I've sold my third book. In writerspeak, this means that my agent and I approached a publisher, got an offer on the book and agreed on the price. I haven't signed the contract yet, but I'm gonna. The book will be published by New World Library, the nice folks who published Sit Down And Shut Up last year. They didn't offer quite the king's ransom I'd hoped for. But it'll be enough that I won't have to stand around at highway off ramps with a cardboard sign that says, "Will Tell You The Secret Of Life For Food" just yet. Maybe next year.
Plus Tsuburaya Productions recently won their ten year long court case against the gentleman in Thailand who said he invented Ultraman. How did he invent Ultraman, you ask? Apparently in 1962 he showed Eiji Tsuburaya a picture book of Thai Buddha statues and said, "You ought to make a movie about a superhero that looks like Buddha." Which is like saying that you created Star Wars because in 1971 you had a drunken conversation with George Lucas in which you said, "You oughta do a movie about outer space!" Amazingly this blather fooled enough people that the case went on for pretty much the entire time I worked for the company. Anyway, it looks like they want me to do some work for them In Hollywood for which they will pay me a wee small bit of cash. So I am officially no longer sweating it about money. At least not whole lot. I'll be considerably poorer this year than I've been for a while. But at least I won't starve and I won't have to get a real job.
Which is not to say there aren't some advantages to having to get a real job. I actually like having a schedule and a clear goal for each day. The work of an independent freelance writer has probably as many bad points overall. Except I can go sit on the beach at 2 in the afternoon on a Monday and pretend it's my job.
Anyway, I did a word count on the book just now and it currently stands at a whopping 82,257 words! A supposedly "average" novel in English is about 60,000. I know Hardcore Zen was considerably shorter, around 40,000, I believe. Sit Down And Shut Up probably clocked in at about 60,000. I can't remember.
The tentative title for the new book is Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate. Although I am also pondering using the title Sex, Death and Zen. But considering how things have worked out for the previous two books, neither of these will be the title in the end. I'm pretty bad with titles.
In any case it's about sex, death and Zen. It's a chronicle of the year 2007 in which a lot of people and relationships in my life died, sex was had (I even became known as the "Porno Buddhist" -- I'm so proud!), and Zen was practiced and preached. The book will make a lot of people mad. I know this going into it, although I'm not really sure I'll ever understand why certain types of people get mad about the things they get mad about. Sex is a huge sore spot for religious people. Lately I've been getting to see just how deeply ugly the religious response to anything that involves sex can be. And I'm not just talking about some of the massively weird comments that have been appearing in this blog. Oy vey. Though those are certainly very puzzling...
But the book isn't just about sex. It's about death and loss and how we keep on going in spite of them. Not just that. It's about how death and loss can be the things that spur a person on to find out what's true in life.
Anyway, whatever. I hope the book gets out there by Spring time. But who knows?
I gotta go do some errands today.
Friday, February 08, 2008