Enough dawdling. I still have a few, far-fetched options, but recently the harsh truth arrived, twice in the same day, when both Atticus and McSweeney’s passed on my “VoM” manuscript – the two small presses I actually thought might may want to work with me.
Venus is supposed to keep moving – that’s what the planet does, that’s what the character Venus does in my book. When Venus stalls out in one place, very bad things start happening (except for that guy in Amarillo, who f—ed her brains out). Similarly, I know I’m f—ed unless I keep going forward.
“Thanks, but I’ve got to get going now,” I tell him, heading for the door, not sure whether I’m running away from something or toward something else, not sure whether this is goodbye or hello. Either way, I reason, I have to keep moving. The present is nothing more than an uncomfortable moment, and it’s already over.
So a very small but dedicated publishing collective (Precambrian) is going to work with me to get my book finished and out there. I’ll have to do a lot of the work (creating publicity materials, making contacts and planning events), but after sitting still for over a year while waiting on someone else to do this for me, I’m more than anxious to jump up and get going (I’m so ready that I’m writing this standing up).
I’ve had a great idea: to launch the book on June 5, when a rare astronomical event, the Transit of Venus, will occur (it’s when Venus passes in front of the sun, and there won’t be another one this century). I’ve been invited to observe the Transit of Venus with fellow planetary writer Bill Sheehan, either at Mt. Wilson near Pasadena, or at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff.
This makes sense – my character Venus is in transit for most of my book – she’s actually on a road trip from New Orleans to Pasadena, but also experiencing consciousness-raising and life-altering events (i.e. inner transit).
Sooner or later we all show up and sooner or later we all have to leave – but not before some amount of unraveling occurs.
“Unraveling” refers to a separation, but also to a clarification – a solution arrived at by means of teasing the otherwise baffling elements into sensible parts. At last I’ve unraveled my publishing dilemma.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get to work.