Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The story of pages

It seems to me that millions of people are right now at 1:05 AM all over the world busy tapping away on keyboards, many of them hoping the taps will eventually emerge from the world of pixels and lodge between the boards of a hardbound book. Yes. Book.

Most of the tappers, I suspect, have day jobs.

Some have tapped through stacks of what would be real paper if it sat on your desk, or on the floor by your chair, instead of residing in vitals behind this screen. Some have thumbed their way through chapters under the ledge of the conference table on a BlackBerry, hoping one obsession will be taken for another more closely related to that day job. Some just jot down character insights on the backs of used envelopes, and then lose them.

This blog is for all of them--for us. That's the short form of what I'm trying to say.

First my day job--herding cats. I will admit to poaching the image as everyone can easily see, but it does the descriptive job so well. I have a herd of largely feral cats, scattered in neighborhoods around the country where they are for the most part well fed and housed. Some pretend to domestication. For many years, in fact, some have given excellent impressions of perfect domesticity and agreeableness. All things change, however, and now they are roaming the backalleys and snarling over the tiniest disruptions. Feline menopause, perhaps. Why not? It becomes worse the closer we get to our annual meeting.

And I have just completed a 350 page manuscript of a literary novel that I have to launch into the equally irksome world of unsolicited book submission.

The first thing I've learned about that is that I should have been blogging and networking all those years instead of trying to make my characters and language perfectly reflect the situation they find themselves in, as they attempt to make their lives different and better.

There will be posts to come about the process of novel submission, to agents, to editors, as my little stack of pages exits the screen, then the door, on its way to a better fate, I pray, than the nearest rubbish bin or storage closet. Come along with me on that journey. We can help each other. If we don't who will?

1 comment:

  1. I once wrote the following:-

    That which is sought
    is often elusive.
    That which comes unbidden
    is reality before it is recognised.

    Maybe stop seeking for a while?