Friday, August 27, 2004
      ( 10:37 AM ) Rebecca  
Phew. That was a long haul. Yesterday I sent the first ten chapters of my book, along with my proposal ("my book is better than Book X because Book X is a piece of crap!") to my agent. If all looks good, after one more round of revisions, she wil start the process of trying to sell my little baby.

These chapters should have gone out the door weeks ago. Not least because they've already been picked over by a panel of talented (and unpaid) editors (GalPal #1, GalPal #3, L'il Sis), not to mention one fine paid writing coach, and aformentioned agent.

Let me stop for a moment and tell you about my agent (oh, and to thanks to Deb for referring me to her!). Though she lives in Greenwich Village (naturally), I got to meet her about a month ago when she flew out here for vacation. Now I liked her from the first time she e-mailed me, bubbling with enthusiasm, and saying she wanted to read my book based on the title alone.

But I liked her even better after I met her, and then still more after drinks at the Pink Door. She is tall, blonde, and fabulous, and stepped off the plane looking twenty times more stylish than the cave-dwelling Seattleites around her. But she's also down-to-earth, warm, and best of all, knows how to make a writer feel good about herself.

"Fantastic!" she said about the last batch of chapters I'd sent her, holding her glass of Riesling aloft. "They were fantastic!"

Now, never mind that it took me over a month to incorporate the changes she then suggested, one of them a structural change spanning three chapters, which I wrote, rewrote, and then rewrote again (times 4). That "Fantastic!" (even if I only half-believed it) was enough to spur me on through the endless revisions.

Things have also been slow here in LatteLand because yours truly has not been able to get up early this entire summer. And since I do all my writing in the morning, this has been a problem.

Gone are those charmed months of winter where I got myself into bed at 10:30, went to sleep at 11, and arose, like clockwork at 7:30, refreshed by my 8.5 hours of sleep, with time to write for almost two hours before cruising into work at 10:30-11 (I salute you, oh greatest company in the world, for letting us keep whatever schedules we like!) And yes, it was tough to stay at work til 7, but worth it.

But as the days grew longer, my restlessness bloomed. I started to go out more. Stay out later. Stay up later. Bedtime jumped to 11:30, midnight, 12:30. Wake-up time suffered accordingly, until the average was 9 a.m. 9:30 even!

Because the morning writing habit is so ingrained, this just meant my writing sessions got shortened to an hour, and that - even then - I still didn't get into work until the lonely noon hour, when everyone has been here for at least two hours already (or, in the case of my boss, four).

And just try telling someone who doesn't work at The Company that you've been getting in at noon. They gasp and say "Really?," partly in jealousy, and partly in disbelief, that you - such a slacker - have not yet been fired.

But around here, there are plenty of people who keep crazy hours. So no one seems to mind, especially since I then (try to) stay til 8, but Lord, it's just discouraging. No time to work out. No plans before 8. No time to practice piano (though with a keyboard now in my office, I sneak some time in because, after all, I have to help Sexy Blue-Eyed Boy become the next Bruce Springsteen).

It was all dragging me down. Until yesterday. When three exciting things happened. The Company gave me good review, with a generous bonus. I sent the whole shebang off to my agent. And I also started getting up earlier again.

Now, just a little self-congratulory pat on the back for managing to simultaneously write a book (however slowly), and turn in a good performance at work, and I'm off - perhaps to make it in by the ungodly early hour of 10:30 today!

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