December 31st, 2005


I never imagined I could leave

A good writing day yesterday. Hard as all hezmana, but good, nonetheless. I did 1,237 words on "Bainbridge," beginning and finishing "X. Blood and Fire." I'm finding the pure fantasy sections the hardest to write, which really shouldn't be a surprise. At this point, the total word count stands at 10,939. And this is a story that I'd thought wouldn't go past 10K words. It just keeps getting bigger. I keep finding new scenes. The story has really turned out to encompass more events that when originally conceived, but I continue to discover there are things I need to see which I'd believed, at first, would remain implied and offstage. This, kiddos, is one of the reasons I detest and avoid outlines. This story is a perfect example of the "organic" or "execution driven" nature of my writing, why it resists high concepts, synopsizing, outlining, and so forth. It happens as it happens. Beyond the broadest strokes, I only know what happens when it happens. Sometimes I'm even wrong about the broadest strokes. In Low Red Moon, for example, I had no intention of the whole roadtrip-from-hell thing. The book was "supposed" to be set entirely in Birmingham. But that wasn't the story, as it turned out. The final third of the story lay elsewhere. Anyway, yes, I'm not sure how long "Bainbridge" will be at this point. As long as it takes. Maybe 13,000 words, which means I was way off when I predicted I'd have finished by this past Thursday afternoon. Maybe Monday afternoon.

I know I did a quick thank you earlier for Solstice/Cephalopodmas gifts, but I feel I should be a little more specific. Thanks to Gordon Duke (thingunderthest) for Michel Houellebecq's H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life. Now I have to finish up Gerhard Maier's book on Tendaguru so I can get to it! Thanks to Leh'agvoi (setsuled) for the Serenity DVD (drad!). Thanks to David Lemoine (tactileson) for a copy of Rapture of the Deep: The Art of Ray Troll, which is utterly gorgeous. Thanks to Blu (blu_muse) for a copy of The Devil's Backbone and a wonderful assortment of herbal charms, including a couple constructed to ward off nightmares, one of which now resides inside my pillow. Thanks to Robin (mellawyrden) for the kind thoughts, which were much appreciated. I don't think I've forgotten anyone.

So, as this is the final day of the year, I feel obligated to do some sort of "in review" list. At breakfast, Spooky and I sat trying to think of good things about 2005, and it was almost impossible. From where I stand, this year is best forgotten entirely. Too much misfortune and evil rests between its first day and its last, and it should be sealed in lead and shot into the sun. It should be struck from off the calendars, so that history proceeds from 2004 directly to 2006. Well, okay, there were some good movies. I'll list those. My favourite movies of 2005, which is not to say these are in some objective sense the "best" movies of the year. It's just that I loved them, and they should be commended for helping to bring the slimmest silver lining to an otherwise reprehensible year:

1. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
2. The War of the Worlds
3. King Kong
4. MirrorMask
5. Memoirs of a Geisha
6. Serenity
7. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

It's a short list, and in no particular order, but there you go. Seven films that made me smile during a year with very damn few smiles. Perhaps 2006 will be better, and I hope with ever stingy scrap of optimism I possess that it shall. I'm keeping all my digits crossed that Tropical Storm Zeta is not a taste of what's to come.

Okay. Cue music. Close curtain. Someone get the lights. Let's sweep this hateful bitch out the door.

Yeah, you. 2005. Go! Now! And don't come back!
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