greygirlbeast: (Default)
And here it is the second of Hallowe'en, and on this day one year ago I was in Portland, Oregon, Guest of Honoring for the Lovecraft Film Festival. In fact, on this night a year ago I gave the speech that was recently published in the fifth issue of The Lovecraft Annual. I'm having one of those "How can a year have already come and gone?" days. Then again, since this day two years ago, I've written two novels and...well, a metric-asston of stuff has happened.

Yesterday, I pulled together everything for Sirenia Digest #70. Great cover this month. So, as soon as I have Vince Locke's illustration, it goes out to subscribers (if you are a subscriber). But, yeah, that was work yesterday.

And a there was an email from Gary K. Wolfe that actually managed to make me happy. Kind of scary when that happens. My moments of the happy, I mean. More on this very soon.

It's Sunday, and Sunday is a very good day to order your copy of Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Me (Volume One) (sorry, the super-snazzy limited sold out long ago, but there's still a few copies of the snazzy trade edition).

And before anyone asks (as if anyone need ask), yes, I support OccupyWallStreet one-hundred percent, and I only hope we see more protests of this magnitude in more cities across the country. "We are unions, students, teachers, veterans, first responders, families, the unemployed and underemployed. We are all races, sexes and creeds. We are the majority. We are the 99 percent. And we will no longer be silent." I wouldn't hasten to add, we are artists.

Last night, we drove up to a four-band show in Pawtucket, at the Met Cafe in the Hope Artiste Village. Well, mostly, we went to see Brown Bird (click for the HEARING OF THE MUSIC), who played second. We are Brown Bird addicts, because they rock. Yes, they do, so don't make that face, you sluggard! But the first band was a group from Chicago, Pillars and Tongues (their Band Camp site), and they, too, were truly amazing. Spooky described them as the lovechild of David Sylvian, Brenden Perry, and Sixteen Horsepower. And Mark Trecka plays the harmonium! Wonderful. Then Brown Bird came on, and I was very confused, until I figured out that strange woman wandering around on stage was, in fact, Morganeve, who's cut all her hair off. Others were also confused. We left after Brown Bird, even though we wanted to see Dark Dark Dark play. But the third band was...bad. And painful. As in, a trumpet (or coronet?) splitting our skulls apart. And the bad clothes. Like, a thousand hipsters dumped into a blender and out popped this bad. Oh, and banana shoes. Let us not forget the hallowed banana shoes. We did discover that by the time we'd left the building, and walked around front and across the street to the parking lot, by then they sounded okay. But, yes, Pillars and Tongues and Brown Bird. If they play near you, SEE THESE BANDS. There are three photos behind the cut:

1 October 2010 )


Back home...we watched Mad Men (in Season Three, now), and I read to Spooky from Halloween. Yeah, I'm having another go at reading through an anthology that's reprinted one of my stories, since it's been going fairly well, this odd new habit. Oh, and I've never before been in an anthology that also includes Sir Walter Scott. Anyway, I read her "Ulalume: A Ballad" (including the last stanza, which is usually missing) and Lovecraft's "Hallowe'en in a Suburb," which led to a rather amusing conversation about lemurs, Lemuria, Goethe, and the lemures of Roman mythology. Then she went to sleep, and I read, to myself, Joe Lansdale's extremely effective "On a Dark October."

And that, Kätzchen, was yesterday, give or take.

Car Lagged,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (grey)
Though I slept eight hours or so, I feel like I didn't sleep at all.

And there's so much sun Outside. If I didn't mind a little chill–and I don't–I could spend the day swimming at Moonstone Beach. Same for yesterday. It was "supposed" to rain yesterday and again today. And the rain keeps running away from us. I think I'm going to write a paper titled "Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and New England Weather."

Yesterday, the CEM for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir was sent to my publisher from the Jamestown post office out on Conanicut Island. It should be in Manhattan by Wednesday. For the most part, it's now out of my hands.

We spent the afternoon, at West Cove, mostly beach combing. The water was very calm, only a few scattered clouds in the sky. When we arrived, there was a great deal of plastic litter (mostly old Clorox bottles–often used for floats on lobster pots–and soft drink and water bottles) along the shoreline. Spooky and I hauled a great deal of it up above the surf line, and then later someone else came along and gathered up still more. Lots of things wash up in West Cove. Sadly, a lot of it is refuse. It's hard to enjoy being at West Cove after such a futile task.

But we found some good beach glass. I only found one nice bird bone, which was unusual. There were kayaks, canoes, sailing ships, and other boats. We took a lot of photos, and I'll post some of them tomorrow. Just not up to the chore of Photoshop and ftp today.

Back in Providence, we dropped by the p.o. There was a box of antique porcelain doll heads Inzell, Germany for Spooky, and comp copies of the Lovecraft Annual (No. 5) were waiting for me. This issue reprints the Guest of Honor speech I gave at the HPLFF in Portland, Oregon last October. Oh, and there was also a resin cast of a raven skull for Spooky. Such is our mail.

There was pizza from Fellini's for dinner. As days off go, I've had worse. We did get more of The Sundial read, and finished Season Two of Mad Men.

---

Seems like I had more thoughts on The Stand, things I forgot to say yesterday, but now I've mostly forgotten them all again. I know I was going to mention how poorly paced the book is. Having read it again, I'm more amazed than ever that King released an "extended" version. The original is already too long. He could easy have cut out half the stuff in the Boulder Freezone, and it would have only helped. The novel all but grinds to a halt in the middle.

This is what a blog entry looks like when I really can't seem to muster the resolve to write a blog entry.

Anyway. I'll be over here, talking to myself.

Weary of the World,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Argh. Up much too late last night. Not even insomnia, just too dumb to go to bed. Just too unwilling to sleep. I resent that we sleep half our lives away. Or a third. Or what the hell ever. I resent it. Add in the time we spend sitting on toilets...it's depressing as fuck. But, on the other hand, only one seizure in the past couple of months.

I also hate how having a psychiatrist appointment at 4:30 p.m. makes it impossible for me to get any work done beforehand. I did try to work on the interview, but only made it through one question (on magick). I may soon refuse to give interviews for a while. My answers are becoming too angry, too combative.

I fell asleep with a new painting in my head. Black Ships Ate the Sky. Yeah, inspired by the Current 93 album. And other things. I can see the painting clearly. And I know this one will be too personal to sell.

Just before sunset yesterday the light over Providence was amazing. I wish I'd had the camera with me. It was just...brilliant. The soft orange autumn light, the deep blue-gray clouds , the darkening sky showing in between, the brick buildings on College Hill glowing like hot embers. At Whole Foods, Spooky picked up a second pumpkin, because we're having two jack-o'-lanterns this year. Sea gulls were black silhouettes above the river.

I found a new favorite band yesterday, and they're right here in Rhode Island. Have a listen to Brown Bird. Actually, it was Spooky who found them, then pointed me towards them.

But I know that who I was is who I'm not and I will never be again.

Ebay auctions continue, because taxes were paid. There's also Spooky's Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy shop. Cool Halloween stuff that goes away on November 1st.

Angry this morning over parents who try to force their gay or transgendered children to be straight or cisgendered. Or, hell. Parents who force children who wear blue socks when they want to wear green socks. What the hell ever. Parents who hold their love hostage, who dangle it like a carrot on a stick. So, this is my message for the day, in case anything is listening: Love is not conditional. No, not ever. And what is conditional is not love.

Same rules apply to so-called "loving" gods.

Oh, a good thing from yesterday. A package arrived from Robin in Massachusetts. A fourth printing of the edition of Lovecraft's Dagon, and Other Macabre Tales (Arkham House, 1965), with the Lee Brown Coye cover I spoke of in my keynote speech at the Lovecraft Film Festival. Before this, I only had a much later Arkham House edition (1986, corrected text), but this is the edition that brought me to HPL, way back in 1981, so thank you.

Hello, Natasha.

Everyone who expressed an interest in joining Eyes of Sylvanas, Spooky and I will be doing the Alterac Valley battlefield tonight (and maybe tomorrow night, too), because it's Call to Arms this weekend, and Shaharrazad and Suraa need more epic gear. If you're level 80, feel free to join the team. And to all those who are not yet Level 80, we'll arrange some sort of meet up...somewhere. Just send one of us a pm inworld.

The platypus says shut the hell up. So, see you tomorrow. Today, I've got to finish "At the Reef."
greygirlbeast: (Walter1)
A blustery, cold day today. The sky is that shade of blue. Better I be in here, though I want to be out there. But, tomorrow I will be leaving the House for an autumn foliage excursion to parts north. I only hope that this wind has left a few leaves on the trees.

I find it hard to sleep on windy nights. I always find it hard to sleep, but the sound of wind has always made me restless. I've always been this way, all my life. The wind's fine so long as I'm Outside.

Yesterday was not so much productive as the other thing. Then again, it wasn't entirely counterproductive. Perhaps it was only frustrating. Having set aside "There Will Be Kisses For Us All," I need a couple of good ideas for vignettes to write for Sirenia Digest #59. And it seemed reasonable to do some editing for Two Worlds and In Between while I tried to think of stuff. I did a little layout on the manuscript, and then I read "Persephone" and "Two Worlds and In Between." And I could not resist editing and rewriting on both. I tried. I truly tried. "Two Worlds and In Between" was easier on me than getting through "Persephone." But both now have a couple of hundred red marks each. I'm not yet sure whether I'm actually going to make the edits. I'm tempted to yank both stories, because, truthfully, in 1993 and early '94 I was still just figuring out what it was I was trying to do. I read until dark, and it left me shaken and confused. Do these stories belong in a "best of" collection? They're an honest look back at the beginning, that's true, but they are surely not my best. They are, I suppose, the best I was capable of seventeen years ago.

Anyway, besides email and a phone meeting regarding the Secret, that was yesterday. Oh, and I had to sign the income tax forms, and send away more than thousand dollars to help fund wars against countries that have done me no wrong. And Sméagol has some odd ailment of his right nostril, and Spooky has to take him to the vet today. So...money flying out the window. Even though the windows are shut. Money flies, regardless. So, my great thanks to everyone who bid on the recent round of eBay auctions, and especially to the winner of the "napovel." I was stunned, genuinely stunned, at what it went for. I really do kind of love you guys.

Slowly, I'm trying to clean and bring order to my office.

Last night, we watched the new episodes of Fringe and Project Runway. And then I played CoX late into the night, or early into the morning, or both.

I have what I think is the final set of photos from the HPLFF trip. It's a random lot, stuff I probably should have included elsewhere, but didn't. Ergo, there's a legend for each one. They date from September 30th through October 4th. My mind is very, very scattered. I think the festival was so marvelous that it's left me off balance. Again, I say, I don't know how authors who travel for writerly travel ever manage to get anything written.

H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival, Part the Last, Part 9 )


I am very annoyed there's no photo of me with S. T. Joshi and Wilum Pugmire. Finally meeting Wilum in person was one of the high points of the festival.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
1. A blustery day after a rainy night, just like A.A. Milne might have ordered. But there's more rain on the way. At the moment, it's 55F and the wind's 19mph, gusting to 30 mph. There is a wind advisory in effect.

2. Please note that a number of the current eBay auctions will be ending this afternoon (one or two probably before I post this entry). Most notably, the "napovel" auction ends in 3 hours and 25 minutes. Thanks to everyone who has bid and might yet.

3. I spent yesterday working on "There Will Be Kisses For Us All." I wrote a measly 151 words, over several hours, and finally, again, admitted defeat and shelved the story. This makes twice for this particular story. Last time, two years ago, I couldn't quite find the story in the story. This time, I found the story, but was overwhelmed by everything that needed to go into the story to make it authentic, a hundred details I've been sorting through. And, as Spooky noted, it was threatening to become a full-blown short story, when I only have time to write two vignettes for Sirenia Digest #59. So, with much regret, I put this story away again, and will come back to it at some future date (I promise).

There was a suggestion from a reader yesterday, regarding the possible identity of the Englishman in "Dracula's Guest," who is usually assumed to be Johnathan Harker. [livejournal.com profile] papersteven writes: Am I mistaken that, in the novel, Renfield, before his stay in the sanatorium, had traveled to Castle Dracula? I may be thinking only of the back-story provided in Herzog's remake of Nosferatu, but I always thought it plausible that the Englishman in "Dracula's Guest" was Renfield.

Doesn't work. Renfield as an estate agent was an element introduced in various stage and screen adaptations of the stories. Tod Browning (1931) has Renfield go to Transylvania instead of Harker, for example, and Francis Ford Coppola (1992) presents Renfield as the agent who went to Castle Dracula prior to Harker, and returned insane. But in the novel, Renfield is a patient in Seward's sanitarium, first mentioned in a May 25th diary entry, and not an estate agent.

4. Also, [livejournal.com profile] kaz_mahoney asked of "Pickman's Other Model": Was that in an older Digest? I'm assuming so, as it has a VL illustraion. I keep thinking about that story... When you first wrote it, was it ever a potential novel-length project? I can see that, somehow.

Yes. "Pickman's Other Model" first appeared in Sirenia Digest #28 (March 2008). Can I see it as a novel? Yes, I could. Easily. Will I ever write that longer story it could be? Maybe, who knows. The problem is, of course, that I have very many short stories that could be novels (and vignettes that could be short stories, for that matter).

5. Yesterday, my new keyboard arrived. It was a gift from Jada, so thank you, Jada! Since April 2007, I've been writing on the keyboard that came with my iMac. But it was a bad design, always had sticky keys (that had become very, very sticky), and, because of the design (set into a clear plastic tray) it easily became filthy and was hard as hell to clean. The new keyboard, also an Apple keyboard, is a sleek brushed aluminum affair, and the keys require the application of only the lightest touch. The old keyboard, with which I wrote many, many stories, as well as The Red Tree (and Beowulf, too, but I'm trying to forget that ever happened), will be packed away now.

6. [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark arrived about 7:15 last night, and we got sandwiches from Fellini's, and spent the evening in conversation, about this and that and everything else. I can't begin to remember it all. I read him my introduction for Two Worlds and In Between, about which I was becoming very skittish, and he assured me it's fine (as Spooky had done). At some point, Kathryn called us to her laptop, to see a Second Life Innsmouth sim. There's not much good left that one can say about Second Life. It has become a stagnant backwater. But this sim is a beautiful, beautiful build. You can pose in the arms of a deep one out on Devil's Reef. I recommend you see it before it goes away (all good things on SL go away fairly quickly). The sim is named Innsmouth, so it's easy to find. She'd also downloaded the free Lord of the Rings Online trial (née Middle Earth Online), and we were all rather disgusted with it. Lousy graphics. I mean, sure, it would have looked good in 2002 or 2003. Now...it hardly looks as good as Morrowind looked. All in all, it feels like a WoW knockoff, but with graphics far inferior to WoW. I was very disappointed (though I never would have played anyway, since there's never going to be a Mac version). This is frakkin' Tolkien, people, and you get it right or you leave it the hell alone. Anyway, Geoffrey left a little after 2 a.m., and headed back to Massachusetts and Framingham.

7. And here's another set of photographs from the Portland/HPLFF trip. I hope no one's growing weary of this visual travelogue. I just want to get a goodly portion of it down in the journal, to look back upon in years to come. These are photos taken on our last day in Portland (Monday, October 4th), and in the air, and at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport before we learned the flight to Providence had been canceled:

H.P. Lovecraft, Part 8 )
greygirlbeast: (Lucy)
A nippy morning here in Providence (though it's almost a nippy afternoon). 62F at the moment. We're thinking we have to do our tour of the autumn leaves this weekend or we're going to miss out on the peak altogether. Before I forget, congratulations to Peter for being awarded the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award. Booya!

No actual writing-type writing yesterday. I had a half-assed idea of cleaning house while Spooky worked on the taxes, because [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark is supposed to visit this evening. But that didn't happen. Instead, I tried to work. I did an interview for Jeff VanderMeer's Booklifenow website, about writing "As Red As Red" (in Haunted Legends). And I sent my HPLFF keynote speech to S.T. Joshi, as he wants to print it in the Lovecraft Annual. I also sent him "Houndwife," which will be reprinted in Black Wings II (PS Publishing), and "Fish Bride," which will be reprinted in The Weird Fiction Review. And then, getting back around to "There Will Be Kisses For Us All," I reread Stoker's "Dracula's Guest."

Over on Facebook, James Jeffrey Paul made mention of the fact that at least one Dracula scholar has suggested that Countess Dolingen of Graz, the vampire who menaces the unnamed Englishman (?Johnathan Harker) in "Dracula's Guest," might be one of the three "brides" in Dracula— the "fair" woman. Stoker writes: "The other was fair, as fair as can be, with great masses of golden hair and eyes like pale sapphires. I seemed somehow to know her face, and to know it in connection with some dreamy fear, but I could not recollect at the moment how or where."

I'm not sure I'm convinced that the two are, in fact, intended to the same character, but it is an interesting possibility, and I may use it.

Other reading yesterday included beginning Chapter Two of Volume One of Joshi's I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H.P. Lovecraft, and also beginning a paper in the new Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, "Osteology of a new giant bony-toothed bird from the Miocene of Chile, with a revision of the taxonomy of Neogene Pelagornithidae." Indeed, Pelagornis chilensis is a marvel, a bird with a wingspan of 5.2 meters! By comparison, the wingspan of the Great albatross (Diomedea) is a mere 3 meters.

---

Regarding various auctions: The auction for the one and only CRK "napoval" ends tomorrow. And there are, of course, the other eBay auctions. Also, check out the raffle to benefit the KGB Reading series (which I have taken part in twice, now). I've made two contributions to the raffle this year: A signed copy of the trade paperback of The Red Tree (I'll also draw a tree on the title page), and a chance to be "Tuckerized" in a forthcoming story. Raffle tickets are only one buck apiece, for a very good cause.

Also, a reminder that I will be reading and signing at the Brown University Bookstore on the evening of October 30th, 2010. Also, it will be a costumed event (optional, of course).

---

My great thanks to [livejournal.com profile] yukio20 for bringing a bit of news from Blizzard to my attention (I don't usually follow the forums, so I'd missed it):

Since the release of 4.0.1, more than a few warlocks have noticed that their pets are in fact no longer their familiar demonic servants, and instead appear to be new entities with different names. We’ve been able to pinpoint the cause of the issue, which should be resolved by tomorrow for any warlocks that log in for the first time from then on. We’ve also been able to determine that we will be able to restore any renamed warlock pets to their original pre-4.0.1 names during next week’s scheduled maintenance. For those of you who like your new pet names, we’re working on a feature for a future patch that will allow you to refresh your summons and essentially generate a random pet name without having to level a new warlock.

So...Greezun, Volyal, and Drusneth will be coming home. It appears they only took a vacation to Booty Bay without telling me, and hired these impostors from some infernal temp agency. Speaking of WoW, Spooky and I restructured our talent trees last night, and began trying to make sense of the havoc that Blizzard has wrought to various spells and abilities. Truly, someone needs to tell Blizzard that there's a huge difference between fixing/improving things and simply changing things. Most of Patch 4.0.1 is a sad, confusing case of the latter. I would stop just (barely) short of saying the game is currently broken.

Oh, and we also watched the new episodes of Glee and Caprica last night. I am very pleased that Glee appears to have redeemed itself for last week's god-bothering episode, and I think it's only a matter of time before Brittany comes out. Also, how cool is it that the new kid, Sam, speaks Na'vi? Great, great episode of Caprica.

---

And here's the next set of photos from the HPLFF. The festival put us up in a grand bed and breakfast, the White House (built in 1911). We had the balcony room. The house is watched over by an elderly albino Scottish Terrier named Prescott. We couldn't help but take a ton of photos of the place:

H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, Part 7 )
greygirlbeast: (cullom)
And here it is, seventeen years to the day that I began writing Silk. I was living alone in an apartment on Sixteenth Avenue South in Birmingham, Alabama. I only recall that it was a sunny, cold autumn day. I think what amazes me even more than all the time that has passed since that day is the fact that the book has now been in print for more than twelve years (it took five years to write Silk and then find a publisher). Anyway, since no one suggested a contest, I'll be giving away a signed and doodled in copy of the 4th edition mass-market paperback of the novel to someone who comments to the LJ today. I'll draw one of the names at random (and there's your incentive to comment).

Seventeen years ago, I'd hardly even been born.

---

Yesterday was an annoying sort of day. All thinking about writing, but no actual writing. I need to finish four or five stories by December 1st. One for an anthology and the rest for Sirenia Digest #s 59 and 60. So, I'm casting about for ideas. I think the first one, the one I mean to get to work on today, is called "There Are Kisses For Us All," which I actually began trying to write in December 2008, but set aside. I think maybe now I can actually write it.

I've not left the House since last Tuesday (October 5th), the day we returned from Portland. What is that, seven days? Six? I spoke with my psychiatrist about my reclusiveness, expecting her to be horrified. Instead, she only asked if it bothered me. I said no, that it didn't, and then she asked me that, in that case, why was I letting it worry me, that I shouldn't. That was an odd sort of relief, hearing her say that.

---

I will be doing a reading/signing at the Brown University Bookstore here in Providence on the evening of October 30th. I believe it's even going to be a costumed event. I'll probably read from The Ammonite Violin & Others. So, I hope some local people can make it out.

If you've not yet had a look at the "napovel," you may want to, along with the other eBay auctions. Also, Spooky's got Halloween stuff up in her Dreaming Squid Etsy shop, stuff she'll be taking down after Halloween. So please have a look. Thanks.

---

Last Monday night and Tuesday morning, after our flight was canceled and we were waiting sleeplessly for a 6:40 a.m. flight, we wandered the concourses and corridors of the sprawling Minneapolis/St. Paul airport, which was surprisingly interesting. One of the wonderful things we found was a display of bronze sculptures by an artist named Gareth Andrews. Most of them involved whaling: sperm whales, humpbacks, blue whales, bowheads, along with seals and sea lions. There was one fantastically surreal piece, Nine Muses in Boreas' Wood. It is almost impossible to describe, and was harder still for us to photograph. An amalgamation of totem poles and whale and raven and skeleton and men and beavers and deadfall...somehow the whole put me in mind of a Giger design for a wrecked starship, à la Alien. Gorgeous stuff. To quote the artist, "Great whales have always caused us to check our shadows." Spooky and I took photos, but they fail to do the work justice:

H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, Part 5, Gareth Andrews )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
And today is 10/10/10. Read into or out of that what you will. Having little, if any, use for numerology, I make nothing whatsoever of it, except that it is a calendric curiosity and inevitability. Like 9/9/09, or 8/8/08, and so forth. I wonder who thinks the sky is falling today?

---

Yesterday I finished the introduction for Two Worlds and In Between. Well, at least I hope that I finished it. I don't like writing these sorts of things. Anyway, it comes in at 1,541 words. I take George Orwell to task over that silly and too often parroted comment, "Good prose is like a windowpane.” But, also, I think writing instructors often fail to present the quotation in the context of the essay it has been taken from ("Why I Write," June 1946, originally published in the final issue of Gangrel, Summer 1946). Above all else, Orwell was a propagandist, which is not a bad thing. He had messages that needed speaking. And he needed them spoken very clearly (though, he was still awfully fond of metaphor, hence Animal Farm). But to think this applies to all prose, it was arrogant and short sighted of Orwell to think this, and idiotic for writers today to follow this edict.

I also cleaned up the keynote speech I gave at the HPLFF, because S.T. Joshi has asked to publish it (I can't remember where).

And that was work yesterday. I sat here and wrote and edited while Spooky went to South County to see her parents and her brother.

Oh, and thanks to Cat Conley ([livejournal.com profile] catconley, "The Awkward Marmoset") for sending me a copy of Greer's Moonwise. It was a pleasant surprise.

Last night there was far too much CoX. [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus showed up, and may even have joined out weird little group of vampires and supernatural ne'erdowells.

---

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, which include the "napovel," written in the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport during our captivity there. All bids are much appreciated. We not only have to pay the taxes this month, we also have to consider the fact that both my iPod and cellphone were fried during the trip to Portland.

It's something of a mystery, and I know fuck-all about electronics. Neither will hold a charge now, and the iPod actually appears to have been wiped clean. I suspect my shoulder bag, at some point, came into contact with a strong magnetic field. I just don't know when it might have happened, or where. But as I rely heavily on both for writing, they will have to be replaced or repaired very soon. It may be the lithium-ion batteries only need to be replaced. I just don't know (and if you know anything about these sorts of conundrums, please say so).

---

I've been getting some good feedback on "John Four," which felt like a sort of story I haven't written before. So I was very nervous about it.

---

Somehow I forgot Sonya's ([livejournal.com profile] sovay) birthday. So, happy belated birthday, Sonya.

And now, more photos from Portland. I was amazed at the lushness of the neighborhood where we were lodging. Everything was green. I think of Rhode Island as being lush, but it can't compare to what I saw of Portland. So, here are some glimpses of the lushness and greenery:

H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, Part 4 )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
There will be no photos today, because Spooky has been editing and uploading them for me, because, as I mentioned, Gimp sucks gangrenous donkey balls. And, by the way, while I know that Gimp is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program, it's still a very poor choice for a software programme, especially one that only limps, at best.

No photos today. Photos from Portland will resume tomorrow. Today, I write, and Spooky goes to her parents to see her brother, whom she's not seen in eight years (he's a biologist living in Bozeman, Montana).

---

What did I do yesterday, you ask? Well, since you asked so nicely, I spent almost all of it trying to write the introduction for Two Worlds and In Between. Which, it turns out, is a crazy-hard thing to do. Although I really want to do this myself, right about now I'm sort of wishing I'd asked someone else. But I did calculate yesterday, in the course of struggling with the introduction, that since 1992, I've written, sold, and published about one hundred and eighty-two short stories, novellas, novelettes, and vignettes, along with nine novels (including one movie novelization and a ghost-written novel), fifty comic-book scripts (all for DC/Vertigo), and various and sundry chapbooks and non-fiction odds and ends. Somehow, that's terrifying. So, just don't ever dare say I ought to write more.

I also continued trying to restore my office to some semblance of organized. I'm boxing up books that are going to be donated to a local library. We cannot keep all the books we have forever, not in such close living spaces.

Spooky is reading to me about Condylura cristata, the star-nosed mole. Amazing beasts. Spooky saw one at her parents in 2006, wresting in dead leaves with a huge millipede. It made a deep impression upon her.

Where was I? Oh, the office. So far, most of the books I'm jettisoning are by Stephen King (I'm keeping the ones I really like). I'm also boxing up some toys and doodads, because I have too many, and they are threatening to tumble down upon my skull and squish me.

Oh, and it occurred to me that there are a couple of people I should thank, people who did kind things at the HPLFF but whom I neglected to thank in the madness of last week. For example, Edward Martin III, who writes flash fiction, and who, during the HPLFF, wrote a story about me called "Maturation." It involves medical experiments and nanites. I may include it in a future issue of Sirenia Digest. Also, thanks also to Taylor Haywood and his girlfriend (I've forgotten her name, dammit), who gave me all sorts of cool stuff and a very sweet card.

---

I think today will be Talk Like Hugo Weaving Day, Mister Anderson.

----

If you were very sad about missing out on The Ammonite Violin & Others, you may cease to despair. Subterranean Press still has copies, after all. It was a false alarm, the sell out. And there are also still copies of A is for Alien, which you need, no matter what your opinion of science fiction. Yes, you do, too. Do not argue with the crazy writer lady.

Yesterday, Spooky began an eBay auction for my one and only "napovel" (napkin + novel; it is an odious portmanteau, and I apologize). To my knowledge, it is the first and only napovel in existence. An entire novel written upon a napkin, with the aid of Caribou Coffee. It's one of the many things I did to occupy my mind while we were trapped and sleepless at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport for those twelve long hours last week. Truly, this is a part of history. Actually, I'm amazed it already has bids. My napovel is either deeply Kafkaesque or just "emo." Or maybe Kafka was emo. All proceeds go to help me pay my income taxes this year. Oh, and there are other ongoing auctions, as well. For normal books.

---

We saw the new episode of Fringe last night, which I thought was especially excellent. Part of me wishes this series could go on forever, the selfish, greedy part of me that keeps eating long after she is full. But the other part of me, the reasonable and prudent part, recognizes that it has, at most, another good season in it, and the creators should wrap it up while the show is still this marvelous, terrible, funny, beautiful thing. Please, finish before cancellation makes necessary a godsawful movie to wrap up all the loose ends (Farscape: The Peacekeeper War comes to mind).

Later, I played far too much City of Heroes and Villains. Erzsebétta has either fallen in love or been seduced by a hot demon chick named Begin, and Sekhmet is not happy. Also, sort of brushed shoulders ingame with [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus, which was cool. I was up until 4:30 a.m., like I was a geek of only twenty-five or so. Stupid me. I'm paying for it this morning/afternoon.

Ah! The new issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology just arrived. Okay. Time to make the doughnuts (or donuts, if you prefer).
greygirlbeast: (Default)
On the eleventh, only three days from now, it will have been seventeen years since the day I sat down and began writing Silk. I want to commemorate the day by giving away a signed (and probably scribbled in) copy of the novel (fourth edition mmp), but I can't think of a contest-type thing. Suggestions are welcome. And that reminds me, I owe everyone who chipped in on Spooky's birthday present a poem. Well, it's been written, and now we have the paper and envelopes, so those will go out very soon. You have not been forgotten; I'm just slow as slug juice.

Yesterday was spent on email, and cleaning the sad wreck I'd let my office become, and shelving books, and stacking books along the walls, and, finally, beginning to assemble the manuscript for Two Worlds and In Between for Subterranean Press. This is how today will be spent, on the manuscript, as I need to get it away to Bill Schafer ASAP. And that means I also need to write the introduction. It will be a short introduction, but it's still intimidating as all get out (I think that's an idiomatic phrase confined to the Deep South, but I might be wrong). A summing up. A taking of stock. Anyway, that's what I'll be doing today, and maybe taking a phone call or two related to the SECRET.

Last night, we watched the first episode of Season One of Caprica. I love this show, and was relieved that it wasn't canceled. However, I did not appreciate having to sit through some gods awful commercial for a pair of paranormal romance novels, Covet and Crave (shudder), by someone named J.R. Ward. Have you noticed how so many of the women cranking out this PR shit a) have oddly masculine sounding names, usually involving initials, and b) present themselves as Beverley Hills glam, but only manage to look like tarted-up nerds whose clothes are wearing them? Anyway, good episode. Later, I played City of Heroes and Villains, which is my new vice. I did the free trial awhile back, and some kind soul recently gifted me with a copy of the game (and a month of free play). So, yeah. Imagine Countess Elizabeth Báthory as a super villain (cough, cough), and you'll get the picture. It's big goofy fun. J.R. Ward could probably squeeze a series of novels out of it, except that Erzsebétta is a lesbian, in love with her ancient Egyptian blood mother, Sekhmet, and PR is generally a'feared of the lesbyterians (except for the pretend ones who really just do it because men like to watch). So, yes. Super villains. And later I read the first bit of Tom Griffiths' book on Antarctica.

I'm also reading Luis Chiappe's Glorifed Dinosaurs: The Origin and Early Evolution of Birds, and, as I mentioned, China Miéville's The Kraken, because one book at a time is apparently never enough.

Oh, and I joined Cat Valente ([livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna) on Twitter yesterday, for an impromptu dialogue on how Only Men Are Allowed To Write Hard SF. Because, you know, men say so. But that's okay, because us girls, we are allowed to write fantasy. We get all the sparkly unicorns and double rainbows. Because the men say so.

---

The last couple of nights, I'll think of a bunch of neat stuff from the HPLFF that I want to write down, but then, in the morning, when I sit down to make an entry, I've forgotten it all again. Maybe I'll do better tomorrow. There are some photos at the end of this entry, though, from the reception on Friday for Lovecraft Unbound that Dark Horse hosted at Hollywood Wine and Espresso, which is located catty-corner from the Hollywood theatre (and this sentence is far too long and I should really make it stop now). They're all in sepia, because Spooky was on some sort of mad sepia kick that afternoon.

---

I'm not sure, but I think maybe the trade hardback of The Ammonite Violin & Others is pretty close to being sold out again. If you mean to order a copy, best do it now (unless it's already too late).

The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, Part 3 )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
First things first. Gimp sucks gangrenous donkey ass. Really, I spent half of yesterday fighting with it, trying to finish up the layout on Sirenia Digest #58. Not a speck of intuitive design anywhere in the goddamn programme. Not a whit. I so miss Photoshop 7 (which, you will recall, was rendered useless when I updated to OS X 10.6.3).

So, I'll likely be buying the dumbed-down version of Photoshop, as soon as I am able.

Anyway...on the subject of Sirenia Digest, thanks to Gordon Duke for helping me get it out last night. I swear this issue was cursed. But, by now, all subscribers should have it. Comments would be lovely. Thanks.

Yesterday is a veritable blur. Something very, very cool happened. Potentially very cool. But right now it's a Secret. There was a very cool phone call, and I'll talk about it whenever I am able. There was also a lot of email. No, more than that. A lot a lot. The phone call and all the emails and fighting Gimp to get the digest out. That was pretty much yesterday.

Oh, and did I mention I had a great meeting with an editor from Dark Horse during the HPLFF? Well, I did. More on that as it develops.

I did also pause to take stock of how many short stories I've been commissioned to write between now and the end of 2011. I'm going to be very busy, but very busy is good. And I have to get the Next Novel written. I've asked that the deadline be extended again. I think this is the third extension. I'm losing track, and I'm losing patience. Fortunately, my agent and editor seem a little more patient with me than I am. So, the deadline for Whatever The Next Novel Will Be Called is now March 1, 2011, which means the earliest you can expect it in bookshops is probably late autumn 2011. We call this optimism, the mothmen and I.

I was going to write more about Portland, but it's getting late, so that's going to have to wait until tomorrow. Hopefully, the impressions won't fade. And there are more photos below, behind the cut.

Oh, and a big thank you to Steven Lubold for another wonderful package, which included a copy of Slicing the Silence: Voyaging to Antarctica (Harvard University Press). Which I intend to read as soon as I finish China Miéville's The Kraken. Which I am loving, by the way.

---

We watched the new episode of Glee last night, and, well, it was troubling. These guys have probably said it all better than I will, but here I go anyway. The series has always teetered on the edge of smarm. Somehow, that's usually part of its wonky appeal. But last night, not only did it cease to teeter and plunge head first into insipid greeting-card sentimentality, it also spent an hour hassling atheists. Or, as the Brits say, god bothering. I love that term. Finn sees Jesus in a grilled cheese, and embarks on a journey into magical thinking. And, somehow, this is a set up for an episode that does it's best to convince us that we should all believe in "god" because it makes life easier than it is when you don't believe in god. Yes, it was that stupid. Also, I have to point out that— despite the fact that Ryan Murphy is gay, and one reason I love the show is that it's so queer friendly —there's something disturbing about the episode's choice of atheists. Kurt, a gay character. And Sue Sylvester, who's played by an openly lesbian actress. Now, I'm almost certain the creators of the show didn't intend to send the message that gays are godless infidels who need to be prayed for and saved and all that crap, but that's still the message that the episode sends. That, and how religious harassment is acceptable, and the separation of Church and State is repressive, and it's okay for school councilors to preach to students, and...well, lots of this sort of shit. The episode stopped just short of forcing Kurt to recant his atheism, but, for fuck's sake, that horrid scene between Sue and her older sister. It was superficial and nauseatingly insincere. Also, while Glee usually bends over backwards to be multi-cultural, only Judeo-Xtianity seems to be acceptable brands of spiritualism. There was a Sikh woman, the acupuncturist treating Kurt's dad, but she was sort of treated as a quack.

It could have been an interesting episode dealing with belief and the lack thereof. It could have looked at both intelligently without condemning or proselytizing. It failed miserably on both accounts. I love this show, but last night's episode was almost enough to make me stop watching.

---

And to end this entry on a less sour note, here are more HPLFF photos, shots of the Hollywood Theater and of some of the slides that appeared before the films. Oh, and one from my keynote speech. By the way, clips from Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown were shown each night, and it's weird as hell seeing myself projected twenty-feet high:

The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, Part 2 )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I awoke this afternoon...and it really was afternoon...after about ten hours of sleep. Oh, and I dreamt about a Nazi invasion, and being some sort of resistance freedom fighter. But, er, where to begin. I'm not going to attempt a con report, because a) I'd be insulting the HPLFF by calling it a con, and b) I suck at making con reports. That which is not dead can not be summarized. You really had to be there. So, what I will do is strew random comments higgledy-piggledy through this entry and those for the next few days, comments which, when taken as a whole, will provide some vague impression of the past weekend.

It was almost perfect, this past weekend. It would have been a perfect weekend, if not for the nonsense that began at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport and forced us to go to Detroit in order to get back to Providence. And except for my iPod apparently biting the dust (in all fairness, it was more than five years old, and there's that whole idiotic planned obsolescence thing to consider).

Before I forget, an announcement from Subterranean Press. It would seem that the warehouse has yielded a nearly full carton of The Ammonite Violin & Others, which we thought had sold out on publication. So, if you missed out, here's an unexpected second chance!

---

I do want to try to thank everyone who made HPLFF 15 so marvelous for me. Inevitably, I'll leave people out, because I am a forgetful beast with an addled brain, and for that I apologize ahead of time. Also, I'm not even going to attempt any sort of organized "thank you." Embrace the higgledy piggledy. So, first and foremost, thanks to Andrew Fuller, who not only writes a mean screenplay, but also ferried me and Spooky about all weekend, with infinite patience and punctuality. And to Andrew and Linda Miglore and all the other festival organizers and staff for pulling this amazing thing off pretty much without a hitch. My thanks to all the filmmakers (and I'll post a list of my favorites in another entry) who put their art and hearts up there for all to see. My thanks to Scott Connors and Ron Hilger for all four volumes of the The Collected Fantasies of Clark Ashton Smith (Night Shade Books). My thanks to S.T. Joshi for volumes one and two of I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H.P. Lovecraft (Hippocampus Press). And let me tell you, lugging these books back home in our carry-on luggage was all sorts of fun (10 lbs.!) My thanks to Ellen Datlow ([livejournal.com profile] ellen_datlow), who sort of seemed to keep me grounded all weekend. My thanks to Tony Starlight's Supper Club and Lounge for naming a menu item after me, if only for one weekend (Caitlín's Garlic Fries, "Fit for Mass Consumption, and 'Spooky' Good!"), and to Scott Glancy of Pagan Publishing, because sometimes you just have to say, "Fuck it, Dude. Let's go bowling." Oh, and thanks again to Scott Connors, who brought Spooky a great big bottle of oak moss, and to Cassandra Brewster ([livejournal.com profile] whiskeychick) for the Voodoo Doughnuts. Someone else brought a bag of Voodoo, but we don't know who. And everyone at Portland's White House, including Amara and Prescott, for the grand accommodations. And Lee Moyer, for, among other things, introducing me to Henry Clewes.

You know, this whole "thank you" thing is starting to sound like one of those Oscar speeches that goes on far too fucking long. But, it was great meeting so many people I should have met a long time ago, including Wilum Pugmire, Mike Shea and Lynn Cesar, Rachel Edidin and everyone else from Dark Horse, Edward Morris, Marc Laidlaw, Cody Goodfellow, and all the longtime fans and LJ readers like Chris Walsh ([livejournal.com profile] chris_walsh) and [livejournal.com profile] amberite (and everybody I'm forgetting, REALLY).

A special thank you to everyone who came to my reading on Sunday. I am told it was the best attended reading of any HPLFF ever.

And, gods, I met William F(ucking). Nolan!

Oh, and it was great meeting and conversing with Sean Branney of the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, and also seeing sneak-peeks of the forthcoming HPLHS adaptation of "The Whisperer in Darkness," which looks awesome (yes, I said "awesome," even though the internet seems intent upon ruining that word forever and ever, because the eighties didn't quite finish it off).

I'm serious, the weekend was beautiful. The only part I'd subtract from it are Robert M. Price's sudden bursts of Islamophobia. Apparently, he actually believes that the inhabitants of Innsmouth should be viewed as "islamofascists." Um, yeah. Anyway....

---

Today, I'm going to finally get Sirenia Digest #58 out to subscribers, and I do apologize, again, for the delay.

---

And here are four random photos from the HPLFF (and there are many more to come):

The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, Part 1 )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I'm home. I have been since about noon. But I am only just barely awake, or even alive, I think. Yesterday, about seven p.m, shortly after we arrived in Minneapolis, for our connecting flight to Providence, said connecting flight was canceled. And we were cheerfully informed there would not be another flight until Tuesday morning. Yeah, Delta gave up a voucher for a Days Inn somewhere in the middle of god's left ballsack, and I suppose that was very nice of them. But we opted to spend the evening wandering about the airport...mostly alone. Not sleeping. On towards two a.m., the place took on a surreal tint. Everything in the airport closed up by ten p.m., which came as a surprise to me.

"Zombies don't need airplanes!"

"Empty airports late at night are like Radiohead videos."

Yes, it was like that. Also, I wrote a scenario for a short film titled, "Mother Hydra Triptych," and also wrote The Shortest Novel Ever on a Caribou Coffee napkin. I did not, however sleep. No, not Spooky, either. She read aloud to me "The Colour Out of Space" and "The Shunned House" (I'd just read the former to myself a few days before, but whatever).

We discovered a kindly robot that peed coffee (though we did have to pay it).

We caught a flight to Detroit at dawn, and then flew into Providence on something made from balsa wood and rubber bands. Every part of my body hurts. Since making it back to the House, I've wrestled with a mountain of email, slept three hours, and eaten two slices of pizza.

The HPLFF was brilliant, and wonderful, and cool, and I loved it so much I won't call it the best convention I've ever done, because I hate conventions, and to call it one would be an insult. Tomorrow, if I live that long, I'll be posting a long, long thank you list. And the first set of about five-hundred photographs.

Iä! Iä! Booya! (ouch)
greygirlbeast: (Bjorkdroid)
The insomnia hit me hard last night. I didn't get to sleep until after five a.m., and then only with the help of Ambien, that nasty fucking shit. I had this plan, you see, heading into this long trip and the HPLFF. But...on the subject of plans:

I think a plan is just a list of things that don't happen. (Parker, The Way of the Gun)

What you plan and what takes place ain't ever exactly been similar. (Jayne Cobb, Serenity)

So, I'm left wondering if the airline's going to consider these bags under the bags under my eyes as carry-on luggage. Because, as Thom Yorke reminds us, "...gravity always wins." And anyway, when the fuck did airlines start charging for any and all checked bags? At twenty-five bucks a pop. Granted, I haven't flown since 2004, but this is ridiculous.

---

All of yesterday was spent on the layout for Sirenia Digest #58, and in writing it's prolegomenon, which ended up being 737 words long. I think it turned into a sort of rough draft for the keynote speech I'm supposed to give the first night of the HPLFF. How I found Lovecraft abandoned on a school bus in 1981.

---

How is it that so many (note, I did not fucking say all) Xtians are so goddamn opposed to charity? I mean, isn't that like a scientist being opposed to observation and experimentation, or a Mormon being opposed to bicycles? Or a Scientologist being opposed to lousy science fiction movies starring John Travolta? Oh, okay. The teabaggers would say, we're not opposed to charity. We're opposed to enforced charity, compulsory charity. Which means, we're opposed to our tax dollars going to help people of color, and poor people, and people who aren't Xtians, and researchers who've proven that high-fructose corn syrup increases the rate of obesity and diabetes, and also no tax dollars to bums and junkies (liberals call them "homeless people"), or evolutionists, or environmentalists, or people without health insurance (because they're irresponsible), or people what don't think like we do. But...hey, it's totally okay if our money goes to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and wherever else America wants to fuck up the rectum with a broken bottle, to getting all those American soldiers killed in the name of Coca-Cola, and getting all those Iraqi and Afghan soldiers killed in the name of Big Oil, and all those Iraqi and Afghan and Pakistani civilians killed in the name of Spongebob Sqaurepants. Yeah, that's okay. Because Jesus, we know he had a hard on for war. And he hated poor people who weren't responsible enough not to be poor. And he also hated brown people, even though he was one.

You fucking people make me sick. No, not you. You.

---

It occurs to me that I should post my itinerary for the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival, just in case anyone wants to show up to marvel at the Woman Who Cannot Sleep. But first I have to download it and read it. Hold on.

Well, that took ten minutes, and oh look, it's a spreadsheet. I suppose that's appropriate, spreadsheets being all about forbidden knowledge and wrong geometry and driving people insane. Anyway, it's something like this:

October 1st, Friday 3:30 p.m. Dark Horse reception for Lovecraft Unbound (Hollywood Wine & Espresso; across from where the festival takes place)
Friday night (main screening room): festival opening ceremony, keynote address.

October 2nd: 1:30-2:30 p.m. "Riffing on Lovecraft" (no idea what that means)
2:30-3:30 p.m. "The Cosmic Horror Movement"
4:30-5:30 p.m. "Brief Readings from Lovecraft Unbound"

October 3rd: 1:30-2:30 p.m. My reading.

---

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, please, so I can buy more sleeping pills, please.

---

Four hours or so of astounding roleplay in Insilico last night. Just Grendel and Molly. Four hours of emotionally grueling rp. In which Grendel's pregnant human body finally gave up the ghost, and Molly removed her AI and put it back into the Xiang Prime shell (returned to them by Fifth a couple of nights ago). And then really bad stuff happened.* I don't know whether or not we've gone as far into the middle of this sf story as we'll be able to go. I'm just glad to have had the bumpy ride this far. This is what roleplay was meant to be. Catharsis. Gut-wrenching, mind-bending, self-searching catharsis. I couldn't care less for ideas of SL community and "rp events" and suchlike. I'm there for these beautiful, horrible little stories, that are only little if you're on the Outside looking in.

Gotta go now.

* This develop was almost immediately redacted, and the scene described above was treated as a dream sequence.
greygirlbeast: (Walter1)
Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] anaisembraced reminded me of a quote from one of Anaïs Nin's published diaries (1931-1934). It manages to say much more eloquently what I was trying to say yesterday about my need for a public persona:

"There were always in me, two women at least, one woman desperate and bewildered, who felt she was drowning and another who would leap into a scene, as upon a stage, conceal her true emotions because they were weaknesses, helplessness, despair, and present to the world only a smile, an eagerness, curiosity, enthusiasm, interest."

---

Yesterday was spent, work-wise, beginning the layout of Sirenia Digest #58. I have to set that aside today for the aforementioned Weird Tales interview, which I'm doing after all. Part of me is so done with giving interviews. Another part of me recognizes it's always going to be something I have to do.

If you want truly secure online passwords, create your own language. It works wonders.

The weather has turned warm again.

People have started asking me questions about the H. P. Lovcecraft Film Festival. What I will and won't be doing, my schedule, how many books will I sign, when's my reading, what will I be reading from, how long will I be in Oregon, am I going to Powell's, and so forth. I'm going to post my schedule for the festival and CthulhuCon here in the next day or so.

As for signing, I'm not going to have an actual signing session scheduled, I don't think, so you might want to plan on bringing stuff you want signed to my reading, or catching me before or after a panel, something like that. But not if I'm eating, or something like that. I'll sign as many books as you want signed. No limit. I'll personalize them. I won't write stupid shit like, "To my best friend" or "For a kindred spirit" or poetry or anything like that. I won't inscribe my books with passages from my books. I bring these things up because from time to time they've been an issue in my eBay sales. I'll sign books, and I'll sign books to you or to whomever you want them signed to, but that's about it. Sometimes, if the mood strikes me, I throw in a monster doodle, but the mood rarely strikes me.

Also, I am declaring this con "Be Nice to Spooky Weekend." Which means, well, be nice to Spooky, because if she weren't coming along, I wouldn't be able to be there. Please feel free to bring her doughnuts from Voodoo Donuts (I think she's especially interested in the bacon-maple bars, voodoo dolls, and apple fritters). Or a vial of Escential's "oak moss." These things will make her smile.

---

So far, I've completely avoided seeing clips and trailers from Matt Reeves Let Me In, which is a remake of Tomas Alfredson's superb and perfect Låt den rätte komma in (both based on John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel, Låt den rätte komma in). I hate the things that Reeves has said, with a straight face, about making the story more accessible for Americans. I hate that he's gutting the novel and original film's gender issues by simply making Eli a genetic female. How can that not come across as pandering to homophobic and transphobic filmgoers? And this is all confusing, because I very much loved Reeves' Cloverfield, and want to see more from him. I'm not especially fond of American remakes of foreign language films, but I also don't hate them on principle, as some seem to do. Usually, I'll give them a chance. But this time, I don't see how I can.

Oh, and I'm very pleased to see that [livejournal.com profile] docbrite is finally reading House of Leaves.

---

Some smart, moving, exquisite rp in Insilico last night. Lately, my rp has involved very few people, which I have found, through trail and error, to be the best approach. Two people is ideal. Four is usually my limit for a scene. More than that, there's too much chaos. This story began back in January and February, with a long hiatus from April into July. At this point, it's mostly the story of two people, one of whom happens to be an android. It's like the middle of a good sf novel, one for which I know I'll never get to read the beginning or ending (which makes it rather like a dream). It demonstrates the marvel that Second Life can be, but almost never manages to be. Anyway, my thanks to Fifth and Molly.

Earlier, Spooky and I watched the latest Project Runway (good riddance, Ivy) and the first episode of Season Three of Fringe, which I though was an especially strong episode.

And now, there's the interview (though internet porn sounds like more fun)....
greygirlbeast: (fight dinosaurs)
Hold on for Round Three of higgledy piggledy.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,413 words on "John Four," and found THE END. It's a strange story, maybe even strange for me. Maybe even grim for me, right down to the irony in the Biblical allusion of its title. I wrote yesterday's pages to the Swans' My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky. It was the perfect soundtrack to the story. The last couple of hours of writing yesterday were pell-mell, a dizzy rush through black words. I almost felt as though my brain was tripping over itself. If this story has a moral, it must be that the end of the world is only merciful if it really is the end of the world, and not the beginning of another. Anyway, the vignette will be included in Sirenia Digest #58, along with reprints of most of my Lovecraft Mythos fiction. I felt I should do a Lovecraft issue, since I'll be heading off to the HPLFF next week, so that's what I'm doing.

---

I woke this morning from the most remarkable dreams, though sadly only random shreds remain. But the shreds are dazzling. I was living out a fourth book in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, and somehow Saruman's industrial revolution had occurred after all. The landscape was at first Stalin's Russia, then New York City in the Great Depression. I only saw hobbits and humans. The elves would be gone, of course, but there should have been orcs and dwarves. There were refugees in boxcars in a barren snowy place. At one point, there was a frantic climb through the freezing waters of an enormous dam's spillway. There was a climactic showdown in what seemed to me a bank, and it was very Miller's Crossing somehow, only with swords instead of guns. And I woke from this dream wanting so badly to write a fantasy novel set against the backdrop of the first three decades of the 20th Century.

--- (These divisions, in my mind, make an entry less higgledy piggledy.)

Thanks for all the comments yesterday, mostly as regards ebooks and eReaders. Truth is, on the one hand, I don't care if people are using eReaders. If that's how you want to read, it's sure as hell not my business. I can't do it, because for me a book consists of two parts: 1) the experience of reading it (which includes tactile sensation) and 2) the physical object itself. These things are, for me, indivisible. I'm not looking for a "good read," because the process of reading a book cannot be reduced to mere action. But that's me. I think the only thing that scares me about all this is that I feel fairly certain that if the trend continues, we'll reach a point where what remains of New York publishing will ditch most hardcopy books, especially the midlist. It will be far cheaper to rely on ebooks, as they have so much less overhead (especially since the publishers aren't manufacturing the eReaders). The two greatest expenses in publishing would be eliminated: warehousing and distribution. Sure, there will still be hardbacks for best sellers, and also from specialty houses like Subterranean Press, but most authors won't have access to such luxuries. The midlist author will be consigned to ebooks. And if that happens, I'll stop writing. I'll just stop. Because half of my reward for having written is that tangible object, which to me is a work of art— the book —which can never be reduced to zeroes and ones.

Also, books don't usually break when you drop 'em.

I'm not going to get started on the horror that introducing social networking to the act of reading represents for me. No, I never belonged to book clubs, and I hated literature classes. For me, reading is inherently solitary.

---

Last night we saw Neil Jordan's Ondine (2009). I am a long-time admirer (that's probably putting it too mildly) of Jordan's films, and this one was everything I'd expect. Brilliant, beautiful, and sublime. Fairy tale and mythology are always there, even when they aren't. Fantasy (truth) is inseparable from reality (fact). It's probably the best film about a selkie ever made, regardless of whether or not there's actually a selkie in it. Yes, even better than The Secret of Roan Inish (1994). Filmed in Cork County, Ireland, the landscape is shades of green and grey and blue that are, at once, perfectly solid and yet too exquisite to have ever existed outside cinematography. Great performances from Colin Farrell (Syracuse), Alicja Bachleda (Ondine), and Alison Barry (Annie). Oh, and how can I not love a film about selkies in which Sigur Rós are integral to the plot! If you ask me, this is a must see.

(We also saw the new episode of Glee, which still rocks.)

---

I sat down yesterday and started reading through "As Red as Red" (in Haunted Legends; I don't know why I've started reading my stories in print; I never used to do this). I reached page 80, where the protagonist travels from Providence to Aquidneck Island and Newport. Only, this is what it says:

I made the commute from Providence to Newport, crossing the East Passage of Narragansett Bay to Conanicut Island and then the West Passage to Aquidneck Island and Newport.

This is, of course, backwards. It's akin to being in Manhattan and saying you're going to travel east to New Jersey. It's that wrong. It should read, "I made the commute from Providence to Newport, crossing the West Passage of Narragansett Bay to Conanicut Island and then the East Passage to Aquidneck Island and Newport." But somehow I wrote it down backwards, and, somehow, despite all the times I read it during editing, the mistake was never corrected. I've made this "commute" more times now than I can recall, and this is just a dumb mistake, one that made it into print. Odds are most readers will never catch it, not unless they're familiar with Rhode Island geography. But I had to point it out, if only in the hopes that the embarrassment will make me more attentive in the future. It was a depressing thing to find.

Okay. That's it for now. How can it already be Thursday? Yeah, I know. Because yesterday was Wednesday....

Mabon 2010

Sep. 22nd, 2010 12:46 pm
greygirlbeast: (Neytiri)
Yesterday imploded. Or exploded. Doesn't really matter, because when the colloid of airborne solid and liquid particulates and gases had cleared, well, there was little left of the day to salvage. Nothing was written. Which makes yesterday a Lost Day. With only eight days remaining until we leave for the HPLFF, there's no time for days like that.

I forgot to mention that, night before last, I heard a coyote very near the house. I heard it several times, an oddly eerie sound. I'm still trying to get used to the idea of urban coyotes.

Today is Mabon.

The brightest spot to yesterday, the most silver lining (there were few of either) was the arrival of my author's copies of Haunted Legends, edited by Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas. It contains my story "As Red As Red," which I wrote in March and April of 2009. The anthology was released simultaneously in three formats: trade paperback, hardback, and a Kindle edition (though how anyone can read anything on a Kindle is beyond me*). This is a story I'm very happy with— sort of a footnote to The Red Tree —and I hope you'll pick up the collection, which includes a bevy of fine authors.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. They end today and tonight. Still no bid on The Wrong Things (2001), my collaborative collection with [livejournal.com profile] docbrite. These have become very rare, and I have only a handful of copies.

The rumours are true. The 2010 H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival is the last HPLFF, at least for the foreseeable future, as the director, Andrew Migliore, is retiring. You can't blame him; he's been doing this for fifteen years. Aaron Vanek has started a satellite festival in LA, so there will be that. So, yeah. Alas. The end is, indeed, nigh.

Last night, I watched the moon and Jupiter again.

To try to scrape something good from yesterday, late in the afternoon we drove to Warwick and got the new Swans CD, My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky, at Newbury Comics. This is the Swans minus Jarboe, but still. And we went to the market. And coming back home the sun was starting to set, and the clouds were on fire, and I wished I'd brought the camera.

The day ended when I took a Seroquel, that tiny reddish drab of numb, and fell asleep watching Avatar. It's becoming one of my comfort films, because it's beautiful, and it's heart is always in the right place— even when it stumbles —and in the end the humans lose and have to go back to their dying world. A bedtime story for panenatheists (I think I just made that word up).

---

The whole money thing is wearing me ragged again. Of course, at this point, I imagine it's wearing almost everyone ragged. The lifeboat is overcrowded, and we have the teabaggers wanting to punch a hole in the hull. Day before yesterday, I found this animated map— "The Decline: The Geography of a Recession" —based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (and other local unemployment statistics). It chronicles unemployment in the US from January 2007 (4.6%) to June 2010 (9.7%). It's sort of horrifying.

Anyway, yeah. I've reached the point where I'm considering asking my agent if she can get me another novelization deal. Frankly, I'd rather eat dog shit than go through that special hell again, but the money was good. Of course, there's no guarantee the money would be good again, and it would derail my actual, for-real, trying-not-to-suck writing.

Now, I need to make an end to this entry, then go find THE END to "John Four."

* Nothing personal, Kindle. I hate all "eReaders" and "ebooks" equally on principle.
greygirlbeast: (white)
Another line from Kristin Hersh's Rat Girl, and she's writing about the sort of music Throwing Muses was doing in 1985, but it's true of every sort of writing I've ever done:

"It's hard to learn something that no one can teach you."

Actually, it was Leslie Langston (the band's original bass player) who said that. Kristin Hersh wrote it down.

---

Yesterday, I wrote 1,169 words on the new vignette, which now has a title. I'm calling it "John Four."

Also, my old passport came home to me yesterday. I'm very pleased that it was sent back to me. I just asked Spooky exactly who sent it back to me, and she said, "I don't know. The passport people." So, thank you passport people. I wanted to be sure I got the old one back (though it now has two holes punched in the cover). It has my immigration stamps from places like Dublin and Shannon and London.

Spooky says "fuck" a lot more than I do. Which is saying something, because I say "fuck" an awful fucking lot.

Jupiter was amazing last night. I sat in the front parlor, and it amazed me. This startling, beautiful point of light just left of the moon.

---

Weird rehashed thoughts about "God" this afternoon (I can't pretend it's still morning). Like, is it not obvious that there's something seriously warped about the idea of a god that demands praise, and if you don't deliver, you'll have really, really bad shit happen to you? I mean, in Xtianity, it's pretty much that simple. Love me, and tell me you love me every chance you get, or you get sent to the bad place when you die. Imagine if a human treated you that way, a human being with comparable expectations. Tell me you love me, and that I'm the best, and tell me that over and over and over, on you knees, head bowed, or I'll beat you. How can something this self evidently wrong not be self evident to everyone?

Anyway, speaking of vicious "gods," I have a snazzy looking ad for the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon. So, lights, action, tentacles:



---

How did the world suddenly grow so brittle?
greygirlbeast: (Default)
A sunny, warm day in Providence. I want to be Outside, but there's so much work to do. Only ten days left until the trip to Oregon for the HPLFF, and there's so much to get done twixt now and then. Still, if I finish with the writing early, I may try to persuade Spooky to take me to the sea.

Tomorrow is Mabon.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,039 words on a very strange new piece for Sirenia Digest. Sort of a post-apocalyptic vignette, wherein the apocalypse seems to have been the coming of Nyarlathotep and Azathoth to earth. Or, more accurately, earth tumbling into Azathoth. I felt like doing something explicitly Lovecraftian just before the Festival in Portland, and this seems to be it. Also, I'm thinking #58 will be devoted entirely to my explicitly Lovecraftian tales (which are fewer and farther between than some may think), the new piece plus several of the old ones. By the way, I am adopting the term that Joshi sets forth in The Rise and Fall of the Cthulhu Mythos. Which is to say, I have never written Cthulhu Mythos stories, which are stories arising from August Derleth's bastardization of Lovecraft's vision into an inane struggle between good and evil. Instead, I do occasionally write stories that fit into the Lovecraft Mythos (if one must put a label on these things).

This morning I got word that the Jeff and Ann are very pleased with "The Key to the Castleblakeney Key," which was good news to wake to, as it is also a very strange story.

Spooky made the front page of Etsy this morning, with one of her Pumpkinhead Ghosts, between noon and one. You can see the rest of her Etsy shop here. And please have a look at the current eBay auctions (unless you intend to immediately resell on Amazon for a profit).

Anyway, the good writing day gave way to a very frustrating evening. I was supposed to do a bit of rp in Insilico. We started it and took a dinner break. And then I couldn't log back in, though I spent about an hour trying before I gave up. I have no idea what was going on (I was able to log on just fine this morning). So, instead, Spooky and I did some WoW, the Warsong Gulch Battle three times (because it was Call to Arms this weekend); Horde won twice, so not bad. But then we tried to do one of the Outland dungeons, the Steam Vault, and the boss kicked our blood-elf butts five times. And he's only some dumb ass fucking naga! So...yeah, a night of geeky frustrations.

In the wake of a week of illness, I'm now on a diet of Utterly Fucking Bland Food. Chicken and rice. Bananas. Potatoes. Bland, mushy, pale food. But at least maybe I'll be able to get back to digesting what I eat. Oh, and once you're past -05, you're are allowed to talk publicly about gross shit like this. Look it up.

Okay. Time to work.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Two nights (well, mornings) in a row now, I've slept more than eight hours. Amazing.

Yesterday was, in large part, given over to email and other bits of business related to the "Best of" volume. I think that tomorrow I will most likely be posting a table of contents. There are only a couple of details left to be ironed out. Regarding the art section in the lettered and/or numbered state, I'm very pleased to report that both Richard Kirk and Vince Locke are on board. I still have several other artists to speak with, but Rick and Vince are the heart of that part of the book.

I did get some writing done yesterday. I wrote a new poem, "Atlantis," which will go out to those people who so kindly donated to help me get Spooky's birthday present this year. Each will get the poem, on a good paper stock, numbered and signed. I sent the poem to [livejournal.com profile] sovay and [livejournal.com profile] nineweaving, and their reactions were heartening. It's good to write something that I can see is good. That might sound odd, but it doesn't happen as often as you might think.

Plans have been finalized for my appearance at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon this year (October 1-3) in Portland, Oregon. I may also arrange an offsite book signing. So, if you're one of the many Portland people who've been asking me to make an appearance in that area, you got your wish, and I hope to see you.

---

Last night, [livejournal.com profile] wolven posted this about "Sanderlings," and I want to repost it:

Thank you for this story; it keeps unfolding, in my mind. Particularly The Boy on the beach. Watching the transition, watching The End, Clara's only interaction with the "Outside World;" and, throughout their interaction, after the light in the room, I kept hearing the line "whatever it is that Sanderlings eat." The colour, the Life leeching simultaneously into and out of Mary.

But always the boy. Always his civil, pitying response. The Recording "Angel" holding vigil over all that Clara has lost the ability to appreciate, in her choosing to not see the terrible things. This vigil feels like... an inventory, or a survey, or an engaging and deep meaningful rumination on that which will soon be passed on to him. There's no malice, there. Just an inevitability and a weight.

As the only perspective external to the house, it is... arresting.


Oh, and I came across this thoughtful, articulate, respectful, and utterly wrongheaded review of The Red Tree.

---

Last night, we watched the last two episodes of Season Three of Nip/Tuck. It was a good finalé, but not nearly as powerful as the end of Season Two, which was one of the best hours of television I've ever seen.

I also got in some very excellent rp in Insilico. After failing an empathy test, Xiang 1.5 has managed to elude capture by IPS officers by signing on with a salvage ship called Beowulf. IPS jurisdiction doesn't extend to ships in orbit. The captain obtained, through highly questionable means, a new shell for Xiang, a chassis that's mostly organic, all blood and bone and muscle, and her positronic matrix was transplanted. The process was successful. Her ident chip was replaced and her AI completely shielded. She can finally pass for human. She's signed on as security with the Beowulf, assuming the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer and a new name, Grendel Ishmene (her choice, not mine). Her new body was designed for military use, primarily offworld black-ops wetwork, so...wow...I am going on about this. Sorry. On those rare occasions when rp in SL works, it's wonderful.

The platypus is glaring at me with his beady black monotreme eyes. I dare not disobey.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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