Few things baffle me more than when a would-be author approaches me with a request for advice on this or that aspect of writing and/or publishing. I think it baffles people that it baffles me. After all, there are a lot of people making money off the dubious belief that it's possible to teach writing. Generally, when I get these requests I simply ignore them. Every now and then I'll write back and politely admit that I have no advice to give. Strictly speaking, that's not true. It's just that all my advice is stuff no one wants to hear.
And, by the way – and I'm probably putting this in caps and bold just to be obnoxious (my prerogative) – THERE IS NO WAY FOR AN AUTHOR TO BETRAY HER OR HIS READERS. Such a concept is more of that whole reader/writer contract bullshit, a manifestly absurdist conceit born of privilege, assumed entitlement, coddling, and a consumerist mindset that reduces books and stories to product that must "satisfy." See, this is what happens when concepts like subjectivity and relativity are completely lost on people. And when kids are raised to believe the world gives a shit whether or not they're happy. Reading a book, it's a game of craps in a squalid alleyway, kittens. It's not a new television from Best Buy, complete with a money-back guarantee.
A better writing day yesterday. I did 1,253 words on "The Road of Needles." By the way, this story is for a forthcoming volume of fairy-tale retellings (TBA). And I talked with Vince Locke about his illustrations for The Ape's Wife and Other Stories. He's beginning work on the illustration for "Galápagos," and we went over four concepts, finally settling on the fourth. The "very bizarre turn of events" I mentioned yesterday, which I thought would be settled by yesterday afternoon likely won't be settled until next week. I'm trying to ignore the stress. A $2,200 royalty check (I never get royalty checks) just fell out of the sky, so I'm going to focus on that, instead.
Last night's low in Providence was, I think, 4˚F. It was 9˚F when Spooky woke. Currently, it's 17˚F, but feels like 1˚F, thanks to windchill. Hey, that's why you should be a writer. So you can stay inside when it's this goddamn cold (though, the house has been fairly frigid).
Meanwhile, the Blood Oranges/monster doodle auction continues.
I should wrap this up. Excelsior!
Resurrected, Living in a Lighthouse,