&: Diary (5)

(April 27th, 2019) Got coffee at the Vietnamese place that replaced Kent, went for a walk around Inaricho, then spent the rest of the day putting materials in order for getting the Floating City project on track. Emailed **** ******* to ask about funding sources, emailed **** ***** to get the contact information for Liang Xiaosheng, put off calling him again, pulled out book report originally sent to Penguin. Never again, I told myself, try to represent a book. I can see this going down as nothing but a waste of time—maybe a useful lesson in how the publish industry works, how Chinese funding sources are secured, the relationship between Mainland partner presses and the tiny publishing houses they connect out to in the wider world. Best case scenario, a publisher takes interest and is willing to take over on the work of securing funding and sorting out rights, or I can get **** *** or **** *** interested in representing the book. Worse but unlikely scenario, someone else scoops it up and publishes. Worst case scenario, nothing happens. But, another way of looking at it, there's no money coming in at the moment, so I might as well try to hustle this through to its conclusion and learn something in the process. And always, there's the urge to get the job done as quickly as possible, forgetting that everyone else is operating on a timeline that stretches out to months or year. Successfully pitched Alec Ash at China Channel on a review, and **** *********** on a longer piece about the fake Freshwind in Dihua. Only four months to go until the second payment out of Amazon, and I should be able to last until then, as long as there are a few more successful pitches along the way, and hopefully **** will put me on the project of another Jia novel for ***** ******.

(April 28th, 2019) Another grey day, walked over to Onoterusaki Shrine 小野照崎神社, which I know I've written about before, so I won't bother doing it again. I like the miniature Mount Fuji, overgrown with weeds, one of the few remnants of the Fuji cult that started by an ascetic that starved himself in protest food prices going up. I need to remember to visit on the first of July (or June?), when they open the gates let people hike up the narrow trail to the peak. I hung an ema 絵馬, wishing for the success of this book pitch. The city is supposed to be quiet over Golden Week, but those kinds of patterns don't matter on this end of town, where spring and summer holidays only mean more people flooding into Asakusa, all the hotels around Uguisudani and Ueno full, the roads between them full of tourists. Once you get deeper into the territory between Uguisudani and Minowa, toward Arakawa Ward, going down the side streets, it's as quiet as always, more cats than people, especially a place like Onoterusaki, far from the tourist route, just a particularly beautiful neighborhood shrine, the only restaurants alleyway tempura or kaiseki 懐石 places that you'd have to know about to find. Went up all the way to Negishi Park, wandered through a few of the shrines over in that neighborhood, then stopped at a family restaurant and ate omurice with beef stew on top, came back down through Shitaya.