I really should have updated this Monday, but I had other chores competing for my attention.
Monday was a chance to chill, and I took advantage of it. For the third consecutive year (to the best of my recollection), I skipped the MLK parades. We have two such parades on MLK Day in this city, led by different organizations. The "official" parade through the east side of downtown has always troubled me, as high schools and middle schools feel compelled to honor Dr. King's legacy by showing off their JROTC chapters, complete with military dress uniforms and faux rifles.
What did King say about militarism in one (or more) of his famous speeches?
Anyway: I missed it, cleaned the kitchen, prepared a bed for blackberry plants, and after a hearty lunch had a pretty groovy conversation with my editorial consultant at iUniverse.
My editorial consultant is a real person, really living in Bloomington, Indiana (home of iUniverse HQ), and not a Filipino telemarketer trying to get me to spend more money to market my books. Yes, iUniverse does that. That aside, among the many things she did tell me during our hour-long conversation were that
This afternoon I received a message from iUniverse editorial, informing me that the manuscript for Earthworm has cleared Editorial Evaluation. It begins:
Thank you for submitting your manuscript to our Editorial Evaluation process. You are just the kind of author iUniverse seeks, one who is committed to making his or her book the best it can be.
Aw shucks. Now I get to read through the attachments and see what they really think.
Last night I visited Rudyard's twice. I didn't go the second time because I had drunk so much the first time that I forgot that I had been there, woke up and said, "I know! Let's go to Rudyard's!" I've never been that drunk, or at least if I have I don't remember it.
Naw, it happened like this: Houston Tomorrow had its monthly gathering of Houston 2040 last night. Instead of the usual fare, a professional wonk wonkily articulating for amateur wonks his or her vision for Houston's future, this event featured professional and amateur wonks sharing their visions, as well as venerable bands like Free Radicals and Woozyhelmet. I went at 6 pm, when the happy hour started, got a Gardenburger, fries, and a Karbach Sympathy for the Lager, and chatted with my wonky chums. At 7:15 I left for choir practice at First UU, and then I returned just after 10:00.
When I returned and arrived upstairs at Rudz, urban planning wonk and peace activist Raj Mankad was on stage giving the humorous and harrowing details of his Thoreauvian Night in Jail after his little daughter inadvertently scuffed a woman's car by running into it with her bicycle. (The car was parked near Lanier Middle School, in a place where it never should have been parked.) Raj is not much of a drinker, but he looked a bit tipsy as he told his tale. One strong ale could have made him look that way. Perhaps he was just under the influence of the absurdity of his arrest.
It is widely recognized that Houston has a mobility problem. We have frightening sprawl, too many automobiles, too many crappy streets and roads, overbuilding in neighborhoods without sufficient infrastructure to meet the demand, inadequate public transit, lethal conditions for cyclists and pedestrians, sidewalks that make wheelchair travel impossible. This mobility problem, and proposed solutions to it, is topic of discussion número uno at these wonkfests.
It took a small amount of additional work, but my manuscript for Earthworm has passed the Content Evaluation phase. The evaluators found three potentially objectionable fragments of text, all of which had something to do with stereotyping Jews.
This site is still in transition. Should I devote it to my literary or political pretensions? I can separate the background facts of those two aspects on different pages. The Blog page is one place where the two will mix, along with other facets of this life.
On the literary front: iUniverse.com has placed my MS Word–format manuscript for The Earthworm That Blows No Trumpet in the hands of a content evaluator. As part of the package that I purchased for this novel, iUniverse offers editorial services, and they call this part of the process Content Evaluation.
[Oops, correction 5 Jan 2015: Content Evaluation precedes Editorial Evaluation. The Content Evaluation process is to make sure that the manuscript complies with the publisher's terms of service and copyright law: no large chunks of plagiarized text, no depictions of sex with children, etc. Editorial Evaluation is, at least in part, a way of determining to which editor the MS will be assigned.]
For my last novel (in 2000), I had to go cheap and did not get that service with the bare-bones package. When I received the galleys for approval, I caught a few dozen errors...but as I discovered when the printed edition came out, I missed a few dozen, too. It would cost another few hundred bucks to get it republished with those errors corrected.
Presumably, after two weeks, I'll hear back from the editor about what changes I should make on Earthworm. As of this writing, I don't know who that editor is. When I submitted the manuscript a few weeks ago, my assigned author consultant indicated over the phone that he was interested in reviewing it himself.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.