greygirlbeast: (Default)
Dreams that do not bear repeating; wield spite, and bury a dream in oblivion. Besides, this is one of those days when I have too many things to write about, not too few:

1. We have just passed that "magic" moment, the eleventh second of the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh year of the Twenty-First Millennium. Of course, I would argue to anyone so feeble minded to read any significance into all those elevens, alas, they actually missed the boat back in the year 1111 A.D.

2. With an emotion gently and precariously balanced between horror and bemusement did I, this morning, read the story of how the Corporation for Travel Promotion, via JWT and The Brand Union, and armed with a budget of 200 million dollars (!!!), plan to solve all of America's PR/image ills with a campaign so stupid it sucks the air from your lungs. Hideous logo aside, the resulting slogan — the "United States of Awesome Possibilities" — almost had me squirting sugar-free Red Bull from my nostrils. Did no one stop and consider that the slogan, an abomination in its own right, can readily be rendered as the acronym U-SAP? No, of course they didn't.

3. Yesterday is a day I would rather not write about. But I will write about it, just to carve another notch into the bedstead of stupid I have experienced. The good part of the day (or at least the "goodish" part) was me writing another 1,334 words on "Ex Libris." But Kathryn is checking the galley pages for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir against our photocopy of the CEM (copy-edited manuscript), to be sure that the copy-editor's changes with which I didn't agree had not been made. And...she discovered that someone had, seemingly at random, made NEW changes to the text. Changes in wording, in punctuation, and so forth. Now, this wasn't my editor, and it couldn't have been the copy-editor, so...have you ever seen a warthog with rabies? Well, then you don't know what I was like for an hour or so yesterday. This means, you see, that every page of text, every word, every punctuation mark, has to be read over again twice (galleys against photocopy of the CEM) before the galleys go back to NYC. Recall, I said yesterday they're due back on November 15th. There was a flurry of email and phone calls. When all was said and done, 1) it had been determined that no one has any idea who made the changes or on whose authority, and 2) that it was a horrible thing that had been done to my book (like I didn't know this from the beginning), and 3) that the production manager, being the saintly sort, would extend to deadline to the 21st of November, so that Kathryn has time to read every single page over again, twice. Anyway...yeah. Bullshit. But my thanks to my agent and my editor for helping me through this mess.

Later, after the new deadline had been established, granting me and Spooky those measly four extra days, Spooky and I read through what I've written so far on "Ex Libris." By the way, Subterranean Press will be publishing "Ex Libris," together with "The Yellow Alphabet," in a hardback cloth-bound "mini-collection," The Yellow Book (yes, a nod to Chambers), which will come FREE with the limited edition of Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart.

4) I may have mentioned that the ebook pirates are nipping at my heels again. Well, technically, they're nipping at the heels of my publisher. For my part, I'm ready to wash my hands of this whole ebook fiasco. Let the devil take the hindmost and all that. I just don't care anymore. NMP, because I choose for it not to be. Hey, this strategy is working just fine for the United States of Awesome Possibilities, in their approach to the country's absence of affordable healthcare, and towards the homeless, and poverty, too. So, it can work for me and ebook pirates. NMP.

5) And here we are on Veteran's Day, which I do not recognize. Instead, I continue to recognize Armistice Day, and on that note, as I do every year, I will yield the floor to the late Mr. Vonnegut:

I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one and another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.

Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not.

So I will throw Veterans’ Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don’t want to throw away any sacred things.

What else is sacred? Oh, "Romeo and Juliet," for instance.

And all music is.


And So It Goes,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Here in Providence it's a balmy 53˚Fahrenheit, bright and sunny.

And today, as the world "falls back," I remain upright, and Caitlín Standard Time begins for the eighth year. All this actually means is that I prefer Daylight Savings Time and so remain on it all year round. I'm not a morning person, and this way I keep more sunlight in the evening during the loathsome winters. CST has become even more important since the move north. By the way, if you hate DST, and find CaST bizarre, I truly do not care, so there's no need to say so here.

Yesterday was an eight-hour workday, almost all of it spent answering email and getting Sirenia Digest #71 ready to be PDFed, and then I sent it off to Gordon ([livejournal.com profile] thingunderthest) for the actual PDFing. And I also did an interview regarding the BIG DARK HORSE TEASE. The interview will appear online Wednesday, same day as Dark Horse spills more specifics. I'll keep you posted. There are many interviews in my immediate future. Anyway, yes, very busy Saturday (weekends, what are those?). Alas, oftentimes, the first PDF of a Sirenia Digest has errors, and a second is necessary. But, still, I should think the digest will likely go out this evening. Not too late to subscribe and get in on #71! It's cheap!

Today, I need to begin the long short story, or the novelette, or short novella, or what-the-hell-ever that I'm doing for the chapbook that will accompany the limited edition of Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. By the way, that chapbook will include not only this new, long story, but "The Yellow Alphabet." No release date yet. I'm guessing Summer 2012.

Speaking of subpress, I'm getting a lot of reports from people who ordered Two Worlds and In Between from Amazon.com, who are now receiving emails stating "Due to a lack of availability from our suppliers, we will not be able to obtain the following item(s) from your order..." That sort of shit. I have no idea why this is happening, but I do know it's happened before with Amazon and subpress editions, which is why I never link to the Amazon pages for those books, but directly to the subpress pages. I've said before, to be sure you get the book, always order these volumes directly from Subterranean Press. All I can do is notify subpress that it's happened...again. Which, of course, solves no one's problem, now that the book is completely sold out. I can apologize (not that it's my fault), and I do, but I know that doesn't get anyone the book they pre-ordered, expecting that pre-order to be filled. Honestly, the situation pisses me off, but there's nothing I can do. When subpress begins taking orders for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart, ignore Amazon. Order directly from the publisher.

Now, if you did order directly from subpress, and your order hasn't arrived yet, be patient. It will. All the copies are not sent out at once. Subpress handles too many titles to do that. Pre-ordering doesn't mean you get your book early; it means you get your book. I am the author, and all but two of my comp copies only arrived day before yesterday.
---

Last night, we streamed last week's episode of American Horror Story from Hulu (Zachary "Husband #1" Quinto!), then finished Season Four of Californication. For my part, as much as I adore this series, I'd have been happy with it ending at the ending with Hank driving, literally, off into the sunset in that last episode of Season Four. The story may not have been finished (no story ever is), but it was a good place to stop telling it. However...seems like there will be fifth and sixth seasons, though, at least, the story will skip ahead two years. Then we read the prologue and first chapter of House of Leaves (because it's November), then I read some more, and was unable to sleep until almost 4 ayem (perhaps your 3 ayem), only to wake at ten ayem (possibly your 9 ayem). So, I'm not at my best today. Of course, I probably will never be at my best again. My best probably ended in 1995. Those people who tell you that "40 is the new 30" are either a) seriously deluded, b) have amazingly good health care, or both.

We just realized we missed the Rasputina in Boston on October 28th, because we were at the Iron Pour. At least we did something. However, I will make the VNV Nation in Boston on December 4th. Stalk me there and die.

And now...the words.

Next,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
A rainy day here in Providence. It's nice.

Kyle and I have been hammering out specifics on the still photography/book trailer project for The Drowning Girl, and it's a stressful affair. Well, if you're me. I can make stress out of thin air. Anyway, the Kickstarter is going extraordinarily well (166%)...and...Michael Zulli has just come on board to do the actual painting, The Drowning Girl, which, in the novel, was painted in 1898 by an artist named Phillip George Saltonstall. Zulli has become our Saltonstall, which is beyond amazing.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,480 words on Chapter Five of Blood Oranges, and talking through with Kathryn what remains of the story, blocking it (a term I use instead of "plotting," as blocking is much looser), I begin to see that it's not a ten-chapter book, or a nine-chapter book. Probably, it's an eight-chapter book. Otherwise, this becomes gratuitous. And I'll not have that. Regardless, the word count will be somewhere between 70,000 and 80,000 words.

Some news regarding Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart (Subterranean Press, 2012). The limited edition will include an extra volume (probably trade paperback), containing The Yellow Alphabet and 10,000 words of new fiction (likely in the form of two new stories). And I'll be working with Lee Moyer again on the cover.

---

A thought last night. Actually, a storm of thoughts whirling into a vortex. But, I'll play nice and call it a thought. Singular and calm. And it was just this: In today's subgenre-obsessed market, Harlan Ellison would be tagged a "horror writer." No, really. Go back and read the bulk of his fiction. Usually, he's writing "horrific sf" (as a disparaging Locus reviewer said of The Dry Salvages, "This is what happens when a horror writer tries to write SF"). Ellison's greatest achievements are almost all, at their roots, horrific. They're not about the sailing off into the stars, or the future, or the possibilities of technology, and finding a better world for mankind. Look at, for example, "The Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World" (1967), or "Shattered Like a Glass Goblin" (1968), or "The Whimper of Whipped Dogs" (1973), or even "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" (1967). Though hailed as one of the most important SF writers of the 20th Century (I'd simply say one of the most important writers, period, and dispense with your fucking qualifying adjectives), if time were scrambled and he emerged into today's literary marketplace, a new writer, Harlan would be pegged a "horror writer." Probably, he would never receive all those Nebulas and Hugos. Being labeled "a horror writer" would define him in the eyes of NYC editors, and this would absolutely have a great influence on what he could and could not sell and see published. And this would be a crime of the first fucking order.

Stop thinking inside the genre paradigm, people. By doing so, you destroy art and opportunity. It's fiction, all of it. It's all literature. We need no other words to accurately define it. We need no reductionist baloney.

---

I don't feel right any longer saying, "Last night I watched television," when, in fact, I streamed video files across the internet from Netflix or Hulu. Anyway, last night Spooky and I gave AMC's Mad Men a try, beginning with the first two episodes. And were very impressed. Then we finished Season One of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, and began Season Two. At some point I'll maybe be able to summarize my thoughts on all this L&O stuff. After hundreds more episodes. I also read "New unadorned hardrosaurine hadrosaurid (Dinosauria, Ornithopoda) from the Campanian of North America" (very cool beast, is Acristavus gagslarsoni) in JVP. And we read more of Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth, and I read more of Denise Gess and William Lutz' Firestorm at Peshtigo: A Town, It's People, and the Deadliest Fire in American History. We're trying to get our bedtimes back to something sane. Maybe 2:30 ayem, instead of 5 ayem. Last night, I was asleep by four, I think. Baby steps.

Giving Genre the Massachusetts State Bird,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (The Red Tree)
Terrible, terrible insomnia last night. The sun was up before I finally lay down, covered up my head, and fell asleep.

Spooky woke me at about 11:30 a.m. to tell me that The Red Tree has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award. Which left me speechless, and happy, and confused, and lots of other things. My thanks to everyone who emailed me the news this morning, and to all the people who have bought and read and loved the book. This genuinely does mean a lot to me. Does this mean I'm doing something right?

Yesterday, I wrote 853 words, for Y and Z, and finished "The Yellow Alphabet" for Sirenia Digest #57. The whole work, divided between #56 and #57 comes to 10,348 words.

I read a National Geographic article about eels.

Anyway, stuff to do. A long day ahead. Again, my thanks to everyone who's shown their support for The Red Tree.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Rainy yesterday, and rainy again today. Which is a good thing. This is rain that was desperately needed. Providence has been so dry all summer (after the floods back in the spring).

I've had to stop taking Prazosin, because the hypotension wasn't going away, and it was beginning to make me genuinely ill. I look up, and almost the whole summer's gone. And we didn't do much of anything we'd planned to do in June, July, and August, and a lot of that was because the Prazosin was making me feel so bad. Nothing much worse than a lost summer.

On Saturday, I wrote 1,261 words, T-V of "The Yellow Alphabet." Yesterday— well, I don't have the word count on hand, because I didn't write it down, but I did W and X. Today, I do Y and Z, and it'll be done. Then, tomorrow, I have a doctor's appointment, then Geoffrey ([livejournal.com profile] readingthedark) will be visiting tomorrow night.

I need a new keyboard (sticky damn keys) and a new mousepad (I've been using this one since sometime in the late 90s and it's smoother than a baby's backside).

Very good rp the last couple of nights. I've gone and gotten hooked again. Last night, Spooky and I also worked on finishing up the quests in Icecrown (WoW) with Shaharrazad and Suraa. We're at 100 out of 140. Yesterday, I read an article on the evolution of bipealism in hominids, in the July issue of National Geographic. I also began a new painting yesterday. Night before last, we watched more of Season Four of Dexter.

Lately, I feel like all my thrills are either vicarious or virtual.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks.
greygirlbeast: (Bjorkdroid)
Um...yeah. Yesterday is an absolute and utter blur. And it probably would be even if I hadn't slept like ass last night. I have no idea why I slept like ass. I actually got to sleep about 3:30 a.m., and slept for an hour. Then I woke and was awake until sometime after five, when I finally got back to sleep. But from there on, sleep was a fitful fever dream. The dreams were like fireworks going off behind my eyes (a purple analogy, but apt). And now I feel, well, the opposite of good, the opposite of rested.

As for yesterday, that brings me back to the absolute and utter blur. It began with me writing a short piece on H.P. Lovecraft for a Suvudu article by Matt Staggs, and then there was the blog entry, and then I had to get my bio and photo off to the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, which I should have done days and days ago. For them what missed the news earlier, I will be Guest of Honor at this year's HPLFF and CthulhuCon in Portland Oregon (October 1-3). Anyway, then I had to answer email, and after that, about two p.m., I got back to work on "The Yellow Alphabet" for Sirenia Digest 57. I wrote 1,184 words, and did Q-S (S is for Shibari was especially challenging). And after that I had to finish proofing the galley pages of "The Bone's Prayer," which is being reprinted in The Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror (edited by Paula Guran). And...then I stopped for the day.

After a power nap, and dinner (leftover chili), and a bath, I went back to Insilico, and began what would prove to be about six straight hours of roleplay. In which...crazy cyberpunk shit happened. Lots of crazy cyberpunk shit. I'm at one of those zenith points in rp. They happen every now and then. The world of the sim begins to feel more real than the real world. The face of the avatar becomes more substantial and immediate than my own face. It ought to be disturbing, I suppose, but it isn't. Oh, and after rp, another episode from Season 4 of Dexter.

And that was yesterday. Oh, and the auctions ended, and Study 1 for Yellow went for a truly respectable sum. My thanks to everyone who bid; this round helped greatly with the unexpected vet bills and such. Spooky will be getting another round of auctions started very soon.

There's a long entry about my science fiction, and why it's not as popular as my dark fantasy, but I don't have the time or the energy for it just now. Later. Now, I do T-V.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Today is, of course, the 120th anniversary of the birth of H.P. Lovecraft.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,233 words on the second half of "The Yellow Alphabet," N through P. O came out especially well, I think.

This month, Vince Locke and I will be doing that switch thing we sometimes do, when we reverse the usual order of things, and I write a story to an illustration he's done for Sirenia Digest. So, #57 will feature a story inspired by this image:





Not much else to say for yesterday. After the writing, I cooked a pot of chili. I read an article in the July National Geographic on Ardipithecus. There were three exhausting, wonderful hours of rp in Insilico (thank you, Blair). Spooky and I watched two more episodes of Season Four of Dexter (I'm loving John Lithgow's extremely creepy portrayal of the "Trinity" killer).

Sometime around 2 a.m. I finally found the nerve to open the box containing copies of the mass-market edition of The Red Tree. The cover is still hideous and inappropriate, and the smaller format does nothing good for the layout of the novel. But Roc did a nice job with the cover blurbs (quotes from various reviews). Hopefully, it'll sell.

That was yesterday.

There are about four hours remaining in the auction of the first painting I have ever offered for sale, Study 1 in Yellow. And the auction for a copy of the lettered edition of Tales from the Woeful Platypus (plus handmade Beanie platypus) ends in less than an hour.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
We saved a tree yesterday. Which means I accomplished far more yesterday than on most days. It's the tree right outside my office window, a tree that happens to be on our next-door neighbors property. We awoke yesterday to the sound of chainsaws, one of the ugliest sounds in the world. It quickly became apparent that our neighbor was having all the trees and shrubs in her backyard cut down. But the tree by my window was still standing. I asked Spooky to please go and see what was up, if they intended to cut it down, too. She got dressed and went downstairs. She explained to the woman next door that the tree shades my office, and that in the summer it keeps this room from becoming quite as hot as the rest of the House. She told her we watched the birds and squirrels in the tree, and that the cats like to sit on my desk and do the same. The woman next door was sympathetic and told the man with the chainsaw to spare that tree. And so it's still standing this morning, and I am very, very grateful. I would not ever have been able to look out my window again without that tree; I would have pulled the curtain shut and left it shut.

Though, I did have a nightmare this morning about the tree being cut down.

Three of the seven artists I want to appear in the "Best of" anthology are now on board: Richard A. Kirk, Ryan Obermeyer, and Vince Locke. Four to go. And so far, no title better than Two Worlds and In Between has presented itself.

Yesterday was spent figuring out the second half of "The Yellow Alphabet," which I'll begin writing today, with "N is for Naga." It will appear at the end of the month in Sirenia Digest #57. Also, my big box of the new mass-market paperback of The Red Tree arrived via FedEx. I've not yet opened the box. I'd fear this is a sign of being utterly, completely jaded, but I suspect it has more to do with the hideous, inappropriate cover the book is saddled with (same hideous, inappropriate cover as on the trade paperback). I have no desire to be reminded of that cover. The Red Tree is not part of the "PR/UF" tramp-stamp parade, and it still angers me beyond words that it was made to look as if it is.

Also, there was quite a bit of email. There has been lately. Quite a bit of email, I mean.

We began watching Season Four of Dexter last night, and made it through the first three episodes. Also, some good rp in Insilico (which has once again become a part of my daily life).

I also had a moderate seizure last night, my first since June 13th, that day in Boston. It hit just as I was falling asleep. It had been so long, I'd begun to think I'd never have another. Surprise.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, which include the first painting I have ever offered for sale, Study 1 for Yellow.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Something like eight and a half hours of sleep last night, the antidote to my recent insomnia, and now I'm groggy and not awake. At least the weather's turned cooler again.

I'm glad to see "The New Weird in Music Videos" entry was a hit last night. I'd not expected it to be. I'll keep it up. Thanks to people who made suggestions. Most were already on my list, but one or two were things I'd forgotten over the years.

Yesterday was spent (again) hammering away at the table of contents for the "best of" volume. Finally, late yesterday, I emailed the whole thing away to Bill Schafer at subpress. Right now, we're looking at twenty-eight pieces (including The Dry Salvages). The final tally will likely be shorter, twenty-six pieces or so. Many stories are more than 10,000-words long; five have never before been collected. I'll post the ToC here as soon as I can. Now, I have to start contacting six artists who've illustrated my writing at various times and whose art I'd like to see in the bonus section of the lettered/numbered state of the book.

Any day now, I'll be getting started on the second half of "The Yellow Alphabet." And another story for Sirenia Digest #57. By the way, thanks to Karina Melendez, the new website for the digest should be fully functional within a few more days, and we're going to be slowly making it possible to purchase back issues from the site, beginning with #s 56-50.

The platypus, dodo, and the mothmen (such a retinue upon my desk) say it's time to wrap this up and get to work. I ignore them at unspeakable peril.
greygirlbeast: (Bjorkdroid)
Today is a day off. As will be tomorrow and Tuesday. I'm exhausted and need to try to rest and recharge, so I can come back at The Drowning Girl with a clear head.

Autumn seems to have come to Providence. Spooky assures me this is not the case. But the highs are in the 70sF, the lows in the 60s and 50s, and the sky has that vacant autumnal blue.

Yesterday was spent getting Sirenia Digest #56 ready and out the "door." I hope people are pleased with it. Part Two of "The Yellow Alphabet" is already coming together in my head.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. "The Black Alphabet" chapbook goes off this afternoon. Thank you.

There's a grand review of The Ammonite Violin & Others in the new issue of Locus (my thanks to Bev Vincent for sending it my way, and to Curt Jarrell for the heads-up). So, the book got glowing reviews from all the biggies (of those that will bother with it).

A couple of quick announcements. First, last night I agreed to appear as a guest at the 2010 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, OR (I think the dates are September 30th-October 3rd). This will be my first trip to Portand, and my first trip to the West Coast since October/November 1998. We're still ironing out the details, but it looks like a done deal. Second announcement, Bill Schafer at subpress has agreed that The Dry Salvages (2004) will be included in the "Best of CRK" volume. That's 30,600 words of a 200k-word book I don't have to worry about. And, on the subject of this volume, I received an email from John Glover, who writes:

It's my hope that when you are considering the ToC for the volume that you do not put too strong an emphasis on your most recent work. You have often blogged about your declining opinion of your early work, frustration with the "compounderations," etc., but I hope you will keep in mind that your early work was distinctive, unlike the rest of what most other writers were doing in the 1990s, and it attracted attention for that reason. That those early stories may seem painfully young (?) to you now is not the same thing as them being of low quality. "Persephone" is a effective, evocative, affecting story, and the same could be said of many of your early published stories.

I have often been frustrated, generally speaking, by lists or anthologies or summative essays that claim to cover the "best" of an author, genre, or whatever...and almost always seem to be focused on the now. My copy of
The Ammonite Violin arrived a couple days ago, and I am very much enjoying it, but from what I've read thus far, I don't feel that the stories contained in it could be said to speak for all of your work; it speaks of what you've been writing in recent years.

I think I can see the outlines of why you might say
Ammonite Violin, and your most recent work in various formats, is the best example of what you are trying to do as an author -- but by the same token, 14 years stand between "Persephone" and The Red Tree, and those years are replete with good stories. They might not, as you look back on them, be exactly what you were trying to do, and they may reflect your changes and growth as a writer, but I don't think any artist ever attains anything she will actually consider perfection when the work is viewed in retrospect. There's always a wart, or an adverb out of place, or one too many compounderations; those are the charms of the work as it was made.

So often artists talk about what they are interested in the moment, and seem to show little interest in where they were 5-10-however-many years before. The unstated sentiment behind that, I think, is that their old work is somewhere between inert and dead to them. Sometimes they actively revile it (witness: Anne Rice). I don't think there's anything wrong with that, in so far as it bears on what *is* happening in the moment--creating new work--but when taking the long view? Not so much.
Sirenia Digest has obviously been a great place for you to experiment and write some less traditionally marketable work, but I see it as only one part of your work -- it doesn't have as much of the South, the overtly deep time of Threshold, the Gothic of ToPaW, etc. -- all of which should be represented in any Best-of-Caitlín-R.-Kiernan volume. (In my opinion, of course, which may not be shared by you or by other readers.)

To which I say, no need to worry, John. Well, not about this, anyway (but I'll say more later).
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Today is Assembly Day. That is, the day I assemble the monthly issue of Sirenia Digest (spiffy new website coming very soon!). This will be #56.

Yesterday was a long, long, long day. In fact, it didn't end until sometime after 4:30 a.m., when I finally gave up and took an Ambien. I read about Lovecraft and Robert Bloch until I could sleep.

Yesterday, I wrote 902 words and finished Part One of "The Yellow Alphabet." L and M. Both were a bitch, and came only with great effort. Also, I worked on the Table of Contents for the enormous Best of CRK volume (desperately needs an actual title) that will be out from subpress in Spring 2011. Right now, I have a list of 31 stories, which might be about half the book. This thing is going to be bloody huge. Like the monoliths in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Australopithicines will shudder in its presence.

Also, I spent some time figuring out what the redesigned caitlinrkiernan.com needs to look and feel like, so my new web guru, Karina Melendez, can get to work soon. Oh, Spooky was of great assistance with both the work on the Table of Contents and the website ponderings (through a crazed haze of pain and crankinss, because she had a migraine).

Subscribers should expect #56 before midnight EDT.

I think I stopped working about 6:30 p.m. But then, after dinner, there was the first episode of Season Eight of Project Runway. Mondo is my favorite so far. I have peculiar soft spots for both Casanova and Jason. I loathe the atrocious Peach Car (a name not even a drag queen could love). I'm also rooting for Sarah Trost, if only because she designed the costumes for the Guild video, "(Do You Wanna Date My) Avatar." I'm still in awe (yes, sarcasm) that this Ivy chick made pants out of pants, argued with the judges, and didn't get the boot. And Tim Gunn is still my boyfriend. Well, one of many.

Later, truly fine rp in Insilico. Thank you, Fifth, Joah, and Urdith.

And, well, I've already talked about having trouble getting to sleep. And here are the current eBay auctions. Please have a look, because I found out yesterday that a check we've been waiting for is going to be several weeks late, and the bloody big heads at the IRS isn't as agreeable as I am about waiting for their money. Thank you.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Insomnia last night, and I finally had to give up and take an Ambien about 4 a.m., so I'm still swimming against that current. It's like a riptide through consciousness and unconsciousness, that damned drug. When this bottle runs out, I will have no more of that shit near me.

But a good writing day yesterday. I did 1,467 words on "The Yellow Alphabet." I was sort of annoyed by having finished I, only to realize that the letter I should have been "I is for Iphis and Ianthe." But I wasn't about to go back and toss out what I'd already written. I may feel differently when I've finished "The Yellow Alphabet," if there's time to spare. So, we'll see. Today, I do L and M, and finish Part One.

So, if you haven't heard, Anne Rice is making a big, fat, hairy deal of not being Xitian anymore...except she obviously still is. Whatever. Maybe her silly-ass Jesus books weren't selling very well, and she's feeling the heat from such literary giants as Laurell K. Hamilton and Charlaine Harris. In case you missed the sarcasm there (after all, I did not end the sentence with "lol"), I will add that at least Rice did write three good books (Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, and The Queen of the Damned) before drinking her own purple Kool-Aid and devolving into utter nonsense. Which is far more than can be said for Hamilton or Harris, who were pretty much purveyors of nonsense from Day One.

Sorry. Just needed to get that out of my system.

Spooky has started a new round of eBay auctions. Also, check out the very wonderful things in her Dreaming Squid Dollworks & Sundries Shop on Etsy. Really. Cool stuff. Check it out.

Sméagol has another vet visit today, just a check up, to see how his plasma-cell pododermatitis is doing.

More rp in Insilico last night, interesting stuff with Molly, who is no longer Molly, but the Mouse (or so she says). It's sort of fascinating, going away for more than three months and coming back and seeing how all these little plot threads have woven and unwoven, how characters have evolved. Also, so long as Spooky and I have been indulging in Fairly Ridiculous Television (24, Nip/Tuck), we decided to try some Truly Ridiculous Television, and watched the first four episodes of Sanctuary last night. And I don't know. It has a certain lopsided charm, like Tom Baker era Doctor Who meets Torchwood meets The X-Files meets a bunch of other stuff, all smushed together the wrong way round. Sometimes, Bad Television can be unexpectedly entertaining.
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An oddly long and full day yesterday. Which is good. Generally, I like my days to seem long, and I prefer them full.

I wrote 1,560 words on "The Yellow Alphabet" (for Sirenia Digest #56), making my way from F through H. Today, there's I through K to contend with. They are not the worst of the lot. That's usually Q. And X. But they are among the worst. Alphabetical thugs, if you will.

I wrote until sometime after five p.m., at which point Spooky ordered me to get dressed, and informed me that we were going to the shore. The summer's been weird, what with one thing and another, and I know it's not been going quite right when there's not sand upon the bedroom floor or in the bed. So, we drove down to South County. After leaving the highway, we followed Succotash Road, past the vast salt marshes bordering Point Judith Pond, down to East Matunuck Beach. The area's more touristy than we usually go for, but it was nearing sunset when we arrived and most of the tourists had left the beach for dinner. And it is a fine beach. You don't get many long sandy beaches in Rhode Island. I watched the waves and gulls, listened to the inhalation and exhalations of the rising tide, felt the chilly wind all about. Spooky waded in the surf, and then sat on the sand and made an effigy of Great Sandthulu. We watched the Block Island Ferry depart from Galilee, headed south, bound for the island. We stayed almost until dark, about 8 p.m. I wanted to stay longer, but the wind was growing cold enough our ears were beginning to ache. There are photos below, behind the cut.

We grabbed a quick dinner from the Subway on Westminster.

Back home, I did something I've not done since April 14th. I went into Second Life and roleplayed in Insilico. My thanks to Hibiki for encouraging me to come back, and my thanks to Fifth, Molly, Aemeth, and Dr. Faith (and Jake) for some very excellent rp last night. It looks like the Xiangs (or at least 1.5) may be back for a spell. It was something I've been needing.

And here are the photos from yesterday. I should wrap this up. The mothmen are getting antsy:

28 July 2010 )
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I shall not allow the fact that I am not awake dissuade me from making this blog entry.

Yesterday was, as I said, a day off. And it was not a bad day off, but I fear my head was not cleared out during the course of the day, as I'd hoped it would be. So, I move ahead with a cluttered head.

I've done A-E of "The Yellow Alphabet." Today, F-H.

Watching The Runaways night before last, and pretty much any time I see something made before the advent of the personal computer, the cellphone, the iPod, videogames, the world wide web, and so forth...I am left with the disquieting feeling that the world is becoming increasingly less real. No, I cannot yet quantify that. I'm still working on some way to explain precisely what I mean. Just a sense that things were more real than they are now, and that we continue losing the integrity of reality as we accept more and more techno-distraction into our lives. And sure, this likely goes back to radio and motion pictures, television and telephones. Maybe it even goes back to the invention of the printing press. But the latter was invented in 1440 or so, and it was only at the end of the 19th Century that the explosion of communication and entertainment media via electronic delivery devices really began. Sure, I sound like a Luddite. I probably am a Luddite, albeit a Luddite who spends most of her life online, who uses Twitter and Facebook and LiveJournal and Gmail. Who has an iBook (from 2000, but still), an iPod (from 2005, but still) and a cellphone (from 2004, but still). Mostly, I'm just thinking aloud here. I think the world is becoming less real, and the rate of disintegration may be exponential. Maybe this is what all those transhumanist H+ wonks mean by the "Singularity."

---

I think that my various new meds have my body a little off kilter. Specifically, my blood pressure. When I went to the doctor last Monday, my blood pressure was high. But mostly, the Prazosin is causing my blood pressure to drop. In the mornings, I am woozy and weak. My pulse tends to race. But the alternative to the meds is unacceptable, so...I'm dealing with it.

---

So, yesterday we saw Phillip Noyce's Salt. The first half was slow, but it picked up steam and the second half was quite enjoyable, as long as you didn't expect the plot to make much sense. As long you're satisfied by watching Angelina Jolie kick butt. Which I was. The ending is more of a "just stopping," so I assume this is the beginning of a series, unless this film tanks. But yeah, big dumb fun, leave your brain at the door.

Which brings me to the fact that we finished Season Two of 24 last night. It's a strange, strange show. It's really not very good. It is, in fact, often perfectly ridiculous. And yet we keep watching it. I think it's mostly Kiefer Sutherland, and the violent absurdity of it all, that keeps us coming back. But I can't imagine anyone watching this one week at a time, one episode a week, with commercials. It's certainly not that compelling. And, setting aside all the silliness, the plot devices and stuff the writers just pull out of their butts because it looks cool and Jack's such a badass that physics don't apply and the like, my main annoyance with the series is it's insistence on irrelevant subplots. In this respect, Season Two was both better and worse than Season One. All that business about Kim and the murdered wife and the murdering husband...it was just a huge distraction. I suspect studio execs insisted there be something to "appeal to the female demographic." But none of it had anything whatsoever to do with the actual story until the very, very end, and then only as a too-convenient device to distract Jack during a crucial minute or so, which was hardly enough to justify its existence. But yeah, we made it through two seasons. Not sure if we'll keep going (especially given that what happens after the Season Two cliffhanger was put into a frakking videogame).

Also, I'm not usually opposed to American remakes of foreign films, not by default. Sometimes, it works. Sometimes, it doesn't. But I am horrified at what's been done by Matt Reeves to Låt den rätte komma in. It's one thing to move the film to America. It's a far, far worse thing to remove Eli's gender issues. That, essentially, guts the film of one of its driving forces. This is not just a story about a budding serial killer and vampirism, but about sexual violation and gender ambiguity, and by striving to make the story more "accessible" (Reeves' own choice of words), he's destroyed it. There's a reason Tomas Alfredson's movie was pretty much limited to the art-film circuit. It was smart and subtle and dealt with complex issues, and dumbing it down for the mass American consumer is an abominable notion. Even if it's a notion that makes money.

We have eBay auctions ending this afternoon. Please have a look.

Anyway...I should get to work.
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The weather here in Providence is quite nice today, proving how it's all about the humidity. Outside, the temperature is 83F, with a forecast high of 88F. But the humidity is only 36%, and the House is quite comfortable.

Not a good writing day yesterday. Terribly, terribly frustrating. Five hours yielded only letter E for "The Yellow Alphabet." This time out, E is for Europa, by the way. I think the word count was a measly 176 words.

The current eBay auctions end tomorrow. There's some stuff we haven't offered very often, like the "Highway 97" and "Black Alphabet" chapbooks. Thanks.

I'm taking today off. I need to get my head clear, and then come back to it tomorrow. I've not really left the House since Thursday night. No, that's not healthy.

Last night, we watched Floria Sigismondi's The Runaways, which is really very good, as I'd hoped it would be.
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This morning, neither the dodo nor the platypus nor the mothmen are especially happy with me.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,246 words on Part One of "The Yellow Alphabet." As was the case with both "The Black Alphabet" and "The Crimson Alphabet," it will appear in two installments, the first half in Sirenia Digest #56, and the second half in Sirenia Digest #57. Yesterday, I wrote A-D. Today, it will be E-G. Aside from Part One of "The Yellow Alphabet," Sirenia Digest #56 will also include the discarded prologue to the now entirely transmuted The Wolf Who Cried Girl. Which is to say, the prologue to a book that will now never be written. There might be something else in July issue, some surprise or another. I hope to have the issue out to subscribers on the 30th.
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The heat is back today.

I woke from angry dreams to the anger of yesterday.

Last night, I swallowed an amazing pill. Amazing. For four hours, there was no anger. In the end, there were hardly any feelings at all. I think maybe the effects of that pill are what sramanic thought means by achieving Nirvāna. People spend their lives searching for it and never come close. But it can be had in a pill.

Yesterday, I wrote 134 words on Chapter One of The Drowning Girl. And then the anger found me, and I was unable to write anything more during the afternoon. I'd hoped to finish Chapter One before moving along to "The Yellow Alphabet" (for Sirenia Digest #56). I'm maybe three thousand words from the end of the chapter. It'll still be there when I come back in a week.

In another entry, I may explain some of the sources on the anger. Or I may not.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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