greygirlbeast: (Default)
Yesterday was a lot like today, if you only kept your eyes on the sky. Grey.

There's something grim hanging over me this early afternoon. It's familiar, but nothing that's been keeping me company lately. Maybe it's only because tomorrow is Cephalopodmas and Solstice. I need to go to the sea and make an appropriate offering. The weather is so cold and shitty, but I never used to let that stop me before. We're making octopus- and jellyfish-shaped sugar cookies, and I'll make a simple beef stew, beginning with a roux that includes a good stout. Probably not Guinness, though that's what I usually use. Maybe I'll make a huge breakfast on Friday morning. None of this is helping me lose weight.

Yesterday, I painted again. It would be soothing, I suppose. A soothing diversion, were my painting not, by necessity, such a violent act. Then again, maybe I find the violence soothing. Oh, and I have a postcard from Scotland in an antique Salmgundi Whitman's chocolates tin; that is, I just put the postcard in there so I wouldn't lose it. My office is an utter cacophony of paper and manuscript boxes, and it's easy to lose things.

Between now and mid-February, I desperately need a web monkey who'll work for all but free. I can offer inscribed, autographed books as remuneration. Mostly, I need the front page of my website converted from something that features The Red Tree to something that features The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, including the "teaser" trailer, which will later be replaced by the full two-minute version. The pages for The Red Tree would be placed elsewhere on the site. Easy stuff, yeah? But beyond my 1995 html skills. Hell, I'll even throw in a FREE one-year subscription to Sirenia Digest. If you want the job, say so here, in a comment, or email me a greygirlbeast(at)gmail(dot)com. I'm sort of desperate. My publisher is useless on this front.

There was an appointment with my psychiatrist yesterday evening after dark. The appointments are much less unnerving after dark, and she's a very pleasant woman whom I can talk to about almost anything. I'm always surprised at her forbearance.

I'm trying to listen to William Gibson's Neuromancer on audiobook, because it's been years since I read it. But the reader (remaining here nameless) has this annoying Southern accent, and he ends almost every sentence with an odd...how do I describe it? His voice dips and fades at the end of sentences, and, while he's good with Japanese and Russian accents, his attempts at reading female dialogue sounds like Monty Python drag. For dog's sake, just read the goddamn book, and stop trying to dramatize, even minimally. I'm very pleased I have so much control and say-so in the recording of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. I've already made it plain I want not one whit of dramatization. Just a good reader, who will sound like Imp and simply read.

I cannot help but sing Death Cab for Cutie's "Someday You Will Be Loved" as a serial-killer song, always singing "Someday you will be loved" as "Someday you will be mine." Either way, it's a pretty harsh song. A killer or a cad.

Far too much SW:otR last night*. Spooky got the game yesterday, so now we're playing together. I rolled my second Sith inquisitor, and gods, she's adorable. Adorable evil. Like a half Nebari girl-child in Japanese schoolgirl mode, though she's actually human. Yes, I'm playing a bloody human, and liking it. Her name is Varla. Spooky's playing a Zabrak Sith warrior named Aisimetra. I didn't get to bed until 4:30 ayem (you tell yourself it's a bloody vacation, so it's okay to be bad kids), and only slept 6.5 hours.

And now I ought go and do vacating sorts of things. Except, today is a day of errands, preparing for tomorrow and ol' St. Cthulhu.

I want to see The Adventures of Tintin, but it's in blasted, fucking 3D motherfucking EVERYWHERE here, unless you can make an 11 ayem show (noon CaST). Yeah, right. That's gonna happen. Pretty much the same situation with Hugo, and Scorcese ought know better. When the hell is Hollywood going to accept that ticket sales on 3D movies have plummeted to about 20% of box-office revenue, mostly because of the more expensive tickets, and they're only throwing bad money after good (and destroying cinematography in the process)?

In the anti-holiday spirit,
Aunt Beast

* Oh, and no Xmas shit in SW:otR! Clearly, the Baby Jesus never reached either the Republic or the Empire. Woot!
greygirlbeast: (river3)
Don't forget, kittens, today is Krampus Day. Behave accordingly.

Bodies, can't you see what everybody wants from you?
If you could want that, too, then you'll be happy.
~ St. Vincent, "Cruel"

Yesterday, I wrote 1,241 words and so began "Another Tale of Two Cities" for Sirenia Digest. I'm hoping very much that it will be finished on the evening of the 7th, at the latest. It might be called science fiction, but I'd rather just call it weird erotica. And speaking of the evening of the 7th, I'm very much hoping to see more replies to the Question @ Hand #5 by then.

Last week, I stopped myself from buying an iPhone, though I seem to need one. In part, I stopped myself out of fear of another wave of "buyer's remorse," such as experienced recently, immediately after purchasing Kermit the iPad. Which I seemed to need for work. Since that purchase, by the way, I have found about fifty wonderful uses for Kermit the iPad...but not a single one of them has been work related*. Sure, endless mobile Japanese porn – no denying that rocks – but not exactly what my editors mean when they speak of "increased connectivity." In the Elder Days, by the way, we just said "easier to contact." Anyway, I didn't buy the iPhone, because (even though my cellphone is a pile of bantha dung), near as I can tell the iPhone and the iPad do exactly the same thing. Only, the iPhone has a vastly smaller screen and keys (and the virtual keys on my iPad are already too small for my admittedly large fingers), and I'll be damned if I can figure out a single useful thing the iPhone does that Kermit the iPad doesn't already do. Well, except make phone calls. And I hate making, and receiving, phone calls. Besides, technically, the iPad does permit video calls, all Jetson-like, using either FaceTime or Skype. Of course, the thought of a video call terrifies me beyond words. It's bad enough that callers can hear me. Let them see me, too? Anyway, point is, other than the fact that the iPhone is much smaller, and therefore even more mobile...why bother? And, by the way, you know, I hope, that all this increased connectivity nonsense, it's nothing but a) a means for the CIA, NSA, BTFA, DHS, and aliens from Planet X to keep track of you, and b) is being sold to us so that we never have a moment free of the grinding machine of capitalism (yes, excessive socialization aids and abets the agenda of the New World Order).

Damn, that's a long paragraph.

Probably, I ought to stop now. Only, I'll first point out that – following this thread – ebooks do the same thing as books, only not as well, and the ones you buy today will PROBABLY be inaccessible in a few years, and you can't donate them to libraries, or leave them to anyone. Meanwhile, my hard copies might well be accessible five hundred years from now, and can be bequeathed to loved ones. However, "we" are increasingly a selfish and short-sighted species (this makes my life easier = this is good), now more than ever before, so none of this is relevant. But I'm beating a dead horse. Whack, whack, whack.

Staring at Kermit,
Aunt Beast

* Spooky says this is not true, as all of Blood Oranges was proofed on the iPad. I will qualify, and say that actually she only used it to read along while I read the hard-copy ms. aloud and made marks on it. Still, I suppose she has a point.
greygirlbeast: (wray)
1) Snow again this morning, but it's relatively light. A couple of inches at most. Likely, it will be gone in a day or two. Yes, I am sick of this particular winter.

2) Yesterday, I wrote 1,330 words and found the end of the eighth chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. The manuscript now stands at 386 pages, 87,145 words. And from here I can see how the ninth and tenth chapters and the epilogue unfold. I may have the novel "finished" in only two more weeks. Which is sort of strange to realize.

3) The current Ebay auctions continue. Please have a look. Bid if you are able. Thanks.

4) If you're into MMORPGs and want to play a strong female character, especially a strong female character of color, you no longer have to settle for the racist parodies in WoW. The Kalari and Bahmi women in Rift are amazing, especially the latter. And they're, you know, like actual people. Female characters with dignity and grace and ferocious beauty, instead of, say, Rastafarian caricatures and She-Hulk lampoons. Also, back in WoW, I'm still slogging through my bid for "Loremaster," but beginning to doubt whether or not my will is equal to the task. Last night, I finished with Feralas, which wasn't easy, because there almost weren't enough Horde-side quests. Then I moved along to Thousand Needles, flooded post-Cataclysm and...well...it's just sort of stupid. I found the second worst WoW quest ever— "Pirate Accuracy Increasing." The only worse one I've encountered is that idiotic Joust homage in Mount Hyjal. Anyway...enough nerdy game nonsense.

5) Several comments on my cough yesterday, and some were of the "it might be this" variety, so I'm going to be a little more forthcoming on this than I'd planned. In truth, it's most likely chronic simple silicosis, caused by several years of heavy exposure to chalk and marl dust (which is largely silica particles) in the early years of my paleontology work. I was employed by a small museum in Birmingham (Red Mountain Museum, now defunct), and nobody had a clue about proper safety precautions. I didn't learn this until I went to work for the museum at the University of Colorado, where wearing a respirator during dusty prep work was mandatory. I have all the symptoms, and the cause is there, and a doctor has told me this is likely the problem. But I've never gone through tests for an official diagnosis. My grandfather, who was a brick mason, suffered from a far more severe case of the same disease. Anyway, colds and the flu trigger these bouts of coughing, which is one reason I go to such extremes to stay well.

6) I've promised an in-progress preview of the cover that Lee Moyer is painting for Two Worlds and In Between, and here it is (along with some extras):

Changesonekiernan )


Postscript (1:44 p.m.): My agent and editor both have President's Day off. When did that become a holiday that people use as an excuse to stay home from work? A shame I haven't that option.
greygirlbeast: (newest chi)
Slept halfway decently last night, but, still, I'm not awake this early, early afternoon (it's only just eight past noon for those of us on CaST). And the bitter cold lingers, 30F (feels like 21F), and likely will...maybe until spring, which comes in late June. I'm wearing too many clothes, which is never pleasant.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,875 words on Chapter Three of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. It was all ravens, Scottish witches, and pretend sea monsters. [livejournal.com profile] michael_b_lee commented to yesterday's post, as regards the interauthor, first person as artifact, and The Drowning Girl: A Memoir:

In this particular case, I think trying to explain how the artifact came to the attention of the reader would actually work at cross-purposes to what you're trying to achieve. Nothing should be explicated. The reader should at no times be certain of her footing.

And I agree, which is why, in this instance, the reader won't learn how it's possible they've gained access to the artifact.

Comments have fallen off again. I assume this has more to do with "the holidays" than it does with the ever-dwindling pool of LJ devotées.

But, yes, the cold weather. I mentioned that part already. After the writing, we had the last sad dregs of the "Five Legged Stew," and watched the first episode of Twin Peaks (1990). That is, the first one after the pilot. It is a strange fact that I have somehow never seen the series, but I'm remedying that now. Fish coffee and the log lady. And lots of bad 80s hair. There was WoW. Oddly, Spooky and I have not yet begun leveling our main toons, Shaharrazad and Suraa, to 85. On the one hand, we've been distracted by new races and new lower-level quests and whatnot. On the other, we've both been working towards the title "Seeker," which comes with having completed 3,000 quests. Spooky got it a couple of nights back, and I likely will tonight. There wasn't any IS rp last night, because I just wasn't up to it emotionally. Playing a pregnant fugitive AI in a flesh-and-bone body ain't as easy as it sounds, you know. Especially not when her human girlfriend has just gone back to work for the Benignly Evil Megacorp and the pregnant AI is beginning to suspect she has developed gestational diabetes. So, Twin Peaks, WoW, and then more Angela Carter before bed. Also more Susanna Clarke yesterday, but no China Miéville. Gotta catch up on him today.

It's that time of year when everyone decides I don't actually need to be paid until sometime after the New Year, bills or no bills. Which I suppose is the true meaning of Xmas.

There are contracts (short-story reprints) that I need to get into the mail today.

Just thinking, truly a shame that jealousy, sorrow, regret, and the need for vengeance do not necessarily have expiration dates. But, then again, if they did what would possibly serve as adequate motivation to keep me writing? I blame Elvis Costello for my having said that last part aloud.
greygirlbeast: (Kraken)
Yesterday, I wrote only 654 words, but appear to have unexpectedly found THE END of "Sanderlings." It's very odd when that happens. But then, it's a very odd story. It's just under 5,000 words long. I'd thought it would be for Sirenia Digest #48, but now I'm thinking I may send it along the Bill Schafer at subpress for the chapbook that will accompany the numbered state of The Ammonite Violin & Others. Which means I'll need write something else for SD #48, over the next week.

This whole Thanksgiving thing came up yesterday. That is, the fact that I do not observe this whole Thanksgiving thing. And various people (including my mother) were like, oh come on, you have a lot of things to be thankful for. To which I can only reply that, in this instance, thankfulness implies that there is someone or something out there to thank. I would say that yes, sure, I am appreciative of many things in my life— Spooky, my mom, Spooky's mom and dad, Rhode Island, being able to mostly pay my bills, the sea, and so forth. But being appreciative does not entail being thankful, in the sense that is generally meant when people speak of Thanksgiving. I am not thankful, not in the Thanksgiving sense, which implies gratitude towards some "higher power," even when you've completely stripped the holiday of its Christian roots and made it just "Turkey Day." I can appreciate turkey any day. I don't need a special day to eat turkey, or cranberries, or that disgusting stuff made of sweet potatoes with melted marshmallows on top. And there's no one for me to "give thanks," other than myself, and Spooky, and my readers, and maybe half a dozen other people. So, I'm not trying to be a wet blanket. I just don't do Thanksgiving. I try to make sure the people in my life to whom I am grateful for this or that know that I am grateful for their kindness and concern. I don't need to set aside a special day for it. To some, it may seem like I'm worrying over semantics and only mincing words. But that's what I do. All day, almost every day. I mince words, in an effort to get to what I genuinely mean. Usually, I choose my words with obsessive care.

I'm not appreciative of the doctor's appointment that's going to eat up all of tomorrow, and expose me to fuck knows what germs.

And now, here's the last set of photos from our trip to Green Hill last Wednesday:

18 November 2009, Part 5 )
greygirlbeast: (new chi)
Yesterday, we finally finished proofing Threshold. Errors have been corrected. It goes back in the mail to NYC tomorrow.

Today, I was supposed go to Birmingham, to my mother's, for the whole silly Thanksgiving thing. Actually, we'd planned to go yesterday evening and come back tomorrow. But I've yet to shake the glumness that settled over me after Daughter of Hounds, and I told my mother that I was still entirely too unpleasant to be around. She agreed that I sounded very glum. So, we stayed in Atlanta. These days, I'm actually fairly indifferent about Thanksgiving. Another Xtian holiday I no longer have any use for. But I am amused at how Thanksgiving resists marketing, largely frustrating the efforts of those who might make more of a consumer blitz of it. I mean, yeah, the grocery stores and turkey farmers and the like, they do okay off Thanksgiving, but it lacks the balls-to-the-wall marketability oomph afforded by Halloween, Xmas, and, to somewhat lesser degrees, Easter and Valentine's Day. I am fixing Spooky a nice, turkeyless dinner tonight, because I'm not a total asshole, but, for my part, Thanksgiving just makes me wish the "Indians" had been a little less friendly.

Oh, and I've been listening to lots and lots of Jethro Tull, because Jethro Tull has become something I listen to in the winter to combat the handful of nasty little Xmas gremlins that always manage to slip through the cracks in my tin-foil hat. "Aqualung" and "Skating Away on the Thin Ice of a New Day" can be counted on to kick Xmas gremlin butt every time. Even the numerous Xmas songs Jethro Tull has recorded kick Xmas gremlin butt.

I thought I might have more to say. Maybe later in the day. Maybe not. We shall see.

And as you cross the circle line, well, the ice-wall creaks behind — you're a rabbit on the run.
And silver splinters fly in the corner of your eye — shining in the setting sun.
Well, do you ever get the feeling that the story's too damn real and in the present tense?
Or that everybody's on the stage, and it seems like you're the only person sitting in the audience?
(Jethro frelling Tull)

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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