greygirlbeast: (white)
I think I have decided. Yes, I think I have. I shall not miss making an entry – at least one (1) LJ entry per day – between February 13, 2011 and February 13, 2012. Hell, that's only five and a half months.

---

A couple of quick links. First, in case you've not heard, the Lambda Literary Awards have gone fascist bullshit on us. Me, I've always been suspect of Lambda. I mean, come on. I've only been nominated once in almost twenty years! Anyway, no, seriously. Here's Rose Fox's response ([livejournal.com profile] rosefox) , which is very good, and I'll try to add my own comments on this situation later. I will say that until/unless this is rectified, if by some freak chance I were to be to be nominated, I would decline the nomination, and would urge all other authors to do likewise.

Greer Gilman ([livejournal.com profile] nineweaving) has insightful and interesting things to say on ebooks and ebook readers. I've yet to progress beyond audiobooks, though many of my books are available in various ebook formats (including illegal p2p files, but hey, we writers roll in the dough, don't we?). Still, I found Greer's comments enlightening and amusing. Maybe, when I get an iPad (it's become inevitable), I'll give iBooks a try.

---

Oh, I should note that [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus is a frakking genius, and has cracked the problem of the identity of X project. Alas, I should have known the secret could not stay secret forever. Last night he asked "Is the X-project related to the SGSC news...[?]" Wow. Dude. You figured it out. Yes, I am now working for the SGSC, better known as the Swine Genome Sequencing Consortium.

---

Yesterday, I spent many hours on X, which isn't a very satisfying report I know. I will say, it required that I write 1,690 words. That doesn't really make it any more interesting does it?

I also spoke with Subterranean Press some about Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. The story that was originally "Untitled 31" will appear in the collection as "Subterraneus," and the story originally titled "Untitled 33" will appear as “Fecunditatum.” Yeah, I was in a Latin sort of mood. However, "Untitled Grostesquerie" will appeared as "Untitled Grostesquerie." Also, I'm told that Two Worlds and In Between is at the printer, and should be out sometime next month.

Today, I begin work on a new Mars story for Sirenia Digest #69.

Oh, and I have discovered I am the oldest emo teenager on earth. Go me! Meanwhile, there was some very good Insilico RP last night, but, turns out, Grendel's more fucked over than she ever had been before. Also, though I love Joseph Campbell, do NOT follow your bliss, not if it leads you to attempt something you suck at; follow your actual abilities, and fuck your bliss, if it leads you to create dreck. And, with that, I must away. And remember, don't make me have to get all honey badger on your ass.

Wistful,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)


greygirlbeast: (Default)
Here we are again.

Expect no improvement.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,223 words on "—30—", and I should be able to finish the story today. At the start, I thought it might be something humorous, or at least tongue-in-cheek. But the story's gone to this other place, instead. Too much truth about what it's like for me being a writer. An unseemly amount of truth, I imagine, but there you go. Isn't that my job, to be unseemly?

And, speaking of "—30—", it was pointed out to me yesterday (on Facebook) that, in 2010, Laird Baron published a story titled "—30—". I haven't read much Laird Baron (three stories, to date, I think), so I looked on Amazon. And yes, in his 2010 short-story collection, Occultation, there is, indeed, a story titled "—30—" (original to the collection). At first I felt sort of annoyed and crappy about this, but then Spooky pointed out to me that the final episode of Season Five of The Wire (2008) was titled "—30—", along with a film from 1959, directed by Jack Webb and starring Jack Webb, William Conrad, and Whitney Blake. Then I pointed out to her that two works nominated for the 2010 Hugos shared a title, [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna's novel Palimpsest and Charles Stross' novella "Palimpsest." So, all this said, I've decided not to change the title of the story, as the current title is too perfect.

I suppose I'll post the same sort of list I posted last year on this day, the "How Much Did I Write This Year" list. I sort of have a feeling I may have actually written fewer short stories this year than last (which would be a good thing). The year I only write one short story— one perfect story —I win. So, let's see:

1. "Hydrarguros"
2. "The Eighth Veil"
3. "Persephone Redux (A Fragment)"
4. "Apsinthion"
5. "Houndwife"
6. "Three Months, Three Scenes, With Snow"
7. "Workprint"
8. "Tempest Witch"
9. "Tidal Forces"
10. "The Maltese Unicorn"
11. "The Yellow Alphabet" (in two parts)
12. "Fairy Tale of the Maritime"
13. "A Key to the Castleblakeney Key"
14. "John Four"
15. "And the Cloud That Took the Form"
16. "At the Reef"
17. "The Prayer of Ninety Cats"

I'm not going to count "—30—," because it will have missed being finished in 2010 by one day. Also, I was very pleased this year to see The Red Tree nominated for both the Shirley Jackson and World Fantasy awards, and to have seen The Ammonite Violin & Others on the cover of Publisher's Weekly.

Last night, we did what we always do on New Year's Eve and stayed in. We watched a very peculiar vampire film, Rob Stefaniuk's Suck (2009). There were ups and down. The film features Iggy Pop, Moby (as Beef, the most popular rock star in Buffalo, NY), Alice Cooper, Henry Rollins, and Macolm McDowell. If you've not already guessed, it was a comedy, and the funny was so-so. The best bit of the film (besides Moby) was the much-sexier-dead-than-alive Jessica Paré. And how can you possibly follow a film titled Suck? You watch Constantine over again, drool at Tilda Swinton in angel drag, and marvel how Keanu Reeves was ever cast in the film (or any film, for that matter). He mutters his way through the entire film, as if to make up for his inability to act. I always think there's something off with the voice track, until I realize Keanu is the only one mumbling. So, yeah...that was last night.

Today, clinging to some meager vestige of tradition, I'll make black-eyed peas, collards, mac and cheese, and cornbread.

In summation, 2010 was quite a bit better than 2009. Which is to say, it was, all in all, tolerable (though the first few months were spectacularly awful). I'll hope that 2011 may actually be a good year. I don't think I've had one of those since...oh, never mind.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I just figured it out. I'm not an insomniac, after all. Instead, I'm clearly suffering from hypnophobia, which is also called somniphobia. An irrational fear of sleep. Why didn't anyone ever tell me? Hypnophobia sounds ever so much cooler than insomnia.

So, in the weird-shit-happens category, yesterday I complained about some doofus on Amazon.com who suspects I "just threw in an ending" when writing The Red Tree. Which led [livejournal.com profile] robyn_ma to make a funny joke about a magical store called Endings where writers buy, you know, endings. Which led to my wanting to write a story about that very store. So, yesterday I wrote 1,010 words on a new piece (for Sirenia Digest #61) titled "—30—". Don't worry...I asked her permission, and she granted it, so I'm not committing the very crime I was complaining about in yesterday's entry.

Speaking of which, [livejournal.com profile] teacup_carousel has informed me there's a cosmetics company, Archetype Cosmetics, which has evidently named a number of products for my work: So far I've counted Low Red Moon, Child of Hounds, Glass Coffin (which is perhaps not damning in its self but when you consider that the next one is -)Salmagundi, Salambo, Madam Terpsichore and The Gargoyle Trees.

Thing is, this is all perfectly legit. I'm even a tiny bit flattered. I just wish they'd told me, so I could have been a tiny bit flattered earlier on. Also, a word of caution, apparently Archetype Cosmetics has a history of taking a very, very, very long time to fill orders, so consider yourselves warned and don't count this mention as any sort of endorsement.

My grateful thanks to everyone who took a few moments yesterday to comment on The Red Tree over at Amazon.com. It helps. It genuinely does.

---

Last night, we finished reading [livejournal.com profile] blackholly's Valiant. Whereas I very much liked Tithe, I actually loved Valiant. Where the hell was this book when I was sixteen? Street kids, magical heroin, junkies strung out on pixie dust, intrigue in rat-infested New York subways, hot troll action, goth baby dykes, murderous fay women with hooves, and a glass sword. It's a YA novel that isn't afraid to let the monsters be monstrous, and that understands that monsters can be heroes as well as villains, and that has the nerve to cast a troll as the male love interest. Not a prettied-up troll, not the whole cop-out "Beauty and the Beast" shtick where the troll turns out to be an ensorceled prince charming, but an actual, factual troll. So, thank you, Holly. Team Ravus! You rock. Now, on to Ironside.

---

The hypnophobia has me feeling— pretty much literally —like I've been hit by a train (not that I've ever been hit by a train, but I think this is how it would feel), so I'm wrapping this up. I think I'm going to fill the bathtub with black coffee and aspirin and lie in it a while. There's broken glass and razor blades embedded beneath my flesh.

Yours in Pain,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Yes, a new name for the blog. Names come and names go. They can have no more permanence than may faces. Yesterday, I was seized by the need for a change, so thank you, Elvis Costello. Also, I think I won't much longer feel like "greygirlbeast." I think, in my older years, I may simply become "Aunt Beast" (thank you, Madeleine L'Engle and also Joah). If the shoe fits...but sadly, I don't think I can ever change the name of this account.*

There's a rather marvelous review at Zone-SF.com, one of the best I've read of The Red Tree. I have only one quibble, and it's that the reviewer veers off course near the end by assuming knowledge of authorial intent. I do not see The Red Tree as a book meant to go "raising those hairs on the back of the neck." If it does that for you, fine. But do not expect that effect. I'm not the one who labels me "horror" (or whatever). And yeah, this does matter. If a reader perceives a text as existing within a given genre, then they burden it with the expectations of that genre, shoeboxing it and expecting it to deliver X or Y or Z, when it's very likely the author was going for Q or G. Any book may only fail or succeed on its own merits, not relative to any other book, or based on how well it works when perceived as any given genre.

Still, a really good review. And I hope I don't sound ungrateful, because I don't mean to. But the Constant Reader will recall what a sore spot this is for me.

---

Now, the Mars story. It would seem that I was asking one too many stories of myself this autumn. And the story wasn't coming...again. Even after I reshelved "Romeo and Juliet Go to Mars" and began "On a Lee Shore." I lost a week staring at the screen, and staring, and not writing. Fortunately, the anthology's editor (both TBA) has accepted "Tidal Forces" in lieu of a Mars story. So, all's well that ends well (even though I did lose that week). Now, I just have to get Sirenia Digest written, and get back to work on The Drowning Girl. Oh, and pull together the ms. for Two Worlds and In Between for subpress. That's not so much...

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Bid if you are able and so inclined. Still recovering from the joys of income taxes. Thanks.

---

So...Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The highlights. Well, on Friday, I tried to write a Mars story, but I've covered that already. I also got a really big box of Mike Mignola books from Rachel Edidin at Dark Horse Comics, who it seems may soon be my editor. I've already devoured the first two "library editions" of Hellboy. "Pancakes" is sheer brilliance. The books were the best bit of Friday. Reading the comics, I'd swear Mignola wrote the character with Ron Perlman in mind.

On Saturday, it became obvious to me the Mars story wasn't happening any time soon, and I contacted the aforementioned editor. Also, we watched the latest episode of Fringe, which was especially good.

Yesterday, we left the House. I'd not been out since the 9th, and the weather was good (today, it's not). We just wandered about town, east of the river. There were antique shops on Wickenden Street, and another trip to What Cheer at Wayland Square. There was an exquisitely embellished old car. There was an Indian grocery on Hope Street. We saw a sad clown driving a car. There were late splashes of autumn. There were two wonderful toy shops. We were good kids, and bought nothing. So, a good day, despite my agoraphobia, despite my ouranophobia. I kept my eyes on the ground, and all was well. Okay, not the entire time. I had to look up the three times Spooky spotted sundogs. But sundogs do not inspire dread or unease. It was a good day.

Back home, there were deli sandwiches, and I spent most of the evening with City of Heroes and Villains (while Spooky played LOTR Online; it's weird, us playing two different MMORPGs). My thanks to [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus for giving me a lot of help last night actually learning how to play the game. Verily, he has the patience of a glacier. And thanks to "Sekhmet" and "Enth'lye" for very good rp later on. Lizbeth, who is Erzébetta from the future, is regaining her glamour, even as she realizes she's not from the same timeline as this Erzébetta. Mistakes were made, which is why you should never try this at home, that whole fiddling with time thing. You never know which of the multiverses you'll land in...or create. Oh, very good rp on Saturday night, which was mostly Erzébetta and Sekhmet reliving the horror (yes, here the word applies) of a long ago night at Castle Csejte (near Trencín, Hungary), what really happened.

I will not thank Monsieur Insomnia, who kept me awake until after 5 ayem (CaST).

Sincerely Yours, By Any Other Name,
Aunt Beast

...I am a goat girl.
Thinking goatish thoughts, dreaming goatish dreams,
Digging up tin cans, and chewing on your sleeve.
—— Tanya Donelly

14 November 2010 )


* I see that "auntbeast" is taken, but "aunt_beast" is not.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I realized over breakfast (coffee and ramen with broccoli), that I've not left the House since we went to East Beach on Tuesday. I can surely count on one hand the number of days in August and the second half of July I've gone Outside. And if that's not precisely true. It sure as hell feels that way. I have no idea why I've gotten this bad again. The meds have my seizures under control. The depression is in check. The weather's mostly been cooler. I just forget to leave the House. Yet when I do, I'm usually glad I did. This whole thing confounds me.

Yesterday was spent getting through an enormous mountain of email, pertaining to everything from the "Best of" project to "The Maltese Unicorn" to Sirenia Digest #57. I may have finalized the table of contents for the "Best of" volume. If so, there are twenty-nine stories (well, twenty-eight and a poem), including a novella, The Dry Salvages. The word count comes in at ~220 thousand words. For an idea of how big a book that will be, The Ammonite Violin and Others is only about 80k words. Certainly, it's by far the longest book I've ever done.

One of the more difficult aspects of this, so far, beyond simply choosing the stories, has involved dating the older stories, those from the nineties. Back then, I wasn't so good at keeping records. When you've only written maybe a dozen short stories, it's easy to recall precisely when you wrote each one. But many, many years later, when you've done over two hundred short stories, those memories fade to the point of invisibility. Much of yesterday was spent trying to date "Tears Seven Times Salt" and "Breakfast in the House of the Rising Sun." I genuinely thought that the former had been written late in 1995, maybe in December of that year. But searching through old correspondence (at least I have that), I discovered, no, it was, in fact, written in the summer of 1994, late in June or very early in July. It was the first story I wrote after "To This Water (Johnstown, Pennsylvania 1889)," and the third story I wrote after moving from Birmingham to Athens. So, my memories were off by almost a year and a half. As for "Breakfast in the House of the Rising Sun," I'm still trying to date it. I thought it was written in 1995, but it's beginning to look as though it was actually written during the first half of 1996.

Oh, by the way, while I chose "Breakfast in the House of the Rising Sun (Murder Ballad No. 1)" over "Lafayette (Murder Ballad No. 2)," both "Spindleshanks (New Orleans, 1956)" and "The Road of Pins" made the cut.

I have tried to select at least one story for every year between 1993 and 2007, but it's starting to look as if there won't be a 1995 story. Which, given the wretchedness of that year, might be just as well.

As for a title, I've been trying for days to think of one. I certainly am not going with nothing but The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan: Volume One. Then last night, Spooky and Bill Schafer both made the same suggestion, independently, which still has me a little freaked out. Both have suggested I call the book Two Worlds and In Between (a line from the Sisters of Mercy's "Lucretia My Reflection"). The book does happen to contain my zombie story "Two Worlds, and In Between." And maybe this should be the book's title, if only by dint of the peculiar coincidence of two people suggesting that same title on the same night. Also, the title is not inappropriate, having more than a single relevant interpretation relative to the book and my work in general. So, maybe, Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan, Volume One.

I'll post the table of contents tomorrow.

---

We began two new auctions yesterday. Both are a bit special. The first is the auction of the first painting I have ever offered for sale, Study 1 for Yellow. The second is for a lettered copy of Tales from the Woeful Platypus (you can choose from M, R, or Z), which comes with a hand-made Beanie platypus (made by Spooky). Please have a look. Thanks.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Today is mine and Spooky's eighth anniversary. We would go to the shore, were it not also the weekend of the Fourth.

Another six and half hours spent editing "The Maltese Unicorn" yesterday, but now, finally, it is pretty much done. I wrote approximately 1,500 words yesterday. Hard to be sure, since it was done in bits and pieces, here and there. Tomorrow, we'll read over the entire story— start to finish —and I'll tweak a few more things, and then it goes away to the anthology's editor again, and I will futz with it no more. It was an utterly, completely exhausting writing day.

Yesterday, my contributor's copy of Swords and Dark Magic, edited by Johnathan Strahan and Lou Anders, arrived. It contains my story "The Sea Troll's Daughter," and stories by many fine authors. I am very pleased to have been given the chance to be a part of this book.

Also, to all those people who chipped in for Spooky's birthday present, I haven't forgotten that I owe you a poem. It's coming.

Spooky began a new round of eBay auctions yesterday, including one of the mega-ultra scarce Salammbô T-shirts that were printed for the original release of Tales of Pain and Wonder, way back in 2000. We only have three or four of these left (I think a hundred were made), including the one that's being auctioned. The art, of course, is by Richard A. Kirk.

I found two titles yesterday. "The SEA is Lovely, Dark and Deep" and "How the Moon Got Its Whiskers." Now I only have to find their stories.

Spooky and I have, belatedly, become addicted to 24. We've blown through the first ten episodes of Season One in two nights.
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 2)
1. I'm sort of sorry we're not able to see the Winter Olympics, having chosen to forgo cable and all back when we moved in here. I haven't really missed television, and I generally despise sports, but I enjoy the Olympics, especially the winter games. I suppose, for me, it's closer to what I consider genuine athleticism than the macho parade of mainstream team sports.

2. Yesterday, we made it through the galley pages for "Sanderlings" and the typescript of "Untitled 35" (which I may retitle "The Voyeur of Utter Destruction [as Beauty]"). I'm very fond of both pieces, though they are very, very different sorts of things. In "Sanderlings," I'm sort of leaning in my Shirley Jackson direction (had she ever written Lovecrfatian sf), while in the latter I'm leaning more towards my William Gibson/William Burroughs/Philip K. Dick influences. Yet, both stories treat the pollution of the human body, as an extension of environmental pollution. They're almost the same story, told in radically different ways. It's hard to believe I wrote them only a couple of months apart. They sound like they were written years apart. "Sanderlings" is all soft-spoken, lonely despair, and "Untitled 35" is a clamorous, clanging cacophony of violence. I will say that I think "Sanderlings" is my best short story in quite some time, and I hope it gets some recognition.

3. Yesterday afternoon, Spooky drove over to the East Side, and I asked her to get more photos of the Bridge Street Bridge demolition. Andy Warhol and his soup cans are gone now. There are photos behind the cut:

12 February 2010 )


4. So, as promised, I now have a transcript of one of my Insilico roleplays online. You may see it here. It's a very odd one, not the usual Insilico fare, but that's what you get when you trap an AI in a microcomputer inside a briefcase (in this case, Xiang 2.0a). So, here you go, "In Which Molly Longshadow Spawns a 'God.'" Also, the backstory for the Xiangs is up*. Of course, as these things go, I bother to put up all that backstory, and immediately things change. Last night, the Internal Affairs Director of Gemini Corporation decided X2.0b was too great a liability (i.e., she was incapable of reconciling her directives with the inherent contradictions of the Gem loyalty imprinting, looped, and went a bit bahooties; can't have a robot trying to enforce the letter of the law when you're not really trying to enforce the law, just trade one set of corruptions for another, more profitable, set). So...the X2.0b AI was shunted and boxed, and its body was...disposed of in a manner Gemini Corp. saw fitting. However...because plots must thicken...it is being replaced with a cyborg cloned from bits of Nareth Nishi's DNA (no, no connection to the old New Babbage Nareth) and an elaborate mnemonic imprinting and conditioning. A brain-in-a-bot cyborg built better suited to black ops (kept on a very short leash), the same serial killer that led to the creation of X1.0. Of course, Nareth 2.0 thinks it's the original Nareth, with it's brain in a robotic body. Round and round the mulberry bush....

* Note that it took me more than an hour to write this transcript, which is why I won't be doing much of this.
greygirlbeast: (Barker)
1. Yesterday, I did 1,107 words on the piece I'm still calling "Untitled 35," but which I hope to find an actual title for (though, on the other hand, I'm rather fond of "untitling" pieces, as I've always felt titles were such strange literary artifices). It's going very well. I may finish it today. I think I've managed to construct a future syntax that's mostly believable and also comprehensible to the present-day reader without resorting to a glossary. It's involved everything from revived 1920s jargon to technobabble neologisms to pidgin French to riffs on Cockney rhyming slang.

2. I am doing my best not to think about how The Wolf Who Cried Girl is currently not getting written. Other things are getting written, instead, and it all has to be written; in the end, it'll all balance out.

3. The mystery of the provenance of the "Bowie" quote— "It's a dream-kill-dream world in here..." —has been solved. My thanks to [livejournal.com profile] musey_q for digging back though older blog entries, and the comments to blog entries, and discovering that the quote dates back to January 6th and January 7th, 2008. However, turns out, neither Bowie nor I are the author. The line was coined by [livejournal.com profile] jacobluest. This was during a bout of recurring dreams that I was trying to deal with— the orange man on the space zeppelin, that bout —and [livejournal.com profile] jacobluest commented (on January 6th):

I have to admit, I envy you your dreams. I'm one of the lucky ones I suppose, whose dreams are balanced between distractingly epic and restively mundane. As a side note, you showed up a few nights ago in a gunfight of programmable matter. No hard feelings right? It's a dream-kill-dream world in here...

So..mystery solved. Regardless, it's a beautiful line, and I regret I am so damn forgetful and didn't credit its author in the chapbook. I'll try to remedy that at some point in the future. What's weird, [missing text]

4. It seems we have some serious snow on the way. Spooky will be heading out soon to lay in supplies for a couple of days.

5. The wonderful rp in Insilico continues. Honestly, every time I think it can't get cooler, it gets cooler. A couple of days back, [livejournal.com profile] papersteven asked: "Does Xiang keep a journal like Professor Nishi did? I truly enjoyed reading that. Or would you grace us with a transcript, if one exists? Thank you either way." Professor Nishi was, of course, my character from my first SL rp, way back in '07. But to answer the question, so far, no. Two reasons for this: 1) I discovered that allowing a character to journal leads to metagaming (in this instance, people trying to rp with information that they've picked up from the journal and could not actually have access to in character), and 2) it's a lot of work, and takes up time that could be spent, you know, actually roleplaying. That said, I am actually considering a more limited sort of journal for Xiang. More like footnotes and bits of transcript. In the meantime, I'll leave you with another screencap, from last night:

Xiang and Fifth )
greygirlbeast: (white2)
Yesterday, I did 1,031 words on the story that was, previously, titled "Teratophobia." Now, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] cliff52, it will be titled "Sanderlings," as he pointed out what a nice title that would make, not even knowing how well the title fits this story. It had not occurred to me until his comment to yesterday's entry.

Not a whole lot else to say about yesterday. It was cloudy, then sunny, then cloudy, then sunny. That sort of day. It's chilly here in Providence (sunny today), but nowhere near as cold as this time last year. I signed books for eBay customers, and Spooky went to the post office. We shared a marvelous corned beef and cole-slaw sandwich for lunch (which I only occasionally eat). While I read, she got Chinese takeout for our dinner. Later, we watched Fight Club again, which was, not inappropriately, the first movie we ever saw together at the theatre. And that was a decade ago, which just fucking astounds me. Anyway, I got to bed about 2:30 a.m., and slept until 11:30, something like nine hours (!!!), the most I've slept at a stretch in..well...a very long time, and I did it without Ambien.

And now, here's a third set of photos from our trip to Green Hill on Wednesday. This one I call, "In the Bunker":

18 November 2009, Part 3 )
greygirlbeast: (white)
A sunny late autumn morning here in Providence.

Today, I go back to work, and I do so in earnest. I feel as though most of October and all of November (thus far) have been allowed to lay fallow. Sure, I tried to write "Romeo and Juliet Go to Mars," and I did write "The Dissevered Heart" for Sirenia Digest #47 and last week I tried to get started on "The Wolves, the Witch, and the Weald" for Sirenia Digest #48. I managed to write the flap copy for The Ammonite Violin & Others, and give more interviews, and there were various other bits and pieces of work that did not get ignored or set aside. But, still, mostly, health issues and depression and various sorts of uninvited chaos conspired to encourage me to slack off and allow so much needed time to slip away.

Today, I intend to hammer out a proposal for Blood Oranges (working title), which I will have to my agent before the end of the week.

Saturday was mostly spent on housecleaning, as [livejournal.com profile] sovay and [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark were expected in the evening. I'd asked them both to come down from Massachusetts to help me talk through some of the barriers between Me and the Next New Novel. Saturday night was long, and filled with good and useful conversation. The novel, and many things pertaining to the novel (and no shortage of things not pertaining to the novel). First and foremost was the problem of evil, and how it relates to the book I'm about to try to write. Spooky and Geoffrey went out and got pizza from Fellini's on Wickenden Street. I'd thought we'd actually talk about plot, but I find it too absurd, discussing "plot points" as if they are something that should be worked out beforehand. This is, by the way, the first time I have ever asked friends to step in and help me get over a story hurdle, and it speaks to my current desperation. But it was a smart move. The talk went on until almost dawn. Geoffrey left about five a.m. (CST) for the drive back to Framingham (though I'd offered to let him crash on the sofa). Sonya spent the night, and took the train back to Boston yesterday afternoon.

I think it was the most socializing that's taken place in this House since we moved in. I ought to have taken photographs.

If you have not already, please do have a look at the current eBay auctions. I have a medical thingy coming up at the end of the week that I fear is going to seriously dent our finances, and every little bit helps. Frankly, as everyone crows about how publishing is being forced "to reinvent itself," I think I'm ready to return to true and genuine patronage. Find myself a patron or ten willing to pay me to keep this up, this writing, or to shower upon me offerings of land and property (a modest house of my own would be fine and dandy). As long as we're talking revolution, I may as well dream.

By the way, I have learned (rather belatedly) that the German-translation of Low Red Moon will be out December 1st. Out in Germany, I assume. Unfortunately, it has been renamed Kreatur. What? Is it not possible to translate the phrase "low red moon" into German? I admit, I've only gotten as for as "red moon"— rendering it as roter Monde —but I do not speak German. Anyway, I thought someone might be interested.

Okay. Work.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
The LJ will now be known as "Unfit for Mass Consumption," until I grow weary of that title. At least it's an accurate description of the blog, and its author, and her writing. By the way, if you can tell me the film that title references, you win...absolutely nothing.

I've just received the illustration for "Shipwrecks Above" from Vince. So, I'm hoping that subscribers will have Sirenia Digest #46 by midnight EST.

As for yesterday, and the night before yesterday, and the day before that...

All of Monday was spent tweaking the ms. for The Ammonite Violin & Others, getting it ready to send to Subterranean Press. It needs at least one more day of tweaking, which I expect is what I'll be doing tomorrow. I did decide that the collection will be dedicated to Diane Arbus, and that the next one will be dedicated to Henry Darger, because it just seems right. Oh, there was also interview-related business on Monday. Turns out, I have two more to do, both in October, and then I'm saying "no" to everything until after I write the next novel. Well, unless it's Oprah fucking Winfrey or The New Yorker or something of that stripe. Not that The New Yorker and Oprah fucking Winfrey are of the same stripe, but there you go. Anyway, here's a link to one of the most recent interviews. I think it's actually one of the better I've given recently, if only because I'm so sick of doing them that it's a bit more "open" than usual.

---

Monday night, we discovered that Netflix is streaming Joel Schumacher's Flatliners (1990). I'd not seen it since the original theatrical release, and I wanted to see how well it had aged over the last 19 years. It's not too dated, and I still find it enjoyable. But I do think a really sublime premise was wasted on this film. One gets the feeling that the director or writer or who the hell ever got his paws on this rather grand premise (med students exploring what lies beyond brain death), but had absolutely no idea what to do with it, and so coughed up something flaccid (after death, we will all be haunted by our guilty consciousnesses).

---

Yesterday, not much work. There was a veil of anger I could not seem to think through (it's been with me a lot lately), so we took in an afternoon matinée of Jonathan Mostow's Surrogates. Again, great idea, not so stunning execution. Yes, someone needs to make a good sf thriller about the logical consequences of Second Life and the concept of robotic avatars, but, sadly, this is not it. Which is not to say that Surrogates is a bad film. But it's not very bright (which is what it most needed to be). Mostly, it's an okay sf/action flick, and I'd say wait for the DVD. It has some good moments here and there, though they mostly serve to remind one of the unrealized potential. There are some good visuals, and Bruce Willis rarely bores me. But the science has holes you could toss a small planet through (I'm thinking Mercury). We're told, for example, that something like 98% of all humans on Earth (about fourteen years from now) are using surrogates. And I immediately thought, how much do these things cost? Surely, inflation will continue in this future, and a surrogate is an infinitely more complex piece of technology than is, say, an iPod, iPhone, or the best available laptop. So, what charitable organization saw to it that the three billion or so people worldwide living below the poverty level (working from the World Bank's current estimate of people now living on less than $2/day and projected rates of population growth in developing nations) were provided surrogates? Now, maybe this is a future with far fewer people, and one without rampant poverty, but if so, we're not privy to that information.

---

Last night, we watched Dominic Sena's Kalifornia (1993), again because I was curious to see how well the film's held up after so many years. Much better than Flatliners, but then, it was a much better film to begin with. Neither Spooky nor I had seen it since it was new. But it still packs a wallop. Brad Pitt's Early Grayce is a joy to watch (a disgusting joy, admittedly), and utterly overshadows poor David Duchovny, who'd not yet grown much of a personality. Juliette Lewis gives one of her best performances, and Michelle Forbes (of whom I'm oddly fond) rounds out the foursome with one of her few genuinely good performances. The cinematography tries a bit too much to look like a Tony Scott film, but the script is sharp enough to make up the difference. So, yeah, still a very fine film, even with the unnecessary epilogue and Duchovny's sleep walking.

We also watched the new episode of Heroes, and another episode of Pushing Daisies. Yesterday, I really wasn't up to much but watching.

---

I had a fairly severe seizure yesterday at the market. It's one of the few that's happened any place public, and it left us both deeply shaken. It was violent, but brief. No one did anything stupid, like call an ambulance. Back home, I slept an hour or so, and felt a bit better.

And now, I take my platypus in hand and....
greygirlbeast: (Bowie1)
The New Recurring Dream did not recur last night, which I shall deem a small mercy. Lots of other "head garbage," but nothing I recall well enough that it seems significant, nothing I'd bother trying to recount.

Yesterday, I did 1,335 words on "The Collector of Bones," which I expect to finish today (for Sirenia Digest #26). Speaking of which, yesterday [livejournal.com profile] jtglover wrote the following, with regard to this story:

This might be the appropriate point to ask, what are your thoughts about titles that are or have been used by more than one author? Sometimes a title seems appropriate, and then you late find out someone's used it, but how about titles that are common words? I know you've used titles that have been used by others before, but I'd love your take on this.

The original comment included a link to the IMDb page for Phillip Noyce's astoundingly mediocre film, The Bone Collector (1999). I confess that, consciously, I'd entirely forgotten about that film, as it so completely failed to either impress or disappoint. But, to answer the question at hand, I think a) "The Bone Collector" and "The Collector of Bones" are not actually the same titles, and that b) this sort of thing has to be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Which might be all I have in the way of a take on this. Titles cannot be copyrighted (though they can be trademarked), and most times there's no legal problem using a title that's been used before, which is good, since almost anything you can think of has probably been used by someone as a title for something, somewhere, sometime. Silk was certainly not the first book to wear that title, and Low Red Moon was a song by Belly before it was a novel by me, and, of course, Gustave Flaubert wrote a novel titled Salammbô 134 years before I used the same title for a short story. I think titles are pretty much made to be recycled, most times. As for "The Collector of Bones" (my short story, not to be confused with the Phillip Noyce film The Bone Collector), I think that the title will remain the same, as it is very fitting, and my only alternate title, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, is also already taken.

The weather is cooling off to something more approximating January in Georgia.

I'm beginning the think that so much of my creative energy these days is going into the construction of various roelplays in Second Life (three stories, four characters, to be precise), that I'm going to begin talking about them more in this journal. This sort of rp can be really good improvisational theatre, and, while I've tried to keep my second and first lives apart from one another, the lines have become increasingly blurred. So, yeah, I'll probably start letting you in on bits and pieces of those stories, including the Dune sim (where I play a Fremen Naib named Shahrazad al-Anwar) and the ruined city by the sea where it is always either dawn or dusk (where I play the sadomasochistic daughter of the parthenogenic union of a Nephilim and a cyborg). I'll drop screenshots in from time to time, and links to transcripts and such, unless everyone screams that I shouldn't.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. I have coffee to attend to.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Yesterday, I wrote 1,461 words on the new piece for Sirenia Digest. Which, combined with the writing day I had on Wednesday, leads me to fear that the Forced March of January might have permanently upped my daily word count. The new piece still has no title. I've been more concerned with the narrative fabric than with finding a title. Titles are odd things. If anything harms "suspension of disbelief," I should think it would be the simple fact of a title. I like titles that are poetic and easy on the ears, but more than anything, I see them as an arbitrary means of easily distinguishing one story from another. Humans must name everything, fashioning some false but comforting sense of discretion and walls within a system which is by its nature continuous. Titles and THE END, brackets so one story does not bleed inconveniently into the next. I expect to finish this piece — and find its title — by tomorrow evening, and I need to have the digest finished by, oh, say Tuesday, if I am to avoid drowning in the month's responsibilities.

The new issue of Fantasy Magazine arrived yesterday. There's a review of Daughter of Hounds on p. 50. I believe that I am pleased, or at least somewhat satisfied, to be called "An iconoclastic writer whose work resolutely resists pigeonholing..." The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (Fourth Edition, 2000) defines iconoclast as 1) One who attacks and seeks to overthrow traditional or popular ideas or institutions, and 2) one who destroys sacred religious images. I wonder what my life would have been like had it gone another way. What's an antonym of iconoclast?

We walked yesterday, though it was a shabby thing compared to our walk on Wednesday. Hardly any sun and a bitter breeze. We walked some ways down Euclid. Spoke with two of the neighborhood cats, who both had feared me perished in the depths of January and were glad to see me alive and shivering.

[livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus asks, "Are expatriated extraterrestrials given more or less security clearance?"

More, but only because TPTB know no one is going to believe a word we say.

[livejournal.com profile] kiaduran writes, "I turned the final page of Daughter of Hounds last night and wept. It is a magical and unnerving book. Your language is beautiful, vivid and haunting; I simply cannot stop thinking about Soldier and what she found and what she gave up. This is a world I will treasure. Thank you."

You're welcome, and thank you, Rev. Margo.

Tonight is Kid Night, and Spooky has put her foot down and declared it will be Kid Night, so, alas, no lesbian-friendly titty bars this evening. No drunken me. No morning after regrets. It all works out in the end.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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