Monday, June 27, 2011

Once Upon a Featherbed

It looks like getting those old romance novels out again is one of those "don't hold your breath" things. According to the contract, I can't ask for reversion of rights until six years after the last time they've exercised the rights, and then all I can do is send a letter saying, essentially "use 'em or lose 'em," at which time they have 18 months to exercise the rights (in other words, publish the book again in some form), and if they don't do so within that time, then the rights revert to me and I can do what I want with those books. Only one of my Silhouette novels is eligible for reversion, since with the other they did an electronic Japanese edition in 2006. I don't know what sticklers they are for exercising every right they have, if they'd keep me waiting for the full 18 months or if it's possible they'd get that letter and immediately let me know that they're done with the book. I'll discuss it with my agent when she gets back from the RWA conference.

I had a really productive weekend. I'd planned to do a major housecleaning, and it didn't quite work out that way, but I did make major progress in one spot. There's a bookcase and adjacent corner in my bedroom that's a big clutter zone. Stuff gets piled on the bookcase, then taken out and left near the bookcase when I need to find something on the bookcase. Meanwhile, that corner is behind the door and is where things that don't have another home, like suitcases, go to live. I got that bookcase decluttered and organized and cleared out and vacuumed the corner. The suitcases are still there, but they have to wait for the office closets to get cleaned out to get a home. There was a bit of a Princess and the Pea experiment that came out of this process, as one of the things living in the corner is my old featherbed, folded up in its case. I got the bright idea that if I put the old featherbed under the new one, I'd have the ultimate big, fluffy bed. It turns out that while it was fun to climb onto and sink into, it wasn't that comfortable for sleeping, so I got up about fifteen minutes later and took it all apart. I don't know if that proves that I am a real princess or proves that I'm not. It did prove that there is such a thing as too soft a bed. I also washed, starched and ironed the Battenburg lace pillow shams and did a thorough scrub of the bathroom. My efforts to turn my bedroom suite into a nice hotel room are progressing.

I finished my marathon of A Game of Thrones, and now I'm a little bereft at having no more to watch, but I still have the books to read, and by the time I get around to reading all of them, it'll be time for the new season. I figure those will be fall/winter books, so I won't have to wait for the new one (though it sounds like there will likely be a wait for the one after that). I got my copy of the first book a couple of months before the publication date, so this may be the longest it's taken me to read an advance copy, but just imagine how frustrated I'd have been waiting for the new book if I'd started reading the series before official publication.

I do remember the time I initially tried reading the first book, and it was before publication. I recall that it was Labor Day weekend. We usually got off early on the Friday before a holiday weekend, but it wasn't the sort of thing we could plan on. It was one of those weird things that seems nice but that's actually a control game on the part of the boss. He wouldn't officially declare that the holiday started at whatever time on Friday (and he owned the company, so it wasn't just him sneaking past corporate policy). We couldn't act like we expected it, either, or he wouldn't let us go. The time he let us go also varied, so we couldn't make plans around getting away early. The one nice thing about it was that it meant we had unstructured free time when we did get let go. I remember on that weekend I picked up a bottle of wine on the way home from work, and then I came home with plans to bury myself in a fat fantasy novel.

When I say I need to fall in love with a character in a book to get into it, I usually don't mean romantic love, that there has to be a hot guy for me to fall in love with. I mostly mean that there needs to be some character for me to become attached to, someone I care enough about to pull me into the book. But in this case, I think I was looking for a book boyfriend. I'd gone through a dating dry spell after having had a boyfriend the previous year (little did I know that it would get much, much worse), and I think I wanted to fall in love with someone in a book. I'd decided to read the fat fantasy novel because you can generally count on there being some studly 20-30-something guy in most epic fantasies. In this one, though, it seemed like all the characters were either teenagers or the parents of teenagers. I was in my 20s at the time, so neither category was all that appealing to me. I guess the combination of the absence of book boyfriend material and the rapid jumping around among viewpoint characters early in the book made it hard for me to get into the book that weekend, and I never gave it another try when I was in a different mood. I do think they made the right call in aging the characters up for the TV series. While a 14-year-old might have been a full adult in a world like that, the visual of a modern 14-year-old would have been kind of silly. The casting seems to have taken actors whose age is the equivalent of the role the teens would have played in that society. I think that will help me in reading, so I won't be picturing the teenagers I know doing those kinds of things.

But before I can read that series, I need to revise another book, then do a lot of research reading for the next two projects.

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