greygirlbeast: (twilek2)
This afternoon, I'm missing Alabama.

Here, it's vaguely, unenthusiastically sunny. That sky could at least have the decency to snow. Then again, for Providence, we've hardly had a winter. Right now, it's 43˚F. Hey, winter! Shit or get off the goddamn pot, already.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,157 words on a new pseudo-vignette, "Camuffare." It's quiet, and easy, and strange. It's not at all what I expected to be writing this month, but maybe it's what I need to be writing – assuming I need to be writing anything at all. Let us make no a priori assumptions. But, so far, I like "Camuffare."

Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] opalblack asked, Will it benefit you, in terms of your standing with the publisher re sales etc. more if I preorder The Drowning Girl, or if I walk into a shop and buy it within the first week of release? Truthfully? I don't think anyone knows. Publishers are insane about preorders. Publishers are equally insane about the first six weeks of a book's release. It pretty much comes down to that. Unless a book blows the whole world away via preorders or those first six weeks of sales, screw it. It never happened. What's next? Yes, it genuinely is like that. So, to answer your question, I'd say preorder, if only because that's more convenient to you.

Speaking of preorders, it's very important that Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart does very, very well. So, please. If you can preorder, do. And thank you. And don't forget what Emerson said. "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Anyway, here's the cover (by Lee Moyer), in case you've never followed one of the hundred or so links I've posted (them blue ladies with horns, they gets me every darned time):



It occurs to me that the only drawback to murder is the inevitable post-homicide emotional crash. Oh, and my thanks to everyone who followed the link to Amazon's page for The Drowning Girl and took a second to click like. All 88 of you. If nothing else, I know that 88 people read yesterday's entry. Of course, if you didn't click yesterday, you can always click today.

---

Last night, I swore I wouldn't play SW:toR. The GLBT-friendly RP guild we joined has finally started going to shit. But, you know, two weeks of decent RP before everything begins to come apart in nonsense and drivel is ahead of the curve, right? Anyway...at least it's not my guild. And, anyway, don't grownups do grownup shit? I always imagined it would be that way. I'd grow up, and there'd be 9-5, martinis, bills, vacations, a two-car garage, wild orgies, lawn flamingos, funerals, dinner parties, and 2.5 children. Well, okay, I got the bills, but the rest of it? Nowhere to be seen.

So, instead of playing with all the other grownup children, we streamed movies on the iPad (in 1975, when I was eleven, that sentence would have been science fiction). First, Elliott Lester's very so-so Blitz (2011). Not a great film, but not a bad film, and, what the hell, I'd pay to watch Jason Statham eat a sandwich (I have the same problem with Bruce Willis).

But then...then we came across this film I'd never heard of, even though I should have heard of it. Bless the Child, directed by Chuck Russell (2000). I looked at the cast – Kim Basinger, Jimmy Smits (okay, not too interesting so far, but wait for it), Rufus Sewell (see, now we're getting somewhere), Angela fucking Bettis, Christina Ricci, and Ian Holm. And...what a total piece of shit! It might have scraped lows in Xtian horror that few Xtian horror films had previously scraped. The screenplay didn't even manage to be hilariously bad. It was just bad; no ambition. The cinematography had all the artistry of something made for Lifetime. There were some CGI demons that probably would have been interesting to see twelve years ago. There were lots of Evil Goths® and plot holes and pot holes and scary Catholic histrionics and Rufus Sewell trying really, really hard to sound villainous, but you can tell the poor guy's thinking, Yup. This is the end of my career. It's all downhill from here. Oh, wait. Christina Ricci's head falls off. That was pretty cool. And, frankly, the actor who played the Jesus-in-a-dress kid, Holliston Coleman, she carried the whole film on her tiny shoulders, and got all the best lines, and was the cutest little saviour of humanity ever. Gagh. Guys, you have to see this film. It's so bad – in a harmless, stupid, slobbering dog sort of way – you have to see it. Only 3% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes! 3%! I still don't know how I missed it in theatres.

Oh, and then we played SW:toR, anyway.

And then I finished Chris McGowan's The Dragon Seekers. And that was yesterday.

Perpetually Adolescent,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Heavy Horses)
I better number this one. Well, after I mention an extraordinarily weird dream I had last night involving a secret society of women who were capable of accomplishing mind transference, and so, once a year, traded bodies. And I was being asked to join. But it wasn't this me, it was some other version of me. The the whole affair was far more sinister than it sounds.

1. On this day in 2001 I began keeping a "blog." I'd long kept a private, handwritten journal, and I found the whole idea of a public journal oxymoronic. You know, "public privacy." America had not yet completely decided that "transparency" in all things was such a hot idea. Well, I still haven't (in fact, I know just the opposite), but I digress. It's been ten years since Neil persuaded me to give this blogging thing a try. And...ten years later, here I am. Offhand, I can think of no other author besides Neil whose blogged longer, and he's been nowhere near as fanatical about it as I've been. I started at Blogger, then at LJ beginning in April 2004, then stopped updating to Blogger in 2006. I suspect I've made an entry for 90% of all the days since that first entry. So, wow. Sure, blogging isn't cool anymore, but who gives a shit about what the interwebs deem cool?

2. [Interlude] Jethro Tull season has begun!

3. Here I will slightly amend a bit from the entry I made on the 24th of November 2009: On this day in 1859, 152 years ago, Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life was first published (by British publishing house, John Murray). If any single book charted the course of my life, this is likely it. So, 152 years ago Darwin proposed a theory of evolution to explain the fact of evolution, and, of course, the theory is still evolving, which is the nature of science. And the creationists still don't get it. Maybe in another 152 years...well...let's not go there. My inner pessimist always wins. It's enough to marvel that so many years have passed, and we've made countless discoveries that would have dazzled, delighted, and humbled Mr. Darwin.

4. I just looked at my friends list (where fewer and fewer entries appear), and Elizabeth Bear ([livejournal.com profile] matociquala) has written (regarding the subjectivity of time in a narrative):

And thus, maybe a kiss deserves an entire paragraph in one circumstance... and in another, a battle no more than a sentence. It all depends on the subjective way that time dilates and contracts around your viewpoint characters.

And this is well said, but it set me to thinking – as these things always do – that subjectivity renders these sorts of observations all but useless. On the surface, I agree with the sentiment expressed here. Things get messy, though, when the author pauses to realize exactly how incredibly subjective readers' reactions are to...well...everything. What is too little detail for Reader A is too much for Reader B is just right for Reader C, or almost just right for Reader D, or...almost too much for Reader E. And so forth. There really are no happy mediums here. We can only write our voices, and what seems to suit us, and see how it all falls out in the end. That is, in my case, how many readers will feel as I do regarding detail and how long I've lingered on any given subject or event in any given scene. And, then, of course, I ignore the consensus and continue on my way.

5. Oh! Good news re: Rift. Trion appears to have responded to the outrage of many of its players as concerns the "Fae Yule" foolishness. An enormous amount of the Xmas trees, wrapped presents, and crap vanished yesterday with the latest hotfix to patch 1.6. Now, I can mostly avoid it by simply avoiding low-level areas and Meridian (the Defiant capital city) in Freemarch. Trion, it appears you done at least half good, after all. Oh, and gods, I got a glimpse (I quickly averted my eyes) of one of the Xmas themed rifts, complete with fucking snowman. To quote [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy, "Sweet barking cheese." Pure cocksucking kitsch.

So, this evening, as the day winds down, this day on which we celebrate obesity and colonialism and the genocide of Native Americans, at the end of this day I can play Rift and pretty much be not be reminded of that which I wish to forget, namely the world's Xtian minority. By the way, last night Spooky and I played Indus (my Eth warrior) and Emris (her Kelari cleric) out in Stonefield. Emris is the only male character either of us plays (though, my main, Selwynn, a Kelari mage, is a strange sort of hermaphrodite). [livejournal.com profile] opalblack was with us (her Kelari rogue, Harlakai), but then suddenly vanished, and didn't reappear. Ah, but Spooky's talking to her now, so mystery solv'd.

By the way, as I wrote here (as a postscript) in 2008: Postscript: ...just in case anyone has forgotten since the last time i pointed this out, "Endeavor to be inoffensive to all who might have their feelings hurt at the drop of a hat" is not in my job description. In fact, I think it says something rather to the contrary.

6. Yesterday, I rehydrated, took it slow and steady, avoided caffeine, fought back the exhaustion, and wrote the first three pages of script for Alabaster #3. It's a good beginning. And Steve Lieber is hard at work on making my words into pictures. Cool stuff.

7. Back to the shuggoths! And later, William S. Burroughs.

Rolling along,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 1)
See, it's not insomnia when you just stay up too late reading. No. It's not. That's called stupid. And so now I'm not awake, and I'm having to augment my sugar-free Red Bull by listening to Hubero going on about Sméagol freaking him out with carrot cards and a squeegee board. Funny cats are no fit substitute for sleep.

Currently, I'm being horrified by a new "texting" acronym: LMBO. Which is apparently what the Jesus has instructed good Xtians, fans of the Jonas Brothers, and devotees of Stephenie Meyer to use instead of LMAO. Because it's more wholesome to say "butt" than to say "ass." Really, people. What the fuck was wrong with "haha"? It's just as easy to "text" as LMAO. Four letters. Actually, it's easier to type than LMAO, because of the QWERTY keyboard layout. Also, it's logical. "Haha" isn't an acronym. It's an example of onomatopoeic language. Do not badly reinvent the wheel, people. That's why we have the Microsoft Corporation.

Yesterday was a symphony of...well, not dull. Actually, anything but dull. Exhausting, though, and vexing. I am now working on so many different projects at once, switching gears throws out my back about once a day. Or throws out my brain. Or whatever. Yesterday, after the blog entry, and after I brushed my teeth, and answered email, after all that, I had to send electronic files of the Authors Note and Author's Biography from The Drowning Girl: A Memoir to Penguin, because...let's not go there. I think people are forgetting how to retype. It all began with James Watt in 1779, unless it began with Johannes Gutenberg's printing press in 1436, unless it actually began with Bi Sheng in China in 1040, ol' Bi Sheng and his porcelain movable type. Wow. There's nine hundred and seventy-one years of laziness. And a huge digression.

I was saying, yesterday, after the files were sent to my editor at Penguin, I got back to my work on XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (guys, the TRUTH is out there, and it will be revealed in late November or early December, I am told, and we all have to sit tight until then). After that I was greeted by a mammoth email from my editor at Penguin, who needed clarification of several illegible comments I'd written on the CEM for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, illegible because the Lamictal (which I take for the seizures) makes my hands shake so badly. And that meant comparing my photostat (back to xeros + graphus) with her notes and...it took awhile, and a lot of patience on the part of the vocally reluctant (but ever helpful) Spooky. Then we had spaghetti. Then we proofread "John Four" for the first time since September 24, 2010 (I finished writing it on September 22, 2010), which is being reprinted in S. T. Joshi's A Mountain Walked: Great Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, to be released in limited and trade editions in 2012 by Centipede Press (and maybe I wasn't suppose to announce that yet, but there you go). That was work yesterday, leaving out a few victuals and bits of flayed skin.

"John Four" is one of my best and strangest Lovecraftian stories, and I'm pleased to see it will be reprinted in such a good home.

Oh, and my comp copies of Stephen Jones The Book of Horror arrived, which reprints my story, "Charcloth, Firesteel, and Flint."

Last night, some very good RP in Insilico, and two episodes of Mad Men, and then, even though I was in bed by two-thirty ayem, I was awake until three forty-five, reading this, that, and the other. Included were two more stories from the Halloween anthology, Sarah Langan's "The Great Pumpkin Arrives at Last" and "The Sticks" by Charlee Jacob. The former is, at best, so-so. It relies too heavily on a somewhat unconvincing "twist ending." The latter, though, was quite effective, a story reminiscent of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery," though only in its most basic premise. I will admit, I'm uncomfortable talking about other authors' stories here, but there's a long tradition of authors commentating on authors, and if I'm going to read the damned things, I can at least be honest.

Spooky's no-longer-premature Hallowe'en Sale (!!!) in her Etsy shop, Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries—20% off on everything—continues. Only one necklace and a bracelet left (plus paintings and other cool stuff), and who knows when she'll have time to make more. When making a purchase, IF YOU WANT THE SALE PRICE, you need to, at checkout, use the sale code SPOOK.

By the way, this is the one year anniversary of our return to Providence from Portland, Oregon. One year ago last night, we spent the whole night awake in the almost entirely deserted Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport. Then...well, hell ensued. Anyway, here is a token from that night, which I may auction someday on eBay. It's companion, the shortest novel I ever wrote on a napkin, was auctioned last autumn.

The Napkin of Caribou )
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
Yesterday, I wrote 1,397 words on Chapter Five of Blood Oranges. I also reached page 200 of the manuscript. The revision of my revised schedule puts me finishing the novel sometime between August 31 and September 3, if I can write at least 1,150 words per day. Oh, and I'd love to hear thoughts on Chapter Two from those who've had time to read Sirenia Digest #68.

It's raining today. The rain began last night. It'll be a little warmer tomorrow, but the rain will become thunderstorms.

I'm running so very, very late. There were many things I was going to discuss in this entry that are going to have to wait, if I want to get anything written today. And I kinda, sorta have to get something written today.

Last night, we watched Christopher Smith's Black Death (2010), and wow, this is the film that Season of the Witch tried to be and pretty much failed utterly. And it's a surprisingly complex film. On the surface, Black Death seems to be only another entry in the recent resurgence of the fear-of-pagans genre of film. And it would be easy to walk away from this film with the impression that it's pro-Christian and anti-pagan. But...it's only easy to do that if you don't stop to think about what's actually being said. A lot of this stuff isn't even subtle. It's a film about how power is wielded through belief systems, about fear and obsession and love. About exploiting ignorance and superstition. About egotism. And in the end, the Church, the "witch" Langiva, the monk Osmund – none of these are portrayed as virtuous. All are victims, and all create victims of their own. All are hungry for one thing or another, and all, ultimately, are rapacious in their quest to have this thing, be it power or revenge or whatever. The film does present "good" men and women who mostly exist beyond the boundaries of this power struggle – Wolfstan, Averill, and so forth. But even they are not genuinely innocent. Because the film tries hard to be a true film, and this world is all but devoid of innocent human beings. Black Death is a film about people who try to do good – Ulrich and Langiva are both trying to protect "their" people from the plague, but both are deeply flawed. Anyway, yes. Good movie. See it. Right now it can be streamed from Netflix.

And I must go meet the Word Monster.

Jousting,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Sunday. Sunday means nothing whatsoever around these parts. Here in deepest, darkest Rhode Island. The hinterlands of Federal Hill.

"You'll forgive her," said the platypus. "The heat's been at her. And she's not been sleeping well. She's jumping at shadows." And the dodo, she concurred.

---

I'm trying to get myself ready to go back to work on Blood Oranges tomorrow. Yesterday, we read Chapter Three. And I still like it. It's not in the same ballpark as The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, but it was never meant to be. It's in this other ballpark, over here. This book will, I think, be finished, and if it is finished, it certainly will be published. But, back to baseball analogies, it's got a couple of strikes against it. And I can't even explain them all here, because I'd have to bring in People Who Are Not Me. Which is poor form (I am the last good-mannered beast). In June, I had amazing enthusiasm for this odd little side project, this diversion from the course of my writing career. Now, I'm struggling just to be able to write the second half. Nothing whatsoever has changed about the story. This is all about changes in the marketplace that occur so suddenly they can hit you in the middle of a book that you're writing in the absurdly short span of only two months. But I will finish it, because I can't leave a story half told, and it will be published. And the little paycheck will be the small consolation that all paychecks are.

Today, we'll read Chapter Four.

---

The heat continues to batter all in this house, though relief is on the way in the form of cooler weather, and the new window-unit AC has helped a little. Last night, the high humidity made 84˚F feel like 94˚F. I think Spooky and I are both going deaf from the constant whir of fans and the drone of AC units. I've not yet named the new AC unit. Or I did, but forgot the name. Threw away the key. And so it goes. Yesterday, I actually made a little chart in my Moleskinne notebook, the temperature in the middle parlour for each hour. I'm still making entries. I may plot the whole thing on a bar graph once the heat breaks. Cooking doesn't help, by the way, but I was tired of cold food.

---

Last night, we watched the third episode of Falling Skies. It's hard watching something and knowing it would have been so much better had it not catered to – or been forced to cater to – the sensibilities of a low-brow audience. Last night, during the saccharine-sweet scene where the good little Xtian girl who hasn't lost faith – even at the end of human civilization – leads the others in saying grace, I very almost puked. I settled for laughing, instead. But Fallen Skies was playing it safe, playing it dumb, playing to middle America. Middle, in this case, being synonymous with mediocre, and pause to consider the etymology of that word (yeah, I'm on an etymological kick):

"Mediocre: [via French from Latin mediocris moderate, literally: halfway up the mountain, from medius middle + ocris stony mountain]"*

You play to the middle, to mediocrity, odds are somewhat more in your favour that you will, in fact, succeed. And, of course, lots of producers and TV execs are still terrified of playing to any other demographic but the mediocre. Mediocre fiction for mediocre people. No, not people. Consumers. I'd love to see what this series could have been on Showtime.

---

Yesterday, I read two articles in the May JVP: "A new basal ornithopod dinosaur (Dinosauria, Ornithischia) from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia" and "First occurrence of the long-snouted crocodyliform Terminonaris (Pholidosauridae) from the Woodbine Formation (Cenomanian) of Texas."

---

Last night was the first night since...whenever...that it's been cool enough to sit in the office (where we usually game) and play Rift. There was some fine rp at Kelari Refuge, and then at Meridian. We are essentially rewriting Our Story Thus Far, since the guild moved from the Shadefallen shard to Faeblight (where people actually rp!), so things are a little hinky, but it was fine rp, all the same. Oh, and the offer still stands. To quote yesterday's entry:

Spooky and I have ONE FREE copy of Rift, which comes with five free days of play, and we're willing to pass it along to someone who wants to give the game a try. The only catch, you have to sign up on our shard – Faeblight – and join our guild, recently rechristened Watchers of the Unseen. We're looking for players who want to rp, plain and simple. If you're interested, email Spooky at crkbooks(at)gmail(dot)com, and she'll send you the access code. And, by the way, a month of Rift costs only $15. About as much as a pizza. Or maybe three cups of Starbuck's swill. Hardly more than a single movie ticket (at least around here). Endless hours of entertainment CHEAP. Please don't email her unless you're serious about giving the game a try.

Come on. I know there are gamers among my readers, among my readers who read this journal via LJ, Facebook, and Twitter. And this is the best MMORPG I've ever played. And it's never going to get any cheaper than this offer. Don't be too cool for school.

Anyway, gotta scoot. Catch you on the flipside, kittens.

Until That Day,
Aunt Beast

* Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
greygirlbeast: (chi 5)
The second thing today to make me laugh so hard it hurt. The firts, of course, was the Leonard Nimoy video. And sure, this might be a Photoshop job. It's still funny as fuck.

All rocks go to Heaven. Booya!

Two churches located across the street from each other. At least the Catholics have a sense of humor.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Insomnia last night, and I finally had to give up and take an Ambien about 4 a.m., so I'm still swimming against that current. It's like a riptide through consciousness and unconsciousness, that damned drug. When this bottle runs out, I will have no more of that shit near me.

But a good writing day yesterday. I did 1,467 words on "The Yellow Alphabet." I was sort of annoyed by having finished I, only to realize that the letter I should have been "I is for Iphis and Ianthe." But I wasn't about to go back and toss out what I'd already written. I may feel differently when I've finished "The Yellow Alphabet," if there's time to spare. So, we'll see. Today, I do L and M, and finish Part One.

So, if you haven't heard, Anne Rice is making a big, fat, hairy deal of not being Xitian anymore...except she obviously still is. Whatever. Maybe her silly-ass Jesus books weren't selling very well, and she's feeling the heat from such literary giants as Laurell K. Hamilton and Charlaine Harris. In case you missed the sarcasm there (after all, I did not end the sentence with "lol"), I will add that at least Rice did write three good books (Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, and The Queen of the Damned) before drinking her own purple Kool-Aid and devolving into utter nonsense. Which is far more than can be said for Hamilton or Harris, who were pretty much purveyors of nonsense from Day One.

Sorry. Just needed to get that out of my system.

Spooky has started a new round of eBay auctions. Also, check out the very wonderful things in her Dreaming Squid Dollworks & Sundries Shop on Etsy. Really. Cool stuff. Check it out.

Sméagol has another vet visit today, just a check up, to see how his plasma-cell pododermatitis is doing.

More rp in Insilico last night, interesting stuff with Molly, who is no longer Molly, but the Mouse (or so she says). It's sort of fascinating, going away for more than three months and coming back and seeing how all these little plot threads have woven and unwoven, how characters have evolved. Also, so long as Spooky and I have been indulging in Fairly Ridiculous Television (24, Nip/Tuck), we decided to try some Truly Ridiculous Television, and watched the first four episodes of Sanctuary last night. And I don't know. It has a certain lopsided charm, like Tom Baker era Doctor Who meets Torchwood meets The X-Files meets a bunch of other stuff, all smushed together the wrong way round. Sometimes, Bad Television can be unexpectedly entertaining.
greygirlbeast: (Middle Triassic)
Yesterday, I did 1,552 words on Chapter Five of The Red Tree. At this point, the manuscript is 51,435 words long, or 206 pages. And, as usual, I have no idea how this novel will be received. I do not know how my agent will react, or my editor, and especially not readers. This is probably not the novel with which I will win over Middle America. I expect the Wal-Mart crowd will not gobble this one up. And Oprah will not shower accolades upon it. Ah, but there is sex, and how often has that ever happened in my novels? Actual sex. It's all between two woman, and one of them is in her forties, but still. It is sex. The trick is allowing sex scenes to play out in such a way that the whole novel does not come to a grinding halt because of THE SEX SCENE. Well, that's one of the tricks.

Somehow, I slept seven hours last night, and feel a bit better today.

Spooky has begun a new round of eBay auctions. Please have a look.

Let's see. How about a news item? Well, I'm learning just exactly what a total religious whack-job this Palin woman is, and that's even scarier than Hurricane Ike. Really, people, McCain is 71 years old. Life expectancy for men in America is only 75.4 years, so, you know, there is a better than good chance that the war-mongering old fart could kick the bucket and leave crazy little Miss Alaska the True Believer in charge. Well, leave her camp of extra-loony evangelical Xtians in charge. But whatever.

There's a reason I try to avoid the news.

Anyway...yesterday, after the writing, Spooky and I went down to Point Judith, because we knew that, after Hanna's passage, the surf would be spectular. And spectacular it was. So much so, it was too much for any actual surfers. We climbed the remains of Fort Greene (aka, the Rabbit's Restroom), then picked our way along the cobblestone beach below the hill (to 41°21'42.89"N, 71°29'6.05"W). The tide was out, and there were dead horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus) everywhere, dozens of them. The waves were enormous, and the air was filled with salty mist from the breakers. As the first quarter moon rose over the sea in the south, we turned west again and walked back to the jetty at Harbor of Refuge. Far out, the waves were completely overtopping the jetty, sending up great walls of white water. We ventured a couple of hundred yards out (approximately 41°21'38.78"N, 71°29'18.93"W) and I stood on the ancient granite blocks, getting wet, the wind roaring around me, entirely amazed. Spooky took a lot of photos, and I'll post a few this evening. We stayed until sunset, then had dinner at Iggy's before heading back to Providence.

Later, there was some work on the Howards End sim, and we read more of "Cabal." And that was yesterday. Oh, I do have this screencap from the Howard Ends skybox, grumpy Nareth getting a "time out" with only Sulk Bunny and Captain Spaulding for company.

Why so green and lonely? )
greygirlbeast: (white)
So, here's the way I see it, and if I am wrong, someone can tell me so. You guys can either get an online journal wherein I occasionally say what I think on a diverse range of subjects not necessarily related to my writing (recently, and the cause of some strife, that Orson Scott Card is a raving homophobe, that I'll be voting for Barack Obama, and that Robert Jordan and Laurell K. Hamilton write "tripe"). OR, we have this other choice. I can keep my mouth shut, like I mostly used to do, and confine this blog to daily word counts and notices about our ongoing eBay auctions. Because you can't have it both ways. If I express my opinions —— which are often contentious, unpopular, unorthodox, whatever —— it is inevitable that I'll offend someone every few days. This morning I received a rather whiny email from someone claiming I'd hurt his feelings because of what I said about Jordan and Hamilton, and so he probably won't be buying any of my books. Night before last, one reader went ballistic in the journal comments over the fact that, while I condemn OSC's hate speech, I support the presidency of Barack Obama (seeing these two things as somehow inextricably linked). And it's true, I do not need to be alienating readers. But it's also true that when I do not give in to my tendency to be a mouthy bitch, this journal gets rather dull. So, which will it be? You want the somewhat unexpurgated me, or the utterly dull and inoffensive me? You can't say, we want you to be honest, then go off on me when you find something I say offensive. You are certainly entitled be be offended. But...this is my LJ, right? And the opinions expressed here are mine. Maybe I'll post a poll later —— reserved and inoffensive, or honest and often offensive. Let you guys decide. Right now, I'm just annoyed at the whiners who want me to know I've hurt their feelings...because, you know, I care.

I just got the news (thank you Doug Miller), via boingboing.net, that I am one of the thirty-one sf authors who will be discussed this month on the Science Fiction Message Board. Specifically, I have been assigned to August 23rd, or that day's been assigned to me, whichever. I'll post about this again nearer to the date, and here's the link to the announcement by Cory Doctorow. I was frankly amused at the person who complained about my inclusion on the list because I write "Vampire romance novels," when I've only written one vampire novel, sixteen years ago, and it wasn't very romantic.

Yesterday was an odd sort of day. A semi-day off, but at least I answered that mountain of email. Spooky baked some very yummy muffins for Lughnasadh (apple, cinnamon, walnuts, and dates). I loaded Sigur Rós' Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (2008) and Gordon Bok's Seal Djiril's Hymn (1972; my thanks to Sonya for this one) onto the iPod. I took a long, cool bath. That sort of rather aimless, laid-back sort of day. We get too few of those hereabouts. About 5:30, we headed to Beavertail for an informal Lughnasadh ceremony. And here things got a little derailed, and it was likely my fault.

I've always thought that the ruins of Fort Burnside (circa 1942, built to guard the minefield that was placed in Narragansett Bay during WWII) would be a wonderful place for ritual work, especially given that the two circular depressions that each once held a 3-inch gun have an odd and striking resemblance to a megalithic site, as does the old bunker. What I failed to take into account were the nosy people. Why I failed to take this into account is beyond me, as I know well enough that humans are pathologically incapable, in general, of minding their own damn business. As Spooky was beginning to cast the circle, some swamp-yankee goombah with a camera wandered up wanting to know what we were doing. As we worked, we attracted a smallish audience (a child's shrill and repeated scream, "Mommy! What are they doing?!"). And as we were heading back to the car, a woman approached (she was out walking her dog), and she said to Spooky, "I see you two are spiritual people." Spooky stopped to talk to her. I figured she was some harmless New Ager, so I busied myself putting things away. A few minutes later, Spooky shows up, grumbling, and tells me that the woman wanted to know if we'd "...ever thought about Jesus Christ, who created the sea?" It was all Spooky could do to keep me from going after the woman, I think. I was instantly livid. I swear to fuck, I considered making an impromptu human sacrifice to Panthalassa and all the hungry crabs and fishes.

I mean, what if I stood around outside some local Xtian church on Sunday, and when they exited, annoyed the congregation members with questions like, "Have you ever thought about the Morrigan, or Dionysus, or Brighid? What if someone who was Islamic, or Buddhist, or Hindu, or what-the-hell ever did such a rude, thoughtless, arrogant thing? Sure, I know why it's so, as I was raised Catholic and Methodist, but it is truly regrettable that so many Xtians are driven to evangelize, to witness, to annoy the shit out of the rest of us with their religion, when I'd never dare do such a thing. But I don't have to be happy about it. Afterwards, I was so angry I climbed down the cliffs to the sea, to a spot where the incoming tide was especially violent, slamming itself loudly against the rocks, slinging up spray ten or fifteen feet into the air. I sat there and watched the waves and tried not to hate that woman, who seemed to feel that we have so little conviction and so little right to privacy that she could approach us and ask such a goddamn, idiotic question. Spooky was much nicer to her than I'd have been, telling her "Many things made the sea." I'd have probably said, "Yeah, we did the Jesus thing, but, turns out, pagans get better sex. And, by the way, from that sour fucking look on your face, you could probably use some." We stayed with the sea until dark, then headed back to Providence, and got sandwiches from Eastside Market for dinner.

Oh, on the way down to Beavertail, we stopped at Newbury Comics in Warwick. I went in only meaning to get the new director's cut of Alex Proyas' Dark City (1998) and the newly released Doomsday (2008). But it is an evil, seductive place, and so we also picked up the hardback of Joss Whedon's Angel: After the Fall, Vol. 1 and a limited edition book/CD thingy Nick Cave has released to accompany Dig, Lazarus, Dig. Last night, we watched the new cut of Dark City, which runs 111 minutes, versus the theatrical release of 100 minutes. But, those restored eleven minutes make an already brilliant film far less choppy, more subtle, and give it quite a bit more depth. Also, the annoying opening voice-over that was forced on Proyas by the studio has been removed. At the time of the film's original release, I was a friend of a friend of the director's (well, technically, I still am), and knew that he was very displeased with the cut, especially with the voice-over, that gives away the film's fundamental mystery in the first minute. The restored footage concerning the whore's daughter (we don't even see that she has one in the 1998 cut) and Jennifer Connelly's character singing "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" (vocals performed by Anita Kelsey), were especially welcomed restorations. Anyway, I have always adored this film, and now I adore it even more.

Time to get back in the platypus saddle, back to work, and my thanks to Larry Roberts of Bloodletting Press for giving me a two-week extension on the introduction I agreed to write for S. T. Joshi's forthcoming Arthur Machen collection. Also, my thanks to Ernest Lilley (senior editor at SFRev) for sending me the following photos from my signing at Readercon 19. Spooky's even in most of them:

Readercon, July 18th, 2008 )
greygirlbeast: (white)
Dreamsickness of the first order today. I'm pretty sure most of me has yet to disconnect from whatever unconscious world I slept my way into.

And since it's Sunday morning, from my office I can hear the Xtians waiting through loudspeakers from some point not too far away. It sounds like someone's hurting them. Religion pollution.

Yesterday, we read over "Salammbô," which, near as I can recall, was written sometime in 1996, maybe early 1997, ten or eleven years ago. It needed to be proofed for the new edition of Tales of Pain and Wonder, and I needed to hear myself reading it aloud before I begin the new story. It will be set somewhere in 2007, and that means that Salammbô Desvernine will be 51 years old (or -11, to speak more kindly). I have to somehow fill in the blank space between the postcard that Salmagundi received from Los Angeles in 1973 and now, all those 34 years that have elapsed, and in my head, Salammbô was always the one who got away, but now I begin to suspect she didn't truly get away, after all.

Each in herhisits respective world, authors are Nature or the gods or demons or the sleeping mind set loose to perceive, and, as such, writers can be the most merciless bastards in the whole universe.

The heat continues, though we did get clouds and a little rain yesterday. At 3 a.m., the temperature had fallen to 81F. If I were a saner beast, I would spend the day, hardly moving, in a cold bath with colder bottles of beer, or glasses of iced coffee and shots of absinthe. Not so far to the south, Hurricane Dean spins, a cat. 4 already, roaring across the Caribbean.
greygirlbeast: (chi3)
It's Sunday morning, and once again the Xtians are wailing "gospel" through loudspeakers. All the dogs on the street have started to howl. I shit you not.

Yesterday, we read back over "In the Dreamtime of Lady Resurrection" and the first fifty pages of The Dinosaurs of Mars, two very different beasts. Afterwards, I did some polishing on the former, and I think it still needs just a little more, but I went ahead and emailed it to Vince for illustrating. I also attended to some neglected email. I'm not exactly sure what's going to happen today. More of the same, whichever way it goes.

Later, I had a New Babbage town meeting to attend in Second Life, followed by a virtual vaudeville show in the New Babbage stockyards. The trained humans were quite good, and the dancing hippo amused me, as well. Then we installed the spiral staircase in the Palaeozoic Museum and worked some on the mezzanine. And that was my yesterday, near as I can recall.

I get into terrible, senseless funks over hardly ever leaving the house, much less the neighborhood. And then I stop and consider my options, which is to say — my options without burning the hydrocarbons needed to drive a day and a half northeast or several days west, and the funk dissolves into simple despair. And that's somehow better, really.

My life seems less and less part of some objective reality, and more and more like a peculiar tributary in some unfortunate dream. Well, perhaps not unfortunate. Perhaps merely ill considered.

Time to make the doughnuts.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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