greygirlbeast: (blackswan)
1. The cat's out of the bag. Yes, the work that I've been doing for SuicideGirls.com consists of being part of a development team creating a steampunk sister site, UnsavoryTarts.com. Not sure about the launch date. But I think the new site goes live in a few months.

2. Also, finally I can announce that the Alabaster film is in preproduction. Getting David Fincher on board as Executive Producer was entirely cockblocking the production, but now that he's agreed, Lion's Gate's announced that the project's greenlit. Yes, I'm very happy. In fact, I could hardly be happier, considering they've managed to sign Elle Fanning for the part of Dancy Flammarion. Also, Sid Haig will play the Bailiff, and Anne Hathaway has been cast as Aramat Drawdes (which, yes, gives away the fact that In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers forms part of the film). Wayne Barlowe will oversee creature design...and...I wish I could say more (the director, for example), but I can't. Except, maybe a summer 2014 release date.

3. Yesterday, no actual writing. Tons of email, though. Really. I weighed it.

4. I managed to get out of the house. We braved the shitty weather to make a trip to the Athenaeum. Just as we parked, it began to rain. By the time we left, it was snowing. By the time we got back to the house, it was snowing heavily. Fortunately, the ground was too warm for accumulation, so fuck you, Mr. Snow. At any rate, a good and productive trip to the library. There are photos below, behind the cut. But the coolest part by far was Spooky coming across a copy of Dashiell Hammett's 1931 anthology of macabre and suspense stories, Creeps by Night (The John Day Company). The book includes Lovecraft's "The Music of Erich Zann," and was one of the very few times in HPL's life that his fiction appeared in print outside the pulps, and one of the best pay checks he ever earned. Lovecraft was paid $25 for reprint rights. In 2008 dollars (best I could come up with), that's equivalent to about $317. This was two years after the beginning of the Great Depression. Anyway, I sat holding the volume, knowing that Lovecraft almost certainly held the very same copy at least once. The book was accessioned by the Athenaeum on September 27, 1932. Also, read Galway Kinnell's The Book of Nightmares (1971), which is on beyond beautiful.

5. Back home, I ripped off my left thumbnail. No, not on purpose.

6. I got to thinking yesterday about how my novels always wind up with theme songs. That is, one song usually gets associated, in my mind, with any given novel. With The Drowning Girl, it was Death Cab For Cutie's "I Will Follow You Into the Dark." With The Red Tree, it was Poe's "Haunted." With Daughter of Hounds, it was R.E.M.'s "You Are the Everything" (I think).

7. After the library, we stopped by the p.o., and there were a couple of packages waiting for me. [livejournal.com profile] hollyblack sent me a copy of Red Glove, which is now next in the to-be-read queue, after The Book Thief and Tender Morsels. There was also a package from Paul Riddell, which held many things, including a copy of Chuck Jones' Chuck Amuck. Books in the mail are a good thing. Yes, Precious.

8. Lying in bed last night, listening to Kathryn read Markus Zusak's brilliant, heart-breaking The Book Thief, this thought came to me: I could very well write a novel that offended no one, that was correct from every imaginable social and political perspective, and that wasn't, in any way, "triggering." Yes. I could do that. And it would be as bland as a mouthful of unsalted crackers, and it would be shit, and it would be of no worth to anyone. But I could do it. I could set aside all that "art is a hammer" nonsense. I could be safe and sterile and no one would ever have to worry that what they read between the covers of my books would cause them any discomfort of any sort.

And I made Spooky promise she'll take away my crayons and paper if i ever fucking do this.

9. No, I do not approve of Shopping-Enabled Wikipedia on Amazon. No, not even if it sells more of my books. No, not even if it makes our lives more convenient. It's still loathsome.

And now, photos:

31 March 2011 )


All photographs Copyright © 2011 by Caitlín R. Kiernan and Kathryn A. Pollnac
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Stardate: 64615.5

The Rift Headstart begins in about an hour and forty-five minutes, and I admit I'm distracted. I'd just take the day off, but I have a doctor's appointment tommorow, and I can't go losing two days in a row.

Yesterday, I wrote 2,104 words and found the end of the ninth chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. This leaves one more chapter and an epilogue, and then THE END.

Last night, we proofed "Onion" for Two Worlds and In Between. I wrote "Onion" in 2001, ten years ago. It won the International Horror Guild award for "Outstanding Achievement in Short Fiction," even though it's not a horror story. I traveled to Chicago, where the award was presented to me by Neil. And it was chosen by Ellen Datlow for Volume 15 of her and Terri Windling's The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. It was later collected in To Charles Fort, With Love. In 2007, A Big Hollywood Movie Producer spent months trying to get me to write a screenplay from it, and I tried. But he insisted the story was only the first half of a film, even though I explained to him that moving beyond the story's last page, where Willa gets up and walks away from Frank, would entirely collapse the story's fundamental mystery. I finally told him I just wasn't up to writing the screenplay. So, "Onion" has had some history. And I was pleased, last night, to discover that I still like the story. I made very few line edits.

I have to write a short essay on John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) for a book on the movie, a book that includes all sorts of incredible people. I should say I get to write, not I have to write. I truly am honored. I've found my essay, but for now it's a secret.

Last night, Shaharrazad moved on to Outland, where she and Suraa are in Shadowmoon Valley, working towards the Outland Loremaster achievement. But, I will admit, the wind's sort of been taken out of my sails. It's hard going back to that candy-colored cartoon world after Telara. I've announced that I'm looking for someone to take over the guild, Eyes of Sylvanas. I would like to see it live on without me.

Spooky and I will be rolling our Rift characters on the Shadefallen shard. They'll be Defiant, of course. Oh, and you only need four people to form a guild on Rift, and we might do that. If you interested, just say so, here or in an email.

A new world begins today.

Postscript (2:52 p.m.): Got both my desired names on Rift— Selwyn (Kelari mage) and Shaharrazad (Bahmi cleric). Woot, I say. Spooky, sadly, is stuck in the queue.
greygirlbeast: (blackswan)
More snow, falling since a few hours before sunrise. All the world out there looks soft and fluffy and oddly inviting, though, in truth, it's a few inches of fresh snow covering sheets of ice and enormous banks and mounds of old snow frozen solid as basalt. No safe place out there to put your feet. Currently, 28˚F, but the windchill means it feels like 17˚F.

Days that begin with film-rights nibbles are inevitably weird (no, I can't tell you anything, sorry). Those days unfurl like a ringing in the ears.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,446 words on The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. The manuscript is currently at 50,816 words, which means I'm probably a little less than halfway finished. As I told my agent yesterday, this novel is as different from The Red Tree, in tone and structure, as The Red Tree is from all the novels that came before it. I'm behind, but I'm still trying to finish Chapter 5 by the 24th. Lots of email yesterday. Another phone conversation with Lee Moyer about the cover for Two Worlds and In Between.

Despite the cold and the inclement weather, Spooky and I left the house for Gallery Night at the RISD Museum. Mostly, I needed to do a little more research for the novel, but hardly anyone came out last night, so the museum was quiet and peaceful. We also had to stop at two art supply places looking for violet gels. We finally settled for sheets of red and blue acetate (I'll maybe explain all this later). Anyway, then we stopped by Eastside Market for dinner and enough supplies that we wouldn't have to risk the ice for a couple of days. At the p.o. box, a copy of Emma Bull and Kyle Cassidy's wonderful The Strange Case of the Dead Bird on the Nightstand was waiting for us.

Crossing the Providence River on the way back, the water was black and still as ink.

We saw Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud's Despicable Me (2010) last night, and loved it. Really, a hilarious and almost painfully charming film. Steve Carell was perfect. I laughed untiil I hurt, and we've been quoting the movie all morning. I fear this is one we may have to own. Later, there was WoW, Shah and Suraa working through Level 84 towards 85, picking their way through Deepholm. And while I do think it's a beautifully designed region, I have to say that Therazane it one of the most poorly designed creatures in the history of the game. Before sleep, we read more Kit Whitfield, and I read a great article in the new issue of National Geographic about the evolution of feathers in dinosaurs. There's a wonderful opening paragraph I want to quote:

Most of us will never get to see nature's greatest marvels in person. We won't get to glimpse a colossal squid's eye, as big as a basketball. The closest we'll get to a narwhal's unicornlike tusk is a photograph. But there is one natural wonder that just about all of us can see, simply by stepping outside: dinosaurs using their feathers to fly. (Carl Zimmer)

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

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

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

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

Anyway, I'm running a little late, and there's email to answer, so I should probably wind this up.
greygirlbeast: (white2)
Not feeling very subtle this morning. Not feeling indirect. More like, just buy my damn book. Maybe the Bastard Fairies are a bad influence....

Nah. That's crazy talk.

A rainy day here in Providence. I'd hoped to get down to Beavertail this evening, to hear the waves against the rocks, but looks like that won't happen.

The Red Tree got its first film nibble yesterday. And now I'm waiting on a call from my film-rights agent at UTA. Over the years, I have learned Not To Get Excited when Hollywood looks my way. Still, it's nice to be noticed now and again.

Yesterday was...well...very busy and extremely chaotic. A frenzied day of work, eleven or so hours, until 10:30 p.m., but no actual writing was done. It was almost all promotional stuff for The Red Tree. The best part was getting more "evidence" ready for the website. It should go up this evening. The video clip was swapped out last night (thank you, [livejournal.com profile] scarletboi). I'm thinking clip four will be somewhat less oblique. Though I do love oblique. Anyway, that's what yesterday was like.

I begin to wonder if I've spread myself to thin, in my efforts to be sure this books sells. In the last couple months or so, I've expanded from LJ to Facebook and Twitter, and I'm updating regularly everywhere. Hell, yesterday, I even managed to make a post over at Amazon.com, my first since July 15th, 2006. Every single thing I can think to do, I've been doing. But...I think I've reached the end of my networking tether. No more new networks, please. Fortunately, I left my page at MySpace drifting like a derelict, so at least I don't have that to worry about. All of this has only served to make me even more certain I was meant to be a writer in the 1940s and 1950s, not the end of the 20th Century and the beginning of the 21st. I watch other people seeming to revel in information overload, and I simply do not understand.

I did manage to read something from the June issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology yesterday, "A reassessment of the Pteraichnus ichnospecies from the Early Cretaceous of Soria Province, Spain." And I had a short nap before a dinner of cold chicken and avocado.

Last night, we watched Fernando Meirelles' Blindness (2008), with Julianne Moore. An sf thriller in which a Canadian city, and possibly the whole world, suddenly suffers a plague of blindness. The film stumbles a couple of times near the beginning, and there's an awful infodump at one point, but the film finds itself in the second hour or so, and, in the end, proves very effective. I liked it quite a lot. But Blindness is not really a film about a plague of blindness, of course, anymore than World War Z is, ultimately, a book about zombies. The blindness of the title is merely a catalyst, as it should be.

And I should go, before the phone rings. Do have a look at the website today, and I'll post something here when more artifacts are placed on display this evening. Feed the Tree.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie1)
Yesterday, I did 1,230 words on "Salammbô Redux" (despite a grinding headache), and came up with a scene I'm very pleased with. I might be able to finish the story today, but by Saturday or Sunday at the latest. I think it's going to work very well as a sort of postscript to Tales of Pain and Wonder, in a this-is-the-world-almost-decade-later sort of way. Expanding it is not proving as difficult as I had feared. And it only grows more "blatantly autobiographical."

Also, more Beowulf sightings yesterday: Texas, southern New Jersey, Denver, and Portland, Oregon. Add to that New York City, because my agent has copies. Mine are probably, oh, in bloody frelling Belgium by now, but I refuse to go down to Borders and buy a copy just to see the damned thing.

A conversation with my lit agent yesterday regarding ongoing Hollywood business, which is how the day finally ended.

I'm thinking that Sirenia Digest #22 will go out on Sunday. This issue will include my new story "Untitled Grotesque," illustrated by Vince Locke, and a long story/novella by Sonya Taaffe ([livejournal.com profile] sovay), "The Salt House." Sonya is finishing up her piece, and I just gave the green light to Vince's initial sketch, so, yeah, I'm thinking Sunday. Sorry for the delay this month. Delivery shall be more prompt in October. I am very pleased to be able to offer another piece by Sonya, as her story "The Depth Oracle," originally published Sirenia Digest #8, was chosen for Best Paranormal Romance #2 and her fiction is always a joy to my polymorphous heart.

Okay. I have coffee. I have keyboard. Here were go...

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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