December 6th, 2005


They shoot writers, don't they?

I fear that this will be a day of the sort that not even Jethro Tull can help. That clear blue sky out there was the first bad omen. There have been several others since breakfast.

I don't think there's really much to be said about yesterday, as I didn't write. I'm beginning to think that I need to phase out "days off" altogether. Only very rarely does anything good come of them. Usually, they just leave me feeling like a bum because I could have used that time for work. Yesterday, we had a late, small lunch at La Fonda on Ponce, then stopped by Borders before the library. But I decided to get my 2006 Tolkien calendar from Amazon and save a few bucks. I did pick up the latest issue of New Witch, mostly for the Faith and the Muse interview. I am ever in awe of Monica. Oh, and if anyone local's interested, there are copies of both Murder of Angels and Low Red Moon at the Borders on Ponce. So, anyway, then it was off to Emory, and I tried to find a copy of Gerald Gardner's Witchcraft Today, but it was shelved over in the theology library, and I didn't feel like making the hike. So, instead, I grabbed Gerhard Maier's African Dinosaurs Unearthed: The Tendaguru Expeditions, which I might have time to read this month. Then I went to the Matheson Reading Room and tried to catch up on my neglected pen and paper journal while Spooky read a paper on dandyism in Fashion Theory (Siouxsie Sioux and Marlene Dietrich were named as examples of female dandies). After the library, we returned Shadow of the Colossus to Blockbuster and swapped it for Gun, then went to the market. While Spooky fixed dinner (chili), I goofed about online. Later, Poppy called and we talked until my cell phone's battery went kaput, mostly about what a shitty year 2005 has been for both of us. Then I tried Gun, but found it very disappointing. I think I'd have found it disappointing even if it wasn't coming on the heels of SotC. The graphics are average, at best. The characters feel like action figures with too few points of articulation. The animation as regards riding horses is especially shabby (and this was something that was handled superbly in SotC). And the game play is clunky and tedious. Sure, there are all these cool actors doing the voices, which I think explains where the designers spent most of their budget — it surely wasn't on the graphics and animation. Anyway, big, big disappointment, and I'll likely move on to something else. There was more insomnia last night. I was up until sometime after four, reading Lord Dunsany — "Why the Milkman Shudders When He Perceives the Dawn," "A Tale of the Equator," and "The Exiles' Club."

Anyway, that was yesterday. At least the clouds and drizzle mercifully hid the blue sky and made the cold seem not quite so cold.

Today, I have to get back to Secret Project B, which means the whole week will likely be consumed by rewriting a pitch that has already been rewritten a dozen times. It's the sort of work that makes me want to put my head through a wall.

The "intelligent design" idiots are on my mind this morning, for one reason or another, but I'm going to do the right thing and resist the urge to waste keystrokes on them. But I have to complain about something. So I'll complain about the inane review of "Riding the White Bull" (in a story-by-story review of The Year's Best Science Fiction #22) at SFSignal. I quote:

...the narrative kept jumping back and forth between multiple points in the story line, usually without warning. The result was to take what could have been a first-rate, hardboiled sf detective story and turn it into a hodgepodge of unorganized passages.

For my part, as the author, I know that "Riding the White Bull" is a good story (and I do not say this about everything I write). And, for what it's worth, the story has received heaps of praise and was chosen for Year's Best. But it still pisses me off when I see people who obviously cannot master anything beyond the simplest narratives being allowed to review books right out in public where anyone can stumble across this crap. There's nothing the least bit unusual or difficult about the narrative of "Riding the White Bull." This reviewer is clearly the sort of person Warner Bros. had in mind when it forced Ridley Scott to add that hokey, gawdawful, "explain it so even the morons can understand" voice-over to the original cut of Blade Runner. I most emphatically don't write for those people. It's a shame I can't also arrange it so that they can't read and comment on what I write. They certainly are not welcome at the party.


Okay. I have to go wait for a phone call. I think a few of the auctions are ending today, so please have a look. Thanks.