greygirlbeast: (Starbuck 3)
I didn't forget this morning's dreams. And more's the pity. I dreamed that the Eastern Seaboard had been destroyed in a nuclear war by the Japanese (????), and I was a child in Jacksonville, Fla. and all was soot and ruin, and I watched a television broadcast of a firestorm raging across Texas. A million little details in my head.

This is why I generally hope to forget my dreams. Also, just now, right this very fucking minute, I'm having to refrain from one of those "You kids these days! Get off my lawn!" tirades, this time about how much I hate the way that the abbreviations of the states were dumbed down (i.e., simplified) back in the 1980s or when the hell ever. Florida is not FL; Florida is Fla. Massachusetts is not MA, it's Mass. Michigan is not MI, but Mich. West Virginia isn't WV, it's W. Va. Yeah, okay. I'll stop now. But I haven't lost all the battles. For example, the Girl Scouts of America, at least in the state of Colorado, are now trans friendly. I still marvel at the emerging phenomenon of transgendered children being permitted to express and explore their gender identities as children. Sure, it's still not even close to being included in this society's "normative state," but its become ever more common in the US. Kids these days...

Yesterday, we made it through chapters Five and Six of Blood Oranges. Assuming the MiBs leave me alone today, we'll get through Seven and Eight, and all that will be left to be done to the manuscript is actually making the marked corrections (there are a bazillion, so it'll take at least one long day). And since tomorrow will definitely belong to the spooks, It'll likely be Sunday before those corrections can be made.

And here we come to a note regarding Sirenia Digest. I am very, very sorry, but #71 is going to be late, and by late I mean maybe as late as the 10th of November (whereas it's "due" out on the 5th). October was a monster, and here I am with four days of it left, and I've not had a moment to put towards the digest. But it will come as soon as I can pull it together, and I apologize profusely. I'll do my best to never be this late again.

Last night, Spooky made astoundingly yummy turkey legs (toss in mushrooms, apples, onions, garlic, etc.) with mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts (a cultivar of the wild cabbage, Brassica oleracea). I had a hot bath. Oh, wait. The bath was right after I made my blog entry, which means I had to wake up twice, because warmth makes me sleepy. Anyway, after dinner, Rift, and after Rift I finished reading Steinbeck's "About Ed Ricketts" to Spooky. So much is quotable, but I'll settle for one. On religion and Ricketts, Steinbeck writes:

He has no religion in the sense of creed or dogma. In fact he distrusted all formal religions, suspecting them of having been fouled with economics and power and politics. He did not believe in any God as recognized by any group or cult. Probably his God could have been expressed by the mathematical symbol for an expanding universe. Surely he did not believe in an after life in any sense other than chemical. He was suspicious of promises of an after life, believing them to be sops to our fear or hope artificially supplied.

I love those words. And now, four more stills (by [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy) from the October 15th shoot at Rolling Dam (Blackstone, MA) and Thundermist Falls (Woonsocket, RI):

Beast on Location )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Everyone's on her or his way home now (Boston, Philadelphia, Framingham, Washington D.C.). Three amazing days of work are behind us. Much more work lies ahead, and the first edit of the trailer (there will be several, and yes, a DVD at some point) won't be done until January. But, undoubtedly, many hours of footage was shot for, at most, a four minute film.

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

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

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

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

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

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


I drank the blood of angels from the bottle,
Just to see if I could call the lightning down.
It hasn't struck me yet, and I would wage my soul to bet
That there ain't no one throwing lightning anyhow.
— Brown Bird, "Blood of Angels"
greygirlbeast: (hatter2)
A good day for comments, kittens.

There was a cold front behind the storms, and yesterday, and today and, it seems, the foreseeable future, was, has, and will be a return to autumn. Which is how the weather works here in Rhode Island. A week or so ago, cold enough we had to use the fireplace. Then, all at once, in the space of a single day, it was so hot the house was almost too hot to work in. And now, we need sweaters. At least it hasn't snowed again. At least, it hasn't yet.

Yesterday marked the three-year anniversary of our arrival in Providence.

And yesterday was spent, mostly, getting The Drowning Girl: A Memoir ready for my editor. I read over much of the book again.

Today, I have to buckle down (always hated that phrase) and get serious about my corrections to the galley pages of Two Worlds and In Between. This book is such a monster, in more ways than one, and I think I've done as much as possible not to draw its attention my way.

I want to be writing – if I must be working – and I want all this tiresome, tedious editing and proofreading and whatnot to be finished and over with. But I'll likely have it coming and going for a time, at least through the first half of the summer.

I took a break late yesterday afternoon, and I walked with Kathryn, all the way to the farmer's market at the Dexter Training Ground. This was the first week of the market, which runs through the summer. There was a chill in the air – as I said, sweater weather. But the world is green. We bought only ripe strawberries (which we had later over vanilla ice cream), though everything looked wonderful – the produce, the honey and cider, the meat and seafood. There wasn't as much variety as usual, because winter went on so terribly long this year. Behind the cut are a few photos I took yesterady:

2 June 2011 )


Last night, we watched Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland again. Not sure how many times we've seen it now, but I love it a little more with each and every viewing. I know that it's perceived as a sort of anathema for many Carroll purists. But, given the importance of Lewis Carroll to my own work, I don't think anyone could fairly consider my opinion on the film uninformed. I can accept Burton's radical reinterpretation, especially given that the reinterpretation is a sequel to Carroll's two books. Depp's Hatter will, for me, always be the definitive Mad Hatter, and I fall in love with him all over again every time I see the film.

I also read "The first definitive record of a fossil bird from the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) of the Haţeg Basin, Romania." In the January issue of JVP, that is. Now, on to another day of the tedium which is demanded of all authors, but which is not writing.

Tediously,
Aunt Beast

Oh, and here's a video of the tornado that touched down in Massachusetts on Tuesday. It is an amazing piece of film. The vortex seems all but alive.

greygirlbeast: (walter3)
Awake until four ayem, and then I slept until noon. Which means enough sleep, more than usual, but I hate waking up this late. At least, though, we are past the part of the year when, even with CaST to help out, the darkness comes so insanely early.

I am choosing not to speak on the subject of Osama bin Laden's death. My thoughts on the matter are complex, and I see no need to burden the internet with them, or to spend an hour writing it all out.

Sunny out there today, sunny and the new leaves glowing brightly under the blue sky.

---

Yesterday, I wrote a very respectable 2,259 words on "The Carnival is Dead and Gone," and thought I'd found THE END. Then, late last night, it occurred to me that I may have sounded entirely the wrong note there at the last. So, the first thing I do today is go back and do a bit of tweaking to the last two or three paragraphs. Also, yesterday, I proofed "The Crimson Alphabet," which will come as a free chapbook with copies of the limited edition of Two Worlds and In Between. I exchanged emails with [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy about the book trailer for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Oh, and there was email from [livejournal.com profile] blackholly, which was a bright spot in the day.

For our Beltane dinner I made a lamb stew, which came out very, very well (I do say so myself), which we had with chicory stout, a freshly baked loaf of pain de campagne, and honey. Afterward, I did a little ritual work at the altar. Nothing fancy. It was a good Beltane, even without a roaring bonfire and what have you.

Later, we watched the latest episode of Fringe, then the second disc of the latest season of Weeds. Never has a series so literally lost direction and gone off wandering nowhere in particular. Truthfully, Weeds should have ended at the end of Season Three. The end of Season Three would have made very good ending. A very important part of telling stories is knowing when you've reached THE END, and not continuing in just because you're being paid to do so. Any story may be stretched out indefinitely; none should.* Anyway, later there was a tiny bit of Rift, and we read more of Under the Poppy.

---

Please have look at the current eBay auctions! Thanks.

---

And here's the second set of photos from Saturday's trip to the Blackstone River Gorge in Massachusetts:

30 April 2011, Part 2 )


* In large part, this is why The Dreaming was such an awful idea from the get go. The Sandman said almost everything worth saying, and, after that, it was mostly footnotes. I love reading footnotes, and writing them. Few other people do.

Beltane '11

May. 1st, 2011 01:37 pm
greygirlbeast: (Pagan1)
A happy and fine Beltane to all who wish to be wished a happy and fine Beltane. Winter is behind us, and now for blazing fires and blazing days.

Five hours sleep last night. The latest drug regimen has been helping me sleep the last week or so, eight hours a night two or three nights in a row. So, last night it was a surprise. It was just after six ayem when I finally got to sleep. The sky was the lightest shades of daylight. I covered my head, and pretended it was still night, which helped.

Yesterday was a day off, and it was a good day off. We left the house about 2:30 p.m., and headed north, through Woonsocket to Millville to the Blackstone River Gorge. We lingered briefly at Rolling Dam (aka Roaring Dam). The safety line strung with red pontoons had broken free, and there was damage to a portion of the spillway. I'm guessing it happened when the ice broke up. When we visited in February, the river above the dam was frozen. Also, there was a maple in the water that must have only just gone down, as the branches were filled with reddish sprouts. Then we headed out to the Gorge itself, which lies downstream (to the southeast) of the dam. We've never done the hike, though there and back is only a little more than a mile (depending which trail you take). We climbed to the top and gazed down into that dark tannin-stained water thirty or forty feet below, listening to the rapids, stared into the tops of trees beginning to come back to life. When we left Providence, the sky was cloudy, overcast, but the sun came out about the time we reached the dam, and I was able to take off my sweater and scarf.

In a hollow between slabs of Devonian granite, we found a boggy place that proved to be the remains of a very old garbage dump. Late Nineteenth Century or older. Heaps of glass, brick, ceramics, ornate china shards, shattered jugs, lead nails, shreds of hobnailed boots...it would be a fascinating place to dig, but the park forbids it. Not far past the dump, we found a wide sandy place by the river. I spotted something in the water downstream, which I at first mistook for ducks. However, the disturbance turned out to be two otters (Lontra [?=Lutra] canadensis) frolicking in the shallow, slow-flowing river. I'd never before seen otters in the wild. Various other mustelids, yes (skunks, mink, weasels, etc.), but never otters. We sat and watched them for a about half an hour. They were maybe a hundred yards from us, at the most, and we did most of the watching through a 10x42 monocular. They breached and dove, rolled, and swam swiftly, sinuously, along just below the surface. The air was filled with birdsong. And were actually heard a Pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus). It was truly wonderful, and the cumulative effect of yesterday was to lead me to resolve that the stagnant age of sitting at this desk all the time, whether I'm working or not, is over. I'm missing the world, the world I used to live in, the wild.

Part of this, of course, is that, thanks to meds and exercise, my Lousy Rotten Feet have improved dramatically over the last year and a half. I don't even really need the stick anymore. I used it during yesterday's hike, because the ground was so uneven and heights were involved, but, usually, I leave it at home now. Anyway, there are a few photos from yesterday behind the cut, below, and I'll post more tomorrow.

---

And this month, the selection for Aunt Beast's Book of the Month Club is Under the Poppy by Kathe Koja (Small Beer Press, 2010). This is such a marvelous book. Koja has become such a very brilliantly polished author, and here she treads territories that have rarely been done justice. There's a faint whiff of Angela Carter. But yes, there's our novel for May.



---

We played far too fucking much Rift last night, mostly questing out of Perspice. The highpoint had to be escorting Kayfax, a talking cat, as it tracked trolls. Kayfax decided that Selwyn and Miisya would make very fine pets, and so we were referred to as "pet." Selwyn made Level 35, and Miisya made 36.

Ah, and by the way. Back at the beginning of March, I vowed to make at least one blog entry every day for four months. I didn't want to jink it by announcing it until I was well in. And now I've made it halfway.

And that's all for now. Have a fine first day of May, kittens.

Springy,
Aunt Beast

30 April 2011, Part 1 )
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
Oh dear Monsieur Insomnia, fuck you.

I hate waking to important email, which is what happened this morning. The whole weekend has been email and stress and worse. But the good news is that everything seems to be working out for the better. It's not that I worry over nothing. It's that unless I worried so fiercely, everything would go to crap.

It's almost going to be warm today, but I'm trapped here inside the house. There must be work.

But! I have some very good news, even though I can't say what it is until Friday.

Yesterday, I took a day off. Pretty much. Aside from having to deal with email all day and night, and aside from being unable to stop obsessing over The Drowning Girl, I took the day off. It was cloudy and chilly, and all I did was ride along with Spooky while she did errands, but at least I wasn't stuck at this fucking desk. We went to PetCo for cat food, and I found a baby Nile monitor (Varanus niloticus) that I don't know how I got out if the store without buying. We took Les pacte des loup back to Acme Video on Brook Street, and rented three more movies: Das Boot (I haven't seen it in ages), Basquiat, and the third Ginger Snaps film. It was surely one of the oddest assortments the clerk had rung up all day. Then, East Side Market to get chili fixings. Then home again. And I packed some boxes for storage. The office is about to undergo a complete overhaul to make it more functional, and there's just not room for everything.

If you own so much shit, you have to rent a storage unit to hold some of your shit, you own too much shit. This is probably one of those distinctly American problems. Fucking absurd.

Oh, I also added a few words of text to The Drowning Girl, to which I can't seem to stop adding little bits. Truthfully, I need six more months with the ms.. I'm just not going to get it.

---

The latest Question @ Hand has been posted. You may see it and answer here. All replies (unless you post them to Facebook) are screened and confidential. The ones I like best will appear anonymously in Sirenia Digest #65. I have some really good responses so far. Let's see more!

---

Last night, we watched Daniel Alfredson's Luftslottet som sprängdes (2009). It's a very different film from the other two in the trilogy, essentially a political thriller and court-room drama. But very good. Still, I think my favorite is the first film. And we played Rift. I played Indus, my Eth warrior (reaver and beastmaster), and she reached Level 19. I'm not sure why I'm running three characters simultaneously, but I am learning how different races and classes work. We read more of Markus Zusak's The Book Thief, and I read another article from the new JVP: "A new pachypleurosaur (Reptilia; Sauropterygia) from the lower Middle Triassic of southwestern China and the phylogenetic relationships of Chinese pachypleurosaurs." Then...I didn't sleep. Well, not until sometime after five ayem.

And now, more photos by [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy from the shoot Saturday before last, at the Harvard Museum of Natural History (including very, very rare shots of me and Kathryn together; my favorite is the last):

In the Museum )
greygirlbeast: (redeye)
Sunny out, and we're hoping for a windy 53˚F for a high. Yesterday, walking about Boston, clumps of snow hiding here and there, it was hard to imagine spring's anywhere nearby. I look at the weather forecast for Atlanta, and see the highs are up around 80˚F, and I think shit, I want to be there, but then I remember...

Yesterday was really very, very wonderful. Spooky and I took forever to get out of the house. It was pretty much noon by the time we were on the road, so it was a little before two when we reached the Harvard Museum of Natural History (née Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology). Spooky waited downstairs for [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy and company. I sat upstairs in the Romer gallery, with all the fossil dinosaurs, fish, and reptiles, trying to stay calm. As soon as the photographers arrived, which wasn't long, we went to the Great Mammal Hall and got to work. It went very well. Kyle was great, and I very quickly loosened up. I think he took about five hundred photos. No, really. Anyway, I'll post a few once Kyle sends them my way. I'm dreading the task of choosing the photograph from all those. [livejournal.com profile] sovay arrived at the Museum while we were shooting, and [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark would have, but there was apparently catastrophic car trouble. But yes, the day was a great success, and I'm very grateful to Kyle, Anna, and David for all their hard work yesterday. All I had to do was wear a top hat and make funny faces. In between clicky photo barrages, I tried to entertain the photographers with impromptu mini-lectures on this or that aspect of Natural History.

I think the most amusing part was watching and listening to all the people in the Museum (it was unusually crowded) trying to figure out who I was. The general consensus seemed to be that I was some manner of rock star. Which just keeps being funny.

I'll post a few shots here tomorrow.

Oh, and Spooky photographed a raven and other beasties as reference for Tale of the Ravens.

We made it back home by seven p.m., and I was utterly, utterly, exhausted. Oh! I forgot to mention that I hardly slept night before last, so I headed off to Boston on nothing like enough sleep. Okay, well, yeah. That happened, which is why I was so tired by the time we got back to Providence again. I wasn't up to anything more strenuous than lying in bed and watching television. There wasn't a new episode of Fringe, so we watched random episodes of The X-Files, then switched over to re-watching Season One of Californication (which is sort of like switching from Coca-Cola to tequila).

---

I'm beginning to wonder if I'm the last living Martian.

---

Sirenia Digest #64 should be out by the fifth of the month, which is Tuesday. I'm waiting on Vince's illustration for "Random Notes Before a Fatal Crash," and I still need to write the prolegomenon. I like this new story a lot, if it is a story, in the strictest sense (it's so much easier to write sensu stricto...). It came to almost 10,000 words in length, so subscribers are getting a big issue this month (and why aren't you a subscriber?). #64 will also reprint – for the first time, anywhere – "Rat's Star," a novella fragment which has previously appeared only in the limited edition of From Weird and Distant Shores.

In some ways, "Random Notes Before a Fatal Crash" is a story that I set out to write a couple of years ago, which I stopped and started several times. No, that's not entirely true. "Random Notes Before a Fatal Crash" is actually what happened instead of that story, after the theft of that story's title by another author (sounds snarky, but, still, it's true).

Okay. Days not getting any younger, and neither am I. Platypus says jump.
greygirlbeast: (white)
Rain again today, washing away yesterday's snow and the snow beneath it. Spring lurches towards New England, a slushy, ugly beast.

In yesterday's entry, I alluded to a small adventure I'd be undertaking. It turned out to be not quite as small as I'd thought it would be, but still, there were no obvious lost tombs or trolls or feats of daring do. The snow, being light, and so much of the old heavy snow having been washed away, finally gave me the chance to visit Rolling Dam in the Blackstone Gorge. Which, of course, is very near the most important locale in The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, but which I'd only seen in autumn and summer. Spooky wasn't happy about making the drive over all the gaping potholes that used to be roads, but I had Hubero hold Charlie Monkey hostage, so she went along with the plan.

We drove through Woonsocket, and stopped at the huge dam at Thundermist Falls. The easternmost spillway was closed for repairs of some sort, which made the view slightly less magnificent, but only slightly less so. They got more snow in Woonsocket, about three or four inches. The sky above was the palest velvety blue-grey, like another shade of snow, and the water coming over the dam and slamming loudly against the granite was an ocher green. All across Woonsocket, the old mills were frosted, and I could almost imagine the city before the decay of its industry.

We continued on to Massachusetts and Millville and to the spot by Rolling Dam where we always park. The snow here was maybe five or six inches (still, nothing at all for this winter). A man was shouldering a heavy backpack to make the hike to the gorge proper. We settled for Rolling Dam. This winter, it's a beauty I didn't grow up with, and it startles, disarms, and delights me. I've always found the still, deep water above the dam ominous, but it was more so than ever yesterday. Just north of the dam, the river was frozen over, back where it gets a bit swampy. I made notes, and we took photos. There were crows everywhere, and Spooky spotted a raptorial bird of some sort perched in the trees across the river.

By the time we made it back to Providence, it was late afternoon, maybe four-thirty p.m., maybe five. I got back to work. We proofed "Rats Live On No Evil Star" for Two Worlds and In Between. It's one of the few stories I wrote in the nineties (it was written in '97) that I still love.

Here are photos from the drive (behind the cut):

27 February 2011 )


---

Today will be Assembly Day for Sirenia Digest #63. My great thanks to everyone who took part in the Question @ Hand challenge.

Here's a rather wonderful piece on The Red Tree, written by Lynda E. Rucker. One of the best I've seen written, actually, as it's no mere review, and doesn't waste words regurgitating the plot: "An Appreciation of Caitlin R. Kiernan's The Red Tree"

As for the Oscars, I was mostly pleased. I was very pleased that awards went to Shaun Tan and to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and to Natalie Portman. I wasn't so happy with Best Director (should have gone to Aronofsky), Actor (should have gone to Jeff Bridges), and Picture (should have gone to Black Swan or True Grit), but everything before that was pretty good. I hear some guy named James Franco made an ass of himself.

Gods, lots more...but it's gonna have to wait until another entry. Time to make the doughnuts.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
1) This is the year that you may celebrate the last year of the first decade of the new millennium. Yes, you have my permission. I wouldn't have mentioned it, but I made such a big deal, in last year's New Year's Eve post, about how 2009 wasn't the end of the first decade of the new millennium.

2) Yesterday, I wrote 1,246 words on "—30—", which I should be able to finish tomorrow, for Sirenia Digest #61. I might have written more, but I had to pause to read Michael Drayton's "Nymphidia" over again. Also, yesterday Spooky sent the Dancy Cigar Box off to the winner of the auction, Mr. Steven Lubold.

3) Heads up. The super special sale price for the limited edition of Two Worlds and In Between ends at 5 PM (EST) this evening. At this point, more than 450 of the 600-copy print run of the limited have been reserved (originally a 400-copy print run). So, yeah. Last chance to save $20 on the limited. Take heed.

4) Yesterday I also corralled the best answers to the question I asked last year on the 30th of December, "If you had me alone, locked up in your house, for twenty-four hours and I had to do whatever you wanted me to, what would you have me/you/us do?", and those will also be appearing...belatedly...in Sirenia Digest #61. Also, if you weren't reading the blog last year and would like to get in on this, you can email me a reply today or tonight or tomorrow, to greygirlbeast(at)gmail(dot)com. All answers will be published anonymously, so feel free to feel free. But no answers about how you'd spend all that time reading to me, or how you'd make me take a nap, or how you'd cook for me, force me to go Outside, or help me write, or have long conversations with me about writing and literature and dreams and magick. I'm looking for something spicier here. Although, forcing me to write or talk about writing would certainly rank fairly high on the sadism meter.

5) Two movies last night. I was sort of in a crime/thriller/noir headspace. We began with Richard Shepard's Oxygen (1999), because we're determined to see everything in which Adrien Brody has ever appeared. Not bad, though Brody was by far the best of it. Next, we watched D.J. Caruso's The Salton Sea (2002), which I liked quite a lot, really. Vincent D'Onofrio can always be counted on to add something wonderfully weird to any film in which he appears, and this was no exception. The very ending felt tacked on, though, as if maybe the studio execs got skittish of the bleak ending we almost get before the film unconvincingly tries to fake you out so that Val Kilmer can walk away into the sunset. Also, I find it odd Caruso would make a film titled The Salton Sea, in which horrific events have occurred at the Salton Sea, but fail to take advantage of the surreal landscape surrounding the Salton Sea. Still, I liked it.

6) I'm not gonna bother with any actual "best of" lists this year, if only because the Lamictal has made such a mess of my short-term memory. I strongly suspect I've not yet seen all the best films of 2010, but I'm going to say that the best films of 2010 that I have seen are (in no particular order) Black Swan, Inception, Shutter Island, and The Social Network. I also adored Tim Burton's version of Alice in Wonderland and Kick Ass. Turns out, a lot of my favorite films from 2010 were released in 2009 (Neil Jordan's Ondine comes to mind). My reading habits are too spotty to say much at all about the best books of the year, though I did adore Patti Smith's Just Kids and Kristin Hirsh's Rat Girl. As for music, my listening habits have been even spottier, but, off the top of my head, my favorite album was probably Broken Bells' self-titled release.

7) Most years, I give the whole idea of New Year's resolutions the middle finger (which I was recently amused to hear described as the "Massachusetts State Bird," which is fair, given that the Rhode Island State Bird is the Dunkin' Donuts Cruller). Anyway, this year I actually do have a few resolutions, which I mean not only to make (which is easy), but to keep (which is hard). For starters, unless I'm too sick, I will leave the House at least once every four days. I've also decided to work harder at witchcraft and magick, which is one of the parts of my life that's been sort of lost in the chaos of the last two years. I'm going to read a lot more and game a lot less. And so on and so forth. You get the idea.

8) One of the coolest things I can say about 2010 is that I only got sick once (we're not counting my long list of chronic maladies here, just contagions). Back in January, I caught some sort of hideous bug when I did a reading in Brooklyn, and was down for a few days, but that was it. Garlic and hot, hot peppers, you rule.

And now, it's time to make some Rhode Island state birds....
greygirlbeast: (Default)
My adoration of the Banshee Queen, Sylvanas Windrunner, is pretty much legendary. Yes, here I am being the worst sort of dork. The most annoying breed of nerd. But it's true. She's one of the truly cool things about the lore of the World of Warcraft, and finally there's an action figure. And it's on my wish list at Amazon.com, at the very top, and the first person who buys it for me, thereby assuaging my insatiable nerd-lust, will receive a token of my appreciation. I don't know what yet, but I'll think of something. The giver of this gift of this graven image of my Dark Lady will win my eternal gratitude. Yes, I am being shameless. No, I don't care. It's Sylvanas freakin' Windrunner.***

***Update (2:45 p.m.): A kind soul has done the deed, and while I can imagine decorating the house with dozens of idols of Lady Sylvanas, Spooky would likely kill me if I did. So, thank you. Wish fulfilled.

---

Yesterday felt like things were finally getting back on track, writing wise. I did 1,019 words on a new vignette (though it's actually sort of a quasi-vignette, as many of my vignettes are, interweaving several scenes). I'm calling it "...Of the Cloud That Took the Form..." I think I'm going to like it. It has eastern Connecticut and aliens in the Jovian atmosphere. With luck, I might even finish it today. Then I'll need to begin the next piece for Sirenia Digest #59.

My thanks for all the suggestions yesterday. More are always welcome.

I also had to answer a few questions from the CE who's copyediting "The Maltese Unicorn," which will be appearing in Ellen Datlow's Supernatural Noir anthology. And Ellen tells me that Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy will be out before very much longer. It includes my story "The Collier's Venus (1893)."

And here are ten photographs from our drive through southeastern Massachusetts on Sunday. They include the World's Cutest Jumping Spider EVER. We may try another leaf-watching drive (hopefully with better results) this coming weekend, some place farther north:

17 September 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (newest chi)
I'm going to do my best to make this short, as I don't need to spend energy on this entry that ought to be spent writing.

I've gotten nothing much written since we returned home on October 5th. And now I have to push to get Sirenia Digest out on time. I only need two good ideas. It's a lot harder than it looks. Especially the part where you take the ideas and make them into story. Oh, and suggestions are always welcome, but keep in mind we're talking vignettes under 3,000 words, so don't go getting expansive.

Someday I'll compile a chapbook devoted entirely to absurd, degrading, and insulting writing gigs I've been offered and turned down. Most recently, referred to, in a veiled manner, in the entries of September 28th and 29th. An offer to write graphic novel tie-ins to a Big Name Paranormal Romance Writer's crappy novels. Mostly, when I realized what the job actually was, I was dumbfounded. Have I not made it excruciatingly clear that I want nothing to do with trashy paranormal romance novels? Have I not also made it clear I consider them a blight on fantasy and dark fiction, a disease that I hope will pass very soon? More importantly, who could possibly read my fiction, and claim to be a fan, and then imagine I'd consider working anywhere near that wretched subgenre? It makes my head spin, the absence of logical connections at work in a scenario like this. Anyway, I said no, which was fairly easy, because the pay rate was abominably low, with no royalties whatsoever, and I'd have had to set aside real work, and kowtow to the whims of the author in question and her editor while scripting inane stories from inane outlines, because of all this..and have I mentioned how I feel about paranormal romance?

And no, I do not care how many books you've sold. It's not that I'm above whoring, but I'm not a cheap whore. Nor am I an undiscerning whore. And if what I've said here offends you as a writer, write better books. If it offends you as a reader, read better books.

Really guys. Ducks in a row, please.

No, Caitlín that was not particularly politic.

Remember what they say,
There`s no shortcut to a dream.
It`s all blood and sweat,
And life is what you manage in between.


---

Yesterday afternoon, hoping to see some fall foliage, we drove to north to Woonsocket, then into Massachusetts, through Millville, Uxbridge, Northridge, Whitinsville, Saundersville, Sutton, and Millbury. But we chose our route very poorly, and were never able to clear the quasi-rural, but really sort of suburban, sprawl that lies south of Worcester and west of Boston. About the only good part of the day was returning to Rolling Dam in the Blackstone River Gorge, in Millville, which we first visited back on July 16th. We should have just stayed there, instead of seeking leaves between the patches of squalor. Anyway, I have photos, but I'm going to wait until tomorrow to post them.

---

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks. Also, Spooky has listed her Halloween-related wares in her Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries shop, but they will only be up until November 1st. So, check that out, as well.

---

On Saturday, I searched for ideas for vignettes. I worked on a long interview. I read two stories in Haunted Legends (I'm beginning to make an effort to read the anthologies my stories appear in). One by Jeffery Ford, and one by Joe R. Landsdale. I think I liked the former more than the latter, and it had some odd resonances with The Red Tree. Before I fell asleep, Spooky read "The Haunter in the Dark" to me.

Okay...the platypus says this entry stops HERE.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
A thunderstorm is moving in, and the sky has gone marvelously dark above Federal Hill here in Providence.

I have what I think is quite a momentous announcement. This morning William Schafer at Subterranean Press emailed to ask if I'd "be interested in a 200k word The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan, that, in addition to 5-6 uncollected stories, drew from all of your published collections..."

And, of course, I said yes. I said yes immediately.

So...over the next month or so I'll be compiling the table of contents, which, frankly, seems like an almost impossible task, even with a two-hundred-thousand word limit. I have to go back over all the short fiction I've written the last seventeen years, almost two hundred stories, and figure out which pieces I consider my best (as well as which pieces have received the most attention, and so might be said to represent my "best" work). The book will be released sometime in the spring of 2011, and the limited edition will be accompanied by The Crimson Alphabet as a free chapbook. I will post more details as they become available. By the way, feel free to post suggestions here, or email them to me, your personal favorites you might like to see included. I'll consider those, too, when making my choices. I hope to deliver the manuscript to subpress by the end of the summer.

So, yeah. Big News. Also, I'll be getting back to work on The Dinosaurs of Mars next year, after having set it aside in the summer of 2007. If all goes well, subpress will release it in the fall of 2011. Which means I'm doing two books with them next year.

Meanwhile, my copies of The Ammonite Violin & Others arrived late yesterday, along with the "Sanderlings" chapbook. I am beyond pleased with how the collection turned out. It's definitely one of the best-looking books I've ever done with subpress. And if you preordered and do not yet have your copy, it should be along shortly.

---

Today, I did 1,060 words on Chapter One of the Next New Novel, and it's the first writing I've gotten done since Sunday. The less said about the first half of yesterday the better. Most of it was spent at the Peace Dale Public Library, reading Joshi's The Rise and Fall of the Cthulhu Mythos.

Sunday evening, we returned to the Blackstone River Gorge area in southern Massachusetts, the towns of Blackstone and Millville, and almost to Uxbridge. I found more locations important to the Next New Novel, and fell more in love with the region. Many photos were taken, and I'll try to post some soon.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Also, there's the cool stuff at Spooky's Dreaming Squid Dollworks & Sundries shop at Etsy (she says, "Tell them to please buy this stuff, because I'm tired of looking at it."). Yes, she really said that. So, thanks. Buy or bid if you are able.

Okay. That's all for now. I have a table of contents to ponder....
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I am painfully not-yet-awake. I seem to have suffered some bizarre reverse insomnia. I got to sleep just fine, around three a.m., but woke around nine, and only dozed fitfully afterwards, jerking awake every five or ten minutes, until I finally got up about ten. Blegh. Not how I needed to begin this day.

It's going to be a scorcher here in Providence today.

---

Yesterday, I wrote 1,143 words on Chapter One, falling somewhat short of my 1,500-word-a-day goal. Mostly, this was because I spent an hour and a half reworking portions of what I wrote on Thursday. The novel has been entirely changed by the impromptu "workshop" at Readercon last weekend, and hopefully for the better. I'll post details when I am farther along, deeper into this first chapter and more certain this new direction is working.

My hands are so dry.

I have not yet received my copies of The Ammonite Violin & Others, but I'm told they started shipping from subpress yesterday, so if you preordered, your books are on their way (unless you preordered from Amazon, which is always a little slower on deliveries).

I think that I may be writing "The Yellow Alphabet" this month, for Sirenia Digest 56. I've been wanting to do it for quite some time, to complete the triptych I began with "The Black Alphabet" and then continued with "The Crimson Alphabet." But first, I need to make substantial progress on Chapter One of the novel.

---

About six-thirty p.m., When the writing was done yesterday, and also the reading aloud what had been written, Spooky and I drove north and west to Woonsocket. I've always needed to "location scout" for stories and novels, to ground at least some part of them in a place I have actually visited. We'd not been in Woonsocket since the summer of 2004, when I was scouting locations for Daughter of Hounds. We stopped at Thundermist Falls, though the sun was setting fast, and I knew Thundermist Falls wasn't the spot I was looking for. Still, the Blackstone River crashing down from the dam's spillways to the rocks below is irresistible. On the south side of the bridge we spotted a large turtle (Deirochelyinae incertae sedis) getting the last rays of the day, and also a muskrat clambering about on the rocks.

We left Woonsocket and followed the river, driving a little farther north, across the state line into southern Massachusetts to Millville. We stopped on a bridge between another (smaller) dam and two railway trestles. Then we drove on through Millville, a town very possessed of that decayed, haunted New England feel. We followed dark, tree-shrouded roads to the Blackstone Gorge, which we reached just before sunset. And as soon as I saw the little dam and the wide, still river backed up behind it, the woods pressing in on either side, the marshy banks, I realized I'd found the place I was searching for. Eerie and beautiful in equal measure. Something deeply unsettling about the glassy surface of the river above the dam. This is where the novel begins, or at a spot just northwest of here. We sat a while, watching the crescent moon rise over the trees. We'll be going back, this evening or maybe tomorrow, because there's more I need to see. But it was a very successful trip. We left Blackstone Gorge about eight p.m. and headed back to Providence. I took fifty-three photos, and there are six behind the cut (they're a little hazy, as the camera settings were off). I'll get more up later:

16 July 2010 )


---

Back home, after dinner, we watched Niels Arden Oplev's Män som hatar kvinnor (2009; The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), which was very, very good. I'm very taken with Noomi Rapace. And after the movie we read through what I've written so far on Chapter One once more before bed. Just before sleep, I read some of S.T. Joshi's The Rise and Fall of the Cthulhu Mythos (2008); I'm having dinner with Joshi next week.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
It's going to be a hot day here in Providence. I was unable to get to sleep, and finally had to take an Ambien, which I am trying very, very hard not to do. But it was almost five a.m., and the sky was growing light.

Yesterday, Spooky and I spent another five hours or so on "The Maltese Unicorn." We read all the way through the story again, and then I made a number of last minute line edits and added a few passages. Then emailed it to the anthology's editor (both TBA), and now, mercifully, it is out of my hands.

This week will be devoured by everything I need to do to be ready for Readercon. I'm going up Thursday night. But I haven't bought anything like clothing since I did that reading at the Montauk Club in Brooklyn back on January 15th. I'm considering "dressing down," as what I wore last year seemed to inspire some degree of fear and loathing. And my hair...my hair has been left untended since January, as well. I'm having it cut and colored on Tuesday. I don't want to do any of these things. I hate shopping, and don't want to be futzed over by a hairdresser.

Anyway, as for Readercon 21, for those of you who are attending, here's my schedule:

Friday 12:00 Noon, RI: Event (60 min.)

A Dramatic Reading of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Acts I & II. Inanna Arthen, Ron
Drummond, Greer Gilman, Adam Golaski, Caitlin R. Kiernan, K. A. Laity, John Langan,
Shira Lipkin, Faye Ringel, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Sonya Taaffe, Eric M. Van.

Friday 1:00 PM, Salon F: Panel

New England: At Home to the Unheimlich?. F. Brett Cox, Elizabeth Hand (M), Caitlin
R. Kiernan, Faye Ringel, Paul Tremblay, Catherynne M. Valente.

Friday 2:00 PM, 4 PM RI: Event (60 min.)

A Dramatic Reading of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Acts I, II, IV & V. Inanna Arthen, Ron
Drummond, Scott Edelman, Jim Freund, Greer Gilman, Adam Golaski, Walter H. Hunt, Alaya
Dawn Johnson, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Mary Robinette Kowal, K. A. Laity, John Langan,Faye
Ringel, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Sonya Taaffe, Eric M. Van.

(I'll be reading the part of Oberon.)

Friday 4:00 PM: Autographing

Friday 5:00 PM, Salon F: Panel

David Foster Wallace Wanted Us to Do This Panel: Authoritativeness in Fiction.
Michael Dirda, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Sarah Langan, Eugene Mirabelli, James Morrow (L),
Catherynne M. Valente.

Saturday 12:00 Noon, RI: Talk / Discussion (60 min.)

Tree Networks and Transspecies Sex: Biology in Avatar Joan Slonczewski

Saturday 1:00 PM, NH / MA: Group Reading

Haunted Legends Group Reading (60 min.). Ellen Datlow (host), Caitlin R. Kiernan,
Kit Reed, Catherynne M. Valente.

Readings from Haunted Legends, an anthology of all new retellings of urban legends
and regional ghost stories, edited by Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas. The book will be
out in September from Tor Books.

Sunday 11:00 AM, Salon G: Event

The Shirley Jackson Awards: Nalo Hopkinson (MC), Nick Antosca, Ellen Datlow, Gemma
Files, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Robert Shearman, and Paul Witcover (nominees), F. Brett Cox
and John Langan (judges), Elizabeth Hand, Jack M. Haringa, Peter Straub, PaulTremblay
(advisors).

Sunday 1:00 PM, VT: Reading (60 min.)

from The Ammonite Violin & Others* (collection; Subterranean Press, June 2010).

Sunday 2:00 PM, Salon F: Panel

It Is, It Is, It Really Is Fiction: Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary F&SF. Caitlin
R. Kiernan, K. A. Laity (L), Shariann Lewitt, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Catherynne M. Valente.

*Actually, because of the delay at the printer, I'll will, instead, be reading "The Sea Troll's Daughter."

---

Day before yesterday, or the day before that, I came across a somewhat interesting (and generally very flattering) blog post about Silk and The Red Tree and my writing in general. I'll quote a short bit:

Caitlin Kiernan’s novels give abundant evidence of the author’s impressive research and learning. Within a single chapter, the reader may find references to sources as varied as Seneca, Nina Simone, Thoreau, Tom Waits, Joseph Campbell and H. P. Lovecraft. Kiernan often wields her impressive learning like a bludgeon and seems to take considerable satisfaction in doing so. The reader may feel both taunted and intimidated by this amazing author who frequently makes extravagant displays of learning. However, discerning readers will probably forgive this author for her occasional outbursts of unabashed arrogance and vulgarity (which reminds me of Harlan Ellison's tendency to chastise his readers for their ignorance). I'm sorry Caitlin. I'll try to do better.

This made me smile, even as it sort of grated on my nerves. But then, how often do I try to grate on the nerves even as I try to evoke a smile? I do think the post paints me more as the person I was in the mid nineties than the person I am now, fifteen years later, but whatever. Anyway, what's important is that bit at the end. That last line. Because that's all I've ever really asked from anyone (including myself): Try to do better, because hardly any of us ever do try to do better. Also, I'll remind you of a quote attributed to Bertolt Brecht. "Art is a hammer." Which is to say, sometimes I use the hammer to drive nails, and sometimes I use it to pull them out again. Sometimes I use it to prop open a door. And then sometimes, yeah, it's time to fucking bludgeon.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Thanks to the new (very expensive) medications, my insomnia is vastly better than it's been for years. But last night, I was awake until sometime after four, and then only got to sleep because I'd taken Ambien (which I dislike doing). Then I woke from a nightmare at eight, to construction noise from next door. And that was it. No getting back to sleep for me. I got up so the tossing and turning wouldn't wake Kathryn. So...now I have to manage to stay awake until tonight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

13 June 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
So...Sunday we went to Boston. This was the trip to Boston that had been delayed since May 26th, the delayed birthday trip to Boston. Simple plan. Spend a few hours at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, then meet up with Greer ([livejournal.com profile] nineweaving), Sonya ([livejournal.com profile] sovay), Geoffrey ([livejournal.com profile] readingthedark), and Chris for Thai food at 9 Tastes. It started off...well, not perfect, but okay. We got to Boston a little late (and there was an emergency pee stop at MIT, which is a pretty cool place to have an emergency pee stop), but mostly things were fine. At the Museum, Spooky sketched birds and mammals, and I sketched and photographed Permian fish, sharks, amphibians, reptiles, and synapsids.

We left the Museum just before five (closing time), and headed back to the van to find a parking place nearer the restaurant (we were parked on Wendell Street for the MCZ). We found a spot on Holyoke Street (not easy, because the place was crawling in people, despite the crappy weather). And that's when I had the first seizure I've had in more than a month, and the worst one I've had in several months. And, before it was over, I'd smacked my head hard on the plastic seat-belt hanger thing. Which was the end of the second attempt at the Boston birthday gathering. Spooky called everyone she could get on the phone and canceled dinner. And I'm drawing this stupid, sorry tale out more than I'd meant to. We drove back to Providence, and I didn't go to the ER, because I couldn't possibly have afforded it. I went home and rested, fairly certain I probably didn't have a concussion, just a sore skull and a goose egg. And the usual post-seizure yuckiness.

And that was Saturday.

I spent most of yesterday in bed, still weak and recuperating. But I am a lousy convalescent, and I got bored about noon, and spent the next seven or eight hours editing "The Maltese Unicorn," and rewriting parts of it, and adding to it, and tweaking it, and whatnot. I finally stopped sometime after eight o'clock, and Spooky made me have some dinner.

Anyway. For now I'm taking it as easy as I can and still get the work done that needs doing. I'm seeing my doctor on Thursday. I'll be sending "The Maltese Unicorn" off to the anthology's editor today, after a very few last minute nips and tucks.

Oh, and the weather finally improved, which has helped my mood a bit.

---

Thanks to Bill Schafer at subpress for sending me the Publisher's Weekly review of The Ammonite Violin & Others. I'm very pleased with it:

The 20 short, dark tales in Kiernan's third fantastical erotica collection (after Tales from the Woeful Platypus*) are marked by obsessive, often self-destructive behavior; haunting, generally prophetic dreams; and beautiful prose. In the title story, an aging serial killer invites a young violinist to his isolated home on the anniversary of his murder of her cellist sister. In "The Hole with a Girl in Its Heart," an unhappy man makes a deal with a young woman who possesses a freakish understanding of quantum mechanics. In "Bridle," an equally unhappy woman begins to have unnerving dreams about a kelpie trapped in a small pond near her home. In "Ode to Edvard Munch," a man relates his long-term love affair with an urban vampire. These very adult stories will prove deeply pleasing to aficionados of literate, sexually tinged fantasy fiction.

So...that's three for three. Good reviews from Booklist, Library Journal, and Publisher's Weekly, for a book of very, very peculiar stories. Better hurry up and order if you want a copy.

And now, I need to lie down again for a bit. Spooky took these two photos yesterday of me editing from the sick bed:

Bed Editing )


* Strictly speaking, this isn't true. The Ammonite Violin & Others isn't the planned third volume after Frog Toes and Tentacles and Tales from the Woeful Platypus, but a) it's starting to look as though I might never get around to doing that book, and b) there is a strong erotic element to this book, so I can see where confusion originated.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
My head is filled with random bits of Saturday night that I've not written down, or written down nowhere but my Moleskinne notebook. The "rickshaws" along Massachusetts Avenue, for example. Or leaving Boston after the show, and Mass Ave being littered with scattered pods of drunken idiots trying to hail cabs. Passing MIT in the night. On our way back down I-95 to Providence, and the moon shining through a thin cloud cover, reflected on the glassy black water of Manchester Pond just before we crossed the state line into Rhode Island. Impressions, most of them already lost or remembered only by my unconscious mind.

On Sunday, I proofed the galley pages for "As Red as Red" (written about this time last year), which will be appearing later this year in Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas' Haunted Legends anthology (Tor Books). I still like the story much more than I expected. A year is usually long enough for me to begin disliking what I've written. But, anyway, nothing new was written on Sunday.

Nothing new was written yesterday, either. Though I sat here all damn day, staring at the screen, staring at Vince's illustration (which this next vignette will be based upon), reading things that ought to inspire, looking at art that ought to inspire. I have to have better luck today. Even so, subscribers should play it safe and expect Sirenia Digest #53 to be a day or two late this month. I'm hoping it will go out on May 2nd. Still, we could get astoundingly lucky and get it out on the night of April 30th. I'm just not going to count on that happening.

A wonderful package arrived yesterday, from Steven Lubold of Laughing Ogre Comics in Fairfax, Virginia. Literary care packages are always much appreciated. This one contained the second issue of The Guild comic, along with Patti Smith's Just Kids, Mark Miller and John Romita, Jr.'s Kick-Ass, and Patagonian Mesozoic Reptiles. So, many thanks, Mr. Lubold. You rock. We began reading Just Kids last night, because, currently, my superpower seems to be reading too many books all at once. Currently, I'm also trying to finish Greer Gilman's Cloud and Ashes, Gregory Maguire's A Lion Among Men, Matthew Goodman's book on the 1835 moon hoax, and the third volume of E. C. Segar's collected Popeye strips. That's at least three books too many.

Yesterday, the mail also brought a book looking for a blurb. At the moment, I have two of those waiting for me to get to them. Even after all these years, I am still unaccustomed to editors asking me for promotional blurbs.

Sunday night, we watched Richard Curtis' Pirate Radio. An oddly adorable movie that proves, yet again, that Philip Seymour Hoffman can do no wrong.

And here are thirteen photos from the Faith and the Muse show on Saturday night, as promised. It wasn't easy choosing thirteen from fifty-eight (well, except for those showing only the backs of anonymous heads):

Faith and the Muse, 24 April 2010, Boston )
greygirlbeast: (white)
About an hour behind today, as we didn't get back from Boston last night until a little after 2 a.m. Today is cloudy, drizzly, cooler, and likely to remain this way until Wednesday.

Though I very almost did not make it out of the house yesterday evening (thank you, Howard Hughes), stubborn determination and the power of pharmaceuticals prevailed, and we made it to Boston for the Faith and the Muse show at T.T. the Bears on Brookline Avenue in Cambridge. And I am so glad that we did. The show was glorious. Truly, simply glorious. My thanks to Monica and William for putting us on the guest list, because that was probably what actually got my leaden ass out the door (oh, and thanks to Chris Ewen for calling to be sure we were coming). Really, I've seen Faith and the Muse three times now since 2001, and even though I've seen them play better venues, last night's performance was by far the best I've seen from them. Brilliant, beautiful, thunderously sublime. I think they played all of the new album, : ankoku butoh :, as well as a few older songs. My squealing fangirl moment of the night came when William dedicated "Cernunnos" to me. And oh the drummers; I think I actually had drumgasms. Also, I was unaware that Paul Mercer was touring with them (and plays on the new album), and it was great getting a chance to talk with him again. I've known Paul since 1996, when I was in Death's Little Sister and he was in the Changelings. And I have to give special mention to the dancers, Aradia Sunseri and Lucretia*Renee (who, together, are Serpentine)...just, wow. So, yeah...if the current US/European tour is coming anywhere near you, I fucking implore you to see it. And get the new CD. The opening band last night was Providence's own Spindle Shanks, though we came in late, near the end of their set. But what we heard was great. Spindle Shanks did the music for the as-yet-unreleased (but I hope to soon remedy that) trailer for The Red Tree. The infamous Scary Lady Sarah is djing for the American leg of the tour (I'd not see her since I was Mistress of Ceremonies for Convergence 5 in New Orleans, back in 1999).

And I think that's almost all for now. I have to get the second piece written for this month's Sirenia Digest. I'm doing it that backwards way, where Vince Locke sends me a drawing, and I write a story to it, reversing our usual dynamic. I'll post his illustration here sometime in the next few days, before #53 comes out, just to whet your appetites. And Spooky took about a zillion photos of the show last night, but she still has to sort through and edit them before I have anything to post, so, until then, I leave you with cute photos of Sméagol and Hubero:

Kittehs )
greygirlbeast: ("Dracorex")
A third consecutive sunny day in Providence, warm enough that I can believe spring isn't too far away. The willows are greening. There are a few flowers here and there. My office window is open again (it was open last night until I went to bed about 2 a.m.), and the temperature out there is a not unpleasantly mild 66F. We made it into the low 70s yesterday.

And as for yesterday, a marvelous day. Well, once we finally escaped Providence and made it to Boston. Greer ([livejournal.com profile] nineweaving) and I had resolved, on Wednesday, to meet up in Cambridge for a sort of impromptu mini-Triptree Award winner/honoree celebration. So, Spooky and I drove to Boston and met Greer and Sonya at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, which I'd not visited since July or August of 2006.

We didn't make it to the museum until a little after three, and it closes at five, so there wasn't much time to wander the galleries. We're planning to go back again one day soon, a day when we can arrive in the morning and spend the whole day just sketching and making notes. But even a short visit at the MCZ is grand. And we found Greer and Sonya ([livejournal.com profile] sovay), and wandered the galleries, admiring fossils and taxidermy, formalin-filled jars of sea creatures and the iridescent shells of beetles. The MCZ is itself a sort of time capsule, consisting in large part of the cabinet of Louis Agassiz, who founded the museum in 1859. It is a monument to the way that Victorians sought to understand natural history, and the seemingly chaotic halls are likely to give those with more modern sensibilities all sorts of discomfiting sensations. It's one of the last museums of its kind, and is, itself, as valuable an artifact as the artifacts it houses.

Oh, and Sonya gifted me with an enormous plush octopus from the MCZ gift shop, which I have christened Nemo. Unless I change my mind and start calling it Scylla. I suppose that depends on puzzling out its gender. Sexing the octopus....

Despite my aching, rotten feet, after we left the Museum we walked to Raven Books, a wonderful, wonderful place situated in a basement below street level. I'd promised I would be good on this trip and not come home with a metric shit-ton of books. But Greer and Sonya kept finding things and showing them to me. Oh, and Chris Ewen (he of Future Bible Heroes) met us at Raven Books. We had dinner next door at a fine Thai restaurant called Nine Tastes. I had the beef larb, tart as tart could be and with just the right level of heat (hot enough to eventually shut down my taste buds). And after that, after dinner, we walked up to the Harvard Bookstore, and then back to a comic shop called Million Year Picnic, where Spooky used to buy her funny books back in the day. By this point, it was well after dark and my feet were screaming, so we said our good-byes to Chris and headed back to the van. We drove Greer home (and left Sonya to fend for herself or fall to the wolves...or seek public transit, or something). I think Spooky and I made it back to Providence about 10 p.m.

So, yes...a much needed day out and among other people and among the sorts of things that make me smile. And, by the time all was said and done, it was a bit of a book-buying orgy. I lost track of what everyone else got (and everyone bought books), but I came away with:

1. A Lion Among Men by Gregory Maguire (2008)
2. The Sun and the Moon: The Remarkable True Account of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling Journalists, and Lunar Man-Bats in Nineteenth-Century New York by Matthew Goodman (2008)
3. The Lyrics of Tom Waits: The Early Years (1971-1982) (2007)
4. The Library of America Philip K. Dick volume, Five Novels of the 1960s and 1970s
5. Wise Children by Angela Carter (1991)
6. Moonwise by Greer Ilene Gilman (original 1991 edition, which Greer signed to me last night)
7. A Neil Jordan Reader (1993)
8. Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America by Eric Jay Dolin (2007)

So, yeah...books. There are sixteen photos behind the cut. Now, I must go decide which of two stories I will begin for Sirenia Digest #52.

18 March 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (Sweeny1)
Another spring-like morning here in Providence. The office window is open. The sun is bright. I can almost pretend I slept well and that every muscle in my body doesn't ache. I left the office window open until 10:21 p.m. last night.

Yesterday, no writing. And, at this point, nothing substantial has been written since I finished with "Apsinthion" back on February 25th. This has to change very, very soon. It doesn't matter whether or not I'm well. This broken sack of crap and bones can go hang. It also doesn't matter what asinine shit pushes in at the borders of my life. This not-writing absolutely has to stop. For a month, almost, I have been No One, for I am No One, if not a writer, and if I am not writing, I won't call myself a writer.* Then again, the thought of being simply and only No One...okay, let's not go there.

I spent much of yesterday just resting, recuperating (not entirely sure from just what), hydrating, and so forth. Trying to forget that Tuesday ever happened. The sun and the clean air helped. All there was to St. Patrick's Day was me hanging my Irish flag in the window of the front parlour. Maybe next year.

Today, I just want to go to the sea...but I'm going to Boston, instead.

* If anyone dares, today, to tell me this is a fallacious line of reasoning— that it's, for example, like questioning a lesbian's lust for the female form because she's not actually had sex for the last ten years —I will ban her, him, or it from every posting a comment here again. Yes, I love you, too.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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