greygirlbeast: (stab)
There are days that are bad. There are days that manage to be worse than bad. And then there was yesterday. And all I will further deign to say on the subject (as discretion may not be the better part of valor, but it can sometimes be the author's best friend) is that there are times when the legal departments of major publishers are capable of demonstrating a degree of bone-headedness rarely exhibited outside the pachycephalosaurid dinosaurs. My great thanks to Merrilee and Anne for getting me through the day, and apologies to Kathryn, who had to endure the full brunt of my righteous indignation at Ground Zero. What the hell am I on about? When a band and a band's manager and a band's legal representation says, in writing, "Caitlín R. Kiernan has permission to quote our song in her forthcoming novel The Drowning Girl," odds are pretty goddamn good that said band and manager and legal representation have the authority to grant said permission. But, all's well that ends well, right? Okay, well my damaged schedule and colon might disagree, and it's not usual that I'm drinking in the afternoon, or that I have more than a single cigarette in a day. But...it was that sort of a day, and then some.

Please, today, comment, kittens. Just be kindly.

I'm lost, and the shadows keep on changing.

Here's a very fine and thoughtful review of Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Me (Volume One), and it might surprise you how much I agree with it. Well, except the reviewer's feelings about narrative structure and the conventional endings of stories. But, yes, good review. Also, I think I shall be canonized as "Aunt Beast," which suits me fine. At least, this month it does.

So, yesterday was devoured by nonsensical bullshit. I've established that, yes. When it began, Kathryn and I were making another effort to complete the line edits to Blood Oranges. We will finish that today, or all the world be damned. There's only 20 pages remaining, for fuck's sake, maybe half an hour of work. And I will not be dissuaded by clueless lawyers!

Not sucky things about yesterday! They deserve mention. I received a copy of Michael Zulli's on beyond sublime book The Fracture of the Universal Boy (six years in the writing and drawing, and another Kickstarter success story!). You must own this beautiful book. What else didn't suck? Well, Vince Locke's illustration for "Latitude 41°21'45.89"N, Longitude 71°29'0.62"W." (Sirenia Digest #71). Yesterday, I discovered Unwoman, and that totally didn't suck. Last night, [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark came over, and that didn't suck at all. Our conversation about "sport fucking," that totally fucking rocked, and might be the seed for my next SF story. And my HUGE box of comp copies of Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Me (Volume One) arrived via UPS.

Oh, and you need to see Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham, in director Mike Newell's forthcoming adaptation of Great Expectations. Beautimous.

Anyway, I'm running dreadfully late today, thanks to yesterday, and the fact that I had a very early and long talk with my Dark Horse editor this ayem, and still have a modest hillock of email to answer beore Spooky and I can be done with Blood Oranges and get it off to my agent before day's end. But! I will leave you with two more astounding stills courtesy [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy, from the October shoot for The Drowning Girl. These are especially excellent, and, I daresay, they almost show too much of what's to come:

Imp, Eva, and Abalyn )
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 1)
See, it's not insomnia when you just stay up too late reading. No. It's not. That's called stupid. And so now I'm not awake, and I'm having to augment my sugar-free Red Bull by listening to Hubero going on about Sméagol freaking him out with carrot cards and a squeegee board. Funny cats are no fit substitute for sleep.

Currently, I'm being horrified by a new "texting" acronym: LMBO. Which is apparently what the Jesus has instructed good Xtians, fans of the Jonas Brothers, and devotees of Stephenie Meyer to use instead of LMAO. Because it's more wholesome to say "butt" than to say "ass." Really, people. What the fuck was wrong with "haha"? It's just as easy to "text" as LMAO. Four letters. Actually, it's easier to type than LMAO, because of the QWERTY keyboard layout. Also, it's logical. "Haha" isn't an acronym. It's an example of onomatopoeic language. Do not badly reinvent the wheel, people. That's why we have the Microsoft Corporation.

Yesterday was a symphony of...well, not dull. Actually, anything but dull. Exhausting, though, and vexing. I am now working on so many different projects at once, switching gears throws out my back about once a day. Or throws out my brain. Or whatever. Yesterday, after the blog entry, and after I brushed my teeth, and answered email, after all that, I had to send electronic files of the Authors Note and Author's Biography from The Drowning Girl: A Memoir to Penguin, because...let's not go there. I think people are forgetting how to retype. It all began with James Watt in 1779, unless it began with Johannes Gutenberg's printing press in 1436, unless it actually began with Bi Sheng in China in 1040, ol' Bi Sheng and his porcelain movable type. Wow. There's nine hundred and seventy-one years of laziness. And a huge digression.

I was saying, yesterday, after the files were sent to my editor at Penguin, I got back to my work on XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (guys, the TRUTH is out there, and it will be revealed in late November or early December, I am told, and we all have to sit tight until then). After that I was greeted by a mammoth email from my editor at Penguin, who needed clarification of several illegible comments I'd written on the CEM for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, illegible because the Lamictal (which I take for the seizures) makes my hands shake so badly. And that meant comparing my photostat (back to xeros + graphus) with her notes and...it took awhile, and a lot of patience on the part of the vocally reluctant (but ever helpful) Spooky. Then we had spaghetti. Then we proofread "John Four" for the first time since September 24, 2010 (I finished writing it on September 22, 2010), which is being reprinted in S. T. Joshi's A Mountain Walked: Great Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, to be released in limited and trade editions in 2012 by Centipede Press (and maybe I wasn't suppose to announce that yet, but there you go). That was work yesterday, leaving out a few victuals and bits of flayed skin.

"John Four" is one of my best and strangest Lovecraftian stories, and I'm pleased to see it will be reprinted in such a good home.

Oh, and my comp copies of Stephen Jones The Book of Horror arrived, which reprints my story, "Charcloth, Firesteel, and Flint."

Last night, some very good RP in Insilico, and two episodes of Mad Men, and then, even though I was in bed by two-thirty ayem, I was awake until three forty-five, reading this, that, and the other. Included were two more stories from the Halloween anthology, Sarah Langan's "The Great Pumpkin Arrives at Last" and "The Sticks" by Charlee Jacob. The former is, at best, so-so. It relies too heavily on a somewhat unconvincing "twist ending." The latter, though, was quite effective, a story reminiscent of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery," though only in its most basic premise. I will admit, I'm uncomfortable talking about other authors' stories here, but there's a long tradition of authors commentating on authors, and if I'm going to read the damned things, I can at least be honest.

Spooky's no-longer-premature Hallowe'en Sale (!!!) in her Etsy shop, Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries—20% off on everything—continues. Only one necklace and a bracelet left (plus paintings and other cool stuff), and who knows when she'll have time to make more. When making a purchase, IF YOU WANT THE SALE PRICE, you need to, at checkout, use the sale code SPOOK.

By the way, this is the one year anniversary of our return to Providence from Portland, Oregon. One year ago last night, we spent the whole night awake in the almost entirely deserted Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport. Then...well, hell ensued. Anyway, here is a token from that night, which I may auction someday on eBay. It's companion, the shortest novel I ever wrote on a napkin, was auctioned last autumn.

The Napkin of Caribou )
greygirlbeast: (Spalding)
See, I don't read Terry Goodkind. Just never have. Not my cup of tea. But, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] whiskeychick and [livejournal.com profile] chris_walsh for introducing me today to "Wizard's First Rule" (from the 1994 novel of the same title):

"'Wizard's First Rule: people are stupid.' Richard and Kahlan frowned even more. 'People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People's heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool.

Because of Wizards First Rule, the old wizards created Confessors, and Seekers, as a means of helping find the truth, when the truth is important enough. Darken Rahl knows the Wizard's Rules. He is using the first one. People need an enemy to feel a sense of purpose. It's easy to lead people when they have a sense of purpose. Sense of purpose is more important by far than the truth. In fact, truth has no bearing in this. Darken Rahl is providing them with an enemy, other than himself, a sense of purpose. People are stupid; they want to believe, so they do."

—Chapter 36, p.560, U.S. paperback edition

Of course, I'd be more impressed with this insight if it were not true that (to quote Wikipedia) "Goodkind has been largely influenced by the books of Ayn Rand and is a strong supporter of her works and of Objectivist philosophy." Which is to say, he is the worst sort of victim of Wizard's First Rule.
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 1)
Yesterday was an appalling day. I do not feel like going into the details, but I've had it with the doctor I've been seeing, so now I have to find a new one, which isn't an easy thing. It wasn't easy to find the one I've been seeing. But I will no longer be treated as I have been treated since I came to Providence. I'm pretty sure there are animals in slaughterhouses that are handled more humanely. I am very much missing my doctor in Birmingham. She was my doctor for twenty years, even when I lived in Athens and Atlanta, I still went back to Birmingham for her. She wasn't renowned for her tact and bedside manner, but she also wasn't a complete fucking idiot.

No, nothing was accomplished yesterday, nothing at all.

Oh, well...I suppose something was, sort of. When we made it back from the hell that was the doctor's appointment, Spooky had to take the car into the shop, as it had suddenly begun hemorrhaging coolant. Turns out the water pump was blown, and they installed a new one, setting us back $250 (after the expense of the idiot doctor). So, at least the car is hale and hardy again.

Today, I hope to begin a new vignette for Sirenia Digest #48.

I have an email this morning, from a reader who writes, "I was shocked to discover Alabaster isn't available on the Kindle. Please, raise my hopes and tell me it's coming soon?" Sorry, but no. There are currently no plans for a Kindle edition of Alabaster. And remember, this sort of decision isn't up to me.

Last night, we watched Chan-wook Park's Bakjwi (2009; aka Thirst), which was a nice tonic against Stephanie Meyer and her simpering spawn. A beautifully filmed vampire movie that manages to be sexy, bloody, and funny, and I don't even care that great swaths of it made no sense whatsoever. Definitely the best vampire film I've seen since Tomas Alfredson's Låt den rätte komma in (2008). Earlier this year, when Bakjwi was playing in Boston, [livejournal.com profile] sovay asked us if we wanted to see it with her. For one reason or another, we passed. I wish we hadn't, as it would have looked great on a big screen.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, and also note that Spooky has five more of her Cephalopodmas ornaments remaining. Right now, a little "extra" cash wouldn't hurt. Thanks.

And Thanksgiving can go fuck itself, please and thank you.
greygirlbeast: (Pagan1)
An extremely good writing day yesterday. I did 1,864 words and finished Chapter Six of The Red Tree. Much better than Sunday, when I wrote only 1,010 words and did not finish the chapter. The manuscript is now 68,003 words long. There was no writing on Monday, because it was Mabon, and I had no intention of spending the whole sabbat at a keyboard. And now it is Wednesday, and I see that my last real entry was made on Sunday morning, which leaves me to play catch up again.

First, I want to announce that Frank Woodward's documentary, Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown (in which I appear), winner of best documentary at this year's San Diego Comic thingy, will be screened at the Chaplin Theatre on Saturday, October 4th, at the absurdly early hour of 1:45 p.m. It's part of this year's Shriekfest, whatever that might be. This will be the film's Los Angeles premiere. Frank tells me it's also been slated for festivals in Buenos Aires and Montreal.

Sunday night we watched Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (2001), which I'd only seen the one time in the theatre. I'd forgotten what a truly perfect film it is.

Monday, we got out of the house as soon as we could, which I think was about 2 p.m., and headed south from Providence. First, we visited Game Stop in Warwick, because they had the World of Warcraft "Battle Chest" (Wow plus the "Burning Crusade" expansion) on sale, and we picked up a copy for me and another for Spooky. Yes, it's gone that far. I'll return to the subject of WoW shortly. Anyway, after Warwick, we'd intended to drive down to Moonstone Beach, but changed our minds (we have two of them, most of the time) and instead headed east towards Beavertail. But there was to be yet another change in plans. In Jamestown, we decided that instead of going on to Beavertail, we'd explore the southeastern edge of Conanicut Island, around the ruins of Ft. Wetherill. The first fort built on the coast here was Fort Louis (named for the King of France, yes), erected during the American Revolution. Later, it was Fort Dumpling (named for Dumpling Rock), after being lost to the Brits during the occupation of Newport. In 1900, the fort was renamed in honor of Captain Alexander Wetherill, an infantryman killed in the Battle of San Juan during the Spanish American War.

We parked and spent the afternoon on the rocky beaches, surrounded by high granite cliffs (an unnamed granite formation dating from the Late Proterozoic), searching for bits of beach glass. It was a grand way to spend the first day of Autumn, and I was more in need of actual Nature than Ritual, so it was also a grand way to spend Mabon. I needed that nearness to Panthalassa. So, I lay for hours on the cobble-strewn beach, the clear water of West Cove literally lapping at my feet. It was a grey overcast day, and quite chilly, but no rain. There were ravens and gulls and cormorants. We found lots of glass, including some rare violet and pink bits. The only other people we saw, I think, were two guys who'd been scuba diving in the cove. There were sail boats, and the wind made my ears ache. It was close to a perfect day. There are photos below, behind the cut.

As for World of Whorecrack, and what should have been Level Grind Part Two, let me just say that nothing takes the gung out of your ho (or mine, anyway), like having to endure two hours (!) loading the game software and innumerable patches. My free trial was almost up, so I went ahead and activated a paid account. But, yeah, the software took for fucking ever to load. And load. And load. It was after 9 p.m. before I actually got back to, you know, playing. I'd hoped to get back up to Lvl 15 last night, but having lost all that time loading the game, I only made it to 13. Still, not bad for two nights. Mithwen advances. But. I am beginning to wonder why I bothered switching from the PvP server to an RP server. In two nights, and maybe twelve hours of play over those two nights, except for a few exchanges between me and Spooky, I have yet to see anything resembling rp. I don't mean that I'm seeing bad rp. I'm just not seeing any rp at all. Not even an attempt. I do see lots of annoying ooc behavior and chat. And there's more traffic on the new server, which is sort of irritating, and people keep challenging me to duels (I decline, as it makes no sense in story, and they make no attempt to rp the requests). So...I am left to wonder. Why does Blizzard bother with rp servers, and why do all these people sign in to rp servers, when no one even tries to rp. There's no attempt that I can see at being in character, playing someone who is actually a part of Azeroth. As near as I can tell, it's not that players in WoW can't rp, it's more like the concept is entirely alien to them. I begin to suspect it never even crosses their mind, what "roleplay" actually means. Fortunately, it's a good enough game that I don't really care about the missing rp, and I suppose I could form a group devoted to actual rp. We'll see. But I am annoyed that I switched servers and started over.

Oh, and last night, while I was trying to dump some loot in the bank in Darnassus, some goofball named "Thirstyblood" shoved a guild charter in my face and asked if I would sign it. I did, since it seemed like it would be more trouble to say no. I did not know this would automatically make me a member. Duh. Anyway, shortly thereafter, the guild was activated and the title appeared over my head —— "Unholly Strength." I "whispered" to Thirstyblood and asked if he knew he'd misspelled "unholy." At first, he said no, he'd spelled it that way on purpose. He then admitted "unholy strength" was taken. I asked to leave the group. He wanted to know if I was leaving over the spelling, and I said yes, for starters. At this point, he changed his story again, and said it was just how he wanted to spell "unholy," and made a stink about having a right to spell things as he wished. I said fine, wonderful, just please let me leave. Never mind that we're playing Alliance, so it's a given that we at least probably wouldn't think of ourselves as unholy. Or unholly, for that matter. The guy was getting really...apoplectic...over me not respecting his "right" to spell words as he "chose." But, after five minutes or so of this, he did finally eject me from the guild. I wanted to ask if he called himself "Thirstyblood" because "Bloodthirsty" (which would have been bad enough) was already taken, or if that was a personal choice, too. Jesus fuck, where does all the stupid come from?

Anyway, I have to get to work on Sirenia Digest #34 (subscribe!) and look over the page proofs for the B is for Beginnings chapbook...but yeah...photos behind the cut:

Fort Wetherill, Mabon 2008 )
greygirlbeast: (white2)
Cleaning my office, packing, I came across an invitation to the 70th anniversary of the opening of the Lynn-Henley Building of the Birmingham Public Library (which, at the time, was the Birmingham Public Library). This is the same building I visited on Tuesday and spoke of in my first entry on Thursday, the reading room with the Ezra Winter murals. Anyway, so I found an invitation to the 70th anniversary, April 7th, 2002. The building was opened to the public in 1932. My Grandmother Ramey was 17 years old. The US President was Herbert Hoover. Amelia Earhart flew from the US to Ireland in 14 hours and 54 minutes. Anyway, here's a contemporary illustration of the library, the one from the invitation:



Also, there was a somewhat odd list on Yahoo today, "The Good, the Bad, and the Slimy: 20 Great Movie Creatures." Some of these truly are iconic movie creatures — Kong, Giger's Alien, Jabba the Hutt, Godzilla, Oz's flying monkeys, Harryhausen's skeletons, Gollum, and heck, maybe even the magnificently erotic Davey Jones. A couple may, in time, prove to be iconic — the "Pale Man" from Pan's Labyrinth and the creature from The Host. But the list, as a whole, shows too much of what paleontologists call "the pull of the recent." That is, it's top-loaded with creatures from very recent films. In a list of 20 films spanning 1933-2008, 75 years, fully 50% of the list is derived from films released in the last six years! Even admitting that advances in CGI and SFX make-up are giving us many marvelous new monsters these days, this is baloney. Where's Lugosi's Dracula, Karloff's incarnation of Frankenstein's creature, Gort, or the "gill man" from the Black Lagoon? All of these are clearly more iconic, and far more deserving than some of those who made the list. The "ultra-cute baby Loch Ness monster" from The Water Horse? Not. Kraecher from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix? Wrong. The gelflings from The Dark Crystal. Nope (though you might make a case for the Skeksis). Saphria from the godsawful Eragon? That's a joke, right? You want a dragon, then choose Vermithrax Pejorative from Dragonslayer or Maleficent's draconic incarnation from Disney's classic Sleeping Beauty. Sheesh, people. Someone needs to look up the word "icon" in a dictionary and try again.
greygirlbeast: (chi2)
I am a very lucky nixar. No gaping, bloody wound in my head. My dentist is wise and merciful, and I was allowed to keep that right second upper molar. It seems the discomfort was arising from a problem caused by upper and lowers no longer occluding properly (because of the work done on the cracked tooth in February). A little grinding (not even the indignity of Novacaine, thank the gods) Still, she gave me Lortab and penicillin scripts, just in case something should go wrong in there before I find a new dentist in Providence. She's been my dentist since March 2000, and it was an oddly bittersweet parting. Anyway, don't ever say that I've never given you a glimpse of true horror, because if you look behind the cut, you'll find x-rays of my frelled-up mouth:

You've been warned )


After the dentist, enormously relieved and not low on blood, we dropped by the storage unit to see just how annoying moving everything out of it will be on May 27th. Not too bad. And then we went to the Birmingham Public Library, and I sat beneath the beautiful old murals in the Linn-Henley wing. That part of the library appears in Threshold, and it's on that very short list of things I will miss about the South. Truthfully, in an alternate-world Alabama with an entirely different cultural and political climate, I could probably have lived my whole life in Birmingham. Anyway, Spooky took some photos, and I'll put them up tomorrow, after she's had time to edit them. Today, you just get gnarly teeth. We saw an assortment of flattened and living fauna along I-20: crows, buzzards, deer, armadillos, dogs, a hawk. At the rest stop just across the Alabama state line, we spotted a large (probably female) Broad-headed skink (Eumeces laticeps). Spooky tried to get a photo, but the lizard did not cooperate. Alas. After the library, we stopped by my Mother's house in Leeds, and spent a couple of hours there, just talking. She's coming up to Providence to visit in the autumn.

I suppose, now that there is not unsightly recovery to endure, I shall be trying to finish up Chapter One of The Red Tree, beginning today. I need to have that done, and also Issue No. 30 of Sirenia Digest by Wednesday, the 21st, at the latest. Not only will the packing schedule become so hectic by then that there's no way I can even hope to work, but, also, I have to go back to Birmingham next week, to see my regular doctor one last time before the move (and she's been my doctor since 1990).

Last night, after finally getting back to Atlanta about 9 pm and grabbing some Thai food for dinner, we watched two episodes from Season Two of Millennium ("The Hand of St. Sebastian" and the hilariously wonderful "Jose Chung's Doomsday Defense", the latter with Charles Nelson Riley). Oh, and discovered a tick latched onto my left hip. No idea where I picked the little fucker up. Maybe at my mother's (rural location plus dog), maybe at the rest stop earlier. She was a female Lone Star tick (Amblyomma americanum), and was surprisingly painful when Spooky removed her. The blasted thing had apparently been on my clothing for some time, had only just bitten, and hadn't yet started to feed (no blood), or had fed only a very little. We dropped the tick in a jar of alcohol (70%), where she survived for a hour. Spooky's calling my doctor about it today, just in case she wants me to take any precautions beyond those we have taken already. And, please, no oogy tick-borne disease related stories. Thank you.

Later, I tried to work on the Palaeozoic Museum (New Babbage, Second Life), but the damned asset server was on the fritz again, so that didn't happen. I did make quite a lot of progress on it Monday. Oh, yeah. Monday. On Monday, I worked on the Museum, we got dinner from the Vortex at Little Five Points, and watched two episodes of Farscape ("Home on the Remains" and "A Constellation of Doubt"). I went back to the biography of Henry Fairfield Osborn, which I hope to finish before the move. That was Monday. Huzzah.

Also, I should repost the link to 350.org.

Is it just me, or are these entries getting far too long winded? At any rate, only 13 days remaining to the dread birthday -04. Blegh. But my Amazon wish list is here, if you are so inclined.

Oh, and since this entry has gone on Way Too Long, I may as well mention how I've been complaining about the sudden proliferation of needless contractions, because people simply can't be bothered. Sure. It's not really anything new. Nabisco stopped being the National Biscuit Company back in the early sixties, but, lately, it seems like this is happening everywhere. National Geographic as NatGeo?! The Biography Channel as Bio? I wonder how many people still remember that WB stands for Warner Brothers, or that KFC stands for Kentucky Fried Chicken, or that iHop is shortened from the International House of Pancakes? But the one that really tears it for me, that set off a rant last night, was seeing Scarlett Johansson called "ScarJo." What the holy fuck?! Okay, sure. First we had JLo, but that was just Jennifer Lopez, so who really cares? Not only is Scarlett Johansson a fine actress (The Black Dahlia not withstanding), she has a cool name, so why ruin it with a silly contraction like "ScarJo"? It is beyond me, these things that people do. Maybe I would be a more popular writer if I went by CaitKier. Or just CRK. Regardless, I am looking forward to hearing her album of Tom Waits covers. And now the platypus says if I don't stop and drink some coffee, sheheit's going to start gnawing my ankles.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
And here, already, it is Mabon. Too, too soon. Even after this dreadful summer, part of me dreads the approach of winter. Those blue skies. My aching feet. Ah, whatever. Here's wishing you a joyful Mabon, or Aban Efed, or Feast of the Ingathering, or simply a pleasant Autumnal Equinox.

As predicted, yesterday was all housecleaning, and now this place is a fair sight less cluttered and dusty. So, today we can return to work on Tales of Pain and Wonder — the last couple hundred line edits — and hopefully, tonight, I'll not be so fried I can't get back to work on the screenplay for "Onion."

Yesterday at dusk, we went out for our evening walk, and heard the screech owl (Megascops asio) that we've been hearing on our street for a couple of months now. Last night, though, we were fortunate enough to catch sight of her or him, perched on a branch near the road and crying out with the distinctive "whinny" of a screech owl, sort of like the sound an Hyracotherium might have made (assuming palaeotheriids whinnied, and they likely did not). It's an eerie, beautiful sound. We walked west almost as far as Inman Park, and returned to find Byron seated on our porch steps. We watched the "new" Torchwood, part of The Graham Norton Show, and then Mike Judge's Idiocracy. On the one hand, I'll admit the movie was funny, sort of like Futurama turned inside out. But on the other, Spooky and I agreed afterwards that its portrayal of a future human population where everyone is an slack-jawed, consumerized idiot to be not so very different from how we perceive the bulk of the present human populace, and in that regard the film is more annoying and creepifying than anything. I note the film has a 6.4 at IMDb, and a 67% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.

Since I started Second Life back in May, I've seen a certain statistic bandied about, something to the effect of "53% of all Second Life women are really men." This morning, I was determined to track down the source of the number, but have so far had no luck. Though I'm quite certain that the number of men using female avatars is indeed extremely high, I also know that there's no reliable way of calculating the actual percentage, if only because most of them aren't going to admit that they're not really female. And I'm wondering, too, does this count as transvestitism...but that's a different kettle of fish. Anyway, the search led me to several articles wherein people were worrying about the possibility of Second Life cracking down on its (very large) furry population, by deeming sex with or between furries to be bestiality and therefore a violation of "community standards." Which got me to thinking where that would leave Nareth Nishi (at this point, she's 100% Nebari) or Miss Paine (25% Neko), as neither of us are genuinely human. And what about Klingon avs, and Vulcan avs, and Elvish avs, and Twi'lek avs, and so on and so forth. Sure, they're all humanoid, but they aren't any more human than a humanoid raccoon or horse or skunk. In fact, from a strictly biological standpoint, the sexual deviation involved in having sex with a humanoid skunk is far, far less than that involving congress with any humanoid alien race, as humans and skunks at least share a common genetic history and, somewhere back there, a shared common ancestor. Not so with humans and Nebari, or humans and Twi'lek, or whatever. Anyway, if anyone can actually find the source of the "53% of all Second Life women are really men" thing, please let me know. You'll get a cookie or something.

Yeah, so the day isn't getting any younger, and this typescript isn't getting any less menacing, so I suppose I should wrap this up.
greygirlbeast: (mirror2)
The rain came, finally. I am very glad to see it. The world was drying out and threatening to combust. We've had two good wet days now, which should help. I awoke to thunder this morning, fell back to sleep, and awoke again to rain.

My sinuses, however, have been giving me fits. So it goes.

This is how it works
You're young until you're not
You love until you don't
You try until you can't
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath
— Regina Spektor

There ought to be some accounting of the last two days, as I've slacked off so terribly on my pen-and-paper journal of late. And my memory comes and goes. Let's see...

We did part of the Dyke March on Saturday, which was the only Pride event I made it out to. And speaking of queers, thanks to Morgan for letting me know that Murder of Angels makes a cameo appearance in an episode of TransGeneration. Maybe that even sold a few copies of the book. Actually, Saturday's a bit of a blur. There was some bad news, belated backwash from the evils and treachery of last year. But we abide. We persevere. We fight back. We had slices from Fellini's for dinner. I had a long nap, and then Spooky discovered that Alien Nation (1988) was on FMC, and we watched it. Farscape's Rockne O'Bannon wrote the screenplay, and I have always maintained it's an underrated film. Besides, there's Mandy Patinkin. Afterwards, we watched Suddenly, Last Summer (1959), which had come in from Netflix. Another of my favourite films. And a great piece of Lovecraftian "horror," the weird tale sifted through the Southern Gothic and Arthur Machen, a strange concoction, indeed. For them what cares, this film (and Williams' play) were an important formative influence on my own work. Also, I can't resist bringing to your attention one of the very worst Amazon.com "reviews" I've ever seen (signed only "a reader"), which I discovered this morning:

Loved the movie [Suddenly, Last Summer] and wanted to read the book version. Was disappointed when I received the book and it was the "play" version. Buyer beware.

If only Stupidity were a virtue...

Yesterday, I spent some time at Emory, in the Matheson Reading Room, trying, in vain, to find calm. Spooky read part of an article in Historical Anthropology regarding the excavations of a trash heap having once belonged to a theosophical society in California. For dinner, we had the vilest "Mexican" food I've ever put in my mouth. No more Moe's, ever, ever, ever. We knew better, but these things happen. Last night, of course, we watched Deadwood. These scripts leave me breathless, with their dialogue that never ceases to amaze. Characterization and acting that seems effortless. I could just sit and listen, no pictures needed (though then I'd miss the joy of those images). There was little else to yesterday that bears mentioning. There was a lot of conversation. There was leftover birthday cake. I made a half-hearted stab at cleaning my office. A Red Bull saved my life. & etc.

I'd like to write today. We'll see.

Thanks to everyone who took part in the most recent eBay auctions. Your generosity is very, very much appreciated. We'll be starting another round of auctions today, I think.

How was that for "rambling"?
greygirlbeast: (grey)
I fear that this will be a day of the sort that not even Jethro Tull can help. That clear blue sky out there was the first bad omen. There have been several others since breakfast.

I don't think there's really much to be said about yesterday, as I didn't write. I'm beginning to think that I need to phase out "days off" altogether. Only very rarely does anything good come of them. Usually, they just leave me feeling like a bum because I could have used that time for work. Yesterday, we had a late, small lunch at La Fonda on Ponce, then stopped by Borders before the library. But I decided to get my 2006 Tolkien calendar from Amazon and save a few bucks. I did pick up the latest issue of New Witch, mostly for the Faith and the Muse interview. I am ever in awe of Monica. Oh, and if anyone local's interested, there are copies of both Murder of Angels and Low Red Moon at the Borders on Ponce. So, anyway, then it was off to Emory, and I tried to find a copy of Gerald Gardner's Witchcraft Today, but it was shelved over in the theology library, and I didn't feel like making the hike. So, instead, I grabbed Gerhard Maier's African Dinosaurs Unearthed: The Tendaguru Expeditions, which I might have time to read this month. Then I went to the Matheson Reading Room and tried to catch up on my neglected pen and paper journal while Spooky read a paper on dandyism in Fashion Theory (Siouxsie Sioux and Marlene Dietrich were named as examples of female dandies). After the library, we returned Shadow of the Colossus to Blockbuster and swapped it for Gun, then went to the market. While Spooky fixed dinner (chili), I goofed about online. Later, Poppy called and we talked until my cell phone's battery went kaput, mostly about what a shitty year 2005 has been for both of us. Then I tried Gun, but found it very disappointing. I think I'd have found it disappointing even if it wasn't coming on the heels of SotC. The graphics are average, at best. The characters feel like action figures with too few points of articulation. The animation as regards riding horses is especially shabby (and this was something that was handled superbly in SotC). And the game play is clunky and tedious. Sure, there are all these cool actors doing the voices, which I think explains where the designers spent most of their budget — it surely wasn't on the graphics and animation. Anyway, big, big disappointment, and I'll likely move on to something else. There was more insomnia last night. I was up until sometime after four, reading Lord Dunsany — "Why the Milkman Shudders When He Perceives the Dawn," "A Tale of the Equator," and "The Exiles' Club."

Anyway, that was yesterday. At least the clouds and drizzle mercifully hid the blue sky and made the cold seem not quite so cold.

Today, I have to get back to Secret Project B, which means the whole week will likely be consumed by rewriting a pitch that has already been rewritten a dozen times. It's the sort of work that makes me want to put my head through a wall.

The "intelligent design" idiots are on my mind this morning, for one reason or another, but I'm going to do the right thing and resist the urge to waste keystrokes on them. But I have to complain about something. So I'll complain about the inane review of "Riding the White Bull" (in a story-by-story review of The Year's Best Science Fiction #22) at SFSignal. I quote:

...the narrative kept jumping back and forth between multiple points in the story line, usually without warning. The result was to take what could have been a first-rate, hardboiled sf detective story and turn it into a hodgepodge of unorganized passages.

For my part, as the author, I know that "Riding the White Bull" is a good story (and I do not say this about everything I write). And, for what it's worth, the story has received heaps of praise and was chosen for Year's Best. But it still pisses me off when I see people who obviously cannot master anything beyond the simplest narratives being allowed to review books right out in public where anyone can stumble across this crap. There's nothing the least bit unusual or difficult about the narrative of "Riding the White Bull." This reviewer is clearly the sort of person Warner Bros. had in mind when it forced Ridley Scott to add that hokey, gawdawful, "explain it so even the morons can understand" voice-over to the original cut of Blade Runner. I most emphatically don't write for those people. It's a shame I can't also arrange it so that they can't read and comment on what I write. They certainly are not welcome at the party.

Grrrrr.

Okay. I have to go wait for a phone call. I think a few of the auctions are ending today, so please have a look. Thanks.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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