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So, that's been my life.

Mostly running tours, doing Chicago history research, and nonfiction books. It's winter, so I'm reading Dickens again. Last month I finally read all o Pickwick Papers, which is like watching the sitcom being formed out of primordial ooze. After that I switched over to one of his "mid-period" books Dombey and Son, and the effect is like going fro Meet the Beatles to Revolver I've read about a third of Dombey before, and while the parts with Little Paul tend towards a sort of pathos that I think Victorians were more into than I am, the rest is just stunning. There's a scene where Mr. Dombey is riding on a train and thinking about death that goes on for about three pages, and the prose is about as good as Dickens ever got, which means it's about as good as anyone ever got. I never finished this one before (I have a crap attention span), but this time I will. One of Dickens's darkest and dreariest books, but he could never write more than a few pages without saying something hilarious, too. SO many great comic relief characters - Susan Nipper, Major Bagstock, Mrs. Skewton, Miss Blimber, Mrs. Pipchin, Mr. Chick, Captain Cuttle... so many in one book! 

Speaking of Dickens, I started a new blog where I make drinks from his books and explain where the drinks come up in the works. It's like an intro to Dickens via booze; I call it Drink Like the Dickens.

As far as fiction goes, I have a new agent who sent out my "Satanic YA" novel to editors last month. No word yet. I'll have three new Chicago history books out this year, maybe four, but my novel-writing career is sort of stalled these days. Frankly, I found 95% of life as a "published author" to be misery and humiliation (the other 5% involved free food), and sort of wish I could just quit, but I keep coming up with new ideas all the time and can't stop working on them. Last year was the first year I made more as a tour guide than I did as a writer. That trend will probably continue for a while. I'm not thrilled about this, but it's nice to have a regular paycheck, instead of getting one about every six months. 


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jan. 5th, 2013 05:17 pm (UTC)
I recently listed to a romance novel (soft porn, actually, but probably good for both men and women) that involves Dickens. I really enjoyed how she included him. It's called _Surrender to the Devil_ by Lorraine Heath. The other three in the series are very good, too, but this is the one that directly involves Dickens. Wanted to recommend to you :-)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )