July 16th, 2004


[blah blah blah title blah]

I somehow managed to sleep until 10:50 this morning.

Two copies of the ARC for The Dry Salvages arrived via UPS yesterday afternoon. It a very handsome ARC, thanks almost entirely to the talent and hard work of the amazing Ryan Obermeyer. I believe that very often it is the cover artist, not the author, who sells a book. So I choose the artists I work with very, very carefully, especially after that piece of shit that Meisha Merlin chose to slap on their edition of Tales of Pain and Wonder. It's heartening to know that, if nothing else, The Dry Salvages will be an attracive book. I have to proofread the ms. this week (next week, whatever). I wish I (or someone else) had bothered to read the cover copy just a little bit closer before the ARCs were printed. If you're to believe the copy, the story is somehow set "three centuries in the future" and "at the dawn of the 22nd Century." Now I have to worry about some frelling hostile asshat of a reviewer making something of a typo (hint: it should read "24th Century"). Something like, "Caitlin R. Kiernan would make a more impressive science-fiction writer if she could count."

Anyway, I should have no trouble finishing "The Pearl Diver" this afternoon, right on schedule. I think it's the most peculiar thing I've written since I did "Apokatastasis" in 2001 (which has, thus far, appeared only in the now defunct "webzine" The Spook, and for which, I might hasten to add, I was never paid). It's not the story I meant to write. It's not the story I wanted to write. I set out to do a very organic, almost erotic sf story involving metamorphosis and the loss of self, and, instead, I got something that comes off more as a condemnation of the frelling Patriot Act. I have little in the way of an explanation for this drift. I'm hoping that once this story is done, I can write the story I'd intended to write. We shall see.

I also spent some time last night looking at photographs from the trip to New England, contemplating Daughter of Hounds.

I'm taking the weekend off, because that's what lots of other sentient creatures do, and I will have written for seven days straight.

Also, yesterday I read "On the cranial anatomy of polycotylid plesiosaurs, including new material of Polycotylus latipinnis, Cope, from Alabama" in the new JVP. As I've said, I have some shared history with the new Alabama material, having helped to excavate it in the summer of '81, when I was still in high school. It's very good to see the specimen described at long last. Last night we watched episodes 3-5 of Season Two of Six Feet Under. Tonight is Kid Night!
  • Current Music
    Bjork, "5 Years"

done (for now)

I did 610 words in about four hours and "finished" with "The Pearl Diver." Actually, I wrote well over a thousand words, but I only kept 610 of them. I wrote an entire ending for the story, discarded it, and then wrote another ending (the 610-word one). This is the roughest time I've had with a short story in ages. Spooky and I sat down and read through the whole thing. Next week, I'm going to send it out to two or three friends to read, before I send it to the editor of the anthology for which it was written. I don't usually do that, but this is an exception.

Never mind that I've written and sold sixty-something short stories, six novels, and the gods only know what else, this one made me feel like a complete beginner. Worse. It made me feel like a nitwit. Like I had no idea whatsoever what I was doing.

You never learn to write.

There's never a point where you could do this with your eyes closed, so to speak.

I'm so frelling tired I hurt. I'm going to go lie on the floor and moan until someone makes me eat.
  • Current Music
    the hum of my iBook