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don’t walk on fish

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Written by adswithoutproducts

January 25, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Posted in overheard


with 4 comments

she read it on her Blackberry, in New York. The first hundred pages. And then she said

in Swedish. We missed on that one. Because we don’t read Swedish

do you understand how the agent gets paid? Do you understand what a commission is

no not a birthday party. The pub’s birthday party. It’s turning two today

plot-driven narratives. I appreciate beautiful writing, I really do. But on the other hand

the buyer for Waterstones will take it in his hands and say “You think I can charge £7.99 for

handling the archive, even though most of it is out of copyright, still has made that place what

three Martini lunches. But the work is social, it’s about networking. People in my home town

the most beautiful words in the business are “first novel by an eighteen year old.” After all

the jacket listed the wrong characters. I mean had their names wrong, all of them. So I

about the death of publishing, about the end of book stores. But twenty years ago

Written by adswithoutproducts

October 26, 2010 at 11:50 am

Posted in overheard, publishing


with 5 comments

So the order comes down to sublimate all of the brackish, churning stuff into the work. Sounds like a great idea; I’ve thought the same thing or at least something similar often enough. So then you rear back, perhaps you sit down, rest your forehand on your hand, stare deeply into the dark bit inside yourself (only a metaphor) and try, by the magic pulsion of interior eyebeams to move cargo X from pile Y to pile Z. You picture the boxes of Stuff lifting out of the big stacks by little stacks and levitating automagically over across the warehouse floor and into another place, a place marked Z: The Work. You repeat until almost all of the stuff has shifted.

There. Done.

And so you take your forehead off your hand, you elbow off the table, you open your eyes and click on the Microsoft Word icon in your Dock. A blank page. You type and bit and then erase a bit. Repeat this gesture a few times. Nope. Nope. Looking in again, the boxes have slipped back. The floor must be skewed, the bottom of the boxes greased. Perhaps it’s subsidence, the dreaded discovery that the ground beneath your beautiful warehouse has shifted in the thiry some years since it was built.

So you pick up the house phone that’s hanging there on the wall of the warehouse nearest the door. Sometimes you know you’re connected to the boss (really, only ever the boss’s paid consultant) but generally you leave what you have to say on her voicemail.

You tell the story, this story, except it’s told in the first person instead of the second, the past tense rather than the present. I tried, by the magic pulsion of my eyebeams and as you suggested, to move cargo X from pile Y to pile Z, but…

There won’t be a response tonight. Tomorrow there will be another consultation with the consultant. You will have to tell the story again, right from the beginning, and again in first person and again in the past tense.

One day, everyone agrees, you’ll get the boxes moved and the boxes will stay where they’re meant to sit.

As you wait for the call, you distractedly wonder whether the single word written on the side of the boxes – the word PERISHABLE – is the name of the company that makes the items or a description of the items inside until you realise how stupid you’re being. Next you wonder if you are getting enough sleep and enough to eat.

And then you come back from inside to here, the kitchen table, close the Word doc, open Firefox, and then you write this post.

Written by adswithoutproducts

August 31, 2009 at 10:28 pm

Posted in overheard