, , , , , , ,

I experienced a weird constellation of three events last week. First, my editor, my agent, and I hashed out the jacket copy for my upcoming novel, Exit Black. It was weird to realize that I was basically helping write ad copy for a book that I labored over for two years. Second, I sent out a query to a literary agent for the book I drafted after Exit Black, called Pacifica. (My current excellent and extant agent, Scott, works on film and TV projects, and Pacifica definitely isn’t movie material, so I am looking for a bookish agent as well).

And third, I was driving down Broadway in Portland when I saw this bumper sticker ahead of me:

Millennials and Zoomers–and their parents who might have watched Spongebob Squarepants with them twenty years ago–will recognize this as Squidward Tentacles’ self portrait, “Bold and Brash.” I was happily shocked to see it on a bumper sticker. And I realized when I saw it that this publication process I am experiencing with my books is drawing up all of my deeply Squidwardian impulses: my vanity, my hunger for approval, my inner conflict about how art intersects with commerce. Squidward, c’est moi.

If you need a blast from the past, or you somehow never saw the original, here is a clip of me Squidward from the episode “Artist Unknown:”