September 7th, 2006


This, that, and the other.

Colleen Mondor has written a very nice review of Alabaster for Bookslut. And yesterday, Bill Schafer of subpress e-mailed to tell me that the book is selling well. Now, if only my books from Roc would sell as well as my books from subpress; remember, you can order Daughter of Hounds with Alabaster from for only $27.20.

Yesterday went well enough. I wrote until 5:28 p.m. and did another 833 words on "Untitled 23," which I hope to finish today. I read more Angela Carter, "Peter and the Wolf" (1982), and we made a trip over to Emory's Woodruff Library. I came back with Lizzie Borden: The Legend, the Truth, the Final Chapter by Arnold R. Brown (Rutledge Hill Press, 1991), Lovecraft at Last: The Master of Horror in His Own Words (Willis Conover, ed.; Cooper Square Press, 2002), and The Cult of Alien Gods: H. P. Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture by Jason Colavito (Prometheus Books, 2005). The latter is proving a delight, as it examines the connection between Lovecraft's mythology of alien "gods" visiting earth and shaping the course of human history with the ancient-astronaut and lost-civilization "theories" of various New Age and pseudosceintific crazes. Later, after warming up Tuesday's stoup, we watched Mythbusters and Project Runway. At last, finally, we are rid of Vincent! I loved Jeffrey's dress, and Uli's, too. Later, I read yet more Angela Carter, "Master" (1974), followed by Thomas Ligotti's "The Shadow at the Bottom of the World" (from Grimscribe: His Life and Works, 1991). I adore this tale, with its sublime language, masterful suggestion, and echoes of Lovecraft's "The Colour Out of Space." If ever I were to edit a collection of the most important Weird tales of the late 20th Century, "The Shadow at the Bottom of the World" would definitely be included. Anyway, that was yesterday.

Spooky worked on the Barker. I think she got his pants made. He's proving a difficult old fart to dress.

Oh, I was informed by Robert Morrish that Thrillers 2 should be out from Cemetery Dance Publications before the end of the year. It includes two long stories by me, both "Houses Under the Sea" and "The Daughter of the Four of Pentacles".

Also, I wanted to link to this article from, which sclerotic_rings was good enough to point out, concerning continuing and conflicting claims by creationists of the discovery of "Noah's Ark." I recall when I was teaching BY 104 at UAB, back in '86 and '87. I'd begin the first lecture of each quarter by stating that there would be absolutely no discussion of creationism, as the domain of the course was evolutionary biology, not religion. Once, a student protested, insisting that "Noah's Ark" had been discovered by scientists on Mt. Ararat in Turkey. I asked her which particular time she was referring to, as my familiarity with creationist lit allowed me to site three or four separate "discoveries" made on entirely different parts of the mountain. She looked embarrassed, shut up, and the subject was not raised again.

Anyway, the time has come to find THE END. Again. Actually, it's sort of like finding "Noah's Ark," now that I think about it. No matter how many times I claim to have found it, THE END will always turn up somewhere else, farther along.

The How-To-Write-A-Novel Meme

I just saw this in matociquala's LJ, the "How-To-Write-A-Novel" meme, and I thought no, no no, don't even go there. Because whatever it is that I do, I think I've yet to find someone else who does it quite the same way, and I rankle at the suggestion that writing can be approached with anything like a formula. But. Then I thought of a scene from Vincente Minnelli's Lust for Life (1956), in which Georges-Pierre Seurat pedantically explains to a mystified Vincent Van Gogh how he, Seurat, has reduced the art of painting to dry mathematics. Which is pretty much how all "how to" approaches to writing leave me — mystified. But, also. I must admit that, while my own method of writing, in as much as I can claim to have a method, falls much nearer to Van Gogh's approach to painting than to Seurat's, I am quite fond of Seurat's paintings. So, regardless of how I may feel about applying scientific and/or reductionist philosophies to art, I must admit that at least Seurat's method worked for him. Which, I would hasten to add, is the one and only great "how-to" truth of writing a novel: What might work for me probably won't work for you. Or, to quote the Bear quoting John Gorka: "What once worked for you will not work for me." Anyway, because it seems to me that both Van Gogh and Seurat were capable of great things, I figure I can bring myself to give this strange meme a shot (behind the cut, because I know you might have better things to do):

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