This morning, I was completely in my head on my walk. Not even paying attention to anything but my own thoughts. And I had just turned around when I was like “Did I not go up the hill?” when I realized “well, I must have, because, here I am, coming down it.” But I didn’t feel out of breath or feel my heart racing or anything. I just walked up the hill like it was flat land. It felt good.
Since there are two other Harpe brothers, I have two more stories about women trying to figure out what to do with them and their skulls. I’m trying to sell them, but I’ve kind of decided, depending on how things go with Tom Under the Tree, just in terms of production and such, I might ask Lesley Patterson-Marx if she’d like to do something together. I love her stuff and I love how she gets how the past and present are tied together.
I mean, look at these things: Mother of Known Things and Mother of Mysteries. I look at those and I feel like I’m looking at some secret truth of the world. They’re amazing.
On my walk this morning I was thinking that seeing your story in someone else’s formatting really is one of the nicest things in the world. I fret a lot about whether my stuff is any good, and then, there it is, in someone else’s formatting and it lets me finally see if I like it or not.
One thing that I really like about “Zilpha Murrell” is that I can see how I’m becoming a better writer in it. I don’t know what all my own writing shortcomings are (maybe you don’t until you learn how to fix them?), but I’m definitely getting better at holding the reader’s attention how I want it held for as long as I want it held. Pacing, I guess. I’m getting much better at pacing.
I’m also lately, and obviously, if you’ve been trudging along here, obsessed with which stories get told and passed along and why.
But I feel like I should say that, I now feel pretty confident that Zilpha Murrell wasn’t ever a prostitute. I don’t think we can blame that part of the myth on Virgil Stewart–it seems to have come a little later–but it’s from that same made-up vein. But it is kind of cool to see that, in some versions, Zilpha is the one actually running the Mystic Clan, not her son. Which, I guess, explains how it went on even when he was in prison.