greygirlbeast: (white2)
It's dratted Sunday, kittens. COMMENT! I was up until after four ayem, and didn't wake up until fucking noon, so this is going to be very goddamn brief. Weekends are for pussies:

1) Yesterday I managed to write only a little better than a thousand words on "Ex Libris," because I spent over an hour trying to figure out exactly when a particular Providence church burned (I know the exact date on which it was demolished, after the fire).

2) I woke grateful that this was Monday, only to discover that it isn't.

3) For Sirenia Digest #72, I want to do another "Question @ Hand" feature, as we haven't done one in quite a while, and I actually have fun with them. Yeah, fun. Imagine that. Anyway, I'm taking requests. That is, it would be great if people had suggestions, as I'm drawing a blank. So, you know, something along the lines of "What if you had me alone for twenty-four hours with nothing but a spork and a bottle of rubbing alcohol, and I was hogtied, and no one would ever know what you did, what would you do to me?" Only more imaginative. That sort of thing, in keeping with the flavor of the digest, which means none of that "I just want to read to you (or let you write) and make you a cup of tea" nonsense. Get your hands dirty. I do it every day.

4) Sunny and chilly here in Providence. "We are shrouded all about with the hideous folds of autumn's death shroud!" See, I can still write bad goth poetry.

5) With any luck, "Ex Libris" isn't only me reworking "The Bone's Prayer" and "Sanderlings." This thought occurred to me yesterday.

6) Today, it has been six years since the day I completed Daughter of Hounds.

7) And, finally, you ought have a look at Sonya Taaffe's ([livejournal.com profile] sovay) new poetry collection, A Mayse-Bikhl. Check out her blog entry on the chapbook. Meanwhile:

You walk on, with dybbuks in you, even when they are yourself. You don't believe in the Messiah, but you keep looking to the east. The life of the world to come feels a lot like this one. You talk to yourself, because someone should always be telling the story. The only person who can take that word off your forehead is you.

Looking East,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
No numbered lists today. I've not the patience for it, and I have too little to say, and, besides, NASA finally decided the odds of the elctro-whatsit generator we need to proceed "probably" won't create a vast artificial black hole.

Secrets make me weary.

Yesterday...well, I did do some stuff. Spooky went out and rented a second storage unit, because there's too many comp copies of books I've written or have stories in, and everything has to be reorganized, and my isn't that exciting? Tonight, we'll be lugging boxes of books to Pawtucket. Still awaiting the go-ahead from the National Aeronautics geeks, I tried to begin a new vignette...or short story. Not sure which yet, or either. Or if either? Something's wrong there. Anyway, [livejournal.com profile] sovay helped me with the Greek for the title: "Hē tēs thalássēs mártys (ἡ τῆς θαλάσσης μάρτυς)," and I even wrote 104 words on it before giving up. Not in disgust. In something else. Possibly in misgiving or in trepidation.

Sometime, thereafter, I had my first seizure in months. Spooky wasn't here, and I came to on the kitchen floor. The usual "I have no idea what happened immediately beforehand" amnesia and the back of my head hurt. But no damage done. Just when I think I'm never going to have another one of these things...Anyway, my suspicion is there's just been far too much stress the last couple of weeks, which is, obviously, a primary trigger for PNES seizures,

Yesterday, talking about Silk, someone in the comments mentioned how they enjoyed the interconnectedness of the books. And I replied that, truthfully, I regret the novels being interconnected — Silk through Daughter of Hounds — and that I've seriously considered rewriting "Bainbridge" to remove its connections to Silk and Murder of Angels (and, so, by extension, the other three novels). I have no idea how my readers would feel about my attitude towards having tied all this stuff together, but as the years go by it seems juvenile, and as though I did the wrong thing for all the wrong reasons. Hence, The Red Tree and The Drowning Girl: A Memoir are almost entirely devoid of any connection to my earlier books. The bizarre series that Blood Oranges may be the beginning of, this is not the way I will continue to write most novels in the future (and I do not think of Blood Oranges as one of my serious novels; it's just a peculiar lark, fun, something to wake me up after the long fever dream of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir).

The weather's turning to shit just in time for this weekend's shoot. I suppose we will muddle through. Perhaps literally.

Oh, I know what I was going to say. One reason I stopped writing "Hē tēs thalássēs mártys (ἡ τῆς θαλάσσης μάρτυς)" yesterday was this sudden fear that I'm writing far too many stories about the sea. Yes, I know I do it very well. But I'm beginning to feel like I'm...repeating myself. Well, I know what I mean.

In the end, yesterday was an all but wasted day...which makes four in a row...during a month when I couldn't afford even one. But this shit happens. At least, today, I can go back to work in earnest. After all the email. Spooky has to drive down to her parents' place to gather up some spare blankets and pillows and stuff for people who will be crashing here over the weekend. We're still waiting on final conformation about shooting scenes in the Athenaeum. There's an awful lot of chaos (not with the Atehnaeum, that wasn't what I meant to imply). But this whole thing begins day after tomorrow, and a lot of things are still up in the air. And the funny part? There's zero evidence that book trailers help sell books. But we have a three thousand dollar budget.

I should go now, before I hurt myself.

Oh, but first — and speaking of book trailers — there's this. The first volume of Odd?, a new biannual anthology from Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (presently only an ebook, but a hardcopy edition is on its way), reprints my story "A Child's Guide to the Hollow Hills." But I think the promotional video is far more entertaining than is my story:



Masochistic,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (wookie)
And this, Day 11, will be the last day with the CEM. Not only because I'm quite late getting it back, but because I'm sick to death of it. Not the novel, but working on the CEM, doubting every comma and period. Losing perspective and anything like objectivity.

Time is moving so fast. It used to puzzle me, but now I think I understand it's a sort of psychological time dilation. When we're young, say when we're ten, then five years is 50% of our lives. When we're twenty, it drops off to 25%. When we're forty, five years has become a mere 12.5%, and so forth. The longer one lives, the briefer any given span of time is perceived as being. The mind actually makes the span of time seem shorter than it did at an early age. Or, it may be this is some actual property peculiar to the fabric of time, but, at the moment, my psychological hypothesis seems more parsimonious. And, realizing all this, that's often been my best argument against suicide (though I strongly believe suicide is everyone's right and a personal decision, and I say this having lost someone I loved to suicide). Time is moving fast, and it moves faster and faster the older we get. If you hate life, just hang on. It'll be over "soon."

Yesterday, I slogged through the more tiresome aspects of the process of getting the CEM for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir ready to go back to my editor. Which is to say, heading down the steep slopes of Mount Taediosus, reaching the talus, one encounters great thickets of greenbriers and kudzu vines. The descent is slowed. And so forth. And today, I am reduced to double checking, mostly proving the things I've quoted are in public domain, or that I have quoted short enough portions that my quotes constitute fair use. Sometimes, this turns into black comedy, such as, for example, where I quoted Dante's Divina Commedia, which was, of course, written in the early fourteenth century. Obviously, it's in the public domain. But not so fast! Because, I quote both the original Italian and an English translation. So, which English translation did I quote? Because translations are subject to copyright, which means translated lines of a fourteenth century poem may well be under copyright.

But when asked, "Which translation did you use?" My response is, "Fuck if I know." Turns out, I used the translation made by Allen Mandelbaum between 1980 and 1984. Very much still in copyright. This means I have to quote the English translation lines from a much older translation, likely Henry Francis Cary's, which was done between 1805-1814, and is long, long out of copyright (therefore, in "public domain"). And so on, and on, and on, and on.

Thankfully, [livejournal.com profile] sovay was kind enough to read through the ms. again with an eye to this very problem, plus my copyeditor caught many of them.

Also. After adding, over the last week, an additional ten thousand words or so to the "Back Pages" portion of the ms., I began to fear I'd broken the book in so doing. I emailed it to Peter Straub, and he read over it again for me yesterday. And, says he, yes, I broke it. Chop the new stuff out. Which I will do, because I respect his opinion as much as that of almost any living author. Besides, cutting the new text will make my editor happy. An author must never, ever be afraid to take scalpel to child.

Also, I signed the signature sheets to the Centipede Press Machen collection.

And that was my yesterday. Pretty much. Oh, we're getting into Season Two of Mad Men, and I still can't figure out why they made the jump from 1960 to 1962. But it was disorienting, and I didn't even catch on until the third episode or so. And we read. And we slept. But I did not sleep enough.

Descending,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (sol)
I listen to R.E.M. a lot, and it will always be the music of Athens, GA, though I actually first discovered their music in Boulder, CO many, many years before I moved to Athens.

Spooky says I'm homesick. I'm not sure she's correct. But maybe it's something akin to homesickness.

---

I find myself needing to be tactful, though, no matter how hard I may try, I am never the most tactful of beasts. I get a lot of requests from aspiring writers, requests for me to read their work and/or offer advice on how they can become better writers, find an agent, find a publisher, and so forth. I can't answer all of these requests personally. Not one at a time, I mean. So, I'm answering the most recent batch personally here. And it's a short answer. Or a short set of answers. Truthfully, I can't help you. It's been nineteen years since I began my first novel, and eighteen since I sold my first short story, and sixteen since my first fiction publication, fifteen since I finished Silk, and fourteen years since I sold my first novel. It's been sixteen years since I got my my first agent. Now, the point of all those 'teens is that during the intervening years, publishing has changed, and it's changed in ways I only just begin to understand. For example, I used to type query letters, mail them (in an envelope with a stamp and an SASE enclosed, from an actual post office), and wait weeks for a reply. Back then, books were either paper or recorded on cassette (a few books-on-CD recordings were popping up). I could give a lot more "for examples." But, what's even more important than the changes that have been wrought upon the publishing industry is the simple fact that I'm not a writing instructor, and only a critic in the roughest sense. Sure, you could show me a story, and I could tell you whether or not I liked it. But, for the most part, that's useless to you. My opinion on any given piece of fiction is mostly subjective (aside from correcting grammar and so forth). I might love it. I might think it's a load of shit. A lot of what I think is shit sells like hotcakes, and a lot of what I think is brilliant can't sell for shit. And that should tell you everything you need to know, right there. Finally, I simply don't have time to read your work, not if I'm going to get my own writing done and have some semblance of a life in between. So...I hope you'll accept these answers, and understand them.

---

I'm trying very hard to get myself back into the head-space that will allow me to finish Blood Oranges. But it's not going well. I tried to read Chapter Four aloud on Friday night, and I only made it a few pages in. The reasons are complex. My instinct is to shelve the manuscript and move on to the next project. But that would be ridiculous, if only because the novel is half finished. And it was coming so quickly before this wall.

We fall, or are knocked down, and we get up again. Or we stop calling ourselves writers.

---

Yesterday, Spooky and Sonya and I escaped the broiling confines of the house, and endured truly horrendous touron traffic to cross the Western Passage of Narragansett Bay to Conanicut Island. Beavertail was dazzling. The sea off the west side of the point was such a dazzling blue gem it might have blinded me. Not my eyes, but other portions of my self in need of blinding. There's been far too much stress, lately. Stress I am ill equipped to cope with. There were more people at Beavertail than I'm used to seeing, but it was still easy to find a relatively secluded bit of phyllite jutting out into the bay on which to spread our blanket. About a hundred yards to the north, a flock of cormorants perched on the rocks. Occasionally one would streak away, skimming just over the surface of the sea. Or one would dive in and fish. There were gulls and robins and red-winged black birds. We fed a gull a cheese cracker. Just north of us was a rowdy lot of college kids, swimming and drinking beer and using watermelon rinds as hats. Spooky and I lay on the blanket. Sonya waded in. We weren't able to stay even nearly long enough, especially considering the the traffic there and back, and how hot sitting in the traffic was (the loaner car has no AC), but Sonya had a 6:27 p.m. train back to Boston. Amazingly, neither Kathryn nor I are sunburned (we did use sunscreen, but still).

Back home, Spooky and I had tuna for dinner. We watched more of Law and Order: Criminal Intent, and our Faeblight Rift toons reached level 18. It was a quiet evening, and we mostly managed not to sweat.

I think I'm going to spend the next couple of days sweating and writing something for Sirenia Digst #68.

There are photos from yesterday, but Earthlink is all whack-a-doodle, so I'll have to try to post them tomorrow.

No Sea, So Less Calm Than Yesterday,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (sol)
Awoke too early, as of about forty-five minutes ago. Too early, considering that we didn't get to bed until about 4:30 ayem. Yeah, too old for this shit. Spooky and [livejournal.com profile] sovay are still sleeping.

I did, at least, awake to an email from Bill Schafer of Subterranean Press, containing the Library Journal review of Two Worlds and In Between:

A mission to a distant planet goes dreadfully awry in the suspenseful novella "The Dry Salvages." Dinosaurs and immortals interact in a tale ("Giants in the Earth") set in a universe created in Michael Moorcock's Dancers at the End of Time. These stories, along with 24 other pieces of short fiction, including "Night Story 1973" written with Poppy Z. Brite, chronicle the literary progress of one of the genre's most remarkable and exciting voices. Covering the years from 1993 to 2004, these selections, chosen by Kiernan herself, display a unique, iconoclastic vision that celebrates language as well as story. VERDICT Fans of the author and connoisseurs of elegant prose should enjoy these tales.

Not bad.

Yesterday is, presently a bit of a blur. Much more conversation. Spooky had a terrible headache, so we didn't go anywhere, and, besides, it was raining hard most of the day. Which meant yesterday was cool, though the heat will be back today. Sonya and Spooky went out to get dinner about 6 p.m., and I fell victim to a nap that left me disorientated and groggy for hours afterwards. We watched the Criterion version of Michael Powell's Peeping Tom (1960), a fairly bold take on murder and the wages of unfortunate parenting (and, also, a film on voyeurism) with some striking similarities to Hitchcock's Psycho (also 1960). Later, we swore we were going to bed early, but didn't.

Not awake enough anything else just now. Sonya's up, so I'm going to be sociable.

No Rift in two nights. Withdrawal has definitely set in.
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
Rain today, and the temperature is, presently, only 71F. My office (which still has residual heat from yesterday) is almost bearable. Sure, I'm sweating, but the sweat's not so prodigious that it's dripping onto my keyboard.

No work yesterday, except I had a first glance through the PDF for Two Worlds and In Between, and everything, at first glance, looks shiny, Captain. Mostly, Spooky and I hid in the dark bedroom, the coolest place we could find (temp in the coolest part of the apt. yesterday peaked at 84˚F), and watched episodes of Law and Order: Criminal Intent until it was time to go to the market, and then pick [livejournal.com profile] sovay up from the train station.

So, yeah, at least I left the house. Small victories. We got takeout from the Palestinian place. And then just talked. We sat up until about four, talking.

For rain it hath a friendly sound...

Sonya made me write down stray lines, because, of course, I'd not recall them this morning. This seemed to be a favorite:

"He called himself a landscaper, but he just moved manure around."

Oh, and "South of articulate, and moving towards something."

Much of the conversation centered on the nature of my erotica, and the meaning of words like obscene and pornographic. I like wicked best. Sonya finally pronounced that it's an eroticism of metamorphosis. Which seemed unnecessarily forgiving (she just said, "That's your residual Christianity talking"). Oh, we also talked about the genius of Terrence Malick, and about books that do not deserve exorbitant advances, and about body modification.

My thanks to everyone who had kind words for Chapter One of Blood Oranges yesterday – and "Down to Gehenna," also. If all goes well, and my resolve holds, I'll be back to work on the book tomorrow, and will try to finish Chapter Five in five days.

Anyway, I should go now. I think we're going to read back over Chapter Four, and pick up last night's conversation where dawn so rudely interrupted us.

Godspeed, Atlantis.

Wickedly,
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: (redeye)
Sunny out, and we're hoping for a windy 53˚F for a high. Yesterday, walking about Boston, clumps of snow hiding here and there, it was hard to imagine spring's anywhere nearby. I look at the weather forecast for Atlanta, and see the highs are up around 80˚F, and I think shit, I want to be there, but then I remember...

Yesterday was really very, very wonderful. Spooky and I took forever to get out of the house. It was pretty much noon by the time we were on the road, so it was a little before two when we reached the Harvard Museum of Natural History (née Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology). Spooky waited downstairs for [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy and company. I sat upstairs in the Romer gallery, with all the fossil dinosaurs, fish, and reptiles, trying to stay calm. As soon as the photographers arrived, which wasn't long, we went to the Great Mammal Hall and got to work. It went very well. Kyle was great, and I very quickly loosened up. I think he took about five hundred photos. No, really. Anyway, I'll post a few once Kyle sends them my way. I'm dreading the task of choosing the photograph from all those. [livejournal.com profile] sovay arrived at the Museum while we were shooting, and [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark would have, but there was apparently catastrophic car trouble. But yes, the day was a great success, and I'm very grateful to Kyle, Anna, and David for all their hard work yesterday. All I had to do was wear a top hat and make funny faces. In between clicky photo barrages, I tried to entertain the photographers with impromptu mini-lectures on this or that aspect of Natural History.

I think the most amusing part was watching and listening to all the people in the Museum (it was unusually crowded) trying to figure out who I was. The general consensus seemed to be that I was some manner of rock star. Which just keeps being funny.

I'll post a few shots here tomorrow.

Oh, and Spooky photographed a raven and other beasties as reference for Tale of the Ravens.

We made it back home by seven p.m., and I was utterly, utterly, exhausted. Oh! I forgot to mention that I hardly slept night before last, so I headed off to Boston on nothing like enough sleep. Okay, well, yeah. That happened, which is why I was so tired by the time we got back to Providence again. I wasn't up to anything more strenuous than lying in bed and watching television. There wasn't a new episode of Fringe, so we watched random episodes of The X-Files, then switched over to re-watching Season One of Californication (which is sort of like switching from Coca-Cola to tequila).

---

I'm beginning to wonder if I'm the last living Martian.

---

Sirenia Digest #64 should be out by the fifth of the month, which is Tuesday. I'm waiting on Vince's illustration for "Random Notes Before a Fatal Crash," and I still need to write the prolegomenon. I like this new story a lot, if it is a story, in the strictest sense (it's so much easier to write sensu stricto...). It came to almost 10,000 words in length, so subscribers are getting a big issue this month (and why aren't you a subscriber?). #64 will also reprint – for the first time, anywhere – "Rat's Star," a novella fragment which has previously appeared only in the limited edition of From Weird and Distant Shores.

In some ways, "Random Notes Before a Fatal Crash" is a story that I set out to write a couple of years ago, which I stopped and started several times. No, that's not entirely true. "Random Notes Before a Fatal Crash" is actually what happened instead of that story, after the theft of that story's title by another author (sounds snarky, but, still, it's true).

Okay. Days not getting any younger, and neither am I. Platypus says jump.
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: (starbuck4)
This is the morning after Utter Exhaustion. The sky is grey, and there's rain. It looks like spring out there, whether or not it actually is spring. We can work that part out later.

There are only nine days remaining in "Tale of the Ravens" Kickstarter project. We'd really like to see those last two $500 spots claimed. Look at the truly cool stuff you get! And, of course, the more we exceed our goal, the firmer footing Goat Girl Press will set out upon. We're already thinking about projects we'll do after "Tale of the Ravens." Spooky's studying all sorts of cool handmade bookbinding techniques. So, yes. Donate!

Yesterday, I started off by adding another 550+ words to the end of The Drowning Girl, the "Back Pages" section that's sort of like an afterword. Almost. The manuscript, which is now essentially finished, presently stands at 105,711 words. That's about 5,000 words longer than The Red Tree. Anyway, while I was working on the novel, Spooky and Sonya were already busy with line edits on Two Worlds and In Between.

By late afternoon, early evening, Sonya and Spooky had made it through the edits on "Postcards from the King of Tides," "Rats Live on No Evil Star," "Estate," and "Breakfast in the House of the Rising Sun," while I'd done only "To This Water (Johnstown, Pennsylvania 1889)" — I discovered long ago that having only one good eye makes me a very slow editor. But...that meant we were almost done. Sonya and I then read through "Giants in the Earth," which is, indeed, far better than the odious "By Turns," and I swapped the latter for the former.

That left only The Dry Salvages to edit. I was going to leave it for Spooky and I to tackle, but stalwart Sonya suggested she and I go ahead and start it, then finish it today (We hates the young people, Precious, so full of energies.) But first we went to East Side Market, lest we starve of having run out of food. At the p.o., there were two CARE packages from Steven Lubold, including new PJ Harvey and Arcade Fire, Peter's American Fantastic Tales (vols. 1 and 2; Vol. 2 includes my story, "The Long Hall on the Top Floor") and two volumes of bookbinding for Spooky.

Back home, after cold roast beef sandwiches and such, Sonya and I read the first 17,292 words on The Dry Salvages. We'll finish it early this afternoon, before she heads back to Boston at 5:30 this evening. And that means the collection will be about 98% ready to go to subpress. It's absolutely true to say that without having Sonya here the past four days (she arrived Saturday evening), I'd have been utterly screwed. She saved my butt. Anyway, after about eight hours of editing yesterday, Spooky played Rift, and Sonya and I watched John Carpenter's The Thing, because she'd never before seen it. There was laundry drama, too, because someone had left an immense load of wet laundry (I'm talking a metric assload) in the washing machine. Spooky and I got to bed about two ayem.

Tomorrow, I'll send The Drowning Girl to my editor at Penguin. And within a day or two, Two Worlds and In Between will be delivered to subpress. Also, Lee and I are talking about offering a very limited edition (50-100 copies) of frameable signed and numbered prints of the collection's cover (which you'll see very soon).

And on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I'm taking a much needed and well earned break, before I start work on Sirenia Digest #64 on the 21st. Oh, also, I'm adding "The Worm in My Mind's Eye" to Two Worlds and In Between, which has never appeared anywhere but as a short chapbook only available to those who ordered the limited of The Dry Salvages. Also also, yesterday I took lots of photos, and will do so again today, so tomorrow I'll post a sort of photo essay of the end of this editing marathon.

But now...I go forth with platypus in hand to finish up. After I extract Mr. Bastard (alias Hubero) from my lap.

Chat at 'cha later, kittens.

Blinded by the Light at the End of the Tunnel,
Aunt Beast

P.S.: Not to put too fine a point on it, but I AM NOT A HORROR WRITER!
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
Sunny today, and the temperature's heading towards 47F.

As for yesterday, it was a mad blur of line editing, the sort that makes me scream and curse and wish I'd chosen just about any other career than fiction writing. I shifted to working on The Drowning Girl, and Sonya and Kathryn took over Two Worlds and In Between. I'm not entirely sure who drew the short straw there, but I suspect it was Kathryn and Sonya. We worked for about seven hours. I didn't stop until sometime after ten p.m. I managed the "last" edits on the novel, the last before it goes to my editor. Which I intend it to do tomorrow, after I make a few more little tucks and tweaks.

Sonya and Spooky picked their way through "Andromeda Among the Stones," "From Cabinet 34, Drawer 6," "Night Story 1973," "Les Fleurs Empoisonnées,” "Onion,” "The Road of Pins," and "Spindleshanks (New Orleans, 1956)." Which leaves about eight stories to go, and, I'm sorry to say they're some of the most heavily edited, as they're the oldest. Also, I think I may pull "By Turns," and replace it with "Giants in the Earth." The latter really needs the reader to be familiar with Micheal Moorcock's The Dancers at the End of Time sequence. But it's vastly better written than "By Turns," which suffers from...well, lots of things. But mostly "By Turns" suffers from me committing the heinous crime of writing about a romanticized South that never existed, which I've rarely ever done. You do not romanticize, not ever. It's the first thing a "Southern writer" learns.

Regardless, Sonya very, very kindly agreed to stay over one more night, and we're about to make a huge push to get through the rest of Two Worlds and In Between. Well, except for The Dy Salvages, and that's another thirty-thousand+ words Spooky and I have to get to later this week. But we're exhausted, sleep deprived, and nerves are on edge. This shit takes its toll.

I cannot imagine what it would be like to be an author who simply writes a short story, and never, ever goes back and revises it. Many of the stories in Two Worlds and In Between have been revised four and five times since their initial publication, revised to varying degrees before each and every publication. All at least once or twice. And I don't mean rewritten. I mean heavily revised. But I intend this to be the very last fucking time. Ever.

---

About midnight last night, after I'd had a hot bath and we were all trying to wind down and get sleepy, I showed Sonya Alex Proyas' Dark City (1998), and I'm just going to quote her post from earlier this morning, because it was very cogent, and I need to wrap this up. So, from [livejournal.com profile] sovay:

"At the very beginning of tonight's movie, I said to Caitlín, 'I'm glad to see this director likes German Expressionism.' Near the very end, I said, 'That is the best film I have ever seen about the process of apotheosis.' Both of these statements are true; neither is going to convey how much I liked Dark City (1998), which begins like a solid little film noir and ends like Gnosticism. And of course it recalls Metropolis (1927) and M (1930) and Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari (1920) and even some films that aren't in German, chiefly Jeunet and Caro's Delicatessen (1991) and La Cité des enfants perdus (1995), but I am not sure I had ever before seen a street scene simultaneously evoke Franz Kafka and Edward Hopper and you know, they're a natural fit. I can't imagine how the theatrical cut was supposed to work. I've had it explained to me, but I still can't imagine it; I don't know what it is about thoughtful science fiction that makes studios want to tack on idiotic voiceovers, but I hope it's not some kind of actual, contractually-obliged law. And even if one could make a convincing case that the central mystery of Dark City is less compelling than the characters' actions once they figure it out, I still can't figure out why any of the deleted scenes were, because one of the neatest things about the film as it stands is its three-dimensionality, the sense that any of its characters, John, Emma, Bumstead, Schreber, even Mr. Hand, might be the protagonist: and so, by turns, they all are. Take out certain lines, conversations, even reaction shots, that depth of field is lost. God, I bet this is how you jinx a movie, taking Fritz Lang as your model. At least Alex Proyas didn't have to wait eighty-plus years for the restoration.

...It's mostly the hair, and a little of the cheekbones, and the eyes, but I kept looking at Rufus Sewell as John Murdoch and being reminded of Michael Cisco. This comparison may haunt me for years. Then again, any film that contained multiple shout-outs to Daniel Paul Schreber's Memoirs of My Nervous Illness (1903) would probably remind me of Michael Cisco all by itself. I still wonder if this explains anything about the world."

---

Okay, kittens. Back to the special hell of words.

In Perpetual Exhaustion,
Aunt Beast

(And remember, I AM NOT A HORROR WRITER!)
greygirlbeast: (white2)
I think Spring is beginning to think about considering possibly coming somewhere near Rhode Island. Highs in the high 40s Fahrenheit. We may have 60s by late April.

Yesterday was a bloody nightmare of double-barreled line editing. No, no, no. That almost makes it sound fun, and it was at that other end of the spectrum from fun. Spooky and Sonya worked together like a well-oiled machine, and actually made it all the way through The Drowning Girl, though they didn't finish until after dinner.

In the same amount of time, I only managed to make it through six stories in the ms. for Two Worlds and In Between. I began at the end of the collection and worked my way towards the beginning, as the later stories have far, far fewer edits than do older ones. I figured if I'd done it the other way round, and had to face those 1993, 1994, 1995, etc. stories first, I would have locked up and made no progress whatsoever. Yesterday, I edited "Houses Under the Sea," "Daughter of the Four of Pentacles," "The Dead and the Moonstruck," "Waycross," "Riding the White Bull," and "La Peau Verte." I stopped about 9 p.m., I think. These newer stories are much longer than the older stories, but, as I've said, have far fewer corrections.

So...today, we start all over again. Sort of. I'm handing the ms. for Two Worlds and In Between off to Spooky and Sonya (it was actually their idea, after my agitation yesterday), and I'm going to do all the very last things that need doing on The Drowning Girl (I have a list), which I expect to send to my editor tomorrow afternoon.

Here's a thing: I need someone fluent in French, preferably someone in France or Quebec, to check my French in Two Worlds and In Between. I can't pay you, but your name will appear in the book's acknowledgments.

Last night, there was very good Palestinian takeout for dinner.

This morning I saw Lee Moyer's almost final version of the cover for Two Worlds and In Between , which I'll share here as soon as ere I may.

---

Saturday night, I showed Sonya Pitch Black (directed by David Twohy, 2000), one of my favorite big-bug scifi thrillers of the last twenty years. She'd never seen it, and I was relieved she enjoyed it. Last night, she showed me Derek Jarman's adaptation of The Tempest (1979), which was, by turns (and, sometimes, all at once), sublime, grotesque, and beautiful. Jarman's cinematic composition always amazes me, each shot framed like a Renaissance painting, so arresting to the eye that you almost don't want to progress to the next frame of film. For me, Toyah Willcox's somewhat feral Miranda was the finest bit. Also, we watched Jarman's short Art of Mirrors (1973). Tonight, I'm showing Sonya the director's cut of Alex Proyas' superb Dark City (1998).

---

Later, Spooky and I began Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay, and, so far, it's a vast improvement over Catching Fire (which, by the way, I cannot believe the New York Times actually had the temerity to claim was better than The Hunger Games). We made it through the first three chapters or so.

Oh, and when I write Blue Canary**, and if it's a success and there are the two books after it that I'm planning, I promise I will not burden the beginning of the second two books with recap. I'll do the sensible thing, and begin the second and third volumes with concise "Our Story Thus Far" sections, which can be skipped if they're not needed.

So, that was yesterday. Today will likely be equally tedious, and both Sonya and Spooky have my most sincere apologies for this.

Postscript (2:08 p.m.): I AM NOT A HORROR WRITER!

** I ought not have to say this, BUT...if you steal this title, I will cause you harm, by hook or crook.
greygirlbeast: (goat girl)
Argh. Careful plans were made yesterday how we'd be up and functional by two p.m. Now, I'm hoping for three. And I blame Suzanne Collins, but I'll come back to that later. I woke from dreams of Japan and bizarre aliens beasts to discover it was the ass crack of noon.

---

Yesterday, we finished the read through on The Drowning Girl: A Memoir (while I also worked on my next painting). There are the line edits to make, and two or three short bits I'd like insert, but otherwise, it's finished. And I believe, as best I ever may, that it's the best novel I've ever written. There are other things I might say, but it would all be speculation. I can't know how the book will be received. And it will soon be my job to try very hard not to care. Today, Kathryn and Sonya will attend to it's line edits, moving it a big step nearer sending it off to my editor next week.

Me, I'll be tackling the monstrous task of the Two Worlds and In Between line edits.

With what remains of the day, and, no doubt, well into the night.

---

Sometime last year I came across the icon I'm using for today's entry. I came upon it entirely devoid of context. I snagged it because I found it invoked a certain mood. Plus, it's sexy. I cannot deny my goat girl fetish. Anyway, I had no idea where it came from, who the artist was who painted it or when the painting was done. Then I used it with an entry Thursday night, and [livejournal.com profile] blackholly asked about its provenance, and [livejournal.com profile] eluneth kindly informed us that it was a patinting by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904). Looking about on Google, I discovered the title of the piece is La Bacchante:



So, mystery solved.

Also, I made this very cool list, 8 Lesbian and Bisexual Authors You Should Know, which made me smile.

---

A reminder, as we crest the middle of the month, that this month's selection in Aunt Beast's Book Club is Grace Krilanovich's The Orange Eats Creeps (2010):



You don't have to read it, no. But if you don't, it's your loss. See, that's why I'd suck as a grade-school teacher. I would instruct students that they were free to do their assignments or not, so long as they understood the consequences, and wouldn't pressure them one way or another.

---

The main reason Spooky and I were so late getting to sleep last night was that we were determined to finish Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire. Which we did. About 4:30 ayem. (Oh, and welcome back to CaST). And no, it's not half as good a novel as is The Hunger Games. It has some brilliant moments, and some fine characterization. Here and there, it shines. But, all in all, it is shoddily constructed and poorly paced. It slogs along at the beginning and then barrels haphazardly towards a poorly executed last page. Which isn't THE END, but only the cliffhanger connecting it to the next book. I've nothing against series, but each book needs to be a complete novel unto itself, no matter how well connected it is to the others. Catching Fire isn't a bad novel, it's just a huge disappointment after the power of its predecessor. Yes, we'll be beginning Mockingjay immediately, and I do hope Collins recovers from the fumble. I want to love these books, as I certainly love many of the characters, and I care about their world (but pulling off those two difficult tricks still doesn't mean you've written a good book). Also, selling a bazillion copies and getting a Major Motion Picture, that's also irrelevant to the book's merits.

I promise that if my first YA novel is a success, I'll not make a sloppy mess of my second.

---

Okay. Doughnuts!
greygirlbeast: (Default)
These days, thanks to better sleep and meds, dreamsickness is rare. But I'm wrestling with a nasty bout this ayem. I woke three times from the same fucking nightmare, only to fall right back into it when I went to sleep again, continuity intact.

---

Another day of proofreading yesterday, but it seemed much, much shorter than did Thursday. Spooky read the fifth, sixth, and seventh chapters aloud (109 pages, 24,727 words) over the course of about three and a half hours. Yeah, not nearly as bad as Thursday. Though, 7 is sort of a long demonic yowl that pretty much has to be read in a single breath. Still, not as bad the day before, and today should be about the same as yesterday. And today, we'll finish this first pass. Only minor line edits and the very few continuity errors have been corrected, along with two or three sentences I yanked out altogether

The Red Tree is likely a more straightforwardly autobiographical novel, but The Drowning Girl: A Memoir is somehow much more personal. Yesterday, I kept thinking, I wrote this thing. I shouldn't have to hear it read.

And I keep finding things I want to go back and work into the book, like Billie Holiday (and Diamanda Galas) singing "Gloomy Sunday," and wordplay with Styx and sticks.

Spooky and [livejournal.com profile] sovay will spend the weekend making corrections to The Drowning Girl, while I work on the corrections on Two Worlds and In Between (because, yes, I am editing two huge books at once).

I believe that, yesterday (or the night before), I found the name of my first YA novel, Blue Canary. Regardless, that's what the project will be called, and not one word of the plot will be leaked until the ms. has been sold. Yes, lately, Howard Hughes is extra paranoid.

---

Last night, we were both so exhausted. Spooky warmed up leftovers. I had a hot bath that, of course, made me more tired. I played an hour or two of Rift while she watched trashy television. Literally! She's become addicted to something called American Pickers. But anyway, I leveled an alt, Nilleshna, my Kelari cleric (inquisitor/cabalist/purifier) to Level 7, and read a lot more of the game's lore. The deeper I get into Rift, the goofier WoW seems. And it's weird, because I went into WoW knowing it was goofy. I remember my first time in the b'elf starting area, and excitedly describing it to Spooky as "Disneyland on acid," and also comparing it to Final Fantasy X-2. But at some point I forgot it was all so dumb and goofy, and when I eventually remembered, it really pissed me off. The whole affair is inexplicable.

I continue to see most, by far, Rift players on our RP-PVE server using world-appropriate names, though last night I spotted Slyce, Inkognito, and Jhaded. I figure some of these players learned everything they know about naming fictional characters from reading superhero comics...which would be fine, if this were CoX. As for Jhaded (Jaded was taken, of course), that's just some jackass who's too cool for school. I see a lot of that in MMORPGs. gamers who feel they're simply too worldly to "pretend." And all I can do is wonder, then, why chose an rp server, when they had plenty of non-rp servers from which to choose? I am forced to draw the conclusions that they mean to be disruptive, and I loathe them on principle.

Later, we read Catching Fire, which we've almost finished.

---

And this is today. Fuck you, day.
greygirlbeast: (starbuck4)
I've been looking at the images and reading the news coming out of Japan for the past hour, and I can't do it anymore for now. This is what an 8.9 earthquake and a 33-foot tsunami does when there are people and cities (and nuclear power plants) nearby. I have no friends or family in Japan, but I know those who do. Absurdly, I keep thinking, this might have been so much worse. And, not so absurdly, I think, "It may yet be."

George Takei just tweeted, "Today we are all Japanese. Give $10 to help." He included a link to the American Red Cross' donation page. Also, you can text REDCROSS to 90999.

---

Yesterday was all proofreading. Spooky read me the first four chapters of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Which amounted to 7.5 hours reading time, 218 pages, 48,631 words. Today, we read the next three chapters. We were reading until 11:30 p.m. (CaST).

Hearing it, yes, I know that this is the best novel I've written. I feared I'd never write one better than The Red Tree. Yet, here it is. And I have no idea how readers will react, and part of me truly doesn't care. The other part of me cares, but that's mostly because I spend so much time worrying about money. This is my book, and Imp's story. There is little to be gained, at this point, by fretting over the things that it's not, or the minds that won't be open to how I've told this very weird tale.

There was no time for work on Two Worlds and In Between yesterday. All we have left to read over is the thirty+-thousand words of The Dry Salvages, and I expect we'll do that on Wednesday.

[livejournal.com profile] sovay will be arriving Saturday evening, and will be here until Tuesday, to assist with making all these line edits, getting both these mss. ready for their respective editors. Whether or not she knows it, it's a rescue mission. Hopefully, with Sonya's help, both of these mss. will be out of my hands by next Friday (the 18th). Then, I get a couple of days off before I have to start work on Sirenia Digest #64.

Still coughing. The less I talk, the less I cough, but you know how that goes.

---

[livejournal.com profile] ellen_datlow has posted the "honorable mentions" list to her annual year's best, and I'm pleased to see I'm named nine times, and all but two from the digest:

"As Red as Red," Haunted Legends
"Exuvium," Sirenia Digest 48
"Fairy Tale of the Maritime," Sirenia Digest 57
"O is for Oyster," Sirenia Digest 57
"R is for Radula," Sirenia Digest 57
"On the Reef," Sirenia Digest 59
"Sanderlings” (Subterranean Press chapbook)
"Tempest Witch” Sirenia Digest 54
"The Prayer of Ninety Cats,” Sirenia Digest #60

---

After all that reading yesterday, we were too tired for anything but a movie (and, probably, we were too tired for that). We watched Ivan Reitman's Stripes (1981), which seemed quite a bit more ridiculous than when I was seventeen and saw it for the first time (theatrical release). Then again, it's still very funny, and compared to most comedies released today (Adam Sandler, I'm looking at you), Stripes is fucking Mensa material. I think the weirdest thing about watching Stripes again was seeing Sean Young the year before she played Rachael in Blade Runner (three years before she played Chani in Dune).

Okay. Time to make the doughnuts....
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Of course, the bottom of page 451 wasn't truly THE END. I sat down yesterday to contemplate the possibility of an epilogue to The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. On the one hand, the last few sentences were pitch perfect. On the other hand, it didn't feel like the place where Imp would stop. So, I stared at the screen and pondered a way to add, without taking away. And I wound up writing an additional 1,991 words, under the heading "Back Pages." These pages are a little more like a series of footnotes or journal entries than they are like any conventional sort of epilogue, but they do shed light on a few of the novel's murkier places. The ms. now stands at 103,493 words. And now, I think, I genuinely have reached THE END.

And here, in this place called the end, I think I'm happy. I think I've walked the tightrope. Last night, [livejournal.com profile] sovay read the book. She's the first person besides Spooky to have done so. She pronounced it "beautiful," "magnificent," and, importantly, nothing like The Red Tree.

Also, I exchanged emails with my editor, to whom I will send the book next week. We're looking into including one or two sketches in the book, which would be very cool.

I also wrote a letter to R.E.M.'s management, to obtain permission to reprint two lines from "Follow the River." An actual letter on actual paper, that will go into an actual envelope, and have an actual stamp placed on it, then an actual postmark, and be delivered to the actual post office in Athens where I used to have my p.o. box. Still waiting to hear back from Radiohead's management regarding permission to reprint two lines from "There, There (The Bony King of Nowhere)."

Spooky proofed "Houses Under the Sea" for Two Worlds and In Between

I coughed.

After dinner, she helped me with making the final selections of which pieces of art will be included in the bonus section of the limited edition of Two Worlds and In Between. I have artists to email today, though I still have a few decisions left to make.

It was a goddamn busy day. Which is how things are going to be around here for at least another week and a half. Or for the rest of March. I don't fucking know any longer. But I do have fantasies of taking two or three days off, sometime in March. I really haven't had any time off in many months.

Also, if you're reading this and I've promised to send you a copy of the ms. of The Drowning Girl, those will go out the fist half of next week, once I've had time to polish the prose just a bit.

---

Last night, I ventured back into WoW for the first time in days. You know that quest that I deemed one of the worst three in Azeroth, the one in Shadowmoon Valley called "I was a lot of things..."? Well, last night, in a fit of pique, I went back in determined to best it. I did, and it unlocked the rest of the quests I needed for the "Shadow of the Betrayer" achievement. Now, all that stands between me and Loremaster are nine quests in the infamously difficult to conclude Nagrand region of Outland, which is littered with broken quests and suchlike.

Also, played Rift for a couple of hours or three, and made it about halfway through Level 19. And then we read more of Catching Fire. We're halfway to the end.

Time to make the doughnuts.
greygirlbeast: (starbuck4)
So, today is Imbolc. And here we are, halfway to the vernal equinox. Which really can't come soon enough. The threat of more snow has dissolved into drizzle and a skim of slush atop the mountains of snow. We'll have a fresh glaciation when the sun goes down. I haven't seen the sea since, I think, October. Today, there's a parking ban in effect in Providence (no street parking).

Our thanks to everyone who dropped by Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries yesterday. And since someone bought the mermaid necklace, I have to point you towards my other most favorite, her Someday antique key necklace. FREE shipping until Valentine's Day. Please do have a look. The platypus says so, that's why.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,760 words and finished the sixth chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Given I only just finished the fifth chapter on Sunday, that might sound sort of strange. So, I should explain that Chapter 5 was very, very, very long, and I decided to split it. So, the second half of 5 is now 6 (plus what was written yesterday).

Anyway, yesterday I passed the 300th manuscript page, and the total word count stands at 67,537. Last night, I sent the entire manuscript to [livejournal.com profile] sovay, because I'm losing all perspective. She says I'm still on track. I expressed concerned about some of the structural similarities between The Red Tree and The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. To which she replied, "I think any questions of repetition should be mitigated by the fact that the narrative also includes a five-act play; it's by its own acknowledgment, like any memory or storytelling, a collage." Which helped allay my worries, though nothing's gonna make them actually go away.

There's a nice write-up at io9 on Jeff and Ann VanderMeer's forthcoming The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, being a most sublime and unusual collection to which I contributed "A Key to the Castleblakeney Key." The book will be out June 21st.

Also, Dark Horse is talking up Ellen Datlow's Supernatural Noir, the collection that includes "The Maltese Unicorn," the only short story I've ever written about a Depression-Era lesbian private eye in the employ of the madam of a demon brothel trying to recover an ancient and magical dildo carved from unicorn horn. I'm very pleased to see that Supernatural Noir got a really beautiful cover. I pretty much don't expect those anymore. The collection will be released June 22nd.

The good word count and kind words from Sonya aside, yesterday was sort of crappy. And included disquieting computer shenanigans and a fall in the bathtub that could have been a lot worse than it was (I got off with a bruised arm). Still, last night wasn't so bad. We watched two episodes of American MastersThe Greely Expedition and Into the Deep: America, Whaling, and the World. Later still, I briefly left the house and wandered Outside, into the snowbound street.

And here's a photo of an icy window, dendrites and ice and filigree, taken early yesterday from one of my office windows:

Looking Out Through Frost )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I would have announced yesterday that Subterranean Press has begun taking preorders for Two Worlds and Between: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan (Volume One), but I didn't know until late yesterday afternoon. So, I'm announcing it now. Bill tells me orders went very well yesterday, and that almost half of the limiteds have already sold (!!!!), so you might want to— as the hucksters say —act now. I am very pleased with the news that it's selling well.

Also, subpress is currently offering the book for a discounted sale price of $40 for the limited (regular price, $60), and $30 for the trade (regular price $38). Not sure how long the sale will last.

I spent all of yesterday working on editing the book, as it happens.

Making this quick and dirty, as we're going to a matinée of Aronofsky's Black Swan, and tonight [livejournal.com profile] sovay and [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark are coming down for a read-through of the first three chapters of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. So, later kiddos.
greygirlbeast: (Bjorkdroid)
Finally, yesterday, I left the House, and it was a substantial leaving. I had a headache, but I refused to let it keep me inside. After a quick stop at the market and to check the p.o. box, and a stop at the liquor store, we stopped at Wayland Square for coffee and baked goods at The Edge. We walked past Myopic Books and What Cheer Antiques, but didn't go inside. The day was bright and sunny, and though it was cold there was no wind, so it wasn't too terribly unpleasant being out. After coffee, we drove to Benefit Street and parked quite a bit south of the Athenaeum, because I wanted to walk. Most of the Brown and RISD students have gone away for the holidays, and College Hill is wonderfully peaceful.

We spent a couple of hours at the Athenaeum, even though my headache was so bad I couldn't really read. Mostly, I found books I very much wanted to read, and sort of scanned them. There was a paper on Monodon monoceras (the narwhal) in Smithsonian at the Poles: Contributions to International Polar Science Year (2009), on the evolution and morphology of the narwhal's "horn." There was a book on Dogtown, Massachusetts, which intertwined the history of Dogtown with a brutal murder that occurred there in 1984. The was a book on Mary Shelly's Frankenstein and pop culture. But mostly, it was just good to be in the Athenaeum and not at home. And, by the way, if any kind soul would like to gift me with a membership to the Athenaeum, I won't protest. Personally, I think lending privileges ought to be free for local authors teetering on the brink of poverty, but there you go.

Of course, the big news yesterday was that the abominable "don't ask/don't tell" policy was repealed by the Senate. Finally. So, now openly gay men and lesbians are also free to die in the immoral wars America wages across the world. No, I am glad. Truly, and very much so, but it is an odd sort of victory, you must admit.

Last night, some very good, very quiet rp between Molly and Grendel in Insilico. Maybe, someday, all of this will become some sort of short story. Maybe. But probably not. And Spooky and I have reached Level 81.5+ in WoW. By the way, I think the insertion of all sorts of tedious "mini-games" into the new expansion is annoying and dumb as hell, especially that one in Mount Hyjal that's trying to pay homage to the old arcade game Joust. Worst. WoW. Quest. Ever. I wish I could recall the name of the stupid quest, but I can't. I have blotted it from my consciousness.

Today, today is another day off. I may finish a painting, and I may do some housecleaning. Spooky's finishing up a painting. We'll go to the market this evening. On Tuesday, we go to see Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan. And that evening, both [livejournal.com profile] sovay and [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark will be coming down from Boston and Framingham, respectively, so that we can talk over the first three chapters of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Maybe the long period of reclusiveness is ending.

I'll be posting a couple of "Year's Best" lists, but not until the year is actually over, or very almost so.

Anyway...time to wrap this up.
greygirlbeast: (Neytiri)
Here it is 1:21 p.m., and I'm only just now sitting down to make a blog entry, which means I'm running about two hours behind what I might laughingly refer to as my "routine."

Last night, we realized that one of Smégaol's paws has developed a pad infection...again. More complications from his plasma-cell pododermatitis. So, he goes back to the vet today.

As for yesterday. I got a package from London, from Steve Jones, containing two books. One is the Russian edition of The Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories by Women. So I can now say that "So Runs the World Away" has been translated into Russian, and I've always loved to stare at my words in Cyrillic, even though I have only the faintest idea what any of it means. There ought to be a word for that: being unable to read something you yourself have written because it has been altered in such a form that, while it retains its essential meaning, it is no longer recognizable by its author. The same package contained the Polish edition of an anthology that doesn't actually contain anything written by me, so that one will remain a mystery.

Sonya arrived on the 2:20 train from Boston. We picked her up, then swung back by the House before heading south to Beavertail. The day was overcast and, once we reached the sea, a little chilly. We climbed down onto the rocks about .16 miles northeast of the lighthouse. There were the usual gulls and cormorants, and some small species of Calidris (possibly a plover or stint) that we weren't able to identify. The surf was rough, and there was a mist rolling in, with a storm not far offshore. My ankle's still giving me trouble, and I was frustratingly clumsy, so we didn't do much clambering about. We located a bit of 19th-Century graffiti we first spotted on June 23, 2008. The sun came out, and we sat a while, just watching the birds and the sea.

Later, we headed over to West Cove at Fort Wetherill. It's our favorite spot for gathering sea glass, and we found some spectacular pieces yesterday. We also saw three specimens of Bonaparte's Gull (Larus philadelphia), a species neither Spooky nor I had spotted before. We headed back to Providence about 7 p.m. We stopped at Fellini's for a pizza. Back home, Sonya and I watched Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes (my third time to see it) and James Cameron's Avatar (also my third time time to see it), because Sonya hadn't seen either. I was up far too late, and didn't get to sleep until about four thirty. We talked about everything from mass extinction events to the novellas of Ursula K. LeGuin. Spooky took Sonya back to the station today for a noonish train back to Boston, before I was really even awake. It was a good visit, but far too short.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Unexpected expenses seem to be raining from the sky, lately. You might also find something you like at Spooky's Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries shop at Etsy. Thanks.

Here are some photos from yesterday:

16 August 2010 )

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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