Monday, March 17, 2008

A Text’s Tale

Perhaps it’s because I’ve spent the last month reading portions of The Faerie Queene with one of my classes, but my life—or rather, subsections of my life—seems startlingly similar to Spenserian quest paradigms. This post will introduce readers to the plucky knight Sir Translatio Side-Project, and relate his adventures in the perilous world of publishing.

Sir Side-Project was born, as his allegorical moniker suggests, as a way to blow off steam while I worked on my dissertation, but after that work was complete he took on a life of his own. In true Spenserian fashion, he owes a great debt to much older literary endeavor; we might picture him wearing ancient Roman armor and carrying a plowshare as a weapon.

When Sir Side-Project was finished, he seemed strong enough to go out and face the harsh world. But, as with all true knights-errant, that meant a lot of wandering around. He seemed to belong most in the field of academic publishing, since he had all this scholarly apparatus attached to him like so much tiltyard furniture.

He thought he’d found a home with Big Cool University Press, but then they (in budget crisis like everyone else) cut their List In That Field and sent the field editor packing, along with all the projects he’d been shepherding. Then to Snooty Private U.P., whose editor expressed interest, until one of the two readers responded that Sir Side-Project wasn’t “edgy” enough. (Hard to be edgy when you’re 2000 years old, some might say.) On, then, to Glorious European U.P., which LOVED our hero, but whose giant international infrastructure meant that the contract had to be abandoned on the eve of its being sent because their overseas office had just contracted *someone else’s* handling of Sir Side-Project’s territory. I guess they felt they shouldn’t compete against themselves. The journeyings described in this paragraph took more than three years.

Despondent, Sir S-P entered the cave of Contemplation for a while, resting in the middest of the race, if you will, and trying to figure out what course of action suited him best, what direction would take him to his destiny. Small independent trade house? More U.P.s in budgetary crises? Slink away until the unlikely event of his author’s improved literary stature?

But then, last month, like some deus ex machina figure, an editor at Huge Market Share Literary Publisher, a friend of a friend, sent a note requesting an audience with our intrepid wanderer.

And today, dear readers, HMSLP, Inc., offered Sir S-P a permanent home.


Okay. That was weird, and vaguely D&D-esque. I don’t usually personify my projects. Especially with cute names. Chalk it up to giddiness on my part.

So! My life is falling apart, but at least I’m publishing well.



Special K said...


How 'bout some more exclamation points for your amazingness:


Lisa B. said...

Huzzah and hoopla!

rml said...

still grinning. well done.

Jeff said...

Hot damn, that is some good news. In the morning, my tribe and I will perform a dance of happiness and thanksgiving in your honor.

I am not kidding.

neophyte said...

Don't worry, dear, this is sweet and funny. Verse or Spenserian diction and spelling would probably be effed up, but this is sweet and funny.


Say things about translating some time. It's a favorite activity of mine, but it's more just brain-play, like crosswords or sudoku are for some people. I'd like to hear about the process from someone who does it more seriously.


squadratomagico said...

Congratulations! Excellentissimus!

Dr. Write said...

Yes. Congrats congrats!
And I hope someday we get the non-shrouded version of how all this came to be.

Renaissance Girl said...

Thanks, everyone! I'll keep you posted as the slow wheels of publishing turn and turn....

Flavia said...

Catching up on blogs very belatedly, but wanted to add my congrats all the same--so, congrats!!

(Though--I'm concerned about the life-falling-apart part of this post. Hope all's okay. . . )