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.
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