September 25th, 2004


random tedium, and Desire

Yesterday, I did 1,276 words on "Bradbury Weather." I have reached the point where I can feel the pull of The End. It threatens to make me sloppy, and I have to take extra, extra care with each and every word. Momentum can lead me astray, make me overconfident, lead to my missing some crucial path the story should take. Which is to say, I did not fuck off to the cinema yesterday to see The Forgotten. I wrote. I am deeply tied up in this story's protagonist, which is disturbing, because she's a total frelling asshole. This happens sometimes, I begin to identify very strongly with a character. No. That's not right. I almost always identify very strongly with my characters. I mean to say that sometimes I begin to see myself as them. Hyperempathy. Were I not a writer, this would be labled schiziform behavior or some such dren. Anyway, this character, a woman whom I only know as Dorry, keeps swapping places with me as I write her. I know she's doomed. She knows she's doomed. So which of us is the bigger asshole. Afterall, in this situation, I am Creator, and I can change the direction of her life. I can redeem her. I can lead her away from her doom. But I won't. Because that's not what happens. If I believed in God, per se, which I don't, per se, I would have to wonder if It's not bound by the same stricture. A story, to be true, must proceed along a certain path. A story is this reality, constrained by laws, natural and otherwise, and to be a true story (not to be confused with a factual story</i>) it must proceed along a particular path. If that path is bound for doom, then that God could not intervene and divert it without becoming a liar, and all this casts suspicion on freewill, of course. At least, it brings up questions about the consequences of freewill. Can God change the rules? If God is ominpotent and omniscient, can It keep a secret from Itself? Can I tell myself I was wrong all along, and Dorry gets to sidestep her fate? Only if I'm willing to be a liar.

This is like leading Chance and Narcissa to the warrens. Did I ever have another choice. Another true choice?

And, also, this story is an ambitious one. What I mean by that is that it wants to be one of those stories like "Tears Seven Times Salt," "Onion," "The Road of Pins," "Andromeda Among the Stones," The Dry Salvages — one of those stories that stands up above the rest. I can't promise it will, but it does have ambition, and that can be a terrible, weird thing.

Jennifer is proofreading the first issue of Subterranean Magazine for subpress, which inclues an interview with Thomas Ligotti and an excerpt from a new book by Joe R. Lansdale. Cool stuff. Spooky's being frustrated by a pair of Halloween pants she's trying to make, researching Chaos Magic, and managing the eBay auctions (please, buy something today). We are busy little creatures 'round here, all of us.

Thanks to everyone who took part in yesterday's poll. It's still open, of course. I'd like to see it active for a while yet. At the moment, 63 votes have been cast. Low Red Moon is far ahead, with 44.8% of the votes. Threshold and Murder of Angels are not quite neck-and-neck (25.9 and 20.7%, respectively). Silk has only 17.2%, and The Five of Cups has a mere 1.7% (more than I expected it to get). There are some curious things here. To start with, Silk has, according to my editor at Penguin, been my most successful book. Low Red Moon has been my least successful. This is in terms of sales, of course, which only matter because I like to eat and go places and buy things. But in the poll, their positions are essentially reversed relative to their sales. A bias is at work somewhere, somehow. For that matter, Threshold, the book that won an award, was nominated for another, brought me more critical attention than any of my other books, and led to my entanglement in Hollywood, is lagging behind in second place. This dren fascinates me. Anyway, it's not too late to vote. Please do. I'd like to see a hundred votes, to perhaps approach a total that might be quasi-statistically significant. You Blogger people can take part, too. Just follow the white rabbit (and scroll down to yesterday).

I find myself actually wanting to write today. You don't have any idea how rare that is. Normally, I'd rather go walk in Piedmont Park or visit the dinosaurs at Fernbank or play Morrowind or read Dr. Seuss or Lovecraft or vacuum up the dust bunnies in the hallway. But, today, I want to write. The pull of The End and the pull of the darkness waiting there.

Thanks to stardustgirl (Maureen) for the following photo, me in Graceland, wearing Desire's red (and soon to be auctioned at Fiddler's Green for the benefit of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund) Docs (sorry it's so large, but I didn't have time to resize the photo):

Oh, and, from Dragon*Con, this one's for Sissy, Kat, and Jean-Paul, just because I felt like posting it:

(Gotta love the squeaky hedgehog, left, which is not a porcupine.)

Ah. I need to go write, and I haven't yet talked about the Kid Night movies. Quickly, then, we picked Requim from the Darkness, the first four eps of an anime that would only be so-so (think Tales from the Darkside as anime), except the art was really superb, lots of heavy lines and black, creating a beautiful luminescence for the color. It kind of made me think of Steve Leiloha's art for "The First Adventure of Miss Catterina Poe" (The Dreaming #56). Anyway, our second choice turned out to be a truly superb adaptation of Thomas Middleton's Revenger's Tragedy, directed by Alex Cox (Sid and Nancy) and set in a post-Apocalyptic Liverpool instead of an Elizabethan wherever. Both Chistopher Eccleston and Eddie Izzard were superb, and I strongly recommend you seek out this DVD. If Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juleit had been a much better movie, one not lost in its own distracting excess, this is the sort of movie it would have been. It has the darkness and cynical of, say, Shakespeare's Titus Adronicus. Not a typical Kid Night film, but we were very pleased.
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