Archive | December, 2011

Dear George,

18 Dec

Before I ever stepped foot in Shakespeare and Co., I was familiar with your story. Growing up in the small town of Kitchener, and being a novice writer, I could only dream of taking refuge in the upstairs lodgings at your bookstore. I greatly admired your passion for literature, travel, and your aptitude for new languages (the latter to which I am deeply envious of). On my first visit to Paris, visiting S&Co was on the top of my list. The welcoming and musty atmosphere of that little bookshop has stayed with me, and I know that I will always take pleasure from a never changing S&Co in years to come.

You will continue to be an inspiration to me, and to so many others within the literary community.

Merci pour tout,

Drea

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No vacation goes unpunished.

16 Dec

In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.

Mark Twain

Like Twain,┬ámy capacity for expressing myself in other languages is a sad state of affairs. I am currently abroad for my holidays, and besides being able to fluently converse with a two year old, my francais leaves much to be desired. Which brings me to the theme of this post: One of the main perks of being an agent, is that you can work remotely. Besides the author meetings and book launches, most of my work is done from my laptop. This aspect of the job is wonderful, as I get to combine two of my greatest loves in life: travel and literature. In no other job, would I be able to take six weeks vacation abroad, and still maintain a somewhat active work schedule. Not to imply that working abroad is easy. It requires a fair level of discipline, especially when cities like London and Barcelona are your backdrop. And that is when things run smoothly. But when they do not, it is terribly difficult to juggle vacation mode and work mode. For example, when your electronic devices go on the fritz and decide to behave badly. Within the first few days of arriving in France, my beloved laptop died. Mon portable est morte. Que faire? I was in a tizzy for the first few days, but then I adapted. Part of that adaption involved borrowing other people’s laptops, and slacking a bit on my work load. Somehow I persevered, and have been surprisingly productive considering I am sans portable, and am now in the south of France. Fortunately, we are in mid December. This means I can shed my work hat, and openly embrace this down period in my life. I rejoice for this rest, as I am fully aware that the new year is just around the corner, and with it comes stacks of manuscripts, heavy edits, author meetings and multiple submissions…

Mais pour l’instant, je me repose.