Thursday, August 31, 2006

Desperate Drafting

Task: Drafting a book proposal -- Author Profile

Time stolen from: TV

Thank God the fall TV season hasn't really started yet. We just finished watching the season finale of Desperate Housewives on TiVo last night, after watching the entire season that we stored over the last couple of weeks. But now we have no other series stored up to watch. And favorites such as Battlestar Galactica, 24, My Name is Earl, and The Office haven't started up yet. I can't seem to be able to store up episodes of these shows.

Got the entire proposal template formatted and in place yesterday. Today I added in the essential book info for four comparative titles. Haven't written any comparison info for it yet. I plan on doing a lot of note taking and reading this weekend. Along with tearing out the remaining vinyl tile that I did such a poor job of installing about two years ago, removing some drywall remnants near where the shower stall was, and borrowing my father-in-law's truck to buy the new one from Lowe's and some other items that just won't fit in a Chevy Cavalier or Uplander.

Also added my standard profile info the Author Profile section. I have to add some additional info into this section about my publications, professional experience, teaching experience, etc.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Bones of a proposal

Task: Setting up a book proposal template

Time stolen from: Wasteful net surfing

It is so easy to get sidetracked by the Web. One minute you are typing away and a thought comes into your head... does my high school chemistry teacher Mr. Ryan still teach at my old high school? You punch the school name into Google, and within a minute you are staring at his portrait and credentials, which leads to you wondering who else is still at the school, a few more pages and you have an overview of who is still there and who has been promoted, and so on... you get back to work and remember the question that your wife asked you this morning: If we know the Greek equivalents of Jupiter (Zeus), Saturn (Cronus), Neptune (Poseidon), and Pluto (Hades), what ancient Greek God was Uranus named after? A quick trip to reveals that Uranus uses the ancient Greek name instead of the Roman one, so it breaks that pattern. So what is the Roman name for Uranus? Out to Wikipedia for the answer: Caelus. Which is definitely not as much fun to mis-pronounce like "your anus" or "urine us."

I waste net time shopping on eBay, looking up old classmates from high school or college on Myspace and wondering if I should try to use it to promote my current book and any future books. I think so, but I haven't had time to explore it further... yet. There are thousands of ways to waste time on the Web, and I'm doing my best to find all of them, but not right now...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Late and bleary and oh so weary...

Task: Researching comparative titles / Search for similar book with similar title

Time stolen from: Stayed up late

Today was a crazy day. Got up for work, worked all day, finished up work on a Cub-Appolis 400 car (essentially a box that was painted, glued all sorts of packaging and advertisements, on the sides to make it look like a NASCAR), went to a Cub Scout recruiting meeting that lasted over 3 hours, and came home to send out a sales pitch for a potential manuscript critique client, and now catching up on blog entries and searching Amazon for more comparative titles. Maybe the Complete Idiot's Guide to Creative Writing by Laurie E. Rozakis would be a good one since it is part of an ongoing series, sort of what I hope the 15-Minute Writer will be.

Did not find any books on Amazon with a title similar to mine... maybe Angela was thinking of a different book?? I'll keep my eyes open. Here are some of the other titles I found out on Amazon with 15-minute in the title:
Melissa agreed to do the logo in exchange for posting it as a sample for her website. Not a problem and the price is right!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Lunchtime Book Browsing

Task: Researching comparative titles

Time stolen from: Took 15 minutes from a 45 min lunch

I know at least two out of the five comparative titles that I plan on using for the proposal. David Allen's wonderful time-management book, Getting Things Done, and David Fryxell's Write Faster, Write Better. Those are slam dunks. The rest are somewhat more difficult to determine and require some additional reading to pinpoint the best candidates.

A 15-minute search on Amazon has put a few on my RADAR: Get Organized, Get Published! by Don Aslett and Carol Cartaino, Write It Down Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want And Getting It by Henriette Anne Klauser and a couple of books that go for the more eclectic "gifty" format suggested by one of the agents that I met with over the weekend possibly Roberts Rules Of Writing: 101 Unconventional Lessons Every Writer Needs to Know by Robert Masello and Some Writers Deserve To Starve: 31 Brutal Truths about the Publishing Industry by Elaura Niles. On the other hand, are those "gifty" enough?

It's a place to start, so off to Amazon and the local library website to order and reserve some of the books that are not already on my shelf.

Upcoming 15-Minute (or less) Tasks:
  • Ask Melissa if she'll design a logo for the blog
  • Trip to library to browse books
  • Amazon surfing for more comparative titles to review
  • Set up book proposal template in Word

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Getting Started

Task: Creating a blog.

Time stolen from: Got up early (6:45 am on a Sunday)

I always try to sleep in on the weekends. Always. Not too late, usually until 8 or 8:30 am. Having children who get up early, and two of our three dogs sleeping in the bedroom with us, who start panting and whining to be let out anytime they hear the covers shift or an alarm go off anytime after 5 am has made the stay up late/wake up late weekend a legend of the distant past. But the room was hot, and I tossed and turned, looking at the clock, and finally got out of bed to get this started.

Spent the last two days at the Columbus Writers Conference and pitched the 15-Minute Writer concept to three agents. Two of which are interested in seeing a proposal. Time to get off my duff and start working on it. I have a rough draft of the book that I've used for a class last year, but it is far from what I want the finished product to look like. I hope the proposal will help me organize my thoughts better.