Sunday, December 31, 2006's business...

Well, here in San Diego, midnight is just a bit less than 3 hours away, and there's no telling what 2007 will be all about. A few things we know...the race is already on for elections in 2008. No question about that.

War in Afghanistan continues and the occupation of Iraq continues. Because of BushCo's absolute and incredible stupidity, the rest of the world dislikes us intensely. Yet the administration continues to strut across the international stage not realizing they're the streakers, not the actors. More dangerous than the actors because the streakers don't care...they just want the attention. They have it. It's not good.

"The Angels of Morgan Hill" is one beautiful little novel. More courage in that small book than Bush has every or will ever show in his entire life. Actually, I don't believe he knows the meaning of the word.

Now I've just started on "The Tenth Circle". Yeah, of Dante's hell. A novel concerning a man, wife, and their daughter. So far, I'm not much liking it. The writer is a bestselling author, she writes very well, but I feel a cold calculation in her work and it makes me very uncomfortable.
I doubt I'll continue.

Instead, I'll continue a non-fiction that's about halfway through...Kitty Kelly's "The Family". The family is the Bush dynasty, starting with Prescott, then George HW, then George W. These are most surely not likeable people. What one sees is not what one gets. Always, there are those underlying motives for each and every move they make.

Tomorrow, thanks for small favors, my world will return to normal with all the holiday chaos disappeared as if it had never been. I am so glad. I suspect I have a lot of company who feel much the same. Am very much looking forward to meeting another writer for breakfast in a hotel restaurant where we meet every weekday except Tuesday. The poor staff there has been just slammed with hotel guests seeming to appear all at once. It's been as though everyone's alarm clock has been set to go off at the same time.

The Chargers won again today. They're getting closer and closer to the Super Bowl. Gonna be battles royal in the football stadiums this year.

Also getting closer to the big writers' conference here. I'll be reading/editing advance manuscripts again. Fascinating, that first look at those novels. The thing so many writers aren't really aware of is that once they've finished their books and an agent has expressed an interest in seeing the manuscript is that from that moment on, it's straight business. My agent, while reading a manuscript, is also thinking as he reads about which Senior editor(s) like that kind of book and will possibly make an offer to publish. If, by the time he finishes, no editor has come to mind, the book is rejected. He also does no editing. The book is either polished and ready to be seen by an editor or back it goes. He writes the most encouraging rejection letters I've ever seen.

But if he does think of an editor, does send the book off, the first the writer will hear about it is when he phones to say, "We have editorial interest." Right there, the book is as good as sold for publication unless the writer gets unreasonable.

Most new writers also don't know that it may well take 18 months before the book is in print and headed for the bookstore shelves. Editors handle a batch of books and they handle them in the order the manuscripts are submitted unless the subjects of those books are really in high demand. Then books already in the works will be cut in front of and the hot book will take another book's place at the printers. It's a business. No more, no less. And a very tough one.

Most businesses are.

Put politics in that class. Can a candidate get enough money to make the race? Does a candidate for office have the staying power necessary to get through a viscious campaign? A million things can go wrong and do. You gotta want what you want badly enough to hang in there, no matter what, until you succeed. It's business.


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