July 13th, 2006


The envelope, please.

Among the day's other various unsavory duties, I could find no further excuse to delay the opening of the dread envelope containing the copy-edited manuscript of Daughter of Hounds. Spooky even captured the moment (behind the cut). However, I only glanced at some of the pages and have not yet begun to stet. Perhaps tomorrow. The ms. has to be back in NYC by the 21st, so the sooner I finish with it the better (especially considering all the other work and the preparations for our New England trip). This is my last chance to make significant changes to the book, though I don't presently anticipate much in the way of additional editing.

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Thus goes the glamorous life of the writer...

Postscript: Also, congratulations to Elizabeth Bear (matociquala) on the news of her forthcoming short-fiction collection from Subterranean Press. I, for one, am very much looking forward to it!

The Belated Entry (A Nonlinear Play in Several Acts)

Act 1: Though all these deadlines and the impending trip to Rhode Island have placed me in a situation wherein I need to be writing every single waking moment, and though I said that stuff about Gandalf and Pippin and the deep breath before the plunge, and though I am surely one of the most productive writers I've ever personally met (if I do say so myself, and I do)...still, I'm not an assembly line. I cannot write as an assembly line, no matter how much I may desire to or need to. On Tuesday, I finished "The Cryomancer's Daughter (Murder Ballad No. 3)" and had every intention of beginning a vignette for Tales from the Woeful Platypus on Wednesday. When writing on Wednesday fizzled, I resolved it would happen on Thursday. And here I am, and it's getting late on Thursday, and I have only a title — "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Ghoul" — and a handful of ideas and about two hundred discarded words. Because I'm not a gaddamn assembly line, though it's not for any lack of trying. Because the words come only when the words come. Maybe by Saturday, I'll be writing again. Please cross your fingers, toes, and/or pedipalps on my behalf.

Act 2: A free (yes, FREE) e-version of my sf novella The Dry Salvages will soon be available from Subterranean Press. I do not yet know all the formats it will be available in. As many as possible, I suppose. One of the things I'll be doing during the trip is reading over the story again and creating a revised text for Bill Schafer. This is what we call an experiment. Hopefully, something good will come of it.

Act 3: Though I have been silent on the subject of late, I continue to practice and identify as Wiccan, but I also continue the search for some branch of neopaganism with which I am much more compatible. Most recently, this has led me to investigate Feri. And I must admit there are some aspects which I find attractive: the general absence of heterocentrism and gender polarity, no general adherence to the "threefold law," an emphasis on ecstasy rather than fertility, and so forth. And yet, it also has much that annoys me to distraction: incorporation of the myth of the "Attacotti" or whatever you choose to call Murray's Pictish "little people," Victor Anderson's preposterous claim to have been initiated into a preexisting witchcraft tradition at the age of nine in the Oregon woods, the inclusion of aspects of Xtian mysticism, claims to antiquity and a prehistoric origin, etc. Mostly, I feel as though I'm chasing my tail round and round. There are days, like today, where I cannot begin to understand what ever set me on this path, why I could not be content with my dogged rationalism, but then I go and have a day (or night) when I understand precisely what precipitated this search.

Act 4: Yes, of course I'm watching Project Runway 3. But so far, I have no clear favourites, and all I know for sure is that I loathe Malan Breton with a passion. I believe the word which best describes him is oleaginous, both in the sense of a thing being oily and in that other sense relating to smugness and all that is unctuous. Put another way, ewww. The man makes me want to bathe, and I fear he'll be around most of the season.

Act 5: I spent part of yesterday listening to Thom Yorke's solo album, The Eraser, which I quite like.

Act 6: Also yesterday, Spooky and I made a second trip to the "pet sematary" to get more photographs, and this time we discovered it seems to have some peculiarities relating to our perception of its overall size. When I wrote of it on the 11th, I said that is was "maybe three feet across at its widest point." The first thing that struck me upon seeing it the second time was that it was considerably larger than that, perhaps four feet wide. However, I paced it off and Spooky and I were both astounded to discover that it is actually about eight feet at the oval's widest (east-west) dimension. I paced it off again. Again, eight feet. Looking at it, it really appears no more than four feet wide. I'm assuming there's some perfectly ordinary explanation for this discretion between our perceptions and our measurements. We'll be going back with a tape measure to try to figure it out. Meanwhile, more photos (behind the cut):

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Act 7: Simian Publishing has posted the cover for Into the Dreamlands, which will reprint "So Runs the World Away." It looks like this:

Act 8: Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. We'd have listed more items, were we not presently so busy. Note that the copy of the subpress hardback of Low Red Moon is one of the few I have, which means it's one of the very few I will be auctioning. So, if you want to get this particular edition of the book from me, you really might want to bid. And, as always, thanks muchly.