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Predebauchery
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I got my contracts for Rangergirl on Thursday. Just holding them was pretty awesome. I've dreamed of selling a novel since I was 8 years old, you know? So I read them, and there was nothing in them that my agent hadn't already told me about, so all was well. I signed, and they went out in Friday's morning mail. And since the first half of my payment comes upon completion of contract, that means there should be money arriving in the foreseeable future. Though of course Bantam has to countersign, and then cut a check, and then send the check to my agency, who will deduct their fee and cut me another check, so I'm not going to start checking the mailbox compulsively just yet.

Last night I had my first Rangergirl-related anxiety dream. In my dream, the publisher decided they didn't want to do Rangergirl as a book. Instead, they worked out a tie-in deal with a ready-to-eat beef stew company, and my novel was printed, 100 words at a time, on the labels of their disgusting jalapeno-infused beef stew, which came in translucent plastic sacks and was stocked on unrefrigerated shelves in the grocery store.

And the worst part? The novel, as printed on the beef stew labels, was full of typos.

Welcome to the roiling subconscious of me.

***

We rented Ripley's Game the other night, and I liked it quite a bit. John Malkovich was a marvelous Ripley, and the film as a whole was certainly far better than The Talented Mr. Ripley with Matt Damon. It rekindled my longstanding interest in sociopathic characters. Which is useful stuff to think about, since the Bridges novel involves a sociopathic cult leader (who is not, oddly, the chief antagonist of the book). In the early 1800s the set of symptoms found in sociopaths was called "moral insanity," which is a wonderfully resonant term, though I can see why it was given up in favor of less semantically-charged terminology.

We went to see Spider-Man 2 last night, and it's better than the first one, both in terms of story/character development and effects. I credit Michael Chabon's influence on the screen story for giving it more texture and depth than most big summer action movies have.

***

Hope you're all having a pleasant July thus far. Most of us in the US have long weekends in honor of Independence Day, which is enough to make me feel more-than-usually patriotic. Tonight Iím attending my best friend Scott's bachelor party, which I helped organize (though my co-conspirator Marla is doing most of work by getting ten people from Santa Cruz to San Francisco). It should be a nice mix of high and low culture (and I won't say any more yet on the off-chance that he might read this entry; the details of the evening are a surprise). Once I recover from my sure-to-be-wicked hangover and exhaustion tomorrow, I'll post details, if I can remember anything.

A little debauchery every once in a while is good for you. It toughens up the soul.



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