figuring out the best use of my time….

I’m not the biggest believer in astrology, but sometimes something comes along and slaps you across the face.  This week it just happened to be my horoscope: 

“Here’s a great question to pose on a regular basis during the next three weeks: “What’s the best use of my time right now?” Whenever you ask, be sure to answer with an open mind. Don’t assume that the correct response is always, “working with white-hot intensity on churning out the masterpiece that will fulfill my dreams and cement my legacy.” On some occasions, the best use of your time may be doing the laundry or sitting quietly and doing nothing more than watching the world go by. Here’s a reminder from philosopher Jonathan Zap: “Meaning and purpose are not merely to be found in the glamorous, dramatic moments of life.”

Pretty timely with everything happening in my world connected to Roving Pack. Things are a bit of a whirlwind as time swiftly brings me closer to the October release.  This week I got the corrected manuscript back from my amazing copyeditor and have been working to pin down details connected to the PoMo Freakshow Europe tour right as the novel releases.

I see the decision to publish Roving Pack as giving it, and in turn these characters the home that they spend the whole book searching for.  I chose this route because I believed I could create a better book than the options that were presenting themselves in the mainstream small press world.  As I’ve said before I want to tread carefully on this topic because I do very much believe in traditional publishing as a model – Kicked Out and Leather Ever After both have/will be released from publishers and I know I will continue through my career to work with publishers BUT I don’t believe that is the home for every book.

Roving Pack is very much on the fringes of genre and queerness.  There was interest from publishers in the novel, but the end result wouldn’t have been *this* book and I couldn’t let my characters be toned down. Roving Pack is full of unapologetic gender that is complicated and intense, and presents BDSM/Leather dynamics without justification as just a regular part of life because that’s the world I came out into, and where I’ve called home ever since.  I didn’t want anything about this book to be an apology/justification for our queerness which was why I chose this route to publication.

The horoscope hit me so hard last night because I’ve spent last weekend/beginning of this week focused on some last minute research to make the decision about the layout for the novel. Essentially I was trying to decide what the best use of my time was right now– teaching myself InDesign or outsourcing this part of the publishing process and hiring a rad person in my local community. I was really focused on what would be the best decision for this book as well as what would be the best use of the resources at my disposal (financial as well as time and emotional) in the next couple of months before the release. My number one priority in all of this is to give Roving Pack the very best life that I can.  The characters in this book deserve that.  When I made the decision to put this novel out through my own imprint it was with the plan of making this book the best that I possibly could.  It has involved a fair amount of outsourcing for the things that are needed to put together a really sharp book (cover design, copyediting ) as well as bringing on an external editor early in the game to really push me and this book to be the best that we can be.  Other than some DIY deaththrows about feeling like I *should* (always a dangerous word) be doing this part of the process myself I knew that doing the layout myself was not the best use of my time or energy, and that the right decision was to outsource that part of the process. As corny as it sounds the horoscope, along with a big ol’ PRO/CON chart really pushed me over the edge.  I don’t want my own lack of computer skills to hurt or hold back the book in anyway.  So now I’m waiting to hammer down the details with the awesome layout person I want to hire, and hopefully ::fingers crossed:: in the next day or so that will be finalized and moving forward!

I’ve got a bunch more blogs in the works — conversations about the publication process, writing, leather, all kinds of good stuff. The decision to outsource the layout means I won’t be pulling hair out of my head in the next two months, and will have a lot more time for actually writing so keep an eye out for more blog postings!