I was/am flirt-blind. Was there anything at BiCon you wanted to tell me? Leave a comment here - all comments are screened, unless you specifically request I unscreen yours.
And for my sins, if you are feeling especially shy, I've allowed anonymous comments as well. Enjoy! :-)
"It will probably stay that way for quite a few years, dear," he replied gently.
Sometimes we build up fragments to accumulate, and to try and replace what and who went, but ultimately, all that can be done - and has been done - is to accept the loss, and continue because of it and despite it. I have quit my job, and taken on more partners, and discussed it both to those with a partner-vibe and strangers; anyone who wished to listen, in fact. Whether I wanted to talk has always felt like an irrelevant issue compared to the value of trying to remember her, to hold on to my memories and communicate them effectively. That's the hardest part. Throughout I still feel an inadequacy at trying to express who she was as a person. What she meant and means to me, I haven't even begun.
In the end, as is becoming increasingly the case in so many areas of my life, I feel that I can only resort to colour. The tattoo that was "her" mark was yellow, and like yellow ink will, it's faded to a scar. I plan to have it touched up on June 21st, her birthday, and add one or two more marks, where people came along and gave me lessons that feel like they've already stained my skin. Not to be scared of comfort, or matters of control, or of my faith and it's witchy heart. I have learned since she went that the barriers we create can sometimes not just be let down, but disappear overnight when faced with those we love that are still here and that arrive into one's life. On June 21st, another barrier will go, when I try to remember her Colour. Who she was when she hummed to a crotchety child, and when told me she loved me. It's been extremely painful to realise it's getting harder to remember the exact shade of her voice. Getting that mark, on one level, is flying in the face of that hurt.
I feel stronger, and in a lot of areas of my life, but I would love to pick up the phone and tell her how so much has changed without her around. That I can't is something I view as the price for gaining that inner strength.
Anyway. My publisher, like many others, works with some wholesalers. One of them is owned by Woolworths, and owes us – along with other companies in the publishing industry – a bit of money. Think six figures – high six figures. And Woolworths has gone into administration.
While the wholesaler we use still appears to be a viable enough business to be bought by someone else, we don’t think we’ll get the debt paid by its new owners. Luckily though, this should work out ok. Our loss is comparatively small, we have many fingers in many pies, we publish books which people are still likely to buy, and we have a large and very loyal readership. *pauses to hug readership* So if all goes well, we’ll only be a little bit down on last year’s sales, unlike some projections of a quarter for other, larger publishers.
Overall, my job looks safe aside from any major cock ups I make, which is much more than can be said for the 20,000 Woolies employers that have received this news as an early Christmas present.
This came up today when I was going through the submissions.
We’ve had two works on exactly the same subject in as many days. Both are quite well written, with very similar content and even a similar style.
But I’ve only passed one on for further consideration. Why?
Because one has been written by two sisters, while the other has been co-written by someone with a PhD in the subject.
From whom would you buy?
This is why, when you submit – and especially with non-fiction – you should include an author biography that makes you shine, succinctly detailing your achievements and suitability to write the idea. Even if the idea is amazing and doesn’t come up that often, you may very well be asked to help promote the work in whatever way possible. We look at the author as well as the work when considering.
There are no original ideas, only original executions. With this in mind, you must find the confidence to sell yourself as much as your work.
Well, that’s a touch dramatic. In reality it’s been ok in terms of sending them off, but it still stings a little bit; my inner writer is anticipating that not everyone will accept the news, no matter how nicely it was worded. Past the Submission(s) of the Days, there are many more I haven’t mentioned where the time and effort – and sometimes, there’s been a lot – have shone through. What becomes hard is when despite that they’re just not right for us. Often not good enough.
Every page you send, every email where you beg to be reconsidered, and every one of you who thanks me for considering... I read them all. I promise you.
Had a hitting home moment again, as I sent the last “no” away: I was handed my business cards. They’re blue and white, and they don’t have my father’s surname, only my dad’s.
Feeling like a professional. Adult. Very strange.