Sunday, April 09, 2006

Back to Book World

I have survived the first wave of Silly Season. I got through the last book festival/conference yesterday evening. It was a good one, with an informed audience and lots of librarians. I even got a little bit of a blast from the past because they announced the winners of a high school short story contest, and the first-place winners had to read their stories out loud. The stories reminded me of all those things I scribbled in spiral notebooks when I was in high school, only theirs were probably a lot better than mine. For one thing, they actually finished theirs and submitted them someplace. I never knew of any venues to send my stories to, which meant I didn't have a lot of incentive to finish them. For another, my stories tended to have alien invaders or messengers from alternate worlds show up midway through. There would be a page or two of introspective teen angst, and then suddenly the aliens were invading and my characters had to realize how meaningless all their teen angst really was. I think I might have had issues.

Now I plan to return to Book World until I get this book done. I've come up with lots of ideas but haven't had the time or energy to actually get anything written. Fair warning to my family and real-life or local friends: I don't plan to leave the house this week except to go to exercise class and possibly grocery shopping on Monday and then choir practice on Wednesday. Otherwise, I'll be living in my own little world. I do need to finish doing my taxes, but I was pretty good about record keeping last year, so that shouldn't be too hard. For me, the hard part is usually tracking down and sorting all the receipts. Filling out the forms isn't that difficult.

A couple more notes on that contest thing: winners are limited to US and Canada because for the things I'm sending, I can't afford foreign postage, and for the things my publisher will be sending, it's kind of unfair to ask them to mail stuff to countries where their books aren't actually being officially distributed. I should also say that if your entry for the books is of the sob story variety, it doesn't have to make me happy. I mean, if you have one month to live and want an early copy of the next book so you can be sure to read it before you die, that won't make me happy, but it would be a pretty compelling entry (though I might have to require a doctor's note, so don't go trying to scam me). I must say, from the ones I've seen so far, it's going to be a tough decision that could require me doing a drawing from among the top entries. Needless to say, my ego is feeling good right now. :-)

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