Happy International Women’s Day! Although, you’d think that given that we rend our bodies to propagate the human race, we’d get more than a day. But hey, let’s take what we can get? Find a woman in your life who kicks ass, and tell her she is awesome. I just did this with my agent. Quote my latest e-mail to her:
Of course publishing a book changed my life! I might not be on Oprah and/or snorting caviar off a geisha’s boobs anytime soon but I don’t think I would have been invited to this monster fund raising thingy for Sacramento libraries last weekend in my capacity as a grad student… If it weren’t for publishing this thing, I would be waking up every morning to torture myself writing a book I don’t really give a shit about (a dissertation), which is already an amazing privilege. As things stand I get to wake up every morning to torture myself writing a book I’m investing my soul into (this weird Romanian thing), which is an UNFATHOMABLE privilege. Bonnie, seriously, you beat the crap out of Santa Claus: all he ever got me were some random toys I don’t even remember but you gave physical form to this thing that ate my dreams. You are awesome, and thank you.
The fund raising thingy last weekend was Sacramento Authors on the Move, and we raised around 70K for Sacramento Libraries. Very impressive. It is a pretty surreal and fabulous experience to move from table to table to be witty at different sets of people. I think I acquitted myself of my charge reasonably well. This Thursday evening, I have a reading at Stanford, so do come say hello if you’re around!
I’m going to take a break in the middle of a pile of grading to talk about spiffy writing stuff. (I love teaching but oh my God, the grading–it hurts.)
13 rue Thérèse is wending its slow way through the digestive system of the Little Brown entity (wait–this would make publication defecation, but it’s too late to turn back now, I’m committed to this gross analogy), going through all the biological and chemical processes that turn a manuscript into a book. I’ve seen a spec cover for it, and it is cool. Frustratingly, I am not allowed to post it, because it is still super secret.
A development that tickles my heart: the book now has an ISBN number! Seeing those 13 digits is like seeing the inky footprint of your new baby on the birth certificate.
Also, cool multimedia ideas are happening. My editor mentioned the prospect of putting QR codes in the book, which are basically barcodes that look like runes that take you to a website when scanned by a computer or phone camera. These codes would link to additional content, or sound files of me reading some of the letters aloud, stuff like that. I am thinking it would be fun to have fragmentary mini-stories that are interlinked in unexpected ways, like a little internet labyrinth. It’s an interesting new medium to exploit.
Also, my kickass agent and my awesome editor have asked me for short stories to submit to The New Yorker‘s summer fiction issue. The odds that I’ll get in are quite low since I am such fresh fish but it is still pretty damn exciting to put together a solicited submission to the Holy Grail of literary magazines, which will likely be read by an actual editor instead of a glaze-eyed intern with a finger poised on DELETE. (Note that I am not talking smack about the glaze-eyed intern; I’ve had the job of reading through slush piles and it is deadening.)
I should get back to grading… Don’t wanna. Hold me!