Where has it gone?

I declare, time is speeding up the older I get. I have no idea where this summer has flown. Having anticipated the hot, muggy days of a Southern July, I woke up this morning and realized it's almost over. Not only July, but summer too. Makes me grumpy. Like the morning after Christmas, when all the anticipation has dissolved into the mist of OMG, January is next. . .

Major renovations going on at our house - a new bathroom for one - and guests have taken up some of my time. Mostly though, I have no excuse for being so remiss in keeping this blog going. As I watch a Nascar race on TV (and I don't even sit through all of them, now), I think about discussing the alarming trend among drivers to have a baby with the current girl friend, and ignore the minor detail of a wedding first. Or even after the baby arrives. Denny Hamlin, you were raised better than that. Kyle Larson, well, you're only 21, but I'm sure someone informed you that the decent thing to do is to put a ring on it. Penske's new powerhouse engines have me tickled pink (as does Joey Logano's new found zip), Dale's great year -all of it is good.

What I'm holding my breath over is Rob Kauffman's new alliance with Roush, Hendricks, Gibbs, Petty, and Childress. Ostensibly, it's to pool resources to get better deals on parts, equipment, and hotel rooms for crew during race weekends, but I have to wonder - is it really about the new TV contract Nascar just signed? Big bucks there. Now that Nascar has said it will communicate with the alliance only through its lawyers, I think I'm right.

I'm hearing more alarming trends have arrived in the standard book contract offered by traditional publishers. For one thing, a second book (always an option in days gone by) must be submitted as a completed manuscript before it will be considered for a contract. Oh, and they (the pubs), won't look at it until sales figures are in for the first book. Scary, scary. And if they turn it down and the author takes the book to another house, the first publisher gets to make an offer with priority standing if the second house says it wants the book. All very convoluted, but if you're a published author,  you know what I mean. Bad, bad times in traditional publishing for writers. Then again, we've always been at the bottom of the profit barrel, but I never expected contracts to become so heinous. I wonder how long it will take for an uprising? Antitrust laws seem to be a good place to start. 

I'll try to be more attentive to this blog, I promise.