1054. alistairconnor - 11/18/2012 10:30:04 PM
Dumitra and Alistair were engaging in some light-hearted banter while their respective partners were having their heart-to-heart. Alistair said, "I can't get over how much you've changed recently. You seem to have forgotten how to make a guy feel like a mouldy dog turd."
"Oh, I know I wasn't much fun to be around. But that's all changed now."
"Since Hank came back?"
"I suppose so", said Dumitra.
Halima and Hank joined them. "Well, that looked pretty heavy", said Alistair. "Are we allowed to know what it was about?"
Halima grinned. "You're not. It's above your security clearance. Dumitra, maybe."
Dumitra pretended to scowl. "Oh, if you two want to have secrets, you're allowed. Up to a point. But what is Albu up to? It's been half an hour now."
"I'll go and see", said Halima.
When she arrived at the anteroom of Albu's office, she could hear raised voices from within. Milòs was there, apparently waiting to talk to Albu.
Albu's office door opened, and a senior bureaucrat type stormed out, shouting something angrily in German. He brushed past them without acknowledging them.
"I've seen him before", said Halima. "He's the head of the WHO's AIDS department. What was he saying?"
Milòs said "It was something like, She's a fraud and a liar, I want her thrown out of the organisation. She isn't HIV positive, she was never HIV positive."
Albu emerged from his office, looking shaken. To Halima's unspoken question, he responded : "Dumitra underwent a whole series of AIDS tests this weekend. Dr Hostettler claims they are all completely negative. I assumed there must have been a mix-up at the lab. I know the people who were treating Dumitra in Rumania, and I trust them absolutely. There is no doubt at all she carries the virus. Hostettler thought I was accusing his service of incompetence, and he took it badly."
Halima frowned : "Do you have any blood samples from Dumitra from more than a couple of days ago?"
"Yes, we submitted her to some drug tests when she first arrived, and we still have her blood on file. Are you suggesting that we should test that sample for AIDS?"
Milòs said : "Well, they date from before her teleportation. It could be interesting."
1055. Jenerator - 2/26/2013 11:44:01 PM
It's been 15 years and I am still stuck with bad habits regarding leisurely reading. I have a close to impossible time sticking with one book and reading it through with any timeliness. Currently I am working on:
Leonardo and the Last Supper by Ross King
If I Live to be 100: Lessons from the Centenarians by Neenah Ellis
The Best Short Stories of Fyodor Dostoevsky translated by David Magarshack.
I should be done with them in the next couple of years! Ha!
1056. Jenerator - 2/26/2013 11:44:36 PM
Did Webfeet ever get published? I want to read her!
1057. alistairconnor - 2/28/2013 4:56:30 PM
OK, so what am I currently reading?
"L'île du jour d'avant" by Umberto Eco (The island of the day before)
"Joseph Anton" by Salman Rushdie
Only two at the moment? That can't be right. There must be others I've forgotten.
1058. judithathome - 2/28/2013 7:37:46 PM
Have you read Eco's Travels in Hyper-Reality?
1059. webfeet - 3/2/2013 4:27:51 AM
And that's what you call fiction.
There, I came on stage left from beneath a potted palm just when you thought I was dead, dressed in a sequined gown, clapping my hands.
Sur-prise! C'est moi. Webfeet. No, honestly, I don't expect anyone to embrace me with open arms after such a long absence. Perhaps I really was dead. The only explanation I can offer is that I have been so sad, no, I mean it, really, really sad after this whole awful year, or a few Awful years that I thought, why write? Who cares?
Well, dont pull up a chair because I might keep you here forever. But the long and the short of it is that I did after a very long and difficult struggle of rewrites got an agent. A very good, francophile agent who made me do morer rewrites. Yay! I thought. Ive made it! Everryone will be so proud. That didnt happen. To answer your question, cher Jenerstor, Not yet, anyway. we went througha round of submisssions last year with all the still existing publishing houses and I was rejected, some nicer than others. I learned there was too much french, my flawed. comic heroine was "unlikable" by Penguin and they all just were like she'sirreverent and funny, but...no platform. I hate social media. Does that surprise anyone?
So now we are down like in Agathe Christie's And Then There Were None, to a few editors who asked for rewrites. And now, begrudgingly, as part of my New Years rresolution, started a blog, Its not even running yet, but I have to pay someone in my yoga class to build it for me. i know, you think Im being cynical coming back here and that I sm going to promote my blog. I might.
But it was more like I really missed the days when I had fun writing and it wasnt being looked at by editors.
1060. webfeet - 3/2/2013 4:32:16 AM
Sorry for so many errors on the ipad.
Its like Helen Keller ballroom dancing.
But anyway, my heartfelt thanks for all the fun Ive had here, Alistair, Jenerstor, and Nuplanet and Marj and all those nice peopole, like Maria ne, and thougthful, and the list goes on and on. and Ill bbe in France in two weeks to bring the kids to see belle mere who is as evil as ever. so if you're in thesouth, look me up!
1061. thoughtful - 3/3/2013 3:24:16 PM
Great to hear from you webby....and don't mind about the blind editors...if they can't see your talent, we certainly can!
1062. Jenerator - 3/4/2013 6:59:07 PM
I must echo what thoughtful said - we all certainly appreciate your talent. Think about it - it's been 15 years since I first started reading your writing and I always look for more!
Please push your blog once it's up and running. I'd love to read it!!
1063. alistairconnor - 3/5/2013 4:58:24 PM
oh dear... But it was more like I really missed the days when I had fun writing and it wasnt being looked at by editors.
This, I suspect, is the inchoate motive that prevents me from even thinking about doing anything at all about getting published.
That, and being keenly aware that I haven't put in the ten thousand hours that you need to spend before you can be much good at anything.
Keep on persisting, sister.
1064. webfeet - 3/13/2013 2:39:42 AM
Hi, sorry, I meant to include Judith and Arky, in my return bonjour, and I am probably leaving out many others. Marj. Marianne. It was so fun here.
All of your words are really kind. Every time a new editor reads my work, I feel like I am being skinned alive. Today, I had (presumably this is interesting) the bipolar du jour eperience that is the equivalent of gargling with rum in the a.m. and the. shooting yourself up with heroin in the p.m.
A really shitty publisher, lets call them "The Loony Press of the Bay area" rejected my work today after stringing me a long for a month (italicize, please). They think Im too sarcastic and again, too much french. I was almost happy, actually, that theyd rejected me when my agent called sympathetically to tell me because my nine year old daughter and I both agreed they were clearly weirdoes. So I went to my daughter's parent/teacher conference, bought a bottle of Cupcake chardonnay and then really pondered failure, and it wasn't so bad. Happily married, two great kids, food, etcetera, cupcake chardonnay, etcetera. Six p.m. rolls along. And then bingo!
An email from my agent ---and another editor (a good one)--- is liking it. So its like back to crack, because by this time tomorrow I will have a forwArded rejection in my box, or maybe the next day. And so the cycle of gargling with rum begins again...and again.
Alistair, you are a really good, sexy writer. Why are you writing about people with names like Hostettler? Jesus, its like Mel Brooks!
1065. judithathome - 3/13/2013 5:24:37 AM
Wishing you luck with the publishers...anything to keep you from that cupcake wine.
(Sorry..brunello fan here!)
1066. webfeet - 3/13/2013 4:35:53 PM
Either way they give you hang overs, Judith. but thank you.
Another thing, Alistair, about this je suis artiste state of mind--is that you are cheating yourself because at bottom we all want, no crave, approval for our work and seek resonance with a readership. It is my fault that I let criticism get to me, but I also, and here is the cringeworthy admission flowering to the fore, got better.( In terms of plot, structure, pacing). I have also had some well known editors review my work. And, I used all my ingenuity and commercial appeal--including abandoning a first novel on motherhood that was not working--to reassess and reposition my work for the market and get an agent. I have always wanted to be a successful writer so there is literally no question that I will do whatever it takes to get there while still writing for myself. But you must be honest with yourself. And persistent. Keep your ear to the door.
Also, not all criticism is meant to be constructive; it depends on the age, profile of the editor, and what genre they are looking for. They love to tag you for genre. Currently, I am told I fall within the cracks of all genres--neither mystery, women's fiction, romance...but this has more to do with the Pink and Blue state of publishing. Romance is now a totally acceptable genre not limited to southern housewives--with erotica no longer a taboo with Fifty Shades. Romance editors all unanimously hate my work, "too literary" not romantic enough. Actually, its been a mistake for my sgent to be pitching them all along. Broad tags like literary commercial fiction mean nothing anymore unless you are Margaret Atwood. And even then.
1067. webfeet - 3/13/2013 4:38:13 PM
Your genre might be Literary Apocolypto.
1068. alistairconnor - 3/13/2013 5:16:10 PM
I'm glad to hear that Real Life is good, Bibiche. Sad that getting published is such a hurdle. Oh dear, now I have visions of you jumping through flaming hoops at the behest of some manic publisher/ringmaster. Reading the Rushdie memoire is providing me with lots of glamorous visions of the booksy world. I confess that in my mind's eye, his second wife Marianne has your face (she's brilliant, but nutty as a cupcake. Apologies on behalf of my mind's wandering eye).
1069. alistairconnor - 3/13/2013 5:30:02 PM
Apocalypso? I can dig that. Kurt Vonnegut is a major influence.
I am starting to imagine finishing the ongoing vampire thing, then starting from the beginning to clean it up. Plenty of people writing decent things in science fiction or cyberpunk, my angle is to be more mainstream, grounded in the real world.
1070. webfeet - 3/14/2013 1:55:51 AM
That probably is a good idea since the real world is already sci-fi. I mean, if you wrote about space colonization, nobody would blink an eye. There's no reason why you can't do this since there are already talented, literate people out there who've built their professional lives in other fields and who are capturing what used to be fringe audiences with their work and turning it into gold. "Wool" is one of those strange phenomenons. Forget the author's name. Self published. Now mainstream.
Take Justin Cronin, the Rice University professor who write a vampire trilogy--, Rushdie is more glamorous (and maybe likes leggy. literate types or illiterate types) --but this is who you need to read!
1071. thoughtful - 3/15/2013 1:49:14 PM
webbie, I still remember how much I enjoyed your tale of trying on dresses in the dress store....I think you should polish it up and send it to a fashion mag ... it was wonderful and I so related!
1072. Jenerator - 3/20/2013 9:25:35 PM
I love Brunellos!
1073. Jenerator - 3/20/2013 9:28:21 PM
Just promise me this - that you will at some point post your blog or your essay or your book details here.