Friday, March 22, 2013

Round and Round the Mulberry Bush

22nd March 2013

The CEO at Simon&Shuster sent me a letter this week. Well, not just to me but to all of their authors. For a fast-heartbeat moment, I thought this was the declaration of their bankrupcy or their decision to cut themselves free fom all upcoming (and patiently waiting) authors.
But no, the letter was about piracy, and not the high seas type. They say not to worry; they say they are on top of the problem (truth be told, I didn't know there was one) and they have hired a Digimarc company (as though I know what that is!) to filter through untold numbers of sites looking for illegal copies of our books.  Right now, at my stage in the publication process, anyone wanting to read my book, be they illegal or otherwise, would seem like an attractive prospect. Thank goodness there's enough interest in stories for people to want to steal them. This was going to be the topic of this week's blog, but it ranks up there with drafts of other people's poetry in terms of holding one's interest. (I didn't read the whole letter, just skimmed.)

People with blogs are able to spot where their hits are coming from, and this week in an unprecedented turn of events, I received thirty hits from Latvia! Last week's blog was about Irish poet WB Yeats, so maybe they have the good sense to appreciate good poetry over there in Latvia. Petition your booksellers to buy my book, Latvians, and I might be coming to a book shop near you!

For those of you following my work on the sequel to the novel that has yet to be published (March 1st - put it on your calendar) I am on page 155.  I am taking a long time over this one, just because March 1st is an eon away and I have a long time. What I am doing with this book much more than I usually do is keep going over what I have written and filling in the cracks. My normal method is to churn out a book fast in one sweep and then go back over the whole thing. I hope this story has all the required phases of build up, climax and denoument (funny how this sexual metaphor permeates much of art) - if it does, then it will be a miracle because I am just trundling along like a person in a wood with a flashlight (not sexy at all), seeing what takes my fancy.

I have been reading books on time, and there is a lot out there about time as illusion, which all works in my favour, because only if time is rigidly linear do I have a hard sell with my time travel book. However, I am making the decision right now not to refer to it as time travel, as this evokes the idea of someone climbing into a time machine with whirring wings and dings and shooting off through some vortice or other in fin de siecle clothing. I want to refer to what happens to the protagonist in my book, Maggie, as "Time shift." It's not like she is going anywhere; she is just slipping into another reality. If the thinkers thinking great thoughts on this subject these days are right, then all possible realities are present in every Now in a dimension that sort of runs perpendicular to this series of nows. Enough on that. But let it be noted now that I only started reading this stuff half-way into my second book in the series. I think there might be three in the series, because I have some pretty wild ideas for a third book.
But it's all just a juggling act, keeping the reader interested, going back and making sure the saucers are still spinning on the tops of the sticks. 

Sunny skies over The Rocky Mountains and their foot of new snow, while I sit and muse on the threat of piracy, while Latvians are watching the sun go down, and many a book is secreted off the internet into dark closets and read by candlelight.

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