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.