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"Ringing that iron bell..."

Shaw
The rain's here, and most of the snow has melted. Currently, the temperature has risen to a balmy 57˚F. I think it's safe to safe it's nasty out there. This evening the temperature's going to fall all the way back down to fucking 16˚F. It's very windy.

My first entry since Friday. But there simply hasn't been anything much to say. I've not written anything good enough to dare show anyone, so it may as well not exist. My non-shameful productivity has been limited to working on the Table of Contents for the second "Best of" volume. This is the very preliminary ToC, as of yesterday evening:

Author's Introduction
01. “Pony” (January 2006) [3,866]
02. “Untitled 17” (February 2006) [1,987]
03 “Highway 97" (April 2006) [1,884]
04. “The Ammonite Violin (Murder Ballad No. 4)” (October 2006) [6,484]
05. “A Season of Broken Dolls” (February 2007) [6,668]
06. “In View of Nothing” (March 2007) [8,268]
07. “The Ape’s Wife” (April 2007) [8,992]
08. “The Steam Dancer (1896)” (June 2007) [4,685]
09. “Pickman’s Other Model” (March 2008) [9,891]

Part Two (Providence)

10. “Galápagos” (May 2008) [9,524]
11. “The Melusine (1898)” (June 2008) [5,099]
12. “As Red As Red” (March 2009) [6,928]
13. “Fish Bride” (May 2009) [4,391]
14. “The Mermaid of the Concrete Ocean” (June 2009) [5,342]
15. “The Sea Troll’s Daughter” (July 2009) [9,957]
16. “Werewolf Smile” (August 2009) [7,446]
17. “Hydraguros” (January 2010) [9,202]
18. “Houndwife” (March 2010) [6,769]
19. “The Maltese Unicorn” (May 2010) [11,130]
20. “Tidal Forces” (June 2010) [6,620]
21. “The Prayer of Ninety Cats” (November 2010) [9,962]
22. “One Tree Hill (The World As Cataclysm)” (July 2012) [6,886]
23. Black Helicopters (December 2012) [25,931]
24. “The Peddler’s Tale, or Isobel’s Revenge” (December 2013) [7,547]
Wd. Count: [186,449 words]
+ ? story notes for Vols. 1 & 2

I have a total of ~100k words to work with. There are three of four stories in this ToC that may be swapped out for others. The situation is, you know, fluid. So far, there are no stories from 2005 or 2011. I also don't yet have a title for the collection. But it won't be taken from a Sisters of Mercy song.

This morning I dropped my Lamictal dose from 150 mg. to 75 mg. When I began stepping down on December 23rd, I was at 300 mg. Next Monday I'll be off this shit. I feel as if I'm waking up. Sometimes, it's horribly overwhelming, all the feelings I've been forcing my mind not to feel. But it's better than the dead calm I've lived in for so long. I'm sleeping better, and I'm dreaming again. I never thought I'd be glad to see nightmares.

In Need of a Shower,
Aunt Beast

Comments

( 27 comments — Have your say! )
aoniedesade
Jan. 6th, 2014 05:10 pm (UTC)
Sounds truly delightful, and I can see a few threads of theme already. Thank you from the abyssal depths of my barnacle encrusted heart for including Black Helicopters. I missed out on the edition of the book it came with.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 6th, 2014 05:12 pm (UTC)

Frankly, I think it's the best thing I've written since The Drowning Girl.
aoniedesade
Jan. 7th, 2014 01:54 am (UTC)
I've been re-reading Drowning Girl again, actually. I love how you worked Perrault into it. That story cycle is hands down my favorite. Well, next to the house with the odd basement and 200+ jack o'lanterns...
xxweaponx
Jan. 6th, 2014 05:15 pm (UTC)
Just curious, and certainly not expecting an answer, but if you feel like discussing it: What is your plan post Lamictal? Drug free, or trying to find something that you can feel better on? Do you think that the cessation of Lamictal will induce an episode of mania? Do you find that your writing output is different/impacted + or - by meds? Is there a difference in the way you relate to things you create during times when you are on or off meds?
greygirlbeast
Jan. 6th, 2014 05:46 pm (UTC)

What is your plan post Lamictal? Drug free, or trying to find something that you can feel better on? Do you think that the cessation of Lamictal will induce an episode of mania? Do you find that your writing output is different/impacted + or - by meds? Is there a difference in the way you relate to things you create during times when you are on or off meds?

Those are a hell of a lot of questions. I'll just say, Lamictal is only one of my meds. There are others.
xxweaponx
Jan. 6th, 2014 07:24 pm (UTC)
Gotcha. :)
readingthedark
Jan. 6th, 2014 05:16 pm (UTC)
It's a very impressive list of very fine work.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 6th, 2014 05:47 pm (UTC)

Thank you. Now, COME SEE ME.
readingthedark
Jan. 6th, 2014 06:09 pm (UTC)
My pleasure. [Details forthcoming via email.]
Dave Lemoine
Jan. 6th, 2014 05:25 pm (UTC)
Pony is one of my all time favorites. And thank you so much for including Black Helicopters. Money has been scarce since I left my job and started my own business at the end of August, so I had to pass on the edition that included it, I've been dying to read it.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 6th, 2014 05:47 pm (UTC)

"Pony" is sort of special to me.
faffinz
Jan. 6th, 2014 06:07 pm (UTC)
Sigh. Good luck.

Lamictal seemed like the best of several bad options and no good ones when I researched it for a friend. She's considering coming off it now too.

On a side (or S.A.D.) note, have you ever tried a light box?
greygirlbeast
Jan. 6th, 2014 06:24 pm (UTC)

.Lamictal seemed like the best of several bad options and no good ones when I researched it for a friend. She's considering coming off it now too.

It was sort of an act of desperation. Now, I think I'd rather just be desperate.

On a side (or S.A.D.) note, have you ever tried a light box?

No. It would never rectify what I hate about winter.
xxweaponx
Jan. 6th, 2014 07:33 pm (UTC)
Lamictal is a drug that I have seen have extremely disparate results. In patients we have treated with seizure disorders, many are pleased with the results, bc clinically they have a good response. Now, Lamictal in BD or in combo in various psychotic disorders, not so much. Psych drugs are really difficult things, and I don't think that we have found the solution to anything at this point.

Although I am not trying to diagnose, treat, or prescribe to your friend, I have seen very good results in a larger population when we have used moderate dose (20mg) Abilify in combination with other drugs, and a few people are just using that dosage in solo regimens and are stable with minimum side effects. It MAY be worth looking at.
corucia
Jan. 6th, 2014 06:41 pm (UTC)

Some of my absolute favorites in the list (e.g. "The Steam Dancer", "Tidal Forces", "The Maltese Unicorn"), plus some others that I'll be happy to re-read. I'm glad to see Black Helicopters on the list; I was worried that you might consider it too long for inclusion. It definitely deserves a much wider audience!

The temperature outside dropped too low last night, exceeding the limits on the outside sensor for our thermometer (apparently, below -21.8F is its fail point). With the frequent wind gusts, it's been about -55F with windchill. Alia's school is closed, and I told everyone in lab to stay home today. It's cold, even for here.

Minnesota would fit your profile very nicely for a place to move, except for the climate. Give it a few decades, however - the rest of the planet's working on that problem for you.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 6th, 2014 06:52 pm (UTC)

; I was worried that you might consider it too long for inclusion.

If it is actually included – the list is not set in stone. But I included The Dry Salvages in the first volume, and that novella was about the same length.
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Jan. 6th, 2014 08:15 pm (UTC)

There was a time I craved calm, but after years of quiet waters, waves are heaven.
everville340
Jan. 6th, 2014 09:22 pm (UTC)
There was a time I craved calm, but after years of quiet waters, waves are heaven.

That was the right sentence with the right words at the right time for me. Thank you.
(Deleted comment)
martianmooncrab
Jan. 6th, 2014 08:00 pm (UTC)
dreaming is good..
greygirlbeast
Jan. 6th, 2014 08:15 pm (UTC)

It was very odd...not really doing so, when so much of my life has been dream.
martianmooncrab
Jan. 6th, 2014 08:20 pm (UTC)
its being able to tell the difference that counts..
aarongp
Jan. 6th, 2014 08:54 pm (UTC)
I feel as if I'm waking up.
A kind of new beginning for you? Or maybe reset is a better word.

Glad to see the possibility of "The Sea Troll's Daughter" being included in Vol. 2 of the "Best of ..."
Would be most pleased if you felt inclined to write something else in a similar vein down the track.

Edited at 2014-01-06 08:55 pm (UTC)
sovay
Jan. 6th, 2014 10:50 pm (UTC)
This is the very preliminary ToC, as of yesterday evening

As a preliminary, I like it very much. I don't think it's left out anything that I adored. (Okay, I really like "The Colliers' Venus (1893)," but I see Cherry Creek is well-represented.) Possibly one of the Poe stories—"The Thousand-and-Third Tale of Scheherazade" or "The Belated Burial" (January 2009)?

But it's better than the dead calm I've lived in for so long. I'm sleeping better, and I'm dreaming again.

I am so glad the absence of Lamictal is working.
Philip Foster
Jan. 6th, 2014 11:05 pm (UTC)
Can't wait, especially happy to see Black Helicopters (provisionally) included. Also agree with aarongp that The Sea Troll's daughter is wondeful
elsewhereangel
Jan. 6th, 2014 11:35 pm (UTC)
I'm really looking forward to volume two.
( 27 comments — Have your say! )