I posted once about Kevin Wilson’s The Family Fang. Loved it. Last week, I started reading his short story collection, Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, and I’m apportioning it over a period of weeks.
It’s like really good chocolate*: I could read it in one sitting, but then it would be gone. (In this way, it is not at all like cake. Eat the cake/pie/crumble/mousse/pudding! I’ll make more. I cannot make more Kevin Wilson, sadly.)
I don’t often write about what I’m reading, because that’s not what I do here. But this? This I love.
And I refuse to tell you anything about it. Buy it today. Read it. You will not require dessert.
*In pregnancy, Dove milk chocolate constitutes really good chocolate. Not sure why, but nothing else satisfies me.
Everyone I know (and quite a few people I don’t) are asking questions about the querying process.
Querying is like pulling teeth: You have to do one at a time, every one is painful (Did I cite the right reasons for querying this agent? How was my wording? Is it really time to hit send?) and the pain lingers long after the query gone.
I think you should know about that pain, but here’s another metaphor.
Querying is like the world’s most difficult dating scene. Unlike a job interview, where a company must fill a position within a short period of time, agents can choose to hire or not. I don’t have to be the best candidate, I have to light a spark, and make them want my work when they don’t necessarily have to take on new work at all.
While I’m not dating a slew of agents, I am trying to get a date with many of them--a finite number, as it turns out. Our interests must match. She--for most often I am querying women--must be taking on new clients. My writing must appeal. And even then, we will have to connect on a more personal level, one where we decide whether we’re a good match to embark on this professional journey together.
Sometimes, my query goes on a blind date and the agent doesn’t respond. Ever. (Yes, the query is sometimes insecure.) And sometimes I get a second date--a request for a partial manuscript or more. Then things get exciting. Someone is holding my manuscript in her hands. Or, more likely, on her eReader.
And she is wondering whether she wants to marry me. For rewrites and typos, for bestsellers and bombs, in ebooks and in print, until retirement does us part.
I always hated dating. Querying is worse, and the spreadsheet is much larger, but the payoff could be (almost) as great.
Independence Day, Take 2
This morning, the whole family enjoyed our town’s Fourth of July parade, and oh how I wish I could share photos.
Shortly before the (actual) fourth of July, massive storms downed trees and closed streets all over our city. Also, July temperatures were in the 100s, so city government cancelled the festivities.
Last night there were fireworks, and today was my first Independence Day parade here. My mother-in-law, who has lived here more then 35 years, warned that the parade would be at least 90 minutes, and it did not disappoint.
I’m no stranger to big Fourth of July shindigs. For years, I lived in Upper Arlington, Ohio, where citizens on bullhorns sped down streets at the crack of dawn: “It’s the fourth of July! Wake up and celebrate! The parade is in X hours.” They drove in loops until the parade began.
And the parade was every citizen’s opportunity to show off their new stuff. New puppy? Bring him. New bike? Ride it in the parade. New baby? Sit with her in the shade (but for god’s sake, don’t nurse her!) UA hosts their high school reunions over the fourth of July, so class after class sits drunkenly on their floats, every five years.
We don’t embrace drunkenness here, but we do embrace community. Many many Republican candidates marched, as did a few democrats. Dozens of odd vehicles’s strange noises made 2010 cover her ears close to tears. Lots of people marched for Jesus or God or Falun Gong (though almost no one clapped for the lovely lotus ladies on that float.)
My girls received enough candy to replenish the treat bowl until Halloween (at least.) ACE hardware gave 1977 a yardstick, which was one of the highlights of my morning.
We hosted more than our fair share of veterans, roller derby enthusiasts, a shopping cart drill team, fat deputies, tiny cheerleaders with itty-bitty football players, and plenty of politicians eager to press the flesh. It was a strange day in Baconville.
And now I’m hiding in my house.
I blog rarely, because I'm busy writing books. When I do blog, I focus on writing, friendship, family, and books. Because my family's best nicknames are private, I use their birth years for shorthand: