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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Off to do the word thing.
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 2)
Today, the meteorologists say we will reach the low eighties here in Providence. Actually, we have already. The temperature has already risen to 81F (up from 74F in the last hour).

Yesterday was, more or less, another fruitless day of staring at the iMac, trying to will into existence words that aren't coming. I can only hope for better today. I can only ever hope. And sit. And stare. I see the beginning so clearly, but the words keep slipping through my fingers. Yesterday, I erased almost everything I'd written on Monday. About 4 p.m., Spooky pulled me out of the House. It was too beautiful a day to spend sitting here, not writing.

Outside, I was pleasantly surprised at how much the city has greened just since I was out on Sunday. It's come on very suddenly, all these blossoms and the sprays of yellow green in the trees. We took one photo, which I'll post day after tomorrow, when I'm done with the photos of the old mill. We drove south, down I-95, and past Warwick Mall, which took so much damage in the flood. The place is surrounded by work crews and machinery. Last I heard, 4,000 jobs were lost in the flood, and this in a tiny state that already had a 13% unemployment rate.

And then I did something I pretty much never allow myself to do. I indulged in "retail therapy" at Newbury Comics. My version of retail therapy is a bit different than most people's, I suspect. For me, it's an issue of spending money I cannot really afford to spend on things I can live without, in an effort to guilt trip myself into working harder. Sometimes it works. Yesterday, Newbury Comics was having its 32nd anniversary sale, so everything was 32% off, which at least minimized the damage. We picked up three CDs— Jónsi's Go (Jónsi is the vocalist for Sigur Rós), the Evelyn Evelyn CD, and Her Majesty The Decemberists, because somehow I didn't have a copy. We also got three DVDs— the new Sherlock Holmes, Enchanted, and the remake of Deathrace. Oh, and the first issue of Felicia Day's The Guild comic from Dark Horse, because you cannot be in the only WoW guild with a comic and not read said comic. I was very good, and did not get the Severus Snape/Bellatrix Lestrange lunchbox...even though it was 32% off.

We made it back to Providence about six p.m. There was leftover spaghetti for dinner. Later, there was cheesecake with fresh strawberries on top. I had some very good rp in Insilico (thank you, Blair) with the twin "daughters" of Xiang 1.0, Nanyah (Xiang 2.0a) and Victoria (now Maajida, Xiang 1.5), and did a couple of battlefields in WoW as Morskalíi, my Draenei death knight. It was an evening of virtual distractions.

As my days go, a bit of fluff, all in all. I'm hoping what I needed was a bit of fluff.

Here are more photos of the old mill in Dayville, CT, and these focus primarily on the collapsed roof. I think I may have a short story about the mill germinating in my head. But now, I go to make another attempt at finding my way into The Wolf Who Cried Girl:

4 April 2010, Pt. 3 )
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
The sun is still with us. The day is bright, and Rhode Island is slowly coming to terms with the flooding— which, technically, is not yet over, as rivers continue to crest. Amtrak is still not running through the state, but I-95 reopened late yesterday.

All subscribers to Sirenia Digest should have #52 in their inboxes. If you haven't gotten it, speak up. I'm very happy with #52. Among other things, we've finally transitioned to having something like a genuine cover, instead of merely a title page. I'd love to hear reactions to the issue here today.

Yesterday was not exactly a work day, but nor was it a day off. The galley pages for the mass-market paperback edition of The Red Tree arrived from NYC. They have to be proofed and back to Roc by the 15th. There are mistakes that made their way into the first edition that have to be corrected. But yesterday, I only opened the envelope and glanced at the pages. This edition will be out in September.

Other bits of yesterday: Hubero lay on my desk, basking in the sun and fresh air coming in through the open office window; Spooky and I shared a corned beef and coleslaw sandwich from the Hudson Street deli; we had a walk, that took us to Dexter Training Ground and the Armory, where there were dogs and children and budding trees, clover and green grass (photos tomorrow); I had a long hot bath; I read an article from the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology; I talked with Bill Schafer about the new Ray Bradbury volume they're about to release, A Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451 Stories, which comes complete with a beautiful cover by the incomparable Joseph Mugnaini (1912-1992); Spooky made Spanish rice with chicken and pintos for dinner; and so forth. It was a day. A not bad day. There are far too few of those.

I announced last night on Facebook that I'm planning to have my back, shoulders, and both arms tattooed, and I think, the date being April 1st, no one believed me. But the announcement wasn't a prank. I'm talking with Vince about designing the three pieces. The first, which I hope would be done this summer, will be an octopus that will cover my entire back, shoulders to upper buttocks. But the whole series of tattoos would be sea themed (extinct and extant creatures), and very colorful. My skin has been blank far too long. I'm racing towards forty-six-years-old, and I want this done. There will be trilobites and bladderack, eels and eurypterids. I have to find a local tattoo artist I'm comfortable with. I expect the whole tattoo will take a couple of years to complete, beginning, hopefully, this summer.

In the new Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, I've made my way through several articles over the last week: "Bistahieversor sealeyi, gen. et sp. nov., a new tyrannosauroid from New Mexico and the origin of deep snouts in Tyrannosauroidea"; "A reappraisal of the origin and basal radiation of the Osteichthyes"; and "Demythologizing Arctodus simus, the 'short-faced' long-legged predaceous bear that never was." The third article was especially interesting, as it turns out that A. simus (fossils date from about 800,000-12,500 years ago), while truly gigantic, may not have been the "super-predator" it has often been characterized as being (it has even been invoked as an agent for delaying the radiation of Homo sapiens in North America); indeed, it appears also not to have been particularly short faced or long legged, when compared to various extant bear species.

Late last night— well, early this morning — as I was drifting off to sleep, there was a bump somewhere in the house. I came awake with a start, which startled Spooky awake. And my head was suddenly filled with new ideas— an entirely new approach —for The Wolf Who Cried Girl Spooky switched on the light and I jotted everything down (this was about 3:16 a.m.), so I wouldn't forget any of it. I am newly excited about the long-delayed novel.

As promised, here are a few screencaps from the ongoing Insilico rp, the latest incarnation of the Xiang AI (played by me), inside her Faraday cage:

Rebuilding the Perfect Beast, or Fifth's Secret )
greygirlbeast: (mars)
Sure, it's probably not as permanent as a stone tablet, or even the printed page, but here I go again, anyway.

Yesterday, I was a bad, bad nixar. Which is to say, while I was making my blog entry, I became inexplicably angry, and knew the day was blown, so far as the words were concerned. There was a time I would have fought against that certainty. But now I am older, and I know a lot more about myself, and about futility. So, I cast responsibility to the four winds and we fucked off and went to the movies. Two of them, in fact, which I haven't done in ages, gone to two movies in a single afternoon. I'll get to the movies in a moment.

I'm pleased to announce that Penguin has submitted The Red Tree to the nominating committee for the Publishing Triangle Awards. Which is cool, and I hope they'll do the same for the Shirley Jackson Awards.

We were awakened about 8:30 this morning by the most amazing thunderclap. The windows all rattled.

Distance fades to stormy grey,
Washed out from the deep of the ocean.
Here I will stand to face your wrath,
While all the others are praying.


Sorry, that Wolfsheim song keeps coming back to me, the last few days.

---

So, yes. Two movies yesterday. The first was Christian Alvart's Pandorum. I did very much want this to be a very good film. And I'm not sure it's precisely a bad film, but it is a terrible, convoluted mess, so far as plot and cinematography are concerned. And maybe that does make it a bad film. Mostly, I think I need to see it again on DVD. It might actually work better on a small screen. The camerawork and art direction are so murky, especially the first hour or so, that it was often almost impossible to figure out what I was seeing. Mainly, the film suffers from having monsters when monsters aren't needed. Indeed, it has this in common with a far superior film, Danny Boyle's Sunshine (2007). I love Sunshine, but something always bugged me about it, something about the "third act" that was just off. And one night I was talking with Sonya ([livejournal.com profile] sovay), and she put her finger on it. Everything's fine, until the crew of Icaraus II board Icaraus I, and a superfluous monster is introduced, in the form of the mad man Pinbacker. In Sunshine, Pinbacker is a completely unnecessary antagonist. Boyle has already provided us with a number of far more terrible forces that the protagonists have to overcome to succeed at their mission: the isolation and hostility of deep space, human psychology and fallibility, and, primarily, the sun. No monster was needed, but we got one anyway, for whatever reason, and it's a wonder the film worked in spite of it. Pandorum suffers from the exact same problem, in that its mutants are unnecessary. We have the hypersleep-induced psychosis of the title, a bunch of amnesiac characters lost in the bowels of an ancient and enormous spaceship, trying to figure out how they got there, where they're going, and how they're going to survive. The ship's nuclear reactor is shutting down. And we need the mutants...why? They're not even very interesting monsters. Stan Winston Studios pretty much recycled the subterranean mutants from Neil Marshall's The Descent (2005) for a few fight scenes that add nothing much interesting to the film. There are is some good stuff in Pandorum, and it's certainly worth seeing on DVD. But it could have been a far, far better (and smarter) film, if only a few things had been done differently. Mostly, lose the monsters.

Our second feature was Ruben Fleischer's absolutely hilarious Zombieland. It was impossible for me not to love this big, silly slobbering dog of a movie. It does what it came to do, and leaves you wanting Twinkies. Not surprisingly, Woody Harrelson steals the show. However, I will note that, as with Boyle's 28 Days Later (2002), there are not actually any zombies to be found anywhere within Zombieland. We are told, straight out, these are living people suffering from a virus that causes them to become enraged cannibals. Not the living dead; the infected living. I'm beginning to think that the definition of "zombie" is quickly changing (again), and soon no one will remember that a very necessary part of being a zombie is being, you know, dead.

---

Back home, we ate leftover chili and watched the new episode of Heroes (rather flat), then played WoW for a bit. My Draenei paladin, Kalií, made Level 46. And that was yesterday.

And here are six more photos from our trip to Stonington, CT on Sunday:

4 October 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (Pagan1)
I slept about ten hours, which is really nothing short of amazing. All day yesterday was spent getting Sirenia Digest #32 out, six or seven hours work after four and a half hours sleep the night before. I will say that I think this issue of the Digest is one of the very best I've done, in terms of content and appearance. My grateful thanks to Sonya, Geoffrey, Vince, Rick, Gordon, and Spooky for making it work. Yesterday, somehow, I managed to proof and edit "Derma Sutra (1891)" (which I really am pleased with, by the way; I think I found a new flavour of me with it), proof Geoffrey's very excellent interview with Richard A. Kirk, and deal with the layout, in a state of consciousness that can best be described as zombiefied. There were a couple of lines from the interview with Rick I wanted to post here, because I just found it brilliant:

Our perception of the universe is like a tiny house floating on an endless sea. We sit inside this thing we have constructed, completely unaware of what lies outside, hoping that whatever is out there never gets curious enough to poke its nose under the door.

And if you'd like to get #32, subscribe sometime in the next week, and you'll get it.

And today is Lughnasadh. Spooky and I had planned to do a ritual out at Beavertail, but I think we're both still pretty exhausted from yesterday's Big Push, so we're playing it by ear. We'll at least bake a loaf of something, at the very least. I so desperately want to find a coven, and one reason is so that we do not have to be solely responsible for the details of ceremony on every sabbat and esabat. But, that brings me back around to either facing the not insignificant problem of finding a group that is comfortable with my unorthodox views (and vice versa) or trying to found my own coven built upon those views (Panthalassa, diminished emphasis on gender polarity, inclusion of a Divine Androgyne aspect as part of the "tripartite" Goddess, a move away from anthropomorphic deities, removal of the distinction between left- and right-hand paths, and so forth).

Anyway, when the work was finally done yesterday, I lay down on the chaise with Dr. Muñoz to try to read a few more pages of Fraser's Triassic book while Spooky fixed dinner (a stirfry of green beans, red bell pepper, zucchini, fresh basil, and ground chicken), but I dozed almost immediately. Spooky woke me for dinner. Later, but not too late, there was a really excellent bit of rp in the "Kingdom of Sand" sim (thank you Badra, Lina, Hela, and Sev), that pretty much exemplified what it is I've come to SL looking for and which sort of renewed my faith in the inherent potential of SL as an interactive story-telling tool, just when that faith was at an all-time low. In fact, I may clean up the transcript from the rp, add a few embellishments here and there, and post it behind a cut in this journal. It was really a splendid little series of scenes, first in the throne room of the palace in Ireem, then, later, in the Tower of Serpents (where the Magi practice). Nothing too profound. No fireworks. No sex. Just simple, good, solid rp/story telling. Anyway, about one a.m., I was falling asleep at the keyboard, and I crawled away to the front parlor and put Danny Boyle's Sunshine in the DVD player, as it has become one of my "comfort films." I dozed while it played, awakening for bits here and there. I remember waking to hear Cassie say, "Only dream I ever have...is the surface of the sun. Every time I shut my eyes, it's always the same." And finally I awoke near the end, as Capa is struggling in the bulky EVA suit to reach the payload, and, half awake, I lay there and marveled at the score and what a beautiful thing this vastly underrated film is (my next Mac will be named Icarus). Then I went to bed. And slept and slept and slept.

I should wrap this up. I've been ignoring email for two days, and I should ignore it no longer. Please have a look at the current eBay auctions (two of which end this afternoon), and please, please do pre-order a copy of the mass-market paperback edition of Daughter of Hounds. The platypus will probably thank you. I know that I shall.

Postcript (2:26 p.m.): It just occurred to me that I neglected to note in the new issue of the Digest that "Derma Sutra (1891)" was written entirely to just one song by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds —— "Lovely Creature." I did manage to work the title into the story, but wish I'd remembered to acknowledge the song in the issue itself. I kept count (thank you iPod) of how many times I listened to the song while writing the story —— 104 times in 4 days (that's about seven hours worth of the song).
greygirlbeast: (sol)
I'm going to start this off with a very nice email I received yesterday, because, right now, I need something very nice. Matt Stagg writes:

I rarely do this, but I wanted to email you and express how much I admire your work. Discovering your short stories was a revelation for me: I love the way that they flitter back and forth between the sublime, the horrific and mundane. Your novels equally thrill me. How you so easily and successfully weave the disparate elements of genres as diverse as crime fiction and Lovecraftian weird tales will forever escape me; I must satisfy myself instead with the knowledge that some things are both beautiful and unknowable. Such is your fiction.

Thank you, Mr. Stagg. That sounds rather grimly sexy doesn't it? Thank you, Mr. Stagg.

Now. On to yesterday. As you know, we fled this sweat-box, and ended up at the Peace Dale Library in South County (which is actually in Washington County, for them what do not know). I sat in the wonderful air conditioning, not baking for the first time since Friday night, and oil portraits and marble busts of Mr. Rowland Hazard (1855-1890) beamed approvingly down upon me. But...after ten or fifteen minutes, I grew antsy, restless, worried about Hubero, whom we'd left back in the heat (with a bowl of ice water), worried about my writing deadlines, and so forth. But. The library had a copy of To Charles Fort, With Love, which pleased me inordinately. But it depressed me that they had all of the Brian Herbert/Kevin J. Anderson Dune books, but none of Frank Herbert's originals. I tried to do some actual work, reading from books on the history of Rhode Island architecture, the great New England hurricane of 1938, and local sea life. Spooky found Clive Barker's Mister B. Gone (2007), which is a gorgeous, gorgeous book. Honestly, I lost interest in Clive's work somewhere around Galilee (1998), so I'd not seen it. I've not read the Abarat books, either. But I might give Mister B. Gone a try, as it sounds quite good. Anyway, my restlessness increased, and we ventured back out into the heat for lunch. Lunch and tourists. We drove from Peace Dale through Wakefield to Narragansett, and then, after we ate, back to the library. Oh, Spooky took me to a pet store she used to frequent as a child, and they had a gorgeous California kingsnake (Lampropeltis getulus californiae) and also a cornsnake (Pantherophis guttata guttata) that I never got a good look at. I reread the first few chapters of Moby Dick. I always forget how much I adore Melville when it's been a while. Spooky read the first half of Kathe Koja's Stray Dog (2002).

About six pm, we headed over to Spooky's parents' place, because her mother had unexpectedly and kindly acquired for us a portable air-conditioning unit. A Sony CB-10NH, actually, which looks a bit like a shiny black Star Wars droid. We visited briefly, and I hugged Spider the Giant Cat (photo below), then headed back to Providence. Turns out, yesterday set a record high for that date in this city, 98F. It was 8:30 pm when we got home, and the thermostat was reading 93F in the house! Hubero looked utterly pathetic. We hastily set up the portable air conditioner (it needs a name), in the central room. At first, the temp dropped rather rapidly, down to 90F in about fifteen minutes, but then it refused to budge any farther. We sat in front of the AC and ate a late dinner of cold pastrami and Swiss, and sulked and sweated and grumped. Afterwards, I retreated to the swelter of my office, and tried to get into a bit of Second Life rp. Thank you, Gloriana, Pontifex, and Merma/Ardere.

Honestly, I am rethinking Second Life a lot these days. I think all the time away from it moving gave me some perspective, and I see that I abused it the last year, because I was so miserable in Atlanta and just wanted to be anywhere else but there (well, no, not anywhere, but New Babbage, Arrakis, and Toxia were all a step up). No, I'm not about to give it up or anything. But. I can't sink so much time into it. I'd already cut way, way back before the move. It's a tool, a wonderful tool that has helped me write several very good stories, but there's so much else to be done, in this First Life. One reason I make a shitty transhumanist. I fall for the real sand and sky and sex almost every goddamn time. I will say that I am deeply frustrated at the inability to construct stable rp in SL with more than three or four people, and at the plethora of illiterate, immature, ill-mannered, attention-deficit morons clogging up the works. Yeah, well, anyway. Just thinkin' aloud again.

When I went to bed at about 2:25 am, the thermostat was still hovering stubbornly in the high 80s. This sort of heat can drive you to murder your beloved. Or cut off another toe. Or alphabetize all your CDs in reverse order, Z-A. I lay in bed, mine and Spooky's sweat commingling, and watched the first part of Alien while I waited for the Ambien to take effect. Space looked so wonderfully, wonderfully cold. The corridors of the Nostromo never looked so inviting. They say this is the last day of the heatwave. But they were wrong yesterday, and I say meteorologists are going to have to bleed and suffer and die, in vast numbers, to appease Helios. We'll take the meteorologists who don't plan to vote Obama first.

Oh, I think I've found the new "art correspondent" for Sirenia Digest. Thank you all.

Oh, yeah. Photos. A bunch of photos, some of yesterday, and some that are just shots of the new place, because I'm not the only crown-molding whore out there (behind the cut):

Home and Last Yesterday )
greygirlbeast: (sol)
At 2 ayem, when I finally went to bed last night, it was still 87F inside the house. Right now, inside, it's 89F and climbing fast. Outside, it's 96F and feels like 101F with the heat index. We hardly made it through yesterday. Today, we're heading for a library or museum, some place with AC, and the unpacking and work can wait until things cool off tomorrow.

Somehow, yesterday, I managed to write 578 words on a new piece for Sirenia Digest, though I honestly do not know how I managed it. It's called "The Melusine (1898)," and it's set in the same city as the "The Steam Dancer (1896)," though, obviously, two years later. Life throws you a heatwave, write some steampunk. I should be working on The Red Tree, but the heat was in no way conducive to that story. We are promised relief tomorrow (a high of only 84F), and if the meteorologists have this wrong, I say they should be flayed alive, then strung up by their entrails to appease Helios.

Yesterday. A sweaty mess of a blur. Before the writing, I made it through lots and lots more email. I sent out a massive bcc announcement of the address change. I chatted (via email) with Peter Straub, Bob Eggleton (because Dinosaurs of Mars is not dead, it's just sleeping), Jeff Vandermeer, Merrilee (my agent), Elizabeth Bear, and I don't know who else. The Others. I got to read the afterword (or introduction, I forget which) to A is for Alien, and it pleased me greatly. I drank iced coffee and Gatorade. I ate nothing all day but a handful of wasabi rice crackers. I sat here, in my underwear, my hair twisted up in a topknot, a wet towel about my neck, a fan blowing towards me across a bowl of ice cubes, writing. The ice cubes melted away about every twenty minutes. At some point, I crawled off to the claw-footed tub and lay in cold water (and lavender-scented fizzy salts) for half an hour or so. I think all the real writing happened after the bath. Late in the day, a great beast of a storm system swept across Connecticut, and though it passed through South County, missed Providence. But we got the clouds and some coolish wind. I lay on the bed, trying not to sleep, watching the sky while Spooky went out to forage for our dinner. I lay there watching someone's laundry, strung on a line, flapping in the tepid breeze, remembering sheets on clothes lines, trying, also, to remember when that ceased to be a common sight and why.

Egg-salad sandwiches for dinner, with the eggs we got at Spooky's parents on Thursday. Egg salad with dill relish and black pepper, mayo and Swiss cheese, tomato and lettuce, and I was starving, but it was still too hot to eat. I tried to unpack more books afterwards — poetry, mostly, and mythology — but the humidity and heat got to me quickly. I went into Second Life for maybe an hour and a half, the longest I've been in over the last couple of weeks, I think. But there was Bad News awaiting Nareth, and she made an ass of herself in the haven in Toxia, trying to pick a fight in the one place you can't fight. Later, after Spooky was asleep, I read more of Joss Whedon's Serenity: Those Left Behind. And that was last yesterday. I think. Unless I'm remembering today ahead of schedule.

I talked with my agent again this morning. She said I should go swimming. I laughed. It was rude, but I laughed. I don't even own a bathing suit, and under this sun? The library seems a more amenable alternative.

If there was anything else I meant to say, it'll just have to wait. The theromstat says it's 89F inside. Time to run for cover...
greygirlbeast: (Bowie1)
So, all these many months after the release of Sunshine, the soundtrack still has not been released because one set of lawyers in not talking to another set of lawyers, or something to that effect...and I have I Am Kloot's "Avenue of Hope" stuck in my head, but can only listen to it on the DVD. And post the lyrics here:

Along the Avenue of Hope
The footsteps falter, the fingers grope
And days, stretch out, beneath the sun
No one's born, and no one dies, no one lives, so no one cries
And we wait to see just what we will become

Don't let me falter, don't let me ride
Don't let the earth in me subside
Let me see just who I will become

You're like the clouds in my home town
You just grow fat and hang around
And your days stretch out beneath the sun

And you don't live, you don't die, you don't love so you don't cry
And we wait, to see just what we will become

Don't let me borrow, don't let me bring
Don't let me wallow, don't make me sing
Let me see just who I will become

Don't let me falter, don't let me hide
Don't let someone else decide
Just who or what I will become

Don't let them borrow, don't let them bring
Don't let them wallow, don't make them sing


Also, how about Martian dunes defrosting?
greygirlbeast: (white)
Yesterday, I did 1,144 words on "Pickman's Other Model," and I think it's going well. It is an especially daunting undertaking, as I'm writing it in first person, set in 1929, which means these have to be the thoughts of someone alive in 1929. The piece is told from the POV of Eliot, the man to whom Thurber is telling his story of Pickman in Lovecraft's tale, though this story actually concerns Eliot's search for a film actress named Alma Endecott. "Pickman's Other Model" will be appearing in Sirenia Digest #28.

I have what is, at least to me, some fairly momentous news. Our lease here is up on June 1st, and with the generous assistance of Spooky's parents, we will be moving from Atlanta to Rhode Island. We do not yet know where in Rhode Island, though we're talking about places in Westerly, Newport, Peacedale, and Providence. Just about any part of the state (except Woonsocket) is a possibility. I've known this was likely coming for a couple of months, but I've wanted to hold off saying anything about it until we were absolutely certain, since there have been false alarms dating back to 2002, when I'd first hoped to make the move to New England. A big part of this is that we both loathe Atlanta, and Spooky's very homesick, and it'll be easier on her being near her family as we try to cope with all the bullshit from my PNES. So, we will be moving at the beginning of June, right in the middle of my writing Joey Lafaye, which will make for all sorts of chaos. And, one thing is certain, this journal should get quite a bit more interesting as the days go by.

A good walk near Freedom Park. Someone was flying a kite, and there were happy dogs everywhere. Last night, we watched Danny Boyle's Sunshine. And my third viewing (I saw it twice last summer in the theatre) only served to confirm my conviction that it is a breathtakingly sublime and beautiful film, in all ways. My thanks to [livejournal.com profile] wolven for gifting me with the DVD. Later, I had rp in Second Life, the Nareth who is Nephilim, and lessons on pain in the Omega Institute's library with the help of one of Lorne's apprentices, Larissa. I think we got to bed about 4 am. I seem to have shifted onto some odd (for me) schedule, whereby I go to bed between 3 and 4 am (CaST) and get up around noon. Which means I usually get seven to eight hours sleep (more than I'm used to), and then begin writing about 2 p.m. It seems to be working just fine. Still, it's odd.

Congratulations to Rev. Margo, who had the winning bid on the Japanese translation of the Beowulf novelization, and also to Cliff Miller, who snagged the Tails of Tales of Pain and Wonder chapbook. Thank you both!

This morning, I need to email Joshi and see if he knows the name of the theatre in Providence where Lovecraft once worked the box office selling tickets. I know it's in H.P. Lovecraft: A Life somewhere, but I can't find the page, and I can't find it on the internet, either. Also, I need to get the signature sheets for Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy back in the mail to Joe Lansdale.

Postscript (5:06 p.m. CaST): I have just learned via several people on my LJ friends' list that Gary Gygax has died at age 69. On one occasion, early in my publishing career, Gygax and I had stories appear in the same anthology — Pawn of Chaos (White Wolf's short-lived Borealis imprint, 1996). I never met him, and I've not played D&D since 2005, but it's a bit sad hearing that someone who invented a game that has given me so many hours of nerdy joy (in my case, since 1979) has passed.
greygirlbeast: (sol)
A bit of advice: if you're the sort of person who lists "white nation" in your LJ interests, the sort who writes of posting to the Stormfront White Nationalist Community, who brags about her hatred for just about anyone who isn't white and heterosexual and believes that hatred is a virtue, who thinks the world is under the thumb of a Zionist conspiracy...you should not be reading this journal. In fact, I'll go one further. I don't want you reading this journal, and I certainly do not want you showing up on the list of people who have "friended" me. I am asking you to please "unfriend" me. Now. You have already been banned from commenting ever again. And no, I do not believe that my tolerance requires me to tolerate intolerance of this magnitude. I am your worst enemy, the thing you hate and rail against, the thing that makes your racist skin crawl — a fact you somehow seem to have missed — and I do not want your eyes on my words. Go away.

With that said...

Here in Atlanta it is dangerously hot. The ozone's in the red. Right now, it's 95F with a 101F heat index. Same as yesterday.

As for yesterday, I didn't write. I didn't even try. Spooky and I escaped the worst of the day's heat in a matinee screening of Danny Boyle's Sunshine at Midtown Arts Cinema. Gods, how I love this film. My admiration for it was only increased by a second viewing. Used to, at least once a year there would be a film I loved so much I'd pay theatre prices to see it again and again and again: Pulp Fiction (9 times in the theatre); Dark City (4 times); The Matrix (5 times); The Fifth Element (9 times). My all-time record is The Empire Strikes Back (because I've always been a dork), which I managed to see no less than 20 times in the theatre. The last time this happened was in 2001 with Moulin Rouge (5 times). It's been six years since I've paid to see any film in theatres more than once, a change in behaviour that has mainly been due to rude, noisy audience members and high ticket prices. But yes. Sunshine. See it on a big screen while you can. Undoubtedly one of my favourite sf films of the last decade. The DVD will be along shortly, but there's no way it will be as spectacular an experience as seeing the film at the cinema. This time through, I think what struck me most about Sunshine is that, when all is said and done, it's a story about joy. Even through all the death and mishap and horror, joy is at the white-hot heart of it. Joy and awe.

After the movie, back out in the scorch, we stopped by Borders on Ponce and I thumbed through Gardner Dozois' The Year's Best Science Fiction 24, which I'd not bought yet. I was extremely pleased to see both "Bradbury Weather" and "The Pearl Diver" singled out and praised in "Summation: 2006," as well as getting honourable mentions at the back of the book. Also, I was unaware that "Faces in Revolving Souls" had received an honourbale mention in last year's volume. Maybe this will help me to get over that Locus review of The Dry Salvages I've spent the last three years fretting about (never mind that "Riding the White Bull" was chosen for The Year's Best Science Fiction 22). Anyway, yes, that was nice.

Later, last night, Chapter 26 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and some good freeform roleplaying in Second Life. Thank you, Molly Underwood.

And today is the release date for the mmp of Low Red Moon, which I hope you'll get, even if you've already read the book. This text differs slightly from the 2003 tpb, mainly in having many, many corrections. Thank you.

Okay. It's 2:06 p.m. and the words need to flow again. Later, kiddos.
greygirlbeast: (new chi)
It's probably a sad comment on my likelihood of ever obtaining "bestseller" status that I'm honestly much more pleased with a good review from Weird Tales (Daughter of Hounds) than I am with one from Entertainment Weekly (Murder of Angels). But what the hell ever. Scott Connors, in the forthcoming Weird Tales #346, writes: "Daughter of Hounds is a testament to Caitlín R. Kiernan’s status as one of the most consistently interesting writers working in the field of weird fiction today."

Sirenia Digest #20 has gone out to subscribers. If you're an acolyte of the platypus, you should have it waiting in your inbox. I'm very happy with this issue, and I hope you will feel the same.

Yesterday was spent pretty much as I thought it would be: writing the prolegomena for #20; laying out the digest; reading aloud "In the Dreamtime of Lady Resurrection" and then "Anamnesis, or the Sleepless Nights of Léon Spilliaert"; making minor corrections/edits to both stories; catching up on email; checking over the page proofs for the new mass-market paperback of Silk (December 2007) before Spooky sent them back to Penguin; and so forth. I think I finished up about 6:45 p.m. And I think that yesterday it finally occurred to me what a thoroughly daunting prospect it is to have to simultaneously promote seven books. Yep, seven books. First, there's Daughter of Hounds and Threshold, both already on shelves. Next week, the mass-market paperback of Low Red Moon will be released. Subterranean Press is already taking orders for the third edition of Tales of Pain and Wonder, due out in Spring 2008. The Beowulf novelization is due out October 1st. The new edition of Silk will be along on December 4th, and then the Murder of Angels mmp in April 2008. So, yeah. Seven frelling books. I figure Beowulf will mostly take care of itself, and my subpress books invariably sell out. But that still leaves five. And I have hardly even been trying to push any of them. I am a lousy saleswoman. It's just not something I do. And, even if I were good at hawking my wares, there are precious few effective means open to authors for the promotion of books. Cons? Too expensive and time consuming (and I always get sick, which makes them even more expensive and time consuming). Signings and book tours? Not unless the publisher lines them up and pays my way, and not unless the bookseller promotes them — none of which is going to happen. Print ads? Expensive, and mostly a waste of money. Reviews? Book reviews only occasionally help sell books. You can't count on them. And sadly, at best, my LJ/MySpace blogs reach only a few thousand people, when I need to be reaching a hundred thousand, at least. I need books that sell themselves. I need word of mouth. I need a really successful screen adaptation. The last is the only surefire cure, and the longest long-shot of all.

But I do have meetings with both my film agent and Producer D this afternoon.

Last night, very late last night — which means it was actually this a.m. — Spooky pointed me towards [livejournal.com profile] mech_angel's comments on Danny Boyle's Sunshine. I hope she will not mind me reposting them here:

Holy shit.

Think of light.

No, think of Light. As in 'Let There Be'. Think of a light so bright that four percent of its brilliance will irreparably blind you. So bright that unshielded, you won't burn from the heat, you'll just burn from the Light.

It's mostly a study both of how fragile life is, and simultaneously how fucking tenacious it is. In the face of ice and fire and the void, and that light, the roiling surface of the sun, what people will do, how it drives some mad and tempers others into steel.


Puts my comments on the film to shame. See it on a big screen with a good sound system while you still can. Yeah, platypus, I'm coming...
greygirlbeast: (white2)
Subterranean Press is now taking orders for the forthcoming 3rd edition of Tales of Pain and Wonder. Just click here to place your order.

Today I'm going to try to actually write something.

And Spooky will be finishing with the Silk page proofs, I think. And there was rain this morning, and more is on the way.

Yesterday evening, we saw Danny Boyle's Sunshine. I loved it. No, it's not the sort of hard sf that comes across like someone's astrophysics dissertation with a plot. This is a story primarily concerned with psychology, not physics or astronomy, and it should be viewed as such. Even if it fell flat emotionally — which it doesn't — Sunshine would be superb eye- and ear-candy. This is a film about awe, about the mind's struggle to cope with the vastness of space and time and consciousness, about loss and mortality and isolation. A lot of what I was trying to do in The Dry Salvages can be found in Sunshine. But if you go into it grousing about the absurdity of the premise or the fact that we never find out how the Icaraus II generates its gravity or that the bomb's far to small or anything else of the sort, you might as well save your money and stay at home. Because you've missed the point. This is a "wonder tale," not too far afield from the best of, say, Bradbury. Indeed, it's impossible not to think of one of Bradbury's most "outlandish" (and satisfying) tales, "The Golden Apples of the Sun." I found this a beautiful and deeply moving film. Not as good as the remake of Solaris, though it treads much of the same ground, but quite marvelous, nonetheless. The cast is superb. I'm not sure I could point to one particular actor and say she or he was the best of the lot. The visual effects alone are worth the ticket price. When the crew gathers to watch the black silhouette of Mercury crossing the face of the sun, for example. The soundtrack is exquisite. I strongly recommend this film, but only with the caveat stated above, because a lot of what's wrong with contemporary sf is right with Sunshine.

Later, Byron dropped by and stayed until well after midnight.

Now, I need to go see if me and the platypus are still on speaking terms.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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