Days off, I end up with all this random crap, instead of actual journal entries. Day like these, my journal entries must consist of the random crap that floats through my days, or they will consist of nothing at all. To wit:
Yesterday, I read back over "Ode to Edvard Munch," before sending it off to the editor of By Blood We Live, a vampire anthology from Night Shade Books that will be reprinting the story. Reading it again, I realized (again) that sometime between the writing of Low Red Moon and Frog Toes and Tentacles —— so between 2002 and 2005 —— I quite suddenly became a much better writer. I don't know how it happened. I didn't do it on purpose. I followed no conscious agenda of change. It just happened. My style was greatly pared down. My voice simplified. My descriptions became more precise. My dialog became sharper. I learned to do much more with much less. It seems to have just happened.
Also, yesterday, while reading through "Ode to Edvard Munch," Spooky found a royalty check for $300 tucked inside a comp copy of The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance. The check is dated August 18th, 2008. And this, kiddos, is why I have to have a keeper, and why I cannot manage my own finances. I wonder how many checks I've mislaid over the years. A very small fortune, probably.
Friday evening, I was listening to WBRU, the college-rock station out of Brown University. The music's pretty good, but the DJs are insufferable. Anyway, Friday evening I heard two of them —— one male, one female —— trying to figure out what the word cretin means. Finally, after much debate, they achieved consensus on a definition. Cretin: a small, horned demon, sort of like an imp. And no, they were not trying to be funny. That much was obvious. And I thought, This is fucking irony.
Lots of "television" last night (which is to say, shows streamed via Spooky's laptop). The latest episode of Battlestar Galactica, "Someone to Watch Over Me," was very, very good, though I wish it could have ended on the scene with Starbuck at the piano, just after she played the bit of "All Along the Watchtower." I can't believe it's almost over. Well, it's not, really. The feature film is slated for a 2011 release date. We also watched a decent episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. It was good to get back to Cameron, though I can do without that horrid kid that plays John.
And after that, we played WoW, killing alien bugs in Silithus for the druids of Cenarion Circle, which just feels all sorts of wrong to Shaharrazad. Working for night elves, I mean. I've been sitting at Level 62 for...I have no idea. Let me check. Since February 19th, as it happens. I haven't been playing much WoW. And when I have, I've mostly been mining. Indeed, after giving Shah a second profession, mining. I discovered that I was enjoying "the mining game" much more than all that questing and leveling nonsense. Last night, my blue bar moved for the first time since the 19th, I guess. Anyway, the bugs in Silithus were so obviously modeled after the bugs in Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers (1997), it got me to wanting to see that ridiculous film again. So we stopped playing WoW and streamed it from Netflix. Quite an odd film, odder even than I remembered, though the creature effects have aged well.
I have resolved that I will now cease to read reviews of my writing. And I mean not only "reviews" (that is, readers "reviews" on Amazon, "reviews" in blogs, and so forth), but, also, actual, professional, published reviews. They almost always annoy me, even the positive ones. I cannot hope to make everyone happy. Hell, most times, I can't make me happy. Reading those reviews never changes the way I do what I do even in the least, with the exception of the review in Locus of The Dry Salvages that almost made me stop writing sf forever. So, I'm going to spare myself a lot of grief and stop reading all reviews of my work, period. No exceptions. Not if I can help it. So, please do not send me links to them online, or point me towards them, or whatever. I am cultivating disinterest and detachment. I am trimming away stress.
And I think that's all for now. It's warmish Outside, and Spooky says I can't stay in all day.