I made it. With the emailing of the full draft of my 21st Century Gothic essay on NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, I’m done. That’s it. I’ve met my deadlines for 2009. Which is remarkable because for a while there I thought I wasn’t going to make it.
(I think I made it by going a little crazy for a while.)
Of course, a lot of those deadlines were for A BOOK OF ENDINGS (six new stories, yours now via Twelfth Planet Press!), but the timetable of 2009 work made it all the way into December. Now I’ve got to start thinking about my timetable for (*gulp*) 2010. Something a little calmer, I hope, though I maybe have just signed up for another Gilgamesh project. And there’s editing for the contemporary Ishtar story soon, most likely.
Anyhoooo, the essay. It’s in & it may or may not coherently argue that the battle of good (Sheriff Bell) and evil (Anton Chigurh) for the soul of one man (Llewellyn Moss), the elements of the supernatural, the voice of despair, the struggle to believe in a God who seems less involved in the world than Satan are all Gothic elements of this modern novel. There’s other stuff, too. I refer to Anne Radcliffe and Terminator in about equal measures, and naturally I mention MELMOTH THE WANDERER more than once.
But here’s the thing: I thought I was pretty knowledgeable about gothic literature. Turns out I’m not that knowledgeable at all. It impresses me how much trust esteemed editor Danel Olson has placed in his extensive contributor list (2 volumes!).
Plus, essays. Wow, I’d forgotten how hard they can be.
For now, though, the next steps are to return to the fun stuff. My stuff. The BROKEN novel. I’d left off with John Eiger about to — well, let’s just say he could be making a big mistake.
Man, I love when characters make big mistakes. I love sitting alongside them thinking, ‘oooooohhh, buddy, you’re in trouble now….’.
But tonight some rest and something new to read that *isn’t* NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. I’m thinking it’s time to return to some Michael Robotham.