We've had a bit of a good news/bad news vibe going on here. It is the end of the year, a time when people who hustle for work have to think about what income they might have, if any, in the following year. This is the first year that both of us have been doing the same thing, and it's a bit frightening.
The good news is that the boy book is a go. The editor sent a nice little note late last week and said that she was accepting the manuscript. Hooray! Of course there will still be edits and adjustments, but still. Hooray! I believe that about 7. 3 seconds elapsed before our agent sent a note back asking for the next check. I love having an agent. And that's why.
On the bad news side, well, there's plenty to go around. It's in all the headlines all around us. One of the companies that Larry works for now on contract basis just fired five people on Friday. (Oh, excuse me. They enacted a dramatic corporate restructuring that eliminated five positions.) How do we know this? Well, Larry was talking to one of these folks on the phone about a story and the guy said, "Oh, wait. Can I call you back? My boss is on the other line." He never called back. His computer was turned off and he was escorted from the building, we found out later.
Another place Larry works for depends on the automotive industry for funding. Enough said there. It's scary.
Talk to editors and agents now and they describe the book market as either skittish or lethal. That's not good news for anyone who wants to start a book project, as I do.
Still, irrational hope abounds.
Larry walked into the bedroom today holding the above title: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. Cute book. The kids like it. But Larry's looking indignant. He points to the book.
Larry: Know what this sold? (dramatic pause) A million copies.
Me: So I should be writing those?
Larry points at me and gives me his famous smirk.
Larry: Cloudy with a Chance of....Poopies.
I start doing the lip chewing thing. It's meant as a deterrent. It never works.
Larry: Everybody Poops? Big hit. How about: Everybody Pees.
Me: That's almost funny.
Larry: We could do a whole line of books about bodily functions. One could be called: Do Boogers Taste Good? Or...or...one called: Daddy, Why Do Farts Smell?
Me: So this is a memoir?
Larry walks out of the room, gets halfway down the hall and yells back.
Larry: It was written by a husband and wife team.
Larry: One wrote it, and one drew the pictures.
Me: So you'll be drawing the pictures?
Larry: Me? You can draw a turd, can't you?
I think that pretty much sums up our collective career prospects.