After four long months of trying to sell my first book, my supportive and encouraging literary agent has conceded defeat. Well, partial defeat, I should say: there's still the rest of the English speaking world to be tried. Perhaps I'll be a Canadian cross-over smash, like Alanis Morisette or Wayne Gretzky! How's the economy in Australia these days? How do Kiwis feel about ambitious religious and political satire?
As dandy as it would be to do publicity tours through Stonehenge and Bath, I'm not counting on that happening. Failure is not falling down but staying down, right? Just gotta keep writing -- and try not to tackle something huge this time. I'll put out that pseudo-autobiographical novel everyone expects of twenty-somethings, and if it sells, then maybe it'll be possible to get the real book out there.
For the most part I'm doing well, though I lost it a bit last night when Mr. Ben came home with flowers. It has helped to remember that: a) I'm only 27; b) I loved the challenge of doing something difficult and creative; c) the book got me an agent; d) the agent got my book read by numerous editors I admire, and those editors now know my name.
Going home this weekend to see my dad will help keep my minor life setbacks in perspective. This is not to say that the taboo on asking about my dad is lifted, by the way -- he's still in bad shape, and he's fighting. But I come bearing gifts from Russ and Daughters, which will work their magic on everyone's spirits, if not my ego.
Okay, a new rule: you can ask about my book; you can ask about my dad. But please don't do both at once.
The Big Idea: Bill McKibben
2 hours ago