greygirlbeast: (Default)
Cold this morning. Cold, but sunny, 37˚F. Very, very windy.

Yesterday, I began a second pseudo-vignette for Sirenia Digest, and right now I'm calling this one "Apostate," though I'd like to come up with a better title. "Apostate" is appropriate, I just don't like it. One-word titles can get irksome, and I just finished "Camuffare." Anyway, I did 1,302 words yesterday afternoon, and I'll likely finish the piece today.

By the way, after the writing yesterday, I did some math. "Apostate" will be the 105th piece of short fiction I've written for the digest since December 2005 (vignettes, short stories, novelettes, novellas, what-the-fuck-have-you). That includes the three parts of The Alphabetos Triptych, each considered as a single work. To date, about a dozen of the pieces have been reprinted elsewhere. Twenty were collected in The Ammonite Violin & Others (2010), and another twenty-five will appear in Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. Oh, and four appeared in Tales from the Woeful Platypus (2007). That's only forty-nine. Which means a mere 46.6% of the stories from the digest have been collected to date. Even assuming that Subterranean Press continues to publish collections of them, given that I keep adding more each month, it's going to be quite some time before everything from the digest is in print. It would require the digest be discontinued, and I don't see that happening any time soon. I found the numbers sobering. One-hundred and five stories. If you like my short fiction, and you're not a subscriber, this certainly ought to be an incentive.

Also yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy, [livejournal.com profile] briansiano, and the intrepid Sara Murphy convened in the wilds of Pennsylvania to shoot more video and stills. More scenes from The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. I should have been there, but the continuing headaches (yes) and my deadlines made the long trip impractical (to say the least). But, here's the thing. Excepting the top-tier donors (3 people), the shots from this session is not available to those who donated to the Kickstarter project. And given we went a bit over budget, we're hoping to cover more of the overage by offering some of Kyle's prints for sale. I'll post the information here as soon as he's set up for the sale. Which should be very soon. The photos are gorgeous. [livejournal.com profile] kambriel* made the gorgeous "Le Petit Chaperon Rouge" dress that Sara wears. And, while I'm at it, the novel's release date is now only thirty six (!) days away.

Last night, on the recommendation of [livejournal.com profile] andrian6, Spooky and I watched Joel Anderson's Lake Mungo (2008). Except for Cloverfield, I'm fairly certain Lake Mungo is the best "mockumentary" (I fucking loathe that "word") since Myrick and Sánchez' superb The Blair Witch Project in (1999). Lake Mungo is quiet, eerie in all the right ways, and deeply disconcerting. In the end, it's what all "ghost" stories should be – it's sad. Set in Australia, it's sort of like Peter Weir did a ghost story back in the 1970s. You should see it.

And, with that...time to make the doughnuts.

Wishing She Were On the Way Home from Pennsylvania,
Aunt Beast

* If you want to see many of her beautiful designs on her retail website, just go here. Kambriel has made several custom pieces for me over the years.

Addendum (2:29 p.m.): Just heard from my agent that my Publishers Weekly interview is now out, in the January 30, 2012 issue of the magazine. Apparently, no one in Rhode Island sells the magazine, so if you can get me a copy, I'll show my gratitude in some very nice way. Thank you.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Yes, kittens, it's going to snow 1-3 inches here in Providence tonight, and we're the lucky part of New England. Apparently, Autumn took the year off; I don't blame it. I hear it's snowing in Manhattan right now.

Still, I wish I were at the sea today. I want to watch a heavy snow fall on the olive-green waves.

Okay, here's some news, so perk up those ears. I've been sitting on a secret for many, many months, and many of you know this. On November 2nd, there will be some manner of revelation, and on November 9th, all will be revealed. That's Wednesday, and then the next Wednesday. The NSA has agreed to declassify the files, and the MiBs will go public. The gag order will be rescinded. Some of you will not hear the news here first. Machineries are in motion that are far greater than am I. But...I believe there will be a lot of happy campers among you, and I think the wait will have been worth it. It's worn me ragged, keeping this secret.

And that's what I worked on yesterday, this secret thing. Meanwhile, Spooky attended to line edits on Blood Oranges, using the old iBook (Victoria; the old girl's got a lot of life left in her).

---

Yesterday evening, as the sun was setting, we arrived at the Steel Yard, for the 6th Annual Iron Pour. A most appropriate post-industrial celebration of Samhain (though, of course, Samhain proper isn't until Monday). Five-thousand pounds of molten steel poured from a blast furnace, molten metal to fill jack-o'-lanterns, a great skull-shaped mold (the skull, weighing hundreds of pounds lifted, glowing, by block and tackle). Hundreds of voices screaming, "Fire." Enormous effigies to be devoured by fire: demons, witches, the head of a goat. A woman with the head and wings of a bat, dressed all in black and on stilts. A chainsaw that belches flames. The burning effigies are revealed to have wrought-iron skeletons. Deliriously eldritch and aharmonic anti-melodies played on violins, saxophones, and coronets. Volcanic showers and liquid iron of sparks filling the air, and raining down almost atop our heads. That's the Iron Pour in Providence. There are pictures behind the cut, below (though, batteries were low, we forgot to change them, and the camera, therefore, acted up).

Do people know about the not-so-secret pagan rites in Providence? Well, more than know about the Big Chair Rites of Moosup Valley.

---

After my post yesterday, and my mention of seeing The Rapture (1991) again, an analogy occurred to me. It's one thing to call the Judeo-Christian god petty and sadistic. It's another to explain what you mean. So, here's one of a...well, of countless...examples: That whole Garden of Eden thing, Adam and Eve and the serpent. That chestnut. Here's the same story - the very same story – recast in less fantastic language. An unnamed adult (ADULT) places two three year olds, a boy and a girl, in a large room filled with every manner of toy they might ever desire, every sweet confection, a computer with the best games, every imaginable three-year-old delight, and the children are told, "You may play with all these things, and eat whatever you wish, and as much as you wish. But...you see that jar of Watermelon-flavored Jelly-Belly jelly beans over there? You do? Okay, now...that's the one thing you must not eat from. Now, I'm going to leave you to your own devices. Be good, kiddos." (No explanation is offered as to why the beans must be left alone.) And the adult goes away. And the two children have a blast, for days and days and days.

But, eventually, a loudspeaker mounted in one corner begins to whisper sibilantly about those Watermelon-flavored Jelly Belly jelly beans. It whispers, and most persistently, and, kids will be kids, and...when the unnamed adult returns to find the forbidden beans of jelly have been tasted, the two children are shamed with the harshest possible language, then tossed from the paradise of that room. They're thrown out into the cold winter streets, and guards are placed at the doors, that they can never again enter the marvelous room. Because they ate jelly beans that were placed there so that they would be tempted to eat the jelly beans. And there was that voice planted there to help them along, right? Don't think for a moment the adult didn't put that speaker there (whether or not the voice was his or hers, that's another matter). But it gets better, which is to say it gets worse. For having tasted the Watermelon Jelly Bellies, no child may ever again enter the room, and all the descendents of these two children will suffer unspeakable agonies and trials, and die, and face an eternity of torment unless they love the sadistic adult (ADULT) in question, despite this dirty, little trick with the jelly beans and the whispers...and, well, you know the story. And no, this is no more simplistic a parable than the original. Just a tiny bit more honest. And don't give me that "freewill" bullshit. ADULT knew better. He/she knew the nature of the children, she/he made them. The whole thing was rigged. For the Bible tells us so.

---

Spooky's Hallowe'en Sale isn't quite over, so have a look.

Last night, some good RP in Insilico, and then a tiny dash of RIFT. Then we watched last week's episode of Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story, and...it was...surprisingly better. It was actually...haunting. A tremendous number of story threads and themes were skillfully tossed about and interwoven and, hell, it would have made a fine last episode. Still that Dark Shadows camp, but elevated just a bit. Moments of genuine chill. I think it's possibly more interested in the problem of hauntings than in ghosts, and that would be a good thing. Oh, and now Zachary Quinto, also known as Spock #2 and My Second Husband (you get to guess who's my First and Third husbands are), has joined the cast...so I have to keep watching.

Later, I read Steinbeck's The Log of the Sea of Cortez until I could get to sleep, about four-thirty ayem.

And now, I hear those black panel vans...You know, Tom Waits* needs to write a song entitled "Black Panel Vans."

Clandestine,
Aunt Beast

28 October 2011 )


* "Mankind is kept alive by bestial acts."
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: (Bowie3)


My thanks to [livejournal.com profile] stillsostrange for turning me onto The National. I bought High Violet this afternoon.
greygirlbeast: (white)
I don't think I have anything in me today worthy of an actual entry, than to note The Day, and perhaps a couple of other minor this or that.

Yesterday, as regards those who are too cool for school, and who, on general principle, cannot possibly enjoy a film like Cowboys and Aliens, [livejournal.com profile] opalblack wrote:

Everyone's too Hip and Cool to enjoy fun any more. It's like the whole world is an uptight teenager trying to impress everyone with how grown up it is, by smoking behind the toilets, looking bored, and mocking everything. Balls to that. I invoke The Law Of Awesome in this place, none of that bullshit here, thank you.

Indeed. Though, the word awesome, overused to a state of wearisome threadbareness, is beginning to grate.

And yes, I came to westerns very early in my life, and I've loved them ever since.

As for that "variant" spelling of Siobhan, it was a typo (which may appear throughout the manuscript, I don't know), though there are very many variants of the name, which is the feminized version of the Gaelic appropriation of John.

Also, I'm discovering I hate MMORPG culture. A lot of immature, ignorant, dick-measuring, pigheaded motherfuckers.

And.

Today marks the sixteenth anniversary of Elizabeth's suicide. She would be 40.

And there's this, which is a song we shared, and which she loved, in a time and place that is gone.

I still have this.

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: (starbuck1)
The snow is here again. Not that it ever went anywhere. The new snow is here, adding another stratum atop the last. Though, at least it may not be as bad as the Weather Channel was predicting last night (early this ayem). Still, I don't think Providence will be free of this blanket until sometime in late March. I woke this morning about seven o'clock and stood in the parlor a moment, in the perfect grey quiet, watching the slow white rain.

Note that between now and Valentine's Day, Spooky's offering free shipping on any jewelery purchase from her Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy Shop. Please have a look. Right now, my favorite piece is the mermaid's garden skeleton key necklace. I tried to get her not to sell it, but I usually lose those arguments. So, buy it for someone and make him, her, or it very happy, with my blessings.

Yesterday was...I'm not sure I have an adjective for what yesterday was. In my Moleskine I wrote, "Scaling back ambition." And also, "This is the day when I realized that I'll not be writing the book I thought I'd be writing, but, instead, the book that I can write." Spooky and I spent hours talking through what's left to be done, how much has been written thus far, deadlines, the story as I understand it, and my somewhat precarious mental state. I have two months until I have to deliver the novel, and if I'm only halfway through, I'd need until the end of May. Which I don't have and can't get. Also, the manuscript would be, at a conservative estimate, 150,000 words long (my contract stipulates 100k). And, sure, it's nice to take the high road and declare that the book will be as long as the book needs to be. But, sometimes, the high road is inaccessible to even the best climbers, and another route has to be found. Yesterday, I began finding that alternate path through The Drowning Girl, seeking another way to tell exactly the same story without rewriting anything I've done so far. It's going to require at least a few days to sort out, but I'm starting to see how it can be done.

Probably, yesterday was the most utterly terrified I've been of and about this novel, and also the day when I suddenly felt very relieved. Someday, when it's finished, I can talk particulars.

And my thanks for all the kind words that people offered in the comments yesterday. As much as words can help, they helped. I read them all, even if I didn't reply to them all. I finally admitted, publicly to something I've known for a long time. In response to [livejournal.com profile] whiskeychick, I wrote:

"...the truth is that, in one way or another, I've been writing exactly the same book, trying to achieve exactly the same catharsis, since Silk. It will never be written out, and I have to accept that. Haunted people do not get unhaunted, and closure is essentially a lie."

It is my intention never to write this book again after The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. I won't have written it out, or found "closure," or have healed, or any of that nonsense. It'll still be right here locked up in my chest, where it's always been. But what's going to make this novel different from all the others will be Imp coming to understand that haunted is forever. There are no exorcists, no psychiatric miracles, no magic words, no salted earth, no cleansing fire, nothing with the power to dispel our ghosts. Not really. And you live, or you die. Either way, you move on.

Anyway....

Not much else to yesterday. I was very late at the doctor, until about 8:30, and then there was the market, and dinner, and a few hours of intense rp in Insilico. The latest incarnation of the Xiang AI may not be the strangest yet, but she may be the most lost. Oh, she named Nemo. Then, I was unable to get to sleep until almost five ayem, and didn't sleep long enough to escape the effects of the Seroquel, so I'm kind of oogy just now. And here's the view from our front parlor window this morning:

1 February 2011 )


On this day in 1926, eighty and five years ago, "The Call of Cthulhu" first appeared in print.
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: (white2)
Yesterday was almost, and perhaps actually, a total loss, so far as writing is concerned. I managed only 285 words on "The Jetsam of Disremembered Mechanics," and then I just...locked up. I couldn't tell if what I was writing was good enough. I was suddenly no longer certain if any part of the story was anything but trite, hollow...and so I locked up. I sat here another hour or so, angry and baffled and aware that it might all have stemmed from my having used Ambien to get to sleep Tuesday morning. Finally, Spooky said I should get up, that we should get out of the house. And so we did.

Though it was late in the day when we left, we headed across town to the Bell Gallery (Brown University) at 64 College Street, which is currently featuring Rachel Berwick's installation "Zugunruhe." Berick's work generally concerns species that have recently become extinct, or were thought to be extinct until recently, or may soon be extinct— the Tasmanian tiger, the Galapagos tortoise, the coelacanth, etc. "Zugunruhe" is devoted to the passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius), a bird that once inhabited North America in almost unimaginable numbers, but was wiped out during the 1800's by hunting and deforestation. The species was effectively extinct in the wild by the early 20th Century. The last captive specimen died at the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1, 1914 (the last authenticated sighting in the wild was made in Pike County, Ohio, on March 22, 1900).

The instillation is startling in its simplicity. First, we are greeted by an enormous copy of Audubon's 1840 Birds of America (five feet wide when opened), displaying his life-sized illustration of the passenger pigeon. And then there are grey walls on which have been recorded excerpts from the writings of 19th Century naturalists and hunters, describing the almost unbelievable size of Ectopistes migratorius flocks. On a pedestal stands a glass bell jar or globe, inside of which is an odd contraption with a large brass needle which rotates erratically, almost compass like, both recalling migratory instincts and pointing to the quotes on the walls. The final part of the instillation is a great heptagonal glass case in a darkened room. The case contains a tree, and the branches of the tree are festooned with hundreds of passenger pigeons cast in orange copal (a million or so years old, an immature form of amber).

By the way, "zugunruhe" is a an obscure German ornithological term for the nighttime restlessness displayed by migratory birds.

---

Leaving the gallery, just as the bells at Brown were tolling four p.m. (EST), I had a minor absence seizure. Which may explain the trouble I'd been having with the story, as work often becomes difficult before a seizure. We stopped by the market before heading home. There was Chinese takeout for dinner, as no one felt like cooking. We streamed a truly dreadful film from Netflix, Thora Birch and some other people in Sean McConville's Deadline (2009). This has to be one of the dullest films of the year, and I'm not sure why we didn't shut it off after the first twenty minutes. I will say, the ghost story is one of the most difficult supernatural tales to pull off effectively, especially in film, and one does not manage that trick by regurgitating every tiresome gimmick from the last decade of American and Japanese cinema (most of which never worked to begin with). Avoid this film. And you might also want to avoid WoW until after the "holidays," as its been infested with inappropriate Xmas idiocy again. We quested a bit in remote parts of the Howling Fjord and reached Level 71. There was a genuinely creepy encounter with the Lich King inside a sepulcher at the Vrykul city of Gjalerbron. Shaharrazad and Suraa slew the Vrykul queen Angerboda as she was attempting to resurrect King Ymiron. But the Lich King made a brief appearance and spirited the two giants away.

And that was yesterday. But there are photos:

15 December 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (Mars in space.)
By now, everyone should have Sirenia Digest #5. Feedback welcome. I need to sit down and read over "To One Who Has Lost Herself" again. On the final read-through, the final one before the digest went to [livejournal.com profile] thingunderthest for conversion to PDF, I only read "pas-en-arrière" aloud, looking for errrors, because I hadn't read it since sometime in March, right after I'd finished it. But...what day was this?...it was Tuesday. Tuesday, I wasn't in the mood to read my own material. This happens a lot. Once a piece is written, I rarely read it again. It's like, having written it, I need distance, and then I move on to other things and just never get back to whatever it was I've just written. So, on Tuesday, Spooky did the read-through on "To One Who Has Lost Herself" for me. And now I'm wanting to read the story again for myself. Anyway, if you'd like to get #5, all you have to do is subscribe today. Right now. A mere $10. And all April subscribers get a free and signed copy of Silk, which I will be happy to personalize if you so desire. And your name will go into the drawing for a copy of the Italian-language edition of Threshold. And, of course, you'll also be eligible for the next Monster Doodle Sculpture give-away. Just click here, read the FAQ (which should probably be updated), then subscribe.

Yesterday, when my work was done, no actual writing, just the busyness of writing, Spooky and I decided to visit Books Again in Decatur, where we still have credit because of all the books we took there just before the move here from the Kirkwood loft in December '04. It seems we only go on rainy days. It's a nice place to be on a rainy day. Anyway, we weren't there as long as usual, but I came away with the following:

A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore by Kenneth L. Gosner (Peterson Guides)
Atlantean Chronicles by Henry M. Eichner
Unfinished Tales by J. R. R. Tolkien
Dinosaur Tales by Ray Bradbury
The Land That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Small Blue Dot by Carl Sagan
The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway (a nice hardback from Scriber's, circa 1950s)

The Eichner book was a real score, a delightful bit of crackpottery, and I'll probably write more about it later. I needed the copy of Unfinished Tales, a hardback, because I only ever had a paperback and someone borrowed it years ago and never returned it (this has happened so many times I've ceased loaning books). And I already had a copy of Dinosaur Tales, but only in paperback, and this is the hardback with William Stout's wonderful cover. But. The real find was the 1962 Canaveral Press edition of Burrough's The Land That Time Forgot, which also includes the two sequels, The People That Time Forgot and Out of Time's Abyss, with beautiful illustrations by Mahlon Blaine.

And here's where the day got a little odd. I was browsing through the sf/fantasy books and Spooky emerges from the adjoining aisle with this volume of Burroughs and asks me if I have it, if I want it. I told her I only had the books in paperback, the Ace editions from the late 1970s, but that the Canaveral Press edition was the one I read as a child. There was a copy in the Leeds Public Library. I must have taken it out a hundred times between 1973 and 1978 or so. I was telling her all this, and as she handed me the book I noticed that it was a library discard...from the Leeds Public Library. Not believing that this could possibly be the very same copy I read as a child, I flipped through the pages, dumbfounded. I looked at the little slip of paper pasted into the back with return dates rubber-stamped on it, many of them from the 1970s. And then, on page 126, I found a note scribbled in the margin. In blue ballpoint. In my handwriting. Generally, I didn't write in books. It's one of those things my mother had managed to convince me was some sort of minor sin, like talking with my mouth full or making farty noises which my armpits. But here I had written in this book. It doesn't much matter what, and I can only guess the year. It was astounding. Like a note I'd left for myself, and here I was now, in Atlanta, all these lifetimes away, looking back across more than three decades and 130 miles and somehow that book had made the journey from the Leeds Public Library to this little bookshop in Atlanta. And I was holding it again. It's almost a ghost story, and I am ever impressed at the inevitable occurrence of such great unlikelihoods. Why the frell should anyone ever need goddesses greater than simple Chance and Happenstence?

Maybe I'll scan that page and post it here later.

Not much else to say about yesterday. I lay on the couch and read Unfinished Tales, "The Istari." Spooky made a wonderful sort of curry and coconut soup last night, with fresh basil, shitake, porta bellas, broccoli, and garlic, served over udon noodles. Then we watched Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), because she'd never seen it and after Titanic and Patton I was still in the mood for big movies. I love this film, but it's impossible not to make fun of Claudia Cardinale's ridiculous false eyelashes. I called them windshield wipers. Spooky called them tarantulas. I suppose tarantula's are more in keeping with the film. I didn't know until last night that Dario Argento worked on the script.

Oh, also, Spooky had a Coke Blak (Coke et coffee) yesterday and pronounced it "the nastiest thing I've ever put in my mouth." I only sniffed it, and that was more than enough to convince me she was right. Anyway, time to bake the doughnuts and flog the platypus and leave more notes for myself to find decades further along.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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