December 07, 2001

So I spent an enormous amount of time last night working on The Website (, editing and converting various bits of my writing for all and sundry to see there. Had that awful moment of doubt where I had to wonder if anyone cares enough to involve themselves in the workings of my twisted mind to spend time slogging through it there, especially with almost nothing up that has anything like an end or resolution or any of the other satisfying qualities readers generally look for in entertainment. OTOH, the feedback on Fantasybits for almost all of it has been so strongly positive for so long that I have to believe there's SOMETHING there. Vainglorious, indeed. The one thing publishing works-in-progress like that really has going for it is the potential to keep me honest, keep me working at it until it's done because I've got some other poor bastard involved in it. I can hope so, at least. It's certainly possible I'll finish something and the damn thing will sit there without anyone ever seeing it in all its glory. "What if I wrote a novel and nobody came?" It's surely happened to better than I.

And then there's the stuff I can't seem to be making headway on, like the William Burroughs poem I started for the "invisible stalker" topic and have been picking at like an old wound for a month or so. I know what I want to say, but I'm having a hell of a time getting there - two lines at a time on a good day, and it constantly wants to veer off in some unintended and unsatisfactory direction. Maybe I'm just overly conscious of not wanting to repeat what I had to say in "Sailing to the Western Lands." But I'm terribly afraid this is going to be like "S. T. Joshi in Dreamland" and sit around on my computer for five or six years without an ending because it seemed like a good idea at the time. Could it be that this whole poems-about-writers thing is a clever concept that fails when actually put to the test? Gods, I hope not.

And "A Lizard in Crimson" has been, or continues to be, back-burnered for a time while I work on some other stuff that needs attending to - THE RESIDENTS #1 for starters, and a couple of other things that seem to want some tinkering with (not to mention getting ready for the holidays and assorted pesky RL stuff). Hope this doesn't upset my adoring public TOO much, since it turned out to be my breakthrough 'Bits storyline in a number of ways, including being singled out by the weightily talented Vishal Bharadwaj in a recent missive to me. Vishal shall be richly rewarded for that, let me tell you.

Sigh. I'm torn between the burning desire to delve into the work and the burning desire to get away from all of it for a while. The latter is frought with danger, of course - I'll take a break and get into something that I've had on the "to-read" list for a while, like URTH OF THE NEW SUN, and come back trying to make everything feel like Gene Wolfe, layering six new kinds of grotesque strangeness on top of what's already in there. Story of my life - trying to find the point at which the extra dash of curry helps the soup instead of turning it into a bowel-torturer.

Or I could take the night to rent a movie or something. I dunno.

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