Jan. 20th, 2011 09:04 pm
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Working on Two Worlds and In Between has me thinking about the Sisters of Mercy, and that's a good thing.

Wishing You Big Goth Hair,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
Sorry that I missed the post last night, "The New Weird in Music Videos (Part 4)." I got caught up in rp in Insilico and lost track of time. But the series will resume tonight.

A nice change this morning from the breakfast routine, because Spooky baked an apple and blueberry pie last night, using apples and blueberries from her parents' place.

Yesterday, after hours spent reading through many dozens of old bits of correspondence from 1997, 1996, and 1995, I discovered a letter that refers to "Breakfast in the House of the Rising Sun" as a story "in progress." The letter is dated November 27, 1995. So, I think it's safe to presume the story was written in November, and that it might have strayed into December. It looks as if there will be a 1995 story, after all. Also, I found a title for "Untitled 4." It will appear in the "Best of" collection as "Bray Road." Likewise, "Untitled 17" will appear as "Rotkäpchen." Also also, yesterday, I received the galley pages for "The Bone's Prayer," which was selected for Paula Guran's The Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror (Prime Books). I have to read over those and get any corrections back to her by next Saturday.

I did not leave the House, which makes four full days I've not gone Outside. Which really isn't so bad, considering I went fourteen days back in the winter.

Bill Schafer has given me permission to post the "Best of" collection's table of contents. Note that the published ToC may differ slightly from what I'm posting today, but it's safe to say this is 90% finalized:

1. “Persephone” [1993]
2. “Two Worlds and In Between” [1994]
3. “To This Water (Johnstown, Pennsylvania 1889)” [1994]
4. “Tears Seven Times Salt” [1994]
5. “Breakfast in the House of the Rising Sun (Murder Ballad No. 1)” [1995]
6. “Stoker’s Mistress” [1996]
7. “Estate” [1996; 5,400]
8. “Rats Live on No Evil Star” [1997]
9. “Postcards from the King of Tides” [1997]
10. “By Turns” [1998]
11. “Zelda Fitzgerald in Ballet Attire” [1995-1999]
12. “Spindleshanks (New Orleans, 1956)” [2000]
13. “The Road of Pins” [2001]
14. “Onion” [2001]
15. “In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers” [2001]
16. “From Cabinet 34, Drawer 6” [2002]*
17. “Andromeda Among the Stones” [2002]
18. “La Peau Verte” [2003]
19. “Riding the White Bull” [2003]
20. “Waycross” [2003]
21. “The Dead and the Moonstruck” [2004]
22. “The Daughter of the Four of Pentacles” [2004]*
23. The Dry Salvages [2004]*
24. “Houses Under the Sea” [2004]
25. “Bray Road” was "Unitled 4" [2005]
26. “Highway 97” [2006]*
27. “Rotkäppchen” was “Untitled 17” [2006]
28. “Pony” [2006]
29. “A Season of Broken Dolls” [2007]

Those stories followed by asterisks have not previously been collected. So, that's 27 short stories, a novella, and one poem. And I'm pretty pleased with the lineup. The limited (lettered and/or numbered state/s will include sixteen pages of illustrations, and will come with "The Crimson Alphabet" published as a chapbook).

I'm very seriously considering Two Worlds and In Between as a title for the collection, as per Spooky's and Bill's suggestions. A surprising number of people informed me they'd never heard the Sisters of Mercy's "Lucretia, My Reflection" (1987), the song in which the line appears. So, here's the video, with Andrew Eldritch and Patricia Morrison at their coolest:


Please have a look at the current eBay auctions.

And now, time to make the doughnuts.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I realized over breakfast (coffee and ramen with broccoli), that I've not left the House since we went to East Beach on Tuesday. I can surely count on one hand the number of days in August and the second half of July I've gone Outside. And if that's not precisely true. It sure as hell feels that way. I have no idea why I've gotten this bad again. The meds have my seizures under control. The depression is in check. The weather's mostly been cooler. I just forget to leave the House. Yet when I do, I'm usually glad I did. This whole thing confounds me.

Yesterday was spent getting through an enormous mountain of email, pertaining to everything from the "Best of" project to "The Maltese Unicorn" to Sirenia Digest #57. I may have finalized the table of contents for the "Best of" volume. If so, there are twenty-nine stories (well, twenty-eight and a poem), including a novella, The Dry Salvages. The word count comes in at ~220 thousand words. For an idea of how big a book that will be, The Ammonite Violin and Others is only about 80k words. Certainly, it's by far the longest book I've ever done.

One of the more difficult aspects of this, so far, beyond simply choosing the stories, has involved dating the older stories, those from the nineties. Back then, I wasn't so good at keeping records. When you've only written maybe a dozen short stories, it's easy to recall precisely when you wrote each one. But many, many years later, when you've done over two hundred short stories, those memories fade to the point of invisibility. Much of yesterday was spent trying to date "Tears Seven Times Salt" and "Breakfast in the House of the Rising Sun." I genuinely thought that the former had been written late in 1995, maybe in December of that year. But searching through old correspondence (at least I have that), I discovered, no, it was, in fact, written in the summer of 1994, late in June or very early in July. It was the first story I wrote after "To This Water (Johnstown, Pennsylvania 1889)," and the third story I wrote after moving from Birmingham to Athens. So, my memories were off by almost a year and a half. As for "Breakfast in the House of the Rising Sun," I'm still trying to date it. I thought it was written in 1995, but it's beginning to look as though it was actually written during the first half of 1996.

Oh, by the way, while I chose "Breakfast in the House of the Rising Sun (Murder Ballad No. 1)" over "Lafayette (Murder Ballad No. 2)," both "Spindleshanks (New Orleans, 1956)" and "The Road of Pins" made the cut.

I have tried to select at least one story for every year between 1993 and 2007, but it's starting to look as if there won't be a 1995 story. Which, given the wretchedness of that year, might be just as well.

As for a title, I've been trying for days to think of one. I certainly am not going with nothing but The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan: Volume One. Then last night, Spooky and Bill Schafer both made the same suggestion, independently, which still has me a little freaked out. Both have suggested I call the book Two Worlds and In Between (a line from the Sisters of Mercy's "Lucretia My Reflection"). The book does happen to contain my zombie story "Two Worlds, and In Between." And maybe this should be the book's title, if only by dint of the peculiar coincidence of two people suggesting that same title on the same night. Also, the title is not inappropriate, having more than a single relevant interpretation relative to the book and my work in general. So, maybe, Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan, Volume One.

I'll post the table of contents tomorrow.


We began two new auctions yesterday. Both are a bit special. The first is the auction of the first painting I have ever offered for sale, Study 1 for Yellow. The second is for a lettered copy of Tales from the Woeful Platypus (you can choose from M, R, or Z), which comes with a hand-made Beanie platypus (made by Spooky). Please have a look. Thanks.
greygirlbeast: (chi4)
So, yesterday didn't begin well at all. It began black and grumpy and not wanting to take me anywhere but down. I'd had two fruitless days trying to start the new vignette for Sirenia Digest #4, which should be finished already because Vince has to have time to illustrate it. For two or three weeks I've had this Dracula thing in my head, a piece about Mina which assumes Stoker's novel ends an entirely different way. But after the research and two false starts and two days with the green lady, it just wasn't happening. Mostly, I'd realised that it was a short story, and possibly even a novella, not a vignette, and realising this left me frustrated and at a loss for what I would write about instead. After breakfast, I took a very hot bath and washed my hair, and then there was a helpful blue pill, and then a Red Bull, and then Spooky and I took a long walk. By the time we got back to the house my shitty mood had pretty much broken apart. I did a Wikipedia entry on the ankylosaur Struthiosaurus, and then we went to Candler Park to get slices at Fellini's (mushroom and spinich).

Before we left home, I'd had Spooky call Piercing Experience for me to see if I needed an appointment to have my labret redone. I removed it way back in the spring of 2000, after a long illness when I'd been seized with the need to purge my body of metal. But I've been wanting it back for a long time now, and wanting other piercings as well. Turned out I didn't need an appointment, so after our early dinner we walked to PE. After examining my scar, Robert, who was to do the piercing, decided he could most likely dilate to old hole and there'd be very little actual new piercing involved. So, I picked out my jewlery, a fourteen gauge spike (implant-grade titanium) in teal, and Spooky and I were shown to a room. And just as Robert was putting on his gloves, someone switched the stereo from a Prince CD to the Resevoir Dogs soundtrack, Stephen frelling Wright and K-BILLY'S super sounds of the seventies — "Stuck In The Middle With You." I was trying not to laugh, but then Robert started in with the little dance Mr. Blond does right before he cuts the cop's ear off, and it was just too perfect. Anyway, the whole thing went off without a hitch. There wasn't even any pain today. And I've been reminded, again, how good piercing can be for me. I believe I'm going to have a bridge piercing (a horizontal surface piercing near the top of the nose, between the eyes) done next month, as soon as my labret is fully healed.

And after that, because Amanda Downum ([ profile] sosostris2012) is a sweetheart and had sent me and Spooky tix to the Sisters of Mercy show, we drove across town to the Roxy. I don't know how the tour's been going, what sort of reviews its been getting, but last night it was wonderful. The Warlocks opened. Neither of us had heard them before, but they're something along the lines of My Bloody Valentine or the Jesus and Mary Chain, sort of...spacey, trippy, crunchy, totally drad. And the Sisters were in really fine form. Spooky was delighted that they did a Sisterhood song, "Giving Ground." The only annoying incident, and it was only mildy annoying, was a drunk chick in the line to the bathroom who kept insisting that I was "somebody." Finally, she promised me she wouldn't tell anyone, that I was "somebody," just as a stall opened and I was able to escape her attentions. The whole thing was giving me flashbacks to the day at LAX when some idiot decided that I was Marilyn Manson and could not be convinced otherwise. But, yeah, a wonderful evening, so thank you Amanda. You sooooo rock.

Okay. The Oscars tonight. More later. Oh, and [ profile] matociquala has found a use of "eco-gothic" dating back to 1996, in a description of Stephen Palmer's novel, Memory Seed.


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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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