Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Bagging an agent part 15b

Okay, so there's a lot of talk and advice on snagging a literary agent. Well, I'm sure this has been done before, but...

Dear [redacted],

Please find enclosed the first fifty pages of my epic 250,000 word, young adult novel entitled “Brownley Cotter And The Curious Nark of Spluttergatry.”

Haronda Fitzgerald, Grand Master of the Brackanumpty University of Wizardry hopes this year’s intake of students will be more prolific than recent ones. One of his new students, Brownley Cotter, seems more adept at wizardry than anyone Haronda has seen in years.

After many hilarious scrapes and heroic battles, my novel climaxes with Brownley Cotter receiving his degree in wizardship and defeating an evil Dragon. I feel that Brownley Cotter is not only original but also it would make a good series of books. It could even be adapted to a film!

On visiting your website, I feel we could work well together. So much so, that I have done some extra research on you, both via the internet and also the electoral roll. I think it’s amazing we live so close to each other and your office is only a twenty minute run from where I work.

You won’t believe this, but I’m a Lady Gaga fan too! (The man who was servicing your car told me you had one of her cd’s.) I said to him that your brake lines needed looking at, and he even let me help while he went for a twenty minute cigarette break.

Finally, I don’t mean to be rude, but what are you doing throwing away your bank statements un-shredded? I hope you don’t mind me going through your rubbish, but I think it’s lucky I did. Also, sorry about your medical condition. It must be so embarrassing, not to mention uncomfortable with all the sitting around you have to do.

Hopefully we can meet up soon. The pub you sometimes visit after work, the Crown, is on my bus route home. I can be there next Thursday, though I have noticed you seem to prefer Wednesdays for an after work drink. Anyway, if you get there before me, mine's a Babycham.

Thanks again and I look forward to our friendship lasting a long, long time.

Yours sincerely

A. S. Talker

Anyway, wrote another 6,000 words last week on 'Too Big To Fail' which appears to now have a permanent name. Still on course for the deadline.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Christmas is getting earlier and all that...

Another post in my 'It's not like the good old days' series, this one covers the phenomena that is Christmas and how it starts earlier as you get older.

Bought a pack of six mince pies today. You know it's Christmas when mince pies are being sold. Love them or hate them, they just say 'Christmas is coming' don't they.

The expiry date on these lovely pies is 20th October. That's 20th October this year. Over two months before Christmas actually starts.

What in the name of arse is going on?

Anyway, I was going to moan about how when I was a lad, you only ate Mince Pies actually at Christmas, and how the shops are already full of a whole wealth of Christmas goods (big tins of Quality Street - yes I bought one, whole displays dedicated to baubles, tat and tins of biscuits - I didn't buy any of them, yet,) but, as I say, in what is probably my longest ever sentence, I'm not going to moan about it: everyone does.

Instead, I'll sound off about what must be the real message of Christmas, and how it's got lost in all the glitter-infested fibre-opticed trees, the lure of the money-grabbing supermarkets and the constant repeats of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. That's not what Christmas is all about is it? I truly believe I have found the real meaning of Christmas.

Pigs in blankets.

Little dozy sausages wrapped up in cozy bacon blankets. It's what the day was invented for, a celebration of all things porcine. So simple yet so lovely, these little fellows hang around all year waiting to be devoured (a bit like turkeys) yet they're everyone's favourites. Unlike turkey, you're not subjected to over-kill in a five day period after the huge turkey you've bought has to last a week in various disguises (turkey curry, turkey salad, turkey and chips, turkey surprise.) You usually only get one pig in blanket at Christmas and I'm sure most people would agree, there's never any wasted.

So that's it. Moderation. To keep Christmas special, everything needs to be in moderation and not have a five month build up.

I'm still writing, nearly ten thousand words done last week, so I'm on course for the deadline. It's the editing that scares me a bit.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Queueing and Pushing in

We love queueing don't we? Stick some miserable sod behind a checkout and we'll spend hours standing patiently in line to give them money for some overpriced tat. But what if someone pushes in? What if someone breaks the unwritten code of queueing?

A few days ago in the supermarket, me and my other half, Mrs Pie (not her real name) approached the tills with a trolley full of essentials. The tills were busy, unusually very busy, but eventually we saw one with only one person waiting to be served. So, we headed for it.

This is going somewhere, honest.

Just as we got to the till, two little children (probably about 8 and 10), ran in front of us and stood there, behind the woman waiting. It's okay, I thought, they're with her, probably been looking at sweets or games or whatever. They were slightly blocking the conveyor belt so we couldn't start unloading. But that's okay, we're British after all, we love waiting.

Then, it happened. Another trolley pushed by a woman appeared beside us and tried, slowly, to force it's way in front. Well, that wasn't going to happen was it? I maneuvered the trolley a bit to block her off, but the kids in front were stood in the way so I could only partially obstruct her. These same kids were now looking at this new woman and smiling.

At that point, Mrs Pie turned round to me, she'd sussed what was going on. I was slowly getting there too. These two kids had been sent out in an advance party to sneak in and pilfer our till position.

It came to a head when the woman tried to put a chicken on the conveyor belt, claiming it as hers. Well, Mrs Pie, not known for her shyness, intervened. "Excuse me, what are you doing?" she said. "They saved the place for me," the woman replied. The two kids by now had stopped smiling. Expressions of horror and fear gripped their little faces. They knew something was wrong, knew they'd been used as pawns in some power-mongering, queue-pushing act of anti-politeness.

What did I do, I hear you ask. Well I was trying to think of something to say, some killer, knockout winning line. But, it never came. Six hours later I'd come up with at least three blinders. Maybe if the world had paused at that moment for six hours, I'd have thought of something, but it didn't.

Mrs Pie said something else, something like, "If we'd have known they were saving a place we wouldn't have queued here, would we?" To that the woman replied, "Well if it makes you happy, go on, you have the place."

Well, steam and smoke billowed from Mrs Pie's ears as the other woman walked away. Everyone within a three queue radius was looking at us. The checkout girl was ready to call security, the Police and probably the UN. I eventually thought of something to say. "Just leave it," I said to Mrs Pie, quietly.

My considered and thoughtful attempt the diffuse the situation didn't. The wrath of Mrs Pie found a new home. The look I got could have melted Satan himself.

Anyway, is getting your kids to push in and save places really acceptable queueing behaviour? I think not. Maybe that's what's wrong with this country etc, etc.

Work continues at a fast pace on new book #1, which might be called, "It's different this time."