July 18th, 2005


A Day Off

The read-through went well yesterday. Spooky read, and I listened. But then I e-mailed the story to oneirophrenia, who pointed out a really dumb mistake involving the use of a ramscoop and an even dumber continuity blunder involving android masturbation. This is what comes of writing when one is utterly frelling exhausted. But I like the thing as a whole. I like it very much. I think it may be better than The Dry Salvages, but not quite as good as "Riding the White Bull." The word count stands at 10,242, and I still have no replacement title. Yesterday afternoon, I read Eliot's "Little Gidding" to Spooky, since that's where the original title came from, hoping that some stray bit of verse would seem appropriate, but nothing did. Times like this, I'm truly annoyed at the artifice of title. One of the nice things about the vignettes in Frog Toes and Tentacles is that at least half the pieces are untitled.

By my reckoning, this makes the 64th short story I've written and sold since summer 1993. If you count the vignettes for Frog Toes and Tentacles, the number goes up to 73. Personally, I think quantity counts for very little in art. I'm merely amazed at the sum, and what it means in days and hours and keystrokes.

I spent much of yesterday afternoon at Emory, trying to catch up on my private hardcopy journal and looking for something to read. I came away with Charles P. Mitchell's The Complete H. P. Lovecraft Filmography (Greenwood Press, 2001). It turns out to be a rather abysmal affair. Anyone who would write of John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness, "One of John Carpenter's finest efforts, In the Mouth of Madness is a brilliant horror fugue, a scintillating, fresh, and intricate tribute to Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos. It is also one of the most intellectually challenging horror films of the past thirty years." — well, anyone who would write that, I know at once that this person's exploration of Lovecraft and cinema will be less than competent. Fortunately, it's a quick read. Mitchell lavishes attention on such turkeys as The Farm (aka The Curse, 1987), while rushing past most of the truly good films inspired (at least in part) by Lovecraft's work. Film's like Alien, Carpenter's The Thing, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Ravenous, etc . & etc. receive little or no attention. Dren, I say. It makes me wish I had the time to write such a book myself. Anyway, because I'd seen the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers Saturday evening, last night we watched the 1978 remake (which really is very effective and far superior to the original) and then Stuart Orme's adaptation of Heinlein's The Puppet Masters (1994), which I remembered as being surprisingly decent. I still think it is. We had to settle for VHS, as no one seem to have the DVD. Great creature effects.

Cassini's latest flyby of Saturn's frozen moon, Enceladus, was apparently a success. Data and raw images are still being processed. I suspect Enceladus may prove to be one of the most interesting objects in our solar system. It resembles Europa in many respects.

Enceladus — a world of geologically active water ice.

Anyway, this is my Day Off. I am not to write today. Except for this entry. See you tomorrow.
  • Current Music
    Kate Bush, "Jig of Life"