Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Hoary acquaintances

It's kind of amazing -- and energizing -- to see your own novel in print.

I've been dragging my feet about working on the latest project and haven't felt much like writing anything. There's also the problem of finding time among all the marketing and promotional work I have been doing. Even writing here has been difficult to squeeze in because of all the work involved. In case you didn't notice, I didn't have time to write a grammar post last week, so I'll make it up this week by making two grammar posts -- one on Thursday and another on Friday. It will be the beginning of a multi-part series on the comma. It was a request and so far there's a lot more to that sprawling period than is visible on first glance -- a lot more. Since there's so much to the subject, I decided to break it down into manageable bites so no one, including me, chokes.

One perk of working on promotions and marketing is rediscovering old friends and letting them know what I've been doing for the past however many years. Another perk is other people I haven't heard from in ages contacting me because they heard, read or found out about the book. One such long lost connection contacted me on Saturday. We spent two hours on the phone, after exchanging numbers, catching up, and she asked me a big favor, a big paid favor.

She googled me and found a lot of my writing out there (there's a lot to find) before contacting me and, during the conversation asked me if I'd be willing to turn her screenplay into a novel. There was a momentary urge to say yes, but it was quickly smothered by the weight of work I already have pending. I said I didn't have the time now. She said she'd wait.

She and I worked on a screenplay many years ago, about two decades plus. It never went anywhere. I'm not completely comfortable with screenplay formatting, but it's something I can do when necessary. I'm more familiar with the formatting for plays, of which I've edited, revised and written a few. That, too, was many years ago, a part of my varied and diverse past. Still, it was flattering for her to ask, especially after she quoted some of my writing back to me and mentioned some of my work that she'd read. She's a tough nut, she is, and comes from a long and interesting background in the movies. She's been in a couple and worked as a directorial assistant to Francis Ford Coppola on a couple of films, the first being One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in which she also played a minor role.

Novelizing her screenplay is something to consider, but not while the muse is bubbling and sending new thoughts and dialogue into my head at all hours.

That's the thing about having a novel published and just out, at least for me, it's a great boost to pending projects. All kinds of plot points, characterization and dialogue keep flashing through my mind and the knot on the third finger of my right hand (I am right-handed) is getting a workout and becoming almost permanently indented from jotting down notes in the midst of so much other work. I can hardly sleep for wanting to get up and write, but I force myself to plunge back into the misty depths as soon as I've jotted down what the muse forces on me in my sleep. It's almost legible.

Mom called me yesterday with a contest to win your dream and I dutifully took down the information, but I already have the first part of my dream. The rest will come in time as long as I keep my nose to the grindstone and get the word out to as many people as I can about Past Imperfect.

You knew I couldn't go a whole post without mentioning the title.

I don't have a publicist, although I wish I did, but I do have some time not currently optioned by work, chores, writing, eating and sleeping and all of that goes into marketing and promotions. I don't want to be a one book wonder. There are so many wonders in my literary Aladdin's cave of dreams. On the other hand, winning that contest would mean I'd have enough money to hire a publicist and boost sales. That's part of my dream, too. Well, that and the cabin in the mountains and being financially secure enough to quit my day job and just write. Maybe then the muse will let me sleep and reserve her inspiration for my waking hours.

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