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No numbered lists today. I've not the patience for it, and I have too little to say, and, besides, NASA finally decided the odds of the elctro-whatsit generator we need to proceed "probably" won't create a vast artificial black hole.

Secrets make me weary.

Yesterday...well, I did do some stuff. Spooky went out and rented a second storage unit, because there's too many comp copies of books I've written or have stories in, and everything has to be reorganized, and my isn't that exciting? Tonight, we'll be lugging boxes of books to Pawtucket. Still awaiting the go-ahead from the National Aeronautics geeks, I tried to begin a new vignette...or short story. Not sure which yet, or either. Or if either? Something's wrong there. Anyway, [livejournal.com profile] sovay helped me with the Greek for the title: "Hē tēs thalássēs mártys (ἡ τῆς θαλάσσης μάρτυς)," and I even wrote 104 words on it before giving up. Not in disgust. In something else. Possibly in misgiving or in trepidation.

Sometime, thereafter, I had my first seizure in months. Spooky wasn't here, and I came to on the kitchen floor. The usual "I have no idea what happened immediately beforehand" amnesia and the back of my head hurt. But no damage done. Just when I think I'm never going to have another one of these things...Anyway, my suspicion is there's just been far too much stress the last couple of weeks, which is, obviously, a primary trigger for PNES seizures,

Yesterday, talking about Silk, someone in the comments mentioned how they enjoyed the interconnectedness of the books. And I replied that, truthfully, I regret the novels being interconnected — Silk through Daughter of Hounds — and that I've seriously considered rewriting "Bainbridge" to remove its connections to Silk and Murder of Angels (and, so, by extension, the other three novels). I have no idea how my readers would feel about my attitude towards having tied all this stuff together, but as the years go by it seems juvenile, and as though I did the wrong thing for all the wrong reasons. Hence, The Red Tree and The Drowning Girl: A Memoir are almost entirely devoid of any connection to my earlier books. The bizarre series that Blood Oranges may be the beginning of, this is not the way I will continue to write most novels in the future (and I do not think of Blood Oranges as one of my serious novels; it's just a peculiar lark, fun, something to wake me up after the long fever dream of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir).

The weather's turning to shit just in time for this weekend's shoot. I suppose we will muddle through. Perhaps literally.

Oh, I know what I was going to say. One reason I stopped writing "Hē tēs thalássēs mártys (ἡ τῆς θαλάσσης μάρτυς)" yesterday was this sudden fear that I'm writing far too many stories about the sea. Yes, I know I do it very well. But I'm beginning to feel like I'm...repeating myself. Well, I know what I mean.

In the end, yesterday was an all but wasted day...which makes four in a row...during a month when I couldn't afford even one. But this shit happens. At least, today, I can go back to work in earnest. After all the email. Spooky has to drive down to her parents' place to gather up some spare blankets and pillows and stuff for people who will be crashing here over the weekend. We're still waiting on final conformation about shooting scenes in the Athenaeum. There's an awful lot of chaos (not with the Atehnaeum, that wasn't what I meant to imply). But this whole thing begins day after tomorrow, and a lot of things are still up in the air. And the funny part? There's zero evidence that book trailers help sell books. But we have a three thousand dollar budget.

I should go now, before I hurt myself.

Oh, but first — and speaking of book trailers — there's this. The first volume of Odd?, a new biannual anthology from Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (presently only an ebook, but a hardcopy edition is on its way), reprints my story "A Child's Guide to the Hollow Hills." But I think the promotional video is far more entertaining than is my story:



Masochistic,
Aunt Beast

Date: 2011-10-12 06:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lady-tigerfish.livejournal.com
That trailer was great. And they actually wrote a good song for it too.

Which I suppose doesn't provide any further evidence as to whether or not book trailers sell books, as I haven't decided whether or not I'll buy the book, only that I'd buy the song if it were available for purchase and will probably seek out another short film by the same guy when he makes one.

Date: 2011-10-12 06:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

And they actually wrote a good song for it too.

Yes, they did.


Which I suppose doesn't provide any further evidence as to whether or not book trailers sell books, as I haven't decided whether or not I'll buy the book, only that I'd buy the song if it were available for purchase and will probably seek out another short film by the same guy when he makes one.


So, a case in point.

Date: 2011-10-13 02:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] opalblack.livejournal.com

The trailer for The Vegan Revolution... With Zombies! by David Agranoff made several of my friends want to buy it. I already wanted to buy it before I saw the trailer, but it definitely reinforced the notion.
I think the key there was that it went a little viral, and a lot of people heard about the book from the trailer, who would otherwise never have ventured into the unhallowed lands of the Bizarro scene to find out about it any other way. Some of them bought the book as a result.

Trailers translate into sales principally where the trailer increases the potential market base reached. They have the secondary effect of reinforcing potential sales where the audience overlaps with other media streams, which is not at all a waste of time and money, but it means very little in terms of sales.

Yes, I've done marketing and promotions, can you tell? :p

i'm glad you liked "Myster Odd!"

Date: 2011-10-15 04:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greg bossert (from livejournal.com)
...and I do hope to both make more films starring Myster Odd as well as other short films (this was my first full-on animation). Many thanks for the kind words.

I should point out that Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, myself, and Danny Fontaine (who did the fantastic song) did not set out to make a trailer or advertisement for the book per se. I have been doing the One Minute Weird Tales with Ann, and Jeff pretty much said "hey, do you want to do something wacky with this ODD? anthology?" He and Danny came up with the song, and I had the cool bookcover by Jeremy Zerfoss, and then I went off and did the animation with no further input, goals, or demands. The feel was much more "lets all do some fun creative stuff" and not "let's advertise this book so people will buy it."

Like opalblack says below, if there is an effect on sales of the anthology, it's not so much that the video inspires the desire to buy the book -- they have very little in common but oddness -- but rather that the video cuts over some genre/media boundaries that might have prevented readers from finding the book at all. And likewise, my video is, I hope, finding some viewers from the literary side who don't normally seek out short experimental animations.

The trick is, I suspect, to not have a goal of making money or selling books, but of doing something interesting (at least to oneself). It's the mentality I have when writing fiction, and now the technology lets me make a short film all on my own on my own home equipment, I can use the same approach for animation as well.

Cheers!

Date: 2011-10-12 06:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tziedel.livejournal.com
On the upside of renting a storage unit for comp copies of books and other writerly items, it's a tax deduction.

Date: 2011-10-12 06:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

On the upside of renting a storage unit for comp copies of books and other writerly items, it's a tax deduction.

True. But it feels like people forget that tax deductions first require the expenditure of money a writer (or anyone else) may not have.

Date: 2011-10-12 06:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tziedel.livejournal.com
Yes, it does require non-existent money be spent first. And people do forget that. Sometimes I get very tired of my wealthy clients who have no trouble paying for things that end up being deductible thanks to the cleverness of their CPAs and loopholes. Crap, now I'm depressed.

Date: 2011-10-12 06:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Crap, now I'm depressed.

I'd say it's contagious, but I was already there.

Date: 2011-10-12 06:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashlyme.livejournal.com
Interesting trailer. I couldn't hear the song, sadly; had problems with the sound on my Netbook. Jeff's a hard-working man...seems you leave him for a couple of days and he's got a new anthology out.

I hope The Drowning Girl trailer works out well for you all.

Date: 2011-10-12 06:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Jeff's a hard-working man

That he is.

And I have no idea what a Netbook is.

Date: 2011-10-12 06:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashlyme.livejournal.com
It's a cheap fun-sized laptop. Does the job.

Date: 2011-10-12 07:08 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-10-12 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iterum.livejournal.com
"μάρτυς"

Meant as "martyr" or "witness"?

I wouldn't worry about the sea thing; you're in Lovecraft country. Something in the briny air.

Date: 2011-10-12 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Meant as "martyr" or "witness"?

Martyr.

I wouldn't worry about the sea thing; you're in Lovecraft country. Something in the briny air.

While this is true, I cannot help but be concerned.

On the interconnectedness of books...

Date: 2011-10-12 10:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] edwarddain.livejournal.com
The purist in me would be annoyed by you re-writing things - there is a part of me that dislikes that sort of act on an artist's part while I also recognize their right to do so. I can even admit that it might make them better but Marion Zimmer Bradley did that with at least one of her Darkover novels at it always irked me to a degree because I like being able to watch an artist's style and voice develop across the corpus of thier work (warts and all).

D.

Re: On the interconnectedness of books...

Date: 2011-10-12 10:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

The purist in me would be annoyed by you re-writing things - there is a part of me that dislikes that sort of act on an artist's part

Thing is...I've been doing it all along. Just compare the 1998 text of Silk to the 2008 text. Or any of the reprinted stories. Most get tweaked somewhat between each reprinting, as I figure out how to make the text "better."

Admittedly, the "Bainbridge" rewrite would be much more radical. I've just grown to hate that story, because it connects so much.

Re: On the interconnectedness of books...

Date: 2011-10-12 11:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] edwarddain.livejournal.com
Which is something that I can appreciate - because I can grab a copy of the original and compare it to the improved version. I'm enough of a bibliophile to enjoy doing that - I've spent time looking at different printings of Dhalgren just to try and figure out the differences...

I think, for me, that I'm afraid of losing that ability. That's I love books, real physical books - I want to be able to sit and see where the author changed something, or how one edition chose to lay things out as opposed to another. Electronic texts scare me with the idea that somebody can just change things without care or with barely a second thought. I love the ability to look at v1998 and then at v2008 (which I'll now do) and see new choices made by a more experienced author - but without the original version I don't get that experience...

Ok, I know I kind of reversed myself there, but your comment let me clarify what it is that I love and what I'm afraid of losing. Thank you for that!

D.
Edited Date: 2011-10-12 11:32 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-10-13 02:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] opalblack.livejournal.com

I liked that the interlinking of those books was a subtle aspect of the worldbuild, rather than an overt narrative. As I've mentioned sometime in the dim and distant, I read them somewhat out of order, and it wasn't until Low Red Moon (which I read last) that those threads tied for me. It made the world deeper and more disconcerting.

But that was my experience as a reader, and as a writer I know how a thing written can grate on one when the question of why has no sufficient answer.

Learning the craft of writing is occupational by nature. One does not do one's training or apprenticeship and leave it at that. Some writers never master their craft. I think you are a finer writer for all your mistakes than you could have been without making them. It's just a mixed blessing of the trade that they are so often placed in public view, all solid and prone to rearing up and taunting you long after the fact. Not like baking, where you can toss them away and forget about them, and in three years or so you will be a Baker and that's pretty much that.

If you can bear it, let them stand. They are what they are, if that can be enough. Put the effort into new and different, if you try to fix the imperfections of the past you'll get stuck there. Remember what happened to The Stand when King tried to fix it after the fact, not to speak of what happened to King himself. The thing with the imperfect past is that it isn't broken, so attemps to fix it will nigh-invariably fuck up.

I know it's odd sort of advice when our trade is one of obsession and reflection, but don't obsess and reflect too much. Obsess reflectively, perhaps, and don't reflect obsessively. That might not be exactly what I mean. Maybe I'm trying to put something wordless into words again. It's a compulsion, and one I should keep firmly in check before coffee.

Today I woke with a phrase in my mind (no good dreams to springboard the day's work), and it's one that could make readers of Michael Swanwick and Holly Black shudder; Fairy Tantra. I don't know what, if anything will come of it, but it sent my mind down some perilous paths.

Date: 2011-10-13 05:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] guenevere.livejournal.com
What is it that you dislike about the interconnection of your books? That's actually one of the things I really enjoy about them (obviously not the only thing!)
I like that they're connected enough to pick up on it and have it add to your enjoyment off all the books, all together, but not so much so that you can't read them independently of each other, or out of order.

Date: 2011-10-14 09:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kore-on-lj.livejournal.com
I don't know why but I always miss book trailers, of every kind. The only one I remember seeing close to when the book came out was Chelsea Cain's, and that was because I was tracking the author. Is there a book trailer channel or something?

(Book trailers are very unlikely to make me buy a book, just as movie trailers are very unlikely to make me see a movie. I was screwed once by the trailer for Event Horizon and NEVER AGAIN.)

I actually love how the Silk-to-Hounds books are all connected and love them all so much it's a little hard to imagine them being rewritten -- but heck, they're your books, it's your work, and back in the days before publishing used to like selling mass-produced candy bars, authors used to produce Uniform and Collected Editions (just look at Henry James). I'd say it's the maker's call.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

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