August 30th, 2004


this might be an absinthe day

First things first. As promised, here's my schedule for Dragon*Con '04 (a complete program can be downloaded at the Dragon*Con website):

Friday, Sept. 3
5:30 p.m. (Fairlie)
Gothic Journeys track
"Welcome to the Journey"

7 p.m. (Greenbriar)
Writer's track
"Connecting the Dots"

Saturday, Sept. 4
2:30 p.m. (Fairlie)
Gothic Journeys track
"Seeing is Writing: The Visionary Author"

5:30 p.m. (Greenbriar)
Writer's track
"Staying Afloat in an Ever-Changing Market"

7:00 p.m. (Williams)
Dragon Readings
Reading from Murder of Angels

8:30 p.m. (Fairlie)
Gothic Journeys track
"Theft or Flattery: The Truth About Fan Fiction"

10 p.m. (Fairlie)
Gothic Journeys track
"The Beautiful and the Dangerous: Vampires in Fiction" (because there always has to be a frelling vampire panel)

Sunday, Sept. 5 (note: on Saturday, the part of Caitlín will be played by Nar'eth)
2:30 p.m. (Bonn; Marriott)

5:30 p.m. (Fairlie)
Gothic Journeys track
Reading (probably a short story)

11:30 p.m. (Fairlie)
Gothic Journeys track
"Fangs, Fear, and Gore: Horror Literature and the Occult"

Monday, Sept. 6
1 p.m. (Greenbriar)
Writer's track
"Characters That Leap Off the Page"

4 p.m. (Greenbriar)
Writer's track
"The Future of Fantastic Fiction"

Unless otherwise noted, all locations (Greenbriar, Fairlie, etc.) are in the Hyatt. I'll be signing books (and selling books) after the readings.

Yesterday, I wrote 669 words on "Bradbury Weather" and finally escaped the Interminable Scene in which I was mired. Sure, there's a little tar on my feet, but at least the sabre-tooths didn't get me. I'm finding that one of the most vexing things about first-person narrative is the fact that, in the end, it's all dialogue. I don't know if a lot of readers (or even writers, even those who habitually use f-p narration) have ever stopped to consider this. Normally, I tend to think of a story I write as occurring in two sorts of Voice: 1) the author's voice, i.e., mine (what might be called style) and 2) the many distinct voices of the characters. However, in f-p, every word of the story is being spoken (written, same difference) by the central character, who also happens to be the narrator. When other characters speak, it's only the main character's recollection of their speech. So, there's never any escape from that dominating voice, which needs to remain "in character" throughout. At almost 7,000 words, I've reached a point with "Bradbury Weather" where I'm probably going to have to stop and read back over everything to be sure that the narration hasn't difted "out of character." This would not, of course, be a concern with third-person narration.

There wasn't much else to yesterday. I cooked a huge pot of chili, with tequila, lime, and porta bellas, and made quacamole. Spooky and I wasted most of the evening on Morrowind. Venting frustration and hostility, I went on a killing spree at the Dren Plantation and escaped with four bottles of skooma and the first volume of The Vampires of Vvarndenfell. I fled to Vivec to unload my booty. When an Ordinator tried to arrest me for the crimes at the plantation, I paid my fine (36 gp). Then I discovered he'd taken both the skooma and the book, so I picked a fight with him, resisted a second arrest, and killed him. I stole his very expensive armour and headed back to my room in Ald-Ruhn. A return trip to Vivic and numerous encounters with guards seem to indicate I'll not be held accountable for his death. Sweet. Then I took new orders from the Fighter's Guild in Ald-Ruhn and proceeded north on foot, walking all the way to Sheogorad to find a killer (that is, another killer besides myself) and his gang hiding out in Sargon and bring them to "justice." I have to admit, though the animation sucks and the game is devouring my sad, little life, I'm delighted with the moral ambiguities of Morrowind's. It has D&D beat, in that respect.

At 2:45 a.m., I made myself stop playing and go the hell to bed, where I lay awake awhile thinking about "Bradbury Weather." It's a good sign, when I lie awake thinking about a story. I lay there thinking that there ought to be zepplins on my Mars of the future, that zeps will be the primary mode of long-distance travel. I'm not sure how practical that is, but it's enormously satisfying from an aesthetic standpoint, which, of course, is ultimately what really matters.

I'm tempted to start a tirade on this thing with the French government forbidding Muslim women to wear head scarves in public schools (today's news pollution) and how much French and American fascism have in common, but what's the frelling point?
  • Current Music
    Laurie Anderson, "Ramon"