Monday, November 1, 2010

ante luctus

    Here it is, the Day of the Dead, and there are a few things I need to brush off the plate of October.

    • First, good luck to all the people I know who have already started cranking out the words for NaNoWriMo. Here's a tip, for free, to up your word count and get that 50,000-word brass ring by November 30: adverbs and adjectives. When you're going to use one, try using them in a string of, say, three or four. Trust me, it's a remarkably, obscenely, and oft-overlooked [and who can overlook the use of the prefix oft ?] method to vastly, easily, and descriptively enhance your manuscript.
    • I have a few things coming up, the details of which you can read on my website. First, on Saturday, I will be at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles, where In the Path of Falling Objects will be receiving the Children's Literature Council's 2010 "Distinguished Work of Fiction Award." The following week includes LAUNCH DAY, a reading (ooooh!) and signing at Mrs. Nelson's in La Verne, a trip up to (I hope a post-series, sedated, tranquil, and kind-hearted toward Los Angelenos -- woo-hoo! three adjectives!!!) San Francisco for another reading and signing at A Great Good Place for Books. This last event will be amazing. Not only will I get to hang with my great (and hopefully sedate, tranquil, and kind-hearted) friends Lewis Buzbee and Yvonne Prinz, but my super-amazing, talented, and gracious editor will also be there.
    • How's my word count?
    • Sorry. I'm not picking on my NaNo peeps. I'm a little insane from overwork. Still haunted by the ghost of multiple, simultaneous, concurrent, oppressive projects. (Four!!! I am a pro, after all...) Hear that sound? Somewhere, in New York City, someone is ripping up my contract. That happens when you're three-fourths in to a blog post and you've used more than a dozen adjective/adverbs.
    •  One last thing: Last week I wrote a few posts about Team Marbury, all the people who had a hand in getting a book like The Marbury Lens onto shelves and into people's hands. I didn't neglect to mention one very important team member -- a kind of offensive coordinator whom I'd been saving for last. My agent. I realize that I must be one of the most challenging clients a literary agent can ever have, and everyone in this business will tell you that getting an agent -- a super one at that -- is more difficult than getting published. Well, nothing I've ever done would ever have gotten anywhere if not for my agent. I never forget this, too. She is mentioned in the two lists of acknowledgments I have in my last two books, and (he reveals this now for the first time) is also the person to whom my 2011 novel, Stick, is dedicated.