Thursday, May 05, 2005

Perfect Skin and Imperfect Snark

When you trawl blog culture a bit, it’s obvious that the sublime snarkers make the most prized bloggers. This revelation has led me to contemplate my own Net value, as in: what do I have to offer? I’m not all that snarky, I’ll admit it…well, maybe a little. Grin. I do have firm opinions about the state of publishing at large and certain publishers in general, but unless I choose to blog anonymously as do others in publishing, I’m not exactly in a position to snark at will. Or even to be honest at will. And I’m not sure I like that fact.

People claim that southerners tend to euphemize everything, glossing over difficulties with a superficial smile and a proffered glass of sweet tea—but I tend to disagree. We may put the warm and friendly spin on even the darkest times, having learned that humor makes a great chaser for the bitter dregs, but I think southerners, as a lot, tend to be pretty much “lay it on you” kind of folks. Which means I have quite the line to walk in this blogging endeavor. I must balance the urge to share insider thoughts, while mitigating that with wisdom. After all, it’s not just my reputation on the line, but that of my clients as well. Several times already in posts I’ve found myself biting back some observation I might have wanted to share. But I think, all in all, that given the anonymous alternative, it’s still worth the compromise. You’ll know who is chatting with you, gain some more direct insights into the life of an agent and author. And in exchange, over time, I may decide to delve deeper into my analysis of The State of The Market. Who knows. It’s a journey of discovery here—for all of us.

If only we could all be three years old; everything would be so much clearer to us then. I sat today with my young daughter on my lap, studying her. Tiny spaghetti arms, the skin unblemished and unfreckled. Her small, blameless hands. I thought of how much she resembled a picture of me at the same age—and then I looked at where my own adult legs were crossed. At the calloused bottoms of my feet. I thought of how life changes the body of a woman as she lives, has children, and lives some more; and then I looked back at my precious girl’s three year old skin. Perfect, smooth, undamaged skin. Skin you can’t keep once you live a little. The state of our body is, in a way, the state of our selfhood. Our scars are a measure of how we’ve lived—or not.

Irony of all ironies, too, while I was writing this post, a lancome offer came through my email advertising Microlift Flash Lifting—in case we missed it, this product lifts, ladies!
Fountain of Youth

As if we could get back that perfect, unblemished skin of childhood. If only it came in a bottle.


Tracy Sharp - Author of the Leah Ryan Series said...

Deidre, speaking of the current market, do you recommend a writer write to the market, or just write the books they want to and hope for the best? If we write to the market, could the market have already changed by the time we finish the book? Working a full-time, 8-5 job it takes me a year to write a book right now. I'm almost finished writing my current book. I just am not sure what I should write next.

BTW, I love your turn of phrase. So pretty to read :)

Deidre Knight said...

Trace, that's the magic question,isn't it? I think it's a matter of striking a balance. Don't try your hand at something foolish (like a historical romance in Civil War era) that you know just won't sell most likley--but at the same time if you write the stories that speak to YOU and know that trends will come and go, I think that's the best position to take. It's even what *I* do. The market is always changing, and unless you can write quickly, I say follow your heart. With wisdom. :)

Deidre Knight said...

And thank you for the lovely compliment, btw!