Summer time, and the living is . . .

July 26, 2009

It is summer, and in the mist of early morning the boat sways silent as a lily pad.
It is summer, and the heat fragments me to so many summers past. The filthy shack in Brittany, the silent Rhynnog mountains, the shooting star over a Sicilian amphitheatre. Time concertinaed at the scent of sunblock.

It is summer, and I achieve a personal best – sixteen mosquito bites on one leg.

It is summer, and with the sun blazing outside I do three deals beneath a ceiling fan’s languid spin. I laugh quietly to myself and say hah! to the idea that publishers aren’t buying books.

It is summer, and we hear there are two pups left in the litter of wire-haired dachshunds. We are going to see them. (I think we all know where this is going.)

It is summer, and Anne-Marie Conway becomes a professional writer with a three-book deal for STARMAKERS with Usborne in the UK. She demonstrates so much I know to be true about this business – that it is the equation of talent plus determination plus flexibility that pays off.

It is summer, and I wonder how you can never have enough white, wide-leg pants in the closet – and yet they look like rejects from Planet Zog during the remaining eight months of the year.

It is summer, and I hope that people will choose my talk on ‘Writing and selling in the global marketplace’ at SCBWI LA. Because I will be far from home on this birthday, and I’d like to share it with you.

It is summer, and the humid night is loud with the scratching, chirping rumpus of cicadas and frogs.

It is summer, and Simon & Schuster win a tense fight for UK and Commonwealth rights in Brenna Yovanoff’s FE. Two auctions, two sides of the Atlantic. And we have unequalled reach, unequalled knowledge, for these transatlantic deals.

It is summer, and soon I will walk down Avenue of the Stars for the first time.

It is summer, and I bake my first brownies – like molten lava, laced with 97% chocolate and four kinds of nut, you will expand simply by looking at them.

It is summer, and I sell Lindsey Leavitt’s novel, SEAN GRISWOLD’S HEAD, to Scholastic in the UK. She now has four English-language publishers (Hyperion US/Egmont UK for PRINCESS FOR HIRE and Bloomsbury US/Scholastic UK for SEAN). I am very, very satisfied at this exploitation of rights –the first task of the literary agent.

It is summer, and I would like to lie outstretched on the cool grass and stare up at the sky. But it’s not time to stop yet, there is so much more to do.

It is summer, and we have helped to change some people’s lives for the better. The best job in the world, and the greatest privilege.

It is summer.

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