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A rainy day here in Providence. It's nice.

Kyle and I have been hammering out specifics on the still photography/book trailer project for The Drowning Girl, and it's a stressful affair. Well, if you're me. I can make stress out of thin air. Anyway, the Kickstarter is going extraordinarily well (166%)...and...Michael Zulli has just come on board to do the actual painting, The Drowning Girl, which, in the novel, was painted in 1898 by an artist named Phillip George Saltonstall. Zulli has become our Saltonstall, which is beyond amazing.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,480 words on Chapter Five of Blood Oranges, and talking through with Kathryn what remains of the story, blocking it (a term I use instead of "plotting," as blocking is much looser), I begin to see that it's not a ten-chapter book, or a nine-chapter book. Probably, it's an eight-chapter book. Otherwise, this becomes gratuitous. And I'll not have that. Regardless, the word count will be somewhere between 70,000 and 80,000 words.

Some news regarding Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart (Subterranean Press, 2012). The limited edition will include an extra volume (probably trade paperback), containing The Yellow Alphabet and 10,000 words of new fiction (likely in the form of two new stories). And I'll be working with Lee Moyer again on the cover.

---

A thought last night. Actually, a storm of thoughts whirling into a vortex. But, I'll play nice and call it a thought. Singular and calm. And it was just this: In today's subgenre-obsessed market, Harlan Ellison would be tagged a "horror writer." No, really. Go back and read the bulk of his fiction. Usually, he's writing "horrific sf" (as a disparaging Locus reviewer said of The Dry Salvages, "This is what happens when a horror writer tries to write SF"). Ellison's greatest achievements are almost all, at their roots, horrific. They're not about the sailing off into the stars, or the future, or the possibilities of technology, and finding a better world for mankind. Look at, for example, "The Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World" (1967), or "Shattered Like a Glass Goblin" (1968), or "The Whimper of Whipped Dogs" (1973), or even "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" (1967). Though hailed as one of the most important SF writers of the 20th Century (I'd simply say one of the most important writers, period, and dispense with your fucking qualifying adjectives), if time were scrambled and he emerged into today's literary marketplace, a new writer, Harlan would be pegged a "horror writer." Probably, he would never receive all those Nebulas and Hugos. Being labeled "a horror writer" would define him in the eyes of NYC editors, and this would absolutely have a great influence on what he could and could not sell and see published. And this would be a crime of the first fucking order.

Stop thinking inside the genre paradigm, people. By doing so, you destroy art and opportunity. It's fiction, all of it. It's all literature. We need no other words to accurately define it. We need no reductionist baloney.

---

I don't feel right any longer saying, "Last night I watched television," when, in fact, I streamed video files across the internet from Netflix or Hulu. Anyway, last night Spooky and I gave AMC's Mad Men a try, beginning with the first two episodes. And were very impressed. Then we finished Season One of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, and began Season Two. At some point I'll maybe be able to summarize my thoughts on all this L&O stuff. After hundreds more episodes. I also read "New unadorned hardrosaurine hadrosaurid (Dinosauria, Ornithopoda) from the Campanian of North America" (very cool beast, is Acristavus gagslarsoni) in JVP. And we read more of Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth, and I read more of Denise Gess and William Lutz' Firestorm at Peshtigo: A Town, It's People, and the Deadliest Fire in American History. We're trying to get our bedtimes back to something sane. Maybe 2:30 ayem, instead of 5 ayem. Last night, I was asleep by four, I think. Baby steps.

Giving Genre the Massachusetts State Bird,
Aunt Beast

Comments

( 19 comments — Have your say! )
papersteven
Aug. 15th, 2011 06:46 pm (UTC)
The limited edition will include an extra volume

Oh my! How did this wonderfulness come about?
greygirlbeast
Aug. 15th, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC)

Oh my! How did this wonderfulness come about?

Bill Schafer asked for it.
kendare_blake
Aug. 15th, 2011 07:10 pm (UTC)
Good thoughts again on genre problem. People will always stuff things into boxes for easy classification. If only it wasn't so limiting.

Excellent news about Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. I think I might spring for the limited edition this year.

Completely off-topic: Had a nightmare in which I was watching an internet video you and Spooky had made. And you turned and yelled at me through the screen. It was disturbing.

Also, great beach photos the other day! Keep them coming and stretch out the summer.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 15th, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC)

Good thoughts again on genre problem. People will always stuff things into boxes for easy classification. If only it wasn't so limiting.

Even biologists are beginning to understand this only creates artificial and worthless categories.

Completely off-topic: Had a nightmare in which I was watching an internet video you and Spooky had made. And you turned and yelled at me through the screen. It was disturbing.

Neat! You're welcome.
kurtmulgrew
Aug. 15th, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
I think it's so interesting to read about these new discoveries like this hadrosaur and to show how it may give clues about how dinosaurs evolved.

I just finished reading The Dry Salvages this morning and I just want to say I really thought it was good. It has some sf elements but it's more about the story and the emotions. I like it.

Good luck on getting to bed before 5am. I never get to.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 15th, 2011 07:53 pm (UTC)

I think it's so interesting to read about these new discoveries like this hadrosaur and to show how it may give clues about how dinosaurs evolved.

Bingo.

I just finished reading The Dry Salvages this morning and I just want to say I really thought it was good. It has some sf elements but it's more about the story and the emotions. I like it.

Well said, and thank you. I don't think reviewers understood that it wasn't about technology or scientific advancements, but about the, you know, characters.
subtlesttrap
Aug. 15th, 2011 07:42 pm (UTC)
Some news regarding Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart Subterranean Press, 2012). The limited edition will include an extra volume (probably trade paperback), containing The Yellow Alphabet and 10,000 words of new fiction (likely in the form of two new stories). And I'll be working with Lee Moyer again on the cover.

Thanks for the news! Its exciting that there will be an additional 10,000 words for the chapbook on top of "The Yellow Alphabet!" Most excellent. Can we expect the volume in early 2012?
greygirlbeast
Aug. 15th, 2011 07:53 pm (UTC)

Can we expect the volume in early 2012?

No. I thinking summer, at the earliest.
joshrupp
Aug. 15th, 2011 08:33 pm (UTC)
I loves me some Ellison, but he's just one of the people who would get crucified. Joseph Conrad would be a horror writer, James Joyce would be a pornographer, Austen would be a romance novelist and Ayn Rand would be stupid because she sucks. Although that deflects the point. It's kind of like how the Kindle is eliminating browsing. As a culture, we're selectively breeding out surprise.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 15th, 2011 08:59 pm (UTC)

Ayn Rand would be stupid because she sucks.

That part is so very true.

As a culture, we're selectively breeding out surprise.

That might just be fucking brilliant.
thimbleofrain
Aug. 16th, 2011 03:56 pm (UTC)
It's a coping mechanism. Like cleaning your bathroom at 2 am. Or cutting yourself.
sovay
Aug. 15th, 2011 09:10 pm (UTC)
Zulli has become our Saltonstall, which is beyond amazing.

That is extremely cool.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 15th, 2011 09:13 pm (UTC)

Still has me a little breathless.
melissaleeg83
Aug. 15th, 2011 09:44 pm (UTC)
Browsing bookstore shelves
I find the section that I want and if I don't have one in mind then I look through it. I start out with titles, the cover design, and last is what the book is about. If it is fiction, I might get it. But I would never venture into the section of science fiction because I read too many bad alien robot stories as a kid, and hold Scientology against it. So I am in the bad consumer catagory.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 16th, 2011 04:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Browsing bookstore shelves

So I am in the bad consumer catagory.

It's never too late to change.
jessamyg
Aug. 16th, 2011 12:49 am (UTC)
Ellison Horrorland
I totally agree that Harlan would be hung with the horror writer tag, when he should just be thought of as a writer, and very probably one of the best short story writers that have ever existed. Well, the world will be a much blander place without Mr. Ellison and I find it wonderful just to know that he exists, that he brings us dreams and nightmares, and that he roams the world and rains down his displeasure on the unworthy and the hypocritical. Harlan is a jealous god, critics beware.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 16th, 2011 04:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Ellison Horrorland

Harlan is a jealous god, critics beware.

He is my role model....
pilamin
Aug. 16th, 2011 06:23 am (UTC)
Reductionism.
Or as Gene Wolfe said, "All novels are fantasies. Some are more honest about it."
greygirlbeast
Aug. 16th, 2011 04:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Reductionism.

"All novels are fantasies. Some are more honest about it."

Yes! Exactly. And I love the icon!
( 19 comments — Have your say! )