November 30, 2003

Whoohoo! Huzzah!

I did it, again. 50,381 words, right under the wire. That's two for two.

If you'd asked me two weeks ago, I'd've had my doubts.

Oh, man. I am one tired novelist now. G'night, all.

November 25, 2003

Sleep Has His House

Went to settlement today for the house in Edgewood. We are now Homeowners. Damn.

It wasn't really scary, even. Just weird to think how fast all this happened - three and a half weeks from "Hey, this one looks nice" to "Sign your name, here are the keys."

We're in the process of packing now, which is almost as much fun as I remember from the last time we did it. We officially move on the 13th, and bid apartment life farewell, one hopes, forever.

Thanks to all you folks who sent your good wishes and congratulations. We're incredibly happy about this - it's a new chapter in our lives, and one we're more than ready to start. And 11/25 is hereby proclaimed House Day.

...Have Pity On the Dead

On a sadder note, Caren's aunt passed away last night after a long battle with cancer. Any love and good wishes sent her way would be much appreciated, I'm sure.

Two and a half years ago, my own aunt and uncle (my mom's two siblings) passed into the Western Lands within six months of each other, and are still missed. It's never easy to say goodbye, no matter what; one of the things about grief is that you never get over it, you just learn to live with it. But you also learn that death is only hard on the living. I don't pretend to have any answers about what happens After, even to comfort myself in loss, but I can say that even feeling that absence gets easier with time. And you come to celebrate life all the more for knowing that it is, inevitably, terminal.

Have pity on the dead
Pray for the dead
Sleep has his house
Sleep has his house
Overwhelm me
Overwhelm me
Sleep has his house
Sleep has his house

Safe journey, Aunt Fran. You will be remembered.

November 23, 2003

Neil Knows

This just posted today in Neil Gaiman's journal, as if just for us struggling final-week NaNoers:

Sometimes lousy writing days are lousy writing days because you're still figuring something out, and you're not quite ready to let yourself know what it is. And sometimes they’re just days when your head doesn’t want to do the thing where anything worthwhile ever seems to make it out of your fingertips.

Wooch. Word.

Off now to see which sort of day I'm about to have.

November 21, 2003

Me and Ray and the Big Red Guy

At long last, the trailer for the upcoming Hellboy movie is now online.

Cue Dorkgasm.

I found out about this when Spyder both sent the link and called last night, sounding like she'd just been laid. (And in fact, after I'd sat and watched it with her on the line, one of us said "I need a cigarette," but damned if I can remember which of us it was. We are at times the Geek with Two Heads to a frightening extent, la mia sorella and I.) I think it was decided somewhere in there that I'll probably be trekking up to New York for that premier in the spring - it was, after all, partially a mutual love of Mignola that brought about that particular meeting of the minds a year and a half ago over email, when I got my first unsolicited fan art for a Jenny Haniver story I posted on Fantasybits along with a complimentary note that there was something a bit Hellboy-like about my tale, to which I responded that that probably wasn't a coincidence, and one of the Great Correspondences followed soon after.

And even now, as I sweat and labor over Jenny's exploits in the current NaNovel, I take inspiration from Mike Mignola's wonderful creation - especially in the knowledge that you can write a hero who's a big indefuckingstructible Mary Sue and, if you play your cards right, make him (or her) so much fun that nobody gives a damn.

All of which reminds me that I really need to put "One of Those Nights" online sometime, considering it also references a couple of other folks in our leetal community (not to mention John Constantine, Nobilis, Neil Gaiman, and Tom Ligotti, among others, and uses both "synchronicities" and "pugilist" in the lyrics - I really need to do an annotated version if I expect anyone at all to keep up). Not on, though, which is "restructuring" again or some such nonsense soon - maybe IUMA, despite it having seemed to have eaten Tony's page there of late.

Back to the grindstone now - I got pages to go before I sleep.

November 20, 2003

Blogonomicon, Revised and Expanded

Catching up with the rest of us exhibitionists, my big brother Tony now has a blog, which has now been added to the Blogroll at right as well. Whoohoo and huzzah! Hopefully he'll get him some comments one of these days and properly integrate into our online circle o' love.

Also, that same worthy list now has updated its links to reflect the move of Vishal's Restart Twice (now, I should think, misnamed by several steps) to its new home, with camblog-enhanced fun. (I note that the Mumbai train station, at least from the angle there, looks disconcertingly like the MARC train platform right here in Union Station - something I'll be seeing all too much of in the near future - proving that the further abroad you go, the more familiar stuff starts to get. Or something.)

And, as a final update, those of you who, like me, were a bit concerned about the radio silence coming from Andy's direction of late - fear not. I spoke with him last night, and he's alive and well (and hard at work NaNoing), and promises a return to the Blogosphere shortly.

In the meantime, Dork Tower gives us this strange intersection of cosmic spheres. Come to thing of it, that Mr. Kovalic does look awfully sharp in his publicity photos....

November 18, 2003

The Magus at Half a Century

Today is the 50th birthday of Alan Moore, comics revolutionary, magician, musician, writer par excellence, snake-worshipper, and all-around genius. Drink his health in a blood-red cup, and let a chorus of scorpions rise to do him homage; we are lucky, here in Malkuth, to have had him among us. Long may the Mystery have him remain.

Now, there are those who praise Watchmen, and rightly so. And From Hell is a work of towering, staggering dark brilliance; and I have bright hopes for a future where young women (and men) have grown up on the hermetically-charged wonder that is Promethea. And this is not to mention the debt we owe him for League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, or the revival of Swamp Thing, or John Constantine. But V for Vendetta was the one that I can really say changed my life and the way I think.

"Anarchy wears two faces, both creator and destroyer. Thus destroyers topple empires; make a canvas of clean rubble where creators can then build a better world. Rubble, once achieved, makes further ruins' means irrelevant. Away with our explosives, then! Away with our destroyers! They have no place within our better world. But let us raise a toast to all our bombers, all our bastards, most unlovely and most unforgivable. Let's drink their health... then meet with them no more."
- V for Vendetta, p. 222

Happy birthday, Alan. My thanks, and many happy returns.

November 17, 2003

"And like this insubstantial pageant faded..."

The Tempest wrapped yesterday, after a fine three-weekend run, having reached its peak of greatness right at the end. Which is as it should be.

I'm sad it's over; it's hard to let it go after all this time. It was a milestone for me. But I got very, very lucky with this one. I had a talented cast who worked hard, and they made me proud. (A crew, too, who were consummate professionals, and who deserve as much applause.) I'll miss them; I'll miss seeing the work they accomplished here. I hope they stay in touch.

At strike yesterday, they presented me with Propero's staff (I was sure Brenden, who put all kinds of love and hard work into making it look properly magickal, was going to quietly adopt it) and a facsimile edition of the First Folio (which is difficult to read without getting flashes of Good Omens, unsurprisingly). I was truly, truly touched. Good people all around.

The Vasty Deep remains somewhat behind schedule, if not as grievously so as before. I broke 18,000 last night what with staying up too late (cue Nils Frykdahl) and at least I'm actually at a place where I think I can make it now. More erotica helped. Kind of nice to know, at least for my poor suffering heroine's sake, that it doesn't turn November but Jenny gets laid. All for the word count, baby, yeah!

Also, take Maija's advice and go watch the teaser trailer for the next Harry Potter movie. It's delicious. It looks like a Ted Naifeh comic come to life, and has Gary Oldman in the Sirius Black role, resembling nothing so much as a Songs from the Wood-era Ian Anderson. Hurrah!

November 13, 2003

"Looks like meat's back on the menu, boys"

Alex sent us this article yesterday, about the apology being given by the villagers of Nabutautau, Fiji to the descendants of the Reverend Thomas Baker for their own ancestors having clubbed and eaten him back when that sort of thing went on more often. They're hoping this will lift what they see as a curse of bad fortunes plaguing the community ever since. I suppose they feel that eating missionaries registers a bit higher on the Evil Meter than just eating your neighbors in the normal run of things, or else all of Fiji would be having "Sorry we boiled your great-great-granddad" parties all over the place, and time for little else.

(I don't know, though - I feel a bit let down by the whole event. Part of me feels like, if there was any poetry in the universe, they'd have gathered all those folks into the village, started to feel the effects of a few rounds of klava, looked around, and said, "Oh, what the hell, for old times' sake. Break out the forks, lads.")

We were in Suva too briefly to go see the Rev. Baker's boot in the Fiji Museum (apparently the only thing left uneaten; waste not, want not), but since we heard that particular nugget of island history I've been wanting to do a Jenny Haniver story set in Fiji, using that incident - one of the few recorded cases of white men being victims of cannibalism, by the way - as the seed idea. I may play with that after The Vasty Deep goes through a rewrite or two.

Speaking of which, since I'm not posting the WIP online this year (first-publication rights, y'know), if you're one of my loyal readers and want to get a load of this travesty while it's still happening, let me know. I won't vouch for the quality of either the plot or the prose, but it does have monsters, and magicians-in-big-coats, so that's good. And I just dropped in the first weird supernatural sex scene last night, right before 10k. Hooray!

November 12, 2003

His Dork Materials

So I took Quiddity (the new laptop) out for a spin last night at the local Starbucks for an hour or so, and it was most excellent; I sat down with my novel-in-progress and a Venti Caramel Macchiato, and left with several hundred new words and about 10,000 Nerd Points. This is the life.

Battery's a bit wonky so far, and not lasting as long as perhaps it ought, but I'm firing it back up at home even as I write this. We'll see how it goes tonight. (Joy!)

In an entirely different subject, I neglected to give the big thumbs-up to Caren yesterday, who's been doing her part lately to make the world safe for unicorns. Whoohoo! Yeah, Miss Mita! You go, girl!

November 11, 2003

Acquire Treasure, Level Up

Last night I got my early Christmas ("and birthday and probably anniversary") present from my lovely wife: a truly kickass laptop, arrived, let's hope, in time to save my floundering NaNovel. (I stand at a woeful, if ominous, 6066 words.) I have the best sweetie evar.

Of course, I spent much of last night putting toys on it rather than writing, slobbering all over myself at the thought of having a portable CD burner.

Do I qualify for the Ubergeek Prestige Class now?

It's now a little over a month until we move. That's just weird. Exciting, too - I'm ready to be in our own place, and feeling suprisingly un-nostalgic about our apartment. It was a cozy little place to live, but five years is long enough.

And last but not least, a belated happy birthday (yesterday) to Neil Gaiman, now 43. Dream on, dreamer. Omnia mutantes...

November 03, 2003

My Life as Little, Big

Those of you who have followed Stacy's blog for the last couple of months may know that we've been in the market for a house. Amid the chaos of the past weekend, we looked at one and made an offer, and found out today that it got accepted.

If all goes well with inspections and such, we'll be living in Edgewood, just north of Baltimore, by Christmas. It's beautiful.

Special thanks to my mom, who went with Stacy on Saturday's house-hunting expedition and helped with the first look at that sucker, and to Spyder, who was good enough to sit through the brain-numbing process of paperwork with us in the role of, apparently, our good-luck charm.

Huzzah! Huzzah!