less than solitary: reconnecting with an old friend for a new project

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Years ago, when I was young—wait. Was I ever young? Not that I can remember. I'll start again.


Books ago, I had the pleasure of working on a corporate fairy tale with my friend Matt Emmens, a book we called Zenobia: The Curious Book of Business. Zenobia, an Alice in Wonderland-like adventure through a dying (but then rejuvenated) corporation, ended up selling to a dozen foreign publishers. It broadened my collaboration with my husband, who created the book's fabulous illustrations. And it deepened my friendship with Matt, who had CEO'd many of the companies I've worked for through the years, but who I respect even more for his many passions and pursuits.

This past week, I had an excuse to again spend time talking with Matt as I continued work on a strange and percolating project. I asked Matt questions, and he summoned details. I asked for the sound of talk, and he recreated conversations. I sent him the chapter his knowledge had helped me write, and he sent back notes. You should consider. Drop the octagon. That would singular, not plural. If you're considering a night scene, consider this.

There's a lot of just plain hardship that goes along with writing. There's a lot of solitary. But when there's the chance to ask questions, go ask the questions. Your book will be better off. And so will you.

Speaking of less than solitary, in a few hours I'll be at Rosemont College for the annual Philadelphia Stories Push to Publish conference. First up for me (1:15), a memoir/nonfiction panel with my long-time friend Karen Rile and Anne Kaier. Second up (2:30), a marketing for published authors panel with another dear friend (Kelly Simmons) and Donna Galanti. From there, I'm rushing back home for a quick change and a nervous drive to a local stage, where I'll be dancing the cha cha with my husband.

I'm sleeping in tomorrow morning. Then I'll get up and work with a few new details dear Mr. Emmens just sent me.


Dana said...

Hi Beth, it's Tami's friend Dana, I'm sorry I didn't find you at push to publish yesterday, but I saw all your wonderful books! I'm happy to have found your blog. I love your thoughtful posts and your new YA book sounds fantastic!

Beth Kephart said...

Dana, I'm so sorry we didn't connect. It would have been tres fun to meet a Tamra BFF. I hope you had a good time at the conference, rainy weather notwithstanding.

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