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Yesterday, I wrote a very respectable 1,531 words, finishing "The Melusine (1889)," which weighs in at a total word count of 5,099 words. Together with "Unter den Augen des Mondes," this means that Sirenia Digest subscribers will be getting over 7,500 words-worth of new fiction from me this issue, plus the new "weird artist" of the month profile feature by Geoffrey Goodwin. It was a long writing day yesterday, and the story took a slightly unexpected and, for me, unusual, turn. It rather knocked the wind from me, I think. When "The Melusine (1889)" was done, I was left with that depression that completing a piece usually brings — though that mood usually has the decency to wait until at least the next day to hit me. It was compounded by the fact that it seemed I'd played an even crueler trick than usual upon the story's protagonist, Cala Mornroe Weatherall. It's a brick wall, the end of that story, and you hit it at fifty miles an hour. If I believed in gods who passed judgment on "sinners," I'd envision a special hell for authors, for the lifetimes we spend breaking the lives and minds of our characters, trapped there in their sooty little universes.

When I was done, I just wanted to lie down and cry or something, but Spooky made me get dressed, instead. She took me down to Narragansett, to Iggy's, for dinner. We got our food, then went to the Point Judith lighthouse to eat. The wind was cold, but bracing and filled with the smells of the sea. On the way down, we saw a doe grazing. And a crow pursued by an angry mockingbird. I ate far too much — fried cod and chips, clam cakes, Manhattan-style clam chowder, cole slaw, root beer — and afterwards we sat by the sea and watched the lights on passing boats, the low waves crashing against the rocks. And I began to come back to myself.

Back home, unpacking, always with the unpacking. The big display case is mostly sorted out, and I got the altar set up again. I need to go to a shop over in Tiverton and get a new athame. There's one there I like. An athame, I mean. Later still, I had a date on Second Life for rp with the Omegans, and my thanks to Larissa, Abigel, Pontifex, Bellatrix, Joah, Merma, Omega, and Denny for a great scene (or, rather, series of interconnected scenes). It was late before I got to bed, just before 4 ayem. The damned birds had started singing.

Spooky's looking at local Pagan gatherings associated with the Solstice. Part of me wants to become involved with a nearby coven or circle — I've never liked the solitary practitioner thing — and part of me knows it would just be asking for trouble. All this foolish nattering about "dispelling negative energy." Whatever happened to paganism as a road to balance? Never mind that the word "energy" should be forever stricken from the pagan lexicon, for the perpetual abuse and complete lack of definition it endures. One reason I came to Providence was to find like-minded pagans, hopefully Wiccans, but I fear they'll all think I'm some spooky left-pather, a bête noire to be avoided lest my "negative energies" taint their rituals "of light and purification." Pfft. Sometimes, it seems to me so many American Wiccans are devolving into happy-crappy, pseudo-Xtianity, afraid of their own shadows, struggling to recreate the religion that drove them to paganism to start with. But I rant. Don't fear the darkness, kiddos. It's one half of the equation. Without it, there can be no balance. And balance, I believe, is the key, here.

Anyway, the "Cephaloflap" and "Doodleflap" auctions are off to a grand start. Keep in mind, these are the first monster doodles I've offered in something like two or three years, and they're the largest I have ever offered. And they're part of HISTORY, my Grand Transmigration from the South. All proceeds will likely go towards a birthday present for Spooky. Speaking of which:

My Amazon.com Wish List


Anyway, I've declared today an unpacking and hygiene day, because I'm sick of these boxes, and writers must bathe, too. And after "The Melusine (1898)," I need a day away from making words. I need a day away from unpacking, too, but that's not going to happen for at least another week or so.

Comments

( 32 comments — Have your say! )
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Jun. 14th, 2008 06:30 pm (UTC)

And, let me say, that I finished Rappaccini's Dragon last night. WOW. I wish I could be more specific, but um, er, wow. Left me breathless.

Thank you. And you're welcome. I think that was tsarina, suggested it.
mellawyrden
Jun. 14th, 2008 05:26 pm (UTC)
If I could find a group where there was a cheerful, adventurous, questioning, animal energy, with a genuine connection to nature in all its aspects, I would rush to take part. It sounds like creative scientists, or ferrets.

Best of luck finding a really good group where you feel comfortable!!
greygirlbeast
Jun. 14th, 2008 06:31 pm (UTC)

there was a cheerful

I think cheerful may be part of the problem, for me at least.
(no subject) - mellawyrden - Jun. 14th, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - Jun. 14th, 2008 11:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
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unknownbinaries
Jun. 14th, 2008 05:42 pm (UTC)
One reason I came to Providence was to find like-minded pagans, hopefully Wiccans, but I fear they'll all think I'm some spooky left-pather, a bête noire to be avoided lest my "negative energies" taint their rituals "of light and purification.

That always makes me laugh. Negativity and entropy is as much a part of everything as that shinyhappygrowygoodness stuff. I think it's arrogant to think any of us could banish it if we tried, and likewise to think we know what's best for, well, Everything.
greygirlbeast
Jun. 14th, 2008 06:33 pm (UTC)
That always makes me laugh. Negativity and entropy is as much a part of everything as that shinyhappygrowygoodness stuff. I think it's arrogant to think any of us could banish it if we tried, and likewise to think we know what's best for, well, Everything.

I could go on about this all day. But it's best I don't. Partly, it's the phenomenon of allowing "New Age" crap to bleed over into Wicca/NeoPaganism, partly it's just the weak wills and minds of people, partly it really is a longing for what they couldn't get from Xtianity because some people have a grudge against Xtianity, yet still want what it has to offer. It a complex problem, and I se no solution.

My standard answer is, "The universe is not here to make you feel better, and you are not special, so stop whining."

Edited at 2008-06-14 06:34 pm (UTC)
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busfart
Jun. 14th, 2008 06:52 pm (UTC)
greetings from pyongyang
hello caitlin, we love you here in DPRK. my username comes from a story i read in your book. do you have any advice for aspiring writers? thank you.
greygirlbeast
Jun. 14th, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
Re: greetings from pyongyang
do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Well, it's not something that I make a habit of, dispensing advice, but...try these:

1) Read. Read everything, especially non-fiction.
2) Write. Publishing will or won't happen, but if you are a writer, you will write, regardless.
3) Do not quit (or fail to acquire) a day job, as you will likely never make a living off your fiction.
4) Do not self publish (and no, Sirenia Digest is not the same thing). Most emphatically, do not self-publish hoping it will bring you to the attention of Big Publishers. It will only make them shun you.
5) Floss, because writers don't get dental plans.
6) If possible, get a college education, and (see #3), if possible, in something that will yield a decent income. This does not include English lit (unless you intend to teach, and to acquire a Ph. D.), and it most definitely does not include "creative Writing" degrees.
7) Grammar matters. Punctuation, spelling, capitalization, sentence structure, all that stuff. It matters A LOT.
8) Exercise, take a good multi-Vitamin, don't smoke, and get laid regularly. Drink only in moderation. Writers do not get health insurance.
9) Forget retirement. Writers rarely get such a thing.
10) Travel! While regionalism is important in fiction, one often only comes to appreciate his or her corner of the world by seeing other parts of it.
11) Don't waste your life on video games, Second Life, mmorgs, and television. This rule may be ignored if you are over 40 and already an established author.
12) Use psychotherapy as a tool, not an excuse, and beware the drugs dispensed by psychiatrists.
14) Expect to fail.
15) Don't waste money you could use paying rent, going to school, traveling, or getting laid on "writing workshops." They are a waste of time, and while they might help you make friends with other would-be writers, they will neither make you a better writer nor a more successful one. They'll only tell you that they will.
16) The more languages you know, the better.
17) Write what you know, and be versatile. Setting out to be a mystery or "horror" or fantasy or military suspense or romance writer is all well and good, but be able to write a range of styles and (urgh) genres.
18) Trust that no one can tell you how to become a writer. That includes me.

Hope that helps.

Note: #13? Writers should be superstitious, so there is no #13.

Edited at 2008-06-14 11:51 pm (UTC)
loki1978de
Jun. 14th, 2008 10:20 pm (UTC)
Really, why is there such a wall of ignorance about being bad, sad, depressed, illtempered?
Just because i am like that sometimes, doesnt mean i am everytime. Why do other people think so one-dimensional? Don't they change from time to time? Actually i am aware of a few people, who might really not change.
Yes, i can be very grouchy. But i can be happy as much.
And what truth and honesty would be in my happniness, if it is all i have or show?
Nothing without its negation.
No dark without light and we cant get rid of the evil that humans do, or we get blind for the good things that they can do too.
A few posts ago you mentioned the breath of the world.
More people should stop and find a place to listen to it.
Maybe the only ritual needed
greygirlbeast
Jun. 14th, 2008 11:27 pm (UTC)
A few posts ago you mentioned the breath of the world.
More people should stop and find a place to listen to it.
Maybe the only ritual needed.


Certainly, it is a good starting point.

For me, in part, much of this goes back to Jung, who had a tremendous impact on me, in general and as an author. And I went through many years of Jungian analysis, staring at a point where my therapist said that while most of the peopel she worked with tended to unduly repress their "shadow selves," I was the only one she'd ever seen who seemed, for all intents, to be all shadow. That was 1990. We spent years working towards balance, and if you look back at Paganism in the US in the sixties and seventies, there's a struggle for and emphasis on balance. Now, though, Wicca becomes Jesus in a dress, crystals and auras and psychic nonsense, a barrage of white witches, a melding, oftimes, with the worst aspects of "New Age" culture, and a morbid fear of anything "negative" (an enormously subjective call, by the way, saying what is and is not "negative" or "left hand" or "dark"). I will not abandon Wicca to these fools in favour of some other branch of NeoPaganism, as some have urged me to do. I'd rather try to fix what's broken (and some of it has been broken since Gardner started this thing), even if it never benefits anyone but me and Spooky, or a very small coven we might form someday.

Edited at 2008-06-14 11:31 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - loki1978de - Jun. 15th, 2008 07:27 am (UTC) - Expand
sfmarty
Jun. 15th, 2008 02:06 am (UTC)
Excellent advice to writers. People ask me quite often how to become a writer (I have no idea why they think I might know, as I am not, nor ever have been, a writer.)

I am going to print out your post and show it to them.
greygirlbeast
Jun. 15th, 2008 02:37 am (UTC)

I am going to print out your post and show it to them.

That should stop the little buggers in their tracks.
robyn_ma
Jun. 15th, 2008 04:11 am (UTC)
I agree about balance. That's why I consider myself Buddhist, if I consider myself anything. Everything else seems to be variations on Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Nobody will save us, and we will all suffer and die. The key is to find meaning and passion in life anyway. And so forth.
greygirlbeast
Jun. 15th, 2008 05:44 am (UTC)

Nobody will save us, and we will all suffer and die. The key is to find meaning and passion in life anyway. And so forth.

Indeed.
cheezwoofer
Jun. 15th, 2008 01:21 pm (UTC)
Happy Early Bithday to Spooky and Happy Late Birthday to You!
Have been having some bad times of late. Don't like to elaborate, so it means I'm not on much or checking email much, or posting much or, well, we all know what depression is like.

Anyway, I'm so sorry I missed your birthday! Hope it was a good one. And I hope Spooky has a good one.

I hope the unpacking and settling in goes smoothly.

Damn, that's a lot of hope for someone as depressed as I am. Hrm. Who knew?
greygirlbeast
Jun. 15th, 2008 04:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Happy Early Bithday to Spooky and Happy Late Birthday to You!

Have been having some bad times of late. Don't like to elaborate, so it means I'm not on much or checking email much, or posting much or, well, we all know what depression is like.

Well, I do know what the depression's like, and it's good to know you're still out there. Just keep hanging on, you know...
alchymyst
Jun. 16th, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC)
Totally agree with your bit on Paganism. I wrote something in a similar vein a few weeks ago myself. People tend to forget this religion is about blood and sex and death and all that stuff. They all want fluffy bunnies and puppies sniffing dandelions in the sun. Good luck with your group/circle search!
( 32 comments — Have your say! )