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Howard Hughes vs. Her Last Scrap of Humanity

Rango 2
Remember when people "had time" to read online journals? Before the instant gratifications and endless blither buffet of Twitter and Facebook, I mean. Wow. Technology. LJ automatically capitalizes "facebook," unless I force it not to, at which point I'm told it's misspelled. Talk about kissing the ass of your undoing.

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You may now preorder the Alabaster: Wolves hc from Amazon. And remember, if we get very good preorder numbers on the hc, Alabaster's future at Dark Horse will become much more secure. Please preorder.

And...speaking of Alabaster...some idiot posted a link to her "review" via Twitter. I am informed that, "While I respect not 'saying' everything that is going on plot-wise, I find writing that is deliberately obtuse* annoying." Me, I'm guessing she's never read books that don't have pictures.
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The first day after regrouping, Wednesday, the Mordorian Death March went well. I did 1,838 words on Fay Grimmer, expanding a scene at the end of Chapter Two, so I could finally tell Chapter Two to get the fuck out of my face (didn't work). But yesterday was a maze of four-and-five-party phone conferences (long one with Dark Horse), which, while productive, ate up about two hours, total, and put my mind many, many places that were not this novel. Yesterday's unsightly tasks included: 1) adding yet another page to Chapter Two, in the vain hope of coaxing some sense from a scene; 2) rewriting the final scene of Chapter One, and 3) struggling to save as much of Chapter Three as possible. Turns out, the entire opening scene for Chapter Three has to be rewritten, but I might be able to save the rest with only minor alterations. Now, constant reader, you know that I don't write this way. Ever. This is anathema to the way that I do write. Anyway, yesterday I managed a mere 805 words, 895 less than I needed to hit the day's goal. Worse still, as I reworked the text, I deleted almost twice as many words as I added. I'm actually moving backwards with this blasted thing!

There are readers who get very frustrated, even angry, when a writer publicly expresses displeasure with something she/he is/has writing/written. It all seems to come down to a belief that if a writer isn't enjoying (cough, cough) the job, then it will be impossible for readers to enjoy the story or book or whatever. "How can I appreciate this if you hated doing it?" I wonder how many people who feel this way know how many authors are/have been unhappy with various aspects of their writing. For example, how unhappy Arthur Conan Doyle became writing Holmes. When Doyle sent his detective tumbling over Reichenbach Falls in "The Final Problem" (1891), surely they don't think that was an artistic decision on Doyle's part. After all, the author wrote to his mother (of "killing" off Holmes), "I must save my mind for better things, even if it means I must bury my pocketbook with him." Do they not know that Arthur Conan Doyle only resurrected Holmes (1894) when those "better things" didn't pan out?

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Yesterday, I received comp copies of a new German hardcover edition of Threshold – retitled Fossil for the Deutsch translation. The German paperback was released way back in 2009. I had no idea this new edition was even planned. I'm wondering if my agent did. Still, it's kind of cool.

Last night, I finished reading Donald R. Prothero's After the Dinosaurs: The Age of Mammals. And...okay. Enough for now. Comments are always nice (and a special thanks to D. K. and M. J. for their kind words regarding "Our Lady of Tharsis Montes"). I need that. Now, fuck the typos and full speed ahead.

Obtuse,
Aunt Beast

* Congratulations to akaten, who was the first to catch the "reviewer" having mistaken obtuse for abstruse.

Comments

( 35 comments — Have your say! )
griffinwords
Sep. 28th, 2012 04:53 pm (UTC)
Alabaster: Wolves preordered, and eagerly awaited.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 28th, 2012 05:01 pm (UTC)

Thank you very much.
thingunderthest
Sep. 28th, 2012 04:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the notice on pre-ordering Alabaster: Wolves. Pre-order is away.

I still need to read the last issue of the digest, between work and a cold making me want to sleep a lot more my to be read stack is growing at a frightening rate.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 28th, 2012 05:03 pm (UTC)

Thanks for the notice on pre-ordering Alabaster: Wolves. Pre-order is away.

You're welcome, and all my gratitude.

a cold making me want to sleep a lot more my to be read stack is growing at a frightening rate.

Sorry you're feeling rotten. Me, I haven't a cold, but the cold weather is making me want to sleep.
witchchild
Sep. 28th, 2012 04:57 pm (UTC)
I don't know how people can even claim to "keep up" with fb and twitter, especially if they have a large follow/friend list. I don't even bother. But I do with eljay because it often comes with more substance.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 28th, 2012 05:04 pm (UTC)

I have an absurd 2,614 "friends" on Facebook (and more on Twitter). I virtually never even try reading any of the posts of those 2,614 people.
witchchild
Sep. 28th, 2012 05:41 pm (UTC)
That's what I figure. I do have an actual friend on there who probably has at least as many friends, and sometimes I know he reads stuff because I get comments. But again, rare as hel.

It's like the twitter and fb are doing what six degrees wanted to do in 1999 more than anything else.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 28th, 2012 05:50 pm (UTC)

I do have an actual friend on there who probably has at least as many friends, and sometimes I know he reads stuff because I get comments. But again, rare as hell.

I do have, maybe, 20 actual friends and friends on FB. I rarely comment to their posts, though.

It's like the twitter and fb are doing what six degrees wanted to do in 1999 more than anything else.

Pretty much.
esanko
Sep. 28th, 2012 05:01 pm (UTC)
First off, I deleted my Facebook account. I just said NO. Bye.

Second, your writing isn't obtuse, I, the reader, am obtuse. Seriously, WTF was the Drowning Girl even about? I don't know. I must read it 3 more times. Because I am obtuse. Not you.

Third- "Anathema". What a great word! Don't get to use that in daily conversation nearly enough. As in ever.

And fourth- bipedal Stegosaurs. Unlikely- yes. Improbable- certainly. Again, the more we learn, the stranger it all is... 13 juvenile Stego footprints, all hind limbs. Just sayin'.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 28th, 2012 05:08 pm (UTC)

First off, I deleted my Facebook account. I just said NO. Bye.

Good for you.

Second, your writing isn't obtuse, I, the reader, am obtuse. Seriously, WTF was the Drowning Girl even about? I don't know. I must read it 3 more times. Because I am obtuse. Not you.

An interesting perspective. Now, in a mere ten words exactly what The Drowning Girl is "about." But where would be the fun in that?

Third- "Anathema". What a great word! Don't get to use that in daily conversation nearly enough. As in ever.

Use as wide a vocabulary as frequently as possible. Which is always.

And fourth- bipedal Stegosaurs. Unlikely- yes. Improbable- certainly. Again, the more we learn, the stranger it all is... 13 juvenile Stego footprints, all hind limbs. Just saying'.

It is interesting. Have these been written up anywhere? Was Lockley involved in this discovery (I knew him in Colorado, and have great respect for his opinions).
mataar
Sep. 28th, 2012 05:05 pm (UTC)
Really enjoying the latest Digest. Thank you! It's more than worth the wait!

Alabaster: Wolves is pre-ordered.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 28th, 2012 05:09 pm (UTC)

Thanks.
vulpine137
Sep. 28th, 2012 05:20 pm (UTC)
One preorder made. :)
greygirlbeast
Sep. 28th, 2012 05:21 pm (UTC)

You rock.
miakodadreams
Sep. 28th, 2012 05:45 pm (UTC)
Pre-ordered! I only have the Dark Horse digital edition of the singles at the moment, because my local shop kept selling out before I could get there. Which is a good sign, I suppose.

Also, this was a miserable morning until I came into work to find the "tax sale" paperback of the original Alabaster book waiting for me. I've been trying to get hold of this for years; I'm really looking forward to camping out with some hot chocolate and reading it and SD #81 this weekend.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 28th, 2012 05:47 pm (UTC)

Which is a good sign, I suppose.

Indeed, it is. Any time demand exceeds supply, according to the tenants of capitalism, that's a good thing.

Also, this was a miserable morning until I came into work to find the "tax sale" paperback of the original Alabaster book waiting for me.

And thank you very much for that.

birgitriddle
Sep. 28th, 2012 05:48 pm (UTC)
I actually find your writing about writing interesting rather than frustrating because I keep getting the annoying refrain of "you need to write a rough draft, then a final draft" when it comes to people trying to help me with my writing in general (both academic and fiction) and I just don't...work that way. I don't really like looking back on my work and it actually makes me physically uncomfortable to look back, which is hard to get across to people.

(Which is probably one the reasons why two of my stories are on hold because they need to be re-written from the beginning.)

Also, I have pre-ordered the Alabaster: Wolves hardcover and I look forward to it. I figured since it was already something I wanted to get when it came out, I might as well pre-order.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 28th, 2012 05:52 pm (UTC)

I actually find your writing about writing interesting rather than frustrating because I keep getting the annoying refrain of "you need to write a rough draft, then a final draft" when it comes to people trying to help me with my writing in general (both academic and fiction) and I just don't...work that way.

Not sure why, but there exists an actual prejudice against those who work that way. I think we are seen as slackers. But the whole "Don't be afraid to write a first draft" thing is bullshit. And glad to be of service.

Thanks for the preorder.

nihilistic_kid
Sep. 28th, 2012 06:31 pm (UTC)
I work the same way—people seem to think that we're bragging, or that one draft writing is "easier" which it clearly isn't.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 28th, 2012 06:43 pm (UTC)

Yup. I have been accused of bragging to my face. What? It's my fault I work three or four times as hard to get it right the first time? It's my fault this is the only way I know how to write?
birgitriddle
Sep. 28th, 2012 07:04 pm (UTC)
People for some reason just don't get that it's not fun to just stare at a word processor for minutes at a time and struggle to come up with just the right phrase. Sometimes it comes fast if you're lucky, but most of the time it's painfully slow.

Edited at 2012-09-28 07:05 pm (UTC)
greygirlbeast
Sep. 28th, 2012 07:21 pm (UTC)

People for some reason just don't get that it's not fun to just stare at a word processor for minutes at a time and struggle to come up with just the right phrase.

Nope. They do not. I hear some people actually enjoy writing. I just don't happen to number among them.
troublebox
Sep. 28th, 2012 06:33 pm (UTC)
Writing is a horrible, horrible nightmare. I envy your prolificacy, but shudder at the thought of so many words... I hope you take comfort in the fact that a lot of us appreciate the product of all that blood, sweat and bile.

And I was more than happy to pre-order my copy of Alabaster.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 28th, 2012 06:45 pm (UTC)

prolificacy

A fine word.

I hope you take comfort in the fact that a lot of us appreciate the product of all that blood, sweat and bile.


I try.

And thanks for the preorder.
corucia
Sep. 28th, 2012 07:22 pm (UTC)

Facebook - bah. We've resisted the siren call (hmm, what's the opposite of a siren call, and what would it sound like?) so far. However, my grad student is going to do a postdoc in Scotland once she defends, and all of her news is likely to come via Facebook; I might have to relent.

I'll be sending you an email concerning 'Tharsis Montes' later today; hopefully it will arrive safely.



greygirlbeast
Sep. 28th, 2012 07:23 pm (UTC)

I'll be sending you an email concerning 'Tharsis Montes' later today; hopefully it will arrive safely

Thanks.

As for Facebook, work wise, I didn't have much choice.
chris_walsh
Sep. 29th, 2012 12:03 am (UTC)
The opposite of a siren song? Probably Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music.
ulffriend
Sep. 29th, 2012 12:32 am (UTC)
I would be far more shocked if you said that you NEVER were disappointed or unhappy with someting you've written/are writing - nothing is sunshine and kittens all the time. It makes perfect sense to me that spending that much time inside your head would have bad moments.

Sounds like the "reviewer" you mention has the idea that reading should require nothing of the reader...perhaps she should try a Harlequin romance...
greygirlbeast
Sep. 29th, 2012 03:35 pm (UTC)

It makes perfect sense to me that spending that much time inside your head would have bad moments.

You have to think on the scale of "bad years" and "bad books."

perhaps she should try a Harlequin romance...

Do they still make those?
ulffriend
Sep. 30th, 2012 02:53 am (UTC)
I checked Amazon, and apparently (a) Harlequin is now the moniker for some Kindle-only mommy porn and (b) some of the older Harlequins are going for up to $500...what the??????

I suspect that if she looks for anything with a title like "His Throbbing Loins" or comparable she'll be fine.

I take your point about "bad years".
akaten
Sep. 29th, 2012 12:55 pm (UTC)
Personally, I find that it's much easier to reject arguments made by people who can't express their thoughts coherently-- as, for example, when they don't know the difference between "obtuse" and "abstruse." Of course, that distinction, as with so many others in English, is all but destroyed by lazy usage, but I will continue to raise the prescriptivist banner until they put me in the ground.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 29th, 2012 03:34 pm (UTC)

Personally, I find that it's much easier to reject arguments made by people who can't express their thoughts coherently-- as, for example, when they don't know the difference between "obtuse" and "abstruse."

Congratulations. I was waiting for someone to catch that.
akaten
Sep. 29th, 2012 11:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I do what little I can.
whiskeychick
Sep. 30th, 2012 08:41 am (UTC)
still here.
I don't always comment. I've said that before. But, I always read. I'll even read that which you're hating writing currently. Why not? It's all learning, yes?
rai_ryu
Sep. 30th, 2012 02:58 pm (UTC)
I've always wondered whether reading an author's personal blog and hearing the "behind the scenes" of their writing affects the way we read or enjoy the books they write. I'm not sure if it conflicts with the illusion of the novel as a world of it's own.
( 35 comments — Have your say! )