At last it can be told. As you know, constant readers, I wrote a novel titled Fay Grimmer, meant to be the second Siobhan Quinn novel, the sequel to Blood Oranges. As was likely obvious from my daily entries here, it didn't go well. In fact, it went badly. Very fucking badly. In fact, much to my agent's chagrin, I repeatedly, publicly, referred to the novel as "wretched." Which it is. But I finished it, sent it away to my editor, tried to forget the whole sordid mess, and get on with my whole sordid life. And it didn't work. I couldn't get on with anything. I could only hate that manuscript more with each day, and the thought of it being released into the world became intolerable. And, finally, I did what many would probably consider just a little bit unthinkable: I emailed my agent to request that she please contact my editor to tell her that I would be writing an entirely new Siobhan Quinn novel to take the place of Fay Grimmer. That was last Tuesday. The twenty-second. THis is the "very bizarre turn of events" to which I previously alluded.
No one panicked. No one yelled at me. I'd talked it all through with Kathryn to be sure we could handle this financially. My agent was extremely supportive. And my editor, though she says she's fond of Fay Grimmer, is willing to give me until the middle of March or so to turn in a new novel. Which was my proposition. Give me until the middle of March. So, it's settled. It's not that I don't care about all the time and work and stress required to produce Fay Grimmer; it's that I cannot stand the thought of the book being published. The sequel to Blood Oranges has to, by definition, be at least as good as its predecessor. The new novel will be titled Red Delicious, but I'm saying nothing about the story. Except that it's not about fucking fairies. I'm done with fairies. Except maybe for the occasional bit of short fiction.
So...yeah. That happened.
Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Note that we only have a few copies of the trade paperback edition of the Alabaster short-story collection (2009).
Sunday morning, after weeks of existing in a state of numb, flatline depression relieved only by intoxication and brief spells of anger and manic nonsense, working all the while...after all that...Sunday morning I turned my head away from the keyboard, glanced at the bookshelves on the north wall of my office, and told Spooky we were going to Moonstone Beach. Which is what we did. Moonstone, and Harbor of Refuge, and Point Judith, and Narragansett Beach. We hadn't been down since Hurricane Sandy did so much damage to the southern shoreline of Rhode Island. We left the house and drove south, under a blazing white sun and a wide, carnivorous sky. The land was crusted with old snow. Wide white fields. Smothering blue sky. But we reached the sea. Blue above; grey-brown below. Sharp contrasted world. At Moonstone Beach, the storm sliced away the dunes protecting Trustom Pond, and the pond was breached. Which, of course, has completely altered the ecosystem in the wildlife refuge (which includes breeding areas for endangered plovers and terns). But this is what nature does. It tears up beaches, and ecosystems evolve. It's only a problem when humans get in the way...okay. Not going there just now.
Fuck. My head hurts. I have work to do. And I'm not up to a travelogue. We went to Moonstone. We saw a Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator), a new bird for both of us. The topography of the beach was entirely altered. We could see wrecked houses, very big, very old houses, to the east. I stood and stared at the freezing sea, and tried to let the crazy bleed out. Not much of it did. To the south, Block Island was startlingly clear against the horizon, girded by a shimmering mirage. Beautiful. Our faces went numb within ten or fifteen minutes. Then, as I said, we headed east, then back to Providence. Harbor of Refuge was hardly recognizable; parts of the jetty, massive granite blocks, are simply missing. Narragansett Beach was mostly erased when the storm surge topped the seawall.
Yesterday was spent mostly at the Atehnaeum (after brunch at the Classic Café), still trying still the noise in my head. There were flurries when we went in, wet and nasty. When we came out, near sunset, there was a heavy fall of large, fluffy snowflakes. Today, I'll post photos from Sunday, and tomorrow I'll post photos from Monday.
All photographs Copyright © 2013 by Caitlín R. Kiernan and Kathryn A. Pollnac
Today, I go back to work on the script for Chapter Six of Alabaster: Boxcar Tales, which I have to finish by Friday, at the latest, so I can begin work on Red Delicious.
Hang On, Kittens,