Discovering New York a bit at a time

I ran the full loop yesterday in Central Park which is six miles (well, I ran most of it and walked the rest when I thought a lung or other organ was about to be expelled.) I took a detour at the northwest corner to check out the neighborhood. Central Park West (the street that parallels the west side of the park) is not the same from Columbus Circle to 110th street. I then ran a few of the paths that wind their way through the north end before getting back on the road loop. Should you ever visit Manhattan and choose to run or stroll through the park keep in mind this is a big city so exercise common sense, especially as it gets dark. In fact, I think the park technically closes at 1am.

Later in the day I went into the Whole Foods at Columbus Circle for the first time and was blown away. The sheer volume and selection from around the world is absolutely astounding! Should you visit the city and are looking for a few less obvious places to check out I’d recommend the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle (the southwest corner of Central Park.) The center has a lot of great shops including Whole Foods and Borders, and it’s also a great place to get a pedi-cab or horse carriage tour of the park as well as a free concert by enterprising musicians and dancers. You’ll also find a variety of stalls selling everything from paintings to jewelry to souvenirs. And odds are that you’re liable to walk through the shot of a film crew if you hang around long enough (and maybe get 20 bucks to leave and quit causing a disturbance so that they can finish their shot…or so I hear.)

The search for an assistant

Actually, this person will be my second assistant, so in essence an assistant for my assistant (who is now an assistant editor) to assist me. Sort of assisted living for editors. Next year I’ll be publishing 45 books which is a handful. While many will be reprints several are original hard covers with significant publicity and marketing requirements and as we’re a smaller publisher we do more of that than normal. It feels like a monumental task and in some ways it is. Finding a qualified person is hard enough, but finding a qualified person with a bright personality, solid work ethic and ability to deal with the unexpected makes it a real challenge. Oh, and all at editorial assistant wages. I lucked out when I hired my first assistant. He’s continued to thrive in the job and has been clinically diagnosed as having taken over 37% of my higher brain functions. In another couple of years I’ll be drooling in a big black box with blinking lights (one for yes, two for no) while he runs the show. In the meantime, the search goes on.

In other news Band of Sisters is going back to print again as the book continues to sell extremely well. Kirsten has been terrific in support of her book and really gone above and beyond to help make it a success. She keeps her website updated, follows up on all queries, is gracious with her time and treats all events (and the people associated with them) with respect. I hope to emulate her example next year when my book pubs…as long as I can suppress my crusty, volatile and capricious editor tendencies.

My book versus ‘my’ book

At some basic, perhaps even genetic level, I know everything that’s going to happen along the road from now until A Darkness Forged in Fire hits the store shelves. I’ve traveled this path hundreds of times with my authors so it’s definitely old hat, and yet, it isn’t. Each milestone/hurdle is a bit more memorable for me now as bright-eyed author than wizened, er, wise, editor. It’s a Yogi Berra-ish like existence of deja vu all over again, but tilted a half degree, shaded a couple of hues, and with different subtitles. Just when I’m ready to shrug something off I catch myself and realize, hey, this is my book. Day in and day out I refer to the books I buy and edit and publish as my books, but this one is truly my book. Funny how simple semantics can hide so much meaning.

I have a pet…sort of

I woke up around 1:50am and heard scurrying coming from the kitchen. I got out of bed and turned on the lights and saw a mouse. I reminded myself that she was just as scared of me as I was of her, or something like that, and slowly backed away. She scampered, but a few minutes later reappeared and began trotting around the kitchen floor like she owned the place. At two in the morning she pretty much does. I watched silently for a bit then moved. She scampered again and hasn’t been back.