The writing went well again yesterday. Slowly, but well. I did 682 words on the prologue for The Merewife. With luck, I can finish it today. But the sense of strangeness has not deserted me, the peculiar nostalgia/disquiet I've felt since going back to work on this piece. Like walking around on a ghost ship. I mentioned the Mary Celeste, right? Thought so. Anyway, I am enjoying working on the piece, regardless of nostalgia and disquiet, as it's forcing me to do a sort of writing I've not done in years. These days, I think of my work as occurring at the sentence level. Sentence-level writing. That is, the primary unit of prose construction is the sentence. In '93 (and until about '99-'00, really), my primary unit of prose construction was the word, which I thought of as word-level writing, and that's what I'm doing here in The Merewife, something a little closer to prose-poetry. I have no idea if these terms — sentence-level writing, word-level writing — have any actual counterparts in the ever-shifting jargon of writing workshops and lit crit, but they're nicely descriptive of what I'm doing. So, yes, it's going well. I've slipped in just a little more Norse mythology than I'd expected to — passing mention of the Midgard Serpent, the Aesir, the giant Hraesvelg, etc. — and the proto-god Aegir and his wife (Ran) and daughters (the urdines) were fairly central to one section. This supposes, of course, within the context of the narrative, the existence of the Nordic pantheon prior to and independent of the existence of human beings. The prologue of The Merewife will be released as a chapbook (cover art by me), including the prologue and an afterword explaining the aborted Merewife project, as a freebie to everyone who buys the hardcover edition of Subterranean magazine #2. This will be the "Caitlín R. Kiernan issue" and includes my new sf novella, "Bradbury Weather" (illustrated by Bob Eggleton), along with "Andromeda Among the Stones" (illustrated by Richard A. Rirk) and a 5,000+ word interview (the first "live," i.e., non-email, interview I've given in years). Plus, there will also be fiction by Charles de Lint, Charles Coleman Finlay, Joe Hill, Jack McDevitt, Robert Silverberg, and an autobiographical essay by Michael Bishop. Good stuff.
I had a very long and wonderful conversation with Neil last night, a big, catching-up sort of conversation. Actually, I think the dialogue was a three-way thing, between Neil, his Mini Coop, and me. For all my futurism, I have not quite yet become accustomed to talking cars. We discussed airports, Peking duck, Australia, fame, Beowulf, They Might Be Giants, Kung-Fu Hustle, stalkers, and, because there seemed no way around it, talking cars. So, my rare telephone day of Tuesday bled over into Wednesday.
Currently, I am being tortured by the fact that Darkwatch has been released, but I haven't yet located a copy for rent (and I virtually never buy a game before I've played it).
Also, it would appear that I have a shot at a dream project, something which I expect will be consuming a great deal of my energy the next few weeks, but for now it has to remain a Great Secret.
Head's up. Some of the eBay auctions end this evening — a copy of the limited edition of The Dry Salvages, one of our very few copies of The Worm in My Mind's Eye (really, this one's gonna be pretty much impossible to find before much longer), The Five of Cups, and a copy of the limited edition of Low Red Moon. Tell you what, kiddos. Whoever wins these auctions today will also get a colour monster doodle, one per auction. I'm kind of in the mood to doodle. Of course, whoever winds up with the lettered edition of Wrong Things we also have up will get Monster Doodle Sculpture #2. And I think that after #2 and #3 are auctioned, I may stop selling these for a little while, as I'd like to make a few for close friends.