I read a really interesting interview on Crime Reads yesterday; Richie Narvaez interviewing Raquel Reyes. It struck a few chords in my head; Raquel very eloquently talked about why she writes what she does (Mango, Mambo, and Murder, click here to order) and the importance of representation; particularly how over the years publishing has undervalued non-white writers, paying lip service to diversity while not actually doing the work, while creating self-fulfilling prophecies: oh, minority voices don’t sell because there’s no market and then don’t support the books upon release, so they didn’t sell enough copies to become viable. Then they pat themselves on the back and smugly say, see? We tried but there’s no market. I hope the recent diversification of their lists and catalogues recently undertaken by many publishers isn’t just a temporary thing, especially since diverse authors have been responsible for some pretty amazing books over the last few years. I’ve not read Raquel’s book yet, but I am looking forward to it. So much depth in the old TBR pile, y’all–and I am so behind on my reading. I am probably going to do a deep dive into Alex Segura’s Secret Identity today (after I finish my chores and the editing I have to get done). I also need to get my to-do list updated once and for all, and stay on top of it. I have a lot, as always, to do.
Yesterday was a work-at-home day, with a slight break to run an errand. I managed to edit another hunk of the manuscript–I have 2/3rds done, should be able to finish the final third today–and then I fell into the wormhole of watching the news again, which I have on every night as I relax in my easy chair and scroll through social media on my iPad. It’s not the most productive use of my time but I find now that when I am finished with my work for the day I inevitably feel mental exhaustion, which then requires me to just kind of vegetate in order to relax. I slept really well last night–even slept a little late this morning, which was nice, and feel very well rested this morning, which is even nicer. The disaster area that is the Lost Apartment isn’t my favorite thing to look around and see, so I am going to have to at least try to make some progress on that this morning while I drink my coffee. (Oh, I should drop off some boxes of books at the library sale today–get them out of the house and make room for more shelf-purging. Good thinking, Gregalicious!) The weather was lovely yesterday–looks lovely today as well–so going outside might not be a terrible thing for me to do today. The Festivals are also next weekend, and I have to teach a workshop on Friday. YIKES. I guess I need to prepare…although I guess I can also trot out the ever-popular bad sex makes it literary fiction. I think the workshop is supposed to be about including sex in your work? I don’t remember–I have it printed out somewhere.
Guess I should probably find that, huh?
And April is just around the corner. April, with my trip to Albuquerque for Left Coast Crime, and my trip to New York for the Edgars. Lots of Gregalicious traveling there, after not going anywhere for quite some time. It’s going to be interesting being at an event like Left Coast, which I’ve never attended before; Crime Bake in November was a very nice taste of being around writers in smaller groups again, as were the Alabama events in January. But LCC is a bigger event…I guess the Festivals next weekend will give me a chance to get more used to bigger crowds of people, as well as being in the Quarter for the first time in a long time…I don’t think I’ve been to the Quarter since our office moved from Frenchmen Street to its new location; although I think I probably did some condom outreach in the before times; I don’t remember. I think I took parade season off in 2020, so maybe the last time I passed out condoms in the Quarter was in 2019?
So, with all the travel and all the volunteer work and the day job, when am i going to find time to write going forward? A very good question, Watson. I know that I will because I love to do it–I really should spend some time this weekend writing, frankly–and one of the great frustrations of my life has always been there’s always other things to do that get in the way of relaxing into my writing. I’ve been alternating between panic attacks and confidence about the manuscript I just turned in; literally, I’ll go from hey I think it’s not bad to oh my god my editor is going to think I am a complete idiot and I am going to have to throw the whole thing out and start over from scratch or they’ll want their money back…yeah. My mind is always a non-stop thrill ride; make sure you keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times or we can’t be responsible for what happens to you.
And on that somber note, methinks I shall head into the spice mines. I need some more coffee, the sun is out and bright and shiny, and I can see dust everywhere. Have a lovely Saturday, Constant Reader, and I’ll talk to you again tomorrow.