greygirlbeast: (white)
First, here's a preview of Dark Horse Presents #9, which will include pages 1-8 of Alabaster #1. DHP #9 will be in stores on February 22nd. So, yes, Alabaster is coming! And Mike Mignola! Imagine that – me, in a comic with Hell Boy's dad!

---

Yesterday, there was no writing, no real writing. And yet there was a great deal of work. I finished the corrections to Alabaster #3 (with great and wondrous and much appreciated help from Spooky), then sent them away to my Dark Horse editor, the vivacious Rachel Edidin. And then I wrote the synopses and proposals for the two sequels to Blood OrangesFay Grimmer (you either get this joke or don't) and Puppy Love. I sent those to my agent, then called her and we talked about publishing options. She was very happy with the synopses. I'm looking at writing Fay Grimmer this summer, and then the third (and final) book in August 2013. Merrilee and I also talked a good bit about ebooks, audiobooks, and The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Then I did some design work on the rest of the website revamp.

Afterwards, I had a hot bath, before calling Rachel (at Dark Horse, remember?), and we talked about all things Dancy Flammarion. Only minutes after that conversation, she emailed me Greg Ruth's colored cover for Alabaster #3, which is unbelievably beautiful. And that was, essentially, work yesterday (if I've forgotten anything, screw it). Today I mean to actually fucking write, beginning Alabaster #4.

My horns came! Now I only have to get my goatish (horizontal pupil) contact lenses. By the way, the horns were one of my Cephalopodmas gifts from Spooky. They are amazing, and as soon as I have the headpiece made, I'll post photos here.

Geoffrey arrived about 8:15 p.m. (CaST), and we had Palestinian takeout for diner. We spent the evening talking about books, our favorite and not favorite authors, good writing and bad, the panel proposals I need to send to Readercon (they were actually due at the end of December), Star Wars: The Old Republic, the hideous folly of 3D films, that which I have been reading and that which I feel like I ought to be reading, Aleister Crowley, the Ruination of Boulder, iPads, addiction, and the trap of genre fiction. I think he decamped for Framingham about 2 a.m. (CaST).

---

Speaking of Geoffrey and Readercon, I hope he doesn't mind, but I've got to post this mock-panel description he sent me yesterday for what I think would be the penultimate "horror" fiction panel. It is the truth, plain and simple:

WHY ARE WE STILL DOING THIS?

The antihorror panel. If you look around, any full-timer who’s here from over ten years ago has survived by giving up, writing five books a year, or shifting into thrillers, paranormal romance, or other greener pastures. Even the people in the audience who are currently writing “4 the luv” and think they’ll eventually earn their way onto this panel will regret attending this convention within five years. Horror’s dead for good and we’re the ones who killed it. If it weren’t for tenure, movie rights, and food stamps, the only people in this room would be locals and hobbyists. Yet, time and again, you ask people about this stuff and instead of shame you get stories of tormented childhoods rescued by monsters, women’s breasts, and copious amounts of blood. What’s wrong with us and how can we turn our lives around?

---

Okay, regarding my thing about the word awesome. I think there are lots of people misinterpreting what I'm trying to say, which is not, actually, that the word ought to be banned from the English language (though the situation is so frustrating I might have said that a few times), but, rather, that the absurd level of saturation that has been visited upon us by the use of the word needs to end. I'm not a "grammar Nazi," but, for fuck's sake, there are many, many other adjectives (veritable oodles), both proper and slang, wonderful and useful synonyms, that mean what "awesome" is being used (almost to the exclusion of all these words) to mean. And never mind the grotesque permutations ("Awesomesauce"? No. No. No.) the word awesome is presently suffering.

Generally I loathe the Urban Dictionary, but even it understands, defining awesome as "1. Something Americans use to describe everything."

I am not now and have never been anti-slang. Slang is good and helpful. But all good things in moderation, for fuck's sake. How about cool, neat, groovy, nifty, keen, et al. And if you think any of these are too antiquated, does no one realize that this present usage of awesome actually entered our lexicon from Valley Girl speak in the late 1970s and early 1980s (except for Portland, OR, where it never exited and will will). It then exited, and was only resurrected to flood our sentences a few years back. So, toss in some other slang. Pretty please. With a goddamn cherry on top. That would be so bow tie.

And, for now, that's all. Oh, comment, kittens.

Chugging Red Bull, Because She Needs Wings,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Well, yesterday failed to measure up to the poopiness of its promise, though it was hardly conducive to the sort of work I'm supposed to be doing. You know...writing? Still, the anger subsided, and the day got better as it went on – a little better – and I have learned there's at least one person who thinks "awesome" is as overused (and inappropriately used) as do I, and who's willing to speak up. And that's pretty bow tie.

I managed to edit about one-third of Alabaster #3 before my agent called. It's fairly easy editing, as my editor at Dark Horse was very happy with this script, as was I. Hopefully, readers will also be happy with it.

My agent and I talked about Blood Oranges, mostly, and the fact that I'm planning two sequels (the second would be called Fay Grimmer; I don't yet have a title for book three). I'm morally opposed to any trilogy not written by Tolkien or Herbert or William Gibson or Holly Black. But...it's not really a trilogy-type trilogy. My story is more like one long (funny) story divided into three parts. It just works better that way. Also, the trilogy format allows me to write it over three years, instead of all at once. Many options are being explored. I am finally learning about options (after seventeen years in publishing). I'm fucking stubborn like that. Anyway, we also talked about the revamp of the website, and how not finished it is, and how the market is worse than ever, and how Dark Horse is now my day job, and how I'm turning down pretty much all short-story solicitations, and how to connect readers to booksellers that are not Amazon, and how to promote The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, and how my craziness sometimes impedes my communication with Merrilee and leads to my overreacting and misunderstanding (and stuff). Oh, Merrilee Heifetz is my bow-tie agent (has been since 1997) at Writers House. And no, I will not tell her your book is an incredible work of literature, the greatest thing since sliced halva, and how she should represent you. So, don't even think I might.

Yesterday, I renewed my membership to The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (I've been a member since I was nominated to the society in 1984).

---

Fuck all, but this is a fucking perfect sentence (from Gibson's Neuromancer): The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

--

Late in the day, I was treated to pencils for Greg Ruth's cover for Albaster #3, and like the fist two covers, it's goddamn beautiful. Greg Ruth rocks. Which is to say, kittens, he is most bow tie.

Okay, now I go to finish with the editing of #3. I also have to speak to my editor at Dark Horse later today, and write synopses for the two books that will follow Blood Oranges (and, fuck all, but I hate writing synopses). However, my diligence will be rewarded with a visit from [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark this evening. We're gonna talk about stuff.

Slightly Improved & a Tad Manic,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
So, [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark has this hypothesis. If the Bono of 1980 ever meets the Bono of now, the Bono of 1980 will take the Bono of now into an alley and kick his ass. Sounds about right to me. Anyway, I have a soft spot for this. Soft and black. Sort of like when you leave an apple at the bottom on the produce drawer too long...

greygirlbeast: (starbuck4)
Took the "Break in Case of Emergency" pill this morning at five ayem, that tricksy gem in my prescription pharmacoepia, that I so very rarely touch. Because it hits within mere minutes, and it hits like a freight train (the passenger sort would only stun) and wears off about eighteen hours later. I slept more than 8.5 hours, a sleep which culminated with a dream of a post-apocalyptic (not one word, that adjective) plague that slowly, horribly transformed the infected into bat-like alien things. It isn't a dream I wish ever to go near ever again.

And I'm not awake. My left eyelid (blind eye), keeps closing of its own accord.

[livejournal.com profile] readingthedark arrived early in the evening, we had dinner from the hot bar at Whole Foods, then headed to the show at the Met. The first band sucked empty donkey ballsacks. Don't even recall the band's name. A bunch of fucking hipster poseurs from Brooklyn trying to audition for the Grand Ole Opry. But the second band, Joe Fletcher and the Wrong Reasons, were rather damn bow tie. Singer looked a lot like Michael Wincott (swoon), and the sound was sort of like a collision between Rockabilly and Bob Dylan and Nick Cave and a really skanky honky-tonk five miles outside Yazoo City, Mississippi.

Brown Bird (buy Salt for Salt TODAY), returning home after a long tour, looked a little haggard, but sounded better than I've ever heard them sound. A mountain of bow tie. It was even worth enduring the drunks and texting idiots. And here's a thing? Why do people pay to attend a show, then spend the whole goddamn show texting? Or even spend five minutes doing it? Are they truly so attached at the genitals to their cell phones and social fucking networks that they can't stop that shit fot a couple of hours and just listen? Anyway, fuck them, and Brown Bird remains the finest Appalachian-Roots-Yiddish-Doom-Folk band anywhere on Earth.

And that's all I'm writing today. I'm still stoned, and I'm on vacation, motherfuckers.
greygirlbeast: (twilek1)
Skimp on one journal entry, everything piles up. Outside it's very cold. Well, very cold if you're me. 43˚F, and the low tonight will be 22˚F (-5.5 C). This might come out all higgledy piggledy (double dactyl!), but at least it will be a higgledy-piggledy list.

[One-hour pause to install iTunes 10.5.1, which should have been easy, but wasn't.]

1. Yesterday we saw Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Marvelous. If Ritchie's making Holmes purists uncomfortable, more power to him. A Game of Shadows was at least as smart, and funny, and as fine a box of eye candy as Sherlock Holmes (2009). Oh, and lots of deftly inserted (cough, cough) gay innuendo, so booya. Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law, I love you. Great chess, too. Eight tentacles up.

2. Last night, late, I finished with Stephen Jones' A Book of Horrors. All I had left to go was Robert Shearman's very good Machenesque "A Child's Problem," Dennis Etchinson's pleasantly odd and wistful piece "Tell Me I'll See You Again," and Richard Christian Mathenson's somewhat delightfully sadistic "Last Words." The latter might have served as a fitting bit for Sirenia Digest. I don't read much contemporary horror, but A Book of Horrors is a solid volume (plus, you get my piece, "Charcloth, Firesteel and Flint").

3. Thursday evening was cold, windy, and the sky spat rain. That would have been the first day of the vacation, yes? This day is the third. But I sort of did some work during the day, unless I misremember...which is always a possibility. Later, we visited the RISD Art Gallery (and got our nephew, Miles, a very bow-tie book for Solstice), then went out to get supplies (for both Spooky and me) at Jerry's Artarama*, then stopped near Brown and got delicious food from Mama Kim's Korean BBQ for dinner. It was worth huddling under my umbrella for.

4. Yesterday, UPS brought my copy of Star Wars: The Old Republic, and I recreated my Twi'lek Sith inquisitor Herazade and began leveling again. Made it to nine. I really am loving this game. Utterly bow tie, despite my initial predictions and impressions. However, a caveat: Why can game designers not rid us of the ubiquitous MMORPG silly hop? Have they never noted how humanoids jump? Generally, pushing off and up with the ball/toe of one foot, then landing with their opposite/s. Simple anatomy. Hopping up and down with bowed legs looks idiotic, and it's everywhere, except in console games, where a better knowledge of functional anatomy seems to prevail. The standing jump, of course, would be an exception, but, in most situations, standing jumps are rare, and may not serve here as an explanation or excuse.

5. Tonight, we see Brown Bird play at the Met in Pawtucket, and our Honourary Gentleman Caller, [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark, will be joining us for the musical shenanigans. Gonna rock.

6. Since we'd let our Audible.com credits back up, I downloaded three books the other day: first, Harlan reading his own Edgeworks Volume 1 – which is a delight – William Gibson's Neuromancer; and Paolo Bacigalupi The Wind-Up Girl. The last is the only I've not read, but I have great hopes. Of course, I'm not reading here, but listening, which is a distinctly different experience. Since I was a very, very small child I have savoured having stories and novels read to me. Unlike ebooks, audiobooks are bow tie.

7. Right now, plans are that the "teaser" trailer for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir will go live at 12 ayem EST (1 ayem CaST) on January 1st, New Year's Day. It will appear at that moment on my LiveJournal, as well as YouTube, Vimeo, etc. I will ask people to repost and embed it and link to it and spread it far and wide. I need the front page of my website redesigned for this book, but presently have no options. If anyone is willing to offer their web-fu for a FREE signed and inscribed copy of the book, email me at greygirlbeast(at)gmail(dot)com and we'll work something out.

And that is all! No more words! Vakayshun!

Leisurely,
Aunt Beast

* In The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, Imp works at Jerry's.
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
The more I listen to Brown Bird, the more they amaze me.

Two Worlds and In Between, deluxe and trade editions, is now officially sold out.

And tomorrow is the day. But if you get your hopes up so much you think I've been crowned Grand Xena She-Ra, Wonder Woman, Queen of the Known Universe the First, you have only yourself to blame for the inevitable disappointment.

Today, I take...more. And we see if things get better. If I can remain functional. Because, apparently, it's one thing to have irrational fears of How Bad Things Are, and another thing entirely to have rational fears of How Bad Things Are. It's the same shit, either way. The meds just make me care a whole lot less. Well, and it's nice not having the seizures. Also, it's cool knowing that if someone were to try and drink my blood, they would die a horrible death.

"She came by her insanity honestly."

The first half of yesterday was a mad whirlwind of this, that, and the other, attending to various questions and details for various projects until, by, 3 p.m., I was exhausted and still hadn't written a single word. So, it being Samhain, and Hallowe'en, I took the afternoon off. Which was stupid, as I have too much work to be doing that. But I did. Spooky went to the market, and I wasted about a half hour of my life playing RIFT, and...well, that was a dumb idea. Not working, I mean. I took a hot bath before dinner. Spooky brought me a Black Forest cake (my favorite). We carved jack-o'lanterns. There were trick-or-treaters. We watched Its the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966), and the two new episodes of Beavis and Butthead.

The former was bittersweet and nostalgic, a gentle amusement from an age when lies were better at hiding the ugliness of the world from children (and parents tried a lot harder). The latter was funny as hell, and, as I said last night on Twitter, television has crawled so far up its own (porn, porn, porn, porn, porn) asshole that Beavis and Butthead (porn, porn, porn, porn, porn) actually come off as rather smart kids (porn, porn, porn, porn, porn). Beavis and Butthead on Jersey Shore and LMFAO's "Champagne Showers"? It's pretty incisive commentary on this dear sweet filthy world, kittens.

And we watched John Fawcett's Ginger Snaps (2000). It has aged very, very well. Sure, the final creature effects suffer from budget constraint (though the makeup up until then is brilliant), but it remains one of the very few genuinely good werewolf films. It's perfectly, morbidly, hilariously, grimly, gleefully horrific, and, in the end, an impressive examination of teenage alienation. Of finding oneself in that darkest of dark places, and at that moment you've spent a short life fearing above all others. If you've never seen this film, what the fuck's wrong with you? Oh, you were only ten when it was released....

Yes, if I had a daughter, I truly would name her Ampersand. Well, on the birth certificate it would be listed as & Rose Kiernan, but we'd call her Amp.

Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark. Thank you, The National. You guys rock.

Also, you might be a loony Xtian whackjob, but you go, Anne Rice (at least she wrote three good novels):

Lestat and Louie feel sorry for vampires that sparkle in the sun. They would never hurt immortals who choose to spend eternity going to high school over and over again in a small town — anymore than they would hurt the physically disabled or the mentally challenged. My vampires possess gravitas. They can afford to be merciful...The idea that if you are immortal you would go to high school instead of Katmandu or Paris or Venice, it’s the vampire dumbed down for kids. But it’s worked. It’s successful. It makes kids really happy. And here we are, back at Beavis and Butthead.

It's nice to see Anne Rice fucking grow a pair for an hour. And if you think I just made a sexist comment, grow a pair, please. After all, do you know I didn't mean ovaries? But, wait...wouldn't that also be sexist. Maybe I meant ears.

Oh, there are pumpkin photos from last night (mine was stolen, just like last year):

Jack! )
greygirlbeast: (wookie)
Chilly and mostly sunny here in Providence.

Gods, I slept almost eight hours. Not good.

Yesterday, fourth verse same as the first. Pretty much. It had skipped my mind, day before yesterday, that The Drowning Girl: A Memoir – like The Red Tree – contains fictions within fictions. That is, whereas The Red Tree contained "Pony," The Drowning Girl: A Memoir contains "Mermaid of the Concrete Ocean" and "Werewolf Smile." Which, essentially, turns reading through a ten-chapter CEM into reading through a twelve-chapter CEM. Plus, there's the long "Back Pages" section at the end, which is sort of like...I don't know. It's not an epilogue, not in any conventional sense. It's almost like end notes that continue the story. Anyway, we managed to reach the end of Chapter 5, before Geoffrey arrived yesterday evening. Today we start on page 146 – the beginning of Chapter 6 – out of 277 pages. With great luck, we'll make it through chapters 6 and 7 today.

When this CEM is in the mail and on it's way back to Manhattan, I've promised a three-day break from work for me and Spooky. Out of this house, that's the most important part. No house, no fucking internet. I think we may just pick a direction and start driving. I have hardly taken a break since...never mind. Best not to think about that.

We were sitting on the stoop about 5:30 p.m. yesterday, waiting on Geoffrey. I was having a cigarette, and we were watching these four little boys across the street. And they were little boys, say eight to ten. And one of the younger boys was so adept with profanity that even we were taken aback. We heard one of the others say, "That boy sure swears a lot. Damn." And then Geoffrey arrived, bearing some volume of lost Derrida. Something like that. I never really found out, because when it comes to deconstruction and post-structuralism, I still have enough scars from college, and I don't touch the stuff. But, I knew Geoffrey meant well.

And I should go. Pages and pages.

But first, because all things on the internet vanish and I'm trying to make a permanent things, I present our evidence that Nicolas Cage is a time-traveling vampire:



After while, crocodile,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (wookie)
Cool and sunny today. Southern New England lists towards impending autumn.

Yesterday, we only managed to make it through Chapter 4 of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. It's a much longer chapter than I remembered. But, today, we forge boldly ahead, and make much better progress. If only I'd gotten much more sleep last night.

We'll probably still be reading through the CEM when [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark, whose coming tonight for a visit, arrives.

Oh, and there was a veritable mountain of neglected email – some of it important – that I dealt with yesterday.

But I fear I have no particular insights or witticisms to offer today. I'm not awake, and I have to wake up fast, and hit the pages running. Tomorrow, kittens.

Just before sleep, Spooky read me Manly Wade Wellman's "Ever the Faith Endures," a very effective story of old darkness. It's a story that a lot of modern writers attempting to write weird fiction could learn from. It speaks softly, powerfully, makes clear an inescapable situation, and wisely eschews resolution. Oh, and Spooky found this, a trailer for a short film, "Up Under the Roof," based on one of Wellman's short stories.

Stet,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Barker)
7.5 hours of sleep last night, but, somehow, I feel less awake than I did yesterday after only five hours. Go figure.

Want to see humanity at its most illiterate and hateful, it's most degraded? Just read the comments to trailers at IMDb, or the comments on any news website. And that leads me to not forget a quote, something that Spooky overheard in general chat on Rift: "I want to know where you get one of those keyboards that doesn't toggle caps." How far away can we be from the "lol" key? I think what makes me the special kind of nauseous is when I see someone whom I know to be educated, bright, articulate, and well socialized write something like "lol i didnt mean 2 say that XD" – it's enough to make me think about using the tines of a nice sharp fork on my tender parts. And, just in case you're not among the legions of the tainted, that combination of X and D – XD – near as I can tell, it's meant to be someone laughing and scrunching up his/her face in the process. But sideways.

Er...um...actual stuff that matters.

Well, yesterday. I wrote 1,261 words yesterday on the as yet unnamed Mars story. I like where it's going. It's going where I want it to, though it promises to take longer to get there than I'd like. I shall offer up a quote:

Why, we’re better off than them leftbacks, them shite-rat also-rans, ain’t we just? Shì and she dy jarroo, lay your glimmers down if we’re wrong on that.

Also, there was a phone call – and hour, hour and a half, I don't know, regarding that cool thing I can't tell you about. It was a Very Good Phone Call. I love working with people who not only "get it," but help me "get it" better, and who worry about what I want to do at least as much as they're worrying about the bottom line.

Work was long and wearying, but oddly satisfying yesterday.

[livejournal.com profile] readingthedark arrived about eight p.m. Spooky and I were sitting on the stoop, watching the waxing sliver of moon rise as the sun set, when he pulled up. There was Italian take out for dinner (actually, I had a salad), and then many hours of conversation. Last night I declared I would recall the topics. This afternoon, I think that might have been a brash statement, but they included: books (the good, the bad, and the ugly), writing, painting, Placebo, Death Cab for Cutie, massive drug use and the hilarity that sometimes ensues, Mark Z. Danielewski, William Gibson, Wicca and Crowley and William S. Burroughs, open-source sims, coding, Insilico and Second Life, MESH vs. prims, trustafarians, psychiatry, John Carpenter, Goat Girl Press, Harlan Ellison, hurricanes, hipster douchebags, the economics of publishing, and...honestly, fuck, I don't know. More stuff than this. You can talk about a lot in eight hours, when all you do is talk. Oh, and he deserves a "thank you" for helping me get Spooky's new (it's actual her old) desk up the winding, perilous stairs and into her office.

Oh, and Spooky came home from the thrift store yesterday with a really fine summer sweater for me. I loves it, I do.

My eye is upon you, Katia.

It's Been Worse,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Mary Sue)
Yesterday, I wrote 1,296 words on Chapter Five of Blood Oranges, which puts the word bank at 801 words. Today, with luck and determination, I'll find the chapter's end. But there need to be many fewer distractions today than there were yesterday.

The weather today is warm and damp, with more rain on the way.

[livejournal.com profile] readingthedark arrived early in the evening, and the three of us had dinner at Trinity Brew House. I had a very raw hamburger, a thing I was greatly desiring. Back home, there was an hour or so of conversation. Not nearly enough. But sex and tentacles, that came up, the octopoid bauplan as an eight-penised vagina, something of the sort. Prehensile penes, at that. But also cats, shaved heads, energy drinks, open sims, polygon mesh vertices, and book trailers.

I wasn't able to get to sleep until after five-fifteen ayem. The sky was going grey and lavender.

---

Back on the 7th, both [livejournal.com profile] hollyblack and [livejournal.com profile] matociquala wrote rather good entries on the "Mary Sue" problem. The misapplication of the term to fiction that isn't fanfic, and other deeper problems with a very problematic phrase and a concept fraught with problems. You can read Holly's post here, and Elizabeth's here. I found myself agreeing with most of what was said in both, which was hardly a surprise.

My only significant quibble would be with Holly's list of what is used to identify a "Mary Sue." Read it for yourself (don't be a lazy bastard), but it basically comes down to one word that repeatedly appears in her list: unrelatable. For example:

The reviewer believes that the female protagonist of the novel is so perfect as to be unrelatable.

The difficulty I have here may only be one of personal habit and preference. I don't see fiction as something I do expecting people to relate to any character. I only expect readers to read and consider and experience the story, to have individual reactions to the various characters, and to draw whatever conclusions they may. I'm most emphatically not doing something in order for people who don't write stories to project themselves onto. So, to me, whether or not a reader can relate is immaterial. I don't see the ability to relate to a character as a prerequisite for, say, sympathizing or empathizing with a character. Otherwise, yep. Brilliant posts, and thank you.

Oh, this bit from [livejournal.com profile] matociquala, which was basically a quick summation of Holly's quote for those too lazy to follow a link: "It's frankly misogynistic to identify a competent female protagonist as a 'Mary Sue' because she's at the center of her story. She's at the center of her story because she's the goddamn protagonist."

For my part, I continue to maintain the term will never have any authentic utility beyond fanfic, and even then...okay, not going to beat dead horses today. It only attracts flies.

A Bit Player,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (sol)
Just saw a guy in the hallway wearing a pickle-colored T-shirt which read, "Pickles are cucumbers soaked in evil." Perhaps.

I'm no good at con reports, during or after the fact. I'm here. Cool stuff has happened and will happened. But I'm fading fast. I still have a reading for Ellen Datlow's Supernatural Noir tonight, and then the awards ceremony at 11 ayem (!!!), and then a noon o'clock panel on...something about ambiguity in "horror" novels. I suppose I was deemed appropriate for that. Of course, checkout's also at noon, so...nothing is ever convenient. I'm trying not to think how much the con has cost so far (and we're being frugal as we can), what with my presently being so goddmamn debt poor and all.

I'm typing this from the hotel's business center, where there is actually FREE internet access (and even laser printing).

I've been changing my clothes two or three times a day. It either throws people off, or keeps them on their toes.

We got to bed much too late last night. About 3:30 ayem, I took a hot bath. Geoffrey crashed in our room, as the hour was so late and I didn't imagine himself wakeful enough to make the drive to Framingham. Anyway...enough for now. We should get home by 2:30 or 3:00 tomorrow at the latest. Home to the cats and the sweltering apartment. The AC here has been wonderful. So, yes. Next entry (with photos, most likely), tomorrow evening.

On Unfamiliar Keyboards,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
Overcast and chilly again here in Providence. 56F, and we might see 68F.

Spooky's birthday is June 24th, and anyone out there who wants to send her a pleasantry is directed to her Amazon wishlist. I would be grateful for any little kindness sent her way. Also, don't forget the Big Damn eBay Auction, now in progress. Note that the auction for the Black Ships Ate the Sky study ends this evening.

Normally, I do not plot a novel. Not in any conventional sense. I might think a little ahead. But I don't usually sit down and map it out. I prefer to allow a novel to unfold in what I think of as a more organic process. Though it may sound precious, I think of this as allowing the novel (or short story) to unfold "on its own." I don't mean that literally, of course, as the only will a story may possess is the will of the author. It's a game I play with myself, all about cause and effect, all about putting any given character in situation after situation and discovering how he or she will react. Anyway...yesterday was rather the opposite, as the nature of Blood Oranges demands that I work out an awful lot of the storyline in advance. It's working with many conventions of film noir (including so-called "Neo-noir") and Hitchcockian tropes such as "McGuffins" and the "wrong man." All the while, of course, deconstructing – or simply tearing apart and restoring – the mess that has been made of urban fantasy due to its having been co-opted by "romantic urban fantasy," "paranormal romance," PR, or whatever you want to call that printed offal. So, as was the case with "The Maltese Unicorn" this time last year, I'm having to do a lot more plotting than normal.

I spent about an hour and a half yesterday talking through everything to Spooky, setting forth whys and hows and elaborate switchbacks and feats of legerdemain...because, in part, these are things I needed to know before writing a riddle asked by a bridge troll. Oh, here's the riddle, by the way. Thought it might be fun to see if anyone can solve it. The riddle is a response to the question, "Is there any way to control lycanthropy?"

A child of woman newly forged,
The pump what drives the rosies.
Round about, round about,
So Bloody Breast flies home again.
Soldiers come in single file,
Aphrodite’s child tills loam.


Good luck. At any rate, in part the problems were solved. Enough that I could proceed. I wrote 1,043 words on Chapter Three yesterday. I've got to get that daily word count up higher again.

[livejournal.com profile] readingthedark arrived about 6:30 p.m. or so. He brought me a truly marvelous belated birthday gift, a copy of House of Leaves (full-color, remastered edition), personalized to me by Danielewski. We talked a bit, then got calzones for dinner, then talked much more...including a good deal more Blood Oranges plotting, solving a problem I'd been unable to solve earlier in the day. So many crosses and double crosses, hidden agendas, unseen perils, and misdirection. That is, among the novels character's, not between me and potential readers. Later, I wanted him to see Malcolm Venville's 44-Inch Chest (2009), so we watched. He left about 3:15 ayem, I think. I'd already taken my evening meds, and was a little loopy by that time. I know that I'd begun to making bold and sweeping declarations, like "There are no literary conventions!"

And that was yesterday. Oh, except I read "Selenemys lusitanica, gen. et sp. nov., a new pleurosternid turtle (Testudines; Paracryptodira) from the Upper Jurassic of Portugal" in JVP.

Many odd and unwelcome dreams last night, this morning. Most of them I've let slip away, glad to see them go. Only the substance of one remains. By broad daylight, I enter a rather unremarkable building. It looks rather like an Eisenhower-Era bank or federal building. But once inside, I am greeted by a cool darkness through which prowls all manner of jungle beasts – specifically, I recall tigers and pythons – stalking before a painted rainforest backdrop. I turn to the left and follow a grassy ramp up to the second floor of the building, where I'm greeted with a long counter, along which bank tellers are spaced at regular intervals. I speak to one, and she takes out an enormous ledger (no computers are in evidence). She's trying to record my name with a fountain pen, but keeps having to start over because she's having trouble hearing me. Because I'm hardly speaking above a whisper. And then, finally, someone – a manager, I don't know – comes over and explains to her who I am. She records my name, and I'm given a small brass key. And there was more afterwards, but it's been forgotten.

Okay. Time to make the doughnuts.

From the Forests of the Night,
Aunt Beast

Almost forget. Here are three somewhat random photos taken back on the 6th, while I was making line edits to Two Worlds and In Between. Hubero was helping (we may eventually auction the ARC in the photos, by the way):

6 June 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
The subject line above sort of squiggled out of my brainmeats just now. It's something left unexpressed in my all night conversation with [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark, which ended only as the sun was rising. I do hate sunrise, which is odd, because I didn't used to hate sunrise. There was a time I loved the sight, and it meant nothing more than that the sun was rising. I think it's come to mean, instead, a failure to find the nocturnal sleep of Good Christian Folk. But yes, Geoffrey visited last night. We ate calzones and talked. Mostly, we talked. About books and writing and publishing, drugs and sex and movies, cults and magick and whether or not the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn would turn me away (that's not the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, of course, not 1888 to 1908, but the New and Improved Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn). Towards the end, it all became a blur, but I assume he has returned safely to Framingham.

Gloomy out there. Gloomy and wet. Same as yesterday.

Yesterday.

I think the only work I actually accomplished was of the email variety. I think. Yeah, I'm pretty sure of that. My piercing appointment was at 5 p.m., and before then I went with Spooky, out into the drizzle, to the pharmacy (to get my new meds) and then the vet (to get Sméagol's meds). As for the piercing, that part went very, very well. If you're in the Providence area, and I strongly recommend RockStar Body Piercing. It's very probably the most positive experience I've ever had with piercing. My labret had closed, and had to be repierced, and both my ears were pierced again, because the lowermost holes weren't centered quite right for stretching. I've begun with six-gauge glass plugs, and within a year or so I should be up to the 5/8th of an inch plugs I'm aiming for (about the width of a nickel). It's nice having the labret back. It's my original 1995 labret, not the one I wore for a while later on, beginning on March 5, 2006. As soon as Jef was done with my lip, he asked, "How does it feel?" And I replied, "Nostalgic."

Afterwards, Spooky got some new shoes, and I tried on a pair of boots that I love, but can't possibly presently afford. Spooky says of her new shoes, "I like my new shoes. And they have hot pink on them. Which is a masculine color."

She's such a fucking butch.

The editor for whom I'm writing "Fake Plastic Trees" loves the Story Thus Far, so I have to get back to work on that immediately. I need to speak with my agent this evening, because I seem to have a plan. Which is sort of new for me.

Cold Spring is reluctantly giving way to Spring. Many of the trees are showing a spray of green, and flowers are opening. I heave a twice hourly sigh of relief.

This morning, I slept seven hours, and it was some of the best sleep I've had in weeks. Not perfect. There were the nightmares, and they were bad. But, still, better sleep.

This entry's sort of a muddle, kittens. Yesterday was actually a pretty decent day, as my days go. You'd think I could have made a better entry of it. Alas.

Freshly Perforated,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (redeye)
Sunny out, and we're hoping for a windy 53˚F for a high. Yesterday, walking about Boston, clumps of snow hiding here and there, it was hard to imagine spring's anywhere nearby. I look at the weather forecast for Atlanta, and see the highs are up around 80˚F, and I think shit, I want to be there, but then I remember...

Yesterday was really very, very wonderful. Spooky and I took forever to get out of the house. It was pretty much noon by the time we were on the road, so it was a little before two when we reached the Harvard Museum of Natural History (née Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology). Spooky waited downstairs for [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy and company. I sat upstairs in the Romer gallery, with all the fossil dinosaurs, fish, and reptiles, trying to stay calm. As soon as the photographers arrived, which wasn't long, we went to the Great Mammal Hall and got to work. It went very well. Kyle was great, and I very quickly loosened up. I think he took about five hundred photos. No, really. Anyway, I'll post a few once Kyle sends them my way. I'm dreading the task of choosing the photograph from all those. [livejournal.com profile] sovay arrived at the Museum while we were shooting, and [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark would have, but there was apparently catastrophic car trouble. But yes, the day was a great success, and I'm very grateful to Kyle, Anna, and David for all their hard work yesterday. All I had to do was wear a top hat and make funny faces. In between clicky photo barrages, I tried to entertain the photographers with impromptu mini-lectures on this or that aspect of Natural History.

I think the most amusing part was watching and listening to all the people in the Museum (it was unusually crowded) trying to figure out who I was. The general consensus seemed to be that I was some manner of rock star. Which just keeps being funny.

I'll post a few shots here tomorrow.

Oh, and Spooky photographed a raven and other beasties as reference for Tale of the Ravens.

We made it back home by seven p.m., and I was utterly, utterly, exhausted. Oh! I forgot to mention that I hardly slept night before last, so I headed off to Boston on nothing like enough sleep. Okay, well, yeah. That happened, which is why I was so tired by the time we got back to Providence again. I wasn't up to anything more strenuous than lying in bed and watching television. There wasn't a new episode of Fringe, so we watched random episodes of The X-Files, then switched over to re-watching Season One of Californication (which is sort of like switching from Coca-Cola to tequila).

---

I'm beginning to wonder if I'm the last living Martian.

---

Sirenia Digest #64 should be out by the fifth of the month, which is Tuesday. I'm waiting on Vince's illustration for "Random Notes Before a Fatal Crash," and I still need to write the prolegomenon. I like this new story a lot, if it is a story, in the strictest sense (it's so much easier to write sensu stricto...). It came to almost 10,000 words in length, so subscribers are getting a big issue this month (and why aren't you a subscriber?). #64 will also reprint – for the first time, anywhere – "Rat's Star," a novella fragment which has previously appeared only in the limited edition of From Weird and Distant Shores.

In some ways, "Random Notes Before a Fatal Crash" is a story that I set out to write a couple of years ago, which I stopped and started several times. No, that's not entirely true. "Random Notes Before a Fatal Crash" is actually what happened instead of that story, after the theft of that story's title by another author (sounds snarky, but, still, it's true).

Okay. Days not getting any younger, and neither am I. Platypus says jump.
greygirlbeast: (white)
Cold out there. Cold and sunny. I think spring's decided to skip this year.

Here I sit, with my sour stomach and shakey hands and ringing ears, and the day ahead of me. And there's really not a lot to say about yesterday.

I spent the entire day looking for a story for Sirenia Digest #64, and I think I found something called "Random Thoughts Before a Fatal Crash." Today I have to begin making a story from the idea, stone and mortar and what have you.

It could be an awfully prophetic title. I didn't see that yesterday.

I think I might have drawn the cover for the Crimson Alphabet chapbook yesterday.

---

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. In 1998, I wrote about the fire in The Dreaming #28, "Dreams the Burning Dream." This afternoon, 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. I'm a little disheartened that there's no official observance being held in Rhode Island, despite its history of textile mills, etc.

But it's not as if the dead hear bells the living ring. It's not as if the dead hear anything at all.

---

Huge thanks to Geoffrey who seems to have secured permission for me to quote Radiohead's "There, There (The Bony King of Nowhere)" in The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. I'm still waiting to hear from R.E.M.'s management.*

---

Some unexpectedly good rp in SL last night. I really don't do SL anymore. And, for that matter, I think SL all but destroyed any desire I ever had to rp anywhere. You can only be fucked over so many times before you simply cease to care. Anyway, thank you Blair, because last night was awesome.

---

Thanks to all the people who donated to the the Kickstarter project yesterday. We have 12 hours to go, and the project is 207% funded. I'm amazed. I was worried we wouldn't meet our goal, much less meet it more than twice over.

Gonna go write now.

* Actually, I just did.
greygirlbeast: (newest chi)
Hubero was entirely unimpressed, just now, when I told him I was away to a hard day at the Office, and to have an extra-dry martini waiting for me when I got home.

Great comments yesterday. Thank you. If you want to keep it up, I won't mind.

Grey and drizzly out there, and, in here, yeah, I'm still exhausted. But I may have turned a corner. I no longer feel quite so much as though something is riding about on my shoulders. I think, last night, it crawled off me and slithered down a drain. We'll be symbiotes again at some later time. For now, I'm not so heavy.

It helps that today is the last day I'm allowing myself to edit the manuscript for Two Worlds and In Between, that tonight it ALL goes away to Bill at subpress. And since Bill has previewed the cover, here's two versions of the entire wondrous cover (behind the cut). We're still a ways from actual layout, of course. But, gods do I love this painting. Thank you, Lee! Oh, I almost forgot. Lee and I will be selling very limited-edition, signed prints of the cover; more on this later:

Changesonekiernan )


All day yesterday was spent editing the collection, right up to the time that Geoffrey ([livejournal.com profile] readingthedark) arrived. It was good to have company again, so soon after Sonya. There must be more people in my life. How's that for a fucking heresy? We got Lebanese takeout and sat up much too late, talking about magick, books, writers, movies, childhood, drugs, tattoos, gaming, and...tons of other stuff. We watched Antti-Jussi Annila's brilliant Sauna (2008) again, because Spooky had not yet sent it back to Netflix, and I knew how much Geoffrey would love it. I caught so much on the second viewing I missed the first time. It's a film that would hold up under many viewings.

Geoffrey is one of the few people on earth who already has a complete copy of The Drowning Girl, but he hasn't yet had time to read it. Only thirteen people have copies, at this point.

Meanwhile...

There are only THREE days remaining in "Tale of the Ravens" Kickstarter project. One of the last two $500 spots was claimed this morning, and we're still hoping the last one will be, too. The greater the margin by which we exceed our goal, the firmer footing Goat Girl Press will set out upon. Spooky and I are already thinking about projects we'll do after "Tale of the Ravens." And look at all the cool stuff that comes with the $500 donation. So, yes. Donate!

And now, kittens, I go down to slay this rough, unruly Other Beast, who is also me. Or, perhaps, merely to fuck it into submission.

A Skosh Less Weighted,
Aunt Beast

P.S. – STILL NOT A HORROR WRITER.
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
The postman just brought me two copies of Weird Tales #357, which includes [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark's (Geoffrey H. Goodwin) interview with me. And...wow, this is just sort of cool. In February 1928, "The Call of Cthulhu" appeared in Weird Tales— and, for me, the magazine will always be Lovecraft's —and now here's me, eighty-three years later. The interview looks great. The coolest thing about it, they used the alternate cover for The Red Tree created by [livejournal.com profile] scarletboi (Christopher Lee Simmons). So, that just ladled a fat dollop of extra cool on top of the already cool. Anyway, it's the Spring 2011 issue, and if it's not out now, it soon will be. Oh, and the cover is one of Lee Moyer's exquisite paintings. Oh oh, and there's a very nice little review of The Ammonite Violin & Others, too. I should always have something this cool before breakfast.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,824 words on the ninth chapter of The Drowning Girl. This morning, I was speaking with my editor, and she doesn't want the book running any longer than 115,000 words at the most, so I find myself very, very near THE END. I have maybe two weeks of writing left until THE END, and maybe less. Which leaves me with mixed feelings. This has been, by far, the most difficult novel I've ever written, and it will be a bittersweet relief to see it done. But, on the other hand, I have fallen so deeply in love with Imp that setting her behind me and moving on to other stories will be very strange.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, if you've not already. Also, I've a favor to ask. Lately, I feel like I'm constantly asking favors of my readers, and the favors are almost always favors involving money. This I find distasteful in the extreme. But. It's been a longtime between checks again, and I have a doctor's appointment on Friday that's sort of hit us out of nowhere. And I've not yet paid my dues to the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology for 2011. As of March 1, I'll be facing a steep late fee on top of the $130 annual dues. I was nominated into SVP in 1984 and have been a member for twenty-seven years. So, there's a PayPal button below, and if you can donate a few bucks, I will be extremely grateful.

After the writing, Spooky and I proofed "La Peau Verte" for Two Worlds and In Between. And them, last night, I had a long nap before dinner. Writing at this pace, and coughing, I find naps unavoidable. Then, after dinner, we watched the new episodes of Fringe and Spartacus, and both were excellent. And then I played WoW and finished all the Thousand Needles quests and started in on the Un'Goro Crater ones. I hate Un'Goro Crater. And then we read more of [livejournal.com profile] blackholly's The White Cat. And then, finally, I slept.

Spooky has just inspired me to write a song titled "Heroin Slug," about a huge banana slug who lives in Portland, Oregon with a bunch of junkies. It will be very William S. Burroughs. I wonder if Weird Tales would publish it? Or maybe I know a musician who might set it to music and record it....

Comment!
greygirlbeast: (Default)
The snow is piling up again. But it's only cold, not bitterly cold.

Spooky and I have are both amazed and very, very pleased to see that pledges to The Tale of the Ravens Project have, in less than 24 hours, amounted to 51% of our goal. We are extremely grateful. Whatever doubts I may have harbored about using Kickstarter to fund those projects that can find funding nowhere else are being set aside. You guys rock. There are, though, a couple of questions that have come up, which I'll quickly address:

1. When you make a pledge to the project, it's just that— a pledge. Your card will not actually be charged the amount that you've pledged until (or soon after) March 26th, when the Kickstarter drive ends.

2. Someone asked how much we'll be charging for the finished folio/book. Quick answer: We're guessing that no more than 50 copies of the folio/book will be printed, about half of which may end up going to backers at the $150 and $500 support levels (29 copies, maximum/10 are currently spoken for). The remaining copies would likely run about $150 dollars each, considering production costs and time required to make them. Prints will also be sold, and an as yet undetermined number of copies the text-only chapbook will be available.

3. We cannot reserve copies. The only way to be sure you'll receive a copy of the finished folio is to pledge at the $150 or $500 dollar level.

4. You must create an account with Kickstarter to pledge, but that's very, very quick and easy.

Just click here to pledge. Also, here's a link to the Kickstarter FAQ. Again, thanks to everyone who has pledged so far! And yes, we are now calling ourselves Goat Girl Press.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,460 words on Chapter 5 of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. I'm likely within four days of finishing the chapter. However, today I may set it aside to work on Sirenia Digest #62, then come back to the novel on Thursday.

[livejournal.com profile] readingthedark braved the nasty weather and slick roads last night, and so visited with us after all. We got take out from the Palestinian place. I had a really good, very spicy beef shawarma. And we talked, and talked, and talked. I read him the most-recent seventeen pages of the novel, and was relieved that he liked them. He headed back to Framingham about 4 a.m. CaST.

Oh, also, I got on Spooky's laptop long enough to create an elf in LoTRO. Don't know if I'll ever actually get to play her, but it was still cool. Mithrien of Lorien. Now, time to brush my teeth, watch the snow fall, have some hot cocoa with Kraken spiced rum, and get to work.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
It's easier if I quote my blog entry from Solstice '08:

And now it is Solstice, and the days will grow longer. And that is a great relief. The rebirth of the "Great God," if only metaphorically. Though, truthfully, a metaphorical Cernunnos or Pan is as useful to me as would be one whose reality were less subjective. Here it is truth that applies, not fact. The wheel turns, and the Horned God wakes again. The long night of winter will end soon enough. A happy and/or blessed Solstice/Yule/Midwinter to all those who wish to be wished such.

And, of course, today is Cephalopodmas. Be grateful for the tentacles in you life.

[livejournal.com profile] readingthedark just awoke, so I'll make this short.

Yesterday we saw Aronofsky's Black Swan, a glorious examination of repression, freeing oneself from repression at all costs, and the drive for perfection in one's art. Possibly my favorite film of the year. See it. Now.

Two Worlds and in Between: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan (Volume One) preorders contine to go extremely well. More than half the print run for the limited edition has sold out in two days. Subterranean Press has decided to increase the limited from 400 copies to 500 copies, given the demand. And the limited's still on sale for $40 (regular $60).

Later!
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I would have announced yesterday that Subterranean Press has begun taking preorders for Two Worlds and Between: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan (Volume One), but I didn't know until late yesterday afternoon. So, I'm announcing it now. Bill tells me orders went very well yesterday, and that almost half of the limiteds have already sold (!!!!), so you might want to— as the hucksters say —act now. I am very pleased with the news that it's selling well.

Also, subpress is currently offering the book for a discounted sale price of $40 for the limited (regular price, $60), and $30 for the trade (regular price $38). Not sure how long the sale will last.

I spent all of yesterday working on editing the book, as it happens.

Making this quick and dirty, as we're going to a matinée of Aronofsky's Black Swan, and tonight [livejournal.com profile] sovay and [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark are coming down for a read-through of the first three chapters of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. So, later kiddos.

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greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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