Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Oh, My Poor, Lovely, Ever So Neglected Blog . . .

. . . I have been thinking about you, I promise. But I also have been traveling and editing and knitting, some of these things simultaneously. I spent nearly three weeks on the West Coast, the last one inadvertently, thanks to Tropical Storm Irene. I became an aunt to a darling future star for Manchester United, which is ironic, because at present his name most famously belongs to a cricket player. I completed the baby blanket I have been knitting since 2006, and strained my wrist kayaking while singing Broadway showtunes. (Long story.) I reviewed and personally critiqued one hundred and fifty-three queries -- yes, 153 -- in connection with the webinar I did back in June. I visited two different music museums. I finished both A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin, with great satisfaction, and three other books besides, with only medium satisfaction comparatively, but still pleasure. I wrote four editorial letters in the week before I left, and one more during my Irene-enforced vacation. I ate at the best Thai restaurant in Los Angeles, or maybe the United States. I lost my wallet and iPod on a plane, and one of my books was named an Entertainment Weekly Must List pick, and another is featured on the Kirkus website this week. And I boogie boarded successfully.

Those are all the verbs of my last month or so, and some of the nouns too; but the reason I stayed away from you, dear blog, had to do with the adjectives . . . "Tired" and "talked-out" to some extent, thanks to all the crazy work of this year, and especially the week prior to vacation; and "emotional" about things that were none of your business. (Nyah, nyah, nyah, blog, I have things I don't tell you!) . . . And those things also made me feel tired and talked-out. One of the perils of being an editor, or perhaps just of modern life, is that one's judgmental antennae can be up all the time, weighing how something is done, to what ends, whether those ends are worth the effort, whether the "how" is the best method for reaching them, and then figuring out how best to communicate those judgments in the appropriate forum, if one should, because one has so many forums to be judgmental. (Wittily and briefly for Twitter? At great length in a letter or blog post?) I did not entirely succeed in turning off these antennae during my vacation, and as a result, I remained tired and talked-out in my head, and not so much wanting to put that talk down in pixels . . .

But it feels good to write here, Brooklyn Arden dear, and stretch these familiar muscles. I do hope to return again soon. I have new books to tell you about, and some thoughts on this devastating but oh-so-true Onion article, and those 153 critiques plus the article made me want to do a series delving into the nature of bad prose (not that all of the critiques were bad by any means). I promise nothing, because that merely sets me up for failure, but I'm thinking about you, and wishing we could spend more time together. The fall is always my time for new beginnings:  Here's to trying.


  1. I do love fall. And new pens. Makes me think anything is possible.

  2. I Really enjoyed your blog. I just bookmarked it. I am a regular visitor of your website I will share It with my friends .Thanks.

  3. Welcome back! I'm tired just hearing about your month. I interviewed two of your authors on my blog - Cleopatra's Moon is the Entertainment Weekly pick you mentioned above, and I can't stop raving about it. Bravo to you and Vicky!

    Only 3 days left to enter the giveaway for Cleopatra's Moon, I Now Pronounce You Someone Else, and Second Sight.

  4. Wow, what a vacation! After reading your book Second Sight, I can only imagine how much time you put into the critiques. Here's to fall and new beginnings!

    P.S. I so loved your book that I wrote a review of it for my SCBWI chapter newsletter and recently posted it on my website. I love to tell others about it.

  5. Sounds like a busy vacation and mostly fun. Too bad about your wallet and I-pod.

    Looking forward to hearing about the query critiques. I can't be believe how much time I'm spending on mine.

  6. I can definitely relate to that last paragraph! I spent a whole afternoon last week trying to think up pithy tweets that would aid in the eradication of purple prose, but to no avail. (There was an interior decorating metaphor involved.)