October 28th, 2005

How Nephele got me into Sam's Club

My husband and I finally joined Sam's Club this weekend. Because I am a Published Author, I got a business discount! Woo-hoo, I have arrived! $5 off!

Actually, I didn't need to be a published author to get a business discount. I also work as a freelance editor, and I've been claiming to be a professional novelist and deducting manuscript postage from my taxes since 1993.

What I DID need for the business discount was a business card. And I happened to have one in my wallet, left over from the Romance Writers of America national conference in July. I had them printed so I could pass around the contact info for my literary agent, nephele (pronounced NE-fu-lee; it's Greek, yo). I'm sure they've sent my membership application to the corporate office, and now there are people standing around in Bentonville, Arkansas, giving each other quizzical looks and saying, "Who is this Ne-fell and how did she manage to sell a romance novel set in a high school marching band?"

I am finding that Parenthood means purchasing expensive memberships in the hope of saving money in the long term. Birmingham Zoo: worth it. Stone Mountain, a park in Atlanta, where we lived previously: not worth it, because it takes 3 hours to drive anywhere in Atlanta.

Time will tell whether Sam's Club is worth it. They will have to carry my usual brands. For instance, as far as I'm concerned, Bounty is the ONLY paper towel for microwaving bacon, and I'm not changing to Brawny for Sam Walton or ANYBODY. Also, I'm not sure about this buying in bulk thing. I mean, $18 for Tide. Yes, it will last you 10 years, but come on. $18 for Tide. And I'm looking at this crate of training pants I bought for my 4-year-old son and wondering whether I will have refrained from teaching him not to wet the bed when he's 14 just so I could get my money's worth.

A Marathon of Luuurve

I'm trying desperately to finish my current YA romance (Blue Crush) so I can start writing a new adult romance (Playing Dirty), but it's hard to find the time. I have a 4-year-old and a editing job, and my husband has started working 12-hour nights 6 nights a week. Plus, I'm running 5 miles a day, training for the 10-K Vulcan Run on November 5.

Not to lose weight. And it's a good thing. I weigh now exactly what I weighed when I started the "Couch to 10-K in 10 Weeks" program 9 weeks ago. How could this be??? Yes, I'm eating, but I'm not eating an extra 4,000,000,000 calories a day to replace the ones I'm burning. Perhaps it's because for the rest of the day, I'm completely sedentary. Only my eyes move.

No, I'm running because it's a great stress reliever. And because I listen to the "soundtrack" for my YA novel (victoria_dahl's idea) on my iPod and brainstorm for ideas. And because I had yet another birthday. Pesky things keep coming.

Plus, I like the marathon as a metaphor for the way you have to start thinking if you're going to survive as a professional novelist. Books take forever to write, or it seems like it. Agents take forever to respond to your queries. Editors take longer. And then, when you finally sell, you have to do it all over again.

The marathon is also a positive metaphor for a professional writing career. One of my jobs in my local Romance Writers of America chapter is to give awards for the number of books each author sells to publishers in a year and a lifetime. Debra Webb sold her 50th book this year. 50! That makes the 13 books she sold this year alone seem like a 2-K fun run.