Mostly KES, all forum
I know I keep moaning about being an introvert with a privacy fetish . . . nearly every night, and usually for over 1000 words. Cognitive dissonance alert.
This was a true LOL for me… the reason it’s a LOL is that I can do the same thing, though I don’t blog (yet).
You’re leaving out the huge, central, critical fact about this blog: it wasn’t my idea. There is no way in any of the six hundred and thirty-seven dimensions presently known to science that I would have started a blog voluntarily. I started a blog because my agent told me I had to, and my publisher was back there saying, if you want us to go on paying attention to you, a blog would be a very good thing.** I then had to find a way to do it that I would do it. And 1000-plus words on Days in the Life* every oven-frelling-roasted with a side of snarling night, is the way I can do it, and keep doing it. For better and worse. With occasional breaks for roses and baby robins. And guest posts. And now KES.
NO FAIR. I’m having to remind myself to breathe – I was literally holding my breath from the second “there was a funny noise”, and now it’s going to be days before I find out what it is!
Cliffhangers. Mutter, mutter…
Mwa hahahahaha. I have to get some fun out of this, you know. All work and no play makes Jill . . . cranky.
I’ve just re-read the whole story so far in one fell swoop and am happy to report that it reads just as well, if not even better, at the second time of asking. Always an acid test for me with fiction.
Oh dear. Well, I’m (very) glad and all, of course, but . . . remember this isn’t quite Fiction As We Know It, Jim. There’s no planned story arc, no development, no climax, no denouement. It’s One Thing After Another And We’ll Find Out Where We’re Going By Going There.*** I have some ideas. Cathy also has some ideas, if I could get my act together a little faster. Siiiiiiigh. Peter and I were going to write four books of short stories about water, fire, earth and air elemental spirits, right?† And I wrote SUNSHINE, DRAGONHAVEN, CHALICE and PEGASUS instead. The frelling PEGASUS TRILOGY started as a short story for AIR. ::extensive whimpering::
I’d better not let Peter and Cathy get together.
But anyway. Over the long haul, KES will be more of a meander than, um . . . fiction. And I’m not sure that reading 5,692,412 eps in a row will be a good idea.
Look out, Kes, it’s the house from Sunshine!
This is one of the problems with having been writing stories for a while—you run out of first uses of what you might call The Big Simple Stuff. I like lakes. I like houses. I like big old ex-grand ramshackle houses near large bodies of water. And aside from other crucial differences, Kes’ house is a lot smaller, less grand, and farther away from its lake.
. . . did I pick up on a reference to the Yellow Wallpaper?
No. JANE EYRE. However, this is a good opportunity to remind you that the author isn’t always right. She can be pulling/using/responding to stuff she’s not consciously aware of pulling/using/responding to. The whole process of turning the live, out-there story into something on paper/screen is very mysterious, often most of all to the person who’s doing it. And as I’ve also said before, the reason the Story Council tries to match up its stories with its authors is because the story can only use what its chosen author can give it. I am driven mad by stories with critters in which the critters behave nothing like the way critters behave, because the author doesn’t know his/her critters. If you can’t get it right, don’t tell the story. Everybody makes mistakes and everybody bites off more than they can chew—and this is a good thing, it makes you try harder—but if you really don’t know a cat from a kangaroo, stick to something you do know, or get some coaching from a cat-owning friend.††
Another way of saying this is that a carnivorous story is going to dwindle away into a poor sad flimsy thing if it’s given to a vegetarian author.
Anyway. I loved The Yellow Wallpaper, which is totally and utterly a classic, but that’s not what I was consciously thinking of here. But you could be right, because I’ve certainly read it—and been rattled by it. But she doesn’t eat the wallpaper, does she? Or does she?
^ She finds herself wondering what Kes and Maggie would think of each other.+
+ Or the Silent Wonder Dog and Mongo. Snork.
I am now overcome with a desperate yearning for fiction in which SWD and Mongo team up to save the world. Or, you know, team up to save Kes from scary crickets, rustling trees, and whatever may be in the basement. No doubt it would be unrealistic to hope for a guest appearance from Mongo in Kes aka New Thing, what with Mongo being the co-star of upcoming published fiction, but in my head ….
Well. Anything is possible. Jasper Fforde has proved this conclusively.††† And to the extent that I’m planning anything, I’m planning to do some boundary-crossing, preferably scandalous. I’m ten eps ahead in the writing and can’t remember which bits show up where, but I’ve told you already you’re at least going to get the first chapter of the first Flowerhair book, haven’t I? And I’m pretty sure Kes (who is about to turn forty as I’m about to turn sixty) read Robin McKinley when she was an odd bookish kid.
GENERAL JAMES B. CABELL HIGH SCHOOL
General? Now that’s an alternate universe.
FINALLY. I THOUGHT NO ONE WAS GOING TO PICK UP ON ANYTHING. Now I am myself hopeless at picking up references, but I am a little startled that no one has noticed . . . [mrrrrmgglmph].
“…A member of that family owns y—I mean, the one you are looking at, but he lives in Europe,” (she said disdainfully) “and I have never met him.”
Heh heh heh. Anybody else want to take a bet that Kes — and therefore by proxy, also WE — will be getting to meet him, sooner or later?
C’mon, Kes. This is definitely the house for you.
Kes, while a kind of alternate me, is not a perfect projection. She grew up in New York City, and I grew up a Navy brat. And I like whooshing pine trees. But this is the house for Kes. In spite of the Thing in the Cellar. Hee hee hee hee hee hee hee.
Can I exclaim from the rooftops how excited I am that she stole my daughter’s name as her main character?
Oh good. I’ve been slightly braced for someone to want to punch me out. I like Kes and Kestrel, as I’ve said before. I think I’ve also said before that various well-meaning friends tried to persuade me that there were other suitable birds and bird-names and I kept saying NO. SHE’S A RAPTOR. Also, kestrels are fabulous. Just . . . fabulous.
(speaks the proud mother of Kestrel Marie…whose last name is much more pronounceable than this character
MacFarquhar isn’t actually hard to say. It’s hard to spell.
…and whose name is shortened kindly to “Kes” as well).
It’s a good name. I think. Even if it wasn’t short for Kestrel. Kes. Whoever she is, I like her.
So, naturally, I love the story
Oh good. ::Beams::
. . . And reading Hayley, I now realize that, for me at least, I no longer envy or hate her, but pity is there. What does one sacrifice to be that put together?
About Hayley: MWA HA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Heh heh heh heh heh heh. Heh heh. Heh. —And I agree, by the way. About the Business Superwoman look.
So. Seriously. LOVING. New Thing.
Oh good. ::Beams more::
I was so excited when she described the downstairs because it is EXACTLY how the house I grew up in is (room to the right, stairs/hallway in the middle, house-long living space to the left). But then I realized that probably LOTS of house from the turn of the (last) century are built like that. And mine didn’t have a tower, of course, nor a massive porch. But at least I feel really connected to the story now.
I wasted a stupid amount of time looking for the right kind of shabby old-fashioned grandeur on line, and failed. But
. . . if you jumbled these together, made them a lot smaller, and let them go, moderately gently, to wrack and ruin, Kes’ house is something like that.
* * *
* with footnotes
** The thing that makes me curl my lip slightly in hindsight is that five (?) years ago when I started the thing, not every author on the planet was blogging, contrary to rumour and the chivvying of agents and publishers. They are now. Or at least the ones that aren’t it’s like, you’re not? Really? What do you do with your time? —this last perhaps uttered with a certain violence.
Ray Bradbury didn’t blog.
*** Theodore Roethke said it better: I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow. I learn by going where I have to go.
† And we were hoping to do a fifth volume on time elementals. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
†† Or a kangaroo-owning friend.
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