October 13th, 2006

Jin Shei Cover from sgreer

Happy Friday the 13th!

Hope everyone has petted a black cat today...

In the mailbox, the author's copies of the Portuguese edition of "Jin Shei", and a very beautiful book it is too. It's just that it's so FRUSTRATING, being almost almost *almost* but not quite able to understand the blurb in the back, which sounds like it's absolutely beautiful stuff but there's this obstinate veil of not-quite-comprehension between me and it... argh. But they're pretty, they're REALLY pretty, they used my favourite cover art (the US hardcover pensive young woman with a spray of delicate orinetal flowers) and I am a little flabbergasted at the sheer speed at which this book was bought, translated, and released by the Portuguese publisher. I'm also told some long-owing money is in the mail to me too - which is always nice to hear. So that was the GOOD stuff that happened today.

I got the usual bills, too. That would be the BAD stuff. I think it's a sort of rite of passage, growing up, when you get your first bills - you feel all adult and responsible and whoa, I have my own utilities, and all like that - but MAN, when they keep coming every time you think you've cleared your desk... sigh.

So. There. Day in a nutshell - went grocery shopping for us and for critters (those pesky birds adn squirrels are eating me out of house and home, but they are SO worth it when they put on the Breakfast Show in the mornings), went to post office, came home. I still need to get stuck into some serious review work, I have three or four books on which reviews are owing to SFSite and at least two more I"m in the middle of reading (Hi, matociquala!), and shortly we are to start planning on WFC and all that entails, even if I DON'T get on the programming this year...

So - that-s the headlines. Now lemme go back and poke at my Portuguese book again for a bit. These foreign editions are fascinating for me...
Jin Shei Cover from sgreer

I'd like to reiterate...

...as I"ve already mentioned in my response to someone else's set of replies to The 70 Questions Meme that's doing the rounds in LJ right now...

...I think I shall refrain. It is probably unnecessary in the extreme for the world at large to find out what I wear to go to sleep in, or my replies to other questions of that ilk. And yes, for the record, when the phone rings I WOULD like it to be my agent (as everyone with an agent would, naturally) but then that is hardly a revelation. So my replies would probably range from Everyone Knows THis Already to Too Much Information THank You, and I shall sit back and remain a mystery.

That said, and having just reiterated that I intend to draw a discreet veil over things that nobody really needs to know, I give anyone who really really REALLY has a burning question ONE free pass. No, dang it, I give the first five people to respond to this one free pass. Gimme a question, and if the answer is remotely interesting I undertake to give you a full answer right here on this here blog.

The countdown starts... now.
Jin Shei Cover from sgreer

Question #1

kaigou asks:
Have you ever sat down to read someone else's novel,gotten frustrated with it at any point, and said: I can do so much better than this -- and then considered filing off the serial numbers and doing just that?

(And alternately, if I've ever read a book and thought you could do the story far more justice, could I tell you the book and have you have a go at it?)

To part the first - oh GOD yes, or at least the beginning of that. The deeper I wade into writing the more annoyed I get with certain things that I never even noticed before - but that's what happens when you hone your instincts when practising a craft. I've gotten frustrated with any number of books in this manner, some of them proven best-sellers which made their authors independently wealthy... but in the end the "filing off of serial numbers" is something I did do back in the days of my writing infancy when I was writing things like [cough, cough] Star Trek fanfic, and then Star Trek fanfic with the serial numbers filed off, practice, practice, practice... but since that time, I've had more than enough of my own ideas. I still get frustrated, but the response is more to stop reading that which frustrates me rather than trying to "fix" it.

To part the second...I'd appreciate the compliment, I really would, but, er, those extra six hours a day I want for Christmas...? If you can't deliver those, then it's nothing doing, sorry - well, those, and possibly a publisher interested in the end product... right now I have one novel under contract to finish writing, and there's another waiting right after that just cooling its heels in impatience - I'm too busy WRITING to do REWRITING...