July 04, 2006

Blogging from the smoke of Edit Hell

Happy Chinese Pyrotechnics Day!

Edit Hell continues, which is a bad thing, since not a lot of work is going to get done today, and the random fireworks let off by the neighbors isn't helping. By Thursday I should have my final notes in order, and then I have a decision to make as to when/how/if I'm going to change anything more in my manuscript. I have to give props to a wordsmith and true friend who unknowingly caused me to be less hysterical and to allow S.A.M. to preserve the fiction that no one does anything wrong but the writer. It takes a bit of getting used to, but remember this from my little meltdown moment: until it's published, your novel is not about you~!

After days in Edit Hell, one realizes that chocolate is actually its own food group. Amsterdam agrees. As reported in Arts section of the NY Times, this world's largest cocoa port is developing a chocolate theme park. A la Wonka, there will be a glass elevator and chocolate fountain and produce small amounts of chocolate. !!!!!!! It's due to open in a couple of years -- people, start saving for the pilgrimage. (And Holland should start bracing for great Dutch Migration -- between the hash and the chocolate, people will move there and never want to leave!!)

Incidentally, am I the only one who thinks that reuniting Nathaniel Hawthorne's decayed mortal remains with those of his long dead wife is just weird? Or is Edit Hell leaching me of all romanticism?

I love poking around and finding bizarre book news, or what I consider bizarre -- but here's one for most everyone's list: the American Bar Association has released its second novel in 127 years. It's a YA novel. Obviously. I mean, isn't the connection between the law and young adult literature obvious!? Maybe not... Publishers Weekly carried the report, describing the novel, Leapholes as, according to Tim Brandhorst, ABA's executive editor of publishing, "Harry Potter meets John Grisham. It's time travel with a legal twist."

I guess if you publish enough legal briefs, novels seem like a reasonable next step, I suppose. But it's not, people. It's just not. Although fantasy was a good genre choice... Okay, okay. I reserve all judgment until I at least read the book...


DaviMack said...

Justice is Fiction, my dear. I've just returned from traffic court.

Well, I was found "guilty," not that there was any doubt about the outcome, really. The indignity started when the judge asked the bailiff to have me spit out my gum. It was all down-hill after that, with the judge making the barest pretence of listening to me, and to considering anything other than that the officer was telling the absolute truth, and I was just wasting his time. Quite astute of him, actually, as that's what I was doing - wasting the court's time, as they've wasted mine (see Queueing Theory). But still, it's disturbing to have "justice" meted out with such pretence. Makes me sick, really, once again, to encounter the "justice" system and find that it's really such a rote machine whose sole purpose is to grind the populace into submission, and to reinforce the fear of law enforcement, prison, etc.

The officer was quite a good actor: he looked honestly puzzled when I asked him where he'd gotten onto the freeway before stopping me, and of course he paced me for 1/2 a mile before pulling me over. Never mind that he'd told me at the time of the citation that he'd been out making a stop at CMF, which put him entering the freeway at Alamo, all of 0.2 miles from where we pulled off at Peabody for him to cite me. So ... 1/2 a mile compressed into 0.2, never mind acceleration / deceleration. Quite a feat ... no wonder he looked puzzled.

So, I'll have to pay the court another $24 (if I'd paid at the court using a visa it would've been $31 - a seven dollar fee for using your card, ladies and gentlemen), and then go to traffic school (the court clerk helpfully told me that it should only cost $13 to take traffic school online, and I shouldn't let them charge me more than that).

"There must be power before there is law," said the knight. "And all laws bend to it." - John Dickenson, Cup of the World

Tim Brandhorst said...

The ABA's YA novel, Leapholes, is actually a fabulous book--though as the editor who acquired it, I may be slightly biased--and James Grippando is a wonderful writer. The connection is not as crazy as it might seem: one of the book's main themes is how the law grows and evolves over time (though this is treated via a time-travel fantasy).

Want to judge for yourself? Send me your snail mail address and I'll mail you an advance reader's copy. I think you'll like it. Certainly every 12-year-old we've given it to has.

Tim Brandhorst
Associate Director of Book Publishing
ABA Publishing