Friday, June 16, 2006

Endings and Beginnings



If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that I have been involved in a proposal for an art history book for a major book publisher. You may also know that before I went to France, I learned that another author was selected and that while I was in France I was contacted and asked to begin work again since the other author had backed out. I essentially broke my contract with the residency folks and the six other artists in the group to continue on the proposal under less than desirable conditions. Daughter S sent me files by email and everyone lent me pieces of equipment which I needed.

When I came home, I rested one day and worked for the next several weeks adding extensive material -- dates, facts and two new chapter outlines. I worked on Mother's Day and during a family weekend. I sent some preliminary files and requested feedback. I got none. Strange. I sent more information and requested comments. I got none. This week, I got the final word from my agent that someone else would be doing the book.

Am I upset? Angry? Disappointed? Annoyed? Some of all, I guess.
Upset that I missed out on part of the French experience and probably affected the others as well. Angry that an editor who was panicked that she had a deadline to meet and had emailed me directly for weeks could not have the courtesy to let me know that she was going to use someone else. Disappointed that I will not see my name on one of those black and yellow books. Annoyed that I let this become so important.

But, I do know that it is part of the process -- the submission, the acceptance or rejection, the beginning again. I know that when I judge art there is sometimes an unexplanable thing which makes me select one painting or sculpture over another. The easels are waiting . . . and maybe another publisher somewhere down the road.

5 comments:

Joyce said...

I feel terrible that this experience into which you put so much time and energy has turned into s**t! I would be far angrier than you, but then anger never solves anything.

I think you have learned something the hard way. It's too bad that you can't get an advance for all the preparatory work as fiction writers seem to do. I know you will bounce back from this bad experience and it is a kind of warning to others too.

I am always amazed at how people treat other people. There is precious little empathy in the world, I think.

I really love your sketches from France.

KJ said...

Few things in life turn out as planned, and this experience, though totally out of left field, certainly gave you an exciting ride while it lasted. Your time in France was far from wasted, it was just different than expected and you are richer for it. It was fun to watch the energy, would have been icing to read the book, but there will be a different kind of icing... trust me!

Walker said...

ahhh Annette! You are still my hero! I'm really sorry about the book deal -- but know there's something really good on your horizon. Can't wait to see what it is.
Robin
(hug)

Pat said...

Annette, you didn't affect my experience in France in any negative way...and, I share your disappointment. However, I believe in the old adage that one door shuts and another window opens, so keep the faith and get moving. Those easels need attention!

I love the way you expose the publisher so cleverly. That's a girl!

Pat

Martha Marshall said...

Annette, I'm very sorry to hear you were taken on such a roller coaster ride with that publisher. Of course I'm immediately thinking you can self publish and print the thing on demand!