MY MUCH-PUBLISHED FRIEND
by Rob Lopresti
You might say I was cleaning out my files at Criminal Brief Headquarters when I found this scrap. The important thing to remember is that neither of the characters represent any real people. It is just a meditation on the writing life.
My much-published friend has a complaint. His latest book just received a bad review in a major newspaper and he wants to tell the world how unfair it was, and what an insensitive, incompetent idiot the reviewer was.
I nod sympathetically, all the while wondering what it would be like to get a review, good, bad, or indifferent, in a major publication.
My much-published friend is in a frenzy. Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines! His manuscripts are overdue, his book proposal isn’t ready, and he has proofs to read. It’s all too much!
I cluck-cluck and try to imagine how it would feel if someone other than me cared whether I wrote something today.
My much-published friend is cranky. He got a letter from a reader complaining about a mistake he had made in a recent novel. Apparently he confused a 44-caliber gun with a 45. The reader thinks public hari-kari would be an appropriate apology.
Oddly enough, I know all about this problem. The nitpickers find even little fish like me. But I also ponder the dozens of non-complaining emails my friend gets.
My much-published friend is having a terrible day. He is having problems with his editor, his agent, his audiobook publisher, and his publicist, all at once.
Which in our case we have not got.
My much-published friend is grumpy. He is complaining about fellow writers who are envious of his success.
Yeah, I tell him. I hate that.
Another thread from the web
This is the twenty-fourth and last installment in this occasional feature. I recently discovered dropbox.com which is a cool free tool for storing your files—and for automatically transferring them between your computers. Give it a look.