I Would Read That Book

by

 

“And you do need an agent,” he finished.  “That is the way to go, you are right in the not self-publishing.”

That being said he also described how the aperture on the publishing industry had grown 20 % smaller in the last seven years.

Of course it has.

“But you have faith and you keep putting it out there and you will get published and I will read your stories.”  He added, and then asked, “what’s the title?”

“Baby Girl,” I replied.

“Good title!”  He exclaimed then smiled.

It was validation to my little writer’s heart to hear that from a published writer.

Then I told him about the follow up pieces, “The Iowa Waltz,” “Madison,” and “Mother”.

His eyes grew round beneath his black frame glasses, “all good titles!”

I wanted to roll around like a little puppy at his feet, groveling for more attention, or maybe the name of his agent, but I refrained.

It did however, rekindle the small flame that although not guttering out, was beginning to not burn as fervent as it had in the first weeks after I finished the final edits (which when I see my friend in San Francisco I suspect, will not be the final, final edits), the weeks in which I was querying for agency every day.

Every day.

Since I made the decision to turn around and ride the horse the direction it was galloping, (it was suggested to me that it is easier to ride the horse the direction it is running) to Oakland, back to the Bay Area to be of service for those that are of service to Burning Man, I have not been querying as much.

I have sent out some follow up e-mails and I have sent out a few more queries, but it has not been a daily practice.

I began focusing on trying to figure out how and where I was going to land and what I was going to do and where I was going to work and how am I going to get money together for rent, and ad naseum, that I forgot the whole reason I came over here was to write.

Granted, I will not brow beat myself here, I am writing now.  I wrote this morning, sitting at a table in a kitchen in Rome with my notebook and pen, as well.

I continue to write everyday; however, I wish to re-commit to getting my work out there as well.   I need to find agency.

Yes and I do still want to work at Burning Man.

As more than just a nanny or a fluffer.

I like both those positions, and I have had some ideas about putting together a book proposal for Chronicle Books in San Francisco—“You do What At Burning Man?” tales of a Burning Man nanny.  I have had it for some time, this idea, it is time to do it.

It would be mainly essays and photography.

I write every day and I was blogging while I was at Burning Man the last few years.  I also take photographs and I have a lot of them.

Holy Jesus the Pope dropped his hat; I have a lot of them.

Slight segue, I think this is why my computer is running slower and the fan sounds like an over active vibrator.  Whenever I download my photos from the day to my hard drive it kicks into gear.  And whenever I post photographs to my blog it goes haywire.

I just saw yesterday that I have over 4,500 photographs on my computer.

The majority of them have been taken in this last year.

I have to get them off, off, off.  The next project in the list of things to do.

Yes, so writing, publishing, getting myself and my words out there.

And my photographs, I really do have fun taking them.

I got rained on a lot today.  I would stop, try to hold the umbrella, point and shoot and frame and set up the shot.  I gave up trying to stay dry and I just would stop, gather my things about me to the best of my abilities and take the photo.

After I came back from my walk about Rome I sat and down loaded them and edited them, cropped them, adjusted color and exposure, brightness, shadows, high-lights.

I love the ritual of doing this.

It often takes me an hour to an hour and a half and I joke that it is the job that does not pay.

Just like my regular blog.

Except that in both case that is not the truth.

This blog does pay; I received another lovely infusion of 40 Euro to get me through the rest of the week.  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!

I have a lot of hugs to give to people when I get back to the Bay.

They both pay, really, in the joy of creating, in allowing my artistic side to come out.  I told a friend of mine recently that I had an ex-boyfriend who knew I wanted to be a photographer and he bought me a really nice camera.

Except that I did not know how to use it and it overwhelmed me and when I developed the film and discovered that only one of the 80 photographs I took turned out I became discouraged and put it on the shelf and when we broke up he asked for it back.

I gave it back.

I also changed my track in college.  I had originally gone back to school after the fabulous flame out I had my original go around, to be a photographer, to perhaps be a photo-journalist, or a nature photographer, work for National Geographic, who knows.

Except that I had to take a load of art classes and I was not a sketcher or painter and although I appreciated art, loved art, got high off of it even before I knew what it was doing for me, I did not believe myself an artist.

I did not believe that I could make it through the art classes so after one beginning art class, I dropped it and decided I was not going to be a photographer.

Cue my trip to Paris four years ago and buying a digital camera.

Add to that one photography workshop with John Ater last spring and a year later, I won’t say I am a great photographer, but I can frame a good shot and I love doing it.

That is what being an artist is about.

Not doing it to be great, but doing it because I love it.

I love the writing too.

I want to continue to do both.

So, I will.

Who’s stopping me anyhow?

“Honey,” John Ater said to me in a deep sonorous voice, “you are you own enemy, you step on your neck all the time, you hold you down.”

He continued, “you are a good writer, I have read what you write and you are a good photographer, I like you photographs, so get the fuck out of your own way.”

Here’s to me doing just that.

Whether in Rome.

In Paris.

In Oakland.

Or where ever I am supposed to be.

Because if he will read that book, then so will a lot of other people too.

 

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