Soooooo almost exactly a month ago I said I was committing to writing 1000 words a day. I had been writing that much pretty regularly and didn’t think it would be hard to keep going. But it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. When I’m really moving on a piece, I can write 1000 words in half an hour or less. But I’ve discovered that when I’m editing one story and revising another and don’t know what to work on next, my free-writing tends to peter out around 600 words. Hmm. So instead of giving up and calling myself a failure, I’m just scaling back a little. I can do 500 words a day. Really. And if my word count keeps dropping, surely I can do 250 words a day. But I hope it doesn’t come to that.
I can be pretty ruthless about books when I have to; I just took about a hundred or so to Half-Price Books so I could actually see the rest of them on my shelves. But I’m also sentimental about old favorites.
One of the series that I read over and over as a kid was the first half of The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny. It’s had a significant impact on my writing and probably far too great an impact on my general life outlook, considering the cynicism of Corwin, the main character. But I had never owned a copy, always checking them out from my hometown library, a precarious situation indeed. So I was elated when I found The Great Book of Amber on Amazon, then horrified when it started falling apart almost immediately.
But finally, I have my very own copy of the first five books in two volumes, with the covers done by Boris Vallejo. This is the edition I first found in my small-town library, the edition I fell in love with.
True, I never liked the cover when I first read the books. The figure doesn’t look at all how I envision Corwin, though the lack of shirt is nice. Also, Corwin wore black and silver rather than blue jeans and red. And that largish knife is not how his sword, Grayswandir, is supposed to look. But that’s ok. Nostalgia is seldom about accuracy.
Thankfully, I like the books nearly as much as I did when I was a kid. I was a little worried, as I’ve reread other old favorites and been saddened by cliched plots, poor characterization, and awkward writing. But I still love the odd blend of high court language and seventies slang that is Corwin’s unique voice. The typos are kind of painful, but I can cope.
Now all I have to find is good clean copies of the second set of five books, about Corwin’s son Merlin, and my life will be complete.