greygirlbeast: (Chiana 6)
So far, here in Providence, it's been a shitty, snowless winter. Lots of rain, and days with wide carnivorous blue skies, but fuck all when it comes to snow. Did we piss off the Snow Miser or something?

If you've not seen it already, the ONE AND ONLY auction of an ARC of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir has begun, and it began last night. The ARC is only being auctioned because we went a little over budget on the trailer shoot (and still have another day or so of filming coming up at the end of this month). So, please bid if you are able. Own a collectible ARC filled with uncorrected sentences. Oh, and both of Vince's illustrations for the novel do appear in the ARC. Thank you.

I'm not sure there's much point in recounting yesterday. I didn't write, because there was a sort of endless barrage of writing-related emails and phone calls. There was a good conversation with my publicist at Penguin (regarding The Drowning Girl), and I was sent more inked pages from Alabaster #3 (which I need to proof as soon as I finish this entry), and there were the pencils for the fourth Alabaster cover (beautiful), and a whole bunch of stuff for Readercon. I'm not kidding, working on all these books at once has my head spinning. Two hours of work feels like eight. This is a new thing to me. At least I'm sleeping more; otherwise, I'd probably be dead by now.

Rainy, cold Thursdays in January are good days for comments.

I'm not even going to try and explain the Buffalo-chicken calzones we had for dinner, except to say they're as hot coming out as they are going in.

Oh, I have this peculiar meme-thing from [livejournal.com profile] matociquala: Pick up the nearest book to you. Turn to page 45. The first sentence describes your sex life in 2012. Okay. I'll play along. So..."The templars strode forward, drawing their swords and advancing on the dogmen, who stood to meet them." Make of that what you will.

Otherwise, yesterday...well, not much else. I read "The forelimb carriage in ceratopsid dinosaurs," and my Sith assassin made it to Tatooine and reached Level 26. Oh, and this morning we learned that Rift's next big patch is going to permit in-game "Ascendent weddings," which, I will admit, is just a few thousand miles beyond the pale for me. The lines between pretend and real begin to blur like that, and we're back to the Great Cesspool of Second Life.

Looking Askance,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Okay, so...I sort of swore to myself that I wasn't going to auction any of the ARCs of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, at least not before the book's release. Not sure why I did, but I did. However, turns out we went over budget on the shoot for the trailer, and there's still more to be shot for the final version, and no way I'm going to do a second Kickstarter for the project.

So. We're going to auction a few things related to the book, beginning with the ARC of the novel. Here's your chance to read the novel well in advance of everyone else, and to own a collectible ARC filled with uncorrected sentences! The platypus, dodo, and mothmen compel you to bid, kittens! Also, I only received three copies of the ARC, and it's probable I'll never sell the other two, at least not for a few millenia. I'll sign it and personalize it, as the winner of the auction wishes. The auction begins at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST. So...until then, the link below won't work.

The Drowning Girl: A Memoir ARC Auction!


Going Once, Going Twice,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Chiana 6)
Bitter fucking cold here in Providence this afternoon, and tonight's going to be so nasty – 6˚F, with 22 mph winds - that Spooky and I are likely cancelling our plans to drive down to Point Judith and watch the brief Quadrantid meteor shower.

Yesterday was the most tedious sort of work day. At least if you're a writer who happens to be me. Which I am. Yesterday, we went back through about a hundred line edits that Kathryn couldn't make when she was editing the ms. of Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart and The Yellow Book back in December (based on notes/proofreaders marks we made fucking months ago), the ones that required I decide if a word was to be changed, or a comma deleted or inserted, or a sentence restructured, or an adjective added...and so on. We were at it all day, until, I think, about 6:30 p.m. My nerves were raw and bloody by the time we were done, but then I sent the files off to Subterranean Press. By then, I wanted stab myself in the nethers with a fork.

But I didn't. Instead, after dinner, I did some work on the process of revamping the website in preparation of the release of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir on March 6th. I chose one of [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy's photos from back in mid-October, during the shoot for the book's trailer, to be used as the background. My intent is that we'll be swapping the background images out on a regular basis, but for now I just want to get the "teaser" up on a page devoted to the novel. It may be up as early as tomorrow morning (so thank you, Brian, Kyle, and Chris). Also, I'll be posting more behind-the-scenes stills from the trailer shoot this week.

I got preliminary pencils – gorgeous – for Vince's illustration for "Part the First" of "The Lost Language of Mollusca and Crustacea," which will appear in Sirenia Digest #73 (look for it by week's end).

---

Some people say we haven't lost.
But they're afraid to pay the cost,
For what we've lost.
~ Arcade Fire, "Half Light II (No Celebration)"

---

Someone wrote me (via email) a few days ago, inquiring about my blind left eye. Not the usual sort of email I receive, so it stuck with me. And it was actually elicited by something I said on Facebook, and email resulting from FB is even more rare. Anyway, the person wrote wishing to know more about my useless left eye, as he'd recently lost 30% of his vision in one eye. Specifically, he was curious how it affects my ability to read. To which I can only say, it doesn't really. Except that my eyes get tired very quickly when I read (though not when I'm writing or gaming, and I have no explanation for that), and only in the last ten years has that even begun to be an issue. But the difference here is that I was likely born almost 100% blind in my left eye. I never had any depth perception (binocular vision) to start with, and my field of view (my FoV is only about 90˚-100˚, instead of the usual human 180˚-200˚) was always seriously impaired. I taught myself to read when I was four, well before I began school, so clearly it was never a significant impediment to my fundamental reading ability. Except, I read very slowly. Also, it means that I have a lot of trouble if there's text over on my left that I need to read while also attending to anything on my right (this is a huge problem with text in console games and MMOs). And I was finally forced to stop driving about ten years ago (how I drove before then, and how I passed my original driver's test...long story, or not). So, anyway, short answer, my partial blindness has never caused me any significant difficulty as a reader, or as a writer. But that may be because I was born that way; no one even figured out anything was wrong until I was in fourth grade, and the extent and probable cause – in utero toxoplasmosis that scarred my left cornea – until I was in college. Anyway, there you go.

Now, I find a story.

Searching,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Chiana 6)
This is one of those rare mornings when I wake freezing, shivering, headachey, just shy of full-blown hypothermia, somehow having divested myself of all the blankets in the throes of this or that bad dream. And then I need two hours to get warm. Only, according to Spooky, I was actually being a bed hog, and if I'm cold it's my own damn fault.

Yesterday, I did an interview. An important interview. But I cannot yet say for whom or where it will appear. I will tell you as soon as I can. But it ate up more of the day than it should have. Also, I've gotten bloody sick of talking about myself. It's a little easier to talk about Imp or Sarah or Dancy, and almost as accurate since they're all overlapping aspects of me, anyway. To all prospective interviewers and would-be biographers of Me, I say to you, the only biography that's worth a good goddamn, the only truth-be-told, must first be filtered and fictionalized. You reduce the lives of women and men down to mere fact and history, and mostly you'll be left with the banal; if you're lucky, you'll get monotonous tragedy. Mythologize, though, and at least tragedy will seem noble, and even mundanity may be transformed and redeemed.

I am a writer, and my lot in life is to lie constantly, all the while never failing to tell the truth.

Today, I go back to work on "The Lost Language of Mollusca and Crustacea," and hopefully finish it. It will come in Sirenia Digest #73, with a great illustration by Vince Locke, plus Chapter Two of the original (scrapped) attempt to write Silk, plus (!, I hope) a new science-fiction story. I hope. Maybe.

Yesterday, I saw the colored pages for one of the Alabaster stories, colored by Rachelle Rosenberg, and wow.

An announcement. Every morning, or early afternoon, or mid afternoon, I spend anywhere from one to three hours on this journal. An hour and a half is about average, but let's say an hour, because round numbers are easier. That means I journalize seven hours a week, twenty-eight hours a month, three hundred and sixty-five hours a year (or about 15.2 days; and, in truth, a considerably larger sum). Think of all the stories or vignettes or work on novels I could get done in that time. And I've been doing this for more than eleven years, almost every single day! So, I'm thinking that after March, after the release of The Drowning Girl, I'm going to cease this every-goddamn-day blogging thing, this wearisome cataloging of the humdrum events of my humdrum life, and reserve the LJ for news of forthcoming books and of occasional interesting trips, saving untold hours that can be devoted to work, waking up, staring out the window, reading the day's news, et aliae. It's unlikely I'll change my mind.

It's looking now like the "teaser" trailer for The Drowning Girl will go live until January 3rd, due to web-design issues. We have everything in place, it just has to be assembled. The new front page of my website, that is. The thirty-second trailer is edited and ready to post (thank you, Brian!).

Yesterday, well, not much else to tell. I read a pretty good story by David Barr Kirtley (whom, I admit, I'd never heard of before), and before bed I read Stuart Moore's graphic-novel story loosely based on Thomas Ligotti's "The Last Feast of Harlequin (2007), as illustrated by Colleen Doran (I worked with her on an issue of The Dreaming, but, offhand, I can't recall which one). I napped. I watched a PBS documentary on the AZORIAN Project and the 1974 attempt to raise the sunken Soviet submarine K-129. I played Star Wars: The Old Republic. And there was other stuff.

And now, I go forth to think on bivalves and cephalopods.

Warm Now,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
1) Bright outside, a clear blue sky, but the temperature is only 44˚Fahrenheit, which drops to 37˚Fahrenheit when you factor in windchill. At the shore, I expect the windchill has it feeling a good ten degrees cooler than that. Last night, the sky spat rain and slushy snow.

2) Last night, Kathryn's grandmother died. I can't recall the precise time. It was after midnight (CaST). I feel I should say very little on this. Whatever is to be said, you can read at [livejournal.com profile] humglum. But a lot of those posts will be friends locked, for obvious reasons.

3) For reasons that should be fairly obvious, editors should go to lengths to avoid taking liberties with an author's text, if an agreement has not been reached beforehand regarding edits, especially when reprints are involved.

4) There was no actual writing yesterday. The day was a tumult of phone calls, email, and mostly wrestling with the final stage of proofing the (mysteriously altered) galleys for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. These were the pages Spooky had questions about that I had to answer, and there were about fifty of these pages. It could have been worse, but it could have been much, much better. Today, they go to FedEx and back to Manhattan. Other than promotion, the book will be well and truly out of my hands, finally. One the one hand, this feels sad and strange. On the other hand, it's a huge relief. Vince's two illustrations look great in the novel.

There was also a somewhat complex call with my agent. Complex because we had to cover so many subjects (Dark Horse, Blood Oranges, audiobooks, film rights, checks, the mind-bending legal-speak of contracts, the problems raised by ebooks, and...I've lost track). There was the usual barrage of email. I had to get colorist notes for Alabaster #1 out to my editor at Dark Horse. So, yeah. I did not get back to "Sexing the Weird." I doubt that I will today.

5) I forgot to mention that when we went out on Wednesday, we checked the mail and the World Fantasy Award folks had sent me the little HPL pin that all nominees get. You can see the one I got last year here. I am very proud of it. Now I've earned HPL pins for both The Red Tree and The Ammonite Violin and Others.

6) Spooky just came up with the day's mail, which includes three copies of the ARCs (advance reading copies) of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. And they look pretty damn good. A few blemishes here and there, and of course the weird changes are in there, and there wasn't time to get the NYT quote on the cover. But still, nice ARCs, including Vince's illustrations. So, bona fide reviewers should be receiving these soonish (or sooner). I have to get a list together for my publicist. Maybe I'll include a photo of one of the ARCs tomorrow.

7) There was a LOT of Rift last night, including some rp with [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus. A good and very open-ended scene. We've been talking about beginning rp with the guild again (Defiant side, "Watchers of the Unseen"), and if anyone's interested, just let me know, new members or old or prospective. Anyway, since the 1.6 update to the game, day before yesterday, which adds a new region – the Ember Isle, from which the Kelari originated – the idiots have returned to the game. The idiots only seem to show up when there's something new, and they play the new stuff as quickly as possible, then vanish again. The idiots are easy to spot, as most of them sport idiot "names." Last night, for example, the dozens of idiot "not-names" I spotted last night included Kowboy and Killswytch. I think what disturbs me the most is if there's a Kowboy, that means Cowboy was already taken.

Okay. So that's it for today. Play nice, kittens.

Hating My Way,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (sleeps with wolves)
Compared with the day before, yesterday was quiet and uneventful. This is a very good thing.

We completed the edits on Blood Oranges, and I sent the book to my agent. It took me longer to get around to sending her the book after I'd finished it (~65 days) than was needed the write the damned thing (45 days). The manuscript still isn't perfect. Mostly, there are probably a few unresolved continuity errors, but we can catch that in post.

Two more mammoth (no, really; tusks and all) boxes of Two Worlds and In Between arrived yesterday. It's odd to have such a HUGE and, obviously, personally important book out. Finally, after more than a year of very, very hard work beating this volume into shape. The books has received amazing accolades. But, already, it's completely sold out, with no current plans for another edition. This is the beautiful weirdness that is small-press publishing. Meanwhile, my homely books from the titanic NYC publishers just keep chugging along (Silk, for example, has now been in print for thirteen years and five months). Anyway, other than one copy of the limited edition that's been placed on my shelf, the rest of my copies are headed to storage.

Also, the final galleys (page proofs, whatever) for The Drowning Girl arrived yesterday evening, and they have to be back in NYC by November 15th. This is my last chance to make any changes to the text for the trade-paperback edition (due out in March 2012). But I won't even be opening the package until tomorrow.

Last night, I received the final (and delightful) version of Vince Locke's illustration for "Latitude 41°21'45.89"N, Longitude 71°29'0.62"W.", and that means that today will likely be Assembly Day for Sirenia Digest #71. Which means subscribers will have the issue this evening or sometime tomorrow.

Last night, Spooky went out into the cold, bear-haunted Rhode Island night to fetch us some dinner from Mama Kim's Korean BBQ (!!!), a local food truck. If you're in the area, you absolutely have to try Mama Kim's. Follow them on Twitter and/or Facebook to find where the truck's at on any given evening or afternoon. Last night, Spooky had fried beef dumplings and sweet-potato fries, and I had three beef bulgogi wraps. Yum. And THEN, kittens, then we embarked upon a Hank Moody binge of fucking epic proportions...of fucking. Oh, but how I love Hank Moody. I will one day write an appropriately debauched and lovelorn ode to Hank Moody. Both discs of Season Four of Californication arrived on Friday, and we watched the first (eight episodes, 30 minutes each). And then did our dailies in RIFT (mostly Iron Pine Peak). I read a tiny bit of The Log from the Sea of Cortez, and passed out well before three ayem.

Exhaustion has its limits. And, from here on, I mean to be in bed by two-thirty ayem, asleep by three, and awake by eleven ayem (excepting special occasions). No more of this almost killing myself with sleep deprivation. At some point, it ceased to be insomnia and became a simple reluctance to sleep. Blame the dreams, of course, and the clock I hear in my head, counting off the days, hours, minutes of my life. Anyway, yes. More sleep.

Turning Around,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (stab)
There are days that are bad. There are days that manage to be worse than bad. And then there was yesterday. And all I will further deign to say on the subject (as discretion may not be the better part of valor, but it can sometimes be the author's best friend) is that there are times when the legal departments of major publishers are capable of demonstrating a degree of bone-headedness rarely exhibited outside the pachycephalosaurid dinosaurs. My great thanks to Merrilee and Anne for getting me through the day, and apologies to Kathryn, who had to endure the full brunt of my righteous indignation at Ground Zero. What the hell am I on about? When a band and a band's manager and a band's legal representation says, in writing, "Caitlín R. Kiernan has permission to quote our song in her forthcoming novel The Drowning Girl," odds are pretty goddamn good that said band and manager and legal representation have the authority to grant said permission. But, all's well that ends well, right? Okay, well my damaged schedule and colon might disagree, and it's not usual that I'm drinking in the afternoon, or that I have more than a single cigarette in a day. But...it was that sort of a day, and then some.

Please, today, comment, kittens. Just be kindly.

I'm lost, and the shadows keep on changing.

Here's a very fine and thoughtful review of Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Me (Volume One), and it might surprise you how much I agree with it. Well, except the reviewer's feelings about narrative structure and the conventional endings of stories. But, yes, good review. Also, I think I shall be canonized as "Aunt Beast," which suits me fine. At least, this month it does.

So, yesterday was devoured by nonsensical bullshit. I've established that, yes. When it began, Kathryn and I were making another effort to complete the line edits to Blood Oranges. We will finish that today, or all the world be damned. There's only 20 pages remaining, for fuck's sake, maybe half an hour of work. And I will not be dissuaded by clueless lawyers!

Not sucky things about yesterday! They deserve mention. I received a copy of Michael Zulli's on beyond sublime book The Fracture of the Universal Boy (six years in the writing and drawing, and another Kickstarter success story!). You must own this beautiful book. What else didn't suck? Well, Vince Locke's illustration for "Latitude 41°21'45.89"N, Longitude 71°29'0.62"W." (Sirenia Digest #71). Yesterday, I discovered Unwoman, and that totally didn't suck. Last night, [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark came over, and that didn't suck at all. Our conversation about "sport fucking," that totally fucking rocked, and might be the seed for my next SF story. And my HUGE box of comp copies of Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Me (Volume One) arrived via UPS.

Oh, and you need to see Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham, in director Mike Newell's forthcoming adaptation of Great Expectations. Beautimous.

Anyway, I'm running dreadfully late today, thanks to yesterday, and the fact that I had a very early and long talk with my Dark Horse editor this ayem, and still have a modest hillock of email to answer beore Spooky and I can be done with Blood Oranges and get it off to my agent before day's end. But! I will leave you with two more astounding stills courtesy [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy, from the October shoot for The Drowning Girl. These are especially excellent, and, I daresay, they almost show too much of what's to come:

Imp, Eva, and Abalyn )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
So, no Great Trailer & Photo Shoot for The Drowning Girl this weekend. Thank you, Hurricane Irene. Early last night, watching the grave weather forecasts, Kyle and I made the decision to postpone the whole affair. Which means postponing it until early October. Even if we could have reached Moonstone Beach (the area will likely be evacuated), I'd have never asked Sarah (who plays our Eva) to walk towards that surf, much less into it. So, there you go. But I do not argue with forces of Nature. They were here first, and will be here long afterwards. Forces of Nature have seniority.

But yeah, it's looking pretty bad here in Providence, and we'll spend part of the day laying in supplies for the impact. Fortunately, we have storm windows, and the walls of this old house were built with a crisscrossed lattice of steel to protect against this very thing (though it makes hanging pictures a bitch).

I got virtually nothing written yesterday. There was far too much commotion. Confusion. Calamity. All those good "c" words. Mostly, having to figure out, at the last fucking minute, what to do about the Great Trailer & Photo Shoot. Thus, I only managed to write a paltry 698 words on Chapter 8 of Blood Oranges. Nonetheless, I intend to have the book (plus epilogue) finished by the end of the day Tuesday (August 30).

I now have both of Vince Locke's illustrations for The Drowning Girl, and they're marvelous. Sirenia Digest subscribers have seen the first of the two, but no one (outside my publisher's offices) gets to see the second until the book is released next year.

Yesterday, my contributor's copy of The Book of Cthulhu arrived. As did the very beautiful edition of Shirley Jackson's The Sundial I'd ordered. Also, a care package from Madison Colvin in Savannah, Georgia, which included, among many other things, a copy of Angela Carter's Love (one of the few books by her I didn't own). So, thank you, Madison. Very, very sweet of you.

Last night, once the dust of difficult decisions had settled, there was some not exactly very good RP in Insilico, but it had a Season Five Dexter chaser, so everything worked out well. And I think the problem that caused the not exactly very good RP has been identified, so that it won't happen again. Then Spooky read The Stand, and I listened. We reached Chapter 38. And, for fuck's sake, I hate Harold Lauder. Sociopathic, maladjusted, plain ol' disgusting behavior aside, he makes me want to bathe. Oh, back to Dexter, Peter Weller is becoming William Burroughs. Has anyone else noticed that? Meanwhile, Deb Morgan is my latest profanity crush (I know most people don't get those, but I definitely have a profanity fetish; my last profanity crush was Al Swearengen). To wit:



And that was yesterday.

Battening Down the Hatches,
Aunt Beast
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: (Pagan1)
Outside, it's 80F and feels like 81F. Inside, 80F. Balance, kiddos.

The last thing I recall saying before I fell asleep this morning is, "Only a dyke would have a crush on Charlie Brown." This is, in fact, a reference to Peppermint Patty. Let's just say I was very tired. Though, that's often when I speak the truth.

This morning, I dreamed I was in some weird sequel to Lovecraft's "The Colour Out of Space." Pretty much all detail is lost to me, but I can assure you it was not the least bit pleasant. The sense of uncleanliness, that it was unsafe to touch, drink, or eat anything, or even to breathe. It reminds me how "The Colour Out of Space" is a perfect parable for environmental degradation.

Yesterday was spent editing Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart and the first four chapters Blood Oranges, finding as many errors in the latter as possible and correcting them. This afternoon, it goes to my agent. Booya. I now know that I'll write an introduction for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart called "Sexing the Weird." I'm going to ask another author to write an afterword, and I hope to include a lot of illustrations by Vince Locke

Couldn't sleep last night. When I can't sleep, neither can Spooky. So our insomnias align. She read me the first three sections of William Burroughs' Junky (which I've not read since the summer of 1994). Then she turned off the light, about 4:30 ayem. The sky had grown very bright, there on that shortest darkness of the year. I sat at the kitchen table eating leftover pasta salad and watching the dawn. Finally, the pills kicked in, and I crawled away to bed and sleep.

Happy birthday, [livejournal.com profile] faustfatale!

Our thanks to Stephen Lubold for the latest care package: Brown Bird's EP "The Sound of Ghosts," and three books: Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and the first two volumes of Mike Raicht and Brian Smith's amazing The Stuff of Legend. As it happens, he also won yesterday's ARC auction.

Good Rifting and rping last night. Thanks to everyone! The guild grows.

And yes, it's Soltice, Midsummer, Lithia, Litha. It is a day that Kathryn and I observe. If you do likewise, I wish you a happy Litha. I won't say blessed. Not sure I believe much in blessings, and even if I did, I would be unable to bestow them. The wheel turns. The shortest night, tonight.

We'll go to this evening to observe the day. We've talked about staying at the shore all night, maybe watching the sunrise over Narragansett Bay. But first I have a lot of work to do.

Comments, kittens!

Traveling the Circumference,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Cold Spring continues. Colder tonight, but at least there's sun today. For now. The pollen's flying, but that's okay. Seagulls over Providence. The tree outside my office window has buds, but not yet any sign of green.

Yesterday, I didn't get back to work on "Fake Plastic Trees." My agent called and we talked and talked and talked, and plans were made. I virtually never plan. I just let shit happen. Which is one reason I've had such a peculiar career so far. Planning always felt so...common. But yesterday we planned. I'm going to write a chapter and synopsis of the "werepire" novel and pitch it to my editor at Penguin, then start Blue Canary. I'll probably write all of Blue Canary before I get back to the "werepires," which would likely be in the autumn. Unless I realize this is all too entirely fucking insane, I may have two new novels written by the end of the 2011. I might call the "werepire" thingy Adapted Dark. I sort of want to see if I can write a decent book in, say, two months. Or if my head will go boom, instead.

Have I mentioned there will be at least one, and probably three, Vince Locke illustrations in The Drowning Girl?

---

My life is a constellation of prescriptions. That's a lousy fucking bit of phraseology, but there you go. A sky dotted with pills. And yesterday a new one was added to the sky maps, and it sort of unexpectedly knocked me for a loop. I went out to the market with Spooky, but by the time we got home, I could hardly sit up. So, I lay down on the chaise in the middle parlor, in front of the fire, and dozed for half an hour or so. Then she woke me, and it was a long groggy evening. We watched Kill Bill Vol. 1 again, mostly so I could moon over Uma's feet and Gogo...and because the climactic fight scene never gets old. I read a paper on the braincase anatomy of the theropod Carnotaurus. But I never really shook off the grogginess. I did some rp with [livejournal.com profile] omika_pearl, but I just wasn't there, and finally apologized and hit the pause button. However, when I went to bed at three, I was asleep as soon as the light went out, and didn't wake until eleven. I wasn't prescribed this drug as a sleep aid, only warned it might make me drowsy. So...damn. Tonight, I don't take it until bedtime.

Oh, and boot money fell, like a Fortean event, from the heavens. Thank you, Jada. You're the bestest.

People have asked for photos of the new piercings, so there are some ears behind the cut (just the ears, but I'll do the labret later):

Holes )
greygirlbeast: (white)
The cold hangs onto Providence with a death grip. At least the snow is gone, and there's sun.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,223 words on The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. And realized that I'm much nearer THE END than I'd guessed. It could be finished today and tomorrow. Maybe three days at the most. And the realization is disorienting, to say the least. Also, it occurred to me this morning that one important thing that sets this book apart from my previous novels is that place has never been so unimportant. There is a sense of place, of Providence (and mostly the Armory district), of the RISD Museum on Benefit Street, and the Athenaeum, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, and, most especially, of the Blackstone Gorge and Rolling Dam at Millville, Massachusetts. The book also weaves in Boston, Manhattan, and LA, and other places. But almost all of it takes place in Imp's apartment in the Armory. The Drowning Girl: A Memoir could almost be adapted as a stage play with two, maybe three, sets: Imp's apartment, the RISD Gallery, a seashore. Curiously, I didn't include the Blackstone River, the novel's most important locale, outside Imp's home, on that list of potential sets.

I'll write on it today, and tomorrow, and maybe on Monday...and then I'll probably have found THE END.

Also, yesterday we proofed "Hydraguros," which is being reprinted in Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 2. I wrote this story a year ago, and I'm still in love with it. It's my best sf since I wrote "In View of Nothing" and "A Season of Broken Dolls" in early 2007. And after the proofreading, I printed out exactly 25 copies of "Atlantis," the poem I wrote in August for everyone who donated to Spooky's birthday fund. Each copy is printed in Garamond on Crane's Crest Executive paper, 100% cotton, premium weight (28 lb.). Each is signed and numbered. There will be no more. These will go in the mail on Monday.

I printed and signed a new set of contracts for Two Worlds and In Between. Because one of Bill's cats barfed on the originals. Sorry, Bill, but I had to tell that story. It's just too funny (and I, too, live in constant fear of the wages of cat barf).

I got Vince's illustration for Sirenia Digest #63, and, honstly, it's one of the best he's ever done. It'll appear as the cover. Today, I'll assemble the issue, and subscribers should have it tonight or tomorrow.

So, that was yesterday.

---

After dinner last night, we began reading Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire, the next book after The Hunger Games. Though it was no small feat, Shaharrazad found the last few quests needed to complete the "Into the Nether" achievement. Seriously, I needed almost an hour to find the last four quests I needed. They were hiding in "Area 52," with this Consortium ethereal fuck who looked like he only had dailies (big blue question mark floating above his head), even with low-level quests turned on. In truth, he has a whole string of quests! Thank you, Spooky and WoWhead. I never would have found those on my own. So, now I go back to Shadowmoon Valley and Nagrand, try to finish up Outland, and get the Loremaster title.

I played a couple of hours of Rift. I'm sure everyone's getting tired of me gushing over the game. I'll just say I got Selwyn to Level 17. Oh, and I'll say this, too. It's hard to ignore that in advertising for the game Trion is relying almost exclusively on the "human" Ethian and Mathosian races. In ads, in the quick-start guide, on the cover of the box, almost everywhere...we see Ethians and/or Mathosian (physically, they're pretty much interchangeable). And I call this a pernicious sort of speciesism/racism. There are six player races in Telara, and many of us are not Ethian and Mathosian. Never mind that I see more people playing Bahmi and Kelari than anything else (I have no idea how things look on the Guardian side). And I just heard that the two RP/PVP shards must be filling up fast, as Trion opened a third today, Estrael.

Oh, while I gamed, Spooky streamed The Secret of Kells and the Mythbusters episode about duct tape (I'm sort of sorry I missed the latter).

---

Whatever I'm forgetting can wait until later.
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
1) Here in Providence, the temperature's supposed to soar to 52˚F today, the warmest day since...maybe November. The snow is very slowly melting, and it might be gone by the end of March, barring new storms. I ought to work today, but Spooky and I absolutely cannot spend a quasi-warm day cooped up in the house with the wonderful (relative to recent) weather. Instead, we are going to West Cove to birdwatch and gather sea glass.

2) Yesterday, we made it through the third and fourth chapters of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Well, actually, Spooky read it all aloud to me, while I made notes. So, she read pages 88-193 aloud to me yesterday. We're making a lot of continuity fixes, mostly because Imp started out thirty years old, then turned twenty-four. Though, she's telling a story about something that happened to her when she was twenty-two (instead of twenty-eight). So...it gets confusing. And we're fixing misspellings, grammatical errors, adding and taking away a word here and there. About as close as I ever come to rewriting. Tomorrow, we'll make it through the fifth, sixth, and seventh chapters. Eight is still unfinished, and I'll pick up there on Saturday. Near as I can tell, the book will have ten chapters. Oh, and there was a metric shit-ton of email yesterday.

3) This month, Sirenia Digest #63 will continue the sneak preview of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, with the second chapter. But after that, you're going to have to wait until the book is released a year from now. Also, the issue will include my favorite responses to the latest Question @ Hand (and there have been some wonderful ones so far; the question will remain open for about another week) and "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Ghoul," which seems to fit nicely with the aforementioned question. Vince will be doing the cover, another illustration for the novel. I promise that #64 will return to our usual format. The demands of writing the new novel and editing Two Worlds and In Between have made things really fucking crazy around here.

4) Speaking of Two Worlds and In Between, tomorrow you get in-progress images of the wonderful Lee Moyer's cover painting. A good bit of yesterday's email was me and [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy working out the photoshoot he's going to do with me at the beginning of April (for the collection's dust jacket). I think we'll either be shooting at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology or the Boston Arboretum. At some point yesterday, our conversation deteriorated into a discourse on the perils of being a werewolf trying to get through airport security...

5) Last night, in WoW, I continued my race towards Loremaster. I made it through all 55 Felwood quests, then did half the ones for Winterspring (about 20). Spooky played the beautiful, beautiful, oh I am so fucking jealous Rift beta. She's been reading me bits of Rift chat. I wrote this one down: "WoW is a pretty good game, if you turn off chat and never talk to the player base."

6) And look! Ebay auctions!

7) I took a somewhat random series of photographs yesterday while Spooky was reading:

16 February 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (starbuck5)
Slowly, the ice and snow are beginning to melt. Just after breakfast, a great slab came free of the roof and crashed to the driveway. You could get hurt out there.

No day off yesterday. Instead, I wrote 1,654 words, the new introduction for Two Worlds and In Between. I like it a great deal more than the one I wrote back in October. I also did more work proofreading the collection, a task that is far from done and will require much of this month.

The "Someday" antique skeleton-key necklace is still available at Spooky's Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy shop, though most of the other jewelery has sold. Remember: FREE shipping until Valentine's Day, and this stuff is much better than a box of chocolates.

Though I am entirely at a loss as to why, last night we watched Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables. Yes, I willingly subjected myself to a film directed by Sylvester Stallone. And what a great slobbering penis of a movie it was*, too. Even Jason Statham, Jet Li, and a smirking Bruce Willis cameo couldn't save this one. It was, in fact, the single worst movie I've seen since we made the mistake of seeing Scott Charles Stewart's Legion at the theater this time last year. There's actually nothing good to be said for The Expendables. Stuff blows up. There are guns. There are more guns, and more stuff blows up. Men kick other men in the nuts. Stuff blows up. Unfortunately, there are attempts at dialogue. And there are guns. In fact, that might have been the pitch that sold the penis to studio execs. "Stuff blows up, there are guns, and guys kick each other in the nuts. With dialogue." Bad, bad movie. Please, Jason Statham, don't do this again.

I got Vince's Drowning Girl illustration last night, and it's very fine. I've decided that it'll be the cover for Sirenia Digest #62.

I think the Starbuck icon kick is just about out of my system. I've been wanting to see the whole series, start to finish, again.

Okay...off to make the doughnuts and the negative space within said doughnuts.

*Lest someone say I'm being sexist, there are also vagina movies, and usually I don't like those, either. Or maybe I'm just being some sort of equal-opportunity sexist. Though, I do like good penis movies. This just wasn't one them.
greygirlbeast: (Shah1)
The weather seems to have turned cool again. It was warm enough yesterday in the House that we had to crank up Dr. Muñoz for the first time in weeks.

Almost all of yesterday was spent working on the interview for Weird Tales. How is that possible? Because I have an almost ironclad rule about live interviews, which is simply that I almost never agree to them. Almost. So maybe it's only tinclad. My ability to be articulate has an annoying tendency to wink out when I'm having to answer questions "live." The live interviews I've given over the course of my writing career can likely be counted on one hand. Or two. One, if it has a lot of fingers. There was one I did on the telephone with Publisher's Weekly in, I think, 1996. I was still living in Athens. I did a couple of live radio interviews after Silk came out in 1998, and one to the Birmingham Post-Herald. After that, there's a big gap. In 2007, after much reluctance, I finally agreed to be interviewed for Frank Woodward's documentary, Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown. But I'm not sure that even counts as live. There were about a bazillion takes, and it took all day to get through it, as I was allowed to get answers just right. In 2008, I gave a live interview to Locus during ReaderCon 19. A month or so later, I gave one to a reporter from the South County Independent about The Red Tree; we met at the Peace Dale Public Library for that one. So, yeah. Not many at all, especially considering I've probably done more than a hundred interviews since 1996 or so.

Today, I go back to work on Sirenia Digest #58. Last night, I saw Vince's first sketch for the illustration he's doing to accompany "John Four," and I loved it.

"Faces in Revolving Souls" will be reprinted in the November 9th issue of Lightspeed. Also, "The Pearl Diver" is being reprinted in a forthcoming anthology of dystopian science fiction, details TBA. "The Melusine (1898)" is being reprinted in a forthcoming anthology of steampunk fiction. Lots of good reprints.

And speaking of my science fiction, I really will be writing The Dinosaurs of Mars, finally, and it's scheduled to be released by Subterranean Press late in 2011. Bob Eggleton is still onboard for the project.

---

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks. Also, [livejournal.com profile] catconley, please, please, please contact Spooky about your recent eBay purchases. It's very important.

---

Here's a picture I took of Jupiter and the Moon back on Wednesday night. I've been meaning to post it, and kept forgetting. But here it is. It's all a blur, because our camera sucks for this sort of thing. With my naked eye, the moon was the moon, and Jupiter was clearly a planet. But at least the smudgy lights are pretty. That's the closet Jupiter's been to Earth since 1951, a mere 368 million miles (592 million kilometers) away. It won't be this close again until 2022.

Jupiter and the Moon )


---

No Insilico roleplay last night. Instead, Spooky and I did two Outland dungeons, both in Terokkar: the Mana-Tombs and Auchenai Crypts. It was good to switch off the brain and be Shaharrazad. I know the armory page says she's Shaharrazad the Diplomat, but that's really just a way of catching people off their guard. Last night, she rained fire upon the heads of ornery Dranei necromancers. After WoW, we read more of Kristin Hersh's Rat Girl. Recording the first 4AD album, vicious dobermans, Liverpudlian sound engineers, preganancy, and Betty Hutton. We're coming to the end of the book, and I'm not wanting it to be THE END.

Anyway. Those doughnuts won't make themselves, and the mothmen are casting a baleful eye my way. Yeah, just one eye. They're sort of stingy. Or maybe they're mocking me.
greygirlbeast: (white)
Some bad news, which I'm going to get out of the way up front. For health reasons, I will not be attending Arcana 40 in Minneapolis this October. I saw my doctor yesterday, and she's taken me off Prazosin entirely, as we're still trying to get the hypotension under control. She advised me against making two long-distance trips in October. I will still be attending H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival and Cthulhucon in Portland, OR (October 1-3) as Guest of Honor, and the reason I chose the one over the other probably bears some explanation. Andrew Migliore of the HPLFF first asked in 2007 if I would appear as Guest of Honor, and has asked every year since. This is the first year I've been in a position to accept the offer. Additionally, though I was invited to Aracana 40 in early November '09, I heard nothing else from the con until about a week ago, and I'd begun to assume that something had gone awry and Arcana wasn't happening this year. But it's all been dealt with, and my contact at Arcana has been very understanding, and there are no hard feelings. We're talking about me appearing at Arcana at some future date. So, my apologies to readers in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

No writing yesterday. After almost not sleeping the night before, I was doing good to take a bath, get dressed, and make my doctor's appointment on time. Afterwards, I answered a large quantity of email. And Geoffrey ([livejournal.com profile] readingthedark) showed up about 5:30 p.m. It was a pleasant evening of conversation. The first few hours were spent discussing The Drowning Girl, and then we talked about Second Life and Insilico, and then we talked about why my science fiction isn't nearly as popular as my dark-fantasy work. There were many other subjects touched upon. He headed back to Framingham about 2 a.m., and I actually managed a good night's sleep.

Today, I have to begin the story based on Vince's latest illustration, for Sirenia Digest #57. You can see the illustration in my entry "Daka, Bodo, Herto, us" from August 20th.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, if you've not already. You might also take a look at Spooky's Etsy shop, Dreaming Squid Dollworks & Sundries, where you will find art, dolls, and many fabulous hand-crafted items. We're a little more strapped for cash than usual just now, as the bills have piled up and I'm waiting on overdue checks. Thanks.

And now, I must do the mothmen's bidding.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Today is, of course, the 120th anniversary of the birth of H.P. Lovecraft.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,233 words on the second half of "The Yellow Alphabet," N through P. O came out especially well, I think.

This month, Vince Locke and I will be doing that switch thing we sometimes do, when we reverse the usual order of things, and I write a story to an illustration he's done for Sirenia Digest. So, #57 will feature a story inspired by this image:





Not much else to say for yesterday. After the writing, I cooked a pot of chili. I read an article in the July National Geographic on Ardipithecus. There were three exhausting, wonderful hours of rp in Insilico (thank you, Blair). Spooky and I watched two more episodes of Season Four of Dexter (I'm loving John Lithgow's extremely creepy portrayal of the "Trinity" killer).

Sometime around 2 a.m. I finally found the nerve to open the box containing copies of the mass-market edition of The Red Tree. The cover is still hideous and inappropriate, and the smaller format does nothing good for the layout of the novel. But Roc did a nice job with the cover blurbs (quotes from various reviews). Hopefully, it'll sell.

That was yesterday.

There are about four hours remaining in the auction of the first painting I have ever offered for sale, Study 1 in Yellow. And the auction for a copy of the lettered edition of Tales from the Woeful Platypus (plus handmade Beanie platypus) ends in less than an hour.
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
Cloudy here in Providence, but we're told the day will be warm. [livejournal.com profile] sovay is taking the train down from Boston, and we have to meet her at the depot in about an hour and a half.

Much of yesterday was spent housecleaning (Spooky did much more than I). I read over "From Cabinet 34, Drawer 6," which I'd not read since it was published back in 2005. And I also read through parts of "The Daughter of the Four of Pentacles," which I doubt I've looked at since I was working on Daughter of Hounds in 2004 or 2005. And I looked at the artwork Vince Locke has done for Sirenia Digest, A is for Alien, Frog Toes and Tentacles, and Tales from the Woeful Platypus, and tried to select a few pieces for the "best of" project. I made a list.

According to the Subterranean Press website, The Ammonite Violin & Others is now entirely sold out at the publisher. Amazon.com likely still has copies, but they won't for long. My thanks to everyone who bought the collection.

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

And now I should go brush my teeth and get dressed and so forth. And finish my coffee.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Two nights (well, mornings) in a row now, I've slept more than eight hours. Amazing.

Yesterday was, in large part, given over to email and other bits of business related to the "Best of" volume. I think that tomorrow I will most likely be posting a table of contents. There are only a couple of details left to be ironed out. Regarding the art section in the lettered and/or numbered state, I'm very pleased to report that both Richard Kirk and Vince Locke are on board. I still have several other artists to speak with, but Rick and Vince are the heart of that part of the book.

I did get some writing done yesterday. I wrote a new poem, "Atlantis," which will go out to those people who so kindly donated to help me get Spooky's birthday present this year. Each will get the poem, on a good paper stock, numbered and signed. I sent the poem to [livejournal.com profile] sovay and [livejournal.com profile] nineweaving, and their reactions were heartening. It's good to write something that I can see is good. That might sound odd, but it doesn't happen as often as you might think.

Plans have been finalized for my appearance at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon this year (October 1-3) in Portland, Oregon. I may also arrange an offsite book signing. So, if you're one of the many Portland people who've been asking me to make an appearance in that area, you got your wish, and I hope to see you.

---

Last night, [livejournal.com profile] wolven posted this about "Sanderlings," and I want to repost it:

Thank you for this story; it keeps unfolding, in my mind. Particularly The Boy on the beach. Watching the transition, watching The End, Clara's only interaction with the "Outside World;" and, throughout their interaction, after the light in the room, I kept hearing the line "whatever it is that Sanderlings eat." The colour, the Life leeching simultaneously into and out of Mary.

But always the boy. Always his civil, pitying response. The Recording "Angel" holding vigil over all that Clara has lost the ability to appreciate, in her choosing to not see the terrible things. This vigil feels like... an inventory, or a survey, or an engaging and deep meaningful rumination on that which will soon be passed on to him. There's no malice, there. Just an inevitability and a weight.

As the only perspective external to the house, it is... arresting.


Oh, and I came across this thoughtful, articulate, respectful, and utterly wrongheaded review of The Red Tree.

---

Last night, we watched the last two episodes of Season Three of Nip/Tuck. It was a good finalé, but not nearly as powerful as the end of Season Two, which was one of the best hours of television I've ever seen.

I also got in some very excellent rp in Insilico. After failing an empathy test, Xiang 1.5 has managed to elude capture by IPS officers by signing on with a salvage ship called Beowulf. IPS jurisdiction doesn't extend to ships in orbit. The captain obtained, through highly questionable means, a new shell for Xiang, a chassis that's mostly organic, all blood and bone and muscle, and her positronic matrix was transplanted. The process was successful. Her ident chip was replaced and her AI completely shielded. She can finally pass for human. She's signed on as security with the Beowulf, assuming the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer and a new name, Grendel Ishmene (her choice, not mine). Her new body was designed for military use, primarily offworld black-ops wetwork, so...wow...I am going on about this. Sorry. On those rare occasions when rp in SL works, it's wonderful.

The platypus is glaring at me with his beady black monotreme eyes. I dare not disobey.
greygirlbeast: (Bjorkdroid)
Still raining here in Providence. Flooding across much of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Fortunately, the West Side of Providence is high enough that we only have to worry about leaking roofs and windows. The rain will be with us one more day, and then, supposedly, be gone. Rivers are flooding south of us. I understand Boston is set to break its rainfall record for the month of March.*

Last night, I slept almost eight hours, without Ambien. Huzzah.

Yesterday was spent formatting Sirenia Digest #52 (and proofreading, and writing the prolegomenon), which is pretty close to being ready to go out. I'm waiting on Vince Locke's illustration for "Houndwife." Last night, he sent me the pencils, and it's going to be gorgeous. I'm hoping the issue will go out to subscribers either tonight or tomorrow. By the way, I was reading over the Sirenia FAQ yesterday, and it really is woefully out of date. I'll try to fix that soon.

My goal for April— write the first two chapters of The Wolf Who Cried Girl, and, of course, produce Sirenia Digest #53.

Have I mentioned The Ammonite Violin & Others?

Late yesterday, sometime after 5 p.m., I decided that the little that was left to do on #52 could wait until today. One rainy day is as good for layout as the next rainy day. And I got dressed and ventured Outside, over to the East Side of Providence with Spooky, to the market. The Providence River was the highest I have ever seen it. Umbrellas were virtually useless. Anyway, Spooky made quesadillas for dinner, and then I spent much of the evening on Second Life, putting together a new avatar for the awakening of yet another copy of the Xiang AI. I'll post some screencaps tomorrow. It really is a beautiful, creepy av.

And I took some photos yesterday, as we drove through the dreary, dreary rain, just in case you ever wanted to see this city on a Very Rainy Day, through the water-slicked window of a moving automobile:

29 March 2010 )


*Postscript [1:46 p.m.]: Spooky just came in to tell me that they're talking about closing I-95, that this is the worst flooding Rhode Island has seen in a hundred years, and that the city of Warwick has declared a state of emergency.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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