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The Day After (The End)

Back in September, thereabouts, there was a day when I finally sat down with Kathryn, and we talked, and I made the decision that I would never write a another novel. We worked out a remotely feasible way to bring in enough money with me only doing short fiction, novellas, and Sirenia Digest. It was a for-sure thing. There was a profound sense of relief, and it lasted maybe a month. I can only imagine it was like fighting in a war for fifteen years, and suddenly finding out there had been a truce. Not victory, but at least a truce.

Then, on November 1st, I sat down and began writing The Drowning Girl. On November 2nd, I wrote in the blog, "Yesterday, I wrote an impressive 1,664 words on Chapter One of The Drowning Girl. This is the first time I've had the nerve to go back to work on the novel since August 4th. I scrapped everything I wrote this summer and started over again. But, I think I have finally found the voice of this novel."

And, then, yesterday, after only a little more than four months, I finished the book, the one that originally occurred to me way back in August 2009, on a hot, sunny day at the Peace Dale Public Library, and that tried very, very hard not ever to be written. There might still be a weird sort of an epilogue to do, and there might not. But the book is essentially written. Imp has told her ghost story, which is both a mermaid story and a werewolf story, but really is neither of those things. I cried twice yesterday, when it was done.

I'll do a quick polish and send it to my editor sometime between now and Monday, and it should be out next spring. And yes, this will be my last "adult" novel for a while. What I do, the way I write, regardless of how popular or unpopular what I write may be, it messes me up to do it. As I told Neil a week ago, I want to just spend a few years telling stories. A little less public self evisceration. Well, except for the digest, which will stay the same. The digest won't change. And the stuff I write for anthologies, that won't change, either. Mostly, the novels.

And it truly is the best novel I've ever written, by a long shot.

Huzzah.

---

A quick recap of the rest of yesterday: It was a muteday, which made everything extra strange, finishing the novel and still remaining silent. I received permission to use one set of song lyrics, wrote Radiohead's management about another set, and will be writing R.E.M. today. I signed a mountain of eBay books, which Spooky then took to the post office. I answered a bunch of email. Oh, and I finished a novel. I only wrote 765 words, because I didn't need to write any more than that to reach THE END. The entire ms. for The Drowning Girl presently stands at 101,493 words. After all is said and done, it might go to 103,500.

Later, I went with Spooky to Staples, and PetCo, and Eastside Market, because we were out of lots of stuff. I'd not left the house since February 26th, when we made the snowy trek to the Blackstone Gorge. So, it had been...nine days. The day was bright, and the late afternoon light on College Hill was beautiful. But it was bitterly cold out there.

Back home, after dinner, Spooky proofed "The Dead and the Moonstruck" for Two Worlds and In Between. I was too exhausted to do anything but play about half an hour of Rift before I got disconnected from the server and gave up. We watched Richard Laxton's An Englishman in New York (2009), which is such a fine and brilliant film, and John Hurt is amazing as Quentin Crisp. Then Spooky played Rift, and her Kelari cleric made Level 18, and then I played again, and my Kelari mage reached Level 19. It's weird, not being able to play together, and soloing is a bitch, worse than in WoW. And after the gaming, we read more of Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire

And that was yesterday.

There's still a terrifying mountain of work to get done in the next week or so, but I think we have some emergency relief on the way. Comments would be very welcome today.

Oh, photos from yesterday. It seems somehow proper to photograph my mutedays:





I tore this fucking sign up late last night. It is no more.



Much too early in the day for a self portrait, so this will have to do.



Meet HAL. He has one blue and lidless eye. HAL makes our caffeinated bean juice.



Maalox, one of my best friends these days.



Spooky prepares to take eBay packages to the post office.



The upper right-hand corner of the last page of the tenth chapter. I don't think there are any spoilers.



Hubero did not want his picture taken.



Outside! Heading east on Washington Street, just past the bus mall, the U.S. District Courthouse (circa 1908).



At Staples, stuff a writer needs.



At PetCo, fuck but we love the hammies.



Two of my favorite vegetables. Though, I think they're both actually fruits.



The meds that keep me writing and not seizing and...other stuff.



I really should have taken this picture when the queue was fifteen minutes long.



Spooky makes me a late-night peanut butter and jelly sandwich.



Just before sleep, The Thing (1982), another of my comfort films.

All photographs Copyright © 2011 by Caitlín R. Kiernan

Comments

( 48 comments — Have your say! )
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mellawyrden
Mar. 8th, 2011 05:44 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad this novel was written. It might never have come out if you hadn't absolutely 100% decided to stop writing novels. It brings tears to my eyes, literally.

p.s. how do you get such beautiful nails? i try and try but mine are still crap.
greygirlbeast
Mar. 8th, 2011 05:53 pm (UTC)

p.s. how do you get such beautiful nails?

Those are Spooky's. Mine are pretty crappy.

It might never have come out if you hadn't absolutely 100% decided to stop writing novels.

We call this irony.
(no subject) - humglum - Mar. 8th, 2011 08:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mrs_ralph - Mar. 9th, 2011 01:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
thimbleofrain
Mar. 8th, 2011 05:48 pm (UTC)
Congratulations again. I can't wait to read it. And I love The Thing.
greygirlbeast
Mar. 8th, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC)

And I love The Thing.

I honestly think I've seen it more times than anyone else on earth. We're talking hundreds of viewings.
(no subject) - iterum - Mar. 8th, 2011 11:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - Mar. 8th, 2011 11:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - iterum - Mar. 8th, 2011 11:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - Mar. 9th, 2011 12:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - iterum - Mar. 9th, 2011 12:14 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Mar. 8th, 2011 06:30 pm (UTC)

I also love the "Day in the Life" type photos.

I like doing them.

I think one of those envelopes is for me. The birthday poem.

Yep.

Thanks to you and Spooky, I have Riftitis. However, I do not wish to be cured. If you still want to transfer your WoW guild to me, then we'll have to set something up in the future. Thing is, I haven't even logged on to WoW since Rift.

We'll work all this out.
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Mar. 8th, 2011 06:31 pm (UTC)

if that's the right word to offer at THE END of such a process as this

It's not (which the novel addresses), but it's the one we use.
cucumberseed
Mar. 8th, 2011 06:11 pm (UTC)
We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty.

And by "we" I mean you.
greygirlbeast
Mar. 8th, 2011 06:31 pm (UTC)
And by "we" I mean you.

Thank you.

Fuck, I miss Mal.

Edited at 2011-03-08 06:33 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - cucumberseed - Mar. 8th, 2011 06:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
jdack
Mar. 8th, 2011 06:25 pm (UTC)
That shirt is awesome.

I think queues are part of why I quit WoW back in 2005. Bloody awful when you're paying to play. They'll probably sort that out soon though.
greygirlbeast
Mar. 8th, 2011 06:32 pm (UTC)

That shirt is awesome.

I got it in 2006 at Edward Gorey's house out on the Cape.

I think queues are part of why I quit WoW back in 2005. Bloody awful when you're paying to play. They'll probably sort that out soon though.

They're opening more servers (shards, in Rift).
ex_kaz_maho
Mar. 8th, 2011 07:14 pm (UTC)
'The Dead and the Moonstruck' was the first short story of yours I ever read. I loved it. Wasn't it originally written for an anthology of YA gothic tales? I could be mis-remembering that..
greygirlbeast
Mar. 8th, 2011 07:18 pm (UTC)
Wasn't it originally written for an anthology of YA gothic tales?

Yep, it was. Also, it's one of the only stories I've ever written that's brought me a considerable amount of royalties, income beyond the initial advance.

Edited at 2011-03-08 07:18 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ex_kaz_maho - Mar. 8th, 2011 07:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
stsisyphus
Mar. 8th, 2011 07:21 pm (UTC)
Much too early in the day for a self portrait, so this will have to do.

Is that bat supposed to look like the inspiration for Gene Simmons' makeup, or is it just me?

The meds that keep me writing and not seizing and...other stuff.

Dear fuck, I shudder to think how much those meds cost someone with no medical coverage.

I was going to ask about more specifics on the post-DGaM plans; but fuck it, take you a break.
greygirlbeast
Mar. 8th, 2011 07:34 pm (UTC)

Is that bat supposed to look like the inspiration for Gene Simmons' makeup, or is it just me?

Not to my knowledge.


Dear fuck, I shudder to think how much those meds cost someone with no medical coverage.


A lot.

I was going to ask about more specifics on the post-DGaM plans; but fuck it, take you a break.

Thank you.
seph_ski
Mar. 8th, 2011 07:34 pm (UTC)
The picture of HAL made me laugh. I was studying the buttons, determined to figure out what it was before reading the caption. I failed. "Flavor+" sounds like it should be a D&D attribute.

I also love The Thing (though Carpenter's Prince of Darkness is my favorite of his films, for both content and sentimental reasons), that fabulous t-shirt, and the PB&J. I always enjoy the hell out of your picture posts. That probably gives me away as a bit of a voyeur.

I pulled down my slip-covered edition of Silk today and read a bit aloud to my no-longer corporeal friend, in honor of his birthday. That was the first of many books, movies and bands we shared, so it makes for a nice birthday ritual. I'm absolutely terrible at reading out loud though, so hopefully he'll be able to just read over my shoulder when The Drowning Girl comes out. If he can, I know he will be.

I'm also really looking forward to your YA work. I hope you can find a way to have fun with it, to make it your own and profitable and popular (see "profitable"), and not have to fillet yourself open in the process.
greygirlbeast
Mar. 8th, 2011 07:36 pm (UTC)

"Flavor+" sounds like it should be a D&D attribute.

Indeed!

That probably gives me away as a bit of a voyeur.

Not inappropriate, as I am both an exhibitionist and a voyeur.

I pulled down my slip-covered edition of Silk today and read a bit aloud to my no-longer corporeal friend, in honor of his birthday. That was the first of many books, movies and bands we shared, so it makes for a nice birthday ritual. I'm absolutely terrible at reading out loud though, so hopefully he'll be able to just read over my shoulder when The Drowning Girl comes out. If he can, I know he will be.

Wow. I'd say I'm flattered, but those aren't the right words.
catvalente
Mar. 8th, 2011 07:51 pm (UTC)
I can't wait to read it.
greygirlbeast
Mar. 8th, 2011 07:57 pm (UTC)

I'll be sending you an e-copy of the ms. next week!
whiskeychick
Mar. 8th, 2011 08:28 pm (UTC)
I love The Thing (1982).

Your necklace is delightful.
greygirlbeast
Mar. 8th, 2011 08:42 pm (UTC)

Your necklace is delightful.

Thank you! I got the pentagram from Etsy. Spooky added the sea glass.
whiskeychick
Mar. 8th, 2011 08:33 pm (UTC)
adendum
I have been mulling over our exchange the other day about not being able to afford to not have mass appeal. I get so angry when the 'getting paid' part interferes with the creation of art, stories, film, the entire lot that keeps my world bright and keeps me from destroying myself and anything else I can drag down with me.

The care package -- that is taking entirely too long to put together, will have more in it that eludes to this exchange, I suppose. I put mojo for The Drowning Girl to be the thing that propels you into the a level of comfort you should have.

greygirlbeast
Mar. 8th, 2011 08:44 pm (UTC)
Re: adendum

I get so angry when the 'getting paid' part interferes with the creation of art, stories, film, the entire lot that keeps my world bright and keeps me from destroying myself and anything else I can drag down with me.

As do I. As do I.

The care package -- that is taking entirely too long to put together, will have more in it that eludes to this exchange, I suppose.

Take your time.

I do love your icon. Zora was so magnificent.
Re: adendum - whiskeychick - Mar. 8th, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: adendum - humglum - Mar. 8th, 2011 08:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Mar. 8th, 2011 10:53 pm (UTC)

I'm in awe of the amount of meds you have to take! Being also uninsured, I have had to cut back or do without some of mine, and sincerely hope you don't ever have to do that.

There are some meds I should be on that I'm not. I am making do, and doing okay.
neutralgenius
Mar. 8th, 2011 10:51 pm (UTC)
I'm curious to see how your YA novels go seeing as I was in the YA age range when I started reading your books.
greygirlbeast
Mar. 8th, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC)

I'm curious to see how your YA novels go seeing as I was in the YA age range when I started reading your books.

My agent recently commented that "Silk and Threshold were before their time," in that both would now be considered YA.
(no subject) - neutralgenius - Mar. 9th, 2011 07:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
poesillchild
Mar. 8th, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC)
Autie, the journal entry is like a downhill rollercoaster. Wow!
Great news on the end of "Drowning Girl"
The pieces were scattered yet it seems you have nearly completed the puzzle.
greygirlbeast
Mar. 8th, 2011 10:55 pm (UTC)


The pieces were scattered yet it seems you have nearly completed the puzzle.

Very, very nearly.
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( 48 comments — Have your say! )