Monday, September 14, 2009

Jim Carroll: 1949 - 2009

I began reading Jim Carroll as a teenager in the late eighties. My father saved me a newspaper clipping about Carroll's life and poetry. I don't know how my father knew that I, good daughter, would adore Carroll, bad son; but he did, and I did.

I read Jim Carroll all the way through the long year of my growing up: from boot camp to my dorm room to my boyfriend's squalid flat to the wakeful hours of my nightshift summer. I saw him read, once, in Toronto. I remember, for some reason, these lines in particular:

"The positions we use when making love
Determine the next day's weather"

That's from "Sick Bird" in Void of Course.

And this, at the end of Forced Entries: " to green...stop to go. Walk. Wait."

As I write this I'm aware these lines, stripped of context, might not sound to you the way they do to me. I can't unread them. They changed me. He changed me.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Yes, my temperamental heroine Gus Hillyard of "Who in Mortal Chains" will make her debut in Strange Horizons in the new year.

(Since very few people read this journal, I shall confess here that when I read the acceptance letter, I cried out loud like a little child. No one was home but the cats. I got cat fur stuck to my face. It had been an amazingly awful day up to that point; and then it was something else.)

This story, which I thought weaker than its predecessors, made the cut; goes to show that I'm not the best judge of my own work, I suppose.

For the first time since I began this project, I have more than one completed story in the kitty, as well: I'm going to be in SFWA by Christmas, at this rate. And I've given myself a deadline to finish the somewhat related Not-a-Werewolf book, so that I'll have something to show the agents who will doubtless come calling ;) Good Lord, but I must work faster!

Accepted for publication:
"The Tongue of Bees"
"Who in Mortal Chains"

To submit:
"The Duellist, After Her Prime"
"The Oracle of the Dashboard"

First drafts complete but in need of more work:
"Bleaker Collegiate Presents an All Female Production of Waiting for Godot"
"A Sovereign Cure for Pneumonia"

First drafts in progress:
"The King of Bramble Heights"
"Forty-Nine Days in the Intermediate States, with Extracts from the Great Liberation by Hearing"
"Seven Postcards from the Garden of Earthly Delights"
"Rush Lane"

Novel progress:
Not-a-Werewolf: Chapter 6 almost done
Dickensian Fantasy: Chapter 11 of Draft 4 (6 more chapters to go)

Perhaps I should seek out someone to flog me when I begin to tire. It's a great life if you don't weaken...