Thursday, February 25, 2010

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and That Agent in England.

Well, folks, I finally got a response from my agent. It seems that everything we've heard about the economic downturn and the publishing industry, particularly as it pertains to Britain, is true. They just don't want to handle new and unknown writers. The UK is struggling more than most, right now, so I'm going to back off a bit with Hafan Deg. I need a break from it, anyway. I've terminated the arrangement with the agent. In sixty days, under the terms of their contract, I could conceivably sign another agent. Doesn't that sound easy? Like finding a lawyer or an accountant? Hmm, that one sounds nice. I think I'll hire her as my agent...

In the meantime, I have begun the query process for Strachan's Attic, which wasn't under contract. It felt so amazing to send off the letter and the first one hundred  (Yikes!) 25 pages.  I realize now that I quite enjoy the process. It's exciting, at least at first. (We get a little jaded later, to put it mildly, when the rejections start arriving.)

But that process is the thing. Arrival is always as Gertrude Stein quipped, and I paraphrase, "The trouble is that when you get there, there isn't any there there."  We've been told all our lives that it's the journey that counts. It's true, but we don't listen. The thing that gives me such huge pleasure is the anticipation of things possible. My books in bookshops, and people dealing with me as a published writer - all of that will likely prove quite mundane and ordinary, if it ever happens. It's the excitement of the chase, the thrill of the departure, the joy of the now - that's what's important. In a way, we would probably all be much happier (and psychologists do say this) if we never arrive at our goals. It's all a bit like Tantric sex, really.

So today, along with a tiny bit of sadness, I am feeling relief. I no longer have to stress over what's happening with Hafan Deg. She's coming home to Momma for a while, until we can find a new home for her, and Strachan's Attic will be doing the rounds while I'm finishing Summer Must End.

Roz Morris of Dirty White Candy is offering an e-book in PDF format, "Nail Your Novel" which I think could prove helpful to you. It's free to download, and I'm not going to apologize for taking advantage of a technology that augments conventional publishing. This is a great book, available for purchase as a hard copy as well, in case you prefer that.
"Nail Your Novel is a writing buddy in a book. It holds the reader’s hand every step of the way, from the blank sheet of paper to the finished manuscript. And at less than 100 pages it's half the size of most writing books - for the reader who wants effective writing advice without the waffle."
Take care, everyone. Enjoy the adventure.

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Quotes to Consider

"If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, Either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing." ~Benjamin Franklin

"Well behaved women rarely make history."~Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”~William G.T. Shedd (1820-1894), theologian, teacher, pastor

"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something." ~Franklin D Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd U.S. president

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), essayist, poet, philosopher

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~Mark Twain

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
~ Wayne Gretzky