Thursday, March 29, 2007

Blocked

Welcome to my blog, a public diary chronicling the writing and publication of my newest book, Daddy’s Little Girl: True Stories about Fathers and Daughters (HarperSanFrancisco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers).

My purpose in keeping this diary is to give Story Contributors updates about my progress. If other writers should derive any benefit from reading of the twists and turns I encounter while working under a deadline, well that’s good, too.

What is a Story Contributor? A Story Contributor is someone who was willing to share with me an autobiographical account of his or her father-daughter relationship. I then use those stories in the writing of Daddy’s Little Girl.

As soon as my website, www.gregoryelang.com, is updated, there will be a new page for you to submit your own story. I’ll let you know when that update is ready.

Now on to today’s dairy entry…

The day began with me making breakfast for Jill and Meagan, packing Jill’s lunch, and then leaving for what was to be a brief orthodontist visit for Linley, but we ended up staying a little over two hours. Afterward, I had lunch in a Vietnamese café, and then came home only to find that the dog had thrown up on the sofa cushions. It looked like she had had a miscarriage, eaten it, and rejected it. Very nasty. These are the times when I think of dropping her off on the side of the road in the backwoods, but somehow manage to resist the urge.

Later, I sat down to read comments on my AJC blog, a post about cultural diversity in our once sleepy little country town, and found that my readers have turned it into a lively, if not sometimes ugly, debate about illegal immigration, even though I explicitly pointed out I was talking about diversity stemming from legal immigration. Oh well. Some people – give em a soapbox and they will go on and on and on and on and…

I also reviewed and tormented over a memo I received from my Cumberland House editor who wants me to revise the introduction to the Why I Still Love You book (I posted it on March 23, “Sneak Preview”). I like it as is, but she doesn’t, so back to the drawing board. The editorial process is a creative one, usually characterized by a free exchange of good ideas, and then sometimes it’s just a butt ache. Today it is a butt ache because at the moment I just can’t see how to improve on what I’ve written. I’ll mull over it a few days and something will eventually come to me – at least I hope so.

As Tasgola has pointed out, I like dashes – perhaps a little too much.

Andrew, my agent, is writing a press release for the Publisher’s Lunch, a daily e-bulletin that announces to the industry insiders all the new book deals. I’ve been reading it for years and have never had news of my own deal included, so I’m eager to check the inbox to see what is said about the HarperSanFrancisco deal.

Speaking of inboxes, I got an email today from a man who, along with his wife and toddler son, has posed for me for several books. They recently purchased the Thank You, Mom and Thank You, Dad books that include their photos, and wrote to tell me how much the son likes seeing himself in a book. I get a kick out of returning to the model’s homes and finding they have the photos I took framed and hanging in a place of honor, and a book in the middle of the coffee table. Indeed, one of the real blessings of creating the Cumberland House book series has been meeting all the good folks who have become my friends.

Dang it! As I’m writing this I’m also printing a recently revised copy of a novel I’m working on, and I’ve run out of paper. You might think an author would have loads of that stuff lying around. Well, usually I do, but sometimes when I look away, Jill sneaks a few reams into her car to take to school. It seems she always goes over the monthly allotment the school provides for her.

Not wanting to go shop for paper, I decided to write the content for my new webpages where participants will be able to upload a document if they wish. Boring stuff.

OK, I’m officially stuck, or blocked, if you'd rather. I’ve pondered for hours on rewriting the Why I Still Love You introduction, and haven’t gotten anywhere. Signing off now to go have a glass of wine, and then dinner with the in-laws.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ask yourself some questions.
Why did I decide to write this book in the first place
Did the incident with my aunt have anything to do with it.
Is there any negativity in the introduction.
Start way back at the beginning. Muse it over and you probably wiil lose the "Blocksge"