December 16th, 2004


tortoiseshell buttons

I didn't write yesterday. Nary a word. I just could not come anywhere close to making it happen. The air around me was too cold to spark, and I was too sick of the cold to go looking for a flint. For this, I should be tied and beaten with a cane...wait, nevermind. Anyway, what I did do instead of write was to haul Spooky away to the museum. I'm sure if she were telling the story, she'd be hauling me, but the result is pretty much the same, either way. The museum was warm, and, save one Xmas tree near the entrance, blessedly free of holiday "cheer." We spent the afternoon with the dinosaurs in the great atrium. The glass seemed to magnify the sun into something warmer, something that might be mistaken for spring. I could sit on one of the terraces, back near the taxidermied bald eagles and river otter, looking down on the Argentinosaurus and Giganotosaurus and try to clear my head of its stifling clutter and junk. The museum was mostly empty, which was nice. No shrieking parades of school children. It was almost like a church.

Today, I'm armed against the cold, against the breath of the December daemon, with an old black velvet coat that Spooky found for me at Salvation Army many months ago. I'd forgotten about it until this morning. We found it lurking in a closet. The sleaves are a bit short, but it's warm and soft and comfortable, something heavy enough, substantial enough, to hold me down.

So...yeah. Chapter One. Daughter of Hounds. An eight-year-old girl named Emmie Silvey who has yellow eyes and a fondness for Doris Day and Peggy Lee. I think few things I've ever set out to write have been as daunting as the prospect of writing an entire chapter, and then a significant portion of a novel, about an eight year old. And it's all set in Providence and Massachusetts, so I don't even have the familiarity of my Southern locales for comfort. It's amazing, the things I do to myself.

No word yet from my agent and editor regarding the prologue.

Here's a link to a longer and very informative statement by Ursula LeGuin on the mess that Robert Halmi made of Earthsea.

Last night, UPS brought a box of The Dry Salvages to my door. I've already promised some of these to folks, but whatever's left over I'll be auctioning on eBay sometime after the frelling, stinkin' holidays are done.

Do I feel better than yesterday? I don't know. Truly, I don't know. But I have to write this book, regardless. Bemoaning the season and the weather and the shortcomings of so many readers isn't going to make it happen (nor will it change the things I'm bemoaning). So, today I am wearing my black velvet coat from the Salvation Army and trying to look ahead, mostly, to the place where the book is happening for me, the place where I'm making it happen. The last couple of days I have given my misery too much slack on the leash, and it's time to try and reign it in a little. Last night, Spooky and I locked ourselves away in the bedroom and talked for hours about magick and Nebari history and writing and the contemporary Cult of the Invalid. It was good, the way the museum had been good, and brought me that much more out of myself. Anyway, it's getting late, and I have to make an effort, which is the best that I can ever do.

But first, happy birthday to brokensymmetry, who gave me the Nebari sky.
  • Current Music
    The Beatles, "Hey Jude"