Archive for January 17th, 2007

1/16/07: Instant weekend, just add snow

Word count: 12802 | Since last entry: 715

Was greatly surprised this morning to find several inches of white stuff piled up on the car. Turned on the TV and very quickly concluded that this was no day to brave the Sylvan Hill. Stayed home from work. Felt guilty, but the news coverage indicated that I was wise to stay home.

We did go outside, to shovel the walk, brush the snow off the cars before it freezes, and take a walk around the block. It was great snow for sleds and snowballs, and kids of all ages were having a grand time with it. Like Tina Connolly, we saw a motorcycle pulling someone on a snowboard (must have been someone different, though, because Tina lives on the other side of town). Didn’t see a single snowman, though, even though it seemed like excellent packing snow.

So, I stayed home all day, but did I write? Some, but not nearly enough. I did dishes and laundry instead, and made a big pot of mushroom barley soup, and surfed the web, and watched Buffy.

I’d like to be able to blame my writing sloth on the bad news: neither snow, nor rain, nor sleet stayed the US Post from bringing not one but three rejections, for the New Orleans story, the novella, and the novel. Argh! It’s enough to make a guy wonder if he can write at all. (I try to remind myself of how many times “I Hold My Father’s Paws” was rejected before it finally got picked up for Year’s Best. Oh, and the Hugo.) One of those three is back in the (e)mail already, the other two will be shortly. Getting that paperwork sorted out took some time, but I really should have gotten more new words written anyway.

At the moment it looks like I will have another chance to get some writing done tomorrow, as the forecast for tomorrow is for continued icy conditions.

Oh, I did have one writing insight today. I just finished The Etched City by K. J. Bishop, which I found acceptable but a bit too mainstreamy, a bit too magical-realist, for my taste. One thing that it did well was that, although it had two major point of view characters, it did slip into several other points of view for anything from a paragraph to a couple of pages. This flies in the face of the advice I’ve often received, and even more often given, which is to pick one point of view (or a defined set of PoVs) and stick with it. But it worked.

I think that advice is still good advice, even though works like this one can flout it, and here’s why I think that: the core of the adminition is that you have to learn to control point of view. That is, when we say “you have to pick one point of view and stick with it” what we really mean is that “you must learn to avoid wandering from your chosen point of view by accident.” But once you have learned to do that with grace and confidence, and to communicate PoV shifts clearly, you can change PoV as often as you like.

As with so many things in life, you can get away with anything as long as you can do it convincingly.