Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Delivering a novel!

Yes my office is chaos. (I have to admit this is an old photo. The exercise machines are gone, and the computer screen is now flat screen, which is more wonderful than chocolate.)
But there is a reason for the office mayhem.
Oh. My. God.

I delivered my novel to my agent. You have no idea what that feels like. As soon as I emailed the whole file to her, I was filled with panic. I suddenly remembered all these places that I needed to fix--Couldn't I make the dialogue better, richer? What about adding a scene at the end? Did I have too much backstory or not enough? And of course, how humiliating was it going to be for me if I talk about it here and my agent hates it and says it isn't ready? How can I teach my class at UCLA and pretend to be an authority when I am filled with my Jell-o heart? How can I take on private clients when I am in such angst?

Welcome to the world of being a writer. As I've said before, the only cure for this is to hurl yourself into a new project, so, in between obsessing, I am getting back to work. I'm back in 1950s suburbia and there's a murder. It's germinating from a short story I published (sometimes stories can stretch their legs) and so far, so good. And I'm writing a script, which is so much fun, I feel dazzled with happiness.

And I'm treating myself to this fabulous thing that goes on in Hoboken--a clothing swap! It's held in this huge airy loft by my friend Gerri Fallo, who organizes the Arts and Music festival here). Everyone jokes that somehow my girlie genes were short circuited because not only do I not like to shop, but I have never worn high heels in my life, I never have more than three pairs of shoes at a time, and my shoe of choice is stretchy black and flat. I've always dressed well...eclectic might be a good word, and there was a period when I was writing about high fashion for Macy's and I would walk into meetings wearing plastic pig earings, much to the disapproval of the fashionistas there. But, but, but, this is a blast. People bring in the clothing mistakes they have worn once or twice and you can pretty much pick whatever you want and walk out of there with bags of wonderful stuff! Last year I got some high end designer dresses and leather jackets--all in black (You can't take the NewYork City out of the girl, and anyway, the city is just 7 minutes away by PATH subway.) More than that, it's fun to hang out with other women, sip wine, and look at clothes that all have these amazing stories whispering up their sleeves.

Please stay tuned to the debut of this wonderful new magazine DAME. I'll be writing about all sorts of wonderful books for them.
In the meantime, is there such a thing as a post-novel-turning-in novel to read? I'm reading Golden Country by Jennifer Gilmore again, and it is flat-out wonderful.


Cindy said...

Caroline! I just discovered this blog. Yay, now I can keep up with when you new book will be out and other things.

Just sent you an email!


Clea Simon said...

Whoops! I commented on this entry - but in the wrong place (on your last entry). So let me just repeat: CONGRATULATIONS!! What a wonderful feeling, even with the "Jell-o heart." And for us readers it is so much fun to see inside the process -- thanks for inviting us in to your office, no matter how messy it is!

M said...

How interesting that even established, accomplished, award winning writers get this feeling. Congratulations on finishing your book. I checked out your web site and loved the personal essays. I hope all your dreams of books optioned into movies and screenwriting and all of it continue to come true for you!