Monday, January 31, 2011

Coming July 2011

I am going to be a father!  It may not look like much here, but folks, that is my baby.  It's not a Korean either, which is what really had me froggered.  Without being too specific, this wasn't supposed to happen.  Unfortunately, the adoption folks agree and we now have to wait a while longer before we can proceed.  That is the sad part.   And yes, we most certainly are continuing with our plans to adopt a Korean.  Despite what someone said the other day, this does not "solve our problem."  To be clear, there was no problem.  This baby is a bonus.  An older brother or sister for our Korean, whoever that ends up being.  

I must admit it's been a challenging shift in thinking.  We'd been preparing for a one-year-old all this time, for whom I was imagining a personality, who had already taken up residence in our hearts and who is, (or will be) already our child.  It's been a strange transition, but each day brings more excitement.  And more fear.

One-year-olds are durable.  Newborns, it seems, are quite different.  And I fear far more delicate.  I worry I will break it.  I suppose I will pick up some tips along the way.

Anyway, that's the big news.  Not a book deal or agent representation.  Just something a little better.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Major Announcement Monday

Be sure to check back to find out why I was froggered.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nathan Bransford's First Paragraph Challenge

I'm not normally one to link to contests, but for aspiring writers, more specifically, querying aspiring writers, this is a good one to check out.  No need to enter (although I did; entry #628 out of thus far 724 entries) but it is a great lesson in humility for anyone wondering why you might have gotten that rejection letter, or, more likely, no response at all.  It gives a new appreciation for what agents and editors face on a daily basis.  Just reading through a few of them, I saw how fast that no could pop onto an agent's lips.  Some were interesting enough I clicked the link to the author's blog, which I think is pretty good.

At any rate, you should check it out.  But be warned, you may start to question everything you believe about your own writing.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Pirate In Me

Rarely do I have nice things to say about Puerto Rico. I've spent a bit too much time there, ya see? But today, two things struck me as worthy.

1. The weather was nice today. Not too hot, not too cool. Just right.

2. Docked in front of my hotel is a replica of the HMS Bounty, built in 1960 for the film, Mutiny on the Bounty and later used in other pictures, including some recent drivel starring Johnny Depp.

Having written a book about pirates, I've often regretted never actually stepping foot aboard a real pirate ship, which I thought would have made pretty cool research.

Avast! Today me ship came in. Thar be some treasure below, too! A (blurry) glimpse of me.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The No-Denim Condominium

Life in Florida can scarcely be lived without encountering the homeowner's association.  It is an unnecessary evil that, to date, I have yet to find a way around.  My own hillbilly, hoarding, white trash, NASCAR-loving (I see that was rather redundant) neighbors have not only insinuated themselves onto our board, but they also work in the front office, taking complaints from people who might want to complain about their NASCAR-loving neighbors.  As such, I have but one option when it comes to maintaining at least some semblance of re-sale value.  Hence, I spend the day planting privacy hedges.

However, even our Nazi regime hasn't instigated this rule, which comes from our stuck up neighbors to the far west in Naples, Florida.  It seems there is an association over there that does not allow denim to be worn within its gates.  That's right, no jeans, no jean shorts, jean jackets, jean skirts, jean blouses and for god's sake, no jean hats.  I can not fathom the type of people who prefer this kind of living, but then, I suppose they probably can't fathom me.  There is, apparently, one caveat.  Jeans can be worn only to walk to one's car, but they must then vacate the premises immediately.  No detours to the Dumpster, or returning to one's home lest they've forgotten something.  In both cases, a change of attire is mandatory.

You may think I'm making this up, but if you lived down here you would be less surprised.  Don't forget, I live in a neighborhood with a three gate entry system that makes it more challenging for residents to enter than guests. (Thank you Howard.)  In fact, impatient people smash through the gates so often they are now wrapped in Nerf.

I can, however, come and go as I please in whatever I desire.  This pleases me, because it has recently been made socially acceptable for men to wear velour suits.  I bought one in every color and will be wearing one when I go condo shopping in Naples.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It Just Takes One Yes

So says the latest agent to reject me, in what they apologized for as a rather informal standard rejection.  I agree.  It was rather standard.  And then came the standard encouragement, "keep at it, it only takes one yes."  Once again, I agree.  My question:  If it only takes one yes, why are all these agents so darn stingy with them?

I'm considering shelving this project for a while.  Not that I think it sucks, but it does have life-sucking power.  As the lady said, I sent out 20 queries and got back 21 rejections.  Whilst I know many of you have endured far more, one must ask when enough is enough. 

Where is that one, elusive yes?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Free With Your $80 Purchase

Last night, flying into Orlando, I spied a colorfully bright explosion out my genuine airline pilot window.  Must be Disney's nightly fireworks display, I thought, and rested my head in my hands to enjoy.  It was 9 PM.  At 9:03 it was over.  A few minutes later, another began a short distance from the first.  It was Epcot, where a fountain of liquid fire shot toward the sky.  This lasted all of two minutes.  I was bummed.  Then I thought of all the poor saps who schlepped their entire broods, kids included, shelling out hundreds of dollars (at $80 per person) and thinking they were getting such a great deal.  Sure, the parks are crowded.  The food is overpriced.  The kids don't know how to behave.  Parking is $14 per vehicle.  But at least the fireworks are free.  Just don't blink.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Querying Next Monday

A certain agent has returned from the holidays deluged in an avalanche of queries from which they are not expected to dig out until Monday.  This is even stated on their blog.

"If I were a writer, I’d wait and send next Monday when we are back to normal levels."

Now, I took advantage of the holiday break, I knew this agent was taking, in order to read some of the books they represent in my genre.  Turns out I liked them both so, win for me.  If they take me as a client, win win.

But it seems to me, if everyone takes this agent's advice and waits until Monday, will they not be once again deluged in yet another avalanche of queries from which they will need to be rescued?  Alas, my query needs to be a gleaming shovel to which they can latch on and be pulled from the mire of talentless hacks mucking up the slopes before them.  Yes, I will clear a path that leads them to the promised land of multiple offers, nay, a bidding war; a three picture deal and endless speaking engagements worldwide.  Oprah will devote a show on her new network just to me.  Not just a show, an award winning series that delves deep into the mind of my literary and creative genius.  College courses will be offered.  My avatar will become a postage stamp.  A holiday will be named in my honor.  They will read my query and give thanks that Monday has come.

Or I'll probably get another form rejection.  Either way, Monday's coming up.  I better write the thing.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

As Birthdays Go...

This one has been rather boring.  Unable to get out of work, (a sacrifice for an airline pilot born the day after New Years) I've been holed up in an Atlanta hotel all day to rest for the most godawful flying there is.  Who in their right mind is so desperate to get to Fort Myers, Florida they will have purchased tickets on a flight departing Chicago after midnight?

I did manage to finish a draft on a short story, and eat way too much at a Brazilian steakhouse.  Now, sadly, I must fly.

Alas, the flight attendants brought me cake.  All is right with the world.