9 November 99
The current Mercury retrograde seems to have kicked in with a
vengeance. I came home tonight to find that the furnace won't go on,
that there's also something wrong with the circuit breaker, and, after
futzing with all that and determining that the professionals must
be called tomorrow, I sat down to watch TV only to have the cable go
This past weekend I treated myself to attending the 25th World Fantasy
Convention in Providence. Very nice convention. Very friendly,
mellow. Charles de Lint was there, and I went up to say hello. As I
was telling him that I enjoy his work very much, I also heard myself
saying, "... all but the stuff written in present tense. I can't
stand that." He took it well. I wished him a pleasant stay in
Providence, and went my merry way. On Saturday I ran into him again
in the dealers' room, and I bespoke him again, asking if he perhaps
had a few minutes to discuss his choice of the present tense in his
writing. And he was very gracious, and made time for me that evening.
We didn't talk long, I'm sorry to say. He was very intelligent, and very
articulate; and he is very aware of all the technical aspects of
writing. It was a pleasure to talk with him.... By the way, his
reason for using the present tense in Trader was that he felt
it helped to achieve a feeling of alienation of his main character,
Jack. He told me that he had tried writing the character many
different way, but it was only when he hit on the present tense
narrative that it all came together for him.
I still don't like present tense narrative. I does nothing for me--
it ruins the narrative for me, bumps me right out of the story. But
I can't argue with a writer's conscious and very well informed choice....
I have been avoiding this journal. I have lost sight of the reason
for keeping it. There's a lot going on in my head right now. I have
come to a place where I must make some decisions, then make some
committments, too, I think, once the decisions have been made.
I am trying to decide now what course the rest of my life is to take.
Theater? Writing? Art? Computers? Of course I can do all these things,
but can I do them all well?
That's the question. I've been dabbling with too many things for too
long, and it's time I make a choice, dig in and build something. I've
got to find out where my heart lies....
I've been reading while I think:
Avicenna by L.E. Goodman
Weaving the Web: the Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of
the World Wide Web by Its Inventor by Tim Berners-Lee
Don't Ask by Donald E. Westlake
And they gave me a bunch of paperback freebies at the convention,
so I may just go read Poltergeist: The Legacy: The Hidden Saint
by Rick Hautala, or A Secret History by Mary Gentle, or
Fortress in the Eye of Time by C.J. Cherryh...
Or I might read the hardcover copy of Into the Green by
Charles de Lint that I bought for myself and didn't get autographed
because I never think of stuff like that.
In any case, I think I will go up to bed. It's getting damned cold
in here. Kicking the burner didn't do any good. Rats. Good thing the
weather has been mild.