greygirlbeast: (starbuck5)
One of the things about being a freelancer – and here I mean the sort with nothing resembling a regular gig, the sort who lives hand to mouth, short story to novel to short story and so forth – is that there's a lot of waking-up time. You might have to worry about paying the bills, but you can take three hours to chase the sleep away. But now, because of The Secret, I'm another sort of writer, and I'm having to get used to rolling out of bed and hitting the floor running, frosty, eyes wide, bright and shiny, Cap'n. I'm getting very good at faking awake and articulate.

I actually slept eight and a half hours last night.

Yesterday, I worked. A lot.

I just got word of the Decemberists EP that comes out on November 1, and there's the new Tom Waits next week. Music madness!

This morning, Spooky kindly made me eggs and bacon for breakfast. These days, left to my own devices, my usual breakfast is a can of Campbell's vegetarian vegetable soup. And now I have my sugar-free Red Bull, so all is right and Ceiling Cat is in his clouds, rubbing shoulders with the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

I wish I had a good Hallowe'en party to attend this year, But, likely I shall not. Likely, we shall attend the Molten Masquerade, the annual iron pour at The Steel Yard, where over 500 pounds of liquid steel will flow beneath the night skies of Providence. It's hard to think of a better way to welcome Samhain. I mean, hard to think of a better way to welcome Samhain that doesn't involve nudity. And a sacrificial Scientologist.

A favor, please. If you've received your copy of Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan (Volume One), please leave a comment to that effect (and your location, if you don't mind). I just like watching my new books spread, like a pandemic.

Last night, after work, after Spooky went to the farmer's market, after meatloaf, we played RIFT for...a while. And then we read more of Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis' Wildwood. While Spooky read aloud, I used astronomy "apps" on Kermit to explore Mars and then the Moon. Ah, and yesterday I also managed to read four (!!!!) papers in the latest issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology: "A new Barremian (Early Cretaceous) ichthyosaur from western Russia," "A Carboniferous emblomere tail with supraneural radials," "The first temnospondyl amphibian from Japan," and "New evidence of large Permo-Triassic dicynodonts (Synapsida) from Australia."

And that was the best of yesterday. And now I will leave you with five more randomly chosen "behind the scenes" photos taken by Ryan Anas during last weekend's shoot for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir trailer. However, these are so random, I think I'll add captions:

Ryan's Behind the Scenes, Part Two )
greygirlbeast: (white2)
So, I'm about two hours late beginning this journal entry, because freelancing means enduring bullshit from all directions when you least expect it. Though, a smart freelancer expects it every fucking second of every fucking day. Still, I might yet get some work done before midnight.

Seems I caused a recent kerfuffle over my opinions on ebooks. And here's what I don't understand: The proponents of ebooks have won, so why are they so defensive? Can you not allow the loser to be sore? Can a winner be so insecure he or she must wage an evangelical battle to convert all us lovers of actual books? The battle, if ever there were one, is long over. Think of it as the Battle of Serenity Valley. Think of me as a Browncoat. Think of ebooks and their industry and consumer proponents as the Alliance. Dumb analogy, I know. Fannish to the bone and all. But still apt. I've lost the war. I didn't even win a single battle in the war. Regardless, I will not go quietly into that good night (thank you, Mr. Thomas). So, allow me to hold my unpopular and irrelevant opinions, and to express them in what is my own bloody LiveJournal without running off to whine when you broke the First Rule of CRK's LJ: Do not poke the angry beast with a point stick. Or, stated another way, don't make contentious comments guaranteed to piss me off. In the old days, this was called trolling.

Speaking of this subject, here's a very much appreciated bit of information posted here by [livejournal.com profile] aliceoddcabinet:

Let me tell you a little story about the Domesday Book.

Completed in 1086, it held a record of many of the daily doings of everyday life and people in Great Britain at the time. It was like a proto-census. Sort of. Around 1999, the BBC thought it would be great idea to do another
Domesday Book for the New Millennium. So they got all this great information, including voice recordings, and digital video and all sorts of cool cool coolness. So they completed it.

On some random kind of Videodisk. And now, with very few players that can access the material on these Random Video disks, the million dollar project is now...well, rendered moot (mute, as well). The original
Domesday Book? From 1086? Written in Latin, written on paper is still available to be viewed at the British National Archives. And can be read by anyone who knows Latin. Hell, by anyone with a Latin Dictionary.

So there's my little Parable.


And, ebook evangelists, you really think you'll be able to go back read those Kindle ebooks you're buying in a decade? Really? Ha, ha, and ha (good name for a law firm). That was the sound of the Last laugh, which is to come.

Anyway.

Yesterday, we saw a matinée of Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.'s The Thing, a prequel to John Carpenter's The Thing (1982, a remake of Christian Nyby and Howard Hawks' 1951 The Thing from Another World, a film version of John W. Campbell Jr.'s short story "Who Goes There?", first published in Amazing Stories in 1938). I liked it quite a lot. There a lot I want to say about it, but I don't have time at the moment. Maybe tomorrow.

A little reading. I read (in analog, thank you) Gary Braunbeck's pretty decent novella "Tessellations," and also "A selachian freshwater fauna from the Triassic of Kyrgyzstan and its implications for Mesozoic shark nurseries." Very, very amazing stuff. Just think: fossilized mermaids' purses. Also, "A new species of Laccognathus (Sarcopterygii, Porolepiformfes) from the Late Devonian of Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada."

The new Brown Bird album, Salt for Salt, is incredible. Just had to say that.

Here are some "behind the scenes" from our weekend filming of the trailer for The Drowning Girl and Stills From a Film That Never Was (by the way, Kyle and I are talking about a mix-media/book mini-tour in galleries this spring in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Providence, and Boston):

14 October 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (cullom)
0. Comments would be very welcome today.

1. Chilly and sunny today. Our little Indian Summer has come and gone. All three days of it. I left the house only once, briefly, the entire time. I expect no more days in the eighties until June.

2. On this day, eighteen years ago, I began writing Silk. Weather-wise, it was a day much like today, though much farther south. Eighteen years, so that means babies born that day are, as of this day, old enough to vote. One of them picking up Silk today, would be like me, on the occasion of my eighteenth birthday, picking up a copy of a novel whose author began writing it in 1964. These are very strange thoughts. Silk is, lest anyone delude themselves into thinking otherwise, a snapshot of a time, culture, and place long vanished. I am not that person anymore. No, not really. There's a faint echo of her around here somewhere.

3. My mood is lower today than it's been in, I don't know. Months. These things happen, and we stay on our meds, and we speak of ourselves in the third person, and we ride them out.

4. Yesterday, you might have seen a news story with a sensational headline something like: "Giant 'Kraken' Lair Discovered: Cunning Sea Monster That Preyed On Ichthyosaurs.". People kept sending me links to it yesterday. And the best I can say about this affair is that if I were still teaching, I'd point to this as a sterling example of Really Bad Science. One does not find a peculiar pattern (in this case, the arrangement of ichthyosaur vertebrae) and invent an outlandish explanation with no evidence whatsoever. And call it something lurid and ridiculous like a "Giant Kraken." There's zero evidence for the existence of a giant Triassic teuthid (squid). Zero. No fossil evidence. So, to posit that one was moving ichthyosaur bones around is very akin to the Weekly World News having once blamed "Alien Big-Game Hunters" for the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs. In short, it's silly. I could write a long essay on this, but I won't. Even if Mark McMenamin could find fossil evidence for a giant squid of roughly the same age as Shonisaurus popularis, it would still be almost impossible to say it was responsible for moving those bones into that pattern.

5. Yesterday...I worked. Not as much as I should have, because...sometimes it's hurry up and wait. But I did work. Mostly, more planning for the book-trailer shoot this weekend. Only three days to go. And it looks like there will be rain on Friday, which is going to play merry havoc with our schedule.

6. Want to see the American Consumer at its least rational? Just look back over the recent fiasco with Netflix, and the damage its done to the company (a two-thirds stock drop since July, and still going down). Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has apologized for the proposed Netflix/Quickster division for rental/streaming services, which is absurd. That he apologized, I mean. People need to cut the entitlement bullshit. Better streaming services will cost more, and the industry is moving towards streaming. Period. I am far from being a financially stable person, but the original Netflix business model won't work forever, and it's wasteful, and is costing the USPS a fortune.

7. Frequently, people have asked me to blog my Second Life roleplay. Usually, I don't do this, because doing so leads to spending time writing that could be spent RPing. But I have begun keeping a journal of Ellen "Grendel" Ishmene's trials and tribulations in Insilico, the life of an illegal Level A clone/Class V AI. It's an excuse to keep myself limber with cyberpunk narratives. If you're interested, you can follow the journal here. Oh, and there are pictures. These days, about the only reason I can find to bother with SL is Insilico, and it's far from perfect. But the build is exquisite, and the RP is probably about the best ever in SL.

8. As for the non-work part of yesterday, I read two articles in the September 2011 issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology: "Variation in the skull of Anchiceratops (Dinosauria, Ceratopsidae) from the Horseshoe Canyon Formation (Upper Cretaceous) of Alberta" and "A sauropod dinosaur pes from the latest Cretaceous of North America, and the validity of Alamosaurus sanjuanensis (Sauropoda, Titanosauria)."* And we read two more chapters of Shirley Jackson's The Sundial (we're nearing the end of the book), and played some Rift, and I read a rather awful short story by F. Paul Wilson, "The November Game," an extremely unfortunate "sequel" to Ray Bradbury's classic "The October Game." If you're going to attempt a sequel to one of the best spooky stories of the 20th Century, at least have the respect and good sense to mind the mood and tone of the original. And that was yesterday.

Twiddling Her Thumbs,
Aunt Beast

* Looks as though there's only a single species of Anchiceratops, A. ornatus, and that Alamosaurus is a valid taxon.
greygirlbeast: (new newest chi)
I didn't work again yesterday. Somehow, taking one day off made me so tired that I needed two off. Which is odd, as I left the house on neither day. I think this is one reason I so rarely bother to take days off. Not only do I not have time, and not only do days off make me twitchy (no matter how much I need them), they also seems to make me tireder.

On this day a year ago—right about now—we were flying out of Portland, vaulting eastward, homeward, over a range of towering, snow-capped volcanic peaks, and little did we suspect the hell of air travel snafus and "we don't give a fucks" awaiting us in Minneapolis and beyond. Still, even for that, it was great trip. But I'll never fly again, unless I can't avoid it, or it means I get to cross the Atlantic.

---

Words I find I live by more and more:

Business as usual is unacceptable. If this is the best you can do, do better. Or do something else. Do not expect me to slow down so you can catch up. No one cares, and no one is coming for you. Desire does not equate to talent, and there is too much neglected talent for anyone to have to endure mediocrity born of even the most passionate, talentless desire. Yes, it's true that honey catches more flies than does vinegar, but fly paper catches far more than either. You're dying, already. Do not ask my opinion, unless you're willing to take a chance that I might disembowel your dreams, and no, it's not worth taking the chance.

I know how it looks. Or sounds. But all we have left to us is the truth. Lies are for the World At Large, for The Machine, for Them, the Faceless Corporate Rapists of the World. And the men and women who serve them, the men and women so filled with fear and self-loathing they only know how to believe and consume and hate. The willfully ignorant. If the truth is Hell, and Heaven a lie, give me Hell. That's the only sane choice (sane being an admittedly subjective term) .

This is what happens when I don't work. I bleed thoughts. Ugly thoughts. Like, "When did America cease producing adult human beings?"

---

I have received word from Subterranean Press that Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Me (Volume One) will be arriving in the subpress warehouses today, BUT, Bill Scahfer says they "have a number of titles slated to hit the door before its turn, and half my shipping department is out sick. I don't think we'll be shipping for 1-2 weeks. " So, be patient, kittens. It's coming. It will be my Samhain gift to thee.

---

Nothing much happened yesterday. I took a long hot bath. There was washing-machine drama in Pickman's Basement. The new Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology arrived. I received a biography of Arthur Machen (coincidence?) I've not read as a gift from [livejournal.com profile] ashlyme in far-away England. Small thank yous are often the nicest. Not always, but frequently. I've been playing a lot of Rift again. Not RPIng, just playing. The guild is actually still alive, which sort of amazes (put pleases) me. Selwynn abandoned Meridian, sick of watching the Guardians and Defiant squabble over science and religion while Regulus destroys the world; she now slays demons on her own terms. There were sandwiches for dinner. We read, and then I read to myself, K. W. Jeter's (the man who invented the term "steampunk," April 1987) "Riding Bitch," from the Halloween anthology. Not bad, really. But I stayed up too late reading.

Spooky's Hallowe'en Sale (!!!) in her Etsy shop, Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries—20% off on everything—continues. Only two necklaces and a bracelet left, and who knows when she'll have time to make more. You snooze, someone else wins.

Now, back to the donut mines...

For the Moment, Guileless,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
So, I did it. As of today, I have blogged six months straight, without missing a single day. Actually, I've not missed making an entry since February 13th, but I didn't make the "I'm not going to miss an entry for six months" declaration until March 1st, so I'm not counting February. Anyway, between March 1st and today (this post included), there's a total of 253 entries. Most days got one entry. Some got two or three. One got four entries. So, having accomplished this task, I ask myself, "Self, want to try for a whole year?" And remember, I have no iPad, no iPhone, Android, Blackberry, what-the-hell-ever mobile geegaw that allows me to post anywhere but home. So, this stands as ample evidence that I really don't have a life. Though, it's true, that three entries (I think it was three), were made from the business center of the Readercon hotel, back in July.

---

Yesterday, well...I worked. But I can't tell you on what I worked. And as the weeks roll by, until THE ANNOUNCEMENT is made, I'm going to have to say...yesterday I worked, and did X words on X, X pages on X, and so forth. It sucks. The other way – you seeing how marvelous the beginning of this undertaking is – would be so much cooler. But this is the way it is.

Anyway, yeah. Work on X. Then an appointment with my shrink. Then a trip to Pawtucket and the storage unit. Then dinner. I read "New Upper Pennsylvanian armored dissorophid records (Temnospondyli, Dissorophoidea) from the U.S. midcontinent and the stratigraphic distributions of dissorophids" and "Tupilakosaur-like vertebrae in Bothriceps australis, an Australian brachyopid stereospondyl" (both in the July JVP Then good RP in Insilico. Then Spooky read more of The Stand to me. And then...Monsieur Insomnia hit with a vengeance, and I sat up reading from The Book of Cthulhu until about 5:15 ayem. I read, um...let's see. Oh, yes. Bruce Sterling's "The Unthinkable" (1991, a peculiar little piece of whimsy, almost a vignette). Then Tim Pratt's "Cinderlands" (2010), which has a wonderfully non-linear narrative. It fumbles once with an achingly silly Lovecraftian pun, but yeah, otherwise, nice. And then Ramsey Campbell's very effective "The Tugging" (1976); Ramsey never ceases to amaze me. Then I managed to fall asleep, listening to This Mortal Coil, as the sun began to rise.

Tomorrow, I finally get to work on Sirenia Digest #69. It should be out by the fifth, on schedule. It's only going to feel late, on my end, because of this insane fucking amount of work lying over me like a heavy coating of bronze going green with verdigris.

And now, before I belatedly get to work on X, more photos from Friday, the day before Hurricane Irene began her sideswipe of Rhode Island (behind the cut).

Oh, and a big thank you to [livejournal.com profile] fornikate (my fans have the best LJ names) for teaching me that my spirit animal is actually a honey badger. It's absolutely true, and I should have figured it out years ago. We now have a jealous platypus.

August 26, Part 2 )


Mellivora,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Um...what? Already? Oh, fuck. Okay.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,163 words on the final chapter of Blood Oranges. More bridge troll stuff – but Otis, not Aloysius. It's very, very weird writing a book of any sort this quickly.

One video, and then another, and now Spooky has me listening to Tom Waits this morning. Which is better than having "At the Hop" stuck in my head. Yeah, I just woke up, and there it was, in my head.

My thanks to Scott Pohlenz for sending me a copy of Subterranean Press' exquisite The Martian Chronicles: The Complete Edition. The slipcased and numbered edition! #49! And on Bradbury's birthday, even! Okay, that's enough goddamn exclamation points, but thanks all the same, Scott. You made my day. Originally, I wrote, "You made my day awesome." But then Spooky politely reminded me how we don't use that word around here, because all those AWESOME shit-wit hipsters and interweb dweebs have ruined it.

Here in la Case de Kiernan y Pollnac we're bracing for [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy and crew on Friday, and the possibility of Hurricane Irene on Monday. Boom.

Yesterday, I read "A fossil sperm whale (Cetacea, Physeteroidea) from the Pleistocene of Nauru, equatorial southwest Pacific." See, it's them little "hyperlinks" that make sense of the whole bloody world. Unless, like me, you've read too much obscure zoological, geological, and geographical literature.

Random comment: I hate having to be the sane, considerate, grown-up person. I'm ill-suited to the task. But not as much as I once was. Thank you, Mr. Lamictal and smart psychiatrist lady. You both rock.

Spent time last night thinking about the life and death of Robert E. Howard, and the sad mess that has been made of his literary estate over the decades since June 11, 1936. Somehow, it all culminates with a lawsuit filed by Stan Lee Media Inc. against the makers of Conan the Barbarian 3D (i.e., Another Sad Sack of Cinematic Shit Wherein Everything Jumps Out At You®). Trying to fathom the ins and outs of this legal circle jerk makes me want to do bad things to myself with a titanium spork. Also, it encourages me to be sure that my own "literary estate," whatever it may amount to, is in good hands when that time comes. I want it to be safe and out of the paws of weasels at least as long as the people I want to benefit from it are around. Then, whatever. Fuck it. The lawyers and con men always win. It's only a matter of time. Oh, the stories I could already tell. Except, I can't. Because that's the way it works. And, you know what? It works that way because of lawyers.

Hey! Mr. Stephen fucking King! You listening to me? Spooky and I were up until four ayem reading the original 1978 edition of your novel The Stand, and it's a damn swell book and all (oh, my godforsaken crush on Nadine), BUT WE WANT OUR SLEEP BACK.

Oh, and Patti Smith is writing a second memoir. Which makes me happy.

Probably, I should go now. Yeah, that's what I should do. Tomorrow, we'll talk again.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Sunny and warm here in Providence today. Windy, though. I've earned a day off, and there's talk of swimming. But the breakers are high, as are the swells.

Yesterday, I wrote 2,695 words on Chapter Seven of Blood Oranges. And found the chapter's ending. A whole chapter in four days!. Which means I have only one chapter remaining, and the book will be finished...before the end of August, as planned (after I failed to finish at the end of the train wreck that was July). I see the ending now. There's an old school bus filled with...oh, I mentioned that already. Okay, let's just say it has a big 'splody ending. I think it'll be fun to write that last chapter (which, by the way, will also be the set up for a second book).

A really wonderful email this morning from Neil, who's away in Edinburgh, and I'm still smiling. I may smile for a week.

And good things just keep happening for The Drowning Girl. This is, simply and by far, the best novel I've ever written. It's the other side of The Red Tree. It's the whisper I've been after all these years, my continual, habitual reaching into the dark to see what reaches back (thank you, Alan Wilder). And it's being recognized. It's being loved by people whose work means so much to me, the people whom I admire most in the world, and I thank them one and fucking all. And the book won't even be OUT until March 2012. The ARCs won't even go out until early December.

---

Last night, after a fine repast prepared by Spooky, we played a little Rift (we both got the title "vampire hunter"), and I had a wonderful RP scene in Insilico (SL). Grendel was paired against a sensei, to prove her Shenkindo training. To say the least, her style is unconventional. But she won the match, putting the sensei face down on the mat. She flipped the switch of her katana that triggers the laser arc set into the blade, and was ready for the kill (it had been implied that no quarter would be given), when her yakuza boss stayed her hand. Yeah, cool stuff. Anyway, we read more of The Stand. Larry Underwood is about to attempt the passage through the Lincoln Tunnel.

I've been thinking of making a "mix tape," on an actual fucking cassette recorder. Songs for the Stand. Maybe dubbing six or seven copies, and sending five or so to the first few who ask for them. You could never do this properly on CD. It has to be on cassette. Songs King quotes in the novel, songs from the mid and late seventies. This isn't a for sure thing. Just a thing that would be fun to do. Music from the decade in which I grew up.

I read "Gyracanthid gnathostome remains from the Carboniferous of Illinois" in the July JVP. And I read more of the book about the firestorm at Peshtigo.

And that was yesterday.

Now...the sea, perhaps. Or, perhaps, Swan Point. Or...we'll see.

Off,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (chi 5)
So, yeah. I'm an asshole about going to the doctor. But so many – likely most – doctors, most of the medical establishment, is predicated on profit and a conveyer-belt mentality, you can sort of see where I'm coming from. The worst part is being commanded by some lesser med tech to do something and do it NOW (but I've gotten exquisitely good at telling them no in a tone that leaves them blinking). Anyway, point is, my doctor here in Providence – not my shrink, but my GP – is actually pretty cool (my shrink's pretty cool, too). And I shouldn't be giving her grief here. She's on the ball, considerate, reasonable, and I've done a whole lot worse. She seems to comprehend the concept of my right to self-determination, even unto death. But I was angry about losing a day of work yesterday, and going to the doctor always freaks me out. Just saying.

I had, last night, a wonderful master plan in my head for this entry. I didn't write it down. It's gone.

And I've just heard confirmation, via @WM3ORG (Twitter), that the "West Memphis Three" have been released. These are people at the courthouse. After eighteen years, Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley, Jr., and Jason Baldwin have been released from prison. Of course, they had to plead guilty (under a precedent that allows a guilty plea while maintaining innocence) to receive suspended sentences. Lots of confusion, since this is happening as I type. But. Still. This has been one of the most horrific and most tragic miscarriages of justice in American history, but, at least, now it's ended. Sort of (this is complicated, and the government of Arkansas has not been redeemed). Yet, how do you return eighteen stolen years to a man? How do you return his youth? But...now it's done.

And now I'm well and truly lost within this entry. Too much perspective and surprise all the fuck at once.

Yesterday, I wrote...nothing. I can rarely write on Doctor Visit Days (DVDs). But I did manage to make corrections to the pages I wrote on Wednesday. And I spoke with my agent (who's fled to Maine to escape the heat of NYC), and we agreed that I'm going to ask that Blood Oranges be published as "Caitlín R. Kiernan writing as K. R. Tierney." Why? Because. Even though it will be known that I wrote the book, and even though it's a fine and fun book, I want it set apart from The Red Tree and The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Apples and oranges, let's just say. And we come back to that issue of self-determination. Which is really all that needs to be said on that subject. Though, I will answer questions, if you have them.

And that BIG thing about which I cannot speak, which I first mentioned on July 1st, I worked on that too – that marvelous, unbelievable, dizzying thing – though I still can't talk about it. The news will be sent out into the world when the TPTB deem the time right. But you will be happy....

After the doctor, I needed to center myself. So, I went to Rock Star on Thayer Street and had the plugs in my ears swapped from 6 gauge to 4. Actual eyelets! Thank you, Billy. I'll go up to 2 this spring. And yes, there's a photo (Spooky took it this ayem):



Last night, after dinner, there was good RP in Insilico. Grendel (Class V AI), bodyguard to a yakuza boss, had to quietly, politely, calmly convince some Russian wannabe (predictably named Dmitri) that it wasn't a good night for him to die. Be nice, and maybe I'll tell you about her katana. Wink, wink. We read more of The Stand. We watched the last episode of Season Four of Law and Order: Criminal Intent and the first episode of Season Five. And, yes! More Nicole Wallace. Whenever she says "Bobby," I get that flutter in my belly, that good flutter. Oh, if only there were more of their Holmes and Moriarty dance. Anyway, I signed onto Rift just long enough to do the dailies. I read "Anatomy and affinities of large archosauromorphs from the lower Fremouw Formation (Early Triassic) of Antarctica" and "Boremys (Testudines, Baenidae) from the latest Cretaceous and early Paleocene of North Dakota: an 1.1-million-year range extension and an additional K/T survivor." Just before sleep, I read more of Firestorm at Peshtigo: A Town, It's People, and the Deadliest Fire in American History, and, fuck all...

How does anyone do that much shit in one fucking evening? No wonder I woke up exhausted.

Gotta go write. And listen to the news...

Up the road to Glenaveigh,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Yeah, so. Somehow, we didn't wake up until almost one o'clock today. I swear to dog. This is what happens when I'm not broke and desperate. I get lazy. I relax. I let things slide. I oversleep. It's fucking stupid. There's an unspeakable amount of work to be done, and I'm suddenly going all juvenile delinquent on myself.

We even played hookey yesterday! Bad kids!

I've wolfed down breakfast, and am trying to, as they say, marshal my thoughts. Likely, that won't be possible until about two hours from now. I have this fantasy of being awake by 11 ayem every morning, but this is what's happening, instead.

FIRST! To quote [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy, "Sweet barking cheese, it's launched!" That is, the Kickstarter page for The Drowning Girl: Stills from a Film That Never Existed. The page is pretty much self-explanatory. This is going to be so cool. It already is cool. Thank you, Kyle!

On Tuesday I only wrote 608 words on Blood Oranges, but that's all that was required to reach the end of Chapter Five. And I might have gone straight into Chapter Six yesterday, but I didn't really know "what happens next" (in the parlance of the Idiot Gods of Plot) until about 2 ayem this morning. Today, I'll begin Chapter Six. Though there is a great deal of "action" in this novel, I am doing everything possible to sabotage every semblance of action. Yes, on purpose; it distracts.

I also need to send the proofread .rtf of The Yellow Alphabet to Subterranean Press (it will be the chapbook to accompany Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart). And...other stuff.

Yesterday evening, I previewed the new website for Sirenia Digest, which was created over the past several months by [livejournal.com profile] jacobluest. He has done a wonderful job. Anyway, eventually the pages will be relocated at my own website, but, technically, the site is live and functional as it stands. We're hoping for a few new subscribers. Certainly can't say we're not fishing with a pretty lure (and this does give people a clear indication of what the digest is about).

---

So, yeah. Yesterday there was hookey. Spooky's been wanting to see Rupert Wyatt's Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Personally, I've never had much interest in the "franchise" (*shudder...sorry, I loathe reducing films, books, whatever to "franchises"), though I was taken to see the original version of Planet of the Apes in April 1968. At a drive-in. I wasn't even four years old! Anyway...Wyatt's film is actually terrific, and cleans up after Tim Burton's 2001 fiasco. Hell, the film's worth ticket price for the scene on the Golden Gate Bridge alone. The one very notable flaw is the human actors. As in, they don't. Act. I'm seeing this a lot in live-action films wherein the most important characters are created via CGI motion capture. It's as though the director just can't be bothered to direct anyone else, he's so freaked at getting his paws on all this tech. Sure, Andy Serkis does marvelous things – as always – but James Franco is about as interesting as a bowl of cold oatmeal. John Lithgow is the only "human" actor who rises to the occasion (Tom Felton included). So, yes. I do recommend the film. Spooky cried a lot. It's that sort of film. It's triggery!

Oh, and after the movie we stopped at Target for a new tea kettle. And at Newbury Comics, where Spooky bought me the remastered special two-disc edition of R.E.M.'s Life's Rich Pageant (1986) as a belated birthday gift. Now, I have to find one for her.

Oh, and Tuesday, I read "New poraspids (Agnatha, Heterostraci) from the Devonian of the western United States" and "Evidence for sexual dimorphism in the stegosaurian dinosaur Kentrosaurus aethiopicus from the Upper Jurassic of Tanzania," both in the May JVP. Time for July.

And time to get to fucking work! Comment, kittens! I'll be here all damn day.

Belatedly,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Cloudy today. Maybe rain. Rain might be nice, if it doesn't stick around too long.

The last few years, I've dealt fairly well with the third of August. This year it hit me – on the second – like a sack of boulders. I don't really know why. There has been a great deal more stress than usual, and maybe that was all it took.

No writing yesterday. Nothing yesterday worth mentioning.

So far, no new novel for the book club this month. Truthfully, I never finished reading last month's book – Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Not sure why. Perhaps, it was because July was such a shitstorm, and it was easier to do more mindless things than read. But I also have to admit I began losing interest in the book about a third of the way in, and it got set aside, and has lain on my vanity for a week or two, untouched. Maybe I'll give it an extension, and maybe I'll pitch a new book for August. We shall see.

Here's a new piece of art by Molly Crabapple, "Kill the Word Beast," which I hope she won't mind me reposting here. It says about everything regarding writing that I feel these days. I wake up, and the monster's waiting, and we fight, and, if I'm lucky, it ends in a standstill. Oh, to see that fucker bleed out.

Kill the Word Beast )


Today, I need to write the text for the Kickstarter Project I'm beginning with [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy. To cover the modest expenses for shooting the book trailer for The Drowning Girl. The project's been approved. We just need to get it up. And, by the way, and speaking of Kickstarter, those of you awaiting "The Tale of the Ravens," Spooky's finishing up the last couple of illustrations, and then I'll write the words, and then the printing begins. We'd probably be done by now, if July hadn't been such a nightmare. Anyway, I'll post the link to the CRK/KC Kickstarter page as soon as it's live. By the way, we're not trying to raise anywhere in the neighborhood of the money needed for "The Tale of the Ravens."

I can think of nothing else especially important to type.

Made it through a few more papers in the May JVP: "Cranial anatomy of Thalassiodracon hawkinsii (Reptilia, Plesiosauria) from the Early Jurassic of Somerset, United Kingdom"; "A new species of the snake Madtsoia from the Upper Cretaceous of India and it's paleobiogeographic implications"; "The skull of Hagiangella goujeti Janvier, 2005, a high-crested acanthothoracid (Vertebrata, Placodermi) from the Devonian of North Vietnam"; and "Latest Pacific Basin record of a bony-toothed bird (Aves, Pelagornithidae) from the Pliocene Purisima Formation of California, U.S.A."

Oh, and yesterday, in my statement expressing disdain for what I termed MMORPG culture, I neglected to add that the motherfuckers in question are also homophobic, racist, and sexist. Which is sort of like describing a zebra and neglecting to mention it has four legs, hooves, and stripes.

Maybe it's time to change the title of this journal to Unapologetically, She Pulls Triggers. Except, it should be, more correctly, squeezes, instead of pulls, for gun nuts stuck on that distinction. And that makes me wonder...I've always hated the idea of a "horror" genre so much, and always rejected the term "horror writer" when people speak of me, maybe "trigger fiction" would work. Ooooooh! I know! Triggerpunk! Then it sounds just as dumb as all the other -punks, and no one can accuse me of being an elitist by distancing myself from any other genre (well, at least not over this).

Unmentionable,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Pagan1)
Today is Lughnasadh. Unless, of course, you're in the Southern Hemisphere, in which case it's Imbolc. So, may the day be good to you.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,465 words, and finished "The Granting Cabinet," which will appear in Sirenia Digest #68. The story was sent away to Vince Locke to be illustrated. Today, I'll begin laying out the issue. As soon as I have Vince's illustration, I'll get the issue out to subscribers.

In the meanwhile, I'll get back to work on Chapter Five of Blood Oranges.

I have discovered that the ubiquitous "In a world..." has been replaced in the realm of movie synopses by "...begins to suspect that..." Well, at least so far as Netflix synopses are concerned.

And here's a story I found...interesting: "Married Lesbian Couple Rescued 40 Teens from Norway Massacre". What matters here is not that these two women are a married couple, but that their efforts have almost certainly been ignored by the press because they are a lesbian couple. Anyway, I especially liked this paragraph:

The mainstream U.S. media, which loves a hero story almost as much as a tragedy, has been uniformly silent about the lesbian superstars. Instead, you get a gay man, Bruce Bawer, in his self-serving WSJ piece saying how shocked he is to discover his extremist anti-Islam writings are quoted in the extremist anti-Islam writings of a killer.

Yesterday, I read another paper from the May Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, "New occurrences of dinosaur skin of two types (Sauropoda? and Dinosauria indet.) from the Late Jurassic of North America (Mygatt-Moore Quarry, Morrison Formation)."

Last night, we watched Dominic Sena's Season of the Witch. And...this would have been a perfectly enjoyable, fun B-movie if only someone hadn't convinced Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman that men in the 14th Century were incapable of emoting. Otherwise, the cast is fine. Claire Foy is quite good, in fact. Tippet Studio's climactic demon sequence is disappointing, but serviceable. Again, Season of the Witch is almost a fine little B-movie, and I think we need to acknowledge that there is a place for B movies. Anyway...later, I did two short RP scenes in Rift, one with [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus and one with [livejournal.com profile] r_darkstorm, and also got our Guardian-side sister Guild, the Hidden Variable, up and running (as a prop, it plays an important roll in the story arc of Watchers of the Unseen, but also provides the advantages of a guild for our Guardian-side characters).

And that was yesterday. And here's the photographic beach porn I promised yesterday:

30 July 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Sunday. Sunday means nothing whatsoever around these parts. Here in deepest, darkest Rhode Island. The hinterlands of Federal Hill.

"You'll forgive her," said the platypus. "The heat's been at her. And she's not been sleeping well. She's jumping at shadows." And the dodo, she concurred.

---

I'm trying to get myself ready to go back to work on Blood Oranges tomorrow. Yesterday, we read Chapter Three. And I still like it. It's not in the same ballpark as The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, but it was never meant to be. It's in this other ballpark, over here. This book will, I think, be finished, and if it is finished, it certainly will be published. But, back to baseball analogies, it's got a couple of strikes against it. And I can't even explain them all here, because I'd have to bring in People Who Are Not Me. Which is poor form (I am the last good-mannered beast). In June, I had amazing enthusiasm for this odd little side project, this diversion from the course of my writing career. Now, I'm struggling just to be able to write the second half. Nothing whatsoever has changed about the story. This is all about changes in the marketplace that occur so suddenly they can hit you in the middle of a book that you're writing in the absurdly short span of only two months. But I will finish it, because I can't leave a story half told, and it will be published. And the little paycheck will be the small consolation that all paychecks are.

Today, we'll read Chapter Four.

---

The heat continues to batter all in this house, though relief is on the way in the form of cooler weather, and the new window-unit AC has helped a little. Last night, the high humidity made 84˚F feel like 94˚F. I think Spooky and I are both going deaf from the constant whir of fans and the drone of AC units. I've not yet named the new AC unit. Or I did, but forgot the name. Threw away the key. And so it goes. Yesterday, I actually made a little chart in my Moleskinne notebook, the temperature in the middle parlour for each hour. I'm still making entries. I may plot the whole thing on a bar graph once the heat breaks. Cooking doesn't help, by the way, but I was tired of cold food.

---

Last night, we watched the third episode of Falling Skies. It's hard watching something and knowing it would have been so much better had it not catered to – or been forced to cater to – the sensibilities of a low-brow audience. Last night, during the saccharine-sweet scene where the good little Xtian girl who hasn't lost faith – even at the end of human civilization – leads the others in saying grace, I very almost puked. I settled for laughing, instead. But Fallen Skies was playing it safe, playing it dumb, playing to middle America. Middle, in this case, being synonymous with mediocre, and pause to consider the etymology of that word (yeah, I'm on an etymological kick):

"Mediocre: [via French from Latin mediocris moderate, literally: halfway up the mountain, from medius middle + ocris stony mountain]"*

You play to the middle, to mediocrity, odds are somewhat more in your favour that you will, in fact, succeed. And, of course, lots of producers and TV execs are still terrified of playing to any other demographic but the mediocre. Mediocre fiction for mediocre people. No, not people. Consumers. I'd love to see what this series could have been on Showtime.

---

Yesterday, I read two articles in the May JVP: "A new basal ornithopod dinosaur (Dinosauria, Ornithischia) from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia" and "First occurrence of the long-snouted crocodyliform Terminonaris (Pholidosauridae) from the Woodbine Formation (Cenomanian) of Texas."

---

Last night was the first night since...whenever...that it's been cool enough to sit in the office (where we usually game) and play Rift. There was some fine rp at Kelari Refuge, and then at Meridian. We are essentially rewriting Our Story Thus Far, since the guild moved from the Shadefallen shard to Faeblight (where people actually rp!), so things are a little hinky, but it was fine rp, all the same. Oh, and the offer still stands. To quote yesterday's entry:

Spooky and I have ONE FREE copy of Rift, which comes with five free days of play, and we're willing to pass it along to someone who wants to give the game a try. The only catch, you have to sign up on our shard – Faeblight – and join our guild, recently rechristened Watchers of the Unseen. We're looking for players who want to rp, plain and simple. If you're interested, email Spooky at crkbooks(at)gmail(dot)com, and she'll send you the access code. And, by the way, a month of Rift costs only $15. About as much as a pizza. Or maybe three cups of Starbuck's swill. Hardly more than a single movie ticket (at least around here). Endless hours of entertainment CHEAP. Please don't email her unless you're serious about giving the game a try.

Come on. I know there are gamers among my readers, among my readers who read this journal via LJ, Facebook, and Twitter. And this is the best MMORPG I've ever played. And it's never going to get any cheaper than this offer. Don't be too cool for school.

Anyway, gotta scoot. Catch you on the flipside, kittens.

Until That Day,
Aunt Beast

* Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
This morning might almost be mistaken for June. Sunny. Warm, if you ignore the breeze. 74F.

Speaking as someone who has (and continues) to cope with addiction, I remain forever...how shall I say this nicely? I remain forever at odds with NA and AA. I've seen so many sane, decent, rational, likeable drunks and addicts turned into unbearable, self-righteous zombies obsessed with abandoning personal responsibility and shifting it to their so-called Higher fucking Powers. Once upon a time, back in the late 1980s, I had a therapist in Birmingham. I can't even recall her name. But she tried to get me on the twelve-step bandwagon. There was a day she grew (no shit) absolutely livid because I refused to "surrender" to any "Higher Power." She accused me of "not even trying" and threatened to stop seeing me. "Can't you at last pretend?!" Hell, let us here note the success rates of these programs are crap. And here's the thing, it's not that I don't recognize that the universe is filled to overflowing with that which is more powerful than the one little organism of me. I do recognize that. Humpback whales. Hurricanes. Volcanoes. Plate tectonics. The sun. Whatever. I'm just one little bug. But I refuse to make up – or buy into other people's made up – sentient "Higher Powers." Trading one drug for another, in effect, one dependency for another. Though, in retrospect, maybe I should have claimed my Higher Power was a female Black Lectroid leader named John Emdall (from Planet 10, natch). Sorry. Rant ends here.

---

Workwise, yesterday was a bit of a nightmare. As I was about to begin the next section of Chapter Four, I realized there was a huge continuity error, and that its roots lay far back in a conversation I'd written in Chapter Two. I refused to rewrite the conversation, and sat here until I found a way to progress, resolve the continuity problem, and keep the conversation. All that led to a somewhat lowered word count, "only" 1,034 words.

There's something about Blood Oranges that I hope people will understand. This book is "just for fun." Spooky calls it a "popcorn book." Which is fairly accurate. It is in no way meant to be received the way I hope people have received The Red Tree and will receive The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. This one's just for shits and giggles.

Anyway...

I've felt so lousy the last few days (much better this ayem), we splurged last night and went to the 6:30 screening of Terrence Malick's Tree of Life at the Avon on Thayer Street (I half made up for it by have PB&J for dinner). Malick is in the tiny handful of directors who can, in my opinion, pretty much do no wrong. I'd love to write a review expounding just how amazing and beautiful and brilliant Tree of Life is, but, as I've said many times, I have no talent for reviews. But...you have to see this if you can. A film that manages to place the everyday life of a Waco, Texas family in the 1950s within a universal context, within the context of deep time. From the formation of the galaxy to the prebiotic earth to a Cretaceous forest...to the emptiness of an architect's life decades after his brothers death...to the nova of our star and, then, earth as a burnt out cinder. Brad Pitt and Sean Penn are both perfect. Indeed, this is about as close to perfect as film ever comes. There's not much I can think of that's comparable to Tree of Life, except Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Only Tree of Life is a better film. No film has impressed me this much since Synecdoche, New York (2008). Tree of Life goes on my "Top 50 Films Ever" list. Not sure what gets bumped off.

---

Later, back home, I played Rift. A lot of Rift, while Spooky played the new American Mcgee Alice game (which is gorgeous). My thanks to Tracy T. for a combination of superb rp and helping me survive two enormous fire-rift events in the Droughtlands. Ah, Maelforge, chaos incarnate, dragon ruler of the Plane of Fire, you are a right bastard.

Then Spooky and I finished reading Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants (this month's selection in Aunt Beast's Book of the Month Club - hint, hint). A marvelous novel, though I actually think the film may be ever so slightly better. That actually does happen from time to time, the creation of a film that bests its source material. Oh, our mathematician's dice came yesterday! And I read "Cranial osteology of a juvenile specimen of Tarbosaurus bataar (Theropoda, Tyrannosauridae) from the Nemegt Formation (Upper Cretaceous) of Bugin Tsav, Mongolia" from the January JVP.

Oh, and I think I've decided that Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart will be dedicated to Henry Darger.

Also, all of Round 2 of the Big Damn eBay Auction has ended except this.

Okay. Must write now, and must not wish (too hard) that I were at the sea.
greygirlbeast: (Eli2)
Only five hours sleep last night and the night before, and I'm feeling it. Add to that the fact that winter ended just last week and we've now fast forwarded to July, so my office is sweltering, and I presently feel just a little bit crappy. And sweaty. And sleepy.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,697 words, beginning and completing the second piece for Sirenia Digest #67, which is called simply "Untitled 35." By the way, "Untitled 35" is the 90th piece of short fiction I have written specifically for the digest. Which sort of blew my mind, when I did the math. Anyway, the vignette gets back to the roots of the digest. In fact, this whole issue does. Anyway, Vince is currently working on an illustration for the other story appearing in #67, "Figurehead."

I'm making this entry on the Asus laptop, Zoe, as I've never written anything on her before, and I'm curious to see if I'm as clumsy with this keyboard as I feared I would be. So far, I'm fine.

I have a number of almost, but not quite completely, edited projects piled on top of me that have to be attended to as soon as the digest goes out, before I get back to work on Blood Oranges. The changes to the galley pages of Two Worlds and In Between, and the Crimson Alphabet chapbook. And there's The Drowning Girl, which needs a couple of tweaks. And...stuff I'm too groggy to remember. But it all has to be taken care of ASAP.

Some email yesterday with [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy regarding our impending work on the visual accompaniments for The Drowning Girl. We spoke of crow masks and nuns.

Spooky spent almost the entire day having new tires put on the automobile, and returning overdue library books to the Athenaeum. Well, almost all day on the first thing. The belated book return was, I expect, quick by comparison to sitting at the tire place for three or four hours.

Oh, did I mention it was hot? If not, well, it is. Hot. Here. Which is mostly just funny, because we were having to use the fireplace about a week ago.

Last night, about 10:30, we escaped the sweltering house, crossed the river, and then drove willy-nilly about College Hill, and all the way over to the southern end of Gano Street, where I'm setting part of Blood Oranges. I needed to see it at night. Now, I need to see it at twilight. The interstate looms above it there, and tawdry houses crouch in ominous shadows. Sorry. Just had an attack of Lovecraftitis. All over College Hill, the sidewalks were littered with the crap the deserted apartments of college kids excrete at the end of each school year. We saw two girls wheeling enormous wheeley bin things down the road, evidently cleaning out studios at RISD. On Benefit Street, we saw a very tall boy in a dress, attired rather like Dame Darcy. As Spooky said, he didn't look bad in a dress, but it was a curious sight, there beneath the streetlights. And then, a few minutes afterwards, we threw a hubcap. I assume there's no connection between the Dame Darcy boy and the throwing of the hubcap, but, rather, that someone at the tire place did a poor job of putting the thing back on. Anyway, Spooky managed to retrieve it, so all's well that ends well. It was wonderfully cool Outside, and the air smelled clean (though I expect it wasn't).

In Rift, there was more very good rp. Enthlye, Artemisia, Celinn, and Selwynn, at Lantern Hook in the Droughtlands. Lantern Hook, as I may have mentioned, is essentially a sietch, down to the reservoir. Anyway, the Order's future was discussed, as was Selwyn's sudden change of gender. But, yes. Loving the rp. I've not cared as much about an rp character as I do about Selwyn in quite some time. And it's amazing how Telera lends itself perfectly to rp, whereas Azeroth simply doesn't. Mostly, I think it's a matter of Rift being willing to take itself seriously. As someone said last night in general chat, "It's like WoW, without the suck and fail."

And I read "A new enantiornithine bird from the Lower Cretaceous of western Liaoning, China" and "The osteology of Chubutisaurus insignis del Corro, 1975 (Dinosauria: Neosauropoda) from the 'middle' Cretaceous of central Patagonia, Argentina," both in the January JVP. And tried not to think about sunrise.

Okay, make an end to this entry. Later, kittens.

Perspiring,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Tuojiangosaurus)
This morning (technically, this afternoon), I'm a little taken aback at otherwise sensible people who are feeling sorry for the disappointed, depressed, and down-at-heel followers of Harold Camping. As kids these days are wont to "say," o.0.

Here we have these cowardly fuckers who were hoping to be yanked away to some heavenly playground where they could wallow in eternal bliss, while 97.1% of humanity endured unspeakable horrors and fire and everlasting torment. And I'm supposed to feel empathy or sympathy or whatever for the idiot cult of Harold Camping, because they didn't get their wish? Hah! I admit that I have no especial love of humanity, and I've often thought total annihilation might not be such a bad thing, BUT at least I include myself among the annihilated. My doomsday is utterly indifferent and doesn't discriminate. I don't imagine some Old Man in the Sky who passes judgment. Who picks and chooses, and is willing and eager to spare you infinite agony if you'll get down on your knees and kiss "his" feet and stroke "his" ego and tell "him" you love no other god but "him."

So, no. The followers of Camping will get no sympathy from me. Let them weep. Let them gnash their teeth and feel the weight of the godless universe upon their cowards' shoulders.

---

Yesterday, I wrote 1,529 words on Chapter Two of Blood Oranges. And Spooky had trouble reading it, because she kept having to stop to laugh. She tells me that's a good thing, and I hope she's right. This is strange new territory for me.

The day is overcast, and it's only 54˚F out there. Hello, pretender to the throne of May.

Spooky has listed a new necklace in her Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Esty shop. You should buy it. Spooky's necklaces are grand.

Last night, I revisited Gregory Hoblit's Fallen (1998), which I think is somewhat underrated. Spooky had never seen it before. And we played Rift. And read Under the Poppy, which I hope you're reading, too. Also, I read two articles in the January issue of JVP: "New information Wumengosaurus delicatomandibularis Jiang et al., 2008 (Diapsida: Sauropterygia), with a revision of the osteology and phylogeny of the taxon" and "A small alvarezsaurid from the eastern Gobi Desert offers insight into evolutionary patterns in the Alvarezsauroidea."

Proudly Unraptured,
Aunt Beast

Oh, and dinosaur (etc.) photographs:

May 17-18, Part Three )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Cloudy, cold. Green. Green Spring, but not spring. Not spring sensu familiari. Sonya, please correct my Latin if it's too atrocious. Or my English, for that matter. I'm only a poor juggler of words. I squeeze them, and various sounds are released: melodious, hideous, alluring, repulsive, alarming, discordant, anti-harmonic, mucosal, beatific, soothing, ad infinitum, ad nauseum, and so forth, and on and on and on. Meow.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,392 words on Chapter One of Blood Oranges and found the chapter's end. Which should not be mistaken for THE END. Today, Kathryn and I will read back over the whole of it, I'll do a quick polish, then send it to my agent. That's a complete chapter in a mere six days. 9,546 words. Immediately after finishing "The Carnival is Dead and Gone" and getting Sirenia Digest #65 out to subscribers, which I did immediately after finishing "Fake Plastic Trees," which I wrote immediately after the story for Dark Horse, which happened almost right after getting Sirenia Digest #64 out, which came on the heels of the Great Four-Day Editing Marathon of 2011 (involving both The Drowning Girl: A Memoir and Two Worlds and In Between), which happened almost as soon as I'd finished writing The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Which takes me back to...Monday, March 7th. Yes, after today, I think that I should take a few days off. Of course, I'll likely spend them cleaning, because when all I do is work – and Spooky, too – the place becomes all shamblefied. Well, it ought to be a word.

The "Question @ Hand" poll is now closed. There were 39 "yes" votes (88.6%), and only 5 (11.4%) "no" votes. So, I suppose I'll give it another shot. This is a very small sampling of the subscribers, and the results are in no way "scientific." But, there you go. I'll probably pose the next Question @ Hand in July, I'm thinking. Beforehand, I may ask for suggestions.

Yesterday, I read one article from the January JVP – "Three-dimensional pelvis and limb anatomy of the Cenomanian hind-limbed snake Epodophis descouensi (Squamata, Ophidia) revealed by synchrotron-radiation computed laminography."

The cat from downstairs came calling, unexpectedly, last night. Hubero is only just recovering.

Last night, we watched Pieter Van Hees' Linkeroever (Left Bank, 2008). It's a film that had tremendous potential. It has moments – entire scenes – that rank up there with, say, Låt den rätte komma in or Sauna. And, as someone mentioned, there's some undeniable overlap with The Red Tree. Ultimately, though, it falls apart, largely in the last few minutes. I can forgive the paganophobic crutch, the one that was so commonly employed during in the 1970s (think The Wicker Man or Harvest Home), but the Linkeroever's last scene – the childbirth scene – makes literal what should have remain implied. All mystery is destroyed. Explanation undoes the inexplicable. Truthfully, if the film had chosen to eschew the scary pagans trope, and if we'd only been left with the problem of an apartment building with a secret history and a Very Bad Place for a cellar, the film might have been brilliant. There was some remarkably disturbing imagery, some of it subtle, some of it not so subtle, but all of it struggling against the rather silly nonsense about the archery lodge and ancient Celtic blood sacrifices, and then all of it shot in the head by that ridiculous final scene. I do recommend you watch this film, but I also recommend you switch off the DVD as Marie is struggling to escape the cavern, as she screams and the light seems to be taking her apart. Stop it. Right there.

And we did some rp in Rift, a scene with four players, which is proving that patience and skill can spin good roleplay from the game. So, that was nice. Oh, and now there's a FREE trial (which Trion should have had from the start).

CASSIE: Hey. Good dream? Let me guess. The surface of the sun. Only dream I ever have. Every time I close my eyes, it's always the same.

Off to do the word thing.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Cloudy, windy, chilly today.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,551 words on Chapter One of Blood Oranges. I'm starting to think that I'm having fun writing this book. I created a perfectly, marvelously, beautifully vile vampire "child" yesterday, and I've figured out that, were this a film, the protagonist would be played by Jennifer Lawrence. I should be able to finish the first chapter today, at which point it gets sent off to my agent, and I get to work on the research I need to do for Blue Canary.

Which reminds me. Jennifer Lawrence. I've seen all the casting for The Hunger Games announced thus far, and they all seem pretty much dead on. The kid they've cast as Rue is perfect.

Lots of other stuff yesterday, like a look at the almost final cover of Two Worlds and In Between, which is just incredible, because Lee Moyer is awesome. Oh, and the signature sheets for Two Worlds and In Between arrived, and I have to attend to those ASAP.

I read more of Stager's book, and finished the March Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology by reading "New records of the fur seal Callorhinus Carnivora: Otariidae) from the Plio-Pleistocene Rio Dell Formation of Northern California and comments on ottariid dental evolution." Fortunately for me, I can immediately begin reading the January issue, as the latter arrived late and out of sequence.

Last night we watched David Fincher's very excellent The Game (1997), because Spooky had never seen it.

And played Rift. We signed on as our Guardian toons, meaning only to spend a few minutes with Mithrien (me) and Serrafina (Spooky) before switching to our Defiant mains. But. Then the mother of all Rift events struck Silverwood, and we spent the next two hours defending the school in the Argent Glade from incursions from the life rifts. Two hours. I think we both leveled twice. Anyway, later, after the movie, I set up a website for our Defiant guild, Eyes of the Faceless Man, over at Guild Portal (and there's still a TON of work to be done on the site). If you're already a member of the guild, feel free to create a profile, whatever. And if you're not already a member of the guild (we're on the Shadefallen shard), and would like to be, just send me a tell inworld (to Selwyn).

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. The only auction that hasn't ended is the one for the PC of the lettered, boxed edition of In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers (2002), signed by me and Dame Darcy. A note to collectors: We've never offered the boxed edition, ever, before, and this auction also includes the chapbook, "On the Road to Jefferson." So, you might want to have a look. Auction ends in about seven hours.

And I think this is the last day I'll be taking responses to the "Question @ Hand" poll, for them subscribers of Sirenia Digest what might be interested.

Okay. The word mines await.

Verbosely,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (CatvonD vamp)
Maybe it was premature of me to say that Providence has made the transition from Cold Spring to Spring Proper. Or, it may be that there needs to be a third and intermediate formal subdivision: Green Spring. That is, May, when it's finally fucking green out there, but people think it's warm when the temperature rises into the high sixties. Like today. Tomorrow, back into the fifties.

At least there's sunlight today.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,662 words on Blood Oranges. I know how the chapter ends now, and should be able to finish it by tomorrow evening.

If you're a Sirenia Digest subscriber and haven't voted in the "Question @ Hand" Poll, please do, and thanks.

I've been trying to manage more reading and less gaming. There's Under the Poppy, and the latest issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Yesterday, from the latter, I read "Nuralagus rex, gen. et. sp. nov., an endemic insular giant rabbit from the Neogene of Minorca (Balearic Islands, Spain)." Imagine a rabbit ten times the size of modern cottontails, only it doesn't hop and doesn't have long ears. Also, reading Curt Stager's Deep Future: The Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth and Jane P. Davidson's A History of Paleontology Illustration. But also gaming. Last night, we neglected Selwyn and Miisya, and played our Guardian high elves. Though the godbothering is fierce, I have in mind a storyline for our guild that involves making contact with a group of Guardians who have grown distrustful of their leaders and who doubt the Vigil, and who suspect they're not being told the truth about a lot of things, including what happened in Scion. So, I need characters of sufficiently high levels to reach areas where interfactional rp can occur.

Yes! Cross-faction rp. Which you can actually do in Rift. It's just a shame the game designers didn't allow for a far more realistic and inevitable scenario involving defections from one side to the other (only on RP servers), and also a loose confederation of the Undeclared, consisting of those who won't take a side. Would have been much more interesting. Anyway, yes, we have a guild, "Eyes of the Faceless Man," Defiant side, on the Shadefallen Shard. We'd love a few more members, and I know some of you game, and you should know Rift as good as it gets in terms of high fantasy/S&S MMORPG. Whatever faults it may have, Rift leaves WoW in the dust.

---

Last night, was apparently devoted to creepy movies from 1987. First, we watched Alan Parker's Angel Heart, which, somehow, I'd never seen. It's a beautifully shot and acted film, but I think the ending gets heavy handed. We didn't need the yellow contact lenses. We also watched Kathryn Bigelow's Near Dark, which, of course, I've seen about a hundred times, though in about twenty years. There are still some marvelous moments in the film, and Lance Henriksen is wonderful. But it falls apart as a whole, and I'm starting to think I should stop watching eighties horror films, which rarely ever measure up to my memories of them.

---

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks. Also, Spooky's made a really marvelous new necklace, which is up in her Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy shop, and which you can see here.

And now, words.
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
The tree outside my office window is finally greening.

It's Saturday, and I'm locked inside. Please comment.

And this is one of the days when I chafe at the tyranny of my pill bottles and boxes. I'd like to open the window and drop them out. Fuck you, defective brain chemistry. Let the pieces fall where they may, but at least they'd be my pieces. Not a pharmaceutical hybrid always telling me that's my face in the mirror, when I know better.

Fuck you, 47.

---

Yesterday, I wrote 1,599 words on Chapter One of Blood Oranges. My plan is to have the first chapter finished by Wednesday, and then set the book aside until September. Which is, I know, a weird way to write a book, but another book needs to be written in between. And maybe when I come back to Blood Oranges at the end of the summer, I'll have figured out everything that happens after Chapter One.

---

I've made it almost all the way through the latest JVP, articles on Cenomanian squamates in France, the skull of the Early Triassic parareptile Sauropareion, saber-toothed cats from the Pleistocene of Venezuela, the therapsid Promoschorynchus, and a new Lower Carboniferous xenacanthiform shark from Australia.

---

Night before last, we watched Tony Scott's Unstoppable (2010), which is the other movie about trouble with trains he made, immediately after having done the remake of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009). Both, of course, star Denzel Washington. Anyway, Unstoppable is good, and Washington is always a joy to watch. But, Chris Pine is dull as engine sludge, and it's a different sort of film than The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. As much as I enjoyed Unstoppable, I found myself wishing for the electricity that had sparked back and forth between that film's antagonist and protagonist. But the presence of Rosario Dawson (who played Abernathy in Death Proof) helped.

Last night, we watched two "horror" movies. The first was an entirely enjoyable and stupendously ridiculous Joel Schumacher film, Blood Creek (2009). Rednecks in Virginia fight a zombie demon Nazi occultist in a big scary house where time has stood still since 1940. And there's a zombie horse that, honest to fuck, is one of the scariest things I've seen in ages. I expected nothing from this film, and liked it a lot. It's much more artful than it has any right to be. See it.

We also watched Kevin Costner in Luis Berdejo's The New Daughter, which is very remotely based on a short story by John Connolly. All that said, it really isn't very good, which should surprise no one, as Kevin Costner hasn't, to my knowledge, been in a good movie since 1993 (A Perfect World, directed by Clint Eastwood). However, the sad thing is, The New Daughter has a lot of isolated effective moments, and it could have been brilliant. But the pacing's off, the film's about half an hour too long, is filled with actors who can't act, and feels like it wants to be a television mini-series. In fact, the uninspired cinematography absolutely screams old-school network TV mini-series. Essentially, it's a fairytale. More specifically, a changeling story and an animal groom story. But it fails to mine the riches of that fictional territory (if, indeed, the film is even that aware of it's fundamental nature). The archetypes and opportunities are left to die on the vine while Kevin Costner flails about and pouts and fails at being a single helicopter parent. A bright spot, however, is Ivana Baquero (Pan's Labyrinth), who makes the best of a bad situation and rocks the fuck out of what little she's given to work with. The film's final shot might have been brilliant, but it gets mucked up by ham-fisted "horror" clichés. See this one if you're bored, or enjoy picking apart bad films that ought to have been better.

---

You know, I really do love Rift. In terms of a fantasy MMORPG, it's the best there's ever been. It's beautiful to look at, usually fun to play, and all that. It's even queer friendly. But the more I play, and the more the shiny wears off, the more I see how much better and smarter it ought to be. Look, here's the thing. I've said it before. Trion, are you listening?

Writer's work cheap.

Especially fantasy writers. We very often do our best work for a few pennies a word. It's obscene, but true. And it's entirely relevant here, Trion, because you didn't have to do this wrong. The plot holes, almost complete lack of internal logical integrity, faulty world-building, and so on and so forth, all that stuff could have been avoided. And you wouldn't have to be posting what is essentially poorly written fan fic to your website, mucking things up even more. You could have done this right, Trion, and either you were ignorant of that fact, or you just didn't give a shit. But it's not about money. Because, like I said (REPEAT AFTER ME), writers work cheap. And even moderately incompetent hacks who never aspired to write anything more ambitious than a twelve-volume epic – following the adventures of a Drow anti-hero with a name that makes me laugh – can do better.

This is my message to the whole goddamn world right now: You can do better. Yes, you can. And if you know this, and you continue on about your sloppy, lazy, half-assed ways, well...people will love you and shower you with riches and you'll win awards. Because this is the way the world works.

But some days it makes me more nauseous than others.

---

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

Venting Spleen,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Chilly, cloudy, rain and wind on its way. I just happened across a photograph I took from the front parlour one year ago yesterday. All was in bloom and the trees were going green along the street. I think, this year, we're at least two weeks behind that. It still looks like February out there. Maybe I'm dead, and this is my hell, a world forever poised at the beginning of spring, a perpetually unfulfilled promise.

Okay, that's starting to sound like Bad Goth Poetry.

But still.

Yesterday was, in theory, better than Thursday. I did some of the last tweaking to The Drowning Girl: A Memoir that's going to be done before I send it back to Penguin on Monday. Then I wait for the editorial letter, etc. and etc. Gods, this routine's gotten old. Anyway, I also sort of tore apart the beginning of "Fake Plastic Trees" and rewrote it. Spooky says it's better now. I don't generally rewrite or write in drafts, and it's unnerving when I do. When all was said and done, though hours were required, I had a net gain of only 248 words.


Nothing else to yesterday worth mentioning. I napped on the sofa for five or ten minutes, the best sleep of the last twenty-four hours. I read "A re-examination of Hauffiosaurus zanoni, a pliosauroid from the Toarcian (Early Jurassic) of Germany" in the new JVP. I missed a phone call from Harlan. That was yesterday.

Probably, I should stop now. This isn't going to get any better.

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greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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