There was too much work yesterday, all day and well into the night. I wrote 1,018 words. Spooky did a very complicated photo for the website redesign, then did some work on it in PhotoShop, only to discover I'd left a crucial element out of the composition, so it has to be reshot today. Then we went back to proofreading Low Red Moon for the mmp edition due out in August and made it through Chapter Ten ("The Pool of Tears") and Chapter Eleven ("Lullaby") — pp. 206-263 in the Roc tpb.
Actually, we had a long walk late in the afternoon, almost dusk, before the proofreading started. Back to Freedom Park, west past the wax-myrtle bushes all the way to Freedom Parkway, then north and east, following North Ave. back towards home. The weather was warm, 65F, and I could walk in a tank top. But it was determined that North Ave. at "rush hour" is not suitable for walking, as the fumes from automobiles cannot possibly help but negate any healthful benefits. Spooky and I made chili for dinner, with lots of lime and Jose Cuervo Especial.
As we near the end of Low Red Moon, the deck chairs thing isn't bothering me quite as much. No doubt, it's still just as true, but I think I've allowed myself to become more caught up in the story and the characters instead of dwelling on the futility of hoping for a wider readership. In this book more than anything else I've ever written, there are moments when the brutality of the events in the novel — the brutality of that fictional history — leaves me feeling oddly ashamed and angry with myself. One of those little voices in my head, not so different from Narcissa's ghosts, murmurs, It didn't have to be like that. It could have gone differently. But I know that's a lie. Or, rather, I know that if I'd dodged the truth of the story I was telling, I'd have written a lie, a deeper lie than the superficial lie of all fiction. Be true to the story, not your conscience. Be true or get a job flipping burgers. Truth is the only thing I have to offer at the end of the day. My truths. They will not always be the same as your truths. Reading yesterday, I kept seeing all these "unrealised realities," how it all might have gone, how it might have been less brutal, if I'd simply allowed myself to lie about the whole thing.
I think there may still be a few copies of the limited edition of Tales from the Woeful Platypus available, but I'm not sure. I expect they'll all be gone by the end of this week, at the latest.
When the work was finally done, we watched the first part of the Sci-Fi Channel's mini-series, The Lost Room. It was better than what I'd expected. What I'd expected was the sort of thing Vertigo's publishing these days. It's a little bit better than that. The influence of House of Leaves is everywhere, right down to the rumbling growl we hear each time the door to room is opened or shut, each time it "resets." And I'm pretty sure that Elle Fanning is Dakota's clone. I'm left wondering how many Fanning's will follow. Perhaps there will be one available when the Dancy movie is finally cast. Anyway, we'll be watching the rest of The Lost Room. It has promise. I'm just hoping the ending lives up to the premise. I'm hoping, if there must be resolution at the end, the writers came up with something that will actually surprise me. I'm not usually like that. I don't often ask for originality and tend to feel that the quest for novelty is one of the less endearing traits of science fiction literature and film. But in this case, I know there will be more explanation of the phenomenon than is called for, so it better be some revelation that's worth the spoiling of a perfectly good mystery. In fact, that could be my rule of thumb for resolution in dark fantasy and sf: if there must be resolution and explanation, it must be something worth its weight in mystery. Most times, I'd be content with the mystery (as in House of Leaves, for example).
Okay. The day isn't going to get started until I end this entry. So —