lt’s so hard to keep to a decision. Especially this one. So hard to be brave.  I know nothing about e publishing . It’d be so pleasant to sink into the warm comfort of a publishing house once again, where other people do the things i’m not good at, that Ican never never learn. It’d be like getting into a warm bath. Floating.  Sinking.
Then I went to a dinner for Women Writers. They’re held every month or so at an Indian Restaurant in Sydney. I’d arrived late, just as everyone had finished eating. I was surrounded by writers whose work I love, and whose minds I admire – Bem le Hunte, Libby Hathorn, Louis Katz.  They’re much-published. From the talk, i realized that they had all recently completed, or almost completed, new manuscripts. Just like me.
Louise poured me a glass of her white wine. The thought came to me that I’d be braver if I didn’t take this step alone.  But it wouldn’t be right to ask them to join me. Just because it suits me, it doesn’t mean it’d suit them. Is this something i can ask of someone? Would she feel pressured if I asked her?  I kept silent.
The wine was chilled.  I’d rushed to get to the restaurant. I was hot and sticky, and the wine was light and sweet, and when I held it up to the light, it glowed green gold, like the silk of a beautiful dress. When I’ve drunk down to the bottom of the glass, I’ll ask her if she’ll join me When I was about half a glass in, the gree-gold wine prompted me to ask all of them.
They all said “Yes”.
So now we’re going to form a co-operative to take this risk together. We’re having an inaugural dinner on my back balcony, to work out our name. We’re word people, so the name’s the first thing. It’s early autumn, and the evenings are still balmy.  I’m planning the dinner, the naming dinner. It’s to be Greek lamb, slowly cooked the way my friend Marianthi from Greece cooks it, browned with onions, then simmered for hours in tomatoes, pimentoes, and cinnmon. Slowly roasted potatoes, the way I watched her do them, standing at her stove in her kitchen shining with Greek coffee pans and bottles of  crystallized orange peels and dark home-made fig jams and home-marinated black olives.  (Marianthi plans to start a traditional cooking blog describing the ways of food she’s inherited from her mother and grandmother and great-grand-mothers – going back to ancient times on the island of Lemnos, where I wrote “Leaning Towards Infinity”.) I’ll do her slowly roasted potatoes, taking all afternoon in a moderate oven. And a huge Greek salad, in case someone’s a vegetarian,  because I forgot to ask, with lots of salty feta and sweet red capsicum, and herbs from the garden. And a rice pudding to follow, the way Jamie Oliver does, it, but topped with slightlyl tart passionfruit. And my friend Mindy’s mixture of black currents and slivers of chocolate to go with coffee.
If the food is right, the naming talk will go smoothly, or so I hope. And in their company, I’ll be brave.
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8 Responses to Floating, sinking in the world of e-publishing

  1. Annette Chennel says:

    Sue, What is there to lose?

  2. K.A.W.G says:

    Good stuff!! (:

  3. Julie Bail says:

    Lots to think about here, Sue. Is there another way over the mountain? I’m going to tune in to find out. I’d also like to hear more about the feta.

  4. Bem Le Hunte says:

    It was always meant to be a novel form…and we all need to live through at least one revolution in our lifetimes…

  5. Jill Dawson says:

    Yes I’m interested too, would like to see how it turns out. Can’t help agreeing with the friend who warned you it might turn into a lot of hard work though….

  6. Gordon Graham says:

    A very brave move on your part, Sue – I’ll be interested to see how it turns out.

  7. I think The Royalties might change the face of fiction publishing. I’m excited about what might happen!

  8. Phil Arnold says:

    Perhaps in writing, as in life generally, we can either be at the forefront of change, or dragged, kicking and screaming along with it The benefit of the former is to be regarded as a pioneer and leader; the danger is that the prototype is often experimental and has the purpose of discovering and correcting errors. The danger of the latter is to miss the opportunity, the benefit comes from hindsight.
    As well, there will, for some time, be the general view that traditional forms of publishing are the most sincere acknowledgement of the worth of the product, involving, as they do, considerable risk-taking on the part of a publisher. Perhaps this is the greatest hurdle we have to overcome when considering new publishing methods and pathways – needing and seeking that acknowledgement because, as writers, we are the greatest critics of our work. Phil Arnold

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