January 19th, 2005



I did an acceptable, but not particularly impressive, 1,055 words on Chapter Two of Daughter of Hounds yesterday. Writing about Soldier as a five year old is much easier than writing about the trainwreck of her adulthood. I got hung up right off, trying to describe the entrance to the abandoned amusement park at Rocky Point in Warwick, Rhode Island, and spent two hours on two paragraphs. Finally, I discarded one gate and two lamp posts, because the words weren't coming, and I needed to get on with the story. All I have to do is make you see this. This one particular thing here. That's all. And sometimes it's impossible. Sometimes, I know the best odds I can hope for are a thousand to one. You'll see what you see, what your life has conditioned you to see upon encountering that combination of words, not what I want or need you to see. Ficition writring is like making films for the blind. That's exactly how it felt yesterday. Well, odds are you've never seen this, this thing here, but I have to make you see it nonetheless. No, an approximation is unacceptable. You may not see the gates to just any old abandoned amusement park. It has to be the gates to Rocky Point Park in Warwick, otherwise I've failed. And I have failed, of course. It's all quite hopeless. You will "see" what you will "see." I may only make suggestions.

I am a toothless tyrant.

I was going to write, this morning, about how hard it is to write a story set in late 2008, writing it from early 2005, and having to avoid it being in any way futuristic, avoiding any little hints of science-fiction that might distract the reader or set them thinking in the wrong direction. But I'll save that for later. I want time for a quick bath before I start working on the novel today.

Yesterday, I got contracts from Italy. When I sign them, I will have at last sold foreign rights on one of my novels. Threshold will be released in Italian. My short fiction and comics have been translated into a number of languages — Czech, French, Italian, Dutch, German, Spanish, American. But this will be my first novel translation. It's a new thing, and hopefully it will lead to other translations.

I finished the Charles Fort biography last night. So-so or disappointing, I haven't yet decided. To much at the end is given over the the shrill ramblings of Tiffany Thayer. Fort comes through, all the same. "But damnation is nothing new to me. I offer the data. Suit yourself." I may now begin a biography of Algernon Blackwood, or perhaps something about Lovecraft. We shall see.

The eBay auctions are going strong. We're almost out of "Waycross" (just three copies left) and Murder of Angels (also only three remaining). A copy of From Weird and Distant Shores goes off tomorrow. And there are lots of other cool things. Check it out. My thanks to everyone who has bought or bid in the last couple of weeks. You've made the unforseen and unbudgeted dental crisis only a bump in the road instead of a steep drop into the sea. I'd bless you, but no good would come of that — you'd probably find toads in your beds and plagues of ladybugs in your pantries.
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    Simon and Garfunkel, "Kathy's Song"