Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My second paycheck...

And it's so nice having money come in for a change, instead of just going out. I'm still scrambling to catch up, but it's better than it was.

I'm finally blogging because most of the day -- hell, the whole damn day was spent handling problems at British customs. And while some of the problems were customs people being overwhelmed and just bumping anything that looked like a pain so they could deal with all the other crap they had piling up, some of the trouble was worked up by intelligent people who really should have known better. Like getting an export license for a book worth 10,000 pounds and listing the books on the packing list as being worth 16,000 pounds. RED FLAG!!! Got to get everything corrected and handled or else the shipment won't be cleared and we'll miss our flight...meaning it's entirely possible no books for you at the book fair because they won't get cleared till Tuesday, now. So you have to call the bookseller, get them to send a corrected packing list and a letter explaining it was just a typo and hope customs accepts the explanation. All across thousands of miles and five time zones. And on the eve of what is a four day weekend in England.

It's not like these guys have never had to do this before. England became more strict about certain types of books leaving the country eight years ago. If it's an incunable (hand printed before the 15th Century) you need an export license. If it's valued at more that 40,000 pounds, you need one. If it's certain types of autographs (still don't know how to figure that one out) you need a license. And you have to provide the originals of those licenses to customs and you have to do it every time the book leaves the country. If you don't, they can seize your shipment and levy fines. So there is nothing new about it. But some people still wait till the last minute and rush about and that's a guarantee there will be mistakes made. And trying to get them to do it early hasn't really worked so well. I was e-mailing people about the necessary documents from the first week of March and got my head snapped off a couple of times.

Oh, well -- back to writing. I didn't actually do any, last night, but I did pull together a rough assembly of what I'd already written for "Bobby Carapisi - volume 3" and it worked out to over 175 pages. Surprised the hell out of me. There are still some gaping holes in the storyline and I'm a bit unclear as to the meaning behind it all, but some major moments are already taking form so I guess it's possible to get it done soon. We'll see what happens.

One of the publisher's authors has a goal of 50 books in print. He's got two dozen, so he'll probably make it (I've read some of his work and...well...let's just say he's not as invested in the story or grammar or style as I tend to be). A touch of arrogance here. And now it's time to return to earth.

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