I am accustomed to being busy. I generally much prefer being busy to not being busy. But, since December or so, the level of busy has taken on brobdingnagian proportions. I guess it began with the Forced and New Consolidated marches, but now there is no end in sight. I am having to learn new ways to work, new ways to write, as there is so much that has to be written and in such a time-frame that does not allow for my work habits of yore. Was a time, not so long ago, I wrote one thing at a time then moved along to thing number next. Now, this seems like a grand luxury, a leisure I can no longer afford. Maybe in a couple of years I will be able to afford it again. But like I've said, when it comes to work, too much is to be preferred always over none at all. I just have to keep reminding myself that this is true.
I do have some very cool news. Since November, I have been talking with a producer in LA — we shall for now call him simply D — who contacted me via my film agent at UTA to learn whether I'd be interested in writing a screenplay based on "Onion." And I am. And any day now I will finally be starting work on it. Of course, being asked to write a screenplay does not even begin to guarantee there will be a film, but it is a step in that direction. The first part of the process is figuring out how to expand the concept, how to open up a 12,000-word short story into an approx. 120-page screenplay for a two-hour film. But D is acting as mentor, and I am hopeful that it can be done.
Meanwhile, I have The Dinosaurs of Mars to write for Subterranean Press. Spooky and I spent part of yesterday working out the remaining plot wrinkles. This is a good example of how I'm having to learn to write a different way, as, before, I never would have spent time puzzling through the plot prior to actually writing the story. Granted, The Dinosaurs of Mars seems to have become a particularly complex story, but it still feels very strange working out a plot a priori. Anyway, also meanwhile, I have to write "The Ape's Wife" for Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy, and there's a June 1st deadline on that. I need to begin Joey Lafaye by early July, as I have an April '08 delivery date on the book, and I never know how long a novel will take to write. And, of course, there's Sirenia Digest. Someone asked, when I announced that there would likely only be one more erotica collection, whether that meant the digest would also be ending. The answer is no, it does not. I suspect the digest will continue as long as people are reading it, as I have grown very used to having it there as an outlet for those stories that might not otherwise find a home.
The meanwhiles continue. Corrections for the forthcoming Murder of Angels mass-market paperback are due on May 15th, but I've handed that manuscript off to Spooky to proofread. I have an interview for an article on Edward Gorey to finish by Tuesday (generally, I only do interviews by e-mail). And I've promised a short story to Clarkesworld Magazine, which I hope to write late this summer. Plus, there's going to be a rewrite following from the marches of January and February, and I'll likely have to drop everything and attend to that in May. We're waiting on the last round of notes from the relevant production company, as I already have my notes from my editor at HarperCollins and from the people at Paramount.
But looming most large of all these is Frank Woodward's Lovecraft documentary. Yesterday, before the work on The Dinosaurs of Mars, Spooky and I drove over to Oakland Cemetery where Frank wants to film. It is truly a beautiful place, filled with great Victorian mausoleums, enormous magnolias, and graves dating back to the Civil War. I realised yesterday that there must surely be a ghoul necropolis below Oakland, so perhaps that's the story I'll be writing for Clarkesworld Magazine. Anyway, I'm meeting Frank there about three o'clock tomorrow afternoon to find the best spot to shoot the interview, which will actually be filmed on Saturday afternoon. He's flying out today. This is the sort of thing I look forward to and dread at the same time.
So, yeah, that's a fair idea of what my life's going to be like for the immediate future. I'll be spending today reading Lovecraft, which is a pretty fine way to "have" to spend a day. I know I'm going to be asked questions regarding a couple of stories I'm not so familiar with ("Herbert West: Reanimator" and "The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward"). Last night, I read "The Call of Cthulhu" aloud to Spooky, though I know it practically by heart. It just seemed like a good way to get this thing started. Oh, and time was spent yesterday writing the prolegomena for Sirenia Digest #17. I have Sonya's story, "Odd Sympathy," a fine bit of steampunk, and Vince is working on this month's illustration. I hope to have the digest out to subscribers on Monday. And I also spoke with my new editor at Roc, Anne Sowards, for the first time yesterday.
Okay. HPL and the platypus beckon. I need to get moving, as we have dinner with "Hannah" and Jim this evening. Behind the cut, you will find some photos I took yesterday at Oakland Cemetery.
All photos copyright © 2007 by Caitlín R. Kiernan