About half an hour after I made the blog entry yesterday, there was a fairly bad seizure. I spent most of the remainder of the day in bed. Spooky brought me Ranier cherries and slices of chipotle cheddar. I sketched and read. Just before sunset, I began to feel better, and had a bath, and dinner, after which I felt much, much better. Another hour, I was good as new. But, all of yesterday was lost, workwise, and now I have to scramble to try to make up for the lost time. I'd like to be back at work on Blood Oranges by Tuesday. I mean to have another three chapters written by the end of the month, at least.
But today, I have Vince's illustration of "Figurehead," and it's the fifth of May, so today pretty much has to be assembly day for Sirenia Digest #67. Tomorrow, I'll make a furiously determined effort to finish up with the galleys of Two Worlds and In Between. Oh, and I need to proof the galleys of "Fish Bride," which is being reprinted in the second issue of S. T. Joshi's Weird Fiction Review. And there are contracts, and...
I need to be writing. There's too much writing needs doing not to be writing.
Hopefully, a fair number of you read last month's "book of the month" selection, Kathe Koja's Under the Poppy (if you didn't, or haven't finished, don't apologize; nothing here is compulsory). I mean to write more about Under the Poppy, but I'm going to do so when I'm just a little more awake than I am now. I had a double-dose of the Good Worker Bee Pill last night, and I feel like it.
This month's selection for Aunt Beast's Book of the Month Club is Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants:
You may have seen the movie, which I liked a lot and is a fairly faithful adaptation. But it's no substitute for the novel, which you ought to read. Also, Spooky says the Audible.com adaptation is pretty good. It's unabridged, so you might go that route. Either way, book or audiobook. But, with the actual book-type-book, you get cool vintage circus photos.
An utterly moronic article in the Wall Street Journal, "Darkness too Visible," by someone named MEGHAN COX GURDON. Hey, it was in all caps on the website. Truth in journalism, right? The article carries the provocative subtitle, "Contemporary fiction for teens is rife with explicit abuse, violence and depravity. Why is this considered a good idea?" Anyway, obviously Gurdon isn't at all happy about "dark" themes in YA literature. In fact, she's pretty sure that books like Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Game are mangling the minds of impressionable teens everywhere and will, I don't know, lead to mass suicides or something of the sort. The article is...well, read it if you must. But it's most entirely angrifying, fair warning. In response, a Twitter hashtag, #YAsaves, has sprung up, and editors such as ellen_datlow and authors such as blackholly have weighed in (lending their support to YA).
Look at this stinking shithole of a world, people. You really want to sugar-coat literature for the young'uns? You really want to try to insulate them from the difficulties of being a teen, or the hardships they're going to be facing very, very soon (if they aren't already)? Here again, we have the threat of warning labels rearing it's censorious, myopic head.
Whether I'm writing for an adult or a YA audience (and now I do both; also as my agent recently pointed out, Silk, Threshold, and Alabaster would likely now be considered YA), I mean for my fiction to be triggering. That's not a word that ought in speaking of art carry negative connotations. This is the very objective of art, and most especially including fiction: to trigger. To elicit in the mind of the reader a powerful emotional response that will move them, change them, upset or inspire them. We do not "protect" readers from this, else there's no point in writing or reading. We create art that will get their attention and make them think, and will help them survive some nightmare/s past, present, or future. Hey, other kids beside me cut. Other kids have survived rape. Other kids are gay and trans. And, fuck, look at this Catniss chick, what a kick-ass role model. And even if the reader has not experienced or is experiencing some personal trauma, just maybe these books will cause them to behave towards those who have with a little more understanding and sympathy.
Oh. I almost forgot. Gurdon hates dirty words, too. And she segregates the sexes, recommending "books for young men" and "books" for young women." It's still 1945, right?
So, fuck off, MEGHAN COX GURDON. You have the nerve (and are dumb enough) to recommend Fahrenheit 451 - a novel about book burning - in an article calling for censorship. Have you read Bradbury's book, MEGHAN COX GURDON? Do you understand the meaning of the word "irony"?
I'm sure there are many others who responses will be more "civil" and "politic," but I don't feel this nonsense deserves the effort required for either. However, if you'd like to see a really good and thoughtful response, read this post by kylecassidy, or this post by Laurie Hall Anderson.
Last night we watched what must be one of the worst films ever committed to celluloid, Chris Sivertson's I Know Who Killed Me (2007). Two words, Lindsay Lohan. Why did I inflict this upon myself? I don't know. Plain and simple. This film is so bad...never mind, there are no adjectives in the English language capable of expressing of the badness of this film. Lohan can't act. The script...wait, what script? Silverton can't direct. The cinematographer spent the whole film in the crapper. It's like after-school-special torture porn. No, that would be better than this movie. Never mind.
Last night, Spooky and I measured Telara as best we could. Choosing as our standard the distance between Lantern Hook to the south and the Chancel of Labors in the north, we arrived at a base measurement of 5,500 meters, which I then used to get a north/south measurement on Telara, at the widest visible point of the (sub)"continent". And that measurement was 7,333 meters (+ or -), or about 4.5 miles. I was stunned. Truly. I'd expected to arrive at a measurement of at least 15 miles. As a point of comparison, the island of Manhattan is 13.4 miles long (or 2.97 Telaras).
Okay. Enough. Work awaits.