it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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She wasn't a stranger to loneliness. She'd grown up and spent her life there.

leahbobet, tanaise, I am giving Josh Ritter another chance. And I discover, I still really dislike his voice and singing style (let us all, aye, an entire generation of boy singers, rip off Bob Dylan. Gah. Why can't they rip off Phil Ochs instead?), but some of his lyrics, I like enough to ignore the voice for. So far, Harrisburg (Having been to that part of Pennsylvania--like Hugh Blumenfeld's "Thread City," it's one of those songs about dying America that's profoundly, searingly true) and "Girl in the War."

It's a long way to Heaven; it's closer to Harrisburg
And that's still a long way from the place where we are
And if evil exists it's a pair of train tracks
And the Devil is a railroad car.

Progress notes for 16 July 2006:

"War Stories."

New Words:  1080
Total Words: 4263
Pages: 18
Deadline: September 1
Reason for stopping: end of scene

I have two and a half scenes left to write. This one may actually stay a short story.


Everybody pretend that we can't tell that the only spec element in this thing is that it's set twenty-off years from now, all right?

Stimulants:  chocolate truffles and Caol Ila
Exercise: none

Jack Tingle gives B&I the thumbs up, and Chains a more qualified thumbs-up, on Usenet. He ran hot and cold on the Jenny books, as I recall. (Those were back in the days before I was actually narcissistic enough to link Usenet posts, but hey, if I'm linking blogs...)

hawkwing_lb expands on her earlier comments on Blood & Iron. She also wrote up a dive today, which I will link under cool things.

truepenny provides a thematic explication of one aspect of the same book.

I'm glad Sarah wrote that, because I'm sort of incapable of talking really intelligently about the themes in my work except in general terms. In part, this is because I am inductive & kinesthetic, rather than deductive & verbal/visual. And in part, it's because, as coffeeem said once memorably, if I could explain it in any less space than it took to write the book, I would have. And in part, it's because my books are invariably about problems I don't have answers to.

If I have an answer to an issue, I write a fucking essay. Fiction, in my opinion, is for things that are not amenable to solutions, only argument and compromise.

I think... I think, reading the last week's responses to Blood & Iron, that this one is really truly out of my hands, in a way the Jenny books never quite managed. People are talking about it, in interesting ways, on all sorts of levels, and I find that both heartening and a little intimidating. It's weird to watch it go out there and make a splash.

commodorified thinks that The Stratford Man is going to have me burned in effigy, for the theology if not the Angel Smut. I just chuckle, for she has not read Whiskey & Water yet. Which has, aye, less angel smut. But also the most subversive sex scene I've ever faded to black on, though it's not evident until the end of the book. I suspect it's one that will have people going "Oh. Oh." if they ever go back and reread the book. 

The other cool weird thing, of course, is not just looking at the book living in other people's heads, and the ways it isn't the same book any more at all--it's trying to guess ahead of the curve which way things are going to break when they hit the collective mind.

And that's how a book goes into the world. It's on its own gray wings--going, gone. It's still my book--the same way my daughter would always be my daughter--but then there's a point where it becomes its own thing, and I don't have it to myself any more.

Bye bye little book.

Send postcards.

Wish I'd gotten rid of a little more of that blinking before you went out and got famous, but we do the best we can. *g*

Mean Things: the nasty clerk at the interment center used a racial slur on cute little ten-year-old Razorface.
Tyop du jour: bust his tow
Darling du jour:  Somehow, Carter must get through, jinky radio and all, because the next thing I know there's a helicopter slamming over like the Archangel Michael on a three day bender.

...yeah, I still like writing Jenny. On a good day, she just takes over and starts talking, and I type up what she says.

I also liked:

The light from fifty-five takes a million years to reach eighteen.

But really. She just comes out with this stuff.

Jerry-rigging: Hmm. I wonder if I left a spec element in my other pants. Maybe I can turn this into a commentary on Iraq somehow, and then the war-on-American-soil will suffice.
There's always one more quirk in the character: Jenny keeps her engagement ring in a money belt when she's on duty. She's so cute at that age.

Other writing-related work: Read truepenny's ch. 14, revised.
Books in progress: Martin Cruz Smith, Stallion Gate; Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice;
Things I'm glad I didn't go to my grave without: hawkwing_lb went diving today and wrote it up.
The glamour!: Decided to do laundry for ComiCon after I get to Las Vegas. *g* Also, I think I'm just not taking the laptop. Screw it.
Tags: progress notes, reviews, short fiction

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