greygirlbeast: (starbuck4)
But I won’t follow you into the rabbit hole.
I said I would, but then I saw
Your shivered bones.
They didn’t want me to.
~ The National, "Terrible Love"

0) We must have slept a little more than eight hours. This almost never happens. Now I'm achey and stiff and disoriented and dreamsick, but later I suppose I will be glad for the rest. Oh, and the Starbuck icon; I think I'm slowly working my way through my space-opera heroines.

1) Yesterday, work, work, work. I spent two hours signing signature sheets for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. I might have killed a pen. And those things – pens, I mean – don't grow on trees, you know. But now they are all signed and will go back to Subterranean Press on Monday (lots of mail going out on Monday, so watch out, you postal folk). And then the day was slipping away so fast, and Spooky and I had planned a full-on Kid Night, and I didn't want to work after dark (not that I ever do; it squicks me out, working after dark, which makes the winters hard). So, I could choose to work on the short story about the two women who become cities, or I could choose to work on the third (and very, very, very different incarnation of "Sexing the Weird"). Having already gone over the inked Alabaster pages, I chose "Sexing the Weird," though I'm sort of chomping at the bit to get the story (or vignette) written. And I have only thirteen days until The Vacation (!!), and by then I need to have Sirenia Digest #72 finished and out to subscribers and write Alabaster #4 before the vacation. Also, Sonya Taaffe ([ profile] sovay) is finishing up her afterword for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart, which I am very much looking forward to reading.

2) A pretty damn cool article, one that Spooky just brought to my attention: "Lobster pot tag washes up across the Atlantic 2 decades after 'Perfect Storm.'" Ignore how badly written that headline is, that it ought to be "Lobster Pot Tag Washes Up Across the Atlantic Two Decades After 'Perfect Storm.'" Point is, a lobster tag lost twenty years ago traveled 3,000 miles across the Atlantic, from Cohasset in southern Massachusetts to Waterville, County Kerry, Ireland. Very cool. Except for the fact that people are forgetting how to write headlines.

3) Writers exist, in part, to remind people of things they might otherwise forgot. For example, Question @ Hand 5. Get those answers in!

4) Look for a new round of eBay auctions before Solstice/Cephalopodmas. These will all be souvenirs from our three-day shoot for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir book trailer, and will also include an ARC of the novel. And a moonstone signed by the whole cast and crew. And clothing that Imp (Nicola Astles) wore in the trailer. And...stuff. We hope to shoot a little more footage this winter in Philadelphia, but money will be needed, and that's what this auction will help to fund.

5) A truly grand Kid Night last night. After a Kid Meal of fish sticks, mac and cheese, and tater tots, we ate cupcakes and watched The Goonies (1985), followed by our second viewing of Super 8 (2011). When The Goonies was first released, I was in college, twenty-two, I think. And I was on beyond unimpressed. I remain unimpressed. What a silly, silly movie, but it made Spooky smile. Super 8, on the other hand, is bloody fucking brilliant. By the way, when Steve Lieber asked me who my dream casting for the role of Dancy in a film version of Alabaster would be, I did not hesitate to name Elle Fanning. And he got it so right, that now it sort of creeps me out watching her.

6) After Kid Night wound down, Spooky used the iPad to watch episodes of Art:21 on PBS, while I read Chapter Ten of the Barnum Brown biography I'm reading.

7) And now, I leave you with a photograph Spooky took while I was signing yesterday. I am not at my most glamorous (I rarely am these days), still in my pajamas, wearing my Jayne Cobb hat and Imp sweater and chewing a pen:

2 December 2011 )

Feelin' Scruffy,
Aunt Beast
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: (Default)
I think I was actually a little disappointed to awake and discover it looks like we're still stuck with the 2.9% of the earth's human population (200 million/3.9 billion) that Harold Camping promised we'd be rid of come 6 p.m. local time (which it is now long past in much of the world, ergo...). I am left with a question for Camping, though. Given that his heavenly abduction would have begun in the Pacific and rolled westward as the planet revolved, doesn't that mean that people in, say, California would have had an awfully unfair advantage over people in, say, New Zealand? I mean, in terms of last minute repenting and whatnot, which surely would have followed from the news reports. Then again, the number of Rapture tickets was awfully small, and I'm guessing they were all printed in advance. So, never mind.


I did sleep last night, more than eight hours, thanks to the Good Worker Bee pill.

I was going to post museum photos today, but I found I wasn't in the mood to bother with resizing them. Photoshop pisses me off.

Not much to say for yesterday. Work, whatever that was. And we went out to Acme Video to get movies for Kid Night. The day was green and mostly sunny...and cold. We have a month until Solstice, and sure it's green out there, but it's still chilly. I'm beginning to despair of seeing any warmth this year.

Last light, we watched the two sequels to Robert Rodriguez' Dusk Till Dawn (1996). I have to admit to having been underwhelmed by the original film. It's sort of grown on me over the years, but I've always felt Rodriquez missed the chance to make a really good movie, and we were left with a so-so "it could have been worse" sort of movie. Well, Dusk Till Dawn: Texas Blood Money (dir. Scott Spiegel; 1999) is that movie that could have been, and was, worse. A bad, bad, needs to be put over someone's knee and beaten sort of a movie. Not just bad, but dull. I nodded off three times. Fortunately, From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter (dir. P.J. Pesce; also 1999, so I assume the films were shot back to back) is much, much better. As in, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Michael Parks was great as Ambrose Bierce. So, after a crappy first feature, Kid Night rallied with a fun second feature and all was not lost.

Very good rp in Rift last night.


Oh, I just remembered. Yesterday, I got the editorial letter for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir from my editor at Penguin. Only, it wasn't actually an editorial letter, not in the usual sense. My editor suggested only a single very minor change to ms. page 431 (out of 488 pages). I was kind of blown away. The good kind of blown away. My editor said incredibly nice things about the book (which I may quote, if she gives me permission). And that was that. Which saves me a week or so of revision work. I have a tiny number of additions I'd like to make to the book, and then it will be well and truly done.

And now...
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
Yesterday, I wrote 1,289 words on the story for Dark Horse. So, a good writing day. I'll certainly finish the story by tomorrow evening, and possibly this evening. So, I'm ahead of schedule for a change. And there was lots of email. And, in the evening, I talked with Peter and Neil, on the actual telephone. I gotta be careful, or I'm going to blow this whole reclusive mystique.

Actually, that's one of the things Neil and I talked about, how I need to let go of my trepidation stroke indifference towards the Outside, now that the crisis that triggered the worst of it has passed.

Today is a good day for comments. It's going to be a long, long day.

I have another Question @ Hand, one for Sirenia Digst #65, and I'll post it this evening, with the comments screened for complete anonymity.

We did Kid Night last night. It's sort of slipped out of vogue, mine and Spooky's Kid Night tradition. Mostly, I blame MMORPGs. But we pulled it out last night and dusted it off. First there were hot dogs and fries, then we watched Seiji Chiba's Alien vs. Ninja (2010), an incredibly awful Japanese flick about, well, ninja's fighting aliens. Okay, not real ninjas, and the aliens were just guys in utterly unconvincing monster suits. But two or three of the ninjas were very sexy. Otherwise, not much good I can say about Alien vs. Ninja. Except that we streamed it free. It's like in Ghost World, when Enid says, "This is so bad, it's gone past good and back to bad again." That's Alien vs. Ninja. We almost followed it with something called Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl, but then we watched the trailer and thought better of it. And we ate cookies and jelly beans and drank Pepsi Throwback. So, yeah. Total Kid Night. Teeth were rotted. Brain cells died.

After the movie, we played Rift (which, in a sane world, would count as a kidly pastime). I was Nilleshna, my Kelari cleric (most of her points are in Cabalism), and Spooky played one of her clerics, a Kelari named Miisya (also a cabalist). I made Level 22. We're out in the rocky wastes of Stonefield, fighting trolls and troglodytes and giants and all that shit that comes pouring out of rifts (because Regulos obviously can't keep his legs together). So, you betcha. Magical elf chicks in chain mail. Later still, I read to Spooky from Harlan Ellison's Stalking the Nightmare (1982) and "Shattered Like A Glass Goblin," from Deathbird Stories (1975). A perfect evening for nerdy kids.

Chilly outside. Not cold, but not genuinely warm, either. It might go as high as sixty. I'd risk West Cove, if I didn't need to be writing.

Speaking of which, so far the Dark Horse story has been written entirely to Fever Ray's "If I Had a Heart." It's on repeat, and has played 52 times so far, as I hunt and peck my way through the tale. And here's the video, for those who have not been introduced to the brilliance of Fever Ray (Swedish brother and sister duo, Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer, who usually perform together as the Knife):

greygirlbeast: (Default)
The weather has finally turned genuinely cold here in Providence.

I suppose I can write the entry I meant to write yesterday, given I have not yet today been jabbed in the eye with the pointy stick of a homophobic "review." Maybe that happens later, late this afternoon, or tonight.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, which include Study #2 for Yellow. [This entry was just interrupted by the discovery of a mouse in Spooky's workroom...time for humane traps, as the mice are bold and apparently the cats can't be bothered].

Two good nights sleep in a row, so I suppose only getting four hours last night was to be expected.

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. It's a new voice, another first-person narrative, but quite distinct from Sarah Crowe (though India Phelps is another goddamn lesbian, so buyer beware). Anyway, here's hoping the third or fourth time's the charm, because I've gotten the third extension of this novel's deadline, and I need to have something coherent for my publisher come March. I have set a goal of writing at least 1,500 words a day, every day, at least for the next month, a thing I've not attempted since early 2007, and which I swore I'd never inflict upon myself again.

Sirenia Digest #59 went out to subscribers last night. Two new stories, which I hope readers will enjoy.


A fine Halloween this year. I worked on the digest, but afterwards I read the first volume of Kirkman and Moore's The Walking Dead ("Days Gone Bye"). I followed that with Thomas Ligotti's "The Medusa." As we'd declared Sunday night a Kid Night, we had hot dogs and candy (too much candy) and watched "scary" movies (I use the quotations because I rarely find "scary" movies scary, which is okay, because I enjoy them on many other levels). In fact, we made is a quadruple feature! We began with Jon Harris' The Descent: Part 2 (2009), which wasn't as good as the first film (not as atmospheric, and we see the monsters far too clearly this time), but was still a decent sequel. There are some interesting parallels between The Descent/The Descent: Part 2 and Alien/Aliens. Next up, we watched Jim Mickle's Mulberry Street (2006), a surprisingly effective low-budget affair which did a much better job of portraying NYC than most big budget films set in NYC manage. We followed that with Mark A. Lewis' The Thaw (2009), which was better than it should have been, given how much it borrows from Carpenter's The Thing and a particular episode of The X-Files ("Ice," Season 1, Episode 8). Finally, we finished up with the astoundingly ridiculous Vampires: Los Muertos, directed by Tommy Lee Wallace (2002). John Bon Jovi is a freelance vampire hunter with a surf board; the only thing this film really had going for it was Arly Jover's performance as a blue-eyed, sexy vampire (Jover also played a vampire in 1998's Blade). So, yeah. A pretty damn good Halloween.


Last night, we saw the first episode of AMC's The Walking Dead, adapted from the aforementioned graphic novel of the same name. I was impressed. Not only was the first episode extremely faithful to the source material, it brought a new depth to the story. And it's pretty cool seeing a post-apocalyptic Atlanta. However, I will say that I'm dangerously near total burnout on zombie films, good or bad or otherwise. I think we've reach that point with zombies that we reached with vampires in the early '90s. I fear it's time to step away from the zombies for a while (though, of course, the cultural fascination at work here is rife with potential insight).


After The Walking Dead, I played CoX, and got Erzsébetta from Level 29 to Level 38. Plus, there was some good rp.

Okay. Time to write.
greygirlbeast: (goat girl)
The heat is coming again tomorrow. Already, we're making plans for chilly hiding places. But for now, the day is bright and mild, only 72F and breezy.

Yesterday, I wrote another 1,277 words on "The Maltese Unicorn," and finished the opening part of the frame that, well, frames the story. An interrogation cell somewhere within the Drancy Transit Camp, just outside Paris, in October 1941. Today, I jump back to May 1935 and New York City.

Late yesterday, on our way to the market, I checked the date on the house that caught fire on Thursday (it's got a historical registry plaque). It was built in 1898. For one hundred and twelve years, that house has weathered fuck knows all, and we can only hope it weathers this fire and is soon restored.

Last night, we reinstated the tradition of Kindernacht. At some point, it sort of fell by the wayside, and lately, we find ourselves missing it. So, last night we had hot dogs and tater-tots, then watched Byron Haskin's Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964) and Edward Ludwig's The Black Scorpion (1957). As for the former, Spooky fell in love with Mona the Monkey, and I marveled at a film that's exactly as old as me. Anyway, a perfect Kid Night double feature. Oh, and the Black Scorpion disc also included the "prehistoric sequence" from Irwin Allen's 1956 documentary, The Animal World, which I'd never seen before. Willis O'Brien and Ray Harryhausen collaborated on it, to bring to life (via stop-motion animation) several dinosaurs, including Ceratosaurus, Stegosaurus, Allosaurus, "Brontosaurus" (i.e., Apatosaurus with a misappropriated camarasaurid skull), Tyrannosaurus, and Triceratops.

Also, a thank you to Barb Moermond, for the marvelous "Ceiling Cthulhu" T-shirt that arrived day before yesterday. The package also contained a chunk of Ordovician limestone, riddled with the fossil remains of gastropods and brachiopods, from her backyard near Madison, Wisconsin. I've been able to determine it came from one of three marines facies, the Galena, Decora, or Platville formations (Middle to Late Ordovician). The rock was deposited in a shallow tropical sea, at a time (roughly 475-445 million years ago) when Wisconsin was part of Laurentia, located a short ways south of the equator. So, thanks, Barb.

Time to spank the platypus.
greygirlbeast: (sleeps with wolves)
Yesterday, I did 1,321 words on "The Bone's Prayer." It's shaping up nicely. I'm aiming for something very compact, here. It's not a vignette, as it occurs over four or five scenes, but it's not a short story, exactly. More like a series of vignettes, but I suppose a lot of my short stories are no more than a series of vignettes. Anyway, I'm liking where it's going, regardless. I hope to be able to have it finished tomorrow afternoon, and to get Sirenia Digest #39 out late on Monday (March 2).

We're still working out the "fair-use" issue regarding a few of the quotes in The Red Tree. In this instance, they're all quotations from authors long dead, but the issue of translation arises. Are the translations I've quoted under copyright? In this case, it's Hesiod, Seneca, and Goethe. We're clear on everything else. Though I'm fairly certain that the copyrights have expired on the translations I've quoted (I became manic about this sort of thing after the Dread Daughter of Hounds/Emily Dickinson fiasco of 2007). Worse-case scenario, I have my own translations done, but I really don't think that's going to be necessary.

Yesterday was almost warm. The temperature reached 50F, but we had a terrible wind (gusting to 34 mph). After the writing was done, Spooky cajoled me into taking a walk with her, as I'd not left the house in so long. So I went. We walked as far as the statue of Ebenezer Knight Dexter (ca. 1832), at the north end of the Dexter Training Grounds. It was good to be out in the sun, despite the blustery chill.

Later, after dinner, we did a bit of the Kid Night thing, and watched The Valley of Gwangi (1969), one of my favorite films featuring Ray Harryhausen's animation. I mean, dinosaurs vs. cowboys. It just doesn't get a whole lot cooler than that. I will forever be grateful to Harlan Ellison for introducing me to Harryhausen back in 1998. Anyway, I first saw The Valley of Gwangi with my mother, grandmother, and sister, almost forty years ago, not long after its release. It seems unthinkable that it's been that long. I was five years old. I was a little disappointed that the cut we saw last night was trimmed from the original 125 minutes, down to 96 minutes. It omitted the cheesy song that James Franciscus sings to Gila Golan. But the dinosaurs are still cool, and I got my cheese fix from the cowboys, and Spooky thought the Eohippus was cute.

Okay, time to make the doughnuts. The platypus is snarling.
greygirlbeast: (white)
I'm trying to figure out how I feel about this whole Facebook thing. On the one hand, it definitely mollifies my manic need to fiddle with blank spaces and ticky boxes. On the other hand, it's hard to see it as anything but more time suckage, another means of time displacement, more of the Culture of Distraction. It is, at least, far more pleasant than MySpace. But, then again, it seems to make even less sense. I mean...all day yesterday...I typed these little one-sentence sound-bites. I hate sound-bites. No, I fucking loathe sound-bites. So, I'm just a little mystified at myself. Maybe this is the tiny spark in me that wishes to be social, fighting to escape the gravity of the recluse. I have no idea. But it's a good place to post photos.

A goodish writing day yesterday. I did 1,122 words on "The Collier's Venus (1893)." In theory, I'll finish the story tomorrow. Maybe. I hope.

Spooky had to drive down to Mystic (CT) yesterday to retrieve my wayward iPod, but now it's home and safe. One of the good things about having an ancient clunker of an iPod, no one ever steals it. No shiny video screen, and it's huge (by contemporary iPod standards). It would make a nice doorstop.

Since it was Kid Night, we had a "yellow meal." A lot of kid food is yellow. Or yellow brown. Last night, for example, we had mac and cheese, fish sticks, and French fries. A solid yellow-brown meal. Then we watched Mark Osborne and John Stevenson's Kung-Fu Panda, which we both rather loved. It was sort of like getting a second helping of The Forbidden Kingdom. A grand, fun film. And Ian McShane's voice makes my knees all wobbledy. After that, we played more WoW than we should have. Having skipped it earlier, Spooky and I finally did the Blackfathom Deep dungeon crawl with Mithwen and Syllahr. I think it took about two and a half hours, and because we're levels 34 and 33, respectively, we earned no actual XP, just the (dubious) accomplishment. Okay, there were a few experience points, for delivering the decapitated head of Whatshisname to the guy to Darnassus, and for taking the diseased brain stems to that other guy in Auberdine. Anyway, no more of that. Far too monotonous for this night elf, and I hate having to kill cartoon turtles.

That was yesterday. And I slept too late this ayem, so....
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
The new story, "The Colliers' Venus (1893)," has been giving me fits (no, not seizures, just fits). For all intents and purposes, as far as writing and my deadlines are concerned, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were a loss. Then, yesterday, I finally found my footing again, and the story began to move forward once more. I wrote 1,402 words. I am cautiously optimistic. This sort of stalling out doesn't often happen to me, thank fuck. But I'm now quite behind, and I have to be in Manhattan on Wednesday, which means I'll also lose Thursday. The good news is that I have an idea for a new Sirenia Digest piece for #36. I was hoping to have "The Colliers' Venus (1893)" done before NYC, but that now looks very, very unlikely.

A string of grey days here in Providence.

The car situation is sorting itself out. We were talking about a 2004 Suburu Outback, but then a local mechanic warned us about persistent head gasket problems, so we're looking at Toyotas and Hondas, instead.

Last night, for Kindernacht, we watched David Yates' Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007). I liked it quite a lot better than when we saw it in the theatre. But I still say that this is the first of the Harry Potter films that really needs the audience to have read the book. And I'm still amazed that the screenwriter and director made such a success of the novel's muddled climactic action scene. And there's still far too little Tonks. Though, the "Trailing Tonks" featurette on the DVD helps with that. As for the handful of deleted scenes included in the "Collectors' Edition," they don't add up to much. We see that Emma Watson had two good scenes chopped, and that a longer (and more effective) version of Umbridge's "I hate children" speech exists. In the end, I'm impressed by the film, but do hope for better from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Not sure what we'll do next week for Kid Night, now we're out of Harry Potter films.

I've posted a couple more entries to the [ profile] crk_blog_vault. Little annotations are finding their way in.

And now it's eleven thirty, and I should go.
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: (Ellen Ripley 1)
Yesterday, I wrote 2,117 words on Chapter Eight of The Red Tree. So, that's one day down, two to go. And I am so near the end of the novel. It really is unnerving. Knowing that, whatever I came here to say, I have to make sure it's said, because the curtain will be coming down soon. And it has gone to such a very dark place, this story. I do not mean ghoulies and ghosties dark (though there are both, after a fashion), or guts and gore dark, or even murder and mayhem dark. This is a darkness of the mind. There is no worse place to become lost than within the confines of one's own mind. There is no less forgiving environment. But, yes, a very superb writing day yesterday, though it left me feeling withered and disoriented.

Spooky baked oatmeal cookies (with raisins).

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Also, subpress is still taking preorders on A is for Alien, and the mass-market paperback of Daughter of Hounds is available. Thanks.

After the writing, and the reading what had been written, Spooky went to the market. I stayed in (too weary for eyes on me, and the autumn sky) and read "Superiority, Competition, and Opportunism in the Evolutionary Radiation of Dinosaurs" (Science, 12 September 2008), which examines the question of just how dinosaurs managed to come out of the Triassic so much better off than their crurotarsan contemporaries (non-dinosaurian archosaurs, including phytosaurs, aetosaurs, 'rauisuchians,' etc.). No clear solution presents itself at the present, only that the survival and radiation pattern could not have followed from the traditional view that it was all a simple matter of some innate dinosaurian "superiority" and competition. I also edited the Wikipedia article on aetosaurs, because it needed editing. Of course, it still needs editing. I don't know how long it's been since I stepped away from editing paleo' articles on Wikipedia. A long while now.

Anyway, last night we resurrected the ritual of Kindernacht, and had hot dogs and watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone again. And then, of course, we played World of Warcraft. We're trying to get our blood-elf characters up to the level of our night-elf characters, and then we'll do the same with our Draenei before going back to Mithwen and Syllahr. So, right now, Shaharrazad and Suraa are dug in down at Tarran Mills in Hillsbrad, helping the local undead polish off an unsightly infestation of humans. We've poisoned puppies, murdered farmers and councilmen, killed cattle with wanton glee, and collected thirty human skulls for a bored undead soldier. He gave us shiny magical rings in exchange. Poor Zhar'los (Shah's big blue minion). He just wants to go home to the Nether.
greygirlbeast: (Mars in space.)
Monsieur Insomnia gave me a thorough thrashing last night, so today I am somewhat less than together and articulate. At 4 a.m., I finally took an Ambien. At 5 a.m., unphased, I took a second Ambien, and that finally put me to sleep, but I was awake again at (or about) 10:30, so, at best five and a half hours sleep. Fortunately, I had already planned for today to be a day off, which somewhat minimizes the damage done.

And yet, as it turns out, yesterday was a peculiarly good day. I never see those coming, and always they blindside me. There were two very welcome bits of writing-related news, which, unfortunately, I am not at liberty to divulge until next week (or so). Also, I wrote a very respectable 1,339 words on The Dinosaurs of Mars and finished the first section of the novella (which comes to about one-sixth its total length). It is going well, at last. I'll pick it up again on Sunday. I've not had a true day off since the 16th, which is what, thirteen days straight, which is quite enough in a row, thank you.

Last night's Kindernacht film was Mark Steven Johnson's Ghost Rider (2007), which was really pretty awful. With a different director and a different screenplay, there might have been something here worth seeing. It might have been fun. As it stands, the film never quite manages to find itself, and one is left with the distinct impression the target audience was, in fact, twelve-year-old redneck boys. Following the movie, we had an after-dark walk, and it was sprinkling, a cool, gentle rain, and there was distant lightning. Perfect.

After the walk we both had some very excellent Second Life, which included forty minutes at Brian Eno's "77 Million Paintings" exhibition/concert in Avignon at Art Center. The exhibition is also running at Ars Virtua in Seventh Eye, and will be ongoing all day today at both locations. This is a sterling example of what's right about SL, the wondrous things SL can be if allowed and if the brightest, most creative minds are not driven away by the negatives. And the whole experience is free. Not a single Linden is being asked of attendees. I also had a meeting last night with Sir Arthur in Babbage, and we figured out where the modest Phase I of the Palaeozoic Museum would be situated (downstairs at the Undershaw Society). I'll likely spend a good deal of my "day off" working on those exhibits. And again, at no point will the Palaeozoic Museum charge its visitors, though donations will be accepted. Anyway, yes, a very good day, and it's quite nice to go to bed not feeling as though the world has trampled upon you...even if Monsieur Insomnia then shows up to ruin your sleep.

Is that all for now? Yes, I think it is.
greygirlbeast: (blindchi)
So, I slept after all. Maybe next year. I read from the Steinbeck biography until 4:45 a.m., at which point I decided I'd only be in a lousier mood than usual all day today if I didn't sleep. Here in Atlanta, the smoky skies are with us again, and I see that there's now smoke as far north as Tennessee and as far west as Mississippi. I'm trying not to think about the 400,000 acres already lost to the fire, or all the alligators and turtles and snakes and pitcher plants and anhingas and black bears that have been incinerated since that power pole fell in Waycross on April 16th and began this conflagration. I'm trying to think of the fire as a force for good, a source of regrowth, renewal, etc.. And I'm trying not to breathe, but you know how that goes.

I lied about not working yesterday. Well, maybe I cannot call it a lie since when I wrote I wasn't going to spend the day in acts of unwriting and mutilation I did mean it. However, during the bath my resolve faltered, and I ended up spending the afternoon with keyboard and scalpel and sutures. I only took a section of the Pectoralis major and the heart's right ventricle. And who needs that stuff anyway?

A good Kid Night though. Byron showed up about 7:30, and after dinner we watched Ryuhei Kitamura's Godzilla: Final Wars (2004), which was really just all sorts of awesome. Douglas Gordon, Captain of the Gôten (played by Don Frye) is my new man hero. Then we watched the episode of MST3K where the crew is forced to sit through Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973), and the three of us laughed until we were ill and dizzy.


I have parted from Radagast. While the wizard slept, I mounted Suregait and we rode swiftly along a steep mountain pass I was fortunate enough the espy, west of the Daemon Angren, and so there was no need to approach the watchers at Nargroth. There were no encounters with goblins or Uruks. We are now at the southern limits of Gorgoroth, and I have made camp. From the moon, I see it is almost midnight. I could ride no farther this night. Likely, Radagast watches me from somewhere on high, as a hawk, and he may yet summon the eagles and try to force me to forsake the quest. I can not say, Inwë. Perhaps I once again have made the wrong decision, but I knew he would not allow me to continue. Regardless, the mountains are at my back now, and the blasted plateau of ash stretches out before me. With Suregait, I have some hope of reaching my destination in only another four days or so, if we ride hard. I will sleep as little as I may. The sleep only brings dreams I do not wish to revisit, anyway.

But I know the man [ profile] setsuled pursues me. I do not know how, nor where he might now be, but I know, I will not write that down. I shall eat a bit of the lembas given me by Radagast, and I shall try to rest in the manner taught me by the elves, eyes wide open, for I am too near the crater of Orodruin to shut my eyes. It is said the mountain rent itself all asunder on the day when the ring was unmade, but in my dreams it remains a lake of fire seething below vaulted arches of stone. In my dreams, [ profile] setsuled Kinslayer leads me down ancient stairs to those flames and reveals to me his dark plan for the world.


Okay. I need to find some food. And coffee. And then get dressed. I leave you with this Keith Olbermann clip, which better expresses my dismay and anger at the invertebrates', congressional Democrats' decision re: the continued funding of President Asshole's war against Iraq than I could myself express.

greygirlbeast: (tonk!2)
Yesterday, I wrote 1,176 words on "The Ape's Wife," but did not find THE END. An unexpected scene occurred, and I allowed it to as it seemed important. The total word count for the story presently stands at 7,716, and it's not supposed to go past 8,000, so...I need to wrap it up today in only another 284 words. Hey, Rocky! Watch while I pull a rabbit outta this hat! Well, we shall see what we shall see. This is not an exact science, as some are wont to say. After the writing yesterday, I asked Spooky to read the entire story thus far back to me, and I am pleased with it. It's doing those things I wished for it to do, with a lot of surprises thrown in, and really, what more could I ask of it? I did note yesterday that it appears to show the influence of our just having re-read Slaughterhouse-Five. So, thank you Mr. Vonnegut.

I have remarked many times in interviews how I find it difficult to write without music. What I haven't said much about is how often I'll find a particular song that, for whatever reason, seems to perfectly express the tone of the story I happen to be writing and how I then proceed to listen to it over and over and over and over until the story is finished. For example, on Thursday I discovered that Tori Amos' "Bouncing Off Clouds" had the perfect tone to which to write "The Ape's Wife." And yesterday evening, at the end of the day's work, my iPod reported to me that I had, in two days and over about nine hours, listened to the song 130 times. I did not, of course, consciously listen, but some part of my brain heard and so the song helped to propel the story forward. It seems this sort of thing would drive a sane woman mad.

Someone — I cannot recall who — asked about the biplanes that were used to shoot Kong off the Empire State in the 1933 film, and I said I'd post a photo, and here it is (behind the cut):

Curtiss Helldiver )

What else about yesterday, Sissy called from Tampa, and I spoke with him, and then Spooky spoke with him. After the writing, we walked to Videodrome for Kid Night movies, and to the market for Kid Night food. It was cloudy and the weather was cooler and windy, with an actual bit of nip to the air. We both remarked that it sort of felt like Rhode Island, near the sea. Our Kid Night movies began with Dave Meyers's 2007 remake of Robert Harmon's 1986 The Hitcher. I haven't much to say, one way or another. I haven't seen the original since 1986, so I can't really trust my comparisons of the two. Judging this film on its own merits, as though it were not a remake, well, it's not as bad as I expected. The soundtrack is unfortunate. Sean Bean does his best, but surely was miscast. There's a certain grim satisfaction in the ending, but it's still far less satisfying than the end of Tarantino's Death Proof. Mostly, one is left with the feeling this could have been a much better film, if only it had tried just a little harder. The second feature was Ishirô Honda's Gezora, Ganime, Kameba: Kessen! Nankai no daikaijû (1970), though I prefer the deliriously inaccurate English title, Space Ameoba. This is not Ishirô Honda anywhere near his best, but there were some funny bits. I think Spooky enjoyed it more than i did. Still, a good Kid Night double-bill, all in all. And afterwards, we read three more chapters of The Children of Húrin.

Anyway, the playtpus has heard enough about "Bouncing Off Clouds" and devious space amoebas and asks that I get to work, as it's already 12:41 p.m. And once the short story is finished, I must get back to work on the screenplay. But I leave you with the following bit of wishful thinking (behind the cut):

if only )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I woke this morning from red-orange dreams filled with apocalypse. Is it any wonder? The one image that most stands out in that mad rush of terrible things, the thing I most remember, was turning to watch a bloated white moon rise and then set again only a minute or so later. The world was ending. This world. I wish I could convey the things I felt inside that dream without resorting to the narrative. There was sorrow and regret, more than any sort of fear.


A good writing day yesterday. I did 1,025 words on the new story for Sirenia Digest #17. As predicted, it has become a full-fledged short story. Right now, the total word count stands at 5,942, and I think it's going to come in at about 7,000 in the end. THE END, which I do hope to find sometime later today. If you liked Low Red Moon and/or Daughter of Hounds, you will probably be pleased with this piece. It's set in January 1999. A couple of years before the events of Low Red Moon, about eleven years before the events of Daughter of Hounds. Just a little while after the events of "So Runs the World Away," and it provides an intersection for all three (and, no doubt, numerous others). But it needs a title. Usually, I find the right title before I start the story, but not this time.

Yesterday, the postman brought me my contributor's copies of Weird Tales #344, which includes my non-fiction piece, "Notes from a Damned Life." It also includes a very amusing Darrell Schweitzer review of the gawdsawful Eragon film.

Kid Night last night. We walked to Videodrome, getting the night's movies and the day's exercise both at once. We watched Joe Carnahan's deliriously violent Smokin' Aces (2007), which probably shouldn't have qualified as a genuine Kid-Night movie, but being who we are, it worked that way for me and Spooky. I don't know what critics thought of this film, but we both loved it and I sort of wish we'd seen it in the theatre. We followed it with a 1959 Swedish sf gem, Terror in the Midnight Sun (aka Rymdinvasion i Lappland). Truly, this movie is almost as charming as Reptilicus (1961), and for almost all the same reasons. The gigantic furry alien steals the show, calling to mind some bizarre ur-Muppet and the abominable snowman of Rasputina's "The New Zero." Virgil W. Vogel later added a lot of superfluous footage and John Carradine, and re-released the film in America as the far less charming and utterly nonsensical Invasion of the Animal People. A very good Kid Night, indeed.

Before bed, I read two by Edward Gorey — The Other Statue and The Headless Bust.

Okay. Now I must find coffee. And then, THE END. And a suitable title.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
It is raining, a very fine spring rain.

Reports of my untimely demise have been greatly exaggerated. However, the same may not be said of Hindrance (née Victoria Regina, aka Crackbaby), my seven-year-old iBook. The last few days she's been fading fast — literally — as her screen gave up the LCD ghost (so to speak). Between iBook anxiety and being unable to find the beginning of The Dinosaurs of Mars, I've been in something of a tizzy. So, Friday afternoon I spoke with my accountant. I have one of those now, ever since She Who Will Not Be Named played havoc with my finances. Informed that yes, I could afford to spend some of the proceeds from the Forced March on a new computer (especially since I'm cutting back on boy whores), yesterday evening Spooky and I made the trip to the Apple Store at Lenox Mall, and now I have a most marvelous machine, my third Apple since July 1993, a 17-inch iMac desktop, whom I have yet to name. Of course, most of today will be spent not-writing, transferring data from Hindrance and getting the new machine just the way I need it to be so I can write tomorrow. And she has not yet been named. This is the computer that should last me until approximately 2013, provided that I last that long myself.

I've just turned up the following PW review of my contribution to Thrillers 2:

EDITED BY ROBERT MORRISH. Cemetery Dance, $40 (230p) ISBN 978-1-58767-122-7 (JUNE)

Caitlin R. Kiernan’s blend of deft characterization and eldritch atmosphere are displayed in two excellent tales of cosmic dread: "The Daughter of the Four of Pentacles" is a prelude to
Daughter of Hounds which raises some unsettling questions about our circumscribed position in the universe, while "Houses Under the Sea" handles its Lovecraftian roots with a poignant sensitivity that intensifies its impact. Thrillers 2's effective mix of styles and themes offers a sampler of the best that modern horror offers.

A good Kid Night on Friday. We watched the perfectly ridiculous (nigh unto laughable) William Girdler 1978 adaptation of Graham Masterson's The Manitou, followed by Koji Hashimoto and Sakyo Komatsu's Sayônara, Jûpetâ (1984), as surreal and inexplicable a bit of space opera as Japan has ever produced, complete with toy space ships, hippie ecoterroists, a dolphin, and a Godzilla cameo. Boy howdy.

I'm thinking about adding a monthly podcast to Sirenia Digest. Does this sound like a good idea? Very likely, I shall.

Okay, the platypus says it's time to get back to work. This afternoon, I am in no mood to argue with a platypus what cracks such a damn mean whip...
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Yesterday, I wrote 1,461 words on the new piece for Sirenia Digest. Which, combined with the writing day I had on Wednesday, leads me to fear that the Forced March of January might have permanently upped my daily word count. The new piece still has no title. I've been more concerned with the narrative fabric than with finding a title. Titles are odd things. If anything harms "suspension of disbelief," I should think it would be the simple fact of a title. I like titles that are poetic and easy on the ears, but more than anything, I see them as an arbitrary means of easily distinguishing one story from another. Humans must name everything, fashioning some false but comforting sense of discretion and walls within a system which is by its nature continuous. Titles and THE END, brackets so one story does not bleed inconveniently into the next. I expect to finish this piece — and find its title — by tomorrow evening, and I need to have the digest finished by, oh, say Tuesday, if I am to avoid drowning in the month's responsibilities.

The new issue of Fantasy Magazine arrived yesterday. There's a review of Daughter of Hounds on p. 50. I believe that I am pleased, or at least somewhat satisfied, to be called "An iconoclastic writer whose work resolutely resists pigeonholing..." The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (Fourth Edition, 2000) defines iconoclast as 1) One who attacks and seeks to overthrow traditional or popular ideas or institutions, and 2) one who destroys sacred religious images. I wonder what my life would have been like had it gone another way. What's an antonym of iconoclast?

We walked yesterday, though it was a shabby thing compared to our walk on Wednesday. Hardly any sun and a bitter breeze. We walked some ways down Euclid. Spoke with two of the neighborhood cats, who both had feared me perished in the depths of January and were glad to see me alive and shivering.

[ profile] stsisyphus asks, "Are expatriated extraterrestrials given more or less security clearance?"

More, but only because TPTB know no one is going to believe a word we say.

[ profile] kiaduran writes, "I turned the final page of Daughter of Hounds last night and wept. It is a magical and unnerving book. Your language is beautiful, vivid and haunting; I simply cannot stop thinking about Soldier and what she found and what she gave up. This is a world I will treasure. Thank you."

You're welcome, and thank you, Rev. Margo.

Tonight is Kid Night, and Spooky has put her foot down and declared it will be Kid Night, so, alas, no lesbian-friendly titty bars this evening. No drunken me. No morning after regrets. It all works out in the end.
greygirlbeast: (white2)
I wrote 1,660 words yesterday.

Also yesterday, Vince sent a really wonderful first study for his illustration for "The Sphinx's Kiss," a new story which will be appearing in Sirenia Digest 14, the January issue (subscribe, kiddos). I told Vince I loved it, that he was headed in exactly the right direction, and e-mailed him some reference material. And, also also yesterday, the gift of the "kindly but anonymous ichthyologist," the spare iBook, arrived safe and sound, so Spooky is, as she says, now "back among the living." This means, among other things, the website redesign can resume and we can get the eBay auctions going again.

There was no walk, but I did at least get out of the house. I went to the market with Spooky and to Videodrome, to find something for Kindernacht. We settled on the Pang Bros. Gawi wik (Re-Cycle; 2006). I'd not been impressed by The Eye (2002) and had not even bothered with The Eye 2 (2004). And at first, I thought we'd scored a dud with Re-Cycle. The beginning is slow and muddy and poorly focused, snagging up on lots of Asian horror movie clichés. I actually dozed. Then, about half an hour in, Re-Cycle takes off, becoming something else entirely, sort of Alice in Wonderland as reimagined by Dante Alighieri, the journey of a writer lost in a universe populated by her own abandoned ideas — indeed, by everything humanity has ever abandoned. The story remains murky, but the fundamental concept and the visuals are truly magnificent and worth the ride. Think キャシャーン (Casshern; 2004), and, visually, you'll be in the ballpark (though, truthfully, Casshern is, far and away, a much better film than Re-Cycle). Anyway, we followed it with The Craft (1996), which is one of those films that it's odd I'd never seen. Some part of me badly wanted to hate this film. But I could not. The Lost Boys for lost girls, so how could I not love it. Add in Fairuza Balk in a splendidly campy performance. If The Craft is guilty of any particularly serious crime, it's only that it makes Wicca look like a lot more fun than it actually is. So, all in all, a good Kindernacht.

The second bird of Spooky's Ornithaceous Period is finished, and you can see it at [ profile] squid_soup. This one will be going to eBay, she says, and there have already been inquiries by one or two interested parties.

Meanwhile, if you have not already ordered Daughter of Hounds, please do so. I found this "bookstore report" from [ profile] corucia in the comments to yesterday's entry encouraging:

I was at our local Barnes & Noble tonight. They had one copy left of the Threshold MMP, which I bought, but there was space on the shelf where a few more had obviously been. Next to it was one copy of Daughter of Hounds, face-out. This store usually does face-outs with at least five copies, so it's likely that they've sold at least four from that shelf. On the way out I luckily noticed that they also had Daughter of Hounds on one of the 'New Release' tables in front of the exit. These tables all have a shelf coming up off the center of the table - Daughter of Hounds was on the top of that shelf, once again face-out and once again with only one copy remaining out of a likely five to six initial pack.

I can only hope this scenario is being repeated in hundreds upon hundreds of bookshops across the country. Don't forget, Amazon is offering Daughter of Hounds together with the mmp of Threshold for only $18.19, delivered to your doorstep.

Postscript (1:22 p.m. CaST) — I've had a couple of people ask me if, in last night's meme, I made a spelling error when writing out Nar'eth ni'glecti Mericale and Tai'lah ni'glicti Mericale. That is, ni'glecti vs. ni'glicti. The answer is no. The phrase ni'glecti translates from the Nebari roughly as "first born of," while the phrase ni'glicti translates as "second (or later) born of." A first-born child is ni'glecti; all who follow are ni'glicti.
greygirlbeast: (chi4)
Yesterday was consumed by the busyness of writing, and I had to admit that it had been fairly wonderful, having spent five consecutive days consumed with the act of writing. I signed the signature sheets for The Merewife. I plowed through a bunch of e-mail. Ted Naifeh and I talked about doing an Alabaster panel at Dragon*Con 2006. I lamented not being in a position, financially, to go to the World Fantasy Convention in Madison this year. Truthfully, I don't know how so many writers can afford to do three or four or five cons a year. I do not know the secret. Anyway, what I didn't do was spend the day lying on a blanket in the park, half asleep, recovering from the end of Chapter Nine of Daughter of Hounds and preparing for the start of Chapter Ten, which was all I'd wanted to do. Nonetheless, I will do my best to begin Chapter Ten today. The beginning of the end. The beginning of THE END. I was telling Spooky last night that this ms. feels like a great unedited film, like I'm almost done with primary shooting and now I have months of post-production work ahead of me, and I've never had a novel ms. feel that way before. It's not a good feeling.

I've come to expect almost anything from my dreams, but I really don't expect them to be fun. Yet, last night, it would seem that I had a fun dream. I can't recall striking my head against any hard surfaces yesterday. Anyway, I was at a pirate party. That is, it was a party, and almost everyone there was a pirate of one sort of another, except for the mermaids and a bunch of Japanese girls dressed as cyborgs. And I was Nar'eth, and I was playing a game that was almost chess, but a little like shooting craps, with Mary Read and Anne Bonny. We were smoking opium from long-stemmed pipes carved from the teeth of sperm whales. Somewhere in the noisy, smoky room, there were crossdressing Thai boy whores, and a woman having sex with a very large horse. And nothing in particular happened. It went on that way for quite some time. We played several games of the chess/craps game, drank rum from hollowed-out pineapples (I don't like rum, but Nar'eth probably would), and regaled each other with tales of sea monsters and buried treasure. If I could dream like this every night, I'd never want to be awake.

Here in the "real" world, last night Spooky and I were determined to find just the right films for Halloween Kindernacht, films that, even if they weren't good, would at least be enjoyable. We started out with Roger Corman's Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959), which is sort of like The Creature from the Black Lagoon, only with hayseeds instead of marine biologists and geologists. Spooky observed that the monsters looked like Patrick from Spongebob Squarepants, only with tentacles, and I was hard pressed to disagree. We followed this with a film neither of us had seen — Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural (1973; also known as Lady Dracula, Lemora, the Lady Dracula, and The Legendary Curse of Lemora, directed and written by Richard Blackburn, the guy who went on to write Eaiting Raoul). It more than made up for all the rubber-suited foolishness of the mutant leeches. Truly, this is a brilliantly weird film. I know now that Dame Darcy is capable of time travel, because she is clearly the true inspiration for the film, along with The Shadow Over Innsmouth and In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers. If you have not seen this bizarre wonder (and I think most people haven't), track it down at once. If the Coen Bros. could be persuaded to remake this film, it would be the draddest thing imaginable. Afterwards, Spooky fell asleep, and I watched Rope (1948) on TCM.

More of the new Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology yesterday — "The nature of Mauisaurus hassti Hector, 1874 (Reptilia; Plesiosauria)." Oh, and on a somewhat related note, word of a new CBS poll reminding us that, though they are entirely reliant upon science for their way of life, most Americans are still living in the frelling Middle Ages when it comes to actually understanding the most fundamental scientific principles: "Just 15 percent say humans evolved, and that God was not involved." This isn't exactly news, but it's still damned depressing, and it makes me wonder how many of the poll's participants would also give a thumbs-up to the Easter Bunny, a flat earth, gay Republicans, and El Chupacabra.

And speaking of polls, the poll to guage interest in me doing a $10/per month weird erotic vignette by subscription service is still being watched. As of right now, 80 people have asked to be included. Spooky and I have begun laying out exactly how the service will be operated, and I'll post the details as they're worked out. I'm very excited about the project and hope more people will decide to participate. Remember, if you can't vote in the poll but want to be included, drop me an e-mail (at or chime in on the "Vignette Subscription" thread on the phorum. Thanks. Now, Chapter Ten ahoy!


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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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