I think it's very pretty. And, um, no that's not me on the cover. I only wish I had that figure.
In the story, I envisioned the fur throw being brown or black. I mean what guy has a white fur rug in his library? Perhaps Kirliss is into polar bears...
Yeah, I know - I'm teasing you. and the book isn't out until October 24.
You know how much I love to tease.
It's been kind of a crazy week, for no good reason. My mom was here visiting, which was very fun. Work has been this weird uneven waiting for other people, punctuated by furious hysteria. And I'm transitioning this blog to my new website. Eeep!
I'm off to Oklahoma City next week for the day job. But I'm hoping Monday you'll be directed to my blog on the website.
Here's a pic of grandson Tobiah with my mom and Stepdad Dave, who is helping Tobiah open his birthday presents. A little catch-up here, since I posted a pic of granddaughter Aerro last week.
So, I was at a bit of a loss on what to write about this morning. It's kind of that tip-of-the-tongue feeling, like I had a topic in mind, but can't quite recall what it was. Tomorrow is all about Feeding the Vampire's book birthday. But I had *thought* I had a plan for today.
Then I remembered.
Oh yeah, I totally thought I'd talk about my agent and my new book deal today.
But you know what? She promised to get back to me by Monday (yesterday) and she hasn't. Everyone keeps telling me to give her more time, but it's been officially one week now. I'm not necessarily in a hurry. Still, I don't see much reason to sit on my hands any longer. Publishing is absolutely about patience panties and waiting for people to get back to you. When the ball is in my court, however, I don't see much reason to wait.
It was kind of amazing, really, how people popped out of the woodwork with advice when I announced that I had a contract offer. Everyone was full of the advice to contact every agent I've ever kibbitzed with and let them know I have an offer on the table. This is the moment, they urge me, to hook an agent.
I feel vaguely like the girl who's gotten pregnant and is looking to bag her man with it.
The thing is, like that knocked-up girl, I'm feeling a bit like, if they didn't want me for myself and my work before, then I'm not sure I want them just because I've got a bun in the oven. Frankly, I'm not convinced I want an agent at all. Kristine Rusch, who posts the very insightful Rusch Reports on the publishing business from the writer's point of view, recently laid out really good reasons why unagented writers not sign with agents. (The post contains a fascinating history of how literary agents came to be in the first place - well worth reading.)
Her post came at just the right time for me, because she echoed what I've been thinking, from all the reading I do about the huge changes in publishing.
Now, I'm not so concerned about the agency clause. The gal I've been talking to has a boutique agency, so I imagine she doesn't have anything really bearish like that. But, more and more, I'm wondering what agents can do for writers that we can't do for ourselves. A bunch of agencies are now announcing that they're assisting their authors with self-publishing, or even developing epublishing branches. They're clearly doing this because their traditional revenue streams are drying up. Indeed, several of my friends who have long-standing relationships with agents are not seeing new sales to publishers right now. Except maybe in Young Adult.
It's a difficult time for agents. I totally get that.
So, right now I'm not convinced having an agent would really make a huge difference for me.
I'm still the awkward girl at the prom. My work is still the kind that the big publishers frown at, with worry on their faces, unable to clearly envision where they'd put me on the bookshelf. I truly believe the key for me lies in building readership. (Thank you, all you lovely readers who read and say nice things to me!) People out there do want to read my books, but no one will know it until I have some numbers.
I'm at peace with that.
What I'm not at peace with is waiting. I don't want to be like Vladimir and Estragon, eternally distracting myself while I wait for something I might not even recognize when it arrives.
No point in reaching for that brass ring if they're dismantling the Carousel and converting it into the Zooming Horses Racetrack.
(Wouldn't that be a cool ride?)
So: no announcement today. See? Here you are, waiting along with me. I may yet sign with this agent or another, on a future project.
When I planted these morning glory seeds, I had a vision of the wisteria vine taking off and climbing up the portal, with the purple morning glories winding through. Gardening is a lot about grandiose visions that reality sometimes can't quite catch up to. Our dry winter and even drier spring slowed things down. But, now that the monsoon rains have started, look! I have a blossom. With more promising.
It thrills me to to see it.
Saturday, at the local post office, the guy there was saying to everyone, I can't believe summer is almost over! Someone else - not me - piped up and pointed out that we're just heading into August and that we have at least two more months of warm weather. Really four, because we don't get freezes around here until around Thanksgiving. Post office guy shrugged that off. "But the kids start school in two weeks!"
You all know this is the part I find interesting.
This week at Word-Whores, the theme is made-up holidays. Already Linda and Laura have said interesting things about Holy Days and traditional holidays vs. special and intimate ones. We have all these layers of schedules in our lives, rhythms dictated by the turn of the seasons, the ebb and flow of work, the divisions of school breaks, the intensive celebrations that require tons of preparation. We plan around these things, always looking ahead to which train is coming down the tracks.
Never mind that the school schedule is changing. We set up summer break originally to correspond with labor-intensive planting and harvesting schedule. Now schools go through summer, start early, have longer winter breaks. But still we associate school starting with harvest ending and the onset of winter.
There must have been something about Saturday, because the woman at the gym - not Crazy Gym Lady, a different one with her own special, gentler brand of nutty - was telling everyone who came in that Christmas is only four months away. Someone else - not me - pointed out to her that it was really almost five months. Which, when you think about it, is far closer to being half a year away than actually looming. Still, she was undaunted, keeping her gaze on that Christmas train.
The Taoists say that the key to serenity, to real spiritual understanding, is to keep ourselves in the present as much as possible. In their view, only the present is real. Being awake and fully aware of what's happening right now allows us to enjoy our lives. No anticipating the future, for good or ill. No dwelling on the past.
After all, how can you enjoy summer when you're thinking about it ending?
So I'm enjoying the transitory bloom of my morning glories. I have them now, and that's all that matters.