Most writers have very dull lives. This is a true thing. The lives of most writers do not, in general, make for particularly interesting copy. I am constantly encountering people who think otherwise. Many of them want to be writers, and they say things to me like, "It must be so interesting, being a writer." Which is to say, yesterday was dull as dishwater, yet filled with writerly stuff, just like the day before, just like the day before that, etc. and etc.
The more things change, you know? Which is to say, do not expect Cowboys and Indians in this entry.
Yesterday, Spooky and I went back to the ms. for the forthcoming subpress edition of Tales of Pain and Wonder. We made it through "To This Water (Johnstown, Pennsylvania 1889)" and "Bela's Plot." Time traveling, as it were. Words I first put down on paper thirteen years ago (both stories date from 1994). I was very pleasantly surprised to discover I still like "To This Water (Johnstown, Pennsylvania 1889)." Indeed, I think it was the first genuinely good short story I wrote. There are bumps here and there, but, overall, it still holds together all these years later. And I was impressed at the scope of the thing. The story's less than 7,000 words long, yet manages to tackle the entire Johnstown flood. As for "Bela's Plot," which was one of my first widely read stories (appearing in Poppy's Love in Vein II), I was stunned at the brutality of the piece. I think we're going to do two more of the stories today, then set the ms. aside while I write something for Sirenia Digest #21. I can only take so much of thirteen years ago at one time.
While I was reading "Bela's Plot," my editor on the Beowulf novelization called to see if the biography he had on me was okay for the jacket copy. It wasn't. I think it must have dated back to 1999. So I wrote him a new one. Also, I had to get a publicity photo to Penguin. Me and the stegosaur, which I think will likely be my publicity photo for some time to come (though it's already almost four years old). There was also email from my lit agent, who I think must have thought I might be upset that Neil and Roger's name will be as large on the cover of Beowulf as mine, because it's a Screenwriters Guild thing. I'm not. It was their screenplay. So, you see. Writers have very dull lives.
I finally left the house about 9:30 p.m., and as Spooky and I were walking through the cool evening of Freedom Park, we realized that last night was the night of the Atlanta Rasputina show, and we were on the guest list. It was too late to even hope to get bathed and dressed and downtown in time, so we came back home in disgust and re-watched a couple of episodes of Deadwood ("Amalgamation And Capital" and "Advances, None Miraculous"), then read another chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Later still, there was a small bit of Second Life. The strange tale of Prof. Nareth E. Nishi creeps forward, inch by inch, and, if I do say so myself, the Palaeozoic Museum is looking pretty good, all things considered.