Rainy, foggy, dreary. This is the kind of day that demands coffee and more coffee; I might even break out the gingerbread variety of my K-cups (yes, I have a Keurig, which makes a lot of sense when you live alone). Since my brain is being slow to warm up to the notion of complete sentences today, let me offer up some links.
"That Crazy Little Thing Called Disappointment" - This blog post from novelist Kim Wright, author of Love in Mid-Air, articulates the ambivalences of bringing a book into the world. "Publishing is one long exercise in learning to get over yourself," she writes. I loved this little essay for its honesty and its specificity, but also for its tough-love statement that, despite the exhaustions of the ups & downs, you have to find ways to always celebrate that you have gotten a seat on the rollercoaster in the first place.
"'Don't Let That Man Eat Your Career,' and Other Preparations for Hitting the Road" - Another blog post from a great novelist, Tayari Jones, who is about to set out for a book tour in support of her third novel Silver Sparrow. She affirms the importance of learning to enjoy the ride but also has practical tips about practicing interview questions and trial suit-case packing. Note that this post is hosted on SheWrites, which is a fantastic resource for women writers looking for mentorship and networking.
"Sandra Beasley and Food Allergy Awareness Week" - Now for something completely different! Thanks to The Recipe Club for recognizing Food Allergy Awareness Week by featuring my favorite allergy-friendly quinoa recipe. What makes something "allergy-friendly"? This vegetarian dish doesn't contain any of the Big Eight allergens--dairy, egg, fish, shellfish, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, or wheat. It's ideal for picnics, buffets, and big events where you are not familiar with everyone's dietary issues.
The Recipe Club is hosted by Crown, which has done so much to lay the groundwork for Don't Kill the Birthday Girl's launch in July. It's a standard trope to bitch & moan about one's publicity team, but you won't hear it from me. They are awesome.
That said, in order to hold up my part of the bargain as an author, I have to provide a lot of content--not just the book itself but Facebook chatter, guest blog posts, questions for a reader's guide. All week I've been working on chapter "takeaways," 1-3 sentence summaries for each chapter. You'd think it would be easy, right? I should know this material better than anyone. During the drafting of the book, I would routinely churn out 3,000-5,000 words in one day; 30 sentences should take no time at all.
It has been slow going, and last night I realized why: I'm afraid to re-read my own galley. This is the limbo stage where it is too late for me to change anything--anything I find wrong or missing or underdeveloped--and yet I have not yet heard the world's reassurance that, even if the book isn't perfect, it is pretty damn good. Maybe I'm not supposed to admit this. Maybe I'm supposed to say I am nothing but confident & excited. Some days I am! But other days I wake up to thoughts already crowded by deadlines and worries and imagined criticisms. Some days I wake up and I need twice as much coffee as usual. Brew. Slurp. Caffeinate. Repeat.