Yesterday I spent my morning at Cornerstone Press's Stevens Point Office (actually, their only office, but it sounded cool to write it that way). I cannot tell you what a thrill it was to meet 20 strangers enthusiastic about my work. The ideas they're bringing to the project, the various networks and resources, the energy is really validating. A few things occurred to me as I drove home:
1) How cool for college students to bite off and chew a big, meaningful project. When I was at college, the only outlet for English students was contributing or running the campus newspaper--as you know, a newspaper is temporary--the news is constantly replaced with new news, so there's not a permanent "feel" to newspaper work. Compared to the people at the College of Natural Resources, who were busy saving species from extinction, improving the local wildlife refuge, creating boardwalks, studying Asian carp; liberal arts majors didn't have many opportunities to do much aside from writing essays and reading books. Important projects. I never had that experience. It's neat to see students get to own and manage a Big Project of Substance, like publishing and marketing a book.
2) The student editors BLOW ME AWAY. Besides being super nice, they have read my work with such close attention to all kinds of details that I know I'd never have caught at their age. Their professional ability is impressive as hell.
3) The marketing ideas they're tossing around are so INSPIRED! Everything I heard made me more thankful for this opportunity.
4) Whipped, Not Beaten will be available before Christmas. Just in case you were like Jen on the Edge and buying gifts for all your favorite aunts and girlfriends ahead of time.
5) Listening to people talk about my writing, how they related to it, how it affected them, made me believe in my work a little bit more. What a confidence-builder.
In short: I learned a lot, it was a good use of my day.
In other news, I'd sent this image to a few of my friends because it's kind of what I suspect about myself:
You know how you think you're really graceful and athletic, but in real life you're a flat-footed putz just clodding around and all that dexterity is in your head? (Maybe that's just me.) I've long suspected my running and my karate is like that. Not too pretty.
So the other day one of the karate dads sent me some photos he'd taken during our Black Belt test. Suddenly I feel less afraid of what I really look like--by some miracle (not photoshop), you can see in the image below that I'm actually OFF THE GROUND and the guy behind me? He's one of the brothers testing for his 3rd degree and we look a little alike. Except I don't have sideburns. Heh.
hasn't been kissing my butt all this time and maybe I am qualified to go on to a 3rd degree. Huh.
Happy Weekend, all. I'll be back Monday with the latest news about yeti sightings in the Back 40 and pictures of my Halloween Costume.