greygirlbeast: (Chiana 6)
Note that I will make a post just after midnight (CaST), probably just a few words, and then this journal will "go black" as a protest against SOPA/PIPA. The blackout will end at midnight (CaST) on the 19th. No, I don't think it will change a thing. The whole internet going black won't change a thing. That's not the point. Sometimes we tilt at windmills because it's the right thing to do. We have also been assured that President Obama will block the legislation, and there's word Congress is already preparing to shelve it. By the way, my book sales are being seriously harmed by internet piracy, and I still oppose SOPA/PIPA. You do not burn down a fucking house to kill a termite.

And, more good news. Believed lost for some 165 years, hundreds of paleobotanical thin sections, once owned by Charles Darwin, have been rediscovered in the archives of the British Geological Survey.

If I do not leave the house today, it will have been eleven days since last I left the house. This is becoming serious. Again. And I have to face it and get out of here.

When we went to bed about 3:30 a.m., there was a very light dusting of snow on the ground, already beginning to melt.

I had a dream, this morning, that one of my molars fell out. This isn't unusual. I frequently have dreams of breaking and shattering teeth. I have bad teeth, and, moreover, many psychoanalysts believe this a sign that someone – whichever dreamer in question - feels they have lost, or are losing control of...well, whatever. In this case, I point to Alabaster #4. As I near the end of the next to last issue of the first series, I am terrified I am making missteps, that I was never cut out to write comics. And I cannot fail in this. Every single word matters, and, in many ways, this is a far, far more difficult undertaking than writing a novel. Yesterday, I wrote three more pages, 16-18 (manuscript pages 27-29, 951 words), which is probably more than I should have written yesterday. Likely, I will finish the three remaining pages today.

Please be reminded of the auction of ARC of the The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. By the way, if you haven't seen Publishers Weekly's STARRED review of the novel, you ought. Sure, too much time is wasted on synopsis, but too many reviewers these days don't know the difference between a review and book report.

Oh, and here's a photograph Spooky took day before yesterday, when I was washing my hair. All my life, I've known I had a birthmark on the back of my neck, just at and under the hairline. This is the first time I've ever seen it (behind the cut).

Birthmark )

After the writing, I curled up on the chaise in the middle parlor, in front of the fire place (it only sounds a tenth as cozy as it actually is), with the iPad and finished watching the National Geographic pterosaur documentary. It only got worse. Aside from Kevin Padian and David Unwin, actual experts on pterosaur paleontology were generally ignored (where was Peter Wellnhofer, for example, or Chris Bennett, or Dave Martill?). The science went from slipshod to fanciful. In short, whoever wrote this thing just started making shit up. Assemblages of animals were shown coexisting in the same environment, even though we know they belonged to different faunas separated by tens of millions of years. At least a third (and maybe half) of the documentary was wasted on an attempt to build a mechanical scale model of a pterosaur that would fly as a pterosaur flew. But it didn't work, even though the designers cheated right and left on the design (adding an elaborate "rudder" to an anhanguerine, for example, a group that all but lacked a tail, and certainly didn't use them for stabilization during flight). No, no, no. Bad science. This is National Geographic? My advice, stay away from this one.

Later, before sleep, I read Bruce Sterling's "Maneki Neko" (1998), a somewhat dull bit of cyberpunk. Near as I could tell, it was hellbent on showing that just as there's truth to the "ugly American" stereotype, there's also the "ugly Japanese." No shock there. The story's most interesting aspect is it's view of what the internet would become, but, in the ensuing fourteen years, has failed to do so.

And it's getting late. And I should scoot.

Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
If I don't leave the house today – and I know that I won't – it will have been ten days since last I left the house. Doesn't help that it's cold as an Xtian's tit out there, currently 27˚F.

Yesterday, I wrote pages 11-15 (manuscript pages 19-26, 1,433 words) of Alabaster #4. Not leaving the house is great for productivity. Just fuck all for everything else. With luck, I can finish the issue today, but by tomorrow evening for certain.

If you haven't already, please preorder The Drowning Girl: A Memoir and Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. Thank you.

Meanwhile, the auction for an ARC of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir continues. Two days, eight hours remaining. Also, claims to have 17 copies of Two Worlds And In Between in stock, even though it's supposedly sold out, and, previously, Amazon cancelled peoples' orders because they couldn't get the book, etc. No, I have no idea how this happened, but it makes me angry.

Last night, after dinner, I washed my hair. Yes, well. we take our excitement where we can get it.

I suppose I can mention SW:toR and making level 29 and getting my first Legacy level (though I've not yet unlocked Legacy by reaching #30, so it doesn't really make sense). Or that there was stupendously good RP. But I know that's lame nerd shit. Not like saying, hey, last night David Bowie and Cormac McCarthy came over and we dropped acid and played dominoes in the nude. Yeah, I might be a goddamn nerd, but I have perspective, okay?

I watched half a new documentary about pterosaurs. It was National Geographic, but I was disappointed to see that, these days, National Geographic documentaries are only somewhat better than those on the Discovery Channel. The CGI was, at best, so-so. You know, back in 1999 television did this brilliant, beautiful Walking With Dinosaurs thing, bringing Mesozoic beasties back to life with CGI. And it's all been downhill from there. More CGI, lower production values, lousier visuals. Sloppier science. Facts ever more dumbed down. Thirteen years, and we're still moving backwards.

I read "New information on the protosaurian reptile Macrocnemus fyuanensis Li et. al., from the Middle/Upper Triassic of Yunnan, China." I also read "Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man's Back" by Joe R. Lansdale (1986), sublime nuclear apocalypse.

And that was yesterday. Comment, if you dare.

Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Spooky says, [ profile] kylecassidy has tweeted "Rhode Island. It's not an island. Not even close. I have discovered this." He is a wise man. Oh, and he also just tweeted, "They really should change the name of that to A-Squid-Neck Island*. In honor of Lovecraft. Obviously. Fo shizzle." I think he's high.

Today, Hubero's name is Bill Murray. Just until midnight. This began when Spooky posted the following to Facebook: It's that kind of morning... discussing how funny it would be to change Hubero's name to Bill Murray. "Get down off that counter Bill Murary!" "Dust bunnies will kill you, Bill Murray!" Yeah, that one was for the Jim Jarmusch aficionados. Shit. Hold on. Bill Murray is eating coffee grounds out of the garbage.

Um...back now.

Yesterday, I worked. On, you know, The Secret.

And then I went to the Apple Store and bought an iPad. Yes, this may well mean the end of Western Civilization, and I am ashamed to the core of my being, and I apologize. But I'm going to need it for work soon, and it's tax deductible. Now, time was, writers didn't need Star Trek gadgetry to...write. They needed fingers and ink and paper and a quill. Later shit got fancy with pens and typewriters. Luxuries? Those were whiskey and cigarettes. This was the life of the writer, and they roamed the plains in vast and wordy herds. But now, writers must have gadgets. Yes, they must! Or the other writers make fun of them. Gonna have to get an iPhone soon, too...but that's gonna wait a few more months. Meanwhile, I will endure the peer pressure and limp along with my sad little 2009 cellphone. Anyway, yes. An iPad. And man, you wanna know how Sirenia Digest was meant to be seen? Look at #70 on an iPad. I had no bloody idea! Anyway, lest anyone gets too worried, no. I WILL NOT READ EBOOKS ON MY iPAD. Except magazines and newspapers and comics, because that's different. Why? Because I say so. Also, my basement is filled with cardboard boxes of National Geographic that a) weigh a ton, b) will never again be opened in my lifetime, and c) I can't bear to throw out.

My iPad's name is Kermit. First time I have ever given a computer a male name.

My thanks to Josh Cruz ([ profile] subtlesttrap) for sending me the new Ladytron album, Gravity the Seducer. And to Melissa, for reminding me that I've fallen in love with St. Vincent. Sometimes, I forget my nouveaux amoureux (and that I don't actually speak French).

Anything else? Bill Murray, you are not helping.

Oh! I know. Since when did publishing start thinking that anyone who has a blog, seems to be able to read, and can write halfway coherent sentences qualifies as an actual "book reviewer"? You know, those people who write "book reviews." Once, we had real book reviewers, who wrote actual book reviews for newspapers and magazines. In fact, we still do. Not as many as we used to, and, sure, few of the reviewers can match the Golden Days of Reviewers, the likes of Dorothy Parker's "Constant Reader" in the pages of The Atlantic. But, every goofball with a WordPress or TypePad account? Really? Fine, call me arrogant. I don't care. Call me meritocratic. I can live with that just fine. I can't live with BookVoreLady's "review" of The Red Tree being quoted by my publisher (I made up "BookVoreLady," but you get the idea), and I diligently have those "reviews" removed when they turn up in the opening, promotional pages of my books. Maybe this is the wave of the future, an age when merely being able to read and write automatically grants one the status of being a bona-fide book reviewer. But I don't have to like it or go along with it. Reviews have always been a questionable affair, but at least when the reviewer has a name and a face and you know their educational and professional pedigree, intelligent decisions based upon their opinions can be made. I may disagree vociferously with reviewers, but I do at least tend to respect the opinions of the learn'd and experienced.**

But what do I know? I bought an iPad and named it Kermit.

So, without further ado, eight more "making of" photos (chosen at random!) from the past weekend's shoot for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir book trailer. These were taken by Ryan Anas, who was Kyle's PA for those three days. Ryan rocks the casbah, by the way. I'm not labeling any of these photos. You can all make a grand parlour game of guessing their provenance. Or not. Your call. Speaking of calls, Ryan took these with his phone, which sort of looked like an elephant had stepped on it, so he gets extra points for moxie. And speaking of moxie...

Hey! Bill Murray! Get away from the microwave! (This is why we can't have nice things.)

Ryan's Behind the Scenes, Part One )

*Aquidneck Island

** No, this is not–most emphatically not–any sort of condemnation of those of us (as I am included) who write about books, perhaps in great detail, in our blogs or what have you. But I've never yet written anything in my blog I'd dare have the hubris to call an actual review. The world, I think, needs a hubris extractor.
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
1) Here in Providence, the temperature's supposed to soar to 52˚F today, the warmest day since...maybe November. The snow is very slowly melting, and it might be gone by the end of March, barring new storms. I ought to work today, but Spooky and I absolutely cannot spend a quasi-warm day cooped up in the house with the wonderful (relative to recent) weather. Instead, we are going to West Cove to birdwatch and gather sea glass.

2) Yesterday, we made it through the third and fourth chapters of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Well, actually, Spooky read it all aloud to me, while I made notes. So, she read pages 88-193 aloud to me yesterday. We're making a lot of continuity fixes, mostly because Imp started out thirty years old, then turned twenty-four. Though, she's telling a story about something that happened to her when she was twenty-two (instead of twenty-eight). gets confusing. And we're fixing misspellings, grammatical errors, adding and taking away a word here and there. About as close as I ever come to rewriting. Tomorrow, we'll make it through the fifth, sixth, and seventh chapters. Eight is still unfinished, and I'll pick up there on Saturday. Near as I can tell, the book will have ten chapters. Oh, and there was a metric shit-ton of email yesterday.

3) This month, Sirenia Digest #63 will continue the sneak preview of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, with the second chapter. But after that, you're going to have to wait until the book is released a year from now. Also, the issue will include my favorite responses to the latest Question @ Hand (and there have been some wonderful ones so far; the question will remain open for about another week) and "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Ghoul," which seems to fit nicely with the aforementioned question. Vince will be doing the cover, another illustration for the novel. I promise that #64 will return to our usual format. The demands of writing the new novel and editing Two Worlds and In Between have made things really fucking crazy around here.

4) Speaking of Two Worlds and In Between, tomorrow you get in-progress images of the wonderful Lee Moyer's cover painting. A good bit of yesterday's email was me and [ profile] kylecassidy working out the photoshoot he's going to do with me at the beginning of April (for the collection's dust jacket). I think we'll either be shooting at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology or the Boston Arboretum. At some point yesterday, our conversation deteriorated into a discourse on the perils of being a werewolf trying to get through airport security...

5) Last night, in WoW, I continued my race towards Loremaster. I made it through all 55 Felwood quests, then did half the ones for Winterspring (about 20). Spooky played the beautiful, beautiful, oh I am so fucking jealous Rift beta. She's been reading me bits of Rift chat. I wrote this one down: "WoW is a pretty good game, if you turn off chat and never talk to the player base."

6) And look! Ebay auctions!

7) I took a somewhat random series of photographs yesterday while Spooky was reading:

16 February 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (goat girl)
1. No, I'm not dead. Though, round about night before last, it would have been preferable. I am much, much better this morning, so hopefully I'm quickly recovering. Tiger Balm patches are a marvelous thing. Now, if my body would just shutdown the mucus pumps for a while. But, seriously...people are always asking, why do you never go anywhere or do anything? I say, "Because I'll get sick. I look at a crowd of people, and all I see are hundreds of billions of virulent germs." People scoff and call me silly. I go Outside. I get sick. And then I lose writing time I can't afford to lose. Now, yeah, I know it's very bad for me, never leaving the house, but being shut down for five or six days to some bug isn't very good for me, either. It's a damned conundrum.

2. I've spent most of the past two days in bed. There was a lot of TV (on laptop via DVD) and a lot of reading, mostly, Spooky reading aloud to me. We finished Peter Straub's very, very wonderful A Dark Matter (due out February 9th). I'm going to say more about it when I'm a bit more articulate, but it really is a grand novel. I also read more of the December issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology— "Comparison and biomechanical interpretations of the vertebrae and osteoderms of Cacops aspidephorus and Dissorophus multicinctus (Temnospondyli; Dissorophoridae)," and "A possible new ctenosauriscid archosaur from the Middle Triassic Manda Beds of Tanzania." And I began the paper on the pedal morphology of the "marsupial lion," Thylacoleo, one of the the most splendidly bizarre bits of evolutionary tinkering known thus far. It makes Spooky start talking about "blender mammals." Also, we watched all of Season Five of Weeds in two nights.

3. On Wednesday, the February National Geographic arrived. Had I not already been sick, the cover story would have done it. Some ancient old Mormon extremist fucker with five wives, forty-six children, and 239 grandchildren. Recall David Szydloski's modest proposal from The World Without Man? I quoted it at length. Now, I know it's a fairy tale of sanity and restraint, expecting a human reproduction rate of one child per each man and woman. I know that perfectly well. we have six adults who, rather than producing about twenty new humans (which would be in keeping with the worldwide average), they've squirted out a total of 285. I think I'm going to have to tear the cover off before I can read this issue.

4. I did manage a very small amount of writing. Very, very small. 410 words on Wednesday, and the day before that, Tuesday, 204. That's how bad this week has been. Monday, I've got to call my agent and talk about the feasibility of certain deadlines.

5. I am officially puking sick to fucking death (this has nothing to do with my plague, different kinda sick) of reactionary internet twitwad word police who seem to exist for no other reason than to get pissed at the drop of a hat. Which is to say, if I proclaim "I'm no one's bitch," I am not feeding into so-called "rape culture" (see the last paragraph of this entry by Himself if you are wondering what I'm on about). This is almost as fucked-up as the jackass on Twitter who accused me of encouraging discrimination against transgendered people. By the way, as it happens, I am Spooky's bitch. And the platypus'. But that's all. The bitch line ends there.
greygirlbeast: (The Red Tree)
It's sunny this morning, but we had a wild night here in Providence. A storm swept up from the southwest, and the Hurricane Barrier was closed for the first time since we moved here from Atlanta. It seems that the storm combined with the full-moon tides has produced some alarming seas. Today, we're driving down to Narragansett and Point Judith to see the waves (we also have to stop by Spooky's parents' place for eggs).

This year, I have so-far entirely neglected to mention the arrival of Jethro Tull Season. Traditionally, it begins the day after Thanksgiving, and it helps me survive the winter and, most especially, the horrors of Xmas.

Yesterday I worked on the "Sanderlings" chapbook, which will come FREE with the numbered edition of The Ammonite Violin & Others (Subterranean Press, June 2010). Mostly, I worked on the cover (for newcomers, I often do the covers of my subpress chapbooks) and came up with something I like. I emailed it to Bill Schafer, and he approved. Also, I wrote an afterword for the chapbook. Now, "Sanderlings" itself just needs a bit of tweaking, mostly line edits, and I have to get a couple of other images ready, and then it will all go to subpress and be out of my hands. And speaking of The Ammonite Violin & Others, last night Richard Kirk sent me a pencil sketch, an early study for his cover for the collection. I'm thinking, what a beautiful tattoo this would make:

Copyright © 2009 by Richard A. Rirk, All rights reserved.

Also, I finished reading David Quammen's Monster of God: The Man-Eating Predator in the Jungles of History and the Mind. Research for the Next Novel, and, for the most part, an excellent (and heartbreaking) book. And I signed eBay books so Spooky could send them out to auction winners.

Oh, and I finished the crossword puzzle in the December National Geographic. These little details should be remembered.

Last night, we watched Darnell Martin's Cadillac Records (2008), which was quite good. I was especially taken with Eamonn Walker's performance as Howlin' Wolf. What with the trip to Boston and all, I forgot to mention that, Monday night, we watched Erick Zonca's Julia (not to be confused with either Peter Straub's novel or Fred Zinnemann's 1977 film, both of the same name). I'd only been alerted to the existence of this film the day before, by [ profile] sovay, and then Spooky discovered we could stream it from Netflix. Tilda Swinton gives one of the most brilliant (and unexpected) performances of her career. So, yeah, lots of good movies lately.
greygirlbeast: (chi3)
Yeah, so, today I have to go to Alabama. The only bright side upon which to look is that at least I'm not going to Mississippi. And that's not much consolation at all. I haven't left the Perimeter and my little blue island of Atlanta since that ill-advised trip to Athens back in...was that April? I think so. But I have to go to the doctor, and in 2002, my doctor talked me into not finding a doctor in Atlanta (in all fairness, she's been my doctor since 1990), and my dentist is the only one I've ever been able to stand, so I am, today, going west to Birmingham. Pain or no pain, sleep or no sleep, I am inches from calling off this whole escapade. Because even if we're lucky and survive the gauntlet of Jesus billboards and "God Hates Fags" bumperstickers, and navigate the Great NASCAR Blackhole that has consumed Talladega, and even if we manage to slip undetected past the cannibal hillbillies who run all the convenience stores...even then, we'll still be in Birmingham. It's like surviving any number of deadly deeds for the pleasure of being ass raped with a shattered Budweiser bottle. But, yes, I exaggerate. It's really only like surviving to be ass raped with a particularly bumpy sweet potato.

Yesterday was the worst sort of day off. I was too exhausted to do much but lie in bed and doze while Spooky tried to read me several more chapters of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. I don't think I actually managed to wake up until sometime around dusk, when Byron showed up to clean the tower of Spooky's PC (a sentence that would have made only a little sense in 1980). Sometime after he left, we watched Chris Noonan's Miss Potter (2006), even though, as a rule, I don't care for Renée Zellweger. That film was the only good part of yesterday. Forever, I shall only remember December 3rd, 2007 as the day I saw Miss Potter, if I remember it at all. Wait, there was one other good thing. I also read the article on dinosaurs that John Updike wrote for the new National Geographic, which touches upon a number of fabulous ornithischian and saurischian taxa, including Amargasaurus, Carnotaurus, Parasaurolophus, Masiakasaurus, Spinosaurus, Tuojiangosaurus, Deinocheirus, Nigersaurus, Dracorex, Epidendrosaurus,and Styracosaurus. I love this quote from palaeontologist Hans-Dieter Sues: In evolution nothing is really bizarre.

But, Tails of Tales of Pain and Wonder is finished. There was a last big push on Sunday, an ugly, great mound of editing, and then it was sent away to subpress, and you will get a copy FREE, should you happen to order the 3rd edition of Tales of Pain and Wonder.

I suppose I should wind this up. Maybe a cup of coffee will steel my nerves against the horrors of this journey. But I doubt it.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie1)
Someone at Locus was kind enough to send me a copy of Vol. 57, No. 4, the issue with the full-page ad for Alabaster.

It's so warm that I'm working with my office window open again. The air smells like fallen leaves.

The new issue of National Geographic (December) has a couple of superb articles, one on Cassini's photos of Saturn and its moons and another using present-day photographs to offer glimpses of how Earth would have appeared in Neoarchean and Paleoproterozoic times. Awesome stuff.

I just came across this meme-type thing in [ profile] pkbarbiedoll's LJ and decided to snurch it. So, it says go here and select the year you turned 18. Bold the ones you liked, strike the ones you hated (behind the cut).

The Hits of '82 )

Mostly, though, in 1982 I was listening to Asia, Yes, the Alan Parsons Project, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Bob Dylan, the Cars, and the Police.


greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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