greygirlbeast: (twilek1)
A wild, rainy early afternoon here in Providence. Rainy and warm (50˚F). I hear rumours it may be snowing in Nova Scotia. Regardless, I hardly slept "last night," despite quite a cocktail of psychotropics, as Monsieur Insomnia came to join the dance. I read The Dawn Seekers until six ayem, when I finally drifted off. My dreams are better left unspoken, but I understand Spooky spent part of her slumber being romanced by Walter Bishop.

No writing yesterday. Only the search for a story, one to replace "The Diamond Friendly" (now shelved). I think I may have found just such a story. Or, well, what might grow into a story. This is for Sirenia Digest #74, by the way. Though, there are many others waiting in the wings, even though I began turning down almost all short-story solicitations many months ago. Mostly due to my work with Dark Horse. Still, I have about half a dozen to write this year (not counting the digest), plus my essay for Chicks Dig Time Lords. I will admit, I'm still a little uncomfortable with the fact that lesbians and female transgenders were not covered under Chicks Dig Time Lords. Anyway, as soon as Sirenia Digest #74 is out, I'll begin Alabaster #5.

By the way, and by the by, Dark Horse Presents #9 will be released on February 22nd and will include an eight-page sneak preview of Alabaster. And only thirteen days after that, The Drowning Girl will be released. Do me a favour. Follow that link to the novel's page, and click "like," right there beneath my name. It can't hurt sales, and it might give me some idea how many people are still reading this blog. Thank you kindly. Anyway, I'll be spending a great deal of March and April (and probably May, and...) promoting both books, including an uncommon (for me) number of public appearances (TBA, and only in the Northeast, Manhattan to Boston). This will eat up even more writing time, as I cannot write and travel, though I know many others can. Plus, who knows what crud I'll contract, all that human contact. Howard Hughes is unaccustomed to the microbial life outside her plastic bubble of social sterility.

As for last night...well, too, recreation. A nice bit of C18H21NO3, far too much Star Wars: The Old Republic (my Sith and my Jedi), Curiosity Cola, and other nonsense. I went to bed, finally, and read The Dawn Seekers, and didn't sleep...but we've already covered that part, haven't we? Ah, I also read "Re-description and evolutionary remarks on the Patagonian horned turtle Niolamia argentina Ameghino, 1899 (Testudinata, Meiolaniidae)" is the most recent JVP.

My thanks to whoever sent me the new Penguin Classics The White People and Other Weird Stories by Arthur Machen, along with Franz Wright's Kindertotenwald.

Somewhere Near Awake,
Aunt Beast

Postscript: I don't have a lot of favourite designers, but...I just got the news that one of them, Eiko Ishioka, has died...and...fuck.
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
We have snow coming. Between 3 and 6 inches. I'm really tired of this.

Anyway, yesterday Spooky and I worked all day and night, until 12:04 a.m. EST (and then I worked some more) to get the "final" manuscript for Two Worlds and In Between finished and off to subpress. And then, when I went to bed about 3 a.m., I realized there wasn't a story for 1998. I have no idea how that happened, but it did. So, today I'm adding either "Salmagundi (New York City, 1981)" or "Paedomorphosis" to the manuscript. Bill will be updating the book's page soon, with the final (there's that word again) Table of Contents.

It seems like everyone is very, very happy with both the collection and its cover. [ profile] kylecassidy and I will be shooting the author's photo in Boston on April 2nd.

I think this will not be a linear entry. Too much exhaustion from last night has followed me through my dreams into this day. I'm struggling for coherency. Today is absolutely the last day I can afford to spend on the collection this month. And it can't be a day like yesterday.


Friday will mark the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. In 1998, I wrote about the fire in The Dreaming #28, "Dreams the Burning Dream." On Friday, Spooky and I will be ringing a bell at 4:45 p.m. EST, the exact time the first alarm bells were sounded a century ago.


Only 59 hours remain in our Kickstarter "The Tale of the Ravens" project! Yesterday, one of the two remaining $500 slots was claimed, which leaves only one, and we hope it will be claimed today. We're very, very excited. Neither of us expected Kickstarter to go this well. I thought we might just barely make our goal. Which just goes the show you. Anyway, thanks to everyone who's donated so far, and again, please eyeball that last $500 slot, with which come many goodies.


Saw an awful — and I mean fucking awful – movie last night, after all the editing. Ray Gower's first (and I hope last) film, Dark Corners (2006). It stars Thora Birch. This is not the high point of her career.


Anyway, kittens, there's probably more I was going to say, but I'll say it tomorrow. When I'm more awake and less tired. Right now, I'm going to figure out how to plug a hole in time. But that's okay, I have my sonic screwdriver and a bow tie (bow ties are cool), a cup of coffee and a Siamese cat.

Blearily Trudging Onward,
Aunt Beast

Postscript (1:48 p.m.): The last $500 slot was just taken! But we have exactly one of the $150 slots remaining. Doubt it'll last for long.

Also, I desperately need a top hat for the April 2nd shoot in Boston, as mine was destroyed in a horrid freak accident. A lot top hat, like in the cover painting, like Johnny Depp wears in Dead Man. And there's probably no time to order one, so a hat shop or a loan would be ideal. My cranium's about 23 1/4" around (yeah, big head).
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Spooky's getting ready to take Sméagol back to the vet, because the abscess on his foot has turned into cellulitis. He's spry and eating, no fever and seems to be in no pain, but obviously we're worried (and never mind the damned vet bills). Oh, now Spooky's gone. Well, there you go.

The last couple of days I haven't been in that blogging frame of mind, whatever that blogging frame of mind might be. I think there was a post con crash, which happens sometimes. I'm on for three days, then suddenly I'm off. I'm surrounded by people for three days, then suddenly I'm my old reclusive self again. It didn't help that the last panel I had for Readercon 21, the "Gender and Sexuality in F/SF" late on Sunday, left such a bad taste in my mouth. I keep thinking of things I wish I'd said to the idiot who accused us of being "selfish" for not taking the feelings of readers into account when writing taboo subjects (lesbianism, it seems, is a taboo subject). I wish that I'd said, "Look, asshole. I will never make enough money to own a house. My teeth are shot. I can barely pay my bills. I have no health insurance, and I'll never be able to retire, ever. Writing almost every day for eighteen years has left me with a wrecked body and shot nerves. I need new glasses and can't afford them. The stress of this life led to seizures that have led to the need for medications I can't afford, but have to have, regardless. So, shut the hell up, you tight-assed little twerp, and let me write whatever it is I need to write. It's the only solace I have in this shitty job. I spent four hundred dollars I haven't got to attend this convention, and I'm not paying for the privilege of being called selfish by fools like you." Or something like that.

And I'm not going to start in on the two or three people (all female) who thought books need "warning labels," like "the ingredients list on food," so they wouldn't come upon a scene that offended their precious, fragile sensibilities. And why the fuck am I on about this again?


A good writing day yesterday. I did 1,644 words on the Next New Novel, beginning it for the third time. I'll say more about this situation in a few days, when I feel a little more self confident.

Later, we stopped by the farmer's market at the Dexter Training Grounds for fresh corn, and I finally got a new office/writing chair. The one I've had since 2003 or 2004 was, literally, falling apart, and doing horrible things to my back. And by the way, I'm going to make an effort not to talk so much about health and money problems here. It's something I personally find gauche, and would prefer not to ever do. There's just been so damn much of it lately.

Spooky has begun a new round of eBay auctions, which are important, as we have to cover the cost of Readercon and Sméagol's vet bills. So, please have a look. Bid if you are able. In particular, there's the Salammbô T-shirt (art by the astounding Richard A. Kirk), one of the last from the batch of 500 that were printed in 2000 to promote the original release of Tales of Pain and Wonder. We only have four left. We began this auction a couple of weeks ago, then ended it, because I didn't really have time to promote the item. If you're interested in rare stuff related to my work, this is one of the rarest you're going to come across, ever.


The last few days, besides writing and house cleaning and cat doctoring, we've been watching Season Two of 24 and Season One of Nip/Tuck. I've been reading Angela Carter's exquisite Wise Children (1991; Kathe Koja's Under the Poppy is next). We've played a little WoW, still trying to get Shah and Suraa through Icecrown. I've been making my way through the latest Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, and read "Tetrapod fauna of the lowermost Usili Formation (Songea Group, Ruhuhu Basin) of southern Tanzania, with a new burnetiid record" and "A new and unusual procolophonid parareptile from the Lower Permian of Texas." I've mostly been sleeping well.

Yesterday, there was cautious relief at the news that BP's latest cap tests have temporarily staunched the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. But I get the impression a lot of people think this means the oil isn't going to start flowing again (though even BP has stressed that it will). And, of course, even if no new oil were to enter the Gulf after today, there's presently almost 200 million gallons of oil befouling the area affected by the petrocalamity.


On Tuesday, we took in a matinée of Nimród Antal's Predators, which Spooky and I both enjoyed very much. My complaints are few. I would have liked it to be maybe half an hour longer, as it seemed a little rushed. But the creatures SFX were very good, and I can't get enough of Adrien Brody. John Debney's soundtrack was quite effective. Definitely a film that needs to be seen on a big screen. It's great fun, and I was in need of a Big Monster Movie that's great fun.

We also finally saw the Doctor Who "The End of Time" episodes. I thought the first half was a bit silly, but loved the second half. Has a doctor ever before refused so vehemently to go quietly into that gentle night? I'm going to miss David Tenant something fierce.

Okay...far too long an entry. The platypus says no one's going to read all this. I replied that I will, one year from now.
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
The weather is warming up again here in Providence. It's sunny, though windy. We're supposed to reach 69F today, and low 70sF tomorrow.

Day before yesterday, I wrote 812 words on "Tempest Witch." I may or may not be changing the title to "The Sea Witch," after discovering that's the correct name of the Frazetta painting upon which the vignette is based (also, it was painted in 1966, though not published until 1967). Yesterday, I wrote nothing, as I had an appointment with my psychiatrist, and those always throw days into disarray. But any day I see my psychiatrist and she lets me come home afterward, I count as a good day. I did get a lot of reading done yesterday, all research for "The Maltese Unicorn."

The eBay auction for a copy of The Five of Cups ends in a couple of hours. Remember, it'll be a while before you see another from me. This novel has been out of print since 2003.

It feels as though I've been watching an awful lot of "television" lately. I used the qualifying quotation marks because we don't actually watch television, but use Spooky's laptop to stream from Hulu and Netflix, and we watch a lot of DVDs. On Tuesday night, we saw Dr. Who: The Waters of Mars. Wednesday night, there was the new episode of Glee, which was great, even if there was a cover of "Jessie's Girl" (ew, ick) and even if we did have to suffer through Kurt's rendition of "Little Pink Houses." Last night, there was the very, very excellent new episode of Fringe. We also watched Michael and Peter Spierig's Daybreakers (2009). Not a great film, but a good film. Nice eye candy, which is the very least I ask of a vampire film (and which few ever deliver). Indeed, it's the only good vampire film I've seen since 2008's Låt den rätte komma in (which was much superior to Daybreakers, but still). So, yes, lots of watching.

Also, last night, I did something I swore I'd never, ever do. I rolled a gnome on WoW. A female gnome warrior. I fucking hate gnomes. And, yet, I did it anyway. Spooky and I had been joking around with silly gnome names the night before. I couldn't resist creating a character named Gnomnclature. Spooky matched me by creating a male gnome warlock named Klausgnomi. Last night, I leveled Gnomnclature almost all the way to Level 9. Man, I remember when the first ten levels were not half so easy as they are now (and when you didn't get a mount until Level 40). I suppose Blizzard figures they'll be able to create more mean players...if lazy-ass, easily discouraged, free-trial players are given a cushy ride at the start. I might actually level Gnomnclature as far as 20, so she can get a mount and join the Knights of Good.

The platypus says that's enough, and I argue at the risk of losing another finger.
greygirlbeast: (dr10-1)
Last night, the insomnia demanded two Ambien, and so this morning...this afternoon, which I see it has mind is no where near awake. Any moment now, the floor will drop out from beneath me to reveal the deepest, darkest part of the sea, and maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll realize that I'm only dreaming.

Yesterday was all proofreading, editing, and so forth, and there is nothing much there to write about. Towering waves of tedium, that's all.

Oh, but now I have iced coffee. Thank you, Spooky.

I've got to find the time and motivation to get back to the "Onion" screenplay, because not only do I have the very patient producer D waiting on it, I now also have a director of some considerable merit wanting a look at it, and here I am stuck in these endless hallways of proofing and editing. This could be the project that changes everything, and, somehow, I have spent the last few months not being able to find the bloody time to sit down and do it. I have promised myself I will return to the screenplay tomorrow night (as tomorrow day must be spent editing Tales of Pain and Wonder). Opportunity knocks, and it seems I'm too obsessed with commas to answer the frelling door.

I've been meaning to say, Spooky's done more of her mini-Cthulhu figures — the last of the bunch, I think — and you can see a photo of #3 in her Squid Soup blog, here. I adore these wee bastards. They are for sale. $40 each. Which reminds me, we need to get eBay going again (groan), because Victoria Regina (my old iBook) needs a new battery, and that's gonna set me back about $150.

Tomorrow is Mabon. I swear, this summer was half a blink, at most. The wheel turns.

Last night, Byron came for dinner and Doctor Who. We did the Vortex at L5P, and though last night's episode was very intriguing, "Blink" is a damned hard act to follow. Later, the three of us dropped by Videodrome for the director's cut of Tony Scott's True Romance. I have it on VHS, but it's frelling pan and scan, and Byron has it on DVD, but can't find it. And we'd started reciting lines during dinner, so how else were we supposed to spend the last two hours of Friday night? After Byron headed for home, Spooky and I did just a dab of Second Life, because New Babbage grew by one-third its total size yesterday with the arrival of the Port Babbage sim. Right now, it's a flat expanse of rock and drying seaweed, crisscrossed by freshly lain railroad. Soon it will the bustling commercial heart of the city. I think we were in bed by 1:30 a.m., and Spooky read another two chapters of Dune aloud. And then I proceeded not to be able to fall asleep.

Today, we're going to take a break from editing long enough to clean house, because some times these things simply have to be done — so grab a broom, Mr. Platypus...
greygirlbeast: (hogwarts)
I was just about to entitle this entry "The Wait is Not Over," but then the postman showed up with Spooky's copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. And it's a good damn thing, because she hardly slept last night. Now I think she's walking about the house hugging the box, which is marked "Do Not Deliver Until July 21, 2007." I've heard tell there was some eldritch bargain struck between booksellers and postal workers to keep the books from arriving early. I half expected the bloody thing to come by owl. But it is here, finally, and as soon as we finish Lemony Snicket's The Vile Village, we may begin reading it. This is called delayed gratification. It works for me.

Yesterday, I did 1,196 words on The Dinosaurs of Mars, and finished section four, which does not yet have a title. But after much confusion and vain attempts at plotting, I finally understand the essential nature of this story. Like "Bradbury Weather," "Zero Summer," "A Season of Broken Dolls," "In View of Nothing," and "Riding the White Bull" before it, The Dinosaurs of Mars is basically sf noir. I wanted it to be something else, something more akin to The Dry Salvages, but the story gets its way. The story always gets its way, unless I am the worst sort of liar. All writers are liars, but we must always tell the truth. When our lies begin to force stories into places they were not "meant" to go (teleology here is illusory), then we have begun to taint our lies with that which is untruthful. Still, I hope it will be a "ripping good space yarn." I start to suspect its plot is going the way of The Big Sleep. But there you go. Storytelling is a wild magic, and it does as it will.

A typical summer's day here in Georgia. The sun's a demon, and the birds have stopped singing. There's only the rise and fall of the cicadas to break the still.

Please have a look at the latest round of eBay auctions. That copy of From Weird and Distant Shores is one of my last, and I only have a few copies of Daughter of Hounds. And since I have publishers who seem to pay me only when the whimsical mood strikes them (except for Subterranean Press, who understand that writers have bills, too, just like real people), the eBay money is especially welcome right now.

I thought last night's episode of Dr. Who, "Gridlock," was particularly good. In fact, I loved it. Even without Christopher Eccelston, it might be my favourite episode so far. I suppose it just happened to hit all my buttons. But earlier, before Dr. Who, Spooky got us pizza from Fellini's and we had a twilight walk down Sinclair Avenue to see the dinosaur and Daisy Dog. Two perfectly adorable Hogwart's students went traipsing past, waving their wands in the air. I kind of suspect they were Hufflepuffs. Spooky and I are both Ravenclaw, of course. Later still, there was Second Life. The Palaeozoic Museum is actually beginning to feel like a museum, instead of just a great beautiful, empty building. I added code to some of the Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins murals to make them interactive, then we planted a "Cretaceous Garden," which includes ferns, a dogwood tree, and a eucalyptus. It's standing where, one day, our models of Hawkins' Lælaps and Hadrosaurus will stand. By one a.m., I was too bleary for SL, and we went to bed and read The Vile Village. I think we're halfway through. And the platypus says I've "prattled on" quite enough for one morning, so later, kiddos. There's coffee with my name on it.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I wrote 1,532 words yesterday, making good progress on a new piece for Sirenia Digest 14 (January '07), a story which I'm calling "Metamorphosis B." I've decided to go ahead and get everything written for 14 now, so I won't have to do it next month. Time is the only thing I can't spare. And I seem to be in the Sirenia headspace right now. So, go with it, nixar. All around me, the world celebrates this bizarre holiday, a mostly secularized/commercialized version of various pagan traditions all smushed up together and usurped by the Xtians, and I sit in my shadowy little room writing weird sex and paraphilic fantasies of corporeal transcendence. It could be worse.

Spooky and I exchanged our modest Cephalopodmas gifts late last night. I gave her a new pair of headphones and an Amy Brown fairie mug. She gave me an Elizabeth Swann action figure and this awesome Galapagos tortoise (Geochelone elephantopus) puzzle thing that came in a yellow plastic egg.

Earlier, Byron dropped by for the two-part season finale of Dr. Who. Though David Tennant has sort of grown on me, I did especially miss Christopher Eccleston last night. The bottomless rage that incarnation of the Doctor expressed at the was sorely needed last night. The stuff with Rose's "death" was handled very well, I thought. And the whole Cybermen vs. Daleks thing had to be the ultimate fanboy throwdown. Who'd have thought Daleks would be so adept at talking smack? Anyway, after Dr. Who and a little Final Fantasy XII, Spooky read me more from The Hobbit, "Riddles in the Dark," while I put my tortoise together. You probably have no idea how big an influence "Riddles in the Dark" was on my writing. Sure, everyone can see Lovecraft and Blackwood, but that first encounter with Gollum...very important. I remember sitting up late at night...I was in fifth grade, I think...reading that chapter again and again. I used a line from it as an epigraph for "Paedomorphosis."

Good mail yesterday. A postcard from Berlin, from [ profile] mercury_girl, who actually lives in Norway, but she was in Berlin for a Crüxshadows show and kindly sent me a postcard from the Hanover/Langenhagen International Airport before she headed home again. Also, Adriana and David of The Endless sent me their annual holiday sampler CD, and this this year it's two David Bowie covers — "Magic Dance" and "As the World Falls Down." I've been on such a Bowie kick lately, this was perfect.

Postcards are really marvelous things, you know. I mean, I hold this and know that someone took the time to write it out, in ink, and place a stamp upon it, and then it traveled across the sea, and I can hold it, this 4"x6" piece of paper, in my paws. There are too few postcards in my life. And too few letters written upon paper. And too many e-mails.

An APD detective called yesterday to speak with Spooky about her stolen iBook. The detective was very pleased that Spooky actually knew the iBook's serial number, as apparently it's unusual for the former owners of stolen computers to know such things. The detective seemed somewhat optimistic that it might yet be recovered. We shall see.

At some point yesterday, I became quite entirely annoyed with the "experiment" that lay in back of Global Orgasm Day. I mean, it could be used as a textbook example of a badly designed experiment. Where was the control? What were the parameters? Etc. and etc. If nothing else, to conduct this experiment, one would first need to know what percentage of the entirety of humanity has an orgasm in any given 24-hr. period, and I'm pretty sure that data is still wanting. Then there's this thing about it being a "synchronized global orgasm." Only it isn't, as the G.O.D. website plainly instructs participants to do the deed "at the time of your choosing" on Dec. 22nd. Hence, the degree of synchronreity was extremely low. I'm wondering if the people behind this will be announcing whatever "changes in randomness" were recorded by their network of "Random Event Generators (REGs)." At any rate, last I checked, we do not have any more world peace today than yesterday, so either the experiment was a flop or not enough people whacked off or we have evidence that G.O.D. cannot affect world events (which I took as a given). Still, yeah, not a bad idea for a holiday.

A very un-me dream this morning, which has mostly faded. It was sort of like a Hitchcock film scripted by William Gibson. I was some sort of double agent trying assassinate a foreign dignitary of some ilk or stripe. I believe I was trying to poison him. I had two accomplices and was being pursued and knew I would die in the attempt, but was determined to see it through. The whole thing took place on a train somewhere in Europe. There was this breathless desperation to it. I think I might have been Russian. I made a pretty cold-hearted assassin, I am happy to report.

I got a very nice e-mail this ayem from Jeremy Lassen, who'd just read Daughter of Hounds (my editor had given him a copy). Jeremy writes (slightly edited for spoilers):

I just wanted to drop you a note, and tell you how much I loved Daughter of Hounds. This book fired on all cylinders, and kept me at the edge of my seat. The characters... the settings... All beautiful and disturbing at the same time -- the epitome of convulsive beauty. The loving and sly Lovecraft references were nice... they were a recognizable melody that formed a grounding for your symphony, rather then pigeon-holing the novel as a piece of mythos fiction, or a simple pastiche. I could go on and on. Instead I just want to say thanks. It's been a while since I've read a book as rewarding as Daughter of Hounds.

All The Best,
Jeremy Lassen

I love that line, "the epitome of convulsive beauty." Thank you, Jeremy. Actually, this is the third or fourth e-mail of this sort I've received so far, and the book has not even be released yet. Which is cool, and which I take as a good sign. By the way, the platypus says it's almost as good to pre-order Daughter of Hounds the day after Cephalopodmas...
greygirlbeast: (chi6)
The words came back yesterday. I did 1,058 words on "The Black Alphabet." That would be T-V. With luck, I'll finish it today. Then it'll be time to figure out what the next Sirenia Digest vignette will be. Perhaps it will feature Paris Hilton and a big pink house and a few thousand hungry mutant leeches. Hmmm. Anyway, I also have an alarming number of things that I need to get done for subpress, some of which are things that should have been done weeks ago. Illustrations for "Night" (to appear in a future issue of Subterranean magazine), a cover for the "Highway 97" chapbook, & etc. Oh, and the galleys for "Highway 97" arrived yesterday and need proofing. Meanwhile, the CEM for Daughter of Hounds should be falling on my head any damn day now.


My thanks to Chris Seggerman ([ profile] elmocho) for putting me wise to The Platypus of Doom and Other Nihilists (behind the cut). Now, I must track that book down.

Platypus of Doom )

My platypus says that itshehe isn't a nihilist, only a keen observer of the inevitable.

Yesterday, Spooky discovered Swedish Fish AquaLife, which includes not only the usual fish, but blue raspberry dolphins, grape pufferfish, lemon starfish, and orange sea horses. This made for the perfect unhealthy snack while we spent the evening watching all four episodes of Dr. Who: The Horror of Fang Rock (1977). Oh, and I've been at the Wikipedia again the past couple of days. An article on the Patagonian theropod Quilmesaurus, as well as work on a number of other articles — Ichthyornis, Plioplatecarpinae, Claosaurus, & etc. It helps to pass the time.

Meanwhile, President Asshole has called for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The last time I checked on his approval rating, back in May, it was scraping bottom at 31%, with a 65% disapproval rating. I don't know what it's at now, but I suppose he thinks that picking on queers can't hurt. Wasn't the object of the Constitution to make us more free, not allow fascist Xtian bigots to make us less so? Nar'eth says the lot of them can kiss her big grey dyke ass. I'm inclined to agree. Wasn't stealing the 2004 election enough for these sorry sons of bitches? Just checking.

Now, W is for...
greygirlbeast: (chi2)
So, two Lost Days in a row. Two days I shall never get back. But I do feel considerably better this morning, so I have hope that today I will be writing again.

It occurs to me, as it often does, that I don't know many other writers who do this whole writer thing the way that I do it. I rarely attend conventions and book expos and such these days (who can afford it?) and have very little contact with other writers, except by phone and e-mail. I don't do workshops or anything of the sort. I do not dwell on "craft." I just write. That's it. I just write. I get up in the morning, and if it's a good day, well, then I write. I don't write about writing or about books the way that many writers I know do. I simply have no interest in doing so. I just write. I don't know what, if anything, this might mean. But sometimes it seems strange to me. Like all the other writers with whom I'm friends or with whom I'm acquainted are part of some club that I dropped out of years ago. And now, well, I just write.

This morning, near the end of the dreams, I was on a pier, or something like a pier, at the edge of a great body of brackish water, some sort of back-barrier lagoonal sort of thing. I could see the beach and the sea on my right, beyond a line of trees and underbrush growing on the barrier islands. There were a number of old pilings sticking up from the lagoon. And in the sky there was an enormous blue-grey bird. Enormous. Something as big, perhaps, as the azhdarchid pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus. Huge. And I realized it was some sort of giant egret, soaring overhead. And then I thought of Poppy, that I wished she were there to see it. That she would truly appreciate this great bird. It landed on one of the pilings. And I realised, then, that there was a second giant bird, also perched on a piling. I hadn't noticed it before. It was much nearer to me than the egret, and it looked more like a stork than anything else. A Marabou Stork, only many times larger. It turned its head and looked at me. Its eyes were surprisingly intelligent, and it looked angry. At this point, I was afraid of the two birds for the first time. Then the egret spread its wings and took off again, flapping away towards the sea. And I thought, Good. Now Poppy will see it.

"Pink Houses II: Invasion of the Ho Bags" was definitely the high point of yesterday. At least in terms of weird. Byron came over about six thirty. I'd accidentally taken two of something I should only have taken one of, so I was a little goofy. We went to The Vortex at L5P for dinner. Then we came back to the house and watched the "new" ep of Doctor Who, "Bad Wolf," which I thought was really particularly exquisite. I'm so going to miss Christopher Eccleston. Afterwards, Byron hung around awhile, and we talked, and slowly my head cleared. When he'd gone, Spooky and I watched The Day of the Triffids, an all-time favourite of mine, and that got me sleepy enough for bed. And that, kiddos, was yesterday.

I'm 89% certain that I'm going to have my hair dreadlocked in June.

Okay. I should have breakfast and coffee and wake up the platypus. Oh, and Tony Curtis turned 81 today.
greygirlbeast: (mirror2)
Yesterday was, in all respects, a vast improvement upon Wednesday and Thursday. First off, the words finally began to come again, and I did 851 words (all written to I Megaphone) on a new vignette, "Ode to Edvard Munch." It's an interesting little piece that I'm liking a great deal. I've been reading a little Saki and Virginia Woolf, and that might be showing through. That's always a danger, and why I usually avoid reading fiction while writing novels. In the introduction he wrote for Harlan's Stalking the Nightmare (1982), Stephen King discussed a phenomenon that many young writers experience, the tendency to write like whoever they're reading at the time. "Imitativeness," he calls it. He goes on to say:

The imitativeness shakes out, and we become ourselves again. But. One never seems to develop an immunity to some writers...or at least I never have. Their ranks are small, but their influence...has been profound. When I go back to them, I can't not imitate them. My letters start sounding like them; my short stories; a chunk of whatever novel I'm working on; even grocery lists.

I think not even my harshest detractors would argue that I lack my own voice, but I have to admit that, even now, at almost -2, I am particularly vulnerable to this problem of "imitativeness." And yes, certain writers are murder to read and keep out of whatever I'm doing. Bradbury. Harlan. Hemingway. Shirley Jackson. Kathe Koja. Faulkner. And Saki. And Woolf. So, yeah, you might detect them in "Ode to Edvard Munch." Or you may not. We shall see. Oh, and perhaps more than a hint of Portrait of Jenny, as well. The 1948 film, more than the Robert Nathan novel. I hope to finish the vignette this afternoon. I hope. I'm soooooo far behind (thank you, Editing Monster).

Yesterday, I printed out Chad Michael Ward's artwork for the new paperback edition of Threshold and noticed something wrong right off. I got out the magnifying glass to be sure. Dancy has Sadie's blue-white eyes. I e-mailed Liz, my editor, immediately and asked if it's too late to fix this, to made the blue-white pink. She hasn't written back yet. But I'm hopeful, so, once again, we shall see. Other than the eye-colour problem, I still love the artwork (which I'll post as soon as posting is permitted).

Spooky spoke with her mother yesterday, and I have a tentative ETA for the trip to New England this summer. It will probably be late July through mid August. I want to be back in time to get ready for Dragon*Con, the first week of September. Anyway, as soon as I have the exact dates, I can set up the reading/signing in Boston, and then I'll post the date, etc. here. It shouldn't be too much longer. I am very much looking forward to this trip, even if I will have to get a lot of writing done while we're gone. I'm eager for the train ride up, the beaches, the lighthouses, Del's lemonade, and about a hundred other things. Fortunately, we've found someone to housesit for us, which relieves some of my concern about being gone so long. However, our housesitter isn't up to dealing with Sophie and her injections and attitude, so she will be boarded the entire time.

It occurred to me yesterday that sheheit might make a nice gender-neutral pronoun. I detest hir, and it amuses me that sheheit sounds like shit in Southern Redneckese.

The Imogen Heap show last night was superb. I stopped writing at exactly 4:28, and the show wasn't until 8:30, but we needed to be there at 7 to get a good seat. After the writing, my mood wasn't such that I felt like being rushed, and I grumped about and wasted time, so much so that there wasn't time for dinner. Still, I'm glad that Spooky didn't allow me to back out. Zoe Keating opened, and she never fails to amaze. She was having some computer trouble, the box not responding to MIDI commands, and had to reboot after the first song, and this had something to do with her having just returned from France, but I wasn't clear what. Imogen Heap was absolutely wonderful. I am entirely seduced by her charm and her voice and her geekiness and her iBook. Oh, she also had to reboot after the first song or two. This is how I know I live in the Future.

While rebooting, she told about getting all "Jägermeistered-up" in Knoxville and letting Ryan Obermeyer talk her into stealing a cookie jar at the Hampton Inn where they were staying and almost getting arrested the next day. At this point, I realised that Ryan was out front at the merch table. I said hi on the way out. The constant reader will recall that Ryan did the beautiful covers for the The Dry Salvages and To Charles Fort, With Love, as well as the cover and endpapers of the subpress edition of Low Red Moon. So yes, all in all, a wonderful night. And even with the show, we still managed to get home in time to see Dr. Who at midnight, which rocked. Christopher Eccleston, you know. Though, afterwards, while searching for the misplaced remote, I was subjected to a few moments of Stargate: SG-whatever, and there was John Crichton, only he wasn't, and there was Aeryn Sun, only she wasn't (and she was dressed horridly), and it was all sorts of wrong. I almost had a seizure before I found the remote. Anyway, there are a few of the 85 photos we took at the show behind the cut:

Zoe and Imogen )

Those frelling naysayers at NASA have gone and lowered the odds of asteroid Apophis impacting earth in 2036 from 1 in 6,000 to 1 in 24,000. Naturally, the Immaculate Order of the Falling Sky looks askance at this change in forecast and suspects conspiracy. You know, to keep the panic to a minimum. We shall continue to hope for the best. And even at 1 in 24,000, those aren't such terrible odds. I mean, the odds of someone in America being struck by lightning in any given year are a whopping 1/700,000 (!) and all sorts of people do get struck. We must remember that that which is improbable is not impossible. Indeed, that which is improbable may often be inevitable, given enough time. By the way, I think I'm getting a permanent tongue-groove worn into my left cheek...

The platypus says that I should mention that wishing thing on Amazon again, what with only a week remaining until the dread -2, but I fear that would be poor form. The platypus cares not about poor form. Just look at sheheit...all webbed feet and fur and duck-bill...
greygirlbeast: (tilda)
Two years ago today, I wrote:

Gods, I'm frelling sick of proofreading. It's bad enough, having to write a book, but then to be dragged back over it again, and again, and again, in this futile struggle to make it perfect. It will never be perfect. It's filled with flaws and warts and contradictions, and it's maddening to know that that's the best I can do. That this warped child is the best I can spawn. The fruit never falls far from the tree, blah, blah, blah, frelling blah. Maybe the next book will be My Perfect Book, and the whole world will be awed, and I'll never have to write another. Yeah, sure, and maybe Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny will get together and bring me a new cybernetic body, complete with my own temporal displacement field. One's at least as likely as the other.

Which is, of course, entirely terrifying, as I find myself feeling more or less exactly the same, especially about the cybernetic body, 730 days later. Then it was Murder of Angels. Now it's Daughter of Hounds. Yesterday, after proofreading "The Daughter of the Four of Pentacles" (and finding far too many errors), I reversed my earlier decision and concluded that the appendices should not be included after all. So, I've removed them, which shrinks the ms. from 695 pp. to 621 pp. I feel like I've cut a lead weight free. Anyway, today I finish this, because today I have to finish this. At the end, there is great relief in the fact of an inviolable deadline. Yesterday was actually a bit of a wash out. No reason to go into detail. I think I was still exhausted from the absurdities of Friday. I sat at the desk as long as I could, which was until about 4 p.m., and then I didn't anymore. I took a very, very hot bath, dozed on the sofa, ate spaghetti when Spooky sat it in front of me, and then we spent the evening watching Tom Baker in all six episodes of Doctor Who: The Talons of Weng-Chiang (1976), and then we watched almost all the 149 minutes of extras on the second disc.

This morning, before Spooky got up, I was sitting here reading the entry on Quentin Crisp on Wikipedia. It made me sad in that annoying, unexpected way. It also made me want to see Orlando (1992) again, and so I went and made the Tilda Swinton icon that appears with this entry.

I think that this next issue of Sirenia Digest is going to be particularly erotic. Well, as I define erotic, which isn't how most people define erotic, hence the fact that Sirenia Digest is not yet outselling Penthouse or those silly Anita Blake novels. I wish to write something brutally, polymorphously, violently sexy. I wish to pummel raw meat with my bare fists until there's no telling who's blood is who's. I wish to bend myself someway I've not yet bent. Oh, and on an only vaguely related note, but what the frell, it's my journal, as I was getting sleepy last night, I found myself ranting about homophobic, straight, cisgendered men who get off watching straight, cisgendered women playing at lesbianism. It's one of those things I'll never quite understand, like football and NASCAR and unsweetened tea. Spooky is amazingly tolerant of these rants, even at 2: 30 a.m. when no one wants to hear about straight, homophobic, cisgendered men and the slutty straight girls who make out for them. This is how I know she really loves me. And I'm still watching the Sirenia Digest poll. I'm fairly certain that more of our subscribers are LJ users, so I'm hoping for more votes. Please. I'm trying to make an informed decision. Thanks.

The platypus, angry that I'm taking so long with this entry, has begun to goad me with the news that my frelling -2 birthday will be here in only 12 days. It also says this means I'll be halfway to -42. It's a cruel mistress, this platypus. A wicked monotreme, indeed. For example, even as I type, it's compelling me to include a link to my Amazon wishlist. Curse you, dratted platypus!
greygirlbeast: (mirror2)
And I said to Spooky just now, before she ran off to catch the kettle because it was whistling, "I want to scream. I want to scream very loudly. I want to scream so very loudly that blood flies out of my mouth before I'm done." And she said, "I think in this neighborhood it wouldn't be a good idea."

Yes, well.


Still more editing today, because I did not finish with the Daughter of Hounds typescript yesterday. Indeed, yesterday was a perfect proof-reading/editing nightmare. I had nine items on my "loose threads" list. Number one seemed simple enough, until Spooky realized that it was the tip of a continuity-error iceberg that might have sunk at least a dozen Titanics. Somehow, I'd misplaced about twelve hours. In the book, what should have been Sunday was Monday. And this sort of thing, a small, small stone dropped on still water, and then there are ripples that race away through the 7.5 cm. depth (page one to page six ninety-one) of the ms. becoming a goddamn tsunami. Which is to say, it was bad. No. It was worse than bad. And cursing myself and cursing Spooky for having found it and cursing in general and then still having to fix it when all the cursing was done took almost two hours, and I still had eight items remaining on the "loose threads" list. Once Monday had been made Sunday and Tuesday was Monday and Wednesday was Tuesday and there was still Wednesday and the whole mess finally ended on Thursday, February somethingoranother 2010, after all that, about three p.m., I got dressed and we went for a walk. Not so long a walk as the day before. But I had to get away from the ms. long enough that the desire to toss my iBook out the office window and burn all copies of the ms. and then begin slicing off bits of myself had passed.

Later, I found titles for chapters three, six, and eight (though I may change three today). I found epigraphs for Part One and Part Two. I added a new scene near the end of the book. I wrote a little foreword thing explaining the appendices. And realized one thing was missing from my list, so, when all was said and done, about six p.m. yesterday, I still had five items remaining on the list. Plus, we need to proof the appendices. And who knows what the frell else. I shall be tweaking this thing until sometime on Monday when it finally goes away to my editor in NYC.

This weekend, I'd hoped to make either the Georgia Mineral Society's annual show or the 2006 Atlanta Celtic Festival in Duluth. Of course, both these things would have required me to travel OTP, so maybe it's better this way.

Byron came over for Dr. Who last night, and we had calzones and watched some of G4's coverage of E3 and talked dren about how badly Morgan Webb dresses and how you can tell Olivia Munn is reading the teleprompter and how Adam Sessler totally dorks out whenever he does an interview and how much we miss Leo and Screen Savers and Call for Help. I will say that I think the last two eps of Dr. Who have been truly extraordinary television sf. I mean, Farscape extraordinary. Christopher Eccleston. It's such a shame we only get him for one season. But, as Byron pointed out last night, at least I have a new favorite Doctor now (sorry, Tom Baker). Of course, it's also good to know that this role won't ruin Eccleston's career, and that he'll go on to do other wonderful things, and won't have to spend the next thirty years eking out a living by signing photographs for fanboys at cons.

Er...let's see. The good news is that a polar bear/grizzly hybrid has been discovered in the wild for the first time. But the bad news is we only know this because some 65-year-old cocksucker from Idaho murdered it. It seems to me that with all the frelling Viagra® and various other dick-enlarging and stiffening and augmenting crap on the market now, old men from Idaho would no longer need to journey to the Canadian Arctic to murder bears with high-powered rifles in order to prove their "manhood" has not yet waned. What I want to know is when does human season begin, and may I please use nothing more than a pointy stick and a dull grapefruit spoon to bring down my quarry?

I'm still watching the Sirenia Digest poll and hoping to see some more votes. My thanks to everyone who's voted, and my apologies to non-LJ people who can't vote without first becoming LJ people. I don't make the rules. If I did, that bear would still be alive.
greygirlbeast: (redeye)
If you discount e-mail and other internet communications, I've not spoken to any sentient creature except Spooky and Sophie (I'll count a cat as sentient, but I'm not so sure about a hamster, so I'm not counting Chi) since we went with Byron to see V for Vendetta. That's days? A whole week? And it's not the least bit unusual. It's just that sometimes my reclusivity disturbs me on some level. Not enough that I actively try to change it, of course. More like the way you half remember something that's been forgotten, so for a day or two it nags at the back of your mind before you forget once more that there's this something you've forgotten. Like that. It's a strange life, I suppose, but, for the most part, it seems to suit me. I find most people so inscrutable, incomprehensible, it's probably better this way.

Yesterday was a step in the right direction. Cold or no cold, we had a decent little walk. I have this odd habit or ritual I've developed. See, we buy Red Rose tea bags, for ice tea, and in every box you get a little ceramic animal. I think we had some thought of collecting the whole lot, but we've ended up with piles of sheep and rhinos and chickens and not a single zebra. You know how it goes. Anyway, sometimes on our walks, I'll leave one of these little ceramic animals someplace, more or less in plain sight, just to see how long it takes someone to move it. There's a chicken that's been in the same spot for the better part of a year now. An elephant lasted over a year. Yesterday I left a ram on the corner of a house, and a rhino in the crook of a tree, and I left one of the chickens somewhere, but cannot now recall where. It's likely a neurotic behaviour, leaving ceramic figurines scattered about the neighbourhood, like Boo Radley leaving gifts for Scout and Jim in the old tree, but it amuses me. And far too few things amuse me to worry whether or not any one of them is neurotic.

After the walk, I spent about three hours trying to begin a vignette called "Glove." It was to be a piece about a selkie, set on Crane Beach (on the North Shore of Massachusetts). But after 476 words, I had what might have been the start of a good short story, but not the start of a vignette. I'm starting over today. It's still about a selkie, a selkie who's lost her sealskin, but this time I'm beginning from an entirely different direction. I may still call it "Glove," and I may not. Having given up on the writing for the day, I began proofreading the Alabaster galleys. I made it all the way through the afterword. So, it was not an entirely unproductive day, which is more than I can say for most of this past week. Later, I did a Wikipedia entry on the Portuguese ankylosaur, Dracopelta and another on osteoderms, because no one had yet written an entry on osteoderms and it was driving me to distraction. Then we went to the market, and then I lay on the sofa and half dozed to some documentary about the Invasion of Normandy while Spooky fixed chili.

Dr. Who was good last night. Christopher Eccleston, you know. I think, in some ways, the show's begun to fill the part of me that was left vacant by the cancellation of Farscape. There's something of the same sensibility to it. It's fun in the same way, and poignant in the same way. Sure, Battlestar Galactica is quite good, even brilliant at times, but, if you ask me, it's not very much fun. We watched last week's second episode over again, because Spooky had missed it, and this time through I realised how much it put me in mind of Michael Moorecock's Dancer's at the End of Time trilogy. Later, I read Angela Carter's "The Lady in the House of Love" to Spooky (which I rate as both one of the best vampire stories ever written and possibly the best retelling of "Sleeping Beauty"). Then she read "Pickman's Model" aloud to me, because she's talking about making the next doll one of the ghouls from the Yellow House on Benefit Street (and yes, it will be for sale). She began "The Colour Out of Space," but I fell asleep just a few pages in. That was yesterday.

Oh, I almost forgot. The doll she's working on now (which will also be for sale), I've figured out that he's Sweet William's brother, Ignatius. Some people call him Iggy. He still has both legs and is a roustabout at the fairie carnival. He runs the Tilt-A-Whirl and the Ferris Wheel. Ignatius has a foul temper, but can make butterflies out of old tin cans and is a whiz at mathematics. Spooky will post photos soon.

That's probably enough for one morning. I need to go find my chap-stick before my lips fall off. Please have a look at the eBay auctions. And consider the fact that those who subscribe to Sirenia Digest on Saturday, March 24th, 2006 are 67% less likely to be struck upon the head and shoulders by falling wildebeest. Finally, remember, I don't want the world. I just want your half.
greygirlbeast: (white)
I think I pretty much sidestepped St. Patrick's Day this year. I just didn't feel quite up to all the drunken green foolishness of shamrocks and Guinness and leprechauns. I hung my Irish flag on the front porch, listened to Rum Sodomy & the Lash, and then went on about my day.

I'm sorry if this entry seems a little off kilter. A sort of a ghost came to me by e-mail this morning, and my head's mostly somewhere else and somewhen else at the moment. Lea, if you should be reading this, I got the message, and I'll reply soon, I promise.

What else about yesterday? Spooky and I took a walk through Freedom Park and an adjoining neighborhood. Everything is greening. Every year, winter drags my mind to the edge of the pit, and every year these colours of spring drag it back again. It's like my soul's tide (if I believed in souls). I stand between summer and winter, pulled this way and that. It was a wide swing this year. Anyway, the walk was good. There was the familiar joke about mockingbirds being the iPods of the avian world. Out there beneath the spring sky, I wanted to run and scream and roll in the weeds, but I didn't. We found this weird plastic eyeball thing in the grass. Later, on the way to the movie, we spotted an enormous raptor of some sort, something I wasn't able to ID, soaring low over the treetops. There are an amazing number of predatory birds in this part of Atlanta, what with all the parks and the Fernbank nature area so near. We get lots of owls and hawks. After the movie, we grabbed a quick, late dinner from the hot bar at Whole Foods, then headed home. I spent the evening with Wikipedia, writing an entry for the nodosaurid ankylosaurs Silvisaurus and Pawpawsaurus. Then we watched the first two eps of the new Dr. Who on the skiffy channel. I adore Christopher Eccleston, ever since Revenger's Tragedy (2002), if not before. I think I like the new series. There's something nicely 'scapey about it, and, well, there's Christopher Eccleston. That moment in the first ep, when whatzername keeps asking him who he is, and he tells her how he can feel the Earth racing through space and that's who he is, that was particularly nice.

Today, I will make my best effort to finish the new vignette. Also, I've promised Bill at subpress that I'd get the illos. for the "Night" chapbook done this week. So I've got that, as well.

Spooky picked up Nick Cave and Warren Ellis' soundtrack to The Proposition the other day, but I've not had a chance to hear it yet. And speaking of music, They Might Be Giants will be performing at The Variety Playhouse on May 3rd, which makes me somewhat happy.

After talking with my agent again, I've decided that I won't be taking down the Amazon plog, I just won't be posting anything more than occasional news and updates to it. Nothing I'll ever care if they use for their own devices. As for MySpace, yesterday was the last entry I'll be mirroring there, again largely because of their truly unreasonable TOS. I'll leave up what's already up. Taking it down wouldn't benefit me from a copyright standpoint. And if you ask, I'll still friend you. I'll drop by now and then, to get my fill of bad photos of drunken teenagers and those garish, animated ads ("Kiss Brad Pitt and Win a New Toilet Plunger!!!!"). But I'm pulling my tendrils in again. LJ and Blogger are enough for me.

My passport just expired, which is mostly significant because it's my only form of photo ID. I don't drive, being blind in my left eye and all, so I don't have a driver's license. I don't have one of those non-driver ID things, either. The passport's it. I have the urge not to have it renewed. It's not a very practical urge, as I do on occasion need some laminated scrap of paper to prove to someone that I am in fact me. I need it, I just don't want it anymore. Perhaps it's a part of the whole chimera/parahuman thing, or perhaps it's just another way I feel I could distance myself even further from Bush's America. Having to hold some piece of paper or plastic to prove your identity has never set well with me. My identity changes too often, and it's really no one's business but my own.

Okay. The platypus grows impatient. Please have a look at the eBay auctions. The gas company won't take fairie gold, either. Especially, have a look at the "choose your own letter" Frog Toes and Tentacles auction. I want to see a bidding war, people. Spooky and I make these cozy's by hand, by the sweat of our brows and the pricking of our fingers and all that dren. Thank you.


greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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