Sunday, December 24, 2006

Live at Vacuum Genesis

Bog Boardwalk
Part of the Bog Boardwalk at Ponkapoag Pond, Blue Hills Reservation in eastern Massachusetts. The photo dates from June 2001 when Mary and I spent two weeks in an Appalachian Mountain Club cabin at the pond's edge. No running water, no electricity. In other words, paradise. I've taped this picture to my studio door because it served as the inspiration for a secondary location introduced in Book #2.

Vacuum Genesis is the creation of speculative poet Scott A. Kelly. The title, which here refers to both his magazine and his blog, derives from his poem of the same name. That poem appeared in the May/June 1988 issue of Star*Line, the journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association.

I'd been Star*Line's editor at the time. Earlier this month Scott e-mailed me, asking to do an interview via e-mail. I was delighted, not to mention thankful for the attention and exposure.

The interview is now live here.

Update, 22 January 2007: The original link to the interview is now non-functional; I've replaced it with the new one. A .pdf file is also up on my website.

These past couple of days I've focused my attention on Book #4, before I embark on Round Two of tweaking Covenant. Mostly I've been moving puzzle pieces around, trying to get a better handle on structure. Time away from that draft has also given me a better idea of what to cut. I save old drafts in case I change my mind, or in case the outtakes might be useful somewhere else.

Originally I'd tried to "simplify" #4's structure, placing large swaths of story in one and then the other of the book's two main communities. It felt forced. In my judgment it was forced. In Book #3 I'd pretty much jumped from place to place, and part of my tweaking there will include inserting location headers, an easy fix. Book #4 will still have some large swaths set in one or the other community, but it will also do place-jumping where needed. I've been breaking up the chapters more and inserting location and time headers, so maybe the next round will be better-organized.

Time away has aided my perspective, letting me return to the draft with fresh eyes. At least that's what I tell myself.

Happy Holidays, all!

[end of entry]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was a very informative interview. You amaze me!

I was having trouble understanding "speculative poetry" so I googled it to read more and found the widipedia's brief description in which they list Ursula LeGuin as a speculative poet and writer. I do love her work. I suppose that Science Fiction is alot like fairytales, in that they both tell stories that go deep into the phyche. I was very affected by her Earthsea books and still think about them and use them to understand life some life situations. I always refered to her books as "high fantasy," which seemed to explain it better than calling it SF.

11:36 PM  

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