I’m over at the Innsmouth Free Press site today talking about writing paranormals.
Archive for February, 2010
I thought this joke was funny. Not exactly politically correct, but funny in its slightly exaggerated view. I wasn’t alive in 1960 nor was I in school that decade, but this was how things were handled many years later when I was in school. And keep in mind, I went to a school where it was common to see deer rifles hanging in the backs of trucks on school property. Nobody even thought about getting them out and using them as a weapon. Oh how times have changed.
1960 vs 2010
Scenario #1: Johnny and Mark get into a fistfight after school.
1960 – Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up
2010 – Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark. Charge
them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it.
Scenario #2: Jeffrey won‚t be still in class, disrupts other students.
1960 – Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by the
Principal. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class
2010 – Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. Tested for
ADHD. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a
Scenario #3: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor‚s car and his Dad
gives him a whipping with his belt.
1960 – Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to
college, and becomes a successful businessman.
2010 – Billy‚s dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster
care and joins a gang. State psychologist tells Billy‚s sister that she
remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy‚s Mom
has affair with psychologist.
Scenario #4: Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.
1960 – Mark shares aspirin with Principal out on the smoking dock.
2010 – Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations. Car
searched for drugs and weapons.
Scenario #5: Pedro fails high school English.
1960 – Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.
2010 – Pedro‚s cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear
nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for
graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state
school system and Pedro‚s English teacher. English banned from core
curriculum. Pedro given diploma anyway, but ends up mowing lawns for a
living because he cannot speak English.
Scenario #6: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from 4th of July,
puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.
1960 – Ants die.
2010 – ATF, Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged with domestic
terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home
computers confiscated. Johnny‚s Dad goes on a terror watch list and is
never allowed to fly again.
Scenario #7: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his
knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort
1960 – In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
2010 – Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She
faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.
As I mentioned earlier, January was a real BEOTCH. We had a death in the family, a dear friend experienced a devastating loss, Amazon punked Macmillan, and my agent and I parted ways. In the scheme of things, the latter is of little consequence. The timing might have been a surprise, but the overall result was sadly not.
The end of that relationship has caused me to do a lot of soul searching. I’ve been trying to figure out what it is I need in an agent. Like a good marriage, the agent/author relationship takes a lot of work. It’s never perfect. No one expects it to be, least of all me. And like a marriage, breaking up is hard to do–most of the time. I take pride in the fact that I have a decent working relationship with my two ex-agents.
I do not pretend to think that it will be easy to find a new agent. I’ve had several published friends struggle in their search for representation. My writing interests make it even more difficult. I’m not just interested in one genre or two. I want to write in Urban Fantasy, YA, and Romance. There are a lot of very good agents that represent Urban Fantasy or YA or Romance, but very few do all three. And even fewer do all three well. Add to that my need for aggressive representation and the list grows even smaller.
Fortunately, I’m not in a hurry. Considering I’ve sold every book I’ve ever had published (except foreign rights) on my own, waiting isn’t a problem. *g* I’ve decided to take the next several months off to work on new material. I’m going to complete the YA and an adult UF (maybe even a romance partial), then I’ll start querying. I still have a lot of work sitting in New York, so I believe there’s time to get my ducks in a row.
In the meantime, I’m reading a lot of wonderful fiction and finishing my online writing class. As a bonus, I just saw the line-up for the new Blood Lite 2 anthology, which will be due out at Halloween (2010). You can check it out on Kevin Anderson’s blog.
Dh and I went out this past weekend and did a little retail therapy. We both came home with 27 inch Macs. Now I should probably mention, unlike dh, I’ve never owned a Mac, so I have quite a learning curve happening at present.
Of course, if dh hadn’t spent the last several days trying to copy over everything from my PC to my Mac, there wouldn’t be a learning curve because I probably wouldn’t have switched.
I am looking forward to working on this machine. I figure it goes along with all the other changes taking place in my life at present. *ggg*
If you switched from a PC to a Mac, how long did it take you before you were comfortable on the new machine?