What day is this? Wednesday? Already?
Turns out we weren't waiting on the FedEx dude yesterday. We were waiting on the UPS dude (we have a very agreeable UPS dude). Sometime late in the afternoon, the page proofs for Murder of Angels arrived, along with a copy of the CEM (which made for an extraordinarily huge package). The layout looks good. Spooky and I will begin reading over it today or tomorrow. No matter how much I might love this book, I'm dreading the read. I don't think anyone can be expected to read any novel three times in five months and not get a little weary of it. Especially if you happen to be the author of the novel.
But the big news from yesterday is that we've reached an agreement with Penguin regarding Daughter of Hounds. They're buying the book. And I'm relieved, as nothing is ever a foregone conclusion.
I was thinking about "Faces in Revolving Souls" last night, and I believe I may have detected, belatedly, an interesting trend in my short fiction. At some point, I'm guessing aroung 1999 or so, about the time I finished with the stories that make up Tales of Pain and Wonder, my short fiction became far less likely to involve groups of characters, and more likely to focus very stritcly on a single individual. Contrast, for example, "The Road of Pins, " "Spindleshanks (New Orleans, 1956)," "Riding the White Bull," and "Waycross," with such stories as "The Last Child of Lir," "Glass Coffin," "Breakfast in the House of the Rising Sun," "Postcards from the King of Tides," "Bela's Plot," and "San Andreas" (though, one might argue that Lark and Crispin function as two halves of a single organism). Of course, in my earlier work there are numerous stories pertaining primarily to the situation of a single character — "Tears Seven Times Salt," "Lafayette," and "Salammbô" are good examples. But the newer stories, almost without exception, have adopted a claustrophobic attention to the lone (and loner) protagonist. I'm not sure what to make of this, except that the late '90s transition point corresponds closely with my having left Athens and returned to Birmingham, where the whole recluse thing started. In Athens, I actually socialized (and spent a good deal of time traveling to visit friends). I went to shows. And bars. I was in a band. Jump to Birmingham, and I hardly ever left my apartment. The parallel is probably significant.
There hasn't been a corresponding shift in my novels. Those are still ensemble affairs. I don't think I could bring myself to write 145K words about any single person.*
I'm still not awake. With luck, I'll wake up momentarily and discover that the whole thing with the writing has only been a particularly unsavory nightmare and I am, in fact, Angelina Jolie. Or Uma Thurman. Either way, I'm cool with it.
Because I've spent far too little time talking politics of late (she said, suicidally,) I'll close by including this link (courtesy Robyn) to an article concerning Michael Moore's new documentary, Fahrenheit 911. Of course, we already knew The Mouse was tight with The Shrub, but...
*Update (5/5/09): I pretty much have done just that with The Red Tree. Never say never.