I may have found a legitimate reason (that is, a reason suitable to my own peculiar need for convincing) to read books about other authors' lives. In the Shirley Jackson biography, Private Demons, I'm finding little bits here and there that make me feel not so alone in the particulars of my work, seeing that another writer shares this or that peculiarity. For example:
Shirley indicated to her students that her own writing tended to flow out almost automatically, without much conscious planning. Once, after reading several pages of a work in progress, she stopped suddenly. "I can't tell you what happens next, because I haven't gone any further," she said.
...she rarely remembered anything she had written. "I can read my own books in print the way I read and reread old books from my childhood; I can remember more passages from Jane Eyre than I can from any of my books."
While we were in Birmingham last week, Spooky and I drove past the apartment building on Southside that I used as the model for the building where Sadie Jasper is living in Low Red Moon. The side of the building in which I'd located Sadie's second-story apartment was a charred ruin. I think my heart actually, literally, skipped a beat. Sometimes, I dislike meaningful coincidence. I'll not say more, for fear of spreading about spoilers — some people reading this may one day read Low Red Moon, those who have yet to do so. But it was a shock. Besides, many years ago, in my misbegotten twenties, we used to have raucous drug parties in that very apartment, and there's a certain, admittedly questionable, emotional attachment to the place. I must strive to be careful about burning "real world" buildings in my stories. I'm still getting the hang of this whole cause and effect thing. So far, there's been no fire, to my knowledge, along Cullom Street to match the one at the end of Murder of Angels.
This morning , Leh'agvoi (alias Setsuled) e-mailed me storyboards for the Nar'eth "winter special" manga. It's looking drad. I'll keep you posted.
Meanwhile, please have a look at our eBay autions (a good cause, the restoration of Spooky's molar). Things are going well with the "one of a kind" ARC from my editing of The Dry Salvages, but we'd like to see it go a lot weller. Thanks.