Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Publishing World and Another Experiment

And just like that, it was February. It's a slippery bastard, time is. Since the last post, I got to enjoy not one, but two trips to the dentist for fillings. But I'm finally done with a bunch I'd been needing since last summer, and I seem to have a good oral hygiene regimen going these days as so to finally maintain healthy teeth and improve that thar smile. (One of these days, my smile won't cause the same reactions as the ark of the covenant at the end of the first Indiana Jones movie. One of these days. Someday.) So I'm pretty ecstatic about health improvements on that front. A good electric toothbrush, specialized enamel toothpaste, and fluoride floss can work wonders.

The snow last time didn't last long, either. It melted away within 24-48 hours, and we were back to the frozen earth. (Until this coming weekend, anyway. Looks like we'll be seeing 70-degree weather on Sunday. Thanks, but no thanks, southern climate. Not ready for spring/summer weather to dominate the rest of the year again.) We had a very light dusting the other night, but it didn't take its time melting either.

Project 27 Days progress was made in spades, though. I'm down to the final two chapters and epilogue now. At the rate things are going, I'll be finishing the first draft in the next week, and finishing the initial revisions to the final chapters over the week following. Then it'll be on to working on a final set of revisions to complete the manuscript and set it aside as I begin querying agents. From the wonderfully stressful research I've done on the whole agent-querying process through the latest issue of The Writer magazine, I'm not really expecting to realistically have a shot at getting an agent - let alone finding publishing - within 2009 now, but at least I'm finishing the manuscript soon (And will be moving on to working on my second novel then) and getting the ball rolling in the rather hellish process that is breaking into that literary world. Maybe I'm being conservative by expecting up to/over 100+ rejections by various agencies, but either way, I'm expecting the whole experience of finding a good agent interested in representing in my work will be taking a few years off my life. All I can do is persevere, though - all kinds of garbage gets published, and while I can't provide an unbiased perspective on the quality of my work (And I tend to be self-deprecating anyway), I can at least say that there's a tremendous amount of crap out there that's worse than what I'm doing, at least. (How's that for confidence? Yeahhh.)

At any rate, there's my grumblings/musings on the daunting challenge faced by new connectionless writers seeking publishing and entry into the professional literary world. Fun stuff, fun times, clearly.

And now, getting to the other purpose of this entry: In celebration of February, I hereby present for your amusement a different kind of writing exercise from my usual idiocy. This one's a little slice of life, inspired by a common weekday morning routine for me.


Little Black Dog on a Brown Leather Leash

The barking downstairs signifies a vacant house. Only a foot off the ground, the dog's a behemoth. Only the freeloader's there to hear. He'd rather pretend he was asleep, but he and sleep haven't been close in years.

As he steps outside, the freeloader immediately regrets not wearing a coat. The dog's indifferent, of course. He doesn't care that humans lack fur coats. In fact, the thought's never even crossed his mind. He's a dog. Why should the matters of humans concern him?

The dog drags the freeloader across the yard, stopping at every bit of vegetation. The frost-laden grass crunches below the freeloader's feet. The air stings with every breath.

The dog ignores the freeloader and turns his nose to meet the wind as it picks up. A car passes by, ferrying another to their workplace. The dog watches. He has to make sure they don't intrude.

The freeloader tugs the leather leash lightly to get the dog's attention. Stubbornly, the dog refuses to move. He has to sniff every corner of the yard. He has to assess the state of his domain.

Sometimes the freeloader gives in. Sometimes he doesn't. Regardless of which choice he makes, the dog will bark again. He's harsher than most employers in the working world. Dogs have high expectations, after all.

Resigning himself, the freeloader takes the dog to the backyard and watches as he plows through a pile of dead leaves. In the morning chill, he feels the blood moving through his veins.

At society's perimeter, the dog and freeloader stand and stare and take time to breathe.

An odd little narrative experiment I felt like trying, anyway. Not quite a poem, and I'm feeling too tired to attach a specific category.

As things are, I'm feeling a little more bitter about the season this year and not really inspired to write more of the stupid "love-ly" comedy pieces I did for the Valentine's season last year. Instead, I think I'm going to be doing some movie talk about love-themed cinema worth indulging in. Keep an eye out.

Once this book's done, I'm resolving to work on writing here more often. In Spiral Reverie's third year, it'd be nice to be a more active blog and maybe get some more regular readers. (Just maybe.) After finally caving and joining, I'm kinda tempted to start doing some occasional music blogging too. It's one of the few interests of mine I haven't really invested time in writing about yet.

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