greygirlbeast: (sol)
And (whatever the calendar says) today is the first day of summer in Providence. Plus! For a limited time and at no added bonus, a massive solar flare is barreling towards Earth at some 1,400 kilometres per second! Whee! In the house, it's 85F and climbing! Outside, 88F and also climbing. Whee!

In Rhode Island, we don't have seasons. The climate has moods.

Lately, I'm realizing (and I should have realized this sooner) that, as an author, I am being expected to be a lot more computer savvy than I am. Not only that, I'm seemingly expected to be able to afford the software and gadgets. Publishers and editors assume I have iPhones and iPads, that I can use Adobe and edit in MS Word. Surprise! Nope. And I really don't see this changing anytime soon. I'm too poor and too stubborn and too disinterested. If anything, I'm perversely tempted to respond to the techno-pressure by composing my next novel on the 1941 Royal typewriter sitting on my mantle. Works just fine. I can get ribbons. It breaks, I fix it myself. Might have to use a screwdriver, worst-case scenario, I'll type it all out, the manuscript, saving electricity and making carbon copies as I go (remember those?), then send four hundred and fifty actual pages by parcel post to my editor. Oh, by the way. Books would, for the most part, get shorter again, and far fewer books would be written, if every one had to work in the Realm of Analog. This would be a good thing.

Writers need to be writing, not learning to use software and the latest bullshit app.

That's not the end of a rant. I'll come back to it, by and by. All my life, I expect I'll be coming back to it. Oh! On a related note, yesterday while shutting off Facebook's scary facial-recognition software (they don't ask if you wanna opt in; you have to opt out), I discovered how to shut off comments on FB. I don't care if it's a social network; I'm repurposing the bitch to my own ends.

A package from S. T. Joshi just arrived. Inside was a copy of Wilum Pugmire's The Tangled Muse (Centipede Press, 2010). Gods, this might be the most beautiful book I've ever held. Certainly, in the top ten. More astounding still, this is from the first printing of only six copies, after which, due to a dispute with an artist involved, the book had to be reset. Wow. Thank you S. T., and thank you, Wilum.

Yesterday, we caught a matinée of Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: First Class, and I rather loved it. Some might pick nits, but I won't. It was too fun to ruin by nit picking. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender were very good, and Jennifer Lawrence made a great Mystique. I loved Nicholas Hoult's Beast. Hell, even Kevin Bacon didn't annoy me. Anyway, yes. Wonderful.

Ashes and diamonds,
Foe and friend.
We were all equal in the end.
(Pink Floyd)

One day, I'll tell the story of how, in 2005, I almost wrote an X-Men mini-series. It's a sordid tale.

Fuck all, it's hot in here.

Before I forget, the Big Damn eBay Sale is off to a good start. Please have look, please. Also, just as helpful and worthwhile, see Spooky's Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy shop. All her paintings are on sale (limited time) for 20% off! Coupon code: ART20

Today, I go back to work on Blood Oranges, and later I'll be talking with [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy (Talking, yes! On the phone!) about the trailer and other promotional goodies we're working on to aid in the promotion of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. That's likely the whole of my coming day.

Rift last night. Selwyn and Missya made Level 46, and were sent from Iron Pine Peak to dread Stillmoor, where once was the great Mathosian Empire, and now the eye of Regulos holds sway over the cratered land. Late, there was some truly grand and very grim rp with [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus. Thank you, Sirrah.

Okay. I go forth to broil...I leave you with wonderful new images of my favorite world.

Warmly (haha),
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
The Final Cut. Children of Men. Global warming. Polar bears. My head goes round and round in these circles.

For the most part, Planet Earth seems to be keeping mentions of humanity's impact to a minimum, but the polar-bear sequences stand out in stark contrast, an exception to the rule. This appears to have resulted from the camera men encountering so many drowning and starving polar bears. As global warming leads to shorter Arctic winters, ever-thinner pack ice, and earlier spring thaws, polar bears are quickly losing ground. Some biologists think they may be extinct by the end of the century, these bears, the world's largest extant terrestrial carnivores. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) share a common ancestor with the brown bear (Ursus arctos spp.), from which they likely diverged in the Middle Pleistocene, becoming a distinct species over the last 100,000 years*. But humans can wipe them out in only two or three centuries.

It would be a mercy, I suppose, in a purely selfish psychological sense, to ascribe to a religion that gives humanity dominance over "lower" lifeforms, that draws a distinction between Homo sapiens sapiens and all other animals, that says there's Man and then there's dumb, soulless nature (lowercase), which was only placed here to provide for Man's needs until some God or gods come/return to give mankind His just reward.

Anyway, because, one way or another, everything is connected, the polar-bear sequences in the "Ice Worlds" episode of Planet Earth last night brought me back around to Children of Men, and that got me thinking about these lines from Pink Floyd's The Final Cut (1983):

A place to stay.
Enough to eat.
Somewhere old heroes shuffle safely down the street.
Where you can speak out loud
About your doubts and fears,
And what's more, no-one ever disappears,
You never hear their standard issue kicking in your door.
You can relax on both sides of the tracks,
And maniacs don't blow holes in bandsmen by remote control.
And everyone has recourse to the law,
And no-one kills the children anymore.
And no-one kills the children anymore.


— Pink Floyd

Today, I'm trying not to think about drowning polar bears, trying to wander elsewhere and elsewhen in my mind, trying to find a story for Sirenia Digest 17.

*Kurten, B. 1964. The evolution of the polar bear, Ursus maritimus (Phipps). Acta Zoologica Fennica 108:1-26.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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