A swarm of red ink ants: The edited manuscript of my book
Well, if told you I had been sweating bullets, hiding under my covers, or soiling my undergarments I would be engaging in hyperbole. I haven’t been completely worried about what my editor, Karen Adams, was going to say about/do to my book. I’ve lived with the chapters for four years, poured over them, and tried my best to improve each sentence as best I could. I did a bit of cut-and-paste, added over a hundred pages of material that I thought would make it funnier or more poignant, and so forth. I have been as thorough as I could be and I have been guardedly confident in the results.
Having said all that, I must admit to seeing ninja editors out of the corners of my eyes. They’ve been lurking in the shadows, waiting to strike out whole chapters, maybe even getting ready to slam my writing as that of an imposter, a poseur, a dilettante. How dare you, sir! I have had these feeling before in my life, like the time I had to meet Clive Davis at the Beverly Hills Hotel by myself to talk about my songs and my readiness to make to make a solo album for Arista. I drove my old AMC Pacer onto the grounds of that storied hotel and parked at the bungalows. My fear was palpable that day. It wasn’t red-ink ants, it was sweat bees.
But, I don’t want to bore you with the details of that encounter: after all, it’s in my book, which, by the way, got the A-OK from Karen! She said in her note that she enjoyed my story and thought I had done a good job with various aspects of it. Her corrections are basically technical and I agree with all of them. In the process of writing nearly four hundred pages of memoir I sometimes lost sight of the trees for the forest, if you catch my lumberjack drift.
Karen didn’t use the words dilettante, imposter, fraud, or any of the other descriptive titles she might have pinned on me. My only problem is that now I’ve got this enormous manuscript that looks as if it’s been attacked by an army of red-ink ants. I will rely on my publisher for advice on how to move forward with this. Lord help me, I hope someone else can do the copy editing. I have other things to write.
So now my book nears the galley-proof phase and goes off into reviewland. This is where the book will get slammed, if it’s going to. My guess, based on what I’ve seen so far, is that the reviews will be not be damning. I don’t think anyone is going to proclaim me the next Annie Proulx or Cormac MacCarthy, but this is a rock memoir after all and not The Shipping News or The Crossing. I have gotten some very kind comments on the book so far from those who have read it. I like the part where the Akkadians storm the gates while out hero sweeps the busty priestess away in the grip of his muscular arms..oh wait, that’s one of my other books….
Now…. on to the book tour, which is beginning to rear its mileage-draped- early-morning-local- TV-plug-your-new-book-slot- and- bookstore- signing head. I am ready! The unofficial start will be a signing event at the Pensacola Songwriter’s Festival Oct 2nd. Then the official kick-off at the Playhouse Theater in San Anselmo, CA, Oct. 14th and 15th , with readings from the book, a big-screen photo slideshow, and three band segments, including a reunion with my oldest brother-in-arms from Clover (and before) , Mitch Howie…from there, my old Ford Escape will roll across the great land of ours until it dies. Let me know where I should be in your town: bookstores, TV, radio, and performance venues.
So, I breathe just a tiny bit easier this morning.
I have wanted to find a project that would fire my imagination until the book comes out. As if in answer to my query of the Universe, I recently connected to a group in Canada called Fur Is Mean ( an answer the “Fur Council of Canada’s” sickening ad campaign, “Fur is Green”..oh, yeah, trapping animals and skinning them is so eco-friendly..Fur is not “Green”, it’s actually drenched in red blood). I’m currently revved up about writing a song and putting together a video that will be useful in bringing consciousness to the public regarding the fur trade in Canada and China -in China they skin dogs alive for some ungodly reason.
I’ve written two very angry songs already (one of them is kind of a rap thing- I call myself M&M P’nut)and posted videos with some disturbing images at thealex8675309 / YouTube. But the ‘real’ song (and its video) is still waiting out there in the woods for me to find it and set it free…
Have a great day and please forgive any early morning typos
Alexander the Gripe