Communion Of Dreams

December 21, 2010, 1:36 pm
Filed under: Book Conservation, Publishing, Science Fiction, Writing stuff

This morning, after our walk, I took some time and replenished the firewood ric on our front porch. It hadn’t gotten down too far, but with the possibility of significant winter weather ugliness later this week, I thought it a good time to top it off. When done, I paused a moment and looked at the supply, felt comforted.

* * * * * * *

I’ve always been an information junkie. I blame it on wanting to be a mentat when I was a kid.

And the way you control a mentat? Control the information he gets.

I hate being controlled.

* * * * * * *

It had been eight weeks.

Eight weeks since I had last heard from my editor. We had been nearing the close of contract discussions, most everything sorted out just fine. There were only a couple of points we needed to settle.

Then . . . nothing.

I knew he had his hands full with a bunch of other stuff. More tech being developed. At least one more book scheduled to be out before mine. This, that, and the other.

So it was just likely that he got busy.

But . . . nothing.

After a couple of weeks, I dropped him an email.

Still . . . nothing.

I figured it was no big deal, he’d get back to me when ready. A couple more weeks passed, and I sent another email.

Again . . . nothing.

But that was right before Thanksgiving. I figured after the holiday he’d write.

Yet . . . nothing.

* * * * * * *

Finances have been tight. Nothing horrid, but tight. Because of the downturn in the economy, my conservation work from private clients this year has been way down. And since I lost a large institutional client last year, I didn’t have that work. Still, I’ve had work enough to keep me busy, the cash flow positive.

Except when my other institutional clients screw up the way that bureaucracies do with annoying regularity.

Such as has happened with MU recently. They have managed to lose/misplace/futz around with invoices such that I haven’t been paid for work done for about two months now.

And of course, trying to get an answer about what is going on from the Business Office is just an exercise in frustration.

I’ve danced this dance with them many times before. I know they’ll come through in the end, but they’ll take their own sweet time about it.

In the meantime we manage with savings. We’re lucky in that regard, and I know it – a lot of people right now can’t do the same.

* * * * * * *

This morning I sent another email to my publisher, asking whether they had reconsidered whether to publish Communion of Dreams, or what.

See, the lack of response . . . the lack of information about what was going on . . . was starting to drive me nuts.

I can deal with pretty much anything. At least, that’s been my track record to date, and I’ve had enough tough things to deal with to trust that ability. That is, I can deal with pretty much anything so long as I know what the hell is going on.

Because if I don’t know, I tend to imagine the worst. And I have a very active imagination.

In fairness, I’ve had enough tough things to deal with that this somewhat pessimistic inclination has been borne out repeatedly. So I’m not just neurotic.

Anyway, I got a response right back with an apology. Everything is cool, he’s just been insanely busy with the various projects I’d mentioned (and then some), and things had just slipped past more quickly than he intended. Looks like the book will now be out in February – though it won’t surprise me if that gets pushed back a bit.

And that’s fine. ‘Cause now I know what is going on.

* * * * * * *

I stood there for a moment, looking at the stack of firewood on the porch. A good supply, easily enough for a couple of weeks of casual use, even if the weather gets ugly. And there’s more in the big stash elsewhere in the yard.

I don’t know what will happen later this week. Will we just get some snow for Christmas? Or will dire predictions of sleet and freezing rain translate into reality?

We’ll see. Because even though I don’t know what will happen, I know I’m ready for it. Well, as ready as you can be for anything.

Jim Downey

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