VENUS ARRIVES BY MAIL: I usually do not write about my day job here because I like to keep those things separate from my artistic endeavors outside the office. To be honest, comes the cliche...has been a bitch. We are in a transition period now, trying to upgrade editorial, make design changes, and relaunch the magazines (as I call them, although others just consider us a newspaper) as bigger, bolder and just plain better. Doing this requires a lot of work and has often stretched my patience right to the limit. When I wake up mornings and my brain says, "Fuck, I don't want to go there today," that means burnout is starting to flare. Burnout does not have to be fatal. Luckily, I have this other life. It reminds me of what Vanessa Bell says about her sister, Virginia Woolf, in The Hours:

Your aunt's a very lucky woman, because she has two lives. Most of us have only one. But she has the life she leads and she also has the book she's writing. This makes her very fortunate indeed.

I say thank god for that other life or I'd be contemplating putting rocks in my pocket and wading out into the river. So, what does that have to do with the heading of this blog? When I came home today from an extraordinarily shitty day at the office, I found in my mail an old stereopticon card of the Venus de Milo that I had found on eBay (which I'm addicted to like crack). The card has a lovely bronze patina and it has the date 1931 written on the back. I was instantly transported to Paris and the Louvre, where the characters Martin and Irenne in my novel, Conquering Venus, have their talk about the history of the statue and the nature of love. The stereopticon card has become my visual marker for the dustjacket of the novel, that is if the publisher (whoever that turns out to be) will allow the writer to be so avidly involved in the production process. Putting out Better To Travel on my own, getting to decide the cover, the jacket copy, etc. totally unleashed my inner control freak.

Venus came in the mail, eased me out of a fitful day into a peaceful night. I am very fortunate indeed.


Anonymous said…
Great quote from The Hours. Very appropriate.


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