November 19th, 2006


Emily doesn't aim at all.

Okay. So, I didn't finish "The Lovesong of Lady Ratteanrufer" yesterday. In all likelihood, this is because I am a goober. That and the fact that the story keeps stretching. The more I write, the more there seems to be of it to write. But I did write. I wrote a perfectly respectable 1,250 words on the story. But then Byron called. He and Jim were at the Plaza for the "8 Films to Die For" horrorfest thingy, and they lured me away from the iBook for the 4 p.m. (CST, not CaST) screening of The Abandoned, which Spooky and I had been wanting to see because Richard Stanley (Hardware, Dustdevil) had a hand in the screenplay. It seems my old discipline has deserted me, and I have to find a way to get it back, elsewise the next few months will do me in. But, still, it seems almost inconceivable that I will not finally finish the story today.

Yesterday, the postman brought the new issue of Fantasy Magazine (#4), and it's definitely the best looking issue yet. The cover painting, by Natalie Shau, is superb. The mail also brought a modest royalty check for "Bela's Plot" (from PZB's Love in Vein II). To date, of something like seventy short-fiction sales, exactly and only two have earned me regular royalties: "Bela's Plot," which I sold in 1995, and "The Dead and the Moonstruck," which I sold in 2003. If only all my short stories earned for me beyond the advance, things would be a little easier hereabouts.

Here's a question by omegacanary from the comments to Friday's LJ entry: This is completely off topic...Does Salammbô have a story behind her exodus? I always wondered...The end of the Salmagundi/Jimmy DeSade story line...Crushing is about the best I could describe it, in a good way.

Yes, I always intended to write more about Salammbô Desvernine, and intended for those stories to be part of Tales of Pain and Wonder, but it just never happened. Or at least it hasn't happened yet. I was so infatuated with Jimmy and Salmagundi. For a while, it seemed as though I only had eyes for them. I suspect I may get back around to Salammbô someday.

By the way, there were some great comments to Friday's entry, mostly regarding the problem of fluffy-bunny Neo-Paganism and the Shadow defanged.

As for Nacho Cerdà's The Abandoned (2006), I found it quite good. Jim wanted more exposition when all was said and done, but I was content with the mysteries. A woman goes to the Russian wilderness looking for answers about her family and finds doppelgängers and worse things. The film makes marvelous use of sound, which I continue to find one of the most effective ways of frightening and unnerving and sewing disquiet. It's a very different sort of haunted house story, not nearly as gory as I'd expected (though the thing with the pigs was pretty rough). The cinematography is beautiful and makes expert use of shadows and half-glimpsed things, decay and the story's bleak environs, to create a crushing sort of eerieness that relies largely on suggestion. After the film, I bumped into Garrett Peck, whom I'd not seen in at least a couple of years, and we talked briefly. Oh, and Spooky won an "8 Films to Die For" T-shirt.

Must. Write. Now. The platypus insists. Sheheit's already given me detention. Never push an ornithorhynchid monotreme too far.