July 20th, 2006

good mris pic

Credit where due; concert footwear

It has come to my attention that some of you are laboring under the misconception that I am an extremely dedicated person, hunting night and day, all over the greater seven-county metro and beyond, for the next book in John MacDonald's McGee series and the next book in Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe series, lest I read them out of order. Not so. The extremely dedicated individual in question is dd_b, and he is hunting all over his entire house to get the next books in these series to lend to me, because sometimes they're not even on the bookshelf where they're supposed to be. But that tireless search is his. All I have to do is show up and maybe make a noise about how it sure would be nice to have something else to read. And then he gives me a stack of books, and I search the entire front left-hand corner of my desk for the next book in the series.

(Well, I mean, not right now he's not hunting. Being as how he's not there and, knowing him, probably asleep anyway. But sometimes.)

Anyway, it's not that I'm not stubborn. You know I am. I have the brain of a pit bull. Hmm. The brain of a pit bull's jaws. No, that's not it, either. I'm afraid this metaphor is just not going to go, and you'll have to go on without it. But the point is, I'm perfectly willing to take credit for my stubborn when it's my stubborn, but this time it's not.

Also I have figured out the difference between a rock concert and a non-rock concert: I feel comfortable wearing open shoes to a non-rock concert. Happily, I own stompy enough boots that I can go to the Blues Traveler concert up in Hinckley tonight anyway. It's been almost eight years since timprov and I went to a BT concert together. Last time we did, it was in a gymasium in Mankato, and we went with Twig and Slacker and MattnJess, and afterwards we ate at Baker's Square (don't ask me why because I don't know) and then went home to the dorms. So...yah. It's been awhile. I don't know when we'll be back from Hinckley, so don't worry if you would usually hear from me and don't. We'll have the cell phone and the credit card.

(We're not leaving for a good long while now. I still have the day to be silly on lj and poke grouchily at Sampo and ask myself repeatedly why Orvokki isn't in this scene, because she's the only sensible character in the entire book. Well -- maybe Karoliina, towards the end. But one and a half sensible characters in an entire novel. Oh dear. No wonder I went running into the arms of The Mark of the Sea Serpent rather than work on revisions to this thing.)

(And did you know that it's less than a week until my birthday? It is.)


Dear brain:

I really appreciate it when I'm showering and you pop up with one vivid scene that leads to another that leads to another. That's always a good thing. I don't mean to seem ungrateful or picky.

But next time, can you put them all in the same book? Or at most, two? And maybe cut back on the deaths a little? And turn down the reverb on the damn thematic resonance? Thanks so very much.


The thing about Sampo is that I was not nearly good enough to write it when I did, and the only way I was ever going to get good enough to write it was by screwing it up and then going back and revising it to within an inch of its life. And a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or life's an awful bore, or something like that, right? There's no sense to writing books that don't do anything interesting to you. I fear that in this case this was in the sense of "may you live in interesting times," though. I am still frightened of this book and its predecessor. Not too frightened to twist my fingers in their guts. But frightened.

Sometimes when I say things like, "I was not nearly good enough," people think I need reassuring about my talent and about the short stories I've already published or the novel manuscripts they've read privately. Not necessary (though I am getting much better about appreciating compliments instead of arguing with them). I don't say that kind of thing when I am a wibbling heap of writergirl under the desk. (I say very little under those circumstances.) Today I am a kickass writergirl and also, incidentally, a good cook and kind of cute and possessed of a very fetching hat, in case you are wondering. But that doesn't mean everything is within my reach today. On the contrary. I see the things I can't do very well yet all the clearer on days like this. It's just that they become problems to solve, plans of attack. Challenges.

Days like this I remember why writing kept me sane even while it drives me crazy: because there's always something else to do better.

Still, sticking to scenes from one book today would have been all right.