greygirlbeast: (goat girl)
And today, is Ray Bradbury's 91st birthday. Thank you, Mr. Bradbury, for Mars, Cooger and Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show, bottles of dandelion wine, that foghorn, the Elliot family, and a thousand other wonders.

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

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

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

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

Afterwards, we had an early dinner at Tortilla Flats.

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

21 August 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (The Red Tree)
I'm trying very, very hard to make sure that Sirenia Digest #53 goes out to subscribers by midnight tomorrow night. But I have at least a day's work left to get done on the second piece for the issue, "Workprint." Yesterday, I wrote 1,004 words on the story. On Wednesday, I wrote 1,196 words on it. Today, I mean to find THE END.

Audible.com is now offering audio versions of five of my novels: Threshold, Low Red Moon, Murder of Angels, Daughter of Hounds, and The Red Tree. Right now, I'm listening to The Red Tree. I've made it to the end of Chapter Two, and I'm quite pleased with what I'm hearing. I very much hope people will pick up copies of the audiobooks. By the way, you may listen to samples of the audiobooks at Audible.com.

We've begun a new round of eBay auctions to help defray the cost of my newest (and insanely expensive) anti-seizure medication. At the moment, there are copies of The Dry Salvages, Tales from the Woeful Platypus, and Alabaster. Please have a look. Bid if you are able. The good news is that the new meds appear to be working. Oh, and Spooky has new pendants up at her Etsy Dreaming Squid Dollworks shop, which is another way to help out.

Let's see. What else, quickly? Night before last, we saw Grant Heslov's The Men Who Stare at Goats, which I liked a lot. Late in the evening, we've been reading Patti Smith's autobiography, Just Kids. Also, though I've seen most of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse and found it barely watchable, on Wednesday and Thursday nights we watched "Epitaph One" and "Epitaph Two," respectively. And they were very good, especially "Epitaph One." They were a glimpse of the series that might have been, instead of the sad mess that was. Had the series begun with "Epitaph One," it might have been brilliant television. Those two episodes made me care about characters the rest of the series could not. Hell, in one scene Eliza Dushku came dangerously close to acting. So, it was delightful seeing them, but disheartening, too.

And now...work. Onwards, platypus!
greygirlbeast: (The Red Tree)
Cloudy today, but warm. Overcast. There was a bit of rain before I got out of bed.

I'd rather not talk about yesterday. I'd rather not, but clearly I'm going to talk about it anyway. Yesterday, I realized something about The Wolf Who Cried Girl I'd not realized before. I may have found its voice, and the framing device that makes sense of the fact that it's a first-person narrative. And then I wrote 771 words, and read them to Kathryn, and had yet another realization, that most of them would have to go. I may have made a beginning yesterday, but if so, only just. And even the small part I may keep will need rewording to some degree. I have only five months to get this novel written. I have a handful of pages, at best.

This morning I awoke from nightmares, which kept me briefly disoriented, and then, coming back to myself I thought, "If I kill myself today, I will not have to write this novel."

Yesterday, FedEx brought the signature sheets for the Subterranean Press edition of the forthcoming Lou Anders and Jonathan Strahan sword and sorcery anthology, which includes my story "The Sea Troll's Daughter." I received contracts from my agent for "digital verbatim text only display and download rights" for Kreatur, the German-language edition of Low Red Moon. I reread portions of Ursula K. Le Guin's The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction (1979). I exchanged emails with Sonya Taaffe ([livejournal.com profile] sovay) regarding programming at this years ReaderCon. I learned that "The Madam of the Narrow Houses" will be reprinted in The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women. Gordon Duke ([livejournal.com profile] thingunderthest) sent me a link to a very much appreciated piece in Salon.com on Amazon "reviews". I drank coffee, limeade made with pomegranates, and Red Bull. I made a halfhearted attempt to clean my keyboard. No, not really even halfhearted. One ventricle, at best.

This morning I learned of another very positive review of The Ammonite Violin & Others, but I'm not at liberty to say more until May 15th.

And here are more photos of the Prym mill in Dayville, CT, as promised:

4 April 2010 Pt. 2 )
greygirlbeast: (fisting)
1. We just heard the news that Phil Harris, Captain of the Cornelia Marie, has died at age 53 of a stroke. You may know him as "Captain Phil" from Deadliest Catch, a series of which Spooky and I are oddly fond. And the news is oddly sad. He was our favorite captain on the show. To quote the AP release, "Harris started working on fishing boats at age 7 and started work 10 years later on a crab boat. When Harris turned 21, he ran a fishing vessel out of Seattle, making him one of the youngest to captain a vessel in the Bering Sea."

2. Yesterday, I wrote 1,328 words on "Untitled 35" and found THE END. It was a brutal jog to THE END. And it's a truly brutal piece of fiction. I'm learning not to make apologies for that. Still looking for a more traditional title. Given it was written almost entirely while under the influence of Bowie's Outside, and given it's matter, it ought to be titled "The Voyeur of Utter Destruction (as Beauty)." Today, Spooky and I will be proofing it and the galley pages for the "Sanderlings" chapbook (which comes FREE with the limited edition of The Ammonite Violin & Others).

3. The snow is just now reaching Providence, and it looks like it's going to be a heavy one.

4. Yesterday, I received my comp copies of the new German edition of Low Red Moon, retitled Kreatur. The translation was, once again, done by Alexandra Hinrichsen. From what Spooky and I have read thus far of the prologue, the translation looks good. This morning, I snapped a couple of shots of my German editions:

Kreatur und Fossil )


5. You're probably all growing weary of my going on about Insilico. But it's just so damn good.* Last night, everything changed for Xiang, when agents from the Gemini Corporation attempted to kidnap her (trying to take her before agents of the Tokuma Corporation or, possibly, members of the underground Syndicates). She was able to stall long enough to upload to a nearby service droid, before detonating an EMP device, thereby self-destructing. Unfortunately, the Gemini techs have been able to salvage her remains, including most of her mind (Gemini also intercepted the broadcast). Xiang 1.0 may well be dead, but now...I am playing Xiang 2.0a (saddled by Gemini with loyalty software), Xiang 2.0b (created by a Gemini agent named Molly Longshadow, for her own personal ends), and Xiang 2.0c (the copy uploaded to the Abeus droid, and later delivered to Hibiki-O, a cyborg who has done much to keep Xiang alive and hidden from TPTB). 2.0b and 2.0c are currently without bodies. So, yeah, awesome, awesome stuff, though it now leaves me playing three clones of the same robot. But we embrace challenges. There are two screencaps behind the cut:

Xiang is dead. I am Xiang. We have been divided. )


* We have, here, come almost to the end of that brief time during which I was able to delude myself into believing Insilico was, in fact, especially different from the rest of Second Life. (2/10/11)
greygirlbeast: (Bjorkdroid)
1. A few flurries Outside as I type. This is the north edge of the monster storm that walloped D.C. and Philadelphia yesterday. But we're not even expecting the tiniest bit of accumulation. Go figure.

2. The platypus says this is the best possible day on which to order The Ammonite Violin & Others, and being merely a lowly minion of the platypus, I am forced to relay hisherits every message. Remember, the limited edition comes with a FREE chapbook, "Sanderlings," the short-story set in Green Hill, RI, which I wrote back in November. Oh, and I did the cover for "Sanderlings." So, yeah. Do like the platypus says.

3. A question from James Maier, via email: Basically, my question is this: Which books are “grouped” together and in what order? i.e. the same characters, sequels, etc. Though I’m sure the novels all stand alone just fine, I kind of want to read along with the characters’ chronology and I’d like to avoid any more spoilers from reading Amazon’s descriptions.

Okay, it works something like this. Silk and Murder of Angels pretty much form a duology, the latter being a fairly straightforward sequel to the former. Same with Threshold and Low Red Moon, though you also get Daughter of Hounds, which sort of makes a trilogy of the whole affair. But it's a very loose sort of trilogy. And, of course, all five of these novels are interconnected here and there. There's also Alabaster, which very much ties into that "trilogy." Finally, yes, there's The Red Tree, which has echoes of many of the novels before it, but is definitely set apart. That said, if anyone wants my opinion, read The Red Tree first, then Daughter of Hounds, and after that...read them in what ever order pleases you.

4. Yesterday I butched up and risked that carnivorous sky all over again. That is I went Outside, second day in a row. I wanted to get photographs of the continuing demolition of the Bridge Street Bridge that crosses Wickenden Street (you will recall the photos from the early stages of the demolition that were included in my January 13th and January 14th entries). The bridge is mostly down, and you can now stand and look up at the sky where, for the better part of a century, the sky was hidden. There are photos below, behind the cut. The day was cold, numbing my fingers as I tried to get the shots. Afterwards, we headed to Eastside Marketplace and Whole Foods, then spent a little time picking over the bones of a Blockbuster Video that's going out of business any day now. I assume they all are, but I don't know that for sure. Oddly, we came away without buying any of the super-cheap DVDs (everything we wanted was scratched to hell and back), but I did get two books, very cheap, and I didn't even know Blockbuster had started selling books. The Smithsonian Book of Mars by Joseph M. Boyce (2002) and Postcards from Mars: The First Photographer on the Red Planet by Jim Bell (2006), because I can never have too many reference books on Mars. Oh, and we dropped by the post office in Olneyville, so I could send in the contracts on "The Steam Dancer (1896)" (to be reprinted in Steampunk Reloaded) and a copy of Peter's A Dark Matter to my mother.

5. We watched the new episode of Fringe last night, possibly one of the best so far, and refreshing after the disappointing "monster of the week" episodes of the previous three weeks.

6. I have a plan. I will spend the remainder of February writing the vignettes that will comprise Sirenia Digest 51 and 52, so that I can set aside all of March and April for the writing of The Wolf Who Cried Girl. I'd hoped to get the novel written this winter, but what I want and what happens are too often not the same.

7. I stayed up far too late last night, roleplaying in Insilico, because I just don't know how to walk away from story when it's coming at me. Xiang was hired as bartender at the Blue Ant (now that she's registered and legal), and has proven that androids can make perfectly fine White Russians. Later, after "work," there was intrigue and adventure and dizzying heights. I fucking adore this place.

5 February 2010 )


By the way...I just spent about an hour and a half on this LJ entry....
greygirlbeast: (goat girl)
1. Gods, I'm not awake. And to blame we have the Ambien I took at 4:45 a.m., although what we really have to blame is (drum roll, please) THE. BEST. ROLEPLAY. EVER. Which I got in Insilico last night. My thanks to Omika, Abiki, Fifth, Pinbacker...and others. Really, it's like being lodged in the forebrain/motherboard of an early William Gibson novel, this rp. Smart, immersive, simulationist, literate, and exquisitely hard. And to think I spent almost two and half years trying to find a sim that has its shit together, and players on the same wavelength as me, and that I suffered so much lousy rp and silly-ass ooc drama.* Anyway, wow, but I am so painfully not awake. Oh, I'm playing Xiang, a very confused little toaster.

2. Yesterday, I wrote 1,269 words on "Hydrarguros," for Sirenia Digest #50. The story really seemed to find itself yesterday afternoon. And then Jason Statham showed up. On Facebook, I wrote "Gods, I've just realized Jason Statham is narrating my new sf story. That is, the narrator's voice, as I hear it in my head as I write is that of Jason Statham." Sort of Jason Statham as he was in Snatch. Later, also on Facebook, I added, "You have to imagine Jason Statham starring in a film version of David Bowie's Outside, playing Nathan Adler, only it's not a movie about art crimes, but a movie about drugs from Mars." Which isn't precisely right, but somewhere in the neighborhood.

3. Okay, so...I've keep putting off talking about Peter Straub's very wonderful new novel, A Dark Matter (due out February 9th). Mostly, that's because I know enough to know I'm no good at reviewing books (would that more readers knew this of themselves), and I'm not going to do the book justice. I can heap praise upon it, which it deserves, but which is also insufficient. I could, in theory, reduce it to some book-reportish synopsis, but that would be criminal. So, I won't do either. You're just going to have to trust me on this. I've been reading Peter since 1981, and this is one of his very best. There are such moments of surreal, transcendent weird. Worlds bleed together. It is, in a sense, about the price of expanding one's consciousness. In another sense, it's about the charlatans who promise expanded consciousness, and, specifically, about the sorts who peddled those wares in the sixties. More than anything, this is a novel about consequence. In brilliantly inverts many of the readers expectations, turning its plot back upon itself, as we watch its characters struggle to come to terms with an unspeakably bizarre event from their pasts, in order to heal their present lives. You want to read this novel. Spooky read the whole thing aloud to me while I was sick, before she got sick. We expect to read it a second time in a few months. Thank you, Peter. You just shine, man.

4. Last night, we watched Anthony Bourdain in the Philippines (our fondness for this man seems to know no bounds), and then watched Rob Zombies' remake of Halloween 2. I'm still parsing my thoughts on the film. It was, in many ways, a much more ambitious film than his Halloween remake, and it had some fine moments, but, in the end, I don't think it was as good as the first film (and certainly not as good as The Devil's Rejects). Mostly, I think Mr. Zombie needs to a) stop casting the atrocious Sheri Moon Zombie in his films, even if she is his wife, because the woman simply cannot act, and she's holding him back; and 2) I think it's time for him to try something new. We now know he can make very, very good slasher films in the spirit of the '70s and '80s classics. Now, I'd like to see him do something different, because I think he has it in him, and it's time to grow artistically.

5. Email this morning from the woman who'll be reading both Low Red Moon and Threshold for the Audible.com adaptations. They start recording tomorrow, and need correct pronunciations for trilobite names. So, I think all the audiobooks are now in production, which is just amazing.

6. I'm now going to go drink what's left of my coffee and try to wake the fuck up. Excuse me.

*Within a few weeks, Insilico proved itself almost as bad, or worse, than the rest of Second Life, and I had to start eating my words.
greygirlbeast: (Kraken)
Cold in Providence this morning, but also sunny, and it's much colder elsewhere.

Yesterday, I realized that a week of December had passed and I'd accomplished "nothing" but the editing, design, and layout of the "Sanderlings" chapbook. I still have to get the Next Novel started, produce Sirenia Digest #49, and write a story for a Subterranean Press anthology, all of this ideally before December 31st. These are the sorts of realizations that lead to panic.

Anyway, I began a new piece yesterday, a sort of zombie love story (played straight, not for comedy), which was inspired in equal parts by Robert Browning's "Love Among the Ruins" (1855) and Edward Burne-Jones' painting of the same name (1893-1894; also inspired by the Browning poem). I am presently calling it "(Dead) Love Among the Ruins," unless I decide that's too obvious or corny or whatever. This is only the second time I've tried to do "zombies," sensu Romero et al., for the digest, and we'll see how it goes. I managed only 470 words yesterday.

I'm beginning to think that the Next Novel will be titled The Wolf Who Cried Girl (though I've written a short story of the same name; the novel and short story would have nothing much in common).

My great thanks to Karen Mahoney for very kindly sending me a copy of Greer Gilman's ([livejournal.com profile] nineweaving) Cloud and Ashes (Small Beer Press; 2009). I started reading it late last night. I heard Greer read from it at ReaderCon this past July, and it is brilliant, truly. The sort of brilliant I may aspire to, but know that I will never achieve.

I do have some good news for everyone who's ever asked about the availability of my books in an audio format. Audible.com is buying audio rights to Threshold, Low Red Moon, Murder of Angels, Daughter of Hounds, and The Red Tree. I do not yet have release dates, but I assume it will be sometime in 2010.

That was the best of yesterday, really.

Last night, I had a minor seizure while in the tub, the first that's ever happened while bathing. And then there was insomnia, which kept me awake until sometime after 4 a.m.

Anyway...now I'm going to go play with dead things, and maybe hang some pictures.
greygirlbeast: (white)
A sunny late autumn morning here in Providence.

Today, I go back to work, and I do so in earnest. I feel as though most of October and all of November (thus far) have been allowed to lay fallow. Sure, I tried to write "Romeo and Juliet Go to Mars," and I did write "The Dissevered Heart" for Sirenia Digest #47 and last week I tried to get started on "The Wolves, the Witch, and the Weald" for Sirenia Digest #48. I managed to write the flap copy for The Ammonite Violin & Others, and give more interviews, and there were various other bits and pieces of work that did not get ignored or set aside. But, still, mostly, health issues and depression and various sorts of uninvited chaos conspired to encourage me to slack off and allow so much needed time to slip away.

Today, I intend to hammer out a proposal for Blood Oranges (working title), which I will have to my agent before the end of the week.

Saturday was mostly spent on housecleaning, as [livejournal.com profile] sovay and [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark were expected in the evening. I'd asked them both to come down from Massachusetts to help me talk through some of the barriers between Me and the Next New Novel. Saturday night was long, and filled with good and useful conversation. The novel, and many things pertaining to the novel (and no shortage of things not pertaining to the novel). First and foremost was the problem of evil, and how it relates to the book I'm about to try to write. Spooky and Geoffrey went out and got pizza from Fellini's on Wickenden Street. I'd thought we'd actually talk about plot, but I find it too absurd, discussing "plot points" as if they are something that should be worked out beforehand. This is, by the way, the first time I have ever asked friends to step in and help me get over a story hurdle, and it speaks to my current desperation. But it was a smart move. The talk went on until almost dawn. Geoffrey left about five a.m. (CST) for the drive back to Framingham (though I'd offered to let him crash on the sofa). Sonya spent the night, and took the train back to Boston yesterday afternoon.

I think it was the most socializing that's taken place in this House since we moved in. I ought to have taken photographs.

If you have not already, please do have a look at the current eBay auctions. I have a medical thingy coming up at the end of the week that I fear is going to seriously dent our finances, and every little bit helps. Frankly, as everyone crows about how publishing is being forced "to reinvent itself," I think I'm ready to return to true and genuine patronage. Find myself a patron or ten willing to pay me to keep this up, this writing, or to shower upon me offerings of land and property (a modest house of my own would be fine and dandy). As long as we're talking revolution, I may as well dream.

By the way, I have learned (rather belatedly) that the German-translation of Low Red Moon will be out December 1st. Out in Germany, I assume. Unfortunately, it has been renamed Kreatur. What? Is it not possible to translate the phrase "low red moon" into German? I admit, I've only gotten as for as "red moon"— rendering it as roter Monde —but I do not speak German. Anyway, I thought someone might be interested.

Okay. Work.
greygirlbeast: (The Red Tree)
Yesterday, I killed a loaf of bread. Such was my anger, and such was the nature of the day. A shitty, shitty day, but the loaf of bread had done nothing. It was a little stale, sure, but aren't we all? Spooky's buried all evidence in the trash.

Turns out, on July 10th, some cisgendered, homophobic snot at Readercon was twatting rude little missives about my person (that's only one thing that led to yesterday being a shitty day). Hashtag #readercon. You can probably find him, if you try. He consistently misspelled my name as "Kaitlin." I'm still debating whether or not to unleash the flying monkeys upon his sorry ass. Whether or not to call him out. A loaf of bread has already died for his sins. Oh, and he also complained about Chip Delany reading "raunchy gay PORN." Ignorance and hatred and fear are the roots of all evil, if there actually is evil in the world. Blessed are the narrow-minded shit weasels.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,086 words on a new vignette. An erotic vignette that begins with a discourse on 4th-dimensional geometry, tesseracts, orthogonality, three-dimensional shadows, and so forth. Truly, I write smut for nerds. Right now, the piece is called "Vicaria Draconis" (thank you, [livejournal.com profile] sovay). And I could finish it today, I suspect, only it's so bloody hot in the house, and I'm still a bit too angry to make the doughnuts.

We hit a fairly serious last-minute snag yesterday, as regards the book trailer, and right now, we're scrambling to sort it all out.

Also, I'm pulling out whatever stops I can pull for promotion. We're going to have Red Tree fliers up on the website soon (they were out at Readercon), that can be printed from your computer and distributed wherever seems appropriate. We're talking posse, street team, etc. I've also begun a contest. Send me tree photos, any tree, anywhere, and my favorite gets a free, signed copy of the novel. Email photos to greygirlbeast(at)gmail(dot)com, naturally. Now, I would much prefer you take these photos yourself, and not snurch them off the interwebs, please. They may be posted on the website, and I'd prefer not to violate someone else's copyright. We're also talking stickers, because any good posse needs to be able to deface public property and restroom stalls and so forth.

And there's the ongoing auctions.

I don't think I can sit here, baking in the heat all day. It's ten degrees (F) cooler outside than inside.

I want to say, "Read the Tree," but Danielewski beat me to that one. This posse needs it own slogan. "Feed the Tree"? Yeah, I know it's from a Belly song, but so was Low Red Moon
greygirlbeast: (Eli4)
Running late this morning (nope, it's afternoon already), because I didn't get to bed until after four ayem. But it's rainy, and I find myself having trouble caring about running late. Better to sit here and drink my coffee, make my journal entry, and listen to R.E.M.'s Reckoning (1984), which has always seemed like a rainy-day album to me.

Yesterday, we made it through chapters 8 and 9 of The Red Tree, and the "Editor's Epilogue" (an execrpt from one of Sarah Crowe's novels), and finished with the galleys. Except for the long letter I have to write today, explaining some of the corrections. All in all, the galleys were pretty clean, mostly formatting problems. It was good to read through the whole novel again. It has left me resolved to be better than my best next time out. I am always chasing my own tail.

Last night, I got an email from my German translator, Alexandra Hinrichsen, asking for assistance with the Jung quote that opens Low Red Moon.

Spooky and I are very impressed with The Hunt for Gollum, the "fan film" directed by Chris Bouchard. It really is quite well done, and I'm amazed that it was made for a mere £3,000 (roughly $4,534.27 USD). Well, I'm sure having 160 volunteers at his disposal helped a great deal. I've seen films with budgets in the tens of millions of dollars that didn't look half this good. My only caveat, really, is with the sound quality. We couldn't hear it at all on Spooky's laptop, so we switched over to my iMac, and it was still difficult to get decent volume. But, it's a small complaint. In my mind, the film works rather nicely as a "missing scene" from Peter Jackson's three films (and I think it was very smart of Bouchard to follow Jackson's visual cues). Marvelously atmospheric. I am impressed that Tolkien Enterprises gave their approval to the project. I hope to see more from these guys.

We've been getting back into WoW, which has suddenly become much more entertaining since Shaharrazad and Suraa moved along to Outland. We both made Level 66 last night. I've leveled more in the last two nights than in the last two months. We're both based in Shrattrath now, working with the Scryers.

A mere 21 days remaining until birthday -05, which is more than a little horrifying. For me, anyway. Horrifying and astounding. I do, as it happens, have an Amazon wish list, if you are given to such things. Thank you. Anything that distracts and helps to take away the sting. And, yeah, used books are just as welcome as new books. Oh, and for anyone not using Amazon, the address is P.O. Box 603096, Providence, RI 02906.

Here are a few photos from yesterday, nothing terribly exciting, which is reasonable, as it wasn't a very exciting day:

May 4, 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (Eli4)
I haven't much felt like making entries the last few days, and as I was on "vacation," I didn't.

But today it's back to work, and a small mountain of tedium awaits me. I only have to make a molehill of it all by the end of the day.

The time has come that I have to get very serious about beginning the next novel. I'd decided that it would be Joey LaFaye, and I thought, back in December, that it was a hard and fast decision. But now I'm thinking I'm still not ready. I think maybe I know, now, what Neil meant about not writing The Graveyard Book for so long, because he didn't feel as though he was yet a good enough writer to do it justice. I believe that's what has happened to me with Joey LaFaye. I want to write it. I've been attempting to write it for something like three years now. But I'm just not ready. Instead, I will write something else. I do not yet know precisely what, but it might involve the "yellow house" in Providence (see "So Runs the World Away," "The Dead and the Moonstruck," Low Red Moon, Daughter of Hounds, etc.), something concerning the New England vampire hysteria of the 19th Century. But I'm not yet certain. Mother and I are still collating.

Seven days off, and I might actually feel more exhausted than I did beforehand.

The most interesting thing I've done in the last seven days was Sunday's trip to Newport. I have it in my head that the story I need to begin tomorrow will be set there, and, also, I wanted to see the waterfront, which is always too clogged with sweaty, ill-dressed tourists in the summer to bother with. It was warmish and sunny when we left Providence, but by the time we crossed the bridge to Aquidneck Island and reached Newport, clouds had moved in and the day had turned chillier. We parked off Washington Street, then walked south along America's Cup Avenue and Thames Street. I was sorely disappointed, though I should have expected it. I recall having said before how much I want to see a fishing town that is still a fishing town, and not a self-parody, living off tourism. Gloucester is the closest I've gotten. Newport, though, feels like fucking Disney World. Everything is too bright, too stark, too friendly, too not-quite-real. And even in that nasty weather, there were tourists from Connecticut and New York (just not so many you couldn't walk along the sidewalks). But the harbour was nice, and the boats, and we found a wholesale lobster place that didn't mind us strolling about inside amongst the holding tanks and equipment. I think the lobster place was the only thing that actually almost felt real. When we'd finally had enough of tacky gift shops., we drove east to the Redwood Library and Athenaeum (ca. 1747), which is gorgeous. We may be heading back there tomorrow. It's the oldest lending library in America, and the oldest library building in continuous use anywhere in the US. Anyway, there are some photos behind the cut:

March 8, 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (Eli3)
Too much sleep last night, and how often do I get to say that? I'm groggy, but from sleep, not insomnia.

Days off, I end up with all this random crap, instead of actual journal entries. Day like these, my journal entries must consist of the random crap that floats through my days, or they will consist of nothing at all. To wit:

Yesterday, I read back over "Ode to Edvard Munch," before sending it off to the editor of By Blood We Live, a vampire anthology from Night Shade Books that will be reprinting the story. Reading it again, I realized (again) that sometime between the writing of Low Red Moon and Frog Toes and Tentacles —— so between 2002 and 2005 —— I quite suddenly became a much better writer. I don't know how it happened. I didn't do it on purpose. I followed no conscious agenda of change. It just happened. My style was greatly pared down. My voice simplified. My descriptions became more precise. My dialog became sharper. I learned to do much more with much less. It seems to have just happened.

Also, yesterday, while reading through "Ode to Edvard Munch," Spooky found a royalty check for $300 tucked inside a comp copy of The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance. The check is dated August 18th, 2008. And this, kiddos, is why I have to have a keeper, and why I cannot manage my own finances. I wonder how many checks I've mislaid over the years. A very small fortune, probably.

---

Friday evening, I was listening to WBRU, the college-rock station out of Brown University. The music's pretty good, but the DJs are insufferable. Anyway, Friday evening I heard two of them —— one male, one female —— trying to figure out what the word cretin means. Finally, after much debate, they achieved consensus on a definition. Cretin: a small, horned demon, sort of like an imp. And no, they were not trying to be funny. That much was obvious. And I thought, This is fucking irony.

---

Lots of "television" last night (which is to say, shows streamed via Spooky's laptop). The latest episode of Battlestar Galactica, "Someone to Watch Over Me," was very, very good, though I wish it could have ended on the scene with Starbuck at the piano, just after she played the bit of "All Along the Watchtower." I can't believe it's almost over. Well, it's not, really. The feature film is slated for a 2011 release date. We also watched a decent episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. It was good to get back to Cameron, though I can do without that horrid kid that plays John.

And after that, we played WoW, killing alien bugs in Silithus for the druids of Cenarion Circle, which just feels all sorts of wrong to Shaharrazad. Working for night elves, I mean. I've been sitting at Level 62 for...I have no idea. Let me check. Since February 19th, as it happens. I haven't been playing much WoW. And when I have, I've mostly been mining. Indeed, after giving Shah a second profession, mining. I discovered that I was enjoying "the mining game" much more than all that questing and leveling nonsense. Last night, my blue bar moved for the first time since the 19th, I guess. Anyway, the bugs in Silithus were so obviously modeled after the bugs in Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers (1997), it got me to wanting to see that ridiculous film again. So we stopped playing WoW and streamed it from Netflix. Quite an odd film, odder even than I remembered, though the creature effects have aged well.

---

I have resolved that I will now cease to read reviews of my writing. And I mean not only "reviews" (that is, readers "reviews" on Amazon, "reviews" in blogs, and so forth), but, also, actual, professional, published reviews. They almost always annoy me, even the positive ones. I cannot hope to make everyone happy. Hell, most times, I can't make me happy. Reading those reviews never changes the way I do what I do even in the least, with the exception of the review in Locus of The Dry Salvages that almost made me stop writing sf forever. So, I'm going to spare myself a lot of grief and stop reading all reviews of my work, period. No exceptions. Not if I can help it. So, please do not send me links to them online, or point me towards them, or whatever. I am cultivating disinterest and detachment. I am trimming away stress.

And I think that's all for now. It's warmish Outside, and Spooky says I can't stay in all day.
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
Another very good writing day yesterday. 1,624 words on "Dancing with the Eight of Swords," and in only about two and a half hours. That's more than 3,000 words in the last two days, after having just finished "The Colliers' Venus (1893)." I'll finish the new vignette today. Tomorrow, I'll do everything else that needs doing on Sirenia Digest #36, and it should go out to subscribers late tomorrow night.

After dinner last night (spaghetti, and marinated artichoke hearts), we finished the first read through on The Red Tree. Spooky was doing the actual reading, and I confess, I'm so exhausted, I dozed through the last section of Chapter 8, which sucks (that I fell asleep; not the chapter), as it's one of my favourite parts of the book. Anyway, I was awake for all of Chapter 9. Having heard the whole thing now, I see that there is precious little editing to do. It works better, probably, than any novel I've ever written before. I have no idea how I wrote it so quickly, and also managed to get it right. My only real complaint is that I wish I'd have had time to make it several chapters longer. But, really, it works just fine at this length. The last chapter is such a plummet, and I can only hope that the readers take the fall as it's meant to be taken. Now, I'll attend to all these line edits I've accumulated, a few continuity errors, write an epilogue, produce a second draft, email that to my editor at Penguin, then do a second read through, sometime in December. The footnotes I agonized over early on will be present only in the "editor's" preface and epilogue.

I did some work on the [livejournal.com profile] crk_blog_vault (and, if you're interested in the writing of Low Red Moon, you may want to follow along). I posted sound bites to my Facebook account (which is just...weird).

Spooky drove down to Saunderstown yesterday afternoon to see her mom and dad, her younger sister (up from Brooklyn) and nephew and brother-in-law. Spooky's brother, who lives in Montana now, is on his way to some manner of scientific conference in Australia.

It's cloudy here today, overcast and only in the forties (F).

Also, yesterday, I read "New Specimens of Lithoptila abdounensis (Aves, Prophaethontidae) from the Lower Paleogene of Morocco," in the September JVP. And, late, we watched two more episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Both were quite good, and the series seems to be recovering from the lack of energy and focus at the beginning of Season Two. I do keep hoping for actual combat scenes with Summer Glau, and I wish they'd make better use of Shirley Manson. I'm loving all the glimpses of the world after "Judgment Day." The use of the Oz material in "Goodbye to That" was excellent.

Anyway, I think it was 4 ayem before I got to sleep, which just won't do. I know, because the platypus says it won't.

Pull the blindfold down,
So your eyes can't see.
Now, run as fast as you can
Through this field of trees.
—— The Editors
greygirlbeast: (redeye)
Yesterday was not a good writing day. It took me all afternoon to produce a measly 716 words on "Pickman's Other Model." The constant need to fact check (everything from the movie industry in 1920's Fort Lee, New Jersey to the geography of the Massachusetts North Shore) didn't help, and there was one paragraph I spent almost an hour on — writing it, rewriting it, re-rewriting it, trying to get the wording just right. The voice of this story does not bear much resemblance to the peculiar use of first-person narrative that Lovecraft employed in "Pickman's Model." It's far more reserved, as the character of Eliot, as i am choosing to write him, is quite a different person than was Thurber (the narrator of HPL's story). One neat thing, yesterday I discovered an unexpected overlap between Low Red Moon and "Pickman's Other Model," and, as it turns out, this story will provide a bit more history to Narcissa Snow's family. Anyway, hopefully today will go better. Truthfully, I should not have attempted such an ambitious short story when I have so many deadlines pressing in on me, but, damn it, this is what I want to be writing. Also, my thanks to [livejournal.com profile] derekcfpegritz for pointing me to a better e-text of "Pickman's Model" (at Wikisource).

So many things in my head this morning, I'm bound to forget something.

Yesterday, after the writing, UPS dropped (literally) a 45 lb. box of Tales of Pain and Wonder and Tails of Tales of Pain and Wonder onto our front porch. And now I have seen the 3rd edition of the collection, and it is beautiful, and I am extremely grateful to Bill Schafer at subpress for giving me another chance to get this book right. In particular, Richard A. Kirk's artwork is reproduced beautifully. It's just a gorgeous book, and if you haven't already ordered, I urge you to do so now, because soon it will be sold out once again, and, if you wish to own it, you'll have to resort to paying exorbitant eBay prices to people who are not me.

And I was extremely pleased that Christian Siriano won Project Runway 4. I just had to say that, because I am a fashion nerd (thank you, Diana Eng).

No walk yesterday, because I just wasn't up to the chilly wind. It's much warmer today, I'm glad to say.

I'm considering (and I know this is a strange idea, bear with me) of establishing an rp group on Second Life to try rping through certain scenarios before I write them as vignettes or stories for Sirenia Digest. I'd probably call it "The Sirenia Players" (how could I not), and it would be a small group, no more than ten people, I think. Part of the great, untapped potential of SL is all the ways it can aid authors, and this would be another way of taking advantage of what it has to offer. To date, I have derived a number of pieces for the digest from SL rps, including "The Steam Dancer," Scene in the Museum (1896)," and "In the Dreamtime of Lady Resurrection". Anyway, speak up here or via email — greygirlbeast(at)gmail(dot)com — if you might be interested, and I'll keep you posted.

Also, you can now "See the Alternate Ending for I Am Legend That Was Too Satisfying for Test Audiences," courtesy New York Entertainment (my thanks to [livejournal.com profile] chris_walsh for pointing me to this). It's still not the right ending, but is an ending that follows logically and emotionally from the rest of the film, doesn't reinforce the myth that the military can save us from a doomsday of our own devising, and it is far, far preferable to what was shown in theatres. Of course, if you have not yet seen the film and want to, it's probably best not to watch this ending, as it is undeniably spoilerish. If only the practice of employing "test audiences" to aim films at the lowest common denominator (which is to say, the average audience) would go the way of the non-avian theropods...
greygirlbeast: (chi2)
I'm sitting here sipping at my coffee, listening to Iron and Wine, watching the faint rind of daylight showing at the edge of the curtain straight across from my desk, and trying to decide if I'm less out of sorts than I was this time yesterday. It'll probably be hours yet until I know the answer to that one. The cold weather has me tilting from one side to the other. And yes, it's early February and cold weather is to be expected, and that which is to be expected can't be faulted. But all the warmth and those premature signs of spring had me soaring and hoping, and I remind myself the seasons are "meant" to have no regard for the needs or feelings of mere consciousness. But still. I've hardly left the house this week. I did go four days straight without stepping out the door; that was Saturday—Tuesday, I think. And a long walk in only a sweater would be nice right about now.

Anyway.

We did Chapter Nine of Daughter of Hounds yesterday. It was rougher going than the preceding chapters, as it's the chapter I was halfway through when all the Bullet Girl foolishness began, distracting me from the novel for the better part of two months (September—October). It'll need a bit more polishing. But it's also, I think, one of the most powerful chapters in the novel, especially the second half. The second half holds the second climax and sends the reader spiraling towards the final climax and denouement, such as the denouement will be. To be the novel I promised Merrilee would have a "happy ending," and to have earlier judged that it does in fact have an ending which is much less grim that of Low Red Moon or Murder of Angels, there's an awful lot of sorrow here at the end of it. I wouldn't have it another way. Another way would be untrue. Today we'll finish the read-through. Tomorrow or Monday I'll begin on the revisions. I may go so far as to add a couple of brief scenes. Also, I have to admit that Katee Sackhoff has become Soldier in my mind's eye, and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Not much else to yesterday. Well, a little. I exchanged e-mail with Vince as he finished up the very wonderful illustration he's done for "Untitled 17," which will appear in Sirenia Digest #3. We got four new subscribers yesterday, which is very drad, indeed, and I thank you one and all. This means I only need 76 additional subscribers to meet my goal. The offer of a free copy of Silk to new subscribers will remain for at least the next couple of days. Just click here to find out everything you need to know to subscribe. And remember, new subscriptions will begin with Issue No. 3, which should go out on February 14th. I also did another short entry to the Amazon Connect plog.

Before the Olympics began, Spooky and I spent some time studying Liz and Colin Murray's Ogham system. And I may make a Wicca post later today. Or I may not. Or I may, but block comments. I really don't want this to become something that forms the focus for arguments here. Or even vigorous discussions. And I also am not looking to offend anyone, but my opinions so often do just exactly that. It's my superpower.

Yesterday, in the comments to yesterday's entry (on LJ, for you Blogger folks), someone broached the subject of the applicability of human morality to Narcissa Snow, and i made reference to the afterword I wrote for the subpress edition of Low Red Moon, where I briefly discussed this very problem. Of course, not everyone has the subpress hardback, only a few do, so only a few have read what I wrote there on this problem. So I'm quoting from it below (behind the cut):

afterword excerpt )

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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