Despite the general Awesomeness of this setup, I have been working my tuchus* off on a project that includes coming up with a book idea, writing a query letter, designing the jacket, and laying out the book's front matter and first few pages.
*Don't you just love Yiddish? Now that's a Wikipedia page worth spending some time on.
I actually wrote a short essay (about my mother) for the first chapter of a collection I'm calling Rootless. The title's meanings are as deep as they are several, and I won't presume to tell you what to think, but I'll hint that it has to do with me having lived for long periods in various and disparate places, and also math. Like square root? And how I don't do math, in the philosophical sense?
While the essay itself is an actual attempt at writing something worthwhile, I found that when it came to writing the blurb for the jacket flaps, I had run out of steam. About the third paragraph, I just went where my thoughts took me (always a dangerous little game).
(click on it to enlarge)
Yeah, um, it's incumbent upon me to confess that those cover quotes are either made up (Quaddafi, for example) or borrowed (Michiko Kakutani's and Chelsea Cain's were lifted from the back of a David Sedaris book and modified).
But it's fun to pretend, isn't it?
That's something I've learned from Ethan lately. Within the past few weeks, his imagination has really kicked in. Last night I was sitting in his dim room, rocking while he was supposed to be going to sleep. He began telling me a story in a whisper, which slowly became sotto voce, and finally ended up as just plain old shouting.
At first we started off in a spaceship, which had to be maneuvered around comets, "cay-noes" (volcanoes) and "melums" (meteors), then there was something about planting all sorts of vegetables (yesterday we also planted tomatoes and peppers in containers), and in a surprising twist, we ended up working our way through seven tunnels, one of which was a hexagon. I dunno, the plot was complex.
Beyond the unpredictability and excitement of his developing and wild inner life, Ethan's creativity even extends to relationships. He's started viewing people differently, as companions, instead of just props and useful automatons. I've mentioned Ethan's best friend before, although in his young mind he has many best friends: all the people who love and care for him. I know this, because he tells us so.
"Daddy's my dude. He's my guy. He's my good guy."
"I know, sweetheart."
And the other night, when he came in from sky-watching with Noah, he told me I was "pretty like the stars." Hmm. I should have used that as a jacket quote.