Friday, April 27, 2007

For Ed's Sake

Here's a funny thing. Last night I went to one of my favorite restaurants in the world - Cowgirl at 10th Street and Hudson in the city. Better than that, I was joined by one of my oldest friends (as in I've known him a long time - he's only 33) from high school and a couple of his buds who had come over to Manhattan for a vacation.

As we dined on Frito (TM) Pie and sank pitchers of frozen margaritas, and talked about such nostalgia from our youth as poker at Duncan's house, Julie Martin from Neighbours, going to the dump in Wealdstone and Ed's mom's shocking performance on 15-to-1, it occured to my pal Ed that I was the one person from high school that had kept in the most regular contact. This despite living 3,000 miles away.

The world sure is a small place these days.

In other news, the article on my son will be in Parent Paper in June, and I should have two stories in the Town Journal this coming week.

How I'm going to spend all the money I'm earning from these three articles, I just don't know. Maybe a cup of coffee? Perhaps a small one so I can pick up a NY Post too, though I won't get much change.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Sunny Day/Down With The Sickness Part 1738

Yesterday was pretty spectacular. The glorious sun didn't help my soccer game any, and I played pretty poorly. I blamed my need to get used to seeing the sun again, but I am still carrying some extra pounds after my long-term injury and in the heat I might as well be wearing deep sea diving boots.

Then there was the trip to the literary fair. I think it went well enough, given the short time span. I guess the next few days will tell.

Regardless, today I came down to earth with a bump. A flat tyre/tire meant, in a round-about-way, a drive to Manhattan, stopping for food and bathroom breaks on Route 4, and a whole lot of throw-up, thanks to my sick daughter. So that's how come I'm inside typing this when it's 80 degrees outside and everyone else in town is at the park. Sometimes, being me really bites ass.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sunday Girl (Boy - ie. me)

This Sunday is the big day I've been gearing up to for weeks, and so far, so good.

I will be attending a literary festival in Brooklyn, where I have the traditional ten-minutes to pitch TWIMCT to an agent who is "interested" in the proposal I submitted to the festival organizers. Naturally, having sat on this information for about a month, I've done a considerable amount of homework on not only what I'm supposed to do and say at this pitch, but also into the agency my contact works for. After all, I'm driving a 100 mile round trip for a 10 minute sit-down. I should at least know what is expected of me.

Most of what I have read leans towards not getting too excited, but to learn from the experience of pitching and not expect to be signed on the spot (because that won't happen.) On a more optimistic note, this is the foot-in-the-door I have been hoping to get - the moment I stop being another ass with another manuscript, and start being a potential client. Like I said, he knows a little about the book and is still interested. That bodes well.

My wife, ever the source of common sense, has told me not to pay too much attention to "playing the game" at the expense of not being myself. After all, a client-agent relationship will work better if we actually like each other. Here's hoping my magical (but fading fast) English accent will work its charm and take me to the next stage. You, dear friends, will find out soon enough.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Wet Weekend

This Spring has been a real downer because of its unpredictability. Saturday was 65 and sunny. Since early Sunday morning, it has rained non-stop. Our sump pump has dusted off its own cobwebs and is hard at work clearing the ground water for the first time since our basement flooded last January.

Luckily, we made the best of things and enjoyed a family weekend on a low budget. Meet The Robinsons was probably the highlight - very funny. Made me forget I didn't get my regular Sunday morning soccer fix (although I did play under a dome on Friday night, though that came with its own issues.)

This Sunday is the day I meet my most concrete lead in my search for a literary agent. I have a lot to do between now and then, and not all relevant to the book. Tomorrow is tax deadline day, so mailing those off is top of the agenda. Watching Teen Wolf is also high on the agenda, for reasons some of you will know...

Monday, April 09, 2007

Swimming Cat

Yesterday, while trawling through my hard drive for a photo I took five or six years ago, I came across a file title "Stories For Penny." Once upon a time (hah!) I used to make up stories for my daughter to get her to nap so I could get 45 minutes to shave, eat, clean, pay the bills etc. etc. This was before we had a second child, so at the time it was terrible but looking back it was more than twice as easy.

Anyway! Here's the text of one such story called Swimming Cat. I think I must have had sunstroke on 1) the day I made this story up and 2) the day I thought it would be a good idea to immortalize it.


Once upon a time there was a cat called Swimming Cat. He loved to swim, but none of his cat friends would ever come with him to the swimming pool because they hated getting wet.

Swimming Cat would say: “Ah, come on guys! It’s fun!” But they would always say: “No way man. We hate getting wet. Swimming isn’t for cats.” So while Swimming Cat was out swimming by himself, the cats all played Cat Tennis. Swimming Cat didn’t mind so much, because he really loved swimming, but he always wished he could have some of his friends with him because it would be much more fun if he had someone to talk to about swimming.

One day at the pool, Swimming Cat met a fish that was just leaving as he arrived. “Hey,” said Swimming Cat. “Do you want to come swimming with me and be my swimming buddy?”

“No way man,” said the fish. “I hate swimming. I hate getting wet. I’m only here because I got lost on my way to the Cat Tennis courts.”

Swimming Cat was sad.

Even when he was sad, he loved to swim because it made him feel better, and he never wanted to give up the thing he loved so much. Eventually he became so good at swimming, he was spotted by a Cat Olympic coach and went to the Cat Olympics held in Austria and he won a gold medal. And that made him happy.

When he got back, all his cat friends were so jealous and wished they had gone swimming rather than goofing around playing Cat Tennis. They all asked Swimming Cat if he would give them lessons… all except one, whose name was Catty. Catty said: “I just don’t like the look of swimming. I would rather play Cat Tennis.” But unfortunately for Catty, all his cat buddies went off to the swimming pool and left him all alone – and you can’t play Cat Tennis by yourself.

But then, the fish came along and said to Catty: “Hey! I never saw the Cat Tennis courts empty before! Do you want to play a game?” And Catty said: “Yes!” And they played all day and all night. And then a Cat Olympic coach spotted them and they played Cat Tennis in the next Cat Olympics in four years time and they won gold, although the officials weren’t happy about the fish playing (what with him not being a cat).

And they all lived happily ever after. THE END

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Spring Showers

Yesterday was almost like a beautiful summer day. Today is 30 degrees cooler, wet and windy. Needless to say, I preferred the former to the latter - mainly as I was banking on getting the youngest child out to the park to run around for two hours.

A few of you have been asking about book progress. TWIMCT is at a stand-still as I wait for my meeting with an interested party on April 22. But I'm not just sitting around watching SeaLab 2021, Aqua Teen Hunger Force and the new season on Pimp My Ride! Oh, no!

My new writing project, which manages to combine parenting and the 1980s, is plodding along nicely. Once a first draft is done in about a month or so I will be preparing that one for market also, but this time a little better forewarned and forearmed.

In other news, efforts to sell my Smurf collection online has resulted in a huge haul - and a big disappointment. Still I've sold about 40 of the little blue buggers and made about $100. And if I don't beat myself up about the fact some of them, individually, have sold for $40 EACH, I am happy with $100 to spend on... well, actually diapers and coffee top the list.