September 12th, 2004


surviving myself

We may have found the new loft yesterday. I don't which I hate more, the act of moving or the sleazy realtors and property owners one has deal with while moving. I'll not get into details, but as the constant reader may recall, the old school where I live has been sold off for condos. Fine. If there are idiots willing to invest a quarter million in one of these apartments, whatever. But I do resent that I'm being forced to move so that some asshole buyer can turn around and lease the unit I was renting at an increased rate! No fooling. A number of the lofts here will be available for lease. But the rent's been raised significantly. For example, $1200/month to 1,450/month, and they actually think I should be interested in renting it. It's a renter's market here in Atlanta, and I have no idea what these assholes think they're doing. But they are, undoubtedly and forevermore, assholes.

Spooky went to see Siouxsie last night, though she was really too ill. She went with Jim and Byron. Siouxsie, who's recovering from a sinus operation she had last year, asked that the air conditioning not be turned on. So, the Variety Playhouse quickly became a hellish sauna of human-produced heat and humidity. I'm glad I stayed home. Spooky hid up in the balcony, where at least there was a fan. She said the show was very good and turns out it was a "no-smoking" show, but I still can't imagine subjecting myself to the heat and people. She said that from the balcony she could actually see a mist rising from the press of bodies. That's the nastiest thing I've heard since I learned that Dick Cheney was actually sired via sexual reproduction, instead of via Disney's animatronics people, as I'd suspected.

So, last night I played four hours of Morrowind while Spooky was gone (I frelling hate this game) and found a glass longsword which will replace my steel katana as Nar'eth's weapon of choice. There was also a bizarre incident in Gnisis where I was caught stealing my own skooma. I'd hidden it in a crate so a street merchent would do business with me, then a guard noticed me "taking" it back. I paid a fine, but the guard also took two valuable books from me (The Vampires of Vvardenfell, vols. 1 & 2), so I killed him. When asked to pay a fine for his death, I continued killing until, I dren you not, everyone in Gnisis was dead. I even chased one poor fa-pu-tah to the river west of town where he was attempting to hide near the legs of the silt strider, and I murdered him in the river. And then I realized there was a 12,458 septim bounty on my head (it's expensive, slaying a town), so I decided to return to the point where I'd last saved (thank you, Einstein), and just deal with the goddamn missing books (again).

For dinner, I had Skittles. But, hey, that's okay, because I had a whole can of Campbell's soup for breakfast on Saturday. Since we returned from Rhode Island, my weight has dropped from 185 pounds to only 174 pounds. I lost most of it in the last two weeks.

Murder of Angels has now been out (officially) for six days. It's selling very well on Amazon. The four reviews that count were all stellar. If my life were not a steaming pile of chaos right now, perhaps I would pause to be happy for the book, to be surprised that it's doing so well because it really is a very strange book, to feel a sense of completion, having completed what I began with Silk in October '93. But there really hasn't been any of that. Nope. Just hot, steaming chaos.

I still haven't quite gotten over the assertion by one of my fellow Dragon*Con panelists on Saturday, at the "Connecting the Dots" panel, that, "unlike literary fiction, genre fiction must offer a resolution." I don't know who told the writer in question that such a thing might be true, or if perhaps she'd imagined it herself, but this is exactly the sort of shit that, if I can do nothing else with this journal, I hope I can at least steer you clear of, both as readers and aspiring writers. "Rules" like this are for people more interested in being writers than in writing, who think it can all somehow be reduced to a mere science. They are to be avoided like leprous armadillos. Their hackery serves only to underscore the worst misapprehensions about fantastic and weird fiction. That, for example, a distinction exists between "literary" and "genre" fiction. "Unlike literary fiction, genre fiction must offer a resolution." No. Don't buy that line of shit for even a moment. There's a reason that The Empire Strikes Back is, by far, the superior Star Wars film, and that's because it's able to end without damn'd resolution, and from the quandries it presents arise all the most important questions that we must ask ourselves about ourselves. Because that's what art does.

Fairy tales are fine things, for children. They're a fine thing, for practice. But adults must have something more, and they must trade the moralizing certainties of the sanitized Victorian fairy tale for the infinite shades of grey and general lack of "endings" that adulthood manifests.

The same woman who uttered the "genre fiction must offer a resolution" nonsense, also opined that Joseph Campbell was "dry, academic, and unreadable" (I write these things down while they speak; I'd never recall them otherwise), and she recommended some popularizer or another whom she thought had rendered Campbell's such that "normal people can understand what he was trying to say." She really said these things, and no one in the audience rose to complain about the fact that she was insulting them. This sort of thing makes me not want to do another writing panel, ever.
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