greygirlbeast: (Default)
Yes. I am on a Kate Bush kick.

It's a beautiful autumn-summer day out there, sunny and blue skies, the temperature at 70F. Nice. Have to get Outside today. Getting out of the house is mandatory on a day like this. I'm doing a good job, actually, of not keeping myself cooped up.

At 4 a.m., not sleeping (despite the meds), I was on Rift talking with a friend in Alaska, and he said it was midnight and the sun hadn't set. In Providence, the sky was just beginning to lighten. It was a marvelously surreal moment, especially considering I was doped and half asleep (but only half). By the way, I want to actually calculate the distance across the part of Telara we can see, the size of the landmass north to south and east to west. I don't think many people have paused to think how small it must be. At first, I estimated it might be the size of Rhode Island (37 miles x 48 miles long, 1,214 sq. mi.), but I'm beginning to think it may only be half that size or less. Spooky's worked out a way to get a firm estimate, which we will do this evening (because we are pathetic nerds). A fantasy MMORPG will be truly fucking amazing when it can offer a continent the size of, oh, say Australia.

Where was I?

Yesterday was as tedious as I'd expected. I didn't actually make any progress with the galleys for Two Worlds and In Between (and I'm not going to explain why, because it's a tedious explanation that's all about editing PDFs and Adobe software and me being a psuedo-Luddite). But things did get done. Vince sent me the initial pencils for his "Figurehead" illustration. I did some more tweaking on the ms. for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, and sent the Really and Truly Final Manuscript away to my editor. I spent about an hour on the immensely tedious and long guest questionnaire for Readercon 22. I read "Figurehead" and "Untitled 35" aloud to Kathryn, and we marked the pages red. I talked with [ profile] kylecassidy about what ravens who might be nuns would....

Sorry. Lost my train of thought. Spooky and I were talking about Houdini.

Last night, we did Kindernacht with hot dogs and Tom McGrath's Megamind (2010), which was really a lot of fun, but not as good as Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud's similar Despicable Me (also 2010). Of course, one is not supposed to talk about whether or not Kid Night movies are any good, so long as they're fun. We picked the DVD up at Acme Video, since it was an excuse to go Outside. Also, Acme Video gives away free atomic fireballs. After the movie, we did, of course, play Rift. Mostly it was rp for me, though there was also a major incursion upon White Fall and the Chancel of Labors by the minions of Crucia, and Selwyn and Miisya helped to repel the bad guys.

Yesterday, I read the title story of Johnathan Thomas' Tempting Providence (Hippocampus Press). To be sure, it's a weird tale, but it's also a poignant travelogue/walking tour devoted to a finer and simpler and far more interesting Providence than has survived to the present day. I also read "A new unintan horned brontothere from Wyoming and evolution of canine size and sexual dimorphism in the Brontotheriidae (Perissodactyla: Mammalia)" in JVP. Speaking of reading, kittens, tomorrow I'll be announcing the June selection for Aunt Beast's Book Club.


On this day in 2007, I wrote:

I have been worrying a lot lately about my writing. It started when I reread Silk and looked through Tales of Pain and Wonder for the first time in ages. Sure, I'm a much, much better writer now, but is what I'm writing inherently better than what I was writing then? More importantly, is it about something more than telling stories? Almost ten years after it's original publication, I see lots of flaws with Silk I couldn't see in 1996 or 1998, and parts of it make me groan, but it has something to say, something it says, and for that I will likely always love it. This is even more true of ToPaW. It's true of The Dreaming. But is the same true of Threshold? Low Red Moon? I think so. And I know it's true of Murder of Angels, but I'm not so sure about Daughter of Hounds, even though I also know it's my best-written novel to date. One may write well — one may write exquisitely, even — and have nothing at all to say. Writing "The Ape's Wife" last month, this all seemed suddenly very important to me again. I fear that in the rush to meet deadlines and write enough to keep all the bills paid, somewhere along the way, I may have forgotten that it is not enough to tell a good story, or even to create characters who ring true. These are necessary accomplishments, but they are surely not sufficient. Art requires more than mere craft, more even than talent. It requires meaning. Heading into The Dinosaurs of Mars and Joey Lafaye, these thoughts will be my Beatrice (so to speak). There's something I feel I might have drifted away from, and I, I need to get back to it again.

So, four years later, I can say I found an antidote for this anxiety and these worries, which was writing The Red Tree and The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, no matter how much the effort has exhausted me. Also, it should be noted that, in June 2007, I was still suffering from the trauma of having written that unmentionably shitty novelization for Robert Zemeckis' butchering of Beowulf (2007)*. That Mordorean death-march ordeal (fuck you, Roger Avery) left me unable to write long-form for the better part of a year, until I began The Red Tree in April 2008. By the way, I'm still waiting on The Dinosaurs of Mars to reveal itself to me, and have come to accept that Joey Lafaye will likely never happen. You may always think of Beowulf as the novelization that murdered Joey Lafaye. At least the Beowulf gig sort of paid well. And at least you didn't need 3-D glasses to read the book. Seamus Heaney, forgive me., today.

* And as bad as my novelization was, the movie was at least a hundred times more awful.
greygirlbeast: (Eli4)
I haven't much felt like making entries the last few days, and as I was on "vacation," I didn't.

But today it's back to work, and a small mountain of tedium awaits me. I only have to make a molehill of it all by the end of the day.

The time has come that I have to get very serious about beginning the next novel. I'd decided that it would be Joey LaFaye, and I thought, back in December, that it was a hard and fast decision. But now I'm thinking I'm still not ready. I think maybe I know, now, what Neil meant about not writing The Graveyard Book for so long, because he didn't feel as though he was yet a good enough writer to do it justice. I believe that's what has happened to me with Joey LaFaye. I want to write it. I've been attempting to write it for something like three years now. But I'm just not ready. Instead, I will write something else. I do not yet know precisely what, but it might involve the "yellow house" in Providence (see "So Runs the World Away," "The Dead and the Moonstruck," Low Red Moon, Daughter of Hounds, etc.), something concerning the New England vampire hysteria of the 19th Century. But I'm not yet certain. Mother and I are still collating.

Seven days off, and I might actually feel more exhausted than I did beforehand.

The most interesting thing I've done in the last seven days was Sunday's trip to Newport. I have it in my head that the story I need to begin tomorrow will be set there, and, also, I wanted to see the waterfront, which is always too clogged with sweaty, ill-dressed tourists in the summer to bother with. It was warmish and sunny when we left Providence, but by the time we crossed the bridge to Aquidneck Island and reached Newport, clouds had moved in and the day had turned chillier. We parked off Washington Street, then walked south along America's Cup Avenue and Thames Street. I was sorely disappointed, though I should have expected it. I recall having said before how much I want to see a fishing town that is still a fishing town, and not a self-parody, living off tourism. Gloucester is the closest I've gotten. Newport, though, feels like fucking Disney World. Everything is too bright, too stark, too friendly, too not-quite-real. And even in that nasty weather, there were tourists from Connecticut and New York (just not so many you couldn't walk along the sidewalks). But the harbour was nice, and the boats, and we found a wholesale lobster place that didn't mind us strolling about inside amongst the holding tanks and equipment. I think the lobster place was the only thing that actually almost felt real. When we'd finally had enough of tacky gift shops., we drove east to the Redwood Library and Athenaeum (ca. 1747), which is gorgeous. We may be heading back there tomorrow. It's the oldest lending library in America, and the oldest library building in continuous use anywhere in the US. Anyway, there are some photos behind the cut:

March 8, 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (chi2)
So, Anne (my editor) accepted my decision regarding the addition to The Red Tree that I'd decided wouldn't work. The one I wrote 1,211 words for on Monday, then had to dump in the novel's morgue. To quote Anne, "If it won’t work, it won’t." Which is pretty much my take on such situations.

Yesterday was ultimately more productive, though I actually wrote less. I did 817 words, adding another scene that Anne suggested in her editorial letter. But this one works without distorting those events that lie downstream from it. Today, more additions (which I always prefer to subtractions, or, worst of all, changes).

Spooky has begun a new round of eBay auctions. Bid if you are so disposed.

As soon as the edits to The Red Tree are done, and as soon as Sirenia Digest #39 is finished and sent out, it'll be time to get serious about writing the re-imagined Joey Lafaye for my next novel. That would be early March, I suppose.

My thanks to David Kirkpatrick for the package that reached me safely yesterday, bearing first-edition hb copies of Ray Bradbury's The Toynbee Convector, A Graveyard for Lunatics, They Have Not Seen the Stars: The Collected Poetry of Ray Bradbury, and The Cat's Pajamas. I had none of these, so it is a welcomed gift.

Last night, we watched Jon Favreau's Iron Man, which I liked quite a lot. I was especially impressed with Jeff Bridge's role as villain. I was in a mood for anti-heroes, fireballs, and giant robots, and was not disappointed. Afterwards, a little more WoW. We've gone back to questing in the Eastern Plaguelands, and are both about halfway to Level 61. And after that, I did a little more with the new Tarot deck, just before bed, mainly concentrating on the Major Arcana. And that was yesterday.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Ice and rain in the night, but only rain Outside now, in that slushy grey Purgatory of winter. Tiny icicles hanging from the power lines. Rain falling on week-old snow.

Spooky spoke with my dentist yesterday, and the Bad Tooth is coming out tomorrow at 1 p.m. (CaST). So, I'll likely be in bed a day or two afterwards. But the pain will be gone.

I've been trying to find a piece for Sirenia Digest located at the place where cannibalism and tooth pain intersect. A ritual cannibalism, but one in which the devoured is a willing participant. Indeed, in which he or she is venerated in the act of being devoured. But, I've already touched on this very subject in both "Beatification" (Sirenia Digest #27, February 2008) and "The Bed of Appetite" (Sirenia Digest #23, October 2007). Of course, I can list five or six stories wherein Angela Carter worked through the "Little Red Riding Hood" theme. Also, I'm considering the possibilities of "Hansel and Gretal," and it's relevance to cannibalism. I'm trying to distract myself from the pain in my mouth, and all the worries about work that isn't getting done, and from thoughts of the dentist, with thoughts of willing feasts and aching teeth.

Most of yesterday is not worth repeating.

I should be making corrections to The Red Tree and working on it's epilogue. I should be working. Instead, I'm losing time that I cannot afford to lose, to a tooth that should have been pulled a year ago. I should be doing reserach for Joey Lafaye. Anyway, we have a couple of auctions ending tomorrow, and if you've not had a look at them, please do. Thank you.
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 1)
Home again. Well, home again since 5 a.m. this morning (CaST).

And we forgot to take the camera, and I can't hope to reduce it all to mere words. The reading was genuinely marvelous, and my great thanks to Ellen ([ profile] ellen_datlow) for having me, and to everyone at KGB Bar, which is still as wonderful as it was in May 2001. I read two short pieces, both from Tales from the Woeful Platypus —— first "Still Life," and then "Untitled 17." And the two worked well together. "Still Life" is funny and sweet, perverse but almost naïvely so. Then "Untitled 17" comes roaring in like a steam engine, all anger and blood and wickedness. And, I swear to fuck, I think my reading of "Untitled 17" last night was one of the two or three best readings I've ever done. I wish I had it on tape. I doubt I could reproduce it. The story combined with the atmosphere of the bar, with the crowd, with my weariness, with everything, to make that reading what it was. Also, I had my first bottle of Baltika 4 (Originalnoe), a dark Russian lager brewed with caramel and rye malt. Delicious. Also also, my thanks to all the folks who came, especially the two guys who came all the way from Toronto (!). I signed a lot of books, when I'd not expected to sign any at all.

We left Providence about 2:30 p.m. (CaST), and made it to Union Station in New Haven about 5 p.m. (CaST). We took the train into Grand Central Station in Manhattan. I'd never seen Grand Central, and my gods, what a beautiful building. I wanted to lie down on the marble floor and stare up at the astrological mural painted on the vaulted ceiling. But we were running late, and it took longer to get a taxi than I expected. My taxi-fu used to be quite good. Last night, it took forever. So, we were almost late getting down to KGB. Benjamin Parzybok read first.

After the reading, we walked over to St. Mark's Place, about four blocks I think (passing a bakery window, and Sonya taught me about hamantashn), and had a delicious and enormous dinner at Grand Sichuan. There were about thirty of us, and a bezillion dishes were ordered. I'm not sure I can remember it all. There was a huge flat-screen television showing Chinese soap operas (or something of the sort) with Mandarin subtitles, and I had serious Firefly flashbacks. Let's see. We had: cold diced cucumber in scallion sauce, steamed pork soup dumplings, Sichuan cold noodles (with a peanut sauce), chicken with string beans, orange-flavored beef, double-cooked pork with chestnuts (my favorite), the braised whole fish with hot bean sauce (yum), the smoked tea duck, sautéed pea shoots, fried pumpkin cakes, and shrimp with salted pepper. Afterwards, we walked back out into the freezing night (it was in the 20sF), to a dessert truck parked about half a block away, and Sonya got the pomegranate macaroons and shared them with me and Spooky. And then we had to say our good-byes and grab a taxi (much easier to hail than the first one), and rush back to Grand Central to make our 11:22 p.m. (EST) train back to New Haven. My feet were numb by this point, and I was very grateful for the walking stick that Spooky's mom gave me last week. I sat down on the floor in GCS and stared at the painted stars. A homeless man gave me a pack of peanut M&Ms.

On the train, Spooky tried to get some sleep, while Sonya and I had a long conversation about Harry Potter, and all the opportunities Rowling missed to make the books truly good (on the way up, we'd talked Firefly and Babylon Five and Farscape, Joey LaFaye, "Tam Lin," and Thomas the Rhymer). I think we made it back to New Haven about 1:30 a.m. I'm not sure. It was all such a blur. We were only in Manhattan for maybe four or five hours. I'd forgotten how much I adore NYC, especially at night. Driving back through Connecticut, we stopped at a convenience store in Mystic, where I apparently left my iPod. My iPod from 2005, so it was sort of a fossil, anyway, the Millennium Falcon of iPods, but it did have all my music on it. We're hoping it was turned in, but won't know until tomorrow. Back home, I went straight to bed.

And that was last night, as best I can translate it into words. I'm sorry I forgot the camera.

I've received news from my sister that a member of my immediate family is seriously ill, and so now I have to go and speak with my mother.

Oh, by the way, yes, I did post the video to the Editors' "An End Has a Start," but it was some autoplay thing, so I took it down again. Sorry. It is, however, my new favorite song.
greygirlbeast: (moons books)
Not a bad day yesterday, though I didn't get as much work done as I needed to do. I did finally get The Red Tree off to my agent at Writers House and my editor at Penguin. But, first, I had to make one MS Word file out of three files (one for the "editor's" preface, another for Chapter One, and a third for the remainder of the novel). Then I had to compose a longish email explaining all the ways that the novel is not quite finished. I also sent it to Sonya ([ profile] sovay) and to Spooky's dad, as both had volunteered to read this rough draft. Okay. It's not that rough. It just hasn't been proofed, and is full of typos and continuity errors and broken things I've not yet gotten around to fixing. Anyway, now it's in NYC (and Boston and Saunderstown), and here is the cover that Roc will be using (behind the cut):

The Red Tree )

I am not entirely pleased with the cover, but Penguin did make a couple of changes that I requested. This version is better than the original. I'd have preferred something a lot more subtle, but the people whose job it is to sell my book are certain this cover will help to move the novel, so there you go. The woman on the cover would be Constance Hopkins, the painter who comes to live in the attic above Sarah Crowe in the old farmhouse near the red tree.

Also, a great deal of time yesterday was spent just talking to Spooky about the story I'm about to begin, which hasn't quite come together in my head. I think it's going to be steampunk, but I'm not yet entirely certain. This isn't for Sirenia Digest, but for an anthology. And we also talked a great deal about Joey Lafaye, where it might go and what it might become.

Later, we drove down to Newbury Comics in Warwick. A chilly and thoroughly overcast day, the trees still brilliant in the last throes of autumn. Spooky found a used copy of Strawberry Switchblade's The 12" Album (1985; this is a copy from the Canadian re-release). Heading back into Providence, there was a marvelous fog. We did the Kindernacht thing and watched Mike Newell's adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005). Neither of us had seen it since the theatrical release, and I still think it's really very, very good. Alfonso Cuarón's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban remains my favorite of the Rowling adaptations, but Goblet of Fire is a close second. Oh, and have you heard the rumors that Daniel Radcliffe may be chosen to play the Eleventh Doctor? I think that could work quite nicely, though I'll hate to see David Tenant go.

Yesterday, a reader wrote to ask my advice regarding self publishing. As I said very recently, i don't like dispensing writerly advice. And I'm not exactly the most market savvy person. So take what I say next with that caveat in mind. Based on what I've seen and heard and been told over the years, by agents, editors, and other authors, it is generally a very bad idea to go this route, especially if you ever want a shot at being published professionally or trying to make a living off your writing. Myself, I would avoid the POD option like the plague. I would suggest that if you are a good enough author to warrant publication, then you also need to find an agent and a real publisher. This will take time and tremendous patience. You'll be rejected over and over. It might well take many years. Meanwhile, you will become a better writer. I think the POD thing lures in a lot of impatient young people who desperately want to be published, but who cannot imagine enduring the long trial of rejection and concession that is usually necessary to achieve publication. I still have the mountain of rejection slips that were lavished upon Silk. It sucked, but, eventually, the book found a home and has managed to stay in print for a decade now.

As regards self publishing, one must also consider distribution. If you do it yourself, how will you get the books to your readers? It's hard enough getting decent distribution when you have one of the big New York publishing houses behind you. And no, I don't think that Sirenia Digest is relevant to this conversation, as I was already an established author when I began it, and would not have been able to launch without the support of Subterranean Press. In the end, my advice, which I am reluctant to give, is to be patient and stick to the traditional road. When you know that you are good enough, find an agent, and the agent will find you a publisher. Persevere and hope for a lucky break. It will be hard, and, yes, truthfully, you'll probably fail, because most authors fail, regardless of merit. But if the only alternative is POD, it's not much of an alternative, beyond whatever private rewards vanity press has always brought. POD will, almost certainly, make you less attractive to actual publishers, should you ever approach them. For better or worse, it's preferable to have no publishing credits than a string of self-published POD novels.

And I'm only saying this because I was asked my opinion.

And now, I go to the platypus.
greygirlbeast: (alabaster2)
I've been fairly quiet on the matter of the election —— aside from those Sarah Palin cartoons —— but, today, I am going to permit a degree of latitude to wax political. No, nothing especially insightful. Cheap shots, mostly, and all at the expense of the septuagenarian billionaire and the former beauty queen. Like this (thank you, Darren):

As for yesterday, the chapbook to accompany the limited edition of A is for Alien has finally been put to bed. Ironically, I have lavished more time and attention on the chapbook, B is for Beginnings, than on the actual collection. But most of the day was spent pulling Sirenia Digest #35 together, because there were about a thousand loose ends. Regardless, it went out late last night, and, by now, all subscribers should have a copy. I apologize for the fact that there is no artist interview this month. There was a last minute mix-up regarding our need for images, and they never arrived, so the interview has been bumped to #36, by which time we will hopefully have the images we need. Still, it's a very solid issue, I think. I especially hope that people enjoy seeing more of Joey Lafaye. Next month (which is actually later this month), expect more explicitly erotic material than this month. Two new vignettes is my plan. Oh, you'll also note that, at the last minute, as I was laying out the issue, I changed the title of the new story from "The Boon of Salmacis" to "I Am the Abyss and I Am the Light," after a favorite painting by Charles Sims.

Last night, after spaghetti and artichokes, there was WoW (of course). Shaharrazad can now summon a felsteed as her mount, complete with molten hooves and flaming nostrils, which is just too damn cool. I have my very own hell pony! Oh, and she made Lvl 31. I fear I am beginning to favour Shah over Voimakas and poor Mithwen. Anyway, she and Suraa slew humans at the Lordamere Interment Camp for a time, until certain magical artefacts were recovered. Then we headed east to the Arathi Highlands, where we took our orders from a Horde orc commander at the Hammerfall garrison, and so slew ogres and renegade trolls. Everything is easier on horseback. Suraa also has a pony, a warhorse, but he doesn't snort fire, or scald the earth when summoned. He likes carrots, though.

Tomorrow, the plan is to go to Boston, though I hear it's going to rain. So what. Rain beats this blue sky, any day.

Okay. The platypus says we gotta go vote now, then come home an obsess over the exit polls some more. Oh, don't worry. The anti-McCain/Palin jabs will only get nastier as the day wears on.
greygirlbeast: (white)
A cold, cloudy day here in Providence. And yesterday, when I said that Tuesday would be a day off, I meant Wednesday.

It's been a long time since I had a nuclear apocalypse dream. Years, I think. But one visited me this morning, filled with fire and terror and the shadows left by vaporized bodies. Thank you, Mr. Oppenheimer.

A scattered, but productive, day yesterday. I started off by reading over "Metamorphosis C," which has been retitled "The Boon of Salmacis." It holds together, as a whole, and I made only very minor line edits. I spoke with Geoffrey H. Goodwin ([ profile] readingthedark) about our artist for issue #35. I went over the chapbook that comes FREE with the limited edition of A is for Alien again, and found one small error. I had sag paneer and nan for lunch. Spooky and I read through Chapter Two of Joey Lafaye, which is far, far better than I recall.

And that led to me seriously reconsidering which novel I will write next. After The Red Tree, I'd decided to shelve Joey Lafaye and write, instead, a sort of loose prequel to Daughter of Hounds. But, then, yesterday, I sort of fell in love with Joey Lafaye all over again. So, over the next couple of months, I'm going to think hard about this. I may go back to Joey Lafaye, after all. I have so missed Iggy and Sweet William and the Barker and Joey and the refugees. I'm thinking that Chapter Two may actually work now as a prologue, and, after that, I can move the story to New England (which is where I'd wanted to set it to start with, back in 2006 when I was first thinking about it). Anyway, yes, I'm not making the final decision for a while yet, but it is once again a strong possibility that Joey Lafaye will be my next novel (well, my next next novel). Regardless, subscribers will be getting Chapter Two in Sirenia Digest #35. Which should go out late this evening. Which means, it's not too late to subcribe NOW, as in today, as in right this second, and get #35. The platypus says you must.

I have an email from a reader, a question I'll try to answer. It's a long email, but I think I can address just this bit here:

So finally I come to my question: what did you say to yourself when you decided to write The Red Tree, and chose not to write a fast paced, commercial thing that might sell like hotcakes? Because I think I've decided to write my dark fae novel, and to hell with the vindication/acclaim/affirmation that getting published and making money would bring. But now I just need to come to terms with that decision. How are you holding up? What do you say when people urge you to change course? I guess in the end there's not much choice to it. You write what comes. But...I don't know. Sometimes it's hard to swim so willfully against the current.

It's always hard to swim against the current. But that's often how we avoid drowning. And it makes us strong. Anyway, this is not an easy question. But you know that already. The last few years, I have very much felt the need for a more profitable career. And I have tried. I have tried hard. My agent tried to guide me in the direction of those easy-to-digest urban fantasy/YA books (but only after I asked her to, mind you). Most of what she pointed me to, as examples of what's hot, what's selling, was atrocious garbage (Stephenie Meyer, for example), and I told her, "You know, I just cannot write this crap. Even if it will make me rich, I don't know how to write this crap. I don't want to know how to write this crap." Originally, Joey Lafaye was to have been a dark novel about Fairie, more "accessible" than my other novels, aimed at a YA audience. But, as I wrote it, as I second-guessed hypothetical potential readers and tried to write it that way, it kept coming out darker and weirder and exactly like it needed to be written. In panic and disgust (deadlines were involved), I shelved it and wrote The Red Tree (which is, itself, a very strange and difficult novel).

I say (and others say differently), we write what we can write. We make the decisions we have to make, and then we have to live with the consequences. You may spend your whole life chasing commercial success, and it will likely always elude you, as it eludes most authors. You can throw away what is genuine and sincere in your voice in hopes of pulling in bigger sales figures and lower return rates, crank out one piece of hackwork after another, and still fall flat on your face. Catering to the apparent tastes of the masses is never a sure route to success. I don't dispense advice on writing. But if I did, I'd say write the book that you want to write, and don't quit your day job. Never expect your writing to support you. If if does, cool. Write what you want to write, whatever it is you have to say. But. That's not advice. That's just the only way I know how to do this thing.

And platypus awaits. Oh, just a second. Three photos I snapped yesterday. They're not good photos, but I think they say something about my yesterday:

2 November 2008 )
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
First, an announcement to all Sirenia Digest subscribers. Apologies, but there's no way that #35 isn't going to be a few days late. I'm going to aim for November 3rd, which I think is doable. I have been writing non-stop, without a day off, for thirteen consecutive days, and today has to be a day off, or my head will explode, which seems rather counterproductive. So, look for the next issue just after the first of the month. It will include a new story by me, a full chapter from Joey LaFaye, and a new artist interview courtesy [ profile] readingthedark. It'll be grand, just a tad late, that's all. Thank you. Spooky's going to send out a mass mailing about the delay later today, to catch the people who don't read this entry.


Yesterday, I wrote 1,301 words and finished Chapter Nine of The Red Tree. Which means that the bulk of the novel is written. I emailed my editor and my agent with the news. I think, at this point, there is general relief all round that I actually finished another novel. After the trouble with Dinosaurs of Mars and then Joey Lafaye, I'll admit that I was beginning to worry. As we read the last pages over yesterday, Spooky cried. I somehow managed not to. I think I was in shock, both because the book was done (give or take), and because I was so bloody damned tired. And my great thanks to everyone who posted words of congratulations to my last entry. They are greatly appreciated. Someone asked me when The Red Tree is supposed to be released, and I cannot for the life of me remember. I'm thinking next summer ('09), but it may be sooner. I'll check.

Someone else asked if I would be going back to Joey Lafaye after this. And the answer is no. I think, at this point, we have to consider Joey Lafaye to be shelved indefinitely. I might go back to it someday, maybe. But not now. The next novel will likely be either a sequel or "prequel" to Daughter of Hounds.

So, yes. Today is a day off. I threatened, this morning, to work, and Spooky said it wasn't going to happen, even if she had to drug me and drag me physically away from the keyboard. Only Spooky is more powerful than the lure of the platypus.

I shouldn't even be writing this.


After the writing yesterday, I went with Spooky to get our CSA produce bag from the Dexter Training Grounds. It was cold out (down into the high 20sF last night), but sunny. The trees are red and orange and brown and yellow. The farmer's market was crowded, in a nice sort of way. I picked up groundfall chestnuts and wanted to lie on the ground and smell the leaves and sleep. We got celery, carrots, garlic, apples, apple butter, kale, eggs, and green peppers this week. Kiddos in their parkas. Old women walking their dogs. The empty Armory looming over the park. Autumn, autumn, everywhere. Then we headed down to Newbury Comics in Warwick to pick up a couple of used DVDs, and Spooky got the new Legendary Pink Dots disc, Pluntonium Blonde. Then, on the way home, we found ourselves stuck in a terrible traffic snarl on I-95N, and sat...and sat...and sat. Back home, we had leftover chili and played World of Warcrack. But some goofy-ass zombie plague that Blizzard has cooked up to promote the release of Lich King is making gameplay pretty much impossible in many regions. Hopefully, that foolishness will end very soon. A bunch of Lvl 70-Lvl?? idiots seized Auberdine and swore they wouldn't leave till the new game's release date. Then a bunch of Lvl 70-Lvl ?? Alliance showed up and slaughtered them, and things got better. My Draenei hunter, Voimakas, reached Lvl 23. Tiddley pom. Spooky's Draenei, Jolokivi, can appear as a ghost wolf now, but she seems to have ghost fleas. Oh, she made Lvl 23, too. We got drunk on Bailey's and absinthe, which seems to make WoW a lot more fun. Later, I watched the Marx Bros. A Night at the Opera (1935) until I was too sleepy not to go to bed.


I am going out into the world again today. I am going Outside. Not sure where. But I'm not sitting here in the house all afternoon. Probably too cold for the beach, but there are other diversions to soothe my aching imagination.

Okay. Keep your voices down. The platypus is snoring.
greygirlbeast: (white2)
I should have my journal entry almost finished by now, and here I am just beginning it. And I cannot even blame running late on having slept until 10:30 ayem (half an hour past when I meant to get up). Last night, I began having dim recollections of a short story I'd either written or begun writing about a film based on the paintings of my recurring fictional artist, Albert Perrault. I couldn't decide whether or not I'd actually written the story. Maybe, I pondered, I only thought about starting it, but never did. After all, had I actually written it, it would have been in a recent issue of the digest. My mind went on to other things. This morning, I mentioned it to Spooky, and she remembered having read it. So, I sort of freaked out. I searched back through the blog and found mention of "Some Notes on an Unfinished Film" in the entry for September 3rd. I wrote:

Yesterday, I wrote 822 words on "Some Notes on an Unfinished Film," which is becoming quite interesting. But now I have to set it aside and go back to work on The Red Tree. The story will still be there later this month. I might have time to finish it for Sirenia Digest #34, maybe. If not, it will likely show up in the October issue.

A cursory search of files on my iMac failed to turn up a copy of the story, and I started to panic. I rifled through the stacks of paper by my desk, and discovered a file with a print out of at least two versions of the story. A second and third search on the iMac turned up the file (with several pages that were never printed out), in a place it shouldn't have been. The whole thing has me a little unnerved. I wrote 2,540 words on this story, then set it aside at the beginning of September and simply forgot it existed —— until last night. But, if nothing else, this is the perfect case-in-point reply to the possibly well meaning, but entirely infuriating and wrongheaded comment from someone at MySpace (whom I shall not here name), who this morning declared, "You can never write too much. Stop setting Fucking limits on what you can do." Er...right. When I can no longer even keep track of all that I am writing, I am writing too much. Never mind the exhaustion. Anyway, probably I will finish this piece for Sirenia Digest #35.

Yesterday, I wrote 2,083 words on The Red Tree. I am very near the end, and I think there's a grand irony in the fact that I set out to write a YA novel (Joey Lafaye), which I shelved to write the darkest, most "unrelentingly grim" novel I have yet written. It is wearing me down, reaching the end of this book, putting myself and my protagonist through these events. But, now, it is almost "done." Two or three more days, at most.

I have received word that the interview I gave to Locus will appear in the December '08 issue. Which has me all sorts of nervous.

Last night, after Chinese takeaway, we watched Neil Jordan's The Company of Wolves (1984) for the first time in ages. It still delights, but I fear it's a film that is not aging gracefully, and I wish that Jordan, or another director, would undertake a remake. Oh, to have the opportunity to write a screenplay based on Angela Carter stories. My favourite part of the film is still the short bit with the priest and Danielle Dax's wolfgirl, which I think comes the closest to capturing the flavour of Carter's fiction.

Later, there was WoW. Voimakas, my Draenei hunter, reached Lvl 20, and finished her 100th quest. Frankly, I think the new "achievement" feature they've added to the game is rather silly. I keep waiting to receive an achievement for having done X number of achievements. Anything that makes WoW feel more like a game and less like a simulation is unwelcome, so far as I am concerned. But I do not like games, so your mileage may very. That is, I do not like games that feel like games, or go out of their way to remind you that they are games. While playing WoW, I want to rediscover the childhood capacity for "playing pretend," not constantly be reminded —— by silly, arbitrary benchmarks —— that it's all just a game. Anyway, after WoW, we read more of Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket.

Once again, I did not leave the house yesterday.

Okay. The platypus is getting out the bullhorn and paddle....
greygirlbeast: (white2)
It all comes down to this — I am deeply afraid that I am simply not intelligent enough to write the book that The Red Tree needs to be. And that particular self doubt is compounded by the logistical issues facing the novel's creation. This is the book I thought up to replace Joey LaFaye, which just wasn't happening. That was only back in April. The book is due at the beginning of November. My usual rule regarding how long it takes to write a novel has, over the years, because of industry demands, become less and less applicable. That is, no longer do I have the luxury of writing a book in the time that the book requires to be written. This novel, I'm guessing it needs maybe a year, maybe more. It gets, instead, seven months, and much of that was spent moving from Atlanta to Rhode Island and dealing with the ensuring chaos. Much of it has been spent in illness that made writing difficult.

Still, while convenient excuses are nice and all, I cannot escape the nagging conviction that I'm simply not smart enough to be writing this book.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,028 words on Chapter Six, and I really have to get back up to something closer too 1,500 words a day. At this point, the manuscript stands at 64,238 words, or 255 pages of typescript.

Also, I am plagued by the poor market performance of Daughter of Hounds since its release in January 2007. I'm still largely convinced that it's the best novel I am capable of writing, and it wasn't the "breakthrough" or the "cross-over" or what the hell ever it is these days that they're calling the novel that rescues you from the limbo of mid-list. Whether or not The Red Tree will be as good a novel, it certainly will not be as accessible a novel as was Daughter of Hounds. And writing The Red Tree, this is yet another current I have to swim against, day to day — the performance of Daughter of Hounds.

Okay, how about something less glum? How about something sexy? Last night, Vince sent me his illustration for Sirenia Digest #34. You will recall, this month we're turning the tables, so to speak. He's done a drawing, and now I'm going to write a story to illustrate it. And what an exquisite "story" he has drawn for me. You can see it behind the cut. Be warned, of course, that this is not "work safe," and it might well offend those who are prone to be offended by sexual perversity and abomination and whatnot — you know, the good stuff. That's why it's behind the cut. So you don't have to see if you're that sort of person.

Last chance not to look )

Now, like any good pusher, I should remind you that to get the whole story, you have to be a Sirenia subscriber. Fortunately, however, that is both cheap and easy. Just click here.. Drink me. You know you want to.

Last night, we watched Kill Bill (Vol. 2), and speaking of unconventional sexual desires and inclinations...Uma Thurman's hands and feet do it for me every goddamn time. Oh, they're not pretty, I agree. They are, however, quite entirely wonderful. And don't even get me started on the subject of Elle Driver.

Okay. The platypus is showing me the red-hot poker and threatening to get personal if I don't end this entry and return to Chapter Six. But, first, I will remind you about the current eBay auctions. And now, the word mines are waiting...

You've got rain in your eyes,
And a head full of stars,
All the tears you can hold in your hand,
And a room full of sleep,
And a promise to keep.
Isn't it just like love?
In a world made of law, you're just losing the game.
—— The Psychedelic Furs
greygirlbeast: (Howard Hughes)
I did write yesterday. 1,089 words on Chapter Two of The Red Tree. But only by the skin of my teeth, as they are wont to say. Skin of my teeth. A curious expression, as, obviously, teeth lack any epidermis. Which I suppose is the point. Anyway, the novel is simply grinding to a halt. Yesterday was a wake-up call. I'm trying to race through this to "produce" a finished manuscript by the end of the summer. But —— what with the switch from Joey LaFaye to The Red Tree, being sick much of the spring, and the move to Rhode Island, I've not given myself the time to sit down and do all the research that needs to be done to write the book. Not to write it well, but simply to write it at all. Mostly, historical stuff. So, today I am likely off to a library, if any are open, what with this being the weekend of the Sainted Fucking 4th of July and all. Maybe by Monday I can be actually writing again, unless the libraries aren't open, in which case I guess I'll make up a Plan B.

Speaking of Independence Day, Jesus Fuck, this neighborhood was a bloody warzone last night. I have never endured such a barrage of amateur fireworks, even though most of my life has been spent living in cities. Only by a combination of chance and wet weather did the Armory District not burn to the ground. Fucking idiots. Fireworks are 100% illegal in Rhode Island, and also in Massachusetts, but apparently there's a healthy illegal black-market trade from Connecticut. I read people went to jail this year, for bringing them into Rhode Island, though clearly, enough people did not go to jail. Last night, for at least two or three hours the windows rattled as fireworks meant to explode hundreds of feet high were detonated at ground level. Finally, the cops showed up, the cops and the fire department and ambulances, because there had been some sort of accident in a nearby park, an SUV and a bicycle, and things began to calm down. I'm pretty sure the fools trying to blow up Federal Hill weren't in any way celebrating the 4th of July. They just thought it would be cool to blow shit up. Then again, isn't that the heart and soul of American expansionism? Or at least its fist. The bomb, the rocket's red fucking glare? Oh, and yeah, I know if I were a real writer —— you know, the sort who write "reviews" for Amazon —— I wouldn't need all this fucking profanity to express my fucking thoughts. Sure.

Spooky just reported that, in fact, all the libraries are closed today. Brown. The Athenaeum. The public libraries. Beautiful.

Not much else to yesterday. When the writing was done, I just felt sick. I lay down on the bed, and Spooky read me the first chapter of The Golden Compass. I hate that, being a writer and all, being the writer I am, all I can really think of when I listen to her read me fiction is, "Why didn't I write this?" We made a trip to the market to get dinner for last night and tonight. Much later, we watched Men in Black (1997). Still love it. We drove about the neighborhood a little at some point (that must have been before the movie), and a thick, smelly gunpowerdy haze lay over everything. Little pretend wars. I think I got to bed about three ayem. Shit was still exploding. I only hope —— if there is a thimble's worth of justice — that many are missing fingers this afternoon. library. And the internet is only so good for this sort of research. I suppose I will try press on, somehow, and attempt to finish Chapter Two this weekend. Like they say in the Land of Whores and Celluloid, I can fix it in post.
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
First, apologies for having screwed up the link to Sirenia Digest in two successive entries. I have fixed those links, and the one I just gave is also correct, and yes, if you subscribe this week, before Sunday at midnight (EST), you will be receive #28 ("Pickman's Other Model," "Pickman's Model" by HPL, and "Madonna Littoralis") absolutely FREE. It says a lot about my questionable mental state the last few days that I screwed up that link twice and did not catch it. My thanks to those who did and who then let me know. Also, my thanks to those new subscribers who have taken me up on this offer, and somehow managed to reach the subscription pages despite my blunders.

The chief reason that I have been so especially scatterbrained the last week or two, aside from trying to find a place to live in Providence, dealing with seizures, and the incessant insomnia, is that a short while back I called my agent (Tuesday, March 25th) and told her that there was simply no way I could have Joey Lafaye written by September 1st, and that I would not ruin it trying. I suggested, instead, that I first write the second book on this contract, which is, for now, called The Red Tree. It's a book much more like Daughter of Hounds (without the guns and poker-playing demon), much more familiar territory. So, I had to write up that proposal, submit it, and wait. This morning, I got the go ahead on The Red Tree, which I shall begin immediately, as I have only four and three-quarters months to write it. While keeping the Digest up and running and moving from Atlanta to Providence. But, yes. The next novel will not be Joey Lafaye, but The Red Tree. Consider yourselves warned.

And, once again, I want to direct readers who are interested in the mass-market paperback of Murder of Angels to Barnes & Noble, as they are actually being bothered to sell the book. And, please, do be interested. I'd like to see this book, and all the others, still in print this time next year. Also, here are the correct links to purchase the other novels and, also, Tales of Pain and Wonder. Thank you. Please feel free to repost these links in your journals:

Daughter of Hounds



Low Red Moon

Tales of Pain and Wonder


Very little to say about the last couple of days. I mean, yeah, the insomnia. Spooky forced me out into the bright springtime on Tuesday, and we walked as far as Freedom Park before spreading the red plaid picnic blanket [ profile] blu_muse gave us some time ago. I lay down, staring first at the sky and then the dandelions, and then I proceeded to fall asleep. Later there was Thai food, which would have been better had I not been to sleepy to taste it. Yesterday, we walked down Sinclair, and the foliage is a comfort, the foliage and the woodpeckers and the mockingbirds. I did manage to read, over the last two days, another JVP paper, "A new aigialosaur (Squamata; Anguimorpha) with soft tissue remains from the Upper Cretaceous of Nuevo León, Mexico." I've tried to drown the insomnia with Ambien and Kava and Diazapam and Second Life, none of which have been especially effective. But, as for Second Life, I stepped back a bit from Toxian City to explore a dark sf rp called Necronom (at Hypnos), which has to be one of the most gorgeous builds I've ever seen anywhere in SL (but then, I don't get out much).

Oh, that reminds me, I have not forgotten you, Sirenia Players. I've just been too stupid from sleep deprivation and stress and meds to do anything constructive. I'll try to make amends in that regard sometime in the next week, and at least send everyone a notecard (an inworld nc, so you'll have to log into SL to get it). I just want you to know I haven't given up on the project, and to say thanks for your patience.

Platypus says time to get to work. But, remember, subscribe to Sirenia Digest before Sunday at midnight (EST), and you will be receive #28 FREE.
greygirlbeast: (whitewitch2)
As I type this, Sirenia Digest #27 is being PDFed, so subscriber's should expect the February issue to be showing up in their inboxes this evening. And if you are not a subscriber, turn not pale, beloved snail, for it's not yet too late to get this issue and all those to come. Just sign up today. Back issues are also available, upon request.

Good riddance, February. Usually, February is the month when I begin to feel hope, as the grey veil of winter finally begins to lift. Usually, February is the month I look forward to, after the long night of December and January. This year, however, I think February has tried to fucking kill me, and I can be done with it not one moment too soon. So, go, February. Get out. Enough already.

Yesterday I received the very, very good news that Anne, my editor at Penguin, has extended my deadline on Joey Lafaye from June 1st to September 1st, which is far more than merely a great relief. The recent...shall we say, hindrances...had made it impossible for me to make the previous deadline (and this, actually, is a deadline that had been extended once already). Now, I find myself given the time I need to write the book. But there is not time to lose another month to hindrances. I will be guarding against them with all the powers at my disposal.

Not much else to say about yesterday. We're dealing with the tedium of having the IRS prove to the German government that I'm an American citizen, so that my German publisher (for Low Red Moon and Threshold) can pay me without my having to turn over sizable portions of the advance to Germany for taxes. I went through this with the Italian edition of Threshold, and now I'm going through it again, and it just sort of pisses me off. Today, we finished deciphering Form 8802 and got it in the mail, so that they'll send me Form 6166, so maybe, someday, I can get paid.

I've mostly been staying clear of Second Life the last couple of weeks, as the Dune sim in which I'd invested so much energy crashed and burned and, finally, mercifully, ceased to exist, because the Fremen faction refused to submit to the idiotic whim of the "Council" and become pacifist hillbillies (long, long story). Having disentangled myself from that shameful mess, I just wanted to step back from SL for a bit. But last night, I ventured back into the Toxia sim, the city of demons and angels where I play the parthenogenically spawned offspring of a cyborg and a Nephilim. I spent most of the evening (as a member of the Omega Institute, which is a bit like the Talamasca, I suppose) pursuing a strange albino girl named Diva, who has a curious penchant for polka dots (which she is convinced protect her from sunlight). There are even a couple of screencaps (large ones), behind the cut. Later still, in the city morgue, Nareth freely surrendered her eyes to one of the Omega praetors, a demon named Lorne, to serve as a physical component in a complex protective ward that is being woven to protect the library from hostile incursions. It was the first good rp I've had since early February.

Nareth and the Girl from the Circus )

But yes, Sirenia Digest #27 will be along shortly, and now Spooky is calling me away for dinner and Kindernacht. Oh, and I almost forgot. Please do have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thank you!
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Winter returned to Atlanta with a vengeance. Lows in the 20s, windchills in the teens. Ugh. But we're supposed to be back up into the 60s by Saturday.

I spent yesterday on Sirenia Digest #27. I read over the story that is not called "Untitled 33," but is, in fact, called "Beatification," and made a few edits. It's dark, visceral, but I think it's also one of the most intensely erotic pieces I've yet written for the Digest. I wrote a longer-than-usual prolegomena. Oh, and I'd decided the day before, after talking with my agent about Joey Lafaye, that I'd include Chapter One of the book in this issue, as a sort of "sneak preview." Anyway, back to yesterday, I also picked two older pieces, because we've got quite a few new subscribers this month, and I wanted to give them a better idea of what the Digest is like on those months when I've not had to deal with dental trauma and the flu and such. I chose "The Sphinx's Kiss" and "Untitled 23." Both of these stories include a Vince Locke illustration. So, this month is an extra-long issue, 47 pages, including 9,567 words of previously unpublished fiction. At this point, I'm just waiting on the final inks of Vince's illustration for "Beatification" before sending the issue out to be PDFed. It should go out to subscribers tonight or tomorrow.

Not a whole lot else to report in this entry. I've been watching far too much television, including a marathon of seven episodes of Angel Tuesday night, which brought us to the end of Season Three. Last night, we watched Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited (including the short "Part 1" feature, The Hotel Chevalier), which I loved. Wes Anderson has become one of my favorite "new" directors. I've dubbed his films morosely upbeat, which seems about right. Spooky made a wonderful chicken soup last night, with tomatoes and kale, tons of garlic and mushrooms, thyme, sage, bay, and so forth.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions if you have not yet done so. Bid if you are able and so inclined. This is probably the only copy of the Japanese translation of the Beowulf novelization that I'll be able to offer. Also, I think the new edition of Tales of Pain and Wonder should be shipping any day now (unless it already has). I believe, at this point, the edition is 80% sold out, so if you haven't ordered, and you intend to, now would be better than later.

Time to make the doughnuts....
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
I woke about 7:30 this morning to the commotion of the most wonderful thunderstorm, rain coming down in great roaring sheets, lightning. I fell asleep again listening to the storm, but have no recollection of whatever dreams followed.

Yesterday afternoon, still without an idea for another vignette for Sirenia Digest #27, I got in touch with Sonya ([ profile] sovay) and asked her to please toss a couple of ideas my way. The first few, I could see straight away, were doomed to become actual short stories, but then she gave me one word, "Snegurochka." Marvelous! Unfortunately, then I had the call from my agent regarding Joey Lafaye, and Spooky and I needed to proofread "The Steam Dancer (1896)" for Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy, and there was eBay to be, at the end of the day, I still had not begun a second vignette.

Though I'm not making the final decision until tomorrow, I think that Sirenia Digest #27 may be comprised of the one new vignette, plus two reprints from early issues. We have so many new readers this month, that will help to give them a more balanced idea of what to expect from the Digest. Of course, I also might miraculously produce a second vignette today, in which case, #27 would be two vignettes and a couple of reprints. Hopefully, everyone will be cool with whichever way this goes. This month has been a disaster, but it was being sick the last two weeks that really screwed things up good and proper. At any rate, expect #27 on Thursday or Friday.

We had a good walk yesterday afternoon, about a mile there and back again. We walked to Videodrome and rented Olivier Dahan's La Vie en Rose (aka, La Môme), and now I see that it really is a beautiful, brilliant film. Marion Cotillard's performance is sublime, and the makeup artists were, indeed, deserving of that Oscar.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, which include a copy of the Japanese edition of the Beowulf novelization. Thanks. And because Amazon, with their "bargain books" boondoggle, is still making it rather difficult to find some of the new editions of my novels, the ones I will be judged by the sales of, here are the links again:

Daughter of Hounds



Low Red Moon

Right, platypus. First coffee, then email...
greygirlbeast: (Default)
A strange barrage of dreams just before waking this morning, or a barrage of strange dreams. More likely the latter. The dreams were stranger than the barrage itself. You were there, [ profile] sovay. A staircase that seemed to lead unexpected places, places that it should not. A five-and-a-half-minute staircase. I really wish I could remember more of it.

I have fallen off the horse, as they say. Between the sickness, worrying about the sickness and the bills it has spawned, the exhaustion, the winter, and the easy distractions of technology, I have fallen off the horse.That is, I am not writing. I have not written since the 30th, and I have more dental surgery on Wednesday, which is helping to keep me from getting back on the horse. But...the horse is all that matters. I am now dreadfully behind on this novel — behind in the sense that it has a due date, and I can only write so fast, and I will not rush it. Regardless of my health, regardless of uncertainty, I have to start writing again. As soon as possible or sooner. It does not matter if I only want to go back to bed every day. It matters that Joey Lafaye is written and written well, as I am a writer, and a writer who does not write is no longer a writer. I suppose this is what they call a "pep talk." From me to me and aimed at no one and nothing else.

And now, that I have been shown so much generosity, and now that at least the financial worries have been greatly lessened, that's an excuse I can't use to justify the fact that I am not writing. Since I became a writer, or rather, a published author, I have written through illness and chaos, through pain and doubt, and that's all I have to do now. Something I have done plenty enough times before. What I will do so long as I am alive.

And yes, I am rather saddened by the news of Roy Scheider's death. And despite all the unfortunate films he took part in, he also made some very fine films — Jaws, All That Jazz, Sorcerer, Marathon Man, etc..


The eBay auctions continue. Also, if you can, please consider a subscription to Sirenia Digest. Or pick up one of the new mass-market paperback editions of the novels. Once again, here are the links to the correct Amazon pages:

Daughter of Hounds



Low Red Moon

I think that I am beginning to favor A is for Alien for the title of the sf collection. That was my original title, and I only began to consider others because Neil released M is for Magic last year, and I sort of felt that I'd been beaten to the punch. I was probably being silly.


Not much else to say about yesterday. There was a walk that should have been longer, but the wind made my teeth and ears ache, so we didn't get very far at all. Last night, I tried to watch a National Geographic channel documentary on the consequences of global warming, but it was one of those cases where things had been dumbed so far down and were being stated so poorly that I gave up after an hour. We watched another episode of Angel ("The Shroud of Rahmon"). We went to bed.

Oh, and once again, the link to the transcript from Shahrazad's Water of Life ceremony, which I finally finished and posted. I tried to make this one less like a transcript, more like prose, where possible. It's sort of like writing.

And lastly, a rather nice review of the Beowulf novelization at "The Book Swede and his Blog."
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Colder again today, but knowing that spring is near helps.

Here's a nice little write up from "The Agony Column" regarding the forthcoming third edition of Tales of Pain and Wonder. The piece was posted way back on November 11th, but I only just saw it yesterday. Obviously, I don't agree with its take on the cover of the Meisha-Merlin edition, but that is a small affair. I do rather adore being called an "odd writer," especially when that comment is followed with these sorts of comments: Her work is at once visionary and hyper-real, shrouded in the supernatural yet anchored in the gritty evocation of our hardscrabble lives. Reading almost anything she has written, you might find yourself thinking "Faulkner" one second and "Lovecraft" the next. These are not names or styles that rest comfortably close beyond those pages penned by Kiernan. So, yes, thank you, Rick Kleffel. Lovecraft and Faulkner I can live with.

When I was talking to Bill Schafer at subpress yesterday (or was it the day before?) about the sf collection, he told me that I "could not allow this book to become a burden." And he's right. A big part of what he was referring to is the nightmare of copy-editing and revision I took upon myself in preparing the ms. for the third edition of Tales of Pain and Wonder. Between my poor health and all the work that must be done for Sirenia Digest and the writing of Joey Lafaye, there simply is not time or energy to put myself through that again. Fortunately, however, all the stories that will be included in the sf collection are recent, and I have not yet grown uncomfortable with their voices, or, rather, with the voice I wrote them in. The oldest of the stories, "Riding the White Bull," was written in 2003 (as opposed to 1994 with Tales of Pain and Wonder). But yes, no burden this time out. I promise.


Again, my great thanks for the generosity, the donations that have come in the last four days, the eBay bids, the well wishes, and the new Sirenia Digest subscribers (some from as far away as Australia!). All of you, thanks. I thought about trying to list everyone by name, but the list would be gigantic, and I would inevitably leave someone out. So, please accept this blanket expression of my gratitude. For now, the medical/dental expenses are covered, which I find nothing short of amazing, given how worried I was about money as recently as Wednesday morning. Now, I can simply concentrate on getting well and getting Joey Lafaye written, and that is such a huge relief that it is rather dizzying. Overwhelming, as I have said. You guys are the draddest, which is to say, you rock. I'm not putting the PayPal button up again today, but the eBay auctions continue, and it's never too late to subscribe to the Digest.


About 5:30 pm yesterday, we had a walk. The weather was good, just a little nip in the air. The dogwoods have buds. The Narcissus do, as well, and the Camellias have bloomed. Mostly, we walked up and down Sinclair, as far south and east as the intersection with Carmel Avenue. There are a few photos behind the cut:

February 9, 2008 )


Last night, well, not much to last night, but we did catch two new episodes of Torchwood. And now, the platypus says I'm being a slacker, and the coffee has not yet magically appeared. Damned unreliable caffeine gnomes.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie1)
I don't know where to begin, really. Since my entry yesterday, there have been so many kind comments and offers to help, and suggestions, and eBay bids, and I'm a little flummoxed and humbled. I'm extremely grateful, more than anything else. This morning, I have a bunch of email to answer, which I'll get to as soon as I finish this entry. Where to begin (you said that already, Kiernan)? I'll begin here, just arbitrarily. Two readers of Sirenia Digest have offered to purchase six-month gift subscriptions for people who are not in a position to afford them (thank you [ profile] brokensymmetry and [ profile] kiaduran). If you wish to claim one of these, you may post a comment to that effect here in the journal, or you may, instead, email Spooky at crk_books(at)yahoo(dot)com and she'll make it happen.

A number of people suggested I set up a donation box via PayPal, and we did that last night. Here's the button to make donations:

All donations to this account will go directly to cover the medical/dental expenses I am presently incurring due to the ongoing PNES seizures. Also, we have the current eBay auctions, which are proceeding well, but I'm going to be adding a few new items over the next couple of days, including a suitable-for-framing handwritten copy of my poem "Zelda Fitzgerald in Ballet Attire" (from Tales of Pain and Wonder, and thanks to [ profile] troublebox for that suggestion), the only copy of the Daughter of Hounds trade paperback I intend to offer anytime soon, a copy of the (gorgeous) Korean translation of the Beowulf novelization, and a few other things. Also, Spooky still has one doll up on Etsy (Miss Starla Pink, as Aurora just sold).*

Several people have asked if they may link directly to yesterday's journal entry from their own journals and/or websites, and yes, of course. Please do. That one and this one, too, for that matter. I think that's everything for now, and I hope I'm not forgetting anything. Sometime in the next day or two I'll post a list of everyone I wish to thank, everyone whose offered assistance in one form or another. Just know, for now, how truly grateful I am. It's one thing to have to be afraid of being sick and dealing with the pain and uncertainty; it's another to have to do that and waste my remaining energy — which I need to write — worrying over the bills the sickness creates. You guys are wonderful, and truly, every little bit does help. Spooky and I thank you, more than I can say.


The weather is a little cooler today, but will be warm again tomorrow. We had a short walk yesterday, far enough to see Daisy Dog over on Sinclair. One of the most delightful parts of yesterday was discovering Isabella Rossellini's Green Porno (thank you, [ profile] robyn_ma). I mean, I'd have settled for Isabella Rossellini merely dressed as a female invertebrate, but here we get her crossdressing as the male insects and mollusks, demonstrating...well, you'll see.

After dinner, we watched Andrew Dominik's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (based on Ron Hansen's novel). Another splendid film. It has about it such a wonderful grace, every frame of film, every line of dialogue placed with such skill. It is permeated with a thunderous, silent tension. One is always waiting for that shot to be fired, even knowing it cannot yet be fired for two hours or so. The score is provided by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis (as per The Proposition), and we even get a cameo of Cave singing "The Ballad of Jesse James." So, this one goes on my 2007 "top ten" list, and it should be noted that three of the films I consider among the best of 2007 are westerns (No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood, and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), and four of my favourite films of the year were westerns (just add 3:10 to Yuma to the list). Later still, we watched the new episode of Project Runway and were delighted with Chris' win. That was yesterday.

Okay. I need to try very, very hard to actually write today, as all I did yesterday was map out Chapter Three of Joey Lafaye in my head. First, there's all these emails to answer...

* Postscript (3:48 pm CaST): Never mind. Starla just sold, as well.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie1)
Just something short, because in about an hour and a half we have to drive to Birmingham for another doctor's appointment. I am neither awake nor dressed just yet.

I am presently adoring PJ Harvey's White Chalk (2007), which I only finally got around to listening to yesterday. As a long-time admirer of her work, I think this is surely one of her best albums. It's like a whisper in the wind, I think. And I have a feeling that a lot of Joey Lafaye will now be written to this album.

Earliest spring seems to have begun here in Atlanta. Mid-seventies (F) yesterday and today, though we'll have 50s next week.

We do have eBay auctions going, and Spooky's listed a new doll on Etsy. You might have a look.

The best part of yesterday? Sitting on the front porch, watching Spooky stuff a pin cushion with dried lavender.


greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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