Friday, December 05, 2003
Yesterday, I did not write a single word on the "Untitled Novella." Not one. Not so much as a carelessly-placed vowel. Wherever I was, it wasn't the word place. Sick of shadows, as the Lady of Shallot would say. I am. Sick of shadows, that is. Not merely half sick. And that's what these things are, these stories, these novels, these blogger entries, mere life shadows which I've spent more than a decade accepting in the stead of life itself. This, of course, is the price of withdrawal into a cocoon of one's own devising, a place safe from The World (insane and not so pretty as she might appear on a Tarot card). That one day you look around and there are only shadows, the realization that you only see The World (and all her wrinkles and stretch marks and warts and spite and ugliness) in a mirror, behind the shadows. So, I weave some more and try to pretend I that I love my precious shadows...
I can go on like that for hours. Really. Just ask Spooky.
Today, I'm expecting a phone call from my new editor at Penguin. He was reading Murder of Angels this week and said I'd get a call before the week was out. Which. Leaves. Today. Am I nervous? Not in the least. That other lady is, the silly, inconstant one who strikes the keys, the one who can't sleep, the one who spends the days chewing the black polish off her nails...but not me. Of course he'll love it. I wrote it, didn't I? I poured the better part of a year into it. It has meaty little nuggets of my soul stitched in there. Who could help but love it?
I'm pretty sure this is anti-self-talk.
Okay. That's enough of the tortured writer schtick for one day. If people want that they'll read a real writer, someone like Virginia Woolf or Edgar Allan Poe. In this Age of Irony, no one wants sincerity. It's unsightly. It's inconvenient. It's unproductive. But, mostly, it's just no goddamn fun.
What else is there of yesterday worth putting down? Nothing at all. The cold and the rain and me finally fleeing to a used bookstore in Virginia Highlands, where I bought Richard Ellis' The Search for the Giant Squid. Many, many delightful things about this book, but I'm especially enjoying how Ellis keeps taking digs at those crappy Peter Benchley novels. I came home and read. I shivered. I've been wearing my biker jacket for two days (you know the one), almost non-stop. I also read Molly Gloss' short story, "Lambing Season" (unusually fine). Blah, blah, blah. Yesterday.
Should I go now? Have I overstayed my welcome? But I haven't said anything about the new American police state or our shiny new Iraqi Vietnam or how PlayStation is healthier than "reality" television or how the world as we know it would simply end if everyone refused to max out their credit cards on Xmas gifts no one really needs and, instead, donated all the money to Worthwhile, Tax-Deductible Causes. I've hardly gotten started...