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concentric circles ever greater

Madam Sophie has a 5 p.m. vet appointment, and many things must be attended to beforehand. I hate feeling rushed, but I've felt rushed an awfully lot lately and I suspect things are likely to continue in this mode for some considerable time to come.

Anyway, a good day yesterday, which is to say it was a very productive day. Of course, it was that generally tedious sort of productivity that comes with editing a novel. There were moments, though, moments when I'd suddenly see so clearly a way to make some bit of prose or snippet of dialogue betterer. I say betterer, because everything in this ms. has already been edited at least once before this present editing. Some passages have been rewritten six or seven times. Spooky helped, as did Red Bull, and we didn't knock off until seven p.m. or so, by which time many of the difficulties with Daughter of Hounds had been resolved. Today, more of the same. We did get in a good walk yesterday. The cold snap doesn't seem to have done any harm to the green and budding and flowering things. Indeed, there's more than there was before the freeze.

Spooky just returned from the p.o. with copies of La Soglia, the Italian edition of Threshold. Oh, drad! There are footnotes explaining various bits of American and English pop culture. I love footnotes! Perhaps I'll auction one of these. And speaking of auctions, the Frog Toes and Tentacles letter S auction began about twenty minutes ago. This one's only a seven-day auction, so take note. There are photos on the auction page, and also in the entry I made for February 12th. These "cozies" are really frelling gorgeous. You must, you must. Your eyeballs and libido and fingertips will thank you.

Oh, Spooky says I need to tell William Harris that we're having trouble e-mailing the digest (or anything else) to the address that he provided, that things keep bouncing, and he needs to send a different e-mail addy to zquid_zoup@yahoo.com ASAP so that she can send him #3. William? Are you out there? Also, I shall now remind you all that, according to ancient Phoenician astrological charts, February 16th, 2006 is a most excellent day to subscribe to Sirenia Digest. And those ancient Phoenicians weren't no fools.

Okay, I'm too excited to save this for the end, as I'd planned to do. Late last night, Ted e-mailed me a bunch of the artwork for Alabaster, including the art for the dust jacket. And my gods but it's a beautiful thing, this cover. Even if Peter Jackson should someday make an Oscar-winning Dancy movie with a somewhat older Dakota Fanning in the starring role, in my mind's eye, Dancy will always be as Ted has rendered her. The cover art's behind the cut. This should serve as a reminder that you need to pre-order Alabaster, if you've not done so already.





Okay. Finally, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Yes, we finished it night before last. And this is what I will say. For the most part, it was a terribly unfocused and meandering book. At times, it felt too much as though Rowling was trying to write for the expectations of her fans, that she was more concerned with those expectations than with writing a good book. At one point, I commented that she was writing her own slash fic. However, those things said, the last few chapters made up for whatever deficiencies there were earlier on. The last few chapters were terrible and unexpected and marvelous, and I applaud her for going where I'd feared she wouldn't have the nerve to go. I think Spooky wept all through the last three chapters. I would have, should have, but I'm such a callous old thing. I will admit now that I was very disappointed in the climax of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, what with it beginning so wonderfully and then devolving to the cluttered, chaotic mess that was the battle at the Ministry of Magic, and then the way that Rowling hit the ol' Star Trek story reset button. I mean, sure, Sirius was dead, but then it sort of felt like everything was forced back to some semblance of normality so that the expected formula could be repeated in the next book. Not so at the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Here, Rowling at least seems to be entering unfamiliar territory. The war has begun in earnest. She's broken my heart, and I love her for doing it. I shall likely explode before the next book is released. Oh, also the Tom Riddle flashbacks were chilling, particularly that first scene where Dumbledore meets him in the orphanage. And now, kiddos, I must away. Those red marks, those damned red marks, they mean business...

Postscript: I still have the hots for Severus Snape.

Comments

( 36 comments — Have your say! )
chris_walsh
Feb. 16th, 2006 05:00 pm (UTC)
I'll need to re-read it to be sure, but I had the strong feeling when I read the HBP chapter "The Horcruxes" (Dumbledore having to make Harry understand something deeply important, to be non-spoilery) might be the single best chapter Rowling's written. I read it out loud on the sidewalk of quiet and winding Terwilliger Blvd. as I walked up to my office one weekend...

And one word for Mr. Naifah's artwork: Beautiful. (I could add "wow" and "Oh my God" and "hot plus damn," but that one word conveys it enough. Beautiful.)
elfgirl
Feb. 16th, 2006 05:25 pm (UTC)
That cover art is stunning. I'd love to have a print of that on my wall.

It's been a curiosity to me how differently the events of HBP are seen by younger vs. older readers. Almost all of the kids I've spoken to about the book share Harry's convictions about who is evil, and a traitor. To a person, all the adults are convinced that nothing is ever what it seems. It will be interesting to see which way it goes. Whatever happens, though, I don't see my favorite character making it out of book 7 alive.
phaedrine
Feb. 16th, 2006 05:27 pm (UTC)
Dancy
OMG. It's freaking fantastic. I had to set it as my wallpaper, just so I could look at it more.
scarletboi
Feb. 17th, 2006 05:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Dancy
It's my background too, now.

And looks lovely with my framed Ted sketch of Dancy. ;)
Re: Dancy - greygirlbeast - Feb. 17th, 2006 06:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
stsisyphus
Feb. 16th, 2006 05:52 pm (UTC)
Holy Motherfrelling crap that is utterly freaking awesome. I've only pre-ordered and it's already worth the money. Those Phoenicians knew their shit.

In other news, I got SD #3 okay, but forgot to print it at work due to a timely interruption of Thai food. Looking forward to checking it out.
setsuled
Feb. 16th, 2006 06:03 pm (UTC)
That's a beautiful cover. It's the best Ted Naifeh picture I've ever seen, and I've always liked his stuff.

Anyway, since I've been in an lj icon making frenzy this morning, I made these for you--feel free to take 'em or not;

greygirlbeast
Feb. 16th, 2006 06:16 pm (UTC)
Awesome! Thank you, Leh'agvoi!
(no subject) - setsuled - Feb. 16th, 2006 06:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - Feb. 16th, 2006 06:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - setsuled - Feb. 16th, 2006 09:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eldritch00 - Feb. 23rd, 2006 08:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - setsuled - Feb. 24th, 2006 08:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eldritch00 - Feb. 24th, 2006 12:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
kennydoogs
Feb. 16th, 2006 06:15 pm (UTC)
His artwork is BEYOND beautiful.
sovay
Feb. 16th, 2006 06:45 pm (UTC)
That is incredible artwork.

Postscript: I still have the hots for Severus Snape.

Yeah . . .
mb2u
Feb. 16th, 2006 07:25 pm (UTC)
Postscript: I still have the hots for Severus Snape.

Anyone who does not have the hots for Severus Snape is suspect.
cucumberseed
Feb. 16th, 2006 08:29 pm (UTC)
agreed
stillsostrange
Feb. 16th, 2006 07:31 pm (UTC)
That is a beautiful cover!

And the Sisters of Mercy tickets are now in my possession. If you still want them, just send me an address at exoblivione at gmail dot com and I'll get them in the mail.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 16th, 2006 07:34 pm (UTC)
If you still want them, just send me an address at exoblivione at gmail dot com and I'll get them in the mail.

Thank you soooo much. I shall e-mail you this very evening.
mistressmousey
Feb. 16th, 2006 09:11 pm (UTC)
Curse your FT&T auctions all happening while this household is totally unemployed!

And I always love Ted's artwork, but *that* is just... wow!
reverendcrofoot
Feb. 16th, 2006 11:09 pm (UTC)
Of course, it was that generally tedious sort of productivity tht comes with editing a novel. There were moments, though, moments when I'd suddenly see so clearly a way to make some bit of prose or snippet of dialogue betterer.

That's my favorite part about writing. Improving.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 16th, 2006 11:28 pm (UTC)

That's my favorite part about writing. Improving.


My favourite part is being finished.
(no subject) - reverendcrofoot - Feb. 17th, 2006 04:46 am (UTC) - Expand
eldritch00
Feb. 16th, 2006 11:24 pm (UTC)
Holy shit. That illustration took my breath away...I had to gasp aloud. Beautiful, beautiful.

Dancy's definitely a Kiernan-character-crush now (along with Niki Ky and Spyder Baxter).
activistgirl
Feb. 17th, 2006 12:18 am (UTC)
I swear to effing gawd I saw Spyder at the NIN concert in Champaign last weekend. I did a double-take and instantly regretted not having brought my camera.
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - Feb. 17th, 2006 02:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - activistgirl - Feb. 17th, 2006 02:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eldritch00 - Feb. 21st, 2006 06:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - activistgirl - Feb. 22nd, 2006 01:52 am (UTC) - Expand
styggian
Feb. 17th, 2006 02:22 am (UTC)
I too am no longer wearing socks.
I think I am the only one who doesn't read Harry Potter.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 17th, 2006 02:25 am (UTC)
I think I am the only one who doesn't read Harry Potter.

Well, that's easy enough to rectify... :P
(no subject) - styggian - Feb. 17th, 2006 03:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - Feb. 17th, 2006 04:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - styggian - Feb. 17th, 2006 04:27 am (UTC) - Expand
stardustgirl
Feb. 17th, 2006 02:44 am (UTC)
Ted = wow. This really shows off his range. I look at Dancy and think "yep... Ted's art" and then all the monsters on the left and think damn! . I'm betting he had a good time with this.
( 36 comments — Have your say! )