May 7th, 2005



I don't know how many times I have to say this, people, but apparently once more is required: do not tell me that something is only a book, only a movie, only a TV show. Do not.

If you are informing me that a piece of fiction is, in fact, fiction, rest assured that I have a firm grasp on the difference between nonfiction/documentary and fiction, and on the different modes that exist between them.

But mostly people who say that are not trying to make that clarification with someone they suspect of being genuinely confused. They are saying, Relax. It is only a work of fiction and therefore not important. It is nothing to get excited over. It is nothing that can change your life or anybody else's, much less the world at large. It is certainly nothing for which you should have standards. It does not matter. It cannot matter.

I think that's false and not only that but damaging in its falsity, and while we're at it let's not forget patronizing, and I just plain don't want to hear it. Ever. Okay? Okay. I certainly don't want to hear it as many times as I have this week. I have gone over my quota.

I think that should get my crankiness for the morning out of the way, but I make no guarantees.

Week of May 1-7

Four rejections. Note that I only got five rejections in the entire month of April. But this week, four.

The Grey Road, around the halfway point of this revision, is 22 pages shorter than it was before. I've saved the earlier draft, but I really don't think I'm going to miss anything from it. Let's say you could refill the Ogallala Aquifer with the wells I've removed from the dialog.

My cramps started early. Oh, hurrah.

I finished reading Double Feature (and am still singing under my breath, dammit: "Will and Emma's Double Feature, but nobody built a creature..." -- some people's friends), and I have a bit to say about "Why I Write Fantasy" (thanks, pegkerr and pameladean; it was indeed a good thing for me to read), but not just now. Just now I'm going back to pruning the heck out of The Grey Road and reading K.J. Parker's Pattern and starting the chili. Chili and cornbread is comfort food around here. When we lived in Concord and markgritter had a 2.5 hour one-way commute once a week, it was always chili night so that we could eat whenever he got in and it would be ready and hot in the crockpot. I didn't start it in the crockpot this morning, but I think it'll still be good comfort food. Chili and Advil. Cures what ails ya.
good mris pic

Curling with Baba Yaga

I decided that I should get some new fiction in before my day off tomorrow, and that it should be something fun. So I opened "Carter Hall Sweeps a Path," and this is what happened:

Janet's voice got real quiet, which is always a bad sign. "Here's what I know. You are supposed to be the Best Man for my husband in three days. The tux is already ordered. It is too late for you to get carried off by some damned immortal Russian witch, and I will not have it. Do you understand, Carter? Do not screw with my wedding any more than it's already screwed. We have the unplanned pregnancy. We have the crazy Finnish granny warding us against the Queen of Air and Darkness. We absolutely will not have the Best Man chained to a chicken-legged hut for the ceremony. Do I make myself clear?"

I love all the Janets, basically. But oh, I love mine so much, with her up-north accent and her Minnesota butter-blonde bob and her great big hockey stick. I love how she bends the entire men's hockey team to her will by kicking their asses on the ice instead of batting her eyes at the bar after. I love that she turns to magic out of cold-blooded necessity instead of starry-eyed wonder. I love how she has to go on, how just Halloween is not enough.

I love Tam and Tommy Heikkanen and Feodorov and Rob Bonhomme and all the Grannies, Janet's Granny Laird and witchy Granny Heikkanen and this false-toothed Granny Lesovna who has shown up to wreak havoc at Midwinter. I even love Coach Laird, though he's a right bastard and I would kick him in the shins if he wasn't my own character. I especially love that big old bruiser defenseman Carter Hall, bless him, because Carter is not dumb, but his perspective is...undergoing a radical shift in the course of these stories, let's say, and yet certain fundamentals are not, and that's good, too. I'm in a very happy place with these characters right now. It's already the seventh. Clearly I am not participating in WriYoFuFMo, or I'd have a few chapters of The True Tale of Carter Hall drafted already. Still, I thought I could maybe just make a nod of sympathy towards it and see what happened, and so far it's very sympathetic indeed, and I am a happy writer kid in a way I haven't been for awhile now.

There's a lot to this whole "fun" thing.