greygirlbeast: (mandarin)
Okay, well. So far this morning, I've had my iMac pull some crazy-ass "Colonel Panic" crash on me, while half the goddamn internet was telling me that I needed to call Harlan. "Calm" has not, thus far, been le mot du jour. But I foresee smoother sailing ahead. And, by the way, I have discovered that during computer crises I have learned to channel Hoban Washburne. Just stay in my seat, flip switches, and tell Spooky, my voice treading that fine line between amused, terrified, and extraordinarily polite, that if we don't get some extra flow from the engine room to offset the burn-through this landing is gonna get pretty interesting. Though, I've learned it's best off not to define "interesting."

I am a leaf on the motherfucking wind. The wind just happens to be a hurricane.

Yesterday I wrote a fairly impressive 2,104 words on "Ex Libris." The story's word count presently stands at 9,118 (~10k words were requested), so I'll finish today. One way or the other, with or without that primary buffer panel, and those entry couplings that should have been replaced six months ago be damned. All is bright and shiny. Anyway, yes, I wrote, and Spooky continued the mind-numbing task of rereading The Drowning Girl. Well, mind-numbing is my adjective. She says that she's seen things about the book she never saw before – good things, mind you, mostly structural aspects, that apparent chaos is only apparent, and so forth – because she's having to read the ms. in this tedious fashion. Which is cool. But I couldn't have done it. My solution involved taking a train to Manhattan and...never mind. Anyway, Spooky is finishing that up even as I write, and will likely be finished by the time I complete this entry. 'Cause she rocks.

I have in mind to post a list of all the things I want to do before I die, even though I expect I won't be able to do one third of them (money and time are the most common obstacles). Problem is, I have to write out the list, then whittle it down to, say, ten.

I sincerely hope no one was offended at what I wrote yesterday regarding why the "Tale of the Ravens" project is coming along so slowly, that it's because Kathryn's been having to do so much work for me. In truth, only a single person (out of our seventy-two Kickstarter backers) has said peep. It's just that we're both very frustrated about the project. And...

WHOA

...Spooky just finished the horrid proofreading. Well, her part. I still have to go over it the way one usually goes over galley pages. But, most of the work is done, and she is free to return to the ravens. Tiddley fucking pom.

I should begin wrapping this up.

After all the writing, there was more leftover chili (living large at La casa de Kiernan), and I dozed, and watched an episode of Nova on Kīlauea, and we played a LOT of Rift (the guild is moving back towards RP mode, by the way, so, if you're interested...), then watched the premiere of Season Seven of Deadliest Catch, then played a little more Rift, and I fell asleep watching James Stewart in Billy Wilder's The Spirit of St. Louis (1957), a comfort film. And that was yesterday.

Oh, except, I also I had a look at Star Wars: The Old Republic, at game-play video and cut scenes and whatnot. I even signed up for the Beta, because it does sound interesting, that universe set three thousand years before the "first" gawdsawful movie. BUT! Jesus, the graphics are awful. I mean, Bioware seems to be trying to make the crappy graphics in Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim look good. This valley ain't just uncanny; it's downright butt ugly. Now, if we are to believe that $135 million was spent making this game, more than has ever been spent creating any video game, I'm left asking, "Where the hell did all that money go?" Was it spent on cheese doodles and Mountain Dew? Maybe it went up someone's nose, because it sure didn't go into the game's graphic design. I expect I'll play a bit, regardless. because, like I said, I love the idea.

The platypus says visiting hours are up, and we do not argue with the monotremes.

Shiny. Let's be badguys,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (starbuck5)
One of the things about being a freelancer – and here I mean the sort with nothing resembling a regular gig, the sort who lives hand to mouth, short story to novel to short story and so forth – is that there's a lot of waking-up time. You might have to worry about paying the bills, but you can take three hours to chase the sleep away. But now, because of The Secret, I'm another sort of writer, and I'm having to get used to rolling out of bed and hitting the floor running, frosty, eyes wide, bright and shiny, Cap'n. I'm getting very good at faking awake and articulate.

I actually slept eight and a half hours last night.

Yesterday, I worked. A lot.

I just got word of the Decemberists EP that comes out on November 1, and there's the new Tom Waits next week. Music madness!

This morning, Spooky kindly made me eggs and bacon for breakfast. These days, left to my own devices, my usual breakfast is a can of Campbell's vegetarian vegetable soup. And now I have my sugar-free Red Bull, so all is right and Ceiling Cat is in his clouds, rubbing shoulders with the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

I wish I had a good Hallowe'en party to attend this year, But, likely I shall not. Likely, we shall attend the Molten Masquerade, the annual iron pour at The Steel Yard, where over 500 pounds of liquid steel will flow beneath the night skies of Providence. It's hard to think of a better way to welcome Samhain. I mean, hard to think of a better way to welcome Samhain that doesn't involve nudity. And a sacrificial Scientologist.

A favor, please. If you've received your copy of Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan (Volume One), please leave a comment to that effect (and your location, if you don't mind). I just like watching my new books spread, like a pandemic.

Last night, after work, after Spooky went to the farmer's market, after meatloaf, we played RIFT for...a while. And then we read more of Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis' Wildwood. While Spooky read aloud, I used astronomy "apps" on Kermit to explore Mars and then the Moon. Ah, and yesterday I also managed to read four (!!!!) papers in the latest issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology: "A new Barremian (Early Cretaceous) ichthyosaur from western Russia," "A Carboniferous emblomere tail with supraneural radials," "The first temnospondyl amphibian from Japan," and "New evidence of large Permo-Triassic dicynodonts (Synapsida) from Australia."

And that was the best of yesterday. And now I will leave you with five more randomly chosen "behind the scenes" photos taken by Ryan Anas during last weekend's shoot for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir trailer. However, these are so random, I think I'll add captions:

Ryan's Behind the Scenes, Part Two )
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
Not quite awake, though I bloody well ought to be. What good is raisin/cinnamon toast with organic cream cheese and a glass of Gatorade if it doesn't wake you up?

Yesterday, I wrote 1,083 words on Chapter One of The Red Tree. Mostly, how Sarah Crowe met "Amanda Tyrell."* I think this is the last scene in the chapter. Another day or two of writing. After the writing, I packed eight boxes of books, before admitting I was too tired to pack anything more.

But the office is damn near done. I've never written in an empty office before, all the shelves bare of books. Almost all of them. Only fourteen days left until M Day. Fourteen Days. Two weeks. Two of those days will be lost to a couple more day trips to Burningspam (to see my doctor, then to retrieve my belongings from the storage unit), so, really, we have only twelve days remaining in which to pack, etc. And I have only six writing days left before the move. Wow. Fourteen days. 336 hours. Well, no, because it's already 11:30 ayem, so more like 324.5 hours. 19,470 minutes. 1,168,200 seconds (give or take). Spooky's gonna smack me when she sees this breakdown.

It rained all day yesterday.

Later, sometime After dinner, we...well, never mind that part. But after that part, we watched a whole bunch of the special features on the Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street DVDs. Helena Bonham Carter is cuter than anyone has a right to be. Later still, Spooky read to me from House of Leaves — mostly the section on Karen Navidson's short films What Some Have Thought and A Brief History of Who I Love. I still find the Hunter S. Thompson comments priceless. Then Spooky fell asleep, and I read to myself from Ronald Rainger's biography of Henry Fairfield Osborn — Chapter 6, "The Museum, the Zoo, and the Preservation of Nature" — until about 3 ayem.

And I'm two doses into the antibiotic, and, of course, they frell with my stomach. Stupid tick.

Oh, and before I forget again, I post the following for the kindly, T-shirt making aliens over at Ziraxia (who brought you the Stiff Kitten Ts):

Reynolds/Washburne 2008


Shiny! You must have one. You must. And right now, they're on sale for only $12.99 (through Monday, when the price goes back to $16.99). Though, I will say that I think "No Power in the 'Verse" would be a better campaign slogan. Maybe we can use those on the bumper stickers and yard signs.

350.org.

* We never learn "Amanda's" true name in the book, as Sarah only uses a pseudonym when referring to her.
greygirlbeast: (chi6)
Here's something I wrote on this day in 2003 (from the Blogger, pre-LJ):

It is my job to write a book, not to concern myself with what people will think of that book. What they will think is neither relevant to the act of writing nor to the merit of the book. Public opinion cannot be a guide, ever. All it can tell me is that lots of people like X, which can mean anything and may mean nothing at all. John Grisham and Dean R. Koontz and Michael Crichton and Robert Jordan and James Patterson are not better writers than Thomas Ligotti or Kathe Koja or Ramsey Campbell or China Mieville, and the New York Times bestseller list and public opinion and market stats can all go fuck themselves. The world wants oatmeal. It is not my job to give the world oatmeal. It is my job not to be a hack. It is my job to try to make the world chew, lest its lazy jaw muscles atrophy and its collective mandible withers and all its teeth fall out. It is my job, as a writer, to give the world toffee and peanut brittle and tough steak and celery. I write peanut butter sandwiches, not oatmeal. And every time some dolt whines, "I'm confused" or "I don't understand" or "This doesn't make any sense," I should smile and know that I'm doing my job. Not because it is my job to be opaque, but because it is not my job to be transparent.

And I know when I am making sense, and whenever I allow the dolts to spin me round, blindfolded, until I've accepted the disorientation they spread like lice, I am to kick myself in the ass until I can find true north again.

This is not a pep talk. This is simply the truth that I forget, because publishing (more often than not, writing's moron pimp) seeks forever to confuse quality and quantity, accessibility and art. And now I am only remembering.


I do not spend much time here writing about the "craft" of writing, as I do not believe there is a "craft" of writing, sensu stricto. And that's not what this is. It's just something I came across earlier today and realized it was the sort something I needed to remind myself that I already know. And if anyone else out there needs to be reminded of it as well, then all the better. Three years is a long time in writer years. And it's also no time at all. Particles & waves. Tiddley-pom.

So much of yesterday was consumed by work on Sirenia Digest, and then the work of getting it e-mailed to all the subscribers, and then managing the mess that Yahoo made of the mailing...when it was finally all over, about three-thirty p.m., Spooky and I really weren't good for much else. We had tickets for the Serenity screening at LaFont Plaza and had planned to get dressed in our browncoat finery, because we really wanted to see the film on a big screen again. But after the digest, we were both too beat. At least the money went to a good cause, so I don't feel bad about having bought the tickets and not used them. I think more than anything else, I was not up for the company of so many people. My fanboy/fangirl/fanit tolerance was too low to risk such an excursion.

So we stayed at home. After dinner, we had a very nice twilight walk. There were clouds and a brief respite from the heat (which has returned today). We talked to cats and found this male stag beetle (Lucanus capreolus) on the sidewalk, ferociously brandishing his mandibles. He measured about 3.5-4 cm. Spooky took the photo:



Farther along, near the edge of Freedom Park, we passed a house, a house we like a lot. Three sets of wind chimes hang on the porch. Note: the air was very still. There was no wind. Spooky said she smelled paint, that someone had painted their house. I pointed to the house with the wind chimes and said I thought maybe the trim of that house's porch had been painted. And, while we were both looking at the porch, the largest of the three sets of wind chimes, and only the largest, moved and jangled rather dramatically. The other two sets were perfectly still. No one was on the porch, and, as I said, the air was quite still. A sudden gust surely would have moved the two smaller sets before the larger, but they made no sound at all and did not stir. We stood there a moment, staring at the porch, feeling that familiar strangeness, that feeling one gets from having had so many encounters with things which are, as Mr. Fort said, damned. Damned, and yet also entirely mundane. Wind chimes on a porch.

Back home, we watched Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events for the third or fourth time. It is a wonderful and brilliant film. This time, we watched all the deleted scenes and outtakes, as well. I wish to grow down to be Violet Baudelaire. A Nebari Violet Baudelaire.

I think I got to bed about two. I took an Ambien CR, which kept me asleep until about 9 a.m. Those things really ought to be good for more than seven hours. Though seven hours was plenty enough time for "nightmares" which, Tardis-like, unfolded over many months and months. They've faded away now. Increasingly, my dreams seem more like memories.

Okay. Gotta go. I have a birthday cake to bake. But here's the link to the eBay auctions. Please be so kind as to have a look. The Low Red Moon ARC set and the hardback of the subpress edition of Low Red Moon both end later today. Thanks.
greygirlbeast: (chi (intimate distance))
Slowly, bit by bit, things around here are getting back to our odd version of "normal." The old rhythms are gradually resuming in Sophie's absence. But still, that absence is always felt. Small sounds that are no longer here. I keep expecting to look over my shoulder and see her lying on my office threshold or sitting in the hallway watching me. I catch myself speaking to her. And Spooky's having a much worse time of it than I am. That damned cat-shaped hole in our world. But. Things go on. Things always, always go on in the absence of those we love, even when we can't imagine their not being here.

This morning, for example, I went straight from bed to writing a Wikipedia article on the basal ornithomimosaur Harpymimus oklandnikovi. It felt like a very "normal" thing to do. Work is ever my salvation.

Yesterday was a good work day. I did the prolegomena for Sirenia Digest #7 and attended to various other things that needed attending. I didn't get to the illustrations for "Night" (a new sf story which will be appearing in a future issue of Subterranean Magazine). But Spooky spoke with Bill Schafer and confirmed that I need to do three illustrations for the piece. They'll be Photoshop montages, I suspect. I need to read over the story again this morning, as I don't believe I've read it since I finished it last July. It's shares some thematic elements with The Dry Salvages, "Bradbury Weather," and "Riding the White Bull," and centers on a mission to the Saturnian moon Mimas, strange artefacts in Antarctica discovered after the melting of the south polar icecap, and mental clones. Today will be a Photoshop day.

Yesterday, I discussed with Spooky the possibility of taking a shortish vacation as soon as this issue of Sirenia Digest is mailed out. Perhaps, I suggested, Wednesday, the 21st, until whenever the CEM of Daughter of Hounds arrives (most likely on June 30th). But she pointed out that I have 10,000 words of new fiction to write for Tales from the Woeful Platypus, plus July's issue of the digest, and we're leaving for Rhode Island sometime around July 27th-28th. Which makes such a short vacation entirely irresponsible. But maybe I can steal one day. Maybe I can even steal two days. It would be nice to spend a day in bed reading, maybe visit Fernbank or the Georgia Aquarium or take in a matinee. I still haven't seen An Inconvenient Truth.

we're touring too much and the show is starting to suffer, my voice is starting to sound like it's being ripped apart by the middle of every set.

Anyway...

Speaking of movies, I've been meaning to mention here that Serenity will be back in theatres in Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, and the United States, as a benefit for Equality Now. The Atlanta screening is on the 22nd at LeFont Plaza on Ponce.

Please have a look at the new eBay auctions. A copy of From Weird and Distant Shores (out of print since sometime in 2002) has been added. I only have about five of these remaining, so your chances to buy them directly from me are running out fast. Thanks.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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