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:: Friday, May 16, 2003 ::


The Arab News has an article today detailing 'quality tourism.'

"We are aiming for a specific type of tourist: We don’t seek numbers but rather selected visitors. Quality tourists will generate more revenues than mass tourists,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.
He commended the Arabian Travel Mart (ATM) held from May 6 to 9 in the UAE as an opportunity to discuss and market Arab tourist destinations. “We are working to encourage Arab tourism between Arab countries,” he added.

In other words: Non-Arabs are not wanted. Isn't that nice of him to say?

:: Peter 5/16/2003 11:06:00 AM [+] ::


:: Peter 5/16/2003 08:39:00 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, May 15, 2003 ::

Alert Status

How would this man know anything about a HEALTHY food?

Michael Moore's latest 'Alert Status' is Ripe Avacado.

I'm sure, somewhere in the hardening arteries of his being, that this makes sense.

No, really. It has to. It just has to make sense. The crisis situation that Ripe Avacado apparently refers to, by the way, is gun control.

Apparently, in Mooreville (Mooreland? Mooretopia? Mooreitania?) gun control = Ripe Avacado. See, I told you it would make sense.


It's obvious. If you shot Michael Moore, what would ooze out of him is...Ripe Avacado.

Perfectly understandable.

(Disclaimer: This is not an endoresment of making Michael Moore ooze Ripe Avacado. This is a joke)
:: Peter 5/15/2003 11:36:00 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, May 14, 2003 ::

The Query Letter

My 'second' novel, Boy Meets Girl, is blogrolled to the left over there. I put 'second' in 'Reuters Scare Quotes' because it's unpublished, therefore if any future novel does get published it would be considered my 'first' novel no matter how many others I've written. My 'first' novel, written in the early 90's, is also, obviously, unpublished. And, since it was written on a Magnavox VideoWriter it's not a simple matter of cutting and pasting to post the thing on this blog.

Why bring this up, again, today?

My 'third' novel is now on the 15th draft (or so, might be more, doubt it's less). It's almost 92,000 words and a little shy
of 400 pages. In hindsight, neither of my first two novels is truly strong
enough to be published. They're good, and they're finished, which is an
accomplishment in and of itself, of course. But they're not great. They're not good enough.

This one, from all the comments I've received so far, is different. Is it
great? No, not yet, not really. But, the difference is profound. This one can be great. Could be great. Most importantly, this one will be great with editing, revision, lather, rinse, repeat. This one is good enough. This one begins the quest.

Step One: Library of Congress, copyright. Done. (well, sent off, at
least...step one of step one)
Step Two: The Query Letter

Ah, yes, the query letter. Where, for the sake of brevity, I'm to distill a 380 page novel into a one page 'book report.' If I could have written the story in one page, I'd've written a one page novel. I hated book reports in school, the words the author chooses for every page is important to the story they wanted to tell, cutting all but a handful of those words always seemed to me to be a sacrilege of some sort. Akin, but not exactly, to taking most of the notes out of a symphony and only leaving one per passage in order to 'summarize.'

But, of course, that is not important. What's important is 'The Query Letter.' I've seen it written that if a 'writer' can't write a query letter than they can't 'write' anything else either. It's as imprecise a comment as it is, in its own way, insulting. A 'writer' has strengths, just like any other person's skill. Some write humor, some write with journalistic precision but couldn't write a creative poem if their souls depended upon it. My sister is, pretty much, a miserable writer. Want to buy her book? They sell it at href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1570739633/qid=1052919966/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/002-9160437-7722410?v=glance&s=books&n=507846">Amazon.
What she does write, brilliantly, is legal guidebooks to bankruptcy. Could she write a novel? Possibly, but would anyone actually want to read it? If she created a strong enough character, modeled too closely on herself, she might be able to pull it off. Would she ever try? Not likely. Her husband, my brother-in-law, might be able to write a great one, he writes humor and co-wrote their book. My grandfather's novel sits in the library at the University of Florida, unpublished. It's probably brilliant. It's probably too intellectual for a mass market, but I don't really know since I've yet to read it (something I aim to correct). But his writing style was exceedingly intelligent, for he was an exceedingly intelligent man.

The Query Letter. Describe the plot of the book in one page, in such a way that a complete stranger will then want to read the book. I might, I think, spend more time working on The Query Letter than I spent writing the first draft of the book.

This blog is about to take a side trip, a tangent, through the attempted
marketing of a novel. There will still be occasional forays into current
events, as current events dictate, and the daily cartoon as warranted. There will still be my sons, especially with Joshua's surgery quickly, too quickly, too slowly as well, approaching. And, always, my wife, who has taken it upon herself to help me in this.

The Query Letter.

The quest begins...

UPDATE: Blogger is really messing with this post, including chopping off the last paragraph. So here it is...hopefully.

Where does it begin? Where everything in my life does. My wife. Who, despite her own protestations, should start writing her own novels so that I can help her, since she could definitely write one hell of a romance novel (her genre of choice). She's an incredible writer, though she never believes me when I tell her that. Don't believe me? Check out her blog (let's hope Blogger works on this one, if not, it's at http://mrspseudopsalms.blogspot.com). Besides help with editing (countless hours spent reading and re-reading my novel, dog-earing pages, writing all over the place, all of which serves, every single time, to better the book) she's spent even more hours researching how to write a query letter. As well, of course, as actually helping me to write the thing.

I don't know where the quest will lead. But, trust me, I know, always, where it begins. With my wife, my muse.

In an attempt to work around the limitations of Blogger today, I am reposting this, and will delete the original.

:: Peter 5/14/2003 04:53:00 PM [+] ::


This is so wrong, on so many levels, I don't even know where to begin.

:: Peter 5/14/2003 04:06:00 PM [+] ::


From Jay Leno:

The former Iraqi minister of information has gotten a new job, he’s the new fact checker for the "New York Times”.
:: Peter 5/14/2003 01:58:00 PM [+] ::

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