Friday, January 30, 2009

Final Deconstruction of Hafan Deg

Well, I guess I've completed my down-sizing. Hafan Deg is sitting at around 95,000 words, which is the best I can do. I figure somewhere between 90,000 to 100,000 words is the accepted norm for first books, so I'm happy to leave it as it is. Once I have interest in the work, I'm sure an agent won't reject my submission for the sake of a few extra pages.

I'm going to spend the weekend finishing my research on agents. There are so many truly delightful ones out there, and I'll approach them in order of my enthusiasm for them. The British agent search is more difficult. For some odd reason, few of them accept email submissions. 95% of U.S. agents do, celebrating the era we live in. That's not to say I won't submit hard copy, but it's an unwieldy, inefficient way to do it, I think. I wonder how many of you have decided email is the only way to go. We are all so thoroughly spoiled now. I'm not even sure what the cost of a postage stamp is these days.

It's possible that my little readership includes some Jane Austen fans. For you, or someone you know, there is a British competition for an Austen-inspired, 2,000-2,500 word short story . I enjoy her books, but never had the inclination to try to write in that style or particular romantic genre. (I'm a died-in-the-wool Thomas Hardy nut. Sorry to mention the wool - Far From The Madding Crowd, remember?)

For those of you who'd love to show how familiar you are with her writing, give it a shot. You have until the end of March, tons of time to whip something together. It doesn't have to be a period piece, but it should reflect the Austen theme, from a character, situation, location, even a sentence, derived from her work. There is a nice little prize - One Thousand Pounds Sterling, although I think you Austen lovers would do it just for the love of it. You can find all the details at Chawton House Library Competition.

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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