December 13th, 2005


Slugs and Pseudopodia?

I spent most of the last week on Secret Project B, which, by my reckoning (and day planner), makes about two full months I've invested in the endeavour since it all began back in September. And yesterday I walked away from it. Having grown up very, very poor, walking away from possible work is still about the hardest thing for me to do. Anyway, at least it doesn't have to be a secret anymore. It was a monthly for Vertigo called Bullet Girl, and had it ever come to fruition, it might have been a very cool book. We made it through the first committee review thingy and there was considerable interest in the project from DC higher ups. But, at some point, I became hopelessly bogged down in the story and all the endless proposal tweaking, and finally it became clear to me that I'd burned out on the whole affair. So yesterday I bowed out, because I knew that my heart was no longer in it. I feel bad about it. I feel very, very bad about it. But it was my decision. At some future date, once I've finished Alabaster and Daughter of Hounds and probably the next couple of novels, after all that, I'll likely have another go at Vertigo. I'd very much like to be doing comics again. Anyway, that's that. Move along.

Add this to the list of things that writers have to learn: when and how to walk away.

Thanks to everyone whose let me know that Frog Toes and Tentacles has reached them. From yesterday's LJ comments and a few e-mails, I see it's already reached people all over North America and as far away as Sweden. And I'm very pleased that everybody seems happy with the book. I'm in love with it, myself. I'd like to hear more of your thoughts on it. Today, I'll be laying out Sirenia Digest and sending it off to my PDF guru. Issue #1 may go out as soon as tomorrow. It's not too late to subscribe. Oh, and Vince's illustration for "Madonna Littoralis" is superb.

Here's an e-mail from Tyler Haywood re: Frog Toes and Tentacles:

I was reading over the list of influences at the beginning, and was wondering if you had ever heard of Zdzislaw Beksinski, a Polish surrealist. His oil paintings are very evocative and perhaps something you'd like. Anyway, the link is below. Hope you enjoy it. Beksinski

I'm a great admirer of Beksinski's work and reported his murder in my March 2nd, 2005 entry. One of the frustrating things about Frog Toes and Tentacles was that I needed to keep the acknowledgments to one page, even though I had far more than a single page's worth of people who'd helped inspire the pieces. In turn, one of the good things about doing a second volume will be having a second chance to acknowledge all the artists who weren't mentioned the first time. Like Aubrey Beardsley, for example. I'm astounded I didn't squeeze him into that long list.

There's not much to say about yesterday. Most of it was spent in an unproductive black funk. I did finish an interview (more on this in my next entry). It was really too cold for a walk, though I attempted one anyway. Last night, Spooky and I had slices at Fellini's, then watched Little Big Man, which she'd never seen, and which I'd never seen widescreen. It's one of my very favourite films. That was probably the best part of yesterday.

Time to make the bloody doughnuts. Please take a look at the current eBay auctions. My thanks, by the way, to the folks who purchased that copy of Candles for Elizabeth and the Aberrations #27. You'll be getting a little something extra in your packages.

Addendum: interview and meme

There's a new interview up at I seem to have become a little more agreeable to doing interviews the last few months than I was for a long while.

I haven't done a meme in a bit, and as we're barreling towards Solstice, this one seemed appropriate:

1. What did you do in 2005 that you'd never done before?

Had a story selected for The Year's Best Science Fiction.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

No and more than likely.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes. My maternal grandmother died in January.

5. What countries did you visit?

No new ones. *sigh*

6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005?

Travel. Peace. A little more money.

7. What date from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

October 9th, but it's best if I don't explain. It's nothing good.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Surviving another year.

9. What was your biggest failure?

The failure to salvage a sixteen-year-old friendship that unexpectedly went up like a thermonuclear bomb.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Yeah, but again, it's something I'd rather not discuss.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

That's a wonderfully materialistic question. Hmmm. My iPod? I really didn't make a lot of purchases.

14. Where did most of your money go?

That's easy. Rent.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Seeing the Decemberists in May. The publication of To Charles Fort, With Love and Frog Toes and Tentacles. Mine and Spooky's third anniversary. Titan. Wicca. Serenity.

16. What song will always remind you of 2005?

The Decemberists' "My Mother was a Chinese Acrobat." Also, Frou Frou's "Psychobabble."

Eh...that was a little odd and unremarkable. Maybe I should have looked at the questions before I decided to do this. We need more imaginative memes, people.
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