Yesterday, I proofed/edited/whatever chapters Three and Four ("Deacon" and "Sadie," respectively) of Threshold. It's sort of a shock, reading me as I was writing in 1998. Indeed, my voice has changed. And the challenge, working on Threshold now, is to understand and appreciate and not judge too harshly the me of seven years ago. I don't write in that voice anymore. I've found it necessary to move on to new incarnations, but that doesn't actually invalidate the earlier incarnation. I think my instinct is to tear all this older stuff down, in some desperate effort to validate the new voice. I think a lot of authors who find it necessary to reinvent themselves from time to time (and I am certainly one of that sort) have a knee-jerk instinct to tear down what has come before. But it seems wrongheaded. Threshold is still as valid as it ever was (or wasn't). The character's are still as real to me, the events still as vital, even if the language is something rather different from what I find myself using these days.
I was more brash and impulsive and distant back then. I see that in Deacon and Sadie. I was much more unhappy. I see that in Chance. I was more lost. I see that in Dancy. It's a snapshot of a former me. But as the past is only a previous present, or, for that matter, a previous future, all I will ever write are snapshots of myself at some earlier time. As soon as I speak or type a word, it's past. Anyway, it's a strange, strange thing, reading Threshold again after so many years, after so many other books and stories.
And I see why I'm still writing, all these years later. I mean, besides having to pay the bills and eat and all that inconvenient stuff. I'm still writing because I still haven't said whatever it is I'm trying to say. I doubt I ever shall. I doubt, ultimately, that any writer ever does. You just keep trying.
I finally got back to Daniel Pinchbeck's Breaking Open the Head last night. It took me that long to forgive him his silly daliance with Jeremy Narby's perversions of biology. I thought about playing more Call of Cthulhu, but watched South Park instead. This game and I, I just don't know how it's gonna turn out. Sometimes the whole first-person thing gives me motion sickness. I don't know if this happens to lots of people or if it has something to do with my being blind in one eye. Anyway, at the moment, I'm stuck in the Gilman Hotel with a bunch of Innsmouth townsfolk knocking down my door. I've died about twenty times, trying to escape. It's truly a frelling terrifying scene, and it makes me nauseaous everytime I try to get through it. On the one hand, that adds a nice touch of realism. On the other, it makes me somewhat reluctant to play. We shall see.
The first issue of Sirenia Digest is almost ready to be e-mailed out to our 90 current subscribers. Remember, this issue contains the original draft of Chapter Three of Daughter of Hounds, before it was radically rewritten. The erotica content begins with the December issue. If you're interested in subscribing, but still haven't, just click here. Indeed, Friday is a good day to subscribe to Sirenia Digest. Trust me.
There's a new Boschen and Nesuko online, which makes me wish I had time to work on Nebari.net. I do have time to post a few more Nar'eth photos, since they did make me feel a tiny bit less glum yesterday. And besides, I got an e-mail asking why no one's ever seen photos of Nar'eth's back (photo's behind the cut, for those what ain't in the mood for Nebari backs):
Nar'eth hanging out at the Crüxshadows booth, Dragon*Con 2002.
Nar'eth, April 2003.
No back here, but Nar'eth with Hello Cthulhu always makes me feel a little better. Dragon*Con 2003.
This also made me feel a little better. I love poetic justice.
Okay. Tonight, I get Harry Potter. Right now, it's time to do that thing that I do.