greygirlbeast: (Walter1)
Well, fuck. It's almost 2 p.m. (CaST), and somehow the day is slipping past on filthy little cat feet – fuck you, Carl Sandburg, you sentimental twatwaffle. Okay. Definitely didn't mean to begin this entry that way. But, as Longbaugh reminds me, "I think a plan is just a list of things that don't happen."

Yesterday, I wrote nothing. I sat here and thought about things I should have begun writing two days ago. Finding stories. I also made a flaccid attempt at cleaning my office. I decided that if snow is the dandruff of Ceiling Cat, dust is the dandruff of Basement Cat. I stacked up manuscript boxes that need to go to storage (various incarnations of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir and Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart, typescripts and galleys). I shelved a couple of books, and then I gave up.

I read Jack McDevitt's "The Cassandra Project" (2010) and Vylar Kaftan's "I'm Alive, I Love You, I'll See You in Reno" (also 2010). Both had kernels of magnificence trapped deep inside. Both were far too short, felt like outlines, and were almost entirely devoid of voice. I'm not sure if it's true that "Science fiction is the literature of ideas" (not sure, either, who first said that, and if you can figure it out for me, you get a banana sticker), but I don't think they meant that all you need is an idea*. At least, I hope that's not what he or she meant. I look back to Philip K. Dick, William Gibson's early work, Ray Bradbury, Jack Vance, Robert Silverburg, Ursula K. Le Guin, Frank Herbert, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Michael Moorcock, Harlan Ellison...long, long list...and there is style. Voice. Good writing. Not this no-style style. From recent samplings, I fear that too much of contemporary science fiction has all the flavour of a stale communion wafer, and is just as flat. Sorry. Gratuitous (but true) Catholic reference. Where are our prose poets? Why doesn't the language used to convey the idea matter? It's not entirely true to say it's completely absent from contemporary sf. We have the brilliance of China Miéville, for example. But for fuck's sake, the short fiction I'm reading...communion wafers.**

I only just learned that Etta James has died.

I think my diet is killing me.

The snow is so bright out there, I had to shut the curtain in my office. It's getting better, though, as the wide carnivorous sky is being decently obscured by clouds. I didn't leave the house yesterday, but Spooky did, and she took photos, which you can see behind the cut (below), along with a photo from the day before of a typical Providence grey squirrel, all of which have become absurdly obese of late, in this oddly snow-free winter. Oh. By the way. Yesterday was National Squirrel Appreciation Day. I shit you not. Let’s hear it for Sciuridae.

Last night, we watched last week's episode of Fringe. A marvelously tangled web. And yeah, it's not great science fiction, but it doesn't claim to be, and, even so, it does have a flavour.

Fat Squirrel + 21 January 2012 )


I Taste the World,
Aunt Beast

* Possibly, it was Pamela Sargent. Or, possibly, she appropriated it from Isaac Asimov.
** Near as I can tell, this has always been the case with "hard" and "military" sf.
greygirlbeast: (dax1)
Some stuff I forgot to say this morning, and some more Dax. Because, like bow ties, she's still cool.

My two favorite photos of Danielle Dax, behind the cut:

Blast the Human Flower and Onwards (With Screenplay Excerpt!) )


Meanwhile...

I meant to say there was very good rp with [livejournal.com profile] omika_pearl last night. And, Riftwise, Spooky and I did the Iron Tomb with [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus and friends. Later, while I was rping, he and she continued to quest together, and rob cairns, and dance with squirrels.

And thanks for all the comments, guys. It truly has been helping. Sometimes, it's good to know the last Martian has all this human company.

* Can't seem to make the superfluous go away.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
This is one of those rare mornings when I just want to go back to bed. Grab Spooky and go back to bed. Stay in my dreams, and never mind the goddamn wet tile floors and blinding fluorescent lights and missing syringes and legless albino women. Stay in my dreams, anyway. I'm not awake. Not awake, but not asleep. Ah, well.

It just occurred to me that today is not Monday.

I have learned that "Bainbridge" (from Alabaster) earned a spot on the Best American Fantasy 2006 recommended reading list. Only twenty-five stories made the list, and mine is the only one from a single-author collection. It's nice to see so many small/literary magazines on this list, by the way, not just genre publications. Though long since sold out at the publisher (subpress), you can still order the trade hardcover of Alabaster from Amazon.com (for only $16.50!); just follow the link above.

Speaking of Subterranean Press, yesterday afternoon Bill Schafer informed me that twenty copies of the limited of Tales from the Woeful Platypus were recently and unexpectedly located, hidden somewhere in the bowels of their stock. So, just barely, the limited is not yet sold out after all. But I expect it will be very soon, so if you want one of these, this is a "you snooze, you lose" situation. Red leather. You know you want it.

Yesterday was spent recuperating from the trip and answering e-mail, getting ready to descend once again into the words mines today. Now that the object of the long March is behind me, I should proceed at once to Sirenia Digest #16 — do not pass go, do not collect $200 dollahs — because as soon as it's written, I need to get started on The Dinosaurs of Mars, which has been long delayed. I spoke with Bill Schafer about that book yesterday, discussing the matter of illustrations and cover art. That's my goal for March — Sirenia Digest #16 and at least the first 15,000 words of The Dinosaurs of Mars (plus an article for Locus and some proofreading). It will be a busy month, but the good sort of busy.

Let's see. Yesterday. Well, I can say that I'm right proud of my landlord for dealing our noisy tribe of attic-dwelling squirrels by calling a humane "pest" control service, namely Animals B' Gone. Here is their page on squirrels. Were it actually my house, I'd probably just let the squirrels have the damned attic. But I'm like that.

At sunset yesterday evening, Spooky and I headed over to Freedom Park, hoping for a decent view of the lunar eclipse. But there were too many clouds in the east, and we were only afforded glimpses. The temps have turned cool again, and there was a bitter wind blowing. Hopefully, the weather will be more amenable to viewing during the second lunar eclipse of 2007 (August 28th). There's a partial solar eclipse coming on March 19th, but it will only be visible from eastern Asia and parts of northern Alaska.

Last night, we watched Ryan Murphy's Running With Scissors, which I will say, belatedly, was surely one of the best films of 2006, though I don't think the Oscars took note. The Golden Globes did. Anyway, this is a must see, I would say. Oh, I almost forgot. Byron dropped by yesterday. We have made plans to see 300 and The Host next weekend.

Anyway, here's my hard hat and lunch pail. The platypus says it's time for the word mines — down, down down....

Postscript (2:12 p.m. CaST: Two statistics I find fascinating, both from the March 2007 issue of National Geographic. 1) "The size of an average American home has increased 63% over the past three decades." 2) "1,210 U.S. Protestant churches have weekly attendance over 2,000 — nearly double the number five years ago." I don't know which number is more disturbing.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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