greygirlbeast (greygirlbeast) wrote,

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Howard Hughes and her all girl band.

This is why I hang onto books that I will likely never read or consult again. Likely, but nothing's ever certain. Yesterday, I found myself going back to Elaine Pagels' Adam, Eve, and the Serpent (1988), which I probably haven't read since it was new. But there was this One Last Scene I wanted to add to "The Ape's Wife," and there was this bit of gnostic poetry I could not quite recall, but which I suspected I first encountered in a Pagels book. Turns out, it's "The Thunder: Perfect Mind". So, yeah, there was Elaine Pagels yesterday, and the etymology and origin of Cherubim, and how Xtians went and got themselves so hung up about sex, and so on and so forth. I wrote the new scene, the last new scene, which came in at about 300 words. At that point, the total word count for the story had reached 8,974. I read it aloud to Spooky, which led to a great number of corrections. Before the day was done, I'd put in another six hours on the story, and the total word count had inched up to 9,011. Finally, I have come to a point where I have to force myself to step away from this one. About 10:30 p.m., I e-mailed it to Bill Schafer at Subterranean Press, and also to sovay, because I needed another opinion. Though some very minor line edits may remain, I think that it is finally finished.

Thank you, Elaine Pagels. And Tori Amos.

Yesterday brought my contributor's copy of the May 2007 issue of Locus, the "horror issue." My short article, "Awful Things," can be found on page 56, right next to Ramsey Campbell's short article. There were a number of things in the issue to make me smile. Ed Bryant's comments on Alabaster and Daughter of Hounds, for example. He pronounces the latter "...a terrific contemporary Lovecraftian novel that never parodies or condescends, but pays loving tribute to the Great Old Guy of prolix horror even as the author crafts a tautly pyrotechnic tale of ghouls and wizards, alcoholism and strained family ties, love and violence." Also, jlassen makes reference to "the Baudelaire-ian epics of Caitlín R. Kiernan." It almost seems I'm getting more comparisons to Baudelaire these days than to HPL.

The issue also contains a review by Tim Pratt of Tales from the Woeful Platypus. When I learned of this review, I admit that I was leery. With both Platypus and Frog Toes and Tentacles before it, I asked subpress to please forgo advanced reading copies (which they did), as I really did want to see reviews for these books. I cannot say for sure whether I did this because I saw the "weird erotica" as just a minor and unimportant detour, or if I was afraid that writing it would adversely effect how my "serious" books were perceived, or if I was just being insecure. Regardless, the weird erotica has now become a significant part of my writing, and a part I genuinely enjoy, and I am decidedly not ashamed of it and have seen no evidence of these two books or Sirenia Digest having any sort of adverse effect on my career. And I am glad for Tim's review, which concludes that "...Kiernan has made magic and art from the intersection of sex and haunted lives, magic and secret desires." I was also pleased that he deemed the writing in "Daughter of Man, Mother of Wyrm" to be some of my "best, creating a wonderful derangement of the senses. Of "pas-en-arrìere,' the review says "...and the two [characters] do a dance of circling seduction, advancing and retreating, and delving into unexpectedly treacherous emotional territory; it's a remarkable character study." So, yeah, how could I not smile over all that?

What else was there to yesterday? Somehow, I managed not to leave the house, but I did catch a new documentary on the Discovery Science Channel about NASA's "Starship Orion" project. We read another chapter of The Children of Húrin (Chapter VI, "Túrin Among the Outlaws"). I half watched Katharine Hepburn in Sylvia Scarlett (1935) on TCM, which had some marvelous gender-bending moments and I wish I could have given it my full attention. After Spooky was asleep, I started Jay Parini's 1994 biography of John Steinbeck, but only made it through the prologue before I finally got too sleepy to read any farther. I think that was about 3 a.m.

Okay. Time to make the doughnuts. Or bagels. Or what have you. You know, things with holes.
Tags: dancy, doh, sirenia, tftwp, the ape's wife

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