Having a story engine in your head is weird. Even when you’re dreaming about helping the Longbeards defend Moria, you’re trying to solve the problem of an elf’s never-empty quiver. Five different types of arrows, and each time I pulled one out, I whispered a charm to replace it. Tiring work, since even in dreams, the energy for magic had to come from somewhere. Plus, there were Ents to talk to, and all sorts of sneaking around in the dark to figure out what the orcs were going to do next, and to top it all off, there was no Richard Armitage as Thorin.
I feel sort of cheated. But then, well, I was just on the outside approaches to Moria, with the orcs coming from outside, so I suppose it was more Second Age, Thorin probably hadn’t even been born yet. I missed Durin, too, which sucks. I would have liked to talk with him, even just in a dream.
Yesterday was a bit bizarre, between the icky stuff and the sudden layoff of a beloved editor that I had just sold two books to. Publishing is a funny business, and the tone-deaf way this particular layoff was handled makes me very nervous about the future for those two books, or indeed, submitting to that particular publisher again. Especially since I suspect the reasoning was cost-cutting, without consideration of the value a well-respected, well-loved editor brings to any publisher. Extremely shortsighted and handled very badly–but at least the editor in question will almost certainly find work elsewhere, and I intend to keep submitting to her. Once one finds an editor one likes and respects, one tends to follow them from publisher to publisher, if one can. I wonder if this particular dynamic was why the layoff was handled the way it was–to stave off author flight, maybe?
Of course, when a publisher achieves a certain size, there tends to be a myopic idea that writers are easily replaceable, given the vast amounts of slush and dreck that pour in. The numbers are so large–anyone can submit, and the lists of self-published offerings at Amazon and elsewhere will convince one that indeed, anyone does–that it seems an economy of scale question, when it isn’t. It takes time, diligence, and craft to consistently produce a readable product, and none of those are cheap.
But perhaps I’m biased.
Today: fog, wordcount, another five-mile run. More listening to Joan Osborne, who I just found out has another album out. She’s doing good things for Rattlesnake Wind, even though most of that book’s soundtrack is turning out to be Hank Williams and Johnny Cash. I’ve been having good luck with a speaker placed behind me, so the music isn’t coming from the front–as my writing partner often remarks, music coming from the front makes one want to stop and listen or analyze it, and that takes energy that should be spent on the writing.
Happy Friday, chickadees. May it be everything a Friday should be.