greygirlbeast: (twilek1)
Comment today, kittens. It'll help.

Three years ago, on December 24th, I wrote these lines:

"Last night, as I tried to find sleep, Spooky and I talked about having a farm. I would give up writing, I said, except for those things I wanted passionately to write, and we would have goats and chickens and an old horse and sheep and bees and rabbits. Orchards of apples and blueberry bushes behind fieldstone walls. We would have an enormous garden. It would be hard, hard work, but we would be as self sufficient as anyone can hope to be in this odd millennium. We'd only need to buy grain and sugar and coffee and such. We'd have a windmill for electricity, and a well. It was a pretty dream, no matter how impossible, to have before sleep and the inevitable nightmares, a dream of dirty hands and sweat and not sitting in this chair every goddamn day, worrying about sales figures."

Three years later, I still resurrect the daydream, now and again. Or Kathryn will. It's not dead.

---

Last night, [livejournal.com profile] mizliz (in response to my second entry yesterday), expressed her confusion over the meaning (to use the word loosely) of Z'omglol. Not wanting to dig too deeply into the politics and semantics of the more asinine denizens of MMORPGs – which would be, depending on the game, 75%-90% of the players – I'll toss out the quick answer, cribbed from that most tiresome of sources, the "Urban Dictionary." To wit:

zOMG is a varient of the all-too-popular acronym 'OMG,' meaning 'Oh My God'. The 'z' was originally a mistake while attempting to hit the shift key with the left hand, and type 'OMG.' Also used in all-caps, 'ZOMG' is generally used in a sarcastic manner, more often than not a humiliating fasion [sic]. It is also used as a device for stating the obvious.

Which is to say, in gaming, it shows up in the "too cool for school" crowd, the faux rebels who believe themselves so above it all (especially the concept of RP) that they choose these ironic names. Even though, for the most part, they couldn't define irony if their weaselly little existences depended on it. Because, you know. When there's no room in hell the dead will walk the earth. You're welcome, kittens.

---

Yesterday, though. I am neglecting yesterday. We'd planned to watch the original Star Wars trilogy, but got started too late and only made it through Star Wars (that would be – ahem – "Episode IV: A New Hope") before dinner (leftover meatloaf with Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes, Precious). I saw Star Wars when it was first released in theatres back in 1977, thirty-four years ago. I was in eighth grade. And I thought Star Wars was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. Until The Empire Strikes Back came along in 1980, a film I loved so much I saw it twenty times in theatres that summer. Looking back at Star Wars (1977) yesterday, it seemed astoundingly quaint. I know that there was an intentional innocence that Lucas was trying to capture, but the quaintness goes far beyond that. And, too, the acting is often terribly wooden, a fact I blame on Lucas, who simply is incapable of good direction. One reason that The Empire Strikes Back is so much better than its predecessor is that the directing reins were passed to Irvin Kershner. Anyway...playing the SW:otR MMORPG, I wanted to revisit. And it was...odd.

I can also say that I have settled on a title for the second "best of" volume (which will not be out until 2014, so please don't ask ridiculous questions about pre-orders). I'm liking Weave a Circle Round Her Thrice: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan (Volume 2).

Also, I read Wilum Pugmire's rather enchanting "The Fungal Stain." And then, having managed to get into bed before two-thirty a.m. (!), I proceeded to watch an amazingly creepy film, Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton's Yellowbrickroad (2010). I know that critics pretty much brushed this one aside, but by the time it ended (about four-thirty a.m.) I was so disturbed I had to switch the light on to get to sleep. I find no shame in admitting such a thing. Yellowbrickroad is clearly very heavily influenced by both House of Leaves and The Blair Witch Project (and were I not writing this, I'd say The Red Tree). It is one of those stories about a Wrong Place. Or...well...the less said the better. It's a slow burn, quiet with sudden moments of horror, whispered impossibilities, and a marvelously surreal ending. The ending (and pacing) are likely why so much of the slasher crowd couldn't wrap their brains around this film. Anyway, this is my recommendation. See it (it's streaming free from Netflix).

And I should go. Because, even though this is my vacation, I have work to do. January is beginning to look like the worst train wreck in history.

Quasi-Vacating,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (zoe1)
And as you cross the circle line,
Well, the ice wall creaks behind.
You´re a rabbit on the run.
~ Jethro Tull

Comment, kittens! Comment!

1) Two "BIG" announcements today, and you might get one now and one later, or both now, depending on when and what I hear from my agent. But. I may proceed with Thing #1: Subterranean Press has begun taking pre-orders for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. Yes, now. Right now. The book is scheduled for release in Spring 2012. And I'm just going to say this upfront: Order directly from subpress, because Amazon is very likely to fuck you over. Many people who pre-ordered The Ammonite Violin & Others and Two Worlds and In Between had Amazon cancel their orders. So...don't even go there. Anyway, that's the first announcement. The second is dependent on whether or not I hear back from my agent before she goes to lunch (which now seems unlikely).

2) Yesterday was meant to be the day I wrote the next 1,000-1,500 words of "Another Tale of Two Cities." Instead, it was unexpectedly consumed by the need to unexpectedly leave the house and attend to a legal matter, regarding the second announcement I've not yet made, power-of-attorney stuff related to The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, but I cannot yet say what that is, remember? Anyway, most of the day was spent with legalese and a notary public and UPS and the post office (USPS costs ~$65) and I did at least stop into Myopic Books at Wayland Square and once again drool over used copies of Sankar Chatterjee's The Rise of Birds ($15) and Lowell Dingus and Timothy Rowe's The Mistaken Extinction ($30), but was good and did not buy either (again). That was what happened to yesterday. Oh, and traffic.

3) I hate to keep "hating on" (a phrase for morons, hence shutter quotes) Kermit the iPad, but I fear he is the shape of things to come with Apple. Which is to say, the intuitive nature of Apple products, which is a large part of my loyalty, is missing from the iPad. It's like I'm wrestling with mysterious alien tech. What do all those little (unlabeled) pictographs mean? Which microscopic button in the side did I touch that made the screen go black this time? And so on.

4) I know this might have, so far, seemed like a "happy entry." But I am anywhere but at the moment. Lots of reasons. And this is my blog, so here I may bellyache about these matters. A large part of it is that all those years I had to go without healthcare (mostly neurological and psychiatric) did a great deal of damage to my body. And every time I plug one hole, another pops open. I'm beginning to think I'm going to drown in only a year or two. Sure, money's not so tight now, but "not so tight" is a long way from I can afford to have my rotten teeth and gums attended to, for example. Or from we can afford to get Spooky the checkup she's needed for years. And there are days it would scare the hell out of me, were I not so suicidal. By the way, the suicidal hypochondriac, there's a funny one, no? No, not really. But it does embody the true meaning of irony, and it does bring a smile to my face (a rare thing, that). And maybe the next year or two will change all this. And maybe it won't.

5) There is a game I like to play with myself. What if my life had taken a completely different course? It's no secret I do not love writing, no matter how good I might be at it. It's no secret my first love is vertebrate paleontology, and one of the great tragedies of my life was the derailment of my paleo' career in the late '80s by an elaborate combination of factors, too complex to here explain. That the writing career was a fallback (I was lucky to have) that arose from the ashes. I played the game last night. I would post the results here (seven steps were involved), but it would seem too much like self-pity, and while I may pity another, I may not feel pity for myself. We have all been conditioned to believe that's wrong.

6) Three matters I need to attend to, and I'm posting them here because it'll help me not forget (the Lamictal [Lamotrigine] plays havoc with my memory). Firstly, I need to send ReaderCon an updated biography, because the one they have now is very out of date. Secondly, and on a related note, I need to get new bibliographical and biographical data to the Writer's Directory before December 17th. Thirdly, back to ReaderCon, I need to send Rose Fox a list of any programming I'd like as one of the two Guests of Honor, and I need to do it before the end of the month (suggestions welcome).

7. Question @ Hand #5, kittens! Do not disappoint me. We've gotten a couple of good entries, but I need about five more, or Sirenia Digest will be the poorer for the absence of any at all. I'm not asking for great literature, okay? Oh, and don't email me your answer, please. Write them in LJ; this makes my life easier.

8. Spooky and I had a HUGE Rift binge last night, leveling my Eth warrior, Indus (she has a spectral feline companion named River) from Level 32 to 34, and we got Dancy (yes; a Kelari cleric) leveled the same. Please come and play with us (Faeblight shard, guild Watchers of the Unseen). Here is your chance to take part in an interactive story written by "one of our essential writers of dark fiction" (the NYT says so!), and you're letting it pass you by? Inconceivable!

Oh, gods. That's enough.

Spun About,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
The more I listen to Brown Bird, the more they amaze me.

Two Worlds and In Between, deluxe and trade editions, is now officially sold out.

And tomorrow is the day. But if you get your hopes up so much you think I've been crowned Grand Xena She-Ra, Wonder Woman, Queen of the Known Universe the First, you have only yourself to blame for the inevitable disappointment.

Today, I take...more. And we see if things get better. If I can remain functional. Because, apparently, it's one thing to have irrational fears of How Bad Things Are, and another thing entirely to have rational fears of How Bad Things Are. It's the same shit, either way. The meds just make me care a whole lot less. Well, and it's nice not having the seizures. Also, it's cool knowing that if someone were to try and drink my blood, they would die a horrible death.

"She came by her insanity honestly."

The first half of yesterday was a mad whirlwind of this, that, and the other, attending to various questions and details for various projects until, by, 3 p.m., I was exhausted and still hadn't written a single word. So, it being Samhain, and Hallowe'en, I took the afternoon off. Which was stupid, as I have too much work to be doing that. But I did. Spooky went to the market, and I wasted about a half hour of my life playing RIFT, and...well, that was a dumb idea. Not working, I mean. I took a hot bath before dinner. Spooky brought me a Black Forest cake (my favorite). We carved jack-o'lanterns. There were trick-or-treaters. We watched Its the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966), and the two new episodes of Beavis and Butthead.

The former was bittersweet and nostalgic, a gentle amusement from an age when lies were better at hiding the ugliness of the world from children (and parents tried a lot harder). The latter was funny as hell, and, as I said last night on Twitter, television has crawled so far up its own (porn, porn, porn, porn, porn) asshole that Beavis and Butthead (porn, porn, porn, porn, porn) actually come off as rather smart kids (porn, porn, porn, porn, porn). Beavis and Butthead on Jersey Shore and LMFAO's "Champagne Showers"? It's pretty incisive commentary on this dear sweet filthy world, kittens.

And we watched John Fawcett's Ginger Snaps (2000). It has aged very, very well. Sure, the final creature effects suffer from budget constraint (though the makeup up until then is brilliant), but it remains one of the very few genuinely good werewolf films. It's perfectly, morbidly, hilariously, grimly, gleefully horrific, and, in the end, an impressive examination of teenage alienation. Of finding oneself in that darkest of dark places, and at that moment you've spent a short life fearing above all others. If you've never seen this film, what the fuck's wrong with you? Oh, you were only ten when it was released....

Yes, if I had a daughter, I truly would name her Ampersand. Well, on the birth certificate it would be listed as & Rose Kiernan, but we'd call her Amp.

Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark. Thank you, The National. You guys rock.

Also, you might be a loony Xtian whackjob, but you go, Anne Rice (at least she wrote three good novels):

Lestat and Louie feel sorry for vampires that sparkle in the sun. They would never hurt immortals who choose to spend eternity going to high school over and over again in a small town — anymore than they would hurt the physically disabled or the mentally challenged. My vampires possess gravitas. They can afford to be merciful...The idea that if you are immortal you would go to high school instead of Katmandu or Paris or Venice, it’s the vampire dumbed down for kids. But it’s worked. It’s successful. It makes kids really happy. And here we are, back at Beavis and Butthead.

It's nice to see Anne Rice fucking grow a pair for an hour. And if you think I just made a sexist comment, grow a pair, please. After all, do you know I didn't mean ovaries? But, wait...wouldn't that also be sexist. Maybe I meant ears.

Oh, there are pumpkin photos from last night (mine was stolen, just like last year):

Jack! )
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
COMMENT!

Well, our Indian Summer draws to a close. And I spent most of it sitting in this chair, and word from the front never came. As it were.

But, at least none of you have to remember President Humphrey K. Ludwig, or the mess that Irwin Allen made of Dr. Zhivago, or (and especially) about the science-fiction convention in Los Vegas (CONsino) during which a splinter cell of angry, disenfranchised furries detonated a twenty-kiloton nuclear device...all that, at least, has been set straight. The past is the past once more. Well...except that thing with Menudo, and the McRib. Sorry. Those, I couldn't fix.

Oh, and that thing with Frank Black yesterday? Of course I meant Frank Booth. But you never sacrifice a wonderful run-on, run-out, not-quite free-association tirade over anything so tiresome as fact. Frank Booth would never have gotten me to Frank Black (née Black Francis), or Frank Black (sensu Millennium), or even the guy in the creepy rabbit mask.

Honestly? I have no idea what I'm supposed to be writing about, that's why?

There's not much to report from yesterday, not that I can report. Kathryn and I continue trying to pull everything together for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir book-trailer shoot this coming weekend. Yesterday, I spoke with Nicola (our Imp) and Dani (our Abalyn), as well as with Brian (our cinematographer). And this past weekend would have been dead-on fucking perfect for the shoot, and next weekend is looking maybe a little doubtful. But there's no way we could have known, and we'll have to take what we can get. There's no time left for rain dates. This should have been shot in July, but work and scheduling conflicts and whatnot continually pushed the date back. And, so, this is it. We are fortunate in that New England is having a lousy autumn, in terms of the trees changing colors, so it still looks fairly summery up here.

Have you ordered Two Worlds and In Between? Have you clicked "like" on the absurdly early Amazon.com preorder page for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir? Have you subscribed to Sirenia Digest? Well, why the hell not? Wait. Don't tell me.

A good bit of RP (including a bizarrely Fringe-like moment...think Olivia/Fauxlivia) in Insilico RP last night with [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark. Last night also marked the first time I've ever RPed two characters in SL at once (on two machines, with two open viewers). It was weird, and while it wasn't easy, it wasn't as hard as I'd thought it would be. And we watched three more episodes of Mad Men (Season Four). And I read, from Halloween, a pretty good story by William F. Nolan, "The Halloween Man." And then I slept, and had unspeakable dreams. Unspeakable at least in the sense that they are now so fragmented that I could not reconstruct them well enough to speak of them. And that, kittens, was yesterday.

Today looks...indefinite. But I leave you with these. Back to that something Spooky and I did night before last that I only mentioned in passing yesterday. I think these two shots are work safe. All the others weren't. And there will be future sessions (after I've lost that Hubero) that will produce very not work-safe images. But these are pretty vanilla. Unless you work for, I don't know, Pat fucking Roberson (or did he die?). Spooky was in the mood to paint, and I was in the mood to be a canvas:

8 October 2011 )


Indefinite,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
It's already 1:39 p.m., because I was unable to get to sleep until almost 5 ayem, and because I awoke to fresh sorts of chaos. But what difference does it make, when I'm almost an entire month behind schedule.

Schedule. An idea that is anathema to life.

My head is filled, this morning, with all the colors of anger, and I'm making a conscious effort to let out only as much of it as I wish to release. Otherwise, it will gush forth and drown the...I almost wrote "drown the page." But there is no page, is there? We are moving rapidly towards the Extinction of the Page. Maybe whatever has stolen the page from me – vagaries of history – deserves to be drowned in all the colors of anger. Schedule surely deserves to drown. Sink it all.

In theory, I'm trying again to begin Chapter Five of Blood Oranges this afternoon. But...you, know...the story of how this book's gone sour is far too bizarre to explain here. Maybe someday I'll explain it somewhere. But it's bizarre and long. All that matters now it that I finish the thing, and move on to the next thing.

It's only a string of things.

If I'm very, very, very lucky I'll write today. If there were any other way on earth that I could make as much money as I make now – which is only just barely (and truly not even) just enough to take care of Spooky and myself – I'd stop writing. No, I mean for good.

Hardly any of the anger leaked out at all.

Teeth Bared,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (wand)
Well, we went to a 10:30 showing of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (and that's 11:30, Caitlín Standard Time, of course), so me and Spooky didin't get home until frelling three a.m., and she let me sleep until eleven, and now the day's half gone. Argh. But I adored the film. The showdown between Harry and Voldemort was wonderful. I loved the merfolk, naturally.

I told Spooky I was only going to make a short journal entry, seeing as how the day's slipping away and there's work to be done.

I think the apparently inevitable post-novel completion funk is finally setting in. I hate it. This time, I was hoping maybe it wouldn't find me. That sense of suddenly having no direction. That sense that I must begin something else huge immediately in order to regain a sense of direction (and to keep to keep the bills paid). The absence of any genuine sense of satisfaction. All that dren. Blargh. Sometimes — times like this — I think, how would things have gone if I'd only written Silk and those first few short stories and a couple of arcs for The Dreaming? If, in February 1997, instead of choosing writing, I'd chosen music and stayed with Death's Little Sister? I figure, the band would have imploded after another few months, a year at the most. It was a very unstable entity, DLS. I'd have gone on to another band. And then another. By now, I'd be on band number four or five. I'd have a rep in Athens and Atlanta for being a total bitch and no one would ever want to work with me. By now, I'd have been in rehab twice for heroin. Never mind the booze. I'd have a tiny, but extremely loyal, fanbase. I'd live in a skanky little apartment somewhere in downtown Athens, above one of the frat bars. There'd have been the inevitable romantic thing with Michael Stipe that would have lasted for, oh, five minutes. There'd have been one brief mention in Rolling Stone, because of that fist fight with Courtney Love. I wouldn't be happy, but I'd be so drunk most of the time, it wouldn't make much difference. Instead, though, I'm a writer. Five or six or seven novels in (depending how you count) now, and this is the way it all turned out.

Yay me. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

Er...we read Chapter Five of Threshold yesterday ("The Dead and the Moonstruck," a title I'd borrow once more from HPL for my short story in Gothic! Ten Original Dark Tales). It's a chapter that reminds me how much I still love this novel, even if the syntax seems a little alien to me now. It's the point where all the characters are brought together, and Chance does that little up and down thingy with her finger. Anyway...

Turns out, Saturday is really a much better day for subscribing to Sirenia Digest than is Friday. Saturday is, in fact, the very best day for subscribing. Especially given that Issue 0 will likely be mailed out tomorrow afternoon. Instant gratification and all that good stuff, right? Just click here. You'll thank me, and you'll tell all your friends and neighbours and relations and coworkers and imaginary friends that they need a subscription, too.

Yep.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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