Archive for the ‘Book News’ Category

One Small Mission Accomplished

November 3, 2010

I finally got through the rewrites on Chapter 1 this morning and began plowing through the second. I wouldn’t say plow, exactly, since I only got to page 2.

Upon retiring last night, we had hopes of getting up this morning for a walk. I checked the Weather Channel app on my Droid before going to bed and it told me that mid 40’s temps would abound at the time of the morning we’d be out. Perfect. Not too, too cold. When the alarm went off this morning and the weatherman, the one who always pats himself on the back for predicting the weather of the day before (I had predicted the highs to be 56 or 57 and it was 56…big whoop!) said it was only 30 degrees and that kind of put the kibosh on even wanting to get out of bed, let alone walk.

Any of you have AOL? Have you ever noticed anytime they make a change to their homepage, it mucks up the works? There are certain files I get in my work email I need to forward to my personal email account because I can’t open them otherwise. For two days they did not show up. Luckily there was another avenue I could take to access them, but that’s not the point. AOL wasn’t working properly on my phone, either. This morning, after I got the work done on Chapter 1, I opened my email and sure enough, the homepage is all new and confusing and my inbox was flooded with all those forwards and test emails Ariel and I performed from one system to the other. So from now until they decide a new design is necessary, all my emails should come flying in.

And still the work continues sporatically on the house. It may not be until at least this coming Friday when anyone will be back. We still have no heat, despite the three plus hours Lou’s son spent here the other day trying to get something going. Apparently, as he was told by his HVAC guy there’s a flow issue. Did I tell you this already? And the HVAC guy is away and won’t be back until Friday and it’s highly unlikely we’ll be his priority stop after his Florida vacation. So, stay tuned…and stay warm.

Yikes! And did I forget to congratulate the San Francisco Giants on their World Series victory over The Texas Rangers?  I wanted to put up a banner yesterday on here, but figured it would get mixed up with my bridge pictures and didn’t do it.

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Wake Me When It’s Over

October 21, 2010

I’m kind of dragging this morning, I was up late watching the Phillies/Giants game last night and the Phillies lost. Before that, I was watching the Yankees/Rangers game and the Yankees won. It was a bad night all around. The last games I watched, (I would never ordinarily watch a Yankee game) I came in near the final innings and then the Rangers rallied and won. Last night I saw pretty much from the start of the game, and that’s probably what happened. And maybe I should stop watching the Phillies.

Being a Mets fan, even though they nearly obliterate themselves at every turn, I have to stay true to the National League during the World Series and if the Mets aren’t involved, and now since the team from one of my favorite cities has a chance of getting into the Series, I have to route for the Phillies. Any other year, it’s just a crap shoot, a 50/50 shot, I just pick a team and route for them. I’m not a baseball savant, I don’t know every stat of every player, down to the brand of jockstrap a player might be wearing; I guess I’d be considered a casual fan. Although, believe it or not, I actually know two other people who are also Mets fans! They ARE out there.

Anyway, I wanted to give you an update from the current ongoing review of my book.  Here is part of the email:

I am on Page 173, almost done with Chapter 17. I was going to save some more of my comments until the end, but I thought I would go ahead and share now before I forget!! Then I’ll give a wrap-up when I’m finished with the book. That is, if you WANT me to! ? You know, reading this book was something that I have been nervous about for a long time. I mean, it’s kind of like the pressure of opening a gift that someone gave you. What if you don’t like it?? But, I’m relieved and happy to report that, so far, I have been genuinely enjoying the book!

I have to say, I was nervous myself when I saw the email come in, but seeing how well it’s going thus far was also a relief, but there still is the rest of the story to get through!

Forging Ahead

October 20, 2010

It’s official, the fan, which you haven’t seen yet, the light fixtures, which you have, the light in the pantry, which I only saw for the first time yesterday and the jelly jar porch light are all working. The heat, as of this morning is another issue which will have to be addressed. By just after 8 yesterday morning, Lou’s sons, sans the usual crew and Lou, who is still in the hospital, arrived to work on the electric and the plumbing. But because they each have their own careers, they can only be available on a limited schedule to fill in until either the entire job is done, which, as it turns out, still includes the patio, etc, or until Lou is able to get back to work with his regular crew, which is down by one, the “foreman”, if you will, his right hand man. But according to his one son, that return, if he had his way, would be  next Tuesday to “get back to the boys’ place and get working”.

The shot in the arm to which I alluded yesterday was that, while still on the heels of that rejection, I got an email from someone who is reading my book. I’m not gonna say who it is, unless this person reads this and comments, but it’s someone who’s opinion I value a great deal. Anyway, knowing that my book is being read and so far, as of the writing of  the email, it is being enjoyed, kind of gave me a renewed sense of accomplishment and hope and I made the decision right then to get serious about finishing my sequel. Though I really don’t need much of a review of what’s been written thus far, I will need a refresher of where I’m going with it and I am going over my notes and outline and will be getting down to business with it. All I know for sure is that I left off in a very sensitive spot. So, maybe out of bad will come good, I’ll at least get my second book finished.

I know it’s fall now and the long hot days of summer, especially this past one, at least around here, are ones for the books, I still remember how everything was so laborious, from just stepping outside (I still don’t know how the Lou Crew didn’t fry up crispier than overdone bacon during those weeks) to walking through the city on the way to my dermatologist when my clothes got so heavy with sweat making mobility a chore or even eating ice cream. If only I had known then that I wouldn’t have had to exert so much energy licking that ice cream cone, I could have saved my strength to lift a cold refreshing beer to my lips. Yes, if only I’d had a motorized ice cream cone…. I kid you not!

Isn’t that a dandy? You just either need a long tongue or a perhaps a motorized spoon to get what you can’t reach. Otherwise, just have a milkshake.

Getting On With It All

October 19, 2010

This is it everyone, all my blog readers, all my Facebook friends, the last reminder before Lucille’s walk against cancer coming up this Sunday. All she and her sister need to meet their combined goal of $1,000 is another $69.00. Come on, a few bucks and a few seconds of your time to make a few clicks through the pink ribbon link at the bottom of today’s post is a small favor to ask. After all, it will be Lucille and Nancy who will be walking, they are the ones who will be giving cancer such a look! I know some of you already have made a donation and one more time I say thanks on their behalf. Maybe make it an even 70 and we’ll have one for good measure.

The way I understand it is, work is to resume on the house today. The Sons (I have to think of a catchy term to use for them) are scheduled to arrive around 8 this morning to “tie things up”. If you think about it, that almost sounds like they expect to have the room in move in-able condition by the time they leave, but the list of what’s left to do is as long as my arm. I really don’t know yet if they are picking up the job in its proposed entirety (patio, fountain plus a few sundry tasks) or just completing this particular project, but that question will be answered when they get here.

The update from publisher lady number (pick any number at random starting above 110-agent and publisher counts combined) is that as I suspected, I have not heard back from asking why they changed their minds. I know they’re not under any obligation to be in further contact with me, but for once I would like a complete communication from someone to tell me perhaps what is missing, what I need to fix, where else I can look, who else I can romance with a proposal.

I have to admit, I’m still in a little funk about that whole episode. I think what made it worse for me was announcing to you guys and my personal circle what looked like a sure thing only to have to recount all that. It really looked like this was finally going to be it after so many years of trying.

But as a result, I began to question whether it was really worth all this anguish. Part of me says yes, to keep going and the other part, the part that needed it the most, got a shot in arm recently and gave me a new perspective on it all. I’ll tell you more about that next time.

Where We Are…

October 7, 2010

I wasn’t going to blog today, but after I got home from my 4 mile walk this morning (third day in a row!) during which we were almost mauled by a huge dog, far larger than its demure owner, who tried valiantly to keep the dog from busting out of her grip and after I had my breakfast, I found I had an email from my prospective publisher to let me know “where we are with my project” and so I thought I’d update you on that.

The acquisitions committee is meeting tomorrow, October 8 and my manuscript will be considered at that time. If it is accepted, the confidentiality agreement and a contract proposal will be sent to me. And by the end of the day tomorrow, she will contact me.

Well, that was short and sweet. I don’t even have any stupid news items or wacky videos. Totally unprepared. I like it!  

A Surprise Ending

October 6, 2010

Oh man…STUFF! I know I have to tell you about that play we saw on Saturday, and I’m trying to avoid doing that in case you haven’t been able to tell, so let me veer off the track for a second to update you on the house. We had Lou Crew again yesterday and they finished putting up the light fixtures, plus the temporary cheap porch light, the “jelly jar” outside the sliding door because the one we ordered to go with the rest of the lights for the patio won’t be in until next month and he needed something up there in the meantime in order to pass inspection. Plus they brought the pantry door and the balance of the moldings and stained all of that. And up next will be the heating. I still didn’t get a picture of the fan because by the time they leave and with the dreary rain we’ve had the last couple of days, it’s been too dark to get a good picture of it. But I’ll get one up here soon enough.

Okay, in a nutshell, I can tell you about that play. It was called Me, Myself & I and the “it” name in the cast was Elizabeth Ashley. She played a disgruntled and confused mother of twins, OTTO and otto, whom she couldn’t tell apart except for the fact that she knew one hated her and one loved her. The first act took place with mother Ashley in bed with her live-in lover who sleeps in his suit and shoes and they were visited by each twin, separately and approximately 93% of the dialogue was an inane repetition of her asking, “Which one are you?” and “Are you the one who hates me?” and declaring, “I don’t know who you are.” That first act was a solid forty minutes. The second act had the mother and her lover going on a never materialized picnic and then meeting otto’s girlfriend, whom OTTO had just had his way with, though she thought it was otto. Then there was vicious name calling, including spewing the “C” word and then the twins’ father made a quick reappearance in a black panther-drawn carriage with a booty of emeralds, but after witnessing the falderal before him, left again, like he did twenty some years prior. Why all the confusion? Because OTTO had a new twin, his reflection in the mirror and otto was dead to him, which had otto asking if that now meant they were triplets. I can’t even rate this one, but all I can say is thank goodness this particular workshop theater has some of the most comfortable seats in all of Manhattan. Now do you see why I’ve been postponing reviewing this one?

Ready for some news? You can say it’s a surprise ending, (to the day yesterday, to today’s blog)hence today’s title and perhaps a surprise new beginning. I was just finishing up my day yesterday and I heard <insert incoming email chime> and it was from that publisher, the one I sent my first chapter to on Saturday. Without going into it too much, the gist of the email was to advise me that this correspondence constitutes a letter of intent in proceeding further with the acquisition of your manuscript for publishing.

I’ll let that soak in for a sec. Heaven knows I needed quite a bit of time myself last night.

They asked me to furnish them with some information so they can get together a confidentiality agreement which I’ll have to look over and have an attorney look over and they also say that I won’t be able to disclose any of the terms and conditions named therein.  I don’t know yet how severe any restrictions will be, say, in keeping you guys abreast of the proceedings, though they’d be non-specific anyway–that is, if anything more solid comes of this; I’d hate to not keep you apprised after many of you have been suffering my tale of woe for so long. But I will find out and I will share what I can.  I’m still numb.

The Best Laid Plans

September 28, 2010

When we last left the addition, shortly after that tester breakfast over the weekend, we took a little while to visualize how to set up the furniture that we’ll be using in there and you know what? It looks like we need to put an addition on the addition. Whoever thought adding another room nearly the size of a house, albeit a small one, (though it’s larger than some Manhattan lofts) wouldn’t be big enough to hold a dining room? Never fear! To take a cue from Tim Gunn, we’ll make it work. But once we’re able to move in there, we’ll be better able to see how to arrange everything because you really can’t make imaginary furniture fit correctly, no matter how small you make it. Go, go, go!

Speaking of which, The Lou Crew was here yesterday and got the inside of the pantry painted and the light fixtures installed. The fan almost made it up, but something went a little awry with the plans for the day and so in the box it remains. But I have a feeling today will be the day. I didn’t take any pictures of the lights because he wants to use those spiraly energy saver fluorescent bulbs (which he assures me are available in a dimmable version) and so he didn’t bother having the boys put the shades on them.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. I submitted a query to another publisher. I polished up the query I was going to submit to that agent lady in June, who then wasn’t accepting any submissions, who then left agenting altogether. I had to submit a short synopsis and the first chapter. I like it when it’s the complete first chapter, because things fall into place at the end of it and it’s hard to tell what’s going on in only five pages, like others ask for. I received an automated “we received your submission” email telling me I will hear back with a personal response in a few days. In their profile, they claim to read every submission and then, even if the project is not right for them, they will offer advice as to the best avenue to try next. So, we’ll see how all that goes.

Here is my weekly reminder about sponsoring Lucille for her walk against cancer. I see on her page, which you can get to by clicking on the pink ribbon below, she has almost reached her goal, but wouldn’t it be nice if we could help her surpass that? If you’ve already donated, thank you, if you haven’t, or if you know someone who would like to, you still have time. The walk is on October 24.  Help Lucille make strides against breast cancer.

                                       

A Few Things For Sure

August 19, 2010

It’s been a busy week, plowing through piles and piles of work, with no apparent end in sight. But, that’s fine, it keeps my mind from wandering, as long as I remember at the moment of inception to write down important things that manage to come into my head, to wit: a card for a certain occasion coming up that we need to acknowledge. Jokingly we were told if we didn’t send a birthday card this time, like we didn’t for Father’s Day, we’d be replaced by some other set of  “sons number 4 and 5”. We couldn’t let that happen. The birthday is two days from now and I figured I’d get the card while I’m out on Friday afternoon. Sure it would be a few days late, but, thanks to Ariel, the card is on its way.

Busy as I am, every now and then a stray thought will come into my head, something to recharge the batteries, so to speak. I was watching Turner Classic Movies yesterday; it was Ann Sheridan day in their August Under The Stars line-up and it’s doubtful that had anything to do with it, other than to set the scene, but I had this sudden urge to try to make that ‘fart’ sound from my armpit that I used to do as a kid. It took a couple of tries and a variety of hand placements, but I got it going. And I laughed my head off then got back to work.

I also did my daily check on that agent lady’s status, to see if she was once again accepting submissions. A week or so ago, maybe three, the one page I was looking at completely disappeared, but I found her status on the agency’s main website and it was listed as “until further notice”. Yesterday morning, even that page was changed to say she was no longer with the agency. I did a quick Google search, found her own personal blog and sure enough, she’s left agenting altogether and has gone to work for another undisclosed publishing house in an undisclosed capacity.

Okay. This interesting little tidbit flashed across my screen and I decided to explore it further and in so doing, I got more confused, but this is what I got out of it, so don’t hold me to it. The word “OKAY” is said to have originated by Irish supporters during the re-election of President Martin VanBuren, changing the spelling of “all” in “all correct” to “oll korrect” to imitate the Irish brogue. Some also say it alludes to VanBuren’s nickname of Old Kinderhook, from his birthplace in Kinderhook, NY. Another source says it came from the Choctaw ‘okeh’ which means ‘it is so’.

I’m going with the Irish theory, simply because, well, I’m Irish. But who knows how these things really get started and how they have their holding power? Fo shizzle. Peace out!

Dancing On Wet Cement

July 27, 2010

Okay, where was I? Oh, yeah, cowering under my sheets, hiding against the cool air blowing on me from the AC while the outside temperature was in the low to mid 50’s! I didn’t have a blog yesterday because I ran out of time trying to get my act together and I wanted to update you on the progress on the house and tell you what I thought of the movie we saw over the weekend. Well, no time like the present.

We saw the new Leonardo DiCaprio movie, “Inception” and, oh man, was it a chore to get through. The premise was quite interesting, infiltrating others’ dreams and putting ideas into their minds. That’s the basic thing. And since that particular premise, the ‘what if’ thing (like where do wrinkles go when they fall out of your clothes) is near and dear to my heart I thought it might be interesting to see, in spite of all the computer graphics today’s movies are so rife with. I understood everything that was going on, it’s not the plot got complicated, but it was just dragged out rather tediously to the point of distraction and several people leaving the theater. I actually thought about it and as it turns out, so did Ariel, but I chose to hang around to see how it all played out. The final analysis: I was unimpressed.  Afterwards, though, to make it up to ourselves, we stopped in at 5 Guys for burgers and it was pretty much close to closing time. 5 Guys ROCKS!

Saturday came and so did the Lou Crew, at 7:30 as promised and the digging began. And so did work on the front stoop. It was falling apart and we’re having it redone, refaced to match what will be the exterior on the addition.

Speaking of the addition, yesterday was the day the cement was to be poured once the inspector came to yay or nay the footing (and the roof, finally!). Lou had gone to pay the cement people and during that time, the inspector came. I got on the phone and was assured Lou was 5 minutes away. While I spoke to (and tried to stall) the inspector, he failed the footings because of what amounted to a smudge, a misplaced line on the plans. Kind of like when I got my Atlas tattoo and the artist followed the design exactly, right down to the mark from where something had been erased. He later fixed it and unless you’re looking, you’d never see it. But the inspector was in too much of a rush, in spite of my going over what he told me a couple of times just to buy some time for Lou to get back, and he wouldn’t talk to him over the phone, and the last saving grace was that he had to inspect the roof. That entire procedure was walking the length of the house in back, then in front and it passed. In the time span from when he left and Lou got back, the two could have passed each other in the driveway.

I met the lovely Mrs. Lou who brought the guys lunch. Lou didn’t want to risk not being around a second time. The inspector returned about 2 hours after he said he would (thankfully) and he got convinced the plans were correct, that figures from previous pages could not equal what he originally thought they should  and that errant line was just an errant line. The cement truck came, the cement was poured and then later, a load of cinder block and bags of cement was delivered.

   

And lastly, my query to my agent in waiting is ready to go the second I see she has updated her status on her webpage. I had this incredible idea of how to drastically change it up, to really pack a wallop from the get go. So, tick, tock, tick, tock…….

749 (more or less) Words Of Babble

July 9, 2010

Another beautiful morning. I’m looking out across my crispy golden brown lawn (a bowl of shredded wheat has more color) and wondering what today will bring. With three days left of my summer vacation, and “All About Eve” yet to be watched, (we watched “The Women”) I’m thinking it should be something with a ‘wow’ factor, you know, just to cap it all off.

Well, let’s see: It’s Ariel’s turn at the doctor for his physical, during which time I’m expecting the Lou Crew to come and finish the re-tiling and installing the enclosure door. Actually, he’ll be grouting today. He was here yesterday afternoon for less than an hour to slap on the replacement tiles where he had to level off the wall for the glass door. He also reset the other two glass panels in new channels that were mitred. I misunderstood, I thought it was the glass itself that needed to be mitred but it was the channels it sits in so the corner where they butt would be tighter. So, today he’ll grout and install the door and by tomorrow we’ll be able to use the shower again. And then I really have to kick into high gear and find a picture of the original bathroom so I can post the before and after (and during) shots. Once the Lou Crew is gone, we’ll be going up close to Ariel’s job to install two upholstered cornices we’ve been working on to replace ones we had made a while ago to go with a new decorating scheme. But we have someplace out we’ll decide on for dinner to look forward to. Confidentially, it’s obvious I don’t need to be on The Cape do eat like I’m on vacation, except here at home, I have back up fat clothes I might not otherwise have packed.

As I crunched my way across the lawn with an armful of mail yesterday, I optimistically anticipated opening the letter from the township. I should have known better, really. This time there is the matter of a one foot span of something they don’t like so Lou needs to revise his drawing and he will be taking that over there today.

Here’s an update on that query I told you I’d be sending out once June was over. That agent lady has posted on her webpage she is closed to submissions for the time being. But that hasn’t stopped me from reworking my cover letter, this time with a ‘punch’ factor she apparently prefers, and she will also accept up to ten pages of manuscript so hopefully that will give her a better perspective of what my story is about than it gave that last one who refused to budge and let me send her more. I’ll just keep it in my draft folder and check her website daily so I can shoot that off to her the second I see she is once again accepting submissions.

My friend Jayne asked about a particular item in yesterday’s blog and Ariel posted a picture of it on his Facebook page, but I’ve got it here for you today. It’s that designer condom cocktail (appropriately enough) dress we saw at that Museum in New York earlier this week. It’s made of 1,200 dyed condoms. I was in a hurry to see the next condom exhibit, the multi-colored foil disk packages (like Hanukkah geld) woven together to make a baby blanket so I was only able to verify about 7 condoms in the dress but it surely looked like the desginer worked like a Trojan to put that dress together.

I also mentioned that I had some news from the candy world to share. During our post-fireworks stroll up and down the Asbury Park boardwalk we passed the Candyteria candy store. I was still sipping on my iced coffee and Ariel suggested I go in, that I might find some candies from the past. It’s a fairly small store, but I found some flavored malt balls like peanut butter, mint, pumpkin spice. They also had, which I poo-pooed, an M & M wall with bins of individual colors but nary a tan one. If you know me, you know that’s why I stopped eating M & M’s, because they took out the tan ones. Oh, they had an ecru colored one Ariel tried to convince me was tan, but even with tired blurred vision from dried out contact lenses, I could still see they weren’t THE tan ones. And, like a blue M & M, who could eat an ecru one, whether they can print my face on them or not. Then on one small shelf, off to the side…no! I’ll wait and tell you about that next week.

More or less, it’s actually been 797 words.