Here's a picture of Cody whom I met yesterday on a canal walk. He lives on a barge and wants to catch sticks all day. He's one of these border collies with fiery orange eyes who cannot take their eyes off the stick in your hand, no matter how hard you coo at them. I popped this photo on the fb site Dogspotting and it's received over 2 thousand likes so far! It's interesting to see the kind of photo that blasts the internet like this. With this one, I think it's down to the bizarre mid-leap expression juxtaposed with the relative calm behind.
On the theme of grasping at sticks, I'm now in the phase of having completed my 2nd novel, now touting it around the marketplace. I've invited 43 top tier agents (curiously/sadly all based in London) to represent me. It's taken many hours as you have to read about them first to see if they're a decent fit for your book and then each has their own particular demands for submitting so you're tweaking your basic letter to their particular requirements. Here's my buzz line -- Naïve British man becomes the headmaster of the first international school in a totalitarian state... what could possibly go wrong? -- I think that's rather good but it was instantly rejected by 10! Now I will wait the customary 6 weeks to see if any of the remaining 33 are game. After that, it'll be trawling the next tier of lit agents (reminds me somewhat of moving through the levels of purgatory), along with sending the submission to the growing trend of publishers who bypass the lit agents, offering the in-house editing service. Makes sense to cut out the middle man and have a 50-50 deal for publisher and author. This trawling, to me, is the hard graft of being a novelist - the 6 months of writing my second novel was a breeze compared to this tedium. Of course, if and when (let's say when and keep positive!) I'm ever a consistent bestseller, they'll be knocking on my door! Already mulling over my 3rd book and it's probably going to be a non-fiction... watch this space!
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