Monday, May 10, 2010

Erin Murphy Agency Retreat, Pt 2B

Day 2, Friday afternoon

After morning meetings, the group divvied out into smaller groups according to interest. I trailed behind (a.k.a. stalked) a group heading south along the Millennium Mile until one of the agency writers and locals, Penny Blubaugh, took pity on me and helped me get to an afternoon meeting with my Sourcebooks publicist, Paul Samuelson.

Paul and I met for lunch at a Corner Bakery where I had an Asian salad (calorie count unknown but it was yummy so who cares?). I asked to sit outside since it was quieter but totally forgot the “less windy” aspect. Paul was very nice about having to keep all the paperwork he had brought from flying off. (Turns out Chicago is not called the Windy City because it’s windy. Something about all the politicians talking is like a big wind blowing through. Makes sense.)

Paul gave me a quick tutorial on publicity in publishing. He was super helpful, seemed to know just about everything about publicity and particularly how technology is impacting book promotion. In contrast, I think I had some lettuce stuck between my teeth.

After the meeting, since everyone else at the agency had gone off for touring, I was on my own. I found my way up to Millennium Park and thought it was much cooler than our local park where the biggest attraction is a permanent mud puddle. It was a little over a mile to the meeting, and by my best guess, eighty miles back to the hotel. I probably worked off about eight calories though, so all was not lost.

Dinner was on the Lake Michigan beach with a few other of the authors. It was cool and fairly quiet and just perfect. I got a seagull to dare his way almost to my hand in pursuit of some food. Wish I could’ve stayed longer.

The evening event with the agency was amazing. Everyone had a chance to read a couple of pages from their writing. Timing was very important here. I had to make sure I took my turn only after someone who was not phenomenal did their reading. However, it quickly became clear that using this method, I would never have the chance to read. So I took the turn after the break. Even then, I’m not sure I lived up to the quality of the break time chatter. Despite the variety in the writing themes, the quality was wonderful. The only thing that made it okay for someone’s reading to end was that another one was about to begin.

Day 2 Lesson: Work on what you can control: be the best writer you can. Learn to manage the inevitable anxiety for what you can’t control.

Day 2 Goal: Be a much better writer.

1 comment:

Mary Lindsey said...

Pshaw! The sample you read was extraordinary! I was bummed when you stopped.