I sat here all day yesterday, trying my best to begin the next novel, The Wolf Who Cried Girl. I managed to type the title page, and I know section one will be called "Imago," and section two of the novel will be called "For I Shall Do Thee Mischief in the Woods." If there's a prologue, it may be called "The Heaven of Animals" (for a James Dickey poem). Much of yesterday was spent dithering over whether or not there will be a prologue. I am in that space at the beginning of a novel where there is, effectively, an infinitude of possibility. Anything at all can occur. But the moment I write the first sentence the infinitude collapses into a mere multitude of possibility. It would be so easy to make the wrong decision. And yesterday I just sat and stared, for about five hours, while the snow fell outside my office window. A bottle of truly disagreeable absinthe didn't help (a French brand I'd not tried before, La Muse Verte, and it louches a muddy yellow). Well, it disagreed with me. Spooky likes it. Anyway, I assume today will be more sitting here trying to find the beginning.
I'm getting some intriguing responses to the question I posed on the evening of December 30th: If you had me alone, locked up in your house, for twenty-four hours and I had to do whatever you wanted me to, what would you have me/you/us do? I think I'll be taking replies most of the month, and the best will be included in Sirenia Digest #50 (printed anonymously, and the responses are being screened, so I'm the only person who will see your reply to the post with your screen name attached). You can reply here. And remember, honesty is worthless in situations like this. Right now, I need pretty lies. And some of the prettiest lies are hideous. At this point, I've received forty-one replies, I think.
I have a mountain of email to answer this morning, and I need to send the corrected ms. for The Ammonite Violin and Others back to Bill Schafer. Everyone who's a subscriber should have Sirenia Digest #49, but if you don't, let me know. And comments are welcome.
My coffee's getting cold. Here are a few photos I look yesterday from the front parlor. The bleak things that we shut-ins see through our dirty windows:
All photographs Copyright © 2010 by Caitlín R. Kiernan.