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Not as much sunny Outside today as cloudy. And 46˚F.

Yesterday, two more interviews. Oh, and this. Which wasn't precisely an interview. But there was no work. No writing that wasn't answering questions. Four interviews (and this) in two days, and we're on the seventh day of a short month – longer by one day, thanks to leap year – and today I have to get back to work, and work means writing, not answering interview questions. Actually, my answering interview questions is probably now a legitimate part of my "job," but it's not writing. Today, I'm going to write. Or something like it. Tonight, after dinner, I'll deal with the next interview.

News from Subterranean Press is that Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart will be out sometime in May.

I have arrived at a curious, but, I believe, useful, new monetary standard to be employed by freelance authors. Forget the dollar. The basic unit of currency is the pizza. For example, someone pays me three-hundred dollars for a reprint, that's ~15P (based on an average large pizza price, with three toppings, of $20). Say your book deal drops twenty-thousand dollars into your lap (minus your agent's 15%); that's ~850P. This new standard will serve us far better. Sell nothing, ever, for less than at least 1P.

Since last summer I've been struggling to explain the relationship between Blood Oranges and its impending sequels (they do impend) and genuine ParaRom. No, do not use the label "Urban Fantasy." Once upon a time, Urban Fantasy had dignity. ParaRom stole the term (I don't know if it was the writers, editors, publishers, or an elaborate conspiracy of the lot). ParaRom, or PR. Anyway, the correct word I belatedly found yesterday is subvert. That is, Blood Oranges et al. is meant to subvert ParaRom. That's asking a lot of any poor book/s, but someone has to throw herself on the grenade.

Last night, Spooky and I played Rift for the first time since, near as I can tell from my notes, December 19th. That's, what, forty-nine days ago? The game remains beautiful, and it was good to be back. A good break from SW:toR. See, I didn't leave Rift because I was bored. I left because trying to run an RP guild – which meant writing more after I was done writing for the day, plus trying to get people to show up for RP – had sort of soured me on the whole thing. And then SW:toR arrived, all fresh and shiny and unsullied. Last night, I realized how much I'd missed Rift. BUT, because of the "free-to-play" Rift-Lite, our server has been overrun by idiots who cannot comprehend that it's an RP server, and there was a serious (and reasonable) fucking case of Gnerd Rage going down in general chat last night. I ignored it (I ignored everyone), and Indus (my Level 43 Eth warrior) and Dancy (Spooky's Level 43 Kelari cleric) quested and closed rifts in the Droughtlands and Shimmersand. What I didn't see was any evidence that there's been an exodus of players. There were high-level players everywhere. Many more than when I left, so the news of the game's recent troubles may have been...exaggerated. Anyway, for now, I think Spooky and I will be jumping back and forth between the two games – since we have no actual social life.

The no-sleep demons found me last night. Monsier Insomnia kept me awake until after five ayem (though I was in bed by 2:15 ayem). I didn't wake until after noon (or afternoon, if you prefer).

And one last thing. I'm missing the South fiercely. Part of it's this shitty Providence winter. Part of it is...well...complicated. I do not miss the people or the culture. I miss the land. And I'm sick of missing the South, because there is no dividing the people from the land. In the main (though not universally), the people are not worthy of even the smallest fraction of my longing. They showed me hatred, with rare bits of tolerance. By comparison, in New England I have found a mix of acceptance and people who simply know how to mind their own business. In the South, very few people know how to mind their own business. Indeed, throughout most of America, this is the case. Anyway, last night I got to thinking on the silly phrase "Southern hospitality" (which always baffled Spooky). It's not that "Southern hospitality" doesn't exist; it's that it's a highly conditional phenomenon. Conform, and we'll be relatively hospitable. Fail to conform, and we'll bedevil you. At last I left, and I am better off for it. But I cannot shake this longing for the land.

I've written far too much, says the platypus. I've written nothing at all. Gotta try to work.

Here, There, and the Other Place,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
These musical fixations come and go and swing and sway and rise and fall and then come back again. Suddenly Placebo has given way to Rammstein, though I think Placebo's on their way back, because I've just tapped into the new album, Meds.

Yesterday, I did 1,049 words on "The Steam Dancer" (for Sirenia Digest #19), and I'm still feeling very good about this piece. Though it's set in the 1896 of some alternate history Colorado, I'm trying to keep most of the alternate history stuff way in the background. The piece has, I think, a nice economy; spare, pared down, yet lyrical. After the writing and after dinner, when the sun had set and it was at last cool enough that the birds had begun to sing again, we dared venture outside. Spooky and I walked over to Videodrome to return a DVD. On the way, we met a pretty little snowshoe Siamese, about half Hubero's size, who was probably much too friendly for its own good. Everything after that is a blur of Second Life. The tips were good last night though; I brought in more than $800 Lindens (after the club's cut). And I discovered Nareth Nishi #4, who I'm presently thinking of as Samurai/Road Warrior Nareth.

This comment to yesterday's entry by [livejournal.com profile] mech_angel, regarding my remarks on the subversive nature of my erotic writings:

At risk of sounding like a gibbering fangirl, that dissolution—I've never seen it as subversion, personally—of barriers is what I've loved about all your work. The idea that, if you look just right, the barriers aren't really there, they were just limits in your perception.

As with all things, the perception of barriers lies along a continuum. Each person perceives barriers from herhisits subjective point of view, a pov born of the unique complexities of each perceivers private, personal history. Most people seem to be very wedded to perceptions wherein the boundaries between, say, plant and animal are absolute, wherein the boundaries between solid and liquid, good and evil, particle or wave, male and female, or (one of the worst) human and "animal" are possessed of some objective, external reality. I would argue this is because such a perception is somehow especially beneficial to the maintenance of the sort of society we live in and so is selected for. Society shapes a status quo perception that will not threaten it, or that will at least threaten it only rarely. So, when I say that the pieces in Frog Toes and Tentacles or Tales from the Woeful Platypus or Sirenia Digest are subversive, I mean that they subvert these perceptions. They are transgressive relative to that way of perceiving which needs to place things here or here. It may be that this infinitesimal fraction of the multiverse we inhabit is defined only by the illusions of boudaries, and if so (and we may never have an objective, empirical means of determining this, of course) then fiction that treats the boundaries as fluid and mutable is in some sense truer to Nature than that which does otherwise. But when I'm speaking of subversion, I'm speaking of the effect the works in question may have upon the minds of the perceivers (readers), how its gestalt may clash with that of the reader. And, I like to think, how it might lead readers to question their own ideas about boundaries, which would make it actively subversive.

I've had a number of people wanting more details about Frank Woodward's HPL documentary, Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown, the one I was interviewed for back in April. Frank keeps a blog here, and, I think, is doing regular updates as the documentary's production proceeds (and talking about lots of other weird and wonderful stuff).

Okay. Herr Platypus is showing me them venomous spurs, so I gotta go. Later, kiddos.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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