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Golden Light
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It's been a reasonably productive weekend.

I actually updated my bibliography, which was months out of date. Not that I think anyone actually looks at my bibliography, but one never knows, and I think that in twenty or thirty years I'll be glad I kept an updated bibliography from the get-go.

I also made some headway on sending stuff to Fictionwise. Wrote some story descriptions, sent 'em a bio, started sending off the stories. I still need to sign and return the contract, send the rest of the stories, and dig up a photo for them. It shouldn't be a tough job, but trying to do 10 stories all at once takes a certain amount of time, especially since every brief story description I write sounds appallingly stupid to me. Should get them all sent off this week, though.

I'm putting together a book of poems to enter in the Yale Younger Poets competition, since after ten years of seriously writing poetry I think I have about enough good ones to make a 50 page book. I have no expectation of winning, but entering the competition provides me with a deadline and an impetus to pay more attention to my poetic work. I re-read all the couple hundred poems I've written over the years today, and culled down to about 35 that I think are my best work. Now to sort them, arrange them, and see if I can make a coherent book out of them (fortunately, themes and categorizations have already begun to assert themselves). I'm also going to revise them (some a little, some a lot), because it's amazing how clear my infelicitous phrases and awkward bits of diction appear after a poem has sat seasoning for a few years... I'm excited. It was hard to work on anything else today, because all I wanted to do was tweak and arrange poems...

As planned, I did a fair bit of reading, though not as much as I'd hoped. I read Whittemore's Quin's Shanghai Circus yesterday, and liked it very much -- a book that lets you get drunk on language, a great concatenation of self-referentiality, historical oddity, and character study. Today I read M. John Harrison's The Course of the Heart, which affected me profoundly (and gave me some ideas about how to approach my Bridges novel). Harrison's ability to evoke atmosphere is staggering, and there's such subtlety, richness and texture. The book is at once claustrophobic and expansive. I need to read it again and pick apart the language, examine the juxtaposition of action and description, the way he puts scenes together to create those effects.

Mmm, books.


We went into the city yesterday for Richard's birthday party (readers may know Richard as our favorite Flytrap illustrator). Great fun. Richard cooked a tremendous amount of delicious food along a Southern theme (fried chicken, potato salad, corn bread, collard greens), and there was much beer and merriment. Also a dense and extraordinarily rich chocolate cake, topped with ridges and dorsal fins and spikes of chocolate. I'm not a huge fan of cake in general, but this one overwhelmed me. It was also nice to see Heathen and Chol again; they're always fun. We gave Richard the most recent Spectrum annual, because he loves sf/fantasy art, and it was a big hit. A nice way to spend the evening.


I've been thinking about my blog-reading habits. I mostly read sf/fantasy and writing blogs, natch, but I thought I'd point people toward a couple of other blogs I read that have nothing to do with science fiction or writing in particular. They are both incredibly well-written and entertaining, though: Mistress Matisse's journal, blog of a Seattle-based dominatrix, complete with transcripts of clueless phone calls, and Pornblography, journal of a porn publicist. Both are funny, often thought-provoking, and well worth reading. I also read Belle de jour, of course, and will probably buy her book when it comes out, because I like her voice.


Last week my kind and lovely agent Ginger sent me a bouquet of 12 yellow roses as a condolence gift for my loss of the Campbell award. Here's a pic:

Such a thoughtful thing to do. Little things can mean a lot. Thanks, Ginger.


Didn't do much except read and clean today. We got the house looking nice (which was just as well, since there were prospective building-buyers tromping through intermittently this afternoon, sigh). I sat on the couch in the afternoon and enjoyed the golden light that fills the living room at the end of the day. Beautiful, and too fleeting. Ah, well. There's never enough time.

Next weekend we're off to Santa Cruz to enjoy the last dregs of summer. Just have to make it through the work-week in between...

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