greygirlbeast: (Default)
How does one forget that she's supposed to be in Manhattan on Tuesday? That is, she forgets until almost the last minute, and...it's all pretty embarrassing. But I do. Have to be in Manhattan tomorrow, to see my agent and visit with Peter Straub and so on and so forth. I think it's a matter of inertia, the forgetting. The objects remaining at rest tending to remain at rest half of inertia, I mean. Not being one of the traveling authors, but one of the "homebody" authors – id est, one of the reclusive, antisocial, and sporadically agoraphobic ones. I am well acquainted with authors who jet about the world, while I rarely leave the apartment. I'd blame the TSA, but I'm pretty sure the rise of their New and Improved Draconian policies merely worsened what was already there.

It's a shame I can't blame the motherfucking fascist TSA.

So, tomorrow we take the train to NYC, but we'll be back on Wednesday evening.

---

On the subject of eBay: Please note, as stated on all our auction pages, we do not take checks or money orders. We also do not make exceptions, especially if you win an auction and then fail to contact us for three days. We only take PayPal. Here's the main reason why: Around here, money is almost always tight. And when we see an auction end, especially a "high-ticket item" like the recently auctioned boxed, lettered, double-signed edition of In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers (something we'd never before auctioned), we immediately factor that income into our budget. Because PayPal immediately sees to it that we're paid. So...please don't bid unless you have a working PayPal account, with sufficient money in it to cover your bid. Doing otherwise will cause us great inconvenience and, I might add, reflect poorly upon you. Wow. I haven't been that coherent in days.

---

If you are so foolish as to even imagine you'd like to be an author, you need to read Nick Mamatas' Starve Better: Surviving the Endless Horror of the Writing Life. There's even a free digital version. It includes his rather brilliant essay, "Against Craft," which I adore, having always loathed the idea that writing is a "craft," and not an art.

---

Rain, rain, rain. All we have is rain and chill.

What was there to yesterday? There was that other leaning paper tower in my office, which, it turned out, was several leaning towers' worth of filing. Working from basic stratigraphic principles – specifically, the law of superposition, so thank you Nicolas Steno – that nothing much had been filed since at least June 2010. Which really says a lot. Back to inertia. Anyway, you file, and you find things you've lost that you never even knew you had.

Apologies to Rift folks. I just wasn't, for the most part, up to it yesterday. Mostly, I wanted to spend the day hiding in the bathtub under several layers of blankets. So, I wasn't around yesterday. The good news is that I slept last night, almost nine hours, thanks to one of the pills I prefer to avoid (mostly because it's not cheap). I'm not okay, but I'm better. Dreams aside, I'm better. Another night like that, I'll be much better. A week of that, I'll be functional again.

Last night, we watched the last two DVDs from Friday's binge at Acme Video. The first was Woody Allen's pitch-perfect Broadway Danny Rose (1984), and the second (last of the five) was Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine and Fred MacMurray in Billy Wilder's The Apartment (1960), one of the films you'd find on my most-favorite-ever list. Both were new to Spooky. Seeing Broadway Danny Rose again, I remembered the first time I ate at the Carnegie Deli on 7th Avenue (Midtown NYC). It was very late at night, or early the next morning. May the 13th, 1998, which was a rainy Saturday. Unless you say it was the rainy pre-dawn hours of May the 14th, 1998, a Sunday, which is more likely. It was me, Christa Faust, some Mexican wrestler dude (masked, even), and Bernie Wrightson. I'd spent the night in a latex bodysuit and an Israeli gas mask, and was very, very dehydrated. That's a small bit of a long story. I'd just turned thirty-four.

A few years there, I spent so much time in New York.

Last night, after the movies, I lay on the floor in the front parlor listening to the rain. Just before bed, we ate fresh pineapple.

---

What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind...
(William Wordsworth, "Ode: Intimations of Immortality")

On the Eve of Departure,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
The insomnia continues, for Spooky and I both. Hers, though, is the opposite of mine. I find sleep only with the greatest difficulty, but then I sleep. She usually finds sleep easily enough, but then wakes and can't get back to sleep. We're sleep-deprived bookends. On my end, the pills that are supposed to keep the drone sleeping and buzzing along like a good drone simply aren't working. I am a bee that can develop a tolerance to almost any drug within a month, it has always seemed. I say drone, but I ought to say worker. But insomnia has a droning sound, yes? Yes. Still, I ought to say worker.

No drug advice, please. I'm a walking PDR. And no insomnia advice; I've heard it all. Also, please, no assurance that I'm not alone. Hearing that doesn't help. I maintain there is a world out there where people do still sleep, as I used to sleep. If I'm wrong, I need to cling to my delusion. There is a world out there where not every single fucking person suffers from an acronym concocted either by modernity or researchers taking kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies.

Oh, look! Here are my acronyms! My credentials! Aren't they pretty? May I now be pitied and medicated, and, thereby, gain some sense of purpose and self-worth? Am I not now a real, non-contributing, fully-consuming member of society, now that I am properly duped, disordered, and drugged?

Rainy and chill Outside.

No writing yesterday. Spooky and I filed. There was a mountain of unfiled files scattered about the office, mostly short stories written over the last five or six months. There are still more to be filed. At least one more leaning tower. I helped her clean and organize the pantry, which badly needed it.

Last night, we watched Elia Kazan's Splendor in the Grass (1961). Natalie Wood was an amazing being, a shining and radiant being.

And you want to ask yourself (or I do), "Exactly what's left in the darkness that humans are so afraid of, that we have to light parking lots long after shops have closed, that every roadside is lit, that we squander energy just to hide the stars and drive back the night?" I think the answer's simpler than many might suspect. You only need a mirror to see the answer. Or walk along a crowded street. When I was a child, I could see the Milky Way.



We have made this ugly world. An eyesore from space.
Photo credit for satellite composite NASA.


I should make an end to this entry.
greygirlbeast: (mirror2)
Er...yeah. So. Anyway. There's also a pretty good review of Alabaster out from Publisher's Weekly. I quote:

ALABASTER

Caitlí­n R. Kiernan. Subterranean (www.subterraneanpress.com), $25 (160p) ISBN 1-59606-060-3

Dancy Flammarion, an albino adolescent who speaks to angels and slays monsters in human guise in the backwoods of contemporary Georgia, is the heroine of the five interlocking stories that make up this eerie dark fantasy collection. Kiernan introduced Dancy as an enigmatic waif in her horror opus Threshold (2001) and has since conceived an elaborate cosmology in which the fey girl is one of many human avatars fighting small skirmishes on Earth that have cataclysmic repercussions across planes of reality. In "Les Fleurs Empoisonnées," Dancy is taken captive by a matriarchy of necrophiles whose decaying mansion is a nexus point for perverse and grotesque phenomena. "Bainbridge" interweaves multiple story lines that cut across time and space to show the far-reaching ramifications of Dancy's efforts to exorcise an ancient evil infesting an abandoned church. Kiernan imbues the tales with disquieting gothic imagery and envelops them in rich, evocative prose that conveys cohesiveness beyond their fragmentary plots. (Sept.)

At least, I think that's a pretty good review.

Also, congratulations to Steve Jones and Kim Newman for receiving the Bram Stoker Award in the category of Best Nonfiction for Horror: Another 100 Best Books, for which I wrote an essay on Kathe Koja's novel Skin (1993).

And I neglected to mention that the ToC of Mondo Zombie has robbed me of my middle intitial. Will these indignities never end? I'd just start publishing everything under the name Nar'eth, except then the accent mark denoting the "glottal click" would inevitably get left out, which is surely just as bad.

And because I'm sure that everyone is wondering why the first half of this entry began with that particular Wordsworth quotation, Spooky and I watched Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty in Elia Kazan's Splendor in the Grass (1961) last night. Kazan is one of my very favourite directors, and Spooky had never seen the film before. I want to find out where the film was shot, the scenes at the water fall/waterworks, as it's a place I'd like to visit someday.

Now, I think that I shall go to bed. I've not been sleeping enough. Spooky says that I get the next two days off, as I've worked straight through most of the preceding seven, and now it's time for Gay Pride and her birthday and, yes, sleep.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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