greygirlbeast (greygirlbeast) wrote,

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Stopping by the Woods...

"Disappointment is anger for sissies." ~ Dr. Gregory House


First off, dipsomaniac wrote: I honestly didn't know that authors wrote fake bios. I always thought they were relatively true. What is the point of having the bio anyway if it's just going to be made up?

When I put my biography in a book, it's true. It's a little synoptic history of my life as a writer. However, remember, "Kathleen Tierney" is a fictional construct, as surely as is Blood Oranges. Therefore, my biography hardly suits her. I invent her, a pseudonym. So, I invent her life. Makes sense, yes?


I need to mention another brilliant short story from The Book of Cthulhu II, and that would be Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette's "Boojum," which is sort of a follow-up to their even more brilliant "Mongoose." How does one describe "Boojum"? Well, I could cheat, by making reference to other works and say it's Lovecraft meets Farscape meets Adolf Schaller's paintings of possible Jovian lifeforms meets...but, see, that's a crappy way of describing anything. How about, "It's a damn good story"? Also, what the hell is it with so many male writers being seized by a bizarre compulsion to combine HPL with cloak-and-dagger CIA/M16/Tom Clancy/James Bond wannabe foolishness to create cringe-worthy stories? Clearly, it's a guy thing, and I just don't understand.


In the absence of my heavily pushing folks to PREORDER, the numbers are (way) down, and this week matters. A lot. If you haven't, please PREORDER the forthcoming hc collection of Alabaster: Wolves. We only need 2,500 copies preordered, kittens. That's all. We do that, and the publisher will smile upon me, and the future will be bright and shiny. Thanks.


Yesterday, Spooky and I took advantage of a warm autumn day and drove north through Massachusetts, southeastern New Hampshire, and into southern Maine. I'd never before been to Maine. I'm not going to write a blow-by-blow travelogue. I haven't time. So, here's the condensed version. Mostly, we went to see the trees in red, yellow, and orange. But we took 495 through Massachusetts, and you can't see much of interest or beauty from an interstate. Dumb us. In New Hampshire, we chose backroads, and things got better. Though there was still a lot of ugly. Small towns engulfed by strip malls, fast-food chains, and enormous billboards. But by the time we reached Londonderry, Consumerland began to thin. Not abate altogether, but thin. This is what happens when the US population climbs from ~120,000,000 in 1950 to ~314,604,000 in 2012*, agriculture crashes, and industry is outsourced to foreign nations (cheap labor!). Shit gets fucked up.

But, we did see some beauty. Just outside Londonderry, N. Hamp., we stopped at the farmhouse where Robert Frost lived from 1900-1911. A magical and beautiful place, despite the cars rushing by along the adjacent highway. We walked, and I sat in an old apple tree, and on a boulder, where I wrote a page of notes. We saw a flock of bluebirds (Sialia sialis), butterflies and dragonflies, and a beautiful garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis). The house itself was, unfortunately, closed for the season. I took away one golden maple leaf. In Londonderry, there was a marvelous newspaper headline: "Ten Charged In Londonderry Apple Theft." Another local paper bemoaned the local rodent population explosion. A nice change from Providence's headlines of gang shootings and political corruption.

We continued on eastward to Hampton, which is quite beautiful, so long as one faces the crashing blue sea and the horizon, and keeps one's back to the tourism squalor. We walked on the beaches and watched the surfers in the freezing water. Spooky kept a handful of polished pebbles, and I pocketed a periwinkle (Littorina sp.). Then we drove north across the Piscataqua Bridge into Maine, and wandered about Kittery until twilight, when we headed back to Providence along 95 South, skirting Boston. There are photos behind the cut:

The platypus had to come. Somewhere in Massachusetts.

An old mill in Lowell, Mass., on the Pawtucket Millway, on the Merrimack River.

At the Frost farm, as are all the rest below.

The platypus and me in an old apple tree.

All photographs Copyright © Caitlín R. Kiernan and Kathryn A. Pollnac.

Home Again,
Aunt Beast

*Want sources for those numbers, don't think I can't give them. By the way, 1950 was chosen sort of at random.
Tags: alabaster, autumn, biographies, blood oranges, capitalism, days off, elizabeth bear, kathleen tierney, maine, massachusetts, new hampshire, population, robert frost, the platypus, travel, trees

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