You will laugh, but I had foolishly thought that I would finally be able to clean off my desk after the book was done. Instead, it is covered with more piles of paper than ever, and the piles refuse to keep themselves organized. The business of turning this project into a business is fraught with chaos and delay.
The website, for instance, is nothing if not a work in progress. My very gracious brother Carel the IT god has been responsible for it so far, but he does work for a living, and has a wife and a new baby, and is in the process of selling his house and buying a new one, and will soon be moving, and could certainly use a little downtime to play some hockey or something or maybe just get a little well-deserved sleep. And although he is an IT god, he’s not a web designer, so has been learning how to do this on the fly. Today I bought a book on website construction, so that I can eventually take over.
That’s Ulysses on the homepage, by the way, pouring a libation to the fickle and inscrutable gods. That image will be replaced once we get this act a little more together, but for now it’s fairly appropriate.
Then I called the printer on Friday and found out that they had not sent the proofs by 2-day air as I’d requested. Instead, they are coming by canal barge as far as Chicago, then by flatboat down to St. Louis, and finally by stagecoach for the last stretch across the high plains.
Last week I registered my trade name with the state of Colorado and ordered business cards. This week I’ll get a sales tax number and shop around for high-speed internet access. I’ve been making do with dial-up, but when I get around to writing the entry on Software Hell you’ll have some idea of why that needs to change.
A libation was when you took perfectly good wine and poured it out on the ground, hoping to get something from the gods in return. The last few weeks, I’ve been dumping wine by the tun.
My brother is not the only one helping out. A college friend with an MBA has been feeding me marketing ideas, and lots of other people have given me useful suggestions. The local Argentine Tango club has offered to host a book signing. You’d think I’d be grateful, and you’d be right, but still I have moments when I wish somebody else would take care of the business end so I could get started on the next book.
Franz Kafka once described the ultimate writer’s fantasy: to be sequestered in a basement with nothing but pen and ink and paper, and to have somebody leave a tray of food at the top of the stairs once a day.
Actually, I find that I need to get outside on a regular basis in order to be able to sit in front of the computer for any length of time, and fortunately we’re in the midst of Indian Summer just now. I’ll be out on the bicycle again tomorrow, and fortunately, I’ve been able to ride lately without essential changes to the novel popping into my head. Minor changes, yes, but nothing I can’t live without.
The first section of the novel, the prelude, has now been posted. It’s in PDF format, so you will need Adobe Reader in order to access it. Please give me feedback if you are so inclined. I’ve been hearing from some of my test readers, and you’ll hear what they have to say in a future posting.