Slogging forward…

Of oil spills and shifting publishing paradigms

With BP’s oil still gushing into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, there’s a metaphor aching to be used: I feel like a bird covered in muck.

word-nest-bird june 2010 (pelican: from Newsweek)

word-nest-bird june 2010 (pelican: from Newsweek)

Then, as I contemplate the catastrophic disgrace that is the oil spill, I recall that the struggle of a “new” writer in an era of shifting publishing paradigms is small potatoes when compared to the aching mess that humanity has wreaked upon its world again.

I’m troubled by the reminder that we’re the only species on the planet that shits in its own feeding bowl.

Making progress

2010 has been a year of slow progress. Much of the first half of the year has been taken up with paying the rent, although I did manage to complete the 2nd draft of Hugo. It’s had one reading so far; another is in progress; a third is pending.

The question, then, becomes what to do with it next. If the reading outcomes are as I expect, there will be a 3rd version – a lighter and much less extensive block of work than the 2nd version’s rewrite.

Hugo, 2nd draft - june 2010As Jane, the bunghole-pestering library scientist, tells Hugo after their random sexual encounter, “I suspect you’re layerable.”

Hugo is. And must be.

Unlike the tar-soaked pelican who yearns for lightness in order to be free, Hugo requires layers to give him meaning and weight. My hope is that with this one last layering – closing open loops, picking up story lines or characters that have dropped off and placing them gently back onto their shelf – I will be ready to pursue…the path.

Whatever that is.

The traditional publishing route? Unavailable, says the press. Online? Have to find a way to make it work. Self–?

And so it begins..

Had dinner with neighbors recently and I made mention that the easy part of writing a book is the writing part. Figuring out how to get it marketed, published and bought is going to be the difficult part.

deviant nature: jun 2010

deviant nature: jun 2010

I relish the challenge, though. Without challenge, the reward goes unappreciated. (So they say.) My lazy self wants it to be easy, though: isn’t 5 years enough of a commitment? Shouldn’t I be able to move on to what’s next? And who the hell pulled the rug out from under tradition anyway? (Fine now, shift the paradigm as soon as I’m ready to engage the old one.)

But then my compassionate self then remembers the pelican mired in muck, hopeful for another breath. Yearning to take flight.

My path isn’t that difficult. Nobody doused me. I have placed myself in the murky, churning waters at will.

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