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1. No idea why I'm using the cute Bjork icon the morning. I just couldn't seem to help myself.

2. Still happy about The Red Tree, A is for Alien, and "Galápagos" having all three landed on Locus Magazine's 2009 Recommended Reading List. It's always nice to know someone has noticed.

3. This morning, I awoke to a dusting of snow here in Providence. Maybe half an inch. We've had much less snow this winter than last.

4. Last night, Spooky and I celebrated her release from jury prison by binging on movies. First we watched Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock, which I found completely delightful. It's the sort of film that leaves me with nothing at all to complain about. And then we watched Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys again. It's a favorite, but both of us had only seen it twice ("Fuck the bozos!"). And speaking of movies, Geoffrey read me the Oscar nominations yesterday and I was...baffled. It's a baffling, and, at times, ridiculous list. But I am glad see Tarantino and Inglorious Basterds getting the attention it deserves, and I'm also rooting for Avatar, Up in the Air, A Simple Man, and a few others. And yeah, I did like District 9. I liked it a lot. But it's presence on the Oscar list still leaves me a bit perplexed.

5. Today, I finish pulling Sirenia Digest #50 together, and tonight, barring any unforeseen cataclysms, it will go out to subscribers.

6. There are few surer signs that's I'm not firing on all cylinders than discovering I've failed to get a set of revisions to an editor on time. Last night, I got an email from S.T. Joshi, wondering about my line edits to "Pickman's Other Model" (which will be appearing in Black Wings: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror from PS Publishing). And I thought, "I sent those." But no, I'd not. I made the edits, back on December 16th, but I never actually typed them up and emailed them to Joshi. It is likely now too late. Fortunately, it was all very minor stuff. But it is a warning from me to me, to get back on the ball.

7. Back on Sunday, Spooky bought a new coffee maker (I've not had a coffee maker since 2005). It has a single glowing blue eye, and I call it Hal (yes, even though the eye is blue). She also got a pillow, two pairs of pajama pants for me, and a new bath mat. Combine this with the gifts from her mom, and it's been an odd (but needed) shower of domesticity around here.

8. Remember how much I loathe the cover of The Red Tree? I first saw this video devoted to the evolution of the "tramp stamp" urban-fantasy cover a year or so ago, but Spooky came across it again last night, and I thought I'd share. It would be funny, if not for the damage this sort of drek has done my own books (or at least done my nerves and aesthetic sensibilities):

Comments

( 49 comments — Have your say! )
monstermustdie
Feb. 3rd, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
Cover art
On the bright side, weremonkey and I love the cover and interiors of Alabaster (we have copy # L). Naifeh is a personal favorite.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 3rd, 2010 03:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Cover art

On the bright side, weremonkey and I love the cover and interiors of Alabaster (we have copy # L). Naifeh is a personal favorite.

Thank you. Yes. I am so very happy with the all the art Ted did for Alabaster.
Re: Cover art - papersteven - Feb. 3rd, 2010 04:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Cover art - greygirlbeast - Feb. 3rd, 2010 05:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Re: Cover art - greygirlbeast - Feb. 3rd, 2010 11:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
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criada
Feb. 3rd, 2010 03:50 pm (UTC)
I've got several novel drafts lying around that I pick at occasionally, and sadly, the urban fantasy one gets the least attention, because as much as I love the book, I don't want to be a Tramp Stamp writer. (And because I don't want to be like Jim Butcher, begging people to go read my high fantasy at the end of the better selling-urban books.)
greygirlbeast
Feb. 3rd, 2010 04:05 pm (UTC)

I don't want to be a Tramp Stamp writer.

It's hard to imagine that anyone does. But I suppose there must be authors who don't mind being perceived that way. Mostly I look at this as marketing pandering to readers who respond positively to the visual cues presented (i.e., readers with very poor taste).
(no subject) - criada - Feb. 3rd, 2010 04:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - Feb. 3rd, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - criada - Feb. 3rd, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
muneraven
Feb. 3rd, 2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
You know, I was attracted to the Patricia Briggs' covers because the main character was an auto mechanic, not because of the tats, lol. But that was early on in this trend. Now my eyes just skim right over this type of cover and I move on. I KNOW a book can't always be judged by its cover but when one is browsing for a new read without the benefit of recommendations or other good info one has to cull the herd somehow.

That being said, I don't hate the tramp stamp covers as much as those awful photo covers of "hunky" guys with terrible fake tattoos and a woman draped all over him. Where do they find models that bland? They are like human velveeta.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 3rd, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC)

They are like human velveeta.

Sorry. The phrase "human velveeta" seems perfectly suited to the tramp-stamp covers, as well. So far as I'm concerned.
(no subject) - muneraven - Feb. 3rd, 2010 10:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - Feb. 3rd, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - weremonkey - Feb. 3rd, 2010 07:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - Feb. 3rd, 2010 07:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
LOL - muneraven - Feb. 3rd, 2010 09:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
abbadie
Feb. 3rd, 2010 04:36 pm (UTC)
And I thought, "I sent those." But no, I'd not. I made the edits, back on December 16th, but I never actually typed them up and emailed them to Joshi. It is likely now too late. Fortunately, it was all very minor stuff. But it is a warning from me to me, to get back on the ball.

Oh gods, that just reminded me that I never did submit the piece I wrote for Veronica Cummer's To Fly By Night, the Craft of the Hedgewitch, which if I remember right, just closed its deadline around Candlemas -and I had it done a month ago, it just needed cleaning some typos! Damn damn damn. I need to get back on the ball too. Or a platypus to remind me of this stuff. Or something.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 3rd, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC)

Or a platypus to remind me of this stuff.

My platypus is a useful monotreme.
seph_ski
Feb. 3rd, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC)
I saw that video just this morning and practically held my breath hoping not to see the inappropriate covers of your books. Although I'll admit to the guilty pleasure of a trashy read now and then, I hadn't even heard of a lot of the books featured in the video. In defense of Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series though, the back tattoo is a significant element of the story. But yes, the trend in covers is really disheartening, -especially- when used to push stories that don't really belong in that market! They're a major turn-off.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 3rd, 2010 04:56 pm (UTC)

I saw that video just this morning and practically held my breath hoping not to see the inappropriate covers of your books.

I had the same reaction the first time I saw it.
elmocho
Feb. 3rd, 2010 05:06 pm (UTC)
In your trope-warping paranormal romance, you could have the character with a tramp stamp who then has to have it skinned from her body due to it corroding her soul: and by corroding her soul, I mean turning her into human velveeta. By their standards, actual character development probably counts as soul-corrosion.

If you could pull it off, you could draw the average consumer of such in for the first few chapters and then slowly, subtly force them to question everything they've ever known about their like for the genre, as well as a few new things they inexplicably find themselves drawn to after reading the book.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 3rd, 2010 05:12 pm (UTC)

In your trope-warping paranormal romance, you could have the character with a tramp stamp who then has to have it skinned from her body due to it corroding her soul

Hmmmm....


If you could pull it off, you could draw the average consumer of such in for the first few chapters and then slowly, subtly force them to question everything they've ever known about their like for the genre, as well as a few new things they inexplicably find themselves drawn to after reading the book.


I think you're far more optimistic than am I.
(no subject) - elmocho - Feb. 3rd, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - Feb. 3rd, 2010 05:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
sovay
Feb. 3rd, 2010 06:17 pm (UTC)
Still happy about The Red Tree, A is for Alien, and "Galápagos" having all three landed on Locus Magazine's 2009 Recommended Reading List.

I think that's reasonable!
greygirlbeast
Feb. 3rd, 2010 06:21 pm (UTC)

I'm not used to having something to smile about in the morning.
fusijui
Feb. 3rd, 2010 08:34 pm (UTC)
So -- did you break your record for not leaving the house??
greygirlbeast
Feb. 3rd, 2010 08:36 pm (UTC)

So -- did you break your record for not leaving the house??

I set it today (11). If I can make it one more day, I'll break it.
(no subject) - fusijui - Feb. 3rd, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
martianmooncrab
Feb. 3rd, 2010 08:49 pm (UTC)
yes, even though the eye is blue

its a contact, wait until Hal gets the slitty animal eye one.
thimbleofrain
Feb. 3rd, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC)
...and I need to see 12 Monkeys again.
amethyst_clan
Feb. 3rd, 2010 10:12 pm (UTC)
I personally don't get the idea of a tramp stamp tattoo in the first place. For me, tattoos are highly spiritual. I got mine to mark something and to (symbolically) write the memory into my skin. To me, having them where I can't see them without being a contortionist or involving mirrors reduces the impact.

(I only have 2 tattoos and am probably not going to get another one. I can't see a need that strong popping up again.)

I've heard that rib tattoos are becoming the new tramp stamp, though.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 3rd, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC)
I personally don't get the idea of a tramp stamp tattoo in the first place.

I honestly don't believe this is the sort of thing anyone put a great deal of thought into. Tattoo = edgy, if you're the sort of person who would never do anything more edgy than read a crappy paranormal romance with a tramp-stamp cover. Marketing finds one image they believe to effective in selling books (that it actually is effective can never be proven), and then they grind out multitudinous permutations of it.

As to why the ink usually appears on the woman's back, my theory would be that marketing understands most of its customers are female, and hopes female books buyers interpret the covers as a weird sort of faux-empowerment message. If you show the front, on the other hand, there's the danger of frightening off women who might feel that buying a book with frontal female semi-nudity could cause them to be perceived as lesbians...

Edited at 2010-02-03 10:21 pm (UTC)
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jacobluest
Feb. 4th, 2010 06:50 am (UTC)
Out of curiosity, because you've written so freaking much: I'm seeing your stuff with anthologies that are invitation-only for submissions...like Eclipse is now. I'm trying to build a cosmology here, so I know where to build my ladder. Is it normal practice to get to a point in your career where people are approaching you as a successful writer more than you need to approach them for publishing short stories? Does that wheel ever start turning the other way? Congrats on your latest success!

~Jacob
( 49 comments — Have your say! )