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: (Eli2)
Only five hours sleep last night and the night before, and I'm feeling it. Add to that the fact that winter ended just last week and we've now fast forwarded to July, so my office is sweltering, and I presently feel just a little bit crappy. And sweaty. And sleepy.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,697 words, beginning and completing the second piece for Sirenia Digest #67, which is called simply "Untitled 35." By the way, "Untitled 35" is the 90th piece of short fiction I have written specifically for the digest. Which sort of blew my mind, when I did the math. Anyway, the vignette gets back to the roots of the digest. In fact, this whole issue does. Anyway, Vince is currently working on an illustration for the other story appearing in #67, "Figurehead."

I'm making this entry on the Asus laptop, Zoe, as I've never written anything on her before, and I'm curious to see if I'm as clumsy with this keyboard as I feared I would be. So far, I'm fine.

I have a number of almost, but not quite completely, edited projects piled on top of me that have to be attended to as soon as the digest goes out, before I get back to work on Blood Oranges. The changes to the galley pages of Two Worlds and In Between, and the Crimson Alphabet chapbook. And there's The Drowning Girl, which needs a couple of tweaks. And...stuff I'm too groggy to remember. But it all has to be taken care of ASAP.

Some email yesterday with [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy regarding our impending work on the visual accompaniments for The Drowning Girl. We spoke of crow masks and nuns.

Spooky spent almost the entire day having new tires put on the automobile, and returning overdue library books to the Athenaeum. Well, almost all day on the first thing. The belated book return was, I expect, quick by comparison to sitting at the tire place for three or four hours.

Oh, did I mention it was hot? If not, well, it is. Hot. Here. Which is mostly just funny, because we were having to use the fireplace about a week ago.

Last night, about 10:30, we escaped the sweltering house, crossed the river, and then drove willy-nilly about College Hill, and all the way over to the southern end of Gano Street, where I'm setting part of Blood Oranges. I needed to see it at night. Now, I need to see it at twilight. The interstate looms above it there, and tawdry houses crouch in ominous shadows. Sorry. Just had an attack of Lovecraftitis. All over College Hill, the sidewalks were littered with the crap the deserted apartments of college kids excrete at the end of each school year. We saw two girls wheeling enormous wheeley bin things down the road, evidently cleaning out studios at RISD. On Benefit Street, we saw a very tall boy in a dress, attired rather like Dame Darcy. As Spooky said, he didn't look bad in a dress, but it was a curious sight, there beneath the streetlights. And then, a few minutes afterwards, we threw a hubcap. I assume there's no connection between the Dame Darcy boy and the throwing of the hubcap, but, rather, that someone at the tire place did a poor job of putting the thing back on. Anyway, Spooky managed to retrieve it, so all's well that ends well. It was wonderfully cool Outside, and the air smelled clean (though I expect it wasn't).

In Rift, there was more very good rp. Enthlye, Artemisia, Celinn, and Selwynn, at Lantern Hook in the Droughtlands. Lantern Hook, as I may have mentioned, is essentially a sietch, down to the reservoir. Anyway, the Order's future was discussed, as was Selwyn's sudden change of gender. But, yes. Loving the rp. I've not cared as much about an rp character as I do about Selwyn in quite some time. And it's amazing how Telera lends itself perfectly to rp, whereas Azeroth simply doesn't. Mostly, I think it's a matter of Rift being willing to take itself seriously. As someone said last night in general chat, "It's like WoW, without the suck and fail."

And I read "A new enantiornithine bird from the Lower Cretaceous of western Liaoning, China" and "The osteology of Chubutisaurus insignis del Corro, 1975 (Dinosauria: Neosauropoda) from the 'middle' Cretaceous of central Patagonia, Argentina," both in the January JVP. And tried not to think about sunrise.

Okay, make an end to this entry. Later, kittens.

Perspiring,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
The humidity is so high in this house I think the walls are about the begin dripping. I believe I can wring water from my socks.

I was dreaming of a life in a city, a filthy 20th-century city that had grown ancient and mean. Cruel, this city. Staircases that rose and descended forever, towards attics that could never be gained, and basements where no one ever dared go. The city, which was rotting, abutted the sea, which was rotten. I swam in water the color of strong tea, and there was a very large shark that swam past me. I photographed it. Among all those decaying tenements there was a sanitarium, or asylum, that seemed to have grown between and through many of the other buildings like a parasitic organism. My head ached, as if my head had always ached. Paranoia. Climbing and descending stairs. The certainty of being pursued, whether pursuers were in evidence or not. NecroNoir. A whole world in dead shades of brown and grey. The camera with the shark photograph on it lost, and a desperate hunt for it, as, somehow, the proof of my sanity rested with the proof of the shark. Windows looking out over sagging rooftops. Never anything to the sky but clouds.

I wish I could remember more, because there was a lot more. But I'm glad I can't remember more.

There's a shark shaped fin
In the water of my dreams.
Alligator screams from the depths there
I'd swim with you there...


---

Yesterday, I wrote 1,894 words and finished "Figurehead," which will appear in Sirenia Digest #67, which should be out on (or before) the 5th of June. When I was done with the story, I sent it to [livejournal.com profile] sovay, who brought up the relevance of passages from Ovid's Metamorphoses (1.125 — 134). I read a lot of Ovid long ago in college, but most of it's only echoes now. Sometimes, in need of inspiration*, I go back to the Metamorphoses (which is likely obvious). Anyway, she pointed me to a passage that was so alike to the theme of "Figurehead" that I felt the unnerving sensation of experiencing inspiration after the fact:

A third generation followed them, of bronze
and more savage by nature, readier with harsh arms,
yet not wicked; of hard iron was the very last.
All at once there broke into the age of baser ore
every wrong — shame and truth and loyalty fled
and in their place came trickery and deceit
and treachery and force and the wicked love of having.
The seaman spread his sails to the winds he did not yet
understand, and what had stood long on high mountains
now tossed as keels on unknown waves...


If you take the digest, you see what I mean. If you don't, you won't.

Last night, we played far too much Rift, fighting an endless series of invasions and rifts outside the Chancel of Labors and Whitefall, as Iron Pine suffered multiple air rifts and invasions by the minions of the dragon Crucia. Then, after Selwyn returned to Meridian, there was some very good rp on the cliffs north of Lakeside, looking out over the sea. Via a very strange turn of events, I find myself, for the first time ever, rping an essentially transgender character. Sort of an Orlando thing going on, only with a Kelari, instead of Tilda Swinton (Selwyn, though, I must say, is at least as hot at Tilda Swinton, even if she's only pixels). It all ended with Selwyn following Celinn across the burning wastes of Droughtlands to the refuge of Lantern Hook...which is essentially a Fremen sietch, straight from the pages of Dune. And I will remind you: We have a guild. Here. And you can play with us. And there's a FREE 7-day trial.

Today, Spooky has to get new tires for the automobile, and I have to write another (this time short) vignette for the digest.

And I leave you with Hubero:

29 May 2011 )


* A short, partial list of other authors I often turn to for inspiration: Lewis Carroll, Oscar Wilde, T. S. Eliot, Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson, Matthew Arnold, W. B. Yeats, Angela Carter, William Gibson, William Blake, Anne Sexton, Joseph Campbell.
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 2)
On this day, in 1964, in a deep-sea hydrothermal vent, almost ten thousand feet down along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, I squiggled forth from beds of giant tube worms and albino crustaceans. I drew my first watery breath, sucking in superheated brine, belched forth by black smokers and loaded with nutritious sulfides and acetyl thioesters, and then wailing with the abyssal cries of newborn whales, I rose.

Since then, though, I must admit it's been a bit anticlimactic. No cometary impact (Jupiter doesn't count). Still no return of the Great Old Ones. And my damned gills won't grow back. But, hey...I get cake.

And wonderful people send me wonderful things. Tomorrow, I'll try to make as full an accounting of that as possible.

---

Yesterday, I wrote a very respectable 2,149 words, and found the conclusion of Chapter Two of Blood Oranges. As it stands, I'm on page 83, and have written the first 18,292 words of what I intend to be a 75,000-word novel (at most). Two chapters in eleven days. Booya.

I must tell you – again – that Spooky is having a CRK's Birthday Sale on the jewelry at her Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy shop, and shipping is FREE, and everything's selling fast, so have a look. You really need to see her new Alice's Adventures in Wonderland glass-vial pendants. There's a coupon code you'll need to use at checkout: CRKBIRTHDAY

Last night, we watched Peter Weir's The Last Wave (1977). It came up during conversation with Joshi on Tuesday night. I count it as one of a tiny handful of films that gets Lovecraftian right. Now, here I mean films that express the cosmicism of HPL, as distinct from his "Cthulhu Mythos" tales. Truly, there are only a few. John Carpenter's The Thing (1982), Ridley Scott's Alien (1979), and two or three more. But nothing by Stuart Gordon. One day I'll provide an actual list.

Also, yesterday I saw the cover for the Crimson Alphabet chapbook, and it's gorgeous (comes FREE with the limited edition of Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan (Volume One)).

After the movie, we played Rift, and my necromancer, Selwyn, made Level 42. And, because good pushers always provide FREE samples, there are some Selwyn screencaps behind the cut though, reduced to this size, they don't even begin to do the visuals justice. And I shall remind you, WE HAVE A GUILD, and there's a FREE 7-day trial now available! Fun for boys and girls and everything in between!

Um...I better go now. Spooky's making that face.

Selwyn of the Spire )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Cloudy, windy, chilly today.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,551 words on Chapter One of Blood Oranges. I'm starting to think that I'm having fun writing this book. I created a perfectly, marvelously, beautifully vile vampire "child" yesterday, and I've figured out that, were this a film, the protagonist would be played by Jennifer Lawrence. I should be able to finish the first chapter today, at which point it gets sent off to my agent, and I get to work on the research I need to do for Blue Canary.

Which reminds me. Jennifer Lawrence. I've seen all the casting for The Hunger Games announced thus far, and they all seem pretty much dead on. The kid they've cast as Rue is perfect.

Lots of other stuff yesterday, like a look at the almost final cover of Two Worlds and In Between, which is just incredible, because Lee Moyer is awesome. Oh, and the signature sheets for Two Worlds and In Between arrived, and I have to attend to those ASAP.

I read more of Stager's book, and finished the March Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology by reading "New records of the fur seal Callorhinus Carnivora: Otariidae) from the Plio-Pleistocene Rio Dell Formation of Northern California and comments on ottariid dental evolution." Fortunately for me, I can immediately begin reading the January issue, as the latter arrived late and out of sequence.

Last night we watched David Fincher's very excellent The Game (1997), because Spooky had never seen it.

And played Rift. We signed on as our Guardian toons, meaning only to spend a few minutes with Mithrien (me) and Serrafina (Spooky) before switching to our Defiant mains. But. Then the mother of all Rift events struck Silverwood, and we spent the next two hours defending the school in the Argent Glade from incursions from the life rifts. Two hours. I think we both leveled twice. Anyway, later, after the movie, I set up a website for our Defiant guild, Eyes of the Faceless Man, over at Guild Portal (and there's still a TON of work to be done on the site). If you're already a member of the guild, feel free to create a profile, whatever. And if you're not already a member of the guild (we're on the Shadefallen shard), and would like to be, just send me a tell inworld (to Selwyn).

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. The only auction that hasn't ended is the one for the PC of the lettered, boxed edition of In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers (2002), signed by me and Dame Darcy. A note to collectors: We've never offered the boxed edition, ever, before, and this auction also includes the chapbook, "On the Road to Jefferson." So, you might want to have a look. Auction ends in about seven hours.

And I think this is the last day I'll be taking responses to the "Question @ Hand" poll, for them subscribers of Sirenia Digest what might be interested.

Okay. The word mines await.

Verbosely,
Aunt Beast

Beltane '11

May. 1st, 2011 01:37 pm
greygirlbeast: (Pagan1)
A happy and fine Beltane to all who wish to be wished a happy and fine Beltane. Winter is behind us, and now for blazing fires and blazing days.

Five hours sleep last night. The latest drug regimen has been helping me sleep the last week or so, eight hours a night two or three nights in a row. So, last night it was a surprise. It was just after six ayem when I finally got to sleep. The sky was the lightest shades of daylight. I covered my head, and pretended it was still night, which helped.

Yesterday was a day off, and it was a good day off. We left the house about 2:30 p.m., and headed north, through Woonsocket to Millville to the Blackstone River Gorge. We lingered briefly at Rolling Dam (aka Roaring Dam). The safety line strung with red pontoons had broken free, and there was damage to a portion of the spillway. I'm guessing it happened when the ice broke up. When we visited in February, the river above the dam was frozen. Also, there was a maple in the water that must have only just gone down, as the branches were filled with reddish sprouts. Then we headed out to the Gorge itself, which lies downstream (to the southeast) of the dam. We've never done the hike, though there and back is only a little more than a mile (depending which trail you take). We climbed to the top and gazed down into that dark tannin-stained water thirty or forty feet below, listening to the rapids, stared into the tops of trees beginning to come back to life. When we left Providence, the sky was cloudy, overcast, but the sun came out about the time we reached the dam, and I was able to take off my sweater and scarf.

In a hollow between slabs of Devonian granite, we found a boggy place that proved to be the remains of a very old garbage dump. Late Nineteenth Century or older. Heaps of glass, brick, ceramics, ornate china shards, shattered jugs, lead nails, shreds of hobnailed boots...it would be a fascinating place to dig, but the park forbids it. Not far past the dump, we found a wide sandy place by the river. I spotted something in the water downstream, which I at first mistook for ducks. However, the disturbance turned out to be two otters (Lontra [?=Lutra] canadensis) frolicking in the shallow, slow-flowing river. I'd never before seen otters in the wild. Various other mustelids, yes (skunks, mink, weasels, etc.), but never otters. We sat and watched them for a about half an hour. They were maybe a hundred yards from us, at the most, and we did most of the watching through a 10x42 monocular. They breached and dove, rolled, and swam swiftly, sinuously, along just below the surface. The air was filled with birdsong. And were actually heard a Pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus). It was truly wonderful, and the cumulative effect of yesterday was to lead me to resolve that the stagnant age of sitting at this desk all the time, whether I'm working or not, is over. I'm missing the world, the world I used to live in, the wild.

Part of this, of course, is that, thanks to meds and exercise, my Lousy Rotten Feet have improved dramatically over the last year and a half. I don't even really need the stick anymore. I used it during yesterday's hike, because the ground was so uneven and heights were involved, but, usually, I leave it at home now. Anyway, there are a few photos from yesterday behind the cut, below, and I'll post more tomorrow.

---

And this month, the selection for Aunt Beast's Book of the Month Club is Under the Poppy by Kathe Koja (Small Beer Press, 2010). This is such a marvelous book. Koja has become such a very brilliantly polished author, and here she treads territories that have rarely been done justice. There's a faint whiff of Angela Carter. But yes, there's our novel for May.



---

We played far too fucking much Rift last night, mostly questing out of Perspice. The highpoint had to be escorting Kayfax, a talking cat, as it tracked trolls. Kayfax decided that Selwyn and Miisya would make very fine pets, and so we were referred to as "pet." Selwyn made Level 35, and Miisya made 36.

Ah, and by the way. Back at the beginning of March, I vowed to make at least one blog entry every day for four months. I didn't want to jink it by announcing it until I was well in. And now I've made it halfway.

And that's all for now. Have a fine first day of May, kittens.

Springy,
Aunt Beast

30 April 2011, Part 1 )
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
Monsieur Insomnie, va niquer ta mère. S'il vous plaît. Merci.

-- Tante Bête

It was full fucking daylight before I found sleep. Maybe 7 a.m. The specifics are a little hazy.

Yesterday, it was too warm to stay inside. It was too warm and I was too filled with anger, and so we left the house. We drove. The temperature was in the low seventies Fahrenheit, and the sun was bright. In Providence, the trees are bright with sprays of green and yellow and pink and white. The grass is going green. We drove about College Hill and the Eastside (not to be confused with East Providence, sensu stricto). And then we drove south. I think we meant, originally, to stop when we got to Wickford, but we kept going, all the way south to Narragansett and Point Judith. Driving through South County, the trees (native hardwoods) are still mostly barren. It still looks a lot like winter down there. Ugly and grey and bleak.

But we reached the sea. And maybe it was warm back in Providence, but at Point Judith, it was just shy of freezing. The surf was rough, and there were about half a dozen surfers making the best of it. We also visited Harbor of Refuge, where we fed cheese crackers to several species of seagulls. We saw other birds near the sea and the salt marshes: cormorants, swans, mallards, robins, Canadian geese, and what was probably a raven. The sea was loud and violent, rising and shattering itself against the granite jetty. And the roar and the violence were much appreciated. I dozed most of the way back to Providence, and when I woke, whatever bit of soothing the sea had accomplished was gone, and there was only the anger again.

Oh, we did have the cameras with us. But I aggressively resisted any urge to take pictures. There's too much sharing as it is.

Last night, I needed comfort movies, so we watched Fight Club (1999) and then Death Proof (2007). Marla Singer and Zoe Bell always help, even if only just a little bit. We played Rift. Selwyn reached Level 31. And then...I didn't sleep. Which brings us full circle, as we say.

I should go. There's work to do, and I'm 1/10th awake, so maybe I'll do some of it. Comment if you wish, and I'll probably reply. I'm going to sit here, finish my tepid coffee, listen to Brown Bird, and bask in the chilly air coming in my open office window.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Raining now. Raining and likely fifty-something out there. I don't feel like checking the actual, factual temperature. Spring – real Spring – is coming on very slowly, but very certainly. All the little specifics don't matter. Only what they add up to, that's what matters.

Don't mind me. I'm just a crazy lazy sitting in a chair.

Today seems to be looking at me the way an Irish wolfhound eyes a dog biscuit, so comments wouldn't be unappreciated.

Two days here to recount:

1) Thursday: I wrote 1,584 words on "Fake Plastic Trees." We tended to the new piercings, which are doing well. I didn't leave the house, though the possibility was briefly discussed. I was groggy from the new meds. I almost engaged in rp, but didn't because of the aforementioned wooziness. I played a little Rift, but sucked, thanks to the wooziness in question. During the day, much email. We may have chosen the author's photo for Two Worlds and In Between. Not one I expected we'd choose. But it's not yet final. I sent the "final" version of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir to my editor at Penguin, and she says the release date is still March 2012. Which surprises me, as I've been so late delivering the thing. In the evening, Spooky and I watched Jean-Jacques Annaud's very under-appreciated Enemy at the Gates (2001). I'd seen it twice before, but she'd not seen it. In all ways this film is wonderful, except for James Horner's suffocating score. That was Thursday, give or take.

2) Friday: I exchanged what felt like about a hundred emails with [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy, mostly regarding the book trailer for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. I learned my lesson with the aborted trailer for The Red Tree. There are things I cannot do myself, and that's why there are other talented people in the world. I'll say more about it later, but the trailer's looking as if it'll be very cool. We're in the stage of casting about for models (Imp, Abalyn, and Eva), and finding locales, and all that fun stuff. I'll have more to say on this soon. I wrote very little yesterday on "Fake Plastic Trees," only about 400 words. I'm very near THE END, and I find myself shying away from the grimmest ending that may present itself. I wrote 400 words and had to step back, because it was a little too much to look at straight in the eye like that. Wicked little god you are, Aunt Beast, with all those universes clenched in your fists. Anyway, I'll probably finish the story today. I need to, as there's other work waiting. We left the house, and returned to Thayer Street, and I got the boots (thank you again, Jada). So, behind the cut, below, there's boot porn. They make me an inch taller, but what the fuck. I saw a very green willow. After dinner, we watched Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol. 2 again, since we watched Vol. 1 on Wednesday night. We played Rift, and Selwyn reached Level 30. She's becoming quite the bad-ass necromancer, out there doing the bidding of the Faceless Man. We read more of The Book Thief, and I decided what the book-club book will be next month (but don't ask; it's still a secret).

So, there. Two days, all squished up together. Condensed days.

There's talk of me being in Manhattan on the 17th of May. We'll see how that goes.

And I should decamp this blog for now, make an end to this entry, and face the woebegone day.

Boot Porn )


Implicitly,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
On Monday, I learned that "As Red As Red" has been nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award, as has the anthology in which it was published, Ellen Datlow's Haunted Legends (Tor).

---

No work yesterday, aside from email. No good excuse. The words were in my head, and the deadlines are pressing in about me. Still, I fucked off to nowhere in particular. Spooky got back from the mechanic (the bill was bad, but less than expected, and we're pretending that faulty crankshaft will last forever), and I realized that I'd not left the house since Sunday. So, I tagged along while Spooky ran assorted errands. For a while, the sun was warm on my face, and there were the first hints of green, and, here and there, blooming things. All traces of motivation and enthusiasm, enthusiasm for anything at all, faded from me. I dozed in the van. I looked through the windows at the shadows along Benefit Street. I ate a handful of jelly beans. On the way home, we stopped at Acme Video (but I'm coming to that).

---

Last night, we watched Let Me In, Matt Reeves' remake of Tomas Alfredson's Låt den rätte komma in, which, of course, was adapted from John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel of the same title. I avoided Reeves' film in the theater, which seemed like the best course of action. I couldn't see the point of it. Even if Reeves' film turned out good, he was still remaking a very new and very excellent film. An endeavor which would be, at best, pointless. And then I learned that the issue of Eli's gender was being removed from the script, which goes a long way towards gutting the story. Eli becomes Abby, and Abby's just a "girl," and all ambiguity is removed. To make things worse, I happened across an interview with Reeves (which I tried to find again, and have been unable to*) in which he was very open about his beliefs that these changes were necessary for the story to be appreciated by an American audience. So, no. I didn't go see it.

I also swore I wouldn't see the DVD.

Regardless, last night, we watched Matt Reeves' film. I tried very hard to judge this film only on its own merits, not relative to Alfredson's. And I failed. But then so does Matt Reeves. Spooky and I often happen upon interesting indie horror films that we'd never heard of, and which turn out to be quite good. Had it not been for the masterful Låt den rätte komma in, Reeves' film might have struck us that way. A pretty good little coming-of-age vampire story. I might even have applauded its grittiness and willingness to take child characters places lots of filmmakers wouldn't have. Instead, Let Me In came across as rushed and disjointed. Even dull. We both actually almost fell asleep.

There are places where the film is a shot-by-shot remake of Låt den rätte komma in, which, again, makes judging it on its own merits difficult. And what was all that business with "Owen's" mother being a religious maniac? I thought, oh...okay...she'll be the one "Abby" bites, the one who lives, then dies in the hospital-room conflagration, having learned she's become the thing she professes to hate, and hey, okay, that might be kind of interesting. But no. Nothing of the sort. Chloe Moretz, who entirely won me over in Kick Ass, radiated nothing of the quiet, innocent threat we saw from Lina Leandersson. And that kid who played "Owen" is about as interesting to watch as a bowl of Cream of Wheat. Is this actually the same actor who appeared in The Road? It's hard to fucking believe. Also, sure, there are more special effects in Reeves' film. Because that's what Americans do. So what?

Verdict: Let Me In is a very mediocre little horror film, if you've never seen Låt den rätte komma in, and if you can set aside the homophobic/transphobic politics that turned Eli into "Abby." But if you passionately love the Swedish film, as did I, and if you expect anything like its depth and Alfredson's marvelous study of mood and atmosphere and character, you're up shit creek. A very shallow shit creek. My advice would be to watch Låt den rätte komma in. It's actually a good film and worthy of your time and attention. To call Matt Reeves' remake unnecessary is a gross understatement.

I never go into a film with the intention of hating it. You know, watching (or reading) something just to earn the rights to kvetch. And I should have kept my promise and avoided this remake.

---

I've ended the keyboard auction. I realize now that I made the incredibly dumb mistake of putting it up just as taxes are due. Maybe I'll list it again in a month or two. My thanks to everyone who looked in, though, and everyone who spread the word.

---

Aside from the film, not much to last night but Rift. Selwyn made Level 26. I genuinely wish that MMORPGs would offer you the opportunity to tell whining, cowering townspeople to butch up and take care of their own problems or shut the fuck up. It could add a whole new set of stats. Another sort of reputation rating or something. I often have that reaction, and I was having it a lot last night, as the people of Granite Falls (Telara's answer to Deadwood, I think) asked me to do this and then that menial task. For example, the nurse who was too squeamish to take blood. Um...okay. The Ascendant are these super beings, essentially demigods, and we spend a significant amount of our time searching out lost lockets for mourning widows and putting meat in the tables of people apparently too lazy or incompetent to do it for themselves. Yeah, that makes sense.

---

And now...well...we'll see.

* I intend to continue looking for it, though.

Postscript: My thanks to [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark who appears to have found the interview I'm remembering: "Hammer Film's Simon Oakes Promises Scary, Accessible 'Let Me In'". But I may also have read this, which [livejournal.com profile] sovay tracked down: "Matt Reeves Interview LMI DVD,Talks About Abby's Gender." Both contain equally offensive and idiotic comments.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Fuck all, it's raining. It's cold and rainy and Spooky has to walk to the garage to get the hopefully not broken anymore car. And I don't feel like blogging, and as I was getting out of bed (crack, pop, fuck, crack, pop, crunch, ow), Hubero rather perfectly described my "artistic process." So, thought I, a guest blogger! People do that shit all the time, right? Well, Jeff VanderMeer does, and he's pretty cool.

---

All day Ma sits and taps at this thing. Don't know why she does it. She sits and taps at this thing all day long just tapping and tapping and tapping like it's supposed to mean something. She taps then she stops tapping and yells and then taps some more. She taps and yells and yells and checks the internets and taps. Sometimes she yells at my other Ma, and they yell at each other and then Ma gets quiet and stares at the glowing box before she taps some more. Tap tap tap tap tap. Then she goes to the litter box and comes back and taps. Then she yells and checks the internets and taps and punches the arm of her chair and yells and mutters and mumbles and takes her pills and can't find the book she needs so she yells more and I say fuck this noise and go find a place to sleep but I can STILL hear her tapping and tapping and yelling. Ma does this for hours and hours every single day. The other Ma mostly tells us not to eat STYRO-foam peanuts and dust bunnies and garlic skins but other other Ma taps all day long. Taps and yells. And stares. Lots of staring. Tapping and staring. And pacing and yelling and tapping. If she did less of this I could sleep in her chair which is nice because it smells like her butt.

Signed,
Hubero P. Wu



---

Yeah, Well. Anyway. So, maybe cats aren't natural born bloggers.

Yesterday was a whole lot more of everything that happened on Monday. Which you can find out about by reading yesterday's entry, rather than me regurgitating the tedious catalog. Wanna be a writer? Learn to love the hell out of tedium. That's rule Number One. Today, with luck, I'm actually going to begin work on the short story I should have begun work on two days ago. Because being ahead of schedule is about to turn in to being behind schedule. Oh, and I packed boxes for the storage unit. And hung pictures that have been waiting two and a half years to be hung.

Please have a look at the Totally Unique Never-To-Be-Repeated Keyboard Auction. Thanks.

Also, don't forget the Question @ Hand, the best replies to which will appear in Sirenia Digest #65.

---

Last night we watched Julian Schnabel's Basquiat (1996), which I can't believe I'd never seen. But I hadn't. If I had only one word? Poignant. In almost all senses of the word. Bowie's portrayal of Andy Warhol is especially marvelous. Afterwards, we watched Grant Harvey's Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004), which I enjoyed quite a bit more than the first time I saw it. I fear, the first time, I was too weighed down by expectation. Regardless, second time around, I mostly just had fun with the violence and werewolves and sexy. Yeah, a weird as hell double feature. I know.

Later, we played Rift. I decided, finally, that my Kelari mage, Selwyn (necromancer, warlock, pyromancer), will be my main. Spooky played as her Kelari cleric, Miisya (using her druid soul). We were out in Stonefield with [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus's Kelari rogue, Celinn. Which was wicked fun, but Celinn needs a horsey. Or a vaiyuu. Either one. We may take up a collection, because, let me tell you, kittens, all that running across the plains of Rohan shit gets old fast. Selwyn made Level 22. Also, we need a fucking tank.

We read more of Markus Zusak's The Book Thief

And that was yesterday. Whoopee.

Slogging Onward,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I could not possibly exaggerate the chaos of the last twenty-four hours. I'll say more in a day or two, but my nerves have been on edge until they no longer have edges.

On the bright side, I finished the story for Dark Horse yesterday, two days ahead of schedule. Which means I can take today off before diving into the next story and the race to the next deadline.

Sitting here, I'm having a little bit of trouble actually reconstructing the events of yesterday in any stepwise or linear manner. It was a day like that. My goal for today is to have an afternoon and evening that isn't like that.

I posted the next "Question @ Hand," which you may read and respond to here. Responses are screened; no one can see them but me.

I read "A new Triassic marine reptile from southwestern China," in the new JVP. It's a really fascinating beast, Sinosaurosphargis, a bizarre turtle-like creature that seems to lie somewhere deep in the ancestry of placodonts and plesiosaurs. Also, Spooky and I watched Christophe Gans' Le pacte des loups for the first time since I saw it in theaters when it was released in the states. A brilliant, strange, beautiful, terrifying, sexy film. And, between The Drowning Girl: A Memoir and "Random Notes Before a Fatal Crash," I've been so hung up lately on la bête du Gévaudan. Actually, I've been hung up on the tales of the beast since I was a small child, but it gets worse sometimes. One of the things that makes Le pacte des loups work so well for me is Grégoire de Fronsac's mercy for the beast at the end.

After the movie, a little Rift, but I was really much too tired. I got my main, Selwyn (Kelari mage, necromancer), to Level 22. Selwyn's mute, and she holds some secret and devious congress with the Faceless Man. Oh, I almost forgot. Spooky spent the day downloading Lord of the Rings Online for me. Free, sure. But it took something like twelve hours. Anyway, this is the game I wanted to play, when I began WoW, instead. And maybe if I'd been able to play the game in 2007 or 2008, I'd have been impressed. But...last night? No. Considerable disappointment, after the wonders of Rift. No matter how big a Tolkien fiend I may be. Alas.

Congratulations to [livejournal.com profile] kiaduran on the discovery of her "hobbit tea house" by the sea.

A reminder to those who helped out with the Tale of Two Ravens/Goat Girl Press Kickstarter project, that Spooky's keeping a blog on her progress with the illustrations. Be sure to have a look.

Okay. Now I go forth to slay this fucking day and drink its chilly black blood.

Bound and Determined,
Aunt Beast
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)
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: (white)
The cold hangs onto Providence with a death grip. At least the snow is gone, and there's sun.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,223 words on The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. And realized that I'm much nearer THE END than I'd guessed. It could be finished today and tomorrow. Maybe three days at the most. And the realization is disorienting, to say the least. Also, it occurred to me this morning that one important thing that sets this book apart from my previous novels is that place has never been so unimportant. There is a sense of place, of Providence (and mostly the Armory district), of the RISD Museum on Benefit Street, and the Athenaeum, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, and, most especially, of the Blackstone Gorge and Rolling Dam at Millville, Massachusetts. The book also weaves in Boston, Manhattan, and LA, and other places. But almost all of it takes place in Imp's apartment in the Armory. The Drowning Girl: A Memoir could almost be adapted as a stage play with two, maybe three, sets: Imp's apartment, the RISD Gallery, a seashore. Curiously, I didn't include the Blackstone River, the novel's most important locale, outside Imp's home, on that list of potential sets.

I'll write on it today, and tomorrow, and maybe on Monday...and then I'll probably have found THE END.

Also, yesterday we proofed "Hydraguros," which is being reprinted in Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 2. I wrote this story a year ago, and I'm still in love with it. It's my best sf since I wrote "In View of Nothing" and "A Season of Broken Dolls" in early 2007. And after the proofreading, I printed out exactly 25 copies of "Atlantis," the poem I wrote in August for everyone who donated to Spooky's birthday fund. Each copy is printed in Garamond on Crane's Crest Executive paper, 100% cotton, premium weight (28 lb.). Each is signed and numbered. There will be no more. These will go in the mail on Monday.

I printed and signed a new set of contracts for Two Worlds and In Between. Because one of Bill's cats barfed on the originals. Sorry, Bill, but I had to tell that story. It's just too funny (and I, too, live in constant fear of the wages of cat barf).

I got Vince's illustration for Sirenia Digest #63, and, honstly, it's one of the best he's ever done. It'll appear as the cover. Today, I'll assemble the issue, and subscribers should have it tonight or tomorrow.

So, that was yesterday.

---

After dinner last night, we began reading Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire, the next book after The Hunger Games. Though it was no small feat, Shaharrazad found the last few quests needed to complete the "Into the Nether" achievement. Seriously, I needed almost an hour to find the last four quests I needed. They were hiding in "Area 52," with this Consortium ethereal fuck who looked like he only had dailies (big blue question mark floating above his head), even with low-level quests turned on. In truth, he has a whole string of quests! Thank you, Spooky and WoWhead. I never would have found those on my own. So, now I go back to Shadowmoon Valley and Nagrand, try to finish up Outland, and get the Loremaster title.

I played a couple of hours of Rift. I'm sure everyone's getting tired of me gushing over the game. I'll just say I got Selwyn to Level 17. Oh, and I'll say this, too. It's hard to ignore that in advertising for the game Trion is relying almost exclusively on the "human" Ethian and Mathosian races. In ads, in the quick-start guide, on the cover of the box, almost everywhere...we see Ethians and/or Mathosian (physically, they're pretty much interchangeable). And I call this a pernicious sort of speciesism/racism. There are six player races in Telara, and many of us are not Ethian and Mathosian. Never mind that I see more people playing Bahmi and Kelari than anything else (I have no idea how things look on the Guardian side). And I just heard that the two RP/PVP shards must be filling up fast, as Trion opened a third today, Estrael.

Oh, while I gamed, Spooky streamed The Secret of Kells and the Mythbusters episode about duct tape (I'm sort of sorry I missed the latter).

---

Whatever I'm forgetting can wait until later.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
So far, Spooky has rendered this morning a scene from an unmade David Lynch film. Bobby Vinton and fussing about how I clean out the coffee maker were involved. She checked for fish. After all, there are tins of sardines in the pantry. Oh, and it doesn't help that, last night, someone pointed out to me how much Thom Yorke and Tilda Swinton look alike. It's true.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,428 words on the final chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. A pivotal, culminative scene I could not have written (well) had I not gone to the Blackstone River in the snow on Sunday. But I did go, and so I did write the scene to the best of my ability. And I find that, as I expected, this is essentially a novel without climax. There are revelations strewn here and there, but nothing actually ever coalesces into a climax. It's a novel that begins here and stops there, when Imp believes she's done the best job she'll ever do of telling her "ghost story."

As it stands, the manuscript is 96,158 words long. My contract specifies a novel 100,000 words long. Setting aside for the moment that no one should ever tell an author how long or short a novel has to be, I emailed my editor a week back and told her it might go to 120,000. She asked if I could please keep it to 110,000-115,0000. I did some math, juggled scenes, and replied that I might be able to keep it to 110,000, which made her very happy. So, assuming I can do that, I have about 13,842 words left to go until the more or less arbitrary THE END. I've been writing, on average, 1,200-1,500 words a day, which means I'll likely finish sometime between Friday the 11th and Sunday the 13th. Hardly any time left to go, on a novel that I've been working on. in one way or another, since August 2009.

Also, we proofed "Postcards from the King of Tides" for Two Worlds and In Between. It's a story that still works for me, despite having been written in 1997. I don't think that I'd ever seen how much influence "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" had on the story until yesterday.

For dinner, there was spicy beef shawarma and baba ghannoush.

---

Last night, we finished Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games. Gods, this is a brilliant book. I mean fucking brilliant. Horrifying and sorrowful and poignant and beautiful and strong. Katniss is one of my new favorite literary figures. I'm not going to gush on and on, or risk spoilers, but I will say I was especially impressed at how Collins deftly managed to put us in the mind of someone living in a totalitarian world. There are so many times Katniss Everdeen might have stopped and given the gamemakers or the Capital the middle finger. But she doesn't, even though that's what they do in Big Hollywood movies, because she understands the dire consequences it would have for her and, more importantly, for her family and District 12. She only knows, at this stage, how corrupt and loathsome the world is, and that it may destroy everything it touches. This is how evil men stay in power. And it's impossible not to read this novel and see the Capitol of Panem as the US, and each of the twelve districts (thirteen was obliterated in the late civil war) as all those countries where people live in squalor so that Americans may enjoy an obscenely high standard of living.

---

Gaming consumed far too much of my night. First, Spooky let me use her laptop long enough the level Selwyn to 16. I love the world of Rift so, so much. I love that it awes me, and takes my breath, and frightens me, and that I walk through Meridian and so many people are in character, roleplaying, and so few have inappropriate names (for now, the name police thing is working).

Meanwhile, in that other game, the candy-colored one, Shaharrazad is still grinding away at Loremaster. I've now done 105 out of the 120 Netherstorm quests.

---

Okay, I slept far too late, and now it's time to make the doughnuts. Go to bed at 5 ayem, get up at noon thirty, you must make concessions.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
The second day of March, already.

Yesterday, I wrote 959 words on The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Which doesn't seem like a very good writing day, given my uncharacteristically high daily word counts with this book. But, here at the end, I have to handle the story like glass. Everything I've built could be shattered by one wrong move.

It would be that easy.

After the writing, Spooky and I proofread "Riding the White Bull" for Two Worlds and In Between. "Riding the White Bull" is a much longer story than I recall it being. But it remains one of my best sf stories to date. It gets so many things right. I'd love to write it all over again.

And after that, dinner, and then we rearranged furniture in the middle parlour, because we're trying to make the house more livable. And after that, Spooky used my back as a canvas, a little something for the "Question @ Hand" article in Sirenia Digest #63. And after that reading and gaming. Which is a pretty good synopsis of yesterday.

---

Rift remains an amazing, beautiful, and utterly playable game, though I've not been able to play much the last two days. Yesterday was the official release date, and the postman brought our hard copies of the game. But the flood of idiots I'd expected seems either not to have occurred, or our rp server was spared the deluge. People roleplay. They remain in character. They almost all have actual names. The exceptions are rare (like the idiots calling themselves "Dingleberry" and "Morningwood," whom Spooky reported yesterday). Selwyn, my Kelari mage, is most of the way through Level 15. She has a skeletal minion named Jude, and a striped vaiyuu (the wiki says you have to be Level 20 to get one, but Selwyn bought hers at 14). Her story forms in my head, her character. As soon as I'm able to play her with Kathryn and others, she'll be a full-fledged alter ego.

But what I've mostly been doing is playing WoW, grinding my way towards the Loremaster title. All I have left is Outland, but that's sort of like walking across Africa, south to north, and saying, "All I have left is the Sahara." I've finished four regions in Outland: Terrorkar Forest, the Hellfire Peninsula, Zangarmarsh, and the Blade's Edge Mountains, which leaves me with three regions to go. Right now, it breaks down like this, in terms of quests done and quests left to be done:

74/85 in Nagrand
71/90 in Shadowmoon Valley
75/120 in Netherstorm

Which means I have seventy-five quests to go. Which wouldn't look so bad, given all the thousands I've done to get this far. Except Nagrand is notoriously fucking hard to finish, and I seem to have hit a wall in Shadowmoon Valley. Just not enough quests. Oh, and while I'm talking about WoW, one of the ways Blizzard truly borked this game in the latest expansion was the removal of almost all ports. I know they're stated goal was to encourage exploration by eliminating shortcuts. But what they've really done is left most of Northrend and Outland utterly deserted. Though, I will admit, it's very nice playing Outland with no other players around.

---

And now that I've nerded on at such length, it's time to make the doughnuts. Carefully.

Oh, note that the Annual Locus Poll and Survey is taking votes. The Ammonite Violin & Others made the ballot under collection. Please, please, please take a moment to vote. Thanks. You don't have to be a subscriber to vote.

Also! It's Dr. Seuss' birthday!
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Just as the last of the snow was melting, it snowed again last night. Not much here in Providence, but more up north.

Yesterday, I wrote another 1,068 words on the last chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. I think I'm terrified. The book is a house of cards, and I'm stacking more on top, and pulling cards out from the bottom, and somehow I have to keep the whole from toppling over. And there's to be a lot of sexual energy at the end, and it has to absolutely not become pornographic (not because I have anything against porn, but because that's not what this is meant to be).

Thanks to the awesome Richard A. Kirk, who sent me a copy of his illustrated novella, The Lost Machine. It's beautiful. You should order a copy. I say so. Also, there's a forward by Mike Mignola! In case you're unaware, I've worked with Rick on...let me see...five books, five books since 2000. Most recently, he did the amazing cover for The Ammonite Violin and Others.

Today, I think there's going to be a very small adventure, and then work, and a little work after that. I think.

---

Selwyn made Level 13 last night, and Shaharrazad is only five quests (out of 86) away from having the Blade's Edge Mountains achievement (and so one achievement nearer Loremaster). Too much gaming. And, mostly, I'm having some weird worldshock, jumping back and forth between Telara and Azeroth. The latter being bright and cartoonish and silly, the former being so rich and urgent and possessed of depth. Oh, and there was about an hour of rp with a friend in Telara last night. She's another mage, named Enthlye. We sat on the docks at Kelari Refuge and had a conversation. It was very good, and I can see Rift lending itself to good rp, once you learn the lore. Well, actually, Enthlye talked and Selwyn scribbled on the planks with a stub of charcoal. When she made the jump from the future to the past, something went wrong, and she has no tongue. I've also discovered that Selwyn prefers to work magic with a sword, instead of a staff.

And, also, I really wish that people on SL and in MMORPGs would understand that roleplaying isn't writing. It's acting. And no, it's not collaborative writing. That's what actual writers who write together do. RP is theater, improvisational theater, and if you understand this one simple fact, you can make it good and rewarding. But to call it acting is like calling the act of writing a novel acting, which it isn't, no matter how deeply I immerse myself in a character. Now, you can write stories based on or inspired by rp (I've done that), but that happens after the actual rp, and it's writing, not rping.

Honestly, it feels like there are these people who want to be writers, but either they have no talent or they won't sign off a damned game or social dohicky or whatever long enough to endure the intense solitude of writing, so they're trying to change the definition of writing to include what they're doing.*

---

I'm loving The Hunger Games more and more and more.

Okay, must take meds and finish coffee.

*Postscript (4:45 p.m.): To quote my post of January 28th, "1) Do not assume that because I express my views that I'm obligated to defend those views to you or engage in a dialogue, or even listen to your views. And I will exchange the favour."
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
Bleah. Doctor's appointment. I'm being good. No, I'm trying to be good, and not wear latex gloves and a breath mask. I did that last winter, and it freaked people out. This is a new doctor, and I probably shouldn't freak her out until later.

Yesterday, I wrote precisely 1,500 words on the beginning of the ninth chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. There are few things as terrifying as beginning the ending of a novel. Here is where it stops. Here, I have to get it all exactly right, and I have to do it the first time, because I know I won't rewrite. And it's going to be harrowing, sorrowful, merciful, vicious, joyful, and hallucinatory. And then there will be an epilogue, and the novel really will be over.

After the writing, Spooky and I proofed "Waycross" for Two Worlds and In Between.

That was work yesterday.

Today, I doubt I'll get a single word read, or anything edited.

Last night, we finished reading [livejournal.com profile] blackholly's White Cat, and began Suzanne Collin's The Hunger Games. My agent has been trying to get me to read it, and Neil also said I ought to, and now I see why. It's bloody fucking brilliant. Beautiful worldbuilding. Plus, it had Spooky in tears by the second chapter, and that's always a good sign that the writer is doing her job.

Spooky let me on her laptop long enough to level my Kelari mage to 8. I'm intending to take the leveling really slow. I want to see this world. I want leveling to be a journey. Rift has yet to disappoint. Also, I've mostly seen only appropriate names. I was heartened to see, in chat, that players are reporting inappropriate names. And that players are putting thought into how the names of each race should sound. We're really not in Azeroth anymore.

Okay. I have to go get dressed so I can be humiliated, poked, prodded, and charged too much for the experience. If we were talking about a dominatrix, instead of a medical doctor, I'd have no problem with this.

No, I have no health insurance. I'm a writer. An American writer. I'm pretty sure healthcare is unpatriotic.
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!

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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