February 9th, 2006


Fashion Nerd

Okay. I just almost cried over Nick getting booted on Project Runway tonight. Really, I'm that ridiculous. I cheered for Santino (of course), and immediately apologized and got all teary. Someone needs to buy me a clue. Chloe deserved the win, but I know Nick's way more talented than Kara, whom I feel has mostly coasted along on luck and mediocrity. *sigh* Pity me.

anchor off the satellite for lonely hearts

We made it through Chapter Seven of Daughter of Hounds yesterday, which only leaves three to go. With every chapter, I'm a little more sure that, when we reach the end, I'm going to find myself more in love with this book than any of my other novels. Typing that out just brought a small twinge of guilt. But it's true. I only wish that the economics of publishing and eking out one's living as a writer would allow me to spend another year or so polishing the ms. They don't, of course. As it is, I'll be delivering it six weeks late. We'll be finishing the read-through on Saturday, which means I'll have about two weeks to fix and tweak and shine before it goes away to NYC to seek my fortune. I forgot to mention that one of the things I talked with Merrilee (my lit agent) about on Monday was whether or not the novel should be set at Xmas. Because I wanted the book to be a winter book, I set it at Xmas, forgetting that kids in the northeast get a February holiday. As I wrote it, I became more and more certain that setting it at Xmas was a mistake. One of the few "rules" I took to heart from those college writing classes was that any book or story set at Xmas automatically becomes an Xmas story. Which could be disastrous for Daughter of Hounds for several reasons. And, on Monday, Merrilee agreed with me. So one of the first things I'll be doing is deXmasing the novel, and moving the main narrative from late December to sometime in February,which also means moving most of the story from the year 2009 to 2010. It doesn't change Emmie Silvey's age (8), as her birthday's October 31st. It should be a fairly easy change to make.

And it looks like Sirenia Digest #3 will be on time this month, which is a relief. I've finished all three vignettes (I did a little more work on "Eisoptrophobia: A Sketch" on Tuesday; though it's the shortest piece, I've probably put in the most work on it). The total word count for this month (excluding the prologue thingy) will be about 5,682. On Tuesday, Vince sent me the pencils for the kelpie vignette, and they're looking gorgeous. So, yeah, I think it's safe to expect the digest on the 14th, as planned.

And it looks like we'll be beginning the auction for letter S of Frog Toes and Tentacles, complete with velvet and silk "cozy," sometime tomorrow. Spooky's finishing up the "cozy" as I type this. And I'm toying with the idea of putting together a Daughter of Hounds DVD, a sort of a documentary revisiting many of the locales I used in the novel, Providence and Ipswich and such. There are a lot of details that would have to be ironed out, but I think it'd be nice, especially since there are no plans for a limited edition and since I've never done anything much with film before. We shall see.

After we finally finished up with work yesterday, Spooky and I drove out to The Phoenix and the Dragon in Sandy Springs and treated ourselves to new wands (willow for me, maple for her) and a new cauldron. We've been so frugle lately, it was a nice little indulgence. I also picked up a copy of Jane Raeburn's Celtic Wicca (Citadel Press, 2001) which is shaping up to be one of the most sensible and scholarly books on the Celtic path I've yet to encounter. She doesn't shun archaeology and anthropology and has no qualms about dismissing inaccurate (but cherished and oft repeated) historical misconceptions about the Celts. I'll say more on the book when I've finished it.

Also, I read another paper in the new JVP, "A new oviraptorosaur (Theropoda, Maniraptora) from the Late Cretaceous (Campanian) of Utah." Christened Hagryphus giganteus, it's one of the largest oviraptorosaurs. And speaking of new theropods, I'm hoping to make it to the library this evening to photocopy the Nature paper on the new basal tyrannosauroid, Guanlong wucaii, from the Cretaceous of northwestern China. It sounds like an awesome little beast (reconstruction below; note that the feathers and coloration are conjectural). Okay, time to make the doughnuts...

Guanlong wucaii (Zhongda Zhang/IVPP)