May 5th, 2005


paul frank is not your friend

A grey day today, clouds but no rain so far. And I'm sitting here, punching the keys, wishing maybe sometimes when I hit the "t" or the "h" there would be a satisfying crunch, that maybe sometimes when I hit the "e" or the "b" there would be little spurts of blood from the iBook. That way, I'd know it was mutual.

What was there yesterday? Nothing much. I tried to catch up on some fan mail, which I've gotten very, very behind on. I apologize for that. If someone can take the time to write me, I can certainly take the time to reply. Anyway, there was that, and then, though I'd fully intended to spend the whole day hammering away at the outline for Daughter of Hounds, I ended up in Spooky's car, the two of us driving north up I-75, then west out 411, to Rome. I just wanted to get out of the city. Atlanta's not an easy city to get out of. It goes on forever, sprawling in all directions. I'd intended to go farther north, as far as the mountains in the very NW corner of the state, but we only made it as far as Rome. The oppressive sameness of everything was getting to me. That corporate monotony. We leave Atlanta's wasteland of strip malls — Target, Kroger, B&N, Home Depot, The Gap, Blockbuster, Best Buy — and drive into a lesser wasteland of the same — Wal-mart, Publix, B&N, Home Depot, T.J. Max, Blockbuster, Best Buy. And the little yellow "ribbon" bumperstickers, "Support Our Troops." I kept wishing I could pull people over and tell them that I have no troops. Nary a one. I am a nation without a standing army, navy, air force, marines, frelling national guard. Nothing. "Our" does not include me. And the trucks, the big semis with right-wing Xtian messages plastered on the back doors of their trailers — It's not a choice. — It's a child. Unless it's a child in Iraq, of course. On the way back into town, we got stuck in traffic near the Fox Theatre, where some blonde abomination called Kelly Clarkson (I'd never heard of her) had crowds of screaming little girls and teenage girls and bored housewives out in droves. I found a photo of Kelly Clarkson online; it made me think of Tammy Faye Bakker. Whatever. The only good thing about the odd little drive was that we did get off the damned Piedmont long enough for me to glimpse decent, unmetamorphosed Paleozoic rocks. Ordovician and Cambrian dolomites. Mississippian cherts. Pennsylvannian sandstones. Otherwise...well, it's like I've said. Don't leave the Perimeter.

I did spot a white cross nailed up high on a telephone pole across the street from the new strip mall that's been installed just south of Little Five Points. In bold black letters, the vertical axis read "R. I. P. Atlanta." And, in the same hand, the horizontal axis read "We Sold Out." I hope the assholes at the new Target have seen that. And, on the subject of graffiti, inappropriate and otherwise, this weekend Freedom Park suffered a festival of "n'art" (a contraction of my own devising — "n'art" = "not art"). One of the least amusing pieces was a series of bright orange mesh hammocks strung together on PVC pipes, committed by some local n'artist named Linda Stern. It was named "Hammocks for the Homeless." Isn't that precious? At the end of the festival, the hammocks were all turned on their sides for some reason, perhaps because local police feared the homeless might take Stern seriously and try to use them. Anyway, someone decided to use the huge orange eyesores as a billboard and spray-painted "Solace for the Souless" on them, one word per hammock, with a date on the first hammock. Nice comeback, I thought. Frelling priceless. Of course, I don't condone vandelizing stupid, ugly yuppie n'art. I just don't not condone it, either.

I'm all piss and vinegar this morning. Sorry. There's something stuck inside that I need to cough up.

There has to be work today, of one sort or another.

Also, we're nearing the end of the "COLOUR MONSTER DOODLES" auction. Act now. This offer will not be repeated anytime soon. Don't lose out. You snooze, you loose. One day, colour monster doodles will be all that stand between you and the zombie apocalypse (or male erectile dysfunction, I'm not sure which).
  • Current Music
    NIN, "The Hand That Feeds"

addendum: hedgehog 3

We spent most of the day on Frog Toes and Tentacles, me reading the vignettes aloud to Spooky, her following along on my iBook. We made it all the way through, nine vignettes and the afterword. And, to my considerable surprise, I have to say this is probably my favorite work since Low Red Moon. It's a bizarre turn of events. I did this book as a lark. I thought it'd be fun. It wasn't. I thought I'd be fairly indifferent about the finished volume, and here I like it, a lot. Weird. But there's a purity in these little visions that I haven't seen in my writing, really, since the stories in Tales of Pain and Wonder. I think it was freeing myself from the tyranny of plot. I opened something that hasn't been open on a regular basis. I allowed myself to do whatever I wanted, because I had no real expectations and knew that my career as a writer did not rest upon the performance of this book. So, as I said, weird. I like one of the pieces, "'Ode' to Katan Amano" so much that when I finally do a collection of my sf, this story will almost certainly be reprinted therein, even though it is, nominally, a work of erotica.

Tomorrow, I'm probably going back to plotting the second half of Daughter of Hounds. Kathryn (Spooky) is helping me talk through this. The whole outlining process is so alien to the way that I write that it helps a lot to have a sounding board. We're stuck, at the moment, on Woonsocket and a particular plot point that has to be resolved before moving along to the second half of the book (much of which I already have a fair idea how it's gonna go). I've had to reduce Sadie and Deacon's roles in this book, especially Sadie's, but it has left open the remote possibility that I may write a book about Sadie later on, using a bunch of the stuff I'm taking out of DoH. I'm also beginning to let myself think about the film project I mentioned a little while back, which I can hopefully get to once the novel is soundly back on track.

As of sunset, it still hadn't rained, though the skies were dark all day and there was a chilly wind.

A whole night of Orson Welles last night on TCM, and I think we get more next Wednesday. Other than that, part of last night was wasted on a fairly lame XBox game called Stolen, which seems an appropriate title as it stole surely at least an hour from me last night and gave me nothing but frustration and boredom in return. Basically, I'm having post-Jade Empire letdown, wishing that I could discover another adventure game that fully realized, that free of tedium, a game with a story and a female protagonist, a game with controls that are fluid and intuitive. These sorts of games seem, to me, to only show up once or twice a frelling year, at best. *sigh*

Just three more weeks, a mere 21 days, naught but 506 hours (and so forth), until I will slip from -0 to -1. Maybe I should count it as -0.0, instead. Anyway, there's an Amazon wish list, if you' know...
  • Current Music
    NIN, "The Hand That Feeds" (again)