greygirlbeast: (sol)
And (whatever the calendar says) today is the first day of summer in Providence. Plus! For a limited time and at no added bonus, a massive solar flare is barreling towards Earth at some 1,400 kilometres per second! Whee! In the house, it's 85F and climbing! Outside, 88F and also climbing. Whee!

In Rhode Island, we don't have seasons. The climate has moods.

Lately, I'm realizing (and I should have realized this sooner) that, as an author, I am being expected to be a lot more computer savvy than I am. Not only that, I'm seemingly expected to be able to afford the software and gadgets. Publishers and editors assume I have iPhones and iPads, that I can use Adobe and edit in MS Word. Surprise! Nope. And I really don't see this changing anytime soon. I'm too poor and too stubborn and too disinterested. If anything, I'm perversely tempted to respond to the techno-pressure by composing my next novel on the 1941 Royal typewriter sitting on my mantle. Works just fine. I can get ribbons. It breaks, I fix it myself. Might have to use a screwdriver, worst-case scenario, I'll type it all out, the manuscript, saving electricity and making carbon copies as I go (remember those?), then send four hundred and fifty actual pages by parcel post to my editor. Oh, by the way. Books would, for the most part, get shorter again, and far fewer books would be written, if every one had to work in the Realm of Analog. This would be a good thing.

Writers need to be writing, not learning to use software and the latest bullshit app.

That's not the end of a rant. I'll come back to it, by and by. All my life, I expect I'll be coming back to it. Oh! On a related note, yesterday while shutting off Facebook's scary facial-recognition software (they don't ask if you wanna opt in; you have to opt out), I discovered how to shut off comments on FB. I don't care if it's a social network; I'm repurposing the bitch to my own ends.

A package from S. T. Joshi just arrived. Inside was a copy of Wilum Pugmire's The Tangled Muse (Centipede Press, 2010). Gods, this might be the most beautiful book I've ever held. Certainly, in the top ten. More astounding still, this is from the first printing of only six copies, after which, due to a dispute with an artist involved, the book had to be reset. Wow. Thank you S. T., and thank you, Wilum.

Yesterday, we caught a matinée of Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: First Class, and I rather loved it. Some might pick nits, but I won't. It was too fun to ruin by nit picking. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender were very good, and Jennifer Lawrence made a great Mystique. I loved Nicholas Hoult's Beast. Hell, even Kevin Bacon didn't annoy me. Anyway, yes. Wonderful.

Ashes and diamonds,
Foe and friend.
We were all equal in the end.
(Pink Floyd)

One day, I'll tell the story of how, in 2005, I almost wrote an X-Men mini-series. It's a sordid tale.

Fuck all, it's hot in here.

Before I forget, the Big Damn eBay Sale is off to a good start. Please have look, please. Also, just as helpful and worthwhile, see Spooky's Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy shop. All her paintings are on sale (limited time) for 20% off! Coupon code: ART20

Today, I go back to work on Blood Oranges, and later I'll be talking with [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy (Talking, yes! On the phone!) about the trailer and other promotional goodies we're working on to aid in the promotion of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. That's likely the whole of my coming day.

Rift last night. Selwyn and Missya made Level 46, and were sent from Iron Pine Peak to dread Stillmoor, where once was the great Mathosian Empire, and now the eye of Regulos holds sway over the cratered land. Late, there was some truly grand and very grim rp with [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus. Thank you, Sirrah.

Okay. I go forth to broil...I leave you with wonderful new images of my favorite world.

Warmly (haha),
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Still overcast, but warmer today. Oh, wait. I see a glimmer of sunlight.

Yesterday, I wrote 847 words and found THE END of "At the Reef." I don't know why I've been referring to it as "On the Reef," because that's not the title.

Last night, we were planning to go to AS220 to see Brown Bird play (with three other bands), but after the writing, and a bath, and dinner, I discovered I was too tired to get dressed, much less leave the House. It pissed me off. But I can't be surprised. I just wrote two short stories (or vignettes, I'm not sure) in seven days. Not to mention the usual background writerly work. So, anyway, I wound up in bed, too exhausted to do anything but read and moan about being so old and tired. Oh, and then I slept like crap last night.

At least we can still see Brown Bird in November, when they open for Raspuntina's upcoming Providence show. Maybe I won't be exhausted that night. I am truly in love with Brown Bird. I want to marry this band and have their children.

---

What did I read? Three more stories from [livejournal.com profile] ellen_datlow and [livejournal.com profile] nihilistic_kid's Haunted Legends: Carrie Laben's "Face Like a Monkey," Gary A. Braunbeck's "Return to Mariabronn," and John Mantooth's "Shoebox Train Wreck." There is a truly sublime line from the latter. "The dead really don't haunt the living. The living haunt the dead." One of those lines I wish I'd written. But I didn't. I can only admire the skill of the author who did.

This anthology's getting some weird reviews, people complaining because, they say, it purports to be a book of ghost stories, but some of the stories aren't ghost stories. Now, to begin with, Haunted Legends doesn't claim to be exclusively a collection of ghost stories (sensu stricto). The theme of the book is actually urban legends. At the very top of the cover is printed "Local legends and ghost stories..." Note that "local legends" comes first. That said, many of the stories actually are ghost stories, more than I would have expected from an anthology for which the authors were asked to write stories based on urban legends, and not specifically ghost stories. Book reviewers who can't bother to read the books they review need to stop reviewing books.

---

Today I wish I could stay in bed. But I need to address the copyeditors queries for "The Collier's Venus (1893)," which will soon appear in [livejournal.com profile] ellen_datlow's Naked City anthology. And answer email. And read over and correct "And the Cloud That Took the Form" and "At the Reef." So, yeah. Work. The platypus is a harsh mistress.

Congratulations to William Lindblad of Plano, Texas, who won both my items in the KGB readings benefit auction.

As I write this, the podcast poll stands at 97.3% in favor (143 votes) and 2.7% (4 votes) against. The four who voted against did an admirable job of explaining why they voted against my doing podcasts. Most likely, I'll do one at some point in the next few weeks and see how it goes. And then figure out if I'll make a habit of podcasts.

---

Harlan Ellison is selling his first typewriter, a beautiful old Remington. As I said on Facebook yesterday, Harlan has done me many kindnesses and was a tremendous influence on my own work. I consider this typewriter invaluable, but would happily pay five times the $5,000 it has been insured for, if only I had that sort of money. If only I were a wealthy woman. I can only hope it goes to a museum or collector who appreciates its value and will care for it.

---

Last night Spooky pontificated on the relative merits of various brands of pumpkin ale. Me, I don't drink the stuff, but she loves it. She decalres Dogfish Head the best, and Wolaver's the second best, but isn't impressed with Smuttynose (despite the cute seal on the bottle). I think she's indifferent towards Saranac. She says, "It's weak."

A quote now from yesterday's entry: Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, as nothing has changed since yesterday. That is, the IRS hasn't decided we don't have to pay taxes, after all. That is, they haven't sent back the check Spooky wrote. Speaking of Spooky, I reiterate, all those cool Halloween thingumies in her Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy shop will be taken down come November 1st.

Last of all (until the next entry), though I love WoW, I'm sickened by the kids (at least, I hope they're kids) who spew "faggot" and "queer" and "gay" and "homo" over the various chat channels, employing these words as though they are the worst imaginable insults. They swamp the chat channels with this shit. It's almost enough the make me quit the game. I've disabled almost all the chat channels, and I mute the individuals. But still. Are gamers today, as a group, really this homophobic?
greygirlbeast: (chi3)
The only thing keeping me in this chair, at this desk, today is knowledge that clouds and rain are heading towards Providence from the west, and will be here shortly. Otherwise, Spooky and I would be on our way to Beavertail.

But there will be clouds, and there will be rain, and so I'll sit here and wrestle with the dreamsickness.

No actual writing yesterday. Lots and lots of reading on alchemy and dragons, looking for the way into "The Alchemist's Daughter" (a title I'm growing increasingly unhappy with). Today, I need the words to come.

And, by the way, as of night before last, we've been in Providence for a whole year now. Which just seems impossible. But a good sort of impossible.

Probably the best thing about yesterday was the arrival of a 1941 Royal typewriter we found on Etsy. It's the same make and model as the one that Sarah Crowe discovers in the basement of the old house on Barbs Hill Road, the one Charles Harvey was writing on, the one that Sarah uses to write The Red Tree. It's one of the few props we needed to acquire to shoot the promotional "trailer" this summer, and Spooky was lucky enough to find someone over on the east side of Providence with one for sale cheap, even though it's in fantastic condition. This is, by the way, the same make and model of typewriter that I grew up writing on, and that I was still using as recently as 1985. It weighs a marvelous 30+ pounds. Here are a couple of photos:





By the way, I'm trying to think of a contest wherein the prize would be one of the ARCs of The Red Tree. So far, the best idea has been a contest to create banner ads, and that's certainly something I need, but I'm still thinking. I might come up with something even better. The book will be released on August 4th, in case you're wondering.

Last night, Spooky read to me from Andrea Barrett's The Voyage of the Narwhal, and we watched Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy II: The Golden Army again. Gods, I adore this film, and not only for its beautiful and terrifying vision of Faerie (though that would be sufficient). And then we played some WoW. I'm almost halfway to Lvl 70, which is as high as I'll go for a while. We're planning on playing through the rest of "The Burning Crusade" expansion, and going back and doing a lot of the dungeons on Azeroth we were unable to do when we should have, before moving along to "Wrath of the Lich King." Northrend and the death knights can wait. I got to bed at 2:30 a.m., a vast improvement over the last few nights.

This is the last thing I read before bed last night, news of a Sacramento, CA morning talk-radio show's attack against transgender children that went so far as to advocate physical violence against them. It's unspeakably sick, the things these people were allowed to broadcast, and that their listeners are receptive, but then it's the same sick, hateful shit I've had to live through. The more I see...well...never mind. I've seen much too much in forty-five years, and it's left me with absolutely no tolerance for this sort of ignorant, inexcusable intolerance. GLAAD is watching these assholes now, and I'll be following the story.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Yesterday went well, so far as the writing is concerned. To my great surprise (and relief) it only took me 364 words to reach THE END of "For One Who Has Lost Herself." The "final" word count is 5,860 words. Now I'm stepping away from the piece for a couple of days. I need some perspective before I read through the whole thing, start to finish. I've gone ahead and sent the uncorrected version to Vince so we can start talking about the illustration. I also did a great deal of revision on the pages I wrote on Wednesday. Note, this story isn't erotic, and "pas-en-arrière" is only very subtly so. The pieces just came out that way, and I wasn't about to force sex upon them if they didn't want it. Wouldn't that be a sort of literary rape? Anyway, what I was going to say is that if you've been fence sitting about subscribing to the journal because you were afraid the sex stuff might not be your cuppa, here's a chance for you to try Sirenia Digest relatively sex free.

I've grown to love Klaus Nomi's music, but it inevitably makes me sad, in the way that joyous things can sometimes make me sad if I know too much about the life of the artist who created them. Bittersweet, I guess. I'm listening to Nomi on the iPod as I type this and thinking perhaps I'll switch to the Dresden Dolls.

I did a little more thinking on the avatar thing yesterday. It occurred to me I'd left out a few major ones. Keith Barry, for instance, who, I believe, was a sort of proto-Deacon. Also Jimmy DeSade, and he's an important one. He and Salmagundi may in fact form two halves of a greater compound avatar. Jimmy was my fury at things that have been stolen from me, my guilt at not having done more to prevent those losses, my determination to make the whole world pay (for whatever). There's also Echo from The Dreaming. Echo's obvious. Anyway, yeah, I'm still working all this out.

Spooky just came back from the p.o. with a nice little package from [livejournal.com profile] girfan, which included a really beautiful set of British postcards adorned with images of Ice-Age mammals (Smilodon, a woolly rhino, woolly mammoth, cave bear, and Irish elk). They're much too cool to ever actually use.

The mailman brought new books yesterday. That's always a good thing. Kathe Koja's The Blue Mirror, Jeff VanderMeer's City of Saints and Madmen, and Ronald Hutton's Triumph of the Moon.

After downloading Typewriter 2.10, I was seized with the need to find an image of the old Royal I used as a kid. Here's the best one I've found so far:


Royal Model KMM (circa 1938, I think)


I'm giving myself a day-off after five straight writing days. I want to be outside, and I've got to spend the weekend finishing with the Alabaster galleys. We're supposed to reach 82F today, with rain tonight. Hopefully, I really will leave the house and not wind up spending the whole day working on Wikipedia or playing videogames or some other such indoor silliness. Oh, I've noted Poppy's poetry meme, which I think I shall do at some point today or tonight or tomorrow.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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