Monday, March 7, 2011

CKR: Jan - Feb 2011

(continued from August - December 2010...)


No entries were posted this month


“CKR” Diary Post No. 49
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
The chapter numbers have changed again. Feeling inspired by a recent editing spree with DeSain (thanks, Gale!), I slashed and combined the first two chapters of CKR and entirely re-wrote the opening. At the risk of repeating myself, I think it’s MUCH better this time…

The knob was in my hand. I could have turned it, walked out, shut the conference room door, grabbed the legal pad off my desk, and hauled ass back to the motel room my wife had exiled me to. But, although leaving Alex alone with a pretty girl is like walking a small dog in the Everglades – stupid and dangerous to attempt, but entertaining to watch – leaving him at the station with a pretty reporter seemed a threat to my career. I had no choice.

I was thinking of changing Jimmy’s character from British to Australian, too. For personal reasons. But I like him the way he is, so I’ll go back and correct the few changes I’ve already made. Cuz fuck personal reasons; Jimmy was British going into this gig – unless I’m told different, I think he oughtta come out the same way.

It’s no secret I’ve been stalled lately in both promoting CKR and writing DeSain. But I recently took on the task of helping a friend with her first novel. The exercise and energy have been good for my mojo. I’ve been producing material, moving forward, for a couple weeks now. Last night, with Scott in his new territory of Ohio, I wrote in the office ‘til one a.m., set up the trundle bed next to Rocko’s bed, then woke up, ready to write, at eight. It feels great to be spurred on. For a while, I couldn’t chisel out the time between the house and kids and dog to write. When I did, the task seemed like drudgery. To be excited about writing again is…well, exciting.

Aside from looking forward to the concert in Hollywood on March 8 (only a month away?!) and the cruise that boards April 7, there’s not much Kid Rock news to report. He’s still in the dark as far as I know with respect to the manuscript. I have a lead, though: a woman in Virginia wrote his biography and got his attention. Hopefully, she can suggest a contact. Now that the ms has changed (again), I’d like him to have the new, improved one.

I’m also going to start seriously submitting to agents. That’s something else that inspired the re-write. Leaving CKR to gather dust in the closet is contributing to my high blood pressure. Even if I get rejected, at least I’ll feel like I’m doing something. Waiting for Kid Rock to show up with a pen has so far, as a strategy for success, earned itself a check in the “NO RESULTS” column. If that changes, I’ll let you know...

Post Script, Wednesday, February 02, 2011: You know that tingly, nervous, anxious sensation you get during a scary movie, just before you know something’s about to happen? What does it mean when that same sensation creeps up on you in “real life”? Could it be a sign? Or a warning? I remember sightseeing once, while on a business trip at the Homestead Resort in Virginia, and driving past a beautiful gorge and waterfall. Camera in hand, I pulled over and started walking down the steep, winding path and was suddenly overcome with fear. For over an hour, I’d been driving around taking pictures of the landscape. I’d stopped the car and explored a dozen locations, including a cemetery. Wanting to get a closer look at the waterfall, I tried to brush off my anxiety. Every step closer made me feel more and more like throwing up. I finally had to turn around. My heart was pounding, my skin tacky with sweat, and my chest heavy. I was literally, though irrationally, terrified. Once back in the car, I felt better immediately – except I was pissed I hadn’t gotten the photo.

I have no idea why I couldn’t walk down that path. All I know is that “something” didn’t want me to. Maybe my senses guessed the climb was too dangerous in those shoes. Or that the ravine was a former (future?) crime scene. Having heard nothing about the place, before or since, all I can do is speculate. Whatever the reason, my body reacted to the energy there and sent me what I interpreted as an unmistakable message: Get the fuck out.

That same nervous, anxious chill hit me this morning while I was typing the Diary entry you just read. In fact, I’ve experienced it a lot with regard to this book. It’s accompanied nearly every Diary entry, including the introduction on the original site. At every Pens meeting I brought chapters to I got goosebumps. While doing Internet research, drafting emails, or writing blog posts dealing with CKR, I regularly feel light-headed and tingly. I’m actually feeling it right now. I’ve come to expect it. What’s funny is, until today, I hadn’t really noticed.

Here’s what I think: In February 2006, I interpreted the feeling as a warning, like I did in Virginia. It would explain why I fought the idea of the book so hard. Why would I pursue a project that made me almost literally sick whenever I thought about it? Thing was, in Virginia, moving forward made me feel WORSE; with CKR, moving forward makes me feel BETTER. Same sensation, different trigger. Think of it like anxious versus eager (aka murder trial vs. christmas morning), or tears of sadness versus tears of joy.

How I came to this theory began with a search for potential agents on Preditors & Editors (dot-com). Scanning names and genre preferences, while experiencing that familiar tingle running and up down my spine, I got a wild hair and jumped forward to check out my agent for IB, who was suggested by my publisher. Reading the words “Conflict of interest” and “Not recommended” made my heart flutter. Then I read my publisher’s listing: “Strongly not recommended...1/16/07: P&E has received numerous complaints about this publisher.”

I wasn’t surprised by the strong sense of loathing that engulfed me or that it reminded me of how I felt descending that path in Virginia. But I WAS surprised to notice that it felt an awful lot like the sensation I’d been experiencing immediately before I looked up Barbara Casey and ArcheBooks. Without the second, I might never have noticed the first. What made it enlightening was that, although the two sensations were similar, their messages were completely different: one felt like GO, the other like STOP.

Though I’ve shared this thinking you’d get a kick out of it, its significance has more to do with my morale than anything else. The few times I’ve noticed any butterflies-in-the-tummy thing, I’ve blown it off as guilt – so many people told me CKR was a waste of my time, working on it became a guilty pleasure. As a result, despite consistently believing in it, I’ve treated it like a forbidden fruit and been ashamed to admit I’ve worked on it. Now, I understand the butterflies are simply my body reacting to energy and sending a message. I just wish I knew what the damn thing was…

“CKR” Diary Post No. 50
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
A letter from our mortgage company, stating our payments were going up $500 a month in response to unreasonable insurance rates, prompted me to stop stalling and get an agent query out. I’ve gotta make some money. Artists & Artisans, Inc., say they’ll respond quickly if they like the project, not at all if they don’t. Let’s hope my inbox starts humming soon…

“CKR” Diary Post No. 51
Friday, February 11, 2011
Wasn’t going to query more than one agent at a time (it’s common, but – I think – rude), but saw someone’s bio and couldn’t help myself. Based on what I’ve read on agent sites, I’ll be hearing from these people in 20 minutes to 3 months. Tick…tick…tick…

“CKR” Diary Post No. 52
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Posted the first four months’ worth of entries on yesterday. In my search for agents, which consists of a lot of website scouring, I found a lot of material on “how to” and “how not to” get their attention. A couple of people stated they’re extremely interested in bloggers, specifically good writers who’ve learned to cultivate an audience online. I thought, “Hey, I can do that!” I also thought, if an agent happened to like the idea of posting a journal about a book to generate interest in the book, I’d rather not direct him/her to MySpace and FreeWebSpace and say, “It’s all there - figure it out!”

The plan is to post all 65, single-spaced pages of the Diary to, possibly prior to the Kid Rock Cruise on April 7. That’s roughly a month and a half. After the cruise, I’m seriously hoping this ride takes a new direction. With all posts situated online, in an orderly fashion, I’ll be able to start clean from there and share in real time again.

“CKR” Diary Post No. 53
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Our neighbors dropped by last night with a program from a friend’s retirement party. The retiree was a fireman, as is our neighbor. On the back cover was the story of the firefighters’ red, eight-pointed cross and the history of firefighting, in general. It seems their roots began with the crusades and the Knights of St. John the Hospitaller, otherwise known as the Knights of Malta. Hence, the Maltese cross. (What are the odds?)

Guess you could say we have a knight next door. I find that comforting.

His wife (whose name, as I've mentioned, happens to be Ted’s pet name for Kate in CKR) had a great suggestion for creating a buzz about the book: Have two hotties walk around an event wearing t-shirts that say “CKR.” Provide them little or no information, just let them draw attention and make people wonder. It’s a great idea for the 500, but I don’t think the conflict of interest would be beneficial to Scott’s career. Plus, I Googled CKR and got a string of sites that have nothing to do with Kid Rock or the book, making the context of the 500 too broad to be effective.

On the other hand, I Googled Kid Rock and CKR and a few links to the Diary popped up. That makes it a fabulous idea for the concert and the cruise. Problem is, I couldn’t bring myself to ask strangers to “wear my t-shirt,” whether I could pay them for it or not. And I couldn’t do it, myself; I’d feel like a walking business card. Then there’s the question of whether Scott would even let me do it. He certainly wouldn’t join me if I did. Oh, the trials and tribulations…

I did come across a bit of what could be good news in the quest for an agent. While checking into contact information for Kid Rock this morning, I found his talent agent is based in Los Angeles at an entertainment and LITERARY agency…


The odds that what Wikipedia reports as being “the leading talent agency” will represent me are beyond slim (look up Creative Artists Agency and see for yourself). I’d be lucky if they read my query letter. Luckier still if they answered it. A foot in the door—like a recommendation from an existing client—would certainly help. Anyone know how to get in touch with Brad Pitt, George Clooney, or Oprah?

(to be continued...)

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