greygirlbeast: (walter3)
Back in September, thereabouts, there was a day when I finally sat down with Kathryn, and we talked, and I made the decision that I would never write a another novel. We worked out a remotely feasible way to bring in enough money with me only doing short fiction, novellas, and Sirenia Digest. It was a for-sure thing. There was a profound sense of relief, and it lasted maybe a month. I can only imagine it was like fighting in a war for fifteen years, and suddenly finding out there had been a truce. Not victory, but at least a truce.

Then, on November 1st, I sat down and began writing The Drowning Girl. On November 2nd, I wrote in the blog, "Yesterday, I wrote an impressive 1,664 words on Chapter One of The Drowning Girl. This is the first time I've had the nerve to go back to work on the novel since August 4th. I scrapped everything I wrote this summer and started over again. But, I think I have finally found the voice of this novel."

And, then, yesterday, after only a little more than four months, I finished the book, the one that originally occurred to me way back in August 2009, on a hot, sunny day at the Peace Dale Public Library, and that tried very, very hard not ever to be written. There might still be a weird sort of an epilogue to do, and there might not. But the book is essentially written. Imp has told her ghost story, which is both a mermaid story and a werewolf story, but really is neither of those things. I cried twice yesterday, when it was done.

I'll do a quick polish and send it to my editor sometime between now and Monday, and it should be out next spring. And yes, this will be my last "adult" novel for a while. What I do, the way I write, regardless of how popular or unpopular what I write may be, it messes me up to do it. As I told Neil a week ago, I want to just spend a few years telling stories. A little less public self evisceration. Well, except for the digest, which will stay the same. The digest won't change. And the stuff I write for anthologies, that won't change, either. Mostly, the novels.

And it truly is the best novel I've ever written, by a long shot.

Huzzah.

---

A quick recap of the rest of yesterday: It was a muteday, which made everything extra strange, finishing the novel and still remaining silent. I received permission to use one set of song lyrics, wrote Radiohead's management about another set, and will be writing R.E.M. today. I signed a mountain of eBay books, which Spooky then took to the post office. I answered a bunch of email. Oh, and I finished a novel. I only wrote 765 words, because I didn't need to write any more than that to reach THE END. The entire ms. for The Drowning Girl presently stands at 101,493 words. After all is said and done, it might go to 103,500.

Later, I went with Spooky to Staples, and PetCo, and Eastside Market, because we were out of lots of stuff. I'd not left the house since February 26th, when we made the snowy trek to the Blackstone Gorge. So, it had been...nine days. The day was bright, and the late afternoon light on College Hill was beautiful. But it was bitterly cold out there.

Back home, after dinner, Spooky proofed "The Dead and the Moonstruck" for Two Worlds and In Between. I was too exhausted to do anything but play about half an hour of Rift before I got disconnected from the server and gave up. We watched Richard Laxton's An Englishman in New York (2009), which is such a fine and brilliant film, and John Hurt is amazing as Quentin Crisp. Then Spooky played Rift, and her Kelari cleric made Level 18, and then I played again, and my Kelari mage reached Level 19. It's weird, not being able to play together, and soloing is a bitch, worse than in WoW. And after the gaming, we read more of Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire

And that was yesterday.

There's still a terrifying mountain of work to get done in the next week or so, but I think we have some emergency relief on the way. Comments would be very welcome today.

Oh, photos from yesterday. It seems somehow proper to photograph my mutedays:

7 March 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (Eli2)
Last night, just before she fell asleep, Spooky said, "I want a hamster named Bilbo Baggins." And so I blame her for my inability to sleep last night. How is anyone supposed to have a restful night after hearing something like that, I ask you? Anyway, sometime around 3:30 a.m., I finally gave up and took half an Ambien, and about an hour later, I finally dozed off. I slept fitfully, got up at 10:30, and am not even a little bit awake at this moment.

But...

Yesterday, I wrote 1,093 words on "Teratophobia." It will be appearing in the next issue of Sirenia Digest, which happens to be #48.

Ellen Datlow ([livejournal.com profile] ellen_datlow) just emailed about a review of Lovecraft Unbound that's gone up at Green Man Review. My story gets a very generous nod:

So with the intriguing setup and impeccable contributor list, the only question remaining is whether the stories can bring it home. The answer is that in some cases, yes, and those that pull it off pull it off very well indeed. Caitlin R. Kiernan's "Houses Under the Sea" is magnificent, a superb evocation of the terrifying unknown peeking from under the surface of the waves that takes on a very human aspect.

Not such a bad way to begin a day, even when you're still asleep.

And I am baffled at people who stop updating their LJs and turn their blogs into a wastebasket of autoforwarded retweets. I'm seeing a lot of this, the last few months. Does anyone really think that a random series of 140-character comments is, in any way, comparable to an actual journal? Ah, well. Maybe those people were never cut out for journalizing in the first place (but I do miss what some of them had to say, back when they were still capable of posting complex, coherent thoughts).

And I should mention again that Subterranean Press is now taking pre-orders for The Ammonite Violin & Others, which will be released in June. Based on past experience, it may sell out before then, especially the leather-bound edition.

Anyway...the big news from yesterday is that Merrilee, my lit agent, is very pleased with the proposal for Blood Oranges (working title) and has forwarded it to my editor at Penguin. I'm hoping to be able to begin writing the book by December first.

Also, we have a copy of The Dry Salvages up on eBay.

And really, I'm far too groggy to say much else right now. Bilbo Baggins the Hamster, indeed.
greygirlbeast: (chi4)
Today the sky is blue again. So it will be a black umbrella day. The sky has no taste for umbrellas, or so I've been told. It didn't snow, of course. The meterologists knew better than Spooky's tingling Yankee intuitions, it would seem. Or they got lucky.

I was a good nixar and sat at the keyboard most of yesterday, hammering away at Secret Project B. That will be today, as well. Oh, I also wrote the prologue for Sirenia Digest #1 yesterday. I'm glad that I stressed the digest would go out on or about December 10th, because this month's going to be more about than on. Maybe Monday or Tuesday. Probably Tuesday at the latest. As soon as Vince is finished with the illustration for "Madonna Littoralis." So, like I said yesterday, there's still time to sign up and get Issue #1, which will include both "Madonna Littoralis" and "Untitled 13." Just click here.

Last night, we finished Gregory Maguire's Son of a Witch. In some ways, I think I liked it better than Wicked, but it's a very different sort of a novel, written in a somewhat different voice. It's been a long time since I've identified as strongly with a fictional character as I found myself identifying with Liir. That's neither here nor there as regards the quality of the novel, of course, but it took me a little by surprise. Anyway, I wasn't disappointed. I think Spooky and I are going to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone next. I just noticed that it's six minutes past noon (Caitlín Standard Time), so I need to wrap this up so that I can get my work done early enough that we can make the 4 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) matinee of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

As promised, I uploaded [livejournal.com profile] setsuled's pirate Nar'eth last night. Click here. I do so love this image, but it's kind of weird seeing pirate Nar'eth after dreaming pirate Nar'eth on October 28th and 29th. At any rate, in my distracted weariness, I uploaded it to my writerly website instead of to Nebari.net. I'll get around to moving it sometime this weekend. And speaking of caitlinrkiernan.com, I fear that it's woefully in need of a complete makeover, or at least a good thorough updating. I've already had a volunteer for a new web lemur. I just need to find the time to talk it all over with her.

Wanna see something cute? Spooky posted photos of Chiana Marshmallow Pipsqueak to her LJ yesterday. You will likely as not die of teh cute.

Okay. Gotta go. Have you checked out the latest eBay auctions? I've been told that my books make great Xmas presents, if you're into that sort of thing.
greygirlbeast: (riddick1)
Harlan Ellison has been chosen Grand Master for 2006 by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Congratulations, Unca Harlan!

Me? I went and got myself a frelling hamster. Not since third grade have I had any sort of a rodent for a pet. Back then, it was a baby flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans) I'd found in the woods. Now, it's a Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster (Phodopus sungoris sungoris), a native of eastern Kazakhastan and southwest Siberia, and, as I've said, a dead ringer for the Nebari lesser brubchins (a striking case of intersteller convergent evolution). Naturally, I have named her Chiana, and she is now snoozing in her hamster condo on the mantelpiece in my office. I shall post photos of her tomorrow.

We only made it through Chapter Twelve ("Trollholm") of Threshold yesterday, as there were more corrections than I'd thought there would be and many distractions to slow us down. But we'll surely finish it today, as only the last chapter and epilogue are left. I'd considered removing the epilogue entirely, as it doesn't quite jibe with what happens in Low Red Moon. I mean, if Chance had seen Dancy in the sanitarium, confirming the reality of her nightmares, I don't think she'd be the person that she is in Low Red Moon. But the more I ponder it all, I'm no longer certain that these two Chance Matthews inhabit the same time continuum. Indeed, there may be three Chances, at the very least (and more likely, there's an in infinity of her): the one who goes into the water works tunnel, the one who doesn't, and the one in Low Red Moon. It gets somewhat complicated, but the complications solve many wrinkles.

Last night, I was reading over the contents of Sirenia Digest 0, thinking about all the time that went into this chapter, lamenting the fact that most of it will not appear in Daughter of Hounds. I am especially fond of the following paragraph:

One week and one day earlier, and Sadie Jasper sat in her editor’s office, in the chair in front of her editor’s desk in a small corner room in a very big building filled with small rooms and cubicles, corridors and elevators, a skyscraper honeycombed to produce what she was beginning to feel was an obsolete medium. It’s not that people had stopped reading books. People even read her books, but it was getting harder and harder to shake the impression that the Age of the Novel had passed, and all these authors and editors and publishers were merely going through the motions, waiting on some sort of pop-cultural pink slip that might or might not ever come. It could prove to be a prolonged death that would go largely unnoticed, as people were drawn ever deeper into the flicker of film, the thunder of rock and rap, the distraction of video games and the internet. Books had come to seem increasingly quaint to her, old-fashioned bundles of paper and ink, twine and cardboard and glue, certainly nothing that the Twenty-First Century could, ultimately, have much use for. Nothing it couldn’t replace with a plastic disc or a computer chip.

I think I spent a couple of hours on that paragraph. Anyway, here's an e-mail from Carol Murray in the UK:

However, I'm sad to say that Chapter 3 (I think it was 3, apologies if I'm getting mixed up here) of Daughter of Hounds was a mixed blessing. On one hand, it was truly excellent and it's made me really look forward to reading the whole thing. But what happened with the whole Dogtown thing?! I can see why you had to cut it out, and why that may have been a good thing, but I'm desperate to hear the rest of the story. I keep thinking about what the kids who were killed might have discovered, what the ghoul might do next, how Sadie might react when/if she finds out what the book has to say about it all. It's too exciting! If you don't find a way to finish it, I'll have to make the rest up in my head, which I know is all part of the joy of reading but my version will inevitably suck compared to whatever you would have come up with.

Strangely, I also find myself getting quite upset at the thought that Sadie will die in
Daughter of Hounds. It's strange because I find that I like the older Sadie much more than the younger one; I admired her bravery in Low Red Moon but I never really 'clicked' with her the way I have in this one chapter. I strongly suspect I won't be the only one begging you to make her an alternate reality so that she can write her book on Dogtown (Pleeeease!! Pleasepleaseplease...that was me begging you).

Anyway, can't wait for the next issue! Thanks!


You're welcome. As much as any writer can ever "plan ahead," I do plan on eventually writing the novel about Sadie and Dogtown, Rev. William Wellcome and Cultes des Goules. First, though, there will be at least one YA fantasy novel, which I'm currently calling Joey LeFay, and maybe a second YA novel, set in the hemispherical world I introduced in Murder of Angels.

Okay. Work to be done and all that. But if you haven't yet subscribed to Sirenia Digest, you should know that Wednesday is the second best day of the week to do so. Just click here. Issue 1 (December '05) will include two vignettes (one illustrated by Vince Locke) and probably a surprise or two.
greygirlbeast: (river1)
The post-novelizing depression thing hit me full-tilt boogie on Sunday, and I figured no one needed to hear me moan about the absence of fulfillment and the futility and all that dren, so I just decided to stay away from the journal until I was feeling better. Which I am. Mostly. So.

The last three days have been spent proofreading Threshold, more than anything else. We did chapters Six and Seven ("Touched" and "Uroboros") on Saturday, Eight and Nine ("At the Round Earth's Imagined Corners" and "The Other Word for Catchfly") on Sunday, and chapters Ten and Eleven yesterday ("Life Before Man" and "The Forked and Shining Path"). Today, we will likely finish up. I've been spending a lot of time trying not to think about how I'm not getting paid to do this, how this was an opportunity, a courtesy, etc. Just do the work. The work is all that matters. And, regarding Threshold, an e-mail from Robert Bertram:

haven't visited blog faithfully...blah, blah, blah....recently read several entrails about THRESHOLD...you were proofreading blaf, blah, blah...chapters 3&4...love of chapter 5...question:   is this for the-while-back rumor of a Subterranean press edition?

No. Though there may yet be a Subterranean Press edition, this revision is for the Roc mass-market paperback, which will be out sometime next year.

Also, Sirenia Digest (Issue 0) went out to 96 subscribers last night. Hopefully, everyone has receivied their copies and encountered no problems opening and reading them. I was very pleased with the final product. Issue 1 should be sent out on (or about) December 10th. And if you haven't subscribed, you should. Just click here. I'll be doing an interview about Sirenia Digest this week for the subpress newsletter.

I've never had a fondness for rodents, but last night Spooky and I dropped by the pet store to pick up some food for Sophie, and my eye happened to fall upon the Cutest Hamsters on Earth, the Winter White, which bear an uncanny resemblance to the lesser brubchins from the equatorial forests of Nebari Prime. There are photos behind the cut, for those what care:

Cutest Hamsters on Earth )


Never before have I wished to own a rodent, but perhaps there truly is a first time for everything...

Last night, weary of dying again and again and again and again while trying to escape the Gilman Hotel, I set Call of Cthulhu aside to try Shadow of the Colossus. And wow. Truly, this is the most gorgeous game I have ever played, the most genuinely cinematic. On the one hand, the premise is quite simple: a boy, his horse, his dead girlfriend, and a every battle is a boss. On the other hand, I've never before encountered such a fully realized virtual world. And the collosi, one of which I managed to defeat last night, are astounding. This is the first time I've ever encountered a game that managed to capture awe and use it to effect terror. It's quite an achievement. The gameplay is superb and the graphics are beautiful. This game will likely keep me busy for quite some time to come. Check it out.

Okay. Work awaits. I'd love to hear some feedback about the first issue of the digest...

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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