Sunday, October 25, 2009

this weekend in Author Guy land

Busy, wet, and windy.

We were set up to do an event is Islandia, on LI, yesterday, and the weather was just not inclined to cooperate. Last weekend was windy and cold. This weekend was windy and warm, with a few bouts of rain thrown in just for fun. I wasn't even planning to go, but my daughter (the one who does these events with me) asked why not, and the sun was out and the weather channel showed no clouds around. So we loaded up and raced on down to the event. Lots of vendors had chickened out, some even after they had gotten there and complained a lot while setting up. Even in the lot we weren't sure about it, but finally decided to take our chances. No sooner were we committed than it started to drizzle, and we had to get out the tarps I'd cut up after the disaster in Collingswood. The books spent the whole day under the plastic, which was good, since the rain wasn't constant but the wind was. My shelter blew up off the ground twice, and we spent the last two hours holding it down. My neightbor lost several glass ornaments when her christmas tree display crashed down. The event manager came around and told everyone that they would get their money refunded, and a while later came around and told everyone that the event was closing up 1.5 hours early. Even so we sold over 20 books, so all I can say is Tough It Out. The only thing quitting guarantees is that you'll achieve nothing.

Today I spent part of my morning counting books. Not only was the layout at the event pretty haphazard, but the packing up was even more so, and we didn't even do a final inventory until today.

I also checked out some agent blogs. Saw the usual advice about queries. It amazes me that people still need to be told some of the things I see in these blogs. My only problem in writing a query is the synopsis, but that's me and my story, not the simple format of a query letter. I did see that there seems to be an assumption on the part of agents that a story will have one protagonist and one plot/conflict. I started thinking maybe that's what my book needs, a stronger set of links between all the various parts and characters, so instead of multiple layers of plot, threads of plot woven into one, I could in fact have one plot. I doubt that it'll happen, but I don't think it'll hurt my story to try. In this case I was adding new text to my novel St. Martin's Moon. I'd always felt it was too short, but it took some time and distance to see where content could be added without being filler. The story really features three protagonists (which makes it tough to write a synopsis for, since there's no single plot, either) yet only one of them gets any great amount of screen time. The other two need to have some more presentation, which is what I did, partly. I'll probably be adding more, especially during edits, if it ever gets any. I also need to get more time in on my next novel, Tales of Uncle, as well as my contest entry for next year's Parsec contest.

Then today I watched two movies that I'd gotten from the Library. One was called the Librarian, the third movie in the series, called The Curse of the Judas Chalice. Humorous adventure about vampires and stuff. Much better than the second movie but not as good as the first, IMHO. I still think they should bring back Nicole Noone.

The second film was A History of Violence, a marvelous movie by David Cronenberg. A small-town store owner foils a robbery, and the notoriety brings him to the attention of some big-time mobsters who know him from his previous life, a life he claims was not his. What I loved about the film is that it was not about the crime or the mob or even whether it was his past or not. The movie is about the effect all of it has on his family, the members of which are led into the discovery and exploration of their own darker natures, which they hadn't even known existed before then.

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