Yesterday, I finished with the editorial letter from Anne (my editor at Penguin) for The Red Tree, the last few items on her list of questions. Only a few items, but they took the whole day to address. A little bit of new text was written, but I didn't bother adding it up. The word count, I mean. At this point, the only thing left to actually write is an author's note. But I do have all my own editorial notes (mostly line edits) remaining to go through, and also those that Spooky's dad made when he read the novel. But that's it. It has to be back in NYC on Monday, at the latest. And then I can move on to Sirenia Digest #39, and, after that, I think I get a week off. Oh, the last thing I did yesterday, work-wise, was print out a fresh "typescript" (I loathe the phrase "hard copy") of the book, because the original is so marked up in red it has become impossible to read many pages.
I am not a believer in the writing-workshop maxim "Do not be afraid of producing a bad first draft." I do everything I can to get it right the very first time. And, mostly, it works. I can only go through anything I've written so many times before it ceases to hold any interest for me, and I cannot work on something that does not interest me. If I were the sort of writer who did multiple drafts...well, I'd never have gotten beyond The Five of Cups, back in '92-'93. Speaking of which, we have a copy of The Five of Cups in the current eBay auctions, and we haven't offered a copy in quite some time. It's now selling for idiotic prices on Amazon. Ours is a little better. And I'll even personalize.
And I should mention the lottery to benefit the Shirley Jackson Awards again. I have donated a complete, signed set of the ROC mass-market paperback editions of my novels: Silk, Threshold, Low Red Moon, Murder of Angels, and Daughter of Hounds. A chance to win costs you only one dollar. The lottery ends February 23rd.
Ellen Datlow's forthcoming anthology Lovecraft Unbound, which includes my story "Houses Under the Sea," has sold to M Press, and will be released in October. It also includes short fiction by Joyce Carol Oates, Elizabeth Bear, Holly Phillips, William Browning Spencer, and many others.
I'll throw in a quick "review" of movies and television from the last two or three days. Well, movie, singular. We saw Louis Leterrier's The Incredible Hulk. I liked it, though not as much as I liked Iron Man. But there just wasn't the opportunity for Edward Norton to deliver the sort of performance that Robert Downey, Jr. gave. I should add, I am not a fan of the Hulk, hated the '70s series (I was just a kid back then), never read the comic, and did not see Ang Lee's film. I think what I liked most about this adaptation was the way the filmmakers managed not only to make the Hulk seem like a solid thing existing beyond the confines of CGI, but the way they imbued the character with a personality, something more than "Hulk smash!" I just can't get used to Liv Tyler without the ears, though. Also, we saw the latest episode of Battlestar Galactica, "No Exit," and I loved it. Dean Stockwell was really superb, in his tirade against Ellen. I have days like that. And sure, there's an infodump, Sam's memory getting jarred and all, but I thought it was handled as well as an infodump can be handled, made part of the story and then truncated. Also, we saw "The Good Wound," the new Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which was fine, not stellar, but okay. The highpoint was Garret Dillahunt's performance as John Henry, asking those pesky questions about an inefficient god. And, finally, we saw the premiere of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse. While it was not nearly as bad as I'd feared it would be, I was not hooked. Awfully bland fare for Whedon, and I know the network dicked around with the original series quite a lot, so that's no surprise. If the show lasts a whole season, I'll be mildly amazed. When Whedon is at his best (Serenity, Firefly, the last three seasons of Buffy, the last couple of seasons of Angel, Dr Horrible, etc.), I am a great fan. This is not Whedon at his best. This is Whedon so watered down that he is almost unrecognizable. Far too much has been told upfront; we should have been given a mystery to puzzle over for at least a season or two.
Okay. Platypus and dodo say it's time to get back to line edits. I am only an extension of their will.