Tags: "electronaut's ovid"


"Mince the white part of..."

The humidity stayed low yesterday, and the day was quite pleasant, though the mercury went as high as 87˚F. Today will be cooler, only about 82˚F.

We have to make a trip to the storage unit in Pawtucket to find more things that are going to Brown. It's been well over a year since we made our first delivery to the John Hay, and on September 6th we'll drop off the last boxes.

Yesterday, my contributors copies of Alabaster: The Good, the Bad, and the Bird hardback arrived. It has a handsome cover, to hide all my disappointments. So, thank you, Greg. Without you, there would have been no point whatsoever.

About the Big Dry:

I'm trying to convince myself it's simply a matter of hitting reset and moving forward, of not looking back over my shoulder at all the lost time and missed opportunity. It isn't working very well, but I am trying. Break it down. At the end of August 2015, on August 25th, I finished Agents of Dreamland and hit a dry spell that continued for about three and a half months*, during which time I finished no new fiction. I spent most of September and October working on the screenplay for The Red Tree for Josh Boone, but that doesn't count. Late in December, I managed to write "Excerpts for An Eschatology Quadrille" for Ellen Datlow's forthcoming Children of Lovecraft. At that point, things got better for a time. Between January and the end of March, I wrote, for Sirenia Digest, "Eurydice Eduction," "Study for an Electronaut's Ovid (AD 2052)," and "Pillbug," and for an upcoming Subterranean Press anthology I wrote "Objects in the Mirror." I finished "Objects in the Mirror" on March 28th.

And then things got quiet.

I wrote nothing else of note until I did "Whisper Road" between June 29th and July 2.

And then things got really quiet.

Oh, I was working my ass off, researching The Starkeeper, writing scraps that I'd hoped would become Chapter One, beginning short stories that would prove false starts – most notably "Beyond the Laughing Sky," which I worked at, fruitlessly, between July and August. It's not that I wasn't working. It's just that I wasn't able to produce finished prose. And so, the past year can be divided into a dry spell beginning on or about August 26th that didn't end until mid December, then a productive period from mid December to March 28th, followed by a second dry spell that lasted from the end of March until now, broken only by the brief respite of "Whisper Road" at the end of June.

I've never written so little in a year, not since I've called myself a writer. It's very, very scary. But, there you go, for anyone who might be curious. Oh, and a practical definition for "dry spell," as used here, is "a period of time during which I am unable to finish anything."

We watched two more episodes of Doctor Who last night: "The Woman Who Lived," which mostly worked for me, and "The Zygon Invasion," which mostly didn't (though I was amused at the attempt to pass the English moors off as Truth or Consequences, New Mexico).

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions.

Aunt Beast

* This roughly corresponds to the worst period of insomnia of my life, which, of course, must be at least partly responsible for the dry spell.

The Red Tree

"Waited so long it stained you. All our promises are lies."

Yesterday, Providence broke it's previous record for record warmth on February 1, by one degree Fahrenheit. It got to 65˚F, and it was glorious. Around here, we're lucky to get days like that in April. I finished getting the digest together so that it could be PDF'd, and then we left. Kathryn and I were not about the spend so fine and rare a day in this house.

Today, the weather's cooler again, currently 47˚F, with the windchill at 41˚F, which is still unseasonably warm. The sky today is wide and carnivorous, a butchery in blue.

Sirenia Digest #120 went out to subscribers late last night. I hope people are pleased with "Study for an Electronaut's Ovid."

Kathryn and I went to Paper Nautilus Books at Wayland Square, where we still have a lot of credit from the great book purge of 2013. I found a copy of the third editon of Borradaile, Eastham, Potts, and Saunders' The Invertebrata (1958, Cambridge University Press).* The third edition was revised by G.A. Kerkut, who was a very fine zoologist, but, sadly, also a creationist and something of a kook. Still, there are few more excellent textbooks on invertebrates. Spooky found an edition of Virginia Woolf's "Freshwater: A Comedy," illustrated by Edward Gorey. After Paper Nautilus, we made a quick trip to Eastside Market and the pharmacy.

I found "Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster" absolutely delightful, thanks to the wonderful Darin Morgan, who also wrote "Jose Chung's From Outer Space" and, for Millennium, "Jose Chung's Doomsday Defense," and who also played the Flukeman in "The Host." The episode was filled with Easter Eggs. To quote Scully, "Yeah, this is how I like my Mulder." Indeed.

My latest** Xmas present arrived yesterday, Exitmusic's Passage on vinyl. Jesus, this is a beautiful album. Aleksa Palladino's voice is a revelation, simultaneously sorrowful, jubilant, defiant, and apocalyptic. She sings like the sea taking apart a shoreline. This will likely be my favorite LP for some time to come. Currently, it's a the soundtrack I need for this stretch of life. By the way, Aleska Palladino played Angela Darmody in Boardwalk Empire. You listen to Exitmusic, and you'll hear the film that I hope The Red Tree will one day be.

I'm feeling worse than I'd hoped I feel this morning. Cold turkey is always a cunt.

Aunt Beast

* An inscription in the book reads "Ambrose F. Keeley, Leverett House, Harvard College, February 1960." Turns out, Ambrose Kelly went on the be the principal of Durfee High School in Fall River, Mass. The school's library was named in his honor.

** That is to say, the one that will be the most late.
The Red Tree

"Cover the shapes and erase the date. This could be any evening in any place."

A freakishly warm day. It's already 63˚F out there. Spooky's opening the storm window in my office. At least this room can air out a little. Thank you, El Niño. God, that air smells good. Currently, we are one degree away from the record high for this day, 64˚F in 1989.

I hardly slept last night. For a lot of known reasons. For several. I was up at a quarter to six this morning, working on Sirenia Digest #120, which should go out this evening. I finished the story yesterday. "Build Your Houses With Their Backs to the Sea" unexpectedly became "Notes for an Electronaut's Ovid." I'll use "Build Your Houses With Their Backs to the Sea" for some other story someday. After dinner, I proofread it and made edits. I'm going to try and make it to the John Hay Library this afternoon to do a little proofreading on Mythos Tales.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, ending this afternoon. Thank you.

Okay, so...I have to do something unpleasant for my health, which currently isn't all that great. My health, I mean. I'm not a kid anymore, and I can't keep treating myself like this. And I'm going to be sick for a week or so. And then I'll be better. I may or may not be scarce here for a little while. I've put this off far too long.

But hey, I have seven seasons of Malcolm in the Middle to see me through it.

Aunt Beast
The Red Tree

Howard Hughes, Gender Traitor

I am very much not awake at the moment. Not awake, I sit here staring out my office window at the bright light of late morning. Very sunny today, currently 49˚F, and the high will be 51˚F. Tomorrow is forecast to be even warmer. Thank you again, El Niño. This is almost an Alabama February.

A very good writing day yesterday. I did 1,029 words on "Build Your Houses With Their Backs to the Sea." My goal today is to finish the story and then, after dinner, get Sirenia Digest #120 out to subscribers. This way, tomorrow I'll be free to get out of the house. Though, I will likely spend the day proofreading...somewhere else. As long as I'm not proofreading here, I'll be okay with that.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thank you.

last night we finished the eighth and final season of That '70s Show, which means we watched eight years in a little less than two months, two hundred episodes. I really fell in love. Big, goofy, nostalgic love. Last night after the series finale, which ends with the countdown to New Years Day 1980, we immediately watched the first episode over again. And then "Fun It," the theft of Fatso the Clown.

Now, kittens, it's time to wake up and work.

Aunt Beast
The Red Tree

"She moves herself about her fist."

I'm not exactly awake. I haven't been sleeping well, between nightmares and waking too frequently. But I think the reading last night took a bit out of me. I have grown unaccustomed to such things. Anyway, it's currently 37˚F here in Providence, but next week we're looking at highs in the 50˚s F. Thank you, El Niño. This is weird weather, but I'm not going to argue.

The reading at Lovecraft Arts and Science Council last night went quite nicely. I met Scott and Jeffrey Thomas and Joey Zone, and other people. My former editor Danielle Stockley was there (she escaped New York, and now she lives in Cranston). She was my editor for all three Quinn novels (well, technically all four) and she assisted Anne Sowards with the editing of The Drowning Girl. I read "One Tree Hill (The World As Cataclysm)" in its entirety. I signed books and one Stiff Kitten T-shirt. My thanks to Niels Hobbs and everyone else at the shop for a great time. I have to go back when I actually have time to look around. Here are a few photos. I think the shop will posting a video of the reading on Facebook, and I'll link to that tomorrow.

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Today, I have to get this story back on track, "Build Your Houses With Their Backs To the Sea." It's the sort of story that should have been written in a single setting*, were I capable of doing such a thing.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions.

Aunt Beast

* Interesting slip there, Kiernan.
The Red Tree

"Oh, and what ain't living can never really die."

A few clouds today, but it's not so cold. Currently, it's 42˚F, with the windchill at 34˚F.

I think this will be short.

Yesterday was a slower sort of writing day, and I only managed 727 words. I got hung up on description, in a scene where I'm trying to describe a distinctly alien sex act, involving an ovipositor. And the whole story is being told in some futuristic gangster argot, so there are the usual difficulties of description compounded by the difficulty of conveying the images via a first-person narrative spoken in a fictional dialect.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. We're in one of those stretches that fall "between checks," and this one may go on for quite some time. So, every little bit helps. Thank you.

Later Taters,
Aunt Beast
The Red Tree

Howard Hughes, In Exile

Some clouds today, some sun. Currently, we're at 47˚F, with a windchill of 39˚F, so the snow will be melting quickly today.

Another good writing day yesterday. I did 1,053 words on "Build Your Houses With Their Backs To the Sea."

Just before last night, it occurred to me that if someone were fifteen years old when I began this blog, they'd likely be close to thirty now. That's how long I've been doing this, first at Blogger, then at Blogger and LJ, and now only at LJ. Almost every day of my life for the past fourteen years, two months, and two days (or 5,176 days) has an entry. My fifteen-year anniversary as a blogger will be November 24th, 2016. How does one celebrate something like that?

Please have a look at the current eBay entries. Thank you. They include a copy of Fată înecându-se: O autobiografie, the Romanian edition of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. I was only given three copies, so it's very likely this will be the only copy we ever auction.

I still haven't been sent a copy of the Polish edition, though it was published well over a year ago. It has a gorgeous cover, though. And did I ever mention that my Brazilian publisher has purchased Portuguese-language rights to Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan (Volume One)? Well, they have. At least I'm big in Brazil.

“To ask a novelist to talk about his writing is like asking somebody to cook about their dancing.” ~ Jim Crace

For dinner last night Spooky made collards to go with the leftover black-eyed peas, and we watched the next episode of The X-Files, which I enjoyed even more than Sunday night's episode. We're also working our way through the final season of That '70s Show. I have to say that "Fun It" (8:7, aired 12/14/05) is one of the funniest things I've ever seen on television.

Oh, and at 2:20 a.m., Spooky went outside in the cold and the snow to breakup a cat fight. The sort between actual felines, I mean.

Aunt Beast
The Red Tree

"When you were young you were the King of Carrot Flowers."

The sun came back yesterday, and the snow began to melt. The sun's still here today, so there's hope most of this mess will be gone before the next storm finds us. Currently, it's 33˚F, but feels like 30˚F. And don't be one of those people to whom I have to explain windchill.

I had a very good writing day yesterday, and I found my way into the next piece for Sirenia Digest, a science-fiction tale I've titled "Build Your Houses With Their Backs To the Sea," after an episode of Route 66 (1963). I did 1,052 words.

Last night, Spooky made black-eyed peas and macaroni and cheese, and I was entirely delighted by the return of The X-Files. It almost inconceivable that so much time has passed since the series premiered in 1993. A kid that was ten years old when the first episode aired is now twenty-three. Oh, and on this date in 1993, Belly's first album, Star, was released. I count it was one of the most important albums of the early nineties. It's an integral part of the soundtrack of my years in Athens, Georgia.

Later Taters,
Aunt Beast