Thursday, May 7, 2009

Adventures in Computer Disaster & the advice that changed my query letters

I'm sure to misquote this, but once again Helen Keller is spot on as far is my life is concerned--"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."

Ok, maybe computer failure does not constitute anything daring on my part, but it certainly was tempting to toss the lastest busted up piece of technology out the window it sits beside. I already have a laptop that is good only for unwanted pop-ups on an internet connection that connects to nothing but Yahoo and several wack-a-do websites that my husband frequents.

Now, a "something electrical is burning" comment turns out to refer to the other computer that was already "tricky" at best. I didn't panic when I tried to turn it on and nothing happended. I've been there before. Instead I looked for "some button" on the back that I might press and press again. "Voila."

So now I feel a bit like The Fonze. If I knock it here, tap it there, and toss a bit of 'tude, I can make it come on. I will not be thawted in my attempts to force my writing on the general public--or the small portion of it I happen to have within my grasp.

So, step into my office....I have some advice that changed the way I write a query

Check this out: (didn't have it linked last time) (ditto) This is a new zine coming out in the Asheville area, although you don't have to be from there to submit. I have no idea if it will be the best thing to hit the streets around here or something that we never see again after the first issue, but just as I was wondering "does Asheville have a lit mag" given all the other artisitic endeavors around here, I saw an ad for submissions. It comes out in June.

GREAT ADVICE ALERT! I just saw Kevin Watson speak at Malaprop's last month and really took alot away from his talk. His best advice to this modest gal: "Your query letter is not the place to be modest." Lay it out, tell me who you know, where you have connections, what you've done and what you want to do. If I take you on, we're going to have this conversation

So I did, I sent a letter to him and name dropped, plugged myself and my website, , talked about my writing goals and ambitions and got a chance to send him some stories.

He said also, that even at the big houses, the days of publisher funded and arranged book tours are all but over. Houses of any size want you to promote yourself and them. They want you to work for it. So start working. Get a website. Easy: google, create a website and take your pick. Start a blog.

And don't be thawted!

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