Posts Tagged ‘literary agents’

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.

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Ad Nauseum

June 22, 2010

I’m preparing yet another updated version of my agent query letter to send out. I found an agent who represents the type of book I wrote and she will be begin accepting submissions again on a certain date a few weeks from now. I read a few sample queries on her blog that she really likes to receive so I have to tailor mine to fit that model. As usual, you’ll be updated.

My trip to the dentist yesterday was a success although I was mistaken with the procedure he was going to do. What he did was replace some old silver fillings that were starting to fall apart. He did mention bonding on the back teeth the last time I was there for my cleaning two weeks ago, but maybe he meant that for another point in time.

I have a new project I’m beginning, hopefully later this afternoon. I see it’s supposed to storm later in the day than I plan on being outside so with any luck that will hold and my first day of my new pet project won’t be a wash out, literally. A few years ago we installed a fenced in stone patio down at the end of our property by the canal and we used it when we could. It was quite a trek down there when we’d ever have a party outside and even more so at the end of said party when we’d all be half in the bag and having to lug all the stuff up the hill back to the house. Last summer, Nature began to reclaim her space with a vengeance shooting weeds the size of small trees up through the stones and also the ground cover under stone and I kept up with is as best I could. Well, the battle has been lost and now it looks like an episode of The History Channel’s “Life After People”. After I saw what had become of my once pristine hideaway, I felt like that Indian in the TV commercial. I’ll take an hour or so each day to work on it during my lunch break and maybe turn it back into the patio it once was, or maybe that could be my garden area I’ve always wanted or perhaps I’ll just surrender it back to Mother.

I should have someone work with me. I could rent a friend on Rent A Friend.com execpt apparently no one in my area wants to be friends with anyone. I did a quick sample search with my zip code, which is how you get started, and there are people all over the state of New Jersey and even Staten Island.  Ah yes, RentAFriend, where the cost starts at $10/hour (or negotiate for a fair fee when applicable) for someone to accompany you in a strange city, or someone to go to the movies with or go out to eat or for whatever other platonic activity you have in common but I don’t see any options for menial labor. At any price. Well, there was one “friend” in my area, but he was geared more for party planning and this work ain’t gonna be no party.  Maybe I should try Rent A Handyman. Actually, believe it or not there is a service called Rent A Husband. That’s the one for around the house stuff. But I’m going to go with Rent A Brian and save myself the money and have that sense of satisfaction and the sore back to complain about at the end of it.

I almost forgot for the second day in a row. Our weigh ins this past weekend remained the same as last week.  I guess that’s better than it being more, right?

Poetic Justice

May 12, 2010

I never saw a purple cow, I never hope to see one, But from the milk we’re getting now, There certainly must be one.

~ or ~

I never saw a purple cow, I never hope to see one, But I can tell you anyhow, I’d rather see than be one.

~or ~

The once was a man from Nantucket….. uh… never mind.

Why am I bringing this up? It’s Limerick Day, that’s why and up until today, I never knew how the rest of that Nantucket one went. In some circles, it could be considered really dirty. Uh, wait a minute, I don’t think the purple cow poems are actually limericks.

Does anyone remember when Johnny Carson announced the toilet paper shortage in1973? Well, it finally happened here, but not with toilet paper. When my niece Melissa was living with us while she was going to Rutgers, or Rukkers, for any true Jersian worth his salt, we somehow managed to acquire a virtual lifetime arsenal of paper napkins; huge amounts from Costco. Well, she went back home in, if I’m not mistaken, 2005. We just used the last of the serviette stockpile and have been forced to use the quicker picker upper only because the weather is warmer and I’m wearing short sleeves.

The chippers came yesterday and in about an hour they were finished. While I spent a few minutes observing them, I wondered if it wouldn’t be easier to use good old fashioned manpower to load the chute rather than have someone operate the swaying crane that had to be manually lined up to it anyway. I guess the one advantage to that was that they could load larger loads quicker at one time, otherwise, I suppose they’d still be there.

I considered trying to recontact Lori the agent lady I met at the Javitz a few years ago, the one who told me “Oh, yes, send me more. This is one story I’ll never forget.”  I sent her what she wanted back then and never heard a word from her, even after my follow up a month later. I was doing research last night and found tons of people on message boards saying the same thing, that she doesn’t answer anybody. So, I’m not going to bother. I’m just going to bitch here and look elsewhere for someone fresh to contact.

There’s an intoxicating heady aroma wafting about my nostrils this morning. I am putting together a spaghetti sauce for tonight’s dinner. It is Wednesday, after all and I’m plumb out of the last batch I had made. If there’s one thing I can do is make a sauce. Maybe I should take a cue from my friend Bob, who is about to self-publish his own cookbook, and write a cookbook of my own. Spaghetti sauce and apple pie. Well, if I use large font, I might get 3 or 4 pages out of it. Oh, but if I add Grandma S’s Red Velvet Cake recipe to it, 6 pages–tops. Oh, wait, I know, I can add in all the take out menus I have and I can include a section of recipes for “those who in diet” .

The only other business today is that you should check out the cave divided on who should go from American Idol tonight. Check it out by clicking the newts’ thumb pic.

Back To The Real World

May 4, 2010

I’m not exactly sure how this is possible, but as I said yesterday, I weighed myself this morning and I was one pound LIGHTER than when I went on vacation. Eating on the road alone should have packed on some weight, let alone the bounty that was put before us the entire time we were there. I’m not complaining, just happily curious at 209 pounds. Ariel, meanwhile, decided to give himself until the weekend to before he checks out whatever damage he incurred. Good word!

I woke up with a head cold this morning. My head feels like a solid block of cement. Even my jaw hurts and I know if I don’t take something soon, my sinuses are going to make it impossible for me to hold my head up and / or tolerate any noise the Lou Crew might make, should they come today. I just hope I don’t end up having to chop it off, putting into a box and burying it out in the yard.

So, in an unprecedented move on my part this morning, I replied to that agent’s rejection suggesting that she may want to see more of my work since nothing of what I first described to her is revealed in the first five pages she had requested. It’s the way I wrote the book. And since the story is told mostly in flashback, the crux of the story really doesn’t kick in until the end of the chapter1 and beyond. I worded my email in a positive tone and explained it like I just did and assured her I’m not in the habit of re-replying to rejections. But last night, out of nowhere, the thought came into my head that maybe I ought to step up and start being more confidently aggressive in selling myself. What’s the worst that can happen? She already rejected me. Whether she’ll take the time to answer me this time around is questionable, so stay tuned.

And now, just like that, it’s time for work.

Nothing Ventured, NOTHING Gained

January 20, 2010

I went to that “how to get published” seminar thing last night. I shouldn’t say it was a complete waste of my time, but all in all, it pretty much was. The event was hosted by 3 published authors, one of whom is the author of 24 books. The other two women are newly published authors and all three were pleasant enough. The audience was made up of about 30 or people, most of whom came in just prior to the beginning of the meeting, and some close to an hour in. They quickly touched on several topics such as self publishing (don’t do it), e-books as opposed to regular books and the profit differential between each, that one should have an agent and submitting queries to same. Several useful websites and books were mentioned that range in topics from helping to find what markets are selling to how to approach agents/publishers. But none of the topics was discussed in any great detail.

One certain audience member kept insisting on asking questions about how to get poetry published, even though he was told more than once, and rather politely to be sure,  the main topic for the meeting was fiction. I raised my hand finally, tiring of hearing the same questions in his broken (read: slaughtered) English hoping to get back to the topic of submissions, by asking first, of all three hostesses, what the time frame was between submission to publication. 3 months was the general consensus. Really? When I told them I was there to hopefully find some helpful hints on how I could possibly tweak my query yet one more time on top of however many incarnations it has taken over the last five years, I was told “tweak” was a good word and it was on to another question.

I really think this group was geared more for people who have little or no prior knowledge of just how tough it is to get published. Quite a few of the publishers they mentioned have already rejected me. Most of the websites that were mentioned, I already have saved in my favorites in my computer. And I could wallpaper my house with the pages from the books and magazines I’ve gone through they suggested reading. I really didn’t come away with any new useful information that I haven’t already encountered these past years, but it was worth a shot. They really should have had someone speaking who was in a similar predicament like me, someone who can’t get the time of day from an agent or publisher to exemplify the bumps in the otherwise smooth road they were talking about; do this, this and this and you’ll get published. Well, all I got out of it was that they were trying to paint a more flowery picture of the world of publishing than it really is, although they did admit to one caveat; that it’s very competitive.

Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained, they say, and that was true last night. Nothing gained. But how would I know if I didn’t go?

Here’s  last night’s American Idol.