desperance: (Default)
Just sayin'. In twenty-three days, I shall be en route to California.

Potlatch, FogCon. Are you coming? If not, why not? ("Inappropriate distance" is not an excuse; I myself live at a wildly inappropriate distance, and I'll be there.) I do now have my FogCon schedule, which I will post in the traditional manner, but I'll give it a few days to settle in case anything changes. At the moment it's looking like two panels and a reading, yay. Please come to my reading! It'll be Friday afternoon, if it doesn't shift. There may be cupcakes.

In the meantime, between now and then, between here and there - well, I have to finish a novel. I have not flung myself quite into a death-or-glory charge at it, because as we know I am not good at that; but a steady fifteen hundred words a day will bring me in on time if I can bring it in to length. As we know, I am not good at that either; I always overrun, word-wise, in the first draft. I am mad keen not to be late with this, though, so I may up the daily rate. If I can write fifteen hundred, I can write two thousand, right?

Also, a plot would be nice. I'm just sayin'.

Also, I have to make marmalade. I have almost all the oranges. (I wish that help-yourself greengrocers would view it as an obligation to have a scale to hand, for weigh-it-yourself purposes. I wanted two kilos and came home yesterday with 1.7, because I couldn't weigh the bags before I reached the till, and by then I wasn't going to queue again for four oranges more. For the love of four oranges, though, I will go back today.) I have sugar, and jars, and technique. And pretty labels. And waxed discs. And time. Of course I have time. There's always time for long slow cooking.

Between now and the marmalade, though, lie twelve hundred unwritten words. I will reach 50K before I leave the library. Just sayin'...

[ETA: there will be early copies of Hidden Cities by Daniel Fox at FogCon. We have been promised this. You can be among the very first to own one, two weeks ahead of the common populace. All you have to do is be there, and waft a few dollars in an appropriate direction. Still not coming...?]
desperance: (Default)
Am in the hot and steamy south, with all the windows open.

I have wifi, which I am determined not to use. QED.

I am not going to read my friends list; I have novels to read. And reading-glasses to read them with, for I am old.

I am most particularly not going to haunt my catsitters' LJs for any stray mention of the cats. That would be stalkerly behaviour, and I do not do that. Oh no.

I am genuinely and actually not going to be checking my e-mail, because I cannot remember the complicated URL I need for webmail access. My real life will be a blank to me for weeks'n'weeks. My Sooper-Seekrit Plan is that I will get a lot of work done in this interstice. Reality? Pfui. We snigger at reality, and commit humiliations upon it. I have already thought of the beginning to yet another story, tho' determined actually to finish some of those I've already started, tho' I was more properly hoping to advance the novel briskly...

Whatever. I shall write an opening paragraph, and then go for a walk. And buy coffee. I have been in this house for about twelve hours, mostly sleeping, and I have already drunk them out of coffee. *twitches*

Also, I just spotted a Mac-hair caught in my mini-mouse. Aww...
desperance: (Default)
I had to write the intro for another man's stories. First draft was done some time ago, but I need to send it away now, so I'm rereading.

I barely remember doing this, I don't at all remember what I said, so it's all fresh and interesting and not-quite-me. I recognise the tone - I am Serious But Playful, when I comment on others' work - but the thoughts are no longer my own. Neither the sentences.

Hence, I'm allowed to grin with a very particular kind of pleasure (actually, a double pleasure: oh, that's cool followed by hey, did I do that?) when I hit a sentence I really like:

It calls for a marriage of style and content that can be neither forced nor arranged but has to be striven for, sweated over, cultivated like something as precious and rare as it is obdurate and slippery - and that's for starters, that's before it'll get into bed with you.
desperance: (Default)
A couple of days back someone on my f-list (and no, of course I don't remember who) was speaking about the creative process - particularly, I think, the literary process - in terms of progressively closing doors, shutting off options, narrowing choices.

And this is entirely right, of course: every decision you make closes down whole areas of future choice, until finally you're almost running the rails of inevitability, there's nowhere much else you can go now. It's not so much painting yourself into a corner as painting out those areas you've chosen not to go, though it can perhaps look the same from a distance.

On the other hand, sometimes it can work almost entirely the other way around: new choices, new options, whole new vistas suddenly opening up. Almost always, given the way I work, when this happens to me it's because an unforeseen character has just muscled into the narrative.

As, for example, yesterday/today. To avoid spoilers I'm going to go all metaphorical here, to figure the scene without describing it, because this is suddenly feeling significant for the whole run of books I'm working on: but let's say I want my hero to go to the doctor's. And he comes across a mother with a dead goblin child, and okay, she's in a dreadful state and that's reason enough for him to take her to the doctor. Except that (yesterday's surprise) the dead goblin child isn't dead at all, it stirs and looks at him. Now he has far better reason to hurry to the doctor, and I still thought that's all it was about, getting him where I wanted him to be. Child was likely to die anyway, I thought; and it still wouldn't matter, not important. Except that we get the child there and the doctor takes a look and says "That's not a goblin, it's an elf. Hideously mutilated to make it look something like a goblin. Still an elf." Which is today's surprise, coupled with some concommitant stuff I needn't tell you; and you hear those banging noises? That's the sound of doors crashing open, all the way through the trilogy. I suddenly found myself writing dialogue from vol 3:

"You can't have him, he's the voice of our conscience."
"But he never says anything!"
"I know, that's why we need him."

God knows what it means yet, but I love it. Just at the moment, all bets are off and all choices are there to be taken.

[NB - there are no goblins, nor are there elves in this story. I told you, it's a metaphor. Hideous mutilations, oh yes. Those we can do. No child left unscarred...]

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June 2017

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