Friday, September 9, 2011

Chaos Contagion


Has your personal corner of the world gone tupsy-turvy lately? Have you been flooded in the northeast? Or blown off course by hurricanes and tornadoes in the south and elsewhere? Or been too close to toasting by wild fire in Texas?

Whatever maelstrom – natural or unnatural – may have churned your world. I hope you were able to keep you hatches battened and your laptop dry.

On my own home front. After two months of waiting for a furniture van from the northwest they scheduled it to arrive in the middle of Irene. We had to hold them off until we could repair the saturated and crumbling bedroom wall she left in her wake.

This was nothing compared with the devastation wreaked upon so many so often these days. But it was a pain in the patoot nonetheless.

“What does all of this have to do with publishing life?” you might very well ask.

If you were on deadline as havoc raged the answer to that is obvious. Otherwise you might want to peel your ear away from the disaster alert band of your battery powered radio and listen up.

If disruptive dismantling discombobulation is happening to us. At least a certain amount of it is happening to them also. Or to somebody they care enough about to have their rafters rattled by it.

“Who are they?” you might very well ask.”

The publishing professionals we spend so much time worrying over and waiting for – that’s who. Many of us have a project adrift in our writing career ozone right now while we pine for some agent or editor to haul it back to earth.

If this is true for you. Hang loose for a while. Remember that the majority of pub pros work in New York City. Here - from a newly returned New Yorker - is the skinny about that.

We’ve been through a mini-earthquake and a maxi-storm. Much of New Jersey and other contiguous states is washing over its banks at the moment.

Plus as of this evening we’ve been notified of terror attack threats to tunnels and bridges and heaven knows where else.

Keep that in mind while checking your mail – electronic or snail – for a response that is already overdue. Perhaps you could cut this particular agent or editor some slack and improve your relationship in the bargain by letting her know – subtly of course – that you understand.

In fact you could nail her gratitude down so securely not even the hounds of you-know-where will blow it away.

As we say here in apple town, “It couldn’t hoit.”

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