Currently, it's 65˚F, but feels like 67˚F. There's a breeze, a nip in the air coming in through my open window. Sunny. Classic cold spring.
Numerals are called for today.
1. I want to write out an account of the whole Kathleen Tierney fiasco, which is really an account of how quickly any given publishing project can go to shit, for anyone, but, probably, especially for me. But I'm not sure I'm up to it now, or that I will be up to it any time in the future. The three books were intended to have been written over less than a year (and, all told, Blood Oranges took only 45 days, in the spring and summer of 2011). As a trifle, which is what they were intended to be – a hopefully profitable trifle – they'd have been harmless. But, they turned into a nightmare. Partly, this happened because my agent's initial enthusiasm for the project waned almost immediately. Late that May, May 2011, I met with her to discuss The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, but she was more interested in the first chapter of Blood Oranges, which she called "the most compelling thing you've ever written." I was flabbergasted (I only sent it too her on a lark, and I'd only written it on a lark), but I also hoped I was onto something. I was riding a wave of optimism (which is another story).
This tale is already boring the shit out of me. Point is, a project begun in 2011 as break from the intensity of having written The Drowning Girl: A Memoir turned into a nightmare that dragged on for almost three years. In 2012-2013 I wrote the second book (much later than planned), Fay Grimmer, then hated it so much I actually pulled it and wrote Pink Delicious. You have to understand how great a financial catastrophe that was. My advance on the second book in the series was effectively cut in half by that decision, and I lost many months. I essentially wrote Pink Delicious for free. And then there was the final book, which I didn't even begin until August 2013 and which I didn't finish until this month. Something that was meant to be fun, give me a bit of a break, and make money, ended up doing none of those things, really. I will not look back upon my pseudonymous affair with the late Ms. Tierney with anything like fondness. I will look back and gnash my fucking rotten teeth. I have emerged from it far more rattled and ill than when I finished The Drowning Girl: A Memoir in the spring of 2011.
This isn't the account I wanted to write about the Quinn books, but I hardly slept, so there you go, kittens. Live and fucking learn.
2. Yesterday, my comp copy of S.T. Joshi's Searchers After Horror: New Tales of the Weird and Fantastic (Fedogan and Bremer), a gorgeous book, and late last night I read my contribution, "Blind Fish." It's one of the best stories I've written recently (January 2013), up there with Black Helicopters (December 2012) and "The Peddler's Tale, or Isobel's Revenge" (December 2013).
3. I cannot find any record of the precise day that I moved to Athens, Georgia in April 1994. I know that it was after the death of Kurt Cobain (April 5th) and before April 18th (I have a letter I wrote to Billy Martin on the 18th). I have it in my head that the move took place on the 14th, but at the moment I have no document to prove that. Regardless, the point is, this is the twentieth anniversary of what was possibly the single most important move out of the dozens of moves I've made in my almost fifty years. So, I'm going to designate April 14th as the 20th anniversary. Briefly, I was so filled with hope.
4. I don't usually do this sort of thing, but I would like to ask you to please take a moment to vote in the 43rd annual Locus Awards. ANYONE can vote. Here's the ballot. No, I don't usually do this sort of thing, but. You will find The Ape's Wife and Other Stories nominated under "Collection" and Black Helicopters nominated under novella. Thank you. Deadline for ballots is April 15, 2014.
5. Yesterday was pleasant. Unlike today, there was no breeze to speak of, and it actually felt warm out there. We took in a 4:10 p.m. matinée of Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, which I liked even better the second time around. Every frame is, like a Mendl's confection, a delight. It is a dream, almost a child's fairy tale of lost Europe, a place that was and is recalled only in wistful fancy. Afterwards, we picked up a new pipe at the place we buy pipes on Thayer Street, Kind Connection. We got a beautiful pipe of sandblasted glass, made in New Hampshire.
6. Last night we watched Roger Michell's Hyde Park on Hudson, a wonderful film that seems not to have fared well with critics. Fuck 'em. Bill Murray's Roosevelt is a joy to watch, and I especially appreciated that the film was honest about Eleanor Roosevelt's lesbianism. Olivia Colman and Samuel West almost steal the show with their portrayals of Queen Elizabeth and King George VI (respectively). Maybe critics and others were disappointed that this wasn't a Bill Murray comedy. I don't know. I recommend it.
Okay, I should end this. I have a digest to get out today. This month, two chapters from The Five of Cups!