Mark Terry

Monday, March 31, 2008

The life o' a writa

March 31, 2008
Okay, having sorta finished a big project (more on that in a mo'), I more or less only worked part-time on Friday.

(Actually, I'd put "Good Luck, Chuck" on our Netflix queu because I thought it looked amusing, but my wife was wildly uninterested, so when I started watching it Thursday night, since I had gotten the uncut/unrated version, I quickly decided I didn't want my kids walking in on this movie, so Friday afternoon I watched it--it sucked, don't bother; it's not a romantic comedy, it's a raunchy sex comedy, heavy on the raunch, so-so on the sex, and unfortunately light on the comedy, although Jessica Alba is very cute in it and appears to be the only female in the entire movie who keeps most of her clothes on). [And we watched "The Valley of Elah" this weekend, which is brilliant, though be prepared to be devastated if you watch it].

Then over the weekend my agent alerted me to a number of rejection letters. I got one that said, "loved the character, didn't like the plot," and another one that said, "didn't like the character, but liked the plot." 

Have I mentioned before that sometimes I really hate publishing?

So, today, I thought, since my wife was home, I may or may not work (I haven't had time off since Christmas), depending on if above project people send me comments or the survey data they claimed they were going to get me so I could REALLY finish the project.

So I got up, dithered around, walked the dog, checked my e-mail, dropped off my wife's truck at the shop, went to the credit union, went to the gym and got a new torturous routine from my occasional personal trainer, took my wife out to lunch, then settled down to do some miscellaneous things like organize my quarterly estimated taxes.

I also spent a lot of time going over technical articles for the journal I edit. Then I decided I should really dig in on this white paper I want to finish by next Tuesday, so I started contacting personal health record companies and pretty soon, the e-mails were flying back and forth, and then I did an interview, then scheduled a couple more, and told some people what I needed for their technical articles, then I got an e-mail or two... or three... or four... from the project manager, and one of them was, "How long do you think this report will be? When I printed it out it was 60 pages."

"Um," I said, blood pressure skyrocketing. "It's 126 pages long. How did you get only 60 pages?"

"Don't know, but that's what I got."

So I re-send it, then more e-mails, (also, the project, which I hoped to finish this week, is now on hiatus for at least 2 weeks while they do the surveys that should have been done weeks ago, so it won't be done until the end of April, which means if I'm lucky I'll get paid in May, instead of in April, when I was hoping to get paid for it because I THOUGHT I MIGHT ACTUALLY BE DONE WITH THIS PROJECT BY NOW) then I settle down to work on the Fortress of Diamonds, really kickin' along, my two heros, Jeri and Ash, had run away from a bad guy into an old abandoned mine shaft, but he blew it up, and they escaped again into a narrow tunnel, but it kept getting narrower, then their flashlights are dying, and they fall into a bat cave, and there are dozens of tunnels out, and there are rattlesnakes and...

Oh. Yeah, this is the life of a writer. Not bad, really, if you can get the people to pay you. Did I mention I had to nag a client about a check that should have shown up a week or so ago?

Mark Terry


Blogger Eric Mayer said...

Sheesh...I'd rather not even know about rejections. The reasons stated tend to be meaningless, or at least unhelpful

I like the sound of the cave in your book. Have you ever played any of the old "cave crawl" text adventures like...uh...Adventure?

4:05 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

No. I'm not big into caves--a little claustrophobic. Which is maybe why I sometimes stick characters in them.

I read "Blind Ascent" by Nevada Barr and she's doing a rescue in one of the newer, non-tourist sections of Carlsbad Caverns, and at one point they have to crawl several hundred yards through a tunnel that's about 18 inches high and I thought, "No fucking way."

4:24 PM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

I wanted to see The Valley of Elah, but I've been resisting because I've been more in the mood for uplifting movies.

I'm crossing my fingers that you get a "yes!" soon!

4:32 PM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

(I love Nevada Barr! I just discovered her last year!)

4:34 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

The Valley of Elah is a very, very powerful movie. Essentially it's a murder mystery, but everything is calibrated on a very human, emotional level. It's not an action-adventure film. Tommy Lee Jones is amazing (as usual), but so is Charlize Theron in a totally non-glam but brilliant role.

As for Nevada Barr, I've stopped reading her (no particular reason) but my favorites were Blind Ascent and Fire Storm.

3:31 AM  
Blogger Aimless Writer said...

We have a sign in our office with a circle on it that says "BANG HEAD HERE".
You might need one of these-lol
We use it a lot...

3:51 PM  
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9:01 PM  
Blogger susan said...

I hope i can get wakfu kamas in low price,
Yesterday i bought wakfu gold for my friend.
i want him like it. i will give wakfu money to him as
birthday present. i like the wakfu kama very much.
I usually buy wakfu kamas and keep it in my store.

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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6:46 PM  

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