July 25th, 2005


liverwurst with cheese and horseradish sauce

The writing went well yesterday. I did 1,558 words on Chapter Seven of Daughter of Hounds. Oh, this book. This damned book. I'm so in love with Emmie Silvey and Soldier and Odd Willie and the Daughter of the Four of Pentacles, but I am so afraid of this book. And yesterday I came to one of those points (thank you, Spooky) where I'm made to consider that perhaps I've been looking at the problem entirely wrong the problem, in this instance, being the bringing together of two connected but separate narrative threads. It may be that they are to remain separate, that my protagonists might never meet face to face. Or that meeting may be very brief. I have begun to understand that through such a narrative as this I could perhaps better serve the story, and also serve a favorite passage from Schopenhauer which I used as the opening epigraph for Silk and which has since informed much of my writing:

All the events in a man's life would accordingly stand in two fundamentally different kinds of connections; firstly, in the objective, causal connection of the natural process; secondly, in a subjective connection which exists only in relation to the individual who experiences it, and which is thus as subjective as his own dreams....That both kinds of connection exist simultaneously, and the selfsame event, although a link in two totally different chains, nevertheless falls into place in both, so that the fate of one individual invariably fits the fate of the other, and each is the hero of his own drama while simultaneously figuring in a drama foreign to him...

If I do this, it will make a much stranger novel of Daughter of Hounds, the same way that Chance's kidnapping effected Low Red Moon, and the absence of a climatic explosion effected Threshold, the same way that Niki's suicide effected Murder of Angels, and so on. And it frightens me. Those things which stand apart make easier targets, and I must admit that after eight years (the time now since the publication of my first novel in 1998) of painting bullseyes on my chest, I'd really kind of like to blend in just a little. It's a cowardly ambition, I know. It's an ambition alien to what I am supposed to be doing here, and one that I have to disregard, no matter how alluring it may seem sometimes. It's always, always, a question of doing right by the book, or the short story, or comic script, at hand. And doing right by Daughter of Hounds, I see now, might mean that I leave some less adroit, less adventuresome readers scratching their heads. This will likely not be the novel that leads critics to proclaim I have at last gained the "common touch." This will be the novel it needs to be.

My thanks to brokensymmetry for bringing additional errors in the text of "Night" (?"The Horses of Neptune") to my attention, and to my editor for giving me the time to do something about them. I'll get to that ASAP.

Last night, we had a rare dinner out with friends. Very good Thai at Top Spice. And the conversation was even better — better for me — than the food. Back home, I squandered a couple more hours on Pariah and it's murky storyline. Er...let's see. Anything else? Oh, yes. I meant to say that yes, the things I said yesterday about the necessarily self-conscious, self-indulgent nature of fantastic fiction does, indeed, apply to the writing of all fiction. I really didn't mean to imply otherwise. It just came out that way. To my way of thinking, all fiction is fantasy, as all fiction is equally fictional (i.e., non-factual, which is not to say untrue).

And we've begun a new round of eBay, the first in a couple of months. As you'll recall, we're now selling from a new (old) account, and all inquiries should be sent directly to Spooky at crk_books@yahoo.com. If there's something you want, but it's not currently listed, just ask (lettered editions, for example). All interested parties please proceed to Spookycrabbit. Thanks!
  • Current Music
    Sarah McLachlan, "Into the Fire"