May 31st, 2010


"Look at everything around us. Look at everything we've done."

Another sunny day in Providence, but the temperature's only 73F. It'll be cooler than yesterday. The window's open, and I can smell a hint of the sea.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,140 words on "The Maltese Unicorn." I'm very nervous about this one, because, in numerous ways, it's something I haven't done before. Spooky says it's coming along nicely, and she's usually right. I think my main concern right now is length. I realized yesterday that I'd plotted something that could very easily be a novella, and that I'm going to have to work to stay within my word limit. Which is sort of like editing a film, deciding what winds up on the "cutting-room floor" and what goes into that final cut that people get to see. Yesterday, I kept having to snip out pieces of dialogue, not because they were bad. They were, in fact, rather good (if I do say so myself, and I did). Dialogue may end up being one of the best things about this story.

This would be a very, very good day to preorder your copy of The Ammonite Violin & Others. So far, it's gotten nothing but rave reviews, which is a huge relief.

I'd very much like to go to the sea today— to the sound of the waves, the gulls, the wind, the peace —but it's Memorial day, and the beaches will be crawling with noisy, drunken tourists celebrating nothing in particular except a day off and legal alcohol. So...maybe later in the week.


A quick, but important, note to readers, and I do wish it were not necessary to write this. I understand that by keeping this journal, and being on Facebook and Twitter, I am "putting myself out there." In this age, many artists are more accessible than at any other time in history, yes. However, that doesn't mean there are not still boundaries, or that the boundaries don't vary between one artist and another, or that you've been given full access to their lives. In this case, my life. I love getting email from readers, and comments to the journal, and responses on Facebook and Twitter, and I often reply. However, some people do not seem to grasp the necessity of boundaries, or the rights to privacy that I still claim. I'm speaking to a very small minority here. As in, if you've sent me a dozen emails in the past month, please don't write me a thirteenth sounding all hangdog because I've only answered one or two. Do not expect me to hold your hand as you read my books and stories. Do not think that my having "friended" you on Facebook or LJ means we're, you know, actual real-life friends. Do not expect me to follow you on Twitter. I should think these things would be common sense, but a few rather vocal people don't seem to get it. So, please, think before asking more of me than I freely give. And sure, it might only take me a second or two to reply to any given question or request, but those seconds add up. And, more importantly, I simply may not feel like replying, and there's nothing wrong with my feeling that way.


Last night I was too tired from all the writing to read. Well, except for a paper in the latest Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, "A new baenid turtle from the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) Hell Creek Formation of North Dakota and preliminary taxonomic review of the Cretaceous Baenidae." The new taxon is named Gamerabaena, and the authors note, under etymology, "'Gamera refers to the fictional, firebreathing turtle from the 1965 movie Gamera, in allusion to his fire-breathing capabilities and the Hell Creek Formation..."

Spooky's birthday present, a PS3— made possible by donations from incredibly, marvelously generous readers —arrived early. We ordered it early, to be sure it arrived on time, and it arrived much sooner than expected. So, we've been downloading demos, and I've been playing Heavenly Sword (2007). I gotta say, Heavenly Sword is, hands down, the most beautiful videogame I've ever seen. I think it actually manages to beat Shadow of the Colossus (2005). And it doesn't hurt in the least that you get Andy Serkis and Anna Torv. Later in the evening, we went on something of a WoW binge, which I've not done in a while. We got Gnomnclature and Klausgnomi to Level 19. Soon now, they'll not have to run everywhere they go.

Anyway...time to make the words.