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"Useful as a bucket with no bottom."

There's something I'm going to get over and out of the way up front, and then we can move along to other things. But, firstly, those who read this journal need to know, truly need to know and believe, that I am not to be told – ever – what I may and may not write about here. For example, should you be so clueless a git as to tell me that I must "stop saying things about parenting" – just for example – I will tell you to fuck off. I don't care who you are. I don't care if you're a friend of a friend or if you're Stephen fucking King. Now, yes, of course, I'd like this blog to have as many readers as possible. That would be keen. That would be bow tie. But not at the expense of suffering fools. Especially fools who've apparently not a) read the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or who b) are unaware that this is, in fact, my blog, in which I am free to say any goddamn thing I wish, no matter how profane, unpopular, and no matter how much it might rub your little pet delusions the wrong way. So, yes, let's not mince words. If you have, or intend ever to, behave in such a fashion, fuck off. I have no need of you.

---

Yesterday, Spooky and I took the morning off and caught a painfully early matinée of Tim Burton's Dark Shadows. I honestly wasn't sure I'd like it. For many reasons, it could have been a train wreck. But I loved it. It's a delightful film. It's fun! Dark Shadows manages to balance camp and a cockeyed sort of earnestness in a way that far too few films do. Think Burton's own Edward Scissorhands (1990). Like that. The script and casting are both superb. The soundtrack and Danny Elfman's score are both wonderful, spot on (even if I can't get the Carpenter's out of my head today). The casting...okay, screw it. There's nothing I can think of offhand about this film that I didn't like, right down to the intentional continuity flaws. It won't break any box-office records. It might not even break even. But it's gonna be a great cult classic. I suspect the studio had no idea what to do with this film. It doesn't "fit" into any of the marketing folks' tidy little caskets. It's too busy being what it is, disregarding expectation. It's an homage, but it's also a parody possessed of an unexpected core of sincerity. I think lots of people take the original series far too serious, and miss its absurd, unavoidable campiness (which the cast never did). Melodrama, kittens, melodrama! I'd say see it, but you might hate it, and then you'd blame me. But it's bow tie. Top to bottom, stem to stern. I will add that you ought recall the surviving cast members of the TV show were very pleased with the film, and that Kathryn and I are both fans of the original. Very nice that it was dedicated to the late Dan Curtis.

---

A paltry ten days stand between me and -08, which pretty much blows my goddamn mind. Who'd have ever thought I'd live this long. Should have seen me in 1991, or 1996, or even as recently as 2010, and you never would have believed it. Anyway, it seems I shall. I've been trying, very hard, not to think about it, so have neglected to post the usual link to my Amazon wish list.

However, should it come down to gifting me with this or that distraction, or, instead, picking up a copy of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir or preordering a copy of Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart, I'd prefer you buy one (or both) of those two books. It's a lazy and neglectful author who does not put her work ahead of birthday fripperies. And these two books have been woefully neglected, as I struggle with all the ins and outs of Alabaster: Wolves. However, if you're remarkably flush and desire to do both....

---

I assume subscribers have received Sirenia Digest #77. I'd love to hear reactions to it (or 76, or 75...). It's a lot easier to keep this up every month if I hear thoughts on the stories. And it's best if they're posted here, not emailed. Let's stimulate discussion!

---

Yesterday, after the movie, I came home and worked on this major revision of Alabaster: Wolves #5, and also went over cover copy (and rewrote a bit of said copy) for Blood Oranges, as Danielle, my bow-tie editor at Penguin has marketing nipping at her heels for copy on a book we've not even begun editing. Today, I have to sign signature sheets for Joshi's Black Wings II, which reprints my story "John Four," and proof the text for The Yellow Alphabet (the hardback chapbook that comes FREE with the limited of the aforementioned Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. Tomorrow, it's back to Alabaster: Wolves #5 (which I need to finish by Friday evening).

Last night, Spooky and I finished reading The Two Towers. I hope we can begin The Return of The King tonight. I'd forgotten what a fine chapter is "The Choices of Master Samwise."

And now...word mines!

Beastly,
Aunt Beast

Comments

( 71 comments — Have your say! )
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elsewhereangel
May. 16th, 2012 06:01 pm (UTC)
I'm really pleased that you enjoyed Dark Shadows. I've wanted to see it since I heard about it a few months back but the reviews have been both pretty awful and pretty vague about exactly what is the awful. I think a lot of people dislike Tim Burton not because of what he does but because what he actually does does not fit with what they have decided he does (if that makes any sense whatsoever).

And again - so excited re: 5chambered!
greygirlbeast
May. 16th, 2012 06:03 pm (UTC)

I've wanted to see it since I heard about it a few months back but the reviews have been both pretty awful and pretty vague about exactly what is the awful.

This is why I don't read reviews. Nothing beyond people whose opinions I respect saying "I liked this" or "I hated this" or so on. And, if I did read reviews, I'd never make decisions based on them.
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greygirlbeast
May. 16th, 2012 06:04 pm (UTC)

Well, yeah! Of course no one ought to be telling anyone what they can or cannot write in their own damn journal.

Well, as all can see, someone did just that here day before yesterday.
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greygirlbeast
May. 16th, 2012 06:05 pm (UTC)

Must not read spoilers. Must...not...read...SPOILERS!

No. You absolutely MUST NOT!

I've had people complain about the things I write in my LJ. As a result, I wrote my LJ mainfesto, which explains the purpose behind my writings.

I can, just barely, endure complaints and disagreements (though I find them rude). I will not, however, endure orders not to discuss a subject.
trvolk
May. 16th, 2012 06:46 pm (UTC)
What I liked most about Dark Shadows is how Burton left it in an episodic state. After all, who says a phoenix cannot *return* in fire? Also, take your pick as to which character Roger could now bring to Collinsport. Trask? Devlin?

... and don't forget who is buried in the cellar.
greygirlbeast
May. 16th, 2012 08:44 pm (UTC)

I'd love to see a sequel, though I doubt it'll happen.
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
May. 16th, 2012 08:45 pm (UTC)

It's such a fine word, and so neglected.
dipsomaniac
May. 16th, 2012 07:20 pm (UTC)
I am looking forward to seeing Dark Shadows soon. Glad you enjoyed it. Any plans to see Prometheus when it's out?
greygirlbeast
May. 16th, 2012 08:46 pm (UTC)

Any plans to see Prometheus when it's out?

Put it this way: I only consider this the most important film of the year.
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martianmooncrab
May. 16th, 2012 07:42 pm (UTC)
its your LJ, you can write what you want, I dont see you holding a (fill in the blank) to anyones head forcing them to read it.

We have free will, use it or lose it!

... now I am reconsidering seeing Dark Shadows, I have been totally turned off by the ads..
greygirlbeast
May. 16th, 2012 08:47 pm (UTC)

its your LJ, you can write what you want, I dont see you holding a (fill in the blank) to anyones head forcing them to read it.

Exactly.
stsisyphus
May. 16th, 2012 07:45 pm (UTC)
As I said elsewhere, I figured you'd either adore Dark Shadows or positively hate it. I suppose the distinction would have been as to how you approached the original. I took it pretty seriously, approaching it as a mystery or some sort of flawed thriller - but I'm sort of famous for getting poor readings of art (it's why I'm horrible with poetry). I will say that I liked several of the counterintuitive 70s film references (e.g. crayola-red paint for blood, Alice Cooper:Dark Shadows::Frankie Avalon:Grease), in opposition to the broader 70s references.

...it's gonna be a great cult classic

Even if I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as you, this I believe absolutely.
greygirlbeast
May. 16th, 2012 08:48 pm (UTC)

I took it pretty seriously, approaching it as a mystery or some sort of flawed thriller

Curious. Had you seen either the ads or the original series?

Even if I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as you, this I believe absolutely.

It seems inevitable.
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Steven Barritz
May. 16th, 2012 08:16 pm (UTC)
I have only seen the early episodes of the show, mostly before they even had Barnabas Collins, did it become more campy as the show went forward, or am I missing something?, because those early shows don't seem campy to me. This is an open question for anyone.
greygirlbeast
May. 16th, 2012 08:50 pm (UTC)

I have only seen the early episodes of the show, mostly before they even had Barnabas Collins, did it become more campy as the show went forward, or am I missing something?, because those early shows don't seem campy to me. This is an open question for anyone.

I don't mean campy in the over-the-top Rocky Horror Picture Show, drag-queen sense of the word. I mean it in a more subtle "there's no way these guys are taking this shit seriously, it's just too silly" sense of the word. Which the cast essentially confirmed.
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aarongp
May. 16th, 2012 09:27 pm (UTC)
But, firstly, those who read this journal need to know, truly need to know and believe, that I am not to be told – ever – what I may and may not write about here
Yep. Your house, your rules. If visitors don't like it, they can piss off. Pretty simple really.

Planning to get to SD #77 this weekend. As well as A:W #2, which I received yesterday. Also want to read "Random Thoughts Before a Fatal Crash" from the Sub Press website. All while trying to finish the Shirley Jackson biography I currently have out on loan. A grand time ahead.

"Dark Shadows" looks like sheer fun. Hoping I can duck off and see it in cinemas.

Danielle, my bow-tie editor at Penguin has marketing nipping at her heels for copy on a book we've not even begun editing
That's definitely a good sign. Hopefully they come up with a really nice package--and promotion--for what will be a kick arse book.


Edited at 2012-05-16 09:43 pm (UTC)
greygirlbeast
May. 16th, 2012 09:56 pm (UTC)

Your house, your rules. If visitors don't like it, they can piss off. Pretty simple really.

So you would think.

Also want to read "Random Thoughts Before a Fatal Crash" from the Sub Press website.

Personally, I think it's one of my best.

That's definitely a good sign. Hopefully they come up with a really nice package--and promotion--for what will be a kick arse book.

Well...it pretty much always happens this way.
eluneth
May. 16th, 2012 10:08 pm (UTC)
"The Choices of Master Samwise."
I got goosebumps just reading the chapter title. It's been too long since I've had the chance to reread the trilogy.

Thanks for the words on Dark Shadows (and the accompanying J. Depp icon) - I hadn't realized that it had come out, but have been mightily excited to see it! Earnest melodrama is a combination that's very dear to my heart. Can't wait, can't wait...
eluneth
May. 16th, 2012 10:11 pm (UTC)
P.S. Have a copy of Alabaster No. 2 on hold at the nearest Newbury Comics. Counting down the days (or possibly hours, should I decide to skive off tonight) until I can set my hands on it.
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crowsink
May. 16th, 2012 10:13 pm (UTC)
Nun
"That would be keen." I can't remember the last time I heard or saw the word "keen" used. What a delight.
greygirlbeast
May. 16th, 2012 10:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Nun

I had to force myself not to use "peachy keen."
Steven Barritz
May. 16th, 2012 10:29 pm (UTC)
Of possible interest. In my inbox is an email from Amazon, subject line: "The Drowning Girl". The body of the message is "Steve, Are you looking for something in our Mystery, Thriller & Suspense books department? If so, you might be interested in these items." They list The Drowning Girl first, then The Games by Ted Kosmatka, Three A.M. by Steven John, The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James, and Dead Harvest (The Collector) by Chris F. Holm. I already bought two copies of TDG from them, so not entirely sure what's up.

greygirlbeast
May. 16th, 2012 10:58 pm (UTC)

Oh, I get those emails to. They suggested I might The Drowning Girl. Which I do, but...
whiskeychick
May. 16th, 2012 10:59 pm (UTC)
Parents who tell other people not to talk about parenting give the rest of us a really bad rap; as well increase the rate of Hulk Smashing Need by said irritated parents.

Your blog, facebook wall, etc. are your fucking living room for jesus h. roosevelt christ's sake. Also, most of those asshats wouldn't have the vagina to say it to your face. Their bravado is increased by the seeming anonymity of the digital barriers.

I'm socking pennies away to make sure that my CRK collection does not contain any missing elements.
greygirlbeast
May. 16th, 2012 11:06 pm (UTC)

Parents who tell other people not to talk about parenting give the rest of us a really bad rap

Oh, but they know the TRUE PATH TO THE PERFECT CHILD!

Your blog, facebook wall, etc. are your fucking living room for jesus h. roosevelt christ's sake. Also, most of those asshats wouldn't have the vagina to say it to your face. Their bravado is increased by the seeming anonymity of the digital barriers.

You tell 'em!

Edited at 2012-05-16 11:07 pm (UTC)
mamaroximagines
May. 16th, 2012 11:04 pm (UTC)
I saw the previews and they frightened me away. I might reconsider now, though, that you've said that the teasers are misleading. I was an avid fan of the original series; I consider it a hallmark of my youth, and the thought of it as a slapstick romp made me shudder. I also believe that Tim Burton plays best in the playground of his own imagination; his original stories are better "Tim Burton" films than are his adaptations. I hated his 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.'

But, my dear Auntie Beast, I trust you, so I might actually take the chance. I'm sure I'll let everyone know what I think, thumbs up or down.

P.S. People who tell a blogger what to write or not write ... feh.
greygirlbeast
May. 16th, 2012 11:08 pm (UTC)

slapstick romp made me shudder.

It is a comedy, but not a slapstick romp.
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( 71 comments — Have your say! )