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The Whore's Daughter

So, here's the way I see it, and if I am wrong, someone can tell me so. You guys can either get an online journal wherein I occasionally say what I think on a diverse range of subjects not necessarily related to my writing (recently, and the cause of some strife, that Orson Scott Card is a raving homophobe, that I'll be voting for Barack Obama, and that Robert Jordan and Laurell K. Hamilton write "tripe"). OR, we have this other choice. I can keep my mouth shut, like I mostly used to do, and confine this blog to daily word counts and notices about our ongoing eBay auctions. Because you can't have it both ways. If I express my opinions —— which are often contentious, unpopular, unorthodox, whatever —— it is inevitable that I'll offend someone every few days. This morning I received a rather whiny email from someone claiming I'd hurt his feelings because of what I said about Jordan and Hamilton, and so he probably won't be buying any of my books. Night before last, one reader went ballistic in the journal comments over the fact that, while I condemn OSC's hate speech, I support the presidency of Barack Obama (seeing these two things as somehow inextricably linked). And it's true, I do not need to be alienating readers. But it's also true that when I do not give in to my tendency to be a mouthy bitch, this journal gets rather dull. So, which will it be? You want the somewhat unexpurgated me, or the utterly dull and inoffensive me? You can't say, we want you to be honest, then go off on me when you find something I say offensive. You are certainly entitled be be offended. But...this is my LJ, right? And the opinions expressed here are mine. Maybe I'll post a poll later —— reserved and inoffensive, or honest and often offensive. Let you guys decide. Right now, I'm just annoyed at the whiners who want me to know I've hurt their feelings...because, you know, I care.

I just got the news (thank you Doug Miller), via boingboing.net, that I am one of the thirty-one sf authors who will be discussed this month on the Science Fiction Message Board. Specifically, I have been assigned to August 23rd, or that day's been assigned to me, whichever. I'll post about this again nearer to the date, and here's the link to the announcement by Cory Doctorow. I was frankly amused at the person who complained about my inclusion on the list because I write "Vampire romance novels," when I've only written one vampire novel, sixteen years ago, and it wasn't very romantic.

Yesterday was an odd sort of day. A semi-day off, but at least I answered that mountain of email. Spooky baked some very yummy muffins for Lughnasadh (apple, cinnamon, walnuts, and dates). I loaded Sigur Rós' Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (2008) and Gordon Bok's Seal Djiril's Hymn (1972; my thanks to Sonya for this one) onto the iPod. I took a long, cool bath. That sort of rather aimless, laid-back sort of day. We get too few of those hereabouts. About 5:30, we headed to Beavertail for an informal Lughnasadh ceremony. And here things got a little derailed, and it was likely my fault.

I've always thought that the ruins of Fort Burnside (circa 1942, built to guard the minefield that was placed in Narragansett Bay during WWII) would be a wonderful place for ritual work, especially given that the two circular depressions that each once held a 3-inch gun have an odd and striking resemblance to a megalithic site, as does the old bunker. What I failed to take into account were the nosy people. Why I failed to take this into account is beyond me, as I know well enough that humans are pathologically incapable, in general, of minding their own damn business. As Spooky was beginning to cast the circle, some swamp-yankee goombah with a camera wandered up wanting to know what we were doing. As we worked, we attracted a smallish audience (a child's shrill and repeated scream, "Mommy! What are they doing?!"). And as we were heading back to the car, a woman approached (she was out walking her dog), and she said to Spooky, "I see you two are spiritual people." Spooky stopped to talk to her. I figured she was some harmless New Ager, so I busied myself putting things away. A few minutes later, Spooky shows up, grumbling, and tells me that the woman wanted to know if we'd "...ever thought about Jesus Christ, who created the sea?" It was all Spooky could do to keep me from going after the woman, I think. I was instantly livid. I swear to fuck, I considered making an impromptu human sacrifice to Panthalassa and all the hungry crabs and fishes.

I mean, what if I stood around outside some local Xtian church on Sunday, and when they exited, annoyed the congregation members with questions like, "Have you ever thought about the Morrigan, or Dionysus, or Brighid? What if someone who was Islamic, or Buddhist, or Hindu, or what-the-hell ever did such a rude, thoughtless, arrogant thing? Sure, I know why it's so, as I was raised Catholic and Methodist, but it is truly regrettable that so many Xtians are driven to evangelize, to witness, to annoy the shit out of the rest of us with their religion, when I'd never dare do such a thing. But I don't have to be happy about it. Afterwards, I was so angry I climbed down the cliffs to the sea, to a spot where the incoming tide was especially violent, slamming itself loudly against the rocks, slinging up spray ten or fifteen feet into the air. I sat there and watched the waves and tried not to hate that woman, who seemed to feel that we have so little conviction and so little right to privacy that she could approach us and ask such a goddamn, idiotic question. Spooky was much nicer to her than I'd have been, telling her "Many things made the sea." I'd have probably said, "Yeah, we did the Jesus thing, but, turns out, pagans get better sex. And, by the way, from that sour fucking look on your face, you could probably use some." We stayed with the sea until dark, then headed back to Providence, and got sandwiches from Eastside Market for dinner.

Oh, on the way down to Beavertail, we stopped at Newbury Comics in Warwick. I went in only meaning to get the new director's cut of Alex Proyas' Dark City (1998) and the newly released Doomsday (2008). But it is an evil, seductive place, and so we also picked up the hardback of Joss Whedon's Angel: After the Fall, Vol. 1 and a limited edition book/CD thingy Nick Cave has released to accompany Dig, Lazarus, Dig. Last night, we watched the new cut of Dark City, which runs 111 minutes, versus the theatrical release of 100 minutes. But, those restored eleven minutes make an already brilliant film far less choppy, more subtle, and give it quite a bit more depth. Also, the annoying opening voice-over that was forced on Proyas by the studio has been removed. At the time of the film's original release, I was a friend of a friend of the director's (well, technically, I still am), and knew that he was very displeased with the cut, especially with the voice-over, that gives away the film's fundamental mystery in the first minute. The restored footage concerning the whore's daughter (we don't even see that she has one in the 1998 cut) and Jennifer Connelly's character singing "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" (vocals performed by Anita Kelsey), were especially welcomed restorations. Anyway, I have always adored this film, and now I adore it even more.

Time to get back in the platypus saddle, back to work, and my thanks to Larry Roberts of Bloodletting Press for giving me a two-week extension on the introduction I agreed to write for S. T. Joshi's forthcoming Arthur Machen collection. Also, my thanks to Ernest Lilley (senior editor at SFRev) for sending me the following photos from my signing at Readercon 19. Spooky's even in most of them:





I have no idea what book I'm signing here.



Neil Clarke of Wyrm Publishing and Clarksworld Magazine on the left, and this is what happens when I try to smile. Oh, you can also see the Chiana mug Theo Black gave me.



Here I am actually signing an old copy of the long-defunct zine The Urbanite, the market to which my story "Paedomorphosis" first sold.



I love this guy, because he brought eleven books for me to sign, including ARCs.

All photos Copyright © Ernest Lilley 2008, used by permission.

Comments

( 100 comments — Have your say! )
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sovay
Aug. 2nd, 2008 05:43 pm (UTC)
Maybe I'll post a poll later —— reserved and inoffensive, or honest and often offensive. Let you guys decide.

It's your journal. They can deal or they can't. And people have an amazing capability to be offended about whatever they want to be, anyway.

Last night, we watched the new cut of Dark City, which runs 111 minutes, versus the theatrical release of 100 minutes.

That's probably the next thing Eric and I are watching. : )

the following photos from my signing at Readercon 19.

That's a really nice set of photos.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 2nd, 2008 05:46 pm (UTC)

That's probably the next thing Eric and I are watching. : )

Very good. It contains one of the most sublimely horrific moments of revelation of any film...
strangemodegirl
Aug. 2nd, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC)
But...this is my LJ, right? And the opinions expressed here are mine.
Exactly!
I've always thought it incredibly lame to stop liking an author or artists work that you previously enjoyed just because you don't agree with their personal views. Meh, but maybe that's just me.
I enjoy reading everything you post, keep it up!
ex_kaz_maho
Aug. 2nd, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
Hmm... Indeed, it is your LJ, so if you wish to post a poll then you should go ahead. But I'm sort-of hoping you don't. Because it's your blog you should use it for whatever you want. It's a slice of your life - both as a writer and a person - which includes opinions that not everyone is always going to agree with. People need to wake up - it's not like you're a deeply offensive human being who does terrible things that you can't ever be forgiven for. They're just opinions... about authors and politics and whatever else you want to talk about.

*climbs off soapbox*

I love the honesty. :)
greygirlbeast
Aug. 2nd, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC)

People need to wake up - it's not like you're a deeply offensive human being who does terrible things that you can't ever be forgiven for.

Maybe I need to try harder.... ;-)

It's a slice of your life - both as a writer and a person - which includes opinions that not everyone is always going to agree with.

Well, that's sort of how it seems to me.

(no subject) - ex_kaz_maho - Aug. 2nd, 2008 06:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
martianmooncrab
Aug. 2nd, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
please please please try to offend me, I demand it!

Now I have to go out and get the new Nick Cave (prezzie for a friend) and the new version of Dark City, I have always liked that movie but felt it was flawed and not as good as it should have been, (and Rufus Sewell!!) I will take your evaluation that this new version is so much better... you do have excellent taste.

greygirlbeast
Aug. 2nd, 2008 06:09 pm (UTC)

and Rufus Sewell!!

Dark City is Rufus Sewell's shining moment. Besides, you also get that quirky performance by Kiefer Sutherland, not to mention Richard O'Brien as Mr. Hand.
(no subject) - martianmooncrab - Aug. 2nd, 2008 08:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
unknownbinaries
Aug. 2nd, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
I'm just annoyed at the whiners who want me to know I've hurt their feelings...because, you know, I care.

I don't understand where people began to equate 'I disagree with them.' with 'They offended me/hurt my feelings.'.

I (shamefully) like some of LKH's stuff; it's fun, smutty tripe that doesn't seem to pretend it's anything but. I *know* it's tripe. But, if you came over to my journal and gave me hell for that, it would be just as shitty and invasive as someone having a problem with your opinion being posted on Your Bloody Journal.

And I love the pictures with the floor-sitting Spooky. It's like Where's Waldo. With dreads.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 2nd, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)

it's fun, smutty tripe that doesn't seem to pretend it's anything but

Agreed. And I never said it wasn't fun tripe. Or that people shouldn't read it. The person who sent the email this morning actually tried to make the argument that LKH's writing is "literary" (and sure, it's literature, but that's not what he meant).
(no subject) - unknownbinaries - Aug. 2nd, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - Aug. 2nd, 2008 06:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - unknownbinaries - Aug. 2nd, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
brienze
Aug. 2nd, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
The people who say we want to hear your opinions are not the same people who'll send you whiny emails after the fact. And the ones who do whine are the same subset of people who would send you ranting emails if they bought one of your books knowing nothing else of you or your opinions, and then don't like something about the book. I wonder, sometimes, why these people bother to be literate. Whatever you want to write here is fine by me.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 2nd, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
I wonder, sometimes, why these people bother to be literate.

I think they do it just to annoy the rest of us.

Edited at 2008-08-02 06:05 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - seph_ski - Aug. 2nd, 2008 07:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - brienze - Aug. 2nd, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - seph_ski - Aug. 2nd, 2008 07:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
bryan_smith
Aug. 2nd, 2008 06:11 pm (UTC)
I think I've never posted here before. But I want to ask you to please not change your journal. It is one of my favorites, and one of the few I look forward to reading.
tsarina
Aug. 2nd, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC)
I sincerely hope you don't stop writing of all things.
That's pretty disrespectful - would they let the kid shriek during a Catholic Mass? Argh. Too many idiots, online and offline. Bonus points to Spooky for that succinct and excellent response to the woman's question.

So I told myself, no new books until the move is *done* you have enough books to pack already! But A is for Alien is a pre-order which means that it would be delivered long after the move... haha! I have found a loophole in my own rule.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 2nd, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC)
Re: I sincerely hope you don't stop writing of all things.

So I told myself, no new books until the move is *done* you have enough books to pack already! But A is for Alien is a pre-order which means that it would be delivered long after the move... haha! I have found a loophole in my own rule.

All good rules must have loopholes that render them moot. ;-)

Bonus points to Spooky for that succinct and excellent response to the woman's question.

Yeah, she's the good one.
(no subject) - chris_walsh - Aug. 2nd, 2008 08:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
mardott
Aug. 2nd, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC)
I love you the way you are. If I didn't, I don't suppose I would've friended you, d'ya think? So if people get upset with what you say, there are LOTS other journals to read. They can go find one of those.

The annoying,nosey woman? I would've probably said something along the lines you were thinking of. I have no patience for these people. Thank goodness the Morman missionaries have stopped coming to my door.

netdancer
Aug. 2nd, 2008 06:31 pm (UTC)
This is *your* journal. You say what you want in it, and whenever you want. You're a human being and entitled to your own opinions and thoughts or even to crazy random babblings if you feel so inclined.

Reading you is a privilege, a gift you offer to us.

Anyone getting butthurt about what you say in your own journal obviously never got the lesson that not everything goes your own way. They need to learn that or they'll Fail massively at life due to excess fragility and entitlement.

You don't owe us bupkiss. Carry on as you wish. :>



xanguisettex
Aug. 2nd, 2008 06:32 pm (UTC)
I'd rather hear the real you. Screw the whiners.

Thank you. I've always had to bite my tongue when people pose the "have you blah blah blah Jesus Christ" question to me for no reason. But now I know what I'm going to say the next time they ask.

*hugs you for this, sorry if that's creepy*

Anyways, I'm sorry the crazy christians fouled your mood. Tends to foul my mood when I get attacked by mobs from Bob Jones with pamphlets and witnessing for trying to walk down a friggin street. Stupid Deep South. That'd be harassment elsewhere.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 2nd, 2008 07:13 pm (UTC)

*hugs you for this, sorry if that's creepy*

Nah. But you're icon is. ;-)

seph_ski
Aug. 2nd, 2008 06:34 pm (UTC)
No matter what you do, you can't control the way people respond to you. There is always going to be someone who has a reaction to something you've said or done that rubs you the wrong way. Sometimes people are just jerks, and sometimes we are overly sensitive and/or not in the right mindset to have the things we've shared about ourselves picked apart and offered up for discussion.

Rather than letting your readers tell you how they want you to express yourself, maybe you could come up with some strategies for dealing with unwanted comments. Perhaps you could put a standard disclaimer on your posts that states something like, "This is my journal and these are my thoughts and I'm not interested in 'discussing' these matters. Please keep your opinions to yourself, and if you can't read this without taking offense..." Well, you get the point. Or maybe you can simply learn to make liberal use of the 'delete' function, and just practice letting go of things that aren't worth your energy. I have a variety of minor banishing rituals in my "preserve your sanity" arsenal.

There's always going to be someone that's going to push your buttons, whether or not you self-censor your journal. Perhaps I am now, though I really hope not. It really does take all kinds, but we don't have to react or respond to the ones that threaten to sap our energy and what's left of our sanity.

I've spent many years practicing being non-reactionary. I come from a long line of hot-headed people with very strong (and sometimes crazy) opinions, a genuine "letter to the editor"/march in protest/rant on a street corner legacy. It's not easy, but with lots and lots of practice, I am learning how to prevent people from getting under my skin most of the time. When someone is getting on my last nerve, I ask myself if I really want to rent space in my head out to people. The answer is always no, so I let it go, occasionally after having my say, but I always *work* to let it go.

Rather than hiding who you are from us, I hope you can find a way to keep the fanatics from getting inside your head.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 2nd, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC)
Perhaps you could put a standard disclaimer on your posts that states something like, "This is my journal and these are my thoughts and I'm not interested in 'discussing' these matters. Please keep your opinions to yourself, and if you can't read this without taking offense..." Well, you get the point.

It's a reasonable idea, but likely, the ass widgets would still whine.

Well, you get the point. Or maybe you can simply learn to make liberal use of the 'delete' function, and just practice letting go of things that aren't worth your energy.

And, truthfully, I was just going to let the person whining over Obama/OSC go, until the email from the other whiner this ayem. I have been getting much better about dealing with this sort of nonsense.

Edited at 2008-08-02 07:16 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - seph_ski - Aug. 2nd, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - chris_walsh - Aug. 2nd, 2008 08:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
jtglover
Aug. 2nd, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC)
Having My Say
There will always be pricks and drama queens. Most of your readers are here because we like your journal and work. A word count + eBay journal would of course be almost completely uninteresting. As to your opinions, this is your space, and you should use it as you will, of course, but I like the current glasnost.

Director's cut of Dark City? ::perk:: I had no idea

What is a reasonable number of books to bring to a signing, in your opinion? I know some authors have a 3-book thing, or a 3-books and then the back of the line thing... Just curious.

Lately I've spent some time around people who, at base, deny the right of other people to exist as they wish. Denying that it's even a valid choice -- non-recognition, as opposed to disagreement. It's absolutely infuriating, and every day I move a little bit further into The Deep End. It's a comfort to be more myself, of course, but it's frustrating to deal with such vapid hostility.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 2nd, 2008 07:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Having My Say

What is a reasonable number of books to bring to a signing, in your opinion? I know some authors have a 3-book thing, or a 3-books and then the back of the line thing... Just curious.

I have never had a limit, and doubt that I ever shall. The only thing like that I ever did was (back when I wrote comics) ask people to please have bagged comics out of the bags, as it slows me down, having to open them, and I don't want to run the risk of doing to books damage, opening the bags.
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Aug. 2nd, 2008 07:08 pm (UTC)
To sum up? Fuck those guys. Seriously.

In all honesty, that's my feeling on the subject. Hence the snarky "...because, you know, I care." But. On numerous occasions I've had editors, publishers, and my agent upset over things I've said here. True fact. And, regardless of whether or not this is my LJ, and regardless of everything else, I do have to consider how it affects my sales. However, my growing suspicion is that there's very little negative effect, and what there is generally gets negated by the far more common positive reactions.

Likely, I should not have even brought this —— because no, such dingbats are not worth my time and energy —— but having it happen twice in three days set my teeth on edge. Thank you for the long and well thought out reply.

Edited at 2008-08-02 07:09 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - docbrite - Aug. 2nd, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
troublebox
Aug. 2nd, 2008 06:49 pm (UTC)
When it comes to your LJ, I prefer the offensive director’s cut.

I'm just annoyed at the whiners who want me to know I've hurt their feelings...because, you know, I care.

Whiners can ride a long stick to colon-town.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 2nd, 2008 07:03 pm (UTC)

Whiners can ride a long stick to colon-town.

Thank you. I needed that.
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( 100 comments — Have your say! )