imkittymyers at hotmail dot com
Saturday, July 30, 2005
WANNA ASK ME SOMETHING?
Okay, now that I've got your attention, here's another generous offer from the publishing world. Ever wanted to ask a literary agent a question? Even if you're just a reader? Agent 007 will answer them. Take advantage while the offer is still open, because you normally don't get this kind of access to the publishing world.
A CALL FOR QUESTIONS
Do you have a burning question about the publishing biz? I'd love to hear it, whether you're an editor, agent, author, or reader. Feel free to email me via my Profile or leave your question in the Comments of this post. My only request is that you don't ask overly broad questions. For example, "Why are so many books crap?"
I'll start answering later in August.
Friday, July 29, 2005
Do you like to write? Wonder if your writing is any good? Miss Snark, a NY City literary agent, has offered to citique your work. This kind of feedback is unusual; the form letter rejection is the norm. She's has been talking about taking her vacation, so take advantage of this rare opportunity while it's still available. Go on, you can do it! Besides, Miss Snark admires bravery :) Click here for the details.
ON BEING THE BEST AT WHATEVER YOU DO
I used to sell shoes at a Dexter Factory Outlet Shoe Store. The Dexter outlets have since been closed or turned into Super Shoes, which sell a variety of brands. Our store closed in October '03, but that's another story. Occasionally, "Boss" and I would have to hire a parttime employee. He'd put the HELP WANTED sign in the window and the fun would begin.
The majority of applicants were semi-literate at best. One young guy wrote that the reason he had left his last job was because the manager didn't pay for all the "hores." Obviously he had misspelled hours. That application was funny, however most of them were downright sad. Applicants, who didn't give a thought to first impressions, would show up wearing tube tops, holey jeans, flip-flops, spiked neon hair, goth makeup, dirty t-shirts, multiple body piercings and t-shirts bearing objectionable language and/or graphics. Some didn't employ proper grooming habits. Some would show up with a gaggle of their friends. A couple actually had their mommies do their bidding for them. Some would walk right by the sign which displays the store hours and ask us when the store was open.
One of our biggest complaints was the applicants' work ethics.
#1 Rule: Show up!
#2 Rule: Show up on time!
Selling shoes does not require a PhD, but we figured they knew that when they applied for the job in the first place. As tedious as the job could be, there was still a lot to learn. Mostly, our days were filled with dusting boxtops, changing display shoes, and the endless straightening of rows. But we also had to know how to operate the computer (not the same as your PC at home), and how to do process returns and shoe checks. Nothing was difficult; there was just a lot of it. The few parttime employees who stood out among the rest were the ones who were willing to work, who had good attitudes and who were dependable. Out of the all of applicants over the years, very few fit this description.
I was reminded of all this when I read Agent 007's post yesterday. 007 is a literary agent, but her advice on this topic is universal:
IT’S LONELY AT THE TOP
When I was an editor, editorial assistants would always ask for advice on getting promoted. I told them, “Be the best assistant anyone has ever seen. Make the best photocopies, send the best packages, fetch the best coffee.” They thought I was joking. Of course, there was a little more to it, but not much. Serving the needs of those you’ve been hired to serve (whether it’s your boss or your colleagues or your authors or your readers) and doing so with excellence is something that few people do. If you do it, you’ll easily stand out from the crowd.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
I'LL TELL YOU IF IT'S CRAP FOR FREE!
Calling all writers! The blogosphere's very own literary agent, Miss Snark (who lives in the 212 area code of "Mayor Mike's Metropolis"), has made an offer to critique your work for FREE! I've never had any dealings with literary agents other than Lucianne, and even then it was hi-how-are-ya-love-your-site kind of e-mail correspondence. But our Miss Snark personally put up the offer herself on her very own blog. So, if you ever wondered if you have what it takes to succeed as a writer, now's your chance to get a professional opinion.
"It's not right for us"
Let's look at some numbers: 85% of the material I get is unpublishable. That's a LOT of crap in the slush pile. Is yours crap? I don't know. Email me the first page and I'll tell you.
PATAKI'S NEXT MOVE IT'S NOT TO THE WHITE HOUSE
It doesn't matter whether Pataki had a good time in Iowa last week or not, whether he got a nice ovation or not. He is a pro-choice, pro-gun control liberal Republican by any reckoning, a Northeastern governor who has presided over a massive increase in the state's budget and made common cause with public-sector unions.
That's a major problem because public-sector unions are fast becoming for Republican primary voters what the National Rifle Association is for Democratic primary voters — an object of loathing.
So if it's "forget the presidency" time, when and where else could Pataki get himself elected?
The answer, remarkably enough, is: Next year. In New York. His future ambitions rest entirely in the hands of another politician with presidential ambitions — and it's not Rudy I'm talking about.
At some point in the next nine months, Sen. Hillary Clinton will have to make a decision. She is a shoo-in to win re-election for Senate in 2006. But does she really want to make a bid for the presidency in 2008 from the Senate?
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
A MESSAGE FROM FRANKIE MAYO
Frankie Mayo, who started Operation Air Conditioner to help our troops, will be on Rush tomorrow with Roger Hedgecock (who's guest hosting).
Plus,posted on her site is the following message, which she was asked to post, concerning tv shows:
Guidance for Soldier/Airmen Participation in Television Series Reviews
The new television season will feature several military-themed series, such as the "The E Ring," "The Unit," "Over There" and "The Commander in Chief." As media critics prepare their reviews for these series and the networks crank up their publicity, there will be attempts made to garner reviews by service members screening the programs before they air.
It would be inappropriate for public affairs officers to render opinions or to assist media in arranging for Guardmembers to review the upcoming series and render their opinions. Regardless of whether the Soldiers or Airmen are in uniform or not, they would still be interviewed about the shows based on their Army affiliation, which would certainly be mentioned in any media coverage. The Department of Defense limits its responses to media queries about entertainment projects to those projects that the department has supported. DoD and the Army have not supported any of the new series premiering this year.
Also, please share this information your state/territory recruiting command. A number of recruiting stations have already unwittingly helped Soldiers participate these types of reviews.
All Active Duty members of the military must clear all interviews through their Public Affairs before they are allowed to speak to the media.
Because OperationAC is a fabulous cause, I've designed the logo (left), which I'll be posting in the sidebar at the right. Click on it to catch the latest news, to learn how friggin' hot it is, and, most of all, to help in a number of ways.
CHANGES ARE A'COMIN'
I have never been a Pataki fan, although I think I voted for him. If I did, I'm certain I held my nose. NY State demands one helluva strong conservative, but he was too moderate. He can run for the Repub nomination in '08 in that's his desire, but I can't see Pataki ever being elected president.
PATAKI BOWING OUT
Gov. Pataki told a group of aides last night that he will not seek re-election next year — and alluded to a possible run for president in 2008 — after he summoned them to a meeting at the Executive Mansion, sources at the gathering told The Post.
Nearly a dozen public-opinion polls this year have shown Pataki facing defeat at the hands of state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, the all-but-certain Democratic candidate for governor in 2006.
8 Yesterday was busy/interesting. I discovered that my checking account, which I normally cut close (don't we all?), had several hundred dollar$ more than my figures indicated. Turns out a teller had deposited someone else's checks into my account. I don't expect a brass band heralding my honesty, but I didn't expect the yeah-thanks-whatever attitude, either. In the midst of all this, Road Runner, my ISP, crashed. Ironically, the tv was fine. I tried to called the offices, here and in nearby Horseheads (yes, a town is actually named that), but the lines were busybusybusy. Then it occurred to me that they use the Time Warner phone service, which means if the online service wasn't working neither were the phones!
8 I finally posted my story "Rendezvous With Angelo" at my short story blog. As I type, Aaron is going through it with a fine-toothed comb. Check out the backstory linked at the end. I briefly explain when and how I wrote RWA.
8 More good writing news! Escape Pod has accepted my story "Stuck In An Elevator With Mandy Patinkin" for a future podcast, probably within another month or two. However, the really big news about this is that I'll be PAID! The first time ever! Okay, so it's $5; the amount is not important. The fact is that I will finally be paid for my fiction!! (I earned a nice check for an op-ed for USA Today in '92.)
8 Rik, my favorite American blogger in Italy, is a passionate guy: I started thinking about things that I'm passionate about. The obvious is of course family and God. Those go without saying. But what else? What are the things in my life that I'm passionate about?... What are you passionate about?
8 And Gayle talks about her fantasy Ohio Lawyers: My long held fantasy is of the enormous TV ratings to be had were he ever nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court. The hearings would HAVE TO BE televised.
8 P.I. Polly describes the spray-on tan process: The woman turns to me and says, "Just...you know...take your clothes off and I'll be back in in a couple of minutes." I looked at her. "I... you mean I have to get naked?" I say. She looks at me impatiently. "I've done this, like, maybe 200 times. Don't worry about it."
Tuesday, July 26, 2005| |
Monday, July 25, 2005
THE PERILS OF POLLY
P. I. Polly blogs on her life as a female private investigator. Her latest is about the problems of surveillance in a rural setting. In some of our rural areas you'd never be able to stop your car let alone park and shoot some video. When you drive down some of these back roads up here, fully armed people stand at the ready, with their snarling beasts on chains. It reminds you of the moonshiners in Appalachia when they suspected all strangers to be revenuers.
“I'm being tailed." I raise an eyebrow. "Yeah," he says, "It's the Subject's wife. She's been following me for the past 50 miles. Do you think maybe she's on to me?" Oh, dear.
I advise Dirk to call the cops and tell them what's up. (After all, he saw Subject's wife load a gun into her truck earlier that day.) "People with guns and trucks in rural Idaho are not to be triffled with."
The problem is that when there is only one house on miles of dirt country road, it's virtually impossible to find a place to set up that isn't obvious and yet still allows you to get decent video. The best that you can hope for is a tree to hide behind which is, as you can imagine, not very good cover.
WHAT DID BARNUM SAY?
That's DakotaPundit's graphic. I look at that stretch of prairie and see quiet, unhurried living, and, especially, a dry climate, all of which appeal to me. It's a beautiful scene, but that's just me. DakotaPundit has linked to an article about suckers who have bought some North Dakota land online, sight unseen, and are disappointed. She says, "That North Dakota land you're buying is basically worthless."
People from all over buying 'ghost town' property
Nearly 150 people from 28 states, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have been buying lots in this prairie town 25 miles south of the Canadian border over the past two years. Many of them have never laid eyes on it.
Online bidders have paid as little as $100 and more than $1,000 for the lots, valued by the county tax assessor at $30 apiece.
The annual tax on each lot is so low - 59 cents in 2004 - that it actually costs the county more in postage to mail out the tax notice and a receipt, said county Treasurer Evelyn Kalk.
Francis Kreais wasn't pleased to see his purchase when he visited his Omemee lot in May. He eventually filed a complaint with the North Dakota attorney general's office.
The 45-year-old retired general contractor bought a 25-by-140-foot lot from Finance All for $1,000 last August. Kreais , who has a business office in Las Vegas, said he wanted to build a small house on the property to have a place to stay as he travels the country.
Even if Kreais still wanted to build a house on the lot, he couldn't: In platted areas such as Omemee, the county says buildings must be set back at least 25 feet from lot lines.
"Of course, the lots are only 25 feet wide," Peterson said.
"They simply told me it was my responsibility to do the due diligence, and you got exactly what you paid for, and there's no refunds," he said.
IT WASN'T AVON CALLING
Fellow blogger THIRDWAVE Dave just experienced a bit of violence himself:
WHEN YOU OPEN YOUR DOOR, YOU NEVER KNOW
Just a few moments later someone came to my door. That someone soon had a gun pointed at me and I don't think he was selling magazines. I will give all the details later, but the picture is what is left of the encounter...the man's holster.