I must become the killer.
And I don't want this violence anymore...
I didn't get to everything on my to-do list yesterday, but it was, I think, overly ambitious, that to-do list, and I did check off quite enough items, thank you very much. Spooky and I proofed ms. copies of "Les Fleurs Empoisonnées" (aka, In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers) and "Waycross." Curious and annoying errors were found. It was the first time I'd read through the former in ages and ages. I'd forgotten how much I love that story. Anyway, we also did a lot of the editing on "Les Fleurs Empoisonnées." Originally I'd planned to keep working after dinner, as we'd done on Monday, but I was too tired, and Spooky was also much too tired, to be dealing with line edits and decisions as to whether or not things ought to be changed, so I called it a day about seven p.m. I did get in a short walk yesterday, which was fortunate as the day was extraordinarily warm. The temp must have risen just above 70F. It's a little alarming. The dogwood trees are already budding. There are flowers here and there. And I know we'll get more cold and everything will die. This climatic "new normal" must be hell on the fruit growers. But I have to admit that I'm momentarily, selfishly happy for it.
One of the greatest problems posed by Alabaster, by gathering all the Dancy stories together in one volume, is that during the half decade they were written (I've been writing her longer than that, if you want to count Threshold) I have not concerned myself overly with continuity between the stories, only within them. Given the nature of Threshold, I was likely thinking, "Well, this is Dancy before she met Chance, or this is the Dancy who only met Chance in the sanitarium, or this is a Dancy who never meets Chance." Things like that. Mostly, until a couple of years ago, I never thought there'd be a whole book of Dancy stories. By the time I knew it would happen, three of the stories – "Les Fleurs Empoisonnées," "Waycross," and "The Well of Stars and Shadow" – had already been written. One result of this is that, here and there, things don't quite match up. Dancy's black umbrella appears for the first time in "Alabaster." In "Waycross" the encounter in "Alabaster" may or may not have ever happened. The biggest disconformity exists between Threshold and "Les Fleurs Empoisonnées," as the novel has Dancy traveling directly from Waycross to Birmingham, while the short story (or is it a novella?) has Dancy traveling from Waycross to Savannah, then on towards Birmingham. And yet Threshold does make mention of her experiences in Savannah. In that "'verse," she must have visited Savannah and then backtracked to Waycross. I suspect these discrepancies might bother some readers, especially those obsessed with linear narratives and literary continuity, but I'm rather pleased with them. The events of "Bainbridge" should help make clear why. It certainly amplifies the significance of these events, if they have been repeated again and again in countless permutations. And if I'm not making sense, don't worry about it. I get like this.
I live on both sides of the mirror,
Feel the pain that destruction brings.
I want to help put everything in its place.
I want to destroy everything...
Sometimes, though, I have my little love affairs with continuity. Well, all the time, really. So, you might want to check out francis_clay's "Grand Unification Thing" over at species_of_one. He's missed the line that ties the Dandridge cycle to Silas Desvernine, though.
Today I have to write erotica, even though I'm not feeling particularly erotic. This is how hookers feel all the time, I suppose. It's really no different from most of my writing days, when I have to write and would rather be doing almost anything else. It's just that we're conditioned to believe that sex is something of special significance. Then again, we're conditioned to think that writing is something special, too. Hmmmmm. This makes me a distracted lover, twice over.
You go, Harry Bellafonte.
Arvin Clay (siliconedreamer) has written a creepy and wonderful bit of electronica inspired by my as-yet-unpublished sf story, "Night." It's called "Ellis learns the truth," and you can download it free by clicking here. I think he's doing a video to accompany the piece for an upcoming performance (Arvin, correct me if I'm wrong).
I need to wrap this thing up. There's weird erotica to be written. There's Alabaster editing to be done. I'd meant to write about Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (hence the subject line), mostly about how much I'm loving it, getting all the stuff that there wasn't room for in the movie, but here I've gone and prattled about everything but that for almost an hour. Also, I was going to write about Shirley Jackson's children's book, Nine Magic Wishes, which Spooky and I read last night. Oh, well. Smut ahoy!
Postscript: Subterranean Press has, today, announced and begaun taking preorders for Alabaster.