June 22nd, 2007

mars

Worm, the pain and blade, turn and turn again...

I wish I could begin this entry by saying that yesterday I wrote X number of words on The Dinosaurs of Mars, X being a number greater than one thousand. That is exactly the way I would like to begin this entry. Unfortunately, yesterday was another day of dithering, and nothing was written. I blame the eight hours of sleep. For the first time in quite a while, my mind was clearer, and suddenly the whole epistolary narrative structure I'd created for the story seemed untenable and unconvincing. Never mind the problems it had solved, because it had, I saw, created so many others. So, there was frustration and anger and panic, and I spent the day reading reports on the Mars Direct Proposal (2003) from the Mars Project and reading from the great stacks of books that have sprouted all about my desk and trying to find a new solution. It's not like this has never happened before, having so much trouble getting into a story. It's just that usually, when it does happen, the story gets shelved and then forgotten about. And this time I will not do that. So, I have to find my way in.

I don't know that I have a lot to say here today. There's too much frustration and dread. I wish I could blame what happened yesterday on a deluge of email (there was such a deluge), but that would be a lie.

I refuse to do this story the wrong way, even if that path might be the most expedient. And at this point, with so much work and so many deadlines before me, there's a lot to be said for expediency.

We could not understand because we were too far and could not remember because we were traveling in the night of First Ages, of those Ages that are gone, leaving hardly a sign—and no memories. The earth seemed unearthly. We are accustomed to look upon the shackled form of a conquered monster, but there—there you could look at a thing monstrous and free...

(Joseph Conrad)

We did have a good walk at dusk. There were many cats, and swallows, and bats. Spooky found half a turquoise robin's egg. Coming out on Freedom Park at Moreland Avenue, we were greeted by the sight of a blimp over downtown Atlanta, which gave me a not-unpleasant moment of disorientation.

My thanks to Mike, who made me smile this morning by sending me this photo of Nar'eth, which he took at Dragon*Con in 2003. Seems a million years ago. The photo's behind the cut. I think it's actually one of the best I've ever seen of her:

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