Secondly, my editor at Penguin sent me the not-quite-finished cover art/layout for Daughter of Hounds. I'll post it here when I'm told I can. I think that I like it. It isn't at all what I expected, not the direction I'd have gone in, but not an invalid direction, either. DoH a complicated book, and for at least its first half, it's telling two very different kinds of stories: 1) Emmie Silvey's, which is a weird, quiet sort of story about a haunted childhood, and 2) Soldier's, which is loud and filled with guns and murder and monsters and violence. The art director went with Soldier. I might have looked for the neutral ground between the two (the yellow house on Benefit Street, perhaps), but I also doubt that would have been as eye-catching.
At any rate, I didn't write yesterday. I worked, I just didn't write. I did a rough version of the cover for the "Highway 97" chapbook and sent it to Bill Schafer for his input. I wrote a new author's biography (for the mass-market paberback of Threshold) and sent it to my editor. I took care of some subpress business related to Tales from the Woeful Platypus. I contacted a bookshop in Boston where I hope I'll be doing a signing/reading in August. That sort of work. And all the while, I was thinking — In another ten or fifteen minutes, I shall set all this stuff aside, because I'll know what the next vignette is going to be and how it will start. Only that never happened. And I'm beginning to think the reason it hasn't yet happened is simply that, in having just written "Ode to Edvard Munch" and the two halves of "The Black Alphabet," I have, essentially, just written 27 vignettes over the last three weeks. That's 27 different ideas I've recently conjured and then made use of, 27 ideas which are not now available to me. So, I should not be so surprised that I'm having a bit of trouble coming up with a 28th. Hopefully, though, it will come to me today (suggestions/requests would be welcomed, by the way).
Just before twilight, we had a rather long walk (for me), maybe two miles. There's a photo behind the cut. I love that time a day this time of year. It was a uneventful walk, though we did meet a beautiful grey tomcat sitting on a wall. His name was Napoleon, which, I admit, seemed to suit him. Back home, more reading, more words, then we watched all four eps of Dr. Who: City of Death (1979; with Douglas Adams as script editor and a cameo by John Cleese). I had samosas later in the evening than is probably advisable. There were some stunningly bizarre and elaborate and lengthy dreams last night, of which I can now recall only shreds. That's always for the best. When those worlds and this world are too consciously in contact with one another, I can't get anything done.
Today is the birthday of Jim Shimkus, who knows his Eudora Welty and hates "reader response theory" at least as much as I do. Happy frelling birthday, Jim!
In the next day or two, we'll be getting the eBay auctions up and going again, as I hope to finance the repair of Spooky's iBook and our train fare to New England with eBay income. There will be copies of The Dry Salvages, Silk, The Five of Cups, the subpress hardback of Low Red Moon, lettered copies of Frog Toes and Tentacles (with silk and velvet cozies), and all sorts of other stuff. Stay tuned...