greygirlbeast (greygirlbeast) wrote,

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I did 1,193 words on Chapter Nine of Daughter of Hounds yesterday (that's 6,269 words on the chapter so far, since Tuesday — go me). Emmie and Soldier and Odd Willie outside the Museum of Natural History at Roger Williams Park. I can't begin to figure out how I thought this could be the final chapter. Wishful thinking, I suppose. I've always boasted that I don't write first drafts, because I don't. I write the book or short story, make a few very minor changes, and that's almost always what gets published. It's rare that what first occurs to me isn't what's right, as far as I'm concerned, and in the realm of ultimate subjectivity which is fiction, the author's instinct is at least as authoritative as any other. However, this novel is looking to be something different. I may have actually written a frelling first draft. I keep thinking of stuff I neglected to say, of scenes that need fleshing out, things like that, and I guess that's what people mean when they say "first draft." Oh, and there's the extra day to add, and I have to make late December into February. All of this will certainly take most of the joy out of typing THE END. Anyway, this morning I have something silly, and then something cool. A blogger writes of Silk:

i wanted to like this. neil gaiman's blurb on cover made me happy, and i kind of like horror. but it was disjointed, and sort of selfpitying, and did i mention disjointed? not in a useful, narrative-forwarding or atmosphere creating way, but like the author has some sort of accident where all the pages dropped on the kitchen and she put them back in the wrong order. there are some really neat characters and some really neat images, though. and i think i'll always be a sucker for women named Daria.

At least I have grasped the concept of capitalizing all proper nouns and the words which begin sentences. And we're back to that ol' self-pitying thing, I see. When, exactly, did the world begin to believe that it's wrong to feel compassion towards oneself? Do they actually teach this crap in school now? Yes, child. You have a shitty life, but please don't dwell on it, as that will cost the American workforce X number of man hours and result in a Y decrease of productivity over the course of your miserable existence. And it's unsightly, besides, and indicative of a low degree of moral and intestinal fortitude. As for this matter of "disjointed narratives," if a reader cannot follow a perfectly linear narrative with frequent flashbacks (as is present in Silk), well, all I can say is it's a shame that some people don't spend as much time learning how to read and how to constantly adapt to the requirements of each new and unique text they encounter, instead of wasting grey matter memorizing fashionable shibboleths like "disjointed" and "narrative-forwarding."

And here's the cool thing (thanks to docbrite who brought it to my attention). In his Locus review of Nancy Kilpatrick and Nancy Holder's forthcoming anthology, Outsiders, Tim Pratt writes:

My favorite piece in this anthology was Caitlín R. Kiernan’s ‘‘Faces in Revolving Souls", set in a near-future where some people choose to splice their DNA with that of animals, mixing their human features with those of leopards, wolves, or strangerthings. These chimeras are denounced and marginalized by religious fundamentalists and mainstream culture, and their legal status is in jeopardy, with some states passing legislation that classes them as animals instead of humans. While this works nicely as a metaphor for recent setbacks in the cause of gay marriage and civil rights, Kiernan also makes it a compelling personal story, focused on one woman who feels like an outsider in both the human and polymorphous communities.

This is encouraging, as "Faces in Revolving Souls," which I wrote last spring, was a very important story to me. But it was also very difficult, and when I'd finished with it, I was not at all certain that I'd done what I set out to do (which, to me, is the measure of a successful piece of fiction). But perhaps I was fretting too much over the details. Anyway, I was very glad to read this. And isn't is neat how the reviewer capitalizes...oh, never mind.

Also, yesterday, I signed the signature sheets for Weird Shadows Over Innsmouth (Fedogan and Bremer, 2005), which includes my story, "From Cabinet 34, Drawer 6."

A very good Kid Night last night. We watched The Muppet Movie and Muppet Treasure Island and had Swedish Fish and premature Halloween cookies. But, as they say, now it's time to make the doughnuts. So I must away. But please do have a look at the eBay auctions (and thanks again to those who bid in the Wrong Things benefit auction). There's all sorts of stuff up right now: Silk, From Weird and Distant Shores, the hardback of Low Red Moon, "The Worm in My Mind's Eye" chapbook, The Five of Cups, etc. Have a look. Thanks.

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