greygirlbeast: (chi3)
Well, it's not actually raining at this particular fucking moment, but neither is there the sun and warmth we were promised, as late as 2 ayem when I went to bed. Grey skies, and it's a mere 66F. I glanced at the weather for June over at, day by day thus far and it looks like March, not June. Not even here in gloomy ol' Providence.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,035 words on "The Sea Troll's Daughter." It's coming along.

Man, it's really very hard to build any momentum here, in this entry. There's just no enthusiasm. My head is filled with clouds. I think there's mold growing on my iMac.

Last night, we had a really fine pizza from Fellini's on Wickenden Street for Spooky's birthday dinner. Sometime later, I created a new WoW character, a Draenei paladin named Kalií and got her to Level 8 in just a couple of hours. She's on our Secret Server, where Spooky recently created a human rogue named Kittay (I call "it" Kit). Why are we playing Alliance again? I don't really know. Spooky started this. Me, I just tag along. And Kalií is awfully hot. Basically, the Draenei are what you'd get if you dropped a Klingon, a Luxon, a satyr, and a Nebari into a genetic blender. And how can that not be sexy. At least I can find sunny skies in WoW.

Not quite two hours remaining in The Merewife auction. Do please have a look. This is not an item I'll be offering on eBay again anytime soon (and maybe not anytime again ever). Clothbound, out of print since 2005. My thanks to everyone who's bid in the current round of eBay auctions.

I suppose I should go finish my coffee, stare out at the clouds, see what people are twatting over at Twitter (greygirlbeast), maybe hurt myself with a fork.

Oh, almost forgot. Yesterday, [ profile] kiaduran correctly guessed that the micro-excerpt from The Red Tree was making reference to Tennessee William's Suddenly, Last Summer (which, by the way, is referenced throughout the novel).

Postscript (1:35 p.m.): Please, it would be doing me a kindness if you'd not comment that a) you're someplace where the weather is very hot, and so you wish you were here where it's chilly, or b) that you're someplace where it's chilly, and you love it that way. Not the sort of thing I need to hear just now (and I've been hearing it for weeks).

Postscript 2 (1:44 p.m.): Spooky just made our reservations for ReaderCon 20. But I swear to fuck, it's tempting to skip the con, and take a train, or drive, south until we find warmth and spend a couple of days baking and sweating.
greygirlbeast: (sleeps with wolves)
Yeah, so it's still not summer here in Rhode Island. It is, however, damp. And cloudy. 64F, with the humidity sitting at 82%. The world is mildewing all about me. And what I miss most are the warm summer evenings....

I wrote yesterday, but nothing particularly useful. I'm working on a "sword-and-sorcery" fantasy, "The Sea Troll's Daughter," and trying to invert the gender roles as completely as possible (compared to the old "damsel-in-distress" formula of the subgenre), and my editor needs it by July 5th, at the very, very latest. I don't know how much I actually wrote yesterday, because I kept ditching things. 600 or 700 words. I have to do better today. Oddly, I have the entire story in my head, pretty much. Beginning, middle, and end, which is unusual (this sort of happened with "The Alchemist's Daughter," too, which remains unfinished), so you'd think this wouldn't be so difficult. But I can't settle on voice, or tone, or POV. And worldbuilding has me all tangled up. I see my world just fine, but describing it without recourse to infodumps, that part's eluding me.

I've decided that I'm going to abandon the MySpace account, beginning in about a week. So, if you're reading the blog over there, you're going to have to start following it at LJ or Facebook of Dreamwidth or Twitter. Five is too much. Hell, four is too much. But MySpace is the homeliest of the lot, so it gets the hatchet. As for Twitter, I remain surprisingly optimistic. In four days, I have gained 400 followers, and still hope to reach 1,000 by the end of July. Hopefully, this will provide me with another effective forum by which to promote The Red Tree. The micropreview sneak-peek thngy is kind of interesting, and you can follow it at greygirlbeast.

Last night, after all the dithering and not-particularly-productiveness, we binged and watched every episode of Felecia Day's The Guild. Damn funny, and after surviving two years of Second Life rp hell, and the last ten months of WoW, it strikes a nerve. Or a chord. Or both. Anyway, have a look.

The current eBay auctions continue. Please have a look. I should remind you that the clothbound copy of The Merewife up now is very probably the only one I will ever auction, as I received but four comp copies, back in 2005. Among my hard-to-find publications, it's surely one of the hardest to find. Have a look. Bid if you can. Thanks.

Way back in 1996, when I was still just a wee babe of 31, Christa ([ profile] faustfatale) and I drove from Los Angeles to the World Horror Con in Eugene, Oregon. The con was pretty dull, but the trip up the coast and back down again is the stuff of legends. On the way up, we stopped in San Francisco, and spent a night with Darren ([ profile] tjcrowley), who took us to dinner at the delightfully surreal Tonga Room at the Fairmont Hotel. At some point, an artificial rain shower began fall from the ceiling (to match the tropical Tiki theme, I suppose), and Christa got a photo of me hiding beneath a paper umbrella:

Day before yesterday was Christa's birthday, which I neglected to mention. Because I suck like that. But, anyway, she and Darren were in the Tonga Room and reenacted my Wile E. Coyote moment, twelve years later:

So, anyway, happy birthday, Christa.

Time to make the goddamned doughnuts.
greygirlbeast: (Doc10-2)
No writing yesterday. No, that's not true. I began one story, wrote about 400 words, then realized it was not the right story. So I stopped and began another story, which I hope will be the right story. "The Sea Troll's Daughter," and I wrote more than 500 words on it. But I'm pretty sure it was a false start. So, you figure it out. I have most of the story in my head, the characters, the tone, the plot...and that very rarely ever is the case at the outset. Now, I only have to locate the words. could it have taken me half an hour to realize that this is not 1931? The iPod should have been a dead giveaway, but there are so many temporal shifts lately, it's hard to keep track.

Still cloudy. Still raining. Still not summer.

I fear I have become addicted to Twitter. In one week, I went from detesting it on general principle, to addiction. Which is pretty much how I do things. Ah, well. Beats the crap out of backsliding into Second Life (It's been two months now, so yay me!). I will say that there are two things about Twitter that have pleased me greatly. First, none of this misuse of the word friend. On Twitter, one has followers, and one follows others, which, in all ways, makes much more sense, without linguistic perversions. Several times now, I've had people (from LJ, SL, Facebook) pull that "But you're my FRIEND" shit on me, and I have to point out that no, I'm not, that we've never even met, and so on, and so forth. Drama ensues. And, of course, the misuse of friend has led to the neologism friending, when there was already befriend to function as an accompanying verb, and it would have worked just fine. "But, you friended me!" No, I befriended you. And, in this qualified sense of the word, that only makes us sort of vaguely acquainted, at best. Anyway, that's one thing.

Another thing that pleases me about Twitter is that, at least among the people who are following me thus far (362), and those I'm following (57), there's been, in more than three days, almost no l33t or lolspeak or emoticons. Which surprises me, as we're limited to 140 characters per message, and yet, all of these people stop and think of a way to make themselves understood without resorting to idiotic acronyms. I have not seen "lol" even once (but maybe that's because I'm not following Eliza Dushku). I am told this would change were I to descend into the realm of "people who do real-time conversation," but I'm not even sure what that is——I mean, how it would differ from what I've seen so far, since it all seems rather "real time"——so I shall simply avoid it. Anyway, I'm greygirlbeast.

Yesterday, I tweeted the first part of The Red Tree micro-sneak-peek experiment. Today, I'll repost yesterday's bit, then add Pt. 2.

My thanks to everyone who's bid in the current round of eBay auctions. I will remind you that the clothbound copy of The Merewife up now is probably the only one I will ever auction, as I received but four copies, back in 2005. Among my hard-to-find publications, it's surely one of the hardest to find. And, yes, all proceeds from these auctions will go to help offset the expense of my attending ReaderCon in July. So, thank you again, if you've bid or already won an auction.

Yesterday, Serena Valentino ([ profile] serenavalentino) wrote to relate to me a dream she'd had, a dream in which I appeared, and a dream which delighted me, when I heard of it. She's given me permission to include her description of the dream in this entry:

I had an interesting dream about you, even more interesting by virtue of rarely remembering my dreams. You were dressed in an Edwardian era outfit, a hybrid of a lady's outfit, but with long riding breeches under your skirt. I know this not because I got under your skirt, mind (it wasn't that sort of dream) your skirt was split in the front, revealing the breeches. Your long coat was also rather masculine, but tailored for a woman. It was very fetching. We were sitting near each other during a performance of some kind (candles illuminated the foot of the stage) and you commented on the performance, it was a very witty sort of comment, one would expect from Oscar Wilde, or yourself for that matter. I remember laughing a little too loudly for the people sitting near us, and that made us laugh even harder.

I only wish I could remember any of this.

Anything else? No, not really. Oh, except one thing. I'm pretty sure that very few people under the age of thirty-five remember what the word angst actually means, or know that "angsting" isn't a word, or that feeling and expressing angst is not a sign of weakness or something to be loathed and mocked. We'll talk about "emo" later. How can a nation be simultaneously so overwrought and emotionally constipated? Anyway, class dismissed. I need to see a lady about a platypus.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Barely four hours sleep last night. I woke just before 7 a.m., took another half Ambien, but to no avail. Anyone planning to attend ReaderCon should be forewarned: The stress and insomnia and seizures and winter have all taken a toll. You may or may not recognize me.

No writing yesterday, but that was planned. What wasn't planned was that the day would spin insanely out of control, devolving into an utter shitstorm of wasted time and frayed nerves. So, yesterday gets a big fat "L" in the day planner. Less than nothing was accomplished.

And yeah, I'm still twatting (tweeting, whatever). There I am, @greygirlbeat. As of this moment, I have 281 people following the...what do you call a stream of tweets? A tweetstream? A feed? No idea, but anyway, that's not bad for the first 24+ hours. I'm hoping to reach 1,000 by the end of July. It's a sort of goal I've set for myself. To determine whether or not Rachael is merely an experiment, and nothing more. And here I am now, on Blogger, LiveJournal, Myspace, Facebook, Dreamwidth, and, now, Twitter. Which makes me incalculably more connected than I would be, were there not this necessity for promotion. Were I only Thomas Ligotti or Thomas Pynchon, or if the blasted books would sell themselves.

One thing that worries me —— and I cannot say this is new, as it has worried me for years, since I started the blog over at Blogger (and probably Usenet before that, back to '94), probably: All of this networking and reporting on the ups and downs on my day-to-day life, the ongoing, ceaseless catalog of profundities and the mundane, it changes that which it records. For so long now, I have been aware that I'll do a thing, go to a museum or a concert, a movie or the sea, and all the while I'm thinking, in some part of my mind, won't this make a good blog entry (or conversely, too bad this won't...). And how could I make it an even better blog entry. It's a bit like the old problem of wave-particle duality, or the trouble any anthropologist will encounter, attempting not to change the thing she observes. How different would each of these experiences be, if I were not aware that I would be reporting them to the world? I can't know, of course. X = the change wrought by my foreknowledge that I am living a life others will watch, even if only in a highly edited form, online. It worries me, and I'd be a liar if I said otherwise.

But it seems to have become inescapable, especially for those of us who are authors, or musicians, or painters, or some other art that needs the Word to Get Out There. If we ignore these technologies, our art may suffer, though we can never know that how or by how much. We can call that part of the equation N. The value of uncertainty. And, of course, just as awareness of the blogs and tweets to come will perforce alter various experiences, so to will they alter the things we write and paint and photograph and compose and so forth. Call that unknown value Y.

Just thoughts I cannot help but think. And yeah, this problem existed before the internet, but the last fifteen years or so (and especially in the last five or six, as these communication technologies accelerate towards...whatever) it has worsened dramatically.

A book I need to find and read: The Victorian Internet by Tom Standage (1998), on 19th-Century information overload.

Today, though I am not awake, we will go forth and seek the tree that will stand in for the eponymous red tree, and which will appear in the trailer for The Red Tree. Or, I may say fuck it all and go visit with Louis Agassiz' cabinet of wonders at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology. That's not such a long drive, and perhaps my tree is somewhere in Boston.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. And, again, I ask that you might pay especial attention to the hardback copy of The Merewife (Subterranean Press, 2005), as you are not likely to ever see me auction another. There's also a PC copy of the leather-bound and numbered state of Tales from the Woeful Platypus up now. Bid if you are so able, and so disposed. All proceeds go to my attending ReaderCon next month. Thank you.

Now, I think I will go find caffeine, or throw up, or just look in a mirror and watch my eyes bleed.
greygirlbeast: (Vulcans)
Yes, the rumors are true. Last night, I signed up for Twitter. I am now twatting. Or tweeting. Or twitting. Or what the fuck ever, as greygirlbeast. Yes, it's really me. For now. Yesterday, I began to wonder if I'd become like all those stabilists, back in the '50s and '60s, who still refused to accept the reality of plate tectonics, even when there was finally loads of hard data to support Alfred Wegner's model of continental drift. Yes, that's the way my mind works. Also, I couldn't get the refrain, "One of us! One of us!" out of my head. So, yes. It's really me. Greygirlbeast. Or @greygirlbeast. Or however one writes out their twat address. Please, don't rub it in. Already, the shame burns like hygiene. Oh, Spooky twats as DreamingSquid, in case you're interested. She's been doing it behind my back for weeks.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,947 words (a very, very productive writing day for me) and finished "The Mermaid of the Concrete Ocean," which will be appearing in Sirenia Digest #43. I sent the story to Vince last night, so that he can begin work on an illustration for the piece.

Today, I'm exhausted, and have declared a semi-day off.

However, it seems that the prime instigator in the recent round of severe insomnia may have been my attempt to finish "The Alchemist's Daughter." After I gave up and shelved it on Saturday, I began to sleep again. Let this be a lesson to you, young lady. Sometimes, you have to let go.

Not much else to yesterday. It rained, and it's still raining today. I'm going to petition city hall to decree that Providence shall henceforth be known as Seattle, RI, until such time as summer begins. So, yeah, it rained yesterday.

Spooky has added a few more items to the current eBay auctions. These include a hardback copy of The Merewife chapbook that was originally released with Subterranean Magazine #2, back in 2005. This is almost certainly one of my most collectible books. The hb printing was very small, and quickly sold out. I received only four comp copies, and this is probably the only one I'll ever auction.

We finished reading Andrea Barrett's The Voyage of the Narwhal last night. It's truly an extraordinary novel, and I strongly recommend it. Especially if you have an interest in 19th-Century naturalists, the development of the theory of evolution, and the history of Arctic exploration. It almost makes a curious sort of preface to Dan Simmons' superb The Terror. There's a passage from the last page that I want to put down here, it pleased me so much: Here are the hinges on which the world turns and the limits of the circuits of the stars.

And now I'm going to have coffee with a reclining platypus and a groggy dodo. I mentioned the twatter thing, right?
greygirlbeast: (chidown)
How do I feel about Congressional attempts to phase out incandescent bulbs in favour of supposedly "greener" compact fluorescent bulbs? So far, I think [ profile] stardustgirl has said it best already:

Fluorescent is not inviting. Fluorescent is Wal-Mart. It's the hospital waiting room at 3 a.m. It's the endless afternoon in school where you're stuck in a concrete box and can only stare outside at the real lighting. It's the foul-smelling bathroom in the bus depot. It's the scar on a poorly retro-fitted 1800s building that has had the cheapest contractor-pack modern conveniences forced onto its originally artistic and graceful face. It is cold.

You only have to read just about anything I've ever written to discover how I feel about the horrors of fluorescent lighting. For my part, if this really happens, once my stockpile of incandescent bulbs is exhausted, I bloody well will be using only oil lamps and candles. Our government couldn't give a shit about what's actually happening to the planet, and this is a boondoggle, but people will go along with it if they think...ah, fuck it. No Arctic Sea ice by 2012, and America is trying to fix this broken world with mercury-laden light bulbs. Fuck it.

Yesterday was a profoundly awful day, and no writing was done.

My thanks to all who bid in the eBay auctions. A new round will begin this evening, and it will include a true rarity: a copy of my 2005 Subterranean chapbook, The Merewife. I only have FIVE of these, and I am loathe to give one up, but medical bills must be paid. I will likely never auction another, at least not anytime soon. I'll post a link as soon as Spooky gets the auctions going again.

And returning to the subject of my comments regarding fanfic and copyright, here's a comment from [ profile] jacobluest:

The problem with these people is that they're so caught up in re-appropriation they've started seeing stories as toolboxes, not unitary works that possess their own integrity. A little more respect is needed! And anyone that gets that bent out of shape about their own fanfiction needs to re-focus that energy on an original work. About the only thing fanfiction has on all other writing is the fact that you write it, and let it go.

One day left until Solstice. "Ena sn'ial," as the Nebari say. Truthfully, here in Atlanta, the winter has, once more, been freakishly mild so far.

I think the only thing keeping me alive is Asia Argento porn. Thank you, Tag. You rule.

Feh. That's enough rambling for now.
greygirlbeast: (mars)
I have now been silent, aside from a couple of sneezes and the stray cough, for almost twenty-five hours. The first fourteen or so were the worst. Then, an unexpected calm began to settle over me. It's proving a very interesting experience.

The words began to flow again yesterday. It may have been telling the story of Sunday's outlandish misadventure at the market. It may have been something else altogether. All that matters is that they did start coming again. I did 1,286 words on "Bainbridge" yesterday and finished the first section set in Pensacola (which, you'll recall, may turn out to be the third section of the story). Suddenly, Julia Flammarion is a living person. Suddenly, I know her and understand what she's doing and why. To say that I am hugely relieved is an understatement.

Yesterday, my comp copies of The Merewife chapbook arrived from Subterranean Press. It's weird, in a very nice way, to see this thing in print after thirteen years. The Merewife is the prologue to a novel of the same name which I tried to write in the summer of 1993. The prologue was left unfinished until this past August, when I decided to let subpress print it as the chapbook to accompany the hardback edition of Subterranean Magazine #2 (the regular, softcover edition has now sold out, by the way). Only 202 copies of the chapbook were printed, and of those I received only five copies. At some point, once the hardcover edition of the magazine has sold out, I may decide to auction one or two copies on eBay, but then again, I may not. Clearly, The Merewife is destined to be one of my hardest to find publications. This is the ninth chapbook I've done with Subterranean Press since 2003. What noisy cats are we.

Let's see. I have some miscellanea here. The first five legal gay marriages were performed in Northern Ireland yesterday. Today, Scotland will begin recognizing same-sex unions, and in Wales and England couples can begin registering tomorrow. But remember, America is the land of the free. Well, the free herterosexuals, at any rate. Let's not pick nits. Dr. Colin Purrington at Swarthmore College is using the H5N1 strain of bird flu as a example of how natural selection would alter the ratio of evolutionists to creationists if creationists were logically consistent and had the courage of their convictions, that is, if creationists refused Tamiflu and vaccines because they do not believe that the H5N1 virus could potentially evolve human transmissibility. If not for [ profile] sclerotic_rings, I'd miss half this stuff. He also pointed me to the very exciting news that the seas of Mars appear to have been far less acidic than previously thought, based on analysis of Martian clays. Drad stuff.

Spooky persueded me yesterday to switch from Safari to Firefox 1.5, and today I'm giving it a trial run. I'd begun having awful problems with Safari (slow loads, frequent crashes, sites that weren't compatible). So far, I like Firefox, though it is a little jumpy. We'll see how this goes, if Firefox can best my fierce allegiance to Apple.

I think the war on Xmas must be heating up. Yesterday, I saw a nativity scene surrounded by razor wire. The Baby Jesus was wearing the cutest little army helmet. And I understand that only eight in every ten "holiday" songs played over the PA at Wal-Mart use the "C-word." Clearly, the Xtians are losing ground fast. It must suck, being a pushy, intolerant majority besieged by phony, media-manufactured prejudice. Me, I wouldn't know.


greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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