greygirlbeast: (Al)
So, there's some asshole next door, guy has a lawn the size of a postage stamp. No, seriously. A postage stamp. And he's out there with a motherfucking leaf blower. Now, longtime readers will know that, as far as I'm concerned, no lawn is big enough to warrant the profound laziness, the unnecessary waste of energy derived from fossil fuels, the damage to the environment done by leaf blowers, or...and this is important, so please pay attention...the noise produced by the goddamn things. There is this marvelous invention, dating back, well, a long damn time. It requires a little sweat, sure. But that's why evolution gave us muscles and sweat glands and the ability to burn calories. This invention of which I speak is called a rake. And, in a sane world, I would go outside with a claw hammer, dismantle that leaf blower, gaily strew the shards across that cockwaffle's lawn, then offer him a rake with which to clean up the mess I've made. We do not live in a sane world, kittens.

Yeah, it's gonna be that sort of a day.

Doesn't help that it seems the DeLorean time machine didn't quite hit its target date (almost, but not quite...so now we have Bill Gates and Ann Coulter, neither of whom existed yesterday), and I'm going to spend the day chasing ripples through the matrix of space and time in order to make this the Present Day that the experiment was intended it make it into. Ripples.

Should a traveler appear earlier in the timeline of his own existence, he would be but as a pebble cast upon still water. But the ripples he creates would, over time, radiate upon far distant shores—geometrically altering events in their path.

Exactly.

I've gotten distracted.

Yesterday was a frustrating sort of day, waiting for that news from the past and all. But I worked on this and that related to the shooting of the book trailer for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, which will be happening next weekend if it's ever going to happen. The three million details. You know, scooping up all the itty-bitty bits of brain and shit. I did some of that, while I watched the chronometers. I watched dozens of movie trailers, thinking, thinking, thinking. I made notes, and sent them to our cinematographer, Brian Siano. Gods, there are some beautiful movie trailers, an art in their own right, and I especially admire the ones that make shitty movies look like gold. Now, mind you, I'm not admiring the intent of whatever studio exec had those trailers made, the marketing people, all those deceitful assholes trying to pass shit off as gold. I'm applauding the poor schmucks who were tasked with the editing jobs, and who will do the job well, unless they wanted to go looking for another line of work. They are among the all-but-unsung heroes in the shitstorm of ballyhoo and jackassery that is Hollywood. Though, I will say, the trailers are frequently my favorite part of going to the theatre. But...I've gotten distracted again.

Oh, also I received sample design pages from Penguin, for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir (of course). Overall, it's looking good, except for some hideous curlicue font used in the headers, a font I am assured will be replaced with something appropriate, something that doesn't make me want to gouge out my eyes.

Anyway, Spooky came home from the market with a cardboard shipping tube containing another nigh-unto-unspeakably beautiful piece of Philip George Saltonstall's artwork, created, of course, by the incomparable Michael Zulli, one which will appear in the book trailer. Seeing it was like being punched in the chest. And yeah, I've been punched in the chest, so I know what it feels like.

The evening's entertainment consisted of watching Serenity for the five-hundreth time (it's still a great and inspiring ride), and then playing my part in an Insilico RP that was almost very good...except—at some point it descended into "You're stealin' my man" soap-opera nonsense and utterly failed ooc communication—and, also also RPers online need to learn the difference between godmoding and how actions would realistically unfold in particular circumstances, cause and effect, and fuck the whiners. By the end of the scene, which went on for about three hours, I was just tired and wanted to go to bed. But it had it's moments.

Anyway, now I must go attend to those ripples.

Thinking wormholes,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I suppose I ought to start a journal entry now, having spent the last half hour instigating fights on Twitter and Facebook (but mostly on Twitter, from which I aspire to be banned for championing the English language, or any language, over that ZOMGWTFLOL shit). No, "lolspeak" isn't The End of the World®, but it does make you look like a moron.

Um...yesterday. Well, I'm still trying to get Sirenia Digest #64 out. By late this evening, for sure.

I wrote and edited, edited and wrote, formatted, wash, rinse, repeat.

There were very many wonderful comments, and I might have blushed a time or two. I think Martians blush, but I've lost the user's manual, so I'm not entirely sure. More wonderful [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy photos to come.

Anyway...here we are on Tuesday, April 5th in the year 2011, and it's time to announce the next book in Aunt Beast's Book of the Month Club thingy. This month, it's Markus Zusak's The Book Thief (Alfred A. Knopf, 2007). I'm not going to go on about how very good it is. But it is. Even though we're not finished reading it yet. It's a good, and true, and important book, and there are too few of those. So yes, the official selection of the month:



READ THIS BOOK. READ THIS BOOK. READ THIS BOOK. READ THIS BOOK. READ THIS BOOK

---

I look at the few wind turbines we have here in Rhode Island, and I can't help but be amazed at how humanity has a sky full of wind and sunlight. But, instead, we drill holes in the ground for hydrocarbons and build nuclear reactors that release isotopes that will still be deadly hundreds or thousands of years from now. Instead, we dam rivers and destroy habitats.

---

paranormal (par·a·nor·mal): Beyond the range of normal experience or scientific explanation.

paranormal ≠ PR ("paranormal romance"), exclusive of all other applications of the word, no matter what "teh internets" might imply. For example, "reviews" on Amazon declaring that, say, Turn of the Screw isn't paranormal, because it isn't part of the current shitwit PR craze (even though it is, in fact, a novel exploring both paranormal and romantic themes).

---

Just the fact that people seem to be getting dumber and dumber. You know, I mean we have all this amazing technology and yet computers have turned into basically four-figure wank machines. The internet was supposed to set us free, democratize us, but all it’s really given us is Howard Dean’s aborted candidacy and 24-hour-a-day access to kiddie porn. People…they don’t write anymore - they blog. Instead of talking, they text, no punctuation, no grammar: LOL this and LMFAO that. You know, it just seems to me it’s just a bunch of stupid people pseudo-communicating with a bunch of other stupid people in a proto-language that resembles more what cavemen used to speak than the King’s English.
— Hank Moody

Sad thing is, not many even blog anymore. Blogging takes too much time and energy, so there's Facebook and Twitter. You know, for kids.

Yeah, well. As Quentin Crisp said, "It'll get worse." And it has. And it will again.

Think Only Happy Thoughts,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
1) Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. We're in one of those dry spells between checks.

2) Now, before I forget again, the latest StarShipSofa includes a reading of "Galápagos." It's a pretty good reading. Merrick comes off a little too perky for a woman whose been through the hell she's been through, but the reader gets many words in many languages right, and that wins very big points with me.

3) The wind is a wild thing today. The wind is always a wild thing, but today it's throwing a wild rumpus out there. Speeds at 25mph, but gusting to 55mph. The house keeps moving, swaying. These old walls are reinforced with steel bands for protection against hurricanes, and days like this I'm grateful. Much of the snow has melted, though it's cold again, currently 35˚F (but feels like 21˚F). I shall be staying in today, thank you very much.

4) Yesterday, we actually did manage to make it all the way through the fifth, sixth, and seventh chapters of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Go, Spooky! She read all 24,765 words of that aloud, and had to contend with my constantly asking her to stop for this or that line edit. It all holds together much better than I thought, and now I have the confidence, I hope, to proceed with the eighth chapter and then the ninth.

5) I'm reasonably certain that I'll be writing my YA books as Kathleen Tierney. That has mostly been my decision. I'll continue to write short fiction, novellas, etc. as Caitlín R. Kiernan.

6) People do not mean to set me off. Well, at least sometimes it's clear they don't. Case in point: Last night, [livejournal.com profile] chris_walsh posted a link to a review of the Decemberists' The King is Dead (in the comments to my blog), a review written by someone named Ezra Ace Caraeff and published in The Portland Mercury (February 17, 2011). It was not, I know, [livejournal.com profile] chris_walsh's wish to set me off, but the very first paragraph got me so angry I spent much of the night bitching about it (much to Spooky's chagrin). The review begins by slamming The Hazards of Love as a "turgid rock opera." But then it gets really stupid. I quote:

Their determined song cycle put the story before the music, and its confusing plotline (with its forest creatures, fauns, and fairies, Hazards might as well have come pre-packaged with 12-sided dice and a wizard's cloak) distracted from both the band's melodic craft and frontman Colin Meloy's penchant for creating lyrics that have left many a weak-kneed listener and dog-eared thesaurus in their wake.

As kids these days are wont to say, o.0. Or something like that. The Hazards of Love is one of the most amazing musical accomplishments of the last decade, and it pains me to see how little vision there is in the world. Also, when will we learn to stop letting doofus hipsters write indie music reviews? Of course, then no one would write them. Of course...that would be a good thing, right? Yes, The King is Dead is excellent, but it's nowhere near the marvel the band achieved with The Hazards of Love (though, I admit, I love my dodecahedral dice). Regardless, I do not blame you, [livejournal.com profile] chris_walsh.

7) My editor at Penguin wrote me yesterday about the recycled cover fiasco. In the end, it was pretty anticlimactic, as I'd expected it would be. I was told "It’s actually not that uncommon, as we only buy the rights to use the art on our books in the territories we have. The artist owns the work itself. So sometimes artists will sell the same painting or a similar painting to a foreign publisher for a different book, or sell the image for a greeting card or a calendar or something. I know it’s disconcerting to come across, though. I’m double-checking with our art director that the artist sold this legitimately, but I haven’t heard back yet." Of course, Penguin buys just about every territory on earth. But not Romania. By the way, the artist in question is Gene Mollica, and I'm told he has a website out there somewhere, though I have no wish to see it. It's all business as usual, and business as usual is pretty much always a slipshod, disheartening affair. Regardless, I don't blame my editor for this. She didn't make those rules.

8) Last night, after I plowed through all 55 quests in Azshara and started in on Desolace (still determined to get the title Loremaster before leaving WoW), I signed up for the Rift beta, and Spooky gave me a few minutes on her laptop. I rolled a Kelari mage named Selwyn and a Bahmi cleric named Shaharrazad (the name lives on! Arrakis, Azeroth, and now Telara). And I played a couple of levels. And...damn. The game is astounding. Everything I saw about this game is astounding. And beautiful. The best character generator I have ever seen, bar none. It was hard to go back to the candy-colored, cartoon silliness of WoW, with all its poo jokes and puns. But...I'll just soldier on and keep my sights on the spring. Of course, Rift isn't idiot proof. No MMORPG ever will be. For example, there was some Kelari woman named Mayonnaise in the starting area with me last night. I'm sure her typist though she or he was being terribly clever.

9) Yesterday, while we were reading, the door to the front stairwell mysteriously opened. We're pretty sure Hubero used his brain to make it open. And, of course, he was out in a flash, and Spooky had to chase him up and down the stairs. I came out and pulled the door shut behind me. And it locked. Fortunately, the guy downstairs is good at picking locks, so we were back inside in only about five minutes. Screw you, Houdini cat!

And now....doughnuts. Comments!
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Cold and windy here in Providence.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Also, Spooky has some very cool Halloween goodies up in her Etsy shop, Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries, and they're only available until November 1st. C'mon, guys. How can you resist the pumpkinhead hangy ghosts? A hand-made Jack O' Lantern figurine? You can't, that's how! Finally and also, recall I've donated two items to the KGB Reading raffle, a very good cause, and raffle tickets are only $1 each.

Yesterday, I wrote a measly 614 words on "At the Reef." But they were good words. Gods, I miss the time, pre-2002, when my daily writing word limit was a mere 500 words. At some point, it got jacked up to 1,000 per day, though, truthfully, I feel guilty if I do less than 1,200. Anyway, I'll be able to finish the vignette on Saturday. Think Innsmouth, with sex. Okay, Innsmouth with overt sex. I established sometime back that "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" is pretty much a story about interspecific sexual shenanigans.

Today, Ursula K. LeGuin is 81 years old.

Last night was gallery night at the RISD Museum, and we went to hear Brown University planetary geologist Carle Pieters and artist Tristin Lowe discuss the moon in front of Lowe's Lunacy, a huge white felt version of the satellite, currently on view. And we stayed for student films, which were mostly wretched. Or whatever is worse than wretched. There were two or three good animated pieces ("The All-Mighty Bearfish!"), but mostly, if you're making a student film...please...think about cinematography and sound, imagery, the basics...don't try to make the Next Great Supernatural Thriller or a Gut-Wrenching Melodrama About Pressing Social Issues Starring All Your Friends Who Can't Act. Because you'll fail horribly, and fail to impress. But, yeah, the Bearfish ruled.

---

Last night, we played WoW, and did the Magister's Terrace mission, defeating Kael'thas Sunstrider at Quel'danas. It was a right bitch, even with two level 80s, and I have resolved to make our guild, Eyes of Sylvanas, a genuine guild. It's always just been me and Spooky. We started the guild to have extra storage space, and because we wanted a cool name and tabard. Last night, I got so pissed that I resolved to add a number of players to the guild. So...if you have a Horde toon on the Cenarion Circle server (or want to move an existing toon to Cenarion Circle) we'd love to have you. You even get a cool tabard. We're especially interested in players Level 65-80, but we'll accept lower levels, and will probably even help you level from time to time. If you are interested, please send Spooky an email at crk_books(at)yahoo(dot)com, letting us know your toon's name. And please comment here, so I'll know you're interested.

And, yeah, I'm still rping on CoX. But mostly, only rping.

---

By the way, people are dumb. No, seriously. This is not an Onion story. This is for real:

Plane Crashes After Crocodile Escapes, Causes Panic

The panicking fight attendant. The passengers who went ape-shit and freaked out over a small and mostly harmless croc. The moron who smuggled a crocodile onto an airplane in a carry-on bag. The asshole who killed the croc (the reptile was one of two survivors) with a machete after the crash. It's a proper fucking parade of idiots.

Speaking of which, Gustavo Bondoni is also a fucking idiot and an asshole. That's two for one.

On that note, I should probably go. I've got an interview to finish...
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Spooky's getting ready to take Sméagol back to the vet, because the abscess on his foot has turned into cellulitis. He's spry and eating, no fever and seems to be in no pain, but obviously we're worried (and never mind the damned vet bills). Oh, now Spooky's gone. Well, there you go.

The last couple of days I haven't been in that blogging frame of mind, whatever that blogging frame of mind might be. I think there was a post con crash, which happens sometimes. I'm on for three days, then suddenly I'm off. I'm surrounded by people for three days, then suddenly I'm my old reclusive self again. It didn't help that the last panel I had for Readercon 21, the "Gender and Sexuality in F/SF" late on Sunday, left such a bad taste in my mouth. I keep thinking of things I wish I'd said to the idiot who accused us of being "selfish" for not taking the feelings of readers into account when writing taboo subjects (lesbianism, it seems, is a taboo subject). I wish that I'd said, "Look, asshole. I will never make enough money to own a house. My teeth are shot. I can barely pay my bills. I have no health insurance, and I'll never be able to retire, ever. Writing almost every day for eighteen years has left me with a wrecked body and shot nerves. I need new glasses and can't afford them. The stress of this life led to seizures that have led to the need for medications I can't afford, but have to have, regardless. So, shut the hell up, you tight-assed little twerp, and let me write whatever it is I need to write. It's the only solace I have in this shitty job. I spent four hundred dollars I haven't got to attend this convention, and I'm not paying for the privilege of being called selfish by fools like you." Or something like that.

And I'm not going to start in on the two or three people (all female) who thought books need "warning labels," like "the ingredients list on food," so they wouldn't come upon a scene that offended their precious, fragile sensibilities. And why the fuck am I on about this again?

---

A good writing day yesterday. I did 1,644 words on the Next New Novel, beginning it for the third time. I'll say more about this situation in a few days, when I feel a little more self confident.

Later, we stopped by the farmer's market at the Dexter Training Grounds for fresh corn, and I finally got a new office/writing chair. The one I've had since 2003 or 2004 was, literally, falling apart, and doing horrible things to my back. And by the way, I'm going to make an effort not to talk so much about health and money problems here. It's something I personally find gauche, and would prefer not to ever do. There's just been so damn much of it lately.

Spooky has begun a new round of eBay auctions, which are important, as we have to cover the cost of Readercon and Sméagol's vet bills. So, please have a look. Bid if you are able. In particular, there's the Salammbô T-shirt (art by the astounding Richard A. Kirk), one of the last from the batch of 500 that were printed in 2000 to promote the original release of Tales of Pain and Wonder. We only have four left. We began this auction a couple of weeks ago, then ended it, because I didn't really have time to promote the item. If you're interested in rare stuff related to my work, this is one of the rarest you're going to come across, ever.

---

The last few days, besides writing and house cleaning and cat doctoring, we've been watching Season Two of 24 and Season One of Nip/Tuck. I've been reading Angela Carter's exquisite Wise Children (1991; Kathe Koja's Under the Poppy is next). We've played a little WoW, still trying to get Shah and Suraa through Icecrown. I've been making my way through the latest Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, and read "Tetrapod fauna of the lowermost Usili Formation (Songea Group, Ruhuhu Basin) of southern Tanzania, with a new burnetiid record" and "A new and unusual procolophonid parareptile from the Lower Permian of Texas." I've mostly been sleeping well.

Yesterday, there was cautious relief at the news that BP's latest cap tests have temporarily staunched the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. But I get the impression a lot of people think this means the oil isn't going to start flowing again (though even BP has stressed that it will). And, of course, even if no new oil were to enter the Gulf after today, there's presently almost 200 million gallons of oil befouling the area affected by the petrocalamity.

---

On Tuesday, we took in a matinée of Nimród Antal's Predators, which Spooky and I both enjoyed very much. My complaints are few. I would have liked it to be maybe half an hour longer, as it seemed a little rushed. But the creatures SFX were very good, and I can't get enough of Adrien Brody. John Debney's soundtrack was quite effective. Definitely a film that needs to be seen on a big screen. It's great fun, and I was in need of a Big Monster Movie that's great fun.

We also finally saw the Doctor Who "The End of Time" episodes. I thought the first half was a bit silly, but loved the second half. Has a doctor ever before refused so vehemently to go quietly into that gentle night? I'm going to miss David Tenant something fierce.

Okay...far too long an entry. The platypus says no one's going to read all this. I replied that I will, one year from now.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Thanks to the new (very expensive) medications, my insomnia is vastly better than it's been for years. But last night, I was awake until sometime after four, and then only got to sleep because I'd taken Ambien (which I dislike doing). Then I woke from a nightmare at eight, to construction noise from next door. And that was it. No getting back to sleep for me. I got up so the tossing and turning wouldn't wake Kathryn. So...now I have to manage to stay awake until tonight.

Yesterday, I did as little work as possible. But I did do a small bit of last minute editing on "The Maltese Unicorn" and sent it away to the anthology's editor. But mostly it was a "day off," after the insanity of Sunday and the big push to finish editing the short story.

I read Chapter Four of Gaining Ground by Jenny Clack ("Setting the Stage: The Devonian World"). I read the first part of Tales of the Slayers (Dark Horse), and especially liked "Righteous" by Joss Whedon and Tim Sale. Spooky made chili for dinner. Afterwards, we watched two short films by Nacho Cerdà, who directed The Abandoned (2006)— Genesis (1998) and Aftermath (1994). Both were very well done, though I was far more impressed by Genesis. Then we played WoW, leveling Gnomnclature and Klausgnomi to 30, before switching back to our main toons, Shaharrazad and Suraa, who we left stranded in Icecrown a couple of months back. That was yesterday. Oh, and the toilet broke. No, wait. That was day before. Night before last. Whichever.

Spooky got the new Rasputina CD yesterday, Sister Kinderhook, though I've yet to listen to it.

I know it's the future, and the world sucks extra hard now and all, but...my life would be at least 3% less annoying if the internet were not plagued by idiotic emoticons. Right now, I think the worst offender is— XD —though, I have to admit— o.0 —is a close fucking second. Oh, and— <.<, >.>, and >.< —are also nigh unto unbearable. These emoticons pretty much brand the user a total moron, even if the user is, say, Stephen Hawking. I actually sort of miss the days of ;-P and :-) and :-(. Things were so much simpler back then.

There are people on Earth, right now, who honestly believe all sentences should end with "lol."

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, which end this afternoon. Thanks.

Er...and I have a few photographs from the Museum of Comparative Zoology, before the day went to crap:

13 June 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
Cloudy today, and a bit cooler.

I had in mind to write something about the UN report on the world's devastated fish stocks and the very real possibility that, at this rate, the oceans will be essentially devoid of fish by 2050. Or, more specifically, about the aggressively, proudly idiotic comments stories like these generate on the internet. And about the problem of denialists. But...I'm just not up to it. And my going on about what idiots people are will not, in any significant way, lessen the world's population of idiots. So...never mind.

One day, forty or fifty years on, the world will look back to now, and as one will ask, "Why didn't someone warn us? Why didn't our parents stop this from happening?"

I’ll burn my tomorrows,
And I stand inside today,
At the edge of the future,
And my dreams all fade away.


---

Yesterday, I wrote what I think is the longest "prolegomenon" I've ever written for Sirenia Digest, at 1,140 words. Mostly, it's about how Frank Frazetta made my miserable childhood in Alabama a little less miserable.

Last night, we watched Stephen Gaghan's Syriana (2005). A very effective film. After the movie, I wrote: I find it remarkable when a completely realistic piece of fiction can instill the same suffocating sense of dread and uncertainty as the best pieces of weird fiction. Watching, you begin to understand that you do not understand the way the world works. And Syriana is that sort of film, every moment pregnant with dread. It speaks terror softly. The two explosions near the film's end are marked not by noise, but silence. Expectation is inverted to great effect.

I think that's all for now. I'm going to look for something strong enough to get the taste of idiot out of my brain.

Oh, I have a few more photos from Sunday's trip to Beavertail. These are the ones that Spooky took:

16 July 2010, Pt. 2 )
greygirlbeast: (Shah1)
And here is the first day of spring, the Vernal Equinox. Spooky and I will be observing Ostara on March 22nd, partly because at least one Wiccan website places it on the 22nd this year, and partly out of convenience. Regardless, today is the beginning of Spring. Fuck you, winter. The sun's out, it's warm, and the office window's open.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,068 words on a new story, "Houndwife," for Sirenia Digest #52. It's sort of shaping up to be a very peculiar "sequel" to Lovecraft's "The Hound" (1922). I like it.

Late last night, I learned that The Red Tree has made the "longlist" for the British Fantasy Award, which pleases me. My great thanks to everyone who voted for it. And I do hope to see it make the shortlist. There's an online voting form here. All members of FantasyCon '09 and '10 are eligible to vote.

Also, I've been meaning to mention that Jeff and Ann VanderMeer have asked to reprint "A Redress for Andromeda" (written in June 2000) in a forthcoming weird fiction anthology (title TBA), which pleases me a great deal. "A Redress for Andromeda," you may recall, is the first story in the "Dandridge Cycle."

Yesterday, Spooky had to go to her dentist in Wakefield. On the way home, she stopped by Pow! Science! (at Wakefield Mall) and found the new Carnegie Museum Tylosaurus. Finally, someone has made an accurate mosasaur figure! I should make a post about all the not-so-good mosasaur figurines that have come and gone over the years. Anyway, as it happens, the new Carnegie Tylosaurus was sculpted by a Rhode Island artist, Forest Rogers, who does truly beautiful things. You should have a look. If I were a wealthy beast, I would be buying original pieces of her artwork. Hell, if I were a truly wealthy bear, I'd be hiring her to do a Dancy Flammarion sculpture.

Oh, and Spooky has lowered the price of her latest doll, Cassandra, which you may see here, at Dreaming Squid Dollworks. You know you want to give her a good home.

My head is full of random things today. For example, on Tuesday, just after I'd "fired my therapist" (long story, do not ask), I saw a bumper sticker that read, "Annoy a Liberal: Work Hard and Be Happy." Shit like that just fucking baffles me. I am baffled at the sheer temerity of stupid, sometimes. Also, we filled out the Census Form and sent it back. Is it just me, or has the census been simplified nigh unto utter nonsense? I mean, they're collecting so little data this time. It seems like it was once far more complex. I think it took me about four minutes to answer the questions.

This is getting long, and I should wrap it up. Last night, Shaharrazad, my blood elf warlock, made Level 80. I created Shah on September 27th, 2008, and I only had to give up 37 days, 2 hours, 40 minutes, and 6 seconds of my life (890+ hours) to get her to Level 80. Which is the cap until the next expansion is released, which is not to say there's not still tons of "Wrath of the Lich King" left to play (though I am dubious of the people who claim the game "really only begins at Level 80," because they're the same ones who used to say, the game doesn't begin until Level 70. And does this mean that when the next WoW expansion is released, later this year, the game will suddenly stop and resume only when you reach Level 85? Anyway...Shah leveled sometime just after midnight, fighting Scourge-struck trolls in Zul'Drak.

And now...work!
greygirlbeast: (Starbuck 3)
1. I went to bed about four ayem. Sometime after five I got up again, wide fucking awake. I went to bed the second time a few minutes past six and managed to sleep until noon. I hurt with sleeplessness.

2. Yesterday, I wrote 1,061 words on "Apsinthion" (which I'm still considering titling "αψίνθιον," if only because I know it would tick off jackholes like B.R. Myers). This is going to be a very solid issue of Sirenia Digest, including "The Eighth Veil" (illustrated by Vince), a fragment entitled "Persephone Redux," and this latest piece, "Apsinthion" (i.e., "αψίνθιον").

3. The signature sheets for The Ammonite Violin & Others arrived. UPS left them on the doorstep...in the pouring rain. Fortunately, the pages were double boxed and shrink wrapped, so nothing got wet except that outer box. But, you know...they might have fucking knocked. Or rang the buzzer.

4. I say if the Canadian women's hockey team wants to celebrate winning the gold by lingering on the ice to smoke cigars and drink booze, it's their own goddamn business, and they've earned the right, and people need to reserve their outrage for that which is genuinely outrageous...like lazy UPS delivery men who clearly cannot be bothered.

5. A few interesting comments, and my comments to those comments, regarding Laura Miller's idiotic advice to writers (courtesy Salon.com) regarding style. [livejournal.com profile] myownpetard summed up Miller's complaints as "I notice it, but I don't get it, so no one should do it." Which I think is pretty much on the mark. [livejournal.com profile] catconley wrote, "Just... wow. That's like saying, 'Yes, I know I've never flown a fighter jet, and I never intend to do so, but jeez, pilot, I think you're headed into that loop-the-loop a little too slow, don't you? Isn't the whole purpose of your job to entertain loads of people at air shows and stuff?'" To which I replied, "Looking at that bit you excerpted, I'm tempted to think this all comes down to the belief that writing is about product, or at best, entertainment. That the idea of Art is just too passé for the early 21st Century, and too many people are marginally literate, but completely ignorant of the true benefits of literacy. It just makes me hurt...." In the end, of course, I blame the internet, because these sorts have always been with us, and always will be, but the internet has given them an easy-to-use worldwide soapbox, so now they make a lot more noise than they ever were capable of making before. Oh, and blame is shared with psychology and lousy parenting, because in the end this is all about some bizarre sense of entitlement. Fuck the bozos, I say. Life's too short, and this job sucks enough without whining readers who've misunderstood the age-old horse/cart relationship.

6. Today will be spent dealing with line edits for "Apsinthion" (i.e., "αψίνθιον") and "The Eighth Veil." Which is always tedious— dealing with line edits, I mean —but will be much worse because I haven't slept nearly enough. I see Red Bull and Camel Wides in my immediate future. Maybe more coffee, too. Oh, and Spooky has to be at the dentist in a couple of hours to have her mouth drilled upon, so I'll be all alone with the cats and the tedium.

7. I did one shortish scene in Insilico last night, in which Fifth and Victoria (Xiang 1.5) discussed her future, vendettas, and the place of droids in a droid-hating world. And I played some WoW with Spooky and Hyasynth (a friend from Chicago). We slaughtered humans in Hillsbrad and giggled and made off-color jokes about troll sex.

8. And here's the next set of photos, these from our second day at Beavertail, which was Monday:

22 February 2010, Part 1 )
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
1. Days of grey ahead, the sky spitting snow and rain.

2. The last two days have been a sort of retreat. A couple of days ago, I looked back at December, January, February— at everything that has and has not been done, at the stories written and the deadlines missed —and was so overwhelmed that I asked Kathryn if we could just spend Sunday out of doors somewhere, anywhere that wasn't the place I write. She agreed (I think she was relieved that I would ever make such a request). So, on Sunday, despite the cold and winds gusting to 24 mph., we crossed the West Passage of Narragansett Bay to Conanicut Island, then drove south through Jamestown to Beavertail. It was too bitterly cold to be on the western side of the island, but there was shelter from the wind below the cliffs of slate and phyllite on the eastern side. Amid those rocks half a billion years old, we watched a flock of Harlequin ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus), a species neither of us had seen before, in amongst the gulls and cormorants. Right now, there's a wonderful variety of ducks and geese at Beavertail, including eiders (Somateria mollissima), brants (Branta bernicla), and Black scoters (Melanitta nigra). In the cliffs, among the boulders, there were pools of ice, frozen meltwater draining from the land above the bay, and lingering banks of snow. The day was beautiful and calming, and even so close to home, it was easy to pretend there were no other human beings anywhere on the planet. I sat in the brilliant sun and made notes in my Moleskine. Later, we headed farther east, to West Cove, where we hunted beach glass and bones washed up with all the flotsam. We stayed almost until dark.

And then, yesterday, we went back. It was a little warmer yesterday, and there was no wind to speak of, so it felt much warmer. At Beavertail, more birdwatching, and then we hiked along the steep cliffs, as far north as the great sloshing chasm at Lion's Head, about half a mile northeast of the lighthouse. Later, we went back to West Cove, and Kathryn found an enormous piece of dark blue beach glass (one of the rarer colors). We found the bones of birds and fish in among the cobbles and pebbles. We listened to noisy jays and crows. The world and all the crap it foists upon us felt very, very far away. This morning, I'm quite sore, bruised, and slightly sun-burned, but think perhaps I've rediscovered some much needed clarity. There is no comfort in all the world like the sea. And, between the two days, we took about a hundred and fifty photos, which gives me photos to post for several days. I'm even in a couple. Here's the first set, from the eastern side of Beavertail on Sunday:

21 February 2010, Part 1 )


3. Rhetorical question: Is it not bad enough that I've had to despair for my own screwed-up generation, but that I have to also despair for all these increasingly screwed-up generations that have followed after?

4. Today, I'll begin the second piece for Sirenia Digest #51. I've shelved "Persephone Redux"; it was simply too ambitious for the time allotted. However, I do intend to finish it someday, and will be including the first section in #51, as a sort of bonus bit.

5. If you've not yet pre-ordered The Ammonite Violin & Others, that's easy to remedy. The platypus and the dodo are of the opinion that it's going to be one of my best short-fiction collections to date. I am not presently inclined to disagree.
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: (Eli1)
No, there's been no writing. And what the fuck point is there in making an entry about how there's been no writing since I finished "The Eighth Veil," way back on the ninth? Not a whole lot. At least I have moved beyond lying in bed, and have actually spent the last two days at the keyboard not writing. Somehow, that entails slightly less guilt than not writing from bed. Less guilt, more frustration. My masochistic "soul" probably figures the pain incurred staring at the blank MS Word "page" earns me less guilt. It's not writing, but at least it's another sort of suffering, so I'm cut some slack.

I will try again today. Today, I will try harder than I tried yesterday.

The snow hasn't all melted away, but it's going fast.

I admit I have paused in my not writing to gaze in horror at the internet kerfuffle surrounding Evelyn Evelyn. I know people are stupid, but sometimes I forget just how stupid people can be, especially on the goddamn internet. I've really had enough of the good soldiers of the web, fighting their ignorant, petty wars for truth, light, and squeamish political correctness. Spooky came into the office, night before last, to try and tell me about the people flaming Amanda over the Evelyn Evelyn backstory. And it's not often I'm rendered speechless, but speechless was I rendered. Finally, I was able to sputter something like, "These fuckwits know Ziggy Stardust was really David Bowie, right?" Yeah, it's that stupid. There are people who live to be offended, to disapprove. And no, I'm not linking to the stupid. If you want to see, use Google.

Life's to goddamn short for this nonsense. To quote Jeffrey Goines, "Fuck the bozos!"

Well, at least I do have these photographs, the railroad bridge photos I promised day before yesterday. I will refer you to Daughter of Hounds. If you have the trade paperback, you may turn to page 238. If you have the paperback, it's page 205. If you have the trade paperback and the paperback, I love you.

15 February 2010, Pt. 2 )
greygirlbeast: (white)
Yeah, I've missed a couple of days.

1. On Sunday, I wrote 1,069 words, and finished the prologue to The Wolf Who Cried Girl. Or, at least I hoped that I had. I had a hot bath, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. We were having Sonya ([livejournal.com profile] sovay) and Geoffrey ([livejournal.com profile] readingthedark) over, and Sonya's train arrived at 7:20 p.m. (CaST). I didn't want to go out in the cold, especially considering I'd left the House only the day before to go down to Warwick (office supplies, etc.). But Spooky more or less ordered me to go along. So, I bundled up and braved the glacier slicking our driveway.

Not too long after we got back, Geoffrey arrived. And since we're on the second floor and our doorbell is broken, he announced his arrival by hurling a snowball at the window. Which worked. We got takeout from Fellini's on Wikenden. And then I read everyone the prologue (Spooky had not yet heard the end of it). It was met with approval, and I was tremendously relieved. Now, I only have to find my way into Chapter One. Afterwards, there was much good conversations, topics ranging from Readercon, sea chanteys, vile "salads" involving Jell-O and mayonnaise, Baudelaire and Nabokov, Lovecraft and how much the "holiday" season sucks, Crowley and how Cormac McCarthy was arrested in the seventies for having public sex with a watermelon and...I don't know. Lots and lots of things. But, then I had a moderate seizure, sometime after midnight. The worst of it was that I bit my tongue. Still, we watched Luc Besson's The Fifth Element (1997), which Sonya had never seen. Despite the way the seizure had left me feeling— foggy and wiped out —I didn't get to bed until about 5 a.m. (CaST).

2. On Monday, there was more conversation. Sonya had to catch a train back to Boston at 2:30ish. This time, I was not forced out into the cold. Geoffrey stayed, and we talked until dusk, when he headed back to Framingham. It was a good visit (my fit notwithstanding), and I wish I'd have people over more often. Of course, then less would get written. Last night, Spooky and I watched four more episodes of Fringe. I want a T-shirt that says, "Unless your IQ is higher than mine, I don't care."*

3. I want to remind everyone in the Brooklyn/Manhattan area, I'll be part of a Lovecraft Unbound reading this coming Friday night (January 15th) at the Montauk Club in Brooklyn. Naturally, I'll be reading from "Houses Under the Sea." And this will be my last public appearance until ReaderCon in July.

4. If you've not already, the platypus urges you to preorder The Ammonite Violin & Others.

5. The last week or so, I have allowed myself to wander back into Second Life. I thought I was out for good, but that aforementioned desperation for the lives that can only be lived through avatars and free-form roleplay with a visual interface drove me back in. It hasn't gone well, and I may now be in the process of seeking an exit strategy, or at least searching for a sim where morons make up somewhat less than 95% of the virtual population. Which is probably utterly futile. But it's so hard for me to give up on something I waited for all my life. It ought to be brilliant, and, instead, SL is a haven for the worst of the worst of the internet. I loathe SL, passionately, and yet it keeps drawing me back in.

6. Lastly, I'm getting some truly grand responses to the two polls— "If I were a monster you could summon...." and "If you had me alone, locked up in your house, for twenty-four hours and I had to do whatever you wanted me to" —those polls. There was something genuinely amazing last night from [livejournal.com profile] jacobluest. Anyway, I'll be reading your responses for at least another week and a half, maybe two. Thanks to everyone who has answered.

* 147-149, depending whether I refer to the test of '81 or the test of '90, respectively. Both were administered by licensed psychologists.
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
I am very painfully not awake. No sleep until after 5 a.m. this morning.

And I have to ask, are people getting stupider, or am I just noticing it more frequently? If they are getting stupider, I blame Twitter. And Oprah. And the pharmaceutical companies. And the fact that Britney Spears was allowed to breed.

Yesterday, I managed to write another 1,196 words on "At the Gate of Deeper Slumber," which will be appearing in Sirenia Digest #41 later this month. While we were reading yesterday's pages, Hubero snuggled with me, and Spooky got this photo, much to his eventual chagrin (behind the cut):

20 April 2009 )


I looked out the window yesterday. Hardly a substitute for leaving the house, but it was the best I could manage. I looked out the window, and saw that the trees are now, finally, awash in a spray of new green. I think this dreadful winter might actually be behind us.

Last night, I suffered a three hour (!!!!!) dungeon crawl through Maraudon. When it was over, Shaharrazad socked Suraa in the nose and adjourned to the comforts of Orgrimmar, where she intends to get a room in the Drag, and hold up with booze and orc whores for at least a week.

Last night, I found the resolve to leave Second Life. For good. Forever. It's been almost two years since I began trying to use it for roleplay, as a means of generating what would be, essentially, interactive novels. And I now reluctantly admit defeat and pronounce the experiment a protracted, costly, embarrassing failure. Let someone else cast pearls before the swine. Anyway, I'll write more on this some other time, sometime when I'm less sleepy and can summon the requisite disgust. Anyway, don't look for me, because I'm not there. I will say that, disappointment aside, there is great relief that the whole mess is at long last behind me.

Okay. Where's the IV drip with the coffee/Red Bull blend?
greygirlbeast: (Starbuck 3)
You know your insomnia has wrought unspeakable ill upon your person, when your girlfriend forbids you to look in mirrors. I got to sleep sometime between 2:30 and 3:00 ayem, then woke at 8:45. After hardly sleeping the night before. And I was a lot more awake at 8:45 than I am right now.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,005 words on what I hope to fuck all is the beginning of "As Red as Red." I'm running out of month. And I still have Sirenia Digest #40 to get out, when this short story is finished.

---

My disdain for the Sci Fi Channel is no secret. After the cancellation of Farscape, I refused to watch for a year or two, then only went back for Battlestar Galactica and Doctor Who (the latter is not actually a SciFi produced series, of course). The former SFC vice-president, Bonnie Hammer, went so far out of her way to alienate the channel's core market, and launched such insulting attacks on the people tuning in...well, I wasn't sure it could get much worse. Wrong. Which is to say, "Sci Fi Channel Aims to Shed Geeky Image With New Name." Yes, the SciFi Channel will now be the SyFy channel. And you know why? In the words of Dave Howe, president of the Sci Fi Channel:

When we tested this new name, the thing that we got back from our 18-to-34 techno-savvy crowd, which is quite a lot of our audience, is actually this is how you’d text it. It made us feel much cooler, much more cutting-edge, much more hip, which was kind of bang-on what we wanted to achieve communication-wise.

So, there you have it, kiddos. Ys are quantitatively cooler than Is. I suppose this means that it's time to change my name to Caytlyn R. Kyernan, so I can be so much cooler and more cutting edge and txty and all that shit. Anyway, you should read this article. It'll make your brain cramp. I think David Howe actually makes me miss Bonnie Hammer.

---

Speaking of things that make your brain cramp, let's say you were to join a Second Life roleplay group with the following charter:

"We are seekers into the mystery, dedicated to the discovery, rediscovery, and preservation of ancient and occult knowledge. We serve no master or mistress but this one purpose. In all matters concerning the world beyond the AI, we maintain a stance of inviolable and absolute neutrality. We do not take sides. We do not offer aid or shelter. We do not interfere. We are one and many. We seek the Truth, and shall hold no creed nor take any action contrary to our mission."

Now, having joined, having read that charter for such an esoteric and clearly self-centered order, would you then dare feel somehow justified at expressing righteous indignation upon learning that the group doesn't take sides, or offer aid or shelter? That it doesn't help blind old ladies cross streets, or sell cookies to send kids with special needs to summer camp, or run a kennel for stray dogs, or give good homes to fucking orphans? Oh, and do keep in mind that the order's founder is a vampire hailing from the Tzmisce sect, and, in earlier times, she was known as Countess Báthory Erzsébet, and La bête du Gévaudan, and Jack the Ripper? Never mind that she might also have been responsible for the Tunguska explosion in 1908 (and yeah, those last two sentences are surely geektastic enough to send David Howe of the SyFy Channel running for cover, lest he be stricken with unhip, unsalable paroxysms of mortal fucking agony). I'm just asking, you know? Because my tolerance for stupid is scraping bottom this morning.

Is it just me, or are people far less ashamed of looking foolish than they once were? I think it's becoming a badge of honour.

---

Please have a look at the new ebay auctions. We have a copy of The Five of Cups up, and keep in mind, this is one of the last of these I have to sell. Thanks.

Tomorrow I am banning all Is from this blog. Because, you know, then I'll be, like, way cooler. And make more money. And stuff.

Oh...I have some more photos from our trip to the Common Burying Ground in Newport on Monday:

16 March 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (mirror2)
"Carbon dioxide... we call it life," TV ads say.

My thanks to [livejournal.com profile] mistressmousey for pointing me towards this one. Timed to coincide with the May 24th release of An Inconvenient Truth, a series of television ads hailing the proliferation of CO2 as a good thing.

Speaking here in my official capacity as Head Priestess of the Immaculate Order of the Falling Sky, as well as an avowed parahuman, I can only ask why you people are allowing these idiots to make the rest of you look even worse than you already do? Isn't there some point in this civilization where selfish, malevolent stupidity becomes punishable by death? I mean, before the big rock has to fall from the sky? The big rock, you see, is not unlike global warming and hurricanes and droughts. It doesn't distinguish between those who know better and those who don't. Yet, while the big rock is inevitable, given a long enough timescale...well, you should be able to figure out the rest.

Meanwhile, I found this somewhat amusing (misspelling and all):

Your Stress Level is: 81%

Wow! Not only are you extremely prone to stress, you're a total ball of stress these days.
And while times are certainly tough right now, being stressed out is not making it easier.
Your stress is effecting your relationships, career, and most importantly, you health.

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greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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