Remember “Live from Montreux?”  Those words above say so much.

To clarify. You do learn a hell of a lot when you write the query letter, get slapped around by a publisher and jump through meaningless hoops for them, send dozens of emails for $100, max.  If I tell you that it’s a monstrous ordeal, you won’t get it.  If you hurl yourself into that world, you will.  And since post-Boomers get less and less social security and need more and more cash, this is pretty important, wouldn’t you say?

A friend and I were cyber-discussing what we’d be doing in 20 years.  He said, “I have this 40 K book. That’s my down payment on a house.”  Because he’s a kind chap, I didn’t slam back “are you on the same planet with the rest of the unemployed journalists out here?”  I feel like publishers crown laissez-faire capitalism now.  I strongly suggest you get some writers guidelines and get skilled at slugging it out.  All our fine sentences are as dust to many: low cunning comes into play.

A few years ago an attorney shrugged when I asked if he’d attempted to publish what he wrote. He wrote every day and he went to two writers’ groups a week.  He didn’t see what difference that would make. Talking with a Chinese woman yesterday, she talked about how much she knew about the farmers because she volunteered every year.  Her international school sent them, in a group.  I said, “But maybe you’d learn lots more if you went through the bureaucracy like normal people do, and taught in some of those schools…”

You get the idea.  Publish and get wise.  By the by:  do it for money. Editorial staff is sweet when you’re giving them what they want, for free.  But try selling your words. Then they are truly … rapacious.

Les McCann and Eddie Harris told us all about this.

Did anybody out there go to Ghode Jaatra in Nepal yesterday? Take any photos? (Photo of everyday Nepalese army ponies attached.)  I missed it, and I love horses. The Army/Police even had jumping, out by Bir Hospital.  I was glued to my netbook for too many hours.   I had to cut a nice horse (named Toboggan) out of this English story and fill the spot with a dog.  

 Keep well, keep writing.

Mary Ann in Kathmandu


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