October 19th, 2005

bear by san

row row row your boat

Here in Las Vegas, we've gotten a bit shy of a year's worth of rain in the past two days. There has been flooding, but in a testament to the fact that the Regional Flood Control District has actually been doing something with the money, the city has not washed down the Colorado River.

Nothing like what back east has gotten, though. A record storm here is a steady afternoon's rain, out there.

I've been reading bad books (phrases noted today: "...six and a half feet of raw, pulsing man..." Now I recall why I don't read romance novels. As stillsostrange said when I shared, It's Nuckalavee!" ) and catching up on some crit-work for friends while poking sort of halfheartedly at Stars and a new short story idea that's currently titled "Babylon. And On." but really needs a title that's not lifted from a Squeeze song. Really. And which revolves around a Las Vegas casino called Babylon. (Babylon. It is a silly place.) And no, it's not a deal with the devil story.

Anyway, I got chapter one of Stars rewritten, and it's completely unrecognizable. Same story, I mean, but a totally different book. Which is one of the cool things about stories, and books. They're not the same thing, and at some point I think if one wants to turn one's stories into the best books one possibly can, it's important to let go of the idea that they're the same thing.

Or maybe that's just me. Anyway, it's helped me a bunch to divorce the story from the writing. I wonder if that's one of the ways "Kill your darlings" unpacks. (Mind you, "Kill your darlings" does not mean kill all teh cool and shiny bits of your story. It means kill all the things that aren't doing the work they need to do. Nobody wants to read a story without shiny bits.)

But I suspect I won't be doing any more writing for a while. That chapter and that page or so of a short story, I think, were the last stuttering drops out of the barrel, and I need to cork the sucker up and refill it now. After a while, you can sorta tell when you've gotten everything out.

Oh, BTW, that discussion forum (about me!) I linked the other day is up and running now. Feel free to wander over and eat the cheese dip. They seem like nice people. And I wrote an obscenely long post about The State Of My Publications For The Foreseeable Future, in response to a question, so you won't have to ask over here!

Wow, cosmic pocket of good music on Radio Paradise: Chris Isaak, Vienna Teng, Kate Bush, String Cheese Incident.

Dangit, back to work.
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