Frances Kuffel

PASSING FOR THIN, EATING ICE CREAM WITH MY DOG and LOVE SICK

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Forward March

January 16, 2010

Tags: BALANCING ACT, agent, career, essays, new book contract, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, writing

I went to Fort Lauderdale on Thursday to tape an interview for BALANCING ACT, a morning talk show on the Lifetime network. I was out of the Bat Cave at 7.30 a.m. and got home around midnight but it was fun to be in a...h'mm, how to put it: national studio? It's not that doing Phoenix TV was unprofessional, but BALANCING ACT had the accoutrements of the networks: a dress code (jewel tones or pastels: I went with coral and a print skirt), a hair and make-up person, PASTRIES IN THE GREEN ROOM, two takes for the final version.

And a town car at my door and at the foot of the airport escalators -- such luxury.

Daisy stayed with her Uncle Gerry and it was wonderful to sleep in a little on Friday, then get up and do some of the chores that haven't been done in a while. One of my tasks was to speak with my agent. I think I'd rather scrub the kitchen floor than go through that conversation again.

I love my agent. When she was editor-in-chief of Little, Brown and I was a peon assistant in a literary agency, she was always kind and encouraging. She's stuck by me and she's a fabulous cheerleader. But we're at a new turning in my career.

No more fat books, or thin books. I want to write a collection of essays about the rest of my life, the sillier, more lighthearted life that's not all bound up in Issues. My editor agrees and my agent spoke to her while I was eating rugalach, hoping for the beginning of a negotiation, but my editor wants a sample essay and table of contents. I came home to an email that made me feel as though I'd failed in some way.

All of this, while it sounds like complaining, is actually PART of publishing a new book. The iron is hot and we strike for a new contract. Essays will keep my audience better than whatever other nonfiction I could make a hash of suggesting. And I see no reason to feel disappointed in Berkley's wish to see a table of contents (which is done and which I'd sent my agent back in December) and a sample essay.

DO YOU KNOW HOW INCREDIBLY LUCKY WE ARE TO BE ABLE TO TALK ABOUT THE NEXT CONTRACT BASED ON, LIKE, TWENTY-ONE PAGES??? I wanted to say.

Sometimes having been an agent is tricky that way.

We disagree on the subject of the essay, which will be comic, and, probably, on the theme of the collection. My agent tends to push for perky and sexy; my nature is more phlegmatic and sly. She's Piglet (or possibly Tigger) and I am Eeyore.

But we belong in the same book and I'm writing the essay I want to do because I'm trying to listen to my instincts this year and because I have a passion for that particular topic.

So now I'm being bother Author and Writer and trying to stay away from Adversary even while I do what I bloody well want to do.

Comments

  1. March 16, 2010 11:50 PM EDT
    I'm so glad you've got another project in the works! Looking forward to reading it.
    - RR

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