25 October 2010

Writing, Running, Friends, and Blogging

My weekend frolic over, forgive me as I enter the personal space.

First, I met with two MAJOR agents at the South Carolina Writers' Workshop Conference at Myrtle Beach with interesting results. Good news: both asked for pages! Their take on what they saw of my novel, EULOGY, left me a tad confused, however. One, who heard me pitch the book in a session on how the editorial acquisition process works and later glanced at a page or two while I met with him personally, told me the book is definitely "upmarket commercial." I have no idea what that means, but he claims it's a better space to "break into the industry." The other, who read 30 pre-submitted pages and a synopsis and met with me to talk about the book for about a half-hour, felt it was strongly "literary". I think the latter gets it, but I'm Muggins so what do I know? Leastways, I'm encouraged. I have some let's call it 'brushstroke' work to do, based on both men's comments, before further submission.

The keynote speaker at the conference was The New York Times Bestselling Author Joshilyn Jackson. I'm proud to call Jos (don't call her 'Josh') a friend. We are in the same writing group. I heard her read her first two novels (and parts of her third) aloud in draft. She's an amazing writer. She graciously acknowledged me in both novels (by name(!) in her first: gods in Alabama). I've also heard her read parts of another novel I think may be some of the best stuff she's ever written. I'm a distinct minority on that, though. It's really dark. Even Joshilyn doesn't agree. And that's okay. She's also read and given terrifically insightful comments on EULOGY as well.

We ate dinner together after her speech. She killed! The 500+ writers, agents, and editors in the room were spellbound by her talk. Nary a clink of silver or a clank of ice could be heard as she recounted getting her first novel accepted. Bottom line: if you need a speaker/entertainer for a literary group of any kind, Jos is amazing. She's a star!

By the way, she's got a new novel out: Backseat Saints. Get it.

Second, I shattered my Personal Record in the half-marathon at the Myrtle Beach Mini-Marathon Sunday by over half an hour. For those of you doing the math, that's over two-and-a-half minutes better per mile. I was ecstatic with self-generated endorphin/heroin as I passed what must have been fifty people in the last three-quarters mile. I couldn't believe I had such strength and stamina left in my body after running over twelve miles. To be fair, the course was flat, straight, and at sea level—none of which you'll find in any race here near ATL. And yes, I ran it in my Vibram Five-Fingers! And no, there were no Bloody Nipples. There were, by my count, only three others in the field of approximately 3000 runners who wore toe shoes. My feet and Achilles tendons were sore as I drove the six hours back to ATL afterwards, but no knee or hip injury-type pain.

I saw an interesting article in today's The New York Times about a website called theawl.com. It's eclectic, not "vertical", a bit like this one. The owners have managed to monetize it. I know BlckDgRd, whom I'm meeting for pints this Saturday night after the Jon Stewart/Steven Colbert thing in D.C., might be interested in how they did it. Wisdummy and I are taking a road trip. Promises to be fun. See you there, Dog.

So, there you have it. I'm passionate about my writing, my running, family and friends, and blogging—in no particular order. I managed to work some of them all in these last few days. What a wonderful weekend!

1 comment:

Larry Kahn said...

I enjoyed meeting you last weekend at the conference. Best of luck with EULOGY, it sounds like a great concept. The movie I mentioned with a euthanasia theme is THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS. It stars neither Brian Cox nor Albert Finney, but rather some crotchety French actor who fits the mold. Look it up on IMDB.com, you might find it interesting.