So last night, I did battle with the forces of Russian malware, and emerged victorious. Today, I slept way late, for me--9 am--and then got up and spent two hours shoveling out my email inbox and dealing with pending issues. Maintenance work, in other words.
I guess I needed that sleep, because normally sleeping that long would leave me feeling stupid and sick all day, and today it seems to have been just about right--although it is nearly noon and I haven't managed to shower or dress or eat anything except a handful of pomegranate arils, all of which are things I should address. I fed my shoggoth last night, but forgot to make the sponge, which means that bread will be delayed until late tonight or tomorrow after my dentist's appointment. But there is other food around, and I could eat some of it. Go figure. I'll get right on that.
I think I'm processing something writing-wise, some deep issues of technique. Part of what I've been thrashing out all this year. I think I've finally gotten my prose to a level where I'm more or less happy with it--I have control of my prosody. Which has been one of my major issues for the past few years. Now, I'm moving back to thinking about how stories get told, and the most effective ways to make them both interesting and challenging--and accessible to the reader. As we have noticed before, most people's brains don't work the way mine does: I hyperintellectualize, and I'm also incredibly nonlinear. So stull that seems like obvious patterns to me isn't always, um, obvious at all to other folks.
I've been reading a lot of really brilliant older stuff lately--I just finished a Barry N. Malzberg collection, and I want to do a bunch more reading before I get back into the coal mines of novel drafting--and one thing I'm realizing is that I want to let some air into my own work. Which is not to say I want to dumb it down, any, but I think I need to keep adding levels to it, opening it up on top. Complexity and accessibility are not antithetical: they're elements that can be brought into balance and harmonized.
It's like cooking--if only one flavor predominates, you haven't made anything very delicious.
I think I got it about right in All the Windwracked Stars, honestly. It's got enough deep levels to keep me happy, and enough surfaces that it can be read entirely as an adevnture novel. And I sort of wonder, why is it that as a culture we have this tendency to assume that if something is bitter and unpleasant, it is far more likely to really be Art than if it's not? I'm not talking about fluffy-bunny stories, here. But realistically, life isn't always all that awful. If it was, no one would do it.
Anyway, for the time being, I have no plans to do any more writing just yet. I need some time off, and I have the luxury of having earned it, and so if you want me I will be under a pile of neglected books on the sofa, reading for pleasure--or what passes for it, these days. Really, it's kind of a busman's holiday. But it's still a holiday. In any case, the backbrain needs time to work out whatever it is that it's working out back there, and when it's done, it will certainly spit out all this stuff that's backlogged, and turn it into stories.
I swear, I've written a lot of posts just like this one over the years. I'm having the most intense sense of deja vu right now. Where's Laurence Fishburne when I need him? (Sorry, having a moment here. Ahem.)
Man, climbing is gonna be fun tonight, given how much my core muscles still hurt. Surprisingly, I'm in better shape than I expected--I guess I'm in pretty good condition--but my lower back is feeling all the walking around hunched over I did on Saturday.
And now I only have one more email left in my inbox, and that will require actual work, so I'd better go shower and eat something and think about the work in question.