19 April 2002
Does it make me the biggest geek in the world that I don't care what the reviews say, I don't care if Kate Winslet is in it or not, I don't even care that Tom Stoppard wrote it, I am going to see "Enigma" tomorrow and you can't stop me?
I can just hear Scott on this one: "That's not what does it, no."
But come on. My main character (in the Not The Moose Book) worked on Enigma. I have to go see this movie. Even if it's the worst thing Kate Winslet has ever been in (and tell me that isn't a feat), I have to. So. Matinee tomorrow. Aw yeah. If we can find somewhere it's playing, of course. You can't stop me. The theatre people might.
Tonight, chili and cornbread. Yum.
So Timprov and I took one of our walks last night, and I came back with a notecard with about six words scrawled on it. (I dicovered index cards in my coat pocket. Hadn't worn this coat much since Gustavus, and I found them useful then, especially when Timprov and I were on our limericking binges. We've been on the wagon for awhile now...anyway, I decided to leave the journal home and just use the notecards if anything came up.) Those six words added up to...well...you know the new thing I was mentioning yesterday? That I thought was a novelette or God-help-me-a-novella? Well, now I think it's a novel.
On the up side, there are more markets for novels than for novelettes or God-help-me-novellas. On the down side, um, hello up there! Brain? I don't need any more novel ideas right now, thanks! I'm good! Thanks, though!
Do you know what I have yet to write on my novel idea list? I'm pretty sure I've done the list before. Two more other place books (tentatively titled The Tides Between the Worlds and Dreams of a Young Master). One Icelandic saga-steeped YA fantasy (for which, incidentally, I should run up to Moe's and get the big book o' sagas recommended by Alec, but I haven't had time yet). One SF YA which might be only a novella (fingers crossed, but I'm not sure in which direction). An entire collaborative SF trilogy with Timprov, and a collaborative fantasy with Timprov. The sequel to Reprogramming (tentatively titled Command Line -- and if you think, hmm, perhaps her books are a bit geeky, you might be right). The sequel to the Not The Moose Book. (Note on these two: I only say "the sequel" because I only know of one. There might be more. I don't know.) The hundred-years-past prequel to the Not The Moose Book, which is going to be a royal PITA to write. Accepting Alice. The alien diplomacy novel. The novel for which "Anna's Implants" is a prequel story. The novel which most closely resembles Madeleine L'Engle out of anything I've wanted to do so far. My historical novel. The one that draws most thoroughly on my physics background. The one with the MacArthur Station people. The one with the matchmaker detective. The one that I'm calling Some Other Cave, even though I know that's not a good title for it. And several I know I'm forgetting.
And now this new thing.
Twenty novels. Twenty. I guess since I'm not done with the Not The Moose, I should say twenty-one. And these are the specific novels. The ones for which I already have characters, a plot, and at least the equivalent of a synopsis if not an outline. Not the ones where I think "hmm, I should do something with a chocolatier sometime." No, these are the ones where I can tell you who's doing what with/to whom and when. And, in fact, I will, if you want to know. Especially if you're an agent-type who wants to know, but not only if.
Well, if there was any doubt in anyone's mind that I'm a novelist....
Occasionally people ask me if I don't have trouble keeping track of them in my head. Nope. Do you have a hard time telling The Black Cauldron from The Red and the Black in your head? And do you have a hard time telling either of them from The Tooth Fairy and Stranger in a Strange Land? Well then. And if they were any more similar than that, why would I want to write them and not something completely different?
So. Another novel to write. I am not entirely pleased with this state of affairs. Nor am I entirely displeased. As I have told both Ceej and Scott, I have contingency plans for which novel to write next. If I've sold Reprogramming and manage to get a contract for Command Line in the interim, I'll write that -- "which wasn't very likely, and we didn't expect it." If I've sold Fortress of Thorns and The Grey Road and have a contract for the other two, I'll write The Tides Between the Worlds next. Also not expected, but somewhat more likely, as I would imagine YA fantasy series of definite length, of which two volumes have already been written, would be easier to sell than grown-up SF novels that have a sequel and may or may not have more. And if neither of those things happens and I'm excited about something, as happened with the NTMB, I'll do that. But if I'm not jumping out of my skin for something or another, I'll probably do the alien diplomacy book next. But. But, but, but. (Yes, I am a motorboat, and thank you for asking.)
But I have two different ways that I come up with scenes. The first is the fleeting way, the "get it down quick or it'll disappear and you'll never get it back" way. This is why I carry my journal with me everywhere. (Also because my mom gave my Blanket to the dog. No, Mom, I'm just kidding, even though you did give my Blanket to Booboo. She deserved a Blanket.) The other kind is equally annoying in the opposite direction. It doesn't flee. It loops. It sticks around and annoys me until I admit defeat, sit down, and write it down. That's what happened with this new thing. I only hope it doesn't keep happening, because I want to finish writing the Not The Moose Book, and I intend to finish writing the Not The Moose Book, and also perhaps some short stories, and if I have to do all that and work on this other book a great deal, I'm going to be somewhat annoyed. Not to mention busy.
So. I've been reading Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar, because Joe Haldeman mentioned it in his newsgroup as being good, awhile ago, so I wrote it down and fetched it from the library. It's one of the reasons I read journals and other stuff online, honestly: to get recommendations for more stuff to read. I'm also reading Finnish Folk Poetry, which so far has been very useful and interesting and everything one could hope for in a book called Finnish Folk Poetry.
Back to the novel. I hope not back to the novels. But we'll see.
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