Sunday, August 29, 2010

Such is life

This past week I received another rejection letter. They stated that they were intrigued by the succubus heroine and mystery plot but felt the characters were flat and the writing style didn't engage them. Though this isn't the worst letter (for sure) and I'm know there are writers out there who would like to get one like this instead of some of the horrors they've been sent; I wish editor could have told me why they felt that way.

See I'm a little confused. I've had several compliments on my style. I guess it's like my fellow writers tell me, this business is very subjective. Don't get discouraged. As one editor I read said he would have passed on The Da Vinci Code. And we know where that book went. It all depends on the editor or agent who is reading your work. True, but after awhile you feel like the princess who kissed a thousand frogs and the only thing you ended up with is a pair of warty lips.

But life goes on. I have to change the master cylinder and do a tune-up on my car. I also have to get it inspected (it will be passed due on the 1st). Plus I go back to work on the 2nd - I work at a local college. But it's not bad, at least I have a job and a car, right?

Sunday, August 22, 2010


It is 9:58 and it is now. Tomorrow at 3:00 it will be now.
On my deathbed it will still be now.

Since it will always be now, learning to respond now is the only thing there is to learn.
~ Hugh Prather, Notes to Myself, My struggle to become a person

Hugh Prather, after several attempts to get published, decided to write a book composed of a number of entries from his “diary”. A newly established husband and wife run company, who had no sales reps or ads, published it. It took three years for Notes to become known across the country and now has more than two million copies in print worldwide. He and his wife, Gayle, have published several other books while increasingly getting involved with counseling alcoholics, battered women, and parents who have lost a child. To help even further they founded The Dispensable Church. (From my understanding that church is now defunct.)

I had bought and read this book about thirty years ago. I was going to use part of the above info, which was vague in my memory, to write a blog about how the whole writing/publishing experience (and life) is fickled. Of course when I went to find said book, it was nowhere to be found. Thank goodness for libraries.

So I started to page through and read excerpts. I decided not to do my original idea but to let one segment stand alone. Many of the writings, in this book, clicked in my brain while others were stopped with a - huh? It’s a New Age type of insightful thinking. I guess I’m not as enlightened as I think I am or maybe just parts of me aren’t. But don’t go by me – check it out yourself.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Touch Someone

Dawn, a good friend of mine, who writes Romance Puppy, had what I thought was a really good idea. She said when you visit other blogs, if they have 4 or less comments, leave one of your own. If it’s their birthday, congratulate them. Spread some cheer.

Blogging can seem so pointless at times when no one comments. Sure you might have visitors but if they don’t say anything how do you know unless you have a counter? The internet has connected us in so many ways yet we still hide, still resist contact. Ok so some postings aren’t interesting enough to leave anything. I know I’ve had my dull days. We all do. But if you follow them for a couple of weeks I’m sure they would come up with something you could remark about.

Another friend, Judi Fennell, has a separate page on her blog just for people to post random acts of kindness that either the poster did or someone did for the person who had posted. It’s a nice way to show that goodness and generosity is still out there among the populace.

So make someone’s day - say hi, you’re not alone. I’m here with you. : )

Saturday, August 7, 2010

So who is this Chandler guy?

Last week I did a quickie post, on the LIRW blog, about Philip Marlowe. I've heard that name many times while growing up and decided to finally check out some of the books. My local library had Farewell, My Lovely and Lady in the Lake. Marlowe's wit, his tilted way of expression and pace are the points that kept me reading.

Then I thought, who's this Raymond Chandler who wrote this series? I was a surprise by what I found out and the couple of similarities between author and character.

Chandler was born in the U.S.A in 1888. Moved to London with his divorced mother in 1895.
Between 1905-1912 he moves to Paris, then Germany and then back to England In 1908 his poem "The Unknown Love" is published. And between 1905-1912 he worked briefly as a reporter in London and also wrote essays and poetry. (Poetry, in the typical Ode to a Grecian Urn sense, is not a style I would equate with him.) He finally settles in California where some of his jobs are stinging tennis rackets and picking fruit.

The U.S enters World War I and Chandler enlists in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He is sent to fight in France. He is also being trained by the RAF but the armistice cuts it short. After being discharged he took a correspondence course on bookkeeping and got a job with Dabney Oil Syndicate as a bookkeeper and auditor.

1924 brought him to the altar with Cissy Pascal, who was twice divorced and eighteen years his senior. By 1932 he had risen to VP of Dabney Oil Syndicate but is fired a year later for alcholism, and absenteeism. Now out of work he decides to go back to writing and in 1933 his first short story Blackmailers Don't Shoot is published in Black Mask magazine. Things move along and in 1939 The Big Sleep is published. In the next twenty years he writes seven novels, nineteen short stories and seven screenplays; two of which were unproduced. NBC airs "Philip Marlowe" as a 1947 summer replacement and CBS buys the rights to "The Adventures of Philip Marlowe" radio show in 1948.

After Cissy dies in 1954, he begins to drink heavily. (It seems he always had to wrestle with the bottle and his excess drinking shows up as one of Marlowe's traits. "So I got out my office bottle and took the drink and let my self-respect ride it's own race." - The Big Sleep) The years 1955-1958 have him traveling to London, Capri, Naples (where he interviews Lucky Luciano; never published), New York, Arizona, Madrid, and Tangier. He was hospitalized several times for alcholism. He had affairs with four different women, one of which was Helga Greene, his agent, whom he proposed to. (Marlowe was also a lady's man and appreciated the female form. "It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window." -Farewell, My Lovely )

In March of1959 he went to New York to accept the presidency of Mystery Writers of America but unfortunately on March 26 he dies of pneumonia at the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla.

It's kind of sad to see the struggle this man had and how it's reflected in Marlowe. "I was as empty of life as a scarecrow's pockets." - The Big Sleep. I haven't read enough of Chandler's work or of his life to make comparisons between all of his and Marlowe's demons but I have to wonder if Chandler felt he was as honest, loyal and forthright as his character.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Nothing new today - I cleaned
Nothing special this week - I worked on my other house, renovating
Nothing special in my life (as of right now) - same old, same old

I will not bore you with the prattlings of a desparate mind just so I can have something down. (At least for this posting.) Today I'm feeling a bit blunt. But come back next week for I'm working on an idea that I hope will be of interest to you.

"Talk" to you soon. ~ Donna