greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
Ugh. Yeah, we're awake now, right? I've been chattering away like Robin fucking Williams for an hour, and I think Spooky's ready to murder me. But, then, she usually is. Ready to murder me.

Hey, let's get off on the right foot. Here's some depressing-ass shit: "Police Seek Escaped Exotic Animals in Ohio." And while we're at it, since when is it acceptable to only capitalize the first word of a headline and any proper nouns? Who decided that? It's fucking idiotic. I think I only noticed this about a month ago, but it seems to be a New Internet Rule. I'm sure some bunch of cocksuckers are responsible, like the authors of the The Associated Press Stylebook and The Chicago Manual of Style, who have to keep making up "new rules" so people have to keep buying new copies. Linguistic evolution by way of capitalism, yes! Anyway, the proper way to write a headline...oh, never mind. World, meet hell in a hand basket, and you kids get off my lawn.

Yesterday, I worked. Can't say how or on what. I am told the beans will be spilled in only a few more weeks, you will all be happy, and I can stop keeping this particular SECRET.

Also, [livejournal.com profile] sovay reports having received her copy of Two Worlds and In Between, so folks who wisely pre-ordered (even the trade hb edition is almost sold out now, less than fifty copies remaining) should be getting it this week and next.

---

I was going to talk about Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.'s prequel to John Carpenter's The Thing (1982). Yes, I was. I said that yesterday. First off, the pros. This is a good movie, and remember, I may have seen the Carpenter film more times than any living being (easily a hundred times, start to finish). It's a terrifying, fun, awe-inspiring tribute to the Carpenter film and, for the most part, it gets it right, because the filmmakers had the proper respect for the original and convinced the studio/producers to permit them to make a prequel instead of a remake. Though we do not need to know what happened before Carpenter's film, or what happens afterwards (this is part of the film's genius), the prequel doesn't provide some sort of infodump that ruins the original. Oh, and no SPOILER WARNING; if you don't want to read this, then avert thine eyes. However, rather than fawn over the good points (which are many), I'll point out those things I found annoying or disappointing. You know, like any good internet "reviewer." Overall, Heijningen gets the continuity with the first film right, and his scientific gaffs are minor (no one has ever found a prehistoric carnivore preserved in tundra, though we're shown Mary Elizabeth Winstead's paleontologist, Dr. Kate Lloyd, examining what appears to be a frozen Homotherium near the beginning of the film). I loved the microscope view of the alien cells consuming human cells and converting them, and the understanding that the alien was single-celled virus capable of acting as a multicellular organism. Wait, I'm saying good things. What kind of internet reviewer am I?!

Anyway, the delightful isolation of the first film is broken when we cut to Lloyd's lab at Columbia University, whereas maintaining that sense of claustrophobic isolation was crucial to the film's success. Bad filmmakers. Also, this film isn't nearly as quiet or as slowly paced as the 1982 film, but if it were, 2011 audiences would probably walk out, having been trained for constant, unrelenting action. One thing I love about the Carpenter film is the pacing, which took a cue from Alien (1978). Also, while the special effects and creature design were very good, I still prefer the analog effects in the original. Give me latex and methylcellulose over pixels any damn day of the week. I liked how we were shown the alien's ability to absorb and replicate via ingestion, but also it's ability to infect and slowly convert a human. I loved that we are shown so much of the inside of the alien ship, but was annoyed that the original means of its discovery wasn't preserved. The prequel does a pretty good job of being set in 1982 (thank fuck it wasn't updated), but I missed seeing 1982 computer technology. That would have been charming in the right way. There are too many characters, and except for Lloyd, they have a tendency to bleed together (no pun intended), one into the next. A wonderful thing about the first film was its carefully delineated characters.

The ending is handled well. I very much like the sense that we're given the impression that Lloyd, despite having survived, knows it's best if she sits there in that snowcat and freezes to death. Ultimately, we're left with the ambiguities and fatalism of the original, the sense of impending apocalypse, and you better stay for the credits, because that's where Carpenter's and Heijningen's fuse seamlessly together (no pun intended), with footage from the 1982 version. Again, DO NOT LEAVE WHEN THE CREDIT ROLL BEGINS, or you'll miss where 1982 meets 2011. Tentative final conclusion: I'll give it 8 out of 10; definitely worth seeing in the theaters.

---

We finished Shirley Jackson's The Sundial last night. It's a wonderful novel, with multiple interpretations and a marvelously inconclusive ending. I learned so much from Jackson. Is this a statement on the Catholic Church (the Halloran House) and Protestantism (the inhabitants; remember that Jackson was an atheist)? On human idiocy in general? The hysteria of crowds? Jackson's strong dislike for insular New Englanders (which she repeats again and again in other works)? We have to draw our own conclusions, or draw none at all. And now, I will announce (though I may have already beat myself to it) that the next Aunt Beast Book Club book is Collin Meloy and Carson Ellis' Wildwood. Note that this is a beautiful hardback, and if you purchase it as an ebook, you're shooting yourself in the foot and will miss at least half the pleasure. Also, last night I read Peter Crowther's "Memories." And played some Rift. I miss the house guests. I need more of them.

Speaking of whom, here are some crappy, blurry shots I took on Friday night at Spooky's parents' farm in Saunderstown, before we stepped out into the torrential fucking downpour to get the first round of nude shots of Eva, when Imp finds her at the side of the road. We were ordering pizza (thank you Spooky and Geoffrey) and playing with Spider cat, the feline basketball:

14 October 2011, Part 2 )
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
Comments!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now..this day.

*** NOTE: I do not actually drink coffee anymore, having forsaken it for Red Bull; but Kathryn can't live without it.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Everyone's on her or his way home now (Boston, Philadelphia, Framingham, Washington D.C.). Three amazing days of work are behind us. Much more work lies ahead, and the first edit of the trailer (there will be several, and yes, a DVD at some point) won't be done until January. But, undoubtedly, many hours of footage was shot for, at most, a four minute film.

I am sore, and sleepless, and my head's swimming, and I went three days and hardly ate. And I haven't yet gotten to see last week's episode of Fringe (spoilers will get you dead). But I wouldn't have traded this experience for the world. I watched moments from the The Drowning Girl: A Memoir brought to life through the alchemy of effort, talent, patience, luck, and persistence. After all my years of publishing, I am not ashamed to say that I learned many things I wish I'd learned years ago. And new projects will happen because I have learned these lessons.

I'm too tired to say very much, I only want to lie down and shut my eyes. But...yesterday we made it to Rolling Dam (the location that inspired the novel), and watched Sara become the marvelously predatory Siren of Millville. Never mind the water was fucking freezing, and rough enough it's a wonder she wasn't swept away. In time, you will see the beauty of those moments, but later. We can't show all our cards at once.

I sat with Nicola at Thundermist Falls in Woonsocket as the sun set, and coached her on what Imp would be doing and thinking and how she would move. I watched Imp try to drown in a bathtub, and panicked Abalyn carry her down a narrow hallway. In time, you'll see. We shot in the Providence Athenaeum (thank you, Super Librarian Women!), and other locales around the city today.

We've thanked each other, and wished we didn't have to leave, that we could keep working on this thing. But that's not how art is meant to be, is it? No, it's not. A special thank you to our absent genius, Michael Zulli. And to everyone who donated even so much as a single dollar to the Kickstarter crowdsourcing drive that made this happen.

My brains are running out my ears. But before I go, here are a few more shots:

15-16 October 2011; SFW? You decide. )


I drank the blood of angels from the bottle,
Just to see if I could call the lightning down.
It hasn't struck me yet, and I would wage my soul to bet
That there ain't no one throwing lightning anyhow.
— Brown Bird, "Blood of Angels"
greygirlbeast: (wookie)
Cool and sunny today. Southern New England lists towards impending autumn.

Yesterday, we only managed to make it through Chapter 4 of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. It's a much longer chapter than I remembered. But, today, we forge boldly ahead, and make much better progress. If only I'd gotten much more sleep last night.

We'll probably still be reading through the CEM when [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark, whose coming tonight for a visit, arrives.

Oh, and there was a veritable mountain of neglected email – some of it important – that I dealt with yesterday.

But I fear I have no particular insights or witticisms to offer today. I'm not awake, and I have to wake up fast, and hit the pages running. Tomorrow, kittens.

Just before sleep, Spooky read me Manly Wade Wellman's "Ever the Faith Endures," a very effective story of old darkness. It's a story that a lot of modern writers attempting to write weird fiction could learn from. It speaks softly, powerfully, makes clear an inescapable situation, and wisely eschews resolution. Oh, and Spooky found this, a trailer for a short film, "Up Under the Roof," based on one of Wellman's short stories.

Stet,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
Rain today, and the temperature is, presently, only 71F. My office (which still has residual heat from yesterday) is almost bearable. Sure, I'm sweating, but the sweat's not so prodigious that it's dripping onto my keyboard.

No work yesterday, except I had a first glance through the PDF for Two Worlds and In Between, and everything, at first glance, looks shiny, Captain. Mostly, Spooky and I hid in the dark bedroom, the coolest place we could find (temp in the coolest part of the apt. yesterday peaked at 84˚F), and watched episodes of Law and Order: Criminal Intent until it was time to go to the market, and then pick [livejournal.com profile] sovay up from the train station.

So, yeah, at least I left the house. Small victories. We got takeout from the Palestinian place. And then just talked. We sat up until about four, talking.

For rain it hath a friendly sound...

Sonya made me write down stray lines, because, of course, I'd not recall them this morning. This seemed to be a favorite:

"He called himself a landscaper, but he just moved manure around."

Oh, and "South of articulate, and moving towards something."

Much of the conversation centered on the nature of my erotica, and the meaning of words like obscene and pornographic. I like wicked best. Sonya finally pronounced that it's an eroticism of metamorphosis. Which seemed unnecessarily forgiving (she just said, "That's your residual Christianity talking"). Oh, we also talked about the genius of Terrence Malick, and about books that do not deserve exorbitant advances, and about body modification.

My thanks to everyone who had kind words for Chapter One of Blood Oranges yesterday – and "Down to Gehenna," also. If all goes well, and my resolve holds, I'll be back to work on the book tomorrow, and will try to finish Chapter Five in five days.

Anyway, I should go now. I think we're going to read back over Chapter Four, and pick up last night's conversation where dawn so rudely interrupted us.

Godspeed, Atlantis.

Wickedly,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
Overcast and chilly again here in Providence. 56F, and we might see 68F.

Spooky's birthday is June 24th, and anyone out there who wants to send her a pleasantry is directed to her Amazon wishlist. I would be grateful for any little kindness sent her way. Also, don't forget the Big Damn eBay Auction, now in progress. Note that the auction for the Black Ships Ate the Sky study ends this evening.

Normally, I do not plot a novel. Not in any conventional sense. I might think a little ahead. But I don't usually sit down and map it out. I prefer to allow a novel to unfold in what I think of as a more organic process. Though it may sound precious, I think of this as allowing the novel (or short story) to unfold "on its own." I don't mean that literally, of course, as the only will a story may possess is the will of the author. It's a game I play with myself, all about cause and effect, all about putting any given character in situation after situation and discovering how he or she will react. Anyway...yesterday was rather the opposite, as the nature of Blood Oranges demands that I work out an awful lot of the storyline in advance. It's working with many conventions of film noir (including so-called "Neo-noir") and Hitchcockian tropes such as "McGuffins" and the "wrong man." All the while, of course, deconstructing – or simply tearing apart and restoring – the mess that has been made of urban fantasy due to its having been co-opted by "romantic urban fantasy," "paranormal romance," PR, or whatever you want to call that printed offal. So, as was the case with "The Maltese Unicorn" this time last year, I'm having to do a lot more plotting than normal.

I spent about an hour and a half yesterday talking through everything to Spooky, setting forth whys and hows and elaborate switchbacks and feats of legerdemain...because, in part, these are things I needed to know before writing a riddle asked by a bridge troll. Oh, here's the riddle, by the way. Thought it might be fun to see if anyone can solve it. The riddle is a response to the question, "Is there any way to control lycanthropy?"

A child of woman newly forged,
The pump what drives the rosies.
Round about, round about,
So Bloody Breast flies home again.
Soldiers come in single file,
Aphrodite’s child tills loam.


Good luck. At any rate, in part the problems were solved. Enough that I could proceed. I wrote 1,043 words on Chapter Three yesterday. I've got to get that daily word count up higher again.

[livejournal.com profile] readingthedark arrived about 6:30 p.m. or so. He brought me a truly marvelous belated birthday gift, a copy of House of Leaves (full-color, remastered edition), personalized to me by Danielewski. We talked a bit, then got calzones for dinner, then talked much more...including a good deal more Blood Oranges plotting, solving a problem I'd been unable to solve earlier in the day. So many crosses and double crosses, hidden agendas, unseen perils, and misdirection. That is, among the novels character's, not between me and potential readers. Later, I wanted him to see Malcolm Venville's 44-Inch Chest (2009), so we watched. He left about 3:15 ayem, I think. I'd already taken my evening meds, and was a little loopy by that time. I know that I'd begun to making bold and sweeping declarations, like "There are no literary conventions!"

And that was yesterday. Oh, except I read "Selenemys lusitanica, gen. et sp. nov., a new pleurosternid turtle (Testudines; Paracryptodira) from the Upper Jurassic of Portugal" in JVP.

Many odd and unwelcome dreams last night, this morning. Most of them I've let slip away, glad to see them go. Only the substance of one remains. By broad daylight, I enter a rather unremarkable building. It looks rather like an Eisenhower-Era bank or federal building. But once inside, I am greeted by a cool darkness through which prowls all manner of jungle beasts – specifically, I recall tigers and pythons – stalking before a painted rainforest backdrop. I turn to the left and follow a grassy ramp up to the second floor of the building, where I'm greeted with a long counter, along which bank tellers are spaced at regular intervals. I speak to one, and she takes out an enormous ledger (no computers are in evidence). She's trying to record my name with a fountain pen, but keeps having to start over because she's having trouble hearing me. Because I'm hardly speaking above a whisper. And then, finally, someone – a manager, I don't know – comes over and explains to her who I am. She records my name, and I'm given a small brass key. And there was more afterwards, but it's been forgotten.

Okay. Time to make the doughnuts.

From the Forests of the Night,
Aunt Beast

Almost forget. Here are three somewhat random photos taken back on the 6th, while I was making line edits to Two Worlds and In Between. Hubero was helping (we may eventually auction the ARC in the photos, by the way):

6 June 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
Already St. Patrick's Day again. I hung the flag last night, and tonight I cook corned beef, cabbage, and cál ceannann, and we have Guinness and soda bread. So, we're set, and there will probably be enough food to last us three days. And here's my favorite St. Patrick's Day article: "Why Ireland Has No Snakes" (No Xtian magick is invoked.).

It's bright out there, and the weather is warmer.

Yesterday, Sonya and I finished editing The Dry Salvages, after she typed in all the edits on "Giants in the Earth." I think we were done by 3 p.m. or so, and since her train wasn't until 5:30, we went ahead and edited "The Worm in My Mind's Eye" (a chapbook that accompanied The Dry Salvages, and which will appear in Two Worlds and In Between as a footnote to the short novel). Then she and Kathryn typed in those edits. So, yeah, [livejournal.com profile] sovay came and saved me from editing hell...and yeah, it still sucked, but at least I've survived.

Today, I'll be sending The Drowning Girl: A Memoir to my editor at Penguin, and I hope I'll be sending the ms. for Two Worlds and In Between to Bill Schafer at subpress. And then, tomorrow, I begin a three day vacation. After today, I'll have worked twenty-eight days without a single day off, and I mean to have a rest. I'll be setting my email to the auto-response vacation settings, and mostly unplugging.

Last night, I think I was literally too tired to see straight. After dinner, I lay down in front of the fireplace and dozed off for half an hour. When I woke, it was still far too early for bed, so I had a cup of coffee, which I really didn't feel at all. I played about three hours of Rift, though I wasn't actually, technically, awake. I leveled my Kelari cleric, Nilleshna, to 11. Spooky camped out in front of the TV, watched a Nova episode, "Dogs Decoded," then played Bayonetta on the PS3. Then we went to bed and read Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay until almost 4 ayem. I'm pretty sure Mockingjay is the book I wanted Catching Fire to be. Katniss has come into her own, at last. The book actually had me cheering (blearily) last night. So, yeah, saggy middle, but the third book is great so far. And yep, I've heard that Jennifer Lawrence has been cast as Katniss. I have no idea who Jennifer Lawrence is...but that's okay.

And that was yesterday. And there are photos from the past two days:

15-16 March 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (white2)
I think Spring is beginning to think about considering possibly coming somewhere near Rhode Island. Highs in the high 40s Fahrenheit. We may have 60s by late April.

Yesterday was a bloody nightmare of double-barreled line editing. No, no, no. That almost makes it sound fun, and it was at that other end of the spectrum from fun. Spooky and Sonya worked together like a well-oiled machine, and actually made it all the way through The Drowning Girl, though they didn't finish until after dinner.

In the same amount of time, I only managed to make it through six stories in the ms. for Two Worlds and In Between. I began at the end of the collection and worked my way towards the beginning, as the later stories have far, far fewer edits than do older ones. I figured if I'd done it the other way round, and had to face those 1993, 1994, 1995, etc. stories first, I would have locked up and made no progress whatsoever. Yesterday, I edited "Houses Under the Sea," "Daughter of the Four of Pentacles," "The Dead and the Moonstruck," "Waycross," "Riding the White Bull," and "La Peau Verte." I stopped about 9 p.m., I think. These newer stories are much longer than the older stories, but, as I've said, have far fewer corrections.

So...today, we start all over again. Sort of. I'm handing the ms. for Two Worlds and In Between off to Spooky and Sonya (it was actually their idea, after my agitation yesterday), and I'm going to do all the very last things that need doing on The Drowning Girl (I have a list), which I expect to send to my editor tomorrow afternoon.

Here's a thing: I need someone fluent in French, preferably someone in France or Quebec, to check my French in Two Worlds and In Between. I can't pay you, but your name will appear in the book's acknowledgments.

Last night, there was very good Palestinian takeout for dinner.

This morning I saw Lee Moyer's almost final version of the cover for Two Worlds and In Between , which I'll share here as soon as ere I may.

---

Saturday night, I showed Sonya Pitch Black (directed by David Twohy, 2000), one of my favorite big-bug scifi thrillers of the last twenty years. She'd never seen it, and I was relieved she enjoyed it. Last night, she showed me Derek Jarman's adaptation of The Tempest (1979), which was, by turns (and, sometimes, all at once), sublime, grotesque, and beautiful. Jarman's cinematic composition always amazes me, each shot framed like a Renaissance painting, so arresting to the eye that you almost don't want to progress to the next frame of film. For me, Toyah Willcox's somewhat feral Miranda was the finest bit. Also, we watched Jarman's short Art of Mirrors (1973). Tonight, I'm showing Sonya the director's cut of Alex Proyas' superb Dark City (1998).

---

Later, Spooky and I began Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay, and, so far, it's a vast improvement over Catching Fire (which, by the way, I cannot believe the New York Times actually had the temerity to claim was better than The Hunger Games). We made it through the first three chapters or so.

Oh, and when I write Blue Canary**, and if it's a success and there are the two books after it that I'm planning, I promise I will not burden the beginning of the second two books with recap. I'll do the sensible thing, and begin the second and third volumes with concise "Our Story Thus Far" sections, which can be skipped if they're not needed.

So, that was yesterday. Today will likely be equally tedious, and both Sonya and Spooky have my most sincere apologies for this.

Postscript (2:08 p.m.): I AM NOT A HORROR WRITER!

** I ought not have to say this, BUT...if you steal this title, I will cause you harm, by hook or crook.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I think I slept about seven hours. It's been a while since I slept that long at a stretch. Pills were required, and I'm still a bit groggy. But Spooky says I look better than I did yesterday, so I suppose that's something.

I started smoking again yesterday. That might last for a month. Spooky is not happy with me.

Yesterday was spent on Two Worlds and In Between, editing, getting files ready for [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark, because he and [livejournal.com profile] sovay have agreed to lend me a hand with this monstrous task (and I am enormously grateful).

Geoffrey arrived about seven p.m. (CaST). We got takeout from a Palestinian place nearby. Really, really good food. The best baba ghanoush I've ever had. And then there was talk and talk and talk. He headed back to Framingham about 3 ayem (CaST).

Today, I need to proofread the galley pages for "The Collier's Venus (1893)," for [livejournal.com profile] ellen_datlow's forthcoming anthology, Naked City. And I need to sign the signature pages for Subterranean Press' forthcoming anthology, Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 2 (which includes my sf story, "Hydrarguros").

Tomorrow, I go back to work on The Drowning Girl: A Memoir.
greygirlbeast: (newest chi)
This is the special pain of having taken too many sedatives to try and sleep, and then having barely slept at all, and being exhausted and still drugged. Waiting for the pills to wear off. Trying to think, to type, to make decisions. So, gonna number items in this entry, and hope I don't forget anything.

1. My thanks to Steven Lubold and Gordon Duke for marvelous Solstice gifts. And a huge thanks to Kim, who gifted me and Spooky with a household membership to the Providence Athenaeum; this will be of enormous help with my writing. You are all too kind, truly.

2. An amazing number of copies of Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan (Volume One) have sold in the last two days (375+). Indeed, almost the entire planned printing of the limited edition. In response to demand, Subterranean Press has decided to increase the limited edition's printing from 400 copies to 600 copies. I'm used to my subpress books— especially the limiteds —selling out prior to publication, but I'm told this book "is pre-selling better than anything of yours we've ever announced." So, thank you all. The sale prices are still good, the limited for $40 (regularly $60), though I think the sale ends soon. Someone asked about the print-run for the trade edition, and I think it's somewhere around 2,000 copies (but don't hold me to that). Also, I can now announce that the book's cover will be done by Lee Moyer, an artist I met at the Lovecraft Film Festival and immediately wanted to work with.

3. More subpress news: My sf story, "Hydrarguros" is being reprinted in the forthcoming anthology Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 2, and "The Melusine (1898)" will be appearing in an upcoming issue of Subterranean Magazine. But it's probably bigger news that several of my out-of-print subpress anthologies will soon be available in ebook editions for the Kindle (but no, not other readers/formats). From Weird and Distant Shores, Tales of Pain and Wonder, To Charles Fort, with Love, Alabaster, and A is for Alien will all be available for the Kindle in 2011.

4. I wish I were presently coherent enough to be articulate about Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, but I'm too drugged and sleep deprived. I say again, this may well be my favorite film of the year, and it's certainly one of Aronofsky's best (which is saying a lot). I hesitated to use the word lycanthropy in connection with the film, as there are no wolves in sight, but then I see the director has said "I liked this idea that we were kind of making a werewolf movie, except it was a were-swan movie." But, that said, the film transcends all genre tropes and conventions. This is, first and foremost, a film about seeking perfection in one's art, about the limits of the mind and flesh, about escaping repression and one's own mental and physical limitations. It's a film about insanity, and also a film about going sane. It might be the most emotionally devastating film I've seen since John Hillcoat's adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's The Road. The imagery is breathtaking, as in, I truly found myself not breathing as the images passed before my eyes. Natalie Portman's acting is a revelation, and Clint Mansell's score is, not unexpectedly, brilliant.

5. A good visit from Sonya ([livejournal.com profile] sovay) and Geoffrey ([livejournal.com profile] readingthedark). We read chapters One and Two of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir on Tuesday night, then Chapter Three on Wednesday afternoon. I am relieved to see that it works. So, thank you Sonya and Geoffrey, and huge thanks to Spooky, who read all 135 pages of the manuscript aloud.

6. On Tuesday, the I received my comp copy of John Joseph Adams new anthology of dystopian fiction, Brave New Worlds, which reprints my sf story "The Pearl Diver," along with stories by the likes of Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, Neil Gaiman, Philip K. Dick, Kurt Vonnegut, Ursula K. LeGuin, J. G. Ballard, and, truly, many others.

7. And now, it's time to make the doughnuts. Today will be editing (despite my zombie-like state), so that I can get to Sirenia Digest #61, so that I can get back to work on The Drowning Girl: A Memoir ASAP.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
It's easier if I quote my blog entry from Solstice '08:

And now it is Solstice, and the days will grow longer. And that is a great relief. The rebirth of the "Great God," if only metaphorically. Though, truthfully, a metaphorical Cernunnos or Pan is as useful to me as would be one whose reality were less subjective. Here it is truth that applies, not fact. The wheel turns, and the Horned God wakes again. The long night of winter will end soon enough. A happy and/or blessed Solstice/Yule/Midwinter to all those who wish to be wished such.

And, of course, today is Cephalopodmas. Be grateful for the tentacles in you life.

[livejournal.com profile] readingthedark just awoke, so I'll make this short.

Yesterday we saw Aronofsky's Black Swan, a glorious examination of repression, freeing oneself from repression at all costs, and the drive for perfection in one's art. Possibly my favorite film of the year. See it. Now.

Two Worlds and in Between: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan (Volume One) preorders contine to go extremely well. More than half the print run for the limited edition has sold out in two days. Subterranean Press has decided to increase the limited from 400 copies to 500 copies, given the demand. And the limited's still on sale for $40 (regular $60).

Later!
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I would have announced yesterday that Subterranean Press has begun taking preorders for Two Worlds and Between: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan (Volume One), but I didn't know until late yesterday afternoon. So, I'm announcing it now. Bill tells me orders went very well yesterday, and that almost half of the limiteds have already sold (!!!!), so you might want to— as the hucksters say —act now. I am very pleased with the news that it's selling well.

Also, subpress is currently offering the book for a discounted sale price of $40 for the limited (regular price, $60), and $30 for the trade (regular price $38). Not sure how long the sale will last.

I spent all of yesterday working on editing the book, as it happens.

Making this quick and dirty, as we're going to a matinée of Aronofsky's Black Swan, and tonight [livejournal.com profile] sovay and [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark are coming down for a read-through of the first three chapters of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. So, later kiddos.
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: (Bowie3)
I should make this short and quick, but I probably won't make it either one. [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark is coming to visit this evening, and I have things to get done beforehand. This will be the first company and the first face-to-face contact with someone, other than Spooky, that I've had since the first week of October, I think. I don't do this on purpose, the reclusive thing. Mostly, it just happens. Usually, I don't notice until after its happened.

Yesterday, work for Dark Horse (details TBA), and more work on Two Worlds and In Between. Tying up lose ends. Tomorrow or Sunday, I'll be going back to work on The Drowning Girl. I'll be going into "novel hiding." Significant progress will be made in December.

The Dancy Box auction continues to amaze me and make me grateful. Thank you, bidders. Not only will the income be greatly appreciate, but Spooky and I both put a lot into the project, and it's good to see it so well received.

---

Yesterday, I stumbled across a review of The Ammonite Violin & Others, at SFRevu, that I'd not seen before. It is, generally, a very, very positive review, and I should note that up front. However, it contains one very odd bit that I've been mulling over ever since I read it. Mario Guslandi (I'm pretty sure this isn't the first time he's baffled me with a review) writes: "Some stories are simply beautiful, others tedious and smug to such an extent to make it irritating and almost unbearable to read them."

I'll ignore "irritating," though it's certainly vague, and Guslandi makes no attempt to explain himself. But "smug"? Really? Smug as in "Exhibiting or feeling great or offensive satisfaction with oneself or with one's situation; self-righteously complacent"? Does he mean that the author comes across as smug, or that the stories in question do? Or the characters in those stories? I admit I am utterly perplexed at the comment. If anyone out there can point me to a smug story in The Ammonite Violin & Others, I'd be thankful.

Oh, wait. I knew that name was familiar (thank you, Google). Guslandi's the same guy who reviewed To Charles Fort, With Love and declared, "One can seldom find an author capable of either delighting or boring her readers with the same ease as Catlin Kiernan..."

Smug. Smug stories. I admit, it's an interesting concept, whatever it might mean.

---

Last night, we watched Jamin Winans' Ink (2009). The dvd was a gift from Jennifer Szczublewski. At least, I think it was. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Anyway, wow. What a superb, beautiful, disarming film. A triumph of indie fantasy film making. Winans wrote the screenplay, directed and edited the film, composed its original score (especially stunning), and co-produced Ink with his wife, Kiowa K. Winans, and an assistant producer, Laura Wright –all on a shoestring budget. The acting is a little wobbly here and there, but I really have no other complaint, and that one pales in comparison to the whole. This is a fairy tale. A children's story told for adults, a thing that has always fascinated me. It's filled with moments of pure magic, and some genuinely terrifying imagery. You need to see this film. I note that you can currently stream it from Netflix for free. Do so. Ink is no end of marvelous.

Later, we played WoW, leveling our orcs, Gárona and Margdah, to 29.5 or so. And after that, Spooky read to me from [livejournal.com profile] blackholly's The Poison Eaters and Other Stories. We made it through three of the tales— "The Coldest Girl in Cold Town," "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," and the title story. "The Coldest Girl in Cold Town" is one of those very rare things, a vampire story that actually has emotional depth and something to say. Loved it, and almost wish it had been Chapter One of a novel. And "The Poison Eaters" manages an exquisite marriage of beauty, revenge, murder, and the grotesque.

---

I took a lot of random photos yesterday. I carried one of the cameras around with me, and just took a photo whenever the mood struck me. I got the idea from "A Day in the Life". Anyway, here are the results (there's a whole lot of grainy, because I didn't want to use the flash):

2 December 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (Lucy)
A nippy morning here in Providence (though it's almost a nippy afternoon). 62F at the moment. We're thinking we have to do our tour of the autumn leaves this weekend or we're going to miss out on the peak altogether. Before I forget, congratulations to Peter for being awarded the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award. Booya!

No actual writing-type writing yesterday. I had a half-assed idea of cleaning house while Spooky worked on the taxes, because [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark is supposed to visit this evening. But that didn't happen. Instead, I tried to work. I did an interview for Jeff VanderMeer's Booklifenow website, about writing "As Red As Red" (in Haunted Legends). And I sent my HPLFF keynote speech to S.T. Joshi, as he wants to print it in the Lovecraft Annual. I also sent him "Houndwife," which will be reprinted in Black Wings II (PS Publishing), and "Fish Bride," which will be reprinted in The Weird Fiction Review. And then, getting back around to "There Will Be Kisses For Us All," I reread Stoker's "Dracula's Guest."

Over on Facebook, James Jeffrey Paul made mention of the fact that at least one Dracula scholar has suggested that Countess Dolingen of Graz, the vampire who menaces the unnamed Englishman (?Johnathan Harker) in "Dracula's Guest," might be one of the three "brides" in Dracula— the "fair" woman. Stoker writes: "The other was fair, as fair as can be, with great masses of golden hair and eyes like pale sapphires. I seemed somehow to know her face, and to know it in connection with some dreamy fear, but I could not recollect at the moment how or where."

I'm not sure I'm convinced that the two are, in fact, intended to the same character, but it is an interesting possibility, and I may use it.

Other reading yesterday included beginning Chapter Two of Volume One of Joshi's I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H.P. Lovecraft, and also beginning a paper in the new Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, "Osteology of a new giant bony-toothed bird from the Miocene of Chile, with a revision of the taxonomy of Neogene Pelagornithidae." Indeed, Pelagornis chilensis is a marvel, a bird with a wingspan of 5.2 meters! By comparison, the wingspan of the Great albatross (Diomedea) is a mere 3 meters.

---

Regarding various auctions: The auction for the one and only CRK "napoval" ends tomorrow. And there are, of course, the other eBay auctions. Also, check out the raffle to benefit the KGB Reading series (which I have taken part in twice, now). I've made two contributions to the raffle this year: A signed copy of the trade paperback of The Red Tree (I'll also draw a tree on the title page), and a chance to be "Tuckerized" in a forthcoming story. Raffle tickets are only one buck apiece, for a very good cause.

Also, a reminder that I will be reading and signing at the Brown University Bookstore on the evening of October 30th, 2010. Also, it will be a costumed event (optional, of course).

---

My great thanks to [livejournal.com profile] yukio20 for bringing a bit of news from Blizzard to my attention (I don't usually follow the forums, so I'd missed it):

Since the release of 4.0.1, more than a few warlocks have noticed that their pets are in fact no longer their familiar demonic servants, and instead appear to be new entities with different names. We’ve been able to pinpoint the cause of the issue, which should be resolved by tomorrow for any warlocks that log in for the first time from then on. We’ve also been able to determine that we will be able to restore any renamed warlock pets to their original pre-4.0.1 names during next week’s scheduled maintenance. For those of you who like your new pet names, we’re working on a feature for a future patch that will allow you to refresh your summons and essentially generate a random pet name without having to level a new warlock.

So...Greezun, Volyal, and Drusneth will be coming home. It appears they only took a vacation to Booty Bay without telling me, and hired these impostors from some infernal temp agency. Speaking of WoW, Spooky and I restructured our talent trees last night, and began trying to make sense of the havoc that Blizzard has wrought to various spells and abilities. Truly, someone needs to tell Blizzard that there's a huge difference between fixing/improving things and simply changing things. Most of Patch 4.0.1 is a sad, confusing case of the latter. I would stop just (barely) short of saying the game is currently broken.

Oh, and we also watched the new episodes of Glee and Caprica last night. I am very pleased that Glee appears to have redeemed itself for last week's god-bothering episode, and I think it's only a matter of time before Brittany comes out. Also, how cool is it that the new kid, Sam, speaks Na'vi? Great, great episode of Caprica.

---

And here's the next set of photos from the HPLFF. The festival put us up in a grand bed and breakfast, the White House (built in 1911). We had the balcony room. The house is watched over by an elderly albino Scottish Terrier named Prescott. We couldn't help but take a ton of photos of the place:

H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, Part 7 )
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
Cloudy here in Providence, but we're told the day will be warm. [livejournal.com profile] sovay is taking the train down from Boston, and we have to meet her at the depot in about an hour and a half.

Much of yesterday was spent housecleaning (Spooky did much more than I). I read over "From Cabinet 34, Drawer 6," which I'd not read since it was published back in 2005. And I also read through parts of "The Daughter of the Four of Pentacles," which I doubt I've looked at since I was working on Daughter of Hounds in 2004 or 2005. And I looked at the artwork Vince Locke has done for Sirenia Digest, A is for Alien, Frog Toes and Tentacles, and Tales from the Woeful Platypus, and tried to select a few pieces for the "best of" project. I made a list.

According to the Subterranean Press website, The Ammonite Violin & Others is now entirely sold out at the publisher. Amazon.com likely still has copies, but they won't for long. My thanks to everyone who bought the collection.

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

And now I should go brush my teeth and get dressed and so forth. And finish my coffee.
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
Mostly cloudy today, and still chilly. But the warmth is on its way back.

I slept eight hours last night.

The last couple of days have been somewhat tumultuous, and have included seeing a new psychiatrist on Friday (and two new meds), and Geoffrey ([livejournal.com profile] readingthedark) visiting on Friday night and sticking around until Saturday afternoon. None of which has been conducive to writing, but all of which was necessary. I am optimistic about the new doctor, though one of the medications is atrociously fucking expensive, and so we're going to be beginning a new round of eBay auctions (the first in quite some time) to help offset the expense (no health insurance, remember). I'll post more about that when the auctions begin. And no, I'd rather not name the meds in question. I feel as though I'm probably saying more than I should as is, and I'm not going to stray into the Land of TMI.

I am marveling at the footage and still photos of the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, and wishing I were in Iceland.

Friday, Spooky and I had lunch at Tortilla Flats on Hope Street (only the seventh time we've eaten in a restaurant in Providence since moving here almost two years ago). Geoffrey arrived before sunset, and most of the evening was spent in conversation: writing, Second Life, books, movies, and so forth. I discovered he'd never seen an episode of Farscape, and we watched two, "A Clockwork Nebari" (2.4) and "Crackers Don't Matter" (2.18). He sprung for dinner from Fellini's on Wickenden. I think I got to bed about 4:30 a.m. On Saturday, more conversation, and Geoffrey headed back to Massachusetts about 3 p.m. or so.

Last night, we watched the new episodes of Fringe, which was excellent, and the very satisfying season finale of Spartacus. We also read more of Gregory Maguire's A Lion Among Men.

I forgot to mention that, on Thursday night, we finally saw Jason Reitman's Up in the Air, and thought it was very, very good; both more humorous and more melancholy than I'd expected.

And today I have to get back on the horse, so to speak. I've got to get Sirenia Digest #53 written. I've lost enough time.

And here are photos from the Charlestown Beach part of Wednesday's frigid trip to the shore, and two from Friday evening:

14 April 2010, Pt. 2 )
greygirlbeast: (white)
Geoffrey ([livejournal.com profile] readingthedark) is back in Framingham now. Unfortunately, I may never wake up.

In a comment to yesterday entry, Chris ([livejournal.com profile] scarletboi) wrote:

I keep running into people saying (of the Evelyn Evelyn kerfluffle) that fiction must be consensual.

And I have no fucking idea what this means, "fictional must be consensual." I suppose I could waste part of my life googling to find out, but if it means anything close to what Spooky says she thinks it means...I honestly don't want to know. I really do fear that the world is getting too stupid for me to participate.

Maybe it's time to cut my losses and gracefully bow out.

Yesterday, the ice began to crack, the ice in my skull, and I started a new piece called "Persephone Redux," though I only wrote 600 words. Alas, I may be spending all of today in bed trying to recover from insomnia and other nonconsensual crimes that have recently been wrought upon my mind and body.
greygirlbeast: (Bjorkdroid)
I thought I should post some sort of update for Sirenia Digest #50:

1. the new science-fiction story, "Hydrarguros," is finished. This is a story that grew from a concept for a 2k-word vignette to a 9,186 full-tilt-boogie word tale. Yesterday, I wrote 1,242 words. I wasn't sure I'd found the ending. Then, last night, I read it to Spooky ([livejournal.com profile] humglum) and Geoffrey ([livejournal.com profile] readingthedark), and when i was done they both declared it finished. As in, there's really nowhere logical left for it to go. I often have these unexpected endings; it's always a jolt, but a pleasant jolt. I think this is my best sf story since the "A Season of Broken Dolls" and "In View of Nothing" duology, back in 2007. I hope Sirenia readers will agree.

2. I have a little editing to do, but I think you can expect #50 to go out Wednesday evening.

3. I know I'd said that the responses to the two questionaires, the "what you you do if you had me alone" and the "what sort of summonable monster" might I be, would appear in #50. Because the issue is running late, however, and because I still have to sort through some of those, I'm bumping that feature to #51 (February). In fact, I think I may add a third question, now that we have more time. Suggestions for a third question are welcome.

And that's about it. Geoffrey arrived about 8 p.m. (CaST) last night. Spooky turned in earlyish, but he and I were up until after five discussing...well, lots. Music (mostly VNV Nation, but also Radiohead, Placebo, NIN, Tori Amos, and Sisters of Mercy), magick, T. S. Kuhn, Baudelaire and the Decadents, the Modernists, our misspent youths, chess, Second Life, film, drugs...all the usual suspects. It was very good to unplug for a night and actually have some non-avatar-mediated people time. But I'm now jonsing for a dose of Insilico, and will likely be back inworld tonight. I miss Xiang.
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
1. As of this morning, I have not left the House in nine days. My record is, I think, eleven. I'm tempted— given the weather and this mountain of work —to go for twelve and set a new record. I think the only thing that bothers me about my tendency to be content inside for long stretches of time is the fact that it really doesn't bother me.

2. A very good writing day, helping to make up for Thursday and Friday. Yesterday, I did 1,547 words on the new science-fiction story, "Hydrarguros." At this point, I'm thinking I'll finish it tomorrow or maybe Tuesday (we have to see how much Spooky being sentenced to jury duty upsets my scehdule), and then I can get Sirenia Digest #50 together and out to subscribers.

3. I've been catching up on sleep the last two nights. I think I may have gotten a full eight last night, and they were desperately needed.

4. Insilico continues to make me a happy little Mandarin android. It's hard to believe I only started roleplaying there on January 23rd, or that Xiang has experienced so much in such a short span of time.*

5. Yesterday, I finished reading "Eotheroides lambondrano, new middle Eocene seacow (Mammalia, Sirenia) from the Mahajanga Basin, northwestern Madagascar."

6. Yesterday, Spooky drove down to Kingston to see her parents. Her dad's been away in the Philippines, doing anthropologist stuff. I stayed here and wrote. She returned with Cephalopodmas presents we were meant to get a month ago, including the collected works of Beatrix Potter and a set of flannel sheets.

7. Geoffrey ([livejournal.com profile] readingthedark) will be arriving this evening, and I'm looking forward to it, as I've not had company since he left on the 16th, after the trip to Brooklyn.

8. The platypus says I'm "burning daylight," and the dodo concurs and adds "Giddy up, pilgrim." Really, I have to stop letting those two stream old westerns via Netflix.

*Soon, things would begin to (as they say) go to shit.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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