I've turned in first pass pages for Bane and Shadow, which means it's officially out of my hands. I've done those last little nips and tucks, mostly cutting or changing a single word. I've caught a few typos. And that's it. In a very real sense, the book is no longer mine. In some ways it's a relief. I will futz with something endlessly, and it's usually up to an agent or editor to take it from me at a certain point. And that's probably for the best. I always think of a line from that John Guare play Six Degrees of Seperation. Flan, the art dealer, says:
When the kids were little, we went to a parents' meeting at their school and I asked the teacher why all her students were geniuses in the second grade? Look at the first grade. Blotches of green and black. Look at the third grade. Camouflage. But the second grade--your grade. Matisses every one. You've made my child a Matisse. Let me study with you. Let me into second grade! What is your secret? And this is what she said: "Secret? I don't have a secret. I just know when to take their drawings away from them."
Sometimes, fiddling and futzing with something will only make it worse. Ideally, I think we're supposed to cultivate that inner second grade teacher within us to know when to stop. But...well, until then, there's always deadlines!
And speaking of which, I still have not settled on a title for book three. I know. It's getting ridiculous. But I talked to my acting editor on the phone on Friday and she assured me they can still slip it in at the very last minute before it goes to print. And that, apparently, is October 1st. So I've got another month!
Still no "real" editor yet. But if we get the title sorted out, I won't technically need one until November when I turn in this first draft on book 3.
I normally recommend music in this space. One time I recommended a podcast called Radio Etopia, but it was still music. This time, though I thought I'd recommend a proper "people talking" podcast. Granted, it's still sort of about music. It's called Reversal of the Muse: An Exploration of Femininity In Creativity. Singer/songwriter Laura Marling interviews women musicians, engineers, and other music industry types about their experiences. Here's her mission statement:
"Reversal Of The Muse began as conversations between friends about female creativity. In reversing the muse it became an experiment. As a small part of the global conversation about women in the arts, it became an obsession. It occurred to me that in 10 years of making records I had only come across two female engineers working in studios. Starting from my experience of being a woman I began to ask myself what difference it might have made had I had more women around, if any. I wanted to know why progress has been so slow in this area and what effect it would have on music."
I've listened to the first two episodes. The first is with sound engineer Vanessa Parr, and the second with the all female (and sister) band HAIM. Laura is a delightful interviewer. It's clear she has her own idea of things when she begins, but she's agile enough to pivot if the interviewee starts taking things in a different direction, which I personally think is an incredibly valuable skill for interviewers. And while her podcast clearly has a focus, a thematic question if you will, she doesn't try to force the episode to actually answer anything, and I think that's for the best. If there is an answer, I suspect it will come from taking the series as a whole and looking at it like a mosaic. Regardless, I'm eager to hear more.
Whoa. Sorry, I stepped away from the keyboard a moment and apparently, my new kitten did a little dance on the keys.
Oh, did I forget to mention I got a kitten? Say hello to Neko, who was a big help while I was proofreading.