The first part of yesterday was spent searching for the photograph I'd planned to use on the dust jacket of The Ammonite Violin & Others (please preorder!). That meant pulling out the HUGE BOX O' PHOTOS and combing through the decades. But the print was missing. We found the negative, but not the print. So, I began to consider whether to go with this image— which would meaning having a new print made, which would mean driving to Greenwich (pronounced "Gren-itch," not Green-witch," please) —or just picking a different photo. Finally I settled for the latter option. And I chose an image subpress' design person already has on file, which made everything much simpler.
I exchanged emails with an editorial assistant at Penguin, regarding corrections to the mass-market paperback of The Red Tree. Oh, by the way, tomorrow I'll be announcing the "wonderful bit of news" regarding The Red Tree that I mentioned back on the 8th. Anyway, I answered various other emails.
And then, later in the day, Spooky and I headed to the post office in Olneyville (getting the signature sheets for Swords and Dark Magic back in the mail, two short story contracts, etc.), then back to Benefit Street and the Athenaeum. She finished up with the galley pages for The Red Tree while I lurked amongst the shelves (and bumped my head twice on the same low-hung lampshade). I was especially pleased to come across a first edition of William Beebe's Half Mile Down (1934; Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York), which I noted was entered into the Athenaeum's catalog on November 11, 1934. On the way out, I had the pleasure to meet aliceoddcabinet, the circulation clerk responsible for getting The Red Tree into the Athenaeum. The library was soothing, and Benefit Street seemed even greener than it did on Monday.
My thanks to everyone for kind words and reassurances regarding my decision to shelve The Wolf Who Cried Girl. Right now, my plan is to get through Sirenia Digest #s 53-55 (April, May, June) and write two short stories that have spring and early summer delivery dates, and then come back to the book near the beginning of July.
I have resolved— for the thirtieth or so time, surely —that I'm truly done with Second Life roleplay, except for a few one-on-one scenes now and then with people who've proven themselves very good at rp. Last night in Insilico, I did an excellent scene (thank you, Blair). But that somehow led into a group scene, which was anything but excellent. It was, instead, messy, confused, and, for the most part, silly. I used to disdain rp classes, thinking surely this is something that everyone can do, something we learn to do as children, and that the proper rp etiquette is pretty much a given. Nope. I was wrong. I am finally admitting I was wrong. Because people can't stay in character, and they can't avoid wrecking scenes with out-of-character chatter and jokes (which are still disruptive, even if you put them in parentheses). Some of it I write off to ignorance of good rp, but there's also a sense that people cannot bear any sort of suspense, and that they fear (or are uncomfortable with) being taken seriously, so must constantly sabotage a scene. Or they think it makes them look cool, breaking character. I don't know. In the end, it really doesn't matter why these things happen, only that they do. And that they are disrespectful of other players and destroy interactive, collaborative storytelling. At least for me they do. And given that rp is the only thing I've ever wanted from SL...well, there you go. I cannot continue to expend so much energy for such meager returns. I've been going back to SL, seeking rp, for almost three years now (since May 2007), and things have only gotten steadily worse. It's hard to give up on something that has so much potential (which is why I've gone back so many times), but there comes a point. I think I have reached that point. I hope I have reached that point.
I have some photographs from yesterday in the Athenaeum:
Spooky reads culinary adventures!
The view from the old school desk where I was sitting.
That would be me, reading William Beebe.
A particularly interesting plate (at left), illustrating a large deep-sea fish Beebe named the "untouchable bathysphere fish," or Bathysphaera intacta, which he sighted at a depth of 2,100 feet off the coast of Bermuda. Unlike most of his fishes, the existence of this species has never been confirmed, and it remains a mystery.
Wonderfully narrow corridors of books.
All photographs Copyright © 2010 by Caitlín R. Kiernan and Kathryn A. Pollnac.