greygirlbeast: (Default)
The snow's still out there. Most of it. The sky is cloudy, and that's a relief. I feel sort of shitty for not having gone out in the snow when it was still fresh and powdery and clean.

Have you ordered The Drowning Girl: A Memoir? And Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart? No? Well, Herr Platypus says that if you do it today you can ride the pterosaurs for free when you get to heaven. And he's a monotreme of his word.

---

Yesterday, for Sirenia Digest #74, I began a new science-fiction short story, "The Diamond Friendly." Sort of crime noir circa 2056 (I think). I've been wanting to write this piece for about a month, and yesterday I said fuck it and got started. Oh, and I should say, up front, I wouldn't being doing the story without [livejournal.com profile] corucia as a consultant. This one isn't art crime. This one's biocrime. Gene hacking. I'm still looking for the word that would fit the deed. Regardless, hard story. Slow going. I wrote only 1,007 words. Here's an excerpted paragraph (you're welcome):

They named him, in the grid-slicks, the wordless, spare-no-blows spill across the plex and subplex, they dubbed him Zoo. Of a certain, not the prime serial interspec alteration “artiste,” only the most elusive and, possibly, the most fecund (setting aside the likelihood that many re: at large, unapps skidding neath the radar, by hook and by crook). Zoo, he got hisself infamy and fame and phat martigen straightaway, possied up quick as light. Fuck All My Enemies, F/A/M/E. Ah, but. Mistake to think Zoo cognates along those straights. Or, maybe mistake, as we do not know Zoo’s motives entire. He claimed others, >.>, but maybe the ZOhBee lied it all before going ocultado, thant you. This agent, she don’t think the dick was in it for F/A/M/E, cult, spots, the gory smooth outs transmitted (which, note, did not come from the criminal, but all from the plex-subplex yellows. Each and all, god bless us everyone.) In his subtle not so subtle way, Zoo never advertised. He gave the chota fucks just enough to know he was out there, and catch me if you can. Like Monsieur Leather Apron of old. Tease, you are. Nuff to keep the peep on, Dear Boss, but nowhere near enough to tune up and apprehend. Part of me, she admires you for that. d(^_^d) Oh, and not being all about the mass-celeb chinaal after the fashion of so many others, and predecessors, and copeekats (we have cause to suspect he planted most of those, btw).***

---

A note to everyone who contributed to the Tale of the Ravens Kickstarter: Yes, we'd hoped to have finished it many, many months ago. But our schedule sort of exploded when so many thing started happening with Alabaster and The Drowning Girl: A Memoir and...other stuff. And suddenly I needed Spooky fucking constantly for all the things that a wealthier writer would have hired a personal assistant (Is secretary no longer PC? If so, that's a bloody shame.) to tend to for me. We're talking LOTS of annoying shit. Shit that just happens, and if I'm going to get any writing done, someone else has to attend to it. Anyway, this is my apology for monopolizing all her time. The project was conceived a year or so ago when I was far, far, far less busy. That said, we hope to have it finished by the end of March. Soon, the rewards to contributors will begin going out, pinkie promise. But they will be going out in stages, likely the postcards and prints first. But I just didn't want anyone to think we were slacking off.

---

My career seems, for the first time in a decade, to be sorting itself out. Now, I just have to keep the rest of my life in check. Or get a grip on it. Whatever. The diet's part of that. I've got to start exercising regularly, and sleeping more. I'm playing much too much SW:toR. MMORPGs will kill you, Bill Murray. More reading. Less time at this desk. More contact with human beings who are actually in the same room as me and aren't wielding lightsabers. This is what I have to do. Resolve, that's all it takes. Not that this winter's helping.

Last night, I did manage to read a chapter of Christopher McGowan's The Dragon Seekers, a very fine book on Victorian paleontology. I also read Rhoda Levine's Three Ladies by the Sea (illustrated by Edward Gorey), which seems like a metaphor for my entire life. Spooky made an excellent dinner of black-eyed peas and collards. But now, to sloppily paraphrase Laurie Anderson, the day stretches out before me like a big bald head. It's Sharkey's Day today. Sharkey wakes up and Sharkey says: There was this man... And there was this road...And if only I could remember these dreams...

Daily,
Aunt Beast

***Copyright © 2012 by Caitlín R. Kiernan (Steal this and I will hunt you down, slice out your innards, and feed them to you before you die that slow painful death you've spent your sad, sick life trying to avoid.)
greygirlbeast: (walter3)
I'm running a little late because I've been looking at rough cuts of the book trailer, sent to me this morning by Brian. This thing is going to be beautiful. Right now, it has this marvelously sublime and unnerving atmosphere, like Terrence Malick and David Lynch met in a bar...

Also, having watched a lot of "behind the scenes" stuff, I've concluded that a) the older I get, the more I look and sound like a muppet and b) almost all writers should be read, not seen and heard.

How is it I'd never heard (or head of) Florence + the Machine until this past weekend? Is my isolation that complete?

Yesterday, I wrote 1,840 words on "Ex Libris." This is one of those stories where I started with truly no idea where I was going. Something something something about books and bad stuff and bad books and bad people and stuff. Now, I'm nearing the end of the story, and I know exactly what it is, but trying to figure out how I got from there to here is almost impossible. Regardless, I'll likely finish the story by tomorrow afternoon. Then it's on to "Sexing the Weird." Whee.

Spooky read each and every line by line, twice over, of chapters Five, Six, and Seven of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir (thank you, mystery idiot at Penguin), correcting the random changes. I'm trying to stop being livid about this. You know, I spend about 35% of all my waking moments trying to stop being livid about whatever has me livid at any given moment. "Oh, she was a very angry beast. Did you know that?"

Last night, coffee, leftover chili, a hot bath, Rift, and Spooky read to me from House of Leaves. We watched last week's Fringe. These are my exciting evenings.

A note to the contributors to the "Tale of the Ravens" kickstarter: probably 98% of the work on this has to be done by Kathryn, and the last two or three months she's had to devote almost all of her spare time to assisting me with all sorts of crazy writerish bullshit. Since I began working with Dark Horse, and the way things have gone with The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, I've needed her help constantly. If she's not proofreading or making phone calls, she's deflecting bullshit so that I can write. Because I can't afford to hire someone to do these things. This means she's not been able to keep to the schedule she'd hoped to keep to for "Tale of the Ravens." At this point, she might have one painting left to do, and I still have to write the text, and there's all the printing to be done. If you donated to the project, we're very, very grateful, but please understand the metric shit-ton of unforeseen chaos going on at this end. Be patient. It's coming. Frankly, Kathryn's pretty much sick of me and my writing (in that order, I suspect), and just wants to be painting. Anyway, almost everyone has been amazingly cool, and we thank you. If you donated, keep checking the projects blog for updates.

Whatever else I was going to say can wait. You know, those are grand "famous last words."

From the Books of,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (The Kiss)
Even if there hasn't yet been a (I).

Today's icon was meant to be yesterday's icon, but better late than never.

My thanks to Benjamin for sending me an excerpt from Strange Horizons and Richard Larson's review of Eclipse Four (ed. by Johnathan Strahan). I think this review is my reward for surviving the coming day, even if the reward's arrived before the actual chore. Dessert before dinner. Anyway, Larson writes:

For example, I think people will be talking about Caitlín R. Kiernan’s "Tidal Forces" for quite a while. The story is a meditation on the tragic inevitability of loss, the willing submission to unexplained forces that govern time and space, being and not being. Emily's lover, Charlotte, has been attacked by a mysterious shadow—"I can sit here all night long, composing a list of what it wasn't, and I'll never come any nearer to what it might have been" (p. 23)—and subsequently develops a steadily growing hole in her abdomen, later understood as "not merely a hole in Charlotte's skin, but a hole in the cosmos" (p. 26). Emily tries to derive a sense of linearity from what is happening by adopting a metaphor of a house of cards,

...held together by nothing more substantial than balance and friction. And the loops I'd rather make than admit to the present. Connecting dot-to-dot, from here to there, from there to here. Here being half an hour before dawn on a Saturday, the sky growing lighter by slow degrees. Here, where I’m on my knees, and Charlotte is standing naked in front of me. Here, now, when the perfectly round hole above her left hip and below her ribcage has grown from a pinprick to the size of the saucers she never uses for her coffee cups. (p. 19)

But she gets lost in the metaphor, lost in the senselessness of imminent loss, left to simply sit on the sidelines and watch Charlotte be consumed by something that might be the "inadvertent avatar of a god, or God, or a pantheon, or something so immeasurably ancient or pervasive that it may as well be divine" (p. 29). Kiernan employs a number of through lines and recurring images which deepen the narrative, opening it up to include the whole world, much as the hole in Charlotte's abdomen comes to include a "preposterous and undeniable blackness" (p. 26). Charlotte’s memory of being shot by a BB gun as a child, for example, connects a trauma from her past with this inexplicably traumatic present. And Emily's vocation as a writer affords an opportunity for her research about the Age of Exploration to comment on the very nature of storytelling: "All those overlooked islands, inaccessible plateaus in South American jungles, the sunken continents and the entrances to a hollow Earth, they were important psychological buffers against progress and certainty" (p. 18-19). The metaphor resonates directly with Emily and Charlotte's present project of explaining the unexplainable, of attaching a narrative to an experience which very well may exist outside of the realm of story, outside of the usual boundaries created by a measurable time and space. But "Tidal Forces" is at its most moving when these confrontations with the unknown are most closely aligned with the human factor, the idea of two people loving each other enough to believe anything for the other—especially if it might save her.


Nothing's gonna come close to beating that today. Anyway, yesterday – made it through two more of the stories in Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart, "Murder Ballad No. 6" and "Lullaby of Partition and Reunion." Hopefully, I'll get through at least two more today, because tomorrow I have to get Sirenia Digest #67 out to subscribers, and on Wednesday, it's back to actual writing.

On this day in 1911 – one hundred years ago – my maternal grandfather, Gordon Monroe Ramey, was born. He died in 1977, when he was 65 and I was 12.

Yesterday morning, I dreamed of being in a vast grocery store shortly after some or another worldwide cataclysm. All was chaos. And there was almost nothing left on the shelves. Spooky and I were taking a few items, and I felt incredibly horrible about not paying for them. Never mind that's very unlike me, or that there was no one to pay, or that paying for stuff at The End of the World makes little or no sense (speaking of Rift, someone needs to tell the vendors at Terminus this very thing). Anyway, I meant to include that bit of dream yesterday, but forgot.

Anyway, today will be tedious and long...and hot. And more I write on this entry, the more I see myself stalling. Just gonna keep trying to smile about that review.

Did I mention it's hot here?

Staring Down the Barrel,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
Today is mine and Spooky's ninth anniversary as Us. We actually met in New Orleans in 1999, but there was much caution and testing of the waters and so forth before finalizing the arrangement. Time has proven that a wise move. It's going to be a fairly unremarkable day, though. A little work. I need my hair trimmed (Spooky does that these days), and I'll cook dinner. Our financial situation is currently too precarious to allow for "lavish" anniversary celebrations ("The check will always be late.").

Nine years. Kind of hard to wrap my brain around.

Yesterday, we made very good progress reading through the manuscript for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. It really is more of a read-through, and less of editing. I'm making line edits, here and there, but these stories are, for the most part, in very good shape. We read "The Melusine (1898)," "Untitled 33," "I Am the Abyss and I Am the Light," and "Dancing With the Eight of Swords." All fairly long stories. We'll make it through a few more today.

I've been trying to decide whether or not I'll write an introduction. I feel the need to justify these stories – they are profane, obscene, pornographic, and "bizarrely" so. But I also know that attempts at justification and defence would only subvert the stories, when the object of the stories themselves is to subvert normative, non-transformative sexuality. Of course, these stories are no more or less obscene than those in The Ammonite Violin & Others, and I didn't feel this urge to defend them. So, I'm not sure what's up, why I have become more skittish. But I'm reading Angela Carter's The Sadeian Woman: And the Ideology of Pornography, and pondering the matter. Carter writes:

Pornographers are the enemies of women only because our contemporary ideology of pornography does not encompass the possibility of change, as if we were slaves to history and not its makers, as if sexual relations were not necessarily an expression of social relations, as if sex itself were an external fact, as immutable as the weather, creating human practice but never a part of it.

She wrote this in 1977, but it seems as relevant now as it did thirty-four years ago. Perhaps we should consider that all fantasy (including sf) is obscene, as it subverts the normative, immutable view of reality and revels wantonly in the infinite alternatives. It certainly violates. You might even go so far as to say fantasy rapes reality in that act of transformation, as there certainly is no consent involved, between the writer and the "real" world as we know it. That most authors avoid including sexuality in the act of reshaping the world (or creating novel ones from bits and pieces of this one) is, more than anything, I believe, a reflection of our society's sexual hangups. There are exceptions, of course. Consider The Left Hand of Darkness, for example.

Then again, this may all be bullshit defence, where, as I said already, defence likely is both unnecessary and possibly detrimental.

Also, I've let the email back up again.

---

Back in the early nineties, I was a great fan of Law and Order. That was just before I stopped watching television for several years. I was especially fond of the seasons with Michael Moriarty as Executive Assistant District Attorney, but confess to being less enthusiastic about the show once Moriarty left and the cast began to shuffle about. Anyway... last week, bored, Spooky and I began streaming Law & Order: Criminal Intent from Netflix, mostly because I love Vincent D'Onofrio, and I loved the Holmes and Watson parallel. The show is pretty awesome. I'm not so crazy about Kathryn Erbe, but she's growing on me. Most of the cast is pretty flat, and many of the actors seem baffled by D'Onofrio's delightful antics. Courtney B. Vance has potential, but rarely opens up. We blew through the twenty-two episodes of Season One in only a handful of days, and are ready to begin Season Two.

Also, we may be moving our Rift guild, Eyes of the Faceless Man, to another shard after all. Spooky's been exploring rp on the Faeblight shard***, and it seems rp really is taken much more seriously there (and the move is free and fast). On our present shard, supposedly an rp shard, we mostly get idiots, and see very little rp beyond our own. I was skeptical that things would be better on Faeblight, but seems I might have been wrong. That happens, on rare occasions.

Now...I should go. I need a bath before work.

In All My Sadeian Glory,
Aunt Beast

*** Turns out, Faeblight has closed to transfers in the last few days. But I have an alternate plan. I'll contact all the guild members.
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: (Default)
Chilly. Sort of sunny. Sort of cloudy. We're being promised low sixties in the days to come, and I sit impatiently with fingers crossed. Toes. Fingers and toes crossed. All the toes that I can manage to cross. My toes used to be much more nimble.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,313 words on the story for Dark Horse. I'll give you the details as soon as I can. Meanwhile, revel in the mystique of cloak-and-dagger innuendo. But yeah, a good writing day, despite one of my very rare headaches, one so bad it kept me in bed most of the evening.

There was a lot of email yesterday. I've got a mountain of reprints forthcoming in various anthologies. I ought to post a list of them. But not today.

"I just like watching women with bows. It's sexy. No, the horsehair sort. Not the ones with arrows."

Sometimes, context only bogs us down.

I saw a great deal more photos yesterday from the Harvard shoot last Saturday. Amazing to see so many photos of me an like...no, love...more than half of them. Plus there are a couple of me and Spooky together that I'm going to ask [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy if I can post here. Through some odd trick of happenstance, there are virtually no photographs of Kathryn and I together, and certainly none this good.

We have a Rift guild now, finally. If you're interested in joining, we're on the Shadefallen shard, and the guilds is Eyes of the Faceless Man. Defiant, of course. Just send me a tell (try Selwyn, Nilleshna, or Indus), and I'll add you to the roster. We have no guild vault yet, because Rift guilds do not yet have vaults. Concerns over security that have yet to be ironed out. It's become apparent that the game is essentially in live beta. But it still rocks my socks, especially with the graphics set to ultra. Anyway, we're going to be a sort of rp guild (Shadefallen is an rp shard), with rp that concentrates more on the characters and their lives in Telara, than trying to work in the questing and rifts and stuff. That you do on your own.

From the bed last night, bored and in agony, I watched a panoply of weird eighties shit. First, Demi Moore in The Seventh Sign (1988), an awful, awful turd of a biblical horror movie. I'd actually thought we were watching The First Power (1990), but realized about halfway through there was no Lou Diamond Phillips anywhere to be found. Of course, The First Power is also awful, but in a more enjoyable sort of way, and, besides, I've always had a thing for Jeff Kober. Anyway, we followed the movie with the 1987 pilot for Beauty and the Beast. You know, the television series with Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton? I'm so pleased to have lived to see a future where technology allows us to torture ourselves like this. Anyway, I'd never seen Beauty and the Beast. But it's gods awful. The only saving grace is Ron Perlman's makeup. The rest, pure shit. Though, I think maybe I've found where at least some of this PR nonsense began.

Also, why are novels today generally and on average so very much longer than older novels? One word: computers. More is "written," because it's so much easier with a word-processing program than a typewriter.** Easier for writers, editors, publishers, everyone. And the reader gets the illusion of getting more for their money (id est, thicker books). This trend will only get worse with ebooks.

The March issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology arrived yesterday.

And I really have nothing else to say. I think I'm killing time. Which is silly, as it dies so well all on is own.

Awake and Regretting It,
Aunt Beast

**Harlan Ellison told me this, over breakfast, in 1995, but I was a moron and didn't believe him. I had to learn for myself, apparently.
greygirlbeast: (sleeps with wolves)
I want T-shirts made to promote The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. They'll read "Imp didn't die for your sins. She had better things to do."

But that's too wordy, isn't it? No, wait. It's only forty-seven characters, or fifty-eight with spaces. I figure the attention spans of human beings are still capable of handling anything shorter than a Twitter message.

Thanks for the eBay love. Someday, Spooky and I will be well-provided for, and we'll live on a little farm on a remote little island in Maine (Peneboscot Bay will do), and have two goats and two chickens and a big dog and three cats. We'll grow blueberries and apples. And we won't have to deal with eBay anymore ever again. Such dreams keep me alive.

Yesterday, after much book talk with Spooky, I tore apart the eighth chapter, and then wrote 1,417 words. 8 has gone from being a speed bump to being a wall. I know pretty much everything on the other side of the wall, all the way to THE END (which isn't really THE END, but only the place Imp doesn't have to say anything else). If I were capable of writing books out of order (and I emphatically am not, so don't suggest I try), I'd skip 8, write 9 and the epilogue, then decide if 8 is even necessary. But I can't do that.

The horrid cough I almost always get after any cold is here. No doctor has ever figured this cough out. It's a dry, wracking cough that leaves me exhausted and sore and wheezing. It usually hangs around for about a month (three months is the record), then leaves. This has been happening since the mid-eighties. The only thing that's ever seemed to help is Altoids peppermints, but they only help so long as one is in my mouth, and gods I get sick of Altoids fast. By the time I was done writing yesterday, the cough had me so exhausted that I lay down on the sofa in the front parlor and slept until dinner. Obviously, I've stopped smoking again.

Last night, there was, once again, far too much WoW. I finished the quests in Desolace and moved along to Feralas. It's the height of tedium, but I will leave that game with the title "Loremaster." To make things worse, Spooky let me actually play Rift last night, and fuck, but it's wonderful. I leveled Selwyn, my Kalari mage (necromancy, pyromancy, and chloromacy), to six. The world is so fully realized. Tomorrow's the end of the beta, and the game won't be released until March 1st, so...long wait for more wonderfulness.

I'm gonna go finish my coffee. But I leave you with photographs of Sméagol having a snooze in the sun:

Sméagol, 19 February 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
So much more snow. The sun is blazing off all that white, and virtually nothing will melt today. We got several more inches last night. Last night, the sky glowed orange, and the snow was coming down so hard you could not clearly see the houses on the other side of the street. And there was insomnia last night. I slept less than six hours.

Spooky and I are a bit overwhelmed at how well things are going with our The Tale of the Ravens Kickstarter project. As of right now, we're 105% funded, which means we exceeded our goal in hardly more than forty-eight hours. We are enormously grateful to everyone who's pledged. We hope that people will continue to do so, because even though we've met our goal, $3,300 was a very conservative estimate of what would be required for production and postage costs. Every bit over the target helps make the end result that much higher quality. Spooky allotted two months for this, thinking we'd need two months just to reach our goal. And here we've exceeded it with fifty-seven days remaining. Booya, I say. Thank you. And remember, no one gets charged until after March 26th, when the fundraising officially ends. Yesterday, the project appeared under both "New and Notable" and "Recommended." Goat Girl Press is born.

No writing yesterday. We needed to read over Chapter 1 of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir again (fourth time through, I think) and make line edits before the chapter appears in Sirenia Digest #62. Also, I made the decision earlier this week (or maybe late last week), to make Imp younger, 24 at the time the story's being told, instead of 30 (and so 22 when the events she's relating occurred). So, that's requiring a bit of editing, as well.

I also managed a little work on Two Worlds and In Between. And I loaded R.E.M. albums onto the new iPod. And I finished the Moleskine notebook I've been using since August 22nd, 2009 and began a new one.

Spooky made lasagna for dinner. I'm not sure which of us does it better. I roleplayed in Insilico, where a new generation of the Xiang AI has emerged, calling itself Nemo. And LJ can't spell Nemo, roleplayed, Insilico, or Xiang, which I suppose isn't unreasonable. However, it also can't spell LJ, or LiveJournal, or even Livejournal. You'd think that they'd have fixed that at some point in the last twelve years. But, no.

Later, we watched Paul W.S. Anderson's Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010). You can't really choose to watch a Resident Evil film and then fairly claim to have been disappointed. These sorts of things are what they are, and you know that going in. Milla being sexy and defying physics, mutant zombies, a grand choreography of surreal violence, and so forth. Oh, and guns. Lots and lots and lots of guns. But Resident Evil: Afterlife really isn't as good as Resident Evil: Extinction. The latter was prettier, scarier, sexier, and more stylish. Also, it wasn't so weighed down by the nefarious Albert Wesker, man with the plastic hair. He wants to be Agent Smith and the Terminator, but the best he can do is make me laugh. But hey, it's all cheese. You go in because you're in the mood for Velveeta, and that's what you get. Milla and Velveeta (which brings oddly kinky images to mind). Oh, but the pandering to 3D, that didn't help, either. Fuck you, 3D.

Now, it's time to make the doughnuts.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
The snow is piling up again. But it's only cold, not bitterly cold.

Spooky and I have are both amazed and very, very pleased to see that pledges to The Tale of the Ravens Project have, in less than 24 hours, amounted to 51% of our goal. We are extremely grateful. Whatever doubts I may have harbored about using Kickstarter to fund those projects that can find funding nowhere else are being set aside. You guys rock. There are, though, a couple of questions that have come up, which I'll quickly address:

1. When you make a pledge to the project, it's just that— a pledge. Your card will not actually be charged the amount that you've pledged until (or soon after) March 26th, when the Kickstarter drive ends.

2. Someone asked how much we'll be charging for the finished folio/book. Quick answer: We're guessing that no more than 50 copies of the folio/book will be printed, about half of which may end up going to backers at the $150 and $500 support levels (29 copies, maximum/10 are currently spoken for). The remaining copies would likely run about $150 dollars each, considering production costs and time required to make them. Prints will also be sold, and an as yet undetermined number of copies the text-only chapbook will be available.

3. We cannot reserve copies. The only way to be sure you'll receive a copy of the finished folio is to pledge at the $150 or $500 dollar level.

4. You must create an account with Kickstarter to pledge, but that's very, very quick and easy.

Just click here to pledge. Also, here's a link to the Kickstarter FAQ. Again, thanks to everyone who has pledged so far! And yes, we are now calling ourselves Goat Girl Press.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,460 words on Chapter 5 of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. I'm likely within four days of finishing the chapter. However, today I may set it aside to work on Sirenia Digest #62, then come back to the novel on Thursday.

[livejournal.com profile] readingthedark braved the nasty weather and slick roads last night, and so visited with us after all. We got take out from the Palestinian place. I had a really good, very spicy beef shawarma. And we talked, and talked, and talked. I read him the most-recent seventeen pages of the novel, and was relieved that he liked them. He headed back to Framingham about 4 a.m. CaST.

Oh, also, I got on Spooky's laptop long enough to create an elf in LoTRO. Don't know if I'll ever actually get to play her, but it was still cool. Mithrien of Lorien. Now, time to brush my teeth, watch the snow fall, have some hot cocoa with Kraken spiced rum, and get to work.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
1. More snow. And still more on the way. We should have gone to the market last night and we didn't, so somehow we have to manage that trick today, though the driveway hasn't been shoveled. By the way, in the comments to yesterday's entry— after my quip about it being colder in Antarctica than Providence— [livejournal.com profile] amandakcampbell noted "According to the Weather Channel's website, McMurdo [Station,] Antarctica is 12˚F today, with a windchill of -5˚F." Admittedly, it's presently summer in Antarctica, but still.

2. Yesterday, I wrote 1,139 words on Chapter 5 of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, and reached the far side of the very difficult and pivotal scene. This morning, I feel sort of ambivalent about the scene, and I have no idea whether or not I did it right. But today I will proceed to the next scene. Also, yesterday, my editor and I spoke about the novel, via email. The tentative release date is March 2012. The title is now set in stone.

3. And now, without further adieu: Spooky and I have embarked upon our very first experiment with crowd-sourcing. For a long time, we've been talking about doing a picture book sort of thing based on her raven dolls and paintings. Hopefully, with the help of Kickstarter and your participation, we can make it happen. To learn all the details about The Tale of the Ravens Project, follow this link. It's all pretty self-explanatory, but I'll gladly answer any questions you may have. I've been very impressed, seeing what can be done with Kickstarter, and if this works, there's a second and more ambitious project, a non-publishing project, I hope to be able to fund for 2012, but only if this first effort succeeds. So, please do have a look. Give us all your money, and we'll make something marvelous for you in return.

Note that your card will not be charged until and unless the project is completely funded. Regardless, you won't be charged until on or after March 26th. You also have to register at Kickstarter to donate.

4. The plan had been for [livejournal.com profile] readingthedark to drive down from Framingham tonight for a visit, but I think this weather is going to prevent that.

5. After dinner last night, I proofread the text for the Kickstarter page, so Spooky could hit the launch button. Also, I watched the first ten minutes or so of Jaws, as it's relevant to the next bit of The Drowning Girl, to what I'll be writing this afternoon. I'd forgotten that the first attack takes place at sunset. I remembered it happening at night. Which is why we research.

6. Last night started with WoW, and, after about two hours, Shaharrazad, my blood-elf warlock, reached Level 85*. Suraa reached 85 night before last. Anyway, booya and all, but it was a bittersweet sort of achievement, as it occurred during the idiot "Harrison Jones"/Goblin Hitler fiasco. There were a couple of comments yesterday that I thought did a pretty good job of touching on why I've lost patience with Wow. [livejournal.com profile] laudre wrote:

I mostly enjoyed the Raiders pastiche, but the things that I didn't like, I really didn't like; by the time I went through it with a second character, I was sick of the nigh-constant deprotagonization and the endless cut-scenes. My characters -- one, a green-skinned dervish of elemental fury, and the other, a shapeshifting master of natural power who stands and holds the line against endless waves of enemies, who have faced down giants, dragons, demons, and eldritch horrors that would shatter lesser minds -- would not cower in fear of a self-important, pissant goblin with a fucking rocket launcher. Let alone need to be "saved" by Harrison fucking Jones.

And [livejournal.com profile] lee_in_limbo wrote:

I haven't progressed very far in it, but I find I rather like LoTRO. It's not quite as addictive as WoW, but at the same time, it seems to move at more my speed (something my wife isn't as keen on), and I haven't run into the kind of uber-jock mentality that was putting me off high-end WoW content. I'm sure it's there, but there's less drive to reach end game content in LoTRO for me, because I don't know anybody there, and don't particularly care at this time. I just want to be immersed in an interesting environment with interesting storytelling. WoW keeps almost getting there, but then smirks and ruins the whole thing. I love humour, but this cheeky NatLamp attitude loses its appeal.

The comparison with National Lampoon is apt, as is the "uber-jock mentality" bit. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm isn't a heroic fantasy MMORPG, but an MMORPG that has become, at best, a crude low-brow spoof of heroic fantasy. There's a whole essay in this, about, among other things, the inability and unwillingness of gamers to suspend disbelief and about those who cater to the lowest common denominator. But it'll have to wait for another time.

Anyway, after WoW, I had a few good hours of rp in Insilico, with yet another incarnation of the Xiang AI, who's run afoul of a bounty hunter (thank you, Tracy). Molly and Grendel have, for now, returned to London.

And now...doughnuts (no, not literal doughnuts).

Today's a good day for comments.

Yours If You Can Stand Me,
Aunt Beast

* Total actual time played to reach Level 85: 52 days, 19 hours, 36 minutes, and 18 seconds.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Today needs a list. Or, rather, today my disordered mind requires a list:

1. I think this will be one of the coldest days I've ever lived through. In the Great White Outside, the temperature's currently 8˚F, with a windchill of -6˚F. The forecast high is 13˚F. There's a windchill advisory, which makes me wonder when or if they'd ever bother with an actual windchill warning. And yeah, it's much colder other places. Like Antarctica. But I'm not there, am I?

2. Yesterday, I wrote 1,200 words on Chapter 5, and reached manuscript page 250. But I wasn't terribly pleased with the results, so a good bit of today may be spent reworking what I did Sunday. I feel as if I've hit another speed bump, or a wall, or something equally unhelpful. It may only be the dread and misgiving that usually accompanies pivotal scenes.

3. Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. As I mentioned on Saturday, we've listed a copy of the original On the Road to Jefferson chapbook (2002), my very first chapbook with Subterranean Press. It's also the first time I did the cover art for one of my own chapbooks. We have only five or so remaining, and haven't offered a copy in years.

4. Free fiction. "The Melusine (1898)," which first appeared in Sirenia Digst #31, has been reprinted in the Winter '11 issue of Subterranean Magazine.

5. Spooky and I are going to be holding off at least a couple more days on the announcement I alluded to on Saturday. I apologize. There were many more loose threads remaining than I thought. I mentioned the project prematurely. Ah, well. Let the suspense build.

6. Last night, we watched Mike Newell's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010). I never go into movies based on video games expecting much, so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself enjoying Prince of Persia. Generally, it seems more interested in being a film with it's own story to tell than trying to recreate the experience of the game, and, at the very least, it's great eye candy. There's something pleasantly old-style Hollywood about it.

7. I fucking swear, every time I begin to think WoW's done something really wonderful, it shoots itself in the foot. Case in point: Uldum. Possibly the most beautiful environment the game has ever created. And the quest chains were going very well, but last night the whole affair devolved into a spoof of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Really, really fucking dumb. Nazis in Azeroth. Out of nowhere. As Spooky asked on Facebook last night, "Uldum was so great, until it got stupid...what is with this expansion taking a joke and wearing it out and then dragging it limping along until you want to scream?" For me, this might be the final straw. As soon as (or if ever) I can get my hands on a decent PC laptop, I'm thinking I'll make the switch to LoTR Online. At least it's capable of taking itself seriously. WoW builds mood only to subvert it with mood-shattering jokes and an increasing number of tedious mini-games. It grows ever less immersive, and so ever less interesting.

Of course LJ doesn't know how to spell immersive.

8. I left the house about twilight last night, because I hadn't been out since Thursday evening. But it was just a trip to the market. I got pears and an avocado. Still, I'm holding to my New Year's resolution to stop being such a shut-in.

Anyway, there's email to me answered and doughnuts to be made. The day promises to be long and fractious. Your comments can only help.
greygirlbeast: (hatter2)
Ah, the weather. I should be taking photographs. I seem to post many fewer photos than I used to. I think it's because loading OS 10.6.3 meant losing Photoshop 7, and now Spooky has to edit all my photos, because Gimp is a piece of shit. Anyway, the high today will only be 23˚F, with a low tonight of 8˚F. Of course, if you look at tomorrow night's forecast low of -5˚F (with a -20˚F windchill), that doesn't look so bad. Everywhere out there is white, and the sun is so bright I keep the curtains pulled shut.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,896 words on Chapter 5 of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, but still didn't find the end of a long conversation. Hopefully, I will today.

I had a very, very encouraging conversation with my agent yesterday. Which was sorely needed, the way things have been the last few weeks, or months, or whatever. Perhaps things are looking up. I think I was most pleased to hear her say "Silk was way ahead of its time." At some point, I'll get this time travel thing right, and my books will appear in the optimum years.

I'm thinking that Sirenia Digest #62 will consist of an advance (very advance) look at The Drowning Girl: A Memoir— all of Chapter 1 —along with a couple of extras. There will be an illustration by Vince for the chapter. Does that work for everyone? I was going to hold off and include the excerpt in #63, but my schedule will suffer less disruption if I move it forward to the January issue. The novel's eating time like mad. In the last month, I've had to bow out of three anthologies, and turn down a number of others. Turning down paychecks, even small ones, drives me nuts. Oh, and if you're not a subscriber you can get an idea (for free) of what subscribers get each month by reading "The Melusine (1898)," which first appeared in Sirenia Digst #31 and is now reprinted in the Winter '11 issue of Subterranean Magazine.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. We've listed a copy of the original On the Road to Jefferson chapbook (2002), my very first chapbook with Subterranean Press. It's also the first time I did the cover art for one of my own chapbooks. We have only five or so remaining, and haven't offered a copy in years. Speaking of eBay, during the last round, a bidder in Tasmania won a copy of Tales of Pain and Wonder. This will be one of the farthest south book shipments we've ever made (rivaled only by a shipment to the south island of New Zealand).

Also, tomorrow I'll be announcing a collaborative project between Spooky and I that's been so very secret this is the first you're hearing of it, even though its been in the works for about two or three months. You'll see.

Last night, lots and lots of WoW. Shah and Suraa finished Deepholm and moved along to Uldum. Which, by the way, is one of my favorite Azeroth regions ever. And we read. And, eventually, we slept.

Now. Doughnuts.

Yours in Providence, Bitterly Cold,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (new newest chi)
Chilly and bright Outside the House. 52F at the moment.

Not much luck with the story yesterday. The story I'm writing about Mars instead of "Romeo and Juliet Go to Mars." I was still in that finding the way in part of writing the story. I may or may not still be there today. I did find the title: "On a Lee Shore." Also, I read Bradbury's "Dark They Were and Golden-Eyed," originally published in 1949. It's always been one of my favorite Mars stories, and yesterday it helped me understand the story I'm not trying to write.

"On a Lee Shore" takes place on the western edges of the Nereidum Montes, at the northwestern rim of the great Argyre Planitia. In fact, it occurs in the 1,000-meter wide bit of desert in this image (Lat. -40.5 ° [centered], Long. 309.9 ° [east]), in these dunes:



What wonder, that I can say that I'm writing a story set on a planet where a human has never walked, a place hundreds of millions of kilometers away from Earth. And here's so clear an image, taken at a height of 274.5 km (171.5 miles) above the planet's surface (on May 9, 2009, at 3:22 p.m., Local Mars time).

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, and also at Spooky's Dreaming Squid Dollworks Etsy shop (she's making some really exquisite necklaces lately). Thanks.

We're talking about doing a very short little story together, about a girl who's a goat, or a goat who's a girl. Spooky will draw several pictures, and I'll write the story, and it will appear first in Sirenia Digest. We've never really done anything together before.

Not much else to say about yesterday. I did my exercises, brushed my teeth, answered email, tried Left Hand's milk stout for the first time, got some work done on the Dancy Box, played a little WoW and a lot of CoX (some great rp last night with my new changeling character, Lizbeth Gevaudan, whose actually a 24-Century incarnation of my vampire character, Erzsébetta Bathory), managed not to take a nap, and made it to bed about 3 a.m.

Now, back to Mars.
greygirlbeast: (Jayne Dork)


You might not believe it, but Spooky and I sing this all the time.

Also, Space Ghost will forever remind me of my time in Death's Little Sister, as practice sessions were often interrupted by marathon Space Ghost viewings (with beer). And I just remembered that we were known around Athens as Dead Baby Sitter, which was really a much cooler name.

Also also, I had a crush on Zorak (the Lone Mantis of the Apocalypse).
greygirlbeast: (Default)
The heat is coming back to Providence.

Yesterday marked the 75th day of the BP petrocalamity.

Whatever plans we'd had for our eighth anniversary, Spooky and I had to put on hold when she realized that Sméagol had an abscessed pad on his right hind foot. It was badly swollen and not draining. So she took him to a local vet, where the injury was drained. He was given a dose of antibiotics and sent home. We suspect he sustained the wound during one of the epic kaiju battles in which he and Hubero regularly indulge. But...yeah...on our eighth anniversary, we tended the Sméagol's paw. And the vet bill.

Today, I do the very last read through on "The Maltese Unicorn" before it goes back to the anthology's editor for the very last time tomorrow.

If you've not already, please have a look at the eBay auctions, and, in particular, have a look at the Salammbô T-shirt. Thanks.

A good mail day yesterday. I got a package from Peter Straub, containing A Special Place: The Heart of a Dark Matter (Pegasus Books). Also, there was an extraordinarily generous package from Steven Lubold, which included a copy of the 1966 Arkham House anthology, The Dark Brotherhood and Other Pieces. So, big thank yous to both Peter and Steven.

---

Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] derekcfpegritz wrote:

Suggestion: "How the Moon Got Its Whiskers" has to involve the cats that helped Randolph Carter get back from the Moon in "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath." I've always wondered about what stake the cats had in his adventures. I mean, we're talking cats here. Cats do not help people "just because." There was definitely something in it for them, and I wonder if it was the get back at the Moon-beasts somehow. Or, hell, maybe they just owed Pickman a favour.

Not a bad idea. This might even tie into my unfinished story, "The Alchemist's Daughter," which was set in Lovecraft's dreamlands, and featured Ulthar and its cats.

---

Today is July 4th, the birthday of my Grandfather, Gordy M. Ramey. He was born in July 1911, and died in January 1977. Which means this is his 99th birthday. Weird.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Today is mine and Spooky's eighth anniversary. We would go to the shore, were it not also the weekend of the Fourth.

Another six and half hours spent editing "The Maltese Unicorn" yesterday, but now, finally, it is pretty much done. I wrote approximately 1,500 words yesterday. Hard to be sure, since it was done in bits and pieces, here and there. Tomorrow, we'll read over the entire story— start to finish —and I'll tweak a few more things, and then it goes away to the anthology's editor again, and I will futz with it no more. It was an utterly, completely exhausting writing day.

Yesterday, my contributor's copy of Swords and Dark Magic, edited by Johnathan Strahan and Lou Anders, arrived. It contains my story "The Sea Troll's Daughter," and stories by many fine authors. I am very pleased to have been given the chance to be a part of this book.

Also, to all those people who chipped in for Spooky's birthday present, I haven't forgotten that I owe you a poem. It's coming.

Spooky began a new round of eBay auctions yesterday, including one of the mega-ultra scarce Salammbô T-shirts that were printed for the original release of Tales of Pain and Wonder, way back in 2000. We only have three or four of these left (I think a hundred were made), including the one that's being auctioned. The art, of course, is by Richard A. Kirk.

I found two titles yesterday. "The SEA is Lovely, Dark and Deep" and "How the Moon Got Its Whiskers." Now I only have to find their stories.

Spooky and I have, belatedly, become addicted to 24. We've blown through the first ten episodes of Season One in two nights.
greygirlbeast: (white)
1. Yes, I'm still using the somewhat pathetic crutch of numbered items in my entry. The platypus has given hisherits permission, so it's cool. One day soon— or so I'm told by the voices that speak to me in the dead of night when sleep won't come —my mind will be clear again and I can dispense with these numbers.

2. I am much, much better. However, Spooky contracted the Dread Bug from me, and now she's sick as the proverbial dog.

3. On Friday, thinking I was "well," and feeling a bit of cabin fever, I unwisely convinced Spooky to take me to a matinée screening of Scott Stewart's Legion. Unwise for three reasons: 1) I was actually still sick, and Spooky was just getting sick; 2) It was cold as a midwinter night on Hoth out there; and 3) Scott Stewart's Legion is the lousiest excuse for a movie I've paid to see in a very, very long time. As we were leaving the theatre, I wanted to say, "That's the worst movie about angels I've ever seen." Sadly, that's probably not true, so I didn't say it. I cannot recall an instance of noisy teenagers making fun of a movie I was trying to watch not pissing me off, but there were three who kept cracking wise during Legion, and that's probably the only thing that got me through the film. Spooky almost fell asleep, repeatedly. I'm assuming that Paul Bettany played the archangel Micheal because Vin Diesel was busy with a game of AD&D. Regardless, Bettany delivers what has to stand as one of the most wooden performances in the history of bad movies about angels. The guy that played Gabriel was even worse. Pissed-off angels should not make one chortle. Someone needed to have taken Kevin Durand aside and shown him Tilda Swinton's portrayal of Gabriel, as an example of a creepy, threatful Gabriel done well. Or, hey, they could have shown Durand a bit of Christopher Walken. Or both. In the entire cast, only Charles S. Dutton and Dennis Quaid even tried to act. I think The End of the World, With Red Necks would have made a better title. All in all, it's really a shame, because I was rather intrigued by the film's premise. But instead of taking that premise anywhere worth going, we get rednecks (I mentioned that), the redneck Baby Jesus Mark II, a redneck truck stop, a nonsensical and inconsistent plot, and angels that seemed a lot more like a cross between death knights and gladiators than angels of any stripe. Maybe that's how rednecks imagine angels. I don't know. Like, okay...you're a fucking angel, right? You're fucking Gabriel, to be precise. You do not need some huge-ass Klingon dagger to kill a lousy human. I think that's actually in the Old Testament somewhere. And never mind the machine guns. Just skip this one. Don't even wait for the DVD, unless you're going to zap it in the microwave. Mr. Stewart, if you are reading this, please drop the theological claptrap and go back to doing visual effects for movies that don't suck, made by actual directors.

4. I should be writing about what a wonderful novel is Peter Straub's A Dark Matter, but I refuse to speak at length about such a fine book in the same entry that I speak at length of a shit stain of a movie like Legion, so that's going to have to wait until tomorrow.

5. I have to try to write today, or these deadlines are going to chew me up and shit me out.

6. To my great pleasure, I actually found some very, very good Second Life roleplay last night. My thanks to "Hibiki Ochs" and "Omika Pearl" and whoever built the Insilico sim, because I was just about the ditch SL for the fifteenth time.* Also, Insilico brought a bright spot to an otherwise terribly bad day.

Okay...I let my coffee get cold. Crap.

*The love affair was short lived, Insilico quickly proving to be as disappointing as the rest of SL, despite the shiny candy coating.
greygirlbeast: (white2)
Not sure I can make much of an entry today. My mind is too many places at once. But I shall do my best, which is usually what I try to do.

Good writing day yesterday. I had Spooky read back to me everything I'd written on "The Sea Troll's Daughter," and as she read, the ending finally occurred to me. So simple, I don't know how I took so long to see it. But that's how writing works. I wrote 1,373 words. Today, I will finish the story, one day ahead of my deadline.

Yesterday, well, more than anything, there was Palin's stunning resignation. Stunning or stupefying. I hear a lot of people telling me not to celebrate too soon, that this is too fishy, that "Real Americans" love their wolf-murdering, white-trash, Xtian beauty queen too much, that this has to be the start of something big, coming right before the 4th and all. Whatever. I'm sure we've not seen the last of the bitch. She will certainly foment much more atrocity before her dying breath (which cannot come too soon). However, I stand by my belief that a woman cannot resign the office of governor, just because, and expect to be rewarded with any higher office. Not even in America. The enemies of the GOP can spin, too, and no one will ever let that one go. When the heat got too much for her (in Alaska, mind you), she tucked her tail between her legs and ran...or strategically retreated...or what-the-hell ever. I say her days as a serious political contender are done, book deal or no book deal, GOP dominatrix fantasies or no. And that resignation speech, boy howdy. I wonder if she even knows what surreal means? To quote a twat from Adam Sessler, "Palin's resignation speech: It's like if e.e. cummings ran a pep rally...on the moon...which is like a balloon...."

And, please, let's not argue over Palin's political future. I'll just concede I know nothing about politics, and everyone knows it's foolish to debate politics with someone who knows nothing about politics. You'll be stuck with an empty, Pyrrhic victory.

Here in Rhode Island, almost all fireworks are illegal. Even sparklers require a permit. However, this did not stop a group of idiots from trying to blow up Federal Hill last night. It was rather awful, until the police showed up and shut them down. Problem is, people bring in fireworks from Massachusetts and Connecticut. And hey, I love fireworks, but not when they're being shot off beneath my office window. By idiots. Drunken idiots. Drunken idiots with small, flammable children.

Oh, I know something cool about yesterday. I had a Big Nerd Moment. The years have jaded me. I've met most of many of my literary heroes, and become friends with quite a few of them. So, it takes a lot these days to send me into fangirl mode. Something like William Gibson responding to me on Twitter last night. I actually giggled with shameless delight. Spooky found it charming.

A quiet anniversary. We made a big dinner. I did the salad, using the crazy mix of greens and onions we got from Spooky's dad on Thursday, and Spooky made baked portabellas stuffed with onions, garlic, red bell pepper, basil, a mix of parmesan, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese, and bread crumbs. Oh, and she made chicken sausages, made with spinach and feta. Yum. Then we played WoW (my Draenei paladin, Kalií, made Level 23) and read for a bit before bed.

Anyway...I should go. 'Cause the platypus says so, that's why.

Seven Years

Jul. 3rd, 2009 12:43 pm
greygirlbeast: (chi 5)
Running a bit late today, but that's my fault. Anyway, I should try to make this short. It'll probably come out long, anyway.

Today is mine and Spooky's seventh anniversary. Though we actually met in New Orleans in '99, it was a longish courtship, and we didn't get around to the commitment until 2002. But, yeah, seven years. Kind of boggles the noodle.

Not a lot to say about the first part of yesterday. I'm having a perfectly awful time trying to find THE END of "The Sea Troll's Daughter." As [livejournal.com profile] sovay has pointed out to me, this is the sort of story that is told, not read, and I think that's part of what's hanging me up. This really is new territory for me, both stylistically and (though not so much) thematically. So, I should have expected the snag. But, more than anything, at this point, it's simply a problem of what happens next, the dreadful artifice of plotting, Atwood's "a what and a what and a what" not revealing itself to me. The deadline looms like Great Cthulhu rising above the sea.

Later, we got out of the house, and drove down to Spooky's parents' farm in South County. It was a wonderful sort of New England summer evening. Cloudy, but warm. Clouds that threatened rain, but no rain. As we drove south, a mist settled over everything, and it was all we could do not to drive all the way to Moonstone or Narragansett. But it was a good visit with her folks. We saw Spider Cat and visited with the Steamsquid. Spooky retrieved a small fraction of her truly vast vinyl collection. Her dad gave us greens from the garden. At her mom's koi pond, we surprised a gorgeous little Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis). The blueberries and apples are getting ripe. We stayed almost until dark. It was so quite and green, after the noise of Federal Hill, I don't think either of us wanted to come back to the city.

And there are photographs:

2 July 2009 )


Okay. The platypus says I must, must, must go now.

But! I also have a video clip that I'll try to upload to YouTube later today. Oh, and watch for micro-excerpt #12 from The Red Tree at greygirlbeast.
greygirlbeast: (Middle Triassic)
There's this thing that's been happening with increasing regularity the last few months. I sit down to write, and I lock up. And I can't imagine anything more terrifying for someone in my position. I'll have an idea (which used to be the hardest part), but then I can't find the tone, the words, the characters. For me, writing is never easy. It's always like pulling teeth. The last few months, it's been like pulling teeth without anything to numb the pain. Now, I'm smart enough and experienced enough to know that this is happening because I'm writing far too much (just consider, for instance, the 60+ stories I've done for Sirenia Digest since December 2005), story-after-story, novel-after-novel, without significant breaks. I also know that being so reclusive, rarely leaving the house, rarely speaking to anyone but Spooky, that's not helping either. I also know that the workload isn't going to get lighter anytime in the foreseeable future, not if I want to keep the bills paid. Oh, and then there's the stress, and the constant insomnia. And the seizures. But I place most of the blame on too much work and too little time Outside.

Yesterday, I sat down to begin a new sf story that's due at the end of May, one that really means a lot to me. I've got an idea I love. It's familiar territory. I even found the title with relative ease. "Galápagos." And then...nothing. The words wouldn't come. I locked up. I panicked. After a couple of hours of feeling as though I was suffocating, I got up and went to the front parlor where Spooky was sewing. We talked for a while, about all this, only in far greater detail than I'll go into here. I resolved to do the only thing I can do. Keep writing, trying to cut myself a little slack, shelve one or two projects that really wouldn't have helped out that much financially (never mind if I wanted to do them), and get out more often. The last one is the most important, I think. I cannot write about a world I never fucking see. I cannot continue to write about people when I've stopped talking to people. My imagination can only get me so far without actual input from external sources. I went back into my office and wrote 668 words on the new story. Not great, but better than the zero word count I'd expected to have for the day.

---

When I was done for the evening, we got dressed and dove down to South County and Moonstone Beach. We'd not been to Moonstone since that frigid day in February when we rescued the steamquid. Despite a forecast calling for rain, the day was bright and sunny and almost warm (66F or so). As we left Providence, I was pleased to see that the trees are all green and leafy. The woods are beginning to look like summer, even if it feels like early spring out there (my expectations have yet to adjust to the realities of New England seasons). This changed a little as we got closer to the beach. Down there, the trees are not so far along, not so leafy. But it was good just to be out of the house, away from the keyboard.

There was a mist racing across Trustom Pond, and we parked in the turn around and headed across the dunes to Moonstone Beach. To the south, towards Greenhill, I could see a wall of mist moving in. It's late enough in the year that most of the beach is fenced off again, because it's a protected nesting area for piping plovers and least terns. We walked among the sand and cobbles, just soaking in the salty air and the roar of the breakers. I found a moonstone (the plagioclase feldspar oligocase) almost as big as my fist, almost perfectly round. We found a few unusually large pieces of beach glass. There were birds everywhere, especially back in the dog roses behind the dunes: catbirds, wrens, red-winged blackbirds, robins, mockingbirds, gulls, cormorants. Spooky spotted a Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia), which was a new one for both of us. After half an hour or so, the fog rolled in, and the temperature plummeted. The sun became a dim smudge in the sky. We stuck it out a little longer, then headed back to the car. We had dinner at Iggy's in Narragansett, then drove down to the Point Judith lighthouse for a bit. The tide was further out than I'd ever seen at the point, and there was a man fishing, and a guy on a surfboard, almost lost in the fog. I think we made it back to Providence about 9 p.m.

---

We finished watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer last night (second time for both of us). I think I've come to the conclusion that the series was at its best in seasons four and five, and that the last episode of Season Five would have made a marvelous conclusion for the story. Paradoxically, though, some of the series' very best episodes don't come along until seasons six and seven, despite those weaker story arcs that characterize the last two seasons. The first two seasons are hardly watchable, and it amazes me that the show survived long enough to find its footing. Still, glad it did. And after Buffy, we watched Repo — The Genetic Opera (2008) again, because we've both been wanting to see it a second time.

And that was yesterday, snipped and styled and prettied up.

Spooky's got new stuff up in her Etsy shop, Dreaming Squid, including the cats that everyone seems to love so much.

If I'm forgetting anything, it can wait until later. There are photos from yesterday, of course:

May 15, 2009 )

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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