September 17th, 2004


aftermath (again)

For Atlanta, H. Ivan seems to have been fairly anticlimactic. I don't think we took nearly the hit we took from Frances. Spooky and I, being idiots at heart, ventured out into the rain yesterday, right after our lights went off at 4:10 p.m. We needed batteries for the boom box, so at least we can pretend we had an excuse. By the time we reached Target (ugh, shudder, whimper), the rain was falling so hard visibility must have been down to about ten feet. The store was deserted and running on a back-up generator. Which was actually pretty cool. It had this whole Dawn of the Dead vibe going for it. I was kind of sorry we couldn't sit out the storm in that vast empty temple to consumerism. We bought our batteries and headed back out into the blue-silver-grey veil of the storm. There was a huge tree down across Briarcliff, and it took us two hours, two switchbacks, and a detour to get home again. When we finally returned, the lights were back on. Ah, well. It was better than sitting in the damned dark apartment for all that time.

I did more work yesterday than you might think. More work than I expected. Spooky and I had to take the negatives back to Wolf Camera, because the print we had made made for the author's photo for The Dry Salvages was cropped funny, and we needed an uncropped print. Spooky bitched a lot about not still having her own darkroom. Today, we pick up the new print and take it to the post office and next-day it to Bill's design person in Mesa, Arizona. There was other dull business-type stuff I had to deal with. Blah, blah, blah.

This chaos thing. The writing has to start again soon. It's all I am, the writing. Yes, the bullshit chaos that has afflicted my life of late stands in my way, and I can't imagine writing around it. But I have to write. And it shows no signs of getting the hell out of my way any time soon. I detest being forced to do the impossible, because other people can't be bothered to do the possible and get their collective shit together. Which is really what this all comes down to. That's all beside the point, though. The point is, I have to fucking write, because no one's going to hire me to tend bar or weld or teach population genetics. I have to write. I have to find a way to cope with the chaos (though I should not have to) and write.

Last night, Spooky read me the beginning of And the Ass Saw the Angel (yeah, I know I wasn't supposed to do that). I was very tired, and the words washed over me like sunlight and thunder, pushing me towards sleep. And I thought, these words are so perfect, so right, so beautiful, it doesn't matter if I'm too tired to catch the story. The words themselves are more than ample. The words are an end unto themselves. Oftentimes, writing is like that for me. When I'm not trying to bully the words into telling a story, when I just let them come. It's a bloody shame words are so bound by the tyranny of communication that they cannot be free to affect our minds the way that, say, music is often free. I can appreciate Wagner perfectly well without tending to the libretto. Likewise, I can appreciate James Joyce or William Faulkner, Angela Carter or Kathe Koja, T. S. Eliot or William Shakespeare, without tending to the story. They wield words with such skill that the story becomes almost an afterthought. Sure, there's a story in there, sometimes a damned good one, but the real star of the show is, simply, the words. Most people aren't ready for that. And that's their loss, but it's mine, too.

Speaking of words, if you haven't yet picked up a copy of Murder of Angels, I'd be very grateful if you would. I hate having to push a book, because I am not a salesperson, I'm a writer. But when the advertising budget is as small as Murder of Angels', it falls to the author to promote, if there's to be any promotion.

Now, I have to do some things, send some e-mails, then go to Wolf and get the print off to Mesa, and then Spooky and I are going to see Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and the chaos can damned well go fuck itself sideways.
  • Current Music
    Deine Lakaien, "Where You Are"