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[personal profile] greygirlbeast
A very bad day, yesterday. Which I saw coming when I made yesterday's entry, though, at that point, I was still trying to make with the stiff upper lip and all. By late afternoon, all pretense was shed. And the day was simply shitty. So far, shitty again today. It doesn't help that here we are at the Vernal Equinox, Ostara...and it doesn't mean anything to me at all. And it doesn't help that spring's at least a month off here in Providence. Genuine, true, warm green spring.

---

No, sorry. This isn't the happy blog entry.

---

The feeling that I need to protect the new novel from the world and everyone in it persists. To the point that I spent part of yesterday – seriously – trying to figure out how to make it financially without allowing the book to be published. At least this should stand as evidence that I mean what I say when I say I only write for myself.

---

Didn't leave the house yesterday, and likely won't today.

I finally finished the mammoth tome that is Suzanna Clarke's Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Still forming first impressions. It is, indeed, a very good book, and quite an achievement. I think I may admire it most for insisting so fervently that it is a book. This novel will never be a movie. It's a book. I've read online that in 2005 Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liaisons) finished a screenplay, and that the film was supposed to begin production in 2006. But it has no IMDb page, so I'm assuming someone realized the folly of their ways. Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norrell has some marvelous moments, is often very funny, occasionally moving, but doubtless too long. I have nothing at all against very long books. Moby Dick, Ulysses, and The Lord of the Rings all number among my favorites. I think Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norrell suffered tremendously from hype. Indeed, that's why it took me three years to buy a copy, and five more years to get around to reading it. But, I very much liked the last few pages.

And on the subject of books, we're almost done with Mockingjay, and, at this point, I think if anyone were to ask me about this trilogy, I think I'd say, read The Hunger Games and skip the rest. Which is to say I'm underwhelmed. I suspect the films may actually improve upon the second and third books (this was the case with some of Rowling's books). I suspect there should only have been two books, at most, and that Mockingjay should have been the second. But even this solution doesn't address all the problems. More when I'm completely finished.

See? It's assholes like me that books need protecting from.

--

The moon, the trumpeted perigee-syzygy, was beautiful last night, even through the light pollution of Providence.

Date: 2011-03-20 06:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kurtmulgrew.livejournal.com
I know what you mean about long stories. You expect it to be extra good for taking so long. I remember reading "Otherland" by Tad Williams in high school. It's 4 books that are like 800 pages each. It took me like 2 years of on and off reading to finish.

Date: 2011-03-20 06:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

You expect it to be extra good for taking so long. I remember reading "Otherland" by Tad Williams in high school. It's 4 books that are like 800 pages each. It took me like 2 years of on and off reading to finish.

Usually, this is about making as much money as possible. I do not believe that was Suzanna Clarke's motivation; it's hard to imagine where I'd cut anything out. Suzanne Collins, on the other hand....

Date: 2011-03-20 07:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashlyme.livejournal.com
The Ladies of Grace Adieu's worth checking out too, though it's much slighter than Strange and Norell. I have a spare copy if you don't already have it.

Date: 2011-03-20 07:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

The Ladies of Grace Adieu's worth checking out too, though it's much slighter than Strange and Norell. I have a spare copy if you don't already have it.

I've not even heard of it. Anyway, very kind offer, but by the time you spend money shipping it from the UK to the US, it would be cheaper for me to by one used (or even new).

Date: 2011-03-20 07:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashlyme.livejournal.com
No problem.

Date: 2011-03-20 07:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaz-mahoney.livejournal.com
Long and rambling question (yes there is a point - a question - in here somewhere):

I wanted to say something in an effort to help with the bad day(s) you've been having, but I realise there's nothing I can possibly say to lift - even slightly - the post-novel despair you feel. Almost... a terror (?) of sorts. Personally, and very selfishly, I'm glad your work is published. I'd be sad not to read your longer works. But I can see how much it chips away at you each time, just through reading your blog. I also know - a very tiny bit - a little more of what some of that fear feels like, re. being read and hearing opinions of what we've written. I already try not to read reviews, for example, but you can't always live in a bubble when you're online as much as I am... There are 'bad' reviews out there that make me wonder if I can do this for the next 30 years, but it's all I ever wanted to do and it took me longer to get here than some people. I don't think I could stop. Sometimes a good word from someone you admire can help. Do you know the author Christopher Barzak? I don't know him at all and have never interacted with him before, but out-of-the blue on twitter yesterday he told me how much he enjoyed The Iron Witch. I feel silly admitting it, but I hold those precious 140-character communications close to my heart, and it gives me a little faith.

Anyway. This is even longer than I thought it would be. I should probably have emailed... I really wanted to know if you've always felt this way about your work. I would imagine you've always written - first and most importantly - for yourself, but when you were first getting published, did you enjoy having an audience more then? Or was it always this difficult; did you always feel so strongly about protecting the work? Has this feeling grown over time - with the online 'reviews' and that kind of thing?

Date: 2011-03-20 07:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I really wanted to know if you've always felt this way about your work. I would imagine you've always written - first and most importantly - for yourself, but when you were first getting published, did you enjoy having an audience more then? Or was it always this difficult; did you always feel so strongly about protecting the work? Has this feeling grown over time - with the online 'reviews' and that kind of thing?

I have always written primarily for myself.

I used to look forward to reviews, but that stopped almost as soon as I was published, and I felt very naive for ever wanting the opinions of others.

These days, kind words from people I admire bolster my mood, at best, for an hour or so.

Date: 2011-03-20 07:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaz-mahoney.livejournal.com
I'm afraid of reviews, though I do look forward to hearing what other fiction writers think of my work.

Thanks for answering. I hope you receive those kind words from people you admire regularly.

Date: 2011-03-20 07:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I'm afraid of reviews, though I do look forward to hearing what other fiction writers think of my work.

I came to believe a long time ago that what other writers have to say about my work....well, it might be irrelevant to my determining whether or not there's any worth to what I've done. It's all too subjective.

Date: 2011-03-20 11:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaz-mahoney.livejournal.com
I think... Okay, I know you're right. I suppose it's all simply reliant on whether we feel - in ourselves - that the work has value. And, of course, that inner-knowing is very far from 'simple' to achieve.

Date: 2011-03-21 01:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

And, of course, that inner-knowing is very far from 'simple' to achieve.

Very, very far from simple.

Date: 2011-03-20 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kizery.livejournal.com

It doesn't seem fair that Stephen King can smugly issue an eighth installment in the Dark Tower series while you are so fearful of how your own work will be received. It should go without saying that your writing so far surpasses King's that I feel silly even mentioning him. I wish there was something I could say to help alleviate your fears.

Edited Date: 2011-03-20 09:17 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-03-20 09:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com
It doesn't seem fair that Stephen King can smugly issue an eighth installment in the Dark Tower series while you are so fearful of how your own work will be received.

"Fair" is not a word or concept used in publishing.

Date: 2011-03-20 11:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spank-an-elf.livejournal.com
Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norrell? Thanks for another book recommendation.

I hope you grant us the honor of reading Imp's story. That's all I can say.

Date: 2011-03-21 01:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I hope you grant us the honor of reading Imp's story.

Near as I can tell, I have no practical say in the matter.

But I do appreciate the sentiment.

Date: 2011-03-21 07:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bbluemarble.livejournal.com
I wanted to pop in and tell you I love that you never force yourself to write the happy blog entries when you don't want to. As an aspiring writer, I appreciate the honesty even if scares the shit out of me.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

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