Monday, September 18, 2006
Sunny and warm
Intense few days, writing-wise, but that’s the way it should be.
Rachelle Arlin Credo’s poem “Homeward“ is up on Circadian today.
“Ris an Abrar” is going to come in at over 10,000 words, which means I’ll have to cut quite a bit. I’m at 8000 now and have about another third of the story to write. I wanted it to be 9K, my upper limit is 10K, and I think I’ll come in at 12K and have to cut. It’s a tough piece for me to write – lots of resistance because it’s so different and such a stretch, but I’m doing it. Whatever happens with it, it has taught me a great deal. And I want to get it DONE. And out on deadline, because this deadline won’t be extended.
And then I have to start “The Merry’s Dalliance” because that’s due Jan. 1. And that has a limit of 10K, too.
My crit partner sent me great feedback on the stories. I’ll put the fixes in the three short stories today and off they go. He also loved “The Retriever” and had a suggestion that gave me a whole new way to think about a section. It gives Sean more to work with and shows his intelligence a bit earlier. I have a few more changes to make in that – and I’m waiting for feedback from one more reader – but that piece needs to go out no later than Wednesday if I want it to go to my first choice market.
I read another batch of his stories, which are also great. He’s got a terrific character threaded through two of them – I hope I see more of this guy. The character is dedicated, humorous, world weary, intelligent – a great character. The writer’s taken a real leap forward. He was always good, but he’s raised the bar for himself.
I’ve already started notes for the next two adventures for Sean and Elle. I have to flip them, because I’m stymied in some of my research – I don’t have enough sense of place for it and the one person who could feed it to me is feeding me geography instead of emotional landscape. So I have to wait until I get there myself. In the meantime, what would have been story #3 will become story #2.
And a book I really, really, really NEED for my research is out of print. It was $12.95 when it came out in 1989 and now sells for nearly $100. It’s going to piss me off to pay that much for a second hand paperback, so I’m trying to track down a cheaper copy elsewhere.
Or talk the publisher into reissuing it.
I wrote out notes for several short stories this weekend. I really need to stop writing in my head while I’m driving, because it splits my attention and when I’m driving – especially with all these morons in their SUVs talking on cell phones – I have to pay attention. Because writing in my head takes even more attention away from the road than their cell phone stupidity and I can’t risk it.
Also wrote 1200 words on a new piece that’s – I don’t know what it is or where it’s going. It came to me in dream images the other night, and I meant to make just a few notes, but I now have 6 pages. The main characters should triangle, but I have a feeling they will quadrangle instead. It’s sort of a magical realism adventure – like I said, I don’t know what it is. Or where it’s going. I have certain points I want to hit, but there’s still a major bit of plot that remains a mystery to me.
Washington Irving’s journals arrived – three volumes, beautifully bound, with a lovely bookplate from its previous SCOTTISH owner. Now I want to find out who this previous owner was and why he gave up these beautiful books.
As for the journals themselves – Washington Irving, from his journals, seems like someone whose company I would greatly enjoy. (A little difficult, seeing as we lived nearly 200 years apart). Here he lived so close and I barely know anything about him except Rip Van Winkle and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. That must be remedied.
Okay, the next time a publisher whines about people not buying books, I’m going to bitch slap him. I rarely buy a book because of its review. But I read a review for Grégoire Bouillier’s book The Mystery Guest (because let me tell you, the cover would make me pass it right over) and decided that I wanted it. Right now. I went to THREE BOOKSTORES, two of them major chains (because my preferred independents were closed) and no one had it or had ever heard of it. Any bookstore can ORDER it for me. The only use a chain is is to have a book when I want it RIGHT NOW.
It is the publisher’s job to get the books into the hands of the readers. Yeah, yeah, yeah, authors this and authors that – anything to keep an author from actually sitting down to write a damn book. But it’s the publisher who gets the piece off the presses and into stores. I don’t want to hear excuses about book buyers or distributors or UPS. If the book is coming out and getting a major review prominently placed, get the fucking book into the fucking stores on time. And stop whining that people don’t buy books when you don’t place them where they can get at them. Work more, whine less.
So I damn well ordered it from one of my reliable sources at a deep discount, AND I found a copy of the other book whose review intrigued me, The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox at a good price, so I ordered it, too. Because God forbid that one was in any of the stores, either.
If bookstores and publishers want people to come in and buy the books, the books have to BE there.
Then there’s the clerk in one store who said, “I don’t know. It might be in a box somewhere in the back. Then it would be out on the floor in a few days.”
Guess what, bubba? I won’t be in this store in a few days. Because you’re not one of my preferred stores and nothing you’re doing is bumping your place of employment up on my list.
Plus, I lost two hours of writing time, which pissed me off even more.
I wanted brain dead time this evening. I click around the channels, rest on a mediocre film which could have been good with a bit more imagination. It had great locations and I kept script doctoring it in my head as I watched. There was one actor in it whose work I really liked – he wasn’t given much to work with – a concept more than a character really – and managed to infuse it with intensity and an occasional flash of humor. I did a bit of research on him, to figure out our Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, ignoring the fact that unless he’s planning to do a lot of plays in the UK where my plays tend to be well-received, we probably won’t work together since I’m edging my way out of the business. And I find out that he’s engaged to one of the few people I absolutely loathe, on both professional and personal levels. So this actor, who brought a unique and creative perspective to a mediocre film is hooked up with one of the most talent-free, phony, manipulative people I’ve ever had the displeasure to meet.
Nothing like a shot of irony, right?
The pilot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was re-aired tonight, since the network’s changing names and who knows what else. I had to laugh there, too – one of the guest spots was filled by an actor with whom I worked on the cancelled series. I am SO going to bust his chops about being turned into a vampire next time I see him. And one of the other guys on the same cancelled series was a regular on Angel. Lots of fun.
Back to “Ris an Abrar”, putting in the fixes to the stories, hopefully a few pages on Real. Time’s ticking away over here, and there’s a great deal to be done.
I absolutely cannot get the video for ME Ellis’s QUITS to work. And she’s donating all profits to charity. So would you please do me a favor and hop on over to her blog and take a look at it there? It’s down near the end of the September 14 post. A “You Tube” thing that I can’t make work properly here.