First, this, from Creative Loafing (Vol. 34, No. 41):
A 20-year-old woman said she met a woman named "Big Baby" while walking around Thomasville Heights. Big Baby asked if she would do her a favor and deposit a check for $5,700 into her bank account. The 20-year-old wanted to be nice, so she agreed. She gave her bank account number to Big Baby. A few days later, Big Baby asked her to withdraw the money. So the 20-year-old withdrew $4,100 and gave it to Big Baby. Big Baby, in turn, gave her $500 as a reward. Later, the woman's bank contacted her and said the check was bad.
Does this count as evidence of intelligent design? Or at least the existence of a higher consciousness with a very keen wit? Or is it merely a reminder that P. T. Barnum knew of what he spoke? You be the judge.
Not much to say about yesterday. Spooky and I edited Daughter of Hounds. Then we took Madam Sophie to the vet (she's just fine). Then we edited more of Daughter of Hounds. Which, by the way, is what we'll be doing again today, only without the trip to the vet to break up the monotony. I think the most exciting part of work yesterday was when I deleted four consecutive paragraphs, having admitted they didn't need to be polished because, truthfully, they didn't need to be there in the first damn place. Today, in case you haven't yet figured it out, we'll be...wait for it...editing DoH.
A couple of comments from Wednesday's entry, in response to my having quoted from the big book containing The Secrets® every published writer must know to be a published writer, the quote about accepting insults from complete strangers, comments which bear repeating:
sclerotic_rings writes, The only thing I need to add is "And for those who start their careers with snarky, barely sentient tirades against other writers, whether or not those tirades are justified, remember the old adage about 'dying by the sword'. You won't go any further in your career by jamming your tongue up other writers' asses, but there's no better sign of a wannabe who's rapidly going to be a never-were than feeling free to splash the world with your feces and then crying like a little girl the first time someone throws back a handful of dung in your face for similarly real or perceived injustices." Sadly, I speak from experience.
And reverendcrofoot writes, I've been thinking about this very subject. It's strange that someone with no experience in novel writing can say to a writer, you are shitty as a feces-ridden piece of toilet paper. Till you actually churn out 50,000 words or so, you have no idea. And the best part about the advice, I think, is that it just says accept, not accept with good grace or demurely. So, I could take the insult and then bite off a nipple. Seems like a fair trade. After about six nipple harvests I'd assume people would just stop saying shit about my books. Sage observations, gentlemen.
Please note, I have a brand-new, shiny e-mail addy for readers, should you ever want to do such a thing as send me an e-mail. I'm ditching the old email@example.com addy in favour of a free gmail account with a bit more storage space. You may now contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org (thank you, Gordon). This address is suitable for hate mail, marriage proposals (only trust-fund babies need apply), dubious limericks, and death threats.
Yesterday, I received the following query: Are there any particular things you feel you must do before or after you write?
No, there aren't. Nothing I'd actually call a ritual. And yet, there is a sort of routine. Each morning, I crawl out of bed (sometime between 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.), go directly to the keyboard (excepting when a bathroom visit is called for first), spend an hour or so goofing about online, then make a journal entry, which usually takes me between one and two hours to write out and mirror at Blogger. I have coffee at some point. Usually, I also have a bowl of ramen, often with mushrooms and asparagus. And then I write. But I consider none of this ritual. It's more a set of default actions that allows me to wake up.
Last night, Spooky and I finished up our Guy Maddin binge with The Saddest Music in the World (2003), and, I must admit, in all my long weird life I have glimpsed few things sexier than Isabella Rossellini wearing glass legs filled with beer. Also, I was delighted to see Maria de Medeiros. Of the Maddin films I've seen, this may well be the most accomplished, and, I noted those repeating elements again: amputees, prosthetic limbs, wayward spouses, self-mutilation, and mesmerism. Night before last, we watched Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary (2002), Maddin's film version of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's adaptation of Dracula. I was in all ways delighted. It's an extraordinarily beautiful film, borrowing cues from Murnau, Soviet propaganda films, and Francis Ford Coppola. Wei-Qiang Zhang was a sublime Dracula, and, fortunately, we only had to endure the silly opera cape for a short while. I was also especially impressed with Tara Birtwhistle in the role of Lucy Westenra. I'd have never believed that a Dracula ballet could succeed as anything more than parody, which just goes to prove how wrong I often am. I've added this one to my wish list, though I do agree with robyn_ma that the DVD transfers aren't as crisp as one might like. And now it's time to pimp the platypus. The platypus only just comprehends my copy-editing marks, but he's a good sport and keeps his venomous spurs tucked safely away while we do these things.
Postscript: This is Day 2 of the letter S auction.