What IS happening, anyway?

Patience is not one of the stronger characteristics of the Internet universe. After all, aren’t blogs and web sites the very definition of ephemeral?

So I have to thank you all for your patience with this remarkably slow process of getting a book club underway.

The official announcement is coming out soon, certainly before the end of the month, but I will say that on the first of June we will open the Laurie R. King Virtual Book Club, for your pleasure and entertainment. And perhaps every a smidgen of enlightenment, but we won’t count on that quite yet.

The VBC had its beginnings in my awareness that I was not going to be on the road this year with a new book. And being the good Puritain that some of my forefathers would have expected, I couldn’t very well just stand back and enjoy the freedom, I had to be DOING something.

Hence the book club. I’m not doing it all myself, don’t fear–the woman running it knows what she’s doing. And I’m not going to be watching over what people say and posting corrections, because it’s going to be a forum for readers, to meet online, to toss out opinions and see what others think, to play with ideas and run with them and see where things end up. Just like any book club, the book itself is only a part of what goes on.

However, as with a real-life book club, this virtual version will begin with the book itself, a different King title every month, with the occasional outside novel or non-fiction book tossed in to save everyone from a surfeit of Kingliness. We’ll be doing a lot of fun stuff other than just book discussion, too, with giveaways and contests and recipes and maybe the odd cat photo here and there. Some of you are already involved with independent forums, and I hope you’ll just add the VBC to your list.

But the appreciation for your patience extends beyond the book club. A few days ago Terri posted the comment: So, I followed the link under “What’s New” that says “Laurie has been named Artist of the Year in Santa Cruz for 2006. To mark the occasion, she did a Writer’s Improv. Follow her progress here.” and the beginning of the haunted house story was fascinating, but “follow her progress” kind of sets you up to expect multiple installments, instead of a single story fragment dated May 20, 2006. It felt so frustrating that the page ended with “To be continued…”, and here it is nearly a year after the workshop at which it was written, and it still hasn’t been continued. Is it ever going to be?? Maybe at the anniversary of the workshop at which it was born? Here’s hoping.

Please don’t take this as criticism. I wouldn’t be so frustrated if I didn’t find the story intriguing.

I’d also be very interested in knowing what the submitted “prompts” that spawned the story were. Maybe that could be added to the introduction at the top of the page?

A: What happened, basically, was that my husband spent much of last year dying, only to change his mind about it–and he’s doing quite well now, thanks. But this meant that TOUCHSTONE took twice as long to write as it should have, and that many, many projects ground along in low gear and still remain unfinished. One of those was the proposed book club. Another was the short story I began last year at the Artist of the Year event, a live improvisational writing exercise that was meant to be finished by the end of summer… by another Laurie King whose husband didn’t have a stroke followed by cancer surgery.

However, it may please you to know that just this past weekend (before my computer catastrophe, sigh) I resumed work on it, and should have it finished soon.

I had intended the story as a demonstration of craft, namely, the rewrite process. On the site you see the rough first draft—produced with no editing, sitting at my laptop, in a two-hour block of writing. Eventually you will see the finished draft, with a commentary about how the story began, the “prompts” I used to shape it, and how from those beginnings the story felt its way to completion. Interestingly enough, on rereading what I have, and thinking about what I need to finish it, the 2800 words I put down may actually need very little tweaking. Which rather undermines the purpose of the exercise, but never mind.

So “The House” will come.

And the newsletter will come, with details about the Virtual Book Club, and the VBC itself will bloom in glory, when the time is fulfilled.

In the meantime, I’d suggest that you dig out your copy of A Grave Talent, or trot out and buy one (if you want one inscribed by yours truly, my local store is listed on the home page of the web site, www.LaurieRKing.com ) because the LRK Virtual Book Club is about to open for business.

If we’re all very patient….

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  1. Roxanne on May 21, 2007 at 8:37 am

    Good morning! And what a beautiful morning it is here on the East Coast.

    I am in the midst of rereading A Grave Talent–a pleasure. For my own part, I can be as patient as you need me to be. I just count my blessings that you write as well as you do and that you take the time to write this blog, which is like an anchor for me during the perpetual maelstrom of my boss.

    I am glad your husband “changed his mind” about dying and that he is now doing quite well.

    I hope your day out there on the West Coast is as enjoyable as the day here (outside my work window) in Philadelphia.

  2. Carlina on May 21, 2007 at 11:26 pm

    Patience is not a problem…Do you know how long it takes to get carbon isotope analyses data back? Now that is patience…unrefined hardcore patience…What was it Stevens said? “I’m prepared to wait until hell freezes over…” In other words, no rush..it will come when it comes.

    Glad to hear hubby is well and many blessings to come!

  3. Kerry on May 22, 2007 at 6:12 am

    Patience? No problem! Good things are worth waiting for, after all, and, as Roxanne wrote, your generosity with your time and attention are definitely included in that category. I’m looking forward to re-re-re-re . . . reading “A Grave Talent”, this time with an eye to thinking about similarities and differences between Vaun and Rae — just for fun.

    Hope your spring is a time of renewal in all senses after the rough year last year . . .

  4. corgimom on May 23, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    I personally think speed is overrated in everything except a return to health. Well, and motorcycles. I’m very much looking forward to the VBC and hanging out again with “A Grave Talent.”
    Very glad your husband is doing so well.

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