Archive for January, 2010

I Didn’t Expect An Answer Anyway

January 15, 2010

So . . .

Remember how a while back I waxed maudlin about stumbling upon a way to easily contact two people that left my life on poor terms, two people I still wonder about from time to time?  Remember how poor a job I did talking myself out of contacting them?

Remember the thought that STARTED all that . . . the one about having to know it all?

Well I want you to know that I did NOT contact them . . . just ONE of them.

There’s been (predictably) no answer (and I didn’t really leave a lot of opening for one . . . it was just a quick but sincere “congrats on achieving your dream”), but signs indicate that the message was received, at least, and that her response might be best described as “flabbergasted.”

Well . . . at least I know I haven’t lost my knack for getting THAT response, so here’s a candle for all those we’ve all parted ways with on poor terms and wished we hadn’t (even if, and maybe even because of, even looking back now we STILL can’t see a way to have avoided it), and, of course, a candle in particular for she whom I flabbergasted.

I did mean what I said.  Congratulations.

(Oh, and the possibility exists that I may be flattering myself about the “flabbergasted” response, by the way; my evidence for this response being related to my brief note is circumstantial at best, but despite that, I’m going to just presume my assessment is correct.

After all, if I’m wrong, all she has to do is TELL me.)

So Now What? (Part Three)

January 14, 2010

So . . . put another way . . . it’s time for me to get an agent. 

Because if there’s one thing the past year or so has taught me as I tried to write AND (generally failed to find time to) promote my first book:  A good agent EARNS their percentage a thousand times over.

Now I just need to find a good agent.

So I’ve done my initial research and mulled over criteria that I think are vital in the Communication Age (a web presence, for instance), because while I don’t believe the day of the printed word is quite done yet, neither do I want to deal with people that think I bang manuscripts out on an old Underwood style typewriter (It was a fabulous device, but I get less pain and blood from using my laptop), so now . . .

I wait for my editor so that I can go over her notes and give the manuscript one final review before shopping it around and seeing who wants to tear it to bloody shreds with their suggestions, and who would just suggest that *I* be torn into bloody shreds.

(I intend to ignore the latter suggestion.)

So Now What? (Much Delayed Part Two)

January 13, 2010

Well . . . like I tell people, I’ve admitted my compulsion to write AND proven to myself I can do it on a schedule.  

Now it’s time to learn how to sell what I write, because, bluntly, for me to write as much as I want in my life, my writing has to start paying some bills (particularly food bills).  This may seem a somewhat crass attitude to some (including myself), but it’s not, it’s a crass FACT:  If I want to devote my life to spinning tales that’s all fine, well, and good, but it doesn’t harvest the potatoes as my grandfather would never have said; so to do what I want to do, I ALSO have to do it well enough to entertain those that DO harvest the (metaphorical) potatoes such that they are willing to share their harvest with me so that I can have enough to eat so that I can keep thinking up MORE tales to entertain them, and so on. 

Sounds like a perfect plan to me, in no small part because I HATE digging potatoes (though I’m starting to think I shouldn’t write on a empty stomach), but a cornerstone of that plan involves enough people knowing of my tales for it to work. 

So for a start, now it’s time for me to break out of my shy, retiring ways, if only so I can be well known enough to grow all reclusive and peculiar AFTER I’m established.

But first things first.

One Quick Side Note Though

January 12, 2010

Before this funny note gets buried under more important matters:

So last week I’m meeting someone for breakfast, and as I add a, shall we say, ‘generous’ amount of hot sauce on my eggs, I’m told “You like hot sauce so much that you’d add it on pancakes.”

Feeling this was clearly ridiculous, I placed a few discrete drops of hot sauce on my side order of pancakes, just to disprove the baseless accusation.

Truth be told . . . I thought it added something . . . a nice hint of heat with the sweet . . .

Right . . . Where Was I?

January 11, 2010

I’ll spare you the long version of last week, but here’s a few highlights:

“So after repeatedly telling me it must be a fault in my equipment, you just “happen” to perform a major overhaul on a nearby node and miraculously, my equipment fixes itself.  The only way I could be less impressed by this is if you ALSO cut my service because of a screw up in YOUR automated billing that you failed to contact me over.”  (Yep . . . that’s exactly what happened.)

“While I thank you for the refund for my brother’s long delayed Christmas gift, I was ACTUALLY hoping you could just correctly deliver it this time . . .”  (This one actually wasn’t THAT bad, but the gift WAS returned to the shipper in a comedy of errors due to a bad address, and my money was refunded rather than anyone going to the hassle of contacting me about the address first (which would have been the correct procedure, by the way).  That one was smoothed over fairly quickly, and though my brother doesn’t have his gift, *I* have his gift at least.  I can work with that . . . maybe even get it to him before NEXT Christmas rolls around.)

“Get DOWN!”  (And I didn’t mean in the funky sense, I meant in the “a nearby transformer has just exploded and the electrical line behind the house is overloading AND on fire” sense. )

“No . . . I did NOT realize my tail light had burnt out.”  (Here’s a pro tip for you kids:  No matter how bad your day/week has been (say you’ve dealt with a string of idiotic bureaucratic snafus and watched fire rain down on your back yard, leaving you in the rare Florida cold and out looking for someplace warm), being anything OTHER than polite when the officer pulls you over is just going to make a bad situation even worse, and odds are good the officer isn’t going to be the one to suffer the most for it.)

So this candle is for ME, for remembering that little tip and NOT getting  a ticket (And in case the officer is reading this, I replaced that bulb the next morning, just like I said I would).  I’ll pick up my interrupted train of thought tomorrow.

The . . . End?

January 8, 2010

I SEEM to have my connectivity restored and all has been returned to normal.

But I’ve seen this movie before . . .

Trickier And Trickier

January 7, 2010

“The only thing worse than a bureaucracy is an AUTOMATED bureaucracy.”

– Robert Alan

(Still working to resolve an increasingly complex connectivity issue.)

Speaking Of Tricky . . .

January 6, 2010

Having MASSIVE connectivity issues today.  Working to resolve them now.

So Now What? (Part One)

January 5, 2010

For a while, we just wait.  My editor may be fond of me, but that doesn’t make going over my book a “drop everything” kind of project for her, and when she DOES get to it, I want her to take her time and do it right.   In the meantime I’ll be focusing on doing all the unpacking and other assorted household chores (getting the refrigerator repaired today, for instance) that have cropped up and are in need of some long delayed attention on my part. 

In a few weeks (that’s my best guess, at least), I’ll get the manuscript back from her and start going over her notes;  I’ll also use that time to give the manuscript another thorough going over myself.

After that, it gets . . . trickier . . .

And The Award Is . . .

January 4, 2010

For handing a total manuscript of my second book to my editor in under one year, I am officially awarding myself:

A silver medal. 

It should be noted here that many people (my editor included) have tried to sway me that I deserve to take the gold, and that I’m being too hard on myself.

I’m not swayed.

At the start of my challenge I said the goal was to have a manuscript ready to hand to a PUBLISHER, not an editor, and while I’m not minimizing my accomplishment (hence the silver), it’s NOT what I set out to do. 

But don’t get me wrong, I can not only live with the silver . . .

. . . I’m DAMN proud of it!

I’ll just have to take the gold next time.