Hollering for Charlemagne

21 January 2003

As pertains to yesterday's entry: certainly, if you don't want to write for an audience, don't write for an audience. Write for joy or therapy or don't write at all, if that's what you want. But if you do want to write for an audience, then for heaven's sake, dig your heels in, keep going, don't hamper yourself with assumptions of failure.

Today's paper has me alarmed: for the third day in a row, the front page is covered with Raiders-related pictures and stories. It might just be picture and story; I'm waiting until I'm in a slightly better mood to pick it up and examine it. I fear an entire week of Superbowl-related headlines. I'm from Nebraska. I know what a week of front-page football coverage is like. Ahhh, Nebraska, where now they have Dr. Tom in Congress, so even the national legislative news stories have a football spin.

Mark arrived at Institution2, which is definitely yon, and the town reminded him of a smaller Grand Rapids, "only we drove past more adult entertainment stores." I would note that it would be very difficult to have fewer "adult" entertainment stores than Grand Rapids, by my guess. I've never sought them out, though, so I could be very, very wrong.

Anyway, he had a decent hotel room and was doing fine, and I pick him up so late tonight that if his plane has the slightest bit of traffic getting into the gate, I'll be picking him up tomorrow. Last night I was the last one to bed. Which isn't all that weird when you consider that there were only two of us here -- except that I'm never the last one to bed. Ever. Occasionally I get up again on a mission, and I'm awake alone and writing. That's different, though. This felt aimless and strange. I'm often the first one up in the morning, but I don't remember the last time I was the last one up at night without some kind of fiction mission.

My brain keeps nudging me to go see if Mark intends to get up and go to work or if he's sick. But Mark will have been interviewing for hours by now. It's just that I am a creature of routine, and the routine demands the appearance of Mark.

Yesterday, for the first time in ages, I had the urge to write a short story. It was kind of nudged by a little kid out in the courtyard yelling, as far as we could tell, for Charlemagne. Over and over: "Charlemagne! Charlemagne!" (Timprov kept listening and changed his mind. Now he says the kid was yelling, "Ptolemy! Ptolemy!" Which made a lot more sense, really. But I already wrote the first scene snippet with the kid yelling for Charlemagne, and it probably fits better than Ptolemy, though not by much. It's a science fiction story.) So I may work on that short story this morning. I finished Chapter Nine of Dwarf's Blood Mead, finally, in rough draft form. I think the outlaws need to be scarier. The outlaws are not at all scary. But! I have put the prophecies all on one page and printed that page out, so that I have easy-reference prophecies whenever I need them, and can put them to better use.

I think it's time for me to go totally a-chronological on this book. I think it'll be much better if I do. I tried to write the first half roughly in order, and I think it'll require more editing that way. Not sure, though. We'll find out.

Last night I was taking a break from DBM after I finished Chapter Nine, and I decided to take a break from the Byock, too, because if I kept reading it, I'd keep thinking about DBM anyway, which is not what taking a break is all about. So I started reading Kris Nelscott's A Dangerous Road. I picked it up at the library because Kris Nelscott (whom I keep wanting to refer to as Krist Nelscott, as if she was a member of Nirvana or something) is really Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and I wanted to see how she did outside the genre, but not badly enough to try a romance novel. Turns out, A Dangerous Road is smack in the middle of the Civil Rights movement in Memphis in 1968. Didn't mean to read it specifically for MLK Day, but it turned out that way, I guess. It's interesting so far, but I keep wanting to shout at the main characters not to do what they're doing. Which tells you that I'm engaged with the characters, I suppose, or I'd want to put the book down rather than yelling.

I still feel cruddy, by the way. We could use some groceries, but I don't feel like going to get them. I'll probably drag my butt around to the bank and the P.O. and the grocery store, maybe. Or maybe just to the airport. Priorities, after all.

Okay. Speaking of which, I believe the short story knocking around my brain is claiming precedence, so I will attend to it. So far the title is "Catherine of Aragorn," and no, that's not a typo. I think it will be a good deal of fun. Oh, and it features an Icelander, but there's a really good reason for that, not just me obsessing about Iceland or the Norden in general.

Really. Good reason. I promise.

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