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falling forward

He’s done it – Mr. McCartney – planted that song in my brain and now I cannot get it out. It’s just there, all the time, singing away. His songs do that. Ever heard a little ditty called “Yesterday”? Well now you’ve got “When we were new … OOOOOOO.”

And the Little Free Library is now famous, thanks to neighbour Jian G., who tweeted a picture of it to his vast group of twitterers. It now has its official sign, many neighbours have stopped to say how much they like the idea, and this morning, someone has left two paperback mysteries so battered that they’re held together with rubber bands. Oh, to write a book so admired. Someone also left a Neil Gaiman; I took that.

Speaking of a book so admired, mine has hit a slight and not unexpected bump. My agent courteously read the manuscript and got back to me immediately. He enjoyed it very much, he said, and its “delicious memories,” but memoirs are nearly impossible to sell in New York if they’re not by a household name.


Though you have many respectable credentials, when I say household name I mean movie and music and political stars whose names are instantly recognizable by a mass audience.


It breaks my heart, Beth, but I am going to have to pass on this one, and will be returning the manuscript separate cover. I hope I’m wrong and I would hate for you to take my word on any of this, so I urge you to push this one with all your might. Best of success.

I went to Wayson’s for comfort – he’s got pneumonia, so I brought soup, stumbled in my sandals lifting my bike down Riverdale Hill and now one  of my toes is black. Always good to replace psychic pain with real pain.  He advised me to publish it on-line, put the first 3 chapters out free and charge $1.99 for the rest. “It’s about big numbers!” he said. “Who cares about that old paper thing?”

Well – it’s a great idea, but I’ll try a few more old paper places first. A dear friend in publishing has offered to take it to a mid-size press publisher we both know, so I spent last evening preparing an offering for him. What they forget to tell you in writer school: once you’ve written the thing, you’ve got to sell it. You’d think the writing would be the hard part. Not necessarily, at least, not if you’re as resolutely non-commercial as I seem to be. ONWARD.

But in the meantime, I remembered something – how valuable it is to read the thing out loud. It needs a bit of cutting, I think, but I’ve read it so often, I can’t see it any more. But perhaps I can hear it. So I’ll read it aloud and see where my voice goes dead, which means the prose is too. That is, if I can stand to read it again, Perhaps I can’t, not yet anyway.

Funny that yesterday, first day of school, was the first day of chilly air and sweaters. Crisp. A warning. But today, the sun’s out and it’s gorgeous again. Oh – and JON’S BACK!!! John Oliver was a wonderful substitute, but oh, how good it is to see Jon Stewart, one of the finest men on the face of the earth.

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2 Responses to “falling forward”

  1. Theresa Kishkan says:

    "Resolutely non-commercial" — there's a congenial phrase. Or state of mind. And I do think there's something lovely about a paper book. Analog versus digital. Or not versus but firmly as well as…Good luck!
    tk

  2. beth says:

    Thank you, Theresa. I'll take all the encouragement offered, right now …

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

 

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