I read http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2004/03/22/midlist/ article yesterday about the woes of being a mid-list author (you can get a day pass to Salon if you're not a member). "O, that I could have such woes" I initially thought, but I do take her point about the difficulties of getting subsequent book deals if your first novel hasn't sold as well as was predicted, even if you got great reviews. It does come across as a bit of a whine, however, and it's hard to feel all that much sympathy for her complaints about having to find a job to support her writing habit. Surely very few people actually make a living out of writing.
Well, some people do, but a quick peruse of the best sellers list on Amazon suggests that get rich and dieting books are the way to go. Even books about writing seem to do better than straight up fiction books themselves.
Some time ago Thieu and I contemplated a few ideas for writing a best seller along these lines but sadly I've forgotten most of them. The only one I still recall was a book and cd set called Conductor-size which combined classical music cds with an exercise plan based on the movements of a conductor; the idea being that you would learn about classical music while toning your upper body.
As I hurtle towards my mid-thirties I am finding that my teeth are considerably blunter than they used to be. I blame the vegetarian diet - all that chewing. It's getting to the stage where biting through the layer of nori around a nori roll is an impossible task.
I ran an idea past Petite the other night for a set of serrated tooth caps that you could slide over the top of your front teeth to give you a little extra purchase on your dinner. They could be custom-made to match one's own enamel, or gold-plated for those who were so inclined.
On the tram home Petite says "Well, when I can't sleep I try to think of countries that start with A."
"Austria." I say, "Australia, Algeria."
"Albania, Argentina, Andorra" says Petite, "And sometimes I'll let myself have Antarctica."
The woman sitting near us says "America" and Petite shrugs. "I guess so."
By the time we're half way down Alma Road we're up to D.
"Djibouti" I say and we start to sing:
"Shake shake shaaaake
Shake shake shaaaake
This morning when I wake up the song is still in my head and I sing it as I ride my bike to work in the dark.
The woman behind the counter was tanned the sort of deep brown that would have been admirable in a cake, but is worrying in skin. Blue eye-shadow, blonde hair. She was on the phone, ignoring me, which suited me just fine.
"Oh, it's all over, weeks ago now." she said to the person at the other end of the phone, "He's now going out with someone who eats tofu." There was a pause. "Well, exactly. Did I tell you how he offered to pay me five hundred dollars to quit smoking? I told him there was no way. We stopped seeing each other shortly after that."