Friday, March 26, 2010

WTF Is 'Whuck'?

If you watched 30 Rock last night, you'll have noticed that Tina Fey exclaimed "Whuck?" on finding out her ex-boyfriend was on the Today Show announcing his engagement to an aerobics instructor.  According to Fey in this month's Esquire (which I continue to receive monthly though I have never once paid for a subscription), she's hoping "whuck" will be adopted into the vernacular as verbal shorthand for "what the fuck."

Spread the word.  Literally.  (I still intend to use the inimitable WTF in writing.)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Who's My Aussie Reader?

Hey, who are you down (up) in Australia who reads this blog from time to time?  I'm just curious.  I just find it fascinating that someone so far away is reading this drivel compendium of publishing wisdom.  For awhile I had readers in En Zed and Moscow, too, which just floors me.  This Internet thing is unbelievable.  I wonder if there's a way to make money off it...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How to Query -- Not

A very funny post by Tahereh on "What Janet Reid really wants" in your query can be found here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's OK to Laugh Now (True Story, Part Deux)

OK, the deal is that a couple of weeks ago the agent who had my full e-mailed me to tell me how much she loved it, though she thought it needed some revising.  Woohoo, I said, and said no problem about revising.  She was then supposed to call me in a few days.  And didn't.  So I freaked out, of course.  Had she changed her mind?  Been hit by a bus?  Been kidnapped by al-Qaeda?  I was loathe to check with her, not wanting her to think I was one of those "whiny writers" that we know all agents dislike.  Thus, the true story I was in the middle of, not knowing whether it would end with me crying at this lost chance or laughing at my freaking out.

So I'm laughing.  (Not really.  But I'm not crying.)  Because she called.  Whew!

Now, I have not got an offer of representation here.  But we had a great chat, and the revisions we talked about don't seem too onerous.  Mostly trimming and shuffling about.  Once that's done -- then she'll make up her mind about representing me.  Hey, I couldn't ask for more.  (Well, I could.  But won't.)

More important, she understands my book, is clearly a great person, works for a real agency that's sold tons of mysteries and thrillers and such.  So.  Good news, for once.  I'd be in hog heaven if I had a signed agreement in hand, but this is pretty good after so much dreary news and I'm taking it and running with it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Seven Months In

So little has been happening that I actually forgot that yesterday was the seven-month anniversary of AgentQuest (TM).  I haven't had a query response in weeks.  That whole boatload of queries I sent the first week of January just seems to have disappeared down a wormhole.  I feel like re-querying the whole bunch of them.  Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.

And Blogger seems to have reduced the number of font size choices.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Day in the Life

I can't finish the true story yet because I still don't know how it comes out, so in the meantime, pace my secret lover Sierra, here's a day in the life of Travener:

6:30 a.m. - Get up.
6:31 a.m. - Make coffee. Take HBP meds. Go get newspaper in rain. Get coffee, take newspaper outside, drink coffee, smoke three (3) cigarettes, read newspaper front section.
7:00 a.m. - Call upstairs for son to get up, get dressed for middle school.
7:01 a.m. - Return outside, drink second cup of coffee, smoke two (2) cigarettes, finish newspaper.
7:15 a.m. - Yell upstairs for son to get his ass out of bed, already.
7:20 a.m. - Tell son to change the shirt he's been wearing for three days and remind him he needs to brush his hair.
7:21 a.m. - Log on to computer, check: e-mail, NYT, do NYT sudoku.
7:45 a.m. - Drive son to middle school.
8:00 a.m. - Call upstairs for daughter to get up, get dressed for elementary school.
8:05 a.m. - Take second section of paper and third cup of coffee outside. Smoke two (2) cigarettes. Do NYT crossword puzzle.
8:20 a.m. - Yell upstairs for daughter to get her ass out of bed already.
8:25 a.m. - Remind daughter that it's still winter and she will need to wear socks to school.
8:26 a.m. - Check Daily Kos, Andrew Sullivan. Log on to BigL. Check Absolute Write for the hell of it. Check the Daily Beast, Politico.
8:55 a.m. - Drive daughter to elementary school.
9:05 a.m. - Check e-mail. Check Blogger Dashboard. Make snide comments on blogs, as appropriate.
9:50 a.m. - Eat daily complement of Dark Green Vegetable (spinach).
9:55 a.m. - Check e-mail.
10:00 a.m. - Go downstairs and get on exercise cycle while watching whatever DVD's in from Netflix (this week: Ken Burns' The West).
10:45 a.m. - Return upstairs, make green tea. Take vitamins and fish-oil capsules.
11:00 a.m. - Check e-mail.
11:01 a.m. - Go outside, drink green tea, read, smoke one (1) cigarette.
11:15 a.m. - Check e-mail.
11:16 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Some combination of read, write, check e-mail, watch CNN, garden, mow lawn, do home maintenance, pay bills, worry about paying bills, talk to spousal unit (if she's up), go to grocery store, clean clothes, clean house, once in a blue moon meet a friend for coffee.
2:00 p.m. - Hardball with Chris Matthews.
2:45 p.m. - Pick up son from middle school.
2:55 p.m. - Check e-mail.
3:00 p.m. - Go outside, read, smoke one (1) cigarette.
3:15 p.m. - Tell son to get ready for tae kwon do.
3:20 p.m. - Remind son to get ready for tae kwon do.
3:30 p.m. - Take son, pick up daughter from elementary school.
3:45 p.m. - Deliver child units to tae kwon do.
3:46 p.m. - Pick up grande decaf Sumatra Clover Brewed coffee at Starbucks.
3:47 - 4:29 p.m. - Read, drink coffee, smoke three (3) cigarettes.
4:30 p.m. - Pick up child units from tae kwon do.
4:45 p.m. - Check e-mail.
4:46 p.m. - Settle argument between child units over who gets to go on the Internet first. Demand proof they have no homework.
4:50 p.m. - Read, smoke one (1) cigarette.
5:00 - 6:00 p.m. - Get and open mail, try to figure what to make child units for dinner, read, smoke one (1) cigarette.
6:00 p.m. - Make dinner for child units. Settle argument over whose turn it is to set table. Wind up setting table myself.
6:20 p.m. - Serve dinner. Respond to son's complaint by reminding him he doesn't have to eat potatoes if he doesn't want to.
7:00 p.m. - Go to Girl Scout meeting with daughter.
8:00 p.m. - Kick son off computer, check e-mail.
8:01 p.m. - American Idol, whether I want it or not.
8:45 p.m. - Smoke one (1) cigarette.
8:46 p.m. - Remind son that tonight for sure he has to shampoo his hair and cut his nails.
9:00 p.m. - Send son to bed, reminding him that tonight for sure he has to shampoo his hair and cut his nails.
9:01 p.m. - Read, smoke two (2) cigarettes.
9:30 p.m. - Check to see if son is out of shower yet.
9:31 p.m. - Tell daughter to log off computer and go to bed.
9:35 p.m. - Remind daughter to log off the computer and go to bed already.
9:38 p.m. - Tell daughter to get off the damn computer now I mean it now.
9:59 p.m. - Check if daughter is out of bath yet.
10:00 p.m. - Seinfeld.
10:10 p.m. - Call upstairs for daughter to get out of shower and into bed.
10:20 p.m. - Greet spousal unit returning from "work."
10:30 p.m. - Call upstairs for everyone to turn their lights off.
10:31 p.m. - Seinfeld.
10:35 p.m. - Call upstairs for everyone to turn their lights off now I mean it now.
11:00 p.m. - Check e-mail.
11:01 p.m. - Sleep.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Story in the Making

I have a true story to tell that will either make you laugh or make you cry.

Trouble is, I don't know how it ends yet.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Trail of Tears

A reader calls his journey toward publishing "The Query Trail of Tears." Man, if there's a better description I haven't heard it.

What do you call your version of AgentQuest (TM)?

Monday, March 8, 2010

No-Post Monday

Actually, that's really only no-post Monday evening. Cuz you know it's Big Bang Theory night.

Actually, that's not the reason. I just got nothing to say. Nothing worthwhile, that is. I don't plan ahead. You know me, Mr. Spontaneity. Ha ha. That's what they called me in college.

No, that's not true. I made that up. That's redundant. From the Department of Redundancy Department. That I stole from the Firesign Theatre. Who probably stole it from somebody else.

Really, the deal is, I'm just trying to get someone to comment and want to see if anyone will bother to read this drivel this far down.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Misery Loves Company

First Matt over at Pensive Sarcarm said "sharing Travener's misery" makes him happy, then Kara over at Moomurs said "Travener is hilarious, even if he's not happy."

So this got me to thinking: Am I unhappy? Am I miserable?

Well, yes and no. I am unhappy and depressed about some things, not all of them having to do with my well-documented, frustrating AgentQuest (TM): money, sex, optimism (too little, rare as steak tartare, elusive) and weight, blood pressure, stress (too much, too high, way too fucking much).

But my discontents do not rise to the level of misery, which I hereby nominate as the subject for one of Sierra's Word Up Wednesday webinars. I am not even clinically depressed (been there, done that) -- just garden-variety bummed out.

To prove it, I'm going to list ten things that make me happy even now.

1. My kids. Most of the time.

2. The Big Bang Theory. Penny! Penny! Penny!

3. That I still have my father, aged 88, around. My brother is another story.

4. My friend Roland. I've known the guy forever and he still makes me laugh every time we talk.

5. My blogger buddies and Followers. It's nice to be able to vent to people who get it.

6. Clear, sunny days. Ain't nothing prettier than snow-draped Mt. Rainier on a day like today.

7. The smell of freshly baked bread. It's hard to beat a French patisserie.

8. Hummingbirds. They're the dangedest things.

9. Did I mention my kids? They crack me up.

And, of course,

10. Boobies. As I recall.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

No News Is Not Good News

It occurs to me that when it comes to querying, the old adage "No news is good news" does not apply. I got nothing but no news lately. Bleh.

I've got nothing else to talk about, really. Isn't that sad? Even our father-and-daughter Girl Scout cookie site sale the other night was awful -- two hours in the rainy cold, sold maybe ten boxes. Still waiting for 2010 to turn it all around.

Good thing Amber is celebrating her birthday. She looks so young and pretty.