Unrelated things you should know about

Some people get to travel to interesting, exciting places for business. New York City, Paris, London, New Orleans, Las Vegas.  I also get to travel for business from time to time. And when I do, boy, do I ever get to go to some, um, smallish, largely unknown places. Places that occasionally might appear as a word a on a map between two bigger slightly more interesting places.

Like Carroll, Iowa.

And Wallingford, Connecticut.

Okay, so it’s not exactly a list of places anyone has on their Travel Bucket List.  But it’s not all sad mimes and dropped ice cream cones. The good news is that occasionally, even in a mostly middle-of-nowhere place, you find something, a diamond in the rough, that makes your whole trip worthwhile.  That’s exactly what happened when I had to go to Wallingford. While there, I found The Old Dublin Pub, which is as much authentic Irish pub as I reckon you’re ever likely to get on this side of the Atlantic.

The Old Dublin is the topic of post I wrote today for Hoperatives.com.  Go read it and find out what I loved about the place.

When you’ve finished reading about my love of just-the-right-level-of-dark places with a good selection of taps, let’s talk about writing.

In case you missed it, I’m apparently one of those writer-types. I try not to make Puddintopia too specifically writer-centric, though, because, well, I set out to blog about my life, and writing is only a part of it.  I have to admit, though, it’s becoming a bigger and bigger part every day. Part of what that means is that over the past few years, I’ve made friends with an entire small town’s worth of other writerly folk. And the cool thing about it is that, by and large, those of us who share the common bond of having felt the terror of staring at a blank page are a welcoming, supportive lot.

One of those welcoming, supportive fellow writer types is Emmie Mears.  Emmie writes stuff not too different from what I write.  More specifically, she’s all about gritty, urban fantasy with a taste for the supernatural and a twist of humor. She, too, recently signed with an agent of her very own, and together, they are preparing to storm the publishing world. I suspect that, if you are a reader of books, you will hear her name often in the coming years.

Anyway, Emmie is good people, and has a good head for words that work and words that don’t. And in the interest of helping others maybe take the words in a manuscript that don’t work so well and turn them into words that work better, she announced yesterday that she’s offering a critique service. So, if you’re one of the many fledgling writers that stops by here every now and then and you’ve got a project that doesn’t seem to be catching all the eyes you think it should be, you may need to have someone else, someone objective, take a peek at it with a critical eye. And I’ll happily recommend Emmie’s eye for it.

When I told her I would likely mention her service in a post, she said she would submit references if I wanted to include them.

But, I told her no, thank you. See, I don’t need any references. Back when I started querying Famine, I wasn’t terribly confident that my query letter was everything I wanted it to be. I mean, after all, it was my first query letter.  Emmie, being an all-around awesome person and a fellow writer with some time in the query trenches already under her belt, did me a solid and offered to look at my letter. And then she gave me her honest thoughts about what parts of it made her want to read the book and which parts were less helpful than a third nipple on a male iguana.

What I’m saying is, if you maybe need another set of eyes of your manuscript, consider taking her up on her critique services. I can’t recommend her enough. Go forth and make arrangements, as soon as possible.

Be sure to tell her I sent ‘ya!