greygirlbeast: (Chi and Aeryn)
I am truly kicking myself about not going to the VNV Nation show in Boston, and to the after party, and...never mind. Sweaty, bald, Irish men who write brilliant lyrics. I have weak spots.

Today, we're heading out to an early matinée of Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Because I'm on vacation! I can do shit like that!

Right now, I'm going to sit here and listen to "Darkangel" and cry into my Red Bull. More later.
greygirlbeast: (walkenVNV)
This is the song I need tonight.

greygirlbeast: (chi 5)
My thoughts are well and truly scattered this morning. No, excuse me. This afternoon, as it is now 12:58 p.m. CaST (though only 11:58 ayem EST, hence still morning). I don't feel like resorting to numbers and bullet points today, either, so bear with me, or don't bear with me.

Bear with me. One of those interesting turns of phrase that I have to wonder if many people ever pause to consider the older, more genuine meanings. Bear. With. Me.

We were planning to be at the VNV Nation show in Boston tonight, and the fabulous Chris Ewen even saw to it that we were on the guest list. Then, yesterday, fearing the possibility of contracting some illness from the crowd, and fearing my deadlines, we pulled out. And our two places on the guest list were raffled last night by Chris, while he DJed at Heroes (DJed as in disc jokey, not as in a pillar-like ancient Egyptian symbol representing stability, id est, djed). So, two happy people will be taking our places tonight, and congratulations to them, but doing good rarely serves as much in the way of consolation if you are me. And I am. Me, I mean.

And I can’t fall asleep without a little help.
It takes a while to settle down,
My shivered bones,
Until the panic‘s out.
~ The National, "Terrible Love"

Yesterday, I discovered that (as is so rarely actually ever the case) the third time was the charm with "Sexing the Weird," and I finished a new 1,525-word version of "Sexing the Weird," which will serve as the introduction to Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. And I like it. Also, this morning (it truly was still ayem CaST) I received Sonya's afterword, "But She Also Lies Broken and Transformed." So, aside from Kathryn and I making about a bazillion corrections to the main text, then getting that text back to Bill Schafer, the book is done. Still no firm release date or date when pre-orders will begin. Later. It's safe to say it will be later, in both cases.

And today, I begin the aforementioned short story about the two women who become cities, for Sirenia Digest #72. And that reminds me to, again, remind you that responses to "Question @ Hand #5" are due by midnight (CaST) on the 7th. Also a caveat: best to avoid humor. I suppose I should have been clear about this from the beginning, but I didn't actually see this as a humorous undertaking (though humor and horror are always loping about, unsightly, hand in hand, I know); I am in an earnest state of mind.

Il est un amour terrible et je suis à marcher avec araignées.
Il est un amour terrible et je suis à marcher avec araignées.
Il est un amour terrible et je suis à marcher dans la compagnie calme.
Et je pouvais ne tomber pas dormir sans un peu aidé;
Il prendre beaucoup à se calmer mon os de frissonnement
Tant que la panique est dehors.
~ The National, "Amour terrible"

Black-eyed peas and collards for dinner last night. I'm undeniably homesick for Georgia and Alabama. Which is the height of peculiarity, given how neither place was ever a home to me, despite the fact that I lived there almost all my life. My relationship with the South could probably serve as a case study in Das Unheimliche.

Later, we watched the next-to-latest episode of American Horror Story, and, gods – Zachary Quinto in latex. Later still, for want of physical, non-virtual company or any other "real-world" diversion, we played Rift. This morning, Spooky was telling me about the offensive comments coming in over level twenty-something to level thirty-something chat – and I didn't ask for specifics, but I assume it was the usual homophobic, racist, sexist ramblings. I keep everything but guild and RP chat off, so I always miss this shit in Rift. I got enough of it in WoW. But it's not ever encountered in actual gameplay – and last night was a good example – people are consistently polite and often helpful (unlike the situation in WoW). It leads me to suspect that an awful lot of people log in merely to "socialize," and likely they're fairly young, or actual kids, and talking hate shit is the false bravado of their generation, as it has been of all generations. Which, of course, makes it no less disheartening, and reminds me why I stay out of Meridian ("New Orgrimmar") as much as possible and always keep general chat switched off. Gaming is, for me (RP aside), a fundamentally solitary exercise, and forget the "massively multiplayer" part. I rarely game with anyone but Spooky. We duo. Anything to avoid the chimps on crack who cram into so much of gamespace.

Ah, and here's a thing I thought I'd post. Behind the cut. Twenty fantasy books that exerted an especial influence on me as an adolescent, in no particular order (behind the cut):

Twenty+ )

And yeah, I cheated and that is many more than twenty books, but I still feel as if many important things have been left out. Ah, well. For another time, yes. But if you have not read all these books at least once, shame on thee.

Nostalgic,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Here in Providence it's a balmy 53˚Fahrenheit, bright and sunny.

And today, as the world "falls back," I remain upright, and Caitlín Standard Time begins for the eighth year. All this actually means is that I prefer Daylight Savings Time and so remain on it all year round. I'm not a morning person, and this way I keep more sunlight in the evening during the loathsome winters. CST has become even more important since the move north. By the way, if you hate DST, and find CaST bizarre, I truly do not care, so there's no need to say so here.

Yesterday was an eight-hour workday, almost all of it spent answering email and getting Sirenia Digest #71 ready to be PDFed, and then I sent it off to Gordon ([livejournal.com profile] thingunderthest) for the actual PDFing. And I also did an interview regarding the BIG DARK HORSE TEASE. The interview will appear online Wednesday, same day as Dark Horse spills more specifics. I'll keep you posted. There are many interviews in my immediate future. Anyway, yes, very busy Saturday (weekends, what are those?). Alas, oftentimes, the first PDF of a Sirenia Digest has errors, and a second is necessary. But, still, I should think the digest will likely go out this evening. Not too late to subscribe and get in on #71! It's cheap!

Today, I need to begin the long short story, or the novelette, or short novella, or what-the-hell-ever that I'm doing for the chapbook that will accompany the limited edition of Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. By the way, that chapbook will include not only this new, long story, but "The Yellow Alphabet." No release date yet. I'm guessing Summer 2012.

Speaking of subpress, I'm getting a lot of reports from people who ordered Two Worlds and In Between from Amazon.com, who are now receiving emails stating "Due to a lack of availability from our suppliers, we will not be able to obtain the following item(s) from your order..." That sort of shit. I have no idea why this is happening, but I do know it's happened before with Amazon and subpress editions, which is why I never link to the Amazon pages for those books, but directly to the subpress pages. I've said before, to be sure you get the book, always order these volumes directly from Subterranean Press. All I can do is notify subpress that it's happened...again. Which, of course, solves no one's problem, now that the book is completely sold out. I can apologize (not that it's my fault), and I do, but I know that doesn't get anyone the book they pre-ordered, expecting that pre-order to be filled. Honestly, the situation pisses me off, but there's nothing I can do. When subpress begins taking orders for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart, ignore Amazon. Order directly from the publisher.

Now, if you did order directly from subpress, and your order hasn't arrived yet, be patient. It will. All the copies are not sent out at once. Subpress handles too many titles to do that. Pre-ordering doesn't mean you get your book early; it means you get your book. I am the author, and all but two of my comp copies only arrived day before yesterday.
---

Last night, we streamed last week's episode of American Horror Story from Hulu (Zachary "Husband #1" Quinto!), then finished Season Four of Californication. For my part, as much as I adore this series, I'd have been happy with it ending at the ending with Hank driving, literally, off into the sunset in that last episode of Season Four. The story may not have been finished (no story ever is), but it was a good place to stop telling it. However...seems like there will be fifth and sixth seasons, though, at least, the story will skip ahead two years. Then we read the prologue and first chapter of House of Leaves (because it's November), then I read some more, and was unable to sleep until almost 4 ayem (perhaps your 3 ayem), only to wake at ten ayem (possibly your 9 ayem). So, I'm not at my best today. Of course, I probably will never be at my best again. My best probably ended in 1995. Those people who tell you that "40 is the new 30" are either a) seriously deluded, b) have amazingly good health care, or both.

We just realized we missed the Rasputina in Boston on October 28th, because we were at the Iron Pour. At least we did something. However, I will make the VNV Nation in Boston on December 4th. Stalk me there and die.

And now...the words.

Next,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
1. Sooner of later, I will stop numbering the items within my entries. Any day now, my mind will cease to be so disorganized.

2. My thanks to everyone who reported "Blue Tyson's" Amazon.com "review" of The Red Tree. Hopefully, it'll come down soon. Near as I can tell, this guy's Australian, and he got his knickers in a twist because of Kindle limitations ("georestrictions"). So, he did the rational thing, and took it out on the one person who has absolutely no say in whether or not her book is available in Australia. The person who wrote the book. Mostly, I want to say to him, dude, buy a fucking copy of the book. An actual hard copy. If you really want to read it, I mean. Stop expecting the world to be what you think you need it to be. Stop being a whining fanboy. Lately, my tolerance for whiners has fallen near zero.

3. Last night, Richard Kirk sent me the artwork for the endpapers for The Ammonite Violin & Others. It's based on "Bridle" (Sirenia Digest #3, February 2006), which a few of you might remember, the kelpie story. Anyway, the art's beautiful. I'll post it here later on, in a few days.

4. Nothing was written yesterday, and, at this point, I am near to a full-on crisis, as far as The Wolf Who Cried Girl is concerned. I should be at least a couple of chapters in by now. I have a prologue. And a deadline. The time has come to find some way to stop fucking around and write the book. I have maybe a week, at best, before I have to set it aside and pull Sirenia Digest #50 together.

5. Last night, we watched Christine Jeffs' Sunshine Cleaners, which was really very good. I'm starting to think of Amy Adams as the new Nicole Kidman. We also watched the first episode of Primeval, which was goofy, but sort of fun. The paleontology was better than average, and I only cringed and rolled my eyes a few times. It was neat that they used creatures from the Permian Period (a gorgonopsid, a pareiasaur, and what appeared to be an oversized coelurosauravid named "Rex). And speaking of movies, I was very pleased to learn that Avatar won best picture at the Golden Globes, and James Cameron best director. Oh, and that Robert Downey, Jr. got best actor for Sherlock Holmes.

6. No Montauk Club photos today. Sorry, there wasn't time this morning to edit and upload them. Tomorrow, perhaps.

I can't accept and won't concede,
In aftermath we find redemption.
The causes that are seized
And disguised as revolution.

Quell the rage that deeply seethes,
The extremes of these devotions.
Dismantle the machine,
The device of their creation.

I can't accept and won't concede
That this is who we are....
(VNV Nation, "Sentinel")
greygirlbeast: (europa)
Yesterday, I wrote 1,934 words, which makes yesterday my second-most productive writing day during this forced march to THE END. Not bad, nixar. Now, see if you can't do better today.

I've decided to extend the offer of a FREE signed copy of the trade paperback of Silk to new Sirenia Digest subscribers. The offer is now good until midnight on January 31st, as it seems to be attracting new subscribers, and new subscribers are always welcome. Also, new subscribers need to e-mail Spooky (crk_books(at) yahoo(dot) com) their snail mail addresses. Otherwise, we cannot send the FREE book.

A decent enough Kid Night last night. We rented Terry Jones' mostly marvelous Erik the Viking (1989) from Movies Worth Seeing (where it seemed I'd not been in ages). I'd seen the film two or three times, but Spooky hadn't, and I have a soft space for it in my heart. Sadly, Sony canceled the DVD release last year, so we had to go with VHS (pan and scan, urgh) and chase the spiders out of the VCR. Very quaint. Anyway, I'd not realised until last night that Jim Broadbent has a cameo/bit part at the very beginning, when Erik is "raping" Helga. It's a very funny movie, except when it isn't, and that's about the best I can ask of anything these days. Then I played a couple hours worth of Final Fantasy XII, at last managing to escape the Draklor Laboratory in Archades and defeat Cid and his four little robot thingies. Afterwards, we went to bed, and I read Sonya's new story for Sirenia Digest #14 — "A Voice in Caves" — which has turned out to be a very nice counterpoint to my own "The Sphinx's Kiss." For those of you who've been wanting to see more gay male fiction in the digest, this issue's for you. Later still, Spooky made me cocoa. It was after three a.m. (CaST) before I found sleep.

Oh, and yes, as implied above, I did leave the house yesterday, for a full hour or so. I have become quite intrepid.

I see there will be a new VNV Nation disc — Judgment — out on March 7th. Good news I needed.

—————

Honestly, I'm seeing very little in the way of negative criticism regarding Daughter of Hounds. Though I have noticed a few complaints about there being too much dialog (???) and too many "dream sequences." The latter complaint, which I should add my agent has also voiced, follows in part, I think, from a misunderstanding of the nature of "reality" in much of what I write. There are a few genuine dream sequences in Daughter of Hounds, but a lot of what I think some people are reading as dreams were intended as something else. They may appear dreamlike, but only because certain consensus assumptions are held so dear about "waking reality." At any rate, I find both these criticisms rather specious and am paying them little heed.

—————

I have spent almost my whole life living inbetween. It's what I do, mostly, existing in transitional zones and connecting hallways. But lately (meaning since sometime in 2002), I have been struggling with a new sort of inbetween, which has placed me in an especially deep conflict with myself. A tug-of-war between the old rational me and an unexpected me bent upon seeking out and understanding magick (here defined as "the willful invocation of awe," though other definitions may be pending), even when it threatens my comfortably mechanistic worldview. It feels at times as though I am being torn in two, and I know how that feels, having been divided more than once already. Mostly, though, the division does not occur. And neither side gains any ground. So I live uneasily inbetween, like some Matthew Arnold cosmology. Too mystical for the scientists, too skeptical for the witches and magickians. At this point, I would prefer to either move forward or go back. In or out. Shit or get off the pot, as Byron would say. Sometimes, I seem to be waiting on something, something which often seems very near, and other times I seem merely indecisive. Except...decision and resolve are both useless here, or nearly so. I cannot will myself into belief or faith. As Anne Sexton said, "Need is not quite belief." Oh, I have need aplenty, but, for me, belief comes only from experience. And, thus far, my experiences leave me neither here nor there. They leave me undecided and still asking questions.

It's like a season that breeds neither snow nor green grass, neither rain nor drought, but only despair. I know that simple despair is no longer fashionable, but then neither am I.

I did have this thought two nights ago, and it seemed important: One must not be skeptical merely for the sake of skepticism. It is not an end unto itself. Critical thought should have the intent of bringing one nearer truth (even if Truth is ultimately unobtainable). It is not the goal of critical thought to tear down, but to build up, to let in the light, to sweep aside ignorance and superstition and fear.

These thoughts are ill-formed and poorly expressed, and I apologise for my inability to articulate.

—————

The platypus says enough's enough. Them words ain't gonna write themselves.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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