greygirlbeast: (Default)
And I begin this...here.

No. Here.

Happy birthday, David Lynch! And Federico Fellini!

The snow finally came last night, and more will come tomorrow. We're about to go forth and do what errands must be done. But first, I'll write this journal entry. Because I wish to remember yesterday, for one thing.

We left Providence a little after one thirty (CaST) and made it to New Haven (CT) by three-thirty (also CaST). There were snow flurries along the highway, from a sky that was as sunny as it was cloudy. But they were the sorts of cloud that drop snow. I read from Lightspeed: Year One while Spooky drove and kept me informed about the flurries and birds and dead racoons. We parked off Whitney, on Sachem Street (saw a bumper sticker at the labs: "Honk If You Understand Punctuated Equilibrium"), and I got about two hours with the dinosaurs at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. Mostly, I sat on the wooden benches and stared up at the creatures Marsh named, the legacy of Richard Swan Lull, and George Ostrom, and Rudolph Zallinger's famous The Age of Reptiles mural (1943-1947) bringing it all to life (no matter how inaccurate we may now know it to be; many of our own imaginings will be disproven in due course – and I am not surprised LJ doesn't know how to spell the past participle of disprove; of course, I maybe misusing the past participle, but that doesn't absolve LJ of its ignorance).

And sure, these are the old circa 1930s-40s "tail-dragging" dinosaur mounts. But those are the images of dinosaurs that I grew up with. Back before the Renaissance of the 1970s, before it was understood that most dinosaurs were active, endothermic creatures, not sluggish reptiles. Before it acknowledged that, not only did birds evolve directly from dinosaurs, but that "birds" are surviving theropod dinosaurs, and many Mesozoic theropods had feathers. And so forth. I am comforted by these old visions of blundering, ectothermic monsters.

At some point, I opened my iPad just to see if I could actually get reception in there. It felt a like horrible sacrilege, but I signed into the Yale server as a guest and posted to Facebook: "Writing from inside the dinosaur gallery at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. This is MY church." A testament to the cosmic circle. No beginning. No end. Life, being a transient state of matter, and so here is my church.

Spooky was off looking at taxidermied crows and archaeological doodads, but when she returned, we went upstairs together to see live snakes in the children's "Discovery Room." One thing that makes the Yale Peabody so precious to me is that, while acknowledging science education for children, it hasn't turned itself into a theme park, as have so many American museums. Those that have allowed budgetary panic to morph them into nightmares of "edutainment" (Oh, fuck. LJ doesn't know disproven, but it knows the vile portmanteau edutainment. Fuck.). The Peabody is still a place where I can sit in peace with the past. Where there is still a stately air of respect for science and its endeavors. Truth is, the Great Hall at the Peabody calms me more than any of my meds, or any story I will ever write, or any painting I will ever paint.

Here are some photos:

19 January 2012 )


We left about 5:30 CaST, and made it back to Providence around 8 p.m. The snow came in earnest about nine or ten. The sky was creamsicle. I love creamsicle night skies.

Since my last LJ entry, I have – in stray moments – been reading short fiction, all from the aforementioned Lightspeed: Year One. Tananarive Due's "Patient Zero" (2008), Kristine Kathryn Rusch's "The Observer" (2008), David Tallerman's Jenny's Sick (2010), Anne McCaffrey's "Velvet Fields" (1973), and Eric Gregory's "The Harrowers" (2011). I liked Gregory and Tallerman the best; most of the stories would have benefited by being a bit longer, especially "Velvet Fields," which felt like a synopsis. The McCaffrey piece is little more than an outline, really. The Gregory piece felt short, but mostly that's just because it left me wanting more, which is a good trick for an author to turn and suggests no obligation to actually provide more.

Also, here's a rather good entry by [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna on the fluidity of names, on those of us who cast off our birth names before we become artists. And sexism.

I do mean to write about my feelings on internet piracy and SOPA/PIPA, but there's no time now. Spooky and I have to run errands before ice and more snow arrives, and I have email.

Like dinosaurs, the snow is helping.

Somewhat calmer,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Cloudy, cold. Green. Green Spring, but not spring. Not spring sensu familiari. Sonya, please correct my Latin if it's too atrocious. Or my English, for that matter. I'm only a poor juggler of words. I squeeze them, and various sounds are released: melodious, hideous, alluring, repulsive, alarming, discordant, anti-harmonic, mucosal, beatific, soothing, ad infinitum, ad nauseum, and so forth, and on and on and on. Meow.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,392 words on Chapter One of Blood Oranges and found the chapter's end. Which should not be mistaken for THE END. Today, Kathryn and I will read back over the whole of it, I'll do a quick polish, then send it to my agent. That's a complete chapter in a mere six days. 9,546 words. Immediately after finishing "The Carnival is Dead and Gone" and getting Sirenia Digest #65 out to subscribers, which I did immediately after finishing "Fake Plastic Trees," which I wrote immediately after the story for Dark Horse, which happened almost right after getting Sirenia Digest #64 out, which came on the heels of the Great Four-Day Editing Marathon of 2011 (involving both The Drowning Girl: A Memoir and Two Worlds and In Between), which happened almost as soon as I'd finished writing The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Which takes me back to...Monday, March 7th. Yes, after today, I think that I should take a few days off. Of course, I'll likely spend them cleaning, because when all I do is work – and Spooky, too – the place becomes all shamblefied. Well, it ought to be a word.

The "Question @ Hand" poll is now closed. There were 39 "yes" votes (88.6%), and only 5 (11.4%) "no" votes. So, I suppose I'll give it another shot. This is a very small sampling of the subscribers, and the results are in no way "scientific." But, there you go. I'll probably pose the next Question @ Hand in July, I'm thinking. Beforehand, I may ask for suggestions.

Yesterday, I read one article from the January JVP – "Three-dimensional pelvis and limb anatomy of the Cenomanian hind-limbed snake Epodophis descouensi (Squamata, Ophidia) revealed by synchrotron-radiation computed laminography."

The cat from downstairs came calling, unexpectedly, last night. Hubero is only just recovering.

Last night, we watched Pieter Van Hees' Linkeroever (Left Bank, 2008). It's a film that had tremendous potential. It has moments – entire scenes – that rank up there with, say, Låt den rätte komma in or Sauna. And, as someone mentioned, there's some undeniable overlap with The Red Tree. Ultimately, though, it falls apart, largely in the last few minutes. I can forgive the paganophobic crutch, the one that was so commonly employed during in the 1970s (think The Wicker Man or Harvest Home), but the Linkeroever's last scene – the childbirth scene – makes literal what should have remain implied. All mystery is destroyed. Explanation undoes the inexplicable. Truthfully, if the film had chosen to eschew the scary pagans trope, and if we'd only been left with the problem of an apartment building with a secret history and a Very Bad Place for a cellar, the film might have been brilliant. There was some remarkably disturbing imagery, some of it subtle, some of it not so subtle, but all of it struggling against the rather silly nonsense about the archery lodge and ancient Celtic blood sacrifices, and then all of it shot in the head by that ridiculous final scene. I do recommend you watch this film, but I also recommend you switch off the DVD as Marie is struggling to escape the cavern, as she screams and the light seems to be taking her apart. Stop it. Right there.

And we did some rp in Rift, a scene with four players, which is proving that patience and skill can spin good roleplay from the game. So, that was nice. Oh, and now there's a FREE trial (which Trion should have had from the start).

CASSIE: Hey. Good dream? Let me guess. The surface of the sun. Only dream I ever have. Every time I close my eyes, it's always the same.

Off to do the word thing.
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
Already St. Patrick's Day again. I hung the flag last night, and tonight I cook corned beef, cabbage, and cál ceannann, and we have Guinness and soda bread. So, we're set, and there will probably be enough food to last us three days. And here's my favorite St. Patrick's Day article: "Why Ireland Has No Snakes" (No Xtian magick is invoked.).

It's bright out there, and the weather is warmer.

Yesterday, Sonya and I finished editing The Dry Salvages, after she typed in all the edits on "Giants in the Earth." I think we were done by 3 p.m. or so, and since her train wasn't until 5:30, we went ahead and edited "The Worm in My Mind's Eye" (a chapbook that accompanied The Dry Salvages, and which will appear in Two Worlds and In Between as a footnote to the short novel). Then she and Kathryn typed in those edits. So, yeah, [livejournal.com profile] sovay came and saved me from editing hell...and yeah, it still sucked, but at least I've survived.

Today, I'll be sending The Drowning Girl: A Memoir to my editor at Penguin, and I hope I'll be sending the ms. for Two Worlds and In Between to Bill Schafer at subpress. And then, tomorrow, I begin a three day vacation. After today, I'll have worked twenty-eight days without a single day off, and I mean to have a rest. I'll be setting my email to the auto-response vacation settings, and mostly unplugging.

Last night, I think I was literally too tired to see straight. After dinner, I lay down in front of the fireplace and dozed off for half an hour. When I woke, it was still far too early for bed, so I had a cup of coffee, which I really didn't feel at all. I played about three hours of Rift, though I wasn't actually, technically, awake. I leveled my Kelari cleric, Nilleshna, to 11. Spooky camped out in front of the TV, watched a Nova episode, "Dogs Decoded," then played Bayonetta on the PS3. Then we went to bed and read Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay until almost 4 ayem. I'm pretty sure Mockingjay is the book I wanted Catching Fire to be. Katniss has come into her own, at last. The book actually had me cheering (blearily) last night. So, yeah, saggy middle, but the third book is great so far. And yep, I've heard that Jennifer Lawrence has been cast as Katniss. I have no idea who Jennifer Lawrence is...but that's okay.

And that was yesterday. And there are photos from the past two days:

15-16 March 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Sunny and mild today. Yesterday's storms have gone, and they seem to have taken yesterday's heat with them. The temperature inside the House reached 85F yesterday.

And I only managed to write 558 words on "The Maltese Unicorn," over the course several hours. I swear, if this story were a film, and I were the director, at this point I'd be fired and they'd hire someone like Francis Ford Coppola to come in and try to clean up the mess. I am definitely over budget. And yet, the story now has a solid beginning, and today I can get back to the middle. I have about 5,000 words left to finish things up, and it's going to be a bit of a squeeze. I hope to be done by Friday, at the latest. And let me say again, for me this is such a strange and counter-intuitive way to write, pulling things apart, writing bits out of sequence, and so forth, and I sincerely hope not to be resorting to this method again anytime soon.

If you've not already, please have a look at the current eBay auctions, especially the Dreaming mobile, since we may never offer another of those. As ultra rare items related to my work go, the Dreaming mobile is about as rare as it gets. All proceeds from these auctions go to help offset the not inconsiderable expense of attending Readercon 21 next month.

So, yes, yesterday I wrote, and edited, and rewrote, and moved scenes around. Spooky painted. I wrote. I would make her stop so I could read her a few paragraphs, a single sentence, or a series of pages. Outside, storm clouds soared by and the wind blew wildly. The House was stifling. Finally, as I was reading her a scene for the fifth or sixth time, I said fuck it, it's too hot, and we went for a walk. It didn't seem a whole lot cooler out there, but at least there was a strong wind. We walked as far as the Dexter Training Ground and the Armory. Then I came home and went back to work. There are a few photos behind the cut:

6 June 2010 )


What else of yesterday that's worth writing down? Spooky's mom sent us a link to an adorable photo she'd taken of a four-foot-long Northern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor constrictor) she'd had to relocate from the strawberry patch. Spooky's dad's in the Philippines again, doing field work, by the way. I read a paper on the discovery of Paleocene-aged pantodont footprints in a coal mine in Norway. I watched an episode of Nova devoted to the causes of the 2003 Columbia shuttle disaster. After dinner, we watched Philipp Stölzl's Nordwand (2008), which is a genuinely breathtaking, horrific film; highly recommended. Later, we played too much WoW, leveling Gnomenclature and Klausgnomi to 24. Oh, and I had an argument in guild chat about Han Solo and Greedo (Han shot first, you fools!), which is about as low as a nerd can sink. Though, what was more disturbing was that the person I was having the conversation with was born in 1990! I think that revelation actually made me dizzy. Anyway, that was yesterday.
greygirlbeast: (The Red Tree)
A muggy grey day here in Providence. There was rain little earlier. Maybe we'll get sun later today.

No new links related to The Red Tree today. At least, not yet, anyway. I do think we might have some fresh evidence for the website this evening, though.

Yesterday, we discovered that Spooky's laptop was behaving oddly, so we drove it down to Warwick, to the Geek Squad guys at the Best Buy where she got it last year. Turns out, the hard drive was fried, so thank fuck for the three-year warranty. But we're still having to pony up for data retrieval, which wouldn't be so annoying, if there had not been unexpected car expense last week.

On the way home, we stopped at the Barnes and Noble in Warwick, because I'm getting all these reports of premature shelving on The Red Tree. But it seems that the B&N at Warwick is sticking to schedule. However, there was a very funny something, espcially in light of my comments on the 27th regarding "paranormal romance." As we were leaving, we passed a man and woman standing before a table displaying a large number of PR titles, all with this or that incarnation of the ubiquitous "tramp vamp" cover. The man seemed to be trying to explain the concept of the subgenre to the woman. She replied, "So, they've all got exactly the same plot." I actually laughed out loud, and I'm sure people thought I'd lost even more of my mind.

Also, on the subject of vampires who are not really vampires, yesterday, I was directed to this article at Slate: "Vampires Suck. Actually, they don't. And that's the problem." Very amusing, even though I do admit to having a big, ol' soft spot for Angel. I will say, I have half a mind to write the most balls-to-the-wall, blood-and-guts vampire novel possible. Something that would make Near Dark and 30 Days of Night look tame. Just as a personal "fuck you" to Stephanie Meyer and the Mormons. The hard part would be not to lapse into the idiocies of "splatterpunk."

Back home, I spent the evening working on Sirenia Digest #44. It's pretty much ready to go to [livejournal.com profile] thingunderthest to be PDFed, as soon as I have Vince's final artwork for "Vicaria Draconis."

It really does seem as if LiveJournal is evaporating around me. Posts to my friend's list grow fewer and farther between. So many people are fleeing to Facebook and the 140-character gratifications of Twitter. But I intend to keep this blog going for as long as LJ exists, and I have a backup at Dreamwidth, if it should all go kaput.

Okay. Platypus says we're almost done. Only thing left is to post three photos of the Eastern garter snake that Spooky and her mom and me spotted way back on July 3rd. Her mom saw it again a few days ago, sunning itself at the koi pond, and got some pictures before it slithered away:

Little Dragon )

Seven Years

Jul. 3rd, 2009 12:43 pm
greygirlbeast: (chi 5)
Running a bit late today, but that's my fault. Anyway, I should try to make this short. It'll probably come out long, anyway.

Today is mine and Spooky's seventh anniversary. Though we actually met in New Orleans in '99, it was a longish courtship, and we didn't get around to the commitment until 2002. But, yeah, seven years. Kind of boggles the noodle.

Not a lot to say about the first part of yesterday. I'm having a perfectly awful time trying to find THE END of "The Sea Troll's Daughter." As [livejournal.com profile] sovay has pointed out to me, this is the sort of story that is told, not read, and I think that's part of what's hanging me up. This really is new territory for me, both stylistically and (though not so much) thematically. So, I should have expected the snag. But, more than anything, at this point, it's simply a problem of what happens next, the dreadful artifice of plotting, Atwood's "a what and a what and a what" not revealing itself to me. The deadline looms like Great Cthulhu rising above the sea.

Later, we got out of the house, and drove down to Spooky's parents' farm in South County. It was a wonderful sort of New England summer evening. Cloudy, but warm. Clouds that threatened rain, but no rain. As we drove south, a mist settled over everything, and it was all we could do not to drive all the way to Moonstone or Narragansett. But it was a good visit with her folks. We saw Spider Cat and visited with the Steamsquid. Spooky retrieved a small fraction of her truly vast vinyl collection. Her dad gave us greens from the garden. At her mom's koi pond, we surprised a gorgeous little Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis). The blueberries and apples are getting ripe. We stayed almost until dark. It was so quite and green, after the noise of Federal Hill, I don't think either of us wanted to come back to the city.

And there are photographs:

2 July 2009 )


Okay. The platypus says I must, must, must go now.

But! I also have a video clip that I'll try to upload to YouTube later today. Oh, and watch for micro-excerpt #12 from The Red Tree at greygirlbeast.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
The temperature may go as high as 80F today. As much as I love New England, it's mostly these early springs that keep me chained to such hostile southern climes. The sun is bright. Blooms are blooming, and buds are budding. The world is waking up again.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,645 words and finished "Untitled 26," which has turned out to be a wonderful little story, after all and despite my having been too tired to write another story. It's a couple of different shades of Bradbury, though I'd not set out for it to be. I am pleased, on those rare occasions, when I begin a story that I "know" will be dark and awful and then it goes another way, instead. Anyway, you may read both "Untitled 26" and "In View of Nothing" in Sirenia Digest #16

And I have some good news. As of December, Silk will once again be in print. Roc will be re-releasing the book as a new mass-market paperback, to be followed in early '08 by the mmp of Murder of Angels. I should have the new Silk cover art very soon and will post it here. This will make the fourth edition of the novel since its original release in May/June 1998, almost ten very long years ago. There will be some revision, because there are errors and typos that were never fixed, but I think I will mostly be refraining from making stylistic changes. That's not the way I write now, but it is the way I wrote then, and it's the voice of that book. I will be expanding the author's note slightly. I also contemplated rewriting the ending to dampen the ambiguity factor, but realised that would be exactly the wrong thing to do. There are voices in my head, and some of them I should heed, and others I should not.

To celebrate the good news, the next four people who subscribe to Sirenia Digest will receive a free signed copy of the 2002 tpb edition of Silk — personalised if you so desire.

So, I have to deliver the Silk corrections to my editor by April 15th, plus I have to edit the results of the Forced and New Consolidated marches for my other editor (at HarperCollins), so it looks like, once the Locus essay is done, I'll be spending a couple of weeks on proofreading. It's almost like a vacation, except that it's nothing at all like a vacation.

I forgot to mention all the birds we saw on yesterday's walk: all the usual suspects, but also a Carolina chickadee (Poecile carolinensis), two Canada geese (Branta canadensis), and one of the local Red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis).

Regarding Georgia's dumb snake-related laws and our having to release Drinker, [livejournal.com profile] blueharlequin writes:

Having been involved in the snake breeding community for quite a number of years now, I too have had my fill of bullshit legislation about the keeping of reptiles. That being said, in many cases, I find the laws surrounding the keeping of native species often work the way that they're supposed to, which is to say, they keep unscrupulous keepers/breeders/re-sellers from collecting large numbers of animals from the local wild populations.

As I said yesterday, I fully support laws designed to protect threatened species and populations from commercial collectors and breeders (and snake-hating ophidophobes). And that may have been the intent of this law (it's kind of hard to say exactly what the intent of this legislation was). However, it should be noted that it is not illegal to simply kill most of the native Georgia species that it is illegal to keep as pets. And then there's the problem with there being no protection for venomous species, and the problem of encouraging the keeping of non-native, non-venomous species that could escape or be intentionally released and end up displacing native Georgia species. I have decided to write a long letter to the State Herpetologist about all this today or tomorrow.

Also, [livejournal.com profile] bucketopants writes:

I know that the law regarding piercing passed the House, I do not see anywhere on the net, or looking up Georgia law, that the bill passed the Senate, or was even voted upon. I know there was a great uproar when the Georgia House passed the bill, but for some reason I remember hearing that the bill died and the law was never passed. I remember because hearing that made me feel a little less ashamed for living in Georgia.

You are, in fact, entirely correct and I am wrong. I think I must have heard about the bill passing the House and then never heard about its defeat in the Senate. Here's a link.

Right. Well, anyway, the platypus (who is oddly agreeable this morning) says it's time to sit on the front porch and drink a cup of coffee.
greygirlbeast: (chidown)
So, here's the deal:

1) This afternoon, Spooky learned that here in the Great State of Georgia it is illegal to keep any non-venomous native snake species as a pet. Hence, Drinker was illicit. I was aghast and refused to believe this was true until she showed me a number of pertinent websites. Being relatively new to Georgia, I had no idea. But, remember, here in Georgia, dildos are illegal, gay sex and marriage are illegal, you can't buy booze on Sunday, and clit piercings are illegal. So it should come as no suprise that keeping a DeKay's brown snake can get you jail time and/or a hefty fine. However...

2) While it is illegal to keep any non-venomous native snake species as a pet, it is perfectly legal to keep venomous local species. Just not venomous non-native species. Canebrake rattlers are a go; black mambas, that's a no-no. Near as I can tell, this came about sometime in the '90s as an attempt to stop poaching of reptile species on the Federal Endangered Species List, most notably the Eastern Indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi), which had been driven from much of its former range by ruthless commercial collectors. By the way, the ban extends to pretty much every native non-ophidian reptile species — lizards, tortoises, and crocodilians — as well as local amphibians. To my knowledge, the only other state where it is illegal to keep Dekay's brown snakes is Iowa (there known as the "Midland brown snake").

3) In its infinite fucking anthropocentric wisdom, Georgia Law does not protect "poisonous species...because of their status as a nuisance or other reason." Freshwater turtles are also cited as a "nuisance" and not granted protection.

4) I am a staunch supporter of laws that protect species which are endangered, threatened or at risk, and I am a rabid proponent of habitat protection. But the law in question, while more or less well-meaning, is inconsistent and manages to, as they are wont to say, "toss the baby out with the bath water." The same reasoning and ethics that dictates that non-venomous species must be protected should obviously extend to venomous species as well. Whether or not a species poses a threat to humans should not (and generally is no longer) the criterion that determines whether it should be granted protected status. Also, there is no law prohibiting the keeping of non-native non-venomous species. So, I could keep a Sonoran kingsnake, for example. Hell, I could keep ten. Never mind the threat from escaped specimens establishing breeding populations and supplanting local species that occupy the same or similar ecological niches (see the State of Florida). Also, it has been my experience that children who keep reptiles as pets tend to grow up free of the irrational fear of snakes that leads to so many unnecesary reptile deaths. Also, domestic cats — a major threat to local reptile populations — run free. You will recall, Drinker was rescued from a cat.

5) Regardless of the rampant stupidity at work here, not wishing to wind up in the pokey or fined, we contacted an acquaintance at AWARE (Atlanta Wild Animal Rescue Effort). We explained the situation, that the snake had been rescued from a cat, but was now alert and eating and had pretty much healed. We were thinking perhaps we should turn Drinker over to Southeastern Reptile Rescue, as they have an amnesty program. However, our acquaintance at AWARE said it would be sufficient to release Drinker ourselves. He even recommended an ideal spot nearby, at the northern edge of Candler Park, away from people, cars, and (hopefully) most of the local free-range cats.

6) After I was done writing for the day (about 6 p.m., I think), we slipped Drinker into my handy professional snakebag (ie, a pillowcase) and walked with him to Candler Park (dodging joggers, dog walkers, and golfers). We found a nice leafy spot beneath the trees, said our good-byes, and sent herhim slithering on herhis way. I would not have thought it possible I could become so attached to a snake in just five days, but there you go. At least we know we saved herhim from being a snack for an already well-fed housecat. I have the empty shell of the first snail shehe ate while in our care; herhis face will be sorely missed.

7) We took photos (behind the cut) on the walk, most of which have nothing to do with releasing Drinker (warning, squirrel gore):

Farewell, Drinker )


Okay. I'm exhausted and disgusted. I think I'm gonna go drink some good tequila and sodomize myself with an illegal sex toy....
greygirlbeast: (Bowie1)
This morning the weather has turned just a bit nasty. It's only 51F out there right now, with a projected high of only 63F, about ten degrees cooler than yesterday's high. And it's cloudy. But. Truthfully, hearing how awfully cold it is at Spooky's parents' place in Rhode Island, I shouldn't complain about 51F. When her mother woke this morning, it was 8F. Ugh. That makes 51F seem positively balmy.

I am taking the day off. The writing went very well yesterday, 1,831 words on "In View of Nothing." I think I finally found my way into the story, and yesterday was the first day I've worked on it that I wasn't left feeling frustrated and depressed afterwards. I will finish it on Saturday, I suspect. But not today. Today, I think Spooky and I are going to see The Host and then meet up with Byron for 300 later on (I was encouraged by [livejournal.com profile] curt_holman's reviews of both films in the new Creative Loafing). We might even have dinner, somewhere in there. I am glad to be done with the March, so that my writing may now resume its usual pace, and I may only write too much, as opposed to writing too, too much.

Drinker (the chosen name) ate at least one snail yesterday, so it looks like sheheit is here to stay, at least for now. Sheheit is named for Prof. Edward Drinker Cope, one of the preeminent herpetologists, paleontologists, and ichthyologists of the 19th Century and long a personal hero of mine. Also, there is a genus of Late Jurassic hypsilophodontid dinosaur named Drinker (also in honour of Cope, natch), so I can say sheheit's named for both Cope and the dinosaur genus named for Cope. Spooky just came in with another snail and a slug, a regular Storeria dekayi molluscan buffet!

Congratulations to [livejournal.com profile] faustfatale and [livejournal.com profile] nathan_long on the occasion of their Scribe Award nominations!

Last night, we watched Christopher Guest's For Your Consideration (2006), a marvelously wry look at Hollywood and hype, and we also watched Ace of Cakes, because Geoff is just so damned cool. And then I read, more of Lewin's Bones of Contention. Soon, I have to set aside the paleoanthropology and get back to my Mars reading, as The Dinosaurs of Mars looms ever larger on the horizon.

Okay. The platypus say if I'm not gonna work today, I have to get off the iBook so sheheit can "surf the web for sizzling monotreme porn." Also, says the platypus, if I'm not gonna write today, doing anything else at my desk is just mocking the poor beast.

But...do please pick up a copy of Daughter of Hounds, if you have not done so already. Thanks!
greygirlbeast: (Bowie5)
So, yesterday we walk out the back door and down the back-porch steps, only meaning to have a short walk, maybe over to Inman Park. But we were immediately greeted by an unfamiliar orange girl cat, and we stopped in the driveway to pet her and say hi, as she was very friendly and vocal. Then, suddenly, she turned and pounced something in the grass. Moments later, she had a small snake in her mouth. When she dropped it, we shooed her away. It was a young DeKay's brown snake (Storeria dekayi). Worried that the cat had seriously injured it (the snake had flipped over into the "playing dead" position as soon as she dropped it), I scooped it up and brought it inside the house. It seemed fine and very active. DeKay's are the only common snake in our neighborhood; indeed, the only other squamate I've ever seen hereabouts was an Eastern ringnecked snake back in '05. Anyway, we've been talking about keeping one as a pet this year, as they are reported to be extremely low-maintenance herps. So, instead of our walk, we put the snake somewhere safe from Hubero and drove over to Pet Smart on Ponce to get a small tank and a heating pad (where some dork tried to convince us we were in imminent peril, handling a wild snake, and I didn't have the heart to tell him I've worked as a herpetologist; he seemed the sort who lives vicariously through a World of Warcraft character, poor soul). So, for now, we have pet #3, a young Storeria, which shall either be named Edward Drinker Cope (Drinker, for short) or Severus Snake. We haven't yet decided. We're waiting to see if it's going to feed as readily as Dekay's usually eat in captivity (snails, slugs, worms, etc.). If not, we will release it and hope that the cats and crows don't make a meal of the wee beastie. Here are photos, behind the cut (all photos by Spooky):

Drinker or Severus )


Because of all the ophidian distraction, it was after 3 p.m. (CaST) before I finally sat down to write, and then there were constant interruptions relating to the busyness of writing. Some very good back and forth with my lit agent, but it didn't help the word count. I did only 893 words on "In View of Nothing," which was the entirety of the section labeled "06. The Train." Also, the bit to be written yesterday required research into guns and maglev and metallurgy, as well as Greek and Turkish geography, all of which slowed me down. I hope to do 1,500 words today. I really need to finish this piece by Monday (the 12th), and I'm losing tomorrow, as we've promised to have a movie day with Byron.

As for last night, Spooky and I set out to have the nerdiest evening possible, playing two games of Scrabble while simultaneously watching four Sherlock Holmes films on TCM: Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1943), The Woman in Green (1945), Terror by Night (1946), and Dressed to Kill (1946). The last of the four is my favourite of the bunch — mostly because Patricia Morison makes such a delightful femme fatale — though none of them are in the same class as Rathbone and Bruce's first two Holmes/Watson outings, The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939) and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939). It also occurred to me that Basil Rathbone has a certain resemblance to Christopher Eccleston, and I got to thinking how wonderful it would be to see Eccleston play Holmes.

Okay, If I am to get a walk in today, I must sign off. Is that a gorgeous little snake or what?

LJ Postscript (1:41 p.m.) — Robert Thompson of "Fantasy Book Critic" has posted a very positive new review of Daughter of Hounds over at [livejournal.com profile] species_of_one. Have a look.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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