Archive for July, 2013

Naming Names

July 29, 2013

Back on June 28th, in a post called “Jocks Rule,” I told a story about an athlete in my high school who tried to intimidate me for refusing to stand for the football team at a pep assembly. It was a strange development for me that the guy was elected to congress during the last election. Since I had no way of knowing whether he’d changed or not—and I had some indication that he might have—I decided not to name names. But because he voted against a bill that would have reined in the NSA’s domestic spying, I’ve decided to reveal his identity: Denny Heck, Democrat from the state of Washington.

Progress Report #88

July 19, 2013

I’ve been reluctant to admit it, but I’ve been a little lost in the wilderness with this last draft. I’ve been needing to put together a package that I can use to hunt for a publisher, but haven’t been sure how to go about it. Business and a knack for self-hype are not among my stronger qualities. I once gave a reading at a Barnes and Noble, and the woman who handled the readings pulled me aside to tell me that my book was good, but I needed to put some effort into “establishing my brand.” I was shocked and embarrassed to find myself on the receiving end of that. I thought she was clueless. She didn’t get it all.

Well, I have an agent now and I met with her yesterday. It was a good meeting and I know what I need to do to get back on track. She has high literary standards—that is, she’s a literary agent, not a book agent. So I have a direction and guidance. I start the truly hard work Monday. This book will be finished one day.

Chilling

July 7, 2013

In case you haven’t seen this, here’s an article from the New York Times that everyone should read.

Stretch Limo

July 5, 2013

A few days ago while out on my bike I got stuck in traffic behind a stretch limousine and was reminded me of a vignette that happened some 20 years ago.

I had a neighbor who was an interior designer. She specialized in restaurants. Her designs were not chichi; they were attractively funky. She used recycled materials in an imaginative way. I liked her work. She’d just finished a particularly lucrative job, a motel/restaurant complex, and she invited some of her neighbors to join her at the grand opening. The place was a good distance away, but she said she could give me a ride there and back. When I got to the meeting point I found out that the ride was in a stretch limo. I was deeply embarrassed. I didn’t want to get into the thing. But I didn’t want to make a scene either. So, I went along, but hid my face the entire ride, worried that someone I knew might see me. She’d hired the limo for the entire party and told us that if anybody wanted to go home early, we should tell the driver and he’d take care of us. I did end up wanting to go home early. I snuck past the driver who was sitting out in front and took the bus. It felt a lot better.