August 8th, 2006

can't sleep books will eat me

my god, how the cookies roll in

You might as well hang onto it for blackmail purposes. Or auction. Or possibly you can exhume and finish it after I'm dead. ;-)

You know, I am not picky. I did not at all like Korean food the one time I tried it, but if it had been something other than an enormous lukewarm bowl of stuff all mushed together I might have been happier with it--and I'm not absolutely in love with Mediterranean cuisines (except dolmas. mmm, dolmas) (I know, I'm the only weirdo on earth who doesn't really love Italian food--spaghetti Americano does not count as Italian food--although even there, I can usually content myself pretty well as long as I can find something with ricotta in it. *g* ) but I can usually find something on just about any menu. And the Mexican I like is fake-mex, though as long as I can get refried beans or a black bean tortilla I'm pretty chipper.

I am the opposite of a fussy eater.

I love Japanese food, though. And Indian. And Russian. And Thai. And Ethiopian. And I'm always up for adventure dining. And I also love American regional cuisines, including good old Midwestern staples like meatloaf.

Green chile, though, is a little too much like burned hot pepper soup to really float my boat, though I realize that that's heresy.

Until recently, I was an underpaid media summarist. Now, I am an overpaid spreadsheet hack.

"Hey Rocky! Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!"
"Aww, Bullwinkle. But that trick never works!"
ROAR!!!!!!!!!!!!! [as Bullwinkle pulls a lion, a rhino, or some other random giant animal out of the tophat.]

Best. TV. Show. Evar. Just look at the quotes if you don't believe me.

Sadly, not yet available on DVD. Much like my other favorite show. :-P (ETA: Or, apparently, it is. Shows what I know.)

I'd say, quit reading so many goddamned how-to books and write. *g* I think you can keep up on the state of the industry pretty adequately by reading, oh, the award nomination lists. And frankly, I don't even do that, though I try to read books and short stories that are getting a lot of buzz from people I trust.

You're out to develop your own voice, not copy the other guy. It's helpful to know more or less what's going on in the industry (lest you wind up spending six years working on a book that was already published) but the important thing is getting the words on paper.

(There's a running joke that Locus reviews genre fiction so we don't have to read it; this is funny because it's partially true. Who has time? The only time I read more than twenty pages in a row these days is if I'm on an airplane, or if I take a day off on purpose to read. There's a reason for this icon. And the 108 items on my TBR list. :-P)

(the ask-a-question post is here.

*(or something like that, I don't exactly recall)
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bear by san

(no subject)

I could email you a scan of a signature, I suppose. *g* (or one could order signed copies of the first two books from Bakka Phoenix books in Toronto, or of all five from Mysterious Galaxy.)

Anything I know about the Algerian war of independence was picked up entirely by accident, I'm afraid. (It involved French people. And Charles de Gaulle. And the French army nearly invaded Paris for some reason having to do with communists.)

I have failed you.

I hate it that the world is full of things I don't know a thing about.
bear by san

(no subject)

I'm a Yankee. *g* We don't ask personal questions. Although if I were to ask everybody reading this one question--hmm. How about, "What is the perfect book that lives in your head? What's it like? Where is it set? Who is it about? How does it feel, and what does it explore, and what questions does it it ask? How is it written?"

I prefer Robert Bly's mythography and his sense of how fairy tales work to Campbell's or Eliade's, personally. Eliade's mostly discredited these days, and Campbell is widely misunderstood and kind of surfacey. (And Bly pretty widely misunderstood as a sort of apologist for patriarcy, which is not how I read him at all--although some of his adherents don't seem at all to get from his books what I do.)

If you want to take the whole thing back further, you can talk about Yeats and so forth, but frankly, I've forgotten most of the mythopoetic theory I ever learned. (There's also a flaw in a lot of what, third-generation mythography in that it gets prescriptive rather than descriptive. It's one thing to say that fairy tales often express themselves in a certain pattern of ways--echoes of Innana's Descent, say--and another to say that they must do so.)

We're all ripping off Jung, and it's pretty much all bullshit, anyway. Except in the ways in which fairy tales are desperately, authentically true. (And a lot of people who claim they are writing archetypes are, well, writing crappily characterized cardboard. Sorry, but it's true.)

And Jung's in disgrace currently as well. *g*
bear by san

the perfect book.

I probably shouldn't be as amused that I am that I asked people to describe the perfect book, thinking they would talk about the book they wanted to read, and everybody's talking about the book they want to write. *g*

My perfect book exists on many levels. It's rich and steeped in insights, but the language is facile without losing lyricism. It's about someone who isn't perfect when the book begins, but who is broken in interesting ways, and who isn't perfect when the book ends either, but is even more interesting and maybe a little wiser. It has adventure and derring-do and characters I believe in, and a little mystery, and no stupid romances for their own sake, and it probably has a death-or-glory stand. It's honest about the ugly bits, because that makes the lovely bits stronger. It's salty and funny and sweet and it's true, and it has me crying on one page and laughing on the next.

And it probably has a harpy in it. Or, failing that, a dragon.

I've found a lot of books that are close to my perfect book. So far, The Last Unicorn is the nearest thing I've found.

mmm. books.
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bear by san

And I don't know a soul who's not been battered, I don't have a friend who feels at ease

Progress notes for 8 August 2006:

New Words:  898
Total Words: 4,040
Pages: 18
Deadline: September 1
Reason for stopping: end of scene. Also, apparently these things demand a plot. Did you know that?

Stimulants:  Russian Caravan tea
Exercise: none
Mammalian assistance: Mebd looking miffed at me because I was writing about another cat.
Mail: contracts, out and in, and in and out.

Justbooks is like, my biggest fan.

Today's words Word don't know: wampyr, Englisher, Fenian,
Mean Things: crossword puzzles and cross-conversation
Tyop du jour: a conspiratorial tome
Darling du jour:  Sebastien licked his pencil and made a note in the margin of the newspaper while Garrett restrained the urge to warn him against lead poisoning. Wampyr, as far as she knew, were no more subject to long-term harm from toxins than from bullets.

Other writing-related work: contracts. And planning for the KGB reading next week. (In one week! AIEEE! Still, that's one more thing off the to-do list, and at this point, everything that comes off it leaves me a little bit further from a panicked meltdown of WHY WON'T YOU PEOPLE STOP POKING ME??? It's not the writing deadlines--it's everything else.)
Books in progress: Hal Duncan, Vellum
Things I'm glad I didn't go to my grave without: skzbrust on Neil Gaiman on books as foodstuffs.
The glamour!: swept cat litter off the bathroom floor. If the tub isn't scrubbed, stillnotbored, I apologize in advance.