The Boy and I have been ridiculously busy pulling up carpets and scraping away glue and sanding and varnishing and painting. We’ve never done any DIY in our lives before so this is a whole new experience. Considering what a bunch of noobs we are, I’d say the place is looking pretty good.
All that, along with turning in my Beastkeeper edits, all our weird hobbies and things like walking the hounds for miles along the coast, has left me little time to think or talk about writing. I still write, but mostly in some kind of daze.
(I love the eerie melancholy of the beach in autumn. Also, we saw the beach sledding dog team again. So weird.)
I do have some rather wonderful news: I can finally announce that I sold my story The Girls Who Go Below to F&SF, so I am pretty damn excited about that. You could probably hear me squee all the way in the northern hemisphere when I got the email. :D. I’ve slacked on my monthly short fiction though. This weekend I finally started what was probably March’s short, hahaha. It’s odd, and it connects to another (unsold) short story, and peripherally to another unfinished novel.
It’s while I was opening up that novel (which I’d given up on about 2 years ago because I couldn’t imagine my agent being able to do anything with it), that I realised I really really liked what I had written, and when I am done with these rewrites for N&V, I am going to tackle it again.
He’d had to go back for the rest of his stuff, but of the human Jacques there’d been no sign. The Caterpillar was up on the ceiling though, slowly working at a cocoon in the far right corner. It had said nothing to him while he’d packed his bag, and nothing to him when he left.
Amanda had been out. Daniel had left her a note, and snapped it under a penguin refrigerator magnet. The fridge door was full of them. He didn’t remember her collecting penguin-themed anything before. The note said simply. I have my stuff. O. There hadn’t been much else to say.
There’d been a new painting in the living room, the easel positioned off to one corner, opposite to the Caterpillar. Another one of Amanda’s fish things, the bones splayed out around the canvas, rusted hooks embedded in paint and material. It stank. The fish hooks had spelled out fuck you. As with all things Amanda, the message could have been for anyone.
But now, here in this cluttered, but ultimately barren room, Daniel could put away Amanda and her repulsive new lover and the fish hooks that she’d pulled out of his heart.
Instead he listened to the silence, the rustle under the bed. A silent rustle, too small to be real. After a while, Daniel bent over to peer underneath. His hair fell down, kissing the industrial beige carpet, like a dry brush loaded with watercolour. There was nothing under the bed. When he drew up again, Daniel saw his hair had inked feathery brown letters on the wool. This is Judith’s tenuous grip on reality.
Shit, he thought.
I solemnly swear that I am going to finish this book and find out what happens. SWEAR IT. PROMISES.