Thursday, March 31, 2011


A woman I work with introduced me to her husband. He is some kind of big-wig at a big pharmaceutical company. His hobby, or actually his passion, cockroaches. Yup, creepy, crawly, cockroaches. Why anyone would be interested in roaches is a mystery to me but the guy is crazy about them. And he’s written a book and he‘s not sure how to approach the whole publishing thing. He didn't ask my advice but I gave him some anyway. This is what I told the bug-nerd, his wife’s description not mine.

It’s all in the proposal.

When I told him he didn’t have to finish his book before he started to query, and get paid to complete it, the bug-nerd got excited. Yes bug-nerds do get excited. I gave him a book on writing proposals. Thinking Like Your Editor, by Susan Rabiner and Alfred Fortunato. (To borrow only.) The book was recommended to me by Ellen Fitzpatrick, historian, college professor, TV commentator, all-around-amazing-woman and author, most recently of Letters To Jackie. After discussing with her a project I was working on regarding 125 discovered letters after the deaths of my parents, her sage words:

It’s all in the proposal.

I also told bug boy to NOT query his dream agents or dream publishers first time out. Send to the back-ups first, sort of like testing a new dish on friends before serving it to the soon to be in-laws. Because his book is almost finished, his credentials impeccable, and his passion great I think the guy has a chance AND I haven’t read a word.

It’s all in the proposal.

My one concern, who is his audience?
My nerd-friend travels to schools demonstrating dissections and discussing stuff I deem disgusting. Academics seem to eat this stuff up…ugh…just the thought. So he does have an audience, textbook, not huge but in need. Just think about it. If a professor requires a book for class…well, built in readership. How about a bunch of professors in a bunch of schools and my nerd friend is right there ready to demo his bug stuff. A slam dunk. (Had to insert a basketball analogy, it’s March madness, go UCONN women.) But like I said…

It’s all in the proposal.

Oh wait, I forgot, it’s all in the writing too.

Monday, March 14, 2011


My husband called, God just ‘winked’ at him.

As an independent contractor, and a member of a veterans association, my husband often volunteers his skills and time for the organization. He is not a veteran but his father was and because he is the child of a vet he was able to join.

My husband donated his labor to build new cabinets behind the bar...lord knows he’s pounded down more than his share at that watering hole...anyway, today as he and some other volunteer members installed the beautiful wall of cabinets he built something amazing happened.
As they removed the old cabinets and were cleaning up the ’stuff ’ that falls behind and under such places a newspaper clipping was found. It was his father’s obituary. He passed away years ago.

I believe in the mystery of such things. My father-in-law was saying hello and thanks for the job well done. God had tipped his hat in greeting. What a great way to start the day.