October 2nd, 2006


Halloween the 2nd (Part One)

Yeah, so, the less said about Saturday, the better. We shall merely call it a Lost Day, understatement though that may be, and be done with it. I was not at my best; these things happen.

By yesterday, I was back on the horse (so to speak) and did 1,420 words on the last (I think) piece for Tales from the Woeful Platypus. I'm calling it "Excerpts from The Memoirs of a Martian Demirep," and it takes place on the same Mars as "Bradbury Weather." The constant reader knows that I suck at synopsis — as I am artistically opposed to synopsis — but, here we have Sharonov Crater at the end of the Kasei Valley, and here we have a teeming squalid city, and here a carnival of death, and it all came about because of a Dorian Cleavenger painting (behind the cut). Mr. Cleavenger's paintings are often the salvation of the platypus, when I've done, say, three vignettes and half a long short story in a week and a half (or so) and the ideas won't come. This was the case with "Excerpts from The Memoirs of a Martian Demirep." I do sort of wish that his women were a little less cheesecake. I'd find them even sexier if they didn't all look like fancy whores and strippers with silicone tits. Still, here's the painting that is to blame:

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I hope that Sirenia Digest 10 was enjoyed by all (who have subscribed). I'd still like to hear what readers thought of mine and Sonya's collaboration, "At the Praying Windows" (and your thoughts on "Untitled 23," for that matter). Feel free to comment here or e-mail if you're shy (greygirlbeast(at)gmail(dot)com). Sonya passed along this comment from Greer Gilman:

You really do write as one person: I don't see the seams. Maybe it's the interweaving obsessions? The sea, yes; but also of alienation. And a kind of poetry of violation.

And setsuled wrote:

It effectively combined your sort of enveloping hurtfulness and Sonya's penchant for romanticism through your similar love of language...I hope you two write more together. I have a feeling that, over time, you might become even more effective at using each other to good effect.

In fact, we have already decided that we shall be writing more together.

This morning, before breakfast, Spooky gave me a little China bowl with a squid painted on the bottom. You know, the sort of bowl that holds your soy sauce when you eat sushi. For the moment, it is my most treasured possession. It held my wasabi rice crackers this morning, while I ate my breakfast ramen. Oh, also check out squid_soup, a new LJ she has begun to chronicle her wicked doll-making ways.

Last night, we watched Mariano Baino's very, very creepy Dark Waters (1994; originally released in US as Dead Waters). I'd never even heard of this film before, and wow. Few films have managed so well to convey the dread and cosmicism of Lovecraft. The film, by an Italian director and an English writer, filmed in the Ukraine just after the fall of the Soviet Union, owes an obvious great debt to "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" and other works by HPL, spiced with the look and much of the iconography of directors like Argento and Bava. There's just been a new DVD release of the film, including an awesome boxed set with lots of "making of" goodies and one or two of Baino's shorts. Really, if you're into Lovecraft or Italian horror or things that go bump in the sea, you need to check this out. Too often, I think, celluloid disasters like Stuart Gordon's Dagon (2001) and John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness (1995) win praise for bringing Lovecraft to the screen, even though they've missed the point entirely (Carpenter had already made a damn near perfect "Lovecraftian" film, of course, with The Thing in '82). And strange little gems like Dark Waters and Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural (1975; dir. by Richard Blackburn) are consigned to obscurity.

After the movie, there was a documentary on the Science Channel about the discovery that mysterious bursts of gamma radiation (GRBs), first detected in the mid-1960s, may be the result of hypernovas marking the deaths of fast-rotating, super-massive stars or collapsars in the depths of stellar nurseries.

I've been spending far too much time on Drakengaard 2, which I think is the first videogame to really win my heart since Iko and Shadow of the Colossus. Three and a half hours Saturday night, and another two and a half last night after the movie. But I'm more than halfway through the story. Before I fell asleep, Spooky read me Virginia Lee Burton's Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel, but I had nightmares anyway.

Okay. There are e-mails that should have been answered two days ago, and a circus on Mars is calling me. More than ever, I am become Scheherazade, telling my tales to forestall execution or something worse. Oh, and Happy 2nd Day of Halloween. More later...

Postscript: Here's an extra little bit of wonder, Scientists see the softer side of Tyrannosaurus rex. Thanks, Adam!