Monday, August 30, 2004

Public speaking practice

After I agreed to do a workshop at next year's Writer's Weekend, I got a request to do a workshop for my chapter's November meeting, this time on submissions, with the guy who didn't bother to do the job he'd agreed to do. I'm assuming he's going to bail, so I said yes.

One of the agents at WW asked for all three of my viable manuscripts, but the one I'm working on currently first ... but I figured she asked for all three, I'll send the one I just figured to her first. I actually printed out -- on paper and everything -- the whole thing, packaged it up, and will send it out today.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Better make it good

I haven't done my workshop on kickass heroines yet and I'm scheduled to give it next year already, at Writer's Weekend (I'm told that apostrophe is deliberate, but it feels wrong). Guess I'd better put some thought in it!

I guess I'd better write it -- figure out how PowerPoint works -- get the right images -- and know that its debut at the Emerald City conference will be dress rehearsal, considering I doubt I'll have many people showing up for it (3pm on Friday? Noooo. 'Sokay, it'll be good practice, considering I haven't given a presentation in what, thirty years? Scary!). (That parenthetical phrase was way too long. My apologies.)

Thursday, August 26, 2004

My heart's in Metropolis

When I first wrote the multicultural, I wanted to pay homage (that's with one "m," folks, and in English it's pronounced "HO-mij" -- when we're speaking French regularly, it can be "o-MAJ") to the melting pot of the US. I ended up with a family opera, a soap, really, with lots of melodrama. And I wrote it at a time when no one wanted melodrama.

My timing is usually el crappo.

Now, when family operas, soap operas, multicultural soap operas, are much more in vogue, I can't jump up and down about it. I can edit it just fine, but that fine strain of gleeful enthusiasm is not there. It's like editing on Prozac or something. Mild enthusiasm, hoorah.

But I will finish, my gum. And then go on to other things. By this point, if I sell it, lovely. If I don't, well, no harm trying.

But until I do, my affections remain with the otherworlds.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Every journey has a false start

... But finally, I sent off the manuscript, and sent a copy to myself at work, so that even if Russell didn't get it, I can send him yet another copy, but from work.

The multicultural needs editing. Fortunately, I'm an editor.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

One down, two and a half to go

Finished editing the first manuscript, and off it went ... and lo and behold, I get a message saying that it arrived as a StuffIt file, which of course the Dark Side cannot read. Odd, I sent it as a rich text format file. So I tried it again, this time as a Word file. If the same thing happens, I'll have to send the damned thing via dh's account, which is not the same system as mine, or at work, which I prefer not to do, but hey, gotta do it somehow.

Anyway, one down. One of the agents I met at Writers Weekend wanted all three viable manuscripts I have, but the multicultural first. The second one, the contemporary fantasy, is done -- not sure whether I should send that first, since it's done. After the multicultural is the traditional fantasy. After that is the partial chicklit that I have yet to write. (The agent knows I have yet to write it. It's good to have plans, don't you think?)

After that ... the category editor wanted to see whatever else I have appropriate, but considering we didn't have the greatest relationship (well, actually, on my end), I am reluctant. I don't really have the time for her to sit on another manuscript for a year and half while she cleans her fingernails or whatever. But H2, my little friend (hi, H2!), pointed out that such behavior might have been an anomaly. So I'll send her the one I just finished in May, after I finish everything else on my docket, and do the usual revising.

But this time, I'm sending it out to all the usual suspects. The publisher may believe it has the right to demand exclusivity, but I don't think so, not after my experience.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Sometimes the medication works

Blood pressure medicine, or at least a good mood, does wonders.

So yesterday the art director, who is an uneven nutcase on occasion, starts to foam at the mouth about how the editorial department is not doing what we're supposed to. How we're undermining her authority, how we're not allowing her to finish her work on the magazine.

This is all very puzzling, because most of the time she doesn't understand that the deadline isn't according to HER needs -- and if we let her set THAT, we'd get out maybe six issues a year, tops. And since she's been known to cut copy if it interfered with the art, we don't let her have much leeway in any case.

When we went electronic, sending the issue to the printer via net, she thought that meant the day we have to allot to send (our machines are not fast, and it takes most of a day) meant she had an extra day to play with the art. No, it doesn't. And since she leaves early every day -- whether it's deadline or not -- she's usually not here when it's got to go, whether she wants to tinker with it one more time. Every month she changes the rules of what she considers the proper way to put together the magazine, never remembering the official way; yesterday, she railed that the "CTP" at the top of the paper dummies of the articles doesn't actually mean "computer to press," meaning we're all done with it -- she insisted it meant it meant she still had time to tinker. She couldn't remember what SHE thought "CTP" meant.

And I laughed and took a walk, because I knew she'd run to the production director, who is calm and knew what she was doing. I have no idea what the art director's medication is, because whatever it is, it's not working. But my blood pressure stuff is doing fine, because I didn't try to throttle her.

Only 120 more pages to edit. I envy those stay-at-homes at times like these -- they could actually take care of a three full manuscripts to send business in good time. People like me have to do what we can.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

New glasses!

They won't be as comfortable or have that nostalgia factor -- let's face it, their predecessors were thirty years old, didn't adjust for astigmatism, and were spectacles before plastic was commonly used -- but the new glasses I'm picking up today will be intact. You know that your glasses are probably a touch on the elderly side when the frames crumble on you. And how disappointing! -- opticians won't create frames around the lenses! no matter if you offer to pay full retail! (And have you PRICED that? Geez.)

But at least if they're half workable, I'll be able to read at night again. A full day of editing, then a full evening of editing and writing, but my day's not complete unless I can read something before I go to sleep. I've had a hard time doing that since my old (old, old) glasses took a powder on me -- the glasses I've used only as a backup in the past few years are horrible for anything except not bumping into things. And for some reason it makes Mike nervous when I take those glasses off, put my nose against the newspaper or book being read, to read. Wimpy 20/20-eyed people.

Sent off: one editor query, one agent query. To do tonight: at least ten pages of editing.

You know you're getting old when ...

... You watch a commercial and realize you have no idea who these people, people who are identified and thus clearly the viewer is expected to know, are. Those Kmart commercials are so clearly not aimed at me. I know the two actors from Seventh Heaven (or as is sometimes referred to in my household, "The God Show"), but the others, not only in that commercial but the other one? I'm clueless.

Only three hundred pages to go with manuscript one. I'm so pleased.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Baseball is good for something

Air conditioning. Really.

Went to a baseball game for the first time in a few years. The day was hot and sticky, the way it has been, and unpleasant, because I don't like hot weather. But once inside the park, it was pleasant. So it was sunny and summer and pleasantly warm but not sticky. Finally, a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Not only that, my husband's baseball team (the old man team, as he refers to it) won its fifth in a row. A nice gift for him, since the Mariners also won.

And of course, I found out the hard way that posting a blog from different places means I should check the date that's posted. I have something posted from the future, I've noticed, when really I wrote and posted it last week.

Friday, August 13, 2004

I can see again! I can READ again!

People with good eyes just don't understand the world of the less-than-perfect-sighted.

Of course, that gives us carte blanche to giggle when they're forced to get reading glasses or, even, bifocals.


Music: Theme from Star Trek, original series

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Which is worse, hot or cold?

I hate them both. I read a reference in the past few days in the local paper -- which, I have no clue, since we get both -- about the climate here having shifted from drizzly English style to hard sun, no rain, summers. In my memory (admittedly biased and flawed and for ten years, lacking since I didn't live here), summer started after a rainy fourth of July. But of course, this year we've had this darned heat, sun, and the resultant smog since, well, spring. Ick!

It's hard to work in this weather. I have three manuscripts to edit, and it's hard to concentrate when the world seems to have heat lines. But edit them I will. Only three hundred and twenty more pages to go on the first one! Fortunately, I didn't give a deadline when they would be done.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Technology can be a pain in the ass

I tried to post last night, with my iMac. Couldn't. I thought it was a refreshing problem: it wasn't. For about five seconds I thought it was the iMac -- until I realized: IT'S AOL, STUPID!

Of course, it might not have been, but let's face it. That's a safe assumption, a safe accusation. It's like dumping the ills of the world on the reigning party during an election year. (In this case that's a correction assumption, I should add.)

Of course, it was so hot last night that I couldn't think, either -- which cannot be blamed on either Republicans =or= AOL.

Summer's too hot. It used to be, around here, that summer started after a rainy July 4. But we've had summer since -- gasp! -- MAY, and I can only hope the weather turns seasonably to autumn by the time mid-September rolls around. Bleah.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Insert inaugural theme here

In a manner of speaking, of course.

I have no idea to say, but I'm told that's often the case. Mainly I'm afraid I'm going to come off sounding as though I'm whining, but I'm going to bet that's often the case too.

Saw Catwoman over the weekend. Brr. The horrible part of that movie was that you could see the germ of a fun idea -- but it's so small, it's -- oh, probably not even amoebic. Needed many rewrites. (See, DH thought it was pert near unsalvageable; I thought there was hope. But I tend to believe there's hope for most pieces, given you have infinite time and patience.) But I'm sure you had much the same reaction -- if you were foolish enough to ignore the reviews and decided to see for yourself. Kudos for your strength of character! Especially if you decided to stay all the way through! We did, but we're known for our strong stomachs.

Note to Time Warner: How could you do that to MY stock? Must go buy more Marvel stock ... THEY obviously know what they're doing ... grumble grumble.