greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
A wild, wild wind* in Providence, the sky trying to blow down the world. The sun-buffeted clouds rushing by as if played fast forward. It makes me anxious, that much wind. That much wind battering the roofs.

In high school, I used to drive a particular English teacher to distraction by asking questions like, "If the plural of hoof is hooves, then why isn't rooves the plural of roof?" For a few months, she tried to pacify me with diachronic linguistics and etymology, but there came a point she'd had enough, and after that the only answer I ever got was "Because that's the way it is. If you're going to learn the English language, you must accept that a lot of it simply doesn't make sense. It's inconsistent. It's contradictory." Which felt like a victory.

These days, the meds do a pretty good job of keeping Monsieur Insomnia and the nightmares and dreamsickness at bay. But not this morning. It was five a.m. before I managed to get to sleep, and then...well...when I finally woke at a quarter past noon, to the roar of this wind, I wished I'd never fallen asleep.

Yesterday, I wrote the first four pages of Alabaster #4, the first eight manuscript pages, 1,480 words. Today I need to do at least another four pages. And there was a lot of other stuff. I should be posting additional upcoming appearances soon. It's beginning to look as if I'm going to spend more time in March and April out in the world schlepping my books than I am accustomed to doing. Pry me free of the house, and send me out into the snowless winter and the wind. See if I care.

Last night, after writing, I was so tired I had a half hour nap while Spooky made meatloaf, and then drifted about in a daze all night long. More asleep than awake. Though, in truth, I never felt awake yesterday, it just grew worse in the evening. I wasn't up to anything but lying in bed, so we watched seven episodes of Law and Order: Criminal Intent. Jeff Goldblum has shown up, and he's truly quite excellent. I'm not yet awake enough to be sure if the weariness is still with me, but the weather would have me think so.

Scoured,
Aunt Beast

* Presently (1:49 p.m.) 26mph gusting to 48mph.
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)


Now, that's bow tie.
greygirlbeast: (sol)
Just saw a guy in the hallway wearing a pickle-colored T-shirt which read, "Pickles are cucumbers soaked in evil." Perhaps.

I'm no good at con reports, during or after the fact. I'm here. Cool stuff has happened and will happened. But I'm fading fast. I still have a reading for Ellen Datlow's Supernatural Noir tonight, and then the awards ceremony at 11 ayem (!!!), and then a noon o'clock panel on...something about ambiguity in "horror" novels. I suppose I was deemed appropriate for that. Of course, checkout's also at noon, so...nothing is ever convenient. I'm trying not to think how much the con has cost so far (and we're being frugal as we can), what with my presently being so goddmamn debt poor and all.

I'm typing this from the hotel's business center, where there is actually FREE internet access (and even laser printing).

I've been changing my clothes two or three times a day. It either throws people off, or keeps them on their toes.

We got to bed much too late last night. About 3:30 ayem, I took a hot bath. Geoffrey crashed in our room, as the hour was so late and I didn't imagine himself wakeful enough to make the drive to Framingham. Anyway...enough for now. We should get home by 2:30 or 3:00 tomorrow at the latest. Home to the cats and the sweltering apartment. The AC here has been wonderful. So, yes. Next entry (with photos, most likely), tomorrow evening.

On Unfamiliar Keyboards,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
The heat is still bad. We're holed up in my office with Dr. Muñoz. We'll likely spend most of the day in here.

And I've gotten behind. On the blog, I mean. We'll, on everything, really.

I am behind on being alive.

I hit these points, and I'm just tired of blogging, tired of writing, tired of it all. And don't go telling me how I have to write, how I have to write to be me, how I can't not write, how I'm driven to write, and so on and so forth. Because it's not true. If, tomorrow, someone gave me enough money that I would never have to sing for my supper again, I'd spend the rest of my life birdwatching, curating my gigantic and mostly uncurated fossil collection, reading, exploring New England, and just being alive. I'd probably never write much of anything else ever again.

And this is not to say I do not appreciate my readers, because I very much do.

It's just to say that I am very fucking tired, and tired of being tired. And no, I cannot afford to take some time off to recharge. No, not even a week or so. I have to keep this up for...well, for however much longer I have.

---

Yesterday was a bit of a disaster. I went to the Peace Dale Library, because it's pleasant and air conditioned and open until 8 p.m. on Mondays. I took with me everything I needed to start editing "The Maltese Unicorn," including my old iBook, to which I'd uploaded a copy of the ms. I got to the library and tried to turn on the iBook. It booted up just fine, but the screen was black. I did everything I could to get the screen to work. No go. Spooky was off at a dentists appointment, so I was stranded and couldn't work. I couldn't even really get angry about the iBook. The thing's ten years old (and how many laptops last that long?) and deserves to give up the ghost. But without it, I couldn't edit, and as that's what I was focused on doing, there was little else I could do. I grabbed an eclectic mix of books from the biography section and tried to read: Dracula: A Biography of Vlad the Impaler by Radu Florescu and Raymond T. McNally (1973); Schulz and Peanuts by David Michaelis (2007); Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (2000). But I was too annoyed and distracted.

Then Spooky showed up sometime before five p.m. She turned on the iBook and showed me how to get the screen to work again. 1,2,3. Easy as pie. I wanted to put my head through a wall. So, we drove back to Providence, back to the swelter.

Day before yesterday, I attended to the line edits and some very minor rewrites on "Tidal Forces," did a short interview via Jeremy Jones' for Booklifenow.com, and answered email.

And today, I'll get to work on the layout of Sirenia Digest #55. Which I hope will go out to subscribers tomorrow evening. And tomorrow, I'll get to work on the edits and rewrites on "The Maltese Unicorn," which I have to finish this week.

And the mothmen say "Booya."
greygirlbeast: (do what?)
Yesterday, as I wrestled with the several dozen remaining significant Daughter of Hounds editing problems, some of them annoyingly significant, and as I also wrestled with exhaustion, Spooky stepped in, interceded between me and me, and pointed out that it's very clear that I've lost all objectivity with this ms. That is, I cannot see the forest for the trees. That is, the big picture is lost to me for the moment. I have been so immersed in this novel for so long now, and I could not offer any convincing argument that she wasn't absolutely right. It's time to call it "finished" for the time being, provisionally "finished," time to step away and send it to my agent and my editor. I'll have another chance to polish things in a month or two when Liz (my editor) sends her editorial letter. Maybe by then there will be enough distance between me and the book that I can make decisions I don't change my mind about before the ink is even dry.

The conviction that this is my best book to date, and that it is also my most "accessible" book and the one most likely to gain me a wider readership, these things are playing a considerable factor in my dithering over the details. I feel, as I almost always have upon finishing a novel, that this is my last chance to get it all right. Though, I admit, it's never been half this bad, the dithering.

Nor has a novel ever left me this tired, which is truly saying something, as they always leave me wiped out and bleeding from my ears. So, today I'm e-mailing the ms. to Merrilee (my lit agent) in her office on West 21st Street that was, once upon a time ago, one of John Astor's bank vaults. And me, I'm going to attend to a last bit of business regarding Alabaster and then I'm going to rest. I'm going to rest until I no longer feel, as Bilbo said, "thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread." I'm only a writer, not a rock star or a business exec or even a lowly rocket scientist, and I'm not even a particularly successful writer at that. I do not believe that being a semi-successful author should bring one, regularly, this near the end of one's tether. So, yes, as much as possible, until it's time to begin work on Sirenia Digest #4, I'm going to rest. I'm going to read books and eat food that's good for me and stay hydrated and undertake as much of a detox as I can manage. That is what I mean to do. Also, I may be scarce on LJ for a week or so. With luck, there will be nothing much to write about.

My thanks to Amanda Downum for sending me tix to the Sisters of Mercy show, and to Sissy, for another package which has just arrived. And I should remind you that this is Day 6 of the letter S auction, and you cannot win if you do not bid.

Not much to say about yesterday. I worked on the ms. until about 7 p.m. After dinner, I lay on the sofa, flipping back and forth between the Olympics and a Miami Ink marathon. Then Spooky read to me from Brian Jacques' Redwall until I began to doze.

Postscript: The "final" word count on the typescript of Daughter of Hounds is 147,251 words, with a page count of 692.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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