server has been overrun by idiots who cannot comprehend that it's an RP server, and there was a serious (and reasonable) fucking case of Gnerd Rage going down in general chat last night. I ignored it (I ignored everyone), and Indus (my Level 43 Eth warrior) and Dancy (Spooky's Level 43 Kelari cleric) quested and closed rifts in the Droughtlands and Shimmersand. What I didn't see was any evidence that there's been an exodus of players. There were high-level players everywhere. Many more than when I left, so the news of the game's recent troubles may have been...exaggerated. Anyway, for now, I think Spooky and I will be jumping back and forth between the two games – since we have no actual social life.

The no-sleep demons found me last night. Monsier Insomnia kept me awake until after five ayem (though I was in bed by 2:15 ayem). I didn't wake until after noon (or afternoon, if you prefer).

And one last thing. I'm missing the South fiercely. Part of it's this shitty Providence winter. Part of it is...well...complicated. I do not miss the people or the culture. I miss the land. And I'm sick of missing the South, because there is no dividing the people from the land. In the main (though not universally), the people are not worthy of even the smallest fraction of my longing. They showed me hatred, with rare bits of tolerance. By comparison, in New England I have found a mix of acceptance and people who simply know how to mind their own business. In the South, very few people know how to mind their own business. Indeed, throughout most of America, this is the case. Anyway, last night I got to thinking on the silly phrase "Southern hospitality" (which always baffled Spooky). It's not that "Southern hospitality" doesn't exist; it's that it's a highly conditional phenomenon. Conform, and we'll be relatively hospitable. Fail to conform, and we'll bedevil you. At last I left, and I am better off for it. But I cannot shake this longing for the land.

I've written far too much, says the platypus. I've written nothing at all. Gotta try to work.

Here, There, and the Other Place,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Bjorkdroid)
Finally, yesterday, I left the House, and it was a substantial leaving. I had a headache, but I refused to let it keep me inside. After a quick stop at the market and to check the p.o. box, and a stop at the liquor store, we stopped at Wayland Square for coffee and baked goods at The Edge. We walked past Myopic Books and What Cheer Antiques, but didn't go inside. The day was bright and sunny, and though it was cold there was no wind, so it wasn't too terribly unpleasant being out. After coffee, we drove to Benefit Street and parked quite a bit south of the Athenaeum, because I wanted to walk. Most of the Brown and RISD students have gone away for the holidays, and College Hill is wonderfully peaceful.

We spent a couple of hours at the Athenaeum, even though my headache was so bad I couldn't really read. Mostly, I found books I very much wanted to read, and sort of scanned them. There was a paper on Monodon monoceras (the narwhal) in Smithsonian at the Poles: Contributions to International Polar Science Year (2009), on the evolution and morphology of the narwhal's "horn." There was a book on Dogtown, Massachusetts, which intertwined the history of Dogtown with a brutal murder that occurred there in 1984. The was a book on Mary Shelly's Frankenstein and pop culture. But mostly, it was just good to be in the Athenaeum and not at home. And, by the way, if any kind soul would like to gift me with a membership to the Athenaeum, I won't protest. Personally, I think lending privileges ought to be free for local authors teetering on the brink of poverty, but there you go.

Of course, the big news yesterday was that the abominable "don't ask/don't tell" policy was repealed by the Senate. Finally. So, now openly gay men and lesbians are also free to die in the immoral wars America wages across the world. No, I am glad. Truly, and very much so, but it is an odd sort of victory, you must admit.

Last night, some very good, very quiet rp between Molly and Grendel in Insilico. Maybe, someday, all of this will become some sort of short story. Maybe. But probably not. And Spooky and I have reached Level 81.5+ in WoW. By the way, I think the insertion of all sorts of tedious "mini-games" into the new expansion is annoying and dumb as hell, especially that one in Mount Hyjal that's trying to pay homage to the old arcade game Joust. Worst. WoW. Quest. Ever. I wish I could recall the name of the stupid quest, but I can't. I have blotted it from my consciousness.

Today, today is another day off. I may finish a painting, and I may do some housecleaning. Spooky's finishing up a painting. We'll go to the market this evening. On Tuesday, we go to see Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan. And that evening, both [livejournal.com profile] sovay and [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark will be coming down from Boston and Framingham, respectively, so that we can talk over the first three chapters of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Maybe the long period of reclusiveness is ending.

I'll be posting a couple of "Year's Best" lists, but not until the year is actually over, or very almost so.

Anyway...time to wrap this up.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
So, California's Proposition 8 has been ruled unconstitutional by District Judge Vaughn Walker. A black day for the assholes who put the hateful thing in place. A thin ray of light for the rest of us. That's a battle won, and I was glad for the news. But the war's still raging out there. And I dislike making war analogies, almost as bad as I hate making sports and computer analogies, but sometimes they're apt.

A good writing day yesterday. After an initial wave of panic, concerning my oft-stated problems with first-person narratives, I calmed down and got to work. I honestly don't know how Spooky does it, enduring my outbursts and diatribes and wearisome self doubt. Anyway, I wrote another 1,577 words on Chapter One of The Drowning Girl. I hope to finish the chapter by Friday evening. I was sorely tempted to dispense with chapters in this book. The manuscript is being written by someone who does not think of it as a novel and never intends it to be read, so why would the manuscript be subdivided into chapters? Just to meet reader expectations? How does that ever begin to make sense? Regardless, for the moment, the novel has chapters. Vive le conventionnel.

I'm trying to figure out if anyone else has ever written a ghost story about a mermaid, or if this might be the first.

I also spent about forty-five minutes more fidgeting about with the table of contents for the "Best of CRK" volume. Mostly pulling stories and sticking others in, creating hypothetical configurations and recalculating word count based on each one.

If you've not, please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Between delayed checks and quickly approaching expenses, eBay income is especially important to us at the moment. Plus, you get cool books. Thanks.

And now I make the words flow...
greygirlbeast: (The Red Tree)
Cloudy and cold this morning in Providence. The temperature is hovering somewhere in the '40sF. The same is forecast for tomorrow.

And now I can announce (drum roll) that The Red Tree has been nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award. The nominees were announced yesterday. The older I get, the less interest I seem to have in awards, especially awards that are decided by popular vote (as opposed to juried awards). The Jackson Awards are one of the exceptions to my disinterest, as I have said before. I am greatly honoured to be nominated. In a way, I have that "my work here is done" feeling, a feeling I do not often experience. So, yeah. Pretty goddamn awesome. I don't even care much whether I actually win or not. I've been nominated. The Red Tree has been noted. I will be at the awards ceremony, which will take place during this summer's Readercon.

Ellen Datlow ([livejournal.com profile] ellen_datlow) has posted her honourable mentions list from Best Horror of the Year (Vol. 2). I received four mentions, two from Sirenia Digest:

"The Thousand-and-Third Tale of Scheherazade," Sirenia Digest #38, January '09
"At the Gate of Deeper Slumber," Sirenia Digest #41, April '09
"The Belated Burial," Subterranean, Fall '09
"Galápagos," Eclipse Three

Finally, "The Bone's Prayer" (Sirenia Digest #39, February '09) has been selected for The Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2010 (edited by Paula Guran, Prime Books).

---

Matt Stags asked my opinion on Batwoman (who's been a dyke since at least 2006) getting her own monthly title, and what I think his may mean for the acceptance of GLBT characters in mainstream pop culture. This was for Random House's sf blog, Suvudu.com. My reply was not particularly optimistic. You may read it here
greygirlbeast: (fight dinosaurs)
Very unusual for me to make two actual blog entries in one day (though I sometimes will do the one long morning one, and something short in the evening), but Mother is programmed to interrupt the course of our voyage if certain conditions arise. They have...oh...wait. Wrong movie. This is the movie wherein I play a swanning novelist living in Rhode Island. But, certain conditions have arisen that make it unlikely I'll make my usual morning entry tomorrow; chiefly, we'll be at an early matinée, a digital screening of District 9, and then I have to get back home and work, which means I won't have time.

However, as it turns out, I will be doing another signing in Massachusetts. I've been invited to do a signing for The Red Tree at Friendly Neighborhood Comics in Bellingham on Saturday, September 12th, 4—6 p.m.. So, if you missed me last week at Pandemonium Books and Games in Cambridge, here's your second chance. I cannot say for certain whether or not there shall be a third, as I didn't expect to be doing a second.

---

Also, if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you will know that I've dipped a toe into the fray that sf author John C. Wright started when he posted this hateful, homophobic, and nigh unto whackadoo rant back in July. I would like to make a couple of somethings perfectly clear: 1) I know that not all Christians are homophobes, and 2) I do not advocate denying John C. Wright or anyone else the freedom to say whatever hesheit wishes to say. Clearly, no one has censored Mr. Wright. He sails gaily along, mouthing off (okay, maybe not gaily along, but you get the point).

However, I also have no room left in my life to tolerate intolerance. And so I respond to this sort of thing, when I can no longer bear to keep quite. That old adage about sticks and stones not hurting, well it's crap. Those of us who've spent our lives swimming against this or that social taboo or in contradiction of some religious stricture or another know this, because we are bruised and bloody and tired. We may not marry those we love. We may not be spoken of in polite company. We have suffered the suicide of loved ones who weren't as good at being indefinitely bruised and bloody as are we. We are sick to fucking death of being told by people like Mr. Wright that we're twisted and evil and malformed, and that our love is evil and malformed, and that the way we see ourselves and want others to see us is evil and twisted and in need of censure. Now, the way I see things, if Mr. Wright is done with atheism and really thinks he's been talking with the Virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit (yes, he has made these claims), that's between him and his hallucinatory delusions. Up to and until those delusions cause harm to me and mine. And then I will bite back, because maybe all these bigoted yahoos and shitwits are lunatics, but in case no one's noticed, the lunatics are still wielding a hell of a lot of political power these days.

And I rather liked this bit, a quote from a comment to Jeff VanderMeer's blog, by Andrew Wheeler:

"There’s no real hope of shifting his [Wright's] views, either; with all of his talk about Natural Law and similar bumf he clearly believes that he’s the one on the side of the angels. He still has all of the worst rhetorical traits of the Ayn Randian he used to be, as well, making him perhaps the worst kind of Internet essayist: the utterly long-winded, self-aggrandizing bigot who thinks he’s much smarter and more courageous than he is, and can bury you under cubic yards of extruded bafflegab in any circumstances."

Yep.

And, by the way, please note that Mr. Wright has not only taken aim at queers. His ire and condemnation extends to heterosexuals, unless the goal of their sexual intercourse is reproduction. Because, you know, we need more humans. Last count, we only had 6,777,457,483 on earth.

---

An odd workday today. I only managed a little better than 500 words on "A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea," before I realized there was no way I'd be able to do this story justice and have it ready for Sirenia Digest #45 or even #46. There's just too much research still to be done. Future submersibles, undersea topography, genetic engineering, sedimentology, plate tectonics, planned missions to Mars, and so forth. So, I shelved it, and spent the rest of the afternoon proofing The Ammonite Violin & Others. How long it will have to remain shelved, I cannot say. But I need to be writing other things, no matter how badly I'd like to be writing "A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea" just now. I do thank everyone who suggested slang/derisory terms for the bioengineered subspecies of humans, Homo sapiens natator. I'm especially pleased with "flippers" and "hydros," and also the proposal I use "ghoti" as a prefix.

The story will get written. Sadly, just not right now.
greygirlbeast: (white)
Looking back at the inaugural speech, which I've read through a couple of times now, there are two little bits that I adore and just want to give a quick mention to before moving along to other things. First, President Obama's acknowledgment of atheists and agnostics as legitimate segments of a pluralistic society. That made me almost as happy as the inclusion of gays in his acceptance speech:

We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers.

And, also, his nod to the vital role that science, set aside by the Bush Administration as inconvenient and irreligious. must play:

We will restore science to its rightful place...

And, speaking of science's rightful place, it goes without saying that I was very happy about the repeated references to global warming.

---

Yesterday was pretty much consumed by the inauguration. I cannot even recall the last time that a national event kept me so captivated. 9/11? Hurricane Katrina? The invasion of Iraq? The crash of the space shuttle Columbia? But, this time, I was captivated not by horror and tragedy, but by unity and the possibility of a light at the end of the tunnel. Or at least the possibility that the tunnel may have an end. That has to count for something, so I don't feel too bad about allowing the words to languish yesterday.

Today, now that I've decided on the Edgar Allan Poe theme for Sirenia Digest #38, I need to figure out, quickly, exactly what that means as regards what I'll be writing. I suspect I'll be re-reading "The Premature Burial" and "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar," and a great deal of his poetry. I'd love to write a piece called "The Thousand-and-Third Tale of Scheherazade," but that that may a little ambitious, given the deadline and all. We'll just have to see. Anyway, it should be an interesting issue.

Last night, very late (three ayem to half past four), I watched Resident Alien (1990), Jonathan Nossiter's documentary on Quentin Crisp. It didn't help my insomnia, but it was quite entirely wonderful. Crisp remains one among my motley band of role models. Is it odd to be -4 (and almost -5) and still have role models? I should hope not, but I never know how people look at these things.

I was going to say something about Second Life, since I admitted, a few days ago, to falling back into it again. Here's the thing. Upon returning, I have found some genuinely marvelous roleplayers, people I knew from before, and also people who are new to me. And here when I say "rp" I am referring to improvisational theatre, or simulationism. Total immersion. And I do treasure these people. But there is no denying that the majority of SL, so far as I can see, not only has no interest in rp, or making any sort of use of SL for artistic ends, it's also dumb as a bag of hammers. Or a doorknob. Or what have you. Indeed, I am quite certain now that SL, either intentionally or unintentionally, selects for stupidity and illiteracy, the way that natural selection might favour tricuspid teeth or osteoderms. And here I'm not talking about a casual, easily overlooked stupidity, but one that is bone-jarringly deep and constantly, aggressively drawing attention to itself. A proud sort of stupid. So, in order to take part in SL, I am having to struggle to rp around the idiots, and there are days, like yesterday, when it almost gets the better of me again. I just don't do dumb as a rock. I think I might have tried it on one weekend in 1988, but found it wanting (and a bit snug about the bust). It should not surprise me, and I see that clearly now, that SL draws to itself the lowest common denominator, those with apparent (if not actual) low intelligence, almost nonexistent social skills, and a refusal to express themselves in complete sentences. But it does. Surprise me, I mean. It just seems very sad, and like a gigantic waste of both human potential and of electricity (and time, and the oil used to make plastic, and I could go on and on), just to turn a profit for Linden Labs and enshrine the Church of LOL and provide a playground for those who deem thoughtful characterization "too emo." Still, I'm not giving up again. At least not just yet. But I came very close last night, and I thank Joah for pulling me back.

And yes, I am carping. It's something I do very well.

And if you've still not ordered your copy of A is for Alien, due out next month from Subterranean Press, please take a moment to do so today. The platypus will smile upon you.
greygirlbeast: ("Dracorex")
Looks as if we're headed off to the wilds of Connecticut today, or at least New Haven. So, I don't really have time for an entry, which usually seems to take me one to two hours to write and edit and post and crosspost. So, this is your surrogate entry. It's funny. It's true. And it has Jack Black as Jesus, which trumps anything I could say, anyway:

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Keith Olbermann on the abomination that is California's Prop 8:

greygirlbeast: (white)
One reason that I tend not to talk overly much about politics in this journal (and there are many reasons) is that, at this stage in my life, I just don't have the...energy...to deal with Those Who Are Offended. For example, when speaking of the presidential election, I said that I am ashamed of the South for not having taken this opportunity to step away from its history of bigotry and hatred. A number of people were offended, not because they are bigots, but because I made a generalization that they felt did not allow for the people in the South who are not hateful bigots. Yes, obviously those people do exist. Clearly. I never said that they do not. Until June, I was one of them. But I think the generalization holds water —— the Deep South is still one of the more prejudicial, hate-riddled parts of the country —— and I say this not as someone on the outside, but as someone who has spent most of her life there. Hate and racism, homophobia and sexism and Far-Right Xtianity are not confined to the South, by any means. But they do find especially fertile ground in places like Georgia and Alabama and Mississippi, and in the Deep South as a whole. And trying to claim otherwise is like trying to deny that Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, and New Jersey have more Mafioso than do, say, Arkansas and South Carolina.

You know, I call myself a pagan. But I most emphatically do not get offended when I meet someone who has the impression that pagans are, on the whole, superstitious "fluffy bunny" New Agers obsessed with crystals, magical thinking, astrology, fairies, unicorns, and dumbed-down, misappropriated shamanism. I don't get offended because I see perfectly well how non-pagans get this impression. Walk into almost any American "witchcraft" shop. It smacks you in the face. The generalization is, generally, true, even if it's not true of me. I do not take offense and get defensive at being mistakenly lumped in with the idiots. It's a risk I accept. Do you get the gist of this song now? Because I'm moving on....

Not much to say about the last couple of days. I spent most of it lying down. My body finally reached the exhaustion threshold and switches started flipping into the off position. Exhaustion and, apparently, severe dehydration. Yesterday, I actually slept until noon. And I'm feeling much better today. Which is good, because I have a lot of writing and editing to get done this month.

I ate Chinese food, read Clara Pinto-Correia's Return of the Crazy Bird: The Sad, Strange Tale of the Dodo (2003), and washed my hair. Last night, Spooky and I watched Ratatouille again, and I still think it is, by far, the best Pixar film. I napped, a lot. I missed my date with the Plateosaurus at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, because it was raining so hard yesterday, and I was really just too tired for Boston, anyway. In fact, I didn't leave the house Wednesday or Thursday (and fear I may not have left it since, crap, Hallowe'en night). But, I listened to the rain, which has really been marvelous. I played too much WoW, as usual (thank you, "Kalizsera," for the kitty), and even waded back into Second Life for an hour on Wednesday night —— sadly, just long enough to be pretty sure I was right to jump ship.

Anyway, the platypus is reminding me that I need to email my agent and my editor, and that I have a short story to write, and that the day is slipping away.

Oh, I think I'll be posting the cover art for The Red Tree tomorrow....

And I almost forgot. Yesterday, I stumbled across this review of the cover of To Charles Fort, With Love at Bookslut. Pretty cool.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I want to try to put down some coherent thoughts about last night, and about how I feel today. Only, I'm tired and sleepless and not feeling particularly coherent. Still, I know that I will be sorry if I don't try to say the things that I'm thinking.

President-Elect Barack Obama. Damn.

I didn't see Obama's acceptance speech until this morning. I watched McCain's concession last night. I was, I have to grudgingly admit, pleased with McCain's dignified exit from the race. Whatever else I might think about the man, he comported himself with dignity last night, and he said the things I think he should have said. I will note that a small group of his supporters there in Phoenix booed loudly, if briefly, when he first spoke Obama's name. I will note that no such booing occurred in Chicago when Obama spoke respectfully of McCain.

I will note my great disappointment that, on this day when I want so badly to believe, I must continue to be ashamed of my connection to the Deep South. To my eyes, the South missed another opportunity to take a step away from its history of hatred and bigotry, and I regret that, deeply.

And then there's Proposition 8 in California, which, right now, looks like it will pass. In California, by a narrow margin, people are apparently deciding to rewrite their state's constitution for the purpose of denying civil liberties to a substantial portion of its population. You expect this sort of shit from Kansas, but California? Even keeping in mind that the success of the proposition stemmed, largely, from an expensive campaign of hatred waged from Utah by the Mormons, it's the people of California who will have to answer to history for this atrocity.

I'm no good with politics. I've never claimed to be. Right now, I feel like an embittered, exhausted rebel who, after years of disgust and fury and withdrawal, is finally ready to concede that there might be cause for hope. But I will not take my eyes off Proposition 8, or the 56,017,369+ voters who, yesterday, showed their support for the Republicans and those things that Republicans have come to represent. There are just as many racists as there were this time yesterday. There are just as many gay bashers. There are just as many warmongers and religious fanatics. There are just as many people looking the other way while the rich simultaneously rape the poor and then send their children to die in Iraq and Afghanistan. The planet is just as poisoned. Look at California, and see how far we have left to go before we are all free.

Last week, I told Spooky that I'd come to feel that my "political view" could best be summed up by something Mal says to Simon at the beginning of Serenity —— "I look out for me and mine. That don't include you 'less I conjure it does...Don't push me, and I won't push you." Of course, the film ends with Mal risking his life and the lives of those he loves for the sake of the truth of things. So, maybe there's hope for me yet.

And maybe, just maybe, there's hope for America, and for this whole sorry world. I'm trying.
greygirlbeast: (Fran)
South Africa's Constitutional Court has ordered the country's parliament to amend marriage laws so that same-sex marriages will be legal within the next year. No, not the U.S., land of the free and so forth and such like, but South Africa. I'm waiting for one or another asshole white-power group to declare that this is what happens when you stop treating black people like cattle. Next thing you know, the gays are running things.

Anyway, yesterday Spooky came back from the market, where she'd gone to get the makings for chili, with a big ol' box of Cap'n Crunch. As a child, Cap'n Crunch was my most favorite cereal, even though those hard little yellow nuggets of corn and sugar inevitably made the roof of my mouth bleed. Sitting here having a bowl for breakfast, I was not surprised to see sugar listed as the second ingredient and brown sugar listed as the fourth. But hey, it's a great source of folic acid! And it still tears up the inside of my mouth. At least some things stay the same. Anyway, sugary kid cereals will not become a habit, but it was a nice, nostalgic diversion.

The writing went well yesterday. I did 1,506 words on the second piece for Sirenia Digest 12, which I'm calling "The Lovesong of Lady Ratteanrufer." It is an entirely different sort of story than "Metamorphosis A," so it looks like this issue of the digest will exhibit two distinctly different flavours.

Not much else to yesterday. Before the writing, but after the journal entry, I read Angela Carter's "The Cabinet of Edgar Allan Poe." We tried to go for a walk at one point, but it was raining so hard we only made it to the edge of Freedom Park before turning back for home. This morning the rain is gone and it looks like winter out there, clouds and most of the leaves have fallen. Just before bed, I read from The Velikovsky Affair (1966) — more research for The Dinosaurs of Mars.

Read chapters XXII and XXIII and finished House of Leaves (for the second time).

Also played more Final Fantasy XII, which I'm continuing to enjoy tremendously. But I will say that compared to FFX and FFX-2 (I didn't play XI), this is a darker and more difficult game. Overall, I prefer XII's battle system to the old turn-based system, but it is hard.

Here's an e-mail:

Dancy — A whole lot happens in S GA - here a monster, there a monster - but then, from Savannah to Birmingham, nothing? That seems a long way for a girl like that to go w/out a fight. I can't help but wondering what did happen. An uninterrupted bus ride somehow just doesn't seem likely.

Can't wait for
Daughter of Hounds.

Well, this whole thing is complicated by there being two parallel realities. There's the one from Threshold, which has Dancy taking the bus from Waycross to Birmingham. In that worldline, her misadventures in Savannah precede her encounter in Waycross with the Gynander and Sinethella. However, in the Alabaster stories, we have a second worldline (perhaps created by Chance's actions at the end of Threshold), wherein Dancy travels to Waycross before Savannah and then leaves Savannah in the company of the Bailiff, with no apparent destination in mind. In the first worldline, on the bus trip from Waycross to Birmingham (Ch. 2, pp. 25-27, Roc 1st ed.), she does encounter the "hitchhiker," but, otherwise, I figured that the bus ride kept her fairly safe from monsters (and them safe from her). As for the second worldline, that present in Alabaster, I don't yet know what happens to her after she leaves Savannah. I have half a suspicion that she never reaches Birmingham.

Also, this comment from yesterday's second entry (LJ only), the one with the photos:

You have this remarkable ability to smile and yet seem palpably menacing. Like an orangutan "smiling" to let you see the teeth its going to use to chew your face off. That is, incidentally, a compliment.

Which is precisely how I take it, as a compliment. It's true that many anthropologists and primatologists have noted that in such non-human primates as chimps and baboons, the "smile" is employed as a threat display, not as a sign of friendship. What an exceedingly strange way to show you're happy or glad to see someone, by showing off your teeth. Most mammals snarl or grimace as a warning, not a welcome.

Okay. That was longer than I'd intended it to be. I must attend to the needs of the platypus. If you're reading this via Blogger or MySpace, you can see the photos from yesterday here (though, really, this journal is best read via LJ).

Postscript: Blame Spooky for this entry's subject line.
greygirlbeast: (chi6)
So, first the Good News: the June issue of Sirenia Digest will be exactly twice as long as the May issue. Thirty-four pages, 15,841 words. So, I'm pretty sure that this month I'm giving readers their money's worth.

Now the Bad News: I underestimated the time that Vince would need to do his illustration, and I'm thinking now that #7 will be mailed out Thursday morning, instead of this evening. But that's really not so bad. Savour the anticipation, yes?

Also, don't forget that anyone who subscribes to Sirenia Digest before midnight tonight (EST) will receive a FREE signed copy of the Roc trade paperback of Silk. Complete with a little spider drawing by my own hand. For yourself or some unsuspecting friend. All you have to do is click here, read the FAQ, and sign up. Easy as pie and chips.

Meanwhile, please note that, in its infinite wisdom, the Pentagon has listed homosexuality as a psychological disorder. You know, just like schizophrenia and mental retardation and Republicanism. Frell 'em, I say. The fewer queers die in Bush's war, the more of us there will be to overthrow heterosexual society and install, in its stead, a newer world order founded on sodomy, lesbianism, and the almighty gender fuck. The Pentagon will make a great drag bar...
greygirlbeast: (mirror2)
A good day off yesterday, as days off go. They rarely go well for me, but yesterday turned out okay. We'd sort of been planning to make another trip to the Georgia Aquarium. But it costs $8 just to park, then you half to walk a quarter of a mile to stand in line forever, and then there's the security/search hassle (because terrorists want sea otters), and all the goddamn people and the stench of the food court, and when I put it that way, we both decided it wasn't something we were up for. Instead, we left the house about 2 p.m. and spent most of the afternoon at Piedmont Park, strolling around the edges of Lake Clara Meer. Birds everywhere. All manner of ducks and ducklings, a lone Canada Goose, what must have been a young Great Blue Heron, hoardes of grackles, mockingbirds, robins, starlings, etc. A mob of tiny dinosaurs. After the park, we made a stop at the Arden's Garden on Monroe Drive. I had a wonderful concoction of pineapple, mango, and papaya juice with a shot of ginger. Then we stopped by a bead shop on Highland, because Spooky needed eyes for the Madam Terpsichore doll, but they had nothing appropriate. We came home, and I spent a couple of hours on Wikipedia articles (so much for not writing). Then, for dinner, we had a salad and slices at Fellini's in Candler Park. We spent the evening reading.

I got a sneak peak at the cover art for the paperback of Threshold yesterday, and I'm quite pleased with it. I'll post it here as soon as I get word that I can. Dancy was chosen for the cover, and the artist/photographer and his model have done an admirable job of bringing her to life.

And I see that all of us who've been hoping for a black Mac have finally gotten our wish.

For those who have not heard, Georgia's gay marriage ban was struck down yesterday as unconstitutional by a Fulton County Superior Court Judge. Of course, the Republicans are already massing for the inevitable appeal. "Our" governor, Sonny Perdue, has stated, "The people of Georgia knew exactly what they were doing when an overwhelming 76 percent voted in support of this constitutional amendment. It is sad that a single judge has chosen to reverse this decision." I want to ask Mr. Perdue what percentage of white Georgians still opposed desegregation in the late '50s and early '60s, as Georgia was finally forced to end racial segregation. The voice of the majority does not determine right and wrong, only what is momentarily legal. Hell, lately, the voice of the majority does not even determine the frelling presidency. Anyway, I do have some hope that the ruling will survive at least the first round of appeals.

Okay, I've got to try to get started on the first vignette for Sirenia Digest #6. The day's not getting any younger...

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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