Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Universe is Listening!

Be careful what you wish for! That's one of the many cliches/admonitions/old wives tales whatever you want to call it that I was raised with. Today I saw the universe come to bear on such a statement and it was amazing!

A friend emailed me lamenting her need for more income. Nothing unusual about that. Making money from writing has gotten more challenging and some of our favorite editors are looking for work and some of our favorite magazines have folded.

She wondered if maybe she could find a market for book reviews, in addition to the ones for which she already writes. Publishers Weekly maybe or Kirkus? And then I received a Google Alert that I had set for Magazine Publishing News. It said that Publishers and Editors has been axed (the magazine not the actual people). "The magazine, which has covered journalism and the media for more than a century, said on its Web site that industry support has been overwhelming in the wake of the news that E&P is to be shuttered."

And then I saw a discussion at Internet Writing Workshop that Kirkus had also been axed.

I sat in shock. Both of those magazines have been around forever. They were popular. Respected. Icons of trusted reporting and reviewing. The world is crashing around our ears!

I emailed the friend and told her to scratch Kirkus off her list. We were lamenting about review markets and were glad we worked for one that seemed to be fairly solid.

A few minutes later another email. This time from the editor at this solid review market saying that she needs help! Apparently with the sudden demise of Kirkus, several strings or should I say review contracts were left dangling and we would be picking up the slack.

I emailed my friend and she emailed me and we did this cyber happy dance as emails collided. We now have more books to review than we could imagine and some of them at higher pay because of the urgency involved. There's sadness at the loss of an old and venerable market and magazine. There's sadness over the loss of respected journalistic award winning publications.

But in the immediate future, I see a chance to actually pay off Christmas! I see work and a chance to feel productive and needed and all of that because I can read and write reasonable book reviews. Will it pay the mortgage? Probably not. But it will certainly close the gap between my budget and reality.

And I have come to realize that there really is a silver lining in those storm clouds and it is darkest before the dawn. I didn't want a magazine to fold just so I could write more reviews. But it makes me wonder if everything is truly connected in this universe. Needs are met in the strangest ways. And maybe, just maybe if all of these pieces fit together. Then maybe I'm wishing too small.

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