January 29th, 2006


chocolate and kelpies and...slugs

I'm running an hour or so behind, because I let myself get distracted and obsessed with putting Leonard Cohen songs on my iPod. And there's much to be done today. And tomorrow. And the day after. And yesterday, for that matter. Yesterday I pimped the platypus until the wheels just about fell off. But, Spooky and I made it all the way through the ms. for Alabaster, and I e-mailed it off to subpress about seven-thirty p.m. I'd have sent it earlier, but I was trying to find a closing epigraph for the book, which I never did find. I may add it later. Also, I forgot to include "On the Road to Jefferson" as the afterword, so I need to add it to the file and resend. But yeah, I finally made myself step away from all the stories and say, They're finished. Leave them alone. It's good to have it out of here so I can move along the Thing Number Next. Ted will be turning in his artwork in a couple of weeks. I don't yet have a release date for Alabaster, but I'll post it ASAP.

I forgot to mention in yesterday's entry that my agent has managed to get me an extension on the already extended delivery date for Daughter of Hounds. I now have until March 1st to have it back in New York. Which means I should be able to do it without hurting either the book or myself. We'll be beginning work on the prologue today, about three weeks behind schedule. Sure, the schedule's of my own devising, but that doesn't make the consequences of straying from it any less severe. This is, by the way, the first time I've ever asked for an extension, much less two extensions, on the delivery date of a novel ms. Thank you, Bullet Girl. Thank you, She Who Will Not Be Named.

I'm giving Firefox another go, thanks to tactileson, who pointed me towards a substantially less buggy Beta version. So far, I've only had it seize up once on a form.

I haven't yet had time to identify the trilobite on the cover of La Soglia, but I can see enough of the left free cheek and facial suture, the pleural spines and glabella, that I ought to at least be able to pin it down to one family or another.

The results for the Frog Toes and Tentacles poll have been interesting. I'm very pleased that "'Ode' to Katan Amano" received so many votes, as it's my favourite in the book. Of course, that doesn't mean it's necessarily the best for drawing new readers to Sirenia Digest. Anyway, I thought I'd give it one more day for people who haven't yet voted but would like to do so. Just click here. Thanks.

Last night Spooky and I watched the remake of John Carpenter's The Fog. I've never been a huge fan of the original (1979) and have always been a little perplexed at the way it's revered by many horror fans. However, the original is far and away better than the remake. Why has it become necessary to cast horror films with these perfectly symmetrical, twenty-something mannequins who look like they just walked off the set of some WB series? They're not even pretty. They're just...symmetrical. Give me people who look like people, please, not like pop stars. At any rate, the remake of The Fog fails in almost every way it could. It somehow manages to be bloated with exposition and yet end up making only very little sense. There's way too much so-so CGI and so-so SFX makeup, which renders both the namesake fog and the ghosts from the Elizabeth Dane about as spooky as a Disney theme-park attraction. There are a few subtle, creepy moments, but I suspect they were accidents, since the film seems entirely unaware of their impact as it rushes from one silly slasher-film cliché to the next. Blargh, I say. Afterwards, I read Spooky Angela Carter's "The Erl-King" (The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories) to get the taste of The Fog out of my head. It worked quite well. Carter will always humble me. Right now, it's good to be humbled by another writer's work, as it reminds me how much harder I need to be working. After "The Erl-King," Spooky read me more of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix until I was too sleepy to hear anymore.

And here are photos of Monster Doodle Sculpture #6 (behind the cut). Once again, I drew upon my encyclopedic knowledge of the wildlife of Nebari Prime and sculpted the larval stage of the Roughbacked Puddle Shelt. They inhabit meltwater pools at the northern rim of the great equatorial ice forests (though the adults are arboreal). Note the single gill slit on each side of the throat.

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Okay. I gotta go wake up the platypus. After yesterday, I let the poor thing sleep in...