It’s been too long since I dropped an update and talked about some random news, so let’s see if I can squeeze some time in for that right now.
Progress on the new novel has been glacial. I know that’s not what you wanted to hear, but I’m tackling a big story with a lot of POV characters, so I’m doing a lot of research and rewriting.
Also, I haven’t been 100% well. I don’t want to get into details here, but my daily wordcount goals are somewhat reduced. I’m still writing, but it’s a struggle and I’m getting pretty frustrated with myself. Not only does it suck for you, the reader, that it’s taking too long to get this next book solved and finished, it sucks for me. In a huge way.
It’s hard to overstate how unhappy I am about this, actually.
But this is the state of things at the moment and there’s no choice but to persevere. On the plus side, I have a new doctor who recognizes that I am more than just my BMI, so there’s hope in that.
To be clear, I’m not talking about Twenty One Palaces. This is the book I’m writing before that book which doesn’t have a title yet.
I’m pretty much walked away from social media. I unfriended everyone on Facebook and stopped looking at it years ago, although I still post whenever I have a new blog post to announce. I check notifications there every two or three months, so please don’t try to contact me there. I probably won’t see messages or comments for weeks, at minimum.
Also, they’ve changed the format so much that I’m not sure how to navigate it anymore. Also, there doesn’t seem to be any reason for me to learn.
I left Twitter, too, although I still occasionally check the Stranger Things account for news about the show. But now that the final season is in production, I’ve pretty much stopped that, too.
BlueSky is the only space where I hang out online nowadays. I’m byharryconnolly over there, if you’re curious. My follows over there make the site pretty political, which is fine and all but before Twitter became a collapsed outhouse, it was a great place to talk about pop culture and pop culture art. That’s harder to find on BlueSky. Not that it matters much, since I’m not there very much.
Speaking of pop culture art, here’s a quick rundown of random stuff:
I’m rereading Salem’s Lot. It’s just as fun as I remember and has the pacing of an avalanche. There are just a few snowballs at the start but the end is overwhelming.
Next up for me are a pair of novels by Catriona Ward. I heard good things and I’m hoping she can help me overcome my ongoing reading slump.
Musically, I’ve been listening to a bunch of The Breeders and Belly. Yeah, it’s old music. See Salem’s Lot reference above. I’ve always been like this. I could never take part in Hugo voting or whatever because I never read books as they’re released. The songs are still great, though, esp the most recent Breeders album.
In movies/tv, The Holdovers was moving but not lovely, which is a solid recommendation from me. However my wife likes a little eye candy in her films. Landscapes. Architectures. Gardens. That sort of thing. She she admired it but wished for more.
We definitely got our fair share of lovely images in the fifth season of Fargo, and the story was fantastic. I love it when stories that don’t seem much like SF/F throw a few sfnal tropes in there.
I enjoyed Echo quite a bit, in large part because I like street-level heroes. I’m not sure how I felt about the ending, though.
Yes, this is a story about a woman who’s disconnected from her community and her culture, so the way she levels up at the end made thematic sense. Also, Maya’s relationship with Wilson Fisk was complex, ominous and poignant, too. Still, it’s a show about a hero that kicks ass but the final confrontation had more than a bit of woowoo. It felt weak. Intellectually, I appreciated it. Viscerally, I felt vaguely disappointed.
And The Marvels just landed on Disney+. I’d seen it in the theaters and watched it with my wife Wednesday night. Honestly, I have no idea what people were complaining about. It was breezy fun with lots of color and light-hearted humor.
Also, while it’s a sequel to the movie Captain Marvel (and it helps to have seen that film) having seen the other parts of the MCU that it pulled story elements from seemed entirely optional to me. Everything that needed explaining was explained in The Marvels itself.
That’s all. I’ll try not to be absent for so long in the future, and when I come back, I hope to have better news.