Saturday, December 20, 2003
Yesterday, I did 1,446 words on "The Dry Salvages," and still didn't reach the end of Part Two. The total now stands at 19,904, which means that I ought to be about two-thirds of the way to THE END.
This story is written in first person, present and past tense. The constant reader will recognize that the first-person narrative is a deviation from my usual preference for third (I think this is only my second short story written in first). The preference arises simply from a need to know a) who the speaker is (or at least to believe I will learn the speaker's identity soon after the beginning) and b) why and how the speaker is speaking. The second criterion is especially critical. Otherwise, suspending disbelief becomes very difficult and even an otherwise wonderful story is annoying. In "The Dry Salvages," the narrator is writing out an account of both present and past events, and we know how she's writing these things, and we're learning why. Thus the problem of the spectral narrators who haunt most first-person narratives is undone. The narrator is not merely the convenient conveyor of the story, but a full-fledged character, speaking to the reader, which is not you, the reader, but her fictional readers.
Oh, and here's a fresh abomination: How to Get a Book Deal With Your Blog. It's almost enough to make me switch to LiveJournal. I love the bit at the beginning: Back in the day, book deals were few and far between. You had to be a literary genius, a member of the super-elite writerly crowd, or some kind of insanely talented professional in your field. Then you needed an agent, a publicist, and a body of work to prove you had what it takes to be part of the chosen few, the noble, the proud, the published.
In other words, you had to be smart and talented and you had to work hard. Obviously, Blogger frowns on talent and hard work. Obviously, Blogger feels there is not already enough mediocrity on the shelves. This is another "revolution" the internet can shove up its collective eema. I found the following line particularly enlightening: Have you always wanted to see your name on the shelf at Barnes and Noble? It's the key to the whole blogging phenomenon, of course. I want to see my name. I want to be heard by the masses, even though I have less than nothing to say that's worth hearing. Blogger is to be commended for understanding its target audience.
In the future, everyone will be famous forever...but only in their own minds.
Yes, I know. I am being even snottier than usual. It's this Christmas thing pressing in at my life, inconveniencing me. Moreover, it's the knowledge of the feeding-frenzy of Christmas. Komodo dragons bringing down a goat, then gnawing at the carcass, their scaly jaws dripping with toxic saliva. That's what I see out there, giant lizards scuttling about under gaudy, absurd decorations and false cheer, accumulating credit-card debt willy nilly. Except the real Komodos have an excuse. And they're definitely more appealing to the eye than a food court chocked full of hungry holiday consumers.
Last night, Spooky and I binged on PS2 until 4 a.m. (what bad kids are we), because she rented War of the Monsters, an absolutely fabulous game, packed with enough fun to make even a sour puss like me smile. Ever wanted to be Godzilla or Rhodan or Gamera, stomping about a city of helpless, puny, squealing hoomans, smashing buildings, laying waste, and battling your fellow monsters? Then this is the game for you. More rock'em-sock'em than a double-feature's worth of Toho films. I think this might be the therapy I've been looking for. Now that's some frelling Xmas cheer!