November 26th, 2012

house of leaves

"You can't watch your own image, and also look yourself in the eye."

Because, you see, human beings are a crafty species. A crafty species descended from many other crafty species. An animal that has inherited the ability to shape, build, fashion, make of one thing another. This requires the evolution of particular sorts of intelligence and, also, manual dexterity. So, for more than a million years the species of man create. Brilliant. From stone tools to cities to atom bombs, from Lascaux to the Ishtar Gate to Vincent van Gogh. Humanity is defined by and flourishes because of its ability to create. But, despite all this cleverness – or possibly due to all this cleverness and an immense ego and the hubris that follows after – humans find themselves incapable of understanding how things can come into existence without having been consciously fashioned. Humans are supremely brilliant creatures hobbled by a peculiar blind spot, most of their species for most of its existence unable to conceive of the appearance of anything, living or inanimate, unless it was purposefully created, to an end, for a reason, by an intelligence resembling in most ways their own. Teleology blinded most. Like, not seeing forests for trees. Nature must be like man, as man must be the center of Nature. But I digress...

Today is a bad pain day. To answer that stupid fucking question the doctors ask, the scale of one to ten, I'll go with a 7.5. Also, it's miserably cold outside, despite the sun. A lowly 47˚F, but the windchill has it feeling like 38˚F. Wind gusting to 20 mph.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,507 words on the final chapter of Fay Grimmer. Beginning with no clear idea how the chapter would begin (even if I knew pretty much everything that will happen in it), I talked a bit with Spooky about this and that. I had an idea. Fuck the "accessible" language of Blood Oranges and most of this book. The last chapter of this novel will be written, I decided, in something more resembling my usual voice than that of my alter ego, Miss Tierney. There's even a rationale. The narrative takes on a less conventional and more dreamlike structure as Our Not-Plucky Heroine struggles against the Beast in her. I thought it wouldn't work. I thought it wouldn't, but I want it to. And it does. Which, at the end of all this, feels bow tie, like victory.

By the way, I think it's sort of rude to ask people why they're using a nom de plume. Might just be me, but I assume authors who do have their reasons, and if they want me to know they'll tell me. Point of etiquette. I think it's especially rude if the author in question has already answered the question several times in her blog, which most are too lazy to read. Because they just want to know this one thing, out of context. The Cliff's Notes.

Did I mention eBay? An ARC of Blood Oranges? A copy of The Dry Salvages, a book out of print since 2004? Have a look. Please bid. Thanks.

Also. For years, in the nineties and much of the noughts, I often drew "monster doodles," doodles of monsters and such, and offered them on eBay, sometimes with books. Many famous types have my doodles. Neil Gaiman, Jhonen Vasquez, Harlan Ellison, etc. Once, in 2004, I found myself having to sit down and draw 40+ monster doodles for a huge batch of outgoing eBay sales. In 2006, I very briefly offered monster-doodle sculptures, tiny figurines based on the doodles. I might have made half a dozen, now strewn around the world. Anyway! getting to the point. I'm going to start offering monster doodles again with eBay sales, I think, for the first time since 2006. After the six year drought, during which all my doodles were just for me, I'm willing to send a few more out into the world. It's not great art, no. Just something I do for fun. I doodled the first last night (unfinished here):

Hubero says he helped, but he lies. Like a dog.

Now, words.

Aunt Beast