Friday, March 6, 2009

No Further Rejections

So I still have 12 queries pending and 5 rejections. This means I've sent no queries out all week. I'd like to think the active queries are in the "Interesting..Take A Closer Look" pile, but they could be in the "When You Get A Minute, Send A Form Rejection" pile, and nobody has yet found that minute to do it. Perhaps I'll fire off a couple of queries today, just to keep my hand in.

I was reading a blog this morning that suggested that literary fiction was a sort of no-go area right now. We all know the kinds of genres that are being picked up, which is no surprise considering how hot this is in the movie world, but I still feel there is room for the quiet little story, the one where the hero or heroine is not particularly beautiful or heroic. I'm thinking of stories like "About Schmidt", or "The Visitor", both about understated, introverted men. Some of us prefer this kind of writing, this kind of film, and I believe there is still a market for it. However, as the blog pointed out, if you don't buy such a book yourself, you're part of the problem. The other writing sells. Perhaps all of us quiet little readers, with our penchant for quiet tales, and the possible tendency to simple living, use our libraries. So that's that.

It's that 'blah' time of the year here. It's gray and threatening rain, but it's the warmest we've been since last fall - around 15 Celsius (about 58 Fahrenheit) and tantalizing us with the promise of Glorious Spring. Of course, the snow - now dirty and horrible - is still piled up at the edges of the gardens because it can't quite melt away. There are sweet flowers trying to poke up under there, I know, but we can't see them yet. In Australia, you don't have this sense of anticipation, of course, because the seasons seem to barely change, although the temperature does. I missed this a lot when I lived there, and try not to complain now I'm here. Weather should never be predictable or boring.

You'll have gathered from today's post that I'm in an odd reflective mood, perhaps influenced by the overcast skies outside, but also something to do with where I am with my writing.

I explained to you that a lot of my creative process occurs when I am NOT at the keyboard. Well, that's where I am with Strachan's Attic right now. There's a lot of pondering about what to say when, whether to say it or not. This part of the book is the area undergoing reconstruction and will be a slow one for a while. Once I'm through this phase, I should pick up the original thread and speed up for a while.

Have you looked at Strachan at all? I've had one or two comments, but feel a bit dejected in not hearing more. I know it's just a teaser, the first three chapters, but I hope you can get a sense of the book, otherwise I'm doing something totally wrong. But then I admit that I haven't spent a lot of time online reading other people's extracts lately, so I guess I understand. We all have so much to read when we open our computers. I'm getting more and more resilient to the 'just open one more link' compulsion each day, and I've reduced the number of browsing hours hugely. Perhaps you're exerting the same control. But if you could just take a minute...

Quotes to Consider

"If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, Either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing." ~Benjamin Franklin

"Well behaved women rarely make history."~Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”~William G.T. Shedd (1820-1894), theologian, teacher, pastor

"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something." ~Franklin D Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd U.S. president

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), essayist, poet, philosopher


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~Mark Twain

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
~ Wayne Gretzky