March 5th, 2006

Shaw

they do sometimes fall

Spooky is working on a wonderful new doll, which I have named Sweet William. This one's not for sale. It shall be mine, as I have fallen quite in love with it. I hope Sweet William may be the beginning of a new direction for Spooky's dolls. And yes, that is a piece of spaghetti holding Sweet William's arms onto his torso. Around here, we're great believers in multi-tasking.

I fear I have actually become a bona-fide Wikipedian. Here it is not even eleven a.m., and already I've done an entry today (Nodosauridae).

matociquala (Elizabeth Bear) and cpolk (Chelsea Polk) have coined a literary neologism for a certain sort of sf, a term which I'm finding extremely useful: eco-gothic. I quote: "We look around at the world and we're fucking scared. There's this underlying idea of the implacability of the universe and the smallness of humanity. We know that there is no guiding, caring force. That life is amazing in its tenacity and persistence, but that ultimately, it's completely pitiless. And if you take it too far, if you unbalance it enough, it will crush you. This idea of the tenacity of life in a pitiless universe. And nobody else seems to fucking GET IT. Because life is tenacious, but humanity is disposable. It's not a tragedy that the passenger pigeon perished. And it won't be a tragedy when we go either...God doesn't care if we persist. We're not special. We're not essential. The universe doesn't love us bestest of all. Because you know, there's this critique that a Black Novel is not Relevant because it's about Blackness, not Humanity. Which upon I call bullshit. Because a human novel isn't relevant. Because it's about humanity. Six point five billion ugly bags of mostly water on a second-class planet in an arm of a barred spiral galaxy. Pretending like Hell that we signify." Click here for the transcript from which this quote was cobbled together.

Certainly, all of my sf would fall into this category of "eco-gothic." The Dry Salvages, "Riding the White Bull," "Faces in Revolving Souls," "The Pearl Diver," "Persephone," "Hoar Isis," "Between the Flatirons and the Deep Green Sea"...all of it. And I think one thing I found particularly intriguing was the suggestion that writers of "eco-gothic" sf may, perhaps, do so because "we were the second-class geeks who took life sciences instead of physics with the hard-line geeks." That's one of my dirty little secrets. Sure, I took chemistry and physics and mathematics in college, but I had no real aptitude for it. It was in the life and earth sciences that I excelled, particularly in paleontology, which is often disparagingly labeled by the math and physics types as a "soft science." Anyway, it's just something I wanted to note, because of the things I said about sf on Friday, and because it's something I want to think about. I have no problem with a neologism or a literary category so long as it is useful and needed and I suspect this one may be both. It is, of course, inherently Lovecraftian, and minor caveats and questions do arise. Perhaps I will come back to those later. Not only does this remind me why I shall never appeal to those sf readers who dislike "dystopian" sf, but also why I shall likely always find myself in a rather minuscule fraction of Wiccans. The gods do not care because, after all, they're only hopeful metaphors for needful humans. Anyway, thank you Bear and Chelsea.

I should also thank the Bear for pointing out the iBuzz. Wow. I'm just saying, if someone ever felt the need to send such an item my way, I'd not be...er...ungrateful.

And then there's yesterday...
chi4

Addendum: In which the author...well, you'll see.

So, yesterday didn't begin well at all. It began black and grumpy and not wanting to take me anywhere but down. I'd had two fruitless days trying to start the new vignette for Sirenia Digest #4, which should be finished already because Vince has to have time to illustrate it. For two or three weeks I've had this Dracula thing in my head, a piece about Mina which assumes Stoker's novel ends an entirely different way. But after the research and two false starts and two days with the green lady, it just wasn't happening. Mostly, I'd realised that it was a short story, and possibly even a novella, not a vignette, and realising this left me frustrated and at a loss for what I would write about instead. After breakfast, I took a very hot bath and washed my hair, and then there was a helpful blue pill, and then a Red Bull, and then Spooky and I took a long walk. By the time we got back to the house my shitty mood had pretty much broken apart. I did a Wikipedia entry on the ankylosaur Struthiosaurus, and then we went to Candler Park to get slices at Fellini's (mushroom and spinich).

Before we left home, I'd had Spooky call Piercing Experience for me to see if I needed an appointment to have my labret redone. I removed it way back in the spring of 2000, after a long illness when I'd been seized with the need to purge my body of metal. But I've been wanting it back for a long time now, and wanting other piercings as well. Turned out I didn't need an appointment, so after our early dinner we walked to PE. After examining my scar, Robert, who was to do the piercing, decided he could most likely dilate to old hole and there'd be very little actual new piercing involved. So, I picked out my jewlery, a fourteen gauge spike (implant-grade titanium) in teal, and Spooky and I were shown to a room. And just as Robert was putting on his gloves, someone switched the stereo from a Prince CD to the Resevoir Dogs soundtrack, Stephen frelling Wright and K-BILLY'S super sounds of the seventies — "Stuck In The Middle With You." I was trying not to laugh, but then Robert started in with the little dance Mr. Blond does right before he cuts the cop's ear off, and it was just too perfect. Anyway, the whole thing went off without a hitch. There wasn't even any pain today. And I've been reminded, again, how good piercing can be for me. I believe I'm going to have a bridge piercing (a horizontal surface piercing near the top of the nose, between the eyes) done next month, as soon as my labret is fully healed.

And after that, because Amanda Downum (stillsostrange) is a sweetheart and had sent me and Spooky tix to the Sisters of Mercy show, we drove across town to the Roxy. I don't know how the tour's been going, what sort of reviews its been getting, but last night it was wonderful. The Warlocks opened. Neither of us had heard them before, but they're something along the lines of My Bloody Valentine or the Jesus and Mary Chain, sort of...spacey, trippy, crunchy, totally drad. And the Sisters were in really fine form. Spooky was delighted that they did a Sisterhood song, "Giving Ground." The only annoying incident, and it was only mildy annoying, was a drunk chick in the line to the bathroom who kept insisting that I was "somebody." Finally, she promised me she wouldn't tell anyone, that I was "somebody," just as a stall opened and I was able to escape her attentions. The whole thing was giving me flashbacks to the day at LAX when some idiot decided that I was Marilyn Manson and could not be convinced otherwise. But, yeah, a wonderful evening, so thank you Amanda. You sooooo rock.

Okay. The Oscars tonight. More later. Oh, and matociquala has found a use of "eco-gothic" dating back to 1996, in a description of Stephen Palmer's novel, Memory Seed.