greygirlbeast: (alabaster2)
So, one hour ago, the first news of my Dark Horse Comics project, Alabaster, went up at Comic Book Resources. The "Twitterverse" (I shudder violently at that portmanteau) and Facebook have been awash in the announcement. First, here are relevant links:

1) The first announcement, plus an exclusive (and informative) interview at Comic Book Resources.

2) A large, full-colour version of the cover for #1, by the amazing Greg Ruth.

3) The official Dark Horse press release.

Here's a secret I've carried since late last year. If you guys think it was hard waiting a week to hear the news, imagine my having to wait the better part six months to see the announcement! Actually, my first meeting with Dark Horse was in Portland last year, during the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival. Since then, I knew I would be doing something with Dark Horse, but many possible projects were tossed about.

Then it was decided last November that I would do an illustrated Dancy Flammarion prose story for Dark Horse Presents #9. I wrote the prose story, "Bus Fare," (delivered on April 12th). And then, in late May, it was decided that the prose story would become a comic, but would still appear in DHP #9, and would still be titled "Bus Fare." And then things...took off. By July, I knew there would be an actual Alabaster comic series, beginning in 2012, and that the eight-page "Bus Fare" would become the first eight-pages of the first issue. Except, those eight pages grew into twenty-four pages, and I finished the first issue in September. The second was written in October. "Wolves" became the title for the first mini-series, which will, later, be collected in hardback format, and then in trade paperback. The first issue will be released in April 2012. The Eisner-Award nominated Steve Lieber is the series' artist, and he's making wonderful things from my scripts. My editor is the vivacious Rachel Edidin.

I'm not sure if this question was answered in the interview, but I'll answer it again here. It is no secret that I was pretty much never happy at DC/Vertigo, at least not after 1997 (though, yes, there were two attempts to return to work with them after The Sandman Presents – Bast: Eternity Game [2003]. Longtime blog readers will recall the work I did trying to get two titles*, first The Chain [2004, with Ted Naifeh] and then Bullet Girl [2005, with Peter Gross, which was, by the way, an utter and protracted nightmare, insuring I would never again even speak with anyone at DC**]). After 2005, I declared I would never again work in comics, unless, perhaps, certain criteria were met. The first of these was that the project would be 100% creator-owned. Suffice to say, Dark Horse was agreeable. Dancy Flammarion remains my own. The stories I will write for Dark Horse remain my own. All of it. Had Dark Horse not agreed to this particular point, this wouldn't be happening.

Gods, I'm probably leaving out a lot. But there are still things I'm not at liberty to discuss, and this is already a lot – what I've said here – and I'm haggard. I'll probably think of more stuff by tomorrow. Feel free to ask questions. I just can't promise I can answer them (questions I cannot answer, I'll simply not answer). Meanwhile, as they say, "Happy, happy, joy, joy."

Wearily Glad to Have That Out,
Aunt Beast

* Well, there's a future Sirenia Digest story, with art.
** That both projects went south was not the fault of the artists. They both rocked through the bullshit, and continue to do so.
greygirlbeast: (goat girl)
And today, is Ray Bradbury's 91st birthday. Thank you, Mr. Bradbury, for Mars, Cooger and Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show, bottles of dandelion wine, that foghorn, the Elliot family, and a thousand other wonders.

Sunny and cool here in Providence, thanks to a low humidity and dew point. Very windy.

Turns out, as of yesterday, we're moving the entire shoot for The Drowning Girl book trailer and The Drowning Girl: Stills From a Movie That Never Existed from Boston the Rhode Island. This happens this coming weekend, so things here will grow increasingly chaotic. [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy and crew will arrive on Friday evening, and as we only really have about a day and a half to shoot, it's going to be intense. But, hopefully, fun intense, and hopefully many wonderful things will come of it. Oh, and yesterday Michael Zulli showed me the underpainting of his version of G.P.S.'s The Drowning Girl (1898), and, even at this unfinished stage, it's beautiful. A part of the novel is coming alive and will exist beyond the printed page, and I thank him so much for that.

As announced, yesterday was a "day off." I still spent about three or four hours working, but there was no writing. What we did do, though, is go to Swan Point Cemetery for the first time since the ugly fiasco of the 20th of August 2008. I do not know if it was my post, then Boing Boing picking up the story of the verbal assault against me and Spooky, and the story spreading across the interwebs that led to a major change in Swan Point security, or if it was that combined with other incidents, or if it didn't involve my experience at all. But it has changed, and wonderfully so. There are visitors again, and bicyclists, and the air of oppression has been lifted. For the first time in three years (!!!) we were able to visit Lovecraft's grave. Likely, things have been better there for a year or two, but I've just not been able to return, that incident in 2008 was so upsetting. There was a big gathering on Saturday to commemorate HPL's birth date, but I didn't want to be a part of the crowd, so I waited until yesterday (I don't think the Old Gent would have minded my tardiness). We walked around the beautiful cemetery, me making notes, recording names for future stories and novels, getting mosquito bites, and marveling at trees. We found a huge red oak (Swan Point is also an arboretum) , and I took a single leaf and pressed it in between the pages of my Molskine. The cemetery was so, so peaceful: bird songs, the wind through trees, insects, the Seekonk flowing past to the east, and very little else. It was at least part ways as grounding as the sea.

We saved HPL's grave for the last. There were many a wonderful offering carefully laid above the grave. I left a tiny button in the shape of a black cat; knowing his love of cats, it seemed very appropriate. Anyway, hopefully we are now all free to visit the grave whenever we like, and I can only hope that asshole security guard was fired. Yesterday, I felt like I'd gotten back something very grand and important to me. There are photos below, behind the cut.

Afterwards, we had an early dinner at Tortilla Flats.

And I have a long day ahead of me. Spooky's begun cleaning the apartment in anticipation of the arrival of photographers (and all their gear) and models/actresses on Friday. I have to begin Chapter 8, the final chapter of Blood Oranges, which I hope to make very significant progress on this week and finish early next week.

21 August 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
It's warmer than expected today, maybe one of the last genuinely warm days of summer. I want to swim, not sit here and write.

Sirenia Digest #68 will be going out to subscribers sometime today. I only just got Vince's illustration. It's one I like quite a lot. Vince's illustration, I mean. But the issue's not so bad, either.

And yesterday was actually very fucking, amazingly, astoundingly wonderful. I am not at liberty to say why, so you're just going to have to take my word for it. You may recall way back on June 9th, when I wrote in the blog "I received NEWS THAT IS SO GOOD, SO COOL, that I may very possibly explode before I'm permitted to spill the beans." Well, yesterday that fabled green light shone down upon all those involved, and it would be difficult for me to explain how pleased I am at this turn of events. It is far beyond awesome. But no, I can't tell you what I'm talking about. There will be an announcement – though it may yet be a month or two away – but it won't be made here, and it won't be made by me. When it happens, someone will surely see or hear it before me. But you'll all know, soon. And trust me, I hate keeping secrets worse than you hate having them kept from you.

I spent the day tweaking #68. That sounds like a line from an SF story, doesn't it?

I can also say, with enormous relief, that the long impoverished period that Spooky and I have spent the last year and a half struggling through has ended. Things will be better now. I won't stop worrying about money, because I never stop worrying about money (and this is a thing I hate more than words can say). But my thanks to everyone who has helped us through that long rough patch, in all the many ways that you have helped.

Relieved,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (sol)
Comment, kittens.

It seems that, in the past twenty-one hours or so, I have suffered a massive reversal of fortune. Suddenly, I am no longer debt poor (though a few publishers still owe smaller advances, some of which are horrendously late), our guild was able to transfer to Faeblight (Riftspeak, ignore), and Spooky is off retrieving the automobile from the team of gorillas who have been holding it hostage! (She just returned, and we had a belated "breakfast").

So, um...better now. My agent made me promise to buy another coolerator. I considered naming it after her – Merrilee – but think, instead, I'll named it Astor, as Writers House is in one of his old banks. Anyway, suddenly life sucks a lot less, and bills can be paid, and cats can go to the vet, and I can get my office in better order, and all manner of things have been made good again.

If you've not yet ordered Two Worlds and In Between, do so!

Yesterday, I sat here in the heat (I did not adjourn to either middle parlour or bedroom – the two coolish rooms – as I am a fool) and wrote 1,117 words on "The Granting Cabinet," which I began back before Readercon 22. They were 1,117 words written mostly in a fever, I think. But then, clouds came, and there was rain, and the temperature Outside plunged ten degrees in about half an hour, and a sweet, cool breeze blew in through my office window.

---

I forgot, yesterday, to mention two movies we watched during the con (while hiding in the room between programming obligations). The first, Jonathan Liebesman's Battle Los Angeles is an oddly forgettable film. We rather enjoyed it while we were watching it. Good SFX, a serviceable script, Michelle Rodriguez, halfway decent cinematography, and so forth. A good summer B-grade flick. But the next day, my memories of it made Battle Los Angeles seem, at best, only half as good as it had seemed as we watched. This same thing happened when I saw Sin City (2005), and it's happened with other films. There's a magic, for me, while I'm watching, that appears to fade upon reflection. Anyway, I'd still say it's worth a rental or free streaming. If you like blow-'em-up marines versus extraterrestrial invaders films (and I generally do), you could do worse.

But the next film we watched was pure celluloid shit. Unless no one uses celluloid anymore, in which case it was shit of some other sort. Catherine Hardwicke's Red Riding Hood. Of course, this is the woman who made the screen adaptation of Twilight, so I was hardly surprised. It's sort of hard to explain how perfectly awful this film is. Even Gary Oldman didn't help. He just looked bored and trapped and recited his lines like a sleepwalker. Though set in some vaguely Medieval village, the costumes all looked like they'd come straight from a ren-fair. You could tell sewing machines were involved, and colors that would not possibly have been available were everywhere. Shiloh Fernandez (Peter) is a dead-ringer for Edward Cullen, right down to the hair gel and the terminally blank expression. Massively uneven art direction. The only thing that didn't stink of the fecal matter of aardvarks was the werewolf, which was a case of very creepy, effective CGI. But it couldn't save this turkey. Avoid it like the plague. Had I paid to see this film, I actually would have walked out halfway through and asked for a refund. I could have written a long and insightful review of this film, but it's just not worth the time and effort.

---

In the first paragraph of Sunday's blog entry I typed self when I meant to type shelf, which has to be indicative of some unconscious glitch.

---

My thanks to [livejournal.com profile] cucumberseed for a truly superb mix CD. Also, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark for going far above and beyond to help me and Spooky retain our sanity during Readercon.

---

I've played this round, I've played your lover.
I've played it out and to the hilt.
You're coming on with something so fast, so numb
That you can't even feel.

You love it.
You hate it.
But you want to re-create it.
Now this is here. This is me.
This is what I wanted
You to see.
That was then. That was that.
That is gone. That is what
I wanted you to feel.
-- R.E.M.

To the hilt,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Overcast and dreary here in Providence.

Another very good writing day yesterday. I did 1,670 words on The Drowning Girl. Keeping this book's voice on course is a matter of always having to remind myself that I'm writing a book by a schizophrenic, not a book about a schizophrenic. At any rate, the Word Bank grows.

Nothing spectacular about yesterday. It was just a decent day, and those are always welcome. We lit the fireplace for the first time this year. There was a problem with the oven not lightning, but the repair guy came and fixed it. Spooky made corn muffins to go with the second night of chicken and andouille stew. Lately, I love days strewn with mundane events.

---

Before anyone else gets this wrong, I need to clarify the matter about Rhode Island electing its first independent governor. Lincoln D. Chafee is not a Libertarian, sensu the Libertarian Party. He is a civil libertarian, but that's another thing altogether. I would imagine he's many of the things Libertarians hate. For instance, he opposes eliminating the federal estate tax and, on November 17, 2005, was the only Republican to vote in favor of reinstating the top federal income tax rate of 39.6% on upper-income payers. Moreover, I am not a Libertarian. Moreover, I detest the Libertarian Party and have since college. Were I to categorize myself politically, I'd probably say I'm a far-left leaning Democrat. So, hope we're all clear on that now.

---

I've been playing lots of City of Heroes and Villains lately. Too much really, which is what happens when I'm having too much fun. I'm not so much crazy about the game part of the game, which I find clunky and unnecessarily tedious. What I love is the huge pool of actual roleplayers who know how to, you know, roleplay. But there is one thing that's begun to wear on me, and it came up again last night, for about the umpteenth time (LJ can spell "umpteenth," but not "LJ"?). When I created my character, I wrote some very particular Lovecraftian stuff into her background. What I did not realize was how much CoX players rely on the "Call of Cthlhu" rpg for their understanding of Lovecraft, rather than relying on Lovecraft's actual writing.

The problem with this is that the rpg is drawn from the "Mythos" invented by August Derleth, and not from HPL. Yes, Derleth likely saved Lovecraft from oblivion, but in the process he managed to mangle the basic Cosmicism if HPL's work. I'm not going into all the whys and wherefores right now, though I'm thinking of devoting a post to it later on. I would refer people to Richard L. Tierney's essay, "The Derleth Mythos," only it's pretty much impossible to find****. I'd refer people to S.T. Joshi's The Rise and Fall of the Cthulhu Mythos, only few people are going to take the time to read what is, essentially, an entire book on the problem of what Lovecraft actually wrote vs. how Derleth rewrote Lovecraft, and how it's the revisionist stuff that has embedded itself so deeply in pop culture (including the "Call of Cthulhu" rpg).

But no, you cannot ward off Nyarlathotep with an elder sign, any more than you can fend off a cometary impact with a Hostess Twinkie. No, elder signs are not like Raid to the Old Ones. No, the Lovecraft Mythos (as opposed to Derleth's "Cthulhu Mythos") is not a battle between "good" and "evil," which is, to quote Derleth, "basically similar" to the Christian Mythos. No, the "Elder Gods" (mostly invented by Derleth and successors) are not powers of "good" at war with the "evil" Great Old Ones. And so on, and so forth.

Mostly, it's becoming clear to me (and Joshi points this out in the aforementioned book) that many who utilize various elements from Lovecraft's writing have never actually read Lovecraft. They've come by his "gods" and various entities and elements and fictional texts secondhand, via such wrongheaded sources as "The Call of Cthulhu" rpg or writers who followed Derleth (such as, ugh, Brian Lumley). Now, I can be very naive, I admit, and this comes as a shock to me. And I will not rp pseudo-Lovecraft. It squicks me out. But I love CoX, and pseudo-Lovecraft is everywhere...so...I don't know. Maybe I'll just drop all the HPL elements from Erzsébetta's backstory and steer clear of the silly stuff.

I don't want to be off-putting to other players, almost all of whom I've enjoyed rping with, but also can't, in good conscience, as a writer, Lovecraft devotee and HPL scholar, take part in the propagation of the bastardized ideas I've spent so much energy trying to dispel.

I imagine maybe five people who read this blog will give a give a rat's ass about all this. I just had to vent.

---

Anyhow, donuts and all...

**** My thanks to [livejournal.com profile] jreynolds for pointing out that Tierney's essay is, in fact, online, so it's not hard to find, and you may read it if you so desire.
greygirlbeast: (Jupiter)
Yesterday was a thing I almost never have. Yesterday was a damn near perfect day. A day that sucked in no perceivable way, and was filled with things that were actually good.

I wrote 1,618 words and found THE END of "And the Cloud That Took the Form..." It's a really fine little vignette, which is to say I'm quite happy with it. Alien life in the tropopause of Jupiter and a Fortean occurrence on a back road in eastern Connecticut. Oh, and it quotes a Ben Bova novel, which is something I never thought I'd do. Today, I'll begin the second piece for Sirenia Digest #59. I know it's about masks, and probably about a mask maker. And I should thank [livejournal.com profile] alvyarin for suggesting I do something with masks in #59.

And yesterday I was gifted with Sylvanas Windrunner by kindly readers, which, alone, probably would have been sufficient to make my day.

Here's the link to PodCastle's adaptation of "The Belated Burial," which went live yesterday. I'm considering doing a podcast of my own, once a month, one short piece of fiction a month, free to everyone. But, like most transgendered people, I loathe my voice, so that's something that's always held me back from doing podcasts. The gulf between the way I sound in my head and the way I sound. It's easy for other people to say they like my voice; it's impossible for me to agree. I may post a poll this evening, to gauge interest.

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

---

Last night, we attended the reopening of the transit room at Ladd Observatory, now that the restoration project is complete. Ladd Observatory was opened in 1891, under the direction of Winslow Upton (1853-1914). To quote the Ladd website, "A regular program of transit observations and timekeeping was started in 1893. Prof. Charles Smiley, famous for his observations of solar eclipses, became director of Ladd Observatory in 1938."

Lovecraft aficionados will recall that, as a boy, HPL was given access to the instruments at the observatory (Upton was a family friend, and HPL was a precocious child). As S.T. Joshi records in Lovecraft: A Life (Necronomicon Press, 1996), HPL wrote, "The late Prof. Upton of Brown...gave me the freedom of the college observatory, & I came and went there at will on my bicycle" (this from an essay written in 1934). Between 1903 and 1907, HPL produced an amateur publication (printed on a hectograph), The Rhode Island Journal of Astronomy. This between the ages of 13 and 17; he ceased to visit the observatory shortly after he ceased printing this journal (and there's a long story there, which I'll not go into).

Anyway, last night we were not only able to see the restored transit room. Outside, on the upper observation deck (the roof, essentially), the night was cold and clear. Even through the glare of the waxing gibbous moon and Providence's light pollution, we were given an amazing view of Jupiter and the four Galilean moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. With my own eye, I saw Europa! There was a wonderful symmetry to viewing Jupiter only hours after finishing "And the Cloud That Took the Form..." Plus, I got to see it during one of those rare (and as yet mysterious) periods when the lower primary cloud band isn't visible.

Also, while on the roof, we glimpsed Uranus through a Newtonian reflector telescope. A speck of brilliant white* against the blackness, twenty times farther from Earth than the distance between the Earth and Sun (so, about two billion, nine hundred and ninety million kilometers). We also had an unbelievably sharp view of the moon through the huge 12" refracting telescope (with equatorial mounting and mechanical clock drive, made by George N. Saegmüller of Washington D.C). The towering ridges of impact craters glowed starkly against the lunar horizon, with the basalt plains of lunar maria stretching away in their lee. It was awesome, in the truest, original sense of the word.

There are some photographs, though, obviously, a dark observatory transit room isn't the best place to take digital photos without a flash or tripod:

19 October 2010 )


* Light that would have left Uranus two hours and forty-six minutes (give or take a pile of seconds) before I saw it.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
This will probably come out all higgledy-piggeldy. this journal entry. But I will persevere, nonetheless. Any day that begins by reading a report of new fossils of the Early Miocene-aged bird Pelagornis chilensis, confirming that it had a wingspan of 5.2 meters (about 17 feet), can't be all bad. That's a wingspan roughly double that of an albatross.

And yesterday was a good writing day, thanks to having slept. I hear people who seem to boast about their insomnia. "Oh, hell. I haven't slept since 1979!" You know, like it's a point of pride. Maybe they're just scrabbling for a silver lining, but it never feels that way to me. Anyway, I did 1,319 words on my piece for The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities. I should finish it today. It doesn't really have a title yet, but concerns a very grim artifact known to some as the "Castleblakeney Key," and it's written entirely in excerpts from letters, scientific and other academic journals, books, and the like. I think I like it a great deal. It's just been a bitch to write. Not sleeping hasn't helped.

I've decided that the trip to Manhattan needs to be postponed until after the HPLFF. So, early or mid October. I spoke with my agent yesterday. Now I need to get in touch with Peter, and with my editor at Penguin.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, if you've not already. Some of the auctions end tomorrow. Also, Spooky has begun making Halloween decorations, so you may want to have a look at her Dreaming Squid Dollworks & Sundries shop at Etsy.

---

When I was in my late twenties and still living in Birmingham, I ran in certain circles. Circles within circles, for that matter. High society for Southern drag queen débutantes and grande dames, a coterie of queer druggies and hustlers and bartenders. Lesbian bouncers and pool sharks. The day began at sunset and ended at dawn (so winters were preferred). It was another time and another place. It was vile, and it was degrading, and it was beautiful. I find I am capable of being both nostalgic for those circles, and grateful I lived through it all. Many of my friends didn't. They died of one or another of the inevitable hazards of being part of those circles. We all thought we would live forever, and we thought that world would last forever.

There was a man who went by the name of Rocky. I have no idea what his real name was, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't Rocky. I thought he was handsome as hell, and I had a crush on him. He wore leather bomber jackets and styled his hair in a pompadour. He drove these antique Mercedes-Benzes, so I imagined he was wealthy. Turns out he wasn't. He was a chauffeur and a heroin dealer. But I still had a crush on him.

Our paths finally crossed one night, because someone told someone who ran with Rocky that I had a crush on him, and I suppose it amused him. I won't be so arrogant as to imagine it flattered him. So, that night, he drove me around the Southside of Birmingham in one of those beautiful old cars. I was wearing this ridiculous, tattered wedding dress I'd found in a thrift store called Memory Lane. After the drive, we went back to his apartment, and I shot heroin for the first time. It was also the last time, because it was so good, so utterly better-than-sex good, that I knew if I ever did it again, I'd wind up addicted. And I was already on pills and booze. Anyway, I threw up, which wasn't very ladylike, but Rocky was cool about the whole thing. I sat in the same chair for hours, numb and thrumming and staring at the city lights, flying on that dose of smack. Rocky was a gentleman. I can't remember a single goddamn thing we talked about.

I have all these memories in my head, and I think I want to start writing them down. All these people and places that I've hinted at in my books, that I've fictionalized, But at forty-six, I begin to feel the tug of mortality, and I think of those memories being lost forever. I think of what Roy says at the end of Blade Runner, just before he releases the dove: I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the darkness at Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain.

Yeah, sounds pretty sappy. But still. I think I'm going to start writing those things down here, from time to time. I hope I don't embarrass my mother too much. Though, it's hard to imagine that's even still possible these days.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
This morning, I dreamed of meeting Bob Dylan.

Yesterday, I walked in the sea.

No writing yesterday. I'd not really left the House since we did Gallery Night at the RISD Museum last Thursday (June 17th), and I was getting a little restless. So we went to Conanicut Island and Beavertail State Park. To the rocks and the sea. We parked and followed a path down to the western shore of the island, about .45 miles north if the point. The day was hot, and the sun a bit brutal down on the slate and phyllite. After a few minutes of watching the sea and looking for beach glass, I waded into the surf. I've never done this at Beavertail before, despite our many trips there. I went in as far as my thighs. And it was wonderful.

The water was icy, but the shock passed quickly. And I just stood there, feeling the sea all around me, pushing me and pulling me. I have resolved that I'm going to begin swimming again (I was once an excellent swimmer), and that next time we go to Beavertail, I'm swimming. I have to get this body back into shape, and swimming is one of the best things I could do towards that end.

There are trails along the cliffs that we'd never before explored, and we followed them south. The woods were full of birds: catbirds, red-winged blackbirds, starlings, pine warblers. Spooky spotted what we think was a Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra). We saw osprey nesting in the salt marshes, and egrets. Off shore, there were cormorants. There were gulls everywhere, of course. And rabbits. The dog roses are in full bloom, and the rose hips are ripening. So are the blackberries. There were tiger lilies on the cliff sides, in amongst the great green tangles of wild grape, blackberry, green brier, poison ivy, raspberry, honeysuckle, and milkweed. As we walked, the day turned overcast and cooler, as a mist began moving up from the direction of Point Judith, sweeping over Narragansett Bay. I found a sheltered cove where I intend to swim, despite the especially steep path down to the rocky beach.

But all the time we were out, it was impossible not to think about the Gulf of Mexico and the BP petrocalamity. It was impossible not to think about how easily we could lose the bay. One really bad tanker spill. There was a bad one at Moonstone Beach, back on January 19, 1996, when the tank barge North Cape and the tug Scandia grounded there. This was nothing remotely in the range of what's happening in the gulf, but, fourteen years later, there are still plenty of signs of that spill, including thick rubbery hydrocarbon mats between the rocks at Green Hill. It was also impossible not to think of the fact that we drove about 70 miles, round trip from and back to Providence, to have that day on the island. That's roughly 3.5 gallons of gasoline, refined from a well somewhere in the world.

---

Back home, Spooky made a cold dinner (my appetite has been off for days) of chicken, feta cheese, cucumber, watermelon, and olive bread. I was a bit groggy from all the sun. We spent much of the evening with the PlayStation. Spooky played Folklore and I played Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. I've really missed the lombax. Later, she looked at a craft magazine my mother sent her, and I browsed through Martin J. S. Rudwick's Worlds Before Adam: The Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Reform (University of Chicago Press, 2008), but I was too bleary to actually read.

Oh, Vince sent me the pencils of his illustration for "Tidal Forces," and it's gorgeous. I'd feared this story wouldn't be amenable to illustration, but I was wrong.

Also, may I refer you to [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna's (Cat Valente) "5 Reasons You Should Not IM Me," because I couldn't have said it better myself, and now I do not have to try.

And here are some photos from yesterday:

26 July 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
The weather is still sunny today, if a bit cooler. But I have the office window open anyway, because rain is coming tomorrow, and I want all the fresh air I can get before things get wet again. Spring comes so slowly to Providence, compared to Atlanta and Birmingham. Of course, it would be equally true to say that spring comes so quickly to Atlanta and Birmingham, compared to Providence. It's all a matter of perspective.

A good writing day yesterday. I did 1,358 words on "Houndwife." I am pleased with how this story is coming along, and where it's going. I did find myself wondering, yesterday, how Lovecraft would feel about someone writing a sequel to "The Hound" to the music of Polly Jean Harvey and Patti Smith, then someone on Facebook pointed out to me that Patti Smith had actually appeared at one of the Lovecraft Film Festivals in Portland, where she read some of HPL's poetry. This doesn't answer my question, of course, but it is cool as hell.

Yesterday evening, before dark, I went Outside with Spooky, as far as the markets on the east side, just to get out of the house. There was a grand sunset. All in all, my mood is much improved. I'm sleeping without Ambien (four nights now), which means the nightmares are worse, but I feel better during the day, not fighting against a zolpidem hangover while I'm awake. I think the warmer weather and the trip to Cambridge on Thursday have done me a world of good (my thanks again to Greer, Sonya, and Chris). I'm riding this peak as long as it lasts, and taking it for all it has to give.

I've been reading the new Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, which arrived sometime last week. So far, I've made my way through papers on the dolichosaur Acetosaurus tommasinii, the cranial anatomy of the basal ceropdan dinosaur Changchunsuarus parvus, and Late Cretaceous snakes from the Maevarano Formation of Madagascar.

Oh, and the octopus has now been sexed, and his name will definitely be Nemo. I suppose, when the name first occurred to me, I was thinking of Jules Verne and Prince Armitage Ranjit Dakkar, but there's also the word's Latin meaning ("no one" or "nobody"). And there's the Nightwish song of the same title, and Winsor McCay's dreamer, and the oceanic pole of inaccessibility, and...well, take your pick. They all work for me.

-2 Eve

May. 25th, 2006 11:38 am
greygirlbeast: (mirror2)
First things frelling first. A very, very happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] docbrite. You old bastard, who'd have ever thought we'd both stick around so goddamn long, hmmm?

Yesterday was something I don't seem to get very often. Yesterday was a genuinely good day, top to bottom, side to side, stem to stern. When it was over and done and I was lying awake in bed at 3:30 a.m., it occurred to me that I had no complaints. And it had not been merely a neutral day during which the shitstorms had been held at bay, but a day which was simply nice. So, if the Cosmos listens, thank you. May I have another, please? It was also a stellar writing day. I'm no longer sure what my personal best is, my "most words in a single day" count, and some kind soul should scour the journal for me and figure it out. But. Yesterday I did a perfectly astounding 2,404 words between about 1:45 p.m. and 7:12 p.m. and finished the first half of "The Black Alphabet." And, what's still more amazing, it was actually fun to write. I did G-M. I'm pretty sure that "The Black Alphabet" trumps everything else I've done thus far in Sirenia Digest for raw, undiluted, honest kink. That's my soul up there, you know? Reading it to Spooky late yesterday, I was like, wow, I actually wrote this stuff down, and I'm actually going to let all these people read it. Exhibitionist me. So, yeah. A very good writing day. The first half of "The Black Alphabet" comes in at 3,674 words (before proofreading/editing). I'd meant to do only a hundred to two hundred words per letter, but a few, like L, went on much, much longer. The second half will appear in Sirenia Digest #7 in June.

[livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus has suggested I run a poll to help decide which of the vignettes will be selected for the 10,000 words of reprint that will comprise half of Tales from the Woeful Platypus, and I may do that. Thing is, since only half the book is reprint, and since the vignettes have tended to run on a bit longer than those in Frog Toes and Tentacles, I can only choose three or four for reprint. Yet another reason to subscribe (hint, hint). Most of what goes into the digest will not be reprinted in these Subterranean Press volumes. I am considering asking Bill if we can increase the length of TftWP from 20K to 30K words, but we're constrained by the small format of the book, which I do definitely want to keep. As they say on Nebari Prime, Srai' brel yi v'rest ("See we shall").

Neither of us felt like cooking last night, so we grabbed take-away from the Mellow Mushroom in Decatur. I celebrated having mostly finished writing this issue of the digest by watching a favourite ep of Farscape, "Fractures" (poor Hubero is still the cutest), and then we binged on four more eps of Dead Like Me. Sadly, only three remain, and it's painfully clear that there will be many, many loose threads left dangling by the show's untimely cancellation. Alas and alack and all. After dinner, before all the frelling television, we walked over to Freedom Park, the first time we'd braved it after dark. The park doesn't actually close until 11 p.m., and there were still a few dog-walkers out. The stars were surprisingly bright, considering all the Atlanta light pollution. Venus was ablaze. We spotted a satellite. I just wanted to lie down in the grass and spend the whole night there. Perhaps later in the summer. Oh, and I read another JVP article, a description of the cochleosaurid temnospondyl amphibian Nigerpeton ricqlesi. Really, the very worst thing I can say about yesterday is that Spooky and I both ended it with insomnia. She was up until after 5 a.m. I got to sleep about 4, but was awake before 9. And really, that's more about the space between yesterday and today than a reflection on either day.

However, this morning I had one of the worst cherry Danishes I've ever suffered through. Spooky brought it back from Aurora Coffee at L5P (she meant well). Locals, consider yourselves warned. The cherry part resembled nothing so much as candied monkey testicles.

At some point, Poppy was doing a "pet grammar peeve" of the day sort of thingy. Aside from my absolute loathing for l33t and txt tlk, I make a pretty poor excuse for a grammar Nazi. But I did think of one thing this morning which has begun to bug me, as I seem to notice it with increasing regularity — people who do not comprehend the difference between "were" and "was." There is a difference. For a reason. No, really.

Okay. My coffee cup is almost empty. Spooky's getting out of the tub. I have much to do today so that I won't have to work on -2. Well, -2 & 9 months. Oh, and just so you don't think this post has been entirely too cheery, I leave you with this sobering fact: at the current rate of deforestation, the rainforests of Madagascar will be gone, entirely gone, in only another 40 years, and with them will go all the lemurs and the Malagasy civet and the falanouc and all those other last vestiges of the Madagascan fauna will vanish, along with innumerable endemic plant species. By then, if I haven't departed this particular rock, I shall be -42. There. A little gloom and doom to see you through the day...

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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