November 2nd, 2005


elevation [km]

The headache unfaded yesterday, and I spent most of the afternoon feeling as if something sharp was trying to worm its way out of my skull through my right eye. No, I didn't write. But I didn't go back to bed, either. So, yay for me. I did manage to put together an 81-word biography for the dustjacket of Thrillers II and send it to Robert Morrish. I managed that. Late in the day, I went to Emory and moped about the library for a bit. I almost got Gerhard Maier's African Dinosaurs Unearthed: The Tendaguru Expeditions, which I've been wanting to read for ages. But then I realized I have far too much writing to do this month to be squandering time on such a hefty paleo' volume. I'll read it after I've finished Daughter of Hounds. Tortoises and carrots dangled on strings. Something like that. Delayed gratification. That's one of my big vices. The Tendaguru expeditions, which revealed an African Jurassic dinosaur fauna of equivalent age to that of North America's famous Morrison Formation, has long fascinated me. Anyway, it'll wait.

Today the headache is a very dull thing, and I can only hope that it remains that way.

I'll answer an e-mail. That doesn't seem too daunting a proposition. Shannon writes:

How DO you know you're going to kill a character?  How do you make the decision as to who lives and dies?  I mean, granted, Pentecost ends up coming back in MoA... and there's certainly that... but how can you go through so much development and time spent with a given character and then decide that their time is up?

This isn't the whole e-mail. I didn't include the bit about his having just read "The Dead and the Moonstruck," and so I'm actually having to tell you that this is in reference to Starling Jane's death in Low Red Moon. Anyway. My answer is...I don't know. Except, it's the same way I know that anything else is going to happen to a character. Right before it happens, I realize it's going to happen. Sometimes it feels like remembering things backwards. Like, I always knew that was going to happen, but I'd forgotten, because it hadn't almost happened yet. Characters often die, even though I wanted them to live, and sometimes they live when I truly wouldn't have minded their deaths. It doesn't seem terribly conscious, really. I seem to find what happens, more than I decide this character lives and this one dies. I will say that at the start of a story I always promise myself that I will not fall so in love with any character that I will "defy" the story and change events so he or she doesn't die. Oh, I fall in love with characters, anyway, but I've never yet allowed it to interfere with writing the story the way that seems true. There have been times when I've been tempted, especially in Low Red Moon.

But, yeah. Jane was one of the hard ones to let go.

Anything else about yesterday? Not really. After the library and a trip to the market, I was entirely useless. I frelling forgot to watch Cosmos, which I have been enjoying enormously. I played a couple of hours of FFX. The Cavern of the Lost Fayth, which I finally bested. Then Spooky and I watched The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, which would surely be on a list of my one hundred favourite films, if ever I were to compile such a list. Spooky downloaded Halloween photos from the digital camera to her iBook, and I think she's going to post them to her LJ later today. There's one of my Unseelie counterpart, I believe.

Today, headache or no, I just have to write. I have to get into Chapter Ten and finish this story. With luck, I could be "done" with the novel by Monday evening.

Spooky's going to spend part of the day puzzling out the payment method for the vignette subscription service. We hope to have the webpage up and be taking subscriptions sometime next week. As of this morning, 98 people have told me they want subs. The poll's still open. Also, a new round of eBay auctions has begun, including a copy of the lettered edition of The Five of Cups (plus Monster Doodle Sculpture #4). Please bid or "buy it now" if you are so disposed. Thanks.