I'm treating you as a friend asking you to share my present minuses in the hope that I can ask you to share my future pluses. —Katherine Mansfield
Today I got exciting news from CreateSpace: “In Pursuit . . . The Katherine Mansfield Story Retold” has been ordered and will be shipped to you within five days. What that means is that I am about to actually, after all these arduous mounts, going to touch finished product. Not the stack of manuscript sheets proudly displayed on my bookshelf or the PDF file but the book itself will be in my hands and I can open the cover and look between the sheets. That’s cool.
Next I will have to approve it. And that will happen very quickly as my primary concern is the cover. I have only seen the jacket on a monitor screen and I can only hope it looks as good. Then I have to email my “design team” and somehow shout “Print it!”
Meanwhile what have I been doing and what will I be doing? Internet Marketing 101 – what else! Long tedious hours pursuing ways to make “In Pursuit . . .“ available to the public thorugh my website. Ah yes, speaking of websites, mine is still in constuction. It has taken way longer than I could ever have imagined. And the writer? What has she been doing? Not a word. And there won’t be a word put to the blank page until I go on my retreat in January. Until then I will continue to market “In Pursuit . . .“ in a responsible manner. I owe it to Katherine Mansfield’s memory and to myself for she would haunt me to the end of my days if I left her hanging.
So though I can’t develop a character, or write dialog, or place a scene, I can still blog. It’s not exactly the same as putting down words on a blank page but it’s better than no writing.
So with that thought I am going to make myself a vodka gimlet. Then I am going lift my glass to all you writers who know the pain of not writing. You who know that feeling when someone asks “what do you do?” and your immediate response is “I’m a writer” and then you immediately ask yourself if that is entirely true seeing you haven’t put ink to paper or fingers to keys in months!
Wait that is not entirely true. Today I spent condensing my 333-page biographical novel into a 500-word plot summary. Not easy. In the next few days I will put the plot summary up on my site so you can see how I did manage to compress “In Pursuit . . .” from 110,000 words to 500.
Katherine Mansfield was a mistress at condensing her stories. And if you don’t know that I suggest you read one of her short story collections. There is a reason for Virginia’s Woolf’s jealousy toward Katherine’s work. And if I was tech-smart I would code a highlight here that would immediately link you to Amazon and Katherine Mansfield’s book collections. I still have to work on that. But I will in the future recommend several of Mansfield’s short stories.
Now before I go here is the shock of it all at least for me. This is the second time I have written this blog tonight. It took a lot of courage for me to start writing a blog again. After the last blog crashed, I was blog-shy. So tonight I started. And guess what happened to my first copy? It disappeared, swallowed up into internet infinity. This second time I have backed-it up so that it won’t happen again. But let me tell you I was ready to pack it in. Instead I slammed my door and sat back down again and here are the results. I liked the first version but at least I did it and I will be back.