what not to say when someone you know has a book deal.

darlings

*looksquicklytocamera4withashysmile*

s o me b o d y  h a s   s  e  e n   i t

*gasps*

and we just Happened to have called them (such are the mysterious and delicious ways of Serendipity) and they whispered that they had a copy on their desk.

(they were near the Warehouse when the Shipment came in, ready to be sent, in large boxes we hope – apart from the kindle editions which will go wrapped in virtual-tissue-paper-with-japanese-sequins we are convinced)

and this is what they said.

“it’s really beautiful.”

did you hear that?

*sighs_prettily*

we were meant to be a grown-up at that point in the Telephone call but we had to pause as If we were thinking about something Useful for a future Point to be Made but actually we had to put a hand over the receiver (yes, it was the Princess Phone) and make sure our tears did not tumble over eyelashes and onto the laptop.

“it’s really beautiful.”

wow.

so it’s Real.

it now exists.

it has been an idea, a manuscript, a annotated mock-up, a pitch copy, a word doc with different iterations of edit notes from our Publisher in Manhattan (such a lovely phrase) and a package-to-be-sold (elegantly) by our Agent and now, well, now, it’s Real.

which means we are Almost an Author.

and there have been various reactions to this imminent event.

some of which have pleased us GREATLY (the delicious responses to articles that were written to promote, the kind previews from people who had access to Netgalley – quelle moderne)

and others?

*bites_lip*

hmmm.

well.

those have made us cross.

but (said Very Brightly) all is not lost.

because we can Write about it Here.

let’s go back a tiny bit.

remember this post?

it’s one of our Most popular (and shared widely on the “social graph” as the MBAs opine which just means “a lot of people liked it and sent the link to their nice friends via tweets, facebook wall-thingies and old-fashioned-but-still-very-effective-Email and also through Google+ – especially if they live in Berlin or San Francisco and perhaps even an emoticon-over-the-top dashed off Instant Message or two – it has happened)

so we thought we’d do a Follow-Up and see if this amuses/helps too.

What Not To Say When Someone You Know Has A Book Deal (our answers interspersed so when this happens to you, you’ll have a riposte or two)

1. oh! really? (confused slightly angry pained stomach look) – I had no idea you wrote.

[this means, “I write. You were a Suit.”]

2. oh! really? how did YOU get a book deal?

[depending on the time you want to spend with this person, you could do the short version: “I wrote one.” or the longer exposition: “I blogged everyday, had a story to tell, took all the photographs, went through the surgery, and medical leave, kept writing, mocked up a book using blurb.com, sent out MANY letters to agents, had lunch, took people to lunch, was taken to lunch, accepted all introductions humbly and showed up with hair brushed and chapstick applied, sent thank you notes,  finished it, polished it, started a blog to promote it, found an audience, had it nicely typed with double spacing and a cover letter with marketing materials and plot lines and prospective audience segments and competitive set and requisite sales figures of similar books, kept writing, got signed by an agent, did ALL the revisions she suggested without complaining, kept writing, more revisions, let my agent do her job and didn’t pester her during the sales process, squealed on the street in manhattan when she left a darling message saying I had a book deal, sent her white roses to say thank you, met with the Publisher again, did LOTS of revisions, took more photographs as requested, more revisions and fact checking, kept writing, was patient, sent out 500 – yes – 500 – personal notes to people on a postcard with a cover of the book to ask them if they’d like to see a press copy or just to say thank you to them for inspiring me – including ALL Librarians who have helped us to a great education, kept writing, did more revisions, final fact checking, showed up whenever asked for press meetings, wrote articles to promote the book, didn’t complain, ever, kept writing, more thank you notes – that’s it, basically, that’s how we did it. Any questions?”]

3. will it be available in the shops?

[translation: did you really find a Real Publisher who ships to actual stores?]

4. when is it coming out? (we liked this one particularly when they professed to have enjoyed our 60 second promo video which clearly states the launch date but at the end so perhaps they never got that far)

[as much as we were DYING to bust them on not having watched the promo, we didn’t. “Feb 18th” was our only answer and “Yes, very excited.” *sighs*]

5. I have a manuscript. Well, not really a manuscript. I mean it’s not Finished. But I’ve sketched out a few ideas for a chapter or two. Just the final chapter really. I mean I know how it ends but not, you know, the Actual story………………..would you read it/send it to your agent/edit it for free?

[I’m not a literary agent. Or a publisher. And definitely not an Editor. So – When you’ve finished it, polished it, started a blog to promote it, found an audience, have it nicely typed with double spacing and a cover letter with marketing materials and plot lines and prospective audience segments and competitive set and requisite sales figures of similar books – sure, I’ll ask my agent if she wants to read it.]

6. I thought you had a proper job.

[translation: I’d love to leave my job but I’m terrified. How dare you do it and prove it’s possible.]

7. Bet you miss that salary in Manhattan. It’s not like anyone can actually make a living from writing anymore.

[actually we are.]

8. Oh. Yeah, I heard that you had a book or something. Send us a copy.

[translation: I’m not going to spend money buying your book. I’m far too important.]

9. But you’re still consulting, right? Just to be safe?

[translation: I hate my job. I hate that you love your life. How dare you.]

10. are you still writing that little blog? you did seem to enjoy writing it.

[no response. d e l e t e.]

11. Oh. is it only in American? I suppose it won’t get translated into other languages unless it really is something that sells extremely well.

[no response. but last time we checked the American domestic market with international sales was pretty healthy.]

Oh that felt SO GOOD!

wish we’d been honest years ago.

but there again we might not have needed a 5 and a half hour surgery to remove tumo(u)rs from our throat if we had been, like, Totally Honest all these years.

in other news.

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while we wait for a preview copy of our own book *blush*, we sit in wonderment with Ms. Janet Flanner who makes for Extremely Entertaining company. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

we read her very early in the morning before we start our day. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

also reading the Tales of another extraordinarily Adventurous writer. more on Annemarie Schwarzenbach soon’ish. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

there’s something so delicious looking at our own bookshelves, modest as they are, and imagining how excited our own book will be to nestle between Noel and Truman and Sybille…….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

or possible Plum Wodehouse and Cecil and Miss N. Mitford…..OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

or Vita Sackville-West and Madame Spanier….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

talking of PARIS (which we always are when we mention Madame Spanier), we’ve been trying to Track people that we used to know whom we spent time with in Paris but to no avail, as yet.

we can hear their voice as a clear as a bell when somehow, someone tells them, that who-we-are-in-RL has a Book coming Out.

OH SOPHS!!

much twinkling will ensue.

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and we think of our adventures that have taken us to other Continents and worlds beyond our knowledge thanks to that fancy job in Manhattan (and our own strangely compelling personality that Likes to Explore and Ask Lots of Questions). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

a question we’ve been getting lately is: “are you having a book launch?”

and the answer is No.

for several reasons:

1. book launches are from the days before the Interweb when you needed a “Splash” in the Papers from all the book reviewers lurking in the dark corners of your Party with the cheap plonk and dodgy appetizers.

2. book launches are for photographs (and you know we’re not Awfully keen on being photographed).

3. book launches are where people might make comments (see above 1 – 10) and they’re Impossible to d e l e t e or movetospam/trash, unlike online *ironiceyebrowtocamera2*OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

we take a little time to admire our prior personality with the much-longer-name which used to appear in magazines in the *gulps* mid-90s (this is the cover story of Punch if you were peering closely and wondered).
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and we’ve met many a shy talented person to interview them in our former life (this is the wonderful Mr. David Sims)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and then there’s You.

which is why we have a book at all.

because if we hadn’t stayed here – especially with our Throat bound post-surgery when we could-not-talk – and Told You what it was like to go through it all and come out the other side – we might have Put it Behind Us (which it what an Awful lot of people told us to do) and then, well, then, we’d never have had the confidence to keep going and Write a Book. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

so we’ll keep writing.

because you are here.

and we can have a launch party of our very own.

*winningsmiletocamera1*

thank you for listening.

 

a year ago today: back in L.A *exhales*

darlings

it’s been an ENTIRE YEAR since we returned to Los Angeles to live (and thrive).

*exhales*

and, gosh, hasn’t it been a Tremendous journey thus far?

as we sit here, smiling at the glorious sunshine as it fills teamgloria towers, carrying on with our delicious thoughts ruminating in the psyche, who-we-are-in-RL is tap-tap-tapping-at-the-keyboard next door, busy doing her Consulting Calls and sending Pitch ideas to Editors abroad, as requested (ah, the life of a Foreign Correspondent – quelle glam) and writing Features, we thought we’d do a Small Amount of thank you (digital) Correspondence:

to the ladies of Good Housekeeping (and probably a few chaps too – which would be nice) for the blog post that went live this morning at 0700 hours Greenwich Mean Time (mean as in average not snippy):

GHJan16thblogpost

to the lovely readers who wrote into Red magazine after our feature in the Nov issue to express their thoughts *moist_eyes* – this is very moving being all public and people appreciating our words *farofflooktocamera*

RedmagazineNovLetter

and to our delicious publicist at the Publisher in NYC (such a delightful phrase), Ms. Erin Dupree – who keeps booking us for LIVE (eek) radio shows

upcoming radio shows:
how to stay sane in a crazy world

January 29th: Out of the Fog Radio with Karen Hager 12 noon Eastern time

February 17th: Diane Ray: Hay House Radio: I Can Do It Hour: 11AM Pacific time

February 22nd: David Essel Alive!: 6.30PM Eastern time

*gulp* – we better get our Radio Voice Ready *gargles_with_salt*

how exciting.

just taking a moment (as they say in all the best audio meditations) to recall how frightened we were at Doing This Move from our life in Manhattan to settle back in L.A – the moving and unpacking of boxes, sleeping on an inflatable mattress which didn’t live up to its name in the middle of the night, watching the sunrise over malibu while still on East Coast Time, getting a driver’s license for California (and having to re-take the Written test), and a Library Card (very important – especially if one is trying to be more prudent with funds instead of relying on Mr. amazon), leasing the Perfectly Prius, finding an Attorney and (finally) getting a Californian Bank Account for teamgloria, inc

because we wanted a Different Life – to write and take photographs every day and to be Helpful with our 17 years experience in the magical world of 1s and zeroes (digital, if that mystified you for a second) – and we had a dream of doing so

and now it’s real – we do write (every day, not always for renumeration, but very often which is delicious but the point is to write, the money will flow), we love to be a Helpful Consultant (and we meet so Many interesting people by doing so), the Photography (despite the Exhibition) hasn’t really taken off – but we do take pictures every day and perhaps the world will be more curious about our pictures when the BOOK comes out in *gasps* 4 weeks.

has it been SCARY at times?

yup.

really SCARY.

has it Stopped us?

hell, no.

but do you know the most important thing?

well.

*hesitates_bites_lip* (prettily)

in order to live like this (wild and free and with very little if any safety net) we have Often found ourselves running or not stopping to pause and be Part of things (because there was too much to Do) and sometimes – well – we felt that if we Did – we’d be asked to Join In and Settle Down and have a somewhat Normal-sized life) and so – *gulps* – we sort of didn’t Always tell people that we were actually teamgloria, inc and that we got a Literary Agent (such a lovely phrase) and that we even had Tobias and his sisters (we don’t like to Worry people especially when they are so far away) and, so, what we’re trying to say, is that we DID (finally) tell (our family) that we are teamgloria and Have A Book Deal and – well – the nicest thing happened – our favo(u)rite Uncle left us a little note here.

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and sent us an email (how modern)

This is news, didn’t know we had a budding Author in the family.
 
I will look out for this and give it a read, might even look up your TeamGloria Blog as well!
 *blush*
there is SO much they don’t know.
*looksnervouslytocamera*
oh well.
*giggles*
let’s see what Happens in Year 2 of Living Gloriously.

gosh – today’s deals from publishers marketplace.

darlings

it’s 4.07AM in Los Angeles and we’re waiting for the taxi-cab to arrive as we’re booked onto the early morning flight to the Other Coast.

so exciting.

as is This just in from our Literary Agent (such a lovely phrase) from the Trades.

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gosh.

we’re going to smile all the way across the USA to Manhattan.

see you on the Other side (of the country, not the veil of life, darlings)

most Excited.

about, well, everything.

what a difference 122 years makes (when you’d like to stay in America)

darlings

*sighs*

a Long Day.

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five hours were spent in medical offices – in and out of blue gowns that open-at-the-back which always reminds us Horribly of you-know-what.

now we’re Not Sick (that we know of – in fact since spending the last two months in California we’ve been feeling remarkably Well).

this was for immigration purposes.

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yes.

we did enter.

one needs to get the All Clear from all contagious diseases (including TB – hence a chest x-ray – have you had one recently? *shudder*) and have blood drawn and needles stuck in one’s arm removing even more blood (look away if you’re squeamish – we’re not – especially after you-know-what and we have to say our blood is a Most Vivid Vermillion, darlings) and then more needles inputting vaccinations and the like.

and then – definitely look away – they check – you know *shudder* for what they quaintly call communicable diseases – lie back and think of england indeed.

in fact if we’d done a little more thinking of England rather than Dreaming Of America as a small person, we wouldn’t be In this Situation.

we had all these tests in 2007 but (careful, careful, careful) it took the powers that be a little longer than perhaps they expected to get round to Us and so they asked for Fresh Tests (we did a whole throwing ourselves on the bed in a Tantrum when we found out – we were Not Well-Behaved – sad to say).

and now we Wait.

for the results.

in the meantime, we thought we’d do a little Research, darlings (a good Education is Never Wasted):

so we’ve been reading about what it used to take when one wanted to Be In America – the whole passage across an unknown and stormy sea, usually in either De Luxe accommodation or the sort of Steerage experience that is best forgotten – and then arrival at Ellis Island.

from 1891, Public Health Service medical officers pounced on anyone who looked Unlikely to make a Good American, but the process was swift and brutal (and without recourse to a second opinion) and took about 6 seconds.

The PHS defined its mission rather narrowly—preventing the entrance of disease to the nation—but PHS officers interpreted their job more broadly. In their eyes, the goal was to prevent the entrance of undesirable people—those “who would not make good citizens” [3]. In the context of industrial-era America, immigrants who would wear out prematurely, requiring care and maintenance rather than supplying manpower, would not make “good” citizens. By 1903 the PHS had elaborated two major categories: “Class A” loathsome or dangerous contagious diseases and “Class B” diseases and conditions that would render an immigrant “likely to become a public charge.”

The diagnostic protocol emphasized the physician’s “gaze,” demonstrating the conviction that disease was written on the body. Dr. Albert Nute, while stationed in Boston, argued that “almost no grave organic disease can have a hold on an individual without stamping some evidence of its presence upon the appearance of the patient evident to the eye or hand of the trained observer” [5]. Exemplifying this notion, PHS regulations encouraged officers to place a chalk mark indicating the suspected disease or defect on the clothing of immigrants as they passed through the line: the letters “EX” on the lapel of a coat indicated that the individual should merely be further examined; the letter “C,” that the PHS officer suspected an eye condition; “S” indicated senility; and “X,” insanity [6].

PHS officers immediately transferred those bearing chalk marks—typically 15 to 20 percent of arrivals—to either the physical or mental examination rooms. In the semi-private, single-sex physical examination rooms, immigrants partially disrobed and were examined with stethoscopes, thermometers, and eye charts. Sometimes height and weight were measured. Those suspected of having mental defects met with a PHS officer who asked them simple questions, such as their name or age, and gave them tests that required manipulation of cubes or puzzles or interpretation of events depicted in photographs. At the conclusion of the medical or mental examination, the immigrant would receive an OK card or a medical certificate.

well, it seems that the borders are still as tightly defended:

SARS, avian flu, bioterrorism: such threats to national security at the dawn of the 21st century have renewed anxieties about controlling disease at the nation’s borders.

and of Course we Completely understand that when it’s Your party you get to make the guest list and hire bouncers to keep out those one doesn’t like.

but we just wish it took Slightly Less Time to decide whether you want teamgloria Here – for good.

because we had a little meltdown on the subway after being poked and prodded and injected and removed of one’s blood.

it’s the Not Knowing that’s hard.

we’ve spent 12 years not making any Concrete Plans for the future.

and now we’re not sure we’d know How To.

the Lovely aspect of this is that one has such a Joie de Vivre about the Day at hand.

because one must stay cheery somehow.

and one has the Nicest friends to stay with while America decides whether to keep us permanently.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand if, in the end, it decides it doesn’t want us – well – there are Other Countries *looksvaguelytocamera* – Lots, right?

plus we signed our book contract today *blush* and one can Write from anywhere, non?

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just somewhere delicious please.

and not Rainy (it was Very Rainy in Manhattan today – quite the frizz).

a red letter day.

darlings

today was a red letter day.

do you know the origin of the term?

we just checked – just to be sure – well, in the medieval calendars a holy, or special (most probably holy, it being medieval and all that) day was marked with a red letter (by the monks – solitary or perhaps a team of monks in the Larger Monasteries – transcribing).

the whole day just felt as if it unfolded in a way that left us no impulse (strange, but true, and Rare) to control or plan or get-anywhere-quickly (we walked for several hours between appointments across the park and back, in fact – it’s amazing to relax into a day instead of ticking-off-a-list).

a glorious day. indeed.

may we share some pictures?

here’s sort of the order of our red letter day, today.

and no – we don’t have a telephoto lens – the birds just seemed to pause and perhaps preen a little, waiting for us to take the shot – isn’t that amazing?

we felt so calm and peaceful and in-admiration watching them there, just hanging out with a “yes, our feathers are particularly fine today, on your red letter day, go ahead, take the shot, dear” sort of a birdlike smile. (do birds smile? ours did).

and then we made our way downtown because, while standing on Lexington in the 30s, at about 4.40PM – after leaving an Event of some import – we picked up a voicemail.

they made an offer!

yes.

a delicious Publisher is interested in making the teamgloria book Real.

gasp.

we always wondered what it would be like to get offered a book deal.

and now we know.

it feels Rather Similar to when we Very Young (about 4, maybe 5-and-a-half) and we were in France (in Nancy, not Paris, on that occasion), and we were given red grenadine syrup with fizzy water and it went up our nose and gave us giggles and a feeling of Utter Wonder and Excitement at Life.

that’s how it feels.

like we just tasted grenadine syrup with bubbles and the whole world is Utterly delicious.

so we celebrated by telling friends and meeting-up-with-them just off Houston street (alas, no grenadine, but some excellent Tea) and some hugs and then home to mount the latest decoupage onto the wall and write to You.

smiling at you via the Interweb.

and saying a thank you to everyone that helped us get Here.

to the grenadine-feeling.