August 14th, 2005


A Tale of Two Vincents

We've made it through Daughter of Hounds up to Chapter Five. We'd be at Chapter Seven, but yesterday was a total loss, so far as work's concerned. Anyway, today I hope we'll get through another two chapters. If we could do three (and that's very unlikely), we could be done with the reading today or tonight. The length of the chapters makes this difficult, as they're each twelve to fourteen thousand words in length. But reading over the ms. at this stage was a good idea, and I'm glad that we're doing it. Not only am I making tons of line edits and catching various continuity problems, I'm also getting a better feel — perspective, I suppose — for how the novel will climax and conclude.

I've also been going through an old notebook. The one with all the notes I made for The Merewife back in the summer of 1993 (it also has all my handwritten notes for Silk and early issues of The Dreaming). My handwriting was so much better in those days. You could actually read it. These days, I can't decipher my longhand half the time. That was the summer that I bought Pandora, my Mac Color Classic, and I suspect she played a role in the decay of my penmanship. Anyway, the notes are here that would allow me to finish The Merewife prologue more or less as I'd intended to twelve years ago, and subpress has given me the go-ahead. Now the question becomes twofold: a) do I actually have the time for this, and b) can I write in the voice I was writing in more than a decade ago?

The monsoons here in Atlanta continue. We had such a rainfall yesterday that it actually alarmed me. Down the street, the hexagonal sidewalk tiles were lifted free and transported some considerable distance.

I've been gorging on movies. It often happens when my mind is deeply concerned with a novel. I give up reading almost entirely and get my stories exclusively from film. My eyes need the stimulation. My visual cortex aches. My mind is exhausted and needs someone else to make the pictures for me. It's sort of a blur of video tapes and DVDs, but I'm pretty sure it started with The Big Lebowski on Monday night, because I was in a glum, foul mood and the Cohen Bros. almost always lift my spirits. I remember Grosse Point Blank on Thursday night, as well as Raising Arizona, because you can't get too much Cohen. Our Kid Night movies were the charming Quatermaas II (1955) and the perplexing Creature from a Haunted Sea (1961), and then I played something like two-hour's worth of Final Fantasy X-2. At this point, I think I'm 35% through the game. I keep waiting for the scene where Paine's finally had enough giggling and cow-eyed silliness, goes homicidally apeshit and slaughters Rikku, then has her way with Yuna. If I ever reach that scene, I will be a Final Fantasy addict for life. Last night, I was seized with the desire — nay, the absolute necessity — to see Kirk Douglas and Anthony Quinn in Lust for Life. Alas, it's not yet available on DVD, and the VHS is frelling pan-and-scan. It's far too beautiful a film to suffer pan-and-scan, and I'd have only spent the whole time kvetching about the parts of the film I couldn't see. So, we wound up watching Pulp Fiction instead. It was an odd surrogate, at best. I adore the film and have seen it something like umpteen bezillion times (and my thanks to whoever sent me the DVD for my most recent birthday), but Vincent Vega is a poor substitute for Vincent Van Gogh. I think there may be more Cohen Bros. tonight.

We have three auctions ending tomorrow. They include one of the few copies of "The Worm in My Mind's Eye" that we'll be offerring, as well as a PC copy of numbered edition of the increasingly scarce From Weird and Distant Shores. This might be the last copy I sell. I'm not sure. Take a look. Spend some moolah. Anyway, the cicadas are screaming. I gotta go.
  • Current Music
    Hem, "Horsey"