Thursday, November 20, 2014

In which I discover something to like - a lot - about Isabel, Primo's first wife, RIP

Me: Listen to this:

Mom was always doing something wrong. Like the time Chine came down for a weekend - probably more'n two years ago - it became a major big deal that Mom didn't have any clean glasses in the house. It's not like Chine couldn't wash a glass herself, but Mom should have had them washed in advance because washing the glasses in advance meant something. Like I love you or welcome of I want you to be here.

Primo: What's that?

Me: From a book I'm reading.

Primo: OK.

Me: She's right. Having a clean house does mean something. When you are excited about having company and want them to be comfortable, you have clean dishes!

Primo: You didn't want to prepare the guest room when Blaine came to visit.

Me: That's because he's your friend.

Primo: He's your friend, too!

Me: But not like with you - you have known him for almost 30 years. I've only known him a few years.

Primo: When I visit him, his wife prepares the guest room.

Me: You mean his wife who does not have a job outside of the home?

Primo: Yes.

Me: I rest my case. If I can quit my job, I will be very happy to assume all household duties.

Primo: Isabel wouldn't always prepare the guest room when we had company.

Me: OK, that's tacky. She didn't even have a job!

Primo: I know!

Me: You said "wouldn't always."

Primo: She would most of the time.

Me: When wouldn't she?

Primo: When my mom and dad came to visit.

Me: Ah.

Primo: What do you mean, "ah?"

Me: You mean your mom and dad who were probably just as obnoxious to her as they are to me?

Primo: Yes

Me: I don't blame her.

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.