I spend hours worrying about snappy blog topics that will be informative yet fun, breezy yet philosophical.
It’s a dilemma, I tell you. I suffer and fret and never know what I’ll actually end up with.
It’s worse than trying to decide what to order at Starbucks.
Yes, I worry about that, too.
So I ask you, is there anything worse than having to write a blog?
Well, yes, actually there is. How about having to write TWO blogs?
That’s my problem today. I’m scheduled to blog over at the Silhouette Desire Authors blog at the same time I’m scheduled here at A Slice of Orange. So not only did I have to come up with TWO brilliant (ha!) blogs, but now I’m racing back and forth between the two, trying to keep up with comments and greetings. I tell you, it’s crazy!
If you’ve got a solution to blog anxiety, I would appreciate hearing about it.
And if you have the chance, come on over to the the Silhouette Desire Authors blog and say hello. I get anxiety when nobody shows up to comment. But that’s a whole different topic for another blogging day.
My books arrived this week!
I opened the big box and pulled out one book and held it in my hand for the first time. It was a pretty special moment for me.
I would’ve liked to have savored the moment but suddenly every book in the box jumped out and attacked me. I wasn’t hurt, just momentarily stunned.
I really think they were just as thrilled to see me as I was to see them. I mean, look at that picture. Is this a love-fest or what?
So Many Books…
Another lifetime ago, I was a book collector. My personal favorites were first edition mysteries and finely bound poetry and philosophy. Yes, me. Go figure. I used to scour the massive used bookshops on Hollywood Boulevard and the nooks and crannies of Melrose Avenue and La Cienega Boulevard where dozens of fascinating shops held the secrets of the universe bound in soft Moroccan leather.
One by one, as property values rose and rents increased, the stores closed. The bookshops are gone now. The marketplace for rare first editions and antiquarian books has moved to the Internet and eBay.
This weekend I spent two days attending the annual Los Angeles Antiquarian Book Fair, where those same dealers who used to own bookshops on Melrose come together with likeminded dealers from all over the world to buy, sell and trade their treasures.
There were hundreds of book sellers represented and thousands of books on display. Naturally, I saw many exquisitely bound editions of William Shakespeare and Walt Whitman and Jane Austen. One dealer sells books so ancient they look like petrified forest mushrooms on the shelf. Another sells clever, three-dimensional, accordion-style books designed by a Parisian artist. Still another dealer sells only mysteries and his display shelf featured first edition copies of Raymond Chandler and Earl Stanley Garner and a nicely preserved, full set of Agatha Christieâ€™s mysteries.
I loved poking around the individual dealersâ€™ booths, examining the books and discovering new treasures, but it was a bittersweet time for me. I miss the stores, miss the smell of old books, miss the wise counsel of the book dealer.
Sadly, the only thing more rare than the beautiful books I saw this weekend are the bookstores that used to sell them, so allow me to end my post with a public service announcement: SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL INDEPENDENT BOOKSELLER. We’ve lost so many, but there are still some great stores out there. Donâ€™t forget them. You might pay a bit more for a book but the personal service is gratifying and the rapport you build with the seller is priceless. And hey, itâ€™s a write-off!
A Cautionary Tale
Can I just say â€œDittoâ€ to what Maureen Child blogged about yesterday? Because if there was ever some good advice to be given to someone who has the desire to be a professional writer, itâ€™s that they absolutely should be writing every day.
Case in point: Me.
As a public service, I’ll tell you my story, along with some advice. Don’t let this happen to you.
A few months ago, I sent a revised proposal to my agents. Then I waited. Just a week or so. I mean, I’d busted my butt to get the proposal as perfect as I could make it, so I deserved some time off, right? Sure.
Well, the proposal turned into a three book deal and needless to say, I was thrilled. So did I jump right back into the project? Start right away on the next chapter? Um, not exactly. Come on! I had to celebrate, right? I mean, it’s been a long road for me. I needed to savor the moment! The moment turned into three weeks.
But finally I did sit down to write the next chapter. And I’m sure you can guess what happened. I’d literally forgotten how to write! I’d forgotten how to start a chapter, how to describe a character, how to write sparkling dialogue. All that stuff. Worst of all, I’d lost my confidence. I couldn’t do it. I’d lost my mojo. I was a loser. I’d have to give back the advance money.
I was pathetic!
It took me three weeks to get back into the rhythm of writing, not to mention build my confidence back up. So I stand before you now–actually, I’m sitting, but you get my drift–and hereby vow never to go more than two days without writing something, even if it’s just jotting down ideas and brainstorming, anything that will keep me immersed in the story, as Maureen says.