greygirlbeast: (Default)
Not as much sunny Outside today as cloudy. And 46˚F.

Yesterday, two more interviews. Oh, and this. Which wasn't precisely an interview. But there was no work. No writing that wasn't answering questions. Four interviews (and this) in two days, and we're on the seventh day of a short month – longer by one day, thanks to leap year – and today I have to get back to work, and work means writing, not answering interview questions. Actually, my answering interview questions is probably now a legitimate part of my "job," but it's not writing. Today, I'm going to write. Or something like it. Tonight, after dinner, I'll deal with the next interview.

News from Subterranean Press is that Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart will be out sometime in May.

I have arrived at a curious, but, I believe, useful, new monetary standard to be employed by freelance authors. Forget the dollar. The basic unit of currency is the pizza. For example, someone pays me three-hundred dollars for a reprint, that's ~15P (based on an average large pizza price, with three toppings, of $20). Say your book deal drops twenty-thousand dollars into your lap (minus your agent's 15%); that's ~850P. This new standard will serve us far better. Sell nothing, ever, for less than at least 1P.

Since last summer I've been struggling to explain the relationship between Blood Oranges and its impending sequels (they do impend) and genuine ParaRom. No, do not use the label "Urban Fantasy." Once upon a time, Urban Fantasy had dignity. ParaRom stole the term (I don't know if it was the writers, editors, publishers, or an elaborate conspiracy of the lot). ParaRom, or PR. Anyway, the correct word I belatedly found yesterday is subvert. That is, Blood Oranges et al. is meant to subvert ParaRom. That's asking a lot of any poor book/s, but someone has to throw herself on the grenade.

Last night, Spooky and I played Rift for the first time since, near as I can tell from my notes, December 19th. That's, what, forty-nine days ago? The game remains beautiful, and it was good to be back. A good break from SW:toR. See, I didn't leave Rift because I was bored. I left because trying to run an RP guild – which meant writing more after I was done writing for the day, plus trying to get people to show up for RP – had sort of soured me on the whole thing. And then SW:toR arrived, all fresh and shiny and unsullied. Last night, I realized how much I'd missed Rift. BUT, because of the "free-to-play" Rift-Lite, our server has been overrun by idiots who cannot comprehend that it's an RP server, and there was a serious (and reasonable) fucking case of Gnerd Rage going down in general chat last night. I ignored it (I ignored everyone), and Indus (my Level 43 Eth warrior) and Dancy (Spooky's Level 43 Kelari cleric) quested and closed rifts in the Droughtlands and Shimmersand. What I didn't see was any evidence that there's been an exodus of players. There were high-level players everywhere. Many more than when I left, so the news of the game's recent troubles may have been...exaggerated. Anyway, for now, I think Spooky and I will be jumping back and forth between the two games – since we have no actual social life.

The no-sleep demons found me last night. Monsier Insomnia kept me awake until after five ayem (though I was in bed by 2:15 ayem). I didn't wake until after noon (or afternoon, if you prefer).

And one last thing. I'm missing the South fiercely. Part of it's this shitty Providence winter. Part of it is...well...complicated. I do not miss the people or the culture. I miss the land. And I'm sick of missing the South, because there is no dividing the people from the land. In the main (though not universally), the people are not worthy of even the smallest fraction of my longing. They showed me hatred, with rare bits of tolerance. By comparison, in New England I have found a mix of acceptance and people who simply know how to mind their own business. In the South, very few people know how to mind their own business. Indeed, throughout most of America, this is the case. Anyway, last night I got to thinking on the silly phrase "Southern hospitality" (which always baffled Spooky). It's not that "Southern hospitality" doesn't exist; it's that it's a highly conditional phenomenon. Conform, and we'll be relatively hospitable. Fail to conform, and we'll bedevil you. At last I left, and I am better off for it. But I cannot shake this longing for the land.

I've written far too much, says the platypus. I've written nothing at all. Gotta try to work.

Here, There, and the Other Place,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (twilek1)
A wild, rainy early afternoon here in Providence. Rainy and warm (50˚F). I hear rumours it may be snowing in Nova Scotia. Regardless, I hardly slept "last night," despite quite a cocktail of psychotropics, as Monsieur Insomnia came to join the dance. I read The Dawn Seekers until six ayem, when I finally drifted off. My dreams are better left unspoken, but I understand Spooky spent part of her slumber being romanced by Walter Bishop.

No writing yesterday. Only the search for a story, one to replace "The Diamond Friendly" (now shelved). I think I may have found just such a story. Or, well, what might grow into a story. This is for Sirenia Digest #74, by the way. Though, there are many others waiting in the wings, even though I began turning down almost all short-story solicitations many months ago. Mostly due to my work with Dark Horse. Still, I have about half a dozen to write this year (not counting the digest), plus my essay for Chicks Dig Time Lords. I will admit, I'm still a little uncomfortable with the fact that lesbians and female transgenders were not covered under Chicks Dig Time Lords. Anyway, as soon as Sirenia Digest #74 is out, I'll begin Alabaster #5.

By the way, and by the by, Dark Horse Presents #9 will be released on February 22nd and will include an eight-page sneak preview of Alabaster. And only thirteen days after that, The Drowning Girl will be released. Do me a favour. Follow that link to the novel's Amazon.com page, and click "like," right there beneath my name. It can't hurt sales, and it might give me some idea how many people are still reading this blog. Thank you kindly. Anyway, I'll be spending a great deal of March and April (and probably May, and...) promoting both books, including an uncommon (for me) number of public appearances (TBA, and only in the Northeast, Manhattan to Boston). This will eat up even more writing time, as I cannot write and travel, though I know many others can. Plus, who knows what crud I'll contract, all that human contact. Howard Hughes is unaccustomed to the microbial life outside her plastic bubble of social sterility.

As for last night...well, too much...um, recreation. A nice bit of C18H21NO3, far too much Star Wars: The Old Republic (my Sith and my Jedi), Curiosity Cola, and other nonsense. I went to bed, finally, and read The Dawn Seekers, and didn't sleep...but we've already covered that part, haven't we? Ah, I also read "Re-description and evolutionary remarks on the Patagonian horned turtle Niolamia argentina Ameghino, 1899 (Testudinata, Meiolaniidae)" is the most recent JVP.

My thanks to whoever sent me the new Penguin Classics The White People and Other Weird Stories by Arthur Machen, along with Franz Wright's Kindertotenwald.

Somewhere Near Awake,
Aunt Beast

Postscript: I don't have a lot of favourite designers, but...I just got the news that one of them, Eiko Ishioka, has died...and...fuck.
greygirlbeast: (white)
I think I have decided. Yes, I think I have. I shall not miss making an entry – at least one (1) LJ entry per day – between February 13, 2011 and February 13, 2012. Hell, that's only five and a half months.

---

A couple of quick links. First, in case you've not heard, the Lambda Literary Awards have gone fascist bullshit on us. Me, I've always been suspect of Lambda. I mean, come on. I've only been nominated once in almost twenty years! Anyway, no, seriously. Here's Rose Fox's response ([livejournal.com profile] rosefox) , which is very good, and I'll try to add my own comments on this situation later. I will say that until/unless this is rectified, if by some freak chance I were to be to be nominated, I would decline the nomination, and would urge all other authors to do likewise.

Greer Gilman ([livejournal.com profile] nineweaving) has insightful and interesting things to say on ebooks and ebook readers. I've yet to progress beyond audiobooks, though many of my books are available in various ebook formats (including illegal p2p files, but hey, we writers roll in the dough, don't we?). Still, I found Greer's comments enlightening and amusing. Maybe, when I get an iPad (it's become inevitable), I'll give iBooks a try.

---

Oh, I should note that [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus is a frakking genius, and has cracked the problem of the identity of X project. Alas, I should have known the secret could not stay secret forever. Last night he asked "Is the X-project related to the SGSC news...[?]" Wow. Dude. You figured it out. Yes, I am now working for the SGSC, better known as the Swine Genome Sequencing Consortium.

---

Yesterday, I spent many hours on X, which isn't a very satisfying report I know. I will say, it required that I write 1,690 words. That doesn't really make it any more interesting does it?

I also spoke with Subterranean Press some about Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. The story that was originally "Untitled 31" will appear in the collection as "Subterraneus," and the story originally titled "Untitled 33" will appear as “Fecunditatum.” Yeah, I was in a Latin sort of mood. However, "Untitled Grostesquerie" will appeared as "Untitled Grostesquerie." Also, I'm told that Two Worlds and In Between is at the printer, and should be out sometime next month.

Today, I begin work on a new Mars story for Sirenia Digest #69.

Oh, and I have discovered I am the oldest emo teenager on earth. Go me! Meanwhile, there was some very good Insilico RP last night, but, turns out, Grendel's more fucked over than she ever had been before. Also, though I love Joseph Campbell, do NOT follow your bliss, not if it leads you to attempt something you suck at; follow your actual abilities, and fuck your bliss, if it leads you to create dreck. And, with that, I must away. And remember, don't make me have to get all honey badger on your ass.

Wistful,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Starbuck 3)
No sleep until, I think, 4:30 ayem. Simply not sure. I waited forever to take the pills (which means they're still with me), and then Kathryn read to me until I could shut my eyes.

Sunny today, and I ought to be at Pride, but I'll sit here and write, instead.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,794 words on Blood Oranges. And considered changing the title of the book to Diary of a Werepire Dead Girl. Saner portions of my head prevailed. Last night, we watched Abrams' Star Trek for the bazillionth time – I love it more each time – and Selwyn made Level 48 in Rift.

I'm trying to figure out the dedication for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. It was easy with The Ammonite Violin & Others. Diane Arbus was the only choice that made any sense. But this time I have a list, and I'm considering Henry Darger, Angela Carter, Francis Bacon, and Robert Mapplethorpe. Anyway, blah, blah, blah. I should brush my teeth.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Cloudy and a bit chilly today. All is glum.

Easier to shut the curtain.

So, lift my spirits, kittens. Comment.

Today will be an Assembly Day. That is to say, a day spent assembling the latest issue of Sirenia Digest – in this instance, #65 – so that it can be mailed out to subscribers. Which you ought to be, if you're not.

I'm mentioned very briefly near the end of this article, "Lovecraft's Providence" (in "Fine Books and Collections," which, near as I can tell is a webzine only*). Anyway, the article's by Nick Mamatas ([livejournal.com profile] nihilistic_kid), and both me and Brian Evenson are quoted.

Also, a couple of weeks back, I took part in a "One Word Interview," in which the word in question was silence. I meant to post the link, but I often forget these things.

Yesterday I was a bad kid and played hooky. Spooky and I went to Warwick and saw a matinée of Francis Lawrence's Water for Elephants (from Sara Gruen's 2006 novel, of which Spooky is a great admirer). I'd never have thought the man who made I Am Legend (2007) and Constantine (2005) would have been the right director for this film, but I would have been wrong. The film is superb. The entire cast is excellent (yes, including Robert Pattinson), especially Christoph Waltz. If you place any weight in my opinion, this is a must-see film. And no more hooky for me until at least June.

Please, please have a look the current eBay auctions! Thanks.

Last night, curiosity got the better of me, and I did a thing I'd sworn I would not do. In Rift, I created a Guardian-side character. Now, if you know the Rift backstory, you know that the Guardians are loyal to the old gods of Telara, while the Defiant have rejected the gods and pursue a technological and scientific means by which to defeat the two factions' common enemy. Each side blames the other for the rifts, and so on, and so forth. Anyway, I created Mithrien, a High Elf, and Spooky created another High Elf, Serrafina. And we played them through the first ten levels. My conclusion? The Guardians should be renamed the Godbotherers. No, really. It gets very obnoxious after a while, and I doubt I'll be playing much of Mithrien, what with all the praying and inspiration and talk of faith and whatnot. But here's the thing that really got me. At several points, polytheistic Guardian NPCs refer to the Defiant as "heathens." Do the people at Trion who wrote the script know what that word means? Because, in point of fact, the Guardians are nearer to being heathens, while the Defiant would be more fairly described (by theistic folk, anyway) as infidels or apostates, but not as heathens.

However, big points to Rift for the lesbian thing with Kira Thanos and Uriel Chuluun (Defiant side).

Okay, yeah. Big queer nerd-out. Sorry.

Um...where was I? Ah, fuck it.

You are reading Kathe Koja's Under the Poppy, right?

Glumly,
Aunt Beast

* Nick tells me it is, in fact, a bimonthly print magazine.
greygirlbeast: (white2)
Sometimes, someone says something that's just so absolutely fucking true, you pass it along. So pay the fuck attention (and thanks to Spooky for bringing this to my attention, courtesy [livejournal.com profile] coilhouse). For the record, this is me giving a shit:

"How to Make Love to a Trans Person"

Forget the images you’ve learned to attach
To words like cock and clit,
Chest and breasts.
Break those words open
Like a paramedic cracking ribs
To pump blood through a failing heart.
Push your hands inside.
Get them messy.
Scratch new definitions on the bones.

Get rid of the old words altogether.
Make up new words.
Call it a click or a ditto.
Call it the sound he makes
When you brush your hand against it through his jeans,
When you can hear his heart knocking on the back of his teeth
And every cell in his body is breathing.
Make the arch of her back a language
Name the hollows of each of her vertebrae
When they catch pools of sweat
Like rainwater in a row of paper cups
Align your teeth with this alphabet of her spine
So every word is weighted with the salt of her.

When you peel layers of clothing from his skin
Do not act as though you are changing dressings on a trauma patient
Even though it’s highly likely that you are.
Do not ask if she’s “had the surgery.”
Do not tell him that the needlepoint bruises on his thighs look like they hurt
If you are being offered a body
That has already been laid upon an altar of surgical steel
A sacrifice to whatever gods govern bodies
That come with some assembly required
Whatever you do,
Do not say that the carefully sculpted landscape
Bordered by rocky ridges of scar tissue
Looks almost natural.

If she offers you breastbone
Aching to carve soft fruit from its branches
Though there may be more tissue in the lining of her bra
Than the flesh that rises to meet it,
Let her ripen in your hands.
Imagine if she’d lost those swells to cancer,
Diabetes,
A car accident instead of an accident of genetics
Would you think of her as less a woman then?
Then think of her as no less one now.

If he offers you a thumb-sized sprout of muscle
Reaching toward you when you kiss him
Like it wants to go deep enough inside you
To scratch his name on the bottom of your heart
Hold it as if it can-
In your hand, in your mouth
Inside the nest of your pelvic bones.
Though his skin may hardly do more than brush yours,
You will feel him deeper than you think.

Realize that bodies are only a fraction of who we are
They’re just oddly-shaped vessels for hearts
And honestly, they can barely contain us
We strain at their seams with every breath we take
We are all pulse and sweat,
Tissue and nerve ending
We are programmed to grope and fumble until we get it right.
Bodies have been learning each other forever.
It’s what bodies do.
They are grab bags of parts
And half the fun is figuring out
All the different ways we can fit them together;
All the different uses for hipbones and hands,
Tongues and teeth;
All the ways to car-crash our bodies beautiful.
But we could never forget how to use our hearts
Even if we tried.
That’s the important part.
Don’t worry about the bodies.
They’ve got this.


-- Gabe Moses
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: (Ellen Ripley 2)
(No one's going to read all this...)

Last night, I dreamt of playing the accordion.

---

Really, beyond seeing Lee Moyer's almost finished cover for Two Worlds and In Between, it was a pretty shitty day. That was the only bright spot. Wait, there was one other. Anyway, for some reason, I recorded the whole crappy day in photos, nineteen of them, below and behind the cut.

I've not spoken for thirty-three hours now, and I'm going for forty-eight, and then, then we'll see.

Much (but by no means all) of what went so wrong about yesterday was thinking I might be ready to finish the final chapter of The Drowning Girl, then discovering another scene that needed to be fitted it. I wrote the new scene, then struggled to insert it without disrupting the chapter's established flow. This is one of those things I can't understand about writers who write shit out of order. I write, I establish flow, and it's pretty much unidirectional. Try to go back and stick in new stuff, it all goes to shit (plus, you're swimming upstream the whole time). But, I wrote the new scene, like I said, then proceeded to the last scene (I only wrote 691 words yesterday). Then decided I needed to hear all of the final chapter, and an earlier part of the book, before wrapping it up. So, I asked Spooky to read it to me.

But I dozed off while she was reading to me, so we have to finish today. After I write the journal entry. Then I have to write another extra scene, once I figure out if it belongs in the ninth or tenth chapter. Maybe Monday and Tuesday I can write the last two scenes. Of course, I also have the deadline for Two Worlds and In Between a mere nine days from now, and there's still so much work left to do on that it boggles the noggin. And there's the work for SuicideGirls that I took on last week.

A nice piece of mail (the real sort, on paper with stamps) from Leeanne O'Sullivan in Lancashire, England. Thank you, Leeanne. You were that other bright spot.

---

After dinner, I had a hot bath. And a meltdown. A silent meltdown.

Later, when I'd been scooped into a Caitlín-shaped bowl, we watched Abel Ferrara's New Rose Hotel, a pretty faithful 1998 film adaptation of William Gibson's short story of the same name. If nothing else, the movie nails the mood of Gibson's story. Christopher Walken is wonderful. Willem Dafoe is a little on autopilot. And Asia Argento is...um....hot. But you already knew that. Yoshitaka Amano (yes, that Yoshitaka Amano) plays the mark, a geneticist named Hiroshi, and there are cool cameos, such as Ryuichi Sakamoto. Definitely recommended, and you can stream it from Netflix.

Laterer, played Rift. Selwyn didn't make Level 19, because I tried to rp instead. And it wasn't bad, but after two attempts at rp in Rift I see that one has to know the canon, and that all the players have to be on the same page in interpreting the canon. Most rpers won't even realize this, of course, but then most rpers suck. Which is why you must rp in tiny groups (4-5 at most).

Latererer, Spooky read me chapters Four and Five of Catching Fire, and I'm relieved to say it gets much better. I think the first three chapters might have been condensed into a paragraph. But I also think, when we're done, I'll be of the opinion it should all have been written as a single book, not a trilogy. We are chained to trilogies. Fuck you, Trilogy Tyrant. Fuck you, Despot of Series. Fuck you.

---

My thanks to people who commented on the problem of gay protagonists in YA novels. I'm not going to get into all the details, because they are many and some of this is private stuff between me and others. And because there's the ugly issue of money. But, I will say, my first YA protagonist will be a lesbian. The worst that can happen is that I can fail, and I've sort of done that already (if we're talking about financial success and mass appeal, and I am).

Comments on #63? Bueller? Bueller?

Now...the photos:

5 February 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Today I'm not speaking. I may not be speaking tomorrow either. I last did this several years ago (2006?), and found it unexpectedly comforting*. And just now I need comfort. Also, it helps my cough. I've not said anything for the last eight hours. Oh, and no, I'm not observing Nyepi, Balinese "Day of Silence." But it is an interesting coincidence. I didn't know today was Nyepi until someone asked if that's why I wasn't speaking (even though I'm neither Balinese nor Hindu).

Yesterday, after the blog entry, I got everything together for Sirenia Digest #63, proofed it all again, and sent the text and images away to [livejournal.com profile] thingunderthest to be made into a PDF. It went out last night. Subscribers should have their copies by now.

And, by the way, I'd really love to hear some feedback on #63.

After everything for the digest was done, I got back to the final chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, and I wrote 1,404 words. And began to think I was being overly optimistic in yesterday's entry. I may not finish until Tuesday or Wednesday. I think I might have found a missing scene. After the writing, Spooky and I proofed all of "Les Fleurs Empoisonnées" (51 pages, 11,904 words). When I wrote the story in 2001, that was the original title. When subpress published it as a small hardback, the title was changed to In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers. When it was reprinted in Alabaster (the Dancy collection) in 2006, I reverted back to the French title. I've been pondering a new French title for its appearance in Two Worlds and In Between, a more literal translation of In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers, which I think would be Dans le Jardin des Fleurs Toxiques. Anyway, Spooky read aloud, I coughed and made red marks on the manuscript pages. I was pleased that I still enjoy the story quite a lot.

A busy day yesterday.

By the way, just saw Lee Moyer's almost finished cover for Two Worlds and In Between, and gods it's gorgeous.

---

I think I've given up on the whole Loremaster thing. Too many quests in Nagrand and Shadowmoon are broken, and Blizzard seems to have no interest in fixing them. It's a shame to give up with only two regions left, but I haven't the time or patience to waste any more energy and "free time" on this. So, likely this spells the end of me and WoW. I'd considered keeping my account open, but I'm so disgusted over the Nagrand thing (spent a lot of time reading various message boards yesterday; I'm not alone), after three years and five months, I believe I've had enough.

On Rift, Selwyn made Level 18. I trained for a second role, which means I got a second soul set. Selwyn's primary is warlock/necromancy/pyromancy; her secondary is necromancy/dominator/chloromancy. But I'll likely play the first skill set most of the time. I was in a sour mood last night, and the very few stupid names were really getting on my nerves. I can't fathom the need for some people to be jackasses, just because, you know, they can be jackasses. Or maybe they're not jackasses at all. Maybe they think Notdeadyet and Dingleberry really are a names. Maybe they don't understand Chinagirl can't be a name in a world without a fucking nation named China. Yeah, maybe it's only stupidity.

We may be forming a guild on the Shadefallen shard.

---

We're about three chapters into Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire, and, so far, I'm both disappointed and bored. None of the first novel's energy is here. I'm hoping it picks up quickly. Also, as I read more YA, I fear I begin to see certain patterns, most of them relating to the unfortunate necessity for romance, and that almost always means heterosexual romance. These days, I can't do het romance (or, rather, I can't do it well), and I won't hamstring myself by trying. And it would be cynical and hypocritical of me to try. I find myself struggling to devise ways to "sneak" queer relationships into stories (and I don't mean the Willow/Tara background stuff; that's plenty acceptable to the mainstream). My protagonists will be queer teens. Period. Editors, trends, squeamish readers, religion, and homophobes go hang. There are other things, too, but I don't feel like getting into that just now.

Anyway...I'm off now to write and not speak.

* Indeed, I find my voice so disagreeable, I often consider giving up speaking for good.
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: (white)
Though I've had a few good responses, I'm a bit disappointed in the number of replies to the most recent Question @ Hand. Maybe it was a poor question, or maybe I phrased it poorly. I was very much hoping to get an article out of it for Sirenia Digest, but so far, there's just not enough for that. A number of people who wrote excellent bits for the first two questions have been silent; of course, it was a year ago I did this last, and maybe those folks no longer follow the LJ, or have jumped ship for that wretched Facebook thing, or something.

Anyway, this is my last solicitation for replies. I think people aren't thinking in terms of bodyart (though performance pieces are good, too), which is really what I was after. Thanks to those who have replied (and please don't reply with unhelpful comments like "You're already a work of art!" Nice sentiment, but not what I'm after). And no short stories, please. Again, I appreciate the effort, but ideally replies ought to fit into the comment space (which can be pretty long).

Also, just got this delightful, hilarious graphic from [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy, the cover for The Red Tree, complete with warning label for the sexually squeamish:

Fear the Gay! )


Also! A new website for the exquisite Lolly Jane Blue, who, I think, blows Lady Gaga out of the water (and I say that as a casual sort of Lady Gaga fan).
greygirlbeast: (white)
Yesterday, I wrote 3,243 words on Chapter 7 of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Which makes yesterday my best day ever in terms of word count, with at least three hundred words to spare. I truly didn't think I'd be able to pull it off, but I did, and in only five hours. I suspect I may have been channeling [livejournal.com profile] matociquala. At any rate, it's nothing I wish to do again any time soon. Considering that my daily average the last few years has been about 1,100 words, I've written almost five days worth of novel in the last two days.

And I'm sick as a sick fucking dog. And I'm not working today. Well, I'm not writing. I may lie in bed and manage some proofreading by having Spooky read to me. But that's different. I actually suck at doing nothing. I've never learned the trick. Which makes being ill difficult. My mind rages on, even when the body would be still. It has to have something upon which to gnaw.

I've not left the house since last Monday evening, the 31st, so I've not been out for seven days. I was doing much better for a while, keeping to my resolution never to stay in for more than four consecutive days. But the novel's been coming so fast, and the weather's been so horrid, the days slip by without my even realizing it.

There's something substantive I want to write, regarding an Amazon "reviewer's" complaint that, in The Red Tree, I harp on Sarah's being a lesbian, and how the complaint reveals just how poorly many straight people understand what it's like to be queer, and how ignorance can quickly become prejudice. But I'm not up to it now. Tomorrow I might be.

Anyway, I will be checking the blog today, so comment if you'd like. Ah, here's something. A number of people have mentioned to me how much they've enjoyed the "Alone" and "CreatureMe" pieces in Sirenia Digest nos. 61 and 62, respectively. The answers that made up those two articles were in response to questions I asked in the blog two years back. So...here's a challenge. Come up with a new question of the same sort. Something as good as "If I were a summonable monster..." and "What if you had me alone..." Don't worry, you couldn't shock me if you tried. But feel free to try, all the same.

Okay. Gotta go horizontal for a few minutes.
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
So, a five-year-old boy wants to dress as Daphne (from Scooby Doo) for Halloween. The mother has no problem with this. But parents at the church preschool he attends go apeshit. Mom stays cool and tells people to piss off.

I quote:

If you think that me allowing my son to be a female character for Halloween is somehow going to ‘make’ him gay then you are an idiot. Firstly, what a ridiculous concept. Secondly, if my son is gay, OK. I will love him no less. Thirdly, I am not worried that your son will grow up to be an actual ninja so back off.

If my daughter had dressed as Batman, no one would have thought twice about it. No one.


Here's the blog entry, with a great photo of the kid as Daphne. Some moms rock.
greygirlbeast: (Sweeny1)
greygirlbeast: (death&themaiden)
No, The Red Tree didn't win the World Fantasy Award, but that in no way diminishes my pride and my joy at having been nominated. And my congratulations to all the winners. And my thanks to Peter, who would have accepted for me, had I won.

Here is it, Día de los Muertos*, and me without calaveras de azucar. Truthfully, I've never had a sugar skull, but would love to someday.

Sirenia Digest #59 should be going out the subscribers this evening. There were a few problems with the first PDF that are being corrected, and we'll get it out to you as soon as everything is just so. Yesterday was spent on the issue's layout. Today, I have to go back to actually writing, and, truthfully, it's a sort of relief.

---

I really dislike getting angry first thing in the goddamn morning. Or, well, early afternoon. For that reason, I try to avoid reader comments about my books on Amazon.com. This morning, I slipped up, and found this, posted anonymously two days ago by "R.M.B." (I've not bothered correcting R.M.B.'s misspellings):

I was very intrigued with the reviews of this book. It sounded great and I couldn't wait to read it. I was very dissappointed and quit after about five chapters. As is mentioned by other reviewers, the main character is very foul-mouthed and difficult to like. Also, and forgive me if this is a spoiler, in all the reviews and the synopsis I saw on this book nowhere is it mentioned that there is a very heavy gay/lesbian story-line. It's certainly not the first (nor I'm sure the last) book I've read that contains this element, but as that is not my taste and certainly not what I thougt I was getting here, I felt like that little detail was hidden. Frankly I feel a little mislead and wish I could get my money back. I can overlook some of these issues in some books, but this one was'nt one of them.

So, yeah, here's some angrifying shit (thank you for that word, Kristin Hersh). And suddenly I'm having flashbacks to that last (and horrible) Readercon 21 panel this past July, during which I had to listen to people complain that books ought to come with warning labels. Is it wrong for writers to respond to critics? No, not in the least, and I don't know who thought up that tiresome old chestnut. Regardless, I want to be clear that what I am responding to here is not the fact that the reader disliked the novel, as a novel, but to the reader's homophobia and sense of entitlement.

To start with, had she or he actually read "reviews of this book," he or she would have known that Sarah and Constance were lesbians. Few reviews fail to mention Sarah's sexuality, or the fact that she becomes involved with Constance. Ergo, the "reviewer" is either lying and didn't read reviews, or means cover blurbs when he or she says "reviews." Secondly, it is no one's responsibility— not mine and not my editor's and not my publisher's and not Amazon.com's —to inform anyone "that there is a very heavy gay/lesbian story-line." Does R.M.B. think books should notify their readers when there are very heavy straight plots? Of course not, because, remember, heterosexuality is normal and to be expected. It's a given that straight characters will suit the "tastes" of most readers, so this sort of warning would be silly. Obviously. So, never mind the disgust that betrays this reader's homophobia, there's the entitlement issue, that she or he has a right to be informed of queer characters, so such characters can be safely avoided. Same old shit, different goddamn day.

Is this worth me getting upset over? Yes. Maybe it wouldn't be, if gay men and women were accorded the same legal rights as straight men and women. But we are not. We are targeted as deviant. We are shat upon. We are relegated. We are shunned. We are threatened and murdered for loving those we love, and, ironically, told we cannot die in war. We are told we are sick and need to be cured. Even were all this not true, I would find the expectation that a book about us ought to come with a warning utterly abhorrent. So, yes. Sarah Crowe is a lesbian, and she's also "foul-mouthed," and if that gripes your ass, don't read my goddamned novel. If your sensibilities are so easily assaulted, do some research before you buy a book. Don't publicly whine after the fact, because the world can't be bothered to hold your little hand and cover your little eyes and keep you safe from all you find distasteful. And if you are going to publicly speak your opinion about a book, criticize the actual book, instead of using it as a platform for your loathing of queers. Want to review a book? Then review the fucking book, asshole.

There were other things I was going to write about in this entry, but I'm too angry. The whole goddamn world is falling into ruin, and people have time to be offended at queers. This shit has to stop somewhere. To quote Malcolm Reynolds, my favorite space cowboy, "So here is us, on the raggedy edge. Don't push me, and I won't push you."

* My mistake. Día de los Muertos is November 2nd. Surely, I knew that.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Argh. Up much too late last night. Not even insomnia, just too dumb to go to bed. Just too unwilling to sleep. I resent that we sleep half our lives away. Or a third. Or what the hell ever. I resent it. Add in the time we spend sitting on toilets...it's depressing as fuck. But, on the other hand, only one seizure in the past couple of months.

I also hate how having a psychiatrist appointment at 4:30 p.m. makes it impossible for me to get any work done beforehand. I did try to work on the interview, but only made it through one question (on magick). I may soon refuse to give interviews for a while. My answers are becoming too angry, too combative.

I fell asleep with a new painting in my head. Black Ships Ate the Sky. Yeah, inspired by the Current 93 album. And other things. I can see the painting clearly. And I know this one will be too personal to sell.

Just before sunset yesterday the light over Providence was amazing. I wish I'd had the camera with me. It was just...brilliant. The soft orange autumn light, the deep blue-gray clouds , the darkening sky showing in between, the brick buildings on College Hill glowing like hot embers. At Whole Foods, Spooky picked up a second pumpkin, because we're having two jack-o'-lanterns this year. Sea gulls were black silhouettes above the river.

I found a new favorite band yesterday, and they're right here in Rhode Island. Have a listen to Brown Bird. Actually, it was Spooky who found them, then pointed me towards them.

But I know that who I was is who I'm not and I will never be again.

Ebay auctions continue, because taxes were paid. There's also Spooky's Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy shop. Cool Halloween stuff that goes away on November 1st.

Angry this morning over parents who try to force their gay or transgendered children to be straight or cisgendered. Or, hell. Parents who force children who wear blue socks when they want to wear green socks. What the hell ever. Parents who hold their love hostage, who dangle it like a carrot on a stick. So, this is my message for the day, in case anything is listening: Love is not conditional. No, not ever. And what is conditional is not love.

Same rules apply to so-called "loving" gods.

Oh, a good thing from yesterday. A package arrived from Robin in Massachusetts. A fourth printing of the edition of Lovecraft's Dagon, and Other Macabre Tales (Arkham House, 1965), with the Lee Brown Coye cover I spoke of in my keynote speech at the Lovecraft Film Festival. Before this, I only had a much later Arkham House edition (1986, corrected text), but this is the edition that brought me to HPL, way back in 1981, so thank you.

Hello, Natasha.

Everyone who expressed an interest in joining Eyes of Sylvanas, Spooky and I will be doing the Alterac Valley battlefield tonight (and maybe tomorrow night, too), because it's Call to Arms this weekend, and Shaharrazad and Suraa need more epic gear. If you're level 80, feel free to join the team. And to all those who are not yet Level 80, we'll arrange some sort of meet up...somewhere. Just send one of us a pm inworld.

The platypus says shut the hell up. So, see you tomorrow. Today, I've got to finish "At the Reef."
greygirlbeast: (Default)
This will probably come out all higgledy-piggeldy. this journal entry. But I will persevere, nonetheless. Any day that begins by reading a report of new fossils of the Early Miocene-aged bird Pelagornis chilensis, confirming that it had a wingspan of 5.2 meters (about 17 feet), can't be all bad. That's a wingspan roughly double that of an albatross.

And yesterday was a good writing day, thanks to having slept. I hear people who seem to boast about their insomnia. "Oh, hell. I haven't slept since 1979!" You know, like it's a point of pride. Maybe they're just scrabbling for a silver lining, but it never feels that way to me. Anyway, I did 1,319 words on my piece for The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities. I should finish it today. It doesn't really have a title yet, but concerns a very grim artifact known to some as the "Castleblakeney Key," and it's written entirely in excerpts from letters, scientific and other academic journals, books, and the like. I think I like it a great deal. It's just been a bitch to write. Not sleeping hasn't helped.

I've decided that the trip to Manhattan needs to be postponed until after the HPLFF. So, early or mid October. I spoke with my agent yesterday. Now I need to get in touch with Peter, and with my editor at Penguin.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, if you've not already. Some of the auctions end tomorrow. Also, Spooky has begun making Halloween decorations, so you may want to have a look at her Dreaming Squid Dollworks & Sundries shop at Etsy.

---

When I was in my late twenties and still living in Birmingham, I ran in certain circles. Circles within circles, for that matter. High society for Southern drag queen débutantes and grande dames, a coterie of queer druggies and hustlers and bartenders. Lesbian bouncers and pool sharks. The day began at sunset and ended at dawn (so winters were preferred). It was another time and another place. It was vile, and it was degrading, and it was beautiful. I find I am capable of being both nostalgic for those circles, and grateful I lived through it all. Many of my friends didn't. They died of one or another of the inevitable hazards of being part of those circles. We all thought we would live forever, and we thought that world would last forever.

There was a man who went by the name of Rocky. I have no idea what his real name was, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't Rocky. I thought he was handsome as hell, and I had a crush on him. He wore leather bomber jackets and styled his hair in a pompadour. He drove these antique Mercedes-Benzes, so I imagined he was wealthy. Turns out he wasn't. He was a chauffeur and a heroin dealer. But I still had a crush on him.

Our paths finally crossed one night, because someone told someone who ran with Rocky that I had a crush on him, and I suppose it amused him. I won't be so arrogant as to imagine it flattered him. So, that night, he drove me around the Southside of Birmingham in one of those beautiful old cars. I was wearing this ridiculous, tattered wedding dress I'd found in a thrift store called Memory Lane. After the drive, we went back to his apartment, and I shot heroin for the first time. It was also the last time, because it was so good, so utterly better-than-sex good, that I knew if I ever did it again, I'd wind up addicted. And I was already on pills and booze. Anyway, I threw up, which wasn't very ladylike, but Rocky was cool about the whole thing. I sat in the same chair for hours, numb and thrumming and staring at the city lights, flying on that dose of smack. Rocky was a gentleman. I can't remember a single goddamn thing we talked about.

I have all these memories in my head, and I think I want to start writing them down. All these people and places that I've hinted at in my books, that I've fictionalized, But at forty-six, I begin to feel the tug of mortality, and I think of those memories being lost forever. I think of what Roy says at the end of Blade Runner, just before he releases the dove: I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the darkness at Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain.

Yeah, sounds pretty sappy. But still. I think I'm going to start writing those things down here, from time to time. I hope I don't embarrass my mother too much. Though, it's hard to imagine that's even still possible these days.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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