R.F. Simpson: You’re not out of job, we’re putting you in as head of our new music department.
Cosmo Brown: Oh, thanks, R.F.! At last I can stop suffering and write that symphony.
In the grand scheme I can’t help but wonder what I’m destined for. Greatness, Glory, Misery, Suffering, Heaven or Hell? And even if I knew, would that change the steps I’d take? Fortune and Glory, where’s my share? I wrote the book, I sent it to an editor who liked it so much that of all 150,000 words his only complaint was one name of one character. Apparently it had too many vowels.
Now there comes this…thing…that monster within the gut that roars whenever I think “publisher.”
In the endless sea of agents, manuscripts, slush piles, and paperbacks I find that my own book is a canoe, adrift with a single paddle amidst the turmoil and trouble of a strange and unnatural world where phantoms lurk in fathoms thousands of leagues deep, ready to rip away the very legs my book stands on.
All it takes is one big wave, one strong wind, or one curious shark to overthrow my dreams. Then again, all it takes is one calm day, one willing current, or one overly charitable God to get me to that paradise-inspired island of spotlights, greenbacks, and influence.
To tell the truth, I wrote the books so I could build my house. You know, that dream-worthy mediterranean villa smelling of rose and piñon perfumes amidst the humid breezes coming off the coastal beach but 400yards away? The one where i sit in the center of my spanish tiled courtyard wearing a ridiculous sunhat, giant sunglasses, sipping hot Earl Grey? What a wonderful fantasy for me, the daughter of rough-and-tough ranchmen and entrepeneurs. To live in a genteel environment, surrounded by a contentment found only in the hermitage of my own creativity.
The book is the gateway to those bay windows, to those soft linen curtains, to those warm tile floors of spanish clay. The book is the front door, the welcoming drive, the serenity I have desired.
Yet to get to paradise I must cross the hot coals, pass through the mists of uncertainty and swim through the slings and arrows that would threaten my sanity. ‘Sine Labor Nihil’ they say, Nothing Without Work.
So, a publisher. An agent who isn’t a thief. And a double, basic load of guts.
Short list…impossible odds.