Here in Providence, it's rainy and drear and chilly and windy. I do very much love New England, but it's hard...no, it's impossible...not to miss the spring that must presently be springing in Atlanta and Birmingham. Here, we likely have another month of winter ahead of us.
Yesterday was every sort of hell that one receives when one agrees to be a novelist. I sat here, trying to begin The Wolf Who Cried Girl. I sat, and I sat, and I sat. All day, I sat. I wrote three sentences, and likely none of them are any good. Today, I will either sit again, or I'll go to the library and sit there. I only have to find my way in, now that I've scaled the novel back. I know this is primarily a novel about a sculptor named India Phelps and her obsession with the art of Albert Perrault (whom you may remember from "The Road of Pins," "La Peau Verte," "Last Drink Bird Head," "Rappaccini's Dragon (Murder Ballad No. 5)," and probably a few other stories I'm not recalling just now). I know it is also about her lover, whose name is Eva Canning, who is a stage actress. I know it's set in Providence, and is sort of a werewolf story, though I suspect there are no actual werewolves in it. I know it's very much about sex, and art, and repressed and/or taboo desires. I ought to be able to make a beginning, knowing all of that.
Last night, we watched the new episode of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, and marveled at the sweaty man flesh and the cheesy dialogue (oh, and the severed penis). Later, I had a very good roleplay in Insilico. It was very good, and I thank Molly and Fifth for it. It was so good, in fact, I shall likely edit the long transcript and post it on my page at the Insilico Ning. But...that said, it left me (and by "me" I mean the typist, the player, not the character of Victoria [Xiang 1.5]) rattled and uneasy, angry with myself and feeling foolish. I am not accustomed to playing (or writing) characters who are naive, innocent, effectively adolescent, and so forth. Which is precisely what Victoria is, a self-aware AI slowly, painfully coming of age in a harsh, ugly world that wants no part of self-aware AI. And, both as the character and as the player, I have repeatedly done, well, dumb and childish things. I know this is because I immerse myself so deeply in a character that I can only do what she would do in a given situation. But the effects of those actions can be devastating to a character, as they were last night to Victoria. As for last night, she appears to have survived, and this hasn't spiraled into another catastrophe— of the sort that got Xiang 1.0 killed, and Xiang 2.0b boxed, and Victoria tossed out on the street —but she has, of course, been changed on some level forever and for good (which is not necessarily to say for the better).
Have you pre-ordered your copy of The Ammonite Violin & Others, with cover art by Richard A. Kirk and an introduction by Jeff VanderMeer? If not, you should correct this oversight immediately.
And now I should wrap this up, and see what sort of today today will be.
A bruised full moon play fights with the stars.
This place is our prison, its cells are the bars.
So, take me to town. I want to dance with the city.
Show me something ugly, and show me something pretty. (Editors, "The Boxer")