1) People treat you differently when you're wearing a blazer, slacks, heels, and even lipstick instead of your usual mommy uniform of a t-shirt, jeans/capris/sweat pants and sandals. They look at you different and speak to you differently. The entire attitude is something I don't get in my day-to-day life. It was very odd.
(I spent much of the day at the Whitney booth at the LDS Booksellers Convention and ran a couple of errands before and after in my more dressed-up clothes. After having several moments like this, I wanted to yell, "Really, I'm a mom! I don't usually look like this!")
Contrast that with the sweats, ponytail, and zero makeup I had on when Josi from Sundial in the Shade dropped by to pick up some Whitney stuff last week. You know you have a true friend when they don't notice (or, more likely, don't mention) that you look like a drowned rat.
2) While at the convention, I discovered a painting that I just might beg and plead for Covenant to license to use on the cover for Tower of Strength. Al Rounds, the artist whose temples grace my other historicals, has only one Manti Temple painting, and it's a winter scene. That won't work for this book. So unless he paints something new (and quick!) I might not have him on my next cover, and that makes me sad.
The picture I found would be the next best thing. It's by Cortney Lunt, and they told me that it's a brand new painting, so you won't find it online, but you can get an idea of her style at that link.
Since my editor wasn't there today (I missed seeing you, Kirk!), I dragged his colleague Kat over to show it to her. She agreed it would be great on a cover. After that, I had a ball chatting with both Kat and Rachel. They're awesome gals, and Covenant is lucky to have them on board.
3) I'm on the countdown. If I'm estimating right, I'm within 10,000 words of finishing the first draft of my work in progress. The pieces that have been circling are slowly coming together. I really hope I can pull this one off the way it's in my head. The story, characters, and entire concept mean a lot to me, but I'm not sure if it's working on paper as a whole. Yet.
4) While walking out of the library yesterday with my kids (wearing my trusty mommy uniform), a man in the parking lot stopped me and said, "I listened to one of your books and really enjoyed it."
Whoa. That's NEVER happened to me before. No one ever recognizes me unless I'm standing next to a table with my books on it at a signing or I'm at a writers conference with a name badge.
I was so (pleasantly) surprised, that I came back with, "Really? Cool. Thanks! Which one?"
He rather sheepishly couldn't remember the title or even the cover. So that leads me to a few questions:
Do I know this guy? (He looked familiar, but I couldn't place him. He hadn't seen my children before, though. Hmm.)
Did he somehow recognize me in my mommy uniform based solely on my author photo at the back of the book?
Or did he mistake me for another writer? (And it was their book he'd listened to?)
I'll never know the answers. But the moment was a nice ego stroke regardless, even if I had zits all over my face, a stained shirt, and fly-away hair.
Lesson learned: When someone says they enjoyed you work, take the compliment and move on.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Today: A List
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Congrats on the recognition. It's always fun to be recognized.
Although I found that I was recognized more when I didn't have my make up on. Which didn't make me feel any better about my picture.
Always take anything you possibly can as a compliment.
You get, "you look a lot worse than you did yesterday."
You respond, "Oh, you thought I looked good yesterday? That's so nice!"
Congrats on being so near to completing your work in progress - I can't wait to read it!
And yes, I know who you are and all that good stuff.
Also, I sometimes dress up spiffy when I go grocery shopping just to throw people in our tiny rural town off a bit. So fun.
I haven't been recognized yet, outside of conferences and the like. I'm still waiting for that day. But I'll probably look terrible when it happens.
I did have one comment, though, that had me very perplexed. I was at a signing and this guy picks up my book and looks at the picture. "How many years ago was *this* taken?" he says to me.
Was that good or bad?
I've noticed that too, about the dressing up. It's sad in a way... but it does make me think twice before I go outside.
You looked infinitely comfortable when I saw you--I have as many days where I do NOTHING to prepare myself for the world and I have a secret love of it when other people do the same thing now and again. And I agree, people do treat you differently because of it. Good luck with the cover and congrats on the recognition, that's awesome.
Yeah for almost having your book done!
Double yeah! for someone recognizing your brilliance-- even if you were in your mommy uniform!
Triple yeah for... getting your car out of ICU. Hopefully Jorge didn't move in! :>)
How fun that someone recognized you while you were out and about. You probably looked nicer than you think you did.
I have to say I am so impressed with your organization. To know that you have 10,000 words left...how do you do it?
I hope the cover works out as beautifully as the others.
Jami, after a while you get a feel for how much story is left, how many scenes it'll take, and so on. Now that I've written another 4,000 words, I think it'll end up 5,000 words longer than I thought. But part of it is also knowing your market and how long a book in it *should* be. If it goes too much longer than that, it'll have to be cut. I usually end up adding a few scenes per my editor's suggestion, so I try to keep my books under the cap so when I add something, it's still the right length--if that makes sense.
That's the long answer.
The short one: I've written lots and lots of books (WAY more than have been published). It's something you learn. :)
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