Well, that guy does want to work with me. If all goes well, he’ll now email me his manuscript and I’ll start crunching on Friday morning, after the Fourth of July.
. . . Always assuming I don’t manage to talk myself out of the job. Heh.
In the email where he said he was going to go ahead with me, he asked for more detail in cases like the ones in the sample edit where I simply Commented a couple of stretches of words as unclear. Fair enough. Just telling him the passages were unclear did not inspire him to look at them in that light and discern the problem. It doesn’t work with all writers, and never all the time anyway. It was worth trying, though.
I wrote him back and told him I can certainly proceed accordingly, but I carefully advised him, from experience, that addressing unclarity issues more explicitly (1. making sure it really is troublesomely unclear; 2. puzzling out what he might have intended; 2a. looking for preliminary cues in the text that might not have worked; 3. figuring out how to explain the problem to him; 4. figuring out a fix to suggest, or very likely two to four conditional fixes to suggest because, after all, it’s not clear to me what he meant to mean and I might have it wrong; 5. composing the Comment that will explain all this) is a category of activity that naturally takes more time than a lot of the other things I do and, to the extent it’s unavoidable, will add up to more money.
He may simply understand, or he may undertake to squint harder at anything I simply tell him is unclear . . . or he may blanch at the specter of more complication and cost and decide to pull the plug. Not under my control. I’ll keep working on my explanations of factors like this, but there are a million of them.)
Anyway. I don’t know what this is going to do to my fragile newfound pattern of journalizing at 4:30 in the morning.
Or probably I do know. My brain batteries will be largely spoken for.
. . . But then after the day’s work when my brain batteries are drained I’ve been known to ramble on remarkably - in fact almost uncontrollably due to depletion of my executive functions. Well, we’ll see.
If I had money at the moment, I’d be minded to do another of my Book Crates. Those stunning, usually well-received (but there are no guarantees) unsolicited armadas of gift books sent to someone, usually secondhand books so that I can afford to do it. Passing on wonder, while avoiding the risk and the need for immense perceptiveness that would apply to trying to give someone one great book experience. The shotgun approach. Something may hit . . .
And - in cases where it’s a literal book crate, i.e., where I’ve actually collected the used books myself and packed them up in an oversize cardboard box to ship - I figure the little kid inside the recipient is likely to get a big charge out of discovering that he or she can barely lift the box. The little kid inside the sender is sure happy at the prospect.
But no, no money for it just now. I don’t even have a target in mind. It just feels like time for that sort of . . . whatever it is. (I am sure that I have not completely covered the welter of emotions and significances associated with the business. But it’s probably just as well. I can just see a psychoanalyst picking at it. “Curious that you would refer to cross-pollination.” “It’s just an expression!”)
It came up tangentially just now when a Facebook friend asked everyone for suggestions for reading material. Like waving a red flag in front of a bull. Or a red flag saturated with catnip in front of a leopard.
In this case she requested fiction recommendations; she already had a nonfiction list. (I’ve gone bookcratey for both fiction and nonfiction.) Asked about her taste, she mentioned science fiction, fantasy, dystopian fiction, or just about anything but self-help books. A good target space.
So I brainstormed a hopefully not too daunting bunch of longtime favorites, many of which have been freshened in my mind over the years by being part of one or more Book Crates.
Ideally she won’t be too terrified. I told her that if she prints out the list and cuts it up and draws slips out of a hat, she should tell me she’s doing it so that I can exult. Maybe it’ll even happen; I’m not always the only loon.
And I suppose my whole real intent in this entry now - other than to note that I did get the assignment - is to promiscuously pass the list on in Prosebox too.
The OTHERLAND series by Tad Stevens (first book OTHERLAND, Book 1: CITY OF GOLDEN SHADOW)
MYTHAGO WOOD by Robert Holdstock
THE VEILS OF AZLAROC by Fred Saberhagen
AN OLD FRIEND OF THE FAMILY by Fred Saberhagen
EMPIRE OF THE EAST by Fred Saberhagen
RAILSEA by China Mieville
PERDIDO STREET STATION by China Mieville
THE 13 CLOCKS by James Thurber
THE SANTAROGA BARRIER by Frank Herbert
WHIPPING STAR by Frank Herbert
HEART OF THE COMET by Gregory Benford and David Brin
The EMBERVERSE series by S. M. Stirling (first book DIES THE FIRE)
STEEL BEACH by John Varley
PROTECTOR by Larry Niven
SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES by Ray Bradbury
The TEMERAIRE series by Naomi Novik (first book HIS MAJESTY’S DRAGON)
AMERICAN GODS by Neil Gaiman
GOOD OMENS, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
ANANSI BOYS by Neil Gaiman
The SANDMAN series by Neil Gaiman (first book PRELUDES AND NOCTURNES)
DUMA KEY by Stephen King
A FIRE UPON THE DEEP by Vernor Vinge
LORD OF LIGHT by Roger Zelazny
LORD VALENTINE’S CASTLE by Robert Silverberg
THE FLOATING OPERA by John Barth
BRIEFING FOR A DESCENT INTO HELL by Doris Lessing
THE SHADOW-LINE by Joseph Conrad (actually I think the best place to have this is in this monstrous compendium A CONRAD ARGOSY)
The WILD CARDS series ed. by George R. R. Martin and Melinda Snodgrass (first book WILD CARDS or WILD CARDS ONE)
HUMAN? ed. by Judith Merril (special favorite in there: “Who Shall I Say Is Calling?” by August Derleth)
CONVERGENT SERIES by Larry Niven
ALL THE MYRIAD WAYS by Larry Niven
POWER ed. by S.M. Stirling
DARK FORCES ed. by Kirby McCauley
BRADBURY STORIES: 100 OF HIS MOST CELEBRATED TALES by Ray Bradbury
A MAN AND TWO WOMEN by Doris Lessing (one favorite of mine in there is “A Letter From Home”)
THE SATYR’S HEAD ed. by David A. Sutton
Last updated July 04, 2018