greygirlbeast: (Default)
Fuck, I feel like doing something depraved. Something truly, truly unregenerate. With pony girls and glass dildos. Instead, I'll spend the day writing.

Fuck.

Um...where was I?

Yesterday, I did a LOT of work, but I can't tell you on what, or the men in black Cadillacs and black suits will come and take me away. But it was a lot of work, and it will continue today...and for quite some time. Someday, I will be able to end this silence.

Any comments on Sirenia Digest #69? All will be entertained. Most will be answered. Pipe up, kittens.

Also, we have only 70 hours remaining the Kickstarter for mine and [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy's The Drowning Girl: Stills From a Movie That Never Existed. We're well-funded at this point, but it seems to a shame to miss the $3,000 mark by a mere $107. So...here's the deal. This is off the official rewards books, but anyone who donates $50 over the next 70 hours will receive a signed page, hand-corrected, from the actual "first draft" of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir manuscript. No fooling. Have at it, please. Just email me your names and addresses (greygirlbeast[at]gmail[dot]com) and you will be rewarded. This would be in addition to the 8x12 or 4x6 prints you'd receive anyway, and yes, if you've already donated $50, you'll also get this reward.

Last night, Spooky went to Target and got me wicked cool Día de los Muertos pajama pants, black with brightly colored sugar skulls, and they are pleasing me no end. I think I may not take them off for days. And yet...Target did not have the Hallowe'en candy out, thwarting my sweet tooth and in all defiance of the laws of unreasonably early holiday marketing strategies. BUT! They did have the Hallowe'en pet costumes out. Damn you, Target, you frakking perverts!

We almost finished reading The Stand last night. Also, I read another story from The Book of Cthulhu. It's a very mixed bag, this book. Some classics that deserve to be classics, some wonderful surprises, and a few stories I would gladly be fucked up the ass with a red-hot poker before reading (Brian Lumley, anyone?). Anyway, last night I read a piece called "Jeroboam Henley's Debt" by Charles R. Saunders, which at first seemed to have promise. For one, it's extremely rare to encounter a "mythos"/Lovecraftian story involving primarily African American characters. Moreover, Saunders is a black man, who has written essays on why blacks don't (but should) read science fiction. And the writing was passable, so I had some hope. But, about three quarters of the way through, the tale lapsed into clichéd voodoo histrionics and plot twists that almost broke my neck. So, yeah. It had potential, but fizzled. The story was originally published in 1982.

And now, now I must get back to my work on phased arrays of 7-hertz infrasonic weapons for the Department of...um, I mean, um, get back to work on that. That thing. Yeah. I will say that this work – thought I love it – is stressful enough I started smoking again yesterday (American Spirit, perique blend). Hopefully, that won't last long.

In Hiding,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (querulpous cephalopod)
Louise Bourgeois has died. She was 98.

Yesterday evening, a little after five p.m., I began to smell smoke. The window in my office was open, and soon the smell getting in was strong enough to sting my nostrils. Then Spooky came in (she'd walked over to a neighborhood store) and told me the city was blanketed by a cloud of smoke. Turns out, it was smoke from wildfires in Quebec that had drifted across most of New England. I wanted to get a few photos, so we drove over to College Hill. The smoke and the near-total absence of traffic (I suppose everyone was in South County for Memorial Day) lent an oddly apocalyptic feel to the city. This morning, the smoke is gone, and the temperature is in the high seventies.

31 May 2010 )


---

Yesterday, I only managed 536 words on "The Maltese Unicorn," which was something of a disappointment after Sunday's word count. But, as I've said, the writing of this story is so different for me, in a number of ways, compared with my usual process. Sure, I've written noir before, usually as science fiction (see "Riding the White Bull," "Bradbury Weather," and "Hydrarguros," for example). But "The Maltese Unicorn" is essentially an homage to Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, and film noir of the thirties and forties. And the tongue-in-cheek tone I'd expected it to have has pretty much fallen away. I'm mostly playing it straight (despite the lesbian characters). So, not only is it a constant struggle to get the period right, down to the smallest detail, and to do all the things I must do with any story, but there's the added difficulty of keeping the voice just so.

And here's another remainder about The Ammonite Violin & Others, to be released later this month by Subterranean Press. There are still copies of the trade hardback available for preorder.

Also, yesterday, I finished editing "The Bone's Prayer" (from Sirenia Digest #39) for reprint in The Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2010 (Prime Books). Odd thing is, I started work on this in early April, then apparently set it aside and forgot about it. The editor wrote a couple of days ago to ask for a .doc file of the story, and I discovered that I'd never finished the line edits. Anyway, it's done now.

More gaming last night. More amazement at what a beautiful game Heavenly Sword is (though I have some problems with the controls). And we leveled Gnomenclature and Klausgnomi to 20, so now they have mounts. I need to set the gaming aside and get back to reading, and there's also a painting I'd like to start. It's just so much easier, at the end of the day, to switch my brain off and let myself be passively entertained.
greygirlbeast: (decemberists)
The smoke came back this morning, and we awoke to the stench of distant fires. Behind the cut is a photo of downtown Atlanta taken sometime this morning. My eyes burn, my nose is running, and I'm coughing. Clearly, we have to stop sleeping with the windows open until the fires at last burn themselves out, whenever that might be.

Waiting to Inhale )


As birthdays after -0 go, I think yesterday was probably pretty damn good. Certainly, it's the best birthday I've had since 2004. There was no unwriting yesterday. We met Jim and Jennifer (the Jennifer I've been calling "Hannah," because I did not wish her to be confused with a certain lying, incompetent, backstabbing psycho bitch who wears the same name) at Hollywood 24 for Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End. We were lucky and got into the 4:45 digital screening. Spooky and I both loved it. I'm not going to go on about it, but I will say I was pleased that, unlike PotC: Dead Man's Chest, great swaths of this film did not seem to exist solely for the benefit of a videogame tie-in. Afterwards, the four of us headed to L5P to meet Byron for dinner at the Corner Tavern. The food's not as good as The Vortex, but there are far fewer people gumming up the joint. Then it was home for birthday cake (German chocolate, by request, with vanilla ice cream). So, yeah, a good birthday, and my thanks to the following folks who helped make -03 not so painful: Jada and Katharine, Jennifer Zawiki (yet another Jennifer!), Trompe Setsuled, Christine Ashton, David Kirkpatrick, Josh Muller, Chloe Yates, Rachel Keane, and everyone who offered hisherits condolences and well wishes. I know there are other people to be thanked, and as soon as I know who they are, I'll post a second thank-you list. You guys are, indeed, the draddest.

Late last night, we read more of Lemony Snicket's The Austere Academy.

I think the Mordorian Death March will officially conclude on the evening of Wednesday, May 30, and then I may have my life back and Spooky can go back to making dolls. As for the "Lay of Sindeseldaonna," this impromtu Tolkien fanfic that's been occurring between Setsuled and me, I may collect it all together, edit it and add footnotes, and plug it into an upcoming issue of Sirenia Digest, sort of an extra, supplement, freebie sort of a thing. What began as an extended metaphor has taken on a life of its own, begging for a backstory, and I have to say it's one of the things that's helped to get me through the last two+ insufferable weeks of compositional butchery. I have a feeling the Death March may be ending before we find the end of the story...unless I'm mistaken.

---

I am writing this from the scant cover afforded by a rocky gully, barely deep enough to conceal myself and Suregait. All night, we rode north across the desolate Plateau of Gorgoroth. Once, we came upon a group of orcs — a hunting party, unless I miss my guess. They gave chase, but they were all on foot and orc fiend has not yet been born that can run down a daughter of the Maeras. Suregait bore me safely away from them. We must be much nearer the caldera that was once called Mount Doom, Orodruin, Sauron's Forge, as the air is hazy and stinks of brimstone. The land here is oddly buckled, and in many places we must undertake long detours to avoid great rifts that seem to plunge hundreds of feet into the earth. We are too near the poisoned black heart of this land, Inwë, and if only my eyes could glimpse the Greenwood of Rhovanion for the briefest moment, this shadow should be lifted from off my soul.

Towards dawn, I heard the shriek of a hawk, and looking up, spotted what must certainly have been good Radagast soaring high above me. A moment later, I saw a great company of orcs to the southwest, and I was near enough to see that they were led by a man on horseback. Some of the orcs rode wargs. Unless I miss my guess, the man is [livejournal.com profile] setsuled, born of Rhohan and become a traitor now to his own people and all the freefolk of Middle-earth. But there was wind and much grey dust swirling in the air, and by great luck and Radagast's warning did we escape into the cover of this ravine undetected. But the man and his orcs made camp very nearby, so for now we are trapped here and waiting. If our luck holds and they move along during the day, I shall continue on my course towards the Vale. And if I should be discovered, I must trust that Suregait will bear me safely away. I will not be recaptured by the bastard, Inwë, even if I must turn my own blade against me. There is so much more I would write, but I am weary and need to rest. I shall trust Suregait to warn of the enemy's approach.

---

And I've updated Sindeseldaonna's map (behind the cut). Her progress since she was captured, up to yesterday's entry, is marked in green.

Map of Mordor )


I've learned from Chris Ewen (he of Future Bible Heroes) that 99th Mind is shooting a video to accompany, "Twelve Nights After," my contribution to the forthcoming Hidden Variable album. I have long been an admirer of 99th Mind, so I am very excited at the news. Also, I owe lots and lots of people on MySpace replies of one sort of another. Just as soon as the unwriting is done and I shake the volcanic dust of Mordor from my clothes....

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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