Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Redneck Deer Hunting plus some industry news

This morning at 6:20 AM, I went redneck deer hunting. For those of you unfamiliar with the sport, it's when people like me who live in the country (like I do) kill the biggest deer you can find on a two-lane road using the front end of your car. I was pretty successful--I landed an 8-point buck in three seconds: one to see him running in front of me, two to travel less than five feet and hit him, and three to make sure my car wasn't in a ditch once the airbag smoke dissipated. I wasn't, my car had been pushed to the right by the impact, but I was safely two wheels on the road and two on someone's gravel driveway. The buck was down the ravine off the other side of the road--the impact tossed him at least 20 feet.

Once again I thanked God as I walked away from another car wreck--this one about 40 miles an hour to zero in seconds. I'm sore, but overall doing fine. No deer in my windshield, my car's fixable, and the rental is in my garage. Tomorrow I'll go to work, and later I'll put the pictures of my car (about $6,000 worth of damage) on my bulletin board and advise my students to always wear their seatbelts. The 8-point rack went home with one of the guys from the fire department.

So that brings me to my industry news. Since I had an unexpected free day from teaching as I was without a car, I decided to touch base with my editor. So I called Harlequin only to learn that she was no longer with the company. Torstar, Harlequin's parent company, decided to downsize 4 percent of Harlequin's personnel according to Reuters and Publisher's Weekly.

I'd just heard from my editor last week. But like the crash with the deer, when I spent about ten minutes in shock after calling 911, I recovered from the devasting news and went into action. I called my agent so that she can be aware of what's up as this event snuck up on everyone. In my opinion, and from the way the news media reported it, I don't many at Harlequin knew it was coming. If they did, it was kept very quiet.

I spoke with someone else at Harlequin to make sure that my files I'd sent had gotten there. I called another writer about the workshop we were doing--with our editor who is no longer there what did we want to do? Then I sat down and got to work meeting my current deadline.

In life and in publishing, things come up out of the blue that are sudden and unexpected. All of the sudden--pow--in an instant things change and life gets upheaved. I loved working with my editor. I'm going to miss her. She made me a better writer. I will always be grateful to her for that, and I wish her the best wherever her future plans take her.



Trish Ryan said...

So sorry to hear about your car and your editor...but it sounds like you're doing great! You're so right, stuff comes up and we smack into it, but once you realize you survived the hit, the best thing to do is get back to what you love.

JoAnn Ross said...

Wow, Michele, sweetie, I'm so glad you're okay. Having grown up in deer and elk country, I know how dangerous an up close and personal deer/car encounter can be! At least you didn't swerve. As a tow truck driver once pointed out to me, animals move when you hit them; trees don't.

Bummer about your editor; I'd read about HQ cutting people, but hoped it was mostly just all those management types who seem to fill up offices and make obnoxious decisions which seldom have anything to do with making the books better. I wrote somewhere between 60-70 books for HQ and not only were those my happiest days, during all those years I was privileged to work with some of the best, and most supportive editors in the business.

Cheryl Bolen said...

Oh, Michele, I think losing your editor is far worse than your collision with the (poor) deer. Losing an advocate like your editor is really scary. Let's hope there's a huge silver lining here.