Sunday, November 16, 2014

In which an advocacy groups sends a survey to Primo while we are on vacation

So this group - a group I happen to agree with and one that Primo opposes - sent him a survey. It arrived while we were on vacation and having our mail held.

It was a registered letter, so the postman couldn't leave it for us.

The only option is for Primo to go to the post office to pick it up.

Do you think that will happen?

I don't.

Advocacy groups: Are you trying to piss people off? Why would you make life harder for someone whose opinion you are soliciting?

In which I present a short proposal for my gold digger book and the agents say that the situation is completely unbelievable

I need your advice. I went to a publishing seminar recently where there was a panel where six literary agents listened to book synopses (only the agents thought they were query letters, so that was strike one) and gave their feedback. The synopses were read by one person and the reader did not identify the author.

The reader read the first paragraph of my synopsis:

A Gold-Digger's Guide to Love, Marriage, and Cranky In-laws, by Yours Truly
The story starts with the Gold Digger (aka Goldy) losing her job of eight years just after she has returned from what turned out to be an ill-advised trip to Paris to spend a week with the Moroccan millionaire she met when visiting friends in Morocco the  month prior. The millionaire, Gomez, didn't even offer to pay for her plane ticket, drank a bottle of wine every day at lunch, took a nap after lunch, and then wanted to spend his waking hours shopping at The Gap.

I realize this is not a great synopsis because I do not go straight into the heart of the story, but I misunderstood the instructions, which were to write a one-page synopsis. I buried the lead, so I have already figured out that part.

But I need some feedback. I know there are people who like the story I tell here about Sly and Doris because I see it in my reader stats. But the agents, who heard only the information above, said that the characters seemed to be caricatures in unbelievable situations. This was excellent feedback - first of all, it made me aware that this is a crummy synopsis and second, it makes me realize I need to make sure the characters are fully fleshed out.

I am wondering if the title might be a bad idea. The whole "Gold Digger" thing is ironic - it's what Sly and Doris call me but it's not what I am. I am thinking that maybe the title is misleading. After all, you would have to read the book to realize the genesis of the title, but if you really think the book is about a golddigger, then why would you want to read it in the first place? Golddiggers are not sympathetic characters.

What do you guys think? That seminar was worth it just for that little bit of unbiased feedback - it has given me a lot to think about. One of the agents said she wants a 35-word summary of the book, which I think maybe the summary in the sidebar here - Two weeks before our wedding, my husband's parents called to tell him 1. they weren't coming and 2. he shouldn't marry me. Since then, I have gotten along with them about as well as you might think.  - is better than the synopsis I wrote. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

In which the woman who sold her books at Primo's fundraiser states on facebook that it is her "turn to govern"

Oh man! There is more about the weird woman who didn't bring any food or money to the fundraiser Primo and I held. She is the gift that keeps on giving.

But first.

We are on vacation. Primo is a little cranky about the campaign. I told you that his social media person quit, again. We still don't know how that one will turn out.

He is also cranky because he is getting pulled more and more into the campaign, even though the original deal was just two to three events a week. I think he should maintain those boundaries, but he feels guilty for not putting forth a full effort. I admire his work ethic and commitment, but at the same time, in an unwinnable race, why knock yourself out?

We are on vacation. We should be disconnected. We should be without internet. We should be off the grid. But instead of sitting on the sun porch, watching the waves crash into the shore and listening to the loons, we drive into town and sit outside the library, along with everyone else, to poach their internet on our phones.

In our defense, it's only once a day and it's after we go in to play tennis.

In this time, Primo discovered a post by the weird woman. I think I mentioned she is running for the state house this year and has already asked for the donation of a car.

She is cranky because a sitting representative endorsed her opponent.

Let's call the weird woman Lizzy. Lizzy wrote a rant on her blog about how she has been betrayed by the sitting rep's endorsement of her opponent. I present below an edited version of the rant.

As the candidate who helped state house leader Benjamin Bratt recruit candidates and run dozens of campaigns in 2012,  and who ran against [the other side's candidate] in 2000, I am SHOCKED that incumbent Julia Dreyfus has endorsed [my opponent].  The people deserve an state house person who has the background and ability to govern effectively. 

[Lots of detail about her work experience and political activism, including her time as a lawyer, without any mention of her being sanctioned for trying to destroy her ex-husband's legal career. She may have been disbarred - not sure.]

[Off to the google. Not disbarred, but her license was suspended.]

Frankly, I am insulted by the lack of gratitude shown by Dreyfus for the over $50,000 worth of free effort I personally put in helping the party recruit candidates and run their campaigns in 2012. 

I urge everyone to log onto my website to read my detailed qualifications to govern and issue stances. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

In which the weird woman who brought her self-published book to our fundraiser to sell when Primo was running for the State House posts our personal photos to her facebook page

Remember the woman who came to the fundraiser we held when Primo was running for the state house and didn't give any money or bring any food but brought her book to sell?

That story is here.

And I realize that in my previous posts, I have designated Primo as a Polka Dot and me as a Stripe, but now I have them reversed.

Dang. I cannot keep track. I bet you can't either.

Here. All you need to know is that Primo and I tend to vote for the opposing parties. I give up trying to keep fake names straight.

So this woman came to our fundraiser and didn't bring any food and didn't contribute any money and she tried to sell her self-published book to our guests.

I informed Primo that she was never to come to our home again, which he took quite well, as he does not care for her, either.

She has gotten weirder.

She is unemployed. She thought that the Stripes (formerly known as Polka Dots - dang! WHATEVER PRIMO IS!) majority leader in the state house would give her a job.

He did not. Even though I think he is on the wrong side politically, I do not think he is an idiot and his refusal to give her a job proves that. She is a loose cannon and benefits nobody except the opposition.

So now she is running for the State House.

1. Unemployed.
2. No money.
3. No car.

She has posted things on her facebook page (according to Primo) like, "I need someone to donate a car to me so I can campaign effectively."

My response was to snort and say, "She probably claims to love public transportation. She can take the bus."

(NB I do take the bus to work every day. I don't talk about how great public transport is and mean "it's great for other people" - I just take it.)

I was on MaryJane's facebook page. All things considered, I do like MaryJane. She is nice and interesting. Just a little intense, but that's OK.

The weird self-published book lady had shared a photo album with MaryJane.

A photo album that I would share with you except my cover would be blown.

She wrote, "Primo for Congress! Exciting news! Hey my friend Primo who ran for the State House in 2012 is running for the U.S. Congress! He is the candidate against [incumbent, whom I probably gave a name but can't remember] but more importantly he loves cats!"

And then she posts four photos. Of Primo. And me. And our cats.

Personal photos. Photos Primo had posted on facebook for his friends.

She saved those photos to her own facebook page!

I took a screenshot and emailed it to Primo.

"Why does she have these photos of us?" I asked. "That's CREEPY!"

When I came home, Primo said, "I can't unfriend her because she would try to damage me."

I shook my head. "I don't expect you to unfriend. I expect you to agree with me that she is super bizarre and this is weird and creepy."

He said, "Everyone knows she is like this."

Which she is.

And then she tried to friend me on facebook.

That was an easy decision. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

In which there is more grammar stuff

Me: Why did they use that awful photo of Mary Jo in that facebook posting? If she sees that, she won't take any more photos with you.

[Mary Jo is a friend of mine who agreed to be in campaign photos with Primo.}

Primo: I don't know. I am staying out of the facebook photos.

Me: What?

Primo: I'm letting that go. I don't have time for that.

Me: That's a big step for you!

Primo: Yes, but I still have to be involved in the text. [The campaign manager] isn't very good with grammar.

Me: Oh?

Primo: That's what I had to spend all that time on the other day. He had written a sentence in the singular but had used "their."

Me: Yeah, that's a pretty common usage.

Primo: It's wrong. I won't have it on my campaign literature.

Me: Uh huh.

Primo: So I had to rewrite the sentence. The only ways to handle this situation are to use "his or her" or to rewrite in the plural. I refuse to use just "his" because it's sexist and I won't use "her" because it's affected and "his or her" is awkward. So I rewrote it in the plural.

Me: Whew.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

In which Primo wastes more time on the grammar of the campaign facebook posts

This stuff writes itself.

  • Primo
  • This campaign thing is stressful. [Campaign manager] wants us to work on statements for posting on social media at the last minute. I was up late last night and distracted again this morning. His ideas are good, but his grammar is not so good. Then [communications manager] and [social media person] get involved, and there are too many cooks!

  • Me

    You don't have time for the tiny details!
  • [Social media person] needs to be in charge!

  • Primo 
  • [Social media person] is in charge for the most part, but [communications manager] has good ideas and there is some clashing. Then we argue about silly stuff. [Communications manager] wanted to start a sentence with "But," and I said that it was better to tie two sentences together with a comma followed by "But." Then she thought the sentence was too long, so she wanted to put in a period and start the next sentence with "However." I said that was lazy writing, and of course she thought I was calling her lazy!

  • Primo: I finally stopped fighting that battle.

  • Me 
  • Yeah - let that stuff go. It's not worth losing sleep over (literally!).

  • Primo

    "Guide" should have been singular, of course.
  • I found a modern style guides that says it's OK to start a sentence with "However" (at least in informal writing) because everyone knows that it means "Nevertheless."

  • Me

    I mean, of course you are right on all this stuff -

    but is it truly worth losing sleep over?
  • OK - you really are wasting too much time on this!

  • Primo

    If it were up to me, we'd post half as many things but they would be of better quality.
  • But the details are important.

  • Me
  • :)

  • Primo I had to spend most of the time. [Campaign manager's] writing needed to be fixed. We didn't waste too much time on the "But" and "However."

Monday, November 3, 2014

Politics ick

Just in case you guys had any doubts about how I feel about politics, let me share with you the line I heard on Season 5 of The Good Wife when I binge watched last week (and then followed by Season 3 of Scandal - that's the only way I like my politics - in fiction). I heard this, laughed, and thought, "It is because of truths like these that I want nothing to do with these people."

Person 1: How do you know he's guilty?

Person 2: Because he is a governor of Illinois.