Mon. Jan. 21, 2013: Strong Opening Chapters; Presentation Dilemma

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Violet wraps up against the cold

Monday, January 21, 2013
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold
Inauguration Day
Martin Luther King Day

Only 5 more days to sign up for a reduced-rate editing slot for your first 30 pages– ends January 25! Go here to get the details.

Don’t forget “The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects” from Feb. 4-6, and “Journal into Fiction” from Feb. 11-14. Both are great sources of both practicality and inspiration. Information and registration here.

Slots for A Biblio Paradise are booked through the end of April, so you all have some exciting reading coming up! A really interesting mix of writers.

Friday had its share of frustrations, especially with the Canon printer. An empty ink tank shouldn’t keep it from scanning something to go to the computer and/or reading a memory card, as long as I’m not asking it to print. Yet, it balked. This MX-860 worked beautifully the first day I got it, and has been trouble ever since. The shoddy plastic paper tray at the bottom causes all kinds of problems and the feeder rolls don’t work properly. The camera I bought a year or so ago to replace the the one that broke is a piece of crap. Auto-focus that doesn’t focus. Canon used to have top-of-the-line products, and now they’re just shoddy. Even worse, their customer service, which used to be great, is practically non-existent, and they don’t give a damn about their long-term customers. I’ve been rabidly pro-Canon for over twenty years. No more. I’m not interested in disposable products. I want something that WORKS, and works for more than a day or a week. I need value for money, reliability, and customer service. If Canon is no longer able to meet that need, I will find someone else who does. It won’t be HP, with whom I’ve also had frequent issues.

Finished the media kit for OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK and also did one for the Jain Lazarus series as a whole. Some of the material overlaps, but now I can choose which one to send where. I need to do an overall Devon Ellington kit, too. Media kits are crucial to landing good exposure. Mine are simple, but effective, and I’m learning how to get faster at developing them!

Worked on the play, but it needs more work — not satisfied with what I have. That will be my primary focus today.

However, I finished the sample chapters for the proposal and they sing! They are exactly what I was going for. You know how I unlocked it? I changed my protag’s last name. Who would have thought something so simple had so much impact? The original name I gave her made me feel like I was trying to hard, and the first few pages reflected that. I changed the name and everything else fell into place. I wrote and edited over 3K in two sittings. I sent the chapters off to Trusted Readers and they were over the moon about them. What a great response to early-draft chapters. Now, I’m worried that the market I’m aiming for in the proposal will want to dilute the verve in them. I’m going to run the whole thing past my agent and see what she says — she’s got the business acumen and understands the creative position, and, best of all, she tells me the truth.

I’ve got business/admin stuff to do today, more LOIs, work with students, work with an editing client, and my own school work.

I’m going to pause in whatever I’m doing to watch the inauguration — the poet, Richard Blanco, is someone I met at PEN events in New York several years ago. I’m a big fan of his work!

Devon

4 Comments

  1. Had a Canon all-in-one (two) and a camera. The printers worked beautifully until you used a different ink, then the print heads fried up like onions in a hot skillet. While the print quality was exceptional, the cost of Canon ink, coupled with the two-year lifespan of the machines, made me give them up. My Canon camera was a workhorse, but I couldn’t get used to the shutter delay, so I replaced it.

    Interestingly, the Canon authorized repair person told me it would be cheaper to buy a new one than to replace the print head. He was right, but it died of the same “disorder” despite my religiously using Canon ink cartridges, which cost just $50 less than the damned machine itself. THAT is the real crime.

    • My Multi-pass was a fabulous workhorse, but I HAD to use Canon ink, and eventually some drum filled and it cost more to replace it than to buy a new printer. This printer is already discontinued. The Canon ink cartridges have gotten ridiculously expensive, and, even with the Staples rebate, it’s hard to keep up. I was gifted with a Brother laser printer, but it’s only black and white, which is fantastic for manuscripts, but for promotional materials, I need color.

      Canon used to make products that last — now they’re disposable, and it’s not acceptable, either from a financial standpoint or an environmental one (plus they charge customers to recycle, which I think is wrong).

  2. I miss our old canon printer, but it died after four years. The latest is an HP and I can not stand the thing. (The hubs picked it out.) We also had a canon powershot camera, but it stopped holding a charge for the battery after a year. I replaced it with a Nikon and am so happy I did.

    As for changing your characters name? I can believe it made a difference in how you felt the story flowed. Names often reflect how see people and sometimes give a perspective on the character. I’m glad you feel your change cleared things up for you!

    Best wishes for a lovely week!

    • Thanks for the Nikon recommendation. Will definitely look at those when I replace the camera.


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