Sunday, May 30, 2010

Why I Ride

Yesterday I had to drop off Boom-Boom, a/k/a my Cannondale bike.  The name, of course, comes from the brand name, but also because it brings to mind my old English teacher, "Boom-Boom" Cannon, the man who taught me how to speak in "clear, stentorian tones" in tenth grade, and made me read CAT'S CRADLE, among other things.  None of this has anything to do with the ride.  He was just a fun teacher.

So I set out back in January to raise at least $1,575.  That was the minimum.  I decided to try and double that and set my goals at $3,000, but I did so well early on, that I raised it to $4,000, but then I crushed that last week and suddenly found myself at 116% of my goal.  Thus, I just decided, What the heck, let's go for $5,000.  I'm not really being greedy.  In fact, I'm being a little fearful.

When I started TNT in 2004 (but dropped to have back surgery), I knew no one personally affected by leukemia & lymphoma.  Since then I have met many survivors, had one friend in publishing die from leukemia, and had friends and family diagnosed.  And I've learned that leukemia is still a big threat to children.  And, well, you see, now I'm a dad.  If I could eliminate war and disease and everything else in the world that could threaten my child, I would, of course.  But I can't.  But I can try and raise even more money to help defeat leukemia & lymphoma and, perhaps, help eliminate one threat.  Progress is being made and you should absolutely go on over to lls.org and read about all it does with the funds donated.  And then, please do donate.  Do it for the kids in your life or do it for people like my great aunt or my sister-in-law's great friend or my teammate's dad, all of whom are currently battling to get healthy again.

At the first TNT meeting I ever went to, they asked you to stand up if you've were currently battling cancer.  Then they asked those recovering to stand up.  Then they asked anyone who knew anyone who was currently battling or recovering to stand up.  They they asked if anyone knew anyone who knew anyone...  It doesn't take long for everyone in the room to be standing and realize that these cancers touch us all.

For everyone in my life battling leukemia or lymphoma or other forms of cancer.  For everyone in my life recovering.  For everyone in my life who has family or friends battling or recovering.  For my little boy and his little brother that is on they way and so that they never need to know the reality of these diseases.  This is why I ride.

Thank you.

Z

Monday, May 24, 2010

If he can do it, you can do it. Or at least contribute....

When I met my wife, I was training with Team in Training for my first century bike ride.  While we were dating, I knocked out that first one and another one in three weeks, both with TNT and both to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  I decided to do a third that year and I talked my girlfriend (now wife) into doing it, El Tour de Tucson.  But since I was living in NYC and she was living in San Diego, she had to sign up with the San Diego chapter and I trained with NYC, but did a few rides with the San Diego chapter when I was visiting.

Team in Training has mentors who assist new riders, both on the road and off, in getting through the training and the fund-raising.  Nadene had one mentor, Ted Wilcox, who has become a bit of an inspiration to us.  You see, not only has Ted beaten leukemia once and gone on to do century bike rides, he's beaten it (fingers crossed; it's only been a couple of years) a second time and gone on to do triathlons and more.

Ted, who is a US Navy veteran and all-around nice guy, is now training for a new tri with TNT, so he's fund-raising again.  My fund-raising for my Tahoe century is pretty much complete, so I'd like to help out Ted.  Here's the offer:

If you donate $100 to Ted's fund-raising account at http://pages.teamintraining.org/sd/sdtrcla10/twilcoxzdf, you can submit a sample chapter (up to 25 pages total) and synopsis (up to 5 pages double-spaced) to me without having to query me first.  Your donation is 100% tax deductible and goes to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  I receive no benefit other than a warm and fuzzy feeling.  Include your receipt from your online donation with your sample chapter.  I will respond to all such submissions personally and there will be no form rejects.  If I like it, I will ask for more.  If I do not, I will explain in a one-to-two-page letter why I think it is not for me or what I feel doesn't work about it.  This offer expires on the event day:  9/18/2010.*

For manuscript formatting guidelines, please see:  http://www.zackcompany.com/ms-prep-tips.html.

Thanks very much.

Z

*Taking advantage of this offer and making a donation in no way improves your chance of getting representation.  It only allows you to bypass the query-letter stage and ensures you a personal response to your material rather than a form reject if we pass. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Not to be a bother, but could you follow the formatting guidelines?

Today I actually rejected two sample chapters in a row because they weren't double-spaced.  Yes, as in I didn't actually read them because, well, it hurts to read single-spaced material.

So, not to be a bother, but could you follow the formatting guidelines?  These poor folks submitted in November 2009, only to be rejected unread because their material was poorly formatted.

Z

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The March & April Monthly Round-Ups


Well, it's been an interesting couple of months here and I realize that I have not provided a Monthly Round-up in a couple of months.  There's no good reason for it, other than that the entire family was sick one week and then the wife alone was sick another week, and, oh, we are expecting our second child and that's meant a number of appointments out of the office, etc.  So, it's all been about Priorities, and the round-ups simply haven't made the cut.  So let me try to remedy that today.

In March, we got:
  • 69 queries and declined 9
  • 8 sample chapters and declined 9
In April, we got:
  • 54 queries and declined 9
  • 7 sample chapters and declined 17

We currently have on-hand and need to read:
  • 112 eQueries (I hate to admit it, but paper queries do get read faster)
  • 42 sample chapters
  • 6 proposals
  • 3 full manuscripts (including one by a current client)

I'm pleased to report that a new intern has started part-time and she will be actually working in the office for the summer starting in early June.  In the meantime, she is reading and reporting on manuscripts.

While you are waiting on us to respond to your material, why not read a good book?












Z