I Thank Your Grace For These Many Quiet Days

digital manMaybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s cosmic rays, maybe it’s my deep down genetic laziness, but I was finding it way too much effort this week to write a blog entry that makes sense, so I’m just going to allow my defective real personality to crawl onto the page, like a, you know, crawly thing.

However, before I get into not making sense, I was thinking of something I want to say, whether it’s relevant to anything or not (i.e., it’s not). This idea came to me during the night, so it clearly isn’t connected to the solid daytime logic I’m so well-known for. I was thinking what if you had a machine, or something, that could convert the universe into digital format. I don’t know why you would want to. . .or wait, yes I do. Then you could post it to Facebook. That ought to one-up your friends. That’s what you ate in a nice restaurant? And your dog and baby dance together? Well, guess what? Here’s the whole universe, motherfuckers.

So anyway, I was thinking that digital format would be all ones and zeros, right? Like 1100100100101. Then I thought, well, zero is nothing, so we can ignore that. That means we only need ones. Now this is where a shallow, superficial understanding of Buddhism comes in so handy. Everything in the universe is connected, it is all One. So everything that exists is one, and what doesn’t exist is zero. You see? The universe is already in digital format. Cool.

Anyway, let me get back to not making sense. In a month I’m going on vacation to Ireland, and in preparation for that I’ve been reading Irish novels, including three books by Roddy Doyle. I blogged about one of those books, in fact. At some point I also happened to be reading a bit about Ralph Waldo Emerson (whose house I almost visited in Massachusetts, but then didn’t), and on a trip Emerson made to Europe, he met with several British writers. Inspired by that, I wrote a letter to Roddy Doyle and offered to buy him a beer when I’m in Dublin. Depending on how much he likes beer, perhaps he’ll agree.

In fact, let’s have a quiz as to what his reaction might be:

  1. a) Who’s this stupid git from Georgia when he’s at home?
  2. b) Finally, an American writer from the south is coming to Dublin and we can meet.
  3. c) Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

On another topic that makes no sense, this week I’ve been sending more query letters to literary agents. Such letters must exhibit a careful tone, which, when used by impoverished peasants before the local aristocracy, has been known as “abject begging”. The query letter should also be literary in style, as you are displaying your craft as a writer here. I like to begin all my letters with “Your magnificent grace” as it makes a good impression, don’t you think?

This reminds me of the old adage that it best for writers not to own guns, as there will be so many occasions when you will want to shoot yourself. Along that same line of reasoning, it’s probably best not to own a hammer either. For the benefit of the writers who read this blog, a multitudinous demographic, I have no doubt, I have compiled some guidelines for contacting agents, taken from various websites:

  • a synopsis should be one paragraph
  • a synopsis should be one page
  • be sure to mention other books that you think are like yours
  • don’t bother talking about other books
  • the query letter should contain bio information on the author
  • include a separate author bio
  • put everything into the body of your email, with no attachments
  • attach everything as a PDF

If you will carefully follow these rules, plus the others that I have not mentioned, I am sure you will be rewarded, following a three- or four-month wait, with the the usual lack of response. And while you’re waiting, here’s the whole universe. I digitized it. Don’t thank me.

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2 Comments

Filed under Secret Agent, Writing While Living

2 responses to “I Thank Your Grace For These Many Quiet Days

  1. It’s the end of the world as I know it, and I feel fine….Michael Stipe.
    Jealous pang when you mention travel to Ireland. Can I “Write or Take a Nap” in you absence?

  2. I will only be in Ireland for a week, and I’m thinking I may find a way to post something from there. Maybe something about touring the Guinness factory, or talking to someone about Guinness, or drinking Guinness.

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