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"Don't you have someone you'd die for?"

Here in Providence, it's a balmy 22˚F, but that's okay, because the windchill is 18˚F. I won't have to worry about heat prostration this afternoon. Unless it's the sort of heat I feel when I'm months behind on finishing a novel. And stuck. Anyway, here is the white desolation of the Armory, as of sunset yesterday. It looks a lot like the inside of my skull:

I haven't made entries the last couple of days because there's precious little to say. I've been trying to write. On Sunday, I wrote a couple hundred words, and yesterday I threw them all away. This is not a novel that demands great prose. Cherry Bomb is only meant to be an enjoyable story, and all it needs is serviceable prose. Which is probably why I'm having so much trouble writing it. It relies on plot, that fucking tyrant, that play-school bully. I'm lodged somewhere between the last few pages of Chapter Four and the first few of Chapter Five. It doesn't help that plot bores me to tears. call it story, if you prefer. That particular artifice. It's by far the least interesting aspect of fiction. Regardless, I've fallen back on this being a 70k-word novel, not 100k. There just isn't time to write the extra thirty thousand. I'm going to have to make it work at the original length. Yesterday, on Facebook, I said,

I vow, if I survive the writing of Cherry Bomb, I will never again subject myself to a novel that relies on the artifices and contrivances of PLOT instead of on all those things I'm actually good at doing. Fuck plot. To quote Margaret Atwood, "A plot is just one thing after another, a what and a what and a what.” And who the shit wants to waste their time with that? Not me.

There is a hellish aloneness to writing, which far greater writers than I have spoken to, eloquently and at length. But it hits me the worst when I'm completely stuck like this. And there's no one anywhere who can solve the problem but me. There's not even really anyone who can help me solve this problem. There's me and this machine. And this manuscript, which seems to be going backwards, growing shorter the longer I work on it. I'm not writing, I'm winnowing.

Yesterday, a copy of Alabaster: Pale Horse reached me. I think the postmen are using reindeer. Or mammoths. There was a photo-op in front of Ye Olde Cabinet of Curiosities:

The book's release date is February 25th, but I'm not sure when Amazon will begin shipping. Probably sooner.


And I've broken another tooth. Upper left premolar 1. There's not much pain yet, but there's going to have to be an eBay auction now to try and cover what will, which the inevitable crown, likely run to one thousand or twelve hundred dollars.


Nothing else really worth mentioning. That's never stopped me before. We had a little more snow night before last. Mostly, there's ~ watching the Olympics, RP in The Secret World, feeling old and sickly, listening to Belly and the Breeders, and bitching about the Yankee winter. Rinse and repeat. Thank you. Drive around, please.

Out the Window Backwards,
Aunt Beast

All photographs Copyright © 2014 by Caitlín R. Kiernan and Kathryn A. Pollnac.


( 12 comments — Have your say! )
Feb. 11th, 2014 05:59 pm (UTC)
the Post Office is very into chains...

sorry to hear about the tooth... dental sucks.
Feb. 11th, 2014 06:23 pm (UTC)

sorry to hear about the tooth... dental sucks.

It has haunted my whole life.
Feb. 11th, 2014 06:29 pm (UTC)
I seem to have a Yearly Root Canal with complications, so I am waiting for this years tooth to make itself known. Or I have run out of teeth for that to happen with, and will find out what replaces that.
Feb. 11th, 2014 06:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing the photo. I'm waiting for my copy to ship, though I ordered from a big box store and not Amazon. Wishing you success with the whole plot thing. You definitely have people who believe in your ability to conquer the beast.
Feb. 11th, 2014 06:34 pm (UTC)

Wishing you success with the whole plot thing. You definitely have people who believe in your ability to conquer the beast.

I wish knowing that gave me more courage when entering the demon's lair.

Edited at 2014-02-11 06:35 pm (UTC)
Feb. 11th, 2014 09:12 pm (UTC)
the month of dental horrors
I'm having a hate-my-decaying body day. I detailed it in my own journal entry today, so I won't take up the same space here on it. But part of that is dental issues, mostly caused by stress, they say. I have this reoccurring abscess with its floating moons of canker sores. They dig into the abscess and find nothing causing it, hence the 'it's stress' diagnosis. They give me antibiotics. Everything subsides and then it reappears. The problem this time is that a) I have no money for the dentist -- still owing from the last go 'round -- and this time the pain is deep in my jaw, which the nurse told me this morning might indicate a far deeper and scarier problem. I'm hiding from the problem today, not having the bandwidth to deal with what it likely is. But, yeah, dentists. Hate them. Hate someone in my mouth picking and prodding, and making me pay for the horribleness that is said dental procedure.

Also, I'm always amazed at the photos of you during the dead of winter in a tank-top. Have we seen the full cabinet of curiosities before? Did I miss it?
Feb. 11th, 2014 09:15 pm (UTC)
Re: the month of dental horrors

I wear as little as I can get away with. I can';t stand being bundled, plus it's my way of giving the season the middle finger.

Have we seen the full cabinet of curiosities before?

Probably not.
Feb. 11th, 2014 10:51 pm (UTC)
Yesterday, a copy of Alabaster: Pale Horse reached me.
Noice. Greg Ruth's artwork just rocks.

Sorry to hear of your tooth. Having a crowded mouth myself, they are the bane of my existence.

I hope your persistence will soon hammer and anvil the novel into shape.
Feb. 11th, 2014 10:54 pm (UTC)
Ye Olde Cabinet of Curiosities reminds me of a Dire Wolf exhibit at a museum at the La Brea Tar Pits.
Feb. 12th, 2014 01:28 am (UTC)
I've lived in California my whole life, save for about a year and a half in Illinois. I vividly remember how I felt that winter; my eyes felt starved for color, my brain numb from lack of it. Desolation is a good word for it.

Here's to better days and maybe a few amazing sunsets to help the sky make up for the rest of the world.
Feb. 12th, 2014 02:30 am (UTC)
Found a copy of Red Delicious, will start on it soon.
Feb. 12th, 2014 03:01 am (UTC)
What's wrong with our water?

Inquiring minds....

Did you pick April 15th because it's Tax Day?
( 12 comments — Have your say! )