greygirlbeast: (Default)
If I don't leave the house today – and I know that I won't – it will have been ten days since last I left the house. Doesn't help that it's cold as an Xtian's tit out there, currently 27˚F.

Yesterday, I wrote pages 11-15 (manuscript pages 19-26, 1,433 words) of Alabaster #4. Not leaving the house is great for productivity. Just fuck all for everything else. With luck, I can finish the issue today, but by tomorrow evening for certain.

If you haven't already, please preorder The Drowning Girl: A Memoir and Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. Thank you.

Meanwhile, the auction for an ARC of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir continues. Two days, eight hours remaining. Also, claims to have 17 copies of Two Worlds And In Between in stock, even though it's supposedly sold out, and, previously, Amazon cancelled peoples' orders because they couldn't get the book, etc. No, I have no idea how this happened, but it makes me angry.

Last night, after dinner, I washed my hair. Yes, well. we take our excitement where we can get it.

I suppose I can mention SW:toR and making level 29 and getting my first Legacy level (though I've not yet unlocked Legacy by reaching #30, so it doesn't really make sense). Or that there was stupendously good RP. But I know that's lame nerd shit. Not like saying, hey, last night David Bowie and Cormac McCarthy came over and we dropped acid and played dominoes in the nude. Yeah, I might be a goddamn nerd, but I have perspective, okay?

I watched half a new documentary about pterosaurs. It was National Geographic, but I was disappointed to see that, these days, National Geographic documentaries are only somewhat better than those on the Discovery Channel. The CGI was, at best, so-so. You know, back in 1999 television did this brilliant, beautiful Walking With Dinosaurs thing, bringing Mesozoic beasties back to life with CGI. And it's all been downhill from there. More CGI, lower production values, lousier visuals. Sloppier science. Facts ever more dumbed down. Thirteen years, and we're still moving backwards.

I read "New information on the protosaurian reptile Macrocnemus fyuanensis Li et. al., from the Middle/Upper Triassic of Yunnan, China." I also read "Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man's Back" by Joe R. Lansdale (1986), sublime nuclear apocalypse.

And that was yesterday. Comment, if you dare.

Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
The second day of March, already.

Yesterday, I wrote 959 words on The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Which doesn't seem like a very good writing day, given my uncharacteristically high daily word counts with this book. But, here at the end, I have to handle the story like glass. Everything I've built could be shattered by one wrong move.

It would be that easy.

After the writing, Spooky and I proofread "Riding the White Bull" for Two Worlds and In Between. "Riding the White Bull" is a much longer story than I recall it being. But it remains one of my best sf stories to date. It gets so many things right. I'd love to write it all over again.

And after that, dinner, and then we rearranged furniture in the middle parlour, because we're trying to make the house more livable. And after that, Spooky used my back as a canvas, a little something for the "Question @ Hand" article in Sirenia Digest #63. And after that reading and gaming. Which is a pretty good synopsis of yesterday.


Rift remains an amazing, beautiful, and utterly playable game, though I've not been able to play much the last two days. Yesterday was the official release date, and the postman brought our hard copies of the game. But the flood of idiots I'd expected seems either not to have occurred, or our rp server was spared the deluge. People roleplay. They remain in character. They almost all have actual names. The exceptions are rare (like the idiots calling themselves "Dingleberry" and "Morningwood," whom Spooky reported yesterday). Selwyn, my Kelari mage, is most of the way through Level 15. She has a skeletal minion named Jude, and a striped vaiyuu (the wiki says you have to be Level 20 to get one, but Selwyn bought hers at 14). Her story forms in my head, her character. As soon as I'm able to play her with Kathryn and others, she'll be a full-fledged alter ego.

But what I've mostly been doing is playing WoW, grinding my way towards the Loremaster title. All I have left is Outland, but that's sort of like walking across Africa, south to north, and saying, "All I have left is the Sahara." I've finished four regions in Outland: Terrorkar Forest, the Hellfire Peninsula, Zangarmarsh, and the Blade's Edge Mountains, which leaves me with three regions to go. Right now, it breaks down like this, in terms of quests done and quests left to be done:

74/85 in Nagrand
71/90 in Shadowmoon Valley
75/120 in Netherstorm

Which means I have seventy-five quests to go. Which wouldn't look so bad, given all the thousands I've done to get this far. Except Nagrand is notoriously fucking hard to finish, and I seem to have hit a wall in Shadowmoon Valley. Just not enough quests. Oh, and while I'm talking about WoW, one of the ways Blizzard truly borked this game in the latest expansion was the removal of almost all ports. I know they're stated goal was to encourage exploration by eliminating shortcuts. But what they've really done is left most of Northrend and Outland utterly deserted. Though, I will admit, it's very nice playing Outland with no other players around.


And now that I've nerded on at such length, it's time to make the doughnuts. Carefully.

Oh, note that the Annual Locus Poll and Survey is taking votes. The Ammonite Violin & Others made the ballot under collection. Please, please, please take a moment to vote. Thanks. You don't have to be a subscriber to vote.

Also! It's Dr. Seuss' birthday!
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Great bit over at the Coilhouse blog, "Wake Up, Geek Culture. Time to Die.”, referring to Patton Oswalt's recent Wired article of the same name. Here's an excerpt:

Both essays make the point that “we’re on the brink of Etewaf: Everything That Ever Was—Available Forever. But where Joshua Ellis suggests that we’ve won the culture war by essentially remaking the world in our image, Patton Oswalt argues that ”with everyone more or less otaku and everything immediately awesome… the old inner longing for more or better that made our present pop culture so amazing is dwindling.” This, he warns, produces “weak otakus” – not a generation of artists, but one of noncommittal pop-culture consumers. “Why create anything new,” he asks, “when there’s a mountain of freshly excavated pop culture to recut, repurpose, and manipulate on your iMovie?” The proposed solution to this problem steers the essay into a weird, fantastical place. In order to rebuild geek culture, Oswalt argues, we must first bring about the “Etewaf Singularity.”

Here a link to Oswalt's Wired article. Food for thought.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
My adoration of the Banshee Queen, Sylvanas Windrunner, is pretty much legendary. Yes, here I am being the worst sort of dork. The most annoying breed of nerd. But it's true. She's one of the truly cool things about the lore of the World of Warcraft, and finally there's an action figure. And it's on my wish list at, at the very top, and the first person who buys it for me, thereby assuaging my insatiable nerd-lust, will receive a token of my appreciation. I don't know what yet, but I'll think of something. The giver of this gift of this graven image of my Dark Lady will win my eternal gratitude. Yes, I am being shameless. No, I don't care. It's Sylvanas freakin' Windrunner.***

***Update (2:45 p.m.): A kind soul has done the deed, and while I can imagine decorating the house with dozens of idols of Lady Sylvanas, Spooky would likely kill me if I did. So, thank you. Wish fulfilled.


Yesterday felt like things were finally getting back on track, writing wise. I did 1,019 words on a new vignette (though it's actually sort of a quasi-vignette, as many of my vignettes are, interweaving several scenes). I'm calling it "...Of the Cloud That Took the Form..." I think I'm going to like it. It has eastern Connecticut and aliens in the Jovian atmosphere. With luck, I might even finish it today. Then I'll need to begin the next piece for Sirenia Digest #59.

My thanks for all the suggestions yesterday. More are always welcome.

I also had to answer a few questions from the CE who's copyediting "The Maltese Unicorn," which will be appearing in Ellen Datlow's Supernatural Noir anthology. And Ellen tells me that Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy will be out before very much longer. It includes my story "The Collier's Venus (1893)."

And here are ten photographs from our drive through southeastern Massachusetts on Sunday. They include the World's Cutest Jumping Spider EVER. We may try another leaf-watching drive (hopefully with better results) this coming weekend, some place farther north:

17 September 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
A sunny, warm day in Providence. I want to be Outside, but there's so much work to do. Only ten days left until the trip to Oregon for the HPLFF, and there's so much to get done twixt now and then. Still, if I finish with the writing early, I may try to persuade Spooky to take me to the sea.

Tomorrow is Mabon.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,039 words on a very strange new piece for Sirenia Digest. Sort of a post-apocalyptic vignette, wherein the apocalypse seems to have been the coming of Nyarlathotep and Azathoth to earth. Or, more accurately, earth tumbling into Azathoth. I felt like doing something explicitly Lovecraftian just before the Festival in Portland, and this seems to be it. Also, I'm thinking #58 will be devoted entirely to my explicitly Lovecraftian tales (which are fewer and farther between than some may think), the new piece plus several of the old ones. By the way, I am adopting the term that Joshi sets forth in The Rise and Fall of the Cthulhu Mythos. Which is to say, I have never written Cthulhu Mythos stories, which are stories arising from August Derleth's bastardization of Lovecraft's vision into an inane struggle between good and evil. Instead, I do occasionally write stories that fit into the Lovecraft Mythos (if one must put a label on these things).

This morning I got word that the Jeff and Ann are very pleased with "The Key to the Castleblakeney Key," which was good news to wake to, as it is also a very strange story.

Spooky made the front page of Etsy this morning, with one of her Pumpkinhead Ghosts, between noon and one. You can see the rest of her Etsy shop here. And please have a look at the current eBay auctions (unless you intend to immediately resell on Amazon for a profit).

Anyway, the good writing day gave way to a very frustrating evening. I was supposed to do a bit of rp in Insilico. We started it and took a dinner break. And then I couldn't log back in, though I spent about an hour trying before I gave up. I have no idea what was going on (I was able to log on just fine this morning). So, instead, Spooky and I did some WoW, the Warsong Gulch Battle three times (because it was Call to Arms this weekend); Horde won twice, so not bad. But then we tried to do one of the Outland dungeons, the Steam Vault, and the boss kicked our blood-elf butts five times. And he's only some dumb ass fucking naga! So...yeah, a night of geeky frustrations.

In the wake of a week of illness, I'm now on a diet of Utterly Fucking Bland Food. Chicken and rice. Bananas. Potatoes. Bland, mushy, pale food. But at least maybe I'll be able to get back to digesting what I eat. Oh, and once you're past -05, you're are allowed to talk publicly about gross shit like this. Look it up.

Okay. Time to work.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Sunny and mild today. Yesterday's storms have gone, and they seem to have taken yesterday's heat with them. The temperature inside the House reached 85F yesterday.

And I only managed to write 558 words on "The Maltese Unicorn," over the course several hours. I swear, if this story were a film, and I were the director, at this point I'd be fired and they'd hire someone like Francis Ford Coppola to come in and try to clean up the mess. I am definitely over budget. And yet, the story now has a solid beginning, and today I can get back to the middle. I have about 5,000 words left to finish things up, and it's going to be a bit of a squeeze. I hope to be done by Friday, at the latest. And let me say again, for me this is such a strange and counter-intuitive way to write, pulling things apart, writing bits out of sequence, and so forth, and I sincerely hope not to be resorting to this method again anytime soon.

If you've not already, please have a look at the current eBay auctions, especially the Dreaming mobile, since we may never offer another of those. As ultra rare items related to my work go, the Dreaming mobile is about as rare as it gets. All proceeds from these auctions go to help offset the not inconsiderable expense of attending Readercon 21 next month.

So, yes, yesterday I wrote, and edited, and rewrote, and moved scenes around. Spooky painted. I wrote. I would make her stop so I could read her a few paragraphs, a single sentence, or a series of pages. Outside, storm clouds soared by and the wind blew wildly. The House was stifling. Finally, as I was reading her a scene for the fifth or sixth time, I said fuck it, it's too hot, and we went for a walk. It didn't seem a whole lot cooler out there, but at least there was a strong wind. We walked as far as the Dexter Training Ground and the Armory. Then I came home and went back to work. There are a few photos behind the cut:

6 June 2010 )

What else of yesterday that's worth writing down? Spooky's mom sent us a link to an adorable photo she'd taken of a four-foot-long Northern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor constrictor) she'd had to relocate from the strawberry patch. Spooky's dad's in the Philippines again, doing field work, by the way. I read a paper on the discovery of Paleocene-aged pantodont footprints in a coal mine in Norway. I watched an episode of Nova devoted to the causes of the 2003 Columbia shuttle disaster. After dinner, we watched Philipp Stölzl's Nordwand (2008), which is a genuinely breathtaking, horrific film; highly recommended. Later, we played too much WoW, leveling Gnomenclature and Klausgnomi to 24. Oh, and I had an argument in guild chat about Han Solo and Greedo (Han shot first, you fools!), which is about as low as a nerd can sink. Though, what was more disturbing was that the person I was having the conversation with was born in 1990! I think that revelation actually made me dizzy. Anyway, that was yesterday.
greygirlbeast: (Humanoid)
Sooooo... a couple of months back, Spooky discovered an absolutely hilarious webseries about an Alliance WoW Guild, called The Guild, and starring the marvelous Felicia Day. You may remember her from Buffy, or Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long-Blog. You can watch seasons One and Two online, for free, by the way. And Season Three begins soon.

And if you were at the San Diego ComiCon, you probably already know all this. Anyway, turned out, ingame, there's a real-world counterpart to the webseries' "Knights of Good," and though I am generally more fond of playing the Horde side of WoW, I got caught up in the moment and created a Draenei paladin, named Kalií (pronounced kay-LEE). Whom I've been level grinding on ever since. Yeah, yeah. I'm a dork. We knew that already. So, yes, I am in the Knights of Good, the guild spawned by The Guild, and, as of today, the series' music video, "Do You Wanna Date My Avatar," can be seen for free. Below. Past all these annoying words:

Presently, the video is at #1 on the iTunes music video chart, and #datemyavatar was a trending topic on Twitter today. Oh, and fun facts: Felicia is both a mathematician and violinist, and is from Huntsville, Alabama. Also, the video was co-written and directed by Jed Whedon, Joss' brother.
greygirlbeast: (The Red Tree)
I've just gotten word that The Red Tree T-shirts are now available from Ziraxia, the same alien horde that's already brought you Stiff Kitten T-shirts. Here's the final design (by Spooky and [ profile] scarletboi!):

The Red Tree

The Red Tree t-shirt by Humglum. Check it out at Ziraxia t shirts!

And yes, the Stiff Kitten shirts are also still available. Also, look for new evidence on the website soon. I hear it's going to be something really weird.

Now...I'm off to play WoW, because I am a big geek.
greygirlbeast: (white2)
Not sure I can make much of an entry today. My mind is too many places at once. But I shall do my best, which is usually what I try to do.

Good writing day yesterday. I had Spooky read back to me everything I'd written on "The Sea Troll's Daughter," and as she read, the ending finally occurred to me. So simple, I don't know how I took so long to see it. But that's how writing works. I wrote 1,373 words. Today, I will finish the story, one day ahead of my deadline.

Yesterday, well, more than anything, there was Palin's stunning resignation. Stunning or stupefying. I hear a lot of people telling me not to celebrate too soon, that this is too fishy, that "Real Americans" love their wolf-murdering, white-trash, Xtian beauty queen too much, that this has to be the start of something big, coming right before the 4th and all. Whatever. I'm sure we've not seen the last of the bitch. She will certainly foment much more atrocity before her dying breath (which cannot come too soon). However, I stand by my belief that a woman cannot resign the office of governor, just because, and expect to be rewarded with any higher office. Not even in America. The enemies of the GOP can spin, too, and no one will ever let that one go. When the heat got too much for her (in Alaska, mind you), she tucked her tail between her legs and ran...or strategically retreated...or what-the-hell ever. I say her days as a serious political contender are done, book deal or no book deal, GOP dominatrix fantasies or no. And that resignation speech, boy howdy. I wonder if she even knows what surreal means? To quote a twat from Adam Sessler, "Palin's resignation speech: It's like if e.e. cummings ran a pep rally...on the moon...which is like a balloon...."

And, please, let's not argue over Palin's political future. I'll just concede I know nothing about politics, and everyone knows it's foolish to debate politics with someone who knows nothing about politics. You'll be stuck with an empty, Pyrrhic victory.

Here in Rhode Island, almost all fireworks are illegal. Even sparklers require a permit. However, this did not stop a group of idiots from trying to blow up Federal Hill last night. It was rather awful, until the police showed up and shut them down. Problem is, people bring in fireworks from Massachusetts and Connecticut. And hey, I love fireworks, but not when they're being shot off beneath my office window. By idiots. Drunken idiots. Drunken idiots with small, flammable children.

Oh, I know something cool about yesterday. I had a Big Nerd Moment. The years have jaded me. I've met most of many of my literary heroes, and become friends with quite a few of them. So, it takes a lot these days to send me into fangirl mode. Something like William Gibson responding to me on Twitter last night. I actually giggled with shameless delight. Spooky found it charming.

A quiet anniversary. We made a big dinner. I did the salad, using the crazy mix of greens and onions we got from Spooky's dad on Thursday, and Spooky made baked portabellas stuffed with onions, garlic, red bell pepper, basil, a mix of parmesan, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese, and bread crumbs. Oh, and she made chicken sausages, made with spinach and feta. Yum. Then we played WoW (my Draenei paladin, Kalií, made Level 23) and read for a bit before bed.

Anyway...I should go. 'Cause the platypus says so, that's why.
greygirlbeast: (Vulcans)
greygirlbeast: (Eli6)
Yesterday was the sort of day I spend looking for the story, but not actually writing the story. I finally sat down and re-read a couple of chapters of Michael E. Bell's Food for the Dead: On the Trail of New England's Vampires (Carroll and Graf Publishers, 2001), specifically chapters 11 ("Relicks of Many Old Customs") and 12 ("A Ghoul in Every Deserted Fireplace"). It helped get my head where my head needs to be. I'd wanted to head back to Newport, back to the old library, but the weather was shit, bitter cold, and besides, this is the weekend of the big-ass Newport St. Patrick's Day fiasco. So. This weekend I try to get the story started. If it hasn't happened by Monday, we go back to Newport. Oh, I did find a title, "As Red as Red." I think one thing that I'm having trouble with here is shaping a story that's equal parts werewolf and vampire tale (and no, not in the quasi-moronic Underworld sense).

So, yeah, yesterday was mostly spent sitting in the big chair in the front parlour, in a marvelous pool of afternoon sunlight, pretending it's not still winter out there, reading.

An unexpected, but very welcome, royalty check arrived from my German publisher. It seems the German translation of Threshold is selling well. So, maybe I still have a shot at Werner Herzog.

I washed my hair. I didn't leave the house.

Last night, after dinner, we watched Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later (2002), which we'd not seen since its theatrical release. I still find it a marvelous, impressively paced, and splendidly tense film. I do wish people wouldn't think of it as a zombie film, as it clearly isn't. The "infected" are not "running zombies," as they're not dead. The most interesting thing last night was watching the various "alternative" endings. The first is, I believe, clearly the original theatrical ending (it was labeled "alternative theatrical"), the one that test audiences likely found "too grim" or some such malarky. After escaping Major Henry West's (Christopher Eccleston) compound, Selena (Naomie Harris) and Hannah (Megan Burns) manage to get the gut-shot Jim (Cillian Murphy) to an abandoned hospital, but despite Selena's efforts, fail to save his life. However, he has managed to tell them about the plane he saw before rescuing them, and the film ends with Selena and Hannah setting off into an uncertain, but possibly not hopeless future. It's just a better ending, and it fits better than the theatrical-release ending. It closes a circle. Jim awakes in a hospital to the end of England, and the film closes after he's died in another hospital. There was also another "radical alternative" ending that was never filmed, but which Danny Boyle and Alex Garland present, via storyboards, a completely different possibility for the final third of the film, one where the soldiers are not introduced. It was interesting, but as Boyle and Garland admit, never would have worked. After the movie, we read more of Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci's Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd. I neglected to mention, yesterday, that this book is actually making me miss Dragon*Con, and I thought that was impossible.

There are books I really should be spending more time and energy promoting. I mean, that is the primary reason this journal exists. So, remember that next month Subterranean Press will be releasing the trade paperback edition of Alabaster, which collects all the Dancy Flammarion stories (except for "Highway 97"), complete with all Ted Naifeh's artwork. Also, if you haven't read yet read Daughter of Hounds, well, what are you waiting for? No, it's not necessary to read the earlier books first. Daughter of Hounds is a fine place to begin.

And now, the word mines.
greygirlbeast: (Eli5)
Yesterday, I pretty much made it through everything on my "to do" list. In my notebook, there are neat little Xs next to each item. Stories were sent to editors. Emails were answered. Revisions were made. I did another draft of the particularly tedious "fair-use" and "public-domain" letter for Penguin, regarding many quotations that appear The Red Tree, adding the relevant information on Hesiod, Seneca the Younger, and Goethe. Specifically, regarding the copyright status of the translations I used. Fun stuff (yes, I'm being sarcastic). I signed and personalized books (eBay sales). I tried to get my brain working on short story number next.

Last night, we saw the new episode of South Park. I don't know which was funnier, the lampooning of the Jonas Brothers and "purity rings," or hearing Mickey Mouse declare that "Christians are retarded." Later, we read a couple of pieces from an ARC of the forthcoming Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci (Little, Brown Young Readers; August 1, '09). We have the ARC because Spooky won it in an LJ contest for geekiest icon (her old Girl Scout computer science merit badge). Anyway, we're loving the anthology. The tale of Jedi/Klingon con love that opens the books is, well, fucking brilliant. Also, my thanks to Cliff Miller for the Flannery O'Connor biography, which arrived yesterday.


I have an announcement/invitation for all the people who joined the "Sirenia Players" and Howard's End Second Life groups last year. I am now running a roleplay faction in the SL NoR sims. No, it's not as ambitious as what I'd planned for Howard's End, but, in terms of theme, it's still in the ballpark. Contemporary urban dark fantasy rp. Vampires, angels, demons, werewolves, ghosts, and just about anything else you can imagine. Unlike HE, there's combat (though, technically, we're a non-combat faction), and a gaming meter/HUD (WARPS). I've founded a group called the Alpha Institute, an occult research organization that very roughly parallels my plans for the Roanoke Society in the stillborn HE sim. Throw in a bit of the Talamasca, a bit of Angel Investigations/Wolfram and Hart, etc. We're off to a very good start. And there's not a mountain of background reading, as there was with HE, and I don't need complex character profiles. Plus, since we're already playing, there's no annoying waiting period. So, if you're interested, just say so, or email me (greygirlbeast (at) gmail (dot) com), or IM me in SL (Nareth Nishi), and I'll send you an invitation.

And yes, I know what I said on February 24th about Second Life, and I meant it when I said it. But then this opportunity came along, and, frankly, I'm considering it my very last go at SL rp. If it works out (which it seems to be doing), then I'll stick around. If not, I'll leave SL, and I won't look back. I held off mentioning it here until I was certain this thing was going to happen. Now our build is finished. The story's begun. So, just let me know if you're still interested. The HUD is free. There are even free weapons. So, you don't have to cough up real-life money to play. NoR is comprised of 28 linked sims, and there's something for just about everyone, I should think. So far, we have 21 players in the Alpha Institute. The more the merrier.


Okay. Time to dust off the platypus, wake the dodo, and make the damn doughnuts. Oh, and yes, I will eventually run out of Eli icons.
greygirlbeast: (mirror2)
See, I can totally live with being 71% Leia Organa. But how the frell can anyone be 62% Darth Vader, 61% Jar Jar frelling Binks (gagh), and (ahem) 59% Han Solo, simultaneously. That just messes with my head...

Your results:
You are Princess Leia
Princess Leia
Luke Skywalker
Darth Vader
Jar Jar Binks
Han Solo
Mace Windu
Boba Fett
Obi-Wan Kenobi
You are an excellent friend
and an unselfish person,
yet you like to spend a lot of
time on your hair and fashion.
You spend most of your time
with guys that are too cocky,
too hairy, or too related.

(This list displays the top 10 results out of a possible 21 characters)

Click here to take the Star Wars Personality Quiz

Um...yeah. Well, underwater volcanic eruptions are drad, even if this link doesn't quite redeem me for having impure autoerotic thoughts about myself as Princess Leia...


greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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