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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

greygirlbeast: (starbuck4)
This is the morning after Utter Exhaustion. The sky is grey, and there's rain. It looks like spring out there, whether or not it actually is spring. We can work that part out later.

There are only nine days remaining in "Tale of the Ravens" Kickstarter project. We'd really like to see those last two $500 spots claimed. Look at the truly cool stuff you get! And, of course, the more we exceed our goal, the firmer footing Goat Girl Press will set out upon. We're already thinking about projects we'll do after "Tale of the Ravens." Spooky's studying all sorts of cool handmade bookbinding techniques. So, yes. Donate!

Yesterday, I started off by adding another 550+ words to the end of The Drowning Girl, the "Back Pages" section that's sort of like an afterword. Almost. The manuscript, which is now essentially finished, presently stands at 105,711 words. That's about 5,000 words longer than The Red Tree. Anyway, while I was working on the novel, Spooky and Sonya were already busy with line edits on Two Worlds and In Between.

By late afternoon, early evening, Sonya and Spooky had made it through the edits on "Postcards from the King of Tides," "Rats Live on No Evil Star," "Estate," and "Breakfast in the House of the Rising Sun," while I'd done only "To This Water (Johnstown, Pennsylvania 1889)" — I discovered long ago that having only one good eye makes me a very slow editor. But...that meant we were almost done. Sonya and I then read through "Giants in the Earth," which is, indeed, far better than the odious "By Turns," and I swapped the latter for the former.

That left only The Dry Salvages to edit. I was going to leave it for Spooky and I to tackle, but stalwart Sonya suggested she and I go ahead and start it, then finish it today (We hates the young people, Precious, so full of energies.) But first we went to East Side Market, lest we starve of having run out of food. At the p.o., there were two CARE packages from Steven Lubold, including new PJ Harvey and Arcade Fire, Peter's American Fantastic Tales (vols. 1 and 2; Vol. 2 includes my story, "The Long Hall on the Top Floor") and two volumes of bookbinding for Spooky.

Back home, after cold roast beef sandwiches and such, Sonya and I read the first 17,292 words on The Dry Salvages. We'll finish it early this afternoon, before she heads back to Boston at 5:30 this evening. And that means the collection will be about 98% ready to go to subpress. It's absolutely true to say that without having Sonya here the past four days (she arrived Saturday evening), I'd have been utterly screwed. She saved my butt. Anyway, after about eight hours of editing yesterday, Spooky played Rift, and Sonya and I watched John Carpenter's The Thing, because she'd never before seen it. There was laundry drama, too, because someone had left an immense load of wet laundry (I'm talking a metric assload) in the washing machine. Spooky and I got to bed about two ayem.

Tomorrow, I'll send The Drowning Girl to my editor at Penguin. And within a day or two, Two Worlds and In Between will be delivered to subpress. Also, Lee and I are talking about offering a very limited edition (50-100 copies) of frameable signed and numbered prints of the collection's cover (which you'll see very soon).

And on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I'm taking a much needed and well earned break, before I start work on Sirenia Digest #64 on the 21st. Oh, also, I'm adding "The Worm in My Mind's Eye" to Two Worlds and In Between, which has never appeared anywhere but as a short chapbook only available to those who ordered the limited of The Dry Salvages. Also also, yesterday I took lots of photos, and will do so again today, so tomorrow I'll post a sort of photo essay of the end of this editing marathon.

But now...I go forth with platypus in hand to finish up. After I extract Mr. Bastard (alias Hubero) from my lap.

Chat at 'cha later, kittens.

Blinded by the Light at the End of the Tunnel,
Aunt Beast

P.S.: Not to put too fine a point on it, but I AM NOT A HORROR WRITER!
greygirlbeast: (Lucy)
A nippy morning here in Providence (though it's almost a nippy afternoon). 62F at the moment. We're thinking we have to do our tour of the autumn leaves this weekend or we're going to miss out on the peak altogether. Before I forget, congratulations to Peter for being awarded the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award. Booya!

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

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

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

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

---

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

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

---

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

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

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

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

---

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

H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, Part 7 )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Yesterday was wretched. Not much point watering down the truth. My head wasn't right, and my guts were worse. I spent a good bit of the day in bed. No writing was done. I didn't go Outside. Nothing was accomplished.

We shall see what today will be.

There were a few "slits of light" to yesterday. Peter sent me a copy of The Juniper Tree And Other Blue Rose Stories (Subterranean Press). The mail brought a very small royalty check from Steve Jones in London, for The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror.

Then last night, after trying to sit up awhile, I went back to bed. Spooky and I watched the newest episode of Project Runway (I really, really love Mondo). We watched two episodes of some exceptionally ridiculous Animal Plant cryptozoology series. The first imagined a plesiosaur in Monterey Bay; the second was about the "Oklahoma Octopus." Gotta say, if I were younger, I'd start a punk band called Oklahoma Octopus. Anyway, then we watched J.T. Petty's The Burrowers (2008), which, quite unexpectedly, turned out to be marvelous. It belongs to that all too neglected genre, the Weird Western. There are a few missed notes: the start is a little slow, and I could have done without the final shot, which was unnecessary. But, all in all, well acted, well filmed, and creepy as hell. It's one of those rare dark films where things start out very bad and just keep getting worse, spiraling down to a place no one and nothing can ever escape. The Burrowers can be streamed free from Netflix. Check it out.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks.

---

A comment from [livejournal.com profile] dragau, from day before yesterday (or the day before that), back to the subject of the lack of characterization in Neal Stephenson's novels:

Often when I read Stephenson, I feel the omission you describe, that his characters are indifferent toward their mindless drudgery of existence, and they follow their paths as pawns lacking anything better to do, their lives predestined. For the Baroque Cycle, I was hoping for a novel on par with Gary Jennings. Instead, we got an extended soap opera like War and Peace with its cookie-cutter characterization. After my disappointment with Anathema, I will be waiting to buy used paperbacks of his future novels.

As a measure of comparison, I think Stephenson serves better in contrast with your own stories. Many of your own characters also experience the drudgery and recognize the futility of fighting their fates, but you seize that oppression and wring from it every emotion and metaphor. You mop the floor with the tears and self-pity of those who surrender. Meanwhile, your strong characters rally themselves with the adage "I can fuck plenty with the future," and then they act, win or lose.

Conversely, Stephenson's protagonists are often mere witnesses to great events or they are catalysts. When they do perform a climactic act, their achievement really is being in the right place at the right time. This is progressively more so in his later novels, whereas you got the manipulative plot tropes worked out of your system early, and now for example, although the reader may know your main character will commit suicide, the paths leading to that eventuality will have many branches of uncertainty.


The only point with which I would disagree is that I don't make a distinction between strong and weak characters in my stories. Sometimes, surrender requires more resolve and greater courage than does fighting.

---

Come here, pretty please.
Can you tell me where I am?
You, won't you say something?
I need to get my bearings.
I'm lost,
And the shadows keep on changing.

And I'm haunted,
By the lives that I have loved
And actions I have hated.
I'm haunted,
By the lives that wove the web
Inside my haunted head
-- Poe, "Haunted"
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
The heat seems to have come to stay, at least until September. In this house, in this heat, it is no right season to be trying to write. I can hardly think. We had a few comfortable hours early this morning, say two a.m. until dawn. The thermostat even dropped all the way to 80F.

Yesterday was, so far as writing goes, just short of a complete loss. Mostly, the lack of sleep the night before is to blame. Rarely does insomnia make me sick, but it did yesterday. So, I sat here, dissatisfied with everything I'd written on Thursday and Friday, but full in the knowledge that my dissatisfaction was at least partly irrational. Maybe if I'd known it was completely irrational, things might have been easier. I rewrote. I bemoaned. I wrote paragraphs and threw them out. This is not the route to getting The New Novel written. This is not the way I write.

I finally gave up about five, and crawled off to the sweltering bedroom. It was too hot to be in there, much less sleep. Spooky came in and put a wet washcloth on the back of my neck and I dozed for half an hour.

Today has to be better.

---

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, especially the Salammbô T-shirt. Also, Spooky's selling off a couple of pairs of shoes she never wears anymore (because they make her feet hurt), shoes she's hardly worn. They are lovely shoes. You can see them in her LJ, [livejournal.com profile] squid_soup.

My thanks to Bill at subpress for sending me a copy of Peter Straub's Skylark, the expanded text of A Dark Matter. It arrived yesterday, and is a beautiful, beautiful book.

---

What else was there to yesterday? A cold dinner that I barely had the appetite to eat. The new National Geographic came in the mail. I realized there wasn't a Wikipedia article for the archaeocete whale genus Pontogeneus, so, after dinner, I wrote one. It had been a year or so since the last time I wrote a paleo' entry for Wikipedia. It was too hot to read, so we watched John Maybury's Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1998), with Derek Jacobi and Daniel Craig (and Tilda Swinton!). We watched more episodes from Season Two of 24. Just before sleep, I finished Chapter Two of The Rise and Fall of the Cthulhu Mythos.

And that was yesterday.
greygirlbeast: (Starbuck 3)
1. I thought, the last couple of days, I was getting to that "pulling myself back together" place, having had two halfway decent nights of of sleep without fucking Ambien. Not enough sleep, no, but no hypnotics, either. Then, this morning, at four-thirty I was still awake, so I took half a pill. At 5:45, still awake, I took another half. I got the sleep around six, but was only able to sleep until about noon (all times CaST). I really cannot take much more of this. I've written nothing all damn month. Oh, and the weather here in Providence is miserable again: cold and rainy and overcast.

2. I managed to work yesterday (largely because I was just coming out of the Ambien haze). I signed the signature sheets for the special edition of The Mammoth Book of the Best of Best New Horror: Two Decades of Dark Fiction. They'd already been signed by Clive Barker and Stephen King and Peter Straub, though still have to be signed by Harlan Ellison and Neil Gaiman. On days like this, when I can't imagine pressing even one more verb against another noun, when my desire to write has dropped away to something very near zero, I try to take solace in the fact that, thanks to my writing, I count four of those five authors as friends, and three as dear friends (I've never met Stephen King). Also, I read back through "Werewolf Smile," seeing as how the book that The Wolf Who Cried Girl is becoming will be built, in part, upon that short story. And I was enormously annoyed to discover I'd missed a metric shit ton of typos when I proofed it for Sirenia Digest #45 (August 2009). I'm considering including a corrected text of "Werewolf Smile" in the March issue of the digest. Anyway, I also answered email and tidied up my file cabinet, which has needed tidying up for the better part of a year. I made notes for two short stories or vignettes, both for Sirenia Digest #52. One may be an indirect sort of footnote to Lovecraft's "The Hound," and the other involves a sideshow and herpetological tattoos. We shall see. I desperately need to get a chapter of the novel written before starting in on the digest.

3. Last night, my blood-elf warlock, Shaharrazad, made Level 78. And it "only" took me 35 days, 21 hours, 7 minutes, and 43 seconds of gameplay (I actually rolled Shah in October '08). I will point out that Blizzard has done snazzy things with the Armory, adding character animation and whatnot. You may note that Shah has allowed her usually close-cropped hair to grow since heading out to Northrend.

4. For what it's worth, my beliefs are not beliefs I hold because I need to hold them. And I did not choose to hold them. I rejected that approach to belief decades ago. Indeed, I have often been frustrated that I cannot alter my beliefs based simply on what my mind needs. I've written about this in the past, especially as regards my approach to witchcraft and magick, and the fact that I remain an atheist, cosmicist, and pessimist*. My beliefs arise from personal observation of the world around me, from conclusions based upon those observations. I believe nothing simply because I somehow need to believe it. Desire or need alone cannot ever lead me to belief. Basing belief upon needs or desires is, to me, no more than wishful thinking.

5. Spooky's latest doll is now available via her Dreaming Squid Dollworks shop at Etsy. We call her Cassandra, for reasons that ought to be fairly obvious.

6. On Tuesday, we saw Tim Buron's Alice in Wonderland for the second time. If anything, it was more delightful than the first viewing (and we still will not debate its merits here).

* I would deny, though, that I am a nihilist, for a number of reasons.
greygirlbeast: (Walter1)
1. Something strange this morning. Someone going by "Blue Tyson" has posted a one-star review of The Red Tree to Amazon.com. Thing is, it's not actually a review of the book. Instead, the "review," titled "Blacklisted - Georestricted," reads: This book is georestricted and hence will not be bought. Unfortunately it is probably good, too. Now, I have no bloody idea what this means, but I see the same person has posted identical "reviews" to novels by a number of other authors. I've reported it as "inappropriate," and I'd like to ask my readers to please do likewise, as the novel and I certainly do not need a one-star review that's not even a "review" dragging down the book's rating. Thanks. It's an easy process. Just click "report this." Eventually, Amazon.com will take it down. Also, if anyone can explain to me what this bullshit is all about, I'd appreciate it.

2. I slept too late. I must have been truly exhausted, as I slept more than eight hours without Ambien. And now I'm running hopelessly behind today.

3. Not much to yesterday. Decompression. No work done, speaking of getting even farther behind. I managed a hot bath, a very large corned-beef sandwich, and a nap.

4. I did get a rather marvelous email from Micheal Cisco, a link to a short film (very short) that David Lynch made to commemorate the centennial of the Lumière Brothers' first motion picture.

5. Kathryn and I have begun reading Peter Straub's new novel, The Dark Matter, which we're both loving. We made it through the first forty-three pages yesterday evening. The book will be released on February 9th. So, now we're reading three novels simultaneously: Dark Matter, along with Greer Gilman's Cloud and Ashes and Francesca Lia Block's Pretty Dead. I hate reading more than a single novel at a time, but....

6. Last night, we watched Karyn Kusama's Jennifer's Body. I'd avoided it in theateres, because I'm really not a fan of Diablo Cody (and let's not get into that here, please). But it's actually quite good. The comparisons with Gingersnaps and Heathers that I've seen are apt. Definitely one of the few good "horror" films of the last year. The kitchen scene, just after Jennifer's reanimation, was probably my favorite bit. I think I will need to own this one on DVD. We also saw the latest episode of Fringe, which was good. I'm starting to think Playing God would have been a better title for the series. But, I'm an atheist, and I probably fail to appreciate how a title like that would have pissed off a significant percentage of the series' potential viewership. I also fail to care, so there you go.

7. An idea has occurred to me, a sort of more transgressive take on the loathsome "paranormal romance" subgenre, which I may pitch to my agent and editor as a three-book series, and which I would write under the pseudonym Kathleen Tierney (if you know your Gælic, this is essentially the same name as "Caitlín Kiernan"*). I'm not sure where I would find the time, but it might be fun. Geoffrey and Kathryn find the idea intriguing. There would be incestuous lesbian half sisters, demons, interdimensional travel, vampirism, an order of ceremonial magicians bent on some appropriately dark purpose, and all sort of Lovecraftian frippery. One trick would be to circumnavigate the default (and ironic) homophobia of "pr." We shall see.

8. I promised there would be more photos from the trip to New York, and there are, behind the cut. They're a bit grainy, because we decided to use only the available light and not disrupt everything with a flash. I may post two more sets, one of the Montauk Club's architecture, and another of Grand Central Station.

15-16 January 2010, Part 2 )


* In both instances, the surname is an anglicized derivation of the Irish surname Ó Tighearnaigh.
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 1)
The insomnia has been bad the last couple of nights, which is to say it has been worse than usual. I didn't get to sleep this morning until the sky was already brightening, sometime after 5 ayem.

Yesterday, we read chapters 4 and 5 from the The Red Tree page proofs, and today we made it through chapters 6 and 7, which means we should be able to finish tomorrow. I am abysmally slow when it comes to proofreading galleys (or any other sort of ms., I suspect). I know many authors are much quicker with these things. I recall, back in May of 2001, I was staying with Peter and Susan Straub in Manhattan, and Peter was going over the galley's for Black House. I seem to remember him doing it in a single day. If I can get through a set of galley pages for a novel in anything less than a week, I consider myself lucky.

I'd love to hear feedback about Sirenia Digest #41.

Last night, I made the extraordinarily unlikely discovery that Species 4: The Awakening (2007) is the most watchable of the series. Not a good movie, no, but a perfectly watchable cheesy monster film (doubling as soft-core porn for those of us with a thing for alien sex). Also, I reread William Gibson's "The Hinterlands" (1982), which never ceases to amaze me. It had an enormous influence on The Dry Salvages, though I don't think I was aware of the influence when I was writing the novella. It certainly is a marvelous expression of the sort of cosmic horror that is so often called "Lovecraftian," though I doubt HPL was a direct inspiration for "The Hinterlands." Then again, without asking Gibson, I can't be sure (and we've never met). If I could ever write a story as perfect as "The Hinterlands," I think I'd finally be satisfied with my work. And no, it's not the search for perfection that keeps me writing. Most times, I feel like, more than anything else, it's force of habit and the need to pay the bills.

There are three photos behind the cut, just some mundane stuff from the last few days:

Days and Days )
greygirlbeast: (Bowie1)
I need a bottle of Bailey's in the worst way, but this is frelling Georgia, and we are all forced to respect the sabbath of the Xtians, so no booze to-day. Someday, the Dark Ages will end, but not this day. Maybe I'll just resort to absinthe this afternoon. I have absinthe. But I waaaant Bailey's.

Anyway...

No new words yesterday, though I spent the whole day in this chair at this desk, my fingers wandering over the keyboard. I tweaked the Bradbury introduction. I sent it to Peter and Ramsey and talked to them about it. They both liked it a great deal and told me to stop tweaking. Also, Ramsey sent me a photograph of a gorgeous spider. I guess I'll e-mail it to Pete Crowther at PS Publishing this afternoon (the introduction, not the spider photo) and call the job done. But it still doesn't feel finished. It doesn't feel good enough by half. But I sort of suspect it never would, no matter how long I worked on it. Never in all my life did I imagine anyone would ask me to introduce a book by Ray Bradbury. Of all the honours bestowed upon me in the last eleven years (the length of time I've been a published author), this is surely one of the highest.

Oh, and I learned from Peter that he has a new book coming out from Cemetery Dance Publications, a collection of his occasional essays and nonfiction and introductions and the like, which will be called Sides (as in "Asides"). I am very pleased to learn it will include the afterword which he wrote for Tales of Pain and Wonder way back in 2000. No word yet on the release date.

Also, my contributor copies of Stephen Jones' The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror (Vol. 17) arrived yesterday. It reprints "La Peau Verte," from To Charles Fort, With Love, and also includes short fiction by Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, Joe Hill, China Miéville, Gahan Wilson, Elizabeth Massie, Holly Phillips, Liz Williams, and a whole bunch of other folks (most of whom probably live in civilised places where you can buy booze on Sundays).

I did try to begin a new vignette yesterday, for Tales from the Woeful Platypus, but discovered that it is nigh well impossible for me to think impure thoughts and contemplate weird sex while simultaneously thinking about the works of Ray Bradbury. Make of that what e'er you will.

We had a longer-than-usual walk late in the afternoon. After dinner, we watched Richard Loncraine's adaptation of Richard III (1995), with Ian McKellen, Annette Bening, Robert Downey Jr., and Jim Broadbent, which I'd only seen once before, during its theatrical release. McKellen is wickedly superb. I think this is the beginning of a Shakespeare binge. Before bed, I played two hours of Drakengard 2, which I picked up just to hold me over until the release of Final Fantasy XII, but it's actually turned out to be pretty drad, and I shall likely not have finished it when FFXII arrives next month.

Okay. That's it for now. Words must be made today. By the way, I've been told by the platypus, that Sundays in September are the very best for subscribing to Sirenia Digest. And sheheit should know.
greygirlbeast: (chi4)
So, about six o'clock yesterday evening, we met Byron at our favourite Thai restaurant, as Thai seemed the appropriate choice for the dinner before one adopts a Siamese cat. Afterwards, the three of us ventured well outside the protective confines of the Perimeter, down I-20 west to Route 6 north through Powder Springs to Hiram (about a thirty-minute drive). Atlanta Persian and Siamese Rescue was holding its daily adoption thingy at the PetSmart in Hiram, otherwise I never would have considered going so far OTP. The sun was setting. I rode in the backseat, which I hardly ever do, and we reached the pet store about seven-thirty. Within moments, we met the cat we'd looked at online, and it was love at first sight. Really. Spooky held him and immediately he put his arms about her neck. So, we loaded up on cat supplies, filled out adoption paperwork, and returned home with our new Siamese boy (the first I've ever had, and my first male cat since 1990 — though in truth, Elvis was Elizabeth's cat, not mine).

He spent the evening roaming about the house, getting to know the place, and, eventually, he finally came to bed and curled up between me and Spooky, where he spent the rest of the night. He's a beautiful seal point, possibly part Tonkinese, with vivid blue eyes, and at some point someone took a small nip out of his left ear. I have only rarely met such a personable Siamese. He was a refugee from somewhere in Illinois, and is about four years old. We named him Hubero, a good solid Nebari name, though his full name is Hubero Padfoot Fuckin' Wu (managing to draw off three different fandoms simultaneously). Here are some photos (behind the cut):

Hubero Arrives )


This morning, the cat-shaped hole does not gape quite so frelling wide. And, after three months, that's a very good thing.

Not much else to say for yesterday. I took a long bath and washed my hair. I spent some time trying to customize my MySpace blog, but the improvements were minimal. It's still f'ugly. I thought about cleaning my messy office, because Spooky was cleaning the rest of the place, but something distracted me and it remains messy. Last night, while Hubero wandered about, we watched more Firefly ("Trash" and "The Message"). Only two left. I think I got to bed about two.

By breakfast, my dreams had been mercifully forgotten.

I've just noticed that on Amazon.com you can pick up Daughter of Hounds with Alabaster for a mere $27.70. Also, this morning FedEx delivered the galleys for the mass-market paperback of Threshold, and I see that Penguin has slipped in a preview of Daughter of Hounds at the back of the book, after the glossary. It's just a few pages from the prologue, and it ends rather abruptly, but I think it was a smart idea. I expect they'll do the same with the mmps of Low Red Moon and Murder of Angels.

Also, here's a heads-up that the amazingly versatile Peter Straub will be reprising his role as Detective Pete Braust on One Life to Live on September 21st (2 p.m. EST).

Today or tomorrow, we'll be beginning another round of eBay auctions, including a couple of special items. For one, I'm auctioning an unbound, hand-corrected copy of the Daughter of Hounds galleys, and we'll also be offering a lettered copy of Frog Toes and Tentacles, complete with handmade silk and velvet "cozy," the first we've offered since early in the summer. But now I must go write. Today I'm going to begin work on the introduction I've been asked to write for the forthcoming PS Publishing edition of Ray Bradbury's The Day It Rained Forever, as I need to get that off to Pete Crowther ASAP. Hopefully, I can finish it this afternoon.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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