greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 1)
On this day, sixty-five years ago, the dismembered body of Elizabeth Short was found in Leimert Park, Los Angeles.

Bitterly cold (but no snow) here in Providence. We had single digits last night, and the temperature Outside is currently 15˚F.

Here's a link to the full text of the starred (!) Publishers Weekly review of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Also, my thanks to Elizabeth Bear ([livejournal.com profile] matociquala) for the very kind things she said about the novel a couple of days ago.

Yesterday, I realized that I'd done a very peculiar thing Friday while working on Albaster #4. I'd written pages five, six, and seven. But...this is going to sound so stupid...with seven I'd jumped ahead to a spot very near to the end of the book, only a few pages from the end. It was strange, yeah. I always write from "beginning" to "end," in a straight line, so it was a very odd thing for me to have done. Anyway, yesterday, I set that seventh page aside (I'll use it at the appropriate time), and wrote a new page seven, along with eight, nine, and ten (manuscript pages 14-19, 1,403 words). I stopped in the year 1864 – November, to be precise. I'll resume there today. Oh, it'll all make sense, trust me.

After the writing, I used the iPad to stream a rather dubious documentary about the Snowball Earth hypothesis. I don't mean to say that the hypothesis itself, though still somewhat controversial, is dubious. It's just that the Discovery Channel (I can't believe they haven't shortened the station's title to Disco) seems incapable of making coherent, accurate documentaries that don't drag everything down to the level of "Bat Boy" and the Weekly World News (By the way, you know you're old when you remember the days when the Weekly World News took itself seriously.). The documentary almost managed to reduce a respectable (and very likely) scientific model to nothing more than the latest Roland Emmerich blockbuster.

Later, we played SW:toR, forgoing RP in favor of leveling. We both reached Level 28. And then we watched Craig Gillespie's remake of Fright Night (2011). Now, given the fact that I'm an admirer of the original (1988) and the fact that I hate 3D, I will admit I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder going in. But I was quickly won over. Yeah, the 3D is gimmicky as fuck, and annoyingly intrusive at times (Oh! Look! Blood spurting at the film! Scream!). But the film is both a lot of fun and filled with genuine menace. Most of the casting is superb – Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell (I never would have believed it), Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and (drum roll) David Fucking Tennant. The show really belonged to Tenant and Farrell. I do wish a little more care had been taken casting female roles. Imogen Poots? That was supposed to be an in joke, right? And Toni Collette....well, we know she can act, but I guess the fact that she's comatose for the second half of this film meant she didn't have much incentive to try during the first half. I was disappointed that we didn't get some of the wonderful creature effects from the original – the werewolf and the amazingly creepy bat thing – but still, very good and highly recommended. Even with the annoying 3D shots trying to jump out into you lap. Oh, it also scored points for mentioning Farscape.

After the movie, I read Ursula K. Le Guin's "The Silence of the Asonu" (1998), a fine bit of SF anthropology (also collected in Lightspeed: Year One). And then I finally slept.
greygirlbeast: (alabaster2)
After much ado, follow this link. There will be much more news next Wednesday (the 9th of October), but I think the discerning reader of my work can gather quite a lot from this Dark Horse teaser. And, though I dislike speaking of the tips of icebergs, well...such things are. I hope you're as excited by this as I've spent the last year being (as yes, I've been sitting on this secret, in one form or another since Oregon and my GoH stint at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival, when the mega-cool editor Rachel Edidin of DH asked for a meeting with me. So, make of all this what you will.

Props of [livejournal.com profile] corucia for guessing halfway right, and to [livejournal.com profile] chris_walsh for making the most utterly fucking absurd guess: "I'm hoping the news is that science (Science!) has figured out how to download Harlan Ellison's mind into yours for safe keeping."

And now...other things, but comment, kittens, as I wish to revel in your excitement (and further speculations).

Today, between a zillion other distractions, Spooky and I are making the final edits to Blood Oranges before it goes to my agent and editor. Just piddly stuff, really. Mostly continuity.

Here in November, in this House of Leaves we pray.

Yesterday, I finished writing the new story for Sirenia Digest #71, "Latitude 41°21'45.89"N, Longitude 71°29'0.62"W," which required of me 1,187 words. Written yesterday, I mean to say. And don't forget, really cool NEVER BEFORE RELEASED Silk archival material, available only to subscribers! Means, kittens, this is a good damn time to subscribe!

And I suppose, since I allowed Anne Rice to speak yesterday, Miss Stephenie Fucking Meyer deserves equal time, so I'll quote the article from The Atlantic Wire, for all the precious and celibate teen members of Team Edward out there (by the way, note that Miss Meyer fired the first shot in this little skirmish). Thus, I quote:

"But I can't read other people's vampires. If it's too close [to my writing], I get upset; if it's too far away, I get upset. It just makes me very neurotic." And Interview with the Vampire presumably gets her on the upset--the "too far away" kind of upset. "I've seen little pieces of Interview with a Vampire when it was on TV, but I kind of always go YUCK! I don't watch R-rated movies, so that really cuts down on a lot of the horror."

Yes, she really did say "yuck."

Last night, we played RIFT, and I got enough magma opals my fucking Ash Strider mount! Booya! And we finished Season Four of Mad Men, which would make me really sad, having to wait for Season Five, except we have the two-discs that collect Season Four of Californication incoming from Netflix tonight; I love me some Hank Moody. I think I got to sleep about 4:45 ayem. There was a dream this morning of apocalypse, but it's been forgotten (thank you, poisonous meds).

Did I mention this link?

I leave you with another beautiful photograph from The Drowning Girl shoot, courtesy [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy:



The genuinely intrepid Sara Murphy as Eva Canning, in the Providence Athenaeum.
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: (wookie)
I believe I have a new motto. Which would be more interesting if I could recall what the old one was. Anyway, "However bad you think things are, they're probably much worse."

Words to live by.

And yes, ladies and gentlemen, kittens near and far, it is possible to spend nine days on a novel's CEM, and still not be finished. Which is to say that today will be Day 10. Yesterday was Day 9. And it was the very height of tedium. Today, I believe I begin descending the slopes of Mount Taediosus. But yesterday, I worked on the "Back Pages" for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, correcting, adding words, subtracting words. Then I went over the Author's Note again and made a lot of changes and additions. Then I threw out the old authors' biography that Penguin had used, exchanging it for a much better and inclusive (or comprehensive) one. Today will be the last actual day spent on the CEM, but it likely won't go back in the mail to NYC until Monday.

And I promise you this, someday there will be an expnaded hardcover edition of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, complete with color plates. Even if I have to use Kickstarter to fund it myself.

Also had a good conversation last night with Lee Moyer, who did the marvelous cover for Two Worlds and In Between, and who will be doing the cover for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart.

Also, yesterday was a good mail day. To start with, I somewhat inexplicably received two contributors' copies of Blood and Other Cravings, edited by [livejournal.com profile] ellen_datlow, inexplicable because I didn't actually contribute a story to the anthology, though the cover letter from Mr. Frenkel at Tor assures me that I did. But, regardless, it looks like a fantastic anthology, and I am glad to have copies. Maybe they slipped in from an alternate universe. Also, my thanks to Steven Lubold for sending me a copy of Colin Meloy's Wildwood (illustrated by Carson Ellis). I'm thinking this may be next month's book for the book of the month thingy. Also, my great thanks to Jada and Katharine for Loch Ness souvenirs from their recent trip to Scotland!

There is this matter of Arthur Machen which I mentioned yesterday, then promised to explain today. So, I shall. In the summer of 2008, I wrote an introduction for Bloodletting Press' Machen collection, The Great God Pan and Other Weird Stories. It was a lot of work, and I'm still grateful to Peter Straub for his guidance. So, I turned in my introduction, and was thanked by the publisher. A year or so passed. I heard no news of the book. Finally, I googled it, and there it was on the Bloodletting Press website, for sale, complete with my introduction. I emailed the publisher, and was told that yes, the book was in print, but that it didn't actually include my introduction – as I'd gotten it in too late. This last bit was never mentioned when I turned in the intro, but whatever. They sent me a copy of the book (but no check), I asked them to take my name off the page selling to book, and I put the affair behind me. The introduction remained unpublished. Then S. T. Joshi, who'd edited the volume for Bloodletting, asked me to write an introduction for another collection of Machen's work, this one to be released by Centipede Press. So, that essay on Arthur Machen I wrote three years before was dusted off and will appear in the forthcoming Centipede Press volume of Machen. I've just received the signature pages. I think it will also include an afterword by T. E. D. Klein (unless my piece is appearing as the afterword, and Klein's piece is the introduction; either way). I'll let you know when it's available for preorder, but I know the book's supposed to be out in 2012.

---

Last night, spaghetti. Good RP in Insilico. And we finished Season One of Mad Men, which is truly and actually a terrific series.

And now I must away, to try and finish.

Not in Maine,
Aunt Beast

Postscript: Remember when Wikipedia was sort of fun – good geeky, useful fun – and anyone who wasn't a drooling idiot could help out? When that was, in fact, the point of Wikipedia? Those days seem to have passed us by. Which is to say, you're now a stodgy old coot, Wikipedia, so wrapped up in being THE BEST AND MOST ACCURATE that you've forgotten the point of it all.
greygirlbeast: (wookie)
Chilly and mostly sunny here in Providence.

Gods, I slept almost eight hours. Not good.

Yesterday, fourth verse same as the first. Pretty much. It had skipped my mind, day before yesterday, that The Drowning Girl: A Memoir – like The Red Tree – contains fictions within fictions. That is, whereas The Red Tree contained "Pony," The Drowning Girl: A Memoir contains "Mermaid of the Concrete Ocean" and "Werewolf Smile." Which, essentially, turns reading through a ten-chapter CEM into reading through a twelve-chapter CEM. Plus, there's the long "Back Pages" section at the end, which is sort of like...I don't know. It's not an epilogue, not in any conventional sense. It's almost like end notes that continue the story. Anyway, we managed to reach the end of Chapter 5, before Geoffrey arrived yesterday evening. Today we start on page 146 – the beginning of Chapter 6 – out of 277 pages. With great luck, we'll make it through chapters 6 and 7 today.

When this CEM is in the mail and on it's way back to Manhattan, I've promised a three-day break from work for me and Spooky. Out of this house, that's the most important part. No house, no fucking internet. I think we may just pick a direction and start driving. I have hardly taken a break since...never mind. Best not to think about that.

We were sitting on the stoop about 5:30 p.m. yesterday, waiting on Geoffrey. I was having a cigarette, and we were watching these four little boys across the street. And they were little boys, say eight to ten. And one of the younger boys was so adept with profanity that even we were taken aback. We heard one of the others say, "That boy sure swears a lot. Damn." And then Geoffrey arrived, bearing some volume of lost Derrida. Something like that. I never really found out, because when it comes to deconstruction and post-structuralism, I still have enough scars from college, and I don't touch the stuff. But, I knew Geoffrey meant well.

And I should go. Pages and pages.

But first, because all things on the internet vanish and I'm trying to make a permanent things, I present our evidence that Nicolas Cage is a time-traveling vampire:



After while, crocodile,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (wookie)
A lowly 61˚F outside just now, and I'm not sure it's all that warmer in the house. But that's why, long ago, some crazy motherfucker grabbed a sheep and some knitting needles and invented the sweater. Still, I want summer back. Especially given that July was, essentially, lost to various and sundry bullshit.

Yesterday, we made it through chapters 2 and 3 of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. It's going well. The copy-editor hasn't made me want to break her/his neck even a single time. Maybe happenstance or sanity has bred a new species of copy-editor. Today, we move on to chapters 4 and 5.

Starting to feel like a shut-in again. Too much work. Too much crappy weather.

Oh, but you remember, back in 1988, when Nicolas Cage ran through the streets of Manhattan screaming that he was a vampire? Sure you do. Anyway, turns out, he was telling the truth, and some comedian on eBay will sell you proof for only one million dollars. Can anyone say "ghost in a jar"? That's okay. I can.*

Last night, at 6:48 p.m. EDT, I sent my first Skype message, thereby entering, irrevocably, this vile age of excessive, shallow social contact. At 7:39 p.m. EDT, I almost accidentally made my first video call on Skype. Fortunately, I was able to hit cancel in time. Mostly, I think Spooky and I plan on using Skype as a sort of intercom, so we won't have to yell back and forth, our voices ringing alarmingly loudly (and yet unintelligibly) down the immemorial halls and off the walls of the house. The cats are grateful, but I remain dubious.

I think I've reached the end of that portion of The Book of Cthulhu which I deem worthwhile. Last night, I read Ann K. Schwader's "Lost Stars," which has it's moments – and some intriguing ones, at that – but which never really manages to coalesce into a genuinely effective whole. Which is a shame, as the image of "Ammutseba" devouring a Leonid meteor shower above the Flatirons of Colorado was, indeed, apocalyptically chilling. Also, I'm very pleased that Spooky's sort of re-discovered Manly Wade Wellman. Last night, she read "Where Angels Fear" and "Nobody Ever Goes There."

And now, Red Bull! And my red pen! And...whoa, look. The contracts from Subterranean Press for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart have just arrived. Cool beans.

Shut In,
Aunt Beast

* Actually, the rational explanation for the Nicolas Cage "vampire photo" is that time travel will soon become a reality.
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
About twenty minutes ago, I finished Blood Oranges. For those who like numbers, I did 2,831 words today. I aimed for a word count of 70,000 words, and the manuscript came in at 70,024. I conceived of the book in April, and began writing it on May 5th. To put it all down on paper, only 45 actual writing days were required.

Hurricane Irene, I believe, was my midwife.

Never, in my twenty years as a writer, have I finished two novels in one year (never mind having also edited two collections of my short fiction).

I get one day off before I begin again.

Now, I'm going to lie down. Or look at the windblown streets....
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Okay, so even though I got up about an hour early, I'm running about an hour late, and I blame you, Johnathan Strahan, and you, Gary K. Wolfe. And this Coode Street Podcast, which will have me smiling for days to come. And, of course, now I'm dying to see Gary's Locus review of Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Me (Volume One). I was especially pleased with their suspicion that Volume Two is going to be so much better than Volume One (because it will be).

Comments today, kittens! I need them.

---

Yesterday, after I attended to email (Michael Zulli and I seem to have become regular correspondents, which is just too cool), we left Providence, about 3 p.m.. And drove south to Exeter, in the southwestern quadrant of Rhode Island. Throughout Blood Oranges I've been doing something I never do with novels: I haven't spent much time scouting locales. To keep with the fast-pace of the book, I've relied on my memories. But the climactic scene occurs in Exeter, where I've spent very little time. Now, if you're into the weird of New England, or vampire lore, you know all about the Mercy Brown incident (and the related cases of New England "vampires"). I've read Michael E. Bell's superb book on the subject, Food for the Dead, and used the case in several stories. Yet, I'd never visited the grave. Nor had Spooky, which is even odder. So, yesterday we set out to remedy this.

It could hardly have been a less appropriate day, if you're the sort who wants some appropriately eldritch atmosphere for such an outing. The sun was blazing, and there's virtually no shade in the Chestnut Hill Cemetery. The temperature must have been in the mid-eighties Fahrenheit, with heat indexes close to ninety. But I think Spooky and I were both happy that we weren't making some cliché goth pilgrimage. We followed Ten Rod Road (Route 102) to Exeter and the Chestnut Hill Baptist Church (behind which the cemetery is located). Mercy's grave is a simple marble marker, unassuming, and unlike that of Nellie Vaughn – another tuberculosis victim that superstitious locals feared was an undead, life-draining revenant (oh look, LJ can't spell revenant) – there's no inscription that could be taken the wrong way. Vaughn's grave, in Greenwich (Gren-itch), reads: "I am waiting and watching you." Anyway, there is at least a large cedar that shades Mercy's stone. As with HPL's marker, people had left tokens on the headstone. I left a small black pebble. There are photos behind the cut.

After Exeter, and all the notes carefully recorded in my Moleskine, we headed over to Newbury Comics in Warwick (War-ick) to kill some time until it was cool enough to make the drive down to Moonstone Beach. And we were Bad Kids, and each bought two CDs. Not being utterly destitute after the long monetary drought, these things happen. And they were all used CDs. I got Death Cab For Cutie's Plans and Placebo's Once More With Feeling: Singles 1996-2004. Spooky got Einstürzende Neubauten's Strategies Against Architecture, Volume 4 and the Swans' Children of God. We were not utterly awful, though; we only looked at the amazing new Depeche Mode boxed set.

After Warwick, we headed south to Moonstone. And, of this beach's many moods, here was another one. One perched at the edge of a tremendous chaos. Already, the waves were dangerously high, at least 3-5' high, and a big yellow sign had been posted forbidding people from walking on even the lower part of the beach. Walking over the dunes, past Trustom Pond, where a few bird watchers were set up (the birds were all in a lather, as the storm approaches), we spotted a beautiful Green Heron (Butorides virescens), a new species for both of us. It was perfectly still at the edge of the pond, fishing. A tiny Piping Plover kept creeping near it, then dashing away again. But no cormorants anywhere, no gulls in the sky. Flocks of pigeons heading inland. A squawking catbird. A strange and ominous ornithology.

On the beach proper, well...I can't do it justice in words. A painter could have done it justice. I'll post photos over the next few days (assuming we don't lose power). There were a few people. We walked a long way (maybe .40 miles, so .80 altogether) as the sun was setting. The wind was chilly, very wet and misty, quite a change from Exeter. We saw all manner of flotsam and jetsam. We spotted the leathery remains of a skate (Family Rajidae, maybe a Thorny Skate), and another beachcomber told us that a Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) was stranded at Moonstone on the 9th of the month. Oh, the wonders I miss by not being nearer the shore! Fuck you, motor boats; the turtle likely died from gash in a front flipper, from a propeller. As the sun was giving way to night, beneath a Maxfield Parish sky, we reluctantly headed back to the van. I wanted to spend the night in the dunes, just feeling the storm coming on.

Back in Providence, we stopped by Eastside Market to grab a last minute pile of supplies, readying to sit out what Irene throws our way (I've heard we're getting 18 hours of continuous tropical storm conditions), and we remain under a Hurricane Warning. Anyway, there was a package from an incredibly kind anonymous individual – a first edition (!!!) of Shirley Jackson's The Sundial, sent from The Strand in Manhattan. Whoever did this, a million thanks.

---

Good RP in Insilico, and some of The Stand last night, as Trashcan reached Las Vegas.

---

So, we're watching little but the progress of Irene up the Eastern Seaboard. Terrifying, this storm, and, as I have said, I am honestly more worried about Manhattan than I am about Providence. Regardless, stay safe. Don't laugh this one off. Not since Katrina has America faced such a threat from a hurricane. We've got mandatory evacuations in coastal and low lying areas here in Rhode Island. But regardless of my fear (and I am afraid of this storm), gods, what a splendid expression of sky and sea, this child of Panthalassa. The sea stands up and walks across the land. This has been happening for billions of years, and we're the ones in the way. This doesn't mean I am without concern. It only means I see both sides.

Concerned and Awed,
Aunt Beast

Anyway, here are the Exeter photos:

26 August, Part 1 )


Addendum: This entry took over two and a half hours to compose.
greygirlbeast: (CatvonD vamp)
Because I very much want people to see this movie:

greygirlbeast: (white2)
Perhaps we've entered the cool descent to autumn. It's too early yet to tell, but the highs have dropped into the upper 70sF. Cloudy today.

Yesterday was entirely consumed by email and putting together the text for the Kickstarter project to help fund the trailer/photo shoot for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. And I think this is only happening because [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy did the number crunching. I certainty don't have the patience for it at the moment.

I'm hoping that Sirenia Digest #68 will go out before midnight. I just need to get Vince's illustration for "The Granting Cabinet" and have the whole thing PDF'd.

I think my triggerpunk proposal went over well yesterday. The only potential problem I foresee are readers who think they're buying books about guns. Because, you know. Readers think things. But consumers...consumers think the worst things of all, much worse than the things readers think. I have often marveled that people who are comfortable being called consumers (or who so name themselves) are able to think at all.

Oh, and may I just say: Anne Hathaway as Catwoman? Mrrroow....

---

Last night we saw Jim Mickle's Stake Land (2010), and as it was yet another entry in the parade of post-apocalyptic vampire films, I went in with lower than zero expectations. And...surprise. It's, I shit you not, fucking brilliant. Imagine The Road crossed with I Am Legend, and that's not right, and sort of demeaning (reducing everything to the Hollywood pitch), but it puts you in the neighborhood. The vampires are terrifying, but Mickle presents an Aryan Christian doomsday cult as an even greater threat, and his cinematographers use the landscape through which the characters wander to create the most quietly terrible menace of all. It is, in fact, a marvelously quiet film, punctuated by sudden bursts of violence. Very good film score. The vampires are the absolute antithesis of the "sparkly" foolishness. For that matter, they're the antithesis of any image of the vampire as a romantic figure. This film highlights the very thin line between vampires and zombies. Remember, kittens: George Romero was inspired to make Night of the Living Dead (1968) by Richard Matheson's I Am Legend, a novel about a vampire plague, not a zombie plague. Actually, Romero said "I had written a short story, which I basically had ripped off from a Richard Matheson novel...", and "I couldn't use vampires because he did."

Anyway, with Night of the Living Dead, Matheson reinvented the zombie, just as writers like Anne Rice would go on to reinvent the vampire. In Stake Land, Mickle yanks vampires violently, splendidly, with beautiful horror, back towards their roots. And if anyone dare complain this feels more like a zombie movie, that's only because they've never read I Am Legend and/or don't know of the origin of Night of the Living Dead. Truly, Stake Land is the first vampire movie in a long time*** that made me a little less ashamed of my fascination (nigh unto fetish) for bloodsuckers. But, a caveat: if you're the sort whose put off by artistic triggerpunk – and we are talking major fucking "triggery" shit here – then you may want to sit this one out. Stake Land is art, and it is beauty, and it is hideous, and it is trauma. It's despair, almost, almost eclipsing any hope. Unless you can simultaneously embrace all these things, it's not a film for you. But I fucking loved it.

So come to me.
Come to me now.
Lay your arms around me.
And this is why,
This is why,
We fight.
Come Hell.
Come Hell.
Come Hell.
Come Hell.
–– The Decemberists

Needing Red Bull,
Aunt Beast

*** The last, of course, was Tomas Alfredson's Låt den rätte komma in (2008).
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they'd made.
And the sign flashed out it's warning,
In the words that it was forming...


---

I am so very not awake. Still, it would be a decent enough day to entertain comments, so please feel free. To comment. I'll be here all day. Anyway, I took all the proper pills, but was still awake until almost five ayem. Sometimes, the old neurochemistry insists on having it's way, pills or no. Which is actually oddly comforting. The triumph of Nature over Pharmacy, even if it's annoying Nature. Then again, if I lived a more natural life, in a more natural world, I might not be suckling at the teat of the Pharmacy.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,790 words on Chapter Two of Blood Oranges. Yesterday, someone asked me of the novel, "Is there any tongue-in-cheek left?" Thinking on that question, and having talked it over with Spooky, I think the answer is yes. But it's not really a spoof or a satire. It's simplest to point to Tarantino's films. Is Kill Bill a spoof or a satire? No, not really. It's keenly aware of the layers of homage within it, and it often pokes fun at itself and the source material. But it also has an undeniable reverence for and fascination with that source material. Ergo, more homage, less satire. This goes back to the danger of setting out to do...well, anything. I really do hate ParaRom (which, by the way, I'm told by reliable sources is quickly waning in sales and popularity). But I also really do love the sources it draws upon. Also, I can only manage comedy for short bursts. I could never write a book that's funny page-to-page. Blood Oranges is keenly aware of the layers of homage within it, and it often pokes fun at itself and the source material. It frequently rolls its eyes. I've never written anything so forthrightly concerned with pop culture (in this case, what pop culture would have us believe about monsters).

Sometimes, we set out to make fun of a thing, then discover it's not really worth making fun of...well, not at tiresome length. Comedy can quickly become dull. Instead, we discover this other thing that's a lot more interesting. The "werepire" novel began as a joke; any joke that tries to go on for a hundred thousand words is doomed from the start.

---

We have a new round of eBay auctions. And here were are, my 47th birthday imminent. I have a wishlist at Amazon, and yeah, it's a little late, but ain't nothin' wrong with late gifts, right?

Yesterday, I read "A partial skeleton of the Late Cretaceous lamniform shark, Archaeolamna kopingensis, the Pierre Shale of western Kansas, U.S.A," in the January JVP.

Last night, we watched David Slade's adaptation of 30 Days of Night again. And it's actually a much better film than I remembered it being. There are big problems (pacing, for example), but it still delivers, and few films in recent memory have had such memorable vampires. Alien, gleefully vicious, sexy despite their repulsiveness...all the things vampires ought to be.

And then we played Rift. And then we read Kathe Koja. Then...well, back where this entry began.

And that's my cue to get to work.

Blearily,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I think I was actually a little disappointed to awake and discover it looks like we're still stuck with the 2.9% of the earth's human population (200 million/3.9 billion) that Harold Camping promised we'd be rid of come 6 p.m. local time (which it is now long past in much of the world, ergo...). I am left with a question for Camping, though. Given that his heavenly abduction would have begun in the Pacific and rolled westward as the planet revolved, doesn't that mean that people in, say, California would have had an awfully unfair advantage over people in, say, New Zealand? I mean, in terms of last minute repenting and whatnot, which surely would have followed from the news reports. Then again, the number of Rapture tickets was awfully small, and I'm guessing they were all printed in advance. So, never mind.

---

I did sleep last night, more than eight hours, thanks to the Good Worker Bee pill.

I was going to post museum photos today, but I found I wasn't in the mood to bother with resizing them. Photoshop pisses me off.

Not much to say for yesterday. Work, whatever that was. And we went out to Acme Video to get movies for Kid Night. The day was green and mostly sunny...and cold. We have a month until Solstice, and sure it's green out there, but it's still chilly. I'm beginning to despair of seeing any warmth this year.

Last light, we watched the two sequels to Robert Rodriguez' Dusk Till Dawn (1996). I have to admit to having been underwhelmed by the original film. It's sort of grown on me over the years, but I've always felt Rodriquez missed the chance to make a really good movie, and we were left with a so-so "it could have been worse" sort of movie. Well, Dusk Till Dawn: Texas Blood Money (dir. Scott Spiegel; 1999) is that movie that could have been, and was, worse. A bad, bad, needs to be put over someone's knee and beaten sort of a movie. Not just bad, but dull. I nodded off three times. Fortunately, From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter (dir. P.J. Pesce; also 1999, so I assume the films were shot back to back) is much, much better. As in, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Michael Parks was great as Ambrose Bierce. So, after a crappy first feature, Kid Night rallied with a fun second feature and all was not lost.

Very good rp in Rift last night.

--

Oh, I just remembered. Yesterday, I got the editorial letter for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir from my editor at Penguin. Only, it wasn't actually an editorial letter, not in the usual sense. My editor suggested only a single very minor change to ms. page 431 (out of 488 pages). I was kind of blown away. The good kind of blown away. My editor said incredibly nice things about the book (which I may quote, if she gives me permission). And that was that. Which saves me a week or so of revision work. I have a tiny number of additions I'd like to make to the book, and then it will be well and truly done.

And now...
greygirlbeast: (CatvonD vamp)
Maybe it was premature of me to say that Providence has made the transition from Cold Spring to Spring Proper. Or, it may be that there needs to be a third and intermediate formal subdivision: Green Spring. That is, May, when it's finally fucking green out there, but people think it's warm when the temperature rises into the high sixties. Like today. Tomorrow, back into the fifties.

At least there's sunlight today.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,662 words on Blood Oranges. I know how the chapter ends now, and should be able to finish it by tomorrow evening.

If you're a Sirenia Digest subscriber and haven't voted in the "Question @ Hand" Poll, please do, and thanks.

I've been trying to manage more reading and less gaming. There's Under the Poppy, and the latest issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Yesterday, from the latter, I read "Nuralagus rex, gen. et. sp. nov., an endemic insular giant rabbit from the Neogene of Minorca (Balearic Islands, Spain)." Imagine a rabbit ten times the size of modern cottontails, only it doesn't hop and doesn't have long ears. Also, reading Curt Stager's Deep Future: The Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth and Jane P. Davidson's A History of Paleontology Illustration. But also gaming. Last night, we neglected Selwyn and Miisya, and played our Guardian high elves. Though the godbothering is fierce, I have in mind a storyline for our guild that involves making contact with a group of Guardians who have grown distrustful of their leaders and who doubt the Vigil, and who suspect they're not being told the truth about a lot of things, including what happened in Scion. So, I need characters of sufficiently high levels to reach areas where interfactional rp can occur.

Yes! Cross-faction rp. Which you can actually do in Rift. It's just a shame the game designers didn't allow for a far more realistic and inevitable scenario involving defections from one side to the other (only on RP servers), and also a loose confederation of the Undeclared, consisting of those who won't take a side. Would have been much more interesting. Anyway, yes, we have a guild, "Eyes of the Faceless Man," Defiant side, on the Shadefallen Shard. We'd love a few more members, and I know some of you game, and you should know Rift as good as it gets in terms of high fantasy/S&S MMORPG. Whatever faults it may have, Rift leaves WoW in the dust.

---

Last night, was apparently devoted to creepy movies from 1987. First, we watched Alan Parker's Angel Heart, which, somehow, I'd never seen. It's a beautifully shot and acted film, but I think the ending gets heavy handed. We didn't need the yellow contact lenses. We also watched Kathryn Bigelow's Near Dark, which, of course, I've seen about a hundred times, though in about twenty years. There are still some marvelous moments in the film, and Lance Henriksen is wonderful. But it falls apart as a whole, and I'm starting to think I should stop watching eighties horror films, which rarely ever measure up to my memories of them.

---

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks. Also, Spooky's made a really marvelous new necklace, which is up in her Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy shop, and which you can see here.

And now, words.
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
Today was going to be a day off. That was the plan yesterday. But it's not as warm as it was going to be, only the low 60s F, and it might rain. So, more work, instead. Also, I slept for shit, not finally succumbing until sometime after dawn. I think that part was my fault. Vicodin and Red Bull are not your sleepy-time combo. Felt awfully nice, though. Sort of like sex, without the grunting and secretions and funny faces. And it makes any MMORPG 47.3% more enjoyable.

Absolutely perfect Fringe season finale, which we didn't see until last night. I shall drop no spoilers, but allow me a hearty YES!. Thank fuck the show was renewed for another season.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,519 words on Blood Oranges. To understand where this book's headed, you also have to understand that the task I've set for myself is, if we speak in the Hollywood "high concept," what I think would happen if Joss Whedon and Quentin Tarantino set out to write a ParaRom novel together, one in which a demon slayer (who's also a heroin addict) is bitten by a werewolf, then turned by a vampire with a vendetta. Damn, there's a good title. Vampire with a Vendetta, directed by Robert Rodriquez. That would be the sleazier film adaptation. Anyway, yes. It's going well.

If you're a Sirenia Digest subscriber and would like to weigh in on whether or not I continue the "Question @ Hand" feature, I'll be watching the poll I started last night for at least a couple days more.

Current eBay auctions! Have a look!
greygirlbeast: (white)
New version of Firefox, you suck. Just so you know.

And yesterday was a very weird day. But here I am, on the other side of it.

Yesterday, I wrote the journal entry and answered email. I edited the FAQ for the soon-to-go-live new Sirenia Digest website. And I did a little more work on "Fake Plastic Trees," adding about 200 words to clarify something the editors had requested I clarify. It was a point I admitted was a little vague, and now the editors are happier with the story, and so am I. Afterwards, I wrote 1,540 words on the first chapter of Blood Oranges, which is the thing that was conceived as a spoof of ParaRom, but seems to have grown into an actual novel. Its still a "werepire" novel, and it looks askance at and skewers everything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Twilight, from True Blood to Anne Rice. It's a strange beast, about strange beasts. And I'm not going to say anything more about it until I write another 1,500 words, because it's just too strange.

I have set a goal for myself: I will write two more novels (Blood Oranges and Blue Canary), two new short stories, and produce nine more issues of Sirenia Digest by the end of January 2012. And not die in the process. Then, in 2012 I'd write Dark Adapted, the sequel to Blood Oranges, along with the sequel to Blue Canary.

So, yes. A lot of work yesterday. And the same today. And tomorrow. And that's what my summer looks like. Mostly. I get a few days off for good behavior.

There are days I could just sit and listen to R.E.M. all day long.

Yesterday, a very young humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) was found beached at Little Compton.

I made a really terribly good salsa fresca (half the juice of one lime, two tomatoes, about a fifth of a red onion, half a large jalapeño, one serrano, a handful of fresh cilantro, a clove of garlic, and a dash of salt) for Cinco de Mayo, which we had with the pork quesadillas Spooky made. I wanted tequila and Sol beer, but the meds say no.

Then I took a short nap.

Then a house down the street erupted into flame. This makes the third serious fire on our street since November 2009. The second was in May 2010. And now this. When I first made it down to the street, and within maybe a hundred feet of the house, I thought they were going to lose the thing, and the wind was so bad I began to fear for surrounding houses. But at least five fire trucks responded (it was listed as a two alarm). Everyone got out. But now another beautiful old Victorian house on the street is scarred. All this would be very suspicious, and it's obviously statistically improbable. But the first fire was started by a faulty lamp cord, and the second by a cat knocking over a candle. Nothing suspicious there. Last night's fire was fucking terrifying. The cause remains undetermined. Spooky took three photos, which are behind the cut:

Fire Three, May 5 2011 )


Note to potential stalkers: I've said enough over the years that anyone who really means to can find my house, but you show up on my doorstep or lurking about, annoying me and mine, getting in my shit, and I will fucking kill you. End of story. So think twice, and then think again.

Later, when things had finally calmed down, we played a small bit of Rift. We watched the last four episodes of Season Six of Weeds. I must admit, the season recovers towards the end, and the last episode is very good. Later, we read more of Under the Poppy. That was yesterday, kittens.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Checks are coming in very slowly, and every little bit helps. Thanks. Also, Spooky's added a new necklace to her Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries shop. She made a beautiful one for me (finally), which I'll post photos of soon, then made one more. It's awesome. Buy it.

And now I go to write about a werewolf attack.

Beastly Yours,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
On Monday, I learned that "As Red As Red" has been nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award, as has the anthology in which it was published, Ellen Datlow's Haunted Legends (Tor).

---

No work yesterday, aside from email. No good excuse. The words were in my head, and the deadlines are pressing in about me. Still, I fucked off to nowhere in particular. Spooky got back from the mechanic (the bill was bad, but less than expected, and we're pretending that faulty crankshaft will last forever), and I realized that I'd not left the house since Sunday. So, I tagged along while Spooky ran assorted errands. For a while, the sun was warm on my face, and there were the first hints of green, and, here and there, blooming things. All traces of motivation and enthusiasm, enthusiasm for anything at all, faded from me. I dozed in the van. I looked through the windows at the shadows along Benefit Street. I ate a handful of jelly beans. On the way home, we stopped at Acme Video (but I'm coming to that).

---

Last night, we watched Let Me In, Matt Reeves' remake of Tomas Alfredson's Låt den rätte komma in, which, of course, was adapted from John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel of the same title. I avoided Reeves' film in the theater, which seemed like the best course of action. I couldn't see the point of it. Even if Reeves' film turned out good, he was still remaking a very new and very excellent film. An endeavor which would be, at best, pointless. And then I learned that the issue of Eli's gender was being removed from the script, which goes a long way towards gutting the story. Eli becomes Abby, and Abby's just a "girl," and all ambiguity is removed. To make things worse, I happened across an interview with Reeves (which I tried to find again, and have been unable to*) in which he was very open about his beliefs that these changes were necessary for the story to be appreciated by an American audience. So, no. I didn't go see it.

I also swore I wouldn't see the DVD.

Regardless, last night, we watched Matt Reeves' film. I tried very hard to judge this film only on its own merits, not relative to Alfredson's. And I failed. But then so does Matt Reeves. Spooky and I often happen upon interesting indie horror films that we'd never heard of, and which turn out to be quite good. Had it not been for the masterful Låt den rätte komma in, Reeves' film might have struck us that way. A pretty good little coming-of-age vampire story. I might even have applauded its grittiness and willingness to take child characters places lots of filmmakers wouldn't have. Instead, Let Me In came across as rushed and disjointed. Even dull. We both actually almost fell asleep.

There are places where the film is a shot-by-shot remake of Låt den rätte komma in, which, again, makes judging it on its own merits difficult. And what was all that business with "Owen's" mother being a religious maniac? I thought, oh...okay...she'll be the one "Abby" bites, the one who lives, then dies in the hospital-room conflagration, having learned she's become the thing she professes to hate, and hey, okay, that might be kind of interesting. But no. Nothing of the sort. Chloe Moretz, who entirely won me over in Kick Ass, radiated nothing of the quiet, innocent threat we saw from Lina Leandersson. And that kid who played "Owen" is about as interesting to watch as a bowl of Cream of Wheat. Is this actually the same actor who appeared in The Road? It's hard to fucking believe. Also, sure, there are more special effects in Reeves' film. Because that's what Americans do. So what?

Verdict: Let Me In is a very mediocre little horror film, if you've never seen Låt den rätte komma in, and if you can set aside the homophobic/transphobic politics that turned Eli into "Abby." But if you passionately love the Swedish film, as did I, and if you expect anything like its depth and Alfredson's marvelous study of mood and atmosphere and character, you're up shit creek. A very shallow shit creek. My advice would be to watch Låt den rätte komma in. It's actually a good film and worthy of your time and attention. To call Matt Reeves' remake unnecessary is a gross understatement.

I never go into a film with the intention of hating it. You know, watching (or reading) something just to earn the rights to kvetch. And I should have kept my promise and avoided this remake.

---

I've ended the keyboard auction. I realize now that I made the incredibly dumb mistake of putting it up just as taxes are due. Maybe I'll list it again in a month or two. My thanks to everyone who looked in, though, and everyone who spread the word.

---

Aside from the film, not much to last night but Rift. Selwyn made Level 26. I genuinely wish that MMORPGs would offer you the opportunity to tell whining, cowering townspeople to butch up and take care of their own problems or shut the fuck up. It could add a whole new set of stats. Another sort of reputation rating or something. I often have that reaction, and I was having it a lot last night, as the people of Granite Falls (Telara's answer to Deadwood, I think) asked me to do this and then that menial task. For example, the nurse who was too squeamish to take blood. Um...okay. The Ascendant are these super beings, essentially demigods, and we spend a significant amount of our time searching out lost lockets for mourning widows and putting meat in the tables of people apparently too lazy or incompetent to do it for themselves. Yeah, that makes sense.

---

And now...well...we'll see.

* I intend to continue looking for it, though.

Postscript: My thanks to [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark who appears to have found the interview I'm remembering: "Hammer Film's Simon Oakes Promises Scary, Accessible 'Let Me In'". But I may also have read this, which [livejournal.com profile] sovay tracked down: "Matt Reeves Interview LMI DVD,Talks About Abby's Gender." Both contain equally offensive and idiotic comments.
greygirlbeast: (starbuck4)
The snow and ice are here to stay. What little melting takes places during the day freezes solid as soon as the sun sets. I'm not kidding about glaciers. I may have to do a driveway glacier photo essay. The low last night was something like 9˚F.

Today, your comments would be most appreciated. Fridays are always slow.

I tried, yesterday, to take a day off, and failed. At this point, there's not been a day without work since Monday the 17th, and there have been seventeen days of work since. Today will make eighteen. Starting to feel thin, but the work is piled on top of the other work. I've got to get through chapters 7 and 8 of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir this month, and finish up the editing and layout (and other stuff) for Two Worlds and In Between, and get Sirenia Digest #62 out to subscribers (the latter should happen tomorrow).

Yesterday, I tried very, very hard not to work. We made it through chapters 33-35 of Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, which seemed a good way to begin a day off. Only, then there was some sort of anxiety storm, that ended with me working on the layout and editing for Two Worlds and In Between, and realizing I hate the introduction I wrote, and that I have to write a new one today. And answering email. Oh, and the page proofs for "Hydrarguros" arrived in the mail yesterday. The story's being reprinted in Subterranean 2: Tales of Dark Fantasy.

Day before yesterday was spent trying to talk myself over the wall that has suddenly appeared between chapters 6 and 7 of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Like magick. As soon as I realized the novel would take a different shape, and that Chapter 5 was actually chapters 5 and 6...boom...the first real wall I've encountered since the novel started gathering momentum back in November. I have to find my way over the wall by Sunday morning, at the latest. Anyway, yeah, work is presently a higgledy-piggledy twilight sort of place, too many things happening all at once and no time to stop and take a breath without worrying I'll drown. The weather isn't helping.

I was pleased to see that The Ammonite Violin & Others made the 2010 Locus Recommended Reading List.

--

Last night, we finished reading Kit Whitfield's In Great Waters, which was quite good, and I recommend it to anyone who's ever wondered at the direction European history might have taken if all the kings and queens (except in Switzerland) had been half-mermaid. There's a passage I want to quote from pp. 321-322, a "deepsman's" thoughts on Jesus, the Second Coming, and death, just because I love it:

A man might come back after three days hiding; it was not impossible. But the landsmen seemed to think he'd come back again, some day when the world ended— a thought that, in itself, was inconceivable. Creatures died; the world was what creatures died in. A broken back or a gouged throat created not a shiver of notice in the world, in anything except the dying creature. The world was what happened before you were born and kept happening after you died; there was no need for some dead landsman to come back and have everything living die at the same time and tear up the world while he was at it. Everyone would die anyway if they waited. It seemed to Henry that the landsmen were confused, that they hadn't seen enough dead things to know how easily the water kept flowing after a death, that however much you dreaded the end nothing stopped the tides. And no landsman could destroy the world, anyway, however clever he was at dodging in and out of seeming dead.

Also, we began Grace Krilanovich's The Orange Eats Creeps last night, and I'm already amazed. Also also, it has one of the few truly good and artful book trailers I've ever seen.

---

Two good movies over the last couple of nights. Wednesday night, we finally got to see Gareth Edwards' Monsters. And wow. I'm fairly certain that, after Inception, this is the second best science-fiction film of 2010. I'm appalled it got such a limited release. For an alien-invasion film, Monsters is superbly soft spoken, a symphony of whispers rising, at last, to a distant rumble of thunder. The climactic encounter between the protagonists and two of the aliens invokes not terror, but awe, arriving at that moment of transcendence when eyes are opened and "monsters" become something else entirely. Highly recommended. This is a must see, now that it's finally on DVD and the vagaries of film distribution are no longer holding this masterpiece hostage.

Last night, we watched Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders' How to Train Your Dragon (based on Cressida Cowell's book), and I was pleasantly surprised. I'd not been particularly enthusiastic about seeing it, perhaps because of all the 3D nonsense. But it's sort of marvelous. Sweet without going saccharine. Beautiful animation. And it all ends with a song by Jónsi. Very, very nice.

---

At this point, the Tale of the Ravens project is 160% funded (!!!), but it'll be open to donations, however large or small, for another 49 days. Please have a look. Spooky and I are both excited about this, our first collaboration and the beginning of Goat Girl Press. Please have a look. Oh, wait. I said that already.

And speaking of big black birds, here's the cover (behind the cut) for Ellen Datlow's forthcoming Supernatural Noir (due out from Dark Horse on June 22nd), which includes my story, "The Maltese Unicorn":

Supernatural Noir )
greygirlbeast: (Walter1)
There's a glacier in the driveway.

Yesterday, I did 1,517 words on Chapter 5. As I said a few days ago on Twitter, I'm at least half serious about an author's note at the beginning, something like, Warning: This books contains lesbians and transsexuals, and they have teh sex— with each other —and they're treated like real people, not freaks, and there are no straight characters, just so the homophobic and transphobic whiners out there might be dissuaded from buying it and so whine a little less.

Spooky and I have decided to delay announcement of the secret project until tomorrow. There are still a few details to which she needs to attend. Which is fine, as more people read the blog on Mondays than on Sundays.

Last night, we got new Fringe, an excellent episode with Christopher Lloyd. And then we watched Po-Chih Leong's The Wisdom of Crocodiles (1998; also, unfortunately, known as Immortality). How I managed to overlook this film for thirteen years is beyond me. It only came to my attention a couple of days ago, thanks to a recommendation from [livejournal.com profile] tsarina. I liked it quite a lot. Jude Law in a fairly artful and understated British vampire film. Also, it includes the phrase "a species of one," so now I can't claim to be the first to have used it.

On WoW last night, I saw a Draenei girl in a guild named "Awesome Lolly Muffin Men." Very likely the most peculiar guild name I've ever seen. I thought it must be a reference to something pop cultural, but, if so, Google isn't being helpful.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks.

And now, I'll leave you with a photo from last night, me and Hubero snuggling to stay warm (foreshortening renders my arm oddly stout):

22 January 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (newest chi)
Everything Outside the house is white, except the sky, which is the shade of grey just before white.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,692 words on Chapter 4 of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, bringing me to manuscript page 169.

Thanks to everyone who left comments yesterday. They were much appreciated. It helps. It actually fucking does.

After the writing, we had dinner and waited on the coming storm. I read. We played WoW.

Shaharrazad and Suraa are mired in the interminable morass of Vashj'ir. If you'd have told me that Blizzards would release an expansion that includes questing on a sunken continent and that I'd hate it, I'd have called you a liar. After all, how can you fuck up a sunken continent? How can you make anything so cool so uncool, or anything so inherently exciting dull? Well, I'm not sure, myself, but clearly Blizzard found a way. I've done 128 quests of the 150 in Vashj'ir, and its been one long, unimaginative, unrelenting blur of tasks that really don't seem to have much at all to do with Deathwing or the Cataclysm. There was a funny cut scene last night, involving getting an elder-god octopus thing stuck on your head and the chaos that ensues, but that's been about it. I liked the Mount Hygal stuff, but Vashj'ir blows, and, at this point, we're just trying to grind through it as quickly as we can.

I was finally able to try Mexican Coke last night. That is, Coca-Cola bottled in Mexico. Like that bottled in Canada, it's free of high-fructose corn syrup. Here in the US, where the government's corn subsidies help to insure that everything is sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, Coke stopped tasting like Coke a long, long time ago. HFCS was first used in Coke in 1980, and became the sole sweetener in 1984. Last night, finally, I tasted Coke as it tasted when I was a kid. And I was not incorrect in my recollection that it used to taste much better. We don't drink it often, but now that we have access the the stuff bottled in Mexico, we'll drink it more often (even though that does enlarge my personal carbon footprint a bit).

Last night, we also watched Dario Piana's Lost Boys: The Thirst (2010). Ignore that other piece of crap, the one released in 2008, purporting to be a Lost Boys sequel. The Thirst succeeds everywhere the first attempt at a sequel fails. It's fun, hilarious, sexy, smart, has a reverence for the spirit of the first film, and doesn't make the mistake of trying to upstage Kiefer Sutherland. Plus, it parodies paranormal romance by inserting the archetypal PR author into the mix. Right down to her tramp-stamp tattoo. Naturally, fittingly, she dies horribly. Corey Feldman is a delight, and Casey B. Dolan is utterly adorable. See this film.

The snow began in earnest about one ayem or so. I went out in it for a bit around 3:30. The night sky was glowing orange-white, the soft filter of streetlights and the blizzard, and there were no sharp edges left anywhere in the world, so far as I could see. Everything was all muted to a gentle, swirling haze. Weather like heroin, both needle sharp and gentle in a single breath. Beautiful. I admit I wanted to lie down and let it cover me, and sleep. There are a few photos behind the cut:

12 January 2011, Part One )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I'm looking at the news, seeing that the South has been walloped with snow and ice. People are saying it's the worst snow in Alabama and Georgia since the winter storm of '93. I was living alone in Birmingham then, on the side of Red Mountain, and I was pretty much snowed in for a week, most of it without power. Long time ago. I was twenty-nine. It was the year before I moved to Athens, Georgia, and it was also the year I made my first short-story sale. Anyway, it appears the same storm front that hit the southeast will reach us sometime on Tuesday.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,753 words on Chapter 4 of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. And, as I mentioned yesterday, I'll be including the first chapter in Sirenia Digest #63 (February 2011).

I didn't leave the house.

Not much else to yesterday. I've started reading Shackelton's Forgotten Men: The Untold Tragedy of the Endurance Epic by Lennard Bickel (2001). We read more of Kit Whitfield's In Great Waters (2009). We watched, of all things, Guillermo del Toro's Blade II (2002), which I think made my third time (one in the theatre, now twice at home). I really wasn't in the mood for a big, stupid vampire movie, but I was too tired for anything else. On the one hand, the visual and make-up FX have aged much better than I expected. And Ron Perlman is still cool (and always will be). On the other hand, this film can stand as proof that you really do need a screenplay and actors to make a film. Explosions and martial arts and mutant vampires, that's all well and good, but dialogue helps, too.

There was some rp in Insilico, mostly a long conversation between Molly and Grendel wherein they tried valiantly to talk about "good things," but kept going back around to all the bad things. But it was good rp. It was, I daresay, sweet. I'm going to step away from IS for two or three days. There's just too much work, and it's just too taxing. Also, I leveled my blood-elf death knight to 64. She's named Shahharazad, which, of course, looks an awful lot like Shaharrazad, my Level 82 blood-elf warlock. I call one Double H and the other I call Double R.

And now, the doughnuts.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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