greygirlbeast: (Default)
One of my favorite songs, ever...ever...

If I had to say "This song, it's my life in Birmingham, Alabama from 1991-1993," it would be "Joey."

greygirlbeast: (walter3)
1. Yesterday, I wrote a very decent 1,466 words on "Hydrarguros," for Sirenia Digest #50. This isn't going to be a vignette. This is going to be my first full-length science-fiction story since I wrote "Galápagos" for Eclipse Three, back in June or July. Wait. Shit. I wrote a full-length sf tale, "The Jetsam of Disremembered Mechanics," for the forthcoming Robert Silverberg tribute anthology (Subterranean Press). And that was only December. Gods, it all bleeds together. Anyway, yeah, this story is growing beyond my original concept, and if you're a subscriber to the digest, you'll get to read it. Soon. It's feeling quite a lot like "In View of Nothing" and "A Season of Broken Dolls," and I think Jason Statham is quickly morphing into someone else.

2. Another night of not-quite-enough sleep, thanks to the wonderful rp in Insilico. I meant to get to bed earlier, but the story just kept coming, and I apparently lack the ability to walk away from story. I am a narrative junkie.

3. Yesterday was a day of wonderful gifts arriving by mail. First, a package from Jada in Arkansas, containing a bottle of Crystal Head vodka. I had no idea Dan Ackroyd was pimping vodka in these marvelous bottles. So, the boozery continues to grow. And then, while Kathryn had gone down to the local deli to get sandwiches for dinner, FedEx arrived with a second package (and there's a story here, that I'll come to in Item 4). This one contained a slab of grey stone from the Marecchia River Formation in Italy, bearing the complete skeleton of a 20+ centimeter specimen of Syngnathus acus, an extinct species of pipefish from the Lower Pliocene (about 3-5 million years old). This came from Christa ([ profile] faustfatale) in faraway LA. It will now take up residence in my own Wunderkammer.

4. When I went to answer the door, when the FexEx dude knocked, I thought I'd shut the front parlour door behind me. The door leading out into the front hallway. I'd not. When I got back upstairs, it was standing wide fucking open. Sméagol was just outside our door, looking thoroughly freaked. He saw me and dashed back inside. However, Hubero was nowhere to be seen. So, I commenced searching. Our building, circa 1875, has these incredibly narrow, steep spiraling wooden stairwells. They make me think of being inside a lighthouse. I went upstairs and finally located Hubero, who never, ever squirms or wiggles when I puck him up. Except for last night. As I was coming back downstairs with him, he wriggled rather violently, dug in his claws, and one or another of my feet slipped. I missed the next step down, pulled my left Achilles tendon rather painfully, and almost went tumbling to the second floor. For a moment, I clearly saw Spooky coming home to find me crumpled in the hallway, a Siamese cat smooshed flat beneath my broken body. But somehow I caught myself, and doomsday was narrowly averted. Shit like this is one reason Spooky is usually the one who answers the door.

5. Last night, we started watching Season Three of Deadliest Catch. I find this strange show absurdly addictive, and I was partway through Season Three in '08 when we made the move from Atlanta to Providence. We watched the first two episodes, and then I wandered off to rp. Oh, I also read another paper in the December Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology yesterday, "Dyrosaurid remains from the Intertrappean Beds of India and the Late Cretaceous distribution of the Dyrosauridae."

6. The platypus says shut up and get to work....
greygirlbeast: (Eli2)
Today, Elizabeth would have been 39.

There was a seizure late yesterday afternoon, the worst in months, so if this entry is a little off, that's what you blame. I still feel as though I'm thinking through a film of cheesecloth dipped in Vaseline. Fortunately, all I have to do today is attend to line edits.

Monday (12/28/09)— We drove to Attleboro, Massachusetts late in the day. I was looking for a CD, which I didn't find. As a consolation, we stopped at Yankee Spirits, or as I prefer to think of it, the Boozery (on Washington St./Rt. 1). We came away with French absinthe, Russian lager, and a bottle of Dogfish Head's Pangaea. The place really is a marvel. On the way home, the sun was setting, and the sky was like the last moments before apocalypse. I took photos, because lately I seem obsessed with the sky. In Atlanta and Birmingham, the sky is an entirely different beast. The photos are behind the cut, below. There was rain Monday morning, and a few slushy snow flakes as we were leaving Providence.

Monday evening, Spooky baked kielbasa with apples, red potatoes, red onions, garlic, and bay. We drank the Russian lager with it (Baltica No. 4, which [ profile] ellen_datlow introduced me to last November, in NYC). I read more of the Rapetosaurus paper, and more of Alan Weisman's The World Without Us (a Solstice gift from David Szydloski). The latter is a brilliant book. It's almost enough to inspire in me some weak spark of hope. We watched an episode of Fringe. There was WoW, and we both made Level 75.

Tuesday (12/29/09)— A windy and very cold day. Maybe the coldest day I've felt since coming to Rhode Island. There was a vicious wind. We saw Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes, and I thought it was delightful. When we got back home, a package was waiting for me, the ARCs for The Ammonite Violin & Others, which is now that much closer to being an actual book. Also, I discovered a very nice review of The Red Tree at SFFWorld.

There was Chinese takeout for dinner. I read more of Weisman's book, and we watched three more episodes of Fringe (which we're watching entirely out of order, and I think that's making it more interesting).

Tomorrow I will post my "Top Ten" list of fantasy and science-fiction films from 2009.

Today will be a day of line edits. But I said that already. Final corrections to The Ammonite Violin & Others, and "Untitled 34," and "Pickman's Other Model" (on the last one, actually, all I need to do is to copy the list of line edits into an email to send to Joshi). It should be easy. I just have to keep squinting through the cheesecloth and Vaseline. And here are the photos from Monday:

28 December 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (white2)
Having more trouble than usual waking up this morning. Then again, maybe I'm just not pushing myself the way I usually do, because I don't have to write later. I have the luxury of waking up slowly. Regardless, my mind is messier than is normal, this distance from waking up.

Yesterday did not deliver the nothing that I'd sort of hoped for. There were errands that needed running. Usually, Spooky does the errand running, but since I wasn't writing, I wanted to go along, get out of the house. Nothing remarkable. There were supplies I needed from Staples (paper, mechanical pencil lead, etc.). Then PetCo, because Hubero needed stuff (the demanding little bastard), and a trip to the Eastside Market for groceries. We also went to three different liquor stores trying to find a bottle of Smirnoff Pomegranate Martini (vodka, pomegranate juice, Meyer lemon liqueur, and lemon juice), which just looks too tempting not to try; but, alas, no one had it in. It's very new, and we're going to try one of the big booze megamarts in Warwick or someplace. It was late in the day when we headed out, and the sky was beautiful. The day was about ten-degrees colder than Monday, but still, beautiful weather. I had a very brief absence seizure while we were walking on Benefit Street. I've had a few of these the last few weeks I've not mentioned. I call them "blips." Anyway, that was pretty much the excitement that was the daylit portion of yesterday.

Last night, after dinner, we went to the Avon Theater on Thayer Street and saw Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York (2008). It's not often that a film simply leaves me at a loss for words. Or that it's so utterly briliant (as in smart, and also as in bright and shining), that it makes me feel stupid. But Synecdoche, New York pretty much did both. I don't want to heap hyperbole upon it, or resort to mere adjectives. But it's the best film I've seen this year, and it's one of the best films I've seen ever, I think. At the very least, it deserves Best Director. And it deserves a much wider audience, one that I doubt it will get. It's not as "accessible" as Kaufman's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) or Being John Malkovich (1999). I'm still trying to decide which "reading protocol" I should employ for understanding the film. It is arguably science fiction, but, then again, this degree of metafictional surrealism short circuits any meaningful attempts at such categorization. The screenplay...I wish I had it today, to read a couple of times. The film unfolds like an unimaginably complex puzzle box, or pop-up book. It's Danielewski's spiraling, labyrinthine narrative techniques, but translated, successfully, to the screen. And Philip Seymour Hoffman is grand. His performance here ranks with his work in Capote (2007) and The Savages (2007). He's just amazing. But the film...the film as a whole...see it if you are lucky enough that it's playing anywhere near you. It needs to be seen on a big screen. So, yeah, I have now officially forgiven the Avon for delaying Låt den rätte komma in by a week.

After the movie, we came home and watched the two most recent episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I continue to be intrigued and entertained. But I think that with the latest episode, "Self-Made Man," the show's creator missed an opportunity to really do some interesting things, and tossed off what could have been a complex, fascinating direction for the story. Though I was pleased that I figured out what those three dots were before we were told.

Oh, and a new cat will soon be coming to live with us. A polytactyl Siamese named Linus, that we're taking from a shelter, because Hubero really needs a buddy. I think I finally feel stable enough to handle two cats.

Now, further thoughts on WoW, but I'm putting them behind a cut, because I know there are lots of people here sick of reading about the game:

More on WoW and roleplaying )
greygirlbeast: (chi6)
Some mornings, there's simply too much in my head for only one journal entry. Which is better than those days when there's simply nothing at all. Well, maybe.

First off, subscribers should expect Sirenia Digest #7 on Monday or Tuesday. Basically, everything's together, text-wise, and now I'm waiting on Vince. This month's issue includes the second half of "The Black Alphabet" (N-Z), as well as a reprint of "Giants in the Earth" (with art by Richard A. Kirk) and Sonya Taaffe's ([ profile] sovay) "Constellations, Conjunctions" (illustrated by Vince). So, #7 will be both longer than usual and a bit of a departure for the digest. This will be the first time I've included another author's fiction, and I'm hoping it will serve to introduce more people to Sonya's writing and perhaps urge them to pick up Singing Innocence and Experience. And if you're not a subscriber, this is easily remedied.

Yesterday was in almost all ways an improvement over Thursday, thanks in part to a healthful tincture of Absolut Citron and Gran Gala, cranberry juice and fresh lime. I didn't write, but I worked, which is better than sitting on the front porch watching big black carpenter ants. I kept myself busy with the digest and e-mails that had accumulated. I took care of some eBay business. I started Jeff VanderMeer's City of Saints and Madmen (Bantam Books, 2002), which I'm enjoying immensely. After dinner, at twilight, Spooky and I had a very pleasant walk in Freedom Park. There were bats and swallows and lightning bugs. Who could ask for more? Then we watched something on the National Geographic Channel about bison (and wolves and coyotes and eagles and elk and ravens) in Yellowstone. Later still, we watched Star Trek: Generations, which was a bit better than I remembered, though Shatner was as stiff as ever. I did enjoy Malcolm McDowell, though, and Kirk's final words: "Oh my." Nice. I told Spooky I hope that my last utterance isn't "oh my," but this morning, it doesn't seem entirely inappropriate to the occasion. And that was yesterday, give or take one mundane thing or another.

My thanks to Dana Christina, who very kindly provided me with passes to the Atlanta Independent Film Festival. Unfortunately, Spooky and I haven't felt much like theatre crowds the last couple of days, but the gesture was kind and greatly appreciated, nonetheless.

At some point yesterday, I found myself reading Amanda Palmer's blog, and this bit, in particular, struck a nerve:

i am a performer. it's my job to get up on that stage and entertain the crowd, even when i'm sick, even when i'm sick of it, even when i'm ready to keel over in exhaustion. there's something noble about plastering that grimace and/or smile on your face and heaving yourself up there, trying anyway. but for god's sake, i still need to be honest about it. i feel like that's the only saving grace. hello everyone, here are my mistakes. i don't want to be here tonight. we're touring too much and the show is starting to suffer, my voice is starting to sound like it's being ripped apart by the middle of every set. good evening everyone: no illusion for you.

And, while it's true that she's a musician and I'm a writer, I understand these lines completely. She's sums up perfectly how things have been for me the last two or three years: we're touring too much and the show is starting to suffer, my voice is starting to sound like it's being ripped apart by the middle of every set.

Yes. Exactly.

Thanks to everyone who's commented or e-mailed me about the discovery of a fairly complete specimen of Gansus yumenensis. A very wonderful find, indeed.

Argh. Noon already. I have the prolegomena for #7 to write today, and I need to do the illustrations for "Night," so I suppose it's time to give the platypus a swift kick. Please have a look at the eBay auctions. A couple of new things were added yesterday, including a two-for-one Low Red Moon ARC deal and a copy of the subpress hardback of Low Red Moon (with subpress ARC). Look. Bid. Buy it now. Write me (greygirlbeast(at)gmail(dot)com) if there's something you're looking for that isn't listed. Come on. I know you want to.

I might manage another entry later today, as there are a couple of conspicuous omissions in this one...


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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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