greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
[personal profile] greygirlbeast
A day when you wake up two hours later than planned, well, there's not a lot you can do to salvage a day like that. Funny fucking thing is, yesterday I had a sort of panic & epiphany combo meal, realizing it was idiotic for me to think I could take a vacation from December 15th to January 3rd. That I thought the work would wait, or that I wouldn't be overwhelmed as soon as my playing hookey ended. So, I resolved to scrap the plans we had for this week (which included a trip to Yale and a trip to Marblehead, Mass.) and get back to work today.

And then...I didn't wake up until 1 p.m. (CaST).

Which sort of shredded my plans for today good and proper, and which is why it's 2:29 p.m. (CaST), and I'm only just starting my blog entry. I was going to get back to work on "The Lost Language of Mollusca and Crustacea," but now I'm thinking, instead, I'll be lucky to deal with a bunch of email (one of the things I did yesterday, post-epiphany), then sign the signature sheets for the limited edition of A Book of Horrors (to be released by P.S. Publishing). But, in case you're curious (casually or otherwise), below is a list of what I have to have done between now and the end of January, and it ought to be enough to convince you of the folly of the "much-deserved vacation":

1. Produce Sirenia Digest #73, which means finishing "The Lost Language of Mollusca and Crustacea" and writing another and as-yet-untitled science-fiction tale.
2. Editing Alabaster #3, as soon as I have my editor's notes.
3. Writing Alabaster #4
4. Keep track of the pages for Alabaster #2 as they're drawn and inked and colored.
5. Finishing making corrections to the mss. of Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart and The Yellow Book (about three weeks overdue, at this point).
6. Travel to Philadelphia sometime in the second half of January to finish up filming the trailer for The Drowning Girl.
7. Get the front page of my website revamped for the release of The Drowning Girl, and get it done ASAP.
8. Compile a list of suggested panels and other assorted programming for Readercon 23 for Rose Fox.

I mean...what the fuck was I thinking! That I was tired? Sure I'm fucking tired, but that's no excuse. Last week, my psychiatrist was trying to convince me to "drop something" to reduce my workload, and I think I did a pretty unconvincing job of explaining why I can't drop anything, not without...

It's like this. Lots of people have a lot of trouble understanding what it's like to be a "famous writer" who is only just managing to squeak by financially. In this economic climate, you'd think it would be an easy enough matter to understand. But yes, the vacation is over, and I just have to hope there wasn't too much time frittered away.

As for yesterday, there was prune hamantashan, a trip to our storage unit in Pawtucket, a clove cigarette (actually, these days they're clove cigars, technically), short fiction by Norman Partridge, William Browning Spencer, and Michael Marshall Smith. Partridge's "Lesser Demons" is an interesting new take on the tiresome zombie trope, and Smith's story, "Fair Exchange" is just about the funniest Innsmouth story I've ever read. Normally, I don't like funny in my Lovecraft. Normally, I'm violently opposed to it, in fact. But if you read this story, and hear the narrator's voice as Jason Statham, from the days of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, it's a fucking hilarious story. Yesterday, the cold sky over Providence was so blue it was murderous – that wide carnivorous sky of which I've been speaking of for years.

Aunt Beast

Date: 2011-12-27 07:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Anybody who works freelance or is otherwise self-employed understands that kind of vacation. Even a single day can have a huge price. The work won't wait, and generally if it doesn't get done in a timely manner, it gets given to someone else. *Sigh*

Date: 2011-12-27 08:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
As a freelancer myself, I always have a hard time explaining to people why I can't just take a day off. They don't understand that it costs me money to take a day off and I have to plan my days off and vacations far in advance so that I can have everything done in time.

That being said, though, as a freelancer, the most important thing you can do is take time for yourself. You'll be happier and more productive, in the long run. After running myself ragged for years, I think I'm finally managing some sort of balance. But again, when you have things like deadlines looming over you, as well as bills, it's very very hard (and still needs to be planned in advance).

Date: 2011-12-27 09:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Amen to that! I've found that planning in advance never works, because something always comes up. But there are spontaneous days out and trips to the movies. You are absolutely right about finding balance. When that happens it's wonderful.

Date: 2011-12-27 10:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

For me, your second paragraph doesn't follow from the first. I imagine balance, but the facts you set forth in the first paragraph make it pretty much impossible. On rare occasions, I take a day for myself, but it's always expensive.

Date: 2011-12-27 10:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Pretty much. Only, my stuff never gets given to someone else. It waits for me, or it doesn't happen.

Which fucks with my reputation. really can't ever happen.
Edited Date: 2011-12-27 10:05 pm (UTC)

A Late Celebratory Gift To Myself...

Date: 2011-12-27 08:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
...brought TWO WORLDS to me in Lexington, Kentucky via USPS last Thursday. Problem is I wasn't home and there were no extra boxes at my apartment to hold it so it went back to the post office to wait for me. And they were closed Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. And I am staying in Cincinnati, Ohio for reasons not worth mentioning.

So this morning I drove the 93.4 miles to the Lexington post office to retrieve my present I felt I deserved (because 2011 has been a wicked, barbed, and cruel year for more reasons not worth mentioning). And I drove 93.4 miles BACK before I opened it -- because it was raining/snowing, and I'll be DAMNED if I'll let Mother Nature join in the laughter...

And it is beautiful and weighty and full of tricksies and wonders and magics. I read the introduction, all I will allow myself until tonight, and it was, once again, like diving in dark, cold, still waters, in a cave that can't possibly be here and now. I added my tears to the water.

Thank you for never giving in. I wish you well.

Re: A Late Celebratory Gift To Myself...

Date: 2011-12-27 10:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Thank you for never giving in. I wish you well.

You're welcome...and good heavens, what a saga. I am humbled at your efforts to acquire the book!

Date: 2011-12-27 08:51 pm (UTC)
ext_4772: (Good Omens)
From: [identity profile]
But if you read this story, and hear the narrator's voice as Jason Statham, from the days of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, it's a fucking hilarious story.

Which made me chuckle. Thank you.

Date: 2011-12-27 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

You're welcome.

Date: 2011-12-27 10:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Crap. Good luck.

If it cheers you, the second series of Sherlock is coming soon!

Date: 2011-12-27 10:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

If it cheers you, the second series of Sherlock is coming soon!

It cheers me. Though I will have to wait for the DVDs, or for Netflix to stream it.

Date: 2011-12-27 10:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I hope you don't have long to wait for it on Netflix. It'll at least take away the taste of the latest Who Christmas Special (shudder), which sucks lepers'cocks.

Date: 2011-12-28 12:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

It'll at least take away the taste of the latest Who Christmas Special (shudder), which sucks lepers'cocks.

In my experience, or in my opinion, the Xmas specials always are.

Date: 2011-12-27 10:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Joining in to wish you good luck with the monstrous to-do list; I'm sorry that so much of the rest of your vacation had to be sacrificed.

By the way, I was reading Kafka recently, and found this quotation of his from one of his letters, and it reminded me of your work, and some of what you've said about your work: "I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? We need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us."

Date: 2011-12-28 12:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Kafka is a genius. Or was. Whichever. And yes, this is a true statement. And it certainly applies to the act of writing both The Red Tree and The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, which is why the three years it took me to write those two novels were so devastating to me psychologically, and why they're light years better than any of my earlier novels.

I may quote this quote tomorrow.

Date: 2011-12-28 01:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was in such a state when I read Low Red Moon that I actually read a section later on in the book to see if Chance was OK. I never do that but I was that tense reading the story.

I am on the fence about getting an iPhone to replace my 8 year old phone because I dislike all the carriers right now. Still it would be nifty if there was a Red Tree skin. Not the cover art of what was published but the alt cover. Could that happen?

Date: 2011-12-28 01:31 am (UTC)
witchchild: (Spike has beer)
From: [personal profile] witchchild
I hope you get more of a break though. Vacations are awesome.

And Yale you say? That's my neck of the woods. If you ever want suggestions for places to eat, let me know.

Date: 2011-12-28 06:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I do get what it's like (not as a famous writer, obviously, I mean) and hope that the vacation time that you did get was good. It sounded like you were enjoying things, at least the break from writing.

Your description of "Fair Change" has me hooked; I'll definitely have to dig it up! Also, since I'm one of those people who tends to read Lovecraft himself as comedy, I'd be curious to see a good comedic pastiche/tribute.

being undemanding

Date: 2012-01-13 01:19 pm (UTC)


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Caitlín R. Kiernan

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