greygirlbeast: (Default)
Spooky says, [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy has tweeted "Rhode Island. It's not an island. Not even close. I have discovered this." He is a wise man. Oh, and he also just tweeted, "They really should change the name of that to A-Squid-Neck Island*. In honor of Lovecraft. Obviously. Fo shizzle." I think he's high.

Today, Hubero's name is Bill Murray. Just until midnight. This began when Spooky posted the following to Facebook: It's that kind of morning... discussing how funny it would be to change Hubero's name to Bill Murray. "Get down off that counter Bill Murary!" "Dust bunnies will kill you, Bill Murray!" Yeah, that one was for the Jim Jarmusch aficionados. Shit. Hold on. Bill Murray is eating coffee grounds out of the garbage.

Um...back now.

Yesterday, I worked. On, you know, The Secret.

And then I went to the Apple Store and bought an iPad. Yes, this may well mean the end of Western Civilization, and I am ashamed to the core of my being, and I apologize. But I'm going to need it for work soon, and it's tax deductible. Now, time was, writers didn't need Star Trek gadgetry to...write. They needed fingers and ink and paper and a quill. Later shit got fancy with pens and typewriters. Luxuries? Those were whiskey and cigarettes. This was the life of the writer, and they roamed the plains in vast and wordy herds. But now, writers must have gadgets. Yes, they must! Or the other writers make fun of them. Gonna have to get an iPhone soon, too...but that's gonna wait a few more months. Meanwhile, I will endure the peer pressure and limp along with my sad little 2009 cellphone. Anyway, yes. An iPad. And man, you wanna know how Sirenia Digest was meant to be seen? Look at #70 on an iPad. I had no bloody idea! Anyway, lest anyone gets too worried, no. I WILL NOT READ EBOOKS ON MY iPAD. Except magazines and newspapers and comics, because that's different. Why? Because I say so. Also, my basement is filled with cardboard boxes of National Geographic that a) weigh a ton, b) will never again be opened in my lifetime, and c) I can't bear to throw out.

My iPad's name is Kermit. First time I have ever given a computer a male name.

My thanks to Josh Cruz ([livejournal.com profile] subtlesttrap) for sending me the new Ladytron album, Gravity the Seducer. And to Melissa, for reminding me that I've fallen in love with St. Vincent. Sometimes, I forget my nouveaux amoureux (and that I don't actually speak French).

Anything else? Bill Murray, you are not helping.

Oh! I know. Since when did publishing start thinking that anyone who has a blog, seems to be able to read, and can write halfway coherent sentences qualifies as an actual "book reviewer"? You know, those people who write "book reviews." Once, we had real book reviewers, who wrote actual book reviews for newspapers and magazines. In fact, we still do. Not as many as we used to, and, sure, few of the reviewers can match the Golden Days of Reviewers, the likes of Dorothy Parker's "Constant Reader" in the pages of The Atlantic. But, every goofball with a WordPress or TypePad account? Really? Fine, call me arrogant. I don't care. Call me meritocratic. I can live with that just fine. I can't live with BookVoreLady's "review" of The Red Tree being quoted by my publisher (I made up "BookVoreLady," but you get the idea), and I diligently have those "reviews" removed when they turn up in the opening, promotional pages of my books. Maybe this is the wave of the future, an age when merely being able to read and write automatically grants one the status of being a bona-fide book reviewer. But I don't have to like it or go along with it. Reviews have always been a questionable affair, but at least when the reviewer has a name and a face and you know their educational and professional pedigree, intelligent decisions based upon their opinions can be made. I may disagree vociferously with reviewers, but I do at least tend to respect the opinions of the learn'd and experienced.**

But what do I know? I bought an iPad and named it Kermit.

So, without further ado, eight more "making of" photos (chosen at random!) from the past weekend's shoot for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir book trailer. These were taken by Ryan Anas, who was Kyle's PA for those three days. Ryan rocks the casbah, by the way. I'm not labeling any of these photos. You can all make a grand parlour game of guessing their provenance. Or not. Your call. Speaking of calls, Ryan took these with his phone, which sort of looked like an elephant had stepped on it, so he gets extra points for moxie. And speaking of moxie...

Hey! Bill Murray! Get away from the microwave! (This is why we can't have nice things.)

Ryan's Behind the Scenes, Part One )


*Aquidneck Island

** No, this is not–most emphatically not–any sort of condemnation of those of us (as I am included) who write about books, perhaps in great detail, in our blogs or what have you. But I've never yet written anything in my blog I'd dare have the hubris to call an actual review. The world, I think, needs a hubris extractor.
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
Comments!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now..this day.

*** NOTE: I do not actually drink coffee anymore, having forsaken it for Red Bull; but Kathryn can't live without it.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Okay, setting aside for the moment that Kathryn managed to find a Bosco Milk Chocolate Bar (3.5 ounces of all natural pure fun, since 1928), we have had an amazing motherfucking day and night. Oh, yes. Let's not forget the night. But! No one drowned, which is bloody amazing, given we working on a trailer for The Drowning Girl and...well...you'll see.

Sure, it was a rainy fucking day here in Rhode Island. But, everyone arrived about noonish, and as we headed south towards Location #1, Moonstone Beach, we got a break. In the cloud cover that is. The drizzle ceased, and the filming at Moonstone went swimmingly (you gotta thank Geoffrey [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark for having committed that pun, as he was sitting here begging me not to use it, though he's the one that brought it up). Where was I? Oh, Moonstone Beach. Yes, it was one of the most beautiful days I've ever seen at Moonstone, and the novel's climactic scene was a marvel to translate into film. Oh, and there were beautiful mermaid's purses, and omen of a certain, some enormous (by the standards of selachian egg cases), perfectly hatched. Had a great close encounter with a loon (and I don't mean Geoffrey!). The mist was thick, and Block island was invisible in the distance, to the south, across the green, then blue gulf of Block Island Sound. Our actors—Sara (Eva) and Nicola (Imp)—were grand. Kyle played Mary Ellen Mark and shot a billion still photos. I played Werner Herzog, while Brian played Terrance Malick. Meanwhile, Kathryn, Geoffrey (there he is again), and Ryan saved our asses again and again and again. As the clouds parted, we were treated to a Maxfield Parrish sky, all in a trillion shades a blue and grey.

And then we took time to visit the jetty at Harbor of Refuge, which I walked, despite the fact I have no business playing mountain goat. And then, just before dark, we headed to the Point Judith Lighthouse. We watched men fishing in the rocky surf, and a couple of surfers (of questionable intellect) flinging themselves suicidally into the breakers. And the sun set and rain came down.

Hard.

We headed back to Kathryn's parent's farm, to shoot a pivotal scene, which calls for outdoor nudity. And it was shot in the rain. The pouring rain. The hard, cold, you can't hear yourself speak over it rain. Sara gets huge points from me for standing naked in the hard, cold, you can't hear yourself speak over it rain. For, I think, four takes. I only had to be soaking wet in my clothes. I think you could write a short novel about our filming that one scene, Sara and Nicola (who was at least dressed), and the cameras, and the umbrellas, and the automobile serving double duty as a lighting rig. And the rain. And the deer that almost ate Sara. And pizza. And umbrellas. And Spider the cat. And...stop me now.

More to come. Ah, but! There is a sneak peek! Here:

14 October 2011, NOT WORK SAFE, like I give a shit )
greygirlbeast: (fight dinosaurs)
Last weekend, beautiful fucking weather. Sunny and bright. Highs in the low eighties Fahrenheit. You almost could have imagined it was summer. Well, for Rhode Island, I mean. This weekend? Cold, rainy, foggy, and windy. That is to say, normal Rhode Island weather (unless it's snowing). But, apparently, We are possessed of some species of determination and purpose. and the show must wobble on.

Most everyone will be arriving via the train station about noon, and Spooky's headed that way very soon. Me, I'm sitting here in my pajamas, thinking about going back to bed. I was dreaming of Boulder. Of school in Boulder. I was dreaming of a calculus class in Boulder, and even that hurt less than this.

Yesterday, someone saw fit to vent their spleen in this blog. Apparently, they were moved to do this because I fucking hate ebooks, because I hate the very idea of ebooks, and because I said so (again). My hatred of ebooks has been a matter of public record since the fucking Kindle was only a gleam in some profiteering shitheel's eye. But yesterday it seems I hit a nerve. Good for me. See, I'm fighting a losing battle against ebooks (that's a given), so I can take my meaningless little victories free of guilt. Ebooks will soon rule publishing, at least until that post-peak oil crash, when plastic will be worth its weight in paper. However, it became one of those very rare instances when I was forced to delete posts (including two of my own), and yes, forced. By decorum. I'm going to repeat what I said in yesterday's second post, in a condensed and abbreviated form, regarding what I expect from those who kindly take time to comment here:

Over the many years that this LiveJournal has existed (since 2004), I have said repeatedly that I do not allow contentious comments. Comments, yes. You may even feel free to disagree, briefly, so long as it is evident (to me) you're not, clearly, aiming to start an argument. In short, we do not debate. Ever. This blog is NOT a public forum, regardless of my inviting comments. Think of it like visiting a friend. This LJ is my house. And I expect people to behave in a civil fashion while in my house. This is, I know, asking a lot, as we do not live in a civil age, but I'm asking it, anyway.

If I find a comment argumentative or offensive, as has always been the case, I will delete it. I don't often delete anything. And I almost never ban anyone (maybe five, ever). Furthermore, if it is obvious that I feel especially strongly on a subject, take that as a cue not to poke me with a pointy stick. It's common sense, guys. So, when I make angry, damning comments about ebooks, for example, that's my opinion. Disagree? You have the whole internet, except this blog, in which to express your dissatisfaction with my comments. That seems fair.


This is non-negotiable, and like everything else, not up for debate.

Oh, and yesterday—before the blog fiasco—we took a mountain of boxes to the storage unit and Spooky backed the van into a concrete wall at about twenty miles an hour. Very little damage was done. And there were publishing nuisances. And we cleaned house.

And I guess that's all for now. People will begin arriving at the Providence train station very soon, and they probably don't want to see me in my pajamas. So, dress I must. Looks like we'll be shooting at Moonstone Beach in a few hours. In the book, the scene's on a bright summer morning. So, a dreary, freezing autumn afternoon is a perfect stand-in.

Here's a question. In the Golden Age of the Ukulele Revival, why is Tiny Tim not more revered? The man was a fucking genius, and, seemingly, well ahead of his time..

Ta,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
Here's the ruckus. There are three things in my life that bring me joy, without fail. What's more, each of these things is, essentially, free. No, I'll not tell you what those three things are. But, because I am not an utter cocksucker, I will say that one of them isn't writing, and if anyone should happen to guess what the other three are, I'll confirm. And send you a banana sticker. Oh, there would be four things that bring me joy, without fail, but it doesn't seem fair to include heroin on the list. Also, I lied about the banana stickers.

No, not having a good day. I'm afraid to go to sleep at night, because all I hear is a clock ticking very loudly.

Also, to harp and beat dead horses, the whole thing with emoticons and l33t, maybe you don't notice anyone thinking you're an idiot when you use XD or <.< or lol***, but maybe that's because you've begun keeping the company of idiots...or maybe you always did. Just a thought. Take it or fucking leave it be. Oh, Caitlín! Will you not ever learn you catch more flies with honey, and a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down? Problem is, it's a lot more satisfying hitting the Bad Things with baseball bats.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,261 words on the still untitled Mars story for Sirenia Digest 69. I mean to finish it today, which makes me eager to think of a title.

Last night, we watched André Øvredal's Trolljegeren (2010; aka Trollhunter). And, fuck me, but never in a million years would I have expected this to be a brilliant little movie. All I can say is see it, and if you read the description first, don't let that affect how you approach the film. You've got to go in with an open mind. I was only just barely able to, but I'm very grateful I was. Want to know what awesome really means, or, for that matter, awful? See this movie. The climactic creature encounter is, truly, genuinely, both awesome and awful. Four thumbs way, way up. Oh, it doesn't hurt if you love the art of people like Arthur Rackham (1867-1939) and John Baur (1882-1918) and have at least a passing familiarity with Nordic mythology.

Now...photographs from August 29th (the day we drove to Watch Hill, then east again to Narragansett), after Irene passed over us, and left the sea angry and ill:

29 August, Part 2 )


*** Or, for example, ;-), :-), o.0, >.>, :-P, ad infinitum. And, for the record, yes, I've caught myself doing this, especially on SL, but I do my best to remind myself it makes me look like an idiot.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
So, I did it. As of today, I have blogged six months straight, without missing a single day. Actually, I've not missed making an entry since February 13th, but I didn't make the "I'm not going to miss an entry for six months" declaration until March 1st, so I'm not counting February. Anyway, between March 1st and today (this post included), there's a total of 253 entries. Most days got one entry. Some got two or three. One got four entries. So, having accomplished this task, I ask myself, "Self, want to try for a whole year?" And remember, I have no iPad, no iPhone, Android, Blackberry, what-the-hell-ever mobile geegaw that allows me to post anywhere but home. So, this stands as ample evidence that I really don't have a life. Though, it's true, that three entries (I think it was three), were made from the business center of the Readercon hotel, back in July.

---

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

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

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

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

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

August 26, Part 2 )


Mellivora,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
I'll make no apologies for the tone of yesterday's post. There are no regrets. I will only offer an opaque excuse, that I have been made a party to what is, in my estimation, a sickening tragedy. One that could have easily been prevented. One I tried to prevent. And now I will carry the fact of it in my head for years.

And so, yeah, the fury's going nowhere soon. So, do not attempt to console me. It's amazing how many people on the internet are unable to comprehend that trying to calm a rabid animal only gets them bitten. Oh, and then they whine about how unfair it is they've been bitten. Poor fucking idiots.

---

Today there is work, which part of me needs badly. Never mind my having finished a novel day before yesterday. It's not that I love the work; it's that the work keeps me sane by filling a void. So, yes, work, important work, then my psychiatrist before dinner. There's a prescription.

And speaking of work, I have begun to realize there's presently confusion over the two books I've written this year, The Drowning Girl: A Memoir and Blood Oranges. The first – The Drowning Girl: A Memoir – took me about a year and a half to write, and is, by far, my best novel to date. The second – Blood Oranges - took me forty-five days to write, and if you think of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir as, oh, let's say a gourmet meal, then Blood Oranges is the tasty, but fluffy and insubstantial, desert that comes afterwards.

The Drowning Girl: A Memoir will be out from Penguin in March 2012.

Blood Oranges hasn't yet sold.

And while I'm at it:

Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Me (Volume One) will be out, I think, in September (or maybe October) from Subterranean Press. If you've not ordered, you need to do so.

Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart will be released by Subterranean Press sometime in 2012.

And there's a lot more, and it's awesome, but if I told you, I really would have to kill you. No joke.

---

Yesterday, I read two stories from The Book of Cthulhu. Used to be, I never read the anthologies my stories appeared in. Don't know why. I just never wanted to do it. But, the last year or so I've been reading some of the books with my stories. Anyway, yesterday I read two of the twenty-seven (I think it's twenty-seven) stories in The Book of Cthulhu. The first, John Langan's "The Shallows" is actually quite brilliant. It's unexpected, and fresh, and comes at you sideways. It's not what you think it is. These are all good things. The other was Thomas Ligotti's "Nethescurial," a very Ligottian take on the Lovecraftian found manuscript and the Lovecraftian malign artifact. And of course it was brilliant. It was Thomas fucking Ligotti.

But I fear there's a lot of this book I'm not going to like, stories I'll skip over. Because the author has chosen to use parody in her or his approach HPL, and that's just not my thing.

---

Yesterday, after a lot of work and email, the "day off" began about three p.m. We drove south and west almost to the Connecticut state line, to Westerly and on down to Watch Hill. To the lighthouse at Watch Hill. We took the narrow, winding road out to the lighthouse, and sat on the sea wall. To the west, the protected waters of Little Narragansett Bay were still and quiet. A flock of cormorants sunned themselves on rotting pilings. On the east side of the point, though, the waves were still wild. Now and then, the sun through the spray off the tops of the waves created the briefest of rainbows behind them. We watched surfers a while, then drove east to Moonstone Beach.

As I've said, Moonstone has many moods. And I saw another new one yesterday. I'd expected piles of pebbles and all manner of unusual strandings and flotsam. My expectation is irrelevant. The beach looked stripped raw. I can think of no other way to describe it. There's been a tremendous amount of erosion during the storm. The tide was coming in, and there were odd sandbars and eddies, and the crashing waves – some easily six to eight feet high – were coming in from the west, the east, the southeast, the southwest, in no discernible (gods, the English language is retarded) pattern. The air reeked overwhelmingly of dead fish, though not a dead fish was in evidence. The usual cobbles were almost entirely absent. The waters in the breaker zone were an ugly greenish black, loaded with sediment and all manner of...well...dead things. Mostly plant matter. Only the Piping Plovers seemed to be happy with the state of things, dashing about madly at the water's edge. I could see that the waves had overtopped the dunes and the sea had reached both Trustom and Card ponds. It was the sight of a place you trust as being the incarnation of calm, seen after terrible violence has occurred. But the error is mine. Panthalassa has no interest in my moods, impressions, or needs, and if I thought otherwise, I'd be a fool. Moonstone will heal, in time.

Between the ponds, there were birdwatchers, and we had our monoculars with us. We spotted a Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) and three Semipalmated Plovers (Charadrius semipalmatus), both new to us.

We drove on to Narragansett, but there was no power. So we couldn't get dinner at Iggy's or at George's (which is actually in Galilee). We did manage to piss at a Cumberland Farms. Their power was out, but they let us use a Bic lighter. It's amazing how dark a women's room can be. At sunset, we drove past Scarborough Beach, and Narragansett Beach. The surf was heavy at the latter, but not as heavy as I'd expected. There were dozens of surfers in the water, most seeming a bit disappointed. All in all, we saw far less damage than I'd expected. And then we came home.

And that was yesterday. Oh, except for three wasted hours in Second Life. If you tell me you like it dark, and then bale when it gets rough, and without so much as a "good night," you're a simpering weasel, and it's really as simple as that.

Wrathfully,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Okay, so even though I got up about an hour early, I'm running about an hour late, and I blame you, Johnathan Strahan, and you, Gary K. Wolfe. And this Coode Street Podcast, which will have me smiling for days to come. And, of course, now I'm dying to see Gary's Locus review of Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Me (Volume One). I was especially pleased with their suspicion that Volume Two is going to be so much better than Volume One (because it will be).

Comments today, kittens! I need them.

---

Yesterday, after I attended to email (Michael Zulli and I seem to have become regular correspondents, which is just too cool), we left Providence, about 3 p.m.. And drove south to Exeter, in the southwestern quadrant of Rhode Island. Throughout Blood Oranges I've been doing something I never do with novels: I haven't spent much time scouting locales. To keep with the fast-pace of the book, I've relied on my memories. But the climactic scene occurs in Exeter, where I've spent very little time. Now, if you're into the weird of New England, or vampire lore, you know all about the Mercy Brown incident (and the related cases of New England "vampires"). I've read Michael E. Bell's superb book on the subject, Food for the Dead, and used the case in several stories. Yet, I'd never visited the grave. Nor had Spooky, which is even odder. So, yesterday we set out to remedy this.

It could hardly have been a less appropriate day, if you're the sort who wants some appropriately eldritch atmosphere for such an outing. The sun was blazing, and there's virtually no shade in the Chestnut Hill Cemetery. The temperature must have been in the mid-eighties Fahrenheit, with heat indexes close to ninety. But I think Spooky and I were both happy that we weren't making some cliché goth pilgrimage. We followed Ten Rod Road (Route 102) to Exeter and the Chestnut Hill Baptist Church (behind which the cemetery is located). Mercy's grave is a simple marble marker, unassuming, and unlike that of Nellie Vaughn – another tuberculosis victim that superstitious locals feared was an undead, life-draining revenant (oh look, LJ can't spell revenant) – there's no inscription that could be taken the wrong way. Vaughn's grave, in Greenwich (Gren-itch), reads: "I am waiting and watching you." Anyway, there is at least a large cedar that shades Mercy's stone. As with HPL's marker, people had left tokens on the headstone. I left a small black pebble. There are photos behind the cut.

After Exeter, and all the notes carefully recorded in my Moleskine, we headed over to Newbury Comics in Warwick (War-ick) to kill some time until it was cool enough to make the drive down to Moonstone Beach. And we were Bad Kids, and each bought two CDs. Not being utterly destitute after the long monetary drought, these things happen. And they were all used CDs. I got Death Cab For Cutie's Plans and Placebo's Once More With Feeling: Singles 1996-2004. Spooky got Einstürzende Neubauten's Strategies Against Architecture, Volume 4 and the Swans' Children of God. We were not utterly awful, though; we only looked at the amazing new Depeche Mode boxed set.

After Warwick, we headed south to Moonstone. And, of this beach's many moods, here was another one. One perched at the edge of a tremendous chaos. Already, the waves were dangerously high, at least 3-5' high, and a big yellow sign had been posted forbidding people from walking on even the lower part of the beach. Walking over the dunes, past Trustom Pond, where a few bird watchers were set up (the birds were all in a lather, as the storm approaches), we spotted a beautiful Green Heron (Butorides virescens), a new species for both of us. It was perfectly still at the edge of the pond, fishing. A tiny Piping Plover kept creeping near it, then dashing away again. But no cormorants anywhere, no gulls in the sky. Flocks of pigeons heading inland. A squawking catbird. A strange and ominous ornithology.

On the beach proper, well...I can't do it justice in words. A painter could have done it justice. I'll post photos over the next few days (assuming we don't lose power). There were a few people. We walked a long way (maybe .40 miles, so .80 altogether) as the sun was setting. The wind was chilly, very wet and misty, quite a change from Exeter. We saw all manner of flotsam and jetsam. We spotted the leathery remains of a skate (Family Rajidae, maybe a Thorny Skate), and another beachcomber told us that a Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) was stranded at Moonstone on the 9th of the month. Oh, the wonders I miss by not being nearer the shore! Fuck you, motor boats; the turtle likely died from gash in a front flipper, from a propeller. As the sun was giving way to night, beneath a Maxfield Parish sky, we reluctantly headed back to the van. I wanted to spend the night in the dunes, just feeling the storm coming on.

Back in Providence, we stopped by Eastside Market to grab a last minute pile of supplies, readying to sit out what Irene throws our way (I've heard we're getting 18 hours of continuous tropical storm conditions), and we remain under a Hurricane Warning. Anyway, there was a package from an incredibly kind anonymous individual – a first edition (!!!) of Shirley Jackson's The Sundial, sent from The Strand in Manhattan. Whoever did this, a million thanks.

---

Good RP in Insilico, and some of The Stand last night, as Trashcan reached Las Vegas.

---

So, we're watching little but the progress of Irene up the Eastern Seaboard. Terrifying, this storm, and, as I have said, I am honestly more worried about Manhattan than I am about Providence. Regardless, stay safe. Don't laugh this one off. Not since Katrina has America faced such a threat from a hurricane. We've got mandatory evacuations in coastal and low lying areas here in Rhode Island. But regardless of my fear (and I am afraid of this storm), gods, what a splendid expression of sky and sea, this child of Panthalassa. The sea stands up and walks across the land. This has been happening for billions of years, and we're the ones in the way. This doesn't mean I am without concern. It only means I see both sides.

Concerned and Awed,
Aunt Beast

Anyway, here are the Exeter photos:

26 August, Part 1 )


Addendum: This entry took over two and a half hours to compose.
greygirlbeast: (Barker)
Yes, we did feel the earthquake yesterday. I was sitting in my chair, at my desk, and the entire house began to move, very subtly at first, and then hard enough that all the shit stacked on my bookshelves was threatening to topple over. The legs of my desk creaked, and there was an ominous popping sound from one corner. Spooky was cleaning in the bathroom, and I shouted to her. By the time she got to the office, it was over, but the chandelier was still swaying.* Whole thing, maybe twenty seconds, give or take. First quake I've felt since in lived in Colorado in the eighties. We puzzled over it for a while, trying to figure out what had caused the house to move so. And then I thought, thought I, Earthquake? No. Not a fucking earthquake. But I googled "earthquake," and there it was, 5.9 in Virginia, felt as far north as Toronto. It was somewhat unnerving. I got "out of office" replies when I emailed people in Manhattan. And now I hear there's a crack in the top of the Washington Monument. Me, I just keep thinking about dinosaurs mounted in the Smithsonian and American Museum.

So, yes. This is what fault zones do, kittens. This is how energy is propagated through the earth's crust. The baby steps of plate tectonics.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,910 words on Chapter 8 of Blood Oranges. It baffles me, trying to imagine how this novel will be received. Part of me honestly doesn't give a shit. That's always true, but maybe even more true with Blood Oranges. I'm trying to concoct an antidote to the sticky-sweet ParaRom fungus that's threatened to claim "urban fantasy" for its own. It's bound to piss some people off (I hope); others will have the exact opposite reaction (I hope). There is no "romance," not even one little jot (okay, maybe one little jot, but it's a micro-jot). No sex. But it has a lot of profanity, which I expect some poor traumatized souls find "triggery," but fuck them if they can't take exquisitely filthy words like "cocksucker" and "televangelist."** True Blood and Anita Blake, this is my middle finger, condensed into eight chapters.***

So, as if earthquakes were not enough, we have Hurricane Irene screaming towards us. Which, at the very least, complicates our plans for the weekend. And there's no way we could have arranged a "rain date." So, we're going to start shooting late Friday night and finish up Sunday morning, and make the best of what we have. There may be far more interior shots than previously planned. By Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m., the swells off Moonstone Beach (one of our locations) are projected to be 6-9 feet high, coming in at 15-second intervals. Obviously, we'll not be asking Sarah (who plays Eva) to be walking into that. Sunday will be worse.

Could be I was wrong about this being the Citizen Kane of book trailers. It's starting to feel more like the Apocalypse Now of book trailers.

Please note that the NEW Sirenia Digest web pages are now anchored at my site, and are 100% fully functional (I'll leave you to judge whether or not they are also anatomically correct). Thank you, Jacob ([livejournal.com profile] jacobluest)!

Last night, RP in Insilico, and we read more of The Stand (about halfway finished), and then I finished Denise Gess and William Lutz' Firestorm at Peshtigo: A Town, It's People, and the Deadliest Fire in American History. And that was yesterday.

Mussed,
Aunt Beast

* Also, the water level in toilet bowl dropped dramatically.
** By the way, those people who use aphorisms like, "Good writers don't need to use foul language," that bunch can merrily go fuck themselves. Go ahead. Have a blast. It's on me.
*** This is not to say it's going to be some sort of "splatterpunk" absurdity (such as, and for example, Skipp and Spector's The Light at the End). In fact, it's hardly gory at all.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Okay. I am awake. No, really. Just ask the platypus inserting bamboo splinters beneath my toenails.

First, stuff from Friday:

I wrote 1,308 words of Chapter Six of Blood Oranges, in which a new troll – Otis – makes an appearance. I really do not know what to make of this strange, strange book. It is what it is.

Also on Friday, there was a Telephone Conversation of Great Importance, which I am not free to discuss (and let me tell you, these things I can't talk about are driving me fucking nuts).

I received a package from Stephen Lubold containing, among many other wonderful things, two Penguin Classics collections – Algernon Blackwood's Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories (and LJ can't spell the plural of sorcery) and Lord Dunsany's In the Land of Time and Other Fantasy Tales (both edited by S. T. Joshi) – and Denise Gess and William Lutz' Firestorm at Peshtigo: A Town, It's People, and the Deadliest Fire in American Hitsory (2002). I immediately began reading the latter, as the Peshtigo Firestorm (and associated fires on the night of October 8, 1871) have long been an obsession of mine, but I haven't read this book. So, thank you again, Stephen!

The package also included a copy of Huan Vu's (German, 2010) film Die Farbe, which I now know is the most faithful adaptation of HPL's "The Colour Out of Space" that anyone has made thus far. I did not even know of this film's existence. It moves the events of the story from New England to pre-WWII Germany – which works far better than it has a right to work – and the climax to WWII itself (which really doesn't work). That is, the narrator's story is cut in two, and framed by an American searching for his lost father. As strange as all this sounds, and despite what must have been an almost nonexistent budget, most of it works very well. The move to film in black and white was smart (I've always said I'd do "Colour" in b&w), with a very judicious use of a color effect, that was smart. The acting is decent, the casting good, the cinematography so-so, the SFX uneven, but sometimes very impressive. The sound was awful. I don't know if it was a bad transfer to the DVD, or trouble with sound editing. But...if you're a fan of HPL or the story, it should be seen. It is at least a one-hundred percent improvement over the two previous attempts at filming the story – the laughable Die, Monster, Die (1965) and the unspeakably laughable The Curse (1987).

Oh, I'm also adding a photograph of the "pregnant plesiosaur" to yesterday's entry, for posterity (because it's an amazing fossil, and sometimes links go poof). And thank you, [livejournal.com profile] corucia for sending me the full paper from Science.

---

And now...yesterday.

Whoa, David Bowie flashback. No, I'm better now.

More hookey. Inexcusable, I know. No, it truly is. But, and still, Spooky and I went to Moonstone, because how many more days of summer are left? Not many, that's how many. And it rained all June, and we didn't have a car in July, and...anyway, we went to Moonstone. The air temperature was around 80˚F and the water somewhere in the 60sF. I swam. A lot. I've regained so much strength so quickly that I'm sort of astounded. I floated and dove in deep green water. The sky above me was blue with the white brush stokes of cirrus clouds and contrails and with gulls. There is utter peace, only fifty yards offshore. There were virtually no swells, the water was so calm (except when some asshole in a motorboat roared past). The only slightly spooky moment was when I found myself in a riptide that moved me twenty or thirty feet south in just a few seconds. But I stayed calm, swam to the east, and was immediately out of the current. Back on shore, we saw another osprey fishing. Likely the same one we saw back on July 30th.

I so need an underwater camera.

As we were leaving, I spotted the blackened and sun-shriveled remains of a very young dolphin or porpoise – possibly a newborn calf. The dorsal fin had an orange plastic tag that had been attached by researchers from the Mystic Aquarium, and, oddly, what remained of the carcass was tied to a tiny raft made of driftwood. The aquarium's tag noted it had been dead when tagged...which could have been weeks ago, based on the degree of decomposition. The skull, flippers, and tail fluke were missing (not surprising, as these tend to be taken quickly by scavengers). I wanted to take the whole thing away with me for what was left of the skeleton (in excellent shape), but I took only a single anterior thoracic rib. Anyway, there are photographs from yesterday behind the cut:

13 August 2011 )


Also, some decent RP in Insilico last night, as Grendel enters the yakuza.
greygirlbeast: (Pagan1)
Today is Lughnasadh. Unless, of course, you're in the Southern Hemisphere, in which case it's Imbolc. So, may the day be good to you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

30 July 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I have got to start going to bed earlier. Or later, but before "almost dawn."

Yesterday became an unexpected day off. Before returning to work on "The Granting Cabinet" for Sirenia Digest #68, I needed to clear my head. So we headed down to Moonstone, for a late afternoon of swimming. The temperatures were hovering just below 90˚F. The shadows below the trees along the South County back roads were cool. Yesterday, was the annual "blessing of the fleet," a nightmare of drunken tourists, but we managed to skirt all that. When we reached the beach, sometime just after 5 p.m., there were people crabbing off the bridge between Trustom and Card ponds. White buckets filled with restless blue crabs.

This time, we came dressed to swim, and I was in the water almost at once. The farthest I swam out was about a hundred yards. The water gets deep fast in Block Island Sound off Moonstone Beach, but I have no way of knowing how deep it was beneath me. I managed to find bottom at about ten feet, but I swam quite a bit farther out after that. Spooky swam out farther than before, than our last visit. I never feel half so free as I feel when I'm in the water, salt or fresh. Water the color of the brine inside a jar of olives buoyed me up and down again, long, slow swells that were breaking against the shore in waves that were two or three feet high. Ochre-colored water, filled with bits of silt, detritus, and seaweed. I almost got wrapped in a huge strand of kelp. The water was clear enough I had no trouble keeping my feet in sight. The air was also clear, thanks to low humidity, and Block Island stood out against the southern horizon. We watched an osprey dive in just offshore, and pull out a sizable fish. It flew away to the east, towards Narragansett, with the fish wriggling in its talons.

Spooky checked the water temperature before leaving home; it was 69˚F. But after the initial shock, I was fine. I floated and stared at the sky. Weightless. Nothing above, and nothing below (no matter how false that statement might be). I only wish we could have stayed a couple of hours longer. We left about 7 p.m., and, on the way home, stopped to see Spooky's parents. Her dad, International Man of Mystery, has just returned from Newcastle, UK. We stayed just a little while, too tired from swimming and half starved, before heading home. On the way back to the van though, we spotted another frog by the koi pond. If I'd had my meds with me, we'd have stayed all night. We'd have laid out beneath the stars (which are still visible from South County), listening to crickets and katydids. Anyway, for those with the stomach for beach porn, there are photos below, behind the cut.

---

Back home, after dinner, after showers, there was a little Rift. No RP, just leveling Otamisia (Spooky's Kelari mage) and Nilleshna (my Kelari cleric).

Afterwards, we watched Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch. I'm still trying to figure out what I thought of this film. No doubt, it's dazzling. The steampunk WWI battle scene was amazing. If I were only rating it on it's value as eye candy, Sucker Punch would score a 10 out of 10. What I can't quite decide is how I felt about the rest of the film. This quote from a Salon review by Andrew O'Hehir seems true enough (cribbed from the film's Wikipedia entry), "If you want to understand Snyder's central narrative gambit, it's right there in the title. He gives us what we want (or what we think we want, or what he thinks we think we want): Absurdly fetishized women in teeny little skirts, gloriously repetitious fight sequences loaded with plot coupons, pseudo-feminist fantasies of escape and revenge. Then he yanks it all back and stabs us through the eyeball." But I'm still sorting out various aspects of the film, and trying to decide if it's even the sort of film that merits so much thought. I enjoyed it, undoubtedly, but something keeps nagging at me. Still, I think it got a bad shake from critics, and should be seen by more people than it has. It can't be dismissed as outright mysogyny, anymore than it can fairly be praised as an empowering piece of girl-power propaganda (though it's been called both).

And that was pretty much yesterday.

I forgot, yesterday, to mention Friday night's eight-episode Law and Order: Criminal Intent binge, the beginning of Season Four.

MTV is about to turn thirty years old. How weird is that? August 1, 1981. I was about to begin my last year of high school. The Empire Strikes Back was in theaters. And MTV showed nothing but...you know...music videos. You younger sorts might have heard of those.

Oh, thanks to my having gotten so behind this month (heat, convention, insane fucking car, etc.), Sirenia subscribers will, this month, get the new story, "The Granting Cabinet," plus Chapter Two of Blood Oranges, "Songs For My Funeral" (Yeah, like the Snakefarm album). I do hope you will enjoy.

And now, the photos! (Wait, my webhosting service is doing something really fucking weird. I'll get the photos up tomorrow...I hope. Apologies.)
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Today is "Let's Make Comments Day." Just in case you'd forgotten.

mis·ad·ven·ture [ˌmɪsədˈvɛntʃə]
n
1. an unlucky event; misfortune
Etymology: [Middle English misaventure from Old French mesaventure, from mesavenir, to result in misfortune : mes-, badly; see mis- + avenir, to turn out (from Latin advenre, to come to; see advent).]*

This being a definition I offer against the memory of yesterday, yesterday having been the very epitome of misadventure:

Do I even have the patience to write this down? Oh, I will say that here, inside the house, the temperature is a marvelously chilly 80˚F. That is, in the middle parlour. In the kitchen pantry, where we now have AC, it's probably 75˚F. The pantry abuts my office. I think you see where this is headed. Which is to say some misadventures may have not-so-unhappy endings.

Yesterday, sweaty and ill, I made my entry, and then we got dressed and headed for a matinée in Warwick. Specifically, the 12:55 p.m. screening of David Yates' Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Pt.2). We got a medium-size screen, but at least it was flat. The big screens were, of course, occupied by 3-D, and it didn't help that Joe Johnston's Captain America: The First Avenger had just opened. I'm not going to bother people with the details of the film, or get into spoilers. But this I will say: David Yates' film takes the bloated, tiresome mess of Rowling's novel (well, here we're talking about the second half of the last one), and from it he fashions an exciting, eloquent, and heartbreaking film. Scenes that, in the novel, were, at best, cumbersome, and, at worst, absurd, are brilliantly reworked, restyled, fixed. We'd just rewatched Yates' Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Pt.1) on Thursday night, and, as I said last summer, as I suspected, these are truly two halves of a single film, and they are best seen back to back, the second literally picking up where the first left off. Anyway, unless you hate the series on principle or its just not your thing, I strongly, strongly recommend this film. Brilliant. I would not have changed a thing. And I managed to cry only three times. So, ten years from start to finish.

This was the good part of the day.

By the time the film let out, the blazing sun had pushed the temperature Outside close to 100˚F. Our plan was to return to Moonstone Beach. Back on Wednesday, Spooky and I got swimwear, because, after all, it isn't legal to swim nude at Moonstone. We planned to stay until sunset, before returning to the swelter of home. We only made it as far as Slocum (very rural, about a third of the distance from Warwick to Moonstone) before the van – she of the new engine – began jerking about. The RPM gauge went whackadoole, and then the engine light came on. We pulled over at the edge of a turf farm, across from the Slocum post office. Spooky tried to call the garage, but reception was shit. So, we nursed the van a bit farther, to Kathryn's parent's place. Her dad's in Newcastle, England (after having just returned from the jungles of the Philippines; and I swear he's no anthropologist, but a CIA operative only masquerading as an anthropologist). By this time, the heatsickness I've had on and off for days came back pretty much full-force. And...this story's already boring the hell out of me.

Cut to chase: Spooky called AAA. They came and towed the van back to the garage in Providence. Spooky's mom drove us home (we made it back about 9 p.m.). The temperature in the house was 91˚F. But! Her mother installed a second AC unit (one her parents weren't using) in the pantry window. I'd passed out on the bed. After Spooky's mother (who has an actual name, Carol) left, Spooky made me wake up and eat and drink. I was extremely dehydrated. And the thermostat began to drop. By 3:40 ayem, it was down to 82˚F. We finished watching Season Three of Law and Order: Criminal Intent before finally falling asleep.

So, misadventure. But, we hope to have the van back on Monday, and the house is suddenly pleasant to be in. So, maybe, despite all the sweat and yesterday's misadventure, and despite this fucking heatwave, I can now begin catching up. I've only lost three precious weeks.

I think the most annoying (and embarrassing) part of yesterday was misidentifying a frog in the koi pond at Spooky's parents as a leopard frog (Rana pipiens) when it was actually Rana clamitans melanota, the Northern green frog. Her mother corrected me. Kittens, do not try to show off your mad herpetological skills when your brain is heat-addled.

---

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

And now I should go. I have a train and a track, a horse and a saddle, and I have to put one and one back together and make two again.

Arithmetically Cooler,
Aunt Beast

* Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
greygirlbeast: (sol)
Put on your comment caps, kittens.

The heat in Providence continues to worsen. We have an "Excessive Heat Watch," and on Friday we're supposed to reach 96˚F, with a heat index of 105˚F. Might not sound too scary if you're used to the heat in Arizona or Alabama, but that's just short of a natural disaster in Rhode Island. We're planning to not be in the house that day. A theatre. Something. Anything dark and cool.

Trying to sort my thoughts.

Well, my first thought is that I'm at least two weeks behind schedule. Of course, being a freelance, the schedule is of my own devising. Of course, while that makes it more flexible, a flexible schedule is no less important to adhere to – flexibility – if one is at least to earn checks that might, in theory, one day arrive to keep you going until the next Maybe Check. Um...lost my train of thought again. Oh yes, behind fucking schedule. Blood Oranges was supposed to be finished by the end of the month. It was very important that it be written by then, written and out of the way. Now, having lost most of July to crap and a convention and heat and editing, the best I can hope for is to finish it by mid-August. Which...might work. Possibly. The Great Reluctance to Move Forward that I spoke of on July 7th hasn't actually removed itself from my path. I have to climb over that motherfucker to get back to Quinn and Bad Mr. B and the Bride of Quiet. So, I get farther and farther behind, and lose sight of how to get ahead again. Or just caught up. Caught up would be bloody wonderful.

---

You know, I am aware that if this blog were more – what's the word? Political? Controversial? Confrontational? None of those are the right words. Let's say, more like [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna's. If it were more like that, there would likely be many more comments. Well, perhaps. And were I a much younger beast, I might still have the energy to write those sorts of entries. But I'm not, and I don't. More's the pity, I suppose. It's not that I don't have a lot to say on subjects like gender bias in speculative fiction or the problem of "racefail" or the mounting absurdities of copyright law in America. But I can only speak of these things in small bits, small bits at a time. My writing energy, my brainmeats, they have to be reserved, mostly, for the fiction. Sorry, just a stray thought.

---

No writing yesterday, but we did finally finish going over the galley pages for Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan, (Volume One). The text is probably as error-free as I can make it, given subpress' publishing schedule (there's that word again). And then we sent the corrections off to Yanni Kuznia, who will pass them along to Gail Cross (who does subpress' design and layout). I also need to send the signature pages back. I've had them here forever.

After I answered the day's emails, Spooky and I fled for Moonstone Beach. I'm getting to a point where I just can't stay away from the sea anymore, and now that we have the van back, it's only a question of gas money and time (not much of either on hand). Well, those two things, plus the guilt of enlarging our carbon footprint by driving so much. We headed south to the beach, it was already 4:30 p.m. or so, and we arrived about 5:30. Perfect day for that spot. There were people crabbing on the little bridge that crosses the connection between Trustom and Card Ponds. There were red-winged blackbirds, catbirds, cormorants, piping plovers, and all the gulls. I could no longer resist the water. I waded in wearing baggy cargo shorts and a grey tank top. For a short time, I only splashed about in the surf, letting the breakers knock me about. And then a couple of BIG waves (4+ ft.) pretty much took my loose clothes off. There was almost no one on the beach, so I stripped and swam out about 10-15 yards***. The water was marvelously cold and buoyant. I floated, hearing only the sea, seeing only sky above me. This is as close as I come to peace. I dove down eight feet, ten feet, and then I was too far out to find bottom (which drops away fast). Spooky (decently clothed) followed me maybe halfway. She never went so far she couldn't feel the bottom beneath her. I can honestly say I'd not been that happy in years. We left about the time the sun began to set over the dog roses and the silvery surface of Trustom Pond, once the air temperature began to drop, about 7:30 p.m. There are photos behind the cut. No, none of me skinny-dipping (by the way, bathing suits are stupid, even if they keep the sand out of places sand ought never go):

19 July 2011 )


Movin’ through rough waters motel boy,
And swimming in your sleep.
How could I be so blind, mis-sighted,
Not to see there’s something wounded deep.
-- R.E.M.

Longing for the Sea,
Aunt Beast

***Moonstone Beach was a nude beach, before it became a piping plover sanctuary.
greygirlbeast: (chi3)
A crazy, crazy morning. Too many emails and phone calls. But now I'm going to try to calm down and write a blog entry.

Yesterday, I didn't get a lot of work done. I only managed to copy edit two stories in The Five-Chambered Heart, "The Bed of Appetite" and "Untitled 31." The latter will have an actual title in the collection, though I don't yet know what it'll be. It's great to proofread the newer stuff I've written, because, mostly, I'm still in love with it, and I make virtually no changes to the text.

My thanks to "Moto" in San Francisco, whose sending me a first-edition hardcover of Angela Carter's The Sadeian Woman: And the Ideology of Pornography. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Remember when email was fast? When you wrote emails, and pretty much everyone responded to them quickly? And this was revolutionary? Lately, it's all iPhones and iPads. I know because it always says at the bottom from what sort of device the message was sent. Now, it seems people would rather speak by "texting." I'm sorry. I'm made the transition from "snail mail" to email in 1994. I'll not be doing it again (she says, knowing full well she will adapt, when it becomes an imperative).

A note to prospective and young writers: Be wary of editors a) offering 1¢/word who b) do not yet have a publisher for their anthology, c) want all sorts of electronic rights straight off, and d) despite the fact they have no publisher, already have a cover design and a marketing strategy involving selling the book as a PDF. Here, we have entered shady, sketchy territory.

Yesterday, as the heat inside mounted, we fled the house and (despite the questionable state of the car and the cost of gasoline) drove down to Moonstone Beach. Our first trip to the sea all summer! That's just...insane. As usual, Moonstone was pretty much free of tourons (you may know them as "tourists"), and we mostly had it to ourselves. I waded into the cold water up to my thighs, and it was wonderful. The sky was full of birds: cormorants (Phalacocorax spp.), both American and fish crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos and C. ossifragus, respectively), red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus), chimney swifts (Chaetura pelagica), piping plovers (Charadrius melodus), grey catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis), and all manner of gulls. We made tiny cairns from granite and slate cobbles, and found those others had made earlier in the day. We stayed until about 6:30 p.m., and headed over to Narragansett for dinner at Iggy's (as a marvelous fog rolled in). I think we were back home by 8:45. It was an evening out I much needed. On the way down, and the way back up, I read Book 1 of The Stuff of Legend (written by Mike Raicht and Brian Smith, drawn by Charles Paul Wilson III). Brilliant comic.

I tried to play Rift for a bit, but got into some combination of a snit and a funk about the state of the guild and the game and players. My apologies to [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus for yammering my dissatisfaction at him for an hour. But really. On the one hand, I love the potential of MMORPGs. But on the other hand, I often loathe what they actually are. In the hands of most players, an MMORPG is like watching someone shoot marbles* with a particle accelerator. That is the degree of potential being squandered. Anyway, I gave up about 11:30 and wandered away. I'm not saying this is something wrong with Rift (though, in fact, I have a short list of things that are wrong with Rift), but with the whole gamer mentality. Note: I am not a gamer. I am a roleplayer. The game aspect to me is, at very best, secondary. And, please note, I am on what is supposedly an rp shard. Ergo....

Yeah. Blah, blah, blah. Later, kittens.

Kicking Against the Pricks,
Aunt Beast

Wait. There are photos from yesterday:

28 June 2011 )


*I have no idea if kids still shoot marbles. Me, it was one of my favorite things as a child. It was a very important playground sport when I was in elementary school (1970-1975). Much of one's reputation was at stake.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Last night I got to sleep at the very decent hour of 3 ayem (though not so decent, I admit, as 2 ayem). And then, for no reason I have been able to discern, I awoke at 7 ayem, and couldn't get back to sleep. I finally gave up and got out of bed at 8:30 ayem. And then I set about doing something with the two and half hours until Spooky would get up. I rearranged and dusted a bookshelf. I downloaded Gimp, to replace Photoshop 7 (rendered useless by the OS X 10.6.3 upgrade). I doodled (monsters and dinosaurs). I dusted ( a little). I read. I chewed Rolaids. And the time passed like cold molasses.

And I am not awake.

I've made a list of everything I have to get done in September. I have to write and produce Sirenia Digest #58. I have to write my story for Jeff and Ann VanderMeer's The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities. I have to make a trip to NYC to meet with my editor, agent, and to visit with Peter Straub. All the paperwork for my passport renewal went away to Philadelphia yesterday, and I found the form a thoroughly harrowing experience. But at least it's done now, and that's part of my preparation for the trip to Portland, Oregon at the end of the month for the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon. Oh, and since I'm Guest of Honor, I need to write a fifteen-minute keynote address. I also need to make some serious headway editing Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan (Volume One) for Subterranean Press. That's what I have to do in September.

And to do all that stuff, I have to be able to sleep.

---

As for yesterday, we didn't get up until noon thirty, as I've mentioned, and by the time I'd finished answering email, it was 3:30 p.m. The day Outside was so inviting, I said fuck it, and we drove down to Moonstone Beach. The surf was much rougher than usual for Moonstone, and the beach was covered with cobbles and pebbles fetched up by Hurricane Earl. We only found two pieces of beach glass, neither of which was worth keeping. We watched at least three species of gull: Herring gulls (Latrus argentatus), Great Black-backed gulls (L. marinus), and Ring-billed gulls (L. delawarensis). Spooky spotted a fourth and smaller species, but was unable to identify it. There were Double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) and a few Piping plovers (Charadrius melodius). I found an old brick and considered bringing it home for my brick collection (yes, I have a brick collection, as impractical as that may sound, which I have been gathering since 1989). Instead, I gave it back to the sea.

A small and rather battered looking sailboat was anchored maybe a hundred yards off shore, in the choppy, shallow water. It rolled precariously. I watched through the binoculars, but could see no sign of anyone aboard, and thought briefly about calling the Coast Guard. There was a big three-wheeled bike lashed to the bow. The tide was advancing, and as it rose, the waves grew higher, some three or four feet high (I think six inches is probably average for Moonstone). The beach began to grow very misty.

As the sun was setting, we headed back to the van and drove to Narragansett for dinner at Iggy's. Now that the summer people have mostly gone back to Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts, it's possible to have a pleasant dinner at Iggy's. I had Manhattan-style clam chowder. We had half a dozen doughboys for desert, then drove back to Providence.

Last night, I went back to WoW. I've decided, no matter how fun it might be, I simply haven't the time or the money to take up another MMORPG, so I'm forgoing City of Heroes and Villains. I was starting to feel as though my alter-egos were devouring my prime ego. We did the very first quests leading up to the Cataclysm expansion, helping Vol'jin, leader of the Darkspear trolls, retake the Echo Isles from Zalazane. Gotta admit, the battle was pretty cool. A good bit of reading yesterday: Joshi's The Rise and Fall of the Cthulhu Mythos (very amused at Joshi's comments regarding Brian Lumley), Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age, and Kristin Hersh's Rat Girl.

Here are photos from Moonstone:

7 September 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (Bjorkdroid)
Today is the fifteenth anniversary of Elizabeth's suicide. She would be almost forty, had she lived. Yeah, it's a grim way to begin an entry, but it was a grim way to begin a day, and to go to bed last night, and I at least try to tell the truth here. It seems impossible, utterly impossible, that time can have swallowed so much distance between me and that day in 1995. Between me and her. But it has. And I have gone on to have this life. I spent seven years or so doing very little but grieving. And then I found Kathryn, and I began to heal. There will always be a hole where Elizabeth once was. But life continues. Until it doesn't anymore.

---

Yesterday was a good day off. Even if it did begin by having to take Spooky's laptop to the Geek Squad at Best Buy in Warwick (and, so, having to delay a visit by [livejournal.com profile] sovay). It'll be two weeks before she gets it back. Neither of us are happy about that, but there you go. Anyway, we figured that as long as we'd driven to Warwick, we might as well drive on to South County. First, we stopped by Spooky's parents' place. Her dad was out, but her mom was home. We picked apples. We missed picking the blueberries this year. Spooky's mother also gave us yellow tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, blueberries, and eggs. Vegetables fresh from the garden, apples fresh from the trees, blueberries fresh from the bushes, and eggs fresh from the butts of the chickens. We visited with Spider the Enormous Cat.

And then we headed farther south, to Moonstone Beach. As I was getting out of the van, four swans (Cygnus sp.) flew by low overhead, honking loudly. I'd never seen flying swans up close before. They were amazing. We walked over the dunes to the beach. There were a few people, but not so many we couldn't find a quiet spot. I sat and watched the waves, wrote in my notebook, and took a few photos. The sun was still high and hot, but the wind was chilly. Spooky spotted an osprey in among the gulls and cormorants, and saw it swoop down to snatch a fish from the sea. About six p.m., we walked back to the van, and headed to Narragansett for dinner.

Unfortunately, there were so many tourists crowding Iggy's, that we had to settle for George's, over in Galilee. Still not bad. We ate fish sandwiches and watched the Block Island Ferry coming and going. Then we headed back to Spooky's parents, to pick up our produce and eggs (which we'd not taken with us to the beach, because we didn't have the cooler). Her dad was home. I wanted to stay the night, there in the cool and quiet, among the trees and chirping insects. But we'd left my meds at home, so back we drove. It must have been close to nine p.m. by the time we got home.

There are photos below, behind the cut.

I had some good rp in Insilico (thank you, Joah), while Spooky painted. Later, we watched three more eps from Season Two of Nip/Tuck. Before bed, I started reading "Madonna Littoralis." I pretty much never read my own stuff after it's in print. But I've been reading The Ammonite Violin & Others (which is now officially almost sold out, by the way), and enjoying it. It's good to see a book in print, and have so few regrets.

And that was yesterday. I get one more day off, today, and then it's back to the word mines. This afternoon, I'll finish a painting, wash my hair, do a little house cleaning, stuff like that.

Please have a look at the eBay auctions. Thanks.

Here are the photos from yesterday:

2 August 2010 )

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

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