Sorry. Very, very not awake. I was asleep by three ayem, I think, after just lying on the bed an hour and a half, at least that long, talking over our plans for Howard's End. But then this stupid tooth woke me at eight and I had to take another dose of ibuprofen to get back to sleep. I might have gotten seven hours.
I did 1,245 words yesterday, finishing Chapter Four of The Red Tree, and I think I was still writing about 6:30 pm. There are so many ways that The Red Tree is different from my other novels, the most immediately apparent being that it's written as a first-person narrative. But it is also likely the first time I have ever really intended a book to be frightening. If my short stories or novels have, in the past, come off as "scary," that's pretty much been a by-product of everything else I was trying to accomplish. Here, I admit up front that I'm trying to create fear, a sense of horror, that sensation where awe spirals into terror, dread, and so forth. And it's not easy, and I'll likely not do it again. For one thing, when intentionally writing a "scary story," you know you have to contend with all the jaded, mouthy assholes who, no matter what, will boast about how it didn't scare them. I'm so asleep, I don't even know if I'm making sense. What I'm trying to say is that one reason I have avoided, in the past, trying to write terror stories is that, for any tale to work beyond the simple fact of its fundamental, intrinsic merits, for it to function as communication between the writer and an audience, the audience must be willing to meet the writer halfway. The audience must be willing to open itself up to the experience. I do not generally think of my writing in these terms, as communicating with anyone but me, so I find this all very daunting.
I feel, this morning, like I'm trying to write in a second language. What the fuck was I speaking in my dreams? And, yesterday, how did I forget to mention the Horrid Coffee Deluge in my office Wednesday morning, that I really should have taken as an omen of all that was to come?
Please do pre-order A is for Alien, if you have not already. Remember, there's an afterword by Elizabeth Bear (matociquala), interior illustrations by Vince Locke, and a splendid cover by surrealist Jacek Yerka. I think I have to decide on the final cover layout today, so you should be able to see it soon. Also, the forthcoming mass-market paperback of Daughter of Hounds can now be pre-ordered from Amazon. Thanks.
We're getting pretty excited about Howards End. Jessica Ornitz is hard at work on the terraforming, sculpting hills and seashore, digging basements, warrens, subbasements, and abandoned railway tunnels. I've scheduled the first official builders meeting for next Monday night. As for the rp, an initial story arc is taking shape in my head, something that will allow newcomers to both SL and rp to wade in. I've yet to think of a good name for the paranormal/occult society that meets in the Athenaeum, but, for now, I've taken to calling it the Joss Whedon Memorial Cliché. Presently, we have 19 players lined up (and 9 builders), so there are still spaces open, and you are invited to be part of this experiment, this attempt to elevate SL roleplay to the level of an interactive, self-perpetuating "novel." Just comment here, or email me, or IM inworld, and give me your SL name so I can send you an invitation to the "Denizens of Howard's End" group.
Okay. I think that's it for now. Do please feel free to link to yesterday's entry, or mention it, in your own blogs. You don't have to ask permission.