?

Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

"The sky above won't fall down."

On Thursday, I sent the proposal for Blood Oranges (working title, and almost certainly not the book's final title) to my agent. And now I'm waiting to hear back from her. I was hoping I'd get her thoughts before the weekend, but, alas, no. So...I wait. If she likes it as is, it will be sent along to my editor at Penguin. If Merrilee says the proposals needs work, I'll revise it, then send it back to her again.

As of yesterday, it's been four years since I finished Daughter of Hounds, which I began writing in the autumn of 2004. This time last year, I'd just finished The Red Tree, late in October, and was working on a short story, "The Collier's Venus." And now, here I am trying to find my way into the Next Novel, which I probably "should" have begun writing back in June. But my novels come slowly. I seem to be good for about one every two years. Well, that depends what you count and what you don't. If we say I've written seven novels— which is what I'd say —they have been written over a period of seventeen years. Which is, what? A novel, on average, every 2.4 years. Which seems entirely reasonable to me, especially given that, since 1993, I've also written and sold something 175 short stories, novellas, comic scripts, and vignettes.

Anyway...

Yesterday, I didn't write. Yesterday was cold and windy grey, the clouds low and threatful. And we went to an afternoon matinée of Roland Emmerich's 2012. A stupid, stupid, stupid movie. But, it is enjoyable on a certain level, that level wherein I derive a perverse glee from seeing all human civilization reduced to ruin and rubble, while almost seven billion people die screaming in convulsions of fire and water. It was stupid, but it was pretty. Stupid and pretty. I found it painful watching John Cusack and Chiwetel Ejiofor trapped in the thing. At least John Cusack was allowed to be a bit lighthearted. Poor Ejiofor had to play the whole silly mess with a straight (and grim) face. I will say that Woody Harrelson was hilarious, and if only the film had given him a larger part, it would have been quite a bit more worthwhile. Has anyone else noticed that Emmerich keeps making the same film over and over and over, and that these films essentially adhere to a formula begun almost forty years ago, with Airport (1970) and The Poseidon Adventure (1972)? The last forty minutes or so of 2012 (the film was probably an hour too long, by the way) might almost be viewed as a cynical, hamfisted remake of George Pal's When World's Collide (1951). And did I mention this is a stupid film? No? I mean, it's like Emmerich hired a team of astrophysicists, planetologists, geologists, and engineers as consultants, then did exactly the opposite of whatever they advised. I was amused with Ebert giving the film 3.5 stars (out of 4), reasoning that "2012 delivers what it promises, and since no sentient being will buy a ticket expecting anything else, it will be, for its audiences, one of the most satisfactory films of the year." Yes, it's big, dumb fun. Just check your brain at the box office, or it won't be.

Last night, there was a fire in the house next door. Spooky and I heard an odd pop, and ten minutes or so later, the block was surrounded by fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances, and smoke was pouring from our neighbor's roof. We went downstairs. The night was cold and wet, and we watched the firemen and the chaos. It appears the fire was started by a faulty lamp short-circuiting, something like that. No one was hurt. All the pets were evacuated. Today, there's a truck pumping water out of the basement. My impression is that the damage from the fire was minimal, but the smoke and water damage must have been quite substantial. There are a few photos behind the cut:





View from a window in the front parlour.









All Photographs Copyright © 2009 by Caitlín R. Kiernan.

Comments

( 8 comments — Have your say! )
sovay
Nov. 14th, 2009 09:40 pm (UTC)
Has anyone else noticed that Emmerich keeps making the same film over and over and over, and that these films essentially adhere to a formula begun almost forty years ago, with Airport (1970) and The Poseidon Adventure (1972)? The last forty minutes or so of 2012 (the film was probably an hour too long, by the way) might almost be viewed as a cynical, hamfisted remake of George Pal's When World's Collide (1951).

Ty Burr, of the Boston Globe:

I like to imagine that the director Roland Emmerich had a key transformative experience at the age of 7, when a relative visiting from Bavaria accidentally trampled his scale model of the Reichstag. Suddenly a light bulb went on over our young Teuton’s head as he realized: People will pay for this.

In what exact sense he may have meant that remains ambiguous, but Emmerich now stands as our premier Hollywood Disastermeister, nuking and zapping historical landmarks in "Independence Day," "The Day After Tomorrow," "Godzilla," and other works of taste and forbearance. He has long since surpassed the previous title-holder, producer Irwin Allen ("The Poseidon Adventure," "The Towering Inferno"), to become the Cecil B. DeMille of his generation, purveying jaw-dropping sensation yoked to cheap sentiment and appallingly (or is that appealingly?) flimsy characterizations.

Allen, after all, only turned an ocean liner upside down. In "2012," Emmerich flips our entire planet on its head. The result is a state-of-the-art multiplex three-ring circus whose special effects stagger the senses and play like a video game, whose human drama aims for the cosmic and lands waist-deep in the Big Silly. Call it "Apocalypse Really Soon," or, better yet, "Airport 2012."


It goes on.

Last night, there was a fire in the house next door.

I'm sorry it wasn't the house of Pepto-Bismol.
greygirlbeast
Nov. 14th, 2009 10:16 pm (UTC)

Burr's review is wonderful. I'll have to link to it in the next entry.

"...works of taste and forbearance" indeed!
chris_walsh
Nov. 14th, 2009 09:57 pm (UTC)
"Eep" about the close call. Or was it a close call? I'm guessing it at least felt like one.

Think Blood Oranges will be a title eventually, even if it doesn't wind up as the title for this book? Kind of like Harlan Ellison had "Midnight in the Sunken Cathedral" as a title years before he wrote the story for it. (P.S. I very happily watched Dreams With Sharp Teeth this week, thanks to borrowing it from the library. Even in my current tightwad state, I want to buy it and loan it out to people.)

As for 2012, I think I'd prefer That's Armageddon! :



(Here's that clip's URL in case the embedding doesn't worl.)

Not gonna see this flick. I've had almost NO reaction to the ads, except queasy discomfort at what happens to the aircraft carrier, so I know to avoid it.

I will say that Woody Harrelson was hilarious, and if only the film had given him a larger part, it would have been quite a bit more worthwhile.

I'm not convinced Emmerich has the right sense of humor to let more of that kind of comedy work in one of his films. I don't think he would've thought to give Harrelson a bigger part. Emmerich seems to have a really leaden sense of humor.
chris_walsh
Nov. 14th, 2009 10:01 pm (UTC)
P.S. I'd also prefer Lava Tornado!
greygirlbeast
Nov. 14th, 2009 10:18 pm (UTC)

I'm guessing it at least felt like one.

Very much so, yes.
bleedingtom
Nov. 14th, 2009 10:58 pm (UTC)
2.5 years of one, a bloody century to another
I find your rate of work to be far respectful than yourself. Your works don't follow any trend, so you don't get the convience of merely writing an imitation of a book by merely dropping elements in it that skirt it by copyright lawyers. You don't write kiernan versions of Transformers, or 2012, though I would love to read your apocalypse tale. You sweat over your novels, perhaps a bit less since you fled Atlanta, which always burns. (Insert Sherman jokes here)
You don't pull r.l stine fiction out of the anus of your imagination, and publish on a magazine style of work. Writers that do so risk becoming journalists of imaginary worlds, and are as about as entertaining as CNN.
ardiril
Nov. 15th, 2009 12:16 am (UTC)
Re: 2.5 years of one, a bloody century to another
"Writers that do so risk becoming journalists of imaginary worlds"

Wait until you read Under the Dome. Once you tire of playing "From which King novel did Stephen steal this?", Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer become actual minor characters, far more than just correspondents.
criada
Nov. 15th, 2009 07:47 am (UTC)
Just got back from 2012. It was so bad, so gloriously bad. We were planning on watching The Day After Tomorrow in a drunken fit to compare, but I think we won't have to. My physics-degree-bearing roommate spent the whole drive home screaming, "mutating neutrinos?!" over and over. I swear you must be right about the science consultants.
( 8 comments — Have your say! )