Hoping that a change of scenery would jog something loose and help me get the proposal for Blood Oranges (working title) written, we left the House and went to the Athenaeum. And it worked, at least to some degree. I managed to get a rough version of the synopsis worked out. It still needs tweaking, and a bit more added on about the ending, and, of course, the book will not look much like the synopsis, but everyone involved knows that up front. I suspect it's a bit heavy on theme, and a bit light on plot, but that's not surprising. As I've said about a million times, I can't know a story before it happens, and it won't happen until I write it. To wit, a response to something I said yesterday, from Geoffrey (readingthedark):
However you go about it, the authenticity and commitment that you place in story (partially because of Campbell) coupled with how it's not real until it's actually written (and the day-to-day nature of the multiverse) means that you'll only know the story when it happens. Reducing the unknown into a proposal is tough because there's no way to guess the future when authenticity is all that really matters. Being meticulous and delicate and ruthless and telling nothing that could possibly be untrue doesn't fit into a spreadsheet no matter what you do.
Yeah. What he said.
When I was done at the Athenaeum, Spooky and I didn't really feel much like heading home. Instead, we drove east, past Brown University, to Wayland Square. We got coffee and cookies at a deli/coffee shop called, I think, The Edge. Good coffee, and cheaper than the swill from Starbucks. Then we spent some time in Myopic Books, which is just around the corner. We were good and bought nothing. The day was grey and chilly, though the temperature was in the mid sixties. The sky looked like snow. Before heading back across the river to Federal Hill, we stopped at Eastside Market, and I found myself staring at a full-wall display of Stephenie Meyers' idiotic "saga." And it occurred to me, not for the first time, that the people who did the art direction for the original covers of the Twilight books did a nice job. Would that my books had covers half that artful. Indeed, the original cover for Twlight would have made a far better cover for The Red Tree than the lurid "paranormal romance" template it was saddled with. Think about it. It's true.
Last night, I took off my writing hat (the conscious writing hat, I mean; the unconscious one never comes off), and Spooky and I spent three hours and forty-five minutes in a marathon grind for reputation with Timbermaw Hold in Wintersong and Felwood. Shortly after midnight, both Shaharrazad and Suraa reached exalted status, and were awarded the title Diplomat.
Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks.
And here are eleven photographs from yesterday:
The author in its natural habitat, a mid-18th Century library.
The view from my seat.
Spooky at work on her Secret Project.
View from below, looking up towards the ground floor.
No explanation needed.
The Providence Athenaeum. View to the southeast.
The Stephen Hopkins House (ca. 1706). George Washington slept here (really). View to the southwest.
Where the ghouls are.
Coffee and cookies.
Inside Myopic Books, near dusk.
All Photographs Copyright © 2009 by Caitlín R. Kiernan and Kathryn A. Pollnac.