April 28th, 2005


the horror of a soggy biscuit

How's this for a peculiar statement? Yesterday, I only wrote 2,269 words. Well, it feels weird to me. In the last three days, I've written more than 6,900 words on Frog Toes and Tentacles, though I usually write no more than 1000-1,300 words a day. Anyway, I began and finished the seventh vignette, which is currently "Untitled 11." Actually, at the moment, most of these pieces are untitled. They may stay that way. It feels okay for them. I neglected, when I wrote about finishing the fifth vignette, to mention that "Untitled 10.1" became "Flicker." Yesterday, Bill Schafer asked me how it was going, what is was like, writing this book, and I told him it was very strange, as I've always pretty much avoided overt sexuality in my fiction. I can only think of a few exceptions: "Breakfast in the House of the Rising Sun" comes to mind, and parts of The Five of Cups, maybe one or two other things I'm forgetting. Of course, this book is my take on erotica, so it would really be more accurate to speak of the eroticism latent in "Persephone," "Tears Seven Times Salt," "A Redress for Andromeda," "San Andreas," and so forth. Anyway, I told him it was obviously easier than what I usually do, in some sense, as I'm clearly writing much faster. But in another sense, I said, it's much, much more difficult. The necessary reliance on description and action, for example. I cannot imagine what my readers' reactions to this odd little detour will be, but Spooky's loving it, and that's good, since these stories are really being written for her.

After I'd finished "Untitled 11," Spooky and I walked up the street to Starbuck's (if there were a good coffeehouse nearby, I wouldn't have gone to Starbuck's) to clear my head. Then I came back home and found a PDF of To Charles Fort, With Love waiting for me, including the redesigned cover, which I like a lot. I'll post it later. I think this will be a very handsome book. Spooky and I will be receiving 250 of the ARCs to send out to bookstores, hopefully encouraging some of them to carry it. We'll have a couple of days of nothing but addressing envelopes. Ugh. I don't usually take such an agressive role in the distribution end of things, though I probably ought to do so. It was Bill's idea. Also, before dinner, I had to get some work done for Marvel and off to my editor there, so, by seven o'clock I was quite entirely done for. I ate, took a hot bath, watched a Mythbusters blooper episode, and played three hours of Jade Empire. I have been asked to do a review of the latter for a couple of websites, by the way. Details TBA.

Tonight, we have dinner with an rpg friend (well, he's a friend in other ways as well, but lately we mostly see each other during AD&D sessions). We're having Thai. It is no longer in my nature to be social or eat out, so this will be an adventure.

And I really hate to be a goddamn parrot (or minah bird, or echo, or whatever), but I wanted to second this bit Poppy wrote in her blog yesterday:

I doubt I will make any friends by saying this, but one of the things that most sorely tries my patience about the horror genre (though it certainly isn't exclusive to horror) is the attitude that "nothing is happening" if people aren't being gored and eaten in every paragraph. It's as if the characters cannot be interesting in and of themselves; they must be involved in Plot-Driving Suspense Generators at every turn. I enjoy an exciting story as much as anyone, but I also tend to feel that plot is the least interesting aspect of a good story; it's simply a mechanism, an artificial construct for depicting the lives of characters in a way that will be more interesting to your average reader than, "They woke up, they made coffee, they cut their toenails, they went to work, they came home, they had sex, they went to sleep." When plot becomes far more important than character (as in, say, the fiction of Dean Koontz or John Saul), you end up with interchangable cardboard characters and, in my opinion, unreadable books.

Frelling A. Thank you. Bravo. Etc.

Finally, we've started our eBay auctions again. For the first seven days, every "buy it now" and "fixed price" purchase will get you one little monster doodle, AND THIS TIME THEY'RE IN COLOUR!!!!!. It has been many months now since monsters were offered. As always, your generosity will be greatly appreciated.
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