February 8th, 2007

Shaw

God hates God (inescapable conclusion #89)

The writing at last went well yesterday, the first truly good writing day I've had since January 31st. No forced march, though. Still, I did 1,355 words on a new SFish piece for Sirenia Digest. Something that presently has no title. Something I almost did not even begin writing, it seems so grim, and I don't wish to be grim right now. But I'm writing it anyway, because I think it "wants" to be written. The quotation marks there merely signify that I do not actually think one should speak of herhisits fiction in teleological terms. Anyway, Spooky read what I wrote yesterday and liked it a lot, which is good, as I was uncertain.

My agent has read the three-page fleshed out proposal for Joey LaFaye, and she loves it.

So far, it appears that Daughter of Hounds is selling better than all my previous novels have sold, excepting Silk. This is a Very Good Thing. It's not actually fair to compare sales of Silk and Daughter of Hounds, however, as the former was a $6.50 mmp and the latter is a $14 tpb. And Silk had loads more publicity, and I was loads sexier back then.

I have noted, with some amusement, that people are less likely to comment on these entries when I actually talk about how I write and how I feel about writing. Yesterday, for example. Now, if I talk about magick or dreams or movies or being accosted by homophobic winos, people talk, usually. Discussions of writing tends to clog the pores, block the bowels, back up the plumping...so to speak. But that's okay, 'cause it bores me to.

To wit, I have been watching the reactions of various readers to Daughter of Hounds, as expressed in blogs and elsewhere on the interweb, and a curious sort of pattern has emerged. Most everyone is saying very positive things about it, but there's a small number who feel that I've abandoned what's best about my fiction, that Daughter of Hounds is too concrete, the pacing is too fast, not enough atmosphere, that too much is resolved, that the sense of mystery has been lost, and so forth. These people tend to cite Threshold or Silk as my best novels, or they think my writing works better in short fiction (I agree with that latter sentiment, but that's primarily because I think almost everyone's writing works better in short stories; novels are grotesque, unwieldy things in all but the most capable hands.). However, there is also a small number who feel rather strongly that this is my best novel...for these very same reasons listed above by people who think it's my worst. I find that remarkable, and it also makes perfect sense, that Daughter of Hounds would create this sort of polarization. I could point to specific examples, but people would only feel picked on, so I shan't.

I was kind of amused by whoever referred to Emmie Silvey as a deus ex machina plot device, in her timely arrival beneath Woonsocket (I shall not say more, as I do not wish to spoil the story for those who've not yet read it). I would argue that in a novel where "larger forces" are clearly at work, concerns about deus ex machina solutions are irrelevant, especially when the convergence was set in motion very early in the novel. And, in any case, wouldn't Pearl be the actual deus ex machina? Or her father, the alchemist? But, anyway...

We had an excellent walk yesterday, the first excellent walk we've had since December, most likely. We headed west. There was some sort of film shoot blocking the south end of Seminole. Turns out the filming was being done on the roof of Junkman's Daughter. Probably a music video. We headed down Sinclair Ave., pausing to play with Daisy Dog and say "hi" to the Dinosaur of Sinclair Ave. Despite all the cold, there were still buds and blooms everywhere. The temps went as high as 64F before the afternoon was over. We walked all the way to the intersection of Sinclair and Carmel before turning back for home. I wish I'd taken the camera.

Back home, Spooky opened the windows to air the place out, and the warmth hung around long enough that my office window wasn't closed until 5:53 p.m. (CaST). It gives me hope for spring. Last night, after dinner, I played quite a bit of Final Fantasy XII, picking my way through Giruvegan, which is one of the most breathtaking things I've ever seen in any video game. The House on Ash Tree Lane meets V'ger, or something like that. Later, I finished reading Christopher G. Janus and William Brashler's The Search for Peking Man (1975) and didn't get to sleep until just after 4 a.m. (again).

And this entry has gone on far too long. And there's still stuff I wanted to squeeze in. Maybe I'll do an addendum later today. But a quick thanks to Poppy (docbrite), and she knows why.
Shaw

Addendum: The Ravens Four, Herzog, Vanity, & etc.

Well, actually, there probably is not "& etc.," but it looked good in the header. Maybe this explanation is, itself, the "& etc.," which makes a wonderful sort of loop.

As of this evening, three of the Ravens Four have bids. Only poor Raven Blue languishes unbid upon. I'm sure this situation will soon be remedied, but raven wizards...you know how they get. Touchy beasts, that lot. So, yes, a reminder that the Ravens Four auctions continue apace. And by the way, anyone who wants to keep up with Spooky's wild pagan doll makin' exploits, have a look at squid_soup.

Speaking of Spooky, she's become quite taken with ditl, or "Day in the Life." She's done a few of them now, the most recent just yesterday. I'm in love with the swirly coffee and cream galaxy photo. The ichthyosaur pin, that's mine, of course. Have a look at her most recent ditl, if you're the curious sort. I think I may soon do a ditl of my own.

Some part of my mind continues to toy with Herzog's The Wild Blue Yonder, and, upon this further reflection, I've come to think what's most important about the film is not whether the Andromedan refugee is just a lunatic or the problems with the wonky science. What matters most about The Wild Blue Yonder is its very simple message: screw up this planet so badly humans cannot live here, and despite all your "science fiction fantasies," there's really nowhere else to go. Nowhere within reach. This is most cogently and poignantly expressed in Brad Dourif's rambling explanation of the vastness of space and the problems presented trying to reach even the nearest stars with conventional rocketry or at even a relatively significant fraction of the speed of light.

Oh, wait. There was an "& etc." after all. The thing about ditl. Though I haven't gotten around to vanity yet. Just wanted to say I was emphatically not fishing for either compliments or comments in this mornings post. Just talking, that's all. That's all this journal is, just me talking (but, yes, it's nice to know people are listening).

Okay. Now I must rest and amuse myself...