Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Losing Touch

Way back in 2002, when I was a newbie writer, things seemed a lot more important.

Getting interviewed was a big deal. I always made sure I updated my website the moment I scheduled an appearance somewhere. I prepared several days in advance for booksignings. I kept careful track of where my work was published. Getting an email from a fan would put a smile on my face for hours.

And I saved stuff. Lots of stuff. Newspaper articles about my work, reviews, convention programs, fan mail, flyers from appearances, and so on.

A lot has changed since then. I've done a lot of interviews, and lost track of most. I forget to update my appearance schedule on my website for weeks at a time. I know I have stories in upcoming anthologies and magazines, but can't remember them all, or even some of the titles. Answering fan mail has become work. And I've given up trying to save every piece of paper with my name printed on it.

Being a writer has lost much of its luster. Writing is no longer a dream. It's a job.

Mostly, this is good. I no longer obsessively Google myself or check my Amazon ranking. I trust that folks will find my interviews online without me having to link to them. I've given the same speeches and talks so often that I don't have to meticulously prepare beforehand. Instead of seeking out venues for my short stories, many venues seek me out.

But I sometimes miss that naive enthusiasm. I miss being excited by every little good thing that happens. I even miss obsessing over things I thought were really important but turned out not to be.

Wide-eyed wonder can't hold up against hard won experience.

But then Fed-Ex dropped off a box of my new paperbacks (Rusty Nail, the third Jack Daniels book) and I set one on my desk and glanced at it while I worked. Every time I saw it, I smiled. And I kept smiling for the rest of the day.

Things may not be new or fresh anymore, but they're still pretty damn cool. I just needed a reminder. Why plant roses if you don't stop to smell them every so often?

And on that note, here are three recent interviews:

I'll also be in the upcoming anthologies:

Tales From the Red Lion

Until Someone Loses an Eye

Chicago Blues

Perfectly Plum


Buy them all, along with the paperback of Rusty Nail if you were too cheap to spring for the hardcover...