Book Expo

Hey everyone!  It’s your bipolar blogger here….

Went to BEA all weekend (Book Expo America) in nyc @ the Javits Center.  It was my first.  So I’m officially de-virginized by the BEA now.  I had no idea how huge is was going to be.  I know, I know, duh, it was at the Javits Center Wendy.  
I had high hopes of getting face time with an agent.  Who knew you needed an appointment?  Ugh.  That would’ve been too easy if I had met an agent at BEA, who fell head over heals for my book and was dying to sign me.  Realistically it goes like this:  new writer sends queries to 5-10 of her top picks for agents.  All but one blow her off.  Maybe one says ‘yes send me sample chapters… or your proposal….’  etc. etc.   I had delusions thinking maybe I’ll get to speak w/ an agent there, pitch, hand them my fabulously clever new business cards with reduced, also fabulously clever book cover on it, sample.  The’ll flip through it, enticed by my cover (not the post it note on top !)…. but they’ll glance at it, like a little of my writing….perhaps cut to the back and see my article and see I was published somehwere in this galaxy thus far in my lifetime.  THEN maybe THEN they’d give me a buzz and say “I had a cancellation at 2 pm Sunday, can you meet me in an hour?”  I’d be there, wagging tail and all, and they’d be enthralled by my entusiasm, style and obvious determintaion setting me apart from the other 5,184 brand new writers who had contacted them that month, and set up an immediate appointment next week to discuss representation at their nyc office.  
Okay I never said anything about experience and I did just use the word delusional.  So get off my back okay?  
So here I am, knowing my book is calling to me because you can never edit enough. Although Heather  (who skillfully edited the book once, no make that twice already) thinks I’m done done, I’m not done done.  And a book is never really done done until it’s in print.  Let’s just get THAT point across to any aspiring writer who may not get that point yet.  It’s never over until the fat lady sings.  And in publishing, that is when it is in print.  GOT IT?  Cool…. you’re with me and that means you’re right about where I’m at.
Sooooo here we are, finishing touches need to go on my proposal and I’m blogging.  In my mind I’m procrastinating by blogging.  But really maybe my fingers are getting their warm up.  I mean if I were TRULY procrastinating, I would be outside, at the beach, on this gorgeous day.  I deserve it, I put in a long weekend of BEA-ing.  Right?  Well, yes, but I don’t have a 9-5 job so right now I need to be working.  And if I’m not clocking in, I damn well better be doing something that is going to contribute to my success as a writer.
Which brings me to my next item.  Writing.  When did you all know you were one?  I mean we all wrote when we were little, right?  Or no maybe not.  Maybe I did because I am a writer.  I mean essentially we all have things we’re good at.  Some people were born baseball players, gifted at pitching or swinging a bat, or both!  Then they really get the big bucks.  But let’s reel it back in because I have chosen, or perhaps have been given (and we are assuming I have talent in this area…..of course the jury is still not out on this one!)  So you have this propensitity to do something, to want to do something, some talent.   Some people always drew (Kim!)  Some friends were always wanting to learn sign language (Beth) and are gifted at that.  Some friends knew sooner than others what they were good at.  

For me, I was writing poetry alone in my room, when I was 8.  That’s as soon as I can remember doing it.  Maybe it was 7? To play it safe, let’s go with 8.  I have something dated then.  SO I’d fill up these little poem books.  Well never fill.  I’d do it in a book for a while then get bored of that book.  Or maybe in defiance, give up for a while.  Maybe I was waiting to get moved again.  You can’t spit up poem after poem, day after day you know.  YOu have to feel it first, then it flaps around your brain like a roomful of bats flopping to and fro.  Until you write it down, the bats aren’t free.  And who likes bats flapping around up there?  Terribly uncomfortable.  SOmetimes I can’t write until it is terrribly uncomfortable.  There’s nothing like pain.  Pain is a fabulous motivator for me to write.  Especially poetry.

So I wonder, all nobody of you who are actually reading this, at what point do you know you are doing what you are “meant” to do?  I thought it was when I was doing real esatate after escaping waitressing.  
Then I wrote my first book and I felt ALIVE when I’d be at my laptop for 8 hours straight.  Getting up only to feed my stomach making noise or my bladder that needed to be empty.  That’s how I knew.  
Or when I was walking around the BEA this weekend and I couldn’t stop writing an aricle in my head about it.  I couldn’t walk around without the editing and writing going on.  Finally (amidst the obnoxious drummer that lasted two Donna Summers songs on my iPod later), I had to whip open my laptop and write the article til my laptop died.  Then my iPod died.  With no battery power left, the article was still there floating around, bats loose up there, all bumping in to eachother.  

So back to the beginning.  This frustrated poet, recently de-virginized BEA-er has warmed up fingers.  It’s time to get down to business.  For this is, after all, a business.  Like anything else, it does involve dollars and cents and pays bills.  

By the way, this whole thing about being crazy?  I had put that term away, filed it years ago when I realized I had a chemical imbalance and who cares if you can’t handle that truth about me.  Oh well.
Then, after leaving the BEA and realizing what a maze the publishing industry is.  And what my chances of publication are, I realized this buiness is making me crazy.  Hey, if you’re bipolar and doing well….here’s my advice:  don’t try to get published.  You’ll head right back for the “I must be crazy” line of thought.
Ta ta for now.
xo wendy

2 thoughts on “Book Expo

    • I am so sorry Shannon….I am reaaaally bad at this WordPress stuff. I rarely post and am even worse at responding. I usually respond to Dyane and I’m not sure why…maybe I know her name or it pops up in my email?
      I just want to apologize.
      Let’s see…
      Your first email said you had some issues you hadn’t seen. I didn’t know what that meant since you didn’t elaborate….
      I certainly can relate to your next post on 2/6 at 3:15 where you mention you’re struggling with an answer as to why you’re still here. But, I found that after a summer of asking “why” that I received no answer. So, I stopped asking. Now I simply try to remain grateful and seek meaning in my life. How can I add to this world in any way. I’ve come to decide it’s through writing, but why stop there. It can be a daily kindness, anything. I think just by being you (or me), that maybe, and I’d like to think, that the people I meet might feel a little better about themselves? At least I try to do or say something that will. (It’s not as if I think I have some magical effect.)

      What you are here to do is kind of a puzzle for you to figure out, but I do have some advice. The more I think about the question, and how it involves us all, as it does, the more I believe it is tied to our gift. In other words, what makes us happy when we spend our time doing it. For example, if you love to knit, then knit away and give them as gifts. Maybe to a local shelter…knit blankets. if you are a writer, my case, write and self-publish your story to help another person who will find better understanding about themselves. if your talent is (fill in the blank) figure out how that makes you feel (happy, obviously) and your joy radiates to all you know and meet.

      Case in point. My mom’s friend teaches pottery and oozes enthusiasm for it; she really gets us all excited. I was blocked, certainly not writing, and at a low point in my early thirties. Actually I felt suicidal and attempted a few times. In and out of the hospital I went and my joy was taking pottery. I think several in our class were not in the best place in their lives. Anyway, my mom had talked me in to taking the pottery class and it became my favorite part of the week. I had just been downsized and had very, very low self-esteem. So, I got to create and socialize which I needed.

      That, I believe, is what unleashed my creative spirit and let me to writing. Maybe I wouldn’t have found my way to writing had it not been for that class. In other words, that woman, Alison’s, love for pottery led me to my love of writing (again). I believe if we each do what we love, the world would be a better place and we would become self-realized or actualized, if that is the right word. I wouldn’t stress about ‘what you are here to do’ Shannon. I would instead focus on what you ENJOY doing because that will lead you in the right direction. You’ll see. Others will benefit from your joy and your gift. It might take awhile. I don’t think many people understand it in their twenties or maybe even thirties or forties. We’re still on the hamster wheel, so to speak.

      I hope that helps a little. Do you keep a diary? I find writing some mornings when I wake up helps. I also meditate to Deepak Chopra (the oprah & deepak 28 day challenge got me started.) You may want to search outside the box. I was a very boxed in kind of gal. Fear also kept me locked in it. Fear is a big hindrance and still blocks me today, but I’m not trapped by it anymore, just sometimes stifled.
      Good luck!
      Stay in touch!

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