The Hunt For A Literary Agent

11 02 2020

The search is on.

If I am to discover the book publishing process, maintaining this blog is essential. It’s time to get some of these stories in print before I lose recollection of them. The adventures are adding up, you see.

We just returned from Mexico, a week-long excursion into the southern state of Oaxaca, a valley community known for its “Day of The Dead” celebration.

Boy, do I feel dead alright.

I’m not sure what I picked up on the plane but three days after returning stateside I felt like I got run over by a tractor trailer. This wasn’t one of those Moctezuma’s revenge illnesses, but more a long the lines of cognitive paralysis.

Couldn’t type, put thoughts together or even rise from my bed for that matter. I was in this state for three days. It was horrible.

And, of course, it was cold, windy and raining in Portland. This is, after all, one of the primary reasons for traveling to Mexico — to see the sun again, near its zenith.

So let’s roll out of bed and retrace our steps south of the border. I worked my tail off over the holidays in order to have a “vacation.” The old days of two to three weeks paid time off automatically are a relic of the corporate past, almost like a supermarket checker.

With time off secured after a busy holiday season, I booked the airfare and going by one simple presentation to a group of seniors, decided Oaxaca was the place to get away to. It certainly satisfied my desire to do something different. Often when you mention Mexico the first thoughts are of the coastal resorts where cruise ships docked.

No, I wanted to go somewhere not yet ruined by ugly tourists.

So off to Oaxaca we went. Ron, our guide from the cathedral, booked us at his hotel. After 14 hours and three flights we arrived late at night. There was a note at the front desk from Ron saying he’d meet us for coffee in the morning. The hotel was certainly not luxurious by American standards, but had cozy rooms with tall ceilings, running hot and cold water and a quaint hacienda style patio feel.  Most importantly, it was in a central location to museums, restaurants and other historical sites.

At coffee the next morning, Ron pointedHotelOaxaca out the important places from the lending library where Western ex-pats gathered to the pastery shop where you could score a delish chocolate crossiant. The Zocalo, he said, is where we would find a browner, more indigenous population.

Ron took us, via the side door, into Oaxaca’s magnificant Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzman. A beautiful baroque style structure, the former convent would serve as one of our landmarks for the week, it’s bells often ringing in the dawn and dusk hours.

TemplodeSantoDomingo

Our size set us apart from the locales. Here, we were tall. Ron, a seasoned traveler, said I had the look of a southern European and I did my best to engage the locals in a Spanish tongue, sometimes pulling off the conversation and other times steering the dialogue to Francais, English or letting the local define it.

Wherever we went I never felt like there would be a breakdown in communication. The delicate dance was to be as respectful at all times of the Mexican culture and customs.

And to have a good time. This was our mission.

To Be Continued

 





Writing for Courage

29 09 2011

Thursday morning listening to Adam Levine’s “Moves like Jagger” and writing cover letters to editors. And it goes like this:

Physically I have never been stronger. Wisdom, from years of surrounding myself with mature friends, is starting to pay off. My social network has opened doors that were no doubt locked a few years ago.

A recent trip to Philadelphia opened my eyes to the current climate of the media business. Newspapers continue to cut staff and lay off journalists, while the blogosphere gradually grows and builds influence.

David, my stalwart companion, has been preaching this tune for some time now.

“You have to free yourself from that ‘working for a paycheck’ mentality,” he continues to say.

Meanwhile, David continues to carry the load for the two of us financially and while this has always bothered my manly, independent pride, it has also allowed me to regroup, rebuild and demonstrate that I am, indeed, capable of producing again.

On the political scene, I’m still attending meetings and staying active in the community. My presence as a voice on the Left is very much needed in Panama City, if nothing else to contrast the chorus of angry rhetoric from the Right.

In that respect, I have established my niche here. My Twitter profile says it all: “I’m a Kennedy-esque Liberal living in the belly of the GOP beast. Send food and help, please.”

It’s amusing to most and by using not-so-subtle humor, I have found a way to reach people as my following on Twitter continues to rise.

“You need to be writing more,” David says.

And, of course, he is right. Writing is what I was born to do. The block, however, is hard to overcome sometimes.

I never want to offend anyone. My inner Libra is all about balance and in the current political climate, writing to not offend can be a difficult chore.

And then I am reminded of that oh so familiar line, ‘You have to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.”

What I stand for is Compassion, Honesty, Caring, Community, Family and Faith. Easy subjects to get behind, sure. But to articulate those views one must first have Courage.

And with that, I’m off to see the Wizard. Let’s hope he’s read my cover letter.