A couple weeks later I was on a plane to Colorado for my first ever very official publishing luncheon. Just to make things interesting, this grand little adventure was unfolding in the midst of a big teaching/learning tour, in which Devon and I were in the midst of flying around all over the place.
(This is Part II in a multi-part series. For Part I, please click here.)
Ashland -> Madison -> Denver -> Boston -> New York -> Iceland -> Faroe Islands -> Copenhagen -> Amsterdam -> Berlin -> Mexico -> Ashland -> Honolulu
Or something like that. At any rate, we were on the road and in the air. And right in the middle of it, I arrived in sunny, spring-struck Boulder and stayed with Matt and Kelly and sat with my old Zen friends on little black cushions. It was beautiful. I miss Zen, with its simplicity and discernment and much better incense. But such is life.
Next morning, I got up, went for a walk, and then met Matt and Jenn Brown, the previously mentioned senior editor from Shambhala, for lunch.
It was a lovely lunch. I mean, there were no martinis, which was mildly disappointing. But I guess Shambhala's not a New York publisher. And maybe New York publishers don't even have three-martini luncheons anymore. Maybe they eat kale, like we did, and have friendly, productive, sober conversations about books they hope will bring more goodness into the world. Who knows?
During lunch, we talked Buddhism and travel, mindfulness and ethics. I also told Jenn a bit about our workshops and what we do, where we teach, how we teach, who we teach, and then Jenn offered up some clarity on the proposal. In essence, she said, "This is really two books you're proposing. Why don't you write up two separate proposals, and send them both to me, and then we'll see?"
And I said, "Thank you very much," and then got on a plane to the East Coast and then to Europe, where Devon and I taught workshops and I started to break down the one confused proposal into two different (hopefully) clearer proposals while we stayed in a camper van and then a sod roof hut and then a city flat and so on. By the time we landed in Oregon again six weeks later, I had finished my two drafts.
Which left me with just three problems:
I'd fallen in love with the first, which was risky and difficult.
I was bored silly by the second, which safely targeted our existing market niche.
And I absolutely knew in my bones that Shambhala would go safe (and choose the second).
So I held the completed drafts for a few days, trying to decide what to do.
Next time on adventures in book writing: Shambhala Makes Its Choice