Thursday, August 26, 2004

If It's Thursday, This Must Be Pennsylvania...


Why am I sighing so early in this blog entry? Haven't a clue except that once I start typing, I try to keep moving, and when I haven't a clue what to type, I sigh. And so, I TYPE "sigh" into the text. And you're stuck reading it.

My Novel That Actually Got Finished In January (otherwise known as Gray Area) placed as a Top 20 Semifinalists in the contest, Operation First Novel, co-sponsored by Tyndale House and Jerry Jenkins' Christian Writers Guild. This was in late June. This was also when I attended a writing conference and met a big-time New York literary agent. We seemed to like each other and admire each other's strengths (hers being her cool big-time New York literary agent-thing and mine being, I dunno, writing bad fake book titles like the Kama Sutra Pop-Up Picture Book for Evangelicals).

About two weeks ago I sent her the first four chapters of Gray Area (at her request) and now I sit here in western Pennsylvania biting my nails (figuratively) waiting for her response. We'll see if I can get her attention enough for her to ask for the rest of the manuscript. That's the goal.

And meanwhile I wait.

I got more stuff in the mail the other day. Not dictionaries this time, although this is nearly as exciting. It was a long cardboard tube from the American Library Association, and it contained a promotional poster to advocate reading and libraries done by my homey, "Weird Al" Yankovic (who is holding a copy of a Stephen Hawking book in the poster). Yes, I actually paid money for this poster, and yes, it's hanging here right behind me on the wall of My New Office®.

Let me explain My New Office® to the uninitiated.

My 20-year-old son moved out a while back, and we began to use his room as a kind of storage room, piled with banker's boxes of old junk that my husband can't bear to part with but I can't bear to look at. This room is on the second floor and used to be a smallish kitchen when the old huge house was two apartments. This means it has a linoleum floor, kitchen cabinets and cupboards, and a dual stainless steel sink.

Many of the banker's boxes were dealt with but some are now back out in the upstairs hallway, looking forlorn but somehow not out of place in our house (if you know what I mean). We got a couple of conference tables and set them up in an L-shape in the corner opposite the countertops/cabinets. Along one wall I have the computer, flat-panel monitor, and a little inkjet printer (also a boombox). Along the other wall are my freelance proofreading materials: dictionaries, style manuals, Wite-Out, pens (red, of course), an E-gauge, Post-its, etc. Exciting stuff like that.

I festooned the walls with writing awards and medals, the signed "Weird Al" poster from his first show in Canada in '95, a corkboard for notes, and caricatures of three of the kids (Addie has yet to get her caricature done in Vegas). Bookcases, a rolling file cabinet that fits under one of the tables, and some knick-knacks (some of which actually are from my parents, come to think of it), and I'm all set.

On the countertop is a coffeemaker and all the supplies I'll need for that, and a little dorm fridge with creamer, sodas, ground coffee, a coupla beers, and some ice water. Yeah, life is good. I may never have to leave this room again.

Hershey, the ancient Burmese, resides in here too. Well, her food and water dishes, her litterbox, and her new foamy bed reside in here. She usually resides elsewhere in the house and sees fit to visit me when she wants something. Like food or water. Or someone to annoy with her loud, gravelly yelling. It's a good thing she has seniority.

I'm beginning to realize what a rambly entry this is. I'd be embarrassed if I thought anyone was actually reading this thing.

I should probably try to find out why my printer won't print in color, and then see if there is any more word on the upcoming release of Myst IV: Revelation. (Yes, I'm one of those weirdos who plays all the Myst games. I have no life, and I don't like first-person shooters. Welcome to my world.)

I'm looking up at my corkboard and I see a button from the '70s that says "Up With People!" Does anyone remember that gawdawful traveling motivational singing group of "young people" that performed in schools in the '70s and gave us all Type 2 diabetes? Amazingly, I bought a button ... and I kept it for over 25 years.

And I just admitted it in public.

I am so glad no one reads this thing.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>"I'm beginning to realize what a rambly entry this is. I'd be embarrassed if I thought anyone was actually reading this thing."



Actually, I like your blaug. It rocks. Or as Paris Hilton would say, "It's hot."

I only know about Paris Hilton because I have a daughter, and she keeps me up-to-speed with what's happening in the world of tabloid celebrity. Oh yeah - and we watch reality TV, too.

Your writing room is hot, too. I could go for a nice fridge stocked with goodies in my writing room, too. Think I might have to try that.

I'm glad to hear that Weird Al is your homey. He's hot, too.

Just wanted to say howdy to ya...

- Stephanie (newbie from WWBW)

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Waaaaaaaaaaait a minute!

I KNEW someone in Up with People. And I was one of the people who actually *felt the whole Up with People mood* during those festive school assemblies, way back in the dark ages.

Up with People was *hot.*

10:37 PM  

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