Things don’t seem to be very smooth for Esme, and it’s less than a week until her wedding! Oh no! How will this drama come to a close in the next few days? Again, I remind you that Alissa’s twitter the best way to follow the action up until the finale post on the blog.
In AtME news, the visa application paperwork is all turned in, including my biometric appointment with the DHS, and should be mailed out by now, so it’s just a question of whether or not I paid the $260 fee for nothing and my application is rejected. I thought I had more to say here but I guess I didn’t! You can expect some kind of Halloween post from me around the middle of the week.
Esme has a tiny bit to say herself before the big finale at the end of the month.
Alissa’s twitter, I am sorry to say, has not progressed quite as much as I wanted it to. There are various reasons for this, but the primary one is that I have been scrambling to get my paperwork in order for the UK visa application. It seems like I’ve been talking about this fucking thing forever now, and it’s a wonder why I haven’t gone ahead and completed it yet. Well, that’s the rub — my college has changed the way they handle the program, and this is the first year with the new system, so there’s a bunch of paperwork that I had to given before I could even start the visa and the International Programs Office here didn’t manage to get me that stuff until last Monday.
So now I’m on a short vacation (a midsemester break, which the college confusingly refers to as an “early semester break”) and after I get some books read and get a haircut you bet your ass I am going to be getting this visa app over and done with. OH, YES, BUT THEN AFTER THAT I HAVE TO GO ALL THE WAY TO INDIANAPOLIS AND GET BIOMETRIC READINGS DONE BECAUSE WE LIVE IN A HORRIBLE DYSTOPIAN FUTURE WHERE EVERYONE TYPES IN ALLCAPS. Anyway, I suppose I’m technically entering the home stretch as far as this crap goes, so I should consider myself lucky.
Also: Halloween is coming up and I am ostensibly some kind of horror fan and I write about horror as a genre more than I write about other things, so I feel I should throw something up here in celebration. I’m not sure what that will be yet, maybe I’ll bitch about movies some more. We’ll see.
It’s October first. In thirty days Esmeralda Sinn will be married.
Because things are a little weird around the Sinn Ranch currently, the update schedule won’t be quite as regular — there may be something I put up on the fifteenth, as is my wont, but at the moment I’m not sure. In any case, whatever goes up then will be a little non-traditional as far as Esme’s entries usually go, as the fiction will have progressed further in a different medium. If you happen to be reading this and you are one of like the 20 people who read the Esme series, I direct your attention to her personal assistant Alissa Montfrere’s twitter. Esme’s take on events is going to become a little less coherent as she enters a time of high emotion, and while Alissa is not precisely a stoic she’s going to give you a better idea of just what is happening.
Keep an eye on it.
And we have this month’s very special Esmeralda Sinn story up and live. Also, here is a secret bit that is not secret at all because I keep linking it. I have never had to read an Esme story out loud before, and doing so for this actually made me feel embarrassed for myself. But being embarrassed in public is what the internet is for, right? Incidentally, the background music I used is from Metal Gear Saga by Harry Gregson-Williams, it appears on the soundtrack to MGS4 and incorporates motifs and themes from the previous games and is generally pretty awesome. I have absolutely no right to use it and I’ve sullied its existence by including it in this story about pseudobestiality, and I’ll probably get some cease and desist notice over it sooner or later.
On other fronts:
- I’ve touched on the genre-lit-death-of-culture thing here before and written a lot of boring stuff about it. This essay by Nina Siegal, grabbed from The Daily Dish, does a good job of summarizing the arguments of the various sides and pointing out how all of the factions use more or less the same tactics to get us to sympathize. She makes the very good point (that few people seem to be aware of) that literature often manages to transcend genre; Ada or Ardor is pretty blatantly sf, for instance, and Shakespeare wrote wrote things we would classify as thrillers or fantasies. In the end, though, I still seem to come down on the side of guys like Chabon, who argue for that “well-told tale” and insist that strictly divvying things up into genres and pronouncing some unclean and others sacred is to some degree detrimental to the diversity and health of the literary establishment and blah blah blah.
- I haven’t talked about films much here outside of horror movies, but I can safely say that Inglourious Basterds is a wonderful, beautiful thing and it is the best movie I have seen in a very, very long time. I have literally not been that pleased while walking out of theater in maybe five or six years. Tarantino delves into some trippy metafictional commentary (seemingly designed to win my heart) on how cultural fictions (be they movies or books) shape and inform our conception of the past, or even the present, and how these things could be used for good or evil. Please, see this movie.
- I have my paperwork turned in for the London trip, finally.
- 28 rejections.
Esme puts up a new chapter of a new Chastity Thorne novel this month. September will be the last true “Esme” update, with a story excerpt and everything, so if all goes according to plan that will be something special. October, as it stands, will have a few mini-updates where Esme simply lets us know how she feels in the lead up to the wedding, I think. I have nothing else of importance to say today.
Esme graces us with her presence today and gives us some insight into her personal life and relationship with Mr. Menelaus Parks. The invitation I threw together for this thing is very obviously based on this one, but isn’t as high in the departments of “quality” and “originality” so there you go! It is probably the closest thing the actual Esme LJ has to an explanation to what is going on. Really, the only readily available explanation is the one I give here on CorCon, and anyone who runs across the LJ at random isn’t going to read that, so the entire thing seems a little crazy.
Actually it’s crazy in any context. Friends of mine who have attempted to explain the Esme project to people who don’t actually know me have often said they find themselves sounding insane: “So I have this friend, see, and he pretends to be a woman on the internet and writes short stories about women having sex with werebees, and it’s just like Twilight except it’s supposed to be funny, and why are you looking at me like that this totally makes sense.” Oh well! Three months and the Esme saga will be over, anyway. A storm approaches, Dear Reader.
Rejections currently stand at 25. The latest was one of those really positive “Wow, great story but nope have to pass” rejections that I’ve discussed at length. No more needs to be said in that regard. But I’m a quarter of the way to the golden 100!
As we move on into mid-June, Esme once again updates her blog. This is another Maya story, a series of ideas I have that revolve around some sort of smart-mouthed prostitute/assassin who habitually ends up in rather odd situations. You’ll notice these stories focus more on plot and character than normal Esme endeavors; they’re altogether more serious stories, though still pretty weird. This is because I got the idea for this milieu before Esme was even a twinkle in my eye — I actually wrote the first story, “Satisfaction Guaranteed,” circa 2003 or 04. When I decided I wanted to have more than excerpts on the Esme journal last fall, I pulled out the old story, rewrote it so that it suited how the characters had evolved in that time, and posted it. I have a few other Maya stories rolling around in my head, and I think one of them could be an honest-to-goodness novel. If I ever write it then I will be, for serious, a supernatural romance (or at least urban fantasy) author. Whoa.
Speaking of novels, I sort of completed a new novel manuscript a few days ago, a thing that would likely be sold as a “short novel.” It’s rather strange, a non-supernatural satire of my experiences with college life and the vague direction my generation is heading. It’s basically Evelyn Waugh fanfic, though I’m waiting to hear back from some of my friends on whether or not it’s any good. If it is, then I certainly have no clue what to do with it. My experiences of bashing my head against the wall in the speculative fiction market have not prepared me for finding people to reject my attempts at “serious” fiction.
Oh, but before I forget, more Esme news. Despite thinking it is a completely insipid platform, brought to the fore only by text messaging (which is itself a completely insipid form of communication), I have opened a Twitter account to expand the Esme fiction and give us some insight into the mind of Esme’s assistant, Alissa.
I’ve also managed to procure a passport and get my scholarships approved for my study in England, so that’s how things look on that front.
Oh, and in two days I will be getting my wisdom teeth taken out. Thanks, human evolution.
Things are becoming unnecessarily busy here at the end of the month. Tomorrow I shall be traveling extensively to see a performance by a group of musicians I very much admire, and meanwhile I have a stack of six or so books to read through before classes resume. This is assuming I don’t somehow pick up more cheap paperbacks around my birthday (the odds of this not happening, of course, being very unlikely).
I am currently taking my sweet time with the first book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, and I must say I’m really seeing what all the talk over this is about. It only took me something like ten years to actually care enough to read it! The one great fault I can spot is that the series is projected to be seven books long, which is, if you will pardon my French, a goddamn metric ton of reading, especially when it’s seven eight-hundred page fantasy books. Of course I haven’t read further in the series (and the last few are yet unfinished) so I’m not really qualified to say if GRRM pulls it off or not. I will say, however, that if you have a story that cannot be told in less than eight-hundred pages (if I am lenient, I will say three times eight-hundred pages, as everyone likes trilogies) then you are putting yourself in a very good position to waste the reader’s time. We will see.
In other news, Esmeralda Sinn seems to have developed a Facebook presence. Show your support, why don’t you.
Meanwhile: I’m up to 24 rejections, but I have four submissions on the market — which is more than I’ve had in probably the last six months, as the “economic downturn” is not kind at all to publishers and magazines, causing a lot of them to go under completely or at least temporarily close to submissions. As it happens, one of the pieces I currently have out is my novel Brutal, which I’ve entered into Leisure Horror’s Fresh Blood contest. Wish me luck on that, whoever you are, Kind Reader.
I am hesitant to call this a return to form for her, since it seems to be a bit less heavy on the awkward sexuality than her stuff usually is. It’s also a little longer than most of her novel excerpts and, I think, there’s a lot more plot-centric content. It’s a completely stupid and ludicrous plot, yes, but there’s just a lot of it. Also, fewer puns! Bottom line: it’s pretty stupid, but that’s how Esme entries go, and it’s the first piece of real supernatural romance we’ve had since November, so we should count ourselves lucky. Five months until the wedding! Color me excited.