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Not Awake

The sun is far too bright this morning. It's 69˚F here in Providence.

I hope to see you tonight at KGB Bar. I go on at 7 p.m. If not, I'll be back tomorrow night.

Aunt Beast
Ugh. Another rough night. Currently, it's overcast and 64˚F here in Providence, with 90% humidity. We're about to have a little bit of an Indian Summer, just in time for the trip to NYC. I think the high in Manhattan tomorrow is supposed to be 83˚F, and I guess I'm going to be stuck wearing a T-shirt and jeans to the reading. We'll be taking the bus down in the morning, staying over one night, then taking the bus back on Thursday.

Yesterday might best be described as a series of minor calamities, strung together. Trouble with the CEM for Agents of Dreamland. Trouble with the galley pages for Dear Sweet Filthy World. I need to be writing, not wasting days with editing. It's been six days since I actually wrote anything; most of that time has been spent working on the galleys. But there was also a good conversation with my lit agent about, well, a little of everything. I'll be meeting with her on Wednesday, before the reading at KGB. I do hope people make it out. I'm just grateful that I have something to do that night that will keep me from watching the third presidential debate. Tomorrow will be my fifth time to read at KGB. The first was May 2001. The second was November 2008. The third was October 2013. The fourth was March 2015.

This will be my first trip into Manhattan since the last time I read at KGB, an awful, freezing day, March 18th, 2015. We'd spent the night before in a windstorm in an unheated cabin in the Catskills, then had to drive from Woodstock to catch the train at Rhinecliff to Manhattan. It was one of the coldest, most uncomfortable, most thoroughly exhausting days I think I ever have endured. We left Woodstock about noon, and we were back at the cabin by 1 A.M. I doubt we were in NYC for more than four hours. Hopefully, this trip will be much less unpleasant.

I'm utterly in love with RuPauls's Drag Race. I avoided the show for years, and I'll explain that some other day. We're watching Season Four now (yeah, we're doing it out of order), and it's not quite as thoroughly delightful as Season Five, but it's thoroughly delightful.

Aunt Beast
This needs to be quick, because I have a call from my agent at 11:30 a.m., which is hellishly early for me to be articulate. It's sunny here, and a little warmer than yesterday, currently 73˚F. Which is good because the latest cheap space heater, Clank Mark III, konked out day before yesterday. We'd only had the fucker for a year. Our cheap-ass space heaters usually last three years. Anyway, the sky out there is That Blue. I hear people screaming. It's a Cloverfield Day.

Yesterday was an improvement over Saturday. I proofread the galleys for Dear Sweet Filthy World and made it through "The Carnival is Dead and Gone" (Sirenia Digest #65, April 2011), "Figurehead" (Sirenia Digest #66, May 2011), "Down to Gehenna" (Sirenia Digest #67, June 2011), and "The Granting Cabinet" (Sirenia Digest #68, July 2011). Then my eyes gave out. By the way, if you have not yet preordered you copy of Dear Sweet Filthy World, you should soon. The limited edition is guaranteed to sell out before publication, and it's possible that the trade edition could as well.

What I want to know is why Assange's internet wasn't cut a long damn time ago.

Last night we finished Season Five of RuPaul's Drag Race, and I was delighted and surprised Jinkx Monsoon won. I have a very serious Jinkx Monsoon crush.

Now, I gotta wake up fast.

Aunt Beast
Sunny today and chilly. It's 63˚F. In Birmingham, it's a more congenial 71˚F, but Birmingham is Trump country.

Yesterday was pretty much a loss. I managed to proofread one story from Dear Sweet Filthy World, "–30–" (Sirenia Digest #61, December 2010). Today has to be vastly more productive. I'm going to lose two days next week to the reading in Manhattan; I can't afford this.

Aunt Beast
Not well this morning. But I'm sort of awake. It's sunny. The sky is painfully blue. It's 55˚F.

Yesterday, I read through everything written so far on The Starkeeper, which comes to a paltry 22 pages. The last couple of weeks I've been dithering over whether to go back to work on it or set it aside and write Interstate Love Song first, then come back to The Starkeeper at a later date. Yesterday, I may have made the decision to do just that. There are a lot of good reasons for doing this. Also, yesterday I proofread two more stories from the Dear Sweet Filthy World galleys, "Tempest Witch" (Sirenia Digest #54, May 2010) and "Fairy Tale of the Maritime" (Sirenia Digest #57, August 2010). The latter is a really fine little tale, and I'd entirely forgotten about it. This is what happens when you write too damn much. You begin to forget entire short stories. Oh, and Sirenia Digest #129 went out to subscribers last night.

Ugh. I may be going back to bed.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thank you.

Yesterday, I quit the RP group I'd been a part of since April 2013. Today, I'm not sure how I feel about having left.

I had no idea how wonderfully fucking hilarious RuPaul's Drag Race is, never having watched it. Oh, and refreshingly raunchy. We watched three episodes last night, and it's just every sort of delightful. Maybe the eight seasons can see us through the election and another bitter New England winter.

Aunt Beast
Ugh. This morning, I feel like the sticky floor of a movie theatre. For various reasons, I doubt I slept more than three hours. The day is sunny. Currently, it's 53˚F here. We have a frost warning for tonight.

Yesterday, I proofread "Antedivulian Homesick Blues" and part two of The Chartreuse Alphabet for the digest, and then I wrote the prolegomenon for Sirenia Digest #129 and did the layout. Then I sent it away to Gorden to PDF, but late last night Spooky discovered that I'd dated the prolegomenon November 13th, instead of dating it October 13th, and also that the header said Sirenia Digest #128. Which is why subscribers don't yet have the issue. But they should by tonight. Also, I proofread three more stories from the galley pages for Dear Sweet Filthy World: "Apsinthion" (Sirenia Digest #51, February 2010), "Three Months, Three Scenes, With Snow" (Sirenia Digest #53, April 2010), and "Workprint" (Sirenia Digest #53, April 2010). I didn't write a preface for the collection, though. It just wouldn't come to me, and I've told Yanni at SubPress to send the ARCs to the printer without one.

And I talked with Josh Boone about The Red Tree film. It is moving forward. These wheels turn slowly, but they do turn.

Today, I turn my attention back to the writing of The Next New Novel.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thank you!

The September Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology arrived day before yesterday, and so far I've read "A New Crocodile Displaying Extreme Constriction of the Mandible, from the Late Oligocene of Riversleigh, Australia" and "New Rebbachisaurid (Sauropoda, Diplodocoidea) Cranial Remains from the Cretaceous oF Patagonia, Argentina, and the First Endocranial Description for a South American Representative of the Clade."

And I think that's all for now. It surely is plenty.

Aunt Beast
Sunny today, and I slept better last night. Currently, it's 66˚F.


Yesterday, I wrote 1,200 words and found THE END of the new story. I also changed the title from "Build Your Houses With Their Backs to the Sea" to "Antediluvian Homesick Blues." I think I'm almost ready to believe that the dry spell has passed. Work since September 2 includes:

1. The Chartreuse Alphabet (Parts 1 and 2)
2. "Animals Pull the Night Around Their Shoulders"
3. "M is for Mars"
4. "Antediluvian Homesick Blues"

Plus assorted editing and an interview. All told, something like 28,000 words. Which is quite reasonable for me during any given forty-one day period of time. Now, I just have to manage to successfully switch gears from short fiction to the novel.

Yesterday, I also continued proofreading Dear Sweet Filthy World, and I made it through "The Dissevered Heart" (Sirenia Digest #47, October 2009), "Exuvium" (Sirenia Digest #48, November 2009), "Drawing from Life" (Sirenia Digest #49, December 2009; originally "Untitled 43"), and "The Eighth Veil" (Sirenia Digest #51, February 2010).

Today, I need to proofread the second half of The Chartreuse Alphabet and "Antediluvian Homesick Blues," put together Sirenia Digest #129, and write a preface for Dear Sweet Filthy World. Subscribers will have #129 by sometime tomorrow, probably.

Oh, and I figured out yesterday that "Antediluvian Homesick Blues" is the 145th story that I've written for Sirenia Digest since November 2005.

Okay, enough facts and figures for one LJ entry.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions.

Last night, we saw the two-hour finale for Season Three of Half and Catch Fire, which truly is one of the best things on television, one of those shows that transcends television. Sadly, there's only one season left to go.

Aunt Beast

"Yes, we may be hidden by rags..."

I didn't sleep much last night, maybe four hours. And it's awfully fucking bright outside my window. And I am mildly hungover. Strung out. Whatever. It's 60˚F.

Yesterday sort of derailed, and I only managed 338 new words on "Build Your Houses With Their Backs To the Sea." Given that I'm likely no more than 500 words from THE END, that was especially frustrating. I tried to make up for the poor writing day with proofreading last night. I worked on proofing the galleys for Dear Sweet Filthy World until 3:15 a.m., when I could no longer keep my eyes from crossing. I made it through "Vicaria Draconis" (from Sirenia Digest #44, July 2009), "Paleozoic Annunciation" (Sirenia Digest #45, August 2009), "Charcloth, Firesteel, and Flint" (Sirenia Digest #46, September 2009), and "Shipwrecks Above" (Sirenia Digest #46, September 2009).

My thanks to the 247 people on Facebook who voiced their appreciation of Silk yesterday, and to the half dozen who did so here and at Twitter. I'm always a little surprised by how many people love that book, especially after all these years.

Now, I'm gonna go suck on this Red Bull can until I feel better.

Aunt Beast
Sunny and 57˚F today, a little warmer than yesterday.

On this day in 1993, when I was twenty-nine. I began work on Silk. It's been twenty-three years. Which seems like a really enormously long time, though I know it isn't. I was living alone in an apartment on the Southside of Birmingham, about halfway up the north slope of Red Mountain. It was still six months before I would move to Athens, Georgia. I'd only had tow fiction sales, "Between the Flat Irons and the Deep Green Sea" and "Persephone." I have a couple of photos of that apartment building, taken when Spooky and I were visiting Birmingham and Leeds in 2014:

View from 16th Avenue South. The building was built in 1923. The place is a lot nicer these days then when I lived there. In 1993, it was just a step or two up from "dump." But it was my home from December 1989 until April 1994.

My apartment was upstairs and around back.

I somehow managed to salvage yesterday. It helped that the short-lived Republican coup wasn't a total loss. I did 1,002 words on "Build Your Houses With Their Backs to the Sea." Today, I need to find THE END. I also need to answer a bunch of email I let slide yesterday. Oh, and the galley pages for Dear Sweet Filthy World were delivered, because UPS doesn't shut down for Columbus Day, which is more than I can say for quite a lot of Providence. Here, Columbus Day is treated as Italian Pride Day. Last night, I proofread the first story in the collection, "Werewolf Smile," which was written in August 2009.

Oh, and I signed tax forms yesterday.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thank you.

Aunt Beast
The sun is back today, after yesterday's brush with Matthew. Currently, the sky is wide and carnivorous, and the temperature is only 54˚F. In Birmingham, it's 68˚F.

I tried to write yesterday, but managed only a few hundred words, and those were all rewrite. This story may have stalled. Today will tell, though, frankly I've come to a place where I am having trouble seeing the point of bothering.

I shouldn't be making an entry today, but I've not missed a day all year.

Aunt Beast
Overcast and perpetually twilight here today. Rainy. It's 56˚F.

Yesterday, I'm pretty sure I managed to wrangle this that thing I began on Friday into something that will actually become a story. I did 1,089 words yesterday. Last November, during the first part of the dry spell, I tried without success to write a piece titled "Build Your Houses With Their Backs To the Sea," but it stalled out soon after the opening scene. I'm recycling that title for this new story. I have borrowed it, by the way, from an October 25, 1963 episode of Route 66.

I had some strange dream this morning about meeting Tom Waits at Neil's place in Woodstock. I gave Tom Waits a pretty silver revolver as a gift.

Yesterday, wow. Quite certainly the worst day for the Republican Party since 1974 and Watergate. It couldn't have happened to a more deserving bunch of mooks. Kathryn and I may not have to move to Montréal, after all.

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

Spooky put six chicken legs in the crockpot, along with red potatoes, pearl onions, carrots, apples, mushrooms, and all manner of herbs. Spooky cooks a mean six-legged chicken. After dinner, we played GW2, and then later I read more of Ellen Datlow's Children of Lovecraft, two fine tales – "Jules and Richard" by David Nickle and "Nesters" by Siobhan Carroll.

Aunt Beast

"I'm invisible. I can't find the ice."

I woke to clouds, but they seem to be clearing. It's 62˚F in Providence.

Yesterday was not a good writing day, though I managed 731 words on something. I don't know if it's something that's going to lead me anywhere, if it's something that I can use. I very much needs to be. And the fear that the dry spell hasn't truly passed rears its head and is the first thought in my mind when I open my eyes in the morning.

I went to Walgreen's and got my flu shot, late in the afternoon.

Please consider our current eBay auctions. Thank you.

I'm not surprised by the most recent revelations as to Donald trump's lack of respect for women and for humanity in general. There is nothing whatsoever new here. But I do think maybe we're nearing the end of this insanity.

(Courtesy Amanda Duarte and Jessica Bennett)

Aunt Beast

Howard Hughes blah blah blah blah blah

Sunny again today. I spent the night worrying about Florida. This morning, I breathed a sigh of relief for much of the state, but remain deeply concerned about the northern part of the state, as well as coastal Georgia and South Carolina. And I am very, very worried about the possible effect Matthew could have on the election. Currently, it's 67˚F here.

I've only been outside once since we returned from Amherst last Friday. And I almost perished in a cat-triggered squirrel attack. I think I'll stay in today.

If you haven't heard, I'll be reading from Agents of Dreamland at KGB Bar in Manhattan on October 19th, at 7 p.m. This will be my fifth time reading at KGB since May 2001. Jack Ketchum (Dallas Mayr), will also be reading that night.

Yesterday didn't go so well, and that's a little unnerving, because I'm still a long way from fully convinced that the crises of this past summer, The Drought, is behind me. Still, September and the start of October was exactly as productive as it should have been. I wrote The Chartreuse Alphabet, parts one and two, "Animals Pull the Night Around Their Shoulders," and made a finished novella out of scraps to create "M is for Mars." I probably did close to twenty thousand words in the last month, plus all the peripheral writing work that isn't actually writing. So, back on track, but no so back on track that a bad day doesn't scare me.

Also, we finished reading my aunt's second novel, and I read Gemma Files' very effective story, "Little Ease," in Ellen Datlow's Children of Lovecraft, the new anthology that also includes a new piece by me, "Excerpts for An Eschatology Quadrille." The book has a cover by Mike Mignola, and you seriously need to pick up a copy:

Please visit our eBay page to see the current auctions. Gonna need some extra cash to get me to and back from Manhattan this month. Readings are expensive. Thank you. Also, Spooky says, "We've lowered our shipping costs on eBay, offering media rate as the default instead of priority. I believe everything up right now has been listed accordingly - the novels, for sure. Priority shipping has just gotten so silly expensive over the years, even with tracking and insurance up to $50 included." So, there's that, too.

Time to make the doughnuts!

Later Taters,
Aunt Beast
A sunny day, Halloween the Sixth. Currently, it's 62˚F.

Yesterday was, in almost all ways, a fine day. I did the interview that I very almost backed out of, and it went quite well. It was the first interview I'd given in years. The answers were written out (and came to 1,432 words, so I also had a good writing day), as I virtually never give live interviews and because this is actually for a book, Horror Literature through History: An Encyclopedia of the Stories That Speak to Our Deepest Fears, two volumes edited by Matt Cardin for ABC-Clio-Greenwood. It will also include an entry on The Drowning Girl and a general entry on me. Of course, I spent about a quarter of the interview explaining how I'm not a "horror writer," why I don't like that label. And there was a great deal of email to attend to yesterday, and I got the go ahead to show everyone Tran Nguyen's cover for Dear Sweet Filthy World, which I will do now:

I love that this collection sort of has a theme song by Elvis Costello, even if the theme song came before any of the stories were written and even if Elvis Costello has no idea. I may conspire to have a copy of the book delivered to him. Perhaps he won't be annoyed. If you've not yet preordered the collection, please do.

A comment to yesterday's entry, from Michael Kuhn, who asks, "One question crosses my mind: What would you have done, when the Quinn Novels (or the Dancy-Comics) would have been a great success? I imagine your Editors telling you, that you have to write till the end of your career every year a Quinn novel, because, there is the money, there is the fanbase, there is the success..."

I try hard not to think about this, especially as regards the Quinn books. I knew as soon as I began trying to write the second Quinn book, Fay Grimmer, that I'd made a horrible mistake. And I actually tried to terminate the contract with Penguin at that point, but my agent had worked hard to get the contract and she was very displeased at the prospect of my quitting. I still should have pulled out of the deal, but I didn't. I wrongheadedly persevered. But, even if the books would have been a success, I'd never have managed to cough up more than three of dratted things. Maybe I would have hired a ghost writer. Probably, that's exactly what I would have done. It's not like I could have afforded to turn down the money. But I couldn't have written them myself. One problem I encountered is that I cannot be reliably funny on command, and the humor in Blood Oranges is what makes it work. It was a joke, and halfway through the first book I grew bored with the joke. By Book 3 (which is, in reality, of course, Book 4, as Fay Grimmer was withdrawn from publication and never published, because it was extra wretched and I said so) the humor was all but gone. The joke was a dead horse that had been beaten to a maggoty pulp. Indeed, by the time I was writing Cherry Bomb, it had become painfully obvious that I was perpetrating and perpetuating the very thing I'd set out to parody and tear down. People read the Quinn books and tell me that they enjoy them, and I suppose that's a good thing. But I hate them, and I can't unhate them. Maybe a few years from now, when I've recovered from the mess they made, maybe then I can be kinder to them. We shall see. Now, as regards the Dancy comics, the situation is much more complex, and maybe I'll address that some other time.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks. You might also have a look at Spooky's Etsy shop, Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries.

I have this dream of playing William S. Burroughs in a one-woman show. I've almost got the voice down.

And now, it's time to make the doughnuts.

Aunt Beast

"My head is an animal."

Sunny today, and it's currently 60˚F. The tree outside my window is still green.

I have another art preview from Houses Under the Sea: Mythos Tales. This one is Richard Kirk's illustration for the collection's title story, "Houses Under the Sea," the altar to Mother Hydra:

I'm told that the collection will run somewhere between $150 and $195, in large part because of the illustrations. I know this is well outside the price range that most readers can afford, myself included. This is a deluxe edition on the order of the Centipede Press edition of The Drowning Girl. I hope that there will eventually be an affordable edition, from either CP or Subterranean, but that would likely be at least three years from now if it were to happen. And no, there won't be an ebook. My apologies on the price.

These days, I feel as if I have a lot to apologize for. I've been wanting to write something here about the the Quinn books and my work for Dark Horse, and how, after finishing The Drowning Girl early in 2011, I allowed myself to be distracted – again – by the possibility that I might make some decent money, if I turned to less serious projects. It was all a horrible mistake, and one that I am still struggling to recover from and will always regret. My next novel, the one that naturally follows from The Red Tree and The Drowning Girl ought to have been published years ago, but I spent four years laboring on Quinn books and Dancy comics, and then there was the distraction of the movie deal – and all of it was, ultimately, about money. Because writers, like the rest of you, have bills, and the bills pile up.

You know, enough about that for now. I'll come back to this another time.

Except, I will say – ironically, the Quinn books were a flop, and the Dancy comics were a flop, and the money from the film option went to bills, and, ultimately, all those things I did for the money made almost no money at all. And I am back where I was in 2010, before all that bullshit began. Were it not for Sirenia Digest and the Patreon, things would be very, very dire. As is, things are merely dire.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thank you.

Yesterday was lost to the worst headache I've had in many months. I finally wound up in bed, dozing. All that was accomplished yesterday was some email, and so I am now a day behind. And there's this interview I'm supposed to do, and the last thing I want to do right now is spend more time talking about myself. Oh, and yesterday I saw Tran's final version of the cover for Dear Sweet Filthy World, and it's going to be beautiful, this book. And affordable.

Later Taters,
Aunt Beast

"Why pamper life's complexities...?"

Detox, Day 4. The sun came back to us yesterday, and I suppose we get a few days as Matthew barrels towards us. Currently, it's 63˚F.

And I have a murderous headache.

Yesterday, I wrote 772 words and completed The Chartreuse Alphabet, with X ("is for X Band"), Y ("is for Yian-Ho"), and Z ("is for Zucchini").

There was a whole bunch of other shit I was going to write about today, but the headache says otherwise. So, I'll try again tomorrow.

Aunt Beast
Detox, Day 3. I awoke to unexpected, which is likely the best sort of sun. Currently, it's 67˚F in Providence.

Yesterday, I did 1,269 words, adding T ("is for Tattoo"), U ("is for Unravel"), V ("is for Vulva"), and W ("is for Wolpertinger"). Today, I'll finish The Chartreuse Alphabet, and Part 2 will appear in Sirenia Digest #129.

After making the trip to Amherst and visiting the successor to the Pratt Museum, "From Cabinet 34, Drawer 6" has been on my mind. So, I thought I'd share John Kenn Mortensen's illustration for the story, from Houses Under the Sea: Mythos Tales:

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions.

Aunt Beast

Entry No. 4,755

Detox, Day 2. Last night was sorta rough, but I feel better this morning, though the weather isn't helping. Still overcast and damp here. The NWS says it should clear tomorrow night, so I only have to make it until then. Currently, it's 59˚F.

Happy Halloween the Second.

Yesterday, despite feeling like a broken down old snot rag, I managed to do both R (is for Raven) and S (is for Safari), moving The Chartreuse Alphabet 1,001 words nearer THE END. Also, my contributor's copy of Ellen Datlow's Children of Cthulhu (Dark Horse) arrived. It includes a new tale from me, "Excerpts for An Eschatology Quadrille." You should order a copy, tout de suite.

After we left the Kirkwood Lofts in December 2004, we lost TCM, which had for many years been the main reason I watched television. Last night, after twelve years, and thanks to Sling TV, I finally have it back, and tonight I'll be watching Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and Son of Frankenstein (1939).

Braindead gets better as it goes along, partly because it does get more serious, and darker. It definitely gets weirder. I very much appreciate it's anti-extremist position, calling out both the far right and the far left, which have, in this election, been equally deleterious to the democratic process. We're two or three episodes from the end, I think.

I have another photo from the trip to Massachusetts, this one from the skeezy public toilet (it was in no sense a "restroom") at the Iron Horse in Northampton.

Aunt Beast

Entry No. 4,754

Detox, Day 1. Still no sun. Ugh. 60˚F. At least it isn't cold.

Today, I need to write R, S, and T for The Chartreuse Alphabet, and I have a whole bunch of line edits from Jonathan Strahan, on Agents of Dreamland, to review, and I need to email Vince Locke and Jerad Walters regarding art for Houses Under the Sea: Mythos Tales. And I'm fairly ill from withdrawal, so we're just gonna have to see how this goes.

The trip to Northampton and Amherst was a good beak from home. I need more of these, desperately, even though my health is such that I do not travel as well as I once did. I'd only ever passed by this part of Massachusetts on the Mass Pike, usually en route to Woodstock, New York, so it was nice to get off the highway and see this section of the Connecticut River Valley. We actually stayed in Hadley, between Amherst and Northampton, at a moderately wretched Holiday Inn. It's beautiful country, and the mountains (though they are small mountains) were a welcome relief (no pun intended) from the monotonously flat topography of Rhode Island. I wish we'd had more time. We had the show at the Iron Horse on Thursday night, and then we spent part of the morning on Friday at the Beneski Museum of Natural History at Amherst College, and drove past the home of Emily Dickinson, before heading back early in the afternoon.

In 2001, I set "Cabinet 34, Drawer 6," in part, at Amherst College's Pratt Museum of Natural History, though I'd never been there. In 2004, the Pratt closed its doors forever and the exhibits and collections were relocated to a new building on campus, which opened in 2006 as the Beneski Museum of Natural History. Among other wondrous things, it includes Edward Hitchcock's assemblage of Triassic-age dinosaur footprints, collected from the area during the early 19th Century. I have some photos:

30 September 2016Collapse )

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

And now, it's time to make the doughnuts, again.

Aunt Beast

Home again (etc.)

Dreary, rainy, cloudy, and chilly here in Providence.

We made it back about 3 p.m., and I'll make a decent entry, with photos, tomorrow. But it was good to get out of Providence, if only for a night.

Aunt Beast

Howard Hughes vs. the Really Real World

Cloudy and cool, currently 60˚F.

We're heading to Northampton in a bit, but I wanted to put down a few words first. Just to mark the day.

Yesterday, I did 1,215 words on "The Chartreuse Alphabet" and made it through O (is for Obelisk), P (is for Pangaea), and Q (is for QWERTY). Q became an unexpected bit of autobiographical insertion.

Please have a look at the ongoing eBay auctions. Thank you.

Now, I gotta get dressed and stuff and go out into the world. See you tomorrow night.

Aunt Beast
Chilly and overcast, currently 61˚F.

Yesterday was divided between email (my lit agent, Jerad at Centipede Press, Vince Locke, Neil G., and Ellen D.) and getting back into "The Chartreuse Alphabet." I did 589 words, "N is for Necrophilia." Today, ideally, I'll find the words for O, P, and Q. We're heading out of town tomorrow, up to Northampton, Mass. for a Legendary Pink Dots show and then a short visit to the Beneski Museum of Natural History at Amherst*, and we won't be back until Friday evening, but I still hope to finish the second half of "The Chartreuse Alphabet" by Tuesday evening. It will appear in Sirenia Digest #129 (October 2016). This will, by the way, be my first time out of Rhode Island since – I honestly do not know. It's been more than a year**, which is saying something, given that the whole state's only 1,214 square miles, total.

Yesterday, I also decided that Mythos Tales will be Houses Under the Sea: Mythos Tales, which is actually my original title. I shortened it to avoid confusion with Beneath an Oil-Dark Sea, but enough time has passed now since the release of the latter that I think there's no cause for concern. The collection will feature the work of four artists from four countries: the cover is by Piotr Jabłoński (Poland) and the interior art is provided by Vince Locke (U.S.), Richard Kirk (Canada), and John Kenn Mortensen (Denmark). Here's a sneak peak at the truly delightful pieces that Mortensen is providing, his illustration for "So Runs the World Away":

The book will be out sometime in 2017. Centipede Press is not yet taking preorders.

I fell off the wagon again, back on Wednesday the 21st, so when the traveling's done and things are quiet again, I get another round of detox. I was clean for not quite five days.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thank you. Taxes are coming due, and every little bit counts.

The last couple of night's we've been watching Michelle and Robert King's Braindead, and it's fun and all, and it's certainly timely. But I wish they'd crank up both the dark and the funny just a bit.

Now, off to the word mines.

Aunt Beast

* The setting, in part, for "From Cabinet 34, Drawer 6," though I have never actually been there.
** Correction: Actually, our brief visit to Cape Cod last November 13 was my last time out of Rhode Island. So, it hasn't been a whole year.

Howard Hughes, Drearynaut

Overcast, 68˚F, humid.

I might have slept three and a half hours.

People keep asking whether or not M is for Mars began life as The Dinosaurs of Mars, back in June 2007. So, since you've asked, the short answer is "yes," though nothing much of what The Dinosaurs of Mars was to have been is to be found in M is for Mars. I made a finished novella from a perpetually unfinished stillbirth, I transmuted one beast into a beast of another sort. We call that alchemy. I spent all day yesterday editing, and I finally reached that point where I was no longer making improvements, where I was merely changing things. All perspective was lost. So, I mailed it away to Centipede Press, and this morning Jerad Walters told me he'll be getting to work on the design/typesetting right away. Mythos Tales has been coming together since 2012, and it should finally be along soon. There was much foot dragging on my part.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thank you.

I have three photos from late yesterday afternoon, just as the sun was setting over western Providence:

View to the east. (5:45 p.m. EST)

View to the west. (5:44 p.m. EST)

And then there was Miss Pumpkin.

Aunt Beast

"Call me morbid, call me pale."

A chilly morning in Providence. We had a low of 44˚F last night. Today, the high will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 67˚F.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,251 words on the short novella that is, indeed, now titled M is for Mars, and I finished it. Finally. The "final" (prior to line edits) word count is 16,579 words. I began work on this story nine years ago, on July 23, 2007, then shelved it a month later. I've never before had anything lay fallow even half that long before I complete it. In the end, in THE END, it's a very different beast than I'd originally intended it to be. And now the ms. for Mythos Tales is once again complete. The book will be out sometime next year.

Please peruse the current eBay auctions. Thank you.

Again, my thanks to people who have commented the past couple of days. It really is easy, these days, to begin to feel as if no one's reading along, and there's no point in a journal being public if the journal's author is the only person reading it.

Caffeine, please.

Aunt Beast

Howard Hughes and the Last Dodo

Here in Providence, it's only 60˚F. The wide sky could not be bluer. Nor could it be hungrier. A good day to stay in and keep my head down. I went out for a brief walk yesterday, the first time I'd left the house in two days.

Yesterday, I added 1,357 words to the novella, which I may give up and call M is for Mars, unless some better title presents itself at the very last moment. I did not, however, find THE END. I stopped for the day with likely no more than a hundred words to go. But after five hours of writing and editing, I was fried. So, today I finish. I'd hoped to be done by Thursday (Sept. 22), but this thing does what this thing does. It ain't rocket science.

My grateful thanks to everyone who commented yesterday. We are an exclusive group, those who still attend to LiveJournal. Yes, I have Twitter and Facebook accounts, but this is my home on the web (Since 2004).

Probably, the best part of yesterday was watching Fuzzbox videos with Spooky. Otherwise, it was all work and lowered expectations.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thank you kindly.

Time to make the doughnuts. But I bet you knew that already, natch.

Aunt Beast
Sunny and 62˚F here in Providence, and the first genuinely cool weather of the autumn is on its way. Tonight's low is forecast at 46˚F, and tomorrow's high may be only 64˚F. I hope I'm ready for this. Last night, my sinuses ached as the weather shifted and the rain began. But the rain is always one of the best sounds, just like Edna St. Vincent Millay promised it would, even to those of us still above ground.

Lately, I am longing for the days when people had time to read blogs. When they took the time to comment, so I knew I wasn't speaking to an empty room. But ain't it a fine echo chamber? And the world moves on, right?

Yesterday, I added 1,241 words of new prose to the Still Untitled Mars Novella (SUMN) and did a shit-ton more editing. Five hours. I'll very probably finish it this afternoon, and find a title. I'll likely need one more day to polish the text, but then it will be finished, and the manuscript for Mythos Tales (Centipede Press, 2017) will be whole again.

The very definition of disheartening is receiving my advance for the Brazilian edition (Portuguese language) of Two Worlds and In Between and discovering that a whopping 23.5% was taken by agent commissions and foreign taxes.

There are new eBay auctions. Please take a gander.

Later Taters,
Aunt Beast

"But honey pie, you're not safe here."

The NWS says it's going to be 87˚F today, but currently it's only 70˚F, so Spooky and I are passing skeptical. And, anyway, Autumn the Second doesn't need to be that warm.

Yesterday was all editing. I don't write this way, not in any normal situation. But here I am restructuring, rebuilding, retrofitting, making fins from feet, and what have you. I'm speaking of the Still Untitled Mars Novella (SUMN). I have begun to feel as if I'm a scab director brought in to complete an unfinished film, scrapped way back in venerable 2007 after the original director was canned for going disastrously over budget. She was an utter fucking auteur, putting her hookers and black tar on the studio tab, constantly rewriting on set, calling for thirty takes of every scene – and the like. Now, the primaries have been called back to shoot All New Scenes, and I'm trying to turn straw to polyester. And all is tedium and chaos.

And in the chaos of the last two days work, the stress was a great reason to fall off the wagon, which I did. So, today is Detox Day #1. Again. Back to the kratom (soon to be illegal).

I've aged ten years in four.

From Facebook: "Okay, I'm sorta looking at Merricat Blackwood, Elenore Vance, and Boo Radley. But this will probably change. Maybe. (Me in #threefictionalcharacters)" Hubero says he's Zorro, Tarzan, and Superman.

Last night, we watched Marjorie Stürm's The Cult of JT LeRoy (2014). I can't help but feel that it's a far more honest look at the whole sorry mess than was given by Feuerzeig's film, which, in the end, was essentially a long interview with Laura Albert, which she used to attempt to con her way out of the consequences of her earlier confidence jobs. It's hard to come away from Stürm's film with anything like even half a charitable thought for Albert. Still, I'm going to read Sarah and The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things. I avoided the books when they were new. I can never bring myself to read whatever everyone is clamoring Must Be Read (!). This why I was unable to read House of Leaves until 2004.

Also, I re-read "Dagon." Honestly, Lovecraft. "Fantastically gibbous?" Seriously? What the fuck does that even mean?* Also also, I read about the pterosaurs of the Solnhofen.

Oh, and I have to get around to the doing the first interview I've agreed to give in almost forever.

I gotta get to work. Doughnuts don't make themselves.

Aunt Beast

* To be fair, that was written in July 1917, and he was only 27. He got a little better about that sort of thing. Towards the end.
Crisis mode here, but what else is new?

It's a sunny day, the sky too blue, he first day of Autumn after a miserably failed summer. Currently, it's 80˚F.

Yesterday was spent realizing that I took the wrong path to try and find The End to the Still Untitled Mars Novella (SUMN). So, now I'm throwing out 3,389 words of text, two days of work, and beginning over from the end of Section Four. This has to be finished by Monday. Kathryn and I are about the read aloud through everything that isn't being tossed out, and I hope to fuck the answers come to me.

Last night, we went to the Cable Car to see Jeff Feuerzeig's Author: The JT LeRoy Story. What a sad, sordid, absurd mess. I almost walked out partway through, sick of watching other people's dirty laundry. This film could stand as a best argument against authors becoming celebrities. The lure of celebrity is always fatal. Fame is anathema to art.

Aunt Beast
Detox Day 5, and at some point this is supposed to get easier, but I have clearly not arrived anywhere near that point. I'm through physical withdrawal, for the most part, but, truthfully, this thing on the other side is far, far worse.

Sunny and a wide carnivorous sky. Currently, it's 77˚F, 50% humidity.

Yesterday, I did 1,255 words on the Still Untitled Mars Novella (SUMN), and I think it was going fairly well until the final two or three paragraphs, when everything collapsed into an infodump thinly disguised as conversation. One reason so little science fiction works for me is that too many authors of science fiction are in love with data. But the truth is, data is my enemy. Data chokes prose. It smothers good writing. It's the reason we have encyclopedias and textbooks, not the reason we have novels and novellas and short stories. When I'm writing science fiction, the trick is revealing as little as possible, nothing more than absolutely necessary. So, today will begin by fixing the mess I made yesterday.

I haven't looked at the news in two days. I no longer see the point.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thank you.

Has anyone else ever noticed that Wall of Voodoo's "Mexican Radio" and the Smith's "What Difference Does It Make?" are almost the same songs?

Also, today is the 78th anniversary of the Great New England Hurricane of 1938.

Last night, I finally got to see Frank Pavich's 2013 documentary on that most famous of unmade films, Jodorowsky's Dune. What a brilliant, beautiful thing might have been. Imagine David Carradine as Duke Leto Atreides, Mick Jagger as Feyd Rautha, Orson Welles as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, and Salvador Dali as Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV, with a soundtrack by Pink Floyd, brought to life by artists like H.R. Giger, Chris Foss, and Jean "Möebius" Giraud. It would have been glorious.

Time to make the doughnuts.

Aunt Beast
Detox day four. I think, cautiously, that I have come through the worst of the withdrawal. The dope sick has faded to a nagging, dull nuisance. Knock on wood. Thanks to kratom and 10mg of Klonopin, I slept well last night, maybe even seven full hours. I'll have another dose of kratom in an hour or so. I've stockpiled the stuff against those inevitable future tumbles off the wagon, thank you very much, sadistic DEA fuckwits.

It's still overcast today. The NWS had predicted the skies would clear today, but now they've changed their minds. Currently, it's 72˚F in Providence, 91% humidity.

A good writing day yesterday, despite the aches and snot and whatnot. I did a great deal more editing on the Still Untitled Mars Novella (SUMN), and by the end of the day it was 2,119 words longer when the day began. I'm on schedule to finish it on Friday, even if I'm still hazy on just exactly what happens in the final quarter of the story. It is unbelievably weird, going back to a manuscript set aside more than nine years ago, trying to recapture that voice, having no idea what the fuck I was thinking when I wrote it. I've never done anything like this before.

Also, Spooky delivered five boxes of papers to the John Hay Library. Now, all that remains is for me to sign all the paperwork, the deed of transferal or whatever they are called, and the Caitlín R. Kiernan Archive will be all official like.

Please have a look at the current eBay goodies.

And today, Alabaster: The Good, the Bad, and the Bird hits the shelves in whatever precious few bookshops and comic shops see fit to carry it. But you're best off ordering directly from Amazon. And I suppose now is as good a time as any to say that I'm going to be doing a four-part, 32-page Alabaster story next year for Dark Horse Presents, serialized over four issues. I'm thinking it will be Maisie and the Bird, no Dancy. She's earned some a rest.

Also, today is the fifteenth anniversary of Firefly and the thirtieth anniversary of This Mortal Coil's Filigree and Shadow.

Last night, we watched all six episodes of the new Amazon/BBC series, Fleabag. Really hilarious, brilliant stuff. Oh, and I leveled Morda Corpsewright, Hamster in a Can, to Level 80. It only took her four years. An Asuran necromancer, she's my third oldest GW2 toon, but for some reason I didn't get serious about leveling her until recently. I now have thirteen Level 80 toons. Instead of a life. Go me.

Time to make the doughnuts.

Aunt Beast

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