greygirlbeast: (white2)
It's dratted Sunday, kittens. COMMENT! I was up until after four ayem, and didn't wake up until fucking noon, so this is going to be very goddamn brief. Weekends are for pussies:

1) Yesterday I managed to write only a little better than a thousand words on "Ex Libris," because I spent over an hour trying to figure out exactly when a particular Providence church burned (I know the exact date on which it was demolished, after the fire).

2) I woke grateful that this was Monday, only to discover that it isn't.

3) For Sirenia Digest #72, I want to do another "Question @ Hand" feature, as we haven't done one in quite a while, and I actually have fun with them. Yeah, fun. Imagine that. Anyway, I'm taking requests. That is, it would be great if people had suggestions, as I'm drawing a blank. So, you know, something along the lines of "What if you had me alone for twenty-four hours with nothing but a spork and a bottle of rubbing alcohol, and I was hogtied, and no one would ever know what you did, what would you do to me?" Only more imaginative. That sort of thing, in keeping with the flavor of the digest, which means none of that "I just want to read to you (or let you write) and make you a cup of tea" nonsense. Get your hands dirty. I do it every day.

4) Sunny and chilly here in Providence. "We are shrouded all about with the hideous folds of autumn's death shroud!" See, I can still write bad goth poetry.

5) With any luck, "Ex Libris" isn't only me reworking "The Bone's Prayer" and "Sanderlings." This thought occurred to me yesterday.

6) Today, it has been six years since the day I completed Daughter of Hounds.

7) And, finally, you ought have a look at Sonya Taaffe's ([livejournal.com profile] sovay) new poetry collection, A Mayse-Bikhl. Check out her blog entry on the chapbook. Meanwhile:

You walk on, with dybbuks in you, even when they are yourself. You don't believe in the Messiah, but you keep looking to the east. The life of the world to come feels a lot like this one. You talk to yourself, because someone should always be telling the story. The only person who can take that word off your forehead is you.

Looking East,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
Cloudy. Drizzly. 50˚F.

The light getting in beneath my office curtain has been drained of any quality to illuminate. It's still light, but a light that drenches and soaks in, rather than reflecting.

A stapler from college. A coffee cup from the Yale Peabody Museum, filled with pens and pencils. Four rocks: Moonstone Beach (RI), Jamaica, Ireland, Oregon. A tin of Altoids. Etc. & etc.

Comments can't hurt.

Yesterday, I wrote almost six hundred words on "Fake Plastic Trees." I very much like this story, but it's bleak. And it's only going to get bleaker. Yesterday, I decided I wanted the editor to read the first half before I write the second half, so I emailed it away. And now I'm waiting for the verdict. Which leaves me wondering what to do in the interim, which might be only a few more hours, but might be another day or two. I suppose I'll turn my eyes towards Sirenia Digest #65. Still hoping to see a few more answers to the latest Question @ Hand, by the way, though the ones I've received, most are keepers. Some made me feel that electric sensation in my gut. One of the highs I chase, night and day.

Two or three people have objected that they can't answer it because it involves my being forced, and maybe I see their point, the point of their objection. But, this is fiction, and, also, I've given my explicit consent to be fictionally forced. So, the objection mystifies me just a little.

CARE package yesterday from SL, who sent me two of the Brown Bird cds I didn't have, Tautology and Such Unrest, which I just loaded onto my iPod. Also, Curt Stager's (a paleoclimatologist) Deep Future: The Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth. I read Spooky the prologue last night. And the package also contained Nicky Raven's retelling of Dracula as a children's story, beautifully illustrated by Anne Yvonne Gilbert. So, my gratitude.

Last night, in response to my Danielle Dax post, [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus posted the video clip from Jordan's A Company of Wolves (1984) for which I'd posted the screenplay excerpt. And here it is:

<


Thing is, as artists we are influenced by things. I've always been aboveboard about the degree to which Angela Carter has influenced my work. She sparks my mind. She sings to me. I sing back. But then, as artists, sometimes, we are influenced by things, and, sometimes, we write (or paint, or whatever), and the influence acts unconsciously upon us. To wit, I was entirely unaware that in writing a significant part of The Drowning Girl I was very much expressing my love of this scene from The Company of Wolves. Imp tells a story, "The Wolf Who Cried Girl," and it derives very much from this scene. But I was entirely unaware what I was doing until I read the screenplay yesterday, and then it smacked me in the face. I'm fascinated by the silent influences, especially when they're so fucking obvious. "These things happen."

"And then,
you shall open
this book, even if it is the book of nightmares." (Galway Kinnell)

---

Good session with my doctor yesterday. New drug today, and maybe things will improve again. Soon, I hope. By the way, as I say in the acknowledgments to The Drowning Girl, without my doctor the novel never would have been written. It almost wasn't written.

Today, I may actually pitch the ParaRom lesbian junkie wolfpire novel to my agent. I would write it after Blue Canary, the first YA book, while she's shopping Blue Canary.

This evening, I have an appointment at RockStar Piercing on Thayer Street, to begin the process of having my earlobes stretched, and to put my labret back in. I need the sort of pain I get from body mods. It centers me.

Last night, we watched Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds for the fourth time. It's is a genuinely brilliant film, and he's going to have to do a lot to ever top himself. We played Rift. I read "Enhydriodon dikikae, sp. nov. (Carnivora: Mammalia), a gigantic otter from the Pliocene of Dikika, Lower Awash, Ethiopia" in the latest JVP. You have to imagine a mostly terrestrial otter the size of a bear, which lived alongside Australopithecus.

And I should try to do some work, while I wait for a verdict on "Fake Plastic Trees."
greygirlbeast: (white2)
Sometimes, someone says something that's just so absolutely fucking true, you pass it along. So pay the fuck attention (and thanks to Spooky for bringing this to my attention, courtesy [livejournal.com profile] coilhouse). For the record, this is me giving a shit:

"How to Make Love to a Trans Person"

Forget the images you’ve learned to attach
To words like cock and clit,
Chest and breasts.
Break those words open
Like a paramedic cracking ribs
To pump blood through a failing heart.
Push your hands inside.
Get them messy.
Scratch new definitions on the bones.

Get rid of the old words altogether.
Make up new words.
Call it a click or a ditto.
Call it the sound he makes
When you brush your hand against it through his jeans,
When you can hear his heart knocking on the back of his teeth
And every cell in his body is breathing.
Make the arch of her back a language
Name the hollows of each of her vertebrae
When they catch pools of sweat
Like rainwater in a row of paper cups
Align your teeth with this alphabet of her spine
So every word is weighted with the salt of her.

When you peel layers of clothing from his skin
Do not act as though you are changing dressings on a trauma patient
Even though it’s highly likely that you are.
Do not ask if she’s “had the surgery.”
Do not tell him that the needlepoint bruises on his thighs look like they hurt
If you are being offered a body
That has already been laid upon an altar of surgical steel
A sacrifice to whatever gods govern bodies
That come with some assembly required
Whatever you do,
Do not say that the carefully sculpted landscape
Bordered by rocky ridges of scar tissue
Looks almost natural.

If she offers you breastbone
Aching to carve soft fruit from its branches
Though there may be more tissue in the lining of her bra
Than the flesh that rises to meet it,
Let her ripen in your hands.
Imagine if she’d lost those swells to cancer,
Diabetes,
A car accident instead of an accident of genetics
Would you think of her as less a woman then?
Then think of her as no less one now.

If he offers you a thumb-sized sprout of muscle
Reaching toward you when you kiss him
Like it wants to go deep enough inside you
To scratch his name on the bottom of your heart
Hold it as if it can-
In your hand, in your mouth
Inside the nest of your pelvic bones.
Though his skin may hardly do more than brush yours,
You will feel him deeper than you think.

Realize that bodies are only a fraction of who we are
They’re just oddly-shaped vessels for hearts
And honestly, they can barely contain us
We strain at their seams with every breath we take
We are all pulse and sweat,
Tissue and nerve ending
We are programmed to grope and fumble until we get it right.
Bodies have been learning each other forever.
It’s what bodies do.
They are grab bags of parts
And half the fun is figuring out
All the different ways we can fit them together;
All the different uses for hipbones and hands,
Tongues and teeth;
All the ways to car-crash our bodies beautiful.
But we could never forget how to use our hearts
Even if we tried.
That’s the important part.
Don’t worry about the bodies.
They’ve got this.


-- Gabe Moses
greygirlbeast: (white)
The cold hangs onto Providence with a death grip. At least the snow is gone, and there's sun.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,223 words on The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. And realized that I'm much nearer THE END than I'd guessed. It could be finished today and tomorrow. Maybe three days at the most. And the realization is disorienting, to say the least. Also, it occurred to me this morning that one important thing that sets this book apart from my previous novels is that place has never been so unimportant. There is a sense of place, of Providence (and mostly the Armory district), of the RISD Museum on Benefit Street, and the Athenaeum, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, and, most especially, of the Blackstone Gorge and Rolling Dam at Millville, Massachusetts. The book also weaves in Boston, Manhattan, and LA, and other places. But almost all of it takes place in Imp's apartment in the Armory. The Drowning Girl: A Memoir could almost be adapted as a stage play with two, maybe three, sets: Imp's apartment, the RISD Gallery, a seashore. Curiously, I didn't include the Blackstone River, the novel's most important locale, outside Imp's home, on that list of potential sets.

I'll write on it today, and tomorrow, and maybe on Monday...and then I'll probably have found THE END.

Also, yesterday we proofed "Hydraguros," which is being reprinted in Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 2. I wrote this story a year ago, and I'm still in love with it. It's my best sf since I wrote "In View of Nothing" and "A Season of Broken Dolls" in early 2007. And after the proofreading, I printed out exactly 25 copies of "Atlantis," the poem I wrote in August for everyone who donated to Spooky's birthday fund. Each copy is printed in Garamond on Crane's Crest Executive paper, 100% cotton, premium weight (28 lb.). Each is signed and numbered. There will be no more. These will go in the mail on Monday.

I printed and signed a new set of contracts for Two Worlds and In Between. Because one of Bill's cats barfed on the originals. Sorry, Bill, but I had to tell that story. It's just too funny (and I, too, live in constant fear of the wages of cat barf).

I got Vince's illustration for Sirenia Digest #63, and, honstly, it's one of the best he's ever done. It'll appear as the cover. Today, I'll assemble the issue, and subscribers should have it tonight or tomorrow.

So, that was yesterday.

---

After dinner last night, we began reading Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire, the next book after The Hunger Games. Though it was no small feat, Shaharrazad found the last few quests needed to complete the "Into the Nether" achievement. Seriously, I needed almost an hour to find the last four quests I needed. They were hiding in "Area 52," with this Consortium ethereal fuck who looked like he only had dailies (big blue question mark floating above his head), even with low-level quests turned on. In truth, he has a whole string of quests! Thank you, Spooky and WoWhead. I never would have found those on my own. So, now I go back to Shadowmoon Valley and Nagrand, try to finish up Outland, and get the Loremaster title.

I played a couple of hours of Rift. I'm sure everyone's getting tired of me gushing over the game. I'll just say I got Selwyn to Level 17. Oh, and I'll say this, too. It's hard to ignore that in advertising for the game Trion is relying almost exclusively on the "human" Ethian and Mathosian races. In ads, in the quick-start guide, on the cover of the box, almost everywhere...we see Ethians and/or Mathosian (physically, they're pretty much interchangeable). And I call this a pernicious sort of speciesism/racism. There are six player races in Telara, and many of us are not Ethian and Mathosian. Never mind that I see more people playing Bahmi and Kelari than anything else (I have no idea how things look on the Guardian side). And I just heard that the two RP/PVP shards must be filling up fast, as Trion opened a third today, Estrael.

Oh, while I gamed, Spooky streamed The Secret of Kells and the Mythbusters episode about duct tape (I'm sort of sorry I missed the latter).

---

Whatever I'm forgetting can wait until later.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Two nights (well, mornings) in a row now, I've slept more than eight hours. Amazing.

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

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

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

---

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

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

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

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


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

---

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

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

The platypus is glaring at me with his beady black monotreme eyes. I dare not disobey.
greygirlbeast: (white)
The snow should begin in another half hour or so. I'm sitting here, sipping coffee, staring out my window, waiting. There are small birds out there, flittering busily about. At least, their flittering presents the illusion of business. The illusion or the impression. I appears we may be snowed in all weekend.

I have my pain pills, and coffee, and the peppermint Altoids that make the cough better. So, there you go.

I think this is the most exquisite bit of song lyric, from the Editors' "Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors" (probably, I've already quoted it in an earlier entry):

Pull the blindfold down,
So your eyes can't see.
Now, run as fast as you can,
Through this field of trees.


Those lines, they might be the first words whispered to the first woman by a sadistic god trying to explain what it will be like to live. Or they might be the mercy of a serial killer. They might only be a fraternity game. No, this isn't headed anywhere in particular. This day isn't headed anywhere in particular. Except for the snow.

I'm trying to find the first vignette for Sirenia Digest #37. I've been trying to think about cats, but keep coming back to vampires. I think it's the tongues. I have always thought that vampires would have rough tongues (and I wrote them that way in The Five of Cups). It just makes sense. Werewolves do not have rough tongues.

We went out for groceries yesterday afternoon, and I was amazed to see that, here in Providence, the first mention of snow does not lead to markets bereft of bread and milk.* And the cold Outside rendered everything so amazingly still. Even the cars on the road, though moving, seemed perfectly still. The river seemed still. I watched a woman sitting on a corner; she was smoking a cigarette, and even the smoke she exhaled seemed still. Few things are as ominous as this sort of pervasive stillness. But, it was peaceful, too. Ominous peace, I suppose. The sunlight was like spilled orange juice.

Last night, we read the first two chapters of The Historian, which I'm quite pleased with, so far.

Nice and much appreciated emails yesterday from a reader in New Hampshire and another in Roskilde, Denmark. The email from Roskilde came from Lars Ahn Pedersen, who knew the name of the woman who took the photographs for the Locus interview. Apparently, she's Amelia Beamer, which I should have remembered on my own. Oh, the New Hampshire email was from "Michael B in frozen Manchester." Everywhere, it's still.

I should wrap this up. Please do have a look at the current ebay auctions. Spooky has added Letter V of Frog Toes and Tentacles. The book comes in a handmade (by Spooky) crushed velvet "cozy," lined with red silk. Only a few of these cozies exist...maybe six...and we've not offered them since 2006, I think. We will likely offer only one or two in this round of auctions, and then there will be no more for a long time. Have a look. Bid if you are so disposed. Thanks.

Oh, and there's this peculiar jot of frippery:

Haiku2 for greygirlbeast
of the forsaken
it's good to me it's
very odd that i've
@
Created by Grahame


* Spooky just informed me the situation would have been different had we gone to Stop & Shop. So, never mind.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
There was work yesterday. Tinkering with the proposal for Joey LaFaye, which I've sent to my agent. Today I'll need to begin work on the proposal for the book after Joey LaFaye. As yet, it has no title. Yesterday, I looked at the proposal we used to sell Daughter of Hounds and was a bit astounded and embarrassed at how awful it was, and at how little resemblance it bears to the novel it spawned. I'm tempted to post it here, behind a cut, as it certainly illustrates what I've said before about the proposals I write for novels having very little to do with the forms the novels eventually take. But it's three pages long. Maybe I could post excerpts. Mostly, I'm just glad I didn't feel the need to adhere to that proposal, but, instead, allowed the story to unfold organically. Let it happen, which is how I usually think of the writing of novels.

Also, I wrote a poem yesterday, "Nest." Presently, it exists in two forms, the original and a cut-up "remix" version. I've been wanting to do something with cut-up for a while now, and I am impressed with the results. Anyway, the poem was inspired by the five raven dolls Spooky's just finishing up. Four of them will be going to eBay sometime next week (I think), and each one will be accompanied by a signed and numbered copy of this poem. As I said earlier, the poem will not be reprinted anywhere for at least two or three years. Two of the ravens will be auctioned with the original draft of "Nest" and two with the remix, though buyers will not know which version they're getting until the auctions are over. I was so pleased with this poem that I've resolved to write more poetry and continue working with the cut-up technique.

Also also, it's once again time for the annual Locus Poll and Survey. It wouldn't be such a bad thing if Alabaster got a few votes...

Last night, in an effort to make up for Friday's missed Kid Night, we watched Ivan Reitman's My Super Ex-Girlfriend and Roger Allers and Jill Culton's Open Season. While My Super Ex-Girlfriend wasn't half as good as it might have been, I did enjoy it quite a bit more than I'd expected I would. Uma just keeps rocking my world. I think it's her feet. On the other hand, Luke Wilson has all the charisma of an old tennis ball, and maybe that was the point, but I wish someone more interesting had been cast. It would have made a big difference. As for Open Season, it was really quite wonderful, and I hadn't expected to like it at all, given how much I dislike Martin Lawrence. So, yeah, two fun films in one night. Not bad, and I think it helped get the taste of The Black Dahlia out of my mouth.
greygirlbeast: (chi5)
Just thought I'd get in a couple of shorts as the month ticks away:

"The Two Trees"

Beloved, gaze in thine own heart,
The holy tree is growing there;
From joy the holy branches start,
And all the trembling flowers they bear.
The changing colours of its fruit
Have dowered the stars with merry light;
The surety of its hidden root
Has planted quiet in the night;
The shaking of its leafy head
Has given the waves their melody,
And made my lips and music wed,
Murmuring a wizard song for thee.
There the Loves a circle go,
The flaming circle of our days,
Gyring, spiring to and fro
In those great ignorant leafy ways;
Remembering all that shaken hair
And how the wingèd sandals dart,
Thine eyes grow full of tender care:
Beloved, gaze in thine own heart.

Gaze no more in the bitter glass
The demons, with their subtle guile.
Lift up before us when they pass,
Or only gaze a little while;
For there a fatal image grows
That the stormy night receives,
Roots half hidden under snows,
Broken boughs and blackened leaves.
For all things turn to barrenness
In the dim glass the demons hold,
The glass of outer weariness,
Made when God slept in times of old.
There, through the broken branches, go
The ravens of unresting thought;
Flying, crying, to and fro,
Cruel claw and hungry throat,
Or else they stand and sniff the wind,
And shake their ragged wings; alas!
Thy tender eyes grow all unkind:
Gaze no more in the bitter glass.


— William Butler Yeats

"Mad Song"

The wild winds weep,
And the night is a-cold;
Come hither, Sleep,
And my griefs infold:

But lo! the morning peeps
Over the eastern steeps,
And rustling birds of dawn
The earth do scorn.

Lo! to the vault
of paved heaven,
With sorrow fraught
My notes are driven:
They strike the ear of night,
Make weep the eyes of day;
They make mad the roaring winds,
And with tempests play.

Like a fiend in a cloud
With howling woe,
After night I do croud,
And with night will go;
I turn my back to the east,
From whence comforts have increas'd;
For light doth seize my brain
With frantic pain.


— William Blake
greygirlbeast: (chi5)
Maybe this will help make up for the dullness of this morning's entry. Maybe.

"Death & Co." (Sylvia Plath)

Two, of course there are two.
It seems perfectly natural now—
The one who never looks up, whose eyes are lidded
And balled, like Blake's,
Who exhibits

The birthmarks that are his trademark—
The scald scar of water,
The nude
Verdigris of the condor.
I am red meat. His beak

Claps sidewise: I am not his yet.
He tells me how badly I photograph.
He tells me how sweet
The babies look in their hospital
Icebox, a simple

Frill at the neck,
Then the flutings of their Ionian
Death-gowns,
The two little feet.
He does not smile or smoke.

The other does that,
His hair long and plausive.
Bastard
Masturbating a glitter,
He wants to be loved.

I do not stir.
The frost makes a flower,
The dew makes a star,
The dead bell,
The dead bell.

Somebody's done for.


(14 November 1962)
greygirlbeast: (chi6)
I'm sitting here wondering what percentage of this country takes poetry seriously, and it's a depressing thought, especially when I begin cross-referencing it with all the other important things in the world that people in this country don't seem to take seriously.

Caitlín, just shut up and post the poem.

"Wanting to Die" (Anne Sexton)

Since you ask, most days I cannot remember.
I walk in my clothing, unmarked by that voyage.
Then almost unnameable lust returns.

Even then I have nothing against life.
I know well the grass blades you mention,
the furniture you have placed under the sun.

But suicides have a special language.
Like carpenters they want to know
which tools.
They never ask
why build.

Twice I have so simply declared myself ,
have possessed the enemy, eaten the enemy,
have taken on his craft, his magic.

In this way, heavy and thoughtful,
warmer than oil or water,
I have rested, drooling at the mouth-hole.

I did not think of my body at needle point.
Even the cornea and the leftover urine were gone.
Suicides have already betrayed the body.

Still-born, they don't always die,
but dazzled, they can't forget a drug so sweet
that even children would look on and smile.

To thrust all that life under your tongue!—
that, all by itself, becomes a passion.
Death's a sad bone; bruised, you'd say,

and yet she waits for me, year after year,
to so delicately undo an old wound,
to empty my breath from its bad prison.

Balanced there, suicides sometimes meet,
raging at the fruit, a pumped-up moon,
leaving the bread they mistook for a kiss,

leaving the page of the book carelessly open,
something unsaid, the phone off the hook
and the love, whatever it was, an infection.


—February 3, 1964
greygirlbeast: (whitewitch6)
Yesterday, Winter decided she'd had quite enough of that little bitch Spring showing up on stage a good six weeks before her cue. Which is to say, it was very cold yesterday. It's even colder today, and wet. There was some sleet this morning, and I feel bad about all those blooming, growing things that have been caught betwixt and between the seasonal kerfuffle. Looking at the long-range forecast, it may stay cold for quite some time, and I'll admit I allowed myself to be spoiled by the freakish weather of the last couple of weeks. But it is the first week of February, and this chill is proper. Winter has a point.

Yesterday was so-so, what with being half-asleep and all (a good night's sleep last night). But I began the third vignette for Sirenia Digest #3, a piece which will likely be titled "Eisoptrophobia," which gives a bit away, but beats "Untitled 18." It may not be quite as overtly erotic as "Bridle" and "Untitled 16," but I figure that's okay. It'll be what it needs to be. The application of force is rarely a good thing in fiction (no matter what you may have heard). Hopefully, I'll be done with "Eisoptrophobia" sometime this afternoon. And we also read Chapter Five of Daughter of Hounds yesterday. It may be my favorite chapter in the book, so that went well. We are now approximately halfway through the novel. I've found no major problems with the text so far, which is kind of amazing considering how chaotic things were around here while most of it was being written. I begin the think I may soon be caught up for the first time in months.

The other day — Friday, I think — I came across the poetry file on my iBook and spent an hour or so feeling down about how I let that part of my writing get away from me. Indeed, in the last thirteen years or so, the time I've been writing professionally, I've only completed three or four poems. And only one of them, "Zelda Fitzgerald in Ballet Attire," has been published (in Tales of Pain and Wonder, 2000). I spent three years on that one poem. Which is one reason I don't write poetry. My approach to it was entirely different than to prose. It was something beyond meticulous. While I was still living in Athens, I did allow a professor at UGA, someone connected with The Georgia Review, to see "Zelda Fitzgerald..." (an earlier draft than the one finally published). He was known as an excruciatingly critical man who never shied away from an opportunity to cast aspersions, and I expected, and honestly half hoped, that he'd tell me it was crap. But he liked it. Anyway, I don't know why I'm going on about poetry just now. It's most likely a road not taken. Maybe I'll get back to it someday. I was just feeling glum about all those unfinished poems, I suppose. But you can't do everything, not if you want to do anything well.

I'm not sure there's anything else to yesterday. It was a day. I did finally finish the Lufengosaurus paper in the new JVP, then read "The postcranial anatomy of the megalosaur Dubreuillisaurus valesdunensis (Dinosauria Theropoda) from the Middle Jurassic of Normandy, France," and then began reading "New information on the skull of the enigmatic theropod Spinosaurus, with remarks on its size and affinities." Spinosaurus aegyptiacus is a truly marvelous beast, and the new material may indicate that it was the largest of the known theropods, larger even than the tyrannosaurids and carcharodontosaurids, coming in at 16-18 metres in length and possibly weighing 7-9 tons.

Today, filming begins on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Which is a Good Thing.

My thanks to the folks who've offered to help me gather up all the mp3s that were lost when my iPod crashed on Saturday. I may or may not take you up on it. We'll see. Also, my thanks to everyone who's taken part in last night's poll. Last time I checked, there were 134 votes "yes" (96.4%) and only 5 "no" votes (3.6%). In this instance, I shall likely go with the majority (though that's never a foregone conclusion). I very much appreciate the comments, especially those from people concerned that discussing my magickal/metaphysical beliefs could lead to trolling. But the way I see it, at this point I've been trolled for just about everything else. I've been trolled for being queer, for voting Democrat, for using unconventional grammar and writing "unsympathetic" characters, for being an environmentalist and a goth, for being a feminist, for vegetarianism and hating George W. Bush. I've been trolled for bad-mouthing creationists, for slandering fundamentalist Xtianity and the war against Iraq, for being a morbidly rabid Farscape fan, and, hell, I was even severely trolled once (in the bad ol' days of usenet) just because I liked A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. So, I figure I might as well be trolled for being a witch. Anyway, yeah, thanks. I may go with the suggestion to close some of the entries to comments. I'm not necessarily looking to debate these things, it just seemed odd to keep omitting them like I've been doing. In those cases when I disallow comments, you can always say what's on your mind in the [livejournal.com profile] species_of_one community or in your own LJs or blogs or wherever else might seem appropriate.

Okay. It's 1:26 p.m., and there's a a platypus with my name on it...

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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