December 22nd, 2004


interglacial Wednesday

Yesterday was actually decent enough. Mostly, though, that's because I was bad and slacked off and didn't even try to write. Disgusted with the recent cold and seeing a chance to leave the house for the first time in five days and do so in fairly good weather, I took it. We went to an early matinee of Lemony Snickett's A Series of Unfortunate Events, which was in almost every way an absolute delight. Best of all, we saw it in a virtually deserted theatre. There is little about the film that failed to make me happy. The casting was wonderful (though I found Dustin Hoffman a little distracting), great script, amazing art direction and cinematography and SFX. Violet Baudelaire is my hero today, I think. Jim Carey gives his best performance, well, since Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Billy Connolly was a nice surprise as Dr. Montgomery Montgomery, and, just so you know, when I am rich as sin, I will live in the house of Dr. Montgomery Montgomery, snakes and all. And do not miss the closing credits, which are a joy in and of themselves. After the movie, we were going to visit the dinosaurs at Fernbank, but the museum was closed due to a broken water main. Instead, we went to Borders and watched grumpy, desperate-looking people stand in line to buy Xmas-gift books for people who probably didn't really want them in the first place. Generally, bookstores depress me, for a multitude of reasons, but I did okay yesterday. I think the vileness of Xmas and the glum effect bookstores usually have on me canceled each other out somehow. We had an early dinner at a Thai place, which we ended up getting free because the restaurant's computerized electrical system was freaking out. We finally ate by candlelight while a repairman tried to get the building back online. Personally, I found it no inconvenience whatsoever, and it meant we didn't have to listen to bad Asian pop music, but the manager insisted we shouldn't pay. So. Not a bad day, at all, even without the dinosaurs.

Showtime has canceled Dead Like Me after Season Two. I saw that one coming. It was on television, and I actually loved it, so it had to go. It's a rule.

Yesterday, Poppy wrote:

Sometimes, like last night for instance, I think I must be insane to believe I can write a novel that features as a major character a 45-year-old, lower-class black man who has spent the last eight years in prison. Nothing in my background or writing experience has prepared me for this, and if I fuck it up, it'll be not just spectacularly bad but also actively offensive. Then (not too often yet, but occasionally) something clicks and I feel that I know the man, and it doesn't seem to matter that our lives could scarcely be more different.

Mostly, though, I think I may have given myself a hard row to hoe with this one.

And I thought, I wonder if she'd like to write the eight-year-old girl and let me write the 45-year old, lower-class black man? Six of one, half dozen of the other. But yes, that's how I've been feeling lately. Like I've picked a hard row to hoe. No one said, "Caitlín, your next novel must have as one of its two central characters an eight-year-old girl who lives in Providence, Rhode Island." I did it to myself. I am a consumate masochist.

Day before yesterday, the epilogue came to me. At least, a very possible epilogue came to me, which is entirely ridiculous. I have something like 150,000 words of this novel to go before the frelling epilogue, but there it was anyway. I have a vast uncertainty between bookends. Of course, I might be wrong. That might not be the epilogue of Daughter of Hounds at all.

I continue to enjoy the new JVP, and yesterday I read "New material of Mesodactylus ornithosphyos, a primitive pterodactyloid pterosaur from the Upper Jurassic of Colorado," by David K. Smith, R. Kent Sanders, and Kenneth L. Stadtman. Neat stuff.

This is just sort of meandering about, isn't it? Ah, well. Sometimes, it does that.

It has been brought to my attention that I may have have given some people the impression that The Dry Salvages is no longer available via retail, that you can't buy a copy because it's sold out at the publisher. Sorry. Not what I meant at all. When a publisher sells out a book upon publication, that only means there are no more copies to send out to the distributors, the people like Baker & Taylor and Ingram's who act as middlemen (think of them as the book Mafia) for places like and B&N and so forth. Which is to say that the book is, for the moment, still avialable, just not directly from Subterranean Press any longer, and when the retailers have sold out the copies they have, that's that. So, if you want one, better buy it now.

Anything else? Not really. I am sick to frelling, puking death of the popularity-contest end of writing, and that's been weighing heavily on my mind of late, but I don't feel like getting into it now. Today will be longer than yesterday. That is, the sun will set later. I'm over the hump, as it were. I might make it after all.
  • Current Music
    Jethro Tull, "Skating Away"