By lex, on January 3rd, 2009
The morning started out easily enough. I was trying to Google a Waco YMF-5 with a glass cockpit that I’d seen in AOPA magazine, but the article wasn’t on line. It did lead me to a jaunt through the Elysian Fields of 21st Century, open-cockpit biplanes. Starting at ~$350k. Which is a lot, it seems to me. For an open cockpit biplane. Before you add the Garmin G1000 **glass cockpit.
Especially when that would make a pretty nice down payment on a newly advertised, North American P-51 Mustang * . At the “priced to sell” list of only $1.5 million. The Stearman is a steal compared to both of those, both in purchase price – and, one suspects – total ownership costs. But at $139k they’re not giving them away, and there’s still that open cockpit to deal with. All very nice for your local barnstorming on a pleasant day, but no way to make the west coast college tour.
All of that was interrupted by the compelling need to convoy Son Number One down to Balboa Naval Hospital for to check out a bug bite that had ballooned alarmingly over the night. You wait around a lot on a Saturday morning, but the folks there were courteous and thorough and the price cannot be beaten. Never thought much about medical while on active duty, but as a retirement benefit it’s a pretty good deal.
So that occupied most of the day, sparing you our thoughts on matters great and small.
I’ve also been spending a great deal of tedious and frankly thankless work trying to polish “Rhythms” up such that it’s something I could vainly dream of marketing it to an agent. It gets a new name by the way, “Rhythms” reminding one benefactor more of a birth control method than a day in the life of an aircraft carrier at sea. Not that the ideas are mutually exclusive, these days.
The new work has been chiefly in adding character depth, cleaning up the text, associating the appropriate “voice” with each character, emending a certain regrettable tendency towards prolixity for its own sake, eliminating great swathes of structural background that added little to the plot and minimizing narrative side alleys that never really went anywhere. In all this I have been mentored by a highly qualified guide whose intercessions are the chance consequence of a fortuitous intersection at seats 35D&E on a westbound airliner some months ago. That and some dude from Spokane who wanted to talk about water pumps. It’s a long story.
So, anyway, I’m the hardest 223 pages through what will end up being a 364 page rewrite (more or less). Close enough to start thinking about finding an agent and shopping the effort. It’ll be framed as a narrative non-fiction, since that genre is quite the thing these days, and in such work it’s beneficial to have two things: A platform (you’re on it), and the promise of a reader base. Which is where you might help me out.
If you’ve got the time and inclination, it’d be a service if you could answer a few questions for me in the polls below. Your honest opinions will be very much appreciated, and of course there’s no obligation.
* 08-31-2018 Links Gone; no replacements found – Ed.
** 08-31-2018 Original link gone; replacement found – Ed.