I'm negotiating a two-book deal right now on American comic book superheroes--one of my FAVORITE subjects. The books would be anthologies like my volumes in the Philosophy and Pop Culture series with Wiley but with a different press. I'd be editing this two-book series and of course, contributing multiple, yet undisclosed chapters. I'm also attempting to get another contract with a press I admire; I don't know yet what the book would be--we're talking about several options, but the genre would be nonfiction and it may or not be part of one of this publisher's existing book series. ALSO, I heard back from Black Dog Studios--we need to re-record several sections of the Twilight & Philosophy audio book. I'm not sure when the audio book of my fall 2009 release will finally be available for audio bibliophiles everywhere, but if I had to guess, I'd say right around the time the third Twilight flick hits a silver screen near you. Very much depends on how the next recordings go and how quickly the executive producer at Audible edits the material.
The caveat with all my updates is that both contracts I refer to above have been "in negotiation" for about four months. Yes, that's right--welcome to my world. A world where waiting is inevitable and patience is your best friend, also known as the world of the writer. And by the way, you better have a day job if you plan on living in this writer's world because there is no such thing as a paycheck or benefits. There is no vacation time, no sick days, and everytime someone returns one of your books, you lose money that you never actually had. You know how Superman had a counterpart in a Bizarro world--well, being a writer is a lot like living in a bizarro world. You may be saying to yourself at this point, "Why do it?" The answer, simply put, is YOU. I love hearing from you; I love reading and responding to your discussions on my Facebook author page; I love getting your Tweets about how many stars you've given Twilight & Philosophy or who you are, where you live. YOU, my dear friends, make all the waiting, all the lengthy negotiations, all the re-recordings, worth it. And, as ever, I'm grateful.
So, the results of last week's new idea for a new week: Boxing up my office for renovations...still in process. I have WAY MORE books and files than I realized. It's kind of frightening, actually. BUT, I am working on it--it seems though that my new idea for a new week was a bit too ambitious for the time frame. I DID, however, read a book I hadn't read before by Thomas Cahill, The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels (Nan A. Talese/Anchor Books, 1998). It's part of an ongoing book series called "The Hinges of History." In the "Hinges" series, Cahill revisits the most important moments of modern humans. The Gifts of the Jews is the second volume in the series. The first is about how the Irish saved civilization (and being half-Irish, I heartily approve...). The third volume is about Jesus and the first Christians, which, as Cahill notes, comes out of the story of Judaism. The fourth volume is about the many contributions of the Greeks. There are three more volumes in the series. If you like this sort of nonfiction, I wish to recommend Joseph Campbell's Masks of God, a four-book series completed prior to Campbell's death in the late 1980's, where Campbell delves deeply into human history, starting at the beginning with Primitive Mythology (earliest forms of mythology), then moving on to Oriental Mythology (Upanishads to Buddhism), Occidental Mythology (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), and finally Creative Mythology--the contemporary mythology we have created through film, television, and new media. Cahill's books are short, accessible, and engaging. Campbell's are not--they are substantive, making complex connections--but SO WORTH the effort if you choose to read Campbell. I GUARANTEE you will have a GREATER understanding of the WORLD through Campbell's eyes. Cahill is a nice introduction and almost reiteration of Campbell's earlier works--much like how Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga reminded the twenty-first century audience about LJane Smith's Vampire Diaries.
My next two reads are Dante's Inferno and all seven of Jane Austen's novels--none of which will be "new" so technically, can't be a part of my "new idea for a new week" but still, just as interesting! I always find "new" threads everytime I reread a book or rewatch a film. Speaking of film, the Academy Awards aka the "Oscars" are on tonight! Everyone loves the fashion--and I do, too--it's a lot like a fairy tale. But while I sit on my couch today watching the Oscars in my pjs and robe, it is possible I may be in attendance in 2013 for the documentary I'll be a part of in late fall through next year--part of the PBS American Masters series. The same writer/producer and the same director for this documentary are the VERY SAME individuals who WON an EMMY for a recent American Masters film on Lucille Ball! Call me excited! The writer also was nominated for a recent Academy Award for a musical composition for an HBO movie! It may be on the fantastical side to imagine that one day I will be standing next to George Clooney on the red carpet but it's not as far from reality as one might think when considering the company I'm so recently keeping. My point here is that a year ago, I was in the midst of one of the rings of hell--I'm still suffering post-tramatic flashbacks that manifest as nightmares or worse, night-terrors, where I sit up screaming, eyes wide open, completely inconsolable. I wish I were exaggerating, but I'm not, My 2009 left me just as damaged as my last neurosurgery. But as one of my Tweats recently tweeted to me, writers always have it rough. And as my son reminded me as well, "You're a writer, Mom, of course you have problems--that's where you get your inspiration...."
I just wish inspiration were a little easier to come by (as my eye twitches away...). Which brings me to your last few comments and questions: When am I going to publish a creative book of my own??? Well, I'm still working on the ms (manuscript) for the YA novel and will be getting that back to an agent who suggested the changes--keep your fingers crossed there. I have two novellas, a collection of short stories, a poetry chapbook, a narrative nonfiction, a critical volume, and about seven other novels outlined...SO, it shant be long, dear readers, before SOMETHING of my creative body of work hits shelves again. As always, I shall keep you posted on the blog. And please accept my thanks, once again, for your interest in taking the time, energy and effort to find the site, read the blog, leave comments, become a fan on facebook, partake in the discussion, and just BE THERE. The last eighteen years of my life, I've become familiar with the concept of people actually being there to support me. Sadly, it was a rather unusual occurance in my earlier life and I hardly recognized it when it first happened. So now, when someone is THERE for me, whether I know you or not, I feel it's of the utmost importance to ACKNOWLEDGE that person--all 432 of ou this week--and tell you: THANK YOU! I cannot WRITE if I do not have an audience to READ the work--truly, it is all for YOU.
Happy new week! More musings in the coming days, I promise....