Dancing to Dirges

Depressing and happy things Tim says, sometimes while drunk

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A league of extraordinary standards

Why are book endings so hard? So often I'll be reading a book, happily exploring the world that the author has created, and then some rogue plotline comes tumbling out of the underbrush and plows through everything and then we're sliding down a scree of bad dialogue and awkward coincidence and it's just...frustrating. This book I just stopped reading held a lot of promise, and it's done well commercially, but the ending is just a shambles. Very disappointed.

I don't claim to be any kind of solution to this. People contact me to say they're X far through the book and gosh they love it and I would really have to jump off a bridge to ruin the book. And so far those people have been happy with the ending of HoV, but I want to be clear. A book is a complete package. If you like the whole thing but didn't like the ending, you didn't like the book. In the same way, you should never force your way through a book you're not enjoying just because the ending *might* justify it. Toss it. Tell your friends to not read it. It's the only way to get authors to write better books.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Eva Forge and the city of Ash

I had a pretty good weekend. On Saturday my wife and I went to fly a kite. Our town is celebrating its 150th anniversary, and as part of that they organized an attempt at breaking a world record for most people flying kites. We were shooting for 1000, had 1100 sign up, but the wind sucked and it sounds like we only managed about 800 at the critical moment of counting. That's okay, though. We had fun.

The only thing that sucked about this weekend was that we broke our shower again. Well, not exactly. Turns out the contractor used the wrong kind of grout on the floor tiles in the shower, and it all washed out, so now the tiles are loose. They came by today, had a "d'oh" moment, and will be re-grouting our shower tomorrow sometime.

I spent a lot of time working on an outline for the next book thing. I have publishers asking for this thing, but I don't want to distribute outlines that aren't up to my potential. If that makes sense. So I'm still polishing it. I originally started the project thinking I would write a grand old epic fantasy, but I'm pretty sure I'm not cut out for such a thing. What I've ended up with is.... what? Epic fantasy cut with urban fantasy wrapped in steampunk and shot through with crime noir. Something like that. Mostly I'm just not letting myself be bound by old conventions. I want there to be elevated trains. I want the city to float. I don't want mounts, mounted combat or electricity. I don't want the main character to have to travel as part of her quest. I don't want quests. I want a single POV character. I want people in normal clothes, but also armor, but also sunglasses. I want punks with guns. I want a paladin with a double handed sword, incanting the rites of her dead god as she runs through the rain, chased by some kind of clockwork beastie. I want a drowned goddess floating through sewers. I want airships powered by tornadoes.

Anyway. It's going to be interesting.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Get up in the morning

This brings me joy. Absolute *joy*.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sometimes we just need a good memory

When I was a kid there was this grocery store called the Fresh Market. It was sort of a forerunner of Whole Foods or similar. Lots of good food, kind of expensive, but really unique stuff. It was just far enough away that it was a special trip to go there. As I age I've come to appreciate good, fresh ingredients, but this was when I was a kid. And as a kid, the thing I remember most about the Fresh Market was the jelly bean display. I suppose these days it would seem pretty mundane, but for me it was great. Gourmet beans of every type in plastic containers, and big old scoop to get them out. I loved the way their shells clicked against the scoop, the smooth rustle as they slid into the bag, their weight in the plastic. I loved eating them one at a time.

Anyway. It's a good memory for me. That is all.

Monday, April 06, 2009

One year, one year in

This weekend was Adepticon. I went at the invitation of Vince Rospond, he of the mighty Black Library. Also the GoH was Chris Roberson, who was there with his wife Allison Baker, so we got to sit around in the bar and talk business stuff and generally commiserate about Solaris and life. It was good. They're good people. And I think there may be hope for Black Library. We'll see.

The bathroom is nearing completion. Fiddly bits left. Maybe by the end of the week, but again, we'll see. I'm ready to have my bathroom back. Shutting off half the water in the house seems to have done strange things to the pressure. We hear sounds at night. It's all passing strange.