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liz hand
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2003 - 05:31 am:   

Robert H, my apologies for not replying sooner to your comment about using a first person narrative voice. Coincidentally (or not), I've just started on a new story that's told in the first person & is much closer to that particular voice (the one in BL) than any I've used in a while. I never really thought it when I was first writing, but over the years I've noticed that I do use first prson a lot, and there does seem to be an identifiable "me" in there, though of course it's not *really* *Me.* If anything, that voice sometimes seems almost too easy for me, and I've tended to shy away from it for a while -- trying to stretch and all that.

But first person does provide a level of immediacy that other voices don't. I was surprised when my editor on MORTAL LOVE said how much she liked the first-person strand in that book -- the novel jumps around from several p.o.v.s, and the only first-person thread is that of a young man. So, probably not me.

But some of my stuff is far more overtly autobiographical -- WAKING THE MOON and BLACK LIGHT in particular, but also "Pavane for a Prince of the Air" (a story in BIBLIOMANCY) and "The Least Trumps," and the piece I'm working on now. And the voice of that storyteller is much closer to my own.

I've never been very good at the "making up" part of fiction. From the very start, most of the characters in my work have been drawn from people I know or have known. I do draw a line at my immediate family, although there are portraits of my grandparents in various tales. Even the character of Algernon Swinburne in MORTAL LOVE was inspired by a friend of mine from college -- someone who in fact was (and is) NOTHING like Swinburne, but for some reason I could channel him beautifully through my friend. I'd be interested in how other writers deal with this -- for me it's a lot like casting a play. Sometimes the casting doesn't work, and after weeks or months I have to replace one actor with another. And sometimes I just have to get in there and do the job myself, which I suppose is where the first person comes in.
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lucius
Posted on Sunday, April 06, 2003 - 09:18 am:   

Hey, Liz...

Did Bob ever send you that stuff of mine? If not, do you still want it?

Lucius
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liz hand
Posted on Sunday, April 06, 2003 - 10:40 am:   

Hi Lucius -- I was just thinking about you, like, fifteen minutes ago. I'm reading "Paradise" -- great story! so far anyway -- and am getting ready to start on "Limbo," in galleys for THE DARK, and the story in Polyphony. A Lucius Festival! I'm forwarding the stuff you sent me down to my other computer -- unfortunately a slow process because the other computer line cuts off every thirty secnds (rural phoneline problem) and I haven't been able to get down to the cottage much this week. Hopefully tomorrow I can finish and print it all out. Got derailed on everything by going to/from ICFA, then dealing with my eleven-year-old's birthday sleepover party and its aftermath. And now trying to finish proofing the galleys for Bibliomancy, which I am very late in doing. I HATE rereading my own work.

So I'm totally behind on everything. I don't know how you can be so prolific. I stole a day this week to begin a new story but god knows when I can get back to it.

But I think I have figured out at least part of the attachment problem -- I *can* open your files on my other computer, just not this one at the house. If you do have new stories to send, the best thing to do would be to wait and send them tomorrow (Monday) morning; that way they'll download directly into the Tooley Cottage computer.

You must have an entire new collection's worth of stories, no? Did you ever track down Streitfeld?

Do you like Robert Stone's stuff? His new novel got what I thought was an airhead review in the Times last week; I haven't read the novel yet but the reviewer didn't seem to have a grip on is previous work. Just curious if you'd read it.
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Ellen
Posted on Sunday, April 06, 2003 - 08:34 pm:   

Hi Liz,
I just skimmed the review in the NY Times Book Review by Norman Rush and it looks pretty good--so that can't be the one you mean. Do you one in the daily NY Times?
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liz hand
Posted on Monday, April 07, 2003 - 08:01 am:   

Yes, I meant the daily Times review. Kakutani's I think; she gave the impression of not having read CHILDREN OF LIGHT, which she referred to; or of not having read it carefully. I love Stone and was looking forward to this novel. Will check out Norman Rush's review now.
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lucius
Posted on Monday, April 07, 2003 - 07:26 pm:   

Hi, Liz,

I posted a response to your post but the board appears to have deleted it.

I contacted Streitfelt -- I told you before you went to FLA. He mentioned you in good ways.

Yeah, I got a collection coming from Pete called TRUJILLO.

Haven't read the new Stone, but plan to. Don't read Kakutani reviews -- she's a sourpuss.

I hate proofing too. I usually try to get someone else to do it. :-)

Prolific? Me? I'm makin' up for lost time is all.

Take Care,

Lucius
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Ellen
Posted on Monday, April 07, 2003 - 08:44 pm:   

By the way Liz, do you mean je suis an auteur?
"autre" isn't a french word :-)
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Ellen
Posted on Monday, April 07, 2003 - 08:45 pm:   

Or rather it means "I am another"--is that what you mean????
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liz hand
Posted on Tuesday, April 08, 2003 - 05:11 am:   

Actually, it should have been "Je est un autre" -- my schoolgirl French failed me. "Autre" means "other;" the correct quote is from Rimbaud -- I'm rereading Graham Robb's Rimabud bio for a story I'm working on -- and means something like "I is an other" or "I is the other." One of those phrases that has launched a thousand doctoral dissertations. All I meant was that in terms of a first-person narerator, "I" is not necessrily me.
And I STILL gt it wrong!

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liz hand
Posted on Tuesday, April 08, 2003 - 05:16 am:   

Sorry, Lucius -- my brain is fried. Too much to do, too many kids, too much damn cold weather. I've lost several postings over the last few days as well, though maybe I forgot to make them final. Dunno.

Kakutani *is* a sourpuss. I don't know that I've ever read a single review of hers that's added anything to the great well of literary wisdom.

Do you really get someone else to proof your stuff? Do you think s/he'd do mine, too? (just kidding.) At least I'm almost finished. When's the pub date for TRUJILLO?

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lucius
Posted on Tuesday, April 08, 2003 - 05:42 am:   

Liz,

TRUJILLO comes out next spring.

Yeah , I used to have a friend who proofread, but she moved to Canada, Now there are a couple of friends who help me out. I'll go over the thing for style, but I miss too much as far as errors go.

Take Care,

Lucius

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