Transcript of the Absolute Write chat with writer Elizabeth Bear. March 17, 2009
Peter: Now, to introduce tonight's guest, here is MacAllister Stone, owner of Absolute Write.
MacAllister: Hi, everyone, and welcome! I'll keep this brief, because we're all here for the same reason—and it's not to watch Mac type. Heh.
It's my privilege to introduce Elizabeth Bear, our guest this evening. Bear has written many more short stories than I can count on all my fingers and toes, and a bunch of novels, besides. She's won a Hugo, and several other notable awards.
She's a prolific blogger and writes online for Shadow Unit, Tor.com, and Storytellers Unplugged. She's a terrific example of the fortitude, intelligence, and sheer stubbornness required to write professionally.
Also, I like her a heck of a lot and she's a very cool person to have a beer or three with. Please join me as soon as Peter opens everyone's voices again, in extending a very warm AW welcome to Elizabeth Bear.
Ebear: joined the chat room.
blackcoat: wooooohoooo!!! welcome bear!!!!
Dermit: Hi elizabeth :)
Ebear: Hello all
nevada: welcome elizabeth. :D
KittyPryde: Welcome! So glad you are here tonight! :D
BahamutBrat: Thanks for coming :)
Sharon: Hello, and thank you! :)
Horserider: Welcome elizabeth :) thanks for coming
Ebear: I'm overjoyed to be here.
MacAllister: If we're ready, we can move along with the question parts, and mix a bit more after?
Birol: Well, that was quite the warm welcome, wasn't it, Bear? Is it okay if I call you Bear? Or do you prefer Elizabeth? We didn't cover that backstage.
Ebear: was granted voice by Peter.
Ebear: Bear is fine. *g* It sorts me out from all the other Elizabeths.
Birol: Good. It's how I've gotten accustomed to thinking of you in my head. :) How did you get the nickname Bear?
Ebear: It's what my friends call me. Oh, complicated story. My legal name is Sarah Bear Elizabeth Wishnevsky. I cut off the ends because they didn't fit on a book jacket. *g*
Birol: Always have to keep those book jackets in mind.
Birol: We had some people who weren't able to make it tonight, but they sent some questions along ahead.
Ebear: So in RL, people either call me Sarah or Bear, and in fandom, Bear.
Ebear: (I'm totally ready for questions)
Birol: I thought we might start with one or two of those offline questions while Jed sorts out the others I hope he is receiving. Maxmordon wanted to know What would you recommend for young and unpublished authors—seek a stable job first, or take time off to pursue writing what they love?
Ebear: Oh, wow. That's a hard one. The thing is... you gotta eat. But frankly, I was kind of a failure at everything else I tried. I'm not real good at the corporate thing. So I worked for a lot of little nonprofits and small businesses that went under. and got laid off a lot. It was actually during the last layoff, after 9/11, when Igot really obsessive about the writing and eventually found a good group of fellow travelers... and broke into print professionally. You do what you have to do, I think—I know good writers who are ER docs. and if you can do that and find time to write, you can do anything and find time to write. *
Birol: Thank you. That gives a lot to ponder.
Ebear: You have to set your own goals based on your life, you know?
Birol: Personally, do you recommend the getting laid off a lot thing? ;-)
Ebear: Lots of ski bums work retail so they can take time off, and live cheap. (I'd say, Embrace Poverty.)
Birol: I'll keep that in mind. Moving on, our next questioner would prefer to remain anonymous. Some of them are shy like that, but this one has obviously been following publishing news because they want to know With recent news stories about tougher standards on things like imported manga, is there anything you'd refuse to write about? Anything you think simply cannot be handled with enough intelligence and sensitivity to be worthwhile?
Ebear: Oo. The Dangerous Visions question. I've never had an idea for a story that I thought was good enough that I chose not to write because I thought it was too edgy. And some of my favorite stories of my own or others are really about uncomfortable topics. There's an Akira Kurosawa quote that's on the wall over my computer: "To be an artist means never to avert one's eyes." I think if you tell the truth, and you try to be honest about it rather than just going for the splatter or the shock value, then every topic is fair game.
Ebear: Sensationalism, however, is not art.
Birol: Do you feel, then, that it is a writer's job to hold up a mirror to society?
Ebear: I think it's a writer's job to tell the truth.
Ebear: I'm not a big fan of didactic literature, but I do think it's incumbent on all of us to ask hard questions.
Ebear: Maybe questions that don't have answers. And point out things that are off. *
Birol: Ah. That's interesting and I like that. Moving forward to some questions we've received since our interview started,
Birol: Dermit would like to know As an author with both Sci-fi and Fantasy publications, which genre do you think is more difficult for an aspiring author to tap into?
Ebear: Well, to me, they're really marketing categories. I'm a lumper rather than a splitter, and as I say that, somewhere Kim Stanley Robinson is shaking his head and wondering why he feels unwell... I don't see as much philosophical difference between them as many do. However, comma, I will say that I think it's a heck of a lot easier to sell a good SF story than a good fantasy story. Because there aren't as many of them. Are we talking novels or short fiction here?
Birol: I have questions about both short fiction and novels in my queue.
Birol: Dermit, which were you thinking? (Maybe Peter will voice Dermit for a moment for us.)
Ebear: There are probably more pro markets for short SF right now. Straight fantasy second-world short fiction is hard to move.
Dermit My question was in reference to novels, but of course I'm curious about both
Ebear: SF is easier to break into, at novel length, because everybody is looking for good SF. The market and teh readership is smaller, though. Of course, I don't write on the blockbuster end of fantasy—the Fat Fantasy With Maps and the paranormal romance is where the real sales are— but a really good print run for an SF original hardcover is 5,000. the readership is not big. OTOH, the Hugos skew heavily to SF.
Ebear: and so does the criticism. *
Birol: Well, according to the SyFy channel, the entire SF market is composed of geeks and anti-social adolescents living in their parents' basements and is entirely devoid of women, but I snark.
Ebear: heh Well, have you seen what they air? They may have their demo pegged.
Birol: I don't watch it as much since they stopped airing much SF.
Birol: Back on topic, Stonetable is curious about How long it took you to break into print, from the time you started writing seriously?
Ebear: Oi. OK. I started submitting work when I was a teenager, but it was juvenilia. I was dead serious about it, though. And I'd been writing since second grade or so. 0.0 I got a couple of semipro sales in my twenties.
Ebear: First professional sales in 2002 (two of them). First novel sale at the end of 2003, when I was... 32? (It was not the first novel I wrote, I probably need not say.) What was really critical for my development was hooking up with the Bad Poets Society, which is my writing group—a bunch of people who were at about my stage of development as a writer and who taught me professional skills. *
Birol: Would you recommend other up-and-coming writers find a writing group to help their growth? If so, what should they look for to find a good one?
Ebear: A good writing group is priceless. A bad one will cripple you.
Birol: Because, you know, as a published novelist, you know all of these things. :)
Ebear: Hee I got lucky, fidning mine. Basically, after I got laid off, I joined the Online Writing Workshop and Speculations Rumor Mill And found some folks who were a little further along, who mentored me—notably, Charlie Finlay, aka C.C. Finlay and some other writers who were about where I was, stuck in semipro hell. Also! The thing that really made a difference was reading a TON of semipro slush. I worked for Abyss & Apex and Ideomancer, and I reviewed a LOT of subs on the OWW. And you know, you learn really fast why some things are jus ta bad idea that way. (Like the page two infodump.) *
Birol: Eh. I've come to hold the belief that all aspiring writers need to spend some time slushing or on the other side of the editor's desk.
Ebear: I think so too.
Birol: It does help you see some of the mistakes in your own writing. Provides perspective. [NOTE TO THE AUDIENCE: Anyone with a 'zine, you just got a whole new batch of prospective beta readers.]
Birol: Well, Bear said so. ;-)
Ebear: But the question was bad writing groups, too, and—hey, if you have people who keep coming back with the same story, over and over, with minor polishing and no real substantive changes or if it's all mutual admiration, or just slagging each other— or really prescriptive or jealous?
Ebear: It's like any relationship. If you hate it, it's probably bad for you. If it never makes you think or challenges you, you're probably being lied to. *
Birol: Excellent point. Challenges, as frustrating as they can be, are good things. Now, I, of course, have tons of questions about your writing, but I've also received one or two personal questions. Do you mind if I ask them?
Ebear: uh oh. How personal? *g* Sure, ask away
Birol: You can always so no comment after hearing them.
Ebear: if it's too personal I'll claim the dog needs to go out.
Birol: Well, one is... I'm sure it's a funny story, but let's start with the tamer one... LOL.
Birol: Bahamut up there wants to know more about your name... particularly... Can you tell us a bit about your background? Where were you born and is your last name Polish?
Ebear: I'm second-generation Ukrainian and second-generation Swedish, and a bunch of other stuff. I was born in Hartford. It's not the real family name—it's apparently one of the most common Slavic last names, in its many variant forms
Ebear: and my great-grandfather was on the lam when he came here, and gave a false name. We don't know the real one.
Ebear: The family legend is that he was a conscript, deserting the Russian army. All I know is he was a Cossack. *
Birol: That's fascinating that you know so much of your family history. One of AW's long-term mods also comes from a Ukranian background. He always talks about celebrating Christmas in January.... Did your family keep some of the Old World traditions?
Ebear: Cool! I've had to reclaim any Ukrainian-ness on my own.
Ebear: My family wasn't religious at all. And didn't keep any cultural traditions.
Ebear: (The Swedish side either. Though my Swedish grandfather liked sardines and knackebrot. *g*) *
Birol: [If people are timing out, the may wish to PM their neighbor to keep that from happening.] Sorry, about that. I just noticed the sudden rush for the doors, and I'm certain it had nothing to do with you being Ukranian. Our next personal question is from MrTact, whose userid seems to be a misnomer. He would like you to explain how you came to fall off the seawall at Martha's Vineyard?
Ebear: LOL I didn't fall off the seawall. I fell off the *sidewalk*. It's worse. Um. I was somewhat the worse for alcohol and twisted my bad ankle and went down on my nose. La.
Birol: Bwhahahahahaha. I'm sorry. That was rude of me. *snerk* Bwhahahahaha.
Ebear: Well, see, I had laryngitis, and I was trying to treat it with bourbon so I could sing, and—
Ebear: I'm not making this any better, am I?
TauCeti left the chat room. TauCeti Quit: Leaving
Ebear: (NB: Bourbon does not fix laryngitis.) *
Birol: It's okay, I'm hearing behind the scenes that you're not the only one to take a tumble around the seawall at MV.
Ebear: So far, I'm 2 for 2 getting sick as a dog at VP. I am going to try not to do that this year. 2007 was sunburn. :-P *
Birol: Tact would also like you to know that if you were sensible, both of you acrobats would have been drinking at the hotel with him, where the floors were padded.
Ebear: His logic is impeccable.
Birol: I'm sure it is. *snerk* Okay, back to business, another shy individual would like to know if How much do you read outside the SF genre?
Ebear: Tons. I read a lot of nonfiction, actually. And I have a weakness for sad pretty literary novels like The Remains Of The Day. Right now I'm ready a Terry Pratchett, a book on the gunfight down the street from the O.K. Corral, and a book on medieval huswifery.
Peter: Folks, how about a brief 5-minute bio break?
Ebear: Time for the drum solo....
Horserider: It's really hard to write and watch chat at the same time. Thanks for coming Bear. I've already learned a lot
BahamutBrat: Have you read With Fire and Sword
Dermit: transcripts will be posted i'm sure, Andrhia
nevada: it had barely started when you got here
Ebear: Well, I'm here at least another half hour....
MacAllister: We'll post a transcript later, Andrhia
Ebear: I have not read it.
Ebear: *makes a note*
Kogs: which Pratchett book are you reading?
Ebear: Guards! Guards! It's the first one I've read since I burned out on him in college—do not read ten Discworld novels back to back.
Ebear: I'm enjoying it.
Kogs: it's a different feel from his usual stuff
Ebear: Yeah, I'm enjoying it.
BahamutBrat: Is Guards! with the wee dragons?
Ebear: I've decided to stop reading books I think will be good for me.
Ebear: Yes, dragons.
BahamutBrat: Yeah, I read that one recently It was cute :)
Ebear: don't spoil it. *g* I'm nto done. *not
BahamutBrat: I won't
Peter: we have another 20 minutes of questions left.
Peter: ok here we go, Birol: ?
Birol: Oops. Sorry. Was organizing my notecards. From KittyPryde: :
Ebear: (spontaneous combustion claims another drummer)
Birol: I love '"Tideline!" It's like The Giving Tree, but with an awesome robot. What was your inspiration for that story?
Ebear: A necklace, actually. Made by Elise Matthesen. It's called "Sinners in the Hands of A Mildly Startled Buddha," and I just kind of knew it had a story in it.
Birol: Oh, wow, that's pretty. Too bad Dawno's not here. She's our mod who beads.
Ebear: That is too bad.
Birol: No, she's pretty good actually. ;-)
MacAllister (Dawno knows Elise - It's okay)
Ebear: So the metaphor of the necklaces as stories was sort of a natural, given that. I'm game. I'm here for you guys.
Birol: We have received several questions about how to write in general. During the break, I compiled a few of them together, as they were related.... Several individuals have asked questions related to your personal writing habits, whether you write by hand or computer, where you write, and what you do to prepare a story for writing? They would also like to know what you like most about being an author?
Ebear: Oh, I kind of make a fetish out of not establishing rituals?
Ebear: Some writers find them helsful, but I'm always scared that something will happen and I won;t be bale to complete teh ritual and then, pfft. (Also, I'm a lousy typist.) (sorry)
Ebear: So usually I write on my laptop in my futon chair, because it's comfy.
Ebear: But I also write longhand, or on a desktop computer, and on airplanes. I carry a notebook with me eveywhere.
Ebear: I wrote big chunks of a current story during the lousy opening act of a Vienna Teng concert last winter.
Ebear: Writing time is everywhere!
Ebear: What I like most about the job is, well, just about everything.
Ebear: I mean, the pay sucks, and there's a lot of stress, and it's weird being a sort of (very small) public figure. But I get to tell people stories and—oh, wait, I have a good answer.
Ebear: The absolute best part of the job is when I get an email or a blog comment from somebody who my writing has helped in some way. And sometimes it's a really significant way. There's a guy who emails me once in a while because one of my protagonists has PTSD, and so does he, and it helped him deal with it to find a fictional character he could identify with. That makes me feel like I'm justifying my oxygen usage, you know?
Birol: What I'm hearing you say is words have power.
Ebear: yeah, they do.
Birol: Or, at least, that's part of what I'm hearing.
Ebear: Stories have power. And part of it is the power to heal.
Ebear: Which you know, intellectually—there are stories *I* have found healing, after all. but somehow it's kind of stunning when it comes back to you.
Birol: I can understand that. Have you ever been healed through writing one of your own stories?
Ebear: I've processed some stuff, but I haven't really found it cathartic? I think it's too intellectualized.
Ebear: Other people's stories, though, when they push my buttons just right—Peter Beagle's The Last Unicorn, I cry like a fool every time I read it.
Birol: I have a couple of his books on my own shelf that I tend to reread. Other individuals in our audience are interested in general writing advice what advice have you received over the years that you feel would best be passed on to others? incompatible encoding
Ebear: I can think of two really useful ones off the top of my head. One was something Algis Budrys said to me in a rejection letter in 1994. A rejection letter for a story that later became the foundation for the Jenny Casey books, which were the first novels I sold. He said that he really liked the story, and then he got to the end and it fell apart. And he said "That made me sad." And I had an epiphany. Because I suddenly realized that the editor was rooting for me to pull it off. I'd never known that before. The other thing is something Steve Brust said to me after I finished my first novel. Which was, more or less, that I should be proud, even though it probably sucked, because I had done something that 99% of the people who set out to write a novel never do. And even if it did suck, if I had finished one, I could finish two. And the second one would suck less than the first. *g* Steve's honest.
Birol: Yes. I know you have to get to your family this evening. I have 2-3 questions left in my queue that I definitely want to ask you.
Ebear: I'm yours until my company shows up, more or less sure.
Birol: Well, we'll get these off the table and then maybe we can just chat in general?
Birol: The first is from Jed, who has been fielding questions for me behind the scenes... He would like to know How much research did you do on PTSD before you wrote the story?
Ebear: Oh, tons. Um. Okay, this is personal TMI time, but I'm a trauma survivor. So I had personal experience and years of therapy to draw on. And I also read everything I could get my hands on.
Ebear: Which of course is contradictory and—the thing is, there's no one experience.
Ebear: there's just individuals who may have responses in common. traumatic memories are stored differently in the brain than regular memories. It's neurochemical. fascinating stuff.
Birol: Well, I'm certain that individual whose life you touched is glad you opened that particular vein. Harkening back to SF, Blackcoat would like to know From an authors perspective of fandom, do you feel the SF community as a whole is more divided then the fantasy community?
Ebear: It's the write what you know thing, I guess. Except I've always thought "know what you write" is a better way to put it. Huh. You know, I don't know?
Ebear: My friend-group in fandom is cogenre. and I try to stay out of the My Genre Rulez/Ur Genre Droolz conversations.
Birol: Okay. I know we're jumping around here a bit but a good friend of mine has always said
Ebear: s'okay. *g*
Birol: the axiom should be, "Write what you want to understand."
Ebear: oh, yeah that's lovely.
Birol: She has an annoying habit of being right. ;-)
Horserider: joined the chat room.
Birol: One final set of questions from Stonetable, and then we'll relax the setting a bit. You've talked about writers groups, but what about workshops? You've taught at Viable Paradise and (soon) Clarion West. What are your thoughts on workshops? Can you offer any advice to writers applying to a workshop, including at what point in their career it's most useful?
Ebear: Well, I never workshopped myself, as an aspiring writer. I didn't have the money or the time. So, you know, it's totally possible to do pretty well without that. I did do Sycamore Hill in 2006, which is a pro writer workshop. And it was excellent, but it was also emotionally brutal.
Ebear: It took me about sixteen months to put myself back together so I could write confidently after that.
Ebear: (As those of you who read my blog know.)
Ebear: I think workshops can be beneficial at any level? because I sure wasn't writing the quality of prose before then that I am now.
Ebear: But I also think they're a risk. Many, many people have the response I did—where it breaks something in side you for a while. Cory Doctorow, I know, couldn't write after Clarion until he went for hypnotherapy to get past his block. OTOH, now he's Cory Doctorow. *g* So he obviously learned something.
Birol: Sounds like there are pros and cons both ways.
Ebear: I think you start applying to the workshops when you feel like it will help you, and—you have to be willing to take risks to grow as an artist. and as a craftsperson. And I believe writing is both. So you decide if it's worth it to you. And how bad you want it. There are critiques that workshops teach certain habits that become epidemic in the genre? And maybe create a uniformity of voice? I haven't seen that with my VP students, though. And I know a lot of Clarion grads and I don't think they sound much alike.
Birol: Thank you for that very insightful answer.
Peter: That's all the time we have for questions. Thanks, Elizabeth. It is such a pleasure to have you talk with us. We are honored.
Birol: Although I know I didn't get to everyone's questions, that's really all the structured time we have left for.
Ebear: *I'm* honored.
Peter: The chat room is once again open for normal chatting. Huge thanks to Elizabeth Bear for taking the time to visit with the Absolute Writers. Let's have a round of applause for our guest!
Peter: Let's also thank our interviewer, without whom, this chat wouldn't have been the stellar event it was. And not to forget the behind-the-scenes crew, Jed, Bahamutschild and, ChaosTitan, And last, but not least, thanks to MacAllister Stone, owner of this crazy place for convincing Elizabeth Bear to come visit with us awhile.
Ebear: Thank you all so much, and I hope I was helpful.
Ebear: (I feel like we should be doing a round of Namastes)
MacAllister: Hee. No worries. And if you wanna ask Bear stuff in person, you should do it now before she has to split.
Andrhia: Hey Bear, are you coming back to I-CON this year, do you think?
Ebear: I haven't been invited this year, so probably not.
Ebear: Penguicon and Wiscon for sure, maybe 4th street if I can swing it.
Andrhia: Hah! I thought it was just me on the inviting.
Leeflower: Bear, before you go, your story about the dragon at the smithsonian made me cry like a little girl.
Ebear: Thank you!
MacAllister: Leeflower, we'll be posting a transcript later
Ebear: That's one my favorites, actually.
Leeflower: I loved it.
Dermit: Writing is one of the few professiones where making someone cry is a good thing :D
Ebear: And also inspired by an Elise necklace, which is where I got the title. Dermit, hah!
Leeflower: I sent my brother the link, and he emailed me back the next day: "It's impolite to make people cry on the metro, you know."
Sharon: "Orm the Beautiful" is a story I want to recommend to everyone.
Andrhia This was really lovely. Thanks again to everybody involved. :)
Hummingbird: Ah, but crying could be a bad thing ;)
Ebear: Also, Sarah Monette and I have been writing dragon stories back and forth at each other for a while now—we're at two apiece. If you liked "Orm the Beautiful," it's a response to her story "Dracon Campestris," which is at Strange Horizons I think. Draco Campestris, drat it.
Leeflower: I'll look into that. Thanks!
Ebear: Dracon is like bacon, only scalier.
blackcoat: draco bits?
Mod35tBabe: I read that as Draco and then I didnt get the joke about Dracon for a second there lol
DniC: ...bacon...? ...oh!
Ebear: mmm. dracon.
Horserider: LOL Draco bits
Leeflower I'm envisioning the bacon-statuette this is going to cause.
DniC: Draco bites, the new, improved bacon snacks.
MrTact: If Scalzi wrote fantasy, we would have had Dracon Cat
Ebear: Dogs don't know it's not dragon!
Leeflower dies and is ded.
DniC ...the poor dog.
blackcoat: Seriously, that commercial plays in my head whenever I hear 'bacon'
Leeflower: hands Ebear: the internets.
Ebear: It's an evil meme
Hollow: Me too blackcoat
Leeflower: you have won them, and they are yours.
Ebear: aww, thank you.
Hollow "Its baacooooon!"
Birol: Bear, did you convince your dog that chocolate was bad for him?
Ebear: They're kind of too big for the trophy shelf.
DniC (gotta get that bacon!)
Ebear: I convinced him that I didn't have any more chocolate.... He's a new dog. We're still negotiating boundaries.
Horserider: Mmm chocolate
Leeflower our dog ate a whole chocolate-chip pancake once.
DniC Heh. What breed?
blackcoat Are he and the complaint dept getting along betteR?
Ebear: Briard, which most people have never heard of.
BahamutBrat: I like the Baxter-cat commercial more Baxter? *meow* Baxter!
Ebear: my mom breeds and shows them
Leeflower the person eating it fell asleep watching TV, and he kindly finished it for her.
Horserider: Briard? i think i've seen those on animal planet. I know i've heard of them somewhere
DniC Heh. Same.
Ebear: You can see a photo of him on the "contact us" page.
Leeflower ohmydog those are cute.
Ebear: he's the dark gray one with the stuffed toy.
Birol: I bet they're a pain to brush.
Leeflower it's a sheep!
Horserider: Yep i've definitely seen those before :) i always wonder how they can see
Ebear: There was one in the Chuck Norris movie Top Dog. 0.0
Peter you brush sheep?
Guest2 left the chat room. Guest2 Quit: Leaving
Peter thought you just sheared them
Ebear: Also, on Dharma and Greg.
MrTact is getting called for dinner. Night all!
BahamutBrat: Some sheep 'molt'
MrTact left the chat room. MrTact
Ebear: night MrTact
Leeflower since someone mentioned Scalzi upchat, Petsmart carries squeaky toys of the electric blue sheep variety.
BahamutBrat: they have hair, not wool
blackcoat considers starting a rumor on the internets that Ebear stole the dharma and greg dog.
Ebear: And dyed him black?
blackcoat ...there goes that idea..
Ebear: I stole him because of the Thomas Gibson connection, of course....
Hummingbird I had hair sheep. :) If we didn't brush them then they would rub all over the fences and there would be hair everywhere
blackcoat Of course!
Leeflower well, it makes as much sense as some of the other silly rumors on the internet.
DniC Ah-ha! Confession!
blackcoat See! There's even proof!
Birol: My pup is just loosing his puppy coat. Makes him look scraggly.
Ebear: I'm a creepy celebrity stalker!
blackcoat Never actually *watched* d&g, and so didn't know the color of the dog. Obviously. :)
Horserider: I never noticed a dog on d&g
Hummingbird I better go. Thank you so much Elizabeth Bear!! I'll see everyone later. :)
Ebear: I've never watched it either, but once you have anything to do with a rare breed you try ot find famous ones so people know WTH you're talking about. Bye!
Ebear: I should probably go take the dog out, speaking of which. It's about the scheduled time.
MacAllister Thanks very much, Bear
Ebear: Thank you guys so much for having me This was a blast.
Ebear: left the chat room.
MacAllister Thanks so much, everyone! I'll start working on finding our next guest. :) G'night.