greygirlbeast: (river3)
Kittens, this is what happens when you break up with a vacation. It exhibits a flare for vindictiveness by seeing to it that, on the eve of New Year's Eve, I catch a mild intestinal bug, just enough to make me utterly miserable for a good twenty-four hours, and see that Spooky catches it just as I start recovering, so another twenty-four hours will be disrupted and more misery will be spread. So, warning: do not interrupt vacations.

But comment. I'll have the iPad with me in bed.

I spent most of yesterday lying on the chaise in the middle parlour, sleeping and moaning, except when I was...no, I'll be discrete, yes? Yes. I did read Laird Barron's "Old Virginia" and Steve Duffy's "The Oram County Whoosit," the latter of which was not only quite good, but rather interesting. In that it covered some of the ground I covered in "In the Water Works (Birmingham, Alabama 1888)" and "The Colliers' Venus (1893)." Also, it put me in mind, a bit, of Carpenter's The Thing (1982). But I don't mean to say that it felt derivative (though it is a "Mythos tale"). You can find "The Oram County Whoosit" in New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird, and I recommend it. This was the first story by Duffy I'd read.

Last night, as the crud struck Spooky, we watched Julie Delpy's The Countess (2009). And it really is Delpy's film as she wrote, directed, scored, and played the title role in the film. It's neglect of historicity aside, it's a fine film. Erzebet Bathory's story becomes both a fairy tale and a tragedy about a strong, intelligent (if psychotically, murderously neurotic) woman caught in an age when strong, intelligent women were generally deemed, at best, a nuisance. I especially approve of this latter theme, as it certainly did play a role in the downfall of the real Countess Bathory, between the enormous debt owed her by Hungary's King Matthias and the hatred she engendered from the Roman Catholic Church. Whatever else may or may not be true of her, having researched her life, there can be little doubt she ran afoul of a conspiracy and was an easy target. Anyway, I'd have liked a wilder, more explicit film, but The Countess is impressive, nonetheless (ignore the IMDb rating of 6.2; that's fucking poppycock). See it.

But what really saved the day yesterday was that the mail brought a gift from Neil, a personalized copy of the numbered edition of The Little Golden Book of Ghastly Stuff, from Borderlands Press. Spooky read a bit of it to me and the platypus. I was especially pleased with "Entitlement Issues" (you can read it online, just follow the link), which calls out all those fools who think authors owe them anything at all and who place stock in that "reader/writer contract" crap.

Ah, I'm running out of what little steam I had in me. So, I shall leave you with two things: Firstly, a promise that Sirenia Digest #73 will be out sometime in the next week or so, and, secondly, I leave you with this rare photo of me and the platypus together (we were fading fast):



On the Mend,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 2)
Er...even though I hardly slept and rose too early (around eleven ayem.), I'm running late. So this will be a short entry. I'm pretty sure few will be annoyed by that, as LJ is dying, and even I, the lowly rat, is readying to leave this sinking ship. How do I know LJ is dying? All I have had to do is watch the decline in my Friends' List (they've deserted LJ en masse this past year), and the decline in comments. LJ is now mostly for slash fic and 'shipper communities. Oh, I have to keep going here until February 13th, so that I'll have blogged here one full year without missing a day. But I've already moved most of my LJ to Dreamwidth (along with comments). I tried TypePad, but found it unfathomably complex and counter-intuitive. If I can't solve a problem on my own, without recourse to "tutorials," I have no interest in it; always have I been this way, since I taught myself to read before kindergarten. Anyway, fuck you in both ears and twice on Sunday Facebook, and fuck you Twitter, you shallow, instant-gratification, no-effort-required motherfucker.

Now I've gotten that out, an exciting bit of news regarding The Drowning Girl, which is Thing #2 that I was waiting for the go-ahead from my agent yesterday before announcing; I only got the go-ahead about ten minutes ago. It was an uncommonly complex process, getting permission to release this news. But! The Drowning Girl audiobook (I don't hate audiobooks the way I hate ebooks, you may recall), will be released as part of the Neil Gaiman Presents (!!!!) series, which is likely to give the book a huge boost in sales and readership (or listenership). It also gives me veto/approval of readers, and they are open to my suggestions for readers, and receptive to the idea that I want a reading not a dramatization. I've known this for at least a month, but finalizing and all takes forever. So, woot, and thank you, all involved.

Yesterday, I wrote another 1,178 words on "Another Tale of Two Cities." Spooky says "It's like Dr. Seuss, only very dark and for grownups." Me, I have no idea what she's talking about, except I did do an entire panel at Readercon 21 on Dr. Seuss as weird fiction. And "Another Tale of Two Cities" (to appear in Sirenia Digest #72) is definitely weird fiction.

This is your LAST and FINAL notice about Question @ Hand #5, because I'm weary of nagging. A number of people who promised responses haven't yet delivered, which is a shame. I have four; I need at least seven. So, I'm extending the deadline until Friday (but that's not an excuse to drag your feet), since I'm probably not going to get the digest out until Saturday (the 10th, as announced earlier), anyway. I'd really love to see more replies. This isn't rocket science. It's only mad science.

Last night, after pizza and Rift, I finished the biography of Barnum Brown. Wonderful book, wonderful man. I finally fell asleep about about five ayem to Hud (1963), an old favourite. Spooky just told me Harry Morgan has died at age 96. I admire greatly that he never once appeared on a talk show.

Mourning That Which Is Passing Away, Into The West, Like The Elves
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (fry1)
Not sure why I'm using my Carolyn Fry icon today, from that marvelous scene as the Hunter Gratzner crashes. It just felt right. Maybe it says something about the health of Frank the Goat this morning and early afternoon, as LJ suffered another DDoS attack.

1) A late start to the day. But I've already signed 600+ signature sheets for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart (coming from Subterranean Press in 2012) and proofed inked pages for the Alabaster comic. I wish I could show you more of the art; the first issue is going to kick ass, and a lot of that credit will go to Steve Lieber (artist and letterer), our colorist Rachelle Rosenberg, and cover artist Greg Ruth.

2) I'm still hoping to be able to begin the new short story, for Sirenia Digest #72, started this afternoon. A tale about two women who become cities. And yeah, sorry, the digest will be woefully late this month. November was a right proper cunt, was she. So, blame her. But, still, I hope to have it out by the 10th of December at the latest.

3) And speaking of Sirenia Digest #72, come on, kittens. Get in those responses to the fifth Question @ Hand. Don't be shy. You get complete anonymity, and you DO NOT have to worry about the feasibility of the science in your replies. Oh, and I'll be especially pleased by entries that make no mention of my being a writer. But don't tarry too long. If these are going to make it into #72, I need all replies in by midnight CaST (EST +1 hour) Wednesday, December 7th.

4) Good RP in Rift last night. Thank you, all who took part. You were splendid. I'm hoping to double our numbers by the end of December, and then worry a lot less about recruiting for a bit. I'm beginning to wonder if a surprisingly (to me) small number of my readers are gamers. My calls for players go mostly unheeded, and, truly, not only is Rift an awesome game (as in, it fills me with awe), it's a great entertainment value. For the price of a large pizza, for less than a single movie for two, you get a month of unlimited play. Can't do much better than that. Dump that crappy cable TV, and come and play with us!

5) We've been working our way through Disc One of the most recent season of Doctor Who, and last night we finally saw the episode written by Neil, "The Doctor's Wife." Frankly, I was completely unimpressed by the four episodes (or was it three?) that preceded it, but then "The Doctor's Wife" blew me away. It is no lie to say that I very almost cried at the end. It shows that Matt Smith can be a good doctor, if given good scripts (though I still miss David Tenant, and I miss Christopher Eccleston – my doctor – even more). However, no author can redeem Rory Williams (BORING), and I want him gone.

6) Whoever is responsible for the portmanteau "advertorials" (derogatory shutter quotes!) needs to die, along with whoever invented the concept. And Jesus fuck, LJ knows how to spell the goddamned "word"!

Anyway, I think that's all for now. Carry on.

Eating A Cupcake,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Heavy Horses)
I better number this one. Well, after I mention an extraordinarily weird dream I had last night involving a secret society of women who were capable of accomplishing mind transference, and so, once a year, traded bodies. And I was being asked to join. But it wasn't this me, it was some other version of me. The the whole affair was far more sinister than it sounds.

1. On this day in 2001 I began keeping a "blog." I'd long kept a private, handwritten journal, and I found the whole idea of a public journal oxymoronic. You know, "public privacy." America had not yet completely decided that "transparency" in all things was such a hot idea. Well, I still haven't (in fact, I know just the opposite), but I digress. It's been ten years since Neil persuaded me to give this blogging thing a try. And...ten years later, here I am. Offhand, I can think of no other author besides Neil whose blogged longer, and he's been nowhere near as fanatical about it as I've been. I started at Blogger, then at LJ beginning in April 2004, then stopped updating to Blogger in 2006. I suspect I've made an entry for 90% of all the days since that first entry. So, wow. Sure, blogging isn't cool anymore, but who gives a shit about what the interwebs deem cool?

2. [Interlude] Jethro Tull season has begun!

3. Here I will slightly amend a bit from the entry I made on the 24th of November 2009: On this day in 1859, 152 years ago, Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life was first published (by British publishing house, John Murray). If any single book charted the course of my life, this is likely it. So, 152 years ago Darwin proposed a theory of evolution to explain the fact of evolution, and, of course, the theory is still evolving, which is the nature of science. And the creationists still don't get it. Maybe in another 152 years...well...let's not go there. My inner pessimist always wins. It's enough to marvel that so many years have passed, and we've made countless discoveries that would have dazzled, delighted, and humbled Mr. Darwin.

4. I just looked at my friends list (where fewer and fewer entries appear), and Elizabeth Bear ([livejournal.com profile] matociquala) has written (regarding the subjectivity of time in a narrative):

And thus, maybe a kiss deserves an entire paragraph in one circumstance... and in another, a battle no more than a sentence. It all depends on the subjective way that time dilates and contracts around your viewpoint characters.

And this is well said, but it set me to thinking – as these things always do – that subjectivity renders these sorts of observations all but useless. On the surface, I agree with the sentiment expressed here. Things get messy, though, when the author pauses to realize exactly how incredibly subjective readers' reactions are to...well...everything. What is too little detail for Reader A is too much for Reader B is just right for Reader C, or almost just right for Reader D, or...almost too much for Reader E. And so forth. There really are no happy mediums here. We can only write our voices, and what seems to suit us, and see how it all falls out in the end. That is, in my case, how many readers will feel as I do regarding detail and how long I've lingered on any given subject or event in any given scene. And, then, of course, I ignore the consensus and continue on my way.

5. Oh! Good news re: Rift. Trion appears to have responded to the outrage of many of its players as concerns the "Fae Yule" foolishness. An enormous amount of the Xmas trees, wrapped presents, and crap vanished yesterday with the latest hotfix to patch 1.6. Now, I can mostly avoid it by simply avoiding low-level areas and Meridian (the Defiant capital city) in Freemarch. Trion, it appears you done at least half good, after all. Oh, and gods, I got a glimpse (I quickly averted my eyes) of one of the Xmas themed rifts, complete with fucking snowman. To quote [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy, "Sweet barking cheese." Pure cocksucking kitsch.

So, this evening, as the day winds down, this day on which we celebrate obesity and colonialism and the genocide of Native Americans, at the end of this day I can play Rift and pretty much be not be reminded of that which I wish to forget, namely the world's Xtian minority. By the way, last night Spooky and I played Indus (my Eth warrior) and Emris (her Kelari cleric) out in Stonefield. Emris is the only male character either of us plays (though, my main, Selwynn, a Kelari mage, is a strange sort of hermaphrodite). [livejournal.com profile] opalblack was with us (her Kelari rogue, Harlakai), but then suddenly vanished, and didn't reappear. Ah, but Spooky's talking to her now, so mystery solv'd.

By the way, as I wrote here (as a postscript) in 2008: Postscript: ...just in case anyone has forgotten since the last time i pointed this out, "Endeavor to be inoffensive to all who might have their feelings hurt at the drop of a hat" is not in my job description. In fact, I think it says something rather to the contrary.

6. Yesterday, I rehydrated, took it slow and steady, avoided caffeine, fought back the exhaustion, and wrote the first three pages of script for Alabaster #3. It's a good beginning. And Steve Lieber is hard at work on making my words into pictures. Cool stuff.

7. Back to the shuggoths! And later, William S. Burroughs.

Rolling along,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Happy birthday to Neil, Holly, and Spooky's sister, Stephanie! Also, happy forty-second birthday to Sesame Street, which first aired on this date in 1969! And I was there*. No, really. I watched the first episode the day it was broadcast. Yes, I am getting old. But Kermit's even older. And now he's even older. And now he's older still. Me, too. Neil, Holly, and Stephanie, too. Funny how that works.

---

Now that I've returned to the wider, stranger arena of mass media, I'm having to remind myself how careful one has to be during interviews. I already have "a for example". This morning, Digital Spy is reporting:

Kiernan previously wrote for The Dreaming and other Sandman spinoff titles, which she described as "a very unpleasant experience" and "creative nightmare".

What I actually said, as accurately reported yesterday by Comic Book Resources, was:

Most of the time I was working for DC/Vertigo, it was a very unpleasant experience. Sometimes, pretty much a creative nightmare.

Context and subtly, people. There were some grand and wonderful moments working on The Dreaming, some gleaming moments, even. Just not enough of them to redeem the whole. But the first three story arcs, then getting to work with Dave McKean and John Totleben, all the stuff I learned from Neil, Goldie the Gargoyle, "The First Adventure of Miss Catterina Poe"...it was not all bad, as the Digital Spy article would have you think I said. Neil recently said to me, "The Dreaming taught you to be a professional," which is the truth. Anyway....if, somehow, you missed the announcement yesterday, here's last night's blog entry. Yes, there is going to be a Dancy comic.

---

I think one of the most frustrating things about being unable to talk about working with Dark Horse has been being unable to explain just how much work I'm juggling at the moment. Here's this month, November 2011 (the next twenty days), as "a for instance" (which is pretty much the same as "a for example"):

1) Write "Ex Libris" (~10k words) for chapbook to accompany Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart: 25 Tales of Weird Romance.
2) Finish with the galley pages of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, have them back in Manhattan by November 15th.
3) Write Alabaster: Wolves #3.
4) Write introduction to Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart: 25 Tales of Weird Romance, "Sexing the Weird."
5) Plan Sirenia Digest #72 (though it will likely be written in very early December).
6) Finish up the last of the edits on Alabaster: Wolves #2 (and comment on and approve and etc. and etc. the incoming pages from #1, endless brainstorming!!!!).

And actually, there's other stuff. But this is the work that's easy to categorize. "Bullet point. " Whatever. We're also working on selling Blood Oranges, for example, and there are new ebook pirates just off the coast, and more Dark Horse-related interviews on the way, and working with [livejournal.com profile] briansiano and [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy on the trailer for The Drowning Girl, and...you get the picture. Oh, and if anyone with very good web-design fu is willing to revamp my main website for...um...free books, please contact me immediately. There's enough chaos in my life at the moment that my agent has actually started recommending meditation; I think my panicked phone calls are freaking her out.

Gagh. I should go. The platypus is gnawing on my goddamn toes. Platypus slobber is disgustipating. But, here's a rather random assortment of very lousy photos I took last night (after Kyle, every photo I take looks lousy):

9 November 2011 )


*Spooky was only a zygote.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Comment, kittens!

I can't remember the day we closed our World of Warcraft accounts. Must have been back in, I'm thinking, early May. So, about four and a half months ago, right after we did the Rift Beta and decided it was such a vastly better game. Anyway, I don't think too much about WoW these days. True, I have my Shaharrazad mousepad I must see...well, all day long. And the erotic dreams involving Sylvanas Windrunner, My Dark Lady. And all my action figures, and...okay, so I probably still think about WoW more than I think I think about WoW.

But, this morning I was thinking about WoW, and some of its really magnificent absurdities, and perhaps the greatest of all those are the Taurens. I was imagining a bunch of Blizzard geeks sitting around a table (cluttered with boxes of doughnuts, bottles of Mountain Dew, and whatnot), and they're sitting there thinking, "Okay, so, what about cow people? Hey, that would be cool, wouldn't it? I mean, think about it, dudes. Cow people. You know, like minotaurs?" And someone points out the problem with females and udders, and someone else says, no, no, don't worry about the udders, these cow people, the females have breasts. Also, it'll keep the furries pacified a while longer. Do you know what percentage of our demographic self-identifies as Otherkin?

"OH, and we need more ethnic diversity among the races of Azeroth," someone says, "because we keep getting these angry letters about the Rasta trolls (pause here as the 'think tank' devolves into a three-hour argument about pussy liberals and the merits of Libertarianism, and how orcs are green, and night elves are blue and purple and grey, and...), and it would be good PR if there were more ETHNICITY." "Wasn't that covered in the last company retreat?" asks someone. Sure, sure, says someone else, and hey, cows are sort of like bison, another interjects (here we pause for yet another to explain how bison are related to cows, and some cow nerd goes off on the domestication of cattle, the evolution of the modern cow from the aurochs, Bos primigenius). "Okay," says the guy who started all this. "So, cows are like bison, and Native Americans hunted bison, so...the culture of the cow people will be Native American culture. You know, all teepees, totem poles, peace pipes, dreamcatchers, and stuff, right? Oh, and, since they're like Indians, they'll say HOW, instead of hello!" There are cheers and self-congratulation all round, except for the cow nerd, who keeps trying to point out how Native Americans hunted members of the genus Bison, not the genus Bos, and that modern cows are not derived from Bison; he is roundly ignored).

Yes, it was probably just that stupid and offensive. And out of an entire planet of possible animals to pattern a new race on (let's set aside the issue of novelty; WoW finally figured that out with the space goats), from all the terran bestiary, Blizzard chose...cows.

---

Today, I am waiting to hear from TPTB how well Phase One was received, and where we go from here. Then, I'll proceed to the as-yet-unopened CEM of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Oh, and I should mention, my publisher's marketing gurus decided that "A Memoir" should not appear on the book's cover (or, it seems, on the Amazon page). Why? Because, then people might think it's nonfiction, and it would be shelved under biography. Yeah, I did that o.0 emoticon thing, but I didn't argue. Friends who've worked in bookstores assure me this really would happen. Um, okay. I truly do give humanity too much credit. I must take solace knowing that the title page will bear the novel's actual full title. Anyway, I'm not opening that "bubble envelope" containing the CEM until I know if Phase One nuked the launch site or not. I have until the 23rd to get the CEM back to NYC.

---

Also, you should read this entry by [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna. Because Amazon.com might have thought up the best way to steal from authors since the Great Google Books Rights Snatch of 2010 (or whenever). The rise of ebooks cannot be predicated on the perpetual fucking-over of authors.

---

Yesterday, when I was done with this, that, and the other, we took in a matinée of Soderbergh's Contagion, and we both loved it. It's bleak, artful, terrifying, beautiful, and I highly recommend it to all. I'm not going into details, because it would be too easy to drop spoilers. But don't dismiss it as some Irwin Allen or Roland Emmerich overblown schlock-fest. Because that's what it's not. It also isn't science fiction, but that's a discussion for another time.

---

Please have a look at the goodies in Spooky's Etsy shop (Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries), where there are two new necklaces - reasonably priced - and you must buy them, or you won't be allowed to read my next book. Honest Tauren.

---

Okay, please excuse me now. I'm going to listen to Neil read The Graveyard Book to me until I get that call from the NSA...I mean, um...that call from McDonalds. Oh, and good RP in Insilico last night. Thank you, Joah.

Not Bovine,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
My morning was going rather shitty (resuming a course begun last night), but then I saw someone refer to Orson Scott Card as a "howling bigoted douchemonkey," and I almost laughed, and now I feel a little better. Also, I've been sleeping like crazy, which is a tad bizarre. Vaults of sleep. Too much wandering in the watery Dreamlands. These days, always do I dream of water. Also, I might be getting a headache.

Yesterday, I did a metric shit-ton of work on those acoustic particle destab...wait. What was I saying? I knew a moment ago, then there was this bright flash before my eyes, and now I have no idea whatsoever. That is so fucking weird. It just keeps happening. But...um...yeah, I did a lot of work yesterday. And I sent "John Four" to S. T. Joshi, who wanted to read it. If he decides to reprint it for a forthcoming anthology, I might decide to expand it a bit (because, you know, spare time spills forth from my asshole). And I emailed Michel Zulli. And I received news from Penguin that the delayed (by a hurricane) CEM for The Drowning Girl should arrive here today. I'm praying it got fucking lost somewhere in Connecticut, and will remain so for at least a week*.

And you know, a leech (Hirudinea) is such an honest organism, even among other oligocheates. No frills, no fussing about with frippery.

This society needs less enthusiasm, less opportunity to express its opinion, and more time spent in quiet reflection.

Oh, last night? Thank you for asking. Perfectly wretched, but, truly, I've no one to blame but myself. I would say there was lousy RP in Insilico last night, but that would imply there was RP in Insilico last night, and there wasn't. Yet, for some psychotic reason, I waited around for more than two hours. Oh, yes. Because there was supposed to be RP. But...whining ooc drama trumps all else in SL, and almost all the good RPers have flung themselves into the abyss of the virtual bureaucracy of sim administration...which means they rarely have time to RP...and really, that was only the tip of how everything kept going crappy last night.

But! All was not lost. I had Valium and Vincent D'Onofrio! And Vincent D'Onofrio makes even the most sour night a little less so. An "actor's actor," I have heard him called, even as I have been called a "writer's writer." These, kittens, are what are known as backhanded compliments, or consolation prizes, or what the fuck ever. But! Just give me ponygirls, a glass dildo, and the brain of Vincent D'Onofrio, and you'll hear not one complaint from me. Oh, and a little Oxycodone. That would sweeten the pot, yes.

Oh, I also read another story from The Book of Cthulhu, W. H. Pugmire's "Some Buried Memory," which was delicious, because Pugmire is brilliant. Alas, there are not many more good stories in this (largely) reprint anthology that I've either not read previously or which I won't deign to read. Here's my thing (as Lara Means would say): Except in extraordinarily rare instances, you either approach the work of Lovecraft with a straight face, or you leave it the hell alone. Bring humor and parody to the table, and usually you'll make a fool of yourself and embarrass others. Bring irony, that's worse still. Do it right, or don't do it, but for fuck's sake, stop with the attempts at too-cool-for-school hipster and/or pseudo-intellectual comedy. There have been exceptions, a tiny handful, such as Neil's "Shoggoth's Old Peculiar." As the Mythbusters say, these exceptions are not something you should try at home. Keep your cuddly Cthulhu slippers and plushie Azathoths to yourselves and far away from me. Anyway, too much of The Book of Cthulhu is given over to the funny which is not funny. There are probably half a dozen good stories I've yet to read, at best. Which is a shame.

Did I mention Vincent D'Onofrio?

Dry and Humorless,
Aunt Beast

* It's here. Let this fresh hell begin.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Sunny and warm here in Providence today. Windy, though. I've earned a day off, and there's talk of swimming. But the breakers are high, as are the swells.

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

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

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

---

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

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

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

And that was yesterday.

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

Off,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
Yesterday, I wrote 1,289 words on the story for Dark Horse. So, a good writing day. I'll certainly finish the story by tomorrow evening, and possibly this evening. So, I'm ahead of schedule for a change. And there was lots of email. And, in the evening, I talked with Peter and Neil, on the actual telephone. I gotta be careful, or I'm going to blow this whole reclusive mystique.

Actually, that's one of the things Neil and I talked about, how I need to let go of my trepidation stroke indifference towards the Outside, now that the crisis that triggered the worst of it has passed.

Today is a good day for comments. It's going to be a long, long day.

I have another Question @ Hand, one for Sirenia Digst #65, and I'll post it this evening, with the comments screened for complete anonymity.

We did Kid Night last night. It's sort of slipped out of vogue, mine and Spooky's Kid Night tradition. Mostly, I blame MMORPGs. But we pulled it out last night and dusted it off. First there were hot dogs and fries, then we watched Seiji Chiba's Alien vs. Ninja (2010), an incredibly awful Japanese flick about, well, ninja's fighting aliens. Okay, not real ninjas, and the aliens were just guys in utterly unconvincing monster suits. But two or three of the ninjas were very sexy. Otherwise, not much good I can say about Alien vs. Ninja. Except that we streamed it free. It's like in Ghost World, when Enid says, "This is so bad, it's gone past good and back to bad again." That's Alien vs. Ninja. We almost followed it with something called Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl, but then we watched the trailer and thought better of it. And we ate cookies and jelly beans and drank Pepsi Throwback. So, yeah. Total Kid Night. Teeth were rotted. Brain cells died.

After the movie, we played Rift (which, in a sane world, would count as a kidly pastime). I was Nilleshna, my Kelari cleric (most of her points are in Cabalism), and Spooky played one of her clerics, a Kelari named Miisya (also a cabalist). I made Level 22. We're out in the rocky wastes of Stonefield, fighting trolls and troglodytes and giants and all that shit that comes pouring out of rifts (because Regulos obviously can't keep his legs together). So, you betcha. Magical elf chicks in chain mail. Later still, I read to Spooky from Harlan Ellison's Stalking the Nightmare (1982) and "Shattered Like A Glass Goblin," from Deathbird Stories (1975). A perfect evening for nerdy kids.

Chilly outside. Not cold, but not genuinely warm, either. It might go as high as sixty. I'd risk West Cove, if I didn't need to be writing.

Speaking of which, so far the Dark Horse story has been written entirely to Fever Ray's "If I Had a Heart." It's on repeat, and has played 52 times so far, as I hunt and peck my way through the tale. And here's the video, for those who have not been introduced to the brilliance of Fever Ray (Swedish brother and sister duo, Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer, who usually perform together as the Knife):

greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
1) Warmish again today, fifties Fahrenheit, but the cold is about to come round again. At last a good bit of the snow has melted. The sun is bright today. Die, snow. Die.

2) I've decided to delay the "sneak preview" of Lee Moyer's cover-in-progress for Two Worlds and In Between. More people read the blog on Mondays.

3) A good trip out to Conanicut Island yesterday. There was sun, on and off. It was much warmer than our visit on Sunday, and much of the snow had melted away. Jamestown didn't get nearly as much snow as Providence (it's always worse inland), and much of it's gone now. On the way down, I read David Petersen's Legends of the Guard and listened to the new Decemberists CD on the iPod. By the way, if you do not yet know, David Petersen is one of the coolest dudes working in comics today. He's brilliant. Anyway...this time we went directly to West Cove— which I have officially rechristened Shuggoth Cove —to search for beach glass and bones and what-have-you. The tide was very low, but there wasn't much to be found, which is unusual. Spooky found most of the good stuff, including the largest piece of lavender glass we've ever found, and a pale green shard with the number 7 on it. I mostly go for the bones of birds and other things you commonly find washed up at the Cove, but pickings were slim yesterday. My theory is that the hard winter has reduced the quantity of beached bones as hungry non-hibernating critters— coons, weasels, skunks, foxes, coyotes, etc. —haul away every scrap for whatever nourishment it may offer. Speaking of skunks, one made its presence known yesterday, and we gave it a very wide berth.

Bones or no, it was a beautiful day. It was good just to lay on the sand and gravel and hear the waves and see the blue sky. The sky which still seems too wide, but not so carnivorous beside the sea. We saw a gull or two and heard a few crows. I halfheartedly picked up an assortment of shells, including Crepidula fornicata (Common slipper shell), Mytolus edulis (Blue mussels), Modiolus modiolus (Horse mussels), Anomia simplex (jingle shells), Aquipecten irradius (Bay scallop), three species of periwinkle— Littorina littotrea (Common periwinkle), L. saxalis (Rough periwinkle), and L. obtusata (Smooth periwinkle) — along with Thais lapillus (dogwinkles), and two genera of crabs, Cancer irroratus (Rock crab) and Carcinus maenus (Green crab, an invasive species from Britain and northern Europe). We watched enormous freighters crossing Narragansett Bay, headed out to sea, bound for almost anywhere at all. A scuba diver went into the water, and was still under when we left the Cove just before five p.m. (CaST). As always, I didn't want to leave. We made it back to Providence before sunset. On the way home, we saw that the salt marsh was no longer frozen. On the way back, we listened to Sigur Rós, our official going-home-from-the-sea band.

4) Back home, Spooky helped me assemble a three-foot long scale model of a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton (thank you, Steven!). It has now taken a teetery place of pride atop a shelf in my office.

5) Last night, Neil called and we talked a long time, about many things, which we used to do a lot, but hardly ever do anymore. We both promised to make more of an effort to stay in touch. Later, well...too much WoW again as I try to wrest Loremaster from the game before my last six weeks (or seven, or so) are up. I finished Winterspring and made it about halfway through Azshara. Spooky played Rift until I thought her eyes would pop out, and it's just beautiful. She's loving it, even with all the inconveniences of a beta (mostly, at this point, server crashes). Still later, we read more of [livejournal.com profile] blackholly's White Cat (which I'm loving).

6) Ebay! Please have a gander. Money is our crinkly green friend (for better or worse).

7) Today we try to make it through the fifth, sixth, and seventh chapters of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Tomorrow, with luck, I go back to work on the eighth chapter. I'm trying to obtain permission to quote a Radiohead song ("There, There [The Bony King of Nowhere]") and a PJ Harvey song ("Who Will Love Me Now")* at the beginning of the book, and we've also gotten the ball rolling on that. Amanda Palmer's assistant, Beth Hommel, is putting us in touch with Radiohead's management (thank you, Beth!), but I'm on my own with Harvey. Which ought to be an adventure in red tape.

Now, comment!

There are photos from yesterday:

17 February 2011 )


* Turns out, Harvey didn't write "Who Will Love Me Now." It was co-written by Philip Ridley and Nick Bicat for Ridley's film, The Passion of Darkly Noon, and performed by Harvey. So, now I have to contact Philip Ridley....who also made one of the Best. Vampire. Films. Ever. The Reflecting Skin (still, shamefully, not available on DVD).

The R-Word

Feb. 11th, 2011 10:20 pm
greygirlbeast: (Bjorkdroid)
Neil tweeted about this, then Spooky pointed me to it. Brilliant. Lately, I am utterly amazed at the wonderfulness of so many Kickstarter projects...like this one: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Robotic Edition.

(I'd have posted the video, but something about the embed code hates LiveJournal.)
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I have this quote from yesterday, from Aleister Crowley's autobiography (1929):

As long as sexual relations are complicated by religious, social, and financial considerations, so long will they cause all kinds of cowardly, dishonourable, and disgusting behaviour.

---

Happy 50th birthday to Neil, and I'm really sorry I couldn't make it down to New Orleans for the party to end all parties, but I'm there in spirit, as they say. My spirit will get shitfaced and roam Bourbon Street looking for trouble. At least my body won't have to feel the hangover. Today is also Holly Black's birthday, so have a good one, Holly.

---

Cold and cloudy here in Providence, just like yesterday, and the day before.

But, I did finally leave the House yesterday. So, that's only nine days indoors (my record, set this past winter, is fourteen). Yesterday, I went to the Athenaeum to read and think about the story I need to begin today. But first we went to the Bell Gallery at Brown University, to see the Pictures from the Hay exhibit, a display of books celebrating the 100th anniversary of the John Hay Library at Brown University. The exhibit is a veritable orgy for book sluts. I read Walt Whitman's "O Captain! My Captain!" written in Whitman's own hand (from 1887). I saw needlepoint from 1802, and a Brown diploma from 1769. There was an amazing accordion book by Angela Lorenz (1999)— etching, watercolor, letterpress, and mica —titled The Theater of Nature, or Curiosity Filled the Cabinet. I saw an original Arthur Rackham illustration, "Where is Peaseblossom," from Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare (1889) and thought of [livejournal.com profile] nineweaving. There was a schematic from a book on fireworks dating to 1635, detailing "How to represent St. George fighting the dragon." I saw Crimean War photos from 1855, a clay Iraqi cuneiform tablet from Uruk (now Warka) dating back to 1850-1800 BCE, and French editions of Poe from the 1920s. Paper dolls from 1811, titled The Protean Figure and Metamorphic Costumes. Andreas Vesalius' De Humani Corporis Fabrica (1543), plates from Mark Catesby's The Bahama Islands: containing the figures of birds, beasts, fishes, serpents, insects, and plants (1729-1747). So much amazement in a single room. Does anyone seriously believe that three hundred years from now people will marvel at Kindles and the layout and typography of eBooks? Books have almost (but not quite) ceased to be objects of art in and of themselves, and merely become shoddy information and entertainment delivery devices. Their artistic and archival importance is all but lost.

It was a blustery late autumn day on Benefit Street, not too cold if you were dressed for it. Bradbury weather. We left the Athenaeum about five p.m. (CaST, = EDT + 1 hour), stopped by Eastside Market, then headed back across the river and home again.

---

We have almost everything we need to assemble the Dancy Box. This is a box that Dancy carried with her from the cabin in Shrove Wood to the sanitarium in Tallahassee, where it was confiscated. She never got it back. At least, that's how it seems right now. It'll be going up on eBay as soon as we're done, along with one of the lettered editions of the book, an edition that was not offered to the public (they were split between Bill Shafer and myself). This has gone from a lark to a pretty obsessive piece of...what? It's an artifact from a fiction, a prop from a movie that will never be made, a multi-media sculpture.

---

There's not much to say about Monday. After seven consecutive days of writing like a fiend, and the insomnia on top of that, I ended up spending much of Monday in bed. We watched the second episode of The Walking Dead (still promising) and also Daniel Alfredson's Flickan som lekte med elden (2009). Last night, we saw Paul Scheuring's The Experiment (2010), with Adrien Brody and Forest Whitaker. I've been reading Richard Kaczynski's biography of Aleister Crowley. The rp in CoX has taken a turn for the very weird, with Erzsébetta's future self (become more faerie than vampire) traveling back from 258 years in the future to try to stop Something Awful, something that's her fault. Sekhmet has deemed her "...the worst thing that ever happened to the world." The rp has been especially cathartic, and it's sort of wonderful acting it out in an absurdist milieu of supervillains, because nothing's too ridiculous to ring true.

Today...I have to try again to write "Romeo and Juliet Go to Mars," a story I tried to write last fall and shelved. But I want to do it. It's a story I need to do. So, we'll see.

Here are the photos from yesterday:

9 November 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (Starbuck 3)
1. I thought, the last couple of days, I was getting to that "pulling myself back together" place, having had two halfway decent nights of of sleep without fucking Ambien. Not enough sleep, no, but no hypnotics, either. Then, this morning, at four-thirty I was still awake, so I took half a pill. At 5:45, still awake, I took another half. I got the sleep around six, but was only able to sleep until about noon (all times CaST). I really cannot take much more of this. I've written nothing all damn month. Oh, and the weather here in Providence is miserable again: cold and rainy and overcast.

2. I managed to work yesterday (largely because I was just coming out of the Ambien haze). I signed the signature sheets for the special edition of The Mammoth Book of the Best of Best New Horror: Two Decades of Dark Fiction. They'd already been signed by Clive Barker and Stephen King and Peter Straub, though still have to be signed by Harlan Ellison and Neil Gaiman. On days like this, when I can't imagine pressing even one more verb against another noun, when my desire to write has dropped away to something very near zero, I try to take solace in the fact that, thanks to my writing, I count four of those five authors as friends, and three as dear friends (I've never met Stephen King). Also, I read back through "Werewolf Smile," seeing as how the book that The Wolf Who Cried Girl is becoming will be built, in part, upon that short story. And I was enormously annoyed to discover I'd missed a metric shit ton of typos when I proofed it for Sirenia Digest #45 (August 2009). I'm considering including a corrected text of "Werewolf Smile" in the March issue of the digest. Anyway, I also answered email and tidied up my file cabinet, which has needed tidying up for the better part of a year. I made notes for two short stories or vignettes, both for Sirenia Digest #52. One may be an indirect sort of footnote to Lovecraft's "The Hound," and the other involves a sideshow and herpetological tattoos. We shall see. I desperately need to get a chapter of the novel written before starting in on the digest.

3. Last night, my blood-elf warlock, Shaharrazad, made Level 78. And it "only" took me 35 days, 21 hours, 7 minutes, and 43 seconds of gameplay (I actually rolled Shah in October '08). I will point out that Blizzard has done snazzy things with the Armory, adding character animation and whatnot. You may note that Shah has allowed her usually close-cropped hair to grow since heading out to Northrend.

4. For what it's worth, my beliefs are not beliefs I hold because I need to hold them. And I did not choose to hold them. I rejected that approach to belief decades ago. Indeed, I have often been frustrated that I cannot alter my beliefs based simply on what my mind needs. I've written about this in the past, especially as regards my approach to witchcraft and magick, and the fact that I remain an atheist, cosmicist, and pessimist*. My beliefs arise from personal observation of the world around me, from conclusions based upon those observations. I believe nothing simply because I somehow need to believe it. Desire or need alone cannot ever lead me to belief. Basing belief upon needs or desires is, to me, no more than wishful thinking.

5. Spooky's latest doll is now available via her Dreaming Squid Dollworks shop at Etsy. We call her Cassandra, for reasons that ought to be fairly obvious.

6. On Tuesday, we saw Tim Buron's Alice in Wonderland for the second time. If anything, it was more delightful than the first viewing (and we still will not debate its merits here).

* I would deny, though, that I am a nihilist, for a number of reasons.
greygirlbeast: (white2)
1. A sunny day again here in Providence. It's very good to have the sun back after its recent extended absence. The meteorologists predict a high of 57F, which means windows will be opened.

2. The silence of the last two days has followed, largely, from the fact that I'm not getting anything written. Which follows, chiefly, from the fact that I'm still not sleeping. I think this stretch of insomnia is beginning its third week. Mostly, there's been exhaustion, anger, depression, worry, and more exhaustion. Nothing I want to write entries about, and (I assume) nothing anyone wants to read. I'm trying to think of good things from the last two or three days. Friday, I received my contributor's copies of The Mammoth Book of the Best of the Best New Horror: Two Decades of Dark Fiction. I got the year 1997, which was, by the way, the first year I made The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror (I've had stories selected for nine of those volumes). Which means it's "Emptiness Spoke Eloquent," though Steve Jones kindly let me rewrite the story a bit, so it's not quite the story that was reprinted in the '97 volume (#9). Those last two sentences could use a rewrite, but I'm not up to it, and trust you've muddled safely through. Anything else worth remembering? Streamed the new episodes of Spartacus: Blood and Sand (still good porn) and Caprica (still impressing me). That's about it, though. Well, except for yesterday.

3. Yesterday was the rain date for my trip to the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard, to meet up with Sonya ([livejournal.com profile] sovay) and Greer ([livejournal.com profile] nineweaving), but Sonya was feeling under the weather...so we've postponed again. Instead of Boston, Spooky and I took advantage of the sunny, almost warm day and headed south and west to Connecticut. It's a hideous stretch of interstate, I-95 through western Rhode Island, and much worse this time of year. All stark, leafless trees brown beneath a white-blue sky. It burns the eyes and mind, that sight, slashed down the middle with black asphalt. But it led us across the state line to Mystic. There were already tourists, or so it seemed. We avoided them as best we could. An hour or so was passed in the shops along West Main Street. I found a cast-iron mermaid exactly like one I'd seen in the very same shop back on the summer of '06, and have often regretted not getting. So I bought it for the kitchen mantle. After Mystic, we followed 215 down to Noank, where neither Spooky nor I had been before. Narrow streets and pretty houses, boats and lobster pots. Out across the water we could see Goat Island, and beyond that, Fishers Island. It was quite a bit chillier by the water, but also mercifully free of people.

We headed back to Providence about five p.m. (CaST), and I dozed all the way home. The van is about the only place I seem able to sleep (without the aid of Ambien) these days. We stopped for Chinese takeout (dumplings and beef lo mein). I spent the night with WoW and Insilico. At 4:30 a.m., still trying to sleep, I read Lovecraft's "Dagon" (1917) for the bezillionth or so time. I did manage to get to sleep before five, and I must have slept maybe five and a half hours.

4. Spooky made a new doll, which you may see here. It is a lovely, gloomy doll. It'll be going up for sale on her Dreaming Squid Dollworks Etsy shop once she's finished with it.

5. Geoffrey ([livejournal.com profile] readingthedark) is dropping by tonight, and it will be nice to have company for an evening.

6. Not at all happy with the Oscars this year. I may post my own picks later today. It truly was a baffling year, and not for want of wonderful films. I was pleased to see that Christoph Waltz won for Inglourious Basterds. Though Neil was very dapper in his jacket and waistcoat (made by [livejournal.com profile] kambriel).

7. Finally, I have thirteen photos from yesterday's trip to Mystic and Noank, behind the cut:

7 March 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (white)
1. Now that the word is public, congratulations to Neil and Amanda (yes, they're tying the knot)!

2. My great thanks to Ellen ([livejournal.com profile] ellen_datlow) and everyone at the Montauk Club in Brooklyn for one of the most thoroughly pleasant readings I've ever been a part of, ever. We read in the old library (the building was erected in 1890), by candlelight. It was magical. I read sections one and two of "Houses Under the Sea," same as at Readercon in July, only I think I did a much better job this time. The other authors— Micheal Cisco, Brian Evanson, and Richard Bowes were wonderful. And afterwards we were given a tour of the building. I'll write a full account of the evening tomorrow. Right now I am dehydrated, exhausted, starving, and achy, and I'd only muck it up. But it was a grand evening. We got back to Providence about 5 a.m. (CaST).

3. My thanks to Geoffrey ([livejournal.com profile] readingthedark) for going along, as these days I seem to need at least two handlers.

4. I resolved yesterday to make an itemized list of the expenses incurred yesterday. People are constantly asking me to come read in places very far from Providence. One reason I don't, of course, is that I'm just not much up for travel these days. But another reason is the expense, even when the reading is as close to Providence as is Brooklyn. So, here you go (I did not include new clothes, though they were purchased to wear to this reading, because I will continue to wear them for years and it hardly seems fair to count them as part of the cost of last night):

$20.00: Gasoline (Providence to New Haven and back)
$10.21: Snacks for the road and hand sanitizer
$56.00: Commuter rail from New Haven, CT to Brooklyn and back
$ 9.00: subway fare for two from Grand Central Station to Brooklyn & back again
$ 2.50: two Cokes
$ 9.00: parking in New Haven
$ 2.50: Coffee (McDonalds)
$ 2.25: More caffeine in Mystic, CT
Total: $111.46

And that's only one reading, fairly close to home, and we didn't even have dinner. Had we driven into Brooklyn, instead of taking the commuter rail from New Haven, it wouldn't have been much (if any) cheaper. So...that's one reason I don't do lots of readings and cons. They're terribly expensive, and virtually never cost effective. The value of last night is entirely subjective. I had a magical evening, and I deserve one of those a few times a year. We'll likely have an eBay auction or two to defray this expense.

5. Last night, as Michael Cisco read from his story, "Machines of Concrete Light and Dark," I scribbled in my Moleskine notebook, "Watching Michael read, seeing him read, is like hearing a ceremony conducted by a high priest of Azathoth." Maybe that's just a little hyperbolic, but I really do adore hearing him read.

6. I wanted to link to this CNN article, "Why Haiti is Not Like New Orleans," by Kathleen Tierney (professor of sociology and behavioral science director of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder). This passage is especially apt: To get an idea of the distinction between the two events, imagine that all of the U.S. west of the Mississippi were to be destroyed or extensively damaged by some immense catastrophe in one minute, with absolutely no warning. That is the situation Haiti faces.

7: Spooky and I took a total of ninety photographs last night. I'll be posting them for days. For now, I'll leave you with these two:

15-16 December 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 2)
There was absolutely nothing whatsoever remarkable about last night. At midnight (ET, 1 a.m. CaST), Spooky and I sat in the front parlor and listened to the snowbound silence. The city seemed all but dead. I could hear music playing in another house nearby, but that was it.

The snow is with us. There may be more today and tonight.

I had one of my rare migraines all day and night yesterday, which made me pretty much useless. I did try to get some reading done, more of Alan Weisman's The World Without Us and a paper in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology on the ankylosaurid Dyoplosaurus acutosquameus. We watched more episodes of Fringe. It was not a New Year's Eve to write home about. Or even to blog about.

I continue to be pleased with many of the answers I'm getting to that question I posed night before last: 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? If you've not yet replied, there's still lots of time. Just follow this link. Blow my mind. Or whatever.

Neil tweeted last night, to ask why I wasn't at Amanda's Boston Pops' show, and I blamed the snow. But I begin to think the agoraphobia is becoming something to be reckoned with, especially when you toss in the unpredictability of the seizures. This isn't what I had in mind when I left the South. I had in mind actually going places and seeing people again. Maybe I shall, in this new year....

Oh, I did take a few rather crappy photographs yesterday, when we went out to the market. But at least they give you an idea:

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

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

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

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

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

March 8, 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
Trying desperately (and with mixed results) to simultaneously stop taking the Ambien and catch up on my sleep. And stay hydrated.

Today, Spooky has to drive down to Wakefield to have the car inspected. They do that in Rhode Island, have mandatory safety inspections. Anyway, she's going to Wakefield, instead of doing it here in Providence, because she wants to see Wakefield in the snow.

I spent all of yesterday trying to find the Next Story. Or, rather, trying to find my way into it. No actual words were written. It's the worst sort of Writing Day, being really only an Almost-Writing Day. I did learn that in the UK "As of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008*, it is also illegal to possess physical depictions of necrophilia, electronic or otherwise. Necrophilia-pornography falls under the governmental description of extreme pornography, of which, possession is classed as illegal under the aforementioned act." However, here in the US, there are no Federal laws against necrophilia, and only nineteen out of fifty states have anti-necrophilia laws. Rhode Island is not one of them.

Anyway, quite apart from actual acts of necrophilia, the UK legislation seems a bit excessive, as it would not only affect "extreme pornography," but all manner of non-pornographic art, some of it quite old. And, of course, I have to wonder if anyone's realized this would apply to vampires. Vampirism, that socially acceptable incarnation of necrophilia. "Well, yeah...sure..he's dead, I know...and he sucks the blood of unwilling victims...and he sleeps in a coffin filled with moldering earth. But, jeez, he's sooooooo dreamy."

So, today, I try again to find my way into the new story.

Last night, we watched Matt Reeves' Cloverfield for the first time since we saw it in theatres. And I still think it's one of the most brilliant monster movies ever filmed.

I'm listening to Elvis Costello's The Juliet Letters, recorded with the Brodsky Quartet. It's one of my favourite albums from the early '90s, but it's been ages since I listened to it. Yesterday, I remembered it. Oh, and Spooky brought me a sheet of Edgar Allan Poe stamps from the PO.

The platypus and the dodo concur that any Tuesday in the year 2009 is a very fine time to order your copy of A is for Alien. Me, I've learned to listen to the wisdom of peculiar beasts.

I am utterly in awe of the news that Neil has won the Newbery Award for The Graveyard Book.

And now....I should go write something that's illegal to read in the UK. For the greater good....

* [livejournal.com profile] scarletboi reports that a review of the text of the Act reveals it does not apply to prose.

Postscript (3:23 p.m.): John Updike has died.
greygirlbeast: (chi6)
Here, on the last day before we leave for Rhode Island, it seems just barely possible that we'll get everything done that has to be done before tomorrow morning. Yesterday was a long day. I had to find epigraphs for Daughter of Hounds, which led to William Wordsworth and Lord Byron and William Blake and a dozen or so others before I finally settled on three quotes from Emily Dickinson and one from Samuel Taylor Coleridge. I like the epigraphs, though I am disappointed that the two lines from The Decemberists' song "Of Angels and Angles" that I'd originally intended to use as the opening epigraph won't be appearing in the novel, because I never got around to contacting the band or their label for permission and now there's no more time for such things. I will post the lines here, though:

There are angels in your angles,
There's a low moon caught in your tangles.


I tweaked and fiddled with the ms., finally rewriting a paragraph near the end, and, That's enough, I said to myself and pushed it away. Today, it goes back in the mail to NYC. For all intents and purposes, it's done. I'll get one last read-through, but only very minor corrections can be made at that point. There were so many other things yesterday, but just now, none of them seem interesting enough to write down. I did assist Ignatius with a letter of introduction which he was supposed to write weeks ago, a letter for poor Snapdragon who leaves us today for California. He was surly and kept tipping over the inkwell and breaking nibs, pretending it was all accidental when I knew otherwise. I can hardly blame his reticence, but I have assured him she will be in good hands.

I was sort of appalled by the Publisher's Weekly review of Neil's new collection, Fragile Things. As quoted in his journal, the reviewer wrote, "most of these stories rely too heavily on the stock-in-trade of horror, sci-fi and fantasy." I'm not sure if the reviewer just hates fantasy — in which case I have to wonder why sheheit was given the book to review — or if hesheit is saying that the stories in question weren't innovative. The charge is patently absurd, in either case.

I'm still dithering over the fate of Nebari.net, but I do agree with those who've written in to say that if I allow the domain to expire, it'll be squatted. That's one reason I'm reluctant to let it go.

Also, thanks to everyone who's had kind words for Sirenia Digest #8 so far. It's not too late to get #8. Just subscribe today. I am growing increasing fond of the digest. I think it has turned out to be a very successful experiment. Not only is it paying the rent, it's allowing me to write things I probably would not have written otherwise. I hope that it will still be going strong this time next year — stronger — as it has proven a wonderful vehicle for my short fiction.

Last night, when we were finally too tired to do anything more, we watched Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), which I still cannot recall if I saw in the theatre. It felt more like a long episode of ST:TNG than a film, and the whole thing between Riker and Trois just oogs me out, but, still, as Star Trek movies go, it was quite enjoyable. Night before last, we watched John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Ward Bond, Natalie Wood, and a whole bunch of other people in the 50th-anniversary DVD release of John Ford's The Searchers (1956).

Okay, it's almost noon. And there's still more to do than I care to think about.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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