greygirlbeast: (Default)
Listening to the new Tom Waits, and so a big thank you to Steven Lubold ([livejournal.com profile] oldfossil59) 'Cause this one rocks, even for Mr. Waits, and the 40-page book that comes with the deluxe edition is sublime.

But I slept eight hours, and I am not awake. Six hours, that's not enough, but I come awake fast, then feel like shit. Seven hours is perfect. Eight hours, a good lot of sleep, but then I can't wake the hell up. And I wish I could recall last night's (this morning's dreams) as they were odd and seem dimly important. Probably just the end of the world again.

I get ahead of myself. Or behind myself. Whichever. Yesterday, we read chapters Three and Four of Blood Oranges, so we're more than halfway through the ms. Kermit continues to prove useful in text editing, so maybe I haven't made a bad decision, keeping the iPad. I gotta post a photo of me and the Dubious Kermit Tech. But not today. Anyway, unless the MiBs call me to attention today and there's alien retroengineering to be done, we'll be reading chapters Five and Six. There are only Eight chapters to Blood Ornages. Only 70,000 words (my novels are usually well over 100k). So, we'll be done editing (id est, correcting typos and continuity errors) by Sunday evening, and my agent will have the ms. on Monday, when she gets home from the World Fantasy Convention in misbegotten and woebegone San Diego. No, as I keep telling people, I won't be there. If The Ammonite Violin & Others should win a WFA, Elizabeth Bear ([livejournal.com profile] matociquala) will be accepting on my behalf. I do not spend a thousand or so dollars to fly to southern California and risk getting felt up and fisted by the motherfucking TSA for any con.

Speaking of short story collections, I have the cover art by Lee Moyer for Confessions of Five-Chambered Heart (Subterranean Press, 2012). And here it is, behind the cut, based somewhat on "Dancing with the Eight of Swords" (Sirenia Digest #36, November 2008):

Guard Your Heart, No Matter the Chambers Therein )


And if you ordered directly from subpress, but you've not yet received your copy of Two Worlds and In Between, hang in there. Be patient. It's coming. To quote Arcade Fire, "We used to wait." I haven't even received all my comp copies yet.

Oh, but the weather has gone to shit and looks like it's gonna stay there a spell. We were so lucky with the shoot for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir and Stills from a Movie That Never Existed. We're in wet Rhode Island October now. Cold and wet, just in time for Samhain and Hallowe'en. If we'd have had to wait one more week, the weather would definitely have been too shitty for our needs. Cutting it close and all.

By the way, the cover art for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir is now up at Amazon.com (follow that link). But the text on the cover isn't final. Not sure why they put it up before we finalized that, but there you go. There's no fathoming the minds of Big New York Publishers. And yes, Penguin did a cover THAT I ACTUALLY LIKE, a lot. There's even a nod to The Red Tree in there. I'm taking that lone oak leaf as a belated apology for the gods-awful mess they made of The Red Tree's cover (which featured a poplar tree, by the way). Anyway, I'll post the cover here when they get the text corrected.

Last night, some good RP in Insilico, then a tad of RIFT before bed. I read more of "About Ed Ricketts" to Spooky.

Only Somewhat Disappointed Today,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
And here it is the second of Hallowe'en, and on this day one year ago I was in Portland, Oregon, Guest of Honoring for the Lovecraft Film Festival. In fact, on this night a year ago I gave the speech that was recently published in the fifth issue of The Lovecraft Annual. I'm having one of those "How can a year have already come and gone?" days. Then again, since this day two years ago, I've written two novels and...well, a metric-asston of stuff has happened.

Yesterday, I pulled together everything for Sirenia Digest #70. Great cover this month. So, as soon as I have Vince Locke's illustration, it goes out to subscribers (if you are a subscriber). But, yeah, that was work yesterday.

And a there was an email from Gary K. Wolfe that actually managed to make me happy. Kind of scary when that happens. My moments of the happy, I mean. More on this very soon.

It's Sunday, and Sunday is a very good day to order your copy of Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Me (Volume One) (sorry, the super-snazzy limited sold out long ago, but there's still a few copies of the snazzy trade edition).

And before anyone asks (as if anyone need ask), yes, I support OccupyWallStreet one-hundred percent, and I only hope we see more protests of this magnitude in more cities across the country. "We are unions, students, teachers, veterans, first responders, families, the unemployed and underemployed. We are all races, sexes and creeds. We are the majority. We are the 99 percent. And we will no longer be silent." I wouldn't hasten to add, we are artists.

Last night, we drove up to a four-band show in Pawtucket, at the Met Cafe in the Hope Artiste Village. Well, mostly, we went to see Brown Bird (click for the HEARING OF THE MUSIC), who played second. We are Brown Bird addicts, because they rock. Yes, they do, so don't make that face, you sluggard! But the first band was a group from Chicago, Pillars and Tongues (their Band Camp site), and they, too, were truly amazing. Spooky described them as the lovechild of David Sylvian, Brenden Perry, and Sixteen Horsepower. And Mark Trecka plays the harmonium! Wonderful. Then Brown Bird came on, and I was very confused, until I figured out that strange woman wandering around on stage was, in fact, Morganeve, who's cut all her hair off. Others were also confused. We left after Brown Bird, even though we wanted to see Dark Dark Dark play. But the third band was...bad. And painful. As in, a trumpet (or coronet?) splitting our skulls apart. And the bad clothes. Like, a thousand hipsters dumped into a blender and out popped this bad. Oh, and banana shoes. Let us not forget the hallowed banana shoes. We did discover that by the time we'd left the building, and walked around front and across the street to the parking lot, by then they sounded okay. But, yes, Pillars and Tongues and Brown Bird. If they play near you, SEE THESE BANDS. There are three photos behind the cut:

1 October 2010 )


Back home...we watched Mad Men (in Season Three, now), and I read to Spooky from Halloween. Yeah, I'm having another go at reading through an anthology that's reprinted one of my stories, since it's been going fairly well, this odd new habit. Oh, and I've never before been in an anthology that also includes Sir Walter Scott. Anyway, I read her "Ulalume: A Ballad" (including the last stanza, which is usually missing) and Lovecraft's "Hallowe'en in a Suburb," which led to a rather amusing conversation about lemurs, Lemuria, Goethe, and the lemures of Roman mythology. Then she went to sleep, and I read, to myself, Joe Lansdale's extremely effective "On a Dark October."

And that, Kätzchen, was yesterday, give or take.

Car Lagged,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (white)
No, I'm awake. I promise. I can even see. Almost. I have even managed to survive the severe upbraiding I have received from Spooky for having awakened her at dawn-thirty because I was awakened by Hubero at dawn-thirty. I don't know why I did it! He does crazy shit, okay?! Crazy-ass cat shit, and usually she knows how to scare him in to calming the hell down. Instead, no, I'm in trouble for waking her up – me, the victim.

But that's cool. No more saving her from sasquatches.

And here it is the First of Hallowe'en, which would be fine, if I hadn't lost the first third of summer to rain, and the second third to...a bunch of dumb shit.

Yesterday I wrote a mere 454 words on "Daughter Dear Desmodus." Then I realized, This isn't a vignette. Or even a "sudden" fiction, or a short short, or whatever the beatniks are saying these days. It's not a short story, and I think it's more than a novelette. Or even a novella. Gods fuck me sideways, I think it's the first few pages of a novel about a "bat girl" in a carnival sideshow and how she grows up to unwittingly become the center of a doomsday cult, and fall in love. You know, like Water for Elephants on LSD.* And that's when I typed, THE END, because if I stopped at the conclusion of the paragraph I was writing, the story would have a happy ending. Okay, not happy. But what Spooky pronounced "sweet." Look, I don't know if it's the pills they give me so I don't flop around on the floor and choke on my own spittle to die the ignominious death of Tchaikovsky, or if I'm just getting old...but I find myself, now and again, wanting to let a character with whom I have fallen in love off the hook just a little. IS THAT SO BAD? Anyway, this is the story Vince will be illustrating, instead of the other story.

Spooky's muttering about washing her hair.

Yesterday, the mail (which only works about half the time) brought me my comp copies of Paula Guran's Halloween (Prime Books), a volume with many fine authors (Ray Bradbury, Thomas Ligotti, Lovecraft, Peter Straub, me, and etcetera) that reprints my piece, "On the Reef" (I found two minor typos; my fault). Oddly, I appear only ever to have written two "Hallowe'en stories": "At the Reef" and "A Redress for Andromeda." More proof I'm not a "horror" writer. You know, people still get hung up on that shit, me refusing to be called a "horror" writer. They take it personally. Seriously. For my part, I look at writers I admire, who had a great influence on me growing up. Ray Bradbury (again), for example. Sure, he writes science fiction, and fantasy (sensu stricto and sensu lato), and scary stories, and non-fantastic lit. Italo Calvino? Ambrose Bierce? Or Harlan Ellison, for example. You could not find an author more impossible to categorize (okay, well maybe you could, but that's not the point). He writes...what he wants to write. Same with Shirley Jackson: ghost stories, insightful stories about insanity and the labyrinth of the American family, and she also wrote some very funny shit. And Lovecraft? You really think "The Colour Out of Space" and "At the Mountains of Madness" are "horror" stories? But...William Gibson's "Hinterlands," that's sceince fiction? Pffffft.

You know, there are an awful lot of quotation marks in the last paragraph.

Today I work on pulling Sirenia Digest #70 together, so that I can send it to be PDF'd as soon as I have Vince's illustration, then Spooky can send it out to all the subscribers (and if you are not one of those, it's NEVER too late...unless you die first).

Some really fine RP in Insilico last night. Thank you, Joah. You've helped to complete the building of the perfect beast. And I read Algernon Blackwood's sublime "The Wendigo" for the umpteenth time, but every time it amazes me all the more.

Anyway...you know what? I consider myself a connoisseur of fetishes. There are few of them with which I am not acquainted. And there are still fewer that don't get me off. Wait...never mind. This isn't about non-Euclidian geometry and larger and smaller infinities, Georg Cantor and his cardinalities, integers vs. whole numbers. Not that math can't be a fetish. It can. But...what was I saying? Oh! Yes! Every now and then I watch the creation of a new fetish right before my very eyes and I know - with perfect clarity - it was created just for me. To whit, Christina Hendricks and her red accordion. I would show you the clip, but YouTube has disabled embedding by request. You'll have to settle for a link to Christina Hendricks playing her red accordion. And really, it's all I need. I could just...sit...and watch...her and...that red accordion...for hours. Without breathing.

Stopping Before Someone Gets Hurt,
Aunt Beast

*A novel I might be able to write by 2014.
greygirlbeast: (Walter1)
A blustery, cold day today. The sky is that shade of blue. Better I be in here, though I want to be out there. But, tomorrow I will be leaving the House for an autumn foliage excursion to parts north. I only hope that this wind has left a few leaves on the trees.

I find it hard to sleep on windy nights. I always find it hard to sleep, but the sound of wind has always made me restless. I've always been this way, all my life. The wind's fine so long as I'm Outside.

Yesterday was not so much productive as the other thing. Then again, it wasn't entirely counterproductive. Perhaps it was only frustrating. Having set aside "There Will Be Kisses For Us All," I need a couple of good ideas for vignettes to write for Sirenia Digest #59. And it seemed reasonable to do some editing for Two Worlds and In Between while I tried to think of stuff. I did a little layout on the manuscript, and then I read "Persephone" and "Two Worlds and In Between." And I could not resist editing and rewriting on both. I tried. I truly tried. "Two Worlds and In Between" was easier on me than getting through "Persephone." But both now have a couple of hundred red marks each. I'm not yet sure whether I'm actually going to make the edits. I'm tempted to yank both stories, because, truthfully, in 1993 and early '94 I was still just figuring out what it was I was trying to do. I read until dark, and it left me shaken and confused. Do these stories belong in a "best of" collection? They're an honest look back at the beginning, that's true, but they are surely not my best. They are, I suppose, the best I was capable of seventeen years ago.

Anyway, besides email and a phone meeting regarding the Secret, that was yesterday. Oh, and I had to sign the income tax forms, and send away more than thousand dollars to help fund wars against countries that have done me no wrong. And Sméagol has some odd ailment of his right nostril, and Spooky has to take him to the vet today. So...money flying out the window. Even though the windows are shut. Money flies, regardless. So, my great thanks to everyone who bid on the recent round of eBay auctions, and especially to the winner of the "napovel." I was stunned, genuinely stunned, at what it went for. I really do kind of love you guys.

Slowly, I'm trying to clean and bring order to my office.

Last night, we watched the new episodes of Fringe and Project Runway. And then I played CoX late into the night, or early into the morning, or both.

I have what I think is the final set of photos from the HPLFF trip. It's a random lot, stuff I probably should have included elsewhere, but didn't. Ergo, there's a legend for each one. They date from September 30th through October 4th. My mind is very, very scattered. I think the festival was so marvelous that it's left me off balance. Again, I say, I don't know how authors who travel for writerly travel ever manage to get anything written.

H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival, Part the Last, Part 9 )


I am very annoyed there's no photo of me with S. T. Joshi and Wilum Pugmire. Finally meeting Wilum in person was one of the high points of the festival.
greygirlbeast: (The Red Tree)
My thanks to everyone who braved the storm on Saturday night to attend the Brown reading. Special thanks to Barry Dejasu, Bob Geake, and the rest of bookstore's staff, for inviting me and organizing the event (and thanks to Barry for the wonderful Charles Fort omnibus edition!). I read portions of chapters Six and Seven of The Red Tree. There are two or three photos, below, behind the cut.

Also, my thanks to everyone who bid in the most recent round of eBay auctions.

Saturday night, after the reading, [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark treated me and Spooky to a very fine Indian dinner on Thayer Street. Outside, the rain was coming down in buckets. Walking to the car, my feet got soaked. Geoffrey accompanied us back to the house, and we stayed up until about 3:30 a.m., talking about anything and everything: Lovecraft, Crowley, music, witchcraft, the impending environmental collapse, misanthropy, writing and writers, chess, our misspent youths, the publishing industry, David Lynch, peculiar cats, and whether pigs have wings. It was a very fine evening, and it made me wish I had people over more often.

Yesterday was sunny and not-quite-cold, and Spooky and I were determined to get out and enjoy the autumn foliage, as it's falling fast. We made it down to her parent's place in Saunderstown, and got eggs, and picked apples for pies. I also picked up three ticks, but found them before the little bastards had a chance to bite. Spooky's mom gleefully incinerated them. Her dad's heading to Venezuela next month. But before stopping by the farm, we stopped in Wakefield, and admired the leaves, and a brilliant sun dog, from the bridge over over the Saugatucket River. The water was stained a dark black from tannin, and was very still and high. Indeed, it was so still, there was not a trace of current, and I suspect the dam's spillways might have been backed up.

Before Wakefield, we stopped at a deserted, decrepit house on Old North Road. The property is for sale, but the house itself, which must be at least a century old, is beyond saving. A man named Robert Mulholland lived there until a year or two ago, and apparently, all of his belongings were left in the house. Since then, the weather and vandals have not been kind to the place. We didn't risk the sagging roof and exposed nails to venture inside. We found a wonderful piece of pottery, and a china tea cup, and carried those away with us. That enormous slumping house, lost in a chest-high sea of brown ragweed, seemed to radiate (or at least focus) a sort of despair and desolation. Being there, and seeing the cast-off remnants of someone's life, abandoned like that and left to rot, the effect was ultimately more sad than creepy. That place, and all those decaying possessions, were once important to someone.

On the way back to Providence through Slocum, we saw the most spectacular sunset. It was almost a perfect day, and I get so few of those.

We took over a hundred photographs, and I'll be posting selections from them during the next few days.

---

I was pleased to get a very flattering mention in "Jonathan Maberry’s Big, Scary Blog," in his article "Still Scary After All These Years," which is a sort of compound interview with Del Howison, Joe Lansdale, Ramsey Campbell, Christopher Golden, Deborah LeBlanc, Scott Nicholson, Ellen Datlow, Ray Garton, David Wellington, and Joe Nassise. When asked, "Who is writing good horror today?." Joe replied:

Caitlín Kiernan – A phenomenal writer who doesn’t get the public recognition she deserves for her work, Kiernan is a deft hand at creating worlds in which the supernatural is alive and well and hungry. She’s the type of writer that can make me doubt myself and throw up my hands in despair at ever being so good. Her Darcy Flammarion stories, featuring an albino teenager who speaks to angels and slays monsters lurking in human guise, are crafted extremely well and her novel length works, particularly her latest, The Red Tree, are fabulous. She’s a writer who cares about every word that goes on the page, it seems.

To which I can only reply, how can a writer not care about every single word that goes on the page? Regardless, as I said, I'm flattered, even if I prefer not to be considered a "horror writer."

---

Here are the photos from the reading Saturday night:

24 October 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (cleav2)
And if rain brings winds of change,
Let it rain on us forever.
I have no doubts from what I've seen
I have never wanted more.
— VNV Nation, "Solitary"

The thing about the word game, the one that Spooky and I play to find new vignettes, is that sometimes it works perfectly, and other times it merely points me in a direction. As it turns out, mummification merely pointed me in a direction. I spent a good deal of yesterday trying to find a story for that word, but they all seemed like things that would run on for thousands and thousands of words, when I only need — indeed, can only use — a couple thousand to round out Tales from the Woeful Platypus. So, yesterday I wrote 1,160 words on a piece called "Still Life," which is not a mummification story, but which I came to via that subject. It has some common ground with "San Andreas" (from Tales of Pain and Wonder, 1999), but centers on Biancabella and Candida, two of the members of the Stephens Tea League and Society of Resurrectionists, first introduced in "Les Fleurs Empoisonnées" (originally In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers). I'd not expected to see them again. But there they were, regardless. "Still Life" is set some number of years after the events in "Les Fleurs Empoisonnées," and either the STL&SoR has disbanded or Biancabella and Candida have merely taken their leave; I'm not yet sure which, and it's a question that's irrelevant to the vignette. Mary Rose and Porcelina get mentions, but do not appear (Porcelina's dead, of course, but that wouldn't necessarily have kept her away). It's morbid, but in a very, very sweet sort of way; I think it will be a bit of light in a dark book.

Also, I'm thinking that maybe "Excerpt from Memoirs of a Martian Demirep" is the piece which will be exclusive to the limited edition.

I did not make it to the library yesterday, because by the time I was finished writing, about six p.m., I was just too tired to bear the thought of getting dressed and going out and facing all those human beings. Instead, Spooky and I had our evening walk. Most of the neighborhood cats were out and about, and we said our hellos. The moon was coming up large and white, slipping in and out of pinkish sunset clouds. We helped a bug across a sidewalk. It was a nice walk and much better than having to show my photo ID (my passport) to security guards to be allowed into the library.

Monday, Spooky came home with the first pumpkin of October. I think we're aiming for eight this year.

Today, I need to call Bernie Wrightson.

Last night, we watched Philippe Rousselot's The Serpent's Kiss (1997), with Ewan McGregor, Richard E. Grant, and the ever amazing Pete Postlethwaite. Very nice, with a smart sort of eroticism that took me by surprise.

Franklin, did you get my e-mail yesterday?

Time to write...

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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