Thursday, January 29, 2009

In Which I Thank, Complain, and Award, All in One Brilliant Post

First, the thank yous. I'd like to publicly thank both Big Plain V and Jill for evisera--I mean, critiquing--my query letter. Actually, that's a joke. They were both very kind and helpful, which is quite the little dance if you've never tried it. Today I saved "query_farve_12" to my hard drive and that in no way represents how many changes I've made to the thing. (And it still sucks!)

As a reward to my many readers, I am thinking about posting the query when it's finally done. (So check back in 2013.) And okay, I do have an ulterior motive. I've read that agents actually read blogs (not this one, though, so don't worry). So the way I figure it, once my amazing query is done (thanks to BPV and Jill) I ought to put it out there for the whole world (especially agents who want to rep it) to see. Might someone read it and steal my idea? Possibly. But it took me a year to write the thing, and it's taking another for the query, so I have a huge head start. Might an agent be upset that I posted it for other agents to see? Probably. But competition is good, no? Besides, I have an offer to all agents reading this: As soon as you contact me and say you want to read the full, I'll take the query off the blog. Now that's fair, isn't it?

Second, the complaint. The Little One is ill, so I went to the local apothecary to seek medication. Big mistake. I was unaware that there are appoximately 56 different kinds of Tylenol for Children. There's Tylenol for Fevers and Tylenol for Sore Throats and Tylenol for Hangnails. Then there are gels and liquids and tablets and of course there's grape and cherry and avocado. Needless to say, I bought the wrong kind. Thanks, Tylenol.

Third, I suppose it's time to choose a winner of the "Say What" Contest. I've been dreading this moment for the following reasons: 1. Some loyal Murphblog readers are not going to win and I feel bad about it. 2. My favorite entry contains a bad word and while I don't censor comments (well, okay, I censored one of the entries, but it was really bad) I do censor myself. You will note that I have not once written a naughty word on this blog. I intend to keep it that way. So while I could technically award the entry having to do with flat pennies, I'm not going to. 3. Some people actually tried hard to write really good entries, but they wrote too many words. The limit was 250 and I'm sticking to it. Take comfort in knowing I feel bad about this.

So, the winner. I'm going to avoid explaining why I chose this entry because if there's anything I've learned from watching sports it's that referees get in more trouble when they try to justify their calls.

The winner of the First Annual "Say What" Contest is...Angela.

Well done, Angela. You'll have your prize, Sophomore Undercover, sometime in early March, I would guess. There is only one stipulation: after reading (and loving) it, you must offer it up as a prize for a contest on your own blog. More on this to come.


Random Thought of the Day:

The phrase "Obama's stimulus package" makes me giggle every time.



8 comments:

Kelly said...

Congrats to Angela! Fun contest!
My husband never brings home the right children's medicine either...:0)

Big Plain V said...

Curious. Have you posted your query on Absolute Write or Writers.net?

There are some helpful people there who'll give you some great pointers, but there are also a bunch of loudmouth lunkheads who only think they know what they're talking about. And it's really hard to tell the difference.

It's worth a skeptical kind of a try, though.

Paul Michael Murphy said...

Big V, I shall consider it. I did, in the early stages, post it in the sample work area of Verla's board and those folks took it from total crap to something that was at least presentable. You can check out the evolution easily enough if you wish. But even then I felt the same thing: that some of those people didn't really have any knowledge other than what they had gleaned from other message boards, a single agent's blog, or a book. Some of the advice seemed more like personal preference than anything else. I will tread cautiously and carry a yet to be determined weapon.

pocketfulsofsunshine said...

Sorry to hear your little one is not feeling well! It definitely is going around. I hope it passes soon!

Anita said...

This loudmouth lunkhead is willing to look at your query...only because of your Obama Stimulus Package reference and also because I think you mentioned farts somewhere.

Jill Corcoran said...

I hope it helped, Paul.
Er....or am I the blueboard lunkhead you are referring to:)

Paul Michael Murphy said...

You are not the lunkhead (and that's not my term), Jill. I've revised the query based on both yours and V's comments. I'll send you the new one soon.

Ben Esch said...

Congratulations Angela!

I hope you dig Sophomore Undercover, and especially since you are going to get a super special edition autographed by Mr. Paul Michael Murphy himself.

Paul, you're gonna sign my name right? What could happen is you sign my name, and then if I ever meet Angela, I can sign your name on the book = ebay.

Ben

www.benjaminesch.com