Saturday, March 26, 2011

Here I go...

I have an opportunity to sit in on a workshop by Michael Garrett.  Who is Michael Garrett?  Hopefully a editorial genius that recognizes raw untrained talent when he sees it  =).   Mr. Garrett was the first editor for one Mr. Stephen King.  You may have heard of one or the other gentlemen...

Our local writers guild and library is hosting Mr. Garrett on April 2nd.  He is conducting a one day two session workshop.  The topics are How to Become a Published Author and Short Story and Novel review.  I have signed up for both.  The first session is supposed to show us how to cut through all the "publisher slush pile".  Well that should be a no brainer...just gain celebrity status.  Who would have read a book by Sarah Palin five years ago?  Who will read Charlie Sheen's behind the scenes of "Two and Half Men: I am the half man" next year?
Hopefully he has more advice than celebrity status to pass along. 

During the second session Mr. Garrett is going to take manuscripts from several of the participants and give it a thrashing real review.  This stunt should be worth the price of admission.  Why?  He plans to read them out loud to the attendees.  That's not so bad you say.  Then he will critique them on the spot.  

Here is how I see session two going down...

Mr. Garrett shuffles through a few manuscripts.  He picks up one and begins mumbling to himself.  He mumbles incoherently as if his tongue is processing the words before arriving at his brain.  He seems to be using this technique to understand the flow of the manuscript before reading it aloud.  He dons his designer reading glasses, takes in a deep breath and with a low Marlon Brando voice starts reading the first page.  

Hey I recognize that story!  He continues reading out loud when Self says, "Hey Kipp, that is your story!"  My heart rate jumps from 90 bpm to 185 bpm.  Mr. Garrett turns to the second page and continues to read the second page but before he reaches page three he stops.  He takes in a deep breath, pulls his designer reading glasses off his face.   The attendees are staring at him waiting for his wisdom to spew forth about the masterpiece his has just read. 

"This is really interesting. Who wrote this?"  
There is a gasp of air taken from everyone in the room.

Me: In a high pitched school girl voice, "I did...-clear throat-...I did sir." 
Mr. Garrett: "Well...I must say.  (dramatic pause)  Do you mind stepping out of the room?" 
Me: Sure. No problem.

I get in the hall when sweat starts beading up on my forehead.  I start pacing the hallway from one side to the other.  The three steps go by so fast.  My mind is racing.  He is about send everyone else home.  He has found his next Stephen King.  I am going to have an agent.  He is going to be able to retire.

~~ 2 hours later ~~

The door opens and everybody is leaving the workshop.  I am still standing in the hall.  Mr. Garrett exits laughing with a small entourage making plans to go to the local coffee shop to discuss more about this exhilarating vampire novel idea from Ms. Maggie Marple.  She had showed me her manuscript during the first session break which had me laughing.   "Ms Marple, seriously, how many times can you beat a dead horse?  Vampires - really, reeaally?" 

Then as Mr. Garrett passes me he says "Good day."


I figure if I prepare this way and it happens, I will have prepared mentally and already experienced being rejected by a well known editor once before.  If it goes a slight bit better my thoughts can then be, "Man - it could have been a lot worse".

Dreams lead to desires, desires lead to goals, goals lead to tasks, tasks lead to accomplishments, accomplishments lead to a journey.  There are learning experiences along the way called failures.  Failures need only be viewed as stepping stones on the path to the pinnacle of our journey.  Or more simply put..."Never, never, never give up." - Winston Churchill

Here I go...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Comfort clothes

I love to come home after a difficult, stress filled day and get in my comfort clothes.  The kids usually greet me at the door with a big hug and screams of "Daddy's home!"  After listening to all three of my live-in girls welcome me, typically all at once, I make my way back to my room to change clothes.  By the way, I grew up with just one brother.  I can never remember one time when I followed him into his room to continue a conversation while he got dressed, peed, or any other activity usually reserved for the privacy of one person. 

As the girls are still telling me about their day I change into my polyester based gym shorts.  My youngest stops her story briefly: "I see London.  I see France.  I see Daddy's underpants."  I pull up my shorts and turn around to see her head tilted back in laughter with one hand on her stomach and one hand lazily pointing in my direction.  I start after her, "Why don't you get out of here?"  Her and her sister scurry out of my room still laughing.  I then shed my work shirt and sweaty pit stained undershirt, trading them in for one of my favorite shirts that has more holes than a noodle strainer.  Ah...comfort clothes.

On most weekends my routine is to pick up my comfort clothes from off the bedroom floor where they were removed or I grab them off the chair where they were thrown over from the bed.  Getting up before the girls on Saturday's I try my best to cook breakfast for them.  It is a small family tradition but we all seem to enjoy it immensely.  (I get a clue how much they like it on the days I do not serve pancakes) I like cooking the flapjacks in the peace and quiet while drinking my first cup of coffee preparing everything before the girls wake up.  The girls enjoy being served as soon they get up and eating the fun-shaped pancakes.

This one particular morning we had some extras, turkey bacon and Conecuh sausage, to go with the traditional "daddy makes the best pancakes" breakfast.  Before the two youngest girls had crawled out of bed my bride walked in the kitchen to fix her traditional oatmeal.  She approaches me, hugs my back and draws in a big deep breath as I stood in front of the stove frying up the turkey bacon.  In her best 'that smells really good I may have pancakes, sausage, and bacon this morning instead of oatmeal' smiling voice she says excitedly "Your cooking bacon and sausage?!"  

My quick witted response was "Yes but the bacon and sausage is only for those of us that have been good this week.  Those on the bad list have to eat oatmeal.  Let's see, who is on the bad list?"  

Before I was given an opportunity to answer my question my bride in one quick motion releases her hug and jerks my polyester gym shorts and underpants straight down to the floor.  She steps back to admire her work.  Then says, "I will tell you who I know on the moron list!"  

I turn toward her to let her gloat in her accomplishment.  When she takes a breath from laughing after successfully pantsing* her husband at the stove she says "Hey you might want to be careful and not burn your..." I interrupted her "...BREAKFAST.  No I am not going to burn my breakfast!"

I have added a new step to my comfort routine.  I have started tying the draw string on my favorite comfortable polyester shorts.  I never know when I might say something provoking the woman of the house to covertly pants me.
* pantsing or used as a verb, pants - removing ones pants without permission of the one wearing said pants.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Blog Hop

I found something that seems to be entertaining for a Monday.  It is apparently called a "hop".  A blog hop.  I saw the hop at Empty Nest then went to Never Growing Old to get the questions.  Java at Never Growing Old has posted 5 questions for the last 38 weeks for the blogging world to answer and share with fellow bloggers.  Here is the button:

Please visit both sites when you get a chance to see how they answered the questions.  But they originated with Java at Never Growing Old.

Here are the Blog Hop Meet Me on Monday questions:
1.  Do you have a fireplace in your home?
2.  Can you drive a stick shift?
3.  How many computers are in your home?
4.  Are your taxes done yet?  Do you do them yourself?
5.  What is your favorite meal of the day? 

It has been a while since I have answered random get to know me questions.   You may remember my last effort: Best Day Ever.  But here it goes...

Do you have a Fireplace in your home?
This is probably the main reason I wanted to answer these questions, since my fireplace privileges were revoked recently.  Please see The 'ol Smoke House.

Can you drive a stick shift?
Yes I am one of the 3.5% of Americans that can drive a standard transmission.  (Did you know that 60% of all statistics are made up on the spot?)  It is the only type transmission I have owned.  I should give lessons to my cousin.  You might remember You added some things to it.  It takes a minute to get the stick shift part but you will see what I mean. 

How many computers are in your home?
Counting this laptop - one.  Although it may be time for a another one.  It seems recently I am having to share time with webkinz world and pbskids. The munchkins have become so tech savvy.  Speaking of them, can I count the Wii as a computer to pad my stats?

Have you done your taxes; did you complete them yourself?
Yes - if you do not get them done early you may not get your refund.
Yes - if you let somebody else do them you may not get your refund. ;)

What is your favorite meal of the day?
The meal I am about to eat is always my favorite. 

Thanks Java, Monday was a bit more bearable.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Fortune cookie

The other day some friends and I went to lunch at the local Chinese restaurant.  After the meal I opened my fortune was empty.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Summer reading list

If you are looking for some summer reading material I have added a tab to rockbottom called "RRR".   Recommended Reading by rockbottom (RRR) has a few books that I have read recently.  These books are easy to read and most of them will put a smile on your face.  

I have added a quick note about the book along with a picture of its front cover. Links are added to either the authors website or the link to for you to get a another review of the book.  You can even purchase the book while you are there if you are so inclined. 

If you get a chance to read any of these books this summer - send me an email or leave a comment under this Summer reading list post.