New Deadwood last night. The writing on this show, especially the dialogue, continues to astound me. Beautiful. A thunderstorm rolled in around ten. I like thunderstorms even more than bumblebees. Later, I finished Humphrey Carpenter's Tolkien biography. There were some good bits near the end, quotes fron Tolkien, such as those regarding the anxiety he felt in the days preceeding the release of the The Fellowship of the Ring (August 1954). He wrote:
I am dreading the publication, for it will be impossible not to mind what is said. I have exposed my heart to be shot at.
I've never heard anyone say it better. Indeed, that's what we do. We expose our hearts to be shot at. Also, the whole affair with Tolkien trying to scare Stanley Unwin away from The Lord of the Rings, because he'd decided he wanted it published by Collins (though Allen and Unwin had dibs). In February 1950, Tolkien wrote to Unwin:
My work has escaped my control, and I have produced a monster; an immensely long, complex, rather bitter, and rather terrifying romance, quite unfit for children (if fit for anybody); and it is not really a sequel to The Hobbit, but to The Silmarillion. Ridiculous and tiresome as you may think me, I want to publish them both — The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings. That is what I should like. Or I will let it all be. I cannot contemplate any drastic rewriting or compression. But I shall not have any just grievance (nor shall I be dreadfully surprised) if decline so obviously unprofitable a proposition.
Just once, I'd love to be able to get away with writing a letter like that to a publisher. Of course, as things turned out, Allen and Unwin were the first to publish LotR.
I have an e-mail from Marko Palin, who wants to know when I'll make good on my promise to provide Death's Little Sister mp3s via my website (for those not in the know, I was vocalist and lyricist for Death's Little Sister in 1996-'97). I made that promise, frell, way back in 2000, I suppose. Here's the thing, Marko (and anyone else who cares). All I have are cassettes and videos. No CDs. No DATs (those were apparently destroyed by another band member). So, until such time as someone can transfer the cassette stuff to disc for me, no mp3s. And, I should add, eight years after leaving the band, I'm not sure I still want the songs out there. That's ancient frelling history, you know? Maybe, someday, I'll allow them to be released as a CD to accompany some Subterranean Press book or another. Maybe. DLS wasn't very good, really. We might have been, eventually, had I not left to pursue my writing. But I do appreciate your interest and enthusiasm, Marko.
Speaking of things musikal, we get a new Moby CD, Hotel, on March 22nd and new VNV Nation, Matter and Form, on April 12th! These days, I do not often get excited about new CD releases.
Okay. I gotta go write. I must — aboslutely must — finish Chapter Three of Daughter of Hounds by the 20th, which gives me only a week. But please check out the eBay auctions, please; there are only a few more days remaining on the $10 Silk sale.