Wednesday, March 22, 2006

the accidental

so i just finished ali smith's the accidental. and damn damn damn that woman is an amazing writer. a few years ago, hotel world knocked me out and now this. where has she been, what has she seen to have a mind like this? it's one of those books that's almost trance-y, dream-like. yes, it's like reading a dream. at times confusing, familiar, funny ha-ha and funny strange, unexpected and a bit surreal. i can't get enough of this chick.

ali smith can transcend both age and gender in her writing. believable and beautiful. if you haven't read this, you must. and when you get the book, check out the author photo. this is not the face that i expected. oftentimes, i'll read a book, check the author photo and think "absolutely." ms. smith appears androgynous, ageless, pixie-like. well, maybe that is about right.

well, onto another writer i adore, meg wolitzer. have you seen her photo? don't get me started. . .

Saturday, March 11, 2006

funk soul newbie

. . .so, as i was saying. right, my attempts at getting published. okay. so i finished a manuscript about, oh i don't know, two years ago. and, after having a few rude awakenings to the world of schlocky agents during earlier drafts, i decided to limit my search to one. namely, the agent of someone i know. a real, live agent that i met in real life. tangible even. shook hands even. yes, this was an actual person who didn't appear to be satanic in the least. which was lovely, of course.

so i finish up the manuscript and send to said non-satanic agent. in a few months, she calls, we do a little phone dance, she signs me. wow, easy right?

and i'm all "hey, hard part's over, now the money rolls in."
and reality's all "yeah, not so much newbie, agent's only sending it out to a select few to test the waters."
and i'm all "yeah, but i totally got a top agent lickety split."
and reality's all "um, that's all well and good, but why isn't she casting a larger net?"
and i'm all "duh, because she knows who's going to snap it up."
and reality's all "no, asshole. . ."
and i'm all "don't call me asshole, reality. let's keep it clean."
and reality's all "sorry, but you're impossibly naive and it's a bit frustrating." and i'm all "you know what? fuck you, reality."

so that didn't go well. and the reality was that my agent decided to send out the manuscript to a small sampling of editors because she wasn't 100% sold on it herself. but i pushed and begged and pleaded. it's a good book. it's a great book. it's a book that will open dialogues. it's accessible women's fiction. it will fill a void in the market. it's the prime time. right about now, funk soul brother.

and reality's all "yeah, so not so much with the sale, greenie mc newbie."
and i'm all "hey, my agent said we got seven POSITIVE negatives."
and reality's all "you're a fucking moron."

reality was becoming clear.
ask agent to stop submitting.
sign up for nanowrimo to stop obsessing about first manuscript.
bang out second manuscript in a manic frenzy.
read said manuscript.
nod thoughtfully.
send to agent.

and reality's all "what, you think you're so prolific that you can write a publishable book in a month?"
and i'm all ". . ."
and my agent's all "hey, i really like this book, no revisions needed."
and reality's all "what the. . ."
and i'm all "?"
and agent's all "!"

and i look at reality and reality looks at me and we're all "ok, fine, cool." *shrug*

because reality and i think that i may jinx something again if i get too attached to the MS or too invested in the process.

so i'm all "better start another novel."
and reality's all "rock on, sisyphus."
stupid goddamn reality.