#navbar-iframe { display: none !important;} The Naked Page: The Ubiquitous Let's Be Thankful Discussion

The Naked Page

Author Jamie Sobrato's Diary

11.22.2006

The Ubiquitous Let's Be Thankful Discussion

I just read that one of my all-time favorite novels, What's Eating Gilbert Grape? by Peter Hedges, is one of the latest victims of censorship. Because, you know, high school students are totally unaware of that wicked oral sex stuff, and we must protect them from knowing about such heinous things at all costs. Uh-huh.

I love that book so much that I once sent it to my cousin in prison because I thought it was the kind of story that might have a tiny chance of reaching him, maybe give him a glimpse of something transcendent. That's what good art does, anyway, when we're open to it.

Since we are nearly upon the holiday of turkey massacre, I want to say that I am thankful for books like What's Eating Gilbert Grape?, and I am thankful for authors like Peter Hedges, who write stories about the human condition that make the human condition not suck.

There are about a million other things I'm thankful for too, but I'm not going to get all smarmy and list them here. So what are you thankful for?

18 Comments:

At 8:37 PM, Anonymous bethany said...

Well, what I'm truly thankful for is that Noel's legs are finally starting to improve, but I'll hide that under superficiality and say that I'm thankful for the darling Kenneth Cole outfit that I found at TJ Maxx for her to wear tomorrow.

 
At 7:56 AM, Blogger Tim said...

There's too much for me to list in a single post, but among them is writer friends who aren't afraid to tell me where things are going wrong in my fiction. :-)

Btw... a friend of mine is pregnant and she and her husband have picked out Jamie as a first name. (Middle name will be either Michael or Michelle, depending on gender.)

 
At 11:31 AM, Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

I'm thankful that I got to eat turkey in the middle of October instead of waiting until a month before Christmas, when I'll eat turkey again, mwahahaha.

Cindy

 
At 11:32 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

Bethany, I'm thankful that Noel's legs are getting better too. In fact, that's what I want for Christmas.

 
At 11:35 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

Tim, my middle name is Michelle. Too funny that your friends picked out my name. :-)

 
At 11:36 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

I'm thankful that I'm not cooking turkey or anything else today.

Happy Thanksgiving, my peeps.

 
At 3:10 PM, Blogger Tim said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you too, James... and everyone else of course. :-) And now I AM rooting for it to be a girl. ;-) :-D

 
At 5:45 PM, Anonymous melissa said...

Happy Thanksgiving, and non-Thanksgiving to ye Canadians out there. ;-)

 
At 10:04 AM, Anonymous bethany said...

Ooh, that's what I want for Christmas, too! A Chrismas miracle for my little Noel.

And here's a Thanksgiving miracle, if you go to the mall at 6AM on black friday, you can get queso and a chimichanga for BREAKFAST.

 
At 4:41 AM, Blogger Tim said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 4:43 AM, Blogger Tim said...

I have a question for y'alls, if I may be so bold as to ask... If it takes a number of completed novels written before one finally sells, how many attempts did it take y'all before you even finished the first completed one? Just wondering. :D Take care! :D And fyi... I'm on attempt number ten to get the first finished one. :D (Ran across a partial draft of the first one a couple years ago and couldn't BELIEVE how bad it was! :S :D!)

 
At 7:30 AM, Anonymous bethany said...

Um, I think Jamie's answer will be the most interesting, since she's written consistently in the same genre, but let's see. I wrote two books in high school, I don't think they count, at least not for much. Maybe they helped me improve my typing skills? In grad school I started two fantasy books that were doomed because of their suckiness, and then I wrote one YA before Handcuffs, that could maybe might be marketable with some major work, but who knows.

Over the past decade I spent WAY more time reading than writing, which I think was the best thing for me.

Oh, and I finished all of them. Were they good endings? Complete and satisfying stories, probably not, but I always liked writing the last scenes!

 
At 10:41 AM, Anonymous melissa said...

I finished my first one, but it was about 10k too short for publication. But I managed to get it right on the second one, and now I've finished five. I think that puts me right on the average number for that first sale... ;-)

 
At 7:13 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Tim, I guess my answer depends on what you count as an "attempt" at a novel. I had plenty of false starts early on. Some of them a few pages, and some of them over a hundred pages, and everything in between too. But generally most ideas died within the first twenty pages if they weren't meant to be, so I'll count the stories that went over 100 pages before I stopped writing them.

I did complete my first novel. After that, I wrote 120+ pages of an oversexed futuristic paranormal romance that I gave up writing when I realized the futuristic market was dead (this was way before paranormal got big again). I should probably go back and give that story another shot because I had more fun writing it than any other I've done. I love world-building.

Then I completed my second through sixth novels, and I was in the middle of writing my seventh when books 5 and 6 sold. So I stopped 120+ pages into that seventh story, because it wouldn't fit the lines I'd sold to. But actually I am about to rework it into new proposal to try to sell, so all isn't lost with that book either.

I think with my third unsold book, I wrote the complete book pretty much, but I only revised the first three chapters and never went through and fixed the rest (which needed a LOT of work) because it was rejected on the partial.

Whew, sorry, long answer.

 
At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

I finished my first one. I did start one that I never finished, because my hard drive crashed and I hadn't backed up properly and I felt it was easier to start a new story with what I'd learned than to rehash the old one. I think that was the third one I attempted. I finished the two before it.

My fourth completed novel was the first I published. It was an extensive rewrite of my second completed novel. Basically, I kept the heroine, the settings, and trashed the rest. :) I've written a couple of partials since that I've yet to finish, but that was because at the time I was in an "only write the full if it's requested" mood. The novel partials I DO intend to finish, although for a different market, as the original market went kaput.

I have really crappy timing (I'm not a crappy writer, honest!). My first sale to an RWA-recognized publisher didn't occur until after I'd written about 7 full novels (including the rewrite of the second), a couple of partial novels, and two completed novellas. I sold the first novella I wrote, but AFTER I wrote the second. :) I sent the second to my editor a couple of months ago, she told me she was recommending a buy and sent it to the exec editor **just when she (my editor) was leaving the house!**. The exec sent it to my ed's replacement editor, who rejected it (see what I mean about crappy timing?) So, you see, I'm the person on the far side of the spectrum who balances out those who sell their first or second completed novel to get that "magic 5" number, LOL. Someone's got to do it, I guess.

Cindy

 
At 9:32 PM, Anonymous melissa said...

Cindy, I feel your pain, and I assure you, you aren't the far side of the spectrum or a crappy writer! I'm currently plotting books six and seven, and I'm beginning to think I'll have a massive stack of manuscripts before I ever sell. I wonder what I'll do if I reach a point where I've completed something like thirteen novels but am still unpubbed. Probably go stick my head in the sand.

I've always had this vibe that book four (which has been requested twice--but R'd once--by HQ) is The One. But then, I thought that about my sleazy ex-boyfriend, too. LOL

 
At 6:53 PM, Blogger Tim said...

Okay thanks all. :-) Now I don't feel so bad about being on number ten. ;-)

And to revisit another post for another one of your blogs, james... the facial hair thing comes from the fact that i'm USUALLY clean shaven and it bugs me sometimes (and sometimes it just plain rashes my face up) to not be. (Sometimes I leave it to bug others, though. :-D!)

 
At 8:29 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Ah-ha, got it, Tim.

 

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