Get your own
 diary at! contact me older entries newest entry

3:14 p.m. - December 29, 2002
The countdown is here, ticking
Working on the book and making decent progress, not at all like a fish gaining headway in a stream but more like dominoes falling in a pattern, except for the one or two not quite aligned and interrupt the process. It is an alien sensation to look at the pages accruing and at all costs I must remain within 450 pages and I am coming close, lest my textbook resemble the one you had in biology or social studies that weighed you down; Barbara-the-Editor says 450 pages is hefty enough to be worthwhile yet lightweight enough so as not to rip the bottoms off backpacks and make students groan. This is my book; what a fulfilling thing to say; and it is nearly complete. Soon, soon I can say One down, five left to go, though the teacher's guides shouldn't take as long. I aim to complete the teacher's guide to this current textbook by late March and will accept the bonus-check, neverminding that I am but a cartoon propelled by the carrot on the stick.

I am quite tired of this project and the luxury is in the now, when I can plod and rethink, reconceptualize and play as I wish. Yes, I have a contract, but between you and me, publishing houses and authors play a game called Who's got the power and frankly, it's the writer because no matter the inducements, signatures on the dotted lines, threats, cajoles, and outright demands for finished products, the company can go nowhere until the author says I'm done. They know this, the author knows this, and each tries to save face while getting what each wants. I suspect the game changes after the first book in a series is published, because there is the fear of copycat authors and unscrupulous publishing houses who don't mind putting out competing products, and the pressure to release books (two per year) in orderly fashion is more obtrusive than putting out the (unexpected) Tome One. It's been quite the education and experience and more often than I'll admit I've wished I never began this project, but today is here and so is the book, and the finished product not far off.

It makes me nervous to visualize my book in print, my name there for everybody to see, the errors that will glare and invite criticism; how much do I feel like the little engine who could!


previous - next


about me - read my profile! read other Diar
yLand diaries! recommend my diary to a friend! Get
 your own fun + free diary at!