Rain, Cold: Cranky, Bilious Girl Emerges

Argh, today. Usually, Chickarina's an optimist. These past couple days, strangely not so. Somehow feeling ungenerous, spiteful, rain-bitten. However, the antidote: I'm starting a new project. Which requires an excess of hubris, which I'm working hard on developing. I can do anything. That's about as far as I've gotten on the hubris front.

I can cancel a trip to Europe in order to do research in the U.S. (as I just did). I can remember why on earth I decided to write books anyway. I spent eons writing The Girl's Guide to Absolutely Everything, then flogging it, and I'm still flogging it (buy me! buy me!) but something has clicked. I'm ready to be engaged in a big project again. Finally. There's a certain mourning period that goes on after the publication of a book, I think, after the tour and publicity push where things aren't as urgent and you suddenly think, "Oh! So I'm still a writer! That's what I do!" Because otherwise, you forget, you've been a publicity machine for so long, you think that writing is more about selling than it is about "the craft," you're consumed with business, you're triumphing and stumbling publicly, you're feeling jealous of people who are better at self-promotion even though their books aren't great. See, I'm feeling uncharitable. You were warned.

The secret of book publishing, maybe 85% of the time: The emperor has absolutely no clothes. So many books that are only half-readable, maybe 1/4-readable, are trumpeted as the Next Big Thing, or their authors are toasted for their precocious wit, or publiciation is lavished with news of improbable Hollywood megadeals. This sounds like jealousy. It is jealousy, but I think that's healthy when a book is good and gets the attention it deserves. I'm inspired by that. It's the really (subjectively, but this is my blog, so how could it be otherwise) crappy books that are held up as perfect specimens of literature and/or wit that rankle.

But back to me. I've managed to sustain a low boil of excitement over a new project for about two weeks. I'm not ready to talk about it. I'm ready to do a little research and see if maybe. In the meantime, I'm working on my mood. Because I'm finding myself slightly annoying right now.