Monday after Easter Sunday, and I hope everyone had the kind of Sunday/holiday they needed to prepare them to head into this week full bore ahead.
The good news is that I reread Mississippi River Mischief yesterday and it most definitely is not the shitty mess I originally thought it was. It needs work, to be sure, but not nearly as much as I had feared, thank you Jesus, pass the ammunition, amen. The work isn’t going to be easy, either, but the framework can remain primarily intact with some reorganization and changing. (It didn’t help that I was rereading my manuscript after spending some time with Margot Douaihy’s brilliant debut, Scorched Grace, which is so good I am making notes of some of the sentences because they are so fucking smart; but I also wasn’t thinking rank amateur God how bad you suck at writing when there are people like Margot turning out such amazing work, which is saying something for me.) I also reread Festival of the Redeemer and Never Kiss a Stranger yesterday, and they aren’t bad, either. Maybe I don’t completely suck at this writing thing, who knows?
We spent most of yesterday bingeing The Last of Us, which is a really good show. I was reluctant for a long time–I’ve kind of had my fill of dystopian tales, although my fellow Americans don’t seem to feel the same way. But one can never go wrong with Pedro Pascal, and there was an episode where I said out loud, “this show is basically the same as The Mandalorian” and felt really smart. It’s very well done, though, and we’re obviously sucked heavily into it. The gay couple episode almost broke us both–so beautifully written and acted; so heart-wrenching and beautiful at the same time, maybe one of the most well done gay romance/love stories I’ve seen on either film or television–and I was sad last night when we had to turn it off because I had to go to bed. There are, of course, similarities to other dystopian stories like The Walking Dead and The Stand, but that’s only to be expected. I also was reminded of my own ideas for a dystopia, and reminded somewhat of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (I have not read McCarthy, and felt a disclaimer was needed; but everyone knows the story of The Road).
I’ve always found it interesting that dystopic fiction is so popular, and have always wondered what precisely that says about our culture and society. I think my first dystopic fiction was the Planet of the Apes film series (I also read Pierre Boulle’s book, which the first film was very loosely based on), and the next was Richard Matheson’s novel I Am Legend and the movie loosely based on it, The Omega Man (interesting that the former and the latter both starred Charlton Heston). (I am a big fan of Matheson’s, who isn’t as known as he should be in my opinion; I feel the same way about Robert Bloch as well.) I myself have had ideas for dystopic fiction, as I mentioned before; I have several ideas about that I would love to try to write some time, but I am not so good at fantasy and science fiction (or at least it’s outside of my comfort zone because I don’t know anything much about science and especially not physics); which is why they were futuristic ones set in North America after the fall of the United States (which is the kind of alternative future story I love).
So. Many. Ideas.
But, basically I came away from the weekend feeling like I can get everything under control again; whether that is true or not remains to be seen. But I do know that I need to get back to work on the book, and work hard for a while. I need to get my taxes done and I need to get my emails answered. I’m looking forward to finishing Scorched Grace, which is absolutely amazing, and there’s still some cleaning that needs to be done around here. I managed to get most of the filing done so my desk area doesn’t look like a tornado zone, which is always a plus; just a few more things to file and put away and it’ll be almost completely under control. And the way things are going, I should even have a couple more completed manuscripts by the end of the summer! Woo-hoo!
And on that note, I am heading into the spice mines. You have a great day, Constant Reader, and I will check in with you again tomorrow.