greygirlbeast: (river2)
Cold and sunny here in Providence. Tonight, we are promised it will be colder, but still mostly clear, for the Steel Yard annual iron pour. Meanwhile, we have a winter storm watch set to begin tomorrow at five p.m. and run until early Sunday morning. The first nor'easter of the year, and early. Looks like most of New England's going to get hit, but it also looks like we're in a narrow band that will escape the worst of the weather. Yay, us. I'd really like to have another six weeks or so until I have to worry about the blizzards. Anyway, as long as weather predictions are being made, I predict this is going to be a long and bad, bad winter.

Yesterday, we made it through the last two chapters of Blood Oranges. What a weird book. But, also, what a funny book. How did I do that? It's pretty much Buffy the Vampire Slayer directed by Quentin Tarantino. I think maybe the more interesting question is why did I do that? Was I trying to purge the deleterious effect that writing The Drowning Girl: A Memoir had upon me? That seems to be the popular opinion, but I can't say for sure. But it does hold up, and that's a great relief. I shall think of it as a belated tonic against the waning ParaRom market. I won't even dignify "ParaRom" with the sobriquet "genre." Not even "subgenre." It's just a market. You know, like varieties of porn. No, wait. I like porn. Porn is useful, and has dignity. Especially the creepy stuff from South Korea.

Oh, and I'm thinking of calling the obligatory sequel Fay Grimmer. No one will get the Hal Hartley reference who isn't meant to get it.

Today, it's back to work on Project Arrowhead for the MiBs at No Such Agency. As I said to Spooky, it's going to be the first long day of a long weekend at the beginning of a long winter.

Last night, in the rain, sleet, and snow, we went forth into the darkness to run errands. I got two new (and badly needed) pairs of shoes for the winter. I went all last winter in my Cros, coupled with New Zealand bedsocks. Which is really no fit state of affairs. Anyway, and the cat food/litter place, we had to go there, too, and also get dinner, and it must have been nine p.m. by the time we got home.

After dinner, there was RIFT. Mostly, dailies and world-event stuff, and then we watched Michael Tolkin's The Rapture (1991). I'd not seen it since the video release in 1992 or whenever, but after seeing Red State, and discovering that Spooky had never seen The Rapture, I very much needed to see it again. Well, I could have done without David Duchovny's mullet. But the rest of the film has aged very well. There are few better examples of the "Christian horror film." It's sort of Red State turned inside out, and the horror isn't so much what people are willing to believe (though that's bad enough). The horror lies in the objective existence of a sadistic "god" who demands it be loved, like a spoiled child demanding attention. It will be loved, or you will be damned. It will be loved, and you will destroy yourself for it's love, or you'll spend forever alone. Even if you are a "good" person, it will still damn you, unless you love it. In the final moments of the film, the film's protagonist redeems herself by finding her own salvation simply by telling the Bully in the Sky that no, she won't love it. "Who forgives God?", a question asked moments before the climax, is especially apt. So, yes, this is a keeper. A film which doesn't so much question the cartoonish Biblical eschatology, as it questions the ethics of a omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being who would subject its creations to a living hell, just to get its ya-yas off. You know, just because. Like any shitty parent or schoolyard bully. See it, if you've not already. And if it sounds like the sort of film that would piss you off because you're a good Christian, then you especially need to see it. If you're that sort of person, this film was made for you. It won't change your mind. But, nonetheless.

We read more of Wildwood.

And now, I see the black van has pulled up outside.

Off to the Airbase,
Codename: Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
No numbered lists today. I've not the patience for it, and I have too little to say, and, besides, NASA finally decided the odds of the elctro-whatsit generator we need to proceed "probably" won't create a vast artificial black hole.

Secrets make me weary.

Yesterday...well, I did do some stuff. Spooky went out and rented a second storage unit, because there's too many comp copies of books I've written or have stories in, and everything has to be reorganized, and my isn't that exciting? Tonight, we'll be lugging boxes of books to Pawtucket. Still awaiting the go-ahead from the National Aeronautics geeks, I tried to begin a new vignette...or short story. Not sure which yet, or either. Or if either? Something's wrong there. Anyway, [livejournal.com profile] sovay helped me with the Greek for the title: "Hē tēs thalássēs mártys (ἡ τῆς θαλάσσης μάρτυς)," and I even wrote 104 words on it before giving up. Not in disgust. In something else. Possibly in misgiving or in trepidation.

Sometime, thereafter, I had my first seizure in months. Spooky wasn't here, and I came to on the kitchen floor. The usual "I have no idea what happened immediately beforehand" amnesia and the back of my head hurt. But no damage done. Just when I think I'm never going to have another one of these things...Anyway, my suspicion is there's just been far too much stress the last couple of weeks, which is, obviously, a primary trigger for PNES seizures,

Yesterday, talking about Silk, someone in the comments mentioned how they enjoyed the interconnectedness of the books. And I replied that, truthfully, I regret the novels being interconnected — Silk through Daughter of Hounds — and that I've seriously considered rewriting "Bainbridge" to remove its connections to Silk and Murder of Angels (and, so, by extension, the other three novels). I have no idea how my readers would feel about my attitude towards having tied all this stuff together, but as the years go by it seems juvenile, and as though I did the wrong thing for all the wrong reasons. Hence, The Red Tree and The Drowning Girl: A Memoir are almost entirely devoid of any connection to my earlier books. The bizarre series that Blood Oranges may be the beginning of, this is not the way I will continue to write most novels in the future (and I do not think of Blood Oranges as one of my serious novels; it's just a peculiar lark, fun, something to wake me up after the long fever dream of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir).

The weather's turning to shit just in time for this weekend's shoot. I suppose we will muddle through. Perhaps literally.

Oh, I know what I was going to say. One reason I stopped writing "Hē tēs thalássēs mártys (ἡ τῆς θαλάσσης μάρτυς)" yesterday was this sudden fear that I'm writing far too many stories about the sea. Yes, I know I do it very well. But I'm beginning to feel like I'm...repeating myself. Well, I know what I mean.

In the end, yesterday was an all but wasted day...which makes four in a row...during a month when I couldn't afford even one. But this shit happens. At least, today, I can go back to work in earnest. After all the email. Spooky has to drive down to her parents' place to gather up some spare blankets and pillows and stuff for people who will be crashing here over the weekend. We're still waiting on final conformation about shooting scenes in the Athenaeum. There's an awful lot of chaos (not with the Atehnaeum, that wasn't what I meant to imply). But this whole thing begins day after tomorrow, and a lot of things are still up in the air. And the funny part? There's zero evidence that book trailers help sell books. But we have a three thousand dollar budget.

I should go now, before I hurt myself.

Oh, but first — and speaking of book trailers — there's this. The first volume of Odd?, a new biannual anthology from Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (presently only an ebook, but a hardcopy edition is on its way), reprints my story "A Child's Guide to the Hollow Hills." But I think the promotional video is far more entertaining than is my story:



Masochistic,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
This is Thursday, and the weather's ass, and so comments would be appreciated.

Today begins a quasi-vacation of indeterminate length (but shortish). I'm very, very tired. The brainmeats need a few days to veg out and recover. So, I'll only be handling the things that will kill me if I don't see to them immediately. Anyway, yeah, rest. Mild absence seizure last night. That's a sign.

Yesterday, after Kathryn and I had read it through, I sent Chapter One of Blood Oranges away to my agent. I actually, at some point, as Kathryn was reading aloud, said something like, "Wow. This is good." I never say shit like that about my own writing. Well, only rarely. Anyway, I haven't yet heard back from my agent, and I hope it's not because page 3 of the manuscript bears this note:

If your ears, eyes, and sensibilities are easily offended, this book is not for you. If you want a romance novel, this book is not for you. And if it strikes you odd that vampires, werewolves, demons, ghouls, and the people who spend time in their company, would be a foul-mouthed, unpleasant lot, this book is not for you. In fact, if you’re the sort who believes books should come with warning labels, this book is not for you. Fair notice.

The Author


Otherwise, yesterday's work was all odds and ends, loose threads, stuff I was trying to tie up yesterday so it would leave me alone for a few days thereafter. Didn't really work. Never really does. Loose threads like to run wild. And it's all kind of a blur, yesterday, but I am quite certain that a lot of email was involved.

Ah, and I want to make sure you know that there's awesome new goodies up in Spooky's Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy shop! New necklaces and a new bracelet (named after one of my favorite Bel Canto songs). Which reminds me, the new scanner came, and the new printer arrived a few days ago, and Spooky's been painting like a fiend, which means Goat Girl Press is just about operational. My thanks again to everyone who helped out with the Kickstarter project, and one day, before too long, you will have wonderful stuff coming your way.

Brendon Perry's voice is, to me, almost as good as...well...many very good things.

I live by the river,
Where the old gods still dream
Of inner communion with the open sea.


Last night, we watched Debra Granik's Winter's Bone (2010), a truly fine film that I recommend without reservation. Also, if I ever had any doubt (and I didn't), that Jennifer Lawrence could – and should – play Katniss Everdeen, I have none now.

We also played far too much Rift. And by the way, the FREE TRIAL everyone's been wanting is here. So, give it a try. And also, there's the "Ascend-a-Friend" thingy, whereby I can earn fat loots dragging others into Telara, if they decide to stick around (those who get dragged, they also get fat loots). If you're interested in the latter, just say so. And the link takes you to the FREE TRIAL. You'll want to sign up on the Defiant-side Shadefallen rp shard, of course, and once you're in, send Selwyn a tell to join up with Eyes of the Faceless Man. Tell her Aunt Beast sent you. Anyway, last night I leveled my High Elf, Mithrien, to twenty, and almost to twenty-one. Really, it was all Spooky's fault. She made twenty, also, and now we have two characters in place for an upcoming guild storyline that requires cross-faction rp. And the godbothering Guardians still creep me out, even if they're pagan godbotherers.

Godbothering is godbothering*.

So say we all.

* This definition, while brilliant, is obviously aimed at the Xtian godbotherers. Godbotherers come in all flavors, including pagan.
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
I'm all awash in randomness. Which is only a bad thing if one has spent to much time suckling at the teat of the illusion of linear progression.

And still...one after the next, the days are turning genuinely warm. The trees are going green. There may yet be an end to this long Cold Spring. So, make of this whatever you will.

They heard me singing and they told me to stop.
Quit these pretentious things and just punch the clock.
These days my life, I feel it has no purpose.
But late at night the feelings swim to the surface.

-- Arcade Fire, "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)"

Last call for the latest Question @ Hand. Speak now or, well, you know. Speak now, or don't.

A very mild, very short seizure last night. First since the last, and the last was quite some time back. I was so sick from lack of sleep, it wasn't a surprise. But, I find it so strange, looking back, how these things ruled my life for about three years. How Spooky and I built our lives around their complete unpredictability, around our fears of possible outcomes. Planning for a thing you cannot possibly plan for. Planning anyway. And now it's been almost completely reined in by 250 mg. of a drug I'd never heard of until a year ago. Ah, more intimations of a linear universe.

It's hard – not impossible, but hard – to see beyond one's biopsychological predispositions and imperatives, when there are such selective advantages to viewing the universe a given way, and the difficulty to see otherwise has been selected for down all the aeons. The ability to see things not as we see things, but to comprehend an invisible possibility. Or imagination, if you prefer.

The anger has faded a bit for now. It's no longer rage, only righteous indignation. The wheel goes round and round. Everything's fine, just as long as the wheel moves. Which is not to say that anything anywhere is fine, because it's not. Or that motion is anything but relative.

Last night, we watched the latest Fringe, and this show's wonderfulness seems to know no bounds. Then we watched two episodes of the new season of No Reservations, more or less at random (see above re: randomness). The horrors of Liberia, and then the peace of post-Franco Madrid. Because I've not yet finished my coffee, I'm not going to think about people who can't find Liberia on a map, and who've no idea who Franco was. Anyway, then we played Rift (Level 32, motherfuckers), and then we read more of Markus Zusack's The Book Thief (almost finished), a brilliant, brilliant book.

Did I mention we have a guild in Rift? On the Shadefallen shard? Well, we do. Eyes of the Faceless Man. Have I mentioned we're looking for new members? It's a Defiant guild, obviously. And it helps if you have pointy ears, but that's not an actual requirement. We also accept Eth members. We're the guild the ESRB warned you about. Okay, maybe we're not that fun. But if you wanna come out and play, just say so.

We will do what we must to survive. Some people like to gloss that over with heroic words, but it is, in my mind, as simple as that. -- The Faceless Man

There are many cool things about the Faceless Man, including his understanding of commas. And on that note, I should open the window....
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Sunny today. Sunny and cold and hardly a sign of spring. There's a tiny tree in a pot outside the front door, and it has fuzzy green shoots. And I want to tell it to be careful. I think the tree is overly optimistic.

I get angry about things and the anger won't drain away. It just keeps building. In this instance, idiotic comments (not reviews; I'll not dignify them) on Amazon about The Book Thief. The longer I live and read and write the more certain I become that there exists a linear inverse relationship between how good a book is and how many shitty, ignorant things people will publicly say about it. By "good," I do not mean popular or bestselling. I mean good. Powerful. True. Brilliant. And so forth.

Yesterday, I wrote a very decent 1,911 words on "Random Thoughts Before a Fatal Crash."

Last night – very, very late last night, just before bed – I had the worst seizure I've had in at least six months, and maybe more. The meds have been working so well, for so long now, I'd become complacent, and...it'll sound stupid if I say it caught me by surprise. But it's true that I used to expect them, and now I don't. Anyway, I should have seen it coming after this past month. The race to THE END of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, editing Two Worlds and In Between, and about a dozen other things, all piled on top of one another. It was almost inevitable. Though I really don't think like that anymore. I want to get to a place where I can be overworked and these storms in my head aren't ever inevitable. Because I'm never going to get to a place where I'm not overworked. Want in one hand, spit in the other....

Here's a very wonderful project on Kickstarter I want to mention: I Have Your Heart, an animated short film collaboration between Molly Crabapple, Kim Boekbinder, and Jim Batt. You really ought to think about tossing some dough their way, if you can. I'd put the promotional video up, but the embed code doesn't seem to work for LJ, so follow the link above.

I fucking hate Sundays. But...gotta write anyway.
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Yesterday was just shy of a total loss. I was hit hard by the chronic stomach ailment I've had most of my life. I tried to write anyway. I wrote 344 words for of my piece for The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, before I was too sick to think straight enough to write anymore. Then I went back to bed. Later, I made it through dinner and two bottles of Gatorade and almost felt like I wasn't dead. It was a joyous day. And then, when I was trying to go to sleep, there was a small seizure (the first in three weeks), which left me jittery and awake until five ayem.

I strongly dislike writing about health problems in a public forum. I find the act distasteful. But it all has a direct bearing on the abysmal word counts of late. So, I figure it's part of the story. It's not whining, or a cry for pity. It's just exposition.

At least I have David Bowie. And coffee.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. We're hoping to have a little bit of spending money when we go to Oregon for the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon at the end of the month. Thanks.

We've watched two movies over the last week. Between reading, Second Life, and WoW, I've not been watching many movies lately. Anyway, it gives me something to write about this ayem (which is actually early afternoon).

First, we saw Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo's After.Life (2009) on Thursday night. It wasn't a particularly good film, which was frustrating, because it could have been something just shy of great. Instead, it was weighed down by plot, and story, and subplot, and superfluous characters. The film has flashes of brilliance. Liam Neeson is surprisingly creepy as a mortician turned serial killer, and Christina Ricci was a perfect choice for a girl who is slowly being convinced that she is, in fact, a corpse. And that's the story, right there, all the story the movie needed. More than enough to deal with. But no, it kept dragging itself down into horror and slasher flick clichés, and made what might have been a powerful tale of psychological terror a lumpy, uneven mess. I can't even blame the director for fucking up someone else's screenplay, because it was her screenplay. I just wish someone could have told her to turn down the volume, lose the extra baggage, and tighten the focus. The film never should have left the one room in the mortuary.

Last night, we finally watched Louis Leterrier's remake of Clash of the Titans (2010). I saw the original in high school (1981, directed by Desmond Davis), and even at seventeen, I found the film tiresome and hokey. Even though I was a huge fan of Ray Harryhausen. So, what can I say about the remake? Well, it's still dumb as dirt. I'm still annoyed than the sea monster that comes for Andromeda is, inexplicably "the Kraken" (Norse), instead of Cetus. But, all in all, Leterrier's remake is less painful and not so dull. It has its moments (which the original entirely lacked, save moments of unintentional camp and irony). The whole thing was worth sitting through just for Perseus' battle against the gorgon Medusa (played by Natalia Vodianova, and never, ever has Medusa been so hot). The climactic showdown with "the Kraken" was at least a grand spectacle. So what if the monster design was pretty much lifted from Cloverfield. The 1981 Kraken just made me laugh. At least this one was a presence. The cast was unremarkable (more Liam Neeson, because Zeus = Aslan). I always enjoy watching Sam Worthington, though I'm not sure why. Ralph Fiennes made a fine enough Hades, because I could just pretend he was Voldemort. Alexa Davalos made for an entirely yawn-worthy Andromeda. I'm pretty sure Andromeda should inspire something more than a yawn. Who can blame Perseus for choosing Io?

Okay. Now, I see if this body is going to let me work today. Oh, wait. I have five cute photos of Sméagol:

11 September 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
We saved a tree yesterday. Which means I accomplished far more yesterday than on most days. It's the tree right outside my office window, a tree that happens to be on our next-door neighbors property. We awoke yesterday to the sound of chainsaws, one of the ugliest sounds in the world. It quickly became apparent that our neighbor was having all the trees and shrubs in her backyard cut down. But the tree by my window was still standing. I asked Spooky to please go and see what was up, if they intended to cut it down, too. She got dressed and went downstairs. She explained to the woman next door that the tree shades my office, and that in the summer it keeps this room from becoming quite as hot as the rest of the House. She told her we watched the birds and squirrels in the tree, and that the cats like to sit on my desk and do the same. The woman next door was sympathetic and told the man with the chainsaw to spare that tree. And so it's still standing this morning, and I am very, very grateful. I would not ever have been able to look out my window again without that tree; I would have pulled the curtain shut and left it shut.

Though, I did have a nightmare this morning about the tree being cut down.

Three of the seven artists I want to appear in the "Best of" anthology are now on board: Richard A. Kirk, Ryan Obermeyer, and Vince Locke. Four to go. And so far, no title better than Two Worlds and In Between has presented itself.

Yesterday was spent figuring out the second half of "The Yellow Alphabet," which I'll begin writing today, with "N is for Naga." It will appear at the end of the month in Sirenia Digest #57. Also, my big box of the new mass-market paperback of The Red Tree arrived via FedEx. I've not yet opened the box. I'd fear this is a sign of being utterly, completely jaded, but I suspect it has more to do with the hideous, inappropriate cover the book is saddled with (same hideous, inappropriate cover as on the trade paperback). I have no desire to be reminded of that cover. The Red Tree is not part of the "PR/UF" tramp-stamp parade, and it still angers me beyond words that it was made to look as if it is.

Also, there was quite a bit of email. There has been lately. Quite a bit of email, I mean.

We began watching Season Four of Dexter last night, and made it through the first three episodes. Also, some good rp in Insilico (which has once again become a part of my daily life).

I also had a moderate seizure last night, my first since June 13th, that day in Boston. It hit just as I was falling asleep. It had been so long, I'd begun to think I'd never have another. Surprise.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, which include the first painting I have ever offered for sale, Study 1 for Yellow.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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