December 31, 2011



Bluuuuh.  I’m even more brain dead tonight than I was last night and I’ve already used the available SHADOWS snippet for the foreseeable future.  It’s a great pity that snippets have a dismaying tendency to give the plot away.*  After all, this blog is Days in the Life, right?  SHADOWS is about 90% of my life right now, days and nights.  


(You know, if you like, you can post us a scene from SHADOWS EVERY night until the book is done – we won’t object 

That’s very kind of you.  I appreciate the vote of confidence. 

although your publishers might disagree with me on that one….)

 Well, self e-publishing is all the rage these days, isn’t it?   We could offer a subscription for a New Robin McKinley Fragment service.  


By then my arms were full of Mongo. “Mongo, you loophead,” I said, burying my face in his fur, “what are you doing here?”

*whispers* They do tend to be loopheads. 

While I do not have your eclectic and inclusive experience of the breed . . . I know.  Mongo is drawn from life.  


And your publishers could perhaps start thinking about a range of objects with Mongo on, in some form (a doodle?) for the launch in 2013? I would so buy a T-shirt or something.  

What a splendid idea.  Thank you.  Speaking of a subscription service . . .  We might think about an extended doodle shop.  Definitely t shirts.  Knitting . . . I mean tote . . . bags.  Mugs.  Fuchsia leather jackets with satin logos.  All Stars.  If there are Blondie and Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse All Stars—which there are, I have both—why not Mongo, Ebon and Gulp All Stars?  

            I did wrench a little time free and go to bell practise tonight.  Three-dimensionality is great when you’ve been staring at a computer screen all day (and night).  Although I’ve mentioned before that there’s a strong fantasy element to bell ringing**—it’s just not satisfactorily explained by large hollow chunks of metal, long ropes with fluffy bits and clusters of crazy people—and it may be that bells suit the brain-blasted writer better than certain other occupations—boxcar derby, say, or pearl fishing—which would require the subject to re-engage with reality in a much more unpleasantly comprehensive way.  Bells, you’re tucked up in a nice little initiates-only bell chamber . . . well, usually.  I had the standard annual phone call from Crabbiton this evening, asking if I were available to help ring in the New Year tomorrow at midnight.  It’s not like I’d be asleep.  But Crabbiton is not only a ground-floor ring but the whole point is that the ENTIRE VILLAGE crowds into the church and stares at you.  It’s probably good for my character.*** 

 * * *

* Note:  Casimir is very good-looking.  

** Which perhaps balances the horrible reality of learning method lines.^ 

^ While muttering frantically to yourself:  it’s not maths, it’s not maths, it’s just numbers on a crooked line, it’s not maths.+ 

+ Speaking of maths.  Some day when I’m awake, so, like, maybe April, I want to talk some more about Shape of Brain and the culture chasm between the lit brain and the maths brain.  I had a couple of ha-ha you lit people are so funny from science brains in response to my blog post objecting to ABSOLUTELY SMALL’S doolally Schrodinger’s cat metaphor—in other words I didn’t get it.  True.  But from where I’m standing it’s a bad metaphor, as is the 50 pound boy travelling at 20 mph a bad metaphor.  They don’t engage me with the material, they throw me farther out—like inconsistent characterisation or a howling plot hole in a novel.  Suddenly you’re not reading a story any more, you’re staring at hen scratches on a page (real or virtual) and deciding you’d rather be getting on with your knitting.  Cats in boxes don’t randomly die because you look at them.  When Fayer eventually gets to the photons being in two places at once but collapsing into one state or another if they’re measured it’s fine.  I don’t want to write a term paper on it, mind you, but I follow it okay.# 

            But all metaphors are metaphorical.  They depend on common ground, common language, common assumptions.  Which is dangerous and unreliable, you know?  I know:  I’m an American who has been living in England for the last twenty years and am still daily baffled by this alien culture I now call home.##   How much of my almost  throwing ABSOLUTELY SMALL across the room when I got to the part about the 1000 cats in boxes, 500 of them marked for death###, is not that the metaphor is bad in an absolute sense~ but because I’m reading/listening to it with a lit brain, not a math brain? 

# Being a fantasy writer may be an advantage here, speaking of shape of brain.  So this earnest science bloke says, okay, these particles, they’re sort of like waves, and they’re sort of like infinite waves, and they can be in two places at once, or maybe they can be everywhere at once, theoretically, just so long as you don’t look at them.  Oh, okay, says the never-having-had-a-lot-to-do-with-classical-physics-and-therefore-having-no-mindsets-to-break-but-liking-without-worrying-a-lot-about-cognitive-dissonance-things-the-size-of-pegasi-and-dragons-flying fantasy writer.~ 

~ And, being a fantasy writer, one of the things I am thinking, while this earnest science bloke is digging himself in deeper with this complex and exotic taradiddle of his, is, there’s a difference between looking and measuring.  The problem with the subatomically tiny stuff is that our eyes can’t focus that small, so we have to have instruments that measure.  What happens if you befriend a flower fairy with very good close vision?  I suppose her body heat or her breathing or something would still upset the photons.  Miffy little beasts, photons. 

## Method bell ringing.  Please. 

### My restraint was chiefly because I was listening to it on Pooka at the time, and I do not throw my iPhone across the room. 

~small or large 

*** No.  It’s not. 





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