Longing, Essays, Wordcounts, and Dancing to PJ Harvey

This morning I got up and, lacking sufficient motivation to get ready for the dayjob, put PJ Harvey’s Rid of Me on the stereo so I could dance around the house to the track 50′ Queenie while still in my pajamas.

There are certainly worse ways to start your day, even if it does mean you’re five minutes late for work and the chaos that entails. Here’s hoping your day started just as well (and if it didn’t, I can recommend dancing to PJ Harvey to start your day tomorrow).


I mentioned this on twitter when I first read it, but I’m posting a link here because its just that good. If you have any interest at all in fantasy, writing, fairy tales, or just general awesomeness, please go take a look at Catherine Valente’s Confessions of a Fairytale Addict over on Tor.com.

There are many writers of fiction who double as excellent writers of essays, and Valente is easily one of the best I’ve come across in recent years. In a fair and just world someone would probably go and pay her to write a book of essays, which would be smart and cutting and ultimately brilliant, but since we live in a capitalist culture where essays are an undervalued form we take what we can get.


So yesterday there was writing. A thousand words on Flotsam 6, a thousand words on a short story, and some writing of new scenes for Black Candy since I’ve officially given up on rewriting the bastard book and just started redrafting it from the beginning so I can make it story shaped without doing my head in.

By ten o’clock I’d done my 2,500 words for the day and stopped, since I’m trying to get out of the binge-writing habit and back into something that resembles a work ethic. Being done by ten o’clock is slightly odd, since it meant there was still an hour to go before I usually collapsed into bed, half-dressed and fretting about not being done.

So I had a cup of tea and read for a bit, working my way a little deeper into Charles de Lint’s Dreams Underfoot, and then I went to sleep.


I’ve typed the title of the de Lint collection three times today, and every time I’ve typed it Dreams Underfood, which is weird because I’m not entirely sure why my subconscious is latching onto that particular mistake and repeating it over and over.

I find myself suddenly tempted to write about the existence of a magical, dreamlike land that exists at the bottom of the pantry, waging wars with the goblins who live in the nightmares that occur when eating cheese too close to bedtime.

Or, you know, not. There are some ideas that aren’t quite worth pursuing.


I find myself, inexplicably, missing a number of people I used to know. It’s happened a few times this week, and it’s quite bothersome, because I’m not terribly good at keeping up with the people I currently know, let alone the friends who have gradually drifted away over the years. I imagine things would have been easier if something like Skype existed ten years ago, but I suppose we had email back then, and that doesn’t seemed to have helped.

I suspect this will result in stories. It usually does, for some reason. Stories are the way things get worked out in my head.

What I’d like it to result in is a whirlwind trip to Melbourne, say, or Adelaide, and places even further afield, with lots of surprise visits and bottles of wine and interesting arguments, but at the moment the logistics for a whirlwind trip to the grocery store is really more my speed.

One day I will remedy this, really I will, but today I will content myself with spicy tomato soup and a nice thick slice of crusty bread and some quality time with Fritz the laptop where I get today’s 2,500 words written.


  2 comments for “Longing, Essays, Wordcounts, and Dancing to PJ Harvey

  1. Stephanie Gunn
    12/05/2011 at 8:42 AM

    I am seriously going to keep on thinking of Dreams Underfoot (which is awesome – I am a ridiculous fangirl for de Lint's Newford books, though) as Dreams Underfood.

  2. 12/05/2011 at 10:09 PM

    I went through a major de Lint phase after a friend lent me a copy of Some Place to Be Flying. It was probably the book that convinced me I really wanted to write fantasy again, after years working on nothing but poetry and scripts as part of my writing degree. About 48 hours afterwards I pitched a post-grad thesis on urban fantasy and the Gothic to my university.

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