Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Two Days After Thanksgiving

That happy eating holiday, Thanksgiving, has passed. I had a nice meal at the apartment of some friends with about ten adults and one two-year-old girl, who loudly proclaimed that she liked “THE ROLLS!” (which I brought) best. These are from a recipe passed down from Great Grandma Gammell, and they’re easy and everyone always loves them. Happy to win over the two-year-old too. I also brought an apple pie with a sugary crumb topping, which was fabulous. I have to say, it was better than the store-bought pumpkin pies served with Cool Whip, but there were some traditionalists there who insisted on pumpkin pie (Cool Whip notwithstanding) and they ate that instead. That meant I had a third of an apple pie to take home. I ate it yesterday.

It was sixty degrees in New York that day, which is almost unheard of. I walked to my friends’ apartment with a jacket on, my early-fall jacket, thinking, “I don’t need to be wearing this.” But the temperature dropped that afternoon, and by the time I walked home that evening I wished I had more on. Yesterday was freezing. I expect today is, too, but I have no plans to go outside unless I manage to convince myself to go to the gym.

Book news: none. I’ve done six interviews thus far (and recorded three, so at some point in the not-too-distant future I’ll decide to figure out how to download those recordings and make them available) and the video website is finally up, though it’s not really what I wanted. I wanted a customized site, but as the programmer quit, we don’t get a customized site. Sigh. I’ve been recording friends’ tributes to their angels, but none of this is as easy as I’d like it to be. I’ve been sending out my news to various friends, asking them to send it to all their friends—also all the list serves I’m on for school, etc—and nothing really has impacted sales. On Wednesday my Amazon sales rating skyrocketed, from about 600,000 to 33,000, the very highest it’s ever been. I got excited. First I called my dad, to see if he’d bought books that day; that’s always my immediate question. But he hadn’t, and I thought, “Is it the interviews finally kicking in?” but since Wednesday the ranking has steadily fallen, so I think it was a one-time Christmas gift purchase by one of my friends. I’ll see him tomorrow and ask. Not that I mind, of course; but I’d rather it be strangers deciding to buy it because of the large amount of money I’ve spent on a publicist.

It’s been a productive weekend, so far. I have done all the small, easy things on my to-do list, which seems logical but there are often weekends in which I don’t even get those done. Now it remains to be seen if I’ll actually tackle the new book at all. I want to devote one day just to working on it. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet figured out the trajectory of the new book. I have an inciting incident, and I have characters, and I have a vague idea of what is going to happen. But I don’t know the purpose, and that is bothering me. I don’t know the character arc of the main character, and what happens to her as a consequence of her actions in the first 20 pages. I imagine the consequence is large. But I don’t know…. The good thing about my new book is, I don’t have any happy marriages in it. I had to write a happy marriage in my Angels book, and that stressed me out. I am not even a dater; what do I know about happy marriages? I literally had to sit down with a married friend and ask questions like, “What do you think they would talk about here?” or “What kind of thing would happen when they’re doing x and y?” None of that now. I have had plenty of bad marriage examples flit through my life, so I am writing that this time instead.

So this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for marital unhappiness. A big Happy Thanksgiving to you.

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