After a few phone calls this morning, I discovered I'll be driving my mother to South Houston to see grandma this weekend. Gram wasn't able to have her cancer surgery because of the stroke, so mom wants to see her. I don't blame her at all.
After trying to figure out how to pack for both Mini and myself and keep the luggage count low for this trip, I've discovered how much I really miss my old train case. It was from the 60s, and it belonged to my mother. A very ugly piece of luggage, and make no doubt. I was about 7 or 8 when she passed it down to me, and I would use that as my suitcase wherever I went. I remember the interior had this smell you couldn't get rid of - like old perfume mixed with hairspray and baby powder. It was also a good case for Barbie storage - just sayin'. The one I had was a puke-tastic olive green, and had a gold ruffle interior and a single latch on the front. No Samsonite for us, we had generic luggage, and to date I haven't seen another one like it. We used it for all our family trips, and I'd take it with me whenever I went to someone's sleep over. I think it survived until the late 80s, or early 90s...until the latch broke. We got rid of it after that, and I've regretted it ever since!
I guess that will be my next eBay conquest: a vintage train case. The ghost of luggage past is haunting me, so I know I won't rest until I have another one of those train cases. Then again, when I consider how we've been traveling so much lately due to family emergencies and relatives being sick, it's probably not a bad idea to have a new train case on standby.
On to writerly things, I've been listening carefully to the dialogue going on about agents becoming publishers. I know agents have to eat and pay their bills, but I don't like the way the agent to e-publisher trend is flowing. I think Anonymous Person 7:18 AM posted an interesting idea in the comments on the agent's blog. They asked why agents are turning this route, and wondered why agents who need to branch out won't simply offer a contract negotiation service, or possibly offer a query package service.
I assume Anon 7:18 meant a query service as a business where you hire an agent to look over your query for you and offer advice. At any rate, I think that's a brilliant idea on both scores, both the contract and query services. I would much rather see agents go that route, there is no conflict of interest involved, and I could actually see myself using both services. For some people, it would make more business sense to pay an agent (or a literary lawyer) a one time fee to have them look over a contract, rather than them signing with an agency.
Also, after sitting through many Twitter #askagent sessions, and considering the number of query questions that pop up even when the topic of query letters has been forbidden, it seems to me that a query package service would be a booming business. Of course, that's just my impression.
I saw this article earlier today, and I'm copy and pasting the link here. It's a good article on why your agent should not be your publisher: http://www.redhammer.info/news/agent-publisher/ I know a lot of people are in disagreement over this topic right now, and I just want to say what may work for someone else, may not work for me. I'm fine with that. Even so, I'm posting this because I do hope more agents will consider other options to expand their businesses before jumping on board with a similar agent-to-publisher model.
All the agenting stuff aside, Let me just say I LOVE, love, love this new genre map over at Book Country! I want a poster of it for my office. http://www.bookcountry.com/books/Map/Default.aspx
It reminds me of the 1990s maps of the entire internet (at the time) that came with the old Windows 3.1 PCs. The internet was shown sectioned off into burroughs and labeled with the ISP companies. Le'see...I think at the time there was Juno, Prodigy, CompuServe, and AOL. Maybe Linux. There were a few others. Not many.
Anyway, I love the Book Country genre map. How cool is that? I love the way everything is grouped together. My inner nerd wants to print a copy and put up a little sticker on it that says, "You are here." But before I could do that, I'd have to figure out where my erotic android cyber vampires in space story would be categorized.