Saturday, November 30, 2002
Last night I passed out on the sofa about midnight, though I'd intended to watch The 13th Warrior again, and didn't wake up until 9:30 this morning. Earlier, I'd ordered us out of Boxland and into the Real World (well, actually Birmingham, which isn't exactly the same thing, but we make do with what we have). We saw the remake of Solaris (very, very nice) and then had extremely spicy Thai food. Then it was back to the boxes. This morning, we've reached the stage where pictures are coming down, electronics are being packed, glass shelves from the display cases are being delt with — the parts of moving that make me the most nervous.
Today, I have to somehow find time to finish up my bits for the Trilobite: The Writing of Threshold cd, Our thoughts make spirals in their world, and e-mail some corrections for that book to Subterranean Press. Sometimes it seems that more work actually goes into these chapbooks than into the big books. Oh, and I have to get the signature sheets for Waycross into the mail this afternoon, which means driving all the way out to the airport, since the downtown post office has started closing on Saturday. And the disc for Derek with my wav files, that has to go into the mail to, so at least I have two reasons for having to drive to the airport. These will, however, be the last things I mail from Birmingham.
A note on Farscape: I'll be writing my fourth essay on the series in the next couple of weeks, to appear on SFSite.com in late December. The article will look at the campaign to save the series thus far, assess where we stand and why good television has such a hard time of it, and provide a sort of our-story-thus-far to help people who want to catch up with the show via the Christmas Eve "Chain Reaction" on Sci-Fi. In an all-day marathon, the channel will rerun the eleven episodes of Season Four that have aired, as a lead-in to the last eleven episodes of Season Four (which begin airing in January).
Now I really ought to go help with the damn packing. There seems never to be an end to it.
Friday, November 29, 2002
Almost everything is boxed. The first load goes to Atlanta tomorrow, then all the furniture when the movers come on Monday. I think I have to get out of here today, just to remove myself from the mess, the chaos, the echoing rooms, for a little while. I spent all of Thanksgiving day (well, almost all of it) talking to Spooky on the phone and watching the Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon. Actually, we watched about two-thirds of the marathon together, via phone. How's that for geeky? Not to mention it must have added up to something like nine hours on the telephone. Anyway, come next week this can stop being the Caitlín's-moving-journal and go back to being the Caitlín-explores-the-day-to-day-drudgery-of-being-an-author-journal. I might actually try to get some work done later this evening, when I can stand to be in this place again.
Wednesday, November 27, 2002
Just a short sort of something this morning, because I'm in a rush. Oh, I see it's not actually morning anymore. Okay, just a short bit of something early this afternoon, because I'm in a rush. The packing is getting close to complete, which is good. I think that I won't pack tomorrow, it being Thanksgiving, and me being sick of packing. Not much in the way of work yesterday, though I have been getting some vocals done for the CD (with help from Jim and Jennifer in Atlanta and Spooky in Providence). The disc is going to be very cool. This little book, Trilobite: The Writing of Threshold has taken so long to pull together, I'm really starting to look forward to it. More later.
Tuesday, November 26, 2002
Four days to go.
The sky is gray today. Gray with patches of blue like something the sky is trying to remember. I think there's rain coming soon. It's chilly but not genuinely cold.
Yesterday I packed the display cases, which is always the hardest, most tedious part of my moves. Now that it's over I can breathe a little easier. Except for worrying that something will be damaged in transit, of course. I drank Sobe Adrenaline, listened to VNV Nation (Futureperfect), Moby (18) and Attrition (The Jeopardy Maze) while I wrapped jars with bats and lizards and baby sharks in formalin, wrapping them in newspaper and tissue. Dinosaur teeth and claws, dolphin bones, a lynx skull, Crocodylus niloticus and Alligator mississippiensis, fossil ferns and starfish, a rhinoceras beetle from Thailand — my little menagerie, gathered over the years. Afterwards, I did some work for Derek on my vocal bits for the Our thoughts make spirals in their world CD. I have to finish that up tonight, as we're on a very, very tight schedule, getting the disc finished and to the factory and then back to Subterranean Press. When I was too tired to work any longer, I watched Ridley Scott's Gladiator and waited for Thryn to call me from Rhode Island (she'd gone out to a Rasputina show; she got me a t-shirt).
That was last night.
More packing today. Dribs and drabs of work. Maybe a trip to the downtown library.
The boxes are everywhere, stacked as tall as me.
I haven't forgotten about Farscape, by the way. It's still not a lost cause, however things may seem. After spending a whole month in September working with the campaign to save the show, I have had to give it less of my time (writing, editing, the move). But I'm still at it, working as a member of the Farscape Webmasters Association (FWA), administering the Beyond Hope Fund. Now we're all gearing up for the big push in December, before Sci-Fi airs the final eleven episodes of Season Four, beginning in January. On Christmas Eve, the SFC will air a Chain Reaction, rerunning the first eleven episodes of the season in sequence. It'll be your chance to catch up and hang around to help push ratings to the 2.0 that Sci-Fi wants to justify a fifth season. Anyway, I'll say much more about this later.
It's really past time that I begin thinking about the next new novel, the one that comes after Low Red Moon. At the moment it's titled Murder of Angels, but that might only be the working title; my contract with Penguin calls it Untitled. It's meant to close the fictional circle I opened with Silk, taking us back around to Daria and Niki a decade after the events in Silk. But it'll tie in, in some way, with Threshold and Low Red Moon as well, though I'm not precisely certain how yet. The plot is coming to me in crumbs, in flashes, in whispers. I think it may be a bit longer than my last three novels; it'll have a lot of ground to cover.
Anyway, I should go do some work and some packing. This morning, a new French publisher asked me to write an essay on a Stephen King novel (I chose Firestarter, because its always been one of my favorites).
Monday, November 25, 2002
Last night I began packing the contents of the larger of my display cases. But, exhausted from a day of dumpster diving for moving boxes, I only made managed to pack the Camarasaurus, Maisaura, and Smilodon skulls, an Apatosaurus vertebra, a Solnhofen dragonfly, a pachypleurosaur, a ramphorhynchid pterodactyloid, and a bunch of trilobites and ammonites before I was too tired to pack anymore fossils. I have to get to the rest today. I spent the rest of the evening on the phone with my Rhode Islander and then, later, watching Bram Stoker's Dracula and Casablanca. I finally went to bed at four.
This morning I wake to discover that the new place in Atlanta is a cable/DSL nightmare. No digital cable, so I'm going to have to go with Direct TV to get Sci-Fi, which I'm only getting because there are (at least) eleven episodes of Farscape to go. I think we have the DSL thing sorted out, via AT&T, but we're not sure.
Five days to go.
And there's still work. Twenty comp copies of the Silk trade paperback arrived by UPS this morning (if you don't have one already, proceed directly to Amazon). I answered an e-mail from my Hollywood agent regarding Low Red Moon. I also proofed the final layout and captions of the photos for Trilobite: The Writing of Threshold. I need to send Derek jpgs of Dicranurus monstrosus to pass along to the person doing the graphic design work on the Our thoughts make spirals in their world CD insert. I have to send the SpookyCon people a photo for the website, because the one they have sucks. And I still have to finish editing TFoC, as well as writing endnotes and an introduction.
The fun never ends . . .
Sunday, November 24, 2002
Sunday morning. Six days left until the move. My lips are chapped. The cat is wandering about, perplexed by the chaos of boxes and newspaper. My feet are cold.
Yesterday I managed a few hours of work, despite the packing. I wrote liner notes for Our thoughts make spirals in their world, the NYARLATHOTEP CD being included with Trilobite: The Writing of Threshold. Liner notes are one of those things I'd never written before, but I think it turned our rather nicely. Derek was happy with it. Also, I was invited to attend the 2003 International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts (Ft. Lauderdale, FL, March 19-23, 2003) as an attending author. ICFA is an academic literary conference, rather than a fan convention, and I get a twenty-minute reading. It's very cool, but I can't imagine what I can read in only twenty minutes. And I did some updating on the website yesterday, too — Jennifer usually does that, but she was up to her elbows in newsprint. Today I need to do a little work and a lot of packing. We have to go out in search of boxes again. Not-squished boxes.
I'm trying not to think about how busy December's going to be for me. How, as soon as we're moved in and everything's unpacked, I have a nasty pack of deadlines to either satiate or fend off. How I have SpookyCon and the trip the San Francisco just after New Year's. How it's cold outside and what I'd really like is a long summer night, right about now, filled with nothing but conversation, music, and maybe a little absinthe.
I'm stalling. The cardboard wasteland calls. I am helpless to resist.
Saturday, November 23, 2002
Reconstruction, often attempted, rarely achieved.
Anyway, now there are only seven full days left until the move (not counting today). I'm very anxious to get out of here and into the new place, to get unpacked and for life to return to its usual, less frenetic abnormality. The office is pretty much disassembled. Empty bookshelves, their contents tucked away into cardboard boxes. Today, my old Mac Colour Classic and laser printer will both be packed. There is a peculiar melancholy that attends empty bookshelves, I think.
Sometimes I think I may be the very personification of the Modern Nomad. I just stopped to count and, since I was born, I have lived in at least 35 separate dwellings (the number's probably slightly higher; I'd have to ask my mother about the earliest ones). And that's in 2 countries, 5 U.S. states (Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Colorado). This move will be move number 35, into dwelling number 36, and at least twenty of those were before I was even out of high school. Since 1990, I've been doing better, with only 5 moves in that time, 6 if I include the impending one. At least I've never been homeless. I suppose I gather no moss.
I do gather an awful lot of stuff, though, which is probably the same thing as moss. Years and years ago, moving from place to place was easy. I didn't own much and it didn't require much more than a pick-up truck and a few boxes. Now I have to hire movers, and rent trucks and trailers. It's like packing and unpacking a bloody combination museum/library. Seriously, there'll be close to seventy-five boxes of books, alone. Then all the fossils, the pickled bats and lizards, the skulls and the various objects d'art. All the pictures (once there were only posters I stuck to walls with thumbtacks) and antiques and electronics and one fat old cat and, really, I desperately need to leave my ass put in one place for a while. Really. I think nomads are supposed to be much less materialistic.
Well, that's sort of what I wrote yesterday. Sort of. You get the idea.
Today I have to get some work done on TFoC and my end of the Trilobite: The Writing of Threshold cd. Jennifer's packing. I expect I'll be packing tonight.
Friday, November 22, 2002
Shit. I just spent the last forty-five minutes or so writing an entry and then my frelling browser locked and crashed and the whole thing was eaten.
It's shit like this that prevents my love-hate relationship with computers and the internet from being a love-love relationship.
I know there's not really any point in even trying to reconstruct what I wrote. I'll keep some of it in my head and try again tomorrow. I was rattling on about the move, mostly.
Shit. That's what I get for composing online.
Anyway, I need to do a little work on The Five of Cups today (I am so very behind), but mostly I'll be packing.
I will pass along a bit of good news (deep breath, long paragraph ahead). Included with Trilobite: The Writing of Threshold will be a seven-track CD, Our thoughts make spirals in their world, inspired by the novel. The disc is the latest work from the Pittsburgh-based neoclassical quartet, NYARLATHOTEP: The Crawling Chaos, which is comprised of members of ThouShaltNot and the disembodied brain of Howard Phillips Lovecraft (The Gentleman himself — you can't beat that with a shuggoth). Band member Derek cf. Pegritz writes, "A friend of mine once described NYARLATHOTEP as being a cross between Skinny Puppy in their more instrumental and ambient moods (think along the lines of "Download," "Choralone," and "Rivers") and Aphex Twin, with a healthy dose of Coil and Lustmord thrown in. That's a much better description than I could ever come up with myself! Our stuff is generally heavily cinematic and atmospheric, since so much of it is inspired by, or complementary to, various literary works (mostly H. P. Lovecraft, of course, but also Charles Baudelaire, Lewis Carroll, William Hope Hodgson, and a number of turn-of-the-century anatomists and psychologists). Newer works feature some vocals, though we generally treat voices as just another instrument to be mangled and diced and used for texture, so don't expect catchy lyrics. Do expect somewhat dancy beats at some points, though, as I'm pretty obsessed with solid rhythms and hammering basslines." Derek actually sent me an early version of the disc way back in January. At that time, I was in the middle of several sticky copyright issues and reluctantly asked him to sit on the project for a bit until I could see what we could work out. All has gone well and the CD will accompany Trilobite: The Writing of Threshold. Everyone who orders the chapbook (or has already ordered it) will receive a copy of the CD as a bonus. Those who have ordered (or do so in the future) the deluxe lettered state will recieve a fancier deluxe version of the CD. I'm contributing liner notes and some vocal tracks (spoken, though, not sung). I assure you, the final product will be fabulously creepy (the early version I have is quite creepy enough, thank you). Also, the disc will be offered for sale separate of the chapbook, both on the NYARLATHOTEP website and on my own, as Subterranean Press was kind enough not to ask for an exclusive on the CD.
You can download samples of NYARLATHOTEP's otherworldly music at
Now, back to the cardboard wasteland . . .
Thursday, November 21, 2002
Only nine days left until the move (not counting today), but at least the cold seems to be releasing me to wellness once again. I feel much less like ass today than I felt yesterday, which I take as a good sign. I even feel good enough today to write in paragraphs, which I also take as a good sign.
I got a package from Subterranean Press a couple of days ago, an advance reading copy of Poppy's new short story collection, The Devil You Know, along with ARCs of new stuff from Lucius Shepherd, Robert Bloch (edited by Dave Schow), and Charles de Lint. The de Lint, A Handful of Coppers, is a collection of his early short stories, heroic fantasy pieces, and I've been reading the author's introduction in my nonexistant "free time." It's giving me some fresh insight into my own editing work, and my own feelings, about The Five of Cups. Perspective is a precious thing. Also, something Neil said in the introduction he wrote for the reprint (and rewrite) of his "Feeders and Eaters" in the aforementioned Keep Out the Night anthology — that has been helpful as well. Neil writes that working on the rewrite of the story seemed to him "like a collaboration between me age thirty and me age forty-one . . ." In writer years, that's quite a gap. I would paraphrase that by saying that working on the editing (and occassional rewriting) of The Five of Cups feels to me like a collaboration between me age seventeen, and age twenty-one, and age twenty-six, but mostly me age twenty-eight and me age thirty-eight. It's a very weird sensation, the collapsing of the time in-between, the immediate connection of now to then via all those damned words. Reading the prose of a far less experienced, far less accomplished me, and trying to have patience with that past self, a past self who, I might add, had no frelling idea what a comma was or how it was employed.
I am a rambly thing today. It's mostly the can of Sobe Adrenaline I had with lunch.
My office is coming apart around me. Books going back into boxes. Drawers being emptied. Actions figures and knick-knacks packed away for the move. Disorder is disconcerting to me in the extreme and makes moves unduly stressful. Anyway, I need to go and help Jennifer take things off shelves, creating disorder. On the bright side, my new office, in the new loft, has enough space that I can double the number of bookshelves!
Wednesday, November 20, 2002
This is now the fifth day of this cold. I have a strange, detatched sort of fascination with this illness, that I can't recall ever having had before — as if I'm watching it the way I'd watch a documentary, or conduct an experiment. My body become a highjacked ecosystem for some unwelcomed, exotic microbe. Rogue and Jessica swore I would curse them should I contract the dreaded Crüx-flu, but I have not cursed them, as of yet. I'd say maybe that will come later, but I do seem to be getting better and I did promise them that I wouldn't (curse them, that is). It is, however, slowing the packing down considerably and the days are slipping by quickly. Moving day is December 2nd, so we only have ten days left (not counting today or Thanksgiving). Other than a truly horrible cough, it hasn't been an especially awful sickness. I did a little work yesterday (which included finally signing the contracts on LRM and Untitled and getting them back in the mail to my agent), until my fever went up and I had to lie down again. I spent the evening watching Buffy, The Vampire Slayer (three episodes straight) and a Sergio Leone marathon on TCM (A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly; I finally fell asleep partway through the latter). Sorry this is all turning into one big paragraph; I don't think I can spare the energy for paragraph breaks right now. Not when that energy can be spent on the laborious task of breathing. Jennifer is packing like mad, but is starting to show symptoms, too. I have to get well before she gets sick. Did anyone else catch the bit on CNN yesterday about the discovery of two black holes trapped in a decaying orbit about each other? Aeons hence, they'll collide, releasing unimaginable energies and sending shockwaves across the universe. Imagine the unfortunate galaxies in the immediate vicinity, the shattered solar systems, the civilizations that will simply cease to exist in that moment. It gave me pause, but then lots of things give me pause. What happens, exactly, when two singularities collide, when event horizons touch? Two vicious, loving gods, or daemons, brushing fingertips after hundreds of millions of years of wary circling, each glutted on the light and matter trapped in their infinitely small, infinitely vast bellies, vomiting or imploding. Exploding, perhaps, or collapsing to become something more dense, a super black hole, maybe. The cgi in the news report passed long ages in a few seconds and rendered the collision no more than a beautiful waltz; and it will be beautiful, of that I have precious little doubt. If there are eyes to see it, in the instant before annihilation. I think my fever must be back. Oh, yesterday I also got my comp copies of Steve Jones' really spectacular anthology, Keep Out the Night (PS Publishing, UK; website at PS Publishing. Each of the twelve authors who contributed stories was asked to choose a piece he or she felt had not received the attention it deserved, for whatever reason. I chose "Spindleshanks (New Orleans, 1956)," which I think is one of the two or three very best things I've written to date. There are also stories by Poppy Z. Brite, Ramsey Campbell, Brian Lumley, Neil Gaiman, Michael Marshall Smith, and, well, six others. Great book, beautifully designed, with art by Randy Broecker. Now I must go cough up part of the aforementioned ecosystem and try to get some work done.
Monday, November 18, 2002
I hate colds. But then I don't suppose there's anyone who enjoys them.
Last night I watched Hal Hartley's excellent No Such Thing and spent most of the evening trying to breathe.
Now I'm trying to muster the strength to do some work and get a little packing done.
Sunday, November 17, 2002
Yesterday, I signed the lease on the Atlanta loft. Goodbye Birmingham. The move is slated for December 2-3. The building (ca. 1907) and grounds of the new place are fantastic, and include an oak estimated to be 350 years old.
But I seem to have picked up Rogue and Jessica's cold and felt pretty icky all day yesterday, with the ickiness continuing today. Nonetheless, I need to press on with TFoC. Jennifer's going to begin packing today. I hate packing, almost as much as I hate unpacking.
Saturday, November 16, 2002
Just something quick because I have to get out of here. We're late for Atlanta, a meeting with the realtor to sign the lease on the new loft. But I've felt like I'm neglecting my journals. Last night we had sushi and saw Harry Potter with The Crüxshadows and crew. It was a great evening out and later, when I've time, I'll say more about it. Especially the poo.
Yesterday I signed signature pages for Waycross. I wish a rubber stamp of my signature was acceptable.
Friday, November 15, 2002
I'm really still much too sleepy to be making this entry and I have no toothpicks with which to prop open my poor, bleary eyes. The cat and I just had a long conversation about going back to bed for the entire day. The cat is a bad influence, but I suppose it's her job. However, valiantly, I resisted.
Yesterday I only made it through Chapter Eleven of TFoC (four hours of proofing), mainly because it turned out to be at least twice the length of all the novel's preceeding chapters. As I read, I'm highlighting things that I'll write endnotes on later. What I'm finding most interesting, ten years after the book's composition, is all the phrases and images that I've reused over the years. I'm noting as many of them as I'm catching.
I should also have a crack at those signature sheets today, at least the ones for Waycross.
Last night was nice. Jennifer made chili for the Crüxhshadows and we watched Babe: Pig in the City (it was Rogue's choice; he even had the DVD with him; he also sang part of a Captain and Tenielle song at one point, so go figure). Tonight we all get sushi and Harry Potter before they head off to Baton Rouge tomorrow. Rogue's still under the weather, but Jessica's worse. I'd hate to be sick and on the road. Times like this I'm glad I decided, in 1997, to choose my writing over Death's Little Sister. I'm afraid I lack the constitution and will for the sort of endless touring that The Crüxshadows have undertaken.
Off to work . . . or sleep. We'll see whether or not the cat gets her way.
Thursday, November 14, 2002
Not feeling very bright and shiny this morning. So it goes. The sky is bright and shiny, though, that pale and seemingly bottomless autumnal blue that has, since childhood, given me a profound sense of upward falling. Reversed vertigo, I suppose. A fear of gravity's impending failure.
I made it through chapters Nine and Ten of TFoC yesterday. Today will be Eleven, at least, and hopefully Twelve. And there are those signature pages I have to get to, as soon as possible.
The Crüxshadows show last night was great, despite the fact that Rogue's feeling a little under the weather and Birmingham couldn't muster a decent showing of goths if its existence depended on it (which, fortunately, it most likely never shall). Sorry if that sounds a bit snarky; the truth, I find, is often snarky. The band will be visiting with me tonight and tomorrow night before moving on to do a show in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We're all going to see Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets together on Friday night. That ought to be a hoot (as we say down here on the frontier).
Wednesday, November 13, 2002
It was after 5 p.m. yesterday before I was actually able to get to TFoC, and as a result only managed to finish editing Chapter Eight. On to Nine today, and, hopefully, Ten. I am trying not to rewrite as I go, if for no other reason than it slows the process way, way down. But this is text I wrote ten years ago (in some cases, for some passages, text I wrote almost twenty years ago!) and it begs for revision. But too much revision defeats the purpose of presenting a "literary artefact," so I'm keeping myself on a shorft leash.
The Crüxshadows rolled into town this morning. They have a show tonight at the High Note/Rock'N'Horse on 21st St. Doors open at 9, show starts at 10:30; there's a $7 cover charge. Come and hear one of the best goth/synth bands playing today.
The signature sheets for Trilobite: The Writing of Threshold and Waycross just arrived, so now I have those to get around to, as well.
Tuesday, November 12, 2002
There's a great line in Chistopher McQuarrie's The Way of the Gun where Longbaugh (played by Benecio del Toro) opines that "A plan is just a list of things that never happen." That goes doubly for writers. All of which is preface to saying that, as it turns out, I will not be moving to Providence after all. Rather, I'll be moving back to Atlanta in about three weeks. The reasons are several, and, for the most part, too annoying to go into, but, in the end, suffice it to say that my primary reason for moving the Rhode Island is coming south to finish her grad school work at UGA. More and more, I become convinced I'm simply not meant to leave the South. So, Providence is off. Atlanta is on. Either way, another few weeks and Birmingham is history and this time it's history that will not be repeated. I may be compelled to remain below the Mason-Dixon line, but at least I can do it in a place that is a place. Apologies to all of you who, for whatever reason, actually love Birmingham. I have tried, on and off, since 1983, to share your sentiments. I don't even think it's so much that I hate Birmingham, but that Birmingham hates me.
Moving on . . .
Yesterday I did (despite constant telephone interruptions) make it through chapters Six and Seven of TFoC. Today I hope to take care of Eight and Nine, which means I could be done with this read-through by Thursday. I also had to e-mail three different editors about stories for five different anthologies.
Yesterday I mentioned the storms that roared across the state Sunday. Late yesterday afternoon, Jennifer learned that two of the people who died in Alabama, in the coal-mining town of Carbon Hill, were her first cousin and the cousin's teenaged daughter.
Monday, November 11, 2002
More missed days. Apologies. As the move draws near, I expect more and more of those. But I'll try hard to stay current. I'm in one of those very annoying periods when non-work concerns are seriously impinging upon my writing time, heedless of the deadlines I have between now and the end of the year. It must be, well, interesting (I'll not say "nice") to have to get up each day and go to work, to work somewhere apart from domestic worries and distractions.
The editing work on The Five of Cups is taking longer than I'd planned, because I have to keep stopping to attend to this or that detail of the move. With packing about to begin, I expect it will get even worse. I hope to be able to get through chapters Six and Seven today, if only the interruptions will remain minimal. I need to finish with the thing this week, not only to get it out of the way so that I might proceed to other projects, but also because I needed to read through it relatively quickly to get a sense of the entire ms.
The contracts for Low Red Moon and Untitled (read Murder of Angels) arrived on Saturday, finally. I was away in Atalnta again, having briefly returned to Birmingham on Friday evening, but they were waiting for me when I got home. I have to read through them today or tomorrow, as well. I despise wading through legalese.
The Crüxshadows will be passing through Birmingham on Wednesday, to do a show at a local club, and crashing here while they're in town. It'll be great to see Rogue and company, but I warned them they might be sleeping amid boxes.
I guess that's it for this morning. We had terrible thunderstorms last night, the storm system that did so much damage. At one point, the lightning was pretty much constant, creating a very disconcerting strobe effect in the night sky. Today things are calm again, but the weather still seems unseasonably warm. Now I go write.
Friday, November 08, 2002
Tonight I'm in a different hotel a few miles north of Atlanta, looking at the city lights to the south. Cities are always at their best, their most beautiful, at night and from a distance. I expect it all looks very pretty from space. No one would suspect the truth of things. My eyes are burning, watering, because I didn't sleep nearly enough last night and the day was long and non-stop (but included a very good Thai lunch). Cities look even better at night and from a distance when one is not wearing her glasses and her eyes are watering. Speilberg's immense and neon mothership fallen to earth and twinkling uncertainly.
I spent part of the evening discussing Low Red Moon with one of my "first readers," who lives here in town. I always seem to learn so much more about my novels from other people than I have understood myself. As if I hide a good deal of the meaning, the truer meanings, from myself and need different minds to tease them loose again. Or I never saw them at all, planting them unconsciously, uncannily, one by one by one. I re-read a few sections of the novel and found myself enjoying it more than I usually enjoy reading my own work. I don't think I've ever cared so much for my characters as I do for the ones trapped in LRM. It's a grim and unenviable place to be, and they all seem to be trying so very hard to do their best and coming up short anyway.
I'm rambling. The noise of a bleary mind.
I have VNV Nation's "Beloved" coming through my headphones. At the moment, I'm deeply in love with the song. It seems the very definition of bittersweet.
My business here having been concluded sooner than I'd expected, I hope to be back in Birmingham sometime tomorrow night, unless I decide to make a detour to Athens. Which I may. Unless I don't.
Thursday, November 07, 2002
It has been a few days, hasn't it? Sorry. I've been extraordinarily busy and particularly distracted.
I'm in a hotel room in downtown Atlanta, looking out the window at the city lights, bright in the cold night air. Driving into town this evening, the sun was Maxfield Parrish gold across the trees and the high clouds looked vaguely snowy. There won't be snow yet, of course, but the clouds were wishing for it, anyway. I sat in the back of the van, distracted from the editing I was trying to do (yes, the laptop means work follows me everywhere), staring at the colours of the turning leaves, that china-blue sky and its cold clouds rushing past. It was actually nice and I've never been a particular fan of autumn, signaling, as it does for me, the moments before that seasonal, annual death. Outside my windows, the lights of downtown seem blurry, running together, reminding me I shouldn't be working without my glasses and that I desperately need sleep.
I've received the first few pages of Part 3 of Bast: Eternity Game, along with the three Dave McKean covers (which are, of course, really gorgeous). I think I'm going to like this mini-series.
I hear that the trade paperback of Silk has been sighted at Border's. I think the drop date was today, so it ought to be showing up in bookstores everywhere.
Anyway, I'll be on the road until at least Sunday or so. I'll try to make entries in the wee hours. Oh, the cat's butt is better.
Sunday, November 03, 2002
There are some things that there's simply no way to approach but in an indelicate manner. Take, for example, the boil on my cat's butt. It's been the cause of much consternation this weekend, and we were actually quite worried about her last night. Sophie would get a seeping abcess on Saturday, when her vet doesn't open until Monday. It's so like her. Those who've known the pleasure of her company will understand and agree.
I should have done Chapter Five of TFoC yesterday, but I had a two-hour meeting (online) and a raging headache that lasted well into the evening, so no editing. I'm getting back on it today.
Except that the trees have hardly begun to change colour, we seem to have skipped autumn and gone straight to early winter. Foul, grey weather continues, drizzly uncomforting rain, chilly temperatures. Yuck. One wonders how, exactly, I intend to deal with the Providence winters.
I've developed a fascination with T. H. Lawrence's "The Ship of Death." I read it for the first time day before yesterday. It's really quite marvelous. I'm not sure what has me so fixated on the poem. Perhaps the way it speaks to reincarnation and the rebirth of the spirit. Regardless, it's beautiful and terrible.
Friday, November 01, 2002
I should be at World Fantasy right now. I considered, briefly, driving up for Saturday and Sunday, but, on the one hand, it's a 17 hr. drive and, on the other, it's very cold up there. And if I had three hands, I'd add that, on the other, I'd have to endure the interminable drive across Indiana, which almost did me in back in March. So, here I stay. My next convention will be SpookyCon in San Francisco in January (where it will be cold and wet).
Of course, if I did have three hands, I could quit writing, join a sideshow, and never have to do another convention ever again.
Yesterday, I finished editing Chapter Three of The Five of Cups. Today I'll do Chapter Four.
Also yesterday, the contracts for Low Red Moon and the unwritten Murder of Angels reached my agent and will reach me on Monday.
Jennifer ran across an entry in someone's blogger, or livejournal or somesuch thing, wherein they were pondering if I were as "crotchedy" in real life as I make myself out to be in this journal. Crotchedy? Do I really make myself out to be crotchedy? Maybe perpetually flummoxed at the unsightly state of the world at large, and my part in it, but crotchedy? I don't think so.
I'm considering going to Atlanta tonight.