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: (Ellen Ripley 2)
Er...even though I hardly slept and rose too early (around eleven ayem.), I'm running late. So this will be a short entry. I'm pretty sure few will be annoyed by that, as LJ is dying, and even I, the lowly rat, is readying to leave this sinking ship. How do I know LJ is dying? All I have had to do is watch the decline in my Friends' List (they've deserted LJ en masse this past year), and the decline in comments. LJ is now mostly for slash fic and 'shipper communities. Oh, I have to keep going here until February 13th, so that I'll have blogged here one full year without missing a day. But I've already moved most of my LJ to Dreamwidth (along with comments). I tried TypePad, but found it unfathomably complex and counter-intuitive. If I can't solve a problem on my own, without recourse to "tutorials," I have no interest in it; always have I been this way, since I taught myself to read before kindergarten. Anyway, fuck you in both ears and twice on Sunday Facebook, and fuck you Twitter, you shallow, instant-gratification, no-effort-required motherfucker.

Now I've gotten that out, an exciting bit of news regarding The Drowning Girl, which is Thing #2 that I was waiting for the go-ahead from my agent yesterday before announcing; I only got the go-ahead about ten minutes ago. It was an uncommonly complex process, getting permission to release this news. But! The Drowning Girl audiobook (I don't hate audiobooks the way I hate ebooks, you may recall), will be released as part of the Neil Gaiman Presents (!!!!) series, which is likely to give the book a huge boost in sales and readership (or listenership). It also gives me veto/approval of readers, and they are open to my suggestions for readers, and receptive to the idea that I want a reading not a dramatization. I've known this for at least a month, but finalizing and all takes forever. So, woot, and thank you, all involved.

Yesterday, I wrote another 1,178 words on "Another Tale of Two Cities." Spooky says "It's like Dr. Seuss, only very dark and for grownups." Me, I have no idea what she's talking about, except I did do an entire panel at Readercon 21 on Dr. Seuss as weird fiction. And "Another Tale of Two Cities" (to appear in Sirenia Digest #72) is definitely weird fiction.

This is your LAST and FINAL notice about Question @ Hand #5, because I'm weary of nagging. A number of people who promised responses haven't yet delivered, which is a shame. I have four; I need at least seven. So, I'm extending the deadline until Friday (but that's not an excuse to drag your feet), since I'm probably not going to get the digest out until Saturday (the 10th, as announced earlier), anyway. I'd really love to see more replies. This isn't rocket science. It's only mad science.

Last night, after pizza and Rift, I finished the biography of Barnum Brown. Wonderful book, wonderful man. I finally fell asleep about about five ayem to Hud (1963), an old favourite. Spooky just told me Harry Morgan has died at age 96. I admire greatly that he never once appeared on a talk show.

Mourning That Which Is Passing Away, Into The West, Like The Elves
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Phase One seems to have left no one burned, mangled, and/or bleeding. So, tomorrow, I have to finally turn my attention to the blasted CEM of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Always I have found dealing with CEMs a distasteful, and, often, infuriating experience. And I expect I always will. I even recognize that my reaction to CEMs is not always rational. But I hate the things. I especially hate the things when copyeditors try to rewrite my prose; I can only hope that has not happened this time. I'm not in the mood for pyrotechnics.

Truth be told, I only want to be at the sea today. There is nothing else I want. There is nothing else I need, but that one thing I almost certainly will not get.

Summer is almost over.

Day before yesterday, I received contributor's copies of the limited and slip-cased edition of Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 3, which reprints my SF story, "Hydraguros," possibly my best SF story to date. The limited is sold out, but the trade edition is still available.

My thanks to Maria Gerspacher for a marvelous package, which reached me day before yesterday. Somehow, yesterday, when writing my blog entry, I apparently forgot any mail arrived the day before.

Last night, I read "A revision of the Lari (Aves, Charadriiformes) from the early Miocene of Saint-Gérand-le-Puy (Allier, France)" and "New materials of Argentoconodon fariasorum (Mammaliaformes, Triconodontidae) from the Jurassic of Argentina" in the July JVP. The first article was of especial significance, as I'm trying to begin to puzzle out the morphology of some of the local seabirds, many of which belong to this group (most notably, gulls).

I should clarify something: The second entry that showed up in this LJ yesterday wasn't written by me. It said, right at the top of the post, "Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna at The Year of the Unlimited Free Ebooks Brought to You By Amazon.com." Now, we can't be much clearer than that, can we? It wasn't my idea, but LJ posts can now be "shared," reposted in one's own LJ, and, in this case, I thought Cat was speaking very articulately on a subject that desperately needs addressing. But a number of people seem to think I wrote the post, and I didn't, and that was always plain as day. Pay attention, please.

And no, I will not write a story for your shitty little self-published anthology, and no, not even at the princely sum of 1¢ a word.

I want to write about how I've seen readership of the LJ falling off dramatically, and how I think a lot of that's to blame on the DDOS attacks against LJ (hence, the hackers win). I want to write about how LJ was already in decline before the DDOS attacks, because of Facebook and Twitter, and I want to write about how I believe this is because most people want instant gratification and so gravitate towards those more immediate and transient "social media," because, you know, blogging requires actual words, thoughtfulness, and the effort of reading. I want to write about how I've watched comments decline, and how I used to look at this journal as a means of communicating to my readers – that's why it exists – but how it's becoming something I write for myself, as fewer and fewer of my readers come to it, and even fewer comment. I wanted to ask that people please not comment just to tell me why they rarely comment because they think I'll think that by doing so I'll think they're being either fannish or behaving like stalkers. But I'm tired, and it's going to be a long day.

There are more important things to write about.

Whatever Comes Next,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
The sun's shining in a too-blue sky, but it's chilly.

Sirenia Digest #64 went out to subscribers last night, and everyone should have it by now.

Apologies for not including a link for The Book Thief yesterday.

---

If there's any more abominable phrase than "online social networking," I'm unaware of it. It reduces the concepts of friendship and acquaintance to a software-enhanced array of dendritic fingers, desperately probing the void for connections, aggressively seeking to supplant (or act as surrogate to) actual, face-to-face contact between human beings.

Or maybe I'm the only one who sees it that way. Or at least, it may be I'm in the minority. To quote Anaïs Nin, "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.” (Thank you, E. Harrington.) Regardless, there's no place for me on either Facebook or Twitter, and I'm going to write that on a piece of paper in big black letters and tack it to the office wall. Because, apparently, I keep forgetting. I've no interest in "online social networking." I find it as strange and toxic as plastic soda bottles.

I began this journal to record the process of writing, what that process is like for me (which, of course, is not the way it will be for much of anyone else). And, obviously, to promote my work. Then MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter came along, and I allowed myself to be seduced into believing that these sites would be as useful to me as has been LiveJournal, and before that, Blogger. But they're not. I cut MySpace loose a long time ago. As for Twitter, it just seems...harmlessly ephemeral. Too much so to serve any actual purpose I need it to serve. And as for Facebook, I can't take the assholes who think I'm there to be engaged in what they mistake as witty reporté. Not since the Bad Old Days of Usenet have I had to contend with as much rudeness and idiocy on the net as I've had to contend with on Facebook. Yes, granted, the troublemakers are a small fraction of the people who follow me there. But it only takes one or two or three persistently asinine individuals.

Those people are not "my tribe." I had a tribe once, but that was long ago.

No one is entitled to anything, and we all suffer alone, and, if we are honest, we all suffer.

These are bad days and nights, and I'm not well enough to get the writing done that I have to get done, much less banter with people who actually seem to believe there's nobility of purpose in lolspeak.

I need to be writing, and I need to be Outside, and everything else is irrelevant. Or worse.

---

The greatest compliment I can ever pay a band or musician is to say, "This is my new suicide album." At the moment, my suicide album is Radiohead's The King of Limbs.

---

People say, "You're so unhappy," and they clearly mean it as an insult. Or they think my unhappiness is an affront to what they believe is their happiness.

Funny thing is, I actually hate coffee.

Adrift in the White Noise,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
0. You'd think there's a limit to how dry sinus passages can get, but you'd be wrong.

1. Yesterday, I wrote 1,044 words on "Random Notes Before a Fatal Crash." I didn't get to THE END. There were too many distractions, mainly in the form of email. Ever heard of being "driven to distraction"? Maybe that's a Southern thing.

2. Never rely on spell check. No, not even then. No, not then, either. There are these things called dictionaries. There are even versions of these mysterious dictionary things online. Use them.

3. To wit, someone should tell whoever writes ad copy at Amazon.com about the value of dictionaries (see above). I just saw this ad on Facebook:

"Do the men in your live [sic] drive you crazy? Buy this book and laugh about it, or dump him and get a puppy."

Ignoring, for the moment, the sexism and heterocentrism, focusing only on the text, you'd think that a twenty-two word ad that's going to be seen and read by millions of people would be proofed for misspellings and proper word use. Sure, I make mistakes in my blog. But I have far fewer readers, and my entries are usually about a thousand words long, not twenty-two.

4. I was sort of...I don't know...perplexed at how many people wanted to know yesterday why I hate Facebook. I mean, on the one hand, the transgressions of Facebook are the stuff of internet legend. On the other hand, it's my prerogative to hate Facebook, with or without Cliff's Notes (Really, once upon a time, CliffNotes were Cliff's Notes; the future cannot afford apostrophes or spaces between words; they're so pointless.). And, for what it's worth, I hate Twitter, too, though not as much as FB. Most days, I don't hate LiveJournal. The key is likely substance.

5. New Radiohead! (No, I don't have it yet.)

This town's so strange.
They built it to change.
And while we're sleeping, all the streets they rearrange.

(Arcade Fire)

Off to Fuck the Bozos,
Aunt Beast

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greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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