Monday, April 11, 2005

Ask And Ye Shall Receive

If you don't ask, you sure-as-hell get nothing.

So, query letters. I spent all weekend researching and learning. Most helpful to me was Moira Allen's Writer's Guide to Queries, Pitches, & Proposals. I cheated and bought the PDF . So far, Chapters 1 (The Perfect Pitch: Ten Steps to a Winning Proposal) and 2 (Writing the (Almost) Perfect Query) have been invaluable.

Ms. Allen proposes a 5-part query letter:

  • Hook - grab the editor's attention, including several optional forms and several do-not-use hooks

  • Proposal or Offer - explain what you are selling and why it fits this market's needs

  • Body - outline the article in some detail

  • Credentials - explain why you are qualified to write this article

  • Close - thanks and other courtesies

She gives excellent advice on professionalism and what not to do. Highly recommended. Ms; Allen also has some articles posted on line.

So now I'm off to start drafting the query to send to The Writer for "Metaphorically Speaking".

Garden Update

Corn and pole beans are up and growing like crazy. Michelle, we should be ready to cook out in about 6 weeks. :-) Squash, Cukes, Tomatoes, and Peppers have taken hold and are beginning to grow. Broccoli still going strong. Lima beans just starting to sprout. Okra planted today. Damn, that's a lot of vegetables in only about 350 square feet.

That does it for the first summer planting. Around mid-May, I'll put in a second planting of corn and beans interplanted with the first crop. By the time the second set of plants needs the room, I'll be cutting down the first set. Timing is everything. I may even be able to squeeze in a third planting. Gotta love a long growing season.

Then it's time to think about fall. Currently on the agenda are: turnips, collards, kohlrabi, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce (loose-leaf), beets (for greens), and Sugar Snap peas. Subject to change without notice. Void where prohibited by law.


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