greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
It's Friday, so COMMENT, KITTENS.

Such vivid dreams this morning. They always are. Vivid, I mean. My brain does a good enough job of that on its own, but my prescribed pharmaceutical cocktail makes all the colors even brighter, the sounds even louder, the smells more intense. First, I was swimming in the sea. Spooky was near. A huge shadow passed beneath me, and I marveled at what had to be the silhouette of a whale shark. It passed, and when it breached, some distance away, I saw it had been a hammerhead. Shark enthusiasts will appreciate the meaning here.

And this other dream, nearer to waking, like something Colin Meloy and Victor Hugo thought up and then sent my way. A nation in class revolt. and I was a child (gender indeterminate and irrelevant), a ragamuffin urchin, maybe eight or nine, in a great throng of refugees/resistance fighters making their way across a blighted countryside, pocked with foxholes and strung with barbed-wire barricades. The group seemed a motley of British, French, American, and Russians, and our Jean Valjean was played by Brad Pitt. Period costumes, spanning several centuries, but none more recent than WWI. With the aid of a disgruntled manservant, we were able to break into an enormous manor house and immediately set about smashing this or that piece of furniture or crockery. But, no, no, no, the manservant, said. Haven't you noticed the terrible drought? (Apparently, we hadn't.) If you truly want to do them harm, empty the cisterns! Which we did, and strange cisterns they were. It never seemed to occur to anyone that, if there was this fabled drought, maybe we needed the water. And, at some point, I caught sight, through a collapsed wall, of an underground river flowing below the house, so I knew it was futile, anyway. I pointed the river out to no one else (it would have been bad for morale). Then we heard the sound of people returning, and we all had to flee. However, the only way out was the way we'd entered, which involved an elaborate sort of door. It had a grille of welded, rusty rebar, but also a heavy wooden shutter that could be raised and lowered. It had been necessary for the unnamed manservant to hold the shutter up while we squirmed in through the square spaces between the rebar (no, I don't know why he didn't just open the door for us; it's a dream). Everyone made it out, including the servant who'd chosen to join the revolt. But I had tarried, and there was no one to hold the wooden shutter up for me. The others cheered me on, frantic (but frantic from a safe distance). At last, I managed to fling the heavy grille up high enough that I had time to squirm out between the rusty rebar before the grille came slamming down again, almost decapitating me. I rushed into the arms of my mother, who wore a blue dress that was of an unmistakable late eighteenth-century vintage.

---

Yesterday, I wrote 1,111 (an ominous or fortuitous number, surely) words on the second piece for Sirenia Digest #70 (SUBSCIBE NOW AND RECEIVE—at no extra cost—SIRENIA DIGEST!), the one Vince will be illustrating this month. It's titled "Daughter Dear Desmodus," and involves a carnival freak show, but more I will not here say. The two-headed calf has sworn me to secrecy (there's far too much of that in my life lately).

I also answered all the email in the world. All of it. There's none left. Not even a jot.

And lest you forget, here's a reminder! Spooky's having a Premature Hallowe'en Sale (!!!) in her Etsy shop, Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries.

Last night, we played Rift (1.5, cocksuckers!), then there was some good RP in Insilico with [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark, and then we started Season Three of Mad Men, and read more of The Sundial. That's enough, right?

Okay. Time to make the doughnuts. Light bulb!

Emptying the Cisterns,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (white)
Somewhat hungover this ayem, and suffering the effects of insomnia (which don't mix well with the hangover, by the way). It's sort of like being twenty-five on the morning after a binge, except every time I move some portion of my skeleton creaks or pops.

I probably ought not even be making a blog entry. Surely, I have nothing good to say. Not really.

Um...yesterday. Well, yesterday was spent on email, and copyediting, and line edits, and lots of tedious stuff that writers have to do that isn't writing.

Well, there were at least two pieces of good news. The one I can't tell you until Friday, and then learning that my editor at Dark Horse very much likes the story I wrote for her (which I can't say more about until later). These are my bright spots.

---

Last night, we watched the restored director's cut of Wolfgang Petersen's Das Boot (1981), which is undoubtedly on my list of the 100 Best Movies Ever Made in Any Language. Rarely has anyone conveyed the ultimate futility of struggle more beautifully than Petersen does in this film.

---

We had about an hour of rp in Rift last night, after which I decided that, for now, our guild's going to concern itself much less with rp, at least for the time being. After creating fiction all day, or suffering the consequences of having created fiction, the last thing I want to do at night is...create fiction. Also, rping in Rift, like rping in any MMORPG or any world created by someone besides the rpers, presents a unique set of problems. Most importantly, it's almost impossible for everyone to be on the same page, especially given that the lore (which weighs us down; though, unlike WoW, it isn't absurd) is often very vague on very important points. With Rift, the worst of this concerns the nature of the Defiant Ascendents' fundamental psychology and metaphysics. Anyway, yes. The guild is there. We'll do stuff that guilds do. But, for now, no rp. Later, probably. Maybe, eventually, we can come up with some sort of canonical interpretation, even if we can't confirm it's what Trion has in mind (which is probably irrelevant).

---

So, a thing I have never before done. But in the interest of reducing clutter (and covering a bill for unexpected auto repairs), I'm auctioning the keyboard that came with the iMac I bought in April 2007 and used continuously until getting a new keyboard in October 2010. So, that's three and a half years I used that keyboard. And it's perfectly functional, if a little schmutzy. It's signed and dated (on the back). The Red Tree and issues #17 through #58 of Sirenia Digest were written on this keyboard.

Here's the link to the auction.

The platypus, he says this is a chance of a lifetime. Oh, and there's a photograph!



---

Cold and cloudy and rainy here in Providence. I have decided that in Rhode Island we have five seasons, not four. We have summer (late June-late August), Autumn (early September through late November), WINTER (late November-March), Cold Spring (late March though early May), and Spring (May and most of June). Someday, I'm going to acclimate. Understanding is the first step, and it's taken me three years to figure out the existence of Cold Spring.

---

I gave some of my dinosaurs a bath yesterday, trying to start to clear my office of a dreadful layer of dust. Maybe a third of my dinosaurs, if you don't count the ones in storage. And I took photos. Hey, it's whimsical, and lots more fun than email and waking up in the morning! Plus, no one likes a dirty dinosaur. Or plesiosaur. Or wooly mammoth.

Washing the Extinct! )


Lastly, for those who will never understand why I'm a socialist. "The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation's income every year. In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent. Their lot in life has improved considerably. Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 percent and 33 percent."
greygirlbeast: (chi 5)
Gagh, I can't wake up today. I think there was just too much work yesterday, too many different sorts of work. We had actually talked about getting out of bed and making the 11:45 a.m. matinée of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but, well, that didn't happen. We're aiming for tomorrow, instead. And this needs to be short, because the day ahead of me is long and baffling and has many twists and turns, and doesn't even involve actual, you know, writing. The writing will likely resume tomorrow. It pretty much has to, or I'm going to find myself disastrously behind.

Quick recap of yesterday. Well, there was a piece I had to write for my editor, about the writing of The Red Tree, something for the Penguin website. That actually turned out rather well. She was pleased with it. And after that, I had an interview, which also went well, I think. The older I get, the odder interviews seem to me. The questions all begin to bleed together, and I find myself wanting to talk about quasars or stag beetles or plate tectonics or just about anything at all except my books and writing. No, I have no idea why, really. And there was a lot of email yesterday, more than usual, and it looks as though today will be much the same. Actually, I must have written at least 3,000 words yesterday, just none of it fiction. Did I say "Gagh"? Spooky and I both put in a good bit of time getting things ready for the re-relaunch of the website.

Speaking of which, here is a small but, I think, valuable piece of advice to the readers of this blog. If you don't approve of how I've done something —— the website, for example —— there is a couth and appropriate recourse which will allow you to express your opinion. Email me. It's not at all hard to find my email address, but, just in case I'm somehow mistaken on that count, I'll post it here again: greygirlbeast(at)gmail(dot)com. Email me and tell me your thoughts, if you feel the need to do so. I'll read the email. I might even write back. Hell, I might even agree. However, if, instead, you blurt out something in the comments here on the LJ, you will discover that I am far less receptive to your advice. In fact, odds are, I will delete the comment, and if you've been rude enough, I will ban you from commenting in the future. This very scenario actually occurred on Friday morning, as I was trying to get out the door for Readercon, which is why I closed down comments to one particular entry. If the most tactful way you are capable of expressing yourself is to tell me something "sucks," and to tell me publicly, yes, you will be banned.

Now, this sort of thing has only happened a very few times. My ban list on LJ is extremely short. Maybe six or seven people, at most, over five years. I like comments. I like comments a lot, but I don't like rude and unsolicited criticism. Thank you.

A brief aside, for whatever it's worth, a shout out to [livejournal.com profile] ericmvan. You've done a marvelous job with Readercon, and I, for one, completely understand and sympathize with what you're saying about not being able to keep up this pace, needing to scale back for a year while a team is trained to do the job.

Also, I'm reposting the following, as it only made it into yesterday's entry as a postcript: Thanks to Franklin Harris ([livejournal.com profile] grandmofhelsing) for bringing this Readercon write up to my attention ("Some important things/people that I saw/met/learned/heard about at Readercon" at Time.com). I quote: "I didn't talk to Caitlín Kiernan, but I watched her swanning around in a tentacled mask and grey lipstick, and I felt awe. It is so important that cons have freakish people at them." I'm going to take this as a compliment. Did I "swan" around? There is an Old English meaning of the word, "to wander about without purpose, but with an air of superiority." So maybe I did swan around. Bjork and I, we swan. Also, the lipstick was green. Regardless, good to be mentioned, and yes, I am a freak, and I'm pleased the author included the fada in my name.

Which reminds me of something funny that came up at Readercon. Years and years ago, someone actually referred to me as "the Oscar Wilde of fantasy." Yep, they really did. As [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark said this past weekend, now I only have to be considered "the William Gibson of science fiction, or the Stephen King of horror."

And how come I never saw the page devoted to my writing that's up at fantasyliterature.net? It includes one of the best reviews I've ever read of Daughter of Hounds. I haven't yet had time to read their review of Silk. Actually, Spooky read me the review of Daughter of Hounds late last night, after she stumbled upon the page.

And, finally, we're trying to raise just a little cash to help out with the book trailer by beginning another round of eBay auctions. Have a look, and bid if you are able and so disposed. And yes, I'm covering all the expenses of the video production myself. I can't recall if I've said that already or not.

Anyway...off to milk the platypus.
greygirlbeast: (new chi)
A mightily peculiar and disconcerting dream this ayem. If you can imagine The Last King of Scotland crossed with The War of the Worlds, you'll have a pretty good idea.

So, yeah. Yesterday. Not so bad as Wednesday, though, really, mostly spent recovering from Wednesday. I have a new policy. I will no longer even check my email until after the day's writing has been done. So, if you send me an email in the morning, or late at night, you likely will not get a reply until the afternoon or evening. Or a week later. Too many days recently have been ruined by email that has derailed me. I can't allow that to continue, not with these deadlines.

Yesterday, I spent two and half hours finishing the signature sheets for the 3rd edition of Tales of Pain and Wonder (now available for pre-order). Also note that there are still a few copies of Tales from the Woeful Platypus available from Subterranean Press.

After the signing was done, I had a bath, and then read "Reflections" by Angela Carter. I've been working my way through Fireworks: Nine Profane Pieces (1974), trying to keep my head in the writing space. Monday, I read "The Executioner's Beautiful Daughter" and "Elegy for a Freelance." I suspect my favourite story in Fireworks will always be "Master."

Also, I should remind you of the new Stiff Kitten T-shirts available from Ziraxia. Just the way Mort would have wanted it.

Last night, Spooky got dinner from the deli at Whole Foods, and I watched something horrid on TV about the building of tractor-trailer trucks, and we had a walk in Freedom Park. Lots of bats, low storm clouds underlit by the lights of downtown and by the sunset. Later still, I spent a few hours in the Dune sim. And that was yesterday. And tonight we get Byron, which makes the whole damn day easier to think about.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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