30 May 2007

The Saga Continues

A little more action today in Survivor: The Agent Pool for our viewers. Look for a cameo spot by the Author-ese Translator later...

Agent 1 is out of the competition. In the traditional good-bye speech, Agent 1 lamented:
As to your material I'm afraid I must pass -- I'm just not enthusiastic enough about the premise of your story to feel that I'd be the right agent for the project.
The translator has been fitted with new industrial-strength bearings after the last snafu, and is ready for anything...

*chug, chug, chug*
Space pirates? What the hell are you thinking, fool? Nobody writes about space pirates. Nobody outside of maybe really BAD Pirates of the Caribbean fanfic...
And then moves on...
I realize it is difficult to judge your potential from a query; nevertheless please know that I give serious attention to every letter, outline, and writing sample I receive. Sorry I couldn't give you a more positive reply.
It took me a whole of maybe 30 minutes of attention to realize this book was going to suck big hairy donkey balls...a more positive reply would have required more time than I was actually willing to spend on this dreck.
So sorry, Agent 1...better luck next time. As a parting gift, please accept these slightly worn bearings for an Author-ese Translator.

Agent 6 rounds out our highlight reel today, setting off the Translator's early detection & warning initiation (EDWIN) system. With this fabulous upgrade, the Translator can actually read through responses and alert the user to when it should require translation. This frees up the user to work on crappy query letters and synopses for sending out to the masses (also known as tossing chum in the water) instead of sorting through responses and making his or her own decisions on what should be translated.
As you may know, I run a very small business and unfortunately there are periods when the time that I have to consider new material is very limited. Unfortunately you've caught me during one of those periods. Since I can not offer to consider your work in a timely manner I must pass with the hope that you will find an agent who can offer the attention that this deserves.
EDWIN was tipped off by the fact Agent 6 noted the package came at the wrong time, but never alluded to what time might be better, followed up by a claim of passing on the project due to not being able to consider the work in a timely manner.

The translator is not impressed...and has now fulfilled its mandatory warm-up cycle.
30 minutes was way too much time for me to look through this package (only a query), so I cut it down to about 30 seconds. I saw your first bit about space pirates and asked myself "WTF? Nobody writes about space pirates. What the hell were you thinking?" If I act fast, maybe you'll pass along this dreck to one of my other larger competitors and drag them down into the slush pile abyss...
3 down...the action is just heating up.
Tune in tomorrow and see more highlights as they're piped into the clubhouse...

29 May 2007

And They're Off...

It's been an exciting day here in the clubhouse as we've been watching the action out there in the first day of Survivor: the Agent Pool...

Highlights of the day:

1) Kudos and bonus points to Agents 3 and 8 for actually knowing how to use the Out of Office feature on their e-mail programs. After dealing with people at work who suffer from Outlook disabilities (similar to PowerPoint disabilities as covered in classic Dilbert cartoons), it's refreshing to know that at least some of our contestants have the ability to use technology correctly.

2) Negative points to Agent 2 whose Out of Office feature responded followed by another automated response later in the day which stated not to expect anything if I don't hear back in two weeks. Poor form, poor form...

3) Big kudos to Agent 10. It's not often that one receives a response that cuts through the BS and simply states "Sorry, not right for me." Although sad to see Agent 10 out of the contest, it was fun to watch while it lasted.

Now, it's time to go work on the Author-ese Translator...I think it may have thrown out a couple of bearings on that last one, as it had no idea what to do when offered a response that really didn't need a translation.

26 May 2007

Survivor: The Agent Pool

Well, you've heard me talk about it. Now it's nearing the time when the rubber hits the road (or the plasma hits the injectors?). We have 13 agents, all vying for the chance at a one million dollar jackpot* in representing Friends in Deed.

To keep everyone from being mobbed by the media during this event, we'll have to keep their identities anonymous for the duration of the game. All references to the contestants will be by number (Agent 1, Agent 2, etc.).

Expect a number of guest stars to appear throughout the course of the games, including everyone's favorite, The Author-ese Translator.

Betting on the results, though discouraged, is allowed, but only in those locations where gambling is legal.

Enjoy your barbeques and family gatherings this weekend. The contest starts Tuesday.

*Estimated. Actual results may vary.

16 May 2007

The Grandpa Gene

I have made an important discovery in the field of genetics recently, and wanted to share with the world.

The trouble is, this gene does not get passed on from parent to child, as with most genetic exchanges, but rather from infant to grandparent.

An ordinary, everyday man can hold their first grandchild, and the genetic exchange has immediately taken place. This ordinary man undergoes a genetic mutation, through which he loses all memory of past experience, and is converted into a instant pacifist / apologist.

I began to suspect my father had undergone such a transformation a few years back when one of my siblings (for the sake of time and sanity, I'll refrain from trying to explain the logistics of how they're related to me) had a child, and he became a grandpa for the first time.

Small things began to change. Suddenly, he became rather kind-hearted toward others and less upset (but not to where he never does) by the small things in life.

But it was not until we became foster parents that the truth behind the mutation had come forth. For months, he has spoken with me about the way in which we attempt to mold the young child's (not the infant) behavior through corrective techniques, claiming that all kids are like her.

The final piece of evidence in the puzzle, however, was the other day, when he made a statement about how "all kids are like that. You were a kid once, too, you know."

I call bulls---.

One must realize, when I was a child (perhaps a little older, but not by much), that my behavior had to be top notch. If I backtalked, ignored, or disobeyed instructions by either of my parents, woe to my backside...spankings were threatened, and then carried out (sometimes with a belt). There was no way I would stomp through the house in anger (at least not until I was a teenager, which is a separate post entirely). And if even a hint of a raised voice was in the air, I knew enough to stop what I might be doing and figure out how I needed to correct my behavior.

Of course, with foster care regulations the way they are, spankings are not an option, so other negative consequences have to be enacted (timeouts, removal of toys, removal of priveleges, etc.). One thing I do know is that with spankings, I had a lot of disincentive for misbehavior.

At least I knew (learned) enough to try and misbehave when:
a) my parents weren't around,
b) there was no way of them knowing what I'd done, and
c) there would be no physical evidence that my brother and I had whooped the s--- out of each other.

But when I hear my father try to gloss over my childhood behavior (and punishments in particular), it confirms my fears that he has been genetically mutated by

The Grandpa Gene

14 May 2007

Thinking? Since When?

As I mentioned over at his blog, I'm still trying to figure out where my blog makes anyone think...but Rob decided to tag my blog to receive the Thinking Blogger Award.

Thinking Blogger Award for The West(ern) Chronicles

Um, thanks Rob?

Now, since I’ve been tagged, I must:

1) List five blogs that make me think

This is a toughie, since I rarely get enough time to check out blogs anymore. But I have seen a few in recent memory that qualify for the award.

Fireflies in the Cloud

PostSecret (which qualifies on a weekly basis, even though I can't post a comment...)

Laurel Johnson Blogs?

Zonked Out

Blue Attitude

2) Link to the initiating post of this meme.

3) Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that warranted it. (Which I've already done in the sidebar)

Now, it's back to trying to work up some confidence and get a few queries out.

02 May 2007

On a Lighter Note...

Many of you have probably seen my posts about my current WIP, Friends in Deed. In some of the more distant ones (which after rummaging through my archives a moment, seem to have been posted over at my old blog and never got transferred over), you might remember a particular section of the story which was always a thorn in my side. Each and every time I would go through it, it always seemed to stall out my progress, and weeks (months) would pass before I could finally dig my way out into the later portions of the story.

Thankfully, in this most recent round of (hopefully final) edits, it appears that things have finally settled down, since I breezed through it fairly quickly.

So, there may be hope for me yet.

Next up:

Trying to figure out how to write that magic query letter which will spawn a massive bidding war.


How to convince agents and publishers that they need another poster child for an author success story once the last Harry Potter novel releases and Rowling becomes a has-been.