Tuesday, November 30, 2010

11th Month

As the 11th month of 2010 comes to an end, I find myself in good position to make 2011 the most amazing year yet. Alice and I spend Friday and Saturdays together. I really enjoy her company. She’s funny, thoughtful, and a real pleasure to be around. She accompanied me to Stockton last Saturday for an In-Shape Singles Shoot-Out in which I finished second (losing to 12-year-old Mario Rojas, Jose’s cousin). Saturday night we watched “A Single Man” on dvd. I loved it. Very good film, very personal and touching. Colin Firth was amazing. What a great face. I reminded me of Michael Caine. I’m heading to Alice’s tomorrow for dinner where we’ll have dinner and play Ten Days in Asia. She likes games. It’s hard not to think of Linda when I’m with her sometimes. Though I’ve dated and met several women since Linda, Alice reminds me of her, perhaps because we are doing similar things.

On the writing front, since I have several agents reading fulls and partials, I haven’t sent out a query in over two weeks. I’ll send a few in December though, just to keep things moving along. The waiting is nerve wracking and I’m only going to have to do it again when the novel is with publishers. I’m surprised it’s taken the entire year to find an agent.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Encouraging Email

An agent email me saying two editors read the first fifty pages and had nothing but praise for the opening. That’s encouraging. I emailed the full manuscript the next day. I hope they like the rest of it. After one agent loved the first three chapters and made me promise her not to sign until she was given a chance, then said the fourth chapter wasn’t what she thought it would be and sent her customary form rejection my way, I’m hesitant to get too excited about this, but at the same time I’m cautiously optimistic that at some point the book will get picked up. There are several edits I’d like to make and another full revision to give the story a seamless feel, but at this point the manuscript is strong. All I can do now is wait and see.

I’m playing in my first singles tournament of the season next week in Stockton and Alice will be joining me. She’s curious about racquetball and wants to see me play. That’s pretty cool. We’ll stay in Stockton Friday night. I’m looking forward to it. My body was really fatigued this week. I ended up losing my first club league singles match to a guy who I usually beat. He played very well and is very fast. I like him. I hate losing, but perhaps it’s good for me to swallow a few loses. It keeps me humble, and this is always a good thing.

I can’t believe the holiday season is already here.

Monday, November 15, 2010


As if life weren't busy enough, I'm now dating a wonderful woman whom I like a lot named Alice. She's my age and was born in China. She has a 14-year-old son and lives in the sunset district in San Francisco. We get along very well. She's thoughtful, smart, and athletic. She has a wonderful smile and has a great sense of humor. I'm very attracted to her. She likes movies and enjoys cooking. She's also traveled extensively. It will be interesting to see where things go with her. I've never dated someone who was born outside North America. She's lived in the U.S. for about 30 years, but she's still very much Chinese and there will undoubtedly be differences that come up. My trip to Beijing two years ago really impacted me. I'm quite drawn to China and its culture, and I think Alice likes that. I enjoy being with her. The only problem I have is it's difficult to do all the things I enjoy doing. I'll really have to manage my time well now. We've played badminton a few times at a badminton club in Emeryville and Burlingame. We bought new racquets together and will take lessons. What fun!

New Query

I have a new query that has been generating some feedback from agents:

I have an 83,000-word YA novel set in Oakland, California called JULIA MILAN AND THE CHAPEL OF THE CHIMES, about an overshadowed 14-year-old named Julia who agrees to help her dying grandmother solve the mystery of young Max Carter – her grandmother’s first love – who vanished without a trace 75 years ago. With help from an old diary, a peculiar new classmate from Perth, Australia, and an unusual mausoleum designed by the architect of Hearst Castle, Julia digs up a haunting piece of her grandmother’s past, exposing a dangerous secret that startles local historians. Finally, Julia feels as special as her precocious younger sister, but when Max’s story threatens the safety of Julia’s family, Julia wonders if being exceptional is worth all the trouble.

I like this paragraph a lot. I took out all the fantasy elements, dropped the urban fantasy label, and gave the book more of a "mystery" feel. We'll see if that does the trick. I've sent out 120 queries and plan to send another 80 more if I have to. I'm not stopping until I get an agent, damn it!

Halloween 2010

Halloween was another huge hit.

The cast and crew were fantastic, and the storyline was fun. I played Dr. Phineas Meganbottom, worldclass crazy and designer of the latest invention that will keep the empire from sinking into oblivion. The weather was fantastic, warm like a summer night, and the crowds were large. It was a another amazing Halloween. I'm hoping Lisa's sister gathers together all the footage we have from Halloween's past. I'd love to see the collection and perhaps create a DVD for friends and family to share.