This is a charity post.
In the next week, anyone who donates whatever he or she can to the earthquake/disaster relief charity of his or her choice (need not be Japan-related, because I imagine New Zealand, Haiti, China etc could all still use help), or who donates blood, is invited to post proof of that action in this comment thread by midnight EST on Friday.
Next weekend, I will choose two winners at random. One will recieve a limited edition copy of New Amsterdam with chapbook, which is out of print and going for a couple of bills the last I checked. The other will recieve an Advance Reading Copy of The Tempering of Men, which otherwise you won't be able to read until August.
Go forth and be compassionate.
This is a charity post.
Teacup today: Shadow Unit
Tea today: Stash's White Christmas (from a pot left over from last night), which is white tea with mint and ginger. I'll be switching to their strawberry pomegranate rooibos after this mug.
In a bit here, I'll be having a phone interview with the wonderful Jon Armstrong, which I believe will find its way to his blog shortly thereafter. I'll keep you posted.
And that thing--that very willingness to push it until it falls apart instead of playing it safe, is exactly what makes her Emmylou Harris and not some lesser creature.
It applies to all art. Art doesn't come from concealing your flaws and vulnerabilities; it comes from owning them.
You gain your dignity as an artist by telling the truth, no matter how scary and shameful, over and over again. You gain dignity by sacrificing it--for honesty. The specific is universal.
Not on the fly.
And my F is not significantly improved.
(If I can learn this chord, I will have bad versions of "The Pearl" and "The Long Way Home." It's an inspiration.)
It's definitely time for the first-lines meme, since I got me some serious story-finishin' to do.
For those of you new to the meme, the idea is that you post a rundown of the first lines of all your in-progress work. Through a mystical process not unlike that by which the irritation of a grain of sand encourages an oyster to produce nacre, thus creating a pearl, this causes the universe to encourage growth and formation of a completed story.
So here we go, in something like order of urgency, and leaving out a bunch of novels that have been floundering unwritten for years and may never go anywhere:
The Shaded King
[notice the large blank space here]
the novella formerly titled "REZ"
Police Sub-Inspector Ferron crouched over the object she assumed was the decedent, her hands sheathed in areactin, her elbows resting on uniformed knees.
"The Slaughtered Lamb"
The smell of the greasepaint was getting to Edie.
"That's funny, I didn't see you there."
The pretty blonde teenager on the subway platform didn't look like an elite assassin. That was another new thing. Teenagers.
Johnny Backus was a daywalker. Johnny Backus was a vampire. Johnny Backus was a friend of mine.
Doc Holiday leaned his head way back, tilting his hat to shade his eyes from the glare of the sun, and said, "That looks like some Jules Verne shit to me."
"May you be the proof that man can endure anything."
"Form and Void"
Before she turned into a dragon, Kathy Cutter was Comanche Zariphes' best friend.
An Apprentice to Elves
Tin laced her fingers together across her gravid belly and frowned along her nose at the feeble human child.
The feeble human child frowned back.
"The Deeps of the Sky"
Stormchases' little skiff skipped and glided across the tropopause, skimming the denser atmosphere of the warm cloud-sea beneath, running before a fierce wind.
"Periastron" (AKA the Space Opera Thingy)
There are no unremarkable worlds.
I loved you not.
"The Death of Terrestrial Radio"
The first word was meant to be spoken quietly, if it should ever be spoken at all.
It was always night in Gotham.
"Patience & Fortitude"
Nothing made Matthew hate himself more than waiting for the elevator.
May Mazer and the Ghost Ship
The enormous space of the starship Skylark's natatorium echoed with crowds.
You ain't gonna like what I have to tell you, but I'm gonna tell you anyway.
Smile (unless it gets called Salt Water)
Pewter scraped across the black wave-caps of the Atlantic on the morning Carl Hughes learned how his lover had died.
Mrs. Cornelius stalked into the mahogany-paneled reception room, tiny emerald studs glinting in her ears like the eyes of a snake.
"On Safari in R'lyeh and Carcosa with Gun and Camera"
"We wouldn’t be having this conversation if you'd flunked Algebra."