November 15th, 2005


THE END (Pt. Three)

So, here I've been working under the belief that my deadline for Daughter of Hounds was December 1st. Yesterday, I spoke with my agent and asked her if she could get me an extra couple of weeks, just so I can pretty this gigantic ms. up a little before it goes to my editor. My editor wrote her back with the news that my deadline was, in fact, not until January 1st, so no problem. I tell Spooky that I could have sworn that the deadline was December 1st, so she pulls the contract out of the filing cabinet and we discover that it is in fact not December 1st or January 1st, but...wait for it..."on or before" January 15! I have been racing to finish a book that isn't due for two whole frelling months. On the one hand, argh, but, on the other hand, it gives me lots of polishing time. You know what I was saying before about sticking a fork in my eye? Well, the urge has returned, and this time I cannot even blame the creationists.

As for yesterday, Spooky and I read Chapter One of Threshold, and that was intensely weird. I've not read the book in ages, probably not since I finished editing it back in 2001. I don't read my novels once they're written (and no, I'm not sure why). But there those words were, like faint memories. I almost remember writing them. Most of the revision I'm doing involves inserting commas. I'm much more fond of commas these days. I did find one spot where "rhododendron" should have been "philodendron." And a tense problem on page 17. Exciting stuff. Today, I think we're going to try to make it through chapters Two and Three. Also, Spooky read Chapter Ten and the epilogue of Daughter of Hounds to me yesterday. Mostly, I just wanted to hear the sound of it, and it sounds good. But every time Spooky reads the end, she cries, which I'm going to take a good sign. My agent's excited about this book, and I'm excited that she's excited. I desperately want to see this book succeed (i.e., sell lots and lots of copies).

And that was yesterday, more or less. Last night, we watched another Outer Limits episode ("The Form of Things Unknown"), then began playing Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth (it's time for a break from FFX), then watched a National Geographic Special about chupacabras — which led to an uproarious, preteen giggle fit about Arkansas rednecks and chalupacabras (this is what comes of exhaustion) — and then I played more of CoC. What do I think of the game so far? It's gorgeous and creepy as hell. I've been playing two hours and my character hasn't yet gone insane. The voice acting is stiff and hokey and, at time, unintentionally funny. The writing's so-so. But as a whole, so far, it's quite effective. I'm not sure I'd agree with reviewers who've called it the "scariest game ever," but it's pretty scary. I've reached Innsmouth, escaped from a derelict grocery store, been harassed by bug-eyed swamp yankees, and found a hot dame lurking about the gates of the Marsh Refinery (but she won't talk to me). I am very pleased that the game is set in the 1920s. One reason so many film adaptations of Lovecraft have failed so completely is that they attempt to update the material. So, yeah, frelling drad game. I'm currently overwhelmed by all the cool games that have been or soon will be released — Gun, Shadow of the Colossus, Peter Jackson's King Kong, the PS2 port of RE4, Radiata Stories, Kameo: Elements of Power, Ratchet: Deadlocked...the list goes on and on and on. Don't even get me started about Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Clearly, I need a co-conscious clone to do my gaming for me.

Now that DoH is "finished," I can at least begin to seriously consider the Next New Novel. I'm still leaning towards doing a YA dark fantasy. I have two or three ideas that I like, but I think what I do next depends largely on my editor's reaction to DoH. I wish I could say it will depend on the reactions of readers, but the book won't be out for quite some time (I don't yet have even a tentative release date). After I've finished "Bainbridge" and all the editing on DoH and Alabaster, it'll be time to make a decision, to choose a course of action. Maybe by early February. I also have an sf novella to do for Subterranean Press sometime next year, and I'd really like to spend some time on short fiction. In 2005, I'll have written only two short stories (if you don't count the nine vignettes for Frog Toes and Tentacles, and I don't). That's the fewest short stories I've done in a year since I began writing short stories in 1993, and it frustrates me greatly. I'd rather be doing short stories than anything else.

As of this morning, I've accepted 78 subscriptions to Sirenia Digest (though 108 people indicated interest before I started accepting subscriptions — what's up with the remaining thirty people, I do not know). I'd like to have 100 when the first issue goes out, so please, if you said you were interested, subscribe today. I'm very excited about this project, and will probably spend part of today getting the text together so the first PDF can be laid out, if there's time after the work on Threshold. And I see it's 12:31, so it's time to stop yammering and get to work...
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