Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas music and query letters

Odd combo, huh?

Well, it's stuff I'm doing today. A lot of driving around taking my various kids to various places, which of course means that I'm listening at least some times to Christmas music. I generally don't listen to the radio any other time. I'm usually not listening to the radio this time either, because basically most of the Christmas music on the radio is pretty poor. I get the impression that a lot of it was made so the artist in question would have some income at least part of the year, long after his fifteen minutes were over.

And how many remakes of classic Christmas songs do we need when thet've been pretty definitively covered already? Can anyone top Bing Crosby's version of White Christmas? Nat King Cole's Christmas Song, or Josh Grobin's version of O Holy Night? (Well, that last one there is challenged pretty well by Celine Dion, but I think his is better for being lower pitched.) I wish it were possible to permanently remove some songs from the list of remake-able items, and some movies, too, but then what would the entertainment industry do, produce something original? There's no love for originality in the world of business, however much the Universe in general may love it, and even depend upon it. Production means expense, expense requires justification, justification uses metrics, and metrics need a baseline. None of which is available for the truly original. Which argues, perhaps, for the absence of business in the world of originality.

Which brings us, somehow, to the subject of query letters. For some time now I've been reading blogs about them and trying to write one. I finally decided that both the blogs' complaints and my own were the same, that a new model of querying was needed. Being the brilliant, innovative writer that I am, I wrote one. It was a dialog, two of the characters from my latest manuscript discussing how best to present it as a query letter. What can I say, I like meta-literary. This allowed me to present the 'synopsis' of the novel in a non-synoptic way, which was important because my novels' -opses don't tend to syn- very well. If I ever wrote one that did I'd probably consider it defective and fix it. Anyway, I sent my little brainchild out into the cold harsh world of agentry to see what the reaction would be, and so far it doesn't look too terribly bad. One agent requested a partial, but passed. One agent treated it like a regular query and rejected it. Another also rejected it, based on certain items of content, but not the form. Only one has suggested that the form should be made regular, so the pros would know how to evaluate it. So it's only 4 responses so far, but three of the four are non-negative.

That's good, isn't it?

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