Yesterday, work for Dark Horse (details TBA), and more work on Two Worlds and In Between. Tying up lose ends. Tomorrow or Sunday, I'll be going back to work on The Drowning Girl. I'll be going into "novel hiding." Significant progress will be made in December.
The Dancy Box auction continues to amaze me and make me grateful. Thank you, bidders. Not only will the income be greatly appreciate, but Spooky and I both put a lot into the project, and it's good to see it so well received.
Yesterday, I stumbled across a review of The Ammonite Violin & Others, at SFRevu, that I'd not seen before. It is, generally, a very, very positive review, and I should note that up front. However, it contains one very odd bit that I've been mulling over ever since I read it. Mario Guslandi (I'm pretty sure this isn't the first time he's baffled me with a review) writes: "Some stories are simply beautiful, others tedious and smug to such an extent to make it irritating and almost unbearable to read them."
I'll ignore "irritating," though it's certainly vague, and Guslandi makes no attempt to explain himself. But "smug"? Really? Smug as in "Exhibiting or feeling great or offensive satisfaction with oneself or with one's situation; self-righteously complacent"? Does he mean that the author comes across as smug, or that the stories in question do? Or the characters in those stories? I admit I am utterly perplexed at the comment. If anyone out there can point me to a smug story in The Ammonite Violin & Others, I'd be thankful.
Oh, wait. I knew that name was familiar (thank you, Google). Guslandi's the same guy who reviewed To Charles Fort, With Love and declared, "One can seldom find an author capable of either delighting or boring her readers with the same ease as Catlin Kiernan..."
Smug. Smug stories. I admit, it's an interesting concept, whatever it might mean.
Last night, we watched Jamin Winans' Ink (2009). The dvd was a gift from Jennifer Szczublewski. At least, I think it was. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Anyway, wow. What a superb, beautiful, disarming film. A triumph of indie fantasy film making. Winans wrote the screenplay, directed and edited the film, composed its original score (especially stunning), and co-produced Ink with his wife, Kiowa K. Winans, and an assistant producer, Laura Wright –all on a shoestring budget. The acting is a little wobbly here and there, but I really have no other complaint, and that one pales in comparison to the whole. This is a fairy tale. A children's story told for adults, a thing that has always fascinated me. It's filled with moments of pure magic, and some genuinely terrifying imagery. You need to see this film. I note that you can currently stream it from Netflix for free. Do so. Ink is no end of marvelous.
Later, we played WoW, leveling our orcs, Gárona and Margdah, to 29.5 or so. And after that, Spooky read to me from blackholly's The Poison Eaters and Other Stories. We made it through three of the tales— "The Coldest Girl in Cold Town," "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," and the title story. "The Coldest Girl in Cold Town" is one of those very rare things, a vampire story that actually has emotional depth and something to say. Loved it, and almost wish it had been Chapter One of a novel. And "The Poison Eaters" manages an exquisite marriage of beauty, revenge, murder, and the grotesque.
I took a lot of random photos yesterday. I carried one of the cameras around with me, and just took a photo whenever the mood struck me. I got the idea from "A Day in the Life". Anyway, here are the results (there's a whole lot of grainy, because I didn't want to use the flash):
In my life, there's a lot of decaf Red Rose tea and a lot of empty prescription bottles.
View from my desk, my three Rocks of Especial Significance. Left to right: Moonstone Beach; a beach somewhere in Jamaica; a beach in Oregon.
Music, words, magick.
The view from the bottom of the stairs.
Boiling water for macaroni and cheese.
Our cluttered coffee table, where we never have coffee.
Trying to decide what to watch, settling on Ink.
Every time I stand up for five minutes, Hubero commandeers my office chair.
Nemo, the Comforting Octopus, a gift from sovay on the occasion of our most recent trip to the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology.
The inevitable self portrait. The glasses are Spooky's. I think I'll be getting the same frames.
All photographs Copyright © 2010 by Caitlín R. Kiernan.