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I've just gotten word that Lee Moyer's cover for Two Worlds and In Between has been nominated for a Chelsey Award. Though, gotta admit, I'm a little – no very, in awe of Tom Kidd's cover for the Subterranean Press edition of Harlan's Deathbird Stories. Though, obviously, I hope it's Lee who wins.


Yesterday, I wrote 1,658 words and finished "Quiet Houses," which will appear in Sirenia Digest #79. I very much hope you like it. I do. Very Angela Carter, only a little less ornate. Also, Spooky finished with Round #1 of the editing of the Blood Oranges typescript. It was really only checking to be sure she hadn't missed anything Saturday afternoon and night (and then she ran a shitton of errands while I wrote).

It's a balmy 69˚F. In late June. Honestly, I might be able to stay in New England another year or two. But this bullshit cold weather is doing me too much damage. I swear to dog, I'd move to the south of France, or any country with a Mediterranean coastline (that was not also in dangerous political and social turmoil), if only publishers would pay me, you know, an actual living wage. I sure as fuck won't move back to the south. Not the fascist state of Florida. Maybe southern California. I can't hope for Hawaii. Mexico or Central America, maybe. So long as it's warm and there's a coastline.


I was just reading about sovay's computer going kaput, and her trials at the Apple store. What really caught my attention was this bit: "I am the only person with a book in this entire store. Everyone else around me waits staring into their phones or the air. I'm reading ethnography from 1912, but I feel like I'm conducting it a hundred years later." And yeah, Kathryn and I are seeing this everywhere, and we have been for the last several years. People stand around talking into little black devices – in public – and these are often very personal conversations, or arguments, or just utter who-gives-a-shit-about-your-life bullshit. Not emergencies. This is what we've come to? Never mind the idiots who text and talk while they drive (though it's illegal here). Has society disconnected this much from where they stand? Has it lost its tether to the moment? Must it publicly babble like the insane? Obviously, it has. The silent privacy of reading while one, say, waits in the Apple store, or rides a bus, or a train, or a plane, is no longer sufficient. All contact, all the time.

Aunt Beast


( 17 comments — Have your say! )
Jun. 18th, 2012 05:49 pm (UTC)
Must it publicly babble like the insane

used to be that people walking down the street talking to themselves, you knew they were crazy and could avoid them, now, everyone assumes they are talking on their hands free phone.

There are still folks out there without phones, and they are still having a conversation by themselves.
Marisa Sandlin
Jun. 18th, 2012 06:19 pm (UTC)
I am often teased, sometimes exasperatedly sighed at, for the fact I often carry a book (two if the size of the purse allows) nearly everywhere I go. I have tried doing the mundane things such as waiting in line at the bank, or sitting in a dentist's room, with only my iPhone and honestly? I am very quickly bored to tears. Not so if I have a book on hand. Sure, I have games on my device, as well as food apps, but those go stale fairly quickly for me! At least with a book, I feel as though I am somewhere else other than (insert dull activity here) or learning something new.
Jun. 19th, 2012 01:06 am (UTC)
One of my qualifications when buying a new purse is whether or not it can hold at least a paperback in it. So I'm with you.
Jun. 18th, 2012 06:27 pm (UTC)
I'm all but fed up with this weather, too. But I'm on the opposite coast from you. Rain. 52 degrees. On June fucking 18th. Of course the last three Octobers have been warmer than normal. My partner keeps saying we'll move to SoCal once the brood has flown the nest. It's also tempting to join the ExPats in Baja, Mexico, too. Lately, I've been also considering learning Russian and moving to the Caspian coast.

I have a book with me always. It's really weird, too, when I sit waiting in the doctor's office and no one is doing anything but crap on their phone or nothing at all -- not even the three-month old magazines, let alone a book. It really makes me sad.
Jun. 18th, 2012 06:29 pm (UTC)
That is awesome. I first met Lee in '93. Lee and his wife, Annaliese, are great friends with my ex-wife. He was actually the artist that taught me to truly understand how color works together. I owe him so much for that. I still have the linework he gave me for a Sandman clock that I have been meaning to play with for years.

The fact that he did such an amazing rendering for your cover is a double dip of wonderful.
Steven Barritz
Jun. 18th, 2012 06:32 pm (UTC)
I find myself mostly not tethered to the moment even without the benefit of an electronic device. I think a lot of people are like that to some extent, their mind elsewhere. I try to practice mindfulness when I can. I'm pretty sure W.S. Merwin said mindfulness was about noticing. (Speaking of Hawaii, according to Wikipedia he lives "a quiet life on a former pineapple plantation built atop a dormant volcano on the northeast coast of Maui.")

I've lived in New England all of my life, and I often daydream about moving to a better climate. Or living in an Airstream or on a boat; if the weather isn't good in one place, I can just drive/sail my home to where it is. I like to go on the Airstream website, and look at the different floor plans and pictures of the interiors.
Jun. 18th, 2012 06:33 pm (UTC)
As much as I love the convenience of having a mobile phone when I need one, I hate the expectation that I should always be available to callers. I make no apologies for turning it off for long periods of time. Humans lived for centuries without the ability to instantly get the attention of almost anyone they wanted, a few silly people can deal with having to leave me a message and hoping I'll return their call.

One of my peeves is people having full conversations on their phone while they shop for groceries. Not the quick "do we need milk?" calls, but the long "how are the kids these days?" conversations. REALLY? Are you really such poor company that you need someone to distract you from the thoughts in your own head while you run errands?!! I do not understand people who have to always be in the middle of a conversation, especially airing their business out in public.

Edited at 2012-06-18 06:34 pm (UTC)
Jun. 19th, 2012 01:10 am (UTC)
As much as I love the convenience of having a mobile phone when I need one, I hate the expectation that I should always be available to callers.

This. I had a friend in college who refused to get a cell phone for years, and when she finally broke down and did so, she kept the knowledge of the thing to only a select handful of people because she resented that expectation of availability so deeply.
Jun. 18th, 2012 06:45 pm (UTC)
Lee has some stiff competition! Kidd's Deathbird cover is freaking killer! But so is the cover of THE BEST OF YOU.

Jun. 18th, 2012 06:54 pm (UTC)
I use my iPhone to read. Most of the time I have it on flight mode so no incoming calls can disturbe my reading :) as a book designer I of course love printed books. But it's incredibly comfortable and soothing to always carry around 50 books with you and know you'll never run out of stuff to read ;) xx
Jun. 18th, 2012 07:00 pm (UTC)

I rarely use my phone as a phone - instead, it's my email portal and my away-from-home reading station. I use it to read the stuff I don't need to think about. I'm working my way through all of the Ed McBain 87th Precinct mysteries. I ran through the Sherlock Holmes stories again after watching the first season of Sherlock. Stuff like that - reading that can be done in bits and pieces, whenever I can grab a few free minutes. For me these days it's the equivalent of the cheap paperback that used to lurk in the bottom of the backpack when I was a student. However, for those authors I follow, I purchase the hardback on preorder or on release date, and climb into my favorite chair with the book as soon as I can - that's the proper way to read the good stuff - mainlining it, so to speak.

But, I suspect that the vast majority of the people staring at their phones in waiting rooms, etc., aren't reading books, given the woeful state of reading frequency in the adult population, as reported by too many depressing studies to be dismissible...
Jun. 18th, 2012 07:55 pm (UTC)
i hear you on this weather. i did hear it was going to be super hot by the end of the week. hold on, caitlin, summer is coming. even to crazy ri. i carry a book with me everywhere, but i have noticed this also. cell phones are the new cigarettes. no one can smoke to feel ok while they sit alone anymore, so now they play with their phones. god help us all, as it seems most of our society is incapable of being alone with themselves. so very sad.
Jun. 19th, 2012 01:23 am (UTC)
SoCal 4 Life, yo! We'd love to have you.
Jenny Valentine
Jun. 19th, 2012 02:32 am (UTC)
Today's entry is apropos for me because I've started reading "Awaken" by Katie Kacvinsky.
P.S. I've never used "apropos" in a sentence before, I hope it's correct.
Sandra Ann Garcia
Jun. 19th, 2012 06:18 am (UTC)
Reading in Public
When I am waiting at NJ's glorious DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), I am usually the only person trying to read a real book or any book. It's not like others have ebook readers. Quite a scary situation.

Eeeps, I logged in through Facebook due to the ease. That felt...wrong.

Edited at 2012-06-19 06:23 am (UTC)
Jada Walker
Jun. 19th, 2012 01:45 pm (UTC)
place to be
Y'all might want to look at /visit Portland OR, Cait. We just went there for a conference and is it so perfect a place - people, politics, weather - I'd move in heartbeat if I had a job lined up! I think it feels like 'home' to a lot of people in that way.
Patrick Malka
Jun. 19th, 2012 05:35 pm (UTC)
I don't want to rely on a singular group data point but I was just sitting on the bus on my way to school and at least a third of the people on the bus were reading books (I guess I should say that's including myself, for the record, Datlow's Inferno). And not just textbooks or e-readers of which there were a few, but good ol' fashion paperbacks. Maybe it's just because I'm young (25) but I don't remember a time where readers exceeded this ratio in the population. I'm just happy to see at least this portion survive.

All that being said, maybe it was just a good day for readers on the bus.
( 17 comments — Have your say! )