It’s been a rough few months for me. There’s been a lot of asshattery that I’ve had to deal with, none of which it would be wise for me to detail here. I haven’t exactly dealt with it well, or at least they’ve had some impact on the rest of my life, and particularly, my mental and physical health. Things like diet are under my control, but that control is way harder when there’s constant stress, anxiety, isolation, and artificially boosted hopes followed by crushing disappointment.
This post isn’t to whine (much) about that, though. Instead, it’s to brag about a couple good things that have happened in that time.
First, the handstand kick-up that I’ve been working for, on-and-off, for several years has happened. Here’s proof:
Why, yes, those are my Extremely Blue Pants, thanks for noticing.
That video is actually a couple months old. Since then the handstand has improved: My ratio of kicking-up-but-not-getting-all-the-way to kicking-up-and-getting-all-the-way has improved a lot, and I’m able to do it while looking at my hands rather than staring out, and I’m even starting to get some control at the top which suggests that a freestanding handstand won’t be impossible.
Second, I have now submitted my second-ever book query to a publisher. Yes, Dad’s Little Book of Rage, the piece of fiction thingy that gave the world this image:
is now out in the wild.
Researching the submission process took longer than I expected, and it sucked. There’s a lot of information out there, but most of it takes the form of “Here are the 18 million things you ABSOLUTELY MUST DO WITHOUT THE TINIEST ERROR OR YOU WILL BE REJECTED FOREVER, and also, even if you do them all perfectly you still won’t get published because YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH!”
Of course, knowing how stupid that is doesn’t exactly help me, because as proud as I am of DLBOR (as I call it), it’s got some challenges to get published. Its form is atypical: It’s illustrated but not a graphic novel, and it’s not even exactly a novel at all—more a collection of loosely connected stories. Subject-wise? Well, it’s about child abuse, but it’s a comedy. (On the surface, at least. Taken as a whole, I think it’s appropriately dark for the subject matter. And the abuse part is never treated as something funny or amusing.)
The net impact is, not every editor is going to love it, and even if they do, not every publisher is going to want to publish it, so I needed to find ones in the right niche.
Nevertheless, I’m eager to move that project into another phase so I can get going in earnest on some other ones, even if it means reading books by noted sack of crap Laura Schlessinger. See, one of the projects is, to put it modestly, the Hot Fuzz of parenting books: A parody that takes all of the absurdities in the genre’s tropes and rolls them into one incredible thing. But that requires reading a bunch of crappy parenting books, even if they have creepy smiles on the front.
The other project, if it comes off, is about turtles.