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"The needle sticks and the penny drops."

white
1. At least seven and half hours sleep last night, which is a definite improvement, even if it was necessary to take a larger dose of Ambien (which I'm trying not to take) to achieve those results. I feel more rested than I have in days, which is not to say I feel precisely rested. Just better.

2. Yesterday, I managed to get through backed-up email. And I signed the signature sheets for the limited edition of The Ammonite Violin & Others. I had a hot bath. About 4:30 p.m., despite the foul weather (slate skies spitting snow and sleet and rain), we headed down to Narragansett for opening day at Iggy's, our favorite clam shack. Fish and chips, clam cakes, Manhattan-style clam chowder, and doughboys. Oh, and root beer. Afterwards, we drove on down to Point Judith and Harbor of Refuge. The wind was gusting to something like 40mph, I think, and the windchill was vicious. I only got out of the car for a few minutes. The wind and rain lashed a peridot sea, and the only sign of life we spotted was a lone eider duck bobbing in the surf well away from shore. I took a few photos, that I'll post tomorrow.

3. I am pleased to announce that "Hydrarguros" has sold to Subterranean Press, and will appear either in Subterranean magazine or a forthcoming anthology.

4. I've had a longstanding policy regarding the reading of unpublished, unsolicited fiction. That is, manuscripts sent to me by readers. It's a simple rule. I don't do it. I never have, which makes it a fairly longstanding policy, indeed. Lately, though, I've been getting a veritable flood of unsolicited manuscripts from people I do not know. These will not be read, and, for the most part, I won't respond. I also will not be held accountable if something in them should show up in a story or novel of mine in the future. But the potential for accusations of plagiarism is only one of the reasons I've made a rule of not reading unpublished mss. Anyway, I'm going to alter the longstanding rule, somewhat. From now on, I will read unsolicited mss.. However, all authors must first sign a waiver absolving me of any future allegations of copyright infringement that may appear to arise from my having seen unpublished works. I will charge (a very reasonable) $50/page, for which authors will receive copyedits and a generalized critique. My name and quotations from the critique may not be used to "blurb" or otherwise attempt to sell the manuscript. Payment must be made in advance of my reading the work, and is non-refundable— no exceptions. I will respond to authors within 90 days of receipt of their manuscripts. By these rules, and only under these rules, will I disregard my longstanding policy regarding the reading of unpublished, unsolicited fiction. Yes, I'm very serious. If you are actually interested in this service, you should contact me by email, greygirlbeast(at)gmail(dot)com, prior to submission. If you think all of this somehow does not apply to you, I would wager you are wrong.

5. Last night, Spooky and I saw Lars von Trier's Antichrist (2009). I found it brilliant, in all possible ways a film may be brilliant. Both Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg gave superb performances. I'll say a lot more about this film after I've had a while to think on it. Actually, I'm still in that place where I'm only allowing myself to have emotional reactions to it, and trying to save any intellectual reactions for later. But, yes, brilliant, beautiful, and certainly the most terrifying film I've seen in a long time.

6. Yesterday I promised to post some of my photos from the RISD Museum of Art, so here they are:





One of my favorite paintings in the museum, William Bradford's Artic Sunset (1874).



The Hugnet Frères Art Nouveau fireplace surround (1900) I mentioned yesterday.



Detail of the fireplace surround.



Detail of the fireplace surround.



Self portrait using the reflection from the Hugnet Frères piece.



Impressionist gallery.



The glass chandelier by Dale Chiuly.



How can I not think of deep-sea things?



The Main Gallery.



In the Main Gallery.



I think I spent at least as much time sitting as walking (only photo here taken by Spooky); these days, my feet are hardly up to long museum visits. Fortunately, this museum has lots of benches.



Winslow Homer's On a Lee Shore (1900), as we leave.

All photographs Copyright © 2010 by Caitlín R. Kiernan and Kathryn A. Pollnac.

Comments

( 34 comments — Have your say! )
robyn_ma
Mar. 4th, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)
'Anyway, I'm going to alter the longstanding rule, somewhat.'

Oh, Christ, are you sure you want to go there? You don't have enough time and energy as it is.

And yes, Antichrist — the Homotopy to Marie of cinema. Ever notice that it takes artists like von Trier and Lynch, who certainly wouldn't consider themselves 'horror filmmakers,' to push horror forward a few leaps?
greygirlbeast
Mar. 4th, 2010 05:35 pm (UTC)

Oh, Christ, are you sure you want to go there? You don't have enough time and energy as it is.

No, I don't. But...if someone is willing to pay the fee and abide by the strictures I've set forth here, well...alas, I always need the money.

Ever notice that it takes artists like von Trier and Lynch, who certainly wouldn't consider themselves 'horror filmmakers,' to push horror forward a few leaps?

Yes. But, then, they're not constrained by the expectations of a "horror" genre.
robyn_ma
Mar. 4th, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC)
'if someone is willing to pay the fee and abide by the strictures I've set forth here, well...alas, I always need the money.'

Truth.

Are you gonna impose a minimum page count so that you don't get a bunch of one-page microstories? Then again, hey, 50 microstories is $2500.

Also, if someone actually sends you a novel-length manuscript at, say, 450 pages (or $22,500), does that mean you'll take us all out for ice cream?
greygirlbeast
Mar. 4th, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC)

Are you gonna impose a minimum page count so that you don't get a bunch of one-page microstories?

Nope. No minimum. No maximum.

Also, if someone actually sends you a novel-length manuscript at, say, 450 pages (or $22,500), does that mean you'll take us all out for ice cream?

The very idea amuses me enormously, that someone would might pay that for a critique, considering the average advance on a novel is something like $2,000-$3,000.



stsisyphus
Mar. 4th, 2010 08:47 pm (UTC)
Also, if someone actually sends you a novel-length manuscript at, say, 450 pages (or $22,500)...

Jesus fuck, if anyone has that kind of money to drop on getting someone to copyedit and comment on a manuscript, then they...

Fuck, the mind boggles to conceive an imaginative portrait of the kind of person who would actually be able to do this.

Which is not to say that the money wouldn't be well-deserved in a karmic sense, but daaaaahmmmmn...
greygirlbeast
Mar. 4th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)

Fuck, the mind boggles to conceive an imaginative portrait of the kind of person who would actually be able to do this.

I agree it's fucked, but people do it, and then publish the books themselves (and here we get into the shadowy world of "vanity press").
chris_walsh
Mar. 6th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
'if someone is willing to pay the fee and abide by the strictures I've set forth here, well...alas, I always need the money.'

Truth.


We need someone to show that it's possible to abide by the structures, i.e. I somehow picture Neil Gaiman taking Caitlin up on the offer. He'd behave properly!
jdack
Mar. 4th, 2010 05:52 pm (UTC)
I'd wager that's a pretty brilliant move actually. Will scare off quite a few of the potential submitters, but might potentially make a few dollars.

Sounds like win/win to me.
(Deleted comment)
andrian6
Mar. 4th, 2010 06:32 pm (UTC)
Agreed. Gods, the work placed in shaping the glass...
unknownbinaries
Mar. 4th, 2010 06:16 pm (UTC)
I wish I'd had that chandelier to hand when someone tried to say in front of me that glass is not as valid an art form as painting or drawing. They were attempting to agree with me on something, I think, but that comment still made me want to shake them vigorously, until they started thinking before they spoke.
readingthedark
Mar. 4th, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC)
The portrait of you two is great and the Chiuly chandelier is well-captured.
greygirlbeast
Mar. 4th, 2010 06:38 pm (UTC)

The portrait of you two is great

I agree, and it's all the cooler because it was an accident.
txtriffidranch
Mar. 4th, 2010 07:17 pm (UTC)
I say you should go for it, and charge the same exact rate for lazy college students who want you to write their term papers for them. If they're that desperate, then take that money and run like hell.

Semiseriously, the reason you're getting inundated with unsolicited manuscripts is because damn near every wannabe writer around is looking for an "in" with an established writer or other celebrity. I heard horror stories at last year's ABA convention, where you had wannabes in line to talk to Leonard Nimoy and trying to shove their manuscripts on him. No, they claimed they weren't asking him to "discover" them. All they wanted was a few words that they could use on editors: "Rejected? But Len told me it was 'written on paper'!"
greygirlbeast
Mar. 4th, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC)

I say you should go for it, and charge the same exact rate for lazy college students who want you to write their term papers for them.

Been there, done that, back in 1993 and '94. It used to pay the bills.
txtriffidranch
Mar. 4th, 2010 07:53 pm (UTC)
Me, I tried that in '99. I had so many lazy slobs expect me to write reference material for their term papers on comics that I finally started charging for them. All that did was make sure they never came back. Win/win for me.
derekcfpegritz
Mar. 4th, 2010 08:01 pm (UTC)
I loved Antichrist, even though it scared me so bad I've prettymuch given up dating forever. I don't understand why so many think the film is misogynistic, though: yeah, it's about a patently Crazy Bitch, but there isn't any content in the film that suggests all women are psychopaths.
fornikate
Mar. 4th, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC)
So much of his work is about 'punishing' women, though. Dogville, Antichrist, Breaking the Waves, etc.
But he also made porn that's female friendly.

So, I dunno.
ardiril
Mar. 4th, 2010 08:28 pm (UTC)
"Hydrarguros" has sold to Subterranean Press - à juste titre.
fusijui
Mar. 4th, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC)
Chihuly -- a man of good Innsmouth stock, if that isn't an oxymoron -- has, over the last decades, successfully taught the human inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest to happily greet the day when power is handed over to our new siphonophorid masters.

(Tried to comment about Chihuly yesterday and his Museum of Glass, but messed up the URL tags and scrapped it - but I'm guessing you already know it well...)
greygirlbeast
Mar. 4th, 2010 09:16 pm (UTC)

but I'm guessing you already know it well...

I do, indeed.
stsisyphus
Mar. 4th, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
Also, please tell me you have someone who can draft up a legally binding contract for the ms work in the event anyone takes you up on this.
greygirlbeast
Mar. 4th, 2010 09:14 pm (UTC)
Also, please tell me you have someone who can draft up a legally binding contract for the ms work in the event anyone takes you up on this.

Yes, I would have this done by someone in legal at Writers House. That said, I honestly don't expect anyone to ever take me up on this.

Edited at 2010-03-04 09:15 pm (UTC)
fornikate
Mar. 4th, 2010 10:06 pm (UTC)
I was disappointed to discover that was not Willem Dafoe's penis.
joshrupp
Mar. 4th, 2010 10:21 pm (UTC)
Chiuly ... Cthulhu ... Chiuly ... Cthulhu ...

Am I THE ONLY ONE WHO SEES?!
fusijui
Mar. 5th, 2010 12:36 am (UTC)
Nah, you're not the only one. But like I say, everyone within a a couple hundred miles of the guy has been trained to take it for granted.

Added bonus: Pilchuk, as in Chihuly's glass school, comes from the name "Red Water" in Chinook Jargon. RED WITH THE BLOOD OF MAMMALS, that is.
joshrupp
Mar. 5th, 2010 11:39 pm (UTC)
Omigod. We. Are so. Dead.
fusijui
Mar. 6th, 2010 03:46 am (UTC)
Deep Ones, Elder Things, whatever, man -- it's all love, only love!
Oh, heh, heh, well, a little blood, it's like, you know, a rite of passage thing.

Come on, now. Feast your eyes on any collection of Tch'khoogh'li artifacts. Those sexy curves, those glossy wet neon planes, the liquid marble lips, the starry-eyed bulbs and longing tips bursting out gravity-free -- can't you hear it? I'm telling you, someday They're gonna come and free us from the shackles of our disgusting skeletons, and we are *so* totally on the guest list for that rave under the waves. Stupendous and unheard-of beats await us below. Down there it's lit up like a holocaust of Ecstasy and freedom!

Sure, yeah, I do worry that the Opposition's global warming will poach us in our broth. But if not, we'll party our asses off amidst wonder and glory forever.

Sorry for you poor bastards living away from the coast :( :( :( O well
elmocho
Mar. 4th, 2010 10:26 pm (UTC)
On the critiquing:

I would put something in there about a standard font size on the pages, otherwise some trickster will give you a bunch of stuff with 6-point type.

Font standardization would also be good in case they find some agate font that remains tiny even at 10-12 point. Courier New would be pretty good, since it tends to add a page and a half as opposed to Times New Roman.
greygirlbeast
Mar. 4th, 2010 10:37 pm (UTC)
I would put something in there about a standard font size on the pages, otherwise some trickster will give you a bunch of stuff with 6-point type.

All of this would be specified, yes. And I would only accept mss. in Courier.
jacobluest
Mar. 5th, 2010 12:40 am (UTC)
I think Anti-Christ--treating art as an effort to create a machine to generate meaning--is one which inexorably disassembles itself. What I took away immediately from it? You don't need an elaborate, improbable Saw-esque setup to take people outside their comfort zone. Horror is helplessness before a woman with scissors. Everything else is extraneous.

~Jacob
spank_an_elf
Mar. 5th, 2010 01:25 am (UTC)
"The wind and rain lashed a peridot sea, and the only sign of life we spotted was a lone eider duck bobbing in the surf well away from shore."

That sentence prompted tears in my eyes.

I am embarrassed to admit I only discovered Dale Chihuly's work this past year when I saw his art at the Delaware Art museum. That chandelier is fabulous.
greygirlbeast
Mar. 5th, 2010 02:48 am (UTC)

That sentence prompted tears in my eyes.

Thank you.
spank_an_elf
Mar. 5th, 2010 07:16 am (UTC)
No, thank you for giving me such a tangible, real experience in a few words. That was a writing lesson.

( 34 comments — Have your say! )