This isn't going to be the post I wanted it to be, because Spooky and I spent four hours this afternoon tweaking and correcting and plain ol' rewriting "Breakfast in the House of the Rising Sun." Now it's 7:37 p.m., and I intend to watch the new version of 'Salem's Lot at 8, so I really haven't the time for a longish post. The rewrite was a much bigger undertaking than I'd expected. But then I've never really done anything like this before, going back to a story that I wrote many years ago (in this case, seven years ago) and trying to retrofit it to something more closely approximating my present writing style. It's probably a bad idea to try such a thing, but I love the story and have grown uncomfortable with a lot of things about the style in which it was originally written. Doing this violates my once-held view of fiction as fixed temporal artefact, but these days I'm violating a lot of maxims and philosophies and views I once held as sacrosanct. Time marches on, like a herd of intoxicated elephants, dragging me with it. I'd stop if I could. Anyway, I now have a somewhat different version of "Breakfast in the House of the Rising Sun," different from the version that was first published in Noirotica 2: Pulp Friction (hands down the most embarrasing title of any anthology I've ever been a part of, by the way), then reprinted in Tales of Pain and Wonder. This version will appear next spring in Men of Mystery: Erotic Tales of Intrigue and Suspense (edited by Sean Meriwether and Greg Wharton). I really wish I could have spent twelve hours on the rewrite instead of four, but we're so pressed for time just now. I've already told Spooky that I'll probably rewrite this story again someday.
You know what? Frell it. I'm going to watch frelling 'Salem's Lot, and then I'll come back and finish this entry...
...so, as I was saying.
There was a time I never would have considered doing that sort of rewrite, but when the editors of Men of Mystery asked to reprint the story, and I looked at it for the first time in years, the language that I once worked so hard to get just so, just exactly the way it was, seemed rough, disjunct, either unpolished or polished too much. And so, the four hours I spent today revisiting Jimmy DeSade and Rabbit and Arlo and JoJo Franklin's molly house.
Before I forget, my thanks to Kirin, for the latest -0th birthday present, copies of The Dunwich Horror and War-Gods of the Deep on DVD.
Was there something else I was going to say?
There's thunder outside, and lightning.
And I have a headache. So maybe that's enough for tonight. Perhaps my mind will be clearer in the morning. Stranger things have happened.