Several people yesterday said I should go to the doctor. One or two even stressed the need for an MRI. And all I can say is that I am a freelance author who doesn't make a great deal of money and who has no health insurance whatsoever. Given that (quickly checking online) I see the average cost of an MRI on an ankle is $1,500, it's entirely out of the question. Especially since the total cost of that doctor visit, and followup visits, would likely run around $2,500. Not a chance. If I am quite sure my life is at stake if I don't seek a doctor's assistance, only then will I do so. And even then I can't afford to do so. I'm already paying hundreds of dollars a month for medical care I can't afford, because I was finally left with no option. And I've looked into health insurance plans for the self employed, and everything I've seen isn't much better than nothing. Hell, given the absurd costs of medical care in the US, even good insurance isn't much better than nothing. In my life, the only preventative medicine is a good diet and exercise (and I don't get much of the latter).
But enough about my damned ankle.
Yesterday I worked on the table of contents for the "Best of" project. I'd ended up with a total word count of 237,712 words, were I to include everything I want to include. Obviously, this won't do, as my word limit is 200k. I did, however, email Bill Schafer to ask if I could go over, and if so, by how much. His reply, I can go to 205k, but if I go over that...well a visit from a teddy bear with a plastic machete was involved. So, I have to go back to work and shave off 32,712 words worth of fiction from my "wish list." Which might only be three stories. I just have to work it out. A good part of yesterday was spent deciding which of the Dancy stories to include. I read "Waycross" and "Les Fleurs Empoisonnées" and "Highway 97" and "Alabaster." I decided that the "Best of" volume will include three of these, "Alabaster" being the one that won't appear. "Bainbridge" and "The Well of Stars and Shadow" were never in the running.
Today, I have to, among other things, decide whether "The Road of Pins" or "Spindleshanks (New Orleans, 1956)" gets a place in the life boat. They're too thematically similar for both to make the cut. This is a strange sort of undertaking.
All the comments the past couple of days on first-person narrative and the interauthor have been welcome, and many have set me to thinking in new directions, or helped to clarify old and well-worn dilemmas. Yesterday, dragau wrote. I just realized that no one has used the word "biography" or its variations these last two days. Is its absence significant, something we overlooked, or is the word not relevant? And it's a very good point, as that's what we're really trying to get at here (or at least I am), with all this talk about the interauthor. Whenever a fiction writer is writing in first person they are, by default, writing a fictional autobiography.
Please have a look at the current eBay auctions and at the goodies in Spooky's Dreaming Squid Dollworks & Sundries Etsy shop. The latter now includes a hand-painted Ouija board!
Also, I've finished my first painting in many years. I was, in part, inspired by the paintings of Constance Hopkins in The Red Tree. And I think I've decided I'll be putting it up on eBay tomorrow or this evening. Also also, Spooky's made a new beanie platypus that we'll be auctioning with a copy of the lettered edition of Tales from the Woeful Platypus. We did this a couple of times back in 2007. I think we only offered four Beanie platypi, so....these are rare.
Okay. Here are painting and platypus photos. The mothmen say it's time to work: