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It's bright out there. Cold, but bright. And there's another storm on the way, as I'm sure at least half the country is aware. The snow should reach us by morning. I'm thinking of all those six-foot heaps made by the snowplows, and wondering how they'll look as seven- and eight-foot heaps. We have to get out of here this evening, before the weather starts deteriorating. I have a 7 p.m. (CaST) doctor's appointment, and we'll need to make it to the market.

---

Something happened yesterday that's never happened before. It's remarkable, I suppose, that it's never happened before, given I've been writing pretty much full-time now for nineteen years. I'm hesitant to even speak of it here. But given how this journal is meant to be an honest record of my experiences as a writer and author, I would feel dishonest leaving it out. Yesterday, first time ever, I found myself crying because of what I was writing. It came on very suddenly, and I had to stop and step away for awhile before finishing the scene. I know I was crying for Imp. There are other reasons, too, which I'm not going to spell out. But, later, I found myself thinking that this has to be the last novel of this sort I write, at least for the foreseeable future. It's too terrible and too personal. I find myself not wanting to let anyone see this one, ever. I felt that way a little with Daughter of Hounds, then even more so with The Red Tree. But it's never been this strong, the urge to lock the book away and not subject it to editors and reviewers and Amazon reader comments and people mouthing off on their blogs. It's just too personal, and I suppose I have no one to blame but myself. No one forces me to write these particular stories, to keep picking at these particular scabs. But, yeah. Last time. And then I'm going off to write YA, and tell wondrous stories, and they'll be dark, sure. They'll be true. But they sure as fuck won't be this. It sounds melodramatic, I know, but the truth is I'm making myself sicker, writing this novel, and it's not worth the toll it's taking.

It's okay if that didn't make much sense. Like Imp's story, it's mostly just for me.

At best, I'm halfway through the novel.

Yesterday, I wrote 2,106 words on Chapter 5, and finally reached the end of the longest chapter I've ever written.

--

Not much else to say about yesterday. We watched the new episode of Fringe, which, of course, was very good. Then we watched the first two episodes of Season Two of Spartacus. Gods, I'd forgotten how much I love this show. Sheer and utter fucking debauchery and depravity, unabashed, unapologetic. All fucking id, top to bottom. It's nowhere near as well written as was Deadwood, but I think it has much the same appeal for me. Later, we played a little WoW. I think I got to bed about 3:45 a.m. (CaST).

Gonna go now. Comments would be especially welcome today.

Comments

( 51 comments — Have your say! )
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v1ewfr0mbugtown
Jan. 31st, 2011 07:14 pm (UTC)
Am looking forward to Imp's tale. That it can make you cry is a testament to the power of your writing ability. I've been reading your words since you worked in comics, so a switch over to YA in the future will not remove me from your fan base.

I too have been reading a good bit of YA fiction the last few years and have to admit I don't really understand the designation. I mean, when I was really a YA myself, I was reading standard sci-fi, fiction and horror...there was no distinction between what an adult read and what a teen read. And what is this current passion for "genre" anyway? Why does reading material need to be divided and then subdivided into smaller and more specific increments? Why do so many people (readers or writers) feel the need to be placed in boxes and not step outside? (Dark Gods forbid!)

Anyway...where you write, I will read.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 31st, 2011 07:41 pm (UTC)

I too have been reading a good bit of YA fiction the last few years and have to admit I don't really understand the designation. I mean, when I was really a YA myself, I was reading standard sci-fi, fiction and horror...there was no distinction between what an adult read and what a teen read. And what is this current passion for "genre" anyway? Why does reading material need to be divided and then subdivided into smaller and more specific increments? Why do so many people (readers or writers) feel the need to be placed in boxes and not step outside? (Dark Gods forbid!)

Because we live in a consumer society where niche marketing is the trend. And there's no way around that, distasteful and counter-intuitive as it may be.
whiskeychick
Jan. 31st, 2011 07:53 pm (UTC)
I think that when writing is that personal and deep it is the most powerful and the most important to share.

Thank you for doing what you do. Purge it. Get it out. Then finish the healing and move on.

Keep safe in the upcoming storm.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 31st, 2011 08:01 pm (UTC)
I think that when writing is that personal and deep it is the most powerful and the most important to share.

Thank you for doing what you do. Purge it. Get it out. Then finish the healing and move on.

I wish it were exactly as you've said. But, the truth is that, in one way or another, I've been writing exactly the same book, trying to achieve exactly the same catharsis, since Silk. It will never be written out, and I have to accept that. Haunted people do not get unhaunted, and closure is essentially a lie.

This is what Imp has to learn, as I learn it (on a deadline).

Edited at 2011-01-31 08:02 pm (UTC)
cimeara
Jan. 31st, 2011 08:29 pm (UTC)
It's a tough call sometimes for when cleaning out a wound becomes making it worse. Tears can burn as strongly as acid. Let friends hold you and wipe them away.

As for the YA fiction, I'll read whatever you want to write, in whatever genre, unless of course you crack completely and start writing high-fructose-corn-syrup-sweetened pablum geared only towards positive Amazon reviews.

Batten down the hatches, stay cozy and warm during the next storm and whatever ones follow.

(edited for typo, feh)

Edited at 2011-01-31 08:30 pm (UTC)
greygirlbeast
Jan. 31st, 2011 09:02 pm (UTC)

Batten down the hatches, stay cozy and warm during the next storm and whatever ones follow.

Hatches being battened.
gargirl
Jan. 31st, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC)
More snow on the way for us in MA too. There is so much snow everywhere, piled up in heaps all over the place. It reminds me of winter when I was a kid; makes me wonder where they are going to put it all.

I am looking forward to seeing what you will write for a young adult audience. Even though I am not young anymore, I still read a fair bit of it, but even if I didn't read YA fiction, I have to admit, I am too much a fan-girl to be got rid of that easily. ;)
greygirlbeast
Jan. 31st, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)

I am looking forward to seeing what you will write for a young adult audience.

It will be the exact same this, only different.
sillylilly_bird
Jan. 31st, 2011 09:54 pm (UTC)
I can only second/third/fourth what others have said: what you write, I will read.
I've always read "YA" along with all sorts of other books that my eclectic taste gathers to me. There is good writing and there is bad writing. Period.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 31st, 2011 09:59 pm (UTC)

There is good writing and there is bad writing. Period.

That's pretty much always been my take. It's just the getting people to agree with me that presents a problem.
spinningstar
Jan. 31st, 2011 11:16 pm (UTC)
And then I'm going off to write YA, and tell wondrous stories, and they'll be dark, sure. They'll be true.

And that's why, as a reader who loves your work, I'll follow your stories regardless of genre or niche.
spank_an_elf
Jan. 31st, 2011 11:27 pm (UTC)
Your past tales have contained intensely tear-provoking scenes so if you haven’t cried yet, then wow, we’re all going to be paralyzed by tears. Note to self: don't read this book in a public place.

captaincurt81
Jan. 31st, 2011 11:40 pm (UTC)
It takes courage to write an honest, truthful tale. Your work has always seemed to possess this quality. You carve your art from your own flesh, offering it to any who would partake of it. This is beyond brave.
It also takes courage to forge a new path for yourself. The YA market is your new chosen path. I'm sure you will find new stories to tell and some new ways to tell them. You're work is uniquely you and I celebrate that fact whenever I read it.
lessmess
Feb. 1st, 2011 12:18 am (UTC)
Just wanted to say that I can't wait to read what you are writing. It sounds painful and difficult and like it's hell to get through, but it also sounds true (in the biggest sense of that word), which is exactly what people need to read.
chris_walsh
Feb. 1st, 2011 01:33 am (UTC)
Yesterday, first time ever, I found myself crying because of what I was writing. It came on very suddenly, and I had to stop and step away for awhile before finishing the scene.

Did you know that that happened to William Goldman? He was writing The Princess Bride, the part where Inigo and Fezzik are racing through the Zoo of Death to rescue Wesley from the Machine, and even Goldman wasn't sure if they'd reach him in time...then he realized they wouldn't. Then he wrote "Wesley lay dead by the Machine." Then he broke down crying, had to get away from his desk and just cry.

There are a lot of reasons that book's really good. Some of the reasons are probably embedded in that moment.

I do hope that YA speaks to you, and works for you. I've long wondered what sort of work you would do in that field, especially after Neil got into it. It's a good thing, what you're doing.
jessamyg
Feb. 1st, 2011 02:22 am (UTC)
Crying
There are times when the opening up of old wounds breaks us down into little pieces of shit and doubt and loathing and we wonder if we will ever get over it. I wish somebody could tell me I will get over all the fucked up thoughts in my head and the fucked up childhood, but I just wouldn't believe them anyway. Sometimes you just need to know when to turn your back on the revelations and, it seems, you have reached that point. Whatever is best for your health, dear beast, and I wish I could follow that advice myself.

There's still a young adult in all of us, I hope, and some of us are quite willing to let them out to play every so often. Considering how much I enjoyed your story in Gothic! I am looking forward to following you back to that long-gone, but never forgotten, time. Some of us need writers like you, no matter what niche you get wedged into by the publishers.
chiropteryx
Feb. 1st, 2011 08:24 am (UTC)
It makes an absolutely perfect and symmetrical kind of sense.
For whatever reason you're doing it at the time; be that catharsis, or because you have no choice BUT to do it, or because it's just what you do, or because it's where those most powerful and terrible and beautiful words that resonate with the readers who *get* it come from; denuding those scabs onto the page and letting us glimpse something raw is part of why we devour your books. That sounds voyeuristic, it's knitting at the gallows, but it's brutally true. Raw calls to raw.
Whatever you write will always have some degree of that raw and rareness, I suspect - it is part of what makes us love you.
But even the greediest voyeur must realise that picking at scabs and letting them get horribly infected are two quite different things - we don't wish you septicaemia of the soul, that's for sure.
Get well. Bleed healthy.
*hugs* from down under.
vidyarajah
Feb. 1st, 2011 10:30 am (UTC)
For the record: thank you for the work.

The folks that "get it"...believe me when I tell you that we get it. On one level or another, some perhaps more than most, some perhaps a bit less...we intuit viscerally what the work can cost you to simply get it down. I'm in that demographic, for what it's worth.

We're here. We get it, we know...and speaking only for myself, from my heart to yours, it's appreciated in more ways than I can properly express.

With that, for whatever it's worth, in strength, love and solidarity: thank you so much. Cheers. **smiles at you**
rai_ryu
Feb. 1st, 2011 07:06 pm (UTC)
Forcing myself to comment, because anxiety shouldn't keep me from posting on a journal like this.

I think sometimes what can make a writer good, isn't necessarily good for the writer. I...admire that you're still pushing your way through to complete this novel. I'm becoming increasingly eager to read it.

I remember while reading Daughter of Hounds, it had a very profound effect on me that hadn't been achieved before or since. I struggle to explain it correctly, but it was almost as if I was being pulled away from my body. I wanted to put the book away on many cases because of what it did to me, but I had to finish reading too. I really enjoyed it, it's the only book of its type that I've ever read.

And while on the topic of Daughter of Hounds, to me it seemed very "YA-ish", although I'm not sure what makes the distinction in my head. I think you will make a very good YA writer, and I hope it is easier on you.
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( 51 comments — Have your say! )