Saga, opening episode

To hold an observer's attention, any extended performance needs a thread or story line. (For an amusing attempt to challenge this principle, read David Markson's This is Not a Novel (2001)). The story line of this blog is going to be one man's struggle to achieve his goal while confronting other challenges. You know, the usual plot line. Our protagonist is not especially glamorous or heroic or good, though all these terms take on new meaning in the context of a story. What he's got are two things: belief in his own talent -- which, he is prepared to accept, may be modest but real -- and desire.

From here on, first person. What I'm declaring here is that I'm going to try to stick to the story of how I work to become both a better writer and a better known one, and cut such distractions as comments on Venezuelan politics, Bush's war, and lots of other stuff. Will anybody care? Probably, because we are a naturally nosy race, and anybody's struggle is interesting if its clearly told and it looks like there may be a beginning, a middle and an end. My main reason for telling it, though, is not you but me, to keep myself on track.

So we'll start our story today. I've written a novel that took a lot of effort (see Archive entry for 1/18 for that story, and apologetic Postscript from the next day, down at the bottom of the page). Now I have to find an agent to sell it well. Meanwhile, I have to complete about half of a very large, unrelated book draft by May. That's challenge Number 1, complicating the main story line. (You always have to have complications.)

The other complication, or peculiar circumstance, is that I'm not making any money. Last year's clients (nonprofits) suffered big funding cuts, so expected assignments haven't materialized. This adds incentive to my struggle: I really need to sell that novel, and I also really need to turn in that draft on Latin American Architecture and Urbanism (LAU) to collect the next portion of the advance. I just lost two days work dealing with technical problems (getting another computer networked for my collaborator on LAU, and installing OS X). I also lost some data on agents, but I think I can reconstruct it. The rest of today is going to be devoted to getting the agent queries off.

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