Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday Near Noon...Everything's Moving, Everything's Still

Everything is moving. Everything is still. My brain is exploding. It's a great day to be alive.
Well, I turned down the offer to publish my book with a real publisher. I just wrote a note declining the offer. And you know what? I sort of hated doing that. I mean, it would be cool to be officially published. Like the first time I saw my work in Omni magazine or in the Spanish GEO. Just thrilling.
I didn't turn it down because of the money--though if the offer had been $25,000 I might have accepted it. I turned it down because I would have had to stop anything that's going on. That means the newly released hard cover, still waiting for its first sale (only on as yet, under Ayahuasca in My Blood--25 Years of Medicine Dreaming) would be shut down. It means the Kindle edition that Johan is near finishing couldn't go up. It means the soft cover, which has hit over 60 sales this month with a week to go, would be shut down. And while 60 doesn't seem like many, and isn't, it's double what it was last month, the second month it's been out. And I think it will double again next month. Or hope.
But Skunk magazine, the Canadian magazine I write my Drug War Follies for is coming out with an excerpt and a review in a couple of months. And MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, is due to review it in their year end issue. And Lynn and I have begun playing with the audio version and hope to have that out in a few weeks. And there are some radio shows that have asked me to talk about it. And a few bookstores have bought some books wholesale to stock.
I really don't want to stop that, even if it's not a juggernaut at the moment. To pull it off the market now and have to wait till next fall to have released, well, to be honest, that would be about as fun as being told, just at the last second: "Don't finish yet..." or some other thing. Pardon the graphic.
So that's that. I don't think he'll come back with a $25,000 offer. I don't even think he will come back with an offer to let me continue what I'm doing, to try to build steam so that when he publishes next fall there will already be interest in it. I think it's just a done deal.
Which is not the only thing on my mind. On my mind is the last section of front porch fence, the largish story I finished last night just about the time my newspaper went to press--well, that's when the rewrite was finished and so I've got one very upset boss to deal with at tomorrow's meeting. Problem was it's a complex story and I didn't have much time for it and so while I did a host of interviews--more than most people would do for a cover story--there wasn't a lot of time to let it all gel. And that is vital to good journalism. Not if you are writing about someone putting up a new pasture fence, but if you are trying to explain new policing tactics and what they might mean to minority communities and to civil rights issues of even majorities, well, that takes a bit of time to settle. And the pace I've been on, doing a good sized (1600 word) story and a small story (400) words for each of the last few weeks, as well as working on a couple of the cover stories I've got coming up, as well as responding to book readers with questions....well, it is just too hectic to have the luxury of having things settle.
The alternative is that I turned in a draft and let my boss tell me what was wrong. That helped me focus down on things and allowed me to write a pretty damned good rewrite. But it pissed her off I'm sure to be wondering if we were going to have anything printable/readable 30 minutes before the press run started. And anyone in the business knows: You really can't stall the presses. Once they are set to go, they go, whether you've got those pages filled or not.
And another thing I've been thinking about is how super cool Madeleina is. She is just fantastic and I hope i tell her that every day. Know what she did yesterday? I had gone food shopping after I turned in the draft, then picked her up from school on the way home. She helped with putting away the groceries and I started dinner. Good dinner. Fresh albacore tuna steaks sauteed in olive oil and garlic, to which I added diced onions and tomatoes, then fresh diced ginger, plenty of it, and then a small jar of capers with juice. Man oh man that got about 12 levels of taste buds going. And I served it with sweet fresh corn on the cob and simple steamed broccoli. Oh, lala! Voila! I'm laughing because I just had a couple of bites of the left overs a few minutes ago and can still taste my mouth going in circles!
So she put away the groceries and I started chopping, and while i was sauteing I got this morning's coffee ready--I like to just wake up and hit the on button, rather than start with cleaning out the pot--and then we ate. Marco was over and we watched Diehard 3, a pretty cool flick after a couple of Jim Beams, and then I went to bed.
And this morning I got up, turned on the coffee, brushed my teeth and went to pour that first cup--the thick first couple of ounces when it just starts to brew, and then realized that I had to open a new box of sweet and low that i'd bought yesterday.
And when I got it out of the cupboard, guess what? Madeleina hadn't just put it away, but she'd opened the box and cut open the silver foil packet inside for me.
It may not seem like much but I was overwhelmed at the gesture. My little girl, with no prompting, thought of me and what I would be doing this morning and knew that package would have to be opened and so she got it done. That was very very thoughtful.
I know. I'm easily moved. But if every one of us could think that way and do something like that for someone else once every day, we'd probably have half the world's problems solved in a month.
I'm glad she's my kid and hope your kids do something little but magical for you today too.

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