January 2nd, 2006


A January of Parties (to which I am likely not invited)

It's not bad outside. Rainy. Clouds to hide the indecent blue sky. And the temperature is supposed to soar almost to 70F. Unfortunately, this means the rest of the week will be cold and clear. So, I'll take what I can from today and hold it until the warmth returns again. Ena sn'ial.

I have Jethro Tull cranked up today, trying to keep this whole winter thing at bay.

Also, I ditched Firefox this a.m. It was just entirely too buggy to endure. Spooky's using an earlier version, which seems to work better. That makes sense. Isn't their some law of software about the inverse relationship between "improvements" and function? If not, there ought to be. Anyway, now I'm back on Safari, which seems like an old friend after wrestling with Firefox for a couple of weeks.

The writing went well enough yesterday. I did 1,005 words on the twelfth section, but didn't reach it's conclusion. I'll do that today and hopefully get the thirteenth section written, as well. "Bainbridge" will probably have fourteen sections, total. To date, the story's 12,949 words long, which comes to 58 double-spaced typed pages. I suppose that it's edging into "novella" territory. I know that I need it to be finished. At this point, I've spent something like 18 days with this story. Even if there wasn't other work that needed doing, I'd be looking for the door marked "exit." I desperately need to be done with it. So much of me has gone into this one. In some ways, it's been like going back and revisiting an earlier me, since it was an earlier me who birthed Dancy Flammarion, but, in other ways which will no doubt be very obvious to the informed reader, this story is going to draw attention to the schism between the earlier me and the new me as no other book or story has previously done. I think one reason this story has been so difficult is that this is me trying to leave a period of work behind. I am finishing with Dancy. Oddly, I'm finishing by telling the first story. Well, not counting whatever went down in the cabin on Eleanore Road before she started her journey that ends with Threshold ("You know, like Caine in Kung Fu. Just walk from town to town, meet people, get in adventures."). It's also the story of her mother. It's also another story entirely. You'll see. Me, I just want it finished.

matociquala has written a very good entry on the subject of writing commercial fiction; just click here. Me, I can't do cartwheels for shit. Lately, I've found myself wanting to, really. I want to be a cartwheelin' fool. But I think I'm too tall and can't gather the requisite momentum to get my damn long legs off the ground. So, I keep writing these strange, unwieldy books no one much wants to read, no matter how many print critics heap praise upon them. I keep writing these books which do not neatly fit the "three-act" model. The last time anyone saw one of my books in an airport or grocery store was the original mass-market paperback release of Silk back in 1998. And we all know how well that went. Since then, I've set about writing the only way I know how. My books and stories are written to entertain no one but me. I am the only audience which I have in mind (and sometimes Spooky). If it turns out that someone else is entertained, it makes me very, very happy, especially if enough other people are entertained that my sales go up a little. But it's just not enough incentive to force me to learn the cartwheel trick. If it were, I'd be writing Bullet Girl #1 right now instead of tryting to decide what my next novel will be. My agent lectures me about "accessibility," and I know that she means well, and I do try to listen; I haven't the heart to tell her she's casting pearls before swine. Anyway, read what the Bear has to say. I don't want to highjack her entry, but it might well have been subtitled "Why Caitlín's books don't sell."

And yet, you can buy some of them on eBay, particularly the specialty press editions that have sold out. Please give our new auctions a look. The Dry Salvages is really quite good. That is, it entertained me. I wrote it because not enough people are writing the sort of sf that I want to read. I think docbrite described it as a "ripping good space yarn," which is very accurate. That's what it was meant to be, more or less. And subpress has sold out. You can get it cheaper, but not if you want it personalized by me. It was read by a number of the Big Hollywood Producers and Directors, though, ultimately, it was deemed too "literary" for film. Whatever. Anyway, we have copies up on eBay. Also, consider starting the year off right with a subscription to Sirenia Digest. I promise you there will not be one single cartwheel, but there are freakish contortionist acts aplenty.

Crap, I think I have a hangover...