Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Dan Tomasulo gets some nice press!

Irate emailer?

Gmail is on the job!

They have a new program to keep you from sending out email while you're drunk but in my opinion they need a version that keeps you from sending emails while in high dudgeon over a rejection letter!

My version wouldn't have math problems, it would have grammar and syntax questions:

1. A sentence has an error. What is its problem?

2. Identify one noun in this sentence.

3. Is there a verb in this sentence? If you answered yes, what is it:

4. The passive voice is to be avoided. Correct the sentence.

5. Get over it. Identify the subject.

Extra credit and to turn off the program:
8. Translate: veni, vidi, viagra


I'm working on a long manuscript doing very close editing. (I am not an editor; I just play one from midnight to 4am!)

Periodically my brain requires a pause to reboot.

That's when I wander around the internet. Sometimes I read your blogs (see post below).
Sometimes I read sites I've got bookmarked. I recently discovered (like five hours ago) the benefits of googlereader for getting RSS feeds (thank you Yen Cheong).

I was clicking around bookdaddy.com which I now have on googlereader and found this lovely tribute to David Foster Wallace.

It's by Verlyn Klinkenborg and that reminded me of a great book he wrote that I read very very slowly because I did not want it to end.

And that is why this post is titled Timothy!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

These boots are made for querying!

The ever delightful effervescent Miss Amy Tipton will be on a panel this coming Tuesday, October 7 at the Asian American Writers Association talking about how to secure a literary agent (duct tape is my suggestion).

Here's the announcement:

Tuesday, October 7, 7pm
The Practicing Writer: Monthly Career/Craft Talks
Panel: How To Get An Agent

Amy Tipton (FinePrint Literary Management)
Jin Auh (The Wylie Agency),
Ayesha Pande (Collins Literary Agency)

Where: The Workshop
Address: 16 West 32nd Street, 10th Floor
(btwn Broadway & 5th Avenue)

Cost: $5 suggested donation; open to the public

You'll be able to pick Amy out of any crowd; she's the one with the coolest ensembles. It's worth going to work every day just to see what she is wearing. Here is her footwear on Wednesday:

Friday, October 03, 2008

The bird flipped, but not the way you think

You may recall my earlier mentions of Hank the Flamingo.
Hank has been visiting Suite 500 for some time now, hanging out with my Herpet-American assssssistant.
He's a taciturn kind of guy, not quick with a quip or fast with a phrase.

He does however have an eye for pretty girls and champagne.

He was the only boy allowed to attend today's bridal shower for our dear godsend Joanna who is being snapped up in wedded bliss by one very very lucky man this month. (Hank is a bit jealous in fact, he's kind of flipped over Joanna, as we all have really.)

Finally! Help for all those times you've spewed things on your monitor!

My colleague Gary Heidt is a very helpful, cordial colleague.
He knows I've ruined a keyboard or two, not to mention a monitor or ten.

He was kind enough to show me this wonderful new device to clean monitors!
I'm really happy to pass it along to all my dear devoted blog readers too.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Why Your Query Got 1.5 seconds of eyeball time today

1. Your email is in Courier 19 point. Now, the font and the size aren't a problem right up until they make the email window so large that a scroll bar appears at the bottom and I have to scroll left to right (NOT top to bottom) to read a complete sentence.

Well, I tried. And then I stopped. Form rejection.

Solution: EMAIL your query to a friend before you send it to me. Or mail it to yourself and check it on a different computer, perhaps at your local library.

2. You send an email to Janet@fineprintlit and then say "to whom it may concern." To Whom It May Concern is a perfectly acceptable way to address someone if you don't know their name. If you know my name, don't say "to whom it may concern". It makes me wonder about the wattage in your belfry.

3. There is no such thing as "true crime fiction". True crime is a category in non-fiction. Fiction is not a category of non-fiction. You can have fiction based on a real case; you can have fiction that's ripped from the headlines if you want; you can't have "true crime fiction."

4. Sending an email query with no white space at all. Just a big fat wad of black text. The only thing worse is if you'd sent it in Courier 19.

Big blocks of text are physically difficult if not impossible to read. Short of copying and pasting your email into a word doc and reformatting it, I just can't read it. It's 10:32pm. I still need to finish two novels before tomorrow. You got a form rejection.

If you're throwing down your pen in disgust and saying "that dummy sure missed some good stuff tonight for stupid reasons" well, you may be right. Here's what you need to remember: I turn down more good stuff than I take on. There's ALWAYS more good stuff to choose from than I have space on my list. Always. So, if I can't read your email, or you use words in a lazy way, I'm not worried I'm passing up my only chance at something saleable tonight.

And the truth is I want to work with people who obsess about getting this stuff right. I want to work with people who care a LOT about small stuff.

"Wow, those birds move fast!" she said swiftly

On The Wing is a new documentary which tells the story of Portland, Oregon’s Chapman Swifts.

Each fall these birds roost in the chimney of a Portland elementary school and put on an amazing nightly aerial display to the delight of hundreds and thousands of observers.

(One of those observers is "rising crime fiction star Bill Cameron**")

Here's a link to the trailer for the movie. I think it's just cool.

**quoting the Library Journal review of Bill's second novel Chasing Smoke due out from Bleak House Nov. 2008

Bill Cameron's STARRED LJ review-updated!

Bill Cameron's CHASING SMOKE gets a starred review in Library Journal!!

Way to go "rising crime fiction star" Bill!!!

His review is part of a larger article on the lone detective motif here.