|Detail from one of Kim Vanderheiden's pieces|
for a poem in The Book of the Red King. It's interesting to have
an as-yet-unpublished book that already has art made
for some of its contents by several artists.
I don't think that has ever happened to me before.
Dither no. 1: I have broken with all novel-writing tradition (all of mine, that is) and stopped writing a novel on p. 145. For months! Usually I am a raging maniac until I finish. (Quietly a maniac, though. I keep it to myself. Also the related dithering. I'm still a good wife and mother and All That.) But. What is going on? Am I caught in a dither-quagmire? Do I even remember what the book was about?
Dither no. 2: That zany y. a. book I wrote years ago for my youngest, the one that needed about a two-week polish. Why don't I get back to it and spend two weeks? Or should I?
Dither no. 2: What on earth should I talk about at the Buechner Workshops at Fuller? I have come up with a remarkable number of topics, all highly ditherable and even dirigible in a few cases.
Dither no. 3: What is going on with The Book of the Red King? Is it accepted or not? (This is not my dithering, but there is dithering--or at least methodical tortoiseosity--involved.)
Dithers no. 4-5: Where should I send Rave, the collection of unleashed praise poems? Where should I send the new manuscript of formal poems? Dither, dither, dither... To my surprise, I have sent each to a contest (how resolute and surprising and anti-dither), but that's just spitting in the dark along with a thousand other poets, so what's the point?
Dither no. 6: Should I do something with my tiny stories? Should I not bother?
Dithers no. 7-8: What about the short stories? And the ones for teens? Yes? No? DITHER!
Dither no. 9: Should I bother to go back to having an agent? Yes, probably! No, I simply hate doing things like looking for an agent, and my first two (one deceased, one parted-from-amicably) just fell into my lap (in the usual manner of hackneyed speaking--nothing literal there) so really I don't hate looking for an agent because I have never done it. But I have heard rumors. Dark rumors. Nasty rumors. Rumors of woe and discouragement and despair. And so forth. Also on the no side: I am too agreeable. Too easily persuaded. Too n-i-c-e.
Dither no. 10: I've turned down some reprint offers and want to do my own reprints for a few books for which I hold rights reversions. However, this involves a good deal of research and work, and as a result, a mountain of dithering about many little decisions. Nevertheless, dithering surely will not last forever, right? Lemme dither about that a minute.
About dithering.... Do I dare to eat a peach? Yes, I do, thank you, Mr. Eliot, and I'm fine with mermaid songs. What I'm not good at is quarrying time, marketing, keeping my writing room tidy, and juggling-and-balancing all the demands of motherhood, wifehood, cleaning-the-house-hood, and all other relevant and irrelevant but needed hoods on the very tippy-tip of my nose.