Sunday, March 26, 2006

Baseball is a place where memory gathers...

Poet Donald Hall stated this in a film interview, and if you are anything like me,your fondest memories from growing up involves baseball in one shape or form.Baseball has been around for over 200 years. Soldiers played it during the CivilWar. It is played in parks and playgrounds, streets and alleys, lonely fields and farmer’sfields, prison yards and corporate picnics; baseball appeals to the young and the old. Baseball combines the importance of teamwork and the individual battle between a pitcherand a batter.And baseball endures.My earliest memories of baseball are my earliest memories, period. I can stillremember the phone number of the apartment I lived in in Bellflower, California in the1970’s when I was just a small boy playing my earliest years in Little League. I rememberthat phone number because it was written on my baseball glove in case I ever lost it. Icarried that glove with me everywhere. The park I played ball in was only a block away. The Manager of my first team was a great teacher and made the game a lot of fun. It wasthen that I first fell in love with baseball.I still have the baseball cards from those years, and my Mother still has that oldmitt. Now it’s worn and cracked and the phone number on the mitt is now nothing morethan an ink smudge. But in that glove is a lot of fond memories. That glove carried meout to right field my first year, over to left the following year, and to second base afterthat. It sat lonely on the bench while I was at bat, and that old glove performed equallywell for me in the outfield and infield alike. My family moved away from the suburbs ofLos Angeles, eventually, and I bought a new glove for my growing hand. But the newglove was never as soft and dependable as my first beloved glove.I used to take that old leather glove to Dodger games back then. My aunt hadseason tickets down the first base line. I marveled at the batting skills of Steve Garveyand Ron Cey. I studied Dave Lopes’ techniques as he inched away from the first base baguntil the pitcher committed his pitch to home, and then dashed to second for yet anotherstolen base. Don Sutton pitched mercilessly, striking out the best hitters in baseball. I hadthe opportunity to see Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, George Foster, and TomSeaver play when the “Big Red Machine” came to town. The cross-town Angels added tothe excitement with Nolan Ryan’s fastball and Grich’s defensive magic. Baseball wasmagical, and I made sure I watched every televised “Game of the Week.”Then something peculiar happened. I grew up. I discovered the many wonderfulthings that life had to offer. The importance of baseball faded a little. I watched a handfulof games, but baseball became less involved with my daily life, and my fondest memoriesfaded like the ink on my first glove...for a while.Then I returned to baseball, and baseball had endured. The battle between the owners and the players remained the same, and work stoppages had tarnished the shinychrome of baseball’s image. None the less, the game was still there. A new crop ofsuperstars had emerged. Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn proved that there was still a fewclass acts out there. Ripken, McGwire, Sosa, and Barry Bonds showed that impossiblerecords can still be broken, and broken again. The home run erupted once again as alethal weapon, and the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony still brings tears to the eyes.And the memories gather in a new millennium. Ichiro demonstrated that the long-ballisn’t the only lethal weapon in Baseball. Bret Boone and Curt Schilling have showed usthat sometimes a new venue can create superstars. Arizona and Anaheim reminded us thatthe big boys on the east coast can be dethroned every once in a while. The Red Sox andWhite Sox taught us to believe in miracles rather than curses, and the Angels have learned to spread theirwings. Despite strikes, rumors of strikes, and the avoidance of strikes just before thedeadline, my love for the game has endured. Baseball has endured. And baseball willalways be important to me and my memories, because baseball is a place where thememory gathers.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Conspiracy reaches its final leg

As Israel searches for a nuclear warhead hidden in the secret tunnels beneath South Lebanon, National Security Agency historian, Jarrod MacPherson, uncovers a conspiracy aimed at launching a global economic partnership that could bring the United States to its economic knees. A coded cipher skipjacked by text message from the President of the United States moments before his assassination drags Jarrod and a lovely Israeli Mossad agent unwittingly into a web of intrigue and espionage. Betrayed on all sides, they must countermand a nuclear plot launched by the globalists, and the final key to disarming the enemy is an encryption key that activates a failsafe code hidden in the cipher sent to him in the beginning, and a password concealed in the name of Leonardo Da Vinci.

The Novel has been proof-read, re-written, proof-read again, and now I am proof-reading it again. Soon, I will be sending it out to my beta-readers, and then out to agencies to see what they think. Keep in touch, this may be the one that puts me over the top.

Perseverance is the key.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Profanity is okay on television, but God is not!

Apparently I've been had and fell for a rumer that Madeline Murray O'Hare, an atheist, had been granted a federal hearing on the same subject by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, DC. Their petition, Number 2493, would ultimately pave the way to stop the reading of the gospel on the airwaves of America. http://www.family.org/fofmag/cl/a0026166.cfm
However, I stand by my stance that Christianity is continuously under attack, and such attackers are normally considered to be courageous and are commended, but if one defends Christianity the person is considered narrow-minded. Matthew 24:9 says, in Jesus' words: ...you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake.

think about it.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The bad agent I encountered

A visitor recently made a comment that they were interested in hearing about my experience with the bad agent that I had. Okay, here it goes:

I queried this particular agent, along with a number of other queries, in January of 2005. After back and forth communication and the sending of materials, I signed a contract (which was a very good contract, at that) in April. I was not worried about them because I read an article about the agency in which the lead agent indicated that they rejected 98% of queries. Surely an agency that rejects most work is not a scam, I thought to myself. Unfortunately, I was not knowledgeable of sites like http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/ and http://www.sfwa.org/beware/ yet. I also did not understand the importance of an agent being a member of the Association of Artists' Representatives (http://www.aar-online.org/mc/directory/viewsimplesearch.do?orgId=aar).

As the time passed they indicated to me that I must pay for my own copies, etc. I could make the copies myself and send them to them, or pay $250 to cover the cost for them to do it. I chose to make the copies myself, but since they gave me that option, once again no red flags went up. Then they asked for money to put my picture on their website, but it was not mandatory, so once again, it didn't worry me. They asked me to submit the stamps for the submissions, so I did. Once again, they didn't ask for money, so I felt safe. Then the submission process began. I, however, did not receive much information other than that they were submitting my work and would be in touch. It occurred to me, based on the wording of their correspondence, that all of the submissions were being sent by mail. They didn't have a finger on the pulse of the business, and they had no connections per se that they could just call up on the phone and say, "Hey, have I got a novel for you." Then, when there were no bites by publishers on my work they had no back-up plan as well.

Then I found out about the sites listed above, and I came across information on Absolute Write http://www.absolutewrite.com/ about this agent as well. It was not good. Then, I did not get copies of the rejection letters, and the list of publishers that they sent to me indicating who they sent my work to was mostly small market publishers that didn't even require having an agent to submit to.

I was disappointed, and devastated, but chalked it up to being a part of my learning process.

I fail to mention the name of the agent because they have already gone after one writer for defamation, and I am not in the mood for that. But, research is an important key. Make sure that your agent is not a chump.

Also, ensure the agent represents the type of material you are sending them, or they will just reject it. Not that rejections are all that bad. It is necessary to receive rejections. How else can one find a "yes" without wading through all of the "noes"?

I read later in Noah Lukeman's "The First Five Pages" that when searching for an agent, make sure that the industry recognizes them as an agent. Bad agents can hurt you because your name with the publisher will be remembered if sent by a bad agent, and some publishers, when they see a work sent by certain bad agents will toss the manuscript in the trash just because of who is representing it.

Comment if you want other details regarding my tale, and feel free to visit my website and leave a guestbook entry, or you can even e-mail me, even if it's to give me a piece of your mind.

http://www.geocities.com/douglasvgibbs
douglasvgibbs@yahoo.com

peace, and God Bless you. notw.