greygirlbeast: (sleeps with wolves)
1) I'm not getting to bed until almost dawn, but I'm actually sleeping, these last few nights. It's sort of amazing. I think taking a new sort of fuck-all attitude about my future is paying off.

2) Many dreams this ayem, but one stands out the sharpest. I was deep below Birmingham, Alabama, in a vast subterranean space, an immense artificial cavern created by coal mining in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The black was tangible, palpable, it was of such a quality, it was so very black. Far above, there were the faintest, disorienting hints of light entering cracks in the roof, hundreds of feet over head. I was not alone, but I have no idea who or what was with me there. We didn't talk. I walked a landscape of spoil heaps, mountains of coal, jagged shale pits, crumbling brick buildings, and rusted mining equipment. There were deep, still lakes. All of it sealed below ground for at least half a hundred years. The dream went on and on, like that cavern, leading nowhere in particular. It was as though I were walking through the realm of the Svartálfar, as interpreted by Piranesi. Spooky eventually woke me from it, and just before I did wake, I glimpsed my reflection in a mirror. My face was pale and smudged with coal dust, and my irises were a blue so pale they were almost white.

3) Yesterday, I stopped writing and we began reading back through everything I've written thus far on The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. The Lamictal has made such a mess of my short-term memory, I can't hold it all in my head as easily as before, so we have to read back through, and I have to make cheat sheets, and remember everything I've written. We made it through the first chapter with only minor line edits. In the second chapter, the line edits were fairly heavy. They will be more so in the third chapter today. We hope to read chapters three through five, though that might be too ambitious, these are such long chapters. But I have to get through it quickly, as I still have to finish the novel and all the editing on Two Worlds and In Between (Bill Schafer has given me a two week extension on the deadline for the collection, which gives me about a month).

Also, you will be getting the second chapter of The Drowning Girl in Sirenia Digest #63. More on this tomorrow.

4) The latest StarShipSofa podcast includes my James Tiptree, Jr. Award-honored story, "Galápagos." I've only had time to listen to the first few minutes, but it sounds good so far.

5) Still no explanation from my editor at Penguin regarding the recycled cover fiasco.

6) And while we're on the subject of how far WoW has fallen, did anyone else notice that, about three months back, with patch 4.0.3, all the female toons were subjected to breast augmentation? Yes, they were. Bigger hooters, all round. I blame the Royal Apothecary Society.

7) The last couple of days have seen some very good answers to the Question @ Hand. So, I guess the squeaky wheel gets the grease again. Anyway, I'd love to see a few more. The best will appear— anonymously —in Sirenia Digest #63.

8) Too much WoW last night, racing towards Loremaster in my final six weeks of play. I finished the Southern Barrens, made it through all seventy Northern Barrens quests, then finished up Ashenvale. Next! Felwood and Winterspring!

9) Have a look at the current eBay auctions! Spooky put new stuff up this morning, while I was still in that cavern below Birmingham.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Still overcast, but warmer today. Oh, wait. I see a glimmer of sunlight.

Yesterday, I wrote 847 words and found THE END of "At the Reef." I don't know why I've been referring to it as "On the Reef," because that's not the title.

Last night, we were planning to go to AS220 to see Brown Bird play (with three other bands), but after the writing, and a bath, and dinner, I discovered I was too tired to get dressed, much less leave the House. It pissed me off. But I can't be surprised. I just wrote two short stories (or vignettes, I'm not sure) in seven days. Not to mention the usual background writerly work. So, anyway, I wound up in bed, too exhausted to do anything but read and moan about being so old and tired. Oh, and then I slept like crap last night.

At least we can still see Brown Bird in November, when they open for Raspuntina's upcoming Providence show. Maybe I won't be exhausted that night. I am truly in love with Brown Bird. I want to marry this band and have their children.

---

What did I read? Three more stories from [livejournal.com profile] ellen_datlow and [livejournal.com profile] nihilistic_kid's Haunted Legends: Carrie Laben's "Face Like a Monkey," Gary A. Braunbeck's "Return to Mariabronn," and John Mantooth's "Shoebox Train Wreck." There is a truly sublime line from the latter. "The dead really don't haunt the living. The living haunt the dead." One of those lines I wish I'd written. But I didn't. I can only admire the skill of the author who did.

This anthology's getting some weird reviews, people complaining because, they say, it purports to be a book of ghost stories, but some of the stories aren't ghost stories. Now, to begin with, Haunted Legends doesn't claim to be exclusively a collection of ghost stories (sensu stricto). The theme of the book is actually urban legends. At the very top of the cover is printed "Local legends and ghost stories..." Note that "local legends" comes first. That said, many of the stories actually are ghost stories, more than I would have expected from an anthology for which the authors were asked to write stories based on urban legends, and not specifically ghost stories. Book reviewers who can't bother to read the books they review need to stop reviewing books.

---

Today I wish I could stay in bed. But I need to address the copyeditors queries for "The Collier's Venus (1893)," which will soon appear in [livejournal.com profile] ellen_datlow's Naked City anthology. And answer email. And read over and correct "And the Cloud That Took the Form" and "At the Reef." So, yeah. Work. The platypus is a harsh mistress.

Congratulations to William Lindblad of Plano, Texas, who won both my items in the KGB readings benefit auction.

As I write this, the podcast poll stands at 97.3% in favor (143 votes) and 2.7% (4 votes) against. The four who voted against did an admirable job of explaining why they voted against my doing podcasts. Most likely, I'll do one at some point in the next few weeks and see how it goes. And then figure out if I'll make a habit of podcasts.

---

Harlan Ellison is selling his first typewriter, a beautiful old Remington. As I said on Facebook yesterday, Harlan has done me many kindnesses and was a tremendous influence on my own work. I consider this typewriter invaluable, but would happily pay five times the $5,000 it has been insured for, if only I had that sort of money. If only I were a wealthy woman. I can only hope it goes to a museum or collector who appreciates its value and will care for it.

---

Last night Spooky pontificated on the relative merits of various brands of pumpkin ale. Me, I don't drink the stuff, but she loves it. She decalres Dogfish Head the best, and Wolaver's the second best, but isn't impressed with Smuttynose (despite the cute seal on the bottle). I think she's indifferent towards Saranac. She says, "It's weak."

A quote now from yesterday's entry: Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, as nothing has changed since yesterday. That is, the IRS hasn't decided we don't have to pay taxes, after all. That is, they haven't sent back the check Spooky wrote. Speaking of Spooky, I reiterate, all those cool Halloween thingumies in her Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy shop will be taken down come November 1st.

Last of all (until the next entry), though I love WoW, I'm sickened by the kids (at least, I hope they're kids) who spew "faggot" and "queer" and "gay" and "homo" over the various chat channels, employing these words as though they are the worst imaginable insults. They swamp the chat channels with this shit. It's almost enough the make me quit the game. I've disabled almost all the chat channels, and I mute the individuals. But still. Are gamers today, as a group, really this homophobic?
greygirlbeast: (alabaster2)
Cloudy and cold in Providence. Not snowy, frosty cold. But not warm.

More often than not, to quote Elmore Leonard, "I think a plan is just a list of things that don't happen." Days and days ago, the plan was to finish "The Cloud That Took the Form..." and then have "At the Reef" finished by Wednesday. And here it is Sunday, and, if I'm lucky, I'll finish "At the Reef" today. The stories do as they will, and this one means to be longer than I envisioned. A long vignette, a very short short story. In this case, labels are meaningless. I might have finished yesterday, but I spent too much time researching the submarine USS O-10 and the Boston Navy Yard (circa 1928) and seafloor topography off Cape Ann, Massachusetts, and Iranian ceremonial masks and the Winward Islands of French Polynesia. Still, I wrote 1,233 words. Today, I find THE END.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, as nothing has changed since yesterday. That is, the IRS hasn't decided we don't have to pay taxes, after all. That is, they haven't sent back the check Spooky wrote. Speaking of Spooky, I reiterate, all those cool Halloween thingumies in her Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy shop will be taken down come November 1st.

I didn't leave the House yesterday. There was oatmeal with pomegranate and cranberries for breakfast, and apple-walnut pie for lunch, and spaghetti for dinner.

Still looking for more votes in the podcast poll. Take a moment to speak your piece.

Spooky and I are assembling a "Dancy box." That is, the box that Dancy Flammarion would have had with her on her long, long walk. When it's done, we'll be auctioning it, along with a lettered copy of Alabaster. Yesterday, Spooky went to a yard sale and found the perfect sunglasses and an old rosary. But we still need many more things.

And speaking of Dancy, and just in case you didn't follow the link yesterday: If ever there were a film version of some combination of the short stories in Alabaster (directed by the Coen Brothers, creature effects by Weta Studios, Dancy played by Elle Fanning, Sid Haig as the Bailiff), this is Brown Bird, the band I would want to do the soundtrack.

One of my "rules" about writing is never, ever for any reason write a story in second person. But all rules are made to be broken by those with the skills to break them. Walls only exist to inspire the breaking down of walls. Anyway, yesterday I read "Oaks Park" by M. K. Hobson, in Haunted Legends, which is written in second person, and which is brilliant, poignant, and which has left me with a lingering haunted mood. It is one of maybe...three, maybe...stories I've ever read written in second person that succeeds.

I've been making my way through the new issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (30:5), and so far have read "Osteology of a new giant bony-toothed bird from the Miocene of Chile, with a revision of the taxonomy of Neogene Pelagornithidae," "The evolution of extreme hypercarnivory in Metriorhynchidae (Mesoeucrocodylia: Thalattosuchia) based on evidence from microscopic dental morphology," "A new specimen of Eutretauranosuchus (Crocodyliformes: Goniopholididae) from Dry Mesa, Colorado," and "Naming dinosaur species: the performance of prolific authors." I'm trying to get back to China Miéville's The Kraken, which is very good, but which I set aside in the chaos after the trip to Portland. Just before bed last night, I paged through Nightmares of Decay: The Edgar Allan Poe Illustrations by Harry Clarke.

A welcome to everyone who's joined Eyes of Sylvanas, and I hope to see a few more of you. Just contact Spooky at crk_books(at)yahoo(dot)com if you're interested. Last night, we did far too many Alterac Valley battlefields, but I made enough honor points to get Shaharrazad more epic gear, in this case a necklace and cloak.

Okay. Time to work.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
In a somewhat dark place this morning. It's cloudy and cold and windy, the Outside reflecting my internal weather, or, to be more precise (and less egocentric), my mood reflecting the dismal weather Outside my office window.

Yesterday was one of the frustrating sorts of writing days. I spent over an hour searching for a title. I read through T. S. Eliot's "Four Quartets" for about the hundred billionth time. I found a very appropriate epigraph in an Oscar Wilde essay, and then I realized the vignette's title was "At the Reef." I read long passages of Joseph Campbell, Jung, and a book on Byron and Romanticism. It was after four p.m. before I finally started writing, and I got only 502 words done. Today, I have to hope I wrote well yesterday. My plan had been to finish this piece today (yes, two vignettes in four days), but now I see it's time to revise the plan. I'll push forward with "On the Reef" today, finish a long interview tomorrow, then finish "On the Reef" on Saturday, which will take care of most of Sirenia Digest #59. Maybe take Sunday off. Then, next week, try to get back to The Drowning Girl, as the novel has sat neglected since August (and even with the second deadline extension, it's expected in March). But November will be spent on a short story and the contents of Sirenia Digest #59.

The truth is, if I had about a hundred more subscribers to Sirenia Digest, and believed that the subscriber base was reasonably stable, I'd stop trying to write novels. I'd write my vignettes and short stories and maybe the occasional novella, and that would be just fine.

---

For a sobering look at what's being done to the planet, have a look at the NASA/JPL/Cal Tech Climate Time Machine. Just don't tell the teabaggers. They're pretty sure all this talk of global warming is really a communist/Islamic plot to deprive them of Wal-Mart and the NFL.

---

I've grown very accustomed, thanks to the Lamictal...a wondrous, merciful drug I wished I'd had twenty years ago...to not having to cope with Angry Caitlín. But, even now there are rare days, like today, when she finds her way out into the world.

---

Thanks to everyone who's voted in the podcast poll (if you haven't, please do). Speaking to those who have expressed concerns that, were I to do this, I would only be adding one more thing to a plate that is far too full, that it would give me yet another deadline to worry over, here's my reply. No, it won't. For one, as it's free, I'd plan it once a month, but if I miss a month, whatever. No big deal. For another, my end of the thing would consist of me sitting at my desk reading a vignette or short story into the tiny little microphone (DO NOT DARE SAY "MIC" WHEN YOU MEAN "MIKE," thank you), and then emailing it to the person who would a) turn the sound file into something that could be downloaded and b) post it to be downloaded. So, each reading would require about an hour of my time. As for copyright issues, the audio files would be released under Creative Commons, though I would reserve all other rights on the stories. So, that's not an issue, either.

The only real concern is the one I've already stated, my own dislike of my voice. And that's something only I can overcome (or not).

---

Too much time has been going to MMORPGs lately. But...how is that any worse than watching television or hanging out in bars or playing endless rounds of Scrabble? True, I ought to be spending all that time reading. I know that. But, at the end of the day, I'm usually too tired from writing to read.

Anyway, still having a lot of fun with WoW, and eagerly awaiting the Cataclysm expansion. But most of my gaming time the last couple of weeks has gone into City of Heroes and Villains. It's kind of funny, because I've never cared for superhero comics. Last night, though, I pretty much resolved to stop playing CoX as a game, and just go to it for rp. The game's engine is just too clunky and the game architecture too cryptic and tedious. Plus, my 2007 iMac's not quite up to Cox and I get serious latency issues. Load screens take for fucking ever. And I've never played a game with so many load screens. Add to this the impossibility of soloing (i.e., enforced socialization), and also my being blind in one eye, which makes it pretty much impossible for me to track the insane rate of combat in the missions, and I'd just rather stick with WoW as for as actual gaming goes. I've leveled my villain to 25, but can't seem to find any interest in leveling her farther. So, I'll rp in CoX, which is really what I need from it anyway, because I can't get good rp anywhere else (though, I very much look forward to the release of CCP Games' World of Darkness MMORPG, which has the potential to be exactly what I've been looking for since, well, forever).

Meanwhile, Kathryn's been playing a lot of Middle Earth Online. While I still think the avatars look like action figures circa 1976, she's enjoying it a great deal. And, I will admit, the environments are pretty amazing (just don't get me started on the horses). I geeked out over seeing the Party Tree in Hobbiton. From what I can see, Middle Earth Online takes it's basic design from WoW, but I am disposed to look upon it a bit more kindly now, if only because Spooky's enjoying it so much.

And the Platypus is cutting me off....
greygirlbeast: (white)
So, here's the poll I spoke of this morning. The podcasts would not consist of new stories, but older stories (say pre-2007ish). The shorter of the older stories and vignettes. The podcasts would be free to all. They would be posted once a month. They would not be polished, snazzy productions; they would simply be audio files recorded at my desk, onto my iMac. This poll is only to gauge interest. I'd like to see at least a couple hundred votes.

[Poll #1633503]
greygirlbeast: (Jupiter)
Yesterday was a thing I almost never have. Yesterday was a damn near perfect day. A day that sucked in no perceivable way, and was filled with things that were actually good.

I wrote 1,618 words and found THE END of "And the Cloud That Took the Form..." It's a really fine little vignette, which is to say I'm quite happy with it. Alien life in the tropopause of Jupiter and a Fortean occurrence on a back road in eastern Connecticut. Oh, and it quotes a Ben Bova novel, which is something I never thought I'd do. Today, I'll begin the second piece for Sirenia Digest #59. I know it's about masks, and probably about a mask maker. And I should thank [livejournal.com profile] alvyarin for suggesting I do something with masks in #59.

And yesterday I was gifted with Sylvanas Windrunner by kindly readers, which, alone, probably would have been sufficient to make my day.

Here's the link to PodCastle's adaptation of "The Belated Burial," which went live yesterday. I'm considering doing a podcast of my own, once a month, one short piece of fiction a month, free to everyone. But, like most transgendered people, I loathe my voice, so that's something that's always held me back from doing podcasts. The gulf between the way I sound in my head and the way I sound. It's easy for other people to say they like my voice; it's impossible for me to agree. I may post a poll this evening, to gauge interest.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks!

---

Last night, we attended the reopening of the transit room at Ladd Observatory, now that the restoration project is complete. Ladd Observatory was opened in 1891, under the direction of Winslow Upton (1853-1914). To quote the Ladd website, "A regular program of transit observations and timekeeping was started in 1893. Prof. Charles Smiley, famous for his observations of solar eclipses, became director of Ladd Observatory in 1938."

Lovecraft aficionados will recall that, as a boy, HPL was given access to the instruments at the observatory (Upton was a family friend, and HPL was a precocious child). As S.T. Joshi records in Lovecraft: A Life (Necronomicon Press, 1996), HPL wrote, "The late Prof. Upton of Brown...gave me the freedom of the college observatory, & I came and went there at will on my bicycle" (this from an essay written in 1934). Between 1903 and 1907, HPL produced an amateur publication (printed on a hectograph), The Rhode Island Journal of Astronomy. This between the ages of 13 and 17; he ceased to visit the observatory shortly after he ceased printing this journal (and there's a long story there, which I'll not go into).

Anyway, last night we were not only able to see the restored transit room. Outside, on the upper observation deck (the roof, essentially), the night was cold and clear. Even through the glare of the waxing gibbous moon and Providence's light pollution, we were given an amazing view of Jupiter and the four Galilean moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. With my own eye, I saw Europa! There was a wonderful symmetry to viewing Jupiter only hours after finishing "And the Cloud That Took the Form..." Plus, I got to see it during one of those rare (and as yet mysterious) periods when the lower primary cloud band isn't visible.

Also, while on the roof, we glimpsed Uranus through a Newtonian reflector telescope. A speck of brilliant white* against the blackness, twenty times farther from Earth than the distance between the Earth and Sun (so, about two billion, nine hundred and ninety million kilometers). We also had an unbelievably sharp view of the moon through the huge 12" refracting telescope (with equatorial mounting and mechanical clock drive, made by George N. Saegmüller of Washington D.C). The towering ridges of impact craters glowed starkly against the lunar horizon, with the basalt plains of lunar maria stretching away in their lee. It was awesome, in the truest, original sense of the word.

There are some photographs, though, obviously, a dark observatory transit room isn't the best place to take digital photos without a flash or tripod:

19 October 2010 )


* Light that would have left Uranus two hours and forty-six minutes (give or take a pile of seconds) before I saw it.
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 1)
I forgot, this morning, to say that the PodCastle adaptation of "The Belated Burial" is now live. Have a listen. After the EscapePod adaptation of "Ode to Katan Amano," which I wasn't fond of, I was very skittish about doing more of these. But I'm much happier with what's been done with "The Belated Burial." Mostly, I wish podcasts wouldn't try to dramatize, but simply presently good readings. But I expect that's just me.

Also, I neglected to include a link to the current eBay auctions, a couple of which end tomorrow, including a copy of the trade edition of Tales from the Woeful Platypus.

Also...if you've not seen the new trailer for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm....have a look. It's amazing. Also, if you want to see examples of humanity at its most debased, glance at the comments.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
We seem to be dodging the bullet of Hurricane Earl. A weather front has nudged it a wee bit eastward, and its been downgraded to a Category One. Mostly, we're looking at heavy rain and some wind, and breathing a sigh of relief. The surfers are happy, even though the Governor of Rhode Island ordered all the state beaches closed yesterday. I'd love to go down to Point Judith or Beavertail and see the waves, but it's unlikely we could get anywhere near the shore.

Meanwhile, Sirenia Digest #57 is still stuck in a holding pattern. Which has me very, very antsy and unable to move on to whatever needs doing next. Today, I may seek an alternate path to the PDF, as someone has volunteered. My thanks to everyone for being so patient.

Not much work yesterday, and what there was consisted, in the main, of email. I had a short interview for Lightspeed, about "Faces in Revolving Souls," which is being reprinted there in November. They'll also be running an author's spotlight on me that month, so I had questions regarding germline bioengineering and retroviruses to answer. Also, "The Belated Burial" is being adapted for podcast by PodCastle. I'll let you know when it's scheduled.

The rest of the day we mostly spent wandering about Providence making preparations against the storm— nonperishable food, jugs of water, candles, and so forth. Stuff we likely won't need now, not this weekend, but which we'll eventually put to good use. I called my mother, back in Alabama. Yesterday was the first anniversary of my stepfather's death, and so it was a hard day for her. We talked for twenty or thirty minutes, about everything from hurricanes to possums.

If anyone out there is feeling charitable, I'd really like to be able to update my OS from OS X 10.4.11 (Tiger) to OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard). If I'd ever updated to Leopard, it wouldn't be a big deal, just $29.00. But because I didn't, I appear to need this software bundle for the update. Just saying, if anyone's feeling generous with some disposable cash that isn't doing anything, I wouldn't say no. *

Last night, we watched the third and final film in the Red Riding trilogy, In the Year of Our Lord 1983. The third film, directed by Anand Tucker, is much more like the first, stylistically and structurally. It was beautiful, deeply unsettling, and sublime. I'd say it's a film about redemption, even at the cost of one's life and sanity (which is true, to a lesser degree, of the first film). Tucker's use of flashbacks, nonlinear narrative, and fairy-tale hints is marvelous. Mark Addy's performance as John Piggott is one of the best in all three films. So yes, I recommend these films very strongly. Right now, all three can be streamed from Netflix.

There was rp in Insilco after the movie. I think we got to bed about three, maybe later. Spooky and I are both a week or so behind on our sleep.

Update: Turns out, Apple lies (as do we all). The bundle isn't needed, and I can update directly from Tiger to Snow Leopard, so all I need is the 29.00 thingy. Baaaaad Apple marketing!

Update 2 (4:51 p.m.): One trip to the Apple Store and a 45-minute install later, and Arwen is now running OS X 10.6.3. And yes, I named my iMac Arwen.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Kazuo Ohno has died at age 103.

One of the many positive benefits of the new meds has been the almost complete vanquishing of my insomnia. The last few weeks, I've slept better than I have, probably, at any time in the last decade. But every now and then I still have a bad night. Like last night. I finally took an Ambien sometime around four and got to sleep, but Sméagol insisted we get up sometime around ten or ten-thirty, so there you go. Maybe six hours, and the damned Ambien is still in my system.

Yesterday, I did 1,001 words on "The Maltese Unicorn." I begin to obsess about whether or not I've begun this story in the wrong place. As it is, I know it's changed a great deal since I got serious about writing it back on May 8th. It's less about demon brothels, and more about two characters who are not whores, but do the bidding of one of the two Manhattan demon brothels. Oh, the mystical dildo of the title is still there. It's just the story's focus isn't what I'd thought it would be.

I sent my very long bio to Readercon 21 (they want them very long).

You can now read the interview I recently gave Clarkesworld Magazine, my first since the barrage of interviews I did last fall, after the release of The Red Tree.

I've agreed to allow my Tiptree-honored story "Galápagos" (from Eclipse 3) to be podcast by the Hugo-nominated StarShipSofa. Don't yet know when it will go up. I'll keep you posted.

Yesterday, while I was writing, a package arrived from S.T. Joshi, and it turned out to be my contributor's copy of Dark Wings: Tales of Lovecraftian Horror (PS Publishing, 2010), which reprints my story, "Pickman's Other Model." It's a truly beautiful book. Looks like the signed limited has already sold out, but there are still copies of the trade hardcover available. When I was done writing, I sat down and read "Pickman's Other Model." I virtually never read my own stuff once it's published (unless I'm reading it for the purposes of editing before a reprint). Two years after I wrote it, "Pickman's Other Model" still holds up very well.

Speaking of books being sold out, it's too late to get the limited edition of The Ammonite Violin & Others, but you can still order the trade hardback.

Please check out the latest round of eBay auctions, which includes one of the ultra-rare Dreaming mobiles.

---

Last night we went on a Angela Bettis/Lucky McKee binge. Spooky and I both adore May (2002), so it seemed like a good idea. We began with Tim Rutili's All My Friends Are Funeral Singers (2009), which turned out to be a sweetly creepy film, the trials and tribulations of a spiritual medium (Bettis) who lives in a house full of trapped souls. Highly recommended. We followed it with McKee's episode of the Masters of Horror series. I went in with great trepidation, as I've loathed everything from the series I've seen (which is most of it). However, McKee's contribution, "Sick Girl" (2005), proves to be the one good apple in the barrel. Two lesbians and a parasitic insect. McKee describes it as "...sort of a 30’s/40’s romantic comedy (that you NEVER could have made at that time, I might add!) that degrades into a 50’s bug movie." A very apt description. After "Sick Girl," we watched McKee's The Woods (2005), a wonderful sort of homage to the scary pagan movies of the sixties and seventies. McKee gets pretty much everything right, and Bettis lends a spooky voice-over, plus you get Bruce Campbell, and I fucking swear I'd not seen this film before I began work on The Red Tree. So, yes, a good movie night.

Hang on, platypus. I'm on my way.
greygirlbeast: (Illyria)
I'm pretty sure I'm not up to making this entry. I got to bed at 2:30 a.m., but didn't get to sleep until after 4 a.m. So I will try to keep this short, for my own sake.

All of yesterday was spent putting the finishing touches on the ms. for The Ammonite Violin & Others, but there are still finishing touches that need doing. Just a few.

That's what I'll do today.

It's a rainy day, here in Providence.

Also, yesterday, I received my comp copies of Ellen Datlow's new anthology, Lovecraft Unbound (Darkhorse). It's a gorgeous book, and includes a reprint of my story "Houses Under the Sea," which is still one of my favorite stories by me (sort of amazing, considering I wrote it in 2004), as well as lots and lots of stories by other fine writers. Please pick up a copy.

I'm sitting here contemplating my day planner. I'd hoped things would lighten up after August. Then I hoped that after September things would be easier. Nope. This month, I have to get a book proposal to my agent (for the next novel), which is quite overdue. I have to write the YA Mars story. I have two public appearances and two interviews. I have to produce Sirenia Digest #47. November is free of interviews and public appearances, but I have to write a short story for the chapbook that will accompany The Ammonite Violin & Others, and produce Sirenia Digest #48, and actually get the new novel started (assuming I don't start it this month). December will be Sirenia Digest #49, plus a short story for a Robert Silverberg tribute anthology, and work on the next novel. If I'm lucky, things might lighten up just a little in January.

One should never, ever complain about having too much work to do.

Here's the link for the Escape Pod podcast of "Ode to Katan Amano" again. I gather a lot of Escape Pod's regular listenership was rather put off. Fuck 'em. Which, not inappropriately, is almost the same as saying "Fuck me," except there's no apostrophe, and the "m" and the "e" are transposed.

Last night, more Weeds, and a good deal of World of Warcraft.

Creepy Doll

Oct. 2nd, 2009 12:00 pm
greygirlbeast: (The Red Tree)
We've had our first real cold snap of the year, here in Providence.

My thanks to everyone who commented to yesterday's entry. I would have replied to more of the comments, but the entry itself left me somewhat wiped out, and I was more interested in seeing replies than saying anything more myself. Having written it, I felt an odd alloy of relief (that I have begun to realize just how dead the Old Way is, which makes me able to adapt) and despair (that the Old Way I was taught would work really is dead, so now I've had to adapt). I'll probably write a follow-up entry at some point. Just not today.

Yesterday was not productive. I sat at the keyboard all day, thinking about what I'd written, about what I'd read from others who are in the same predicament in which I find myself, about survival under the New Way, and it sort of locked me up. Today, I can't lock up. Today I have to finish tweaking the ms. for The Ammonite Violin & Others and get it to Subterranean Press. The signed contracts went out to subpress yesterday.

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Yesterday, I read Tim Pratt's very flattering review of The Red Tree in the new issue (October) of Locus magazine. I will quote the last bit, as a fetish against all the pitfalls this Friday afternoon may hold in store for me, as a tonic to help get me through the day:

You may find your mind returning frequently to this tale, attempting to reconcile the irreconcilable, and you may find yourself, like me, bowing to Kiernan's artistry, and her ability to create Mystery. This is her most personal, ambitious, and accomplished work yet.

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Escape Pod's reading of "Ode to Katan Amano" is now live. Please check it out. I sat and listened to it this morning, and I am very pleased with what I heard. This is the first time I've had a story adapted for a podcast, and I think it has encouraged me to pursue other such adaptations. Oh, and you get a bit of Daikaiju (who we actually got to see play in Atlanta years ago) and Jonathan Coulton's "Creepy Doll," as well. You'll also learn just a little about who Katan Amano was, and that pleases me, as well.

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There's another new interview up, this one at Reflection's Edge Magazine. My thanks to Shennandoah Diaz.

Also, please have a look at Spooky's Etsy shop, Dreaming Squid Dollworks, as she's getting lots of awesome new stuff up for Hallowe'en.

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Last night, we streamed..well, lots of things. I'm watching too much and reading too little. But at least we're watching good stuff. We started with the final episode of Dead Like Me, then moved on to more Weeds, and then the Season Four premiere of Dexter, and then three more episodes of Weeds. I was going to make a pie, but decided I'd best wait until another night. I didn't get to sleep until almost four a.m.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Here's the promised podcast poll. Content would mostly consist of readings of my own writing and maybe also work by other writers, as well.

[Poll #961691]
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Too much sleep is usually worse for me than none at all. And there was a little too much last night. I'm waiting on coffee and trying to wake the fuck up.

Er...yesterday. That's the good news. Yesterday, the dry spell ended, and I wrote 1,237 words on "The Ape's Wife." But first, FedEx brought MS Office 2004, which I promptly loaded onto the Unnamed iMac so that I could cease using the annoying watermarked "test drive" version that came installed on this machine. It was an uneventful install. Also, there was good e-mail from my editor at HarperCollins (though more I cannot say).

I think I wrote until about 6 p.m. There was no walk yesterday, but I did go out onto the front porch and sweep away all the stuff the wind of Wednesday night had deposited there. And I dragged the garbage can around back, and Spooky followed me with Hubero in her arms. The air was turning cold. It's much easier to take the cold when all the trees are green, because it's not so much the cold of winter that gets to me as the goddamn bleakness.

I fear I will ever be a creature of summer.

After dinner, I carried the Hello Kitty boom-box thingy into the bathroom, put in Philip Glass' La Belle et la Bête, and had a long, hot soak. When I was dry and clothed again, we got back to work on the hand "annotated and corrected" copy of the Gauntlet edition of Silk which I will eventually be putting up on eBay, if I can ever finish with it. We did chapters Six ("Keith") and Seven ("Stiff Kitten, and How Shrikes Fly"). Later, we watched some of the "making of" documentary included with the extended King Kong DVD, stuff that wasn't used in the online production diaries at Kong Is King. Later still, I read Spooky yesterday's pages a second time, and then read her Angela Carter's "Master" (from Nine Profane Pieces, 1974). It's a story I never, ever tire of reading aloud. Eventually, I fell asleep on the sofa watching the original 1933 King Kong. Spooky woke me about 3 a.m. and made me go to bed. It's nice to have someone who keeps me from sleeping all night on the sofa and waking with a stiff neck. And that was yesterday.

No walk, but I did use the hand weights. which is better than nothing.

Sorry this is such a dull entry, but I'm a writer, not a goddamned lion tamer. 99% of writing is at least as dull as dirt, and often much, much duller, because, you know, dirt can be pretty exciting. You learn that dullness is your friend. You learn to embrace the dull.

If you've not yet heard Year Zero, the new NIN album, you may now hear it in it's entirety online. I have not yet formed a general opinion, though I will say I am very fond of track 13, "The Great Destroyer."

I think I shall now see if I can find some whiskey to put in this cup of coffee. LJ folks, expect a poll later today; I'm curious how many people are actually interested in my doing podcasts.

Postscript (1:52 p.m.) — Here some cool news which is not dull as dirt. Andy Serkis has been cast to play Albert Einstein in a film which will also feature David Tennant as Sir Arthur Eddington.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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