It's been over a month since I last updated my journal. There are
several reasons why I've been remiss. I've been on vacation, and
Pen kept me pretty busy for the first little while. Also, Darkside
was rejected by the Warner Aspect judges, which really threw me into a
funk for a while. Okay, so there's only two reasons why I haven't
updated my journal. Anyway, with support from my fellow Sock Monkeys,
friends, family, and a couple of published writers, I'm feeling much better
now. I'm still a little depressed about not being able to make Chicon,
but I'll get over it.
I've been working on Darkside ll when I get the chance, but the writing
seems to be dragging. I'm lucky if I can manage 200-300 words a day.
I have to do much better than that. During the novel dare, I easily
wrote a thousand words a day. I don't know what the problem is, but
the Sock Monkeys are already planning another Novel Dare for October.
Hopefully that will help. Maybe what I need to do is to start work
on a totally unrelated book. I have ideas for a couple, and it's
possible that I just need a change of pace. What do you think?
Vote now and avoid the rush.
It's four-thirty in the morning here and I'm still up. I'd planned
on getting to bed early tonight, but I guess the sleep fairy is being stingy
with her fairy dust. Or is it the sand man with his sand? Either
way, it sounds messy. No wonder they don't come around here often.
Pen probably kicked their asses.
So what did I do on this monday of the last week of my holidays?
I got up, spent two hours in the gym, then another four hours refinishing
our coffee table. I managed to shove a splinter up under my thumb
nail too. I didn't even yell or curse or anything. What's the
point? There's no one around to give me sympathy anyway. While
I'm slaving away on my holiday, my lovely wife is off at the spa for a
couple of days. I need a better union.
Steve N. got a rejection yesterday from the same agent I sent Darkside
to. Apparently the agent didn't think much of the humerous aspects
of Steve's novel. The only problem with that is that there aren't
any humerous aspects to Steve's novel. Steve has a theory that maybe
the agent confused our books, and it's really Darkside that got rejected.
While it makes for a rather amusing ancedote, I sure hope to hell he's
wrong. I could really use the break. Besides, you have no idea
how many people are praying for Darkside. I'd hate to be the one
responsible for the lot of them losing their faith.
I got the rejection letter from Joshua Bilmes today. All in all,
it was a rather nice rejection letter. You know you've hit rock bottom
when you find rejection letters encouraging. As for all those people
who were praying for me, (Chantel, this means you) don't stop. I've
made a list of a few more agents and will send queries out shortly.
At the very least, don't give up your faith, but you might want to try
changing religions--something like shintoism or budhism would be nice.
Just stay away from the Hari Krishna's. Bald women and religion are
bad karma; just look what happened to Sinead O'conner.
My son Ryan and I were at the local mall today, and couldn't help but notice
all the cars with license plates from the U.S. Not just cars from
across the border either, but from Florida, and California. (I was
hoping to see one from Hawaii, but I think that's asking a bit much.)
I can't imagine why anyone from these states would travel all the way to
Belleville, Ontario, Canada, just to go to the Quinte Mall, but then again,
they were Americans.
Anyway, if any of you Americans from Florida, California and heck, even
Hawaii, are planning to visit the Quinte Mall anytime in the near future,
maybe we can make a deal. You can stay at our place if you let us
stay at yours. Call it a cultural exchange program. I hear
your malls are wonderful.
The top ten things you should not say in your query letter:
1. The other inmates at the asylum think itís sureal.
2. All tho inglish ainít not mie furst langwidge...
3. This query letter has been tainted with a rare poison. I
will send you the antidote once you publish my novel. P.S. Youíd
4. Have you ever wanted to take a machete to all those people whoíve
pissed you off. I know I have...
5. If youíre having trouble with the big words, just email me and
6. Even though every one else and their dog has turned down my novel...
7. Iím sorry this is written in crayon, but Iím not allowed sharp
8. I donít know why I bothered sending this to you. You probably
wonít like it anyway. Even my mom thinks it sucks.
9. I know you donít have the final say in what gets published, so
be a good little assistant editor and send it along up the chain, will
10. Someone told me the only way youíd publish my book is if I slept
with you. As Iím heterosexual, I hope you donít mind that I slept
with your wife instead.
Well, okay. Maybe number three...
H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y R Y A N !!!
Not a bad weekend all in all. I went to the movies friday night with
a friend and saw the Art of War. Not bad, but predictable.
I managed to get five query letters ready, and finished chapter two of
Darkside ll. Unfortunately, holidays are over. It's back to
work tomorrow. At least I can print out the query letters on the
laser printer at work. (Hey, it's not crayon, but it still keeps
me away from sharp objects.)
I was sitting down writing today when suddenly it occured to me:
Nothing hurts. That may not sound like much to you, but when you
work out constantly and do a lot of martial arts, there's always little
twinges and pains and aches and...well, you get the point. I guess
the holidays were more productive than I thought. Of course, I did
gain five pounds. Sigh. Back to the grind.
Great news. Charlie sold his short story "A Game of Chicken," to
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, one of the holy trinity
of SF and Fantasy Mags (rivalled only by Asimov's and Analog.)
Talk about your meat and potatoes sales--not like that mamby pamby poetry
he's published before.
Me? Jealous? Pshaw! Well, okay. Maybe just a little.
But there's nothing like the thought of a little competition to light a
fire under me. With that in mind, I sent out two queries to agents
this week, and by Friday I should have three of my own short stories making
the rounds. Not only that, but it inspired me to get back to
work on a story I've had kicking around for ages. I should have it
ready to go by the end of the week too. (It's only about 1500 words,
the shortest short I've written so far.) Sooner or later someone's
bound suffer a lapse in judgement and publish something of mine too.
Thereís a lot of people who believe that we are put on this earth because
there is a lesson we must learn, and that things happen in our lives to
aid us in learning this lesson. What I want to know is this: What
if weíre a quick study? What happens if my whole reason for being
is to learn that I must be more disciplined in my life, and I learn it
by the time Iím twenty? Is that it or do I have to wait around until
everyone else is finished before I find out how I did? I mean, maybe
I could get a head start on the next life--sort of like Karmic homework.
Then again, maybe I was put here to learn patience. If thatís the
case, I hope they grade on a bell-curve.