December 14th, 2004


sorry, no clever title today

Last night, because spectacles attract me — especially hideous spectacles — Spooky and I watched the first hour and seventeen minutes of Sci-Fi's Earthsea abomination. It was about as bad as I'd expected it to be. Sci-Fi tends to screw most things up in exactly the same way. All their adaptations look pretty much the same. Flat. Dull. Overlit. Made-for-TV. They're good at making epic things feel cramped. So, I wasn't surprised. The direction was hamfisted. The script, which bore little resemblance to anything Ursula K. LeGuin has ever written, was dim-witted and trite. Most of the female characters looked like their make-up had been done by Maybelline. Lots of pointless CGI, because I suspect the filmmakers were under the impression that it would distract from the overall awfullness. Danny Glover looked like he wanted to club someone to death with that damned staff he was dragging around. Rarely has an actor appeared so painfully uncomfortable on camera. Anyway, it's better if you read what the author herself has to say about this fiasco (scroll down just below the photo). This is probably the most we can fairly expect from the Sci-Fi Channel these days. Farscape was a fluke (and they cancelled it, perhaps the most critically-acclaimed sf series ever on TV, in favour of bringing back Battlestar Galactica). Actually, though it's easy to make with the snide remarks, I genuinely felt bad for LeGuin, watching the mess they'd made of her work. I live in fear of this sort of thing, and it hurts me, physically hurts me, when I see it happen to someone else, especially someone brilliant and deserving of respect. We got so lucky with the Lord of the Rings adaptations. Sadly, there aren't enough Peter Jacksons to go around nor enough money to do things right. And if things can't be done right, they shouldn't be done at all. Someone needs to force-feed that fact to the lying, cheapskate, lowest-common-denominator mongering crap merchants at the Sci-Fi Channel.

But there were some good things to yesterday. The morning was consumed with e-mail, but Spooky and I went to lunch at Sweet Lime. I had unagi and salmon nigiri and some really good, seaweedy miso soup. It wasn't too cold out, warmer than today. So, those were good things. We read more of Phil Hine's Prime Chaos, and that was good as well. We made spaghetti for supper, and spaghetti is almost always good. We had a long, if somewhat disturbing conversation about magick while Bell, Book, and Candle was playing on TCM (that was a little surreal). The Philadelphia Story came on next, and it's one of my very favorite films ever, but I wound up playing Halo 2 until three a.m,, instead. But, it was nice. Oh, and I ate Cheetos, which aren't good for me and stain my fingers orange, but, still, that's something else that was good.

Tomorrow, all will be relatively clear for me to return, at long last, to Daughter of Hounds. I'm e-mailing the prologue to my lit agent and my editor today. Now's the time for them to make suggestions. There's no guarrantee, of course, that I'd heed suggestions, but I'm slightly more likely to heed them now than halfway through the novel, when things are set in stone. Right now, the story matrix is very unconsolidated. Everything's loose. Open. Now's the time that big changes could occur. Every word I write, every step towards THE END, solidifies the story and eliminates countless possible alternate paths it might have taken. In truth, I'm having a day when I truly deplore this writing business, stem to stern. And yet, simultaneously, I do feel a genuine desire to return to work on DoH. All is dam'd contradiction.

I'm stuck in the middle of one of those periods when I know I haven't enough time left to me to accomplish everything I want to do. It's one of the most terrible feelings I know. Just the short-term is enough to drive me frelling nuts if I think on it too much. In the next few months, for example, there's Daughter of Hounds, editing To Charles Fort, With Love (a rather substantial undertaking) and writing an additional 20,000 words for the collection, reworking the end of "Bradbury Weather" because I've grown uncomfortable with it, all the many books I need and want to read, a second trip I should make to Rhode Island to do more research, all the work I want to do on (including the development of a magical system based on Nebari mythology)...and there's more than that, but that's enough you should see what I'm saying. There isn't enough of me, and I squander so much time.

I've been thinking about new costumes, too. I may have finally hit upon a functional new outfit design for Nar'eth, which would expose less front and lots more back. And I was also telling Spooky that I want to do a costume based on the abominable snowman cyborg in Rasputina's "The New Zero."

Okay. Now I'm just prattling again, so it's time to get to work...
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