greygirlbeast: (goat girl)
And today, is Ray Bradbury's 91st birthday. Thank you, Mr. Bradbury, for Mars, Cooger and Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show, bottles of dandelion wine, that foghorn, the Elliot family, and a thousand other wonders.

Sunny and cool here in Providence, thanks to a low humidity and dew point. Very windy.

Turns out, as of yesterday, we're moving the entire shoot for The Drowning Girl book trailer and The Drowning Girl: Stills From a Movie That Never Existed from Boston the Rhode Island. This happens this coming weekend, so things here will grow increasingly chaotic. [ profile] kylecassidy and crew will arrive on Friday evening, and as we only really have about a day and a half to shoot, it's going to be intense. But, hopefully, fun intense, and hopefully many wonderful things will come of it. Oh, and yesterday Michael Zulli showed me the underpainting of his version of G.P.S.'s The Drowning Girl (1898), and, even at this unfinished stage, it's beautiful. A part of the novel is coming alive and will exist beyond the printed page, and I thank him so much for that.

As announced, yesterday was a "day off." I still spent about three or four hours working, but there was no writing. What we did do, though, is go to Swan Point Cemetery for the first time since the ugly fiasco of the 20th of August 2008. I do not know if it was my post, then Boing Boing picking up the story of the verbal assault against me and Spooky, and the story spreading across the interwebs that led to a major change in Swan Point security, or if it was that combined with other incidents, or if it didn't involve my experience at all. But it has changed, and wonderfully so. There are visitors again, and bicyclists, and the air of oppression has been lifted. For the first time in three years (!!!) we were able to visit Lovecraft's grave. Likely, things have been better there for a year or two, but I've just not been able to return, that incident in 2008 was so upsetting. There was a big gathering on Saturday to commemorate HPL's birth date, but I didn't want to be a part of the crowd, so I waited until yesterday (I don't think the Old Gent would have minded my tardiness). We walked around the beautiful cemetery, me making notes, recording names for future stories and novels, getting mosquito bites, and marveling at trees. We found a huge red oak (Swan Point is also an arboretum) , and I took a single leaf and pressed it in between the pages of my Molskine. The cemetery was so, so peaceful: bird songs, the wind through trees, insects, the Seekonk flowing past to the east, and very little else. It was at least part ways as grounding as the sea.

We saved HPL's grave for the last. There were many a wonderful offering carefully laid above the grave. I left a tiny button in the shape of a black cat; knowing his love of cats, it seemed very appropriate. Anyway, hopefully we are now all free to visit the grave whenever we like, and I can only hope that asshole security guard was fired. Yesterday, I felt like I'd gotten back something very grand and important to me. There are photos below, behind the cut.

Afterwards, we had an early dinner at Tortilla Flats.

And I have a long day ahead of me. Spooky's begun cleaning the apartment in anticipation of the arrival of photographers (and all their gear) and models/actresses on Friday. I have to begin Chapter 8, the final chapter of Blood Oranges, which I hope to make very significant progress on this week and finish early next week.

21 August 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (white)
Today, the meteorological violence of the past two days is gone. The sky is overcast, and the air is cool, presently only 77F.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,738 words on Chapter Three of Blood Oranges. Now, there's a troll in the book.

Much of the day was spent bracing for a storm that I'm pretty sure actually came the night before. But the weathermen freak out when something gets past them, so they were overcompensating, going so far as to warn people to stock up on food and water and suchlike...for a thunderstorm. Spooky did go out to the market, and there were trees down – some of them quite large – from the storm that hit us early on Wednesday morning. Some buildings in our neighborhood took damage from that storm, from the wind and hail. Anyway, here's how things looked about 5:30 p.m. yesterday:

About 6 p.m., as we were eating dinner, the red band swept over us, and it was a kitten compared with the night before.


Yesterday, something happened that I've been expecting ever since Colgate-Palmolive bought a controlling interest in Tom's of Maine back in 2006 – I opened a box of toothpaste and discovered that the old metal tube had been replaced with a squishy plastic one. And who the hell really knows which is "greener" than the other, metal or plastic. Point is, toothpaste ought come in metal fucking tubes.


I slept last night, at least. About seven and a half hours. But the Good Worker Bee Pills are making me fat, a side effect that is known and common, so it's not as if I wasn't warned.


Last night, though the air cooled dramatically after the storms, my office was still too stuffy for Rift, so we finished watching the Burroughs documentary (dir. Yony Leyser, 2010). It was very, very well done. Afterwards, though, we watched William Cameron Menzies' The Maze (1953). Menzies is credited with inventing the role of the film production designer and was involved in the creation of many wonderful films. The Maze is not one of them. It didn't help that it was shot for 3-D, during one of those other times Hollywood fell for that gimmick. Very likely one of the dullest films I've ever slept through. Okay, I only slept through about ten minutes, and apparently I didn't miss anything. It was almost worth eduring the whole silly, wretched mess for two lines:

Kitty Murray (played by Veronica Hurst): Look, there's a strand of seaweed!

Edith Murray (played by Katherine Emery): And a bowl of tomatoes (pronounced toe-MAH-toes).

Anyway, then we watched Christopher McQuarrie's The Way of the Gun (2000), which I love, even though it sort of destroyed the man's career. It shouldn't have. Spooky had never seen it. Yeah, that's a lot of watching. I wasn't in the mood for much else.


Rhetorical Question: How am I not to conclude that, in the end, I am, at best, a forgotten experiment and no one is watching?

Same As It Ever Was,
Aunt Beast

* From Wikipedia: "A rhetorical question is a figure of speech in the form of a question posed for its persuasive effect without the expectation of a reply. Rhetorical questions encourage the listener to think about what the (often obvious) answer to the question must be. When a speaker states, "How much longer must our people endure this injustice?", no formal answer is expected. Rather, it is a device used by the speaker to assert or deny something. (e.g.: "Why me?") While amusing and often humorous, rhetorical questions are rarely meant for pure, comedic effect. A carefully crafted question can, if delivered well, persuade an audience to believe in the position(s) of the speaker."
greygirlbeast: (Default)
And today is 10/10/10. Read into or out of that what you will. Having little, if any, use for numerology, I make nothing whatsoever of it, except that it is a calendric curiosity and inevitability. Like 9/9/09, or 8/8/08, and so forth. I wonder who thinks the sky is falling today?


Yesterday I finished the introduction for Two Worlds and In Between. Well, at least I hope that I finished it. I don't like writing these sorts of things. Anyway, it comes in at 1,541 words. I take George Orwell to task over that silly and too often parroted comment, "Good prose is like a windowpane.” But, also, I think writing instructors often fail to present the quotation in the context of the essay it has been taken from ("Why I Write," June 1946, originally published in the final issue of Gangrel, Summer 1946). Above all else, Orwell was a propagandist, which is not a bad thing. He had messages that needed speaking. And he needed them spoken very clearly (though, he was still awfully fond of metaphor, hence Animal Farm). But to think this applies to all prose, it was arrogant and short sighted of Orwell to think this, and idiotic for writers today to follow this edict.

I also cleaned up the keynote speech I gave at the HPLFF, because S.T. Joshi has asked to publish it (I can't remember where).

And that was work yesterday. I sat here and wrote and edited while Spooky went to South County to see her parents and her brother.

Oh, and thanks to Cat Conley ([ profile] catconley, "The Awkward Marmoset") for sending me a copy of Greer's Moonwise. It was a pleasant surprise.

Last night there was far too much CoX. [ profile] stsisyphus showed up, and may even have joined out weird little group of vampires and supernatural ne'erdowells.


Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, which include the "napovel," written in the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport during our captivity there. All bids are much appreciated. We not only have to pay the taxes this month, we also have to consider the fact that both my iPod and cellphone were fried during the trip to Portland.

It's something of a mystery, and I know fuck-all about electronics. Neither will hold a charge now, and the iPod actually appears to have been wiped clean. I suspect my shoulder bag, at some point, came into contact with a strong magnetic field. I just don't know when it might have happened, or where. But as I rely heavily on both for writing, they will have to be replaced or repaired very soon. It may be the lithium-ion batteries only need to be replaced. I just don't know (and if you know anything about these sorts of conundrums, please say so).


I've been getting some good feedback on "John Four," which felt like a sort of story I haven't written before. So I was very nervous about it.


Somehow I forgot Sonya's ([ profile] sovay) birthday. So, happy belated birthday, Sonya.

And now, more photos from Portland. I was amazed at the lushness of the neighborhood where we were lodging. Everything was green. I think of Rhode Island as being lush, but it can't compare to what I saw of Portland. So, here are some glimpses of the lushness and greenery:

H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, Part 4 )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
We saved a tree yesterday. Which means I accomplished far more yesterday than on most days. It's the tree right outside my office window, a tree that happens to be on our next-door neighbors property. We awoke yesterday to the sound of chainsaws, one of the ugliest sounds in the world. It quickly became apparent that our neighbor was having all the trees and shrubs in her backyard cut down. But the tree by my window was still standing. I asked Spooky to please go and see what was up, if they intended to cut it down, too. She got dressed and went downstairs. She explained to the woman next door that the tree shades my office, and that in the summer it keeps this room from becoming quite as hot as the rest of the House. She told her we watched the birds and squirrels in the tree, and that the cats like to sit on my desk and do the same. The woman next door was sympathetic and told the man with the chainsaw to spare that tree. And so it's still standing this morning, and I am very, very grateful. I would not ever have been able to look out my window again without that tree; I would have pulled the curtain shut and left it shut.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, which include the first painting I have ever offered for sale, Study 1 for Yellow.
greygirlbeast: (dr10-1)
Yesterday, I did a very respectable 1,472 words and finished the new and still untitled vignette, the one for Sirenia Digest #30, not #29. Truthfully, I'm not sure what to make of this piece (it comes in at a total of 3,950 words). It's stranger than usual, and darker. I think unrelentingly brutal would be the most precise description, and all I can figure is that it came from the "place" where I am at the moment. It makes me think of early Dunsany, if Dunsany had written odes to sadism. Spooky likes it a lot, but I just don't know. I half suspect I should lock it in a drawer somewhere and never take it out again. Instead, though, I'm sending it to [ profile] sovay today to see what she thinks of it.

April has been a productive month, in spite of itself. First, I wrote "Flotsam" for #29 (April 4-6), then I began Chapter One of The Red Tree (April 14) and did 28 pp. before realizing my problem with the "Editor's Note" (April 19). And then I wrote this latest piece over the past three days. Now, I'll either begin the second piece for May's issue of the digest, or go back to The Red Tree far sooner than I'd hoped possible. Likely, I'll get the May digest out of the way first. And the introduction to A is for Alien.

I packed four more boxes yesterday, the rest of the VHS tapes and more books. I'm packing in a way I've never done before, a little at a time, as I'm just not up to the Big Push I usually do two weeks before a move. I've told Spooky that if I like this place in Providence as much as we expect to, I'm not leaving for thirty years, at least. I did get Outside yesterday, once the writing and packing were done. We took the picnic blanket [ profile] blu_muse gave us and spread it out at the top of the hill in Freedom Park near Moreland, beneath the oaks. I dozed a little and undoubtedly got bugs in my hair. And took some photos, mostly from the lying down position. The time Outside did me good. There was a hawk, and we heard woodpeckers, though we never spotted one (wait, Spooky says she saw one). Anyway, they're behind the cut (the photos, not the woodpeckers):

Yesterday )

Two more episodes of Millennium last night. And my thanks to Merma, Omega, and Pontifex for some exquisite rp last night. Fire and blood — what more do I ever need? Tonight, of course, we get Byron and Doctor Who and Battlestar Galactica. I think the day will be consumed by the busyness of writing, rather than by actual writing, and by packing.
greygirlbeast: (sleeps with wolves)
I've been making myself go to bed at 2 ayem the last two nights (or mornings), and slowly I am catching up on all the sleep I've lost. Still, here it is 1:12 pm, and I'm still groggy. It's cold in Atlanta this afternoon, but we got marvelous thunderstorms yesterday, and the warm will be back tomorrow, so that's not so bad.

Yesterday. Let's see. It was all about getting Sirenia Digest #28 put together. I did the corrections to "Pickman's Other Model" that I marked when we last read through the story on the 18th, but had not yet made. I have a feeling I'm going to have to read over this one one more time before I send it out into the world. Anyway, that took about an hour and a half. Then I snurched HPL's "Pickman's Model" from Wikisource and spent a bit of time making sure the formatting matched HPL's original (there were some discrepencies), because I want Sirenia readers who haven't read "Pickman's Model" to have it on hand. I gathered up some images I want to use in the issue. I wrote the prolegomena, which is mostly about inspiration. So, it's looking like #28 will go out tomorrow. I still have to do the layout today, and I'm waiting on Vince's illustration. Oh, and this issue will also include, for all those new subscribers, one of the older stories, one of my favourites, "The Sphinx's Kiss" (from #14, January 2007). I think I will be very happy with this issue.

Also, yesterday, the contracts for the German-language editions of Threshold and Low Red Moon arrived. Of course, the IRS still hasn't sent me the forms I need to send to my German publisher to prove that, yes, I really am an American citizen (in order to avoid the hefty German taxes). The post also brought a package from Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs, because Spooky had ordered a bottle of their Baghdad for me (amber, saffron, and bergamot, with mandarin, nutmeg, bulgar rose, musk, and sandalwood), plus a bunch of "imps" (and I'm not gonna list them all, but her faves are Zombi and Séance). Baghdad is the new smell of me.

Last night, there was Manhattan-style clam chowder for dinner, followed by a pretty good episode of Torchwood and a very good episode of Angel ("Damage"). I started reading another JVP paper yesterday — "Cranial anatomy of Ennatosaurus tecton (Synapsida: Caseidae) from the Middle Permian of Russia and the evolutionary relationship of the Caseidae" — but didn't finish it.

Another casualty of the March 14th-15th tornadoes, one I have not yet mentioned, was the second of the two trees in Freedom Park that played an important role in a dream I wrote of way back on March 8th, 2006. Somewhere, there's an entry with a photograph of the two trees standing, but the journal's gotten so long, I'll be damned if I can find it. Anyway, one of the two trees was already dead and fell in storms last year. These two oaks were a bit special to me, because of the dream, and because we'd done some magick there, and they were just very fine trees in their own right (which is the most important thing). There's a photo, taken late on Thursday, behind the cut:

Fallen )

My thanks to [ profile] furrylittleprob for pointing me to more LJ icons by artist Liz Amini-Holmes.

Yeah. I hear ya, platypus. Where's my damn coffee?

Postscript (2:34 p.m.) — Thanks to [ profile] cliff52 for pointing out that the photo of the two trees can be found in my March 10th, 2006 journal entry (third photo down).
greygirlbeast: (mirror2)
Back from Lenox. I'll say more about that tomorrow. Or I'll decide it's entirely too dull and not worth the effort. One way or another. Six of one, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Last night, I finally got the chance to play Radiata Stories (2005), which I'd been looking forward too, what with it being Square Enix, all the hype, and the scads of glowing reviews. I played for about an hour and a half. And my personal verdict is that this is one of the most vapid, one of the dullest, one of the all-round worst RPGs I've ever played. And the music is without a doubt the worst I've ever encountered in any game. The animation is merely so-so. The gameplay manages to be both simplistic and awkward. I think the only thing in that hour and a half that I actually half enjoyed was an encounter with a stiffly animated giant ground sloth. This is a game I'd been looking forward to and very much wanted to like. And once again, I must ask why videogame producers are unwilling to hire people to write their scripts who can actually, you know, write? At least for the dialogue. Hell, writers work cheap, most of us. Anyway, there you go. I suppose it's best this way. I certainly don't have the time right now to get sucked into a good RPG.

This afternoon at lunch, I told Spooky I felt just a little silly making a fuss over those fifteen murdered trees on Highland Ave., given global deforestation rates, given the fact we've lost more than 80% of the planet's natural forests (source, World Resources Institute). What's another fifteen trees? And she nodded at the Atlanta skyline, the thick grey haze that made the tall buildings merely dim and broiling silhouettes. And I sighed and conceded that she had a point. She's far better at dodging the despair bullets than I am. You might say I have trouble seeing the individual trees for the forests that are being destroyed. Anyway...

My thanks to everyone who has had kind things to say about the latest issue of Sirenia Digest, most especially David Kirkpatrick ([ profile] corucia), who took time to write not one, but two long and thoughtful e-mails on his reaction to "The Black Alphabet." I'm in a very — what's the appropriate word? — discouraged place just now, artistically, and every little bit helps. Really. So, thanks.


greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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