Thursday, November 13, 2008

back in the usa

Okay. I'm back, feeling much restored.

I'm not going to say I have a new lease on life because I've never been a conscientious tenant of that which I've leased. But I was just throwing a typical high-maintenance tantrum when I said in an earlier post that I was going to quit writing. So I will confidently restate the Smith calculus: I could no more quit writing than I could quit urinating. Not urinating equals exploding. Not writing equals exploding.

There. Unarguable in its perfection.

But writing does kind of make me feel like I'm imploding. Sometimes. When you do it right, I guess.

I'm writing a new book right now. Well, not right now, because I'm doing this -- blogging -- which is not writing. But, yeah, it's good. And I'm not going to write it as quickly as I did the last one because that was too painful and self-destructive.

A couple nice things happened while I was out of the country. Oh... and one horrible thing... I almost got arrested. I had visions of showing up as the subject of one of those prisoners-in-a-foreign-land-ruled-by-oppressive-and-soulless-tyrants documentaries.

Oh... I just remembered while typing this. A few days ago, I sat down and ate at a restaurant where they were serving cooked crickets and worms. I kid you not. Not that I want to come off as some sort of stuck-up, whiney ethnocentrist, but I thought that was really cool.

So. A couple of the nice things that happened: I got a really uplifting email from a fan of Ghost Medicine in Wisconsin (one of the most beautiful states in the union). It is the most awesome thing to make a connection with people so distant by just having put something out there that I never really wanted anyone to read, and felt so torn-up guilty for taking money for it; like I was prostituting my own child or something. Oh well... I digress.

I also got a couple ultra-cool messages from editors and others in the publishing/agenting world who'd somehow got to read in the path of falling objects, and they really boosted my subterranean level of confidence. So, thanks.

And... last night, I had a great talk on the phone with my agent, who was in Tokyo. The coolest thing about that is I could actually ask, "Is tomorrow going to be better than today?" and my agent could answer with absolute certainty*.

*Note-- it was tomorrow in Tokyo when I talked to said agent, but it was today when I was talking.