I must be in a bad subconscious mood this week. I have seven draft posts written and ready to be edited and scheduled to post (I try to keep at least two weeks ahead of the blog, but I've fallen behind.) Tonight when I read over them to pick out something for today, I realized all seven are either too blunt, too impolitic, or too satirical for public consumption. I can tone down most of them, and I will, but one was so vicious that I have to delete it.
I've been at this gig for a while now, and the biggest casualty aside from my heart has been my patience. Ask any career writer; after the gilt wears off and we reach that nebulous territory called "established" most of us get tired of the nonsense. We learn what the deal is, and we make our peace with it (or we quit the biz.) I'd like to think that we grow that famous thick skin and accept our battle scars, but on occasion knowledge combined with experience can also arm you with certain weapons the fresh troops don't yet have. It's not exactly sporting to use an AK-47 on a youngster with a sharp stick, no matter how many times he pokes you with it.
I'd rather laugh at myself than use my powers for the dark side, which is why that one post is destined for the garbage. As funny as it is -- and I think it would have most of you guys rolling on the floor -- Pokey has enough problems.
So let's look at my current dilemma: I have to send my mom a copy of the cover art for Shadowlight, which as you all know has a naked male torso on it. My first naked male torso cover, as it happens (I was overdue, I suppose.) It's not to my taste or what I'd hoped for, but what else is new? So should I tell Mom:
1) He's not showing anything that would upset the ladies at church, unless you squint at the stuff behind the byline and title.
2) People will think he's cold and feel sorry for him.
3) It could have been something like a naked snake-man.
4) He's in great shape so he's obviously been eating his vegetables, like his Mom told him.
5) We can apply some nice T-shirt-shaped stickers that say "autographed by the author" on the ones I sign before we show them to the ladies at church.
6) He's not pink.
6a) Or an albino.
6b) Or a pink albino Robin Hood.
6c) What, you thought I was going to pass up another opportunity to whine?
7) Maybe I've been cover art cursed and we need to go see a gypsy. Or a priest. Or a gypsy priest.
8) He's obviously just come back from the beach and didn't have time to put on some clothes.
9) Right before the photo shoot his girlfriend accidentally washed his clothes in Tide, which gives him a rash.
10) He desperately needed the money from posing for the cover to pay for an operation for his poor sick Mom.
10a) I desperately need the money from this book to pay for an operation.
10b) I'll limp more than usual when I give her the books.
11) He was running a fever.
12) He has a really bad shirt phobia.
13) My cover art was accidentally switched with someone else's, which means right now some erotica author is bitching about the fully-clothed guy on her cover.
14) He's really wearing a shirt with a manly torso printed on the front of it, and it's just very tight.
15) He needed to express to the world his utter joy in the beautiful body that God gave him, and this was the most efficient way to do it.
15a) No, I don't think she'll fall for that one, either.
16) As always, we writers have little to no say and no control over cover art. We take the good, the bad, and the ugly. As cover models go, this one is young, handsome, and -- bonus -- not pink. We must be grateful for our blessings, even if they're not what we would have chosen.
17) And I'll get those T-shirt-shaped autographed stickers made up right away.
Let me know what you think in comments.