Yesterday, I wrote a first go at the "author's note and acknowledgments" for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. It still needs some work.
Spooky and I proofed two stories for Two Worlds and in Between— "From Cabinet 34, Drawer 6" and "Emptiness Spoke Eloquent." I decided yesterday that the latter, written in 1993, would replace "Stoker's Mistress" in the book. Which was a smart decision, except...okay, so I wrote the story in 1993. It sold to a (now) long-defunct small press magazine called Eldritch Tales. However, the magazine sat on it for three years, during which time they didn't release a new issue (and, as it happens, never would again). Finally, I pulled the story in 1997, doubled its length, and sold it to Stephen Jones for Secret City: Strange Tales of London (the souvenir book for the '97 World Fantasy Con in London). And then Stephen Jones chose it for ninth volume of The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror (1998). Probably, I made a few minor changes in the text before it was reprinted. But then nothing happened with the story until 2001, when I reworked it slightly before including it in From Weird and Distant Shores in 2002. The story would not be reprinted again (unless I'm forgetting something) until 2010, when Stephen Jones (this has always sort of been his story) asked to reprint it in The Mammoth Book of the Best of Best New Horror, to represent the year 1997 (though, technically, the ninth volume came out in 1998). So, last year I did more work on the story.
By this point, we have the original 1993 version; the second, expanded version from 1997; the 2001 text, which certainly differed from the 1997 text, though I'm not sure by how much; and the most recent version, slightly reworked in 2010. And, because even minor changes become major changes over time, well...1993 and 2010 are very, very different. Problem is, yesterday we discovered that, somehow, the only copy of the story on my iMac was the 1997 version. And those files went to storage in Pawtucket a couple of months back. So...we had to reconstruct, using The Mammoth Book of the Best of Best New Horror, the most recent incarnation of "Emptiness Spoke Eloquent" (along with a few new changes). Not many things could have been more tedious or more angrifying.
Um...so yeah, all that.
But, there was also very good news from my editor at Dark Horse, which I'll pass along as soon as I am permitted. It will make you happy.
And I sent about fifty bezillion emails.
Last night, Rift. Selwyn, my mute Kelari mage, and her zombie servant Jude, fought back waves of Abyssal invaders at Deneger's Stand, and also scaled the walls of the Iron Fortress and, with great stealth, picked off undead soldiers who are not as agreeable as Jude. Nothing pisses off a necromancer worse than unruly, uppity reanimated corpses. She made Level 20, which means I need to slow off leveling. The cap's presently 50, and I don't want to hit it before Spooky and I can play together. Soloing a cloth-wearing character to 20 is no mean feat.
And we read more of Catching Fire, with which I am now in love. I wonder how many readers have picked up on these books being Socialist manifestos?
Today, we begin the first full read through of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Hopefully, we'll get through the first four chapters today, three chapters tomorrow, and three on Saturday, so we can get to line edits on this book and on Two Worlds and in Between.
Now, doughnuts and dodos and the platypus.