Sunday, September 3, 2017

That was... fun? Yes, yes it was.



After six months of full-time book writing, my money ran out and reality set in. But good news! I found a challenging new job that lights my brain up between the hours of eight a.m. and four o'clock! And I still have creative energy to burn on the weekends to write novel number two.

My six months of 24/7 book writing were, by and large, a success. Apart from some chronic pain resurgences, I managed to get about 50,000 words of the first draft done. And it's not crap. It's actually pretty not bad. If I keep going like this, I think I'll be done the book in a year. I've got some vague interest from an agent I hugely respect, which is nice because at least I know I'm not on the wrong track re: plot. But more importantly, I've been enjoying this story. Loving it, really. It's a strange world I've been spending my time in, and I'm excited to see what these characters blow-up, eat, flood, stab, build, desalinate, hunt, topple, alienate and f#ck next.

All in all, those six months were a huge success for my creative life, and I don't regret taking that time for myself at all. Even though it cost me money. Even though the pain was a bitch. Plus, book goals aside, it was time to move on from my old job. It was good to me, and I miss the people a lot. But it was a change I needed, both for my writing and my career... like the career that pays my bills.

Speaking of money, I got my first The Weather Inside royalty cheque a few months ago! I bought groceries with it! Like a couple boxes of cereal, okay, not caviar and asparagus water. But getting that cheque meant achieving a personal goal for my first novel, so I'm counting that as a win.


Friday, August 4, 2017

The Other Emily Saso strikes again.

I just got this email from LitMag:


Please note that the Emily Saso mentioned here is not me. As a matter of fact, LitMag recently rejected a story I submitted. (No hard feelings, LitMag!) I wrote about the Other Emily Saso on this blog before. She's hard to track down, and I never did manage to find an email address. I was hoping she'd get in touch, but perhaps she's immune to the tug of the self-Google?

You might think, "Gee, things sure could get confusing with two writers of literary fiction named Emily Saso on the planet!" And you'd be right! Weeks ago, I was approached by a NYC literary agent. He emailed me instead of the other me, and wondered if I (she) wanted to consider representation. This was an impressive agency, so I couldn't help myself. Here's what I told them:

Hi X, 
This is so funny. I am a novelist, but I didn't publish a story called "All the Bells."
I do know that there is another writer out there named Emily Saso who, I think, lives in NY state. I actually blogged about her here:
http://egoburn.blogspot.ca/2014/07/will-real-emily-saso-please-stand-up.html?m=1
Because the universe is just bonkers like that.
Funnily enough X 2, I am at work on my second novel right now. I've even spoken to a few editors about it and they love the concept. And I don't currently have representation. Maybe it's fate that you emailed me instead? ;)
Anyways, best of luck finding your other Emily Saso! And if you ever want to see some of my stuff, let me know.
Cheers,
Emily Saso
(The Toronto one)
www.emilysaso.com

So yes, I am trying to take advantage of this situation because no one -- not me or even Other Me -- could make this $hit up. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

I have eight things to say about the #EMMY2017 nominations and then I'm going to drink my breakfast.

1. 24 out of 26 Emmy nominees for writing are men. 


I'll give you some time to process that.





Okay, ready? Let's continue.


2. If you think it's not systemic, here's an example direct from my personal experience. When the CBC passed on one of my TV pilots a few weeks ago, they said they already had a range of "female led comedy in development."

3. They weren't mean about it. In fact, they were very nice.

4. But they still implied -- via, you know, their words -- that they had enough tv shows written by women, with a female lead, thanks very much.

5. Not sure they'd ever use the term "male-led comedy" or even think twice about it. But ok...

6. I thought that was a funny reason to reject someone at first. Or at least an excuse for rejecting someone. I laughed about it. Out loud.

7. But then the Emmy noms came out. 

8. I'm not laughing anymore.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

My favourite spring books so far



So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum
This book does not need my blessing. It’s everywhere and got nominated for a big, delicious prize. But I’ll add my voice to the chorus because it's a beautiful, devastating book. The collection of voices Rosenblum gathers to tell this story are remarkable. It's a painful story -- a young woman goes missing -- but there is hope here, and even humour. As anyone who has read her work can attest to, Rosenblum shines when she writes about the everyday acts of living -- spinning it all into fascinating art. With So Much Love, this skill has been elevated. The plot is beyond the everyday -- it's a thriller. And the emotional resonance is also far deeper, the stakes as high as they can get. So Much Love is a powerful literary pager-turner and Rosenblum is a total star.

The Dark and Other Love Stories by Deborah Willis
Here's the truth: Deborah Willis reintroduced me to the short story. I’d fallen away from the form for a time. I wasn’t getting the closure I needed or the emotional connection I look for when reading. Then came The Dark and Other Love Stories. I’ve never felt more emotional satisfaction from a book of shorts. So much heart, humour and wonder in this volume. For example, she wrote a story about an expedition to Mars, but it's framed around the struggles of romantic love! Who would think to do that?! (By the way, it's perfect.) It’s easily one of my favourite books of the year. It’s cool and modern but wholeheartedly sincere, almost radically so. I can’t say enough good stuff about it.

A Three-Tiered Pastel Dream by Lelsey Trites
Ever have a roommate who you just know is gonna make it someday? Lesley Trites was one of those. In the mid-2000s, we shared a crib with four other people on the crest of a mid-town hill. Sometimes, when she would look out at the view, I'd wonder what she was thinking. Beauties like this, I guess:
“So I slip-soled up the steps of the library determined to harness that beast, the Internet, and find you." 
“Alex is a shortcut through the debilitating self-consciousness that runs in my family and slows us down.”
This collection is sensitive, reflective, and very entertaining. I felt like I was reading literary gossip sometimes because the peeks she gives into the lives of her characters are so wonderfully juicy! Lesley was a good friend and a reliable woman to share a chore-wheel with, so I'm stoked that CanLit (and you) has found her out.

Next Year, for Sure by Zoey Leigh Peterson
This is not what I expected from a novel about an open relationship, not at all -- and that made me love it all the more. The prose is stunning and the story has such depth and wisdom, while still being wildly entertaining. I am mystified by how Peterson has written such an emotionally complex book with such clarity. It's not a thriller, but it kind of is! Because I could not put this book down! I had to see what happened next to this couple! If this doesn't get shortlisted for the major prizes this year, I will protest.