June 9th, 2004


these bags beneath my eyes

This thing with the Ambien, I just don't know whether it's working out or not. Through an unparalleled act of self-control, I was in bed by 12:30 a.m. That hasn't happened in ages. I put on my Chi Chian t-shirt, Spooky read me Dr. Seuss' If I Ran the Zoo, I took my Ambien, and fell asleep watching The Thing on the iBook. I drifted near wakefullness once, just in time to hear McCready yell, "Well, fuck you too!" at the Blair monster. Then I awoke about 6:30 a.m., made a trip to the toilet and back (quite a jaunt in this place), and upon returning to the bedroom discovered that I was quite entirely awake. I tied a scarf about my face (with Spooky's help), then lay there about half an hour, watching the room grow lighter (not a very thick scarf, I'm afraid). Finally, in frustration, I asked Spooky for more Ambien. She reluctantly gave me a third of a tablet, which put me back to sleep until just before 10 a.m.

Thanks to a Sobe Adrenaline Rush, I figure I'm now about 74% awake. At seven this morning, I was probably 95% awake.

So...there's no way to know how today will go. I want to get this story started (though I did learn yesterday that it isn't due until the end of July, and I'd thought it was due on the first, which is a huge relief).

My thanks to Gregory, for what I'm assuming is the last of the -0th birthday presents. The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (for XBox) arrived yesterday afternoon. I think this just might be the coolest game ever (despite the first-person shooter feature). We shall have a go at it tonight (and I shall return to Prince of Persia, as well, because my resolve is greater than any games' contrivances). If anyone else sent a gift and I've not received it, you should probably e-mail Spooky at humglum@yahoo.com and figure out what's up. Again, my sleepy thanks to everyone.

I've gotten a little better, the last year or so, about how I react to what people on the internet write about my work (as opposed to actual published reviews in actual magazines), but I came across one yesterday, in a "review" of Love in Vein II, that I think bears remarking upon, if only to underscore the significance of Sadie's comments, regarding her own work, on p. 18 of Low Red Moon (Roc edition). I quote:

Things take a turn for the worse with Caitlin R Kiernan's "Bela's Plot". I saw the title and mentally groaned, please don't be Bela Lugosi, I thought...but it was. At least it was a few trendy vamp-wannabe's who sit at his graveside and read him poetry. I know she's Poppy's best mate, but that's no excuse for writing such pap. She has this odd stylistic quirk where she takes two words, and puts them together to make a new word, almost portmanteau: milkfaded; too-blue; smudge-tinted; coke-fine; lipsticky; creamslick; tuxedo-neat. Most of these are in the first three pages. The first one I thought was good, but then they just kept on coming.

Would it be petty of me to correct his grammar?

I just can't help but be amazed at how our schools have spawned a generation of supposedly literate adults (at least, this person claims to be an adult) who seem never to have encountered the works of James Joyce or William Faulkner or any of the other authors who instigated mine and Sadie's "odd stylistic quirk [sic]" of creating new compound words in an effort to make the English language just a little more flexible and descriptive. Why, when faced with "novelty" (my older style wasn't novel, mind you, unless you'd missed an awful lot of important authors before me) do so many readers balk and withdraw in anger and disgust and confusion, shrouding themselves in arbitrary grammatical "rules" they hardly seem to understand in the first place? Never mind that my style has evolved a great deal since "Bela's Plot" (written late in 1994) and rarely employs these compounderations nowadays; this sort of criticism remains as offensive and idiotic as it ever was, and it points to one of the reasons that genre fiction is so ghettoized.

Yesterday, nothing was written. And you already know about the eyeball Nazis. We're still looking for a way to thwart them. At this point, it'd be easier just to get the frelling eye exams and be done with it. But it's the principle. What next? No dental prothestics without your dentist's approval (and a kickback)? No make-up without a letter from a dermatologist? The status quo's antiquated conception of The Body as immutable and sacred is once again standing in the way of those who'd make alterations. Hell, in Georgia we now have the twat police to protect us against genital piercings.

Now I'm angry again, angry and sleepy.

Come on, guys. Talk to me. Keep me awake. There are worse things in my dreams than grammar facists and eyeball Nazis.
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