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.

 

final day of medical leave: 21 days later: so many feelings, no more time.

hmmm. this is a hard one to write.

our last day of medical leave.

we have mixed feelings, to be honest.

a sense of relief (no cancer). a new perspective (god, we have Great Friends). well-rested (not a lot else to do even if lots of the sleep happened during the day and we watched movies and read during the small cruel hours of sleeplessness). well-read (see previous point – the small hours are good with a hot tea and a pair of glasses perched on our nose while snuggled under the covers against Tons of Nice Pillows).

we are also aware that Everything Must Change.

not sure how that will happen.

but we’re ready for it, whatever It Is.

and we have some ideas – including a book and a “kindness kit” business and lots of other hopefully brilliant “gosh where did they come from?!” concepts and the movie screenplay about Holly Hart and her tumors/tumours – hell, yeah, of Course we’re going to fictionalize this Whole Experience – and we’re geared up to write a second movie starring Gloria (see here for more about that)

here’s where it all started…….after the initial “lumps” found back in April 2011, and then the ultrasounds and biopsies and then the Hideous Line: “WE FOUND A MASS AND NEED TO OPERATE” (yeah, it felt like shouting)

Posted on June 17, 2011 by teamgloria

so team gloria has a date for the surgery –

september 9th –

and the rather hideous diagnosis of:

“thirty percent chance of cancer”

and – shocking –

we have three tumors/tumours, not just tobias.

this isn’t the realm of the unwell – it’s a veritable breeding machine inside our throat.

(the rest of this post is here)

and ever since then, we’ve been through So many Feelings (btw, we just deleted a whole bunch of spam in the comments and got Very Cross with one – that may have been an auto-generated-response-bot – that said we were WHINING. huh? our response was unprintable. and thankfully un-typed. isn’t Hitting the Delete Button a blessing, darlings?)

for any reason, if you’ve just joined us (perhaps from Instagram? hello! we Adore Instagram) and wonder what the hell all this talk is about it starts here:

and now we attempt to return to the Day Job. (ahem, no, they don’t know we call it that ;-) #giggle

let’s see what happens next. when this blog returns to documenting our search for glorious people, places and things once more (and our La Vie Jet-Set).

so here are a few pictures from our last blessed day of healing from all-that-has-happened-so-far.

final look at the view from where we take our fake thyroid hormone pills and then the calcium a bit later and have to steady ourselves for the nausea.

we met jT for tea at 10AM (before we had our hair cut to look presentable for Corporate America tomorrow) and he was wearing a magical god from the Incas. it spoke to us so we asked if we could take a picture (we asked jT, not the Inca god).

we then (post haircut) took a walk to meet Jonathan and talk a while and rest at ground support (we wish they had a web site because we’d link to them then but if you’re in the neighborhood/area/locale they’re on west broadway just south of spring).

then Jonathan’s phone rang and his AGENT CALLED (we love these kind of moments) and HE JUST GOT A NEW ROLE ON A TELEVISION SERIES! (isn’t that fabulous). despite his great excitement we persuaded him to pose for an anonymous style shot of the actor, resting, who has just marked down his start date for shooting – he was Very Kind and did this (see below).

we then spent a little while resting (as we Have Been through Surgery just under three weeks ago and our strength is not yet returned) and, after his Day at the Office had ended, the lovely jW (of the CT jW1/jW2) dropped by and we had a brainstorm and a nice pot of tea and a walk (we are getting Lots of Exercise) and then we split some rather nice cheese from a local creamery (so chic and supporting local businesses as we have been doing for the entire medical leave as we couldn’t go anywhere).

and so – tomorrow – back to work. and a New Chapter.

(talking of new chapters – William sent us a final medical leave gift – too kind! of Roy Strong’s delicious book about England – chapter 1 is entitled “Gloriana” – we are Tickled Pink – and will be reading it tonight.)

 

 

post-surgery wisdom (we just reached the angry stage).

(soundtrack to this post, in case you’re curious: McAlmont & Butler – Yes – thanks to William and we’d like to point out – in our Youth – we wrote a very nice piece on David M for a certain Australian magazine…..)

the hardest thing to bear has been the relentless optimism (which might be appropriate if one has been brought up here in the land of – ahem – denial) and the minimizing of our current reality and imminent future (no, to be honest, we’re not “raring to get back to work” – we feel really sick and would like the time to recover if that’s not too much to ask).

we’re all for acting only on the evidence to date.

but we’d just like to say one BIG thing we’ve know now: post-surgery.

………………….when someone gets a diagnosis of

“you have a tumour/tumor and we found a mass and need to operate”

we are going to say:

here’s what we did when we heard that.

we’re NOT going to say “everything’s going to be fine”*.

because – the middle bit – between diagnosis and eventual full recovery (one hopes) is Not Fine.

It Hurts.

And It Sucks.

A Lot.

and here’s another thing we’d like to say.

for everyone who said:

oh, that’s exactly what happened to my friend X

(and then you ask them for details – most of the time they don’t actually have details – but when they do it turns out to be some keyhole surgery – Not What We Had At All and we have the nasty Frankenstein’s monster/monstre/creature black and blood encased wound on our neck to prove we had our Throat Slit)

OR some people (who Really ought to know better – hmmm, that was our Nancy Mitford voice then – crisp and Rather Withering) said:

so – and – so was right as rain shortly after

not to be dramatic (oh, how we lie ;-)

we’d like to put our hand on our heart and remember these people who once had a doctor sit in front of them and say:

“you have a tumour/tumor and we found a mass and need to operate”

a  n  d                        d  i  d  n  ‘ t                           m  a  k  e             i  t

goodnight and sweet dreams wherever you are: Liz T, Greg P, John D, Ruth P and so many more………..

!good news!: we managed to speak later today. and not just through teamgloria.com – actual sounds. damaged vocal chords for a little while. sounded like us circa 1995 on 2 x packets of Camel Lights (forgive us) a day and the other bad habits. but it felt good to TALK. and especially TO LAUGH. And then to have a little cry (ABM was a GEM and read to us from Armistead Maupin and we taught him how to say “shall I be mother” as he picked up the teapot to top us up).

 

we went to Hell. And made it back

Oh dear god(s).

That was a trip to Hell and no mistake.

But we made it back. And will be recovering slowly over the next few weeks.

Tobias the tumour/tumor and his sisters are gone. There were complications (skip this bit if you’re squeamish) and we were under the knife for almost five hours while they removed glands and thyroid and tumors and glands twisted around tumors and worse. We can feel it. A deep intense pain.

Last night was the longest night of team gloria’s life (and if you’ve been with us for a while you know that we’ve endured and survived long-haul and subsequent jet lag to asia and back but this was Much Worse). Each hour was agony. And so cruel.

Plus side (we needed to find one) – the view from our hospital bed is ten floors up and rather twinkly manhattan and a rosy dawn this morning so that’s nice.

And the robe for surgery was a lovely lilac (so surprising!) with some cool tech inside which enabled our body to stay alive and warm during surgery.

We are not bombed on narcotics – refused all – going with (huge strength) tylenol and now off the UV drip and reading a little but mostly listening to The Archers podcast for dreams of an english countryside while blocking out our awful staggered heavy breathing from the tortuous bandage around our neck (which is a hell of a lot better than the surgical collar with – YUM – a blood drain – which we had all last night.

So – this bit is over.

They couldn’t tell if the tumors were blessed with C powers so they been frozen and sent to the Lab to be sliced and examined by people with large Lab glasses and Big Brains.

We’ll let you know.

Need to sleep again now.

Thanks so much for all the messages!!!!! We feel very loved.

And that really helps :)

september 9th.

so team gloria has a date for the surgery –

september 9th –

and the rather hideous diagnosis of:

“thirty percent chance of cancer”

and – shocking –

we have three tumors/tumours, not just tobias.

this isn’t the realm of the unwell – it’s a veritable breeding machine inside our throat.

the plus side (we live in the USA these days, there has to be a plus side, people) is we’ve finished a photography book (called “how to stay sane in a crazy world” – yes, we are an expert on THAT, darlings) and someone tremendously important and experienced has agreed to be our agent.

to sum up:

team gloria has tumors/tumours – but we have an agent.

welcome to America.