The writing went very, very well yesterday. I've now done 1,406 words on "Madonna Littoralis," which looks to go to two thousand words and perhaps beyond. I'm quite pleased with it so far. I swear, some of the best writing that I'm doing these days is being done on these vignettes. I'm not entirely sure why, but I know that, writing them, I feel less hindered by expectation and the specifications of a form. I feel a sort of artistic freedom I'm not sure I've felt since way back when I was writing the stories for Tales of Pain and Wonder, and even then, I'm not sure I felt this sort of freedom. I begin each piece by offering up an image or two, and the words flow directly from those images, finding all sorts of unexpected things as they come. I'm not trying to force plot or characterization, but allowing them to exist solely as a by-product of imagery. If only writing always felt this way for me. When "Madonna Littoralis" is finished, I'll most likely go straight to the second vignette for Issue 1. I half suspect it'll be sf. My grateful thanks to everyone who's subscribed thus far.
Word is that the printer should be delivering Frog Toes and Tentacles to Subterranean Press tomorrow, but I don't yet have a shipping date. Soon.
When I was done with the writing late yesterday afternoon, we went to Books Again, the used bookstore in Decatur where Spooky and I still have credit from the mountain of books we unloaded there after the move from Kirkwood last year. It was the perfect sort of afternoon for a cozy used bookstore (Atlanta has too few good used bookstores), and we came away with:
Flowers of Delight: An Agreeable Garland of Prose and Poetry, selected by Leonard de Vries (a 1965 compilation taken from early children's books, 1765-1830).
In Fairyland: Pitcures from the Elf-World, by Richard Doyle (1965; compiled from In Fairyland, 1870, and The Princess Nobody, 1884).
Before the Beginning: Our Universe and Others, by Martin Rees (1997).
Spiders, by W. S. Bristowe (1947; a small sticker inside the cover shows that this copy was originally purchased from Blackwell's in Oxford).
The Search for Peking Man, by Christopher C. Janus with William Brashler (1975)
Shadows in the Sea: the sharks, skates and rays, by Harold W. McCormick, Tom Allen, and Capt. William Young (1963).
Bones of Contention: Controversies in the Search for Human Origins, by Roger Lewin (1987).
Time and the Gods, by Lord Dunsany, a 2000 omnibus collecting The Gods of Pegana (1905), Time and the Gods (1906), The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories (1908), A Dreamer's Tales (1910), The Book of Wonder (1912), and The Last Book of Wonder (1916) — absinthe reading.
The King of Elfland's Daughter, by Lord Dunsany (1924), a 1999 reprint with an introduction by Neil — more absinthe reading.
The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol.2 (1962; my old copy recently went missing).
The Art of Maurice Sendak, by Selma G. Lanes (1980).
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban J. K. Rowling (1999; Spooky and I are gathering up the Potter books for an upcoming binge).
And we still have $174. in credit with Books Again.
Okay. Time to write. I need to finish "Madonna Littoralis" with time left over to make it to the Emory Library before dinner.