Sunday, September 17, 2006
Let's talk about sox...
See this? The shot on the right? It looks like a heartwarming picture of Bryar and the Cave troll winding yarn in our typically demolished living room. Isn't it cute? Isn't it sweet? Aren't they intent? How very wooly and productive of them--somewhere in that shot are two completed skeins, wound exactly the same way.
Thirty seconds after this picture was taken, my daughter dropped the winder and broke it. No more winder. A box of knit-picks, some Shaeffer and some Koigu, and no winder.
Now see the shot on the left? The very talented baby, contemplating the mystery of why we would cover such tasty feet with cotton footies? Notice those other socks? Aren't they pretty-- Meillenweit sportweight--so pretty in the sun. Did you notice the difference in sizes? Sadly, no, I did not make them for some oddly deformed person with two hugely different feet, I made them for Alexa, my mother (not Janis, whose picture is in a previous blog) and although Alexa will probably not notice the fact that one of those socks was apparently made for a different person (it was a gauge accident, I swear-- until I got them wet for blocking, both those socks appeared to be exactly the same size down to the last freakin' stitch) and although I lucked out because Janis (my stepmom, who asked if she could put rubber bottoms on some offline socks I made her this summer because she just didn't feet the gauge (7 1/2 stitches per inch!) was fine enough for her to wear them as anything besides slippers) would definitely have noticed the difference in sizes, I am still totally freaked out by this.
723 pages, people. I just ran off and bound a 723 page book. I've gone back and read the reviews of the other two books--13 reviews for the first book. (11 if you count the fact that one was written by me ant the other was written by the king-dick-prickweenie of all prickweenies whose name I used for the bad-guy in the new book and who wrote the review to be smug and prickweenie-ish) Four and five stars for each review. Some of the nicest things I've seen in print about any book on amazon.com, much less mine, with the crapload of typos and the independent publishing and the car that changed shape in the middle of the book when I wasn't noticing... but good reviews. The second book's reviews are even better.
What if I screw up? 723 pages. That's a lot of pages to disappoint people in. One of the things people liked about the first book was it's simplicity. What if I made it too complex? What if I introduced too many people? What if there's too much sex?
Oh, Goddess... what am I going to do if there's too much sex?
I'm a big fan of sexless sex scenes...you know...guy kiss girl, tenderness, sweetness...fade camera out? The scene from Dirty Dancing? Love it. That part where John Cusack is shaking in Say Anything? Makes me tremble, just thinking about it. My favorite sex scene in print, bar none, is a scene from a book that is classified high fantasy/action romance called EXILE'S GATE. It was a nothing scene, really--two warriors who had had each other's back for 3 1/2 other books... and then he offered her a flower, and her face got soft, and about three paragraphs later, she's brushing his hair in the dawn. I love that scene--it's awesome, tender, understated, thunderous in importance.
Uhm...that's not really the kind of scene I write.
Maybe because I devoured dimestore paperback romances by the dozens at a really dark time in my life, but I write explicit sex scenes and I'm not bad at them.
There's a lot of them in this next book. Every damned one of them is important--I know, I've thought long and hard (eww...was that a bad pun?) about which ones to cut. The ones that didn't further plot or character development were the first ones on the cutting board. You can tell those scenes--they've been shortened to 'we made love' or 'afterwards' or something like that. I'm proud of those scenes--restraint is the mark of a good writer just like gauge (or measuring rows or whatever the hell went wrong) is the mark of a good knitter.
One of those socks is definitely bigger than the other. And I don't know how.
I've got a friend giving the first draft a reading for content right now. She doesn't know this (because I prefer not to make my friends nucking futs over my own rampant insecurities) but she is holding my vast and fragile ego in her hands. People loved the first two books--they really did--those are complete strangers on that site reviewing my books and there was something real, something naked and appealing in the prose besides the man-gods in the text that massaged the heart muscles in all the right places. Please, God, let my literary socks match...please please please please please...