Tim Pratt's Journal
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2003-09-23 11:19 PM
On Strawberry Hill
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Sit back, y'all. This is when I catch up on everything I haven't mentioned for the past few days.
Sunday we got up relatively early, and I worked on Rangergirl revisions, going through one page at a time. Around 12:30 Heather's sister Holly and their mother arrived. We showed them the house, hung out in the back courtyard for a while, and generally chatted. About an hour later Heather, her mom, and I headed into the city for food & fun. We went to Chow, in the Castro, for lunch. It's a great restaurant (I first went there lo some time ago, after reading "Annabelle's Alphabet" at Writers with Drinks at Cafe du Nord, I think). We sat on the patio, and I ate an open-faced meatball sandwich, because that's the kind of guy I am, yo. I also had one of the best vanilla milkshakes ever. Even now, the mere memory of that flavor makes me salivate.
After lunch we bookstore-browsed a bit, and I bought Miriam van Scott's Encyclopedia of Hell, because it was cheap and looked interesting, and as far as popularized secondary sources go, it's not bad.
Then to the park! I love Golden Gate Park. It's such a vast, cool, odd place. I write a fair bit about its history in the Frog novel, and there are several significant scenes set within its environs. Including one on Strawberry Hill, where I'd never actually been -- until Sunday! So we walked around Stow lake, past trees filled with pigeons, past a bad and very persistent flute player, over the Roman (as opposed to the rustic) bridge, and up the hill itself. Just beautiful. A waterfall, footbridges, a reservoir, a pagoda/gazebo, and gorgeous views of the city, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Marin headlands from the top. And the locale works perfectly for the scene in my novel, so all's well. And now I can write that bit convincingly, with good details, and confidence, and all that other stuff you don't get from reading descriptions and looking at pictures.
Then, as we were pretty beat from walking (it was crazy-hot on Sunday), we drove to Richmond to take Heather's mom back to Holly's. Then Heather and I went home and sort of collapsed on the couch. We watched About Schmidt, which was actually not as depressing as I'd expected.
Then, back to work! I plowed on through Rangergirl revisions for the rest of the night, finished the new scene, fixed continuity errors, completed my read-through of the whole damn book, line-edited, etc. Didn't send it off, though, because it was after 1 a.m. when I finished, and I didn't trust my judgement.
Monday I went to work, and did work things. Last night Heather and I took a short walk, and I worked again. I checked back over my Rangergirl changes, made some minor fixes, and sent it to my agent. (She wrote me this morning, said she'd read it this weekend, and then we could discuss where to send it!) Then I looked over the robot collab -- oh! It has a title! "Robots and Falling Hearts" -- and sent it back to Greg nigh unchanged, so he could submit it, and begin our ascent to fame, fortune, etc. I looked over "Living with the Harpy" for one last time, and sent it back to Jed.
It was a very readerly night.
Today I mostly took it easy in my free time. Work-wise I only proofread Flytrap, as did Heather, and made a bunch of changes, and printed out a mostly-final mock-up (still waiting on an ad, but I'm told it will be here soon, so we're patient). Heather's taking the mock-up to work tomorrow so she can give it to the guy who runs Last Gasp (a distributor -- she talks to them regularly as part of her job as book buyer, natch). He'll pass it on to his salespeople, and maybe they'll decide to distribute Flytrap. It'd be nice to have the zine in some bookstores.
(Having re-read Flytrap #1 most thoroughly today, I can assure you, it's dead brilliant. Funny, beautiful, sad, stylish. Such great contributors! Brilliant stories, brilliant poems, brilliant non-fiction! So go pre-order a copy! Okay. Huckster moment over.)
Let's see. Other stuff. Ah, yes -- and this is only marginally a huckster moment. You can pre-order The Urban Bizarre, an anthology of citified, surreal fiction edited by Nick Mamatas -- and it includes the first collaboration Heather and I ever wrote, "Blue Chuck Does Thrilltown," as well as stories by a knock-out list of contributors. The great thing for you, the reader, is that there's almost certain to be work in this anthology by authors you aren't familiar with. Nick has brought together a diverse bunch of 'zinesters, smut writers, horror writers, and miscellaneous transgressives. I'm looking forward to having this one on my shelf. You should, too.
I'm going to do a deal so people can pre-order inscribed/signed copies of Little Gods directly from me. I'll probably charge $24.00 (cover price is $29.95) and a couple of bucks for shipping. I just have to get around to putting the web page together and sending a mass e-mail. Should happen in a day or two. I relaxed tonight, but it's back to work, work, beautiful work tomorrow.
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