Thursday, June 8, 2006
Cloudy and cool
There is a glimmer of hope in The Situation. I’m cautiously optimistic. I’m afraid to be genuinely happy, but there’s hope. We’ll know more in a few days, and after June 30. But there’s hope.
Yesterday grew better as the day wore on. I received an email from an editor hiring me for a series of short articles (I hadn’t even queried yet), and requests from two other editors for pitches, all of which are due tomorrow.
I plan to finish my column today and send it to SDR tomorrow at the latest.
No work done on the ghost story or Real, because, again, the entire day was caught up in The Situation. Looking over the work I’ve had to turn down over the past six months, I estimate I lost $30,000 in income because of The Situation. At least.
On the editor front regarding Real: called the editor at her office; was re-routed to the front desk. Turns out the editor quit unexpectedly due to some personal crisis, leaving everything all topsy turvy, around Memorial Day Weekend. The receptionist connected me to the editorial assistant who’s been given the job of cleaning out the office and trying to figure out what’s going on with various projects. Some manuscripts the editor took with her when she left, but there are piles and piles and piles of them all over the office. I talked to the EA for a few minutes – I’ve had to do what she’s doing, and it’s no fun. Since we agreed that if I told her the name of the book, she’d write it on a sticky note and it would get lost, I suggested writing a formal letter to her (the EA), with the short version of my initial contact to the editor and our discussion, and a list of materials. If it’s still in the office, the EA will take a look at it, and, if it passes her first read, will pass it on; if not, she’ll send me a formal rejection. If it’s not in the office and the query sounds like something they’d like to take a look at, they’ll request a partial. Since there’s no way of knowing how long this process will take, it’s not on exclusive read, and I will submit queries/manuscripts anywhere I wish in the interim. It takes pressure off them, but doesn’t prevent me from selling it elsewhere, if I choose. If the original editor has the manuscript and decides she wants to do something with it, it’s up to her to contact me and make a firm offer – no one is sure if she’s going to another job, taking time off, or striking out on her own. I’m also writing a formal letter to her that the company will forward to the home address they have for her, stating that, in light of her situation, she’s still welcome to read and comment on the partials, but it is not an exclusive.
Of course, I skipped the bit about it being a first draft and it’ll be awhile before I feel comfortable shopping it anywhere! The original editor pushed me to submit material and I met that commitment; since I do not have an answer from her within the agreed-upon time frame, all bets are off in the original agreement, but all this paperwork covers everyone. It gives me the freedom to keep working on the book and make it the best it can be, and keeps the doors open to two potential editors without locking myself into something that could drag on for months or years.
So, yesterday was about dealing with the business end of things instead of the creative end, although I did work on some of the pitches due tomorrow.
I’m going back to work on the column now, and then I’m going to meet my friend J, in from London, down at Strand Books for the afternoon. I can just picture the staff: “Come here, little girl . . .” only instead of candy, they’re seducing me with books.
Regarding Ann Coulter: stop giving her the attention she craves. She’s completely insane. And, if you watch her talk – her surface may be attractive, but, as she speaks, her eyes mush up and get small and seed-like, her face twists up – it’s really like demon possession out of The Exorcist. Her ugly, mutilated soul comes through. There’s a reason her new book came out on The Day of the Beast.
June 8: years ago, I worked on the wonderful playwright Anna Cascio’s play June 8, 1968 . . .set against the backdrop of the Robert Kennedy assassination. Every June 8, I remember what a lovely experience it was to work on that play.