The Deixis Press Weekly - Issue #19
I’m sure it hasn’t been two weeks. I’m SURE it hasn’t … oh. It has. That’s two weeks of alternating between press work and work that provides the capital for press work.
Monday 9 August - Wednesday 11 August
I was in Edinburgh for part of this time, followed by a quick trip to Norfolk. My aim was to do no work at all while on holiday, and I mostly managed it. The problem, though, is that avoiding work for good and sane reasons (like being on holiday and needing a break) feels identical to avoiding work because I’m stuck on a problem, which I very much am with regard to the Gardners/distribution thing.
Thursday, 12 August
I’ve mentioned my uneasy affection for Oliver Burkeman here before. Years ago I read The Antidote, which I found extraordinarily helpful for reconciling my own tendency toward general misanthropy with my desire for contentment. The Antidote wasn’t the first time I encountered Stoicism as a philosophy, but it was the first time I really understood that it was a practical way of approaching life even in the modern day. So I’ve always been grateful to Burkeman for that book, and I have sought out his writing ever since.
He wrote in a recent newsletter about another philosophy: Getting Stuff Done By Not Being Mean To Yourself. Just do the thing that would be the most enjoyable in the moment. Ludicrous; obviously the most enjoyable thing in any moment is to have a nap, right? Or is it? Anyway, I’m tentatively exploring this idea and I think it has legs.
(So why uneasy? I follow OB on Twitter and I have found that he interacts with, approves of, retweets, likes, and overall tends to defend certain “gender critical” types. I’m strongly pro-trans (in that I am strongly pro-human and pro-kindness, not to mention pro-minding-my-own-business); I find it disappointing and confusing when others are not. I know that there are those in my real-life life–people I care about deeply–who are anti-trans; how to reconcile my own heart with that is a question I ask myself regularly, but I guess it comes down to how we used to resolve tough problems or differences of opinion: ignore it and never talk about it and hope it goes away, right? Which is I guess while I still choose to enjoy his writing on philosophy and productivity while frowning on the company he keeps. Ahhh, I am a terrible ally.)
Friday, 13 August
My cousin was supposed to fly to London from California today. She took her pre-flight COVID test 3 days before her flight, as instructed, and it was negative. But when she got to the airport, she was denied boarding. Why? She had a connecting flight in Portugal, and her outgoing COVID test was conducted … 72 hours and 40 minutes before that flight was due to depart. So, no go. Will drown sadness in proofreading.
Monday, 16 August - Friday 20 August
I’m writing this after the fact; this past week on Twitter there was a thread (I won’t link to it) about a particular literary agent who was live-tweeting submissions and their reasons for acceptance or rejection. The author who was talking about it was upset because their submission was easily recognizable to them in the agent’s tweet, which meant they essentially got a terse rejection in the middle of a Twitter thread.
I say all that to say that 1. I never would have done that as an agent, and 2. I have often wondered even before I read that thread how much I should talk about the books I proofread for work: where does professional start to merge with unprofessional? But I always enjoy the work I read professionally; it’s rarely stuff that I would have taken on when I was an agent or for my own press, but that’s only because I have a particular remit.
Over the past two weeks, I proofed two manuscripts. The first is the latest in a series where the real-life Mitford sisters are tangled up in a bunch of fictional mysteries that coincide with real-life historical events. If you like cozy mysteries, you could do worse than the Mitford Murders series by Jessica Fellowes. [I will get in touch with someone about the typo on that page!]
The second is a fantastic psychological thriller from debut author Nora Murphy. The Favour is the story of a woman who sees another woman in danger and tries to help her. I won’t tell you any more than that; just make sure you pre-order this one when you can!
I did press work too: among other things, I got in touch with Gardners begging once again for them to list my books; they replied and said that I needed to speak to Ingram Spark (my printer); I wrote to Ingram and they said they have already listed my books with Gardners. Argh, etc., but maybe I’m a little closer to a solution.
Next week (that is, tomorrow and onward–I can’t believe it’s Sunday) I’ll be back to pure press stuff (ok, plus one separate freelance manuscript assessment). Finally, the stuff you subscribed for–not this wishy-washy personal angst.