greygirlbeast: (white)
Yesterday, there was more than a bit of drama on Facebook. Because I reposted an article unconditionally supporting a second term for President Obama, and pointing out what a bunch of loons the GOP has become. I'm honestly not sure when I started my FB page, but it was years ago. I must still have been in Atlanta. In all that time, I've found the need to ban only seven people. Yesterday, I banned two of those: a Mr. Tim Lieder and a Mr. Alexander Loeb. Weasels, the both of them, and one went so far as to imply that my wishing people not to comment on certain items I'd posted to my FB page was comparable to an accused child molester defending himself. No, I'm not making that up. Anyway, as of last night, my FB page is "friends only," which means it cannot be seen by the public. You can find my name and stuff, and request that I "friend you" (I fucking shudder at that phrase). Likely, I will. But Spooky has become adamant that I start screening people on FB.

---

It was a quiet day yesterday. I went back to work on the painting that was once called Black Ships Ate the Sky, back in 2010, but is now called Idumea (Charles Wesley, 1793). There will be a second canvas titled Black Ships Ate the Sky. If I ever finish this one. I paint like I write poetry, which is to say very, very, very slowly, as I dither. I fret. I may post an "in progress" photo of Idumea tomorrow.

In general, the vacation is agreeing with me. Not as much sleep last night, but I feel okay.

Oh! And this is so cool. I realized, a few days back, that if one takes bow tie and runs it together as bowtie, then capitalizes the "B," creating Bowtie, and then removes the "t," what remains is Bowie. How bow tie is that?! Also bow tie, just before we went to sleep, Spooky and I discovered how cool Artimesia looks when spelled backwards: aisemitrA. How much it recalls asymmetry.

---

Have you not yet ordered a copy (or copies) of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir and/or Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart? You should. Pre-orders make publishers very happy. And, in the case of the latter book, it may well sell out before publication, especially the limited edition.

---

Last night, Kathryn and I went to the Cable Car for a 9:45 p.m. (8:45 EST) showing of Lars von Trier's Melancholia. Gods, this film is as close to perfection as films ever come. Yes, it's ostensibly a film about a rogue planet's collision with Earth, but it's truly (as von Trier has confirmed) a film about depression. There could be no better example of the difference between truth and fact than Melancholia. This film is beautiful, and magnificent, sublime, triumphant, and terrifying. von Trier's decision to reveal the ending of the film at the beginning (same reason I included the editor's prologue at the beginning of The Red Tree), and to metaphorically recount the narrative (again at the beginning) via a dream sequence, both were strokes of genius. Melancholia is, somehow, quite different from Terrence Malick's Tree of Life, even though they share very much in common. Such as being my picks for the two best films of 2010*. Nothing even comes close to either. I greatly admire von Trier's decision to avoid a realistic depiction of astrophysics. As I have said again and again, characters are the backbone of powerful science fiction (and of all powerful fiction), not science. This is a film of wonder and beauty, as much as it is a film of sorrow and fear, and...I'm going on and on. Just see it.

Vacating,
Aunt Beast

* I suspect Scorsese's Hugo probably deserves to be in my best three of 2011, but a) it was released in 3D, an idiotic move, and b) I've not been able to see it in 2D.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Fuck all, it's raining. It's cold and rainy and Spooky has to walk to the garage to get the hopefully not broken anymore car. And I don't feel like blogging, and as I was getting out of bed (crack, pop, fuck, crack, pop, crunch, ow), Hubero rather perfectly described my "artistic process." So, thought I, a guest blogger! People do that shit all the time, right? Well, Jeff VanderMeer does, and he's pretty cool.

---

All day Ma sits and taps at this thing. Don't know why she does it. She sits and taps at this thing all day long just tapping and tapping and tapping like it's supposed to mean something. She taps then she stops tapping and yells and then taps some more. She taps and yells and yells and checks the internets and taps. Sometimes she yells at my other Ma, and they yell at each other and then Ma gets quiet and stares at the glowing box before she taps some more. Tap tap tap tap tap. Then she goes to the litter box and comes back and taps. Then she yells and checks the internets and taps and punches the arm of her chair and yells and mutters and mumbles and takes her pills and can't find the book she needs so she yells more and I say fuck this noise and go find a place to sleep but I can STILL hear her tapping and tapping and yelling. Ma does this for hours and hours every single day. The other Ma mostly tells us not to eat STYRO-foam peanuts and dust bunnies and garlic skins but other other Ma taps all day long. Taps and yells. And stares. Lots of staring. Tapping and staring. And pacing and yelling and tapping. If she did less of this I could sleep in her chair which is nice because it smells like her butt.

Signed,
Hubero P. Wu



---

Yeah, Well. Anyway. So, maybe cats aren't natural born bloggers.

Yesterday was a whole lot more of everything that happened on Monday. Which you can find out about by reading yesterday's entry, rather than me regurgitating the tedious catalog. Wanna be a writer? Learn to love the hell out of tedium. That's rule Number One. Today, with luck, I'm actually going to begin work on the short story I should have begun work on two days ago. Because being ahead of schedule is about to turn in to being behind schedule. Oh, and I packed boxes for the storage unit. And hung pictures that have been waiting two and a half years to be hung.

Please have a look at the Totally Unique Never-To-Be-Repeated Keyboard Auction. Thanks.

Also, don't forget the Question @ Hand, the best replies to which will appear in Sirenia Digest #65.

---

Last night we watched Julian Schnabel's Basquiat (1996), which I can't believe I'd never seen. But I hadn't. If I had only one word? Poignant. In almost all senses of the word. Bowie's portrayal of Andy Warhol is especially marvelous. Afterwards, we watched Grant Harvey's Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004), which I enjoyed quite a bit more than the first time I saw it. I fear, the first time, I was too weighed down by expectation. Regardless, second time around, I mostly just had fun with the violence and werewolves and sexy. Yeah, a weird as hell double feature. I know.

Later, we played Rift. I decided, finally, that my Kelari mage, Selwyn (necromancer, warlock, pyromancer), will be my main. Spooky played as her Kelari cleric, Miisya (using her druid soul). We were out in Stonefield with [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus's Kelari rogue, Celinn. Which was wicked fun, but Celinn needs a horsey. Or a vaiyuu. Either one. We may take up a collection, because, let me tell you, kittens, all that running across the plains of Rohan shit gets old fast. Selwyn made Level 22. Also, we need a fucking tank.

We read more of Markus Zusak's The Book Thief

And that was yesterday. Whoopee.

Slogging Onward,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (blood)
My thanks to [livejournal.com profile] jacobluest for the marvelous subject line.

Yesterday, I wrote 945 words and finished "The Crimson Alphabet." It closed with "W is for White Noise," "X is for Xenotropic," "Y is for Yuki-onna," and "Z is for Zipper." And I am pleased. Part Two will, of course, be included in Sirenia Digest #26 later this month.

Not much else to yesterday that's worth posting here. I did not leave the house. Spooky made an unexpectedly wonderful dinner of spinach and red bell-pepper quiche with chicken sausage on the side (spiced with garlic and more red pepper). The weather warmed up into the high '60s.

This morning a dream that seemed a continuation of the dream from yesterday morning, and I really, truly do hope I'm not entering another round of the sorts of recurring nightmares that led to my writing "A Season of Broken Dolls" and "In View of Nothing." I don't know that I'm up for that sort of dual life right now, mentally or physically. Anyway, for what it's worth, there was a great deal more wandering about on that "space balloon" vessel. I saw Africa through the porthole again. There were catwalks, like in a dirigible. The air was intensely cold and dry, and my lips were so chapped they bled. At one point, I was in a rather vast sort of cargo bay, hiding behind a wall of plastic crates, listening to a conversation I could not clearly make out. And later, I was in my compartment, dressing the orange man's gunshot wound. Blood up to my wrists, white gauze and surgical tape (but no scissors, and I "cut" it with my teeth), no exit wound. He'd apparently passed out and was motionless and did not talk as I worked. Later still, I was sitting in something like a dining car/lounge, smoking and drinking coffee, and trying to look inconspicuous in my huge fur coat.

For we're living in a safety zone.
Don't be holding back from me.
We're living from hour to hour down here,
And we'll take it when we can.
It's a kind of living which recognizes,
The death of the odourless man.
When nothing is vanity, nothing's too slow.
It's not Eden, but it's no sham.


(David Bowie, "The Motel")

Oh, Spooky listed more eBay items last night. Please have a look.

Today, I need to go Outside (yes, Outside!), and find a day-planner for 2008, as Green Tiger Press, makers of the splendid "Magic Spectacles" day-planners I've used the last four years have not released one for 2008. My doctor's appointment was put off until Friday. I'll spend part of the day on the corrections for the 3rd edition of Tales of Pain and Wonder, answering questions for [livejournal.com profile] sovay, who kindly consented to proof that monster of a ms. for me. I'd simply read it too many times to trust my eyes.

Okay. Coffee, proof of the reality of evolutionary exaptation.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Today, David Bowie is 60 years old. Which makes my -2 seem utterly insignificant, and I can only hope to age with such grace and dignity. The regular infusions of alien DNA help.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,693 words, and so made it through seven consecutive days wherein I wrote at least 1,500 words. Seven down, twenty-four to go.

It rained here all day yesterday, then just before dark, about 6:30 or 7 p.m. (CaST), a line of intense thunderstorms passed through the city. I watched their progress on Doppler, which remains a fascination for me. But mostly I sat here at my desk, watching the steady rain outside, the blue-grey day. I did not leave the house.

Spooky baked blueberry muffins.

While she fixed dinner, I did manage a hot bath. Then I watched a documentary on the geology of the Great Lakes, dozed, snuggled with Hubero, played a bit of Final Fantasy XII, ate a few Skittles, then went to bed and Spooky read to me from Gregory Maguire's Lost. I am sad to say I do not find this novel anywhere near as agreeable as Wicked or Son of a Witch. It is burdened with a central character who is so painfully humdrum, ordinary, unremarkable, & etc., and though there have been moments of brilliance, the overall effect of the novel is not so very different from Winnie herself. Winnie's only outstanding character flaw is that she's a bit of a compulsive liar, but given that she's a writer, that's hardly surprising. The weight of the ordinary drags me down. But there is yet dim hope that some peculiar and grim revelation may present itself. Genuine mystery and awe have been hinted at. We are nearing the end of the novel, though, so it'll have to happen soon if it's going to happen at all. I hate to say unpleasant things about another author's work, especially one I do generally admire, but what the frell. He's rich. My comments will have no effect whatsoever on the course of his career. I bear Gregory Maguire no ill will, but this protagonist needs to get a life. As it were.

People (writers, editors, people) talk about "flawed" characters and "difficult" characters as though they are a problem. Personally, I cannot imagine literature without them. Who else would I ever write about? Who wants to write about unflawed, easy people? Not me. Nor do I wish to read about them. Give me Merricat and Francis Phelan, Elphaba Thropp and Deacon Silvey. But maybe that's just me. Unflawed, easy people bore me, and they always have.

Spooky is working on a series of bird dolls. The first that she has completed is wonderful. I at once discovered the doll is another Joey LaFaye character and named her (for a her it is) Hieronymus Borscht. Spooky will post photos soon, I think. This will be known as her "Bird Phase," her Ornithaceous Period.

If you have not yet procured a copy of Daughter of Hounds, I hope that you will do so today. Please. It is filled with difficult, flawed characters whom I love.

Maybe I will leave the house today. I have not yet begun to write, so it is too early to say. We shall see.

Postscript (1:21 p.m. CaST): I just saw that Daughter of Hounds has been honored in the Sinister Sixth Annual Tropism Awards, receiving "Best Standalone Novel." Also, Alabaster gets "Best Story Suite/Mosaic Novel." Oh, I love specificity! By the way, MySpace readers do not get addenda and postscripts and the like. Count yourselves lucky, kiddos.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Yesterday, I did 1,796 words. I think I finished about 6:15 p.m. Exhausted. Too tired to walk. Too tired to take a bath. I was able to chew, fortunately. Chewing seems almost autonomic.

There are partitions today, in this entry, as I need them to stop the various paragraphs to come from flowing one into the other as my thoughts are presently flowing one into the other.

—————

I am ever surprised at how few comments I get regarding Sirenia Digest. But. Regarding No. 13, [livejournal.com profile] setsuled writes:

I read "The Voyeur in the House of Glass" a couple nights ago and I thought it was really beautiful. It seemed to me to be a reflection of the relationship between writers, readers, and the publishing industry with feeling similar to what's found in your posts on that subject. But the story succeeds well in making a less clinical perspective, making a more visceral one. I'm not sure, of course, you intended for the story to be a reflection of the reader/writer/publisher relationship, but I liked, in any case, that no one component in the story—audience, Voyeur, or Barker—were directly analogous to reader, writer, or publisher, instead each seeming to have characteristics of all.

I must admit this analogy was entirely accidental, and I did not see it myself until you pointed it out. Now that you have, though, it seems quite a reasonable interpretation. Lately, my subconscious is running circles 'round "me."

—————

There's a nice review of Daughter of Hounds up at "The Agony Column." Here's a short bit I particularly liked:

This is because Kiernan more than most has a handle on what Lovecraft did and did well. Kiernan knows how to conjure the outside, the ancient, those forces that are so different from us so as to cause madness. She started her journey into an unknowable past with Threshold, and with each successive novel she's become better and better at conjuring both the actions and the emotions – or lack thereof – of those who encounter it. To my mind, Daughter of Hounds is her best yet, one of those novels where you can pick it up and open it to almost any page and find yourself immersed in images that summon the outer darkness into your snug little life.

I would argue that the journey began with Silk — at least it did for me — but otherwise, yeah. Nice review.

—————

I think my lit agent's run away to Frankfurt without me. Ah, well.

—————

A very fine quote from Frank Miller (1983), courtesy [livejournal.com profile] coppervale: Good work is not produced by a democracy, or a committee. It's produced by someone who does what satisfies himself, without living on reviews and applause.

Fuckin' A.

—————

Here in Atlanta, the freaky weather continues. The combined effects of an unexpected El Niño and global warming. Buds on dogwoods and other trees. Clover and dandelions. Green grass and moss. The Narcissus are sprouting. Spooky's mom, in Rhode Island, reports that the crocuses are doing likewise. Last night, we still had my office window open at ten p.m. (CaST). It felt like late September or early October, or a summer night in New England, but not mid January in Atlanta.

—————

The dream came back this morning. The one from a couple of days ago — missing syringes, legless albino lovers, etc. This so rarely happens, that a dream recurs for me (a different phenomenon than "interdream memories"), that I think it should be noted. I would prefer to forget it. That same apartment with flickering fluorescent bulbs and wet tile (ceramic tile) floor. Everything so very white. In bed with the albino, in more ways than one. And she's talking about the war in Taiwan and "feedback holes," and I don't interrupt her or ask questions. A doorway opposite the bed, no door, just a black doorway, and I can't take my eyes off it. There's a phonograph somewhere in the room playing Marlene Dietrich. I know it's a phonograph because the recording's scratchy. Of course, it could be a recording from a phonograph, fabricated history. "You should get that leak fixed," she says, the albino, and then she laughs. The sheets are damp, as well. A telephone rings, antique black Bakelite, a rotary thing from the '40s or '50s, and while the albino (I cannot recall her name, if she even has one) is talking on the phone, I slip out onto the fire escape and sit naked beneath a clear plastic umbrella, because it's raining, and I cannot tell if it's night or day, and I watch the excavation going on behind the building. Bizarre sorts of earth-moving machinery. It all seems oddly organic, those machines, and I'm very cold and wish I'd put my coat on. Later, the albino's climbing out the bedroom window, which leads to the fire escape, and now she has mechanical legs. Thin black things that whir and whine, each with a three-toed foot that clings magnetically to the rusted fire escape. They remind me of bird legs. I ask her if the rain isn't bad "for the gears," and she laughs. She sits down next to me. She has a gun, a gun I never see very well, and she sits next to me and presses the gun to my right temple. She talks about politics. I wake shivering, and now, two hours later, I'm still not quite warm and still not quite here.

I cannot think about this all damned day.

—————

Cold, tired fingers,
Tapping out your memories.
Halfway sadness,
Dazzled by the new.

Your embrace,
It was all that I feared.
That whirling room.
We trade by
vendu.

Steely resolve
Is falling from me.
My poor soul,
All bruised passivity.

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greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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