Thought you guys might appreciate this chalk art menu board for the special at Yellow Brick Pizza, Columbus, OH. Even the font!
From Query to Inspiration
By David Belt copyright 2014
Two weeks ago, I learned the two most dreaded words in a writer’s vocabulary: Query Letter.
For those who don’t know, a query letter is what a writer submits to a prospective agent or publisher before submitting the manuscript. A writer may have a Pulitzer worthy manuscript, but without a solid query letter, it is likely no one is ever going to read it. Thus, I have bled over this 200 word document of condemnation for the last two weeks. Many mutterings, curses, and revisions have progressed the letter from bad to okay to good.
For now, I am done with it. The letter is by no means finished, but I have set it aside in favor of a new project.
Leona Wisoker has long been a friend, supporter, and professional confidant with her writing expertise and brutally honest critiques. I can now add to her list: muse. While reviewing a draft of the my query letter, she inadvertently gave me an idea for a new book series, set in the same world as my current novel, but told from an entirely different perspective with an all new cast of very different characters.
As I said in my article Infinite Inspiration in Infinite Perspectives, there are no limits as to how or where inspiration may come from or travel to, but when inspiration does come knocking, one must either let it go or follow where it may lead. This one, I am not letting go.
I plan to write both series alternatively and see which works better. Maybe they will both help each other.
Thank you again to all who have helped me, and I will let you know how this new project turns out.
Here’s a neat old non-European dragon!
The back cites: “The Persian hero Rustam slaying a dragon, from a Shahnama series: date unknown. Northern India, Mughal dynasty (1526-1828). Color on paper. Gift of Mr. George Hopper Fitch. Asian Art Museum, Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture.”
That’s one fierce horse.
Last summer I boldly decided that I’d read The Arabian Nights as probably a year-long commitment.
The translation is by Husain Haddawy, and published by Everyman’s Library.
The introduction is fascinating, all about the history of these folk tales, how they came to be collected and their strange publishing history, including some forgeries.
The set-up for the tales, as you probably know, is the story of a gal who is intended to wed the King in the morning. However, as he sees fit to kill his new bride daily and marry a new new bride, she attempts to postpone this sequence of events by telling him a thrilling tale every evening.
I’d never read this prologue bit before.
It’s shockingly mysoginistic and I’m finding it a bit hard to stomach.
The king hates all women, having discovered that his wife has been repeatedly unfaithful–this is amusingly described in graphic detail, BTW–and therefore decides that the best outcome for everyone is to marry a bride, de”flower” her, and then kill her, lather rinse repeat, so that women don’t go around ruining all of mankind; those evil wiley wimmin. This is, of course, the ONLY possible solution here, clearly.
And yet, through all of this new policy making and Kingly Heartbreak, the women have no motivation, no personality.
Shahrazad is the Vizir’s daughter. She’s decided to take a stand to this daughter-icide program and has volunteered to be next in the marriage queue, with a devilishly clever plan to enthrall the king with her magical tales.
The Vizir lights into her with pleas an outcries, please don’t go, haven’t you heard the tale of The Merchant and his Wife?
Uh, no, please do tell, says Shahrazad.
Well, there was a merchant who could hear animals talk. He has some problem or other and the wife wants to discuss this with her husband, you know, the way married people will do. Well the hubs isn’t having any of this “discussion” shit and gets advice from the farmyard animals: “The Rooster replied, ‘He should take an oak branch, push her into a room, lock the door, and fall on her with the stick, beating her mercilessly until he breaks her arms and her legs… He should go on beating her until he cures her for life, and she will never oppose him in anything.’”
Which of course, he does directly and forsooth. Morality tale: barnyard animals are more useful than your spouse.
…. Ok, now that I’ve vented, I can continue this read. Let’s see how this goes on.
The Columbus Community Arts Center offers a robust line of hands-on craft and art classes including jewelry making, weaving, sculpting and so on.
I’m in for my fourth session of pottery. I missed an entire term as per my schedule meltdown over the late fall, so I was nervous about showing up again.
But! Great times!
First, although I lost my locker, which was expected, someone did save my accumulation of tools (read: “sticks”) and my Star Wars CCG tin for storing them. Yah! Thanks!
And then! I was welcomed back by the instructor and invited to make up sessions on other days. Whee!
And then! When I collected my items from the glazing room, turns out I had a successful piece actually NOT glazed to the shelf, which I had been doing to every single piece all summer long. So, hooray! Sixteen weeks=one thing made!
And then! I challenged myself and accepted said challenge: I actually de-scared myself and used the throwing wheel. I successfully made a lump of clay with a hole in it. Whoop!
And THEN! I was told to store my projects on the Advanced Student Shelf. Ooo-laa-la!
And then, when I got home and proudly showed Hubby my Not F’d Up Thing, I busted it. Hah! Oh well.
It’s about the journey, eh?
Remember that resolution I had to Use What I Have this year? Well it’s been working out swell so far, except for books. I bought about 6 new ones already, including the Feb/March issue of Crochet Today.
That’s a hard magazine for me to find, but I did find it yesterday (and always find the very last copy it seems) at Barnes & Noble. I don’t usually shop there, but when I do, wow! They have about 95% more fantasy/sci-fi than I’ve ever seen there. I mean the stuff I’d find at a local bookstore, stuff that isn’t (what I consider) mainstream, like Stephen King, Robert Jordan, endless copies of Game of Thrones, and Neil Gaiman. All wonderful, for sure, but I have never heard of these beauties before, and if they hadn’t been displayed lovingly under a huge red sign reading “NEW SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY, CHECK THEM OUT!!” I would never have noticed. I’m not so good at noticing and picking out new-to-me stuff usually. Not anymore.
Look! I bought both of these mostly for the cover art. -swoon- dinosaurs in the old west with Doc Holliday and a healthy dose of steampunk that isn’t written by someone from 1890. (I need to back away from the Victorian authors, branch out, you know) Yay! Look at that guy! Bonus points for the T. Rex friend. There’s even some real history in there. I’m so in, plus Resnick has written more of these. OH I can’t wait. (Why is Resnick’s name familiar? Have I read about him on this blog maybe?)
Jeter’s Fiendish Schemes cover may be my favorite, and he also has more of these novels. I’m beside myself about the new worlds I’m going to visit and covers to swoon over.
Last but not least is History’s Greatest Deceptions and the People Who Planned Them, because it was one of those tantalizing displays B&N always has in the front foyer. Good coffee book methinks. Something to read in the mornings over breakfast.
Oh, and the magazine, I found lots of good patterns in there too. Let’s hope I have the yarn I need, so I can Use What I Have.
Jessi and I read loads of Kelley Armstrong several years back. It’s great to see that Women of the Otherworld series has been slated for the TV, starting next week on SyFy channel.
I rarely watch TV and don’t have cable, so this stuff is always news to me. We’ll find some way to watch it together, perhaps a it becomes available on Amazon Prime.
Polterheist by Laura Resnick
Esther Diamond is an actress working as a holiday elf in the biggest, most obnoxious department store in NYC. Fenster’s has their entire fourth floor dedicated to every holiday that occurs between July and January around the globe, which makes for an even more insane marketing mess than your average overblown, over-marketed holiday mess.
In the midst of the shift-changing Santas and Diwalii lights, it would appear that the freight elevator is eating people.
This is not Esther’s first adventure but it’s my first Esther Diamond novel, and being mid-series doesn’t hinder its readability. The next on the schedule and the holiday calendar is Misfortune Cookie, taking place during… you got it… Chinese New Year.
I hope everyone’s holidays and family gatherings are well and happy. Be safe my friends, and read on.