greygirlbeast: (Default)
Well, I've survived that. Mostly, I'm just stiff and sore from lying down for the better part of two days, and bored silly, and in need of a shower. Spooky's still a bit ill, but her symptoms manifested about ten hours or so after mine did. Anyway, lousy fucking way to "ring in" the New Year.

Then again, why we do this, celebrate the exchange of one calendar for another, I admit it escapes me. We celebrated the arrival of 2011, which we apparently used up, so we celebrated the arrival of 2012. Benchmarks, I suppose. Congratulations that the world is still here. Something like that. Something must be celebrated to break up the days, most of which are unremarkable. For most.

For my part, 2011 was a vast improvement over 2010, though we struggled with a marked shortage of money the first half of the year. Still, 2011 was a year of recovery, I think, and of new beginnings. Not on the first of the year, but new beginnings strewn here and there throughout. The greatest of these is, of course, Alabaster, and my return to comics on my own terms – which I'd said for years was the only way I would return. But, too, I finished what is far and away the best novel I've written, The Drowning Girl, which will soon be out in the world. I did that, and still had the energy, somehow, to sit down and write another novel, Blood Oranges, which isn't even in the same league as The Drowning Girl, but which is quite a lot of fun, probably the last thing anyone could say about The Drowning Girl. Then there was the enormous success of Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Me (Volume 1), which still has me a little dizzy. And now Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart and The Yellow Book are on the way! Yeah, I'm tooting my own horn, as they are wont to say, but it was a good year, and the year to come ought be marvelous. And here is my recap of the short fiction I wrote this year:

01. "-30-"
02. "Random Thoughts Before a Fatal Crash"
03. "The Carnival is Dead and Gone"
04. "Untitled 35"
05. "Figurehead"
06. "Fake Plastic Trees"
07. "Down to Gehenna"
08. "The Granting Cabinet"
09. "Slouching Towards the House of Glass Coffins"
10. "Evensong"
11. "Dear Daughter Desmodus"
12. "Latitude 41°21'45.89"N, Longitude 71°29'0.62"W"
13. "Ex Libris"
14. "Another Tale of Two Cities"

That's three less than 2011, but when you consider that I wrote most of The Drowning Girl, all of Blood Oranges, the first three issues of Alabaster, and edited Two Worlds and In Between, Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart, and The Yellow Book (the editing with a fucking enormous amount of help from Spooky and [ profile] sovay) – I think that sort of explains why there was less short fiction this year. Also, I'll note that all but two of these were written for the digest.

And. Plus. The release of the "teaser" trailer for The Drowning Girl is only days away (slightly delayed, due to the illness).

There truly is little that can be said for yesterday. Most of it was spent horizontal, watching crap on the iPad, recovering. Though, I will add that you cannot banish Yog-Sothoth from any dimension with the microdrive of an iPod, Mr. Shirley. Though, I do wish that trick would work on the majority of Xtians and Republicans and on the Tea Party loons, the lot of them worse than any of the Great Old Ones or Outer Gods dreamt up by HPL. Because I'd gladly sacrifice Inara to that end.

Now, I'm going to go take a shower and hope I've enough energy left afterwards to work on Sirenia Digest. I absolutely could not afford two days of downtime, as these deadlines pile up on top of me, and now I have to scramble three times as fast to catch up. But, if Spooky's up to the trip to Whole Foods, we'll manage our annual New Years' dinner of black-eyed peas, collards, mac and cheese, and corn bread.

Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Here we are again.

Expect no improvement.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,223 words on "—30—", and I should be able to finish the story today. At the start, I thought it might be something humorous, or at least tongue-in-cheek. But the story's gone to this other place, instead. Too much truth about what it's like for me being a writer. An unseemly amount of truth, I imagine, but there you go. Isn't that my job, to be unseemly?

And, speaking of "—30—", it was pointed out to me yesterday (on Facebook) that, in 2010, Laird Baron published a story titled "—30—". I haven't read much Laird Baron (three stories, to date, I think), so I looked on Amazon. And yes, in his 2010 short-story collection, Occultation, there is, indeed, a story titled "—30—" (original to the collection). At first I felt sort of annoyed and crappy about this, but then Spooky pointed out to me that the final episode of Season Five of The Wire (2008) was titled "—30—", along with a film from 1959, directed by Jack Webb and starring Jack Webb, William Conrad, and Whitney Blake. Then I pointed out to her that two works nominated for the 2010 Hugos shared a title, [ profile] yuki_onna's novel Palimpsest and Charles Stross' novella "Palimpsest." So, all this said, I've decided not to change the title of the story, as the current title is too perfect.

I suppose I'll post the same sort of list I posted last year on this day, the "How Much Did I Write This Year" list. I sort of have a feeling I may have actually written fewer short stories this year than last (which would be a good thing). The year I only write one short story— one perfect story —I win. So, let's see:

1. "Hydrarguros"
2. "The Eighth Veil"
3. "Persephone Redux (A Fragment)"
4. "Apsinthion"
5. "Houndwife"
6. "Three Months, Three Scenes, With Snow"
7. "Workprint"
8. "Tempest Witch"
9. "Tidal Forces"
10. "The Maltese Unicorn"
11. "The Yellow Alphabet" (in two parts)
12. "Fairy Tale of the Maritime"
13. "A Key to the Castleblakeney Key"
14. "John Four"
15. "And the Cloud That Took the Form"
16. "At the Reef"
17. "The Prayer of Ninety Cats"

I'm not going to count "—30—," because it will have missed being finished in 2010 by one day. Also, I was very pleased this year to see The Red Tree nominated for both the Shirley Jackson and World Fantasy awards, and to have seen The Ammonite Violin & Others on the cover of Publisher's Weekly.

Last night, we did what we always do on New Year's Eve and stayed in. We watched a very peculiar vampire film, Rob Stefaniuk's Suck (2009). There were ups and down. The film features Iggy Pop, Moby (as Beef, the most popular rock star in Buffalo, NY), Alice Cooper, Henry Rollins, and Macolm McDowell. If you've not already guessed, it was a comedy, and the funny was so-so. The best bit of the film (besides Moby) was the much-sexier-dead-than-alive Jessica Paré. And how can you possibly follow a film titled Suck? You watch Constantine over again, drool at Tilda Swinton in angel drag, and marvel how Keanu Reeves was ever cast in the film (or any film, for that matter). He mutters his way through the entire film, as if to make up for his inability to act. I always think there's something off with the voice track, until I realize Keanu is the only one mumbling. So, yeah...that was last night.

Today, clinging to some meager vestige of tradition, I'll make black-eyed peas, collards, mac and cheese, and cornbread.

In summation, 2010 was quite a bit better than 2009. Which is to say, it was, all in all, tolerable (though the first few months were spectacularly awful). I'll hope that 2011 may actually be a good year. I don't think I've had one of those since...oh, never mind.
greygirlbeast: (sleeps with wolves)
Here in Providence, it's snowing rather furiously, and we have several inches of snow on the ground. Hubero's sitting on my desk, staring out at the snow-covered world.

A dream from this morning. I have not been writing about my dreams, not here, not lately. It used to be a staple of this journal. I'm not sure when or why I shifted away from that. Perhaps I felt I was showing the world things that were best kept private. I don't recall making a conscious decision to stop recording my dreams here. Anyway...I was alone in an abandoned house. At least, I think I was the only person there. The house itself, I came to realize, was conscious, and also I realized that it and I were somehow fused. I flowed through the house, and the house flowed through me. The house was ancient and crumbling, sitting alone at the top of a street in a city that seemed deserted. I could see the streets whenever I passed windows. It was intensely cold, though I was naked, or nearly so. I can't recall saying a single word. But the thoughts of the house flowed through my mind, and my thoughts flowed through it. I saw all the decades of the house's existence, times when it had been inhabited, when the city around it had been alive and bustling. The house was lonely. I recall that sense of loneliness most distinctly. I would crouch in a corner and stare at the moldering wallpaper coming off in strips, and my skin would take on the same colors and patterns as the wallpaper. I would pause on the stairs and my hand resting on the banister would have the same wood grain. Likewise, I would glance at a wall and see it covered in skin. I would find a place the plaster wall had rotted to show my bones. Somehow, the house and I were becoming indistinguishable. And I understood that the longer I remained in it, the more inseparable we would become. But I wasn't afraid. I felt the house's loneliness, and I felt a terrible sadness, but there was no fear, and I had no desire to leave the house alone.

I think, probably, it's fairly obvious where this is coming from.


I suppose I should say something about what I accomplished, writing-wise, in 2009. There was no novel this year. I mean, I did not write a novel. I'm not the sort of author who is always working on at least one novel (though I sort of wish I were). In January, Subterranean Press released A is for Alien, which was not as well received as we'd expected; indeed, it hardly seemed to be noticed (though it sold decently). The Red Tree was released on August 4th, and is doing better than anticipated. I did begin planning The Wolf Who Cried Girl, which I should have begun writing in June or July, but will, instead, begin this coming week. They come when they come. Mostly, I wrote short fiction. Here is a more or less complete list for the year:

For Sirenia Digest:

1. "The Thousand-and-Third Tale of Scheherazade"
2. "The Belated Burial"
3. "The Bone's Prayer"
4. "A Canvas for Incoherent Arts"
5. "The Peril of Liberated Objects, or the Voyeur's Seduction"
6. "At the Gate of Deeper Slumber"
7. "Fish Bride"
8. "The Mermaid of the Concrete Ocean"
9. "The Alchemist's Daughter (a fragment)"
10. "Vicaria Draconis"
11. "January 28, 1926"
12. "Werewolf Smile"
13. "Paleozoic Annunciation"
14. "Charcloth, Firesteel, and Flint"
15. "Shipwrecks Above"
16. "The Dissevered Heart"
17. "Exuvium"
18. "Untitled 34"

For a Subterranean Press chapbook:

1. "Sanderlings"

For various anthologies:

1. "As Red As Red"
2. "The Sea Troll's Daughter"
3. "Galápagos"
4. "The Jetsam of Disremembered Mechanics"

So, that's twenty-three new stories for 2009. There were also some reprints of which I am especially proud (and a few reprint sales I cannot yet announce), including "The Long Hall on the Top Floor" to Peter Straub's American Fantastic Tales and "Houses Under the Sea" to Ellen Datlow's Lovecraft Unbound.


Yesterday was sort of a washout. No work. Mostly boredom bordering on self-loathing fury, and me wandering about the house wishing I was anywhere else. I made black-eyed peas for dinner, and Spooky made collards and corn bread. We watched J.J. Abrams Star Trek again, because I wanted to watch something off my "best of 2009" list, and we saw another episode of Fringe.

Today, I have to pull Sirenia Digest #49 together (though I'm still waiting on Vince's illustration for "Untitled 34").


Still taking submissions for what is shaping up to be a very interesting article for #50. Just answer this question: If you had me alone, locked up in your house, for twenty-four hours and I had to do whatever you wanted me to, what would you have me/you/us do? Leave your answer here (all are screened, so no one but me sees them).


Jan. 1st, 2010 05:50 pm
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)

All is quiet on New Year's Day.
A world in white gets underway.
And I want to be with you,
Be with you night and day.
Nothing changes on New Year's Day.

I will be with you again.
I will be with you again.

Under a blood-red sky,
A crowd has gathered in black and white.
Arms entwined, the chosen few.
The newspapers,
Say, say, say it's true,
And we can break through.
Though torn in two, we can be one

I will begin again. I will begin again.
Oh, and maybe the time is right.
Oh, maybe tonight.

I will be with you again.
I will be with you again.

And so we are told this is the Golden Age,
And gold is the reason for the wars we wage.
Though I want to be with you,
Be with you night and day,
Nothing changes on New Year's Day.
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 2)
There was absolutely nothing whatsoever remarkable about last night. At midnight (ET, 1 a.m. CaST), Spooky and I sat in the front parlor and listened to the snowbound silence. The city seemed all but dead. I could hear music playing in another house nearby, but that was it.

The snow is with us. There may be more today and tonight.

I had one of my rare migraines all day and night yesterday, which made me pretty much useless. I did try to get some reading done, more of Alan Weisman's The World Without Us and a paper in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology on the ankylosaurid Dyoplosaurus acutosquameus. We watched more episodes of Fringe. It was not a New Year's Eve to write home about. Or even to blog about.

I continue to be pleased with many of the answers I'm getting to that question I posed night before last: If you had me alone, locked up in your house, for twenty-four hours and I had to do whatever you wanted me to, what would you have me/you/us do? If you've not yet replied, there's still lots of time. Just follow this link. Blow my mind. Or whatever.

Neil tweeted last night, to ask why I wasn't at Amanda's Boston Pops' show, and I blamed the snow. But I begin to think the agoraphobia is becoming something to be reckoned with, especially when you toss in the unpredictability of the seizures. This isn't what I had in mind when I left the South. I had in mind actually going places and seeing people again. Maybe I shall, in this new year....

Oh, I did take a few rather crappy photographs yesterday, when we went out to the market. But at least they give you an idea:

31 December 2009 )
greygirlbeast: (Illyria)
Booya! I just heard that the goddamned Xmas trees have vanished from Undercity and Silvermoon, so Shaharrazad's exile to the wilderness can at last be ended. I think I would have been less annoyed if Blizzard had admitted this was catering to Xmas, instead of trying to pass it off as something called "Winter's Veil."

Yesterday, I wrote 1,087 words on "Murder Ballad No. 5," but didn't find THE END. I came near, but began to feel that I would have to push to find it, and in pushing, would run the risk of ruining the whole thing. So, I'll finish it today. This is one of those stories that I realize I'm writing in response to the "good fairies/healing energy" idiots. I don't start out to write a response. I try not to even think of those people. But then it happens anyway. Ever since I heard about people at Faerieworld complaining because the organizers had chosen Rasputina to play, and the claims that Rasputina were spoiling the affair by releasing "dark" or "negative energy," and never mind all the fluffy-bunny fairy crap you have to see in so many witchcraft shops. Anyway, I'll finish it today, and we'll put Sirenia Digest #37 together tomorrow and send it out to subscribers tomorrow night.

The sun's shining, and the temperature is finally supposed to climb above freezing today. Maybe the snow will start to melt, though we do have snow showers forcast for today. Too bright Outside for my eyes, the sun off all that snow.

Last night, I helped Spooky fix our traditional New Year's Day dinner of black-eyed peas, collards, and macaroni and cheese. We both ate far too much. And there was WoW. And when I finally went to bed at three, there was insomnia. I got up and puttered about the house, then came online and posted my list of favourite films of 2008. I got back to bed about five, and managed to sleep almost seven hours, which is better than I've been doing.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. We've added some of the new mass-market paperback editions of the novels. Also, you can see Spooky's latest work on Etsy. Thanks.

Time to write.
greygirlbeast: (white2)
As I said last night on my Facebook account, here we go again. My first New Year's Day in Providence. Spooky and I spent the evening quietly, at home, the way we spend almost every evening. I am, of course, getting ahead of myself.

This should begin with the snow. Or, no, it should begin with the insomnia. Night before last, I slept two hours, then woke at five ayem and didn't get back to bed until almost seven. Then I slept restlessly, in fits and starts, and woke around ten to discover it was snowing very, very hard. Somehow, neither Spooky nor I had known that the snow was coming. We managed to get dressed and out of the house before there was even coffee. I think it was the cold air that woke me. It was a windy, wet sort of snowstorm, very different than the one that came back on the 19th of December. We inched our way across Providence, over the river to College Hill, then on to Eastside Market for groceries, uncertain how long the storm would last. Visibility was down to about a hundred yards, at best. The sky and earth had become almost the same shade of white, divided one from the other only by an uneven rind of rooftops and tree limbs. We stopped at Dexter Training Grounds near the Armory, and I quickly took a few photos (below). The wind was too raw to stay out in it for long. I'm not sure how much snow fell here. East Providence got eight inches, and we likely did, as well.

By now, Sirenia Digest subscribers should have received an email from Spooky, informing them that #37 will be a couple of days late. I hate that. I hate when I'm late for or with anything. But between the unrelenting insomnia, the inclement weather, the tooth that still has not been pulled because the cough still has not ended, the pills for the tooth pain, the trouble I've had finding the stories for #37, and so forth, it was unavoidable. If all goes well, the digest should go out day after tomorrow.

I was not able to begin writing yesterday until sometime after two in the afternoon, and the snow was an enormous distraction. I suppose, when I have been here in New England for a few years, it will cease to be remarkable to me. Right now, I'm trying to savor the fact that it is remarkable. On Tuesday, in a sleep-deprived delirium, I'd written maybe four hundred words on a vignette to accompany the illustration Vince sent. Yesterday, I scrapped them all and started over. I wrote 1,141 words on something I'm presently calling "Murder Ballad No. 5." It's a fairy tale, in that literal sense that it is a tale about fairies. It's looking to be one of the short pieces, like the vignettes in Frog Toes and Tentacles and Tales from the Woeful Platypus. Over the years, working on the digest, I have found it no mean trick, keeping things short. Everything wants to sprawl.

Spooky sewed a corduroy bat, and listed some of her stuff on Etsy, which you may see here. Meet Orville and Jasper.

Last night, after fish and chips, we watched Paul McGuigan's Lucky Number Slevin (2006). I found it charming, smart, and entirely entertaining. Also, few films have ever managed to make such grand use of wallpaper as a means of setting mood. Sometimes, I think I could watch Bruce Willis floss his teeth and be entertained. Later, there was a little bit of WoW. There has been less WoW since Shah and Suraa made Level 50. Spooky and I both are feeling the need to cut back a bit. Last night, we played our alts, which means I played Shaharrazad's little sister, Hanifah, a blood elf paladin, and Spooky played Usiku, her Tauran shaman. We helped a demented undead alchemist concoct a toxin, then poisoned a puppy, and slaughtered humans in Hillsbrad and at an old watchtower southwest of Tarren Mills. Usiku reached Level 23, and Hanifah reached 25. When 2008 ended, we did what any pair of self-respecting nerds would do, which is to say, we exchanged virtual kisses. Tauran/blood elf love. There's gotta be a law against that somewhere. Anyway, we got to bed about three, and Spooky read me McCloskey's Burt Dow, Deep-Water Man (1963). And then I slept. The best night's sleep I've had in more than a week.

Now, I need to finish "Murder Ballad No. 5," and then I'm going to post my favourite films of 2008 list, and maybe even a favourite albums of 2008 list. Oh, and do please have a look at the current round of eBay. Bid if you are so disposed. Thanks. And thus begins my sixth year on LJ, and my eighth year of blogging.

The Last Day of Last Year )
greygirlbeast: (grey)
So, I scrape the fetid yellow scum of 2007 off my soles, and then I try to look ahead. I think, mostly, I have ceased looking ahead. I think I can see no farther than an hour or so. There is not even a desire to look ahead, and always I have been a beast of anticipation, which leaves me in an oddly truncated place, indeed. I have never existed so truly "in the moment," but always gazing far ahead while mourning the past. The ugly lessons of 2004-2007 have made this of me, instead. My eyes have become content with the moment. The river carries me towards the sea, and I can only gaze down at the water or up at the sky. And this probably seems like some watered-down white woman's excuse for zen, but it's not meant that way at all. It's only something like a lamentation, or a sigh. Maybe in 2008, I can learn to see again, to look ahead and behind. I don't genuinely think that I can, but if I at least try, well, you know how that goes.


Yesterday, we had a coupon for a free ticket at Hollywood 24 out in Chamblee (shudder), and because I liked what fellow Atlantian [ profile] curt_holman had written about Greg and Colin Strause's AVPR: Aliens vs Predator - Requiem, and because the coupon allowed us to see it for something at least approximating genuine matinée prices ($8, as opposed to $16), we did that instead of Fernbank or the Botanical Gardens. And I was quite pleasantly surprised. We both were. Curt had said, in his LJ, "Requiem is almost exactly like Planet Terror from Grindhouse, only without the clever scratchy-print effects and juvenile humor (or any humor at all, really). It's completely dumb, but I ended up having more fun with it than I did with Planet Terror." And I say that's a pretty fair approximation. AVPR: Aliens vs Predator - Requiem is not a good movie. It's a B-movie, but it's very good at being a B-movie, something at which most B-movies fail utterly. It was, for example, a far better film than 30 Days of Night. In short, we had fun, passed a couple of hours, etc. We were entertained.

The human cast is mostly irrelevant, but the creature effects are superb. And I must admit, this film was quite a bit darker and more violent than I'd expected. I am impressed the directors and the studio didn't futz around trying to get a PG-13 rating, but settled for the R. The shot of three newly erupted chestbusters squirming about in the ruptured belly of a dying pregnant woman (a marvelous metaphor for the 21st Century that threatened to elevate this film above B status) was, itself, worth the price of admission. We knew we were in for more than we'd expected when, in the first few minutes of the film, a hunter and his young son are attacked and both die horribly. Nothing is spared, not even a hospital ward of newborns. And the film's ending, which has the US government luring most of the survivors to the center of town before nuking the place, is yet another nice bit of post-Katrina commentary on the loss of faith in Washington's ability or even interest in keeping any of us safe from anything. This movie wasn't nearly as good as I Am Legend, but is was at least not dishonest. Keep in mind, the plot is basically The Blob recycled, and many moments and images are stolen directly from "real" Alien films (mostly from Aliens and Alien3). We have a shameless Ripley stand-in in the form of Reiko Aylesworth's Kelly, and she even comes complete with a Newt stand-in (Ariel Gade's Molly). Hell, I'll even forgive that silly last scene where we meet "Miss Yutani" (played by Françoise Yip). Despite all this, I was grimly delighted. Again, not a good film, but a wicked little thing that is quite good at being exactly what it is (unlike the first AVP outing), and I admire that. And no, there was nothing as hot as Rose McGowan with a machine gun for a leg, but I still find the "Predators" sexy, even after all these years.


Okay. I have a virtual hangover from staying up all night (until five ayem) dancing naked in a virtual strip club full of virtual demons and angels. Someone must have slipped me too much virtual champagne. Probably one of the angels. The only non-virtual alcoholic beverage I had last night was one glass of Coppola Rosso Classic (2005) with dinner. I must shake it off, because I have to cook black-eyed peas with ham hocks, collards, macaroni and cheese, and cornbread for Spooky and Byron. I must find a coffee bean on which to suckle.

begin again

Jan. 1st, 2007 10:45 am
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I made the grave mistake yesterday of allowing my mind to wander, to reflect, and so lost the day. At least, I lost the work that needed to be done. Though I'd awakened in good spirits, by one thirty p.m. or so (CaST), my mood had soured to such a degree that I could not even imagine sitting in this chair all day, pecking at this dratted keyboard. It had become unthinkable, which is what happens on those days which are not "days off," but on which I cannot write. Writing becomes an unthinkable chore.

But we did get Sirenia Digest 13 (59 pp., as it turns out) e-mailed to all the subscribers. Thank you, Spooky; thank you, Gordon. And hopefully it is being read and enjoyed. Feedback is welcomed, please, as always. Better here, as comments, than by e-mail. I've gotten quite behind with my e-mail.


I think this "new book" thing would not continue to be so weird, and would not seem weirder each time it happens, if each new book did not seem to come and go with so little fanfare. Were I the sort of author lucky enough (and it is a matter of luck) that I enjoyed nationwide publisher-sponsored book tours, actual publicity, reviews in the New York Times Book Review, bestselling status, and so on — if these novels were, as they say, celebrated — I think it would not seem so odd. Because then a novel would be finished, after two or three years of diligent work on it, and there would be this period following publication where it was noticed for a time, before I had to sit down and begin another. Instead, they just come and go. They accumulate like dead leaves. With luck, they sell well for a month or two, get a few good reviews here and there, and then, for me (and most everyone else), they are forgotten. I have to quickly move along to the Next Thing. I have to find the Next Thing, because the Last Thing certainly won't be paying the bills. And so it just seems weird, that there is this book, again.

My thanks to Catherine M. Diedrich for the first Daughter of Hounds fan letter of 2007.


This freakishly warm weather. Last night at midnight (EST), I went out on the front porch pretty much undressed. I do that sometimes at night, when I'm fairly certain no one is watching. It always gets a moan from Spooky, which only tends to encourage me. Anyway, the fireworks started up at midnight, and I walked out onto the front porch. And despite the rain, it felt as though I'd stepped from the house into an early June evening, not a January evening. It is disquieting.

And speaking of disquieting things, a new poll by Associated Press-AOL News found that an unfathomable 25% of those Americans polled believe that the Second Coming of Jesus will occur in 2007. I am going to pretend that the poll is simply flawed beyond all measure (consider the source), as it's much preferable to believing that one in four Americans — people who are allowed to vote and breed and take up space that might otherwise be occupied by trees — is that delusional


Today, as it is New Year's Day, and as I have not entirely abandoned all tradition, we'll be having collards, black-eyed peas, mac and cheese, and cornbread.


Yesterday, having realised there was no hope of work and not wanting to spend the day wallowing, I asked Spooky to begin reading me Cormac McCarthy's The Road. And she did. And by about eleven last night (CaST), we'd finished the novel. It is sheer and utter brilliance. If I could but write a novel half that powerful. I am not ashamed to admit that I cried, in a number of places. It's a heart-breaking book, filled as it is with such terrible loss, with the uttermost end of loss. It is not a novel about finding hope or beauty in despair. It's a story about The End. About survival when survival is its own end, when it has become little else but some burdensome biological imperative. But it's also about love, in a way that too few authors today are able to write of love. McCarthy never relents from the bleakness of his vision. His language is extraordinary. I am quite certain this is the best book I've read since House of Leaves. I suspect one would be better off, emotionally, not reading the whole novel in a single day, though, on the other hand, setting the book down and interrupting the narrative with the events of the everyday, the mundane, would likely weaken the blow. And the blow should not be weakened. The blow should be suffered. It is a blow, The Road, a blow to the illusion that this world is not a thing as fragile as spun sugar, as precious as sunlight and green grass and white snow and a blue sea. Books only rarely bring me to awe, but this one did, and for that I am grateful to its author.

And here we are, and the sky is blue, and the sun is bright, and the only ash is in my cluttered mind. And the platypus says it's 11:53, and we need to get to it.


greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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