Kage Baker was often urged to write a blog. She always refused, at least initially. That doesn’t mean she agreed to do it later; it means that you got one courteous “No, thank you”, and then she ignored you thereafter. Although she might cite you as an annoying, intrusive would-be parasite on chat rooms and in convention panels …
One guy bugged her about it for most of year, insisting that she owed it to her readers – that all authors owed their readers a blog, because they couldn’t write enough to supply those readers with a daily dose of their creative output. He really did not understand that, if a writer had insufficient time to produce enough copy to keep their readers happy, spending part of their day writing a blog would not solve the problem. Even though it was explained to him – by me, in Not Very Nice Office Manager mode – over and over and over …. he only got that one explanation from Kage, though, because then I blocked his damned emails; I just answered the crap in the Spam folder because cleaning it out annoyed Kage.
I’m sure, Dear Readers, that you can all guess what annoying Kage was likely to get a supplicant.
She never wanted to write a blog anyway. Kage was mortally shy. She felt she put enough of her private self into her writing without baring more of her soul. Also, she claimed that it was hard enough to get what she did write down into a legible form; she simply couldn’t organize any more of what went on in her head so someone else could understand it. (I believe this, having lived through a few overloads and floods …) And finally, as she used to say dryly from time to time, “I don’t want to rub off all the mystery, now, do I? When I’m gone, tell people that it’s ALL based on a true story – that’ll keep the critics interested, and my fans won’t be surprised anyway.”
The past 6 years have shown me that this last was definitely true.
Now, this is not a long-winded excuse for my stopping this blog. That’s not happening. I like doing this, and I don’t intend to stop. But it really was originally intended to explore how and why Kage Baker wrote, and what it was like living with that process; as well as trying to apply the lessons so learned to my own writing at her posthumous direction. But as much fun as I have doing this, I often feel guilty that I am not sticking to the precis: that too much whinging and whining and personal carrying-on goes on here. So every now and then I really try to re-commit my energies to the original idea. It’s amazing how much there still turns out to be to say about How To Write a la Kage Baker.
I enjoy writing both this blog and the ongoing stories. I’m not as fast as Kage, but I am succeeding at doing both; a little faster all the time, too. I just worry about wandering off the topic.
But at the moment, Dear Readers – I am whining! We have once again reached that point in the rolling year when the weather is trying to kill me. This summer has been much better than most of the last several -only about 3 weeks of really deadly heat. Still, it’s been 80 or better most of the time, which is normal for Los Angeles, but no longer normal for me. Sometimes I forget and go wandering out on errands (there being only so much on-line shopping one can do) and I always get sick. That won’t be improving – I have a dicky heart and only one kidney, which confer a permanent allergy to heat – but I’ll eventually get the new rules straight.
The cataracts aren’t helping any, though the eye patch has been a great innovation. Also, let’s be honest – it’s just cool. Still, I cannot be trusted to pour anything into anything else – not cereal, not coffee, not water; not into a cup or a bowl or a 5-gallon bucket. It’s a darned good thing we now use pods for dish and clothes washers. I can see those. I do carom off door jambs a lot, but I did that anyway. Ground level is one of the bigger problems – I see completely hallucinatory rises and dips, so that I keep trying to step up into the wainscotting and end up kicking the wall …
But that too will end! I visit an ophthalmologist on the 8th, and intend to cry and moan and nag her into restoring my sight ASAP. It doesn’t even have to be good sight. I’ll settle for the same spectacles-dependent vision I have always had, as long as I can see without blurs, auras and migraines again. Anything better will be gravy.
And in the meantime, the heat is beginning to show signs of abating. Fall is coming; fog, the marine layer, northern winds – who knows, maybe even some rain this winter? It will eventually get cold. I will rejoice, because I’d rather wear gloves and sit at my desk wrapped in a blanket than sweat to death.
Kage wrote through the chill, despite her hating cold and complaining vociferously. I have learned to write though the heat. I just complain about it, too …