The Stillness of an Empty House and a Bit of WIP

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I’m trying to clear my desk of a few things in preparation for heading to Texas on Wednesday for World Fantasy Convention: moving the piles of review CDs around to make a differently ordered series of stacks, filing paperwork, paying bills, putting books on shelves, clearing away icons from the desktop. I’ve turned in part one of Harry’s Dream Journal for Farrago’s Wainscot so that’s done, and I’ve got a few weeks before I need to finish the draft of part two (so as to stay ahead of the game, of course). Last night, I worked through a couple of outstanding movies that have been in the drawer for a few weeks/months (The Proposition and most of Kill Bill, Part Two for those who are curious. For the even curiouser, I 8x’ed the first to see if anything remotely interesting happened during the film [consensus: not really] and napped during part of the second). I also did a coat of primer in the downstairs bathroom so that I can do the first coat of paint tonight. Ah, the mundane life.

Here’s a bit of INSTRUMENT from this morning, salvaging an otherwise uneventful post.

“Sorry to keep you waiting.” Detective Levanti shook my hand. Crisp and not quite dry, it was like squeezing a leaf that had just been plucked from a tree. “I didn’t expect you this early.” There were dark circles under his eyes and he hadn’t bothered to wear a tie.

“I don’t sleep much past daybreak,” I said in way of apology. “The sun stirs up the air too much–stirs me up too much.”

“Ah,” he said, nodding as if my explanation was a sort of a holistic Oriental secret that was intended to be both vague and insightful. “Well, we might as well get this over with then.” He indicated the elevator at the end of the hall. As I turned in that direction, his other hand brushed my elbow. It was a light touch, not meant to be overly familiar, just to reassure me of his presence. To tell me that we were doing this together; that no one liked to look upon death, even those who chased after it. We were going to look on the faces of my family together–the touch said–and if I needed support, his hand would be there.

The wind told me he didn’t offer such aid to everyone, only to those who were about to see something awful.

I waited until the elevator was descending into the basement to ask. “They were tortured too, weren’t they?”

Sale to Moonlit Domes Anthology

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Time management is the key, I think. I keep trying to juggle everything with the appropriate amount of attention and, not surprisingly, things keep slipping out of my hands. I never learned good time management when I had the time to do so and now, well, it’s just one of these things that perpetually haunts the To Do list. Back in my foggy pre-history, during the unemployed days, I got very little writing done day to day; when I was working two jobs, I was cranky out the pages like there was no tomorrow. Funny how that works. The same sort of environment now: full-time job, two kids and about sixteen projects that I’m currently trying to squeeze out. Maybe it isn’t so much time management that is key, but rather being un-stressed about the To Do list. Anyway, writing more regularly here is one of those things that drops off quickly when time vanishes and, eh, I wish it wasn’t so, but there are other more critical things to be done.

Thankfully, some of those things are resulting in forward progress in the writing career so I have an excuse to come round here every once in a while.

“The One That Got Away” sold to squirrel_monkey over the weekend. It’ll be in Moonlit Domes: The Anthology of Urban Fantasy, along with stories by Hal Duncan, Jay Lake, Darin Bradley, Jenn Reese, Catherynne M. Valente and a number of other folks whose work I’m not as familiar with. It’s a stellar group and I’m very pleased to be part of the party. This story worked me over pretty hard, and I’m thrilled that it found a home.

It’s an Empire City story, which makes it the third tale to see the light of day, along with “Chance Island” and “The Nihil Nation Manifesto”, and the first to see print publication.

“The Nihil Nation Manifesto,” by the way, is an excerpt from “Instrument,” an unfinished novella that some of you saw a few years ago. It’s been upgraded to INSTRUMENT, the book I’m working on while trying to swim through the research of THE PROMISE OF PIRATES.

Finished the nodes for the first dream for “The Oneiromantic Mosaic of Harry Potemkin” this morning. Need to clean up some details, send it off to nvonflue for art duties, and then the Farrago Lads and I will start talking about the technical details of making this thing work.

See? Not dead. Just busy.

Surreal Jingles

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“Marble table gravy fit, with big ole flashing purple eyes.”

Yeah, that’s what is running through my head this morning on an endless loop. Makes me wonder what sort of dream was so rudely interrupted by the alarm this morning…

Harry’s Dream Narrative

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I’ve managed to convince darinbradley that there is a certain cunning cleverness to my madness and, as a result, “The Oneiromantic Mosaic of Harry Potemkin” will be part of the experimental goodness of Farrago’s Wainscot, a journal of weirdcraft that he and a few other purveyors of the strange are putting together. The cunning part — or foolish part, ask me again in August of next year when the well has run dry — is that Harry’s story is going to be told in twelve parts. And it will have puzzles.

I’ve also roped nvonflue on-board for art duties. As some of you may recall, he and I did Harry’s first tale together, “The Surgery of Self”, over at OPi8.com. So, here we are. Together. Again.

2007 is going to be fun.

Nothing To See Here But A Little WIP

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I’m dodging writing a little bit today. Just not feeling the finger burn and am rolling about in this fog-laden state of waiting for something to happen. Not that anything is expected to (no novel news, other things aren’t due immediately either), just that fortune cookie sensation of “good news comes to those who are patient” is hovering. So, I decided that I would really rather be reading Vandermeer than the latest piece of shit thriller that I still request from the library out of some vague habit that I haven’t quite purged; I mowed the lawn; did the virtual equivalent of re-arranging my sock drawer; got caught up on all my blogs and LJ reading (easy to do since everyone is out enjoying their local sunshine); planned to go to Frye’s with the Dude after his nap but, since he’s still napping, that’s on hold; and well, yes, I guess I will finally get to line editing that story that has been half-finished for two weeks now.

Anyway, here’s a snippet of it. Something entertaining in an otherwise unexciting post.

“The dog-faced thing in the corner of the room gibbers and slobbers, wet spasm that are waves breaking against the hull of her boat. Lashed to the wood, white angel starless staring, she listens to the waves and the wind of the dog-faced thing. She waits for the moon.

The crescent slit is a stone-frozen celestial image, a false window through which there is no watchful face, no light, no course to set one’s compass by. Here, in the third darkness, there is no eye in the sky, no suggestion to tug at her groin. There is only the dog-faced thing that waits at the foot of the bed and laps at the river between her legs.

The river is but a course to the sea, and the sea is but a course to the moon. Lost daughter, the draught missing from the wheel. False son, vanished among the reeds.”

Sale News

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Distracted by a few hundred things, not the least of which are kids, kids, CDs, stories, and a novel idea that has decided — damnit! — that it needs to sprout now. I need to drag myself out of all that for a moment to mention that “How the Mermaid Lost Her Song” sold to Strange Horizons over the weekend.

It’s in the Metaphysical Detective milieu, but by the time it actually gets published, we’ll have given him a name. So, yes, I’ll also collecting obscure slightly creepy Victorian names right now.

Anyway, it’s my first pro sale. Bemused, excited, still not quite sure it actually happened. We took Solomon to the zoo on Saturday to celebrate. Seems like a perfectly good reward: taking the kids places that make them laugh and bounce up and down with glee. He had a really good time looking at fish and riding the carousel.