Art isn’t easy….

So here it is, my brand new sparkling website! It’s so … new. And empty. And it’s intimidating the heck out of me. Hi website. I will try to have, erm, I believe it’s called ‘content’. I will be gradually moving all my posts from my Livejournal account over here. ( I’ll keep the Livejournal, too, mirroring my posts there, and sending people here from my facebook page. Oh, and I suppose I shall have to get me one a’ them author page thingies on facebook, as well. And business cards. And blurbs. And an elevator pitch that doesn’t sound like I’m trying to burrow under the floor of the elevator to keep people from noticing me. What? My book? Yes, it does have a plot. And I know what it is, too. Uh.

A Ragged Magic officially debuts on September 16th – my novel of “Teenage witch survives life-threatening danger and terrible grief, and must learn to use an ill-gained, untrustworthy magic to save herself and the ones she loves from death and destruction.” Such as it is. That’s the improved pitch. It’s a lot better than it was, but I worry it’s a little off. Does it make you interested in the book? Does it make sense to even put the description here? The official description written by my editor is on the Per Aspera website (, and calls my book lyrical and moving. I do hope so. I worked my butt off to make it that way, and it’s gratifying to know at least one person thinks it paid off.

I find it hard to encompass all the things that I need to do to get ready for this debut, and all the things that I need to do after the debut, to help make it a success. It’s nothing more than what I have always wanted, which makes the stress dreams so much more vivid. My brain says ‘hey, I know what let’s do, let’s have lots of dreams about being late and lost, failing tests, forgetting major aspects of your job, royally screwing up so there’s no way to fix things … that will help to calm you down! Right? No? Huh.’

In other words, I am intimidating the heck out of me. Ambition is an interesting weapon I wield against myself. I want people to read and enjoy my book. But all the things that one must do to get that book out there so people know it exists and what it’s about? Makes me feel (as many a writer before me, I’m sure) as though I’m clinging onto a fraying rope tied to a derelict, straining airship whilst standing on quicksand in a full force gale. Hi. I’d let go of this rope to offer you my card, but we both might die. Ok, some of that might just be me, and not other writers. But the imagery feels apt. It’s a hazardous profession, writing – at least in my head. Which is pretty much the point, isn’t it? My head, it’s full of really cool stuff. I’ll share it with you, but I’m afraid it might kill us all. Mostly me. Let’s be honest: most of my head-chatter isn’t dangerous to anyone else. 


But just to be sure, here’s the lyrics from “Putting it Together” as sung by Barbara Streisand, because hey, Sondheim and Streisand are awesome, and so is this song. And it conveys a little of what I’m feeling, although my art is neither lasers nor music. But it’s kind of a cool mixture of both, up in my head. And hopefully in yours.

(I promise to be less confusing at least once or twice on this website of mine. But prepare yourselves, if you’re new. I’m usually only barely comprehensible, even to me. But sometimes I’m entertaining, and I’m hoping that’s enough.)

Putting it Together” by Stephen Sondheim, originally from “Sunday in the Park with George,” as sung by Barbara Streisand. I will now be humming this all day. You’re welcome.

[Barbra:] Look, I’ve spent a lot of time working on this
[Producer 1:] Look, no one’s gonna buy it — no one.
[Producer 2:] No one in Middle America, anyway. That’s for sure.
[Producer 3:] He’s right!
[Producer 1:] Sweetheart, it’s just not commercial!
[Barbra:] What is commercial?
[Producer 2:] It’s not what’s selling nowadays.
[Producer 1:] I mean – personally, I love it, but
[Barbra (sung):]Be nice, girl!
[Producer 3:] Nobody’s into this kind of material.
[Barbra (sung):] You have to pay a price, girl!
[Producer 2:] This album needs a hit single we can push.
[Barbra (sung):]They like to give advice, girl!
[Producer 1:] The whole idea’s too risky.
[Barbra (sung):] Don’t think about it twice, girl!
[Producer 2:] The audience won’t understand this kind of thing!
[Barbra (sung):]It’s time to get to work!
Barbra (spoken): I disagree! Why don’t you wait until you hear it?
[Producer 3:] This is like your old stuff!
[Barbra (sung):] Art isn’t easy.
[Producer 3:] You’ve got to appeal to the kids.
[Barbra (sung):] Even when you’re hot.
[Producer 2:] Why would you want to make an album like this anyway?
[Barbra (sung):] Advancing art is easy.
[Producer 1:] I think we ought to talk seriously about this.
[Barbra (sung):] Financing it is not!
[Producer 2:] Why take chances?
[Barbra (sung):] A vision’s just a vision if it’s only in your head!
[Producer 1:] Nobody respects your artistic integrity more than I do, but
[Barbra (sung):] If no one gets to hear it, it’s as good as dead!
[Producer 2:] You have to think about you career!
[Barbra (sung):] It has to come to life!
Bit by bit, putting it together
Piece by piece, only way to make a work of art
Every moment makes a contribution
Every little detail plays a part
Having just a vision’s no solution
Everything depends on execution
Putting it together, that’s what counts!
Ounce by ounce, putting it together
Small amounts, adding up to make a work of art
First of all you need a good foundation
Otherwise it’s risky from the start
Takes a little cocktail conversation
But without the proper preparation
Having just a vision’s no solution
Everything depends on execution
The art of making art
Is putting it together, bit by bit
[Producer 2:] Do we really need all these musicians?
[Barbra:] Link by link, making the connections, yes we do!
Drink by drink, taking every comment as it comes
Learning how to play the politician
Like you play piano, bass and drums
Otherwise you’ll find your composition
Isn’t gonna get much exhibition
Art isn’t easy
Every minor detail is a major decision
Have to keep things in scale
Have to hold to your vision
[Producer 1:] Why don’t we talk about this over dinner, darling?
What’s a little cocktail conversation
If it gets the funds for your foundation
Every time I start to feel defensive
I remember vinyl is expensive!
[Producer 3:] Would you agree to do an interview?
[Barbra:] Maybe one!
Dot by dot, building up the image
Shot by shot, keeping at a distance doesn’t pay
Still if you remember your objective
Not give all your privacy away
A little bit of hype can be effective
As long as you can keep it in perspective
Even when you get some recognition
Everything you do you still audition
Art isn’t easy
Overnight you’re a trend
You’re the right combination
Then the trend’s at an end
You’re suddenly last year’s sensation!
All they ever want is repetition
All they really like is what they know
Gotta keep a link with your tradition
Gotta learn to trust your intuition
While you re-establish your position
So that you can be on exhibit…
So that your work can be on exhibition!
Be new, girl!
They tell you till they’re blue, girl!
You’re new, or else you’re through, girl!
And even if it’s true, girl,
You do what you can do!
Bit by bit, Putting it together
Piece by piece, working on the vision night and day
All it takes is time and perseverance
With a little luck along the way
Putting in a personal appearance
Gathering supporters and adherents…
[Producer 1:] Well, she’s an original!
[Producer 3:] WAS!
[Barbra:] Mapping out the songs but in addition
Harmonizing each negotiation
Balancing the part that’s all musicians
With the part that’s strictly presentation
Balancing the money with the mission
Till you have the perfect orchestration
Even if you do have the suspicion
That it’s taking all your concentration
The art of making art
Is putting it together, bit by bit
Beat by beat, part by part
Sheet by sheet, chart by chart
Track by track, bit by bit,
Reel by reel, pout by pout
Stack by stack, snit by snit,
meal by meal, shout by shout
Deal by deal, spat by spat
Shpiel by shpiel, doubt by doubt
And that… Is the state of the art!