greygirlbeast: (Default)
Comment, kittens!

I can't remember the day we closed our World of Warcraft accounts. Must have been back in, I'm thinking, early May. So, about four and a half months ago, right after we did the Rift Beta and decided it was such a vastly better game. Anyway, I don't think too much about WoW these days. True, I have my Shaharrazad mousepad I must see...well, all day long. And the erotic dreams involving Sylvanas Windrunner, My Dark Lady. And all my action figures, and...okay, so I probably still think about WoW more than I think I think about WoW.

But, this morning I was thinking about WoW, and some of its really magnificent absurdities, and perhaps the greatest of all those are the Taurens. I was imagining a bunch of Blizzard geeks sitting around a table (cluttered with boxes of doughnuts, bottles of Mountain Dew, and whatnot), and they're sitting there thinking, "Okay, so, what about cow people? Hey, that would be cool, wouldn't it? I mean, think about it, dudes. Cow people. You know, like minotaurs?" And someone points out the problem with females and udders, and someone else says, no, no, don't worry about the udders, these cow people, the females have breasts. Also, it'll keep the furries pacified a while longer. Do you know what percentage of our demographic self-identifies as Otherkin?

"OH, and we need more ethnic diversity among the races of Azeroth," someone says, "because we keep getting these angry letters about the Rasta trolls (pause here as the 'think tank' devolves into a three-hour argument about pussy liberals and the merits of Libertarianism, and how orcs are green, and night elves are blue and purple and grey, and...), and it would be good PR if there were more ETHNICITY." "Wasn't that covered in the last company retreat?" asks someone. Sure, sure, says someone else, and hey, cows are sort of like bison, another interjects (here we pause for yet another to explain how bison are related to cows, and some cow nerd goes off on the domestication of cattle, the evolution of the modern cow from the aurochs, Bos primigenius). "Okay," says the guy who started all this. "So, cows are like bison, and Native Americans hunted bison, so...the culture of the cow people will be Native American culture. You know, all teepees, totem poles, peace pipes, dreamcatchers, and stuff, right? Oh, and, since they're like Indians, they'll say HOW, instead of hello!" There are cheers and self-congratulation all round, except for the cow nerd, who keeps trying to point out how Native Americans hunted members of the genus Bison, not the genus Bos, and that modern cows are not derived from Bison; he is roundly ignored).

Yes, it was probably just that stupid and offensive. And out of an entire planet of possible animals to pattern a new race on (let's set aside the issue of novelty; WoW finally figured that out with the space goats), from all the terran bestiary, Blizzard chose...cows.

---

Today, I am waiting to hear from TPTB how well Phase One was received, and where we go from here. Then, I'll proceed to the as-yet-unopened CEM of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Oh, and I should mention, my publisher's marketing gurus decided that "A Memoir" should not appear on the book's cover (or, it seems, on the Amazon page). Why? Because, then people might think it's nonfiction, and it would be shelved under biography. Yeah, I did that o.0 emoticon thing, but I didn't argue. Friends who've worked in bookstores assure me this really would happen. Um, okay. I truly do give humanity too much credit. I must take solace knowing that the title page will bear the novel's actual full title. Anyway, I'm not opening that "bubble envelope" containing the CEM until I know if Phase One nuked the launch site or not. I have until the 23rd to get the CEM back to NYC.

---

Also, you should read this entry by [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna. Because Amazon.com might have thought up the best way to steal from authors since the Great Google Books Rights Snatch of 2010 (or whenever). The rise of ebooks cannot be predicated on the perpetual fucking-over of authors.

---

Yesterday, when I was done with this, that, and the other, we took in a matinée of Soderbergh's Contagion, and we both loved it. It's bleak, artful, terrifying, beautiful, and I highly recommend it to all. I'm not going into details, because it would be too easy to drop spoilers. But don't dismiss it as some Irwin Allen or Roland Emmerich overblown schlock-fest. Because that's what it's not. It also isn't science fiction, but that's a discussion for another time.

---

Please have a look at the goodies in Spooky's Etsy shop (Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries), where there are two new necklaces - reasonably priced - and you must buy them, or you won't be allowed to read my next book. Honest Tauren.

---

Okay, please excuse me now. I'm going to listen to Neil read The Graveyard Book to me until I get that call from the NSA...I mean, um...that call from McDonalds. Oh, and good RP in Insilico last night. Thank you, Joah.

Not Bovine,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (white)
So...the heat finally abates. Which is the one good thing to be said for this shitty day.

The car is back in the shop. Third time. No idea what's up now. But it's pretty much been in the garage since July 5th. I suppose there are people who can afford to buy new cars.

And Frank the Goat and his mob of Russian hackers crashed LJ for the better part of the day. The next time an editor asks me why I've missed a deadline, I'll just say, "I'm experiencing loading issues."

The results of last night's poll were interesting. As I'd expected, WoW received the most votes of any other game, and, also as expected, a lot of people here don't game, or are still into tabletop/text-based gaming. I do wish I'd disallowed comments on the poll, as a few of the things people felt motivated to say were unnecessarily defensive/combative.

And I was unable to get back to work on the novel today, on Blood Oranges. I'm going to drug myself into a stupor this evening and hope the space rock arrives while I'm semi-conscious.
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
Yes, it is that. This entry is the 3,000th I've written since coming to LiveJournal way back on April 15th, 2004. And yeah, that's a lot of time and a lot of words. Though, truly, I first began keeping an online journal on Blogger, years before I met LJ, on November 24th, 2001. But, here I am at 3,000, as LiveJournal reckons time.

Yesterday was a roiling mass of chaos. There was a very long phone conversation with my agent, Merrilee, that essentially made it impossible to get much else done during the afternoon. But now I can get back to work on Blood Oranges, which she loves. Today, however, I am awaiting news regarding the NEWS THAT IS SO GOOD, SO COOL I can't talk about it yet. Which means I'll be good for nothing, except maybe proofreading the manuscript for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. Yesterday, we managed to proofread "The Collector of Bones." I'd forgotten all the math I'd had to do for that story.

So, "civil unions" between gay couples will likely soon be legal Rhode Island. On the one hand, it's more than I ever expected. On the other hand, it's so blatantly discriminatory, that it's hard to see it as any sort of improvement at all. It's not even really "separate but equal." It's more like saying, "Look, we made you this, which looks sort of like marriage, and you'll get some of the benefits. But marriage is SACRED, and if we let you have actual...well, never mind what would happen, because we're not going to do that. Here. Take this, instead. Now, go play and leave us alone." That's what it's like. I do see it as a foot in the door, and I see the benefits. But unless this is a stepping stone towards the same rights afforded heterosexuals, it's worthless. Just second-class citizenry. Note that the bill has been heavily opposed by local gay activists. Anyway....let's not make the Baby Jesus cry...

Spooky was just telling me that WoW is now offering the same deal offered by LotRO, and soon to be offered by CoX. There's a downloadable "free to play" version that doesn't come with a 7-day expiration date, but has a Level 20 cap. So, you know, you can play WoW free forever, so long as none of your toons want to rise above 20. Which would at least be fine for rp, only, to echo an analogy yesterday, trying to rp in WoW is about the same as trying to use a Hula Hoop as a particle accelerator. Anyway, I think MMORPGs are finally learning from watching pushers.

Last night, I read Book 2 of The Stuff of Legend. This is, by far, the best new comic I've read in many years. Also, I read "The Dingus" by Gregory Frost, from Ellen Datlow's Supernatural Noir.

Today, I will proofread and wait...

3000 and Counting,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Eli2)
Only five hours sleep last night and the night before, and I'm feeling it. Add to that the fact that winter ended just last week and we've now fast forwarded to July, so my office is sweltering, and I presently feel just a little bit crappy. And sweaty. And sleepy.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,697 words, beginning and completing the second piece for Sirenia Digest #67, which is called simply "Untitled 35." By the way, "Untitled 35" is the 90th piece of short fiction I have written specifically for the digest. Which sort of blew my mind, when I did the math. Anyway, the vignette gets back to the roots of the digest. In fact, this whole issue does. Anyway, Vince is currently working on an illustration for the other story appearing in #67, "Figurehead."

I'm making this entry on the Asus laptop, Zoe, as I've never written anything on her before, and I'm curious to see if I'm as clumsy with this keyboard as I feared I would be. So far, I'm fine.

I have a number of almost, but not quite completely, edited projects piled on top of me that have to be attended to as soon as the digest goes out, before I get back to work on Blood Oranges. The changes to the galley pages of Two Worlds and In Between, and the Crimson Alphabet chapbook. And there's The Drowning Girl, which needs a couple of tweaks. And...stuff I'm too groggy to remember. But it all has to be taken care of ASAP.

Some email yesterday with [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy regarding our impending work on the visual accompaniments for The Drowning Girl. We spoke of crow masks and nuns.

Spooky spent almost the entire day having new tires put on the automobile, and returning overdue library books to the Athenaeum. Well, almost all day on the first thing. The belated book return was, I expect, quick by comparison to sitting at the tire place for three or four hours.

Oh, did I mention it was hot? If not, well, it is. Hot. Here. Which is mostly just funny, because we were having to use the fireplace about a week ago.

Last night, about 10:30, we escaped the sweltering house, crossed the river, and then drove willy-nilly about College Hill, and all the way over to the southern end of Gano Street, where I'm setting part of Blood Oranges. I needed to see it at night. Now, I need to see it at twilight. The interstate looms above it there, and tawdry houses crouch in ominous shadows. Sorry. Just had an attack of Lovecraftitis. All over College Hill, the sidewalks were littered with the crap the deserted apartments of college kids excrete at the end of each school year. We saw two girls wheeling enormous wheeley bin things down the road, evidently cleaning out studios at RISD. On Benefit Street, we saw a very tall boy in a dress, attired rather like Dame Darcy. As Spooky said, he didn't look bad in a dress, but it was a curious sight, there beneath the streetlights. And then, a few minutes afterwards, we threw a hubcap. I assume there's no connection between the Dame Darcy boy and the throwing of the hubcap, but, rather, that someone at the tire place did a poor job of putting the thing back on. Anyway, Spooky managed to retrieve it, so all's well that ends well. It was wonderfully cool Outside, and the air smelled clean (though I expect it wasn't).

In Rift, there was more very good rp. Enthlye, Artemisia, Celinn, and Selwynn, at Lantern Hook in the Droughtlands. Lantern Hook, as I may have mentioned, is essentially a sietch, down to the reservoir. Anyway, the Order's future was discussed, as was Selwyn's sudden change of gender. But, yes. Loving the rp. I've not cared as much about an rp character as I do about Selwyn in quite some time. And it's amazing how Telera lends itself perfectly to rp, whereas Azeroth simply doesn't. Mostly, I think it's a matter of Rift being willing to take itself seriously. As someone said last night in general chat, "It's like WoW, without the suck and fail."

And I read "A new enantiornithine bird from the Lower Cretaceous of western Liaoning, China" and "The osteology of Chubutisaurus insignis del Corro, 1975 (Dinosauria: Neosauropoda) from the 'middle' Cretaceous of central Patagonia, Argentina," both in the January JVP. And tried not to think about sunrise.

Okay, make an end to this entry. Later, kittens.

Perspiring,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Here in Providence, we've leapfrogged from April, way back on Wednesday, to June. And, actually, four days ago, I had to run the space heater in my office. So! Everything normal here in New England. Last night, at three ayem, the humidity was 100%.

As birthdays go, or, rather, as my birthdays go, yesterday was probably ahead of the curve. I have a Magical Birthday Curse of Doom. Last year, for example, we were supposed to be in Boston, but the car died, it was 90 million degrees (and we still haven't invented AC in Rhode Island, probably never will), and I was a sick as a dog from one of my meds. Sure, last year's birthday began with Garrison Kiellor profiling me on NPR. And that was cool, in the most surreal of ways. If not for Garrison Kiellor, last year's birthday would have scored about 5% on the Birthday-o-Meter®. I give yesterday a 50%. So, yeah. Better.

Truthfully, any birthday that includes watching a school of mermaids drag a pirate ship into the briny deep can't be all bad.

Which is to say, Spooky's birthday present to me was a matinée showing of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. In 2-D, thank you. It was fun, and the mermaids were spectacular. [livejournal.com profile] sovay would approve. And Ian McShane was awesome, but it was obvious he was on a short leash. Ian McShane is a goddamn force of Nature, but he must be free to say cocksucker as many times as is necessary. On Stranger Tides could have used about fifty uses of cocksucker. Jack Sparrow is definitely a cocksucker. Anyway, yeah. Fun and pretty movie. Great cast. But this needs to be the last of the series. Time to move on.

As for the rest of the day, well...there was floor cake. Floor cake sort of sums up everything not good about yesterday. But, we had pizza from Fellini's, just like last year. I sat on College Hill, watching the fog roll in from the bay. We played Rift (more on that in a moment). I did not write. There were some marvelous gifts, and my gargantuan thanks to everyone who went to that much trouble and expense. Truly. On Facebook, far more than 200 people wished me a happy birthday (only 32 on LJ, and only 8 on Twitter, and I find this all significant; oh, but [livejournal.com profile] rozk wrote me a wonderful birthday poem she posted to LJ). Late, I lay on the floor and watched two episodes of Firefly ("Trash" and "War Stories"), because Firefly on your birthday helps, like washing down a bitter pill with something sweet. This paragraph is horrid, but there you go. Spooky read me If I Ran the Zoo, before the insomnia struck (despite my Good-Worker-Bee Pill), and I couldn't get to sleep until after dawn

---

I have spent so much time singing the praises of Rift, that I almost (almost) feel obligated to write about its shortcomings. Which is sort of silly, as Rift at its worst still makes WoW look like the sad mess it is. But. Even so. If you visit Telara, and happen to find yourself in the region known as the Droughtlands, and it feels oddly familiar...well, if you've ever been on Azeroth, in Desolace, that explains the déjà vu. Truly, Trion photocopied Desolace, rendered it a thousand times better, and changed the name to the Droughtlands. You even get the fucking centaurs. Also, Trion does so much right, couldn't they have devised names for regions that weren't all two-word combinations: Freemarch, Moonshade, Iron Pine, Scarwood, Shimmersand, and Silverwood, and etc.? Come on, guys. This is airy-fairy billshit, possessed of all the imagination of a dead mouse. And the yetis? I know, Iron Pine Peak is cold and snowy...but yetis? That's the best you could come up with? As kids these days would say, "falcepalm."

You're awfully fine, Rift, but you could be so much more.

And now...fuck it. Sweat and write.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Last night, Spooky and I canceled our WoW accounts and uninstalled the game from our computers (my iMac, her laptop). So, as I said last night on Twitter, the end of an error, September 2008 to May 2011. Shaharrazad and Suraa, disgusted with Garrosh Hellscream and despairing that Azeroth and the Horde will ever get its shit together and stomp the fuck out of the Alliance, retired to the relative peace of Vengeance Landing in Northrend. Suraa plans to fish. Shahrrazad plans to torture small animals, then raise them from the dead to do her bidding. Oh, and I got back almost twenty gigs of memory on the iMac. I still have my beloved WoW actions figures, and my Shaharrazad mousepad. I'll always have the memories of those times before Blizzard dumbed down the game and pretty much ruined the player classes. And here's The Last Screencap (Suraa left, Shaharrazad right):



That said, yesterday was spent polishing "The Carnival is Dead and Gone," writing the prologomenon for Sirenia Digest #65, and doing the line edits for the "Crimson Alphabet" chapbook. The latter was emailed to subpress late yesterday. And remember, the chapbook comes free with the limited edition of Two World and In Between: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan, Volume One, which is also the edition with a bonus section of 16 pages of illustrations.

Gods, kittens. Polly Jean Harvey is hot. Her voice could bring me to orgasm. It probably has, in fact. Anyway, just thought I'd throw that out there.

Back to yesterday, the postperson brought my contributor's copies of Johnathan Strahan's Eclipse Four, which includes my story "Tidal Forces." One thing I love about the Eclipse series is that it harks back to the days of muti-genre anthologies: fantasy, sf, and dark fantasy, all in one book. This is a good thing.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions! Because the world insists money is necessary. Thanks!

Oh, this month looks terrifying. Which probably means I ought not look farther ahead than a day or two. I have to outline a book for Roc (resurrecting the title Blood Oranges for the "werepire" novel/s), and do mountains of research for Blue Canary, deal with the page proofs for Two Worlds and In Between, be in NYC on the 17th, and pray to fuck the editorial letter for The Drowning Girl doesn't show up until June. Oh, and get Sirenia Digest #66 written. Gonna be fun, and then some. Yes, I am being sarcastic.

Filled with the Glory of Polly Jean,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
These days, thanks to better sleep and meds, dreamsickness is rare. But I'm wrestling with a nasty bout this ayem. I woke three times from the same fucking nightmare, only to fall right back into it when I went to sleep again, continuity intact.

---

Another day of proofreading yesterday, but it seemed much, much shorter than did Thursday. Spooky read the fifth, sixth, and seventh chapters aloud (109 pages, 24,727 words) over the course of about three and a half hours. Yeah, not nearly as bad as Thursday. Though, 7 is sort of a long demonic yowl that pretty much has to be read in a single breath. Still, not as bad the day before, and today should be about the same as yesterday. And today, we'll finish this first pass. Only minor line edits and the very few continuity errors have been corrected, along with two or three sentences I yanked out altogether

The Red Tree is likely a more straightforwardly autobiographical novel, but The Drowning Girl: A Memoir is somehow much more personal. Yesterday, I kept thinking, I wrote this thing. I shouldn't have to hear it read.

And I keep finding things I want to go back and work into the book, like Billie Holiday (and Diamanda Galas) singing "Gloomy Sunday," and wordplay with Styx and sticks.

Spooky and [livejournal.com profile] sovay will spend the weekend making corrections to The Drowning Girl, while I work on the corrections on Two Worlds and In Between (because, yes, I am editing two huge books at once).

I believe that, yesterday (or the night before), I found the name of my first YA novel, Blue Canary. Regardless, that's what the project will be called, and not one word of the plot will be leaked until the ms. has been sold. Yes, lately, Howard Hughes is extra paranoid.

---

Last night, we were both so exhausted. Spooky warmed up leftovers. I had a hot bath that, of course, made me more tired. I played an hour or two of Rift while she watched trashy television. Literally! She's become addicted to something called American Pickers. But anyway, I leveled an alt, Nilleshna, my Kelari cleric (inquisitor/cabalist/purifier) to Level 7, and read a lot more of the game's lore. The deeper I get into Rift, the goofier WoW seems. And it's weird, because I went into WoW knowing it was goofy. I remember my first time in the b'elf starting area, and excitedly describing it to Spooky as "Disneyland on acid," and also comparing it to Final Fantasy X-2. But at some point I forgot it was all so dumb and goofy, and when I eventually remembered, it really pissed me off. The whole affair is inexplicable.

I continue to see most, by far, Rift players on our RP-PVE server using world-appropriate names, though last night I spotted Slyce, Inkognito, and Jhaded. I figure some of these players learned everything they know about naming fictional characters from reading superhero comics...which would be fine, if this were CoX. As for Jhaded (Jaded was taken, of course), that's just some jackass who's too cool for school. I see a lot of that in MMORPGs. gamers who feel they're simply too worldly to "pretend." And all I can do is wonder, then, why chose an rp server, when they had plenty of non-rp servers from which to choose? I am forced to draw the conclusions that they mean to be disruptive, and I loathe them on principle.

Later, we read Catching Fire, which we've almost finished.

---

And this is today. Fuck you, day.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Of course, the bottom of page 451 wasn't truly THE END. I sat down yesterday to contemplate the possibility of an epilogue to The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. On the one hand, the last few sentences were pitch perfect. On the other hand, it didn't feel like the place where Imp would stop. So, I stared at the screen and pondered a way to add, without taking away. And I wound up writing an additional 1,991 words, under the heading "Back Pages." These pages are a little more like a series of footnotes or journal entries than they are like any conventional sort of epilogue, but they do shed light on a few of the novel's murkier places. The ms. now stands at 103,493 words. And now, I think, I genuinely have reached THE END.

And here, in this place called the end, I think I'm happy. I think I've walked the tightrope. Last night, [livejournal.com profile] sovay read the book. She's the first person besides Spooky to have done so. She pronounced it "beautiful," "magnificent," and, importantly, nothing like The Red Tree.

Also, I exchanged emails with my editor, to whom I will send the book next week. We're looking into including one or two sketches in the book, which would be very cool.

I also wrote a letter to R.E.M.'s management, to obtain permission to reprint two lines from "Follow the River." An actual letter on actual paper, that will go into an actual envelope, and have an actual stamp placed on it, then an actual postmark, and be delivered to the actual post office in Athens where I used to have my p.o. box. Still waiting to hear back from Radiohead's management regarding permission to reprint two lines from "There, There (The Bony King of Nowhere)."

Spooky proofed "Houses Under the Sea" for Two Worlds and In Between

I coughed.

After dinner, she helped me with making the final selections of which pieces of art will be included in the bonus section of the limited edition of Two Worlds and In Between. I have artists to email today, though I still have a few decisions left to make.

It was a goddamn busy day. Which is how things are going to be around here for at least another week and a half. Or for the rest of March. I don't fucking know any longer. But I do have fantasies of taking two or three days off, sometime in March. I really haven't had any time off in many months.

Also, if you're reading this and I've promised to send you a copy of the ms. of The Drowning Girl, those will go out the fist half of next week, once I've had time to polish the prose just a bit.

---

Last night, I ventured back into WoW for the first time in days. You know that quest that I deemed one of the worst three in Azeroth, the one in Shadowmoon Valley called "I was a lot of things..."? Well, last night, in a fit of pique, I went back in determined to best it. I did, and it unlocked the rest of the quests I needed for the "Shadow of the Betrayer" achievement. Now, all that stands between me and Loremaster are nine quests in the infamously difficult to conclude Nagrand region of Outland, which is littered with broken quests and suchlike.

Also, played Rift for a couple of hours or three, and made it about halfway through Level 19. And then we read more of Catching Fire. We're halfway to the end.

Time to make the doughnuts.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Today I'm not speaking. I may not be speaking tomorrow either. I last did this several years ago (2006?), and found it unexpectedly comforting*. And just now I need comfort. Also, it helps my cough. I've not said anything for the last eight hours. Oh, and no, I'm not observing Nyepi, Balinese "Day of Silence." But it is an interesting coincidence. I didn't know today was Nyepi until someone asked if that's why I wasn't speaking (even though I'm neither Balinese nor Hindu).

Yesterday, after the blog entry, I got everything together for Sirenia Digest #63, proofed it all again, and sent the text and images away to [livejournal.com profile] thingunderthest to be made into a PDF. It went out last night. Subscribers should have their copies by now.

And, by the way, I'd really love to hear some feedback on #63.

After everything for the digest was done, I got back to the final chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, and I wrote 1,404 words. And began to think I was being overly optimistic in yesterday's entry. I may not finish until Tuesday or Wednesday. I think I might have found a missing scene. After the writing, Spooky and I proofed all of "Les Fleurs Empoisonnées" (51 pages, 11,904 words). When I wrote the story in 2001, that was the original title. When subpress published it as a small hardback, the title was changed to In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers. When it was reprinted in Alabaster (the Dancy collection) in 2006, I reverted back to the French title. I've been pondering a new French title for its appearance in Two Worlds and In Between, a more literal translation of In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers, which I think would be Dans le Jardin des Fleurs Toxiques. Anyway, Spooky read aloud, I coughed and made red marks on the manuscript pages. I was pleased that I still enjoy the story quite a lot.

A busy day yesterday.

By the way, just saw Lee Moyer's almost finished cover for Two Worlds and In Between, and gods it's gorgeous.

---

I think I've given up on the whole Loremaster thing. Too many quests in Nagrand and Shadowmoon are broken, and Blizzard seems to have no interest in fixing them. It's a shame to give up with only two regions left, but I haven't the time or patience to waste any more energy and "free time" on this. So, likely this spells the end of me and WoW. I'd considered keeping my account open, but I'm so disgusted over the Nagrand thing (spent a lot of time reading various message boards yesterday; I'm not alone), after three years and five months, I believe I've had enough.

On Rift, Selwyn made Level 18. I trained for a second role, which means I got a second soul set. Selwyn's primary is warlock/necromancy/pyromancy; her secondary is necromancy/dominator/chloromancy. But I'll likely play the first skill set most of the time. I was in a sour mood last night, and the very few stupid names were really getting on my nerves. I can't fathom the need for some people to be jackasses, just because, you know, they can be jackasses. Or maybe they're not jackasses at all. Maybe they think Notdeadyet and Dingleberry really are a names. Maybe they don't understand Chinagirl can't be a name in a world without a fucking nation named China. Yeah, maybe it's only stupidity.

We may be forming a guild on the Shadefallen shard.

---

We're about three chapters into Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire, and, so far, I'm both disappointed and bored. None of the first novel's energy is here. I'm hoping it picks up quickly. Also, as I read more YA, I fear I begin to see certain patterns, most of them relating to the unfortunate necessity for romance, and that almost always means heterosexual romance. These days, I can't do het romance (or, rather, I can't do it well), and I won't hamstring myself by trying. And it would be cynical and hypocritical of me to try. I find myself struggling to devise ways to "sneak" queer relationships into stories (and I don't mean the Willow/Tara background stuff; that's plenty acceptable to the mainstream). My protagonists will be queer teens. Period. Editors, trends, squeamish readers, religion, and homophobes go hang. There are other things, too, but I don't feel like getting into that just now.

Anyway...I'm off now to write and not speak.

* Indeed, I find my voice so disagreeable, I often consider giving up speaking for good.
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: (Default)
So far, Spooky has rendered this morning a scene from an unmade David Lynch film. Bobby Vinton and fussing about how I clean out the coffee maker were involved. She checked for fish. After all, there are tins of sardines in the pantry. Oh, and it doesn't help that, last night, someone pointed out to me how much Thom Yorke and Tilda Swinton look alike. It's true.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,428 words on the final chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. A pivotal, culminative scene I could not have written (well) had I not gone to the Blackstone River in the snow on Sunday. But I did go, and so I did write the scene to the best of my ability. And I find that, as I expected, this is essentially a novel without climax. There are revelations strewn here and there, but nothing actually ever coalesces into a climax. It's a novel that begins here and stops there, when Imp believes she's done the best job she'll ever do of telling her "ghost story."

As it stands, the manuscript is 96,158 words long. My contract specifies a novel 100,000 words long. Setting aside for the moment that no one should ever tell an author how long or short a novel has to be, I emailed my editor a week back and told her it might go to 120,000. She asked if I could please keep it to 110,000-115,0000. I did some math, juggled scenes, and replied that I might be able to keep it to 110,000, which made her very happy. So, assuming I can do that, I have about 13,842 words left to go until the more or less arbitrary THE END. I've been writing, on average, 1,200-1,500 words a day, which means I'll likely finish sometime between Friday the 11th and Sunday the 13th. Hardly any time left to go, on a novel that I've been working on. in one way or another, since August 2009.

Also, we proofed "Postcards from the King of Tides" for Two Worlds and In Between. It's a story that still works for me, despite having been written in 1997. I don't think that I'd ever seen how much influence "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" had on the story until yesterday.

For dinner, there was spicy beef shawarma and baba ghannoush.

---

Last night, we finished Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games. Gods, this is a brilliant book. I mean fucking brilliant. Horrifying and sorrowful and poignant and beautiful and strong. Katniss is one of my new favorite literary figures. I'm not going to gush on and on, or risk spoilers, but I will say I was especially impressed at how Collins deftly managed to put us in the mind of someone living in a totalitarian world. There are so many times Katniss Everdeen might have stopped and given the gamemakers or the Capital the middle finger. But she doesn't, even though that's what they do in Big Hollywood movies, because she understands the dire consequences it would have for her and, more importantly, for her family and District 12. She only knows, at this stage, how corrupt and loathsome the world is, and that it may destroy everything it touches. This is how evil men stay in power. And it's impossible not to read this novel and see the Capitol of Panem as the US, and each of the twelve districts (thirteen was obliterated in the late civil war) as all those countries where people live in squalor so that Americans may enjoy an obscenely high standard of living.

---

Gaming consumed far too much of my night. First, Spooky let me use her laptop long enough the level Selwyn to 16. I love the world of Rift so, so much. I love that it awes me, and takes my breath, and frightens me, and that I walk through Meridian and so many people are in character, roleplaying, and so few have inappropriate names (for now, the name police thing is working).

Meanwhile, in that other game, the candy-colored one, Shaharrazad is still grinding away at Loremaster. I've now done 105 out of the 120 Netherstorm quests.

---

Okay, I slept far too late, and now it's time to make the doughnuts. Go to bed at 5 ayem, get up at noon thirty, you must make concessions.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
The second day of March, already.

Yesterday, I wrote 959 words on The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Which doesn't seem like a very good writing day, given my uncharacteristically high daily word counts with this book. But, here at the end, I have to handle the story like glass. Everything I've built could be shattered by one wrong move.

It would be that easy.

After the writing, Spooky and I proofread "Riding the White Bull" for Two Worlds and In Between. "Riding the White Bull" is a much longer story than I recall it being. But it remains one of my best sf stories to date. It gets so many things right. I'd love to write it all over again.

And after that, dinner, and then we rearranged furniture in the middle parlour, because we're trying to make the house more livable. And after that, Spooky used my back as a canvas, a little something for the "Question @ Hand" article in Sirenia Digest #63. And after that reading and gaming. Which is a pretty good synopsis of yesterday.

---

Rift remains an amazing, beautiful, and utterly playable game, though I've not been able to play much the last two days. Yesterday was the official release date, and the postman brought our hard copies of the game. But the flood of idiots I'd expected seems either not to have occurred, or our rp server was spared the deluge. People roleplay. They remain in character. They almost all have actual names. The exceptions are rare (like the idiots calling themselves "Dingleberry" and "Morningwood," whom Spooky reported yesterday). Selwyn, my Kelari mage, is most of the way through Level 15. She has a skeletal minion named Jude, and a striped vaiyuu (the wiki says you have to be Level 20 to get one, but Selwyn bought hers at 14). Her story forms in my head, her character. As soon as I'm able to play her with Kathryn and others, she'll be a full-fledged alter ego.

But what I've mostly been doing is playing WoW, grinding my way towards the Loremaster title. All I have left is Outland, but that's sort of like walking across Africa, south to north, and saying, "All I have left is the Sahara." I've finished four regions in Outland: Terrorkar Forest, the Hellfire Peninsula, Zangarmarsh, and the Blade's Edge Mountains, which leaves me with three regions to go. Right now, it breaks down like this, in terms of quests done and quests left to be done:

74/85 in Nagrand
71/90 in Shadowmoon Valley
75/120 in Netherstorm

Which means I have seventy-five quests to go. Which wouldn't look so bad, given all the thousands I've done to get this far. Except Nagrand is notoriously fucking hard to finish, and I seem to have hit a wall in Shadowmoon Valley. Just not enough quests. Oh, and while I'm talking about WoW, one of the ways Blizzard truly borked this game in the latest expansion was the removal of almost all ports. I know they're stated goal was to encourage exploration by eliminating shortcuts. But what they've really done is left most of Northrend and Outland utterly deserted. Though, I will admit, it's very nice playing Outland with no other players around.

---

And now that I've nerded on at such length, it's time to make the doughnuts. Carefully.

Oh, note that the Annual Locus Poll and Survey is taking votes. The Ammonite Violin & Others made the ballot under collection. Please, please, please take a moment to vote. Thanks. You don't have to be a subscriber to vote.

Also! It's Dr. Seuss' birthday!
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Just as the last of the snow was melting, it snowed again last night. Not much here in Providence, but more up north.

Yesterday, I wrote another 1,068 words on the last chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. I think I'm terrified. The book is a house of cards, and I'm stacking more on top, and pulling cards out from the bottom, and somehow I have to keep the whole from toppling over. And there's to be a lot of sexual energy at the end, and it has to absolutely not become pornographic (not because I have anything against porn, but because that's not what this is meant to be).

Thanks to the awesome Richard A. Kirk, who sent me a copy of his illustrated novella, The Lost Machine. It's beautiful. You should order a copy. I say so. Also, there's a forward by Mike Mignola! In case you're unaware, I've worked with Rick on...let me see...five books, five books since 2000. Most recently, he did the amazing cover for The Ammonite Violin and Others.

Today, I think there's going to be a very small adventure, and then work, and a little work after that. I think.

---

Selwyn made Level 13 last night, and Shaharrazad is only five quests (out of 86) away from having the Blade's Edge Mountains achievement (and so one achievement nearer Loremaster). Too much gaming. And, mostly, I'm having some weird worldshock, jumping back and forth between Telara and Azeroth. The latter being bright and cartoonish and silly, the former being so rich and urgent and possessed of depth. Oh, and there was about an hour of rp with a friend in Telara last night. She's another mage, named Enthlye. We sat on the docks at Kelari Refuge and had a conversation. It was very good, and I can see Rift lending itself to good rp, once you learn the lore. Well, actually, Enthlye talked and Selwyn scribbled on the planks with a stub of charcoal. When she made the jump from the future to the past, something went wrong, and she has no tongue. I've also discovered that Selwyn prefers to work magic with a sword, instead of a staff.

And, also, I really wish that people on SL and in MMORPGs would understand that roleplaying isn't writing. It's acting. And no, it's not collaborative writing. That's what actual writers who write together do. RP is theater, improvisational theater, and if you understand this one simple fact, you can make it good and rewarding. But to call it acting is like calling the act of writing a novel acting, which it isn't, no matter how deeply I immerse myself in a character. Now, you can write stories based on or inspired by rp (I've done that), but that happens after the actual rp, and it's writing, not rping.

Honestly, it feels like there are these people who want to be writers, but either they have no talent or they won't sign off a damned game or social dohicky or whatever long enough to endure the intense solitude of writing, so they're trying to change the definition of writing to include what they're doing.*

---

I'm loving The Hunger Games more and more and more.

Okay, must take meds and finish coffee.

*Postscript (4:45 p.m.): To quote my post of January 28th, "1) Do not assume that because I express my views that I'm obligated to defend those views to you or engage in a dialogue, or even listen to your views. And I will exchange the favour."
greygirlbeast: (Default)
A wonderful hard rain yesterday, wonderful even though I had to go Out into it. Much of the snow has been melted and washed away.

Comments would be good today. I know it's Saturday, but it feels like Sunday, and Sundays suck.

Well, the medical appointment yesterday wasn't nearly as bad as expected. I have a new doctor, and it's an infinitely better match than the last. So, no more Evil Nasty Clinic filled with rude homophobic assholes who get freaked out by pentagrams. Also, new doctor has an aquarium built into the waiting room wall, which scores all sorts of points with me.

After we got home yesterday, Spooky saw a raven perched on the house across the street. They don't usually range this far south, but this winter they're turning up in Rhode Island. Normally, we only get crows and fish crows. Sadly, I didn't see it. We're both getting somewhat serious about birding, and I take that as a sign of our advancing years. Then again, bird watching ain't nothing but dinosaur watching misspelled.

I got a copy of [livejournal.com profile] kaz_mahoney's (Karen Mahoney) first novel, The Iron Witch, in the mail. Thank you, Kaz! And congratulations.

Late in the day, we proofed "By Turns" for To Worlds and In Between, so some work was done.

I loaded a lot of Dead Can Dance onto the iPod yesterday.

I've made an interesting decision as regards The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. It occurred to me, yesterday, that I read novels about heterosexual characters, and the word heterosexual, or even straight, never appears, unless it's used to set the characters apart from queers. So. I'm removing every instance of the word lesbian from The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Sure, there's lesbian relationships, lesbo sex, a hot tranny dyke, a sapphic siren/wolf girl, and so forth. But nowhere in the book will I actually use the word lesbian. Because I wouldn't use het, probably not even once, were Imp straight. And I figure, not only is it the right thing to do, but it will somehow annoy the bigots even more.

---

How frakkin' good is Rift? So damn good that Spooky and I are currently trading her laptop back and forth so that we can both play, that's how good. So far, no disappointments. Quite exactly the opposite. Telara grows more amazing the more I see. Right now, I'm in love with the creature design. Yesterday, Selwyn, my Kelari mage, made Level 12. Her minion is a human skeleton named Jude. Spooky's Kelari cleric, Miisya, made Level 10. She'll catch up today. Oh, and players cooperate, and come to the rescue of others, and stuff like that. Who'd have thought it? Yes, there are a few jerks. But infinitely (well, not literally) less than in WoW, and they're easy to ignore, especially if, like me, you keep general chat off.

In WoW, I'm still grinding away in Outland, trying to get Loremaster with Shaharrazad before I exit stage left. But it's starting to look as if that may never happen. Loremaster, I mean. There are just too many broken, forgotten quests out there. And I'll need every one of them to make the title. On the upside, WoW is a hell of a lot more fun playing in regions where there are absolutely no other players. By the way, third worst WoW quest ever is to be found in Shadowmoon Valley: "I was a lot of things..."

---

Vince is currently working on the illustration for Sirenia Digest #63, and it'll go out to subscribers ASAP. What? You're not a subscriber??? Fix that now! The platypus compels you with his venomous spurs.
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
Bleah. Doctor's appointment. I'm being good. No, I'm trying to be good, and not wear latex gloves and a breath mask. I did that last winter, and it freaked people out. This is a new doctor, and I probably shouldn't freak her out until later.

Yesterday, I wrote precisely 1,500 words on the beginning of the ninth chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. There are few things as terrifying as beginning the ending of a novel. Here is where it stops. Here, I have to get it all exactly right, and I have to do it the first time, because I know I won't rewrite. And it's going to be harrowing, sorrowful, merciful, vicious, joyful, and hallucinatory. And then there will be an epilogue, and the novel really will be over.

After the writing, Spooky and I proofed "Waycross" for Two Worlds and In Between.

That was work yesterday.

Today, I doubt I'll get a single word read, or anything edited.

Last night, we finished reading [livejournal.com profile] blackholly's White Cat, and began Suzanne Collin's The Hunger Games. My agent has been trying to get me to read it, and Neil also said I ought to, and now I see why. It's bloody fucking brilliant. Beautiful worldbuilding. Plus, it had Spooky in tears by the second chapter, and that's always a good sign that the writer is doing her job.

Spooky let me on her laptop long enough to level my Kelari mage to 8. I'm intending to take the leveling really slow. I want to see this world. I want leveling to be a journey. Rift has yet to disappoint. Also, I've mostly seen only appropriate names. I was heartened to see, in chat, that players are reporting inappropriate names. And that players are putting thought into how the names of each race should sound. We're really not in Azeroth anymore.

Okay. I have to go get dressed so I can be humiliated, poked, prodded, and charged too much for the experience. If we were talking about a dominatrix, instead of a medical doctor, I'd have no problem with this.

No, I have no health insurance. I'm a writer. An American writer. I'm pretty sure healthcare is unpatriotic.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Stardate: 64615.5

The Rift Headstart begins in about an hour and forty-five minutes, and I admit I'm distracted. I'd just take the day off, but I have a doctor's appointment tommorow, and I can't go losing two days in a row.

Yesterday, I wrote 2,104 words and found the end of the ninth chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. This leaves one more chapter and an epilogue, and then THE END.

Last night, we proofed "Onion" for Two Worlds and In Between. I wrote "Onion" in 2001, ten years ago. It won the International Horror Guild award for "Outstanding Achievement in Short Fiction," even though it's not a horror story. I traveled to Chicago, where the award was presented to me by Neil. And it was chosen by Ellen Datlow for Volume 15 of her and Terri Windling's The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. It was later collected in To Charles Fort, With Love. In 2007, A Big Hollywood Movie Producer spent months trying to get me to write a screenplay from it, and I tried. But he insisted the story was only the first half of a film, even though I explained to him that moving beyond the story's last page, where Willa gets up and walks away from Frank, would entirely collapse the story's fundamental mystery. I finally told him I just wasn't up to writing the screenplay. So, "Onion" has had some history. And I was pleased, last night, to discover that I still like the story. I made very few line edits.

I have to write a short essay on John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) for a book on the movie, a book that includes all sorts of incredible people. I should say I get to write, not I have to write. I truly am honored. I've found my essay, but for now it's a secret.

Last night, Shaharrazad moved on to Outland, where she and Suraa are in Shadowmoon Valley, working towards the Outland Loremaster achievement. But, I will admit, the wind's sort of been taken out of my sails. It's hard going back to that candy-colored cartoon world after Telara. I've announced that I'm looking for someone to take over the guild, Eyes of Sylvanas. I would like to see it live on without me.

Spooky and I will be rolling our Rift characters on the Shadefallen shard. They'll be Defiant, of course. Oh, and you only need four people to form a guild on Rift, and we might do that. If you interested, just say so, here or in an email.

A new world begins today.

Postscript (2:52 p.m.): Got both my desired names on Rift— Selwyn (Kelari mage) and Shaharrazad (Bahmi cleric). Woot, I say. Spooky, sadly, is stuck in the queue.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Tomorrow at 1 p.m. EST (10 a.m. PST) the Rift Headstart will begin, for those who have pre-ordered the game. That's a six-day head start before the official release date. Thanks to one of our kindly benefactors, we'll be taking part in the Headstart. Well, Spooky will, as I won't have a PC for a while yet. It looks like we'll both be rolling characters on the Shadefallen server, which, from talk on the forums, looks like it will be the unofficial "no drama" RP server. Please feel free to join us. We'll both be playing Kelari and Bahmi of the Defiant side. It looks like we have an actual chance at RP here. People are serious about it. Spooky and I will be looking for a good RP guild; they're already forming.

And having played a character to Level Eight during the last beta event, I can attest to the fact that the gameplay graphics are almost as amazing as the following trailer:



I'll be on WoW for another few weeks, but then I'm canceling my account (after three years and five months). I don't hope this is the end of WoW. I hope this is a wake-up call that will tell Blizzard it's time to get their shit together.

PLUS! Awesome restrictions on player names, the sort of thing I've been wishing WoW would institute for ages. I quote from Trion's ToS:

"A. Rules Related to Usernames and Guild Designations

Each user will either select a character name or allow the Service to automatically select a character name at random. Additionally, users may form "guilds" and such guilds will be required to choose a name for the guild. When you choose a character name, create a guild, or otherwise create a label that can be seen by other players using the Game or the Service, you must abide by the following guidelines as well as the rules of common decency. If Trion finds such a label to be offensive or improper, it may, in its sole and absolute discretion, change the name, remove the label, and/or suspend or terminate your use of the Service. In particular, you may not use any name:

1. Belonging to another person with the intent to impersonate that person, including without limitation a "Game Master" or any other employee or agent of Trion;
2. That incorporates vulgar language or which are otherwise offensive, defamatory, obscene, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable;
3. Subject to the rights of any other person or entity without written authorization from that person or entity;
4. That belongs to a popular culture figure, celebrity, or media personality;
5. That is, contains, or is substantially similar to a trademark or service mark, whether registered or not;
6. Belonging to any religious figure or deity;
7. Taken from Trion's Game(s);
8. Related to drugs, sex, alcohol, or criminal activity;
9. Comprised of partial or complete sentence (e.g., "Getpwned", "Luvtodance", etc);
10. Comprised of gibberish (e.g., "Qwerty", "Asdfasdf", "Xyzpdq");
11. Referring to pop culture icons or personas (e.g. "McLovin", "Kyle Broflovski", "Catwoman");
12. That utilizes "Leet" or "Dudespeak" (e.g., "Roflmao", "Roxxurboxx", "Lolzumad"); or
13. That incorporates titles. For purposes of this subsection, "titles" shall include without limitation 'rank' titles (e.g., "General Chow," or “Captain Kangaroo”), monarchist or fantasy titles (e.g., "KingLoko", "LordPauleyC"), and religious titles (e.g., "ThePope," or "Reverend Run").

You may not use a misspelling or an alternative spelling to circumvent the name restrictions listed above, nor can you have a "first" and "last" name that, when combined, violate the above name restrictions. Utilizing any name option to harass or disrupt another individual, group or guild will result in disciplinary action taken with respect to the offending account(s) and may result in character deletion. Accounts which have characters deleted due to a violation of this policy are not eligible for reimbursement privileges."
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Um. Yeah. Slept until the ass crack of noon, which means I got eight full hours of sleep for the first time in ages. I've been sleeping better in general, which I tend to do when I'm writing a lot. Plus, we were out yesterday and I soaked up a lot of sun, and the Vitamin D never hurts. Those gummy things are good, but they can't match getting it straight from the source.

My grateful thanks to everyone who donated a little or a lot yesterday. You guys really are wonderful. I've paid my SVP dues, dues for my twenty-eighth year in the Society, and I have a small sum left over to put towards the unexpected doctor's appointment on Friday.

Yesterday, I realized the next scene in the ninth chapter couldn't be written unless I visited a cemetery out on Aquidneck Island. I mean, sure, I could have faked it. But I fucking hate doing that. I can never write a real-world place well unless I've actually been there. So, about 2 p.m., Spooky and I left the house, and left Providence, crossing the Jamestown Bridge and then the Newport Bridge to Aquidneck. The sun was bold and brilliant (as Colin Meloy might say), and the bay shimmered like chrome. Still a lot of snow, and Green End Pond, along 138, was frozen almost solid. The graveyard in question— Four Corners Cemetery —is located in Middletown, a little north of Newport proper. It's not one of the state's most photogenic cemeteries, not by a long shot, but it plays a pivotal role in the The Drowning Girl. There was a huge crow perched on a headstone when we entered, and Spooky tried to get his photo, but he wouldn't be still. We didn't stay long, as there was a funeral service beginning, a military funeral with a bugler and uniforms and everything, and it would have been poor form to hang about doing ghoulish writing stuff.

After Middletown, we drove down to Spooky's parents' place, though her mom was out running errands and her dad's in Ecuador. We still got to visit Spider Cat and the chickens. There are photos behind the cut:

22 February 2011 )


Back home, we proofed "Andromeda Among the Stones" (for Two Worlds and In Between), which I wrote in 2002, nine years ago, but it's still a personal favorite. Last night, well...there was leftover meatloaf, and then there was a WoW marathon, during which I had Shaharrazad finish off the quests in Un'Goro Crater and then moved along and did all of Dustwallow Marsh, and got Loremaster of Kalimdor. Of course, now I have to do all of Outland to get the Loremaster title (I already have Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms, Cataclysm, and Northrend). Nerd, nerd, geek. Later, we read more of White Cat (which we've almost finished).

Congratulations to [livejournal.com profile] blackholly and to Uncle Harlan on the occasion of their Nebula Award nominations!

"Comment!" says Herr Platypus!
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
The postman just brought me two copies of Weird Tales #357, which includes [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark's (Geoffrey H. Goodwin) interview with me. And...wow, this is just sort of cool. In February 1928, "The Call of Cthulhu" appeared in Weird Tales— and, for me, the magazine will always be Lovecraft's —and now here's me, eighty-three years later. The interview looks great. The coolest thing about it, they used the alternate cover for The Red Tree created by [livejournal.com profile] scarletboi (Christopher Lee Simmons). So, that just ladled a fat dollop of extra cool on top of the already cool. Anyway, it's the Spring 2011 issue, and if it's not out now, it soon will be. Oh, and the cover is one of Lee Moyer's exquisite paintings. Oh oh, and there's a very nice little review of The Ammonite Violin & Others, too. I should always have something this cool before breakfast.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,824 words on the ninth chapter of The Drowning Girl. This morning, I was speaking with my editor, and she doesn't want the book running any longer than 115,000 words at the most, so I find myself very, very near THE END. I have maybe two weeks of writing left until THE END, and maybe less. Which leaves me with mixed feelings. This has been, by far, the most difficult novel I've ever written, and it will be a bittersweet relief to see it done. But, on the other hand, I have fallen so deeply in love with Imp that setting her behind me and moving on to other stories will be very strange.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, if you've not already. Also, I've a favor to ask. Lately, I feel like I'm constantly asking favors of my readers, and the favors are almost always favors involving money. This I find distasteful in the extreme. But. It's been a longtime between checks again, and I have a doctor's appointment on Friday that's sort of hit us out of nowhere. And I've not yet paid my dues to the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology for 2011. As of March 1, I'll be facing a steep late fee on top of the $130 annual dues. I was nominated into SVP in 1984 and have been a member for twenty-seven years. So, there's a PayPal button below, and if you can donate a few bucks, I will be extremely grateful.

After the writing, Spooky and I proofed "La Peau Verte" for Two Worlds and In Between. And them, last night, I had a long nap before dinner. Writing at this pace, and coughing, I find naps unavoidable. Then, after dinner, we watched the new episodes of Fringe and Spartacus, and both were excellent. And then I played WoW and finished all the Thousand Needles quests and started in on the Un'Goro Crater ones. I hate Un'Goro Crater. And then we read more of [livejournal.com profile] blackholly's The White Cat. And then, finally, I slept.

Spooky has just inspired me to write a song titled "Heroin Slug," about a huge banana slug who lives in Portland, Oregon with a bunch of junkies. It will be very William S. Burroughs. I wonder if Weird Tales would publish it? Or maybe I know a musician who might set it to music and record it....

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greygirlbeast: (wray)
1) Snow again this morning, but it's relatively light. A couple of inches at most. Likely, it will be gone in a day or two. Yes, I am sick of this particular winter.

2) Yesterday, I wrote 1,330 words and found the end of the eighth chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. The manuscript now stands at 386 pages, 87,145 words. And from here I can see how the ninth and tenth chapters and the epilogue unfold. I may have the novel "finished" in only two more weeks. Which is sort of strange to realize.

3) The current Ebay auctions continue. Please have a look. Bid if you are able. Thanks.

4) If you're into MMORPGs and want to play a strong female character, especially a strong female character of color, you no longer have to settle for the racist parodies in WoW. The Kalari and Bahmi women in Rift are amazing, especially the latter. And they're, you know, like actual people. Female characters with dignity and grace and ferocious beauty, instead of, say, Rastafarian caricatures and She-Hulk lampoons. Also, back in WoW, I'm still slogging through my bid for "Loremaster," but beginning to doubt whether or not my will is equal to the task. Last night, I finished with Feralas, which wasn't easy, because there almost weren't enough Horde-side quests. Then I moved along to Thousand Needles, flooded post-Cataclysm and...well...it's just sort of stupid. I found the second worst WoW quest ever— "Pirate Accuracy Increasing." The only worse one I've encountered is that idiotic Joust homage in Mount Hyjal. Anyway...enough nerdy game nonsense.

5) Several comments on my cough yesterday, and some were of the "it might be this" variety, so I'm going to be a little more forthcoming on this than I'd planned. In truth, it's most likely chronic simple silicosis, caused by several years of heavy exposure to chalk and marl dust (which is largely silica particles) in the early years of my paleontology work. I was employed by a small museum in Birmingham (Red Mountain Museum, now defunct), and nobody had a clue about proper safety precautions. I didn't learn this until I went to work for the museum at the University of Colorado, where wearing a respirator during dusty prep work was mandatory. I have all the symptoms, and the cause is there, and a doctor has told me this is likely the problem. But I've never gone through tests for an official diagnosis. My grandfather, who was a brick mason, suffered from a far more severe case of the same disease. Anyway, colds and the flu trigger these bouts of coughing, which is one reason I go to such extremes to stay well.

6) I've promised an in-progress preview of the cover that Lee Moyer is painting for Two Worlds and In Between, and here it is (along with some extras):

Changesonekiernan )


Postscript (1:44 p.m.): My agent and editor both have President's Day off. When did that become a holiday that people use as an excuse to stay home from work? A shame I haven't that option.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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