January 6th, 2013


"Where on my soul I sit upon my bed."

1) I have no Turkish publisher, and there are no plans for an authorized Turkish-language edition of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Though, on Friday, I did receive an email from someone purporting to be working with my nonexistent Turkish publisher, requesting an interview to help promote the edition, and, also, asking me for a more Turkish friendly title, as the English title wasn't working well. So, um. I forwarded all this to my agent, and it began bouncing around Writers House, and their foreign rights department is on it. Piracy. Whee. Pirates that happily ask for your cooperation. Double whee.

6. The Dreamwidth move will happen this coming week. Note that this will involve a NEW Dreamwidth account, one that does not yet exits, not the old one. I'll post links once it's up and running, once all my LJ entries and comments have been transferred.

2) I should have posted it yesterday, but just didn't think to do so. Oh, the Table of Contents for The Ape's Wife and Others, that's what:

Author's Introduction
"The Steam Dancer (1896)"
"The Maltese Unicorn"
“One Tree Hill”
“The Collier’s Venus (1898)”
“Tall Bodies”
“As Red As Red”
“Slouching Towards the House of Glass Coffins”
“Tidal Forces”
“The Sea Troll’s Daughter”
“Random Notes Before a Fatal Crash"
"The Ape's Wife"

Every other story, beginning with the first, will have an illustration by Vince Locke. The cover is being painted by Lee Moyer, with whom it is a joy to be working again.

3) I will never again agree to do an interview that requires two days to complete.

4) Yesterday, my contributors copy of the Alabaster: Wolves hardback came! It's gorgeous. If you haven't ordered a copy, do so NOW. Go. Now. Order. Do it via Amazon, save $8.85! Anyway, I only just opened the package this morning. There's a photo behind the cut. Why am I wearing sunglasses? Because I only got about four and a half hours sleep this morning:

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5. Okay, so. Yesterday. After the blog entry, I did the last bit of (rather complicated, tedious) editing to Black Helicopters before sending it off to Bill. There was email with both Bill and Lee, mostly regarding the cover for the new collection. I finally started the interview about three and kept at it until about six, when I'd bloody well had enough of talking about myself for one day. Last night, a trip to the market and pizza. We wanted to play The Secret World, but the idiotic Mayan prophecy world event is still running, and it's the only MMO world event I've ever seen that actually makes it impossible for you to simply quest and play the game. We've hardly played for the last month because of this nonsense. But, tomorrow is – thank fuck – the last day. So, last night, we played more Rift, instead. Selwynn and Miisya are in the Kingdom of Pelladane and in Seratos, and have both reached Level 52. And I truly wish more gamers would think of MMOs as immersive storytelling and not as games. After Pelladane, we read more of The Cloud Atlas, which might almost be as good as the film, and then I finished reading Roland A. Gangloff's Dinosaurs Under the Aurora and began Susannah Clapp's A Card from Angela Carter. Then I read from the fifth (and last) Bloom County volume, 1987-1989. And then...no sleep. Sometime around dawn, we got about an inch of snow.

Now I'm going to try to brush my teeth without putting out my one good eye.

Neither Awake Nor Asleep,
Aunt Beast
Tyrannosaurus rex

Paleontology and I

So, today I renewed my membership to the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. I was nominated to and accepted into SVP twenty-eight years ago, and it's been one of the very few long-term bits of continuity in my life, one of the only constants. That makes it precious.

In 2005, when, with Dr. David Schwimmer, I published a report of the first evidence of velociraptorine theropods from the Gulf Coastal Plain of the US, I thought that was it for me and paleo. Maybe it should be. Lately, I don't know. I miss it terribly. And I have a storage unit filled with Upper Cretaceous specimens that need to be prepared, curated, studied, and eventually placed in a university or museum collection. There's a great fauna from the Bluffport Marl of Sumter County, Alabama, which I collected in April of 2002, including a large sea turtle (?dermochelyid), possibly the latest (most recent) record of a Cretaceous bird from the Gulf Coast, a large terrestrial lizard maxilla (the Bluffport is marine), along with mosasaur, shark, and bony fish remains. I have an ankylosaurian tooth from the older Eutaw Formation of Hale County, Alabama. One of, to my knowledge, only three ankylosaurian specimens from the state. That was collected, I think, in the summer of 1998. There's a juvenile pterosaur femur – the only subadult pterosaur from the eastern US – that I collected from the Mooreville Chalk of Greene County, Alabama in February of 1983 (originally misidentified as an ichthyornithiform bird; this one isn't in my collection, but at McWane Science Center in Birmingham, RMM 3275 [RMM Field No. 171-02-1]). All of these specimens need to be described. Unfinished business.

But that takes time. And money. And space to prepare and examine specimens. And the wherewithal to travel to other collections to make comparisons. Mostly, ultimately, it's a matter of being sure the material, prepared or not, and all it's field data, winds up in a good collection, a university or museum collection. It's not about me getting to describe it – as much as I would like to do so – but about it being properly, permanently conserved.

But it's on my mind lately.

Aunt Beast