Pitmad observations

A few days ago there was a Twitter event called Pitmad. Basically you write your best book pitch in 140 characters or less, tag it with the #pitmad hashtag, and lots of agents and publishers camp Twitter as much as possible and add the most likely ones to their favorites. If you get a fav, you get to query the agent.

Anyway, the agents were griping about how all they see is young adult fantasy and they wished for [insert genre here]. While I know a lot of them work with imprints that only publish, say, romance, I found it very interesting. There were a lot of fantasy queries (I read lots of them with interest).

It made me think about gatekeepers. Really, we’re presented with the kinds of books they think we’d like to read, or should read. Compared to the sheer numbers of people with stories out there, published books are really a very narrow range. No wonder the indie books are going crazy. I’m not a fan of Howey’s Wool, but it was different and fits the cultural depression of the moment. Or the Song of the Summer King, a book with griffin main characters.

A lot of indie books I’ve read have been an unedited mess, but there have been some really fantastic ones, too. I’ve read some really good stuff in exchange for reviews. And, moreover, they’re different. Way different from the samey-samey you see on the shelf.

I know there’s sort of a war on between Amazon and the big publishers right now, and I hate to pick sides. There’s merits and drawbacks to both traditional publication and self-publication. But watching the agents talk about how they’re tired of certain genres and want to see other stuff–especially the sex-heavy New Adult genre–is eye-opening. The system is old and tired, and Amazon is blowing some fresh winds of change.

My sister’s wedding

I took an eclectic bunch of photos at my sister’s wedding, so without adieu, behold the randomness!

It was an almost entirely homemade wedding–taking place in my parents’ vast front yard, with friends and family providing food and entertainment. My sister works at a florist, who gave her a good deal on the flowers.


Here she is, making bouquets, boutonnieres, and table flower arrangements. She worked for days and she was exhausted.


Here’s the guests at the reception. I didn’t get any pictures of the wedding ceremony itself because I was a bridesmaid, and a bridesmaid snapping pictures would just be tacky. It doesn’t look like it, but there were over 120 people there.


The cake table, with lots of cupcakes for guests. The food tent was just beyond this. My aunts spotted my son sneaking cupcake frosting. There were some hilarious shots taken of other cousins being told they had to wait for cupcakes, and the kids’ reactions.


Cutting the cake, my lovely sister and new brother in law.


Observers large and small.


There were also rootbeer floats along with cake, which upped the party mood. It’s amazing how hyper everybody got, completely without alcohol. As it got dark, they handed out the glowstcks …


And cranked up the music…


And then it really got fun. I was so busy dancing around and waving glowsticks that I didn’t take any more pictures. But it was excellent. We all agreed it set a new standard for Fun Party.


The other realm

I just finished rereading Linnets and Valarians by Elizabeth Goudge. We only discovered her because she was on Rowling’s list of books that influenced Harry Potter. It’s lovely fantasy set in 1912 England, and the kids have to help undo a terrible curse on a prominant family in the village.

But what freaked me out was her author’s note in the back, talking about the real village, the white and black witches, the friendly elves, and a strange disappearing wood. These were all things the villagers had told her and she hasn’t room for them in the book.

I know she was a Christian–her books are full of glorious grace and salvation–but how does a modern Christian tackle Magick, and voodoo, and elves, and the in-between realm? I find that it doesn’t fit in my nice Christian boxes.


I’ve taken the plunge and joined Instagram under netraptor001. Since I don’t have proper Internet and can’t use my proper camera, I figured I might as well join the hipsters. But I tracked down a widget that shows my photo feed, so now everybody can see random pictures of stuff. Yay!