2.18.2011

Lost Winds from November and other stories

Recently noted signs of impending spring: chickadees, swelling buds on the end of cherry tree branches, the sun still up at nearly five PM, an admittedly chilly attempt at barbecuing, and—wait, wind? Where did the wind come from? That creature usually belongs to November. At any rate, I'm looking forward to warmth and sunlight. Oh, spring, tarry not, but come quickly!

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After well over a year, I've taken the excuse of writing for this season of Silhouette to work up a few of the remembrances I never got around to writing about our Rome trip. The tale of St. Peter's went up this morning. Enjoy. And while you're there, feel free to check out the rest of the journal.

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At the moment, I am very carefully not working on my query letter. My friend and critique partner Mr. Pond suggested I "take a fortnight" away from it, of which I've completed only ten days. Of course, parts of it keep popping into my head—I practically have the darn thing memorized. Not sure whether I'll make it to the full two weeks, but I'm trying.

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There being no excuse for lack of education, part of my query-letter-writing process has entailed reading nearly every bit of agent advice I could find on how to compose one. I've read so much on the subject that I've sometimes been ready to claw my eyes out at the thought of reading one more post. The internet occasionally has that effect on me (she said, as she wrote one more post...)

Of the ten thousand ways to distill a two-hundred-page story into two paragraphs, nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-eight lead to forgettability. I know. I've been working on mine for awhile. But here are two queries I've read online that got their books on my to-read list:

Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe-Rings. I expect to sympathize strongly with this protagonist. Also, mermaids make me think of summer and water and beautiful things.
The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic. Risky little gimmick, but brilliant. I think it was the line about semicolons that sold me.

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Apparently, large contingents of the publishing industry dislike semicolons in fiction. Fair enough. I love those little jot-and-tittles, though. I feel a trace of sorrow every time I take one out of my book, no matter how unjustified its presence.

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Maia has discovered how to get up on the island in the kitchen. That was one of the few remaining refuges for non-cat-safe houseplants, freshly baked cookies, and the like. The only remaining catproof surfaces are the stove, the tops of refrigerator, dresser, and wardrobe, and the highest bookshelves. All of which are covered. I have three inedible plants on the top of the refrigerator alone.

Hmm.

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Currently Readings can go on for the next several weeks without my having to read another book. Should, actually, or "Currently Reading" will become a decided misnomer.

Of course, now that I've started reading the Wheel of Time books, they've taken over my mind. It took great self-restraint to not try to find book three at the library the other day, but I can't give myself that much distraction from revisions right now. Maybe in a week or two.

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Writers' link of the week: Since we're talking queries, here's my list of query helps:

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Music of the week: Want to know how out of touch I am? I have never heard Justin Bieber sing. I'm going to change that right now.



...and now I have come out of the cave I've been living in. I don't quite know how to praise a tween heartthrob without sounding either predatory or motherly, but: he has a kind face, a good voice, and fortunately for him, when half a million girls would do anything to be with you, there's only so much joking the boys can do about that picture of you sitting in a giant heart.

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Funny of the week: This is so true. So very true.

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Three-day weekend! And a (theoretically) quiet one. At the moment, it's even sunny. Three cheers, and a happy weekend to you!

3 comments:

  1. Second on the semicolons! My favorite punctuation mark. I even use them in my charting (I'm a nurse) ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

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  2. semi-colons are fun, but I'm addicted to the dash! It is also underappreciated, unfortunately.

    Our puppy reminds me of your cat, she can get anywhere, and she love to climb. I've found her resting on the dresser a couple times - nothing is safe!

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  3. Aww, David, look at all those semicolons! So beautiful. Props on using them in nursing charts. ;)

    Masha, I'm very fond of dashes, too! Also, ellipses.

    Your puppy can get on the dresser? I'm impressed. Maia has tried to climb ours, using the drawers like handholds on a rock wall, but she hasn't been overly successful. Someday she'll realize that she can jump from the cedar chest....

    ReplyDelete

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