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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, [ 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:

Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (cullom)
So, yesterday we made it all the way through Chapter Four ("Yer Funeral") of Silk. It was a little annoying to discover that the photostat I'd been sent was missing several pages near the beginning, but it's nothing that isn't easily remedied. Anyway, as of the end of the day yesterday, this is how the Zokutou page meter looks:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
93 / 354

Having not read this novel in at least a decade, I am pleased to say that I still like it. I was afraid that I would not, that who I am now and how I write now and how I view the world now would have deviated to such a great degree from the me who wrote Silk that our worldviews — this me and that former me — would have become incommensurable. But this isn't the case. The book holds up well, and I'm proud I did such a good job with what was only my second novel. I am making quite a lot of minor changes, more than I'd thought I would, primarily smoothing out the grammar a little, standardizing commas, hyphens, semicolons, & etc. I'm dividing the more visually jarring "compounderations" with hyphens or simply making of them two words. Anyway, yes, it's going well.

One thing that struck me in particular yesterday was this passage:

And when she was thirteen she'd run away the first time, had been picked up by Florida state troopers, hitchhiking a few miles from the Alabama state line. Had finally spent a little time in juvie, and no one had really bothered to argue when she turned sixteen and dropped out of school. No one had come after her when she'd bought the bus ticket back to Birmingham with her own money. She'd walked from the Greyhound depot downtown, dragging an old duffel bag behind her. Military canvas crammed full of her ratty jeans and T-shirts and comic books like some gigantic olive-drab sausage. (p. 57, Roc mmp)

I have remarked more than once of the sometimes intentional, sometimes unintentional recurrence of "the white woman" in my stories and novels, beginning with Virginia Percel in The Five of Cups on up the legless albino in "the white dreams" and "In View of Nothing." However, this parallel with Spyder's return to Alabama and Dancy's exit from Florida in Threshold, and then "again" in Alabaster, was, I can honestly say, entirely accidental. It gave me pause, seeing it yesterday. Was Spyder a dress rehearsal for Dancy? Is Dancy merely Spyder Baxter seen from some other perspective? Then, when you reconsider "Bainbridge" in light of this passage, "Bainbridge" being the story where the events of Silk, Alabaster, Threshold, and Murder of Angels are finally brought into direct contact, all sorts of wormholes and literary Möbius strips and new resonances emerge. Most of the interconnectedness in my stories is intentional, but this parallel certainly was not, which probably makes it all the more meaningful.

I have held off on making this announcement until I had my schedule, but yes, I will be appearing at the Birmingham Public Library's Alabama Bound lit festival in April. Specifically, at 12:30 p.m., Saturday April 14th. It will be a very short sort of a thing, hardly even a real reading (as that's the way Alabama Bound works), but I will be answering questions afterwards and signing for a bit (I think a local Barnes and Noble will be providing copies of Daughter of Hounds and Threshold for sale). This is my first public appearance since November 2004, and I currently have no others planned.

Last night, Spooky and I watched the three-hour Galápagos special on the National Geographic Channel. Beautiful.

Okay. Back to the word mines...


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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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