Sunday, November 26, 2006

He's Making His List ...

Not much happening so I'll fall back on links. I don't need an agent at the moment. But, looking ahead, let's take a look at some resources. These are from "The Street Smart Writer" by Jenna Glatzer and Daniel Steven.

Agent Query: Very easy to get a list of agents by genre. Nice bio's listing prior book sales and authors represented.

Association of Author's Representatives: Less friendly search than above, bio less complete, but has photo's of some agents which is a nice touch.

Publishers Marketplace: Not as extensive a list of agents, but very nice prose bio, photos, etc.

Preditors and Editors: I had heard about this site for some time. Not very user friendly. Had to search by first name for the test agent name I was using. Good for warnings about bad agents.

Writer Beware: Better site for warnings, at least for Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Hope this helps!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Middle, Man ...

Beginnings are great. A chance to start over, let go of the past, and focus on a new project or a new start to something old.

Endings are pretty cool too. There's that sense of accomplishment, or sometimes relief if a disappointment or failure is done and gone.

Middles though. Phrases that come to mind involve being caught or stuck there. Far from the start, but far from the end as well. The latter can be a good thing.

Because I've officially entered middle-age by turning 40. I'm not sure why this is regarded as the half-way point in life. Something to do with the tyranny of base-10 numbers I suppose. Statistically it's off by a few years. Culturally, it's supposed to be the new 30. I guess that means 30 is the new 20 and explains why a few 20-somethings I've met act like 10 year olds.

And isn't that an old geezer kind of thing to say?

It's hard to think of this as a new beginning. While I'm glad I'm writing regularly and have had some success, there is some regret it took so long to get here. Writing and publishing require a lot of energy, passion, and time. And time won't wait, as Mick and the boys have pointed out.

If this is the halfway point of life, I had better get cracking. The middle does have the advantage of anticipating something nice at the end. The middle of the week and the middle of winter are some examples. This writing thing could be the beginning of something great.

By the way, to all of you who celebrate, have a wonderful Thanksgiving! And if you don't celebrate, may you have a great week as well. I'd say more about the holiday but I must sign off here.

I'm in the middle of making a pumpkin pie.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Put Down The ...

I'm reading a book that is difficult to put down. You know the kind. The ones that you're still reading at 3 am because you just want to finish that page, well one more chapter, and then damn you're almost done anyway so you might as well just finish it.

There are a few authors I like whose books always generate this response from me. When I get my hands on Thomas Pynchon's new book this month, not much is going to get done for a while (and since it's supposed to be 1,000+ pages, we could be talking next spring.)

There are exactly two authors who I like a lot and can't read very often. The problem is I get to the end of their work and become very depressed. It's not that the story is depressing. It's more like envy. I read their books as a youth and I wanted to write books just like the ones they wrote, but knoweing I never would. I'll have to go back and re-read some Vonnegut and Harlan Ellison but I don't think my reaction will change much.

The book I'm reading now is by Spider Robinson. It's a more recent book, published in 2000, and reads like a primer to the characters of his Callahan series, all of whom go on Spider's florida vacation. But the bottom line is it's a fun read and I haven't read much else since I started it.

Not even my own work. Damn, I think he might be author number three.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Tag And Bag ...

I've been tagged and now I must comply otherwise face some horrible fate like seven years of blogger hell. Where was 'safety' anyway so I could have avoided this? And when did the term for 'safety' become 'base'? And when will I get on with it and just type five 'interesting' things about myself?

1. I have a scar on my upper right cheek from falling on the jagged stump of a metal fence pipe when I was 11 years old. At the time I thought it was kind of cool because G.I. Joe had a scar in the same place.

2. Some of my favorite bands: Ramones, Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, Husker Du, Minor Threat ... Yeah, I had a skateboard as well.

3. On occasion I have been known to smoke a cigar or two. They're all the same to me, except for those Cubans one evening in old town Montreal with a clear sky and nice breeze coming off the St. Lawrence river.

(Jeez, two more?!)

4. Brushes with fame: Delivered a case of scotch to John Kenneth Galbraith, once saw Steven Tyler at a craft fair, and recently had a meal prepared by celebrity chef Ming Tsai (okay it was at his restaurant and I don't really know if he cooked it but he was there that night.)

5. One day after buying our first (and so far only) house I had to cut a hole in the side of it. The ink wasn't even dry on the check to the bank and here I am with a drill and keyhole saw (e.g. sawing by hand) gouging the siding into a rough circle because the first owner thought it wasn't necessary to vent the clothes dryer to the outside (which explained the lint all over the basement wall.) Happy to report I can now fix anything in the house, with the right tools even.

And now I suppose I have to tag someone else or else break the sacred chain and spend another thirteen years in blogger hell. And this is a problem because there's only one other blogger who even reads the piffle I throw up here and she's the one responsible for this (thanks Cheryl!) And when am I going to stop whining and just tag some random person on my bookmark list like Maia. Maybe she won't notice.