October 9th, 2012

Macbeth the Usurper

Long Weekend

It was a long weekend for me. Columbus Day may not be PC, but it sure is nice to have the day off.

I started my workbench project. I found plans for working with plywood. The great thing about the plans is that you layer up the plywood, which means using all that plywood left over from the previous owners. Much of it is warped, so using multiple layers with opposing warps straightens the wood. Clever.

I needed some more clamps to do the legs. My exiting clamps are wide enough. I picked up a good set for $30, which was way cheaper that the $70+ for the individual pieces. I'm generally against buying stuff right now, but as clamps are always useful, they were worth the purchase.

I did more work on the old and new house. I painted the living room in the old house, along with fixing the drip in the kitchen sink. The sink was also slow running, so I routed it with a toilet snake. That helped. For the new house, I go one of the 3-way switches working correctly. Yay. Now I have to figure out the outside light 3-way. I also replaced the hallways switch, but it's wiring was even weirder. It turns on a light to show you that the attic light is on, but I can't even tell if the attic light is on because the ladder is over the old house. I'll sort it out.

Monday saw us get our first cool day, and I found that we have a non-working furnace. Frack. No heat. In the meantime, I've dug out the space heaters and they've been working well enough.

The cat is now sleeping with the child. The child is tickled pink that the cat is now sleeping with her. So am I.

Monday was a cool morning, so without heat, I declared oatmeal and tea, and everyone felt warm and happy.

Miss Dash was so excited on Monday when I picked her up from the bus stop. She told all her friends that her daddy would pick her up. That fills my bucket.

I've been doing some reading. This time, it's the classic Chinese epic "Journey to the West." It's an over-the-top tale about the Monkey King. 
Macbeth the Usurper

Unagented Submissions

With Harper-Voyage taking unagented manuscripts, I decided to toss in "Weeds Among Stone."

http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/harper-voyager-to-accept-unagented-manuscripts-for-two-weeks_b57443

I expect nothing to come of this. With 12 slots open (I think), and likely a thousand submissions, that's a 1/100 likelihood that I'll make the cut.

What could change the odds?

Everyone who is offering up another vampire novel will wind up competing against each other. I don't feature zombies, vampires, or werewolves. So, say 50% of all those submissions are in those genres, and my odds have increased to 1:50. If I have successfully followed all formatting rules, then my odds increase again. Let's say 1:40. Let's assume even more cleverness on my part, and my odds might increase to 1:25.

1 in 25. I want to emphasize that. The rosie, optimistic chance of walking out with a contract is 1 in 25.

Personally, anticipate the number of submissions will be higher than 1000, so my odds are really worse than 1:25. 

Note that I haven't yet talked about whether the novel is any good or not. I'm just talking numbers. I figure that most novels will be tossed out based on summary. After that, more will get tossed out based on writing sample. Only about 10%, at best, will actually be read in whole or part.

So, to pass through, my summary needs to be unique enough to get through stage one, and my writing sample engaging enough to pass to stage two. Only after that does the novel itself get me a shot for stage three.