March 20th, 2007


Reading Silk (part two)

I'm so not awake yet. Perhaps, by the time I finish this entry, I shall be awake. There's warm sunlight pouring in through the office window, and I think that's helping. We have clouds heading in later this afternoon, so I wanted to see the sun while I can. This is the first office I've had that I haven't made into a "black box." Or, rather, I did, but then I uncovered one of the windows last year. Or the year before. I don't know. I'm not yet awake enough to access memories that far back. The garbage truck is making a terrible racket outside. Only six hours sleep last night, and I have Mr. Hubero to blame for that. These days, I seem to need seven hours.

Yesterday was an entirely frustrating sort of day. There were errands to run, and for some reason I cannot now recall, I determined that I should go along. The bank, the post office, the market, etc. & etc., all of which seriously cut into time that should have been spent on Silk. Still, we managed to get through chapters Five ("Robin") and Six ("Keith"). So, this ayem, the Zokutou page meter looks like this:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
143 / 354

In many ways it's not easy, reading a book written by the me of 1993-1996. But I think the thing that's annoying me the most is simply that I wrote Silk in past tense, which I suppose is the default fiction tense. Only the dream/hallucination sequences are present tense. So, all the flashbacks are past perfect, and I absolutely loathe past-perfect tense. It's one of the main reasons I started writing everything in present tense, to avoid past perfect and all those goddamn clunky uses of had. I remember sometime in 1997 or 1998, a phone conversation with Neil, and I told him that my one major regret about Silk was that I'd written it in past tense. He said something like, "Well, you can write the next novel in present tense." And I did. And I have written every novel (and almost everything else) thereafter in present tense. I have never understood the reliance on past tense by novelists. I find it counter-intuitive. This may be because I view most fiction as something happening now, in the moment it's being read, not a recollection written down. More like a movie. Movies occur, usually, in present tense (though the tense is rarely made explicit). You see things as they happen. I want you to read the things I write as they happen. I want the books to have that immediacy. But, yes, Silk is past tense, and the past perfect is driving me to distraction.

Somewhere after the errands, but before the reading of Chapter Six, we walked through L5P and up and down Sinclair Avenue. The dogwoods are just now blooming. The tulip poplars bloomed about a week back, I think. And all the green in the trees comes as a great relief.

I have decided to take offline next month, so if you want to have a good last look around the place, you should do it soon. The truth is, it's been sitting there neglected for over a year now. "The Girl Who Sold the World" fic seems to have stalled for good, and...I don't know. I just keep not getting back to work on the site. Meanwhile, I'm paying $240 a year to keep it stagnant. I have resolved to keep the domain squatted, in case I should ever want to get back to it, and the costuming page will go up somewhere on my redesigned website (the writing one). My thanks to everyone who has helped out with since it first went online in September '02. I'll be sad to see it go, but sometimes we do finally, reluctantly have to move along.

Last night...what happened last night? Ah, yeah. We read more Cannery Row, chapters XII through XX, and I wrote a Wikipedia entry for Dallasaurus while Spooky worked on a new doll. I think I started on the Dallasaurus entry @ 9 p.m. and finished up @ 11:15 p.m. Also, I read the type description of the marine varanoid lizard Judeasaurus tchernovi and had a hot bath and caught Hubero wearing one of my bras. I have no problem with having a cross-dressing cat, but he's gonna have to get his own damn frilly underthings.

Right. I need breakfast and coffee, ibuprofen and 300 mg. of thiamin. Then it's back to Silk...

I am still not awake.