greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
1) Bright outside, a clear blue sky, but the temperature is only 44˚Fahrenheit, which drops to 37˚Fahrenheit when you factor in windchill. At the shore, I expect the windchill has it feeling a good ten degrees cooler than that. Last night, the sky spat rain and slushy snow.

2) Last night, Kathryn's grandmother died. I can't recall the precise time. It was after midnight (CaST). I feel I should say very little on this. Whatever is to be said, you can read at [livejournal.com profile] humglum. But a lot of those posts will be friends locked, for obvious reasons.

3) For reasons that should be fairly obvious, editors should go to lengths to avoid taking liberties with an author's text, if an agreement has not been reached beforehand regarding edits, especially when reprints are involved.

4) There was no actual writing yesterday. The day was a tumult of phone calls, email, and mostly wrestling with the final stage of proofing the (mysteriously altered) galleys for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. These were the pages Spooky had questions about that I had to answer, and there were about fifty of these pages. It could have been worse, but it could have been much, much better. Today, they go to FedEx and back to Manhattan. Other than promotion, the book will be well and truly out of my hands, finally. One the one hand, this feels sad and strange. On the other hand, it's a huge relief. Vince's two illustrations look great in the novel.

There was also a somewhat complex call with my agent. Complex because we had to cover so many subjects (Dark Horse, Blood Oranges, audiobooks, film rights, checks, the mind-bending legal-speak of contracts, the problems raised by ebooks, and...I've lost track). There was the usual barrage of email. I had to get colorist notes for Alabaster #1 out to my editor at Dark Horse. So, yeah. I did not get back to "Sexing the Weird." I doubt that I will today.

5) I forgot to mention that when we went out on Wednesday, we checked the mail and the World Fantasy Award folks had sent me the little HPL pin that all nominees get. You can see the one I got last year here. I am very proud of it. Now I've earned HPL pins for both The Red Tree and The Ammonite Violin and Others.

6) Spooky just came up with the day's mail, which includes three copies of the ARCs (advance reading copies) of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. And they look pretty damn good. A few blemishes here and there, and of course the weird changes are in there, and there wasn't time to get the NYT quote on the cover. But still, nice ARCs, including Vince's illustrations. So, bona fide reviewers should be receiving these soonish (or sooner). I have to get a list together for my publicist. Maybe I'll include a photo of one of the ARCs tomorrow.

7) There was a LOT of Rift last night, including some rp with [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus. A good and very open-ended scene. We've been talking about beginning rp with the guild again (Defiant side, "Watchers of the Unseen"), and if anyone's interested, just let me know, new members or old or prospective. Anyway, since the 1.6 update to the game, day before yesterday, which adds a new region – the Ember Isle, from which the Kelari originated – the idiots have returned to the game. The idiots only seem to show up when there's something new, and they play the new stuff as quickly as possible, then vanish again. The idiots are easy to spot, as most of them sport idiot "names." Last night, for example, the dozens of idiot "not-names" I spotted last night included Kowboy and Killswytch. I think what disturbs me the most is if there's a Kowboy, that means Cowboy was already taken.

Okay. So that's it for today. Play nice, kittens.

Hating My Way,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (wookie)
Cloudy and chilly today here in Providence. There's rain coming, and it may not let up until next week sometime.

Yesterday, we made it through chapters 6 and 7 of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Yes, we are proceeding at a painfully slow pace, a fact that does not make my editor or me or Spooky happy campers. And this is because my method of approaching a CEM is, admittedly, odd, compared to the way most writers work through a CEM. It goes like this: I read the CEM aloud, while Spooky follows along on a hard-copy or on a laptop. There are pauses every few minutes to deal with this or that question from the copy-editor. Sometimes, these are lengthy pauses. Obviously, this is a somewhat grueling and, clearly, time-consuming process. Why do I do it this way? Because, I am blind (since birth) in my left eye, and I cannot easily scan from, say, the CEM page to the page of my computer. And immense and prohibitive frustration arises, and it actually takes longer than the unconventional method I have just described. Oh, and the copy-editor aside, I have my own changes I make, my own edits. The CEM is the last chance an author has to make substantial changes to the ms. (so far, I have made no substantial or lengthy changes to this manuscript).

However, I'm sick of the CEM, and still have a lot of polishing to do on the ms. after we address the copy-editors comments, and it's supposed to be back in NYC on Friday (Monday is more likely). So, today we mean to make a mad push to THE END, which would mean we'd have to make it through "Werewolf Smile" and chapters 8-10 and the "Back Pages" section (yes, that's a Bob Dylan reference). I know we won't pull this off, but the Herculean push will mean that we'll finish with this read through tomorrow.

So, that's yesterday's work and today's.

Then we have a short vacation (three days, two nights, probably to Maine), my first in years, and then I have Sirenia Digest #70 (woot), and then October will be here, and I have to read through Blood Oranges and get it to my agent, and go back to work on my kinemassic field generator (there are issues with field propulsion independent of reaction mass to be worked out), and then I'll have Sirenia Digest #71 to write.

Today, the contracts for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart went back into the mail to Subterranean Press, along with a huge box of my books bound for Michael Zulli.

Coming soon: a new round of eBay auctions! (Spooky goes woooooohhoooooooo)

---

Last night, after work, Spooky warmed up leftover chili. I had RP in Insilico. Ellen "Grendel" Ishmene (Xiang 1.5), my Level V (highly illegal) AI in a non-AGIS clone body (now highly illegal) has been promoted within our futuristic yakuza to the level of wakagashira, First Lieutenant to Inara Nasenyana, the oyabun. Which is really pretty cool. She carries a bad-ass katana with a laser running along the cutting edge.

Later, we watched a couple more episodes of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. But we're almost to the end of Season Two, and, frankly, the series has grown dull as hell. At this point, we're only watching it for Richard Belzer. The "rape of the week" storylines are unbearably unimaginative. I mean, come on, seriously, I could think up dozens of sex-related crimes, but no, all we get is rape, rape, rape, rape. I imagine this is because rape and the rape-variant, the sexual abuse of children, is the best that could make it onto prime-time network television. We'll watch to the end of this season, then switch over to the far-more-deserving of our attention Mad Men.

And, just before sleep, I read Elizabeth Bear's ([livejournal.com profile] matociquala) "Shuggoths in Bloom," which I shamefacedly admit I'd never before read. But I think that's it for me and The Book of Cthulhu. Still, sixteen out of twenty-seven stories, that's not so bad (seventeen, if you count the T. E. D. Klein story, which I read in my twenties). The rest looks like parody and/or slog, so I'm moving along to revisit the collected works of either Lord Dunsany or Algernon Blackwood.

I should really go now, brush my teeth, then exercise, and get to work. A long, long day stretches out before me.

Stretched,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (wookie)
Both my feet feel like blocks of wood this morning. Since I began taking Gabapentin, and the neurological problems in my feet began to improve, this doesn't happen so often. Only sometimes. Regardless, it's a very unpleasant sensation (or lack thereof), and can make walking tricky (which is why I used a stick for so long).

A great comment to Wednesday's entry, which was largely concerned with the decline of LJ, care of [livejournal.com profile] opalblack : "It's (LJ's} drawing me back more and more because it isn't so instant, and many of the smaller minds have drifted away for shallower waters." Smaller minds and shallower waters, that's the bit I like.

---

Sort of chilly this morning. Storms passed through Providence yesterday, in advance of the cold front, and now it feels nothing at all like summer.

---

Yesterday, there were some last-minute adjustments to the flux capacitor, which was only managing a paltry 1.02 gigawatts, when 1.21 are required for optimal performance. But, as soon as that was dealt with, I finally opened the envelope containing the CEM of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir (which actually arrived here on September 8th), and we made it through Chapter One. We'll do Two and Three today. Which seems, at the moment, a lofty fucking goal. But I will say this. With The Red Tree, I got the best copy-editor I'd ever had, one who didn't try to rewrite, and who actually caught genuine errors I'd missed. I seem to have lucked out again, or – though it seems unlikely – NYC's standard for copy-editors has gone up. (And yes, I think "copy-editor" ought to be hyphenated).

Oh, and I answered far too much email yesterday.

---

Please have a look at Spooky's Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy shop. The Halloween stuff is up, as it's that time of year again (well, sort of). And a couple of wonderful new necklaces.

---

Last night we played Rift, wandering about Gloamwood on our najmoks, working on achievements for the region. Then we watched the last couple of epsiodes of Season Five of Law and Order: Criminal Intent, which means we'll now have to "resort" to the mail for Season Six (perhaps the Athenaeum, if they have it), or go back to Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. When all is said and done, the latter is actually the better of the two, even without Vincent D'onofrio. But the "rape of the week" plot template gets old fast. Still, there's Richard Belzer. Anyway, then I read a couple more stories from The Book of Cthulhu, Michael Shea's "Fat Face" and Brian McNaughton's "The Doom that Came to Innsmouth."* Shea does a great job of capturing a particular and especially seedy side of LA. McNaughton's story is good, but would have been a lot better if he'd turned the volume down just a little near the end. A little goes a long way, a lesson it has taken me the better part of twenty years to learn.

Platypus, what's wrong with this picture? Where's my sugar-free Red Bull!

In the Gloaming,
Aunt Beast

* An interesting note. The antagonist of McNaughton's story is named Dr. Isaac Mordecai Saltonstall. And in The Drowning Girl, the painter who painted the titular painting is named Phillip George Saltonstall. For the record, before last night, I'd never even heard of "The Doom That Came to Innsmouth" (which originally appeared in Tales Out of Innsmouth, 1999, Chaosium Inc; oddly, I don't even own that anthology). I found the name in a Rhode Island or Massachusetts cemetery, where I often find names. I'm combing through my Moleskines, trying to figure out which cemetery it was. Anyway, only a curious coincidence.
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
Rain today, and the temperature is, presently, only 71F. My office (which still has residual heat from yesterday) is almost bearable. Sure, I'm sweating, but the sweat's not so prodigious that it's dripping onto my keyboard.

No work yesterday, except I had a first glance through the PDF for Two Worlds and In Between, and everything, at first glance, looks shiny, Captain. Mostly, Spooky and I hid in the dark bedroom, the coolest place we could find (temp in the coolest part of the apt. yesterday peaked at 84˚F), and watched episodes of Law and Order: Criminal Intent until it was time to go to the market, and then pick [livejournal.com profile] sovay up from the train station.

So, yeah, at least I left the house. Small victories. We got takeout from the Palestinian place. And then just talked. We sat up until about four, talking.

For rain it hath a friendly sound...

Sonya made me write down stray lines, because, of course, I'd not recall them this morning. This seemed to be a favorite:

"He called himself a landscaper, but he just moved manure around."

Oh, and "South of articulate, and moving towards something."

Much of the conversation centered on the nature of my erotica, and the meaning of words like obscene and pornographic. I like wicked best. Sonya finally pronounced that it's an eroticism of metamorphosis. Which seemed unnecessarily forgiving (she just said, "That's your residual Christianity talking"). Oh, we also talked about the genius of Terrence Malick, and about books that do not deserve exorbitant advances, and about body modification.

My thanks to everyone who had kind words for Chapter One of Blood Oranges yesterday – and "Down to Gehenna," also. If all goes well, and my resolve holds, I'll be back to work on the book tomorrow, and will try to finish Chapter Five in five days.

Anyway, I should go now. I think we're going to read back over Chapter Four, and pick up last night's conversation where dawn so rudely interrupted us.

Godspeed, Atlantis.

Wickedly,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (sol)
I realized over breakfast – a cold hard-boiled egg with black pepper and salt, accompanied by iced coffee – that I've not left the house since June 28th. I had no idea I'd hit a stretch of inadvertently going shut-in again, nor had Spooky. The last week and a half has been an utter blur of proofreading, Important Phone Calls, heat, internet porn, cat hair, other people's fireworks, Vincent D'Onofrio, car trouble, and Rift. But yeah, today will have been the tenth day, if I don't go Outside. My record is fourteen days...

My dog and fuck me, it's hot in here. 9O˚F? I don't know. I just couldn't deal with typing in the middle parlor again.

Okay, here's the tentative Table of Contents for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart: 25 Tales of Weird Romance:

Author’s Introduction: “Sexing the Weird”
“The Wolf Who Cried Girl”
“The Bed of Appetite”
“Untitled 31”
“The Collector of Bones”
“Beatification”
“Untitled Grotesque”
“Flotsam”
“Regarding Attrition and Severance”
“Rappaccini's Dragon (Murder Ballad No. 5)”
Unter den Augen des Mondes
“At the Gate of Deeper Slumber”
“The Melusine (1898)”
“Untitled 33”
“I Am the Abyss and I Am the Light”
“Dancing With the Eight of Swords”
“Murder Ballad No. 6”
“Lullaby of Partition and Reunion”
“Derma Sutra (1891)”
“The Thousand-and-Third Tale of Scheherazade”
“The Belated Burial”
“The Bone's Prayer”
“A Canvas for Incoherent Arts”
“Pickman’s Other Model (1929)”
“The Peril of Liberated Objects, or the Voyeur's Seduction”
“Fish Bride”
Afterword (author TBA)

Note that "Untitled 31" and "Untitled 33" will have titles when they appear in the collection. And yeah, the ToC is subject to minor changes. This is a slightly longer collection than The Ammonite Violin & Others.

---

Yesterday, the heat had me feeling ill, and very little work was accomplished. We proofed "Untitled Grotesque," because I'd realized it would be appearing in the collection. I answered some email. I'm on two meds that increase my heat sensitivity. Last summer it was three, so I suppose I should be grateful (but to whom or what?!) that I'm down to two. I did talk to subpress about tiny design details on the Two Worlds and In Between dust-jacket. But, mostly, I lay in bed feeling vaguely nauseous. Whee!

[livejournal.com profile] sovay is supposed to be here this evening. That gives me a focal point.

Do kids these days have any idea of what a telephone operator once was?

Mostly, I need to get back to work on Blood Oranges, and I am beset by a Great Reluctance to move forward. I probably ought not say why. That would be indelicate. So, I'm sweating and spinning my wheels and wasting precious time. Oh, I slept eight hours this morning (beginning at 3:30 ayem). Yesterday morning, I dreamt of excavating an enormous (roughly 90 meter) mosasaur skull from beds of chalky marl (or marly chalk) in central Alabama. I very clearly recall the frontoparietal suture. I think it was of the genus Prognathodon. This morning, I dreamt of Alabama zoos, and subterranean passages beneath zoos that led into vast green rivers, and swimming in those rivers.

Waste is the only sin, and nothing in the world is more precious than time. Someone will tell me love is more precious, but love can be readily reduced to a matter of time.

Sorry, platypus. Not up to sweaty fur today. The dodo will console you. Wait, here's a cool thing: sunrise at Tycho (that's on the moon, yo, located in the southern lunar highlands, named after the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601).

Secluded in My Secret Lair,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (sol)
Pretty much every single entry I've made to this journal over the past four summers has been made from my office (here in Providence). But today, I've taken the laptop and retreated to the sanctuary of the middle parlor, where Dr. Muñoz is valiantly struggling to hold the temperature at a vaguely comfortable 82 Fahrenheit. I'm sitting on the chaise, working on my laptop, and I know the rest of the world has this whole mobile, toil anytime and everywhere shit down like the heart of a clockwork peacock...but not me. I'm supposed to be doing this at my desk...where it's probably 90 Fahrenheit by now.

Yesterday...

Yesterday, it was hot.

Yesterday, I thought we'd completed proofreading the manuscript copy of Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. But I needed to add one more story. I'd intended that to be "Pickman's Other Model (1929)," but then I remembered that Joshi will be reprinting it in Black Wings II next year***, so I really ought not put it in this collection. As in, that would have been inconsiderate and unprofessional. So...now I need another story, which will likely be "Untitled Grotesque, which we'll need to read today. After I print it out, because, unlike that mobile-ebook-loving world Outside my window, I can't proofread text off a computer screen (or read for enjoyment). Anyway, yesterday we proofed "The Peril of Liberated Objects, or the Voyeur's Seduction," "At the Gate of Deeper Slumber," and "Fish Bride." In the cool, dark bedroom. And I wrote something I needed to write for a magazine - marginalia, essentially. And I saw to it that Sirenia Digest #67 went out to subscribers (thank you, Gordon!). I hope you have it; I hope you love it. There's some iffy formatting on the last page, and the cover's a bit blurry, so I may actually have that fixed and do a second mailing in the next day or two. But last night it seemed more important that I just get it out. Anyway, comments welcome.

Today, I have to look at "Untitled Grostesque," and if it works for the book, I proofread it, and then Spooky and I check over the PDF of Two Worlds and In Between to be sure that all the corrections have been made, before it goes away to the printer. Last chance to catch errors before it's set in stone (so to speak). So, more tedium! Maybe I will write again, some day soon.

---

After the work, I napped yesterday. It was too hot to do much else. I drifted off on the bed, and Spooky woke me about twenty minutes later for a cold dinner of tuna salad. Oh, before the nap, I read Lucius Shepard's story in Supernatural Noir, "Ditch Witch," which is my favorite from the collection thus far. After dinner, I rolled a new Bahmi warrior on the Faeblight shard, to replace Shaharrazad over on the Shadefallen shard (this is Riftspeak, sorry). Her name is Bataarmaa, which, is a Mongol name. Bataar, masc. "hero" with the fem. suffix maa, so Bataarma. Her big scary cat's name is Sukh, which is Mongol for "axe."

Last night, we watched Byung-chun Min's Natural City (2003). Which is pretty much a South Korean remake of Blade Runner, spiced with dashes of Aliens and The Matrix. Only, it's about forty minutes too long, the action sequences are usually poorly choreographed, and the story is muddy (partly, this is the obviously bad translation for the subtitles). But still, it is a visually stunning film, so when you have no idea what's going on, you can sort of just sit back and admire the cyberpunk eye candy. That said, there are some good moments, and the ending was appropriately poignant.

I got to sleep sometime after four. The sky was growing light.

Okay. Come here, you sweaty platypus.

Unwillingly Mobile,
Aunt Beast

*** Evidence of how heat and med-addled my mind is at the moment. A reader wrote to remind me that "Pickman's Other Model (1929)" was in Black Wings. Actually, "Houndwife" will be in Black Wings II. To quote Mr. Bowie, "It's all deranged."
greygirlbeast: (sol)
Wicked hot here in Providence. Summer finally arrived with a vengeance. We spent most of yesterday hiding in the middle parlor and the bedroom, the two cool rooms. Fortunately, you can proofread anywhere. Right now, it's 85˚F Outside and 81˚F in the cool part of the house. Here in my office, it's probably as warm as Outside. And...Spooky's about to leave to take the ailing automotive vehicle to the mechanic, after which she'll have to walk back in the heat. I made sure her stillsuit was in good repair.

Yesterday, more proofreading on Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart: "Derma Sutra," "The Thousand-and-Third Tale of Scheherazade," and "A Canvas for Incoherent Arts." It is my intention that we'll finish the proofreading today. Then I can post the ToC. I think.

Last night, I got the final PDF for Two Worlds and In Between, the probably-final layout with all my corrections. The book is getting very close to publication. We're just a few weeks shy of the first anniversary of the day Bill Schafer asked if I wanted to do the book. My thanks to everyone who has, or will, preorder.

Spooky has left the house and wandered away into the bled. May Shai-Hulud have mercy upon her.

Today, is assembly day for Sirenia Digest #67, and subscribers should have the issue this very evening. This issue includes the new vignette, "Down to Gehenna," along with Chapter One of Blood Oranges.

And! Today is the official publication date for two new anthologies edited by [livejournal.com profile] ellen_datlow: Supernatural Noir and Naked City. The former includes my story, "The Maltese Unicorn," and the latter another of my stories, "The Colliers' Venus (1893)". It should be noted, by the way, that when you read "The Maltese Unicorn," you have to hear a young Lauren Bacall as the narrator.

Last night...well, I braved the heat and, as a nod to the holiday, made BBQ chicken with corn on the cob and potato salad. We only almost perished of the heat in the kitchen. We ate in the parlor, which our coolerator droid, Dr. Muñoz, is doing it's best to keep tolerable (see graph 1, above). Then more Law and Order: Criminal Intent, then more Rift on the Faeblight shard while local hooligans celebrated Independence day by trying to blow up the neighborhood. The cops finally showed up, and things got quiet sometime after two. I got to sleep far too late. 5 ayem, and awoke at 10:30 ayem. Too hot to sleep much.

And now...off to hug a sweaty platypus. Comment, kittens!

Warmly,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (The Kiss)
Even if there hasn't yet been a (I).

Today's icon was meant to be yesterday's icon, but better late than never.

My thanks to Benjamin for sending me an excerpt from Strange Horizons and Richard Larson's review of Eclipse Four (ed. by Johnathan Strahan). I think this review is my reward for surviving the coming day, even if the reward's arrived before the actual chore. Dessert before dinner. Anyway, Larson writes:

For example, I think people will be talking about Caitlín R. Kiernan’s "Tidal Forces" for quite a while. The story is a meditation on the tragic inevitability of loss, the willing submission to unexplained forces that govern time and space, being and not being. Emily's lover, Charlotte, has been attacked by a mysterious shadow—"I can sit here all night long, composing a list of what it wasn't, and I'll never come any nearer to what it might have been" (p. 23)—and subsequently develops a steadily growing hole in her abdomen, later understood as "not merely a hole in Charlotte's skin, but a hole in the cosmos" (p. 26). Emily tries to derive a sense of linearity from what is happening by adopting a metaphor of a house of cards,

...held together by nothing more substantial than balance and friction. And the loops I'd rather make than admit to the present. Connecting dot-to-dot, from here to there, from there to here. Here being half an hour before dawn on a Saturday, the sky growing lighter by slow degrees. Here, where I’m on my knees, and Charlotte is standing naked in front of me. Here, now, when the perfectly round hole above her left hip and below her ribcage has grown from a pinprick to the size of the saucers she never uses for her coffee cups. (p. 19)

But she gets lost in the metaphor, lost in the senselessness of imminent loss, left to simply sit on the sidelines and watch Charlotte be consumed by something that might be the "inadvertent avatar of a god, or God, or a pantheon, or something so immeasurably ancient or pervasive that it may as well be divine" (p. 29). Kiernan employs a number of through lines and recurring images which deepen the narrative, opening it up to include the whole world, much as the hole in Charlotte's abdomen comes to include a "preposterous and undeniable blackness" (p. 26). Charlotte’s memory of being shot by a BB gun as a child, for example, connects a trauma from her past with this inexplicably traumatic present. And Emily's vocation as a writer affords an opportunity for her research about the Age of Exploration to comment on the very nature of storytelling: "All those overlooked islands, inaccessible plateaus in South American jungles, the sunken continents and the entrances to a hollow Earth, they were important psychological buffers against progress and certainty" (p. 18-19). The metaphor resonates directly with Emily and Charlotte's present project of explaining the unexplainable, of attaching a narrative to an experience which very well may exist outside of the realm of story, outside of the usual boundaries created by a measurable time and space. But "Tidal Forces" is at its most moving when these confrontations with the unknown are most closely aligned with the human factor, the idea of two people loving each other enough to believe anything for the other—especially if it might save her.


Nothing's gonna come close to beating that today. Anyway, yesterday – made it through two more of the stories in Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart, "Murder Ballad No. 6" and "Lullaby of Partition and Reunion." Hopefully, I'll get through at least two more today, because tomorrow I have to get Sirenia Digest #67 out to subscribers, and on Wednesday, it's back to actual writing.

On this day in 1911 – one hundred years ago – my maternal grandfather, Gordon Monroe Ramey, was born. He died in 1977, when he was 65 and I was 12.

Yesterday morning, I dreamed of being in a vast grocery store shortly after some or another worldwide cataclysm. All was chaos. And there was almost nothing left on the shelves. Spooky and I were taking a few items, and I felt incredibly horrible about not paying for them. Never mind that's very unlike me, or that there was no one to pay, or that paying for stuff at The End of the World makes little or no sense (speaking of Rift, someone needs to tell the vendors at Terminus this very thing). Anyway, I meant to include that bit of dream yesterday, but forgot.

Anyway, today will be tedious and long...and hot. And more I write on this entry, the more I see myself stalling. Just gonna keep trying to smile about that review.

Did I mention it's hot here?

Staring Down the Barrel,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Yesterday was a low-yield nuclear device. Yesterday was the best birthday cake imaginable. Yesterday, after much stress and wringing of hands and so forth, I received word that the NEWS THAT IS SO GOOD, SO COOL is actually going to happen. But! No, I cannot tell you what it is, and it may yet be some time (as in, maybe, months) before I can talk about this publicly. So, everyone's gonna have to be patient. Most especially me. Secrets cause me physical pain, and this is a big secret. Anyway, I wanted to say that, but please don't ask me to say more.

Now, I'm thinking about brier patches.

Yesterday, there was far too much tension to write anything, but somehow I managed to do proofreading for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart, though there was also too much tension to proofread. We made it through "Beatification," "Flotsam," and "Regarding Attrition and Severance." I'm probably giving far too much thought to how these very dark, very sexual stories will be received (On the whole, this batch is quite a bit darker and more "disturbing" than those found in The Ammonite Violin & Others), but it's sort of hard for me not to do that. Fret over their reception, I mean. I keep waiting to be savaged by RadFems or Xtian extremists (the two groups are, actually, almost identical in many respects) or some other bunch of blood-thirsty loons.

Somewhere, a few of you got the impression that Blood Oranges will be published under a pseudonym. Nope. Not the case. If and when I do Blue Canary, the YA book, then I'll be writing as Kathleen Tierney. But that has nothing to do with Blood Oranges, which isn't YA.

And, really, I think that's all for now.

In Unexpected Brevity,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
Yes, it is that. This entry is the 3,000th I've written since coming to LiveJournal way back on April 15th, 2004. And yeah, that's a lot of time and a lot of words. Though, truly, I first began keeping an online journal on Blogger, years before I met LJ, on November 24th, 2001. But, here I am at 3,000, as LiveJournal reckons time.

Yesterday was a roiling mass of chaos. There was a very long phone conversation with my agent, Merrilee, that essentially made it impossible to get much else done during the afternoon. But now I can get back to work on Blood Oranges, which she loves. Today, however, I am awaiting news regarding the NEWS THAT IS SO GOOD, SO COOL I can't talk about it yet. Which means I'll be good for nothing, except maybe proofreading the manuscript for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. Yesterday, we managed to proofread "The Collector of Bones." I'd forgotten all the math I'd had to do for that story.

So, "civil unions" between gay couples will likely soon be legal Rhode Island. On the one hand, it's more than I ever expected. On the other hand, it's so blatantly discriminatory, that it's hard to see it as any sort of improvement at all. It's not even really "separate but equal." It's more like saying, "Look, we made you this, which looks sort of like marriage, and you'll get some of the benefits. But marriage is SACRED, and if we let you have actual...well, never mind what would happen, because we're not going to do that. Here. Take this, instead. Now, go play and leave us alone." That's what it's like. I do see it as a foot in the door, and I see the benefits. But unless this is a stepping stone towards the same rights afforded heterosexuals, it's worthless. Just second-class citizenry. Note that the bill has been heavily opposed by local gay activists. Anyway....let's not make the Baby Jesus cry...

Spooky was just telling me that WoW is now offering the same deal offered by LotRO, and soon to be offered by CoX. There's a downloadable "free to play" version that doesn't come with a 7-day expiration date, but has a Level 20 cap. So, you know, you can play WoW free forever, so long as none of your toons want to rise above 20. Which would at least be fine for rp, only, to echo an analogy yesterday, trying to rp in WoW is about the same as trying to use a Hula Hoop as a particle accelerator. Anyway, I think MMORPGs are finally learning from watching pushers.

Last night, I read Book 2 of The Stuff of Legend. This is, by far, the best new comic I've read in many years. Also, I read "The Dingus" by Gregory Frost, from Ellen Datlow's Supernatural Noir.

Today, I will proofread and wait...

3000 and Counting,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
We are being told the temperatures will rise as high as the mid eighties today, so we may have some semblance of summer. It was decently warm yesterday, May warm. I was able to leave the window in my office open long after midnight.

Today, kittens, whats about some comments? Show me LiveJournal might be on life support, but she ain't quite dead yet.

Good sleep last night, and, by all accounts, a good day yesterday, even if it was non-stop work from the minute I got out of bed (literally) until about 9 p.m. But I'm plagued by some ill disposition. When I woke this morning, it was only anxiety, but now I think it might be anger. And I know the meds are working. Sometimes, our anger is a sane reaction. Oft times, actually. Over breakfast, Spooky and I were discussing the subjective, culturally defined nature of evil. Me, I don't actually believe evil exists. At least, not Evil. Not Big E. Everything we see that might be labeled "evil" is, increasingly, accounted for by psychology, neurology, cultural anthropology, economics, and so forth. Evil is what men and women say it is. Likewise, "good" is no more than that which women and men should happen to deem good from this or that perspective, sane or insane. This isn't nihilism. And I only point this out because there are idiots who might say that it is, not understanding. Humans are best at not understanding. They excel in the realm of not understanding. A million or so years from now, if the last humans get a headstone, it should read "Homo sapiens sapiens, They Couldn't Understand." Yeah, irony intentional. Also, I hope the plaque is placed on Mars, where it'd likely last many hundreds of millions of years, free of the dangers of tectonism, etc.

The first Australian remains (a single vertebra) of a spinosaurid theropod have been discovered near southern Victoria's Cape Otway lighthouse.

Yesterday, the first part of it was spent working on the illustrations section for Two Worlds and In Between, and there were emails from my agent. And then I finally started writing and did the first 2,206 words on Chapter Four of Blood Oranges ("Walking Spanish"). Afterwards, I did a little work on Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart, and decided to subtitle the collection (which I hope will be out next year, but nothing is official yet) 25 Tales of Weird Romance. Still trying to decide whether or not that works. It's cheesy, yes. But I might be aiming for the Cheese of Irony. The cheese of showing ParaRom the Massachusetts State Bird. Anyway, Lee Moyer is interested in doing the cover, and we briefly spoke about it. After dinner, Spooky and I did the very last of the proofreading on the galley pages of Two Worlds and In Between. Then she had to photocopy all the pages we'd corrected, before we send them back (because the mail is even better at losing shit than they are at delivering shit). One must always have a Plan B.

Anyway, a consequence of our having finished with the galleys is that, by special arrangement with Subterranean Press, we are offering a copy of the Two Worlds and In Between ARC as part of Round 2 of the Big Damn eBay Auction. In fact, this is the very copy we used while editing the ARC, and some of the pages have corrections in my hand. You can go directly to the ARC auction by following this link.

I do hope there are people reading this month's selection from Aunt Beast's Book Club, Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants:



Because it's fucking awesome, even without spaceships, aliens, elder gods, or vampires.

And now...that's enough damage for the time being.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Running very, very late today. First, insomnia last night, and then I "overslept" (that is, fell asleep at five, awakened by a honking car at ten thirty, awake again at eleven thirty, so maybe six hours of sleep), and woke to email of the stress-me-out-first-thing-in-the-day variety. So, yeah. Quick entry.

Yesterday, I took half the day off. Having finished Chapter Three of Blood Oranges on Monday, I figured I deserved it. So, Spooky and I went to a 1:40 matinée of J.J. Abrams' Super 8. And I say, without reservation, this is the best movie I've seen this year. It's a rollicking fusion of The Goonies (1985) and Cloverfield (2008), and it's unreservedly marvelous. Abrams nails 1979 with a deft, but not precious, accuracy. I love when I have no complaints about a film, when all I can do is say, "I fucking loved this," and all I can say is "I fucking loved Super 8."

Back home, the half of the day that was a day off ended, and work resumed. We read through the first three chapters of Blood Oranges (127 pages, 28,035 words) – for typos and continuity and anything else that might be off. It works, I say with great relief. The voice (the hardest I've ever had to sustain) is the same throughout. Anyway, the book is somewhere between 42,000 and 48,000 words from THE END, and I'm right on schedule. We finished up about nine p.m. Today, I begin Chapter Four (of a projected eight chapters).

Also, we splurged and had Kentucky Fried Chicken (no, not fuckin' KFC) for dinner, which was as disgustingly delicious as I remembered. First time we've had any sort of fried chicken since coming to Rhode Island.

Round 2 of the Big Damn eBay Sale has begun. Please have a look. You also must see this, as you will see nothing more beautiful today.

Okay...if I'm forgetting anything it can wait until later. Hold on! Is that sunshine?!
greygirlbeast: (hatter2)
A good day for comments, kittens.

There was a cold front behind the storms, and yesterday, and today and, it seems, the foreseeable future, was, has, and will be a return to autumn. Which is how the weather works here in Rhode Island. A week or so ago, cold enough we had to use the fireplace. Then, all at once, in the space of a single day, it was so hot the house was almost too hot to work in. And now, we need sweaters. At least it hasn't snowed again. At least, it hasn't yet.

Yesterday marked the three-year anniversary of our arrival in Providence.

And yesterday was spent, mostly, getting The Drowning Girl: A Memoir ready for my editor. I read over much of the book again.

Today, I have to buckle down (always hated that phrase) and get serious about my corrections to the galley pages of Two Worlds and In Between. This book is such a monster, in more ways than one, and I think I've done as much as possible not to draw its attention my way.

I want to be writing – if I must be working – and I want all this tiresome, tedious editing and proofreading and whatnot to be finished and over with. But I'll likely have it coming and going for a time, at least through the first half of the summer.

I took a break late yesterday afternoon, and I walked with Kathryn, all the way to the farmer's market at the Dexter Training Ground. This was the first week of the market, which runs through the summer. There was a chill in the air – as I said, sweater weather. But the world is green. We bought only ripe strawberries (which we had later over vanilla ice cream), though everything looked wonderful – the produce, the honey and cider, the meat and seafood. There wasn't as much variety as usual, because winter went on so terribly long this year. Behind the cut are a few photos I took yesterady:

2 June 2011 )


Last night, we watched Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland again. Not sure how many times we've seen it now, but I love it a little more with each and every viewing. I know that it's perceived as a sort of anathema for many Carroll purists. But, given the importance of Lewis Carroll to my own work, I don't think anyone could fairly consider my opinion on the film uninformed. I can accept Burton's radical reinterpretation, especially given that the reinterpretation is a sequel to Carroll's two books. Depp's Hatter will, for me, always be the definitive Mad Hatter, and I fall in love with him all over again every time I see the film.

I also read "The first definitive record of a fossil bird from the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) of the Haţeg Basin, Romania." In the January issue of JVP, that is. Now, on to another day of the tedium which is demanded of all authors, but which is not writing.

Tediously,
Aunt Beast

Oh, and here's a video of the tornado that touched down in Massachusetts on Tuesday. It is an amazing piece of film. The vortex seems all but alive.

greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Please do comment; I'll be here all damn day.

It seems that all my family and friends in Birmingham are safe. I know a few people in Tuscaloosa, mostly at the University, and I've heard nothing from that end. But the devastation from yesterday's tornadoes is horrific, and I've had to make myself stop looking at the photographs of familiar places reduced to unfamiliar places. Tornadoes are a part of living in the South that I do not miss.

---

Dream images from last night are mostly lost, and those that remain are faint and almost indistinguishable from the background clutter of my mind. There was a beautiful mastodon skeleton weathering from a river bank. There was frozen Stalingrad during World War II.

All summer they drove us back through the Ukraine.
Smolyensk and Viyasma soon fell.
By autumn, we stood with our backs to the town of Orel.


No, the mastodon skeleton wasn't in Stalingrad.

---

Work was an odd and scatterbrained affair yesterday. Lots of loose ends and such, and today I have to begin a new piece for Sirenia Digest, because I am woefully fucking late getting to it. Oh, by the way, the snazzy new Sirenia Digest website will go live this weekend or early next week.

I mentioned that the ARCs for Two Worlds and In Between arrived on Tuesday. They include Lee Moyer's cover art, but brightness and contrast are way off, rendering the cover muddy and dark. And it's not the actual layout we're going with, so if you happen to see one of the ARCs, this is not what the final book will actually look like. I spent part of yesterday making corrections to the text, because no matter how many times you proofread a thing, or how many people len their eyes to the proofreading, it will still be filled with fucking errors. The manuscript is 210,209 words long, which breaks down to 965,432 individual characters, all of which have to be checked again and again. Also, it seems that the release date on the book has been moved from January 2012 to September 30, 2011. I had no idea.

I spent a goodly portion of yesterday on the cover for "The Crimson Alphabet," the chapbook that will accompany Two Worlds and In Between. I'd already done a cover, but decided I hated it and started over. The end result is very, very simple.

---

[livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy has announced the casting call for two projects related to The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. You can see his announcement here, but I'll also post his entry here in its entirety later. A book trailer and a still photography project. It's all fairly fucking awesome.

---

Last night, I left the house with Spooky, and we drove to College Hill. Spring is now in full bloom, and the temperatures have been warm enough that I am hereby declaring Cold Spring to have ended and Spring Proper to have begun. We stopped by Acme Video (complimentary Atomic Fireballs!), then Eastside Market, then got cheese burgers from Five Guys in Seekonk, Mass. I'm not used to driving out of state for burgers. That's going to take some time (and it's not something we'll make a habit of doing, either).

Back home, we watched Gaspar Noé's Enter the Void (2009). And I honestly wasn't impressed. If nothing else, the film needs at least 45 minutes trimmed away (running time, a whopping 161 minutes). This film manages to belabor pretty much everything it touches upon. In the hands of a skillful editor, it's possible that something worthwhile could be salvaged. If Lars von Trier and David Lynch had never heard of editing, they might make movies like Enter the Void. Also, it doesn't help that Nathaniel Brown, who plays the protagonist, has all the acting ability of a stalk of broccoli. There are plenty of arresting visuals, and some brutal, beautiful scenes, but even I can only watch psychedelic Tokyo sex scenes, shot from an overhead boom and lit with seizure-inducing, flickering shades of red, for just so long before the yawning begins. I hoped I would feel better about the film this morning, but, in fact, I find that I sort of loathe it; I suppose that's something.

---

I have about a hundred other things in my head, wanting to be spoken of in this blog today. Maybe later.

Disoriented,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (goat girl)
Argh. Careful plans were made yesterday how we'd be up and functional by two p.m. Now, I'm hoping for three. And I blame Suzanne Collins, but I'll come back to that later. I woke from dreams of Japan and bizarre aliens beasts to discover it was the ass crack of noon.

---

Yesterday, we finished the read through on The Drowning Girl: A Memoir (while I also worked on my next painting). There are the line edits to make, and two or three short bits I'd like insert, but otherwise, it's finished. And I believe, as best I ever may, that it's the best novel I've ever written. There are other things I might say, but it would all be speculation. I can't know how the book will be received. And it will soon be my job to try very hard not to care. Today, Kathryn and Sonya will attend to it's line edits, moving it a big step nearer sending it off to my editor next week.

Me, I'll be tackling the monstrous task of the Two Worlds and In Between line edits.

With what remains of the day, and, no doubt, well into the night.

---

Sometime last year I came across the icon I'm using for today's entry. I came upon it entirely devoid of context. I snagged it because I found it invoked a certain mood. Plus, it's sexy. I cannot deny my goat girl fetish. Anyway, I had no idea where it came from, who the artist was who painted it or when the painting was done. Then I used it with an entry Thursday night, and [livejournal.com profile] blackholly asked about its provenance, and [livejournal.com profile] eluneth kindly informed us that it was a patinting by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904). Looking about on Google, I discovered the title of the piece is La Bacchante:



So, mystery solved.

Also, I made this very cool list, 8 Lesbian and Bisexual Authors You Should Know, which made me smile.

---

A reminder, as we crest the middle of the month, that this month's selection in Aunt Beast's Book Club is Grace Krilanovich's The Orange Eats Creeps (2010):



You don't have to read it, no. But if you don't, it's your loss. See, that's why I'd suck as a grade-school teacher. I would instruct students that they were free to do their assignments or not, so long as they understood the consequences, and wouldn't pressure them one way or another.

---

The main reason Spooky and I were so late getting to sleep last night was that we were determined to finish Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire. Which we did. About 4:30 ayem. (Oh, and welcome back to CaST). And no, it's not half as good a novel as is The Hunger Games. It has some brilliant moments, and some fine characterization. Here and there, it shines. But, all in all, it is shoddily constructed and poorly paced. It slogs along at the beginning and then barrels haphazardly towards a poorly executed last page. Which isn't THE END, but only the cliffhanger connecting it to the next book. I've nothing against series, but each book needs to be a complete novel unto itself, no matter how well connected it is to the others. Catching Fire isn't a bad novel, it's just a huge disappointment after the power of its predecessor. Yes, we'll be beginning Mockingjay immediately, and I do hope Collins recovers from the fumble. I want to love these books, as I certainly love many of the characters, and I care about their world (but pulling off those two difficult tricks still doesn't mean you've written a good book). Also, selling a bazillion copies and getting a Major Motion Picture, that's also irrelevant to the book's merits.

I promise that if my first YA novel is a success, I'll not make a sloppy mess of my second.

---

Okay. Doughnuts!
greygirlbeast: (starbuck4)
I've been looking at the images and reading the news coming out of Japan for the past hour, and I can't do it anymore for now. This is what an 8.9 earthquake and a 33-foot tsunami does when there are people and cities (and nuclear power plants) nearby. I have no friends or family in Japan, but I know those who do. Absurdly, I keep thinking, this might have been so much worse. And, not so absurdly, I think, "It may yet be."

George Takei just tweeted, "Today we are all Japanese. Give $10 to help." He included a link to the American Red Cross' donation page. Also, you can text REDCROSS to 90999.

---

Yesterday was all proofreading. Spooky read me the first four chapters of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Which amounted to 7.5 hours reading time, 218 pages, 48,631 words. Today, we read the next three chapters. We were reading until 11:30 p.m. (CaST).

Hearing it, yes, I know that this is the best novel I've written. I feared I'd never write one better than The Red Tree. Yet, here it is. And I have no idea how readers will react, and part of me truly doesn't care. The other part of me cares, but that's mostly because I spend so much time worrying about money. This is my book, and Imp's story. There is little to be gained, at this point, by fretting over the things that it's not, or the minds that won't be open to how I've told this very weird tale.

There was no time for work on Two Worlds and In Between yesterday. All we have left to read over is the thirty+-thousand words of The Dry Salvages, and I expect we'll do that on Wednesday.

[livejournal.com profile] sovay will be arriving Saturday evening, and will be here until Tuesday, to assist with making all these line edits, getting both these mss. ready for their respective editors. Whether or not she knows it, it's a rescue mission. Hopefully, with Sonya's help, both of these mss. will be out of my hands by next Friday (the 18th). Then, I get a couple of days off before I have to start work on Sirenia Digest #64.

Still coughing. The less I talk, the less I cough, but you know how that goes.

---

[livejournal.com profile] ellen_datlow has posted the "honorable mentions" list to her annual year's best, and I'm pleased to see I'm named nine times, and all but two from the digest:

"As Red as Red," Haunted Legends
"Exuvium," Sirenia Digest 48
"Fairy Tale of the Maritime," Sirenia Digest 57
"O is for Oyster," Sirenia Digest 57
"R is for Radula," Sirenia Digest 57
"On the Reef," Sirenia Digest 59
"Sanderlings” (Subterranean Press chapbook)
"Tempest Witch” Sirenia Digest 54
"The Prayer of Ninety Cats,” Sirenia Digest #60

---

After all that reading yesterday, we were too tired for anything but a movie (and, probably, we were too tired for that). We watched Ivan Reitman's Stripes (1981), which seemed quite a bit more ridiculous than when I was seventeen and saw it for the first time (theatrical release). Then again, it's still very funny, and compared to most comedies released today (Adam Sandler, I'm looking at you), Stripes is fucking Mensa material. I think the weirdest thing about watching Stripes again was seeing Sean Young the year before she played Rachael in Blade Runner (three years before she played Chani in Dune).

Okay. Time to make the doughnuts....
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Ugh. This seems to be one of those gray mornings when I can't work up the spit for a good blog entry.

Yesterday, I wrote a first go at the "author's note and acknowledgments" for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. It still needs some work.

Spooky and I proofed two stories for Two Worlds and in Between— "From Cabinet 34, Drawer 6" and "Emptiness Spoke Eloquent." I decided yesterday that the latter, written in 1993, would replace "Stoker's Mistress" in the book. Which was a smart decision, except...okay, so I wrote the story in 1993. It sold to a (now) long-defunct small press magazine called Eldritch Tales. However, the magazine sat on it for three years, during which time they didn't release a new issue (and, as it happens, never would again). Finally, I pulled the story in 1997, doubled its length, and sold it to Stephen Jones for Secret City: Strange Tales of London (the souvenir book for the '97 World Fantasy Con in London). And then Stephen Jones chose it for ninth volume of The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror (1998). Probably, I made a few minor changes in the text before it was reprinted. But then nothing happened with the story until 2001, when I reworked it slightly before including it in From Weird and Distant Shores in 2002. The story would not be reprinted again (unless I'm forgetting something) until 2010, when Stephen Jones (this has always sort of been his story) asked to reprint it in The Mammoth Book of the Best of Best New Horror, to represent the year 1997 (though, technically, the ninth volume came out in 1998). So, last year I did more work on the story.

By this point, we have the original 1993 version; the second, expanded version from 1997; the 2001 text, which certainly differed from the 1997 text, though I'm not sure by how much; and the most recent version, slightly reworked in 2010. And, because even minor changes become major changes over time, well...1993 and 2010 are very, very different. Problem is, yesterday we discovered that, somehow, the only copy of the story on my iMac was the 1997 version. And those files went to storage in Pawtucket a couple of months back. So...we had to reconstruct, using The Mammoth Book of the Best of Best New Horror, the most recent incarnation of "Emptiness Spoke Eloquent" (along with a few new changes). Not many things could have been more tedious or more angrifying.

Um...so yeah, all that.

But, there was also very good news from my editor at Dark Horse, which I'll pass along as soon as I am permitted. It will make you happy.

And I sent about fifty bezillion emails.

---

Last night, Rift. Selwyn, my mute Kelari mage, and her zombie servant Jude, fought back waves of Abyssal invaders at Deneger's Stand, and also scaled the walls of the Iron Fortress and, with great stealth, picked off undead soldiers who are not as agreeable as Jude. Nothing pisses off a necromancer worse than unruly, uppity reanimated corpses. She made Level 20, which means I need to slow off leveling. The cap's presently 50, and I don't want to hit it before Spooky and I can play together. Soloing a cloth-wearing character to 20 is no mean feat.

And we read more of Catching Fire, with which I am now in love. I wonder how many readers have picked up on these books being Socialist manifestos?

---

Today, we begin the first full read through of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Hopefully, we'll get through the first four chapters today, three chapters tomorrow, and three on Saturday, so we can get to line edits on this book and on Two Worlds and in Between.

Now, doughnuts and dodos and the platypus.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] fornikate writes, "I have found [Ayn] Rand is a great way to weed out people that suck." Indeed. Rarely can one find a useful, simple and reliable douchebag litmus test. But an appreciation of Ayn Rand does spring immediately to mind.

---

Today is another muteday, if only to atone for yesterday's failure. Yesterday, I became very frustrated over work, and had to start speaking. I might have exploded, otherwise.

---

Wonderfully rainy last night, with violent winds. I think the last scabby snow in our neighborhood is gone, gone, gone. Washed away. Okay, well, most of it.

Yesterday, was a day of panic recovery, a day of figuring out how to build a Tardis. I have nine days, but I need twenty. That sort of thing. Spooky read me all there is so far of the tenth chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, and then she read me the last section of the ninth chapter. Then I wrote a new closing scene for the ninth chapter, which came to 1,078 words. All that is left to do on the novel is to finish the tenth chapter (hopefully today), write the epilogue (hopefully tomorrow), read through the whole manuscript (much of it I've not read, or heard read, except in the writing of it), make about a zillion line edits, secure permission to quote three songs, and send it away to my agent and editor in NYC. Which is to say, the novel is very nearly done.

Two Worlds and In Between has become the much greater worry. We're still proofreading. Yesterday, while I wrote, Spooky proofed "The Daughter of the Four of Pentacles." Today while I write she'll proof "The Dead and the Moonstruck." That leaves "only" The Dry Salvages (a novella of over 30k words), "Stokers Mistress," "From Cabinet 34, Drawer 6," and "Houses Under the Sea." Spooky will do the latter for me tomorrow. Once all this proofreading is done, we have another zillion line edits to make before the ms. is ready to send to subpress.

---

A bunch of eBay books and other things I owe people are going out today. [livejournal.com profile] ashlyme, I need your address (if you've already sent it to me, I lost it, sorry).

---

Let me remind you of the Tale of the Ravens Kickstarter project. The good news is, we have 18 days to go, and the project is 164% funded (!!!). However, the farther over our projected budget we go, the better the finished product will be, and the better chance there will be of Goat Girl Press producing wonderful things after The Tale of the Ravens. There are still two of the four $500 pledge slots remaining, and we'd love to see those filled in the next eighteen days. Though, of course, any donation at all is welcome. Thank you.

---

Last night, being not at all in the mood for gaming, we watched two movies. The first, Ulu Grosbard's True Confessions (1981) is a pretty good, though somewhat odd, story built around the Black Dahlia murder. However, the film's set in 1947, and not 1948, and Elizabeth Short is referred to as Lois Fazenda. The movie, staring Robert De Niro and Robert Duvall, is based on John Gregory Dunne's 1977 novel of the same name, and I assume the changes were taken from the book. So, yes. Pretty good film. But our second feature was Malcolm Venville's 44 Inch Chest, which is utterly fucking brilliant (especially considering it was Venville's directorial debut). Imagine Twelve Angry Men crossed with Guy Ritchie's Snatch, and you're sort of in the neighborhood of this film. Sort of. The entire cast delivers amazing performances, but John Hurt and Ian McShane pretty much steal the show. Presently streamable from Netflix, and a definite must-see. Though, if the word "cunt" causes you too much discomfort, you might want to sit this one out. But it is, after all, a British gangster film. That, by the way— "cunt" —was the only word I was forbidden to use while writing for DC/Vertigo, which I'll never cease to find utterly fucking befuddling.

Later we read more of Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire, which, I am happy to say, has completely recovered from those hurtfully dull first three chapters. Also, in my YA novels I will do all I can to avoid the recap infodumps. They piss me off to hell and back.

---

And now, kittens, it's time to make the doughnuts. Comments! Especially about Sirenia Digest #63, please.

Yours in Joyful Sin,
Aunt Beast (the Haggard and Weary)
greygirlbeast: (Default)
A wonderful hard rain yesterday, wonderful even though I had to go Out into it. Much of the snow has been melted and washed away.

Comments would be good today. I know it's Saturday, but it feels like Sunday, and Sundays suck.

Well, the medical appointment yesterday wasn't nearly as bad as expected. I have a new doctor, and it's an infinitely better match than the last. So, no more Evil Nasty Clinic filled with rude homophobic assholes who get freaked out by pentagrams. Also, new doctor has an aquarium built into the waiting room wall, which scores all sorts of points with me.

After we got home yesterday, Spooky saw a raven perched on the house across the street. They don't usually range this far south, but this winter they're turning up in Rhode Island. Normally, we only get crows and fish crows. Sadly, I didn't see it. We're both getting somewhat serious about birding, and I take that as a sign of our advancing years. Then again, bird watching ain't nothing but dinosaur watching misspelled.

I got a copy of [livejournal.com profile] kaz_mahoney's (Karen Mahoney) first novel, The Iron Witch, in the mail. Thank you, Kaz! And congratulations.

Late in the day, we proofed "By Turns" for To Worlds and In Between, so some work was done.

I loaded a lot of Dead Can Dance onto the iPod yesterday.

I've made an interesting decision as regards The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. It occurred to me, yesterday, that I read novels about heterosexual characters, and the word heterosexual, or even straight, never appears, unless it's used to set the characters apart from queers. So. I'm removing every instance of the word lesbian from The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Sure, there's lesbian relationships, lesbo sex, a hot tranny dyke, a sapphic siren/wolf girl, and so forth. But nowhere in the book will I actually use the word lesbian. Because I wouldn't use het, probably not even once, were Imp straight. And I figure, not only is it the right thing to do, but it will somehow annoy the bigots even more.

---

How frakkin' good is Rift? So damn good that Spooky and I are currently trading her laptop back and forth so that we can both play, that's how good. So far, no disappointments. Quite exactly the opposite. Telara grows more amazing the more I see. Right now, I'm in love with the creature design. Yesterday, Selwyn, my Kelari mage, made Level 12. Her minion is a human skeleton named Jude. Spooky's Kelari cleric, Miisya, made Level 10. She'll catch up today. Oh, and players cooperate, and come to the rescue of others, and stuff like that. Who'd have thought it? Yes, there are a few jerks. But infinitely (well, not literally) less than in WoW, and they're easy to ignore, especially if, like me, you keep general chat off.

In WoW, I'm still grinding away in Outland, trying to get Loremaster with Shaharrazad before I exit stage left. But it's starting to look as if that may never happen. Loremaster, I mean. There are just too many broken, forgotten quests out there. And I'll need every one of them to make the title. On the upside, WoW is a hell of a lot more fun playing in regions where there are absolutely no other players. By the way, third worst WoW quest ever is to be found in Shadowmoon Valley: "I was a lot of things..."

---

Vince is currently working on the illustration for Sirenia Digest #63, and it'll go out to subscribers ASAP. What? You're not a subscriber??? Fix that now! The platypus compels you with his venomous spurs.
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
1) Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. We're in one of those dry spells between checks.

2) Now, before I forget again, the latest StarShipSofa includes a reading of "Galápagos." It's a pretty good reading. Merrick comes off a little too perky for a woman whose been through the hell she's been through, but the reader gets many words in many languages right, and that wins very big points with me.

3) The wind is a wild thing today. The wind is always a wild thing, but today it's throwing a wild rumpus out there. Speeds at 25mph, but gusting to 55mph. The house keeps moving, swaying. These old walls are reinforced with steel bands for protection against hurricanes, and days like this I'm grateful. Much of the snow has melted, though it's cold again, currently 35˚F (but feels like 21˚F). I shall be staying in today, thank you very much.

4) Yesterday, we actually did manage to make it all the way through the fifth, sixth, and seventh chapters of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Go, Spooky! She read all 24,765 words of that aloud, and had to contend with my constantly asking her to stop for this or that line edit. It all holds together much better than I thought, and now I have the confidence, I hope, to proceed with the eighth chapter and then the ninth.

5) I'm reasonably certain that I'll be writing my YA books as Kathleen Tierney. That has mostly been my decision. I'll continue to write short fiction, novellas, etc. as Caitlín R. Kiernan.

6) People do not mean to set me off. Well, at least sometimes it's clear they don't. Case in point: Last night, [livejournal.com profile] chris_walsh posted a link to a review of the Decemberists' The King is Dead (in the comments to my blog), a review written by someone named Ezra Ace Caraeff and published in The Portland Mercury (February 17, 2011). It was not, I know, [livejournal.com profile] chris_walsh's wish to set me off, but the very first paragraph got me so angry I spent much of the night bitching about it (much to Spooky's chagrin). The review begins by slamming The Hazards of Love as a "turgid rock opera." But then it gets really stupid. I quote:

Their determined song cycle put the story before the music, and its confusing plotline (with its forest creatures, fauns, and fairies, Hazards might as well have come pre-packaged with 12-sided dice and a wizard's cloak) distracted from both the band's melodic craft and frontman Colin Meloy's penchant for creating lyrics that have left many a weak-kneed listener and dog-eared thesaurus in their wake.

As kids these days are wont to say, o.0. Or something like that. The Hazards of Love is one of the most amazing musical accomplishments of the last decade, and it pains me to see how little vision there is in the world. Also, when will we learn to stop letting doofus hipsters write indie music reviews? Of course, then no one would write them. Of course...that would be a good thing, right? Yes, The King is Dead is excellent, but it's nowhere near the marvel the band achieved with The Hazards of Love (though, I admit, I love my dodecahedral dice). Regardless, I do not blame you, [livejournal.com profile] chris_walsh.

7) My editor at Penguin wrote me yesterday about the recycled cover fiasco. In the end, it was pretty anticlimactic, as I'd expected it would be. I was told "It’s actually not that uncommon, as we only buy the rights to use the art on our books in the territories we have. The artist owns the work itself. So sometimes artists will sell the same painting or a similar painting to a foreign publisher for a different book, or sell the image for a greeting card or a calendar or something. I know it’s disconcerting to come across, though. I’m double-checking with our art director that the artist sold this legitimately, but I haven’t heard back yet." Of course, Penguin buys just about every territory on earth. But not Romania. By the way, the artist in question is Gene Mollica, and I'm told he has a website out there somewhere, though I have no wish to see it. It's all business as usual, and business as usual is pretty much always a slipshod, disheartening affair. Regardless, I don't blame my editor for this. She didn't make those rules.

8) Last night, after I plowed through all 55 quests in Azshara and started in on Desolace (still determined to get the title Loremaster before leaving WoW), I signed up for the Rift beta, and Spooky gave me a few minutes on her laptop. I rolled a Kelari mage named Selwyn and a Bahmi cleric named Shaharrazad (the name lives on! Arrakis, Azeroth, and now Telara). And I played a couple of levels. And...damn. The game is astounding. Everything I saw about this game is astounding. And beautiful. The best character generator I have ever seen, bar none. It was hard to go back to the candy-colored, cartoon silliness of WoW, with all its poo jokes and puns. But...I'll just soldier on and keep my sights on the spring. Of course, Rift isn't idiot proof. No MMORPG ever will be. For example, there was some Kelari woman named Mayonnaise in the starting area with me last night. I'm sure her typist though she or he was being terribly clever.

9) Yesterday, while we were reading, the door to the front stairwell mysteriously opened. We're pretty sure Hubero used his brain to make it open. And, of course, he was out in a flash, and Spooky had to chase him up and down the stairs. I came out and pulled the door shut behind me. And it locked. Fortunately, the guy downstairs is good at picking locks, so we were back inside in only about five minutes. Screw you, Houdini cat!

And now....doughnuts. Comments!

Profile

greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

S M T W T F S
    1 234
56 7 891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
26272829   

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 19th, 2017 10:30 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios