IT’S ALIIIIIIVE!

…by which I mean, I’m alive. How the time flies when you’re slacking off on your blog.

Sorry ’bout that.

So. Uh. Long time no see. Since the last time you saw me, we’ve welcomed a new niece into the world. I’ve started a new DayJob (same company, but I moved on up to the fourth floor). Oh, and I wrote my first novel. It’s still in the roughs, but as we speak I have a real, live, full-length novel sitting on my desk. It’ll be out in the next month or two.

I’ve done some deep thinking about where I want my writing career to go, and about what that looks like, in terms of the day-to-day. I think what made the blog fall apart before was that I was focusing so hard on new content that the actual writing stopped. It stopped for a long time, actually. Completely. Cold. I have never felt worse about myself; conversely, while I was writing the novel this past Fall I was the happiest I’ve ever been.

So, a balance. A fresh start. I have no idea how often I’ll be blogging; I have zero schedule in mind. Because at the end of the day, the effort needs to be about the writing, not the talking about the writing. That being said, I think I can pull off more than once every two years, if I hold my tongue just right. Who’s with me?

 

-Stef

 

 

Hello There, All-Nighter

I’m making some exciting headway on my novel (“novel” is such a terrifying word, fraught with danger, that I dare not speak it aloud). I’m very superstitious, it turns out, and honestly even writing about how well it’s going makes me afraid of jinxing it.

You gotta strike while the iron’s hot, they say. So, in homage to the good old days when I’d see the whole night through, I’m queuing up the coffee maker and having myself a little write-a-thon tonight. Once C heads to bed, the games begin.

I don’t remember the last time I was this excited about a story. And now, to appease the Gods of humility, let us not speak of it until the night is through.

(image source)

Upcoming Stephen King: Doctor Sleep

From StephenKing.com:

“Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.”

I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, The Shining is one of my favourite King novels. I think it might be interesting to revisit Danny and see him grown up; how does he cope with his psychic powers as an adult? What kind of psychological damage may have been caused by his father’s breakdown and death? I’m excited to find out what happened to one of my favourite King characters.

On the other hand, it feels a little gimmicky. Now, I adore Stephen-King-the-person AND Stephen-King-the-writer. He’s a big part of why I love horror. It just makes me a little preemptively disappointed to revisit the same topic (psychic children) in a next-generation format. I’m worried it will turn out to be just another reboot; I’m not sure this story will be new enough to be as good as The Shining.

I’ll be buying it on release day (January 15, 2013), like I do all his others. And I’ll be putting in long nights reading. I’m just hoping against hope that this one lives up to my expectations.

An Exercise in Madness: House of Leaves

Okay, so this is a novel that I’ve been meaning to talk about. It’s one that requires its own post, and even then I’m not sure I’ll do it justice.

Ready?

The story in House of Leaves (without spoiling) goes something like this:
There’s this guy, Johnny. He’s our narrator, in a way. He finds a manuscript by a deceased old man known as Zampano. The manuscript is a book about a documentary about a family who made a documentary about their house, which is considerably bigger inside than it is outside. Oh, and it’s growing. And there are growls in the dark.

So we’re reading a book about a book about a movie about a movie. Yep.

It starts when Will Navidson, the homeowner, finds a door where there wasn’t one before. It’s inside, but on an exterior wall: so if opened, it should lead outside. Instead it opens onto a pitch-black hallway that gets longer the further you walk it.

The typesetting in the novel itself is upside down, backwards, crossed-out, different colours, encoded. The book is heavily cross-referenced to books and articles that don’t exist. It’s maddening, and fascinating, and hypnotic.

You can read it with or without Johnny, with or without solving the code. It’s several books inside one big one, and if that wasn’t layered enough, there’s an album recorded specifically to complement it.

It’s one of my favourites, by far, and up next on my re-reading list. I’ve only just begun feeling comfortable looking down dark hallways since my last read-through…it’s about time I scared the shit out of myself again.