Monday, April 7, 2008

Why Can't Everyone Be More Like Me?

On Common Sense Etiquette

Am I the only one who thinks parking in someone's driveway uninvited is an act of rudeness? All I know is, I wouldn't do it.

Husband has sales representatives, business associates, would be buyers of high end audio equipment and friends come over at all times of the day. Many of them think it's a-ok to park either behind my car, or, if I'm not home, in the empty space in the driveway. Why do they do this? I have come home from hours of running errands, with loads of groceries to unload, only to find I have to park in the street and shlep it all up my driveway. I don't like this. And when I get in the front door my attitude reflects this. I want to walk in and ask, who's the jerk with the overinflated sense of entitlement who parked in my driveway? But I don't say that, Husband thinks it's rude.

Rude! I'll tell what's rude. As defined by Webster's, its disrespect and failure to behave within the context of a society or group of people's social laws or etiquette. That pretty much sums up the self indulgent, thoughtless chowderhead who took my space. I'll bet you pounds to pennies that no one parks in his driveway.

When did being number one outweigh common courtesy? My gracious and never offensive Grammy always says, "The more people I meet, the more I love my dog." I agree with her. A dog would not park in my driveway.

So I come in the house with an attitude and request that the person not park in the driveway next time. I think I'm being nice. I'm establishing a rule, no big deal. Husband thinks it is a big deal, for me to even ask nicely. So sometimes I have to let my attitude speak for me. And Husband has followed me into my office to tell me how offensive I'm being, by giving said person the stink eye.

Well, I'll tell you, it works. Recently a fellow who works with Husband was here and parked behind my van. When I headed out the door, car keys jingling in my hand, you should have seen this guy race ahead of me to move his car. Husband commented that the guy was afraid of me. Good.

Some things are just common sense courtesy. Using car blinkers comes to mind. I start signaling as soon as I know I"m going to turn, so eveyone on the road with me knows what I'm going to do. I'm behind a car as we come to a stop light. I'm going straight ahead, as I am assuming the car in front of me will do. But no, by the time the light has changed and a line of cars are now on my right, this idiot decides to turn on this left signal and I'm stuck. If the driver had the courtesy of putting his signal on sooner, I could have gotten into the right lane. Forget about World Peace, visualize using your signal!

People on cell phones in public places...don't get me started. I was guilty of this just this morning when I received a call as I was shopping. I made the call as short as possible. As I put the phone away, I heard a woman behind me say, "You ran right into me." I apologized profusely and said, "This why people shouldn't be allowed to use a phone while driving a shopping cart. I'm really sorry." Sometimes we do rude things unconsciously. We don't mean to. Someone gets annoyed or downright angry. I will tell you the secret to diffusing any situation lke this. Apologize. And mean it.

I just think it comes down to considering the other guy. It comes down to using some common sense. In fact, it comes down to thinking beyond your all important self for two minutes. Don't think the rules are for everyone except you. Who the heck do you think you are? And don't park in my driveway.

I swear, if everyone were more like me, the world would be a better place.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The First Rejection

This is the e-query I am sending out:

Sixteen-year-old Carrie Sutton lives in exciting times; it is 1860 Wyoming, the Civil War is heating up, and the Pony Express is making its inaugural run. Carrie yearns to be one of the Pony Express riders and own the spirited black stallion, Outlaw, one of the finest Express horses. To realize her dream, Carrie must convince her widowed and fearful stepmother and overcome the resistance of the sinister Pony Express supervisor. Before her adventure is over, Carrie encounters a mysterious Indian, helps to expose a secret society, endures loss and finds love in unexpected places, and grows from a wild-eyed girl to a self-assured young woman.

Riding On The Wind, complete at 48,200 words, is the first of a series. Researching the shelves at Barnes and Noble and Borders, I find most of the books directed at pre-teen and teen girls are fantasy or topical subjects. Girls are ready for a heroine like Carrie Sutton -- unconventional, independent and ready to make it in an 1860's man’s world. To appeal to and increase readership for this series, I have written several short stories, telling of Carrie’s life as an eight-year-old in the gold mining camps in the Black Hills and am setting up a blog, which will be Carrie’s Diary. The second book, Outlaws, in which Carrie joins with a band of Shoshone Indians to search for her horse in California, is also completed.

I self-published Riding On The Wind in 1996 and I have always felt it deserved a larger audience than self-publishing permits. It received very favorable reviews from Library Science Journal and KIATT, among others, helping to sell it to many libraries across the country.

I am a housewife, mother and member of SCBWI.. I write for juveniles and young adults because I want to write the kind of books I loved as a young girl. I think I’ve done that with Riding On The Wind.

I start at the top, as most do, when I query. So this went out to Trident Media Group in NYC. And they said:

Thank you very much for your query letter. Unfortunanately after careful consideration I regret that I am not the right agent for your work at this time. Of course this prcess is a very subjective one, and often times what is not right for one agent will be perfect for another. Here's wishing you great success in all of your writing endeavors.

So there I go. Next up is another NYC big agency for this book. And a list of publications for my list of shorter projects.
Cross fingers.