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Howard Hughes minds her Ps and Qs.

Yesterday, I wrote 0 words. Go me. For now, the Forced March has halted. There is other work that must be done. The Forced March may resume, in a weakened strain, later this week. The less said about Wednesday, the better. But I did 1,573 words, there on that last day of January, that month when I'd pledged to write at least 1,500 words every damn day. It's not a pledge I'd expected to come anywhere near to keeping. I thought, surely, by the 3rd or 4th, I'd have come to my senses. No such luck. Out of 31 days, I wrote on 28 of them. I worked 30 of them, with only one day off (on the 21st). Two were days given over to writing-related work during which no actual writing was done. I managed to write 1,500+ words 27/31 days (one day — Tuesday, the 9th — I wrote "only" 631 words). My total word count for the month was 47,826 words, exceeding my goal of 46,500 by 1,326 words. The Word Bank closed out in the black with 3,593 spare words. So, all things considered, the experiment was a success, but a success I intend never to repeat again so long as I live. I cannot write this way, not if I mean to write well. Mark this as one of the vilest months of my life. And move on.

Yesterday was a sort of mandatory day off. I spent most of it in bed. We did our Imbolc thing late in the evening. Spooky had picked more Narcissus on Tuesday, and they all blossomed. Early last night, we watched Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia. Previously, the only De Palma film I've ever actually liked was 1987's The Untouchables, and I can say today that's still very much the case. The Black Dahlia is a confusing mess of a film, and I have no idea what Scarlett Johansson was thinking.

I hope people found Sirenia Digest #14 to their liking. Feedback is, as always, welcome.

Alabaster has made the 2006 Locus Recommended Reading List, I am pleased to report.

—————

The last few weeks, I dream about the white room and the albino amputee more nights than not. I've never had a "recurring" dream that came with such frequency and clarity. I am starting to detect minor variations, whereas I was almost sure, for a while, that the dream was identical every time I dreamt it. But it's not that things are different one time to the next. It's more like I notice things I may not have noticed before, or upon waking I recall things I did not previously recall. Were I capable of lucid dreaming, there are things I would look for. One thing that I have slowly become aware of is that, in the dream, I do not have use of my left arm. It seems shriveled and numb. So, maybe that's one thing the albino woman and I have in common. We are both cripples, though she more dramatically so. I still do not know why I'm looking for missing syringes or what the photo album means, exactly what I'm being asked to find. There is a question I ask sometimes — "What am I seeing?" or "What is it that you want me to see?" I see now those are actually two very different questions. There's talk of "the war in Taiwan," but I have no idea where or when that white room is supposed to be. The dream does not seem to be leading anywhere. It's more like a loop, or an echo that grows stronger instead of fading.

—————

Watching them come and go,
Tomorrows and the yesterdays,
Christians and the unbelievers,
Hanging by the cross and nail.

Comments

( 18 comments — Have your say! )
derekcfpegritz
Feb. 2nd, 2007 04:59 pm (UTC)
Hey, Cait--I've finally gotten a review of Daughter of Hounds up on Amazon.com. Expect a much more thorough review on Pegritz.com sometime soon as well.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 2nd, 2007 05:09 pm (UTC)
I've finally gotten a review of Daughter of Hounds up on Amazon.com.

Thanks. Which one is yours?
derekcfpegritz
Feb. 2nd, 2007 07:56 pm (UTC)
OK, this has earned today's WTF Moment: my review is gone. I posted it last night at work and, when I refreshed the page, it was there...yet today it is not. What the heck...?

If I have to rewrite the whole thing I am going to be seriously pissed off at Amazon.com.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 2nd, 2007 08:06 pm (UTC)
OK, this has earned today's WTF Moment: my review is gone. I posted it last night at work and, when I refreshed the page, it was there...yet today it is not. What the heck...?

Weird.
derekcfpegritz
Feb. 3rd, 2007 02:33 am (UTC)
I don't know what the hell's been going on with Amazon lately. I had an order to place the other night and when I hit "go", the system dumped my shopping cart and informed me that I had no items at all selected. Once I went through and added everything again, things worked fine--but between that and my mysterious vanishing review, I'm beginning to suspect their servers are beginning to suffer some strain.

Ach, well...I'll rewrite it sometime tomorrow. I think I remember most of the turns of phrase and whatnot I employed.
chris_walsh
Feb. 2nd, 2007 05:39 pm (UTC)
Yesterday, I wrote 0 words. Go me.

One day, just to be contrary, you could try to write negative words...
greygirlbeast
Feb. 2nd, 2007 05:44 pm (UTC)
One day, just to be contrary, you could try to write negative words...

That's an interesting proposition. How would I unwrite?
chris_walsh
Feb. 2nd, 2007 05:58 pm (UTC)
Bring together words and anti-words, make 'em go "Boom," use the resulting energy to run your space heater...

Of course, anti-words have yet to be isolated in the lab. Oh dear. I quote Bloom County: "Failure, Mr. Jones, is hardly original."
deadcities_icon
Feb. 2nd, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
You could always join the urban drift novel(la) in a weekend challenge, and dedicate the weekend to churning out words like a refugee from an insane asylum....

alvyarin
Feb. 2nd, 2007 07:02 pm (UTC)
On the topic of Dancy - I love Threshold. It is one of the books I don't want to put down when I'm reading it, but hesitate to pick back up once I've put it down because it frightens me.

Thank you.
elmocho
Feb. 2nd, 2007 07:15 pm (UTC)
The Black Dahlia is a confusing mess of a film, and I have no idea what Scarlett Johansson was thinking.

I'd read the book some years ago, so I'd forgotten if the movie deviated. After seeing it, I tore through a bunch of Ellroy to make sure it wasn't that bad.

Though I loved the POV dinner scene. I have a soft spot for debauched Old Hollywood Aristocracy.
aetherialrumors
Feb. 2nd, 2007 08:00 pm (UTC)
I hated the Black Dahlia. The script deviated from the book. I couldn't buy Josh Harnett as a hardboiled hero. I've never been overly impressed by Scarlett Johansson. Something about the look of the film, just felt off to me--like watching someone place dress up, instead of feeling like I was really seeing this swatch of time in the 50's.

Which brings me to a question. Would you have any qualms about selling the movie rights to your work? Which of your books would you most like to see on the big screen? Who would you want to direct it? Who would you want to act in it?

-Chad

Chad
tjcrowley
Feb. 2nd, 2007 07:34 pm (UTC)
You didn't like CARRIE?
greygirlbeast
Feb. 2nd, 2007 07:39 pm (UTC)
You didn't like CARRIE?

I did not.
sisyphusiren
Feb. 2nd, 2007 11:48 pm (UTC)
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<a href="<i>Creative Dreaming</i> "/a>by Patricia Garfield taught me how to lucid dream. I don't know if it would work for everyone, but I had some sort of night terror or other until I was 14 and this helped stop it. It's still lunacy in my head every night, but at least I rarely come out terrified.
sisyphusiren
Feb. 2nd, 2007 11:51 pm (UTC)
Eh, screwed up html. You get the idea.
setsuled
Feb. 3rd, 2007 02:57 am (UTC)
So, all things considered, the experiment was a success, but a success I intend never to repeat again so long as I live.

Congratulations, I hope you don't have to do it again either. What brought on this marathon, by the way? Was it the Beowulf movie novelisation Neil Gaiman mentioned you were doing a few weeks ago? I was surprised to read about it, as I don't remember you mentioning it here at all. I'll be interested to read it. I've had a few conversations with people about the transition of book to movie, and how much work and creativity is required of those doing the transition. People often say the movie isn't as good as the book, at which point I'm quick to point out that novelisations aren't usually as good as the movie. I find my opinion on the subject is roughly the same as it is for translations of foreign language films--at least as much skill is involved in crafting the translated project as writing the original. I'll be interested to see what you can do with a book based on a movie based on a poem.

we watched Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia. Previously, the only De Palma film I've ever actually liked was 1987's The Untouchables, and I can say today that's still very much the case.

I've found De Palma invariably disappointing. I thought his Scarface was mildly entertaining, but that all the best bits were from the original film, which remains far superior and not half as silly. I haven't seen The Untouchables, though . . .

The trailers for The Black Dahlia didn't look good to me at all, and I wasn't surprised to see the movie almost universally disliked. Though I'm almost tempted to see it now just so I can properly hate it along with everyone else.

I have no idea what Scarlett Johansson was thinking.

Probably that she had to be in at least 80% of all movies made in 2006. I like her a lot, but I've never gone out and bought a Scarlett Johansson movie--I just woke up one day and found her in several of my DVDs.

I hope people found Sirenia Digest #14 to their liking. Feedback is, as always, welcome.

I wrote about it in this post. I didn't have a lot to say, but I very much liked it.

One thing that I have slowly become aware of is that, in the dream, I do not have use of my left arm. It seems shriveled and numb.

It almost sounds like you're Sadie Jasper and she's Narcissa Snow.
chris_walsh
Feb. 3rd, 2007 03:07 pm (UTC)
OT: Thinking of you and "Alien"
Nar'eth,

My LJ friend yendi is doing a project called 261 Days of Horror -- one review every weekday of a different horror film, from the sublime (like Near Dark) to the ridiculous (like Jack Frost 2) to the sublimely ridiculous (Return of the Living Dead, yo!) -- and I thought of you when he wrote up the original Alien.

It reminded me that you'd made a strong defense of why Ripley rescues Jonesy, but as far as I can tell I never read your specific reasons for it. I'd like to hear them, if you have time.
( 18 comments — Have your say! )