I'm no fanboy - I've written letters to 3 writers (and NO celebrities otherwise) in my life - Charles M. Schulz, Allen Ginsberg, and now you. Schulz sent back autographed Snoopy cartoons, and that's it; Ginsberg - with Allen I did the classic stupid young thoughtless writer thing and sent him samples of my work. What he wrote me in response is among my most treasured things - and now you. I am not looking for a response in this case, but expressing a kind of webjournalist to webjournalist opinion - that proverbial bug in your ear.
I read and liked Low Red Moon and am in the middle of Silk right now and truly enjoying it - I will read Murder of Angels as soon as I'm done. But as much as anything I'm enjoy your blog, too.
One reason is the way you lay out the realities of the writing business, the frustrations you experience as well as the excitement. It is educational and eye-opening, in short, fascinating. That, and your "voice" as an individual comes across in a separate space from your novels. While as a reader I've found your voice in the novels to be an intensely poetic and dark one - I am surprised no one has picked up on the cinematic potential all your work seems to have before now, and no, I don't think you write with that in mind - as a web journalist you are blunt, observant, and unfailingly honest. For anyone who writes themselves, wants to write, it is not just entertaining but enlightening. Even inspiring.
While I've never had the kinds of things riding on my ability to write that you do, it being your living and mostly an avocation for me - I can imagine that any kind of writer's block, while depressing for someone like me, must be a bit of a panicky feeling for you. Reading your entry from today I also thought of what Autumn tends to do to me, and wondered if you go through the same crap - the spiralling of mood downward matching the spinning of dead leaves to the ground. That can not only drain the desire to write but the desire to just get out of bed in the morning.
So I'm one reader of your work as well as the journal who would be greatly disappointed if you chose to close it off. I know I must be one of many who have probably e-mailed you already begging you not to do so. I don't beg anyone for anything ever, so I can just tell you that web journals by writers as thought-provoking, insightful, intelligent as you are truly vital to making anyone's web reading worthwhile, and add a dimension to your work that writers in generations past didn't have the chance to provide their readers.
I do hope that beneath the piles of autumn leaves there's not an undertow for you that pulls you away from your craft.
Not so much an undertow, though I know what you mean. For me, it's the sharp, rusty tines of a garden rake that some asshole left hidden beneath the pile of leaves. And if I allow myself to be seduced by the pretty colours and the crisp, cidery air, throw caution to the winds (as they say), and jump into those leaves...well, ouch. Like I said before, I wish I loved autumn, but, yes, it wears on me. Thanks, Steve. It was very sweet of you to write that letter and not at all fanboyish.
News pollution of the day. Well, first there was a headline at Yahoo that definitely did not read "Bush blows Kerry," but that's what I saw when I glanced at it, being as how I'm a born-again pervert and all. What's a born-again pervert? I'll save that for another time. Anyway, noise pollution:
Cities across the country are manipulating the results of tests used to detect lead in water, violating federal law and putting millions of Americans at risk of drinking more of the contaminant than their suppliers are reporting. (from the Washington Post).
Not much to say about yesterday. I didn't write. Spooky and I ran some errands — the post office, the market, etc. We stopped by Borders (and please note that I am not about to kvetch about bookstores, no matter how much I want to), and I picked up a copy of Gardner Dozois' The Year's Best Science Fiction (Vol. 21). We got Dunkin' Donuts, because we're bad. Late in the afternoon, I took nude photographs of myself in the bedroom vanity mirror. This is an odd new fascination of mine, digital self-portraiture. I say "odd" because I hate my body so much. It's like, I don't know, doing very personal studies in the grotesque. I'm tempted to post one or two of these to the blog. Perhaps that calls for another poll? Anyway, later on, we made spagetti for dinner, watched crap on television, played two games of Scrabble, and then I played Armed and Dangerous. I'm starting to love this seriously flawed game. A shame it wasn't better written. Finally, we went to bed, and Spooky read me "Dead Worlds" by Jack Skellingstead (from the aforementioned sf anthology), which was really wonderful. I'd never run across this author before, but will seek out more of his work. And then I talked about Daughter of Hounds until Spooky fell asleep in self-defence.
The cough is better. Thanks to everyone who has made suggestions for remedies and such. I've had this cough, usually once or twice a year, since about 1987. We are old foes, this cough and I. I could write an entire entry about the history of this frelling cough. But the Benadryl is helping noticeably, and it's not so bad being a zombie.
I've gotten a few requests to resume the eBay auctions. Spooky's still trying to get the last few packages from the last auction in the mail, but yes, we'll have more copies of Murder of Angels, etc. up very soon. I just haven't felt up to dealing with relisting things the last week or so.
But, really, please stop worrying about me shutting down the journal. I'll bitch about it from time to time, that I can't think of things to say, that it's all an ego stroke, and blah and blah and blah, but it's something I would miss if it went away. Again, thanks for reading; you can ask another for no more precious gift than her or his time.