February 4th, 2010


Howard Hughes turns 12.

1. I realized, day before yesterday, that I'd miscalculated* how many days I'd not left the House, by including the last day Out in the tally. Which means that today, not yesterday, is Day 12. Yesterday I set the record, today I break it. Then, says Spooky, I have to leave the House.

2. Talking about the Oscars yesterday, I neglected to say that what I personally consider to be the best and most important film of the year, John Hillcoat's adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's The Road, was snubbed and completely shutout. In part I blame the Weinstein Company's half-assed release of the film. But it's all rather inexplicable, since pretty much everyone in the Academy would have had access to the film, regardless of a general release. In the end, I chalk it up to the film hitting a little too close to the mark, being too true, saying too much that people didn't want to hear. And I'm sure all sorts of crazy politics of which I am not aware are at play here. But yeah, it's sort of hard for me to take the Oscars seriously this year, and their failure to recognize The Road is the biggest reason why.

3. Yesterday evening, Sirenia Digest #50 went out to subscribers. By now, you should have it. I never, ever imagined the digest would make it to fifty. Well, technically, fifty-one, since the first issue, in November '05, was #0. My thanks to Gordon Duke (thingunderthest) for being patient with my annoying requests last night, as I tweaked this and that and the other. Anyway, I do hope everyone enjoys it. I'm very pleased with "Hydrarguros." But yeah, fifty issues. Wow, and as I said in the latest prolegomena, thank you to all the subscribers:

4. jacobluest asked: Out of curiosity, because you've written so freaking much: I'm seeing your stuff with anthologies that are invitation-only for submissions...like Eclipse is now. I'm trying to build a cosmology here, so I know where to build my ladder. Is it normal practice to get to a point in your career where people are approaching you as a successful writer more than you need to approach them for publishing short stories? Does that wheel ever start turning the other way?

I've been writing almost exclusively for invitation-only anthologies since the very beginning, in 1993 and 1994. I virtually never send someone an unsolicited manuscript, and I haven't in...about fifteen years, I think. How it happened that way, well, I just got lucky, truth be told. But a lot of this is about networking and getting your work seen by the editors and publishers who produce those anthologies. I guess what I'm really trying to say is, I'm not sure how to answer this question, as my path to becoming an established author was a bit odd. I don't have much in the way of useful advice, especially when you factor in that the publishing industry today is so greatly changed from that of the early '90s.

5. Last night, Spooky and I watched Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds for the second time. I think I was actually more amazed by it the second time through. Truly, this is Tarantino's masterpiece thus far. Before the movie, Spooky made a very yummy dinner of roast chicken and potatoes (with lots of onion and garlic), and also brussels sprouts with chestnuts. I ate until I thought I'd burst.

After the movie I tried to play a little WoW, but coming on the heels of a week of rp in Insilico, I was completely unable to get back into the game. Everything seemed so very, very silly. And I think I realized that, at this point, what I am after — aside from intelligent rp — is immersion that offers me unique and unrepeatable experiences. Everyone who plays WoW, they get essentially the same experience. It's like a theme-park ride on rails. Sure, if you play a blood elf instead of a human, or a troll instead of a gnome, the ride will be a little different, but only a little. And, at this point, I've played seven of the races (nelf, belf, human, troll, Draenei, undead, and dwarf + death knight Draenei and belf). Maybe I'll be able to get back into WoW at some point, but last night was so dull I gave up after about an hour.

6. Lastly, I want to remind you that you may now preorder my next short story collection, The Ammonite Violin & Others (Subterranean Press). And, by the way, if you've only bought one copy of The Red Tree, that's easily remedied.

Postscript (3:02 p.m.): This is sort of funny. Turns out, I mis-miscalculated. Today is day 13 after all, not day 11. I'd gotten it in my head that my last day out was the 23rd, but Spooky just pointed out that it was, in fact, the 22nd.