Friday, December 31, 2010

Improbable

...
How about them UNC football Heels?

Insane win in Music City Bowl. Absolutely nuts.

Happiness.
...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A happy evening in Tar Heel Country

...

The major theme of the University of North Carolina football team's 2010 story has – at last – shifted from remorse to resilience.

Last Thursday, UNC chancellor Holden Thorp endorsed Butch Davis in a manner that allowed observers to feel, perhaps, a corner has been turned in this NCAA investigation/academic scandal saga that began in July.

The following day (Friday), a prized recruit picked UNC, while yesterday (Saturday), North Carolina – a 10-point underdog – prevailed in dramatic fashion for a victory against Florida State, a vastly superior team that was out coached and outplayed. The victory on the field was matched with the triumph in the court of public opinion. And rightly so.

It has been an unfortunate span of time since July, and through it all, Butch Davis has handled himself with patience and resolve. While many in the media called for his head on a spit, Davis kept his team focused on the issues that they could control, such as playing as well as they could in each game.

Player suspensions, the NCAA investigation, the shameless, self-serving witch hunt of virtually every major newspaper in the state of North Carolina, including the Daily Tar Heel, kept providing challenges for Butch and the team. I say shameless because of the lack of due process, and the manner in which the media behaved reminded me of the Duke lacrosse team's situation – a truly shameless asterisk in the realm of justice.


What goes around often has a way of returning. Karma, like rust, the IRS and hope, never sleeps.

Saturday evening, UNC won its first football game EVER on the road against FSU. The Heels are now 6-3 in 2010 in what many predicted would be a lost season.

Go Heels!
...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A bleak and sorry-assed day

...

John Boehner will be the Speaker of the House.

My work here is done ... for the moment.

...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Should I stay or should I go?

...

Trent Jones – my lead character in WHO KILLED 20G? –  plays poker a lot better than I do, or so I have found out the past six weeks.

Here are some conclusions:

1. Don't chase a flush.

2. Don't chase a straight.

3. Patience, as always, is genius.

Some might say that good cards come and go, similar to the tide. Perhaps that's true, but I've seen bad cards for 50 hands in a row. The streaks with good cards are often quite short. At least it seems that way.

I know why Trent plays poker. He's good at it, and it beats working. For me, I like playing cards, and the more I play (free chips/online), the more I learn. But that's online poker, which can only be about the actions players take. There's no body language; you're staring at cartoon avatars with cute names.

Ultimately, it really does come down to Kenny Rogers: You've got to know when to fold 'em.
...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Been awhile

...
Busy in August working on WHO KILLED 20G?

September? Where has it gone?

...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Back to the drawing board?

...
How much more will we see Tiger Woods this season? 
Would he be a good Ryder Cup choice now? No.

As for the playoffs, he starts back in the pack and would need to strongly contend, maybe even win, to stay alive at some point.

And that's if he 
wanted to continue to fail in public.

In my view, the incubation phase of torment – nine months since november – evolved in the manner of a kaleidoscope: with each shift of the glass, the images changed into different, and yet similar, forms of uncertainty, disgrace, denial and confusion. Everyone who follows golf understood what the week at Firestone meant for Tiger's recovery.

He'd owned this golf course, and he was coming off a week in Scotland where only his putter was out of whack. I assumed he'd climbed out of the pit, but he's obviously fallen back in. The performance in the first three rounds in Akron has been a monumental setback in that it has stolen hope and confidence. And every second of this dysfunction, like his life since Thanksgiving, has been observed.

Some might suggest karma or penance. They'd be right.

I think his best option is to call Time Out.

And then figure out which step he should take next.

I had the golf on yesterday afternoon without sound and watched snippets of Tiger's third round lowlights. I thought i was watching a forestry documentary, or the PGA version of 
"The Perils of Pauline."

Each time i viewed the screen Tiger was either in the woods or perched upon a precipice of impending disaster. All that was missing was cheesy music, and a guy with a thin moustache long enough to curl upwards, dressed in black – hat, coat, pants and shirt –  snarling as he tied Tiger to the railroad tracks. Round the bend, the 911 to Cleveland, with smoke spiraling and Casey Jones himself at the controls, comes into view. Oh dear.

I was glad to witness the "golf" without the drone of Nantz and company.

Tiger's body language was that of a weary mute.

...

Monday, July 19, 2010

King Louis

...
Some random thoughts in regard to The Open Championship.

1. Louis Oosthuizen dusted the field with class. Seems like a great guy.

2. His wife wears nice boots.

3. Paul Casey handled himself quite well, particularly with his comments at the conclusion of play.

4. Few people outside the ropes gave Louis much of a chance. Where has he been? Will we see this level of driving excellence again? Louis putted great, but I think the driver was the key club. The analysts kept saying that when Louis drives the ball well, the rest of his game follows suit. Obviously.

5. Method or no method, Tiger Woods is officially in the worst putting slump of his life. Karma is a bastid.

6. Golf heads into the fourth quarter. I wonder when we will see Tiger again. He carves up Firestone like an Iron Chef, so that would be my guess. Maybe he will even contend.

7. The Euros look formidable on paper for The Ryder Cup. Revenge is in their hearts, as well. I'm elated that Louis will not be on that team.

8. Retief Goosen and Ernie Els predicted that this was just the start for Louis. I hope so, mostly because The Open Championship seems to allow One Hit Wonders that never return to the charts with another tune.

9. I am not a fan of St. Andrews as it is currently set up. Neither the opening or the closing holes are worthy of a major. Of course, the history is there, but really, when you have a landing area that would serve a 757, it's not exactly the kind of pressure one might have to begin or end a round, for instance at Carnoustie. A great deal of the pressure at St. Andrews comes from the history of the place and the magnitude of the event, not enough from the golf course.

One suggestion is that new bunkers are needed to foil the modern technology, and perhaps a series of unexpected hazards, such as snakes, land mines and clowns.

When you have someone putt for eagle 4 times in a round (as Tiger did), and there are only 2 par 5s, something's not quite right.

The 18th hole is a horrible finishing hole. The drama is on 16 and 17, and those two, in a perfect world in my view, would finish.
...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Method And Its Madness

...
I'd say the biggest news early today at The Open Championship is that Tiger has benched The Method, in favorite of his oldest, and perhaps only friend: The Scotty Cameron putter. Those harsh sounds you're hearing are Nike executives shouting spicy epithets that don't belong in a family show.

Weiskopf and Strange are saying it's not a big deal. But I doubt they'd say that to Nike.

Weiskopf said that Tiger has nothing to lose. That's for sure. We've all heard the legendary Tom Kite stories that he would take a putting lesson from anyone. I don't think Tiger has wandered into that house of mirrors. Not yet anyway. Perhaps he truly believes an equipment change is what is needed.

But I'm always suspicious when players at the elite level blame the arrow. In some cases and types of clubs/shafts, it's true: The arrow can hurt you.

My opinion about the putter is similar to the one I have about religion. The truly fortunate have the most faith. There's no decision. No mulling. No pondering. It is what is. You either believe or you don't. Some believe, and most of us wonder. I think this is true for putting.

For most of his career, Tiger Woods had that confidence in his putter. A friend suggested  that Tiger's putting will improve when his off-course life settles down. I don't think he'd mind that I share that insight here, because it seems so true.  Karma is a fickle customer.

Putting. It can make or break you. Ben Hogan, for instance, believed that putting was a completely different animal than golf. I doubt that Loren Roberts or Brad Faxon would agree.  For most of his career, Tiger would not agree, either.  Tiger's comeback is nearly complete with the swing, imo, but his putting has meandered into the mental world.

Harvey Penick once said without a trace of snark, "if you want to be a better putter, make some putts."
Confidence. Confidence. Confidence.

Even Jack had putting slumps, and one was so bad, he had a putter  with a face about the size of a broom in 1986 at Augusta. And we know how that week turned out. But it was just that week.  Still, a bunch of those over-sized clubs were sold in a matter of moments. Imagine the Nike dream on Thursday. They were drinking champagne and mulling the profits on Thursday night after Tiger had a very good putting round with The Method. Today, they're hunting advil and valium. Meanwhile, Scotty Cameron will be watching with renewed interest. His putter has been paroled, and is back in society. But will it succeed?

My opinion is that the evolution of Tiger's putting will echo his work with his swing. He's going to have flickers of Old Tiger, and those flickers will happen more and more, and last longer until he does get the confidence back.

I think it's going to be soon that Tiger wins again. I also believe that once The Ryder Cup and FedEx Cup have been completed, the default reboot will be a huge benefit.  As will more distance and time from last Thanksgiving.

...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

John Deere Letter

...

John Deere Classic?


What are the minimum requirements for the use of the word classic?  No offense to that part of the country, or lawn mower fanatics, but I am not exactly wrapping my arms around the notion that this event is a classic.

Yes, there is $4.4 million up for grabs and 500 FedEx Cup Points, not to mention some Christina Kim calendars, three pairs of socks worn by Stevie Williams, a can of STP, a gift certificate to Portillo's, and a map (to get the heck out of there).

I kid Silvis. I kid.

Oddly enough, I was unable to find confirmation of several suspicions in regard to "famous characters" in the region.

Long John Silvis. Our country's first land-locked pirate. "Legend" has it that LJS rustled cows with a souped up tractor, made by none other than the tournament's sponsor. As LJS made his getaway, meandering down 2-lane country roads with his newly acquired livestock. he was heard to yell, "Hi Ho Silvis."

Silvis Pressley:  A young man was working in his garden in East Moline was struck by lightning. He never knew what hit him, but when he woke, he couldn't stop singing "Hound Dog" and "Suspicious Minds." As he recovered, his passions turned from horticulture to fried banana sandwiches and jumpsuits.

The Young And The Silvis: Imagine that Grace Metallious (who wrote PEYTON PLACE) moved to Illinois after the success for her breakout best seller. Steamy stories in the heartland involving man, farming machines and lust. And, of course, women. Let's not forget the women.

The Silvis Chalice: Annually awarded to the do gooder who done the most good. This legendary crystal, so "they" say, was also used to give Madonna a drink of Fanta grape soda one afternoon when her entourage stopped to refuel at The Silvis Truck Centre.

Phil Silvis: As a youth, Phil Perkins was the class clown. His favorite TV show was "You'll Never Get Rich", which was also sometimes called "Sgt. Bilko." Phil loved the show because of the star, who had a snappy delivery, very similar to the speech intensity and pattern that current movie actor Vince Vaughn employs. (But I digress.)

Anyway, Phil legally changed his last name to the name of his home town, and a clever (or so he thought) homage to his favorite actor, Phil Silvers. Eventually, fantasy got the better of Phil Silvis. He  found an Army surplus store and bought a sergeant's uniform and was known to march up and down main street until the soles of his bare feet turned black.

But one day, Phil Silvis met Silvis Pressley at the corner of Main and Not So Main and a partnership was born. They hit the road as what many "historians" insist was the last vaudeville act of the 20th century. They now operate a fruit stand and occasional entertainment complex in Prophetstown, some 35 miles northeast of their home town.

...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sunday at Aronimink

...
Seems like we just did this.

Justin Rose perched at the top of the leaderboard before the start of a final round on the PGA Tour.

Rose channeled The Houdini I-Hop yesterday. Lots of escapes and scrambling. He got up and down from maximum insecurity at least four times. Dottie Pepper alert as in here comes what we already know: It was not a consistent ball striking round, but Rose kept his cool, and in a way, was still able to attack the golf course.

Aronimink is worthy of its own post, despite how much CBS (Finch and Faldo in particular) keep trying to sell us how great the place is. I can see that, as you can. Helen Keller could see it. In other words, we get it. Most of the viewing audience will never get the chance to play there, so why all the hype?

Of course, it is in great shape. And yes, the greens were never meant to be set up at the speed we will likely see today. Ron Prichard was mentioned several times. I thought one very interesting nugget was that Prichard studied Aronimink for 18 months before working on the course. That's very strong, imo.

It's really odd how much Terry Gannon has progressed as an on-air personality. He's got a compelling timbre to his voice, which is so much more appealing than Tilghman's steely drone. Gannon also has a sense of humor. I like how he works with Faldo much better than Nantz, who is relentlessly corporate.

The early coverage today will have some Tiger, who is due for a good round. Tiger was actually friendly and receptive in the interview I saw yesterday. Maybe the plus side is that he gets to leave Aronimink early today for his flight to Europe. I believe he's playing in a pro-am tomorrow. That ought to be interesting. But then again, my guess is that Tiger Woods One has plenty of beds.

Hope everyone has a pleasant July 4th.

And that reminds me of David Feherty, who is celebrating his first July 4th as an American citizen. I am impressed with Feherty's devotion to those in (or have been in) the military.

Feherty is the best aspect of CBS coverage, imo. And not because of his wit, but rather his honesty.  The task of being a voice on mainstream TV is to be compelling and corporate. Most of the announcers lean to much to the corporate. Feherty retains his individuality while blending into the mix.

Here's my "all-star" lineup for the "best" TV announce team.

Terry Gannon: lead.
Judy Rankin: Tower analyst with Gannon

Scott Van Pelt: Second choice lead
Andy North: Second choice tower analyst

For an extremely long day, let both groups handle four hours.

I realize many would opt for Scott and Andy, and I would too, except that I have always been very partial to Judy Rankin. She's amazing, and one of the most compelling moments EVER was the day she returned to golf coverage work after a serious illness. Tiger Woods said something to her that we learned later was in the welcome back mode. It clearly made Rankin emotional because of the depth of Tiger's comment.


Roger Maltbie and David Feherty: fairways. These are the two best, and no one else is close.

Johnny Miller: Swing Vision. Johnny knows the swing, and that's what he should discuss.

On various holes:

Peter Oosterhuis, Gary McCord, Scott Van Pelt & Andy North on a pivotal hole together, Renton Laidlaw (love that dude's accent).

We all have our favorites, so I doubt everyone is reading this and agreeing completely. Who's on your all-star golf announce team?

On the other side of the coin voices and personalities I would rather not endure for another second:

Tilghman
Jim Nantz
Dottie Pepper
Gary Koch
Mark Rolfing
CHRIS BERMAN is so obvious it is like saying I would rather not drive off a cliff.
Brad Faxon
Billy Andrade
Ian Baker-Finch is, I am told, a very, very nice guy. But for me, he's like a pound of sugar on Frosted Flakes. Finch states the obvious almost as much as Pepper, which is very hard to do.

"Well, we've got a Saturday. Looks like there will be air. Hope we get enough of it. if not, we're probably going to die."
banghead
...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Hank Haney Inteview.

...

http://www.golfdigest.com/magazine/2010-08/hank-haney?currentPage=1

Haney did a remarkable job in regard to loyalty.

Several things stood out.

1. Tiger rarely planned ahead
2. Tiger rarely responded to phone calls or email
3. Tiger, like Phil and probably many other great players, needed to believe the idea was his, not the teacher.

Haney dodged the salary/generosity issue. 

Was Tiger generous with you? Did he express his appreciation to you in unusual ways, such as signing flags for you or dropping you notes?

Generosity is relative. It was generous of him to give me the job. I don't have anything signed by Tiger, no. Not one thing.

Did Tiger pay you well?

I don't want to answer that. There's no reason for me to go there.


There has been mention in the past decade of how "tight" Tiger is with a buck. The manner in which Haney responded leads me to believe that there is a mixture of disappointment and surprise.

I thought Haney was candid and kind. Very hard to do.

And really, there's nothing revealed that we didn't already sense. Tiger Woods is a self-absorbed genius, who at this point in his life, might be too self-absorbed to have an honest relationship. Even his caddy is kept at a distance

Tiger's "mistake" in regard to the scandal was living his life as a single person, while married and the father of two kids. Tiger, like most unmarried men, lived in the sperm of the moment. And, obviously, he liked variety. After the divorce, he can go back to that. Or not.

I am disappointed that the scandal happened, not so much from a morality high horse, but rather what it did to golf, and my naive belief in what I was being told.  The interview with Haney makes it almost impossible for me to trust anything that Tiger Woods says that does not involve what I can see for myself.

Let me just say that what I am writing is more about my concern for Tiger Woods as a person, and how those concerns might relate to Tiger Woods as a phenomenon. Don't get me wrong. I am still pulling for him. Mostly because his talent transcends sport and time. I want to be a witness to this excellence. This, of course, gets us back to swing mechanics and personality.

I believe the logic of the swing will dictate.

As for personality, it really doesn't matter to me, but for Tiger's sake, I wish for him to begin to see the world as more than a planet of one. He seems to be in solitary, and yes, it is the world's most lavish form of solitary, but it is still being alone. I'm sure he has companions that serve his needs, but like a cell phone or a computer, once the function is completed, you turn them off or put them away. Or when they break or you get tired of them, they are disposable. This is a pathetic, cold existence.

Generosity of spirit, time and even material things seems to be a foreign concept.

Tiger Woods is not the only self-absorbed athlete or public figure, but he IS the only one that I give a shit about.  Some might say that Tiger Woods must be that way to be Tiger Woods. I'm not convinced about that. I do agree that to get to his level it requires an enormous amount of concentration and hard work. It's the down time that could be tweaked, and tweaked in a manner that would not deprive but rather would serve to create and possibly enhance.

I recall reading a vignette about one day at a putting green where Tiger and Sean O'Hair happened to be practicing. Tiger watched and then gave Sean a mini lesson, which helped him immensely.  Whatever instinct triggered that moment is lurking in Tiger's psyche. I hope he finds it again.

Some would say what about his charity work? I think that is the least he can do. Besides, we know that his mother is the hammer to that nail, and just as importantly, the charities help cut the annual IRS bill, which must cause Tiger to go to his deepest bunker and sob like Midas on tax day.

It would be ideal for Tiger Woods to work as a waiter in a mid-level restaurant. I doubt he has any concept at all of what that horrid job requires.  Or some form of community service to actually get a sense of how the world really works. He has the knowledge, of course, but, perhaps, lacks the empathy. People can tell you a lot of things, but it's just triplicate yada until it either happens to you, or you see it for yourself.

I don't think Tiger owes me, his fans, or the media anything. I believe that Tiger can do and say what he wants to the media, because the media has attacked him for six months. Screw the media. Figuratively, that is.

But Tiger Woods does owe it himself, and perhaps to his parents, to abandon the role of the spoiled prince, and evolve into a benevolent king .... a person that generates warmth and kindness, rather than just awe.
...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Carolina Dreaming

...
There's a front passing through just before dawn, shoving clouds gradually to the east and out to sea. The last of the night creatures disappears as the uncertain dark turns gray.

The first hint of the sun reveals a favorite sky. Yeah, it's light blue, and for Tar Heels, it's all for you.

Random selections from an iPod boom box enhance this vision.

I see a line of cars, and they're all painted black.

When I'm dancing on the web, and the man comes on the message board, telling me more and more useless information. I don't want no. I can't get no.

Cause i used to wake the morning, get my breakfast in bed. Sugar pie honey bunch.

Unlike the Stones, we have expectations, and not just about the weather. We know that sometimes we can't get what we want. But what else can a poor boy do? Pump the gas, gas, gas?

Been walking Central Park. People say we're crazy. But if you start us up, we'll never stop ... looking to the juke box for answers.

There's a fan base going crazy on Caroline Street.

Insane is more like it. Bickering, badgering, taunting, and that's just on message boards. Jealousy sparks some of this rancor, as does entitlement. Some of it about the Pied Piper. Some of it is about the rats, their smug hair-dye and lies.

But a front is passing through. Maybe the storm is over. Maybe a new one is on the way. Go ask Alice when she's feeling real tall.

For now, it's simply a matter of waiting. We get our first hint of what is to be in August. A trip to the Bahamas.

We got to head this boat south pretty soon.
Last season is old, and we're fresh out of prunes.

Down on Copperline, things are pretty much the same. Yeah, they came in and tore it up, tore it up good. But it doesn't touch our memory.

I'm cruising Franklin with my feet 10 feet off the ground.
Saw the ghost of Jordan on Columbia Avenue
Ain't it like a friend of mine, to hit me from behind?
Miles from nowhere, guess he'll take his time.

Dreaming with eyes open.
Seeing with eyes closed.
There's red dust on the horizon,
and a silver tear in the eye

It's not light yet, but it's getting there.
All we need is love. (And better shooting.)

There's guns across the river, aiming at you.
There's a fool on the hill with the will to thrill.

Oh momma, can this really be the end?
To be stuck inside the twilight zone, with the NCAA blues again?

Did someone say zone? This MUST be a dream.

It's getting near dawn. Working on mysteries without any clues.
Ain't it funny how the night moves.

Carolina.
Calling me home.
...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ha!

...
Saturday's third round at the U.S. Open was riveting. Tiger Woods played like Old Tiger. Dustin Johnson emerged as a force.

 Great stuff.

Yesterday I suggested that Tiger Woods was in a phase of transition. Perhaps we are closer to The Second Tiger Woods Era than I thought.

...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Five Words

...
Perhaps what follows will be fodder for the graveyard of dead horses, a cemetery that blends moot comments and memories to mark the headstones.

As we meander into the golf area past fresh flowers that have been placed near Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson and take a left at those that honor Sam Snead, we see a small stone with 5 words: The First Tiger Woods Era.

Today i am metaphorically wearing a black arm band that I should have put on that first Saturday after Thanksgiving, 2009. I should have honored and mourned this passing then. But what did i know? I still believed in Superman, despite the obvious fact that Superman had inhaled Kryptonite.

It was an amazing journey that we thought might last until 2020. But self-absorbed circumstance derailed that train.

We can, though, look back and recall the first victory at The Masters, which in every way imaginable put golf business on a fast track that added an even faster lane after 2000. What we saw in 2000, particularly at Pebble, was almost too incredible to believe.

The adventure at Hoylake was one of my favorite episodes, because Tiger carved that place apart with a 3-iron. I doubt I have seen anyone hit long irons so well for four days in a major. The various scenes and episodes of The First Tiger Woods Era are rich and compelling. Each golf fan, no doubt, has personal favorites. Most of us assumed that with the marriage and then the kids that Tiger was literally finding and following Jack's footprints.

What happened last Thanksgiving was a shocking reminder that even a man who has the world by the throat can take a very wrong turn. I believe what we most golf fans share is that we miss watching an excellent player chase his potential. I know I keep turning on the TV with the hope that I will see that player again.

I haven't.

I have seen some progress in several areas, but I have not seen that player. I have seen Eldrick Woods chase his former self, but Eldrick, unlike Tiger, is not wearing Fast Track Nikes. Instead, he's got a pair of 100-pound anvils with a swoosh. Yes, the heavy weight means he's grounded, and that's the first step. But you can't fly with 200 pounds of cement socks.

Genius eyes tell us the golf swing is not close, and why would they lie? The results speak for themselves.  Eldrick is hanging onto the raft like Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic. The shipwreck has happened, and it's just a matter of time before Eldrick either hauls himself out of the water or simply lets go.

I don't think he'll let go. But i also believe that it will be a good while before he pulls himself out of the water.

What we have now is the transition. It's a process that resembles work on a jigsaw puzzle outside during a hurricane. You think you've got the pieces put together, and another blast of wind scatters what has been accomplished. The exercise begins again. Something has been gained, but time has been lost.

Everyone who is watching this drama, as well as the lead character, is seeking answers.

How long is this transition going to take?

How will The Second Tiger Woods Era be defined?

When will we see the twirl?


I would love to see a twirl or two later today during the third round of the U.S. Open, but I'm not counting on it. I think victory for Eldrick is playing all four rounds. It may take a dismal season for even Tiger Woods to come to the conclusion that he can't fix his swing by himself.

Jack revealed some of his arrogance when he said it was a fix that could happen in 20 minutes. That was bullshit. My view is that part of the "fix" for the golf swing is also tied to the "fix' for Eldrick's private life, which I don't think is "close" to being resolved.

The end game has been determined, but not the amount or the rules. Until that is resolved, I don't think Eldrick (or anyone) can find the inner balance that this particular enterprise requires.

All of us at our various levels understand how impossible golf can be even when we are at our most centered. I don't believe Eldrick has been near his center since last summer, and that's another irony for someone who craves being the center of attention.

But unlike Arnie or Jack, and now Phil, Eldrick doesn't truly connect with the fans. At one time, wherever Eldrick played it was a home game. The massive gallery was FOR HIM. I know Eldrick could use the help these days.

I admit that I am still very much for Eldirck, but I miss watching Tiger.

Don't you?
...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Solstice

...

The planet keeps spinning despite our efforts, while tragic omens continue to flood the Gulf Coast. It is clear that oil is our country's version of wax wings, and like Icarus, we continue to fly toward the sun.

This has become a situation impossible to excuse or ignore. Even Fox News must man-and-woman up, though they will do this kicking and screaming their various Murdockian versions of reality.

The stock market remains volatile, and the Lakers have claimed the first game in the NBA Playoffs.

Speaking of basketball and Earth's annual path, we are weeks away from the longest day, and perhaps, we are also on the verge of recovering from the longest winter in recent memory in Chapel Hill.

The latest rumor is that James McAdoo will enroll at UNC a year early, and for what has been an horrendous five-month news cycle, this development is almost too good to be true. The Wears behaved like spoiled Little Leaguers, as did their father. The timing of the departure could not have been worse, and only fools believe that Roy orchestrated their decision to not return.

SweetD77 posted a thread on Inside Carolina thanking Dave Wear. I thought that was a tad over the top because we have yet to receive confirmation that we will have both Knox and McAdoo. Others believed this to be a "non-classy" post. I thought SweetD's defense was perfect. In essence he was thanking Dave Wear for the lemons that Roy is about to turn into lemonade.

Let's say that McAdoo does enroll early. We are back to the issue that we've been facing since Lawson declared for the draft. This season Roy has three options. Drew, Marshall and Strickland.

Here is what I hope happens. Roy truly allows the better and more consistent player to take control of the team. I am all about what is best for the team this year and in the bigger picture. I would love to see some new warriors emerge this season. Those roles are wide open.

Also, it would be sublime to see a few shots go into the basket. Our shots.

As for the Wears, they left, and Roy dealt with that departure. Honestly, i thought it was a mistake they were here in the first place despite the belief that when they were seniors, they would be quite important. I thought that at times both Wears proved how capable they could be, despite having what I could call horrid shooting technique. Neither performed on defense as well as I'd hoped, but that was a team thing, too.

As for Drew, many of us believe he is capable of becoming a solid player. I think his father  and who is father is,  is a huge negative. Drew needs to play with the kind of enthusiasm that a white player would have if selected to join a pickup game in a black neighborhood. Play with something to prove, at least to yourself. Play with heart. And by all means, hustle your ass off.

I believe a fair criticism of Drew is that he seems too nonchalant, way too California, and that he comes and goes on defense in the manner of a poorly wired light. This must stop if we (the team) is to experience sustained success.

Another issue is that Drew needs to realize there is only one head coach at UNC. And that his last name is not Drew.

As for the team as a whole, the first step is to play an entire half with focus. That might seem snarky, but it is quite true. Last season, we managed a few spurts of 5 minutes or so, but never a half, and thus, nothing close to a complete game.  The game in Winston-Salem came as close to a complete game as we could probably get last year.

Play with heart. Play like Tar Heels. No, that's not quite accurate. Don't play like a Tar Heel. Be a Tar Heel.

What can we expect? Hard to say until we know exactly who is and who is not on the roster. And even more importantly, until we can gauge the off-season growth of our returning players, and get a sense of what the newcomers will actually be able to contribute.

What about hope?

The return to The Carolina Way, as we have known it. A team that thrives on sharing the ball and helping each other on defense. A team that is focused and is fun to watch as it grows into itself.

...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pictures from the road

Some more photos of my recent journey.



My car on the Orient Point to New London ferry.  Sadly,  I was not allowed to sit in the car and listen to music during the ride.

 But i met a very interesting couple from Washington, DC, so it's all good.


Below,  a view at Sebasco Resort in Phippsburg, Maine, as well as a fox that visited my cottage at Popham Beach, also in Phippsburg.






Home

...

It's a Saturday morning. The  UNC coffee mug ( a very big container) has been topped off with freshly ground Kenya The cats (three of them) are having breakfast in their respective nooks.  The Ruther is in dreamland.

Newspapers have been brought in for leisurely reading, but the real action, of course, is on the internets.

For those who are Celtics fans, it's been a very interesting ride. I was recently in Boston, and those I met feared a repeat of the collapse by the Bruins. Not going to happen. Thought the Celtics looked strong in game six, and it would appear that LA is next.

As for the scoring at Colonial, I'm sure Hogan's Ghost is not happy. What is this, The John Deere?

The clue, of course, is that Bryce Molder shot a 62. Molder is obviously talented, but by no means at this point in his career someone we would expect to shoot 8 under at The Colonial. I feel ya, Ben.

I would like to say we have an interesting leader board. But we don't. It seems to be the leader board we have had all season. A sprinkling of familiar (and competent) players having a decent week with less familiar guys having a decent round or two. The kind of leader board that we know will change a great deal before the back nine on Sunday.  Yes, this is usually the case even when the stars are playing well. With what we have this week, I think we can expect a volatile weekend.

By the way, where are the stars? The highest ranked player still in the event (Steve Stricker) is tied for 27th. What happened to the notion that this is one of the events where the cream rises? Or is Bryce Molder now to be considered as one of those in the Half and Half Category.

I think it is a disgrace that the Nelson and Hogan tournaments are slowing slipping away. Without Ben and Byron, there's no Arnie,. Which means no Jack, and it's easy to fill in the rest of the equation.

We have had a golf season with a memorable Masters triumph and mostly a series of events that seem to be the same. The main plot has been dominated by a player's refusal to tell us the truth, and in a game that thrives on character and integrity, this is exponentially counterproductive.

I think the players on tour should strongly support the Texas Swing, and i think The Tour needs to figure out a schedule that will embrace this notion. Golf must constantly honor its past, or we just have a series of events with corporate names on courses that time and new equipment have betrayed.

What will happen to Bay Hill and The Memorial when Arnie and Jack are no longer with us? If what is happening to the Hogan and Nelson events is an indication, it is a direction that I refuse to support.

The Tour needs to figure out how to keep its history as tangible as it does its boasts (and threats) of current events. Sadly, the focus seems to be on building credence for the FedEx Cup. I think that is important, but not at the risk of losing the game's heritage.

In my view, The Tour must not allow the legacies of Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson to quietly fade into oblivion. I suppose it is easy for someone who posts on a message board to say this, and it is quite true, I don't have an answer.

But at least I have the question, and that's the first step.

...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Notes From Long Island

...

Actually, just some photos.  First, let's begin with The Big Duck in Flanders.








Below, is the Montauk Point lighthouse. Very cool spot.



A view from the top of the Montauk Point Lighthouse. At my writers conference, a dazzling woman introduced herself. I said, "wow, you're tall." She said, "But I'm worth the climb."  The climb to the top of the lighthouse is TOTALLY worth it.




A tree that seems to have a mind of its own in a snazzy neighborhood in Bay Shore.




At right, is a view on a rainy day from Captree Island at the bridge that takes you from Bay Shore to Jones Beach/Robert Moses State Park.



...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

PennWriters Days 2 & 3

...

Friday: Introduced Lorrie Lough's workshop on character motivation. Served as timekeeper for agent/editor pitches. Managed to call Jennifer Jackson Janet at least three times.  (Mortified)

Went to a fantastic workshop on connecting with local independent bookstores. Had dinner with Tom and Barbara Lalicki as I had met Tom and had an interesting political discussion earlier in the day.

Saturday: Introduced the Query Clinic with Janet Reid, Jenny Bent, JENNIFER Jackson and Alex Glass. Met Janet Reid. Actually met all the agents. Will be going to the masquerade ball as Jethro Bodine Literary Publicist.

...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

PennWriters Conference

...

Have arrived in scenic Lancaster and attended a session on plotting with Lorrie Lough. I enjoyed the class. Met several extremely bright, lucid writers.

Nice hotel, great location, decent weather.

Not too shabby.

...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hank Haney Resigns

...

Another moment of reality in the ongoing Tiger Woods drama. Some have suggested that Tiger go back to Butch Harmon, who now coaches, among others, Phil Mickelson.

MY OPINION is that the resignation was a crafted political move to allow Haney to save face. I believe the rumors that popped up earlier in the month in regard to Haney being "out." And I'm getting to the point where I am having trouble believing Tiger Woods when he speaks.

Not that it's necessary, of course. It's just that when asked about Haney, Woods gave us the press release. It's all press release with him. Other than some adult language after a horrid shot. We know that's real.

I agree going back to Butch would be a good thing for Tiger's swing, but there's a lot of ego in this scenario, with Butch, Phil, and the other Butchites. I can't see Tiger and Phil going to the same coach.

Who will it be?

Call Johnny Miller. He seems to "know it all." Or Faldo. He "knows it all" too.

Seriously, I have no idea. But perhaps Tiger does, or this would not be happening. I think this situation is not as up in the air as Tiger would have us think. I think the plane has already landed with the new guy, and we will know when Tiger wants us to know. Or when he gets caught. Probably B.

We know Tiger is a bright guy who studies tape and the golf swing. I'm confident he will find the right guy. This is a positive step forward.

IMO, the next step will be the official announcement of the divorce most of us believe is going to happen.

Steve Williams will remain, as will the various (and nefarious) members of TigerCo.

I think Steve HAS to remain. Outside of Hank, who else has seen Tiger swing as much? I wonder if Steve has any input on the process at all? I doubt it, but I recall stories about Tom Kite in his younger days when he was mired in a putting slump. He would take advice from ANYBODY.

So, putting myself into the role of ANYBODY.

1. Sell the house in Isleworth. Find a new gated community with a tough golf course. The comfort zone on the Isleworth track  is not helping.

2. And those aren't even the best reasons for leaving. Time to move on. Everyday Tiger sits in his Isleworth house is a reminder of the life he destroyed.

3. Sell the monstrosity on Jupiter Island, which Elin designed to look like a motel, imo. When I saw the plans for this mansion, I laughed. Truly horrendous.

4. Get back to work on the golf swing as soon as possible.

5. Do the best you can with what you have for each tournament that you decide to play, but most importantly, FINISH.

I don't believe major progress (as in getting the game in shape to win one of the Opens or the PGA) is possible UNTIL the marriage issue has been resolved. It's hard enough to play championship golf when you feel perfect. And i doubt that Tiger Woods has felt perfect for quite some time.

...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Respectable

...

The combination of recent events has me in new territory. Like many people, I've had a favorite golfer on tour since 1996/1997. But that changed last Thanksgiving.

I don't actively pull against any golfer, though I will admit if Rory Sabbatini or Vijah Singh miss a cut, it doesn't break my heart.

Yesterday, though, I found myself pulling for Phil. Actively.

It's not like I've picked up a dook hat. That would never happen. But it felt like I was watching Maryland vs. Kentucky. I'm not sure who was in the part of Kentucky, maybe the golf course. But Phil had become Maryland, and I had a red hat.

Wow.

I'm not that keen about red, Maryland, or really, Phil. I've been extremely critical of his course management, but usually there's also been respect for his vast skills. Playing the shot, Phil is genius. Choosing the shot, and Phil is suspect at times. But no one ever said Arnie was a strategist, either.

I remember how much I loathed the emergence of Jack Nicklaus in the mid 60s. Arnie was my guy, and Jack was dook. Then, Jack became dook in its prime, and, eventually, I didn't think of Jack as dook, or as replacing Arnie, but rather simply as Jack,  the greatest ever, other than Bobby Jones.

I went through a Greg Norman phase. I was crushed when he blew the 1996  Masters. I didn't like Faldo. At all.  Then Tiger comes along, and Faldo goes to the booth.

(I like Faldo now. I don't want to watch him during the broadcast, though, and i think CBS did a wretched job with coverage yesterday. Too much on tape. Too many non-live moments to punctuate the pre-determined story line, too much Jim Nantz reciting a series of facts about golfers who may or may not be of any interest. I admire the research that Team Nantz does, But like Phil and shot selection, they really don't choose their spots well. The other thing about Nantz and his "facts" is that they are offered in place of true analysis of the event as it is happening. if you can't do that, you shouldn't have the job. The overuse of the music is driving me out of my mind.)

Anyway, Tiger comes along, and for those of us who became captivated with Jack, and the power of his mind, his ability to play the right shot at crunch time, and to make those 6-foot par putts under the gun, it was easy to pull for Tiger. Particularly with his announced goal of catching and then passing Jack in regard to majors won.

Tiger, of course, is a thrilling player to watch. Over the years, like many fans, I excused the guy's demeanor. Tiger has been a butthead for most of his career. Yesterday's outbursts were far from vintage, but they were too recognizable, too much like the Tiger we've known all along. CBS was right there with the excuses after some mild criticism. I was not surprised, just a bit disappointed that the first time Tiger fought his swing, he also fought himself and lost.

Tiger's display on the sixth tee was a low point, and that was a bogey that was deserved. I thought the action on the 10th green was the start of moving in a new direction. But eliminate that three putt, and the Rush Limbaugh drive on 17, and Tiger Woods trails Westwood by 2, and Phil by 1.

A counterpoint to Tiger's antics was the manner in which Phil handled his folly on the 10th hole. This wasn't politics. Phil had no idea what Tiger was up to. It was simply about hammering the perfect drive on a tough hole with a tough green. And then trying to hit a landing area about the size and shape of one of Freddy's boat slippers that he's wearing this week. Phil's shot goes long and to a place where the unskilled (almost 99.9 percent of all earthlings) would suffer horrendous agony.

The logical question was, could Phil make a 6? It took the best short game player in the universe to keep the pitch on the green.

Anyway, when Phil saw where his second shot finally came to rest, there was no outburst, no tantrum, almost no reaction at all. I suppose one might say that Phil is used to this sort of thing, and he is, but really, he handled the missed shot perfectly with his demeanor. I think he was already at work trying to save the bogey.

We hear  and see how mentally tough Tiger is. His personality is clearly more volatile, and Tiger has always been able to release his stress with his various Tigerisms and then focus. But those displays have always been on his terms. In February, we were told: "When I do return, I need to make my behavior more respectful of the game."

OK. I'm ready. Tiger, are you?

I did think Tiger pulled himself together on the back nine, and by the end, he was in control of his emotions, but not always his driver or putter.

I suppose we can expect more backsliding in regard to temper. What I refuse to accept, though, is more excuses from announcers and reporters. Call this guy on his Sheite. He needs to call it on himself, if he's serious about making his behavior more respectful of the game (on the golf course). Off the course, I have no clue what is really happening, only that I'm being sold a storyline.

Today, I wish Phil, Westwood, Tiger, all of those who have a chance, all the best.

In spite of itself, CBS will eventually show us enough live golf that we'll get a sense of what happened. All I can say is, though, just don't listen too carefully. Let your eyes be the judge, not the incessant drone of those who are being well paid to put a certain business back in full gear.

Golf has already won, almost in spite of CBS.

...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

First 2010 Masters Moment

...
Wednesday: Arnie drains a long, speedy, downhill putt from the back of the 9th green in the par 3 contest. Huge roar.

One of those putts that lasts forever, which is perfectly fitting for the Par 3 Contest.

It's where the past, such as Palmer, Player and Nicklaus, meets the future, as in the many, many kids who are carry clubs, maybe hit a shot or a putt. It's Old Home Week as presented by Norman Rockwell. Highly enjoyable to see The Big Three walk on a golf course and hit shots. They are not bigger than the game, but they certainly helped the game become the game in the modern (TV) era.

I love the Par 3 Contest at Augusta because The Masters is the only major that honors its past in such a fine way.

In a related issue,  Billy Payne had plenty to say about Tiger Woods in Payne's State of The Masters press conference. It was direct and clear. 
And it needed to be said, imo:

excerpt:

"It's not simply the degree of his conduct that is so egregious here," Payne said, in his opening speech. "It is the fact he disappointed all of us and more imporantly our kids and grandkids.
"Our hero did not live up to the expectations as a role model that we sought for our children."
Payne's opening speech about Woods was unprecedented. He and his predecessor,Hootie Johnson, never before commented on the behavior of a golfer outside the course.
"As he ascended in our rankings of the world's great golfers, he became an example to our kids...," Payne said. "But as he now says himself, he forgot in the process to remember that with fame and fortune comes responsibility, not invisibilty.
"Is there a way forward?" Payne asked. "I hope, yes. I think, yes. But certainly his future will never again be measured only by his performance against par, but by the sincerity of his efforts to change... We at Augusta hope and pray that our great champion will begin his new life here tomorrow in a positive, hopeful and constructive manner, but this time, with a significant difference from the past. This year, it will not be just for him, but for all of us who believe in second chances."

The decision for Tiger Woods to not play in the par 3 was probably made for a number of reasons. It was not up to me, nobody asked, but if someone had, I 'd say I think Tiger should wait a year for the Par 3. What's the difference in the Par 3 and the regular event?

Everything.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Masters Week

...
Weather looks decent after Thursday.
Had computer issues and missed Monday's press conference. Watched some of it later.
Here's hoping the sincerity and hint of humility are both real and lasting.
...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What Final Four?

...
Not paying attention.
Don't want to pay attention.
Can't.
OK. Go Butler.
...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fawlty Towers Information Specialist

...

We've been watching Fawlty Towers on DVD. Hilarious acting. I didn't know that the character John Cleese played was based on a rude innkeeper that he met while still with Monty Python.

Basil Fawlty is a piece of work. And i believe i met a soulmate via phone with a local police department a few moments ago. I wanted the technical name for what, after pulling several teeth, I learned was a Tactical Radio. I spoke with an Information Specialist, who was tight lipped, somewhat snarky and not really interested in giving out information. Reminded of Basil Fawlty, and many bankers.

Information Specialist? What might this prune have said, if she were merely a generalist?

...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Current Project

...

Awhile back I began reading various publishing industry-related blogs. I recommend that anyone with any interest whatsoever in publishing read these blogs as much as you can. There are professionals who are willing to share. Take advantage.

For instance, you never know when a phrase might trigger an idea. In my case, I was reading Barabara Poelle's entries on Dead Guy, and found an account of a scene in her office when one of Barbara's colleagues got off the phone with an editor, who had said about a work of fiction, "it's great writing, but it has to be more than great writing."

The notion that even fiction should have platform is not at all pleasant, particularly to those of us who like to make things up.

Now, I'm 20,000 words into a story about a dreadful writer (DW) who receives by mistake an email from a literary agent that says, "this is great writing. But there has to be more than great writing."

At first, DW believes he will gain the notoriety he thinks he needs by becoming a serial arsonist on Long Island, who sets off an explosion and then shoots 6 firefighters in their legs. That's his signature.

Part of DW's "plan" is to send notes that announce his intentions to a writer at an Islip newspaper, which DW believes will be revealed in the paper, and, in essence, begin his publicity campaign because of its local angle and then be picked up by the bigger markets. The Suffolk County Police Department, though, puts a lid on those notes, as to not create panic.

Meanwhile the newspaper writer (NW) goes to Southside Hospital to interview the firefighters, one of whom will not likely walk again. The injured firefighter's young son asks NW if he will find out who shot his dad, and NW says that he will, and realizes that he's telling the truth. He will do whatever it takes to bring the arsonist/shooter to justice.

When the use of the notes fails to introduce his "signature,"  the DW turns serial arsonist/killer, targeting various celebrities on Long Island. One of those celebrities happens to be the newspaper writer's ex-wife,  an author of a best-selling cozy, who is also dating the literary agent who inadvertently sent the wrong email to DW.

NW discovers that his ex-wife, whom he still loves, is on the hit list, and so is he, for not publishing the notes. Now, NW is not just morally involved, he's in danger, as is his ex-wife, the literary agent, and the other famous people on the list.

20G is in first person. This project is in third person, and I'm really enjoying the freedom in regard to different locations without the lead character having to be in every scene, and even better, that the point of view can change, which I believe enhances this project.

...

Still Alive

...

Carolina scored in the final second to advance to the quarterfinals of the NIT. Thrilled for the players, who were animated and happy.  Nice to see something really good happen for that group.


...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

On the outside

...

Reality shoved its nose and ass into prime time. It can't be avoided.  The "real" basketball tournament begins today, and so do the metaphors.

The NIT is like one of those inflatable rubber dolls that sailors have been known to take to sea. The one they sent me is royal blue. As Hammer would say, "Can't touch this."

The NCAA, on the other hand, is a Vogue model, and like Orbison's fantasy ... "she's walking back to me." It's all about hope, and the dream of dancing until balloons fall from a light blue sky.

When you wake the next morning, it wasn't a dream. It's real. You've got a smile, a throbber and and an ex-Vogue model. You read the first of 987 newspaper stories about the Tar Heels and their march to the trophy. Stacks of papers from all across the country on the floor. Your new pal brings coffee. Emails, Faxes. Magazines. TV is blaring. The happiest of all happy days. Fonzie on meth and opium. Not quite up, nowhere near down. Perfect.

This year?  Fuck this year. It feels like we're trapped on the other side, looking through the wire. No passport. No ID. No chance to get across. I can see America, but I just can't get in.

The one time I drove through El Paso, Texas, it was just before dawn on I-10 heading west to Phoenix. I had seen lights to my left in the distance for many miles, and when it became bright enough to see, I saw the fence. Past the fence there were shacks that reminded me of mining villages in Clint Eastwood films. There's an Embassy Suites that's perched right on the edge, looking over the fence. And finally, I realized I was looking at Mexico. 

It was the third world over there, with a view of paradise just past the wire. Not that the Embassy Suites is the promised land, far from it, but if you're in a shack without power, that hotel is definitely an upgrade.

This year it feels like I'm sitting in that fucking hut, gazing through the fence at the college girls in the Embassy Suites pool. They look good, too.



...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What's going on?

...

March is wide open this year for UNC basketball fans. Big trouble in that locker room.

Major sigh.

Have almost finished the 12th Jack Reacher novel, and I've inhaled this series in the past few weeks. Have read them in sequence and have the 13th ready to go, and will probably pay big bucks for the brand new one. It's nice to catch up.  Where are the movies? ????? The films should have happened.

Reacher is the luckiest man on the planet.  EVERY female cop he meets is in her late 20s/early 30s. How does he do it?

Obviously, it's a fascinating series, and, really, the most important thing is: Don't piss Reacher offEver.

I saw a post on Barbara Poelle's blog about "great writing not being enough." That nugget has sparked an idea for a project, which I am happy to say is starting to take some shape.

...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Contract

...

signed contract with publisher Cherokee McGhee on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010.

Phase 2 begins.

...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pimp My Pimp

...

Sadly, Guiliani's Disease (noun, verb & 9/11) has consumed me.

In my case it's noun, verb and 20G.

Social Kills.

...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

This and that

...

Have been reading a lot of blogs. It's interesting that the banging head emoticon applies so perfectly to all sides of every transom. You got writers, agents and editors playing Musical Chair, with stress as the melody.

My view of blogs has changed considerably in the past week. Some are remarkably informative. Some just make me laugh. All blogs are therapy for the author, and often the reader.

Ya know. These internets are cool.





...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fritters

...

I like 'em. Twitters? Maybe. But I'm one hundred percent positive I like fritters. Clam fritters. Oyster fritters. Pork fritters? Onion fritters. Lobster fritters. Peach fritters

Also fond of hush puppies, which I suppose are redneck cousins. Let's take a peek.

Deliverance masters the art of French cooking.




And speaking of Julia Child, if you haven't seen "Julie and Julia", well, what the hell is wrong with you? Here's breaking news. Meryl Streep knows exactly what she's doing. I avoided this film, fearing SNL sendup was about the depth that it would go. Stoopid. I'm aching to discuss the scene in which Julia (Meryl) receives a letter from her sister, who shares that she's pregnant. Meryl and Stanley Tucci, who's also terrific in the film, NAIL this scene to a mahogany cross. Seriously incredible.

Please see this film.

...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Foxhunting

...

A terrific conversation today gave me an idea for another Trent Jones novel. Foxhunting will be at the core, and primarily because I learned there is a club just north of Durham, Red Mountain Hounds, that has two hunts a week.

Fascinating world, to say the least.

...

Not good

...

First half against Georgia Tech Saturday was tough. So was the ending.

I'd use the banghead emoticon, but it won't work.

Make that two bangheads.

...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

All Righty Then

...

Carolina needs to recover from the disaster at Clemson. The Tigers burned us so many new ones that we opened a colander outlet, which is more than pathetically redundant.

Go Heels!

...

Friday, January 15, 2010

A good day

...


So I got a rejection to my first query that I emailed out. And i should have. And I should have known better than to send it to Janet Reid, aka Query Shark. She even warned on her site not to do it.

Nope.

I jumped out of a plane without a chute.

I spent Jan. 13 reading Query Shark. I tried improving my query. Not too good. Yesterday, I did the same. All day. I got up into the 40s of those queries. Took a nap, and when I got back on the computer, something must have clicked.

Sent out 8 queries last night and three more this morning. Two agents requested a full, and a third asked for 50 pages.

Meanwhile my friend in New York City, Jay Anania, who teaches film directing at NYU, thought enough of my manuscript to mention it to Peter Newman, who is now on the faculty at NYU and has produced more than 30 Hollywood films.

This was a good day.


...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

First effort

...

This looks like a third grader had too much chocolate.

Ah well. It's obviously a work in progress. Lots and lots and lots of questions.

For instance, when will a decent query letter be composed?

As long as it takes.

When ___________? As long as it takes.





...