A writers life does not pass in calendar months or years… instead, one marks ones place by where you are in a project. Beginning a book, near deadline, submitted, on tour…These are phases, and they matter more than something as trivial as the actual date. (Further to this, the actual date in publishing is seldom relevant. Things happen later and earlier than the dates all the time. The dates mean nothing. Let go of the dates.) There are three times in a publishing cycle when a writers life is particularly difficult. (At least for me. There may be writers out there with higher self esteem who don’t suffer as much.)
1. The last weeks “on deadline”. This is a bad time for obvious reasons. You are overworked, delirious, sleep-deprived and weird. Worse than that, you do not deserve the sympathy of others because it is nobody’s fault but your own that you procrastinated and are suffering.
2. The week in between handing in a manuscript and waiting to hear from your editor. I personally think that there should be a law that they have to read it as soon as they get it and then phone you right away, even if it’s the middle of the night. (You’ll be awake anyway.) Hanging around the house waiting to find out if your book sucks (which you secretly believe anyway) is a terrible time and really tarnishes the shine on the “manuscript submitted” glow, and, in this writers opinion, is inhumane. I’m thinking about dropping the next manuscript off personally so I can stand over the editors desk and say “No, you’ll read it now. I’ll wait.”
3. The week(s) in between when you get your finished copy of the book, but it hasn’t arrived in stores yet. There is no feeling like this one. On the one hand, dudes…it’s a book! There is no feeling like holding a book you wrote. None. It still leaves me breathless and unbelieving, sort of like blocking lace.
On the other hand…you have a week alone with it to consider its flaws. You read it over and over…was that funny? Am I right about that? Was I too hard on swatches? (I’m pretty sure that you can’t be too hard on swatches. They are filthy little liars.)
You admire how absolutely fantastic the illustrations are. You wonder if your words can possibly live up to how beautiful the book is. You reel with astonishment that combining the elements of yarn, chocolate, coffee and tears could turn out anything like this…
And you wait. You wait for other people to see it. People who aren’t your mother or your husband and won’t lie to you. You wait to find out that Amazon shipped, or you wait for your launch, when a whole bunch of people will see it for the first time right in front of you. You wait to find out if it’s ok, or if this is the book that means that you have to leave town and change your name to Magna O’Toole… living in Fiji and never knitting again so you don’t blow your cover.
It’s a rough, insecure week to live, especially if you have a vivid imagination.
You feel lucky and hopeful and really, really proud and scared and worried and blessed and ….well. You wonder what sort of an idiot writes a travel guide to the land of knitting. You wonder if this is the one that gets you mocked publicly. That muggles just thought the knitting thing was “cute” until now…but now they are going to think it’s stupid. Totally stupid. This is the one that’s really going to sound lame at parties. Then you recover a little bit and think, screw this. I’ll throw my own parties. Yeah. That’s it, my own damn parties and there will be nothing but knitters and we’ll show the muggles that this isn’t stupid (or at least if it is stupid it doesn’t matter because there are so damn many of us that they had better play nice, buddy…. and get us some chairs and don’t talk to me like I’m cute.) Knitting is a perfectly valid topic and pretty interesting so get out of my damn way because the knitters are having some big parties. Then you cheer up a big and that cramped up feeling goes away because Dudes! You have a party to plan and it’s totally distracting.
March 22nd – NYC – Represent at The Fashion Institute of Technology in the Haft Auditorium, which is in the C building on 27th street just off of 7th avenue. 6:00pm
The sock picture:
Bring your travelling sock (every sock is a travelling sock this day) to Central Park, Strawberry Fields (Where the “Imagine” mosaic is) at 12 noon on the 22nd. I thought about doing it at “Sheep Meadow” but it’s not open yet. I think Strawberry Fields is our best bet. We shall be very quiet and well behaved, since it is a “quiet zone”. If there are too many of us to be reasonably quiet (or if we have trouble being well behaved), then we’ll shuffle off nearby, maybe the fountain at Cherry Hill?
Amber is a goddess, and has put together an awesome map of NYC yarn shops HERE. On her website she is pulling together suggested routes for those who would like to fly solo, these include:
The ladies who lunch route
For: Ladies and Gentlemen who need cashmere. Ladies and Gentlemen who will enjoy the thrill of strolling by the windows of high fashion at skyscraper prices on the Upper East Side. Ladies and Gentlemen who want to end up at the Metropolitan Museum. Ladies Who Lunch.
The Driving Tour, aka The-Manhattanites-Have-No-Idea-What-They’re-Missing
For: Those who are in Queens or Long Island, looking for the slow road into town. Alternatively, someone with a yarn-loving, car-driving friend in town and you want to hit the places with the Mega-Inventory. In New York, the further you are from Times Square/Wall Street, the cheaper the real estate, the bigger the yarn stores. And the bigger stores can afford to carry more yarn and less-expensive yarn.
The Intrepid Brooklynite Tour
For: Those of us who know our way around a bus. And everybody else who’s been curious about what’s so cool about Brooklyn. Seriously, I can’t believe you don’t know yet.
Should you wish to join up with a yarny tour guide, the volunteers are getting back to me about where and when to meet them. Watch this space.
I’ll list them here:
and you can contact them. If you would like to be a tour guide, send me an email or a comment.
The hats are a way of turning our numbers into something awesomely helpful. If you are coming to an event (I updated the tour page, Cleveland, Lexington and Northampton have been added, and Jayme-the-wonder-publicist gave me some details about times and places and that sort of thing.) you can bring the hat, or mail it to an event closer to you. If you are not going to have an event closer to you then you can mail the hat to be your little do-gooding representative in NYC.
Two places to mail it (Many fine and wonderful people volunteered for this. I love them, but am only listing these few because they were willing to publish their addresses, which, frankly is way, way easier for me. My apologies, and know that I love you.)
Mail your hats to:
New York, New York
(She says not to forget the “10th floor”)
or you can mail or drop off the hats at Knitty City
208 W. 79th St.
New York, NY
I’ll likely need a volunteer to help K and Pearl move the hats from those locations to the event at FIT, and then to give them to NY Cares the next day. Anyone?
Afterparties (Or before parties, or next day parties, or….)
I’m going to leave these casual. If you are having a get together at a restaurant or bar afterwards (This especially freaks the muggles. Knitters gathering in large public groups with alcohol? Very upsetting.) and you want to hang out with other knitters, send me an email or comment with the details and I’ll post it here. Then the knitters can contact you and you can warn the bar/restaurant appropriately. ( I wouldn’t tell them knittters were coming. I would just make reservations for a “group”. Let the element of surprise work for you.)
Other ways to fill NYC up with knitters and freak the muggles out?
If you have an idea or an event, let me know and I’ll list it here. (Assuming it isn’t morally or socially reprehensible, like “smoke crack nude and knit in public” or something like that. )
1. It’s a purl man has a plan.
Good enough? Anybody got anything else? Did you remember to pre-board by emailing Jayme if you’re coming a long way or can’t wait in line? (email to : publicityATstoreyDOTcom replacing the AT with @ and the DOT with a “.”)
Now, I await your directions, enthusiasm and proposed adventures. I’ve got some very exciting knitting to do. See this?
It’s a purl ridge on the Bohus, a turning ridge. That means that now I’m knitting the hem. (I’m substituting that for ribbing.) That’s the last thing I do before there’s a sweater. I can’t believe I’ve almost finished. What a pleasure it’s been. I’m thrilled that it’s almost finished and disappointed to see it coming to an end. Sort of like the book. Party on dudes.