Monday, April 30, 2007

she said no--but!

I just got the nicest rejection of my life.

After apologizing for the delay of a *month* since I sent my full manuscript (a month is nothing. three months is industry standard.) i received the following:

Part of the reason for the delay is that this is one of the few manuscripts I've received in the past few months that I've read from start to finish. I was very impressed with the quality of the writing - it's far better than most of the material that crosses my desk. I also thought your protagonists were extremely well developed. It's tough to pull off two different point of views in first person, but you do it admirably well. It's with real regret, then, that I've got to admit that I think I'd have a tough time placing this. Basically, one of the most common comments I get these days from editors is that a book is "too quiet." This project is wonderfully written, but I"m not sure it has the needed high-concept hook or premise to be able to stand out from the crowd.

Alexe, I know that you mention in your letter that this is the first of many projects. I would love to work with you in the future, and I hope you'll keep me in mind for any new material. Also, if you're ever looking for someone to bounce ideas off of, I'm happy to help out. I do think you're a really talented writer, and I'd love to stay in touch.

That, at this stage of the game, seems downright encouraging.

Friday, April 27, 2007


I have a whole rant prepared about the American liberal every-child-should-go-to-college mindset which is flooding the marketplace with liberal arts majors who carry massive amounts of loans while skilled trades go ahollering for well-trained plumbers, mechanics, and the like, but I'm too busy to write it.

We close on the Main Street building at 3; I have an interview with a lady who bakes cakes at 1; I'm driving to Alabama directly afterwards.

So peace out chickies, and have a blessed weekend.

Monday, April 23, 2007

hear ye, hear ye

Despite the random ranter on the "God Stuff" post below, K. and I spend a great deal of time expending energy on various projects, to prove to ourselves that we can affect our immediate world.

Hence, the living room (and our bedroom, and the guest room, but you only get pics of one).

There is something so exhilerating-- nay, intoxicating-- about moving everything ones owns around in completely new patterns. Why can't the TV go on the mantel, and the couch over here?

It makes the whole house seem fresh, and it's called immediate gratification, my friends. Go forth and move your furniture.

*click to make bigger, as i had to use photobucket and their pics are so teensy; also, please note the blue chair, which i slipcovered myself!*

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


and the peas, beans, and corn have indeed begun to emerge. I'm on strict orders not to do anything to them.


There's no need to badmouth the agent, y'all. It's fine. Rejection is part of the game; I bounce back after a day.

Alice and Sam continues....I want to be done drafting by the end-of-July beach vacation, and then spend a few months revising and cleaning it up, etc. I can't seem to make myself revise as I draft.

In other news, I got voted to be on the Board of Directors for this Main Street organization we're involved in. I'm dead excited, and K. is dead jealous. He's the chairman of the economic restructuring committee though, so he doesn't have much to whine about. The whole thing kicks off in June, and I'm hopeful it'll make a real difference.


Monday, April 16, 2007

running on faith, despite unseasonably cold weather and a jewish lady in new york

The sun has finally come out, and despite the fact we were wakened by Dido being sick and that a literary agent said my book was superficial and predictable, life is good.

Except the literary agent thing. Ye Gods, I feel like the woman socked me in the stomach. No matter; 'Alice and Sam' continues.

We are having people over for dinner tonight, which means I have to clean the kitchen floor. Light-gray linoleum; why, oh why?

But the sun is out, and the smallest tomato plant thriving, and surely the peas and the beans will poke out any day now.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

We just became Mac owners!

According to everyone else, my days of crashing computers and fried motherboards are over.

We just purchased a used Imac G4 desktop computer. It's the extra bit of fany that K, being a boy, is drawn towards; 1 GhZ, plenty of ram, a superdrive, speakers, mouse, and keyboard included, software, 17'' screeen, blah blah blah.

Here's what we both like: it doesn't have a box! Here's a picture:

I'm pretty excited. What with shipping, insurance and all, we paid $80 more than we really wanted to-- but since we lowball everything, we still paid the price of a supercheap dell laptop.

Wish us luck.

God stuff

Today, I spent my morning walk telling God that I did not understand his plan, but that I believe he has one.

God probably did not need to hear this. I did.

Yesterday, K. and I tracked down the owner of an empty house high on a hill outside of town. It's in the city limits and within walking distance of downtown, but it's on the outskirts, with a long dirt road leading up to it, a bofunk white house that seems to be a bungalow added onto in a higglepiggle fashion, a fair amount of pretty land, a beautiful leaning barn, and a heck of a view. We both really like it.

The lady who owns it moved in with her son in a different town after her husband died over a year ago. We did not speak to her, but her daughter-in-law assures us that she has no interest in selling.

It might not be so frustrating if this was not the fourth empty place we've made offers on. And people, this is not a big town; we're about out of houses.

It's been really hard to fall in love with the town and be ready and willing to commit and not be able to find a place to call our own. That was the major allure of Mississippi, after all; a place to settle, to plant a garden, to get chickens, and instead we have about the same size yard in our rented house that we did in DC.

I can see God's hand in how we got here; I just have a hard time understanding why the next step is taking so long. Which is why I keep saying to myself that God has a plan, and I do not understand it, but it is there.

Man, am I impatient.

Friday, April 06, 2007

some indelicate things

1. Shadow ate something and puked EIGHT times all over the house two days ago. She feels better and I wouldn't have blogged on her if she hadn't been lying at my feet FARTING for the last two days.

It smells terrible.

2. A long long time ago *about a month), K. and I were at a social event along with a lot of other people. As well as an orangey tan girl with flashy jewelry and boobs pushed up to HERE, framed by her long dyed-blond tresses. All the fakeness aside-- she was pretty cute. So I reacted with genuine jealousy when I saw K. staring at knows.

"I can't believe you looked at her hoo-haws," I said, and punched him.
He rubbed his arm and looked at me. "It's like staring at a guy who had caught his penis in his zipper," he said. "It's funny, indecent, and you're not sure why private parts are hanging out."

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Novel News

This is a heard-already post for some, but:

Novel 1 is out with a few agents in full and hopefully luring more agents in with query letters that have been sent out. Getting a no or yes will most likely take months.

Novel 2 is started. I'm in the honeymoon phase where it seems really easy. I have sixteen single-spaced pages so far.....150+ to go.

in other working girl news: I am covering a literary salon at Morgan Freeman's estate in two weeks for the newspaper in Oxford. I have been contacted about writing a farmer's market column for the alternative free paper in Oxford. I wrote my third column for the paper in Oxford. And I am writing the Talk of the Valley feature every week for the Herald, as well as covering the Planning Commission and the Main Street Association. In an hour, I'm going to interview a Baptist preacher who has lived in Africa and the Ukraine.

Plus the pheasant man's wife called me today and said she'd showed her boss the article and the boss had said "that's like something I'd read in the NY Times" so I'm feeling all full of myself.

So that's what I do all day long, peeps. As well as walk the dogs and fanatically clean the kitchen floor (light-gray linoleum; drives me bat-shit).

Monday, April 02, 2007

Because we have a nine-month growing season

K. and I spent the weekend putting in a garden!

We rented the world's worst rototiller:
We picked it up in Oxford early Saturday morning. We then went to Home Depot and spent twenty dollars on 20 forty-pound bags of topsoil and compost, seven dollars at Wal-Mart on seeds, and K. bought himself a pretty dandy and pretty blue wheelbarrow, as he'd been hankering for one.

Then we came home, and I picked up leaves and talked to my sister while K. spent THREE HOURS rototilling the vegetation-packed yard that we'd picked to be our garden.

I cannot emphasize what a superb job he did.

Sunday after church, K. went over to a friend's house and returned laden with free bamboo:

He then spent the afternoon making the fence that my heart had desired for the whopping sum of nothing, as he already had the screws holding the thing together.

There are no pictures of me because I rototilled the plot again, working in the top soil and compost that I dumped on it. Then I raked, leveled, and shoveled, making paths and small raised beds. It sounds easy but it took a long, long, long, arm-quivering time.

We are both very pleased with ourselves and each other. However, lest you think we worked in blissful companionship, let's have a brief transcript of a few conversations:

K. : You want to listen to the same Cd you've been listening to for months?

A.: I hate Prairie Home Companion! We ALWAYS LISTEN TO IT! It's MY TURN!

blissful music-filled interval.

K.: You'd rather listen to nothing than P.H.C.?

A.: How do you not hear "Killing me Softly?"

K.: I can't hear a thing.

A.: FINE. (flounces off, turns music obnxiously loud and tracks dirt into the house.) Better?


K.: I think we should put the gate next to the hose.

A.: no. It should be next to the kitchen, for easy access.

Argument ensues, which I win, since I am clearly right-- the hose can go under/through the fence easily.

K.: Fine. You win, since I have a boss telling me what to do all the time.

A.: I am not your boss.

K.: Yes, Master.


And so on.