greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
I've just been told that Twitter has taken credit for the Russian Revolution.

Today is Darwin Day.

Here in Providence, the smallest fraction of snow has melted. The cold hangs in the air, thick as soup. In the the house, the house I do not leave, I suspect the humidity is in the single digits. The air is crisp, and it crackles when I walk through a room. A migraine came to visit yesterday, and I'm better this morning, but it's still very close.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,281 words on the eighth chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, despite the headache. Later, perhaps because of the headache, the final fifth of the novel occurred to me with almost perfect clarity, pieces falling into place, blindsided by revelation. Solutions to problems, problems I was not even sure existed. And this is why I detest proposals and outlines. This is how I discover a story, by writing it. I never could have imagined the end of the novel, because to learn that end I had to blindly travel the road of the book.

After the writing, we proofed "Night Story 1973," for Two Worlds and In Between. I wrote the story with [livejournal.com profile] docbrite back in 2000.

Answers to the current Question @ Hand— If you were to make of me— of my actual, physical body —a work of art, what would it be? —have almost all involved my death, a procession of postmortem art crimes. And that's entirely cool. But I'm beginning to wonder if I left readers with the impression that my death was a necessary part of their answers. It's not. You may actually work with the living flesh. Go ahead. I won't bite...

Last night, we watched Antti-Jussi Annila's Sauna (2008), and oh my fucking dog what a brilliant fucking film. I has been a long time since I've been genuinely disturbed by a film on the level that Sauna unnerved me. It's an exploration of the Wrong Thing, of the limits of human comprehension when faced with the unknowable. That which hides behind the back of God, to paraphrase the film. The cinematography is exquisite. There are five-second shots that communicate more dread and awe than most "horror" films manage in their entirety. Every frame of film is invested with quiet tension. Seriously, see this. If I made movies, it's the sort of film I'd be trying to make.

We also read the first six chapters of [livejournal.com profile] blackholly's White Cat. Actually, some time back, Spooky listened to the audiobook, read by Jessie Eisenberg, so she's already "read" it, but it's new to me. Very good so far.

A much appreciated package from Steven Lubold yesterday, which included a biography of Mary Anning, the most recent Mouse Guard hardback, and the new Decemberists album, The King is Dead. I already have a favorite track— "Don't Carry It All" –though I expect that by tomorrow I'll have a new favorite track off the disc. A box can brighten a day. Thank you, Steven.
greygirlbeast: (Walter1)
Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] anaisembraced reminded me of a quote from one of Anaïs Nin's published diaries (1931-1934). It manages to say much more eloquently what I was trying to say yesterday about my need for a public persona:

"There were always in me, two women at least, one woman desperate and bewildered, who felt she was drowning and another who would leap into a scene, as upon a stage, conceal her true emotions because they were weaknesses, helplessness, despair, and present to the world only a smile, an eagerness, curiosity, enthusiasm, interest."

---

Yesterday was spent, work-wise, beginning the layout of Sirenia Digest #58. I have to set that aside today for the aforementioned Weird Tales interview, which I'm doing after all. Part of me is so done with giving interviews. Another part of me recognizes it's always going to be something I have to do.

If you want truly secure online passwords, create your own language. It works wonders.

The weather has turned warm again.

People have started asking me questions about the H. P. Lovcecraft Film Festival. What I will and won't be doing, my schedule, how many books will I sign, when's my reading, what will I be reading from, how long will I be in Oregon, am I going to Powell's, and so forth. I'm going to post my schedule for the festival and CthulhuCon here in the next day or so.

As for signing, I'm not going to have an actual signing session scheduled, I don't think, so you might want to plan on bringing stuff you want signed to my reading, or catching me before or after a panel, something like that. But not if I'm eating, or something like that. I'll sign as many books as you want signed. No limit. I'll personalize them. I won't write stupid shit like, "To my best friend" or "For a kindred spirit" or poetry or anything like that. I won't inscribe my books with passages from my books. I bring these things up because from time to time they've been an issue in my eBay sales. I'll sign books, and I'll sign books to you or to whomever you want them signed to, but that's about it. Sometimes, if the mood strikes me, I throw in a monster doodle, but the mood rarely strikes me.

Also, I am declaring this con "Be Nice to Spooky Weekend." Which means, well, be nice to Spooky, because if she weren't coming along, I wouldn't be able to be there. Please feel free to bring her doughnuts from Voodoo Donuts (I think she's especially interested in the bacon-maple bars, voodoo dolls, and apple fritters). Or a vial of Escential's "oak moss." These things will make her smile.

---

So far, I've completely avoided seeing clips and trailers from Matt Reeves Let Me In, which is a remake of Tomas Alfredson's superb and perfect Låt den rätte komma in (both based on John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel, Låt den rätte komma in). I hate the things that Reeves has said, with a straight face, about making the story more accessible for Americans. I hate that he's gutting the novel and original film's gender issues by simply making Eli a genetic female. How can that not come across as pandering to homophobic and transphobic filmgoers? And this is all confusing, because I very much loved Reeves' Cloverfield, and want to see more from him. I'm not especially fond of American remakes of foreign language films, but I also don't hate them on principle, as some seem to do. Usually, I'll give them a chance. But this time, I don't see how I can.

Oh, and I'm very pleased to see that [livejournal.com profile] docbrite is finally reading House of Leaves.

---

Some smart, moving, exquisite rp in Insilico last night. Lately, my rp has involved very few people, which I have found, through trail and error, to be the best approach. Two people is ideal. Four is usually my limit for a scene. More than that, there's too much chaos. This story began back in January and February, with a long hiatus from April into July. At this point, it's mostly the story of two people, one of whom happens to be an android. It's like the middle of a good sf novel, one for which I know I'll never get to read the beginning or ending (which makes it rather like a dream). It demonstrates the marvel that Second Life can be, but almost never manages to be. Anyway, my thanks to Fifth and Molly.

Earlier, Spooky and I watched the latest Project Runway (good riddance, Ivy) and the first episode of Season Three of Fringe, which I though was an especially strong episode.

And now, there's the interview (though internet porn sounds like more fun)....
greygirlbeast: (Kraken)
First, because [livejournal.com profile] docbrite posted one and I am a copycat, here's a map of all the US states I've visited. This summer, I'll be making Maine for the first time, and then, in the autumn, I'll get my first trip through Ohio, on the way to Minnesota. But, here's how it stands:



create your own personalized map of the USA


And now, a somewhat wonderful short film, The Anachronism:

The Anachronism (Full Film) from Anachronism Pictures on Vimeo.

greygirlbeast: (Pagan1)
It seems impossible that this can be the Summer Solstice already. We've hardly had a whiff of summer in Providence. Hardly a whiff. And I'm so weighted down with the Tired and with deadlines that we've not had time to plan a ritual for this evening. Last year, we had such a wonderful Solstice on the rocks just north of Beavertail. I was hoping for a repeat this year. Anyway, one of the advantages of venerating all the nonconscious aspects of the Cosmos is knowing how indifferent the universe is to our little observances, and how it will take no notice whatsoever should we miss one, here or there. Panthalassa will not frown. Ur will not look askance. But I'll miss the ceremony, as it so helps my mind and my sense of the passing of time, ticking off these points along the wheel of the year. I do wish a fine Solstice to those who observe the day.

Anyway...

No writing yesterday. Not on four measly hours of sleep. Instead, we drove up to Boston. Ostensibly, to look for the tree that will be the Red Tree in the book trailer for The Red Tree. But, in fact, we mostly just wandered up and down Newbury Street and across Boston Commons and the Public Gardens. It was all rather splendid, a part of Boston I'd not seen. A place I wish I could live, where the past does not seem so entirely past. There are still vestiges of civilization showing through the grime of modernity, there on Newbury Street. You just have to peer past the people and the trendy shops and the trendier cafés. We overheard someone talking about rent on Newbury, $2600 (!!!) a month for an apartment. Only the rich can afford those particular vestiges. I shall have to be content with my rooms in this 1875 house here on Federal Hill. Yesterday, the weather was curious. The sky threatened thunder storms all day, but there wasn't even a drop of rain. Muggy, but no rain. An old man on the sidewalk played "All Along the Watch Tower" on an electric guitar, and it was wonderfully eerie. On the Commons, we watched squirrels and birds, and found a "dawn redwood" (Metasequoia) growing among the willows. In that city of overpriced everything, I was pleased to see that the boat rides (the swan boats that first began running in 1877), were only $2.75. We didn't go, though. Maybe next trip up. After Newbury Street, Spooky drove up to Cambridge and Harvard Square, and I saw the little cemetery that's mentioned in "Spindleshanks (New Orleans, 1956)," but we were too tired to stop.

Truthfully, my goddamn rotten feet made the whole day rather miserable, despite the wonderful sights. I'm reaching the point where the walking stick isn't sufficient, and may soon be resorting to a wheelchair for such things as wandering around Boston for hours at a time (almost three miles). I miss the days when I could walk and walk and walk, with hardly an ache at all. I miss dancing even more. I don't think I've really danced since November 2004. Between my feet and the seizures, I feel I've aged twenty years in the last five. There is no romance in invalidism, and I do not welcome this weakness. Anyway, we made it back home by about 8 p.m. We watched a couple of episodes of The X-Files and Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday (1940).

There are photos from yesterday (behind the cut):

20 June 2009 )


---

Cliff Miller writes, "There was a fire at the Georgia Theatre in Athens, causing heavy damage. I wondered if you had any memories of that place from your days in Athens that you might wish to share on the LJ?"

I heard about the fire at the Georgia Theater a couple of days back, and it saddened me enormously. I spent a lot of time at the Georgia Theater between 1994 and 1997. It's here I heard Concrete Blonde play, and met Johnette Napolitano (the same weekend I met [livejournal.com profile] docbrite). Death's Little Sister once played there, opening for someone (though I can't recall for whom). I'm glad to hear they plan to rebuild, but, of course, it'll never be the same.

---

I've begun tweeting the micropreview of The Red Tree over at greygirlbeast. The plan was to post a sentence a day, until the book is released on August 4th. Of course, I immediately realized that 140 characters won't accommodate many of those sentences. Today, for instance, I was only able to post the first three quarters or so of the first sentence. So, this is going to be a strange affair, indeed.

Please, if you haven't already, have a look at the current eBay auctions, all proceeds earmarked to help offset the cost of my attending ReaderCon 20 in July.

And, with that, the platypus says its time to get my skinny ass to the word mines....

"Mary Sue"

Jun. 16th, 2009 10:31 pm
greygirlbeast: (stab)
So, a while back, I came across a nitwit somewhere online who described Echo, a character I wrote in The Dreaming, as a "Mary Sue." Previous to seeing this particular comment, my familiarity with the phrase was extremely limited. Indeed, I only had some vague impression that it was used by writers of fan fic who wished to complain about characters written by other writers of fan fic. Last time Sonya ([livejournal.com profile] sovay) stayed over, we talked about this, and she was surprised (and annoyed) to see the term has apparently escaped the realm of fan fic and is being applied to non-fan fic characters. Myself, I thought it was a dubious concept to begin with, so, mostly, I was just baffled.

According to Wikipedia, a "Mary Sue" is defined thusly: "A Mary Sue (sometimes just Sue), in literary criticism and particularly in fan fiction, is a fictional character with overly idealized and hackneyed mannerisms, lacking noteworthy flaws, and primarily functioning as wish-fulfillment fantasies for their authors or readers. Perhaps the single underlying feature of all characters described as 'Mary Sues' is that they are too ostentatious for the audience's taste, or that the author seems to favor the character too highly. The author may seem to push how exceptional and wonderful the 'Mary Sue' character is on his or her audience, sometimes leading the audience to dislike or even resent the character fairly quickly; such a character could be described as an "author's pet". (Note that Wikipedia has tagged this article for a lack of cited sources, verifiable claims, etc.)

Now, tonight I see that Poppy ([livejournal.com profile] docbrite) has come across this Mary Sue Litmus Test thingy and applied it to two of her characters. So, I thought it might be interesting to try it myself, using Sarah Crowe from The Red Tree.

Not surprisingly, the test is stupid as hell. No, really. Big-time, ginormous, Godzilla-sized stupid. But regardless, Sarah only scored an 18. The author of the Mary Sue Litmus Test writes, "11-20 points: The Non-Sue. Your character is a well-developed, balanced person, and is almost certainly not a Mary Sue. Congratulations!" So, I guess that's a relief. One thing I can stop losing sleep over. Keep in mind, by the way, I have repeatedly admitted that Sarah Crowe is my most autobiographical character to date, though I'm not precisely sure how that admission fits into this mess.

There are so very many things wrong with the basic concept of a "Mary Sue" character, I'm not about to undertake a point-by-point critique. It's just dumb. By this definition, Tom Sawyer is likely a Mary Sue. I could make a very long list of famed literary characters who would fall into the Mary Sue category. And why the hell should we accept that the person who fashioned this test is any sort of authority on anything?

Obviously, this all begs the question of whether or not Echo might be considered a Mary Sue (by the standards of the person who wrote this dumb test). Maybe some other time I'll take it again, for poor Echo, but first I'd have to read back over a bunch of issues of The Dreaming, none of which I've read since 2004.

Fuck it, Dude. Let's go bowling.
greygirlbeast: (mirror2)
Bad insomnia last night. It was sometime after 4 a.m. before I found sleep, or it found me. This morning, I'm only pretending to be awake. It isn't working very well.

A rather spotty writing day yesterday. I only managed 757 words on "Galápagos." Actually, I managed a bit more than that, but tossed a good deal of it out. I have reached what is likely the climax of the story, which, for me, is where it began. That is, this is the scene that my imagination first spat up, a couple of weeks or so back. But all that other stuff had to come first, the portion of the story preceding and building to this revelation, and now I'm faltering. This sort of thing happens quite often. I see, clearly, some scene, and then I write towards it. Only, expectation accretes about the scene, all those images, and when it's finally time to write it, I'm so afraid of not living up to my imagination...I'm pretty sure I've said all this before.

Not much else to yesterday. The temperature Outside neared 80F, but it was cloudy, with rain showers here in Providence. Plans were made for the dreaded birthday -05, which is tomorrow. Sonya ([livejournal.com profile] sovay) will be taking the train down from Boston. I think the sooner we make it to Wednesday, the better off I'll be. Anyway, back to yesterday, there was leftover spaghetti, and four more episodes from Season One of The X-Files. A little WoW, but it was mostly Shaharrazad getting her mining skills up to 300, which meant going back to Azeroth and the hives of Silithus to mine ooze-covered thorium. Oh, and then, back in the World's End Tavern in Shattrath, she mixed port and egg nog, and ended up dancing on the stage in nothing but her undies while L80ETC played "The Power of the Horde." I have screencaps, but I'm too asleep to edit and upload the shameful things right now. Later, I used the Tarot for meditation, and Spooky read me the first chapter of Andrea Barrett's The Voyage of the Narwahl, which I'm liking quite a lot, so far.

And here's another reminder about the new trade paperback edition of Alabaster, 'cause these books don't sell themselves. Maybe if I were a Mormon homophobe who used sparkly tales of necrophilia to peddle "the erotica of abstinence," they would.

And happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] docbrite. May the day be everything you wish of it.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Last night...no, this morning, the insomnia laughed at enough pills to put a horse in a coma. I finally got to sleep sometime after four ayem.

Yesterday was the sort of last-minute tedium I'd expected, getting the galley pages of The Red Tree ready to go back to Manhattan, the long letter I had to write detailing why I'd made the changes that I'm asking for (most were pretty obviously necessary). But, by three o'clock or so, it was done, and Spooky ferried the corrected pages away to the post office. At this point, the book truly is out of my hands, excepting all the promotional work I hope to do for it. Many of the problems with the galleys were formatting issues, which I think resulted from the way Penguin's having to rush the production schedule to meet the August 4 release date. But, hopefully all will be made right. As much as I care for this novel, I hope not to read it again for a long, long time. You guys get to read it next, and hopefully you will not be to thrown by what you find. It's different. I think it will be less of a surprise to readers of Sirenia Digest than to my readers who don't take the digest. I'd have never been able to puzzle my way through this one if not for all the ways I've grown as a writer since the digest began, all those experiments and stretching exercises it's allowed me to try.

Also, I did an interview about Stoker and Dracula for an Irish literary festival. And answered a bunch of email. It was a long, long day. Oh, and I've not left the house since April 30th.

Today, I need to begin a new short story for an sf/f anthology (TBA).

After the writing, before dinner, I watched an episode of Nova online, about the discovery in China of the four-winged, feathered dromaeosaurid theropod Microraptor and the evolution and biomechanics of flight in non-avian and avian theropods. Spooky made quesadillas for dinner; it was Cinco de Mayo, after all.

Later, we watched Kathryn Bigelow's Strange Days (2005; screenplay by James Cameron). I was very fond of this film when it was released, and it's aged fairly well in the fourteen years since. But there's no denying it's at least half an hour too long, maybe more. Graeme Revell's soundtrack is still one of its best attributes. And then there was a little WoW, not a lot. We did a few quests in Zangarmarsh for the Cenarion Expedition. Shah still doesn't trust the night elves, and likely she never will. There are a few WoW screencaps behind the cut, taken during the last three or four nights:

Shaharrazad and Suraa )


Also, a question from a reader. "Idoru-X" writes, "Just learned through old entries of your blog that back in the day Poppy Z. Brite and you were asked to pitch an X-files novel. I'm curious as to how that would have turned out. Could you perhaps comment on your blog on what the proposal was about?"

Sure. The proposal was written in July and August of 1995. It would have been a story called Dead Kids, about secret government projects and toxic waste spawning cannibalistic zombie street kids in New Orleans. I still have the various incarnations of the proposal, and I might even toss it into the next issue of Sirenia Digest, if Poppy doesn't mind.

Finally, is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that comments to posts on LJ are dropping off. I've been seeing this trend now for the last year, with my journal and those of other writers. I fear that actual blogs have become old hat, what with emergence of Twitter and Facebook. I've not seen an actual drop in people reading the journal; there are just far fewer comments. Just a thought. A thought and a question.
greygirlbeast: (Pagan1)
My head is in about fifteen different places just now, so...if this entry lacks focus, if it wanders and meanders and perplexes, you've been warned.

Last night, Poppy ([livejournal.com profile] docbrite) wrote (and I do hope he will not mind me quoting this):

Rhetorical question: Is it possible for a reasonably intelligent person to go through four years of American high school and come out the other side ignorant of what "cheerleaders" symbolize to ugly girls, or girls who aren't ugly but are so weird that they get treated as if they're ugly, or "girls" who aren't really girls at all, but knowing that would have made the mouthbreathers in their school even more determined to kill them? What I mean is, once you've gone through high school as one of the losers, do terms like "cheerleader" and "jock" and "popular" ever lose their loadedness? Do they ever lose their ability to jump out from behind a quarter-century's worth of real life and bite you in the ass with teeth you assumed they'd lost years ago?

I have a bad habit of answering rhetorical questions. Anyway, I can only speak for myself. The putrid hell of high school is twenty-seven years behind me now, and I'm still haunted by this bullshit. I still have nightmares about the "jocks" and "pretty girls." Makes no sense whatsoever, and I know that. Especially given that I've had the opportunity to see that a great many of the "popular kids" who tormented me went on to have much less fulfilling lives than I've had. Doesn't seem to matter. I can gloat all I want about who got the last laugh, but that doesn't change the fact that the wounds hardly seem to have scabbed over. Sorry, Poppy. I know you weren't looking for a reply. This just seemed awfully close to something that's been going round and round in my head lately, that I've been meaning to write about here.

I've always loathed competition, of any sort. And yet, until a few years ago, I'd gotten pretty good at the Me against You, Me vs. Them game. At jumping through hoops to try and achieve some desired goal. Applications. Tests. And so forth. But, the last decade or so, my ability to compete for anything has simply evaporated. I find it entirely too distasteful, and I hate the way it makes me feel, and the way it causes me to behave. And a lot of it goes back to high school, where the compete-to-succeed mentality was pounded into me. These days, I go out of my way to avoid competitive situations. Which is a fairly difficult thing to do when you're a freelance fiction writer. In the end, there are only so many slots available in a given year for the publication of short stories and novels. The resources are finite. And, indeed, as the economy has floundered and new technologies promise new forms of entertainment and distraction, the resources have become increasingly limited. It will always be me against everyone else who's trying to get published and win readers. And I hate it.

I've reached the point where I don't even want to see myself nominated for awards anymore. I just want to be left alone, to write my stories in peace. They are the only stories I know how to write. And I'm tired of being told how much better my work might sell if I could write like [fill in the blank]. I write like me, and, near as I can tell, that's how it's supposed to work. Only, I am on the outside. Probably on the outermost rim of the outside. Just like high school. And people seem a lot less interested in seeing the world from an outsider's point of view than they do viewing it from the safe, familiar territory of their own perspectives. Yes, there are exceptions, and yes I do have a decent number of readers, but I also know that if I were capable of this competition trick, capable of viewing this as a contest wherein I follow the rules and listen to the self-appointed coaches and referees, I'd have a shot at the chintzy gold sparkle of that goddamn loving cup of True Popularity and Success.

I no longer compete, not if I can possibly help it. This is what I have to offer, and I have to hope I can find enough people who want it that I can keep the bills paid. Because I don't compete. I don't fill out applications. I don't joust. I don't capture the flag. I'm not looking to be queen of the mountain. I do not lock horns. I sit at this keyboard, and, on good days, I write my stories, which are my stories. They are not designed for mass consumption, if only because they are not designed with any audience in mind, except, possibly me. I am the author of my own limitations, just as I am the author of my own triumphs.

---

The last two days are a blur. I feel like the writing of "As Red as Red" has become a losing battle (with myself). My deadline is tomorrow, and the story is probably three or four thousand words from an ending.

And here it is spring, and it feels not the least bit like spring. It's cold, and there are only a few buds on the trees. We did our Ostara ritual outside this year, in the woods, and I'd desperately hoped it would help shake me free of the morass that this awful winter has landed me in. No luck. It was cold, and the fire hardly seemed to help. I have learned that working skyclad in late March in Rhode Island is an entirely different thing from working skyclad in late March in Georgia. Can you say "perky nipples"? Never mind having to worry about deer ticks. I fear my magick is growing a little darker every year, only...I don't actually fear the drift. Maybe what scares me is that it doesn't scare me.

I have to go look for an ending to "As Red as Red," though I fear I'm still a bit puzzled by the middle. Herr Platypus is not happy with me this morning.
greygirlbeast: (twilek1)
On this day thirty years ago, Star Wars opened in US theaters. I was twelve, which was probably the perfect age for Star Wars. I think what I find most amazing now is that is was made for a mere $11 million dollars, whereas the last of the six films was made for $113 million dollars. Also on this day, but forty years ago, [livejournal.com profile] docbrite was born. Normally, I would not reveal an age like that, but I know it's something Poppy's exceedingly happy about, reaching the the big four-oh. For my part, I'd gladly go back to 1994 and the gentle age of 29, thank you and please. Anyway, Happy frelling goddamn birthday, Poppy and Star Wars.*

I think eBay has finally managed to make of itself more of a hindrance than Spooky and I can tolerate. The final straw was this new business about requiring you to use their photo-uploading/hosting thingy, and charging 15¢ for every photo beyond the first one. Likely, we will hold one last auction sometime next week, the hand-corrected and "illuminated" copy of the Gauntlet hardback of Silk (which we've been meaning to auction since early March), and then part ways with eBay for good. I don't yet know what we'll be using instead. Spooky's taken with Etsy, but I'm not (and they don't seem to allow auctions, at any rate). Alas, eBay, we hardly knew ye.

Subscribers should have received Sirenia Digest #18 yesterday evening. Comments welcome.

I don't think I have the stomach for butchery today. Yesterday, I cut and hacked and spliced. Today, I may take a bath and wait for Byron, who's joining us for a Toho Kid Night. I do not often abuse the so-called "privilege" of being "my own boss," but today, I believe I shall make an exception. I'm tired of intentionally breaking things I worked so hard to build. It can wait until tomorrow or Sunday, this unwriting business. Spinning gold to straw. Well, no, not gold. Not even silver. I'm not quite that much of an egomaniac. But you get the picture.

---

I did not awaken until the sun was setting. Suregait was near, but there was no sign of Radagast. A dry wind was blowing through our rocky eyrie here at the southeastern end of the Mithrim Spur, and at first I did not recall the dreams that haunted my sleep. Would that they had never come back to me. I rose and started a small fire, and as I was brewing tea, Radagast returned, quickly shedding his hawk form and taking a seat across the fire from me. The news he brings is almost as dire as were my dreams. The man [livejournal.com profile] setsuled has gone to Seregost, and there are rumours among the grim folk of this land that he has sent word of my coming to the orc tribes encamped on Gorgoroth. Radagast believes that a bounty has been laid upon my head and that it would be suicide to try to reach the plateau. The orcs are hungry and easily bought. But there are darker tidings still. Radagast has been told by a raven that a call has gone out from Seregost to Khamûl, the Black Easterling, the last of the Nine, and that even now he stirs from out some secret pit. The elves of East Lórien believed such powers history, and that I would face only goblins and Uruks and such men as struggle to survive in these lands.

"The shadow has not entirely passed from our midst," Radagast said and frowned at the fire. "Perhaps it never shall."

He wants me to abandon the quest, Inwë. He says we can not proceed to Gorgoroth nor again try to make the pass below Seregost. All roads are watched now, and he does not imagine that I could ever reach those dread plains south of the Ash Mountains — not even with his aid. He wants to call Gwaihir, King of Birds, to bear me safely to the old capital at Osgiliath. He has volunteered to travel with Suregait, but I do not know. How do I turn back now? What the elves have done, might they now undo? This thing has been made a part of me, until I deliver it down into the Fen of Worms. If I turn back, another would only be forced to return in my stead, and the Black Easterling will surely begin to marshal an army, even if he has not guessed my purpose.

I have told Radagast my dreams, and they only made him more determined I should return to Gondor. But I do not know, Inwë. I do not know what course I must now take.

---

There was a Silk question from [livejournal.com profile] reverendcrofoot, who asks: I am re-reading Silk and I noticed something a character by the name Jen Dare I do believe. Is there anything else with this character? Is she a left over? Is there something up with her?

I never meant Jenny Dare for anything more than that one scene, a "ghost" to get Niki's attention. The character was, of course, inspired by Virginia Dare, the first child of English parents born in the Americas. She vanished with the rest of the "Lost Colony" at Roanoke. But really, I never meant to do more with her and never have.

* Han shot first.
greygirlbeast: (amono)
Grateful thanks to everyone who said that yes, they could see the test entry. I think I had to make a new entry to prime to pump, so to speak. The test entry seemed to fix everything. It's reassuring to know that the CEBS actually works. And on a Sunday morning, at that.

I think I was one of maybe seven people who were actually able to make an entry on LJ yesterday. If you want to read it (hawks, crows, Terry Gilliam's Tideland, spider bites, writerly isolation), just click here. I'll be watching it for comments today. Clearly, someone at Six Apart needs to buy Frank the Goat a muzzle.

Anyway...

It's colder today than yesterday. Still, we took a walk before I settled into my freezing office to bang away at the keyboard all day. Saw one of the hawks, soaring over North Ave., looking for pigeons or starlings or rats. Not much else. Spooky contemplated going down to Grandma Luke's for a fried banana and peanut butter sandwich, which almost sounded too good to pass up. My right shoe kept coming untied.

We ended up at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History late yesterday afternoon, because Spooky's been wanting to see the Roman exhibition. I wish someone could have warned us it was "girl scout day." I'm just glad it wasn't "boy scout day." I said hi to the dinosaurs and we saw an IMAX film, Deep Sea. Then we had to go to the pet store, because Hubero was out of cat litter. And then we went to our favorite Thai place, because we were both in need of comfort food and the spicy basil rice bowl does the trick every time. On the way, we spotted a beautiful, huge white full moon rising over the tree tops and a few low purple-pink clouds. I checked the clock in the car; 6:41 (CaST). It was not a bad day.

Back home, we watched Terry Zwigoff's Art School Confidential and Steve Buscemi's Lonesome Jim. I liked the former, though not quite as much as I thought I would (I think I've ODed on irony), but was a bit disappointed with the latter. It just wasn't nearly as good as Tree's Lounge, and I'd hoped it would be. It didn't help that Casey Affleck acted as though he was in a high-school play. But it was oddly consoling to discover that I do not actually think Liv Tyler's hot. It was just the ears. That was a huge relief, even if I'm not sure why. After the movies, a little past midnight, I called Poppy ([livejournal.com profile] docbrite), because she'd left a message on my poor neglected answering thingy. I'd not talked to her in ages, and we wound up talking until 2:30 a.m. (CaST). Assorted topics of conversations included, but were not limited to, getting old, health insurance (and the lack thereof), cats, spider bites, tattoos, sex, lit agents, editors, reviewers, New Orleans, Realtors® (snork), Daughter of Hounds and Dead Shrimp Blues, wikipedia, MySpace, kids these days, how much I hate writing novels (but will always have to write them, anyway), Athens (GA), and self medication. We'd have talked longer, but my cellphone was overheating and I making my ear hurt, and I fully expected it to explode and bury shards of molten plastic in my brain.

Then we went to bed and Spooky read to me from House of Leaves until 3:30 (CaST), and I do not seem able to get it through my head that this is not the book to read Right Before Sleep.

Tilda Swinton, who rocks my world (even without ears), is 46 today.

Okay. There are words that must be written and no one to write them but me. Oh, and there's this photo (behind the cut), because the pink house (see 6/2/06 05:23 pm), the one that was being used to pimp that idiotic Paris Hilton show, was unpinked a couple of months ago and I keep forgetting to post a photo. Spooky got this one on our walk today. I don't go in for the whole southwestern sunset thing they have going down, but still, it's better than frelling Barbie pink.

Pink No More )

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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