Thursday, February 4, 2010

Randomosity (Alpha).

Forgive me if I seem a little screwy...

It's a little after three in the morning. I'm at work, in the middle of my forth night duty shift this week and I'm tired - I am oh so tired. I set myself a punishing schedule this week. Not only was there the big first interview for my novel - which was pretty much central to my week - there were a number of other appointments I had to keep during the day time, which interrupted my pattern of sleep so badly that I have been functioning on a less than optimal amount when it comes time for work. 10 hour night duty shifts at the hospital are demanding mentally even if they are not particularly demanding physically. One operates on a different level than they would if it were day time. In a funny sort of way, time tends to go into a flux state...I imagine it's kind of the same sensation that my patients feel while they are sedated and paralyzed on the ventilator. Time blurs...

I've spent the past couple of days fretting over that first radio interview. It's because I'm tired I know but I keep going over all the perceived mistakes I made in it rather than appreciate the positive aspects of it. The worst thing I've been obsessing over is that I'm sure I got my publisher's name wrong when I was telling the interviewer about iReadiWrite Publishing. I'm waiting in the hope that the interviewer will come through with a CD of the interview because I know that I won't be able to let my mind rest until I listen back to it. If I did get Michelle's name wrong - I am going to find a brick wall and butt my head against it a few time. And the "umms and the ahhhs - my god! I am sure I sounded worse than Molly Meldrum (note to overseas readers - this guy made a freaking artform out of saying the umms and the ahhs when speaking publicly).

I tweeted a rather cryptic thing earlier this evening - something along the lines of "it's a desolate feeling when the one's who you hope support you the most support you the least". My publisher did advise me to be aware that support for your novel will actually come from the places where you least expect it and not to be too disappointed if those you expected to support it aren't as enthusiastic as you thought - or something like that - again I am going by memory here. Without identifying anyone specifically - I have to admit that there have been a number of people - important people - in my life who have been "ambivalent" towards the novel.

I would even go as far as to say that they have resented it even.

And it has been a disappointment - I won't hide it. Because it is something that I poured all of myself into. Every spare moment I could scrape together went into the process of writing it and it just seems that acknowledgement and/or encouragement has been hard to come by. And I know I shouldn't expect it...I don't think that is what I am trying to say. But Jesus, you know...

It's a pretty good thing.

Isn't it...

I'm reading "The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows right now. It's a lovely story - told through the exchange of letters between a young woman - an author - in post WW2 London and an eclectic group of people from the island of Guernsey. It's a whimsical read and a lovely piece of escapism right now...It's good at three in the morning anyway. I think my tastes are evolving. I'm gravitating towards literature whereas before I was a sucker for biographies and current events analysis. In the aftermath of 9/11 I absorbed reams and reams of words on the FBI, anti terrorism units, the governments response to terror. But I hit a kind of wall at some point and got well fed up with it all. I picked up a copy of "The Shipping News" a few years ago and I think that was the point at which I began to look for more human stories, rather than get swept up in the politics of today. I loved "The Shipping News" actually. I love stories about small towns and their people. I guess it's because I come from a small town. It's elementary really.

I really need to sleep for about 48 hours solidly - with no interruptions. Then I think I'll feel more positive. That's what it is...the lack of sleep. After a while it messes with your head. Negative thoughts bubble to the surface and they f*** with you. A man once taught me a way of stepping outside of your thoughts - it was an exercise where you kind of place your thought stream out in front of you and watch them go by dispassionately until they kind of dissipate. I got close but I don't think I ever really mastered the art of this exercise. I've been told I'm not very good at embracing new things. But it's funny that...

...because I'm constantly out there trying them.



  1. I adored the Guernsey book! Loved it! And I totally understand about the people you'd expect to support you not supporting you at all. With the exception of my husband, my Internet friends have been, by far, the most supportive people.

    I give you a lot of credit working the night shift. I did it for six months while I was going to nursing school, and I couldn't hack it. I was going to school, working nights, and coming home to (then) two children. Something had to give and, unfortunately, it was school and the hospital. Oh well! Life has a way of working itself out. Hang in there!

  2. The old adage (?) The kindness of strangers rings so true. I'm so tired right now that my thoughts are all over the place. I don't even make sense to myself...

  3. Hi Dean (and Melissa). I shall share something that I am hesitant to, in the hopes it shall lift your spirits. Since starting this little venture over a year ago, I can count on 1 hand the number of books my friends and family have bought. (Actually, as of today - it moved to the second hand). Perhaps they don't understand what I do? Perhaps they don't care. Perhaps they are resentful they didn't think of it themselves? I don't know? I mean really, what is 5 or 8 bucks for a book to show a friend that you support them? I recently paid $5 for a screamo punk rock album that I will never ever listen to. I also paid to go to this band's concerts at the city's scrimiest bars. Why? Because my colleague and friend is the drummer. What I do know is the disappointment that we feel from those closest can be made up for by those kindred spirits we meet in unlikely places. So find strength in those, and forget the rest. People have their reasons, although we may not understand what they are.

    Your book is wonderful Dean, and I am proud to work with you - and you can call me anything you like by the way. And between you, and other folks like Melissa, we shall take on the world and do something that we never thought we dreamt we could do. Write, publish, create. For that is more than most...

  4. Dean, Michelle sent me the link to the podcast you recently did with Jason McKenna, and I think you did a fabulous job! It's so nice to be able to put a voice to the picture now. I can't wait to purchase your book and review it on my blog. And even though my blog is not that big, any little bit of publicity helps, eh?

    Also, thanks so much for plugging Precipice. It says a lot about you that you would include mention of it during what was YOUR time. ;-)

    Keep at it!

  5. Melissa - it was a real pleasure to be able to do the interview but also to mention your book which I read again, cover to cover, this past weekend. It was an even better read a second time around - actually I got more into it this time and saw some new things in it. It truly is a fine piece.

    I'm working as hard as I can to get the word out and I appreciate you supporting me too. I'll look forward to your review - and make sure you're frank an honest - I can take it ;-).