greygirlbeast: (white2)
Choice comments to recent entries. First, regarding the accelerating acceleration of life at the dawn of the Twenty First Century [livejournal.com profile] lady_tigerfish writes:

You just can't Tweet Big Thoughts; they take more than 140 characters. I resent any format that demands my thoughts be small.

– and also –

Making the time--for anything--seems to be a thing of the past. Nearly everyone I know describes themselves as lazy, but as far as I can tell, "laziness" seems to translate to nothing more than "not spending every waking hour doing something." There's an almost Puritanical bent to the way we seem to need to be busy every hour of ever day, to the way stillness is demonized as sloth. Like if we stop moving for two seconds, the devil himself will descend to make use of our idleness. We certainly treat each other that way whenever one of our own dares to step outside the regimen and, say, turns off the cell phone for awhile. Funny, since (as other commenters have pointed out) this pace actually makes us less productive in the long run.

And [livejournal.com profile] mrs_ralph writes, of writing and this blog:

I don't think that's what people are looking for when they follow a writer. I can't speak too much for other people but I think I was looking for the deep, dark secret of how to. Turns out there is no deep, dark secret or if there is one it is 'nose to the grindstone, shoulder to wheel and get on with it already!' or as so many writers say 'just write.' The magic isn't something you can beg, borrow, bottle or steal, it is what happens when a person with a unique mindset and a way with words sits down, writes a story and then lets the rest of the world read it.

Thank you both.

---

Yesterday, I wrote 1,608 words on the piece that is still called "Blast the Human Flower," but which really needs a different title. I wrote 1,608 words, and found THE END sometime after sunset. It's the sort of story I think of as the biological equivalent of "nuts and bolts" SF, that manly technopron that puts me to sleep. A couple of years back, I was on a panel at Readercon that asked why Darwin has been less of an inspiration to science fiction than, say, Einstein. Or, put another way, why sf authors are usually more concerned with, say, astrophysics, engineering, and robotics than they are with zoology, botany, and geology. It was a good panel. Dune was offered up as an especially good example of science fiction in which biology is the cornerstone of the tale. The sort there needs to be many more of, stories at least as concerned with life and earth sciences as with technology. Oh, and there's the matter of anthropology/sociology/psychology, too – which also seem frequently ignored or frowned upon by the self-appointed gatekeepers of the genre. I could get into the whole Apollonian sf vs. Dionysian sf thing, so-called "hard science" vs. so-called "soft science," writers and readers who don't have the stomach for flesh and sex (sex being, after all, the driving force of evolution)...but I won't.

In the end, of course, it's all matter, viewed at different levels and in different states and configurations, perpetually recycled. So, there. Science fiction, like all literature, is the literature of matter. Distinctions dissolve, as well they ought.

---

Since late Friday afternoon, a migraine has been eating at me. I can't tell if the anger's still here, or if my awareness of it has been eclipsed by the headache. Sometimes, my mood swings and chains of angry days would portend a seizure. Now that the meds have those in check, for the most part, I begin to suspect the same anger and mood swings portend the headaches (there's a lot of interesting data drawing parallels between migraines and certain sorts of seizure disorders, and vice versa). Anyway, I think I like the anger better.

Today is an assembly day. I hope to have Sirenia Digest #73 out to subscribers before midnight. This month you get the new vignette I was just discussing, plus part one of "The Lost Language of Mollusca and Crustacea" (with a great Vince Locke illustration), and the second chapter of the original and eventually very reworked text of Silk.

Throbbing,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Chiana 6)
This is one of those rare mornings when I wake freezing, shivering, headachey, just shy of full-blown hypothermia, somehow having divested myself of all the blankets in the throes of this or that bad dream. And then I need two hours to get warm. Only, according to Spooky, I was actually being a bed hog, and if I'm cold it's my own damn fault.

Yesterday, I did an interview. An important interview. But I cannot yet say for whom or where it will appear. I will tell you as soon as I can. But it ate up more of the day than it should have. Also, I've gotten bloody sick of talking about myself. It's a little easier to talk about Imp or Sarah or Dancy, and almost as accurate since they're all overlapping aspects of me, anyway. To all prospective interviewers and would-be biographers of Me, I say to you, the only biography that's worth a good goddamn, the only truth-be-told, must first be filtered and fictionalized. You reduce the lives of women and men down to mere fact and history, and mostly you'll be left with the banal; if you're lucky, you'll get monotonous tragedy. Mythologize, though, and at least tragedy will seem noble, and even mundanity may be transformed and redeemed.

I am a writer, and my lot in life is to lie constantly, all the while never failing to tell the truth.

Today, I go back to work on "The Lost Language of Mollusca and Crustacea," and hopefully finish it. It will come in Sirenia Digest #73, with a great illustration by Vince Locke, plus Chapter Two of the original (scrapped) attempt to write Silk, plus (!, I hope) a new science-fiction story. I hope. Maybe.

Yesterday, I saw the colored pages for one of the Alabaster stories, colored by Rachelle Rosenberg, and wow.

An announcement. Every morning, or early afternoon, or mid afternoon, I spend anywhere from one to three hours on this journal. An hour and a half is about average, but let's say an hour, because round numbers are easier. That means I journalize seven hours a week, twenty-eight hours a month, three hundred and sixty-five hours a year (or about 15.2 days; and, in truth, a considerably larger sum). Think of all the stories or vignettes or work on novels I could get done in that time. And I've been doing this for more than eleven years, almost every single day! So, I'm thinking that after March, after the release of The Drowning Girl, I'm going to cease this every-goddamn-day blogging thing, this wearisome cataloging of the humdrum events of my humdrum life, and reserve the LJ for news of forthcoming books and of occasional interesting trips, saving untold hours that can be devoted to work, waking up, staring out the window, reading the day's news, et aliae. It's unlikely I'll change my mind.

It's looking now like the "teaser" trailer for The Drowning Girl will go live until January 3rd, due to web-design issues. We have everything in place, it just has to be assembled. The new front page of my website, that is. The thirty-second trailer is edited and ready to post (thank you, Brian!).

Yesterday, well, not much else to tell. I read a pretty good story by David Barr Kirtley (whom, I admit, I'd never heard of before), and before bed I read Stuart Moore's graphic-novel story loosely based on Thomas Ligotti's "The Last Feast of Harlequin (2007), as illustrated by Colleen Doran (I worked with her on an issue of The Dreaming, but, offhand, I can't recall which one). I napped. I watched a PBS documentary on the AZORIAN Project and the 1974 attempt to raise the sunken Soviet submarine K-129. I played Star Wars: The Old Republic. And there was other stuff.

And now, I go forth to think on bivalves and cephalopods.

Warm Now,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
So, [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark has this hypothesis. If the Bono of 1980 ever meets the Bono of now, the Bono of 1980 will take the Bono of now into an alley and kick his ass. Sounds about right to me. Anyway, I have a soft spot for this. Soft and black. Sort of like when you leave an apple at the bottom on the produce drawer too long...

greygirlbeast: (walter3)
1. Dreams give us another reality, realities that are, more often than not, terrible or horrific or surreal. But, always, those dream realities are brilliant. The are radiant, even if they radiate darkness and seethe with violence and fear. Then we awake, and we're back here again. Here, where the world is banal, and all is shit, and there is nothing. (A thought more perfectly realized in the instant of its conception, but, like a dream, it began fading as I tried to write it down.)

2. I have been sitting here contemplating measuring the speed of time as a physical constant. If not in this worldline, then in some other. Light's easy, that c we take for granted, a simple 299,792,458 m/second, but what if time moves? How does one state the speed of time without resorting to circular reasoning?

3. Yesterday, I did only one new page on Alabaster, Page Fifteen, because I realized that I'd set the plot on the wrong pivot (so to speak – pivot, fulcrum, whatever), and the first half #3 was the last chance I'd have to set it straight in the first series, and if I didn't set it right then the wrongness would echo down through many issues to come. Writing comics, plot is one of those things that are first and foremost. When I'm writing prose, I almost always let plot worry about itself. Usually, it accretes naturally out of characterization and mood and theme, those things I prefer to write. Actually writing plot is, I find, agonizing. Like picking buckshot out of your own flesh, then putting it back in another way round, but finding that configuration just as "wrong," and starting over and over and over. Life has characters and moods and maybe even themes run through it, but it has no plot. Which is why a plan is only a list of things that never happen. Like my proposals and synopses for unwritten stories. Anyway, I'll still hit my deadline on #3.

4. Apologies for not posting the "Question @ Hand" last night. Tonight, for sure. I'm dithering.

5. Played more of SW:toR last night (though only about a third as on Saturday), and, as promised, I was going to attempt to explain my thoughts on how it might be that video games make lousy movies, but Star Wars: The Old Republic is the best Star Wars film since The Empire Strikes Back (1980). But, [livejournal.com profile] slothman has saved me the trouble:

When you get 3000 years away from the main setting, you can ignore 95% of the issues of continuity with the stories from the films and the vast majority of Expanded Universe fiction. That frees up the creators to tell entirely new stories, using the familiar ingredients of lightsabers and the Force and a hundred sentient species. In my opinion, the best Star Wars work takes place at least 1000 years before the films (the Knights of the Old Republic games and comics), and the second best over 100 years after (the Star Wars: Legacy comics).

Which is essentially what I was going to say.

I'm going to play again tonight, then summarize my thoughts on the beta tommorow. But I am still loving it mightily, but also allowing myself to see the blemishes. The one that bothers me the most (she jumps the gun!) is that SW:toR takes us three-thousand years into the past, roughly three-thousand years before A New Hope, and...all the technology is essentially the same. The starships, the shuttles, the weaponry, the speeder bikes, the droids, and so on. Now, this would be akin to watching technology on earth having failed to evolve significantly since, say, the Third Intermediate Period of Ancient Egypt (roughly 1060-664 BC), or...well..pick another culture – China, Persia, the Mesoamericans, etc. – they all work in this analogy. Maybe, if I were a bigger Star Wars geek I'd know some bit of lore to explain the reason for this technological stagnation spanning millennia. As it is, I find the phenomenon baffling. Were the creators too lazy to fashion a genuine history for this galaxy long, long ago and far, far away? Do they fear fan backlash? It can't be that. Not after LucasArts unleashed Jar Jar fucking Binks on an unsuspecting world. Sure, later we get death stars and light sabers fall out of favour and whatnot, but nothing really changes in the course of three-thousand years.

6. I just got the news that Ken Russell has died. Truthfully, I hated almost all of his films, with the only notable exception of Whore (1991). But still...damn. As Russell said, "“Reality is a dirty word for me, I know it isn’t for most people, but I am not interested. There’s too much of it about.”

7. Part of last night was spent catching up on "television" (id est, streaming via Hulu). Very good episodes of both Fringe and American Horror Story. And I read chapters Five and Six of Barnum Brown: The Man Who Discovered Tyrannosaurus rex before sleep, which didn't come until about four ayem. I was in bed at two, but my mind (despite a literal handful of pills) had other plans.

Here For Now,
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: (Eli1)
COMMENT!

Well, our Indian Summer draws to a close. And I spent most of it sitting in this chair, and word from the front never came. As it were.

But, at least none of you have to remember President Humphrey K. Ludwig, or the mess that Irwin Allen made of Dr. Zhivago, or (and especially) about the science-fiction convention in Los Vegas (CONsino) during which a splinter cell of angry, disenfranchised furries detonated a twenty-kiloton nuclear device...all that, at least, has been set straight. The past is the past once more. Well...except that thing with Menudo, and the McRib. Sorry. Those, I couldn't fix.

Oh, and that thing with Frank Black yesterday? Of course I meant Frank Booth. But you never sacrifice a wonderful run-on, run-out, not-quite free-association tirade over anything so tiresome as fact. Frank Booth would never have gotten me to Frank Black (née Black Francis), or Frank Black (sensu Millennium), or even the guy in the creepy rabbit mask.

Honestly? I have no idea what I'm supposed to be writing about, that's why?

There's not much to report from yesterday, not that I can report. Kathryn and I continue trying to pull everything together for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir book-trailer shoot this coming weekend. Yesterday, I spoke with Nicola (our Imp) and Dani (our Abalyn), as well as with Brian (our cinematographer). And this past weekend would have been dead-on fucking perfect for the shoot, and next weekend is looking maybe a little doubtful. But there's no way we could have known, and we'll have to take what we can get. There's no time left for rain dates. This should have been shot in July, but work and scheduling conflicts and whatnot continually pushed the date back. And, so, this is it. We are fortunate in that New England is having a lousy autumn, in terms of the trees changing colors, so it still looks fairly summery up here.

Have you ordered Two Worlds and In Between? Have you clicked "like" on the absurdly early Amazon.com preorder page for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir? Have you subscribed to Sirenia Digest? Well, why the hell not? Wait. Don't tell me.

A good bit of RP (including a bizarrely Fringe-like moment...think Olivia/Fauxlivia) in Insilico RP last night with [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark. Last night also marked the first time I've ever RPed two characters in SL at once (on two machines, with two open viewers). It was weird, and while it wasn't easy, it wasn't as hard as I'd thought it would be. And we watched three more episodes of Mad Men (Season Four). And I read, from Halloween, a pretty good story by William F. Nolan, "The Halloween Man." And then I slept, and had unspeakable dreams. Unspeakable at least in the sense that they are now so fragmented that I could not reconstruct them well enough to speak of them. And that, kittens, was yesterday.

Today looks...indefinite. But I leave you with these. Back to that something Spooky and I did night before last that I only mentioned in passing yesterday. I think these two shots are work safe. All the others weren't. And there will be future sessions (after I've lost that Hubero) that will produce very not work-safe images. But these are pretty vanilla. Unless you work for, I don't know, Pat fucking Roberson (or did he die?). Spooky was in the mood to paint, and I was in the mood to be a canvas:

8 October 2011 )


Indefinite,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
Oh my bloody fucking fuck. I am so fucking over this aging thing. I did something stupid to my hip...my FREAKING fucking hip...yesterday. Probably when I was trying to clean and reorganize part of my office, rearranging bookshelves in the vain attempt to turn that House on Ash Tree Lane trick and create larger spaces within smaller spaces. It didn't work, but I feel like, during my sleep, someone took a sledgehammer to my left hip. Wanna wake up really goddamn fast? Forget fucking coffee. Trying motherfucking hip pain. Tiger balm and two Doan's tablets—yes, motherfucking Doan's tablets—have dulled the pain enough that I'll be able to sit up and write. But FUCK THIS SHIT (to quote Frank Black). This winter, I'm joining a gym and getting this meatbag into some semblance of working order. Last night (not suspecting the hip pain was headed my way), Spooky and I were discussing how we both need to lose some weight. Using Hubero as a standard of weight measurement, it was decided I need to lose 1 Hubero. That's one whole FAT cat I'm carrying around, all day and every day. Again (second verse, same as the first), FUCK THAT SHIT.

Oh, and please. No commiseration, or I feel your pain, or whatever. No stories that go something like: "Well, when I was only fifteen years old I was riding my bicycle and a pit bull grabbed my ankle and dragged me and the bike—by the ankle, mind you—twelve blocks, up hill both ways, before it was shot in the head by a kindly spaceman who called an ambulance that hitched my ankle to its back fender and dragged me twelve miles, up hill both ways, over a dirt road that was mostly potholes, all the way to the hospital—which was closed! Now, you wanna talk hip pain? That's hip pain!" None of those stories. In fact, I want a T-shirt that reads, simply, "Do Not Commiserate."

But at least the Hip Agony does help me not feel so bad that I'm spending the Last Warmest Day of 2011 in Rhode Island (going up to about 85˚F) trying to fix the timeline, instead of "chillaxing" (hold on while I choke myself for using that odious "word," even sarcastically) at the beach, swimming, losing a cat.

Anyway...

Yesterday was mostly me discovering that things were worse than I suspected. That failed time-travel experiment? Well, feel free to blame me for the Eighties. That's right. Blame me for the entire decade. But...Frank the Goat's on it, and there may yet be hope. You may wake up tomorrow and have no idea whatsoever that the Eighties ever occurred, because they won't have. Unless we fail, me and Frank (that's me and Frank the Goat, not me and Frank Black—and I mean Frank Black from Blue Velvet, not Frank Black, née Black Francis, from the Pixies, or the ultra-cool-and-spooky Frank Black from Millennium, and certainly not Frank the Interdimensional Demon Bunny), and that's always a possibility. One must never underestimate the likelihood of failure. John DeLorean, he underestimated his ability to fail...and look how that turned out. And of course I'm right. I'm me.

Next week's shoot for the book trailer for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir races towards us (five days to go), and...frankly (black), I'm terrified. Will we be ready? I'm gonna roll a 1d4 and hold my breath.

Um...and...what?

Last night, Spooky and I saw last week's episode of Fringe, "One October Night," and..wow. Olivia and Fauxlivia. That was pretty much a slash episode (albeit, without the hot Fauxlivia-on-Olivia sex). And we watched another episode from Season Four of Mad Men. Oh, and something that I can't (or, rather, won't) show you until tomorrow.

And then I looked through the marvelous Dark Horse hardback collection of Bernie Wrightson stuff from the pages of Creepy and Eerie (thank you, Steven Lubold!), then read another story from the Halloween anthology, "Three Doors" by Norman Partridge. The story itself is so-so, but it's narrative technique has moments of sheer brilliance. To whit:

"Doesn't matter to me how you explain it.
I'm not here to draw you a diagram.
I'm just here to tell you a story."

The voice of the narrator (ergo, the author), is a grand "fuck you" to all the morons who want their hands held during story time. In fact, those lines echo rather remarkably Quinn's attitude towards her imagined readers in Blood Oranges: "You can believe this or not. Whatever"

But now, now I must go fix the timeline, so you who are old enough can stop remembering "designer stubble", Guns N' Roses, and the return of shoulder pads.

Accidentally Retro,
Aunt Beast (in pain we trust)
greygirlbeast: (Al)
So, there's some asshole next door, guy has a lawn the size of a postage stamp. No, seriously. A postage stamp. And he's out there with a motherfucking leaf blower. Now, longtime readers will know that, as far as I'm concerned, no lawn is big enough to warrant the profound laziness, the unnecessary waste of energy derived from fossil fuels, the damage to the environment done by leaf blowers, or...and this is important, so please pay attention...the noise produced by the goddamn things. There is this marvelous invention, dating back, well, a long damn time. It requires a little sweat, sure. But that's why evolution gave us muscles and sweat glands and the ability to burn calories. This invention of which I speak is called a rake. And, in a sane world, I would go outside with a claw hammer, dismantle that leaf blower, gaily strew the shards across that cockwaffle's lawn, then offer him a rake with which to clean up the mess I've made. We do not live in a sane world, kittens.

Yeah, it's gonna be that sort of a day.

Doesn't help that it seems the DeLorean time machine didn't quite hit its target date (almost, but not quite...so now we have Bill Gates and Ann Coulter, neither of whom existed yesterday), and I'm going to spend the day chasing ripples through the matrix of space and time in order to make this the Present Day that the experiment was intended it make it into. Ripples.

Should a traveler appear earlier in the timeline of his own existence, he would be but as a pebble cast upon still water. But the ripples he creates would, over time, radiate upon far distant shores—geometrically altering events in their path.

Exactly.

I've gotten distracted.

Yesterday was a frustrating sort of day, waiting for that news from the past and all. But I worked on this and that related to the shooting of the book trailer for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, which will be happening next weekend if it's ever going to happen. The three million details. You know, scooping up all the itty-bitty bits of brain and shit. I did some of that, while I watched the chronometers. I watched dozens of movie trailers, thinking, thinking, thinking. I made notes, and sent them to our cinematographer, Brian Siano. Gods, there are some beautiful movie trailers, an art in their own right, and I especially admire the ones that make shitty movies look like gold. Now, mind you, I'm not admiring the intent of whatever studio exec had those trailers made, the marketing people, all those deceitful assholes trying to pass shit off as gold. I'm applauding the poor schmucks who were tasked with the editing jobs, and who will do the job well, unless they wanted to go looking for another line of work. They are among the all-but-unsung heroes in the shitstorm of ballyhoo and jackassery that is Hollywood. Though, I will say, the trailers are frequently my favorite part of going to the theatre. But...I've gotten distracted again.

Oh, also I received sample design pages from Penguin, for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir (of course). Overall, it's looking good, except for some hideous curlicue font used in the headers, a font I am assured will be replaced with something appropriate, something that doesn't make me want to gouge out my eyes.

Anyway, Spooky came home from the market with a cardboard shipping tube containing another nigh-unto-unspeakably beautiful piece of Philip George Saltonstall's artwork, created, of course, by the incomparable Michael Zulli, one which will appear in the book trailer. Seeing it was like being punched in the chest. And yeah, I've been punched in the chest, so I know what it feels like.

The evening's entertainment consisted of watching Serenity for the five-hundreth time (it's still a great and inspiring ride), and then playing my part in an Insilico RP that was almost very good...except—at some point it descended into "You're stealin' my man" soap-opera nonsense and utterly failed ooc communication—and, also also RPers online need to learn the difference between godmoding and how actions would realistically unfold in particular circumstances, cause and effect, and fuck the whiners. By the end of the scene, which went on for about three hours, I was just tired and wanted to go to bed. But it had it's moments.

Anyway, now I must go attend to those ripples.

Thinking wormholes,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
And here it is the second of Hallowe'en, and on this day one year ago I was in Portland, Oregon, Guest of Honoring for the Lovecraft Film Festival. In fact, on this night a year ago I gave the speech that was recently published in the fifth issue of The Lovecraft Annual. I'm having one of those "How can a year have already come and gone?" days. Then again, since this day two years ago, I've written two novels and...well, a metric-asston of stuff has happened.

Yesterday, I pulled together everything for Sirenia Digest #70. Great cover this month. So, as soon as I have Vince Locke's illustration, it goes out to subscribers (if you are a subscriber). But, yeah, that was work yesterday.

And a there was an email from Gary K. Wolfe that actually managed to make me happy. Kind of scary when that happens. My moments of the happy, I mean. More on this very soon.

It's Sunday, and Sunday is a very good day to order your copy of Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Me (Volume One) (sorry, the super-snazzy limited sold out long ago, but there's still a few copies of the snazzy trade edition).

And before anyone asks (as if anyone need ask), yes, I support OccupyWallStreet one-hundred percent, and I only hope we see more protests of this magnitude in more cities across the country. "We are unions, students, teachers, veterans, first responders, families, the unemployed and underemployed. We are all races, sexes and creeds. We are the majority. We are the 99 percent. And we will no longer be silent." I wouldn't hasten to add, we are artists.

Last night, we drove up to a four-band show in Pawtucket, at the Met Cafe in the Hope Artiste Village. Well, mostly, we went to see Brown Bird (click for the HEARING OF THE MUSIC), who played second. We are Brown Bird addicts, because they rock. Yes, they do, so don't make that face, you sluggard! But the first band was a group from Chicago, Pillars and Tongues (their Band Camp site), and they, too, were truly amazing. Spooky described them as the lovechild of David Sylvian, Brenden Perry, and Sixteen Horsepower. And Mark Trecka plays the harmonium! Wonderful. Then Brown Bird came on, and I was very confused, until I figured out that strange woman wandering around on stage was, in fact, Morganeve, who's cut all her hair off. Others were also confused. We left after Brown Bird, even though we wanted to see Dark Dark Dark play. But the third band was...bad. And painful. As in, a trumpet (or coronet?) splitting our skulls apart. And the bad clothes. Like, a thousand hipsters dumped into a blender and out popped this bad. Oh, and banana shoes. Let us not forget the hallowed banana shoes. We did discover that by the time we'd left the building, and walked around front and across the street to the parking lot, by then they sounded okay. But, yes, Pillars and Tongues and Brown Bird. If they play near you, SEE THESE BANDS. There are three photos behind the cut:

1 October 2010 )


Back home...we watched Mad Men (in Season Three, now), and I read to Spooky from Halloween. Yeah, I'm having another go at reading through an anthology that's reprinted one of my stories, since it's been going fairly well, this odd new habit. Oh, and I've never before been in an anthology that also includes Sir Walter Scott. Anyway, I read her "Ulalume: A Ballad" (including the last stanza, which is usually missing) and Lovecraft's "Hallowe'en in a Suburb," which led to a rather amusing conversation about lemurs, Lemuria, Goethe, and the lemures of Roman mythology. Then she went to sleep, and I read, to myself, Joe Lansdale's extremely effective "On a Dark October."

And that, Kätzchen, was yesterday, give or take.

Car Lagged,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (wookie)
And this, Day 11, will be the last day with the CEM. Not only because I'm quite late getting it back, but because I'm sick to death of it. Not the novel, but working on the CEM, doubting every comma and period. Losing perspective and anything like objectivity.

Time is moving so fast. It used to puzzle me, but now I think I understand it's a sort of psychological time dilation. When we're young, say when we're ten, then five years is 50% of our lives. When we're twenty, it drops off to 25%. When we're forty, five years has become a mere 12.5%, and so forth. The longer one lives, the briefer any given span of time is perceived as being. The mind actually makes the span of time seem shorter than it did at an early age. Or, it may be this is some actual property peculiar to the fabric of time, but, at the moment, my psychological hypothesis seems more parsimonious. And, realizing all this, that's often been my best argument against suicide (though I strongly believe suicide is everyone's right and a personal decision, and I say this having lost someone I loved to suicide). Time is moving fast, and it moves faster and faster the older we get. If you hate life, just hang on. It'll be over "soon."

Yesterday, I slogged through the more tiresome aspects of the process of getting the CEM for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir ready to go back to my editor. Which is to say, heading down the steep slopes of Mount Taediosus, reaching the talus, one encounters great thickets of greenbriers and kudzu vines. The descent is slowed. And so forth. And today, I am reduced to double checking, mostly proving the things I've quoted are in public domain, or that I have quoted short enough portions that my quotes constitute fair use. Sometimes, this turns into black comedy, such as, for example, where I quoted Dante's Divina Commedia, which was, of course, written in the early fourteenth century. Obviously, it's in the public domain. But not so fast! Because, I quote both the original Italian and an English translation. So, which English translation did I quote? Because translations are subject to copyright, which means translated lines of a fourteenth century poem may well be under copyright.

But when asked, "Which translation did you use?" My response is, "Fuck if I know." Turns out, I used the translation made by Allen Mandelbaum between 1980 and 1984. Very much still in copyright. This means I have to quote the English translation lines from a much older translation, likely Henry Francis Cary's, which was done between 1805-1814, and is long, long out of copyright (therefore, in "public domain"). And so on, and on, and on, and on.

Thankfully, [livejournal.com profile] sovay was kind enough to read through the ms. again with an eye to this very problem, plus my copyeditor caught many of them.

Also. After adding, over the last week, an additional ten thousand words or so to the "Back Pages" portion of the ms., I began to fear I'd broken the book in so doing. I emailed it to Peter Straub, and he read over it again for me yesterday. And, says he, yes, I broke it. Chop the new stuff out. Which I will do, because I respect his opinion as much as that of almost any living author. Besides, cutting the new text will make my editor happy. An author must never, ever be afraid to take scalpel to child.

Also, I signed the signature sheets to the Centipede Press Machen collection.

And that was my yesterday. Pretty much. Oh, we're getting into Season Two of Mad Men, and I still can't figure out why they made the jump from 1960 to 1962. But it was disorienting, and I didn't even catch on until the third episode or so. And we read. And we slept. But I did not sleep enough.

Descending,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
The tree outside my office window is finally greening.

It's Saturday, and I'm locked inside. Please comment.

And this is one of the days when I chafe at the tyranny of my pill bottles and boxes. I'd like to open the window and drop them out. Fuck you, defective brain chemistry. Let the pieces fall where they may, but at least they'd be my pieces. Not a pharmaceutical hybrid always telling me that's my face in the mirror, when I know better.

Fuck you, 47.

---

Yesterday, I wrote 1,599 words on Chapter One of Blood Oranges. My plan is to have the first chapter finished by Wednesday, and then set the book aside until September. Which is, I know, a weird way to write a book, but another book needs to be written in between. And maybe when I come back to Blood Oranges at the end of the summer, I'll have figured out everything that happens after Chapter One.

---

I've made it almost all the way through the latest JVP, articles on Cenomanian squamates in France, the skull of the Early Triassic parareptile Sauropareion, saber-toothed cats from the Pleistocene of Venezuela, the therapsid Promoschorynchus, and a new Lower Carboniferous xenacanthiform shark from Australia.

---

Night before last, we watched Tony Scott's Unstoppable (2010), which is the other movie about trouble with trains he made, immediately after having done the remake of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009). Both, of course, star Denzel Washington. Anyway, Unstoppable is good, and Washington is always a joy to watch. But, Chris Pine is dull as engine sludge, and it's a different sort of film than The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. As much as I enjoyed Unstoppable, I found myself wishing for the electricity that had sparked back and forth between that film's antagonist and protagonist. But the presence of Rosario Dawson (who played Abernathy in Death Proof) helped.

Last night, we watched two "horror" movies. The first was an entirely enjoyable and stupendously ridiculous Joel Schumacher film, Blood Creek (2009). Rednecks in Virginia fight a zombie demon Nazi occultist in a big scary house where time has stood still since 1940. And there's a zombie horse that, honest to fuck, is one of the scariest things I've seen in ages. I expected nothing from this film, and liked it a lot. It's much more artful than it has any right to be. See it.

We also watched Kevin Costner in Luis Berdejo's The New Daughter, which is very remotely based on a short story by John Connolly. All that said, it really isn't very good, which should surprise no one, as Kevin Costner hasn't, to my knowledge, been in a good movie since 1993 (A Perfect World, directed by Clint Eastwood). However, the sad thing is, The New Daughter has a lot of isolated effective moments, and it could have been brilliant. But the pacing's off, the film's about half an hour too long, is filled with actors who can't act, and feels like it wants to be a television mini-series. In fact, the uninspired cinematography absolutely screams old-school network TV mini-series. Essentially, it's a fairytale. More specifically, a changeling story and an animal groom story. But it fails to mine the riches of that fictional territory (if, indeed, the film is even that aware of it's fundamental nature). The archetypes and opportunities are left to die on the vine while Kevin Costner flails about and pouts and fails at being a single helicopter parent. A bright spot, however, is Ivana Baquero (Pan's Labyrinth), who makes the best of a bad situation and rocks the fuck out of what little she's given to work with. The film's final shot might have been brilliant, but it gets mucked up by ham-fisted "horror" clichés. See this one if you're bored, or enjoy picking apart bad films that ought to have been better.

---

You know, I really do love Rift. In terms of a fantasy MMORPG, it's the best there's ever been. It's beautiful to look at, usually fun to play, and all that. It's even queer friendly. But the more I play, and the more the shiny wears off, the more I see how much better and smarter it ought to be. Look, here's the thing. I've said it before. Trion, are you listening?

Writer's work cheap.

Especially fantasy writers. We very often do our best work for a few pennies a word. It's obscene, but true. And it's entirely relevant here, Trion, because you didn't have to do this wrong. The plot holes, almost complete lack of internal logical integrity, faulty world-building, and so on and so forth, all that stuff could have been avoided. And you wouldn't have to be posting what is essentially poorly written fan fic to your website, mucking things up even more. You could have done this right, Trion, and either you were ignorant of that fact, or you just didn't give a shit. But it's not about money. Because, like I said (REPEAT AFTER ME), writers work cheap. And even moderately incompetent hacks who never aspired to write anything more ambitious than a twelve-volume epic – following the adventures of a Drow anti-hero with a name that makes me laugh – can do better.

This is my message to the whole goddamn world right now: You can do better. Yes, you can. And if you know this, and you continue on about your sloppy, lazy, half-assed ways, well...people will love you and shower you with riches and you'll win awards. Because this is the way the world works.

But some days it makes me more nauseous than others.

---

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks.

Venting Spleen,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
We have snow coming. Between 3 and 6 inches. I'm really tired of this.

Anyway, yesterday Spooky and I worked all day and night, until 12:04 a.m. EST (and then I worked some more) to get the "final" manuscript for Two Worlds and In Between finished and off to subpress. And then, when I went to bed about 3 a.m., I realized there wasn't a story for 1998. I have no idea how that happened, but it did. So, today I'm adding either "Salmagundi (New York City, 1981)" or "Paedomorphosis" to the manuscript. Bill will be updating the book's page soon, with the final (there's that word again) Table of Contents.

It seems like everyone is very, very happy with both the collection and its cover. [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy and I will be shooting the author's photo in Boston on April 2nd.

I think this will not be a linear entry. Too much exhaustion from last night has followed me through my dreams into this day. I'm struggling for coherency. Today is absolutely the last day I can afford to spend on the collection this month. And it can't be a day like yesterday.

---

Friday will mark the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. In 1998, I wrote about the fire in The Dreaming #28, "Dreams the Burning Dream." On Friday, Spooky and I will be ringing a bell at 4:45 p.m. EST, the exact time the first alarm bells were sounded a century ago.

---

Only 59 hours remain in our Kickstarter "The Tale of the Ravens" project! Yesterday, one of the two remaining $500 slots was claimed, which leaves only one, and we hope it will be claimed today. We're very, very excited. Neither of us expected Kickstarter to go this well. I thought we might just barely make our goal. Which just goes the show you. Anyway, thanks to everyone who's donated so far, and again, please eyeball that last $500 slot, with which come many goodies.

---

Saw an awful — and I mean fucking awful – movie last night, after all the editing. Ray Gower's first (and I hope last) film, Dark Corners (2006). It stars Thora Birch. This is not the high point of her career.

---

Anyway, kittens, there's probably more I was going to say, but I'll say it tomorrow. When I'm more awake and less tired. Right now, I'm going to figure out how to plug a hole in time. But that's okay, I have my sonic screwdriver and a bow tie (bow ties are cool), a cup of coffee and a Siamese cat.

Blearily Trudging Onward,
Aunt Beast

Postscript (1:48 p.m.): The last $500 slot was just taken! But we have exactly one of the $150 slots remaining. Doubt it'll last for long.

Also, I desperately need a top hat for the April 2nd shoot in Boston, as mine was destroyed in a horrid freak accident. A lot top hat, like in the cover painting, like Johnny Depp wears in Dead Man. And there's probably no time to order one, so a hat shop or a loan would be ideal. My cranium's about 23 1/4" around (yeah, big head).
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
2009 is winding down fast. Winding down, wrapping up, whichever. And a strange year it has been. Every year, the years grow shorter— at least when viewed from my subjective personal perspective —shorter and more bizarre. Every year, I feel a greater degree of cognitive disconnect between NOW and THEN, and find it increasingly difficult to reconcile the past with the present; the future, somehow, seems more solid than the present.

No writing yesterday. I did send "The Jetsam of Disremembered Mechanics" to subpress, but it would be a lie to say that was work. Yesterday earns an L, as it was a lost day. However, were I to try to explain why, I'd only get myself into a mood that would make working today extremely unlikely. So, let's just say nothing was written.

The most peculiar thing about "The Jetsam of Disremembered Mechanics" is that it contains no contractions. Not a single one. It was a conscious nod to the style employed by Silverberg when he wrote Nightwings. And it yielded an oddly formal, and oddly innocent, voice. Nothing I would likely ever do again, but it worked for this story.

Yesterday, I had a long hot bath. I napped. Day before yesterday, I finished reading the paper on Tethyshadros and began reading "A new basal sauropodomorph dinosaur from the upper Elliot Formation [Lower Jurassic] of South Africa."

There's a photo behind the cut that I took on Monday, of a rather daunting ice/snow formation hanging from the roof of the house next door:

An Accident Waiting )
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
Today, I will punish myself with work.

I can think of no more hideous act of self castigation than forcing oneself to write, or attend to all the nonsense that comes with being an author.

My fingers will bleed before I'm done.

---

I have a rough sketch from Vince, for "Shipwrecks Above." I think this will be a rather nice, if entirely brutal, issue of Sirenia Digest. Then again, I doubt there's anything as brutal as was last month's "Werewolf Smile."

Today will, in fact, be a day of loose threads.

---

There is almost nothing worth saying about yesterday. I spent most of the afternoon in bed, recovering from the Everlasting Migraine. I despise myself when they drive me to bed. I had a bath. I watched another irredeemable day slip past.
greygirlbeast: (Illyria)
Today, it has been three years since I finished of Daughter of Hounds.

Even with the advantages bestowed by Caitlín Standard Time (an extra hour of daylight over those who "fall back"), I've been getting far too little day, what with the onset of winter. This is what happens when you move from the western edge of the Eastern Time Zone (EST/EDT) to a place a lot nearer the western border of Newfoundland Standard/Atlantic. For example, in Atlanta today, on CaST, sunset will come at 6:36 p.m., while it comes at 5:26 p.m. here in Providence (and I don't even want to think about it coming at 4:26 for all those on EST). So, I have resolved to begin rising at 8 a.m., to steal back some daylight. But I'm doing it stepwise, starting today, when I got up at 9. a.m. Tomorrow, I'll do 8 a.m. Of course, this means getting to bed by 12:30 a.m. or so, a very radical change.

All in the name of increased productivity and better mental health.

No writing yesterday. More dithering over "The Colliers' Venus (1893)," the whys and hows of the trouble I'm having with the piece, and, finally, so that the day would not be another loss, we read through chapters Four and Five of The Red Tree (ms. pp. 138-232), plus the first section of "The Colliers' Venus (1893)." It's a comfort, how pleased I am with The Red Tree, especially given how much trouble I'm presently having with this short story. Oh, and there was a very last minute formatting problem with A is for Alien (specifically, with "Zero Summer") that had to be resolved yesterday.

So, workwise, Wednesday was a proofreading day.

The "big news" yesterday was that our clunker of a car, a '93 Ford Escort rust bucket, which has over 90,000 miles on it, has finally given up the ghost. Spooky took it in to a mechanic in Wakefield to finally have the windshield wipers fixed, and when she called to see if it was done, we discovered that the thing is pretty much falling apart. It would cost $900, rock bottom, just to get it up and running again, and that's not to get it up and running well. So, we're sending it away to the automotive underworld. It's been a good car, and has, for example, made the the trip from New England to Birmingham/Atlanta and back again four times since 1999. It went as far south as St. Augustine, FL, and as far north as Cape Anne, MA. Anyway, the wheels are, literally, ready to fall off the poor thing. The woman at the garage was horrified that we were still driving it, and somewhat amazed that we'd not perished in a crash. So, yeah, new car time. Well, new used car time. Today, Spooky will be driving the Escort (only four miles, on back roads) to her parents' place in Saunderstown, where it will await the junkyard and Edsel, the goddess of obsolete cars.

Wow. 10:59 a.m., and I'm almost done with this entry. Booya!

Yesterday, I began reading Joan Druett's She Captains: Heroines and Hellions of the Sea (2000), and also read "A juvenile skull of the primitive ornithischian dinosaur Heterodontosaurus tucki from the 'Stromberg' of South Africa" (from the September 2008 Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology).

Last night, we watched Tom DiCillo's Delirious (2006), which I found a bit uneven. I very much enjoyed the first forty minutes or so, but then it felt like the film sort of lost track of itself and wandered away into another sort of story altogether. But Steve Buscemi never fails to make me smile. And the Elvis Costello cameo was nice.

Platypus says enough with "that newfangled bloggity thing," so I guess that's my cue.
greygirlbeast: (Blood elf 2)
Not much to be said about yesterday, so I'll be quick about it.

After only 861 words, I came, unexpectedly, upon THE END of the new piece for Sirenia Digest, the one that needs a better title (which I hope to find today). It is always a peculiar and not entirely pleasant feeling, coming, unexpectedly, upon a story's conclusion. Sure, there's undeniable relief that it's over. But there's this persistent sense that perhaps I did something wrong, and that the having done something wrong was responsible for the miscalculation. Usually, this is not true, but I always feel that way. Regardless, the story is done.

Today, I have to read through the whole thing, make line edits, and start to pull the digest together. Also, more proofing on A is for Alien. Today will be a day of miscellania and loose threads. But, the good news is that I'll actually get a day off, a REAL day off, on Tuesday. Spooky and I may go to Boston.

Last night, we watched Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores' The Hamiltons (2006), and liked it quite a bit. Here and there, the acting is unfortunate, and the film desperately needed a somewhat larger budget, but, overall, it was much better than I expected. In the Dark Age of Stephenie Meyer, it's nice to see something like this, brutal and honest and funny and bloody and not afraid of dead things. Or living things that survive by making dead things (we call this Life). Anyway, I would recommend it, with the above-stated caveat. The screenplay's rather nice, and there are a couple of good twists and turns. I would love to see this film remade.

A bit of WoW last night. My blood-elf warlock, Shaharrazad, and Spooky's blood-elf paladin, Suraa, slaughtered their way around Hillsbrad and Tarren Mills, and we discovered the lair of the Darrow Hill cave yetis, and then we dutifully massacred the lot. Shah reached Lvl 30. Shah is beginning to unfold as an actual character, here in the place I keep my "secret" characters, the ones I'll never have to write about. I know, for example, that she's an autonecrophile. That is, she only gets off on the sight of her own corpse, so actually looks forward to the occasional death. She may only achieve orgasm at the moment just before her resurrection. Also, she's an inveterate killer, but, in the end, all this Horde vs. Alliance stuff is lost on her. Two sides of the same futile coin, and she's very angry that, having become a hero in the eyes of the Sin'dorei, she was then sent off into the wilds and obscurity to fend for herself. She wants to be back home in Silvermoon, or, better yet, Sunstrider Isle. She tolerates the company of Suraa, because it's necessary, but often thinks of murdering her. Shah is bitter and dissatisfied, bloodthirsty and deeply perverse. She loathes humans and gnomes and trolls, in particular. She will not even acknowledge the existence of the night elves, unless she needs to kill a few. Shah knows that, one day, she will be a great demonologist. Shah finds the slowest, most painful ways to kill things. She's taken up skinning, just because. She has begun to display a grudging admiration for the orcs. There's a hint of Narcissa Snow in her, I think.

Too bad there's no rp....

Ah, today marks the 5th anniversary of Caitlín Standard Time (originally Caitlín Stabilizing Time), or CaST. Which is to say, I have not "fallen back," nor will I ever again. Once more, I shall be early for everything. Tiddley pom.
greygirlbeast: (grey)
Okay. Here I am on the far side of house-guest visitation. One peril of existing just slightly outside any actual temporal continuum is that everything is always over before it's really even begun, or it's just begun before it's hardly even over, or rather, that is my perception of events. Anyway, yes, Jada is on her way back to Little Rock, and Jennifer McGinty (née Garland) is safely back in Birmingham (well, as safe as anyone can be in Birmingham). And here is my odd little life again, the return to day-to-day, humdrum, business as usual. Everything in its place.

I won't bore you with too many of the details. Dinner Friday night at the Corner Tavern. We sat up talking about stuff that happened too long ago to be clearly recalled. I've known Jada since 1977, and Jennifer since 1988. I was helping Jen unload her car, and she said, "Hey, I've known you for twenty years." I stopped and counted and was relieved that she's only known me for nineteen. I've only known Spooky for eight years, so it was all pretty dull for her, listening to our reminiscences about previous lifetimes successfully survived and escaped and only dimly recollected. Jennifer wanted a bedtime story, so I read "In the Dreamtime of Lady Resurrection."

Yesterday, we wandered about the scabby wasteland of L5P, then met Byron for dinner at our favourite Thai restaurant, then we headed back to L5P for the They Might Be Giants show at the Variety Playhouse. It was wonderful, of course. We picked up a copy of the new CD, The Else (the bonus disc version), signed by the band. I know there was other stuff, but it's all a blur. Oh, but one of the Johns had the most apt observation about Little Five Points, that a part of Atlanta that was once very much like Harvard Square has now become little more now than a Southern version of St. Mark's Place.

I managed to go two full days and spend no more than twenty minutes on Second Life, which is amazing, and proves I have not yet entirely lost sight of the Prime Actuality.

And there is still no evidence that El Chupacabra is anything but a mangy coyote.

And now, nothing stands between me and finally sitting down to begin Joey Lafaye. I'm trying to get the prologue to crystallize in my head. But I'm having some difficulty deciding whether the prologue occurs in late Victorian England or the 1970s or last week, which I will admit is sort of a problem. But I must start this novel, today or tomorrow. No more time to waste, as of two months ago.

Er...there must now be coffee.

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greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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