A Hint of Moon

Appearances, Book Talk

There’s a stretch of road that always makes my brain churn out content. I don’t really know why. It’s not a very interesting stretch of road, and at any given time, it can be terribly snarled with traffic. But, for some reason, along that ten mile ribbon of road, my mind gets to writing, and it always sounds fabulous in my head.

But the next morning, I can barely remember any of it (other than it sounding fabulous). I should learn to dictate to my phone, but the few times I’ve tried that, I become terribly self-conscious about the pauses and hiccups in my speech. Again: fabulous in the brain; not so fabulous when it materializes.

Perhaps there is just some sort of weather subduction zone along that stretch. Where the air pressure is different enough on the outside that my brain swells a little bit on the inside, and my perceptions of the world are a little skewed.

Illustration by Jerry Minor.

Illustration by Jerry Minor.

I was at the Starships and Sorcery Book Club meeting last night at the U Bookstore in Bellevue. They had read my collection The Court of Lies, and I was asked to come sit in on the discussion. I didn’t really have any idea how having the author sit in would play, and was delighted to spent almost two hours with the group chatting about all sorts of things. The lovely thing about reading a collection in a book club is that everyone can have a favorite (or not) and it doesn’t create divisions within the group. If you’re reading a novel and you don’t like it, you’re sort of stuck for the evening’s discussion, and probably more prone to sitting the session out entirely. Props to Olivia, Danny, and Jerry for pushing the collection on the group.

Plus there were waffles and Bloody Marys with bacon skewers. What’s not to like about a book club meeting with breakfast food?

A reader pointed out to me that I use the term ‘cat herder’ in my header, and as someone knew to reading my work, they didn’t know the history of that word in regards to the past few years. They were disappointed there were no cat pictures to be found on the website. Here now, rectifying that problem, is a picture of Enkidu. I realize there is only one cat, and implicit in the phrase ‘cat herder’ is the suggestion that there are enough cats to herd, but in the case of this ghostly orange cat, one is enough.

Cat in a box, properly herded.

Cat in a box, properly herded.

Earlier this week, I read at the Quarterly SFWA Reading Series event along with Scott James Magner and Randy Henderson. We were all celebrating the release of Randy’s first novel, Finn Fancy Necromancy, which is a delightfully charming take on loving the dead—in this case the ’80s. Which, as Randy adroitly notes, haven’t truly died; they’re still shuffling along. Zombified Zeitgeist.

I read Chapter 4 from VERTIGO, and was pleased at the reaction I got from the audience. I think I’ve finally managed to sort out the issues with the name of the city, which has been one of those lingering world-building issues that have been dogging me for what? A decade now? Silly writer. Anyway, EMPIRE CITY -> the SPRAWL -> VERDIGRIS CITY -> VERTIGO. I think that’s settled finally.

Next week is Writing Time in the Woods. I hope to get another chunk of either FERAL or VERTIGO down, as well as some bits on BLACK MOON, a new project that takes its name from our current cycle of two new moons in January and March of this year, making February the month without a new moon. Good time to be in the woods, I suspect.

I’ve become somewhat curmudgeonly about projects, in that I have a preference these days to not want to talk about them until they are far enough along that they might actually be finished in the near future. The downside of this attitude is that I can very easily NOT say anything at all, which makes it easy to disappear as a creative. Which, in turn, does little to keep up a relationship with one’s audience.

“Hey, writer guy, whatcha working on?”

“Stuff.”

“What kind of stuff?”

“New stuff.”

. . .

It’s not a very fulfilling conversation. For anyone.

I’ll leave you with a sliver of BLACK MOON. You know, the new stuff.

hint_of_moon