Friday, January 31, 2003
Why did I say it was warmer yesterday? It wasn't really. Wishful thinking or too much absinthe.
But today is the last day of January, which gives me hope.
Yesterday I wrote 1,123 wds. on "La Peau Verte". It's about 5,500 wds. long at this point. I think it may go to almost ten thousand. I fear I may have forgotten how to write shorter short stories; I now write things too short to be novellas (or "novellettes"), but longish for short stories (in my opinion).
I also finished reading Gemma Files' collection, Kissing Carrion, for which I've agreed to write an introduction.
I listened to Tom Waits (Alice), This Mortal Coil (It'll End in Tears) and Hem (rabbitsongs).
And that, I believe, was my yesterday. Unless I'm forgetting something important. Which isn't likely.
Tonight, of course, is Farscape. 8 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. EST (please check you local listing for the broadcast time in your area, duh). Soon, the Sci-Fi Channel will be lost to soulless drek like The Dream Team, Tremors: The Series, John Edward (Please! Where is Harry Houdini when we need him!), Scare Tactics, and Roswell. So, please, watch. And if you'd like to know more about the campaign to keep Farscape on the air, check out SaveFarscape.
Time to write.
Thursday, January 30, 2003
Today it's warmer, but rainy. A warm day without rain would be nice.
My office smells of absinthe, but I did get 1,223 words written on "La Peau Verte" yesterday — better than average. I think I'm liking this story.
Yesterday I went looking for a line to a poem I couldn't quite recall and ended up reading Emily Dickinson and Dorothy Parker for almost an hour.
Books on my desk at the moment: The Book of the Damned and New Lands by Charles Fort, Fairy and Folktales of Ireland by W. B. Yeats, Absinthe: History in a Bottle by Barnaby Conrad III, Art Through the Ages, Vol. II, Renaissance and Modern Art (8th ed.) by Horst de la Croix and Richard G. Tansey, Paradise Lost by John Milton, and Blake's Poetry and Designs by William Blake.
I need a bigger desk.
Wednesday, January 29, 2003
Yesterday I did 1,039 words on the new short story, "La Peau Verte." It's coming along very well. I think I'm using this story to go even farther than I usually do with the idea that paranormal events have a structure that bears little similarity to the classic ghost story, or to weird fiction, or even to most modern "horror." Events that may seem disconnected, and which may be scattered across years, but which may assume new significance, new meaning, in the face of the inexplicable. The undeniably inexplicable. I've been doing this for years, of course, exploring this problem, which seems generally ignored by dark fantasists. "Spindleshanks" and "The Road of Pins" are good examples of this approach, and "Onion," too, probably. It's an extension of my realization, long ago, that paranormal events rarely present us with tidy conclusions. Their beginnings and their endings are usually ambiguous. Like life in general, they do not follow plot lines.
Also, my comp box for Bast: Eternity Game Part Two arrived yesterday afternoon. Though the middle issues of three-part stories are often dreaded, I think the middle issue of this series is my favorite and the strongest part of the story. Another great cover from Dave McKean, and Steve Bennett's art does wonderful things with Egyptian mythology. I'm not sure when it'll be in stores. A week or so from now, I think.
And it's Wednesday, which means I have to remind you to keep Friday night open for Farscape. The Sci-Fi Channel, 8 p.m./12:30 a.m. Eastern (check local listings for times in your area!).
Otherwise, I haven't much to report this morning. There was a salad dressing cataclysm last night, which may have scarred me for life, but I think I'm still too traumatized to report it here. It's raining in Atlanta, but warmer. I'm going to try to do the club thing again tonight. My skin's still dry, thanks to our constant in-house sirocco.
Tuesday, January 28, 2003
Just something short today, because I'm running late and need to get started for the day. I did 1,008 wds. on "La Peau Verte" yesterday and I'm pretty sure it's going well. The stew turned out nicely. My skin's so dry I think I may be about to shed it all, every square inch, en toto. This winter seems determined to make a raisin of me. Yesterday I wrote to two songs, "Fallen Icons" by Delerium and "half acre" by Hem; I will most likely write to the same two today, as they seem to be working for me. I also listened to A Gothic Tribute to The Cocteau Twins, but that was later in the day, when I dozed for a bit on the living room floor after taking a very hot bath (the first time I'd been warm in days). More caffeine . . .
Monday, January 27, 2003
It wasn't really necessary, as the absinthe story, which I am presently calling "La Pleau Verte," occurred to me yesterday and I wrote 1,078 words of it rather effortlessly. Nonetheless, Spooky and I kept our appointed date with the Green Fairy last night. Well, I suppose it was my date, but Spooky is always game for fairies and came along for the ride. And, at this particular moment, looking back on those two sentences, I'm not entirely certain the effects of the Mari Mayans have completely worn off. Anyhow, it was my first time to try carmelizing absinthe-soaked sugar cubes before stirring them into the glass. An intensely blue flame in the spoon, while the cube slowly bubbles and looses its shape, then a soft fwump as it goes into the glass. It makes for a richer, fuller sort of sweetness, though one wonders at the wisdom of playing with fire whilst inebriated. And I suppose I really ought to feel a lot worse this morning than I do.
Today I think I will write to Hem and Delirium.
Tonight I'm cooking a chicken stew.
I feel kind of odd at having set aside the novel formerly known as Murder of Angels when it was just building some steam. It's a hazard of short fiction. For me, at least, it's very much about immediate gratification, versus the much longer process of novelizing. Short stories are more reasonable things, and any one of them rarely devours more than a couple of weeks of my life. Which is usually a fair exchange. Novels are gluttons. Novels are rapacious things. Yesterday, after I wrote, I began arranging the stories that will make up my next collection in the order that they will be published. To date, there are fifteen of them. The collection, which I may call Worse Things Yet, will probably include sixteen or seventeen pieces. So shorter than Tales of Pain and Wonder, but longer than From Weird and Distant Shores. Richard Kirk will be illustrating again. More details soon.
Time for verbage.
Sunday, January 26, 2003
Much to my surprise, I managed to take a "day off" yesterday and do so relatively guilt free. It's a near impossibility for me. I've probably said all this in here already. Having no set work time, punching no clock, and being able to sell pretty much anything and everything that I write has resulted in me feeling that all time is best spent working. Because any time spent not working could have been spent working. It's not like my office is ever closed. There are no holidays, no vacations, no sick days. Just the time I ought to spend sitting at this (or some other) keyboard, typing, writing, working. Anyway, as I said, yesterday I got through things fairly well without a work fix, but I was in full withdrawal by this morning. We saw The Two Towers again (I liked it even better the second time) and spent a couple of hours browsing around Border's, looking at books and CDs. Kathryn picked up copies of Rabbit Songs by Hem (very nice) and The Lost and Found, 2nd Ed. by Rasputina. We had dinner from Fellini's. It was a good day.
And now I go back to work.
Tori Amos on the headphones. "Hey Jupiter."
The cryosphere is only moderately active today.
I'm thinking how badly I need to hang pictures in here, and get a CD shelf thingy that will hold all mine and Kathryn's and Jenny's CDs (over a thousand, I'm sure), because they're currently residing in my office and need to go elsewhere. I bloody hate hanging pictures.
And I need to begin the absinthe story today. Actually, I began an absinthe story for this book some months ago, "Green Bottle," right after having finished with "Andromeda Among the Stones," but it was shelved during all the moving chaos and now I think it should perhaps stay shelved, that I can surely come up with something better. After all, the Green Fairy is near and dear to my heart and this ought to be one of the Important Stories. But, currently, I either have too many ideas or absolutely none at all. I'm not sure which. This is the worst part of writing for me (despite anything to the contrary I might have said in the past), conception, getting an idea, settling on an idea. I said years and years ago, 99% of all ideas are not worth the writing, and that the hardest part of being an author is finding that 1% that is deserving of actual composition. I used to argue with other authors about this, authors who thought that every idea had equal merit, but mostly they were busy trying to think of new takes on vampires and serial killers, so I always felt I held the high ground in those debates. I do know that my absinthe story will have neither vampires nor serial killers. I suppose that's something. Tonight, I will probably go to the Green Fairy, if not for inspiration, for simple consideration. A good waking dream would surely help matters. Well, it couldn't hurt matters. Perhaps this will be an historical piece. Perhaps it won't. Blah, blah, blah.
I think I'd be not quite so out of sorts right now if I'd been allowed to go to San Francisco, to SpookyCon, to "hobnob with my fellow wizards." I've not been in the company of other writers, the writers who are my friends and to whom I look for guidance and a deeper understanding of my art, since I was in Chicago last March.
Go write, Cait.
Saturday, January 25, 2003
I think we're having a heat wave. It's a balmy 37-degrees Fahrenheit out there.
Yesterday I wrote over 1,000 words and, more importantly, finished Chapter Three. It's one thing to think that you're going to finish a chapter on any given day, it's another to actually do it. Three chapters and a prologue. It's starting to feel like an actual novel. Tomorrow, when I go back to work, I'll be writing my story for Medium Rare Books' absinthe anthology, then it'll be on to Chapter Four, just as soon as the story is done (my deadline is the end of February, but I really can't spare more than a week and a half for the piece).
Last night's episode of Farscape, "Twice Shy," was exceptional, perhaps the best since Season Three (with the possible exception of "Unrealized Realities"). It is absolutely unthinkable that Sci-Fi has chosen to cancel the show.
But everyday the unthinkable becomes more commonplace and, after all, it's only a tv show . . .
Yesterday, I re-read some Joseph Campbell, and listened to The Hounds of Love while I cooked beef stew for dinner. Having Friday dinner guests is becoming a nice routine. It's so weirdly normal. I don't get a lot of normal, and it's even rarer that I appreciate the normal that I do get.
Anyway, I decided yesterday afternoon, having finished Chapter Three and being at least 10,000 words ahead of schedule, that I'm going to give myself a day off today. I'm taking Spooky to see The Two Towers, which she's not seen yet and which I've seen only once. We might check out a local cemetery, and I may drop by the Apple store. A day without frelling work, without writing (this doesn't count). A day without guilt for having not written. It'll be nice.
Friday, January 24, 2003
I did an absolutely amazing 1,511 words on Chapter Three yesterday. With just a small bit of luck, and wise use of my time, I'll finish the chapter today. The ms. is approaching 35,000 words in length. I still haven't come up with a new title, having decided that I'm not going with Murder of Angels.
Milton has joined Blake in my daily reading, and I'm beginning William Gibson's Burning Chrome. Mors Syphilitica on the headphones right now (Primrose).
It's unspeakably cold. We set or broke records for Atlanta last night, I think. It's something I can do without. The cryosphere had some truly amazing, monstrous prominances yesterday, many as high as six or seven feet (my studies indicate that 6-12 inches is normal for January). My feet may not survive this winter, despite a good supply of angora socks.
Anyway, it's Friday again, which means it's time for my weekly exhortation that you tune in to the Sci-Fi Channel tonight at 8 p.m. (or 12 a.m., if you'd prefer; check local listings for times in your area) and watch Farscape. Also, check out this short video, a message from the cast and crew of the show (including Raelee Hill ["Sikozu"], Wayne Pygram ["Scorpius"], Lani Tupu ["Crais" and the voice of "Pilot"], and Ricky Manning [writer]):
Message to Fans
Thursday, January 23, 2003
Well, this has been an eventful morning.
I do hate eventful mornings. Especially eventful mornings when I'm somewhat hung over, having gone out to a club the night before and then not having gotten to sleep until 4:30 a.m. Those are the worst sort of mornings to go eventful on me.
While I was reading the discussion phorum, Spooky's Very Large Cup of Coffee mysteriously jumped from her hands and spilled all over the left side of my desk. Clearly, a poltergeist of some sort was at fault. Anyway, my iBook was in the direct path of the brown deluge and I didn't react quickly enough (the aforementioned hangover having frelled with my reaction time). A disarming calm settled over me as I watched the pungent mixture of coffee, milk, and sugar lap at the edges of the computer. It was a bit like one of those dreams wherein you're naked or your teeth are falling out, that sort of all-consuming horror, that same sort of moment-outside-time feeling. I grabbed the iBook and held it up above the desk, turned at about a 30-degree angle so the coffee that had gotten in wouldn't go any farther and would, with luck, run out again. That part of the deluge which left my desk, descending over the side in a muddy cataract, got the scanner and my notebook and various papers on its way to the cryosphere. Cutting to the chase (because I'm still too hung over to linger on this nerve-wracking affair), miraculously, no actual harm was done. I popped the keyboard, cleaned everything with paper towels, q-tips, and Endust anti-static wipes; I even got the coffee that had become trapped up under my ~, tab, caps lock, shift, and fn keys out. Few times in the history of mankind has total, unspeakable disaster been so narrowly averted. Which is good, as I would have had to flay and fillet Spooky and then assume control of her iBook. It would have only been fair. She's admitted as much herself. I'm not even sure if my AppleCare covers poltergeist-induced coffee deluges.
God, I hate eventful mornings.
There was a dusting of snow here last night, and amazing winds. At about 4:30 this morning, Spooky and I watched the wind whipping the snow about the yard. It was pretty and oddly creepy at the same time. It was all gone by morning, of course. The wind has stayed, though. I've read reports of the storm that's hit the Outer Banks. That must be gorgeous. I'm sorely tempted to pack the van and try to drive up to see it for myself. Bad weather often draws me.
Yesterday I wrote 1,024 wds. on Chapter Three. They were 1,024 very grudging words.
The Armory wasn't bad (Wednesday nights, Pandemonium). Great djs and a very good mix of new and old music. Cheap drinks, and that's always a plus. I am amused at the Pandemonium website, though, which goes to impressive lengths to avoid the "g"-word, describing the music as "postpunk, electroclash, deathrock, new wave, synthpop, and dark indie." Anyway, an unusually good mix of music, whatever you call it. Oh, and before we left for the club, Spooky invented an as-yet-unnamed drink, an impromptu cocktail of absinthe and pomegranate juice, which was quite delicious.
Back to Chapter Three . . .
Wednesday, January 22, 2003
I used the long drive into Birmingham yesterday to try to catch up on some of my reading, so I wouldn't feel like I'd lost the entire day. On the way home, in a rather heavy rain, Thryn and I used her iBook (it has a larger screen than mine) to watch the DVD that came with the Dead Can Dance boxed set. Don't worry. Jennifer was driving. I made it through all the videos, but dozed through most of the performance/documentary film.
Home again, home again.
David Bowie on the headphones. "Slow Burn."
And I'm trying to find focus. I think I'm very close to having discovered the heart of Murder of Angels (and that it may require a different title after all). It came to me late, late, late last night (synonymous with early, early, early this morning). And let that be a lesson to those of you who place your faith in deceitful, perfidious outlines. The truth of a thing may not be found until ms. pg. 114. Or not until the final chapter, as was the case with Threshold. The truth of a novel is a truth that has to be looked for to be found, and the search is best done in the writing, not in any formal planning. It's an impromptu alchemy, a moment-by-moment, word-by-word magick, and "formulae" are best left for simpler sorts of chemists, mathematicians, astrophysicists, and romance novelists. But having found it, at least believing that I've found it, gives me relief and will help drive me forward, through Chapter Three and on to Chapter Four and Five and beyond. The discovery also calls for research I haven't yet done, but almost look forward to doing now.
On Monday, I only wrote about seven hundred words, but they were seven hundred good words. Fifty good words trumps a thousand so-so words, any old day. Regardless, today I will do my one thousand, at least.
If all goes well, Thryn and I may do a club tonight. It's been a while and dancing would be nice.
There's a nice little review of Dark Terrors 6 in the new issue of Locus, which gives a much-appreciated nod to my short story "The Road of Pins." You should pick up a copy of Dark Terrors 6 from Amazon. It's available in hardback and will soon be available in trade paperback. "The Road of Pins" is one of my three or four favorites of my own work at the moment, but the anthology also includes great stuff from Ramsey Campbell, Christopher Fowler, Tim Lebbon, David J. Schow, Tanith Lee, Graham Masterson, Kim Newman, Michael Marshall Smith, Basil Copper, and many other very fine authors.
And here's your mid-week reminder not to miss Farscape this Friday night. Also, check out the Variety ad at SaveFarscape.
Oh. And I am drawing my plans against the leafblower men and all their clamorous erosions.
Monday, January 20, 2003
Monday morning. The leafblowers are blowing non-existant leaves, but effectively stripping all the top soil from the grounds. Idiots.
I have to write today. Tomorrow I have the frelling dentist and the dying of the hair, and I have both in Birmingham (transitions to suitable Atlantan services will be made, in time), so tomorrow's pretty much shot. But today I have to write. At least 1,000 words. At least. Three-quarters or more of an unwritten novel stretch out before me. Nothing else matters or can matter. As William Faulkner said, "The writer's only responsibility is to his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one. He has a dream. Everything goes by the board: honor, pride, decency, security, happiness, all, to get the book written. If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' is worth any number of old ladies." It is immaterial that I don't want to write, that I don't feel like writing. Inspiration is irrelevant. Inspiration is for high schoolers penning bad poetry during algebra class. A writer who relies on the fancy of muses and inspiration will starve. It is of no consequence that I can think of a hundred things off the top of my head that I'd rather do today. It is of no matter that I would rather spend the day with Thryn, or at a museum, or haunting some as yet unexplored cemetery. I deserve nothing until I have written. The book is all that matters. Conversely, all that matters is the book.
In my next life I will be a stonemason.
After that, if I've been a good stonemason, I will be very small and inconspicuous sea thing.
All I have to do first, is write this novel, and the next novel, and the one after that, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Writers do not retire. There is no point at which someone gives you a gold watch, a pat on the head for a job well done, a meager pension, and sends you off to pasture. No hand is too arthritic to write, somehow. There is always a way to get the words out, damn them. Insanity does not even save us. Nothing, but writing. Oh, and death, if one is an optimist.
I've been doing this thing, writing, non-stop for eleven years, and publishing for seven, and I still see reviewers refer to me as a "new voice" or a "new talent." It chills my blood. This will go on forever. No, just a little longer than that. It feels that way, that way exactly, this January afternoon. All writers look forward to our time in Purgatory, as we know that we'll be right at home there.
Last night it was Topsy-Turvy after all, and then Thryn and I read Part One of Courtney Crumrin and the Coven of Mystics. Very, very fine. Ted Naifeh just keeps getting better and better. Go to your local hawker of comics and acquire a copy. You will be pleased.
I've almost worn the "N" and the "H" off my keyboard. For that matter, the "A," "O," "C," and "S" have all seen better days.
Sunday, January 19, 2003
Today I didn't hit the wall. But other obstacles were encountered and, at 5:30 p.m., when I sat down to write, I realized it was too late, I was too tired, and decided to wait until tomorrow. This is called laziness. Do not attempt this at home. Remember, I'm a trained professional.
Actually, comparing my progress on Murder of Angels to last year's work on Low Red Moon, having begun work on both (the note stage) in November, and planning to finish the former in August, just before Dragon*Con (as I did with LRM), I'm actually about 10,000 words ahead of schedule (the ms. currently stands at about 30,000 words). I should have no trouble meeting my deadline (and my publisher's deadline isn't until December, anyhow) and not worry about missing a day of writing here and there. This is called rationalization. Do not attempt it without adult supervision.
Last night I stopped by Oxford Comics and picked up the first issue of Ted Naifeh's Courtney Crumrin and the Coven of Mystics and drooled over new action fictures and lunch boxes and Sock Monkey stickers. Spooky and I haven't read the new Courtney Crumrin yet, but Jennifer has and loved it. Oh, and I saw the video for This Mortal Coil's "Song to the Siren," complete with Liz Fraser and falling leaves, which I didn't even know existed. This made Spooky very happy; we're hoping to tape it next time. VH1C is a new and perilous addiction. We finished off the gumbo. It was a decent day, yesterday. I think tonight we're watching Topsy Turvy, unless we watch From Hell instead. I'm prattling. See you tomorrow.
Oh. I wrote something yesterday. Wait. Let me check. Yep. Just over 1,000 words. Good for me.
Saturday, January 18, 2003
Usually, when I make it over the wall, I merely fall in a heap on the other side. If I'm very lucky, I can jump clear of the damned thing. Yesterday, I jumped clear. 1,380 words on Chapter Three. It was a relief. You can only spend so many days writing about not writing before it gets extremely tedious; two, at the most. But today I have a dread emergency room scene to write. I hate writing hospital scenes, if only because I hate hospitals. We'll see how it goes. Also, I have to do the very final proofing on TFoC (who am I fooling; no proofreading is ever final) and read more of the Gemma Files collection I've agreed to write an introduction for. That's a full enough day, I think.
The gumbo went very, very well. So well, in fact, that Thryn and I had more of it for breakfast. I ought to post the recipe. I was a little annoyed that the only crayfish I could get were imported from Thailand, when we're up to our armpits in crayfish right here in Georgia; the Thai crayfish were a bit too spiny and not very meaty. Anyway, it was a good evening. I showed a video of a Death's Little Sister show (Nov. '96) to Jim and Jennifer and Byron, and they were very kind and only laughed a little bit. And, of course, there was Farscape, which only leaves nine episodes to go, unless we're very, very lucky.
Time to make words.
Friday, January 17, 2003
I spent most of yesterday sitting at the foot of the brick wall, rubbing my jaw, making sure I hadn't lost any teeth. Today I have to climb, like it or not, doubt be hanged.
Any day now, the CD that will accompany Trilobite: The Writing of Threshold will be back from the printers and ready to go out with the book, when it gets back from the printers. It's truly an amazing disc and will, I remind you, be available for sale on my website and the NYARLATHOTEP website. Recently, Thryn (Kathryn, Spooky, etc. — she has many names, that one) and I listened to an early mix of the disc again and I'd forgotten how good it is (and Derek assures me the final product is light years better, with many more tracks). It makes as fine a "soundtrack" for Threshold as any I could imagine (excepting, perhaps, a Graeme Revell soundtrack with contributions by Brian Eno and David Bowie). I eagerly, impatiently await it.
There's not much else to say just now. The snow storm didn't happen, but it's frelling cold out there. I'm cooking gumbo with crawfish for dinner guests tonight. Last night we watched the vastly underappreciated Plunkett and Maccleane (1999) again, and then dozed to Pitch Black (one of my "sleep movies"). I keep picking up William Blake. I've been browsing a book of H. R. Giger that Spooky brought down with her from Rhode Island. Yesterday I listened to Beth Gibbons and Rustin Man's out of season for the first time and was suitably impressed.
Tonight is Farscape, remember? Thanks to Kale, who, having read my rather strident post of yesterday, posted the following to my discussion phorum:
"One thing that drives me nuts about the SciFi channel is that they give you the times in Eastern Standard Time, and you're not sure if it'll be the same time in Pacific, or will there be a three hour time difference. From my experience last week, it will air at 5 pm and 9 pm PST in Los Angeles. "
And my response was:
"Okay. This had me utterly perplexed, because before I made the blogger entry yesterday, giving the times coast to coast, I double-checked with sci-fi.com and tvguide.com. I just checked with both again and they still say 8 p.m. and 12 a.m. for PT. So, at tvguide.com I clicked Dish Network instead of cable and, low and behold:
Farscape, 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.
So, there's a different time if your provider is Dish Network (which I've never even heard of). We have DirectTV, and it airs Farscape the same time as regular cable. But I'm East Coast. So, my guess, the three hour delay from ET to PT for Dish Network follows, simply, from the three-hour time difference. This would mean that, for some reason, Dish is picking up the eastern feed, not the western feed."
Anyway, those of you not on the Dish Network, see the entry from 1/16/03 for local times. Otherwise, it's tonight, the Sci-Fi Channel, 8 pm and rerun at 12 am. "Terra Firma." And if you're not convinced to give an hour of your time, try reading one of the essays that I wrote about the show back in September. I'll even provide the hassle-free link: Crackers Do Matter: Why Farscape Is Worth Saving. Maybe that'll tilt the scales.
Now it's time to work. Where did I put that damned chainsaw . . .
"And mutual fear brings peace . . ."
Thursday, January 16, 2003
Yesterday I hit the brick wall. The brick wall is always there, skipping along just a few pages ahead of me. Patient. Patient beyond imagining. Knowing that, always, sooner or later, I'll mistep, mistime, and run, headlong, into it. Like yesterday.
And that moment, or hour, or day, or week — however long is required to pick myself up, wipe the masonry dust from my clothes, extricate the little griity bits of mortar from my teeth — is time enough, always, for doubt, which has a sort of an arrangement with the brick wall. You stop 'er, I'll hold 'er. Something after that fashion. Doubt, which is bottomless and topless and goes on forever, from side to side. Doubt which leaves me lying awake at 7 a.m., shaking off the nightmares and thinking about all the things I'm best off not thinking about. Considering how much better the day would be spent on absinthe or wine than soberly trying to climb over the fucking wall, thinking tomorrow's hangover really wouldn't be all that bad. Worrying about what hasn't happened or hasn't happened yet, what didn't happened or didn't happen when I needed it to, or wanted it to, whatever. What may never happen, what is inevitable. Doubt knows each and every string and pulls them until the little hooks that keep them anchored securely into my skeleton and soul begin to ache.
Yesterday I almost wrote a paragraph. Almost. Then thought better of it and wrote nothing at all.
Three good days to the brick wall. And now that I'm stunned and fit for nothing but doubt, the wall is already moving, waiting for the next time I'll catch up to it, and the next, and all the times after that.
Deciding, unwisely, against the absinthe breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I spent the morning reading an interview with Quentin Crisp in an issue of The Sentimentalist and listening to music. The interview left me feeling bleaker than before I'd started reading. The music did me a little more good — The Cocteau Twins, Patti Smith, Poe, The Psychedilc Furs, The Danny Hutton Hitters — tiny dabs of balm for all the places where the impact with the brick wall had left me raw and doubt had left me sour. Maybe I'm moving forward again. I'm not sure. It's probably too soon to tell.
There's supposedly a winter storm heading towards us. It looks pretty grim on doppler, a great wall of green, lavender and white sweeping down towards Atlanta from the northwest. Tomorrow night's low is forecast at 19F. I think I shall stay inside until this idiocy has passed. The sky turned dark gray about an hour and a half ago. There's supposed to be snow and sleet this evening. Doubt, by the way, does his very best work in weather like this.
Anyway, tomorrow night more Farcsape, episode 4.13, "Terra Firma," and yes, it will be on the test. The Sci-Fi Channel, 8 PM (ET/PT). Some people have been complaining to me that they missed last week's episode because of the time change from the summer, when it was in the later time slot it never should have been in, and that they were unable to find the time anywhere. This mystifies me. Some of these people even read this journal regularly and I'd posted the time, never mind they could have gone to sci-fi.com, or one of the bezillion Farscape fansites, or TVGuide.com, or an actual hardcopy of TV Guide, or their local newspaper, or that channel everyone has that tells them what's on when — you get the picture. One of the things that I am learning is that television viewers, like everyone else, are lazy. Many readers suffer from a similar laziness. At almost every signing I do, every con at which I'm a guest, every conference I attend, at least one person comes up to me and says something like, "I've been wanting to read your books forever, but I can never find them anywhere." I usually reply by asking if they have a computer with internet access. They usually reply that, why yes, they do. I then ask them if they know about Amazon.com; most of them do. Most have even ordered from Amazon. "You know," I tell them, "pretty much everything I've ever written is available on Amazon. Just type in my name." They usually look at me like I've just told them some great secret. I don't even bother pointing out that they could have simply typed my name into any given search engine. Or, for that matter, that Barnes and Noble, Border's, etc., generally can be counted on to have a copy or two each of Silk and Threshold in stock and on the shelves, and if they don't will be happy to special order copies for you, at no extra charge. Anyway, point being, if you want to watch Farscape tomorrow night, and have access to a television with the Sci-Fi Channel, and have no other pressing commitments, you need not miss "Terra Firma" for want of accurate information about the time:
Eastern: 8 p.m.
Central: 7 p.m.
Mountain: 6 p.m.
Pacific: 8 p.m.
The episode will be repeated in each time zone:
Eastern: 12 a.m.
Central: 11 p.m.
Mountain: 10 p.m.
Pacific: 12 a.m.
So, there you go. Many excuses are readily available to readers of this journal who miss Farscape tomorrow night, but "I couldn't find what time it was airing" is not one of them.
"A little black thing among the snow . . ."
Wednesday, January 15, 2003
It's miserably cold here in Atlanta. A front came through last night and the temperatures plummeted. At 11:12 a.m., we've only reached 31F. Of course, those of you reading this from North Dakota or Maine or Moscow will have little sympathy. As usual, it's January and I'm ready for June.
Another good writing day yesterday. I did about 1,300 words on Chapter Three of Murder of Angels. It's starting to feel like I'm building steam, which is good, after running on empty the last couple of months. The chainsaw is in the air, even if the kitten is sitting on the ground. Yesterday, I wound up writing to VNV Nation's Futureperfect (always a reliable fallback). I'm beginning to see the sort of novel that MOA will be. More like Silk, in that much of the story's conflict, much of the opposing Other, originates from the psyche of the characters, moreso than in Threshold or Low Red Moon. This is, in part, a novel about insanity, and the struggle against insanity, and the ultimately arbitrary nature of what I think of as "consensual reality." On the other hand, it will have a great deal of the alienness, the weirdness, the elsewhere-pressing-in-on-this-worldness that Threshold had (and Low Red Moon, to as lesser degree). There's a ghost story in it, if you want to see it that way. Also, I've been at William Blake again, and I expect it will show.
This buisness with Pete Townsend is even more absurd than the witch hunt currently going on within the Roman Catholic Church. For shit's sake, the man apparently looked at websites, was arrested for it, and now has to justify himself to the entire world. CNN is suggesting that he may, ultimately, be remembered not for The Who or Tommy, but for a sex scandal. It occurred to me last night that in the future everyone will be a criminal for at least fifteen minutes. In which case, the future's almost here.
The past just keeps looking more inviting.
Tuesday, January 14, 2003
Maybe this thing, my writing, is back on track. I did a little better than 1,000 words yesterday on Chapter Three of Murder of Angels, which gives me just over one hundred ms. pages at this point. I begin to suspect this novel might be longer than my others, but it's really too early to be sure. I also did some revision to the preface for TFoC and added another paragraph. So, it was really a very productive day, which left me too exhausted to do much more than spend the evening with Thryn, camped out in front of the television watching a couple of Farscape DVDs, a few videos on VH1-Classics, Samurai Jack, and Home Moves. Television can be nice when you've spent the day pounding words into the keyboard.
Yesterday I wrote to The Flir and David Bowie. Today I'm not certain exactly what I'll write to.
When I was a kid, growing up in a world where people expected very little from life and usually got even less than they expected, this was something like a dream — having the freedom to write, without guilt, without the suspicion that it was somehow wrong and I ought to be doing something else more sensible. Sometimes, like this morning, it feels like a dream again. That I've supported myself well for the last seven years by writing and by writing alone, an utterly unobtainable dream, real but rarely seeming entirely real. When I was a child and I would tell people that I wanted to write (and, keep in mind, this was usually nowhere near my first choice, but usually came in well behind palaentology, herpetology, ichthyology, geology, or whichever of the natural sciences I was most enamoured of at the moment), I'd get, at best, a patronizing nod of the head. At worst, a disapproving scowl and a lecture on how I needed to set my sights on something more practical, something I could make a living at, something within my reach. "Like your cousin," they might say. "He's learning to be an auto mechanic. He'll be able to support himself and a family." Oh, they had the same reaction to my desire to be a scientist, of course. Really moreso, since I rarely ever talked about writing. I talked a lot about wanting to be a scientist, but, as it obviously lacked the glamour and security of automotive repair — well, I mentioned the scowls already. Anyway, I'm not sure why I'm going on about this today. I just had a moment of that dreamy feel I get about writing sometimes, that this is real and I'm doing it and it's going well and many of the members of my family who scowled stopped scowling sometime back.
Regardless, it's time to get to work.
Monday, January 13, 2003
Yesterday, I debated with myself, and with Thryn and Jennifer, whether or not this journal should continue to go by the name of Low Red Moon Journal. After all, I said, I finished the book way back in August, and sold it, and now I'm writing another, so, shouldn't this become the Murder of Angels Journal, or maybe simply Caitlín R. Kiernan's Journal. They agreed with me. Then I thought, but, there's still much of the business of Low Red Moon ahead of me, the business of the book — the editorial letter and subsequent revisions, the advance reading copies going out to reviewers, the advance reviews, the book's publication sometime around November 2003, and so on and so forth. Lots of juicy stuff still to come, directly relating to and necessary for a comprehensive understanding of The Birth of a Novel. So, I finally argued myself into hanging onto to the old title for now, even though a new book is in the works. I figure people will figure it out. Or they won't. One way or the other.
Yesterday was promising. I wrote over 1,200 words on the prologue (finishing it) of MOA in only a couple of hours. I must have found a spark somewhere on one of those albums (see 1/12/03). Now I just have to repeat that feat, or something similar, today. If I do it a week straight, I'll know that I'm up and running again. Of course, it's not just the novel. It's the chainsaw and the kitten. Actually, unless the kitten ("The Rose Garden") gets its ass in gear, it may have to be temporarily swapped out for a pretty green bottle (my story for the absinthe anthology). A chainsaw and a green bottle. That doesn't have the same ring to it. Yes, I'm prattling.
The "g" key is acting up less today.
SpookyCon is over. I missed it. But, with luck, there's SpookyCon 2 in July. I mean, damn. I named the damned convention and didn't even get to attend! Thryn and I were to have spent this week just hanging out in San Francisco, enjoying the sights and doing some research for MOA (the beginning of which is set in SF).
Oh. We're gearing up for another big eBay auction. It'll be run under the seller name "Spookydooky" (Jennifer's account) and will include copies of just about everything I've published (half the utility room here is filled with comp copies of my books and we need the space for, well, utilities), and a few surprises — maybe a couple of actual manuscripts, a few advance reading copies, stuff like that. I'll let you know when it starts.
Now I go to juggle . . .
Sunday, January 12, 2003
Kathryn had a dream the other night that she'd discovered a "lost" Death's Little Sister film on the web — me in black and white, in the woods somewhere, singing, topless. I'm pretty sure I've never even told her about that film . . .
I missed an entry yesterday, but, then, there wasn't a great deal to report.
Getting back to work is slow. Distractions are plentiful and seductive. Almost anything at all is more inviting than this keyboard (which developed a sticky "g" key yesterday).
I did get out of the apartment, though, on Friday and Saturday, so that's something. I've begun reading another author's short story collection, which I was asked to write an introduction for. It's always flattering, being asked to write intros and afterwords and suchlike. Anyway, I said I'd do it, if I liked the collection; I like it so far. I'm trying to focus on Murder of Angels and "The Rose Garden," opposite ends of a spectrum, at least, juggling a kitten and a chainsaw, that sort of a trick. No word count to report because I've not written enough words the past two days to bother with counting. I thought I had things moving again, back on the 7th, when I did the first 1,000+ words on "The Rose Garden," but nothing since. I expect it's the mess with SpookyCon and the aborted trip to San Francisco throwing me off. I have to try not to think about that or I just get pissed off again and can't get anything done.
I've been listening to lots of music, looking for that spark that I often find in music. David Bowie's Heathen, Mors Syphilitica's Primrose, VNV Nation's Empires, Coldplay's Parachutes, Diary of Dream's Freak Perfume, plus assorted Rasputina, Flir, Kate Bush, Talk Talk, Soft Cell, Future Bible Heroes, Psychedlic Furs, and Fairport Convention. There has to be a spark in there somewhere.
Thanks to everyone who tuned into Farscape on Friday night at my prompting. I hope you weren't disappointed in "Kansas." It was a great new episode, after the long drought. Next up, "Terma Firma" this Friday night.
Time to go stare at the screen until my eyes begin to bleed or my fingers begin their danse across the keyboard. But I'll sign off today with an optimistic quote from a recent interview with Farscape Executive Producer David Kemper: ". . . have faith that good and righteous unrealized realites can happen if we all lean in the same direction." It's a nice thought at the moment, for a number of reasons. I'm not given to optimism, as most of you know. It's not in my nature and seems intellectually and historically ill-advised, but with the escalating situations in Iraq and North Korea, India and Pakistan, with the Homeland Security thugs and George W. Bush at the wheel, I think I'll be daring for a change. Lean on . . .
Friday, January 10, 2003
It rained last night, but we have sun again today.
Kathryn and I watched Vanilla Sky last night (second time for me) and then I was unable to sleep until about 5 am (no connection between the film and my insomnia, so far as I can tell).
Even guilt and shame seem to have their limitations, which, I must say, comes as a considerable disappoint to me. Will I be left with nothing in which to place my faith? Yesterday, I tried to work on "The Rose Garden," but was unable to do so, because I discovered that, while I can write fiction aimed at a younger audience, I can only do so in a very particular mood. So. Instead I reworked the first two thirds of the prologue for Murder of Angels and tried to begin the final third, but came up empty. I do like the writing, I just need to see a lot more of it.
Anyway, I doubt today will be any better. I've promised Kathryn I'd spend the day out, at a museum or a cemetery, perhaps, as I've not left the apartment since last Sunday. I thought moving to a place that is a place, where there are Outside things to occupy my time, would end the reclusiveness. Old habits. Anyway, the hope is that something out there will inspire and motivate me. I think the lack of motivation is the biggest problem.
But tonight is Farscape and nothing will damper my spirits about that. It's one of the few pluses to having been refused the right to fly to San Francisco. At least I can see Farscape tonight. You'll be there too, right? Of course you will. Sci Fi Channel. 8 pm Eastern/Pacific, with a repeat at midnight. Need to know more? Go to Nebari Net.
Thursday, January 09, 2003
Here I am, not in San Francisco, not doing my panels for SpookyCon, not hanging out with Poppy and Christa and Ted and Serena and so on and so forth blah. But all is not lost. Many thanks to Clay for sending me this photo (below). I have been endorsed by Hello Kitty. Now I know that I've made it as an author.
Not surprisingly, nothing was accomplished yesterday. I tried to work on "The Rose Garden" for about an hour an a half, but I only managed a little revision on what I'd already written, nothing new. Today may be better. I'm still pissed off, but I'm no longer livid and my nerves have backed off enough that they're not a distraction. But I might have to go to Athens this evening. So, the day's sort of annoyingly undecided. I'm beginning to get a sort of desperation about getting the novel jump-started. I'm glad I have those two original chapters, but if I'm going to make my (self-imposed) late August deadline (the publisher's deadline is December), I'm going to have to hustle. I have to finish "The Rose Garden" and write a story for a Medium Rare Books anthology (stories about absinthe) and it seems like there's another story that I can't remember. I expect to be spending most of my waking hours in this office through the spring.
Thanks to everyone who indulged me yesterday and actually did order a copy of the trade paperback of Silk. There was a significant jump in its sales rank, which made me smile. Here's the link again. Two copies are better than one, after all.
A couple of good things about yesterday. I did finally get a copy of Bast #1, and I think the book looks great. I'm very happy with it. Dave McKean's cover and Joe Bennett's art do the script justice and my complaints are few and far between. Also, I downloaded the Public Beta of Apple's new browser, Safari, which really leaves IE sucking dust. I highly reccommend it to Macophiles who are still slaving under the stifling yolk of IE 5. You can download the beta from the Apple website.
And, don't forget, tomorrow night Season Four of Farscape continues with "Kansas," the first new episode since late August. When last seen, John Crichton was doing his Major Tom trick above Earth, so things are sure to get even weirder. If you're already a fan, don't forget to watch. If you've never seen the show, give it a shot. Please. There's still a very real chance that the series can be saved from cancellation if the ratings on these next eleven episodes go up just a little from the ratings this summer. Be there or be frelled. Tomorrow night, Friday January 10th, the Sci-Fi Channel at 8 pm and repeating at 12 am (ET/PT). For more details on Farscape and the campaign to save the show, check out Nebari Net and Save Farscape. All eyes are needed!
Okay. I've got to go do something that's work or at least makes me think I'm working. I'm getting squishy beneath all this guilt (though I ought to be at SpookyCon right now).
Wednesday, January 08, 2003
Thryn and I should be in San Francisco by now. Instead, we're back home, following four insane hours at Hartsfield Airport. During check-in, a misunderstanding regarding my ID arose and I was not allowed to board the plane, nor will I likely be allowed to board a plane for some days to come. I would say much more, but for legal reasons, am presently prevented from doing so. Suffice it to say I will not be making SpookyCon and I am extremely pissed off about this mess. My sincerest apologies to anyone who might be planning to attend the con on my account. Darren McKeeman is rescheduling me for SpookyCon 2 in July and by then this situation should have long since been resolved and I can make the trip to San Francisco. Again, my apologies.
My nerves are shot, my patience is shot, and the day is probably shot, as far as any hope of something productive is concerned. I may try to get a little more written on "The Rose Garden." I need to look over the final galleys of Bast #3, which arrived while I was at the airport this a.m. But I may just fuck off back to bed and be done with this day.
Oh, if you'd like to do something that might make me feel a little less crappy, please click here to order a copy of the trade paperback of Silk. I just saw a delightfully thick-skulled new "review" posted on Amazon (the one labled "Maybe I'm Missing Something," from January 6, 2003). Thanks.
It's almost one a.m. and I'm tired and Kathryn and I have to be at the airport by 7 a.m. to make our flight to San Francisco for SpookyCon. I spent most of the day working and most of the night packing. I'm making this post now, before bed, because although I always intend to make posts from cons, I rarely do and this might be my last post until sometime next week. I'm due to return to Atlanta on January 16th.
Today I finished reading through the two existing chapters of Murder of Angels (about 20,000 wds.). They were written back in late 2000 - early 2001, not very long after I finished Threshold. I'd intended to do the Silk. sequel then, but experienced a very bad dry spell. That coupled with my agent's belief that novel #3 shouldn't be a sequel to Silk led to my shelving the ms. in April or May of that year. Reading back over it, I very much like what I see and hope that I can pick up the story where I left off almost two years ago. I had already moved closer to the style that Low Red Moon is written in. Also, I wrote the first 1,000 wds. of a new short story, for an anthology of Gothic short stories for young adults, to be published by Candlewick Press. For the moment, the story's called "The Rose Garden," though that could change. I've never written a story explicitly for this age group before, but I think I'm enjoying the experience.
Oh, and if you need a laugh or three, have a peek at this "article" from the Decatur Daily (Alabama). At last, goth defined:
A Misunderstood Group?
Anyway, if you're in San Francisco, drop by SpookyCon. For details, check out the website at:
Tuesday, January 07, 2003
Sorry about the grumpy entry yesterday. The day started out bad, but got better. All in all, I think I've done an amazing job of not letting on how disagreeable a thing writing for a living can be. Usually, I let the tantrums pass, unexpressed, certainly unrecorded. Jennifer chased away the guys with their noisy, smoky leafblowers (and accidientally locked herself outside, in the process). I think I'm going to ask our landlord if I can please rake our yard, instead.
Anyway, I'm making this short because I seem to be getting back into the swing of work and don't need to linger here. Oh, some news. I've been asked by Bill Schafer to do the afterword for a best of Subterranean Press volume (which will, by the way, include my story "Andromeda Among the Stones," to be released first as a chapbook with the lettered edition of J. K. Potter's Embrace the Mutation). Also, another new Subterranean project that has me very, very excited — I'll be doing a series of four novellas, each 25-30,000 words, to be released separately as hardbound volumes. The novellas will be interconnected, somewhat in the fashion of many of the stories in Tales of Pain and Wonder and will be published six months apart (so, over a period of two years). Ultimately, a slip case will be available to hold all four. But the big news about the project is that the stories will be science fiction, the first pure sf I've done since I wrote "Hoar Isis" in early 1994! I'll keep you posted as I know more details.
Monday, January 06, 2003
There are times, like right now, this afternoon, this moment, when the frustration at not being able to get past the distractions of life and the distractions of the business of writing push me past annoyance to full-fledged anger. The two workmen outside my office window with their leafblowers, blowing at non-existent leaves and pumping out carbon-monoxide that seeps beneath the window sill and into the room with me. The contract that needed a long clause added, and having to write it into each copy by hand. The parcel I need to send, but the address was lost in the move. A misplaced e-mail address. The list of things that I was supposed to get done in December that have carried over into January. All of it piling up and pressing in. And nothing gets written because I can't clear my head of all this stupid fucking noise.
Forget a room of your own; these days, you need a goddamn island of your own.
Maybe I'll try to say something more later. Then again, maybe I'll have beat the workmen to death with their own leafblowers and I'll never have to write another word, so long as I live (See? I can do optimism.).
Sunday, January 05, 2003
Almost the entire day was "wasted" in upgrading software on the Mac, getting things all spiffy and shiny and 2003. Now the iBook goes like stink, as they say. But I didn't get any writing done. I thumbed through Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber and L. Frank Baum's The Patchwork Girl of Oz, while I waited for this or that to finish installing. But really not much to report. That's going to change this week. This week words will be written and we will begin that monotonous reporting of word counts that drove me headlong through Low Red Moon this past spring and summer. I am swearing my friends to oaths of guilt; they will be bound by honour to make me feel like a turd if I don't get my 1,000 words a day done. There will be naught but bread and water. No new action figures or other sundry geek toys until the words start rolling in on a regular basis. Big fucking guns time. No more letting myself off easy. Work or die.
I've been looking for motivation and inspiration in music. Theatre of Tragedy's Musique (2000) and Mor Syphilitica's Primrose (1998), for instance. The latter's playing right now. I have to find the sound of this new novel. That's always a critical first step. I have to hear the story. It sounds goofy, but it's as true as anything else I can say about my writing. Anyway, I wasn't very taken with Musique; I much preffered TOT's black metal on Aegis than their pop electronica. Primrose, on the other hand, holds great promise, as regards Murder of Angels.
Tonight, Thryn and I watched Reign of Fire, which I still think is a kick-ass monster movie.
Thanks to everyone who has taken a moment to send me their thoughts on gay characters, Silk, and the new novel; the encouragement is, as always, greatly appreciated.
Friday, January 03, 2003
No sun today, but there was no sun for most of yesterday. A rainy Southern winter.
Yesterday was not entirely unproductive. I vowed to force myself to sit at the computer until 5 p.m. In that time I caught up on e-mail, I sent additional text for Bast #3 to DC, but, most importantly, I got back to work on my notes for Murder of Angels. Much of the notes were concerned with having discovered, via Google, that there's a band on the Middle Pillar label called A Murder of Angels, and I'm trying to figure out if this is actually an issue for me or not. I made a list of alternate titles, none of which seemed right. I divided the book, the book in my head, into three sections and discovered that three of the alternate titles made great titles for parts one, two, and three. I spent about a page and a half debating with myself whether or not it was a bad move, at this point, to return to a novel where the main characters are gay. For some people, it was an issue with Silk. It's idiotic and bigoted that it was an issue, but it was, and I've heard a lot of crap from people who would have had an easier time getting into the novel had Spyder and Robin, and then Niki Ky, not been lesbians. Plus, there were a number of lesser male characters who were gay. An equal number of characters were het, but it seems that the people who were put off by lesbians weren't mollified by that fact. This is one of those shitty parts of writing, having to weigh my own artistic concerns against market concerns. It's not that a book can't deal with gay characters and be popular; it most certainly can. But it has to do so in a "non-threatening" manner or risk relegation to the dreaded ghetto of gay fiction. And in Murder of Angels, I'm looking at both protagonists being lesbian, Daria and Niki. Of course, I would hasten to point out that I've written two novels since Silk — Threshold and Low Red Moon — that essentially lack any gay characters, but the people who are put off by gay characters wouldn't care. So, I have to deal with this. If I'm going to write the damned book, a sequel to Silk, avoiding central characters who are lesbians is out of the question. It's one of those situations where I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and see how it goes when the book hits the stores. It's always like that, really. I thought Threshold was way too weird to ever do well and it's already on its third trade paperback printing.
Today it's back to my notes, and a contract that has to be gone over, and a letter that has to be written. Tonight we might go see The Two Towers again. Spooky hasn't seen it yet. Tomorrow, I get a road trip to Tallahassee to visit Rogue and Jessica (The Crüxshadows) and I won't be back until Sunday, so this will probably be my last post until Sunday night. Last night, I watched Minority Report for the second time.
Finally, tonight the Sci-Fi Channel will be rerunning the three most recent episodes of Farscape, before the first new episode on January 10th. Here's the schedule (all times ET):
6: 00 PM "A Prefect Murder"
7:00 PM "Coup By Clam"
8:00 PM "Unrealized Realities"
"Unrealized Realities," in particular, is one of sf's finest television moments.
And, once again, if you need the primer, it's here:
See you all Sunday.
Thursday, January 02, 2003
The sun just came out, after two days of rain. It's a welcomed sight.
So, here I am trying to get my brain back into the work place. The writing place, filled with words and stories and people I haven't thought of yet. I have to lodge myself there and refuse to budge. It's time to get back to that monotonous, but reassuring, one thousand word a day routine that took me through Low Red Moon so very swiftly. It's at least a month past time.
Time to use this journal for that thing for which it was created — guilting me into writing every day, to avoid public embarrassment. Potential humiliation is a powerful tool and should never be neglected for some finer method of achieving an end.
I understand that Bast: Eternity Game will be in stores very soon, perhaps tomorrow. I hear it looks good. I ought to know by now, should have seen a copy for myself. But my comp box from DC was apparently mailed to the old address in Birmingham, not the new address in Atlanta, and is now lost somewhere in transit. The last time that happened was with my first issue of The Dreaming, #17, in 1997, when I moved from Athens to Birmingham. Anyway, Jennifer's trying to track down the missing parcel. Please drop by your local comic shop and pick up a copy. It'd be nice to see Bast sell well. There's talk of me doing another Bast mini.
Last night we saw Gangs of New York, which I thought was a brilliant and breathtakingly beautiful film and recommend to all; afterwards, we had dinner at The Vortex. A good evening out, which I have far too few off these days.
Wednesday, January 01, 2003
The first morning of 2003. The first gray morning of 2003. I know I'm not the only one who, especially on New Year's Day, has stopped to think, "How the fuck did I ever live this long?" Has it always been that way, or is it something from the seventies and eighties, this sense of impending death? That the future can't really be there, that the thought alone is just too surreal to contemplate. No future. I hope I die before I get old. You know the tune. Except, instead of being an affirmation, it's a weird sort of premonition, beginning perhaps at puberty. A dread of becoming our parents? The thought alone to unreal, unthinkable, unfathomable, like trying to hold the concept of eternity in a thought. The brain skips like a scratchy record (you know, a record, those old-fasioned vinyl things?) and resists the possibility. And then, one day, it's 1999. Or 2000. Or, worse still, 2003, and there's no getting around the obvious. We're mired in this time stuff like flies in amber, like a mastodon in warm tar. If you struggle, it'll only make things worse. And slowly, it grows harder around us, sealing us in, keeping us, like a certain moment, or a nostalgic odor, except, unlike the amber or the tar, it never quite solidifies completely. It continues the flow, unceasingly, dragging us helplessly along for the ride.
Anyway, Happy New Years,
My work has sat neglected since Sunday, when Spooky finally arrived from Rhode Island. Tomorrow, I have to force myself to get back to That Which Must Be Written. I announced at breakfast this morning that my New Year's Resolution was to write another damned book. I figure that's a fairly safe one. I did write the patch for page 22, panels 6 and 7 of Bast #3, on Sunday. I need to e-mail the revised preface to Bill Schafer, and the edited manuscript of TFoC. But, mostly, I need to begin the new novel. All else falls by the wayside. It's the only thing which can be allowed to truly matter.
Last night, Kathryn and I watched Wendigo and listened to fireworks going off. We also watched some video she'd done in 1993, which was strange but charming. It was pay back, as I'd let her watch a Death's Little Sister show on video the night before. Tonight I think we're all going to see Gangs of New York.
2003. Wow. The show must go on . . .
(cue music, title credits)