The immortal words of Socrates, who said, “I drank WHAT?”

The agent who didn’t empathize with April was kind enough to read both _Dulcinea_ and _Camille’s Travels_ over the weekend (on long plane trips). She still couldn’t identify with either of the main characters.

This is not something I can fix, I don’t suspect. If I could be more like other people (and if I wanted to), I might be able to make the characters someone that people would identify with. But that’s beyond me. I’m different, and if at this age I hadn’t made peace wtih that, I’d be a fool. I like my differences. I don’t see merit in changing.

What she actually said was that she didn’t see that special spark in either of them. I wonder whether that doesn’t mean she doesn’t like my voice and doesn’t get charmed by anything about the books. She always says that they’re well written. Workshops never help with this because the only thing workshoppers do is pick out several passages and rewrite them. They really don’t look at the big picture. I did have one beta reader who saw the larger issues in a book, but ultimately her problem boiled down to not liking the character and her personality.

If I saw what the spark is in the Twilight series . . . or if I saw anything interesting in it at all . . . I would be ahead of this game. Since I don’t, I conclude that I am not on the right wavelength for audiences of this generation. I think our surface differences may indicate that there are far deeper issues in the ways we perceive the world.

On to the next agent on the list. Probably won’t have any luck there, either.

I can usually get over this by going to the piano for a couple of hours, but today I’m too aware that I play like a pig. It’s not just that the piano is going out of tune. It’s that even though I have played since I was four, I’m not going to get any better. I’m just not good enough. I always THINK I’m fairly good until I record something that I’ve invented or supposedly memorized. Then when I hear the crap that plays back, I realize how my mind’s ear edits what I hear when I play in real-time. I know, I know, I should just enjoy the act of playing, because I know I’m only doing it for self-expression and an outlet at any rate. But it’s depressing. You ought to get a LITTLE better if you spend hours in the batting cage, after all. Unless you’re the baseball.

Two more independent bookstores closed.

And I caught athlete’s foot at the pedicure spa place. Already have cracks at the base of my right little toe, and the whole side of my foot burns. Crap!

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Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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