March 1st, 2006


Spring, as I reckon the seasons.

I have always, since I was a small child, imagined the year as a wheel or a sort of clock. The wheel is divided into four portions: Winter (December—February), Spring (March—May), Summer (June—August), and Autumn (September—November). The new year falls roughly at midnight on the wheel/clock. So, for my part, forget about March 20th or 21st being the first day of Spring. Sure, it's the vernal equinox and a low sabbat, Alban Eiler, Ostara, whatever word one prefers to know it by. That's fine. But, for me, March 1st is always the beginning of spring. Winter ended yesterday. Here in Atlanta, we'll have appropriate springy weather, highs around 71F and sunny and everything is budding and blooming. Yesterday, Spooky and I gathered oak (duir) branches, and I spent part of this morning working them into wreaths and hanging them to dry. Those of you who wish to continue with winter for another three weeks are welcome to do so.

Some niggling git over at, calling itself simply "Gay Liberal Agenda 'I'm coming for you next!'", has posted the following one-star "review" for To Charles Fort, With Love:

Treading water., February 27, 2006: Wake up Caitlin. It's not 1996 anymore! Poppy Z. Brite and Christa Faust have both moved on to other things, maybe you should take a hint!

Yep. That's the whole "review." Its inappropriateness should be obvious, as it completely neglects to discuss the book that it's supposedly commenting upon. Personally, I'd also say that it's inappropriate in that it addresses me in the familiar and fails to insert a comma after "wake up," but let's not get picky. I'd very much appreciate it if those of you who also find offensive the use of's reader's comment feature to annoy authors would click this link to the the book's page and report this to Amazon as inappropriate. In the past, I will admit that Amazon has been very good and prompt about removing this sort of nonsense. Meanwhile, I should ponder where exactly it is this entity thinks I should take a hint and move on to. Perhaps it's time for me to write het chick lit. Maybe I should throw caution to the winds and start writing Westerns. Perhaps I could be the next Larry McMurtry (which is meant as no slight to Mr. McMurtry, whom I rather admire). Maybe, instead of remaining mired in this bog of weird fiction and sf and dark fantasy, which is oh so 1996, I should move along to a series of wildly popular novels about an elderly spinster librarian who, with the help of her taxidermied cat, Mr. Treacle, foils the dastardly plots of a world-wide terrorist syndicate. Yes, Mr. (or Ms.) Gay Liberal Agenda "I'm coming for you next!" definitely has me thinking. Because, clearly, whatever docbrite and faustfatale do, I should do next. After all, that's why they call it art and not follow-the-leader.

Speaking of To Charles Fort, With Love, I am very pleased to announce that "La Peau Verte" has been selected for both John Betancourt's Horror: The Best of 2006 and Stephen Jones' Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, Vol. 17. "La Peau Verte" was always my personal favourite from the collection, followed by "The Dead and the Moonstruck" and "Spindleshanks," and it's drad indeed to see that others agree with me. The moral: drink more absinthe, Caitlín.

Yesterday, Bill Schafer sent me Gail Cross' layout of Ted's cover for Alabaster, and I'm very happy with it. Gail used the same font she used for the "Waycross" chapbook, which seemed right to me. I'm especially pleased there will be no lettering on the spine, which Bill and I agreed would defeat the composition of Ted's painting. Anyway, it's behind the cut, if you wanna have a peek:

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As for yesterday, there isn't much to say. The black mood began to break apart in the early afternoon, but I was still begin the new vignette, so, after sending Daughter of Hounds away to my editor in NYC (about twelve hours ahead of the DL), I spent the entire day and much of the night working on paleontology entries for Wikipedia, which has become a new obsession of mine. I completely rewrote the entry for Tylosaurus and added an entry for the hadrosaurine Lophorhothon atopus. That's what a dork I am. Later, we noted Fat Tuesday with red beans and rice and collards and lots of Nutella. No, there's no connection between Mardi Gras and Nutella, at least not one I am aware of, but we were both craving the stuff, so there you go. By the way, Poppy's Mardi Gras photo had me snickering all damn day. Later, we watched Miami Ink, because we both have the hots for Cat Von D, and then I read two stories from Bradbury's The Day It Rained Forever aloud to Spooky, "The Beginning of the End" and "The Time of Going Away." Later still, she studied Jessica Macbeth and Brian Froud's Faerie Oracle while I did a little work with the Ogham cards and my Irish dictionary. Sleep came sometime after 3:30 a.m. And that, kiddos, was my final day of Winter 2006.

More later...

Postscript: That was fast. The niggling git's "review" has already been swept away...

Addendum: MDS 7 and Others

We're a little late with February's Sirenia Digest Monster Doodle Sculpture giveaway. But without further ado, the winner of MDS 7 is Charles Porter! (insert celebratory noises here) And this month's monster is the gueir'dlöp, one of Nebari Prime's few venomous sea creatures. Gueir'dlöp are restricted to shallow, icy bays and inlets on a couple of the planet's southern continents, and the black spines along their backs are highly toxic. The orange stripes and deep blue underbelly act as camouflage, as the gueir'dlöp can most often be found waiting patiently in thickets of fire weed (which grows upside down from the undersides of large boulders), watching for unsuspecting prey. There are photos, of course, behind the cut:

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Subscribe to Sirenia Digest today (or tomorrow, perhaps) and you too might win a Monster Doodle Sculpture. Plus, March's issue will include "Alabaster" and one of Ted Naifeh's illustrations for the story, as a sneak preview of...well...Alabaster, of course. By the way, the limited edition of Alabaster will be signed by Ted as well as by me. I just found that out this afternoon.

See you folks in the morning...