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"Whirling masses, rolling ashes..."

The heat comes back today. And we have a yellow air alert. The public transit system is running for free in hopes of discouraging drivers. In Birmingham and Atlanta, "yellow-alert air" is what Coca Cola bottles and sells for the three months of red air alerts that are the summer. Regardless, we will not be joining the hordes of skanky tourists filing to and back from the beaches.

Yesterday was a rather exceptional writing day. I did 1,844 words on the Next New Novel. More importantly, I think I finally found my way into this book that's been eluding me for the better part of a year. Which leads to the announcement about the novel that I've been avoiding making. Remember when I said that there was a sort of impromptu workshop late one night at Readercon 21, during which lots of folks (Sonya Taaffe, Geoffrey Goodwin, Michael Cisco, Greer Gilman, Erik Amundsen, and Gemma Files) helped me talk through some of the Big Problems I was having with it? Actually, looking back, it was really more like a literary intervention.

This arose, basically, from realizing that the "werewolf" book I was trying (and failing) to write could just as easily be a "mermaid" book. That the story would hardly change at all, swapping the wolf for a siren, and that several of the narrative problems I was having would be eliminated by jettisoning the wolf. Plus, there's my strong affinity to the sea to help drive the book. And so, that Saturday night, that Sunday morning, I made the decision.

And The Wolf Who Cried Girl became The Drowning Girl.

My only real regret is losing the original title, but I did use it for a short story long before I began trying to write the "werewolf" novel. (Note: There's a reason for those quotations marks. The "werewolf" in The Wolf Who Cried Girl was to have been about as close to people's conceptions of a traditional werewolf as the eponymous tree of The Red Tree is to traditional vampires. Likewise with the "mermaid" of The Drowning Girl, which begins not at the ocean, but a river in Massachusetts. Well, actually, it begins in an art museum.

Anyway, yes. The Next New Novel has undergone a necessary metamorphosis. Though, I will, in some sense, be preserving elements of The Wolf Who Cried Girl within The Drowning Girl, perhaps as an Albert Perrault exhibition.

Not much else to say about yesterday. But do please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks.

Comments

( 9 comments — Have your say! )
captaincurt81
Jul. 24th, 2010 04:56 pm (UTC)
The Drowning Girl
This is good news re: the intervention. The mermaid idea is more intriguing to me for some reason. I'm looking forward to reading this novel when it is published. As always, thank you for sharing your writing life with us. I draw inspiration for my own work from this sharing among writers as we all wrestle the right words onto our pages.
sovay
Jul. 24th, 2010 05:31 pm (UTC)
The Next New Novel has undergone a necessary metamorphosis.

I think that's a very appropriate sentence to be able to write.

Though, I will, in some sense, be preserving elements of The Wolf Who Cried Girl within The Drowning Girl, perhaps as an Albert Perrault exhibition.

Sweet.
greygirlbeast
Jul. 24th, 2010 05:55 pm (UTC)

I think that's a very appropriate sentence to be able to write.

Let's hope so.
readingthedark
Jul. 24th, 2010 09:10 pm (UTC)
I agree that preserving the two incarnations through Perrault is an elegant solution. I also adore the title.
seph_ski
Jul. 24th, 2010 07:16 pm (UTC)
...the "werewolf" book I was trying (and failing) to write could just as easily be a "mermaid" book.

I think I just swooned.

I love the idea of a literary intervention.
mellawyrden
Jul. 25th, 2010 02:16 am (UTC)
I'm really excited to read this!
hans_the_bold
Jul. 25th, 2010 02:38 am (UTC)
Nice to hear about your literary breakthrough; that's always a good feeling. I'm forced to wonder, though, does this mean that a werewolf-mermaid story is possible after you finish this novel? ;)

"The Wolf who Glub Glub Glub..."?
kendare_blake
Jul. 26th, 2010 03:28 pm (UTC)
Sounds very cool. Will be interested to follow the progress. For what it's worth, I like the new title.
bbluemarble
Jul. 28th, 2010 08:49 am (UTC)
I'm glad you found your way in. The world needs more mermaid stories (or "mermaid" stories).
( 9 comments — Have your say! )