dianafox: (heart + hands)
( Jul. 3rd, 2008 01:45 pm)
First, thank you to everyone for the get well wishes! I meant to update sooner--are you beginning to see a pattern here?--but I was mostly better by the time I posted last month; any continuing delay in responding to submissions has been due to lack of time rather than to illness. (I have been holding off on blogging for the past few weeks in the vain hope that I would be able to make a triumphant Caught Up On Slush post, but I need to give up that fantasy. I mean, I am catching up all the time, but I think there’s like, slush denial where agents and editors don’t want to admit that it’s impossible for us to ever be completely caught up... or maybe that’s just me?)

Anyway, I have started getting queries mentioning that I haven’t blogged in a while, so I figured it was time to say something. Other than that I am behind on submissions, but you all knew that, right? Queries are up to six weeks, requested manuscripts between 2 and 3 months. Patience is the order of the day.

I am never quite sure what to say when I begin these entries, but I don’t really feel like talking about publishing so I am going to talk about (other) things which are awesome instead. (I use the word awesome a lot, without irony. Don't judge me.)

First awesome thing: Somebody got me an anonymous LJ gift! It is a purple rhino, and I love him. (You can see him here.) He supports PFLAG and everything! In fact this is such a perfect virtual gift that I now feel no one else ever needs to get me another virtual gift from Livejournal, although links to your favorite free LJ icon communities would be welcome.

Second awesome thing: contracts. Okay, I wasn’t going to talk about publishing, but I love contracts, and one of the most fun parts of selling some books is that now I get to go over the contracts for them. I am also enjoying working with my contracts consultant, with whom I had never worked before. I made the decision to use a contracts consultant early on because as a new agency, I’m very concerned with establishing the best terms for my boilerplate with different publishers... plus I think it’s good to have someone else be the go-between so I don’t have to be the one personally doing the arguing.

(Not because I wouldn’t be into it, but--and this is something it took me years of fighting with my landlords in housing court to learn--part of the reason people hire lawyers is because lawyers are objective and therefore usually won’t get too emotional and want to strangle said landlords, which is not a helpful mental state to be in when it comes to winning arguments. Similarly, my contracts manager is less likely to take a clause in a contract as a personal insult than I am, even if on a rational level I understand that it’s just business. This is of course one of the main reasons writers have agents too, to help preserve the relationship between author and editor by acting as a buffer when necessary.)

Third awesome thing: the Iron Man movie. If you haven’t yet seen it, it’s worth seeing if you can still catch it in the theaters. This is a public service announcement because I saw it after almost everyone else in the world, even though that may have been partly my own fault since I spent so much of my time at New York Comic-Con going "am I the only person on the planet who has absolutely no interest in seeing Iron Man?"... thus leading my friends to conclude that I had no interest in seeing it with them. Then every single person I know who saw it loved it, and I had to wait almost two weeks before I got to go myself! However, it was worth waiting for, as it was a group excursion preceded by a pedicure and overall turned out to be one of those lovely evenings with friends that just make me happy to be alive.

Which brings me to air conditioning. I put the invention of air conditioning up there with modern medicine and the Internet as one of the greatest advances of our era (and there's an interesting dilemma--which would you rather live without, the Internet or air conditioning?). Given the stress of everyday life, I feel like I forget more often than I should to appreciate the basics: health, food, shelter, privilege, and the dizzying variety of choices and experiences that are available to me right here, right now, simply by getting to live in this place at this moment in history.

It's the everyday pleasures that I find the most extraordinary; not just the moments of happiness I feel, but being grateful that I’m able to be happy in those moments. I wasn’t always able to feel these things (happiness, or gratitude), and I know now that they’re connected. So being able to simply enjoy a passing moment in my day, whether it’s leaving the gym all sweaty and glowing from endorphins, or seeing a cute dog (or person!) on the street, or savoring the first sip of a decaf iced cappuccino, or taking in the quality of the air and the light as I step outside, or just a random fleeting awareness of being really here, I try to appreciate it all and not take any of it for granted. Even if I do still act like a bitch and yell at cab drivers sometimes.

Finally, from [livejournal.com profile] claudiagray: [livejournal.com profile] counteragent's little sister-in-law, Jenny, is very sick. It would be so wonderful if you could take a quick moment (just like 3 minutes) to check out her family's blog (http://jenjensfamily.blogspot.com/) and see if you think you might know anyone like Jenny. They are looking for "comparables" (people who have similar symptoms) that may have had success with treatments Jenny's docs haven't yet tried. They would also really appreciate it if you post about this on your blog and thus help them spread the word.

Thank you.

And, wow, I have just written two single-spaced pages in Word... it occurs to me that maybe part of why I have such a difficult time with blogging is that if I really let myself go, I would never shut up. Perhaps I fear creating a blogging monster! At any rate, I think I will stop now.

Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans, and an early happy weekend to everyone!

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