?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

time on Planet Caitlín

So, yeah. Spring forward, fall back, thank you very much, Benjamin frelling Franklin, but for the fourth year running, we shall be ignoring that nonsense, preferring, instead, the consistency and stability of Caitlín Standard Time.

I think kava (Piper methysticum) is my new best friend.

This is going to be a rambly sort of entry. The last three days have been sort of rambly. They certainly have not proceeded in a straight line. Of course, few things ever do, but the minds of women and men and the other genders would often have you think that they do. Me, I like wavy lines, and curlicues, and the Golden Curve of an ammonite's shell.

Spooky just came back from the p. o. with a check from Candlewick Press for the sum of $738.14. This is yet another payment for "The Dead and the Moonstruck," which I wrote for their YA anthology Gothic: Ten Original Dark Tales, way back in July 2003. I've lost track of how many times I've been paid now for this story (this latest seems to be for the sale of a British bookclub edition), but I think I can safely say I've made more from this single short-story sale than I have from any other. If only every short-story sale were this lucrative, the poor platypus would not always be in such a foul mood. Or perhaps sheheit would. Perhaps platypus are foul-tempered beasts, no matter how much or how little they must get tarted up and walk the streets. You should pick up the anthology, by the way. It also includes stories by Neil Gaiman, Lemony Snicket, Gregory Maguire, and Joan Aiken (and, yes, many others), and there's a trade paperback edition now. Money from the sky, that's always a good thing.

My apologies for the October issue of Sirenia Digest still not having gone out. I'm waiting on Vince's finished illustration for "The Ammonite Violin (Murder Ballad No. 4)," which I hope to receive this afternoon. Your patience is much appreciated.

Ah...what else? Rushing through House of Leaves, so soon we'll be back on track with Only Revolutions (unless The Road gets me further sidetracked). Last night, I saw Grey Gardens, the 1975 documentary on Edith Bouvier Beale and her mother and their squalid 28-room mansion in East Hampton, New York. I cannot even begin to comprehend the sort of mentality that could turn such a horror story into a broadway musical, much less a feature film starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore.

I finally saw Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate (1980), which, I think, just goes to prove that the failures of some are more wonderful by ten than the successes of most. I found the film beautiful and brilliant throughout, and whatever rough spots there were are likely the product of Cimino having been forced by United Artists to reduce his original cut, which ran 5 hours and 25 minutes, to a 3 hour, 39 minute version (the cut I saw). I would dearly love to see the original full-length film.

We had dinner with Byron Friday night, which is always a good thing. Then Saturday, I received an unexpected invitation to an early Samhain gathering. Spooky decided she wanted to stay home and sleep because she was feeling a bit under the weather, so I went alone, returning home late yesterday afternoon. It was, overall, a generally positive experience and included my first skyclad group work. I spent half the night wandering peacefully alone through the woods, hearing owls and coyotes and other things, and watched the sunrise for the first time in ages. There was a wonderful conversation I can now only partly recall, concerning the "divinity" of non-conscious Nature and the goddess as abstraction and metaphor. My great thanks to my hosts. Spooky and I will be doing our own Samhain thing tomorrow night, of course, once the trick-or-treaters have been fed.

Okay. Time to make the stupid doughnuts. At least the headache I woke with has begun to fade.

Comments

( 23 comments — Have your say! )
robyn_ma
Oct. 30th, 2006 05:52 pm (UTC)
Cimino, I think, took the heat for every other big-name director at the time who was going over schedule and over budget; Heaven's Gate is really not all that bad, and certainly head and shoulders above most of what's produced these days. At the same time, he did contract for a far shorter and less expensive film and he was pretty arrogant throughout — Steven Bach's book Final Cut is a pretty good account of the whole fiasco (I was more in the 'aw, give Cimino a break' camp before I read it; United Artists was not as much of a villain in this case as many have been led to believe). Cimino became a kind of symbol of the excess of the hot-shot directors of the late '70s. Yet Heaven's Gate wasn't even really the death knell; things really came to a head when John Landis effectively killed Vic Morrow and two Vietnamese children on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie (again, I was willing to give Landis the benefit of the doubt until I read Outrageous Conduct).
greygirlbeast
Oct. 30th, 2006 06:06 pm (UTC)
At the same time, he did contract for a far shorter and less expensive film and he was pretty arrogant throughout

Agreed, by the accounts I've seen.

Now I have to find both the books you list...
robyn_ma
Oct. 30th, 2006 07:40 pm (UTC)
The short version of Final Cut is that United Artists wanted the prestige of working with Cimino, who'd just won a basket of Oscars for The Deer Hunter. They gave him a budget far south of the eventual $40 million, but still not peanuts. He pretty much went bugfuck, shooting tons more footage than he would ever need. United Artists kept indulging him until it became apparent that the production was out of control. It was pretty much a no-win situation and a no-heroes, no-villains situation. The gamble could've resulted in an Apocalypse Now, but it resulted in Heaven's Gate...whose actual merits/demerits as a piece of film got overshadowed by the ceaseless negative buzz about it. I think one director or another said 'That could've been any of us.' Cimino, Spielberg, Coppola, Friedkin -- they were all swinging for the fences with other people's (big) money back around then. Add Easy Riders, Raging Bulls to your reading list for more on that.

With Landis, saying he 'killed' Morrow and the children was perhaps too-strong wording on my part, especially since a jury cleared him, but after reading the book about it, I pretty much concluded that if not for Landis' arrogance in thinking he could get the helicopter in the same shot as the actors (who shouldn't have been anywhere near the chopper) during a long night shoot, those three people would still be alive. Well, except maybe Vic Morrow, who might be dead of far less violent causes by now.
(Deleted comment)
blakesrealm
Oct. 30th, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC)
I was wondering if that was her or not, and you're right it is absolutely gorgeous!
edwarddain
Oct. 30th, 2006 06:45 pm (UTC)
Another rite of passage...
The first group skyclad event, and even more so if it was an outdoors event. And a night spent under the stars after such an experience is wonderful on many levels. I'm glad that you mentioned this, it made me think about ritual nudity in way that I managed to forget about for awhile. It makes me ponder how to recapture it in some way.

It seems like there is less discussion these days about skyclad work in NeoPagan writings. I wish I had the time or energy to trace out that thread in the skein.
greygirlbeast
Oct. 30th, 2006 09:26 pm (UTC)
Re: Another rite of passage...
The first group skyclad event, and even more so if it was an outdoors event. And a night spent under the stars after such an experience is wonderful on many levels. I'm glad that you mentioned this

It was very, very wonderful.
edwarddain
Oct. 31st, 2006 04:59 am (UTC)
I'm very glad for that
I'm finding that I'm passing out of a time here where I'd become very cynical about my spirituality and the ability to connect with others around it.

So reading such things is a blessing.

Thank you.
greygirlbeast
Oct. 31st, 2006 05:10 am (UTC)
Re: I'm very glad for that
Thank you.

You're welcome.
edwarddain
Oct. 31st, 2006 05:21 am (UTC)
Re: I'm very glad for that
I have a post of my own brewing on this general subject now, so I have additional thanks for you. I suppose I'll break down and ask a question. Do you feel comfortable sharing what made the whole thing so wonderful?

I can certainly understand if it is a private matter however, and really have no desire to pry if you are the slightest bit reticent to share. My apologies in advance if this is an unwelcome inquiry.
greygirlbeast
Oct. 31st, 2006 06:55 am (UTC)
Re: I'm very glad for that
Do you feel comfortable sharing what made the whole thing so wonderful?

Let me think about it. Maybe tomorrow.
jtglover
Oct. 30th, 2006 07:24 pm (UTC)
Apropos of Nothing in This Entry
"This is where the Ice Age meets the Space Age." Not exactly Dinosaurs of Mars, but I thought you might enjoy this article.
stsisyphus
Oct. 30th, 2006 07:38 pm (UTC)
By the way, I think I've gone from being ambivalent about the cover to kind of hating it.

It would have been better suited for the cover of Heavy Metal, or maybe some sourcebook for a post-apocalyptic table-top RPG in 1992. I bit my tongue when I first expressed doubts about the cover. Nevertheless, your publisher is probably correct in that the artwork will probably attract a few new readers.

Not that I am looking to further bag on artwork, but as a matter of curiosity, isn't there a mass-market version of Low Red Moon coming out soon-ish? Have you seen the proposed artwork for it?
greygirlbeast
Oct. 30th, 2006 09:25 pm (UTC)
Not that I am looking to further bag on artwork, but as a matter of curiosity, isn't there a mass-market version of Low Red Moon coming out soon-ish? Have you seen the proposed artwork for it?

There is, sometime in 2007, and I have been heavily consulted on the artwork, which will likely feature Narcissa Snow and look a bit like the new cover for Threshold.


It would have been better suited for the cover of Heavy Metal, or maybe some sourcebook for a post-apocalyptic table-top RPG in 1992.


Bingo.
stsisyphus
Oct. 30th, 2006 10:18 pm (UTC)
There is, sometime in 2007, and I have been heavily consulted on the artwork, which will likely feature Narcissa Snow and look a bit like the new cover for Threshold.

Well, that's encouraging. I do like the Threshold cover considerably more than DOH's. Funny question: why is it that novels which are marketed as genre (regardless of what they actually are, let's not retread that argument) usually use paintings, drawings, or other abstract design elements (including manipulated or montaged photography) for cover artwork whereas novels and other publication which are more commonly marketed as contemporary or mainstream fiction more frequently use straight (untouched or "fancied up") photography?

I mention this because while this might not be feasible for obvious genre works (high fantasy, mainstream sci-fi, etc), part of the appear of your works is that they tread pretty closely to "the real world" and the touches into "fantasy" or "horror" are more the highlight rather than the omnipresent norm. I don't see why a good, high-quality photograph of (taking Threshold as an example) the waterworks tunnel would be less evocative than a portrait of Dancy.

I don't have a problem with any of the above disciplines, of course, but I wonder if there's some reason that simplicity couldn't win out over all this need for oversight. That, and perhaps you could slide some work over to Spooky (I know not of this "nepotism" of which you may speak)...

Speaking of Threshold, will someone please produce the damn movie so we can save Dakota Fanning from winsome child-actor Purgatory?!
greygirlbeast
Oct. 31st, 2006 03:12 am (UTC)

Speaking of Threshold, will someone please produce the damn movie so we can save Dakota Fanning from winsome child-actor Purgatory?!


If only.

why is it that novels which are marketed as genre (regardless of what they actually are, let's not retread that argument) usually use paintings, drawings, or other abstract design elements (including manipulated or montaged photography) for cover artwork whereas novels and other publication which are more commonly marketed as contemporary or mainstream fiction more frequently use straight (untouched or "fancied up") photography?

Partly, I think this arises from the truly profound effect that Dave McKean has had on fantasy illustration, especially dark fantasy. The layered, superimposed images, etc.

I mention this because while this might not be feasible for obvious genre works (high fantasy, mainstream sci-fi, etc), part of the appear of your works is that they tread pretty closely to "the real world" and the touches into "fantasy" or "horror" are more the highlight rather than the omnipresent norm. I don't see why a good, high-quality photograph of (taking Threshold as an example) the waterworks tunnel would be less evocative than a portrait of Dancy.

In the past, things have gone both ways. With Silk, we got the portrait of Spyder and the dreamcatcher. I loved that cover. Then there was the original cover for Threshold, the trilobite, which I thought was wonderfully indirect. Then there was the cover of Low Red Moon — literally, the moon rising above trees, which would have been fine, had the image not been so dark and muddy. Then there was the cover for Murder of Angels, the Dog's Bridge, again very literal, but I liked it.

I think my main gripe with the Daughter of Hounds cover is that is manages to get Soldier so entirely wrong.

docbrite
Oct. 31st, 2006 04:33 am (UTC)
I think my main gripe with the Daughter of Hounds cover is that is manages to get Soldier so entirely wrong.

I wasn't even sure it was meant to be her, though I couldn't think who else it might be once I read the book (and loved it, and forgive me for not having commented extensively yet). In my mind, Soldier is a lot more butch and less fetish-y.

But you know what? A picture of a butch woman in dirty jeans probably wouldn't sell many books.
greygirlbeast
Oct. 31st, 2006 04:50 am (UTC)
In my mind, Soldier is a lot more butch and less fetish-y.

Yep. In truth, Spooky and I observed that this might just as well be Saben White as Soldier.

But you know what? A picture of a butch woman in dirty jeans probably wouldn't sell many books.

And that's a damn shame. ;-)
chris_walsh
Oct. 31st, 2006 02:15 pm (UTC)
But you know what? A picture of a butch woman in dirty jeans probably wouldn't sell many books.

And that's a damn shame. ;-)


I see a project for Spooky: a custom book jacket! Or at least a custom book jacket photo...
chris_walsh
Oct. 31st, 2006 01:58 pm (UTC)
So to keep the time straight...
...could you remind me us which time you and Spooky stay on? Are you keeping your clocks on what we call Daylight Savings Time or on what is called Standard Time?
greygirlbeast
Oct. 31st, 2006 04:27 pm (UTC)
Re: So to keep the time straight...
...could you remind me us which time you and Spooky stay on? Are you keeping your clocks on what we call Daylight Savings Time or on what is called Standard Time?

Actually, we stay on DST, as it affords more daylight hours. So, I suppose I shouldn't have been so hard on poor ol' Benjamin frelling Franklin.
chris_walsh
Oct. 31st, 2006 04:48 pm (UTC)
Re: So to keep the time straight...
Actually, we stay on DST, as it affords more daylight hours.

Makes sense.

So, I suppose I shouldn't have been so hard on poor ol' Benjamin frelling Franklin.

Oh, he can take it. Sounds like he kept his sense of humor through a revolution where plenty of people on the Brit-liking side would've liked to kill him.
chris_walsh
Oct. 31st, 2006 02:11 pm (UTC)
Money from the sky, that's always a good thing.

Now why didn't Charles Fort ever write about that?

And out of curiosity (yes I'm question-al), are you and Spooky feeding the Trick-or-Treaters anything special?
greygirlbeast
Oct. 31st, 2006 04:28 pm (UTC)
And out of curiosity (yes I'm question-al), are you and Spooky feeding the Trick-or-Treaters anything special?

Just tooth-rottingly sweet candy.
( 23 comments — Have your say! )