greygirlbeast: (Default)
greygirlbeast: (Bjorkdroid)
Yes, weird, wet weather. And here we all are, in the aftermath of this somewhat unusual nor'easter. We're lucky; we didn't lose power, though a lot of Rhode Island did (~20,000 as of 7 ayem this morning; power is being restored). Though, honestly, I don't think I've found it as disturbing as have many who've lived here a long time, who seem to perceive it as a singularly peculiar storm. Maybe, this is simply because I don't know the local weather patterns. It was odd seeing the snow on green leaves, and the wind was very loud, and now the ground is strewn with a carpet of dead green leaves; we got possibly two or three inches of wet snow, almost all of which has now melted. Oh, and the worse thing about this storm? The coining of the obnoxious neologism "snowtober."

And my head is in about seventy-five places at the moment.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,131 words on a new piece, "Latitude 41°21'45.89"N, Longitude 71°29'0.62"W." It's a sort of mad tumble, trip-over-itself style. I'm enjoying it, and trying to resist subjecting the finished story to a "cut up" technique before it appears in the Digest. I'm also fascinated that a piece of erotica can bear a longitude and latitude designation as a title (Harlan did this before me, of course, with "Adrift Just Off the Islets of Langerhans: Latitude 38° 54' N, Longitude 77° 00' 13" W") and now I want to see the human body drawn with lines of both, mathematically precise, that any point on any given body can be pinpointed. All is need is for a model (who will model nude of course), a geographer, and a mathematician to volunteer. Anyway, this is the story Vince will be illustrating this month, by the way. And again, my apologies that this issue, #71, will be so late.

---

Bitter cold is coming tonight. Forecasts of 26˚ Fahrenheit for Providence. I'm thinking a lot about the Occupy Wall Street protesters, and their resolve, and how they have weathered this. How I'm sure various cities hope the cold will end the occupations:

From the ows website:

It's been dumping snow here in NYC all day, high winds and 3 inches of slush on the ground. With the NYPD and FDNY confiscating six generators on Friday and this unprecedented October snow, those occupying Liberty Plaza in downtown NYC are in need of emergency supplies crucial for cold weather survival (and occupation).

Please note the list of winter donation needs provided. I would be there myself if my health allowed. Fuck the career. I would be there if I would be anything more than a burden. So, from a distance, to quote Peter Gabriel, "I will do what I can do." And, of course, we have the horror stories coming out of Oakland and Denver.

---

Heard new Kate Bush last night. The jury is still out. Mother and I are still collating. Also, we watched the first episode of NBC's Grimm, and as I said of Twitter last night, it is almost not awful. Maybe, in time, it will even be...less almost not awful.

I think that's all for now. I almost fell asleep last night reading The Log from the Sea of Cortez (1951). A wonderful book.

Amid Weird Autumn Weather,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (hammy)


At best, that's the tip of the tip of the iceberg. Wanna get really pissed, read....

OccupyWallStreet.

And here, Chelsea Elliot speaks out. She is makes a point that we're talking about the actions of a few bad cops, and that this is one of the "bad apples."

Myself, I think I'm going to start a "Friends of Tony Baloney" Facebook page.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
We're provisioned, high and dry, and watching the charts, the diagrams, the broadcasts. I'm not especially worried about Providence. And the storm will have spent most of its fury before it reaches Boston. We'll get heavy rain and bad wind. And hellacious swells and tides (Why am I not surprised that LJ can't spell "hellacious"?). But it's Manhattan and the other boroughs that worry me the most.

Regardless, it'll be a rough weekend on the Eastern Seaboard. I'd thought maybe I could get to Moonstone Beach late this evening and get in one last swim before the storm hits. But the surf report for the day is looking less than optimum. By the time I could reach the shore, late this afternoon, the surf will be 3+ feet (waist to stomach height), with swells at 2-3 feet. The swells really are not bad for swimming, given that the water should be semi-glassy/semi-bumpy. But my legs are still weak enough that getting in and out of that surf could be dangerous (I can still be knocked down by a 2-foot wave, if it catches me off guard). So, I imagine we'll drive down and watch the sea, but stay dry (I'll get photos and post them). The temptation is just so...strong. But the surfers are excited. They'll be out in force at Point Judith by tomorrow. Surfers know no fear (which, in this case, may equate to having little in the way of instincts for self-preservation*).

But things get scary on Sunday, when we'll have 10-15 foot waves, with 15-26+ ft. swells. And, of course, the new moon is bringing our highest tides of the month. Here in Providence, the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier will protect downtown (which is only 8-12 feet above mean sea level). I doubt there will even be an evacuation order for Conanicut, Aquidneck, and Block islands. But we shall see.

---

Yesterday, I wrote 1,125 words on Chapter Eight of Blood Oranges. I am so, so near the ending. But today, I need to go down to Exeter, about 15 miles from here, to do some last minute research for the final scene. We'll stop by the Chestnut Hill Cemetery and see the grave of Mercy Brown, which I've never done. Oddly.

They can no longer move.
I can no longer be still.
-- Throwing Muses

[livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy has begun a new LJ, [livejournal.com profile] evacanning, for the outtakes and progress with The Drowning Girl: Stills From a Movie That Never Existed and the book trailer (not sure why this isn't being done via Kickstarter, but there you go). Kyle and I will both be making upates. There are already some great stills (Sarah [Eva] and Kyle, and one of the plague doctors) up on the blog.

Oh, the deadlines I am facing in the next three weeks. Fuck me twice on Sunday. Wish me luck. If I survive them, well...maybe then I'll be able to survive the two months that follow those three weeks. The matter was discussed yesterday with my editor at Penguin.

Well, enough for now. If you're in Irene's path, do the smart thing. Be safe. But I cannot help but marvel (and herein lies conflict) at the beautiful ferocity of this beast, Panthalassa's rough, watery beast slouching towards Nova Scotia.

Awed,
Aunt Beast

* This isn't meant to be value-laden, loaded language. Frankly, I admire anyone who takes on that wild water. If I were younger and/or stronger, I would be out there.
greygirlbeast: (Tuojiangosaurus)
This morning (technically, this afternoon), I'm a little taken aback at otherwise sensible people who are feeling sorry for the disappointed, depressed, and down-at-heel followers of Harold Camping. As kids these days are wont to "say," o.0.

Here we have these cowardly fuckers who were hoping to be yanked away to some heavenly playground where they could wallow in eternal bliss, while 97.1% of humanity endured unspeakable horrors and fire and everlasting torment. And I'm supposed to feel empathy or sympathy or whatever for the idiot cult of Harold Camping, because they didn't get their wish? Hah! I admit that I have no especial love of humanity, and I've often thought total annihilation might not be such a bad thing, BUT at least I include myself among the annihilated. My doomsday is utterly indifferent and doesn't discriminate. I don't imagine some Old Man in the Sky who passes judgment. Who picks and chooses, and is willing and eager to spare you infinite agony if you'll get down on your knees and kiss "his" feet and stroke "his" ego and tell "him" you love no other god but "him."

So, no. The followers of Camping will get no sympathy from me. Let them weep. Let them gnash their teeth and feel the weight of the godless universe upon their cowards' shoulders.

---

Yesterday, I wrote 1,529 words on Chapter Two of Blood Oranges. And Spooky had trouble reading it, because she kept having to stop to laugh. She tells me that's a good thing, and I hope she's right. This is strange new territory for me.

The day is overcast, and it's only 54˚F out there. Hello, pretender to the throne of May.

Spooky has listed a new necklace in her Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Esty shop. You should buy it. Spooky's necklaces are grand.

Last night, I revisited Gregory Hoblit's Fallen (1998), which I think is somewhat underrated. Spooky had never seen it before. And we played Rift. And read Under the Poppy, which I hope you're reading, too. Also, I read two articles in the January issue of JVP: "New information Wumengosaurus delicatomandibularis Jiang et al., 2008 (Diapsida: Sauropterygia), with a revision of the osteology and phylogeny of the taxon" and "A small alvarezsaurid from the eastern Gobi Desert offers insight into evolutionary patterns in the Alvarezsauroidea."

Proudly Unraptured,
Aunt Beast

Oh, and dinosaur (etc.) photographs:

May 17-18, Part Three )
greygirlbeast: (chi 5)
Whatever this entry might have been, it's going to be this entry, instead. And you can thank Monsieur Insomnie for that, for keeping me up all night and into the day with his deviant shenanigans. I said deviant, not devious.

Um...

Trip recounting Part Two. Yeah, well that's not really going to happen. Or it's not going to happen the way it would have, had I slept. Insomnia's sort of like time travel. Shit still happens, but it happens differently than it would have, because the worldline's been altered.

Day Two. We went to the American Museum of Natural History. I have many fond memories of the AMNH. The last time I'd been there was May 2001, and I was there as a paleontologist researching mosasaurs. I sat in the dusty attic, filled with cabinets of fossils and labels written in Cope's own spidery hand, and worked on a project that I was never able to finish. The museum's changed a bit in the last ten years. Mostly not for the better. And these are the two things that cycled through my mind repeatedly while we were there on Wednesday.

In the Hall of Biodiversity, I sat down and made some notes about how natural history museums are - partly by necessity, partly by way of wrongheaded educators - going the way of the dinosaurs they display. Funding continues to dry up, and museums have to find ways to stay afloat. So, they become more and more like theme parks. It's called "infotainment," which requires "interactive" gimmicks, instead of hands-off exhibits with, you know, words and stuff. Add to this a maze of gift shops. I gag on that sickly portmanteau, "infotainment." Anyway, in my little black notebook, I wrote:

More and more, the old museum has been lost to the ravages of "infotainment." And to that add hundreds upon hundreds of screeching children*. The sense of sanctuary has been lost, that secular Cathedral to Science and Nature that was once the hallmark of good museums. The quiet dignity. I watch the people, and they file past, hardly even pausing to actually look at anything. Video monitors everywhere, sensory overload. Very sad seeing this.

Okay, I feel bad enough without harping on the Death of Museums right now. I'll come back to it some other time.

---

"Fake Plastic Trees" has sold to Ellen Datlow and Terry Windling for their post-apocalyptic YA anthology, After. I suppose, at this point, everything that postdates tomorrow is post-apocalyptic.

Also, while I have decided to write Blood Oranges before Blue Canary, it's not what I actually want to do. Many factors come into play. Blood Oranges is a peculiar lark of a book. Blue Canary is my future (I hope). By the way, with my agent's blessings, I'll be writing the latter as Kathleen Rory Tierney. Or Kathleen R. Tierney. But the R will stand for Rory, whether people know it or not. Someday, I may write another novel like The Drowning Girl or The Red Tree. We shall see. Time will tell. Regardless, all this is a change of direction of my choosing.

Yesterday...um...yesterday, I signed 600+ signature sheets for Two Worlds and In Between (which required two hours and forty-five minutes). I emailed stories to two editors for two anthologies. I answered email. The REAL mail came, and there was a chunk of granite (brick red with grey phenocrysts) from Ryan Obermeyer, which he picked up on the shore of the Red Sea, at Hurghada, during his recent trip to Egypt. Actually, the stone came from out of the water of the Red Sea.

My foot hurts like hell. If hell hurts, and they tell us it will.

Last night, good rp in Rift. The guild grows, and its story begins to unfold.

And I'm going to hit myself in the face now.

Deliriously,
Aunt Beast

P.S. -- My birthday soon. Please give me stuff.

* Once, when I was young, children actually knew how to behave in museums. Now, the teachers chaperoning field trips have probably been bullied by helicopter parents to the point that they're afraid of telling kids to keep it down, for fear of lawsuits charging them with stifling self-expression or some bullshit. So, we get these fucking brats with a sense of entitlement.

May 17-18, Part Two )
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Gods, but I'm no good at trip summaries. There are photos behind the cut.

I'm home, and I almost broke the big toe on my left foot night before last. It isn't broken, just bruised. I jammed it into a step as we (Peter and Susan Straub, Spooky, and I) were going to dinner on Tuesday night. Horrid bruise behind my toenail.

My agent managed to talk me into taking the bus down. When she first suggested it, I said "Ew," but she said "No, really. It's actually pretty nice these days. "But Port Authority!" I declared, but she persisted. So, Monday night I conceded, and we took the bus down on Tuesday morning, the Peter Pan - Bonanza express to NYC, and...it was actually cheap (half the price of Amtrak) and comfortable and quite nice. So, I see a lot of bus travel in our future. Normally, we drive to New Haven, then take the commuter rail to Grand Central Station. Which is a pain in the ass. This was better. Who'd have guessed.

We arrived in Manhattan about three fifteen in the p.m., and my meeting at Writers House was at four. We caught a taxi (usually, I have great taxi karma, by the way) from Port Authority to West 26th Street. I adore the building that houses Writers House. It was originally the bank John Astor's employees used, and it's a beautiful old Guided Age building.

Anyway, a good meeting with Merrilee. She loves The Drowning Girl, and has pronounced the first chapter of Blood Oranges the "most compelling thing I've ever written." And she's persuaded me to finish that book before writing Blue Canary. It was a hard decision, but yeah, I'm switching the two around. I hope to finish the former by the end of July, then have Blue Canary completed by the end of January 2012. So, a very good meeting, and we talked about many other things, but I can't set it all down here.

After the meeting, Spooky (who'd been visiting with her sister, Steph, at the camera store where she works) and I headed uptown to Peter's house. As always, Peter and Susan were grand hosts. We had dinner at Nonna, a wonderful Italian restaurant, pure comfort food. Later, back at their house, much good conversation. There was a rather strange bit of a shock when I realized the last time I visited Peter and Susan was on May 17th, 2001, exactly ten years previously, to the day.

At eleven p.m., Spooky and I went to bed (!) and proceeded to sleep until ten in the ayem, an amazing ten hours (!!). Peter finally woke us via the intercom. Then he made a breakfast of scrambled eggs, toasted English muffins, and double espressos. We said our goodbyes and Spooky and I headed off to the American Museum of Natural History to catch the special sauropod exhibit (I'll write about that tomorrow). While we were in the museum, a deluge commenced, and from the relative cover of a hotel's awning I hailed a taxi back to Port Authority. We left the city about 6 p.m., and were back in Providence by 10:15. Would have been sooner, but the traffic and rain were horrendous. Just about everything was closed, so we had to get a disgusting dinner from McDonalds; I'd not eaten McDonalds since 2004, and Spooky hadn't eaten from McDonalds since the '90s.

Oh, and an aside: If you consider yourself a science-fiction fan, but you don't know who Harlan Ellison is, you've no right to consider yourself versed in sf (you don't have to like Harlan, but you do have to at least know his part in the history of the genre). Otherwise, you're sort of like an expert in Russian literature who's never read Tolstoy.

And I must work, so here are photos:

May 17-18, 2012 (Part One) )


Later this evening, I'm going to post an itemized cost for the trip, as evidence of why I'm not a traveling author: I can't afford to be.
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
So, since it's after midnight here in Providence, and since I made that promise to myself back in March to write at least one journal entry every day for the period from April first until the end of July, I'll get something down before I head to bed. We have to leave early for Manhattan, so I'm taking my good-worker-bee pill and going to lie down.

Tomorrow, I will meet with my agent and we shall talk The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, Blood Oranges, and Blue Canary. Not necessarily in that order. Then, tomorrow night Spooky and I will enjoy Peter and Susan's hospitality, and we shall talk...about whatever we please.

A hideously rainy day today. Manhattan's going to be a deluge, so I am told.

My contributor's copies of Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 2 arrived this afternoon. The box was wet; the books were well-wrapped and dry. "Hydraguros," One of my sf (science fiction, not San Francisco) stories is reprinted therein.

A special thanks tonight to Steven Lubold.

Work today consisted of getting ready to leave tomorrow, and email with my agent. Nothing thrilling, even by the standards of a freelancer. Tonight, we watched Henry Fonda and everyone else in the world in Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). It truly is one of the - if not the - most spectacular Westerns ever made. The film's cinematography puts every square millimeter of picture to work, so do not dare watch it pan-and-scan. And while it's one of the first truly gritty Westerns, it's possessed of an amazing and almost surreal choreography.

And now, I go to face the toothbrush. Next entry, Wednesday night.

Almost in Transit,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
How does one forget that she's supposed to be in Manhattan on Tuesday? That is, she forgets until almost the last minute, and...it's all pretty embarrassing. But I do. Have to be in Manhattan tomorrow, to see my agent and visit with Peter Straub and so on and so forth. I think it's a matter of inertia, the forgetting. The objects remaining at rest tending to remain at rest half of inertia, I mean. Not being one of the traveling authors, but one of the "homebody" authors – id est, one of the reclusive, antisocial, and sporadically agoraphobic ones. I am well acquainted with authors who jet about the world, while I rarely leave the apartment. I'd blame the TSA, but I'm pretty sure the rise of their New and Improved Draconian policies merely worsened what was already there.

It's a shame I can't blame the motherfucking fascist TSA.

So, tomorrow we take the train to NYC, but we'll be back on Wednesday evening.

---

On the subject of eBay: Please note, as stated on all our auction pages, we do not take checks or money orders. We also do not make exceptions, especially if you win an auction and then fail to contact us for three days. We only take PayPal. Here's the main reason why: Around here, money is almost always tight. And when we see an auction end, especially a "high-ticket item" like the recently auctioned boxed, lettered, double-signed edition of In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers (something we'd never before auctioned), we immediately factor that income into our budget. Because PayPal immediately sees to it that we're paid. So...please don't bid unless you have a working PayPal account, with sufficient money in it to cover your bid. Doing otherwise will cause us great inconvenience and, I might add, reflect poorly upon you. Wow. I haven't been that coherent in days.

---

If you are so foolish as to even imagine you'd like to be an author, you need to read Nick Mamatas' Starve Better: Surviving the Endless Horror of the Writing Life. There's even a free digital version. It includes his rather brilliant essay, "Against Craft," which I adore, having always loathed the idea that writing is a "craft," and not an art.

---

Rain, rain, rain. All we have is rain and chill.

What was there to yesterday? There was that other leaning paper tower in my office, which, it turned out, was several leaning towers' worth of filing. Working from basic stratigraphic principles – specifically, the law of superposition, so thank you Nicolas Steno – that nothing much had been filed since at least June 2010. Which really says a lot. Back to inertia. Anyway, you file, and you find things you've lost that you never even knew you had.

Apologies to Rift folks. I just wasn't, for the most part, up to it yesterday. Mostly, I wanted to spend the day hiding in the bathtub under several layers of blankets. So, I wasn't around yesterday. The good news is that I slept last night, almost nine hours, thanks to one of the pills I prefer to avoid (mostly because it's not cheap). I'm not okay, but I'm better. Dreams aside, I'm better. Another night like that, I'll be much better. A week of that, I'll be functional again.

Last night, we watched the last two DVDs from Friday's binge at Acme Video. The first was Woody Allen's pitch-perfect Broadway Danny Rose (1984), and the second (last of the five) was Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine and Fred MacMurray in Billy Wilder's The Apartment (1960), one of the films you'd find on my most-favorite-ever list. Both were new to Spooky. Seeing Broadway Danny Rose again, I remembered the first time I ate at the Carnegie Deli on 7th Avenue (Midtown NYC). It was very late at night, or early the next morning. May the 13th, 1998, which was a rainy Saturday. Unless you say it was the rainy pre-dawn hours of May the 14th, 1998, a Sunday, which is more likely. It was me, Christa Faust, some Mexican wrestler dude (masked, even), and Bernie Wrightson. I'd spent the night in a latex bodysuit and an Israeli gas mask, and was very, very dehydrated. That's a small bit of a long story. I'd just turned thirty-four.

A few years there, I spent so much time in New York.

Last night, after the movies, I lay on the floor in the front parlor listening to the rain. Just before bed, we ate fresh pineapple.

---

What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind...
(William Wordsworth, "Ode: Intimations of Immortality")

On the Eve of Departure,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Mars from Earth)
Just got word that the lost and ancient iPod has been found, and is waiting for me in Mystic, Connecticut. Spooky will be retrieving it this afternoon.

And, gods help me, I just started a Facebook account (as Caitlín Kiernan; don't forget the fada over the second "i" in "Caitlín").

And while I'm writing these very short paragraphs, I should mention the discovery of vast subsurface glaciers of water ice on Mars. Wow. Worlds unfolding before our eyes. And this reminds me, there's a superb piece on Mars in the new National Geographic, with text by John Updike.

I'm sitting here trying to wake up. And trying even harder not to be overwhelmed by all the work I have to get done between today and the end of November, when my "semi-vacation" begins. I have to finish "The Colliers' Venus." I have to write one or two new pieces for Sirenia Digest #36, and actually produce the issue, by the 30th. I have to finish the read-through on The Red Tree, and, probably, write its epilogue. I have 10 days to do all this. I'm thinking I'll be including the first section of the presently shelved The Dinosaurs of Mars as part of #36. And I have an idea for a vignette, but I think it's too bizarre to try to give a synopsis for. I'll just have to write it.

I think I'm still decompressing from the slingshot excursion to Manhattan on Wednesday. Everything seems sort of distorted, some sort of peculiar time dilation. Is this really Friday? Is that possible? Yesterday, no work, just recuperation. Sonya ([livejournal.com profile] sovay) had to head back to Boston about 4:50 p.m. (CaST). I sent her off with my copy of House of Leaves, and an order that she read it at least once before returning to Providence. The day went so quickly. It was afternoon before I'd quite grasped the fact of morning. It's hard to even recall what I did yesterday.

I know that, after Sonya left, I read "Cranial anatomy and taxonomy of Dolichorhynchops bonneri new combination, a polycotylid [Sauropterygia; Plesiosauria] from the Pierre Shale of Wyoming and South Dakota," in the latest Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. In 1986, while in school in Colorado, I did prep work on a specimen of Dolichorhynchops from the Pierre Shale of Red Bird, WY, so it was like revisiting an old friend. My one-time mentor Bob Bakker used to refer to this taxon as the "double penguin," which is a pretty good description of what it might have looked like while alive and swimming.

As for last night, there was pizza. We watched three more episodes (4-6) of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and I'm still impressed. Afterwards, there was WoW. I finally got my guild off the ground, "Wrath of Elune." Yes, the moon is an angry goddess, and she's out for blood. I played Mithwen, my night elf, and got her to Lvl 34, mainly by fighting satyrs in Forest Song Wood. With Suraa's help, I must have slain a hundred satyrs. They had it coming (at least from Mithwen's perspective), having raped and murdered a dryad.

I'm still waiting to learn just how ill my stepfather —— Vann —— is, but we know, already, that it's very, very serious. Anyway, not really the sort of thing I feel comfortable talking about here.

And that's pretty much yesterday.

There are photos from the KGB reading behind the cut (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] ellen_datlow), and you can see many more here:

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008 )
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 1)
Home again. Well, home again since 5 a.m. this morning (CaST).

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, by the way, yes, I did post the video to the Editors' "An End Has a Start," but it was some autoplay thing, so I took it down again. Sorry. It is, however, my new favorite song.
greygirlbeast: (chi2)
So, yes, Sirenia Digest #29 (April) will be going out to subscribers this evening. That said, there has been a last minute change to the line up this issue. It will actually be comprised of two pieces by me this month, instead of one — "Flotsam" and "Concerning Attrition and Severance." The latter is the especially "brutal" piece I was fretting over so much a few days back. It was originally intended for Sirenia Digest #30 (May). However, Sonya ([livejournal.com profile] sovay) needed more time on her new piece, and I absolutely cannot stand to rush another author. So, next month, #30 will include the new vignette by Sonya and my "Rappaccini's Dragon" (which I hope to finish writing tomorrow). Also, there will be no illustration from Vince this month, due to a death in his family. However, he'll be back next month. I hope that was something like coherent, because I am nothing like awake.

I received a very nice email yesterday from Mr. Robert Feldman of Manhattan, the sort that keeps me from taking a claw hammer to my skull:

Ms. Kiernan,

I write to you from the dank, dark, and foreboding depths of the New York Public Library (yes, we do have ghosts and they do wear roller-skates!) where I am currently cataloging the new edition of your
Tales of Pain and Wonder. I've read Alabaster and your contributions to Wrong Things and am very much enjoying the stories in Tales.... The Salmagundi and Salammbo stories are truly blowing me away because I attended the Storm King School (1971-74) and am very familiar with that part of the Hudson Valley. Your Pollepel Island is obviously your take on Bannerman's Island with it's spooky ruined castle right near Storm King Mountain. I climbed that mountain many, many times, and slept out overnight there; it is very creepy around there and a perfect setting for your stories. The Hudson Valley has many many places like this, certainly Sleepy Hollow inspired Washington Irving to write his tale of the headless horseman. A bit further north there is an island off the town of Staatsburg where wicked old Uncle Aleister Crowley spent the summer of 1918, supposedly writing "Do what thou wilt"....etc...in red paint on the rocks for passing ships to see. Then there is the town of Tivoli, much gentrified now but an extremely haunting place in the '70's when I attended Bard College just down the road from there. Thanks for reminding me of these places; they have an atmosphere that's very misty and otherworldly and I have many memories of them. I am enjoying your work very much and am looking forward to reading more. I've cataloged at the Library for twenty years now but this is the first time I've contacted an author. This is a good day job for an old Punk Rock/Goth guitar player and the perks are I get to discover writers like you and Poppy Brite while I'm working. Best wishes and I'll be looking forward to reading more of your work.

It makes everything just a little bit easier to take, knowing there's a copy of Tales of Pain and Wonder at the central branch of the NYC Public Library, where once I climbed a stone lion. Thank you, Robert.

I did 1,189 words yesterday on the new story, the aforementioned "Rappaccini's Dragon." I'd really hoped to finish it this month, but the mess that was Monday made that impossible. Then I packed four very heavy boxes of books, and Spooky washed more dinosaurs (photos here in her LJ; [livejournal.com profile] humglum), including my set from the Royal Ontario Museum and the Boston Museum of Science. Just now, she was making a joke regarding "Bathosaurus," and I checked, because I figured there was surely a "Bathysaurus," and there is, though it's not a reptile, but the Deepsea Lizardfish, Bathysaurus ferox. Anyway, after the packing, we read over "Flotsam" and "Concerning Attrition and Severance" for the sake of line edits. I think we finished that up at 7 pm, then had leftover chili for dinner. I looked over the new National Geographic, which is largely devoted to China and the ecological catastrophe that is China (fully 50% of the Yellow River [Huang He] — the sixth longest in the world — has been declared "biologically dead").

More Millenium last night, episode #9 from Season 1, "Loin Like a Hunting Flame." And then the new episode of Deadliest Catch on the Discovery Channel. And why the hell do I write all this crap down? Some odd compulsion to record.

Tomorrow is Beltane. Already.

I really am loving the new Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds disc. After last years Grinderman solo project, I had a feeling they'd be headed back this direction after the low point of Nocturama (2003). Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! feels a lot more like Let Love In with smatterings of the earlier albums.

photos 2

Nov. 16th, 2006 08:40 pm
greygirlbeast: (Fran)
Four photos (behind the cut) from NYC, a trip me and Poppy ([livejournal.com profile] docbrite) took together, July 14-17, 1997. She writes about that week in one of the Guilty But Insane essays, "New York Diary," where I appear simply as "Hello Kitty." I was still living in Athens, just barely. This was the month before I moved back to Birmingham. Silk had sold to Penguin, I was writing The Dreaming full time. I was 33 years old. I remember sitting in the bathtub, on the phone with Poppy, and she asked if I wanted to spend a few days at the Algonquin, chasing the ghosts of Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley. I said sure, why the hell not. This was right before the 1998 renovation and writers could still afford to stay at the Algonquin. And I was entirely fed up with Athens and all it had come to signify (a messy, disintegrating relationship; post-DLS band drama; etc.) and welcomed the escape. So, there you go. I museumed (now a verb), had dinner with Peter Straub, got drunk, spent far too much money at Maxilla & Mandible, stalked Central Park, went to the American Museum of Natural History twice, and did my best not to think about Athens.

first, we take manhattan )
greygirlbeast: (chi2)
On the 15th, I mentioned finally having parted with the deteriorating latex catsuit I got in Manhattan at a fetish shop called Body Worship, way back in the summer of '98. I just found some photos that were taken in the stairwell of the apartment building where I was staying, at [livejournal.com profile] faustfatale's mom's place. I still have the mesh coat (Catherine Coatney) and the gas-mask (Israeli army surplus) and the steel-toed, 20-eye burgundy rub-off boots, but, alas, the catsuit is no more. Except for these photos (behind the cut). Now, [livejournal.com profile] setsuled, you can collect the whole set!

Cybergoth Caitlín )


This is the outfit I wore to the release party for Silk and Christa's first novel, Control Freak, which was held @ Mother (now-defunct) in the meat-packing district. You should have seen the two of us and our masked-and-tuxedoed luchador escort trying to hail a frelling cab. Finally, we had to employ a relatively normal-looking decoy, but when the driver got a look at the three of us, he actually tried to get away before we could get into the vehicle. Fortunately, we were swift.

Oh, and here's eBay link again...

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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